The next stop on the Anthony Weiner crazy train – cough, campaign – is a very NSFW rant by his top aide against a former intern, the highlight of which seems to have twisted the Internet's collective knickers.
A top Weiner aide (lol) called former intern Olivia Nuzzi, who wrote a bylined article for the New York Daily News about working for the mayoral candidate, a “slutbag,” which is apparently an insult we’re using now.
The article blasted the staff for working only to “make a connection with Weiner’s wife, Huma Abedin,” a longtime Hillary Clinton staffer, among other unprofessional moves. (See every other press bit about Weiner ever.)
When the aide, Barbara Morgan, was asked for comment, she went off on a profanity-laden, seriously slut-shaming rant about Nuzzi.
“It’s all bullshit,” she said of Nuzzi’s claims. “I mean, it’s such bullshit. She could fucking – fucking twat.” Later, she elaborated, saying, “You know what? Fuck you, you little cunt. I’m not joking, I am going to sue her.” This preceded the now-infamous comment, “Fucking slutbag.”
“Nice fucking glamour shot on the cover of the Daily News. Man, see if you ever get a job in this town again,” ended Morgan’s tirade.
The "glamor shot" to which Morgan was referring
Morgan’s responses are not only problematic insofar as they appropriate Nuzzi’s sexuality, which has nothing to do with the article for which she was insulted, for use as a pejorative, but also because it raises the very serious and important question, what the fuck IS a slutbag, anyway?
I guess it’s meant to be insulting by virtue of the inclusion of ‘slut’, as slut=shameful=bad, but the ‘bag’ tacked on at the end confuses the intent of ‘slut’. Does it pluralize the ‘slut’ aspect of the slur, a la Louis C.K.’s “suck a bag of dicks” bit?
Time Magazine’s Katy Steinmetz offered a history of the slang word in light of what some blogs are calling “slutbag-gate,” providing a comparison to tried and true insults like “douchebag” and “scumbag” (which apparently originated as slang for condom - who knew?). Her explanation, however, of the suffix ‘bag’ – “derogatory slang for an unfortunate-looking older woman” – only serves to mire further the insult and its meaning.
If we work off this definition of ‘bag’ – which etymologically relates to other slang like “baggage” – is Morgan then negatively comparing Nuzzi to an older whore? In that case, I feel like that insult could even constitute a point of pride at the comparison to lovely ladies like Louise and Martine Fokkens, twin Amsterdam prostitutes who retired last year at the age of 70.
Louise and Martine Fokkens, pictured above, have reportedly had sex with a combined 355,000 men – hello!
I move to cut “bag” entirely out of the insult game, as it raises far too many questions with respect to its application. (And also that we stop calling our fellow women sluts.) Is it supposed to mean an elderly slut? A bag full of sluts? Is it a tote bag? A Birkin? Where are we going as a society with “slutbag” tucked away in our insult reserves?
Have you ever been called a slutbag? How did it feel? Weird? Confusing? Respond in the comments below.
Thanks to Time and NY Daily News
Photo via the Telegraph