my ‘slut pride’ pin is definitely one of the most abrasive pieces in my collection. at craft shows, i can see people cringe when their eyes slide over it. some will take a moment to ask me why i’d made something so offensive; others probably assume i am sexually hyperactive; and some people just keep walking. i’ve debated removing it and my other slightly-offensive items from my craft show stock (maybe it’d help my other sales!) but at the same time, they have been my best-selling items!
i made this design before i knew about the slutwalk movement, but they go hand in hand–i wore my ‘slut pride’ pin to vancouver’s slutwalk! i imagine that many of the things people don’t like about slutwalks (the word ‘slut’, primarily, and the desire to reclaim it).
food fashion feminism contacted me a few months ago and asked me to do an interview about the ‘slut pride’ piece. give it a read & tell me your thoughts. does ‘slut’ need to be reclaimed? how can we create a sex-positive culture for people of all genders and sexual preferences?
i’ve reprinted the interview in full from their site.
SLUT…ever have that word aimed at you? I’ve heard it quite a bit, the high peak being during my college years. I’ve even been called a slut by other so-called feminists and not in a good way I’m trying to reclaim this word. Is slut a word that should be reclaimed? This is a current debate amongst feminists. There are those who say no I don’t want to reclaim that word, it’s negative and I do not ever want to be called that. Then there are those who say fuck yeah I’m gonna reclaim SLUT, I’m gonna use it to take away the negativity and make it mine. I am in the group that wants to reclaim this word. I think that this word is so commonly used to insult women that it’s best to just say “Fuck yes I’m a slut. I like sex and enjoy it. I’m totally a slut.” If I embrace this word others can’t use it to hurt me. And it rolls of the tongue so easily doesn’t it? SLUT!
*This is actually a pin you can purchase here-SLUT PRIDE. Sex positive & earth positive-made from recycled felt.
Here is the artist’s description:
why is it that ‘slut’ is a label applied to females who are sexually experienced, but dudes who get around are applauded for it and get called ‘studs’? it’s ridiculous and unfair, and i think it’s time to reclaim ‘slut’, just like bitch magazine did with another womanhating word. slut pride! there’s nothing wrong with a lady being in charge of her vagina and sharing its awesomeness with a lot of people, if that’s what she wants to do. maybe it’s a bold proclamation, sure, but don’t we all have a bold side?
*Can you give us a lil intro to yourself and your products/designs?
hi, i’m arinn. i’m 26, grew up on a farm, have rolled around like a tumbleweed but find myself currently in calgary. i’m a tea-drinking cat lady who’d rather stay home and sew than do almost anything outside my house. i’m a nerd and passionate about eating vegetarian, living well, constantly learning, baking/cooking, and being creative. i have dabbled in all sorts of creativity (painting, drawing, photography, writing, music) but sewing is my main outlet. i’m inspired by religious kitsch, old-school tattoo art, nature (especially the ocean) and my appetite.
*What inspired your creation?
i read online that said the average number of partners a woman has in her life is four, and nine for a man. those numbers seemed (and still seem!) really low, and that got me thinking: the sexual activities engaged in by much my peer group & i would probably be considered ‘slutty’ by many closed minds. rather than shy away from a harsh label, i thought it’d be rad to embrace it. hence, ‘slut pride’ was born. women are judged so harshly for being sexual whereas men doing the same stuff are celebrated for their experience. that’s bullshit!
*What got you motivated to actually do it?
it’s a bit cheeky, but so are some of the other pins i’ve designed (‘lady lover’, ‘vagitarian’, ‘fuck y’all’) and i figured it’d fit in well with those pieces in my collection.
*Would you call yourself a feminist? Is there a word you like better?
i absolutely, happily go by the label ‘feminist’. i think feminists have a bad rap (one acquaintance told me in all seriousness that he thought ‘feminist’ only described man-hating lesbians) so i’m doing my part to reclaim the label. we don’t hate men, really (and being gay is not a requisite)!
*How would you describe a feminist/what constitutes a feminist?
i think feminism is about wanting equality–in pay, in the way we’re judged and treated in society, in the roles that we are expected to fulfill.
*Why do you think there is so much women hating going on right now?
i have thought about this a lot and my only conclusion is that men are threatened by the idea of women having power. our culture conditions us to see other women as competition, and treats femaleness as an insult. western culture has been biased against women for a couple thousand years, so this isn’t new, but we shouldn’t still be dealing with that same-old.
*What would you say are the worst things in our culture? The best things?
worst things: oversexualisation of young girls, and how as a woman i always feel like i have to evaluate a situation as to my safety. can i walk on this street at night? can i talk back to this man giving me trash without being worried that he will hurt me?
best: that our culture is pretty free; although there’s still a lot of oppression, we can be who we want and do what we want with very few repercussions.
*Wanna share a personal story of the worst and best encounters you’ve had with random people?
the worst encounters i’ve had: i once had a strange man come up to me on the street and pull down my shirt to see my back tattoo. it was so invasive!! another was while i was riding the bus, there was a group of younger dudes riding in the back and yelling about how girls with tattoos were sluts. i would have loved to confront them but i was too nervous about how they might react to me; after all, there were five of them and one of me!
the best: i love when other women compliment my asymmetrical hairstyle or my clothing. it makes me feel like the culture of lady-loathing is lifting!
*Do you have a “real” job? If so, what is it?
unfortunately! i work as a server at a national historic site, but my goal is to have my sewing be my day job within two years.
*Favorite quote/s and/or inspirational?
rise above it – mimi weddell
reminds me to always strive to be better than i am.
*What do you do when you feel depressed/knocked down to feel better?
sometimes i need to slouch around, drink tea, make myself some cookies, have a bubble bath–but sometimes the best way to slam the blues is physical activity. when that’s the case, i prefer yoga, running, or taking a walk.
*Why do you think people try to control others w/laws about marriage and abortion?
with gay marriage, i think people are so afraid and threatened by what they don’t understand that they think they can legislate it out of existence, which is so crazy! as though gay can or should be cured.
i think abortion lawmakers truly believe that abortion is murder, which is frustrating because the majority of those people are religious men–not only have they never had to deal with being pregnant, but they have been brainwashed by religion.
*Any last words of advice/wisdom?
be strong, be yourself, rise above it.