Kathy’s Window: Modesty and consent – who do girls’s our bodies belong to anyway?

Kathy’s Window: Modesty and consent – who do women’s bodies belong to anyway?

An over-50 Era Xer sees life by a brand new lens: Kathy’s Window is the place Kathy shares her ideas on the world by a brand new lens. From rising up within the 70s and 80s to having three Era-Z youngsters, and going by sure experiences in her life, she now sees the world another way. Concepts that had been thought of the norm within the 70s, 80s and 90s are actually not socially related or acceptable. Kathy explores the brand new concepts by the lens of somebody who has been on either side of the ‘glass’.

GROWING up, I used to be taught as a feminine to cowl up any elements of my physique that could possibly be deemed ‘attractive’. Within the church ‘department’ I belonged to, it was thought of a sin to decorate ‘seductively’ or to indicate an excessive amount of pores and skin. I’m not speaking about streaking or strutting round in your lingerie. I’m speaking about mini skirts or crop tops or low necklines. The motion was dangerous as a result of it will trigger our ‘brothers to stumble’. In different phrases, if that they had sexual ideas about us, they might be sinning. So, it was ‘unkind and flawed’ to place them in that place.

As a result of I used to be within the church from a younger age, I grew up with robust modesty morals. Then, years later, when my day job was in a church, I turned obsessive about modesty. I used to be afraid of being judged as sinful and the resultant feeling of disgrace that comes from being deemed ‘not ok’. I hated anybody to assume that I used to be attempting to tempt married males to sin. It turned so dangerous that I might do up each button after I wore a collared shirt to work, and if the highest button wasn’t proper by my neck, I might pin that part along with a security pin to the purpose the place I used to be nearly being choked by the neckline. I felt deeply self-conscious across the males on the church, particularly in the event that they had been married. If I assumed they might be interested in me in any manner, I used to be responsible as a result of I had prompted that. My discomfort round them solely compounded the problem (as they sensed my nervousness and have become uncomfortable, too) and deepened my disgrace.

ALSO READ: Kathy’s Window: One in all my deepest regrets in life

After popping out of the church, it took me years to heal on this space. I started to return throughout materials on-line that blew open my thoughts. I realised that I wasn’t answerable for the ideas or actions of others. And that sexual ideas weren’t flawed – it’s what individuals did with them that mattered – how they handled others. (And that ladies even have sexual ideas, and that males aren’t these uncontrollable monsters which are raging with lust – they’re simply regular sexual human beings like most of us are – besides those that are asexual.)

I realized about rape tradition and the objectification of ladies’s our bodies and the way girls are blamed in the event that they get raped for ‘dressing badly’ as in the event that they had been asking for somebody to be violent towards them – to be sexual with them with out their consent. That ladies’s our bodies are for show functions and never far more essential issues like doing stuff that we take pleasure in, enjoying sport, dancing, working, resting, consuming, swimming, being. Now, I’m fairly offended about the entire thing!

Our our bodies belong to us alone

I realized in regards to the idea of consent – that ladies’s our bodies belong to them and don’t belong to their husband or anybody else. That we’re allowed to say no if we don’t need to partake in a sexual exercise of any form once we are having an informal or dedicated relationship or are married. That we ought to be revered and our our bodies’ responses taken critically. That we’re sexual beings, too, and deserve a sexual associate to be thoughtful of our needs and never simply theirs – {that a} good relationship is predicated on mutual consideration and communication. That we will costume nonetheless we like – clearly to a degree – the place we don’t cross authorized boundaries and stay respectful to our tradition at massive. If we need to put on a mini skirt or crop high, why not? I imply, on this scorching summer season, it will be much more comfy for some.

The ‘Me Too’ motion

Lately, after the ‘Me Too’ motion, an increasing number of girls are talking out about their rights to their very own our bodies and about consent. These days, consent is the brand new chivalry. Ladies discover it romantic to be requested, at each step, whether or not they need to partake in an exercise, from holding arms to BDSM. Why is that this so essential? Nicely, for one, girls are autonomous human beings who deserve simply as a lot respect and sexual pleasure as males. And doing one thing that somebody doesn’t need isn’t solely missing in respect for that individual, however it’s a violation and abusive, and it’s not pleasurable. And effectively, it’s not a good way to construct a powerful relationship.

Ladies have been silenced as a result of some males don’t need to come clean with the instances they might have crossed these strains and completed issues with out consent. Whether or not by ignorance or purposeful hurt, it’s time for males (and likewise girls) in all places to take accountability for a way they deal with others. It’s time to alter the dynamics. Sure, there are generally girls who falsely accuse males of issues they didn’t do as a method of revenge or to get consideration, eg, with a star. It’s a chance that somebody like Amber Heard did that with Johnny Depp. However, these situations are much less frequent than the true situations of abuse. So, everybody ought to have an opportunity to have their say. (And I’m not saying that ladies don’t abuse males and likewise girls in relationships.)

ALSO READ: #16DaysOfActivism: What to do if you’re a sufferer of sexual violence

In all, I received’t decide somebody who clothes modestly. The truth is, I’m nonetheless fairly a modest dresser because it’s ingrained in me and I’m a little bit of a people-pleaser. I’d relatively be thought of staid than slutty. And if somebody’s religion makes them consider that it’s essential to be modest, allow them to maintain that as a sacred follow. However I hope that everybody, together with these of religion, will realise that ladies’s our bodies should not ornaments, sexual objects, or sinful. That we use our our bodies for all types of issues, they usually belong to us and solely us, and we will select to do with them no matter we want. And we deserve to face up for our safety and respect always!


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