Why There’s No Such Thing As ‘Slut’ After College

Flickr/ Christopher Swerin
Flickr/ Christopher Swerin

The only thing in this world you can never replace is your reputation, at least that’s what was instilled in my brain from as early as I can remember. Throughout the earlier, developmental phases of life, young girls are taught that their behavior defines their worth. But the truth is that damaging reputations can only last as long as you’re surrounded by the people who created it.

The illusive “slut” title dates back to the days of middle school, where any girl caught with her brightly colored “g–string” popping out of her super low cut jeans too many times could be subjected to the horrific label.

Then, as girls went on to high school, sleeping with their boyfriend was a pretty standard next step. It’s during this time that the slut label comes out to play again, but now in a way to bully or shame girls who may be more advanced sexually, or to get back at that girl who slept with your boyfriend.

Next was college, with new social groups. Yes! A fresh start! No one knows the past, but uh oh, now you’re fighting teenage hormones and excessive drinking binges with no adult supervision…. Bad decisions happen for the next four years…. At least twice a week… Mostly with athletes…Or the whole lacrosse team… College, even more so than high school, is the easiest way to get “the red badge of slut.”

Sex in college is more common than attending class. College is also a world existing on maybe three degrees of separation. Hundreds of guys, and girls, and bottles of Smirnoff means a group of girls saw you leave with him, stalked you on Facebook, told all their friends you two were sucking face at the bar, and then the girls who live next to you corroborated the story saying they heard the bed squeaking all night. Everyone knows what you probably did, cause it’s on your neck for the next week.

There is no hiding, there are no secrets, someone saw him leave your room in the morning and if they didn’t, then someone else heard about it. For the single girls of college, it was a life of booty calls and blow jobs.

Leaving the cesspool that is college and entering “The Workplace” (adulthood, poverty, the real world, post grad life, whatever you want to call it) is finally that real chance at a fresh start! No one knows you were a slut in the past. But the best part is… no one cares either. Nobody gives a damn about what you do after work, as long as your job is done when you’re at work.

In high school and college, we always knew what a slut looked like. She wore low shirts, tight pants, and showed as much skin as possible. You’d find her dancing ass up at the bar, and then going home with a different guy every weekend. She’s the name you find on your boyfriend’s phone and get pissed about. We knew who she was, and judged her for it, hard.

But now that we’re stepping into the real world, we’re all wearing the uncomfortable business casual garb. We’re all flirting with the cute guy in the office. We can’t even identify the sluts when we go to bars. They’re all just normal girls, vaguely familiar from last weekend, getting drunk.

Nobody knows the dirty deeds we do, because no one ever sees us in the act, no one cares to know, and no one even recognizes us out at the bars. We’re all just single girls trying to get by, pinning our wedding dresses on Pinterest and banging our Tinder matches hoping he calls us in a few days.

We can sleep with as many guys as we want. Cause realistically, who is going to find out? Who is really going to judge us? If a girl screws a different guy in her studio apartment every weekend and no one was ever around to hear it, did she even really sleep with them?

The “slut” somehow disappeared between graduation and day one of your new job. Unless she’s your boyfriend’s “side piece,” chances are you don’t even know she’s still around. It’s not like we stopped judging what people do, we just stopped knowing every detail about the people we see daily. You don’t walk past half your history class on your walk of shame in the mornings, and hell, no one even gets hickies anymore.

Once college is over, there is no such thing as a slut. How can you be a slut if no one even knows if you sleep with anyone at all?

If someone called me a slut back in high school, I would have cried for weeks and probably would have asked my parents to be put into private school. In college, I would have considered transferring to a new school and changed my Facebook name. If someone called me a slut now, I’d probably laugh and say, “How would you know?” TC mark

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