I am a slut. A slutty slut slut. So say a lot of people. People who read my blog and disagree with its premise. People who don't like me. Women who think sex is gross. Guys who want the girl you bring home to mom and think because I talk openly about sex, I don't like family dinners or moms.
There are loads of reasons they think that. I've slept with a couple guys. More than 10. More than 20. Want to keep guessing? I wrote about a lot of my sex life. Shared personal stories because I did and still do believe not only do I write well, but that it's a good story. One that I still believe has a happy ending somewhere in all the messed up tragedy between all the hate e-mail I can count and having a note left on my mother's car at a train station parking lot that said "I hope you're proud of the slut you raised."
I recently got into Aaron Sorkin's The Newsroom. Originally, I kind of hated the character of Sloan Sabbith. This exceptionally attractive, insanely smart, always-armed-with-a-witty-retort economics magician anchor.
I watched last Sunday night's episode. Two moments caught me more than anything. Maggie asks a question regarding Sandra Fluke: "What's wrong with sluts?" The second bit that caught me was Sabbith's predicament. She had dated a guy. He took pictures of her she agreed to and then she ended things. He takes the pictures and puts them on a website. The entire world sees Sabbith's body. Her job is at risk. Everyone knows. It's trending. She sits in a dark room, crying and quietly says, "I want to die."
I never thought I would thank Aaron Sorkin. For like, anything. But I quietly thanked Aaron Sorkin.
Later in the episode, Sabbith confronts her ex who leaked the pictures while he is in a meeting. She kicks him in the balls, punches him in the mouth, and takes a picture of his bloody nose.
The slutty slut wins. And that, my friend, is magic. Because the slutty slut never wins, you see. The girls who have pictures leaked, never win. They lose their jobs, they lose their reputations. They are humiliated, shamed. Of their bodies. Apologizing, for being sexual privately. For the things we do in the privacy of our bedrooms that we all aren't and shouldn't be doing but apparently are because hey, there are nine billion people on this planet and they got here somehow. Sabbith sits in a dark room and says, "I want to die." Because she let her boyfriend take pictures, and he released them. Pictures not of her murdering puppies, or punching toddlers, or raping old people. Pictures of herself. Her body. The stuff that exists under her clothes. The body parts that are somehow more offensive than her toes.
Then came Maggie. Maggie said everything I've been saying for years. "What's wrong with being a slut?"
We all fear this label. And the ironic part is, most of us (and maybe I'm wrong here but I'm pretty sure I'm not) do the slutty slut stuff. We take pics. We sext. We sleep with our boyfriends. Husbands. We give blowjobs. We get naked. We have vaginas. We use them. Some of us, sometimes, even enjoy using them. We have boobs and nipples and butts. Which clearly we should all be ashamed of. Because we're the only ones doing it. You hear me, every woman on the planet? You are the only one doing what you're doing with that guy (or girl, or worse, BOTH). And it is so, so, incredibly hurtful and wrong and shameful. What? You wanna know why? Oh. Because... slutty slut?
I got called a slut the other day on the Internet for the like, nine billionth time. Over an article I wrote about bartending no less. Like it is still an insult. I am not a Pulitzer winner. But you know what I am? A good person. Do I screw up? Sure. Do I make mistakes? Absolutely. Big ones? Sometimes. Have I done things I regret? Yes. Have I done things I don't regret but other people think I should? Yes. I am a human. With boobs. And a vagina. And my use of those is not what makes me good, or bad. I once wrote that if a woman discovered the cure to AIDS, but the next day naked pictures of her and a dildo surface, THAT is the story that would make the news. Because clearly, dildos hurt people. (Insert joke here). Because clearly, women having sex hurts people. Women taking pictures of the scary shit under their clothes? I mean, I'm not going to say it's on par with kids with cancer but... yeah.
I quietly thanked Aaron Sorkin to myself not because he sparked some crazy out of the box discussion about sexism and women and double standards. That insanely frustrating double standard will exist for the rest of my life and long after. Sorry to break your hearts, ladies. But I thanked Sorkin for giving the "open" slutty slut the happy ending. For reminding the world that the slutty slut who gets caught doing the things (everyone does) that nobody would dare do, is still a good person. That even with the Internet and gossip blogs and double standards, slutty sluts can still win. And have their moment to kick a guy in the balls and make him feel as sorry for simply having a penis in that moment as a lot of women feel for having a vagina when a text pic of it is posted on the internet.
I refuse to apologize for being the slutty slut and writing about it if it makes one girl in this country not sit in a dark room and say "I want to die" when people call her a slut. To remind the whole world that slutty sluts do good things. They play sports and win awards and help sick patients. They win trials and elections. They love their families. They are good friends who volunteer at animal shelters and send care packages to soldiers overseas. They give the homeless guy everyone else is passing ten dollars. And they aren't doing that to atone for being slutty sluts. They are doing that because they are good people.