From as long as we can remember, for sale the natural essence of a woman was of the flesh, tormenting and tempting the souls of men; thus making women evil by nature. We all heard of Eve, Lilith, and Jezebel, female archetypes who defied patriarchy and led men astray from their divinity. Females of this nature were deemed as lusty, mundane, and impure. Women of this rank needed to be controlled, fixed and purified. This is a worldwide view many uphold today, that the woman’s vessel must be holy and virtuous but according to whose standards?
Beauty is said to be skin deep, but somehow the reflection of this inner beauty is judged based on outward mannerisms and other means of physicality. A woman too vocal wasn’t raised properly and the woman who doesn’t say enough lets her sisters down – where is the middle ground? The woman who wears a hijab or niq?b is said to be oppressed while the woman wearing a few clothes is open for anything. When does the body belong to the woman, and why is her confidence and faith acceptable by majority rule?
Ninety-Seven years ago, women were finally given the right to vote. Ninety-seven years seems like a long time but in comparison to when America was colonized, that is a very short amount of time women were given any sort of freedom where it counts systemically. Like Eve, women are wrongly viewed as the extension of men, not a whole being, an extension. Dogma such as this devalues the pure essence of a women in her independence, and divinity in this world, leaving a dismembered image of her in the mind of males, females and their generations to come.
All over the world we see the contradiction of women needing to be pure and untouched, meanwhile they’re objectified as sexual objects. Not only is the female sexually constrained but now she is abused. Creating the falsehood that grasping the attention of a man is what gives her the utmost value taints women’s sexual freedom as well as how they operate in life. Not only is there damage done to women, but men as well. Men aren’t left out of the equation of misogynistic damage. The average male unfortunately learns from his environment only to get from a women instead of an equal balanced relationship. Without the right morality, men begin to view women as objects to play with instead of value to the highest degree, ultimately devaluing himself in the long run. Thus, the cycle of degraded relationships continue. We see this in pornography especially where women succumb to men and feed mostly to his pleasure. Meanwhile in real life in such engagements women are the ones left unsatisfied physically and emotionally.
Aside from sex, we see the Jezebel Complex amongst our own peers. Women who claim to support liberation are shaming women who live as freely as Jezebel. We see this in reality shows especially where a woman who is open with her sexuality is given the side eye and is ostracized from the “virtuous” who got wifed up. This also creates the notion the woman isn’t whole until someone saw her valuable enough to be a wife, but that’s a topic for another time. Draya Michele may be notorious for her reality television personality and scandalous rumors yet she is an admirable woman who has progressed into a self-made business woman gracing the pages of Vogue! There was a scene on Basketball Wives LA where a member categorized Draya as “the enemy” and “the kind of woman that f*cks up relationships” from previously being a stripper. This is a prime example of how a woman’s past can never be just that. Also how she is the temptress instead of a woman doing her job whereas the man lacks self-control. Women constantly have to pledge their allegiance to both genders and be apologetic to the world. We live in a world where looks don’t mean everything, except they do. A woman can be intelligent and profuse with creativity and still only be subjected to their physical aspects and their past mistakes.
To become the liberated woman, the woman must come to terms with who she is without input on what the world has said about her and her counterparts. Who were you before the world demonized you? The Liberated Woman blesses her past and owns who she has always aspired to be. She uplifts her brothers and sisters, she owns her sexuality, she respects herself to live a life that is her own. She doesn’t seek to be forgiven, but forgives herself first for oppressing her inner child. She digs up her buried dreams and fantasies and lives them out unapologetically. She lives in the present moment regardless of what others think. She owns the business she was told she could not, she has a fun-filled lifestyle and still praises her god, she wears her hijab because she CHOOSES to, she loyal to her faith, she goes out on dates – because she can.
Written by Leahnora Brown