What Does ‘Slut’ Mean?

The word “Slut” written on a chalkboard in Stroud Hall. Photo Credit / Amy Lukac
The word “Slut” written on a chalkboard in Stroud Hall. Photo Credit / Amy Lukac

The word “Slut” written on a chalkboard in Stroud Hall.
Photo Credit / Amy Lukac

By Brittany Barnes

SC Staff Writer

I’ve been hearing the word “slut” since I was 11-years-old. I grew up thinking the word meant a girl with a lot of sexual partners. As I got older, I began to hear the word in different ways. This became confusing to me. I began to ask myself, “What is a slut?”

The dictionary definition of “slut” is “an immoral woman” or “a dirty woman.” But what makes a woman “dirty” or “immoral?” Everyone’s definition of dirty is different. My mom used to come into my room and say “Your room is dirty,” but to me it looked fine.

The same dictionary defines “morals” as “a person’s standards of behavior or beliefs concerning what is and is not acceptable for them to do.” How can someone say another is “immoral” when ‘morals’ are relative to each individual person?

When the concept is taking out of the context of judging women, it becomes silly. A person may find something acceptable, smoking for example and I may find that unacceptable, but I wouldn’t call a smoker immoral because they choose to smoke.

In my confusion, I turned to the internet for answers.

“What makes a woman a slut?” is a forum I found on Reddit.com’s “Ask Men” section. Here are some answers: “Sleeping with a large number of people she doesn’t know makes her a slut,” “The ease with which she sleeps with someone,” “A woman that uses sex in order to gain status or materialistic things,” “Sluts and whores are women who use sex to manipulate men. Typically a lot of men.”

This raises another question; why aren’t men considered sluts?

If a woman sleeps around, she’s a “slut.” If a guy sleeps around, what do you call him? Nothing, because, as the saying goes, “boys will be boys.”

A forum on GirlsAskGuys.com posed the question “Why aren’t guys called sluts?” My favorite answer given was, “Men have a more hormonal imbalance, causing them to want sex a lot more than women.”

Do you know how ridiculous that sounds? A man can sleep around because of their hormonal imbalance. Is that even a serious answer?

User “iLoveLegs” said, “I thought ‘Player’ was the equivalent of ‘Slut’ as far a gender.”

No, iLoveLegs, calling a man a “player” is not the same thing as a woman being called “slut.”  A “player” is defined as “a guy who doesn’t understand the meaning of relationship” and “a guy who is very good at making girls think he is into them.” That is not the same thing as calling a woman dirty and immoral.

My research still did not answer my question about what a slut is though, so I asked some girls at ESU.

Jailyn Suggs says that a “slut” is “someone that sleeps around.” Notice she said “someone” and not “woman.” She continued to say, “It’s used to talk badly towards a girl.”

I asked Myroi Granger what she feels about the word “slut.” She responded saying, “I think it’s stupid because what defines a slut?” She also said, “A woman shouldn’t be put in a category because she’s sexually free.”

Since “slut” is a term defined by personal morals, the only person who accurately can judge whether they are a slut or not is the individual themselves. Some embrace the term and some say there’s no such thing.

“Slut” is a label given to shame a woman for acting on her sexual desires. But having sexual desires is natural. Around 11 or 12-years-old, men and women both go through puberty.  So, a “slut” doesn’t actually exist because we shouldn’t shame each other for basic desires.

Email Brittany at:

bbarnes1@live.esu.edu

Leave a comment