Why do we use the word ‘slut’ so much?


We are all guilty. We all say it, we’ve all been called it (some more than others). Slut. The word (like ‘bitch’) gets thrown around so much I’m not 100 percent positive of what it means anymore. What does the word slut mean?

Slut according to Wikipedia;

“Slut or slattern is a term applied to an individual who is considered to have loose sexual morals or who is sexually promiscuous. The term is generally pejorative and most often applied to women as an insult, sexual slur or offensive term of disparagement, meaning “dirty or slovenly”

Slut according to Urban Dictionary;

“Someone who provides a very needed service for the community and sleeps with everyone, even the guy that has no shot at getting laid and everyone knows it. She will give him a sympathy fuck either because someone asked her to or she just has to fuck everyone she knows. These are great people, and without them sex crimes would definitly increase. Thank you slut, where ever you are.” … Obviously someone on Urban Dictionary not only is an asshole for rationalizing and making a joke out of sexual violence, but they’re also an idiot who doesn’t know how to spell “ definitely”.

So, a slut by both definitions is someone, a female, who has lots of sex. I personally wasn’t aware having lots of sex was a bad thing? Having lots of bad sex however is a very bad thing. Curious I did some research on what the male equivalent of a slut is, and even more curious was the fact there isn’t one. Sure there are names for guys that have lots of sex but they are words like “playboy” “ladies man” and “pimp” which ironically (or maybe not so ironically) have a more positive connotation to them. So while there are names for the male version of ‘slut’ there isn’t an equivalent. Maybe I don’t get it but why is it wrong for women to have lots of sex but for men is regarded as an accolade?

The word slut initially and superficially is about women having sex but really it’s about much more. Some people are fearful of loosing the idea of what a ‘man’ is and are uncomfortable with women who are comfortable with their sexuality. Influenced by fear they bring down what is making them so afraid by shame it. Under the surface the word slut is actually less about sex and more about gender roles and comfort levels. Slut is applied to women who are forward in their personalities/goals or even dress provocatively – we ( men and women) call forward women sluts… sometimes even bitches.

The excessive use of the word ‘slut’ really began to keep the inequality of the sexes alive and very present. If women have and are becoming more equal to men in the work environment, in the home environment and even in the political atmosphere what can men ( and weird women) do to keep propriety and gender roles? Well, do things like call women ‘sluts’. By doing that they keep the equality between men and women skewed therefore making the insecure guy feel all important and macho inside. In this man’s mind he is a Godlike for getting so much ass whilst  (in order for him to keep his manhood) he must then say/believe a woman is lesser for doing that exact same act. If women are becoming equal everywhere else, the bedroom is the one place where men can still be ‘men’.

Now, I can easily understand why men would perpetuate the slut shaming but why are women taking part in it too?  What’s this female on female slut shaming all about? Why do we do it?

Reason (and probably most used reason) #1:

I hate myself for this but I can’t say I’m innocent of this slut shaming; I’ve for sure done it. When have I done it? When I see a girl my friends and I don’t like and one of us will say something like, ‘oh forget her, she’s just a slut anyway”. But why is she a slut? Because we don’t like her?  It’s definitely not because I actually think she’s a ‘slut’. In my mind do whoever, whenever and wherever you want and if you’re happy with your choice I applaud you, so when I use the word ‘slut’ it’s not that I actually care (or even know) this particular girl’s sexual history- I’m just being an asshole. I’m just trying to make myself feel better about my situation or myself (don’t you love my honesty?).  In reality I should be happy with myself and my own accomplishments and not have to slut shame someone to feel all good inside- makes me no better than the macho guy we discussed earlier.

Reason #2:

Some women are genuinely just prudes about sex. Listen, I’m all down for not having sex (shit, I haven’t had sex in 15 months- can’t make this shit up) but to push your views and ideals on other people is some weird cult shit. If you feel sex is a sin until your married that’s cool, because I think Uggs are in fact the greatest original sin. I say ‘to each her own’… even judge them silently if you want to – go home and write in your diary ‘ I judge girls who have sex’ (god knows I write in my diary,’ I judge people who wear Uggs’) but to try to publically shame someone with degrading words like ‘slut’ is just so medieval… would you also like to incorporate stoning with your public degradation, I mean just to stay consistence with your theme and all? Oh and please spare me the whole ‘she has sex bcs she is lost or insecure bit’ it’s old and tired. Women have sex because it’s awesome.

I’m not sure which reason is worse; women being insecure with themselves so they have to bring down another woman, or women being … oh wait… both reasons are fundamentally the same. I don’t want to go quoting Mean Girls here (even though Tina Fey is a God amongst mortals) but seriously when girls call other girls ‘sluts’ it really does make it okay for guys to call us ‘sluts’ ( I paraphrased, I didn’t quote so it’s okay). I’m so looking at myself in the mirror on this one too. Every time I hear a guy call a girl a slut I immediately freak out and rip him a new one on sexual equality but when I hear another female say it’s just like ‘shoulder shrug’.  The use of the word has to stop!

Let us review; the word ‘slut’ is literally supposed to mean ‘dirty’ do we really want to continue the idea that women who enjoy sex are dirty? Is that something we really want to perpetuate? Sex between to consenting adults is healthy and like totally fun ( as far as I can remember)  – there isn’t anything wrong about it. If you think there is maybe you need to develop a healthier relationship with sex, or maybe you need to develop a healthier idea of women ( On this is topic please read one of my recent and all time favorite reads- it’s very interesting and thoughtful ). Or if you’re too lazy to read an entire book go ahead and read this article. Or this awesome article. 

With all that said- I will make a much greater effort in not slut shaming girls I don’t like… moving forward I will call them ignorant or illiterate or something equally progressive yet insulting.