The Politics of the Word "Slut"

Don't ever publicly call a woman a slut.

I thought every man in America knew that rule. I certainly did. It is one of a variety of words or phrases that people should refrain from using in public discourse when addressing women.

Rush Limbaugh's over-the-top rhetoric once again landed him in hot water as he used the term "slut" to describe Sandra Fluke. Is he a misogynist? I don't know, but I do know that a lot of men in political life are. I know that there is still a stereotype pushed by older politicos who remember the days of back door deals struck in all-male lodges, around card tables with cigars and whiskey in every hand with men swapping stories of how dumb their trophy wives are. The new generation of male politicians are less piggish, but without a large number of women serving in government, some stereotyping still goes unchecked.

American politics is woefully short on women in elected office, or appointed office for that matter. I hope that the multitude of highly education, successful women in America start thinking more seriously about pursuing elected office. We could use then in state capitals and in D.C.

As women enter the political arena in greater numbers, men need to clean up their language and start changing their mindset.

From an early age, young men need to be taught that there are several derogatory words and phrases that should never be used about women. Now, I assure you that some men will always speak loose and casual about women in an "all male locker room" environment. But who cares what two jerks say to each other during male bonding time at the gym? We need to improve the public discourse by voluntarily refraining from the use of the following phrases:

Slut

Bitch

Cunt

Whore

Twat

Cougar

Bimbo

Prostitute (unless they honest-to-God are a person having sex for money)

Hussy

Hoochie

Jezebel

Tramp

Wench

Floozy

Harlot

Street Walker

Tart

These words may not carry the same bite as the racist slurs thrown at black Americans or Hispanics. It is not as deeply hurtful as the slurs I have heard hurled at homosexuals or trans-gender people. Still, they are low blow insults and are meant to degrade women.

Neither men nor women should use the above words or phrases in public. Whenever you think about saying something like that, just imagine that the woman you are referring to is your daughter or your wife. Imagine they are your mom or grandmother. Think of them as if they are someone you deeply care about, because that woman you refer to as a slut is someone's daughter. They are someone's wife, someone's mother and someone's best friend.

Words like slut are dehumanizing and for that reason anyone who uses it in public discourse should apologize.

What you say in private at the bar is one thing. What you say to an audience of millions or even an audience of 5 is different. Clean up the language and show some class.

And remember, don't ever publicly call a woman a slut.

 

Filed under: National Goverment

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  • I agree.

    Are you going to campaign against the incredibly misogynistic and bigoted lyrics in hiphop as well? I don't see that issue going away anytime soon.

  • gwill's point got discussed on Inklings, unless he also believes that political bloggers should police rappers. It wouldn't work.

    There was also a certain amount of this flung at Sarah Palin. While it would be fair comment that she probably didn't have the intellectual capacity to be the head of the free world (and plenty of men, like Perry, don't either), I thought there was too much piling on, especially during the time she was a private citizen after she resigned as Gov.

    On the other hand, a certain number of male politicans, including the Peter Tweeter Weiner, have earned such sexual terminology.

    The main problem, of course, is that the defamation (as I characterized it on Inklings) thereby prevents any real discussion of insurance and health care, which should be the substantive issue. However, very few substantive issues are being raised in this campaign.

  • jack is right: this rope-a-dope of BO has the media anyway discussing language vs gas rates, inflation and a puttering, stuttering economy.

    On the other hand, while it is not good to be rude, should men (or women) have to change how they talk when in each others presence? Does not this infer that somehow women in the private and political stew cannot take the vulgarity? Kind of sexist, no? Protecting the "weaker" sex?

    Ever listen to a group of women breaking bad in private? Oh, the inhumanity-- against men. You would never know there were so many disparaging names for men and their equipment.

    There is something about heat and staying or getting out of the kitchen.

  • fb_avatar

    "Jezebel"

    What if they write for Gawker?

  • You left out "feminazI' which I find particularly offensive, because it derides the whole feminist movement. There was a brief time back there, when some thought we no longer needed the feminist movement; women had almost broken through the glass ceiling etc. etc. Recent events however, show that we do indeed need a feminist movement if women are to have a voice. That doesn't make us any kind of extremist though.

  • Expat, I have to make a small correction regarding "feminazi", as I am probably the only person who actually listens to Rush, and has for years.

    He always differentiated between those who were "feminazi's" and women who wanted equal treatment under the law. The difference between the two was that the "feminazi's" were unapologetic men-haters. The "feminazi's", in Rush's view, were the women who found men no good for anything, except for donating sperm, if they were so moved, and getting out of the way.

    We all know that their are haters of both sexes out there, and this clarifies the reference to "feminazi's". You may not like the term, but this is what was meant by it.

    The recent events, totally manufactured and exploited were done so by the Democrat party and Obama, because it showed that the President was losing the female vote. No conservative and no Republican candidate was advocating the removal of birth control. I would say that women DO need a voice, to let the Democrats know that they are tired of being pawns in politics. The real womens issues, meanwhile, which go beyond calling someone a slut, such as cost of living, houses sinking in value, inflation, the war in Afghanistan and Pakistan and the obscene rise in gas prices.

    A masterful rope-a-dope by Obama the Destroyer.

  • That explanation is all well and good Richard, but he used the word "feminazI" in his tirade against Sandra Fluke. And she isn't. To my mind, however you differentiate the different types of feminists, when you fall back on the "these women hate all men" argument, you basically have no argument, except sheer hatred.

  • 3rd try -
    The problem with Limbaugh's well-crafted differentiation of the various species of Feminists, is that his knee jerk reaction concerning Ms. Fluke was to use the "feminazi" word. When you label all women with whom you disagree "men-haters", you have no argument. Only hate.

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