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True fact: The first sluts were men. And 4 other surprising things about sluts.

So, when someone points out that my house is a total mess, I should interpret that as slut-shaming?

True fact: The first sluts were men. And 4 other surprising things about sluts.

There's lots of talk about sluts, slut-shaming, sluttiness, and other slut-related topics these days.

But did you ever stop and think, "What even is this word?" Like, what does it really mean? Where did it come from? What's so bad about it? In this Stuff Mom Never Told You, Cristen Conger gives us five points that will forever change how you hear that word.


1. The first sluts were men.

The very first man-sluts didn't sleep around. They just were sloppy dressers.

2. "Slut" became a word for a woman fairly quickly.

By the 15th century, a slut was a woman who didn't do a great job keeping her house clean.

3. Slut has almost always had racist and classist undertones.

Slut has long implied low class. Poor women were thought to do a bad job keeping their homes clean. But for a long time, only white women were called sluts.

Because of the way our racist society sexualizes black women, they were sort of assumed to be slutty to begin with. No need to say it.

4. During times when women have stood up for themselves, the word "slut" gets used a ton.

Usage of "slut" spiked in the 1920s (right after women got the right to vote) and the 1980s (when more women joined the work force than ever before).

5. In the present, "slut" is used largely by girls to slut-shame other girls.

That's right. It's used more by girls than guys. And that's not OK.

Every time you use that word to tear someone down, you're bringing back a history of racism, classism, and sexism.

This fantastic video has even more information about historical sluts. I highly recommend it (along with the rest of Cristen's work; she's amazing).

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Shanda Lynn Poitra was born and raised on the Turtle Mountain Reservation in Belcourt, North Dakota. She lived there until she was 24 years old when she left for college at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks.

"Unfortunately," she says, "I took my bad relationship with me. At the time, I didn't realize it was so bad, much less, abusive. Seeing and hearing about abusive relationships while growing up gave me the mentality that it was just a normal way of life."

Those college years away from home were difficult for a lot of reasons. She had three small children — two in diapers, one in elementary school — as well as a full-time University class schedule and a part-time job as a housekeeper.

"I wore many masks back then and clothing that would cover the bruises," she remembers. "Despite the darkness that I was living in, I was a great student; I knew that no matter what, I HAD to succeed. I knew there was more to my future than what I was living, so I kept working hard."

While searching for an elective class during this time, she came across a one-credit, 20-hour IMPACT self-defense class that could be done over a weekend. That single credit changed her life forever. It helped give her the confidence to leave her abusive relationship and inspired her to bring IMPACT classes to other Native women in her community.

I walked into class on a Friday thinking that I would simply learn how to handle a person trying to rob me, and I walked out on a Sunday evening with a voice so powerful that I could handle the most passive attacks to my being, along with physical attacks."

It didn't take long for her to notice the difference the class was making in her life.

"I was setting boundaries and people were either respecting them or not, but I was able to acknowledge who was worth keeping in my life and who wasn't," she says.

Following the class, she also joined a roller derby league where she met many other powerful women who inspired her — and during that summer, she found the courage to leave her abuser.

"As afraid as I was, I finally had the courage to report the abuse to legal authorities, and I had the support of friends and family who provided comfort for my children and I during this time," she says.

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One little girl took pictures of her school lunches. The Internet responded — and so did the school.

If you listened to traditional news media (and sometimes social media), you'd begin to think the Internet and technology are bad for kids. Or kids are bad for technology. Here's a fascinating alternative idea.

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Norton

This article originally appeared on 03.31.15

Kids can innovate, create, and imagine in ways that are fresh and inspiring — when we "allow" them to do so, anyway. Despite the tendency for parents to freak out because their kids are spending more and more time with technology in schools, and the tendency for schools themselves to set extremely restrictive limits on the usage of such technology, there's a solid argument for letting them be free to imagine and then make it happen.

It's not a stretch to say the kids in this video are on the cutting edge. Some of the results he talks about in the video at the bottom are quite impressive.

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