Is self-respect only sleeping with one person?
Or covering yourself up?
Is it never swearing and always being polite?
Of course, the ideas of self-respect are reserved for women only. You’d rarely hear someone complain to a man about how he disrespects himself by mowing the lawn with his shirt off. Or how his 10+ sex partners are really hindering his self-esteem. In fact, I’d be surprised to hear anyone ask a man how his self-esteem is holding up after a third date with a woman who won’t return his calls.
But, these are exactly the kind of things women have to deal with in popular culture. Even interpersonal relationships with supposed “friends.” For instance, whenever I get into a conversation with young women about sex partners and they ask me how many I’ve had (it’s around 7 or 8 at this point I kind of lost track), they look at me in awe. I mean I’ve been “sexually active” since the age of 16 (I’m 21 now) and for some reason I’m supposed to only have sex with dudes (or gals) I’m super serious with. That’s just not how I operate.
Do I think women should have free reign to cheat on people they are involved with? No, absolutely not. But they should be able to freely talk about their sex lives without fear of being interrogated by their friends, family and partners.
We should be able to flaunt our body when we are comfortable with it.
We should be able to have autonomy over our own bodies, especially when we live in a culture that is constantly being degraded because of them. Whether skinny, fat, voluptuous, or just chubby.
We should be able to have lots of sex with multiple partners (safely) and still be regarded as autonomous human beings capable of sexual independence.
But we’re not. And we won’t be unless we resist society’s norms and mores when it comes to women’s sexual and moral behavior.