Tonight I’m pissed.
Which I guess is a good reason to post this here, instead of over on my personal blog, where I try to be all nice and shit.
Because I don’t know how nice I can be tonight.
I run a lot. And as I run, I listen to podcasts. I find they give me something to think about besides the physical discomfort of running. Tonight I ran four miles and listened to this Mormon Stories podcast about female sexuality within a Mormon framework.
And it seriously pissed me off.
Not the podcast itself. The podcast was wonderful. What pissed me was off how deeply it resonated with me. Because the problems these women experienced were my problems. Their shame was my shame. Their hang-ups, my hang-ups.
At one point I found myself sprinting down the track, fueled by a terrible rage that still shocks me, both middle fingers raised in the air, shouting, “FUCK YOU!” to the sky.
(Don’t worry, the track was deserted, it was dark, and I was all alone.)
I don’t know who I was yelling at. My mother? My bishop? My Young Women leaders? That damned For the Strength of Youth pamphlet?
Yeah, I’m pissed. I’m seriously pissed. I’m pissed that I was raised in a culture that made me believe my sexuality was bad.
I’m pissed that I reigned it in out of fear, out of shame, when I could have felt empowered and special and delighted by my body’s incredible capacity for expression and pleasure – even if I’d still decided to wait to share that gift until marriage.
I’m pissed that for years I regarded my clitoris as a shameful enemy, instead of the beautiful friend I now know it to be, that God Himself intended it to be.
I’m pissed that from the time I was 12, men in suits felt it was their business to ask me questions about my sexual experiences, and that I believed them, and that it never occurred to anyone older and wiser to ask, “What in the world makes this okay?”
Most of all, I’m pissed that I wasted years of my life hiding from this deeply divine aspect of who I was made to be, and that I haven’t yet emerged from my hiding place, not quite – even though I know that there is no strength is secrecy, no virtue in fear, that God’s will was nowhere near those awful messages I bought hook, line, and sinker.
So yeah, I’m pissed tonight. And I think I have a right to be.