My slut amulet –
it has super powers!

My name is Kendra Holliday, and I am a slut.

I was first called a slut by my mom when I was in high school, because I was a promiscuous punk rock girl. It hurt me deeply at the time, but now that I’m an adult in my 30’s, I’ve removed the stigma from the word and have repurposed it into something positive.

SO many words have negative connotations – hedonism, bald, aberrant, bipolar, fat, crazy, slut, old – but they don’t have to be bad words. We can strip them of the judgment and embrace the honest kernel of truth in each one.

You see, we have that power. We have the power to disarm hurtful words and shape our language. It’s easy turning verbal bullets into flowers. All you need to do is change your mindset, and that is completely within your power. You may not be able to control other people’s behavior, but you do have control over your feelings and can shape your own environment.

So what if the dictionary defines the word “slut” as “a slovenly, dirty woman”? How about the urbandictionary definition? “A slut is a woman with the morals of a man.” Or the definition from The Ethical Slut: A Practical Guide to Polyamory, Open Relationships & Other Adventures:”A slut is a person of any gender who has the courage to lead life according to the radical proposition that sex is nice and pleasure is good for you.”

I define slut as a person who embraces their sexuality creatively, without guilt or shame.

My amazing partner proudly uses the word “slut” as a term of endearment for me. It’s right up there with “darling,” and “My Love.”

He is not afraid of sluts the way some people are. The sad fact is, in our society there are people who will try to repress – or punish – women who are outspoken about their sexual creativity. It makes them uncomfortable – if she is in charge of her own sexuality, then what? What will she become in charge of next?

Let’s go back to my mom who mercilessly slut shamed me when I was a teenager. She is crazy. And I mean that in the kindest way possible. She has suffered from severe mental illness for over 30 years. Instead of bitterly dwelling on the past, she and I have made peace and accept each other for who we are. Show compassion and forgive the people who try to hurt you, because THEY are the ones who are hurting and ignorant.

The guy I broke up with who spray painted SLUT on the side of my car and slashed two of my tires? He was hurting, and lashed out at me in anger. Do you know what anger is? Anger is an immature response to not getting your way. (Gasoline removes spray paint quite well, by the way.) I cleaned my car and bought new tires that same day. Try as he might, he didn’t keep me immobile for long.

We must be strong and not allow others hold us back. It is our duty to educate our brethren and demonstrate in a firm but peaceful manner that we will not be intimidated into submission.

That is what SlutWalk is about. It gives a powerful voice to minorities. There is strength in numbers.

I am proud to be a part of SlutWalk.

I am even prouder of the thousands of people around the world who are standing up together and moving forward.

We are in charge. Trust us, we know what’s best for ourselves.

To find out more about SlutWalk and to see if a SlutWalk will be happening in your city, please visit the main SlutWalk Toronto website. St. Louis will be celebrating on July 16! Join the movement here.

Comments

Mon Mon 2011-06-02 09:52:38

Beautiful, beautiful article. Your voice is so strong and proud. The sentiment is something I understand and believe as well. Well done.

Reply

Sonora 2011-06-03 22:08:55

I’m tickled that a Slutwalk is planned for July 2nd in Denver. I’ll be there with bells on, and maybe little else, but we’ll see. Thank you for adding your words and infamy to the cause. It’s not, after all, about how many sex partners you have but the fact that you CHOOSE each partner and maintain and retain control over your own body. I’m pleased to reclaim the word SLUT. And I’m pleased to be your friend, Kendra.

Reply

EvanderS 2011-06-13 22:07:24

Re-purposing language works for people in the BDSM community… but it actually works to isolate the community (which can be good) and alienates the wider community (which can also be good).

But I find it confusing why people on the inside try to communicate to people on the outside using these Re-Purposed words.

Eg. The word “slave”. It has such a rich context in the community… outside the community it… is impossible to use because of the collective trama… and it is triggering.

Slut is a word that makes something beautiful out of something that is awful… I get it. However… most of the world isn’t going to get it.

Goddess… Priestess… these are words that have a better shot at conveying a sexually confident woman who may or may not live monogamously. People a much more open minded about this re-appropriation because it doesn’t convey the emotional torment of slavery, slut, bastard, whore.

Reply

    Lionman 2011-06-30 20:20:31

    While the majority might not get it immediately, the purpose is to educate about the issue and desensitize the word SLUT. Language evolves, meanings change and the directions are determined by the bold and connected individuals.

    Reply

Mon Mon 2011-06-15 14:52:54

I’m also excited about the SlutWalk in Denver and plan to attend as well. I get what Evander is saying too and agree. I know, I’m weird.

I know I’m a slut, I love being a slut and frankly I don’t give a damn if the world in general cares or doesn’t care about me being a slut. I love the title of slut for ME. When my lover uses it in a teasing, loving or sexy way, I’m tickled pink.

BUT if someone else called me slut and meant it in the bad way a majority of the world means it, I’d be sad for them thinking the had the right to judge ME for any reason. I wouldn’t waste time worrying what they meant because again, why should I care what they think of me without even knowing me?

I don’t always try to explain to non-swinger, non-poly, non-open people that being a slut can be a healthy expression of sexual confidence and sexual freedom. Because some people don’t want to get it. They just want to look down on you and feel superior to you. Whatever.

Reply

Antikythera 2011-06-19 14:55:11

“Crazy” is another one that needs reclaiming. I know you said you were using it in the kindest possible way, but it came across as though you thought your mother’s slut-shaming came from her mental illness. Plenty of sane people are slut-shamers too, and lots of us crazy people are sluts and fans thereof. 😉

Reply

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