Monday, December 17, 2012

Jenna Marbles’ New Video: Harmless Comedy or Disrespecting Women?

Jenna Marbles is a hilarious internet comedian who’s posted over 100 videos, including some classics such as “How to Trick People into Thinking You’re Good Looking.”  However, her newest video is called “Things I Don’t Understand about Girls Part 2: Slut Edition.” 

Jenna defines “sluts” as women who sleep with a lot of men, especially men they don’t know.  She says that sluts don’t respect themselves or their bodies.  While she does make some good points about safety (don’t get STIs) and preventing sexual assault (intervene if a girl looks drunk and confused), she’s pretty anti-slut.  To Jenna Marbles, sluts make bad choices.  Jenna claims monogamy is much more fulfilling and that women have more enjoyable sex with someone they have a relationship with.  This assumption bothered me…..something didn’t seem right, but what??  Then I discovered this video by sex educator Laci Green.

Laci Green argues that Jenna echoes beliefs that our culture has had for generations—that women shouldn’t be sexual.  While women have made some advances, they are in no way equal to men or free to make their own sexual decisions.  Laci says that Jenna is “slut-shaming,” aka disrespecting certain women society labels as “sluts.”  “Sluts” are just women who express their sexuality differently than society wants them to.  Laci thinkgs disrespecting sluts is disrespecting women, and their ability to choose who they want to have sex with.

So what do y’all think?  Is Jenna’s video good advice for women seeking happiness, or is she disrespecting women’s decision-making abilities?  Post in the comments!
** You may publish anonymous comments as well. All comments are subject to review and approval from The Alice Drum Women's Center. **

- Lauren Dever


  1. I definitely agree Laci. I think a woman should be allowed to sexually express herself how she feels best suits her. It is unfair that the term "slut" has been coined for girls who like to have "a lot" of sex with different people. I would say it is awesome if a girl knows what she wants and goes after it. I think as long as she is not using men as a way to validate herself there is nothing wrong with women who like to have sex. Validating/knowing how great you are should come from oneself not from others. Sex is a natural and healthy thing... our culture has shaped sex to seem like something shameful... it's not. It is different for everyone. Girls should feel comfortable and confident to flaunt their sexuality in a manner that makes them feel good... without ridicule or judgment. Who are we to decide what makes someone a "slut"? I think Jenna's video just confirmed a lot of conventional "ideals". Even as she says... no judgment... "i have many friends who are slutty". Why does that matter? Everything she said was insulting and the term "slut logic"... It all seemed a little unnecessary. Her stories seemed like a lot of girls who felt the need to justify their actions... I do not think anyone ever needs to explain oneself or his or her personal and sexual encounters. It is not our place to judge nor is it our lives. If a girl wants to be what Jenna considers to be a "slut" who are we to judge? To each their own. Not everyone's sexual ideals will match. I do agree women should be safe and smart... but for the most part Jenna made a lot of girls seem dumb and incapable of thinking. The amount of times she uses the word "slut" is just adding to the problem. How are we supposed to be sexually equal to men when we (females) use the exact same derogatory terms (that men use) to fellow women? We should not be making females feel the need to explain their actions... well actually we should not make men or women feel the need to justify their sexual experiences (as long as everything is legal)

  2. Hi! I agree with Laci Green and everything Adi comment on above! I follow Missrepresentation, and found that one of their authors wrote a great response to the Jenna Marbles video as well. It doesn't just talk about slut shaming, but also talks about how we can create a counter culture in the media to stop all of this. Just thought I would share!

  3. I completely agree! And in the words of Mean Girls, "You all have got to stop calling each other sluts and whores!" (thanks you, Ms. Norbury).

    Jemma Marbles, I love you. But you are perpetuating slut and victim shaming in our society by hating on women who have different sexual lifestyles than yourself. Additionally, we need to acknowledge the difference between "stupid slutty decisions" and sexual assault, because some people think they are synonymous. Assault is never anyone's decision but the assailant's! A short skirt and a tight shirt is not an invitation. It is an outfit.

    1. I absolutely agree with this comment.

  4. For me, it comes down to the word "slut" itself. Maybe a woman "has a lot of sex," maybe she sleeps with a lot of people, maybe she tends to hook up with guys in the dirty corners of frat basements. Maybe she even has unprotected sex and makes risky decisions. But can we stop labeling each other as "slutty" or "prude?"

    Now, specifically in relation to how boys use the word. Sometimes I think guys like to call girls sluts/whores/etc. because they think they are being a good guy and doing them a favor. I find that they assume girls who sleep with "a lot" (putting aside the issue of defining "a lot" for now) of guys disrespect themselves, and they are doing some kind of civil service by alerting them and their friends of this inferior self-image. Disclaimer: of course I recognize that not all men are like this, and of course I think women are to blame too-- I just think that men and women have different motives when they use the word, though neither is better or worse than the other.


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  7. Deanna MiserendinoMay 3, 2013 at 4:17 PM

    Obviously this is my opinion, and people should feel free to disagree with me. One of the prime issues here is the idea that women should be able to express themselves sexually. I definitely agree that women should not be confined by societal constraints and kept from expressing themselves in a physical way, but there are certainly conditions that go along with it. Sex is something that should be accompanied by mutual love, and respect for one another, and this is most certainly not found in the basement of some frat house with multiple partners in one night. The reason things like TFM exist is because women are not respecting themselves and reserving sex for the people they care the most about. So I'm sorry if people disagree with me, but I very much agreed with Jenna Marbles' video. There are plenty of women out there who do not respect their own bodies and use sex for all the wrong reasons. Although I do not condone the fact that our society presents sex as if it should be something that is shameful, I think that sex should not be handed out to every guy that passes your way. If the girls that people call "sluts" were acting purely to express themselves sexually and flaunt their sexuality then I would understand - to each is their own. But there are more girls that I can count that act the way they do because of deep rooted self-esteem issues, or depression, or family issues. Although I don't think "slut" is the appropriate term to describe these girls, I don't think that what they are doing to themselves is right.

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** You may publish anonymous comments as well. All comments are subject to review and approval from The Alice Drum Womens Center. **