27 November 2010 @ 02:23 pm
LJ Idol Week 4 - The Elephant in the Room  
He drew a breath to speak but before he could utter a sound Caroline’s lips found his in a brief, scorching kiss. He was too shocked to protest and his lips parted beneath the pressure of hers. He gasped as she pushed him back against the wall deepening the kiss and causing liquid heat to spread throughout his body. This had been what he had wanted for as long as he could remember, a strong women, virile and sensual, not afraid to take what she wanted.

Anything appear wrong with the piece above, anything out of place, off- kilter. Growing up this scene was portrayed everywhere I looked. In novels, the sweet, always virginal girl was being rescued by the charismatic millionaire. Debra Winger was being rescued from her humdrum life by the handsome naval officer. Sue Ellen was fighting for her happily ever after with her abusive, cheating husband who despite everything always had her heart. In every single story, the man was the strong dominating sexual force and the woman was the one who was letting him take what he wanted.

I grew up watching women be rescued; from poverty, from horror, from depression, from life, from themselves. There was no one around to show me anything different. My gran held down three jobs but also made sure dinner was on her husbands table every night. My mum deferred to my dad in every major decision in our lives. And then of course there was the sex. My only education in sex was that nice girls didn’t like it. Sex was something for men to enjoy and woman to endure. The rules were simple, you grew up, saved yourself for the man you loved, got married and had sex just long enough to have babies. It was the way the world worked.

But there is something that nice girls don’t talk about. The giant grey elephant in the room that we are supposed ignore or even better hide with a nice throw rug.

You want to know to know the secret? You want to know what all us nice girls aren’t supposed to talk about?

Women. Like. Sex. Yep, there I said it. Not only do we like it, but we want it; we think about it, we dream about it, we fantasise about and we certainly like actually having it. We are comfortable with this, but world seems to have a problem with it. A woman with a strong sexual drive is not seen as sexually aware but as sexually promiscuous. It is an open truth that many men watch porn, but is a hidden secret that just as many women read or watch porn too.

I have two best friends, both of them highly sexual. They have had multiple partners, enjoy experimental sex, are comfortable with their sexuality and in going after what they want. The main difference between them is one is male and the other is female.

The guy is celebrated, and for the most part is left to his own devices. Every now and again a joke will be made about how much of a stud he is, but in the most part he is left alone. The girl however is lectured, moralised, frowned upon and has had more than one of her friends try to ‘save’ her from her lifestyle.

‘Doesn’t she want to meet a nice guy and settle down?’

‘Everyone knows nice girls don’t sleep around’

‘No guy is ever gonna want a girl who has slept with more people than he has’

Most of it rolls off her like water off a ducks back. But every now and again the lectures, the stares and the whispers can push her a bit too far. We sat up late one night talking about it, how many times we have had sex since we lost our virginity. In the end there wasn’t much difference between our numbers, the only difference was my number had been with one partner, hers had been with several.

In this day and age of equal opportunities and financial liberations, when a woman can run for office, lead a multinational corporation or fight and die for her country how insane is it that the minute sex is brought up we go back several hundred years and, if we dare to actually go after what we want, we might as well paste a large scarlet A on our chest. Sexual liberation may have taken place a few decades ago, but when it comes to true sexual freedom for women, we still have a long way to go.

This has been my entry for [livejournal.com profile] therealljidol
Current Mood: relaxed
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[identity profile] drjeff.livejournal.com on November 27th, 2010 05:46 pm (UTC)
So, so true.

I think so much of the condemnation comes from a place of fear -- men who are just plain afraid of women who are strong in their sexuality.

Well done!
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[identity profile] kehlen-crow.livejournal.com on November 27th, 2010 06:29 pm (UTC)
Very well written and sadly true.

What does "A" stand for? Scarlet is obvious.
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[identity profile] belgatherial.livejournal.com on November 27th, 2010 10:33 pm (UTC)
Adulterer. It's a reference to Nathaniel Hawthorne's "The Scarlet Letter".

Good piece, [livejournal.com profile] mrstotten!!
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[identity profile] kehlen-crow.livejournal.com on November 27th, 2010 10:40 pm (UTC)
Thank you.
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[identity profile] basric.livejournal.com on November 27th, 2010 07:18 pm (UTC)
Absolutely true. What my close friends and I call the stud/slut syndrome. Very well done. Excellent topic.
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[identity profile] super-seme04.livejournal.com on November 27th, 2010 11:16 pm (UTC)
*cosigns this with a Z SNAP*
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[identity profile] myrna-bird.livejournal.com on November 27th, 2010 11:55 pm (UTC)
Let's see. It's only been about 50 years already!
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[identity profile] meerkat007.livejournal.com on November 28th, 2010 12:31 am (UTC)
My hat off to you sister. When the conversation about gender roles comes up I always think back to playing superman and "danger women" in kindergarten. The boys always played superman and the girls (the two of us that wanted to play superheroes and not play dolls with the other girls) always had to play "danger women". We came up with the name because the women in Superman were always in danger. While I think there has been a development were it's expected that women can stand up for themselves, i think sexually the roles haven't changed much. As women we're supposed to be rescued from our own insecure sexuality by the more experienced, big strong man in our life. I recently had a Battlestar Gallactica marathon and God i'm in love with Starbuck for being the hero I always wanted, but never got to play in kindergarten.
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[identity profile] isis-lives.livejournal.com on November 28th, 2010 01:07 am (UTC)
Wonderful! I'd like to add that women over 50 like sex, too!
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[identity profile] alphaloria.livejournal.com on November 28th, 2010 01:17 am (UTC)

I saw on FB one day this woman who posted a status about women having multiple partners, and the guys on her list actually said things like, "I want a wife who's had 0 or 1 partner," and "If she's had more men than the numbers of her age, she's not wife material," and one guy said, "No one wants to marry a whore."

I really wanted to throw wood on that fire asking them if they're 18th century puritans in all aspects of their lives and not just when it comes to women's sexuality, but I was too dumbfounded by the girl who posted the status. She calls herself a feminist and went to a women's college, and she AGREED WITH THEM and laughed about it.

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[identity profile] fourzoas-reads.livejournal.com on November 28th, 2010 02:37 am (UTC)
How sad that this is still the norm today! Nicely done!
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[identity profile] sileri.livejournal.com on November 28th, 2010 07:06 am (UTC)
Loved your two friends example. I'm so sick of the dos and don'ts of nice girls. If I waited until marriage I'd die a virgin. I'm in another asexual period so that ought to bring my average down again. I hate it when people ask about the number of partners I've had when it's bloody apparent they don't want to know the answer.
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[identity profile] majesticarky.livejournal.com on November 28th, 2010 09:02 am (UTC)
My dad is sexist and sometimes I disturb him by telling him I like porn and he always says the same thing "That is disgusting! It's not for girls." So yeah this really resonates with me...
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[identity profile] gratefuladdict.livejournal.com on November 28th, 2010 10:21 am (UTC)
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[identity profile] faithbeckett.livejournal.com on November 28th, 2010 04:58 pm (UTC)
I love you. That is all.
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[identity profile] sketchybrunette.livejournal.com on November 28th, 2010 05:54 pm (UTC)
Great post. There's a book called Slut! Growing Up Female with a Bad Reputation by Leora Tanenbaum (http://www.amazon.com/Slut-Growing-Female-Bad-Reputation/dp/0060957409/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1290966790&sr=8-1) on the stud/slut double standard that I really recommend if you haven't read it.
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[identity profile] beautyofgrey.livejournal.com on November 28th, 2010 06:28 pm (UTC)
Co-signed! :)
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[identity profile] lawchicky.livejournal.com on November 28th, 2010 09:15 pm (UTC)
Luckily, my mother never played this game with me. She was honest from the beginning, in saying "sex is great and wonderful and there's nothing WRONG with it." This isn't to say that she encouraged her kids to go out there and throw their body around, but she never wanted us to feel ashamed of it. I'm so grateful for that.
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[identity profile] mstrobel.livejournal.com on November 28th, 2010 09:21 pm (UTC)
It's just so weird how that's true, how guys are meant to go out and sow their seeds while women are meant to stay pure.
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[identity profile] roina-arwen.livejournal.com on November 28th, 2010 10:38 pm (UTC)
How true! Darn our Puritanical ancestry! Nicely written. :)
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Molly: Fistbump[identity profile] five-of-five.livejournal.com on November 29th, 2010 12:23 am (UTC)
There is nothing wrong with sex and I'm tired of people who try to make women feel guilty or like there's something wrong with them for wanting sex. Sex is good. Sex is wonderful. I would love to be having sex right now. I grew up in a very Catholic family, but I was lucky; my parents had both waited for marriage so they felt that was the best way, but my mom didn't make us kids feel like we would go to hell if we had premarital sex. She also stressed safety and the importance of truly caring for you partner over anything else. The nice thing being that she was just as likely to say this to my four brothers as she was to say it to me, the only daughter. Of course despite this example at home, when I get into fights with my brothers they still hurl out "slut" as an insult, and I know that is society's influence on them. And every time they do I respond with "I wish! I'd much rather be doing a fine figure of a man than standing her with you!" I don't know if it helps to illustrate my point or not, but the look they get at the thought of their baby sister having sex will never stop being hilarious.

On a slightly different note (and probably completely off topic); one thing that I've always found interesting is that even though virginity is applauded in women, when it comes to men there's a certain shame and mockery. Boys in high school lie about their "conquests" and Hollywood makes "The 40 Year Old Virgin" because such things are hilarious if it's a man. They're looked on as people to be pitied in public and ridiculed in private. A male virgin is almost as socially unacceptable as a female "stud".
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[identity profile] so-small.livejournal.com on November 29th, 2010 02:16 am (UTC)
That is sad that the double standard still exists :/
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[identity profile] nyxocity.livejournal.com on November 29th, 2010 06:12 am (UTC)
Every time my oldest daughter talks about girls being ho's I try to have this conversation with her. It's such a shame this double standard stills exists.

Wonderful entry, hon.
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[identity profile] gaea-rising.livejournal.com on November 29th, 2010 06:20 am (UTC)
Fantastic comparison - bravo!
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[identity profile] locknkey.livejournal.com on November 29th, 2010 08:44 am (UTC)
sing it. :)
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[identity profile] wyliekat.livejournal.com on November 29th, 2010 03:12 pm (UTC)
I truly believe it's getting better than it used to be, but that might just be me ignoring the whites of that thar elephant's eyes . . .
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[identity profile] thaliontholwen.livejournal.com on November 29th, 2010 09:05 pm (UTC)
There are days and posts when I wish LJ had a Like button. Fantastic post.
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[identity profile] fortitudehigh.livejournal.com on November 29th, 2010 10:49 pm (UTC)
Sad but very true. And, on the opposite side of the scale, some women are also censured in a different way for not being sexual enough. Liberation will only truly happen when women's bodies are truly their own to do what they want with - or NOT do anything with - of their own free will, with no censure associated with their choices.
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