Emily Lindin: 11-Year Old 'Slut' Journal Published On Tumblr

When I was in elementary school, we didn’t really have "sluts" and so we didn’t have slut-shaming per-se. We had fat-shaming, skinny-shaming, clothes-shaming, even possession-shaming (pogs. Damn pogs got me every time.) And I don’t even know if I could classify the insults being traded around the four-square box "shaming" as much as "insecurity trading." It wasn’t until middle school that the true bullying started, and it was rampant.

But times have changed, and my memories are hazy at best, so it is interesting to read through the new Tumblr site titled "The UnSlut Project" written by Emily Lindin. Emily has been painstakingly transferring her journal entries from when she was 11-years-old onto the blog site, hoping it will be an "It Gets Better" for teenage girls.

I have to admit, reading through her journals does take me back to my younger days when three-way calling, notes passed in school, one friend asking another out, and dating to breaking up in one day, were a part of life. I wasn’t eleven the first time I tongue-kissed a boy, but the feelings and sensations expressed do resonate.

The idea is innovative and I hope it works; the last year has been a gut-churning and emotional one for most women (and men) I know as it seems monthly we are reading about another rape/slutshaming/suicide story and feeling helpless. 

I only wonder if it will work: will teenage girls read her stories (and eventually others as she would like the project to be collaborative) and find some small shred of strength to carry on? The majority of the comments I’ve read on the site have been supportive, but they’ve also been from (mostly) adults.

Emily is submitting the journals every few days chronologically and so while girls may tune in and find themselves in her postings, except for Emily (obviously) surviving to adulthood, where is the "It Gets Better" aspect? Even the call for ‘horror stories’ is a little short-sighted. If we want girls (and boys) to see the other side maybe we need the whole picture including the perspective of the boys involved, friends, and classmates.  

What I would love to see is the outlook of the other cast members (Emily uses pseudonyms for everyone including herself but also adds little tidbits about how the other characters in her true-life adventures.) Does the boy who originally started rumors about Emily performing and receiving oral sex ever think about his actions? Does he remember why he did it at the time, and if he felt remorse or guilt for the way Emily was treated afterwards?  

The UnSlut project is a great start; I just hope it can be built into something larger that will help teenagers get through the painful years.

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Meghan Darcy

Seeking truth, inspiration, and reason. Laugher, watcher, reader, writer

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