As written by a former "slut"
Hi, Jennifer, Jane, Samantha, Sarah and (insert female name).
Did you go to school one day and get called a slut? Do you have someone on Facebook stalking, taunting, and commenting that you are a slut?
You may have never had sex in your life. You may never have even kissed a boy. Or, you may have had sex numerous times with numerous boys and perhaps made out with a thousand guys. You could have large breasts, no breasts, or some breasts. It doesn't matter what the details are or whether you've been promiscuous or not. Someone has decided to call you a slut and then that someone made a whole bunch of other people call you a tramp, slut, bitch, whore, and hooker.
You may hear these slanderous words so often that you perhaps may have forgotten your own name.
You do have a name you know! And it's not slut whore bitch. It's a beautiful name, I'm sure, and the one your parents would certainly prefer to hear you addressed by. The one you would prefer to be addressed by.
Today, you might be wondering why your peers won't give the gossip a rest. Why "that girl" in your biology class has it out for you. It can feel as if you're living under a microscope when someone designates you as the talk of the day, month, or even school year. You may have lost hope that the taunting will ever end and yes, you most likely feel pretty awful about yourself.
But I'm here to offer you a little faith, and a little reasoning behind those mean girls who like to slam you on social media and in the hallways and around town.
I was a High School Slut, Slut.
For the second half of my freshmen year, I couldn't walk down a hallway without hearing this doofus jock scream, "Slut!" at me. And in case I wasn't sure what people thought of me, one of the most "irresponsible" (a nice way to put it) girls in the senior class decided to harass me by dragging me to her classroom to show everyone "who the high school slut was." She was a heck of a lot bigger than I was and I was afraid of her, so I let her bully me.
Let's also give some honorable mentions to these "charmers" of my former high school: like the guy who both shouted I had AIDS in the middle of sociology and would harass me in the library for blow jobs. Or the particularly sophisticated dude that commented how "large my breasts were" while begging to have sex with me in his car after school and in front of our class and teacher.
What did these people know about me? They knew rumors.
They had theories about who I was. But they didn't really know me, the fact behind the fiction. They didn't know that one of my first sexual experiences at age 14 years was a foursome with men ranging in age from 18 to 31.
They didn't know that I was date raped by "my friend."
They didn't know that just like them, all I wanted was to be liked and loved. To matter. For someone to scoop me up and make me all better. My heart was broken, High School Slut. And maybe yours is too. Our stories are not the same. They never are. But no matter what — even if you decided to screw the whole football team or haven't gone past "first base" yet, no one gets to call you a slut. No one gets to put you down.
No one decides your worth.
It may be hard to understand this, but those girls (and possibly boys), who talk about you are doing it for a reason.
Whether it's her body, looks, or social status ... that girl who called you a slut today is unsure of who she is.
The other girl who joined in on the gossip and internet trolling with her? Well, she, too, is insecure of who she is. Most likely, these girls are jealous of you. They wonder if they are good enough. As a result, you get the harrowing (and heartbreaking) aftermath of these girls' low self-esteem. It's not fair and it's not OK, but that's why it's happening.
It's not you my love; it's them.
Twenty-three years later, and I still hear about some of my former bullies. They request to follow me on social media (I ignore them). They keep in touch with some of our mutual hometown friends, so I get to "hear" how they turned out. From what I know, quite a few of these people are still the same old insecure, trash-talking folks that they were in adolescence. Others have changed completely and grown into lovely humans.
Either way, it doesn't matter anymore. Years from now you will not care one bit about these people. You will blossom and that "Slut" title will expire. But the feeling ... well, that takes longer to go away.
That title — SLUT — bogged me down internally for many years. It shamed me.
Today, though? I am a professional with a career. An Ivy League college graduate. A mother of a daughter. A friend. A writer. A laugher. I learned to love and I learned to let go. And those haunting memories of what I experienced and those cruel words don't hurt me anymore. The only reason they matter is because I want you to know that it gets better. I understand how much pain you are going through. I relate.
You have a 30-something-year-old woman rooting for you and in your corner.
A Former Slut