You may not know JennaMarbles by name, but you’ve most likely seen her on your Facebook or Twitter feed at some point in the last two years. Jenna Mourey, known as JennaMarbles on YouTube, is one of the video-sharing site’s most watched content creators. With five million subscribers and counting, she is the most subscribed woman on YouTube. Her videos, featuring observational humor, alcohol, and appearances from her adorable dogs, consistently attract millions of views. She is probably best known for her video “How to trick people into thinking you’re good looking”, which to date boasts over 47 million views.
Though Jenna tends to make some great observations about society’s expectations of women, her latest video, “Things I Don’t Understand About Girls Part 2: Slut Edition”, has received a lot of criticism from the blogosphere for perpetuating slut-shaming and victim-blaming. In the video, she questions why women go out on one night stands when the person they’re going home with could be a murderer, calls sluts “lonely and sad”, and claims that monogamy is a “form of higher evolution”. She does give her viewers the well-intentioned advice to look out for the ladies who might be blackout drunk and on the verge of going home with someone they don’t know, but claims that by doing so they will “help the sluts of the world make less bad slutty decisions.”
This may just be Jenna’s opinion, but with an audience of more than a million viewers each week, her words could prove very harmful. By saying it’s a woman’s “slutty decision” to go home with a guy when she’s blackout drunk, she is essentially blaming that woman for her own sexual assault. No one can give consent when they’re intoxicated, and by blaming woman for their own assaults, Jenna is contributing to rape culture and discouraging other victims from seeking help. She also categorizes women who have a lot of sex as stupid, lonely girls who don’t have a lot self-esteem, which can be far from the truth. Jenna has a rather young and impressionable audience, and presenting this kind of thinking to that audience could potentially be dangerous.
The video has inspired an interesting discussion online, and some great video responses explaining the dangers of victim-blaming. Sex positive blogger Laci Greengot in on the conversation early with her video “RE: JENNA MARBLES’ ‘SLUT EDITION’”, intelligently explaining the sexist ideas in the video and providing her viewers with more information on the topic. Hayley G Hoover stepped away from her usual silliness to make a very calm video response in which she states that she hasn’t lost any respect for Jenna, but thinks she needs to be more careful with her words.
I couldn't even finish watching Jenna's video...the things she was saying...ugh. The video responses are really great (watch them imo) and I'm hoping Jenna responds to this or something. Chescaleigh (the last video) talks about when she was raped so just another warning.