Monday, October 29, 2012

Talking Point # 9 - Sex Positivity

Sex-positive movement: "an ideology which promotes and embraces open sexuality with few limits beyond an emphasis on safe sex and the importance of informed consent." After reading the Wikipedia page about sex-positive feminism and Rachel White's blog, sex-positivity is being comfortable with what you find sexually attractive, or even if you don't find anything sexually attractive. It was a little confusing.

The politic issues on the Wikipedia is what really stood out. The movement started in response to anti-pornography, many feminist thought that pornography was one thing that oppressed women. Gayle Rubin says "that anti-pornography feminists exaggerate the dangers of pornography by showing the most shocking pornographic images." The page then continues to say how by showing these images anti-pornography feminist give the wrong message to people. That these images are portrayed differently when taken out of context, and look like rape or other things are taking place. The sex-positive feminist believe that pornography is important to women and to men. They don't believe that it is hurting anyone to see it. The Wikipedia then continues to talk about sex work, BDSM. I like how it also talks about sexual orientation saying that "sex-positive feminist believe that accepting the validity of all sexual orientations is necessary in order to all women sexual freedom." I that everyone should be able to feel comfortable with who they are so they can figure out their sex-poisivity.

In "The Frisky", I do like how White goes through her blog. Most of her points I completely agree with. I believe that we glamorize sex all the time. Society trains us to do this, and sex is everywhere today. White continues with Slut-shaming. She says that people do this all the time, and that most of the time we don't even realize it. When people say that some is a slut because they take the pill (this is so frustrating, because women take birth control for many more reasons then just to not get pregnant. It's annoying how people think if someone is on the pill they're a crazy sex animal). But we don't just do this when we talk about the pill, we slut-shame when we say it was someones own fault when their nude photos got released without their permission. We say they shouldn't have taken them in the first place. We judge people all the time, and we really shouldn't. We don't know why people do things, but it's really only their business anyway. Finally, when White talks about how intimacy is complex. I like how she explains how sex can be easy for some people and harder for others. That is can be a big deal to share your body with someone else, and so on. I don't think many people take this into consideration, and this is because of our culture being so full of sex, that it almost feels expected that sex should be easy, but everyone is different, and needs to find these things out for themselves.  

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Cinderella Ate My Daughter - Orenstein

Extended Comments

I like how Noelle put Orenstein's main argument that we are not teaching girls how to be a girl, but instead on how to be a princess. The Disney princess just teaches girls how to be feminine (and what femininity should look like), how they live the fairytale, and finally how they must get the perfect man. It's tough to deny this of a little girl though. I was Belle from Beauty and The Beast for Halloween at least three times when I was younger. I watched every Disney princess movie too. I lived in the fairytale world and wanted my "prince charming". But is this really the example we should set for little girls today? I don't think there's anyway around it. When I think of fairytales though, it's always the princess being saved by the hero, or the prince. Very rarely is it the other way around.

I like how Noelle's blog continues to go on about how we only see one type of princess. They're always beautiful, have long hair, are skinny, and so on. I love how she brought up how we've yet to see a bald princess, or a plus size princess. Why must everything that we do revolve around the way people look. I don't think someone's beautiful just because they have all the physical characteristics of a princess, or prince. I don't think this sets the right example for little girls because it shows how they can only be happy if they look like a princess, and that is not the case. A better lesson to teach is how to be happy with yourself no matter what you look like.
Finally when Orenstein talks about how pink is coded in little girls DNA. I don't know if this is completely true, I know a lot of girls who really don't like the color at all. I like the color a lot. I think it stands out just because its light and bright compared to other colors though. I don't believe I've been programmed to love the color pink. I think society has just forced pink on girls. If you walk into a baby shower for a little girl, the entire room is wall to wall pink! The color has been chosen even before the little girl has the chance to decide for herself.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

"What Are Little Boys Made Of?" - Kimmel


"Gurian argues that as feminists have changed the rules, they've made boys the problem. By minimizing the importance of basic biological differences, and establishing girls' standards as the ones all children must follow, feminists have wrecked boyhood." (157)
I don't believe that feminists have wrecked boyhood. Little boys still run around and play, just like little girls do. It's just not acceptable for them to be violent (which it shouldn't be anyway). I don't think we're holding boys to girls' standards as well. I don't believe that we're trying to make them feminine, just well behaved. And what makes these standards girl standards? Is it because they aren't rough, or violent?

"If all the boys are white and middle class, at they're not all straight. Most therapists treat homosexuality casually, dropping in a brief reference, "explaining" it as biological, and urging compassion and understanding before returning to more "important" stuff." (158)
Why do all these writers only briefly mention homosexuality? If they're so involved with talking about how boys should be boys, why not give this more say? These authors only talk about testosterone, and how boys are wild and crazy. Not all boys are like this either. It seems as though they are as restricting as they say feminism is on men. They're only talking about a certain type of boy, not all of them. This isn't fair.

The books that are written with an understanding of male privilege - and the need to challenge it - are the ones that offer the most useful tools to improve boys' lives.... Feminism encourages men - and their sons - to be more emotionally open and expressive, to develop empathic skills, and to channel emotional outbursts away from violence." (159). 
This relates to the Johnson piece we read, because it was about how males need to recognize that they have power and privilege. The authors of these books Kimmel talks about need to recognize that male privilege needs to be changed, and that the people that will change it are the people who have it themselves. Feminism should encourage men to be more emotional. Many men (I know) don't show many emotions, and I think this is part of the reason that men can have outbursts. Women can also bottle their emotions up as well and have outbursts, but it is excepted socially for women to be emotional. Why can boys and men be this way too?

                                                 Is this what boys should look like?

Sunday, October 7, 2012

"The Master's Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master's House" - Lorde


Audre Lorde argues that there are differences between women, even feminists. Lorde shares how these differences are about "race, sexuality, class and age". She continues to explain how women are even discriminated against on an academic level where if they are not from a certain class, or particularly a white feminist, they are not asked to participate in events. Also how their work only gets published in different circumstances. Lorde states "those of us who stand outside of the circle of this society's definition of acceptable women; those of us who have been forged in the crucibles of difference - those of us who are poor, who are lesbians, who are Black, who are older..." this quote explains how she views the differences. She explains how these are the people who are different, and will be different, because of power and privilege of other people. She then continues to explain how theses differences can lead to greater things, and strength. She explains how white feminists deal with the difference and the oppression. She tells the reader how academic feminists fail to see "difference as strength", also like they want to just be equal so bad, that they forget difference is what units them too. Finally Lorde says, "...white feminists have educated themselves about such an enormous amount over the past ten years, how come you haven't also educated yourselves about Black women and the differences between us - white and Black - when it is key to our survival as a movement?" This I think is her main point. Why isn't everyone united just for one cause. All women are trying to become equal so why do we have to "fight" among ourselves, when the real fight is just for equality of everyone.