Posted on January 11, 2009 by Dan (Fitness)
Movie idea! A man is about to be deported to Canada, and to keep his high powered job, orders his assistant to marry him, or he’ll fire her. Afraid of losing her job, she complies, and through a series of endearing mishaps falls in love with her boss.
Switch the roles and its an instant romantic comedy staring Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds.
There’s no way a movie where a man forces a woman into marriage would sail through the sea of public opinion unscathed. Strangely I doubt that “The Proposal” is going to offer a revealing deconstruction of gender stereotypes and the role power in social and professional relationships. Its become vaguely acceptable in mainstream culture to write in jokes about rape, assault, and harrasment as long as the its a woman doing it to a man.
What do you think of this? I wonder to what degree it forms an overton window. If female on male abuse of power/sexual crime moves past acceptable discourse into mainstream culture, does male on female abuse/crime tag along into acceptable discourse?
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tagged: Feminism, Gender, Media, Movies, Politics, Power, Rhetoric, Sex, The Proposal | Comments Off on Movie Idea! A Proposal
Posted on December 29, 2008 by Dan (Fitness)
Its 2008, and somewhere out there a researcher is thinking:
“By Golly, I wonder if virginity pledges work? Better start another study.”
We could deprive teenagers of all but 4 hours a day for sleep, remove their sense of sight, and send them to school in chastity contraptions that would make Houdini shudder, and they’d still find a way to have sex. The sooner we start from reality rather than a fantasy fueled by a fervent desire for “purity” amongst the young, the faster we’ll be able to ensure teens have healthy, safe sex.
the results, published in the journal Pediatrics, suggest that virginity pledgers are less likely to protect themselves against pregnancy or disease when they do have sex.
This is directly in line with studies on the various forms of abstinence education. I’m sure a similar study on kids who attend “chastity balls” with their parents would yield the same results. We get it. The point has been made and proved. Additional studies won’t be worth a damn against the religious right, who will continue championing the ideal of purity at the expense of teenage sexual health no matter what kind of research comes out.
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tagged: Chastity, Duh, Health, Health Care, Politics, Religion, Research, Safety, Science, Sex, Teens, Virginity Pledges, Virgins | 2 Comments »
Posted on May 9, 2008 by Dan (Fitness)
In an otherwise sharp post (a professor suing students? wtf?), hairybeast let’s loose some really smelly bull:
Back in the 1980’s, feminists ran into a scientific wall. Their assertion that the genders were equal in all things (aside from certain surface physical abilities) began springing leaks when science departments on campus (who had originally been recruited to prove the truth of this) started collecting data that belied this article of feminist faith. Like a series of underground A-Bomb tests, the controversy rumbled below the surface for years. The controversy pitted geeky science profs against hairy-legged feminists (neither likely to get laid by the opposite sex) and became so toxic that womens studies departments even picketed their own science departments. But most of the battle was conducted in faculty meetings, with feminists flexing their political muscle to squelch research projects they now knew were likely to produce results inimical to their faith, or throw heretics out of the bunker (*Cough! Larry Summers!). But the truth eventually leaked out.
The sexes (sex being physiological, gender being pyschological) do have differences. Women have a slightly larger corpus callousum. They don’t have a smaller forebrain. They don’t have a shriveled husk of a hippocampus. In short, the idea of a biological basis for any observable differences in the performance of men and women in particular fields isn’t supported. Not by science anyway. But pop science might have a few pointers for desperate anti-feminists. Speaking of desperate, what’s with the hairy legged feminist stereotype? Seriously, you’re breaking that out hairybeast? And they have trouble getting laid? Nice. Way to imply this professor just needs to get laid. Haven’t heard misogynistic tripe like that before. Very original sir.
The only truth about differences between the sexes is the very real barriers our society constructs and heavily reinforces. And that is a truth far too many people refuse to acknowledge, let alone tackle.
Having taken classes where a professor considered disagreement with his politics evidence of lack of effort on the part of the student, I think what this professor did was incredibly stupid and shitty. Why couldn’t hairybeast have pointed that out without trotting out an irrational hatred of women and liberals? (all while accusing the same of irrationality with a deeply seated irony. Bonus.)
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tagged: Dartmouth, Equality, Feminism, Gender, Law, Misogyny, Neuroscience, Politics, Rhetoric, Sex, Sue | 11 Comments »
Posted on April 11, 2008 by Dan (Fitness)
Sush has posted a really thoughtful thread on what meanings one might find behind the phrase Unnatural Relations (emphasis mine):
In that way I’ve always thought of human sexuality as transcending “natural relations”, because we have made sex about more than fulfilling a lust or procreating. Sex, to me, is about two people learning to be one. It is about give and take, sacrifice and dominance, learning to be in control and out of it, giving of yourself and taking of another. That is far more than simply nature, it is a metaphor for all things real and spiritual. It is the dance of creation itself- not because it makes life but because it IS life.
So what is unnatural? Is it unnatural to have sex in a way that doesn’t lead to procreation? Is it a sin to use birth control? Is it a sin when a married and committed couple engage in mutual masturbation or anal sex? Where exactly is the line between natural and unnatural? Is the only holy sex that which is done in the dark with socks still on and both feeling a little embarrassed afterwards?
Shush has a really beautiful way of putting how we approach sex as a society. In many ways we are socialized to feel shame about our bodies, and sex involves expressing our bodies a most intimate and messy way. Breaking through that socially induced fear and experiencing sex as the “dance of creation” is, I think, a vital part of experiencing a full and healthy life. It is also central to the worldview that validates rather than punishes the sexual act, and accepts different expressions of it between two consenting adults.
The spiritual path is one that teaches one to overcome and eventually eliminate fear. It should never, ever instill new fears and anxieties. As a society we might take a good hard look at what the politics of sexual fear and shame that crops up in organized religion does for us, and what it takes away. Upon inspection we won’t find an equal trade.
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tagged: Fear, Gay, Love, Philosophy, Politics, Religion, Rhetoric, Sex, Spirituality | Comments Off on Natural Relations and Fear