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“Generation Sex” – when our daughters become our sexual rivals and it’s easier to slutshame them than fight the patriarchy

The recent controversy over ‘Generation Sex’ was quite amusing – but also frustrating. Hypocrites in the news media and blogosphere put on a prim face as they lecture parents on controlling their teens, or throw their hands up in despair at how we’ll never be able to control them. But whether they’re scaremongering parents or shaming teens, they are united in their message: we should abhor the sluttiness of the young.

As for the young themselves, they are quite invisible in the national conversation. Being a marginalised, disenfranchised group, they haven’t been able to defend their actions, repudiate the report’s claims, or set the terms of the debate. 12-16 year olds – and even those who are older – are less socially adept, less intellectually developed and less educated. Hardly fair game, wouldn’t you agree? And as if what anyone does at age 12 or 14 is any indication of the kind of adult they’ll grow up to be. (At this age, young Kalika hated sluts and despised sexworkers; what kids think and do about sex at this age is absolutely unimportant). This is especially true of sex; many individuals don’t come out as gay or begin transitioning until their later teen years; we take time to explore our sexuality and build on our sexual skills. Sure, there must be 12 year olds enacting rape scenes with a St. Andrew’s Cross in a makeshift torture chamber, and props to them; but if you’re such a prude that you can’t bear this scenario, you haven’t got a whole lot to worry about in a society so sexually conservative that we think Fifty Shades is porn. Or kinky.

Historically, people have always been paranoid about the sexuality of the young; from the Can-Can dance of the Victorian era to “heavy petting” in the 1960s to 1990s “bumping and grinding”, young peoples’ bits and where they put them have never ceased to be of interest to the older generations.

But there is no getting away from the fact that, before sexting – which, by the way, has been going on since 2001, so it’s a bit late to be getting bothered about it – there were cameras. Before flashing on webcam, there was groping behind the bike sheds. Before weed, there was LSD. Before alcopops, there was beer. Before bralets there were miniskirts. All this unhealthy interest in our childrens’ privates is just classic moral panicking over the wider range of adolescent behaviour as documented by Stanley Cohen in 1970. But it’s not hip to be on about violence any more (at least, without mentioning video gaming) or drinking (because we aren’t even debating it any more – we’ve moved on to debating if minimum alcohol pricing is the right ‘solution’ to this ‘problem’ of people drinking) so teen sex – titillating, worrying, tabloid-selling teen sex – is the Next Big National Distraction.

As ‘teen pregnancy’ has been falling since the 1970s, people who write with shock about our nation’s slutty youth need to admit they are hypocrites. They weren’t wearing chastity belts when they were in high school, so what gives them any right to tut-tut when it’s the turn of the young ‘uns? Perhaps it is envy, especially now that in the developed world, people are living longer. With Britain’s retirement age now 68, people who would once have been in old age homes are now still working. They’re parents to forty-somethings and grandparents to high school pupils and students. Whereas in previous generations our descendants would help out on our farm or carry on the family business, now they carve out their own careers, subscribe to their own religious and political beliefs, and even (especially in a recession) compete with us for jobs. We are no longer raising our successors, but our competitors.

In addition, it is now more acceptable for mothers and middle-aged women to openly have a sex life, even one that is non-monogamous. More than ever, forty and fifty year olds are using beauty products, exercise and visits to salons to look after their appearance and remain attractive. As a mother’s appearance wrinkles and her body sags, she watches her 15-year-old daughter growing up and getting her pick of the lads; if her daughter is older – perhaps a student or graduate –  she sees her daughter dating the men she can only dream of dating.

Why do I say “mother” and “daughter” without mentioning fathers and sons? Because the photos associated with such articles usually only feature teenage girls. It is girls’ sexting, not boys’, that is controversial. (Double standard again).

Instead of bitterly airing our envy in a paternalistic ‘concern’ to protect our kids from themselves, why not accept that no consequencs arise from sexting in a society without the double standard? For one thing, photos of body parts cannot be identified; also, even if your face is in the photo, photos don’t always look like the real person. And for another, there are so many naked photos on the internet that it hardly matters if yours ends up there too; if it’s seen, it will be seen amid many others.

The only consequences come from slut-shaming and bullying. We shouldn’t be telling girls not to sext, we should be telling all kids not to slutshame. Amanda Todd didn’t commit suicide because she sexted and the image was sent to others; she killed herself because she was slutshamed by other girls. If the double standard didn’t exist, then no matter how many people saw the photo she wouldn’t have been slutshamed and would still be alive today. Sexting shouldn’t have an “aftermath” or any “consequences”, and in a healthy, non-misogynistic society, it wouldn’t.

Kids shouldn’t be discouraged from sexting any more than they should be discouraged from expressing themselves in any other way such as through art, sport or creative writing. If you want kids to stop sexting, adults must first stop sexting and provide an example. As long as adults sext, we are hypocrites for being ‘concerned’ over teens doing it. They should in fact be just as concerned for us. At least if a teen’s photo ends up on the internet, they would look effin’ good, instead of an older adult who might look droopy or balding [goes off to vomit]. And we can’t call teens ‘Generation Sex’ as long as we sext and have sex. We’re as slutty as they are. and it is morally wrong to slutshame a marginalised, disenfranchised and still generally voiceless generation.

Boys and girls sext in equal measure, but people seem less concerned about boys. Is it because only girls should be chaste and hide their sinful-but-precious bodies, or because only females get slutshamed? I don’t know; but we have to stop and focus on telling our kids not to slutshame, rape, or coerce and to report molesters instead of what we currently are telling them.

Hugo Schwyzer’s take on sexting and girls: http://www.hugoschwyzer.net/2012/10/28/one-mistake-wont-ruin-your-life-why-we-need-a-female-steve-jobs/

The same, but longer, article on Jezebel – it’s excellent! http://jezebel.com/5955277/one-mistake-wont-ruin-your-life-remember-that

 
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Posted by on December 22, 2012 in Feminism

 

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Chastity’s blog post

“No vows, no sex”

Hello, this is me writing as Chastity White, a right-wing nutjob. I’m here to tell you why just the women you all should be abstinent. By the way, Kalika is not the only virginal slut/slutty virgin. Check out these other abstinent whores…I mean, totally serious photos that prove my points. If you believe in any other so-called religion that is obviously from the devil, leave now stay and be indoctrinated, you disgusting heathens.

“True love waits”

Women can make it easier for themselves to be abstinent by denying their femininty and degrading their sexuality. We must allow ourselves to be dominated by men, and wear underwear that expresses our dads’ possession of us as a commodity valuable only for our hymen.

Daddy owns me. Daddy’s a gun-wielding, violent maniac who’d murder his own daughter’s boyfriend, and he OWNS me. Help. Please. Child Protection servies? Anyone?

Another good tip is to be on your guard against impure thoughts. Never let a man have sexual contact with you – it’s your fault if he does, because you let him. Women are the guardians of sex and it’s our job to tell him no. It’s not his job to tell us no, or to control himself. If you don’t tell him no, that’s a shame on you but fame for him, because boys should have as many girls as they can. Their virginity is worthless but yours is priceless. This is all non-negotiable because it just is. It’s not even in the Bible, but let’s act like  it’s in the Bible and the laws of our country all at the same time.

Your virginity is your gift. It’s the greatest gift you have – worth way more than your intelligence, personality, good character, hard work, sports achievements, degree(s), religious or political beliefs…

Another argument is that this is all for your own good. Women get hurt by sex but men don’t. This is true for 100% of women and men even in vastly different cultures and historical periods. It’s just as true for homosexuals and trans people. The reason why women get hurt is that we are inferior to men and have a chemical called oxytocin that releases when we chat to friends or have sex; it makes us feel happy. Somehow, that interferes with our ability to not get emotions all mixed up with sex. Men don’t have this chemical or any similar chemical of course. That’s why men don’t have any friends. Obviously. And why men can separate emotions and sex; this separation is the reason why men don’t have committed relationships or get married. Only women ever enter committed relationships, because women fall in love whenever they have sex, and also they want commitment – men never want commitment, of course.

The hymen/corona is of sacred importance. Everything else is okay because it is the non-existent hymen that is symbolic. We know it’s actually called the corona, which never gets ‘broken’ and the ‘hymen’ is just a myth, but WE DON’T CARE. Seriously. So fuck off, liberals.

When you are abstinent, it is of paramount importance to comport yourself in a decent fashion. The abstinence cult doesn’t harm women in any way, or perpetuate the double standard at all. In fact, giving Daddy complete control over his daughter’s sexual choices in a purity ball or purity pledge is actually empowering for his daughter – even though girls as young as four are forced into these pledges. After all, what could be more self-actualising and healthy than letting Daddy decided who you date, and giving Daddy a key until the day you get married and he gives that key to your husband, symbolising the key to your heart and your virginity? This is very progressive behaviour and not barbaric or repressive at all. And although the fact that boys aren’t made to attend purity balls and pledge their virginity to their mothers, that doesn’t mean that we care more about female virginity than male virginity…it doesn’t…honest!!!! As to why Mommy isn’t the natural guardian of her daughter’s virginity, as she has of course gone through the same temptations and understands the urges and hormonal upheavals a young girl has to face, well…Mommy can’t guard her daughter’s heart. It’s Daddy’s job. After all, Mommy is just a woman…she doesn’t have a penis, which of course means she can’t be trusted with anything. Just look at the wonderful regimes in Iran and Saudi Arabia – they know the score. Just because some women – and men- in those countries vehemently oppose the laws and campaign for gender equality doesn’t mean the governments aren’t totally right. We should use their example in our own society by not having a separation of church and state. That way, we could have abstinence indoctrination – sorry, I mean education – in ALL schools, not just some. Then the virgins will be virgins and the sluts will get pregnant and be shamed by the community as they won’t be allowed contraception or abortion (in my ideal universe). The women would have only two choices: which will you be, slut or virgin? No grey areas, just black and white – if you’re not a virgin, you’re a slut. The boys can do what they like, of course, boys are naturally meant to have lots of sex. And everyone would be a repressed conservative and worship the government.

Women are of course passive and asexual, and we don’t have a right to anything more.

 

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