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Let's slash the word "slut" from our vocabulary. Starting today and starting with Josh.

It seems like the kind of conversation we needn’t still be having in 2017 and yet, here we are.

Last night, on prime time television, a man called a woman a “slut”. On a reality cooking show, no less.

Josh Meeuwissen, the undisputed villain of the latest season of My Kitchen Rules, dropped the word at the dinner table, referring — apparently jokingly — to his fellow competitor Amy Murr.

She wasn’t impressed. In fact, she was visibly upset by the word, as were the several stony-faced women who stared down Broome’s self-appointed “Seafood King” as he chortled into his entree.

"Guys, didn't you hear? I made a joke." - Josh, basically. Source: Channel 7

Nobody called out the behaviour on air, but Murr told News Corp today, the comment "crossed the line".

"We all know that Josh is a bit of a sh*t-stirrer and likes to get reactions out of people by saying things he probably shouldn’t," she said.

"But that comment was taking it too far. To have him say that was quite upsetting."

Meeuwissen was slammed on social media and has since claimed he had over-stepped the mark after being pushed to play up his scumbag-side for the cameras.

Listen: This is why there's a huge problem with this season of My Kitchen Rules...

But the thing is, manufacturing drama for TV ratings is nothing new, so let's just spike that excuse right now.

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Murr light-heartedly teased Meeuwissen — cheekily using his own self-aggrandising title as she handed him his food — and he didn't like it, so he reached for a word to bring her down a peg.

Like it too often is for too many men, that word was a sexist slur—and it was sitting right there on top of his pile of retorts.

Women have a vexed history with the word "slut", we know what it means and why it hurts.

Once used in earnest to describe “messy, dirty, or untidy” women and girls, it wasn't always a loaded term but through centuries of use, or rather misuse, it became one.

Around the 15th century, "slut" became synonymous with "promiscuity", the idea that women have too much indiscriminate sex and that this is somehow a bad thing. Go figure.

Over the years it's been dolled out to any woman who dared to wear her skirt too short, enjoy sex a bit too much or even, heaven forbid, voice her opinions out loud.

It's a put-down for high school girls. It's snarled at feminists. It's spat at ex-girlfriends.

It's used to demean women, remind them of their station and blame them for their own abuse.

She was asking for it. What was she wearing? 

Slut-shaming is insidious, it's everywhere and it starts young. But this is nothing new, we know this.

Like many other slurs, the word "slut" has been reclaimed to some extent by those it oppressed (think: the global SlutWalk movement against victim-blaming and slut-shaming), many women now use it tongue-in-cheek, which is totally their prerogative.

Not so, Meeuwissen. It's a word he has no right to and "a joke" that absolutely isn't funny—perhaps he studied at the same school of humour where Eddie McGuire is captain.

Too often misogyny is masked with "humour" and letting it slide whether on TV, in the workplace or at a dinner party does us all a disservice.

It's time to stop it at the start. Let's slash the word "slut" from our vocabulary.

Starting today and starting with Josh Meeuwissen.

Listen to latest episode of the Binge in full below...

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