Feminism as a Basis for Equality: last concept analysis

which is the most important or influential concept to understanding the relationship between sex and society that we covered in the class and why?

I believe that the most important concept to understanding the relationship between sex and society that we covered in class is feminism. I believe that feminism is the most crucial concept covered in this class because of the common misinterpretation of the term. Feminism, as we have defined in class, is the movement for political, social, and economic equality for men and women alike. It has been noted by people including stars such as Emma Roberts and Taylor Swift that to many people in this society, the term feminism is perceived in a negative manner. According to Taylor Swift, many girls “think it means something angry, or disgruntled, or complaining, or they picture rioting and picketing. It is not that at all. It simply means you believe women and men should have equal rights and opportunities.” This quote highlights the lack of understanding of the term that exist in this society and its aggressive connotations.

As a society that is steadily progressing in women’s rights and opportunities in all aspects, this term should not be one that is misunderstood. Still today, women face discrimination simply because of gender and organizations such as “He for She” aim to eliminate that discrimination. This concept was brought up multiple times in class and is connected to many of the other concepts we discussed in class as well.

Equality for men and women is progressive and long-awaited for Americans and should continue to be addressed publicly and with efforts to raise awareness. Discrimination can take many forms and along with gender discrimination, we discussed discrimination based on sexual orientation and race. All of these forms of discrimination allow for an intolerant and unjust society. I believe all of these are crucial in understanding sex and society because they expose the major issues that lie within our society’s ability to exist and feel accepted by others. One’s sexual experiences and choices should be unique to each individual and those choices should not be left for judgement of others.

Feminism means equal opportunities for both men and women but also implies that there not be a double standard regarding sex and society. While it is quite obvious in our culture that men are applauded for having multiple lovers, it is also known that if a woman has multiple lovers she is more likely to be labeled as promiscuous. This is an example of gender inequality and remains a major issue in today’s society and affects the sex culture we live in. Along with hook-up culture, this makes for a difficult and confusing social script for women to live by and follow.

Spreading the ideas of feminism and promoting the equality of the sexes, I feel, would eliminate many of the issues we face in society relating to sex and would be the basis of reform for acceptance. Once we can establish equal opportunities for men and women alike, maybe we can extend that form of equality to acceptance for sexual orientations and race.

What Does Sex Have To Do With… Good Girls ?

The virginal good girls is always seen as respectable and “tamed”; while the sexy bad girl is promiscuous and slutty. Guys that get a lot of girls are seen as cool guys, but guys that don’t are lame. Women are reprimanded for being sexually active, while boys are praised. It almost gives the insinuation that once a girl has given up her virginity to guy, she is now property. In society it is valuable, and losing it the wrong way can label a girl as desperate. In the light of guys, they are encouraged to have sex as early as possible. It even comes down to the point of women being ridiculed and criticized for dating younger men, while for men, especially on college scenes, it is perfectly fine. Women are labelled cougars, but what are guys called ? Women’s sexual engagement also plays a role in the work place. If a woman is hyper sexual, she is less likely to get the job. It could be based off of the idea that she will sleep with all of the workers, or that she will bring problems to the work place, or even be pregnant and unable to work; whereas a guy’s sexual involvement has nothing to do with whether he gets a job or not. This idea of the double standard plays a role in capital feminino, where a woman who is a virgin is more valuable and respected than a woman who is not.
This picture is a prime example because it brings to light the stigma that men are allowed to be sexual but women cannot because it realy all comes down to question if you are a slut or a man .
women

What do you think has to be done in order to change the stigma ?

Seeing Double

Kathleen Bogle’s book, Hooking Up, devotes an entire chapter to discussing the double standard as it exists on college campuses. In it, she illustrates how women are seen as “good” if they do not have sex with many people, do not dress provocatively, and take things slow and wait awhile to have sex. A “bad” girl is one who may be incredibly sexy, but has sex with many men, dresses improperly, and has sex when she wants to. Bogle’s research has shown that men and women in hookup cultures want different things; men want only sex and women want relationships. Now, (setting aside psychological reasons like women being more emotional and getting attached more easily) some women are looking for relationships because they want to marry in a few years. Other women may feel the need to be in relationships to protect their reputations and not be labeled “sluts” for having sex. As far as sex goes, men can have sex as much as they want to without having to worry about any sort of social backlash; they have basically no rules. For women, however, it is a different story.  It is very easy for a woman to get a bad reputation– if she hooks up too often, hooks up with too many different people, hooks up with two friends (or frat brothers), dresses too scandalously, or behaves too wildly. When women do engage in these no-no’s, they are labeled as “sluts,” stigmatized, ostracized, and not seen as candidates for relationships. It seems women who want to be in relationships almost have to trick or coerce the men to be in them. Bogle found that guys are a little more willing to enter into friends-with-benefits relationships, although they are still worried about women wanting “more.” Because clearly men and women want different things, men want hookups and women want relationships, why do women not opt-out? Men are in a higher position of power within hookup culture, because that is all that they want. If women choose not to participate in hookup culture, they don’t really have any other options.

As an undergraduate female at Vanderbilt, I have seen, and even experienced firsthand, much of the double standard and differing goals of male and female students. One guy I’ve heard of is extremely well known for hooking up with lots of girls; people who talk of him almost regard him with a sort of awe. On the other hand, my female friend was once worrying about being seen dancing on guys at parties, as she didn’t want to get a bad rep like some other girls who were known for sleeping around. Guys really don’t have many “rules” governing what kind of behavior is acceptable. Hooking up with someone else’s girlfriend may make him mad at you, but you’ll still probably gain a lot of esteem from your friends. Really, guys can hook up with whomever they want, whenever they want, and not face much (if any) stigma. Girls, however, have to watch their steps. I do not agree with these labels or stigma, but I am describing what I see as dominant scripts here on campus. A woman who avoids sex and parties altogether may be branded a “good girl,” someone innocent and naive, or possibly a “goody-goody” who stands on a moral high ground above the other people who do engage in those behaviors. She can’t be too “good,” but woman cannot go too far in the other direction either. If she drinks and parties too much, she may get a name for that, especially if she makes a habit of getting “sloppily” drunk, passing out, or throwing up. If a woman has sex with too many people, she is seen as a “slut,” and then is less desirable. If a woman is looking for a relationship, she can’t have sex with the candidate too soon, or else he won’t see her as relationship material (I just want to point out that it takes two to tango here, he had sex just as soon as she did). Now, a woman’s safest bet here is to have a boyfriend (if she can snag one), or even a friend-with-benefits. She wouldn’t be judged for sleeping with too many people, or regarded as “too good” to hook up with anyone.

The problem is that a large amount of guys are not looking for relationships. They view college, especially the first couple years, as a time to let loose and have fun. Everyone just wants to party and live the college experience, right? I think that many freshmen, guys and girls, come into college with this mentality, but that over time, it gradually changes. I agree that girls are more likely to want relationships, but that there is no clear course to finding one when hooking up seems to be the only option.

I think this double standard is completely ridiculous, though the solution is not to start slut-shaming men equally. Men and women should be able to have sex whenever, however, and with whomever they want (with consent). No one should have to feel embarrassed about their sexuality. Having sex does not make someone a bad person. Our culture needs to recognize women as sexual beings with desires of their own who can make choices for themselves and do not need the fear of outside judgment to keep them in line. It is absurd to me that today, in 2014, men and women are still not equals. They may be protected from discriminatory practices by law, but in social situations with socially constructed rules and scripts for behavior, men are often favored.

How do you think we can work to eradicate the double standard? Why do you think guys do not seem to want relationships, but girls do? Does the double standard apply to non-heterosexual and non-cisgender people?

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