by Katie Moum on Unsplash

How DARE You Be Born a Woman: The Worldwide War on Women’s Sexuality

Dear Reader: Fair warning, this is a very frank piece about women’s lady parts and sexual abuse. If this offends you please do not read. If this enrages you, please continue. We need your voices and your actions.

Imagine that you’re a pre-pubescent girl child. You’re full of life and joy and play, you sing when you see the sun. You wake up full of energy and enthusiasm and heart. Completely, utterly innocent.

One day the village elders come to your hut, grab you and make off with you. You’re dragged off to a dark place, made to open your legs in front of these people. They forcefully remove your clitoris with a piece of sharp metal- no anesthesia, no sterilization, no mercy. Your blood runs down to the floor as you scream. You are in agony. In some cases your vaginal opening is narrowed or even stitched shut with stitches. No anesthesia. Imagine that they close your vagina over and over again during the course of your young life.

Imagine. Just imagine.

This is done to you simply because you’re a girl. That’s your crime. You’re female. Therefore your right to your own body, your own sexual desires, your right to enjoy physicality is ripped away from you with a piece of sharp metal. You can look forward to:

  • severe pain
  • excessive bleeding (haemorrhage)
  • genital tissue swelling
  • fever
  • infections e.g., tetanus
  • urinary problems
  • wound healing problems
  • injury to surrounding genital tissue
  • shock
  • death.

Long-term consequences can include:

  • urinary problems (painful urination, urinary tract infections);
  • vaginal problems (discharge, itching, bacterial vaginosis and other infections);
  • menstrual problems (painful menstruations, difficulty in passing menstrual blood, etc.);
  • scar tissue and keloid;
  • sexual problems (pain during intercourse, decreased satisfaction, etc.);
  • increased risk of childbirth complications (difficult delivery, excessive bleeding, caesarean section, need to resuscitate the baby, etc.) and newborn deaths;
  • need for later surgeries: for example, the FGM procedure that seals or narrows a vaginal opening (type 3) needs to be cut open later to allow for sexual intercourse and childbirth (deinfibulation). Sometimes genital tissue is stitched again several times, including after childbirth, hence the woman goes through repeated opening and closing procedures, further increasing both immediate and long-term risks;
  • psychological problems (depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, low self-esteem, etc.);
  • health complications of female genital mutilation-http://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/female-genital-mutilation
by Hadis Safari on Unsplash

It’s All Your Fault

How dare you be born a woman. How dare you possess the capacity for pleasure. You’re dirty, nasty, ugly, shameful. YOU are the vessel of evil. YOU are society’s problem. YOU are the reason that men are weak. YOU YOU YOU YOU. Your pleasurable girl parts have to be forcibly removed. How dare you experience desire. You are property, chattel. You have no rights.

Some 200 million women all over the world, from Africa to Asia, have been cut like this. Various justifications from religious beliefs to well, the neighbors do it have been employed to continue this evil practice. Even in America, 24 states have no laws against FGM (https://mic.com/articles/182161/24-states-have-no-laws-against-female-genital-mutilation-heres-why-that-needs-to-change#.YfqCqzAwZ). We in America in some areas are no more advanced than a dirty hut in the darkest part of Africa or Asia or the Middle East where agony and abuse are wielded with equanimity.

FGM is practiced in America as well.

How DARE you be born a woman. HOW DARE you have pleasures. HOW DARE YOU.

Religion all over the world has been used to damage, destroy and denigrate women for centuries. Centuries. Women are evil. Women’s bodies are offensive. Women are the root cause of society’s problems. Women are wanton. Dangerous. The living face of the devil. Temptation incarnate.

You are woman. You are the embodiment of evil. Because men are weak, and it’s ALL YOUR FAULT.

This horrific message, and the insane behaviors that have grown out of the belief that a woman’s ability to create life makes her terrifying, have led religious sects all over the world to do as much as possible to shame, blame and control women so that we don’t have a voice, don’t have a choice and by God, need to be cut so that we don’t wander.

And if we can’t get away with slicing the offending organs out of our genitalia, folks, then let’s put the blame for ALL society’s ills on our girl children, our girl teens, our women. Enter: evangelical Christianity.

by Julie Johnson on Unsplash

In a stunning book penned by a survivor of the purity movement that evangelical Christians leapt to embrace during the Reagan years when abstinence was embraced in the 80s, writer and survivor Linda Kay Klein describes the damage that was done to a generation of women who were taught that the entire community’s sexual health lay in THEIR hands. If they had a single thought about sex they were evil. If they had a single touch from a boy they were evil. If they dared to get kissed, they were going to spend the rest of their lives in hell. It was all their fault. Just for being girls. An entire industry burgeoned around this horror.

HOW DARE YOU BE BORN A WOMAN?

Klein’s new memoir is Pure: Inside the Evangelical Movement That Shamed a Generation of Young Women and How I Broke Free. You can hear her interview with Terri Gross of NPR here https://www.npr.org/2018/09/18/648737143/memoirist-evangelical-purity-movement-sees-womens-bodies-as-a-threat.

The extraordinary volcano of hate that is leveled at women in the world is beyond comprehension. It is present in today’s Administration where pussies are fodder for grabbing. Women are to be attacked, denigrated, mocked, and used and abused. Even in the face of the rising #MeToo Movement, there is an equal and opposing set of forces that work hard to convince our tiniest children that as girls, they have to be punished. Controlled. Mastered. Mutilated.

Girls as young as twelve are marched down the aisle in certain religious sects to men who are no more than pedophiles (PRAISE JESUS AND PASS THE TINY GIRL CHILD). Little girls are accused of wantonness and sexual abandon before they even grow pubic hair. The fact of their gender makes them evil. It’s all women’s fault. It’s all her fault for being a girl. SHAME ON HER.

That a man can’t control his urges, that he can’t develop even a modicum of self control, that he can’t respect boundaries……

Well. That of course is OUR fault for being female. What a simply extraordinary notion that to even have a single sexual thought no less is enough to shun you from your entire community. SEX. Along with survival, the single most powerful drive of all living things.

Why don’t we as a collective community, demand of men that they learn to control their urges? In other words, grow the hell up? But hey, that’s just me. If people want to argue men’s superiority, why do they argue out the other sides of their mouths that these poor creatures just can’t keep their hands off? Beats me. But then, in the hallowed folds of the cloistered religious communities, sex is one of the favorite topics of evil, even as it is practiced religiously against the helpless.

Yes I am angry about it. And we wonder why people have left organized religion in droves. Why Millennials don’t choose to believe. Why we don’t- and can’t- trust religious leaders, and leaders in general. Anyone in power.

We are huge consumers of child pornography. Mexico is the world’s number one producer (https://www.insightcrime.org/news/brief/mexico-is-world-leader-in-child-pornography/). Just exactly who do you think the consumers are? It’s the same as the drug trade, folks. If there were no demand, there would be no drug trafficking. If twisted people didn’t want to look at and abuse children, there would be no child sex trafficking. Oh, Americans love their children all, right. Let us count the ways. However this is hardly a local problem. Kindly, see prime example #1: the Catholic Church. We Holy SEE you.

by Adrien Olichon on Unsplash

No wonder this story got me hopping mad. As I sat in my car and cried as I listened to Klein talk, I felt the same kind of impotence that I had when a senior military officer forced himself on me in his psychologist’s office. I had no way to escape, no way to protect myself, no choice in the matter. He outranked me. I had to report to him regularly for “counseling.” Well of course I did. How handy for that POS.

If you get raped, ladies, that’s your fault. It’s in your nature. No matter that you’re only eight years old. YOU did it. HE, an adult man of thirty, can’t control himself. You are the embodiment of evil.

This is the kind of insanity that permeates such actions. To forcefully rip out any semblance of sexuality from a girl child to ensure that as an adult she will do nothing but bear children, and bear mute witness.

by Prince Akachi on Unsplash

Today, some three million girls are at risk for FGM. Vastly more are at risk for abuse, for rape, for attacks. According to Equality Now, some 7% of the world’s women and girls have been raped (https://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net/equalitynow/pages/208/attachments/original/1527096293/EqualityNowRapeLawReport2017_Single_Pages.pdf?1527096293).

Of course I can relate. There was no justice for that man, except that he died young and I am still standing. Good f*cking riddance, you bastard. I didn’t sign up for multiple rapes in the military, a so-called “officer and a gentleman.” Right. I signed up to serve my country, not service some married man with two young children simply because I was handy. Pretty enlisted girls were- and still are — nothing more than a smorgasbord. In precisely the same way that pretty village girls are nothing more than a smorgasbord. It’s no different in a so-called civilized country than in a backwoods hut.

Girls are evil. They need to be punished. Including in America. Christianity, Mormonism, Islam…. patriarchal religions are such a handy tools to justify evil by placing the blame on our busts.

We Americans love to take a moral high road in the world on these issues even as we elect a known rapist for President. Elect Senators and Congressmen who are criminally ignorant about women’s bodies. We allow books written by men who hated and feared women (Bibles, anyone? That’s not the only source, but here’s a good start: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-secular-life/201610/trumps-sexism-is-deeply-biblical) to justify horrific abuse.

by Soragrit Wongsa on Unsplash

The best gauge for an advanced civilization is how it treats its women, girls and animals. In that measurement, we are an international embarrassment. We have no moral footing to stand upon. When Oklahoma judges can rule that rape by oral sex isn’t rape (https://www.glamour.com/story/this-oklahoma-ruling-about-rape-will-make-your-blood-boil) and a boy with a great swimming record can get off (pun intended) with only three months served after raping an unconscious woman next to a dumpster, https://www.cnn.com/2016/09/02/us/brock-turner-release-jail/index.html, we have no moral ground to stand upon.

It was her fault. Of course it was. She was unconscious at the time. But she was asking for it.

Of course she was.

Simply by being female, by being in close proximity. Having tits and a pussy. How dare we even get born?

I don’t have to be a feminist to be deeply offended by how women are treated. For those of us who have spent our entire lives groped, gaped at, attacked and denigrated, NO. This is about humanism.

Religion, when it’s manipulated by grotesquely twisted men (and their equally twisted, guilt-ridden women co-conspirators) into an excuse for abuse, isn’t religion. It’s slightly-veiled torture.

Add this to the insane, bipolar message that we as women MUST be sexy, MUST be alluring, then we are brutalized for being sexy and alluring, or brutalized because we’re not. Pardon me, but you don’t get to have this all ways- we do our level best to be sexy then you justify raping and beating us because you can’t control yourself?

Unh-uh. Nope.

Do I hate men? Not by a long shot. I am supremely fortunate to have a terrific partner who is horrified- as are all good and decent men- by the viciousness perpetrated on half of humanity in the name of culture, religion and righteousness. There are heroes among us. Just not enough of them. And certainly not enough in government, in law enforcement, in our courts.

by Patricia Prudente on Unsplash

There are Nicaraguan fathers who have run to our borders with their girl children in arms to protect them from drug gangs threatening to gang rape their babies. There, IMS officials rip their babies from their arms, and those innocents are potentially the easy targets of abusers. Of course they are. How handy. https://www.revealnews.org/article/migrant-children-sent-to-shelters-with-histories-of-abuse-allegations/ and https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2018/08/02/phoenix-migrant-childrens-shelter-charged-with-sexual-abuse-of-a-14-year-old-girl/?utm_term=.56df08760fd5.

A smorgasbord. Paid for by your current Administration, a government full of uber religious woman haters and woman abusers.

I love and admire good men. I love and admire those who join the fight against the war on women. However we are a long way from winning it, when our elected officials are part of the problem. When our legal system continues to blame women for being the temptress, and a poor guy just can’t control himself.

Aw gee, your Honor, I just had to f*ck her and beat the holy shit out of her. She was right there in front me. She was asking for it.

No problem sir, you’re free to go. I totally understand. That damned slut shouldn’t have been walking her dog at 7 pm in the park anyway. How dare she?

Everybody knows it’s our fault.

If you are as incensed as I am, if this offends you at least as much as it does me, get out and vote. If you hurt for our collective humanity as much as I do about these issues, get out and vote. That much we can do. As well as educate our children, to stop this insanity.

I appreciate and value writers like Vienna de Vega who celebrate and elevate women’s sexuality and sensuality. Those are our birthright. If you are a believer, let me put it this way: they were God given. We have nothing to apologize for and everything to appreciate.

I can’t speak for anyone else. But for every other rape and abuse survivor, and we are legion, we need to speak up this November. This needs to be a political blood bath. Put women in office where they belong. Put them back in power where they belong. Put heart back into our humanity, where it belongs. Put the good men, the thoughtful humanitarians into office.

Stop the insanity. We HAVE a voice. Let’s use it.