Grown Woman.

A few weeks ago someone close to me remarked on my book collection. "You have all these books about sex! You need to read books about relationships. But of course; it figures you would have books about sex."

Now it wasn't only what this person said that had me damn near losing my religion on their butts, it was also how they said it. What ushered the words from their lips to my ears was a tone riddled with judgement and self righteousness, coming from a face stained with disgust.

I did the only thing I knew how to stop myself from tearing this person a new one. I took a deep breath, said a prayer in my head, and burst...out...laughing! I don't think my reaction helped the situation much (as far as the other person was concerned), but it sure helped me feel better. 

Every household should have Power of the Psalms no matter  your religious beliefs. The poems written by King David resonate with such conviction and wisdom. I find them inspirational. 

As an outspoken woman who has been manipulated, exploited and abused sexually, I contend with a good share of judgements for my openness, candor and confidence. I am ridiculed for my comfort with my sensuality. People have tried to slut shame me for having the desire to be desired. I have family members that don't socialize with me because they've deemed me "over-sexualized," and kin that accuse me of "wanting it," and walking "'ronde 'yah like ya prode," (translation: walking around here like you're proud.) It also takes hours of preparation to dress my voluptuous frame before a speaking engagement so as to not give the "wrong impression," per the suggestions of people I believe care about me. 
On a daily basis I ultimately have to contend with trying to make people feel comfortable with their own sexual thoughts about me.

We live in a society where blaming the victim is so ingrained in our culture that even I was once guilty of doing the very thing I complain about. For years I blamed myself for drawing my father's lustful eye. It wasn't until after I a told my mother that my husband was cheating on me did I realize how much of a pandemic blaming the victim is. There I was crying my eyes out to my mom, and her first question to me was whether I was performing my wifely duties or not. 

How did this happen?! 
You know what? Scratch that; how do we make it stop?

I have a philosophy that contradicts the belief that you have to know where you come from, to know where you’re going. In the usual Aziza way; I beg to differ. You can wake up one day, not knowing who you are, or where you came from, and not allow it to stop you from putting one foot in front of the other to get going.
I don’t know when during the course of human development that the victim became the blame for what happens to them. But, I can rationalize that we do tend to shoot for “the easy target”. 

Well, I’m not going to make me being a target so easy. I am no longer a victim; I'm a grown woman and a survivor. And you know what survivors do? They take what happened to them and make the best of it.  I explore the human obsession (yes it is an obsession) with sexuality because it was my father’s demented version that drove him to sexualize his eight year old daughter. Since I was reared on a perverted perspective of sexuality, I had to learn if I had sexual desires at all. Sex for me had been synonymous with pain, confusion, fear, punishment and humiliation. I had to deprogram myself; wipe the slate clean. And that meant learning about sex in a very sterile way. I read books; medical books, books on human development, animal sexuality, deviances, sexual practices based on culture, ethnic background and religion. Spiritual sex, reproductive sex, fetishes and sexual illnesses. In learning what sex was, I was able to erase what my father made it.

This is just a small sample of the books I own
Pure Sex, SexScopes, Love on A Rotten Day, Born on a Rotten, Women on Top

Now, the interesting thing about self programming is that you erase and rewrite at the same time. I call this mental overwriting. As I absorbed everything I learned about sex, I payed attention to how my body responded to it. Without my father’s presence, I experienced a sense of freedom during my learning, and I became more comfortable with myself as a sexual being. Sometimes memories of my father crept in, but that’s when I incorporated meditative practices. Over time I was able to control and separate the trauma from reality. 

For years I would hear my father talk about a woman getting wet from arousal; yet he had to spit in his hands and smear it between my legs to penetrate me.  It wasn’t until I was 25 years old that I experienced self lubrication from arousal. In my opinion that was a major breakthrough and proof that my journey to liberate myself from him sexually was finally catching up to my liberation from him physically.

I bring this all up to make a point. Though I was abused and controlled sexually and my human rights were violated in ways that very few can imagine, I deserve to enjoy my life and experiences, sexually and otherwise like any other man or woman on this planet. Those that continue to judge my behavior based on what happened to me are attempting to keep me a victim.

Women like Rihanna and Meagan Goode are recognized as strong, confident, brave, modern women for expressing themselves through their fashion choices, using the bodies God gave them. Why not I? Females like Dr. Ruth Westheimer and Virginia E. Johnson are championed for their study and sharing of information on sexuality; what makes me different? Ashley Graham and Stephanie Seymore are praised for their body positivity and hailed as trailblazers for their nude photos in Love Magazine; yet I show cleavage, and the positive response is lower than my neckline.

Sex is a natural act. It is the sweet fruit baring from the tree that is the creation of humanity. And female sexuality is the fertilizer of that tree. A woman who has been abused should not be shamed for her sexuality because those who don’t know how to comfort her or are afraid they will unknowingly contribute to her suffering, are uncomfortable with their own thoughts.  I am not a little girl being mounted by her father anymore. I should not be treated like I am supposed to remain that way.   

Black and White

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