Where do we draw the line between sexual freedom and attention seeking behavior that debases the image of young girls and women?
I have noticed that the younger crop of feminists (18-25) are very adamant about expressing their sexual freedoms. I remember reading a story where some women were more upset about being called ladies than being called hos!
Unfortunately, this mindset has evolved into a free-for-all where even women who spread their legs for selfies are being adamantly defended by young feminist voices. They also defend twerking with a passion, even though young black girls age 13 and up are now putting on booty shorts and shaking their assets in front of cameras for likes and attention (no one sees their face or what's going on in their heads, because who cares about that right?) There are a few prominent self-proclaimed feminist voices who talk about sex and post booty shaking videos as if these things are the focal point of life for black women.
Here's the thing: as an adult you are free to do whatever you want to do in your life. It's called free will. Some things may get you some social disapproval, some worse, but it's all ultimately your choice.
But if you call yourself a feminist or a womanist (the latter is my preference) I feel that you are a part of a vast sisterhood. Your actions (and inactions) can both directly and indirectly affect your fellow sisters, especially the younger ones, now and into the future.
No matter how you slice it, a woman who objectifies her body without balance is putting out a certain energy and image to the world that can do damage to the energy and image of women and girls all over the world if it becomes the norm.
So no, as a womanist you will not find me crusading on the behalf of narcissistic selfie queens on Twitter, women who set "thirst traps" or women who purposely dress half naked to get the sexual attention of men. My goal on social media is not to get more male attention -- the vast majority of people who I follow on social media are black women because that is my target audience. That's my focus for this particular blog.
A good portion of the women who demand sexual freedom in the name of feminism aren't doing these things for the purpose of empowerment -- they are doing it for the benefit and attention of MEN, period. Let's be honest with ourselves.
Expressing your personal opinions and leanings is a clearcut human right (freedom of expression) but it could have consequences, as we've seen countless times in recent media stories.
Women should not feel ashamed of their bodies or desires, but we also have to know where to draw the line between artistic free expression and desperate, attention-seeking behaviors that don't actually benefit women or girls as a whole in any way.
A question to think about: are the ideas of womanism and feminism more about the good of an individual or the good of the many women that exist in this world?