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”?

 

 

Advertisements

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

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

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.

Frivolous Fridays: (Im)Perfect Patti

From her sexist rhetoric on The Millionaire Matchmaker to her homophobic and racist comments (against her own people, no less) Patti Stanger has been a real winner lately, hasn’t she?

I could go off on a rant, but Jezebel did such a good job already.

You’re welcome-and, see you next week with new content (for real, this time).

Click here to read the article (photo via Jezebel)

Kiddie Dieting

Our young girls already have enough in the media that chip away at their self-esteem and body image. Now, an author decides to write a children’s book encouraging young girls to go on a diet.

Maggie Goes on a Diet, which hits the shelves Oct. 16, tells the story of 14-year-old Maggie who, well, goes on a diet. After shedding pounds off of her overweight frame, she becomes “normal-sized,” athletic and confident.

The book's cover depicts Maggie, age 14, fantasizing in the mirror about her ideal body. (Source: Amazon.com)

Granted, with childhood obesity on the rise it would be wise for media to help teach our children how to eat healthfully and encourage them to participate in athletic activities. However, I have to question the ultimate impact the book will have on its audience (presumably, young girls). Its message implies that the only way a girl can be truly happy and confident is if she is of a certain dress size. In reality, while we should encourage our children to adopt  healthy lifestyle, we should be careful to not equate size to happiness, as this is the message that could be detrimental to their self-esteem well into their adult years.

Trust me. I speak from experience.

Click here to read an article on the book from Huffington Post Women.

ABC News weighed in as well; click here to read their report.

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.

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.

Blog at WordPress.com.