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Change Generation

"That Could Be Your Sister": An Answer to Sexual Cyberbullying

A 16-year-old fights back against sexual photos of other teens posted online.

Last year, when she was just 16, New York City high school student Temitayo Fagbenle created a scorching radio piece on sexual cyberbullying that aired nationally and internationally via the WNYC program "Radio Rookies." In it, she interviews and confronts one of her friends, who was arrested in the 8th grade for emailing a topless photograph of his then girlfriend that spread to hundreds of students.

Fagbenle has since hosted a town hall for teens on the topic, and launched a Facebook group and online community called "That Could Be Your Sister." The idea is to create a community channel to collectively report online slut shaming in the same venue where it takes place; pictures of very young girls are posted and traded on Facebook groups with names like "Exposing Hoes."

"This is a public health problem, a human rights issue, and a detriment to the Internet community," Fagbenle told Co.exist.

That Could Be Your Sister joins other social media-driven feminist efforts like The Unslut Project and Hollaback which focuses on street harassment. School administrators, parents and law enforcement are often caught flatfooted in attempting to rein in teenagers’ abuse of technology to hurt each other in a society already so conflicted over young women’s sexuality. So instead, Fagbenle and other young women are taking the matter into their own hands.