Do these photos make me look like a whore?
So there’s this thing we do as women — and in this discussion it’s worth noting that I’ve been called a whore by dozens of women to my face, but never, ever by a man — and that’s that when we get angry because another woman has something we don’t, we call her a whore or a slut.
I get it — it’s easy to do; I’ve done it too. I bet for a lot of us it’s a reflexive place to go when we want to be cruel.
Because we’re told that these words are devaluing and are a central wound to female identity. We’re told that if we can identify other people as sluts, we can know we’re not. And it can make us feel like we have something, that we’re better, while we’re busy being pissed about the things we don’t have.
And those things we don’t have? Almost never have anything to do with the other woman. How can you be angry at someone for dating a dude you’ve never met? Or having a job in a field you’ve never pursued?
I’ve been called a slut or a whore a lot. Sometimes because people are jealous, or find my very real arrogance and vanity off-putting. Sometimes because people actually do disagree with the choices I’ve made and feel that our personal moral codes should be identical.
But here’s the thing, I’ve actually been a whore — like, as a profession — or at least in the whore ball park. So I know what whore is — a nasty word for a boring job that people fling around at women because they don’t like how they conduct their bodies, their hearts or their ambitions.
These pictures above? Don’t actually make me look like a whore. But I’m starting to learn to be proud when someone calls me one. It usually means I must be doing something right.
So if you have an impulse to call someone a whore because of your own frustrations? Knock if off. It’s rude, inaccurate, and furthers societal bullshit that harms everyone.
And if you’re really unlucky? The woman in question may have the good sense to take it as a compliment. I hope she does.