How do you define a hoe?

Let me start by saying the following words may be used interchangeably throughout this post: hoe, whore, slore, tramp, skeezer, sckallywag, dirty-foot, promiscuous, dummy, slut, jezebel, fast, harlot, and so on and so forth….

Of the many topics discussed in my classes, it never fails that a student will say something like this: “I’m just saying Prof. Harvey, she’s a hoe and everybody knows it,” or, “She’s a slut, and she has always been promiscuous.”  At that very moment, my head slants to a 45-degree angle, my arms fold over my chest, I proceed to give the side-eye  and ask a very provocative question:  “How exactly are you defining the word “hoe?”  Again I get the, “C’mon Prof. Harvey, you know what a hoe is!”

But do I? Do any of us know what a tramp or slut actually is?  Can you define it in such a way that most people you know would agree to the definition? Can it be quantified? Come on, let’s define it right now! Stop reading this post and write down your definition of a hoe, then post it in the comment section and let’s see if we can come to a consensus on what it means to be a hoe.   If I say, “A person who has sex with more than 5 people,” would that person be promiscuous?  What if I said, “A person that has sex with more than one person in a 24-hour period,” or, “Someone who has sex and receives money after the act.” Which definition is the “truest?”  Hell, I’ve heard enough married people say that we are all whores if money is at the beginning or end of a sexual act.  Marinate on that one for a second.

When this conversation comes up in class, I stop the lesson and inform everyone that we are going to  come up with a collective working definition for ‘whoredom’ that everyone has to agree to.  How often do you think I get a unanimous consensus.  Never.  It has never happened.  I can barely get 3 people to touch and agree; and that’s if we can even get a full sentence on the board before people shut it down.  

We use these words all of the time and people cannot come up with a definition that they all agree on.  Why is that?  Because the word(s) hoe, tramp, slut, etc. are all subjective.  It could mean the number of people you’ve slept with, or it could mean your mentality around the sex you have and the people you have sex with.  It could simply mean that you are talking about someone who is having more sex than you.  Now how about them apples?  

I am of the professional and personal opinion that there is no such thing as a hoe.  We use words like these to shame people around their sexual actions.  There is nothing uplifting about being called promiscuous.  And more importantly, if it can’t be defined outside of the public health or spiritual realm than I think we should stop using it.  It is judgemental and it is an empty word.  And let me be clear, I’ve not found a clear definition of promiscuous in narry journal article nor bible.  

So, if you have a spirited definition that you think will put us all to bed (pun intended), than Court is in Session!

 

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5 thoughts on “How do you define a hoe?

  1. Lynn says:

    My definition of “hoe” has changed with age and life experience. I think I first believed a “hoe” to be a women who slept with lots of men.

    I think as I’ve grown and I’m able to dissect things and search for my own definition of things I’ve gotten a different understanding.

    First to sleep around doesn’t exactly make one a “hoe”.
    I now believe a “hoe” is one who sleeps around with no purpose and is left empty. What it the actual meaning of this word?

    A hoe is an ancient and versatile agricultural tool used to move small amounts of soil. Common goals include weed control by agitating the surface of the soil around plants, piling soil around the base of plants (hilling), creating narrow furrows (drills) and shallow trenches for planting seeds and bulbs, to chop weeds, roots and crop residues, and even to dig or move soil, such as when harvesting root crops like potatoes.

    See even a “hoe” serves a purpose for the greater good! But, the negative is it’s only there for the preperation! After the harvesting is done you no longer need that “hoe”! Just a joke with a whole lotta truth in the mix!

  2. My, my, my. Lynn, you have given us some serious food for thought here! I mean, I never even thought about contextualizing the agricultural tool as having a purpose! HAHAHAH, but when the harvest is over! It is indeed full of truth. Thank you for sharing your own evolution with the word and concept.

  3. Noni Ayana says:

    Yes! We discussed this very subject on the show this past Sunday. No surprised either of my male guests could agree on a definition. One guests admitted to not liking any of the terms you mentioned in your post. Indeed it is a word to shame women….really to maximize successful paternity and to minimize being cuckold or raising the seed not his own, evolutionarily speaking. Modern day women mostly use slut shaming to minimize competition when seeking a mate, yet also providing a false sense of self esteem. Social media now uses slut shaming to cause further chaos among women which pushes a capitalist agenda.

  4. Jordan Marcus Mike Matthews says:

    …and don’t forget Thot.

    It’s simply one of those “things” that gives life flavor; one of those hot button topics. Every definition of hoe is valid because it’s based on personal experience and conditioning.

    So if we can agree on that, the question becomes: How does one’s designation of hoe affect his or her life? For example, how does it make one feel or how is one’s life influenced if the nosy neighbor thinks he or she is a hoe versus that hiring manager that thinks he or she is a hoe.

    In scenario 1, he or she will likely write the neighbor off. He or she says, “They need to mind their business,” or “They hatin,” or “You don’t know me.”In scenario 2, their ability to provide for themselves may be in jeopardy; especially if that hiring manager translates their hoeism as an integrity/trust issue.

    So what does this mean…understand the life you lead and the potential consequences of your actions. No matter one’s “level of hoe,” pleasure now just might lead to pain later. There are a lot of former hoes with regret, and a lot of former hoes with pride. Live life intentionally.

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