It rolls off the tongue pejoratively or pleasurably, depending from whose mouth it originates. Somehow, it has yet to recede into the mundane cadre of well-worn disses, and instead grows more prickly and powerful: in 2013, slut still has bite.
The Atlantic included it in their 2012 list of “Worst Words” after it was thrown firebomb style by one conservative commentator last election season at a woman who spoke in favor of birth control at a healthcare hearing. And then there was the brutal gang rape of a student in Delhi, which was justified by her “immodest” appearance; the attendant popularity of “slut-dropping” in the UK; the Steubenville rape aftermath, during which slut debate has reached fever pitch nationwide, and, always ever-present: the non-stop slut-shaming replicated meme-like through nearly every level of society on a daily basis. What constitutes a “slut” is all about culture and context, and sometimes the results are deadly.
But we can’t forget the slutwalk. Rewind to 2011, with Toronto’s first slutwalk, a groundbreaking movement combating sexual assault, victim-blaming, and the horrifying idea that a woman’s fashion choices deem her deserving of threats or violence while out in public. In the past two years, these slutwalks have stomped and strutted through cities around the world, reappropriating the word as best they can, sometimes waving a fishnet flag, and others just walking for equal rights. Sluts on parade.
It is in these ambivalent environs that Slutist was conjured: because sluts need love too. We’ve come so far and too hard to be dragged back, vilified, or burned at the stake. And so Slutist will tart up the body politic in shameless fashions. Slutist will pervert substance with style, depth with surface, and brains with beauty. Slutist will revel in its raging heart on for free expression and free will and never forget how to have a damn good time while doing it…