I was chatting with a friend the other day when the subject of whores came up. Particularly, what’s a woman’s number got to be to earn her the title whore? I was shocked by his opinion. By his definition, nearly all women were whores. So I hoped to challenge him by noting, “So you are most likely going to marry a whore,” and to this, he replied, “Definitely, for me, I accepted a long time ago that I would marry a whore!”
Now though I would have been more lenient with my definition of a whore, I actually didn’t have a number to offer. I mean how many women did I need to bed to be called a man-whore? And notice how there is no male equivalent of a whore; we have to awkwardly masculinize the rather gender specific title. I bet men have a bigger number to work up to to become man-whores and yet I wouldn’t argue that it would only be fair if women were extended the same courtesy otherwise the title would lose meaning altogether, wouldn’t it?
Here is my issue with the word whore, it is outdated. I think it has its origins in the practice of auctioning women’s virginity in the guise of bride-price where a virgin earned more for her family than one whose cherry had been popped. Interestingly though, there was no reward for a man’s virginity hence there was no term coined to defame a promiscuous man. Fast forward to modern times and an inexperienced man is often shunned while we insist on calling women whores. But I wonder, where is the man getting his practice if not by making some women whores? Is this fair?
I was discussing feminism with a feminist and we were talking about how feminism is often viewed as little more than a license for women to be as promiscuous as men. To this she responded, rather than allow women to be more promiscuous, why don’t we hold men to a greater standard of morality? In short, why don’t we lower a man’s number to that of a woman? Now whereas holding men to the same standard of morality as women is admirable, I would argue that it is impractical. The standard for women was already too high, their number was already too low.
What if we did away with the word altogether? Would that encourage promiscuity among women? Probably; but aren’t we already promiscuous (both men and women)? How about we put off using the word whore until we have a proper male equivalent for it? At least that would save some good women from suffering undue stress from trying to live up to nearly impossible standards.
Not that there are no whores out there, but that we should consider people more carefully and fairly before we call them out. Not that I wouldn’t call anyone a whore, but that one would have to work really hard for me to use that word. But man-thieves, home-wreckers, and cheaters have an unfair advantage!
So maybe I am not for abandoning the use of the word whore but rather that it be used fairly between the sexes. That whatever standard of morality we choose, it should be fair and equitable for both sexes. Now whether or not it should also be equal for both sexes is another issue.
Featured image: Julia Roberts and Richard Gere, Pretty Woman