So, this marks my first Feministing blog post. My name is Somya, (pronounced So?-me-uh) and I’m a rising sophomore at Bowdoin College. I’m a Government & Legal Studies major (which is the Bowdoin way of saying Political Science), with a potential Gender & Women’s studies minor.
For an obscure liberal arts school, Bowdoin is teeming with an extraordinary amount of jocks and people who wish they were jocks. In any case, we take pride in our sports, our food (number #1 college dining!), and the fact that everybody is from ‘just outside Boston.’ Bowdoin is located in the city of Brunswick, Maine. It doesn’t matter that the trees outnumber people, or the tallest building is 9 stories high – the fact that Brunswick has over 500 people in it makes a city, by Maine standards. All things aside, though, Bowdoin is a great school, and I’ve loved being in Maine – where people actually stop and let you cross the street without trying to run you over (hint: you could learn a few Maine tricks New York drivers).
As a college freshmen, I discovered, to my horror, that I was much more naive than I’d expected. During my first semester, I enrolled in Sociology 101, taught by a professor who I hated, and was a self-described feminist – not that those two things are related, of course. It was her class that inducted me into feminism. We spent entire classes discussing how women could get termed a ‘slut’ or a ‘whore,’ while men were lauded as ‘players,’ for landing more girls – how a woman’s sexuality was still taboo, in this day and age. With her words swimming in my head, I began to see the double standard everywhere, the way a woman’s sexuality had to be caged in, like it was some precious glass slipper that needed constant surveillance. I hated that male pronouns could not be interchanged with female pronouns, in statements like “ew, look at her, she gets around,” and “what is she wearing?”
I hated that my male doctor, who I’ve seen for years, lectured me on abstinence, and why sex was evil, to dissuade me from getting an HPV shot. I hated that the same guys who begged a girl for sex, would, once they received it, label her a ‘whore,’ and laugh at how easy she was. But if a girl were to do that – if a girl were to embrace her sexuality (yes, world, women want to have sex too) — she becomes deviant, an anomaly amongst girls who lock their legs (or pretend to, anyway). What is wrong with our world, that these things are acceptable? My blog posts will talk about a woman’s sexuality on college campuses — like these double standards, the concept of having a ‘number,’ even staying a virgin until marriage.
And I promise to try and keep the ranting to a minimum.