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Tag Archives: morals

Life between the parallel lines

In the mid-1800s, the virgin/whore dichotomy was at its most extreme, which meant one simple social rule: there was a line drawn on the ground, and if you crossed it you were no longer a virgin – you were a ruined woman, a whore. These (slightly) more enlightened times have brought more freedom to women (and men) but paradoxically the rules, for women, are now harder to follow.

This is because there is now another line – you can’t be “frigid” or a virgin. You have to date, you have to have a boyfriend, but at the same time you can’t step over that other line into glorious slutdom. You’re trapped, between the parallel lines.

The contested space between the lines is most overtly expressed in high school. If you’re percieved as too close to one line, you’re frigid, ugly, a lesbian, a snob, a virgin, a girl who can’t get a man. Yet step too close to that other line and you’re a slut, a whore, cheap, easy, a ho, skank, slag, or nasty girl. And the lines aren’t only present in high school; they’re prevalent everywhere.

In offices and families and friendship groups everywhere, women are trying to fit into that little space between the lines. Your colleagues might not yell “Slut!” at you or snicker that you’ll “die a virgin” but they can gossip behind you. Your relatives might moan that you’re still single or frown when you tell them you’ve got a new man (or more than one man). And a lot of us are familiar with the feeling of not being able to keep up with our friends who somehow effortlessly lay man after man, yet wonder how they’ll judge our own behaviour when we finally do get up the nerve to do something adventurous.

For those who are abstinent, there is pressure to “do it the world’s way”. Yet the world which seems so liberal to the abstinents is often judgemental and rejecting to polyamorous or kinky women – or even simply women who regularly have NSA sex.

So, whether you’re abstinent or polyamorous (or both!), maybe it’s time to fly upwards – out of that confined space between the painted lines on the ground. They are only paint, after all.

 
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Posted by on October 3, 2012 in Feminism

 

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Reclaiming “morality”

It’s time.Reclaiming words like “slut” is important, but reclaiming words like “morals”, “morality” “immorality” and “family values” is equally important.

Why? So people can’t hijack these words to gloss over their hate speech or anti-democratic agendas. Which people am I talking about? To name a few: Rick Santorum, Rick Perry, anti equal marriage campaigners in Britain, certain American legislators, Ann Widdecombe, Rush Limbaugh, certain UK bishops and cardinals…the list goes on, and the problem is global; I have chosen to name Western people because they are more known to me.

Why should we reclaim these words?

“moral” means the right thing to do; a good thing. Denying innocent people birth control, the right to marry, equality, the right to have a family, respect, the right not to carry a rapist’s baby to term when their life is endangered by the preganancy, denying validation of one’s sexuality, gender choice or partner, dividing communities by sexuality or marital status, dividing parents and children by the same divisions, et cetera, is not moral. It is not the right, good, or ethical thing to do.

Ditto for “morality”.

“immoral” is the opposite of moral (see above).

“Family values” means valuing and validating the family, putting the family (as opposed to the individual, community or society) as a priority. Does ridiculing and criticising polyamorous, same-sex, trans, or umarried peoples’ families help these families and value them? Does valuing the family mean preventing parents from ever starting a family by adoption, or encouraging young parents to give up their children for adoption, or denying welfare to female parents who have a second child while unmarried? Ummm…no.

So, as you can see, these words are not being used correctly at all – their meaning has been completely twisted to mean the opposite. But we can change them back! If we use the word “moral” as synonymous with “ethical”, “right”, “good”, and “honorable”, and “morality” as synonymous with “human rights”,  then we will take their confusing language away from them. We can take the moral high ground and speak out for equal marriage, polyamorous marriage, an end to slut-shaming, rape culture and stigma of sex workers, lone mothers and “sluts” in the name of morality. We can condemn the sexual double standard and homophobia as immoral. We can advocate for family values to take precedence and legalise equal marriage in its name. Imagine the possibilities!

Come on, guys and girls! Let’s make “morality” OUR word, and our goal.

 
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Posted by on July 27, 2012 in Feminism, Sex work

 

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