Nomenclature

there are an awful lot of people marching and gathering together and trying to “take back the word ‘slut'”. They’re going on ‘slutwalks’ and they’re dressing like ‘sluts’. Why are they doing it? Because some dorkbrain of a cop managed to get quoted in the media as saying “if women wouldn’t dress like sluts, they wouldn’t be victimized”. I don’t even want to get in to how asinine that statement is, and if the police officer who said it isn’t regretting not listening to his inner voice that told him not to say it, I’d be very surprised.

I don’t begrudge people their rights to protest and to gather together and to have walks and movements and all that sort of thing. I think “sex positive” is probably something really good, although I usually get confused by whether that means ‘positive about sex’ or ‘positive about gender’ because most people don’t seem to know the difference between sex and gender. And it really is offensive and ridiculous to blame victims of sexual assault. Or any assault.

It’s just as ridiculous to say, “if you don’t do anything to set off a sociopath, you won’t get hurt” as it is to say “if you don’t dress like a slut, you won’t be victimised”. But you know that already.

So what’s this about?

I never gave out the word ‘slut’ and so I don’t think anybody needs to ‘take it back’ from me. I know there are people who get horribly offended by words like ‘slut’ and ‘whore’ and ‘bitch’ and ‘cunt’ and I could really go on here. And don’t get me wrong, I think it’s great to watch the meanings and connotations of word change. I just don’t think I need to take the word ‘slut’ back from anyone.

More importantly is eradicating the idea that assault, sexual or otherwise, are the fault of the person who is assaulted.

  6 comments for “Nomenclature

  1. 27 April 2011 at 12:36 pm

    I don’t understand taking back the word “slut”. Why would anyone WANT it?

    • 27 April 2011 at 12:38 pm

      Because it is, really, kind of a cool word. One-syllable words you can hurl in a fit of pique are always kind of cool.

    • the_iron_troll
      27 April 2011 at 1:57 pm

      The polyamoury community wouldn’t mind taking back ‘slut’. Some are pretty enthusiastic about it. See ‘The Ethical Slut’, for example.

      • 27 April 2011 at 1:58 pm

        Nobody gave the word away, which is my point. In fact, it was our discussion of just that book that got me thinking about this.

  2. Stark Raving Dad
    27 April 2011 at 4:16 pm

    I think that the recent “slutwalks” and “consentfests” are less about taking back a word than they are about making the point (which you nicely made above) that one’s dress and / or demeanour does not _EVER_, under any circumstances, give anyone the right to attack you.

    I am simultaneously glad to see several communities coming together on this issue, and saddened that it is still necessary. When cops and judges are making comments that amount to “well, sometimes a woman is just asking to be raped”, it shows me just how far we have to go in the fights for equality. Of course, when I see people of all races, creeds, gender identities and sexual orientations coming together to make this point, I am hopeful at how far we have come.

    Still work to do. But its getting done.

    • 27 April 2011 at 10:37 pm

      See, “consentfest” makes more sense. “Slutwalk”…I dunno; it seems to me to put the emPHAsis on the wrong sylLABle, if you will.

      It is good to see people of all stripes supporting the rights of people everywhere not to be assaulted regardless of their own attire.

i make squee noises when you tell me stuff.

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