While boys learn that male sexuality is supposedly driven by their hormones, so men cannot be held responsible for their sexual actions or behaviour, girls still learn that they must walk a very narrow tightrope in order not only to earn male approval, but also ensure a man does not label her a ‘whore’, ‘slag’ or ‘slut’ if in his view she is too sexual.
Women are expected to be sexy but never, never sexual in their own right. So why, in the cases of so many teen girls today, are they insulted, by being called ‘frigid’ when they don’t want to ‘put out’ to a drunk boy with a bigger ego than anything else he has?
Everyone seems to understand that from around year 8 all the way up to 13, just kissing ‘too many’ guys can land a girl the title of ‘slut’, yet a guy would receive praise from the lads. Should a) anything more happen, she is instantly at risk of being branded by boys as well as other girls but if b) she refuses to do anything, it is commonly spread, particularly among boys, that she is ‘frigid’. What many people don’t know, is that a number of young men call girls frigid as a form of reverse psychology, so when the girl turns round and says 'no I'm not' she feels obliged to prove it.
But this peer pressure also comes from girls. When having a conversation with a friend, she told me what another girl had said to her: 'Are you just totally frigid, or unsure about your sexuality?’
The definition of frigid actually states that a frigid person is someone who physically cannot get aroused or excited sexually, rather than by choice. Most people seem to forget this when the term is casually thrown around. Most girls, in fact, are just not interested, which, at this age, is fine. Suggesting that a girl who shows traits of being ‘frigid’ is probably gay, is one of the most ridiculous things I’ve ever heard, and that comes from someone who’s listened to debates over whether monkeys or dogs would make better world leaders, in a common room.
Young women today, are subject to double standards. They can’t be sexual, but at the same time need to be sexual to avoid being criticised. It’s no wonder that social anxiety in girls from age 13-20 in the UK has risen 22% in the last 5 years alone, when society chucks such mixed messages their way.
What can be done?
Well for starters, men and women alike can wrap their heads around the very simple concept that sexual activity is down to the person. Whether it’s slut-shaming or frigid-flagging, I think that we can all agree that neither belong in a modern society in which everyone has the right to choose.