Look around your college classroom, spot the virgins.
See, this seems like a game until you skip over the girl with a short skirt and hair in front of her eyes because you heard last summer that she slept with like nineteen guys. You can’t see her hands, but they’re under the table, pulling a rosary through her fingers as she tries to wash the sin off her. She’s only ever kissed three people in her whole life and they’re all girls. She turned down the wrong guy and he told everyone she’s “a whore.” The label “slut” stuck to the bottom of her shoe and swallowed her up.
But that quiet girl who is always reading probably never touched someone else’s penis, you figure, because you don’t know that she goes home and strips down and pulls on tight black leather, you don’t know she’s got a set of whips that could make any set of knees quiver, you don’t know because she’s proud of what she does but she’s not stupid enough to let anyone know about it. She’s sexy, just not here, not where people judge.
See, the truth is: you have no idea who has lost their virginity, because it doesn’t change you. It doesn’t give you some kind of glow or superpower or stamp on your forehead. You know the feeling of waking up on your birthday and thinking “I don’t feel any older whatsoever”? That’s what maybe they’re all so afraid of you finding out: sex doesn’t change you. Sex doesn’t make you an animal, sex doesn’t suddenly make your relationship a million times more stable or intimate or romantic - it can’t fix what’s broken, although it can make the pain go away for a bit. Sex doesn’t really occur with eighty tea lights and a thick white rug. Sex is ugly and loud and frequently awkward, sex is excellent and breathtaking and when you wake up the next morning, you’re the exact same person. There’s not some magical connection with the person in bed beside you. Believe it or not, pregnancy isn’t some kind of punishment - but practice safe sex, get tested, don’t spread your germs around. They want to tell you, “Sex can ruin you” and I’ve heard that a lot as a little girl, that some boy would join me under my sheets and then dump me four days after, used, unhappy.
But I figured out that I’m not a fucking toy. Letting someone have sex with me is not letting them “use” me, because I’m not an object. My father said the issue lay in the fact “Men are insecure and need to know that they’re the best you ever had,” but I think that’s a steaming crock of absolute-wrong and if I didn’t tell the people I’m with how many others I’d slept beside, there would be literally no way for them to know my number, because I don’t rust, I don’t wear out, I don’t get bruised. I’m not a wilting fruit, I don’t go rotten.
But here’s the thing: some people connect sex and emotion. I don’t personally because I am probably secretly an ice storm in disguise, but I still respect my partner’s desires. If they’re the type to want love and sex to coincide, I let them. I don’t make fun, I don’t pull one-night-stands or friends-with-benefits, because it’s not their “reputation” I’m afraid for: it’s their heart I’m defending.
Here’s the thing: Instead of worrying about people’s “purity” and how it defines them as a person, worry instead about how you can protect other people’s emotions.
Because here’s the thing: look around your room and spot the virgins. Look harder. You can’t tell. Sex doesn’t alter people, it doesn’t make them act in a certain way nor dress in a certain manner. Sex and personality have nothing to do with each other. There’s a reason that virginity doesn’t show on someone’s face: because having sex doesn’t cause you to change.
The person you love won’t always make you happy. If love is a tattoo then it won’t always ink laugh lines into the corners of your eyes or needle joy into the grooves of your heart waiting to be filled. Sometimes it will leave bruises in the corners of your skin where you…
they look like that group of boys from your neighbourhood who are always up to no good, smoking behind the school buildings, yelling over teachers with witty comments, skipping school to go on road trips. Except you can’t help feel enchanted by them and when they ask you to ‘come on an adventure’ with them, you forget about your straight A’s because good girls always have a bad girl inside them.
"THIS PICTURE WILL NOT CHANGE THE WORLD, BUT I STILL NEED FEMINISM AND I’M GOING TO REALLY, REALLY TELL YOU WHY":
-Because I got called a whore for wearing a short plaid skirt when I was 10
-and because when Nujood Ali from Yemen was 10 she got divorced
-Because black girls’ names became my classmates’ favorite “joke” when I was 11
-and because when an 11-year-old girl in Texas was raped by 18 men the New York Times wrote of how the girl “dressed older than her age”
-Because I started counting calories when I was 14
-and because when Malala Yousafzai was 14 she was shot in the head for trying to go to school
-Because I heard a boy greet a girl with “hey slut” today at age 16
-and because when a 16-year-old girl in Steubenville, Ohio was filmed being raped by two boys at a party while unconscious the CNN reporters talked about how tragic it was because the rapists had such bright futures as athletes
-Because I will have to watch my drink at all bars and parties when I am 22
-and because when CeCe McDonald was 22 she was sentenced to 41 months in prison for defending herself against a man who screamed transphobic, racist insults at her and then slashed her face with a bottle
-Because no matter what age I am the biggest threat to men will still be heart disease, and the biggest threat to women will still be men.
-Because it is not just about me, because it is not just about anger, because it is not just a JOKE, because it is not just about “hating men,” because it is not just about girls with vaginas, because it is not just about ending “slut”, because it is not just about white straight girls in Rookie magazine, because it is not just about writing on backs, because it is not just about the fact that gay men are “fags” but lesbians are “hot,” because it is not just about pictures of thin white girls being the only google image results for the search phrase “beautiful women”, because it is not just about writing signs, because it is not just about what she was wearing or how many times she said yes before she changed her answer to no, because misogyny is not just about one thing and feminism is not just about one thing and it is not just “a trend” and it will not “happen” in just one way.
-And because yes. It is about equality for EVERYONE, but first and foremost it needs to be about equality for girls, because they are not treated equally to men, in every single sense, and you are not going to take feminism away from me and call me bossy/hostile/aggressive and make this about yourself or make it into a joke, because truth be told, I’m not joking and I’m tired of explaining. If you want to call yourself a feminist, you work hard to spread feminism, you do not turn this into a contest of whose struggle is greater and constantly demand to know what you can get out of feminism personally. Feminism is not just about you, or me, it is about everyone. If you’re male and you’re tired of men being stereotyped as hyper-masculine, soulless, sexist, inherent leader-tyrant creatures, then go out and prove the patriarchy wrong and fight for girls, like someone with a soul who believes in equality would. Then, yes, feminism will be about everyone.
-Sylvie (an amazing grrrl godess)
Photo taken by Caroline http://c-h-0-w.tumblr.com/
it makes me really sad when people have bad teachers because then you get people who are like “god i hate physics so much” but it’s because nobody’s explaining it well and they don’t get it. like they could have become passionate about physics but instead they shut it out forever. this applies to every subject.