Feminism and Female Sexuality
I started out writing this blog post one way, and in writing it, I realized that my original track of thinking was not what I was trying to say at all.
My original track of writing this was going to be about how I, as a self-identified feminist, also think it's important that we recognize the importance of sex positivity as it's portrayed in our society now, which is just to be positive about having sex (gross generalization, but you kinda get my point). My reasoning behind this original post was that feminism can come off to others (though let's be real, it shouldn't at this point, but it still does... *insert eye roll here*) as "man-hating" and all that other dumb hullabaloo, and it can be hard to fit that concept of feminism as "man-hating" (which again, really REALLY REALLY isn't a thing in the actual concept of feminism, nor how it really plays out) with the concept of current feminists also heavily branding themselves as "sex-positive".
However, in writing this post, it came off as very ignorant, and one-sided, and really not just fleshed out - it really came off as a bunch of selfish babble that a) didn't make sense, and b) alienated a helluva lot of people.
To be clear: Feminism, at its core, is about women being equal to everyone else; and not just white women being equal to white men. I'm talking about every person who identifies as a woman being equal to every person who identifies as a man, regardless of their race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexuality, or socioeconomic status/background. That's the concept of feminism at its foundational level. It's very clear who has the power in our society (white, cis, also usually heterosexual, men) and it's very clear who doesn't (people of color, people who identify as LGBTQ+/LGBTQIA, and women).
The dominant view in our history has classically been men as obsessed with sex, and women as being this "angelic" creatures who are pure and virtuous. Needless to say, this hasn't allowed for the idea of women as inherently sexual beings to emerge into society, especially without forcing them to be fetishized or without demoralizing women or relegating their acceptance of their sexuality to another aspect of their identity (i.e. saying that a woman's ethnicity may make her/them more prone to "wanting" sex).
All of this to say... that the concept of pairing this current wave of feminism with sex positivity isn't necessarily a good thing (nor is it necessarily bad). I think that the current wave of feminism is inherently tied in with female sexuality, something that I find comforting as someone that identifies strongly with both feminism and female sexuality, but is something that I've come to recognize not everyone may be so comfortable with. So many companies that brand themselves as "feminist" also tend to identify as "sex positive" as well, and I think that many, but not all, people who refer to themselves as feminists now, tend to also lean towards identifying as sex-positive as well. As someone that is openly a "raging" feminist and who is openly VERY sex positive, I have trouble separating the two at times.
However, I think that being feminist doesn't and shouldn't necessarily brand someone as sex-positive as well if, for them, sex isn't a positive experience. My question is this to you, how do we create a dialogue about sex and feminism in a way that includes everyone; from those feminists who openly enjoy rough sex, to those feminists who feel left out of the conversation because they don't enjoy casual sex. How do we find a balance between creating an open dialogue about all the types of sex that people may enjoy, while also respecting the fact that there are some people who do not enjoy sex at all, or who aren't as interested in it as others? How do we allow those who want to embrace casual sex, or rough sex, or no sex at all to be included in this conversation about accepting your sexuality for what it is?
I think that for each individual, it's about first finding where you are comfortable. Is sex a positive experience for you? Is it even an experience for you? Is it even something you want to have a conversation about? Once you reach your own personal understanding of your relationship (or possibly lack thereof) with your own sexuality or embracing of your sexuality, you have to come to an agreement with yourself and also the world around you- your sexuality does not really affect other's sexuality, and vice versa. If you choose to not have sex in college, that's awesome! Great! Fine! If your best friend chooses to *safely* have as many one-night-stands as physically possible, also great! awesome! fantastic! The main point is that female sexuality shouldn't equate to only being sex-positive in every situation. It should equate to YOU being positive about YOUR relationship with your own sexuality and what sex (or no sex) means to you, and about YOU supporting your loved one's decision whether or not it's the same decision you would make, so long as everyone is safe and no one is getting hurt.
Hope y'all liked my semi-political, but completely important feminist/sex/sexy rant of the week!