Monday, December 12, 2011


I saw the following on one of those ubiquitous Facebook ‘like’ pages the other day:

That slut that will never learn until she gets a good kicking.

This kind of thing makes me really sad. People throw around words like ‘slut’ and ‘tramp’ and it’s terrible. It’s complete double standards. You rarely hear men being described as ‘sluts’. You hear ‘man whore’ but it’s used in a positive light for the most part.

It’s awful when girls describe other girls as ‘sluts’. You can sleep with whoever you want and you can do it as often as you want. If you practice safe sex, great. If not, that’s a real shame, but it doesn’t make you a slut. If you sleep with every boy you meet, so what? That’s your personal choice and it shouldn’t be up for public speculation.

If you sleep with a boy who’s already in a relationship, you’re not a slut. It’s not a particularly nice thing to do, but it doesn’t make you a slut. I read a quote a while ago that said, ‘Since when is a woman responsible for a man’s self-control?’ It’s a good question. It doesn’t justify you sleeping with someone who’s in a relationship, but it at least highlights that a big part of the issue was that the man or boy had little or no self-control. You are not a slut.

Girls are constantly vilifying other girls. Stop it. We still live in quite a patriarchal society, and we probably always will. Surely we should celebrate each other as women and girls and not spread vitriol and hate against people we are jealous of or people whose behaviour we deem ‘immoral’? Lying is immoral, stealing is immoral, killing is immoral. Having sex is not immoral.

I think that Ireland especially is still quite stunted in terms of being able to openly discuss sexuality. We talk about it now, we say the word without blushing or stuttering, but we still think that one night stands and multiple sexual partners are bad things. They’re not. Sex is an enjoyable act. Do it, enjoy it, have fun with it. As long as you’re being safe, using a condom as well as whatever other form of contraception you want, do it.

Sex, sexuality, and sexual orientation are personal. They are fluid. Some people are gay, some people are bi, some people don’t feel comfortable in the gender role assigned to them by society. Some people have sex with girls, some people have sex with boys, some people have sex with both. No one should feel as though they have to fit the mould for a ‘good’ person. It’s all very arbitrary and old-fashioned. Ignore it. Do what you want. Do what’s right for you. Don’t feel like you have to behave a certain way to please other people and to meet other people’s ideas of what you should be.


  1. This is an excellent post. I absolutely agree. And you phrased it very well.

  2. Fantastic. Absolutely fantastic. Well done :)


  4. I haven't heard this song in years. I love it: I love everything about it. It's empowering in a really down-to-earth way. x

  5. Ever the argumentative agitator I would like to offer a different reading of sexual promiscuity. You do suggest a 'two to tango' approach which is absolutely valid and pretty objective if I do say so myself. However, the bone of contention I hold is that women are responsible for their own control; without digressing too much (and also I'm only bringing this in as a reference not a personal belief) some women flaunt what they have for attention and self fulfillment (which is fine if that's all it is to them - until something goes wrong, and then it is always the males fault). I think it's wrong to preach that sex is all peace and love and that everybody should lose all inhibition, it's great that certain people can, and it suits them but it can't apply to everybody surely? Sex and sexuality are two very different things and without being comfortable discussing both I think it's immaterial whether the word slut or tramp is thrown around. This debate is literally biblical and it incites arguments and arguably comparisons to 'the oldest profession in the world'; prostitution. So if we were to consider patriarchal society I'd argue that while we can't all have sex and be free beings without constraint there is a certain influence from history imposed upon women that satisfy various men (because lets face it, who asks about female satisfaction apart from feminists). In theory you could read this in as many schools of thought as there are, there are elements of Marxism and everything else on both sides. I just don't like seeing an argument go unchallenged, interesting theory. Good luck!

  6. I really love this post so much. It's very true, I know I villify girls too but I think a lot of it is to do with how girls portryed as 'sluts' present themselves. I personally enjoy sex but I really do not like girls, or lads for that matter, who behave in an overly sexual manner. :)

  7. Why can't you post the criticisms of this post as well as the compliments?

  8. Anon, sorry for taking so long to publish and reply to this comment. I've been busy, and trying to think of a sort of intelligent-sounding answer - I didn't want to publish the comment and then leave it unanswered for weeks. Sorry if it seemed like I was only publishing the positive comments. That wasn't the case - I left some other positive comments unpublished since then as well.

    So it seems like we're in agreement up to a point. I agree that some women flaunt what they have - as do some men. I don't think that there's anything wrong with that. We definitely live in a rape culture and some people will argue that the way women dress and behave contributes to this but I disagree: 'no' means 'no'. I do think that words like 'slut' and 'tramp' contribute to this culture, and I think they are a huge part of the debate. You say that not everyone feels comfortable with being sexually free or whatever, and I agree, that's fine. But words like 'slut' are used to vilify those people who are comfortable being sexual.

    I'm not sure where prostitution comes into this though?

    Thank you for your comment - I don't like seeing an argument go unchallenged either. :)

  9. My prostitution theory is a digression of the words that villify. Look back through history, Shakespeare, Chaucer, The Bible...

    Women have always been spurned for their sexual misdeeds; Whore is just a modern interpretation on older words such as Strumpet or Harlot. the etymology of the words alone show that not much has been lost in translation.

    Whores have been suggested as being a gender sold for slavery through germanic countries/prostitutes/aldulterers

    So my point is, if the word originally was intended to describe the very thing you are wishing to disassociate why should whore not carry as much weight now as it did then. To have sex with a taken person is adultery and therefore attaches a whore stigma.

    Likewise sleeping with whoever you want may not particularly be a bad thing but those who did historically, have always been vilified as those who do not contribute to certain spheres of society.

    Again, these are not my beliefs just challenges to further your thought process.

  10. Wow , really wow . This is the most honest thing i have heard about sex in all my life . Emma keep doing these amazing blogs , they are such a bright and positive look on life compared to how dark others make life out to be . i'll be honest , i never ever read blogs , i have glanced over a few but yours are the only ones that really interest me . great work emma :)

    1. Thank you so much! :) What a lovely comment! x


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