Some club on campus is hosting a series of lectures about Sexual Empowerment. Today's guest lecturer is Nina Hartley, porn star. i missed the other lecture.
Anyway, they're showing two sides of the debate: chastity and modesty vs. active and open (or something to that effect)
so i was pondering which side has the real power. are women who exercise restraint and control their sexuality by practicing abstinance empowering themselves more than people who are very open about their sexuality and use it to the fullest.
i think a lot is to be said for the modest ones -- they have a lot of self control and command quite a bit of respect that way. yet they seem ... mousy. The sex workers who are proud of what they do, do a lot more for sexual empowerment because they're visible. they tend to be go-getters who know what they want and how they will get it.
or am i ovr-generalizing. i don't intend to. but what's everyone's spin on it?
Posts: 12677 | From: Los Angeles, CA ... somewhere off the 10 | Registered: Jul 2000
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I was asked to do a review of the horrendous Wendy Shalit's A return to Modesty last year by a magazine, and having to read that whiny, nightmarish amateurish volume from hell (which read something like a Jehovah's Witness Pamphlet, but without all the exciting fire and brimstone to keep the attention) and write thousands of words on it traumatized me enough as it was.
Now, I recognize (thank god) Shalit's "modesty" ideals aren't the same as everyone elses, but to tell you the truth, I don't think "modesty" really works in this context at all, for a number of reasons.
But I'll shut up and go away now. I can dig out the review at some point if you want it (and the unedited version ran six pages, that's how angry I was).
Im curious about your review of that book, Miz S. I remember reading the back cover of it when I still worked at the bookstore, but never had the time to read it
I think that the most empowering thing for me would to be somewhere between the two extremes. Not everyone is comforable dressing like one of the Spice Girls, but we don't really need to be chaste and mousy in order to command respect either. Like almost everything, there has to be some sort of happy medium between the two extremes. I believe that both modesty and openness are needed.
------------------ When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist.
Posts: 47 | From: Bloomington IL (the boringest place on earth) | Registered: Nov 2000
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I think empowerment comes from choice. Becuase we have the choice and because we can make the choices, we are empowered. IMO, it's like anything else that has to do with empowerment. Think about how now women can go out in the work feild and be much more accepted than 200 years ago. Is it more empowering to go out and work or work at home? Neither, it depends on the person. Just the fact that we have the *choice* to do what we want is empowering enough for me.
If you want to remain abstinant from any and all kinds of sex and that empowers you, that's great. If you want to have sexual relationships with yourself and anyone else, that's fine too. Yeah it takes willpower to remain abstinant but it takes courage to be open and not lie about your choices.
But hey, that's just my two cents.. PS: I don't think that being chaste and being mousy go hand in hand. I know a lot of people who are not doing anything sexual until they're married, but they party hard and they can be very attractive too. ------------------ I'm so sexy it's almost evil
"...a ready supply of playdough that anyone can create the stuff of their dreams from" - Mz S
[This message has been edited by Pixie69 (edited 11-20-2000).]
I'd say being empowered, for a woman, involves saying "no" to the guys/girls she's not interested in, and "yes" to the ones she is. Or being able to approach someone attractive on an even footing. Bollocks to other people's opinions.
You only get one body, so why let someone else control it?
------------------ Armistice, deicide, timbre, ineluctable, salacious. All these words can be yours! Purchase a Dictionary™ today!
Yes, Pixie, I agree - *choice* is the thing that empowers us. These days we can make so many choices thanks to changes in society, birth control, Safer Sex....Ain't that wonderful and empowering??
And Miz Scarlet - would be great to read your review!
There, that feels better. How in the world did you manage to read that woman's nonsense? 'Tis an amazing feat that you came out with any braincells intact. I can't really make any comment that you didn't say in your review, but really healthcare should provide free lobotomies for women like her.
Sex is one of those subject which, like politics and religion, has more propaganda associated with it than just about anything else.
Anywhere you look there are always going to be people with an agenda trying to tell you what to think and do when it comes to sex. Like most propaganda the things they'll say will be a combination of half truths and intentional misinterpretations of facts.
Finding objective information about sex is possible, if you're willing to look for it and take anything you find with a grain of salt. But ultimately it all comes down to what you think. What makes you feel empowered? This is the only definition that matters. What other people think and feel about what it means to be sexually empowered are pretty much irrelevant. People sometimes forget the difference between subjective and objective reality. Objective reality is how cold it is outside or how far it is from where you are to the grand canyon. Subjective reality is what makes you happy, or sad, or turns you on, or makes you feel sexually empowered. These are different for each person. So be yourself and live your life on your own terms and be happy, whatever that means for you.
I think you can be empowered whether you're modest and chaste, or open and active. Empowerment is all about how you feel about yourself. If you feel strong, then no one can really tell you that you're not.
------------------ "If it is your time, love will track you down like a cruise missile." ~Lynda Barry
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