Interesting posts, weekend of 4/17/10

04/17/2010 at 9:50 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments
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Dear internet, 2010 has not been a good year, and April has not been a good month. Without sharing too much about my personal life, there’s been some big and little interpersonal & family shakedowns around my life this month. I may have to skip making new posts (and working on my drafts) this week, so heads up on that.

Friendly reminder: I am looking for Guest Posters. (I feel I could be doing a better job of reaching out to marginalized people in particular – open to suggestions on how to improve that.)
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 over the last week. Share links if’n you got’em.

A few weeks ago, during March, the F-Word blog posted an article by S, who lives with vulvar vestibulitis. Supportive comments in response to that article have now been posted. March comments on features and reviews, up now! You are not alone. Check out the original post, Painful vagina? Your poor husband!

Kate has directed vulvodynia patients to a new article, but you need MedScape access to read the whole thing. I do believe that this abstract from PubMed is the abstract for the article in question. So if you have journal database access, check it for Guidelines for the Management of Vulvodynia.

A few blogs have been picking up on this ABC news article, Are We a Step Closer to a Viagra for Women? – I’m sure that we’ll be seeing a lot more chatter and backlash about this and Flibanserin over the next few months. And I have absolutely no doubt that it’s going to get real ugly real quick. People with sexual dysfunctions, brace yourselves.

Submitting to pain (by Suzie) – This post isn’t about the BDSM kind of pain, it’s about living with dyspareunia. For some reason Suzie never explicitly uses that word, but she describes some situations of women living with painful sex. She notes the influence of culture and expresses for the desire that the medical community to take an interest in sexual pain. You and me both, Suzie.

Question of the Day – “What are your favorite characters from music, literature, movies, etc. who express a healthy (i.e. consensual) sexuality with which you identify?” – I could not answer this question. None. The closest matches I can think of are Charlotte from Sex and the City and I don’t identify with her, and Susanna Kaysen, who is a real person and not a made-up character.

STPs: sexually transmitted poisons – [NSFW] There was an episode of House like this – some compounds like hormones and poison ivy can be transferred to a partner during sexual activity. I don’t know how likely this is to happen or to have happened to women with vulvar problems. To be on the safe side though, even I have my partner use the same detergents & soaps as me when we’re together since I try to minimize irritation.

A controversy over Clitoraid has been developing over the last few weeks. Actually, I suppose it’s really been developing for months or years, as this isn’t a brand-new thing. But the following posts came to my attention only this week. Clitoraid is a charitable organization whose goal is to restore sexual pleasure to women who have experienced FGC. This is done through reconstructive surgery to work with remaining clitoral tissue. Depending on who you ask, the clitoris is the ultimate female sex organ, or it is but one of many pathways to sexual pleasure. So how could anyone possibly critique reconstructive surgery after FGC? Well, the program isn’t free of criticism. A loose coalition of Feminists Challenging Clitoraid mobilized within the last few weeks to set up an online petition requesting that sponsors of Clitoraid reconsider their support. Good Vibrations, one of the sponsors of Clitoraid, was at first staunch in its support but within just the last few days, dropped support under group pressure, and is seeking out a better way to support women who have experienced FGC. Other Clitoraid supporters have resolved to stand by the organization. Please bear in mind, it’s not so much the end result that’s being examined so much as the way in which the goal is accomplished. It reminds me of criticisms of some breast cancer awareness organizations and marketing in the US. So here’s some posts related to the April 2010 Clitoraid controversy.
Asking questions about Clitoraid – Dr. Petra Boynton is looking at several features including the parent organization, treatment effectiveness and yes, an ongoing theme at this blog in recent weeks, social constructions.
Clitoraid confusing genuine well-wishers – This post takes a look at the Raelians, a religious organization connected to Clitoraid.
Some thoughts on Clitoraid and the ethics of intervention – This article points out that there were already hospitals in Burkina Faso which could already provide reconstructive surgery and looks at financial considerations, as well as cultural issues.
As of today, almost all of the posts in the April archive of Can? We? Save? Africa? talk about Clitoraid and explicitly state what Feminists Challenging Clitoraid is concerned about.

Following up on the F Conference – Chally gave a presentation at a feminism conference. It addressed some shortcomings of feminism, like the failure to recognize and reach out to oppressed women – like women of color, disabled women and trans women. Feminism to this day needs to work on intersectionality.

Welcome Home – [Trigger warning] A story of dehumanization and foul treatment by a traveler at the hands of US Customers & Border Patrol.
See also –  Confronting Citizenship in Sexual Assault – [Trigger warning] If there are laws that allow police to check on the immigration status based on what they consider a reasonable doubt, what does this mean for sexual assault victims?

We Are the Dead: Sex, Assault, and Trans Women – [Trigger warning] C.L. Minou wrote a guest post looking at the dangers trans women in particular face with regards to sexual assault.

Pulitzer or No Pulitzer, Kathleen Parker’s a Moron: Real Men Actually Do Talk About Vaginas in Public – Conservative writer Kathleen Parker recently won a Pulitzer Prize. … … …Keep in mind this is the same Kathleen Parker who has written about how rough the world is on the poor menz and how women shouldn’t talk about their vaginas in public. She’s written much more than that though…
She’s not the only one who won an award though – Advocate honors social justice leaders – Feministing looks at some new inductees into Advocate for their social justice work.

Bullying and the Wall of Silence – [Trigger warning] – What happened when Thomas tried to intervene in school bullying, which supposedly was prohibited under a zero tolerance policy. With that policy in place, bulling wasn’t reported for what it was.

Susannah Breslin: Certifiable Asshole – [Trigger warning] Susannah Breslin does not understand what trigger warnings are and why feminist-oriented websites in particular include them when talking about material that may trigger bad memories in readers. Safe space is difficult or impossible to maintain, but that doesn’t mean we can’t try and extend some courtesy. See also I Write Letters from Melissa, [Trigger warning] who explains more on what trigger warnings are and why they’re presented.

A first step in a feminist direction: The Healthy Media for Youth Act – Two congresswomen in the US have proposed new laws on media, based on research from Girls, Inc. and Girl Scouts Research Institute. This could counter negative, unrealistic, and dangerous depictions of women and girls in the media.
See also, another iteration of I Write Letters – this one in praise of Britney Spears, for releasing the before-and-after pictures from a photoshoot. The before and after pictures point out exactly what was done in Photoshop to make Spears fit a more conventional definition of beauty, and, in the process, meet a beauty standard far out of reach to most women.

A few simple facts about abortion – Nebraska passed a law restricting abortion in the state, under the guise of fetal pain. However most abortions take place well before the cut-off and, as Jill said, “there’s no strong evidence that fetuses experience pain.” But wait, there’s more! Nebraska to pass extreme, first-of-its-kind anti-choice bill – this one would “require doctors to screen women for mental and physical problems that could pose as a “risk” after getting an abortion.” So these two bills chip away at reproductive rights.

An OYD Airline Rant – Airline passengers with disabilities are not always treated with the same respect and courtesy as able-bodied passengers, they are discriminated against and this discrimination is defended. Keep in mind this is happening while full-body scanners are being pushed for, restrictions against drinking or getting up to use the bathroom are being enacted.

April 16: National Day of Silence – Day of Silence is s day in which students remain silent even during class, to draw attention to harassment of LGBT peers. I remember several students in my high school classes participating in the National Day of Silence. FWD put together a roundup of posts related to the Day of Silence.

I’m sure there’s more…



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  1. I just came across some VERY interesting book reviews about the book “Secret Suffering” on Amazon. Someone critiqued the book and actually got a response from the author as well as a “not very nice” response from the husband of of one of the co-authors of the book.

    The wife (and co-author of the book) describes in the book how she “secretly” puts up with sexual pain, and does not tell her husband even when it hurts her.

    I suggest that everyone on this site read this book, and if you feel so inclined, post a review on Amazon.

    This book seems to solidify the belief that women are expected to put up with pain in order to make their partners happy.

    I thought the women on this site would have a lot to say on this subject.

    Please, please consider reviewing this book since the authors are reading and listening. It is a rare event that the authors of a book are willing to respond to their readers’ reviews on amazon. I have yet to write a review or read the entire book, but I intend to see what the strong reactions are all about!

    Check out this link.
    Girls, the authors are listening… We can make a difference! Let’s do it!

    Let me know if the link doesn’t work…

    Best wishes and healing to you all! 🙂

  2. oh I forgot to mention…

    after clicking on the link, you’ll see the “one star review”, then click on the “COMMENTS” to see the responses from the book’s author.

    Thanks to all of you. We need to stand together and let the world know that women should not feel pressured or guilty to engage in pentrative sex if it is agonizingly painful.

    • I have this book. I bought it a few weeks ago with my own cash & haven’t gotten around to reading it yet (as you can probably tell from my recent posts. Little busy with some other books first.)

      Not sure if I’m up for Secret Suffering yet, but everything’s inevitable.

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