In class on Thursday, we talked about the sex scene in Promethea Book 2. Although Sophie did not want to trade sex to learn magic, she agreed. Right when I read the scene in which she says she’ll do it, I got disgusted. I thought that she was basically selling herself for knowledge, like a prostitute. However, I didn’t realize a key element. Sophie knew that she could only learn magic via this method. She later alludes to this after the sex scene when she is flabbergasted that there is more to learn in books. As Promethea, she had sex with the old magician, and even though it was creepy and weird, it was her choice. Therefore, it was not done against her will and shouldn’t be viewed as a form of prostitution.
This scene reminded me of an episode of True Blood when Sookie Stackhouse is forced to go to Texas because of a deal she made. Bill Compton, her boyfriend at the time, was very protective of her and scoffed at the idea of her doing anything that she even slightly didn’t want to do. Bill failed to realize that Sookie made the deal beforehand, knowing that she would have to uphold her side of it. Just as I acted when reading Promethea, Bill failed to see that she made her own decision.
In society today a double standard exists for men and women when making deals, especially if they concern sex. If a woman has to do something that she is one hundred percent okay with, people automatically jump to the conclusion that she was forced to do it. In both of the cases mentioned above, the woman wasn’t necessarily overjoyed to uphold her end of the deal, but she made her own choice and agreed.
If a man were in a similar situation, he would be told to “man up” and deal with it. I am not advocating that women should have to do things they don’t want to do (nor am I promoting Sophie having sex with the magician as Promethea), I’m just pointing out that there is a definite difference in similar situations that concern men rather than women. When making deals with people, sacrifice is sometimes necessary (not to the same extent of course; I’m merely talking about sacrificing time/effort, etc). Women should not be treated any differently than men in similar situations. If we want true equality, we have to have equality in all arenas, even if the equality brings negative effects. Women can’t ask to be treated equally and then expect to be able to back down from a deal. Now when I think of Promethea or Sookie’s deal, I see that they were merely making their own choices. Both benefitted from their end of the deal, so it’s not right to say that they were used or treated unfairly. Women have to “man up” just as males do.