This Slut Votes (Long Read)

Watch out y’all, I’m about to get all political up in here. First, let me address the language I used for this post. The word “slut” can be used as an insult, yes, but I don’t take it like that. I don’t think there is anything wrong with me having control of my own body and making my own decisions about who to sleep with.

I have two younger sisters – currently ages 13 and 19 – and I consider my potential influence on them all the time. Is it reprehensible or unconscionable to advocate being a slut when I have teenage sisters that look up to me? I don’t think so.

My version of a slut encompasses both the virgins and the prostitutes, the devoutly religious and the anti-establishment. It also includes men and women – basically anyone that dares to think they have the right to decide the who, what, when, where, and why of their sexual encounters. Would you like to join me aboard the slut train? We have free condoms and rational discourse, holla!

My mom and grandma probably won’t like this post. Future potential employers might think twice about hiring me, even though my sluttiness or lack thereof has absolutely no bearing on my ability to do my job. But I think this message is important, and the images I’ve selected add impact and value. If people are going to call me a slut anyway, even if I may not technically qualify under the dictionary definition, I might as well own it.

I’m very proud of my prior post I Need Affordable Birth Control for Legitimate, Medical Reasons…but I worry that I have done the movement a bit of a disservice. Yes, I do need birth control pills for the reasons noted in my article. But that doesn’t exclude my need for birth control because I’m a slut.

I don’t consider myself a slut, but I’m also not ashamed of the title. Just like I wouldn’t be offended if someone called me gay, even though I’m straight. I will note that if I am categorized as a slut, though, I am a smart slut. I protect my health and my heart by making informed decisions about my sluttiness!

This list is from my freshman year in college – the results were gleaned from an online purity test (thespark.com) that everyone in our apartment took.  Please note that the test included questions like “have you ever been to a hockey game? hockey fans can be real sluts” (yes) and “if you were on a pirate ship, would you be: a. the captain b. the first mate c. the stowaway or d. pregnant (pregnant is clearly the funniest answer and naturally the one I opted for). Anyway, my ranking was bumped to first place after some roommates walked in on my still very virginal self making out with a new ginger boyfriend. Clearly that qualified me as an uuber slut deserving of accolades!

I wouldn’t personally phrase it this way, but according to those trying to limit access to birth control, I am a slut. I’m not married, and I still have sex. Escandaloso! I’m not even in a committed relationship right now, but I’ve still had sex. Dios Mios! I wish they could just accept that (per their religious views) my sluttiness will send me straight to hell, and thus there is no need to attempt to punish me while I’m here on earth. I wish they could walk the walk, and leave the judgements up to God. I wish that they could be more like Jesus, and show empathy for fellow human beings.

But apparently they can’t. I say this with certainty, because the past few months have been a shitstorm of horrible proposals regarding women’s health. Let’s defund Planned Parenthood, even though they literally save millions of lives each year with early detection of breast cancer, treating STDs, and helping individuals avoid said STDs and unwanted pregnancies.

Or, hey, let’s make women endure an invasive trans-vaginal ultrasound – and let’s make sure she sees the tiny blob of cells that she has already decided she does not want – before we allow her to exercise her right to have an abortion. Because, you know, it isn’t a painful, emotionally intense, incredibly difficult decision already. Us sluts love to just hop on over to the nearest Planned Parenthood, get those pesky babies outta there, and get back to whoring ASAP.

Ooh, even better, let’s deny access to birth control and Plan B and abortions, but then completely ignore the needs and rights of women and their subsequent (potentially unwanted) children. Wait, I have a better idea! Let’s force women to carry their dead fetus until her body naturally pushes it out, because, hey, that’s what livestock does, and nature knows best, right?

Never mind that forcing a woman to carry a dead fetus to term can lead to severe emotional trauma, internal complications, and even sepsis. Never mind that you could be forcing a woman to endure hours of painful labor, only to deliver a dead child. Women and men, mothers and fathers, grandparents and siblings will experience trauma, grief, and unspeakable pain. The same can be true for women that can’t access abortions and need to give their child up for adoption.

These decisions are never easy, and they are never made lightly. For every idea you have of a welfare mom using abortion as birth control there are hundreds of women just trying to be more than a living, breathing incubator. And hundreds of women just trying to actually be living, breathing, people that are able to function normally and in good health because they need access to resources like birth control pills and breast cancer screenings.

Do these conservatives realize that I can vote? And that I will vote against their policies, against having them in office, against their destructive methods of trying to homogenize America according to their outdated ideals? Yes, I’m just one woman. But do you not see how many peers I have? Do you not see that the vast majority of American women actually appreciate their personal rights, and intend to defend them?

This will all be funny once it’s over. We will breathe a sigh of relief and laugh at the pompous, arrogant, assholes that thought they could earn votes from unmarried women by trying to shame them, dominate them, tell them how to think. But women are (surprise!) real people, with real functioning brains. And when you talk about rape like it’s a foregone conclusion, or suggest that a woman was asking for it if she dared to leave the house in summer attire, it completely ruins any chance you have of seeming like a decent human being.

We don’t say that murder victims should have known better than to walk outside where murderers might be. We don’t tell hit and run victims that their car looked like it was just begging to be hit. We don’t publicly shame and humiliate gunshot victims seeking treatment for their wounds. So why is suddenly okay to dismiss rape and its victims as an act of God, a simple method of conception, or a common misunderstanding?

Okay, enough ranting. I should turn to the source for accurate information about what the opposing party believes, correct? I hate it when people reiterate talking points without doing the research, so let me do some further delving into their website:

“Republicans believe individuals, not government, can make the best decisions; all people are entitled to equal rights; and decisions are best made close to home. These basic principles are as true today as they were when the Party was founded. For all of the extraordinary leaders the Party has produced throughout its rich history, Republicans understand that everyday people in all 50 states and territories remain the heart and soul of our Party.”

*I need confirmation from them as to who these “everyday people” are and exactly which individuals are allowed to make the best decisions. Because women, minorities, gay people, etc, sure don’t get many chances to make decisions in Republican-land.

“Abolition. Free speech. Women’s suffrage. These were all causes the Republican Party adopted early on. So, too, were reducing the size of government, streamlining bureaucracy, and returning power to individual states. With a core belief in the primacy of individuals, the Republican Party, since its inception, has been at the forefront of the fight for individuals’ rights in opposition to a large, intrusive government.”

*LOLZ it’s funny that they talk about suffrage while trying to take away my rights over my own body. Funny like scary as hell. Also, that last sentence is exactly the opposite of what they actually practice. Their idea of a small, non-intrusive government includes legislating what I can do with myself and my family, dictating the limits of my medical coverage, placing my life and liberties in the hands of my employer, government, husband, or even rapist, and deciding if I can marry the man or woman I love, adopt children, raise a family, and receive equal benefits.

“Republicans all across the country are ready to blaze new trails by providing fresh young leadership on the national, state, and local level. From the GOP Young Guns to RNC Women’s Candidate Spotlight to RNC Coalitions’ Candidates Breaking New Ground, these Republicans know that the government is here to serve you, not the other way around. These are the future leaders of the Republican Party, but they need your help if they’re going to make an impact and win their elections this November. Only with your support will they be able to restore your voice to government. GOP.com has the tools you need to help these normal Americans win their races and lead the Republican Party into tomorrow.”

*This is my favorite – how telling is the phrase “normal Americans”? Thus implying that anyone opposed to their platform is somehow abnormal. Like, oh, I don’t know, that president that isn’t white. Or that woman who isn’t married and still has a sex life. Or that man who adores his child more than anything in the world but has no parental rights because his romantic partner is the biological father. Those people aren’t “normal Americans” to modern Republicans. They are abnormal and, as such, the enemy.

But the concept of a normal American is fluid and ever-changing. I think – I hope – that new generations will fight to make the Republican ideals the minority among Americans. I’m not saying I want to eliminate Republicans or take away their rights or anything like that. I’m just saying that I hope and pray for the future of this country that more liberal people progressively outnumber the conservatives.

Because I am honestly terrified by the hypocrisy of war, by those that believe in protecting a non-sentient being over the life of a woman, and by the cruelty that is used divisively across our country for political gain. Fear is the platform that Republicans are running on, and the only way to combat that is to VOTE. Slut or not, Republican or Democrat, please make sure your voice is heard!!!

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