“We’re all sluts,” Samirah Raheem, an L.A.-based model, asserted in a now-viral video. “You’re a slut, all these dudes behind you are sluts, your cameraman’s a slut, your PA’s a slut. And your mic’s a slut.”
The moment was filmed at Amber Rose’s 2017 Slut Walk, an event dedicated to raising awareness about rape culture and victim-blaming, but went viral on social media this week. Raheem’s statement in particular was a response to the ultra-conservative personality and reverend Jesse Lee Peterson, who stopped her on the street and asked about her outfit and “sluttiness.” In a brilliant turn, the model and actress started schooling Peterson on the word—and why she proudly reclaims it.
“I own my body. My body is not a political playground. It’s not a place for legislation,” she said. “It’s mine, and it’s my future.” Peterson then asked Raheem’s age and, refusing him any reason to discredit her opinions, she replied, “Grown.”
Raheem took to Instagram to address her viral comments. “Thank y’all for forcing me to step into my unapologetic tongue,” she posted.
“My body is not a political playground” 🗣 Growing up it’s been a very interesting journey I’ve always been a walking contradiction. I never thought I’d have a voice like this. I was often ashamed of being opinionated and louder than most. I tried to make myself smaller to fit into social circles. I genuinely thank you guys for your overwhelming love & support. There’s no more hiding. Thank y’all for forcing me to step into my unapologetic tongue.
“I definitely didn’t think [the video] would go viral,” Raheem said in a recent interview with Dazed. “It just made me realize that you have to be your true self and that’s what people are gonna resonate with. I never have felt this kind of unconditional support from my peers.”
Check out the full video below, and remember—a slut is “anybody who’s owning their sexuality, turning up, and not letting Jesse twist their answers around.”
Top photo via YouTube / Samuel Solano
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Lydia Wang is a New York-based writer, pug enthusiast, and BUST blog editor. You can find her on Twitter, and send all My So-Called Life fan theories to firstname.lastname@example.org.