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.



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