Desire is difficult.
I’m sure I don’t have to remind you all that one of the Seven Deadly Sins is Lust. And this was one of the most difficult chapters to write, for me, just because of my own history, which I share with many other women, if not all other women. And the central thesis of this chapter is about one, to quote Deborah Tollman, professor at CUNY, who did a lot of scholarship about the fact that girls, and therefore women, are taught to be “desirable, but never desiring.” Let that sit for a minute. That we should be always chosen, never choosing is inherently a displacement of our own sexual energy or interest. And then we live in a culture, of course, where the expectation is that girls are the more responsible parties, and that we should be the babysitters for rapacious male desire. That, even drawing someone’s attention is inherently—you share coequal responsibility for what may happen to you. What were you wearing? Were you drinking? Why did you get in the Uber? We all know this. The chapter also explores the main difference between between sexy, which so many young girls explore, the projection of sexiness and that desirability, without ever actually learning how to be in touch with our own sexuality.