A sexual double standard still rules
Swedes love to believe our society is close to achieving equality of the sexes, said Pernilla Ericson, but in fact we still have a double standard for boys and girls when it comes to sexual behavior. When awards were handed out at a recent high school dance in southern Sweden, one girl was called up to the stage to receive a Miss America–style sash that read “F---girl of the Year.” The drunken schoolmate who presented the award told the girl he “couldn’t count on his fingers the amount of things slipped between her thighs.” Distraught, the girl called her parents to be picked up from the dance, and the principal called a schoolwide meeting to discuss shaming and bullying. Notably, the boy who won “F---boy of the Year” didn’t participate, because he wasn’t ashamed—he was proud. This “difference in the view of men’s and women’s sexuality permeates our entire society.” Men who sleep around are “stallions, heartbreakers, Casanovas,” while women are still labeled “tramps, skanks, whores.” This pervasive threat of getting a bad reputation “limits girls and women” and prevents them “from exploring their sexuality” the way men can. If we are ever to create an egalitarian world, we’ll have to fight sexism in youth—and in the schools.