There was a hot minute in grade five where I got to sit next to the cutest boy in our class. His name was Damien. With his long blonde locks, tear away Addidas pants, and too cool for school attitude, he was deemed the most desirable candidate by all the girls, most of whom he dated. To be clear, by “date” I mean hold hands at recess. Maybe over the shirt stuff at parties.
I can vividly recall one day sitting next to Damien and his crystal blue eyes, one of which was lazy, and he confided in me that he had a crush on someone. “Who?” I ask, my heart fluttering. He motioned over to Laura, a very sweet, pretty girl at the other side of the classroom.
“I don’t know if I want to date her” he said coolly tossing his hair away from his eyes. “Too tight.”
“Too tight?” I asked, unfamiliar with this term. He opened his notebook and drew two brackets in the corner of the page.
“Like her pussy” he whispered, “I wouldn’t be able to get in there.” I stared at the parentheses that represented Laura’s vagina. Tight. Too tight. Not loose.
I can’t recall the first time I heard the word slut, whore, tramp, or the plethora of other terms used in a way to demean someone, specifically a woman, for their actions in the boudoir. But at this point I had an inherent knowledge that to be sexually promiscuous, or even to be perceived as such was a bad thing. But now, privy to the information communicated by this lazy eyed twelve-year-old that there was such a thing as being too virginal. Too unavailable.
Prude, cock tease, hard to get, goody goody, or blue-baller, all came next into my lexicon of names directed specifically at the woman who is unwilling to give it up. In conjunction with the aforementioned terms for a libidinous woman, it presented me with the task of the all to familiar balancing act: to be desirable, but don’t possess too much desire.
Needless to say this is bullshit.
The virgin/whore dichotomy is fraught with these labels meant to bully, insult, and degrade women based in a system where their bodies—and what they do with them—are seen a public property. I’ve written before that I’m okie dokie with calling myself a slut, because I have the freedom and privilege to take a word and construe its meaning to meet my own personal preferences.
But sadly, this is not the case for many and on both sides of the good girl/bad girl spectrum it seems that all too often you just can’t win.
Paying attention to the memeification of linguistics, new terms for all kinds of things comes up in my daily life. Like when I was on the train and overheard a group of young women using the term “ratchet” and I thought they were saying rat shit, but I eventually caught on. Or when someone texted me that they were too “turnt” and I had to Google it. There’s all kinds of new monikers and usages that are part of the English language’s evolution.
However, there is a new word that I’ve recently encountered through the interwebs that I’m just not happy about. It’s not as fun and fancy free as describing my eyebrows as on “fleek”, or describing things as “hype” the new term THOT.
THOT is an acronym for “Thirsty hoe(s) over there” or “That hoe over there”. A synonym for slut. Easily punned, a flurry of memes arise when you Google the term describing these women as untrustworthy, trashy, dirty, etc.
Oh great, another word that refers derogatorily to a sexually promiscuous woman. FAN-FUCKING-TASTIC.
Originally credited to rapper Chief Keif, it first came to my attention when news broke Chris Brown was warning Karruche Tran not to be one after she posted a pick of herself in a bikini.
Given that fact that Chris Brown is a highly regarded feminist and respecter/non-beater of women, perhaps this is a momentary lapse in judgement? Oh wait…
There too much proof that this is a negatively applied term.
It seems to be everywhere, and it’s casual usage is something that’s being too casually used like when this interviewer decided to quiz Will Farrell about it, and Kevin Hart thinks it’s so fucking hilarious to have him repeat it over and over.
Something that bothers me about this acronym (besides its inherent misogyny, etc…etc…) That Hoe Over There functions in such a way that said Hoe is assessed from the outsider. The way it operates suggests that she is outed, seen, marked by those who have deemed her to be available for shame and degradation. There leaves little room for her to connect with any kind of agency with the term, as the language suggests it is something to be inflicted upon her because she is over there, and not right here.
The moniker THOT follows in a long tradition of a double standard with no parallel for a way to describe a man. And I’m not saying that there should be. I try not to practice misandry.
I’m not suggesting that we should say, call a man who enjoys going out on the town having a few drinks and bringing someone home a “Sloppy Joe.”
I would never ask for the general public to start addressing sexually active men “Dick Tricks.”
There’s nothing that would give me joy about insulting a guy at a club looking for some action a “Hungry Man.”
All I’m asking is that maybe, just maybe instead of inventing more ways to shame someone for their sexual desire we can, maybe NOT?
Just a thot though. (sorry I had to)