Women and sexuality

Women Embracing Their Sexuality Should Not Be Objectified

Moreover for women, being sexual is often misunderstood as something inappropriate. Whereas in fact, the definition of the phrase ‘being sexual’ itself is about a person who is embracing, having and expressing sexual feelings, attractions and behaviors toward other people.

Women have been nothing but an object for society for ages, especially men. Not just that, women also have been oppressed by men for the longest in history until the first wave of feminism movement was first declared in 1848 during the first formal Women’s Right Convention in Seneca Falls, New York.

Talking about women however often tied us back to the word ‘sex’. Society commonly labeled the word ‘sex’ with something dirty, taboo, or anything that aroused some sexual actions and behaviors related. 

Hence the phrase ‘being sexual’ when it comes to sexuality is often misunderstood as something inappropriate. Whereas in fact, the definition of the phrase ‘being sexual’ itself is about a person who is embracing, having, and expressing sexual feelings, attractions and behaviors toward other people. Everyone expresses sexual attraction, not just women. Therefore, ‘being sexual’ is a really common and general feeling between a person and another person.

Also Read: Online Games: Why Misogynist Put Women As Objects

On the other hand, the phrase ‘being sexualized’ tends to be tied more to women than to men. Sexualization happens when a person tries to make someone or something ‘sexually’ exciting and pleasing for everyone to see. No matter how a person expresses themselves, people will always find a way to view it as something sexual. 

No matter how someone tries to value themself, people will always view them as an object of their sexual fantasy. However they dress or behave, there is always someone who will find their way to objectively sexualize them. So basically, ‘being sexualized’ is an act of making something non-sexual look sexual.

Thus, why is this important? How does it affect us, women, and how does it affect society? Why do society need to understand the difference? 

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The answer for all of those questions is because this topic is connected to the system that society mostly followed until now, which is patriarchy. It’s not something new that patriarchy has been an ongoing thing that’s been happening for ages. The system itself has been degrading and oppressing women for so long, and it is also mostly causing the problems why women consistently only are valued because of their body and their physical attractions.

Patriarchy always makes women feel ashamed for their sexual expressions. They tend to take control over how women should express themselves; including the way they should dress and how they should behave on behalf of the men’s satisfaction and standard.

Women have learned that whatever they do, they will get shamed for their sexuality and being sexual even if they did not even try to make it look sexual. Another horrible thing is for women to be sexually free to express their feelings. The only acceptable way for society is when men are somehow behind that action. 

Unfortunately, the only way women ‘can’ be sexually free is when they are sexualized by men. Those behaviors now are resulting in some people have a mindset which tends to normalize the thought of women being overly sexualized because it’s what the purpose of their existence is. Meanwhile, on the other hand, there’s still a lot of women that are trying to avoid anything related to the ‘sexual’ term even though it’s just them, trying to express themselves, their own sexuality. They are more likely to play safe with the way they dress up. And also behave and express their sexual feelings.

Also Read: Femicide Occurs Because Perpetrators Feel Superior and Misogyny Against Women

To be an object of someone’s sexual desire is harmful. It erases women’s decency and rights as a human being. As an object, it means that women have to fit their life to a certain standard that society has collectively agreed. It reduces their dignity into something that is used by men to satisfy themselves. Also narrowing their life into a sexual objectification that centered and focused around everything ‘sexual’ related in a negative way. It makes the idea of women eligibility only worth based on their ‘sexual’ expressions.

Being sexual should be empowering for everyone. It’s your own life and your decision to choose however you want to express your sexual expressions. To be sexually free should be such a pleasure for everyone–in this case, women–and not an embarrassing thing instead. 

In conclusion, everyone, every woman has the freedom to express their sexuality. We all just have to be ourselves, and by then, we can finally express our sexual feelings and attractions freely while rejecting being sexualized at the same time.

Livinia Theresya Martin

Mahasiswa Jurusan Ilmu Komunikasi Binus University Malang.
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