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Women's Rights - Kim Petersen

Who Wants A Virgin Anyway?

depositphotos 55059799 xl 2015

“A houri is a beautiful young woman with a transparent body. The marrow of her bones is visible like the interior lines of pearls and rubies. She looks like red wine in a white glass. She is of white color, and free from the routine physical disabilities of an ordinary woman such as menstruation, menopause, urinal and offal discharge, child bearing and the related pollution. A houri is a girl of tender age, having large breasts which are round and not inclined to dangle. Houris dwell in palaces of splendid surroundings.”

— Al-Tirmidhi

For some men bedding a virgin is an attractive prospect. Or so we are led to believe. Throughout Islamic mythology and Middle Eastern lore, the houris are full-breasted, dark-eyed nymphs untouched by man who will accompany the faithful in Jannah — the realm of the highest layer of heaven.

The Qur’an’s heavenly vision focuses on luxury, leisure and sensual pleasures. In Islam, the idea of an afterlife filled with an abundance of polygynous sex with virginally pure partners refers to an aspect of paradise. Since we are sexual beings, God’s provisions include everything believers need to be perfectly happy. For believing males this includes the very best sex possible.

Aside from all things made from heavenly misogynist delights, this line of thinking reflects across modern Muslamic practices today where virginity is defined as a piece of anatomy. An intact hymen is essential for a woman who wishes to be accepted into marriage. She also is expected to remain monogamous. Men, on the other hand, can engage in sex before marriage and are permitted to take up to four wives.

Besides the double standards blatantly displayed with the above-mentioned scenario, I have difficulty believing the polygynous lifestyle can be all that beneficial when it comes to forming and nurturing deep connection within a relationship. After all, isn’t the whole purpose of a relationship based upon forging intimate bonds and complete fusion with another?

What would a man do with four wives anyhow? How would he meet and satisfy each of their emotional needs? Women are naturally emotional creatures. We thrive on deep emotional connection. We need to feel understood, seen and held by our partners. I am uncertain how my husband would cope should he have to contend with even twice the woman I am, let alone four of me.

But hey, if the wives all start out tender-aged virgins, then the male in question may have a lot less to navigate in the emotional-need department. Virgins may be considered submissive and easily domesticated. I can see how that works.

The idea of “breaking in” virgin females obviously fairs high on the priority scale in some cultures.

In the Kanjarbhat ethnic group of India, newlywed brides are expected to submit themselves to a humiliating ritual — “The White Bedsheet Test.”

Yes, it is as demeaning as it sounds.

The bridegroom will take his bride along with a white bed sheet into a room while elders sit beyond the threshold awaiting the outcome — the moment for him to reappear and state whether or not the “product” was good.

If his bride doesn’t bleed, she can be subjected to beatings and communal humiliation.

Considering where I’m about to take this post, it is important to point out that I am not intending to make light of such degrading practices against women. On the contrary, the opposite is true. Gender inequality practices continue to take place around world and are in need of major adjustment. The fight for women’s rights is far from over.

I was a virgin once. Yes, it is true. Like most of us, the moment my cherry was popped are among the moments forever burned in my memory — the low lighting in the room; the taste of his mouth; the way he held me close when he eased himself inside of me … the sweet burning pain. And yes, there was blood; and then, I was no longer a virgin.

I was eager and curious to explore sex. There was no stopping us once I was introduced to my boyfriend’s super-hard counterpart. Yet, as much as we screwed like bunnies facing the end of the world, sexual experience was a quality I had to cultivate.

Intercourse is not an instant pass into womanhood (or manhood for that matter). It takes many years of sifting and sorting through life — voyaging the diverse and often challenging experiences the journey dishes up before we fully realize adulthood.

Our sense of self develops and matures as we move through life to eventually arrive at a destination where we begin to own who we are and feel comfortable with that person — our sexuality plays a strong part in that evolution.

Women in particular battle an ingrained set of ideals on what it means to be sexually active. These are posited in a variety of ways at the onset — we are taught to be submissive in the bedroom through films, music clips, and pornography. We are shown images of desirable women which causes countless hours of internal pain deliberating over our imperfections. We are subjected to being objectified, catcalled and judged by our appearance.

More often than not, the virgin female is unfamiliar with her intimate body and sexual desires. She lacks confidence in expressing that part of herself. She doesn’t know what turns her on or how to ask her partner to do that thing she likes — she’s still figuring that out along with her voice while he’s intent on burning a hole through her panties every time she is near.

Of course, boys don’t get off easy in the sexual experience sector. But they do seem to have a handle on what they want from the encounter. Their primal instincts rage for release — they just want to fuck. As long as our breasts are out for some not-so-gentle sucking and our legs are wide open, business is on. If we’re lucky, we may score a little foreplay in the form of rough finger action before the main event.

Which inevitably ends with a trace dissatisfaction for us. Bury it with a sweet smile, babe. Tell him how hard you came and how much he pleases you. That’s what we do, right? At least in the early years.

Women’s bodies are made for love. We are curvy and sensual creatures with secretive places and seductive parts. Lips. Hips. Breasts. Delicate parts designed to give and receive pleasure that blossom when touched in just the right way. Seldom do those qualities come into full appreciation during the years when boys are looking to ramp up their hump-o-meter.

Fast forward to a mature man with sexual experience who has patience and stamina, and has learned to be an unselfish lover and I’ll show you a man made of all things heaven.

The afterlife briefly described above is that of traditional Islamic beliefs and held by the vast majority of Muslims worldwide. So, what about the reward for the female believers when they reach paradise?

Apparently, the Qur’an seems to have little interest in it — women are not promised multiple virginal partners to frolic and fuck in the life thereafter. In fact, this idea would be considered offensive.

Perhaps it is just as well. I am certain women the world over would much rather have one soulful and well-seasoned man loving and appreciating her “offal discharge and related pollution” than an endless supply of inexperienced shags.

Bring on heaven.

Originally Published by Fearless She Wrote via Medium

Heartbeat – A Woman’s Right


Outrage. Annihilation. Protest. Eradication.

Hate me.

I have exercised my rights as a woman to make decisions concerning my body, my health, the quality of my life and that of my family. I have opted to terminate a pregnancy. Twice.

Did you know that it is estimated that one in four pregnancies worldwide end in an abortion every year? That means the need for this basic healthcare is crucial for millions of girls and women across the world, and yet, access to safe and legal abortion services is far from guaranteed for those who may be in need of such services.

Are you cringing yet?

I get it, I really do – abortion falls under the taboo topic for many people. Gets them all fidgety and uncomfortable-like. I wonder if those are the same folks that squirm when confronted with stuff like gay and lesbian rights, gender equality or racism. Okay, maybe I actually don’t get the cringing…

I don’t tend to watch the news either. At all. This can quite possibly be considered ludicrous behavior in this day and age, but it is true. I have deliberately chosen to not keep up-to-date and informed on the latest catastrophes and negative events constantly circulating in the world, and I have survived just fine for twelve years without it.

I’m a firm believer in choosing what I allow into my experience. When I watch something that is disturbing, I’m inviting the essence of that into my inner-world – my sacred sanctuary. For instance, it affects me deeply when I witness the hate, suffering, violence and war infecting the earth. And mostly, I want to feel good as much as I can, so I try to avoid whatever brings discord. That might be considered selfish on my part, but sometimes we need to be a little selfish in order to protect ourselves.

I didn’t need to hear the newsflash about the girl that was dismembered and stuffed into a suitcase. And I definitely didn’t need to know about the outrageously absurd “Heartbeat” abortion laws denouncing women’s rights. But some things don’t slip past my radar. Unfortunately.

The Heartbeat abortion law effectively outlaws the procedure after six weeks of pregnancy. Pam Belluck from The New York Times, “These so-called “Heartbeat” laws ban abortion after the point when a fetal heartbeat can be detected. This often occurs as early as six weeks into a pregnancy, when an ultrasound may be able to detect the pulsing of what will become the fetus’s heart.”

At first, I thought it might be a sick joke played out by some over-privileged, chauvinistic male politician with a mundane haircut and a nose like a snout. Turned out, I was wrong (at least, on some counts). I mean, six weeks? There is actually no heart to beat in a six-week embryo. A tiny cluster of cells and pulsing tissue doesn’t constitute a heart.

Who actually knows they’re pregnant before the six-week marker for certain, anyway?

A lot of pregnancy tests fail to pick up on the elevated HGH (human growth hormone) levels in the system that early on – and trust me I know; I’ve been pregnant eleven times. Yep, you could say I used to be a very fertile woman. All I’d have to do is flutter some dark bedroom eyes toward my partner and bam – there was some funky, cell-clustering, tissue-pulsing action going on, and I’m not talking about the orgasmic variety either. That part happened prior to the big bang.

The same isn’t true these days because I exercised another of my human rights and chose to undergo an endometrial ablation – a surgical procedure that destroys the lining in the uterus, and therefore I can no longer become pregnant. I killed cells and living tissue; is that illegal too?

Sexual and reproductive rights mean we should be able to make our own decisions about our own bodies. Yet all over the world many of us are persecuted for making our own choices and many more are prevented from making any choices at all. Last time I checked, we weren’t living in the Stone Age. Surely time is not spiraling in the other direction toward a primitive ethos hanging between the legs of cowering cowards? Haven’t women suffered enough beneath misogynist perspectives designed to appease self-gratifying ambitions to exert dominance over us?

Women and girls continue to suffer at the blunt end of an archaic bludgeon in many ways and in so many countries across the world. But it is delusional to think that preventing us from accessing an abortion does not mean we will stop needing one. Attempts to ban or restrict abortions will accomplish nothing but to force people to seek unsafe alternatives.

I have given birth to five healthy babies, lost four more through miscarriage, and chosen to abort two pregnancies. That is a freedom of choice I rightly own as a woman and a human being; a freedom born to me, and that right shouldn’t have to be entrusted to or dictated by any government or religious deity.

Enduring a miscarriage is difficult; I have experienced the loss, heartache and the emotional pain that accompanies miscarriage. It stays with you for a long time. During the aftermath, you battle wretched feelings of failure and inadequacy, and you wonder if that somehow you did something wrong, that you deserved to lose the pregnancy. But if anyone assumes that choosing to undergo an abortion is any less difficult than a naturally occurring abortion, than they would be a mistaken.

The fact is, choosing to abort a pregnancy does not come lightly; it does not come without first dredging into your soul and searching your heart; and it does not come without consequences. It has seen me plunge into the depths of depression and despair that was so dark, I couldn’t see a pin-drop of light for the longest of times.

So, I ask, do you think a decision like that is taken with a grain of salt? That an experience like that is easily forgotten?

For every woman and girl that chooses to have an abortion, I can almost guarantee the same holds true for each of them. We don’t need to be judged for our choices; we already do that enough for ourselves. We don’t need anyone to make us feel ostracized or guilty either; we’ve got that covered too. And we don’t need to be forced to sneak around to find dirty backstreet clinics run by a sleazy guy with a rusty hook and risk our lives in order to exercise a right that belongs to us.

I am not necessarily a feminist activist. I don’t participate in outrage culture. Hell, I don’t even watch the news. But I am woman, and every woman knows how it feels to be a woman in today’s world; every woman knows the struggles we face as women, and the lack of equality that still lingers. Sometimes, some us have to speak up.

Taking away our rights and personal choices as women is wrong. It’s just wrong.