"Equating sex to sin is in my opinion the LOWEST POINT of the church and the LOWEST POINT of American culture," I wrote in the comments section of my last post which created not only a wave of opinion and insight, but made me realize that perhaps the problem is much more than I originally thought. And by problem, I mean: our puritanical views and need to control the world we have decided to bring our children in to.
The brilliant and inspiring, ECR posted the following comment and I think she hit it right on the nose:
"I especially agree with your points regarding repressed sexuality. I feel that we, as women, would do better to embrace sex first, and then work to address the iniquities in a sex culture dominated by men. Women do not need to refer to their own sisters as "sluts." Whose cause does that kind of language further? Also, I don't buy the argument that porn is an evil that one must equate with guns and drugs. I think a lot of the excesses and addictions that exist today around sex are a result of a culture that denigrates the act."
Somehow we seem to have forgotten that young people have sexual instincts just as we do. I started masturbating at age five, not because of Britney Spears' influence (I wasn't even aware of what sex was at that age. All I had seen on television was Sesame Street) but because sexuality is as natural an instinct as there is.
Should I feel abnormal for having done so? Of course not. Then who is to blame? Little girls who masturbate are dirty. Come on, people! Why? Why is what comes naturally so frowned upon? So unspoken of. Taboo?
Young women and young boys are aware that they have a body, even a sexual one. The media doesn't teach us this. It's inherent. We reproduce. We have instincts. We have sex with or without Jenna Jameson showing us how.
"Too much sex and violence on TV."
"Why the sex and violence?"
"Parent Advisory: Sex and violence."
"Sex and violence lead to the sexually violent."
Sex and violence? Together forever?
STOP SEX AND VIOLENCE!!!
Is watching two naked bodies, doing what two naked bodies often do, just as "bad" as watching some dude with a hatchet cutting people's legs off? Some (Okay, MANY) would argue it's worse.
One of the reasons I have always been reluctant to call myself a feminist is because I think women are held down by women for the most part and not by men.
Like ECR said, women refer to their own sisters as sluts. Women trash each other like it's just another day. Women beat each other down with jealousy and anger and resentment. Ask most women who they feel threatened by and they will say "other women," myself included. This is to me an issue that calling oneself "feminist" does not change. This makes many, including me feel like an outsider to the club/the movement/the community.
In my days of sexual freedom, never once in the company of a man did I feel "slutty." It was always in the company of women. It was the eyes that came from the chick at the end of the bar. It was the comments from mutual friends. The hypocrisy from Sex and the City-obsessed bar-hoppers who loved to talk about how awesome "SEXUALLY LIBERATED SAMANTHA" was and then bash every Real-Life-Samantha, women who were "having sex like men," including me. The hypocrisy was almost comedic.
I have no problem with sex. Writing about it. Talking about it. Being uninhibited when I have it and why the hell should I be?
Women are to keep their legs closed like a lady. Children are to understand that sex is inappropriate, reserved for adults. That their bodies are sacred and holy while women in cleavage-dipping shirts on cover of magazines are sluts. Sex should not sell, in fact sex selling is something we must stop. A sexual female can and will be disrespected, unless of course she's married or very much in love. How is that feminist? How is that pro-woman?
Raise your hand if you have sex. Raise your hand if you like sex. Raise your hand if you think sex is something reserved for sluts and HBO after hours. Raise your hand if you hate talking about sex. Raise your hand if you're American. Raise your hand if your life is rated PG-13. And your children get a nice healthy G slapped on their foreheads.
My apologies if you have been in on the debate and have read my comments but one of the first things I was shocked with when I first traveled abroad at 18 were the naked beaches. How was it possible that men and boys weren't freaking out at the sight of beautiful Italian women chasing each other around, topless? No one cared. The concept was so alien to me and even after living overseas and spending quite a bit of time on the beaches of France and Greece and the Spanish islands, I still wondered how it would be possible for teenage boys to be so underwhelmed by tanned, naked women everywhere.
Of course in America, the boys would be out of control excited. It would be a HUGE deal and perhaps most telling, It would be against the law.
Many of you who commented were European or from elsewhere across the pond, like Helena who responded with this:
"When I read this post it didn't occur to me that this would generate such a debate with such "strange views". I call it "strange views" because, as an European, sometimes I find your American views and your American beliefs so strange it's almost surreal. I do not want to offend anyone, but the image Americans project is the bush image... Americans try to paint a world of black and white but you always forget the greys. Please tell your children about greys, let them play with barbies, let the magazines be in the shelves, make them aware of what surrounds them...that's the only (way to) kick away the bush that lies beneath..."
The bush that lies beneath is more than just the president. I'm talking the other bush. The bush we do not discuss, the most important bush of all... The bush that is as dangerous as a weapon, as rated R as a serial killer. The bush that lies beneath... our torsos. Vagina. Pussy. Cunt. Whatever you want to call her. SHE IS ALLOWED. And believe it or not, sometimes she has nothing to do with the media. Or peers. Or porn. Or violence. Sometimes she just exists.
Seems to me, the only way sex and violence relate to one another is in the context that sexual repression creates violent and angry people. If we were all having great sex and if we weren't so damn afraid of it, I'm pretty sure we would have a lot fewer issues and lead much more fulfilled lives.
EDITED: Somehow several paragraphs were missing from this post several hours after I posted. Apologies for those of you who read and found that it made no sense. I tried to fill in the mysteriously missing gaps as best I could... For those of you who subscribe to this blog and have the original, please let me know. Thanks!