Monday, February 2, 2009

Sex Bodies Shame

The moment you pop out and the doctor sees a vagina you are put on this conveyor belt to femininity, and ultimately sex… because isn’t that what the patriarchy is all about, maintaining women for sex, as objects. Young girls are waiting to become objects. Everyday all children are bombarded by media. They are the primary target of the media, they move from dolls to barbies to magazines.
After all, even with the most progressive parents you learn things on the “street”. I learned what sex was when I was very young, and when I learned that sex was bad, I also learned what it was to be forced into sex. Regardless of the innocent nature of child sexual play, by the time I was 6 I had developed shame. Shame over my body, and shame over my sexuality. And then I forgot…
Then I learned that sex could produce a baby, and that when a woman was a grown up she would get married and go on her honeymoon. On her honeymoon sex would occur and then she would have a baby. I learned this in a dark basement, and I emerged that day knowing how life would be…
But then I learned shame again… I learned shame because young kids laugh when they think about private parts, because they have learned shame too. And then I learned shame when I felt cornered by the boy in the doorway at school. I learned shame from big boys teasing me, and I learned shame from feeling unsafe as men examined my body. Even with clothes I felt cornered when ever my body was looked at, if I was hit on, or hollered at.
And then one day, I learned pride. I learned about how a woman could be sexy, and all of the sudden it was like someone had lifted the chains of shame and allowed me to be free…
Young girls poor into media imagery of sex because it is nice to be relieved of the shame that comes with a female body. When boys are being taught to show more of their bodies, for example removing a shirt to reveal a bare chest, girls are taught to hide their bodies,
“put your shirt back on,
girls have to wear shirts,
your cousins are boys,
boys don’t have to wear shirts”

Girls are taught that their bodies are shameful, to cover up, cower and hide.

My own body is a mystery, and my own body is fluid… and my current body has a mix of pride and shame…
… what if all our bodies were allowed to be fluid from birth? How would it change the way that we perceive bodies, gender and sex?

7 comments:

mscearce said...

I remember a young child without body shame. She learned (somewhere away from home) that it was shameful to let other people see your underwear. After that, she was very careful to never let someone see her underwear, to the extent of carrying it around in a paper bag, even if she was walking around naked.

genderkid said...

I was probably taught body shame, but lately it seems I've gotten over it. Even though I identify as male, I'm not ashamed of my breasts: I'd go around topless if I could. Well, if it didn't prevent people from seeing me as a man: people are so closed-minded.

So yes, I guess I do care about people's perception of me. It's just another form of shame, I suppose; although I don't know what I would be ashamed of, since I'm fine with being trans; proud of my female past.

Helyx Horwitz said...

I think that is the point where I am beginning to arrive... where i can be proud of my body... even the female parts while still not identifying as female.

I think it is interesting that you (genderkid) bring up the idea of being proud of your female past... its something i think becomes difficult to embrace.

genderkid said...

Yeah, I guess it would be hard to always be proud of my female past. In some situations where people think I'm male, they start treating me differently when I come out as trans.

So I might not be out all the time, but that's just because people don't understand: in my mind, I'll still be grateful for my female experience.

Helyx Horwitz said...

I think its also important to realize your female past because a huge issue that at least I have experienced in the transmasculine community is misogyny...

genderkid said...

I can't understand why a transman would be misogynous. I mean, after being perceived as female for 15, 20, 30 years, and being the butt of all sorts of sexism, wouldn't one want to fight against that very sexism?

I guess that some transguys want to distance themselves from the "woman" category as much as possible; but they shouldn't have to become a-holes to do that. Luckily, I haven't encountered any misogyny among transmen around here.

Helyx Horwitz said...

i think that misogyny in trans community often comes from the desire to distance oneself from womeness... and to prove a right to masculinity.
I think that you are fortunate to not have experienced transmasculine misogyny because it is an issue that I along with many people I know struggle with...