Sex. Rape. Assault.
Are you uncomfortable? If you are, congratulations, this is exactly why I am writing today. Our society has perpetuated such a distortion of all of these words to the point where simply engaging in the act of sex is taboo, and heaven forbid we actually talk about it. Don't even get me started on how our society views rape and assault, but basically, if you're a woman, chances are it is your fault. No matter how or why our society believes vehemently that the woman is the sole person who can prevent rape.
I don't know about you all, but I am sick and tired of that being the dialogue. There is always so much involved in these situations, and I do not believe that anything is too taboo. We need to start having an open and honest dialogue about these topics, only then can we begin to fix the deep-rooted issues our society has assigned to them. On that note, here is a list of things I wish people would stop saying about sex, and any related topic.
1. Your virginity is a gift, save it for your husband.
Holy hell, there are so many things wrong with this sentence. First of all, not every girl will grow up to have a husband, she could have a wife or neither. Saying you can only end up with a husband is extremely heteronormative and simply uneducated.
Also, your virginity is not a freaking gift. Literally, all your virginity is, is a fact that says "I haven't slept with anyone yet." However, even that is outdated, because some people don't lose their virginity willingly, but they will always face the stigma of not being "Pure." Don't buy into this idea that you're some kind of flower and you'll be ruined if you have sex because it's trash.
2. Once you have sex, you're dirty, and you shouldn't have a lot of it.
Not enough words for why I hate this remark. A quote I think sums up my thoughts pretty well is, "If you consider a woman less pure after you've touched her, maybe you should take a look at your hands.”
Having sex does not make anyone dirty because sex is not a dirty act. Sex is something shared between two people, once gaining consent, and should be engaged in freely and willingly. Never let anyone tell you what to do with your sex life, as long as you're being safe and protecting yourself, nobody has a right to tell you what you can do with your body.
So have lots of sex, wait for marriage or don't, sleep with lots of people or don't sleep with anyone. These are choices only you get to make.
3. On sexual assault: "It wasn't rape so it's not a big deal" or "If you were stronger you could have prevented it"
I'm honestly angry as I am typing this. First off, we don't even treat rape as a big enough deal, so saying assault is even less important because it's not rape is ridiculous. Any sexual act done without consent is a crime, and it can be just as traumatizing as rape. Never assume you know what happened, and if someone trusts you enough to tell you something deeply personal that happened in their life and you respond with a shitty remark about how it could have been worse, congrats you're an asshole. Hope you're proud.
Moving on to saying it could have been prevented. There is only one way to prevent sexual assault, and that is to not sexually assault someone. Literally, nothing else, and pretending women need to be the ones to stop it is basically saying, not only are we going to hurt you but after we will say you could have totally prevented it. Strength has nothing to do with assault, men and women alike are sexually assaulted. And I swear if you look at a young child who's been victimized and think, well maybe she could have prevented this from being stronger, that is such a dumb argument. Nobody knows they are going to be sexually assaulted, and sometimes it's not as simple as fighting back to make it stop.
4. On rape: "Do you see what she was wearing?" or "What did she expect, getting drunk like that?"
Fuck this. All of it. No article of clothing gives consent, and no article of clothing or lack thereof gives anyone the right to anyone else's body. If you think it does, you need serious help. I don't care if I walk around in a mini skirt and a bra, I still have the right to say no to anything I don't want to do, and the way I dress does not give anyone the right to disregard that.
On to the second quote, I'll tell you what a woman or man expects when they drink. They expect a freaking hangover, and that is the only thing that is even close to being guaranteed to happening when someone drinks. Furthermore, drinking is used as an excuse for a man's behavior, "He wasn't himself, he was drunk," but for women, it's the final nail in their coffin. "How can we believe her, she was drunk," "She probably wanted it and forgot." Fun fact, nobody can consent while intoxicated, and being drunk is not a sign women hold up saying open for business. All this amounts to victim blaming, simple as that.
I for one am done with this being the only dialogue we hear on sex and assault. Sex is not a dirty word, but rape is. I will never stop talking about violence and what a normal, healthy relationship looks like. I am strong, I am powerful, I am a woman. It never was, and it never will be my fault. So please, please stop saying that.