Sunday, October 28, 2012

talking point 9! sex positivity

so in order for me to get a better grip on what exactly the readings were about this week, I did a little research on my own.
I basically just typed sex positivity into Google & sooo many different feminism articles came up.  I found a woman's (her name is Clarisse) blog entitled FEMINISTE...she posted an interview she had done; she had answered questions about sex-positive feminism...I found it really interesting so the link is below!

"Interview with a sex-positive feminist"

Her first question & answer helped me get a better understanding (along with the wikipedia article) of what exactly sex-positive feminism is.
According to Clarisse (& a bit of wikipedia info too) sex positive feminism is the acceptance of various types of sexual approaches.  Basically, sex positive feminism don't engage in stereotypes.  Part of her answer to the first question is
                                         "...some people are really into sex, and some people aren't; but most importantly,
                                                all kinds of sex are okay as long as they happen among consenting adults."

this part of her answer made me look back to the 8 Ways To Be Positive You're Sex Positive article.  In this article, step 1 is realizing "having sex is healthy, but so is not having sex."  How I saw this is Clarisse basically saying what step 1 is want to have sex, great! go for it! but if you don't, that's okay too.  
What I got from the 8 Ways article (& Wikipedia and Clarisse's blog) is that sex is different for everyone---everyone engages in sex differently & sex can mean something different to everyone.
For some people, sex is an intimate thing they do with the person they love and only that person.  For others, sex could include a type of kinky fetish with whoever is willing (consenting) to take part in it.

In the Wikipedia article there was a section on pornography & how it was "perhaps" the first issue to untie sex-positive feminists.  In 1983 the city council in Minneapolis passed an anti-pornography ordinance--basically pornography was viewed as a civil rights issue, arguing that porn was sex discrimination against women.  The sex-positive movement responded with the argument that the legislation against porn violated a woman's freedom of speech.  
>After I read this I remembered what happened this past weekend, I was in Salem for Halloween weekend (HUGE HALLOWEEN FAN RIGHT HERE) & as we were walking through some mall type place we passed an "Adult Store."  In the window was an older looking poster of a pretty (but basically naked) blonde woman with the name Nina Hartley on the poster.  So now I just looked her up---she is an adult film star, most popular in the 70s, author & feminist who starred in basic sexual intercourse, foreplay, anal sex and bondage films.  She first became interested in porn & erotica novels when she was 14, is bisexual, has been in a polyamorous (a man & a woman together) relationship & is now currently married to a man but they both have their special friends--I guess like an open relationship type deal.

I found this YouTube video--an interview with Nina Hartley in The Man Room.
I thought this video fit with our readings--it's about her life as a sex-positive feminist
Her interview helped me understand the readings this week so check 'em out!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

talking point 8: Cinderella Ate My Daughter (reflection)

FIRST OFF I just wanna say that I was so excited about this article before I even read it!  The title caught my eye right away because I have this unhealthy obsession with this Cinderella!  It's funny because I read Noelle's blog before I posted this---too bad we didn't know each other when we were little, we could have Cinderella parties together J  

As I’m writing this I am staring at my Cinderella snow globe, Cinderella build-a-bear, Cinderella limited edition clock & doll, every version of Cinderella on VHS,DVD, Blu Ray, special edition…the list could go on & on haha

So obviously as I was reading this article Orenstein’s points about the Disney Princesses really stuck out to me.  Little girls always idolize the princesses…something about their lifestyle just speaks to a girl.  It’s funny because my cousin had a baby last January and all through her pregnancy she just kept saying, ‘I don’t care what my baby is as long as it’s healthy.’  When she found out the baby was a girl she was ecstatic to have her own ‘little princess’ the first gift she got was a Disney “Princess on Board” sticker for her car window.

I think the whole glitz and glam of the princess lifestyle is what attracts little girls.  They see brightly dressed girls covered in glitter and makeup and looking so beautiful they can’t help but want that lifestyle.  For my junior prom I told my mom I was wearing a princess dress and would not settle for anything less than something that made me look like royalty. 

$300 dollars later, I got my princess dress, which looking back on it---I wish I hadn't waste $300 on a dress! BUT I felt like a princess that night & it’s a night I’ll always remember!

Now that I’m older, I look at the Disney Princesses and wonder…how can such superficial people be this popular?  No one has a fairy godmother who can grant them wishes.  And how many stories do you hear about men kissing women out of their sleep? You don’t!
The world needs to lay off the superficial role models J

My only issue with this article is when Orenstein talks about the color PINK.

 Nothing in this world drives me more crazy than the color pink.  I CANNOT 

You will not catch me dead wearing, owning, or having anything pink.  Never have never will.  My mom actually tells me that when I was younger (like age 3-5) I would cry if she put me in pink clothes.
When I was reading this section I thought back to a conversation Noelle, Ronie & I had in class a few weeks.  We were having a conversation about the color pink (I don’t really remember why right now) but I was telling them how much I disliked the color pink & happened to be a day where Noelle was wearing a lot of pink haha

Some girls (&boys too) love the color pink.  I however cannot stand it—it’s too bright & peppy & perky & I just can’t deal with it haha------don’t ask for an explanation, I don’t have one haha  Therefore, I disagree with Orenstein when she says that the attraction to the color pink is in a girl's DNA....I'm living proof that that statement is false.

SIDENOTE: As I was reading this article I was also thinking about the article about the boys we read last week.  AND I couldn't help but think about the kid's game CANDYLAND.  The two highest places on the board (that pretty much ensure you're going to win) is King Kandy & Princess Lolly.  I may be over analyzing but I found it interesting that in order to win you have to land on a man's castle....why not a woman's?

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

"I'm Gay & Unapologetic!"

So I had my wisdom teeth out yesterday (Monday) and Thursday I'm having some contraption put on my head to test my brain activity for the migraines I've been getting since I was 13 (SUPER FUN WEEK RIGHT!?) 
SOOOO I'm out of classes & work until next week and because my cheeks are the size of basketballs & the contraption I'm getting put on is going to make me look like a robot mummy (picture someone with wires attached to their head and wrapped in a bajillion layers of medical tape & that image? that's what I'll be looking like for 4 days!)   I will be cooped up in my bedroom for the next 6 or 7 days.

SOOOOO while I was laying in bed today...
I was doing some research on available internships for this coming summer (I'm really trying to get an internship at the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) headquarters in New York) and I came across this article written by Troy Roness, one of their members.
I found the article (below is a link) really interesting because it not only dealt with people accepting his eating disorder but also accepting him as a member of the LGBT community.  In his article he talks about coming out as a gay, Christian man with an eating disorder and the obstacles he had to overcome.  He's an amazing writer/ speaker so check it out!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

What Are Little Boys Made Of? (Quotes/Reflection)

As I was reading through this article my mind was going off in SOOOO many different directions, I loved it!  For me it was a relatable article and I thought that really helped me understand the points being raised.  I felt that the article was trying to say that boys are violent, aggressive, obnoxious creatures who do not really show emotion due to this ‘code of silence’.  I chose a few quotes that I thought were the best representation of what the article was about.

In the beginning of the article there was a quote about the infamous nature vs. nurture debate:
Ø  “It’s nature not nurture that propels boys towards obnoxious behavior, violence and sadistic experiments on insects.  What makes boys boys is, in a word testosterone, that magical catch-all hormone that drives them toward aggression and risk taking and challenging this fact gives them the message…that boyhood is defective. (157)
After reading and rereading this quote I kept thinking, what do boys my age (college students) think of this?  So I decided to ask! I asked a few of the most important men in my life what their opinions were.

My dad and both of my friends believe that behavior, violence, aggression etc is a product of one’s environment.  They all had similar reasons: how you were raised, who you associate(d) with and how the men in your life behave(d) all contribute to your behavior. 
My Boyfriend on the other hand thought it was both genetics and environment.
I personally think it has a lot to do with environment.  If a boy is brought up in a violent environment or has aggressive parents, all he is going to know is violence and aggression which will probably lead to him acting out—obnoxious behavior.  I’m a firm believer that boys and girls are a product of their environment.

 For as long as I could remember I’ve been considered “one of the guys”---not because I liked “boy things” but because of my behavior.  I’m not big on emotions and feelings and all that crap haha.  I hung out with the boys more because I couldn’t take girls crying and being all emotional.  So When I read the quote:

Ø  “Culture of cruelty imposes a code of silence on boys, requiring them to suffer without speaking of it…”(158)
I immediately wondered what my guys thought.  My guys firmly believe that this ‘code of silence’ does not exist.  They all believed that men should always express themselves and their emotions.  I found this interesting coming from a group of 20 year old guys.  In my personal experience(s) I haven’t known of too many guys who are willing to just put their emotions out there for the world to see.  I feel that society (and myself too I guess) sees emotions as a weakness almost.  Society has this idea that men are supposed to be strong enough to hide their emotions, they’re not supposed to feel… thus living in this ‘code of silence’

My friend B is the complete opposite of me.  He is in total favor of emotions, he doesn’t believe in this ‘code of silence’.  He believes that men should never have to hide their feelings and should always express how they feel.  He gave me an example—he said his dad treats his mom like a princess (lucky her!) and always reminds her how he feels about her.  He said that when he is in a relationship he makes sure that there is no ‘code of silence’ that he always reminds his significant other his feelings without being ashamed. 
My friend J pretty much agreed with my other friend.  He 100% believes that men should always express themselves. He thinks that guys should always show respect, for women, men & well, everyone!  He believes that guys should always stand up for what’s right.
My boyfriend of almost 3 years believes that people, not just men, should always express their emotions (that’s probably why we have such a difficult time communicating :p)  He agrees with my other two friends that this ‘code of silence’ is just something else to make men look bad and that guys do have feelings and can show them.

The last quote I chose was the ending paragraph:
Ø  “Feminists imagine, and demand, that men (and boys) can do better.  Feminism offers the possibility of a new boyhood and a new masculinity based on a passion for justice, a love of equality and the expression of a full range of feelings.” (159)
I thought ending the article like this was perfect.  Feminism is giving men the opportunity to be that loving-emotional-do what is right – kind of guy without being completely isolated out of society.  Men like this do in fact exist, right now they are rare but hopefully someday they won’t be!

-When I first read the title of the article I immediately thought of the nursery rhyme with the same title---What Are Little Boys Made Of? I thought it was fitting because this rhyme was written in early 19th century & even then there was a battle being fought between the sexes!

random middle of the night post!

don't you just love those nights when you can't sleep----no matter how hard you try!?

ugh it's almost 3:30am, I've been trying to fall asleep for 3 hours! I've been on Pinterest (most addicting app ever!) and found something really interesting that I absolutely LOVED so I thought I'd share it :)

I loved this picture because I could relate to sister has been battling an eating disorder for the past 7 years, since she was 10; she was in recovery and this past week she began the process for, again, being admitted to clinic at Hasbro for relapsing.
I believe eating disorders are a feminist issue. They speak to low self esteem which stems from feeling like you have a lack of control. Men and society place such emphasis on unattainable beauty that men and society are basically controlling women, ugh!

someday I hope that women (&men too who suffer from eating disorders) will realize BEAUTY IS NOT A SIZE!

Monday, October 8, 2012

La conciencia de la mestiza: Towards a New Consciousness

I thought Gloria Anzaldua’s article >> La conciencia de la mestiza: Towards a New Consciousness, was a fairly easy read. I felt that she made her point in a straight forward way and explained herself so the reader understood where she was coming from. She is trying to explain to the readers the complexity of being a new Mestiza

In her article she explains that mestiza means to be one of multiple races. She talks of the Mestiza as not belonging to a single category, but many---these many categories intertwine. Basically, a Mestiza has no definitive place to call home. As a mestiza she is trying to figure out who she is and where exactly she can call home.

While I understood the article i felt i was reaading it at face value.  After reading Kayli and Nancy's blogs, though, it helped put the article in perspective for me!  (thanks girls :D)
Kayli connected this article to the LGBT article we just read. She says: "In Rich's text she talks about how society or in this case her culture insists on being one way, and any other way or the Mestiza is not accepted in society. it is imposed on us from the beginning to be one way."  What I took from the article and what Kayli also mentioned is that a Mestiza is a creature who is separate and not traditionally accepted. I agree with kayli; Rich talked about society being born with this innate instinct that everyone has to be one way (in RIch's case it was heterosexual) and if they are anything different, well then they are not accepted Well a Mestiza doesn't fit in one category, she is multiple categories—so right away she is not accepted in society.  Kayli also mentioned the outer and inner struggle and how that can lead to not feeling accepted and developing a tolerance.

Nancy’s blog reflected on Anzaldua’s article.  Nancy raised some points that I found important and made me stop and think a little more about what I was reading.  Nancy points out that fitting in is crucial in our society; some even see it as being the most important component.  People crave the need for acceptance and in some cases may change who they are to fit in with a certain group of people.  Nancy makes the point that in order to fit in we feel like we need to follow social norms…like a rule book almost.  Nancy also points out ( and I also took this from the article) that the future depends on the breaking down of paradigms.



>> I think I’m starting to realize that I may have been a bit blind before this class or maybe I just didn’t want to believe it was true.  I had thought discrimination against certain races had been getting better.  I think I was looking at things in my direct view---in my high school and neighborhood and group of friends, race or skin color or ethnicity etc didn’t matter, the content and character of the person did.  As I’m being opened up to a new perspective I am beginning to see that things may not be as good (for lack of a better term) as I thought they were.  As corny as it sounds, it makes me sad.   Society definitely has a very long way to go.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Gay people can own homes too! (random blog)

so today I was in Massachusetts with my family and we were passing by this old mansion that my church used to use for like teen retreats and such.

I happened to really like this old house and was talking about it with my dad and he told me the MOST ABSURD story!

this old house is owned by the Catholic diocese and they had put the house up for sale. apparently a gay couple came to look at the house and made an offer on it. THE DIOCESE REJECTED THEIR OFFER because they refused to sell the home to a gay couple because it was owned by Catholics who are against gay marriage.

so now this couple is suing the diocese.
UGH this made me so angry; I am a practicing Catholic and never in my life would I refuse to sell something to someone just because they're gay!

I just figured I'd share that with everyone.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Compulsory Heterosexuality & Lesbian Existence...I think?

I had a really, really, ridiculously hard time with this article.
I’m still not sure that I completely understand it.
I’m hoping class this week will help clarify some things for me BUT for now I’m just going to give it my best shot and see what happens!


From what I understand (or at least I think I understand) is that Rich is defining compulsory heterosexuality as being what society demands; by that I mean that society encourages/persuades us to be heterosexual. Because of the restraints placed on those who identify as anything other than heterosexual and the impact society has on our decisions, we feel it is our duty to identify as heterosexual in order to not be cast out of society and be considered “different.”  Identifying as something other heterosexual is considered to be outside of the cultural norm which unfortunately leads people to believe and think that it is wrong to be attracted to members of the same sex.


Does that make sense?  Hopefully I’m on the right track!


As for Lesbian Existence, I took it that Rich was trying to make the point that lesbians are not treated as or considered to be equal in society.  Because of this, those identifying as lesbians have become more fearful of coming out and being who they are.




SIDENOTE….I feel completely UNconfident in this post haha