Free the Pussy, Free the World

I have spent nearly 30 years working in political activism. My graduate work in political psychology focused on identity, education and political involvement. I have worked from inside and outside movements. There is one thing I have seen consistently: Sexually empowered women are the most powerful force in the world.

Most cultures around the world have a lot of stigma and shame they train into women. Making us ashamed of our bodies, our sexuality, our desires and our needs works to silence and control us. Much of this shame and control is housed in religious and “moral” codes. Everything from the concept of “virginity” to controlling access to birth control, abortion and health care, to fat shaming, slut shaming, and using advertising to convince us that our body hair, our smell, our features, our pussies and our breasts are gross is all designed to silence and control us.

In the last five years I have had the great privilege of meeting women working in sex work, burlesque, sex education, kink and porn. Many of the women I have met and worked with are also the most forward-thinking, empowered activists I have ever met. It is in these circles where I get to talk to and learn from other women about issues ranging from race to class to health care to representation. It is women who love their bodies, who have not shame in who they are, who embrace their sexuality that fight tirelessly to make a difference for other people in the world.

While I have worked with plenty of other women in politics and activists groups, many of the women in these groups still hold onto shame around their bodies and the bodies of other women. When I was working for the Women’s Commission in California, I worked with many of the democratic elected officials and their staff. These women, while outspoken about needing some change, shied away from the big political fights and risks. These were also the same women who held shame (privately expressed to me) around their own bodies.

The more I have worked for radical change – moving away from capitalism, fighting for radical inclusion of POC, trans folks, queers and disabled – the more I have found these fights are only fought by women who are free from shame about their bodies and their sexuality.

Culturally we start instilling shame around a woman’s body at a very young age. We teach toddlers to cover up, we act embarrassed to talk about body parts and their functions, and for millions of girls, sexual abuse starts years before they ever reach puberty.

If we want change, real substantial change, we have to stop shaming women about their bodies and sexuality. This Women’s History Month, I challenge all of you to take a vow to empower and embolden women by working to end body shaming.

For tips and tools on how to help empower women and girls, please check out:

The Mama Sutra: Sex-positive parenting

Kenna Cook: Sex positive education for all ages

American Sex Podcast: Hosted by Sunny Megatron

Brown Chicken Brown Cow podcast

Kinky Queer Revolution podcast

Hot Over 50: Making the Beauty, Wisdom, and Anti-Aging Connection by Dr. Julie Stass

#Women #Gender #Sexuality #Shame #Politics #Movements #Power #Pussy #SexEducation #SexPositiveParenting

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