The Good, The Bad and The Slutty
November 16, 2013 § 5 Comments
“La femme n’est victime d’aucune mystérieuse fatalité : il ne faut pas conclure que ses ovaires la condamnent à vivre éternellement à genoux.”
Simone de Beauvoir
A certain male acquaintance of mine made a somewhat backhanded comment last week, regarding some female character in a TV series and her role as, and I quote, ‘a total slut’. First and foremost, I thought this was a rather unwise move, in a class made up of more than 50% female writers! But secondly, it got me thinking:
The label ‘slut’ is tossed around rather haphazardly and far too often these days, in my opinion. And, in the majority of contexts, it is used as a pejorative. The dictionary itself regards it as such:
1. a dirty slatternly woman
2. an immoral woman
(Note: ‘immoral’! It doesn’t get much more outdated than that.)
Recently, a friend of mine was considering asking a girl out on a date, though he couldn’t quite make up his mind. His reasoning behind this indecision? She has a ‘reputation’, and he feared he would be laughed at for dating her. We females, however, it must be added, are subject to doing the exact same thing. If we discover a man has slept with an indeterminate amount of women, we immediately become much more wary, given his newly-verified status as a ‘player’. Here, we must once again note the vast divide between the two sexes: men won’t date ‘sluts’ for fear of being mocked; women won’t date ‘players’ for fear of heartbreak.
Now, I may sound brassy and insolent with this next remark, but my question this evening is as follows: who the hell actually cares? When did the quantity of someone’s previous sexual partners suddenly take centre stage when it comes to assessing their character? Whatever happened to personality, or sense of humour? And most importantly of all, when did we all become so god damn shallow?
Admittedly, no-strings-attached sex isn’t for everyone. Some women are downright useless at it: drunkenly stumbling into bed, attempting to snuggle up afterwards, leaving your number on a post-it note on his pillow (signed with a lipstick kiss) for when he wakes up, and then spending the next evening sobbing relentlessly into a cheap bottle of Chardonnay because he hasn’t yet added you on Facebook. And admit it, we’ve all been there.
Of course, there is nothing wrong with not being a casual sex expert. It’s really all about getting yourself into the right mindset. If you feel him starting to worm his way into anything other than your vagina, leave immediately and don’t look back. To those of you who have this sussed (the so-called ‘sluts’ of the world) I salute you! You are fun, you experiment, you are audacious, you are confident, you challenge gender stereotypes and, let’s face it, you come out of it with some very entertaining anecdotes.
My point is this: what’s so wrong with a woman who has a sex life? Does telling foolish stories about your sexual history render you slatternly and inferior? Because, trust me, I’ve got enough of my own… Am I a ‘slut’?
I am neither humiliated nor ashamed of my sexual experiences, nor will I be made to feel this way simply because I do not conform to patriarchal society’s ideal of a woman. Indeed, if gendered slurs like ‘slut’ continue to be used as weapons that can be casually pronounced at the mere mention of female sexuality, then the majority of society’s women already fall into this category, on the basis that they’ve had more than one sexual partner in their lifetime. Three cheers for equality!
My conclusion therefore is this: if you are choosing to sleep with everything with a pulse in a futile attempt to increase your diminished self-esteem then stop immediately, because this is where the problems start. Casual sex can never be the cure. There are many much more simple solutions (join a gym, eat more vegetables etc). However, if you are confident within yourself and happy with what you are doing, then f*** the dictionary definition, f*** the word ‘slut’ and, instead, go forth and f*** whoever the hell you want!
In addition, maybe we should pay less attention to how many people we’ve slept with, and instead concentrate more on actually using protection during the act itself. Get your condoms on, lads. After all, nothing says ‘not tonight, love’ quite like a potentially large and deadly bout of genital warts.
My apologies for all the swearing, as well as the elongated rant.