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Friday, June 01, 2012

Lolo Jones, virginity, feminism and sexual freedom

I wrote "Leave Lolo Jones And Her Virginity Alone!" for The Frisky. Here's a snippet:
Maybe it seems strange for someone who makes a living writing about sex and who has been sexually active since age 17 to be sticking up for a 29-year-old virgin, but I see this as a wider issue. To me, sexual freedom means being able to make your own sexual choices for whatever reasons you like and not be shamed for them. Saying that you have the right to make your own decisions but that your reasoning is faulty is like being pro-choice but saying a woman should only have an abortion for a “good” reason. The problem is that “good” is subjective, as is “gift.” If Jones is a role model for other virgins, I don’t see why that’s a bad thing, as long as being a virgin isn’t being upheld as the only way to be “good.” At The Washington Post, Rahiel Tesfamariam laments the media’s desire to focus on black women at the extremes of celibate or promiscuous, and writes, “Our abstinence is presented as a superhuman, radical break from the norm, one made only by devout Christians — when factors such as sexually transmitted diseases, pregnancy and infidelity make it a far more commonplace choice than the public realizes.” To that end, I’m glad that Jones acknowledged that being a virgin isn’t necessarily easy (in a statement ready-made for headlines, she said being a virgin has been “harder than training for the Olympics”).
Read the whole thing

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