Michelle's Reviews > Slut!: Growing Up Female with a Bad Reputation

Slut! by Leora Tanenbaum
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Aug 11, 14

bookshelves: 2014, biographical, books-i-own, compilation-anthology, non-fiction, psych-social
Read from May 02 to 07, 2014

I picked up Slut! on the strong recommendation of a friend. Leora Tanenbaum's compilation and commentary from her interviews with women and girls who have been labeled as "sluts." I felt like it was really important for these women to have their say. Given that many of them were labeled regardless of circumstances (one for refusing to have sex, one for being raped by a friend's boyfriend, all of them for sticking out in some way). The problem with slut-bashing is that once someone is labeled as such, they effectively have no voice. Anything they have to say is easily dismissed with a simple, "she's just a slut," it's a free pass to write her off.

With recent coverage of Monica Lewinsky and the re-hashing of that whole scandal, I feel like this was a good time to read this book. While Bill Clinton is as popular as ever, Monica Lewinsky is still just a promiscuous intern to many. Whatever she's been up to in the intervening years is immediately discounted because of this reputation she has, and she went from a promising young woman (I mean, White House intern) to someone who no one wants to hire because her notoriety.

Luckily, none of the women in this book have to deal with such high-profile slut-bashing, and all of the women seem to have moved on from this experience stronger. Meanwhile, Tanenbaum's commentary, while elucidating, felt a bit repetitive at times. I suppose you can't demonstrate double-standards and victim-blaming enough times because these are still very real problems, but I felt like it was repeated over and over.

Still, I felt like this was an important book, and a useful one. It shows how little it takes to be branded a slut, and how we can do more to bash this double-standard.
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Reading Progress

05/02 marked as: currently-reading
05/07 marked as: read
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Comments (showing 1-1 of 1) (1 new)

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Claire actually, it's my very own copy. you can borrow it sometime if you'd like! i'm pretty sure i've read it TWICE.


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