Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Sex, "Bad Girls" and Healing

I've been taking some time out to do a bit of healing. As women, we have a lot to heal from. There is the usual, everyday sexism, then there is media travesty, and then there are facts like 1 in 4 girls is sexually abused before the age of eighteen (often by someone they know). As women who are working class, or grew up working class, we have quite a lot to heal from. As women of colour who are, or grew up working class, what we need to heal from increases exponentially...with layer upon layer to peel back. And then we get to all the regular stuff--the stuff that *everyone* has to heal from. Things like my rabbit died when I was five, or the teacher called me stupid, or everyone laughed at me in eighth grade, or I was an uber-geek with bad acne in high school...

So, that's clearly a whole LOT of healing that needs to happen--and most of it has to get squeezed in between work and relationships and family and money and Life and, and, and.

I've been sitting on a post about race that I've just been too tired to put up. I will at some point, but for now I am quieting down and trying to get back in touch with that little voice that disappears if I don't keep listening to it.

In the meantime, Colleen has another What A Girl Wants post up at Chasing Ray. This one is about sex and the concept of the "bad girl". Here's a quote from my portion:
"What's stunningly clear as you read [Natalie Angier's WOMAN: AN INTIMATE GEOGRAPHY] is that humans have been the only species to stifle female sexuality throughout the ages--in the myriad ways we have. From confining the body by shoving it into clothing items not designed for actual, life-sized females, to shaming women for expressing natural sexual urges, to publicly humiliating women (or worse, putting them to death) for adultery while their husbands openly took lovers, we--as a human race--have suppressed female sexuality beyond recognition. And I mean that literally. Most women wouldn't recognize our own natural, unfettered sexuality if we sat on it."
 Here's a bit from Zetta's quote:
"So many girls learn early on that sex is about pleasing your partner, and the emphasis on virginity leads even young girls to engage in oral sex and other practices for which they are not ready. I think girls understand early on that sex is about power, but they don’t know how to exist as a sexual being so that they are empowered and not used, abused, or shamed."
Go read what the other women have to say on the topic, too! This week it's Sara Ryan, Beth Kephart, Laurel Snyder, Lorie Ann Grover, Zetta Elliott, and myself. It's a great read with lots of wonderful book suggestions.

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