I believe what Tolman is trying to do is show how society perpetuates the objectification of female bodies and how this has an effect on how woman view themselves and there own sexual desires. She interviews a 16 yr old named Isabelle who is struggling with understanding her sexuality. Society dictates that Isabelle should be a "good girl" and therefore asexual. Isabelle worries that she will never have feelings of desire. Tolman discusses how society dictates that men are the sexual beings and woman trade sex for romance. Tolman also describes how society has created women who objectify their own bodies. Isabelle when describing feeling sexy speaks about how she looks not how her body feels. " And I feel absolutely like I love myself and like everybody that I’m walking past is staring at me, and that this guy that I’m with is like 'wow I have the best of everything, cause she's really smart and she's really beautiful." Isabelle frequently refers to her body by how it is possibly seen by others (or how she would like it to be viewed by others) and not by how she feels. She struggles with trying to be "the best being" while still feeling violated by the objectification of her body by others (males). I am currently reading the book, Enlightened Sexism by Susan Douglas, in her book she discusses how the popular culture created for this generation is a backlash to the feminist movement. Douglas writes about how people view the feminist movement as completed and therefore it is now "ok" to laugh off the sexual objectification of woman. Many of the TV shows for young woman today show the objectification of woman as ok, and girls are encouraged to use this “power" to get what they want, without realizing the consequences of their actions. Tolman describes how many of the girls she interviewed follow a "romance narrative," " in which a girl, who is on a quest for love, does not feel sexual desire -- strong, embodied, passionate feelings of sexual wanting. In this story, sexual desire is male." these females use their bodies as sexual objects to get the loving relationship they crave from men, without ever attempting to uncover their own sexual desires.
What I found to be interesting was the lack of female masturbation among the young females. Males at the same age are often encouraged to masturbate and "get to know themselves" sexually. This is the exact opposite for females. Females are expected not to actually "want" sex or sexual feelings and therefore would have no reason to touch themselves. Sex, at least from the "normal" female perspective is not about the desire or the orgasm but is in fact about the relationship or bond that is formed when having sex. The media encourages young boys exploration of their sexual desire, this can be seen in many TV shows and movies, like American Pie and Weeds. In Weeds the youngest son, who is just going through puberty is given pointers on how to use household materials to "hone is craft." In American Pie male masturbation is made humorous and normalized as a "boy thing." Females do not have the same privilege to see such displays of sexual desire represented in the media. Girls instead are "educated" on the use of sex to form a loving bond or relationship. Therefore girls view sex as a necessity to creating the loving bond, not a way to explore their own sexual wants and desires. The need for masturbation by females is then not necessary because there sexual desires are not a concern.