Sophia Hudson blogs over at Please Excuse My Vagina, a chronicle of her daily life as a teenage feminist. She grew up with a ton of privilege, but then she discovered the internet and the wonders of social justice. She talks about some pretty heavy stuff over there, but sometimes she can even be funny. In real life she’s even a fairly enjoyable person to be around, when she’s not going on some sort of feminist rant to her unamused friends.
Today, in the worst, most heart-pounding, oh-my-god-I’m-gonna-throw-up moment of my life, I got called down to the principal’s office.
The security guards, and my principals, caught my boyfriend and me making out via the security cameras. There is now officially a video of me, the perfect little anti-PDA good girl, getting hot-n-heavy. It was after school, in a deserted hallway. He had his hands in my bra. It was quite scandalous. He and I both got a one-day in-school suspension (which is like detention, I guess), and I’m probably grounded for life. But it’s not going onto any sort of a college transcript so in the end, no harm done (other than the fact that I’m probably not allowed to even speak to a member of the opposite sex for the rest of my life, but I’m hoping that particular repercussion will lessen with time).
I understand that I acted stupidly, and I take full responsibility for my own actions. It was against school rules and a pretty big abuse of privelege. I deserve whatever I’ve got coming to me. But for the love of god, can everyone stop slut-shaming me and diminishing my role in it?!
My vice principal said to me numerous times over the course of our conversation, “Don’t you think it’s inappropriate for a boy to be touching you like that?” And I kept repeating that of course, I thought it was vastly inappropriate for a school setting and that I regretted my actions (which I do. I regret my actions so damn much). It took me several tries to realize that was NOT the answer she was looking for. She wanted me to say, without a doubt, that it was inappropriate for a boy to have his hands on me that way. So finally, that’s what I said.
By the end of it, I wanted to say that I can do whatever I want with my own body, and that I shouldn’t have to feel ashamed just because a boy had his hands in my shirt. I wanted to take a stand, even though I know I’m entirely in the wrong here. But I just had to keep telling myself, Sophia, now is NOT the time to be a feminist. Just grow some ovaries and take your subtle slut-shaming like a woman. It really pissed me off, to be honest, and there is literally nothing I can do about it.
Because I’m the stupid, horny, hormone-driven teenager. My opinion? It doesn’t count.
My parents, too, seem to be blaming my boyfriend for most of it. And of course, it was his idea. But I certainly don’t blame him any more than I blame myself. He had my 100% consent in the matter. But I don’t want to defend him at the moment because I would risk making things endlessly worse for him and for me.
I understand that he and I both acted pretty foolishly. I understand that we shouldn’t have been making out in school, let alone after hours in a deserted hallway. But seriously, can everyone please understand that I wanted this just as badly as he did? I wasn’t letting him do anything, it was something we both wanted to do. It’s not like it was sex.
The thing that makes me so frustrated about all this is that my vice principal obviously didn’t mean to shame me. She’s a human being, and a woman on top of that, and she told me that she understands young people make mistakes. But she is missing what the mistake was here (at least, in my opinion, but more on that later). The mistake, as everyone would like to think, was not that a boy had his hands on me. No, the mistake was that we were making out on school grounds, after hours, when we were supposed to be painting sets. And I take full responsibility for that mistake. But I do not deserve to be slut-shamed.
In our society, women are traditionally meant to be “pure,” untouched flowers (at least until marriage, at which point they’re supposed to give themselves to their husbands. I don’t really believe in the whole abstinence until marriage thing but that’s none of my business anyways). If someone is pissed off at a girl, 7 times out of 10 she’s going to get called a “stupid hoe” or a “slut” or a “thot”* or something of the like. And the other three times, she’s gonna get called a bitch. When we’re discussing the numerous trysts going on between the students in our school, the girl’s name is always stated first, and the boy’s is just an afterthought. (E.g. Ella totally had Jonah’s dick in her mouth yesterday!)
Because boys? Well, they will be boys, of course. As I’m sure everyone knows, males think of nothing other than sex. It’s only natural! But me? No, I let a boy put his hands in my shirt. I’m impure.
(((If you didn’t pick up on it, that was sarcasm. “Boys will be boys” is bull, and I personally believe I am as pure as a drop of dew on a lily in the early morning. So there.)))
And even though my VP didn’t mean to be slut-shaming me, she is just as much a part of our society as I am. The girl is always the one to blame and I’m no exception.
But like I said, my opinion on all of this doesn’t count. Because I’m just a teenager, making a stupid mistake, and now I’m not even seen as a “good kid” anymore. My opinion is even less valid than it was before this all happened. And I don’t know, maybe teenagers shouldn’t get a say in things. We’re certainly not educated enough to vote. But one day, we will be. One day, we’re going to be the voters and the vice principals and the parents. When are we going to form our world views, if not now?
Just because my hormones are fucked up and I tend to be ruled by my mood swings doesn’t mean I am any less of a person. It doesn’t mean that I deserve to be shamed. Maybe I don’t know much, but I do know that.
But I am grounded for life. I am serving a suspension. I am in massive trouble with my teachers and my principal and my parents. So now? Now is not the time for feminism.
Sophia Hudson, in an act of shameless self-promotion, would once again like you to know that she runs a fabulous website over at Please Excuse My Vagina.
*Thot, for those who are not part of the teenage twittersphere, is an acronym for That Hoe Over There, an insult which I do not personally condone (though I do find it sort of amusing, because seriously, who comes up with this stuff?).