Let’s stop describing outfits as “slutty”
Hannah Witton, in her video, “Do I Look Like a Slut?” poses a really important question: What constitutes as slutty, and who is considered a slut? The simple answer? Nothing, and no one, because “there is no such thing as a slut.” Amen, sister.
The video starts off with Hannah trying on a few outfits —a gold and black dress, a top and skirt, a bra with jeans, and a long-sleeved shirt and a pair of shorts. She asks if any of these are “slutty,” and wonders why girls tend to disassociate themselves from the idea of being a “slut.” If we choose to wear something a little more revealing or tight, what does this mean? Apparently to a lot of people, it means we’re being a bit “slutty.” And when we’re going for a “slutty” look, it’s assumed we’re looking for sex. Or have a lot of it. But Hannah points out, “How can you tell how much sex a woman has from the way she dresses?” You can’t. The way you dress has no correlation with your sex life. So let’s put that myth to rest, shall we?
Curious as to how the Internet felt about this topic, Witton asked Tumblr, Twitter, and Facebook users what a “slut” means to them. Answers ranged from “[Slut is] a (patriarchal) social construct used to hold women to a stricter set of standards than the ones men are held to,” to “A woman with the sexual morals of a man,” to “A slut is someone who knowingly uses sex to manipulate people.”
Arguably, “slut” has been recently reclaimed by women and positively reappropriated. For example, in an episode of Parks and Recreation, Leslie Knope asks Ann Perkins if she could borrow some clothes for her date in order to look, “Sophisticated with a hint of slutty.” In New Girl, Jess Day jokes, “Pink wine makes me slutty!” when she’s out looking for a rebound. These fictional characters are laughing off the negative and damaging association that comes along with “slut,” and they’re making it their own thing. And that’s totally fine. However, there are a LOT of people who still consider “slut” a derogatory term.
Hannah advocates, “We need to educated people to stop using it [in a negative, demeaning way], and then if you want, you can use it in a way that you find empowering.” Until then, we need to just nix “slut” out of our vocab. Because for the most part, it hasn’t done very nice things.
Image: Hannah Witton, Giphy