Many women today are under the impression that flashing their breasts in public à la ‘Girls Gone Wild’ or frequenting strip clubs is tantamount to sexual freedom and female empowerment. The belief that the rejection of feminism resulting from these actions is legitimate and perhaps necessary acts as a significant driving force that further perpetuates this kind of behaviour. However, it is imperative that women come to terms with the fact that utilizing rejection and hostility in order to deal with feminist positions from the past does not necessarily expedite the emergence of a new sexual paradigm. The belief that feminism is no longer needed is not only false but naïve. There still exist substantial disparities between gender roles throughout the world, and many individuals’ bigotry remains unscathed regardless of feminist initiatives of the past. However, so many women allow themselves to believe that an increased degree of sexual exhibitionism has the power to somehow render these truths irrelevant. Why, then, does a notion of ‘coolness’ in relation to sexual freedom take precedence over feminist positions that still remain relevant?
I received this in my ask box today and it really rubbed me the wrong way. Maybe I’m just a grumpy-pants today, but I decided to not submit it without adding my reply:
Your presumption that “an increased degree of sexual exhibitionism has the power to somehow render these truths irrelevant” in the minds of sexually liberated women, or those posing as such is an insulting blanket statement and is in my oppinion quite naïve.
I do not beleive that ‘slutty’ women, ‘girls gone wild’, sex workers, adult entertainers and those who enjoy them while being female have anything to do with a rejection of feminism. Your post sounds very slut-shamey to me, and really strips away any personal autonomy from women and girls who aren’t ashamed to enjoy themselves.
While I understand we live in a sex saturated culture and women are influenced and pressured in many ways because of this, I do not think this means no one ever does it by choice, of their own accord, uncoerced as I feel you are suggesting.
Why? Because most of us are sexual creatures. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.
Sexual liberation is not an evil which must be destroyed.
Sexual freedom is not anti-feminist or heralding its death.
Sexual expression is not always for men, or some sort of nonsense cool factor.
SEXUALITY IS BEAUTIFUL AND USING, DISPLAYING OR ENJOYING IT FOR YOURSELF WHILE BEING A WOMAN IS NOT SOME KIND OF IMPOSSIBILITY.
My sexual exibitionism, expression and experience as a pornography performer, sex worker, and sex worker and sexual rights advocate has NOTHING to do with what will make me ‘cooler’, nor does it make me think I have magical powers and that being a slut will protect me from sexism or some such nonsense. I don’t to it for the men, or the women, for self esteem, because I am uneducated or in some way influenced by the patriarchy and can’t escape all this sexualization. I do it because I love sex, sexual expression and I am an exhibitionist by nature. I am a highly sexual person. I am also not an uncommon type of person.
I see nothing wrong with ‘perpetuating’ this type of behaviour because there is nothing wrong with women being sexually active in any way or form, as long as it is the choice of that girl or woman, and as long as they are educated, and mentally mature enough to understand what they are doing and the consequences.
What is empowering and liberating for you may not be for others. That doesn’t mean one is wrong and the other is right, it means they are different.