Shame on Me?


The personal is political. This is sorta feminism and activism 101. But I hate the feeling when I’m reminded of this in my own life. Too often, I am in situations when I visit family in which I feel misunderstood or dismissed because of my “radical” views. (Sidenote: when did wanting equality become radical?). Even more so, I hate the uncomfortable and suffocating feeling in the moment I realize a romantic partner holds anti-feminist beliefs, either consciously or not. It’s hard not to feel like a moron when I ask myself how I didn’t see it before. I quickly cut that line of thinking off though to avoid self-blaming but at the same time I am partly responsible for the partners I choose to be involved with.

As someone who was a serial monogamist for 7 years, I have now been single for almost a year. I have enjoyed my single-dom but would in no means consider my behavior “promiscuous”. Whether this is denial or my sex-positive feminist mindset, who knows. And who really cares?! My serial monogamy says more about my psychological state at the time than my now sexually confident behavior.

In the world of casual sex, I have discovered firsthand, even though I knew it always existed in a large-scale manner, the double standard of sexuality for men and women. It is especially clear between heterosexual partners. Does someone I’m casually seeing “need” to know if I’m seeing other people (assuming safe sex practices are being utilized)? Why does a guy think he deserves to know but then withholds the same information from the female partner? 

This sort of belief system is clearly rooted in benevolent sexism  in the idea that women should be pure and virginal. It also shows the reality of the virgin/slut, Madonna/whore, pedestal/gutter dichotomies.

Men want women to be “promiscuous” or “freaky” ONLY with them. god forbid women want to get it when, with who, and how they want it. Sex really can be just about sex.

Disclaimer: This post was written by a Feministing Community user and does not necessarily reflect the views of any Feministing columnist, editor, or executive director.

Masters student in Houston; hoping for a career in the nonprofit sector doing feminist activism and organizing.

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