So awhile ago Beyonce came out with a self titled album that everyone went crazy over! I mean chick just dropped an album, didn’t warn nobody, didn’t put out any bulletins, no promotion what-so-ever. Just bam bish, here I am, now love it! And, welp, they did. Yes, that’s right, I said they. I am not a Beyonce stan nor fan. I don’t dislike her, I just have no use for her. I usually like one or two songs on any of her album, but that’s it. She doesn’t do it for me, and I’m cool with that. I tried. I went to her concert waiting to be converted into a fan, but it just didn’t happen. Cool. I do love how she just dropped this last album with mucho confidence. That’s hot! Anywho, this isn’t an entry about Beyonce. It’s about one song that I I quasi-like on her album – flawless. I dislike it because Beyonce comes across as prideful and I got real sick of her using the Lord’s name in vain real fast. But I digress. I like the song because of the following spoken word piece that was incorporated into the song:
“We teach girls to shrink themselves, to make themselves smaller
We say to girls – you can have ambition, but not too much
You should aim to be successful but not too successful otherwise you will threaten the man
Because I am female I am expected to aspire to marriage
I am expected to make my life choices always keeping in mind that marriage is the most important
A marriage can be a source of joy and love and mutual support
But why do we teach girls to aspire to marriage and we don’t teach boys the same?
We raise girls to see each other as competitors not for jobs or for accomplishments,
Which I think can be a good thing
But for the attention of men
We teach girls that they cannot be sexual beings in the way that boys are
Feminist: A person who believes in the economic, social and political equality of the sexes.” -Chimamanda
This pieced made me feel inspired, yet gave me so much to chew on because being a mother means I have to think twice about everything. I couldn’t just be inspired by this poem, or ride on the high of it. I had to actually digest it’s meaning and acknowledge the parts she speaks of that play a part in how I raise Johanna. I highlighted the line We teach girls that they cannot be sexual beings in the way that boys are for a reason. I did it because it is true, I did it because I fear raising Johanna this way, and I did it because I fear not raising Johanna this way.
As a child my mother taught me sex was dirty. It’s something that you just don’t do. You love God? You don’t have sex. You’re a good girl? You don’t even think about it. You don’t feel attraction. You pray away chemistry. And if a boy even looks your way you just keep right on walking because they only want you for one thing, and that’s sex and sex is bad. Whoa! Every single thing I learned about sex from my mother was negative. I was never taught the beautiful side of it, and by that I actually do mean the after “I do” side of it. I was never taught how to enjoy it. I was taught it was a very dirty thing that only very dirty girls did.
This revelation of what sex was created a separation between my mother and I. A painful one. It didn’t allow me to go to her for anything. Not for the time I lost my virginity, nor for the time that I was raped. I experienced my first miscarriage in her house, but without her. For a long time I couldn’t forgive her for that and I was angry that I had to deal with it on my own.
And now I have my own daughter. My own very precious gift from God. And while I want nothing more than to protect her from, well, everything, I don’t want her growing up hating sex, or feeling disgusted about the natural changes in her own body. But what exactly does it mean for a female to be a sexual being? When is it too much? As women we straddle that line between sexual liberation and promiscuity all the time. That line is way too thin. One moment we’re sexy the next moment we’re being called la whore.
I know I’m a long way off from having to deal with this, but the time will come eventually when we have to talk to Johanna about love and sex and God’s plan for us. About body changes, hormones, and oh dear God…boys. But the way it’s presented to her could be the difference between her trusting me and telling me what she’s experiencing with her body and peer pressure she may feel, and her dealing with it on her own feeling lonely and lacking confidence.
As for me, believe it or not I still struggle with the sex=dirty thing sometimes, yes, even though I’m married. The thought creeps in every once in a blue moon and I pray THAT thought away. It works for me.
Tell me moms and dads, what will you, or do you teach your daughters about sexuality/sexual freedom? A momma needs some guidance!