No Good Reason to Use the Word Slut

October 8, 2011


slut [sluht] 

A word used by women to demean other females for their perceived provocative style of dress or behavior around men.

 A word used by teenagers to mar the reputation of a girl they want to hurt. 

A word used by parents to shame their young daughters when otherwise unable to control the daughter’s behavior or appearance. 

A word used by verbal, physical, and sexual abusers to humiliate and subjugate a woman for cruel, selfish purposes. 

A word used by men to convey disrespect for a woman. 

A word used by certain men to justify their coercive sexual advances. 

A word used by Western “Christian” culture to communicate a double standard of expectations (Women who are perceived to be sexually active are sluts; men who are perceived to be sexually active are studs.) 

In no case is the word slut ever used in the context of kindness, gentleness, grace, mercy, forgiveness, or sacrificial love. It’s an ugly word that is always intended to hurt or manipulate a female or to label and marginalize her so we don’t have to treat her the way Jesus would. 

How would Jesus treat her? Judging by the words and actions of Jesus recorded in the Gospels, he would never have used the word slut, even if a woman had behaved in a way that we consider “deserving it.” As a matter of fact, three conversations between Jesus and sexually immoral women are recorded in the Gospels (John 4:1-32, John 8:1-11, Luke 7:36-50). Jesus was completely respectful and kind with each of these women. And when Luke wrote the story about the woman who actually was a prostitute, he used a euphemism, describing her as a “woman who had lived a sinful life.” 

Really, the only people to whom Jesus applied negative labels were the guys most likely to denigrate women with ugly names—the religious leaders who through their self-righteous lawkeeping shut the doors of heaven in people’s faces. Here’s a list of names he used for them: hypocrites, blind guides, snakes, brood of vipers, and sons of hell.  

The word slut is not of God but of the world, meant to set apart a female as somehow “less than” the rest of us and therefore unworthy of our respect, love, or serious consideration. Usually, it’s because we perceive a sin in her life as somehow worse than our own sinfulness—or at least more obvious. 

This word has no place in the vocabulary of a follower of Jesus – female or male. 

“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt…”
Colossians 4:6

  “…Love is kind.… It does not dishonor others….Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
It always protects…
I Corinthians 13:4-7

3 responses to “No Good Reason to Use the Word Slut”

  1. Pam Laird says:

    As a woman a mother, wife, friend and sister in christ I so agree that there is no place in our vocabulary for this word. Sisters in Christ everywhere I pray that you can see the Love that Jesus has for you and how special you are to Him. If you need someone to Listen He is the best listener. If you would like someone more earthly to talk to feel free to contact me, email ( . I am homebound at this time and have plenty of time to listen.
    Thanks Lynn for your faithfullness to Jesus and being a window to our world to the Love and compassion of Jesus!

  2. Steve Groome says:

    The provocative title caught my eye. You’re 100% right. There is absolutely no place in a Christian’s vocabulary for this word.

  3. sheri says:

    I agree this word should not be used in Christian vocabulary. Why would anyone put down another human being, much less a woman? It makes me angry when people make hurtful statements about others. Thank you Lynn, for your faith, your friendship and for your bible teaching. You are one of the women in church that I’ve always looked up to.

Leave a Reply