Blog Archives

Real vs Cartoonish Sexuality

Real sexuality? Or just cartoonish?

Real sexuality? Or just cartoonish?

I believe we should afford our daughters and ourselves a right to our own authentic sexuality. Not the cartoonish MTV kind, but the kind where we respect ourselves enough to listen to what our bodies and hearts feel is right for us.

Paraphrasing psychoanalyst and author Joyce McFadden, there.

What is authentic sexuality? In my last post, I suggested it is neither shameful nor a crutch for powerlessness or low self-esteem. But what else?  Read the rest of this entry

Authentic Sexuality v Dressing Like Prostitutes

Hello Kitty thong

Hello Kitty thong

Why do moms let their daughters “dress like prostitutes?” asked Jennifer Moses in a Wall Street Journal piece that got people talking a while back.

Moses thinks it’s because the moms had a sexually free past, which they now regret. “Not one woman I’ve ever asked about the subject,” she declared, “has said that she wishes she’d ‘experimented’ more.”

Well, wouldn’t you want your daughters to NOT look like prostitutes, then?  Read the rest of this entry

Your Pain: A Small Price for My Pleasure

scarsPolice in Salinas, California conducted a home welfare check after three children, ages 8, 5, and 3, didn’t arrive for an unspecified appointment. What they found was gruesome. The isolated children, who were ostensibly being homeschooled, were malnourished and bruised.

But the eight-year-old girl seems to have gotten it worse than her brothers. She was periodically locked in a closet or chained to a wall, 4 feet off the ground. She was sometimes shackled by the ankle, and other times by a collar around her small neck. And starving, she resembled a concentration camp victim.   Read the rest of this entry

Girls Chasing Boys Chasing Girls

Ingrid Michaelson’s “Girls Chase Boys” is a tribute to Roger Palmer’s “Simply Irresistible.”

A tribute. And a commentary on changing times.

When I first saw “Simply Irresistible” years ago, it seemed pretty natural and normal. But after seeing Michaelson’s gender bending switch — and thu more feminist eyes — I see so much more.

In “Simply Irresistible” the girls are dolled up to passively attract.

simply irr-dance

In “Girls Chase Boys” it’s the guys:

simply irr-dance guys

Read the rest of this entry

Objectifying Men’s Bodies for Profit

magic mike movie rip off cloths[1]by Lisa Wade, PhD @ Sociological Images

I always love a good behind-the-scenes marketing story and last month NPR reported that Proctor & Gamble is facing falling men’s razor sales as beards have become more fashionable. Their response? To put more pressure on men to shave other parts of their bodies.

Always a glutton for punishment, I set out to discover just how they were going to try to convince men to do this… and I was not disappointed. See video below:  Read the rest of this entry

Do Women Buy Into Objectification?

Dad wears short shorts, like daughter

Dad wears short shorts, like daughter

By Jack Smith

Why do some women buy into our objectifying culture?

I wondered about that one day when my women’s studies instructor asked this question:

A feminist friend of mine has a daughter who wants to wear short shorts that show her butt cheeks. Her mom doesn’t like it because she feels that it objectifies her. But her daughter says she’s a feminist and feels women should be able to choose to do whatever they want.

What do you all think about this?

Here’s what I think: While this young woman probably truly believed what she was saying, I can see things from another perspective. Which may or may not agree with her. It depends.  Read the rest of this entry

Why is Lena Dunham Naked on GIRLS?

LenaDunhamGirlsNude-618x400Why is Lena Dunham constantly naked on HBO’s Girls

Well, not constantly. It just seems like it to some folks. A ruckus broke out last week when The Wrap reporter, Tim Molloy, asked Girls creator, Lena Dunham this question:

I don’t get the purpose of all of the nudity on the show, by you particularly, and I feel like I’m walking into a trap where you go, ‘Nobody complains about the nudity on Game of Thrones,’ but I get why they are doing it. They are doing it to be salacious and, you know, titillate people. And your character is often naked just at random times for no reason.

It’s a question that has stuck in my mind.

Artists say they only do nudity for artistic reasons, not prurient purposes. So why is titillation the only legit rationale for Mr. Molloy?

Ms. Dunham says,

It’s because it’s a realistic expression of what it’s like to be alive.

Alive, and not ashamed of your body, it seems to me.

Lena does not have what’s considered the ideal body type. But her obvious comfort has made me aware of my own discomfort.  Read the rest of this entry

Bras Just Want Some Appreciation. Don’t We All?

IntimatesFools-199x300Women can be mistaken for their sexuality. Or, women can make their sexuality work for them.

Intimates and Fools, with poetry by Laura Madeline Wiseman and illustrations by Sally Deskins, is a thought-provoking, conversation-starting coffee table book that got me thinking about all that.

Here, brassieres emerge as the main characters.

A ribboned and bowed satin looped bra that hugs and squeezes can’t help but twirl in a soft orange light. You just know “she” will be treasured and cared for.

Others are self-important and inflated, via tennis balls, water balloons, tissue, silicone…

Until they’re removed or disposed of.

I’m so great, why would anyone take me off? Bra wonders. And yet people do: Lovers, doctors — and soon-to-be sleepers slipping into PJs.  Read the rest of this entry

Women as Prey, Men as Predator

homophobiaWomen are expected to attract, men are supposed to be attracted. Men want, women want to be wanted. Metaphorically, this is a predator/prey type relationship. Women are subject to the hunt whether they like it or not, so men’s attention can be pleasing, annoying, or frightening. It all depends.

Accordingly, women know what it feels like to be prey.

That’s from Prof. Lisa Wade of Occidental College and the popular blog, Sociological Images (where I got the great cartoon, too.)

Not all men make women feel this way, she says, and probably most don’t, but we’ve all pretty much had this experience, whether it’s,

The leering guy on the street, the heavy hitter in the bar, the frotteurist on the subway, the molesting uncle, the aggressive fraternity brother, etc.

Does homophobia arise partly from being demoted on the food chain and feeling like prey, she wonders?  Read the rest of this entry

Audrey Hepburn Smashed My Beauty Myths

audrey-hepburn-style-1By Jessica Minasi

Most of us fall far from today’s beauty ideal: Blonde, blue-eyed, and skinny yet buxom.

Audrey Hepburn opened my eyes to how beauty can be defined.

After all, she only fits one of those narrow criteria. And her beauty is so much more than physical.

Read the rest of this entry

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