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

Bitching at Barnard

I, for one, was thrilled when I heard that President Barack Obama was going to give Barnard College’scommencement speech this semester.

Unfortunately, to say that many Columbia University students didn’t share in my enthusiasm is a vast understatement.  In fact, they took to the web and began posting some awfully hateful, misogynistic comments on the original story. Take this gem for example, as submitted by Barnard sophomore Anne Bahr to Jezebel (read the story all the the offensive quotes by clicking here):

While you guys were perfecting your deepthroating techniques and experimenting with scissoring and anal play, we were learning Calculus (usually by sophomore year of high school).

Lovely.

What’s even more screwed up is that Barnard’s own President Debora L. Spar brushed off the commentary as the inane comments of “19-year-olds writing at 4:30 in the morning.” Columbia University President Lee C. Bollinger concurred, even stating that general disappointment was “understandable.”

Both Spar and Bollinger need a wake-up call. The comments of these students go beyond being merely bummed that they won’t get a send-off from Obama. It’s disturbing that this hate speech is going unchecked and that these two key authority figures refuse to take a stand against it. Granted, there is a right to hate speech so long as it doesn’t incite violence, however neither of these University presidents should stand idly by and allow the obvious animosity toward their sister university.

This issue even got the attention of The New York Times! Click here to read the article.

 

How To Outlaw Single Parenthood

Oh, Wisconsin…

Can you please tell me why your state legislature is ready to consider single parenthood a form of child abuse? Please?

If passed, SB507 would theoretically land 1/3 of the state’s population in jail. In my eyes, that is not at all a smooth move. But don’t tell Senator Glenn Grothman, the wonderfully moronic legislator that proposed this nonsense. He just wants this bill to become law so the big, bad government doesn’t use single parenthood as a means to throw the nation into a totalitarian state of dependency, as mapped out by his paranoid diatribe (which you can read here).

Although single parenthood is indeed stressful for both parent and child(ren), that in itself does not lead to child abuse. Single parenthood in conjunction with a dangerous living environment (substance, unsafe living conditions, mental instability, etc.) is really the issue behind the abuse.

Trust me, I know.

Since single parenthood is a risk for economic instability, and since it seems to be a major issue in Wisconsin, perhaps the state legislature should do their part to ease the financial strain of single parenthood via tax breaks (for example) instead of further punishing this population-which, in case you haven’t noticed, is overwhelmingly made up of women.

Watch Sen. Grothman in action below.

 

Frivolous Fridays: TED Talk featuring Jay Smooth

Really, there is nothing “frivolous” about what Jay is saying here. It’s actually a very intelligent, insightful critique on race relations in America. However, it doesn’t address feminist issues, so I’m using a Friday post to share this with you.

As you know, I am a big ol’ fan of Jay Smooth’s commentary on a variety of subjects, including women. I hope that if my previous post didn’t convince you, this one does.

Maternity Leave on Leave

Photo from 4to40.com

So much for taking a break after the baby is born.

According to an article in the Washington Post, paid maternity leave is the latest luxury to be cut from many companies’ budgets since the economic downturn. Women with only their high school diploma are four times more likely to be denied.

“This isn’t good news for women at the bottom, and the irony is that the people with the most children are now the least likely to have the supports they need,” said Kathleen Gerson, a professor of sociology at New York University and author of “The Unfinished Revolution: Coming of Age in a New Era of Gender, Work, and Family.”

Naturally, this is upsetting to me. Why must we consistently bear the brunt of budget woes? Of all times, when a woman has to care for a child, this is when the check is taken away.

I would continue ranting, but I’ll just ask you to click here to read the full article instead.

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)

Rape, Redifined

The carnal knowledge of a female forcibly and against her will. Rapes by force and attempts or assaults to rape, regardless of the age of the victim, are included. Statutory offenses (no force used―victim under age of consent) are excluded.

This is the current federal definition of sexual assault. It was written in 1929.

Aside from the obvious exclusion of statutory rape, this definition excludes many other forms of equally terrible forms of sexual assault (same-sex assault, oral assault, and rape with an object, to name a few) and excludes entire classes of members,namely male and transgender victims. With sexual assault already being a highly unreported crime, this narrow federal explanation of sexual assault makes it difficult-if not impossible-for victims of sexual assault to prosecute their assailants at the federal level.

On Oct. 18, an F.B.I. subcommittee will finally meet to discuss and (hopefully) ultimately expand the definition of rape. True, it may cause a surge in the number of sexual assaults as per its new definition, but this expansion will allow the reporting of sexual assault to be prosecuted by the same criteria, allowing for consistency at the state and federal level of crime and prosecution.

To help support this move, please click here to participate in an email campaign hosted by the Feminist Majority Foundation.

Click here for the original New York Times’ article.

More Than a Pink Ribbon (via Huffington Post Women)

Jessica Pearce Rotondi, associate editor of Huffington Post Women, wrote a piece detailing how her mother’s fight with breast cancer continues to inspire her to be strong even in the worst of times. Although Rotondi’s mother ultimately  lost the battle to breast cancer, her daughter’s piece proves that she still won the war. In all, this is a must-read for Breast Cancer Awareness Month!

Linda Rotondi, Jessica's mother, before her diagnosis. Click here to read Jessica's piece on Huffington Post Women. (Photo taken from Huffington Post Women)

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Graphic via FanPop.com

Break out your pink ribbons, ladies!

As all of you know, October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. For me, this is an important time for all people. With the commonality of breast cancer (I myself have two survivors in my family) it is imperative that we, especially as women, honor those we have lost, honor the survivors and do our part in helping to find a cure.

On that note, at least once a week, CLF will feature an article on the topic of breast cancer, including updates on research, survivor stories, and ways we can donate to breast cancer research. I will also be participating in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in Miami. If there is a race in your town, be sure to sign up.

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