This is the week that I chose to read the assigned book in lieu of doing the other work. The assigned book for this week of class was “UnSlut: a diary and a memoir” written by Emily Lindin. Lindin wrote her diary while she was in middle school, beginning in 6th grade and ending in 8th grade. Later on in her life, she decided to publish it with Zest Books. She published the diary along with added detailed commentary on her diary entries. The book has a total number of 272 pages and the publisher’s price is $14.99. By choosing to publish her middle school diary, people would be able to read exactly what she went through in middle school, learn from it, and hopefully be motivated to try and change society for a better future.
Like state beforehand, she wrote her diary during the entire time period she was in middle school. She wrote almost every day, filling us in on her day to day activities. This mainly included going to dances, parties, talking on the phone, passing notes in class, and especially her intimate thoughts on boys. The latter which changed almost every week. At one point, she was in a “relationship” with a boy in her grade, and he ended up pressuring her to do something sexual which she ended up not liking of course. In turn, he spread rumors about her around her middles school, thus branding her a “slut” in the eyes of all her peers, and affecting her life forever. Even people she thought were her closest friends began to bully her about it. She goes through the rest of middle school trying to remove this label from herself, thinking that it was her fault, when in reality it wasn’t her fault at all.
I personally loved reading this book. Needless to say, it was very eye opening to read how someone else experienced middle school, especially since it was so different than what I experienced. I personally never experienced anything close to what Lindin did, although I know that to a certain degree similar things occurred in my middle school. By publishing her diary and showing the world what she experienced, she brought to light many things that if seen at the simplest level, probably occur at most middle schools. Although at times it was confusing to read and understand, it was well written regardless of the fact that it was a middle school girl’s diary. She definitely gets her point across, especially with her added commentary, which gave us more insight and explained in detail things that her 11-year-old self did not.
I believe that this was a great book to demonstrate the theme of the week, “sexuality.” All of the “key concepts” of the week are relavent to this book! Lindin, during middle school, experienced many issues with sexuality. Struggled with deciding whether or not she should be comfortable being sexual at her age and being afraid of what others might think of her. The bullies in her school bullied her because they believed that she was being too promiscuous for her age, but at the same time society told her that being “pure” was not a good alternative either. At such a young age she was being bombarded with so many conflicting views, “be sexual”, “have a boyfriend”, “make out with him”, “give him what he wants, a hand job”, but at the same time while she did do some of these things willingly and was pressured into doing others, she was being judged for not being pure! Lindin created The UnSlut Project in 2013, in order to end exactly that, “slut shaming.” Through her website she also supports other women and girls around the world going through similar experiences as she did, and promotes sexual education for all ages.
I would definitely recommend this book to every incoming 6th grader, girl or boy. I believe that reading this book could be the beginning of a new sexual education course for all children starting 6th grade and ending after they graduate high school. If Lindin was young enough to experience such awful things like slut shaming when she was a 6th grader and up, then 6th grade is definitely not too soon to start teaching sexual education to children. In addition, I would also recommend this book to as many friends as possible. Reading this book helped me remember and understand my own middle school experiences with more clarity, and I think that it could do the same to others even though middle school may have been a while ago for some. It is never too late to learn and understand issues that happen every day to children all around the world.
Lindin, Emily. “The UnSlut Project.” The UnSlut Project. N.p., 2013. Web. 16 June 2016.
Lindin, Emily, and Amanda Hess. UnSlut: A Diary and a Memoir. San Fransisco, CA: Zest, 2015. Print.