College girl life 101: Own your sexuality

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When I look at the most influential female celebrities (especially musicians) in my life, I realize I’ve grown up listening to a lot of women who own their sexualities and haven’t given any shits. Starting with Britney Spears, then Christina Aguilera, then the Pussycat Dolls, to Amy Lee of Evanescence and Pink, to Shakira, to Lady Gaga and Beyoncé and finally to the most risqué and bizarre of them all, Yolandi from Die Antwoord, I’ve been letting sexually liberated women subliminally teach me how to be a bad bitch since I was six years old. And I think that’s awesome.

 

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(my parents are actually pretty stoked that I went with the Sinead over the Yolandi)

While there is a lot of controversy surrounding whether feminists should be trying to reclaim the label “slut,” similar to the reclaiming of “queer” and the use of the n-word in black communities, I think we should be trying to at least reclaim the topic of our own sexualities. Our bodies belong to us. We should do what we please with them.

However, there’s a confusing intersection between self-objectification and owning one’s sexuality for some. The question of Beyoncé–is she objectifying herself and holding back the feminist movement, or is she owning her sexuality and moving it forward? In my opinion, the former argument is so weak it can barely be made. The line blurs more when one thinks about women like Rihanna and Miley. Miley has been getting a lot of hate, especially after her performance with Robin Thicke. Many claim that Rihanna and other black artists (Beyoncé and Nicki Minaj to name two) suffer from internalized misogyny and are overly sexual, which have extremely racist roots in themselves.

Owning one’s sexuality can look different from Lady Gaga’s “do what you want with my body” and “I wanna be that girl under you” consenting but sex-saturated ideology. Being empowered doesn’t mean you have to sleep with every guy who shows interest in you, but it can mean being free from sex, or asexual. It can mean putting on your Freakum Dress every now and again for a significant other. And it can mean you just want a Rude Boy (or boys…). As long as it’s, again, consensual on both sides and the other party is totally down for all of that–because owning your sexuality doesn’t mean objectifying anyone or expecting sexual favors from them.

Nobody should feel ashamed for the sex or lack thereof that they’re choosing to have. Nobody should shame anyone else for it. And it’s not just men who are shaming girls for perceived sluttiness: A study called “Birds of a Feather? Not When It Comes to Sexual Permissiveness,” shows that women, even those who have more sexual partners, are less likely to befriend a girl who has a number of sexual partners. And that really bites.

So let’s take the advice of our beloved female pop stars and own our sexuality. Don’t feel ashamed of your sexuality–whether you’re not that into it or you’re the nymphomaniac 50 Cent referenced in Candy Shop. Don’t let anyone tell you what you should or shouldn’t do with what you got goin’ on; only you can decide how you use your sexuality. And that’s pretty damn liberating.

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4 thoughts on “College girl life 101: Own your sexuality

  1. “is she objectifying herself”

    This accusation doesn’t make any sense in and of itself, since people can’t objectify their own selves. That’s kind of defeating the point of what objectification means.

    “Miley has been getting a lot of hate, especially after her performance with Robin Thicke.”

    Well, yeah, that’s because Robin Thick is misogynist and a rape apologist, and Miley herself is incredibly racist.

    “but it can mean being free from sex, or asexual.”

    …What?

    • Hi there! Thanks for the comment. There are actually a lot of people who believe that if a woman is sexual in a way that reflects what society deems is sexy (like Beyoncé or Victoria’s Secret Angels) they actually have internalized misogyny and aren’t owning their sexuality–they’re actually just allowing themselves to be objectified and “giving in” to patriarchy. I’m with you–I think women who simply give in and let men control their sexualities are a myth.

      Miley is a multi-faceted topic, I was just referring to the fact that she’s very open in her sexuality.

      I’m not sure what your question is in regards to asexuality, however.

      • I’m not sure if they’re entirely a myth — but if that were the case, it wouldn’t be her objectifying herself, it would be whoever’s exerting power over her.

        Were you (and if so, why were you) equating asexuality with “freedom from sex”?

      • The hypothetical woman would be allowing herself to be objectified, not resisting in any way.

        I should’ve clarified that better–I’m saying sexual freedom looks different for someone who is asexual or someone who doesn’t want to have sex at a certain point in their life. For these people, not feeling ashamed because they don’t have more/any sex or aren’t more sexual is just as liberating as for someone who doesn’t feel ashamed of being extremely sexual. Hope I’m making sense!

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