The primary focus of this chapter was how teens use social media for sexual interactions and how it has made it easier to have sexual relationships. Sales jumps around from cyber bullying to nudes and the role of social media in these situations. She interviews multiple groups of girls, most of them saying how their sexual relations have been made easier with social media, as well as how easy it is to be kidnapped when developing friendships over platforms such as Snapchat or Kik. She goes into detail about the Ha
nnah Anderson kidnapping by a family friend whose relationship with Hannah was exploited over social media.
In this chapter Sales covers similar topic to those in the previous chapter but among 17 year old teenagers. The interviewed girls’ tones become more aggressive and angry as the topic of boys arises. They mainly speak of how they have no respect for girls and commonly treat them like an option never a priority. Sales also asks young girls about the idea of “hooking up”, which most of the responses are negative and depict girls who “hook up” as “hos” and “thots.” Many of the girls comment that they are harassed by males often at parties, on the streets, and at school. These girls take over these two chapters as most of it is interviews and stories of their experiences.
I enjoyed chapter 4 when the topic of boys had arisen because of the connections I made to my own views of males. At first, I laughed at these girls and at how stereotypical and bratty they sounded, but soon realized I sound very similar when speaking of the same topic. These girls mentioned how a boy’s main interest when messaging a girl is to get in her pants, and more than not it’s true as I have been messaged over Instagram by boys mentioning inappropriate topics. Much like half of the girls interviewed I quickly shut the boy down, but was surprised to read how many of the girls had sent photos of themselves and have had those photos exposed. I find the exposed nudes predictable, but was confused of the mass amounts of girls whom fell for the boy’s bait.
I found that girls call other girls demeaning names such as “whores” “sluts” and “hos” often in American Girls and instantly thought of the movie Mean Girls. Towards the end of the movie Tina Fey’s character has a sit down with the girls in the made up school to tell them to stop calling each other horrible names because “it just makes it okay for boys to do it.” Which I find true as one of the interviewed girls had been using derogatory terms against other females and then was addressed as a slut by a boy on her Instagram page.
A passage I thought important was about the Hannah Anderson case. As I am guilty of seeing similar situations on the news may miles away from me and brushing it off as something that could never happen to me. However, when hearing of the Hannah Anderson case and seeing how close she was to me geographically made me view this topic more seriously. Much like in cyber bullying, it’s easy to bully someone behind a screen and it’s easy to pretend horrible things don’t occur when they’re a hundred miles away.
Another passage I found funny was one between a teen girl, Billie, and her mother,Debby, and Sales as the mother interrupted her daughter multiple times when she was voicing her opinion of the mistreatment of girls by boys. Debby reminded me of my own mom when she would interrupt Billie, almost like her voicing her opinion was urgent. Billie describes her relationship with her mom as open as Billie is honest with her mom even when she makes bad decisions. I also found the exchange between Billie and her mom comical when Debby pointed out instances when Billie made bad decisions, making Billie sound hypocritical. Which Billie proceeded to become angry with her mother and argue that her situations were different, although they were not.
Sales continues to use words widely used by today’s youth in these two chapters such as:
“Cybersex”: (n.) Sexual interactions over the internet.
“OTP”: (n.) Meaning “one true pairing,” often used for celebrities whom would look cute are are cute as a couple.
“Thot”: (n.) A hoe. Plural: “Thotties.”
“Duckface”: (n.) A pose in photographs in which lips are pursed, oftenly used by girls in mirror selfies.
“Instafamous”: A person who’s famous on the popular app Instagram because they have thousands of followers.