Posts Tagged Sexuality

Not Oprah’s Book Club: Straight

So I’m kind of cheating on this one, because I haven’t actually read Hanne Blank‘s new book, Straight: The Surprisingly Short History of Heterosexuality. But I know her work, and I know how fabulously important this topic is, so I’m endorsing it sight unseen.

A recent interview with Hanne in Salon gives a flavor of what the book covers:

Men and woman have been having sex for as long as there have been humans. So how can we talk about there being a “history” of heterosexuality?

We can talk about there being a history of heterosexuality in the same way that we can talk about there being a history of religions. People have been praying to God for a really ...

So I’m kind of cheating on this one, because I haven’t actually read Hanne Blank‘s new book, Straight: The Surprisingly Short History of Heterosexuality. But I know her work, and I know how fabulously important ...

Saudi women finally allowed to join work force… to sell lingerie

Wow, there are so many layers to this story. Saudi women, long denied the ability to work, are finally allowed into the public sector- but only to sell garments, cosmetics, and yes – skimpy women’s lingerie. From the New York Times:

The Ministry of Labor is enforcing a royal decree issued last summer ordering that sales personnel in shops selling garments and other goods, like cosmetics, that are only for women must be female. More than 28,000 women applied for the jobs, the ministry said. [Emphasis mine.]

Anywhere else in the world, it would not be news that sales assistants in shops selling panties and bras were female. In Saudi Arabia, where women have always been ...

Wow, there are so many layers to this story. Saudi women, long denied the ability to work, are finally allowed into the public sector- but only to sell garments, cosmetics, and yes – skimpy ...

More on why you must see Pariah

Samhita mentioned that a crew of us went to see Pariah last weekend. If Meryl Streep’s shout out to the lead actress Adepero Oduye during her Golden Globes acceptance speech wasn’t enough of an encouragement to rush out and see the film, I thought I would add my two cents to the symphony of praise for this film.

Pariah was absolutely breathtaking. So genuine, so raw and very touching. But also, and this is where the film was set apart from other recent portrayals–uplifting. I kept telling people who asked that it was sad, but it was like a really good cry–you just feel so much better at the end. I won’t spoil the film, but just say that the ...

Samhita mentioned that a crew of us went to see Pariah last weekend. If Meryl Streep’s shout out to the lead actress Adepero Oduye during her Golden Globes acceptance speech wasn’t enough of an encouragement to ...

This is what good sex education looks like

Mr. Vernacchio’s “Sexuality and Society” class is definitely this sex-positive feminist’s wet dream. The class, taught as an elective at a private Quaker high school in Philadelphia, represents everything that sex education should be–and everything that, sadly, it is decidedly not these days.

At a time when the conservative push for abstinence-only-until-marriage has left most public schools teaching abstinence-only or abstinence-plus programs, Mr. Vernacchio’s course is a rarity in that it acknowledges that sexuality can be a “force for good.” In a country where even some “comprehensive” sex education is based on the fear-based premise that teens shouldn’t be having sex, but since they might be doing it anyway, they should probably know how to protect themselves, so they don’t ...

Mr. Vernacchio’s “Sexuality and Society” class is definitely this sex-positive feminist’s wet dream. The class, taught as an elective at a private Quaker high school in Philadelphia, represents everything that sex education should be–and everything that, ...

Psychologists debunk 6 common gender-essentialist myths about sexuality

BREAKING: Science confirms what feminists have been saying forever. All those myths about innate gender differences when it comes to sex? Not actually true. In a new review of research, University of Michigan psychologist Terri Conley and colleagues debunked six common gender-essentialist myths.

1) Men want “attractiveness,” while women want “status”

Sure, maybe on paper they do, but in the real world where actual relationships take place, attraction doesn’t fall into such simple stereotypes. Shocking, I know.

2) Men want many more sexual partners than women do

Turns out if you look at medians instead of averages to avoid skewing the data with a few Don Juan wannabes, men and women both say they want one sexual partner. (Just one! That is ...

BREAKING: Science confirms what feminists have been saying forever. All those myths about innate gender differences when it comes to sex? Not actually true. In a new review of research, University of Michigan psychologist Terri Conley and ...

Quick Hit: Stigma, Shame, and Sexuality Series

This week, Gender Across Borders, RH Reality Check and the global reproductive rights organization Ipas are teaming up on a great blog series on stigma, shame, and sexuality.

Despite the progress that human rights advocates are making worldwide, stigma seems to pervade as a nebulous stumbling block.

The bulk of the series focuses on abortion, but there are also pieces on sex work, queerness, sluttiness, and more. An overwhelming number of submissions on a range of topics poured in from around the world. I was, and remain, immensely moved by the courage of individuals to tell their stories and examine taboo subjects. Stigma survives, in large part, on silence, and this is a collective effort to undo that.

Yesterday’s ...

This week, Gender Across Borders, RH Reality Check and the global reproductive rights organization Ipas are teaming up on a great blog series on stigma, shame, and sexuality.

Despite the progress that human rights ...

What my Christian fundamentalist upbringing taught me about periods

A few recent readings and experiences have brought some of the ideology I grew up with as a Christian fundamentalist back into my mind. Specifically, I’ve been thinking a lot lately about conservative Christian attitudes towards menstruation.

I spoke on a panel this summer and got a laugh when I explained, “Personhood laws define the fetus as a person from the ‘moment of conception’, whatever that means.” Folks have been pointing out for a while that “moment of conception” is a pretty unscientific concept – conception is a process, not something that happens in a magic instant where a new human being is created and simultaneously imbued with a soul. Then I read this ...

A few recent readings and experiences have brought some of the ideology I grew up with as a Christian fundamentalist back into my mind. Specifically, I’ve been thinking a lot lately about conservative Christian attitudes ...

The Wednesday Weigh-in: Dirty Girl Masturbating Edition

As a long-time masturbation enthusiast and firm believer that respect for autonomous female desire could actually, like, save the world, this article on Dirty Girl Ministries, which aims to cure women of masturbation and porn “addictions,” makes me so sad.

As others have said, a group that believes all “sexual thought” (yes, even that momentary flash of what you’d like to do to Ryan Gosling!) outside of marital intercourse is “dirty” seems to be doing little more than further pathologizing the natural human desires that these women have become convinced are shameful by our sex-negative culture.

Which is the real shame. Masturbation has provided the longest, most consistently-satisfying sexual relationship of my short life. ...

As a long-time masturbation enthusiast and firm believer that respect for autonomous female desire could actually, like, save the world, this article on Dirty Girl Ministries, which aims to cure women of masturbation ...

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