Skip to Content


A ‘Cad’ does not sell videos of his sexual conquests to newspapers

29 April 2014

2:50 PM

29 April 2014

2:50 PM

There’s been a lot of talk on this website recently about ‘revenge porn’. First, Freddy revealed his tips on how to avoid embarrassing videos and pictures of yourself being posted online (Answer: don’t let anyone take them). Then Lara asked why a Ukip-supporting victim of revenge porn wasn’t getting any support from feminist campaigners. And now Ed West has come up with his solution for slut-shaming: cad-shaming.

It’s this last bit that I’m not so sure about, though. How come men get the name ‘cad’, while women get called ‘sluts’? When it comes to venomous insults, the two words are hardly on the same level. For example, there are certain words that are automatically banned from the Disqus comment service used on this site and many others. Slut is one of those. Cad, on the other hand, isn’t. No surprises there.

In fact, just last week a Telegraph blogger wrote about why he’d rather be a cad than a gentleman. I can’t imagine many women writing that they would rather be a slut than a lady. And, as Dot Wordsworth wrote back in September, even in the middle of the 15th century, the word was used to mean a ‘woman of a low or loose character’, as opposed to someone whose kitchen was a bit dusty. So enough of this cad-shaming chat. I think a far worse word is in order.

Subscribe to The Spectator today for a quality of argument not found in any other publication. Get more Spectator for less – just £12 for 12 issues.

Show comments


The Spectator Comment Policy

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.