It’s All Blown Over
Last week, a video emerged of N’Dubz singer Tulisa giving her then boyfriend some oral pleasure. Sex tapes are so *yawn*, but the reaction to this one bears some discussion. This seemed to have been the most talked about blow job since Bill Clinton ‘did not have sexual relations with that woman.’ It is sad that we live in a time where what happens behind closed doors can be shared publicly and on such a grand scale. Not only is it shared, it is scrutinized and judged. The main thing we learned from last week’s debacle? That fault, judgement and shame will always be laid at women’s feet. And this, amigos, is a problem.
It’s been the same throughout the ages when it comes to women and sex. We just can’t win. If we give it up, we’re whores, if we don’t, we’re frigid uptight b*tches. If we enjoy a healthy sex life and dare to discuss it, we are shamed and made to feel dirty.
The reaction on Twitter last week ranged from men rating her performance, (which according to the court of ridiculously judgmental opinion, was sub par), to discussing how ashamed she should be, to questioning when she would apologise. I saw one woman, yes woman, question that if Tulisa was in a stable relationship with this man as she claimed and felt comfortable enough to allow him to film her doing that (you know, that icky, yucky thing), why is that man not now her husband? Lil’ dark ages on the viewpoint there if you ask me, but hey, each to their own.
What didn’t really seem to be a point of discussion, except among the outraged feminists who made it so, was why the former boyfriend who breached every ounce of trust and code of ethics going by leaking the tape, was receiving no kind of backlash from this at all. No judgement was laid upon him. Just high fives, I imagine, for getting Tulisa to go down on him, being badass enough to film it, then embarrassing her for no apparent reason. His moral compass remains firmly intact while Tulisa is dragged through the dirt.
Tulisa released a video explaining things from her side. For this, I give her maximum respect. She did not apologise for her actions, she did not deny that it was her in the video doing what she was doing. She explained that she had been in love with this boy, in a relationship with him on and off for years. She trusted him and she is devastated that he broke that trust. But she did not cry, she did not beg forgiveness. She just explained. Possibly a PR person’s nightmare, but it did the trick.
But let’s be clear, this is about so much more than a blow job folks. Firstly, the men who participated in the discussion about Tulisa’s poor performance, rather than berating your brethren for his heinous actions, congrats douchebags. Give yourselves a round of applause. You set a fine example to young men that this is an acceptable way to treat young women. It’s OK to lure them into a false sense of trust and to betray that trust on a massive scale and laugh at her. Imagine for a second if you will, that one day you have a daughter and she falls in love and engages in sexual activity with her partner. That partner then betrays her trust and spreads a video of that activity to all and sundry. Imagine the judgement your daughter will receive, simply for exploring her natural sexual urges with someone she loves. Then think back to this moment and your behaviour and how you have contributed to your own daughters ridicule and shame. I hope you’re proud.
Secondly, it is any wonder that sexual assaults in this country go massively unreported when women are subject to this level of shame when they admit to anything sexual?
The discourse must change and someone needs to educate young men about sex and how to treat women. It is a massive problem, one that will not go away overnight, but current attitudes are beyond worrying. This casual sexism and double standard is contributing to something much bigger. It’s about time everyone was more responsible.