Interesting posts, weekend of 3/20/10

03/20/2010 at 7:30 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments
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Dear internet, I was on a bit of a horror movie binge last week. First I watched Zombieland which features Zombies in an amusement park setting. Then I watched Adventureland, which features Kristen Stewart of Twilight fame, so we have a Vampire (pre-bite?) working in an amusement park. Then I watched 30 Days of Night which features Zombie Vampires. And so we come full circle…
I’ve been enjoying the warm & sunny Spring weather so much, that I spent some time outside reading inappropriate-to-take-outside books. It was just so sunny.

Friendly reminder: I am looking for Guest Posters. We will be featuring a guest post this week. 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.

This week’s don’t miss post: Painful vagina? Your poor husband! – The F-Word blog posted this story submitted by S, about her personal experience and thoughts on living and dealing withvulvodynia, specifically its sub-diagnosis of vulvar vestibulitis. I’m sure this article will resonate with some of our readers – it resonated with me. Be sure to check it out; here’s one excerpt that has a touches upon multiple facets of living with chronic vulvar pain (I could probably pick any few lines at random from this post and still have a good excerpt):

My acupuncturist and Chinese herbal medicine doctor who listened to me describe my condition for quite some time, asked how long it was since I’d had sex? When I replied ‘seven years’, she exclaimed, “Your poor husband!” Indeed. Just go right ahead and reinforce all my years of guilt, sexual inadequacy and lack of confidence. Cheers. Thanks very much. Alternative medicine: treating the whole person….

Mm-hmm.

There’s more from the F-Word too, including Adventures in self-publishing – I’m still skeptical of self-published books, except for books of poetry & graphic novels (like for webcomics.) But if you’ve ever thought about it, this might be of some use. And also a book review about feminist science fiction: Daughters of Earth: Feminist Science Fiction in the Twentieth Century

Reconsidering Feminism – Introspective questions to ask yourself. Also from Happy Bodies (and others!) this week: Quick hit: Porn for Women. This XKCD comic has been making the rounds all week; most of the reception I saw has been positive. I am very curious now to see any negative reception it may have gotten.

These posts are all at at least partly related to free speech:
How To Smack Down A Troll (Antiporn Pseudofeminist Division) – [Mildly NSFW due to banner and content] Re-posting back & forth discussion turned ugly on pornography and the “Authentic” desires of women. Whoever gets to decide what is and isn’t authentic, and how, I don’t know. Which is partly why it’s so interesting.
CNN Needs Erickson To Have Diverse Voices – Someone tell CNN misogyny is not the same thing as diversity.
Yeah, what *about* your free speech “rights”? – Freedom of speech in spaces where the participant’s speech is already probably very limited & marginalized. Some moderation decisions & comment policies probably won’t hurt you.

Nuns to bishops: STFU – Okay maybe they didn’t say that in so many words but the nuns are urging health care reform. Followed up shortly thereafter by, Oh Dear. Foot-In-The-Mouth Stupak – He was all like, “Nuns? We don’t need no nuns!”

Socially Constructed Before Conception – A feminist analysis of a documentary about conception. That documentary sure did use some… being generous here, interesting language! Also from Shakesville this week, care of C.L. Minou, Mass Resistance made me mad enough to vomit. [May be triggering.] Analyzes a video produced by a hate group, this video targets transgendered folk.

Blow for non-binary folks – Norrie’s ‘ungendered’ status withdrawn – Norrie May-Welby was granted a “Sex not specified” status on zie’s birth certificate, but that status has been revoked. There’s some more details on this at Questioning Transphobia.

Progressive teenage bloggers: a list and some thoughts – a list of some young bloggers blogging about progressive, often feminist, issues.

Bamboo Review: Final Fantasy XIII – That series jumped the shark on iteration #8. FFI-VII are totally fine, couple of the spin-offs (Final Fantasy Tactics for PSX or PSP, NOT the Game Boy/DS versions!!!) are okay, but everything 8 and after is … unplayable to me. I couldn’t finish 8. I got bored on the second disc. I love playing the older games, but I never got into the newer ones.

Why Is HRT Still Prescribed? Well, Let’s Try Listening to Women – Interesting because I already tried estrogen cream for the vulvar pain, and it had some small positive effect… small but bigger than zero. I have no doubt that I will need it again later on and when that time comes, please, do not make this any harder for me than it already is.

Bake Sales for Chemo – Deb Robben was unable to purchase health insurance and had to resort to private fundraisers to cover her chemotherapy. It won’t be enough but she is left with few other options.

Kathryn Bigelow: The Woman Behind the Landmark – About the first woman director to win Best Director and Best Film at the Oscars. No way, she directed Point Break? But really, it’s also about the lack of knowledge about her before she won the Oscar. Why didn’t I know?

Get Your Black Irish On Happy Paddy’s Day – A different kind of St. Patrick’s Day post.

4th Blog Anniversary – If one year in internet time is like 10 years in real time (I do believe that this rule of thumb is no longer completely accurate,) then Marcella’s blog would be like 40! And yet she still manages to maintain composure while being an activist analyzing rape culture and sexual assault.

Sex worker uses labor law to sue D.C. club, WaPo reports lasciviously – How mainstream media twists situations by using charged words, something I’ve seen happen in the handling of FSD articles.

What A Tool – A software tutorial with pictures!

GERMAN COSMO! – Oh god I hope Holly does a German version of Cosmocking. That would make my day.

Sexist Beatdown: WHO Put WHAT in the HUH Now? Edition – Interesting because I don’t fully understand what I’m looking at here. What? Something about female condoms and I don’t know… they make… noise? or something? There’s a picture of a plastic bag. I don’t know, but I’d try one. Maybe next time I place an order for lube I’ll order up some female condoms just for shits & giggles. And experimentation. They’re made of polyurethane so that’s a plus in my book.

The Texas School Board Is At It Again – Texas re-writes kid’s history books with a decidedly conservative slant. Check it out; usually when I see blog posts that include strikethroughs and bolds or italics to indicate additions, it’s done to pick apart another post somewhere else… but this time, it’s all real! Those cross-outs and additions are all real!

Does Pink Stink? – (Via HAT) Appreciated because it talks about how in trying to combat the arbitrary upbringing of girls, sometimes we make the mistake of disparaging feminity in and of itself.

Terms “Vagina” and “Down There” Banned from T.V. Ads – (Via VB, [NSFW]) Holy shit on a brick  – Oooh wait it doesn’t actually say that… but it does say that two advertisements for menstrual products were rejected because they contained the words, “Vagina” and “Down there.” Soooo … what are we allowed to call it on tv in ads then? Can’t use frank & accurate descriptions anymore?

How Endo-Aware Are You? – (Via FWD) March is Endometriosis Awareness Month, and some of our readers may be living with it while others don’t know much about it. Here, Frolicnaked busts some endo myths.

I’m sure there’s more…

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  1. A lot of the stuff mentioned in The F-Word post really hit home for me. Because… at one point, I considered myself to have a good grounding in sex education and a good grasp of the theoretical mechanics of sex, and how to keep yourself safe, even when I hadn’t had any. No book I ever read had suggested “oh, by the way, your body may decide to begin throwing severe pain at you when you’re trying to do things that should be only mildly uncomfortable at best.” (Not to say that my sex education was perfect– looking back on it in retrospect, it’s disturbing how much it didn’t touch on non-heterosexuality or gender variance at all, and when we were split into sex-segregated groups in middle school, the boys got a talk including things like masturbation and sexual fantasies while the girls just heard about Getting Your Period. But I tried to make up the difference by educating myself from books, and even the best of them lacked any description whatsoever of what would later happen to my vagina.)

    But… yeah. No one prepares you for it, and suddenly your body is spitting severe fucking pain at you, and you don’t know what to do. That can be pretty traumatizing, especially if you have past abuse history. I had no idea what to do; I was too afraid to see a doctor because I was afraid I’d be told I was bad and that it was all my fault. I just resigned myself to being celibate, and avoided gynecological exams, up until I managed, years later, to stop getting triggered into panic attacks by any discussion of medical things, and was able to look up some information online about it. (And hearing about what seems to be the norm for other women with FSD, when they try to get help from doctors who aren’t specialists, makes me feel that staying away from them might not have been that bad a choice when I didn’t know anything about what was going on, or about my rights as a patient. Not to mention some of the “helpful advice” I’ve been given on the few occasions that I actually tried talking to doctors about it.)

    I still can’t figure out if I’m ever going to go for trying penetration. I can accept finger penetration with enough relaxation, and I guess I want to see if more is possible, but I also don’t want to further enable the heteronormative model of sex that insists only penetration is “real” sex, that it’s required even if you’re in a same-sex relationship. I don’t want to give it power in my own mind.

    And, uh, complete topic change here, I guess:

    That series jumped the shark on iteration #8. FFI-VII are totally fine, couple of the spin-offs (Final Fantasy Tactics for PSX or PSP, NOT the Game Boy/DS versions!!!) are okay, but everything 8 and after is … unplayable to me.

    Yeah, I… have not kept up with it since 2001 or so. I like the stories fine (for the most part), they just aren’t as… replayable? Can’t really describe it. It feels more like you’ve been sent on an endless series of mini-games sometimes, where you have to drop everything every half hour and learn something new. Whereas with the older ones, you can just pick them up and play.

    I’m kind of… distantly curious about the more recent ones, I guess. Interested in seeing them eventually, but they aren’t on my OMG, Must Play list. (I’m actually still catching up with the remakes as it is; they can be pretty time-consuming all on their own.)

    • I don’t think you should feel like you *have* to do penetration or have to *not* do penetration if you think you’re interested. It sounds like how, I’ve seen this argument where in a heterosexual BDSM scene, if the dom is a man and the sub is a woman, it’s like, you’re not supposed to do that because it upholds & mimics traditional patriarchal gender roles. But on the other hand so long as we’re talking about a consensual scene then the power exchange is supposed to be negotiated ahead of time for however much time both parties agree.

      But if you’re into that kind of thing and you’re both capable of consent then in practice it’s supposed to be safe to explore. A lot of the sex therapists I’ve been reading (whether I like them or not) suggest looking into BDSM.

      But yeah… it’s hard to break free of the sex=penetration paradigm. I don’t have a good suggestion for how to reconcile that at this time. Nothing you haven’t already seen before anyway.


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