‘UnSlut’ documentary turns traumatizing experiences into positive ones, creator says

Cody Ryan

Sexual bullying and slut-shaming are prevalent on college campuses, said an acclaimed documentarian whose film was shown Friday on campus.

A coalition of campus partners brought the film “UnSlut” to the William T. Young Library Auditorium Friday in hopes of raising awareness for sexual bullying.

“We definitely do have a culture that always demoralizes women for their choices, so I would love to get some new perspectives on that,” UK student Emily Kretz said before the screening.

Named Best Documentary at the 2016 California Women’s Film Festival, “UnSlut” is a film created by Emily Linden to combat slut-shaming. Linden shared her own experiences and experiences of other women throughout the film.

Linden said it feels good to turn a negative and traumatizing experience for herself and other women into something positive. She said more women are comfortable telling their stories, and “it’s a tipping point for our national conversation.”

Former professional wrestler Mick Foley helped raise money to fund the film. Foley had a signature move where he stuck a sock puppet in his opponent’s mouth. To raise money for the post-production portion of the movie, Foley signed and sold his signature sock puppets.

Foley appeared in the film speaking about how when men get robbed, they don’t get blamed for being robbed because they’re dressed nicely or at an ATM. But when women get raped, their choice of clothing or actions caused them to be at fault.

UK graduate student Rachel Davis said she hopes this film can change the lives and minds of viewers’ friends and families.

“It destigmatizes victimization,” Davis said after the film.

“I think it’s fascinating how the words we use can really change society and the perceptions of who people really are and how they’re perceived by people,” said Kristen Pickett, department manager senior in the English department.

Whether a girl is promiscuous or not, girls get deemed a slut sometimes without even engaging in a sexual act. “UnSlut” shows how often women get bullied sexually.

Prevention Education Specialist for the VIP Center Chelsey Reid was played a role in organizing the event.

Reid said if you hear people say that a girl’s skirt is too short, “stand up in your friend group and say, ‘you know what, that’s not acceptable.’”