Recently I did an assignment about the invention and legalisation of the contraceptive pill in the U.S, combine that with the hugely successful inaugural Radical Sex and Consent Day hosted last month, and the disgraceful celeb nude photo hacking scandal, and I’ve had a lot of thoughts bouncing around my feminist head.
I’ve been thinking how great it is that we’re so lucky to have access to contraception, and sex education here in Australia. Woo hoo! We’re free and we can all have great sex with each other, and express ourselves sexually in any way we want to, and the only thing that matters is that it’s completely consensual and safe. And in an ideal world, that would be it. But sadly, that isn’t where we live. We live in a world where when wom*n’s nude photos are leaked they are told that it’s their own fault for taking the photos in the first place.
We live in a world where Cosmopolitan magazine tells wom*n that to attract the man of their dreams they should be ‘flirty… but not too flirty, because he needs to know there’s still a bit of work involved to snag you’. We are advised to ‘lightly graze his arm’ and ‘when talking eye-to-eye, tilt your face downward while pushing your chin slightly forward, [because] research shows this angle makes your features seem softer and more feminine.’ Apparently ‘uberconfidence is practically catnip to men’ and we should ‘work just a sliver of skin into the ensemble [because] it’ll get his blood pumping, but leaves enough to his imagination that he’ll be dying for a peek at the rest.’ Oh and last but not least, when you’re parting for the evening, catch his gaze and coyly linger there for a few seconds.
It all comes down to this: we should be confident but not slutty. We should at all times remain a ‘lady’. We’re not supposed, or even allowed, to want sex.
Earlier this year, British TV-personality Stephen Fry claimed that: “Women only go to bed with men because sex is the price they are willing to pay for a relationship.” He went on to say that if women really did want sex there would be ‘straight cruising areas’ like there are gay cruising areas, and women everywhere would be in bushes shagging strangers. “But there aren’t, because the only women who have sex like that expect to be paid for it.” Said Fry.
I found a quote on the internet that says men are allowed to have bountiful sexual encounters because “a key that opens many doors is called a master key, but a lock that opens for many keys is a shitty lock." Enter Samantha Jones: seen by many as a sexual hero to wom*n everywhere. When Sex and the City was released it was heralded as a burgeoning sexual revolution that would lead to barriers being broken down everywhere. Wom*n could finally have sex like men!
Or can they? The evidence continues to stack up that wom*n whom are sexually confident are bad, evil whores. Take the following for example: In 2012, Rush Limbaugh, America’s answer to Alan Jones, called student Sandra Fluke a slut and a prostitute live on air when she argued that contraceptives should be covered by Obamacare. Earlier this year, Senator Abetz stupidly (and very mistakenly) said that wom*n who have abortions increase their risk of getting breast cancer.
· And news headlines like, “I’ve slept with so many guys and am terrified my partner will find out,” make wom*n question; just how many is too many? Additionally, the following online lists continue to police wom*n’s behaviour in not only the public sphere of popular culture, but everywhere:
- Top Ten Movie Sluts: including Mrs Robinson from the Graduate, Rizzo from Grease and Regina George from Mean Girls
- Top Ten Celebs Who We Think Are Probably Sluts. The list is mostly wom*n, (the only man is Justin Bieber) and features Scarlett Johansson, Taylor Swift, Rhianna and Christina Aguilera. (Don’t worry Xtina you’re still beautiful to me)
- Top Ten Favourite Movie Sluts. Kathryn from Cruel Intentions, Jenny from Forrest Gump and Lara from The Rules of Attraction; just to name a few.
|When I googled "slut" this came up|
I’m not pretending to know the answer.
But I know that we need more articles like this:
· And this, http://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/life/sex-happens-why-theres-nothing-wrong-with-getting-into-bed-on-the-first-date-20140708-zsyh8.html
And I know that wom*n can and should dress/act/dance however they want, whenever and wherever they want. The road to true sexual equality across the gender spectrum is a long one but I think we’re one step closer with festivals like Radical Sex and Consent Day.
I turn now to the words of ever-inspiring Tina Fey,
WOM*N'S PORTFOLIO HOLDER - BOARD DIRECTOR