Tag Archives: sex

Slut-Shame Sunday: 4th of July Edition

The worst part is that it isn’t even funny. There is no excuse for the stupidity of slut-shaming jokes. They just perpetuate sexism and heteronormativity. CUT IT OUT!

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Filed under feminism, sexism, sexuality

Sex-Positive Feminism 101

Many of the misconceptions about feminism come from a misconception about the sex-positive philosophy that runs through much of the third wave; a philosophy that fights against slut-shaming (see above), oversexualization, and restrictions of reproductive rights.

Sex-positivity gets a bad rap through scare-tactic reporting about teenage sexting, risky sexual behavior, and sexual education in schools. People often believe that sex-positive education encourages young people to have sex. As part of a very lucky minority that received and greatly benefitted from sex-positive sex education as a young teen, I would like to dispel some of the myths about the sex-positive movement.

YouTuber Laci Green produces the most accesible, well-researched, and overall brilliant sources for sex-positive information on the internet. Below is a video by Laci which explains what sex-positive means.

 

Sex-positivity is quite simple. It holds that there is really no wrong way to do human sexuality as long as all parties involved give their consent. The sex-positive movement is closely intertwined with feminism because the oppression of sexualities which fall outside the normative (white, monogamous, and heterosexual) is a major tool of the patriarchy. Sex-positivity therefore celebrates the diverse ways in which people choose to express their sexuality– including the choice to not have sex!

There is so much more to say about the sex-positive movement, but I would like to open up the floor for specific questions. What topics relating to sex-positivity or sex-positive sex education would you like to see me address in my next post? 

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Filed under body image, cultural anthropology, feminism, gender, politics, reproductive rights, sexuality

Are we obsessed with sex-trafficking?

If you scroll down the front page of Jezebel, you will see a whole column of stories devoted to talking about sex-trafficking. The popular website has a tag for the amount of stories that it publishes covering this particular human rights issue.

Activists attempt to call our attention to the problem of sex-trafficking in a multitude of ways. New York Times columnist Nicholas D. Kristof  famously covers issues involving the global sex trade with personal and heart-wrenching stories from its “victims”. Recently, this innovative video has been circulating the internet, calling attention to the problem sex trafficking in Europe. Perhaps the most creepy is Continue reading

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Filed under children, feminism, gender, human rights, sexuality, social justice

Contemplating the Sex Lives of Evangelical Christians

I’ve recently developed an academic interest in the American purity movement after reading Jessica Valenti’s The Purity Myth, watching the documentary The Virgin Daughters, and becoming outraged at both.

For those unfamiliar, the American purity movement is based on Evangelical Christian beliefs about abstinence and the sanctity of marriage. If you’ve ever watched TLC’s giant Duggar family on However-Many-Kids-They-Have-Now and Counting, this may sound familiar. Those brought up in the purity movement are not permitted to date– at a young age, they may attend purity balls with their fathers and sign a purity pledge to remain virgins until marriage. Essentially, women in this community believe they are property of their fathers until they are transferred into the care of their husband at the altar. And these husbands are not freely chosen either. When a girl catches the eyes of a certain fellah, that man will then go to her father for permission to get to know his daughter. If the father (after his dates with this man) find him to be suitable for his daughter, then the couple are permitted to get the know each other on group dates and chaperoned outings. No physical contact is allowed, and rarely if ever are the couple left alone for more than a few minutes to speak. After a suitable amount of courting has occurred, the man may again go to the girls father for permission to marry her. Then a proposal and engagement occur. In most cases, young men and women brought up in the purity movement are expected to save not only their virginity, but also their first kiss for the wedding day.

What catches me most about this phenomenon is the emphasis on wholeness of person and how that constructs rules of femininity and womanhood within this community. Continue reading

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Filed under cultural anthropology, gender, privilege, religion, sexuality

A Normatively Sexual Being Combatting Normative Sexuality

I’m formulating a presentation for a class on the Politics of Health and Medicine and my topic is sexuality. I had to read two articles— one was about transgender and transexual persons and identity in contemporary Iran and the other was about barebacking and “bug chasing” in the gay community. The latter term was completely new to me, but is essentially HIV-negative gay men having sex with HIV-positive gay men in order to get HIV.

The first article was rather easy to speak on– it mostly deals with the way in which post-Revolution Iran has dealt with non-cisgender identity and how it fits with sharia law and fiqh, sharia law evolving through rulings and interpretations of Islamic jurists. In America, at least within an activist community in which I was educated about LGBTQ issues, there is a recognition of the divide between gender and sex and how that fits into the identity of trans persons. This is also true of Iran, which sees the gender of the person’s “soul”– their gender– as the true identity of the person. Following physician and psychiatrists evaluations, people who find a discord between their bodies and souls can be authorized hormonal and/or surgical sex changes, after which a certification is issued with that person’s new name and identity state-verified. To me, this seemed quite radical of such a religious state to allow. However, the article I read suggests that these new fiqh interpretations are a structured way for the state to deal with unwanted homosexual behaviors. That way they can simply assign the transgender identity to a male who is attracted to males and convince him that he feels female. Changing the body, the sex of the person, to better fit categories of identity would be easier than confronting the existence of homosexual persons in Iran. Iran has very strict rules on the presentation and interaction of the two genders, and for a person to fall outside of those strict categories would be troublesome.

This was challenging to understand, but I eventually grasped it. However, my second article, the one on bug chasing, was way more problematic. I found myself reading and reading and eventually watching a whole documentary on the issue trying to understand it. Continue reading

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Filed under cultural anthropology, gender, privilege