Saturday, February 9, 2008

Slut

It's used to be a dirty word; used for the lowest of the low. It was descriptive of a certain woman but mostly a slur.

One of our Colorado legislators used the word on Wednesday. He was talking about unmarried pregnant teens. Now he is going to be in trouble for it. It was the wrong word to use.

"In my parents' day and age, they were sent away, they were shunned, they were called what they are, there was at least a sense of shame. There's no sense of shame today. Society condones it ... I think it's wrong. They're sluts. And I just don't mean the women. I mean the men too."
Rep. Larry Liston
As I read the story in the paper, I was reminded of a book I recently read called Prude. In one chapter, it talked about the current use of the word slut. Among many young and college age kids, the word is commonly used and almost a badge of honor. If you were to look at MySpace you would see the commonness of the word. Guys use it toward girls, girls use it towards girls and girls use it toward themselves. With all that, it's hard to understand the outrage when the word is used close to it's intended meaning.

I wonder if the reason for much of the outrage is that the legislator inferred there is something wrong with being unmarried and pregnant.

He also raised the issue that Colorado essentially subsidizes teen pregnancy. On that point, I would agree with him. Many young girls know that a baby is a ticket to a free house, grocery and spending money. For many it is a generational thing; mom and grandma did the same thing. Boyfriend can move in and they get to play house.

Anyway, he will end up eating his words. It's too bad he messed up. We do need a discussion of the issues he raised. We shouldn't make unmarried teen pregnancy a smooth ride. On the other hand we don't want to create such a stigma that abortion becomes the only way out.

Philip

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