A naughty, four-lettered word: Slut

By: Zai of TakeChargeLadies

“Slut.” For a short, four-lettered word, it’s pretty stinging, isn’t it?

Even in the way it rolls out the tongue, with that hissing “s” and ends so abruptly with a crisp “T.” It almost leaves an unforgiving, burning tingle. Ah, what a word.

I bring “slut” up because the word was tossed around like a rag doll during a conversation I had this past weekend. “She’s a big slut,” so-and-so said. “All your friends are sluts,” another said. I wanted so badly to defend my “slutty” friend. The girl was just having fun. And I’m not talking about sex. She was a “slut” because she danced, well, “slutty.”

See, my problem with “slut” isn’t even the meaning of the word. It came to existence sometime in the Middle Ages, probably in a barbershop or college yard, to insult women who were “loose” or openly sexual. The women were subjects of shame. The men, of course, never were held responsible for their part in this loose, dirty, forsaken sex. But I forgive those Middle Age ignorants. They knew no better. For Pete’s sake, they slept in separate twin beds even after marriage!

What does bother me about “slut”  is the negative connotation it continues to have today, and how women use it to point their anxiety-driven, problematic, self-esteem troubled fingers at each other.

 I remember being called a slut several times in high school. The label followed most girls around like flies after rotten meat. And, for a girl who in high school had a non-existent sex life, I thought it was pretty funny that left and right I was being called a word that conveys derogatory implications for women who are openly promiscuous.

Now that I’m done with high school, past college, and have embarked on “the real world,” I feel like young women my age still have not moved past the name-calling insults. It’s like a never-ending scene from “Mean Girls,” where girls who dance a certain way, like my beloved aforementioned friend, are called “slut” just because.

That said, I say we retire the overrated, overused word, “slut.” Its meaning is outdated. In 2011, nobody, man or woman, needs to be slapped with a scarlet letter for having plentiful sex, because, as  Carrie Bradshaw would type into her laptop: Who gave society permission to target and punish people who endulge in sex, and lots of it?

Moreover, let’s stop the “Mean Girls” act altogether. Name calling is for insecure people and dirty politicians, two things I’m sure no one wants to display publicly.

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