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"Reading Leora Tanenbaum’s I Am Not a Slut is like watching a documentary – it’s complex, extensively researched, sometimes hard to get through, and important for precisely the reasons that make it so. I Am Not a Slut is the result of Tanenbaum’s decade-long investigation of young women and how they come of age in an increasingly hyper-connected world. This book is a follow-up to Slut!: Growing Up Female with a Bad Reputation, the author’s late-90s exposé on the same topic, just before the advent of the Internet as a ubiquitous, inescapable force. What this book offers that its predecessor didn’t is an extensive look at how the Internet has exploded the boundaries of judgment and pressures placed on teens and pre-teens. With brisk, intelligent, feeling prose, Tanenbaum presents a dire situation and tells us that one place to start solving it is in the words we use, even among friends. I Am Not a Slut is, in several desperately needed ways, a game-changer."— Katie P.
The author of the groundbreaking work Slut explores the phenomenon of slut-shaming in the age of sexting, tweeting, and "liking." She shows that the sexual double standard is more dangerous than ever before and offers wisdom and strategies for alleviating its destructive effects on young women's lives.
Young women are encouraged to express themselves sexually. Yet when they do, they are derided as "sluts." Caught in a double bind of mixed sexual messages, young women are confused. To fulfill the contradictory roles of being sexy but not slutty, they create an "experienced" identity on social media-even if they are not sexually active--while ironically referring to themselves and their friends as "sluts."
But this strategy can become a weapon used against young women in the hands of peers who circulate rumors and innuendo--elevating age-old slut-shaming to deadly levels, with suicide among bullied teenage girls becoming increasingly common. Now, Leora Tanenbaum revisits her influential work on sexual stereotyping to offer fresh insight into the digital and face-to-face worlds contemporary young women inhabit. She shares her new research, involving interviews with a wide range of teenage girls and young women from a variety of backgrounds as well as parents, educators, and academics. Tanenbaum analyzes the coping mechanisms young women currently use and points them in a new direction to eradicate slut-shaming for good.