For most women, the term ‘slut’ sends a shiver down our spine.
It might just be the worst insult you can use against a woman – yet you’d be hard-pressed to find a woman who has avoided being called one.
It’s an indictment of our character; a blatant appraisal of our morality. It means you’re out of control. You’re showy. Loose. Disgusting. Shameful. Cheap.
It’s a term of degradation that dehumanises the woman it is thrown at.
As Kathryn Westcott puts it for the BBC, “the intent behind the word is to wound”.
When a woman is labelled a ‘slut’, it hurts all women. There is, of course, no male equivalent.
How do you tell your 10-year-old daughter that what she’s wearing is not really appropriate? Mia Freedman speaks to Peggy Orenstein on No Filter. Post continues below.
So, how do you protect your daughter from being branded as one? Or from ‘inviting’ unwanted sexual attention? And, are they even questions we ought to be asking?
In a No Filter interview with Peggy Orenstein, author of the New York Times bestseller “Girls and Sex“, Mia Freedman posed a question so many women are terrified of asking:
“Is it ever okay to say to your daughter ‘you can’t wear that – it’s way too slutty?'”
Of course, Freedman’s intention is not to insult or degrade, but rather to protect her daughter from a world that sexualises young women. A world that she alone cannot change.