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)

Ashley Madison: Exploitation and Body Image

This Jezebel piece written by BBW model Jacqueline (who was unfortunately featured in a couple of Ashley Madison ads) really hits the nail on the head when it comes to body shaming and unethical (and, dare I say immoral?) business ventures. Definitely worth a look.

Click here to read Jacqueline's piece on Jezebel.com (photo from webojen.com)

*Note: I know, this post is coming out of the blue since another much-too-long hiatus. But, I am back once again and I have a ton of content in store. I promise No, really. I’m serious this time.

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.

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

In Memoriam: Christina Santiago

Among the five killed in the Indiana State Fair stage collapse was a young woman who fought for LBT rights.

Christina Santiago, 29 (pictured below), worked as the programming manager for the Lesbian Community Care Project at Chicago’s Howard Brown Health Center. Santiago has been said to be instrumental in expanding health options for women and made a name for herself as a strong voice for Chicago’s LBT community. Her work will be appreciated always and she will be missed.

Click here to read the full article on LezGetReal.com

Reclaiming “Slut”

The recent emergence of “slut walks” has been causing quite a stir in the media, with the latest occurring in my (semi) hometown of Philadelphia.

So, what is the point of an army of scantily clad women taking to the streets? According to a report on NBC, the SlutWalk movement was sparked by a Boston police officer’s comment which reflects the unfortunate opinion of many when it comes to the sexual assault and rape of women” “If didn’t dress like a slut, then she would not have been raped.”

I could go on a 100 mile-long rant on how this police officer is an idiot, how he would think twice about saying that if the victim were, say, his mother, daughter, sister, niece, etc., how the way a woman is dressed is not an invitation to rape no matter what, that rape isn’t a crime caused by uncontrollable sexual urges but by an assailant wanting exercise power and control over their victim and so on. But, I won’t. I think these SlutWalks are doing a great job in not only gaining media attention for a crime that continues to affect women worldwide, but they are also sending a powerful message: we are not “sluts,” we are women who have rights to our bodies and to our sexuality.

Boycott the Bunnies

Image taken from Posterworx

Gloria Steinem has sent out the call, ladies.

One of Steinem’s many claims to fame is the 1963 exposé on the poor conditions of the Playboy Club, in which she wrote a piece that blew one hell of a whistle on the less-than-glamorous working conditions. Now that NBC is about to bring the club to the small screen, Steinem is calling for a boycott of the upcoming series.

Gloria Steinem speaking during a conference at the Santa Fe Convention Center (via Flickr)

According to a report on Yahoo! News, Steinem calls for the boycott not due the inevitable sexually charged content, but because the show will most likely be a grossly inaccurate portrayal of Playboy’s 1960s heyday.

It normalizes a passive dominant idea of gender. So it normalizes prostitution and male dominance…I just know that over the years, women have called me and told me horror stories of what they experienced at the Playboy Club and at the Playboy Mansion.

The Playboy Club premieres in September. Will you be watching?

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