Why Everything You Know About Sluts Is Wrong

Slut is one of my least favorite words in the world. I hate it so much. Why? Because it’s basically only used to describe women and it’s used to tear down any woman who is comfortable with her sexuality. It’s also used when a woman rejects someone’s unwanted sexual advances, which makes no sense because isn’t that technically the opposite of being a slut?

Survivors of sexual assault are frequently called sluts when, in reality, they were violated without consent. A woman will be called a slut because of what she wore, whether it’s a dress or leggings. I’ve been called a slut more times than I can tell you for everything from simply walking down the street to telling a guy I didn’t want to see him anymore.

“But men can be sluts too!” If that is true, then how come men are identified as “man sluts” or “man whores?” No one calls a woman a slut and says “woman slut” or “female slut.” That’s because this word is 100% charged and directed to be an insult for women.

The problem with slut is that it makes being a woman who is in charge of her sexuality and who has sexual freedom a bad thing. The derogatory meaning behind it means that you can dismiss a woman as a human because “she’s a slut.” Calling someone a slut is like calling someone crazy: it invalidates them and makes their feelings and thoughts irrelevant. It also perpetuates this ridiculous idea that anyone has the right to judge or decide what is appropriate for someone else’s life. Since when did someone’s sex life become your business? Oh, right. It didn’t.

There have been a lot of attempts to take back the word slut or to remove it from people’s vocabularies, but I feel like nothing has really worked. Every time I hear someone say it, I make a point to explain why it’s not okay and how it’s unhealthy toward women. Almost every time, the person who said it says, “I never thought of it that way.” And that’s because the word is so widely used and accepted when it absolutely shouldn’t be.

When I heard about The UnSlut Project, I was really impressed with their outlook. Founder Emily Lindin started The UnSlut Project in 2013, using her own diary entries reflecting on how she had been called a slut when she was just 11. She told The Huffington Post:

“I thought that my real, personal diary would offer the insight of what exactly might be going through the mind of a girl who is in that kind of situation. Within the first month of the blog, women from all over the world started submitting their own experiences, and it became clear that this was a really common experience.”

Since it’s inception, The UnSlut Project has grown to include stories from women and men all over the world from all walks of life. It’s proven that slut is all too common and is used in a way that doesn’t even make sense at all. And that’s the point anyway. Lindin hopes to “undo the whole idea of a ‘slut,’ so that it won’t even make sense as an insult.”

In addition to the project itself, Lindin launched a Kickstarter with director Jessica Caimi to fund Slut: A Documentary Film. They raised over $20,000 for the film, which tells the stories of women who committed suicide as a result of sexual bullying. It also features interviews with sexologists, psychologists, and media figures who believe that “slut” needs to stop.

I don’t know about you guys, but I’m really excited about this documentary and movement in general. Within the webpage walls of Gurl, we’re certainly open about sexuality and embracing your sexual freedom, but there is still a long way to go outside in the real world. We live in a world where people refuse to accept that women are sexual creatures just as much as men are. We live in a world where a woman who embraces her sexuality is less than, and that is not okay.

But, what do I know? I’m probably a slut for even writing this.
What do you think about the word “slut?” What about The UnSlut Project? Tell us in the comments below!
You can reach this post’s author, Caitlin Corsetti, on Twitter and Instagram!

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  • Briana Robinson

    I am with this movement that word means noyhing to me anymore I just ignore when it is used for any reason and tell people it has no meaning to me. I have been called a slut on numerous occasions and I’m still a virgin. As a feminist this movement really makes me happy.

  • Some colleague guy explained it to me that way : « When a key opens many locks, it’s a ‘master key’. When a lock is opened by many keys, it’s a shitty lock. »

    • Hannah

      Someone told me that too. But it’s so wrong. They’re comparing a human being to an inanimate object. Seriously. Women are being compared to pieces of metal.

  • Julie

    someone else’s sex life doesn’t become your business until they sleep with your boyfriend. Until their provocative clothing sends subliminal messages to your children that their body is no more than a sexual item. Until they become a hazard to them self and others by increasing their susceptibility to sexual transmitted diseases. Until they create the impression that they aren’t worthy of a monogamous relationship because they can’t respect their own boundaries, let alone a partner. Until they lose count of how many sexual partner’s they’ve had, therefore discrediting and dehumanizing the people who have shared such an intimate part of themselves with said person. Women today have to be smart. The word slut derived from an old term that literally means, “A slovenly or sloppily dressed woman.” Back then everyone, including men, was conservative. So if a woman were to dress in skimpy clothing, either showing much more leg than the norm or much more cleavage than necessary then she was considered a “slut” or a “sloppily dressed” or “tacky” woman. The origin of the word had nothing to do with a woman’s sexual behavior. Like Latin, Greek, and English words it has evolved over time to define a woman who is SEXUALLY IRRESPONSIBLE. Just like other words of the English language, this word can be misused but that does not denounce it’s meaning. A slut in one sense of the word is a sloppily dressed or tacky woman. We women know that if we truly respect ourselves and don’t want men to see us as a walking pair of breasts and butt that we have to use our minds in order to “woo” them rather than our assets. “Slut” does NOT dehumanize a woman anymore than the word “Hermit” or “hobo” dehumanizes a person without a home it is merely a description. As for men being called, “Man whore” and “man slut” it is simply to separate it from it’s original definition: a sloppily dressed WOMAN. For those trying to rant and rave about how slut is a word only for women i need them to point out to me 1000 times where a woman was called a “douche bag”, A WOMAN’S HYGIENIC ITEM, used to definitively describe men who are jerks. And yeah you may say, “yeah, well he was a jerk not a woman who is comfortable in her sexuality.” but either way it’s a judgment. D-bag is a judgement women feel entitled to on men and slut is one people feel entitled to on women. PEOPLE JUDGE PEOPLE. it’s human nature. and the sooner these protesters get over it, the better. We need to accept the fact that slut is a word. it’s not going anywhere. Though it can be improperly used it still describes a particular category of women. A category whose behavior is defined as: irresponsible, sloppily/poorly/under-dressed, sexually PROMISCUOUS, unfaithful, and malicious. It is not okay to sleep with 7854038392 men. You are using them for lust and empowerment. They might be okay with that but it’s still not okay to use people. it doesn’t make a guy a jerk if he has a preference for women who can keep their legs closed. It’s no different than a woman with a preference for men who are physically fit. it’s a trait. a characteristic. I apologize to any women who were raped, or were sexually assaulted and were basically blamed for their affliction. However, it is your job to disclaim that title rather than discredit it for who it applies to. It is not a valid argument to say that “why do women get bashed when they have lots of sex but men get praised for promiscuity?” because both are WRONG. it is not okay for either sex to use people in that way, to send out the message that sex is recreational rather than an impacting act that has many consequences and is also something special you should share with those who matter. Women need to be smart. Breasts are sexual as well as maternal as well as just some globs of fat on your chest. Do not judge men for seeing your breasts as sexually appealing when you are strutting around with your nipples out. Women need to be aware that with everything we do there are consequences. Don’t turn a blind eye because your feelings are hurt. Don’t stoop to a man’s level just because he can get away with it. know the truth and live by it and don’t let lies persuade you to think other wise.

  • mermaid

    agree, agree, agree, fuckin agree

    thank you for putting this all into words

  • H-sizzle

    Everyone here at gurl is like a total slut .? WHORES!!!!’

    • sandy velockx