Sex Tapes and Slut-Shaming: The Latest Installment

Tulisa Contostavlos

The UK is all-a-buzz about Tulisa Contostavlos, a 23-year old X Factor judge whose ex-boyfriend posted their sex-tape online without her consent. We’ve seen this happen countless times; Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian are two recent examples that come to mind. A young “celebrity” has a video posted – the ultimate “girls gone wild” experience – and a tonne of publicity ensues, most of it calling her bad names. The male (the leaked sex tapes are always heterosexual) barely gets a mention and never gets any of the shaming.

This time something was different. Tulisa followed up with her own video (which has now been seen by over 3.5 million people) where she speaks out about the sex tape.

In her own words:

“When you share an intimate moment with someone you love, that you care about and trust,” she says, holding her holiday pictures of ex-boyfriend Justin Edwards, the guy who leaked the clip, “you never imagine that at any point it will be shared with people around the world.”

YES!

And there’s more. This is where she nails it:

“It’s a pretty tough time for me, but I don’t feel I should be the one to take the heat for it. This is something he took upon himself, to put the footage online… I’m not going to sit here and be violated or taken advantage of.”

The crux of the issue is simple: previously, women were publicly shamed for doing whatever they were doing in these videos. Not only were they having sex and enjoying it, they – gasp – thought it’d be fun to film it. Seriously – women should know better, right? Their hymen is their greatest treasure and their good reputation should be guarded at all costs. And men – well, we all know men will do anything for sex and hey, that’s fine, because men are supposed to have a lot of sex. It’s part of being a real man (along with drinking beer, cursing, and putting women in their place when they speak their mind).  If you attempted counting the fallacies, gender essentialists, chauvinistic, misogynistic, and misandrist assumptions it the previous two sentences you’d probably get to about two dozen.

It’s about time somebody spoke out about what the real problem with leaked sex tapes is and who should be ashamed. There’s nothing wrong with consensual sex; there’s nothing wrong with filming the consensual sex for the enjoyment of both parties if they agree to it; there’s nothing wrong with posting the video online IF BOTH PARTIES AGREE TO IT. It’s a breach of trust, incredible asshole-ness and maybe even a crime to post the video online without the consent of one of the parties involved in the filming. Period. The only person who did anything wrong and deserves shaming is Justin Edwards – the guy who posted the video. Instead of wasting paper and internet space on calling Tulisa bad names for engaging in consensual sexual activity and being trusting (you can always count on tabloids), the real culprit should be named and shamed. I never thought I’d say this, but Simon Cowell hit the nail on the head (or the jerk where he deserves it) when he said that the sex tape leaker is ‘scumbag’ and that of course Tulisa  won’t lose her gig on The X-Factor. She’s there because of her vocal talents and hiring her had nothing to do with her sex life, so firing won’t either.  How sensible is that?

About Maria:
A recovering scientist, healthcare analyst and junkie of all things gender and women's health

Comments

  1. Good for her! And I agree and agree and yet I wish folks could just appreciate sex in the moment and pass on the need to memorialize it forever. If it’s consensual, I absolutely think that’s the bottom line and should be respected. Maybe this is just my hinkiness showing but really, does anyone really look attractive having sex? I just really don’t want to know …

  2. Monika Platek says:

    For some mysterious reason Maria Pawlowska is again speaking my mind and help me to clarify also for myself what stayed a bit blurred in the back of my head. Thanks a lot for that article. I am so much fed up with nailing at showed person that appears naked or intimate for being “naive”, “stupid” or “immoral” for they should know better men will abuse them and the situation. I am fed up with that also for men sake! We should know and actually men should scream about it – that it is not a male standard, and that men are also decency capable. Those that are not do have problem, and should do something about themselves to correct what is in fact unfair, stupid and immoral and it is so good Maria Pawlowska made it so clear!

  3. I love that she’s not letting this asshole escape the blame. What a douchebag. Good for her.

  4. It’s so great to hear that someone is sticking up for herself for once! I love women who break the norm. Keep it up Tulisa!

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