Interesting posts, weekend of 1/16/10

01/16/2010 at 3:53 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments
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Dear internet, I saw the strangest thing on television the other day… No, I’m not talking about the Doctor Oz vulvodynia special; I’m talking about a show in which a heterosexual couple have sex. What’s so special about that, you ask? It was some program on the CW network, I don’t even know, I was just flipping through channels. Anyway I happened to land on this program where the woman was doing a striptease for her partner, and so she goes over to him and the scene cuts to the conclusion of the sexin’… (It was censored of course.)
And what really stood out to me was the… artificiality of it all.
The characters didn’t have any chemistry. In fact they didn’t seem interested in anything at all. Not each other, not the sexin’, not anything… They just had these glazed, frozen looks on their faces the whole time and they talked in a monotone, but never laughed… and when they were done having sex, their hair was just perfect, there wasn’t a drop of sweat on either one of them, no lubricant sticking to their fingers, certainly no sex toys rolling around and dropping onto the floor. There was no sign of condom usage.
The couple looked so… bored. So beautiful, so glamorous, and so completely bored.
It was like… an epiphany. I know the way that sex is depicted in the media is totally fake & ridiculous, but… I watch a lot of cartoons & comedies so I’ve been out of touch with live-action drama lately. I don’t watch True Blood or Vampire Diaries; I never enjoyed teen dramas like Dawson’s Creek or evening soap operas like 90210. The only live action show I enjoy anymore is House (and even that’s about to jump the shark if it hasn’t already.) This mainstream media depiction of sex was a big reminder to how unrealistic sex when it’s shown in the media. Remind me again, is it always like that?
On the other hand, I don’t think it’s fair to say that all sex has to be rip-roaring fireworks all the time, or to say that it “Should” be like this or that, or that it should HAVE to be a spiritual, transcendent experience… all those other expectations just add more pressure onto how to do sex right. But I just couldn’t relate to this scene at all. It looked so cold.
Well, to give them the benefit of the doubt, maybe this episode of the TV show just caught the couple on a bad day.

Friendly reminder: I am looking for Guest Posters. 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.

Haiti was hit by a magnitude 7.0 earthquake which has destroyed much of the already poor nation’s infrastructure. I’m hearing estimates of the number of dead ranging from 50,000 – 100,000; locally where I live many families in my area have been effected & there have been confirmed deaths of loved ones. A number of blogs are covering ways in which you can help; this post at Feministe lists a lot of different resources that could use a hand. Some commenters there listed other organizations as well. Unusualmusic @ The Angry Black Woman has a post looking at Western impressions of Haiti and a list of which countries have committed what resources.

The blogging topic that’s been draining me all week is My New Pink Button-Gate 2k10. My New Pink Button is a cosmetic dye available in various shades of pink which is marketed mostly for vulvar use, (it may also be used on the nipples or on men’s genitals,) to make the skin appear rosier for up to 48 hours. Several feminist blogs have written about this product and they sound outraged about it & the marketing involved. To some extent I understand why – the concern is is that this is yet another potentially harmful product designed to suck the $ out of vulnerable women’s wallets, by creating a fear that their vulvas aren’t up to par. Par being pink, so if your vulva is naturally dark you’re SOL.
Yet I am probably the only blogger who is adding the –Gate suffix to the end of this topic… because I feel like I’m the only feminist blogger who actually knows what it’s like to live with a significant (yet still not earth-shattering to me) cosmetic change to my vulva. A change which, incidentally, happened as a result of surgery, hey. (I know in practice I’m probably not the only femblogger who’s experienced something like that, but it’s so taboo to talk about…)
Really, my little cosmetic change isn’t that important to me. It just worked out that way. It feels better, so I don’t think about it much… except for when I run up against Walls of Shame to my left, right, front and rear re: Altering the form & functioning of the vagina & vulva. There’s no wiggle room…
I’d really like to use My New Pink Button-Gate 2k10 as an opportunity to inform folks that, sometimes there are certain skin conditions which change the appearance and functioning of the vulva… and those changes, believe it or not, are not a sign of good health and if you notice certain changes happening downstairs you may want to run to the dermatologist asap and if it turns out you feel disturbed by the changes happening downstairs and/or need to have some kind of treatment, surgery or reconstruction it would be hypocritical of me to blame you for so much as thinking about using a product like this… actually on second thought even if you are perfectly healthy and think about using a product like this I still won’t blame you because by who’s authority does anyone get to arbitrarily decide what is & isn’t important & worth doing? But I’m still reeling, so I’m not ready to talk about vulvar dermatological problems [NSFW!] yet. So for now I will leave you with the only response that didn’t break my heart: Glisten!

great piece: why porn for profit is dying – [NSFW] Interesting piece on the decline of mainstream pornography @ the Daily Beast, via Violet Blue. Follows the heels of the AVN convention in Las Vegas. Figleaf had a few thoughts on this too.

Disappointing Development in the Trial for Tiller – A Kansas judge is going to allow defendant Scott Roeder, standing trial for the murder of Dr. George Tiller, to present evidence supporting a lesser conviction of voluntary manslaughter. See also Feministe’s post on the same topic.
Related: Do you remember last week, I posted a link to Feministing, featuring a video of pro-life folks outside of a women’s health clinic harassing clients and disguising themselves as escorts? Well there’s some follow up to that: What antis say about their time spent harassing women outside clinics, and From our comments section: stories from clinic escorts

Cosmocking: February ’10! (Part One!) – This month’s snarking of Cosmopolitan was so big, it had to be split into two parts! Here’s Part Two!

Woman’s credibility in rape trial “shot to pieces” due to group-sex fantasies – [Trigger warning] – There seems to be some confusion about what happened, but F-Word is reporting on articles that claim that a woman’s rape trial was derailed due to her engaging in fantasy chats online. Cara @ the Curvature has more [still triggering.]

Bless: they’re still confused about weather vs climate – A quick & easy post about understanding climate change.

DC Prostitution-Free Zone and condoms – Also making the rounds on the blogosphere this week is news that if you carry 3 or more condoms with you, police may interpret that as a sign that you are a sex worker. This isn’t necessarily new news though; Jane Brazen has more.

Another Feminist Pet Peeve: Woman-Bashing Commenting – Although she doesn’t provide any hard examples herself, I understand what Echidne is talking about.

Perry v. Schwarzenegger: Proposition 8 on Trial – Some detail on the trial to overturn California’s Proposition 8, which bans gay marriage.

Oh, Feminists, Can You Stop Telling People With Disabilities How To Take Care Of Their Bodies? – The post is right on. I would also mention that it works the other way too – don’t withhold treatments or make it harder to access them, if that’s what a patient wants. Don’t force, don’t pressure, but don’t withhold either.

Is Refusing Bed Rest a Crime? – Creepy case – this is a real thing – a pregnant woman, Samantha Burton, noticed symptoms of a miscarriage & went to her doctor, who advised bedrest for the duration of her pregnancy. This wasn’t practical for Burton, but before she could get a second opinion, her doctor called in the state & she was forcibly hospitalized, then given (probably not the best choice of words,) a C-section.

FAQ: vagina vs vulva and public “faces of feminism” – Relevant to my interests; One single person’s opinion on the usage of the words “Vulva” vs. “vagina” does not account for the rest of feminism’s views in general.

Racism, reproductive (in)justice in Israel – Ethopians make up only a very small part of Israel’s population, but more than half of them are on Depo Provera – and quite possibly, not by informed choice. From reading F-word’s coverage, it sounds like women who visited one of the health clinics were given Depo Provera, but not offered alternative birth control options.

I’m sure there’s more…


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  1. if you want I would be more than happy to be a guess blogger. Let me know if you would like me to prepare something for you to post

    • Okay, I sent you an e-mail when you get a chance to look at it.

  2. Thanks for the link, I wanna put a smiley face to convey smiley-ness I guess, but the topic was just a bummer, so it doesn’t feel right.
    :-Z not the topic but the Gate-ness aspect. Which I totally agree with you on. Yuck, really, my friggin’ heart is still wrenched just thinking about it.

    I’ve been thinking about some stuff I could write for here too, but I actually hate to even say that, because I’m really really undependable, as soon as I say I’m gonna do something, you can be certain I’ll never get it done. It’s like some sort of procrasti-spite-chosis thing. But look at the cool word I made up! If I ever get anything resembling a rough draft together though… 🙂

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