Want to know a quick and easy way to put a girl down and ruin her reputation at the same time? Call her a slut. There’s a lot of power packed into that tiny four-letter word. It’s mean, nasty, and cruel . . . and we use it all the time.
According to the dictionary, a slut is a person who is promiscuous or whose personal appearance is untidy. The way we define “slut” in society is a bit more complicated. Check out the Controversy Cafe to see how teens define “slut” in their own words.
Girls on Sluts
It doesn’t take much to be called a slut. According to teens I spoke with, a girl who meets any of the following criteria is deserving of the title “slut”:
- someone who is sexually active
- someone who dresses suggestively, in tight or revealing clothes
- someone who wears a lot of makeup
- someone who, despite her unpopularity, tries to get the attention of boys
- someone who flirts with other girls’ boyfriends or hangs out with mostly guys
- someone who is assumed to be sexually advanced because her body is more developed, even if she claims to be a virgin
It seems like any wrong move can result in being labeled a slut. But why are girls so intent on putting each other down?
- Girls feel threatened by other girls who are sexually active. They fear losing their boyfriends to “sluts.”
- Girls who are not having sex spread slut-rumors to show that they are “better” than the “slut” who is sleeping around.
- Girls who feel threatened by freedom and confidence label those who are not afraid to be different sluts.
It is insecurity, fear, jealousy, and pettiness that drive girls to put each other down.
Guys on Sluts
For guys, it’s much simpler. When a guy calls a girl a slut, it is because he believes she sleeps around. A slut is labeled as “easy,” and her reputation is ruined. Once the word gets around that a girl is a slut, it’s pretty tough to shake that reputation.
But She Deserves It!
Is it ever OK to call someone a slut? What if they do sleep around? Don’t they deserve it? NO! It’s never OK to judge others. People’s sexual activities and choices are their own business. Everyone’s morality is different. What’s right for one person may not be right for another.
So Now What?
We are so used to hearing the word “slut” that it doesn’t faze us . . . and that’s a shame. Just because we’re accustomed to it doesn’t mean that it’s OK to use it. It’s mean and nasty, and we should all be appalled and offended to hear it in conversation. It should be the person who uses that word that we lose respect for, not the person who is being smeared.