Lately our airwaves have become crazy clogged with the s-word. It’s like the country has grown a giant mullet of verbal attacks, and suddenly shaved it off, right into America’s pipes. Who’s going to clean up that vile mess? I know I don’t want to.
Even though there are a thousand legit reasons – at least – to be angry, shocked, annoyed, and downright flabbergasted at the sorts of hateful comments certain individuals are paid millions of dollars to spew each day, anger won’t help de-clog that drain. Plus, if I pause a second to consider at what and who these attacks are really aimed, it’s clear that jumping up and calling foul makes it more acceptable to question their validity. And there is no question here. These comments are so far from the realm of validity, they’d be considered sci-fi if they weren’t totally lacking in originality, as well as in truth.
Since Rush Limbaugh’s slut/prostitute comments toward Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke were first delivered last week, the Internet’s volleyed back its standard set of Twitter campaigns and snarky blog posts. One awesome Twitter trend right now is the #iamnotaslut hashtag, which does a sufficient (sometimes poignant, sometimes hilarious) job of illustrating a fact most American adults with a 9th grade health class under their belt would already know: that birth control and sex do not occur in relation to one another. I’m cool with people defending their non-slut statuses. Because, yes. Taking birth control does not make you a slut. It doesn’t even mean you’re having sex. Any sex. But even though I’d be happy to tweet alongside that hashtag, I’m also worried that by waving our “Not a Slut” flags, we’re both 1) giving Rush’s comments too much credit, and 2) implying that there is, in fact, something wrong about being a slut.
I know plenty of healthy, happy women – men, too – who would be quick to call themselves sluts, but not in the way our grandma’s used the word. These chaps embrace a plentiful sex life heartily and responsibly. They’re more likely to use protection than people who are too hung-up about adding to their “number” to show up prepared, and they get checked more frequently. And besides being really great with safety precautions, they’re comfortable using their bodies as tools. They’re good at it. They enjoy it. As a human being, which also makes me an animal, I can’t think of one reason why that’s wrong.
It’s not that I’m saying the world could use more sluts (but for real, we probably could), but that next time we get tossed a pile of mud, let’s wait a second before tossing it back. Last time I checked, pigs were among the cleanest animal in the world. The smartest too. And they sleep in that mucky stuff. Everyday.