I Yelled at a Man for Calling Someone a Slut, and Now We’re Friends

Sometimes anger does work to get a point across.

Samantha Blake
Jan 19 · 5 min read
Photo by Wolfgang Langer from Pexels

We were at a party. I didn’t know him well, but we were friends of friends, so I wanted to give him a chance.

He seemed nice, though perhaps a little hard-headed. I was aware from our mutual friend that he hadn’t had much dating experience. And from our initial conversation I gathered that he was an interesting person, but somewhat sheltered.

Somehow we’d gotten onto the topic of relationships, and he said something about this girl that he’d liked but never really got to connect with.

And somewhere in there he nonchalantly referred to her as a slut.

I did a double-take — mostly because I was so surprised. He’d literally just told me they’d never been together or done anything. He’d thought she was attractive and they had talked a bit, and then she ended up with someone else.

“Wait.” I stopped him abruptly. “I’m sorry, why was she a slut though?”

He looked a little taken aback. “Uhh, I don’t know, I just mean she went with that other guy so…” Shrug.

At that, I was immediately irritated. “So…? What, you just randomly gave a girl that label because she didn’t go with you?”

His face turned red. I could tell he hadn’t thought much about it, and definitely hadn’t expected me to call him out.

“Well no, I mean, I didn’t expect her to go with me. I guess I just said that because it’s something people say. I didn’t mean anything by it.”

Uh-huh. He looked genuinely embarrassed.

At that point, I was a little tipsy, thoroughly annoyed, and unsure if this guy was actually a misogynistic jerk or just… very out of the loop.

“That isn’t a word you should just toss around.” I blurted out, “A guy takes a lot of women home and he’s got game, and a woman goes home with one guy and she’s a slut. How is that okay? And this was someone you didn’t even really know. Are you telling other people that she’s a slut too? Spreading random rumors — that seems pretty freaking cold, don’t you think?”

“Come on,” he stammered, “I, uh, didn’t think it was that big of a deal.” His face was completely flushed.

“And that’s the issue.” I agreed finally, still mad but aware that he wasn’t trying to argue. “People don’t think it’s a big deal because that’s the way it’s always been, or because society encourages these stupid double standards. But calling a woman a slut for no reason — or at all, for that matter — is honestly pretty low. And not just you — anyone, you know?”

He looked annoyed and embarrassed, nodded, and was silent. I took a breath. Extreme awkwardness ensued.

“Yeah… I never really thought about it that way.” He mumbled, glancing around, obviously looking for an escape route.

I sighed. “Well when it happens all the time, it’s honestly hard not to think of it that way.”

Silence. We avoided eye contact until I finally said, “Anyways…” and we drifted awkwardly back into small talk. Weather, work, holiday plans — anything but relationships and sexism.

A short while later we walked off to find more of our friends, and didn’t speak much the rest of the night.

Flash forward, and I’ve known this guy now for almost five years. It may be hard to believe, but he’s honestly a good man. Genuine, smart, honest — though definitely sheltered and a bit naïve at times.

That was one of the first times we met, and it was incredibly uncomfortable. I know neither of us wanted to hang out after that. But we did, because we were in the same friend group.

We’ve since apologized — him for what he said, me for being, well, a tad aggressive.

And over time we got to know each other a lot better, to the point where we’d go to happy hour alone together if no one else wanted to, and he hosted me when I flew in for our friends’ wedding after I moved away.

And I know for a fact he doesn’t call women sluts anymore.

You might be thinking, well actually he might — just not around you.

I’ve thought about that but I don’t believe it’s true, mostly because of the way I’ve seen him change over the past five years. He’s asked me for dating advice, and texted me asking if it was okay to call a woman “his girl”. (That’s mostly personal preference, in my opinion).

So I like to believe that night did actually have an impact.

The problem is, he’s definitely not alone in his behavior. It’s an issue throughout society.

Throwing labels around because men feel ignored, or because women decide to exercise their right to sexual freedom — unfortunately those double standards and behaviors are alive and well.

Sometimes people really are arrogant assh*les. But sometimes they simply don’t realize the impact of what they’re saying or how they’re acting until you call them out.

My first impression was that this guy was a fragile, egotistical misogynist. God knows there are enough of them out there. But after knowing him this long, I know now that’s not true. He was incredibly sheltered, an only child, sometimes oblivious to what’s acceptable and what’s not. And there are plenty of people like that out there, too.

Though admittedly mine wasn’t the most tactful approach, sometimes anger does work.

Sometimes people are rude, sexist, and so stubborn that you’re not going to change their minds. But, other times you might have a chance.

And that hope is what makes me determined to keep calling out behavior like that and having those hard conversations. Because we all know that it’s worth it to try.

© Samantha Blake 2021

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Samantha Blake

Written by

Making a change through the power of words and human connection. I write about empowerment, relationships, & how to conquer life. Copywriter and ghostwriter.

The Pink

The Pink

Our mission is to empower people through stories that focus on Feminism & Equality, Love & Life. The Pink was created with the belief that in order to empower a community, everyone needs to be educated. Join The Pink community today!

Samantha Blake

Written by

Making a change through the power of words and human connection. I write about empowerment, relationships, & how to conquer life. Copywriter and ghostwriter.

The Pink

The Pink

Our mission is to empower people through stories that focus on Feminism & Equality, Love & Life. The Pink was created with the belief that in order to empower a community, everyone needs to be educated. Join The Pink community today!

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