I believe the way we view sexuality in this country needs reform, especially in terms of women’s sexuality.
In high school I dated a guy that, when it came out we had fooled around, I was immediately labeled a “whore” and a “slut.” I thought that was absolutely crazy. I mean, I wasn’t the only one taking part in that relationship. There were two of us involved, and I was the only one with a new negative connotation attached to my name.
Even after we broke up and I realized how horribly toxic the relationship was, I had to deal with the rumors. Apparently word really does spread fast, and unfortunately it doesn’t spread truthfully. Throughout the last few years of my high school experience I supposedly became pregnant and had been involved with half a dozen guys, none of which was true.
The outcome of those rumors, which shamed me for a very typical part of the high school stupidity, left me feeling ashamed about natural attractions to people and actions.
Times have changed though, and now I can say without a doubt that I am proud of my sexuality and myself. I refuse to apologize for engaging in consensual, safe and legal activities, and no one should feel a need to.
To quote Beyoncé (because I’m a white girl in college, so of course I love Beyoncé), “There is unbelievable power in ownership, and women should own their sexuality. There is a double standard when it comes to sexuality that still persists. Men are free, and women are not. That is crazy. The old lessons of submissiveness and fragility made us victims. Women are so much more than that. You can be a mother, an artist and a feminist—whatever you want to be—and still be a sexual being. It’s not mutually exclusive.”
That idea is extremely empowering for me. The idea that I have some sort of qualities beyond a being sexuality active college student is amazing. Now that I’m out of high school and growing more confident with each passing second, I can proudly say that I am a journalist, I am a powerful young woman and I am so many things beyond the “whore” and “slut” I was called in high school.
I guess what I’m trying to say in this attempt of a column is that we need to stop judging people for their sex lives (whether it’s active or inactive) and start looking at the actual person. If you’re the person casting the unnecessary shame, look at your own life and choices before you start hurling the insults and rumors. And if you’re the one feeling judged, just take a step back and realize that as long as you are being safe, taking proper precautions, and loving yourself the whole time, screw it. (And by it I mean whoever you want.)
Corryn Brock is a freshman journalism major. She can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]