The problem with sex is…

The problem with sex is that it is never equal–emotionally, socially, or (most problematically) politically.

Now, with such an alluring title, I hope you weren’t expecting some Cosmo style article on positions and strategies.  That is not what this piece is going to be.  Sorry to disappoint, but I promise this will still be worth your read.

Sex and gender cause problems–just watch a season of Sex and the City and you’ll see plenty of examples.  Emotionally everyone is just on different levels with sex.  9 times out of 10 one person cares more than the other.  And the lines get blurred.  Sex complicates… it makes everything a jumbled mess.  I’ve seen relationships–and people–fail, get confused, and crumble all because of sex.  Why does sex hold so much power over our lives?

Simple.  Sex is a power play.

We’ve all seen the movies and sitcoms.  People withholding sex or somehow using it to manipulate, get what they want, or hurt others.  We’ve been bombarded with it in media ever since sex became more mainstream and less taboo.  We’re letting mainstream media blind us, though.  By turning the power play of sex into a comical scene in a movie, they’ve made us forget that sex is being used for more aggressive power plays throughout the world.  We laugh so we forget or fail to notice things that should be intolerable.

Socially sex is ridiculously skewed.  First, and most obviously, there is the age old plight of the player versus the slut.  This one isn’t new to us.  A man has a ton of sex and he is awesome.  A woman has a lot of sex and she is shamed.  How did that rhetoric ever come to be and why for Christ’s sake is it still around?  And that whole idea that women have a lower sex drive than men?  I call bullshit.  I have been in a few relationships where the men had a significantly lower sex drive and the fact that I wanted it made me pushy and needy.  But, when a man wants sex all the time, it is the norm.  Although I can think of a million more examples, I’ll leave you with one more:  Plan B.  No, I’m not talking about my alternate plan in life. (Even though I definitely need to think about that too.) Female contraceptives are so much more expensive, extensive, and more difficult to get.  Have you ever noticed how male contraceptives can be purchased almost anywhere with a relatively reasonable cost.  The female counterparts need to go through some more exhaustive measures.  For us to get some form of female contraceptive, we need a doctor’s appointment, prescription, or to pay a ridiculous amount.  The “simplest” of all our options is the morning after pill.  This pill is usually around $50 a pop and we can’t even use it frequently because it can cause a lot of issues.  Then there is the shame involved in buying them.  I walk into Walgreens.  I go for the pill.  It is one of the only items in this giant plastic security box.  This ensures that I have to have an employee check me out and fumble with the clunky box, rather than being able to conveniently go to self check out and be on my merry way.  I’m told to own my sexuality, but then shamed when I do.  It is modern day, corporate slut shaming.  And it’s absurd.

Owning our sexuality has never been equal.  We claim to be a progressive nation.  Yeah, I’m definitely thankful we don’t have FGM (female genital mutilation), but we really aren’t as progressive as we claim to be.  Socially, it is still only fully acceptable for men to own their sexuality, whereas women get shamed and cast away.  I literally had someone leave a date with me (before it ended) after asking me how many people I’ve had sex with.  Now, I don’t want you to think I have this outrageous number and that’s what caused him to storm off.  For a modern woman, my number is pretty low, actually.  And to add insult to injury, he had shared his number with me moments before.  His number was triple mine.  Fucking TRIPLE.  But, I was the one having too much sex.  What is wrong with our society?  How am I being shamed and left at the dinner table for having one-third the sexual partners that my date had?  How is that still happening in 2017?

I’ll tell you how.  We faked ourselves into thinking that sex was a norm and that we were all on level playing fields.  TV shows like Sex and the City, True Blood, and Game of Thrones with their plethora of sex scenes and full frontal nudity gave people this false sense that sex was becoming more acceptable–for both genders.  The reality of it is that sex is really only more acceptable for men.  Sorry ladies, we’ve been played.

Socially, women are still being shamed, many of us just aren’t seeing the signs.  Even worse, though, (and what honestly scares me more) is that politically, we still aren’t being represented.  It is 2017 and out of 100 senate seats, only 20 are held by women.  Out of 435 seats in the house of representatives, only 84 are held by women.  So, you’re telling me that in America, where 50.8% of the population is made up of women, it is okay for women to only hold 20% of the senate and 19% of the house of representatives? We make up just over half of the population, but we still only represent less than  one third of our nation’s government. Wait, wasn’t our government created and meant to be a representation of the people?  I think we fucked up somewhere.  Or is it just me?

So all of these laws that affect the lives of 50.8% of the population are being created, decided, and upheld by the other 49.2% of the population.  How does that make sense? How can they tell me about birthing, when all they did was the easy part?  How can they tell me about sex contraceptives, when they can get theirs on sale and self checkout–avoiding breaking the bank and their dignity.  How did this happen?  I’ll tell you, because it isn’t a difficult answer, it’s just difficult to swallow…

we let it.

Like a semi-decent relationship we let the relative comfort outweigh the fact that there were major flaws in what was happening.  We chose being content over being equal, because hey, it could be worse.  Well guess what, it is getting worse.  The semi-decent relationship just took a left turn past What-the-fuck Avenue and is cruising down Shitshow Boulevard.  This is the point when the semi-decent relationship is turning to shit and we need to make the choice: Do we stick it out and blow up with it, or de we force a change?  I don’t know about you, but I personally don’t enjoy blowing up.  I prefer change.  I choose change.  This is the point in the relationship where we need to snap back to reality and make the other player get it together.

I get it, don’t hate the player… hate the game.  I do hate the game, but the players have created this systemic issue that makes the game never ending.  There is no final level until the players open their eyes.  Until then, we’ll be stuck at level 7 for the rest of our lives.  I’ve opened my eyes, so yeah, I think I’ve reserved the right to hate the player AND the game.

In a world where everyone is looking for balance in their lives, how can we ever truly find balance until we find equality?

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To the man who spit at my feet…

To the man who spit at my feet,

Let me paint you a picture of how my day was going before you entered my life.  I woke up annoyed and confused.  I had gotten a text message from someone that threw off my vibes for the start of the day.  And you should know, I’m all about vibes.  I had been scrolling through social media and came across no shortage of articles telling me about what this new presidency was going to cut.  I was stressed about what that meant for me as a women.  This concern slowly extended for the rights of people all over America–women, children, poor, ethnic, you name it.  With this gloominess hanging over me, I dragged myself out of bed.

By the time I got through my morning routine, I had changed my mood and perspective on the day.  I chose positivity.  I sipped coffee, paid bills, and went through what I had to get done before my girlfriends came over later that day–all with a smile on my face.  I got myself dressed and set out to Costco, home of items in bulk and a fantastic selection of wine.  Now, let’s not forget one important fact… yesterday was the women’s march.  An event that has been in the works for weeks.  Everyone knew it was happening–all around the world.  That should have come as no surprise to you.  But let me try to be understanding.  Maybe you don’t have social media or cable.  Maybe you don’t talk to people who keep up with current events.  Maybe you truly didn’t know the women’s march was happening and our conversation came as a surprise to you.

Although I didn’t march, to show some solidarity with my sisters around the world, I wore a pink hat.  It wasn’t the march pink pussy hat.  It was just a pink snap back that said, “Team Bride.”  It was honestly the only pink thing I own.  While in line to check out with my bulk water and way too many bottles of wine, your wife asked me whether I was getting married.  I giggled, shrugged, and said, “Oh no, just a hat from a bachelorette party for a friend.  I usually only wear it for bachelorettes… I honestly don’t even like the color pink.”  Your wife and I giggled and I thought that was the end of it.  Until, you came into the picture.

“Well, if you don’t like the color pink and you’re clearly not at a bachelorette party, why are you wearing a pink hat?”

“Oh you know, for the cause.”

“What cause?  Girls? Ha ha ha.”

I should’ve known from your sarcastic tone and empty laugh that this was not going to end well.  In my most sweet and polite tone and with a small smile on my face, I responded:

“Actually, yes.  Today is the women’s march on Washington.  I’m not able to participate in the march, so I’m wearing a pink hat in solidarity and to show support.”

“Support what?  You guys have all you need.  I don’t get it.”

“I believe that you truly believe that, but as a woman I can’t help but disagree.  I think there is still a lot of progress that we can make.  There’s always progress to be made.”

And this is where it happened.  Where you took me back to the annoyed and confused state I was in when I woke up.  I don’t know what it was that set you off.  Was it my pink hat?  Was it the word progress?  Whatever it was, you thought that it was appropriate–in the middle of the Costco checkout line–to spit at my feet.  Not only does this show a lack of general manners for a person out in public…  But what’s worse, is your saliva, as it pooled next to my shoe, sent a very clear, very loud message.  I was worthless to you.  I was less than.  I was an empty space to be filled and covered.  Your own action contradicted the words you uttered just moments before.  No, sir.  We do not have all we need.  If we had all we needed you would’ve realized how despicable and unacceptable your spit was.  And, to top it all off, you followed it up with:

“Fuck you and fuck your rights.”

Your poor wife looked ashamed.  I pitied her for loving a man who cared so little about her basic rights.  Did I want to punch you? Of course.  Did I want to kick you in the balls?  Abso-fucking-lutely.  But I’m quick on my feet and I knew had I done that, I would’ve ended up on social media as the “violent protester  who was immature, unintelligent, and quick to anger” and somehow it would’ve been my fault.  Because that’s the world we live in, sir.  Where I go to Costco in a pink hat–no signs, no shouting–just to buy some water and wine and somehow hatred is spewed at me–and the media would make it my fault.  Because I’m young.  Because I’m a woman.  Because I’m an immigrant’s daughter.  There would’ve been some excuse made for you because you were born with a penis and I was born with a vagina.  

Thankfully, the handsome gentleman I had met in the wine aisle was checking out before me and he stepped in, leading to Costco staff kicking you and your tired wife out of their store.  I had to be walked to my car for safety purposes. (No matter how much I said I was fine and pleaded to be left alone.)  You’re 3 minute interaction in my life changed a whole portion of my day and projected me into a new future.  What you probably shrugged off in a matter of minutes, became an ordeal for me.  People asking if I was okay.  People offering their support.  People walking me to my car.  You’re nothing became my something.  

Now, I left that Costco angered, confused, upset, frustrated… you name it and I felt it.  And then, at a red light, as I sipped my iced coffee, I said to myself, “What the fuck is wrong with you Chmura?  You’re gonna let some idiotic douchebag ruin your mood?”  So I didn’t. I went home.  I cleaned. I played loud music and danced.  I drank wine with my GIRLfriends and we talked and laughed.  We talked about work, aspirations, futures, sex… all topics that probably would’ve made you very uncomfortable to hear six powerful and independent women talking about.  But I was happy.  You, even if you thought you did, did not have the power yesterday.  I had the power.  I refused to react to your hatred.  I refused to let you ruin my day.  I refused to let you make me feel inadequate.

But you did inspire me, sir.  You reminded me why I put on that pink hat yesterday.  You reinforced my belief that our fight has not ended.  You proved my point.  You made me think of what I need to do.  You made me create my next action steps.  You made me write this post.

You may have thought that you had the power yesterday, but really, all you did was empower me.

With a fire in my heart,

The girl with the pink hat at Costco