Thursday, 9 September 2010

Slut.


Okay, I might have been wrong (I frequently am) but I'm pretty sure a girl walked past me yesterday and said, under her breathe "slut."
I was so shocked that I turned round to look at her, but her and her friend had already walked off. I convinced myself I was just hearing things, but I'm almost 100% sure that was what she said.
I was dressed in black shorts, okay short-shorts, but with demure black opaque tights, boots and a long sleeved top. Neither my legs nor my cleavage were on show.
But still, I was called a slut.
I hadn't spoken to this girl, I hadn't even met her. I don't think we even made eye contact.
But she decided on the basis that I was wearing shorts to class. And I was hardly the only girl wearing shorts- I saw a few other girls that day in sports-shorts without tights. But it was me who was the slut.
To be a little fair, the dress code for girls at UMD is jeans and something pertaining to the school football team- tshirt, hoodie etc. I count all the girls on my walk to class yesterday, about 15 minutes, and saw one girl not dressed in jeans. But this is beside the point- not wearing jeans does not a slut make.
It made me think about all the times we judge people of their clothing. God, how many times have I uttered the word "slut" is reference to a girl in a nightclub in a barely-there dress? Or deemed someone boring on the basis on their past-the-knee skirts and jumpers?
I guess it's just different when it's directed at you. Or overheard by you.
Slut is probably the most comment. Why do we think that just because a girl wears short, tight-fitting clothes that she is promiscuous and of loose morals? How can we be obnoxious enough to make these statements without even meeting or knowing the person to whom our judgements are directed?
I, for example, do enjoy wearing cute clothes. And they are often short. Hey, I'm as insecure, if not more so, in my body image than the next girl, but I like the look of little skirts and dresses. I'm careful not to wear a low-cup top and a mini skirt but I tend to put together what I feel looks good without worrying too much if I look "slutty." In fact, I've often admitted before that my clothes can be a little slutty, in a joking way of course.
Yet I am always advocating clothing representing our true selves, so perhaps I shouldn't be shocked to be called a slut when I consider my wardrobe to be maybe a little.. controversial.
But I don't think miniskirts and strapless tops make you a slut, or even look slutty if worn correctly. Maybe these girls automatically consider that a girl who cares about the way she looks and dresses is only doing it to attract the opposite sex? Maybe, as I've mentioned before, the idea of someone dresses how they want to dress and expressing themselves through their clothes is so alien to them that their initial reaction is jeering and rudeness?
I am not a slut. In fact, I am probably one of the furthest girls from it. But this incident reminds me that you can't judge someone on what they're wearing, and decide you know who they are just from the length of a skirt or a hint of cleavage.
Clothes can be "slutty" but it does not make the girl inside of them a slut. In the same way you can't scold someone with "naughty girl", you;re supposed to explain that the action they did was naughty, but that they are for naughty for the action.
It reminds me of a quote from one of my favourite, favourite books, Junk by Melvin Burgess:

"You can be anything you want to be. Be careful. It's a spell. It's magic. Listen to the words.... You are anything...everyone, anyone. ...You listen to them, teachers, parents, politicians. They're always saying, if you steal you're a thief, if you sleep aroung you're a slut, if you take drugs you're a junkie. They want to get inside your head and control you with their fear. ...Don't play their game. Nothing can touch you; you stay beautiful. " 


(I don't think that was the exact quote I remembered but it's pretty close.)


I've written quite a few musings on judgement recently, but it's a universal topic that never gets old. But remember, next time you call a girl a slut for her short-shorts or low cut top, remember, unless she is sleeping with half the football team, she is not a slut.


Charlotte xxx

3 comments:

  1. Here people can be really mean and sometimes just say it to be rude or to show of to people that they can be "tough." It's really just dumb. I think people judge too much on looks when they really shouldn't. Yesterday I wore skinny jeans and a silky top and then changed into a tshirt and kept the jeans and today I'm in cargo pants and a tank with a button down, a long necklace and converse and it's like yesterday I got a completely different vibe from people even though I'm still the same person. As long as you feel confident and know you're not who people are, that's what really matters.

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  2. Here's the deal, people reject the unfamiliar, and they take offense to those who take the time to dress chicly in the morning. What was speaking behind that word, obviously, was jealousy. It hurts, I know; but honestly, don't take it personally. That was her insecurities shining through. Brush it off, you are phenom!! :)

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  3. Doesn't sounds like you looked even slightly promiscuous so I wouldn't worry too much about it. Some people just have nothing nice to say about anyone, too bad they wouldn't just "say nothing at all" :)

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