The Flimsy Analogy ofPenile-Vaginal Penetrative Sex As A Key And Lock?

retro-lock-key-22434747There is a popular metaphor used to deny women full control of our bodies, and used to  justify a sexual double standard. It goes like this: “A key that can open many locks is called a master key, but a lock that can be opened by many keys is a shitty lock.” This metaphor is popular because an overwhelming majority of the population is filled with sexist dumbasses and metaphors often replace reason. It is a popular fallacious form of argument. In lieu of providing justification for a claim, people often concoct imaginative scenarios that restate the conclusion of said claim. This brief post seeks to show that (1) sexist cultural norms utilise metaphors to replace arguments to support misogynistic claims, and that (2) feminists can also construct our own metaphors to support sexual liberation. The post ends with a YouTube video showing the inside of a vagina, during penile-vaginal penetration, in missionary position.  Continue reading

Why Abusive Men Falsely Believe They’re “Good Guys”: Chivalry’s Distortion of Morality

casual-black-guy-with-thumbs-up_15838825There are many ways people pretend to be ethical. A popular way is to focus on religious identities while ignoring the substantive ways in which religious people treat others. As previously discussed, hyper-religious, post-colonial spaces like Ghana pay closer attention to whether people call themselves “Christian” or “Muslim” than to whether people treat other people with respect and dignity regardless of sexual orientation, gender, or race/ethnicity. Another way our society distorts morality  is through chivalry. Chivalry, especially in a romantic context, is a set of gendered performative actions that men take in relation to women. Examples include holding the door open for women, or bringing women flowers or some gift as a token of love. Supporters of chivalry claim that the essence of chivalry is about being kind to women, yet supporters of chivalry cannot explain why this type of “kindness” has such rigid gendered rules and barriers.

Meaning, if chivalry is about kindness why do men sometimes refuse to walk through doors that women hold open? If chivalry is about kindness why do men not engage in this kind behavior with other men? Why not pull out your homie’s chair when you both go out to dinner? Adɛn, you don’t want to be kind to your homie?

This post has one goal: to discuss how teaching men and women to view chivalry as indicative of good behavior distorts morality. Continue reading

Saving Yourself For Marriage: Examining Women’s Inferior Right To Body Ownership

newRegrettably this post exclusively focuses on sexual autonomy in a heterosexual context. The idea of “saving yourself for marriage” is a patriarchal concept that stifles women’s sexual autonomy. Even worse, “saving yourself for marriage” places women’s right to bodily ownership into men’s hands. Utilizing concepts from American Legal Jurisprudence, this essay argues that while men are given absolute ownership of their bodies, women are given the inferior possessory right of inhabitancy, rather than ownership of their bodies.

If patriarchy is a war on women, then patriarchy’s most powerful military base is in a woman’s mind. And patriarchy does an excellent job of convincing women to accept sexist value systems that justify men’s domination and women’s subjugation. I myself have had to work to rid my psyche of internalized sexist ideas. Growing up, I was a quintessential patriarchal princess; and I wanted so badly to have worth and to be a “good girl”. Thus, I embraced sexist value systems that told me that I would be worth less if a man, who was not my husband, penetrated my vagina sexually. So I was committed to “waiting until marriage” before beginning a sexual life, despite knowing that most heterosexual men were not waiting. Like most people who selectively enforce religious doctrines that warn against pre-marital sex, I was convinced that it was acceptable for men to possess the power and liberty to sexually explore, while I repressed my sexual desires in search of approval and validation from a patriarchal society. Continue reading

Open Letter: Sexual Liberation Is About Dignity Not “Sluttiness”

Dear World,

Open LetterEven if you believe pre-marital sex to be immoral for religious reasons, there is no denying that women in particular are treated cruelly for falling short of this standard. I have had a hard time convincing moderate, conservative, and religious Ghanaian women to shun a sexual double standard that praises men for sex, yet degrades women for exerting sexual agency. I have failed in part because my personality does not appeal to the sensibilities of many Ghanaian women.Striving to emulate a British Victorian construct of a “lady”, many Ghanaian women abhor women feminists such as myself. They say we are crude, vulgar, and that no man will marry us. Even with justice on our minds, a well “trained” Ghanaian woman will refuse to listen to the content of feminist messages as the presentation of such a message is not dressed with “lady-like” language. If women find our reputation so distasteful that they refrain from listening to well thought-out arguments on women’s liberation, it feels as if the sexists are winning.

Nonetheless, this essay is not about me and my sordid relationship with many Ghanaian women online. It is the first of a series of “open letters” aimed at Ghanaian women clarifying infamous feminist positions. It is about sexual liberation and its central message. A major misconception is that sexual liberation only seeks to encourage women to have sex. In reality, sexual liberation seeks to remove sexist insults and devaluation to better allow women to make individual sexual choices without shame, disrespect, dehumanization, or men’s control. Whether you want to abstain, sleep with the entire block, or somewhere in between, the choice and power is yours. It is your body and no one should insult you for the sexual choices you make, just because you are a woman. Continue reading

Rape By Another Name: Coercive Sex In Ghanaian Society

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In civil and criminal law, we call this false imprisonment. In everyday world we call this predatory scum behavior.

When you live in a society that teaches men that their sexual satisfaction is more important that women’s well-being, sexual coercion becomes normalized. As the picture indicates, many men in Ghanaian society are comfortable engaging in dirty tactics that seek to break women’s will, rather than create a safe, secure, and comfortable setting for consensual sexual activity to occur. The result of which is the gender based sexual double standard. While seemingly harmless, sexually repressed double standards for men and women create a toxic climate conducive to women’s exploitation. Continue reading

Shaming Women With “Ashawo” Won’t Make Your Dick Bigger

Sexism is stealing Ghanaian women’s orgasms in the following two ways. First, by attacking women for being sexual. Second, through a backward imagination of sex that causes your boyfriend to jam his penis into your unlubricated vagina repeatedly and overzealously, rabid rabbit style, until you begin quietly praying that this miserable experience masquerading as sex, is finally over. Sexual repression is the reason women having sex is viewed as a favor to men. Frankly, Ghanaian women deserve better. Yaa Asantewaa did not fight the British for Ghanaian women to suffer through unguided genital jabs, and sexist insults, such as “area hoe”, for daring to live a sexually fulfilled pleasurable life. Continue reading

The Politics of Revenge Porn In Ghanaian Society

Originally posted on Di wo Fie Asem

Screenshot_2015-04-06-23-55-35-1Revenge porn is the deliberate posting of a person’s nude, sexualized, and intimate images on the internet without their consent. Similar to revenge porn, gendered crimes that hurt women are much more likely to elicit victim blaming responses. Victim blaming is a phenomenon where the focus is shifted from the perpetrator of a crime or moral ill, onto the victim as a way to rationalize the occurrence of the specific crime. For example, rarely would anyone question why a person deposits their money in a bank account when bank fraud occurs. Because in the context of theft crimes, we are rational and objective in assessing that the onus is on the thief not to steal. Surprisingly this attitude disappears when it comes to crimes that generally occur against women. Whether it is domestic violence, rape, or revenge porn (leaking the naked pictures of persons online, without their consent, to humiliate and embarrass them), our first instinct is to blame the victims. For domestic violence rather than inquiring why abusers abuse, we inquire why victims suffer the abuse. For rape, we inspect a victim’s sexual history, their outfits, their attitudes and fail to demand that rapists do not rape. A similar attitude occurs when a person makes a conscious effort to to betray the trust of another and intentionally post naked images of them online to humiliate them, and ruin their reputation. Unfortunately such attitudes are terrible for our society for the following reasons. First, we provide a shield for abusers when we trivialize their intentional humiliation and degradation by focusing on the actions of the victim. Second, we reinforce sexist sexually repressive attitudes that seek to shame, destroy reputations, and dehumanize women and girls for having sex. Third, we subtly encourage distrust and resentment of men by telling women that it is women’s fault if men betray them. While there are no laws that directly address revenge porn in Ghana, the Domestic Violence Act has allowed for perpetrators to be prosecuted and jailed for the intentional abuse of partners by posting their intimate images online. Continue reading