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"Carnal Acts"

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The link between shame and sex in the American society is the same in all spheres of the world. The society associated women with  shame and judged them based on their appearance. Women  have over the years been made to feel ashamed of their bodies. The society defined women  using a set of qualities that  graded beauty. Nancy  talks about her struggle as a woman to be accepted in a society that objectified women. The evaluation of a woman's beauty took into consideration  her body features and  her grace. These attributes defined the beauty of a woman and any female who did not fit the criterion was ashamed of their bodies. This brings us to Nancy’s story where she explains the shame she has had to endure as a woman with a body that, according to society, was not beautiful enough. “I was never a beautiful woman, and for that reason I’ve spent most of my life (together with probably at least 95 percent of the female population of the United States) suffering from the shame of falling short of unattainable standards”. (101)

Nancy  talks about how the society did not expect a crippled woman to have sex. “ Cripples simply arent supposed to want it,  much less do it” (102) She describes the ideal body a woman according to society  and compares  it to her own body. Women like her were expected to feel ashamed of their bodies. The society expected her to lie low and maintain a low profile in society. Its painful that a woman, in this century,  has to carry the shame based on an ideology made by the society years back.  Nancy talks of her embarrasing moments, including a period when she attempted to commit suicide. She is not afraid to use words that the society considered improper or indecent. She instills in women the desire to find their voice in the society and rise above all the stereotyping and discrimination women traditionally had to bear silently. “ Ive ‘found’ my voice, then, just where it ought to have been, in the body warmed breathescaping my lungs and throat” (105)

Shame in sex was a concept in the past.  Today, women are liberal and irrespective of their weight and physical appearance they are more accepted in the society. Furthermore, women are no longer ashamed of their sexuality and instead they have learnt to appreciate the beauty and grace they possess.

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