If words are the most powerful drug, why are we calling it a Slut Walk and not a We’ll Wear What We Want Walk?

“Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind.” Rudyard Kipling.

I know this is old news now, but do we really have to call it a “slut walk”? Kipling once compared words to drugs to describe the persuasive effect words can have on another person: “Not only do words infect, egotize, narcotize, and paralyze, but they enter into and colour the minutest cells of the brain. . . .” So, if this is true, and as a person who uses words to communicate generally, and as writer,  I do believe it is true, then why are we using the pejorative word “slut” to describe ourselves? Just because  Candian Constable Michael Sanguinetti suggested that in order not to be victimised  “…women should avoid dressing like sluts.” (and what an idiot he was!), do we have to keep using it? By doing so, are we women not defining our sexuality in male terms? Can we really not think of anything better? Or are words not the most powerful drug, after all?

“Words – so innocent and powerless as they are, as standing in a dictionary, how potent for good and evil they become in the hands of one who knows how to combine them.” Nathaniel Hawthorne


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2 Responses to If words are the most powerful drug, why are we calling it a Slut Walk and not a We’ll Wear What We Want Walk?

  1. Louisa says:

    Wow, this is eye-opening! I’d never heard of “slut walks” before. I can see the irony in calling them that, but the name is going to turn people off before they even see what it’s about… And some people will miss the boat completely! How about something empowering, similar to the “Pride” parade, etc… “Power Walk” or similar??

    • Marianne Wheelaghan says:

      Hi Louisa
      good to hear from you again. There was a ‘slut walk’ earlier in the month here in edinburgh. I’m all for women wearing what they want – have been doing so all my life – but really, can’t we think of a better word than ‘slut’?! Take care 🙂

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