Pamela Madsen

Shameless Woman

On Being a Shameless Woman: It's About Letting Go Of The Old Rules!

What if women were allowed to have an integrated life?

Posted Sep 21, 2010

I have had an incredible and varied life. I live full out. I play full court - and I make no excuses for myself.But once upon a time - I didn't integrate my life. Because women are never actually encouraged to do this. We are expected to be one thing or another. We are either feminists or we are not. We are either "professional" or "homemakers" - we are either "Madonnas or Whores". But what if you were allowed as a woman to have a fully integrated life? To go beyond the old rules that seem so big and important to so many of us? 

What if you could have a professional life, and still have a family?

What if being a successful lawyer didn't mean that you could still also be around to cook for your family if that pleased you? What if you could be wearing sexy lacy panties under your business suit - and was meeting your lover for some fabulous sexual adventure after work? Could women truly have it all? Isn't this what we have been saying with the introduction of fertility preservation through egg freezing? That it is okay to freeze your eggs now - and have your children later while you were figuring the rest of your life out? That you didn't have to choose? That everything could happen in it's own good time and that women could integrate their lives as they saw fit?

Was this possible? Could we actually be mothers, Madonnas, workers and sexual beings all at the same time? Could a First Lady wear shorts and still be the First Lady? Not according to horror of the world media! Why couldn't society wrap their arms around that?

I contend  that this disconnection of all of our feminine roles and parts is having an impact on women's lives in some very profound ways. For example - look at this study that demonstrated that so many women are completely disconnected to their own sexual response.  In a recent study conducted by  Dr. Meredith Chivers and reported on in a fabulous NY Times piece entitled "What Do Women Want?" - Chivers talked about  hooking women up to machines to look at their sexual response - and their bodies registered a response to the visual stimulation but the woman's minds in many cases did not.  There is something incredibly broken in that. How do we help women connect the dots from their physical desires to their minds?

It is like we have created a puzzle called a woman and broken up all her pieces. And she has to spend a life time trying to figure out how the pieces fit together!

I think that we are getting closer to helping women put the pieces together for themselves. But we will never get there if a woman's sexuality is still used to punish her. And even today - it is. We are a gender in transition - still.  And I believe that we are closer than ever to supporting women living fully integrated lives.

Sociologists and sex perts are finally writing about the new integrated woman - and that's a start. I want to get us to be Shameless women! But who are the brave women out there who will do it and speak it?

Can you wear something sexy to work and still be taken seriously? For a good long while - before Katie Couric showed her legs on The Today Show - the answer was no.

But I have been watching those anchor women in the morning - and their sexuality has been starting to bloom - even as they have interviewed Presidents and talked about the issues that their kids were having in school. I love that. They are all people - and they do not hide their sexuality - their motherhood or their professional smarts. They are clear that all of those pieces of themselves is a part of who they are as women.

And I have been as guilty of it as the next person. There was this one pharmacy rep that sent out this really sexy picture of herself in a Christmas outfit this year - and everyone was tearing her apart. How dare she? Who did she think she was? How could she show herself as sexy and playful? She was after all a "Professional"!!!! Oh well. Perhaps we were all a little jealous of her carefree, youthful and yes - sexy spirit! What is it that gets us all fired up? Is it that we think that we are supposed to be this judgmental? Or were we simply happy to dismiss her as a slut? It was after all so much easier than seeing her as a full person.

I love that Oprah is getting on the band wagon. Several recent shows have explored a woman's sexuality - and she has even taken sex toys to the stage. Oprah is saying that she cares about women being integrated beings when she does these kinds of shows. And I love that.

But women are still persecuted today for being sexual beings. The new Miss America made big news when some topless photos showed up of her - you see - she was allowed to look sexy - to tanalized us in her bikni body - but not actually show us her breasts. Kind of interesting huh? In the end - The Donald realized how silly it all was - and the girl has her crown - and then lost it again - but that is another story!

I love that we have a first lady who has the right to bare arms and those fabulous legs. Our first lady radiates as a sexually integrated woman.. Mrs. Obama can be sexy and serious - and be a parent. She is able to be a full woman - and I love that she is being a role model for other women in this regard. Let the talking heads talk about her - perhaps they will wake us up to the silliness of it all.

We get glimpses of celebrities who are under the full view finder of the camera being sexual beings - and it freaks us out in the moment. Whether it is Brittany Spears forgetting her panties - or Paris Hilton's private sex tape (by the way I recently saw that in the Museum of Sex). But I am hoping that this too shall pass.

Look to France where a nude portrait of French President Nicolas Sarkozy's wife Carla Bruni went  under the hammer in New York.

The 13 x 10 1/8 inch gelatin silver black and white photograph was taken in 1993, when Bruni was one of the world's top fashion models, and is being sold by art collector Gert Elfering.

Carla Bruni who is now beloved by all - started her public life as a mistress, actress, and as a model that sometimes posed nude. Yet she looked quite lovely when she met the Queen of England. Yes - my dearies - we can live in full color and have integrated lives. Nothing is stopping you but a little bit of fear - and concern about whether or not you will be taken seriously if you dare be all of the parts of you.

Take my hand - the water is fine.