Here's Why Women REALLY Call Each Other the 'S' Word


looking out windowLet's talk about sluts, shall we? Oh -- did everyone just sit up at the edge of their seat in anticipation? Women seem to harbor a special place in their hearts for the "she's a slut" conversation. In fact, women slut-shame each other on Twitter almost as frequently and cruelly as men do. But here's the weird thing -- when women call each other the S-word, it's often not even about sex.

I'm going to pull out the "according to science" card for this one.  Ahem! In a recent study, researchers looked at how women use the word "slut." They found out it means different things to different women, depending on their background and values. So, what do we talk about when we talk about slutty women? There are three different things.

1. We're saying the other woman isn't "one of us." For wealthier women, it's the opposite of "classy" and can have more to do with your hair, clothes, and style than what you do with guys. It's about your failure to be a good social climber. Less wealthy women use the word for women who are snobby or exclusive, because they value being down-to-earth more.

Researcher Elizabeth A. Armstrong told The Atlantic, "If you want to make a young woman feel bad, pulling out the term 'slut' is a surefire way to do it. It’s 'she isn't one of us, we don't like her and she's different.'" And it can have nothing to do with the woman's real sexual history -- although getting slandered with that label sure does imply it.That's what stings.

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2. We're spreading untrue rumors or straight-up lying. The researchers heard a lot of stories about the girl who slept with the whole basketball team or the girl who has group sex. But the thing is, no one actually does that. The mythical sluts in those stories didn't actually exist, the researchers found.

3. We're trying to feel better about ourselves. Oh women, this is the worst. As Armstrong put it, "You can't be good unless someone else is bad." That's what's really at the root of all this nastiness among women. We're just pushing someone else down to boost our self-esteem. It's a cheap trick. 

Well shame on us! Slut-shaming doesn't elevate anyone. It just brings us all down.

Think about it -- what does it really matter to you if a woman has sex with lots of other people, really? As long as she's not having sex with your significant other, what the hell difference does it make to your life? Why do we care so much about the idea of sexual purity for women, especially since we don't care as much about the sexual purity of men?

Why do you think women call each other that name?


Image © Erica Shires/Corbis


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Elaine Cox

women hate each other..we have lots of shaming going on these days and we all doing it to each other

AliPa... AliParker

To me a slut is someone that sleeps around excessively. With whoever, whenever. I'm very neutral with men and women, a slut can be a guy or a girl. But I also think as long as people are being safe and respectful it shouldn't matter how many people you sleep with. I don't care if it's a different guy or girl every night. If you're safe, happy and not sleeping with people you shouldn't be then do as you please.

And I agree with Elaine Cox. Most women try and hurt the feelings of other women all day every day. You dress differently, parent differently, don't drive the same car as them, have an iPad instead of a tablet. Anything to allow them to bitch and bicker.

nonmember avatar Bo

Feminism needs to effing die---NOW! If you don't wanna be called a sloot don't act or behave like one.Go back to your women's studies manual and try again.BTW women say 10 times worse to guys ALL THE TIME,so get over it.

nonmember avatar blue

Nope. If I call someone a slut (rare,) it's because they sleep with anything that has a pulse. That's for men OR women.

nonmember avatar NO

#rapeculture is when you ask the victim what they were wearing.

nonmember avatar NO

You say not all men are monsters?
Imagine a bowl of m&m. 105 of them are poisoned.
Go ahead. Eat a handful.
Not ALL m&ms are poison.

BGarcel BGarcel

Bo has missed the poont (lol sorry). The article is about how women call each other sluts without the target woman ever actually behaving like a slut. It has very little to do with feminism and please... if the women in your life has said 10 times worse to you all the time then it's probably you and not them. Guys and girls are more or less even on insulting each other, but girls insult each other a lot mroe than guys do.

On a more personal note, while I was in high school, calling your friends sluts was more along the same lines as calling them your bitches. In other words, it wasn't meant to be insulting and instead was a way to call them your girls, your friends.

nonmember avatar Really?

What is the word that "men" use to call themselves for sleeping around again? Is it "player" "playa"? lol

DAMN! Women are too stupid to realize THEY are their WORST enemy. SAD SAD SAD

AliPa... AliParker

BGarcel- "poont" made me actually laugh out loud. That was hilarious.

nonmember avatar kel

or sometimes they are just sluts. mainly I think of a slut as someone who knowingly sleeps with a taken man. a woman who had a lot if sex isn't really a slut, she just likes sex. but when she crosses the line to being a homewrecker, let the slut shamIng begIn. for the slutty man too

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