Women have been controlled by their beauty, sexuality and sociality in thousands of years. This has naturally limited their self-perspective, relations and their contribution to society. #MeToo showed that all three things were more about power than lust and love.
In 2019 all women should form unit in a new movement: The Unruly Women’s Club, which would be an advantage for the whole society.
“What do you think about a boy who kisses a lot of girls?”
The girl is in 7th grade and I asked her the question because she asked what sociology was. She looked down shyly and mumbled that she doesn’t know.
“What do you then think about a girl who kisses a lot of boys?”
“That’s not good!” She answered quickly.
“See, that can be answered by a sociologist,” I replied, “because why is there a difference in whether or not it is okay for a boy and a girl to do the exact same thing?” The light behind her confused eyes was blinking. “Do you think that is fair?” I asked. She shook her head. Bingo! I might have recruited a future member to The Unruly Women’s Club, so that she in the future can be spared of feeling wrong, shame or a lack of worthiness, which unfortunately follows a lot of young women.
The phenomenon unruly women were spoken of for the first time when women wore bell hats and danced Charleston. It happened due to the first wave of feminism and allowed a woman to be sexually free, intelligent, and on some occasions, self-sufficient. Which is why she at that time was provocative on nearly all parameters where women otherwise were controlled.
But when a 12-year-old girl says that the same behaviour by a boy and a girl is to be looked at differently and to the disadvantage for the girl, how unruly are women actually today 100 years later?
Not enough apparently. Otherwise a movement such as #MeToo wouldn’t have become as big as it did in just one year. On far too many areas women still haven’t taken control over their own sexuality, beauty and sociality, and as long as women are controlled by restrictive and outdated norms about how women should behave, express themselves and be perceived, and what they must strive for and contribute with, society misses out on a great deal of creativity and sociality. This could innovate us all into a new age which is both environmental and socially sustainable. This is essential because the human species grows at an explosive speed.
And yes, I am starting with the little girl in 7th grade, who apparently has learned that girls aren’t allowed to (want to) kiss a lot of boys.
Sexuality is our vitality and creativity
Women’s sexuality has always been subject for social control, because it basically is about having power over the next generation, which in wider terms equals power over society. But people’s sexuality is a lot more than just sex! Any psychologist and sociologist will tell you, that it actually is bound to our vitality and creative energy. Basically, it is about our ability to be original, brave, untamed in our creativity, sensual and in contact with a greater force that transcends our prosaic life – which artists are the best examples of. If we are to experience both a high quality of life and contribute in the best possible way to the community, it is crucial that we have a free and unlimited access to our sexuality/vitality/creativity. The less stung, the more creativity and originality to solve the problems of the world together. So, unruly women, do not just do it for themselves; they do it for the sake of the world. And then they should also own their lust for the sake of their own entertainment and pleasure.
But this is not enough.
Beauty is visibility
Because women should also be more unruly when it comes to beauty. When Angela Merkel appeared in a low-cut dress for the opening of the Oslo Opera her abilities as chancellor were questioned. Since, she has mostly been wearing squared suits and looks like a palet of pantone colours. Once again, the perspective is wider than just looks. When a woman does not let herself shine in a free presentation of herself, but accepts to be limited in her attempts to express herself because she tries to live up to some stiff ideals about how a woman should present herself to be socially acceptable, she does not only limit her personality and assumes a shame that is unnecessary. She limits her own visibility. Today visibility is a direct mean to influence and power, which the “influencers” on social media is a clear proof of. When our visibility is frowned upon, we do not only loose the possibility to take our place in society but also our credibility and thus power. So more unruliness here, please.
But this is still not enough.
Women are not just the biological reproductive gender; we are also the social reproductive gender. This can be seen in an extreme form when a mother kills her daughter to maintain the honour of the family and a certain social order in the society. Women are often expected to be more responsible for the social environment than men are in the communities they are in. Likewise, are the expectations towards how selfish a woman is allowed to be much narrower when she chases her own goals instead of nurturing her relations. Many women choose to adopt this constraining expectation of own worth and thereby limit their own needs instead of expecting an equal distribution of social responsibility. So here, too, there is a need for both more equality and unruliness.
Unruly women create a stronger and better society because they simply contribute more. At the same time, they give themselves a mandate to live more true to their own needs and abilities and through that, create a better and funnier life for themselves. #MeToo gave us a consciousness about the lack of female unruliness. The Unruly Women’s Club is the next step in a movement, where both sexes are truly free to contribute to a common, well-functioning, and innovative society that includes all kinds of diversity and humanity.
Published in Jyllandsposten 30.12.18
By Emilia van Hauen