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The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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    A STAND AGAINST SUBJUGATION

    How many times have you heard a guy ask, ‘Is she a ho?’ when referringto a girl he is thinking of dating. Webster’#146;s Dictionary defines ‘ho’as ‘used to attract attention to something or to urge onward.’ Clearly,this is not what we are referring to when we use the term to refer to a woman.

    Instead, we are using the word as an abbreviation for the word ‘hooker’or ‘whore’ both of which Webster’#146;s defines as ‘prostitute’which is defined as ‘one who solicits and takes payment for sexual intercourse.’

    We all know that usually when a guy asks if a girl is a ‘ho’ or not(and let’#146;s be fair, plenty of women discuss other women using the sameterm), he is not asking if the girl is a prostitute. What he wants to know aboutis how much sexual experience she has. The implication of his question beingthat if she has attained a certain level of experience he wants nothing to dowith her.

    This type of mentality has furthered the subjugation of women for years. Itsupports the idea that if a guy is sexually experienced it’#146;s a good thing,as he is seen as a ‘stud,’ but that for a girl it’#146;s a bad, negativething.

    It has accounted for self-esteem issues in many women and resulted in the formationof a sometimes crippling stigma. We are largely shaped by the world in whichwe live, and to live in a world with such a severe double standard has provenharmful for many women.

    To refer to a girl as a ‘ho,’ with all of the negative connotationsthe word holds, simply for having sexual experience, forcing her to suffer feelingsof low self-esteem and shame, while an equally experienced male counterpartis praised for his time spent in the sack, is simply intolerable.

    And so, I urge each of you to fight such terminology when you encounter it.I implore each of you to no longer sit idly by and passively accept the doublestandards, which seem inherent in our society. The cycle of oppressing womenthrough language will not cease until we each take action to stop it.

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