Before I say anything else, let me assert one very important thing – There is no such thing as a slut. A slut does not exist. Whether a woman has fucked one man or one thousand men, there is no such thing as a slut.
But how could that be, you might be wondering. I’ve called someone a slut. I’ve been called a slut. So, doesn’t that mean that sluts exist?
No. The word slut is a tool of oppression. Ask anyone who levies the term frequently to define it. They might say something like “a slut is a woman who sleeps with a lot of guys” or “a slut has a lot of random sex”. But go on to ask them to define a lot, to define what’s too much random sex, or to contrast how a woman behaving in sexually autonomous ways is any worse than a man behaving in sexually autonomous ways, and they will most likely be at a loss for an answer. They might talk in circles, but they cannot offer any definitive definition of a slut.
And that is because a slut does not exist. It doesn’t matter your body count. It doesn’t matter how you dress. It doesn’t matter how you behave. The word slut is meant to keep women in their place, and that’s it’s only function. Women are called a slut when they’re behaving dangerously autonomously. That doesn’t bode well for a system that functions on women as sex objects. See, a woman who is sexually autonomous kinda throws the whole patriarchal system off in that women are owning themselves in ways that the patriarchy has always discouraged.
If I had a dollar for every time I have been called a slut – both as a derogatory term and by those who have attempted to reclaim it as a positive affirmation of female sexuality – I’d probably have enough to buy a sexy (slutty?) new dress. An expensive one. I remember the first time I was called a slut. I was 15. It hit me like a slap in the face. I was a virgin. I had never kissed a guy. How could I be a slut? And it was then that I learned that a slut does not exist. It’s a word that is used to control female behaviour, particularly her sexual behaviour. There is no word in the English language that is likewise used to moderate male sexuality. Men are expected to be sexual. But when a woman is in charge of her sexuality, when she is sexually autonomous and takes command of her sex life unapologetically, somehow that feels threatening for men and sometimes other women. Then she becomes a slut.
So I will iterate – there is no such thing as a slut. It doesn’t matter how many men you have slept with. It does not matter how casually you engage in sexual relations. It does not matter how you dress or how you look. There is no such thing as a slut.
I say this because too often when a man becomes upset or angry with me, his go-to is to either call me fat or a slut. As if being fat or slutty are the worst things a woman can be. Well here’s a public service announcement to all you men out there: if it weren’t for women who were willing to have sex with you, you wouldn’t be having sex. So what the fuck are you complaining about? Instead of denigrating a woman for actually desiring to fuck you, why would you not be empowering women to feel good about their autonomy and their personal choices?
One such man tried to make the argument that I was being devalued by men I am sleeping with, even though I consciously make the choice of who I want in my bed and who I don’t. I’m not sure how that is a devaluing experience, but I think it had more to do with patriarchal notions of how men and women engage in sex. There’s this idea that men are always sexual. That men use women for sex. That men are not emotional or desirous of a relationship. But I’m a smart woman. I don’t fuck men who don’t know my value. I don’t fuck men who disrespect women. And I certainly don’t fuck men who call women sluts. And even if I did, I still wouldn’t be a slut.
So go on and get out of here with your oppressive language and treat women as the sexual, autonomous beings deserving of respect that they are.