Overcoming Oppression as a Woman

Photo by Deborah Lee

I am tired. I am beyond exhausted after the timeless tellings of being told that I need to cover my body in order to not be seen as a sexual object. I am so tired from feeling that I need to hide my body because I do not fit within our cultural standard of accepted beauty. And I’m tired of watching the women in my life—the women I love and care about—detest their bodies and be publicly objectified because of their clothing.

But, lastly, I am tired of the Oppression of Female Sexuality—the oppression that goes hand and hand with the constant shaming of our bodies. The same oppression that leaves women constantly feeling as if they aren't beautiful enough to enjoy their own sexuality.

You do not need society's permission, nor the validation of another in order to experience sexual pleasure. Women grow up both detesting their bodies along with the burden of fear to explore their sexuality. Because parents, schools, peers, and even legal forces have implemented the alienation of women from their own sexual desires.

And these forces—the "standards" of society—have been claiming the sexual acts of women as both shameful and tainting to a woman’s body. When we are children, exploring ourselves for the first time, asking questions, trying to feed our curiousity, we are left shut down.

And after being told that this "something" was unspeakable and untouchable for such a long time will put a toll on you.

We must relearn to love ourselves instead of learning to glamorize our insecurities. Cultiviating self love is absolutely one of the most difficult goals (especially when living in a society that doesn’t understand why you don’t already have it in the first place).

There is beauty in loving yourself, just as there is pride in exploring your sexuality. Most of you reading this are most likely aware already of these things, which is why we need to work on making it easier for all of the women who come after us. No woman—none of us—should ever be shamed an inherent sexuality, nor should she be looked down on for being proud of who she is.


1 comment

  • Hmmm. Interesting blog post but with no supporting evidence or detail. You say you are beyond exhausted of being told that women need to be clothed or else risk being seen as a sexual object. Honey, let me tell you. That applies to both men and women, and, if anything, is more harmful to men. Women are allowed to dress revealingly, men are not. Women are encouraged to show off their physical sexuality. Men are not. Women dress with their sexual organs hanging out of their wardrobes (think cleavage). Men are intensely ridiculed if any part of their penis or testes are even imprinted against their pants. “But ahh..” you say, thinking you have me “breasts are not a sexual organ, however penis and testes are”. To that I concur, however, if some stranger were to approach you and touch and caress your breasts, could he/she not be pressed for sexual assault? Yes, they could be. Breasts are not biologically sexual organs but they are practically and metaphorically. Pretending like women’s physical bodies are oppressed by the ever-anonymous and ambivalent “society” is simply false. Women’s bodies are celebrated, and women are allowed to find self worth in their appearance. Men who indulge in their bodies are made fun of. Men need jobs and wealth to be valuable, women only need good looks. Tell me, who has it worse off?

    Not a feminist

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