Women and Sexuality through Naomi Wolf’s Book ‘Promiscuity’
A woman’s sexuality is a contentious context. Ms Wolf demystifies women sexuality through this expose. This book is a memoir and expose about the confusion in female sexuality. Wolf reminisces about her sexual escapades with her friends.
She projects the escapade as the journey women take to sexually maturity. This draws out a clear picture about societal bias on sexuality. Various contexts namely; feminine values, sexuality, and morality are contextualized. Ms Wolf poses questions like ‘is to have sex immoral? Is sleeping with multiple partners promiscuous or prostitution? Is the desire to have sex immoral?
The sexual desires of a woman are secret. Traditionally they are taboos and are indicative of societal morality imbalance. However, how a woman projects her sexuality determines her repute in the society. In Ms Wolf’s perspective, the overt sexual activities of a woman are unwelcome in the society. Engaging in sexual activity project’s prostitute attributes. Socially, engaging in sex overtly is indicative of promiscuity.
Women who do nothing sexual are prudent. However, women who engage in sexual activity and exhibit their sexuality are promiscuous or suspect of prostitution. This paper reviews the projections of Ms Wolf about sexuality. It is a clear expose about how a woman recognizes her sexuality, through an adventure characterized by sex and sexual gratification.
Women Sexual selves
The sexuality of a woman is supposed to be conservative. Professional women and good girls are prudent and role models. Women grow up to conserve the society, its dignity, and values. This burdens the woman with a role for which she becomes respectable.
However, engaging in sex is something between promiscuity and whore. Literally, it is morally right to proffer young women especially adolescents fewer outlets for sexual gratification.
So what is woman sexuality? How should a woman experience and highlight her sexuality in a society that looks up on her? Upholding morals and behaving well is the truly profound. exhausting sexual desire, experiencing sex, dressing provocatively and making use of a woman’s female nature is what woman sexuality is.
Ms Wolfe makes this mere litany when she projects that ‘there are no good girls; we are all bad girls, in the best sense of the word.’ In the eyes of the society, women are not sexual. It is a norm embedded deeply in the society. Redefining female sexuality through a woman’s male encounters explains Ms Wolf point.
That through man, a woman discovers her sexuality. Her confession about her coming of age draws out a clear picture of how a woman enjoys and exhibits sexuality. She has used her experience in the post –sexual revolution of Haight Ashbury to serve as a platform for this.
Women becoming of age should not be morally misjudged. Actually, maturing into a woman and experiencing the sexual desire every day is not a taboo. Biologically, a process cannot be avoided.
Sexual revolution has led the society to mature and understand that female sexuality is not immoral but biological. Today, female sexuality is exhibited across the media through teenage eroticism. The messages are intense and conflicting. Fewer point out how to self-respect and get into healthy womanhood sexuality.
Traditional Interpretation of Women and sexuality
An individual’s sexual identity is secret. Exhibiting sexuality is a taboo traditionally. However, women have struggled to achieve their identity through the murky waters of tradition. Ms Wolf explains this struggle through various social set-ups.
She pits the West against various traditions. She reveals the context of female orgasm from various cultures. The western notion is that boys want more and more of the sexual while the woman silently experiences desire and the climax of it.
From ancient Chinese philosophies, women sexuality has been held up more positive in comparison to the West. The Chinese had the insight that the carnal wants of a woman are important in the societal set up. A woman is not a trapped sex but a liberal human who should be looked at as an equal partner in the family. Her quest to realize her womanhood should not be compressed rather is upheld.
From ancient Sanskrit texts, woman sexuality has been upheld. It is in select cultures that the woman’s womanhood has been identified as sacred and a taboo. The American culture and African society has suppressed the female sexuality.
A woman sexual desires and any exposure of such an attribute rouses interest and social backlash. Parents associated with a girl who is regarded as sexually active are looked down on. The truly profound is that, the West’s perception about female sexuality has been in total disregard of biological logic.
The Indian culture and related literature has detailed the values of the society and the provisions about women sexuality. Zuni Indians and tantric literature explain that, the woman’s desire is positively viewed. The female orgasm from the Indian perspective is more sustained. The literature explains how the female orgasm is multifold than a male.
The Western culture is conservative and less opinionated about the female orgasm. Believes of the Western boys and girls is contrary to this. Women observe their sexuality through various social setups including institutions.
In fact, it is in school and college when a woman’s sexual identity becomes of age. Naomi Wolf’s experiences in college set up explains that, privacy and the environment contribute greatly in the way sexuality is understood and taken up by the woman.
Literally, a woman’s promiscuous behavior is derived from the male behavior of ‘wanting it all.’ Why should a woman not want it all as well? Why a man should be entitled to unlimited sex using a woman? The woman is the sexual object that he achieves orgasm through yet she cannot achieve unlimited sexual adventure.
Unless there is no woman, then a woman should behave differently in terms of sex. According to Ms Wolf, both male and the female are sexual. The societal norms make the woman to have a suppressed profile. Actually, the context of sexuality is confused by the word promiscuity for it proffers mixed messages about sex to young women today.
How women view themselves
Eroticism in modern society is traced throughout teenage and college life where teenage turns into adulthood. It is along this stage of awareness and knowledge where young women observe teenage sexuality on display. These displays are everywhere.
These displays are intense and conflicting. This confusion has been one of the factors that have led to lack of sexual identity in modern society. Socially, the conflict and confusion leads the young woman through the process passage from girlhood to adulthood. The signposts and displays of teenage eroticism point out how to become a self respecting woman while expressing sexuality as part of womanhood.
The journey of adolescent girls from childhood and teenage to full adulthood is Ms Wolfs expose about how today’s woman is made. The woman in ‘promiscuities’ explains the process of a woman becoming sexual. The woman becomes aware of herself as a sexual being.
Through contemporaries surrounding her, she discovers what the culture views and tells about a woman. Naomi reveals the secrets of becoming of age, which are the teenage sexual games, losing virginity, forbidden crushes on boys, and men and the rites of initiation. It is this path that guides a woman to having an identity and the knowledge of how to herself.
In a very uncompromising expose, Naomi Wolf explores the darkness of women’s territories namely; abortion, the sex industry and sexual violence that has spread to families. These dark sides examine the struggle for womanhood and the conditions of a woman’s sexual development.
Naomi’s ‘Promiscuities’ goes a long way to bring a clear picture of how a woman’s sexual experiences during adolescent determines her sense of identity and value as an adult and a member of the society. The book is a guide to making girls better through a normal landscape of the life processes. This is an illustration of the fear, fantasy and often shocking realities, the young adult passes through as a journey of erotic and emotional realization.
How men view women
Traditionally male perception about women sexuality and the woman as a partner in life are contentious. Men view men more as of objects of desire and provisions for satisfying and providing sexual gratification.
Exposing sexuality and expressing sexual desire is a taboo and indicative of ‘promiscuous’ behavior. Men tend to look down women. Many societies have little or no respect for women. In fact, women sexuality in many communities including Western society, women should suppress their carnal desires.
Ms Wolf exemplifies this aspect of male dominance, disrespect, and disregard of female sexual identity through college life and related sexual escapades. In the events, she tells away about, sexual harassment, date rape, and room sexual orgies in college campuses. For a woman to have identity, she has to look through the screen of this obnoxious sexual development.
Ms Wolf does this by mentioning how she was sickened by accumulated anonymity of toweled men parading out of her roommate’s bedrooms. The context of safe sex and other advice is made litany since the hazards lead to dangerous ends including disease. Strange sexual encounters with men display oppressive orderliness brought about by man. Diseases like AID’s are limiting the male sexual journey where the object is a woman.
Specific Arguments of Author and Personal Experience
Naomi Wolfs ‘Promiscuity’ is an expose about how a woman gains her sexual identity and female identity. A woman’s journey to sexual maturity is marred by many strange occurrences that make her strangely despondent.
She is forced to subscribe to pragmatic male incursion towards greater sexual achievements. The woman traverses between culture and realities that are shocking about her nature, societal requirements about her identity, and deep and murky waters of a woman’s identity and world.
Before a woman becomes of age, she is forced to undergo initiation. Sex is the ultimate rite and it comes through abuse, sexual harassment, and strange experiences including watching promiscuity and prostitution in peers and friends.
The desire to get sexual gratification is a journey that risks one’s life and social identity. The woman faces many pitfalls including diseases like AIDS. The female orgasm is not important in sex. Men have no knowledge about it and its value to the woman. This leads to extreme sexual frustration and a long journey to sexual gratification, which is branded ‘promiscuity’.
Ms Wolf is merely telling away how a woman, who is sexually starved, seeks a man who can offer the correct carnal plan to bring sexual gratification. This is Ms Wolf’s context of promiscuity. Promiscuity is viewed from the carnal perspective.
She draws experiences of women from a college background. The overall message she offers to the modern woman is to embrace sexuality rationally and prudently. She is trying to advise the young girl how to understand womanhood without jeopardizing her role as a member of the society. Ms Wolf is objective that, once a woman learns what sexuality is, she should balance this and become a responsible woman with values.
In an attempt to educate the young woman, the author highlights her positive perception about being prudent. She uncompromisingly explains her low opinion about having sex with many partners. She discusses the risks involved and dangers posed by the risks taken. She names abortion, the sex industry, and its heart that is prostitution.
Candidly, Ms Wolf talks about AID’s and how young life comes crashing due to promiscuity and lack of sexual discipline. This expose is a guide to a realizing womanhood safely. It strengthens a woman’s view about herself and gives her an identity.
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