Notes on shame: the predicament of punani

When thirsty (read: desperate) men get their feelings hurt, women still have to bear the responsibility of qualifying ourselves and our sexuality to prove his feelings are not our fault … poor, poor man-children.

Rappers Kanye West and Wiz Khalifa have both publicly cast aspersions on their mutual ex, Amber Rose — a model, ex-stripper and mother of Khalifa’s two-year-old son. Kanye claims that before he could be with Kim Kardashian, he had to take 30 showers. See the comedy here? Kim Kardashian is not famous because her father, Robert Kardashian, was part of O.J. Simpson’s defense team. She is famous for a sex tape. She’s clean, but Amber Rose is filth.

The double standard when it comes to women’s ability to be sexual beings and have both dignity and virtue is ridiculous. Stereo Williams, a writer for the Daily Beast began to point out the problems within the Madonna-Whore dichotomy where women are always trapped. Williams says, “Male privilege, the Madonna/whore binary we are fed almost the moment we become aware of gender roles — it all plays out it plain view when men have to step over their bruised egos to face women who have hurt them and who they’ve hurt.”
The reality is that it isn’t just attacks from baby-men. It comes from our own sisterhood perhaps even more viciously. Women feed this narrative with overwhelming speculation and rage about the number of sexual transactions another woman has had. Admittedly as a younger, less worldly woman, I fell into the trap of making snide comments about other women whose behavior I found suspect. I was guilty until I realized that my sexuality was not confined nor related to my quest for love and marriage.

I don’t fault Kardashian for having a boyfriend, sleeping with him or making a sex tape. It’s what she wanted to do. She has nothing for which to answer nor any reason to try and rationalize past behavior. The same goes for Rose. She stripped, had boyfriends, had sex.

Women have sex. Women have lots of sex. Sometimes women have lots of sex with multiple partners, and here’s a radical idea­ — it’s fine. Not just fine but achingly obsolete as a topic, and I’m sick to death of having to think about it. 

Humans are sexual beings. Sex is one of life’s greatest motivators and for what reason do we continue to deny consenting adults the space to explore and utilize their genitalia in the manner of their choice, especially when that choice does not fall within the limitations we place on ourselves?

What women like Amber Rose and Kim Kardashian have done is turn their sexuality into cash. Some would argue that this increases the reality of their whorishness. If being sexy increases a woman’s bottom line, it means to me that her children will have dinner. Excellent. Now move on world — to the next prosaic morality spasm. 

Locally, a few months ago, some grossly immature blogger lost his noodles because the current director of Metro Animals services, Jessica Jo Montgomery used to be a model. She may have even taken a sexy photo or two. He duped into panic a simpleton councilman, who in turn snookered WDRB into reporting the story as if it were actual news. The impetus behind their whining seems to have been that clearly the power of a woman having sex organs somewhere under her skivvies must diminish her ability to think critically and perform the duties of her job, right?

Her past — photos and modeling career — mean nothing when the skills she possesses directly qualify her for the position she now holds. They tried and failed to label this woman as a ‘porno-queen’ — their definition of porn meaning “mostly clothed” it seems.

Studies are beginning to show that the shaming of women who partake of sexuality in a manner that deviates from the boundaries of a pseudo faith-filled society is more closely related to socioeconomics than morality. The poorer the woman — or more needy she appears — the more likely her sexuality and in turn her morality will be scrutinized and questioned while her affluent sister will freely enjoy and experiment with her body.  

Unfortunately, the morality defense remains the standard for timid but titillated folk. “What if her kids find out?” 

What if her kids grow up understanding their bodies, how to keep them safe and healthy while still enjoying their own ability to receive and give sexual pleasure? Better yet what if we stopped sex-shaming 
period?