Only bad women have sexual desires. When will the stereotype disappear?

Despite our diverse social and cultural beliefs, one thing that binds us, women everywhere, is the repression of our sexual desires. The moral policing of women’s sexuality starts from our own homes, schools, faith communities, peer groups and ends behind the closed doors of our bedrooms. Society’s double standard when it comes to sex means that certain sexual behaviors are seen as inappropriate for women, while a convenient blind eye is turned to the same in the case of men.

The guardian of social norms in our society is the patriarchy which openly favors men. The moral code of conduct is therefore designed in such a way as to benefit their preferred gender in all aspects while keeping control over the behavior of the supposedly weaker sex.

By suppressing female sexual desires, patriarchy can prevent women from wanting to have sex and focus only on the procreative aspect of the act. Perhaps the patriarchs don’t want women to be autonomous creatures, capable of making their own decisions and seeking their own fulfillment. In his book The creation of patriarchy Gerda Lerner writes, “An important step in cultural evolution was the commodification of women, whereby ‘women themselves became a resource’ whose sexual desires could be regulated, traded, and otherwise utilized for the benefit of men.” His words were written 36 years ago, but the truth they present is much older.

Why do we see the sexual desires of men and women differently?

One of the reasons patriarchy wants to control women’s sexual desires is to prevent them from seeing the incompetence of their male partner and thus have the power to choose another if they feel dissatisfied. In a society that still advocates arranged marriages, the consequences of sexual freedom granted to women is not something the patriarchy is willing to deal with.

Women own the body, but men own it. But why?

For example, an inexperienced woman would be less likely to tell a man’s inability in bed, however, a sexually experienced woman would be quick to pick up on his inadequacy and ineptitude. It will not be It is an exaggeration to say that women own the body, but men own it. The lack of sex education in schools and the lackluster portrayal of sexual desires in movies etc. cause enough harm to budding youth. Women’s sexual desires are almost seen in a negative light, with the scant hint that sexually liberated women are a bad influence and detrimental to society.

Suggested Reading: Stop Shaming Women Who Own Their Sexuality

Now, how do we tackle the double standards that reject and validate sexual desires on the basis of gender? How to move towards a sex-positive society for all? How can we encourage acceptance of the expression of female sexual desires?

As a society, we must stop the objectification of women at its very root. Sexual desires come naturally to women and therefore the expression of these is not folly, but a necessity. They are not mere objects of pleasure for the patriarchs of society and therefore we must stop teaching that their sexual desires are something to be controlled. Also, owning your sex drive and sexuality is one of the most empowering things because it not only creates a sense of self-expression but promotes self-love. Women should therefore wear their sexuality on their sleeves or at least refrain from shaming women who do.

The opinions expressed are those of the author.


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