Saturday, March 17, 2012

Call Me What You Will

In today's Wall Street Journal, columnist Peggy Noonan proclaims that there is a war against women in America: "They are the object of sexual slurs, and insulted in sexual terms. The words used are vulgar, and are meant to tear down and embarrass." She mentions "slut," "whore," "prostitute,"and "bimbo." I am not a soldier in this war, and besides that woman recently in the news for having been called a slut by Rush Limbaugh, I'm not sure who is.

First of all, how bad is it really to be called a slut? I can think of worse things. According to Webster's, a slut is "a slovenly or immoral woman." I then looked up slovenly, and it means "untidy, unclean, slipshod, negligent." Someone could call me that if they got angry enough, but anyone who has been to my home knows it's not the case. I am quite clean--in fact, if you can't find me, check the shower. As for being immoral, that's ridiculous--I know right from wrong, have never killed or robbed anyone, always tell the truth when it matters, have not drowned any puppies or any other small animals, and don't make fun of those less fortunate than I. (Sure, I say bad things about fat people but it's for their own good, really.) The worst I do is use the handicapped bathroom when there's no handicapped people around.

So--I am not a slut. As for "prostitute"or "whore," I have never received payment for sex, so those don't apply. I am neither attractive enough nor dumb enough to be called a "bimbo" and honestly, I think of "bimbo" as a compliment. Back in my single days, before AIDS and with a glass of wine in me, I considered myself "loose" or "easy"--not all the way to "trampy" but certainly on the way. The bottom line is, I don't care what sexual terms anyone hurls at me. Calling me "granny," "asshole," "4-eyes" and "hack" stings way more than "slut," but even those are just flesh wounds.

Words are simply sounds people make that come out of their mouths, sort of like dogs barking or crows cawing. Who cares? In fact, don't get me started on the all those words you can't say--we all know what they are. They're all just grunts people make, but some are politically incorrect at this very moment in history. (When I was in high school, Class of '64, a "fag" was just a nerdy kid with a slide rule and plaid pants.) You can say "bigger, digger, jigger, tigger, rigor and vigor, but if you say you-know-what, which rhymes with all those words, you are scum, slime, and possibly a slut. It's just plain dumb. It's stupid, moronic, untenable and unthinkable. Fatuous, inane, silly and asinine. It's retarded.

Oops, sorry.


13 comments:

  1. An author saying that words don't matter. This will take a while to ponder.

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  2. Keith: (Just this morning I wondered why you never comment anymore, and worried that you had stopped reading!) Anyway, as you know from my Scrabble playing habits, I love words and love using them. I'm just saying that for me, they lack the capacity to wound. After all, if instead of crashing planes into the World Trade Center on 9/11, our enemies had simply hurled insults and not killed 3,000 people--who would remember today?

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  3. I for one have fought tirelessly against three things; women's shoulder pads, crooked horizon lines in photos and illustrations, and incredibly ugly art/illustrations. o the three I can proudly report success in the first of my endeavors: the death of shoulder pads for women. I continue in my lonely battle against the last two abominations,one of which is unfortunately evidenced as an (uncredited) illustration in you delightful blog

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  4. and what is wtc? what the crap? and don't tell me you (ms or mister anonymous) single-handedly killed the shoulder pads.....how can you take credit for fashion fads?
    and some words hurt....when it comes to "soul".....

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  5. using these words represents the fact that women in our society are still viewed as property of man and their only purpose in life is to gain access to the property of men. the words don't specifically hurt, but the idea that we still live in a property driven patriarchal culture does. the word slut or whore implies that it is a woman's responsibility to only have sex for reproduction purposes, with one man, so that one man can claim both the woman and child as his property. that's what's wrong with an old man publicly calling a woman "slut".

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    1. With all due respect, seriously: Your comments are gobbledygook, nonsense and political double-talk. I guess you are a Democrat. Female Supreme Court justices, Senators, congressional leaders, Governors, business leaders and billionaires, childless if and when they choose, abound. Women have sex with zillions of partners all the time and nobody gives a hoot! You missed the whole point of what Rush meant.

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    2. this is Rebecca, I'm not a democrat I'm just personally tired of being called a slut.

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    3. All the more reason to believe that name-calling is ridiculous! You are certainly not a slut in any sense of the word, you are an intelligent and beautiful young woman. Whoever may have called you that was surely not worth the ground you walk on! (Sorry for calling you a Democrat, but in many circles that is a very good and admirable thing to be!)

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    4. I agree, for someone like you or me it's just words, but to a teenage girl I think that kind of language can be really confusing and cause a lot of trauma. Also, I happen to be reading a book on this topic at the moment, so I feel extra compelled to engage in the "slut" conversation. love your blog per usual though :)

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  6. ** but that's not to say that I don't always appreciate your voice and get a kick out of your blog!

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  7. WTC: How about collaborating with me? I could use some of your fabulous illustrations, of course giving credit where credit is due. And by the way, ever since you pointed out my hideous omissions I have always included the credits, but alas... today's had none.

    As for this being a patriarchal society where women only have access to property through men: Tell that to Oprah Winfrey!

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  8. Wtc: You don't have to sign anymore, I can tell when it's you!

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