There will be Blood, Body-Image & Sex
Women are beautiful and graced creatures but it hasn’t particularly been easy for us. I actually have never thought that being a woman is easy. Actually, growing up I not only saw how hard it was being a woman (and dreaded my fate) and my mom also made a point of letting us know that it is not a brisk walk in the park.
BUT it can/has/will be done.
I am just here to make it easier for my girls (young women) who are navigating this thing called womanhood and the drama that it brings with it.
Here are 3 things to remember/know as a young woman growing up that I wished someone shared with me sooner and with no hush tones.
1) There will be blood! Nobody should shame you for being NORMAL.
If you are like me, the only reproductive health talk I had with my folks was NONE. I mean, nobody prepared us for the cramps, mood swings, diarrhoea and back pains. They just said, there will be blood. And then it happened and we could not talk to anyone about it and went ahead to hide the fact that each month we had an unwanted guest.
Release the shame of your menstrual cycle. I say it to 9yr olds and 25yr olds. Take a second and breathe it out! It’s a sign of health and for that reason alone should it be normalized. It is inconveniencing, messy and uncomfortable especially if you cannot afford menstrual health products and support(consideration) from family during this time. It is also wondrous, beautiful and meaningful.Release the shame of your menstrual cycle. I say it to 9yr olds and 25yr olds. Take a second and breathe it out! It’s a sign of health and for that reason alone should it be normalized. Click To Tweet
When women, men and society at large hold on to this period shame,(keep it a secret, it’s a dirty time, men should not know when it’s happening) then we do not get to push for policies that can make access easier to feminine products for girls and women. It should not be as expensive as it is! It affects every woman. Rich and poor.Blind and deaf. Educated and not educated. It should therefore be discussed openly in boardrooms that can lead to changes in access, education and pricing. Period talk is also not just about blood. It’s about health, poverty, education, sex, clean water and self-love. Everyone should be involved.
2) Body-Image Self-work and Knowledge is important.
The female body is magnificent and beautiful in all its wonder. I began exploring my body in my twenties and sadly, not early twenties. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I did not know about it. The shape and contours. How it feels when it is flourishing and what it needs to get there.The vaginal discharge and what it all meant. I became comfortable with looking. Not with judgement but with exploration and love. For a lot of us, we have been taught to cover our bodies in modesty but also ended up covering our eyes from our own bodies. There is no part of your body that is disgusting, evil or shameful. Validation of your female body from yourself is still validation!For a lot of us, we have been taught to cover our bodies in modesty but also ended up covering our eyes from our own bodies. There is no part of your body that is disgusting, evil or shameful. Validation of your female body from… Click To Tweet
A man is not the only validation of the beauty of the female body! If he sees it and you cannot then that is a problem you need to look into. Therefore take the time to explore, to look and appreciate. This will help you love yourself more and know when things are not feeling okay. Stay connected to yourself by knowing your body because it is always speaking.
3) You will have SEX. Let it be on YOUR OWN TERMS.
I am not here to police anyone about when they are meant to have sex. All I know is that you probably will and my two cents is that each time you do, let it be a choice that you consciously make. Set boundaries around this area of your life. YOU alone get to decide what those are. An example of boundaries I like is “If we can’t talk about sex, then no sex for the both of us?” If we haven’t tested for STI’s, then no sex, No condom, no sex. ”I am waiting to have sex in a committed relationship/marriage”. Don’t ever feel pressured to do anything that YOU do not want to do. Always feel free to express what you feel even if you are in a committed relationship and it feels like ‘that is what ‘couples’ do’. If you want to wait and remain celibate, then do exactly that! There is no shame whatsoever in what you choose to do, but make sure it honours your voice and intuition.
Lastly, see a gynaecologist especially when you decide to start having sex and discuss your options when it comes to contraceptives if you are not ready to have cute little babies. Allow a professional to guide you and explain to you the side effects of these things. You are a sexual being and it’s okay to seek HEALTH in this area of your life too.
I had a lot of sexual shame as a teen/young adult because sex was taught to us as this dirty but yet very enjoyable thing that adults can’t help themselves from making music about. (side-eye) The topic was always discussed in hush tones even though we knew more than we let on. It was painted as this thing that boys really wanted and our job as girls was to say NO. (It was enough fear for me and it served me for some time)
Then we begin navigating relationships and we are not able to talk about sex.( even though it is very healthy & normal to want to have sex and talk about it) We are not able to own the fact that we are interested and therefore prepare accordingly. (Our own terms/boundaries/integrity)
Young girls and boys are having sex. We see evidence of this on our televisions and neighbourhoods. If we continue making sex a taboo topic then we will not be able to help them make better choices for themselves. If we continue speaking in hush tones about it and shaming young girls and boys because of their interest in the topic then let’s be prepared for more teen pregnancies. If we do not teach them the beauty and joy of sex in a committed and healthy relationship (and live up to it) and keep hiding healthy intimacy from them in our homes then they learn from whatever the media is feeding them. (A plethora of options available that may not be helpful)
A lot of us cannot have conversations around sex without the hush tones because we are dealing with our own shame and trauma that we have gathered and continue carrying around. We have not healed these areas of our lives. We struggle because we have not established our own sexual integrity and are therefore not able to teach those that come after us how to create their own sexual integrity.
I believe it is all in the place of healthy, vulnerable and truthful conversation and then policies.
Share this post with a young woman/girl you think and feel would be impacted.
I would love to read your thoughts on these topics.
Stay Relatable Forever.