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AUTHOR'S NOTE

Hey everyone! Before we start, I just wanted to make it clear and understood that this is not a book being used to slut shame, it is a book about slut-shaming. I am (strong emphasis on this point) not calling the women in this book sluts and the use of the word 'slut' in the title is not in a derogatory sense – the title has a purpose that will be elaborated upon in a few chapters as the plot unfolds. 

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It had all started with a pair of boobs.

     I looked at the email that I had just opened, forwarded — in a way that could only be described as 'unfortunately' — to the entire student body. Regardless of if the original sender had sent it to everyone on the student email directory, it would have made its way around with record speed. St. Joseph's High School wasn't so small that everyone knew everything, but it was small enough that gossip spread rapidly without consideration for facts.

     The facts in this case, however, seemed fairly apparent. It was Sloane Mayer, known for her flawlessly smooth and dark hair, and reputation for owning her sexuality. She was the person on campus who hiked her uniform skirt up just a little bit higher or unbuttoned that one extra button. I couldn't blame her — if I had boobs like hers I'd probably show them off, too.

     "Holy shit." The guy next to me laughed, clearly looking at the same email I was. The first picture was of Sloane Mayer in a black bra, showing off a significant amount of her smooth, nearly flawless skin. There was talk that she got spray tans, or at least visited tanning booths regularly — she had an impeccable year-around tan that was entirely unfitting for Boston winters — but there was a lot of talk about Sloane in general.

     I couldn't help myself; I glanced at it again. The picture didn't seem like it had been taken for public consumption. It was taken with a steady hand and consideration of angles, as well as her appearance — her hair was down and tousled in a way straight out of a Victoria's Secret catalogue. But there was something about it, maybe the slight smile on her face or the fact she was missing her usual lipstick, that seemed incredibly personal. Intimate, almost.

     But as I started to scroll, I realized it wasn't just her pictures that were featured. I found myself clicking out of the email, not wanting to accept what I had been looking at. There had to have been at least five different students — presumably all seniors, like myself — dressed similarly to Sloane. The scroll bar on the side of the screen told me that there were even more, but I couldn't bring myself to look any farther. I quickly pressed delete, pushing away the curiosity that welled inside of me and choosing to, just this once, not act like a reporter.

     This year, I was the executive editor for St. Joe's student newspaper, Warrior Weekly and I had been on staff long enough to know this was going to be the one and only topic of our meeting today.

     "Class, please," Mrs. Thompson tried fruitlessly from the front of the class. She looked exhausted and had seemingly aged five years since starting here as a teacher. She was young — it was mostly recent college graduates who took on the low-paying jobs offered here — and probably thinking about how she had enough time left in her life to find a new career.

     All of us looking at our phones was something she was familiar with, so she didn't think twice about what all of us had our attention focused on. Part of me wished she would ask, just so I could comfortably know that at least someone other than the students were aware. I didn't have to look through the entire email list to know that no faculty had gotten the email directly sent to them.

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