(sex)uality: buying the cow?
“Why buy the cow when you get the milk for free?” We’ve all heard it. Some of us have even said it (when we were young, naïve and not yet as knowledgeable about feminism, I’m sorry!). But it is 2013, so why does this phrase, and this idea of holding out, still hold any weight?
Let’s start at the beginning and really pick this apart. Firstly, this phrase calls women cows. Marriage is likened to buying a cow. It is a purchasing decision and the woman is the property.
Sex is milk. The cow doesn’t really enjoy the milk or the act of giving it, but the person who gets it can make cheese, boom! So the milk is good, but only for men in this scenario. And guys are willing to pay for the sex, I mean, the milk, through the purchase of a woman, I mean, a cow. But if the cow lets someone who isn’t their owner milk them, they are a slut, I mean, cheap, I mean, free. I’m confused.
This warning, often spouted by parents and other adults to young women, is designed to make you feel shit about having sex outside of marriage or a relationship. It says, hey girl, your only value to a man lies between your thighs and once you “give” your vagina “gift” away you are worthless. It says, I hope you don’t think that your intelligence, sense of humour or kind heart are of importance to that guy… it’s not. That is a really shit message.
But even without the offensive phrase about cows, quite often women are advised to wait a while and “hold out” on sex when they start a new dating adventure. If they do not, they will not be respected and certainly won’t get a boyfriend. Even without the cow and milk metaphors, that is a really negative message to give to young women. Wait until at least the third date, wait a month… You know what, if you want sex now, have sex now. If you aren’t ready, by all means don’t rush into anything. But don’t hold out just because someone told you that no one would respect you if you have sex before some arbitrary point in time.
When people use words like “slut”, or judge women by their sexual activity, it comes from their own ideas of what is appropriate sexual behaviour, which is actually completely subjective and changes from person to person. Some people might think my fantastic, super-short shorts are slutty, or that sex before marriage is slutty, or having sex with someone after only knowing them for a month is slutty, or whatever. But the thing is, it is their choice to see things that way and it has nothing to do with you. That judgement says more about them than it does about you.
If someone were to judge you as cheap or slutty for not “holding out” for their idea of the appropriate length of time, they are probably not the person for you. Have sex when it feels right for you; the person worth marrying or being in a relationship with wont judge you by “when”, but by your heart and spirit. They probably will see you as a person, not a milk factory.(Image credit)