From a young age I understood that as a woman my breasts should be full, my waist should be tiny, and I should dress to impress men. As a child I would stand naked in front of the mirror, picturing my body as that of a billboard model, cupping an imaginary chest and making bedroom eyes. So I was confused and disappointed with 40-inch hips and a cup size well below DD. The disparity between my imagined and actual bodies created a conflict: how could I enjoy my own body if it couldn’t land a man?
Lacking a fully developed brain, I set off to find alternative ways to be valued. Read the rest of this entry
“Carrie” endures because she embodies the vulnerability we all share. We are all Carrie, says the film’s director, Kimberly Peirce:
We all want love and acceptance, we all face extraordinary obstacles, we all have some part of our lives where we are a misfit trying to fit in. That’s why we can all identify.
I’d thought “Carrie” was a horror flick. Who knew it was a coming of age film?
“Carrie” revolves around the search for personal power, self-esteem and status — and reveals how horribly wrong it can all go.
Our society constantly shouts that women are sexy, men are utilitarian. And a lot of guys complain on my blog that they are none too happy about this. They want to be sexy too!! And lots of women complain that they are seen as being all about sexy and little else.
Here’s yet another example of that “women-are-sexy-men-not-so-much” holler, which I found on Sociological Images, courtesy of American Apparel. The pics are presented just as they were on their website a few weeks ago: Read the rest of this entry
I’m sure you’ve been told that in today’s world, sex without utilizing some kind of ‘barrier method’ can kill you. Let me elaborate: when it comes to sex, I am the barrier, and I will kill you.”
Sounds par for the course, as they say. That’s part of the problem.
In other times and places dads may literally kill someone when their kids have sex – usually their own daughters. In these honor killings honor lies in hateful murder, not in loving (or at least fun-loving) sex.
On the other hand how does this sentiment strike you?
Dear daughter, I hope you have some awesome sex.
Over in Saudi Arabia, women are taking to the streets to drive. It’s actually not illegal for women to operate vehicles in the Kingdom. The country just won’t issue driver’s licenses to them. So these “women drivers” simply get licenses elsewhere.
And some Saudi men give two thumbs-up. Video here.
Or, see this parody of Bob Marley’s classic, “No Woman, No Cry” renamed, No Woman, No Drive,” from Alaa Wardi on YouTube
Last Halloween I saw a white teenage boy dressed as an Arab man. His friend wore a burqa — and a rope around (his/her?) neck, which the “Arab man” held as a leash. He kept pulling “her” around and shouting orders. I was shocked and wondered what their motive could be.
It got me thinking about women and rights.
I am a devout Muslim woman who wears hijab, a scarf to cover my hair.
Why do I do this? Because I am inferior and subordinate? Because it is my job to control men’s sexuality?
I grew up hearing that men are sexual predators who are incapable of looking at a woman who isn’t covered from head to toe without wanting to rape them, or “mentally rape” them.
But that’s not why I cover my hair.
In fact, while some say women must dress modestly to keep uncontrollable men from sinning, I don’t buy it.
Mark and Stacey are married. Mark wants sex every day. But Stacey isn’t on the same page — at all. Says Mark,
I have a strong sex drive, so if it were up to me, we’d do it every day, the way we used to when we were dating. Now, not only do I not get my sexual needs met, but I feel rejected because most of the time I get shot down when I initiate.
When Mark approaches, Stacey feels repulsed:
I know we don’t have sex as much as Mark likes, but for me to want to make love, I have to feel emotionally connected to him and, to be honest, most of the time, I just don’t… I constantly feel pressure to satisfy him. It’s like raw sex is the only thing he wants from me. It’s gotten to the point where any time he touches me I freeze up — I’m afraid to respond even affectionately because if I do, he thinks it’s an invitation to sex.
Richard Schwartz is a therapist who has worked with Mark and Stacey. The way he helped them could help others. You can see the whole story on the Alternet. But here are some highlights:
Trigger Warning: May be triggering for rape victims.
Plenty of people think rape is perpetrated by men who are sick in the head, or men who can’t control their lust for scantily clad women – especially women walking around late at night.
But as most know, rape primarily revolves around power issues. And relatedly, sexual assault is often used to create a sense of manhood and male superiority. The case of Daisy Coleman, who I wrote about recently, helps unveil the evil phenomenon.
Fourteen-year-old Daisy Coleman was raped and left for dead in freezing temperatures. Despite strong evidence, charges were dropped. And, large parts of her community bullied her. Some told her to apologize to men involved in the attack.
What’s wrong with these folks?
I’ll get to that question in a moment. First her story:
Nearly two years ago, Daisy went to spend the night at her 13-year-old friend’s house. The two were sneaking booze and watching scary movies when Daisy texted a 17-year-old friend of her brother’s – a guy her brother had warned her about. She says,