Thursday, July 15, 2010

Caught Between an Angel and a Prostitute

You know what I realized? For men, there is no word in the English language that carries the same connotation as “whore” does for women. And I’ve tried listing them out, I promise. People have suggested “man-whore”, but that’s still comparing a man to the conduct of a female prostitute (or check out “Madonna-whore"). There’s “bastard”, which carries too much sexual mystery to be truly insulting. And you come across few “Jackasses” who can’t get a girl (How about the IMPREGNATOR or FETUS FORMER as a male insult?) I guess it’s true that whores, by the very nature of the definition, do get some smack-happy action, but it is a degrading term. What’s even worse is if you’re not a whore, you’re a prude, and who wants to be that? So, either I’m the girl whose goods are community property or the miser who keeps my bounty to myself.

It’s a wall I’ve run into on a regular basis. How many first dates have I gone on that ended in a saliva swap session because my non-baggy clothes and laid-back nature tattoo the words “easy” on my forehead. How many times have I set up boundaries only to have the guy proclaim (perhaps in an attempt to sooth my straight-laced nature) that he too does not like physical intimacy? (Meanwhile, I’m tearing out my hair thinking, that’s not what I meant! I just want someone who values my mind!) I’m either a wanton sex goddess or a statue on a pedestal. Each time I try to break out of one box, I’m shoved into the other.

My solution? I could become A-sexual and reproduce like strawberries. That’s right, I get it on by pollinating and growing little babies in my hair. Men are completely cut out of the equation and I can just be me.


Maybe the problem lies in how we are taught to think. Night vs. day. Good vs. evil. Cool vs. lame. Slut vs. Saint. We have been wired to perceive in absolutes. Any one who doesn’t fit in is either dismissed or falsely understood. Maybe it lies in our brain, which enjoys reducing things to stereotypes in order to make our daily overload of external stimulation manageable. This allows us to respond to pre-determined triggers rather than waste time analyzing every judgment call that comes our way.

Undoubtedly, a part of the problem lies in men and women themselves. We female folk already know that women of ancient yore were reduced in society to nothing more than their bodies (you know, becoming property, following strict chastity codes, being stuck in the chains of fidelity while husbands cheated, etc). Now that we are liberated, the pendulum has swung the other way. Yes we have power, ladies, but how much of it lies in our bodies? How much do we allow ourselves to be reduced to objects, in our own eyes and others? And men, you little bastards you, I’m not deceived by the “we can’t help ourselves, we have needs” myth. Women are more than a place to park your car for the night. And my sex endures a lot to get a man (plastic surgery, dieting, tanning, talking like a valley girl, lowering our IQ, laughing at bad jokes…). Dumb, I know, but singing “I’m a Survivor” with a mouth full of chocolate only compensates for so much.

This is the part where I provide a magical solution that everyone can proscribe to so we can let angels be angels and whores be whores, allowing everybody else to just be themselves.



  1. Um, there is an almost exact parallel term for whore that applies to men: "lecher" (or "lech" if you fancy monosyllables). The term isn't used very often, however, because of the perception that men sleeping around are simply doing what men do (i.e. it's in their natures), but women sleeping around are behaving unnaturally. Because that view of male and female promiscuity continues to have some currency, a term like "whore" still carries more social weight as an insult than does "lech."

  2. Maybe if any of us gain celebrity status, we can bring that word back into vogue

  3. Jeremy, I'm actually gonna have to disagree with you here. I don't think lecher and whore are "almost exact[ly] parallel" at all. A whore is someone who has sex with lots of people, often for gain. When I think of a lecher, I think of a man who wants to have sex with lots of people. But the key difference here is that a lecher often doesn't actually have sex with the people he wants to. The men we call lechers are typically seen as unattractive and desperate.

    Perhaps this reveals a different double standard that works against men - I can't think of a female equivalent for the term lecher, since most terms that insult women for sleeping around at least imply that the women are successful in their promiscuity, and thus somewhat appealing to the opposite sex.