February 18, 2018

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UnSlut: A Documentary Film | SLJ DVD Review

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redstarUnSlut: A Documentary Film. 40 min. Tugg Edu. edu.tugg.com. 2016. $75. ISBN unavail. UnSlut A Documentary Film

Gr 9 Up –This film, directed by Emily Lindin, the founder of the UnSlut Project (unslutproject.com), tells the story of six women who were “slut-shamed” and bullied in middle or high school, including Rehtaeh Parsons, a Canadian teen who committed suicide after being gang-raped and then labeled a slut by her classmates. Slut-shaming implies that a girl or woman should feel guilty or inferior because of her real—or perceived—sexual behavior. Lindin begins with her own story of being sexually bullied both online and face-to-face. As an adult, she noticed news stories of young women committing suicide after being bullied because of their sexuality. She also noticed that girls were being labeled as sluts to justify sexual assault. Topics include “The Internet Has Really Changed the Game,” “She Was Asking for It,” and “I Didn’t Deserve To Be Treated Like That.” The film offers suggestions for helping young women who have been bullied, including teaching girls the meaning of consent, creating a culture where bullies are punished and those who step up to help are supported, and emphasizing the importance of listening to one another’s stories. In addition to the young women profiled, there are interviews with a number of sexuality experts and advocates. VERDICT This is a well-done documentary that every high school student should see, discuss, and learn from.–Ann Brownson, Eastern Illinois University, Charles

This review was published in the School Library Journal May 2016 issue.