When we tell women not to wear revealing clothing because others might take it as an invitation, or not to go home with someone they don't intend to sleep with because they're sending the wrong message, we teach them that their bodies are to blame for anything bad that happens to them — rather than that if someone else decides to take their clothing or drunkenness or behavior as an invitation, that's on them.
And by sending the message that what happens to their bodies is up to other people, we teach women that they are objects.
The double standard girls learn for oral sex is one prime example.
A recent study in the Journal of Sex Research found that both men and women think giving oral sex to a woman is a bigger deal, more difficult, and more distasteful than giving it to a man.
They also learn that they don't get a say in what happens to their bodies, which implies that their bodies aren't really theirs.
The way sexual assault, harassment, voyeurism, and other forms of misconduct are depicted in the media and discussed in real life gives off the impression that "boys will be boys," and that the actions of drunken college students are distinct from actual sexual misconduct.
Women are taught to play "hard to get," as if lack of consent were sexy, and when they do turn someone down, they're considered "teases," as if lack of respect for boundaries is just part of a fun game.
If you look at misogyny in all its myriad forms, it usually comes back to the idea that women are objects, not subjects.
By "object," I mean something that exists to fulfill someone else's desires, and by "subject," I mean somebody who has their own desires.
These everyday phrases teach women that their role in relationships is as objects to be won, not people with needs to be met.
Encouraging women not to present themselves as sexual beings can be just as harmful as defining them solely by their sexuality.