05/02/2013 12:03 pm ET Updated Oct 14, 2013

Pink Embraces the Word 'Slut' and We Should Too


Pink embraces the word "slut" -- and we should too.

The first time I can remember hearing the word "slut" was in the 9th grade. I'm sure it came across in conversations before, but sitting at a lunch table full of hormonal teenage boys discussing the latest "school slut" really sticks with me. I barely knew what sex was, but I had a feeling that being a slut was the worst thing you could be, especially in the eyes of 13-year-old boys.

In this month's Glamour, Pink calls herself a "reformed slut." She says her songs such as "Sluts Like You" are her "unsophisticated" way of claiming power over the word. When I first looked at the track listing for "The Truth About Love," I admit I was surprised by the song title with the forbidden four-letter word. But if more of us used the word, we would no longer feel that pang of shame when we come across it.

It's no secret that "slut" is a word reserved for the female sex. Merriam-Webster defines a slut as a "promiscuous woman" or a "saucy girl," with suggested synonyms such as bimbo, tramp, floozy and whore. It's amazing how many words exist in the English language for a woman who enjoys sex -- and how few exist for a man who does the same.

Pink says she uses the word as a way to highlight the inequality of sexuality. A man gets the honor of being hailed as a player, while a woman is branded with a word that comes with years of negative connotation.

I bet many parents were displeased when their 10-year-old daughters listened to Pink, a pop star with many young fans, and heard her songs of slut liberation. Yet, male pop stars like Justin Bieber are already praised for being a "little player." It's time we take back the word and make it our own.

Pink isn't nearly the first person to try and bring slut into the public forum. In the past few years, Slutwalks have gained in popularity. These marches aim to take back the word "slut," and to end victim blaming and slut-shaming surrounding sexual violence. Perhaps if stars such as Pink got more involved in these movements, we'd see a big change.

Celebrities have the power to make people listen. They have the voices that the ears of millions are already tuning into and the ability to create change. So, I for one, hope more celebrities start throwing around the word "slut" a little more often. But for now, we shouldn't be scared to say it, either.