It all started on Instagram when I shared an excerpt of a book I had just read (Girls & Sex: Navigating the Complicated New Landscape by Peggy Orenstein) on sexual coercion and talked about my thoughts on it in a live story.
I shared it because it broke my heart how much I could relate to it, and knew other women would too. But I never thought I’d get the outpouring of messages and responses that I did of women sharing story after story of the damaging effects of being pressured, convinced, and otherwise pushed into sexual acts they weren’t fully into.
Wanting to have something solid for women to share on this topic, I turned the topic into this video.
What happens in a culture where boys are taught that it’s their job is to pressure girls into sex, and girls are taught that their job is to resist?
The answer is the normalization of coercion, crossed boundaries, an orgasm gap between genders, and so much damage to girls and women.
The thing is, most men (even good ones) don’t realize they are doing anything wrong, because these are roles we’ve all been taught to play from childhood.
Oftentimes a woman will say “yes” to avoid letting someone down, hurting someone’s feelings, entering a conflict, putting herself in a dangerous position, or even just dealing with someone’s whining and wheedling. Somehow, we think this dynamic is ok.
So… where’s the line for sexual coercion? And what can we do about it?