double standard

Young Women, Sexuality, and the Internet

Helena Horton for The F Word blog condemns the culture’s double standard of telling young women to be sexy then vilifying them for being sexual:

Why are we victimising these impressionable young girls? We all know what it is like to be their age, trying to form an identity amongst the mixed messages given to us by our peers, our education and the media. I don’t know why people are surprised by the fact that some girls take on the message that the media gives them: that in order to be worth anything, a girl has to be ‘sexy’.

This isn’t a new idea. None of this is new. But it needs to be reiterated from time to time, because it keeps happening.

Confessions of a Harlot

And that’s when he says it, just kind of casually, talking about a young lady with whom we were all well acquainted:

“Yeah, her brother-in-law doesn’t trust her with men. Says she has the ‘spirit of a harlot.’”

The words hit me like a sucker punch.

15-Year-Old Girl Jumps in Front of Train

Slut-shamed and bullied because of sexual encounters with athletes at her high school—who, by the way, are doing just fine.

"Necessarily Misogynist"

Jill Filipovic of Feministe responds to the afore-linked interview:

I do think that belief in the importance of virginity before marriage and the concept of sexual purity feed into a necessarily misogynist worldview, wherever those views come from. I don’t think you can separate those views out from misogyny, and from a view that says sexuality is potentially sullying if not performed in the service of something other than mutual pleasure — reproduction, God, the family, the state.

This irks me. If “Maya” was maintaining her celibacy for any reason other than religious belief, we would hear nothing but support from other feminists. Insert God into the picture, though, and suddenly she’s being oppressed.

Filipovic has several other good thoughts in response to the interview, so her post is worth reading, but I’m not going to lie: my first impulse on reading her opening paragraph—not followed, because I am an adult—was to yell profanity at my computer.