“Why, yes, that’s correct: my magic number is like 1022, I think. I lost track a while ago,” Kirsten Knisely–outspoken 26 ¾ -year-old single white feminist, and author of her very own blog Love and ADD–said from the soapbox of her small apartment in the early hours of July 16. “I’m like a modern-day Carrie Bradshaw.”
This statement shocked the women of the Internet when it came in direct response and contradiction to sex expert Tracey Cox’s article, “No matter how many people you’ve slept with, it will always be too many’; Sex expert Tracey Cox on why women should NEVER reveal how many lovers they’ve had.”
In her article, Cox makes claims about why women should NEVER reveal the number of sexual partners they have had. Her advice includes:
• “People will judge you no matter what [your magic number is.]”
• “Don’t kid yourself: if you do blurt out a figure to your boyfriend, you will be judged–and not necessarily by the same rules he judges himself on.”
And perhaps most poignantly:
• “Keep your mouth zipped even if nothing else has been.”
In Cox’s defense, much of her analysis is quite credible: even in 2014 women are, in fact, judged more severely for sexual promiscuity than their male counterparts. Further, Cox acknowledges the double standard as unreasonable and that a woman’s magic number is so much more than a number…it’s a part of her. It’s the time she lost her virginity in a frat house and he played “Crash” by Dave Matthews Band right after. It’s the time she drank absinthe and thought she was having mermaid sex. It’s all those uncomfortable rebound romps with that guy who liked his French bulldog Colette to watch. Cox is right: a woman’s number is a woman’s truth.
But it was Cox’s advice that had women of the Internet confused. Was Cox’s article more feminist propaganda or was it slut shaming in disguise? That’s when Knisely stepped forward with her unsolicited opinion:
“While Cox makes valid points regarding female sexuality, why is she suggesting we have to be weary of what men think? It’s essentially saying, ‘Listen up, ladies! If you can’t say the socially acceptable magic number [which according to Cox is 10], then just shut your damn mouth because you’re a dumb, fat slut.’”
Knisely, self-proclaimed life expert, has been consumed with feminist issues since taking a full course load in collegiate Women’s Studies. She spends many Friday nights scouring the Internet for articles such as Cox’s to get uppity about.
“Look, I’m a scientist,” said Knisely. “Cox is wrong. There are only two possible solutions to the double standards that women face regarding their sexuality, and I’m happy to share them with you.
“Option one: we turn this discrimination directly on its head. I’m talking slut shaming the shit out of the men. All men are sluts. All of them, and if they’re not behaving like a slut, it’s only because they’re insecure and their time hasn’t come yet or they’re gay and don’t know it yet. They will all eventually become sluts. If women successfully slut shamed men, there would be mutiny.”
And Option 2?
“We as women shouldn’t be ashamed of our sexual history because it molds who we are as individuals; and we sure as hell shouldn’t entertain partners who would want to make us feel that way.”
But Knisely finds Cox’s article troubling for greater reasons.
“I’m getting fed up with people invading the Internet, claiming to be ‘experts’–fellow women, no less–telling people with vaginas everywhere that their worth lies in how they’re perceived by people with dicks. In 2014, we have a responsibility to create better content. Take Leighton Meester’s article on the Huffington Post. In this piece, Meester provides a thought-provoking commentary on slut shaming as it pertains to art and 21st-century culture.
“We should turn our focus to more important issues, such as, for example, domestic violence or inequality in the workplace. Trust me, I was an English Major at the University of Michigan. That pretty much makes me an expert.”
Though considerably irked by Cox’s article, Knisely vows to use this negative energy toward making a difference.
“#1000Men is a small sort of project, if you will. It’s a grassroots Twitter campaign to encourage the demise of slut shaming and bull shit double standards. Together, we can make a difference.”
Knisely launched #1000Men on July 18 2021. She expects upwards of 6 new Twitter followers some day.
Kirsten is an LA-based writer, actor and all around slave to the entertainment industry. Most days she can be found drinking way too much coffee, playing one of three songs she knows on the ukulele, and genuinely over-thinking every interaction she has with every other human being she encounters. You can read more about her silly adventures on her blog (Love and ADD) or follow her on Twitter @KirstenKnisely.
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