Chicagoans were greeted this morning by this blaring headline on the RedEye: “No Sex in the City for these Chicagoans. Let’s cut to the chaste: Some Chicagoans are reclaiming their virginity.” (see the article here: http://www.chicagonow.com/blogs/redeye/2010/03/no-sex-in-the-city-for-these-chicagoans.html ) Although the RedEye gets half a point for managing to use chaste as a pun, they lose 10 heavy points of credibility for trying to pass off this article as “news.”
Just because Bristol Palin and a “real” Jersey housewife have recently vowed to stay sex-free till marriage, does not mean an abstinence trend is locking up the chastity belts of men and women across the U.S. Let’s not forget a time with Brittany Spears and Jessica Simpson were both also going to stay chaste till the chapel. Now Brittany is the half-naked mother of two and Jessica is “sexual napalm.” The fact is (as printed in the RedEye) a whopping 78% of young Americas have gotten their sexy on this year, and no one should be claiming Americans are brining chastity back.
Although the RedEye attempted to abide by journalistic standards of “fair and balanced “by including both a male and female sexless single, from the front cover of the pouty-lipped Susan Anthony to the gender-defined quotes throughout, it is clear they were as successful as Fox News.
Anthony is quoted as saying, “Don’t get me wrong — I used to enjoy sex and I’m looking forward to experiencing that with my future husband.” Although her choice is respectable, when this quote is put next to a sexy head shot photo of Anthony in a fur coat, hair whipping in the wind, it becomes less plausible. Her statement seems to be saying women should be most sexy by not having sex; a double standard that should have been burnt with the bras in the 70s.
As for the male perspective, George Souri claims he was just sick of manipulating girls into sleeping with him. Now he basically wants to “respect IT [my emphasis, Souri was referring to a woman’s body] in the right way.” He continues to say a woman’s body is sacred and not just a set of parts to use or take for granted. To say this is to take away a woman’s own control and determination of her body and to deny the connection between a woman’s body and her being. It is also puts the emphasis on a woman’s purity and on a man’s responsibility to keep her pure. But perhaps if society stopped looking at IT or a woman’s body as a thing that needed to be either honored (or manipulated) and started seeing women as entire beings of mind, heart and body, we would not need to restrict a woman’s sexuality.
Finally, this focus on chastity, abstinence or the sexless single life, however one chooses to look at it, is not beneficial to society especially those choosing to have sex. The Guttmacher Institute(http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/fb_sexEd2006.html) has proven that abstinence-only sex ed programs directly increased the number of unplanned teen pregnancies. The reality is not everyone chooses to withstand from sex; for many reason men and women chose to enjoy sex, experiment with sex and make sex part of their lives.
Pardon the blatant feminist rant, but perhaps we need another sexual revolution. This time instead of woman’s body being something to be separated and honored on the altar of purity or something that can just be purely enjoyed; it should be a part of the woman just as her mind and soul is part of her. Perhaps in our revolution we can learn to love each other and fuck each other equally with a kind of respect that demands no one to stay pure in order to find sexual satisfaction, intimacy or love.