Feminism | Posted by Mareike S on 11/26/2012
I guess the title already gives you a good idea what this post will be about, but bare with me while I explain how exactly I got to writing this post and chose this title.
You could say I’m a grown woman. I’m a few years older than my country’s legal age, I live in my own flat several hundred kilometers away from my parents and, yes, if I’m not in a committed relationship, I sometimes hook up with a guy if he’s my type and things click.
Now, I’m on the pill (which luckily is really, really easy to get if you live in Germany or anywhere else in Europe as far as I know), but there’s no one-night stands without condoms for me. Just. Not. Happening.
You’d think buying condoms wouldn’t be a big deal for a feminist who has bought some before. And it isn’t. People don’t look at you funny or anything. But still, I recently found myself passing by the shelf of condoms twice before grabbing some when I needed new ones. I even started wondering what I would do if I happened to run into someone I knew (funnily enough, I was more worried about meeting guy friends than girl friends).
And that was the moment when I stopped and said to myself ‘Now, isn’t that weird?’
After all, I was only being a responsible adult.
So I started wondering why exactly I was behaving and feeling the way I did. I never felt self-conscious when I went to the drugstore to get the pill, so why was I squeamish about buying condoms?
Obviously, I can’t back my conclusion up with scientific facts (though it would be interesting asking my female friends if they feel the same about this), but I think the reason for my squeamishness was that buying condoms, more than getting the pill, implies that you’re not in a committed relationship, because it seems that a lot of couples use an alternative method more particular to their needs after some time. So buying condoms kinda allows people around you to assume that you’re up to something (promiscuity) that’s still judged negatively by many people, and especially so if you’re a woman. Add to that the fact that it’s usually men who are expected to buy condoms (and aren’t as severely judged for sleeping with someone they’ve just met as women are), and it’s pretty obvious why I was behaving like I did. But isn’t that fucked up? Here I was, thinking of myself as a progressive feminist woman, and I’m still grappling with issues like this. Another case in point for how annoying and pervasive gender stereotypes are.
Oh, and that thing about being more worried about meeting guy friends? Another one of those things society teaches us, I guess. God forbid that a guy friend might think I’m sexually active (even though I am).
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