Reclaiming “Slut,” “Whore,” and Other Such Terms

There was a recent post on Feministing about reclaiming the word “slut,” and I have to admit it struck me in the wrong way, which used not to be the case.  When I was a teenager, I used “slut” and “bitch” frequently to refer to myself, which I considered reclaiming.  Now more power to you if you still want to do so, but I kind of get the heebie jeebies when I hear it.  Why?  For some reason, those words seem more steeped in the patriarchal culture than other reclaimed words like “queer” or “dyke.”  They just seem inherently hateful.  Of course, no word has inherent meaning, but I wonder if others get this sense as well.  With all the fake, anti-feminist “girl power,” the weird combination of purity balls + “slutty” grade school girls’ clothing, etc., I wonder if the “reclaiming” really is that, or if it’s just part of a mainstream attempt to use feminist language to keep girls firmly rooted in patriarchal thought.  Ideas?

Advertisements

One Response to Reclaiming “Slut,” “Whore,” and Other Such Terms

  1. Mary says:

    I agree, Judith— there is alot of fauxminist girls gone wild type of psuedoliberating language.

    I hear these terms in many different contexts- Are we talking about feminists using these terms to describe their own behavior? How can one describe a friend as a slut in a feminist way?

    Bitch—well we have an entire magazine honoring the term! For me these terms must be used in a very specific context to be feminist- Often times I feel like I have to overemphasize or allude to empowerment and/or assertiveness and gender equality in my use of it.

    This reminds me of the term “nigger”, can all terms become repurposed? There is so much history and pain tied to the term, even when I know an artist/writer/friend is using the word consciously and without malice, it is so difficult for me not to feel it is offensive.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: