One-Way Wantonness

sexist expressions

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.

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Please also see: Sandra Fluke: Slurs Won’t Silence Women and More Proof Advertising Companies Need Women.

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