Sex in the News: United Sluts
Call me a slut. You wouldn’t be the first. And even though I am in a committed, monogamous relationship, I have been known to show off some cleavage, drink a little too much wine with dinner, and even talk to other men. I guess in today’s world, that makes me a slut.
The word “slut” has been making a lot of global headlines lately. Just last week, MSNBC’s host Ed Schultz was suspended from his radio talk show program for calling Laura Ingraham a “right-wing slut.”
Despite the fact that Laura is a Roman Catholic and a married mother of two, Laura Ingraham, like the rest of us, is a slut. Schultz later apologized through both a personal contact and a public announcement. He was quoted saying, “ I have embarrassed my family. I have embarrassed this company. The only way I can prove my sincerity in all of this is if I never use those words again. You have my word I wont.” That’s fine Ed. Even if you won’t someone else will.
Take for example the Toronto police officer who told a group of law students that “women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimized.” This one comment, similar to many that have been said before, started a wave of protests in cities all across the United States, Canada, Australia, the Middle East, and throughout Europe. (Natalie Craig, A rally to find the slut in everyone). These anti-rape protests, now named Slutwalks, have included hundreds of thousands of women and men, all actively fighting against “victim-blaming” and sexual assault. In the Toronto protest, the first of the worldwide trend, the activists’ apparels ranged from fishnet tights and black leather to sweatshirts and jeans. This image was mirrored in several other protests.
Many marchers have appeared to be conservative and chaste while several others have dressed radically and sexual. Most of the Slutwalkers chanted with signs, including, “my clothes are not my consent,” “slut pride,” and “a dress is not a yes.” These blended with prolific speeches by feminists and activists alike. “If you call one of us a slut, you call all of us a slut, and we’re not afraid of that word — the more we use it, the less power it has,” Karen Pickering, an organizer of the Toronto Slutwalk, was quoted in saying. She later ended the event with, it’s “about to get real,” leaving many with the feeling of an emerging third feminist movement. There was no burning of bras or picketing for the right to vote, but there was a feeling of sexual liberation and perhaps even an official purging of the slut-condemnation.
So go ahead and call me a slut. See if I care.
What do you think? Does it upset you when men call women they don’t like a slut? Is it possible for women to take back the word slut? Sound off in the comments.