Note: I support whatever anybody decides to believe in, I am not bible bashing, or belief shaming. I think each person should have their own belief system in their lives, and I am aware that it’s different for each person. However, I was raised around a VERY strict religion that took scripture literally, even though its teachings are outdated.
A society built upon religion creates an environment designed to oppress women’s sexuality. Religion has been led by men and believed to be instructed by God to keep women in their place. These societal constraints form a steel cage where women are told that men hold the key. Religion forces women to fear their own sexual desires and excuses men’s own inability to control theirs. Religion has fucked up my view of sex and placed me in a steel cage designed to keep me separate from the things I craved and desired. A prison to ensure that I didn’t stray too far into the desires of the flesh. Religion claims the steel cage protects women, but it’s there to control us and take away the power we all possess.
When I was supposed to be exploring my sexuality in my teenage years, I was told that I needed to wait until marriage. When I was craving sexual attention, I had to suppress it and wait until I found “the one” I would marry and spend the rest of my life with. I never dated as an older teenager, I craved the attention, but wasn’t allowed to want or give into those desires.
As a child with divorced parents, my dad was an atheist and my mom was in a strict religion. So, I got a bit of both worlds which was extremely confusing for me as a developing young woman.
Before I was in high school, I was hanging out with high schoolers doing high school things well, maybe college things. As a freshmen, I was giving head, smoking cigarettes, smoking pot, and flashing older men to buy me alcohol. I was ditching school and trying to fit in with people that I didn’t even like that much.
I did it for attention, I loved attention (and still do).
In my Junior year of high school, after ditching school everyday and getting into drugs and alcohol, I was back in the church. My mom thought that was what was best for me—after all of the defiance in my younger years. I got baptized and was devoted to doing better out of feelings of shame and guilt. I was forced into being mentored by oppressed women in marriages where they were treated like property by their husbands. These women were mislead by choice. I became depressed, lonely, and self loathing. I learned how to fold fitted sheets, dress modestly, cook dinner, respect the male elders of the church, do what I was told, use my manners, be a lady, and do what all good God fearing women must do: submit to men. I covered up and felt shame over having breasts, something I had no control over as a developing teenager. I would walk into church with a crew neck shirt and would be pulled aside by old men telling me to dress more modestly. I would wear skirts that went to my knee and be told by the women of the church that I needed looser fitting clothes that didn’t accentuate my ass. I thought I was doing it all right, but everyday I was told how to do it differently, how to do it better.
I watched my friends turn 18 and get married shortly after to the first boy that looked at them fondly. I watched them fall out of love and stay married. I watched my friends do sexual acts with their boyfriends while I was a ‘chaperone’, a third wheel. I was following the rules, but I was the one targeted because of how my body looked.
As a teenager, (16-19 years old) I was taught to be quiet, keep my head down, dress conservatively, don’t have sex, follow the man’s lead, and, as I’ve mentioned before, be a good girl. I was always the nice girl, the sweet girl, and the innocent girl. Even though I had had more life experiences than most women in the church, I hid that part of myself. I buried my past in order to do right in God’s eyes so that I would be forgiven for all the wrong I had done. I lived with so much fear that my life was doomed from decisions I had made before I was even a legal adult. The FEAR of capital ‘G,’ God.
I was in a cage wrapped in chains, with no clear way of escaping. I was fighting myself internally and hoping to find something that would bring me happiness. I did everything I was supposed to do and never felt like it was what I wanted to do. I thought there was something wrong with me.
And the words below, taken from the Bible, were the reason for the actions of the church.
“Rule over you”
“Submit to your own husbands”
“She is to remain quiet”
And finally we get this. “Keep Silent” “Not permitted to speak” “be in submission” “ask their husbands at home” and “shameful for women to speak”
So, as you can imagine, a strong woman can only be oppressed for so long. I did some good and some bad. I fought against the boundaries of the church, and eventually led a double life. I met my now husband through our job.
I worked for a married couple from my church who kept an eye on me, and Ryan was an employee there. The church said, “do not associate with those of the world,” basically, if they aren’t in the religion, stay away. So, I stayed away even though the attraction was there.
And, as Ryan mentioned in his post HERE, our mutual employer, a man of the church, the strict church, was trying to get me (religion girl) to date Ryan (the “worldly” boy). Since our employer was a male in the church, I listened to him like I was told to, and accepted Ryan’s MySpace offer to “hang out.”
The hypocrisy in this blows my mind. My employers encouraged us to be together, yet reported me to the church when we started dating. I was excommunicated from my church, parts of my family no longer spoke to me, and I was cut off from all of my friends at the time.
I was relieved.
I was free. I was finally working towards happiness. I was lusting for a boy and he was lusting for me. I spent evenings and weekends with him. I loved hanging out with him from the beginning and still love hanging out with him to this day, 13 years later. It was the best decision I had made in that part of my life.
As you can imagine, the scared and brainwashed girl from above turned into a submissive people pleasing, “good girl.” Even though I was no longer a part of the church, I never unlearned the things I was taught. I was completely unaware of the lasting effects the church had on my life.
I thought I was supposed to do things like the Bible taught about marriage. I thought I was supposed to submit to my husband for my marriage to last. I thought that keeping quiet and not expressing my desires was the only way to be married. Even though I am a natural leader, I suppressed that part of me, along with parts of my personality in order to have a lasting marriage. I didn’t realize that I could be myself without limits and still have a happy lasting marriage.
I got pregnant shortly into our relationship, before we were officially married. This was hard for me, I felt shame for not being married before getting pregnant. However, logically, I knew it didn’t matter. I was pregnant and in love with the man I was marrying and that was all that actually mattered.
Two kids later and a lot of life changes, I am just now realizing this power that I actually have, and the effects it has on men. I also understand why the church has oppressed women for so long and it’s because of the fear of the power that women possess.
Women are meant to rule the world.
I don’t know why it has taken so long for me to see and understand this concept, but it is liberating.
I have this power to make men melt with my body. I get speechless reactions and smiles.
Even though my body has marks from changing for over 30 years of life, even though my aging neck and face aren’t what they were 10 years ago, even though I have a mommy tummy, even though my boobs aren’t perky, I still (somehow) have this power.
I don’t really trust it fully yet. I can’t know for sure if this power is lasting, or if its a construct I’ve made for myself to accept this new lifestyle we are in. I want it to be lasting. It makes me feel alive and whole. I have never loved myself as much as I do today. Becoming and accepting my inner slut, has opened up a whole new world for me and I love the attention.
Deep down, I have always wanted to be the person I am now. I wanted and craved the attention from men around me. I wanted to use the power that I always knew that I possessed, but I chose suppression because it was safer.
Little did I know at the time, the cage I mentioned above, I actually built for myself. I strategically placed myself in that cage, wrapped the chains around it and put the key in my pocket. I had the ability to step out of that cage at anytime I wanted to, but it was safer in there. I had to shove myself in there in order to be loved and accepted by those around me.
That cage fucking sucks and I never want to get back in it, no matter how dangerous it is out here. It’s worth the risk.
I love the power that I posses with my normal imperfect curvy body and that’s not something I ever thought would be possible. I like going out, feeling beautiful, and noticing the attention that men give me. I take that attention and turn it into power and confidence. Everyday I become a little more of the slutty powerful woman I was always meant to be.
I am thriving.