Sexualizing America 9-12

Woman To Woman: We Are Not Our Butts Bodies!

The above is courtesy of:  www.iamericanapparel.net …and all of the women that allow themselves to be exploited by them…

…When it comes to any issue that reflects the exploitation of women – women always seem to bare the lion’s share of responsibility on the issue – and yet have so little control over how our roles are dictated and portrayed by a systemic, male “culture”.

(The same is true on any bodily identification of women – in all of its many forms – sexualization, beautification, the weaker sex, etc.)

A problem for me is commenting on these issues without sounding as if I am anti-male, anti-sex or anti-relationship between a man and woman. Am I? No! However, make no mistake about it, what I am “anti” is a male dominating culture of power-over women’ lives, bodies and the sexist projections of who we are and what our purpose is in relation to males and the world at large.

It is impossible to communicate that without the “sexual” issue being at the forefront, when our fundamental purposes, as women, according to all male cultures, are completely sexualized?!

It appears to me that any attempt to educate the public on the “sexualizing of women and girls” as the single most detrimental cultural issue women and girls face today, only further targets us to be labeled as “radical heretics”. So be it! This is nothing new! Labeling women as “heretics” is as old as time. Even the medical and psychiatric professions have a history of attempting to silence women by labeling us, in one form or another, as an anomaly to (what should be considered) the obsessive-compulsivesociopathic ethos (glib, superficial, egocentric and impulsive. They have no guilt, remorse or empathy) of the male sex.

In Judith Lewis Herman’s book: “Trauma and Recovery”, she covers a wide range of the affects of trauma, including the history of abuse of women. Early in the book, she makes clear such a history:

“For two decades in the late nineteenth century, the disorder called hysteria became a major focus of inquiry. The term hysteria was so commonly understood at the time that no one had actually taken the trouble to define it systematically. In the words of one historian, “for twenty-five centuries, hysteria had been considered a strange disease with incoherent and incomprehensible symptoms. Most physicians believed it to be a disease proper  to women originating in the uterus.” Hence the name, hysteria. As another historian explained, hysteria was “a dramatic medical metaphor for everything that men found mysterious and unmanageable in the opposite sex.”

And so it is today when we, women, “complain” about how we are treated…

…in the press, in advertising, in politics, in the workplace, within religious institutions, i.e., within an antiquated and unrelenting patriarchal system that relegates women to lesser roles. Whether we call it “sexism”, “misogyny”, “pornography”, “sex discrimination” or “rape”, these are simply the more palatable “euphemisms” that, in reality, are nothing less than the blatant sexual assault of women and girls!  Sexualizing us (sexually exploiting the gender of women) not only continues to undermine real progress for women’ rights, but is the driving force behind the abuses and oppression of women that are still being committed all over the world.

If speaking out against the sexualization – abuses – of women and girls is the behavior of a “heretic”, I not only have reason to be hysterical, I am damned proud that I am! The blatant evidence in sheer numbers (statistics) resulting from the exploitation – abuses – of women and girls, all over the world, is enough to make any sane, conscious, compassionate, empathetic human being hysterical !

Yet, This is precisely why I have recently sought  to understand why I am so deeply strained when it comes to calmly communicating my views (hysteria) on the issue of “Sexploitation”. I am confused, frustrated and saddened over how divided we seem to be, as women (and men), over confronting a “system” that still so easily brushes aside the “statistics” of casualties of women and girls. Is our differing opinions on some issues worth sacrificing our opportunity to collectively voice outrage over those never ending “casualties”? The answer is “NO!”

I dare to say, that if our roles as women were incapable of being “sexulaized” we would either be truly equal, co-leaders or our cause would be “emancipation from female slavery” instead of ‘mere details’ involving women’ rights issues.

It is an inarguable fact that women bare the majority burden of consequences for the systemic domination of males – whether in marriage, procreation, family, education of children and even community, municipal and governmental development at large. It is also an inarguable fact that women have so little real influence over actual planning, funding, execution, management and real problem solving measures – even of those primarily affecting women.

Women and progress… still sexualized, after all these years?

As long as we remain sexualized, our roles will continue to be relegated to those of servitude – supportive of those holding the real power over women’ lives.

As long as we remain sexualized, we are nothing more than the “clerical” support of an oppressive system rather than re-designers re-organizers and re-constructionists of the existing failed systems.

As long as we allow ourselves to continue to be publicly sexualized, we will never be taken seriously or considered as essential in the development and implementation of systems that actually serve the whole of society – the whole village – rather than the predominantly white, male power-brokers of the wealthy, elite and politically powerful.

The male mastery of macro-micro management and division of women – emotionally, psychologically, intellectually and ideologically, as well as, how we are conditioned to accept, in varying degrees, degrading roles regarding our sexual beingness are not our friends nor our liberators.

The failure of such a dominate, abusive system of that “male mastery of macro-micro management and division of women” is the single greatest and on-going threat to our most common and important interests and issues (affecting us all). That threat is carried out daily in the defamation of women, as reflected in the statistics in domestic abuse, rape, teen pregnancy, inequality in pay and top-tier political, corporate and religious institutional leadership.

As long as we allow ourselves to be sexualized, in any form, how will the statistics involving the global oppression of women and girls ever change?

Women and progress… why not more?

Being divided into the “religiously, conservatively more pure” and/or “professionally, educationally and financially successful” hasn’t changed the “system” one damned bit – according to the numbers of abuse, teen pregnancy, inequality and global oppression.

We are so indoctrinated to the “system” that we can not only be swayed by the slightest propaganda in one direction or another, but seem to have now adopted the tactics of using misinformation, vehement accusations of ‘extremism’ on both sides, as well as, our own style of bigotry in the form of classism to “win” a “majority” over to our positions on the issues.

The real issue(s) that get buried in the propagandizing that goes on – whether about conservative, liberal, radical left, right, democrat or republican is the truth about “women and progress”.

We can form organizations, start businesses, get our BA’s, MAs or PhDs, elect a few women to political offices here and there or scale the corporate ladder and become one of the hand full of CEOs… and proudly sing the mantra of “Look at all of the ’successful women who have overcome’!” While we should be proud and say “Bravo!”, we should also be saying: “In the 21st century, why not more?

Women and progress… why still so many victims, after all these years?

The answer is: “Abuse of women at the hands of men is the worst, on-going human atrocity in the history of the world. The sexualization of women – and indoctrination of our children to the same – along with the cultural devaluation of women’ roles in societal development – is the cause.

We, as women, refuse to come together, as a majority voice, to hold men accountable for the fact that over 1/2 of the women in the world cannot avoid becoming victims of abuse and/or permanent, life-altering damages and/or death – all at the hands of men!”

That’s what truth is – whether conservative, liberal, progressive, democrat, republican, independent, pro-life or pro-choice, christian, muslim, jew, agnostic or atheist – male or female – that’s the truth of the single greatest plight of women all over the world – the risk of being physically and sexually abused and/or culturally and politically devalued, thus, oppressed by men.

It has been proven that when women suffer, children and entire societies suffer. Until women stand up, as a collective voice, and hold men accountable to taking the lion’s share of the responsibility for the suffering of women and children all over the world, we, as women, are just as culpable for the plight of all women.

I would bet my life that the day that a paradigm shift occurs toward that reality, is the day that we will begin to have hope in a drastic reduction in abortions, teen pregnancy, rape, domestic violence and a multitude of other social ills we now endure.

There is no substitute for basic human respect and decency and for all women not to stand up in a collective voice and demand it as a fundamental right for all women and societies, is just as consequential as the abuses being committed.

Women and progress… knocking on – or breaking down – the right door?

Until we take the “sexualization of women” and its role in undermining the fundamental rights of protection of women against violence, its direct implication in the the abortion issue, teen pregnancy and other related issues directly to the door of all men – women will continue to bare the burden, blame and consequences of all of these issues.

We are not winning this war because we have turned the “issues” into our weapons against one another, rather seeing that our enemy is continuing to allow the dictates of “male culture” to use “the sexualization of women” as a weapon of dominance over all women.

Just in case you are a woman, or a man, that doesn’t know what that all looks like, may I refresh your memory by ending with where we started…

…Woman to Woman10

Thank You:  Uppity Women and  The New Agenda for bringing attention to www.iamericanapparel.net

…and to Betty Jean Kling for inspiring these thoughts from her series: “The Sexualizing of America” and inviting me to post them as part of the series.


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