From the beginning, slut was a word meant to punish women for having a lot of sex; now we use it to punish women in other ways. A girl (not just adults, but younger girls as well) who wears clothes that are considered “too revealing” are also “sluts.” Female Halloween costumes, for example, tend to be “slutty” versions of whatever a woman is trying to dress as, with manufacturers shortening the hemlines and tightening the seams. Yet, despite the clothing industry making it increasingly difficult to find anything “modest,” women who choose to wear these clothes are being punished for it. We get called sluts for daring to step outside what is considered proper social behavior, even though society is simultaneously encouraging us to do so. We are being set up to fail.
This is all sending us a damaging message: that girls are objects defined by their sexuality. Society tells us to reveal more of our bodies, then chastises us for it. Words such as “dumb” or “dirty” are often used in conjunction with slut, implying that a “slutty” woman ought to be discarded, disregarded, or even loathed. It takes just one misstep for a girl, even one who chooses to abstain from sexual activity, to suddenly become a victim of slut-shaming. Any sort of “devious” behavior on a woman’s part, be it falling asleep at a male friend’s house or choosing to wear shorts and a crop top on a hot summer day, can be seen as indicators of a “slut.” There is no winning."