Society loves to police female sexuality and it is super unhealthy.
Feminist author Chimamanda Adichie mentioned in her infamous TED Talks speech that “we teach girls that they cannot be sexual beings in the way that boys are.” Young girls are continually bombarded with the message that their number of sexual partners should remain low if they want to be taken seriously as a girlfriend or potential wife. Young men are praised for taking virginities and being the player that can juggle multiple women at once. Marriage for females is seen as the ultimate goal, but for men it is something to be avoided for as long as possible, as it means the end of their promiscuous freedom. Something here doesn’t add up.
Refreshingly, the new wave of female comedienne voices in television and film have begun to chip away at that horrible double standard in their work. Films like ‘What’s Your Number’ and ‘Train Wreck’ have broached the topics of female promiscuity and being taken seriously by men when they play them at their own game. Despite both protagonists being party girls that use men for sex, the message is that they are still human beings who deserve a forever love with someone who respects them. Simple, right?
Relationship guide books like Steve Harvey’s ‘Act Like A Lady, Think Like A Man’ suggest that women should hold out on having sex for a while in order to be seen as relationship potential and not something casual. Steve promotes the idea of the ‘90 Day Rule’ wherein the woman makes a conscious decision to wait 90 days after the first date to sleep with the man, in order to decipher his intentions and for him to get to know her outside of the bedroom. Although sex is an important part of healthy adult relationships, should it really hold this much weight in terms of whether this person could be your happy ever after? Why are men not told to hold out for the same reason?
There seems to be this assumption that men are these feral creatures who are only capable of thinking with their dicks when it comes to the opposite sex, which is ridiculously patronising. This assumption is dangerous because it leads to excuses for deviant behavior and the victim blame culture when it comes to rape. Newsflash, men are fully capable of self-control and reading the signs for consent. For 2016, let’s put the focus on our chemistry with each other and mutual respect, rather than how soon we’ve chosen to have sex with each other, and we may just find ‘the one’ a whole lot sooner.
This leads me to the topic of the dreaded friend zone, which comes after a one-sided decision from the uninterested party to have a purely platonic relationship without the inter-sheet action. For men this seems to be a gut-wrenching blow to their ego, but it actually shouldn’t be seen as a negative thing at all. Having a friend of the opposite gender means you have inside information on how the other side thinks and you get that companionship you miss when you’re single. Win win. Sex isn’t a luxury given to everybody, which is exactly how you want your future wives to behave, apparently. Embrace it.
2015 was the year when slut shaming came into the forefront of discussion. Slut shaming is defined as: “an unfortunate phenomenon in which people degrade or mock a woman because she enjoys having sex, has sex a lot, or may even just be rumored to participate in sexual activity.” Celebrities like Amber Rose and Blac Chyna sparked controversy when they arrived in cat suits covered in derogatory terms used to describe women who fit this definition to the MTV Video Music Awards. Their goal being to reclassify the words into something positive and to reclaim the power these words had coming from misogynists and rapists alike.
This publicity stunt followed Amber Rose’s marketing for her own ‘Slut Walk,’ which was inspired by the international demonstrations of feminists who came before her. The protest originated in Toronto, Canada, in response to the viewpoint of the justice system that victims of rape were ‘asking for it’ if they were dressed in a certain way. Her marketing of this event and provocative Instagram posts sparked heated opposition from people bringing her parenting skills into question. Apparently you cannot be sexually liberated and a mother at the same time, go figure. Men don’t have this dilemma when they enter fatherhood.
All of this outrage and these comments on how a woman should behave show how far the feminist movement still has to go in order to achieve gender equality. Why the desperate need for control over how many guys a woman has been with? All of this negativity is affecting the minds of younger generations and sending mixed messages for young vulnerable girls. You are condemned for being a “prude” or a virgin and then for being a “slut” once you are sexually active. You’re teaching these girls that their only value is based on their “body count” instead of what their minds are capable of achieving.
Men, this year let’s leave the judgement of women for their sexual history in the past and pay more attention to the content of their character when deciding on whether they would make a good life partner or not. Women let’s leave the guilt and stigmas surrounding sex in 2015 and focus on being healthy and happy in our relationships. Own your sexual prowess and stay protected at all times. True love is for everyone, not just the sexually inexperienced.
For more on this topic of female sexuality check out one of my earlier posts: The Female Commodity.
For more gems on sex and relationships look no further than the music industry and its visual aids.
If you do find yourself with child after all of this guilt-free sex take a look at what hopefully won’t be in store for you over the next 9 months.