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This is part of our series for parents or guardians. To find out more about the series, click here. For our top five guiding principles for parents or guardians, click here; for a list of resources, click here. To see all posts in the series, click the Scarleteen Confidential tag here at Scarleteen, or follow the series on Tumblr at scarleteenconfidential.tumblr.com.
Messages parents or guardians have given our users about gender come up frequently, and often problematically. We often see the negative impacts of crummy ways some of their parents frame and talk about gender. As feminists and queer activists, we address gender stereotyping often in our content and conversations around women and gender nonconforming people of many stripes (or polka dots, whichever one prefers), and we know the weight of it all too well. But gender stereotyping is not just everybody’s problem, it’s a problem for everybody, and that includes for men, and the problems, for everybody, many gender stereotypesRead more...
I have written previously about 50 Shades of Grey, and the problems that I, and many others, have with the presentation of BDSM in the book. In short, the book purportedly explores a woman's sexual awakening in the context of consensual BDSM, but really portrays a woman's emotional abuse in the guise of kink at the hands of a controlling partner.
Which is why I was so disheartened to find out that 50 Shades would be adapted for the screen. I knew it would mean that the franchise would live on for another few years, and that we would continue to be inundated with the books/films and its characters until the screening of the final film. And as I feared, the way the film was talked about in the weeks and months leading up to its Valentine's Day release was fairly frustrating. I found it upsetting to see that the story was getting tied up with red ribbons and sold as the perfectly romantic Valentine's Day date. You could get anything from flowers to chocolate to champagne with a 50-ShadesRead more...
I am tired of disbelief.
I am tired of skepticism.
I am someone who does, genuinely, believe in the value of looking at things with a critical eye, of being cautious, of acknowledging that there are two sides to every story.
But I am tired of it when it comes to people who have been, or are being, harmed or made vulnerable.
In our work here at Scarleteen, we have people who talk with us about rape, or abuse, or relationships that they haven't yet pegged as abusive but that make my shoulders go up around me ears. And I have been asked:
Why do you believe them? How do you know they aren't presenting a biased opinion to get sympathy? There's always two sides to things.
The short answer is: because it is my job to believe them.
We, any of us who work with survivors, have a serious responsibility to, at the very, very least, believe them. They don't come to us for skepticism. They don't come to us to be told that they're overreacting, that they're lying, that they should think of the feeliRead more...
I'm 16 and I'm going through relationship problems that I'm not sure how to handle or what to think of. My boyfriend wants me to change the way I dress because he says I look "slutty." He says he doesn't like me wearing shorts, skirts, dresses or a plain vest top on its own (and I'm quite flat chested so I never show off any cleavage). I'm the type of person who likes wearing what I want. I'm into trends and fashion but now that he's in my life I feel like I'm not allowed to like or wear any of my skirts and dresses in my closet that I love.
But even though he says I can wear what I want, he gets pissed off when I do.