I’ve quite recently developed a heightened interest in the oversexualization of women. I have gone ahead and done some considerable amount of reading on the subject, just to find out what other people think of it in relation to feminism and I must admit that, the opinions are varied. Some think that a woman who is in control of her sexuality is the epitome of feminism. The name Nicki Minaj floats about in the above reasoning. Others think it’s just downright raunchy to use your body to sell your music or to capture the attention of the opposite sex.
I was mortified to discover that young children of the female gender are also being oversexualized. Reminds me of a certain blog I was reading, where a mother of a little girl was debating with herself on whether to get her child a two piece swimming costume or just the usual one piece. She thought that the two piece type was inappropriately mature for her little one, considering the fact that she was quite tall for her age and ended up settling for the one piece type. Good choice mum! Now that I know that little girls are equally being oversexualized, I salute mothers who want to protect their children from it.
Well, I’m a fan of the likes of Nicki Minaj and Rihanna. I think that they are highly talented women. There’s not one single song of Rihanna’s that I don’t like. However, some of their music videos literally get me blushing. These women are not at all ashamed of their bodies which is a wonderful thing really. Many women struggle with body issues. Some won’t even dream of getting intimate with their spouses with the lights on, as a result of the insecurities with their bodies which plague them.
In this era where sex supposedly sells, do not expect a secular music video having a woman who is covered up. It’s more like “Show ’em what you got!” and these gorgeous and equally, enterprising women seem not to mind if they come across as oversexualized in their line of work. I used to wonder what an advertisement spread of a watchmaking company in a magazine, had to do with a naked woman. We see a lot of that. A perfume advert with a naked woman to go with it.
Couldn’t they have thought of something else creative as part of the advert? Why mostly a bare back of a female going all the way down to her bum area or sensual lips? Well, sex, as it has come to be drummed into us, sells. So whether there is any relation to a watch advert and a naked woman or a car advert and a skimpily dressed woman in the poster, we just have to take it in as the target market, no questions asked.
A woman who seems to be comfortable and courageous with her sexuality according to some, is a highly strong woman. She does not conform to what society thinks is the right way to conduct things. She is capable of using her body in whatever way she likes without feeling any shame for it. The argument goes further to state that women have for years been made to feel shame for their sexuality. But a woman who dresses provocatively or acts in a sexually provocative manner for herself or to feel good about herself, while not factoring the male in mind, is considered a feminist of sorts.
Sorry, but I beg to differ.
It is indeed true that for years, women have been made to feel shame about their sexuality. I once tackled this subject lengthily in one of my posts http://www.definitelylorna.wordpress.com/are-men-dangerous-or-simply-different?? Men have in the past been painted to look like people who have no control whatsoever, of their carnal desires and it is therefore a woman’s fault for provoking it. We were required to cover up so that we wouldn’t entice the men or tempt them into getting sexual thoughts.
At the time I was doing that post, there was a wave of women who were supposedly inappropriately dressed, being stripped naked and shamed on the streets of Nairobi. I personally did not think that the men had been given any mandate by anyone, to teach women who couldn’t seem to dress in our “conservative” way, a lesson on decency. I put conservative in quotes because there are so many ills taking place in our country, to concentrate on a woman who is wearing a short dress. And most African women are naturally voluptuous so something above the knee definitely enhances this.
My only concern however, when women feel the need to finally embrace their sexuality despite what society feels or dictates, is whether they are portraying the right image to the women of tomorrow. The women of tomorrow are the young girls who are still growing. I believe that feminism is a cause that is meant to impact the future generations positively. There are women in some countries in the world, who nowadays participate in voting in the general elections, because a feminist somewhere stood up against the exclusion of women, from pivotal decision making of the country they were citizens of.
There are women who have been allowed to get an education because a feminist somewhere was vocal about the importance of educating the girl child. A feminist somewhere championed the building of more schools that would enroll the girl child and therefore empower her. The only impact I see with the oversexualization of women and women who are willing to go along with it, is young girls lifting up their skirts and posing in their innerwear just because their music idols do it. Young girls taking provocative selfies for social media with the main intention of getting more followers, admirers, likes and comments.
We are teaching the women of tomorrow to use their bodies for so many benefits including getting jobs in organizations. We are not teaching them to use their abilities. We are teaching them a shortcut to everything and a very sly shortcut for that matter. A woman’s sexuality is indeed powerful. We don’t have to strip naked and twerk like there’s no tomorrow just to make an impact with our sexuality. But then, we live in a society that glorifies sex and will definitely try to justify the parading of a woman’s assets as some other form of feminism.