“Slut” is a funny word. Not funny haha, but funny strange. The meaning and the power of the word changes drastically depending on who’s using it and to whom they’re speaking. Between some women friends, slut has become almost a term of endearment. Some women like to be called a slut in sexual situations only, because it turns them on. The word has even been re-purposed by women as a symbol of power and the freedom to have sex with who they want to when they want to (ie. The Ethical Slut or Toronto’s recent “slut walk”).

Now, maybe it’s the result of backlash against political correctness. Maybe it’s confusion. Possibly, it’s just straight-up douchebaggery. But it seems that men are still using the word “slut” as a means of shaming and judging women for their sexual practices and style of dress.

The Gloss anonymously interviewed seven men from different walks of life asking each, “What makes a woman a slut?” and posted the results yesterday. Among the indications of sluttiness cited were:

How many people she sleeps with a year
Dressing “trashy”
Sleeping with multiple men at one time
Not waiting long enough to sleep with a guy
Having sex with them on a first date

Wha? You’d call a woman a slut because she slept with you? Dude.

Aside from the obvious double-standard, the centuries of sexual repression and shaming women for daring to have a sex drive, and the host of other reasons that a statement like this is unfair, irresponsible and cowardly, you are contributing to a hostile and fearful dating environment.

If you don’t like the choices a woman makes about who she sleeps with and when, you are more than welcome not to sleep with her. But to continue to judge single women for having the audacity to sleep with who they want to — something that single men are generally congratulated for — is to perpetuate an antagonistic dynamic between the sexes that has seen its day.

If the ethical argument is lost on you here, think of it this way, guys — does it really benefit you to make women feel hesitant to express their sexuality?

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