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5 Hateful Words We Should Stop Using to Describe Women

Ever used a degrading term to describe a girl, even though you knew it was wrong? We’re looking at 5 terms women should drop from our vocabs!

words to describe women

According to the shady side of the “girl code,” the rules dictate that, aside from your inner circle of girlfriends, you could probably do without the rest of the female population. Seem a little harsh? Definitely! But even when you claim to be a female friend to all, you’re probably still guilty of using some less-than-flattering terms for women.

For example, have you ever used the term “slut” to describe another girl? How about bitch? Anorexic? Whale? The truth is, nasty and degrading terms seem to slip into our vernacular whether we mean them or not.

So, what is it in particular that we have against our fellow females? Seemingly anything! If you don’t like another girl, or feel that green monster creeping in, you could probably zone in on anything to mock: hair, fashion sense, income, sexual experience, weight… even eyelashes! Girls can be petty *especially as teenagers* but you don’t have to be.

Breaking the habit of name calling

You shouldn’t have to re-watch the ending of Mean Girls to get the hint: bullying of any sort is not okay. But what if you don’t even notice you’re doing it? We’ve collected a list of 5 trending terms we use to describe other gals–and why we should kick the habit.

#1 SLUT! Some girls are absolute masters of psychological bullying. Their word-weapon of choice? Slut.

This term first cropped up in the Middle Ages to describe a “loose woman,” and unbelievably, female sexuality is something we, as a society, still get squeamish about. In fact, women have to walk a delicate balance between being sexually adventurous enough not to be shunned as a prude, but lady-like enough not to be called a slut. The worst part? It might be said about you, anyway!

If a girl sends a naked selfie to her boyfriend, she’s a slut. If he sends that photo around the entire campus, she’s a super-slut! Never mind the guy who disrespected her privacy by texting the photo around–what about the naïve and trusting SLUT who sent the picture in the first place? *Please note the sarcasm.*

Bottom Line: Life sucks sometimes–especially during your teenage years–and being labeled as a slut can be emotionally devastating. It’s bad enough that men are using this term to insult women *usually only the ones who can’t handle female sexuality*, so why do girls have to join in?

As a female, you should have empathy for other girls, especially when they’re being picked on. Don’t perpetuate sexism by letting your vocabulary be overtaken by sexist, outdated slurs. [Read: 11 silly excuses for people to brand you a slut]

#2 Fatty-fatty-fat-fat. It’s more than likely that the majority of women worldwide have been called fat at some point in their lives. In fact at 5′, 105 pounds, I was called fat by one of my “best friends” in high-school… who proceeded to slam me on a message board about my fat body, telling me I shouldn’t be so confident. At the time, I wondered if he was right. Spoiler alert? He wasn’t.

It doesn’t surprise anybody to know that the media puts enormous pressure on girls to be a certain size, and that’s not okay. The Renfrew Center Foundation for Eating Disorders reports that only 5% of North Americans actually look like the bodies portrayed in the media–so how are the “normies” supposed to feel when all they’ve seen their whole lives are size 0s, flat stomachs, and perfectly round breasts in the mainstream media?

If the media portrayed a healthy body image, not just a particular size category we should fit into, that would be one thing. Instead, the media teaches girls that if they don’t fit into a certain size bracket, they should hate themselves, hate their looks, and hate their bodies–and most end up doing so!

Bottom Line: Bodies come in all different shapes and sizes. What appeals to you may not appeal to someone else, but that doesn’t make it any less beautiful. Girls have enough pressure from the rest of the world to be perfect and “skinny” without fellow females adding fuel to the self-loathing fire! [Read: 8 ways to love your body, no matter its size]

#3 That girl’s so basic. As if being called a bitch wasn’t bad enough, now women are dealing with the cringe-worthy catch phrase: “basic bitch!”

And what does this term mean? Put simply, it means that you’re normal. You’re as basic as can be. You love radio countdowns, Ugg boots and leggings, Starbucks coffee, and basically every other mainstream interest every other girl seems to have. Talk about judging a book by its cover! There is more to women than a couple of similar interests.

Bottom Line: Girls are shamed for wearing too much makeup, mocked for wearing too little, called bitches if we get emotional, and now we can’t even be normal without being picked on? Come on, ladies! [Read: Why you shouldn’t be ashamed of what you do for beauty]

#4 Go eat something, skeletor! Have you ever been a wee bit jealous of your super fit friend and made a giant deal of how skinny she is, stating in an over-dramatic fashion that she needs to eat a donut, or even said something about her lack of curves? Just as bigger girls hate fat-shaming, thinner girls don’t like being hassled about their weight. Words hurt, no matter what size you are.

Bottom Line: Being made fun of for being naturally thin is no better than being made fun of for being overweight. While some may argue this is okay, because thinner girls are more accepted in society, and it is actually paying them a backward compliment by telling them to eat a sandwich, you would be mistaken. Being made to feel insecure about your body, no matter what shape or size you are, is a terrible feeling.

#5 Pussy. While the term “pussy” is more commonly used among frat-boys and 12-year-olds to describe the coward/wimp/weak member of their group of friends, it has, in recent years, moved into the female vocabulary.

It is beyond my understanding how the female anatomy somehow became associated with weakness. It’s disrespectful and a total joke to all of the painful bullshit women put up with. Periods? Pregnancy? Penises? Last time I checked, “pussy” was not an actual word for “coward,” just like the word “dick” *and its association with being a jerk* doesn’t actually mean penis.

Bottom line: Vaginas push out BABIES. They are in no way “weak.” Ya dig?

[Read: The 12 dating stereotypes of women in a man’s mind]

Bullying is universal, so don’t think that this list applies to females only. For all of you thoughtful men out there, pointedly removing these hurtful terms from your vocabulary can only help bring a stop to verbal bullying. So whether you’re a male or female, be a friend to a girl, and show her she’s worth a higher grade of speech.

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Waverly Smith
Waverly Smith is a freelance writer who has been getting paid for spreading her sarcastic take on love, life, and sex since 2010. She is many things that people...
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