By Nombulelo Fox
I hereby write this letter to inform you of the many things that are on my mind. Despite the fact that there’s a lot going on your end, I’ll briefly dwell on one of my 99 problems. Let me reassure you that this letter comes from a good place. I ask that you reserve all judgments until you’re done reading this letter.
I’ve noticed somethings about you World. Some of which I cannot remember vividly as a child but others which seem to serve as a reminder of how unfair you can be to everyone else. As cliché as the saying “LIFE IS UNFAIR” goes, you do not realise how much of a big role you play in that. You seem to dictate how things should be but you don’t always grant most people the will to live. Just in case you didn’t know, there’s a difference between breathing and living. In my perspective, only 70% of people are breathing. The 30% of whom are living, are those you outcast publicly or the ones who truly understand what I am addressing in this very letter.
You create social constructs. The very same constructs which depict how reality should be. But why change the minds of people and lead them to believe that life is driven by one narrative? The very same narrative that dictates how we should think, the things we eat at certain times, and possibly how our sex equates to the characteristics of a specific gender that you’ve clearly given people no choice in trying to change. One of the things that you’ve deprived me of is the ability to talk about taboo matters freely – And by taboo, I mean sexual conversations.
These sexual conversations which men often speak of on a daily basis have become normalised due to patriarchal structures which you, World, your ancestors created before I was even born. It’s not rocket science that patriarchy is the very reason why some (not all) belittle women by objectifying them and hoping that they obey their every command due to their masculinity.
Women have been playing the supporting role for the longest time and I still cannot grasp why no one has ever considered dwelling on the sexual needs of a woman – particularly a black woman. Again, it goes back to culture (another one of your constructs) which prohibits certain ideas from being spoken about. Black or rather African cultures were built on patriarchal ideas and concepts. Polygamy, genital mutiliation, reed dances and virginity testing are examples of the very idea that cultures have deprived women of expressing who they really are.
While I don’t want to offend anyone who strongly believes in the traditions of their culture, these sensitive and sacred traditions which translate into the passage of womanhood, have taken away that very same womanhood that they’re meant to embrace.
For the longest time, African women have been silenced and barred from openly speaking about sexual matters. Not in the sense of Life Orientation and Biology, but giving insight into what their sexual lives are like. I can’t help but notice how freely my non-black friends and colleagues speak of the idea of sex. When it comes to my black sisters, it’s a tongue twister all on its own. Although the matter is taboo in certain religions and cultures, why are you (World) still insisting that everyone should follow suit and obey what you say?
Unfortunately, sex is part of the life we live. You don’t criticize men when they speak of the matter but you shame, neglect and insult women when they choose to embrace the topic. Life has become a structure whose foundation is based on the notion that women have to nurse the feelings of men. The very same men who continue to objectify women and suppress their thoughts because it’s unnatural of them to discuss their sex lives with other people without being judged.
There are so many women who are trapped because they constantly think of how the World will react once they declare their sexual liberation. Why should that be the case? Women should not tweak their lives to impress the rest of the world in order to live up to the norm. I write this as a woman who also sees herself as a sexually liberated being and I’m not afraid to say it. I’ve accepted that this is who I am and that my sexual needs are just as equal as those of any male being.
I’m taking a stance in not letting you (World) bully me into living a life that conflicts with who I really am. I really hope some of your misogynist tendencies can come to a halt and open up a platform where more black women can open up about such matters. If not now, then when?
The black sexually liberated woman ☺