Last night’s Broad City began with Ilana and Abbi at home, chilling on the couch, browsing Facebook. “Oh my goodness, this dude Brian McGlair I went to high school with just friended me, he just moved here,” Abbi says. Ilana urges her to ask him out, explaining that “people only friend you ‘after business hours’ if they want to hook up.” Abbi first hesitates (“I can’t…just do that…”), but quickly changes her mind: “Okay I’m gonna ask him out, I’m just gonna do it.” And then, “This is so great! Like, why are we waiting for guys to come to us, Ilana?! Did Amelia Earheart wait to be asked to fly around the world? Definitely not. She asked. And then they said no… but she still did it. I’m doing it again I’m asking someone else out.” And as both Abbi and Ilana delved deep into the world of Facebook messaging, Abbi added, “I feel like I’m on coke right now! We are like feminist heroes right now!”
It’s silly, yes, but it also touches on a very real truth too: Why do we wait for guys to come to us? And especially when we have a plethora of men waiting to be contacted right at our fingertips. The episode ends in no less an empowering way: Ilana and Abbi fall for two different guys, have sex with them, but ultimately duck out because the guys aren’t smart or interesting. In a triumphant final scene, Abbi is in bed with her dude – he’s asleep; she’s FaceTiming with Ilana. In a world with distinct gender roles (in a world where Janet Mock is unfortunately not the norm), Abbi is clearly playing the dude when Ilana tells her, “Don’t worry you’ll have sexual intercourse very soon,” and Abbi replies, “Oh no, I still slept with him,” and pans the FaceTime camera over to a sleeping dude in her bed.
To say that all women wait for men to come to them would be false, yet it’s also really not too far from the truth. And this becomes abundantly clear when we look at how we deal with condoms.
There’s so much talk about safe sex, but there’s scarcely any talk about the fact that all condoms are marketed towards men. Why should this be the case? Girls get just as horny as guy; we want to avoid STDS just as badly as they do. The only consequence this has had on our society is that it’s made the act of women buying condoms seem taboo. While this may not be so prevalent in a liberal city like New York, many women around the world are degraded and called sluts for simply purchasing condoms. And just think about it: has there ever been a time when you witnessed more women carrying around condoms than men?
To combat this taboo and raise awareness to it, Meika Hollender is launching Sustain, a condom company geared towards women. They don’t intend to exclude men from the conversation; they just want to shift the classic target audience for condoms from men to women. The condoms are also entirely sustainable and eco-friendly, which brings to light all of the chemicals that are used to make your average Trojan. It’s beautifully packaged, designed and marketed. And most importantly, it gives women the agency they deserve.
Sources recently uncovered that Rihanna and Chris brown have begun talking again, sending each other romantic texts. Of course it’s only natural for those who love Rihanna to want the best for her, but I think it’s also necessary that she makes her own decisions, regardless of what anyone else is imploring her to do. Women need to have full control over themselves and to do so they must first take full control of and responsibility for their decisions. Yes, it’s important for women not to remain passive in abusive relationships, but it’s equally important that women take a stance and take full command of their future. Rihanna texting Chris shouldn’t be an example of weakness, it should be an example of strength, of a woman doing what she wants. I just hope she buys her own (Sustain) condoms too.