The Bleaker Sex Indeed

The op-eds in Sunday’s New York Times drew some conclusions that, as a woman overall, left me quite unsettled.

An article entitled “The Bleaker Sex,” written by Frank Bruni, analyzes the upcoming HBO series “Girls” and compares it to the modern woman’s failed attempt to maintain a Don Draper-esque sex life: all pleasure, all detachment. In the sex scene he highlights, he notes the female “hero” is portrayed as having no say in her sexual encounter, choosing to accommodate her partner at her expense rather than striving for mutual satisfaction.

Furthermore, he posits that the 24-hour porn cycle has raised the expectations of men that mere mortal women are unable to fulfill and has pushed the idea that women are to remain silent partners when it comes to sex. I would imagine that this idea would spill over into other aspects of life as well.

I have to admit that Bruni has a point. I have to agree that pornography has had a major effect on how people are becoming less able to separate these sexual fantasies from reality thus contributing to the sexual devolution of society, which is a huge disservice to everyone, but for sure affects women negatively.  What I don’t agree with is the implication that men are more capable than women in having casual sexual encounters and that casual sexual encounters have become the ideal. Just as I believe women are more than capable of sexual detachment, I also believe that men are not immune from the attachment sexual contact can bring.

What do you think? Is sexual detachment becoming the “new normal”?

 

 

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Site To See: She’s The First

Did you know that DonateMyDress founder Tammy Tibbets also has an organization that helps send young girls in developing nations to school?

“She’s The First” is a non-profit organization that aims to “sponsors girls’ education in the developing world, helping them be the first in their families to graduate.” Tibbets established this site after realizing that if she could create a network for underprivileged girls to find prom gowns, she could surely do the same to enable girls to get an education and make their mark in the world as global leaders. She’s The First contains a directory of organizations around the globe that supports girls’ education for interested donors, provides tools for starting local chapters, and offers its own sponsorship program.

As always, I am quite proud to share this cause with you readers. I will be adding their link to the Blog Roll at the bottom of the page in addition to featuring it here so you have easy access to their webpage.

Click here to visit ShesTheFirst.Org

Vintage Journalism and Women

If only this guy knew that some of today’s journalism greats would be kick-ass women such as Soledad O’Brien, Barbara Walters, Lisa Ling and Arianna Huffington. Watch below to see what I’m talking about…

Click here to read the original post on Huffington Post Women.

Mc-Gender

May I just gush for a moment and say how much I love Bitch Media? Their content makes my heart flutter.

Take this (Mc) nugget for example: writer  Avital Norman Nathman wrote a piece examining the gender issues that come in each and every Happy Meal sold by McDonalds. When I was a kid, I never knew a time when the cashier didn’t ask if the Happy Meal was for a boy or girl. However, Nathman points out that, once upon a time, McDonald’s had gender-neutral merchandise. Granted, many other fast food restaurants (and other consumer industries, for that matter) are guilty of this, but McDonald’s is taking center stage for this brief, but biting, commentary.

I hate clowns. Click here to read the article. (graphic from Bitch Media)

The Feminist Dating Bible?

Samhita Mukhopadhyay , executive editor of Feministing.com, has released the book Outdated: Why Dating is Ruining Your Love Life. In the book, she posits that the traditional thought of feminism ruining relationships is false and that, in fact, the rise of feminism has helped in the romance department. Addressing cultural norms, sexuality and the pressure to marry, this book’s mission is to help explain the madness that is relationships and how feminists can find love without compromising their principles.

In an interview on Salon.com, Mukhopadhyay had this to say on the conflict between feminism and dating:

The truth of that argument is that feminism has hurt this really archaic notion of romance… This friction has come up between the reality of how we’re living our lives and the romantic story that hinges on gender relationships that don’t exist anymore.

(Click here to read the full interview on Salon.com)

Hopefully, Mukhopadhyay’s work will eschew the “traditions” of the dating game so us feminists don’t have to play dumb or damsel in distress to get a date.

Click here to purchase "Outdated" on Amazon.com

Femininty Doesn’t STEM from Math and Science?

According to a TrueChild report, the answer is “yes,” or at least that’s how our young girls feel.

Statistically, elementary school children show the same interest in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) related topics, but by the 8th grade, girls are outnumbered two to one. Furthermore, by high school girls are less likely to take AP math and science courses, and tend to have lower SAT math scores.

The TrueChild report states that this decrease in interest starts around the 3rd grade when girls begin to “notice” boys and begin internalizing the incorrect notion that women can be either “pretty” or “smart,” not both. This conflict only continues with women who do enter STEM careers. According to a BUST.com piece on the report:

Later on, adult women with careers in engineering are also found to often feel conflicted about choosing between proving that they are “real engineers” or “real women.”

It’s a damn shame that, even now, women are either pigeon-holed into more “conventional” careers or break the mold only to be met with some form of hardship or pressure rather than being rewarded for their efforts. No wonder the gender pay gap persists. It all goes back to what (and how) we teach our girls about brains and beauty.

She could do both-and, so can you (Source: DeviantArt. Click to see original.)

Read BUST.com’s full commentary on the study.

Gender-Free Preschool?

First we had Baby Storm, and now this.

A new preschool in Stockholm, Sweden is riding the gender-less wave and attempting to construct an environment free from gender expectations for their students. The school, aptly called Egalia (Swedish for “equality”), offers a unique experience for students, according to one of its teachers:

“Society expects girls to be girlie, nice, and pretty and boys to be manly, rough, and outgoing,” says Jenny Johnsson, a teacher at the school. “Egalia gives them a fantastic opportunity to be whoever they want to be.”

According to the article on Bust.com, Egalia constructs this gender-neutral environment by way of referring to students and instructors by name or “Teacher” followed by the name instead of the pronouns “he,” “she,” Miss” or Mr.,”stocking the bookshelves depicting families in gender-neutral or non-traditional parental roles, and allowing students to play with any toy they choose instead of redirecting the girls to the kitchen station and the boys to the toy cars.

A very interesting experiment in shaping, or not shaping, gender roles and expectations.

Students at play in the garden of Egalia Preschool. Source: Today Moms, NBC; click for source.

Here are the questions I would like YOU to answer:
Would you enroll your child?
Do you think gender neutrality is the road to gender equality?

Read the full news story here.

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