Interesting posts, weekend of 1/10/1001/10/2010 at 5:53 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments
Tags: blogging, Feminism, news
Dear internet, I’m not liking the direction 2010 is headed so far. My personal life has had significant stressors thrown in. I’ve been trying to distract myself with movie rentals.
Friendly reminder: I am looking for Guest Posters. I’ve sent e-mails to all anon commenters, but haven’t gotten replies back from all of them yet…
I want to hear more perspectives on the themes dealt with here at Feminists with Female Sexual Dysfunction. Because I am dealing with such a sensitive topic, I don’t think I can actively recruit new posters, since if I went onto someone else’s blog and said something like, “Hey u wanna write a post about your sexual health and/or feminism on a public forum?!” that would probably be very invasive. For this reason, Guest Posters requesting to remain anonymous will also be taken seriously.
At this time, criteria for inclusion is, “If you think you would fit in here, you probably would.” This may be subject to change but for now we’ll try that & see how it goes.
In an attempt to preemptively fight spam and rude comments, this blog’s email is private. Please leave a comment on this post if you want to write something. I’ll screen comments so you can remain anonymous if you want. That way I’ll have your email and we can collaborate.
Have something you’ve been working on? Send it my way.
Comments made by new e-mail addresses here are auto-screened before going live, so if you want to stay anon use an e-mail address that you haven’t used here before.
Now then, on with the weekly blog link roundup. Posts I found interesting for one reason or another over the last week. Share links if’n you got’em.
There have been two recurring topics swirling around the feminist blogosphere this week that I keep bumping into. This is a regular occurrence, even controversey is a regular occurence when topics get bounced back & forth across blogs. But these two – I cannot get around them.
First came G-Spot-Gate 2k10, in which a “Study” with highly questionable methods came to the conclusion that the G-spot does not exist biologically. It’s causing a lot of controversy, although it really shouldn’t – that study was bad science!
dude, where’s my g-spot? – [NSFW] – Violet Blue has some links. Note to G-Spot Debunkers: It Would Pay to Read the Original Book First Guys - Figleaf is willing to entertain the idea that some women do not physically have a g-spot, as he briefly reviews a book’s claims about it. The myth of the myth of the vaginal orgasm – Holly refers to Figleaf’s post which refered to Amanda Marcotte’s post and picks apart Amanda’s “Third option,” that it’s the belief in the g-spot that makes some women orgasm from stimulating it. (Sounds too much like yet another iteration of “All in your head,” to me.) I especially liked this line, “Look. I get the picture. Amanda Marcotte doesn’t have a sensitive G-spot. Fine for her. But she’s got no damn right to go around telling me how my vagina is.” Then there’s, G-Spot Debunkers Previously “Proved” Women Who Have Easy Orgasms are Evolutionarily Unfit – Figleaf has the quotes to back up the post – It’s a very heterocentric evolutionary psychology viewpoint. But wait, there’s more from Holly – Complicated. – Shout outs to those with sexual dysfunction here,
So maybe I’m biased here by the whole thing where an evil wizard cursed me to be a human soul in the body of a woman, but I see a lot of sexism in the “vaginas are complicated mysteries!” thing. It assumes the perspective of a heterosexual man looking at women from the outside. It assumes that women are incapable of perceiving and communicating clearly about their own sexuality. It assumes that women are something to be “figured out,” as if some intrepid man could discover the Solution To Women and retire happy with 3 billion girlfriends. It tells women with sexual dysfunction that they don’t have a real problem, they’re just being complicated. It reinforces the idea that women don’t really like sex that much. It lets guys who’ve mastered “touch her on the vagina” self-congratulate like they’ve solved the fucking Unified Field Theorem. And it gives guys who have crappy selfish sex a great excuse–hey, I’d like to please her, but she’s so damn complicated!
I’m not some exotic puzzle box. I’m a horny but conflicted human being. So’s everyone. [Emphasis mine, because I've run into this. Of course, you can be complicated AND have a real problem at the same time. And, well, maybe not everyone is horny... an asexual may not identify with the horny part of that last statement, but it's probably safe to agree with the "Conflicted" part.]
I haven’t fully fleshed out my own opinion on this debacle but…
Yes, even I have a g-spot… The only reason I’m able to know this at all is because I was able to get the pain problems under control well enough to actually explore that part of my vagina. Oh yes, it’s there – there’s some location on the front wall of my vagina which approximately matches the location, texture & descriptions I’ve read about the g-spot. It’s just not a sensitive or comfortable place to stimulate. Not yet, at least. I don’t enjoy it yet. I may never enjoy it. Which is fine… or at least, it should be fine… problem is this whole debate is adding to the pressure of the “Right” way to orgasm.
Then Mary Daly died. Daly was a second-wave radical feminist, author, theologian, philosopher, and self-described “Pirate.” Daly’s death received a lot of coverage, not only by feminist blogs but by mainstream media. And if mainstream media pays that much attention to the death of a feminist scholar… it’s probably due to something that will or has turned heads.
Daly’s name was vaguely familiar to me, but I could not remember from where I heard of her. I have not read any of her work. Then I heard about some of what she’d done in her career – including refusing to teach male students at her Boston College women’s studies class. Ooohhh… that was her? Wait, I have heard of her. I remember this… vaguely… that was back in 1999… so I would have still been a teenager.
Well, throughout the week, I’d learn a lot more about Mary Daly. Talk about a crash course. Our story so far…
She made notable contributions in the field of theology from a feminist perspective, and had an influential role on many who openly identify as feminists,
But you cannot have a discussion of Mary Daly without addressing her transphobia, racism and misandry. It is not sufficent to merely mention these aspects of her particular brand of feminism in the form of a footnote, because these aspects have had lasting effects for the last 20+ years and continue to influence some feminists, just as her outlook on religion does.
Upon her death, the blogosphere went all a-twitter with obituaries and eulogies. But a big problem is that a lot of those obits & eulogies ignored or downplayed the divisiveness & damage caused by Daly’s transpohbia in particular, and her racism demonstrated by not publicly & swiftly responding adequately to an open letter by Audre Lorde. Daly was the advisor of Janice Raymond when Raymond was writing her transphobic thesis; Daly also printed transphobic comments herself. (One comment on that thread suggests that Daly may have changed her mind late in life, but as of now I have seen no evidence against which to verify this statement.) Daly may or may not have responded to an open letter from Audre Lorde – at the very least, she did not respond to the open letter openly in public, and even if she did in private, she did not address all questions asked of her.
Some of these glossing overs of her history were deliberate, but others stemmed from ignorance of Daly’s work. That Melissa and others, (including myself since I was unfamiliar with her before her death,) are able to claim, “We didn’t know,” is a direct function of our own privilege – in my case, that of a cis white woman. We did not know, because we did not need to know, because we do not come face-to-face with transphobia and racism in our own daily lives. And when feminist ally discussions of Daly’s work omit the problematic aspects, whether deliberately or because of a lack of exposure to her work – ignorance, and a function of privilege – it is crushing to members of oppressed groups. Because these are the people who continue to deal with the fallout in real, potentially deadly, ways. And yet here I am still stubbornly self-identifying with a label that I know has a long history of its own systemic oppression… But, even if you didn’t know who Daly was, it’s not so hard to Google and get an overview of her history & feminism, so it’s possible to still have relative privilege an
Usually I save this line for last on the link round-ups, but in this case since there’s still talk about it – I’m sure there’s more…
And there certainly is more news worth reading:
Acts and consequences – You may recall a few weeks ago, Uganda was seriously considering passing a law that would have made homosexuality a capital crime. US evangelicals working in Uganda strongly influenced the anti-gay sentiment there, yet act so surprised when it comes back to bite them in the butt. More from Pandagon – More information coming out about Ugandan anti-gay conference
How Refusing Marriage Equality Leads To Diluting Marriage – Because the US government does not recognize same-sex marriage, some states have developed what Ampersand refers to as “Marriage lite” policies, such as civil unions. But now some heterosexual couples are interested in these “Marriage lite” policies even though they have the option to become legally married.
Backscatter X-ray scanners, security theatre, and marginalised bodies – Following a semi-failed terrorist attack around the December holidays (It should never have made it that far in the first place,) some security experts in countries such as the UK (and the US) are pushing for full body scanners at airports. These scanners are revealing when used on anyone, but certain groups of people are more at risk of embarrassment, and possibly danger. That new danger doesn’t necessarily come from a terrorist, rather, it comes from being exposed, or “Outed.” And there’s questions about how secure the images that show up on body scanners really are.
What If Black Women Were White Women? – This has been getting passed around a couple of blogs. It flips beauty standards, which undeniably favor white women the most, over to black women.
If Warren Beatty Were A Woman, Would We Celebrate 12,775 Sexual Partners? - Sexual double standards. What stands out is this line – “If you want to make a young girls life miserable, start a rumour that she has had sex with several guys. If you want to make a guy popular, start a rumour that he has had sex with several girls.” This really happened at my high school. It was a real problem, and the faculty was doing nothing to help.
It only seems threatening, but it’s not! – Analysis of an article that talked about heterosexual couples buying a house before marriage. Relevant to me, since that’s probably what my partner & I are going to do.
Fecke Health Update – with a greeting card! – Jeff Fecke of Alas! A Blog was diagnosed with testicular cancer, and has had surgery for it. He’s doin’ alright. Hope he’s got a sitz bath at home… hon-ey, you’re gonna need it…
Antis outside Louisville, KY clinic start wearing fake escort vests – A tactic used by pro-life protest groups outside of health clinics such as Planned Parenthood, which provide abortions. Usually pro-choice escorts assist people into the building when there’s protesters around, and these escorts make themselves easy to find. Now anti-abortion groups have started wearing the same kind of clothing as escorts do. And then they walk nearby the person who needs the escort & nag & natter & harass & act generally creepy.
Back Problems Numbed Out My Clit – My god in heaven, Betty Dodson actually let a post like this go through, one in which a person wrote in about having difficulty orgasming while she was having some major back problems & medical procedures done. She refers to sexual dysfunction in a follow up. Betty references herself to make unsolicited advice; she’s able to use an electric vibrator to reach orgasm. And she also is big on alternative healing treatments.
Why we do Kegels: Pelvic floor muscles problems – The Christian Nymphos talk about Kegel exercises. I like this post because I’m picking up on the key word, “Drop.” My own physical therapist has told me, it’s more of a Pelvic Floor Drop on the relaxation phase… and if you do it right, you feel that “Drop” sensation. I also see I’m not alone in the comments, as someone with pelvic floor dysfunction chiming in, and not alone as someone who’s benefitted from a physical therapist & biofeedback device for treatment of pelvic floor dysfunction.
Google Chrome’s ‘Incognito’ mode (aka porn mode) – [NSFW] Making web browsing safer; applies to more than just porn. But it works for that too!
A Harpy’s Progress: India – It’s a travelogue.
I’m sure there’s more…