Comforting Words: "X-Rated" Existence

Friday, January 28, 2005

"X-Rated" Existence

There are times in life when you have to make choices based on what some call principle. Personally, I prefer to describe such decisions as life-choices. Recently I had to make such a life-choice – having to do with whether to stay on a job to pay my bills or leave and help keep the integrity of all women.

Again, like the life-choice not to jump for joy when Martha Stewart was indicted, this decision was not made from some noble place of my heart, nor was it made because I am a prude or some moralizing fanatic. I decided not to be a facilitator of the objectification of women as one small step to keep my personal integrity and that of my daughter and to do my part to end this type of abuse against women.

Each of us, men and women alike, has that power. All it requires is a commitment to doing your small part in your small corner. If each of us out of concern for our daughters, wives, sisters, neighbours and lovers took persistent action, there would be a movement, a change in attitude. By taking one initial step and continually renewing our commitment to full equality, women will eventually win their rightful and respectful place in societies across the world.

This might not happen in this lifetime but this cannot deter us from trying. Truth is we cannot afford to pretend that the sexual objectification of women is not expanding and even exploding, carrying with it children especially those in difficult circumstances.

The media report an increase in the numbers of women and children being trafficked across borders for the sex trade. The cold truth is, if there was not a demand, especially in North America, the trade would have dried up.

This is not a call to start a religious or moralistic war against people who desire to have their “fun.” Sex is a beautiful thing, an act to be encouraged and cherished between two consenting and adult partners. My urging is for you to be a part of the solution and help women and children around the globe, who are continuously exploited for the “fun” of a few.

I invite you to share these Words from Scripture, Words of Comfort and Words from the Heart, and then see how you can effect personal and communal change to women's “X-rated Existence.”


WORDS FROM SCRIPTURES

From the Unification Church:

Sun Myung Moon, 3-20-77

“Violating and misusing love is the greatest of all crimes. Abusing love is a greater crime than cutting the universal root of life (murder).”


From Jainism:

Acarangastura 2.61

“A wise man has nothing to do with lust. Lust is nothing but death, and lack of it is serenity. How can one who perceives this indulge in wanton behaviour?”


From Judeo-Christianity:

1 Thessalonians 4: 4 – 5:

“. . . That each one of you knows how to control your own body in holiness and honour, not with lustful passion . . .”


(Excerpt from the Unification Church and Jainism taken from World Scripture: A Comparative Anthology (St. Paul: Paragon House, 1995) 335


WORDS OF COMFORT

Make no mistake I love sex just as much as anyone else does.

The issues I have with sex has very little to do with the act itself which I consider to be the most intimate form of expression of love. In fact, for years, I have explored ways to ‘expand’ my sexual horizons with my partner of almost 15 years. In that search, tantric sex has caught my attention and I have wanted to attend a workshop or two with my partner whose resistance to the idea, as we get older, is gradually waning.

Through sex and therefore through our bodies we share at the most intimate level of our existence who we are. I remember a workshop facilitator saying to a group of us women that through the sexual act we share another’s consciousness and therefore we should take care what we allow into the core of our being. This was an awesome revelation for me, though I was about 30 years old and had gone around the block a few times.

Recently, a co-worker asked me, while slowly turning the pages of a glossy magazines, why publishers feel a need to tell people how to achieve an orgasm. Though she found my response that many women have never had an orgasm hard to believe, her comeback was, “And so what if they don’t?”

While I do not believe that each sexual act must culminate in this fashion, it is a telling tale that many women never had the experience (other than when eating chocolate). My unqualified explanation of this is that sex has lost its real meaning and has become another trick in the trade. The trade being the pretence that our intimate lives and relationships are meaningful and life enhancing.

Many women still exist under the notion that their bodies are “means of production” – of children and sexual machines for men, while others, sadly, regard their bodies as a “means to an end.” In my youthful days, some girls were admonished to “keep yourself pure” for a husband as the primary purpose of their existence. Others, and I include myself in this latter group, were taught that men only wanted one thing from women and, knowing this, we therefore must exact as much as we can from them in return.

Whichever school of thought one evolved from, the bottom line was men ruled (and continue to do so to this day). This meant that the female body is primarily for the sexual pleasure and/or appeasement of men (gods). Little has changed in this sexual power structure even with the academic and professional progress women have made. Dressed in a business suit or bikini, the female body is still an object to be ravished not savored. This is evident in pornographic magazines and movies, on the Internet and even on the sides of buses.

Never before did I appreciate the connection between female orgasm and respect of the female body until my now former co-worker posed the question about glossy magazines. Then I understood that as long as the female body is viewed as a means to an end, to satisfy lust, women would never be respected as equal human beings.

In the absence of deep respect, love, cherishing and a desire on the part of a man to share his whole self the, sexual act will be to the detriment of the woman and that act will be unfulfilling. This is what Sun Myung Moon rightly describes as “the greatest of all crimes” and murder.

For the sexual act to be mutually fulfilling and life enhancing, far more is required than mechanics. A total sharing of consciousness, of spirit is necessary to make the sexual act life enhancing. Tantra, rather than being libertine, offers great insight into this aspect of sexuality.

I left my part-time job largely because I did not want to be selling pornographic magazines that help to perpetuate the notion that women are sexual objects. Though I would do well with loosing a few pounds (and have joined Spa Lady to do just that)I consider my body sacred. The same is true of my sisters (and their children) everywhere in the world.

The sex for sale in pornographic magazines while offering temporary release of “lustful passion,” is not my idea of sacred sex. To be an indirect link in the distribution of pornography would undermine not only my sacredness but that of women everywhere. Any action, whether professional, religious or academic, which belies the truth about the female body, minimizing our God-given form to something to be mindlessly pounded over or used is not my idea of equality and dignity.

Pretension at holiness is not something that I do well. However, the decision to leave a job that is indirectly part of the sex trade, trafficking women and children across the globe for the sexual fantasy and violation of North American men, is not honouring my journey.

I could not sell my sisters across the world, my daughter or myself for a few hundred dollars. My action is not earth shattering, but it is an essential part of sharing my consciousness through my work and my sexuality. Another job will come along.

What will you do?


WORDS FROM THE HEART

Wake me up from my slumber dear Divine.
How can I sleep when others are aching?
Strengthen me to make a change,
In a world where pain dominates.

Uplift me so that I can make a difference.
How can I be oblivious when others hunger?
Order my steps to help another,
In a world where suffering endures.

Enliven me as I walk this path.
How can I be feeble when others are smarting?
Silence my fears as I do your will,
In a world where injustice prevails.

Humble me as I serve my sisters.
How can I rejoice when my brothers are struggling?
Heal my wounds so I carry the message,
In a world where love seems misplaced.



Blessings, until next week.



3 Comments:

Blogger Betty said...

Choices based on principles=life-choices. Definitely a concept I subscribe to. More so as I move firmly into middle age.

I wonder at times why it has taken so long to reconnect with the vigor of the social conscience of my youth. Sadly I think part of the why stems from a chunk of my adulthood trying to wear the role of wife and mother to society's (and in truth, my perceived) standards.

I relate to your reference of Martha Stewart and the circus around her trial. A self made woman getting caught doing what I'd imagine is a widespread practice and hung out to dry in the press and the court of public opinion. IMHO Martha Stewart is the subject of many nightmares of people who are threatened that a woman can create an economic empire, without the support of husband or family money.

When I read your mention of tantric sex, I did a right click and Google searched. After I explored a bit, I read further in your blog and clicked on your link. I liked your link since it shows tantric sex has a range of audiences.

As always, I find the range of sources for Words from Scripture fascinating and I wonder if you are the author to the Words from the Heart...very poignant.

Sat Feb 05, 08:55:00 AM MST  
Blogger Claudette said...

Thank you Betty for your kind words and your keen observations. Yes, I am the author of the Words from the Heart.

Sat Feb 05, 07:58:00 PM MST  
Blogger Rogers Place said...

Nice pages here. Great information. Will visit again and recommend.

Sat Jan 13, 06:03:00 PM MST  

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