Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Double standards

I recently came across this article on Slate: I was the Harvard Harlot that I thought I would share with you and also share some thoughts on the matter. I remember hearing about this chicky at Harvard that was blogging all about her sex life and being intrigued. Mostly waivering between a "you go girl" and a "good lord that is a terrible idea", but definitely intrigued. Now reading what this girl went through in sharing her sexplorations with the world, I got pissed off.

Let me explain. First, as a public health person, I am totally NOT advocating for having sex nilly willy with whomever you come across - and this goes for both men and women. Sex is fantastic, but STDs are not. And condoms aren't fool proof. But that being said, the feminist sociologist in me is freaking unhappy that there is still such a double standard for men and women when it comes to sex. This girl was harassed into hiding for sharing her sexcapades, and that ain't right. And I just can't imagine this happening if it was a guy. Tucker Max wrote "Hope They Serve Beer in Hell" about his absurd sexual dramas and it becomes a best seller and a movie, everyone merrily laughing at his stories of going through women like they were tissues during allergy season. Yes, tradition has often held that "[w]omen were stigmatized for engaging in any sexual activity outside of heterosexual marriage, whereas for men such behavior was expected and rewarded. Boys had to "sow their wild oats," but girls were warned that a future husband "won't buy the cow if he can get the milk for free." (source)

Now, I'm probably not telling you anything you don't know, that you aren't bombarded with every day, but heck, it's my blog and I get to vent when I want to.

Being the researcher that I am, I did a little lit search on the topic and found this great review paper sexual double standards research. Several decades of research and it pretty much boils down to this: "Girls learn to look sexy but say no, to be feminine but not sexual, and to attract boys' desire but not to satisfy their own." Le sigh. We are pretty much screwed no matter what we or who we do.

I will probably vent on this more in later posts, but would love to hear your thoughts on the matter!

1 comment :

  1. Right on!!! No matter how many generations of feminists have been saying this, the message never seems to stick with young girls - or boys and men, for that matter.

    Hopefully, our daughters' generation will get to own and embrace their sexuality - in the total absence of external judgments and pressures.

    Thanks for posting this.


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