What do you make of such explicit language as that of the girl in the schoolyard, shouting about her sexual experience to the four winds?
It is unsurprising that the language is so raw. If I close the sexual act to any aspect of feeling, what I have left is something that is simply brutal and mechanical. The language then goes on to qualify the mechanics of the act, and so one finds therein nothing but that which brutalizes, imposes, overpowers, and disgusts. If I’ve stripped the act down to its physical component, when I talk about it, I would do so in terms that reflect this absence of feelings.
Returning to a subject that we have touched on before – that of homosexuality – the concern is not whether there exist boys and girls with homosexual tendencies. The problem is that the social messages that develop as a result of this are that “being gay is good and fun,” while “being straight is boring.” Let me offer an example from a decade ago, when Madonna and Britney Spears kissed each other in a very passionate manner during a public concert in the United States. Within a week, there were thousands of cases of girls following suit – and this in Italy alone.
Would you say that it is mainly females who have changed their attitudes towards sex?
Women used to give sentimental value to the act. When the boys decided that it was not so, the language surrounding the topic became accordingly crude. The problem is that such rhetoric then becomes a point of reference, and this is something that youth have not come to understand. It means that a girl must then engage in ever more perverted acts in order to claim that she has had sex. She must, for instance, go at it with two or three boys at once; otherwise, her words will be taken as an exaggeration of reality. Unfortunately, the words they translates into practice.
14 seems to be the current age by which it is expected that a girl will lose her virginity. The reality is that it is not unheard of for males to talk about having girls touch them sexually as young as age 12 – and this shows a reversal in the assumption that boys are always the initiators. Second, we have noticed that girls aged 14-15 will often go to their parents and request to change schools. This is because during middle school or during the first year of high school, the prevalence of uninhibited and easy-going behavior surrounding sex has led to shameless and overwhelming sexual advances from boys. The girls become ashamed of this, but do not explain it to their parents. As a result, they end up having to endure a very uneasy experience.
Do these girls ever manage to reunite their sexuality with feelings of affection?
Yes; it is often the case that these girls will eventually come to
reject the existential void of relationships where the classic friend is no longer enough. They start asking for something more intense and meaningful, and they come to seek a cohesive unity to the man with whom they fall in love. But the problem that follows is that even if this feeling is not reciprocated, these women will submit to even the worst treatment from the men they love – and this comes in part as a result of the violent image of sex that many of these girls have engrained in their minds.
Let me give you an example: I’ve talked to some young women who were beaten by their boyfriends, and they told me they were happy. When I asked how this was possible, they said: “If he beats me, it means he cares about me.” We are now seeing a departure from common sense. At that point, it is not so simple as to cite a factor related to age or a specific event; the situation in its entirety is fundamentally flawed.
Think back to the girls who at 13 years of age feel compelled to lose their virginity, and who regard sexual activity as if it were a form of exercise that they participate in with unparalleled ease. Some of these girls move on to prostituting themselves a few years later. I used to wonder how it was possible for adults to live such a stupefied existence. But then these young women would reveal just how utilitarian sex had become for them: “I did not do it because I was desperate; I did it because I wanted money to with which to lead an easy life.”
English translation by Alberto González.