I have been meaning to write this post for sometime now, but time constraints and wanting to be cautious won out, preventing me from actually sitting down to write. Well here I am finally to say that us women need to take the power back. The power of our own sexuality and control over our bodies. I am borrowing the title from one of my favorite Rage against the machine songs, yes. As I was on one of my runs and fueling my speed with angsty punk rock, this song came on and the feelings about this topic ran through my head like a wildfire. Then I knew what I would write about and why this was a good title.
Women’s lack of self esteem and the hook up culture of today makes me fuming mad. I believe that feminism is to blame for some of the sad statistics and situations regarding sex today. We have been told that we have the right to do what we want with our bodies and we give our selves away thinking we will be empowered, but it does the opposite. It takes our power, makes us feel broken and unloved. The cycle will continue until we realize that casual sex and hooking up is a great way for us to reduce the actual power of love and lovemaking and make us feel unworthy of true intimacy.
Now that I am single and dating it has becoming glaringly apparent what I am up against. Most women in this day and age think that their only contribution to a relationship is strictly sexual, and they usually go in to a date with the intention of having sex sooner rather than later. Not necessarily because that is what they want, but because that is what they believe to be the status quo expected of them. I had a date some weeks ago and we ended up on the topic of what a typical date consists of for us both. This man proceeded to tell me that most of the women he had been out with were ready to have sex by the third date, and then he explained that one of his dates even told him that it was an unwritten rule that they should be willing to “put out” by the third date. Come on ladies, have some respect for yourselves. You and your body is yours alone and it is a precious gift that should be given only to those who are special. Yes as a Christian woman I think that this is to be the husband, only after marriage. But I am not here trying to force my beliefs down your throat, but implore you to be cautious at least, and realize that you make the rules. No one else. Be brave and bold, and buck the status quo. Take the power back.
Oh I am sure that most men love this, because lets face it sex is amazing. Ironically, most of them lose all respect for a woman who is so willing to give herself away so quickly. Please be aware of that.The other problem is that really the best part about sex is after an emotional and mental bond is formed, sex is better after that and that takes time to develop. Don’t have sex to make him stay. Don’t have sex because your friends are doing it. Don’t have sex because he is pressuring you. Don’t have sex because other women (perpetuated by men) say that the 3rd date is the magic number, or the 6th date, or 6 months in for that matter. IT IS YOUR DECISION ALONE. Trust me if the man is worth it he will wait.
I do want to say that I am (mostly) a feminist. I am for the female to have rights and that is the basis of this post. I was married with children when I was young and I thought that staying at home with my babies was important, but doing so put me at risk. I was left to trust the man in my life to protect and provide for me, in essence giving up power in order to be a good mother.
It was an unwritten rule that you make sure your man is happy. Sex should be frequent and just for him. I felt like a prostitute in my own home. I did not have control over my own body, because it was clear that society was telling me different. I soon rejected the notion of having to keep my husband sexually satisfied just because he was the bread winner, which increased strife in the home. I did not feel I could talk about those feelings and so I swallowed them and rejected the whole situation marriage and all. I mean who wants to feel that way in a love relationship? I need a new pair of shoes, better go sleep with him. I want to go to my friends for the day, better get permission by taking my clothes off and meeting him at the front door.
No woman should have to do that. All (married) women who are in a protected and loving relationship should want to do that, but there should never be an underlying feeling of expectation because of money. The feelings of equality and mutual respect should be there and waiting for sex is one way to ensure that is intact. I became motivated to make sure I could earn a decent living on my own because of this premise and I am glad I did. Since those days I have learned so much about love and marriage, mostly through the bible and watching other christian marriages thrive and struggle, reconcile and thrive.
Trusting men completely scares me a little, because I have been let down so much. Yet, I have learned that Jesus is my first source of love and affirmation. I have also learned that we all are sinners and fall drastically short, but that a good christian man will try to live up to the standards that God has set for him.
This is the biggest problem in this situation. The good christian man is a dying breed. Not too many of them out there, at least that I can see. But they are somewhere, and you should wait for them. If you are not Christian than at least wait for a man that will respect your decisions, after all it is your body. Better yet, attend a church and learn that God’s love for you is bigger than any man could ever give you. It actually takes a ton of pressure off of the relationship for you both. trust me.
I have three beautiful daughters and I want them to learn this. You are in control of your own body. Never give it away to someone unworthy. Make sure that you listen to the holy spirit when you are choosing if they are worthy. Never feel like you must do something sexually (or otherwise) for basic necessities. Even in good christian homes you will find people fighting for control of a situation by manipulation. Don’t let that take root in your marriage.
Some may argue that women are taking the power back by choosing when and where they have sex and with whom. Putting marriage and love on the back burner because they are more career focused than relationship focused. They say that they have more control than any generation before them did. I can see their argument, if I believed that they didn’t really want a strong love relationship. I would argue that this is just a ruse. All humans want a love relationship. They want to have a special connection with one person that is in their corner, someone to support them when others might not.
The problem we have is a societal one. All humans tend to follow. There are a few leaders in this world, but most people are not. These days society says that women should sleep around, women should do what pleases them. Women should be powerful and strong and take what they want. Yet it goes against our nature. We have a loving relational nature for a reason. Because we were made to be in relationship. We were made to encourage our spouses and our children. We were made to love unconditionally the man that protects us, like Jesus protects the church.
Too many men have taken advantage of our relational nature, it is too great a burden for most to actually love a woman the way God intended them to love her. They need to learn to lean on him for the strength to do this.
So most of us have given up and sought that protection on our own. I understand it, I did it myself. But we have sold our selves short in the end.
We need to take the power back. Save ourselves for those who are worthy. Fight for self respect and nurture our relational qualities. Teach our daughters to do the same. Most important, never forget that we are all messing up and need grace. Give grace to others; christians, feminists, liberals, republicans, prudes, sluts, whatever our label. Show grace and expect grace and I will try and do the same.