I've met many women who on the outside would be considered "bombshells", "vixens", "man eaters", gorgeous human beings others would be envious of, but on the inside were insecure and lonely.
They work hard on their physical appearance for the attention of the opposite (or same) sex, but inside feel sad and empty.
I completely understand their mindset because I once based my wholeness on the way that I looked and the attention that I would get from men.
I allowed myself to become sexually objectified and I thought that that was having self confidence.
The words, looks and actions of men determined my own validity and self-worth as a woman.
I easily drew men to me, but could never keep them around for the life of me.
My worthiness as a sexy woman was based on the definition of sexy given to me by society.
We live in a world where the topic of sexual empowerment has just begun to rear its head and it's no wonder so many of us are confused on the difference between sexual objectification and sexual empowerment!
Here's the key difference:
Sexual objectification is giving your power away to something outside of you to determine your validity as a human being and sexual expression.
Sexual empowerment is taking your power back and going within to determine your validity as a human being and sexual expression.
It's all about where you direct your power to and what you are depending on for your own self-worth and validation in sexually expressing yourself.
(Note: In these definitions that I just gave, I am talking about self-objectification which is way more important than the way society sexually objectifies women. We have control over ourselves and not others. The key to transforming sex objectification within a society starts with ourselves. We've been trying to do it the other way around and how's that working out for us? It isn't working!)
For example, sexual promiscuity is usually seen as a negative thing on our society but given the definition I just gave, it can either be sexual objectification or sexual empowerment depending on what we are relying on to determine our worth.
To be promiscuous out of fear of loneliness, rejection, boredom, etc. (power of being directed externally) is not empowerment.
To be promiscuous because you enjoy (power being directed internally) having different types of sexual experiences with different people can be liberating and empowering.
Here's another example of its opposite: abstinence. Abstinence tends to be seen as a positive thing in our society and yet, it can also be a form of sexual objectification or empowerment.
Have you heard of men willing to pay a whole lot of money to sleep with a virgin or a girl selling her virginity? My point exactly!
It's easy to think of it as empowerment because someone who has never had sex is automatically sexually empowered, right?
Just like promiscuity, it depends on where the power is being directed to.
To be abstinent out of fear (power being directed externally) of STIs, pregnancy, broken heart, etc. is not empowerment.
(Note: It's super important to be take precaution of contracting an infection or an unwanted pregnancy, but it's not empowering for it to be the sole factor as to why someone would rather be abstinent.)
To be abstinent because you're choosing (power being directed internally) to have your first sexual experience with a certain someone or at a certain moment (paid or not paid!) can be empowering.
Your self worth should not have to be determined by how people view your body parts. Nothing wrong with wanting to be physically attractive, but it can't be the sole factor that determines how you feel about yourself.
I hope that I was able to bring clarity on the difference between sexual objectification and empowerment.
Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below.
Thanks for reading. :)