NYT is dictating our vocabulary again: Should ‘slut’ be retired?

The word “slut,” says Leora Tanenbaum, has changed.

Once largely derogatory, she writes in her new book, “I Am Not a Slut: Slut-Shaming in the Age of the Internet,” the word has become a way for girls and women themselves “to assert a positive, even defiant attitude about their sexuality.” Ms. Tanenbaum believes this assertion is misplaced — the word “slut,” she argues, is too dangerous to be reclaimed…

“The punishment of women for their sexuality is so deeply ingrained in our culture that I don’t think any facet escapes it,” Melissa Febos, the author of “Whip Smart,” a memoir of her time as a dominatrix, said in an interview. “As a woman who has always embodied disparate qualities (at least by social prescriptions of femininity), I have been policed my whole life. As a feminist/intellectual/queer I can’t do a lot of things — be a sex worker, wear makeup and heels, be bisexual, watch pornography, go on a diet, and so forth”…

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