Guess what? I’ve had sex.
In fact, I’ve had lots of sex. Not as much as I would have like to at times, but lots none the less. I’m very glad that the best sex I have had is also with the man I married. I continue to have sex with him. He’ll be pleased to know I don’t intend to have sex with anyone else. But I was hardly a virgin when we met. Neither was he for that matter.
Right now I’ve got that off my ample, heaving bosom, here’s my question – does the fact that I’ve had sex make me any less intelligent? Does the fact that I have an ample heaving bosom make me any less intelligent? Does the fact that I have a penchant for tops which compliment and reveal parts of my ample and heaving bosom make me any less intelligent?
We live in 2011 and it’s a world full of sex. From vagazzles to the English Collective of Prostitutes. But it’s a world which remains very confused about sex and its relationship to gender politics. This is partly because feminists are just as divided as everyone else. So I can’t claim to be speaking for anyone but myself, but if I could change one thing about the tone of political discussion in this country (and most others to be fair) it would be to raise the level of debate above the shocked prurience of 12 year old public school boys.
There is plenty to be said about the way that a woman’s appearance is used to denigrate her publicly in a way that just doesn’t happen to men. In the wake of the Sky Sports debacle there is a real debate to be had about how women are still treated as second class citizens professionally. But it can’t be had by nuns and virgins. It must be had by real men and women with real life experiences.
I’m neither proud nor ashamed of my sexual history. But like every other human being on the planet, I talk about sex with my friends. As I happen to live in the 21st Century – some of this discussion is online for all to see. I’m neither proud nor ashamed of that. But if I choose to have a career in public life, someone somewhere will trawl through my facebook page (and those of my friends I suspect) and will find photos of me worse for wear, photos of me looking quite sauce and photos of me that they think will embarrass me (they won’t). I don’t have a problem with that, but I do have a problem with the idea that it should have any bearing on my ability to do the any job I am chosen for. It won’t and I won’t let it.
I don’t judge anyone on who they happen to have sex with. I judge them on how they treat people. That’s really all that matters. I will only accept judgement if I fail on these terms. I have of course not always lived up to the high ideals of treating people as well as I’d like, but I do continue to try. I will never accept that my sexual behaviour, with other consenting adults is a criteria to judge me on. I reject the premise of the question that there is anything to be judged.