The Daily Tar Heel

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Friday September 17th

Student panel discusses slut-shaming and infidelity

Senior Management & Society major Alex Neal joins four other panelists at a seminar organized by the Black Student Movement, called "The Double Standard", where they discussed interpersonal relationships, slut-shaming, and fidelity in monogamous relationships.
Buy Photos Senior Management & Society major Alex Neal joins four other panelists at a seminar organized by the Black Student Movement, called "The Double Standard", where they discussed interpersonal relationships, slut-shaming, and fidelity in monogamous relationships.

The Mu Zeta chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha and the Black Student Movement’s Celebration of Black Womanhood co-hosted a panel on Monday called "The Double Standard," which discussed issues of slut-shaming and infidelity in relationships.

What happened?

Senior Boateng Kubi led the panel by posing several questions relating to modern relationships and dynamics on campus to five panel members and to the audience. Kubi said he was pleased with the informal nature of the panel and was glad that audience members felt comfortable participating with the panelists.

“I think it was a very interactive conversation, which is how we wanted it to be,” Kubi said. “People were sharing experiences and helping others learn from them, and the audience (was) very interactive and asking questions from the panel, and the panel would ask questions back . . . that’s the feel we wanted it to be.”

Who spoke?

The panel included first-year Mariah Warner, sophomore Jamari Cortez and seniors Tamera McLeod, Alex Neal and Ingrid Jackson.

Jackson said she was glad to participate on the panel because she thought the space for dialogue it provided was important.

“The slut-shaming is important to discuss when you’re talking about roles of women in society and double standards,” Jackson said. “It’s important to make sure that we’re thinking about all realms of feminism, male and female, and fidelity in relationships. That’s important to me.”

McLeod said she was glad to participate in the panel because she feels she brings a fresh perspective.

“I wanted to be in the panel because I feel that in certain situations, I have a differing opinion from the mainstream opinions,” McLeod said. “I identify as a feminist, so I’m all about women’s empowerment. I was interested to hear others’ opinions, and of course voice my own.”

What happened?

One of the topics of discussion that generated the most audience participation was how old traditions fit into evolving gender roles — including whether or not men should still pay for and hold doors for women.

McLeod said the polarizing nature of the conversation was evidence that communication is an important element to relationships.

“All this is showing that it’s important to communicate what you’re looking for,” McLeod said. “If I have money that day, I might get the bill, and that’s okay.”

Sophomore Abby Murray said she attended the panel both to support a friend who was a panelist and to hear peers discuss topics that aren’t usually talked about.

“It’s things that not a lot of people discuss ever and, when you don’t discuss it, that keeps perpetuating it, so in order to put an end to the stigma, there has to be discussion about it,” Murray said. “Especially within the black community, talking about feelings and expressing grievances aren’t something that’s done a lot.”

Why was this panel important?

Kubi said he was proud of the way the panel united different parts of campus to discuss controversial topics in a safe space.

“We wanted it to be really informal and laid back, and (have) everyone feeling really safe,” Kubi said. “I’m really proud of the way these different sects of campus are coming together to address issues and needs of (this) campus every day.”

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