After reading this post http://veronicamonet.wordpress.com/2011/03/15/powerful-women/
I was thinking about how our personalities are shaped more by how we relate to others and their perceived expectations than what we really like or not.
My mom told me that some study proved that girls liked pink and that was why pink was a universal girl colour. Since I’ve spent time in rural India where men wore pink and women wore red, I knew that was a ridiculous statement.
I have also observed my own daughter who preferred orange up to age 2. Then she switched over to pink, purple, Barbies and princesses. Just at the time when pop culture began to infiltrate her consciousness. Nothing wrong with liking pink, but don’t try and say it is biologically inherent and exclusive to a double X chromosome (so one can justify telling you that you need to buy your little girl a new bike and not let her use her brother’s old one).
Instead of finding out that more females like pink, what that study found is that the majority of females will try to meet expectations. People conform. We are social animals and it builds group cohesion. One major expectation that most women try to meet or react to is which type of femininity they will pursue: the ‘good’ or the ‘bad’.
Veronica brilliantly discusses this divide in types of femininity that our society allows. We have the a-sexual virgin infantilized “nice” lady and the sex hungry bitchy “bad” woman. Interestingly, we have told ourselves that nice ladies make the best mothers, not the sirens. Penelope wasn’t sexually satisfied when Odysseus was away and that was supposed to make her a better mom. B.S.
When I’m not sexually active, I am cranky. Cranky women are not the best mothers. I haven’t seen any studies, but I think this may be the case for more people than myself.
If our society changed our script of femininities, how would that change what most women look like? If I had grown up in a society that assumed sexually confident women were the best wives, mothers, and citizens – would more women (and men) be encouraging sex instead of treating it like the great evil?
Perhaps a friend who cannot even say the word “stimulate” (no joke, I was talking about about external stimuli and she turned red and admitted that she couldn’t say that word) would be able to talk about sex.
Perhaps the best mother’s day gift wouldn’t be a new vacuum but a new vibrator.
Perhaps all those people who really are asexual or have low libidos wouldn’t be sought after as idealized marriage material. Maybe they could be more free to not have sex on a regular basis.
Could it be that if the one who could give and receive good sex was the moral one, that slut-shaming would disappear? That a new morality based on ethics and principles instead of fear based regulation would be mainstream?
In religious circles, all those women who are shamed at their sexual desires could be proud of them. And the men wouldn’t have mixed messages about what it is to love a woman either! Our boys were told that if they loved a girl they would not be sexually active or think about wanting to and anything more was lust and bad. No wonder some early Christian men castrated themselves.
Could there be classes in high school about exploring your sexuality- sexual ethics? Not graded of course, but a home study module where the kids could learn so many things. On their own. Can anyone really learn the art of a good blow job from standard porn?
How would this effect rape culture if sexually active women weren’t punished or told they ‘asked for it’ but were instead viewed as valued citizens?
Would prostitutes be seen as priestesses again? Or be seen as fully human?