Offend Their Sensibilities

Everyone, male or female, should have a right to do what they wish with their bodies. I am not normally a fan of women using nudity as an expression of feminism, but I do believe that each person’s feminist perspective is their own, and they should express it how they see fit. I have a found an exception to my view on disliking nude promotions of feminism: Egyptian Feminist Creates Firestorm By Posting Nude Photos Online. Elmahdy was brave to do this in a traditional country like Egypt. I believe in being sensitive to people’s cultures and traditions, but sometimes I really just want to say OFFEND THEIR SENSIBILITIES! Why do women always have to tip-toe around dads, brothers, uncles, etc? We know traditional family members will not approve of certain lifestyle choices, especially when it comes to women’s sexual freedom. I would guess that most traditional families do not have a clue about their daughters’ sex lives, and assume that they are actually nonexistent. Elmahdy is showing her courage in correcting people’s false assumptions about females. Elmahdy’s post makes the statement: female sexuality exists and no one can deny it!

Photo courtesy of David Swayze

Traditional cultures vehemently suppress women’s sexuality. Women are not to have sex (except with their husbands), like sex, or talk about sex. Of course, this is an unrealistic goal of traditional communities, and it is not abided by. Some women in such communities may not like sex, but maybe it is because they never had a partner that made it enjoyable for them. I am pretty sure having to have sex with a husband you barely know in order to please their male desires, and only that, must not be very pleasurable for a woman. This does not mean that women actually do not like sex, or do not want to have sex, or cannot enjoy it to the fullest. It is time for women in traditional cultures to “come out of the closet” and be unashamed of their sexuality, openly and publicly. I am not advocating for everyone to sleep around without concern for how that affects themselves and others (in case that needed clarification). But I am saying that women’s sexuality cannot continue to be so taboo. It boils down to being able to make choices about how we want to live our lives. At times, we may offend others by expressing this right to choice. Elmahdy’s expression of her feminism and sexuality is admirable; she has made it clear to her audience that no one can suppress her human desires.

The Holidays are upon us and many of us will be spending a lot of time with our families. Why not learn from Elmahdy’s example and allow ourselves to be more open with those in our lives who are traditional. Let’s get comfortable offending their sensibilities so we no longer have to live up to traditional ideals that we do not believe in, but are often too scared to publicly denounce. I have to restate that I am very sensitive to cultural divides, and think it is important to make cultural differences between family members as painless as possible. But sometimes you need to rip the band-aid off quick… it may hurt like a bitch at first, but the pain will be short-lived. Once acceptance sets in, the wound will heal.