Welcome to my blog everyone. If you’ve read any of my previous banter, you have gathered that I am not a modest person. I am not offended by skin, or sex, or sexuality. You’ve also gathered that I am not a religious person. I want you to know that I respect and acknowledge that your views may be very different based on your religious values. I don’t wish to impede on that in anyway. The fact that we can disagree and have different views, but still respect one another, is a beautiful thing.
I find the human body to be fascinating; anatomically, aesthetically, and sensually. If you have a photo to share that makes you feel beautiful,if dancing like a “stripper” is empowering to you, I will be right there cheering you on. As a dancer, yoga teacher, and pilates teacher, I feel a strong connection to my body, and my relationship to it is important.
When my kid asks me a question about her body, someone else’s body, how baby’s are made, born, etc., I answer honestly. She’s 4 and I’ve been doing this since she’s been old enough to ask. She knows what a uterus is. She calls her vagina a vagina. She knows what a placenta is and finds this to be fascinating. She hasn’t asked about sex yet, but when she does I’ll be relieved to tell her about it.
If you choose to take a different approach with your child, kudos to you. If you turned off the TV during halftime so your children wouldn’t see JLO’s butt, you’re not going to be judged by me. If last year you drooled over Adam whatever his name is shirtless, then maybe look in the mirror and ask yourself why women are held to a different standard.
Do I turn on 50 Shades of Grey and watch it at family movie night? No, I don’t. However I also don’t change the channel or shield my kid’s eyes when a woman is being “sexy.” I Hope one day, she feels beautiful, empowered, and sexy as well. I hope she tells anyone who shames her for that to piss off.
Looking back on 13 years of a fine public school education, I have some thoughts on those formative years. My thought is I wish that we didn’t spend so much time talking about the girl who lost her virginity freshman year. I wish we didn’t spend so much time shaming the girl who “had sex with everyone.” I wish we weren’t constantly concerned with what others would say or think of us. I wish we spent more time enjoying our bodies in the safest of ways.
I wish we were taught to be secure in our changing bodies, to navigate our changing hormones. I wish we had a more open, realistic, and supportive general dialogue surrounding sex. We were all doing it at some point or another. Well, most of us were, and the rest were thinking about it- a lot. If you didn’t that’s your choice, but to shame people who were, that’s also your choice, and an unproductive use of your time.
Of course, perhaps school isn’t the place for learning about safe sex, sexuality, and respect for your body and for others. But personally, I wouldn’t be against it. I realize others may be for religious or moral reasons. Again, that’s fine, but I’m choosing to take a different approach.
Now let’s look at the conversation floating around the internet regarding sex trafficking and rape in conjunction with the half-time performance. I have to say that this one has me scratching my head.
Women dressing or dancing provocatively is not the reason these horrible things exist in our world. It’s because we live in a sick world. It’s because powerful people with money can and do use it for evil.
A woman being sexual is not asking for it. A women being sexual is not asking for it. I typed that twice on purpose.
It’s because we spend so many years being taught to be ashamed of sex or sexuality, and playing the game of hush hush and abstinence instead of learning about safe sex, healthy boundaries, and how to love and respect your body, and others as well.
Let’s talk about that dirty filthy stripper pole. I have a colleague who owns a pole dancing studio. I watch her videos often. The amount of dedication, effort, and passion that goes into her craft is unlike anything I’ve ever seen, and this is coming from someone who went to one of the best schools in the country for dance. I know what I’m talking about. Pole dancing is an art. I invite everyone who is writing it off as some sinful dirty act to go try it for yourself. You will be sore for a week and a half, at least. Competitively, pole dancing is incredible to watch.
I’ve also been to “strip clubs” and to a handful of burlesque performances. Strip clubs aren’t my thing but again, no judgment. Burlesque though- that is amazing. Again, the amount of planning, creativity, and dedication is unparalleled. Would I bring my 4 year old? No. But parents, the half-time show is not for your kids. It’s not Sesame Street. It’s for adults.
Now my last thoughts, and then I’ll be on with my day. Quite honestly, I’m more concerned about how in love our entire nation is with an incredibly dangerous sport. I’m more concerned about how we blatantly ignore science for the sake of tradition: Again, if your kid plays football, great. No judgment from me. But I am also a fan of science, and the science is startling. Here’s a nice article from Boston University: http://www.bu.edu/articles/2019/cte-football/
The NFL is not exactly the holy grail for a fine moral compass. So if we’re going to shame two Latina women for embracing their culture, sexuality, and talent, but at the same time we’re going to cheer on a dog fighter, a cold blooded murderer, an abuser, well our problem is far bigger than JLo’s butt.