I do, however, wonder if we women as a collective have lost a connection to our womanhood. Do we have a conscious connection to what being a woman is? I think that being a woman has become so tied to sexuality that we have forgotten the fullness of our womanhood. My dear friend, Sarah, reminded me that, culturally, we seem to categorize sexuality as a moral issue; that we, as women, are still seen or locked into the Whore/Virgin dichotomy. And as black women, well, it can be even more tangled.
We are now celebrating “Rachet-ness”, (I’m not really sure what that is) before it was “hoes” (maybe it still is–I can’t keep up, but I’m pretty sure they fall under the same umbrella). Regardless, it makes me want to ask, What are we celebrating? And why?… I mean really, WHY? Is that sexy? Perhaps it’s the “fuck it-ness” of it, the “you don’t own me”. But, it doesn’t always give me that message. I get concerned about how we internalize this. I know it affects me. I’ll see images that make me sad and feel like I want to stand on a soap box in protest, and then I will see another image of a sexy, half-naked woman that feels empowering and HOT as F*#$! So what is the difference?
Well, what I have to remind myself is that being a woman is a personal experience, but each of us is also a part of a larger world. I have a mentor in my life that often suggests that sometimes it’s more about the questions we ask ourselves than about the answers. The questions can guide us almost as much as the answers. So here are some of the questions I ponder:
I want to feel sexy and desirable, but how do I embody my sexiness in a way that empowers me? I am a sexual woman who enjoys sex and feeling sexy, but how do I honor my body outside of the cultural conditioning that tells me that my sexuality is something to trade on? How do I discover the wisdom of my own sexuality? I want my sexiness to start with how I feel about myself. I don’t want to find it only outside of myself. I think you can see and feel when a woman knows and loves herself. That freedom and authenticity is powerful.
So, how can we find a sense of ownership in our womanhood that is based in an authentic sensuality derived from our own pleasure, not necessarily from pleasing someone else? Maybe we can all share some of the questions we ask ourselves, some of the ways we have discovered these answers and how we allow this personal evolution. As I keep saying, these are personal discoveries and choices. And the choices we each come up with will evolve as we evolve, and grow as we grow.