Sex. An electric trigger for some and for others a flood of images overtake the senses when you mention the word. Is sex a weapon? Is sex used for manipulation? For power? Or is it a form of exploration of the limitations of intimacy? It's elevation or abasement seems to have been riddled through out the ages in art, war, and the control of how societies differ in accepting or rejecting the very act that women have been so central to. Many people run away from the topic. Others are told by certain belief systems that to enjoy sex, you are then an unworthy or unholy creature.
Just the sight of an uncovered woman has been said to cause men to be weak, cause them to take irrational actions in their lives, or worse, cause them to fall into the deepest pits of desire. All of this self hatred caused by rigid thinking 'flesh', and so I decided to at least address our human nature and wonder why women are the cause of so much scorn amongst the male population. They want the illusions of innocence and yes, society pushes those illusions to create a false image of what 'love' is. One myth a lot of women struggled with was the requirement to love the person they were in an intimate relationship with. The vulnerable nature of sex, for both genders has often been something of a comedy of gymnastic positions that range from the animalistic enjoyment of our physical drives to the depth of human connection interlaced with the depth of a tantric kundalini experience that the west tries to capture from eastern practices. One might argue that the very suppression of sex inhibits the opening of our root chakra and stagnates our ability to connect all of our energy points within our bodies. Just give it some thought. If we deny one part of our body we reject the whole of our being and imprison ourselves. The church knows this.
However, society seems to take in stride in some cultures an openness about sexuality that stirs the hearts and imaginations of those that indulge their pleasures to the maximum effect. We study sex, hide it, display it, ignore it or acknowledge that we all are products of a sexual union. Some are controlled by their appetites and yet others fear the surrender of their body over to another. Others claim they are free, while others are enslaved by negative attitudes or fear of it.
What I have often observed is an extraordinary massive amount of hatred towards the subject because of fear (family, social, religious). We tend to fear the discovery and yet be driven by the impulse. For those who are embarrassed to talk about the subject, we socially engineer through books and movies to know what is or isn't acceptable. A woman's heart and character are judged by the relationships she establishes, whereas a man, by the number of virgins he deflowers along the way.
And yet we call it ruining a woman's reputation, holding up a virgin as a standard. Not that there is anything wrong with virginity, but a woman ought to have full knowledge of herself in all aspects before she surrenders herself to an institution like marriage. We continue to foster this fantasy through our myths and fairy tales.
There is also the great question as to why the churches chose to elevate money over the nature. It wasn't out of any sort of divine writings that the Catholic Church chose to abolish the institution of marriage for their priests and nuns. They made all of the men and women that chose to serve surrender their choice to marry in order to preserve the wealth of the churches, to prevent claims from the children of priests in the 11th century. It was all a matter of property and power to centralize wealth and authority.
The denial of human nature (and the need to be touched) manifested itself in numerous sexual problems, and only further created the very problems that exist in the Catholic church. Sexual abuse of the very people they were sent to minister to and then creating the lies to try to hide the very existence of these problems. Children and women were the victimized throughout the world. The endless stream of victim reports has been compared to a witch hunt by the papacy seems laughable in light of the bloody history of the church throughout the ages to deify a man who was just trying to tell people to love others as they loved themselves.
But apparently, no one got the memo, and instead decided to create religions that divided us along the way. The truth will always be simple, clear and concise. There is nothing wrong with sex, nothing to fear about it. We just make it that way and hate the woman who enjoys it. Just think of it this way gentlemen, wouldn't you rather be in bed with a woman who enjoyed being pleasured by you and giving pleasure to you instead of being afraid of your touch?
Now, we might be getting somewhere...for the sexual union was never meant to be a place of fear, but a place of love.
In memory of SSG Lilian Clemons. For your family, and for your son who looked me in the eyes and asked me if your death was right. For which I found no words to respond truthfully, so I went to find the truth. We can only bring about peace by being peace and not fighting for it. You didn't die in vain, you changed my life.
"And I don't want the world to see me
Cause I don't think that they'd understand
When everything's made to be broken
I just want you to know who I am"
-Iris by the Goo Goo Dolls
Alone, I am just one. Together, we are the voices of many. We outnumber them.
The prison of the external valuation of beauty, one that every culture has been through, going back to the dawn of time, when women were mandated to prostitute themselves in the temples of Ishtar at least once before they were to marry. A religion that somehow took the power of a goddess that represented both love and war somehow turned inward upon itself to devalue women, by making all women into nothing more than objects for sale. To get women to comply, it was told that during the act, the women would be transformed into Ishtar herself, and bestow love upon the first man that threw whatever denomination into her lap and he could not be refused. She was, at that moment, acting as a priestess, and could not leave the temple until she was purchased.
A woman was immediately judged and compared by all of the men who were there. Since a woman could not leave until she was purchased, some would spend years in the temple before a man redeemed her. In a very real sense, this was like the first beauty contest; the first appraisals of being an object and somehow lowering the value of what it means to be a woman. I have run across many sites that actually look at elevating the worship of Ishar, Inanna or Lilith (among many other names), with many of them not realizing the real secrets of what these temples were used for in their ancient histories. Who is to say how the temples evolved into making women sell themselves? What might they had to believe in order to do so? How young maidens were persuaded to continue the traditions that spanned long periods of time, as the roles of women were molded along the way by using a goddess as the very image to possibly go against their will.
The first rule is always to divide and conquer. If women were forced to compete against each other, they could never unite. They would have had the shared experience of what it would be like to sell themselves and their future husbands would all know that they were not untouched. Perhaps that is just one view. As sexuality seemed to be simultaneously sacred and profane, the conflict that women wrestle with when releasing themselves to another and yet wanting the free will to only release themselves to a man of their choosing seems hard for many women to understand. The real power of being able to give a heart to another, freely, without purchase, is one that many still do not understand.
I see that there are still many women who act as though they are objects for purchase, only looking into a man's wallet and not at the man. In return, the women wanted to be treated like a goddess or a princess; often with abusive traits displayed along the way. Is this really how we need to be?
There are so many people who have lost faith in love, believing it is something to be purchased along the way. Love can only be given when we first realize we are human. Being worshiped takes away from the power of being human, having the ability to share our flaws and weaknesses with each other. To being able to support and share our dreams with each other and helping one another achieve them along the way then enables us to unleash the power that resides deep within us when that couple loves unconditionally.
Not to be sold. Not to be bought. And if you still believe that the only way to attain love is through being an image and not a woman, your heart has grown very cold indeed. Since the women we see in the world elevate themselves through using their sexuality indiscriminately, through varying forms of selling themselves like temple prostitutes to the highest bidder...in pieces of themselves to be possessions, I have to wonder how much it hurt to kill their hearts along the way.
What if we reclaimed our hearts? What could we do if we stopped our beauty contests and just acted with our true beauty of love? It is possible, very possible. All we have to do is change.
Once upon a time, there was a baby born, who entered this world without a script, but desperately was trying to hold on to all of the information she came into the world with, but it seemed to slip away with the new language she was learning. This was a new reality for her, as she looked at her body and childlike ways of walking and talking, and of innocence. She was not aware she was called a girl. She wasn't aware she was already labeled a sinner. She was not aware of the darkness or of fear. She was trying to get up to speed as quickly as possible, and found she entered a time of darkness. It was a time of fear, polarization, of racial tensions, and of a war that no one wanted to be in.
She had no idea that she would be judged primarily because she was a girl. As I stated before, she walked into life without knowing the script and the expected roles and most importantly, this girl did not know who to trust. She just had the knowledge that she was the firstborn, and being the firstborn carried a lot of responsibility. For as she grew and her siblings arrived, she found none of them could remember their instructions, and she had to be the caretakers for the children that followed. She was their protector, their big sister.
With an unstable home, the first myth shattered. The one of safety and love from those who are the appointed protectors. As she grew and saw the role of mother being dismantled, or of wife, as one being abused, she looked outside to see what kind of modeling behaviours were displayed. She saw many worlds of illusions and quickly understood that the public displays were lies. The furthest thing from truth to the outside world. Women concealed their real emotions and would take little pills with their wine at cocktail parties. Everyone had an ailment, but the reality was they weren't trying to remember...they were trying to forget.
In the churches, the congregation gathered like cattle to listen to 'words of inspiration'. Instead what they were told about all of their weaknesses and guilted into contribution to offering plates 10 percent of their earnings, but they must go above and beyond all of that, because God needed their money. However, a gentle reminder was you must give cheerfully from the heart, 'For God loves a Cheerful Giver." The game continued with how God needed their money, for more churches so they could continue the great commission of telling everyone how they were going to hell. After all, they served a jealous God who condemned women from the beginning of time over a piece of fruit. The fruit that God pointed out...and said to them not to seek knowledge, because if we knew good from evil we would die because of knowing.
We were told that a woman looked at the tree, and listened to a serpent, and took the fruit. She ate the fruit and then gave the knowledge to man. The man ate the fruit and their eyes were opened. Knowledge, we are told, produces fear. So they ran and hide because they knew they were naked and they had disobeyed this God that is described in Jewish and Christian doctrines.
So what truth is there in this story? In this fable? So all women are held responsible for an action that set into motion being human. This is just one example of how women have been controlled since the beginning of recorded history.
Just one example. So as an innocent little girl I heard the story with wide open eyes and asked, "what is knowledge?" No one could seem to answer that question. "What is sin?" I continued. "Why would he tell then about the tree and create the tree if they were not supposed to eat it?" More confused looks from the adults. "Well, just because that is the story."
Relief spread across my face. "Oh, it's just a story, then I can do anything I want to do with my life."
"Oh no dear, you are a girl. You can be a wife, a mother and live in a nice home." was an elderly woman's reply. "What if I don't want that?" I silently thought to myself. What if I didn't want to be a woman who silently took pills to stop thinking and sip wine at cocktail parties and laughed far too loud for the bland jokes that didn't seem to matter to me. What if I wanted something more?
So as I began my journey as a young girl, I remembered a silent voice telling me, "They are all lying, but they think they are telling the truth." I nodded my little head. As another little girl got a gold star for bringing me to Sunday School with her and the sounds of "Onward Christian Soldier" played in the background. I looked at the gold star, a sticker to say she tried to win another soul for Christ, I realized the lie was very deep indeed.
For in no way is love an oppressive force, to anyone. There is no judgment or systems of complexity. For the first 21 years of my life I explored religions, the narrow-minded religious views. I start with the world religions.
Not in the spirit of attacking them, but with the goal of eventually making a movie and asking all of the religious leaders of the world...the Forbidden Question. The great conspiracy against women, and why the systems tries to get us to act as heartless as men when we rise to positions of power. Or even worse, view us the same as men.
Let the journey begin and yes...this is going to challenge all of us, to look at each other differently.