In current strides to create equality or rather equity in varying realms such as equal-pay, and eradication of sexual harassment, there needs to be a freeing of the female body. This can only be achieved through having a strong connection and knowledge of the body personally and in society.The issue at hand surrounds itself with is a core question of how women come to understand their own bodies.
Firstly is the question of how physically young women are able to understand their own bodies. This includes sexual health education and the gap around functional body awareness that is lacking in the public education system.
Next is how society understands the female body. This includes stigmatization around the public speech of the female body, discrimination surrounding bodily functions and stigmatization of varying body types. Societal perpetuated issues that face females include but are not limited to: the expectations to be responsible in heterosexual relationships for taking birth control, sexually transmitted diseases and the stigmatization of bodies in western culture.The female body is typically oversexualized by the general population and therefore there is a lack of expression of the body in a natural form, which can lead to female oppression and mental health concerns.
Stemming from the public discourse present about the female body, there is the question of an understanding about personal mental health in relation to feelings of self worth about one’s body, body image and understanding of the body.
The New York Times recently released a video questioning the gaps of societal, physical and mental understanding of the female body on the topic of birth control (linked below). The video is representative of why there needs to be an immediate societal shift in women’s health education.
For our children, our sisters, our friends and our mentors- advocate for change.