"Oh, I'm happily married but...."
"I take birth control for medicinal reasons......"
"I'd never have an abortion myself....."
Slut is a throwback to the idea that a woman is nothing but her vagina, and her value decreases with the amount of sex she gives away free. If you buy into that shit, you're endorsing various primitive and arch fundamentalist religions all over the Globe, that view loss of virginity before marriage to be a sin, and sometimes a crime worthy of death.
Abstinence only classes teach that condoms don't work, that you get used up the more sex you have----but only for girls!----and that boys will be boys. And, asshole, if you try that thing where you claim that slut applies to men, you're too stupid to live.
A slut is a woman who has sex freely and flouts the conventions. A slut is a woman that married women blame for breaking up their marriage, like she wasn't married to the guy, not the other woman. I always think about this when I encounter women who are constantly taking time off from work to do this or that for their kids, too. Where's the hubbie? Why isn't he doing it? Why am I a party to their marriage?
Slut is a really bewildering term that has essentially no value as a descriptor. Does she bounce checks? Kick puppies? Set fires? Listen to Rush Limbaugh? Some women may sleep around as a sign of low self esteem or just because they want no strings sex, but for eons, the threat of pregnancy out of wedlike or a time when the father couldn't be her spouse kept women cautious. Of course, only in very rare circumstances were men punished when they sought sex from women who had a lot to lose, if not everything. Sex was seen as the act of dirtying up a woman, unless she was your wife, in which case the sex was boring.
The label of slut leaves a woman defending herself against a charge that can be devastating. The only other option seems like it's to protest the exact opposite but this only plays into the notion that women have two speeds: slut or virgin. It's a mistake to use this framework, obviously. Say you're a slut. Embrace the label. Don't talk about numbers, talk about 'what the fuck is wrong with you, jerkwad?"
The same thing goes for the other two. Say it: "I use birth control because I don't want to have unplanned pregnancies." Of course some people think you shouldn't fuck unless you want babies, and you shouldn't fuck outside of marriage. You can see how closely these go hand in hand for some people. Rush Limbaugh would make a great stoning committee member for punishing alleged adulterous women. Even though he didn't finish college, he's still got numerous material advantages over your basic Afghani tribesman, who suffers from a lack of education, nutrition, information, and often times, hope. That means there's no excuse for anybody to buy into this shit.
Last but not least is the dreaded, "Well," pause, I'd never have an abortion myself but that's okay for other people." This is endorsing the idea that abortion is bad. It's not. It saves lives, keeps families planned, and gives women freedom from the burden of constant pregnancies. There's nothing wrong about it all. I don't think it should be safe, legal, and rare. I think it should be safe, legal in every way that women need and want, and as often as necessary, for whoever wants it. Some people should not have kids. The notion that women are naturally mothers is bullshit, forced on women by patriarchs who found a way to make women feel both incredibly guilty and insecure. I'm not even going to pander to morons by saying---as I had to to the yuppie moms at Feministe----that critiques of social views of motherhood have nothing to do with mothers themselves. I sense that some of the moms there are 'you homewrecker!' type in a lot of situations, if you know what I mean. Why? Beats me. Maybe---like the moms who used to have to take lots of time off for their kids while their hubby didn't do squat----they're afraid of arguing with the hubs. Maybe it's easier arguing with other women----and if they invoke motherhood the right way, they can make childfree people look bad. Nobody goes around telling guys they need to have kids or they won't be real men.
There's a lot of other things that the fundies think is shameful, but these people think sex itself is shameful. If they had their way, people would be celibate entirely before marriage, fuck only to have kids during marriage, then abstain once reproduction was no longer possible. And women would have as many babies as they could, at least until it killed them----and if they were good white Xtian women. (Do I need to put a sarcasm tag here? If so, this might not be the blog for you.)
So I'm a slut. You know what? That word doesn't have any power over me. "You're a slut, ginmar."
"Yeah, and?" or
These sexist words are held in reserve to use on women, and in some cases they have real power over women, or their reputation. Whenever possible, though, embrace them. Pulls the rug right out from under the asshole. Well, hell, they whipped out their secret weapon and the bitch effortlessly deflected it! Now what?
"You're a bitch."
"Aw, that's one of the nicest things anybody's ever said about me."
"Er.....so? You're an asshole. I wouldn't have to be a bitch if you weren't such a dickdropping."
"OMG, you're a baby killer."
"You betcha. In fact, I'm not even pregnant, but I'm going to have an abortion just to fuck with you."
"Tastes like chicken! Yummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!"
Anti-choice assholes---yeah, 'pro-life' my ass----often whip out all three of these thins at women seeking abortion. This is because sex is only to have a baby, and here's this woman who's obviously fucked somebody, getting rid of it. That everyone should live by their standards is a foregone conclusion with these people; they feel they are the best people in the world, the most moral, the most upright, the most beloved by God, and probably they also think that it's not arrogance, but an accurate opinion of themselves. They think they're going to be raptured. They think they're going to ascend bodily into heaven. Converting or controlling other people gets them God brownie points. Alleviating peoples' suffering? Oh, no, they need to suffer to learn a valuable lesson. Really, it's very altruistic of the Xtians. Other peoples' suffering put those folks on the road to a torture-induced conversion, which gets you the toaster in the 'compete for cash and prizes" form of Xtianity.
Strangely, their victims are unappreciative. This is one of the dark strands in the fundie hatred against health care. People just aren't suffering enough. If the Xtians didn't get out of suffering themselves, then they're determined that nobody else should have it better. Compassion is for.....actually, Jesus was pretty fond of it. But let's just ignore all that inconvenient stuff.
Suffering of women can have a particularly satisfying bite, because they're having sex that the fundies didn't get to have, and besides, if they offer her any help at all----even though they have no intention of actually following through-----they're so much better than they actually could be. So they're only as good as they have to be. Otherwise, they're always looking for wiggle room.
Fight back. Knock the legs out from under them. Make them prove why it's bad----when it's not. What is bad is claiming to be virtuous and Xtian while being a sadistic, duplicitous prude.
Go forth and let me go lie in bed and whine because the whole throwing up thing is back, close on the heels of speculation about Rush Limbaugh's sex life. Sandra Fluke didn't make me throw up.