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Prudes and Sluts: The Degrading Labels Girls Face Today

Before coming to college, I always offhandedly listened to my mother’s cautionary advice, “Girls have sex to hear, ‘I love you’ and boys say ‘I love you’ to have sex.” Many times I’ve been in situations where I’ve debated “just getting it over with,” with previous boyfriends, or possible boyfriends, guys I was just casually seeing. And to be honest, I’ve come close. Every time, my gut wrenches and I’ll realize that I’m not ready. As idealistic and naïve as I may sound in today’s hookup culture, I really do want to wait at least until I think I could potentially love someone. No, I’m not imagining some romantic night with candles and I don’t think life is a fairytale. I want to be comfortable enough with a person, and know that they truly like me for my personality.

It’s almost absurd that I am writing this anonymously, I should not be embarrassed that I’ve never had sex. Yet there is some stupid, unreasonable feeling that I should be embarrassed. That I should care… This is the nonsensical voice of a society seemingly steered towards men, and the women that remain compliant and passive. I want to make clear that in no way am I judging girls that have casual sex. There isn’t anything wrong with that, maybe they have a thicker skin than I do. I almost credit them for their ability to stay levelheaded in the midst of immature college guys.

I do want to make it clear I am writing this article because there is something fundamentally wrong with the way guys critique girls based on their sexuality. Take for example, a girl going home with a guy. Now if the girl “puts out” she is deemed a slut, but if the girl isn’t comfortable and chooses not to, she is deemed a prude. Both of these are equally hurtful because they objectify a person based off of them satisfying the needs of another. I’m sure many guys are not like this, and I sincerely want to believe the best in people. I am not a man-hater. I do not think that men are inherently bad and trying to ruin the self-confidence of women. Although I do think that college is a time that can be filled with massive insecurity, and I am aware of the amount of times I have seen my friends get hurt when they realize a guy was simply using them for sex. At times it seems like the only people benefitting from this arrangement are the boys.

Perhaps I am biased, I am not going to claim that this is always the case. But I do know that the majority of girls I know are not happy with this male-dominated culture. It stings when someone calls you a “slut”, or when someone calls you a “prude.” Boys aren’t even the only culprits; I see girls all the time, myself included, call other girls “sluts” and “teases” while the boys don’t get called anything. The bottom line is that this is a screwed up culture and something needs to change. If we live in this so-called “modern” society focused on the empowerment of women, then why are we so set on pleasing boys rather than ourselves?

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Jane Hoya


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