I like to think that my friends and I are all smart, modern, independent women.
None of us have had that one long-term relationship since school. Together, we have been in numerous relationships with numerous breeds of men. And we talk about it, openly, without judgement.
We discuss all kinds of sex, marriage, sharing a bathroom with a boy and where you absolutely shouldn’t expect to find hair, but alarmingly do.
I spend hours lecturing Boyfriend on slut-shaming, feminism, the many double standards between men and women and yet I find that I, myself, am often guilty of just that.
I am the girl that winces when the guy and the girl go home together on First Dates when it’s clear he just isn’t that into her. I have an unhealthy dislike towards Emily Ratajkowski, and even I, long time Lena Dunham lover, wish that sometimes she’d just put some bloody clothes on.
I have to give myself a real talking to and remind myself that maybe she really wasn’t that into him either, that he is not in control and she is making her own, informed decisions.
I have to force myself to believe that Emily is a spokesperson for women’s health issues, an advocate for planned parenthood and a supporter for women’s rights, that the way she chooses to market herself using her body is smart and not simply, easy, because we all know sex sells.
And I have to understand that Lena is playing the long game, we are force fed mass produced images of semi-nude, sexualised women (ahem, Emily…) that are quite frankly, unattainable. And they make us feel bad about ourselves, they provide teenagers with unrealistic expectations and unsuitable role models, they promote unhealthy body images and Lena, she is coming along and saying “hey, look at me, I have thighs and I am a successful, funny, attractive woman. Look at my body because this is normal”. And the more we see this, the more normal and accepted it becomes and the less it will be met with headlines promoting ‘curvy girls with confidence’. Because, why the f*#@! shouldn’t they be confident?!
I HATE that I have to mentally remind myself of the above, that it isn’t ingrained in me, that I immediately take such a dated and honestly, sexist viewpoint.
I long for the day that men will stop being ‘players’ and women ‘sluts’. When we will be more than either the Madonna or the whore. When we no longer feel as though our bodies must be given the ‘okay’ by society. When we don’t have to be fat to be the funny one. When we no longer feel as though we owe it to the world to be pretty. Because ultimately, feminism is about equality, and beyond that, these women can do what they bloody well want, in the same way that I, and my friends do, without judgement.