Real Talk: Body Count

Oh, stop your hemming and hawing; we need to discuss this. In today’s society, body count is a huge issue and I honestly have no idea why. Despite what many people say, the amount of sexual partners a person has weighs absolutely no bearing on their individual worth, nor does it define who they are or how they view relationships. Sure, there are some people who act on their sexual desires due to having a dark, complicated past, but that is not the majority of the population. As a collegiate, I have come to find that many people merely view sex as a fun element of the social scene, with no deeper meaning behind it.

With that being said, the idea that women having numerous sexual partners is “dirty” and “taboo” really needs to get thrown into the trash. This rhetoric that our society is somehow still clinging to is both insulting and exhausting. Forcing the standard of “sexual purity” onto women, as if it is the only option, shines a negative light onto sex and makes it impossible for any female to have a healthy, positive image of sexuality.

This begs the question: why are there double standards for men and women? The short and sweet answer is misogyny, of course. Guys are told that inflating their body count will boost their manliness, while women are being told that having more than one sexual partner not only means we are slutty, but also reflects our lack of morals. Guys get away with their sexual behavior because, you know, “boys will be boys” ─ right?

First off, that line is garbage. Second, body count has nothing to do with morals. Contrary to the beliefs of the “old fashioned” Bible-thumpers, it is possible to be an upstanding citizen with morals while still having lots of sex with numerous amount of partners. I mean, seriously, a lot of people living with a modern mindset have no idea what their body count is, nor could they even recall the names of all their sexual partners.

When I was younger, all of the girls in my class were forced by the school administration to attend a meeting that met once a week called “P.O.P.”, which stood for Power Of Purity. During this meeting, the female faculty would lead discussions about abstinence and assigned readings in a Christian novel that stressed the importance of purity, as well as the consequences that would follow should we choose to venture out into the “secular” world and have sex before marriage. We were taught to always question the motives of men and act in a way that would maintain a chaste, untouched image, in order to be respected and valued by those around us. Above all else, we were also instructed to abandon any women who chose to treat sex differently than us ─ AKA, slut shame.

The sick part about this is that I was raised to honor those in authority, so I upheld this teaching all throughout my childhood and adolescent years. I know this, too, may sound shocking, but I never realized the toxicity of these teachings until I left my hometown and came to college. I hate thinking that there are millions of women all over the world who are being taught the same unforgiving values that I was ─ it is completely aggravating. Preying on the ignorance and willingness to trust of young girls is cruel, and it shows that society does not want us women to think for ourselves. The world wants us to obey whatever rules are thrown our way, and it is pathetic that cultures choose to victimize young girls by brainwashing them with various ideologies.

God forbid we ever step outside the lines of the carefully drawn picture the world has given us. In America, we are labeled as promiscuous, easy, and worthless should we deviate from the standard we are given. In other countries, such disobedience results in beatings, rapes, and murder. It is repulsing the measures that cultures will take in order to maintain control of women.