The Word Whore

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“You are such a whore” no one ever wants to be called a whore. To be considered a whore is an insult and is damaging to a woman’s image. The term is thrown about in today’s society whenever one feels threatened by a woman. It is often an attack on ones character based on the way a woman dresses or behaves. Because of the stigma behind the word whore and its reference to the sex industry it is more often than not used as a term to evoke shame.
A whore traditionally is “A woman who prostitutes herself for hire” or “An unchaste or lewd woman; a fornicatress or adulteress. to play the whore(of a woman), to commit fornication or adultery.”( OED…) Whore is more commonly used interchangeably with prostitute. Therefore the word whore holds great power
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The usage of the term is commonly used as negative term in society when a woman has many partners or embraces her sexuality, yet men who engage in the same sexual activities with multiple partners receive praise. Even when the term is applied appropriately the term used to describe men who interact with whores does not carry the same weight in society. She is considered a whore since whores have multiple partners but is the stigma that comes with being a whore that makes it such a dangerous word. A whore is “dishonorable as a woman” (Pheterson 47) according to society because she sells herself through sex. Although it can be used as an insult to a woman with the intent to shame her as whores are considered low and dirty for their line of work and women who exhibit sexual independence or freedom through choice of dress and actions can be referred to as whores, there are instances in which the term is appropriately used albeit with intent shame but nevertheless an accurate description of a woman’s behavior aside from its more common use in reference to prostitution. For instance in the TV show Scandal season 3 episode 1 “ Its Handled” Olivia is named as the mystery woman with whom President Fitz is having an affair. After this news is leaked Olivia calls for a meeting to take place between Fitz, his wife Mellie and she. …show more content…
Therefore even if by definition a woman is a prostitute the term whore can be insulting to her. This is due to the fact that a whore has many negative connotations in society from one who sleeps with multiple men to one who multiple sexual encounters for profit both of which are not respected traits of a woman by society. Although according to Peterson “ For many prostitutes a whore is not by definition shameful…” (46). Therefore the societal views of a whore as it relates to prostitution that in everyday use merit the term offensive is not given the same punch for those who exchange sex for money. Therefore when used among prostitutes themselves it is ok for it is not a shameful insult to their character nor is it used with the intent to insult within the prostitution field. As a result it is not demeaning when they call each other whores for they are all in the same line of work and therefore the term is not used to invoke shame. No one should ever say whore because it is demeaning to woman despite the fact that one might be by definition a

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