On Wednesday nights in room 918 in the William Pitt Lounge, meetings for the University of Pittsburgh’s feminist publication Slutciety come to order. Armed with laptops and covering topics that range from female soldiers in the Middle East to sex education in American schools to the commodification of the female orgasm, Slutciety is making their collective voice heard at the University of Pittsburgh.
Typically, when most people hear the world slut, they do not immediately think of an articulate, empowered woman. Slutciety is pushing back against that. Why such a provocative name?
“It’s a mush together of slut and society,” said Amanda Chan, President of Slutciety, “‘Society’ has a connotation of order and tradition and ‘slut’ brings about feelings of chaos and bitterness and stigma. By mushing these two together, I want people to question why being a promiscuous woman would be so against society.”
“And women are going to get called sluts no matter what, so we’re just reclaiming that word,” Zoe Hannah, Vice President of Slutciety, said.
Slutciety takes an interactive community approach to editing articles. Roundtable style and computers out at meetings, the writers read aloud their work and provide comments, suggestions, and the occasional anecdote. They also do more than just write; in November, Slutciety was responsible for bringing Political Commentator and Activist Zerlina Maxwell to Pitt to speak about rape culture.
Although the writers cover topics that might make some clutch their pearls, the members agree that as a whole they are been well received on their campus.
“If nothing else, people are intrigued by us,” said Hannah.
Understandably so as Slutciety is the only feminist group on the University of Pittsburgh’s campus.
These ladies don’t pull any punches and did not let lack of funding in the earliest days of the paper’s existence stop them from making their voices heard. Before they had a budget, this group at one point in time had to use their collective print budgets to run issues.
Why did these young women go outside of the University of Pittsburgh’s official newspaper? For one, the authors of Slutciety do not consider themselves a journalist source. More so, they enjoy the freedom that having their own paper allows them.
“We create a safe space, where anyone can come and feel comfortable talking to us,” said Hannah.
Slutciety places a special emphasis on intersectionality–the concept of how different identities and forms of discrimination interact and impact one’s life. In the simplest of terms, they are determined to make sure that queer people and women of color are properly represented.
“It’s not real feminism unless it’s intersectional,” Chan said.
With humor, honesty, and a willingness not to shy away from uncomfortable topics, it seems that Slutciety will continue to challenge conventions at Pitt. To see some of Slutciety’s work, look them up on Tumblr at Slutcietyatpitt.tumblr.com or follow them on Twitter at @slutciety.