Whether you live in Accra, Ghana or Akron, Ohio in the US, as a woman of African descent you know what it means to have your sexual health and pleasure controlled by someone else. You could be denied oral contraceptives at the pharmacy or denied the protection of a condom in bed. Your cry of “stop!” to a man forcing himself on you can fall on deaf ears just as easy as your cry to keep it going until you reach orgasm can.
Lately, in South Africa, there has been a lot of discussion about Zuma marrying his 6th wife and whether or not rape is a part of South African culture. In Sweden, Painful Cake, by Afro Swede Makode Linde, allows you cut into a red velvet cake designed to look like an African woman’s vagina. It’s meant to bring awareness to female circumcision or female genital mutilation. But, for me it really makes me ask, “Where are African women’s voices in all of this?” What are our thoughts about a man having more than one wife or woman and what a woman can say “no” or “yes” to.
We need to take the lead in these discussions and decisions taking place all over Africa and the diaspora. I think having our own art work showing how we feel and what we want and need sexually as well as having our own blogs to set the agenda and stir the conversation can let us get what we want out of our sexual lives. We can do this more and more as we get access to jobs and positions that allow us to take a stance on whether or not oral contraceptives can be sold without a prescription or why rape needs stiffer punishment. Or why we need female ejaculation. Of course, we’re making progress. But, are we making it as fast as we can?
So, what will it be? Oral contraceptives or orgasms today? What are your thoughts?
Bio: Denise Harrison is the CEO & Founder of Suzy Knew. SuzyKnew aims to improve women’s sexual pleasure and health as well as improve reproductive health targeting women in the US and select African
and Asian countries.