Women's Sexuality

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Women of society from the earliest of times to the present day have faced a multitude of struggles. The issue of sexuality is especially critical to the lives of women. If one’s personality is the set of characteristics about them, including attitude, interests, emotionality and behavioral patterns, than sexuality is a part of that identity. As people we take pride in who we are, and are taught that self-esteem is important to our mental health. In our society however, women are programmed to shame their sexualities, and in turn, themselves. This is a great contradiction. Women should be encouraged to embrace their sexualities safely and positively and seek the empowerment and self-discovery that can come from it.

The repression of natural sexuality and erotic energies within women can in many ways have negative affects. Sexuality is a part of who we are, just as being of a certain ethnicity is a part of one’s self and identity. To know someone that refuses to accept that they are, say, African-American is to know a deeply conflicted human being. A similar confliction is posed upon women when dominant discourse tells them to deny their sexualities. The same sense of unhealthy self-denial applies.

Ideologies of objectification and forced repression of sexuality conglomerate and monopolize women’s lives. Healthy sexual self- discovery is replaced by the adaptation of widely accessible representations(such as media portrayals) of women(Costa, Nogueira, Lopez 6). A woman, instead of being able to find her own sexuality and grow into her own womanly identity, may contrarily be forced to accept gender normativity and play into stereotypes because “according to society” these are women’s identities. Here is an account of one woma...

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...f our various life endeavors bring us closest to that fullness”( 54,55). The erotic is very much rooted in a strong understanding of self, fundamental to the self-worth that women of society, of every culture, so desperately need.

There are many ways in which dominant discourse works to shape the lives of women into boxes. These prepackaged boxes often lack: power, understanding, worth, fulfillment, pleasure, pride, choice and esteem. These things of which, hold much importance to the acquirement of better lives for women as well as the eradication of the contradiction that is specifically placed on women, therefore facilitating lives that are empowered and assured. By negating the ways in which women are oppressed through our social systems and cultural framework, especially sexually, we begin to rightfully encourage a better quality of life for all women.
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