I find the milk and cow argument incredibly sexist and insulting to everyone involved. It says that women are animals that provide a product to men and that product is the experience of sex. If you have sex from a woman, there is nothing more to want from her and therefore, why would you be interested in anything else from this woman other than sex? It’s slut shaming, pointless, and treats women like cattle and men like opportunistic consumers.
Women, first and foremost, are not livestock. They should not be compared to livestock, especially when the man in this comparison is still a man. Sex is not something that women produce and bestow upon people. Sex is a mutual act between two consenting adults. It’s not something that women give and men take.
There’s an idea that when women have sex with men the woman has given something up and the man has gained something. It leaves women at a loss. In the cow and milk comparison, the woman has given away her “milk”, so her value as a partner/potential wife/person is diminished. Once a man has had sex with her, the impression is that she is has given something away and she no longer has the standing that she once did in the relationship. And why?
Men don’t worry about their female partner not respecting them the morning after. Why are we still dragging around antiquated ideas on sex and gender when we don’t need them? Young women and pre-pubescent girls don’t need their female role models to sing to them that their level of respect from men is always going to be tied to their sexual decisions. No one should be informed that having sex will jeopardize their dignity.
But this comparison not only tells women toxic things about their sexual choices, it makes men look like assholes. It tells impressionable girls that men want sex from you, take sex from you, then don’t respect you for it. Once a man has been inside of you, you’re useless and someone who regards you as less of a person the morning after is not someone that you should even be giving the time of day. Scientific fact.
This part of the song is just one tiny section of the larger problem I have with societal ideals that treat men and women’s sexual choices as different to the point of guilt and shaming. Everyone deserves to make their own decisions about their own bodies without fear that doing so will inhibit their agency or self-worth. No one should be made to feel like their desirability rests on the use or non-use of their genitals.
There are no cows. There is no milk. There are only adults making choices about what they do with their bodies. And all of those choices need to be respected.
To read more in this series, click here.