Tags

,

Welcome to week two of “sunday smut,” the links list in which I indulge my interest in things sex and gender related that I’ve read around the internet.


Columnist Violet Blue of the San Francisco Chronicle tackled the subject of labiaplasty, the latest trend in elective plastic surgery: altering women’s genitals to meet their conception of what “normal” is. As Violet Blue points out, “Some of us girls want a little more than that. Little, like a fully functioning clitoris” and “who knows how much sexual research has been flawed — and continues to be inaccurate — because researchers consistently leave out the crucial ingredient of female pleasure?” (via Hanna on Google reader)

Over at the Guardian Celia Hannon covered the latest studies on gay parenting while Peter Tatchell called for an end to the gay blood ban.

Via my friend Rachel comes this hilarious story of a man in California who is taking the anti-gay-marriage folks at their word that protecting marriage is what they’re all about. If you really want to protect marriage, John Marcotte argues, why not enact a ban on divorce?

In Either/Or: Sports, sex, and the case of Caster Semenya, New Yorker Reporter at Large Ariel Levy considers what damage our preoccupation with gender has done to someone who wanted nothing more than to do what she did best: run.

Religious leaders are pledging to practice civil disobedience when it comes to gay rights and abortion laws. While I respect the right of everyone in the nation to nonviolently protest against laws which they believe are immoral, I find it offensive that religious leaders are taking a stand against basic human rights, which I believe stand at the heart of all major world religions.

via aag comes a post on sex positivity and judgment from the Good Vibrations online magazine and blog. The post has relevance beyond sexuality, but because people tend to be particularly reactive when it comes to other peoples’ sex lives (maybe because sex, for so many people, is intimately connected to our sense of self?)

Instead of saying that what someone does is bad or sick or wrong, we can say that we don’t understand it. Or that we have a squick around it. Or that we find it scary. Or that we are intrigued by it and are worried about what that means. Or that we believe that it causes harm to someone. Whatever the actual judgment is, when we own it, we are able to speak and act from a much more powerful place because we don’t give control of our feelings to external events. This creates an opportunity to discover whether the people doing it are, in fact, acting in ways that are contrary to their best interests or whether we just think that they are. Owning our judgments helps us keep an open mind.

Natalie Stein over at Bitch Magazine has some thoughts on a recent piece by Karla Jay published in In These Times, Empathy, Not Apathy: An Open Letter to my Students. I’m not one-hundred-percent on board with Natalie, but I think she speaks for a lot of people in our cohort when she writes,

In Karla’s mind, and in several other elders’ minds, we are not doing enough. She argues that we don’t feel connected to the issues; that nothing is “real” to us unless we see it on reality television. And while I am aware that this can be true for many, many people (of all ages, respectively) I am a little perturbed at the assumption that because some of us are lazy and uninterested in politics and think “racism is over because there’s a black president,” we are all like that.

Possibly the best response (or at least the most satisfying!) to a person who tries to devalue women’s experience and opinions is to devalue that devaluation. Regina Barreca gives anti-feminist Satoshi Kanazawa, author of the succinctly-titled op-ed “Why modern feminism is illogical, unnecessary, and evil” (as a left-handed person, I am already a minion of satan — calling me “evil” is just egging the cake!), a taste of his own medicine in Why Anti-Feminism is Illogical, Unnecessary, Evil, and Incredibly Unsexy.

L. Lee Butler over at the YALSA blog writes about Twilight, abusive relationships, and why he almost didn’t put Stephanie Meyer’s popular series on his school library shelves.

And to round things off for the week, a somewhat inexplicable list of ten tips for young ladies found in an early-twentieth-century books titled Confidential Chats With Girls. (My favorite: “Woolen undergarments are a most prolific source of mischief.” Mischief! Oh no! Not mischief!)

Lots of promising stuff has come across my feeds the last couple of days, so hopefully this coming week I’ll have a chance to actually read them and report in “sunday smut no. 3” . . . until next time, happy reading!

*image credit: Life Drawing 18-10-09 30 mins by tobybear @ Flickr.com

Advertisements