The NY Times published some letters in response to the Harvard Abstinence story and two of them commented on Harvard's Janie Fredell's assertion that abstinence was a feminist statement. It got me thinking about how we all have our own definitions and uses for the F-Word. We've already written about this article, but I can't seem to get enough of it. Here are Janie's thoughts from the original story:
"Conventional feminism,' [Fredell] explained, "teaches that control of your body means the freedom to have sex without consequences — sex like a man. “I am an unconventional feminist,” Fredell said, in the sense that she asserts control by choosing not to have sex — by telling men, no, absolutely not.
To me, feminism says that control of your body means being free to do what you want with it – without judgement – whether you choose to have sex or not. So we need a new definition of 'having sex like a man' that doesn't imply screwing everything in sight. How about we say it's when you can make your own choices about your sex life and not have your character and morality defined by those choices. That's the man I want to have sex like.
Here's an except of one of the Letters to the Editor I mentioned at the top of this post, and then I promise to stop writing about this:
"Since there is (and always has been) a “cultural double standard that devalues women for their sexual pasts and glorifies men for theirs,” as Janie Fredell states, it would have been enlightened, to say the least, if these superbright and educated women and men at Harvard would spend their considerable energy in trying to eliminate that double standard. But instead of working to eliminate the unfairness, they are making sure that it gets entrenched further." [Angela Minoggia, Port Washington, NY]