Am I not allowed to be sexual, proud of my body, and educated? Are these things mutually exclusive?
As part of my daily routine this morning, I decided to scroll through my Twitter timeline. Although this definitely hasn't been proven to be the best way to start my days, I saw a very interesting trending topic on this particular morning: #ArchThatBackChallenge.
I chuckled and clicked the link. I love dancing, I love the song "Arch in Ya Back." I expected to see light-hearted posts full of fun and...ass.
I was wrong, because c'mon, this is Twitter. Everyone has an opinion. Everyone has something to say. (Especially when they shouldn't because they don't know what the hell they're talking about.)
Just a few of the tweets that populate that space. Interestingly enough, I saw more bashing than I actually saw women and men participating in the challenge.
One of the first things I realized? The amount of women who were ready to bash other women in order to prove their own worthiness. There is something to be said about the woman who yearns to be praised by men for "having morals" or having an education. The woman who needs patriarchal approval is no woman that readily supports me. The woman who chooses to emphasize her sparkle through the dulling of other women can get the hell out of my face.
Another thing that I realized? That exercising your right to sexuality and exercising your control over your (own damn) body is immediately equated to you seeking the attention of men or desiring many men. Actually, these two things have nothing to do with one another.
Maybe I love my body. Maybe I also love what I can do with my body. Maybe I want to share these things with the world.
Whether or not you choose to show off your body is your personal choice, but let us not loudly criticize those who do. Similarly, what you choose to do with your own body is your choice, so leave everyone else exercising that same right alone.
(Sidenote: Equally as important, let's not assume that all women are the same and that they do things for the same reasons. Let's say that maybe some women are interested in participating in the "#ArchThatBackChallenge" in order to gain approval and due their low self-esteem. I can openly say that as a young teenager, I thought that I needed boys to validate me. With that being said, who am I to say that there aren't other women who feel the same? That doesn't make it right to bash them.)
But again: Let's not assume that all women are the same and that they do things for the same reasons and that you should even be concerned with why they're doing what they do.
Beyoncé and Rihanna will throw it back in a second, but I doubt that's due to them having low self-esteem and seeking male approval. I also doubt it's for record sales. The fact that a man without a shirt and lots of sex appeal (such as Trey Songz or any other male R&B artist) doesn't have to worry about his nudity being attributed to his desire to sell records or gain the approval of women says a lot about our society.
It is absolutely frightening how conditioned we have become and how dangerous this conditioning can be.
A woman in control of her body and her mind is seen as dangerous. Therefore, you have been trained to think of her as being weak and needing approval. You have been trained to think of her as a helpless sexual being.
Well, it's time to change that narrative.
I am Woman, I am strong, and I don't neeeeeeeeed your damn approval.