Interesting posts, weekend of 12/26

12/26/2009 at 10:52 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Dear internet, how has your December been? It’s a month with many holidays for several cultures & religions. Did you do anything for solstice? Will you make any New Year resolutions for 2010?

Quick heads up: I would like to publish some feel-good fluff posts in the next week or two. I know I still have plenty of work left to do, but since it’s year end I’d like to take a break & catch my breath. We shall return to our regularly scheduled vagina blogging shortly. (Actually if anyone has any guest posts that are ready to go, those can go up in the mean time.) Who knows, I may still be able to somehow relate the fluff back to feminism and/or female sexual dysfunction anyway. Or not. For example:

That new Avatar movie has so much marketing in the media, I can’t get away from it. I haven’t seen it yet and I don’t think I’m going to try to watch it in the theaters. I suppose I’m just adding to the hype by invoking its name, but for all the wrong reasons. It cost so much money to produce and all that marketing is going to add costs, I can’t imagine that it will ever cut a profit. It’s going to wind up like that CGI Final Fantasy: Spirits Within movie from the early 2000’s. Beautiful to look at, but it had a crummy plot, cost a bundle to produce, tons of marketing, nearly broke SquareSoft, brought about shakedowns in upper management… and was a financial sinkhole. It did not produce a profit. I guess Square was able to make up for it a few years later by using that technology to produce some Animatrix shorts & then the Advent Children movie, but it took years to get there.
Furthermore, who is Avatar’s target audience? Is it a kid’s movie? Because those blue guys look like Cutesey Cartoon Characters. Yet it’s got these very adult themes of war and colonialism. It’s getting a lot of hype for being a 3D film too but… I can’t see 3D effects in media, so all those 3D effects are moot to me. I don’t know why can’t see the 3D effects. I was born with some eye problems that required several surgeries on them as a youth, and I will always need corrective lenses, and I’m concerned that there may be some eye problems in the family. But at any rate, right now I can’t see 3D effects. Those magic eye puzzles just look like Jumbled Dots to me. Movies that really play up the 3D novelty all look like ordinary 2D films to me, just with really obnoxious in-your-face moments. Those obnoxious moments are designed to really play up the 3D effect, and the rest of the audience reacts to those moments, (“Woah it looks like that car is comin’ right for us!”) but it just looks annoying to me.
But enough about that.

Friendly reminder: I am looking for Guest Posters. I hope that this week’s semi-guest post gave you some food for thought; I put the post together & guided the direction but I could not have done it without Uziela’s participation.
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. I was too busy to make a round-up last week, so we’ve got some catching up to do. It’s gona be another big one. Posts I found interesting for one reason or another over the two last weeks. Share links if’n you got’em.

Starting off with vulvodynia-related news: The Women’s Sexual Health Foundation is disbanding. This is (was) a non-profit organization, accessible to doctors and patients, which produced educational materials related to sexual health. I recognize several of the names on its advisory board as doctors familiar with vulvar pain conditions. I’m disappointed to see that TWSHF is disbanding, because they actually take FSD seriously. As another example, TWSHF’s blog linked to an article which also took FSD seriously, Female Sexual Dysfunction: Barriers to Treatment; unfortunately you need to register with MedScape to view this article so that’s something to think about. TWSHF will be transferring its assets to the National Vulvodynia Association. In the mean time, their website will stay up until early 2010. Let’s all download everything off of their website, before it disappears for good.

Vulvodynia, along with several other new search terms, will be easier to look up in peer-reviewed journal articles using MeSH search terms.

Another interesting post went which tangentially mentions vulvodynia was also published at Dodson & Ross – How I Cured My IC and Vulvodynia. Now, this is interesting to me for several reasons. It’s at Dodson’s blog, which is a blog I’m not very fond of. I know I’m supposed to be grateful to her for liberating female masturbation or something like that, but … the more I read of her blog… the less I like to read her blog. Once in awhile there’s something I like but… not… all the time… Not even this time satisfies me. The title of this interesting post is somewhat misleading because the person who wrote in, it sounds like she isn’t actually cured yet. It sounds like she’s better, but not quite there yet, so why are we using the word “Cured?” Why not use the word “Treated?”
I’m seeing a doctor’s name dropped in the post and so I went ahead and googled this doctor… and most of what I’m seeing links me back to websites run by the same doctor or very devoted patients who have been treated for interstitial cystitis. So it’s clear to me that the doctor, who has a Ph.D. and alternative medicine practice rather than a medical degree, has helped some IC patients in the past. And yes, even I have some experience with alternative medicine. I do not currently have IC though so hopefully I will never have a need to navigate through IC doctors and promotions, because I’m so completely turned off by the language I’m seeing used to promote this doctor’s practice. It kind of reminds me of dubious claims I sometimes see made in reference to curing vulvodynia.

On a related note, I would like to take this opportunity to link to two older posts which I think are completely relevant to the above: Scam Busters and the admirable takedown, My Perspective On Claims Made By Endometriosis Foundation Of America, both from Chronic Healing.  In light of the fact that one patient-run website expliticly says, with regard to this doctor’s methods, “If you don’t have anything positive to say, don’t say anything,” I would also like to take this opportunity to re-link to FWD’s criticism of the think positive movement.

Under the broader umbrella category of FSD, Holly of the Pervocracy briefly commented on an article about Restless Genital Syndrome that someone asked for her feedback on. I find this post noteworthy because her comment did not sensationalize or minimize the seriousness of this condition. It’s a really brief comment but it’s noteworthy for not being jerky. Which is kind of sad, really.

And then let’s move on to news which is not necessarily vulvodynia or FSD related, but is still interesting.

December is a holiday-heavy month, so here’s some seasonal posts to start the roundup. The Reason for the Season – more of a historical perspective, interesting to me because I recognize that deity name – because my boss brought it up at work! We were just talking about this! And Christmas is also about Sperm Magic – it sure is! Happy Birthday Baby Jesus!!! – reposting quotes about religion and women’s sexuality. Happy Festivus For The Rest Of Us – The video that started it all.
I feel like such a heathen now for posting all these links. You know what, that’s fine, I’m in good company.

December 17 was International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers so there were some related posts building up to that. Privacy for Sex Workers – About web browsing & using the internet with some privacy features. It’s a very useful post for everyone really, not just sex workers, but they are even more at risk than the average person. Arrest the Violence: Human Rights Violations Against Sex Workers in 11 Countries in Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia – some of that violence comes not from clients but from police. This is a good one – a speech that Audacia Ray gave – Guest post: International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers…My Thoughts
Possibly related: My 2009 Achievements in Review – Audacia Ray is busy!

Making the rounds on the feminist blogosphere recently was the outing of Copyblogger James Chartrand, who had been running the for-profit site Men with Pens. It turns out that James’ true identity is that of a cis woman who had taken on a masculine name and internet persona, in order to make financial ends meet. When she tried to find work under her true identity, she encountered a lot of barriers, yet when she took on a masculine internet persona, her work became much more respected – and profitable. (So much for living in a post-feminist world where women and men are equally valued in employment…) This situation generated quite a lot of coverage on the tubes. Here’s Figleaf’s Copyblogger Author Practicing What She Preaches about Compelling Post Titles: “Why James Chartrand Wears Women’s Underpants”, Frau Sally Benz’s Pens Without Men, What’s in a pen name? at Feministing, Feminist Science Fiction also talks about the Hugo Award, Echidne’s Putting On The Mask, SunGold’s Bending Gender Online for Fun, Profit, and Faux Feminism, Sady’s colorfully titled Sexist Beatdown: Liar Liar Balls on Fire Edition.

[All NSFW] – gender genetics and sexual orientation evolution – Violet Blue links to two articles, one about XY/XX genetics, and one about asexuality.
Violet Blue had a few other posts you may be interested in, excellent post: Ms. Naughty’s Porn For Women Retrospecive 2009 – here VB mainly focuses on one excerpt from a post she’s linking to (it’s worth clicking through to Ms. Naughty’s original post,) VB focuses on a passage about censorship. She also wrote sex toys that will change your life (click through to sfgate to get to the original article.) I would rank a pocket rocket style vibrator, dilators (and lubricant) and blogs up there pretty high.

[All NSFW] – My BREASTS! – The SexAbility blog [NSFW] has been getting more active within the last few weeks. It’s a blog dedicated to disability & sexuality, and this post talks about using hot wax, a BDSM activity, as a pain therapy. But what exactly IS SexAbility and who is the person behind it? Ms. SexAbility published a brief autobiography. And then this may be worth noting – Disability VS Chronic Illness and Self Identified Feminists Responses to their Sick Sisters – She includes people with sexual dysfunction in this group (if they so choose to identify with that group.) It’s okay to do that? You won’t be mad? In this post, she talks about what it’s like to live with a disability. You can try to imagine a time when you’ve gotten sick, except, if you’re a TAB (that means “Temporarily able bodied,” which recognizes that you may not always be but right now you are able-bodied, a term which itself has some charge & problems inherent in it,) you probably got better. Welp if you’ve got a chronic problem, it isn’t necessarily going to go away. And it’s really hard. And you run into people & shit that makes it worse.

Why “What People Think” Matters – a heartbreaking story of being diagnosed with a chronic health problem while serving in the military & what happened after. The comments illustrate the isolation after developing or being diagnosed with a chronic health problem is a widespread phenomenon.Also from FWD: The Perils of Social Media: How Insurance Companies Use Twitter, Facebook, and the Rest of the Internet to Deny Benefits – something enraging and invasive to keep in mind while using the internet.

Health reform opponents offer Hooters gift card – Yep. Nope. Welp. I suppose it’s somewhat moot since the Senate passed its version of the US health care reform bill, but wait there’s more. Chuck Norris: ObamaCare, The Virgin Mary and Slut Shaming, Wow That’s A Trifectar – that’s another big Yep. Nope. Welp.

Carnival Against Sexual Violence 84 – [Trigger warning] a blog link roundup as it relates to sexual violence. Links contained may be triggering. Also possibly related and definitely [triggering,] School official calls alleged rape just “hormones gone wild”. Melissa’s on this one with Victim-Blaming a Go-Go [Trigger warning.] It really is victim blaming.

And Now I Am Your Women’s Studies Professor: The Tiger Beatdown Book List – Sady of Tiger Beatdown’s book recommendation list. Also related to books people recommend: Well, I Thought I Was Trendy… – Ily reads books by authors I don’t like, so that I don’t have to. No, I probably still have to read it eventually… god I really don’t want to read it… I’m going to buy my copy used on purpose so it doesn’t generate royalties.Well this is an older title than the New View book (and campaign) so maybe it won’t make my head explode too much. This one is pre-New View.

God finally calls 91-year-old Oral Roberts home – [Potential trigger warning] Oooh, now I remember who this guy was… he’s that guy who has an unaccredited college named after him & spent a lot of church money flying around the country, among other things. And he also said some typical yet still horrifying things about sex:

There is one place in the woman’s body and one place in the man’s body that creates multiplication. There’re not two, there’re not three, there’re not four places, there’re not ten places—there is one place, in the woman’s vagina and the man’s male organ. There’s only one place in the woman’s body where the male organ was designed to penetrate—the vagina!

The only way you ever become one flesh is when the male organ penetrates the woman’s vagina. The only place, the only organs that can come together in completeness is the male organ and the vagina of the woman and they become one—and if you interrupt that in any way, you become adulterous, or a fornicator, or a homosexual. And you introduce a foreign subject; you’ve adulterated. And if in your SEXUALITY you’re outside of marriage with it, and you do anything with marriage outside of the male organ penetrating the vagina, you’re outside creation.

I’m dying. I’m dyin’ over here. I still have pelvic floor dysfunction & some residual vulvodynia over here and reading shit like this kills me. Why are you trying to kill me. But of course, this speech is not just painful to me – he said, in that same speech, so much shit about non heterosexual sex and alternative kinds of sex besides PIV intercourse. He made sexist statements, statements that sounded like they steamrollered right over consent, and it’s just, he’s allover the place. He’s just allover the place right there. Wow.

Can I Get a Witnesss? – a surprisingly positive advertisement found in the most unlikely of places – a tabloid magazine.

Non-controversial Testosterone Research Story Still Surprises: Expectation May Produce Stronger Results Than the Hormone – It’s kind of like measuring the placebo effect, except you tell people to watch out for it. Maybe that’s not what it’s like at all. Anyway read the post.

Harpy Hall of Fame: Phillis Wheatley – it’s a historical vignette about a slave and poet, who I never learned about in school.

A Spark of Wisdom: Why do you expect one of us to be a woman in our gay male relationship? Sexist questions asked of openly gay couples. (They would still be sexist if asked of non gay couples.)

Casual Sex Officially Not End of Entire World, Scientists Find – Sady is SHOCKED to discover this amazingly controversial science fact!!!

Unfortunately, that last link is tempered by some bad news: New study: Microbicide gel doesn’t decrease risk of HIV – there had been some hope that this gel would do something but in a larger study it didn’t work out.

DivaCup: Never Be “On the Rag” Again – I love the way that Carlin markets the DivaCup by saying the same ol’ same ol’ about how menstruation is inherently dirty. By love, I mean hate. Heaven forbid we should get Aunt Flow on our fingers. Also, what, no alternative menstrual pad products for those who can not or do not want to use insertible menstrual products?

Things not to say to me – a continuing series – Delivers what it promises. In this case, living every day as though it were your last. Yeah listen some of us have bills to pay right up until the very last minute sooooo…

Rape and Racism: Why Tufts didn’t care I was Raped – [Trigger warning] – Explores intersectionality.

Warnings To Not Alienate Men – [Trigger warning] Unfortunately I have encountered a few men who have made the same exact threat. A few feminists made them mad online so they have threatened to do less to stop rape. I have seen this.

Discussion Thread: BDSM – [Possibly triggering] It was a discussion thread. Comments are closed now :/ I was a little disappointed, comments closed before I could participate.

Catholic Nurse Cites Her Conscience in Refusing to Help Gravely Ill Woman – A woman needed an urgent, late-term abortion in a hospital. It’s very unlikely that this was a flippant decision. SunGold brought up preeclampsia and HELLP syndrome, which can be serious and possibly even fatal in rare but real cases, and it can take place that late into a pregnancy.

Sex Writing FAIL: Chatty Condoms, Dripping Oysters, and One Bullet-proof Pussy – wow that’s some shitty sex writing right there. Some of it is funny, most of it is shitty. Read it to get a taste of Sex Writing: How Not To.

Against the Lysistrata approach – Lysistrata being a play in which women withhold sex from men until they stop fighting a war. The idea of doing that is… it’s inherently upsetting to me. I have a couple of thoughts floating around in my head why. Like… when I read advice that says FSD is caused by an uncaring/uncooperative partner, and maybe if he’d (the assumption is heteronormative in a lot of these articles I read…) take out the trash, his female partner would have more energy for sex. Which I read more as bribing a partner to do chores that shoulda been done anyway, and the bribe is sex. Okay well what happens if the partner does all that and the FSD patient still doesn’t want sex? That’s what it reminds me of right now that I can get out of my head, but there’s more… But this post in particular is more about health care reform, and who gets rewarded with sex for supporting it. Buh…

Star Trek, Star Wars And The Corner: Abandon Sex All Ye Who Enter Here – (Okay maybe the title of this one isn’t ideal since it follows an anti-Lysistrata post but whatever,) Talks about Star Trek & Star Wars. Now, what’s interesting here, is that, that’s a new way of looking at Star Wars from what I’m used to seeing. Usually when I have to listen to people gush on about Star Wars (I can’t stand it,) it’s all about the Good Vs. Evil aspect, Han Shot First, Planets Do Not Work That Way, and Lando’s Betrayal… but this one goes,

Star Wars (or what became of it) ended up being a rather terrible story about a society run on genetic predeterminism.  The police force of the “good old days” were the secretive elite of a crypto-religious sect who fully accepted that at all times, two of their members would be trying to destroy civilization as they knew it.  Membership was based on an accident of genetic luck, and those who lacked the access and wherewithal to get screened at the proper time were out of luck, stuck at the whim and mercy of their telekinetic, mind-altering overlords.  Government was largely ineffectual, a dysfunctional democracy latched onto a decaying royal system.  The entire lesson of Star Wars is that this highly traditional, morally unyielding system fails, and it fails miserably, as the billions of people killed in the Sith insurrection would have testified, had they, well, lived.

No wonder it’s such a conservative series.

I love it. That’s so refreshing!

My Statistics Primer Revisited – As soon as I started reading these posts about stats, I started having flashbacks to my college days. Yes, I remember this… I’m starting to remember how to read the numbers again… But what I’m remembering most of all is my mustachioed stats professor in front of the class on the computer demonstrating how it all fit together and how to make the computer make meaningful charts & graphs. Mustache.

Does anyone EVER read this stuff? – a dissenting opinion on a report about sex trafficking.

Whew. I’m sure there’s more…

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