In my art class, I was enthusiastically talking about my participation in an upcoming art show for the local Honey Festival themed “Feminine Legacy”. A man chimed in to rant about how we oughtn’t get too enthusiastic about a social dynamic that turns females into Queens while the males run around doing all the work to service the royal tyrant. Regardless of whatever additional baggage was behind his wary concern, one thing this man clearly did not know, however, is that the honeybee colony possibly represents a dreamy ideal for human males, as the male bees simply hang out waiting to have sex!
But, in dreary reality, human males cannot expect to experience that luxury, because of the heavy burden that sexually disempowered women continue to carry, which brings a distorted mindset into the sexual dynamic. Thus, our sexual economy is still imbalanced, tottering around the scarcity model, with women thinking men are voracious pigs and men often feeling manipulated by the sexual transaction.
Whereas (somewhat like those bees), in human matriarchal societies, it has been observed that sex tends to be freely enjoyed by all parties, that good-time happy reality does not manifest in a patriarchal system. This happens for the very simple reason that a patriarchal structure demands paternity certainty (or knowing who your kids are), which demands control over female sexuality, which ultimately brings us to where we’re at right now, which is female sexual disempowerment.
The problem, however, is that we females don’t think we’re disempowered. We tend to think we’re all out of the woods as high-powered working, voting, active, engaged, modern American women. We’re distracted by our focus on reproductive rights, gay rights, minority rights, and so forth– everything but what’s really going on deep inside of our minds and our bodies regarding our relationship to sex. We’re too busy attending to everyone else’s needs to attend to our sexuality, which we’ve more or less successfully learned to stick away on a shelf.
To reverse this, we females must work our busy little butts off to reclaim our sexuality that has been buried by a social tradition designed to squelch it. This does not look like duking it out with men. We’ve done plenty of that. It doesn’t look like social reform. That will only stick if we transform ourselves from the inside out, which nobody is really doing because of all of those outward distractions mentioned above. And, also, nobody’s doing it because it involves stepping out of the comfort zone of normal life, which is, well, uncomfortable (but that’s what really living feels like much of the time). What this thing looks like is really taking stock of the attitudes we have towards our bodies, to each other, about men and sex and sexual relationships. This is where the revolution lies, and until it is undertaken, we will always be swimming against the tide. We can’t make full progress in equal rights and democracy if we do not do the work of dredging out the remnants of sex-negativity that are distorting our attitudes, both men and women, and weighing us down on the inside. We simply can’t fake our way to real freedom.
So, please, sisters. Get busy living. Buzz around. Do the waggle dance! Question (and then explore) every assumption you have about your sexual needs, desires, relationships and identity. Ask yourself what you really want and give yourself permission to go about finding out what you really need to discover a more vital, authentic and satisfying relationship with your body, sexually and otherwise. With creativity, you can do this in or out of a committed, exclusive sexual relationship. If you’re in one, try getting your partner intimately involved. If you’re not in one, you’ve got unlimited parameters to go out and play the field in an unfettered fashion. So get out there and discover. You are the final authority on yourself, but only after you have really done serious work to dig yourself out of your own socialized positions. Until then, trust no one, not even you, because you have been thoroughly trained from day one in a very particular direction.
Generally, as women, this training causes you to confuse your emotional and sexual needs and desires. It trains you to disassociate from your physical, sexual impulses. It trains you to treat sexual relationships as a means to an end (i.e. security) rather than a joyful end, in and of itself. This last one leads to all of the nasty relational drama played out between men and women (as well as in gay relationships). The list goes on and on, but this should get you started. Have fun!