I am aware that we live in a sexually repressed society. I am even more aware of the fact that we live in a society where women's sexuality is not valued, validated or showcased in a positive way. However, I watched an episode of Oprah today that was truly enlightening. No, it was more like shock and awe!
First, let me say that I applaud Oprah for her work with Dr. Laura Berman in a series of episodes featuring topics around sex and sexuality for women in an empowering, educating and entertaining way. I was not entirely shocked to discover that women are uncomfortable discussing the topic of sex with their children. BUT... to hear comments from grown women that suggest that sexual feelings or desires should be something that should not necessarily always be "indulged," or that educating our daughters and girls about their bodies and natural sexual feelings may somehow cause more harm than good, are actually perpetuating many of societies ills and damaging social constructions about women! Simply not acknowledging our sexual identities, we are denying girls and women crucial opportunities and information to be empowered, confident, pleasured, happy, self-loving women!
Please, do not misunderstand me, I am not judging the women who bravely and candidly spoke up on this show (Oprah 4/9/09 - How to Talk to Your Kids about Sex with Dr. Laura Berman). This is a wake up call that we as women have A LOT more work to do! If there is any hope for women to - break the cycle of low-self esteem, self-hatred, depression, eating disorders, and most importantly interpersonal and sexual violence - it is imperative that we educate ourselves, our daughters, and all the girls and women we know about our bodies and minds! I believe that if we as women can honestly, safely and in a confident mindset understand our bodies, know that our genitals are called vulvas and our clitoris provides pleasure with or without a partner and that our sexuality holds a lot of POWER; we are better able to choose how, when, where and with whom we share our sexuality, making the world we live a better place.
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