From Our ReadersThe War On Women: Reconstructing The Term ‘Slut’ In Modern-day AmericaFrom Our Readers

I remember the day I found out the meaning behind the word ‘slut’. It was an interesting day, an informative day, a pretty life changing day, to say the least. Maybe it’s me getting older, or maybe it’s just me caring less, but I really feel all the ‘sluts’ in America aren’t very ashamed of that specific title. Actually, I don’t think they are offended at all. They don’t even care. Wait, are they actually proud of being called a ‘slut?’ I’m wrong completely – they just aren’t sluts to begin with. Welcome to 2012 – where you can call a girl a ‘slut’ and it means absolutely nothing. How did that even happen?

BREAKING NEWS: It’s election time. This means there’s a ton of rich men dancing around the country in fancy suits acting like they know what the rest of America wants. Oh, and boy do they ever. This year, the US election includes current President Barrack Obama (D) running for his second term against Mitt Romney (R) from Michigan.

But let’s forget about the whole Democrat-Republican thing for just one millisecond of our entire lifetime and let me ask you this: Is your mom a ‘slut?’ (Yes, I just asked if your mom is a ‘slut’) Is she a ‘slut’ because she’s on birth control? What if she is only because her serious health condition requires the use of birth control pills in order to regulate her body and keep it stable and healthy? But back to my original question: Is.Your.Mom.A.‘Slut?’ All right, enough of that. So, you don’t think so, but Rush Limbaugh does. And on top of Rush Limbaugh thinking your mom is a ‘slut’, he goes ahead and tells everyone else she’s a ‘slut’ too. On the radio. Now what?

Rock the Slut Vote
American talk-show host Rush Limbaugh called Georgetown Law student Sandra Fluke a ‘slut’ a few months ago when Fluke said she uses contraceptives. This is the movement that resulted: Rock the Slut Vote.

We are you. We are your sisters. We are your nieces and aunts. We are your best friends. We are your wives and partners. We are your daughters, mothers and grandmothers. We are the men in your lives who love and respect women. Together, we are a force to be reckoned with.

This movement is interesting to me, because it takes a word with negative connotations and turns it into a word of power and resistance for women.

Our mission is to fight the GOP effort to bully, subjugate and silence women. We will wrest the power from the word slut and help women get informed, get involved, get registered and vote.

‘Slut’ Origins
The word ‘slut’ has roots in Germanic words schluttschlutte, and schlutz, according to Oxford English. ’Slut’ originally means, ‘a woman of dirty or uncleanly habits.’ Wait, what?  How does this even make sense? If a woman is using different forms of contraception in order to avoid unwanted pregnancy, the spread of sexually transmitted infections/diseases and for other health reasons/concerns, how does that in any way, shape, or form, make this woman a ‘slut?’ Isn’t she doing the exact opposite of being a ‘slut?’ Isn’t she doing the exact opposite of being dirty? Last time I checked, dirty was absolutely not a synonym of protection.

When I was in high school, a ‘slut’ was a girl that had sex with anyone and everyone, not even caring about anything else except for the sole fact that she was having sex – she was doing it – she was getting it in. She didn’t care about condoms. In fact, she only used birth control just so she could have sex without the condom. Today, a ‘slut’ is anyone and everyone who uses contraceptives? This can’t be right. In fact, this is incredibly wrong.

How is a woman a ‘slut’ if she believes in protecting her body, and keeping her health safe? How is a woman a ‘slut’ if she is smart enough to know she does not want to have children and is not ready for children, and will try to prevent that from happening? I am not agreeing nor disagreeing with any political party, but if an old man (who clearly doesn’t know what it’s like to have a vagina, menstrual period, or be a woman in any sense) is calling a woman a ‘slut’ for being safe, healthy and yes, smart, then we have a major problem on our hands.

Who Runs the World? Gir… Oh…. Umm…
It’s ignorant for a person this day and age to publicly condemn sex. It’s ignorant to say the answer is simple: just stop having sex. REALITY CHECK: It’s not that simple. It’s also 2012. HELLO, people are NOT GOING TO STOP HAVING SEX. We are way past that, I’m afraid to say. If one really thinks people are just going to magically stop having sex one day, they are incredibly mistaken. Or they can just go to every media outlet in the world and tell them to stop splashing advertisements, films, articles, etc. that ooze sex. And then please do the rest of the world a favor and have whoever is in charge “Please kindly remove the Kim Kardashian sex tape and destroy it. Thank you.”

The media is probably the best indicator of what is happening to our society. The media constantly has to figure out what people want, and what people like in order to create a target audience and sell products to them, advertise to them, appeal to them, speak to them. Everything we see on television, is everything we have shown and proved we want more of — sex. Don’t you see? We don’t want sex to go away – we want even more of it.

Who runs the World? Media. So, what is the next step? Adapting to the situation. Sex isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Work with it.

Did anyone ever take the term ‘Pro-Health’ into account?
The Rock the Slut Vote movement aims to tell women, we are pro-health, and this is what comes first on our agendas. Pro-life, Pro-choice, Pro-nothing even dealing with babies.  Did anyone ever think about that? Maybe this is the reason America has so many health issues: because we try and make a moral debate out of everything.

A ‘slut’ takes care of her body. A ‘slut’ is safe about sex. A ‘slut’ respects herself. A ‘slut’ puts herself before anyone else. If this is what being a ‘slut’ is all about, then I would take that compliment from anyone, any day of the week.

There is no reason women should be victimized for something that isn’t anyone else’s business to begin with – especially someone who doesn’t even know what it is to be a woman. *cough* MEN *cough*

You might be a ‘Slut’
So, are you a ‘slut?’ On the Rock the Slut Vote website, you can take the quiz to find out exactly how ‘slutty’ you are! How exciting is that?

And next time you call someone a ‘slut’ make sure you realize the word doesn’t mean the same thing it did when you were in seventh grade.

And now, a message that has been approved by ‘sluts’ everywhere:

You can read more from Morgan Dzakowic on her blog.

comments

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  1. Good artickle!

    War to me means annihilation of human values and lives taken. There is oppression of women. Men and women must be equal and different.
    I mean; War on this and war on that. War is something percieved to have an ending – peace is supposed to last for ever. Voycing the name war to any such problem awfull enough means to constantly degrade the appointed apponant to be that of a lesser insect – allways allowed to be swatted. “The looser in the gutter”
    We can not allow ourselves to think of eachother in such a manner, not if we plan to live in peace. We used to burn witches in the belief that all evil could be removed from ourselves if we just indetifyed it – and so rendering ourselves blameless.
    Any discussion that begins with the words; I am right and you are wrong, is not likely to be of any use – for one is getting ready to leave the other qualms and agony.

    Live and let live.

  2. I don’t really have anything to say, but to the author, I quite liked your artical, and I don’t think it’s fair for people to be quite so attacking. It’s not BS. It’s important.

  3. “The media constantly has to figure out what people want, and what people like in order to create a target audience and sell products to them, advertise to them, appeal to them, speak to them. Don’t you see? We don’t want sex to go away – we want even more of it. Who runs the World? Media. ”
    From what you’ve said, i don’t think it is entirely media’s fault. You did state that the media constantly has to figure out what the people want, and appartently what they want is more ‘sex’. So I wouldn’t say media “runs the world”. I think people’s interests do. Media just feeds off what the people want.

  4. More BS from Hello Giggles.. i use to love this site, not so much anymore….

    “A ‘slut’ takes care of her body. A ‘slut’ is safe about sex. A ‘slut’ respects herself. A ‘slut’ puts herself before anyone else. If this is what being a ‘slut’ is all about, then I would take that compliment from anyone, any day of the week.”

    Wow a Slut puts herself before anyone… Wow shes not only a slut shes a selfish slut… hmmmm War on women?? What are we in the 1920′s… What’s so bad about traditional values!?!

  5. It makes me so sad that so many people do not see what is going on here, in regard to the war on women; Just because you have it better than China, does not mean things are on the right path. Regardless if you agree with the idea of taking back the term “slut” from ignorant old white men or not, the truth is, there is a war on women, and while it may not be to the point of China or other countries, if you keep letting yourself be blind to this fact, and refuse to educate yourself on the deeper implications of what these men what to control, then you are going to wake up one day and live just like the women in those other countries and you’ll think “damn, I guess I should have paid more attention and cared a lot more about my rights”.

    • Are you serious? We’re not on the right path? Less than 100 years ago, women weren’t even allowed to vote in this country. Most women didn’t work & most certainly didn’t hold high positions in office. I am all for women’s rights for the whole world, not just America. There are definitely issues here in this country, but at least as women we do have a voice here & we don’t have to fear that our noses will be cut off or acid thrown in our faces for speaking up.

  6. I agree with the majority of comments on here. Nobody seems to be liking “the rock the slut” thing, nor do I. I think its demeaning. And also, there is no war on women. Maybe ONE or TWO politicians made a stupid comment, but that does not deem a “war on women”. Stop being so damn sensitive and actually look at some real problems that are causing our country bad times. That is what matter right now. Not sluts.

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  8. It seems to me, the use of the pejorative, “slut” is merely a social convention. It’s probably an attempt to bring a “loose” woman into line with a common ethical code. When women try to change the meaning of “slut” to mean something that is good, then the social convention will get turned on its head. However, eventually, people will examine the ethical behaviors among women of this present culture and make their own judgments which will be somewhat independent of our contemporary American lack of judgment or lack of practical wisdom. They may see the common behavior of women getting pregnant without husbands and make their own negative judgments. One can try to escape one’s cultural norm by redefining words like “slut” and thereby possibly change behaviors and attitudes, but would that be a good thing? Do we really want AIDS, Venerial Diseases, and the manifold sexually transmitted diseases ignored so that people can avoid the common social stigma historically applied by common people in the US? When I was young, it was a scandal for a teenage girl to come to school pregnant, day after day. Not long ago, I heard that my former high school is giving free day care for the children of teen mothers. Is this a good thing, or should these teen girls and boys been taught more strongly to avoid premarital sex? Hmmm, I kind of wonder if our religious sisters who used to rule the classrooms with rulers weren’t right to do so.

  9. ehh, I feel like slut still means the same thing…just kinda in general, someone who sleeps around a lot.I’m not going to rock the “slut” vote. This whole thing seems counterproductive of what we actually want, which is to be seen as normal women taking care of our bodies, not being sluts…

  10. It’s amusing how America is so consumed by FWP’s (First World Problems). We have it easy peasy living in this country compared to so many other women living in places like Afghanistan, China, Africa, India, etc. If the “war on women” here consists of Rush Limbaugh belittling women for using birth control (which, WHO CARES WHAT HE THINKS?) then I think I’m doing pretty good. & no, (in agreance with Katie K) I don’t like being called a slut. It is demeaning in any sense. To try & spruce it up with some ridiculous Rock the Vote style website is just that, ridiculous.

    • I think that is the point, Krissy Harris. Women and men have it so much better than those in other countries. We should consider the lives of others more, rather than less, and that includes the lives of the pre born, assuming you really want or do care for the lives of others, and others in other countries. That does not mean bringing our morally bankrupt culture to other cultures either. It means, we can learn from poorer countries, who may be poorer in money and possessions, but richer in family.

  11. First off, I agree wholeheartedly with this article. However, there is one slight misconception (pun intended?) that may be used against you in your argument; contraceptives, namely the pill and most birth control methods other than condoms, don’t provide any security against STDs. So, in respect to sex while on contraceptives being “dirty”, unfortunately could still be true (if condoms are not being used). That is really the only feasible “argument” I can see any, er, old man supporter having that opposes what is being said here. Anyway, like I said, I absolutely concur with everything this article has to offer and come Election Day, I’ll be rocking the ‘slut’ vote!

  12. I do believe that there is a war on women…but I’m not a fan of being called a slut. I fond that test to be strange. I felt that it scolded you for not being more of a slut? I have no problem with birth control, but because I choose not to use it I am less of a feminist? I happen to disagree.

  13. No offense, but this article is ridiculous. There is no “War On Women” – that’s just a media-created thing to try to belittle Republicans. Plenty of Republicans believe in some abortion rights, in contraception, in equal pay for women, in women’s rights, etc. Just because one extremely right-wing commentator says one thing about an individual, that doesn’t make it the viewpoint of EVERYONE in the Republican party. Mitt Romney cares just as much as Barack Obama about helping women and advancing women’s rights, and anyone who thinks otherwise should stop swallowing the lies of the liberal media.

    • Sandra Fluke is a 30 year old college student, living off her parents and complaining that someone else isn’t buying her contraception? Whats wrong with this picture?

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