Wonder Women: It’s Time to Stand United
We at LELO are so pleased to welcome Emma Sayle, founder of Killing Kittens, the members-only club that hosts female-oriented sex parties around the world, to the Volonté blog as a guest author. Her second piece addresses the strides women have made in terms of sexual expression―and how much more can be achieved.
In 1975, New York photographer Liza Cowan took a picture of her girlfriend wearing a simple white t-shirt that stated ‘The Future is Female’. Little did she know then but that t-shirt, which represented a radical feminist movement in 1970s New York, would resurface again 40 years later on a thing called Instagram.
‘This slogan has lasted through the decades and is re-emerging as an empowering statement for all,’ says LA-based Otherwild art studio who, with Cowan’s permission, are reprinting and selling the t-shirt today.
Frankly, I couldn’t agree more with those four words. Today, women are all over politics, medicine, business, the arts and everything in between. We are financially independent, we know our rights and we’re not afraid to vocalize them. On a sexual level, this independence has given us a voice and a freedom to explore what turns us on. We no longer do what a man wants us to do.
For Killing Kittens, 2008 was a big year. Women make up 70% of our members and our numbers doubled as the financial crisis hit. I put this down to escapism. When the shit hits the fan, people simply want to escape reality and indulge in hedonism. Us girls wanted some fun.
Female erotic literature also sent female sexuality mainstream. Men might like stark porn scenes, but we are turned on by touch, smell and imagination. Pleasure was suddenly socially acceptable and we were at the forefront of this movement.
But, ladies, I personally feel that we are still tearing each other down.
Our male-dominated society, where women are pitched as prized sexual objects, has taught us that we are competitors and even though we have come a long way, we are still bitching about each other, shunning other girls and scrapping for men, attention and career success.
The truth is that it is women, not men, who determine whether other women succeed. But as we negotiate today’s modern battlefield, we should lift each other up, not trample each other down. We should be joining forces and sticking two fingers up to the real bastards who stand for oppression, domination and patriarchal ideology. The world is big enough for all of us to succeed and to be happy so, I’m asking, can we all start being a little kinder to each other?
Stop gossiping immediately. If it’s not nice or true, don’t say it. Stop scrolling through Facebook for other girl’s flaws (you know who you are!) and instead of feeling jealous when a colleague has got a promotion, applaud her success.
The clever people who have devoted their lives to studying human behavior say that this female criticism actually comes from within. So if you don’t like yourself, you project that negativity onto other women. Those girls that bitch about another girl’s sales presentation? They’re just insecure about their own performance. The same goes for parenting skills, appearance and so on.
This fact is a reminder that we need to work on our happiness, especially if anxiety and stress encourage us to turn on each other.
I juggle an international business, motherhood, a relationship and a social life, so I know how difficult it is. When I’m stressed I will just take myself off to the park which instantly calms me. To fit everything in, I also allocate blocks of time to fit in all my jobs. My meetings used to turn into drinks and dinner. Now I say, ‘Sorry I only have 30 minutes.’ (It’s amazing how much you can get done in half an hour and then you realize how much time you spend talking about absolutely nothing.)
I’m pregnant again and this time it is a girl. As soon as she is old enough, I will teach her about self-respect: to love and respect herself and her body. I will remind her that she is in charge and that she needs to listen to her gut and not what others around her are saying. A mother has so much influence on her daughter, and I know I wouldn’t be who I am now without the strength my own mother installed in me, so I will also tell her how amazing women are and I will teach her to support, not put down, all the girls in her life. And, when she’s old enough, I’ll probably buy her one of those t-shirts.
Emma Sayle is the founder and CEO of Killing Kittens, a members-only club that hosts female-oriented sex parties in London, Manchester and Los Angeles.