Welcome to college, where the process of finding oneself through experimentation reigns supreme and where nearly every male’s fantasy could be lurking behind a closed bedroom door.
Welcome to the world of girl-on-girl action.
Women experimenting with each other in college has become a pop culture reference. While the practice has been around since the free-thinking 1960s, there seems to be heightened awareness of it now. We all remember t.A.T.u and Madonna and Britney Spears’ famous kiss.
Homosexuality itself is not a trend. It’s far from it. However, it has been a struggle for those who identify themselves as gay to partake in simple activities straight couples don’t think twice about. Now with ambiguous pop sensation Katy Perry declaring proudly, “I kissed a girl and I liked it,” more and more women seem to be discovering that it’s not as taboo to slip a little tongue to your best female friend while in the middle of a sweaty frat party.
But does this seemingly casual, just-for-fun gesture serve as a declaration of freedom or simply as a cry for attention? While I would love to believe that girls kissing one another is an outward protest against social norms and serves as a skillful tactic in forwarding the gay rights movement, the inner feminist in me is cynical.
I’m aware that most of these girls have just had a little too much to drink and are completely oblivious to the fact that had they attempted this innocent game of kissing 40 years ago, the reaction may not have been as rewarding.
We are privileged to be able to experience life in a more open-minded environment. Our lack of inhibitions during college will not necessarily lead to our demise.
However, if we choose to ignore the repercussions of our actions, we can damage the progress that those before us have made. Treating the act of same-sex kissing like it is a pastime or using it to gain attention is to ignore the plight of those men and women who discover they are homosexual and struggle with the process of coming out.
Integrating these images of sexuality into our society can ease the feeling of otherness that many closeted men and women feel and may make it easier to come out. But it should not be treated as a gimmick, as a way to sell records or define oneself in an overwhelming place like college.
I think it’s beautiful that women have become more comfortable with their own sexuality. It’s refreshing that they are comfortable enough to not shrink away from a once-taboo act.
My only fear is that women will follow blindly into new trends and that the act of kissing one another will be discarded along with the remnants of stretch leggings and asymmetrical bob haircuts as just another fad that has run its course.
Tory Lord O’Neill can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.