May 24, 2011

Should We Reclaim The Word 'Slut'?


MTV had an interesting article about high school girls reclaiming the word "slut" after being teased. It is a very sensitive topic and I applaud the girls for bravely taking to the streets to spread the message. Too many flashbacks to high school or even to the movie Mean Girls. Using these types of words can shatter a girl's reputation, self-esteem and confidence.

Bullying has become an epidemic and something needs to be done. The are too many stories about teens and even college students killing themselves because they were teased. I understand trying to defend yourself by saying you aren't what these words claim so therefore you are okay with being called them. They say they are taking away the negative connotations by using it in a positive context. A prime example (stick with me here), Lady Gaga has empowered herself by claiming the word "bitch" with lyrics like "I'm a free bitch, baby." I know girls who say they are proud to be called a bitch because it means someone is threatened by their confidence or by how empowered they are. I get that. Beauty bloggers coin themselves as "product whores" because they are obsessed with makeup or skincare products. It's a cute name and I know they aren't meaning any harm by it.

It all sounds great on the surface but it's too idealistic in my opinion. Personally, I have always felt that if you want to take away the power of word then don't say it at all. Words will always hurt. The word faggot won't hurt less because it gets said more, but I think by not using it at all we as a society show that we don't want to use negative connotations towards certain groups of people. It really isn't that hard to not say these words. We need to expand our vocabulary. I really dislike when people say "that's so gay" to describe something as "lame" or "stupid." I bring it to the attention of anyone who says it (mostly my male friends) and ask "why not just use the word stupid?" Yes, you have to make a conscious effort to not say a word, but after awhile it will become a habit and it won't be part of your vocabulary anymore. Quitting cigarettes is hard but once you get over the hump, isn't it for the best?

If I was in high school and someone shouted "slut" at me in the hallways, I wouldn't respond "why thank you" in hopes the person who shouted it will get the irony of it all. But rather something like "you are sadly mistaken" or "check your facts buddy." Call me pessimistic, but I don't think accepting the title is going to empower women. If these protests or "slutwalks" empower these teen girls then I'm for it but in the end I'm worried it damages more reputations. For as long as the world has existed, people (mostly men) have been threatened by a woman's sexuality. Who knows why... I guess it's a powerful thing. So use it for good!

Do you think owning these words empowers women? Or are we just asking to be called these names more often?

Image Source

5 comments:

  1. Love your writing style. I would have to agree with you I don't feel accepting these words are empowering at all. I never have understood women calling themselves bitches. It's like we have been manipulated by men to take ownership of these degrading words.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I think the ones who feel that these negative words are empowering are the ones who use them frequently - totes not cool. Excellent post doll!

    ReplyDelete
  3. @Powder Room- Thank you for reading and glad you agree :)

    @Midtown Girl- Aw thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I don't think it's really the best practice either, these words are so hurtful and attempting to reclaim this word still puts the word out there and since their roots are so terrible I don't think it's the best way to curb bullying. Don't use these words they are mean.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I agree... Now they have a different term, but I forgot it. Come to think of it, it's better that I forgot the word!

    - Crystal
    http://watermoolen.xanga.com/

    ReplyDelete

We all have opinions... I want to hear yours!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
09 10