OPINION: Thoughts on Thots

If you have any form of social media whatsoever or attend a JCPS school (which I’m assuming most people reading this do), you’ve probably heard of the controversial “THOT” accounts. The acronym THOT started to become popular on Twitter and Instagram in late 2013, and stands for “That Ho Over There.” In January, students from various JCPS schools set up Instagram accounts called “*insert school name here* THOTS.” The page consisted mostly of either nude or partially nude pictures of girls who either privately sent their pictures to the account owners, or whose pictures were sent by someone else, usually without their knowledge. Officials began investigating after students from various high schools informed their principals of the pages.

The first thing I thot–wait–THOUGHT when I heard about this was how stupid the page creators must have been. Instagram is a public website, and even though these THOT accounts were private, anyone one of their followers could have notified their parents or school principal.

But besides the stupidity of the account holders, the bigger problem is that this is just another example of slut-shaming. If you haven’t heard of slut-shaming, it’s the problematic way that the media and the world treat women who are open about their sex lives or have casual sex. All of us have probably called someone a slut, jokingly or not, at least once in our lifetime. But slut-shaming is wrong because it punishes women for exercising their choice to say yes, and it isn’t applied equally to men. The only slightly equivalent insult is “man-whore,” and since whore is a female-specific insult, the phrase is telling a guy that he is acting like a slutty girl. You see what I’m saying?

These THOT accounts were definitely a branch of slut-shaming–especially considering that many victims didn’t know that their pictures had been sent in until one of their friends or someone at school told them about it. The comments on these pictures were not only disgusting but also degrading. Many people would give the photos a 1-10 rating, describing what they liked and what they would do to the subject.

If anything, I think the THOT account scandal has shown high-schoolers that they need to be more careful about what they put out there. Everyone would like to believe that if you sent a picture like that, the recipient would keep it to themselves, but obviously that is not always the case. So use your own discretion and make your own choices, but make sure you’re being careful, and never say yes to something you aren’t comfortable with.

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Alex Coburn was the Managing Editor of RedEye for the 2015-2016 school year and Co-Creator of Feminism 101. Alex is an aspiring director and attended Governor’s School for the Arts for New Media in 2014, and the short movie she directed there was featured in the Danville Film Festival. Outside of RedEye, Alex independently produces short films. She is also an avid Wes Anderson fan.