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Tue Jan 20, 2015, 12:06 PM

Will the awful power of the word 'slut' defeat feminists' efforts to reclaim it?

It’s been over twenty years since then-Bikini Kill frontwoman and Riot Grrrl icon Kathleen Hanna scrawled the word SLUT across her stomach. In the years since, there’s been a book called Slut!, countless feminist debates over the reclamation of the word “slut” and, in 2011, thousands of women took to streets across the globe in anti-rape marches called SlutWalks – a reference to how victims of sexual assault are often blamed for the violence done to them.

Like “cunt” and “bitch”, many feminists have long tried to wrest away from its original users the power and harm of the word “slut” and to give it new meaning. Increasingly, though, it’s seeming like we might not succeed any time soon.

Take Leora Tanenbaum: in 2000, she wrote Slut!: Growing up Female with a Bad Reputation chronicling girls’ and women’s experiences with the word. She herself was called a “slut” as a high school student in the 1980s – long before the term “sexual harassment” was coined – and told me “I had no vocabulary to understand what happened.”

Now, 15 years later, Tanenbaum is about to publish another book: I Am Not a Slut because, in part, the sheen of reclaiming “slut” seems to have worn off over the years. When she spoke to women who called themselves “sluts” with a “positive and defiant” spirit, all told her the decision had turned against them later – and all regretted it.


http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/jan/20/word-slut-feminists-efforts-reclaim-it

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Reply Will the awful power of the word 'slut' defeat feminists' efforts to reclaim it? (Original post)
ismnotwasm Jan 2015 OP
Tuesday Afternoon Jan 2015 #1
ismnotwasm Jan 2015 #6
Tuesday Afternoon Jan 2015 #7
Name removed Jan 2015 #15
seabeyond Jan 2015 #2
ismnotwasm Jan 2015 #4
seabeyond Jan 2015 #10
Post removed Jan 2015 #11
arcane1 Jan 2015 #12
ismnotwasm Jan 2015 #19
arcane1 Jan 2015 #24
ismnotwasm Jan 2015 #25
MadrasT Jan 2015 #14
AtheistCrusader Jan 2015 #16
Tuesday Afternoon Jan 2015 #17
arcane1 Jan 2015 #20
AtheistCrusader Jan 2015 #22
arcane1 Jan 2015 #23
Name removed Jan 2015 #26
Sheldon Cooper Jan 2015 #3
Tuesday Afternoon Jan 2015 #5
Sheldon Cooper Jan 2015 #8
Tuesday Afternoon Jan 2015 #9
F4lconF16 Jan 2015 #28
Name removed Jan 2015 #13
Tuesday Afternoon Jan 2015 #18
ismnotwasm Jan 2015 #21
Manifestor_of_Light Jan 2015 #27
Name removed Jan 2015 #29

Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Tue Jan 20, 2015, 12:24 PM

1. all told her the decision had turned against them later – and all regretted it.

once had a conversation with a co-worker (not health care industry)

this was years ago. a life time ago.

shows how clueless I was (or maybe, how empowered I was)

She told me:

To guys, all women are either Bitches or Sluts.

I was like -what- ? stunned for a moment.

Had no clue it was such a binary option

but, immediately I knew.

I will take Bitch because Fuck That Noise.

She chose Slut because she wanted to be known as the Nice One.

If that is what it means to be nice I wanted no part of it.

I fully support any woman who wants to be or even be known as a Slut.

but. I demand. That these women, in return,

fully support my right to be known as a Bitch.


What I really hope is that we (men, are you listening?)

can evolve past such binary classification of Human Beings.





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Response to Tuesday Afternoon (Reply #1)

Tue Jan 20, 2015, 12:55 PM

6. I think we're starting too

One of my co-workers--a guy, was telling a woman who was going on a date with a new guy that "women have all the power in these situations"

I asked him, what if she was going to meet another woman? What if it was a guy on a first date with a guy? Fortunately it wasn't hard to get him out of his heterosexist binary type thinking; he was really talking about himself, and how he felt on first dates.

OT, but I also did an informal poll of the straight single women and thoughts on "nice guys" or "nerdy guys" it was mixed race and ages, about 10 women. They ALL said they'd go for the nerdy nice guy over some "bad boy" asshole. One medical student pointed out that I was asking women who had a better education than some, which is true. But my next project is to go ask a bunch of recovering Addicts what their preference in men would be. (Tattoo lover is probably going to be on the list) I'll bet you money they all say 'nice guys'. Theyre sick of assholes.

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Response to ismnotwasm (Reply #6)

Tue Jan 20, 2015, 01:00 PM

7. yes, So. Sick of. Assholes.

will be interested in your poll results. do post them, please

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Response to Tuesday Afternoon (Reply #1)


Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Tue Jan 20, 2015, 12:25 PM

2. that there is a word to separate out genders sexuality is the issue.

 

the mere fact there is a word that define womens sexuality alone is the reason it can never be reclaimed, or whatever others want to say. since it is the very basic issue of the word, it is there we need to have the conversation. not if we can own a word or not.

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Response to seabeyond (Reply #2)

Tue Jan 20, 2015, 12:41 PM

4. We were saying that here

I support all feminist efforts--I get it. Remember all the arguments over "Pussy Riot" and "FEMEN"? What happened to them is about what I figured would happen.

Now it's like where are they now?

There's currently a nudist campaign to fight revenge porn, a push for legal toplessness for women--more attempts for women to own their sexuality, and in slow increments believe we are, But we're not doing it by calling ourselves and each other sluts and bitches, calling prostitution and stripping feminist professions. Loudly proclaiming how much we love porn (porn is in a sorry state right now)

We're doing it by getting educated, finding ourselves a minority gender in so many jobs taking sexist shit, and speaking up about it. Writing books about it. Blogging about it. Fighting rape culture. Finding allies. We are doing it by making sure we are inclusive, not exclusive. We are doing it by tellng patriatical standards to go fuck themselves.

And we still have to battle for reproductive rights in the middle of all this.

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Response to ismnotwasm (Reply #4)

Tue Jan 20, 2015, 01:39 PM

10. yes. i agree with you on all of that. and that is why you and i and others so value that video of

 

our young girls voices. i am telling you. i have a 22 yr old and 26 yr old niece, flat in the middle of this shit. for a couple years, i have been hearing them process this world that is being created for them. they do not like it.

and that, will end it there.

none of the whining and nashing of the teeth is going to get these girls ot become what our society is trying to create them as. our girls are too aware, smart, independent, confident.

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Response to ismnotwasm (Reply #4)


Response to Post removed (Reply #11)

Tue Jan 20, 2015, 02:08 PM

12. Back again? You must love it here for some reason.

 

Back for more!

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Response to arcane1 (Reply #12)

Tue Jan 20, 2015, 02:35 PM

19. I had that That particular troll in mind when I started this post

He's such a moron he fell for it

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Response to ismnotwasm (Reply #19)

Tue Jan 20, 2015, 02:54 PM

24. It's like the Bat Signal for dumb-asses

 

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Response to arcane1 (Reply #24)

Tue Jan 20, 2015, 02:58 PM

25. Yeah -- oh boy I'm gonna get em now

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Response to Post removed (Reply #11)

Tue Jan 20, 2015, 02:13 PM

14. "there's nothing you can do about it"

Actually there is something I do about it all the time.

Refuse to give a fuck.

Go ahead, judge away.

I. Give. Not. One. Shit. What. You. Think.

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Response to MadrasT (Reply #14)

Tue Jan 20, 2015, 02:23 PM

16. Well, here's the jury results, but looks like MIRT drove a truck through his account anyway.

On Tue Jan 20, 2015, 02:08 PM an alert was sent on the following post:

Telling patriarchal standards to fuck themselves will only achieve a smack in the mouth
http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1255&pid=54043

REASON FOR ALERT

This post is disruptive, hurtful, rude, insensitive, over-the-top, or otherwise inappropriate.

ALERTER'S COMMENTS

Returning misogynist.

JURY RESULTS

You served on a randomly-selected Jury of DU members which reviewed this post. The review was completed at Tue Jan 20, 2015, 02:18 PM, and the Jury voted 6-1 to HIDE IT.

Juror #1 voted to HIDE IT
Explanation: No explanation given
Juror #2 voted to HIDE IT
Explanation: No explanation given
Juror #3 voted to HIDE IT
Explanation: Wow, he came out swinging with this one didn't he? I think it's time for this misogynist to turn in his membership card too.
Juror #4 voted to HIDE IT
Explanation: Get the fuck out.
Juror #5 voted to HIDE IT
Explanation: No explanation given
Juror #6 voted to HIDE IT
Explanation: Why hasn't MIRT taken this one out yet?
Juror #7 voted to LEAVE IT ALONE
Explanation: It's an opinion. Everyone's entitled to an opinion. We do not judge them. That's what the Ignore button is for.

Thank you very much for participating in our Jury system, and we hope you will be able to participate again in the future.

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Response to AtheistCrusader (Reply #16)

Tue Jan 20, 2015, 02:31 PM

17. lol @ #7

Ignore is a form of judgement, is it not?

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Response to Tuesday Afternoon (Reply #17)

Tue Jan 20, 2015, 02:37 PM

20. Indeed, number 7 doesn't seem to know how DU works

 

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Response to arcane1 (Reply #20)

Tue Jan 20, 2015, 02:46 PM

22. Don't look at me. Juror number 4 bears my distinct style.

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Response to AtheistCrusader (Reply #22)

Tue Jan 20, 2015, 02:54 PM

23. LOL Indeed.

 



I was the alerter so I know I'm innocent

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Response to ismnotwasm (Reply #4)


Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Tue Jan 20, 2015, 12:28 PM

3. Does anyone know of one perjorative that has been successfully 'reclaimed'?

The only one I can think of (off the top of my head) is maybe 'queer'. Some AA people tried with the n-word, but I don't think that's been successful.

Of all the other gender/race insults, I can't think of any others.

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Response to Sheldon Cooper (Reply #3)

Tue Jan 20, 2015, 12:52 PM

5. I can't either and I might even debate the word queer. Gay, yes. I hear Gay a lot. Rarely, I hear

the word queer ...

the -n- word I hear on a daily basis as I work with blacks who use it in their conversations with each other.

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Response to Tuesday Afternoon (Reply #5)

Tue Jan 20, 2015, 01:12 PM

8. I was thinking along the lines of 'we're here, we're queer, get over it' etc.

I thought it was fairly common for gay men to refer to themselves that way. But of course I could be wrong and my apologies if I've offended anyone.

As far as the n-word, I am not AA so I can't say if they feel that it's been reclaimed. I do know there was concern in that community about attempts to reclaim the word.

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Response to Sheldon Cooper (Reply #8)

Tue Jan 20, 2015, 01:26 PM

9. I don't know about reclaim on any of these words. Just speaking to what I hear in my daily life.

I understand the Banner Slogan Queer and maybe that is sufficient to call reclaim

I do work with Gay men and women.

Maybe, I will ask them what they think and see what they have to say about Gay/Queer.

Seems that I hear them use the word Gay not Queer in their everyday vernacular.

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Response to Tuesday Afternoon (Reply #9)

Fri Jan 23, 2015, 05:23 PM

28. I use gay in my everyday talking.

But I see a lot with the word queer as well. Idk, I've noticed more people use the word gay as a pejorative than I have queer. Maybe it's just my age group and experiences, but nobody uses that word for pretty much anything except in protests/marches.

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Response to Tuesday Afternoon (Reply #5)


Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Tue Jan 20, 2015, 02:32 PM

18. darn. I missed all the fun.

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Response to Tuesday Afternoon (Reply #18)

Tue Jan 20, 2015, 02:37 PM

21. It's that asshole again

He cracks me up

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Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Thu Jan 22, 2015, 10:57 PM

27. Taking control of your own sexuality.

And somebody will call you a slut. Just because it's a convenient label with no definition.



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