There are so many taboos and stereotypes associated with the female body. On one hand it’s treated ‘sacred’, on the other hand we do not miss a chance to question a woman’s character or choices if they treat their bodies like their own (or how it should be). But that’s not it, there are also a number of myths that are so widely believed that they almost sound truer than the facts.
These myths not only lead to misinformation but also make it tougher for women than it already is (thanks to society and its standards).
1. Sex causes loosening of the vagina.
While this is most definitely a myth with no proven evidence, the ‘assumption’ that sex causes vaginal muscles to stretch, also brings up insecurities. Because, it’s also ‘believed’ that a stretched vagina won’t feel pleasurable to men. Of course, no two people have the same type of bodies and it’s actually important to embrace our differences. But, somehow societal standards have managed to make us feel bad about how our vagina ‘looks’ or feels. Also, sex for pleasure isn’t just a ‘man thing’.
2. Menstruators can hold in period blood.
First of all, it’s not pee! But the idea that menstruators can actually hold it in makes it sound so much less uncomfortable than it really is. Of course, we’d love to have that superpower, but we don’t and the time during our periods is usually more annoying and difficult than it sounds to the people who haven’t dealt with it themselves. This misinformation makes the entire discussion sound somewhat vain, which it isn’t.
3. All women are curvy.
All women, like people in general have different body types. And again, differences are meant to be embraced, not to be make people feel any less about themselves. So no, having or not having curves doesn’t make any woman less ‘real’. But, the body standards that are set for us make it sound like not being curvy enough is a bad thing, which it’s definitely not.
4. Sexual intercourse between a Lesbian couple is not ‘real sex’.
The entire social construct around sex is majorly flawed. With little to no information we’ve narrowed it down to penetration of a penis into a vagina – which is quite literally a shallow definition of a much broader term. This, in fact is just one of the ways to not be as inclusive as we should be. And of course, it highlights the lack of education we have around sex or sex for pleasure, for that matter.
5. All new mothers automatically adjust to motherhood.
Motherhood shouldn’t be glorified like it is, specifically because it takes a lot of effort to birth and raise a child. And unlike how society likes to believe, not all mothers can suddenly adapt to motherhood – it’s no fairy dust and magic. There are a lot of emotional and physical changes that women have to deal with when they give birth, so it’s not always the easiest adjustment. But the assumption that it happens so easily, makes motherhood sound less of a task than it is, normalizing these responsibilities for women, more than men.
6. Menopause means that a woman’s sex drive is over.
All women have different experiences when it comes to menopause, and there’s no set of rules or a check-list that applies to everyone. While a decrease in the sex-drive can be helped with medication and consultation, it doesn’t happen to all women and it certainly doesn’t mean an end to their libido. They still might want it and like it, as much as men do.
7. All women bleed after having sex for the first time.
It’s a common notion that all ‘virgin women’ bleed after the first time that they have penetrative sex. This of course, brings up questions and even accusations on a woman’s virginity, which first of all, is nobody’s business. And lastly, it doesn’t happen with all women – while some women bleed, some do not, which doesn’t define ‘virginity’, and please, certainly not character.
8. Menstrual blood is dirty blood.
Our ‘well-wishers’ and ignorant sex-education teachers would like us to believe that period blood is dirty and we need to keep ourselves from making things impure during ‘that time of the month’. But, that’s not the truth, period blood is just as “clean” as any other blood that comes out of any other part of our body. This myth makes it tougher for menstruators, when periods are already so damn uncomfortable and annoying.
9. Women ‘turn’ homosexual because they had a rough time with men.
Life is definitely not easy for women, in a man’s world. Sadly, most women grow up dealing with stereotypes and abuse that makes it worse, but we definitely do not hate all men. Certainly, even if some of us did, it won’t ‘change’ our sexuality. That’s just not how it works. Oh, and love is love and there really shouldn’t be any space for our silly explanations and opinions on people, for who they are.
10. When women say ‘no’ they really mean ‘yes’.
This is just a PSA for all the people who still believe that there’s a ‘yes’ disguised behind every ‘no’. There’s nothing exciting about non-consensual sexual acts, and while this shouldn’t be a debate still, if someone doesn’t say ‘yes’, it most definitely means ‘no’. That’s it. And by “yes”, we mean an enthusiastic yes.
If you don’t get our bodies, just leave them alone.