I'm going a little off-script today, but have been thinking hard about how we show up in the world, and the costs of our behavior.
This isn't an article about sex per se. It is an article about my home country, some of our public behaviors and our reactions to others' reactions to us. The recent Roe v. Wade story has caused me to wonder how we got here, and why this is such a seminal moment.
How did America get where we are, a dichotomy around sex, women's (and men's, to be fair) bodies and body autonomy? I can't answer that. But here are some observations.
First, I'm a veteran. I took an oath to protect my country against all evil, foreign and domestic. My comments are because I care, and I am deeply troubled by my home country.
Second, I'm an incest, sexual assault, multiple rape and gang rape survivor. That also allows me some agency on the issue.
I'm going to start local and go large. But before you haul me behind the barn, keep in mind: I invite feedback, and these are my opinions and impressions. None of it makes me right.
First, a definition:
You note that the definition does not specifically say a woman. Someone.
I frankly think this whole country is one big prick tease. Let me explain.
I'll start with a photo on LinkedIn.
A young Black mother is standing on the steps of her college with her child. Celebrating her degree. Good. Fine. She has one bare leg on an upper step, the gown hiked all the way up to her panty line. You're staring at her inner leg.
There is nothing professional about that pose. The only eye-catching thing about that photo is the implicit ( and likely most unintentional) promise of easy sex. You don't really even register the cap and gown. Why would any of us redirect the audience's attention away from our real accomplishment? This is cultural. American culture.
That photo could make it hard for her to be taken seriously. I recognize the idiocy, prejudice and small-mindedness that still pervades the corporate world where personnel decisions are being made. However, this is our world.
We already over-sexualize very young Black girls, which makes us idiots, but why throw more fuel onto the fire with such messaging? Why give folks reason to shut the door in our faces?
In a hyper-sexed, hyper-sensitive world, men- and plenty of other women- harm women plenty enough without so much overt, in-your-face sexuality. Our culture, however, teaches us from birth that the only thing women are good for is sex. Why align with that message and detract from our real value?
We are one sick culture.
We chance losing one hundred and fifty years of progress right now, thanks to the current stacked Supreme Court, and a highly-motivated, anti-woman evangelical agenda that people ignored until it was way too late. Please see:
This Puritan-but pornographic-country does not support being sexually provocative and being seen as a serious leader.
You might argue (and you'd be right to a degree) that this is generational. But bear with me here.
Many wouldn't even think of working with a woman whose sexuality was so blatant. Why? My guess, they can't control their urges, so let's blame the job applicant or the co-worker for their own failings. Does the name Clarence Thomas not mean anything?
Of COURSE I find that unfair. But this is the world as we have allowed it to evolve. Sex sells. Always has. But nobody seems to have bothered to ask, at what cost our own culture?
Let's talk more about what's unfair.
Shitheel college boys rape a semi-conscious girl by a dumpster and get away with it. Thousands upon thousands of Black girls and women are disappeared, likely into the sex trade, every year and nobody blinks. America is littered with predatory priests, preachers, politicians, parents and teachers who make decisions every day about women, children and our rights, what's left of them.
I got raped by a high school teacher myself. He was a parent. Kindly, I know whereof I speak. Of course it's unfair.
America sells sex to the world, and our children, girls and boys are products on the shelves of the Great American Walmart, for sale to the highest bidder. Just as America considers the world's people as products for sale. I'll back this up in a sec.
That sexual sickness reaches all the way to the Supreme Court, with Clarence Thomas as THE prime example of how evil bubbles right to the top, and then spreads it like a cancer. Prince Andrew and plenty others all over the world, White men in power, the world full of Jeffery Epsteins and their enablers, happy to buy and sell flesh, including ours. Yours. Your children's.
However, in the perfect example of what I am arguing for, the only way that institution changes is to get the right people inside it. To that then:
Did you see Judge Jackson show up for her hearings with her boobs hanging halfway out of her blouse? Her skirt high enough to reveal the color of her underwear? Precisely. With our so-called rights being stripped every day, we might want to show up like we bloody well mean business. That is how we take power back, not waving our boobies in people's faces and looking like fools.
Is that insulting? I don't blame you. However, it is still our society. It will never ever change until the Old Guard dies off and plenty of New Guard women are in power. But we have to get in the door to change the rules.
America's sexual deviancy DNA started with slavery:
If you want to better understand how American women are seen in the world, travel. It's an eye-opener.
One twenty-something woman commented on a travel post of mine that she should be able to go out and get blind, stinking drunk anywhere in the world she wanted and be safe. A gentleman should always get her home safely no matter what.
The level of naivete takes the breath away. It isn't just that America sells sex to the point where we are targeted all over the world BECAUSE of this country's obsession with sex and porn.
Just being American carries that stigma in many parts of the world, in the same way that young Black women traveling solo are so often assumed to be sex workers, not well-educated young women simply exploring the world while Black. To that please see:
A few years ago in Ireland, some drunk grabbed the ass of a fellow Coloradan:
She smashed his face. But she, and I, and all my fellow female Americans are faced with this very thing. I have been assaulted overseas simply because I am an American woman. America has taught the world to see her women as nothing but easy tarts.
America has long sold the world her women as sex objects without our permission, and the world is happy to oblige us, equally without our permission.
It's much, much bigger than that. The US, this fake Puritan sex-is-evil country, is one of THE biggest consumers in the international sex trade:
From the article:
The crime trafficking in persons (TIP) is considered “the fastest-growing type of organized crime” and “the third-largest criminal activity in the world.” If that weren’t disturbing enough, get this: the International Labor Organization’s most recent estimates report global profits for traffickers reaching $150 billion USD annually.
As Geoff Rogers, co-founder of the United States Institute Against Human Trafficking (USIAHT), puts it, “The United States is the number one consumer of sex worldwide. So we are driving the demand as a society.”
Florida and Texas are among those looming large. This article points out that your next-door neighbor could be a trafficker. Denial is what keeps the business humming along, like believing your priest, pastor, preacher, politician, even your parents couldn't possibly do that, while they are indeed, doing just that.
There has been a case of sex trafficking reported in every county in Florida. Of all the human trafficking in America, Florida is the only state that can say that. The biggest problem here is that one in five of those cases is a child. It’s gotten to the point where the state even teaches trafficking prevention to their students.
It’s believed that Florida is such a melting pot for human trafficking activity because of the economy, but in a much different way than Mississippi. The tourism industry, like Vegas, is booming in Florida, and that means that more people are traveling here to party and have a good time. Unfortunately, some people have a twisted idea of what a “good time” consists of.
In other words, my birth state is turning into an American Bangkok. Texas too. Funny how they both have what I consider to be twisted governors. Goes with the territory, the way I see it. People in power will do ANYTHING to hang onto what they consider the absolute right of the White Male Patriarchy take and screw and throw away anything and anyone they want.
Yes. The people who indulge are often parents. They sit next to you in church, laugh in the comedy clubs, vote in elections, And on the side, they screw people who can't fight back. This is our America. Don't believe me? Read on:
From the article:
One review of 21 studies estimated that 15% to 20% of American men had purchased sex at least once. It’s difficult to ascertain the number of victims customers purchased for sex or how many knew they purchased sex trafficking victims.
Comparing men arrested for buying sex with a nationally representative sample of men, one study found that men who purchased sex were more likely to be educated. They were also slightly more likely not to be married.
More specifically, my team conducted a study of 115 women in Ohio that had previously been child sex trafficking victims and 43 who were current adult sex trafficking victims.
We identified their customers as being male drug dealers, members of law enforcement, lawyers, construction workers, truckers, businessmen, social workers, pastors, city employees and more. (author bolded)
Let's not be naive, please.
Americans LOVE to moralize to the world, tell the world that sex slavery is oh so bad, that genital mutilation is oh so bad (yet some seventeen states in America didn't outlaw it, and after Roe v. Wade, what do YOU think is going to happen to our girls? don't be a fool.). We are liars. Rapists. Traffickers. The fine, upstanding citizen you elect (please see Matt Gaetz et. al.) could well be raping an eleven-year- old girl while his wife thinks he's having dinner with friends.
He probably is taking a dinner break, while his buddies are taking turns with her.
That's our America. Ain't she GREAT? And since Trump really fits this profile, are we REALLY surprised he got elected and all his cronies want him back?
And we wonder why the intensely powerful, well-educated Black woman scares the holy crap out of these cretins?
Vulnerable bodies make men money. Evil women, like this one enable them:
Women enablers like grisly Ghislaine Maxwell are just as bad or worse as rape deniers, anti-abortion crazies and any and all women who support their evil male counterparts. Evil is as evil does. It doesn't matter if the cretin has breasts.
But I'm not done yet. Let's put a bow on this.
We sell America as the land of mansions, billionaires, everyone with huge homes and money and admirers hanging off them. We put out shows like Dallas, which back in the 1980s was THE show both in America and overseas. These shows have taught the world how to frame America. All of us are rich, we all carry guns, and all our women are happy to lie down with anyone, like James Bond said to his CIA agent crony Felix in Quantum of Solace.
As a nation we have long flaunted our riches to the world, riches we sucked out of not only our own indigenous peoples but others', as had our European ancestors before us. We have pitched a (fake) story about the American Dream, which was never true for anyone who wasn't White, Male and privileged.
We said it was for everyone.
Then we built walls and horsewhipped those that the Statue of Liberty had convinced to come on over, the dream can also be yours.
What we're really saying is send us your vulnerable girls and children, we have a use for them.
America is an equal-opportunity rapist: of people, countries, cultures, you name it. We f*ck everything and everyone while promising riches, opportunities, easy living, easy women, easy everything. Come on over, and be beaten senseless at the border, and watch while the guards march off with your kids, to unknown fates, including, wait for it....
America spreads her legs to the world and promises the world everything. Once you get to the border, no no no NO, look but don't touch.
But we sure will take your women, your children, and let OUR men touch them as they please.
America is the world’s Venus flytrap.
We are a pornographic nation, in love with sex for its own sake, at immense cost to our girls, the worlds' girls, children and too many of its good men.
Back on December 10th last year, one of my favorite rabble-rouser writers MarleyK wrote a very smart article about how unbridled sex can undermine society:
America is a predatory nation, a prick tease to those who want what she offers and she refuses to share, and makes you wrong for wanting her after she works SO very hard to get the world's attention and adoration.
We write checks we can't cash. We make promises we never intend to keep, especially to women, children, people of color, all those who are marginalized. We promised a meritocracy and they found slums, even in the nicest neighborhoods, where so-called upstanding members of society traffic in sex slavery.
There are plenty of good men, thank god, along with plenty of good women.
Don't agree? Read anything by Mark Greene about The Man Box. People trying very hard to right the ship away from the far right.
There are damned good people trying to change the way things are. They need changing.
I love my country. But the more I watch her implode, descend into increasing insanity, the more I travel and experience her through others' eyes, the more I agree with this sentiment:
American woman, stay away from me
American woman, mama let me be...
-American Woman, The Guess Who, 1970
Don't like it? Do something about it. Roe v Wade isn't the point. It's a distraction. A symptom. If you're female, you might want to ask why, if you do, you feel the compunction to dress is overly-provocative ways, then feel offended when men act inappropriately. I'd LOVE to be able to flaunt my assets without having my ass pinched. We are generations from that. Generations.
It's our culture. We need to ask where that comes from, the cost to us, and the cost to our children of perpetuating the sex-soaked, clearly abusive, insane way of being that is America today. The way I see it, most if not all of the -isms we suffer from, racism, ageism, able-ism etc, all stem from the same sickness, bathed in and born from the patriarchal way of male dominance, and steeped in sex, expressed in slavery of all kinds.
Slavery never went away. It just morphed with the money.
Perhaps this is why I am so stoked about Judge Jackson taking on the bench with a known abuser and woman-hater. She won't stoop to being played.
Jackson, for me, is the gold standard. She is going to be in Clarence Thomas' evil face. She'll outlive him too. That is just one way an individual can change the world. We need lots more like her.
But first, get your foot in the door. It might work better if that foot isn't part of a half-dressed body, publicly displayed on a business social media site. I don't like that we can't dress as we please, either. But America is a sick culture and it's getting worse. Playing into the hands of those who have the power to dismiss us on the grounds that we are all boobs and no brains isn't the way to get inside and start changing from within.
But that is strictly my opinion, and it may well be that such flaunting is indicative of something else I either can’t see or don’t understand. I am willing to not know and not yet understand, which is why I invite comments.
That's just me. You do you. Just be prepared to deal with the consequences, and there are plenty.
Dear Walkabout Saga Reader:
If my work appeals to you, may I kindly invite you to consider joining those Patreon supporters whose generosity keeps the gas in my tank as it were. Those supporters get to dictate my content calendar, we engage as a community, and this website and its content acts in service to our collective best selves. If you've been here for a while you've likely noticed how carefully I check comments and use wisdom from my audience. If that's worth supporting, please consider it. And thank you.
However you decide to partake of my writing, again, thank you.