It Might Work For Amber Rose, But You’re Not Going To Get Karrine Steffans To Reclaim The Word ‘Slut’

September 14, 2018  |  

Karrine Steffans

Author Karrine Steffans attends a party and signing for her book “SatisFaction” at Hustler Hollywood on August 5, 2011 in West Hollywood, California.

Karrine Steffans knows the bright and dark side of being a video vixen. She also knows the assumptions that were made about her because of that line of work, as well as because of the things she’s revealed about herself and her experiences in books like Confessions of a Video Vixen and the BET documentary, Vixen. But unlike fellow former video vixens, models and overall sex symbols who are unabashed when it comes to their sexuality, Steffans chooses to go about things differently. For instance, while someone like Amber Rose might choose to reclaim and embrace the word “slut,” dressing up and carrying herself however she pleases as a proud feminist, Steffans told The Jasmine Brand she’s not about that life. She wants no part of the word or the presumed attire that goes along with it.

“First of all, what I don’t like is that every definition that pertains to things like ‘slut,’ ‘prostitute,’ in the dictionary says ‘a woman who…’ It never says ‘a person who…’ it never says ‘a man or a woman who…’ It is always a woman,” she said. “There is no word in the English dictionary for sexually promiscuous men. It’s always a woman. I think that’s the first thing that needs to change.”

“Second of all, I’m not here to reclaim the word slut. It is what it is,” she continued. “I believe in the meaning of words. Every word has a meaning. Slut has a meaning — it should refer to both men and women, but it has a meaning. You’re not going to get me to reclaim that.”

Steffans said she isn’t about dressing promiscuously out in the world. And while people might say that she has been seen scantily clad in the past, she says that was only in music videos, which was for work purposes. Otherwise, she carries herself in the way she wants to be treated.

“I also believe that we have to be careful about how we dress,” she said. “Everything has a uniform. Police officers have a uniform. Doctors have a uniform. You see someone in a suit, a tie, and a briefcase, you’re going to assume that’s a businessperson. If I see someone with scrubs, a white coat, and a stethoscope, I’m going to assume that’s a doctor. Hookers have a uniform. And anyone, man or woman, that walks out of the house looking like a hooker is going to be talked to that way. There’s an expectation based on how we dress — whether we like it or not.”

“I’ve always known that. I’ve never been a scantily clad dresser. It was never my style,” she added. “I did it for work. Work was one thing. The way I dress is another. I’ve always been a GAP girl. Even to this day, GAP jeans and a T-shirt. I know for sure that people treat you differently based on how you look. People treat you how they see you. What I don’t like is for women to pretend that we are exempt from that. I just like to tell everyone, especially the girls that I mentor, everything and everyone has a uniform. Make sure you’re wearing the proper uniform.”

She has a point. However, it’s also true that people should be treated with respect, regardless of what they have on. We are all human beings, no matter the uniform, and no one is better than anyone else. A short skirt or or a see-through top might be a lot for some, but it isn’t an invitation to be talked to poorly, sexually assaulted, or overall, treated like crap. I think that’s the point that Amber Rose tries to make in the way she dresses sometimes and with her annual Slutwalk.

With that being said, whose way of thinking do you find yourself more drawn to? Or are you open to both?

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