I don’t know if you guys know this, but when it comes to sex there’s a double standard that exists based on how many “bodies” a girl may have or how many people she’s talked to. This double standard is why women take the “walk of shame” and men don’t. It’s the reason why “slut shaming” is such a problem. Back in the day, women and men were not seen as equal (and they honestly still aren’t), and this double standard is what’s left of that past of inequality. It’s something that I don’t think people pay attention to, because we just accept things without question. When girls have had many sexual partners, they are labeled “hoes.” But guys are just seen as bachelors in the same situation. Why? Why do the labels change because of gender? And, why is sex a bad thing anyway? Everybody does it, and it really isn’t something you can escape. If it’s so normal, why is it put in a negative light only when women do it?
Part of the problem is how we look at sexuality amongst men and women. Guys praise each other for having sex or hooking up with multiple girls. They validate each other by believing that their behavior increases their clout. Yet, women often put each other down for being open with their sexuality. They think it is wrong, because society has taught us something entirely different. As women, we are supposed to be “poised and respectable” in the eyes of men, and being sexual counters that idea.
I asked a few people I know about their feelings on the double standard, here’s what they had to say:
“I think parents should start teaching their children about the importance of sexual freedom and the right to do whatever you’d like with your own body (as long as you’re not hurting anyone else). It’s also important that women continue to embrace themselves and that we continue to lift each other up.” – Kristin Reid, 17, Whitney M. Young HS
“Women are targeted and disrespected for being sexual beings. To solve this problem, as a society we need to change how sex is viewed. Sex isn’t evil, and when people realize that and that women can enjoy it just as men do, we can advance as a society.” – Joshua Bobbitt, 16, Whitney M. Young HS
“I think the first step that comes with change is awareness, so [that means] being aware and speaking up in conversations; correcting those that use derogatory terms towards women that are open and just normalizing that kind of sexual behavior and attitude for women.” – Nariya Douglas, 17, Whitney M. Young HS
“Women shouldn’t be looked down on due to their sexual activity, and this stigma definitely needs to be erased. But it’s so set in stone to the point where I don’t know what can be done to change it.” – Samuel Schmidt, 17, Whitney M. Young HS
In my opinion, the solution is easy. Nobody should be concerned with what a woman does or doesn’t do with her body, because it’s her choice. Hopefully society will actually try this whole gender equality thing one day soon. You never know it might work out.
By Kyla Hubbard, Junior, Whitney M. Young Magnet High School