Today all the snaps go to Emily Clarkson, after the author – who is also Jeremy Clarkson’s daughter – stood by Zoe Sugg, after the YouTuber reacted to being pulled from a school syllabus after her platform reviewed sex toys.
Yes, there is a lot to unpack here, and honestly, we cannot believe this is something that still need unpacking in 2021, but here we are.
Over the weekend Zoe responded to the AQA exam board, which has featured the YouTube star on its syllabus since 2017, confirming it would no longer include her, due to recent content on the website which it said is for an ‘adult audience’.
While it did not specify which content it meant, it came a couple of weeks after a round-up of sex toys was posted to the Zoella website which seemingly had people clutching their pearls.
Responding on Instagram, actual adult Zoe, 30, said she didn’t even know she was on the syllabus to begin with, and disagreed that teens shouldn’t learn about their bodies.
Backing her up big time, Emily took to social media to share a statement of her own, while also surveying her followers on their own feelings around self-love and sex, creating a pretty powerful conversation around how women view pleasure.
Calling out the world ‘having no problem with women’s masturbation when it’s done for the male gaze’, she suggested the problem wasn’t that women masturbate, but the power that’s behind it when it’s done behind closed doors, which she deemed ‘distressing’.
She wrote in a powerful post on Instagram over the weekend: ‘This is SO frustrating. Female pleasure is not taught in schools. It is not mentioned ONCE. We learn about the “birds and the bees” and that amounts to: men have wet dreams and should wear condoms, women have periods and will have babies.
‘The WHOLE conversations is SO warped and it’s this ridiculously outdated f**cking thinking that sees girls enter into sexual partnerships as teenagers that they might not even be comfortable with because the focus has always been on the MALE, their needs, their pleasure.
‘They don’t see themselves as people with needs, rather, as an object that can be used.’
The author went on, saying she first became aware of porn aged 12 through the boys in her class talking about it and passing it around.
She said: ‘Thus began YEARS of misguided and dangerous rhetorics. Boys talked abot wanking. Girls couldn’t. Boys had sex. Girls were sluts if they did. Or frigid if they said no.
‘We were punished for having it and punished for not.’
Emily lamented the education she received in which she was taught about ovaries and not ‘f**cking fannies’.
She added: ‘We don’t know sh*t about sh*t. And we grow into adults with cloudy views of consent, of little respect for ourselves, and the ability to only view our bodies and our sexuality through the male gaze as a result.’
Name-dropping Zoe directly, Emily went on to defend the YouTuber, writing: ‘Zoe is literally f**king 30yrs old…she’s not MOVED TO ADULT CONTENT she’s an adult person. And adults have sex. In fact, teenagers have it too.’
‘Zoe also didn’t know her website was being used by the exam boards, before anone comes here with the “but THINK OF THE CHILDREN” sh*t,’ Emily wrote.
Saying ‘the patriarchy has us by the bloody nipples’ she added society ‘is fine to sexualise women’ but women in turn are called out ‘the minute we do it to ourselves’.
Insisting Zoe’s work alongside other women in reviewing sex toys is ‘actually really important’, she wrote: ‘Whatever she does there are eyes on her and always will be, what a GREAT thing to show them.
‘That for the first time IN THEIR LIVES, girls get to control the narrative around their own sexuality, if they want to.
‘All power to her, honestly.’
And we bow down.
Responding to the palaver on Saturday, Zoe wrote on social media: ‘Apparently the @zoella website got picked for a GCSE syllabus? Nothing I was aware of or asked to be part of.
‘For those who aren’t aware, the @zoella website is not just me reviewing things. It’s a passionate team of women (WOMEN) writing about things that women are interested in & we’ve worked hard to include more women’s health, conversational articles, & basically just more grown up content as our main demographic is 25-35 year old females. NOT 16 year olds.
‘However if the curriculum had done their research before just going “Oh Zoella, her audience are just teens, right?” They probably would have discovered countless posts about periods, masturbation, sex, fertility alongside the newer post they’re referring to!
‘Alongside this. I actually disagree that teens shouldn’t be learning about this stuff. Maybe not in their bloody [exam curriculum] but how else are teenage girls going to find out more about being a woman? I WISH I had a website like @Zoella when I was growing up.
‘Instead I had a Mizz magazine problem page!! Are you trying to tell me your 16 year old daughter doesn’t know what a sex toy is or that she’s not explored her body AT ALL? Oh plzzzz. [cry laugh-emoji]
‘It’s reasons like this that we feel it’s important to write about these things on the website! And we will continue to do so. But just to clear up the narrative. No. I did not review vibrators. As a team we wrote about the most popular ones.
‘And guess what? It was our most clicked on article, most swiped up & most ordered items through links EVER! BECAUSE WOMEN MASTURBATE!!!!
‘And if that makes you feel uncomfortable, that’s society for you!’
Sandra Allan, AQA’s Head of Curriculum for Creative Arts, said in a statement: ‘GCSE Media Studies includes the analysis of online and social media and we added Zoella in 2017.
‘At the time, all her content was appropriate for teaching, but some of Zoella’s recent content is aimed specifically at an adult audience and isn’t suitable for GCSE students.
‘As a result, we’ve removed the section on Zoella from the course, and we’ve contacted our schools and colleges to let them know.’
Credit: Original article published here.