Saturday, August 7, 2010

Celibacy, Power and Revolution

Adults, grown folks, big girls, ladies are responsible for themselves, normally.

Just Say Whoa

I like the idea of sex as much as the next person. But as we have all recently witnessed with the USDA kerfuffle, context is everything.

Why? When? Where? How? With whom? Under what conditions and commitments?

Aren’t these common sense questions? Then why aren’t more Af Amer women asking these questions? And why aren’t more Af Amer women demanding satisfactory answers? And why aren’t more Af Amer women waiting until those answers are demonstrably present?

Is sex everything or the only thing. Because that’s the impression I get sometimes. Like if someone isn’t having sex then there is something wrong with them. Like sex is a right.

I understand a sexual revolution took place, but did the revolution only result in the freedom to have random, unprotected, meaningless, joyless, casual sex with any low-life, jerk, loser (regardless or class, money, race, education, etc.) who showed interest in you.

I believe a lot of men would enjoy this version of the sexual revolution; as long as it is applies to random women he can sleep with rather than applying to his wife, daughter, mother, and just about any woman related to him.

What’s In It For You

What is the role of sex in your life? Do you use sex to secure a partner? Any kind of partner just as long as you can say you have one. Do you use sex as currency? And by currency I mean are you having sex for cash? Or to get your bills paid? If sex is within the context of a relationship, are you being satisfied? Do you enjoy sex with your boyfriend/fiancée/husband? Are you just there to please him? Is there any reciprocity?

What is in for you? Are you fully engaged and joyous about this aspect of your relationship? Do you feel safe, respected, desired, attractive, excited? Is sex something you look forward to or is it a chore you must perform? The answer matters a great deal. If you are not happy with your sex life, why are you having sex?

Power

‘No.’

How much power can one word hold.

If black women, individually and collectively, refuse to allow their bodies to be used as disrespected receptacles by any and all men, what do you think would happen?

If black women mated (married/committed) only with men who were loving, protective, responsible, intelligent, relationship-oriented; what do you think would happen?

If black women shunned or held as undesirable and unacceptable any man who exhibited violent tendencies (verbal or physical), held women in low esteem or believed women to be less than men, had children out-of-wedlock, and refused to provide for or protect his family/loved ones; what do you think would happen?

In ‘Lysistrata’, a play by Aristophanes, the women of Greece go on a sex strike to force their husbands to stop the making war on their neighbors. They did so to halt what they saw as the ridiculous waste of human life and resources that was the Peloponnesian War. Why can’t black women, individually and collectively, make a similar decision? No sex until you discontinue behavior ‘x’ and practice ‘y’.

Radical Redefinition

If black men esteem themselves because of their ‘prowess’, then by what measure are black women esteemed?

Let’s be clear, we live in a patriarchy that places high value on women’s chastity or perception of chastity. Women are penalized (interesting word) and stigmatized to a far greater degree than men are for promiscuous behavior. For women of color, casual sex is not harmless recreation or the fruits of feminist liberation; rather it is licentiousness, proof of our out-of-control animalistic nature.

How do we change the perception society has regarding black women? By demonstrating how much we are worth to ourselves, by valuing ourselves, by not settling for less from a man than love, protection, honor and respect.

With so many diseases and conditions communicable through sex, practicing celibacy is a perfect strategy for the twenty-first century. Black women accounted for 66% of the AIDS cases among women in 2007 (bw only make up 12% of the population) according to the Kaiser Family Foundation (kff.org/hivaids/). Is it just me, or is celibacy looking like a sensible, rational and viable response considering the downward spiral of the black community.

I am not saying one must remain celibate for the rest of one’s life! What I am saying is surely there will be periods in you life when it is better to refrain from unsafe casual sex with some guy, in the vain hope he will stick around after you sleep with him, than to have sex with him and have him leave anyway or worse still inform you after the fact he has no intention of only sleeping with you.

If you have been to this rodeo before, what did you gain? Are you married with children? Married without children? In a committed, monogamous relationship? In a relationship on the road to long-term commitment?

You have to teach people how to treat you. When you accept being treated as an object of sexual gratification, as a disposable thing, then you get the treatment you accepted; you get thrown away. When you make it clear in no uncertain terms you are not that type of woman, you cannot be discarded in such a manner because you refuse the advances of men you step to you with that agenda.

Practicum

Engage in honest self-reflection, self-discovery.

Get your spiritual, emotional, physical, and financial houses in order.

Find out what you want from an intimate committed relationship.

Practice celibacy.

Resist the mentality of the lowest common denominator (best demonstrated by thugs, players, rappers, professional athletes but not limited to those types of men)!

Stop restricting yourself and your options, get thee into the global village!


Peace.