Should We Say Slut?

I was recently reading about someone who said they took “the s-word” out of their vocabulary and I was prickling up inside while reading about it because I am extremely against censorship. It seems artificial to me to not say something just because it’s not PC. You’ll just go on thinking it without having any feedback or further experiences talking about the subject, which can help you get to a place where you *don’t* think in those terms to begin with. Telling someone (or yourself) you can’t say a word is bypassing what you are actually trying to do (get them to understand) and forcing them to live outside of what they think is true.

I’ve been on both sides of the s-word. At some point it kind of felt empowering when my friends said it self referentially. It’s probably like the b-word or n-word or like pre-9/11 when the American flag was getting reclaimed by people who weren’t crazy conservatives. It feels nice to take something that’s meant to hold you down and use it on your own terms, showing that it doesn’t have power over you.

However, I’m a female living in the world today so I’ve had probably an experience per day where I see people being jerks to some lady because she has the audacity to not be virginal and mute. It runs fucking deep and it sucks and is incredibly hurtful and depressing.

I grew up in a very conservative environment, but at some point I lost all of that ethos. Still, I haven’t had a “normal” life experience with sex where you’re one way or the other and it’s actually hard for dudes to just not have an opinion about it. You’re either too prudish or too slutty but no one has actually ever just not cared which is, generally, what I think the appropriate level of judgement about someone else’s sex life is. It makes me want to keep the s-word around, just so I have a gauge for whether a person has really judgmental and patriarchal views about sex. So I can run away, faster.

What I’m saying is that any campaign to make “slut” a four letter word, or to shame people for saying it is completely misguided. You probably want to change the thoughts behind the actions rather than just driving the actions underground. I don’t care if a guy doesn’t call a behavior “slutty” if he still judges women by that criterion. Same shit, they’ll find a different title. TC mark

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