Guess what? Nothing has changed since we were in high school: The go-to insult for teen girls is still "slut." Same as it ever was, right? Now, as then, calling a girl a slut often has nothing to do with her sex life at all (if she even has one). So do teens still use the term as an all-purpose slam?
Whatever the reason, however it got to be this way, it needs to stop. It won't stop, I know that, but it would be a very, very good thing if it did.
Because girls need to stop degrading each other, of course, but for another reason too.
Basically, teen girls need to expand their vocabulary.
Yes, as the mom to a tweenage daughter, it bothers me that the Mean Girl phase seems inescapable (either being one or being the target of one). Obviously. Soon it will no doubt bother me enough to keep me lying awake at night.
But it also bothers me that teen girls are so limited and lazy that the only put-down they can come up with is a vague reference to promiscuity on par with whore, hooker, ho, or tramp. Or, matter of fact, go back a few decades (centuries) and it becomes apparent that female-specific slurs throughout history have been similar to slut: Lady of the evening. Loose woman. Harlot. Hussy. Tart. Trollop. Floozy.
Sheesh! I know this is going to sound strange, but when are we going to start insulting each other for something other than how often we get laid, ladies? Enough already.
Do you know what I mean? Naturally there are severe underlying issues here involving bullying and cruelty and self-esteem, but setting those aside, I don't like to consider what it says about teen girls -- about women, about gender roles -- that our #1 oh-no-you-didn't dig is STILL slut.
Why do you think teen girls always seem to call each other sluts?
Image via Ame Rainey/Flickr