Friday, August 27, 2004

Tramp? Succubus? Vessel of Satan?

You bet I am.

Wonderful article found on MSNBC, detaling the different opinions society has (and has had) on sexuality for men and women, in conjunction with testosterone therapy.

Some noteworthy excerpts:

As to why it's taken so long for medicine and researchers to look into testosterone therapy to boost a woman's sex drive: “It’s been almost a social taboo,” argues Dr. Crista Johnson, a fellow at UCLA’s Female Sexual Medicine Center. “You didn’t want to talk about these things. Women were not supposed to [have desire].”

There seems to be no space in between for the average woman who just wants to feel good about wanting and having a rich sexual life.

A possible breakthrough like testosterone therapy is not just about having orgasms or suddenly feeling the urge to install a stripper pole in the living room. Women just enjoy feeling sexy. They like having desire. Far outside the bedroom, that spark helps them feel alive and vigorous.

That's right, boys. We are proud, gorgeous, sexy women...and we enjoy it as much as you do.

Deal with it.

Idle Chatter:
Hrm. I find myself...well, "offended" is too strong a word, but I rather think this guy is overstating his case and implicating men in general for attitudes that many men don't have and a non-trivial number of women *do*. I mean, I don't think I've ever participated in oppressing or reviling women for being sexual (matter of fact, I've generally been in favor of it), and I think that many, if not most, men in my generation as well as those immediately before and after me, can say the same.

Yes, there's a long history of societies being very down on female sexuality and some of that persists, but this article resists the fact that many of those attitudes are outdated. How many of his examples are examples of the way things were rather than the way things are now? The Inquisition (and many other religious bodies) regarding women as inherently corrupting? Not many churches using that line these days. The Scarlet Letter? Written about colonial Puritans by a man who was conscious and disapproving of the double-standard it represented. "Female circumcision"? Under increasing attack from both within and without. And, as admitted, actually performed by women far more often than men.

So despite his claims that these attitudes prevail, what evidence does this guy actually have? Who, exactly, is complaining about miniskirts, and in what context? Who, exactly, is getting upset when the woman he's with shows sexual desire? The only finger he can point is to Ashcroft and his ilk. Well, they don't call them conservatives for nothing, and they don't, I think, represent the bulk of public opinion on that issue (not that they don't represent a significant constituency, but considering the previous administration we certainly can't look at them as a determining indication of "the way things are").

So, yes, there's still something of a double standard. Yes, it took this stuff too long to come to market, as it were. But it *is* at market, there *are* women who are determined to be sexual, and I can only assume that they've got partners who are at least tolerant of that attitude (I doubt these women are all patched up with no place to go). As the doctor said, it has been a taboo, you didn't talk about those things, and women were not supposed to have desire. Notice the past tense? It irks me, therefore, to be tarred with the same brush as the people who avoided the subject in years past. I refuse to be judged for something previous generations have done and my generation is actively working against. So for everyone out here, no matter what your sex: be sexy, and enjoy it.

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