If you have at any point been conscious on this planet, I’m sure you have noticed by now that all of our collective societal attention is focused on the male sex drive. Seriously, all of it. It’s all about adolescent boys and raging hormones and testosterone and “biological needs” and blankets so stiff they’re breakable. Sadly there is no attention left for other things because it has all been relocated to the penis department.
Well guess what — no one ever wants to talk about it but ladies need sex, too.
And according to society, that’s not okay. Ladies are supposed to want love and relationships and families and sweater sets and picket fences. We’re socialized to be delicate and innocent and agreeable. We’re encouraged to go for what we want but to do so quietly.
We’re not supposed to want one-night stands or 60-hour work weeks. We’re supposed to want multiple children but not multiple orgasms and multiple partners. When women take charge of themselves, their careers, their bodies, their sexualities, and (god forbid) their lives, people tend to freak out a little. I mean, the entire internet basically shut down when Miley Cyrus cut her hair short, what do you think that says about us?
In high school I read this stupid book called Why Men Don’t Listen And Women Can’t Read Maps and there were all these graphs and charts and explanations of why men and women are different because science, and back then it seemed to make sense, but now I realize things like that are part of the problem. They capitalize on vague evolutionary differences between men and women so as to construct these social concepts of “maleness” and “femaleness” that we’re supposed to adhere to.
Really, the problem is that we gender things. We gender everything, from clothes to attitudes to sexual appetites to human emotion. We see completely common, universal emotions such as love and lust as feminine and masculine, respectively. My girlfriend used to do this to me all the time — if I was being particularly affectionate she would say “You’re being such a woman right now!” but if I was being cold and insensitive she would roll her eyes and call me a man.
But why? Why is it one or the other? Why can’t I be a woman who likes sex and beer and 300 just as much as she likes lipstick and stilettos? Why can’t I like having sex sans commitment without being accused of having a “male brain”? Why is it sexy when women wear men’s clothes but ridiculous when men wear women’s?
There’s obviously a stigma attached to being female and being open about one’s sexual needs, but that’s probably because there’s a sort of stigma attached to femaleness in general. And, as illustrated in the ridiculousness of the first paragraph, there is just as much of a stigma attached to maleness. Mysteriously, though, people still get criticized for not “fitting into” their assigned genders. Still.
That said, I am so unbelievably tired of the “women are like this” and “men are like that” conversation. As in, we’ll never move forward unless we stop gendering things and just see them for what they are. As in, it’s 2012 and people are people and we’re over this compartmentalized bullshit.
Because in case it’s still unclear, ladies are people and ladies need sex, too.