Society's Views of Female Sexuality are Problematic

You haven’t done it? They call you a prude. You’ve done it many times? They call you a slut. The way women are judged based on their sexual activity (or lack thereof) is a huge issue, and it needs to be addressed.

Many young women feel self-conscious or embarrassed about being virgins, as our society stigmatizes it after a certain age. Movies, TV shows, and books often depict the loss of virginity in the late teens, creating an expectation that young people should have sexual experience just before leaving high school –- and if not then, definitely in college. But for some women, the timing is not right, or they are waiting for a special connection or relationship. There is no shame in this; in fact, it is admirable. Yet some young women are mocked and ridiculed by their more “experienced” peers for their lack of sexual activity –– and therefore find it more difficult to accept or admit their virginity.

Just as the media negatively portrays virgins, it also perpetuates the stigma against women who have had many sexual partners. However, much of the time, experience allows you to figure out what –– and who –– you like. The number of sexual partners a woman has should not matter; if the woman consents and feels happy and safe, there is no true reason for concern.  Slut shaming is a very real thing, unfortunately –– and it really shouldn’t be. Every person has the right to live her life and make the choices she wants.

However, when a man has multiple sexual partners he gets high-fives and approving nods of the head. Why is it that men are encouraged to go out and take advantage of as many people as they can while women are expected to have fewer partners? This imbalance is bothersome and problematic, and it shows that men still have an obvious privilege. What people need to realize is that women also have free will and the right to their own choices. 

 

As a feminist, I believe all people are equal. The choice to be sexually active is up to you, and it should not be a basis for judgment.