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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Siri is Pro-Life

Yes, you read that correctly.

According to an article on Gizmodo, when you ask the iPhone 4S’ virtual assistant the location of the nearest abortion clinic, she will either play dumb or deter the request by pointing one out quite far from your current location. Apparently, she also has a personal vendetta against next-day contraception.

Nice going, Apple. Click here to watch Stephen Colbert's hilarious commentary. Photo from Gawker.com

Click here to read the Gizmodo article.

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.

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.

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.

Famished Fashion?

Oh come on, It’s NY Fashion Week. You knew that this was coming.

As waifish supermodels grace the runway, once again the media is raising concern about their health and whether or not the industry is to blame. I would go on a rant about this, but I’ll let the following news sources do it for me:

Learning Curve on Size is Vital to Fashion (via Herald Sun)

Eating Disorders And Fashion Are Still At Odds (via New York Daily News)

Fashion and Eating Disorders: How Much Responsibility Does Industry Have? (via Huffington Post Women)

VIDEO: Local Designer Highlights More than Fashion Week (via The Age)

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.

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

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