I recently finished reading a book written by Ariel Levy, called Female Chauvinist Pigs: Women and the Rise of Raunch Culture. Although I don’t agree with some of her assertions in the book, I was nodding my head while reading along with others.
The book centers around women, feminism, and how we have been fighting for equality for years, only to behave in ways that are only pushing us back in terms of progress.
What is crazy to me is that this book was written in 2005 and to me, it seems that things have become even worse than when Levy wrote the book. There was no Instagram, Snapchat, Tinder, or Bumble back in 2005. If anything, things have only gotten worse since her book was published. Without ruining the book for you, here are some of my key takeaways:
Females going to strip clubs
I have never understood why some heterosexual females go to female strip clubs with friends or even boyfriends. I would rather not go to a male strip club either, but I really don’t understand why women are going to watch other women strip. According to the women she spoke to, it was “liberating.”
Liberating to watch women remove their close while men are ogling them? Gaining the right to vote is liberating. Earning equal pay for equal work is liberating. Watching women take their clothes off while strange men stare at them is not my definition of liberating.
Years ago, women were picketing against Playboy because they found it exploitive and mysogynistic, but now women themselves purchase the magazine and get tattoos of the bunny logo. Many women view Hugh Hefner as a chauvinistic pig himself, but now many others are Playboy enthusiasts themselves, wishing that they could be playmate.
Girls Gone Wild
These women are basically fighting for a chance to show their naked breasts (or more) to the world. They not even getting paid because they are not actual porn stars, but they all want a chance to be in front of the cameras.
Hey Mom, guess what I got to do on spring break? Show off my breasts for free to a sleazy cameraman! Isn’t that great!?
How is is possible that women do not understand that this is degrading to women. It focuses all of our worth on our bodies. It does not matter how intelligent we are or what our personality is like; what matters is only that we have a nice rack.
Yet women are upset if they are on a legitimate date with a guy and he stares at her breasts the entire time. We cannot act as though we are wild, free, and slutty and then expect guys to treat us as though we are ladies.
Ladies do not bare their chests for a Girls Gone Wild cameraman.
Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition
Many female Olympic athletes pose nude (or almost nude) in the swimsuit edition of Sports Illustrated magazine. Levy writes about how some of them seem to feel the need to show off their bodies as feminine since they sometimes appear masculine while participating in their sport.
These women are in their prime in terms of their bodies and fitness, yet they are still seeking approval for their beauty and femininity?
There are not too many male Olympians who feel the need to pose naked in order to prove their masculinity.
I live by the beach and I have seen so many girls this summer taking photos that look like they belong in that magazine. They lay in the sand, arching their backs to get the best shot. Girls who would never want to be covered in sand are laying in it to get the perfect Instagram pic.
Others are kneeling in the water, even on days when it is freezing. They spread their legs wide, flip their hair, and make pouty faces. It looks absolutely absurd.
Here are some of the words I heard from two girls on the beach one day:
“Use the up angle so we look skinnier. Up angle is the bomb. Is my hair okay? Do I look fat? Should I put my hair half up? I’ll edit them and then send them to you. Don’t worry, I won’t post anything yet until I edit them. Take some candids so it looks like we’re laughing at each other. Should we lay on our backs or our stomachs? Let’s put our legs up. Put your arm on your hip.”
I cannot even count the number of girls who talk about how much skinnier they will look once they edit their photos. So now we are not only photoshopping celebrities in magazines, but we are photoshopping ourselves so that EVERY photo is a lie.
Guess what, ladies? You might look beautiful on Instagram thanks to the filters and edits, but do you not realize that it is all a facade?
If you are overweight and wish you looked skinner, photoshopping is not the answer. It will take healthy meals and exercise to fix the problem. But we live in a fast-paced society that seeks fast-paced solutions, so more girls turn to their photo edits rather than an actual healthy lifestyle.
According to Levy, “between 1992 and 2004, breast augmentation procedures in this country went from 32,607 a year to 264,041 a year–that’s an increase of more than 700 percent.” 700 percent increase?!? Those numbers are outrageous.
I have never previously heard of this, but there is even something called “vaginoplasty” that makes the vagina more attractive. It can lead to painful nerve damage, but hey, we want vaginas that look like those of porn stars.
Sure, sex may not be fulfilling ever again, but it’s worth it in the name of beauty. This sounds terrifyingly similar to those tribes that partake in female genital mutilation so that women are unable to enjoy sex. Yet we’re doing it intentionally in the hopes of a hotter vagina? Insane.
Years ago, being a porn star ruined a person’s credibility. It was something that could easily destroy a woman’s image. Yet today, there are celebrities like Paris Hilton who are not actresses or musicians; instead, they are famous because of a sex tape.
Levy talks about the high rates of post-traumatic stress disorder that is prevalent among sex workers. Many of them face long-term emotional problems as a result of their work.
The majority of them experienced some form of sexual trauma before entering the porn industry. They are sexually traumatized, which is only increased after spending time as a porn star.
I have not researched porn very much since it isn’t something that I have struggled with, but there are many secular articles that have been written about the way that pornography ruins marriages and relationships. A simple Google search of “how porn ruins marriages” yields thousands of results, both religious and secular.
In my own experiences, I have found it amazing how sex has become so casual. People act as though it is normal to have sex on the third date. As a Catholic who does not believe in sex before marriage, I find this appalling, but I understand that many people are not as strict as my beliefs. However, sex on the third date absolutely blows my mind. But this is completely common in today’s colleges — even sex on the first date, or a one night stand without the prospect of ever meeting up again in the future.
This summer I overheard some conversations by females at the beach that simply broke my heart. Here is one that I overheard recently:
Girl 1: I need to raise the body count.
Girl 2: Like people you’ve had sex with? You want to be a slut?
Girl 1: No, I just feel like I need to sleep with more people. I’ve only been with 3 guys.
In case you were wondering, girl 1 was only 22 years old. Why did she feel the need to increase her “body count”? And why did she refer to it in that manner anyway?
I’m not even going to get into the spread of STDs here. We all know that they exist, yet nobody seems to care or be worried about that.
Girls acting like guys
Levy said that because of the way male chauvinists have acted, girls feel as though they can empower themselves by treating sex as casually as some men do. They want sex without the emotions, just notches on their bed posts.
And I guess that it what is happening, but this should not be viewed in a positive light.
More women are promiscuous, are flaunting their bodies, and are talking about how many men they have slept with. Does this lewdness make us feel equal?
Rather than seeking out gentlemen in the sea of chauvinists, we are becoming chauvinists ourselves. Are we taking the “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em” approach?
Some of us are using our looks to get men, power, and career advancements. Why not use our brains and our charisma? I will not feel accomplished if I use my body to advance in the world. I want to be taken seriously as a strong female because of my hard work in my job, and not my hard work in bed.
Women – those of you who are acting in this way are ruining progress for all of us.
I did not know this before, but thongs were created in 1939 in order to cover the genitals of exotic dancers in New York City for the World’s Fair. “The thong was born to placate [mayor Fiorello La Guardia’s] decree while exposing the maximum amount of skin.”
Now they are being sold to children in stores like Abercrombie & Fitch, which market clothing to 7-14 year olds.
Girls are wearing shorter shorts, so short that the underside of their butt cheeks are visible, with crop tops that expose their entire stomach and back, and often quite a bit of cleavage as well.
I wrote a previous blog entitled How Did Modesty Get Such a Negative Connotation? Do we no longer want to maintain any degree of mystery about our bodies?
There are tons of students and parents fighting back now against school dress codes. (I also wrote a blog entitled School Dress Codes are Not Sexist.) The dress codes simply want boobs, butts, back, and stomachs covered. That isn’t sexist, but today’s females think it is appropriate to come to school looking like a stripper or a prostitute. And unfortunately, some of their parents agree that that should be allowed and accepted.
Have you seen girls on Halloween lately? That’s another separate blog, What Has Halloween Become?
One of the most upsetting parts of Levy’s book was the section in which she talks to adolescent girls about their sexual experiences or those of the females in their schools. Sex in 7th grade is not uncommon. The verdict among most of the girls she spoke to was that the sluttier a girl appeared, the more popular she probably was.
Many of the girls are giving oral sex to the boys to increase their popularity. One girl called oral sex “super casual.”
These girls aren’t doing it because they enjoy it or because they love these boys so much; they want popularity. Instead of gaining popularity by being a star athlete, or having a great personality, girls in the 21st century are becoming more popular based on the number of blow jobs they have given. Progress right there.
“About a quarter of girls between ages 15 and 19 describe their first time as ‘voluntary, but unwanted,’ according to the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.” Girls are losing their virginity intentionally, yet it is something that they do not want. They want the attention and notoriety that comes with sex.
Girls on girls
Many females are also making out with other females, not because they are lesbian or bisexual, but because they know that guys like it.
How many guys would start making out with other guys (all heterosexual) just to appear sexy to women? Very few, I would imagine.
Yet we are acting as though we love kissing girls so that guys will view us as sexy and wild.
It seems to me that there are a lot of broken girls who crave attention; they want to feel desired. What they fail to realize is that the guys who do desire them only do so for their sexual promiscuity. Hooking up with a guy at the bar who was only attracted to you because you were drunk and making out with girls is unlikely to help you to find a meaningful relationship.
It’s unlikely that you will even find a guy who respects you for more than your appearance. Yet we still get angry when guys fail to take us seriously. News flash, ladies: you’re making the problem worse. It’s hypocritical to act like a stripper at a club and then expect a man to take you out to a nice dinner. You can’t show off your boobs and expect a quality man to want to pursue a relationship with you. You’re not wife material; you’re one night stand material. Is that really what you want?
In the conclusion of her book, Levy writes, “When you think about it, it’s kind of pathetic. ..We are selling ourselves unbelievably short.”
And that’s exactly what it comes down to. In our disrespect for our own bodies and minds, we are selling ourselves short. There are amazing guys out there who will treat you like the princess you deserve to be treated like; however, you will never find them while wearing those bright red stripper heels and twerking in the tight bodycon dress while making out with a girl who looks as slutty as you. If all you want in life is one night stands and hookups, then proceed, but I have a feeling that most of you don’t truly seek that in your deepest desires.
You want attention and you want to feel desired. You don’t realize that you really want to feel loved. But because love is a scary thing, and because it makes you vulnerable to heartache, you settle for sexual desire. If a guy ogles you, or even sexually harasses you, you feel beautiful. That is the problem.
You must not accept anything less than the respect you deserve, but it starts with you. Will you act in a way that shows that you don’t just want respect, but that you are demanding respect? Or will you continue being a female chauvinist pig?