Player. Pimp. Stud. Charmer. Ladies’ Man.
Slut. Whore. Trollop. Tramp. Skank.
Which group of words makes you more uncomfortable?
A fundamental contrast in how we verbally represent men and women who explore their sexuality – boys and men are glorified for it, while girls and women are shamed (I’m saying that even though I can’t stand how everything is about ‘shame’ these days, but I’ll overlook that for this article…) for it.
Why? Because we want to see women as pure and innocent? Because we figure if a key can open multiple locks, it must be a great key – but if one lock can be opened by multiple keys, it must be a shitty lock?
This mindset is not only archaic, but it is disconnected from reality, and, I would argue: Harmful in more ways than it is helpful.
Do you ever stop to think about why the 50 Shades of Grey books and movies have been absolute blockbusters? It certainly wasn’t men who were filling the seats in the theaters and flipping the pages of the books. This simple observation is overwhelming evidence that women are craving outlets for their passions and desires that society simply isn’t giving them.
Hell, it doesn’t take more than spending 5 minutes in a group of women to understand they are not delicate little flowers whose cheeks turn pink at a hint of a swear word or sexual reference.
So, then, why do we pretend like this doesn’t exist? Why do we pretend like women are to be babied and coddled and tip-toed around? Lots of highly intelligent, educated women who I know have much more ‘colorful’ vocabularies than men I spend time with.
And, honestly, I kinda love it.
There is no more confident or sexy person than the one who can just be themselves and be open about their thoughts, feelings, or desires – whether they be sexual or platonic.
The real point I wanted to make with this article, though, is that by ignoring this and stifling it in society, I believe we are actually doing more damage than we realize.
Allow me to present this thought for discussion: Boys and men being raised around girls and women who pretend their sexuality doesn’t exist, will begin to create their own image and thoughts of women as sexual beings. If women aren’t expressing their their own sexual identity, then as far as the man in question is concerned, it doesn’t exist. This means he is free to mold it however he sees fit.
Think this is a ridiculous theory? I challenge you to think back to someone you’ve met in work or class who never really spoke, and just kept to themselves. Have you began to create a story or identity for this person? Perhaps even down to what their voice might sound like, or how they act around their family? Our mind fills in the blanks for things we cannot complete in reality.
This creates an uneven, and unhealthy, view of female sexuality. Since he creates her identity in his mind, he is also therefore free to possess it as his own. Hence, entitlement and harassment.
What if, just as an uneducated theory based on no scientific research: We empowered women to be open and free about their sexual identity without fear of judgment? For the record; I am not speaking out in support of the women who rip off their shirts in Times Square to make a point about feminism and empowerment – I am more a fan of intelligent discourse rather than shock value that is more divisive than we think.
Why is it that we view women in business suits as less sexual than women in tight, tiny dresses? It is entirely possible (and probable) that the 45 year old executive is more sexual, and more in touch with her desires, than the 22 year old galloping about in a mini-skirt and 6-inch heels. Don’t ask me how I know that.
It’s because of perception, and also perception that a woman who is open about her sexuality is less moral or perhaps even more sinister than her nun-like counterparts – because she must be using her sexuality for her own personal gain if she expresses it – right?
This reduces men to walking penises who have no control over themselves once their blood starts flowing south. Even in the highest-levels of business conduct, we are all still human.
Ah – is this the real concern? Are men simply worried that women will overpower them if they begin to express sexuality and therefore take over the world? Are we still operating by caveman-propulsion? Perhaps…
The problem with these examples is that they swing in two extreme directions. Either women are oppressed and silenced, or they are running around naked while the heads of men in business suits pop off of their shoulders.
What about the in-between? What about a civilized, intelligent society, that is able to look at individuals as fully-formed, thinking, emotional, sexual beings who are free to express themselves and live their lives however they choose?
I believe that once we start embracing this fact of reality, we will begin creating healthier relationships between men and women. Both platonic and intimate, we will be able to create deeper bonds because we won’t be thinking “us, and them.” We will view our similarities and understand an individual as just that: An individual.
So, tell me in the comments, do you think this approach would be helpful, or cause even more problems than we already have? If you found value here, please use the buttons below to share this article with your fiends to keep the conversation going.