Sluts In America: Reclaiming A Dirty Word

Katy Waldman observes: ‘It’s no secret that culture skirmishes can begin and end on the battleground of language. At stake these days is the constellation of terms surrounding reproductive rights. To some, women who utilize birth control are taking responsibility for their health and for the experience of the children they bring into the world. To others, those women are “sluts,” i.e. loose, promiscuous wenches. Enlightened men and ladies have spilled a lot of ink trying to kill off the derogatory epithet. But the newborn Sluts Across America project is taking a different tack: Instead of fighting a term that shows few signs of going anywhere—and one that felicitously gives Rush Limbaugh and rap artists something in common—they’re reclaiming it.’

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