By: Lanisha Porter
Now, as a feminist it would be ideal for me to petition that women should have the right to enjoy many sexual conquests and bypass the harsh labels that will come with it—because afterall, she is just a sexual being fulfilling her “biological destiny."
We use to value honor. It was a community pursuit. Others near held you accountable to dutifully uphold values, and certain morals that mattered at large to the community. We've moved away from that. We believe we exist in inviolable spheres where our actions don’t have an effect of some sort on those around us. We live in a society where it is more socially-acceptable for men to be promiscuous yet we shame women for emulating those very same actions of a man. We excuse men on the account that their biological destiny points toward a fate of lustfulness and lack of resistance. However, in the same breath we project that women should be closer to purity and refrain from acting on their sexual capacities—with multiple people— to avoid harsh labels like “slut, hoe, thot, tramp, whore, etc.” Now, as a feminist it would be ideal for me to petition that women should have the right to enjoy many sexual conquests and bypass the harsh labels that will come with it—because afterall, she is just a sexual being fulfilling her “biological destiny.” And though I am a feminist, here’s the catch: I don't believe we should shield women from the consequences of their actions. Nor, do I believe we should excuse men—on an account of “nature”—from answering to the consequences of their actions.
Socializing women to aspire toward promiscuity without feelings of shame is not a step forward for mankind. It does not make us a more equal society nor does it make the score even with men. Honestly speaking, it makes society more unhealthy. It disrupts marriages, it promotes scandals, and I’m sure it creates a greater risk of being exposed to STDs. Where is the merit in that? It does not contribute to any greater good. Actually, it drags us further from being honorable. Equality is corrosive to honor.
From my stance, you can safely assume that I contend men should be held to a higher standard for moral exemplar than we currently hold them to. That said, creating a movement that says we should be held equal to them socially, would take us downward in lieu of going upward. Willingly participating in the spaces men use to relegate women does not celebrate any true freedom or equality. It only further perpetuates the idea that women are functional only as sexual beings and that's not the truth. Women have many sides, sex being only one side of us. We cannot conflate agency with playing “tit for tat” with men. Doing this will not put us on a fast track to real progress.
This piece was written as a challenge to all feminists to think about what it is they truly believe and ensure it’s not counterproductive to the upward mobility of women. It is to encourage thought in a society that has divorced honor for this idea of equality.
If I had to explain my feminism I would defend what I believe most passionately and that is this: Women should be compensated thoroughly for the labor of their efforts and quality of their talents. Point blank period. I believe that no woman should have to humbly bow her head, opting not to be great, to avoid a clash with the male ego. She shouldn’t aspire to lesser just to secure a mans confidence. A woman should be offered opportunities to assume leadership positions without her competence being questioned due to her sex. Women should be able to say no having it understood as a full sentence. A woman should be able to gain access to domains in society that are traditionally exclusive to men if she is qualified. She should be able to give birth and nurture her family unit without the risk of sacrificing her career. She should have paid family leave. A woman shouldn’t be more likely to experience poverty due to the fact women are paid less than men. See, those are the issues that we should prioritize on the global “To-Fix” list which will drive forward real positive change that I’m willing to champion for until my brows sweat. Not about a woman’s sexual conquests and whether or not she’ll be labeled because of it. That doesn’t fix the lopsided redistribution of wealth among women compared to men. It doesn’t create a tax credit to help women support their families. It doesn’t unlock the door of opportunities for the 62 million girls across the world who are locked out of an education because they have vaginas.
This piece isn’t to slut-shame, or poorly reflect on feminists. We have to trust both sexes to be responsible with their sexuality in a way that promotes honor. This piece was written as a challenge to all feminists to think about what it is they truly believe and ensure it’s not counterproductive to the upward mobility of women. It is to encourage thought in a society that has divorced honor for this idea of equality. Equality shouldn’t be the answer. The answer should be justice. All things that are equal are not fair, and all things that are fair may not be equal. Ex: feminists are encouraged to be equal to men. Well if a man has been socialized his whole life to be less than moral and is often excused from his immoralities, we too should want to be equal to that? Of course not. We have to focus on what is just. A man doesn’t need 6-8 weeks for his body to heal after the delivery of a baby therefore I wouldn’t aspire to his small margin of allotted time for paternity leave; I would aspire toward what is just as a new mother.
Whenever I become a mother to a son and daughter, my daughter will not be extended privileges simply because of her sex, nor will my son be exempt from upholding the moral standard expected because of his. They both will be patrolled the same; not for the sake of equality but because it is just.
Just as someone could impregnate my daughter, my son could also impregnate somebody else’s, therefore they will both be told to come home at decent hours. That would be my way of upholding honor and doing what is just, all while being a feminist.
Concisely, I am a feminist who believes not in the equality of the sexes, but one who believes women shouldn't be shortchanged out of opportunities. Very simple.
Welcome to my views from this horizon!