This week, Katie Quinlan talks about sex, Asking For It, and why we all need to re-assess our views on sexual behaviour.
I’m walking home from my friend’s house, having stayed there after a night on the town. I’m walking to my own house to shower and get changed.
Apparently this is a walk of shame.
As a woman I should be someway ashamed of that fact that last night I did not go home.
There are so many problems with how we view sex, how we oppress women when it comes to sex and how we treat women who are sexually active. If I enjoy sex and sleep around a bit then I’m a slut and should be ashamed of myself when I meet someone I like and decide to have sex with them.
As a female, I should want to settle down with every man I come into contact with. I shouldn’t want to just have sex and leave it at that, that’s not what women do. Louise O’Neill’s book Asking For It really resonated with me when she interrogated our need to “slut shame”. It made me ask myself some really important questions. Slut shaming is something we begin doing at a very young age, if you find yourself judging someone on the length of their dress, feeling the need to comment on the amount of sexual partners they’ve had then you’re massively buying into this horrible trend.
Not only is it damaging and entirely sexist, in my opinion it feeds directly into rape culture. In O’Neill’s book, Emma sleeps around a bit therefore when she’s raped multiple times she deserved it. Even Emma thinks she deserved it, she led them on, and she must have wanted it. We shame women for having sex with multiple people, then when someone takes advantage of these women and rapes or sexually assaults them we feel the need to assert that they were sleeping around. “She was a bit of a slut, though.” We oppress women when it comes to sex and this feeds directly into victim shaming which directly correlates with a lack of reporting when it comes to sexual assault and rape.
We spend too much time engaging in this toxic behaviour of assessing the length of her skirt, how she led him on and how many partners she’s already had. How about we start assessing the mutual benefits of sex, the necessity of consent and the fact that we can all enjoy sex regardless of our gender and not be labelled as sluts. So next time you find yourself judging some girl you see walking down college road early Friday morning, check yourself. What gives you the right to judge her? Do you even really know her story? It can’t be a case of boys will be boys and girls will be sluts.