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