The “UnSlut Project” was a blog founded by Emily Lindin in Apr. 2013.
Troubled over the number of bully generated suicides in teen girls, Emily Lindin sought to share her own story. She was labeled the “school slut” in middle school and dealt with suicidal thoughts because of it.
“I sat in my parent’s basement in the winter hoping to freeze to death, so it would look like an accident,” Emily said, depicting the dark place she was in.
These stories hit home for Emily and she knew she had a way to help: to post her diary entries from that period in her life and thus sacrifice her privacy and show extreme vulnerability.
The risky move paid off. By Aug. 2013, the site had reached the attention of women all across the globe with similar stories of “slut shaming.” This same month she started a Kickstarter to gain the funds to film her documentary.
Donors raised all the 50,000 dollars that went into making the documentary.
“I didn’t want the site to be an echo chamber for feminists who already get it,” said Lindin when asked why she created the documentary. “I made it in the forty minute time frame so it could easily fit into a classroom setting and leave room for open discussion.”
From Nova Scotia to New Jersey, the film crew was able to find young girls and families who experienced the trauma and dealt with the consequences of “slut shaming.” The message in their stories remained consistent throughout: slut shaming is caused by a need to justify sexual assaults or actions, and the victim ends up extremely isolated.
To help prevent girls from feeling isolated, Emily Lindin speaks at middle schools, high schools, and colleges all across America. Her hopes are to open the discussion about “slut shaming,” have young women share their stories, and be there for them as a support system.
“This probably sounds cheesy, but the stories I hear are so diverse that they all resonate with me. What’s always most uplifting is when you can feel this moment with a young woman where she sees ‘this isn’t my fault’,” said Lindin.
Every chair set up at the second floor of the dining hall was filled on the night of Oct. 19.
Audible gasps were constant as the film touched upon some disturbing stories. When the lights came on, students were eager to talk with Lindin. Discussions stemmed from the “not all men” argument to how students could get involved.
First year student Eilane Cabral attended the event and said, “I found it especially interesting because chances are someone we know has been called a slut, or we have called someone else a slut, with the intention of demeaning their character. To see people’s stories about how being labeled a slut affected them so much makes you really think about the weight of your words.”
Emily Lindin’s day at Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) also came with a tour of the Women’s Center shadowing Brooke Gilmore. The Women’s Center has many resources available to students and they are encouraged to stop in anytime.
Check out the website at Unslutproject.com
Want more information about the women’s center? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.