I Didn’t Want To Be Pretty

The goth look

The goth look

By Victoria King

Man clothes, dark, heavy makeup, scarcely a trace of femininity: that was me in high school. I hated the notion that girls had to be pretty and were valued only for their looks. I wanted people to appreciate me for being fun, funny and a good debater.

I felt like women made themselves out to be pretty idiots because they were naturally shallow and stupid.

And envious. I hated the competition between females, so I looked as weird as possible hoping no one would see me as a threat.  Read the rest of this entry

How Not To Do Open Relationships

open

By Dr. NerdLove

Reddit apparently saw fit to provide me with a story about open relationships and dating that’s so perfectly crafted and ironic that it’s practically an O. Henry story.

In case you missed it, a gentleman posted the (now deleted) story of how he pressured his girlfriend into an open relationship to the site’s Relationship subreddit. This Reddit Romeo expected that life in an open relationship would be hot and cold running blowjobs for him while his girlfriend – a heavier woman, although he rushes to point out “she was like this when we started” – would be getting whatever crumbs of affection she could scrounge.

I’ll give you three guesses as to how that all turned out.  Read the rest of this entry

If Gender’s Learned, Why Do You Feel You’re Born in the Wrong Body?

Wodaabe men of Niger

Wodaabe men of Niger

Tami Hamilton recently wrote about the intersexed babies that her niece gave birth to. Since their sex was indeterminate the doctors chose to make them into girls. One child has thrived, the other has not. The whole experience leaves Tami wondering whether gender identity is grounded in biology or sociology.

Some parents have hidden the sex of their children, hoping to offer them a wide range of experience and keep them outside limiting boxes. Like the Canadian couple who are raising their child “Storm,” sex unknown. Or the British couple who only announced the sex of their son, Sasha when he entered kindergarten. These kids were allowed to play with or wear whatever they like. Read the rest of this entry

Who’s Ugly Rush Limbaugh?

Hunky Rush

Hunky Rush

Feminism was established so as to allow unattractive women easier access to the mainstream of society.

Bunch of cows!

That’s what Rush Limbaugh wants everyone to think, anyway.

I watched him voice those words as I joined my class in watching Jackson Katz’s classic film, Tough Guise.

I could only wonder, “Who’s ugly? Who’s a cow?”

If I were Rush, I wouldn’t be inviting unflattering comparisons to yours truly.  Read the rest of this entry

Want “X” From Sex? So Why Do “Y”?

Most want pleasure, closeness from sex

Most want pleasure, closeness from sex

What do people want from sex? Most want pleasure and closeness. But they don’t act like it.

Instead, they’re preoccupied with how they look, what their partner is thinking, how they’re performing, and what is “normal.”

That’s what Dr. Marty Klein, a certified sex therapist and sociologist, says in his book, Sexual Intelligence: What We Really Want From Sex and How to Get ItRead the rest of this entry

Punishing Girls for Pleasing Guys

Emma Stone, "Easy (scarlet letter) A"

Emma Stone, “Easy (scarlet letter) A”

Why are girls so often punished for pleasing guys?

Girls grow up to learn that both men and society like a sexy look. And then they comply and get slut-shamed.

They grow up to discover sex. They think it’s fun — or not: 43% of young American women have experienced sexual dysfunction. Yet they learn that guys want sex, and some feel pressured to be nice and give it to them. But if they do, they may be punished. And by the way, don’t expect to get pleasured, yourself.

That’s what San Jose Mercury News journalist, Sharon Noguchi, found in her investigation of Silicon Valley high school culture. All these years and the double standard remains alive and well, even in the progressive San Francisco Bay Area. As she put it: Read the rest of this entry

Will the Rights of Fictional “Persons” Trump Actual People?

reproductive-choice-button-0580Should the rights of a disembodied, fictional “person” trump the rights of someone whose actual body and well-being could be gravely affected by a court ruling?

That’s a question the Supreme Court will be answering later this month.

Through the magic of legal fiction corporations have gained personhood. And now the “person” that is Hobby Lobby Inc. argues (without evidence) that some forms of birth control may cause abortion, making the Affordable Care Act’s free contraceptive directive a threat to (his? her?) religious tenants.

That this judicial question is under consideration is remarkable. Arguments before the court had centered on whether corporations can hold religious views. But what if a woman’s beliefs — or lack thereof — allow for contraception? Why must she follow the dictates of her employer instead her own conscience?

Where there’s a conflict between the rights of fictional bodies and actual bodies, surely the latter should win out.  Read the rest of this entry

Growing Up Like Skipper: On Breasts & Objectification

BroadBlogs:

pamelax-wide-communityBy Diahann Reyes

When you have breasts that are larger than “average” (whatever that really means) even people you don’t know—males, in particular—automatically assume they have permission to comment on your boobs—“Nice tits! BIG BREASTED! Playboy-like, even”—and can touch them just because they feel like it…

Because of the way my body looked, some of my classmates thought I was sexually experienced even though I’d never been kissed yet. My date, whom I’d asked to a Sadie Hawkins Dance, stayed a polite arm’s length away from me all night, later explaining, “Girls like you probably want more than I’m ready to give.” I’d just been hoping that maybe he would hold my hand.

An excerpt from “Growing Up Like Skipper: On Breasts & Objectification”

This post from “Stories from the Belly” might surprise both envious women and men who have mistaken notions about how larger-breasted women experience their bodies.

Read more here:

Originally posted on Stories From the Belly:

My first Barbie was a Growing Up Skipper doll. Skipper is Barbie’s younger sister.

A gift from one of my aunts during the 1970′s, my Skipper doll wasn’t an ordinary doll. Living up to her name, she could “grow” from girl to young woman in an instant. All you had to do was take her arms and wind them forward in a circular motion. Not only would she grow taller but her bust would get bigger. Wind her arms in the opposite direction and all of her would shrink back to original size.

At age 6, all I knew was that I had a “2-for-1” doll. Growing Up Skipper even came with an extra outfit for her older self to wear, and she had a tank top that doubled as a bathing suit.  Now, when I look back I am able to see how this doll was sexualized—just like when…

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Nature Creates More Than Two Sexes

Intersexed individuals have genital ambiguity and/or gene combinations other than XY-male and XX-female

Intersexed individuals have genital ambiguity and/or gene combinations other than XY-male and XX-female

By Tami Hamilton

We recognize only two sexes. Nature does not.

My niece, Leah, has two children who were born intersexed. Meaning that doctors could not tell whether they were male or female at birth.

Her physicians told her that surgery was needed, and she trusted her doctors’ advice. Actually, it was not even a question but an expectation that her babies would be surgically altered.

So both of them were made female. Their enlarged clitorises were reduced and their vaginal openings made large enough to be girls. The children were also prescribed hormones to help them fill the female role they’d now been assigned. Leah’s two little ones will continue to endure years of vaginal dilation to stretch to enlarge their vaginas.  Read the rest of this entry

Natural Bodies Are Hard Work

muscle manby Lisa Wade, PhD @ Sociological Images

We commonly hear claims that men are naturally more muscular and physically intimidating than women.  “It’s a biological fact,” someone might say.  If that were true, though, we wouldn’t have to work so incredibly hard to make it so.

@IllMakeItMyself sent in this great example of the way in which we are pushed to force our bodies into a gender binary that we pretend is natural.  On the upper right part of the Men’s Health cover, it reads: “Add 15lb of muscle” and, right next door on the Women’s Health cover, it reads “5 ways to lose 15 lbs.”  Read the rest of this entry

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