It’s Time To Start The Slut Revolution

Tallulah Kidd is a writer and violinist starting The Slut Revolution. Check out her blog here!

It’s time that we take back the word, “slut.” Rush Limbaugh, in his efforts to degrade and silence women by calling them sluts, has actually done us all a huge favor. For an entire week women’s rights have been at the forefront of media and social networks, as females everywhere express their outrage. The event triggered passion and emotion in women who would normally remain passive and silent, and it has inspired a fresh wave of feminism that can change our world and society. In addition, he has done this during March, which is considered “Women’s History Month.” It is almost like he was actually trying to do us a favor.

The way he treated Sandra Fluke was childish, inappropriate, and sexist. However, Sandra Fluke IS a Slut, and I respect her for it. Hear me out.

What is a Slut? My favorite definition: “A woman with the morals of a man.”

Wikipedia says: “A term applied to an individual who is considered to have loose sexual morals or who is sexually promiscuous. The term is generally pejorative and often applied to women as an insult or offensive term of disparagement, meaning “dirty or slovenly.” The term is dated back to the 1400s, when it was used as a derogatory term for women who were sexually free, in other words, “dirty.” It is now 2012, I would think that in the last six centuries we have moved past the idea that women are filthy just because they enjoy sex and pleasure, unless you are hardcore religious and believe that a woman’s place is strictly in the home, in which case you have no place in the Human Right’s Movement, and are therefore a hindrance to social evolution.

The best definition of a Modern Slut comes from the book, “The Ethical Slut” written by Dossie Easton and Catherine A. Liszt. In the book a Slut is described as: “a person of any gender who has the courage to lead life according to the radical proposition that sex is nice and pleasure is good for you.” A slut is a person who has taken control of their sexuality and has sex with whomever they choose, regardless of religious or social pressures or conventions to conform to a straight-laced monogamous lifestyle committed to one partner for life.”

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    • M

      My problem with this is that slut is not, as claimed in the article, a person of any gender. It is a term that has historically been applied strictly to women as a way to shame them for living their lives in the manner they choose, or expressing opinions outside of the mainstream. Perhaps it is a word that can be turned around and made into a woman-positive compliment, but as a sexually-liberated, self-described feminist, I do not yet think we are there. Gloria Steinem said that what movements do is reclaim the words that have been used against them. Like the use of the n-word in black communities however, this is not simple. Words that have historically been used to shame and abuse still carry a great deal of weight. I completely agree that the response “I am not a slut” is the wrong one. It misses the point. I think, however, that before we can repurpose the word for use among women, we must remove the word from national discourse. Again to use the example of the n-word, it must be a word that is no longer used at all by those who have historically used it to keep us silenced and ashamed.

    • E

      While I agree completely that being a slut isn’t a bad thing; it’s just being open with your sexuality, and not following the societal pressure to be chaste and virginal, I also agree with what some of those #iamnotaslut tweets were posting. I feel like taking birth control to get rid of my period and keep my hormone levals from fluctuating throughout the month because my chronic pain disorder gets so much worse during parts of my natural cycle doesn’t make me a slut or harlot or anything other than a patient who is treating a medical problem.

      I guess I see birth control very much as a medical tool, no different than legislators were interfering in any other part of my medical care, and it seemed as though some other women tweeting had the same thought process as I do. I claim the lable slut proudly, but that is about my sexual behavior. Taking the pill isn’t even what I depend on for birth control (no one can be sure my other prescriptions don’t interfer with its actual ability to prevent pregnancy, and without a period, I wouldn’t even notice if I did get pregnant). The pill doesn’t really have any bearing on my sexuality or my sexual behavior. It is a medicine. And being accused of sluttiness because of my medical needs is no less infuriating than being called a junkie for requiring pain control from opiates.

    • Kate

      Where was all the feminist outrage when Bill Maher called Sarah Palin a “C**t”, or “dumb twat”.