A recent Jezebel article by Tracy Moore titled “10 Reasons Sluts Make Better Friends” puts a new spin on judging women based on their sexual history—it praises sluts and, as a result, debases less sexually active women.
I do not find this to be progressive at all.
I am an avid believer in congratulating a friend on getting laid. “Good job, girl—get it! Sex is awesome and I’m glad you got to have some,” is about as far as I’ll go though.
Moore’s article tries to promote the idea that women who have lots of sex are somehow more worthy of friendship.
It’s ironic to me that so many feminists are trying to put a stop to the far-fetched idea that a woman’s worth is somehow attached to her sexual history, yet here we are claiming that women who have sex a lot are “better friends” than those who have less sex.
A woman’s sex drive—and desire to act on it—should be independent of how we judge her for several reasons:
1. Being Sexually Active (Or Not) Deserves Neither Shame Nor Praise
Some people choose to be sexually active. Some choose not to be. There are plenty of varying levels of sexual activity as well. Moore’s article seems to favor those women in particular who choose sexual activity—and lots of it. That’s great; I’m all for ending slut-shaming. However, I don’t think the answer to this is prude-shaming.
With lines like, “Sluts are tougher than the average woman,” we’re putting down girls who choose not to have large amounts of casual sex (and potentially calling them weak).
Sure, having an active sex life can be empowering. Still, that doesn’t mean that women who choose to abstain from sex are weaker or less in-control than those who choose to have lots of sex.
It’s always been my understanding that a woman’s worth should not be judged based on how much sex she has. How much progress are we making if we say women who don’t have lots of sex are lesser than those who do? It’s just taking the idea that sluts are bad and replacing “sluts” with “less sexually active women.”
That’s not right.
2. Saying Positive Things About a Woman’s Sexual History Can Still Be Stereotyping
There are tons of negative stereotypes surrounding sluts. To pull a few from Moore’s article, heterosexual female sluts supposedly aren’t desirable as marriage partners and are disliked by their less sexually active female peers.
I can’t speak for this personally, but slut-shaming women is, sadly, a part of our culture; I wouldn’t doubt that many people hold these misogynistic views.
While I understand that Moore is well-intentioned in trying to reverse some of these stereotypes, I think making generalizations about a group of women is stereotyping in and of itself.
There are some sluts who are excellent people. There are some sluts who are shitty people. There are plenty of sluts who fall somewhere between these two poles. Sluts aren’t all good or all bad, and it certainly isn’t helping to create unrealistic—albeit positive—expectations for women who enjoy getting their pussies pounded.
3. Women Are Multi-Faceted Individuals Capable of Having a Personality No Matter How Much Sex They’ve Had
Moore’s article treats sexual experience like a rewards program. Her article says that women with more sexual experience have more life experience.
To me, this reads as follows: “Get five dildo-shaped hole-punches on your slut card and you’ve earned yourself the right to call yourself fashionable! Just one more session of being shamed for having sex until your “compassion for others” switch is activated!”
It may be hard to believe, but women can gain life experience from many more things than having loads of sex. We can learn how to be open-minded, to dress ourselves nicely, to develop standards, and to have plenty of personality traits from things that don’t involve sex.
The way Moore’s article is written praises more sexual women as being the principle possessors of positive traits, which definitely is not the case. She does tack onto the end of her article: “But that doesn’t mean you should go make friends with the nearest slut. That would be silly. Because a good friend is someone you like, who does the things you want a friend to do. If you actually think it has anything to do with how many people she has slept with, rethink your major.” Still, after everything said in her previous paragraphs, it’s pretty clear that there is a major slut bias in this article.
4. I Deserve Friendship Because I’m a Human Being Who Enjoys Companionship
Not because me being “ostracized” as a result of slut-shaming has made me more sympathetic (this doesn’t always happen, by the way, because not all sluts are shamed directly). Not because I know how to work my ass in a cute outfit so I can reel in a sexual partner, and not because I can teach you how to do the same.
I’m capable of being a good friend, regardless of how many dicks, toys, fingers, or tongues have been in or around my genitals. I don’t think having sex magically transformed me into a better companion. It didn’t.
Being a friend to others is a long learning process that involves maintaining strong friendships and interacting with others on a platonic level. Having sex isn’t a metamorphic experience that makes a woman worthy of friendship.
Instead of saying “Sluts make better pals,” we should be saying, “Women can be great friends, period.” Leave our sexual history out of it.