Taboos and stereotypes are universal. And when it comes to sex, women are exposed to a number of stigmas. These differ depending on the society in which they were raised.
Yet nevertheless, no where is exempt from sexual stereotyping. In impoverished countries, women can still blatantly be regarded as male property. In traditional homes, it remains the general belief that it is the woman’s obligation to stay at home and care for her children. Natural processes like menstruation are still discouraged from being openly discussed. Even in more progressive societies, some women still fear publicising their sexualities. This can stem to more dire consequences; such as unreported rape, staying in abusive relationships, and being ostracised by communities for leaked nudes.
It is our duty to these women to overcome the universal stereotypes that exist.
According to a 2015 ‘Covenant Eyes’ survey, 76% of women between the ages of 18-31 say they view porn at least once a month. Yet despite this being one of many not so shocking statistics, it still manages to to surprise men and women alike. Websites such as ‘Guy Stuff Counselling’ have entire blogs dedicated to deciphering the mystery of “Do Women Watch Porn? If so, why??”
Yes they do ‘fellas, yes they do. And it’s because they too, have a sex drive.
While some may find articles like this humorous, it continues to highlight the naivety within society regarding women’s sexual natures.
Within the twenty-first century, sex is becoming increasingly publicised. So if this is the case, why is it that women still feel unable to openly discuss their sexuality?
There are a number of taboos that women struggle to overcome on a day to day basis, which are only further reinforced by the media.
WOMEN ARE SLUTS, WOMEN ARE A TEASE
Be it at the start of a new relationship, fuck buddies, or casual dating, there is always the indecisiveness of when to connect sexually with your partner. However, too often, these decisions are based on when women feel it is socially acceptable to have sex without being stigmatised by their partner and society.
The ‘International Journal of Psychology and Psychological Therapy’ published a study in 2007 which recognises “women are more affected by the environment”. This suggests that fear of societal judgements is what can influence women’s sexual decisions. Rather, these decisions should be driven by their own choices and desires.
‘Kushandkissesx’, a satirical Instagrammer wrote; “You can have sex on the first date and end up together for years or you can wait months and get cut off right after. There’s no manual to this.” If there is supposedly no manual, why do women feel the need to combat the taboos that haunt them?
In the long run, these realities can have dire consequences on women of the twenty-first century. Women feel they cannot openly discuss key elements of who they are, and this can affect their romantic relationships, as well as their own sexualities.
WOMEN ARE CRAZY
Women are known to generally have a more emotional nature than men, and they are still constantly belittled for it.
When a relationship ends, it is more often than not assumed that it is the woman who was ‘dumped’, that it is the woman who is an emotional wreck, and that it is the woman that is now the poor lost soul.
And if couples have intimacy issues, similar stigmas apply. There is almost an automatic assumption that it is the woman choosing to avoid sex, and impose her frigidness on her partner. ‘Return of Kings’ caused recent media controversy due to it’s leader promoting rape on private property. This same organisation published a piece titled: “3 Ways to Deal With Overly Emotional Females”, encouraging its readership to undermine women in attempt to ‘fix’ their “unstable behaviour”.
Shouldn't a woman feel free to express her emotions in any way she wishes? When a woman is deemed over emotional, it not only belittles heir intelligence, but can have detrimental effects to her self-esteem and independence.
WOMEN LIKE SEX
Societal norms have restricted women for decades, ensuring their sexuality is not discussed. A survey conducted by ‘Elite Daily’ suggests that 43 percent of women, as opposed to 23 percent of men, have admitted to being dishonest about how far they went sexually to their friends.
This highlights that even among their fellow females, women fear being stereotyped or are uncomfortable to reveal their sexual natures.
Not only do women enjoy sex, but a recent DazedDigital.com survey, which tallied 10,500 people across 114 countries, found that women think about sex more than men do, and hold it in higher regard.
My friends are predominantly in their early 20s, supposedly the ‘freest’ time of our lives. Yet few of them have ever openly admitted to masturbating or feeling horny because of the awkwardness felt around those topics.
In attempt to make young women feel more comfortable, public figures such as Oprah Winfrey have begun publishing “Quality Porn for Women” – to show women that sex doesn’t have to be loud, painful ‘pussy banging’ that can distort the image young girls have of sex before they lose their virginity.
While it is predominantly women that feel the wrath of sexual stigmas, males also experience stereotyping due to sex itself being a taboo. The taboos which surround sex are not exclusive to cultures, religions, or genders. It is these social pressures that result in women’s inabiliy to discuss sex and their own identities.
In order to change these stigmas, it is essential that women feel comfortable discussing their sexuality among themselves, as we must accept each other before expecting society to do so. But it is also crucial that Hollywood, the media, males and even women themselves, stop stigmatising and encouraging these taboos.