The weekend passed I spent in Oslo at the Rød Ungdom “Red Youth” film-festival, ProgFilm. I learned some, met some cool and nice people, some old friends, and two of our fellow-authors: Bjørn and Vegard. Huzzah.

The lecture I will focus this entry on was about feminism and sexual harassment. The movie was the sweedish “Hip hip Hora!” (Loosely translated: Hip hip Whore-ay!, but it’s more funny in sweedish…) and the speaker was Hanna Helseth, author of the book “Generation Sex”.

The lecture, and the book, is about sexual harassment, how young girls and women are expected to act a certain way, and how girls who have one-night-stands, or at least are said to have one-night-stands, easily gets labelled as a whore, of cheap. And it’s about sexual assaults, and how they are easily labeled as “reciprocal sex” if the girl/woman has a rumour for sleeping around.

These kinds of lectures always leave me thinking a lot, mostly about how terrible the world is. Middle- and High-school teachers tell their female students that guys pinching their asses is just a childish way of flirting, and that it’s meant tp be a compliment. And girls who dare speak up against it gets labelled as lesbian, “tight” (not in the good “ay, we tight, bro”-way…) and boring. Sometimes even a-sexual, meaning not having any interest in sex – Anti-sexual.

On the other hand: The girls who flirt with these guys, maybe even has a couple of boyfriends, or makes-out with guys sometimes at parties gets the blame for it if they get raped or assaulted in any other way.

How is this fair?

I believe in Simone deBeauvoir when she says that you’re not born a woman, you become one. I believe that society tries to shape girls and women to fit in the mould of “The Perfect Woman”. Not too flirty, not too out-spoken, pretty and insecure.

I have never fit into this mould, because my mother told me to speak my opinions, say no if I didn’t want it, say yes if I did want something, and just generally to be happy with the girl/young woman I am. To this I am thankfull, and I believe that it has made a lot of stuff easier for me. Guys learn quickly not to mess with me, I feel free (most of the time), and I wish that all girls could have this knowledge. A mould isn’t a good thing, because we’re all different, and we should let ourselves be different. And society should learn to accept these differences.

And most importantly: We have to respect ourselves and each other, in order for guys to respect us. Don’t call your girlfriends whores, or your “less-masculine” friends gay. Don’t speak down to a girl because she chooses to have sex, the same way you shouldn’t speak down to girls who chooses NOT to have sex. These are individual choices to be made my the individual person.

I think that was it from the soapbox for this time…


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