Watch who you call a ho

Picture of South Norwood Leisure Centre near CroydonFor the second time in about a month, I’ve come across the same person I know on Facebook throwing the word “ho” (whore) around at women who are not, in fact, prostitutes. Last time, it was women who wear perfectly normal western beach or swimming attire, which admittedly does not meet Islamic standards of modesty for men or women, but is worn by women deemed perfectly respectable by the standards of their society, to the extent that you wouldn’t get dismissed from a teacher’s job if you were seen wearing it at the local swimming bath, regardless of whether there were any men around. I know this as two close female relatives are teachers.

This time, she posted a video of some black American guy in his 50s, I would judge, opining that a woman who “shacks” being nothing more than a “live-in hoe”, and that if a woman will move in with a man without the guarantee of marriage, he is getting the benefits without the responsibilities and the woman cannot stop him messing around. He also said that the majority of situations where a couple lives together without marrying end their relationships without ever marrying. This may be true, but a fair proportion of marriages end in divorce as well, and in my family all of the recent marriages (80s and afterwards) followed a period of cohabitation, and they did last.

I don’t know the exact rulings on these matters in Islam (the person I’m talking about is a Muslim), but I do know that making false accusations of illicit sex is a huge sin, particularly when the person accused is a woman. It’s still slander if you say someone is a whore and they aren’t, regardless of their other sexual habits. Just because someone has a single partner but isn’t married, one cannot make any assumptions about their other habits, particularly if they belong to a culture in which that is normal and does not signify anything else. It’s not just about my family, although I do take offence to someone insinuating that several of my family are “hoes” even if they are oblivious to what they are saying.

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