This is a rant! A rant about how women have been taught by society to experience shame around our own sexuality. In parts of Africa, women go thru a very painful rite of passage known as Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) which completely removes all external female genitalia for the purpose of allowing for “decent sexual behavior” as FGM is linked to virginity and being faithful during marriage.
This backwards torturous practice and other such practices done with the intent to keep women “pure” stems from the narrative of the “prize of virginity”. Throughout history a man’s virginity was never cherished as such as a woman’s. Through that cherishing of virginity have come so many systemic societal and cultural beliefs around women and their sexuality that cause shame.
Even in 2015, women are shamed by the number of sexual partners they’ve had; the higher the number, the more likely the increase in shame. When men have had many sexual partners they’re looked at as a stud. However, women are judged as sluts. But heterosexual men are having sex with heterosexual women? So why are the standards different?
There are still places around the world including in North America that deny a women’s right to abortion. Regardless of where you stand on the issue, a woman or anyone else for that matter should have the right to do with their body what they want; without religion, society, culture or government telling her what is appropriate.
We as women need to start defining what our own sexuality means to us as opposed to what it means to society. We need to start a new conversation. We need to change the rules on this. We need to own our own sexuality and define it for ourselves without fear of judgment and shame. We are still living under the ‘rules’ of a patriarchal, misogynistic and antiquated rule book.