Does Tumblr ‘Hey Girl Did You Know’ Cross From Humorous Into Slut- Shaming?[INTERVIEW]

Women of the universe, can we try and stop hating each other? Let’s just put down the torches and pitchforks. I mean, for God’s sake we already have to burden the monster that’s childbirth; we really don’t need any more problems. And yet here you are, slut shaming each other all over the internet.

Tumblr’s newest meme, “Hey Girls, Did You Know …,” has become a girl-on-girl attack of what bloggers consider to be “sluts” — girls having too much sex and showing too much skin. Each meme features four connected photos of Tumblr bloggers bullying girls for spreading their legs and not Nutella. Kenny Kennedy, creator of the Facebook page “Hey Girls, Did You Know” decided to curate these images under one Facebook page and soon began receiving hundreds of memes from people around the world.

Kennedy says:

“I had a computer full of these pictures full of this funny stuff, you know? ‘Cause I have all these pages, I just collect them, so I ended up just having a collection and thought, ‘Hey, make a page.’”

Truth be told, there are many things about girls that can be annoying: posting statuses every hour about how much they love their boo, trying to fool people into thinking they rolled out of bed looking like that. But this new meme has crossed over the boundaries of humor and entered into the red zone that is slut-shaming territory.

Slut shaming (*adjusts glasses and attempts scholarly voice) is labeling a woman as a “slut” because of the clothes she wears and the sexual decisions that she makes. Slut shaming can be dangerous because it often goes hand in hand with victim blaming — which places the blame of unwanted sexual advances on the “slut” for provoking others by flirting or wearing a mini skirt. Society often pinpoints one thing about this girl that is unacceptable — she shows off her cleavage, she has sex with a lot of guys, she is “easy” — because it reassures others that the the bad things that happen to her won’t happen to them.

Kennedy sees these collection of memes not as a form of cyber bullying but as a way to make people laugh. “Is it cyber bullying? I would have to say no on our part because these memes are not about individuals,” comments Kennedy.

He adds:

“If I post a picture that gets 1000 likes, that’s 1000 people who have no idea who the picture is about so they’re not actually making fun of someone. But if a person made a picture with the intent of making fun of somebody then I guess that’s a different subject. Maybe that’s something their parents should talk to them about. But the page is not about bullying, it was just about making people laugh.”

The page currently supports a mix of memes humorously making fun of women and others instructing women not to let society define what they do with their bodies — an interesting mix of comedians and feminists all hashing it out in the digital space.  So is it funny? Is it bullying? I’ve given you my thoughts, now I guess it’s time for you to give yours.

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