We’ve all heard the worn double-standard that boys who are sexually active are called “players” while girls are just “sluts,” even if they have had the same number of sex partners.
The distressing thing about this belief is that while it may be tired, it still holds true. What usually fails to be brought into consideration is the larger argument – women and girls are not supposed to be sexual.
We are not allowed to have sexual gratification, not even through masturbation, according to society’s norms. However, this claim tends to conflict with all the images we are being fed by the media.
We are being pulled in two different directions – one telling us that sex sells, and the other telling us that as women we are expected to be chaste.
Girls are starting to become sexually active at a younger age, sometimes even before they receive proper sex education, which has become less and less comprehensive due to the efforts of the current government.
The whole topic of female sexuality is so overwhelming because there is so much to say about it, and every facet seems so important and essential to the concept as a whole.
Back in the Victorian era, women were thought to be morally superior to men, so we had to lead others to a virtuous life by example.
Some of that is still seen today. Girls generally want their men to be a little more experienced than they are, while guys still stick to a slightly more virginal characteristic in women. As seen in the recent Kobe Bryant case, a girl’s virginity can be a major point of contention in a rape case.
Boys are even allowed to masturbate more than girls are. It is completely acceptable for a guy to masturbate several times a week, but if a girl does it, then she is gross and unnatural. We are expected to either repress our urges or never get urges to begin with.
However, with shows like Sex and the City, women are more able to realize their sexuality.
The escapades of Miranda, Charlotte, Carrie and Samantha have renewed women’s pride. The series showed how women’s sexuality is nothing to be ashamed of, but instead should be embraced.
Unafraid to discuss masturbation or vibrators, they set out to – as Kim Cattrall’s character, Samantha, puts it – “have sex like a man.” Such an attitude empowers women in today’s society.
The only complaint is that while they are praising singlehood, they all end up with someone at the end – the four protagonists ultimately find a man.
It’s almost like saying that they are getting too old and it’s time to settle down. We can only be loose for so long before it becomes too late and we are alone – except for our 163 cats.
Female sexuality is nothing to be ashamed of, although our Judeo-Christian-dominated society is telling us that sex is sinful and that we should feel guilty about our dirty thoughts.
Conversely, the media uses women as a gimmick to sell something. Women are not in control in those ads, and that is a problem – this other extreme is equally as unhealthy.
We need to find a happy medium as individuals, where we accept our sexuality but do not push ourselves past our comfort levels.
Spinelli can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.