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African Feminism, Gender Violence, Guest Blogger

On ‘indecent women sexual behavior’

I am sure my title will incite a lot of reactions/comments..But I thought this is something good to share with the group. I came across this quotation while reading Creating GI Jane: Sexuality and Power in the Women’s Army Corp during WWII, where the author, Leisa D. Meyer cites two male soldiers’ perceived behavior of the female soldier they both slept with.

 “When women believe that happiness for themselves can be achieved without self-respect or the respect of men by participating equally with men in man’s seeming and foolish freedom from morals and by participating equally with man in all his lowest and worst characteristics and activities, then society will be taking a great backward step away from human happiness and welfare and away from mankind’s noble destiny of decency and fine living.” 

Trust me, I am on  both sides, but most inclined to agree with these males. I tend to believe that the so-called women “sexual liberation” as is today, brings more satisfaction to the male folk. I tend to believe women are more emotional (and that’s why we hold the world… and that physical behavior has a lot to do with male. Often times, it’s women who have mastered the ‘art of men’ who ‘dine’ with me…Condolezza Rice v. Larry Bush. I am not saying women cannot enjoy sex but I am not so sure about  women with multiple sexual partners. Call conservative on that.

Anyway, what’s your take on this?

8 Comments

  1. Wendy

    Hey Sokari, I also tend to be conservative on this one … hope you are well in summer.

    Love, Wendy

  2. SK

    This is what we in the business call Garden Variety Misogyny – the idea that women’s nature and roles are redetermined by their gender. The liberation of women is painted, by the retrograde (that’s Garden Variety Contempt, btw), as stepping into the space more properly set aside for men. This, of course, is horseshit. The liberation of women is, well, liberation, not a predetermined path into a new, gender-defined role. I suppose it may be called liberated for a woman to allow herself to mouth these types of arguments, but it’s a pretty weak kind of liberation that is allowed only the liberty to whine quietly that it would rather not have any more space, thank you very much.

  3. The women I know and have known would rather have a hug and a conversation than what most men would like them to desire.

    I don’t know any women who believe that “happiness for themselves can be achieved without self-respect or the respect of men.” And I’m glad I don’t.

    The quote’s pretty hard on the menfolk, though.

    Rethabiles last blog post..Up and Down we go

  4. Keguro

    I guess for me, it’s not a simple matter of “women acting like men.” Sexual liberation is so bound up with women’s reproductive rights, their abilities to control their bodies, including something as simple and revolutionary as using birth control. So, the question for me is what does “behaving like men” mean? What are the frames of reference? What are the historical and cultural frames of reference? So, for instance, what if we begin from a traditionally polyandrous society, in which a woman can have multiple husbands or partners?

    Ultimately, it’s a question of whether we value men and women equally, regardless of their actions.

  5. Sokari

    Can we determine a person’s contribution to changing the world by the number of people they have or have not slept with? I dont think so. AS Keguro points out “What does it mean to behave like a man”? Who dictates what is “manly” or “Womanly”? These are highly subjective moral codes.

  6. This one has gotten a lot of discussion going in the house today but to some extent I agree, when you take the most beautiful thing that society has to offer and taint it, you taint society.

  7. Doreen,
    Most women in the military didn’t do “men’s jobs” at that time. The mens jobs were done at home doing the industrial work. A lot of men to this day do not like women in the military and assign the word whore to many, no matter what job they perform or whether they are promiscuous. The women are not considered equal and there is a nod; such that rape, abuse and harassment is persistent. Not all of those womens perpetrators have been caught and prosecuted, even those who have been murdered in the military.

    I am speaking partly from experience having been in the US Army. I also resent that my character would be determined by the number of people I have slept with or that it is automatically assumed that I have no value because my job would be considered a “male” job, which I have had for 31 years. I have always considered myself equal as a person and as a black person, knowing that equality is not defined by what gender or color you are or how different you are from someone else.

    Since when is a moral value defined by gender or ones status in society. You have just given an excellent argument for maintaining slavery.

  8. Exciting commentaries…Let me reiterate that Leisa Meyer (author) was quoting two US soldiers’ words about a female soldier with reference to sex…not any other military job…so, this discussion was specific to sex.

    Like Keguro says, “when you take the most beautiful thing in society and taint it….”….to which I say, Ditto!

    I don’t agree that sleeping with multiple partners is equivalent to polygamy or polyandry…Both polygamy (for men) and polyandry (for women) are official practices among recognized married couples. I think, as women–particularly hetereosexual women, we are never happy when our men cheat on us or go sleep around with multiple partners, so why should it be different if a woman does it? Why is it liberation? True, cultural relativism questions can come in, or whether a woman’s sexual relations det. political or professional competency. But I personally would not want myself or my mother or my girlfriends engage in acts commonly associated (negatively) with men…I strongly believe that we as women can still be equal to men without being the same, i.e., equality without sameness..And there’s nothing wrong with that. We are smarter than that. I am sure there are men who also don’t believe in sleeping with everyone..And there was no inference in the quotation OR my original posting that sexual of women is a ground to consider when measuring competence for public office. I only brought up Condelezza R. v. Laura (not Larry) Bush as comparison of the women we often see (and are called upon) in corporate board rooms, political tables, which are mostly led by men. You can add Margaret Thatcher to that.

    DLwangas last blog post..WHO CORRECTS THE ‘CORRECTORS’?