THE TEEN EXPERIENCE: Sophia, 18
A while back my friend told me about a fight she had with her mom after a dinner party with other parents, not my own. She told me about how her mother screamed at her, "Isn't Sophia the one who was having oral sex in the 8th grade?!"
This was the topic of conversation between parents.
To be fair, I did partake in a consensual, sexual relationship with a boy of an appropriate age when I was 14. What's odd was that, to the best of my knowledge, none of those parents were there when the event in question happened. None of these parents were affected by it. Yet they still needed to discuss my experiences over wine.
I don't regret any sexual decision I've ever made. Nor do I mind if people know.
What I do mind, is when a group of adults disregard their own lives and begin using mine as a discussion topic.
In that moment my body was a weapon in the party game: Slut shame the teenager.
All that's needed is a few adults, with lives and interests outside of a teenager, and oral sex she may or may not have had. Within hours, those adults were left to nothing but gossiping about the sex life of a teenage girl.
It's sad, really.
One of the parents tried to friend me on Facebook. I wonder if she knew about the time when her son slid his hand up my thigh, ignoring the "No's," the "Stop touching me's."
Did she know that he tried to unbutton my jeans? Did she know that we were in class when it happened? Of course she didn't. I was probably asking for it.
See, these parents are always down for playing trash talk the teenager. Bad-talking girls like me all they want because their kids are the "good kids." They don't get into trouble.
No amount of sexual assault will taint their child's reputation, but one consensual act ruins mine.
So go ahead, play slut shame the teenager. Use my body against me. But know that it is not just my body.
It is your daughter's body.
It is your sister's body.
It is every woman's body.
More importantly, it is not your body, and therefore, none of your business.