Laci Green (born October 18, 1989) is an American YouTube video-blogger, public sex educator, and feminist activist. She has hosted online sex education content on behalf of Planned Parenthood and Discovery News.
Green hosts Braless, the first MTV YouTube channel, as part of a 12-week deal with MTV. The first episode aired November 4, 2014. In 2016, Time named her one of the 30 most influential people on the Internet.
On Thursday, September 15, 2016, Laci came to Fanshawe College in London, ON, to speak about rape culture. Victims of rape culture are far more likely to experience mental health issues like depression, PTSD, or substance abuse as a result of trauma. Rachel, youth correspondent from mindyourmind, asked Laci a few questions about activism, youth, and wellness.
Thanks Laci for taking the time to chat with mindyourmind!!
There are many strong ideas out there, and misconceptions, about rape culture. In your opinion, what is rape culture and what are some ways it appears on Canadian campuses?
Rape culture is a culture in which sexual violence is common, considered normal, and thusly tolerated and excused at both the interpersonal and institutional level. At schools, it can be seen in the popularity of slut shaming, in accepting predatory behaviors around sexuality (such as getting someone drunk to try to have sex with them), in blaming the victim when sexual violence happens (“well, how drunk were you?”), or the school itself not taking a proactive role to prevent and address sexual assault within the student body.
Why do you feel it is so important to speak to young people about rape culture?
Because we are the future and it’s ours to create! It is critical that young people be informed so that we can prevent sexual assault and have healthier, happier attitudes and experiences when it comes to sexuality.
What are some ways youth can work towards ending rape culture?
They can get involved at their school to raise awareness, they can talk about these issues on social media, and men specifically can engage other men to reject toxic expressions of masculinity in their social circle.
You talk about a lot of controversial topics like feminism, sexual health, and religion, and definitely have had your share of internet harassment as a result. What would you say to a young person who is experiencing cyberbullying? What are some things you do to remain positive in the face of these issues?
If someone is using the internet to persistently harass you or making threats, block them and report the behavior to the social media platform using their report or flagging feature. Then, reach out to relevant authorities to talk about it (for instance, a teacher if it’s someone at school). Don’t engage with the perpetrator, don't try to deal with harassment alone, and don’t let the people you reach out to dismiss the issue as “not real” because it’s online. This is ignorant and just excuses bad behavior! Cyberbullying and harassment are never okay. Only by speaking up about it can we hope to build more awareness of this issue.
mindyourmind has an exciting idea in the works for a crowdfunding campaign, called Be Change, that allows youth with an idea for wellness to be matched with both a mentor and the funds necessary to make change happen. If you had limitless resources and expertise at your fingertips, what’s one wellness idea you would like to see happen in order to make change in the community?
I would like to see communities, including parents and schools, be proactive about sexual assault prevention and education at an earlier age. A basic conversation about consent starts in childhood.