Interesting posts, weekend of 8/8/10

08/08/2010 at 4:39 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments
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Dear internet, dag nabbit I missed yet another feminist blogosphere conference this year. I need to get on the ball or something. I need to go out and do something fun this week. Movies and books are alright but I need to do something unique and interesting soon.

A few weeks ago I mentioned I was thinking about adding more pictures to the blog. This place is very heavy on text. But what pictures should I add? How do I give credits? I can’t always find pictures of antique prophylactics and candies that look like vulvas. But I think I need something to lighten the mood and break up the words.

Well I don’t know, so we’re going to try an experiment. I took some pictures of stuff I found at the grocery store. Stuff with silly names. We’re going to start with something simple and see how it goes from there, at least until I run out of packages to photograph. Let’s start out with a granola bar…

Description: a granola bar in its wrapper. The wrapper says it’s Pop Culture brand and contains probiotics.

Did you know you can just buy pop culture? Gives whole new meaning to the term, “Consuming pop culture.” I wonder why they called it that. I thought it might have pop culture trivia on the wrapper but no.
A taste test revealed that it tastes like a chocolate chip granola bar. It’s okay.

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.

Can’t get enough of feminism and sexual dysfunction on the internet? You may want to think about following the Twitter feed, which is more accurately described as my Twitter feed since no one else manages it. Some of my daily mundane and/or angry thoughts sneak in there but I try to include trendy topics as well as a healthy dose of sexual dysfunction related news when I find it.

Now then, on with the weekly blog link roundup. Posts I found interesting over the last week. Share links if’n you got’em.

Female Sexual Dysfunction in DSM-V – Astrid has some thoughts on the new DSM-V classifications for sexual dysfunction.

I found out that The Camera My Mother Gave Me is available for the Kindle. It’s been available in paperback form for years, when did it go digital? This is a memoir about life with vulvodynia, written by Susanna Kaysen – the same Susanna Kaysen made famous for her previous memoir, Girl, Interrupted. This is a unique book and one I think many more people need to read it (hint, hint.)

I was looking around for some more stuff about flibanserin and after sifting through the spam I found this: Debate: the “Medicalization” of Female Sexuality – It’s not perfect (says the blogger with no professional credentials – sigh… some day…) like, the author should have latched onto the revised 12% statistic for prevalence of FSD. But it’s pretty neat, looks at the cost of medical treatment vs. psychotherapy, though I’d like to know where those figures come from. Basically it centers the women with sexual dysfunction instead of women without it.

There was some cross-blog … argument? too civil for me to think of it as a flame war, but not civil enough so that it was a discussion – something about sluts vs. prudes. See, a few weeks ago Jaclyn Friedman wrote up My Sluthood, Myself. Most of the reception that I saw around the feminist blogosphere was positive. The post did not resonate with me personally, not because I have anything against sluthood – I think it didn’t resonate with me because I did not see any indication in this post that Friedman paused to ask herself what she meant by “Sex.” Like, okay you know you have a high libido and want sex, but what kind of sex? Causal encounters might be tricky for me since we still live in an intercourse-centric culture. Plus some other little things like the language of brokenhood… But this post was about relationships as much as it was about sex, so whatever. Anyway, Jaclyn herself was slut-shamed by some kind of relationship advice … counselor? Guru? Agony aunt? I don’t know what her qualifiications are. It was Jaclyn who was being attacked on a personal level, at least as much as the post she wrote. A few feminist bloggers defended her. I’m not going to link to the slut-shaming post in question, but you’ll find links to it through the following. No laughing, no screwing, no learning how to read. Slut-shaming and misogyny as traffic bait. Don’t be a slut, you prude – this one looks at relationship advice the guru has given out in the past. Girl Fight: Sluts vs. Prudes – This one also talked about the biological chemical (weapon?), Oxytocin – AKA the “Love hormone.”
Now about that hormone, Oxytocin… let’s move on to a post that debunks myths about oxytocin. Some conservative relationship advisors talk about it as though it’s addicting and dangerous, and I remember Oxytocin was brought up in that home birth movie by Ricci Lake. (I didn’t’ like that movie.) Myths about the “love hormone” oxytocin that could ruin your love life.
But wait, there’s more about slut blogging! (Can I call it that? I mean it in the best possible way, I assure you.) That Oxytocin post was by Heather Corrina of Scarleteen, a sex education resource aimed at young people (though older folks use it, too!) She wrote up another one for Feministe, her advice comes from fact that Heather Corinna is ANNOYED, responding to a personal attack, an accusation of being a slut.
Wait, I got one more, an older one. I was looking through my old starred items in the RSS reader and pulled up this older one that’s relevant to our discussion: Hooking Up for Sex: Sluts or New Feminists? – Mainstream media’s take on hookup culture. Don’t bother looking at the comments section.

Every picture tells a story – what the TSA is doing with those full-body scanner images.
Here’s another post with pictures, a different kind of pictures that tell stories. Breitbart forces superman Kevin Pezzi to go Galt

When Porn Goes Bad: “Girls Gone Wild” – Greta Christina changes her mind about the GGW franchise, for good reason.

Newsflash: Senate Appoints Elena Kagan to Supreme Court – More big news from the US legal field – Elena Kagan has been approved to join the Supreme Court. She will be replacing a liberal judge so the court will still be 5-4 in favor of conservative justices. Kagan will be the fourth woman justice to serve out of a history of 112 justices, and for the first time there will be a whopping three women on the bench at the same time.

Prop 8 Findings Of Fact – Big news from California – Judge Walker ruled that Proposition 8 (the voter-passed initiative that banned further same sex marriages in the state) was found to be unconstitutional. Thomas has a summary of some of the key facts that the Judge found. The ruling will most likely be appealed and same sex marriage has not yet resumed.

Just – thinking about that line of thought that asks “Why are you disabled? You must have done something to deserve it/something happened to you/there’s gotta be a reason/who can we blame for this.” Sometimes there’s no reason, it just fucking happens.

Followed a series of links to reach a potentially neat blog to keep an eye on and see what direction it goes in: Sexually Able. The blog author also has a Call for Submissions. This is not to be confused with a blog bearing a similar title, SexAbility, which has been established as being a neat blog.

Push(back) at the Intersections: Defining (and Critiquing) ‘Intersectionality’ – Good for getting a definition of what ‘intersectionality’ means and where there are weaknesses in its practice.

Today in !!Free Markets!! – About higher education for fun and profit. Academia is not immune to corruption!

The justice system is on crack, baby – About punishing pregnant women and mothers.

I’m sure there’s more…


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  1. I would love to hear a bit about why you didn’t like The Business of Being Born, if you didn’t mind sharing. 🙂

    • Yes. I watched it a few years ago so my memory is a little fuzzy at this point, but I remember the impression it left on me. Basically I felt it was too prescriptive. Here is a link to the exact moment where I gave up and said “Okay I’m done with this here movie.” (I did go on to watch it all the way to the end but I no longer enjoyed the ride.)

      The documentary interviews several professionals about the role of oxytocin in childbirth, and about how if you have a C-section birth you are denying the rush of love hormone chemicals to mother & child. Pitocin, an artificial oxytocin, won’t cut it. The interviewee talked about how as C-section rates rise in the USA, so too do neurological disorders, specifically he named ADD, and autism. That interviewee said “We don’t know” about the link, but nonetheless he speculates that maybe within a year or two of the documentary being produced that maybe we’ll discover that if you have obstetric interventions, your child will develop a neurological disorder.

      A few minutes later one of the interviewees starts talking about examples from the animal kingdom, where if the mom animals have their hormonal balances disturbed while giving birth, they won’t bond with their babies.

      It’s not clear if there’s a causal link there. But then you stack the bit about animals right after and I’m like… Human women are not monkeys, birth is not the only time where oxytocin is produced (as conservative folks who favor conservative relationship styles go on about which is talked about in some of those blog posts I linked to today) and I came away from the movie feeling like it was saying, “If you don’t have a natural child birth you’re going to have a child with a neurological disorder.” Like it was some kind of threat. Like there needs to be a reason that these things happen. Which is addressed in another blog post I linked to today.

      Not cool. Left a foul taste in my mouth on several levels.
      And that’s why I didn’t like the Business of Being Born.

  2. Thanks for the explanation. It seems a lot like issues related to breastfeeding, in that the “this is healthiest” seems to often turn into “if you don’t do this, you are a FAILURE and you’re killing your baby” nonsense. Its really unfortunate.

  3. Thanks for the link about oxytocin. I’ve definitely heard a lot of those claims before and suspected there was something fishy about them, but I didn’t know about the prairie voles thing until I read that. It is in keeping with a lot of pop science claims about differences between men and women, though, and the kind of studies they tend to latch onto without really investigating.

    It also reminds me of the concept of explanatory neurophilia— the idea that people are more likely to believe something is credible and backed by scientific evidence when the explanation given for it contains a lot of neuroscience buzzwords and references to areas of the brain, even if the “fact” is completely wrong. (There’s another series of posts in that same blog here, that totally eviscerates the studies used in this book called The Female Brain, which perpetuates the whole oxytocin equals bonding myth among many, many others.)

    It’s also weird how they can’t seem to make up their mind about whether casual sex ruins a woman’s supposed inability to bond with partners because of oxytocin, or whether women can’t have casual sex period because oxytocin will supposedly get in the way and make them want to bond with all their sex partners. Seems like it changes depending on which claim better serves their agenda at a given time. :\

    • I have already stated in another comment one of my biggest reservations about putting so much emphasis on oxytocin. I hated that part in the Business of Being Born where there’s wild speculation about oxytocin and childhood neurological disorders – there’s not a causal link between them, and the film made it sound like raising an autistic or ADD child is a bad thing. What? Like, the doctors were talking as though moms should do everything to prevent this from happening. What? I looked around on google for just a few minutes when I was looking for this clip and I noticed on some forums that people who were talking about a supposed link between oxytocin and autism were also talking about the (pretty much debunked now) link between autism and vaccines.

      I like how you brought up explanatory neurophilia too – heh, I run into that sometimes, and not just with science. I think it applies to literature and philosophy too, although in such cases, brain scans won’t be mentioned… most of the time at least… Usually it’ll be different buzz words for different subjects, but explaining one phenomenon or another sounds more serious and authoritative when it’s peppered with superfluous official-sounding big words. (I would say that most of my school classes were built on that!) Really, I suppose just about every subject has its own buzzwords.

      And yes science is hijacked by whatever the prevailing notions are at the time. It’s not supposed to be like that. But it’s a tool… and it can be used for change or the status quo.

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