“Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins.” This is the first sentence uttered in the book “Lolita” by Vladimir Nabokov. It is a nickname given to young Dolores Haze by the protagonist of the story, Humbert Humbert. While most might consider this book a tale of a young girl seducing an older man, that is absolutely not the case. 

So many people read “Lolita” and expect something romantic and elicit, as if they are reading any other romance novel. However in this case, the situation is more of a horror story. The book is seen through Humbert’s eyes, so we are automatically made to feel more sympathetic towards him. No matter how much of a disgusting person and unreliable narrator he is, you always feel the compulsion to root for the protagonist.

Despite this, Dolores is most certainly a victim, not some seductress trying to lure a good man into doing bad things. She is only a child, being preyed upon by this man who later becomes her step-father, complicating things to an even more repulsive degree. This is also why Nabokov, the author, hated the idea of Lolita being cast in a movie by an actual young girl or having one on the cover of the book.

By doing this, she is automatically being sexualized. This is also a real problem that the world faces today in almost every aspect and it is nearly impossible to escape. Girls are no longer allowed to be girls – only objects for male attention. No matter what a woman will do, there will always be someone to pervert it into something for their own pleasure. 

This is especially prevalent with the concept of innocence as a whole. You will constantly see women on social media acting like children to appease a male audience and this always works. Whether it be for publicity or money, these methods are a surefire way to get men’s approval and attention. 

It is not the womans fault, however. Not usually, at least. From prepubescence to adulthood, women and girls are groomed into this behavior whether they are aware of it or not. “Men don’t like hairy legs, you need to shave.” “Stop acting like that or you’ll never get a boyfriend.” These are very common things that most girls hear, especially at a young age. 

The perfect picture of a woman has been warped by these pedophilic beauty standards, and it is expected for all women to perform in this way. Flawless, smooth skin, big doll eyes, a small stature and thin frame and the most adorable naivety to tie it all together. Even after knowing all of this, women will attack each other for this as well, when we should all be supporting one another.

It is absolutely disheartening whenever women tear each other down, knowing that most are struggling with the shame and the baggage that comes from this societal expectation. In fact, it is not just cis women. Any feminine presenting person has to deal with this, especially transgender women as well. They are expected to display their femininity to an exhausting degree, even if that is not what they prefer. If she shows one moment of masculine presentation, she will be deemed “fake” or “not trying hard enough.”

That is why, in my opinion, it is really not worth attacking girls over how they view themselves and how they act. Everyone is in this together, so why all the hatred? Nobody likes to admit that they can be just like Lolita: a damaged girl who is demonized and taken advantage of by someone she thought that she could trust.