You hear it all the time-sometimes used in context, but most often not.

I’m in my final year at a state-run high school for girls. As you can imagine, the bitching is extreme, constant and undeserved: it is like the St Trinian’s of the day modern world; only perhaps more pretentious and in denial of the epidemic nastiness of the youngsters under its care.

The most frequently used insult is something of sexual shame to women everywhere-“she’s such a slut”, or “she’s such a whore” upon hearing of any kind of sexual activity by another girl-whether she be in our class, or on TV, that word echos relentlessly down the corridors.

Slut

Slut

Slut

It’s unhealthy to condemn women-and only women-for their private lives, regardless of how sexually active they are.

You must ask yourself, honestly, if you are part of the issue. And it’s okay if you are: it happens to the very best of us. We all get drawn into the magnetism of mainstream thinking from time to time. But, as human beings, the only lifeform capable of true intellectualism, we must stretch ourselves to challenge the expectations of wider society.

There is no harm in going through a promiscuous phase every once in a while. So long as both parties are above the legal age and the sex is consensual, it can be empowering. It is not just a sign of low self esteem and self harm-but, if done at a time in your life that suits you, can be quite the opposite.

So why is it only women that are shamed for exercising their rights as sexual beings? Firstly-and perhaps most obviously-religion. In the Bible, it was Eve that tempted Adam. In the Quran, women are told not to “show their charms” so as not to lead men astray. This concept, if closely analysed, is equally insulting to the male of the species-the vast majority of whom would be able to refrain from commiting a sexual offence if they found themselves madly attracted to someone of the opposite sex. They’d be disgusted by the notion.

All we have done is place ourselves into incredibly narrow boxes and gender stereotypes. Can either sex really be happy with their presentation by the media?

It is the complex set of beliefs belonging to fundamentalists that have been entwined into our everyday lives.

So, back to the initial point: there is nothing wrong with being a “slut”. But the word in itself is degrading, and it’s about time we wrote it off as a phrase of the past.

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