Society measures a woman’s worth by the number of sexual partners she’s had; the lower the number, the better.
In fact, when you’re a woman, society wants you to have low numbers when it comes to a lot of things. Low weight, a low number of sexual partners, lower wages than your male counterparts, work fewer hours so you can raise your families.
Do you know what these low numbers lead to? Low standards. Low standards for ourselves.
It also leads to the idea that sex is transactional. That we must trade sex for something else worthwhile. Let me explain. When we are taught from a young age that our bodies don’t really belong to us, that they are to be kept sacred and pure for some future husband, we are being taught that we’re trading this purity for something else.
That something else can be security, protection, stability. We’re taught that these things aren’t something we can procure on our own, when we’re taught that we must get them from a man we haven’t even met yet.
And this is utterly ridiculous.
Sex isn’t something that should be transactional. Our bodies are our own. What we should be taught is that our choice to share them with someone else is on our terms, simply because we choose to do so. For our own pleasure, not for what we can do for someone or what they can do for us. It’s this type of thinking that causes women to feel less than and men to feel empowered to treat women that way as well.
On the other side of this coin, men are being raised to perpetuate this as well.
They’re being told that women are fragile and must be protected and cared for. That it’s their job, as manly men, to do this. Our society grooms them into toxic masculinity. It tells them they aren’t real men if they don’t behave a certain way. That it’s not okay to openly cry, it’s not okay to have feelings, it’s not okay for them not to be strong all the time.
Men shaming other men for not being ‘manly enough’ is just as prevalent as slut shaming among women.
At its core, this is toxic masculinity. And this is where it has to be culled. This is just as damaging as the way women are treated within society. And it has to stop.
Men having feelings on the outside is strong and masculine.
It doesn’t make them a pussy or feminine. There’s nothing sexier than a man unafraid to express his thoughts, feelings, hopes and dreams. Except possibly, a man who treats his partner with respect and equality in their relationship.
When we change the way we treat ourselves and the way we view our place in the world, we can change the way society is.
We are part of society. If the majority of us stop making sex transactional, start raising our children with bodily autonomy, teach our children they can take care of themselves, and stop allowing ourselves to be seen as less than, we can change the world.