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View Diary: Feminisms: One Is Too Many (Updated) (308 comments)

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  •  I hardly consider it a special term. (10+ / 0-)

    And I think that's what I'm saying there actually.

    •  no no (5+ / 0-)

      That's the thing. It's a bit subtle, and I am not playing gotcha, I am suggesting an examination, as it were. Why should there be a word for it any more than there's a word for people who have visited more than 10 foreign countries before marriage :) (to pick a normal but silly example). In other words, there's nothing wrong with 'slut' if you're talking 'Jane you ignorant slut' or among friends, but in the general discourse, these things actually matter... 'Not that there's anything wrong with that' suggests that people, including the speaker, probably think that there's something wrong with that (and try very hard to convince themselves otherwise). As opposed to just not saying that at all.

      •  Well, I think the discussion is one worth having (12+ / 0-)

        actually...and I've got quite a bit to say about it. I qualified it not because I see a problem but because indeed as you noted people in general do seem to have a problem with the term, or at least they have a particular definition that I wouldn't use myself.

        As for your example :-) I would call that person, "well traveled", but I get your point. I'm just being a bit of a smart-ass.

        I think slut is one of those words that is reclaimable in the sense that I do use it with friends and with my sisters in the way you have above. I also use it to refer to people (very important to note here that I use it for both genders) who are sexually promiscuous (the more generally accepted definition), but I generally note when I do that it isn't indeed meant as a judgment in any way. I think this is my attempt to sort of try and modify the way people interpret the term- if that makes sense at all. Mostly I'm just tired of seeing it solely applied to women and I'm tired of the negative connotations so I try to make efforts to change those as often as possible. Honestly this is a diary itself which I've considered writing...

        •  For what it's worth... (8+ / 0-)

          ...in my little sex-positive corner of the world, the word is owned in the same way -- like "queer", but less discriminating :}  That said, it's easier to say "I'm queer" on dkos than to say "I'm a slut."  Which is too bad.  As the late Kurt Vonnegut said, "Make love as much as you can.  It's good for you."

        •  Careful with that reclaiming. (7+ / 0-)

          I think we need a new word. I don't think you can erase the connotations from that one. For there will always be people that use the word "slut" as a demeaning insult. A new word helps us put that old one out to pasture and try to make it socially unacceptable.

          •  hmmmm... (4+ / 0-)

            ...maybe.  On the other hand, people who are arguing for ethical slutdom are a real community, at least in my part of the world (and in several others I've lived).  It's a specific stance -- ethical, spiritual, and moral -- that the expression of sexuality should not be constrained by traditional mores, and that we need some new ones (won by hard experience and care).  If you are inclined to use the word "slut" -- it's right there, and in terms of promiscuity or the traditional understanding of what relationships are supposed to be, it applies.  To reclaim it is to fall back on Ted Sturgeon's "ask the next question" -- as in, yeah, I'm a slut.  So what?  At the very least, some really smart and careful folks have reclaimed it already, and my embrace of the word is more than a small nod in their direction.

            While I have my own reservations/issues, they are fairly idiosyncratic and not worth dragging out in relation to the larger point (except to say I'm neither an exemplar or perfect advocate of the view).  

            •  I think the difference (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Elise, jessical, Rippen Kitten

              comes in the juxtaposition of special communities vs. the wider society. I think reclaiming only works when the word had an initial positive connotation that was abused. For instance, "feminism." I don't want a new word. It was a good word, it was abused, we need to make it good again.

              I think that to take the step of saying "Yes, I'm a slut. So what? Why do you ask?" would work on an individual basis, to get other individuals to not judge each other's specific sexual behavior, but I think that's a slower and tougher road than introducing a new word, give it positive connotation, and use it.

              I think it comes down to what your aims are. If your aims are to find a word that can positively connotate one who has sexual interactions with many people, then another word will do that. If you want to diffuse the word "slut," that's a different story.

              That being said, I do think that diffusing the word "slut" of its negativity would be an incredibly valuable thing.

              •  very well argued... (4+ / 0-)

                ...though I immediately go back to "queer" and the fact that the same arguement has been used in terms of reclaiming it...I think you're right on the largest level, "slut" is terribly amorphous, and invokes an archetype of sorts, rather than a class of people who should be respected and so on; whereas "queer" defines an easier to delineate (if in fact, equally amorphous) group.  I think the word "slut" has already been defused though, and largely owned -- at least in that portion of the world where I can freely exist, it's use is a commonplace.  

              •  I've got no problem with sluts. (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Elise, Pandoras Box, kath25

                In all honesty, I'd rather date a slut then someone who is afraid of their own desires and represses themself because she's worried that I might think they're a slut. Maybe I'm just weird, but I would have no problem with a girl I was dating hooking up while I'm not present simply because she feelt like getting laid and I wasn't around to do the job personally. I'd like to hear all the kinky details later, to be honest. However If I was dating someone and they deliberatly flirted with someone in front of me strictly to provoke a jealous reaction out of me, I'd roll my eyes and say "Whatever" and lose respect for them. Using random strangers as pawns is unethical, IMHO.
                The whole concept of open / monogamous relationships is gender neutral. Both partners need to be real with each other about their wishes. The last girl I hooked up with complained about an ex boyfriend who cheated on her, then asked me to keep our affair secret because she didn't want her new boyfriend to find out. Hello!?!?
                People just have to be real with each other. That's all.

                Just when they think they've got the answer, I change the question. -Roddy Piper

                by McGirk on Wed May 23, 2007 at 11:38:05 PM PDT

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          •  I agree (0+ / 0-)

            but what word?

            I was liberal when liberal wasn't cool

            by plf515 on Thu May 24, 2007 at 03:47:33 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Pea ess (5+ / 0-)

          I think we should call such individuals "well traveled."

          :-)

        •  Generationaly speaking, (0+ / 0-)

          I'm down with feminism, having grown up post segregation in a co-ed reality. I respect paleofems for all they did to make me the open minded person I am. That said, the ongoing obsession with terminology and assumed intentions of the language used by people, regardless of the context in which the words are used hinder the overall process of mutual acceptance today. The talking points from the 60's are stale and silly today from the perspective of someone born post the 60's. (And before I'm misunderstood, I'm ONLY criticizing the out dated talking points, NOT the beliefs behind them.) It is quite often overlooked that people less educated who work blue collar jobs will use terminology educated people would deem offensive, not because they are sexist, but because they are foul mouthed. I'm a bright open minded tolerant person living in the most progressive multicultural city on earth, San Francisco. That said, I often make off color comments consistent with my blue color Irish Catholic Bostonian upbringing. Not out of ignorance, but that's just how we talk where I grew up. And I can do it anywhere here in SF, people look past vernacular and look at intent behind the terminology.

          Just when they think they've got the answer, I change the question. -Roddy Piper

          by McGirk on Wed May 23, 2007 at 11:16:29 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

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