10 January 2010
Promiscuity is not feminism
Natasha Walter writes in the Times today about a new generation of young women who are working as glamorous models, dress in revealing outfits and have multiple sexual partners.
It’s an age in which all teenage girls are feeling the pressure from their peers to be promiscuous and objectified – but instead of fighting it, they say they enjoy it.
One says: “Women are now in much more dominant roles in society…and they can say, you know what, I’m doing this for myself. It’s something to be proud of.”
The women are driving it, it seems. A 2006 survey among teenage girls showed that more than half would like to be glamour models. Many would consider pornography or lap dancing.
They are proud of being promiscuous. In fact, a man who becomes emotionally attached to them is a turn-off – they’d rather have men who “don’t really give a shit”.
And here’s the sad, empty truth. These girls also admit that they see the vulnerabilities of women of previous generations who have been left by men. They are trying to protect themselves by asserting themselves as sexual objects before men do.
“My father left my mother,” one says. “And since then she hasn’t really had a relationship. He’s had lots of girlfriends. I never want to be in that position. Never.”
Women who shun self-respect, love and emotional connection are not empowering themselves. They may be glowing with sexual confidence, but they are living in a false dream. Promiscuity is not feminism. Feminism is about respect of oneself and of others. A woman who lets herself be treated as a sex object is hurting herself and other women – who are then regarded in the same way. As objects, not people. And feminism goes backwards.