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A Feminist Floozy

The other day, someone suggested that I was a bit of a floozy, on this blog. That telling tales of previous loves was too much ‘kiss n tell’ for their liking.

I can’t go into the details of the conversation because I have been sworn to secrecy, however in truth, I wonder at the fairness of the accusers being able to launch the attack without redress. So I’m redressing. Setting the record straight.

Am I a floozy? Or a feminist?

I was called a feminist the other day on this blog, also!  So I’ve been called a ‘floozy’ and a ‘feminist’ recently – it’s been quite a month!

Hell, I’ve been called a feminist many, many times in my life. In some cases not only has the word been hurled in my direction but it’s been accompanied by a scathing suspicion about my sexual preferences.

All because I am a strong woman. A woman who boldly goes where no man has gone before!

I was tagged by A Modern Military Mother to discuss whether the search of a ‘zipless f*ck’ was indeed the hallmark of a floozy, or a feminist. She boldly described her own experiences as a university student and her liaison with the mute but sensual Beckenham-esque ‘zipless f*ck’.

I’m not going to go into the various liaisons I’ve had over a twenty year period of sexual activity. Sorry! The accusers at the beginning of this post would hang, draw and quarter me. They already believe that talking about sex outside of wedlock is tantamount to spilling the beans Belle de Jour, style.  But only for women. For men, it is a rite of passage, akin to notches on the bed post.

I remember reading Erica Jong’s book ‘Fear of Flying’ (which A Modern Military Mother has been reading), when I was 21. I was backpacking through Asia and Australia solo, and I was in-between relationships. The backpacking scene is full of young, attractive people finding their way, examining their views, their morals, their spirituality. I was propelled into the scene on the dissolution of my engagement to my very first love, and my subsequent ejection from the Pentecostal church I had been attending.

I was frankly alarmed at the restrictions on women’s behaviour that the church imposed. I keenly felt the double standard, and was increasingly distressed by the submissive, asexual behaviour that religion imposed on women. I believed then, as now, that it  is a human right to be able to freely express your sexuality, not simply a male right.

For nice girls of my generation, it was the last taboo. We were urged by popular media to discover ourselves and our passions a la Sex in the City, yet when it came down to the interactions between men and women the expectation was that we should be pure, Diana-esque, and virginal. In an age when the fight for decriminalising homosexuality was strident, the right for women to freely express their sexuality (whether hetereosexual or lesbian) was largely over-looked at the micro level. This was a huge internal battle for me. One minute I wanted to be able to follow my passion, but often at the very crux of the encounter I pulled back. Flashbacks of  long sessions at Bible Class where we were told that  woman who had sex before marriage were like drinking glasses  sullied with finger-prints that future husbands would find abhorrent, replayed on a loop in my mind at the most inappropriate moments!

Of course men were not glasses, their sexual behaviour was beyond reproach – it was transparent.

I remembered anthropological principles I’d learnt at university, that suggest that men are genetically required to sow their seed and tend numerous gardens (lady-gardens?) to ensure the propogation of the species. Women were simply to compy with the down and dirty job, of being the garden.

Well dammit, I had control in my life over everything else! I had control over my career, my finances, my health, and as a healthy adult, it was also my right to have control over who I invited to share my bed. Did this make me a floozy? Only in the eyes of some. Did it make me a feminist? Definately in the eyes of those who are bound by the man-made establishment and male dominated church.

Do I care?

Not any more.

Does my God care? After all it is my morality that we are considering, and my chance of entering the pearly gates!  I don’t think he does.  I think a loving God sees into the soul, and has far more understanding of his creation’s weaknesses and strengths. Do commandments that limit sexual activity out of wedlock still apply in an age of sensible contraception? Weren’t they societal rules enforced to limit population growth and impoverished bastards? Why do rules governing sex outside of wedlock apply only to women? Why are they more pertinent than the rules in Leviticus that encourage bigamy?

Is God more concerned with a woman’s sex life, than the state of her murderous, judgemental heart?

In that period of wandering, I learnt a great many things about myself, not least of which the tenor of my own morality. For me a sexual relationship must have at its heart a deeper affection than lust.  Whilst I understand completely the allure of the zipless f*ck, for me it  just doesn’t have the depth I require. It’s like eating candy floss. Oh, oh, oh, YES!  It tastes good, gives you a brief sugar rush, but there is no lasting value. I have also learnt over the years through my wild times, that I need a mental and emotional attraction to be entirely engaged. Without that, physical sensuality is hollow.

But perhaps the biggest lesson learnt, is that it is irrelevant whether other people label my behaviour as feminist or floozy, for what matters in the long run, is my understanding of my own human condition – complete with weakness – that truly matters.

I have also learnt that the journey to love and relationship is not a straight path, sometimes it can follow on from a dalliance at the right time in both your lives, at the right place – especially if that place, just happens to be Paris.

What do you think? Is it a simple judgement call – female sexual behaviour outside of wedlock = floozy? Or feminist? Or a human right?

Further reading: A Modern Military Mother and Very Bored in Catalunya

Image: Flickr CC

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