For the longest amount of time, women have been shamed for what they decide they want to do with their bodies, especially those women who are confident in their own skin and are not afraid to show it. At the same time, some men think that it’s okay to sexualize these women even though they do not want to be sexualized. You see, there is a difference between wanting to feel sexual and being sexualized – the prior being a personal choice. It’s only very recently that I was able to make this distinction. I always used to think that by showing more of my skin, I was more likely to be seen in a sexual light. To prevent this, I repressed discovering and expressing a side of me that wanted to be more free and confident. But the truth is that no matter how you portray yourself, you are not an object to be sexualized.
It’s always women who are being policed on how they express their sexuality. The woman who makes an Onlyfans account is ‘slut-shamed’ but a man who follows her account is not. The same man could be caught shaming another woman if she is even more open with her sexuality. These men only approve of a woman’s sexuality when they feel like she is being sexual for him. If a woman does it for herself, it often causes drama and people always assume that she is doing it for male attention. Same goes with make up and several other things that empower women and make us feel confident. Somehow, us feeling our best and acknowledging our power always attracts opposition.
However, our sexuality is not what society tells us it is. To express our sexuality is actually to feel free of any limitations placed on our bodies and worries about how we might be perceived. It’s about being confident, loving yourself and surpassing any negative beliefs that you have been conditioned to be fearful about when it comes to your femininity. This empowerment is something that we rarely see being promoted. We need to stop the hate that women receive when they are open with their bodies and call out the unsolicited sexualization of women.
It is time that we start seeing our sexuality from a more positive light, one that is not connected to men but is purely connected to ourselves, one that is not plagued by how we, as women are supposed to appear but is defined by how we want to appear and one that does not make us feel ashamed, but powerful. In a patriarchal society, empowered women are seen as a threat and this is exactly what we should be working towards.