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AIBU?

Sexist slurs between teens.

9 replies

jillowarriorqueen · 20/10/2018 15:08

Ok, so at my teenage DDs school, the word "THOT" is bandied about within her mixed sex friendship group all the time. Not sure if it's a word used in other areas of the country, but it's definitely new and being used where we live.

T - That
H - Ho'
O - Over
T - There

Anyway, it's directed exclusively at girls and is used mostly by the boys (but also by a couple of the girls too towards other girls) as a casual "jokey" insult. My DD says she's getting the brunt of this within the group at the moment and is fed up with being called it "every five minutes" (her words). They often call her a THOT in reference to her skirt length (which in my opinion is too short, but we got it from a school uniform shop and she always wears thick black tights with it and shorts too, for modesty's sake). She is very pretty and a lot of boys like her (the other reason they call her this name a lot, apparently), but she doesn't flirt or do anything to encourage them. I'm offering this information, not because I think these are reasons to call someone this, but so you know what their reasons are for doing so.

Her obvious annoyance with this has now led her to be uninvited from one of the boys birthday parties today, because he's told other kids that she can't take a joke. She can, but she's sick of it now.

I guess I'm interested in how you as parents would deal with this, regarding giving her advice. Should she laugh it off as a joke as the other kids suggest - or should she continue to challenge it? Or ....(whatever else you have for me on this)?

Personally, when these sorts of situations crop up, I usually run the scenario through a workplace scenario on the basis that if it's unacceptable in a work-place, it's unacceptable in a school. I know kids will be kids, but surely it's up to us as a society to nip things like this in the bud, so by the time kids go to work, they are decent human beings who don't casually call women whores.

Kids are all year 10, so old enough to really know better.

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clownstotheleft · 20/10/2018 15:23

To me this is not a joke, it's an sly insidious derogatory insult, using a word which is meant to put women of all ages in their place. The people using the term, due to their age, may not understand how this type of language can be very damaging to someone's self image. Unfortunately (also due to their age) it would be very difficult for your daughter to put this across to any of them without seeming unreasonable. I suspect any attempts to do so will be met with the same type of exclusion she is already suffering.

On one hand she could rise above it and laugh it off, but on the other, why should she have to? She could try pointing out that these individuals would not like someone saying it about their mums, sisters and future daughters, how they react to that analogy could give them perspective?? Sorry to not be able to be very constructive with the problem in hand, but you and she are definitely not over reacting! Good on her for standing up for herself so far

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GreenLantern53 · 20/10/2018 15:32

this isnt anything new. girls were called hoes when i was at school.

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ShineOnHarvestMoon · 20/10/2018 15:36

Good for you and you DD! And thank you to your DD for standing up for hereself, and in doing so, standing up for all other young women.

Can you take her out for a big treat tomorrow to reward her for doing something difficult and being socially punished for it?

Frankly being uninvited from a party by someone who calls you a whore is a blessing, but she may not see it that way.

But she sounds great!

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ThePants999 · 20/10/2018 16:08

This doesn't change much, but FWIW it's a "backronym" - it didn't used to stand for anything, someone made up "that ho over there" to fit the word.

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UpstartCrow · 20/10/2018 16:13

''Her obvious annoyance with this has now led her to be uninvited from one of the boys birthday parties today, because he's told other kids that she can't take a joke.''

Your DD set a boundary and is being punished by this boy. Thats not friendship.
Within groups, you often get people who try to control and manipulate using this kind of scapegoating/isolation technique.

Its reached the point where she is being bullied, so I'd get the school involved.

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busybarbara · 20/10/2018 16:13

If you spend much time on social media young girls are calling themselves this on Instagram tags and stuff now. It's like when they call themselves the b word rhyming with ditch as a sort of matter of pride at how hard they are. Ho isnt even censored on radio 1 nowadays so it's not a big deal

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jillowarriorqueen · 20/10/2018 16:17
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Rebooting · 20/10/2018 16:27

She needs it happen in front of a teacher. Preferably a teacher who is a feminist.

If I hear that kind of misogynistic language at school, it gets shut down and firmly challenged. The girls at my school will now come to me and a number of other teachers to ask for support in challenging it directly. It’s made a massive difference.

Is there a teacher she could do that with?

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AmIRightOrAMeringue · 20/10/2018 16:37

That's so tricky. I think women and people in general are conditioned to just accept insults like this - laugh it off even though it's not witty or funny and not challenge it. It's classic sexist behaviour to say something that's only insulting to women then put it back on them for not 'taking a joke'. It's not even witty. Well done her for having the intelligence to realise it's not on and contributes to wider issues (eg linking clothes to sexual behaviour to me leads to acceptance of people thinking that revealing clothes means someone is asking to be raped) and for having the confidence to challenge it.

Sorry no advice other than to try and keep it non confrontational eg not insulting back. It's hard to stand up to a group so maybe talking to them individually and explain it makes her feel self conscious if she doesn't think wider discussions on feminism will be understood?

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