Sadly, even in 2016, our world is still extraordinarily backwards when it comes to women’s sexuality. Our culture sends mixed messages about sexual health — on one hand shaming women for being sexually active, and on the other, using the media and social norms to sexualize female bodies.
The double standard presented to women results in confused silence. We are supposed to have sex but not discuss it, we are supposed to present a certain KIND of sexuality in specific contexts and with limited parameters. We must be both sexually knowledgeable and pure.
What is the result? Silence. Misunderstandings. Misinformation. And therefore, unsafe practices, beliefs and spaces for women to be having sex.
Moreover, it means there are almost NO options available for women if they DO wish to explore changes in their sexual health.
If you’ve spent any time on the EmpowHER website, you know that plenty of women have questions and concerns about their sexual health. And many don’t feel comfortable in asking about them. Many more don’t have access to other forums that openly address their apprehensions with facts and evidence-based information.
This is why websites like EmpowHER, which foster conversations and inspire women to advocate for full inclusion of ALL bodies in research, are so crucial! Together we can ensure that our health needs and rights are part of the equation when it comes to medical research.
We can demand respect and equality – not only for women, but for Black women, Asian women, Hispanic women, trans women, queer women, and everyone else that is currently left out.
We can keep conversations going about women’s sexuality and silence the voices that say we are LESS THAN, tell us how we can feel, indicate which of our parts are important, and glorify or demonize our bodies, behaviors and brains.
So ask questions! Talk about your concerns and needs! It’s time to normalize women’s sexual health and spread the word when you learn something new. Remember, it’s okay to talk about sex!
Curated by Erbe