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January 22, 2007

BLOG FOR CHOICE - Voice 2

Most people look at “pro-choice” or reproductive rights as being about abortion, but to me it’s about so much more than that. It is about the right to reproduce or not reproduce. It is about contraception and sex education; it is about fertility treatments and surrogate pregnancy; it is about access to safe, legal abortion and protection from forced abortion or forced sterilization; it is about access to affordable prenatal care and safe labor/delivery; it is about sex and parenthood and freedom and… choice.

The reason I am pro-choice is because I am all for body autonomy and body freedom. I believe in women (or rather, people) controlling their own bodies in any way that they feel that applies to them.

Whether that means getting pregnant or getting sterilized or having an abortion or giving birth or getting tattooed or getting vaccinated or sleeping with men or sleeping with women or taking birth control pills or drinking alcohol or eating meat or shaving your legs or using tampons or getting breast implants or “sleeping around” or staying a virgin or going tanning or dying your hair or wearing makeup or getting chemotherapy or smoking cigarettes or being a nudist or doing aerobics or getting liposuction or breastfeeding or piercing your nipples or anything else you might want to do with your body.

Since this is the Evil Slut Clique’s blog, I’ll address one of my favorite aspects of body autonomy: sexual freedom.

From the Sexual Freedom Coalition website:
Sexual Freedom is the freedom to say yes and say no to sex. It is freedom to enjoy sex just like any other human instinct such as eating, sleeping and soaking up the sun, without apology or attracting stigma.

Sexual Freedom is the freedom to enjoy consensual adult sexual activities in private (and secluded places), whether it is paid sex, free sex, married sex, sex with strangers, gay sex, sex involving people with disabilities, people engaging in consensual BDSM, and a combination of these things. Sexual Freedom is the freedom of adults to see, hear or experience any kinds of sexual entertainment, although the creation of such entertainment should not involve exploitation or sexual abuse.

Sexual Freedom gives individual adults the right to negotiate the deal of their sexual encounters, be they financial, charitable, recreational, committed relationship, formal marriage or other, without interference from the state, whatever their gender, sexual orientation or tastes.
You might be wondering what this has to do with being pro-choice? Condemning sexual behaviors, is just another way of trying to put limitations on what we do with our own bodies. I don't want any part of a society or government that is going to tell me what I should or shouldn't be doing with my body.

I guess this is as good a time as any to explain why we proudly call ourselves "sluts" on this blog. While many might consider the word to be derogatory, I like to think of it as an expression of choice. I will sleep with whomever I choose and as long as I'm not hurting anyone in the process, no one can make me feel bad about that.

According to the book Ethical Slut, a slut is "a person of any gender who has the courage to lead life according to the radical proposition that sex is nice and pleasure is good for you."

In my opinion, calling myself and my friends "sluts" (regardless of our level of "promiscuity") takes the power away from those who would use that word against us. To some people, the things we write on here or the way we behave is "anti-feminist"... but I believe that freedom to be who you are is one of the most important tenets of feminism. The idea that sexual freedom is an essential part of women's freedom is sometimes called sex-positive feminism (and no, that is not an oxymoron) but I just consider it good common sense. What might be immoral to some can be empowering to me.

It seems as though I've gotten quite off topic, but the fact of the matter is that to me being a "slut" is all part of my being "pro-choice". It's all the same issue: having sex or not having sex, trying to get pregnant or trying to not get pregnant, terminating a pregnancy or having a baby... it's all about me deciding what I do with my body. And no one can make me feel bad for any choices I make, except me.

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