Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Ain't I a woman??!

*EXPLICIT CONTENT ALERT*  

Please be advised that I will be discussing genitalia, sexuality, and other topics that may be considered 'offensive' to some. While it is not my intent to offend, the following post will contain my undiluted and unapologetic opinions on sensitive matters.  Consider your sanctified self warned!

[Note: The title of this post came from a momentous speech of the same name, originally given by Sojourner Truth.]

Detaching my femininity from my sexuality (or lack thereof?) is becoming somewhat of a serious issue for me.  This has nothing to do with gender or sexual orientation, so let's just get that straight [pun definitely intended].  But I have been grappling with the proper expression of my second X chromosome, as in "How should a single Christian woman celebrate her womanhood?" Outside of being married and having children, is it still considered a celebration?  From my experience, not quite.

A Christian woman getting engaged is celebrated.  A Christian woman getting married is celebrated.  A Christian woman being single is... tolerated; pitied; prayed for; encouraged to 'hold on' until she can finally snag some fool who will put a ring on it a husband finds her. All the time that passes—the season of singlenessuntil that momentous occasion is supposed to be a gift that we cherish.  [Umm, I didn't get a receipt with this gift...can I re-gift this or trade in for an upgrade??]  How do I feel fulfilled as a woman in my spiritual community since I'm not [yet] in a position to play the 'traditional' feminine roles of wife and mother?  Now, I know that all unmarried saved sisters aren't made to feel that way, but I’m willing to bet that a good number of you can relate. 

I’m to the point where I feel like the only way I know I’m a woman is because I have breasts and a vagina.  I hate reducing my femininity to my body but in the absence of traditional female roles, society—and perhaps the church culture, overallwould have me believe that I don’t have much else to show for it.  In some ways, I may have slurped up all that Kool-Aid because many times I stare at myself naked in the mirror and my train of thought revolves around my perception of what my future husband will think of me. Either it’s “I am one sexy beast! *rawr*  Where's my husband to appreciate all this hotness?!” OR “You’re gross! Who’s gonna wanna look at this for the rest of his life?!”  Ummm, what about what I think of MY body??   Well, ladies (and any brave gentlemen reading this), that question prompted me to do some searching within myself—in the most literal way possible—to truly discover what it means to be fearfully and wonderfully made… "down there".

Aside from your middle school sex-ed class or annual pelvic exam, how often are you made aware of your vagina?  Maybe you said “Once a month.”, or something more *ahem* interesting if you're a single, saved woman.  So, recently I took a mirror and looked at my vagina.  YES, I DID!! I wanted to behold this special treasure I'd been keeping on lock all these years for the husband who has yet to arrive. And I felt a range of emotions: freaked out yet fascinated; strangely satisfying for my curiosity; sinful, even. Is that just me?  I wondered, "Am I normal?"; "What does a normal vagina even look like?"; "Why did God design it to look like that?"; "What will my husband think of it?"; "If my vagina could talk, what would she say?"  (OK, so I didn't actually think about what she would say... but it does kinda make you wonder. Doesn't it?)

Whenever I go for my annual, I always have a million questions running through my head that I never have the nerve to ask.  But mostly, I've thought of asking if I could look while the doctor was doing the exam. Who even does that: asks her gynecologist to use a mirror so she could see her ladyparts being poked and prodded??  A woman who doesn't depend on another for validation of her own body--that's who!  Even though the doctor always ends the painful and awkward procedure by telling me "Everything looks normal", I'm not even sure why I would feel intimidated about requesting a front row seat to see what my vagina's "normal" actually looks like.  Otherwise, I'll be forever dependent on someone else, whether my gynecologist or my future husband, to know the ins and outs of my vagina better than I do.  Sorry, but that makes absolutely no sense to me.  Should that level of knowing include what it feels like?  Why not? I'm neither promoting nor condemning masturbation/self-love/spelunking(?) here, but from a health/medical perspective, women are instructed to do self breast exams every month so that we will be the first to notice any lumps.  Unless you had a frame of reference for how your breasts felt, you wouldn't be able to detect anything abnormal.  Why not the same for your vagina?

So what's my point after all this ranting and raving about female genitalia?  Christians need to quit pussy-footing tip-toeing around the topic of sexual self-awareness for women who aren't having sex.  Simply put--let's just talk it out.  Sometimes, all we want is to express our frustration and fascination without feeling judged as carnal and looked at with pitiful pooh-pooh faces.  I was able to vent here on my blog but I think many women would appreciate the opportunity to share their feelings directly with others who can relate.  If anyone wants to continue the conversation, holla and we'll make it happen.  If not, that's fine, too... but at least I've made my position known.

In closing, I'll share a gem that I came across while searching about single Christian sexuality.  Apparently, a woman by the name of Susan E. Isaacs has hacked my mind on this topic and made a video clip of what she found in there.  It is quite epic.  And on that note...

Be blessed while celebrating your womanhood,
pVI


4 comments:

  1. Ok why did I think spelunking was a Winter Olympic sport?

    My GP told me to do the mirror thing years ago. That was an interesting day:).

    I do think that in certain segments of society a woman's sexuality has been reduced to child bearing and pleasing a husband. What about those women who have no interest in children? What about the women who have not found a husband, or may not be interested in marriage? I don't have any answers. I am interested in the discussion.

    Gwan with your bad self and your grown woman talk :).

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  2. Wellll, maybe if you went poking around during winter months it 'might' be considered a sport...(?) LOL I'm a mess!!

    But you raise some valid points that are largely neglected in "the conversation" at large. I'm willing to tackle these in the future after gathering various viewpoints 'cause I surely don't have answers, either. But thanks for the thoughtful contributions, girl!

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  3. I feel you here!! Until I got with a guy and let things go a little too far than originally planned, I honestly didn't know what was going on down there. I never really "looked" at myself to see what my future man would see. And when I did, after being on this earth for a hot little minutes, was like "What. the. hell?" lol Didn't even really know what all of stuff was. Sadly though, there are girls like me who will probably go even longer without understanding what they're working with for the exact reason it took me so long. Your vagina belongs to your husband. Or at least that's how it is seemingly portrayed. I'm all down for keeping it under lock and key til marriage, but I do believe that we need to not only understand ourselves better, but be able to get to know that area. We shouldn't be discovering dips and folds 25-45 yrs into life when we get married.

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  4. Allison J, I can completely relate! It was my intimate encounters with my b/f at the time that got me curious about my anatomy. He actually saw 'it' before I did... imagine that! I am all for encouraging Christian women to become completely comfortable with our own bodies--we were fearfully and wonderfully made, even down there. At the most basic level, it's about health and positive body image. Shoo, I should be able to pick my own vagina out of lineup (and so should my hubby when he comes along)! ;-)

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