You Say WHO Is A Slut? The Girl Who Killed Herself?!

who is a slut

Who is a slut? You? | Source: Shutterstock

Who is a slut? Is it someone who gets laid regularly? A girl who has a penchant for fishnets and red lipstick? A girl who advocates birth control? That chick who stole your crush? Or is it Rachel Ehmke, a 13-year-old girl who killed herself?

Rachel, a seventh-grader at Kasson-Mantorville Middle School in Minnesota, was harassed pretty much incessantly: People put gum on her locker and textbooks, which is gross and stupid enough, but that wasn’t the worst she dealt with. Rachel was inexplicably deemed a slut by bullies at her school. They called her a slut to her face, they called her a slut behind her back, and, in what looks like it was the last straw for Rachel, they called her a slut in an anonymous mass text message that one adult recipient called “pretty explicit.” That’s who is a slut? A girl who gets harassed and picked on so much that it’s almost impossible to find the time to actually be one?

The day after that disgusting, cowardly slut-shaming text went out, Rachel killed herself. We have no idea what she did (if anything) sexually, and to be plain, it doesn’t matter. She was 13. Now she is dead.

You remember when you were little and you’d hear things like “Sticks and stones can break my bones, but words will never hurt me?” In an ideal world, that would be true. But in an ideal world, we also wouldn’t have to deal with being called a “slut” all the time.

“Slut,” no matter how easily it rolls off the tongue and how difficult it is to find an appropriate substitute term, is an idiotic and sexist word. If a guy is perceived to have an active sex life, he’s applauded. If a girl is even rumored to have one–true or not–she’s looked down on. By using the word “slut” to demean other women, you’re effectively setting feminism back a few decades and encouraging not only intolerance and ignorance, but also a form of sexual harassment. If you wouldn’t be comfortable with that creepy guy in your gym class grabbing your ass, stop calling other girls “sluts,” “skanks,” and “whores.” You don’t know what kind of damage you might be doing with a word you claim to not take that seriously.

who is a slut

A mass text calling Rachel Ehmke a slut went out days before she committed suicide. | Source: Shutterstock

And those of you who comment here at Gurl.com (yes, we read those comments–keep ’em coming!) and say that calling girls “sluts” is okay if it’s “warranted?” Just one question for you: Who the hell are you to think someone else’s body and sex life your business? We’re not just “done” with the word slut, we’re declaring war on it. It’s because of that word and other hateful statements that Rachel Ehmke took her life, and we’re not standing for it.

The point here isn’t how to determine who is a slut or who isn’t a slut. The point is that calling someone a slut is is dangerous to women everywhere, because it affects not only your intended target, but those closest to her, as well as society as a whole. Need proof? Google “honor killings,” and check out Rachel’s sobbing parents in this video. By encouraging and using words like “slut,” you’re encouraging devastating events like these to not only continue, but also become routine.

Have you ever called a girl a slut? If so, how do you determine who is a slut? Do you think calling someone a slut is sexist? Why would you call someone a slut? Tell us in the comments!

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  • tbh

    shouldnt be a slut in the first place. american society is fucked

  • Anonymous

    who actually gives a fuck

    • Dejah

      Her mother, her father, her siblings, her aunts, her uncles, her WHOLE FAMILY, and her friends. I care, you don’t have to, but think about if that was your sister, or your cousin, that could be your brother, or your parents, overall that could e someone you love and care about. So, to answer your question, EVERYONE, but you.

  • Bitch plzz

    GET A LIFE

  • Beanie

    This is beyond sad and more and likely the girl wasn’t doing anything at all. Girls and boys in school can be vicious, spiteful and petty. Just because they are mad at someone, jealous, just doesn’t like or like someone that likes the other person or vice versa they turn into monsters. and something needs to be done to stop it. Their should be no tolerance. It is serious. But you can survive it. I was bullied for 10 years starting with 1st grade. It got better when i found my voice but i still remember i still fight my insecurities. Because the lingering thoughts remain. Pain is easily caused and hardly forgotten. The other problem parents of bullies should stop there children from doing it. they don’t take it serious until it affects them.

  • Victoria

    I think it’s never ok to bully someone. Not even if they’re sexually active. Don’t worry about them and their life.. That’s not ok, especially for parents to be burying their child. That’s not fair.

  • Virginia Marie Theis

    I call my friends sluts, but only because we’re great friends. That’s the only time it’s okay to say stuff like that. Even then, if someone’s hurt by it, it’s not cool. It’s just wrong to judge strangers no matter what.

  • Jenny

    Ok first of those bitches. Who did that will they die and endure hell for internitly hopefully… I cant believe jack asses like that would do such a thing well I can believe it heres the point dont bully people I was bullyed for years and the called me a ho a slut bitch idiot. And I was only 11 and I bated it but I stayed strong and didn’t let them get in the way. And know I am dating a wonderful man and my life is fine Wichita is why if your bullied stay strong. John 3:16. Look it up

  • Brandon’s grl

    nobody has the right to do that…

  • Kat

    That is wrong!
    So very wrong!
    People are free to dress as they like as long as it fits the law. Also if she wants to have relations with people it’s up to her. It says in the declaration of independence that they are entitled to life, liberty, and the PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS!!! That means if sex makes her happy she can do it! If she is sexually harassing somebody it still doesn’t mean you can call her a slut!
    SLUT is a hurtful word. Don’t do to others what you don’t want done to you!!!!!!! If you call her a slut then your a slut!! It makes me sooooooooo mad!!!!!

    BE NICE TO OTHERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • april

    i dont get why the flubbs a person would call a girl a slut??!! i mean is it any of your business if she has an active sex life or not? if she does its her problem not yours! and if YOU were being called a slut would you like it? of course not so then why the flubbs are you calling a girl who you dont even know if she has an active sex life a slut?! i mean WTF people just stop it already! the word slut is just another word people who have no respect for women made up. and also if the girl who wears a miniskirt or wears red lipstick and has fishnet tights does not mean she is a slut. i am 14 and i wear fishnet tights and miniskirts and i wear pale lipstick! but i am not a slut! at my school we respect each other for our style and we like each other for it. so why cant we girls stand up for our rights and our respect and make people stop calling girls around the world sluts!!!!!!! gUrl power rules!!!!!

  • helloitsme

    It’s disgusting! I’ve been called a slut before (behind my back) despite the fact that there is no reason for it. It’s happened to my best friend too and I really don’t understand why people feel the need to make up things and call people names even when they are so obviously not true. I can only hope that more people come to their senses about what they are calling others and the effect it can have on those people.

  • BoxedInAmber

    @daviegson5

    Truth be told, I find that letter to be absolutely disgusting, and an insult to intelligent, independent women everywhere. The problem is not with the people who are having safe sex, it is with society for telling them that there is something wrong with them for it. Having sex does not make you bad a person, and NO ONE has ANY right to disrespect someone just because of a PRIVATE and PERSONAL action they took to effect THEIR LIFE. If people choose to disrespect someone just because they have sex, it is not the fault of the person having sex. It is the fault of the people who feel they have the right to disrespect someone because they made actions that they don’t agree with.

    You also make the assumption that sex has to equal love. However, again, you are wrong. Like most species, humans do not have it in their genetics to be monogamous. Monogamy is something we have fabricated as a society so that people are able to superior to others. Just in the way that we, as a society, have deemed that people of colour are less than caucasians, people who are gay are less than those who are straight, and those who are trans* are less than those who are cis. Sex can be about love, but there is absolutely nothing wrong with it being about lust and enjoying your own body (so long as it’s safe). By saying “It took four long years of deception, heartbreak, and chaos to realize that a boy will not love and care for you because you are sexually experienced or explicit.” you are implying that men only care about sex and that women only care about love. Which is incredibly anti-feminist and misogynistic. You are also implying that for men sex is only about lust, and for women sex is only about love. THIS IS NOT THE CASE. Both women and men CAN MAKE THE CHOICE FOR THEMSELVES whether or not they choose to have sex for love or for lust. And honestly, THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NOTHING WRONG WITH MAKING EITHER DECISION. The problem wasn’t that they were “delusional’ in thinking that they were being independent, it was that society made them believe that they had to be in love in order to have sex, and it ruined their self confidence and their feminist values.

    It’s also incredibly presumptuous to say that living a certain lifestyle will not bring someone happiness. Just because it didn’t make one person happy, doesn’t mean it won’t make another person happy. THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH DOING THINGS THAT MAKE YOU HAPPY (so long as they don’t hurt other people). If someone wants to do something that makes them happy, then let them! Don’t push your prejudice, misogynistic views on people and shame them into something that makes absolutely no sense at all.

    Not being sexually active does not mean you will be respected by people. Being sexually active does not give people the right to disrespect you.

  • Bea

    This literally makes me sick to my stomach. There are too many teen suicides going on. I’m 13 and I don’t even know what I would do if one of my friends killed themselves. We need to stop the word slut. #stopthewordslut

  • daviegson5@gmail.com

    My beautiful and intelligent fiancée wrote this regarding herself to a group of teenager girls in the teen party industry she works with.

    “Hey Girls,

    I just wanted to take the time to share a little advice with you guys, especially with summer approaching. This is a really long message, but please take the time to read it. I hope it can help each of you in some way. In the past week nearly everything terrible I’ve done in my past came back to really bite me in the ass. It’s caused me to reflect quite a bit on the poor decisions I’ve made throughout high school, and how I really want to help girls avoid the same mistakes I made.

    Throughout high school I was nothing short of promiscuous. At the time I thought that this was a great lifestyle. Boys “loved” me, people talked about me, and people were overwhelmingly amused with my life. Now, that high school is ending and I’m observing where this lifestyle got me, and I feel absolutely compelled to warn you against what I did. While I was “slutting around” (to put it nicely) I convinced myself that I was confident and powerful, only to realize now that I was neither. I was being used, lied to, and most of all disrespected. Reflecting now I wish I could go back and kick myself in the ass; I really want to help you all avoid the regret I’m feeling now.

    It took four long years of deception, heartbreak, and chaos to realize that a boy will not love and care for you because you are sexually experienced or explicit. You’re all for the most part around the age when things took an absolute turn for the worst in my life, and I can’t bear to see girls that I work with and care about struggle as I did. No one was there for me when I was doing all these horrible, destructive things. Sure, I had close girlfriends and guy friends, but the truth of the matter is in most cases not even your best friend will have the decency to tell you when you’re acting out of line. In my case, my friends even encouraged my behavior, probably for their own amusement. It sounds terrible, but the truth is people really only look out for themselves. This is why I cannot stress the dire importance of respecting yourselves. Especially, in this line of work, you need to respect yourself above anything else. Don’t feel like you have to hit on guys to be a successful promoter; don’t feel like you have to show off your body to have more sales. I am telling you how wrong I was about everything.

    In high school I thought everything was about popularity, so I went about it in the wrong ways. The attention I received was shrouded in hatred my peers felt towards me. I thought, this guy wants to have sex with me, or I can persuade him too, and then he will care for me. I could not have been more wrong. Life isn’t about how many “likes” you get on a profile picture, or about posting revealing “selfies” just for the shock value. There is so much more to each and every one of you than how you look or how sexy you dress or how easy you are. Popularity on a social network does not equate to real happiness, because at the end of the day what are you left with? Sure, 100+ people liked a picture of you in a bikini, but think about what they are REALLY saying. The guys are thinking, this chick is hot and probably easy, and the girls think you are a whore. This is sounds harsh, but it is reality.

    I only hope you all read this and seriously consider the directions you are going in your lives. Because I can tell you, I took the fun, slutty, party girl route in high school and it has left me with nothing. I am fortunate enough to have the opportunity to fix my life and start over with college, but even this major change won’t erase the mistakes I will live with every day for the rest of my life. I know the thrills of attention you can receive by being a “hot girl” or being a “fun hook-up,” but the excitement of attention doesn’t hold a candle to how amazing you will feel if you truly and genuinely love and respect yourselves.

    Just think about this next time you consider posting a revealing picture on Facebook, or when you are talking dirty to some guy who I can guarantee does not care about you. Love yourself, discover yourself, and you will find sincere happiness. I am so lucky I found someone amazing who is helping me realize why exactly I was so self-destructive, especially in the last two years. Don’t read this and think, this won’t happen to me, because 18 months ago I would have said the same. I remember reading a memoir about a promiscuous girl, who slept with upwards of 50 guys, thinking I will never be that. Not even a year later, I was tearing through guys, with no discretion and no concern for what I was actually doing.

    The actions of your past will never go away, but they do not have to define your future. If you’re reading this thinking, shit, I think I may be experiencing some of the same mistakes; it is never too late to turn yourself around. Do yourself one hell of a favor and learn to love and respect yourself now, don’t wait til when you’ve gotten out all your urges “to party.” Having sex with random guys, getting drunk and acting senselessly, being a party girl, will not bring you happiness, trust me. For the time being it may seem like the path to a fun and happy lifestyle, but this is a terrible, tricky façade that has ruined the lives of countless girls.
    Even though I am leaving for college in July, I want you all to know that I am here for you. I have been in these situations, anything you are going through I guarantee I have lived it. I have been the other woman, I’ve been cheated on, I’ve had my best friend date my ex, I’ve had random one night stands, I’ve let guys take advantage of me, and I’ve taken advantage of guys. I’ve been in way too many bad places that no young girl should ever have to encounter. I will not judge any of you, I just want to help someone, anyone at all, avoid the mistakes that I am burdened with.

    I sincerely hope you all took the time to read this and now know that the lures of fame, attention, and popularity will bring you nothing, but heartache, regret, and the inability to trust. It is not too late to turn your lives around if you think you may have already dug yourself in a hole. High school is horrible, and at times will be one of the best and absolute worse experiences of your life. Don’t fall victim to the power of “popularity” in high school, because when graduation day rolls around and you begin your college or professional career, the attention you got in high school will mean absolutely nothing.

    Just remember I am here for you. No one deserves to face the challenges of being a teenage girl in our generation alone, not matter what poor choices you may have already made, or will make.

    P.S. Feel free to share this with absolutely ANYONE you think could use some help or advice! Love you guys ! “