Iyanla Vanzant has many titles: author, television personality, Yoruba spiritual leader. Now we can add sanctimonious slut-shamer to this list.
In the latest episode of her show, Fix My Life, Vanzant counsels two sisters from San Antonio whose relationship is suffering because of some traumatizing childhood episodes. Here's the brief explanation from OWN:
Iyanla has traveled to San Antonio to meet two sisters in crisis, Barbara and Geneva. Barbara grew up affluently with her aunt and uncle. Geneva was raised by their mother in poverty. At 17, Barbara invited her younger sister to come live with her, but a rift formed between the sisters after Barbara learned Geneva was sleeping with Barbara's boyfriend, who fathered two of Geneva's four children. Now, Iyanla wants to get Geneva's side of the story. Watch as she shares a family secret with Iyanla and opens up about what her sister taught her about being a woman.
Right. One sister (Geneva) had two children with the other's (Barbara) boyfriend, the first of whom Geneva had when she was 16. When Vanzant presses Geneva for details, she goes on to explain how her sister's boyfriend assaulted her.
"Did her boyfriend give you money to lay up with him?" Vanzant asked. Geneva said yes.
"You were hoeing!" Vanzant screamed. It was a loud, screechy scream. Fast-forward to 2:03 to watch the slut-shaming begin.
Wait, what? A grown man manipulates a 16-year-old, who cannot legally consent to sex, by buying her school clothes and giving her money, and she's "hoeing"? I don't get it.
What's worse? No one cared! There were no calls for Vanzant to apologize, no write-ups about this strange occurrence in which a woman tries to help another women "heal" on national television by calling her a whore.
What Geneva described is assault. There's no guesswork there. How the Internet let this one slide under the radar is perplexing. Vanzant did go on to sympathize with her, acknowledging that Geneva had, in fact, been raped, but we still motion to have Vanzant sanctioned for slut-shaming. Can we suspend her "new-age spiritual leader" license for 90 days?
As you love to tell us, Ms. Vanzant, "do your work, beloved," and choose better words next time.