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Thoughts on Teenage Sexuality

I've recently started watching the show Bob's Burgers, and I'm loving it. Kristen Schaal is pretty much my favorite, and the relationship between her character and Bob is adorable.

But what I'm really falling in love with is Tina. She's just turned 13, and she is a horn-dog. And how often, in media, do we see a rampantly sexual 13 year-old girl? She's not being played as "sexy", her desires aren't played up for the titillation of the audience, she just doesn't have a filter, so all those pent up hormones aren't being restrained in the way that we teach young women they should be.

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We have so many images of pubescent boys having sex with apple pies, and hitting on their baby-sitters, and passing around their dad's old playboys or watching scrambled late-night cable soft-core porn for the hope of viewing an unscrambled nipple. That a teenage boy is obsessed with sex is a given.

We don't really get many images of pubescent girls having the same feeling. Which is nuts, I know I was horny all the time when I was that age, and I know it made me feel like there was something wrong with me. Girls are supposed to either be coerced into having sex they don't really want in order to keep their man, or they're huge Slutty McSluttersons who deserve all the terrible things that inevitably befall them and their slutty, sex-having selves. I don't know how many kids parents are letting them watch Bob's Burgers, it isn't exactly a kids show, but I really hope that seeing a teenage girl fall in love with an entire minor league baseball team, or have weird, sexy dreams about zombies helps some girls out. And her parents don't freak out, or try to convince her that she needs to stay "pure". Her dad never threatens the guy she has a crush on with a shot-gun. He works his ass off to make sure she can have the birthday party of her dreams to get her first kiss.

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Teenaged girl sexuality exists, I think, in equal measure to teenaged boy sexuality, and until we start acknowledging this in different mediums, but especially in TV (I know there are a lot more books that deal with this, but TV is ever-increasing as our primary cultural consumption), I don't think we're going to be able to deal with all the different issues we have regarding rape culture, slut-shaming, and acknowledging women's agency.

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