Friday, May 1, 2009

Check me out on The Guardian's CIF site

I have an article up on The Guardian's "Comment is Free" site about the Kenyan sex strike:

I am uncomfortable with the idea of using sex as a bargaining chip in relationships. It is a manipulation that usually gets assigned to women – treating sex as commodity, withholding it in exchange for goodies. I don't like this antiquated take on female heterosexuality – the idea that men are sexual beings, but sex is something that women "give up" to men (or not, as the case may be).

I don't like the dismissive view of female intelligence and power – the notion that the path to what we want is through our bodies not our brains. And I'd like to think that well-adjusted men aren't so sex-mad that a week of celibacy would drive one to bend to any woman's whims. Withholding sex for punishment or influence seems so antiquated and anti-feminist.

But I am a western woman. And there is privilege in my pronouncements about this issue. I recognise the strength in what some Kenyan women are doing to encourage an end to political infighting in the country's male-dominated government.



Lola Adesioye said...

Hey Tami - Great to see this piece. I wrote a piece with an opposing view for The Guardian and referenced yours at the bottom of mine... You may be interested in reading it:

I hope you're well...

Julia said...

Good for you, Tami. I really liked your article. I gave up on most of the comments. I hope more commenters will inject some balance and thoughtfulness into the conversation.

Anonymous said...

Never could figure out why women has sex with their oppresors period.
And since Kenya probably isn't a lesbian friendly nation or high on the list of lesbian travel destinations, one wonders, maybe this is a lesbian led movement.

Sounds like it to me.


GoldenAh said...

I was thinking - and this is not a dig at, nor about, Kenya - that the most primitive / backward countries regard women as useful for sex and bearing children only sub-mates. Advanced societies, over the long run, at least make an effort to allow women to be treated as fully human.

Even countries with a high degree of sexism is cutting its nose off to spite its face.

Wendi Muse said...

omg cograts!!! :-)

Anonymous said...

I don't think we need to be kind to the countries of the world who kill, jail, or consider lesbians demon possessed. Most women in these countries lived under heteronormative coersion. It's a living hell for women who don't want to have children and who don't want to get married.

This protest again probably comes as a great liberation for the women who simply think having sex with men is an awful dreadful thing. Other women are probably joining too. We cut these countries too much slack in my opinion.


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