#Occupyyourbody: Liberate Your Vagina

When I thought about what I would like to occupy in Beirut, what first came to my mind was my vagina, my body in general. As a woman, to society – my family, my surrounding and everybody else – my body does not belong to me. How can you not occupy back your vagina, your propriety and a part of your body, while according to society, there are rules and taboos that stand between you and operating it, as you please? It’s like owning a car and yet you cannot drive it. Our society put so much pressure on our vaginae and body that it amazes me how such an organ, a simple vagina, can carry that much oppression so as to even link the honor of our families to it.

#Occupyyourvagina because as a woman, you can get killed for losing your virginity, which simply consists of barely a layer of tissues, yet your whole life and safety are linked to it. Your hymen is what makes you a good person or a bad person. This tissue layer defines you as a human being, and allows society – your father, your brother or your husband – to decide whether you deserve to live or not.

#Occupyyouvagina because as a woman, you are not allowed to masturbate, to orgasm. It’s a taboo, it’s a shame. Your vagina is a part of your body, but you are not allowed to touch it, to give it an orgasm or simply to play with it. They feed our heads with myths about masturbation, but the most hilarious and dangerous one, is that they convince us that if we masturbate (which is a very healthy thing to do), we will not be able to enjoy sex with our “husbands”, while in fact masturbation is a healthy process in which you get to know your body better, your pleasure spots. Moreover, they expect you to stay untouched, not even by yourself, until the ownership of your body moves from your father to your husband, whereby this one, him and only him, can touch it.

#Occupyyourvagina because you menstruate, you bleed, and this is a fact which oppression contributes to. When you first get your period, the first thing your mum tells you is that you
should not tell anyone about it, that it’s your little shameful secret. You are now dirty and bloody, you go to the shop to buy pads or tampons, and they wrap them in 10 black bags (as if they are trying to wrap your shame away). If you go to the toilette while you’re in your period and you’re in a public place, you should take your whole bag with you instead of just getting a pad out and walking with it. Have you ever wondered what the whole shame is about? Periods are so beautiful in a way that our mother nature decided that even the moon get a 28-days cycle like ours; and we are even linked to nature in that way. Society is scared from our periods. They say our menstrual blood is bad for plants; it’s a myth. We are not allowed to touch the holy books or fasten if we have our periods. We are not allowed to nag about our painful cramps. We are not allowed to mention it, discuss it, or even think that it exists with ourselves.

#Occupyyourvagina because you cannot have sex with whomever you chose, when it’s your full human right to orgasm. Because again your body along with all its pleasures doesn’t belong to you. Because if you have sex, you are a bad person, while in fact it’s a healthy human need, just as eating, drinking, sleeping and peeing. Because as a woman, you are not allowed to have sex except with your husband, which renders the act property propaganda, i.e., the moving of ownership of your body again, from your father to your husband. I know women in their 30’s who are married for more than 10 years, and who have never orgasmed in their
whole life, not even once. They take from us our pleasure, and they tell us that the only holy purpose of sex is becoming pregnant and breeding. Our clits have over thousands of sensory tissues, but yet again many of us have never touched it.

#Occupyyourvagina because they want to judge its appearance and smell (tightness is sexy, looseness is not sexy, pubic hair, smell… all these fucked-up judgments), because they think one type of sex is good – vaginal reproductive purposes with a man only –, because they think my vagina deserves only my husband’s penis and not any other penis or vagina.

#Occupyyourvagina a because if you happened to have sex, even if you were married, and you got pregnant, you cannot get an abortion, because your vagina is not yours, your body is not yours. The whole society condemns you, religions condemn you if you get an abortion, while in fact you are free to decide to do whatever you please with your body.

#Occupyyourvagina because if someone rapes you, you become a property to the extent that if they offered to marry you, they will drop charges against him. Your body is so oppressed that they make you marry your rapist, to fix you, to fix your honor, which is again linked to your hymen.

#Occupyyourvagina because it’s the first step in the thousand miles of reclaiming the ownership of your body, your right to walk in the streets without being sexually harassed just because you have a vagina and boobs, just because you are a woman.

#Occupyyourvagina, in order to take back your right to exist properly in this world, as a free and equal human being with a free will.


Sawt al' Niswa



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