Is Slut a Forbidden Word?

This week I had a response from one of the conservative websites that publishes my columns. They were offended by the use of the word slut declaring “The use of the ‘s’ word makes me not want to go any further.” The editor continued, “You may not know it, but that is considered an extremely unacceptable word of profanity in our culture, and we would never read any book or text that contains it.” Methinks the editor doth protest too much. I may be out of touch with the culture but surely not that much.

The Bible word whore or prostitute are unpleasant words but they describe reality. Moreover, it is interesting that people are more offended at me using the “s” word than those who take off their clothes for the camera! I know some screaming females do not like the word but then many of them are the reason the word is used!

I would never complain about someone’s standards being too high! Since I became a Christian as a teen, I have never used obscene language. I try, but not always successfully, to not use words such as heck, darn, golly, etc., since they are substitute oaths. Words like crap, fart, screw, etc., have never been part of my vocabulary–never. And my wife and four grown children can attest to that. I used them here for the first time! In fact, I have never heard my children speak that way and would be shocked if they did. So, I have always taken the position that I’d rather be charged with prudery than profanity.

I thought that the editor may be right about the present-day use of slut because I am out of touch with the culture: movies, music, and television. I have used pussyfooting all my life describing people who refuse to take a stand on difficult issues but my wife told me recently that a portion of the word is now considered obscene–she didn’t tell me which part! I don’t suppose I have to use that word but I resent others controlling my speaking or writing. Of course, editors have every right to set their own standards of material submitted to them.

I’ll get back to slut in a minute but let me digress down a more debatable, divisive, and dangerous trail.

The word nigger is an offensive word but hardly obscene yet almost everyone refuses to use it even in a correct way–except Blacks who seem to have a special privilege–maybe black privilege! Now that is obscene to me. I resent the double standard and the refusal of people to take on the apostles of political correctness. No doubt there are many conservatives who agree with me but don’t think it is worth the battle. After all a dog can whip a skunk but is it worth the fight?

Again, my family has never heard me call anyone a nigger. I refuse to speak that way because it would be offensive to the object of my scorn and to those who hear me speak. However, it is silly for anyone to be offended when I say, “The word nigger is an acceptable word when used the right way.” Or when I say or write “It is immature, illogical, and inane for anyone to get angry when I use nigger in a way that is not projected toward an individual.” Or when I say, “If a Black can use nigger wrongly then I can use the word nigger rightly.” And I demand my critics tell me why not.

Now, I must be practical and thoughtful of others. I was a guest on a national talk show about a year ago and the discussion turned to word usage and political correctness. The host is a dear friend and I have been a guest on his show about forty times! I would never do anything to cause him harm; but I did so without knowing it. We got on the word nigger and I made my pitch for the fact it was illogical to not use the word because many Blacks (who often use the word in a derogatory way) might be offended.

It caused him trouble with his network or sponsors (although he never reproached me for my blunder) and I was very distressed that I was so thoughtless. I got “caught up in the moment” and forgot that others were involved. I am not concerned about money or whether people like and accept me, nor how much coverage my column gets; but others were involved and I should have been thoughtful. I have learned from that mistake. I have been on his show three or four times since that episode. In fact, last week.

With my columns it is a different matter. Each column goes through a “gatekeeper” as to whether or not it will be published. I try to make people think about issues that others usually don’t deal with. I do so from my perspective of a born-again Christian although I never try to force my position on others although I am often accused of that. It is easier to yell and curse me (or anyone) rather than present a cogent reason for disagreement.

Now, as to the word slut. The offended editor told me that it is an “extremely unacceptable word of profanity,” but I disagree. I think the word is considered offensive by sluts of America and my editor has been influenced by them. The dictionaries clearly define it as a disparaging and offensive term meaning “a sexually promiscuous woman, or a woman who behaves or dresses in an overtly sexual way.” A secondary definition is “a person with a seemingly insatiable but often undiscerning desire to do or have something specified: guilty of being a shoe slut; a book slut, reading five books at once.” That was news to me. Furthermore, the archaic definition is “a prostitute; harlot. An immoral or dissolute woman. Or a dirty, slovenly woman.” In the mid-fifteenth century a slut was “a kitchen maid, a drudge.”

Random House suggests “Some feminists have reclaimed the word slut and use it to mean a sexually liberated woman,” making it a very positive word!

I studied English Literature at Marshall University and was severely challenged yet delighted at Chaucer’s use of English for his Canterbury Tales and other works instead of the normal use of French or Latin for literature. He used “sluttish” in reference to the appearance of an untidy man. So, I suppose a man can also be a slut.

So, I will continue to use slut appropriately when applying to people who expose their bodies to any person except their spouses–for whatever reason.

And I won’t be offended toward those who disagree and refuse to publish my column.

Boys’ new book, Evolution: Fact, Fraud, or Faith? was published last week by Barbwire Books; to get your copy of Evolution: Fact, Fraud, or Faith? click here. An eBook edition is also available.

EVOLUTION

Fact, Fraud or Faith?

by Don Boys, Ph.D.

EVOLUTION

Only an uninformed fanatic says that evolution or creation can be proved scientifically. Christians believe in creationism because we believe in the veracity of the Bible but we also have scientific evidence to support our position. In every debate I’ve had with evolutionary scientists, the arrogant, asinine accusation is made, “Well, evolution is scientific while creationism is religion.” Evolution is about as scientific as a voodoo rooster plucking ceremony in Haiti. Almost.

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