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Ear to the Ground

The Taming of a Slur

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Posted on Jul 13, 2006
Kim Cattrall
From Craig Blankenhorn / HBO / N.Y. Times

Kim Cattrall, through her portrayal of the sexually liberated career woman Samantha Jones on HBO’s “Sex and the City,” did as much as anyone to erase the stigma from the term “slut.”

The N.Y. Times reports that the word “slut” has gone the way of “queer” and “pimp” before it—from derogatory to affectionate. A prime mover behind the trend: Kim Cattrall’s portrayal of the slutty Samantha Jones on HBO’s “Sex and the City.” (h/t: Huff Po)

N.Y. Times:

WHISPERS follow her like so many eyes. She is the one who will go home with you, the sure bet, the kind of girl you can lie down with and then walk all over. She is ogled, envied and often ostracized. She is the slut.

The word, which originated in the Middle Ages, has emerged from a schoolyard barb to become commonplace in popular culture, marketing and casual conversation. In his duet with the rapper Eminem, Nate Dogg describes his hunt for ?a big old slut? in the single ?Shake That.? The ample-bosomed puppet in the Broadway musical ?Avenue Q? is called Lucy the Slut.

Novelty shops and Web sites sell Slut lip balm, bubble bath, soap and lotion. A cocktail is known as the Red-Headed Slut. A teenager on MTV?s ?Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County? demanded that a rival admit she was a slut. (She did.)


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By C Quil, July 14, 2006 at 11:46 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

You’ve come a long way, baby! Now they have women insulting themselves, and making it acceptable.

Let’s hope there are more males like Chris M (above) than the marketing machines that sell stupid television shows and garbage products would have us believe, and more women who respect themselves enough never to refer to themselves or any other woman that way.

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By Chris M, July 13, 2006 at 6:12 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I’m a male and it appears the entire women’s lib movement was for nothing. I like dirty humor as much as the next guy but I would never refer to, if I had one, my girlfriend or wife as a slut. It still carries a negative connotation but I guess when one has to market and sell consumer goods (i.e. handbags, lipstick, etc.), ethics, civility, and good manners are for wimps.

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