As the #MeToo impacts continue to pour in on our social media feeds, redrawing the lines of consent—as highlighted in Jill Soloway's illuminating new memoir, She Wants It: Desire, Power, and Toppling the Patriarchy—combined with exercising our right to tell our stories, this marks the monumental shift in the history of sexual entitlement, privilege, and having our bodies policed within the world of men.
“I wanted to love my body. I wanted to celebrate my sexuality. I wanted to feel like the succulent woman I knew I was deep down inside. I hungered for sexual liberation”—founder of Sex Love Liberation—Ev'Yan Whitney recalls a time she refers to as ”some of the darkest times of her life” on her quest to sexual healing and awakening. Whitney is also the creator of the #SensualSelfieChallenge—a pillar movement in the plight of women active in becoming deprogrammed of our bodies instructed to use beneath the patriarchy—which calls for women to “take one selfie a day for five days that highlights your body, celebrates your sexuality, and encourages you to take up space.” As a woman battling my own body image and coming out of my shell sexually, I wasn't sure I was emotionally prepared to participate. It wasn't until I began reading the hashtagged stories from other women who also expressed how delicate their participation was that something clicked for me:
Self love for women means experiencing ourselves beyond physical parameters we've built as women self-conscious about our bodies. Being vulnerable enough to share our truths. Accepting while we still have a lot left to love, we can still feel empowered in our skin. #SensualSelfieChallenge.
Whereas we still live in a world that is structured to write us out of our own narratives by promoting women in a way that relies heavily on objectification and asserting the gender binary, it is in the counter-culture of reclaiming our stories where we are discovering our power, frequently maybe without indeed realizing it.