Tag Archives | Women

New Study Provides “Confirmation for Stereotypes About Sex-Hungry Males and Naïve Females”

Picture: Oliver Abels (CC)

Harry: … men and women can’t be friends because the sex part always gets in the way.

Sally: That’s not true. I have a number of men friends and there is no sex involved.

Irritating rom-com, When Harry Met Sally, may have been on the money as regards the age old question of platonic relationships between men and women. Scientific American reports that, according to new research, men see their women friends as potential conquests:

researchers brought 88 pairs of undergraduate opposite-sex friends into…a science lab.  Privacy was paramount—for example, imagine the fallout if two friends learned that one—and only one—had unspoken romantic feelings for the other throughout their relationship.  In order to ensure honest responses, the researchers not only followed standard protocols regarding anonymity and confidentiality, but also required both friends to agree—verbally, and in front of each other—to refrain from discussing the study, even after they had left the testing facility.

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African Women Start Sex Strike To Force President Out

Don’t mess with African women! BBC News reports on the sex strike in Togo:

Women in Togo have been urged to abstain from sex for a week from Monday to push their demand for reform.

The ban has been called by opposition coalition Let’s Save Togo, made up of nine civil society groups and seven opposition parties and movements.

Opposition leader Isabelle Ameganvi said that sex could be a “weapon of the battle” to achieve political change.

The coalition wants President Faure Gnassingbe, whose family has held power for decades, to stand down.

“We have many means to oblige men to understand what women want in Togo,” Ms Ameganvi, leader of the women’s wing of the coalition, told the BBC.

She said she had been inspired by a similar strike by Liberian women in 2003, who used a sex strike to campaign for peace.

“If men refuse to hear our cries we will hold another demonstration that will be more powerful than a sex strike,” she added…

[continues at BBC News]… Read the rest

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A Radical History Of Mothers’ Day

Julia Ward Howe

Julia Ward Howe

Here’s wishing all the disinfomoms in America (it’s not Mothers’ Day in most other countries) a happy day, but of course you’ll want to know the alternative scoop, provided by Laura Kacere for Nations of Change:

There’s a good number of us who question holidays like Mother’s Day in which you spend more time feeding money into a system that exploits our love for our mothers than actually celebrating them. It’s not unlike any other holiday in America in that its complete commercialization has stripped away so much of its genuine meaning, as well its history. Mother’s Day is unique in its completely radical and totally feminist history, as much as it has been forgotten.

Mother’s Day began in America in 1870 when Julia Ward Howe wrote the Mother’s Day Proclamation. Written in response to the American Civil War and the Franco-Prussian War, her proclamation called on women to use their position as mothers to influence society in fighting for an end to all wars.

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Can Porn Be Feminist?

Feminist PornMaura Kelly, reporting on the Feminist Porn awards, from the Daily Beast:

To kick off the annual Feminist Porn Awards on Wednesday night, adult filmmaker Buck Angel screened his documentary Sexing the Transman XXX to a cheering crowd at a University of Toronto lecture hall. In the movie, Angel talks to female-to-male transsexuals, like himself, about their sex-change experiences. Then he films them masturbating, with and without dildos.

Welcome to feminist pornography, a genre of sex films designed to appeal to people who feel put off by mainstream porn. In the world of feminist porn, women come in all shapes, sizes, and sexual orientations. The actresses don’t necessarily conform to the typical big-boobed, tiny-waisted ideal; some sport armpit hair. They look more like the average woman walking down the street or standing in line at Whole Foods than “porn stars.”

Angel’s documentary is one of 41 films from eight countries being celebrated at the annual awards event, which features several days of screenings and presentations, including an awards ceremony, held last night.

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Sex, Lies & Media: New Wave of Activists Challenge Notions of Beauty

Miss RepresentationEmanuella Grinberg writes on CNN:

Here’s the fantasy: A half-naked woman lies across a couch, lips pouty and cleavage prominent as her sultry gaze implores you to buy this bottle of perfume.

The reality: Women make up 51% of the United States yet only 17% of seats in the House of Representatives. They’re 3% of Fortune 500 CEOs and 7% of directors in the top 250 grossing films.

What’s the connection? We live in a sexualized society where the gap between fantasy and reality is vast and harmful, director and activist Jennifer Siebel-Newsom says. “Women are aspiring to do great things in leadership, yet the glass ceiling is still there because of the way media depict women,” Siebel-Newsom said. “It influences our culture and dictates our gender norms and values.”

Siebel-Newsom’s documentary, Miss Representation, is the latest cinematic foray in the movement to challenge portrayals of beauty in “the media,” a term used to describe all forms of mass communication, from the internet, TV, film, magazines, radio and advertising …

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The Success Myth And The Female Gaze

Noah Brand

Noah Brand

Noah Brand, a mysterious figure with a very nice hat, tells of his greatest professional failure, explains his theory of “The Success Myth,” and introduces the idea of the female gaze, for the Good Men Project:

The masculine equivalent to what Naomi Wolf called The Beauty Myth is The Success Myth. In Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Marilyn Monroe said, “A man being rich is like a girl being pretty” and everyone nodded their head, recognizing and endorsing the sentiment. When a rich guy marries a slim young “trophy wife” we all nod our heads again, recognizing that, like it or not, this is a match of two high-value people, a conventionally-successful man and a conventionally-beautiful woman. It would take way too long to get into all the horrible things that arise out of these paired myths, from “gold-digger” stereotypes to men who kill themselves for being “failures”; for now let’s just talk about the idea that men can’t be considered attractive.

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Santorum Denegrates Sexual Morals of 99% of Women Between Ages of 15 and 44

The women in Rick Santorum's life: wife Karen and daughter Sarah Maria. Photo: Gage Skidmore (CC)

The women in Rick Santorum's life: wife Karen and daughter Sarah Maria. Photo: Gage Skidmore (CC)

Rick Santorum doesn’t like the way you have sex. Dan Amira explains at New York Mag’s Daily Intel:

When it comes to the life choices married women make, Rick Santorum does his best to portray himself as a crusader for tolerance. A passage in his 2005 book It Takes a Family — supposedly co-authored by his wife, although we have our doubts — famously blames “radical feminists” for shaming women who decide to raise their children full-time instead of pursuing a career. “All I’m saying is both decisions should be applauded and affirmed, based on the choice the woman wants to make,” he said in a primary debate last year. “That’s the point I made in the book.”

But Santorum has no problem calling out married women (and married men, and unmarried people of both genders) who make choices in their private sexual lives that Santorum doesn’t personally agree with.

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Universe’s Biggest Mystery: Women

Stephen_Hawking

According to British scientist Stephen Hawking, anyway. From Reuters:

The biggest mystery in the universe perplexing one of the world’s best known scientists is — women.

When New Scientist magazine asked “Brief History of Time” author Stephen Hawking what he thinks about most, the Cambridge University professor renowned for unraveling some of the most complex questions in modern physics answered: “Women. They are a complete mystery.”…

[continues at Reuters]

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The Glaring Omissions Of iPhone’s Siri

Apple’s new iPhone 4S has made waves for its voice-commanded virtual assistant, personified as “Siri”. However, users have noticed that Siri seems to have a blackout concerning certain topics — is Apple pandering to the Christian Right? Via Amadi Talks:

The recent illustrations of Siri, the iPhone 4S voice-recognition based assistant, failing to provide information to users about abortion, birth control, help after rape and help with domestic violence has gotten a lot of notice.

Siri can answer a lot of health related questions perfectly well, why shouldn’t we expect it to be able to answer reproductive health related queries too? Why treat reproductive health as a walled-off garden that the general public can’t or shouldn’t be exposed to?

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Thai Elects Yingluck Shinawatra As First Female PM

yingThai lawmakers have voted in their first female prime minister, Yingluck Shinawatra, whose political career began just a few months ago. The Bangkok Post reports:

Pheu Thai Party list MP Yingluck Shinawatra was elected Thailand’s 28th prime minister by a majority vote in the House of Representatives on Friday morning.

A total of 296 MPs voted in support of Ms Yingluck, the country’s first female prime minister, while three Democrat MPs voted against her, with 197 abstentions – including Ms Yingluck, the new speaker and one of his deputies, and most members of the main opposition parties, the Democrat and Bhumjaithai parties, and the four members of the Rak Thailand Party led by Chuvit Kamolvisit.

The three Democrat lawmakers who voted against Ms Yingluck were Boonyod Sukthinthai, Watchara Phetthong and Attaporn Ponlaboot.

The four MPs who did not attend the House meeting today were Ratchadaporn Kaewsanit, Khanchit Thapsuwan, Yukol Chanawatpanya and Sathit Pitutaecha, all Democrats.

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