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The Gift of Pussy: Empowerment For All

By March 30, 2019 April 19th, 2019 Swing Lifestyle Articles

For Christmas, John gave me a stack of books. My love of reading is no secret. When I find an author or series or inspirational book I like, you’ll find me pouring over the contents like a treasure hunter in search of booty. I just know my next “aha” moment is lurking within the freshly printed pages.

Picturing my husband wandering the aisles of Barnes & Noble with book titles like Untrue and Pussy tucked neatly under his arm made me smile. John knows the beliefs and insights I hold about my gender—how I’ve significantly grown regarding my stance on female empowerment and what this empowerment means to me.

This man loves me.

He loves seeing me climb out of what seems like a lifetime shell of self-repression and claim my birthright.

He has spent the past several years encouraging me to reach out past my comfort zone in order to grab the ripest fruit. He understands that empowerment comes with a level of confidence and a healthy view of self, characteristics far too often missing when women describe themselves.

So, as I sat in the car with John on a recent road trip, at times reading aloud the pages of Pussy A Reclamation, by Regena Thomashauer, I found myself drawn to this author’s views. I like the way she writes. Thomashauer is all about inspiration and affirmation of the innate knowledge women possess. She wants women to tap into our confidence and reconnect with what makes us unique.

I’m also impressed with the author’s unapologetic view of women as sexual beings. The entire book is centered around the powerful Pussy. Thomashauer has us reclaiming our pussies, not angrily, but proudly. Women don’t have to be mad about the past, but we do need to be passionate about where we’re going. She champions her gender by telling us to grab our own pussies! She tells us to search ourselves for our strengths and talents and learn to capitalize on what we have to offer.

I found myself taking her words and downloading them into my own files. She wrote with passion and backed by years of experience in breaking free from the confines of ignorance in which so many women have been relegated to live. Her School of Womanly Arts has been a powerhouse of information since she started it in her living room back in 1998. She taps into why so few of us know the intricacies of our own bodies, whether physically or emotionally.

Her book reminded me of why I love reading, why I love learning, and why I value the opinions of others. I love the opportunity reading offers. I can take another’s point of view and compare their thought patterns with my own.

What can I learn? What does reading another’s perceptions affirm about my own beliefs and what thought patterns am I willing to change? The more I turned the pages of Pussy, the more I found my thoughts fueled forward by her comments. What were my beliefs? How did I view my own pussy power?

I knew one thing for sure—I knew I didn’t need or want to waste precious time being angry. Being mad at my husband, or my dad, or my past boyfriends, or my old boss, or any other male in my life wasn’t going to catapult me to a place of peace and joy.

Besides, I can no more blame men for their indoctrinated behavior anymore than I can blame my own gender. Would it really do me any good to be angry with my mom, or my grandmother, or my church for prolonging the lies? Was my grandmother being malicious when she told me that sex was important for the man and to accommodate them cause, “Shoot, it only takes five minutes anyway.”

I can point fingers all day long, but pointing fingers takes away my motivation to change… it keeps me standing still. Blame is nothing more than disguised stagnation.

In order to welcome change into our lives we have to be motivated. We have to be at a point in our life when changing our views is less painful than remaining the same, those moments when we catch ourselves cringing at the thought of giving in again to the same ol’ song and dance. We know the tune and we know the steps, but we just don’t feel the rhythm any longer.

Something deep within us begins to move differently, urging us to sway to a beat much more guttural and raw. It’s a pulse brought to the surface by something we read, someone we heard, or something we felt. We begin to seek out a community, a tribe just like us who also want to expand their definition. To some this tribe is called the sisterhood, the banding together of a gender in a united effort to create change. Like Thomashauer says, “We can learn just as much about a culture from what it’s missing as from what it embraces.”

What’s been missing?

For me, it’s a sisterhood of mutual respect built on the belief that by supporting each other we grow. We don’t need to bother with culprits in order to grasp our beauty. Nor do we need to attack each other in our bid for freedom.

What have we been embracing? An us and them mentality.

We seem to be in a day and age where differences are now lines in the sand. You’re either with us or against us, there’s no room for a middle ground.

But I say it’s the middle ground where change takes place. We can’t expect to move forward until we learn to communicate as a whole. Sure, it would be easy to blame the men and focus our fury on the patriarchal lineage we’ve all dealt with. But as women we do a huge disservice to ourselves when we buy into the lie that we’ll change the face of progress alone.

Whether some women within the movement want to admit this or not, a tidal wave of change requires a unity with men. Yes, the very gender so many women want to villainize. Don’t fool yourself into thinking we’re the only sex that deals with a stifling voice.

How many women have expectations of their men? How many women still expect their man to be the big brave protector, to stay strong, to not cry, to be the breadwinner, to be the disciplinarian. “Just wait til your dad gets home.”

We’ve placed our armor clad men on white stallions all the while claiming we want them to be something they aren’t. As women we should be all too familiar with being typecast. We know all too well the weight of misinformation, what it feels like to be told we’re one thing, while feeling completely different on the inside.

Anytime we falsely categorize a gender, both genders end up suffering. Just as we’re learning to be empathetic with ourselves, we need to be empathetic to the millions of men who’ve been raised in the same veiled darkness as us.

If we want to come away empowered, then empowerment needs to be given and understood by all. Both genders have been fed a steady diet of lies. “Men are sexual, women emotional.” What a crock of shit lies that is. And this is just ONE fallacy, just think of the hundred of other falsehoods we’re taught to believe.

Sweeping change will take a minute though. It doesn’t matter how badly we want change, any societal, religious, or other revolutionary change that took generations in the making won’t magically occur overnight. Like I said, being angry is counter productive. Being proud of myself without the need of climbing on the backs of others is what will propel me forward.


Yes, sometimes this means bucking the system, sometimes this means breaking code and being first. I’m reminded of Kathrine Switzer, the first female to run in the Boston Marathon in 1967, or Malala Yousafzai, a champion of women’s rights. While we have examples of women breaking barriers through the ages, our current strides forward have steamrolled within the last 50 years or so… a mere millisecond of time. The slow progression of alternate teachings seems to come generationally. Each new birth bringing with it the capacity for change. This is why today women think nothing of signing up to run not just the Boston Marathon, but any marathon. Yes, the progress may seem excruciatingly slow at times, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t gaining ground.

So I read Pussy, a book I wouldn’t have read had it not been for my husband, with gusto, encouragement, and just a twinge of guilty pleasure. I like reading a book that sings the praises of me! Who doesn’t want to feel inclusion, a collective union reaching out towards a similar goal? I too want to witness change. I want to see women nestle into their power. I want to experience the effects of courage and tenacity and freedom. I want every woman to feel the radiant heat of self-acceptance. As Thomashauer says:

When a woman begins to grow.

She learns she can deeply trust herself. She pays attention to her desires and treats them as her road map.

Indecision vaporizes.

She can truly feel her deep yes and her deep no.

She relaxes into the unknown rather than forcing or muscling her way through life.

She knows she can handle obstacles and understands that each one forces her to expand in new ways.

She connects with her deep indigenous beauty, no matter her age or outer appearance.

She experiences the divine in everything, especially herself.

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3 Comments

  • Susan says:

    Wow, beautifully written Jackie. Your words are powerful and inspirational and I can’t wait to read ‘Pussy’ myself.

    I don’t live with anger about my past. I went to an amazing sex therapist before filing for divorce nearly a decade ago. At the time it was a grueling process, to face my past, present and future, to examine details I did not even know existed till I dug deep. I remember her saying that at some point I would be looking at a big basket of shit in front of me about everything, and that we would deal with it and put it away. She warned me I might feel angry. I was momentarily angry that it had taken me so long to get to the point of going to see her. But I wasn’t angry about the past/present. I was relieved I had decided to do something for me and free myself from a life of dreadful sex. It taught me to love my body and myself and I feel I am one of the lucky ones, as I made the decision to change my present and my future.

    I could not be happier that I did. As I met my partner Robert 3 years ago, who embraces everything about me and introduced me to the lifestyle. I went from a sexless marriage of 18 years and told ‘who on earth would want me (sex wise)’ to having an incredible sexlife with an amazing man, and enjoying lifestyle experiences that I never even dreamed would ever be possible.

    Life is very good, once we as women decide to stand up for ourselves and embrace who we really are and what we have to offer as women, no matter what our age or shape.

    Thank you for posting this. You do women a great service by doing so. I hope one day the 4 of us manage to meet for a dinner sometime when we can find a glimpse of daylight in our hectic schedules called life 🙂

    Susan (& Rob)

    • Jackie Melfi says:

      Thank you so much for sharing a window into your own experience. You taking the time to write cements what a great service you are doing as well. I loved your quote, “Life is very good, once we as women decide to stand up for ourselves and embrace who we really are and what we have to offer as women, no matter what our age or shape.”

  • Cheryl Machacek says:

    Lovely empowering thoughts. Thank you for sharing with all of us- men and women.

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