Manifesto: Part Two


Photo by Molly Majorie


Western culture[1] is obsessed with shame as feminine and directly linked to female chastity—essentially, if you are not chaste you should be ashamed! As a woman, I am set up for failure in this contradictory scheme where I am expected to adhere to ‘innocence’ while my male counterpart is expected to overcome my ‘innocence’.  Moreover, a woman’s sexuality and privacy are inseparable. If she is not ashamed of her sexuality she is dishonorable.

How can I be expected to operate within this web of bullshit? I am already struggling to trust my voice. How can I reach self-acceptance whilst simultaneously desiring the validation of my lover? How does my desire to be attractive affect my treatment of myself? How is my longing to be desired evolve with past and present cultural standards of desirability? How can I feel proud of my sexuality if I am supposed to be ‘modest’? Is expressing my sexuality in the public sphere only half the battle? Aren’t I still operating within an accepted framework, ultimately feeding the male gaze?


[1] It could be argued that this is just the feminine condition