Damned If You Do, Damned If You Don't
Politics and Activism

Damned If You Do, Damned If You Don't

The double standards of young women.

135
Engineers Go Global

It is excruciatingly confusing to be a young woman.

We’re taught to be classy, conservative and respectable. We have explained the fragility of our virginity and how to be ideal women. Then, we’ll turn on the television to see advertisements with women in bikinis rolling around on the beach. We see women flaunting their bodies and radiating seductive confidence. But, if you’re too conservative, you’re a prude. And, if you’re too liberal, you’re a slut. Whether we flaunt our bodies, hide our bodies, explore our sexuality or save ourselves, we are never right in the world’s opinion. Young women are trapped in double standards; it’s as we’re set up to be damned either way.

Young women spend years worrying what others are saying, who’s saying it, and why they’re saying it. We stress if we are being the perfect mix of what our families and the media teaches us. There is this insane pressure to be innocent yet appealing. We’re supposed to give our partners what they want, but not too easily. We’re supposed to save our virginity for the love of our life while watching boys high five one another about losing theirs. We are told to cover our bodies so we don’t excite boys too much. We hearing slut-shaming at our lunch conversations and giggles at the idea of an 18-year-old virgin. We worry what our outfits say about our sexual activity. Our bodies have become society’s property as legal and societal regulations are set on them. But guess what? It’s none of your damn business how I use my body. Because it’s mine: not yours, not her’s, not his.

Personally, I believe the two biggest issues we face in combating double standards is slut-shaming and the concept of virginity. Sex is a huge part of life (in case you didn’t know that’s how babies are made, and babies are kinda a big deal for the growth of humankind). So, why has sex become unthinkable for women to discuss or even have? Girls become obsessed with losing their virginity in the most spectacular, perfect, romantic way. If you decide who do it on a whim, then do you even have any self-respect? You must be a “slut” and that is just oh,so shameful. Also, once you are sexually active a number of people you sleep with becomes your number. For girls, it better not be double digits, but for guys, it better be at least double digits. The incongruences between the expectations of men and women are astounding and frankly, disgusting.

It’s not men’s fault, our parents fault, our friend's fault or even women's fault; the fault lies within our indecisiveness as a society of whether we will stick with the traditional image of a woman or the progressive reinvention of a woman. But, the main point is: it is not society’s decision.

We perpetuate the double standards for young women with words, pictures and movies without thought of the direct effect on the growth of young women. Companies have to be creating advertisements without the hyper-sexualization of women’s bodies. Schools have to be requiring sexual education courses that focus equally on the responsibilities of men and women. Consent has to be common sense rather than a learned subject. Women have to not be shushed or questioned when reporting assault or rape. As a whole, we have to be encouraging young women to love their bodies and use it how they want. As an individual, you need to help by simply not judging another woman for her decisions. For example, next time your friend comes to you with the hot gossip on Karen’s sex-life simply reply with “Fuck yeah, dude. Good for her.” Encourage the exploration of sexuality and build confidence. Open dialogues with other young women. The double standards of women have lead to unacceptable decisions, expectations, and ideas of how, when, why and what women’s bodies should be used for. It’s hard for me to understand how this confusing idea became a reality but what’s even harder to understand is: if a young woman's body is such an intriguing topic of discussion, why aren't people listening to the words coming from our mouths?

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

For a long time, Goya has been a staple in some Latino households. People carry around jars of Adobo when they eat at friend's houses and packets of Sazón Goya can be found in almost everyone's pantry. Many BuzzFeed lists, videos, and memes aimed at Latinos reference Goya somewhere.

But in a year that just keeps hitting us with bad news, Goya Foods CEO Robert Unanue said that Trump was an "incredible builder" and that the US was "blessed" to have him as president at a White House event on Thursday.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

Unauthorized Plastic Surgery Is Totally Unethical, And Happening WAY More Often Than We Know ‬

Plastic surgery for cosmetic enhancements has you looking more botched than beautiful and it’s painful to see.

Coming from someone who could afford numerous cosmetic enhancing procedures I would never in a million years cut up my face or my body. I'm pretty emphatic and when I watch these brainwashed victims with bandages and chronic inflammation (swollen lips) I literally feel their pain.

Keep Reading... Show less

I've never been big on casual wear or athleisure. Most people who know me have never seen me in sweats. But, I do have those two or three pairs of sweats I can't resist climbing into the second I get home, the newest addition of which is the extra cozy Odyssey crewneck sweatshirt I got in an XL size to feel as close to being wrapped in a blanket at all times as possible.

In the past several months, I've started to expand my horizons, considering the ways in which I can bring my small wardrobe of comfortable bedroom clothing into the public. I've experimented with topping leggings and a sports bra with a denim jacket to the park, and an oversized sweatshirt worn as a dress, cinched at the waist with a belt when I'm out wearing leggings.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

How To Dress Like Your Favorite 'Insecure' Characters — Without Spending $2,000

We take a look at the fashion of Insecure season 4, and how you can create these looks yourself.

HBO

Insecure is one of my favorite shows ever. It really encapsulates what it's like being a Black 20-something, trying to navigate the many ups and downs of life. Issa, Molly, Kelli, and Tiffany are living their best lives in California while dealing with the twists and turns that come with that.

From life to relationships to careers, this show truly captures everything that runs through my mind on a daily basis. The show has a sense of realness and a strong frankness that makes you gravitate toward the characters and root for their success.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

Making A Food Instagram Was The Greatest Silver Lining To Come Out Of My COVID-19 Experience

With the crazy and scary times that 2020 has brought, find comfort in the one thing everyone loves: food.

The waiter briskly moves towards us and stops just a foot away table, balancing the black serving tray stacked high with the ceramic plates that make-up our dinner. From memorization, he beings gently, but purposely, sliding everyone's orders in front of them and within seconds I'm am starring my meal.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

These Honey-Based Beauty Buys Are All We Need To BEE Our Glowiest, Hair To Toes

We're buzzing at each and every one of these.

Honey has been a staple in my Ayurvedic skincare routine since I was a kid and my grandmother used to make me homemade paste-like face masks by mixing chickpea flour, turmeric, honey, and yogurt together.

I now use honey head to toe — on my hair to make it extra shiny, on my face for its natural smoothing and anti-bacterial properties, and the rest of my body for its extreme textural and brightening benefits. Some people even use it on their armpits for honey's lightening effect on the skin.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

People Are Eating Salads For Breakfast, And It's About Time

As Americans we know we all need to eat more fruits and veggies, why not do it at breakfast?

I first started seeing a dietitian in late 2017. At the time, I was the heaviest I've ever been at about 210 lbs. At the first appointment, my dietitian asked me to record what I ate in a food diary so she could better understand my habits and give me better direction in changing my lifestyle. I did exactly that and returned a week later, diary in hand. After a cursory glance at the pages, she first remarked at how few fruits and vegetables I ate. Deep down I had already known that, but what I didn't know then was that I was far from being alone in that respect. According to a Times article, about 90 percent of Americans don't consume enough fruits and vegetables to meet current dietary guidelines. It's hardly rocket science as to why that is — many of our diets consist mainly of carbs and non-planted based protein. This isn't to say that carbs and protein are the devils; they're both parts of a balanced diet. However, vegetables and fruit are also part of a balanced diet — a part that often gets neglected. So, when I see people on Instagram eating salad for breakfast, I think to myself "It's about time!"

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

Founders Of Color Q&A: Yarlap's MaryEllen Reider On Destigmatizing Women's Health

The father-daughter duo co-founded the brand and has since generated a passionate, dedicated community of women.

MaryEllen Reider

I was lucky enough to meet MaryEllen Reider over a decade ago as a fellow freshman in college. Since then, I had the luxury of being able to witness her evolution from the faithful companion I went to my first job fair with to the woman who is now a pioneer in destigmatizing the portrayal of women's reproductive health.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments