What to Do If Your Friends Throw the Word 'Slut' AroundS

Welcome to Friendzone, Jezebel's column devoted to dealing with the valuable people in your life who you're not humping. Got an issue and looking for guidance? Email friendzone@jezebel.com.

The other day we had freshman orientation at my high school. Afterwards, my friends Sophia and Rose talked about how they thought it was terrible that the school dress code allowed girls to dressed however they wanted. One of them used the term "slut" and I got really mad. I said, "There's no such thing as a slut" and pointed out that this kind of attitude contributes to rape culture. They both laughed at me and said, "Blanche, you're crazy. You think girls should walk around naked and just have sex with everybody?" I'm a feminist, just like my Mom, and I want to start a battered women's shelter and write books to raise awareness for domestic violence. Sophia and Rose have helped me through some tough, scary times and been really supportive and loving. But I don't know if I can be friends with them if they're going to be so sexist and mean. What should I do?

First, I have to say that you are so cool. I am more than twice your age, and I am still learning lessons about using harsh words and being judgmental. I think as you grow older, you'll find that mean girls come in all shapes, sizes, and ages. Good on you for displaying your own commitment to kindness.

I'm also really psyched that you're so smart and aware at such a young age. I mean jeez, when I was 14, I thought abortion was evil even in cases of rape, people born gay should remain celibate out of respect for the Lord, and that trans people were just insane. (O hai, religious indoctrination!)

I share these unsavory aspects of my own adolescent character in order to make this point: people change. I did. You will, and so will Rose and Sophia. The question is, will they change in exactly the way you hope? Your choice is whether to hang around and find out.

You say these girls have been there for you through some really difficult periods of your life. Well, high school will bring new struggles as well as new triumphs. I'd say loyal and loving friends are worth keeping, even if you disagree on some things. However, you don't have to just sit back and listen to their ignorant views. The trick is to educate, not preach.

Rather than presenting yourself as a schoolmarm or scold, try to be the happy bearer of good news. Communicate some version of this message: "Hey, guess what, ladies? We don't have to hate on each other for wearing booty shorts or tight tops! And here's something even better: we're allowed to express our sexuality in healthy ways! Wheeeeeee! Isn't that great?" Obviously, you'll find subtler and more articulate ways to express your vision, but you get the idea.

Oh, and get involved with the local domestic violence shelter, a chapter of PFLAG, your school's Amnesty International group, a Planned Parenthood health center, or any other group that may share your commitment to social justice. I bet you'll meet some excellent new friends there.

My friend, Dorothy, started dating an awful woman, Maude, last year. Maude trash-talked me behind my back to Dorothy, forbade her from speaking to me (she sneaks around to do so), and turned other people against me. I just found out that Maude and Dorothy are in a BDSM relationship. Honestly, it makes my skin crawl. Dorothy is naturally very submissive (personal/family stuff growing up), and my gut tells me Maude totally manipulated her into this lifestyle. When I tell Dorothy how terrible Maude is, Dorothy says, "I'm an adult. It's my decision." But it's so painful to watch her in this hideous situation, I am thinking about talking to her less. What should I do?

Dorothy's choice is Dorothy's choice is Dorothy's choice is Dorothy's choice. Need I say it again? Dorothy's choice is Dorothy's choice. Dorothy chooses to be with Maude. Dorothy chooses to play the role of sub in a sub/dom relationship. (And there are folks who might argue the sub wields even more power than the dom, but that's a conversation for folks better versed in BDSM culture than I.)

You've already made your opinion known. You despise Maude. It would seem that Maude despises you. Ultimately, if you can't get past Dorothy's choice of partner, you need to back away from this friendship and spare everyone involved the drama. Clearly, Dorothy isn't interested in being saved. You're wasting your time.

My husband and I have some friends, Bernice and Arthur, who inherited a ton of wealth. Every time they get something new, they are compelled to tell us how much it cost, how it's so top-of-the-line and so on. If it sounds like I'm jealous, I totally am. A month ago, we were visiting their house, and we accidentally broke something. We were embarrassed and offered to pay for it. Arthur said, “Don’t worry about it." But the next day he e-mailed my husband with a demand for $100 to cover the damage. Technically, we should pay it because we broke it. But isn’t it a dick move to demand reimbursement from a guest? I don’t want to visit anymore. What’s the protocol?

Of course it's a dick move, but these people are dicks. And you knew that long before this particular incident occurred. They didn't even earn the money they flash around everywhere. Send them a check and then stop returning their phone calls. They'll probably say that you're cheap jerks who resent being held responsible for their own actions, but you and I know that these people are losers. You're better off without them. And next time you've got a free night for socializing, get together with some fellow commoners and celebrate the glory of the proletariat by storming a castle or drinking PBR or both.