AI: Are you a slut?

AI: Are you a slut?

In case you missed it, recently American politicians been discussing whether or not women actually need birth control, and certain conservative radio hosts referred to birth-control seeking women (specifically singling out a  “co-ed” named Sandra Fluke) as slutty and/or prostitutes. Turns out, I’m a huge slut, too.

Honestly, I’m baffled. I can’t believe this conversation is even happening. If you asked me a few weeks ago if our country would be entrenched in a sincere and vitriolic debate about women needing birth control, I’d wonder what kind of conspiracy nut you were that you would even consider such a question. Yet, here we are. Clinging to our pill-packs and our IUDs and trying to explain to the world why we shouldn’t have to explain to our bosses why we need birth control… while trying to talk over the people calling us sluts.

And here I am, a married woman. With two kids, both from my husband. In a monogamous marriage. And my Mirena exactly makes me a slut. Sure, it’s the best birth control option for me, a forgetful woman who dislikes menstruating and doesn’t ever want to be pregnant again. But an IUD is expensive. Fortunately for insurance, I just asked for it, BCBS of TX paid for it, and when I enroll my daughter in kindergarten, I’ll ask my doctor to replace it. No more babies! SLUT!

Without insurance, I realistically wouldn’t be able to afford to get an IUD without saving up for a while… putting me at risk of getting pregnant. Which means that I’d be pregnant with a child that I realistically couldn’t afford, and that my insurance probably would prefer not to pay for. And that baby would leave me unable to afford birth control, probably resulting in yet another pregnancy, and so on… so really it’s in everyone’s best interest that I just have the damn thing.

I suppose I could just not have sex… which would make me a terrible wife, according to the people who are telling me not to have sex if I don’t want a baby… and irrelevant because not having sex is a terrible option.

I mean, yeah, I could chart my periods… but really? My insurance is through my husband’s work. That’s a conversation I’m not even willing to have with my own boss, much less someone else’s. Can you even imagine getting your benefits package and having it include a cycle chart and a basal thermometer in a box labeled “Family Planning Benefits”?

image via Obama for America Tumblr

Anyway… the point is that I use birth control. And I use it because I want to have sex without “paying the consequences”… (consequences which I’ve already paid, on purpose, for the record). And this makes me a slut. And since I need this birth control to be covered by insurance, and I expect that it be paid for by my insurance, I’m also a prostitute. (Congrats to my husband, who is now committing a crime every time we do it because he also pays the PPO premuim.)

But, are you a slut? If you’re not sure, Tim Murphy at Mother Jones has provided a flow chart to help you figure that out. There is an interactive version, or for the too-busy-getting-fucked-to-read-and-click-simultaneously demographic, you can just use the standard graphic version below.

What’s the verdict? Are you a slut? How do you feel about this entire birth control conversation going on? Do you think  it’s a conversation we need to be having? Are you surprised we’re having it? Are you horrified, embarrassed or reassured about how much people know about birth control in general? 

The Afternoon Inquisition (or AI) is a question posed to you, the Skepchick community. Look for it to appear Tuesdays and Thursdays at 3pm ET.

Avatar of Elyse
Elyse MoFo Anders is the bad ass behind forming the Women Thinking, inc and the superhero who launched the Hug Me! I'm Vaccinated campaign as well as podcaster emeritus, writer, slacktivist extraordinaire, cancer survivor and sometimes runs marathons for charity. You probably think she's awesome so you follow her on twitter.

92 Comments

  1. Avatar of Wilson

    I failed the test – can I be grandfathered in? I swear I used to be one.

    • Avatar of Wilson

      Really I thing that a large part of the conversation is a disconnect concerning class. This, as well as women’s right to choose, is not as big of an issue to people in congress because they have the luxury of changing insurance or paying for medical treatment on their own. The people most affected are not simply women, but poor women in particular – and like you say Elyse, it really is a self-perpetuating cycle that ends up keeping a lot of those women, and their families, in poverty.

      • Avatar of Elyse

        You know, the thing is, I’m not even poor. I’m simply a one-income household… our one income is a nice one. But it can’t support a family of 6 on its own. Babies are expensive.

        Also, what’s even more ridiculous is that this argument isn’t about people who cannot afford life in general, women who they consider system-bilkers, these are women who have full time jobs which afford them benefits. Or women who are married to men who work full time and have benefits. Which is even more baffling. Why would a company want to continue paying for insurance for families who are guaranteed unlimited children? That’s terrible business… unless your business is controlling the lives of women and reducing them to uterus packaging.

  2. Avatar of besomyka

    Huh, turns out I’m a slut. Imagine that. Why am I having flash backs to ‘Evil Little Thing’.

    I don’t know why those people only think that children should be the result of sex. What about intimacy? Letting someone make you feel good, helping someone else feel good. No? None of that?

    Do they ever scratch the back of their loved ones, or offer a foot massage? The difference between that and sex is.. a few feet. It’s just another body part. Get over it.

    Yeah, we’re all sluts now.

  3. Avatar of Improbable Joe

    All this confirms to me is that Rush Limbaugh has never, ever had sex with anyone, ever. He would never marry a “slut” who is on the Pill, he’s certainly not wearing condoms, he’s been married four times and has no children. Surely such a manly-man isn’t shooting blanks… therefore, he’s kept himself chaste and pure so that he can lead all the “sluts” to salvation.

    Yeah, that must be it. :)

    • Avatar of scribe999

      This would make the fact that he was caught with a mislabeled bottle of viagra on the way back from the Dominican Republic even curiouser.

      • Avatar of Improbable Joe

        There’s an explanation, but it is cruel. I’m not sure if I should go there.

        OK, you forced me. It is on you! Rush Limbaugh is a large man with a small penis. He needs the Viagra in order to get an erection, because without an erection he cannot properly urinate while standing up.

        … I’m a horrible human being.

  4. Avatar of Brian G

    According to the chart, I’m not a slut. But much like this whole ‘debate’, I’m pretty sure this chart is rigged ;)

    On the other hand, I think I’m a slut by default since, in NY, I can basically stick my hand out any open window and a free condom will magically appear (almost not exaggerating). So, thank you NY for providing me with all the condoms I can stuff in my nightstand, free of charge.

    As for the ‘national debate on slut-acious-ness’: when the news was first coming out, I was sure that I had missed some vital part of the conversation wherein everything would make sense. Sadly, I was mistaken.

    • Avatar of Elyse

      Does the condom end up in your hand, already sheathing a penis? That’s an important detail.*

      (*important maybe not for this conversation but maybe because I’m trying to convince my husband to move to NYC and sidewalk hand-jobs are something you can’t get in Texas even if you’re the governor.)

      • Avatar of scribe999

        “…I’m trying to convince my husband to move to NYC and sidewalk hand-jobs are something you can’t get in Texas even if you’re the governor.”

        Well, you can’t get those no more after Giuliani was in charge!

      • Avatar of Brian G

        I know they just rewrote the city ordinances regarding sidewalk handjobs. It might be illegal in city parks now, like smoking.
        Also, you should move here immediately.

        • Avatar of Dan

          Regulations prohibit handjobs within 25 feet of an entrance.

  5. Avatar of Mym

    Woo, I’m a slut! Also I’m asexual. I love how this works.

  6. Avatar of benjaminsa

    By owning a derogetory word you take away it’s power, slutwalk did it, so did black rappers, and the funny irony is that the right is doing it for us. So yeah, if you want to define slut as: thinking sex for fun is great, and should be safe and consequence free, I am a complete slut. The alternative is to be a prim, prudish, puratanical prig.

    • Avatar of marilove

      While I do like your attitude about sex, not everyone enjoys sex, or wants to have casual sex. And that’s fine, too. Virgins are fine, too. I don’t care, because it’s none of my business; and my sex life is no one’s business, either.

    • Avatar of Elyse

      The alternative is to be a prim, prudish, puratanical prig.

      I’d like to clarify that the whole point of re-claiming “slut” is that no one gets to judge us for our sexual choices… not to shame people for making more conservative choices. No sex or little sex are just as valid as choosing to fuck everyone in your town. It’s no one’s business but your own.

      • Avatar of benjaminsa

        I completely agree, a prig is defined as:
        “a person who displays or demands of others pointlessly precise conformity”

        It is the demand that is objectionable either way. If someone is asexual, or wants to wait for marriage I fully support the choice. Thanks for the clarification.

  7. Avatar of marilove

    Huge slut over here! I take my birth control pill at 9pm every night, when my cell phone alarm reminds me to.

    Each night at 9pm, the Slut Fairy visits and sprinkles Slut Glitter all over me. It’s magical!

    • Avatar of scribe999

      Magical…yes, I can see how opponents see birth control as some kind of “dark magic”. Like cargo cults seeing an airplane…behold! A woman who can control her reproductive system!

    • Avatar of wundergeek

      Oh my god! I’m pregnant and still a slut, because it’s taken me almost ten years of marriage to finally get around to procreating. Srsly, I am such a raging slut, peeps. Hook me up with some of that Slut Glitter!

  8. Avatar of dxman

    Of course I’m a slut. Why do you have to even ask? Seriously though – this sex-negative stuff is just terrible. All that needs to be realised to overcome this is the simple fact that people have and enjoy sex, that most of the negative consequences of this fact are due to unwanted pregnancies and that male and female sexuality are not that much different in either of these regards, except the woman has more responsibility over the child.

    There are NO other problems to debate about unless you go with the infantile idea that sex is nasty and bad and makes Jesus cry.

  9. Avatar of criticaldragon1177

    Elyse,

    Charles Johnson over at Little Green Footballs has been covering this story in depth. Here are a few examples.

    Rush Limbaugh Calls Law Student a ‘Slut’ Again – Demands Women Post Sex Tapes Online If They Use Birth Control
    http://littlegreenfootballs.com/article/39996_Rush_Limbaugh_Calls_Law_Student_a_Slut_Again_-_Demands_Women_Post_Sex_Tapes_Online_If_They_Use_Birth_Control

    Law Student Sandra Fluke Responds to Limbaugh’s Crude Attacks
    http://littlegreenfootballs.com/article/39999_Law_Student_Sandra_Fluke_Responds_to_Limbaughs_Crude_Attacks

    Video Compilation: Rush Limbaugh’s Ugly Attacks on Law Student Sandra Fluke
    http://littlegreenfootballs.com/article/40018_Video_Compilation-_Rush_Limbaughs_Ugly_Attacks_on_Law_Student_Sandra_Fluke

    Really Bad Timing: Rush Limbaugh to Be Honored With Bust in Missouri Statehouse
    http://littlegreenfootballs.com/article/40019_Really_Bad_Timing-_Rush_Limbaugh_to_Be_Honored_With_Bust_in_Missouri_Statehouse

    Pamela Geller: Obama’s Gay Transgender Prostitute Nanny Led to Sandra Fluke’s Rampant Promiscuity
    http://littlegreenfootballs.com/article/40020_Pamela_Geller-_Obamas_Gay_Transgender_Prostitute_Nanny_Led_to_Sandra_Flukes_Rampant_Promiscuity

  10. Avatar of catgrin

    Definitely a slut. No question there.

    That handled, I’m doing my best to make sure that Limbaugh fails in his effort to obfuscate Fluke’s actual message (and people are hollering about him being censored!). She was actually talking to Congress about the use of hormonal birth control for medical issues unrelated to contraception. Her own story was about a friend who lost an ovary due to the hard time she had getting pills while trying to treat ovarian cysts.

    The abortion debate falls squarely in the realm of sex, but this one is “women’s health care” being disguised as sex. Hormonal birth control pills are used to treat everything from cancer to seizures to migraines to acne – successfully. Congress is currently 80% male, and they’re trying to legislate an issue that is both solely female and generally requires a medical doctor to explain the first time around. Unfortunately, Congress is turning a deaf ear to doctors and, with the aid of people like Rush Limbaugh, is making sure that the public at large fails to understand (or even hear) the actual content of the issue being discussed as well.

    • Avatar of Elyse

      Except that birth control IS health care. Even when it’s JUST about sex. It’s still a medical need. We shouldn’t have to justify our right to have sex without couching it in a medical need.

      Yes, hormonal therapy should be covered for women who need it.

      But quality of life is still something that is covered by insurance. Pain relief is covered. Reconstructive surgery is covered. Penis hardeners are covered. Wart removal is covered. None of these things are necessary for health reasons. Why is controlling whether or not I get pregnant something I should justify? That’s a HUGE quality of life changer.

      Also? Vasectomies are covered.

      • Avatar of catgrin

        I’m not disagreeing with that. All I was saying was that that Sandra Fluke’s message had been completely obliterated by Rush Limbaugh’s actions. (He’s effectively censoring her views and minimizing the importance of her message.) She was not speaking about birth control pills as contraception, but about their alternate uses.

        I think that’s very important when you consider that the people legislating a drug don’t understand the full use of the drug, don’t even share the same body parts, and are not willing to learn about it or them.

        I also agree completely that there’s no reason for women’s contraception or sexual aids to be treated differently than men’s – I did note above that Congress is 80% male and only men were on a panel relating to a women’s issue. In a recent KPCC discussion, I asked men how they would feel facing a panel of only women questioning the value of Viagra – a drug which off-label is also used to assist with stroke and heart attack, but its main prescription identity is purely sexual. How would they feel defending the insurance value of it? I got no responses.

        So, I do agree with you. I was just making sure that the quieter voice was heard.

        • Avatar of Elyse

          Hmmm… you’re moving me off my hard line stance. :)

          However, the difference between your examples is that I don’t think hormone therapy is off-label.

          Though, as tempted as I am to say that these people would be convinced that this medication can be prescribed and covered as a medical need… well, given Oklahoma and “personhood”, you’re probably more right than I am.

          But still, yay for fucking!

  11. Avatar of Garbledina

    I had a tubal cauterization (Which was covered by my insurance! With a $5 copay!), which means I can have all the slutty, consequence-free slut sex I wants! I guess I should be up for some kind of AVN award or something!

    I tried to explain to my husband that we had to post a bunch of videos of us having sex to the internets on account of how I’m totes a slut and stuff, but he got all shy about it and doesn’t want to do it. I guess he should have thought about that before he married a barren slut!

    In closing: SLUT!!

  12. Avatar of Artemisia

    I agree with those here and elsewhere who has said that the response to this nonsense should not be to explain how not-slutty we are, because that is utterly irrelevant. I don’t think we should get into the “I’m married”, “It’s for endometriosis” game because it absolutely should not matter. Pregnancy prevention and being able to have more sex are perfectly wonderful reasons to go on birth control.

    • Avatar of Elyse

      My only point with “I’m married” is that it is still, as a part of this conversation, unacceptable to use birth control. The Catholic Church is not willing to make exceptions to women who are married because women shouldn’t be allowed to decide when they do or do not have babies. Rush Limbaugh himself said that he doesn’t understand how you can be a mother AND use birth control.

      The message is supposedly contraception = promiscuity and abstinence until marriage. Okay. I’m married. I even had kids. I played by your rules. Can I have my birth control now? No? Why? Because this isn’t about premarital sex. This is about you getting to control my body for me.

      My argument for “medical need” is that “medical need” is not technically birth control. It’s a separate use for the same medicine… kind of like using oxycodone for pain vs to get high while fucking a bunch of Haitians… kind of.

      • Avatar of catgrin

        Rush Limbaugh doesn’t understand how you can be a mother and use birth control. That’s partially because Rush Limbaugh doesn’t understand how birth control pills work in the first place. If you listen to his tirades at Fluke you’ll hear two things:

        1. That he thought she was talking about birth control pills for use as contraception (which she most definitely wasn’t).

        2. That he seems to believe that you take a pill each time you have sex.

        In fact, he’s a great example of just why non-medical men shouldn’t be left alone in charge of legislating women’s health care.

        As far as your problem with “medical need” goes: Viagra was discovered to have its “magic” effect on men’s privates when it was going through testing as a drug for lowering blood pressure. Topomax, a drug used today in weight loss, is actually an anti-convulsant and anti-depressant. Several prescription drugs on the market have secondary off-label and on-label prescriptive uses that are either discovered in trials or after the drug reaches market.

        Hormonal birth control pills are: synthetic or naturally harvested female hormones. That means they have a broad scope of effects on women other than just preventing pregnancy. They’re a truly important class of drug, and one that is only just getting understood. They can’t be replaced by another option, and to remove financial accessibility would be disastrous no matter what the use.

      • Avatar of Dan

        If he was taking Oxy to get high before fucking Haitians, that pretty much explains the need for Viagra. Opiates super-diminish libido and sexual response…

    • Avatar of Garbledina

      I was in no way trying to enter in to that, it’s just that I happen to be married, and was speaking in the first person. I was having lots of sex that I had every right to have for years before I got married. I am only very recently married, actually, and I think the novelty has not yet worn off, but regardless that fact is entirely incidental and not relevant to how awful this discussion is at all. It would be equally absurd if you replaced “husband” with “guy I met at that book signing last night” and “married” with “hooked up with” in my last comment.

      In summary: Sex is good and should be enjoyed guilt-free as long as all involved parties involved are enjoying themselves, and birth control is health care, even if you just want to have lots of sex without having babies. Also: slut!

    • Avatar of Improbable Joe

      I’m with you Artemisia… saying “I’m married” or “It’s for endometriosis” in the public discourse contributes to ceding ground to the bad guys. “None of your effing business what women do with their bodies” needs to be stressed above and beyond every other argument. Everything else tends to strengthen the anti-sex position.

      Elyse, your own example shows the problem inherent in making the non-contraceptive arguments. Is there something inherently wrong with getting high and/or fucking a bunch of Haitians? (I’m not even getting into the problematic issue of feeling the need to identify a specific non-white ethnic group…) Creating “non-slut” groups of people using contraceptives validates the larger point that having unapproved sex puts people in a different (and therefor lesser) category. I know you aren’t doing it intentionally, but it helps reinforce a “separate but equal” situation, and we all know that the “equal” part always gets chopped off whenever possible.

      • Avatar of Elyse

        The getting high while fucking Haitians was a cheap shot at Rush Limbaugh’s tendency to abuse prescription drugs and bring Viagra to the Dominican Republic (because I meant to say “Dominicans”).

        • Avatar of Improbable Joe

          Gotcha… although I’m not sure the narcotic abuse and the bogus Viagra prescription while going on a sex tourism trip to do whatever Rush does on those trips actually overlapped. I see what you were going for though.

      • Avatar of marilove

        Agreed.

        I am neither married, nor in a monogamous relationship (I’m in an open “it’s complicated’ relationship lol).

        That shouldn’t matter, though. I should still have the same access to birth control as any other woman.

      • Avatar of Elyse

        I think the married issue is important.

        Yes, I agree that it doesn’t matter. Everyone needs access to birth control. But when you’re talking to people who think that only sneaky sluts who are having lots of premarital sex need birth control, we need to humanize that argument.

        Do sneaky sluts need birth control? Yes. Is there anything wrong with sneaky sluts? Not even a little bit. But they’re not the only ones. The women whose existence the GOP approves of need it, too. It’s not just about stopping women from being unwed mothers. It’s about controlling family size. It’s about taking responsibility within your marriage, too.

        Married IS a relevant argument because it changes the way the conversation is depicting birth control users.

        My issue with “medical need” is that it’s not “birth control” it’s “medicine for my health issue”. Which is a separate.

        • Avatar of Lizzy

          I actually spoke to my state senator about this. I’m pretty sure that if I told my husband that we couldn’t have sex until we were ready for children (probably at least 5 years in the future) that we would get divorced. Getting divorced would likely prove that I’m a slut. Dammit there is no winning.

        • Avatar of Artemisia

          My concern is that the way the conversation will change will be to “OK, married people are fine, but not those ‘sluts’ who only use it so they can have sex with all-comers”. When we start talking about ‘exceptions’ to their absurd ‘slut’ rule, I think we risk legitimising that response to the issue at all. I’m simply wary of giving any suggestion that we feel that the reason birth control is accessed matters. Because it doesn’t.

          And the end of the day, birth control is a matter only for the woman her physician.

      • Avatar of catgrin

        Joe, I agree that one main topic should be, “None of your effing business what my lady parts do!”, but realize that they have attacked a drug that can and does save lives – that’s the other very real problem here.

        The alternate uses of this drug aren’t about things like fucking Haitians – they’re things like slowing aggressive cancers and reducing seizure frequency.

        The “non-contraceptive” argument should not be being made in a tone of apology. The argument is, in part, an indictment of the panel of men who intend to legislate without input from women on a women’s medical issue. They intend to make law about something they could, but opted not to, understand – purely because it affects women and not men. They lack information, and turned away the very woman who Limbaugh later mocked. This is not just a misunderstanding on a level of “oops, we thought it was all about sex.” Inaccessibility can, and will, kill women.

        It’s because people fail to grasp that this is a dual threat to women, both our sexual freedom and our general health rights unrelated to sex are at stake, that this is so important. If women ARE truly equal, than EITHER argument should be valued as both our sex and our general health is at risk. Congress should have heard that argument when Fluke tried to speak.

        • Avatar of marilove

          “but realize that they have attacked a drug that can and does save lives”

          Using contraception for its contraceptive abilities can and does save lives, as well. We can’t forget that.

          • Avatar of catgrin

            I agree. Contraception for teens in particular is important as they run an even higher risk than average to have premature and low weight babies. Birth control pills offer proven protection against pregnancy, and are a very important tool in helping to prevent teen pregnancy and pregnancy for women who have medical conditions that put themselves or the child at risk.

            I would never understate that use of the drug, and the lives it protects in that form. My only intent is to ensure that people understand there is no weakness in a drug having alternate uses, and that legislators should be responsible enough to understand all uses of a drug they want to make new laws about. Contraception is one prescribed use of hormonal birth control, and without access to birth control as contraception we would suffer dramatically!

        • Avatar of Improbable Joe

          Yeah, if women are truly equal… but they aren’t. Not yet. And since they aren’t, we need to weight our arguments with that in mind. If women were equal then you could use whatever argument you like. Since the scales are balanced against women, the freedom/rights-based arguments need to be emphasized IMO.

  13. Avatar of Amy

    Does this mean I have to change my nickname to Slutty Amy?

    • Avatar of Elyse

      Or The Surly Slut. Either one is fine and will be approved by the Slut Committee.

      • Avatar of Garbledina

        Are there women on the Slut Committee?

      • Avatar of James Fox

        Does my vasectomy, paid for by insurance, qualify me for honorary slut status? Anyway, I’m proud to be married to a slut of long standing.

        • Avatar of Elyse

          No. I’m sorry. You do not. You are forced to be shamed vicariously through your slutty wife.

  14. Avatar of jalyth

    I’m confused. I had sexual-type activity with two different people (whose last names I don’t know) in the last seven days, but there was no male orgasm. So I’m not sure if I really had sex. I’m not currently on BC, so perhaps I’m not a slut at all.

    • Avatar of marilove

      Well, according to the bible, aren’t all women automatically sinning sluts?

      • Avatar of jalyth

        Sweet! I’m in the club.

        • Avatar of SaraDee

          yeah, I think you only just make it in on the being a woman aspect though, because I’m pretty sure if there was no male orgasm it’s not really sex. Also, why did you qualify “male” orgasm? Is there another kind?

          • Avatar of Elyse

            OMG I just died.

  15. Avatar of Lizzy

    I’m a college student and have been work to shoot down state legislation on this issue for the past couple of weeks. It absolutely infuriates me. Birth control is basic healthcare, this isn’t a partisan issue. The extreme majority of women use prescription contraception at some point, it’s not something that only sluts do, the women on contraception are everyone from your mom and your sister to sex workers.

  16. Avatar of mrmisconception

    I can’t seem to find the box that talks about going to the Dominican Republic with someone else’s Viagra prescription on the flow chart.

    Must be an oversight.

  17. Avatar of mrmisconception

    I’m feeling feisty so I’m just going to say it.

    Rush Limbaugh is a bloated piece of shit that is as relevant to, well anything as birth-control pills are to him.

    But if he wants to he could blow me. But only if he cleans my taint first.

    Fat fuck. What a waste of mitochondria. He has the morals of a sewer rat.

    We would all be better off if his mother had become intimately acquainted with a coat hanger.

    Perhaps I’ve gone too far?
    No, probably not.

    • Avatar of Improbable Joe

      … “too far” only in the sense of that insulting Limbaugh usually involves comparing him to other people, or sewer-dwelling animals, that don’t deserve to be insulted by being associated with him. Rats can be pretty decent folks under the right circumstances, and “fat” doesn’t mean “terrible human being”… same trap I fell into earlier.

      • Avatar of mrmisconception

        As a fat person, I feel he gives us all a bad name. ;)

        Plus he’s a fuck, which is a necessary part of that particular description.

        • Avatar of Elyse

          Excuse me, but I believe we are in the middle of talking about how much WE LOVE FUCKS!

          • Avatar of mrmisconception

            We love TO fuck, not fucks.

            It’s like, we love To shit, not sh…

            OK, bad example.

      • Avatar of mrmisconception

        But I do apologize to any sewer rats I may have offended.

  18. Avatar of Felicity

    Oh noes! I am such a slut that I use TWO forms of birth control, hormonal and barrier!

    Not that it matters, but I am married, childfree, and I need hormonal birth control to avoid cramps and nausea so bad that I might miss 2-3 days of work per month, threatening my job and hence my health care.

  19. Avatar of mrmisconception

    Rush Limbaugh: Talent on loan from God, brain on loan from Sponge Bob.

  20. Avatar of marilove

    Not even one troll. I was actually afraid of that, considering that most posts relating to the issues of women have lately garnered a lot of stupid comments. I take that as a good sign.

  21. Avatar of greenstone123

    I think it is pretty ignorant for politicians/talking heads to be making dumb stereotypes about women. Is this the *best* they have got to back their case for women not need birth control? Slut. Prostitute. Aren’t they embarrassed? Have they no shame?

    • Avatar of marilove

      Aren’t they embarrassed? Have they no shame?

      No and no. Why? Money, fame, $$$.

  22. Avatar of marilove

    “I thought about Malia and Sasha, and one of the things I want them to do as they get older is to engage in issues they care about, even ones I may not agree with them on,” Mr. Obama said at a televised news conference at the White House. “I want them to be able to speak their mind in a civil and thoughtful way, and I don’t want them attacked or called horrible names because they’re being good citizens.”

    –President Obama on Limbaugh.

    Perfect.

  23. Avatar of gigi

    I’m a bit of a newbie here. And I am so glad that because of my “lifestyle choice” that offends God, I have no need to deal with men regarding much of this issue. However, since I feel it is my obligation to stand up for what is right, I just thought I might add a thought. Now, of this I’m not exactly 100% sure, but isn’t the use of hormonal contraceptives by women, many times a desire of the men themselves? Maybe I watch too much porn..but isn’t there some complaints by men about the need for that “girlfriend feeling”? Which might be referring to their preference for one of the female choices such as hormonal contraceptives? It’s either that or they can start paying for the 20 or 30 babies at about a half million dollars a pop while they are trying to finish college or start a career. Now, I’m also recovering from a head injury, but this seems to make their behavior seem bit ironic to me. Please feel free to correct me if I’m wrong.

  24. Avatar of pciszek

    All humor aside, has the meaning of “slut” changed so much that a woman can now be a slut without having at least two different sex partners? When I was growing up, the word referred (or so I thought) only to women who had sex with multiple men. (Things were kind of heterocentric back then too, but that’s a whole ‘nother thread.)

    • Avatar of lorraine

      Yes. if you are female and you admit to *whisper* enjoying sex *whisper* you are definitely a slut. A big slutty slut slut who should be ashamed to appear in public or ever speak to anyone again.

      The people who want to limit contraception and abortion services for women are somehow scared and freaked out by the thought of women enjoying, wanting and desiring sex, no matter who it’s with or how many/few partners. They are distinctly uncomfortable with it. But where the actual root of that is I don’t know. Is it coming from purely religious and traditional belief or is there more to it? And really, why not just not think about other people’s sex lives if it make them uncomfortable?

    • Avatar of Elyse

      Interesting question.

      Yes, the word slut means that a woman is promiscuous.

      However, it’s also one of the most shameful words you can use for a white-woman. (I cannot speak for non-white women on this one.) Slut is a word used to make women shut up. It’s a word used to shame them into running out of the room. It’s a word used to belittle them, crush them. When you call someone a slut, you’re not saying “You have lots of sex”, necessarily; you’re saying “We know what kind of person you are, slut.” You can see her intentions. You can read her mind. Because a slut is not just a woman who has lots of sex, she is a woman who wants to have sex.

      It’s an incredibly loaded word. And it’s a label that sticks. Once you are a slut, you can’s shake that.

      I hope that makes sense. I’m trying to explain this pre-coffee.

  25. Avatar of dr. dr. professor

    Jabba the Rush speaks again.

  26. Avatar of carolw

    Boo hoo, oh, boo hoo hoo, I’m a failed slut! I was on birth control pills and they almost killed me. I’m one of those one-in-a-million they warn you about that gets blood clots, so now I can’t use any hormonal birth control. Do I get my Slut Card revoked? I promise, I try to have a lot of sex. I just have to be otherwise careful.

    • Avatar of Elyse

      Don’t worry. I’m sure you still count under the following slut clause:

      Any woman who has sexual intercourse without using birth control qualifies as a “slut” due to said slut’s inherent expectation that any baby she may give birth to will result in her invariably becoming filthy rich off of welfare and/or child support.

    • Avatar of pciszek

      Back in the early days of usenet, I remember someone replying to a list of all the possible side effects of birth control pills with a comment something like, “all of which taken together is still not as dangerous as having a baby.” Is that really the case–that The Pill, as bad as it is, is still safer than reproduction?

      • Avatar of marilove

        Here is a list of the effects of pregnancy:

        http://www.thelizlibrary.org/liz/004.htm

        But, no, I do not think that the birth control pill is as dangerous as having a baby. Just think about how many mothers and babies have died by giving birth; that number is much larger than women who die from birth control. The biggest problem with birth control is blood clots, which can happen to some women (especially if they smoke cigarettes), but it’s not all that common. I know a lot of women who have had some SERIOUS complications during pregnancy. I know no women who have had serious complications due to birth control (some mild side-effects, yes, but nothing serious).

        That’s just fear-mongering and it’s not at all based in reality.

        • Avatar of marilove

          ““all of which taken together is still not as dangerous as having a baby.”

          I read that wrong! But you are correct.

          Also, “as bad as it is” — really? That’s seriously not true. The pill has some side-effects, but they aren’t that big of a deal for the large majority of women. Not to mention how many women take birth control to ease the side-effects of periods.

          Please don’t say things like “as bad as it is” because it gives the impression that the pill causes a lot of problems … but it doesn’t.

  27. Avatar of moodydaniel

    I object to the diagram suggesting that I, as a chap, am a “Dude” and not a “Slut”. I may not be a very successful slut (thanks for having standards ladies) but I do try very hard. I’m horrified that I’d be classed as a dumb, beer swilling ignorant US frat boy just because I also have a penis. It’s wrong skepchic, wrong, and I’m sick of all men being rolled into one stereotype! Grrrr

    • Avatar of Elyse

      It’s strange that I, as a non-chap, also feel de-legitimized by being put into either the “dude” or “slut” box.

      If only there were another way to classify people…

      • Avatar of apuc

        Well, I sympathize with daniel, but after a closer look at the diagram prompted by your reply, I’m now deeply offended that there is a way for non-dudes to get into all the boxes while dudes can’t get anywhere but the dude box…

        • Avatar of Elyse

          The world is just an unfair place where men can’t be denigrated for their desire to have sex.

  28. Avatar of sallystrange

    I have a t-shirt that says “SLUTS UNITE!” I don’t think there’s any question. I even wear it in public from time to time.

  29. Avatar of WilloNyx

    Slightly off topic: This is the first time I have commented here, and I just want to say that the comments here are so much better than at the Mother Jones article this was linked to. That was some painful shit to read over there.
    I am not accustomed to reading their comments section but I thought this one would be kind of fun (much like it was here). Rather I just watched a bunch of stupid flow from people finger tips. 
    Glad I came here to get some of my angst out from there.
    On topic:
    I am a slut from way back. Not only do I have sex purely for pleasure, my tubal ligation was paid for by state based health care. The GOP really hates me.
    The feeling is mutual though.

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