Saturday, April 30, 2011


It's hard to find girls expressing their sexuality, because girls are conditioned to repress their sexuality, lest they be labeled as sluts. You get gay men who are happy to revel in their sexuality, and straight men who are happy to direct willing women to play the part men fantasize, but where are the girls who are confident in their sexuality and unashamed to express it on their own terms? I see a whole lot of male-centered sexuality, and while I don't have any problem with that, it tends to leave a gap, and I'm curious to see what ought to be filling that gap.

I do hear people complaining about how porn degrades women, and that it's all about how men use women for their sexual purposes. I think that view is short-sighted, but to the extent that it might be true, the solution is not to silence men, but rather to empower women to speak up. We ought to encourage women to express their sexuality, and appreciate them for it, rather than telling them (directly, or through indirect behaviors) that they're being 'loose' with their sexuality when they do - effectively shaming them into silence.

I see it a lot - girls who appear to be discreetly exploring their sexuality, but in a restrained way that makes it easy for them to deny that that's what they're doing, and to maintain a stance of disgust and reproach when others respond to their expression in a way that reveals their hidden intent. It's the only way they can do it without being subjected to ridicule by their peers and the public at large. And while this may not always be their intent, this behavior nevertheless reinforces the sexual gender stereotypes - that men are horn dogs and women at best merely tolerate sex. And for these girls, it teaches them to be hypocritical about their feelings and desires.

Maybe it's true that women don't like sex, and that girls aren't interested in expressing themselves in these ways, and that's why I don't see it more often. But let's let them decide that, and on a case by case basis. To do that, we have to enable them to express themselves that way. We have to allow it to be an option, so that we can be confident that their decision reflects their true desires. And the only way to do that is to stop complaining or being insulted whenever a girl expresses herself in a sexual manner.

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