I definitely wouldn’t call myself a feminist by today’s standards. A lot of feminists today are a little too harsh on men and want to be compensated for mistreatment by getting advantages that a man wouldn’t. Eh, to each their own, I just do not feel that way. Disclaimer over!
I am, though, an equal-opportunist, in that I believe firmly that everyone should be treated equally, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation – anything but the content of your character. I’m pretty sure most people fall into this category, and because I’m so used to my own friends being the same as me in that respect, I never really thought that anyone my age would feel much differently.
Sure, in high school I knew some kids who didn’t like gay people or didn’t agree with gay marriage being legalized, but that’s something I figured would happen living in a religiously-dominated state. A few kids expressed distaste for the fact that my boyfriend at the time was African-American and I was white. I can handle that – we all know that racism is still alive and well in this country and will be for the foreseeable future. I didn’t agree with these views, but I dealt with it. But, I really didn’t think that men still held old-fashioned, stereotypical, double-standard ideals about women. I really didn’t. Nothing in high school prepared me for that – the boys all seemed to treat girls well and none expressed any hatred for the fact the women’s suffrage movement decades ago was successful. Maybe I saw it online sometimes on YouTube comments, but that’s the internet, and you have to really lower your standards for humanity if you’re reading YouTube comments.
Even when I graduated from high school, boys seemed to treat ladies just fine. I would check my social media and see all of the friends I’ve acquired throughout the years – most of which I was never really friends with, I’m sure a lot of you have the same thing – and none ever gave me that impression. Basically, nothing ever made me think that a prejudiced view on women still existed with people in my age group.
Tonight, though, a guy I barely knew during high school wrote the dumbest tweet I’ve probably ever seen:
“Smh. A girl wants to get laid more than a guy does? Where did their dignity go?”
I legitimately thought my eyes were going to fall out of my skull. Did I suddenly time-travel back the fifties?
Even more incredulously, many other guys liked his tweet and even took to replying, filling the internet with more vapid slut-bashing and women-hating words.
To make my point more clear, this is the guy at my high school who literally spent all of his time attempting to have sex with every girl he would get to be his girlfriend. A girl he’s friends with even mentioned that fact, which was rebutted by him and his friends.
Maybe in this guy’s male-centric world, girls don’t have sexual urges or desires unless he initiates it. Admittedly, it’s not completely his fault for feeling that way – the media constantly puts females in a sex-hating light. How many television shows/movies have you seen where a female denies her boyfriend sex for (insert any reason here)? The guys are always the sex-crazed, puppy-dog eyed ones chasing after girls who promptly reject them. Moreso, these sex-driven men are received no less well by the audience than the most virginal ones. However, switch the roles and put a woman in and immediately you’ll hear, “Oh, she’s a slut.”
We too often see the girl in a show with a lengthy sex partner list who is almost always a ridiculous caricature – she dresses revealingly, cheats on her boyfriends, has very questionable morals and is dumber than a sack of bricks.
A man can want many physical relationships and it’s acceptable, but when it’s a woman, it’s suddenly something “bad” that needs to be justified by something, such as being stupid or self-absorbed.
Little do we know is that these things do put these backwards ideas into people’s heads and they come to believe it as facts. That being said, this goes even farther than the media – way too many parents give their kids ridiculous ideals about sex, especially when it comes to their daughters.
We already have the media spewing these stereotypes and double-standards at us, and then suddenly parents/school health class/our peers make it seem like a girl wanting sex is something to be ashamed of. We are taught that men are sex animals who can’t control their urges, and we should be above that. Only guys have non-committal sex with girls they barely know; girls should only want sex if they’re in a committed relationship.
It goes the other way, too. Girls who don’t “put out” are shown to be mean girls who tease men who can’t help themselves. That, or they’re shown to be nerdy, friendless girls who can’t get a guy to like them. These caricatures are almost more harmful, as these girls aren’t society’s idea of “beautiful,” and are usually portrayed to be overweight, socially-awkward and simply just weird. Really nice, I’m sure that does plenty to ease the horrible way girls feel about themselves in this country.
A friend of mind reminded me about another thing that needs to be addressed: a girl can wear/do whatever she wants without it having to mean something. Far too many times I have seen surveys where a man thinks rape is justified if a woman is dressed revealingly. Now, most people I’m sure don’t agree with that, but still, the way girls dress definitely cause uproar amongst others. A girl wears a mini-skirt or a tube top and immediately she must be looking for a one-night stand, sleeps around, what have you. Guys really seem to think girls get dressed with them in mind. “Why else would she wear clothes like that unless she wanted me?”
Going back to the “nerdy girl” stereotype, clothes affect them, too. The caricature of them I mentioned insinuates heavily that they lack sex appeal not only because they’re not skinny/have frizzy hair/wear glasses/act differently, but because they dress “badly”: they dress very modestly, not high-brand stuff, that kind of thing. How often do we see a girl in the movies, unable to find a boyfriend, who dresses differently and modestly and is made-up by her girl friends to look like a supermodel, and she’s suddenly happier and everything comes full circle? Yeah, that doesn’t happen.
So many people just jump to these conclusions (slut, prude, etc) without even speaking to the person! A girl who would otherwise maybe want to wear a low-cut shirt because she wanted to may feel pressured into wearing something else to fit “society’s” acceptable idea of what she should wear, out of the fear of being called a “whore.” That is insanity.
All these things do is make girls more self-conscious than they already are. If a woman finds herself being physically attracted to someone, or wants to have non-committal sex, those false-ideals plague their minds. “I shouldn’t want this, I’ve been told my entire life that I don’t want sex as much as men do, and since I do, there must be something wrong with me.”
Women are guilty of contributing to this nonsense, too. We are a very jealous bunch, and resort to the most vicious of name-calling when we’re mad at each other. “Oh my God, Michelle is such a whore. She has sex with everything that breathes.” “Emily is such a tease. I would have broken up with her like Jason did, too, if she never wanted to have sex but would make-out with him.” “Do you see that shirt she’s wearing? Why not just walk around naked? She obviously just wants attention.” It’s ridiculous! You may be guilty of it yourself. How many times have you seen a girl post a picture to Facebook with her chest falling out of her bra and thought, “God, attention-seeking, much?” Probably more than you’d like to admit. I’ll admit it! We’re human, we think things without really thinking first. It’s actually believing those thoughts that is the problem, and more do than should.
Ladies, let me tell you something: there is nothing wrong with wanting sex less than a guy, just as much as a guy, or more than a guy does. There is nothing wrong with wanting to wait until marriage for sex, or having sex a ton of times with tons of men or women, if that’s what you want! We don’t all come from the same mold; we’re all different. Sexual desire comes from the most primal part of our brain, and anyone who tells you that you aren’t normal for having those urges (or not having them) is lying to you.
When it comes to your clothes? You’re a grown woman and this is a free country. You have the absolute right to wear whatever you want and it doesn’t have to mean anything. Bring out the short-shorts - if people want to call you a whore for wearing them, let them. They don’t know anything about you, so just rise above it. On the other hand, if you like to wear modest clothes, don’t let people tell you that you lack sex appeal, or that you’re a prude. Wear what you want! Find people who want to date you/be your friend for you as is.
For anyone to insinuate that a woman lacks dignity, respect, or self-worth because she likes to have sex or likes to dress a certain way is completely ridiculous and I’m honestly sad that people my age still feel this way.
Yes, it can be a problem when it involves somebody else’s partner, or when she cheats, what have you, but that isn’t what we’re talking about here. Have your own opinion on girls who sleep around a lot, but remember this:
What a grown woman does with her sex life is nobody’s business but her own.