News flash: women no longer have “hymens” but “vaginal coronas.” Why, you may ask? Ann Bartow @ Feminist Law Professors explains.
While the idea of re-naming the hymen has a certain amount of political merit, I’d say the same does not hold true for calling the vagina a “baby-making hole” (aside from being clunky, it’s factually inaccurate people!). Check out the sex education book that used this term at beyond birds and bees (via aag, who provides the book illustrations for the visually-inclined).
Artist Zina Saunders is doing a series of portraits of “long-standing gay couples” in response to New York state’s recent failure to pass a gay marriage bill.
I’m equal parts gleeful and creeped out by this story of the “ex-gay” organization Exodus International severing ties with a Michigan-based affiliate after allegations of homoerotic abuse. Most puzzling to me is why any group would name itself “Corduroy Stones” (outside of the emo rock band context) and what that could possibly have to do with sexual orientation therapy.
Ann at Feministing offers yet another perspective on the abusive relationship dynamics of New Moon, pointing out the normalization of violence in the Native American community depicted in the book and film.
On Wednesday, Jessica, also at Feministing, solicited peoples’ stories about Women’s and Gender Studies programs in an open comments thread.
I enjoyed Hanna Rosin’s book God’s Harvard which I reviewed here a couple of years ago. However, sometimes her op-ed pieces cause in me a “what the fuck?!” sort of reaction. For example, her recent ruminations on her husband’s behavior in the kitchen, titled The Rise of the Kitchen Bitch. As my friend Joseph sarcastically commented, “I so appreciate her writing a piece about men doing more cooking and describing them as bare-fisted, potty mouthed, and (my favorite) testosterone-fueled assholes.” I mean, really, I could spend paragraphs dissecting harmful class- and gender-based assumptions being made in these two sentences alone:
I first heard this term in Sandra Tsing Loh’s recent Atlantic story about her divorce. She used it to describe a friend’s husband who was anal and fussy and altogether too feminine—he belonged to an online fennel club, for God’s sake.
While we’re on the subject of harmful stereotyping, Dr. Marty Klein describes how our cultural terror of online sexual predators effects the ability of consenting adults to role-play sexual fantasies online in “Fantasy On Trial (Again)”
In an instance of entirely tone-deaf wording, the BBC online forum “have your say” published a piece this week it titled “Should homosexuals face execution?” (since changed to “Should Uganda debate gay execution?“) The simple answer to that, boys and girls, is no. The more nuanced answer is fuck no. (via Cruella-blog). Journalists and the public complained, and the BBC has since apologized. Hanna and I have been debating between ourselves the effectiveness and legitimacy of the headline; she thinks the first version got the response the BBC wanted, I think the second is more accurate. Either way, it’s an interesting case-study for how these international issues are framed and reported on by media outlets.
In another instance of media framing, I’ve been seeing various iterations of this headline the past few days: “topless teen causes auto accident” or, as DigitalSpy.uk put it, “breast-flashing teen hit by car.” A New Zealand teenager who was dared to flash oncoming traffic was fined for supposedly distracting one driver so badly that he veered off the road and ran her down. Okay: flashing traffic is possibly not the brightest idea going (akin to mooning someone out the window of your car, right?: stupid prank) But I’m irritated by the way no one is asking why a woman’s breasts were so distracting to a driver that he hit her with the car — and if, indeed, that’s the case, why it’s somehow her fault and not his.
Lots of folks weighed in on a recent study that concluded young people who engage in casual sexual encounters do not necessarily experience adverse effects. Brandann Hill-Mann @ Women’s Rights Blog announced “this just in: sex isn’t going to destroy you!“; Thomas @ Yes Means Yes wrote about “the absence of harm“; Amanda Marcotte, writing @ Double X concludes that “the kids are downright boring.”
And finally: speaking of sex, as opening lines go, Rachel Kramer Bussel definitely takes the cupcake this week with “I lack sexual restraint. Philosophically, I don’t see the point in it.”
*Image credit: PICT1897 by Always Rain @ Flickr.