Shelby Knox is a public speaker and feminist who advocates for sex education to be taught to young women. Living in Lubbock, Texas as a young girl, Knox was brought up in a strict abstinence environment, which strictly taught that there is to be no sex until marriage. As a young teenager witnessing other teens around her engaging in sexual activity, Knox found this education very unrealistic and ineffective. By only allowing for abstinence education, girls were being left in the dark concerning issues about sex and their bodies. The ineffectiveness of this education can be seen in the fact
that Lubbock, Texas has the highest rates of teen pregnancy and STDs in the country. A large reason behind these strict teachings of abstinence is religion. Many religions such as those that are prominent in Lubbock require teenagers to take a “virginity” pledge in order to remain faithful to their religion and its practices and beliefs.
Shelby Knox is part of the Third Wave of feminism, meaning it involves the concentration of younger women taking a stand in their societies for feminist issues. Being part of the Third Wave of feminism means that Shelby uses a lot of blogging, Twitter, and Facebook, which in turn facilitates strong activism that creates big waves. Also, by using the Internet as part of her activism, Knox is able to raise consciousness by giving women the opportunity to interact and connect with open another.
As a leader in social justice, Knox realizes that there are several factors that make her more privileged than others, these being that she is white, educated, heterosexual, and from the middle class. Knox stresses that the importance of realizing and addressing one’s privileges is so that you can then use those privileges to help inform other young women on important matters. The work that Knox does and the issues that she advocates for are so important because there are so many young women today that are very uninformed about practicing safe sex. In one of her video blog posts online, Knox tells the story of a friend of hers when she was a young teen who believed her boyfriend when she told her that she cannot become pregnant her first time having sex. We need to spread awareness on this issue and educate young women on information that they will use in the bedroom, not information they will ignore due to the ignorance of the informer.