Thursday, May 29, 2014

And Before I Knew It My Boobs Were On The News

It was recently brought to my attention that posting the pictures that I do on here might make me look less than professional and that if my identity were to be revealed, that I might lose support for my nonprofit.

Sigh.

For all of about ten minutes the “unprofessional” comment stewed about in my brain while I tried to determine exactly how I felt about it.

You see, they had a point. I can definitely imagine that if the media were to flash a scantily clad photo of me across the 6:00 news, paired with one of my blog title’s such as “should I bang both of them,” that it might catch people off guard and cause some controversy. I can absolutely see how it might cause someone to reel back a little bit and think “I’m supporting her nonprofit?” I can see how this might not look too great for me.

I thought about it for the entire ten minutes and I decided that I hated it.

I hate the fact that once again I’m being reminded that the entirety of the person that I am could be judged based on how I present my sexuality. That all that I am, all the work that I do, could be washed away completely and the only thing left of me in the public eye might literally be myself and my underwear.

The more that I thought about it, the angrier that I got. Not at the person that brought it to my attention, but that he had a valid point; society might very well judge me based on the pictures that I choose to post of my body. Do you know the message that sends to our women? That our body is our most important feature; that all that we are can be defined by what we do with our body. If that’s true, then that really makes me sad because my body has already been beaten, abused, and treated like trash multiple times over, so I guess my most important aspect is tarnished.

I am so confident that I am more than my sexuality and the way that I present it, that I refuse to hide that part of myself.



It took our country a long time to catch up to the idea that wonderful gay/lesbian people everywhere were more than just their sex lives, that they were worthwhile people who deserved to be treated equally in the eyes of the law. Twenty years ago a gay man might have been fired from his job for being gay and now he can proudly march down the street in a socially accepted televised parade and happily return to his job on Monday morning, all the while knowing that even if he did cross a disapproving citizen, that the law is in his corner stating that he will not be discriminated against because he has been deemed to be more than just his sexuality.

Yet our women? Our sexuality still labels us. “Models are brainless, strippers are classless, and she got raped because of her outfit.” It’s disgusting when you think about it.

I’m a grown woman, I’m not married, I’m not sneaking around and sleeping with a married man, I’m not sleeping with anyone to be honest, and yet all that I am might be whittled down to my body and what I choose to do with it. The fact that all the work that I do to empower women could be torn down because I choose to be an empowered woman myself, saddens me.

This blog is where I go to bare every aspect of me. My soul is infinitely more important to me than my body is and if I’m going to let all of you come here day after day and glimpse my soul, I certainly don’t mind letting you all glimpse a little bit of my body as well, which is the least important part of who I am. The fact that the media would look upon me proudly for overcoming what I have, but shame me for who I became, is frustrating.

As I’ve said before, I refuse to let society label me by how I choose to express my sexuality or display my body. I am sexual, but that is just a part of me, not all of me, and it is certainly not who I am when it comes to my work ethic.

If I’m going to be judged based on my "lack" of professionalism, judge me on the fact that I once got stuck in a yogurt cooler or the fact that I can routinely be found riding the shopping carts at the grocery store. Judge me on the fact that I’m not always prepared or that I sometimes misunderstand the dress code, but don’t judge me based on how much of my skin I let society see.


  "There's that Eden, whoring around again. Good grief you can see her entire back!"

I could just button my shirt right back up, enter a monogamous relationship, and pretend to be the all American professional woman, but I’m not and I refuse to be. I’ve hidden away parts of who I am for my entire life. I hid away my secrets growing up and I spent years saying what my husband wanted me to say while pretending to be someone I wasn’t to my friends. I’m done hiding away parts of myself. I’m done pretending to be anything other than who I am.

You want to judge me on that? Go ahead. I would just love the chance to be on the news talking about a subject that I feel very strongly about. If people hadn’t spoken up in the past we wouldn’t have gay marriage, we wouldn’t have racial equality, women still wouldn't be allowed to vote, and we would be hundreds of years behind on human rights. I am more than my sexuality. I am a woman, an entire person with many different attributes, one that just so happens to be my sexuality, but one that does not define how I do my job. I refuse to let society narrow down who I am to a single attribute of my existence.

If I crack a stupid joke, does that make me stupid? If I write a brilliant thesis paper, does that mean that I am strictly intelligent and must completely lack social skills? If I choose to post a racy picture, does that mean I am nothing more than a worthless body? Why can’t I be sexy, flirty, and at the same time responsible, hardworking, and most of all, respected?

I run a nonprofit that is aimed at empowering woman to be able to live freely and be their best selves. A nonprofit that helps women leave the grasp of others control and be who they want to be. Who gets to determine who that woman's best self is? I assure you, their abusive husbands have probably already told them who they were and I can guarantee you that I am not about to let society tell them who they should be next.

I would say a majority of the emails that I get center around women who are trying to grasp their own sexuality. Women who have been judged, abused, or are just a little lost, all looking for direction. “Will anyone take me seriously since I’ve slept with so many people? Will my boyfriend still love me if I don’t sleep with him? What will people think of me if they knew what I did? What will people think if they knew what was done to me?” I tell them all the same thing; “you are so much more than that! It is such a small part of the person that you are and to top it off, what you do sexually has nothing to do with how you treat and interact with them.”

So again, after mulling it over, I’ve decided that yes, I am every bit as qualified for my nonprofit as a nun were to be. Each person, regardless of any aspect of their sexuality, is so much more than just that. Don’t discount the entirety of a person because of the one part you don’t understand. If I’m going to give advice, I should believe it, and since I do believe it, I’m not only going to accept my own advice, but I'm going to stand by it as well.

If the media were to ever connect this blog to my nonprofit and someone has a problem with the way that I display myself, I would like to make an official statement:

“I defend my position on how I choose to live and display myself. It is outrageous to me that the sexual activities of a responsible adult are still being used as the method of determination for the worth of a person and what they are able to contribute to society. I am confident that American society is capable of seeing that someone is more than just their sexuality. I look forward to the day when women are not only able to embrace, but also be accepted for who they are and how they choose to live without the fear of being judged for it.”

With that being said, all you beautiful people, don’t ever forget that you are so much more than just your sex life. If we allow ourselves to be reduced down to one aspect of our being, we are limiting ourselves to being so much less than we are capable of. No one deserves to be hidden away from society just because we don’t like the choices that they make.

Stars, like people, are imperfect, yet each one continues to shine in their own unique way. The sky would be a lot dimmer if we only allowed some of the stars to shine.








Photo Credits

37 comments:

  1. You are a beautiful woman, Eden, both inside and out. Your sexuality, and what you choose to do (or not do) with it are yours and yours alone to decide. Your choices in those matters will not lessen my respect for you in any way.

    Women in our society (all societies, really) have a completely contradictory set of expectations placed upon them, and the standards by which you are judged are completely out of balance with how men are judged. I truly hope that changes someday. I wish that day were tomorrow, but I'm afraid there is a lot of work yet to be done before we come close to seeing that goal accomplished.

    In the meantime, you just keep on being you. Because you are completely awesome!

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    1. I'm going to partially disagree with you, the american society is nothing like the European one when it comes to lets call it "political correctness". A woman can get naked in a beach in Spain without any issues or every pointing at her. You can even tell from the tv ads sexuality is something natural, is pretty normal to see an ad on tv in prime time were a woman is naked trying a deodorant and is ok. In Italy a porn actress won a sit in the parliament and she would go around showing her boobs lol. In Spain at least women are totally empowered crap they are the bosses and anyone who denies that should meet my grandma or my mom lol.

      USA contrary to the popular belief is far from the democratic/full of freedoms land, everything you say/do gets you bashed or shamed, you can even lose your job if you say the wrong word or offend the wrong people joking. So yes Eden would get bashed pretty hard for the pics and all her stories would be questioned since she has no right to deviate from what the news think her behavior should be, as an abused person she should never have sex again and be a nun praying to God everyday.

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    2. Well, yes and no. Although European countries are definitely more relaxed in terms of the concept of female sexuality, they are still largely bastions of male privilege and power. A woman in Italy/ England/Germany/etc is still just as likely, if not more so, to be catcalled as she walks down the street, or groped as she rides the bus. So while those countries may well be better at allowing women to be sexual, they really aren't much better at allowing women to be much of anything else!

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    3. Considering GB has a Queen and had a very powerful prime minister Miss Thatcher and Germany PM is a woman Miss Merkel I'm going to have to disagree with your statement.

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    4. OK, that was a bit of an overstatement on my part. Europe is SOMEWHAT better at allowing women into positions of power than the US, but if you think the patriarchy isn't alive and well (and still pretty much still running the show) over there, it would be my turn to disagree.

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    5. I'm not the saying that there is no machismo whatsoever. there is but there is also feminism too. Nothing like in the USA were people is ready to lynch you for not acting or behaving how you are supposed to thou. Like a month or so ago the CEO of Mozilla had to resign because X years ago he donated 1k or something like that supporting the protection of marriage, this kind of thing were you get a public execution for having an opinion doesnt happen.

      Reading how the trolls reacted when Eden posted her thoughts on Mother's day in XO Jane, I never seen those kind of self-righteous behaviors before, people just looking to feel offended. Had she been a public figure with endorsements the would have left her because she said "the wrong things".

      Dunno I think as a society we have ways to go and accept that not everyone is the same or have the same ideas.

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    6. Well I'll say right off the bat that the two of you are a lot more up to date on your worldy affairs than I am, so I won't even comment and pretend to know what you are talking about lol.

      But....thank you both for raising a lot of interesting points and catching me up on my current affairs! Hopefully I don't get bashed too hard, but if it were ever to all go public and there was some crazy ass "burning of the witch," get your posterboards ready and your picketing clothes on lol. I'm going to need some supporters!

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    7. Europe is not only further along when it comes to women's sexuality - also with men's. Pretty much the first thing past French prime minister, Sarkozy, did when he entered his office was to get divorced from his wife and marry his girlfriend. And nobody ever questioned his competence regarding his job. Let me just remind you of what America says, when a president has an affair and is so unlucky as to the public knowing...

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    8. Wow, go Europe!! I mean boo for the cheating, but yay for understanding that sex and career are different!

      :)

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    9. :D I do understand you reaction, but frankly, I never boo for any cheating I can see from the outside, because what do I know what goes on in a marriage behind closed doors? ;)

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  2. Yes, a non profit for victims of abuse and you openly discuss your alleged relationships, sexting, banging, making child abuse jokes. You're a study in contradictions.

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    1. So irene, as im assuming this is you again, is there some sort of rule that says an abuse victim has to completely shut down sexually, never to date again, because she was abused? You are the exact reason that victims remain stifled by ridiculous labels. As for the jokes, i think she explained herself pretty well.

      Thank you Eden for continuing to fight against the victim stigmas!

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    2. Believe it or not, people who have been abused cam move on from that abuse and form new relationships. They might even have sex sometimes.

      Shocking, I know, but true.

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    3. Haha, I'm sorry, I must have missed the memo stating that abuse recovery included a lifetime membership to the convent.

      Sssshhh, don't tell anyone, crazy Eden is breaking all the rules over here and DATING..... (as a gasp goes over the crowd)

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  3. Yes, unfortunately, you will be judged if your blog gets out. Some of the judging will be favorable, some will not. But it will be done. What will be at issue is whether the judging will harm your non profit. If not, screw the naysayers...if it does then you will have to deal with the fallout when it comes. Until then try not to worry about something that may never happen.

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    1. I should probably keep a fire extinguisher ready because they are going to flame me up!

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  4. This was one of the best written blog posts on the subject I've read. It's a message that needs to be shouted from the rooftops.

    Anonymous above is way off base in her (his?) criticism. It's the taboos surrounding discussion of sex and bodies that allows abuse and harm to continue. If we can't openly discuss relationships and what happens within them (both good and bad), if we always have to watch our language lest we offend some "righteous" person (the more correct term would be "self-righteous"), then we're giving the power back to the abusers. Silence empowers the powerful, not the victims.

    It is for that reason that Eden is perhaps MORE suited to running a non-profit to help victims of spousal abuse than many nuns would be. She's lived it. She knows what it's really like. She can say the words that need to be said, not the words a male dominated society wants her to say.

    You go, girl!

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    1. Aw thanks Ruth! I was actually thinking about you the other day and wondering if you were still reading lol. You've been quiet!

      Thank you for your vote of confidence :) I agree, it is the taboos that allow the harm to continue. I'm done keeping my mouth shut lol!

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  5. "Twenty years ago a gay man might have been fired from his job for being gay"
    Unfortunately, my state is a fire-at-will state, so you can still be fired here just for being gay. Ugh.

    This was a really well-written post on this subject. I think it's something that needs to be discussed more often, not hushed and hidden away. I read a quote recently that went somewhere along the lines of, "Not all men harass women, but all women have been harassed by a man." It's really, really unfortunate that it's 2014 and women still have to deal with this bullshit.

    A man has multiple sex partners? Wow, way to go awesome dude! A woman has multiple sex partners? She's a disgusting slut. The fact that parents are perfectly willing to expose their kids to extremely violet movies, TV shows, and games and yet scream bloody murder the second a boob is exposed is completely baffling to me. Why is a perfectly natural part of the freaking human body something that is so horribly shameful? I just don't get it.

    So good for you for talking about this. And good for you for continuing to do what you do! :)

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    1. So very true on the guys verses girls sex views. Guys get high fived and called "the man" while the women are supposed to scower off in a corner somewhere while sewing their scarlette letter on.

      And yes with the exposing kids to things. I keep seeing articles about Facebook taking breastfeeding photo's down. Now personally I don't know why you would post that, but its still better than most of the teenage girl nearly naked selfie pics that are going around!

      I like the quote about every woman being harrassed by a man, that is SPOT ON unfortunately :(

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    2. I remember talking to a friend from high school recently when we ran into each other at the grocery store. We were discussing a mutual friend who was dating a new girl. My old friend says, "You know Mutual Friend is dating Super Slut, right? She's slept with like, three guys in the last year. It's disgusting."

      I looked her and said, "Well, okay. Mutual Friend has slept with at least seven women in the last six months. What's your point?"

      Her point? That girls shouldn't sleep around, but it's okay for guys to. Because something about the Bible and God saying girls should not be sluts. Or something. Yes she was serious. The conversation reminded me why I didn't keep in touch with her after we graduated...

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    3. Good for you for speaking up!!

      Sometimes I'll find old aquaintences on Facebook, friend them, and as soon as I see them talking I remember why we were never friends lol

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    4. It took me a few seconds to come up with anything to say, because what she was saying was just so mind-bogglingly ridiculous that my brain stopped working for a minute there.

      Facebook is an amazing source of discovering why you disliked people in high school, at previous jobs, etc. I'd laugh about it if some of the things I've seen posted weren't so absolutely disgusting.

      But yeah. There's a lot of, "Oh...right. THAT'S why I didn't like you in high school" going on on Facebook, haha.

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  6. Ah, the double standard. When I was in college there was a girl who tended to walk on the wild side, and the other girls in her suite picked one stall in the bathroom and told her that one was hers to use (like people could really catch anything from sharing a toilet, right?) I was horrified at how judgmental (and stupid) they were... but yet one of the sleaziest guys around with a reputation you can only imagine (every cliché in the book, this guy looked like a golden god but he was a complete slime) would ask one of them out and (after visibly melting into a little puddle of joy) they would say yes... me, I wouldn't even want to touch a doorknob he'd touched (shudder) much less HIM(!), and I would think they'd be afraid to sit in his car, considering (I mean, it must've had at least as many "slut germs" on the seat as on that infamous toilet, right? After all his sexploitative incidents and all...) but nooo, he was sexy and dashing and famous (on campus anyway, ball player who won the championship) so he was clearly cootie free, while that girl (whose rep I think was highly exaggerated anyway) was considered to be Typhoid Mary. Bottom line, sometimes GIRLS are more down on girls and their reps (and more double-standarded!) than guys are! !!!

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    1. oh yes, we had those in highschool, the "big man on campus" and the slutty girls he slept with. So infuriating.

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  7. Oops, I meant to say "women." As in, women are more down on women (as I realize the word "girls" could be considered sexist.) Although in college I think they still are girls, really. Haven't quite gotten the adult thing totally mastered yet, entirely. And, they still have the "mean girls" thing going on too... (and some never outgrow it. Sometimes women are our own worst enemy, part of the glass ceiling in business is perpetuated by women, who block other women from getting ahead.) We need to remember that "A House Divided Against Itself Cannot Stand," as Lincoln famously said.

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    1. Girls, women, its all the same to me :) Ah, the cattiness of women, why do we do that too ourselves?

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  8. Hi Eden,

    I absolutely love everything you say,always, but this time, I'm not sure what to make of a comment you made in your defense paragraph , "I’m not sleeping with a married man"...
    Perhaps I misunderstood your comment altogether, but the way I took it is, that, in your defense, you're not a bad person because you're not sleeping with a married man. Sometimes, married people sleep with other married, or unmarried, people. You see, I feel that if people (especially women) HAD spoken up, a very long time ago, there wouldn't be no marriage at all...

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    1. Sorry for the confusion!

      Now you know me, I am totally up for open relationships. I think as long as both partners are consenting and in agreement a relationship can work any way both partners please. Also, I realize that some people are technically married, but are actually seperated.

      I was simply refering to the fact that I wasn't doing anything scandalous that might jepordize my "trustability." I don't know if you are in America, but if you are, I was just saying that I'm not pulling a Bill Clinton. I am absolutely open to any form of a relationship, but I am against cheating. I'm not saying that you are a bad person if you cheat, I just personally don't like the lying and broken promises that are typically involved. The legality of the relationship makes no difference to me, but when one partner is unconsenting to the other one stepping outside of the relationship, I can't say that I would agree with that if a promise had been made to remain faithful.

      Either way, what I was referring to was that I don't see anything wrong with expressing my sexuality any way that I please, "it's not like I'm involving myself in scandalous or deceptive behaivors that might jepordize my intergrity."

      I will say though, that even though I'm against cheating, one aspect of a person does not make them a bad person. I would never claim someone is a "bad person" just because they involve themselves in something that I don't agree with.

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    2. Aaahhh, Thank You Eden for taking the time. See, I knew I misunderstood your comment :) You are a wonderful, beautiful person, and I so enjoy reading your blog. Wishing a most fantabulous weekend!

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    3. Oh yeah, I want to make a slight correction in my phrase, "there wouldn't be no marriage at all...". I totally realized yesterday after posting my comment that it's a complete double negative, but I was too tired to correct it at the time. It should have read more, "there would be no marriage at all". I guess I feel that marriage is a patriarchal invention. In the Matriarchal days, women were free, and it didn't matter who her children were made with...

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    4. OK, you're going to think I'm nuts posting so many times in a row like this, but I just realized, that the Matriarchal days, totally fit in with your post, because in those days, women's sexuality was never judged...in fact, it was completely respected. I can't wait until this patriarchal era is over...

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    5. I don't think I've ever seen another person match up the word "fabulous' with anything other than myself lol. I always say "have a fantastical day!"

      I don't know anything about the patrarchal and matriarchal time periods, so I'm going to have to take your word for it! Lol

      **hugs**

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    6. Hee, hee :)

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  9. Hello - Still, slowly working my way through your posts. (work got in the way). I loved this post. One of my favorites.

    Thanks!

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    1. Ha! Glad to hear my posts haven't scared you off yet!!

      Thanks for your feedback, it makes me smile when I know someone enjoyed a post :) Makes it work my time!

      *hugs*

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