The Dilemma of Desire

March 14, 2023

THE DILEMMA OF DESIRE is deeply connected to the social issues that are at the core of gender equality. Regulation of female reproductive rights, restricted access to legal and safe abortions, and rape culture are just a few of the techniques used to control women’s bodies by men in power. Sexual freedom is central to the promise of human dignity, self-determination, and equality. The way women are viewed sexually in the world cannot be separated from the way they are treated. True equality will come only when we all arrive at a place of understanding and acknowledgment that all women are sexual beings, entitled to live their lives fully within the expression of their desire. 

THE DILEMMA OF DESIRE is a feature length vérité film about female sexual desire and the powerful gender politics that revolve around NOT acknowledging female desire. We know that the female body is the primary metaphor for sexuality – saturating advertising and mainstream erotic imagery. However, female sexual desire – what women actually want – is left out of the conversation. To make matters worse, cultural, religious and political forces, in fact punish women for expressing their sexual desire. The bottom line however, is this: there can be no equality without equality of pleasure.

Let’s start with a biological fact. The clitoris is an organ found on the body of every mammal born female. In human beings its sole function is female sexual pleasure. Sex education teaches us all about the penis and nothing at all about the clitoris. Furthermore, in the majority of college anatomy textbooks, the correct anatomical depiction of the clitoris is absent. The word “clitoris” is literally for many unspeakable. 

Part vérité, part essay, political, provocative, funny and a little edgy, THE DILEMMA OF DESIRE will explore, through our subjects’ stories and work, some of the dominant and outdated sexual narratives that have mostly gone unexplored and unchallenged: Women need to feel emotionally secure and attached to want sex, otherwise they don’t. Female Eros is much better made for monogamy than the male libido. Women’s bodies are the objects of pleasure, but not necessarily the recipients of it and it is “normal” for women to lose lusty desire in long-term, monogamous relationships, to name just a few.

THE DILEMMA OF DESIRE will reveal how we have gotten to where we are today, and why despite the real gains that came with the 60’s revolution, women must still navigate a powerful and, at times, outright misogynistic patriarchy. Even as we see mounting evidence that women want what men want, antiquated sexual scripts remain in place, and women are caught in a catch-22, a double bind, a quandary, a dilemma of desire. Ask yourself this: How different would our world look if women’s libidos were taken as seriously as men’s?

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