Dear editor and students:
This letter is in regards to the article entitled “‘Dick Pics’ on the rise: Unwanted nude images affect ‘emotional wellness’” published Feb. 11.
The article offers valuable information for readers regarding the impacts of sexting and the emergence of technology as a means of sexual expression and the potential for exploitation.
However, some of the opinions expressed do not reflect the opinions or efforts of the Counseling Center. One source states, “Girls are walking around with their midriffs showing and wearing ‘booty’ shorts and then wonder why older men send them photos” in reference to the idea that women solicit sexually aggressive behaviors from men based on their clothing.
It should be noted that comments regarding a woman’s choice of clothing as an instigator for non-consensual “sexts” only serve to perpetuate victim blaming. It is important to remember that the person sending the message chose to do so without the consent of the other party.
By blaming the victim, we are condoning the actions of the person committing the offense. In the article, I discuss the normalization of sexting as a contributing factor to the likelihood that students may feel compelled to participate in this means of expression.
Directly after the release of this article, in which the author warned of all of the risks associated with sexting, The Shield’s Twitter handle featured memes with sexually suggestive messages. One of the memes included the statement, “Can i take ur noodz?” While the intention behind these memes may be playful in nature, these contradictory messages can be confusing for students.
Unfortunately, conflicting messages regarding sexual expression are common and quite problematic.
If you have any concerns regarding this issue or are affected by these conflicting messages, please feel free to stop by the Counseling Center to schedule an appointment to speak with one of our counselors.
Alyssia D. Haymond, M.S., and the Counseling Center staff