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Archive for the ‘sexuality’ Category

PORN PORN PORN!: why i should never read alternet

Posted by pocochina on September 22, 2010

So through the endless series of links I have waded in these last couple of days,* I somehow came across this post by Clarisse Thorn:  “Why I Sympathize with Anti-Porn Feminists.” And, lord help me, I dove on into this particular front in the endless straw battle of nudie flicks.

The post isn’t particularly incisive.  The author doesn’t share any new insights into feminism, porn, or human sexuality.  But what struck me about it – what clued me in to the specifics of some of my (extremely muddled) feelings about the Porn Issue – is the extent to which it mirrors right-wing rhetoric.  The article utilizes narratives familiar to the authoritarian theocratic right in order to contextualize the development of her feelings toward pornography and argue against anti-porn feminists.  Though she’s making an argument associated with left-wing feminism, she’s utilizing the bad-faith thought processes of the radical right in order to do so.

And if you’ve got to argue like them…I’m not sure you have a good argument.

NOTE:  I am NOT saying you are a bad feminist or a bad person if you like porn or loathe it.  I don’t care if you are rubbing one out right now.  This is about people who mischaracterize the concerns of some feminists about porn in order to dismiss them out of hand, rather than engage in difficult and potentially painful questions about mainstream depictions of sexuality, particularly those which are prevalent in mainstream pornography, and the wide-ranging impact they have on sexuality and gender inequality.   This post isn’t even about my feelings about porn (which, for the curious, are mixed) or people who enjoy/don’t enjoy porn (because, IDGAF).  It’s about wanting to have an intellectually honest discussion of the issue.  I understand that there are lots of places where folks have to defend their enjoyment of porn, their discomfort with porn or both, but this isn’t one of them.

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Q: what’s two inches long and has NEVER RAPED ANYONE?

Posted by pocochina on August 3, 2010

A:  An IUD.

Apparently, doctors in Scotland are following some new sexual health guidelines, concerning the discussion long-term contraceptive options with young teenage patients who ask about the contraceptive pill, “as long as the doctor does not suspect exploitation or coercion.”  The Express, the paper which originally reported on this, stressed the sex panic angle, claiming that Scots are “up in arms” in terror about the prescription of a safe, legal medication by a doctor for a patient.  (I’m kind of the opinion that anyone who goes to the Catholic Church for a quote about sexual exploitation of minors shouldn’t be allowed to report on the grand opening of a supermarket, but whatever.)  RH Reality Check took a more pragmatic line, saying that if someone is too young for sex, she’s definitely too young to be a parent.  And Jezebel, in a rather spectacular example of trading point for sensationalism, argues that capacity to consent to sex is an individual thing and therefore concern is misplaced, and besides, the contraceptives won’t be given to anyone doctors suspect is being coerced or exploited.

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Posted in domestic violence, feminism, pregnancy, sexual assault, sexuality | Leave a Comment »

reframing “sexual maturity”

Posted by pocochina on March 3, 2010

I’d like to challenge prevailing ideas of “sexual maturity” from a pro-PWD (and particular, people with invisible mental illness) perspective.  This is clearly an idea found within mainstream feminism, but I don’t think it’s really all that distinguishable from mainstream thought in general, so, you know, apply as necessary.  Overall, it is problematic because it defines women’s brains on what we do with our bodies, even if it does so in the spirit of fighting shame and stigma; it leaves out adults with developmental disabilities; and it’s harmful to teens with mental illness.  I’ll be concentrating on that last one because it’s closest to my knowledge and experience, but I’d love to hear in comments from folks who have opinions on the first two as well.

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Posted in body image, disability, feminism, lgbtq, sexuality | Leave a Comment »


Posted by pocochina on January 27, 2008

I’m not really a celebrity-watcher (I hadn’t ever read Perez until the tragic news about Heath Ledger earlier this week), but I am oddly a watcher of celebrity coverage.  By which I mean, I don’t know or care Lindsey Lohan is up to, but when I see her on CNN, I read and wonder why we feel so free to speculate on whether she suffers from bulemia or a cocaine addiction; I search for meaning as to why a starlet’s pain is such big news.  I realize that it’s because women who are young and beautiful – and doing exactly what a patriarchal society insists they should – must still suffer, or they will get all uppity thinking they are people and stuff.  And because our faux-“free market” worshiping society relies on unnecessary competition as well as healthy competition, else we will stop all hating each other, and women are required to compete on the Hetero-Fuckability Scale, or else we will, I dunno, remember we are good at other stuff.  But I want to think it’s more complicated than that.

Which brings me, of all fucking things, to Britney’s period stain.

I am so, so disgusted.  Not by the fact that OMG, an adult woman menstruates, but by the cultural narrative which says that women who menstruate are disgusting, that periods are something of which we should be ashamed – and by the way in which this particular shame crossed ways with this particular starlet.  Americans are crassly fixated on Britney’s sexuality.  We have been since her debut.  She was the queen of the virgin/whore dichotomy, and now she’s suffering in that very same construct.  Now that she has had kids – now that that our perceptions of her sexuality have changed (not a Virginial Girl, nor a Modest Mother), we must continue to recreate the Used-Up Bad Girl.  And what could possibly be a better tool to put her in her place than her period?  We like to think of it as the ugly, dirty side of our sexual maturity; the idea that despite the way our bodies are so terribly commercialized, they are still bodies, and they do the things human bodies do.  They make babies, and they bleed, and sometimes they betray our fraying emotions and our frantic minds.

And then the fucking moralizing, when Margaret Cho dared to stand up for her!  Margaret’s point, if I may speak for the Great One herself, was that it is seriously fucked up to humiliate someone for something so normal as a period stain.  “You should use hydrogen peroxide!”  “You should get new sheets!”  “You should buy a DivaCup!”*  Way to prove her point, jackasses.  Period stains happen all the time.  We are only ashamed of them because we are taught to do so in a world which a) hates women and b) makes enormous amounts of money off of our shame.  Period stains are embarrassing because they mean we are women who have failed to hide our physical femininity, and therefore failed at our societal performance of femininity.

Britney was, in her heyday, the height of emphasized femininity – shockingly young, taut and curvy, with her blonde hair, and bright eyes meaning as much as her conservative Christianity and professed virginity. Whatever she thought, all that she suffered, she hid it from us with a megawatt smile.  She straddled the virgin/whore dichotomy, and then she dared to become human – she admitted her sexuality, she fell in love and made bad choices and had beautiful children and then crashed, forcing the toll of her life on our cannibalistic celebrity press corps.  She reminded us that the product of Britney was not a person.  It’s one more tiny crack in the wall between what a capitalist patriarchy demands women be, and what we actually are.  She’s crashing and burning, in front of all our eyes, because she has nowhere else to be.

*I want Margaret to have a Diva Cup now too, and not just because it was probably named after her badass diva self, but ’cause it could make that part of her life less annoying.  Definitely not because then Margaret, like me, could then be So! Morally! Superior! to poor period stained Britney.

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sex, drugs, & britney spears

Posted by pocochina on October 4, 2007

I’m quickly crystallizing  thoughts about something that deeply frustrates me about not living in a feminist world.  It makes me *so* upset to hear about “lug”s and bisexuals until graduation and what the  hell ever.

I understand, as best as a woman with het-privilege can, that it makes life that much more difficult on LBT women who are already marginalized.  I know that if *I* had gone through that process of examining outsiderhood, realizing that it was me, and then being *unspeakably* brave and coming out, you’d have to hold me the fuck back every time I heard “my friend JoAnn tried that whole gay thing, and now she’s married to Bob and they have BABIEZ.”  I can’t imagine how it feels to love someone who you think has gone through that with you, and then you find out she was “just experimenting.”  The image of drunk sorority sisters kissing at a bar gets thrown around a lot.

It’s bizarre think of, but in a vacuum, that’s totally morally neutral.  There is nothing inherently bad or anti-feminist about exhibitionism.  It is not wrong.  It is not immoral or something you should only do when youre omg soooooooooooo drunk did that really happen?  It can be enjoyable, it can be important, it can be sexual and hot and fun.  Same with experimentation.  If you are attracted to someone, and there is mutual consent, you’re allowed to make out and you’re allowed to get into it and you’re allowed to enjoy it.  Maybe you’re gay, and maybe you’re not, and you’re allowed to find out.  It is not wrong.  But we don’t live in a vacuum, we live in a world where that hurts other women.

But it hurts queer-identified women, because we live in a sexist heteronormative world that ranks some experiences as valid and some experiences as not, and in general, still cannot deal with female sexuality that does not center around male pleasure.  I’m not going to pretend we live in that world, we don’t.  But it’s morally bad that those things hurt people because of the world we live in.  They are not morally wrong in and of themselves.

Which brings me, tangentially, to Britney Spears.  I never, ever expected to hear myself defend Britney Spears.  But I am totally on her side.  She’s no longer some fucking pedophiliac concept of unrealistic faux-virginial “sexy” so get back to the trailer park, little girl, and don’t you dare enjoy the youth you never had, and if you do, we’re taking your kids.  All she did was disturb our idealized picture of Teh Sexy Virgin Mama.

Does “just experimenting” even really, truly exist?  I mean, if there’s mutual sexual attraction that two (or more) people act upon – is it really, honeslty experimenting?  I know it’s not my choice to label someone else’s experience.  But I hope that if I were to actually one day have a relationship with a woman, that I wouldn’t be *just* trying to see how much her bits look like mine.

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larry craig watch

Posted by pocochina on September 6, 2007

The critical section of the Constitution states: “The Senators and Representatives shall receive a compensation for their services, to be ascertained by law, and paid out of the treasury of the United States. They shall in all cases, except treason, felony and breach of the peace, be privileged from arrest during their attendance at the session of their respective Houses, and in going to and returning from the same; and for any speech or debate in either House, they shall not be questioned in any other place.”

Craig was arrested just after 12 noon June 11. He cast a vote on a high-profile cloture motion on the Senate floor at 5:55 p.m. that same day.

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Posted in idiots, lgbtq, politics, republicans, sexuality | Leave a Comment »

happy ec-niversary!

Posted by pocochina on August 25, 2007

Just about a year ago, the FDA finally approved EC for OTC purchase.  And in honor of that auspicious occasion, I want to take the opportunity to talk about anti-choicers, and their relationship to some of the discourse around pregnancy.  Not just pointing and laughing, either (though don’t get me wrong, I think pointing and laughing at anti-feminists should be an Olympic sport), but the ways in which our culture, and particularly the anti-choice movement, characterizes all consequences of sex as pregnancy.

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these are a few of my favorite things

Posted by pocochina on August 24, 2007

Sex toys and the federal judiciary ALL IN ONE STORY!  YES REALLY!!

Basically, Alabama has a state law prohibiting the sale of sex toys.  You can, as the author of this article points out, purchase fireworks and guns on the street, but keep that filthy Rabbit Habit out of this here state.  There’s not much I have to add to this article.  But I’m tickled.  (HAHA GEDDIT?)

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Wendy Shalit

Posted by pocochina on August 21, 2007

and the case of “why is anyone reading this idiot anyway?”

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Posted in abortion, body image, feminism, i love books, idiots, sexuality | Leave a Comment »

suck it….and other tools of the patriarchy

Posted by pocochina on May 12, 2007

This one’s been buzzing my whole adult life.

Sexualized insults are the shittiest thing ever.  Sexualized insults are the tool of the patriarchy.  Sexualized insults are, among all these terrible things, the biggest turn-off ever.  Sexualized insults, especially in the context of both compulsory heterosexuality and actual heterosexuality.

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