The problem with using overt sexuality as a form of woman's empowerment.

There's a little life motto that I believe applies to just about every situation:

"Everything in moderation."

Anytime you overload on something, whether it is anger, food, alcohol or shopping, there's a problem. Sex is certainly no exception to that rule.

There's a new (or maybe not so new) brand of tweeters on the scene: women who over share on Twitter about their sexual experiences. They tweet about sex all day long... sex vines, explicit sex photos, pictures of booties (their own and others) and of course the occasional tweet that's says "just so you (the world) knows, I'm having sex right now!" Okay, thanks for letting us know!

"But isn't that just a porn account?" you might ask. Actually, no, it's something a bit more insidious.

A lot of these accounts are run by every day women -- some of whom even openly identify themselves as feminists.

I get the feeling that we have somehow found ourselves in a place where a twisted ideal of feminism is trying to take over social media: women who believe in overt sexual expression as a way to “empower” themselves. These women are trying to encourage other young women to embrace their "inner ho" (their word, not mine) and take back that word from men the same way black people have tried (and failed) to take back the N-word.

So What? Isn't it a Woman's Choice What She Does with Her Body?
Of course it is. I’m not put here on earth to judge a woman for what she chooses to do with her body and you will not ever find me calling another sister a ho. What you choose to do in the comfort of your bedroom is nobody's business but your own. No one has room to judge how often you have sex or the number of partners you have in a given day. Your body, your choice.

But when you go out of your way to publicize it, you're now making it an issue up for public consumption and discussion. Social media is crawling with impressionable young black girls who aspire to be empowered feminists and womanists, and that's where I see this as problematic. Here are the main problems I see with this new way of being "empowered":

1) It empowers men more than it empowers women. If these women are 100% honest with themselves they would admit that they do what they do not because it empowers women -- they do it to grab and keep the attention of men. Attention is the main goal here, and any type of attention is fine -- both good and bad.

As for men, they love it!  They sop it all up with a biscuit. These women are encouraging young women to give up sex with no strings as a way of being liberated, so of course men are going to sit back and become fans of this idea.

2) Having a lot of sex with random men actually takes power away from women. Excessive sex puts women in a very vulnerable place. Anyone who has had sex with even one guy knows that all it takes is ONE mistake with the wrong person at the wrong moment and you could have a world of problems. Stressing for days, hands shaking as you clutch a pregnancy test or sitting in a dank clinic waiting for results… I don't find that empowering at all, do you? And please don't start with that spiel about "safe sex" because condoms can break. If you have sex with 20+ different guys a week there's no way to know that all of your partners are getting tested regularly.

In fantasy land women can have sex with tons of guys and every one of them are all squeaky clean with nothing being transmitted from one person to another. In reality the more partners you have, the higher the chance of STDs being transmitted and other complications, so the less empowered you are over your life and your future.

3) It reinforces the "Jezebel" stereotype that has plagued black women for decades. Black women in America have been reduced to sexual objects since the days of slavery. When we embrace this identity openly and publicly it reinforces the stereotype. It's no secret that a lot of men of all races show an interest in black women because of a fetish or they've "heard" that black women are freaks. Black women who aren't down with that program have a hard time trusting and building romantic relationships with men when this mentality prevails. Also, when the world looks at you as an “object” there’s a lack of respect that spills over into other areas of our lives.

Love Over Sex, All Day Long Baby
What this all comes down to is self-esteem, self-worth and self-love. Sex is one element of life, but it is not all that life's about. Sex feeds the body temporarily -- LOVE feeds your soul all day long.

Love doesn't always just show up on your door step with a dozen roses -- you have to actively attract it into your life. If all you're getting right now is men who come to you for sex, or men who mistreat you, that's what you're attracting to yourself. You decide your life story.

So my main focus in writing this post is to reach young black women and girls with a different message from what they may be seeing on their Twitter and social media timelines every day. No matter what they say, a lot of those women are not happy -- they are searching for healing in the form of attention from men. Please do not model your life after someone who uses a message of "sexual empowerment" as a crutch. You can do much better than that!

Solution: actively seek empowerment in the form of genuine love, financial independence, emotional strength, helping your fellow sisters and having complete control over what happens in your life.




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