What Does 'Slut' Mean, Anyway?

February 2, 2015 2:32 PM

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Slut and ho are remarkably confusing insults. As I researched the ways these labels inflict harm on girls and women for I Am Not a Slut: Slut-Shaming in the Age of the Internet, I quickly realized that there is no unanimity over their definitions. Their meanings are fluid and sometimes ambiguous.

When used with the intent to injure, slut means one who is disgusting, shameful, and out of control. But slut and ho may be understood in a positive sense -- as a girl or woman who is sexy and confident. Yet it's not always evident what the intent of the name-caller is -- though even when the intent...

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