sexuality


Sex In America

Sex sells as the saying goes. American society is obsessed about sex. Through advertisements, magazines, television shows, Saga chatter, porn, it seems as if sex is here, there, and everywhere. Yet at the same time it appears as though a “line” of sexually “appropriate” material remains that cannot be crossed, who makes this line and how is it determined???? And it seems that for certain people/groups the line is more rigid. A general uproar ensued after the infamous Janet Jackson wardrobe malfunction that exposed her breast. If a man in this case Justin Timberlake’s but cheek was exposed would there have been the same type of response??

A fury erupted after Adam Lambert’s sexually charged performance at the American Music Awards last month. If it had been a man and a woman dancing sexually together would people have reacted in the same way?  I don’t think they would have. I think women in our society today face strong and contradictory pressures to not only be virtuous and pure but also dress in a revealing way in order to be attractive to men. And men are told that in order to be “real men” they must have lots of sex with women. Gideon and Merrill’s posts further show how women are portrayed in a certain viewpoint but if women deviate from this norm such as Hillary Clinton she is demonized. What the hell??? Any type of overt physical contact between two people of the same sex is also both deeply frowned upon and at times repressed from the public view. GMA dropped Adam Lambert from their program but invites Chris Brown to perform. Again, what the hell???

So my question for all of you is, how should sex be discussed today in 21st Century America? Having comprehensive sex ed at a wider level in the U.S. today would be a start for sure. Should there be a line to determine sexual appropriateness in our media without stigmatizing certain sexual activities??? I am very much pro porn, what are your opinions on pornography? Can it be used in sex education? Sex is all over the place and in our face constantly but we don’t seem to be able to address it constructively let alone talk about it. And if it is talked about and acknowledged productively, the ideal remains between a married straight couple. People freak out when a woman in her 60’s Sue Johanson has her own show where sex is openly talked about.

I absolutely think it should be discussed as an activity that is healthy and fulfilling for individuals to seek pleasure and know their bodies better with a partner or partners if done in a safe and healthy way. Unfortunately too often sex is either not discussed at all or if it is discussed it’s done so in a misguided manner at the expense of our youth. How should we talk SEX?????????????????

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Teeth: Female Empowerment at its Greatest

In case you have not heard of this fantastic film, it is a movie about a young girl who finds out her vagina has teeth. The main character, Dawn O’Keefe, is a High School student who has pledged to wait until marriage to have sex. But once a boy she likes rapes her, she discovers that her vagina is something of mythical proportions; during her rape, her vagina proceeds to bite off his you know what. After his screams of terror, and her own screams of terror, she is left wondering what the hell is happening in between her legs. VAGINA DENTATA (dentata is Latin for teeth) is what Dawn has, and she is afraid of the monster inside of her.


At first she blames herself for the rape, and is upset over her lost chastity. A scene where she drops her promise ring into the water is symbolic of her shame. But in reality it is obviously not her fault that she was raped and therefore had sex before marriage, but her lack of knowledge about sexuality leads to this conclusion.

The movie pertains to our discussion on sex education. Dawn is an abstinence girl, which includes hilarious shirts about waiting until marriage. The awkward situation between Dawn and her boy crush is hilarious. Tension is in the air when they even think about kissing and vagina shapes appear in the trees of the forest around them. Classic. But the scene in the movie where the picture in a textbook is blocked because it is a vagina pertains to our class discussion. The school board had forced the teacher to cover up the picture, while penises are okay. Dawn then proceeds to mention how women are naturally chaste and modest in her best I am saving it to marriage voice. Yuck. Kids in the room laugh. End of scene.

Teeth has to be one of my favorite films because there is a sense of empowerment in Dawn’s character. At first Dawn is ashamed of her sexuality and upset about her rape, but figures out that she should have pride with her own sexuality. When men fuck her over, she uses her power to castrate them. While many men might be cringing at the thought, the reason why Dawn ends up castrating some men is because they are taking advantage of her. And it is not like she does it on purpose. The teeth in her vagina is a defense mechanism. If she is enjoying the sex, they will not hurt the men. But if she is feeling used or coerced into sex, then bad things happen. So moral of the story: treat women with respect and do not use women as mere sexual objects. Should be common sense but apparently it isn’t.

If you have not seen this film, I highly recommend it. It is more funny than scary and the storyline is fantastic. I mean, her vagina has teeth, how much better could it get?

I have been reading The Wall Street Journal. It is not a newspaper I would usually read but it is required reading for the Online Journalism course I am observing. You cannot imagine how much I am learning by reading this newspaper. For example, did you know that there is a genre of literature called bonnet books? They are—no lie—Amish romance novels. It is such a large subcategory of the romance fiction genre that these books have found positions on The New York Times bestseller lists; one author has even sold over 12 million copies of her G-rated novels.

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Set in the Amish and/or Mennonite community, these stories contain, as Time magazine calls it,

story lines for horse-and-buggy piety.

Plotlines usually involve an Amish woman falling in love with a man outside the community or the angsty love between the Amish and Mennonite—a no-no in either religion.

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These novels are written mostly by female authors, none of which are Amish or Mennonite. And while the intended audience is the mainstream reader of America, a loyal Amish following is quickly subsuming the genre. The Journal tries to define “Old Order Amish”

[they] shun modern technologies such as electricity and TV, forbid members to own cars and computers, and speak Pennsylvania Dutch, a German dialect. They sew their own clothes and try to lead simple lives based on faith and community.

I am wondering where bonnet books fall into all of this. Given the religious setting of the stories, I am assuming that all the relationships in the books are heterosexual and consensual. I am wondering, however, where “faith and community” fit in. How much sneaking around can be done for any illicit activity—G-rated or otherwise—in a community so closely tied with family and church?

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I am not a reader of romance novels so I don’t really know how these narratives are rhetorically structured. I have nothing against them; I read enough fan fiction (SVU my latest obsession) to equal the page count of the entire Harlequin series, so I can see how these books would be popular. But I think there is some strong critical analysis that can be done concerning their popularity as a reflection of the current religious and political climate.

But an even stronger analysis can be done concerning the position of women in these stories—not only how women are treated within these religious environments but also where women are placed within the conflation of religion and romance. How is religion constructed by someone outside the faith? How is romance constructed, in relation? How might a subject location be identified or owned? There are so many places to go with this.

If you would like to read more about bonnet books, here are links to a few current articles:

They’re No Bodice Rippers, But Amish Romances Are Hot
Amish Romance Novels: No Bonnet Rippers
Carrie Bradshaw—in a bonnet?
And a list of the books on Amazon: Amish Fiction Books

I think the fact that these books are so popular among the Amish community leaves us something to consider about the changing definitions of religion and women’s roles within the religion. I’ll leave you to discuss those implications.

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I took this with my iPhone a few weeks ago at The Coffee House on Exchange Street. Just sayin’.

To correspond with Heywood, “All American Girls: Jock Chic, Body Image and Sports”

The video we watched in class and the one Tim suggested we watch. Both, very similar. Thanks to the female athletes in class that edu-ma-cated me on the difference between “strategy” and “dirty play” in sports!

New Mexico Lobos soccer player Elizabeth Lambert plays rough with BYU Going Viral ESPN

Raw Video: Brawl at Girls’ Soccer Game

Grace, from my Writer’s Seminar posted this in the comments section on the other course blog. I thought it needed to be posted here. Even though it does match my Writer’s Seminar theme of new technologies. In a twisted sort of way.

Allow me to paraphrase Reggie from today’s class. His summarizing representation of “the butt” in African American communities was, needless to say, a bit humorous.

I am posting some of the visuals we referenced today in class after discussing hooks, “Selling Hot Pussy: Representations of Black Female Sexuality in the Cultural Marketplace” and Aubry, “The Butt: Its Politics, Its Profanity, Its Power.”

A picture of Saartjie Baartman (Sarah Bartman), The Hottentot Venus

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I am not going to post links here—you can run on your own Google search and find plenty on Bartman. Great possible Final Project topic.

Representations of “video vixens”

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And of course, Sir Mix-A-Lot:

All easy images and to find on your own but I wanted to start a blog post on this topic as I could see that many of you had more to say on the subject but we ran short of time. (As usual!) So here you go, folks. Have at it!

that is making the blog rounds. If you haven’t seen it yet:

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