Every now and again I get lifted off the ground by some strong statement of empowerment. I remember lazily opening a book for a class and being awestruck by the powerful words that lay before me.
This book was by a woman named Jessica Valenti, and the very first paragraph to her book stated:
“What’s the worst possible thing you can call a woman? Don’t hold back, now. You’re probably thinking of words like slut, whore, bitch, cunt (I told you not to hold back!), skank. Okay, now, what are the worst things you can call a guy Fag, girl, bitch, pussy. I’ve even heard the term “mangina.” Notice anything? The worst thing you can call a girl is a girl. The worst thing you can call a guy is a girl. Being a woman is the ultimate insult. Now tell me that’s not royally fucked up.”
You see, when we grow up the first thing we learn about ourselves is our gender, and it so happens the first thing we also learn about ourselves is our restrictions.
You’re a girl, be a lady.
Don’t demand answers, don’t get dirty, play with your doll, ask for permission, smile, play with mommy’s makeup, ask for permission, entertain your schoolboy crush but don’t you dare pursue him—WHY? Because you’re a girl. Because you’re a girl. Because you’re a girl.
Be a lady.
Be a lady? If I had to write a rulebook about the expectations of being a woman it would be too thick to be bound.
Yet I am bound.
Bound by requirements and demands of what it means to hold a vagina between my thighs.
By the instilled assumptions and expectations of being yearned for, yet told I am a girl, therefore I must not yearn myself.
I must hold back and retain my worth and value. And my currency is sex.
SEX SEX SEX.
If I say it enough maybe we can understand it.
Maybe we can understand that a woman enjoying sex is not wrong and that when a woman discovers her sexuality and pleasures, she also discovers a love for herself and her body.
But I’m not a boy.
So I am bound by a social rulebook that tells me the only thing I have to offer to the world is sex, and if given freely, will make me worthless.
I have value. I have kinks. I have morals. I have orgasms. I have a stubborn intelligence and I have the power to say yes or no and demand what I want in and out of bed.
Vagina. Vagina. Vagina. Clit. Vibrators. Tampons. Vagina vagina vagina. Cunt. Feel uncomfortable yet?
I don’t fear talking about a part of me we fear discussing out loud, yet perpetrates every confine held against my BEING, like a garter belt. The irony of it is that such a small part of me and other women has to be made into a large issue in a world full of complexities much larger than a girl’s sexuality. But it seems like the only thing we can focus on. That maybe, just maybe if we can control and make sense of women, we can control other parts of our life that are in complete chaos.
Sex is a beautiful thing—it’s the LAST thing that needs to be made into an issue at the expense of womankind.
And if a woman has rights, stop associating her sex with her gender, and stop confining her to a box of criteria she needs to hit yet can’t even hit her own self pleasuring climax.
Did you know a woman can experience two different forms of an orgasm? Or multiple orgasms for that matter? Clits and g-spots are wonderful things, but so many women don’t explore their body for the fear of being disgusting and WRONG, so they never get to hear the words YES, YES, YES from their mouths! How can we tell a partner in bed what we like, if all we’re provided is resources telling us to hate our body and ourselves?
That we shouldn’t ask for it.
That we shouldn’t like it.
That we shouldn’t demand more.
That we should dress and act like a lady, otherwise we’re asking for it.
You’re right. I’m not asking for it. I’m demanding.
In terms of consent, I demand I can receive, say no, request, and give pleasure at a whim and retain my sense of self value, esteem, and appreciation. I BASK in the ability to understand there is more to me than what I choose to do in bed. I demand equity and equality in its entirety. I do not want bits and pieces. I assure you I am selfish enough to demand.
Demanding is not very lady like. But I never said I was a lady.
Like someone once said, well-behaved women rarely have awesome sex.
Or maybe it was history.