Tuesday, September 28, 2004

 

"The Most Important Thing a Girl Has"

What is this most important thing? A good head on her shoulders? Faith in God? Her dignity? Even - dare I say such a shallow thing - good looks? No, folks. According to some idiot on this new show Life and Style (and I've seen this view promoted on Oprah as well, and I think the Today Show might have promoted it yesterday but I had to teach so didn't see it) "the most important thing a girl "has" is her virginity. In the twenty-first-fucking-century, that is the most important thing a girl has, and it's the thing that she most has to protect. And, it's important to note, it's not that virginity itself is such a sacred thing. Because, you see, a boy's virginity makes no difference. But a girl's virginity? Priceless (apparently).

[Aside: The idiot above also asked a teen girl she was interviewing whether she didn't feel like males "use" females that they "hook up" with. The girl gave an articulate answer, but what the fuck with that question!]

All of this comes up because the media has just spotted the "new trend" of teens and young adults having casual sex (also known as, according to Katie Couric yesterday, having "friends with benefits." Matt Lauer responds: "So you're saying that kids today aren't having boyfriends and girlfriends with whom they have sex like when we were kids but they are just having sex casually?" How can these people be taken seriously?). Oh yes, a new age is upon us. Generation S.L.U.T. I believe they are calling it. I have so many problems with all of this that I hardly know where to begin. But, as I've got to teach soon, I don't really have time to clarify my thoughts or to beat around the bush. The bottom line is this:

All of the uproar over all of this, often referred to in the shorthand of "twelve-year-old-girls-should-be-playing-with-barbies-not-giving-blow-jobs," is a sort of reinvigoration of a Victorian "angel in the house" model for female sexuality. Women are supposed to be "pure" and to retain their "purity" as the "gift" that they will give on the day of their holy wedlock (emphasis on lock). Just look at Jessica Simpson. She may look like a sex pot, but she's a "good girl" and she saved her pussy for her one true love. Because that's the most important thing she has (or had) - not her voice, not her boobs, not even her talent for playing dumb. And, maybe this is the more disgusting thing to me, girls are not supposed to, within this model, want to have sex. No, girls are supposed to be fighting off sex-crazed boys. Because girls don't want to fuck. Girls want to be in love and to have a boyfriend who takes them to movies and buys them cute fuzzy stuffed animals.

Here's the thing: I'm not saying that it's good to fuck around if you're not emotionally ready to fuck around. Sex is a responsibility and it can really fuck a person up, especially if she doesn't have a lot of experience with relationships. That said, it can really fuck a girl up to teach her that sex equals love or that it always should equal love. Because if a girl believes this, she'll have to characterize her desire as love in order to explore it, whether or not that has any basis in reality. Love becomes an alibi for one's desire to fuck around. And that, I think, is disgusting. And also potentially harmful.

Finally, thinking about female sexuality in this way is a fucking throw-back to the ideologies that underwrote the characterization of women as property - because, kids, that's why virginity matters, and the only reason why virginity matters, for girls in Western culture: virginity proves that the man isn't getting "used" goods, and thus the virgin is worth more than the whore. How do we know she's worth more? Well, if she weren't, why would there be so much literature about prostitutes devising counterfeit maidenheads in order to command a higher price from their clients? And if this is how we're thinking about our daughters, how can we possibly hope to think of their mothers (single or married, with or without children) any differently?

Comments:
But the really extra whopping good thing about teaching girls that fucking equals love is you DON'T have to teach them that sexual intercourse can & should be practiced safely, with condoms and other forms of protection. Oh, we surely don't want that - we'd rather force them into pregnancy through ignorance and deny them the right to an abortion! Excellent post - btw.
 
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