Saturday, February 9

Female Sexuality

Yes, I know I tackled that topic before, in my other blog. But I really feel the need to repeat it here.

Feminism has come a long way, but one thing has not changed the least. The concept of female sexuality. Men always tended to see it as something rather unimportant. Whether or not a woman actually enjoyed sex was of no interest to the man, as long as he got all the sex he wanted. And, as Feminism wanted to take the women out of the role as a victim - or object -, to them the question of whether or not a woman could enjoy sex was unimportant as well, although for other reasons. Sex wasn't as important as changes in politics and society. And a lot of Feminist gave the world an image of being completely asexual anyway.

For example, the question whether or not a woman could be self-assured and look sexy at the same time was debated quite heatedly. Wearing a mini-skirt or painting one's nails was a sure sign of not being a Feminist for quite some time. Looking sexy, Feminists claimed, was not something a woman did for herself, but something a woman did for a man. And an emancipated woman would never do such a thing. But is not looking attractive the only way of showing self-assurance?

For a long time female sexuality was even thought to be practically non-existent. While men wanted sex, the only thing women were supposed to do about it was to provide something to have sex with - as dreadful as it sounds. A woman was supposed to be ready when a man wanted sex - she was not supposed to want it herself. You could even say she was some kind of living sex toy.

It took science quite some time to realize that women can actually orgasm, meaning that they can enjoy sex as well. To men, this was bad news: now the question of whether or not a woman came as well was a marker of a man's sexual abilities. Yes, that was what more or less came out of that scientific discovery: a man has to put work into making a woman come, because otherwise he's not the man he should be. It still wasn't about a woman's sexuality, instead it was about putting more pressure on the man while having sex.

And the women? Still out of the loop.

The fact alone that a woman does not necessarily have to be penetrated to enjoy sex and orgasm, shows quite clearly she doesn't really need a man for it. That doesn't mean having sex with a man cannot be good, it just means it's not the only way to enjoy female sexuality.

Maybe that is why the idea of a self-controlled female sexuality is so scary to men: they can't control it. But does that mean women shouldn't have any sex? I personally don't think so. Sex is a basic need of every human (except, perhaps, for a few saints; but they don't really count, do they).

Women as sex objects seem fine - at least by men's standards (and yes, it's not all the men who want this, I know) - but women who actually want sex? That's not the way it should be in our society.

Religion comes into it as well. Three of the main religions today (Islam, Christianity and Judaism) have the same roots, and all of them see women as a) weaker than men and b) only meant for reproduction. While Adam (if we start at the beginning) has the right to 'want' Eve after a day of hard labour, Eve is just supposed to lie on her back and 'take it'. The missionary position (which all of those religions see as the only 'right one') is one of the least likely positions for a woman to actually achieve satisfaction in. In other words: Eve is not supposed to get anything positive out of the actual sexual act. She is supposed to become pregnant and give birth later on (which is a painful thing).

And, socially speaking, sex was dangerous for women for quite some time. Until the pill was invented, every act - inside and outside marriage - could lead to pregnancy. Inside marriage that was an accepted risk. Women could - even should - become pregnant during a marriage. But a woman who was not married, who was a widow or whose husband was away for too long (read: since before the time at which she must have conceived the baby) could get into a lot of trouble. So sex outside the marriage was dangerous. And sex inside the marriage became dangerous for women sooner or later (because there's only so many children a woman can give birth to and stay healthy). Birth control - whatever the Pope might say about it - has done a lot for women and their sexual freedom.

Female sexuality still is far more of a taboo than sexuality in general terms (of when, how and how often to do 'it'). It's time to change that.

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