slut shaming

arvan's picture

"Dad, I've been meaning to ask you: What's a 'slut'?"

(Image courtesy of Married to the Sea)

I was in the kitchen with our cis-gendered daughter of nine years age, a few weeks back.  She was eating her dinner and I was reading a post by Rabbit White.  Striking up a conversation, she asks me:

"Dad, I've been meaning to ask you - What's a 'slut'?"

Now, there's an ice breaker.  Of the many lessons my daughter teaches me ongoingly, perhaps the most noticeable is that the critical moments in our lives and relationships show up with no notice, no plan and no place to hide.  Intimacy, relatedness and honesty don't pussyfoot around.

So, I closed the laptop and looked at her.  I told her that it is an insult used on women, by people that want women to feel small, shameful and bad for being human and to tell women that they are not good.  I said that all mammals have sex and that humans are mammals.  I told her that in many cultures, women are insulted for a great many things, treated like property and denied the right to enjoy many (if not all) freedoms that men have. 

I said that I know some women who embrace the word themselves, to claim the right to enjoy their own lives as their own terms. 

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