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the six things i heard after being slutshamed by my friend for the first time

Artwork by Fatema Rahaman, staff poet and artist.

it’s not hard to see why he called you a slut / you’re easy / you’d spread your legs if you were asked to / i don’t respect you unless you’re not wearing anything / you’re exactly what they mean when they say “teenage slut”

bro went for it / we all think this / he just said it / i’m not sorry you found out this way / if you think we respect you the world is your circus / and you’d be the ringmaster /

i don’t think he meant it like that / i don’t care enough to look through this / look, it’s just a joke / don’t be so sensitive about it / it's not like this is a big deal / who cares if he’s right or if he’s wrong / he’s just joking /

first of all you’re not a slut / god, stop thinking of yourself like this / you’re perfect to me / that’s not nearly true / you’ve had feelings for one person that counts / you’re not easy / i know he’s not joking but please / don’t think of yourself as a slut / i love you / you can’t be a slut / if you’re in a committed relationship / baby, please, i promise / you’re going to be okay / you’re not a slut

he was a dick and he hurt you ergo it is a big deal / kill him / get rid of him / i don’t care / i don’t want to see you hurt because of him again / i know this affects you / please stop pretending it doesn’t / you can tell your love it doesn’t matter but you can’t hide from me / this is a big deal / stop pretending it isn’t /

who even says that bro thats so messed up / what the hell / why would he say that about you / the context doesn’t even make sense / it’s not true / and even if it was, who cares / who is he to tell you whether you’re a slut or not / he has no right to voice his opinion on your body

it’s not hard to see why he called you a slut

I wrote this piece to discuss the misogyny surrounding women today, and how society is extremely quick to label women sluts for doing anything. I also wanted to analyze common reactions to labeling someone a slut and how that interacted with what they really meant to say. I think it’s also quite interesting to see the different levels of familiarity with a person and the effect that has on calling someone a slut. I wrote this piece using genuine reactions that my friends had when someone called me a slut for the first time, because I was talking about Bollywood love stories and their impact on modern-day Desi romance.

Resources: SlutWalk (in Arizona specifically)

Arushi (Aera) Rege is a queer, chronically in pain, Indian-American poet who simultaneously attends junior year in high school. They tweet occasionally @academic_core and face the perils of instagram @aeranem_26. You can find their website at

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