Editor’s Note: The New York Times Op-Ed columnist Frank Bruni observes that when it comes to name-calling, only women suffer comments that are sexually critical in nature, and “promiscuity is still the ultimate putdown.”
Hussy. Harlot. Hooker.
Floozy. Strumpet. Slut.
When attacking a woman by questioning her sexual mores, there’s a smorgasbord of slurs, and you can take your rancid pick. Help me out here: where are the comparable nouns for men? What’s a male slut?
A role model, in some cases. In others, a presidential candidate.
“Gigolo” doesn’t have the acid or currency of “whore,” and the man with bedpost notches gets compliments. He’s a Casanova, a conquistador.
The lady is a tramp.
Nearly two weeks since Rush Limbaugh let loose on Sandra Fluke, equating her desire for insurance-covered birth control with a prostitute’s demand for a fee, the wrangling over how awful that really was and whether it will truly haunt him continues.