There was a valuable article in Alternet this week that I highly recommend.
We are an uptight nation. All you have to do is see the freak out that occurred when Janet Jackson’s nipple was exposed on national TV. We can watch people get strangled, beaten, shot, knifed, and everywhere in between but god forbid we see a nipple.
“The real story here is how we’re such a hypersexualized, yet pleasure-starved culture. America is a Christian consumer nation bent on policing sexual expression, while selling smut and sanctimony steeped in shame. Profitable sexual transgressions are the norm, yet apparently the only threat to childhood innocence. So conversation about healthy sexuality to combat today’s paradoxical messages must be squashed to “protect the kids.” Conservative culture warriors—aided and abetted by an infotainment media that feeds off of extremes—conflate the progressive push toward sexual freedom and justice with the toxic byproduct of anything-goes commercialism.”
So how do you balance the objectification of women with the fact that we shouldn’t be so uptight?
Let’s begin by acknowledging once and for all that sex isn’t about procreation. People don’t have sex just to make babies. It turns out we do it because we like it. Not just me. Not just you. All of us. It is the true unifier for both genders and multiple sexualities, regardless of age. Everyone likes pleasure.
The next step is to stop assholes from thinking that they’re entitled to use women for their sexual pleasures and raise boys to be respectful of women. Not hard, right? Rape is not ok and comes out of a lack of respect for other people. Let’s remember our humanity, and stop cutting funds for mental health services to violent offenders.
And finally via the Alternet piece:
“Questioning the stories we tell ourselves about sex frees us from having to squeeze into any Silver Slipper sexual ideal. To unlearn shame culture we must teach something else. To break the chains of purity vs. perversion, performance vs. pathology binaries, change the conversation. Let’s start with the elephant in the room, America’s unspoken taboo: pleasure. Talking sexual pleasure can be tough when most conflate pleasure with hedonism and selfishness. But sex is not only fun. While most of the animal kingdom does it solely for procreation, sex for pleasure is what makes us human.”