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Women Sexuality Regulations

Introduction

Practice of issues related to women sexuality in public is still considered as immoral, dirty and thus unacceptable by the entire society. Women still face oppression on matters pertaining abortion, birth control, sexual abuse and female circumcision. Various disciplines such as religion, government and society continue to oppress women by different regulation policies such as anti- abortion, birth control laws and rape laws. Some societies force women to under female circumcision religion such as Roman Catholic oppose abortion and use of contraceptives. Female sexuality has evolved to its peak in the modern world however, speaking about women sexuality in public is still opposed as some societies consider it as dirty. Women sexuality is still viewed as a support to men’s sexuality especially in male conquered cultural settings. Different disciplines such as religion, schools and government can comfortably speak about male sexuality and even encourage it practice as opposed to women sexuality. The society restricted women only to take part in activities which they consider to be minor and women friendly. Women in Ancient Greece were considered as concubines, men viewed them as sexual objects, and they were expected to improve their looks in order to please men (Vance 118). These practices are still in existence even in the modern times whereby women are forced to undergo female circumcision, schools do no offer sex education on women and government institutions do not uphold women’s sexuality. Most rape laws in place are lenient; men implicated with rape cases face minor punishments. Women’s sexuality also includes concerns related to biological sex and entire human personality for instance self- esteem and human values. Most women suffer from low self esteem since they are viewed as sluts or whores in the society. Genders roles are also a major issue when addressing women sexuality as there roles specifically considered as being for women only. However, this does not apply to all; it varies depending on the cultural setting and social status of individuals (Seidman 90).

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Women are compared to praying mantis which is known to devour its male partner during sexual intercourse. In this context women are considered as a threat to the society their idiosyncrasy characteristics kill men. Anatomy of women provides the major distinction factor it brings out the feminine nature of women which is a core factor of the women’s sexuality. Physiologically women have a clitoris which helps them to reach the eventual sexual bliss when stimulated. Communities which consider women as a threat advocate for the removal of clitoris through female circumcision in order to tame women sexual desires. The main aim is to cub promiscuity of women in the society nonetheless women’s sexuality has evolved but women have been denied most freedom to use their bodies. Some society oppose prostitution, women who practice it are condemned or considered as social outcast. There are no policies which have been laid to protect women who exercise prostitution as a career they go about it at their own risk. Feminist movements have been formed in attempt to protect women from being oppressed in vain. Different feminist movement have simultaneously accepted and opposed pornography as a form of sexual freedom though both groups claim to be fighting for female empowerment so that they can have control over their own sexuality (Lancaster 73).

Different religions have varied views pertaining women sexuality some have developed policies on abortion and birth control methods. Roman Catholic Church is strictly anti- contraceptives and does not allow abortion. Women who procure abortion or use contraceptives for planning are likely to be excommunicated from the church. The church does not support prostitution it denies women opportunities of practicing their sexuality. However, men who are involved in prostitution are not condemned or excommunicate from the church as it is the case with women. Some societies especially in Africa practice female circumcision to mark transition of girl child from childhood to adulthood. Women who have undergone female genital mutilation are considered to be ready for marriage and can be forced into it at the expense of their education. Some religious movements have been in the forefront fighting for gender equality which allows women to take senior positions in government. The government has developed policies on abortion whereby some legislation allow procurement of abortion and others do not. Women who want to procure abortion for health reasons are denied the opportunity and as a result some end up dying. Existing rape laws are in most cases lenient and men do not face adequate judgement when convicted with rape cases. On the hand women are questioned on their dress code when rape occurred and on their past sexual history (Harding 110).

Government together with religious leader debate and contribute on how to resolve matters related to abortion. The government may either legalize or not legalize it while religious leader may strongly oppose it depending on the particular religion. It may be considered to be ungodly and women who procure it are considered as social outcasts. Social cultural practices clearly define the role of women in the society hence acting as a major regulator of women sexuality. Some cultures restrict women from attending social gathering for men, others consider women as children and so they are supposed to maintain a low profile in the society (Lafont 112).

This is mostly practical in Africa where apprehension of cultural heritage is still strong; communities still cling on cultural practices some of which are retrogressive such as female circumcision. These cultural practices oppress women for instance women are regarded as slut notably in ancient Greece where women are equated to praying mantis. Institutions such as schools oppress women by denying female students equal opportunities with male students. Male student get more academic attention from instructors and tutors than female students leading to poor performance of female students. Lack of sex education in schools denies women opportunity of learning more about their sexuality, young women do not get advice from reliable sources and they may end up indulging in bad practices such as female circumcision. Structure of women body is considered as a threat to the society particularly men; a mere look at woman body arouses men’s sexual desire. This may be one of the reasons why women are excluded in some men social gatherings. Feminism is considered as a dirty word in ancient times and also in modern times in some places. Women in Ancient Greece were supposed to improve their looks in order to attract men for sexual gratification. Prostitution was allowed provided it was not practiced by Athenian nationals. The essay seeks to find out how various disciplines such as religion, schools, government, schools and other social disciplines regulate sexuality of women (Escoffer 132).

Government

Women play a fundamental role to the development of the family institution as well as the state. However metaphors which belittle women continue to be used by different societies for instance women are referred to as desert and small animals such as praying mantis. Government/ legislation has failed in regulation of women sexuality laws on abortion, birth control and sex education are some of the areas undermined by the government. The idea that the planet is overpopulated has compelled some government to permit abortion and use of contraceptives. Others are strictly anti- abortion while others regulate circumstances under which it should be procured. Women should be given freedom to decide whether to give birth or to procure abortion. Policies which promote women welfare are not in place for instance in cases of divorce women are not allowed to have access to their children. Men get full custody of children at the expense of the women. Policies which permit women to practice prostitution without victimization are lacking, prostitutes do not get any protection from the government. Feminism nature of women has been used by many institutions as excuse to deny females equal employment chances. Human resources managers discriminate against women during recruitment and can only offer women jobs which are of low calibre while men are mostly offered top managerial posts. Some would even lament and ask who will be responsible of her duties when she goes a maternity leave. This is also the case in government sector many senior positions are held by men (Lafont 84).

Protection of women from sexual exploitation by the society boosts their self-esteem. Government especially in regions where female circumcision is practiced strive has failed to protect women from female genital mutilation. Women from these regions are forced to undergo the cut they have no one to addresses their grievances or to protect them from this form of exploitation. In a society that is male dominated women are considered as a subordinate gender this encourage men to exploit women sexually by using them to gratify their sexual pleasure whenever they feel like. This has also led to increased rape and sexually transmitted diseases among women, defilement cases are also on the rise. Women sexual desires are overlooked they are allowed to have sex to satisfy men only this has lead to increased rape cases and there are no government interventions to protect women from sexual exploitation. Men who are implicated with rape cases are not heavily punished in order to discourage the act and as a result women continue to suffer. Government of China failed in bringing social revolution in order to protect women from exploitation by men. In some regions of China women stay away from men even after marriage and women are taken to men only when they wanted to have sex. Marriages are also arranged and young women forced into them without their consent. This denies women the freedom of exercising their sexuality, in marriages women are compelled to take low profile and let men make decisions even those pertaining their own sexuality (Lind 229).

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Religion

There are many religions which exist in the world today and their values and practices on women sexuality also vary widely. Women sexuality is considered to have divine attachment from a religious point of view. Issues such as rites associated with homosexuality, gender roles, marriage, procreation and family have been addressed by religion in attempt to regulate women sexuality. Specific areas which mostly attract religious input in regulation of women sexuality include abortion, prostitution, violence against women and contraceptives for family planning. A contentious debate whether life begins at conception is a major argument in religion and in regulation of women sexuality. Most religions do not allow women to procure abortion and prostitution. Though some religions such Buddhism still belief that life starts at conception there is no clear mention whether it is in order to procure abortion or not. Buddhist teachers recognize that expectant women may develop conditions that threaten their life hence permitting abortion but still term it as immoral (Menon 199). Debate on abortion by Christians has been an intersection and complicated for a long time. Denomination such as Orthodox and Catholic Church are against abortion under all conditions. These denominations permit abortion only when mothers or fetus life is directly threatened. Judaism has divided opinion on abortion whereby one group agree with procurement of abortion in order to safeguard women’s life while the group of reformist allow abortion under whichever circumstances provided it is safely procured. Anti- abortion campaign by many religions oppress women, some consider it unjust and feel that their lives are wrongly manipulated. Restriction on abortion has resulted to procurement of abortion by unqualified individuals resulting to increased death of women. Women are responsible of carrying the pregnancy and they should be permitted to terminate if it causes any inconveniences (Vance 91).

Religion and prostitution has also been a complex issue for long, prostitution is termed as downfall of Christian religion and hence it is highly discouraged. When prostitution is mentioned women are the key target, they are known to engage in it so as to earn daily bread in some regions. However, the issues of prostitution concerning men are just brushed off. While some people feel that prostitution is an asset and many young women can be taught on how to go about it, religion notably Christianity opposes it completely. Many people believe that the eminent Christian group referred to as destiny child began by Michael Jackson was an undisclosed prostitution sect. Some women feel that when religion oppose prostitution it denies them a chance to make good use of their asset other would want it banned as a way of showing respect to women sexuality. Jezebel was considered by some women as a celebrity because of her sexual characteristics (Nathanson 281).

Responsibilities of birth control is mostly regarded as women’s obligation, they are expected to choose appropriate method to control the number of children they should have. In most cases when issues relating to contraceptive and religion are discussed, usually many people would say that contraceptives are not allowed by religion. However, this is not the case in all religion Roman Catholic is strictly anti- contraceptives the church advocates for natural birth control methods. Protestants on the other hand permit use of contraceptives as significant moral values. Roman Catholic discourages women from having the number of children they can comfortably bring up. Islam advocate for birth control as way of helping women to preserve their health and good looks. Birth control should the responsibility of both the woman and man however; much of it is left to the women. Some contraceptives pause health risks to women which may shorten their life span or make them lead unhealthy lives. Religious concerns on contraceptives put women in a fix as is the case with abortion. Some end up having many children which they can not bring up, marriages break up as men consider women responsible of unwanted pregnancies. Some religions still look down upon women they deny the high position in church. For instance Roman Catholic only allow men to be ordained as priest women can only become nuns in the church. This is viewed as a form of discrimination by some people though the particular religion would give a clear explanation on why only men are ordained as priests. (Menon 198).

Society

Society play a major role in regulation of women sexuality, it has defined certain roles to belong to women and others to men. Some societies advocates for female circumcision whereby some willing go for it and others are forced into it. Female circumcision is practiced in secret and exposes women to dangers such as excessive bleeding and increased risk of contracting HIV/AIDs. Some societal practices still deny women their full potential of exercising their role as women in the society they still belief that men are more equal than women. In less liberal societies especially in Africa some communities still view women as home makers, women are expected to remain tat home and take good care of their husbands and children. This extends to government and other institutions whereby women are only allowed to hold low position and hence end up getting low pay. Such societies do not allow women o attend gathering meant for men as they are considered as intruder as well as a threat. Attempt of women activists to mobilize and create awareness among other women so as to help them realize that they can take equal roles with men in the society have failed. Regulation of women sexuality by religion, society and government/ legislation has frustrated the efforts of women activists who advocate for abortion, use of contraceptives, prostitution and heavy punishment on men implicated with rape cases (Bacchi 204).

Society also regulates dressing code of women claiming that they are protecting the dignity of women. Some women do not want their dress code regulated they want to express their sexuality freely by putting on sexy clothes. Men want sexy women which is partly expressed through dressing however, women have been stigmatised by societal norms which restricts them to put on sexy clothes in public. Women who dress in a sexy manner are labelled as prostitutes, sluts and whores by the society while men who openly express their sexual studs are praised by the society. Some women argue that they should be allowed to openly express their sexual desires without fear of ridicule by the society. When an incidence of rape or any sexual abuse occur debates on what the particular woman was wearing and her previous sex history is always brought up and no one queries about the particular man. Many women cry out blaming the society for punishing women for what they wear and how they look whilst men are not punished for most of their action. Women feel that the society need to understand women sexuality from all dimensions a man would want a woman in the kitchen and living room but a whore in bed. Oppression is observed in those societies which limit their young women on the level of education they should achieve and limited number of positions they should hold in major institutions (Dijkstra 72).

Schools

Women sexuality is poorly regulated in schools due to lack of sex education. Many school feel that sexuality notably women sexuality is private. Young women are not enlightened on sexuality this has contributed to increased oppression of women by different disciplines. Female students who get pregnant do not get support from their instructors/ tutors on the contrary they are expelled from schools. Adolescent girls do not get adequate education on how to manage themselves during menstruations, and as a result some end up messing their clothes. Male student scold them, this has lead to increased school drop out. Cases of sexual abuse have also been observed in schools whereby male teachers demand for sexual favours from female students. Schools have promoted discrimination of female student, tutors refers them as less intelligent compare to male students. Male students are permitted to take most of the challenging courses as they are considered to be more intelligent (Jaramillo 19).

Women sexuality involves a range of concerns which are systematically regulated by government, religion, schools and society. Regulation of women sexuality by the government oppresses women poor laws on abortion, rape and sex and prostitution exist. Policies advocating for protection of women who use their bodies as asset through prostitution have not been laid by the government. Roman Catholic is strictly anti- contraceptives the church advocates for natural birth control methods. Protestants on the other hand permit use of contraceptives as significant moral values, women should have children which they able to comfortably to bring up. These disciplines oppress women by denying them freedom to exercise their sexuality. Women who dress in a sexy manner are referred to as sluts; society allows only men to express their sexual desires. In Ancient Greece women are likened to praying mantis which devours its male partner during sexual intercourse. However, debates on what is right or wrong as it pertains to women sexuality exists as each discipline has its own argument on what they think is right in regard to women sexuality. Attempts of women activists to convince government, religion and schools to uphold women rights by promoting women sexuality has not been successful oppression by these disciplines is still rampant. Government has not developed policies to protect women from sexual exploitation, rape cases are on the rise and some men only face very lenient punishments. Prostitutes are heavily oppressed especially those who work from the strict, society consider them as social outcasts. Religion and the entire society has deprived of women better chances in the society they believe man are more competent. Sex education is lacking most school; female students are not guided on matter concerning women sexuality. The society has not been enlightened to view women as valuable resources as it does with men; women are still termed as home makers. Female sexuality has evolved to its peak in the modern world however, speaking about women sexuality in public is still opposed as some societies consider it as dirty. Women sexuality is still viewed as a support to men’s sexuality especially in male conquered cultural settings. This perception has contributed to increased incidences related to women oppression.

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Different feminist movement have simultaneously accepted and opposed pornography as a form of sexual freedom though both groups claim to be fighting for female empowerment so that they can have control over their own sexuality. Many activists have not been able to convince the society to appreciate the practice of women sexuality as being morally upright and acceptable in the society. Legal bounds on women’s sexuality do not exist hence government; schools and religion lack guidelines on how handle women’s sexuality though not in an exclusive manner. This has promoted continuous oppression of women by different disciplines; women are viewed as sexual objects to be used by men to gratify their sexual desire. Women are regarded as a threat to the society just like the way praying mantis is known for killing its sexual men fear that women can kill them. Women have to dress to please the society or else they are compared to slut or whore in the community, this negatively affect the self esteem of women in the society.

References

Bacchi, Carole. Same Difference: Feminism as Sexual Difference: national library. Australia.1990.

Dijkstra, Bram. Evil Sisters: The Threat of Female Sexuality in Twentieth-Century Culture Owl Publishing Company: Australia. 1998.

Escoffier, Jeffrey. Sexual revolution. Thunder’s Mouth: Philadelphia. 2003

Harding, Sandra & O’Barr, Jean. Sex and Scientific Inquiry: University of Chicago. Chicago. 1987

Jaramillo, Sean. Panel talks girls, women, sexuality and sports. 2010. Web.

Lafont, Suzanne. Constructing Sexuality: Readings in Sexuality, Gender and Culture – Prentice Hall: New Jersey. 2002.

Lancaster, Roger. The Trouble with Nature: Sex in Science and Popular Culture. University of California press. London. 2003

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Lind, Amy& Brzuzy, Stephanie. Battleground: Women, Gender and Sexuality Greenwood Press: Greenwood. 2008.

Menon, Elizabeth. Evil by Design: The Creation and Marketing of the Femme Fatale University of Illinois Press: Illinois. 2006.

Nathanson, Constance. Dangerous Passage: The Social Control of Sexuality in Women’s Adolescence. Kathy Peiss, University of Massachusetts. 1993.

Seidman, Steven & Fischer, Nancy. Introducing the New Sexuality Studies: Original Essays and Interviews Routledge: NewYork.2007.

Vance, Carole. Pleasure and Danger: Exploring Female Sexuality. HarperCollins Publishers: Harpers. 1993.

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