I’ve recently published my first book, a novel, yay me! So naturally I turned to Facebook and Instagram with it’s 10 trillion followers for all my adverting needs. For the past month or so I’ve been noticing FB/IG advertising to me, for me to advertise and boost my posts to get more views and hopefully boost book sales. We decided to do a free kindle promo for the book, edited a cute video together and hopped on the ads manager to get started. What should have taken a few simple clicks turned into a battle of wits between Facebook and me.
So apparently Facebook doesn’t like sluts. That’s what it comes down to. Well not all sluts I guess but the word slut in general. You see, my novel is titled “Year of the Slut” as is my Facebook page for the novel. You know a fun and steamy “Sex in the City” meets “Fifty Shades of Grey” type read. Since the word slut is in the page title, no matter how I edited my ad the word slut was still there. Wow! Really FB/IG? Slut?
So I go to the Facebook Ads community standards page and I felt like I was in the twilight zone, or that a 5th grade boy made up its policy about cleavage and sexual innuendo. A woman eating a banana is considered too sexual, so are four feet and a sheet, that’s right my friends four feet and a sheet is too provocative for Facebook! Are we in grade school? Are we back to Lucy and Desi sleeping in separate beds? I’m sorry, I though we were in 2019, that faking it, shrinkage, threesomes and bets on who could hold off touching themselves the longest were normalized on the network TV shows I was raised on in the 90’s. When did we hop into the DeLorean and go back to the days of puritanical prudence?
And let’s get one thing straight, I’m not talking about porn or nudity or anything of the sort (I am actually happy and grateful that FB doesn’t allow that, between you and me, it’s not really my cup of tea). I am talking a fully clothed homosexual kiss, I am talking the words slut and erotic, I am talking four feet and a sheet! Last I checked the FB community was an over 18 space. If FB is concerned with it’s users being under age that is 1- something they need to address internally with their system and 2- the examples above are cleared for a PG-13 audience as it is. So the question remains, who exactly is the Facebook community trying to protect from mild doses of sexual innuendo in their ads that are mild enough for network TV? Have they been taken over the Muslim brotherhood? Or a band of fifth grade boys?
My next issue is offence, FB/IG is concerned I may offend some of their users. Well, I called my book “Year of the Slut” for a reason, I want a reaction and I want to start a discussion. What better place to begin than on the biggest social media platform in the world? We need to be offended more, we need to be coddled less and confronted more. We need to talk instead of shut down or shut off. I’m an African Canadian Ginger Jew, I can spend all day every day finding things to be offended about. I’m also a vegan, I was offended 10 minutes ago at the store when the cashier was eating a piece of deli meat with his fingers, popped it in his moth and without wiping his hands touched my water bottle to scan it and ring it up. Gross! Now I have to deal with non-kosher non-vegan meat grease on my water, my day is ruined. Literally, I’m gagging. But I’m a grown up human and I’ll give the bottle a rinse and get over it. Eight years old is the tantrum limit for this one and as a well-adjusted adult we just have to deal with things that bug us or even make us slightly nauseous. I spent most of my first two year in college getting offended by everything, then I moved away, got perspective and was able to see the world in a broader scope, which is essentially what the book “Year of the Slut” is about. Getting a new perspective of the world and shedding the person that went with the old views.
I’m not inciting hate, discriminating, exploiting, bullying, or disrespecting anyone. This is a feminist piece using the word SLUT to make a point. What I’m doing is addressing an issue that has become all too taboo; why is sex wrong? Why is talking about sex wrong? Why can’t we face our need for contact and connection head on? We can show guns and violence and protests and hate, I am bombarded by ads telling me to fix my body and hide my flab, but with love and sex we are silenced. We are silenced from talking about the most important thing that is a natural part of our lives, love and affection. The one thing the world is desperately screaming for. Love and affection. But I guess that is too obscene for the FB community, so we will stick to fear, violence, making women hate their bodies and cute kitty videos where no one ever gets anything they really need. Love or affection.
Don’t worry about me FB, I started an author page and was able to do ads that way, slut free, so to speak. But I’m still curious, what have you got against sluts Facebook?