Calling women sluts is all the rage these days! Even between women, slut is now a common insult, sometimes passive-aggressively hidden as a friendly jab, but usually meant to cripple a woman’s self-esteem. Popular language is an interesting revealer of collective cultural unconscious beliefs, so let’s see what this particular insult tells us about women’s views on their own sexuality, and why women are using sex as a verbal weapon against each other. I’ll bet you already guessed it’s not looking good.
The word “slut,” in the vast majority of contexts, is meant to draw attention to a woman’s low inherent worth as a human. A slut is probably below human status, actually. There are many different definitions of slut on the Internet, and “dirty immoral promiscuous prostitute” pretty much summarizes them all. I think it’s safe to say this points to a deeply ingrained collective cultural belief in good women’s sexuality and bad women’s sexuality, and I’m guessing that not-a-slut is a “clean moral chaste wife/girlfriend.”
It cuts a lot deeper to call a woman a slut than it does to simply call her bad because of the sub-human connotations of the word. For this insult to work, both women have to believe that female sexuality can even be expressed as dirty, immoral promiscuity. They have to first believe in the sub-human status of the whore. To call another woman “slut” is to pretend she’s that low down dirty prostitute, and also creates the convenient dichotomy in which the name-caller gets to pretend she’s the pure and respected Madonna.
Those wife and prostitute roles are such a super fun game of make believe, aren’t they ladies? In truth, women’s sexuality can’t actually be compartmentalized into good or bad; it is what it is and it’s just sexuality. Your body is literally just a pleasure machine for your own amusement, but since people were also blessed with big imaginations, they can imagine there are two different kinds of sex. Two women could be doing the exact same thing to the exact same man, but one of them is clean, and the other dirty. One is moral and the other is not. One is chaste while the other is promiscuous. One is worthy of respect and the other is not. We’re so amazingly imaginative, right? Because sex is just sex.
In fact, all of society is so imaginative that a woman can still have her reputation “ruined” if she is publicly branded as a slut, and it not even the 1800s anymore. If only there were specific rules and guidelines to follow to keep oneself safe from such an ugly insult, but no clear line exists between Madonna and whore, so it’s pretty much just a free for all in the grey area in between.
Sex doesn’t make the slut, society does. Ladies, we are all trapped in this little box of make believe together and I suggest we focus on how to break out of it, rather than on slinging mud in each others faces. We are not each other’s enemies. We need to stop asking for society’s permission to be the sexual beings we already are. The next time someone calls me a slut, I think I’ll just smile and say “thank you, I’m having so much fun enjoying my life as I want to, and I hope you can afford yourself the same respect.”
And if you missed it, check out my previous post on why men call each other “pussy,” for more fun with words.
~ “If your joy is derived from what society thinks of you, you’re always going to be disappointed.” – Madonna
The other night I was looking at the Vancouver city skyline with a friend, and I remarked, “none of this would even exist if men weren’t trying to impress women so they could get laid.” Similar to my observation, Dave Chapelle has said that “if a man could fuck a woman in a cardboard box, he wouldn’t buy a house.” Interesting.
So first of all, pussy, mui importante. Check. But isn’t it kind of strange that after men spend so much of their time and money trying to get pussy, they turn around and use the word “pussy” to insult eachother? I mean I get it, misogyny and patriarchy and such, but isn’t this literally the same as spending all your time and money trying to become a millionaire, and then insulting someone by saying, “hey, fuck you, you millionaire, you!” Is there a fundamental difference here that I’m missing?
Guys? Any opinion on this?
(And Dave, thanks for backing me up on this, but as an aside, I’m not sure I get your reference to pussy as plummeting stock. Don’t people dump stock when it plummets? It’s just that I rarely hear stories of men saying “no” to pussy. I’m a bit confused on that one. And if you’re still perplexed about why women get upset when you act like a creep, this might clarify the meaning of a “whore’s uniform” for you.)
Happy hunting, guys 😉