Letters to the Editor

‘Nana, are you a slut?’ | Federal Way letter to the editor, Feb. 13

Aging gracefully?

I am all for having fun with friends. I am not offended at saucy behavior and lewd rhetoric amongst intimate groups, if that is a person’s preferred form of expression. I am not against self-esteem and inner beauty coming out for all the world to see.

However, I am opposed to the promotion and advertising of anything in a way that takes an advantageous entity and highlights it in a negative way, and that is exactly what the local Red Hat Society and reporter Margo Hoffman did in The Mirror’s Feb. 7 article. Proudly proclaiming themselves and their most prized activity as the “Slut Strut” is just about the most self-demeaning identity I have ever heard.

Yes, these ladies have most likely worked hard for years tending to their families, homes and careers. They most assuredly have earned the right to a little fun. The fact remains, however, that advanced age does not mean that your choices and actions do not influence others, nor is wisdom nullified with your newly gained liberties as empty-nesters. Your words and actions are still powerful, relevant and always impact someone, sometimes even those you will never meet.

Ponder this scenario for a moment. My visiting 6-year-old grandson, who is just learning to read and loves to grab the morning paper to see how many words he can sound out, sits at the kitchen table and opens up the Saturday newspaper with anxious delight. He looks up at me and says, “Nana, what is a slut?” I quickly stop cooking breakfast and look to see what he is reading, trying not to overreact from what I had just heard, and then also at what I was seeing in the paper.

“Well Sweetie, it is a woman who behaves in ways that are not considered good, they sometimes make bad choices. It is not a nice word and we don’t call people that at our house,” I answered. He looks at me and says, “What did they do that was bad?”

I am now at a loss for words, so I look up slut in the dictionary. (No help there. Have these ladies ever looked up the word? If they had I am sure they would find a different handle.) Before I could answer his last question, he comes up with a few more: “Are these women sluts? Nana, are you a slut?” I respond with, “No, I am not, and these ladies just made a mistake and used a bad word.” That ended that particular inquiry, but later that day his great-grandmother called on the phone and his first question to her was, “Nannie, are you a slut?”

You see, everything you say and do has an effect, to influence good or bad, and one never outgrows being responsible for their own actions, even in lieu of well-earned revelry and fun. I know other women who belong to various chapters of the Red Hat Society, the aforementioned great-grandmother is one of them, and each of them is living out their senior years gracefully and responsibly.

Privately, these ladies have the right to do and say what they want, but publicly, they are still accountable to be upright mentors to all who are in the scope of their influence (known and unknown).

Sherran Koshork, Federal Way

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