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Surely you saw this post in HuffPo a few days ago, where "20-something" Meg tells all the women why they should have sex with their husbands every day.
She reminds us how great it is to "[find] yourself through the touch of someone else" and recall "I am a woman!" Oh, and of course we all need a moment each day when 'it's just the two of us,'" and sex relieves stress and it's fun (source). Yes, those are four of her five reasons, and while ridiculous in their heteronormative, 1950s-throwback assumptions (Um, sometimes it's the mom who works and some women have wives, and motherhood is not "one of the ultimate expressions of motherhood" for many women), I can sort of get behind the fun, stress relieving, reconnecting aspects of sex with one's partner.
As a whole, however, I want to respond with a list of "5 Reasons you should stop telling strangers how to run their sex lives," but I really only have one reason, but it's really all we need: Because it's none of your freaking business, lady.
Women and men "should" have sex whenever they freaking feel like it.
Should we go on?
Why? Because while this woman's lecture is ridiculous (um, some "20-something" on the internet with one kid (one kid, people) thinking she's well positioned to tell the rest of married [heterosexuals] how to run their lives in the bedroom), two of her "reasons" reflect powerfully dangerous, misogynistic cultural narratives.
First, call me crazy, but I don't "find myself" in the arms of my husband. Oddly, my femininity and sense of self are not defined, bolstered or renewed through sexual contact with a man. In fact, my identity is not tied up with any external entity. The idea that my identity as a woman, as a human, is contingent upon or related in any way to a penis in the bedroom is just a new spin on the same old B.S. princess story: "Oh as soon as I find my prince I'll be whole and my life will have meaning and we'll live happily ever after!"
Nope. I "remember who I am" through my intelligence, my talents, my accomplishments, as well as my sexuality. I "remember who I am" because I am who I am alone, separate and apart from all that surrounds me. I don't need a male or female or magazine or whatever the hell to complete me, define me, or make me feel whole and solid, or remind me what or "who I am."
And yes, I too am a stay-at-home mom and yes, I too enjoy physical intimacy and orgasm (obviously), and I am damn proud of my identity as a mother and wife. I do most of the housework and daily child-rearing and my husband works 12-hour days to enable me to do that. I have four kids. We have a very "traditional" arrangement at the moment, but I certainly don't need an hour of sex to remind me each day that "I am a woman!" (source).
My life is a testimony of who I am: the way I raise my kids. The way I treat people. The home I've created. The articles I write and the classes I teach (which I will again). My brain. My friends. My past and present.
This is me
But this is only my version of "womanhood." This is how I express femininity and the female gender. There are no universal expressions of femininity or masculinity, and any attempt to create them results in the destructive gender stereotypes many of us are working to dismantle. This writer attempts to define not only womanhood, but manhood as well.
Sit down, take a deep breath, and read this:
"If you want your husband to act like a man, you need to treat him like a man. Hold the eye rolls. I am not pushing for a return to the 1950s. (Although, heaven knows an era in which low-rise jeans did not exist is basically alright by me.) Women need any number of criteria met to feel loved. Men are far simpler. They need to be fed, they need to be appreciated, and they need to have sex. That is it. Really... And my goodness, let the poor man see you naked. It is astounding what a good man will do for a good woman that has made him feel loved. After a few weeks of meals and make outs, you will sit back and wonder why you didn't insist on having sex every night sooner. Talk about a small investment and big returns" (source).
Oh God help us. Let me take a moment to gather myself after that sexist, rape culture-infused vomit across a page. Men need sex to feel loved? They just need food and sex? Wow. Thank you, Meg. Thank you for furthering the idiotic idea that men are emotionless animals who need only food and sex; that a male-female relationship is all-emotion for the female and all-physical for the male. Right. Yes. That's sure good for our boys. That's a wonderful mentality to push on our sons. "Hey there Johnny, what you need to find is a woman who will cook for you and give you lots of sex. Then you shall be happy and thrive."
What an excellent way to promote emotional maturity, compassion and sensitivity in our boys, and make sure our daughters grow up knowing they should be expected to be loved for their brains (as opposed to their vaginas and ability to prepare sustenance).
What year is it?
Yes, and women, of course, are the gentler, more delicate, emotional sex. We need talking and coddling and lots of hand-holding. We're just so sensitive and emotional. And the idea that women are responsible for making men "feel like men" and the way they do that is by having sex with them perpetuates the idea that women owe their bodies to men. Disgusting.
Holy hell. I just can't take it.
How do people not see what they're saying? How do they not see how destructive it is to men and women to make statements like "men only need food and sex to feel loved?"
Once again, this poses men as consumers of the woman's body. All we have to do is let them see us naked and we can control them. With sex and nakedness, we render those poor boys powerless, and boom. We own them. And they can't control themselves. They fall victim to our wiles.
This is the root of rape culture, people. This woman is promoting the same mentality that justifies rape because a girl was dressed immodestly and therefore "asking for it." You see, if a man is rendered powerless by nakedness, he obviously can't help himself, right? He's just so "simple."
So a woman's power is her vagina.
And the man's weakness is her vagina.
So if she shows too much, he's rendered powerless, and therefore, it's her fault. She was asking for it.
And rape culture continues.