SECTIONS
What would you like to know?
Share this Story
/

Calling out slut-shamers is just as dangerous as using the term 'slut'

Ally Hirschlag is a producer/actor/writer who lives in Brooklyn, NY and buys way too many toys for her cats. She contributes to several publications, including Bustle, and The Nerve, and enjoys writing about all things woman. In her spar...

It's time to retire the term 'slut shamers'

The word "slut" seems to be the most offensive four-letter word these days because it represents all the sexism feminists have been fighting so hard to end.

However, by putting all this negative attention on one little word, we're giving it far more power than it deserves. It's also, in turn, giving the so-called "slut shamers" even more power to hurt us with it. So instead of packing all this anger and fear into it, we should stop paying attention to it altogether.

MoreLady Gaga slut-shamed for the most absurd reason (PHOTOS)

A British company called Misguided started selling a crop top with the word "slut" printed across the front in big, fluffy capital letters. While the company described the shirt as "fierce," Internet users immediately got out their torches and pitchforks.

We are so quick to jump from zero to irrationally angry when it comes to anything having to do with possible misogyny. And believe me I know, because I do it too. Today, women's sexism radars are incredibly sensitive, because we're finally making some headway and because there's still so much to be done in the name of sexual equality. However, throwing all this focus on one little word doesn't make people want to stop using it — it makes people want to use it more.

For the longest time, being called a "slut" has meant you're sexually out of control, and society is judging you for it. Even though society has evolved considerably, we're still using that word to hurt people, especially now that it's been so vilified by the media. However, clothing companies like Missguided may actually be trying to help girls and women reclaim that word, not use it against them. Several feminist movements are trying to help women do the same, because they recognize the importance of normalizing the "negative aspects" of sluts.

Similar to how drawing attention to fat shamers actually propels "fat" as a harmful word rather than owning and redefining it, pointing fingers at slut shamers continues to spread the notion that the word "slut" is bad. It's essentially like handing bullies weapons to use against their victims.

MoreAmber Rose shuts down female slut shamers in self-empowering tirade

When I was a camp counselor, I was slut-shamed for walking back to my bunk the next morning in the same clothes I had on the night before. This is most commonly called "the walk of shame" and while "slut" isn't a part of the phrase, it's very much implied. My friends ragged on me for most of the day, and while it was mostly in good fun, I always felt this underlying judgement — that my behavior was dirty, wild and bad.

However, on the other side, there comments made me feel bold, and sexy, and yes a little slutty, but in the best way. I had actively made the decision to spend the night with a guy, and I was not afraid to own it the next day. But I was lucky enough to have mostly supportive friends and a good deal of confidence. Many, many girls and women often don't find themselves in that position.

MoreBook titled A History of Sluts actually defends Miley Cyrus

As women, we're often told we should go for sexy, but not slutty. Once you cross over, we should be prepared for a judgment hailstorm. However, that line between the two keeps getting thinner and thinner. It's almost impossible to not cross it every once in a while and it's time we just put it away, along with all the other obsolete, sexist terms from the previous century.

Comments
Follow Us

SheKnows Media ‐ Beauty and Style

Hot
New in Love
Close

And you'll see personalized content just for you whenever you click the My Feed .

SheKnows is making some changes!