Posts tagged girls
The paradox of feminism is that it’s not just about feminists: it’s not about us, it’s about all women. Feminism is useless if it’s only interesting to the women who are on Newsnight, or watching and tweeting about it. It’s useless if it’s only about people who know they deserve to be treated with respect, and to feel safe. Feminism is, ultimately, about girls like Jodie Marsh. It’s about the girl wants to be a vet but learns that she will get more respect by taking her top off. It’s about the girl who drops out of school at seventeen because she’s pregnant. It’s about the girl who thinks she doesn’t deserve love because she enjoys casual sex. It’s about the girl who thinks she doesn’t deserve good consensual sex because she’s in love. It’s about the girl who says there’s nothing wrong with giving her boyfriend sex when she’s in pain, because boys and girls think differently about sex anyway, and she’s in a relationship with him, and that’s what girlfriends do. It’s about the boy who gets beaten up for acting gay and leaves school at seventeen because he doesn’t feel safe there. Feminism is no use if it’s just about the girls and women reading the Guardian. Who’s going to listen to the girls who grow up reading the Sun?
Why do girls always feel like they have to apologize for giving an opinion or taking up space in the world? Have you ever noticed that?” Nicole asked. “You go on websites and some girl leaves a post and if it’s longer than three sentences or she’s expressing her thoughts about some topic, she usually ends with, ‘Sorry for the rant’ or ‘That may be dumb, but that’s what I think.
When Stuyvesant says that women’s dress and bodies are distraction in a learning environment, for example, what they’re really saying is that they’re distracting to male students. The default student we are concerned about - the student whose learning we want to ensure is protected - is male. Never mind how “distracting” it is to be pulled from class, humiliated, and made to change outfits - publicly degrading young women is small price to pay to make sure that a boy doesn’t have to suffer through the momentary distraction of glancing at a girl’s legs. When this dentist in Iowa can fire his assistant for turning him on - even though she’s done absolutely nothing wrong - the message again is that it’s men’s ability to work that’s important.
And when rape victims are blamed for the crime committed against them, the message is the same: This is something that happened to the perpetrator, who was driven to assault by a skirt, or a date, or the oh-so-sexy invitation of being passed out drunk. Women have infringed on their right to exist without being turned on. (Ta-Nehisi Coates describes this centering of male sexual vulnerability quite well.) Our very presence is a disruption of the male status quo.
I remember going and getting my fellow swimming teammates out of in-school-suspension my senior year for “dress code violations”, which meant too short shorts, with this argument. These girls were getting in-school-suspensions, losing instruction time, because their shorts were deemed “inappropriate” for male students. Such bullshit.
All girls continue to be taught when they are young, if not by their parents then by the culture around them, that they must earn the right to be loved — that “femaleness” is not good enough. This is a female’s first lesson in the school of patriarchal thinking and values. She must earn love. She is not entitled. She must be good enough to be loved. And good is always defined by someone else, someone on the outside.
read that, this is the coolest
SO. MUCH. AWESOME.
- Guy: What do girls do at sleepovers?
- Me: Pass the Bechdel test.
Although most boys figure out how to bring themselves to orgasm by age thirteen, half of girls don’t have their first orgasms until their late teens, twenties, or beyond. Teenage girls widely agree that they get the message loud and clear that masturbation is something boys do, but girls don’t, can’t, or shouldn’t. The cultural focus on intercourse tells young women to expect they’ll begin to experience sexual pleasure once they have sex with a man (whether or not they’re even interested in sex with men). Nearly all teen boys, on the other hand, experience sexual pleasure long before they get their hands—or other body parts—into a partner’s pants. Despite the massive advances in women’s equality, young women’s sexuality is stuck in a surprising paradox. Young women are sold provocative clothes but aren’t taught where to find their own clitoris. Many girls give their boyfriends oral sex, but are too uncomfortable with their own bodies to allow the guys to return the favor. It’s still a radical act to say that women need and deserve access to information about their own sexual pleasure—not just about the risks and negative consequences of sex.