In modern society, it is far less dangerous for a man to be in control of his sexuality than a woman. He is not harassed or labeled whore. Or if he is, it's always in a joking manner. It is not damaging when a man hears "You're a hoe" because there is no negative stigma attached to male promiscuity. There are not policies in place telling men to "cover up" so they won't be a "distraction" to women. Contrarily, when a woman hears the exact same thing, she is reminded that she's less valuable because of the constant reinforcement that "good" women are these delicate, untainted, fully clothed flowers. Moreover, the only time a woman "should" be half dressed is for male viewing pleasure. The simple reason for this is male privilege, but I want to go beyond that simplicity.
As of late, I've given a great deal of thought to the rise in popularity when it comes to women's promiscuity. In lay woman's terms, we've become more comfortable in our sexual expression because we realized that we are all sexual beings by nature. Yet, women's sexual expression is repressed and reprimanded while men's sexual expression is embraced.
These double standards make women feel "tainted" after one sexual encounter while men can have a sky high body count without being slut shamed. I've had conversations about this and one argument was that "men don't run the risk of getting pregnant." That's true, but they do run the risk of getting someone pregnant. Parenthood is a shared responsibility, but many people seem to forget that while simultaneously forgetting that parenthood is a responsibility in itself.
It's strange that it's 2017 and women are still being discouraged from sexual expression by traditionalists who can't wrap their head around modernity. This conversation is especially relevant for the people in their 20-somethings because it's during this age-range that both men and women really get a chance to be independent and discover themselves. Oftentimes, you'll hear people reflect on their 20s and all the things they got into. For men, this typically involves them listing the roster, or "collection" as Future might put it, they went through before they found "the one" (as in the one they will eventually cheat on and beg forgiveness from). Opposite to this are the women who were included in the roster. It's as if it's ingrained in us that men are supposed to run trains on women's emotions and women are supposed to let them because that's just how society works.
I seek to challenge that. It's damaging for us to socialize our girls, especially our young girls, that "boys will be boys." Instead of accepting the narrative where he plays games before he "finds himself," we should teach young men respect from a young age because this can have positive implications in the future. A lot of women become men's springboards, or test dummies, while men try to figure out who they are.
This may result in some of the deep seated issues women eventually suffer from including insecurity, sexual confusion, self consciousness, and anxiety. If we just sat down with boys and told them how to treat women, how they shouldn't abandon a girl if they get her pregnant, how they should be there for their daughters, this could dismantle some of the prominent issues such as rape, abuse, stalking, and other dangers that adversely affect all people but especially women. I know from personal experience that some women lack self respect because they didn't have a strong male influence in their lives and/or they had a bad relationship with their father, so they end up searching for a father in broken men.
Men will label these "daddy issues" without realizing that some of them will be fathers one day and potentially perpetuate the continuation of these "daddy issues" if they don't correct their behavior now. As a society, we need to stop sweeping men's brokenness under the rug of imperfection because this gives the green light for these issues to continue. No, no one is perfect, but that shouldn't stop us from acknowledging when things are morally wrong. We can't change the present nor the past, but the future is all ours and it's time we started building a more promising one.
...The greatest fatality
Author's Note: This article focuses on heterosexual relationships. Further studies may analyze same-sex relationships to draw comparisons and study both types of romantic interactions.
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