If You Don’t Have Anything Nice to Say…

Image from Psychology Today

I am sure we all remember being told at some point during childhood that if you didn’t have anything nice to say then you shouldn’t say anything at all. Apparently that particular lesson didn’t stick very well. More and more I am noticing people’s casual use of demeaning words like “slut”, “whore”, and “ho”. Not just men but women. What’s most disturbing about this trend is that women get angry when men call them names or degrade them but they seem just fine to do it to each other.

I just read an article on the Choices Campus Blog, about women’s use, and especially our generation’s use of derogatory terms and how they have become so common in our society. In her article, Jacqui Logan, talks about how the continuation of using these slurs is creating problems like reinforcing the idea that gendered insults are okay. Logan raises some really good points and after reading her article, I kept thinking about how much my generation uses terms like “slut” and “bitch” and some other creative terms that wouldn’t be appropriate for this blog.

In some ways I feel as if it has become so normal to call each other “bitch” (in a mean way or casually) or to label someone a “slut” or a “whore” because of what they were wearing or how they were acting that we don’t really think about what it means. I can’t tell you how many times while talking to a girlfriend they would say that some girl was a “slut” because she was wearing a skimpy outfit or they would refer to their own behavior as being “slutty” because they made out with a random guy while at a party. Why do we do this to each other and ourselves?

In terms of how some woman dresses, aren’t we trying to get across the message that no outfit condones derogatory behavior or sexual assault but then we continue to call each other “sluts” for the exact same thing? Or how about some girl hooking up with a guy? Why do people call her a “slut”? If you think about it there isn’t a male version of that insult. Part of fighting for equality includes fighting for the abolishment of double standards especially when it comes to sexuality. With society perpetually pressuring women to be virtuous and to not engage in sex as freely as men having been doing for centuries or at least not to openly talk about it, you would think that instead of buying into the “slut”/“whore” labeling we would stand up for each other and embrace our own and our friends sexuality.

No woman should be made to feel ashamed of herself, demeaned, or be called any type of derogatory slurs, but it happens. But perhaps instead of doing it to each other and giving a bad example for society, we should choose our words more carefully. Call me crazy but I believe that we as women face enough challenges without creating division and competition between ourselves and hurting each other.


One Comment

  1. Katherine
    Posted June 22, 2010 at 1:04 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I think if you read just a couple of the articles posted this week you can see the “disturbing” trend that one might call “really bad behavior” of both sexes. (From “A Disturbing Trend” to the “Miller Lite, Man Up” to this current article.) Too many of both sexes talking trash talk about each other and sometimes themselves, everyone being “out of control” with their sexuality with media and music just feeding the beast. But the main point is, WE THE PEOPLE, BY THE PEOPLE, do have the power to change our behavior, change/clean-up our trashy media and music and behave better. Since it is us, essentially, that make our society/life what it is and will be… Do we really want to live where fear and abuse are the norm and happiness and joy are just a dream. I believe in people and that people are generally good but we are not holding each other accountable to good behavior. Girls/Women need to hold other girls/women to a higher standard and the same for boys/men and vise versa. This perspective is coming from a young, single in the city, lady who continues to struggle in this “fast-paced” dating market. I have even heard from some of my smart and good-looking guy friends, one commented that “You just don’t date too much or you will get jaded”. What does that say? Both sexes are not being good to each other these days and we need each other more than we realize. We need good girlfriends and guy friends, partners, lovers, husbands, wifes, moms, dads, etc… I am always asking myself, “Where am I going with my life?” and “Where are we going as a society?” I hope that we will start realizing that each of us is unique and have purpose in this life and that we all impact each other and our future generations. Bad behavior is no excuse…

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