As a woman, if there's one thing I know about women, it's STEREOTYPES. I swear, sometimes it feels like you can't even masturbate yourself to fake-orgasm with a stiletto without tripping over a chocolate laundry hamper of brand new lady-myths!!!
Women who are "easy" are diseased. Women who are "picky" are prudes. Women who wear pants are lesbians. Women who wear skirts are asking to be assaulted. Women who are assaulted are dirty. Women who aren't assaulted are jealous. Women who take birth control are sluts. Women who don't take birth control are predatory sperm thieves trying to trap men into 18 years of baby-prison. Women who have sex have daddy issues. Women who don't have sex have daddy issues. Women without daddies have daddy issues. Women with bad daddies have daddy issues. Women with good daddies have daddy issues. (Based on how often men cry "daddy issues," I'm starting to think that maybe daddies are the ones with daddy issues.)
So what is ACTUALLY THE TRUTH ABOUT WOMEN!?!?!?!?!!?!? Will we ever really know?
If only we could find a woman. And ask her.
This HuffPo piece by Marrie Lobel does some helpful legwork debunking some common myths and stereotypes about sexually active women. This has all been covered before, of course—in academia, in books, in lectures, in essays, on Tumblr, in front of Congress, etc.—but it's always worth repeating because people are really motherfucking attached to these ideas.
A few of Lobel's observations:
Women who engage in casual sex, while maintaining healthy practices, tend to have higher self-worth and less hang-ups surrounding body image. There are wounded souls and damaged goods on both sides of the gender aisle but to assume a woman is "broken" based on how she chooses to express her sexuality says more about how you perceive yourself than how she really is.
Hook-up culture is all over the news and dominates the perspective we have on the modern woman's sexual behavior; however, looking at stats from the CDC paints a different story entirely! The number of sexual partners a woman between the ages of 15-44 in 2002 versus 2008 have remained virtually the same.
The next time you see an article on the evils of the hook-up culture notice that the focus is on the behavior of women. Who do you think most of these women are having sex with? Are you worried about your son's ability to commit in the future? Oh, that's right. "Boys will be boys." What do you think your attitude says to your son about his sexuality? Isn't his body just as special a gift to share as your daughter's?
BOOM. Lindsay, tell your brother what a beautiful body he has!!!
But as we (hopefully) retire these old stereotypes, how can we ensure that their absence isn't going to be filled with new tropes that are equally loathsome and destructive? The only way is to MAKE UP SOME REPLACEMENT RUMORS OF OUR OWN. Here, I'll start.
Women secrete a necrotizing venom through their skin when they're non-consensually touched.
Every time a man says "friend zone," a woman gets a pixie cut.
Every time a woman gets a pixie cut, everybody gets free Doritos.
Women poop Diet Coke.
Every time a woman has to pay for her own birth control, a witch pours Game of Thrones spoilers in your ear while you sleep.
The number of sexual partners a woman has is directly proportional to the number of sexual partners a woman has.
Every time you tell a woman to smile, feminists sneak into your house and lick all your stuff.
Women are actual human beings with complex lives governed by fortune and circumstance, who cannot be defined by how they dress and what they choose to do with their genitals, whose agency and brilliance and fortitude move the world, and who—taking into account the immensity of the universe—are really more similar to men (and people of all genders) than they are different. At least, that's what my cousin's friend told me. And she's done a blowjob twice. So.
(Add your own down below! WE CONTROL THE NARRATIVE, BITCHEZ.)
Image by Jim Cooke, source images via Shutterstock.