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Reel Talk: a discussion on slut shaming

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photo by Harley Fonseca/ Island waves  Pictured left to right: Alyssa Good, Cassandra Huye, Angela Walker and Dr. Yliana Zaikman. 

Harley Fonseca
Reporter 

The Counseling Center of Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi hosted their first Reel Talk screening with the hope to continue screening movies dedicated to conversational topics about mental health, encouraging others to get an insight on these topics and join the conversation. They plan to screen thought provoking movies the second Tuesday of every month, followed by discussion afterwords.  

This month’s screening was of the movie “UnSlut,” directed by Julia Lindin. The film focused on the topic of slut-shaming women. It discussed different scenarios of slut-shaming such as the spreading of an intimate photo, the backlash from it and the resulting horrors such as suicide or self-harm that the victim uses to ease the mental, emotional and possibly even physical pain that occurs after an assault.   

The event was hosted by Dr. Alison Marks, Psy. D, from the Counseling Center. She said the idea is for students to watch the free screenings of these films to get a better understanding of the topic and to hear the stories and opinions that others might have. Angela Good, counselor at the Counseling Center spoke on the topic of consent, drawing from her experiences of working with many trauma victims.

“It’s very easy to move on when things get too tough,” said Good. “It’s always been complicated to make  others understand.”  

After the screening was a discussion from a distinguished panel of women who wanted to share their opinions about the film. The other panalists that sat alongside Good and Marks included: Cassandra Huye, who wrote her senior thesis, “Consent, Ethics, and the Harms of Rape,” at the College of Wooster in 2017, Angela Walker, Associate Dean of Students, and Dr. Yuliana Zaikman, who conducts research dedicated to gender inequality and the effects of media on perceptions, attitudes and behavior. 

“There must be a way to make consent sexy,” said Zaikman. She talked about a series of papers and, “how exactly men and women go about approaching consent and all of them have confessed to wishing they had learned about consent sooner in their lives. The matter of consent is not a ‘yes’ or ‘no’, it’s a continuous process. Just because someone doesn’t say ‘no’ doesn’t mean they are consenting to sex.” 

Most of the panel had not seen the film before but Walker specifically mentioned just how hard it was to see slut-shamming happening in today’s society. 

“I found it painful to watch,” Walker said. “It’s painful because even today, it’s still the woman’s burden to solve the problem. I feel that some of us have failed when it comes to parenting because we don’t talk about consent and sex itself with our children.” 

The next event will be held on Nov. 6 if the schedule continues to follow the first Tuesday format. For more information on Reel Talk or for counseling matters, please contact Marks at, Alison.Marks@tamucc.edu

 

 

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