Anyone who still says the word slut needs a time out

0
I am so wholeheartedly in support of people having the right to govern their choices about their own body that I will go on the record stating that it isn&rsquo;t an opinion&nbsp; &mdash; it&rsquo;s a fact. But something happened last week in the world of social media that made me question if other people are aware of this fact.&nbsp;</p>

Kim Kardashian posted yet another nude selfie on Instagram. I read through as many comments as I could because I was interested to know how people reacted. As you might expect, there was a lot of hateful backlash against Kardashian. People were very creative with all of the different ways they insulted her. If I wasn’t so appalled, I would be impressed. There were some people in support of her exercising her decision to do what she wants with her body, but they were very obviously in the minority. At a glance, the majority of the comments featured the words “slut” and “whore.” If you were one of those people who insulted her choice to post that picture, give yourself a long time out.

No, Kim Kardashian is not a slut for posting yet another nude selfie on Instagram. I don’t care if you don’t like her; choose a different word. In fact, maybe just don’t choose a word at all because it is none of your business.

You cannot pick and choose how you are going to support sexual liberation. You cannot be in support of body hair, pro-choice laws, and being topless in the summer, and still use the word “slut” to describe people you don’t like. It’s not appropriate in any context. I don’t care if someone slept with your boyfriend. Control your emotions and choose a different way to react. 

Have you ever heard the phrase, “no one is going to buy the cow if they can get the milk for free?” That sentence is utterly anti-feminist (pun intended). Women are not cows and the “drinking of the milk” implies that sex is a one-way interaction. The phrase also implies that marriage is akin to a man purchasing the female. Finally, having sex with someone does not, will not, and cannot devalue a person. 

The word “slut” is interchangeable with the mentality behind that disgusting phrase. When you say “slut” — even if you intend it to be playful — you imply that a person’s value is linked to their sexual lifestyle. Further, you imply that an active sexual lifestyle diminishes the person’s value.

Some people claim that when women use the word “slut” to describe themselves or their friends, they are reclaiming the word. I disagree. Perhaps reclaiming a derogatory word has worked in the past for some minority populations, but it only works if its use is empowering. To be empowering, it must reinforce feelings of a positive identity with the word’s meaning, but being a slut is fundamentally different from being a sexually active woman. At it’s roots, the word “slut” refers to a woman whose only traits are her vagina and her loose morals. 

What I find very interesting is that the male equivalent for a “slut” is a “player.” Behind the term “player” is the mentality that sex and relationships are a game. To be a “player” is therefore to be talented at winning the game. Moreover, thinking that relationships are a game and that men are the players implies that women are the prize to be won. Again, this is reminiscent of a time when women were forced into a passive role when it came to sexual encounters. So when you use the word “slut” to refer to a woman, you are reinforcing the use of the word “player” to describe her male counterpart.

Stop saying “slut,” stop saying “player,”  and stop saying “whore.”  Maybe one day we can reintroduce the words back into our vernacular with new meanings behind them, but we can’t yet. We have to force our language to catch up with the progressive values we have about female sexuality.

SHARE