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Female sexuality is not a Pandora’s box

Once in high school, a girl called me a whore after I kissed a boy she also liked at a school assembly. She wasn’t happy about that, so she called me by the name that she thought would be the most hurtful. Bitch. It might have been insulting to an older generation, but it was 1993 and being a bitch had become quite chic for some of us.

Fourteen years and dozens of sexual conquests later, I am a strong supporter of sex-positive feminism or ‘Stiletto Feminism’, a movement born out of the turbulent social and sexual upheavals of the 1960s that flourished in the 1980s and 1990s as a violent reaction. against the conservative movement that strives to put limits on what women can and cannot do sexually. Broken down into its core component, the message of sex-positive feminism is that a woman’s sexuality can and should be used not only for her pleasure but also for her benefit if need be.

The Society of Media Mirrors

A 2000 article in Weather introducing the cast of sex and the city brought some positive attention to this phenomenon, as did an episode of the west wing. The August 2000 issue of Jorge magazine also featured it, calling this a “new kind of feminism.” She described the “Stiletto Feminist” as the woman who “embraces expressions of sexuality that enhance rather than detract from women’s freedom.” Dr. Susan Hopkins, Professor at the University of Queensland School of Journalism and Communication, wrote a cultural analysis of the contemporary archetype of the stiletto feminist in popular culture in her book hero girls. Dossie Easton and Catherine A. Liszt tackled the subject head-on in their popular book The Ethical Slut: A Guide to Infinite Sexual Possibilities To be fair, the movement was criticized in a book titled Macho Sows: Women and the Emergence of Obscene Culture. They are all excellent reads that provide different perspectives on sexually positive feminism.

And those of us who have embraced the principles of this have, knowingly or unknowingly, apparently been smart about it. At the same time, HBO sex and the city was becoming a phenomenon, sexually provocative female pop stars were burning up the airwaves, and virginity was becoming an afterthought, a funny thing happened: unplanned teen pregnancies and rates of sexually transmitted diseases skyrocketed. generally reduced. You can credit excellent parenting, good government policy, effective Trojan ad campaigns, or the fact that women were (finally) in charge of their own poonannies for the positive statistics, but one thing was for sure: women knew what was at stake with their freedoms and they weren’t going to mess it up like a nervous, awkward girl in love with her high school’s star quarterback.

A generation of young women (dare I say two generations because this movement started in the ’60s) has found the courage to do what men have been doing forever: have sex with wild abandon. After all, Ernest Hemingway famously said, “What is moral is what makes you feel good, and what is immoral is what makes you feel bad.” And I’m here to tell you that it feels good.

How society betrays us

But that still doesn’t soften the blows other women inflict on us if we’re too sexual. Just as many of us have a newfound freedom and confidence, our sisters seek to bring us down, to undermine our sexuality through guilt and shame. You know the game, right? If a woman walks into a room like she owns the place, perhaps dressed provocatively, our first thought is ‘whore!’ We may even secretly envy her, but she’s a tough competition for the attention of the men in the room. And we can’t possibly admire her for it externally, so we have to make ourselves feel better by marking her in a scarlet letter.

And that attitude is not exempt from evolutionary and generational causes. Women have been taught since the dawn of recorded history that our sexuality is a commodity to be traded and exchanged for security within marriage. If some women throw those standards out the window, the reasoning goes, they cheapen supply. Men are less likely to provide women with security if they can get what they’re looking for for free elsewhere, or so we’ve been taught. So women, based on something ingrained in their minds by social norms, will naturally try to compensate for what they see as devaluing their ‘product’ by undermining sexually confident women.

Of course, it is not only women who condemn the sexuality of other women. In male-dominated societies, female sexuality has always been feared. One of the earliest myths in Judaism is that of Lilith, Adam’s first wife, who was banished from the Garden of Eden for being on top of her in a sexual encounter with Adam. Notice that the sin was not the sex itself, but the woman being above the man instead of below him. Theories persist today that the forbidden fruit Eve tempted Adam with was actually a metaphor for having sex for reasons other than procreation. One of the first laws in recorded history requires the stoning to death of any woman who has had sexual relations with more than one man.

Also consider some of the double standards our daughters are subjected to. Men who sleep with a variety of women, moving from one conquest to the next, are often admired, while women who engage in the same behavior are considered prostitutes. Rape victims are sometimes blamed for their own assaults because of the way they were dressed, which obviously means they were asked to. Many insurance plans will cover Viagra but not the birth control pill. Some pharmacies refuse to fill birth control pill prescriptions unless the woman can prove that she is married. And on the subject of the pill, a controversy brewing in England right now is whether teenage girls should have access to it without a prescription while, at the same time, teenagers have been buying condoms unhindered for years.

A history of female sexual freedom

What are the roots of this new “slutty” movement? Well, how far do you want to go back? Historically, in many societies, when women’s economic status improves, so do their sex lives. It’s for the reason, right? When women remain uneducated and dependent on men, they are less likely to experiment sexually for fear of being branded as prostitutes. And indeed, for the many women who sought such pleasures from the flesh in times past and were found out, the repercussions were devastating. No money, no education, no job skills, and no marriage prospects. Psychologist Dr. David Ley, in his fascinating book Insatiable Wives: Women Who Go Astray and the Men Who Love Them posits that the traditional roles of men and women have always been dictated by economics and given a level playing field in that regard, women and men would not be all that different in their pursuit of carnal adventures.

Ley explains that female sexual freedom throughout world history is directly related to the economic independence enjoyed by women in any given society. Among the Inuit, where women have sexual freedoms comparable to those of men in their society, women traditionally oversee the family economy. The government of ancient Sparta, where women were allowed to own land, wrote laws that protected women’s sexual freedom. In the Islamic culture of nineteenth-century Morocco, wealthy women often engaged in blatant affairs, protected from their husband’s wrath by the fact that the family’s wealth was in the wife’s name, inherited from the family of she. In Italy in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, women had Cicisbeo Prayed gentleman servanta lover and servant who had “privileged” access to her.

In today’s Western world, as women’s economic status has risen, so have rates of female infidelity and, not coincidentally, attention to female sexual satisfaction within heterosexual relationships. (translation: guys try a lot harder to make us happy in the bedroom.)

A book that deals with the practical application of sexually positive feminism is The Ethical Slut: A Guide to Infinite Sexual Possibilities by Dossie Easton and Catherine A. Liszt. He is credited with raising awareness of the possibility of consensual non-monogamy as a lifestyle and providing practical guidance on how such long-term relationships work and are put into practice.

The authors define the term slut as “a person…who has the courage to lead life according to the radical proposition that sex is enjoyable and pleasure is good for you.” The term is recovered from its usual use as an insult and is used to refer to a person who accepts their enjoyment of sex and the pleasure of intimacy with others. The book discusses how to live an active life with multiple simultaneous sexual relationships.

A box that cannot be closed

Of course all this super hot slut is not for everyone and yes, she has her pitfalls. Emotions can get involved, heartbreak ensues, and unwanted pregnancies and disease continue to occur in alarming numbers, especially in states that lean toward conservative politics and where abortion, sex education, and family planning often tip elections wildly. sideways. And as mentioned above, if you ever drink the golden nectar of promiscuity, other women can be your worst enemy.

But as women reach social and economic parity with men, the idea that we should only have sex when we’re into romance, love, or lies is fading into history. As they say, with great power comes great responsibility. The government must continue its push for quality sex education in our schools. Parents should make the safety of their daughters and sons a higher priority than morality. And other women shouldn’t fear the burgeoning carnal confidence of their sisters. Female sexuality does not have to be a Pandora’s Box.

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