“Morality? This sex columnist chick should stick to something a little more her speed, like blowjobs!” Touché, kind sir who’ll never receive one from me. But I’m not talking about spiritual morality. I gave up on that freshman year, after my failed attempt at giving up sex for Lent.
I’m talking about the sociologist’s moral compass. Half my classes this quarter deal with gender construction and the debilitating sexual labels placed on women by society. In one of my classes, we watched “Iron Jawed Angels,” which depicts the plights of the leading activists in the Women’s Suffrage Movement. Prison, hunger strikes, public alienation… all for my right to be treated as an equal. And then I go and write a column about putting on pretty panties, bending over and saying, “Spank me, Big Daddy!” Guilt trip, anyone?
I imagine every female Wednesday Hump columnist faces this issue at some point. How does one write sexily, touch upon every aspect of sex, cater to the boys just as much as the girls, yet not feel like Feminist Enemy #1? Well, at the end of the day, not all of the 25,200 words I have to write this year are going to please everyone, but I think most of you will see that I am, in fact, on your side.
Here’s a blast from the past. I recently got my hands on a brochure, dated 1956, for University of Iowa’s first women’s dormitory. Written from a typical female resident’s point of view, it highlighted the perks of dorm life, including things “every girl enjoys” – sewing machines and ironing boards. One could take a break from studying to enjoy popcorn and coffee in the parlor, maybe even “knit a row on a sweater for the boyfriend.” Making friends was a snap, so long as you chose appropriate dinner conversation and put your napkin in the right place. And of course, what is college life without the occasional night on the town? Just be sure and fulfill the “social requirements for every girl”: sign out and honor the curfew.
First, we should acknowledge that simply earning the right for women to attend college was an epic victory for the early feminist camp. Now, think about where we Gauchos are today. Men and women in the same dorms, some even on the same floor. The freedom to visit the dorm room of the opposite sex. The freedom to come and go as we please. And the reason I’m here today, folks – the freedom to perform any sex act as overtly or discretely as we so choose.
How is slapping on lingerie to please your man any different from knitting him a sweater? The difference is simple. Socially, we now have the choice. We have the choice to dress up for our men, to feel kinky and get spanked. Conversely, we have the choice to dress him up in the French maid costume, crack the whip and shout, “My turn to drive, bitch!”
As sex columnist, it is my responsibility to tread every inch of sexual ground there is. What I love about sex is that every topic unfolds a multitude of facets. In the women’s realm alone, we have submission, domination, exhibitionism, voyeurism, bi-curiosity and the feminine guile to toy with. Some options may appeal to you, others may not. But they are all part of our diverse range as sexual beings. Why not use the power our foremothers gave us and explore them?
We still have a long way to go with the double standards that still burden our gender. But I strive to depict women as liberated beings, challenging the notion that you’re either a good girl or a trollop. Short of jeopardizing your health and safety, I encourage you to explore all options awarded to you, so you can look back when you’re middle aged and say, “Damn, I did whatever the hell I wanted.”
So, the next time you see two straight girls heavy-petting at a social and you find it’s not your cup of tea, simply smile and be thankful to those who fought for you to live in a time and place that allow them to do so. Enjoy that milkshake.