Suppressing Women’s Sexuality Doesn’t Solve Problems, It Causes Them
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Player. Pimp. Stud. Charmer. Ladies’ Man.
Slut. Whore. Trollop. Tramp. Skank.
Which group of words makes you more uncomfortable?
A fundamental contrast in how we verbally represent men and women who explore their sexuality – boys and men are glorified for it, while girls and women are shamed (I’m saying that even though I can’t stand how everything is about ‘shame’ these days, but I’ll overlook that for this article…) for it.
Why? Because we want to see women as pure and innocent? Because we figure if a key can open multiple locks, it must be a great key – but if one lock can be opened by multiple keys, it must be a shitty lock?
This mindset is not only archaic, but it is disconnected from reality, and, I would argue: Harmful in more ways than it is helpful.
Do you ever stop to think about why the 50 Shades of Grey books and movies have been absolute blockbusters? It certainly wasn’t men who were filling the seats in the theaters and flipping the pages of the books. This simple observation is overwhelming evidence that women are craving outlets for their passions and desires that society simply isn’t giving them.
Hell, it doesn’t take more than spending 5 minutes in a group of women to understand they are not delicate little flowers whose cheeks turn pink at a hint of a swear word or sexual reference.
So, then, why do we pretend like this doesn’t exist? Why do we pretend like women are to be babied and coddled and tip-toed around? Lots of highly intelligent, educated women who I know have much more ‘colorful’ vocabularies than men I spend time with.
And, honestly, I kinda love it.
There is no more confident or sexy person than the one who can just be themselves and be open about their thoughts, feelings, or desires – whether they be sexual or platonic.
The real point I wanted to make with this article, though, is that by ignoring this and stifling it in society, I believe we are actually doing more damage than we realize.
Allow me to present this thought for discussion: Boys and men being raised around girls and women who pretend their sexuality doesn’t exist, will begin to create their own image and thoughts of women as sexual beings. If women aren’t expressing their their own sexual identity, then as far as the man in question is concerned, it doesn’t exist. This means he is free to mold it however he sees fit.
Think this is a ridiculous theory? I challenge you to think back to someone you’ve met in work or class who never really spoke, and just kept to themselves. Have you began to create a story or identity for this person? Perhaps even down to what their voice might sound like, or how they act around their family? Our mind fills in the blanks for things we cannot complete in reality.
This creates an uneven, and unhealthy, view of female sexuality. Since he creates her identity in his mind, he is also therefore free to possess it as his own. Hence, entitlement and harassment.
What if, just as an uneducated theory based on no scientific research: We empowered women to be open and free about their sexual identity without fear of judgment? For the record; I am not speaking out in support of the women who rip off their shirts in Times Square to make a point about feminism and empowerment – I am more a fan of intelligent discourse rather than shock value that is more divisive than we think.
Why is it that we view women in business suits as less sexual than women in tight, tiny dresses? It is entirely possible (and probable) that the 45 year old executive is more sexual, and more in touch with her desires, than the 22 year old galloping about in a mini-skirt and 6-inch heels. Don’t ask me how I know that.
It’s because of perception, and also perception that a woman who is open about her sexuality is less moral or perhaps even more sinister than her nun-like counterparts – because she must be using her sexuality for her own personal gain if she expresses it – right?
This reduces men to walking penises who have no control over themselves once their blood starts flowing south. Even in the highest-levels of business conduct, we are all still human.
Ah – is this the real concern? Are men simply worried that women will overpower them if they begin to express sexuality and therefore take over the world? Are we still operating by caveman-propulsion? Perhaps…
The problem with these examples is that they swing in two extreme directions. Either women are oppressed and silenced, or they are running around naked while the heads of men in business suits pop off of their shoulders.
What about the in-between? What about a civilized, intelligent society, that is able to look at individuals as fully-formed, thinking, emotional, sexual beings who are free to express themselves and live their lives however they choose?
I believe that once we start embracing this fact of reality, we will begin creating healthier relationships between men and women. Both platonic and intimate, we will be able to create deeper bonds because we won’t be thinking “us, and them.” We will view our similarities and understand an individual as just that: An individual.
So, tell me in the comments, do you think this approach would be helpful, or cause even more problems than we already have? If you found value here, please use the buttons below to share this article with your fiends to keep the conversation going.
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Love where you went with this one, especially the business suits (age/experience) versus the tight, tiny dresses (beauty/seduction) — I’m definitely gonna share it with my friends AND my fiends. 😉
Dating is so frustrating. Men just expect sex automatically. You go on one cheap coffee date or out for a beer.
If they do ask for a second date it’s an invitation for dinner at their house. That’s not a date. And if you accept they are expecting sex. That’s it…..if you decline (because you have standards) they call you a prude.
I’m sorry but I’m missing how that’s relevant to this article…
To be fair, this article was written to appreciate every person as an individual and acknowledge their unique perspectives – I don’t think it’s the most constructive response to group “all men” together in a comment like this.
That’s simply not how all men are. Everyone is different.
Disagree somewhat on how sexuality is expressed by women or expected by men. Thanks to high-speed Internet porn and globalization, both sexes are coached to identify sexuality or sexual willingness by the clothes we wear and how much skin is shown. The fact is that sexuality does not really belong in the workplace, and a sexually confident woman exudes her strength and frivolity through her very being, rather than by showing cleavage or leg. Younger or more insecure women make the mistake of believing they are celebrating their feminism and sexual strength by what really can be viewed as dressing down to the lowest common denominator and the most base appeal to men. People of other cultures understand this, and the west has long been viewed as dressing and behaving as persons of low moral character and little self-respect. Modest dress can be very appealing — for those who want to convey or interact with persons of quality intention and value.
Inherently good man is looking to cherish and protect a woman who conducts herself respectably and respectfully — one who is not on stage for the lower masses to leer and drool at, or fantasize about or masturbate to.
It’s epidemic anymore that people confuse sex with intimacy, and brazen skin with confidence. Dressing down to the masses is a form of selling yourself to everyone with eyes, and never getting paid.
Hey interesting aspects of a topic that is really sensitive. Cant help but notice the judgement going on here. I think the point James is trying to make is that it would be far more healthy and beneficial if women allowed themselves to own their feelings, emotions, outlook on life and freedom of dressing and ‘being’ without being judged. So if we women keep judging what other women wear and tear them down according to that – arent we missing the point? Which in my view is the freedom to be who I want to be and not behave according to a possible outdated ‘norm’ that is expected of me. And I dont think James said that women should get their ways by dressing down at work and behaving a certain way. But in essence its just absolutely liberating to be yourself whatever that means to you personally and that in itself should be celebrated – not torn down because of A, B and C…