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I love and appreciate all the comments posted in reaction to this article when I first posted it on my Facebook Page. Personally, I think Rashida Jones is spot on.

Her campaigns and comments are pushing conversation and dialogue that is so desperately needed in the world. I agree with what she says, not because I disagree with sexuality or the expression of it, more because of the lack of awareness in the effects of exploiting it. It’s like using a sharp scalpel to end lives rather than save them.

Look, we are human and there is an awesome bonus to this. We have bodies that feel pleasure and pain. Both sides of the experience add to this multidimensional and rich life. Why do we abuse this? Why do we choose to exploit, sell, disrespect and cheapen this phenomenal gift? So why then do we feel confused about the massive amounts of rape, prostitution and infidelity we are seeing worldwide? Do you think they are not connected? Isn’t it obvious that the disregard of responsibility in the way we present and promote sex directly influences the flavor of our population?

I love how Ms. Jones wrote:

“But I will look at women with influence—millionaire women who use their “sexiness” to make money—and ask some questions. There is a difference, a key one, between “shaming” and “holding someone accountable.”

I am not by any means saying the reason for the massive surge in child prostitution, human trafficking and brutal rape stories are because of the North American pop stars alone, but I am pointing out that we are now a global community that operates as a system, if women do not take responsibility for the ways in which we directly influence modern perception on things like sexuality, female strength and objectification we will continue to feel victimized by a structure we participate in maintaining.

Rashida goes on to say, “Where do we draw the line between teaching them freedom of sexual expression and pride in who they are on the inside? Are we even allowed to draw a line?”

I ask that same question. I believe we need to redefine and redesign education. More laws on censorship or more rules around behavior will only place a lid on a taboo topic that needs to be exposed, explored, and understood before it is healed. Imagine living in a world where people do the right thing because of a value for human life and experience and not because they don’t want to be punished. We would all experience something very different, where choices are motivated by joy, passion and gratitude.

Women: Let’s at least try to discuss the larger implications of female sexuality on pop culture without shaming each other. There’s more than one way to be a good feminist. Personally, I loved the Lily Allen “Hard Out Here” video—a controversial send-up of tits-and-ass culture. She helped start a conversation. Let’s continue it.”

Rashida is calling out for exactly what I was referencing – an education. Ladies, let’s get together and start learning. Let’s get together and build who we are and what we are all about so we can stand next to our partners on this wild roller coaster and bring out the most awesome parts of being a woman.

Riding on the coattails of Rashida’s suggestion to create “… a song that empowers women to feel good about some other great quality we have? Like, I don’t know…our empathy, or childbearing skills, or ability to forgive one another for mean tweets?”

There is so much to be discovered within our sexuality and gender, so much we haven’t even started to understand. We are so focused on being some object of desire we completely overlook the innate values we inherit as women. Let’s own this mistake, let’s start a new dialogue, and let’s turn our attention to the study and pursuit of the next evolution of feminism. I have no doubt that we have the capacity to forge a new era of human dynamics which will go so far beyond what we have experienced thus far. I feel privileged to be a pioneer on this journey and I am both humbled and inspired by women like Rashida Jones, Jennifer Siebel, Sinead O’Conner and Ashley Judd who are strong enough to speak up on behalf of their gender. Thank you ladies. I am proud to be a part of your team.

xo,

a

This article is in response to this original article: “Why Is Everyone Getting Naked? Rashida Jones on the Pornification of Everything”

Add yours Comments – 9

  • Josh Neff

    on December 19, 2013 at 1:12 pm

    As a man, it is absolutely not my place to tell a woman how she should or shouldn’t use her body or sexuality. But I do have a lot of thoughts on this, especially related to how my feminist mother raised me and how I’ve raised my feminist daughter.

    If women are to be liberated in our society, they have to be free to express themselves how they want, no? If a woman wants to be a stay-at-home mother or a business executive or an actor or writer or whatever, she should be free to do that with no judgment from anyone else. If a woman wants to dress conservatively or dress provocatively (or both, depending on her mood), she should be able to freely. If a woman wants to be celibate, have sex with only one partner, or have sex with as many people as she can, it’s nobody’s business but her own. If Miley Cyrus wants to get naked in a music video and lick stuff, that’s her choice as a free person.

    BUT…we all have to also be mindful of the ways in which women’s bodies and sexuality have been commodified in our society and have been used to control and punish women. The obvious ways in which women have been commodified and controlled are, well, obvious. But there are all kinds of subtle ways that can slip by any and all of us. (I’m a strong feminist, but even I have fallen into the trap of badly objectifying women at times.) I mean, look at the reactions to Miley Cyrus’ video compared to the reactions to Dylan Sprouse’s leaked nudes. (Is anyone calling Dylan a slut or whore or skank? Is anyone publicly chiding Dylan for exploiting his sexuality or being exploited?)

    I’ve very happy that my daughter has grown up (well, she’s 16, but a very emotionally mature 16) to see herself as an empowered individual who looks for the beauty in all people. She doesn’t dress provocatively at all, but she doesn’t judge those who do. One of my proudest moments was years ago when we were watching TV one night (actually, I think we were watching Smallville…seriously) and when a commercial came on that showed a skinny woman in skimpy clothes dancing in a club, my daughter declared, “I don’t want to be a commercial woman when I grow up.” She will defend a woman’s rights to use her body and sexuality as the woman sees fit, but she’s also very aware of how our society turns women into commodities to sell and be sold to.

    I’m not going to judge Miley for being brazen with her body and sexuality (any more than I would Madonna, who did it decades earlier), but like you and Rashida have said, Allison, it’s important to have dialogues about this and be frank about the way women have their bodies and sexuality used against them.

  • Stephen B. Kidde

    on December 19, 2013 at 2:05 pm

    There is a “double standard” at work in society. It starts with
    exploitation for capitalism and works its way through social groups
    based on race, sex, religion and other categories. These categories are
    used to exclude others in the grab for the green.

    If society were predominately matriarchal, there would be more emphasis on showing
    male genitalia for female gratification. There has been more expression
    of male sexuality for female pleasure since I became aware enough to
    watch for it, but it is not as prevalent in mainstream media.

    The key to understanding the issue in my opinion lies in understanding what
    is being done for whom and what purpose. I like watching healthy women
    displaying healthy bodies. I like to watch them enjoying healthy male
    bodies. I enjoy being enjoyed. I don’t like being exploited by the
    desire for sexual expression. Neither do I find clinical presentations
    to be especially stimulating.

    Given the radical shift to support for exploitative capitalism, I have been more concerned with censorship than ‘sexuality for sale’ as a by-product. The diminishment of sexuality in any regard is offensive to good health nevertheless. I’d hate to see
    movies and tv suffer as a result of over the top pop expressions.
    .

  • heloise

    on December 20, 2013 at 10:04 am

    Funny, 3 comments, 3 men.
    I just think it is sad that some women think they NEED to act this way in order to be popular.
    We are so much more!

    It’s also something you won’t see a lot in Europe, while we are much more open to sexuality than americans. That’s telling something…
    Soon I will talk about a belgian band on my blog, Kid Noize, because the guy is wearing a mask and I like the idea behind. It’s about the music, not him. It’s like the total opposite of the pop stars you described… Hum… I’ll mention that!

    ? “Imagine living in a world where people do the right thing because of a
    value for human life and experience and not because they don’t want to
    be punished. We would all experience something very different, where
    choices are motivated by joy, passion and gratitude.” ?

    • Josh Neff

      on December 21, 2013 at 2:34 pm

      Heloise, I was also struck by how many of us men felt the need to comment. That’s…interesting. And you make a good point about European culture being different. The US has always had a strong Puritanical streak when it comes to sex, especially women’s sexuality. Evan Rachel Wood recently criticized the US film rating system for being more at ease with male sexuality than female sexuality. That’s also something to be considered here.

      • heloise

        on December 22, 2013 at 9:39 am

        I remember reading about what Rachel had said, very interesting!
        It’s good that they’re still people out there (like us) open to critical thinkg 🙂

  • Agnieszka Szuta

    on December 20, 2013 at 10:19 am

    For the very beginning I would like to sorry for my mistakes – English is my second language.

    I read it carefully the Allison blog’s page about woman and I think that is really important to motivated ladies to do it something with this situation.
    My grandmother she has 84. She was a child 10 years old when II war world started in 1st of September in Poland. She always taught me that for us ladies the most important is keeping our dignity, and because most of us will be some day partners,lovers, wifes, mother, grandmothers we need to know our value.
    And she said as well that our value is not only our sexuality – like lot’s of see us – like we are showing on posters.

    Second thing what I was thinking and what was growing in my mind by years since my mom past a way and after really good childhood suddenly from day after day I left without my sister and mom and in few month we lost few close member of family with my dad I realized that in this world we are taking wrong direction. After next 15 years the same thought come back. Our moms learn us how to cooperate together in this life sometimes on their mistakes, by their behaviors, we watch their relationships and we are try avoids because we don’t want to suffer – we don’t want to be abandon, we don’t want to be alone, so we agree on a lot of half-measures – and the results are…like we see already –

    Some professor in Poland published some statistic – in short sentence – the sound was because we have lot’s of ladies – beauty ladies, intelligent, gentle, kind, self employment who has their own money, they are really strong AND NOT THAT MANY and compared not so many men…so what is happening …”the product ( woman) who is on market – and we have lot’ s of that product it is not that much value – and because of this WOMAN AGREE TO KEEP IT ANY MAN – even one which is not appropriate for them…and often ladies agree for the sex even if they don’t want because they don’t want to be alone…”

    My conclusion is – Few years ago I set with my friend – really reach business woman – and we agreed with something we are ladies doing one thing completely wrong…
    If mother has baby boy she should teach him how to treat from the very beginning other girls – how to listened, how to care, the other “boy” 🙂 who wrote under here – it is massive problem because lot’s of man they not only doesn’t understand us they, don’t treat us proper, but as well they are rise in their life how special they are and that everything it is belong to them because some day they will be lords…

    And it is not about resist or religion – because if we truly look into regions and rules we are not find any information that woman is something worse…unfortunately that we humans made that all unpleasant things on this world.

    Somebody wrote: “Woman are crazy and man are silly, and the main reason why woman are crazy it is because man are silly…”. It is some seed in this sentence. aga

  • Agnieszka Szuta

    on December 20, 2013 at 10:57 am

    For the very beginning I would like to sorry for my mistakes – English is my second language.

    I read it carefully the Allison blog’s page about woman and I think that is really important to motivated ladies to do it something with this situation.
    My grandmother she has 84. She was a child 10 years old when II war world started in 1st of September in Poland. She always taught me that for us ladies the most important is keeping our dignity, and because most of us will be some day partners,lovers, wifes, mother, grandmothers we need to know our value.
    And she said as well that our value is not only our sexuality – like lot’s of see us – like we are showing on posters.

    Second thing what I was thinking and what was growing in my mind by years since my mom past a way and after really good childhood suddenly from day after day I left without my sister and mom and in few month we lost few close member of family with my dad I realized that in this world we are taking wrong direction. After next 15 years the same thought come back. Our moms learn us how to cooperate together in this life sometimes on their mistakes, by their behaviors, we watch their relationships and we are try avoids because we don’t want to suffer – we don’t want to be abandon, we don’t want to be alone, so we agree on a lot of half-measures – and the results are…like we see already –

    Some professor in Poland published some statistic – in short sentence – the sound was because we have lot’s of ladies – beauty ladies, intelligent, gentle, kind, self employment who has their own money, they are really strong AND NOT THAT MANY and compared not so many men…so what is happening …”the product ( woman) who is on market – and we have lot’ s of that product it is not that much value – and because of this WOMAN AGREE TO KEEP IT ANY MAN – even one which is not appropriate for them…and often ladies agree for the sex even if they don’t want because they don’t want to be alone…”

    My conclusion is – Few years ago I set with my friend – she is businesswoman – and we agreed with something we are ladies doing one thing completely wrong…
    If mother has baby boy she should teach him how to treat from the very beginning other girls – how to listened, how to care, the other “boy” Josh Neff 🙂 who wrote under here with I agree – mother need has her huge influence of her sons she needs to shows them that she is really important and talk to them 1000 times more then father… – It is massive problem because lot’s of man they not only doesn’t understand us they, don’t treat us proper, but as well they are rise in their life how special they are and that everything it is belong to them because some day they will be lords…

    And it is not about resist or religion – because if we truly look into regions and rules we are not find any information that woman is something worse…unfortunately that we humans made that all unpleasant things on this world.

    Somebody wrote: “Woman are crazy and man are silly, and the main reason why woman are crazy it is because man are silly…”. It is some seed in this sentence. aga

  • Josh Neff

    on December 20, 2013 at 11:53 am

    Heloise, I was also struck by how many of us men felt the need to comment. That’s…interesting. And you make a good point about European culture being different. The US has always had a strong Puritanical streak when it comes to sex, especially women’s sexuality. Evan Rachel Wood recently criticized the US film rating system for being more at ease with male sexuality than female sexuality. That’s also something to be considered here.

  • Savior of Humanity

    on February 4, 2014 at 8:34 am

    You’re words are very wise, Allison. Maybe through Rashida and you we can make things better. Its like some popstars don’t even care about modesty. Its saddening.