Let’s Change the Subject: Sex

I hung out with my guy friends this weekend and we talked a lot about the difference between men and women when it comes to expectations regarding sex. The conversations boiled down to the pressures they faced when it comes to discussing their sexual relationships opposed to mine. I noticed that at times they were uncomfortable when I talked about sexual relationships and it made me think about the taboo that surrounds women expressing their sexuality.

I thought we could discuss our experiences with having these personal conversations with men and how they react to what is being said.


Shrinking Women

My mom showed this video to me over the weekend, and I thought it was pretty interesting.

Matt Forney

Wow. I am truly disgusted. Never have I ever cussed at my computer screen. And after having read “The Case Against Female Self-Esteem” I can honestly say I have never encountered such sexism before in my life.

And while I firmly believe that all of what he said is garbage, and he is a misogynist to the EXTREME, I also could understand itty bitty microscopic pieces of reason. And the only part is this; I think it is important for women to be vulnerable sometimes. And the way he argues it is 125% wrong. He says confident women have nothing to be confident about and secretly want to be dominated or praised and I think that is the biggest load of crap I have ever heard. However, I will say this. Vulnerability is one of the most beautiful aspects of HUMANITY. And it is associated with women, because women are usually the ones more emotionally in touch with their inner selves. It is also more socially acceptable for women to be vulnerable and insecure. That being said; men are just as insecure if not more so than women. Remember the “man box”? All that pressure to be strong, the protector, the one who is always brave and has it together. That is a lot of pressure for any human. And after having dated my boyfriend for 13 months I can easily say my being vulnerable, has allowed him to trust me more, respect me more, and has reassured him that its okay to be insecure; to want reassurances, to open yourself to people. He has been more open with me than any other person. And I think that as a woman, my vulnerability is a thing of beauty, that helps me relate to others. And Matt kinda maybe sorta touched on how female vulnerability enables men to feel manly. Which is great. WOOHOO. But no real “man” let alone any person should feel good about themselves at the expense of another person’s self worth. And that is my rant for the night.

How the Ideal Women’s Body Shape Has Changed

How the Ideal Women’s Body Shape Has Changed

I know this is a crazy busy week for everyone, but if you have the chance I strongly recommend you check out this blog post! It sums up a lot of what we’ve been talking about in class, and although its not as professional as some other sources I think it’s great that it shows women from around the country are recognizing the same issues that we are. Three keys points I want to highlight are 1) The differences in what was considered a woman’s ideal body throughout the last century 2) what the actual BMI was for an average American woman at each of these times and 3) the issue of the ’20s and ’60s not fitting with the trend.. Just because it wasn’t in the main part of the article I want to expand a little on the third point. The hypothesis of the author is that women in these decades had made great gain for women, and because they were trying to move forward from the idea that women were only the homemakers and child bearers did not want to be seen in the light of large breasts and wide hips.

Real Beauty

Real Beauty

So this article includes a petition to the U.S. Government regarding digitally altered images of the human body. A girl is trying to get people to sign a petition that states there should be a law requiring digitally altered images of the human body to be clearly labeled. These unattainable bodies we see in the media cause people to have eating disorders and struggle with their weight.  Young girls and women across the globe are constantly comparing themselves to models in magazines, bill-boards, etc. If these images were required to be labeled we would all understand that the images aren’t technically real. I believe this law should be passed because it’s important people know what real beauty is.

P.S. The video included in the article is really interesting. Give it a go if you have time! Happy midterms everyone!

Are our perspectives really that different?

Today, my learning community went on an outing in Forest Park. It was just the usual shenannigans of the bunch until about halfway through, a few minutes after everyone got their free Chipotle. A woman came off the bike/walk path and started walking towards our group. At first I thought she was just passing through, trying to take a shortcut, and smiled and nodded at her as I would when I saw any other older black woman, as I feel I can relate to them. I was going back to my burrito when I noticed she was hanging around a bit longer than expected. She was looking, (although others in my group used the word staring), at us, hovering around us, (others used creeping), and the majority, okay the lot of us felt uncomfortable. (Others because they felt she was being really creepy and suspicious, and me because I just wished she would’ve said something or explained why she was hanging around us.)

After a few more seconds, my RA spoke up to her, saying hello. The woman asked what our group was doing, and my RA said something along the lines of “Our learning community is just enjoying a nice day in the park/taking a break together/etc.” The woman says that it’s nice and shows her approval by nodding, especially when my RA brings up that we’re going to college at SLU. Without any further questioning, the woman continues, saying that she’s actually trying to “get back into [it/that],” (she probably meant college/education), and that she’s writing a thesis on bonding, that she’s observing our group bonding. She sticks around for another minute at the most, casually talking about bonding while mostly trying to “observe.”

As soon as she leaves, about half of the group voices how they felt suspicious of her. They said she couldn’t have been writing a thesis because she didn’t have a notebook on her, that she was just legitimately creeping on everyone. I said nothing, didn’t laugh, and tried to focus on my burrito Upon the second or third time the lady was brought up, my room addressed that she maybe didn’t have a notebook because she was out exercising, (which she was obviously doing both before and after she stopped by to “observe” our group), and wasn’t out to observe or collect information. The others acknowledged this suggestion, but quickly brushed it off, continuing with their opinions she was in fact creeping on us.

It might have been the black female in me that made me sympathize–okay, it most likely was–with this woman. I couldn’t help but wonder if she wasn’t a black woman, but instead was a white woman that wasn’t “thick,” didn’t have the smaller afro she had, didn’t speak the way she did, (not ghetto, but not “white” either), etc., would she have been accepted and not been accused of “creeping?” She might have, but not to the extent that my floormates made it.

I’m not saying this to accuse my floormates of racism, but to point out subtle judgments based on stereotypes that we subconsciously apply to the world around us. Also, I understand that I may seem like I’m taking it to an extreme, but I am very sensitive to other black women. I can’t help it as this is one of the topics I am most passionate about.

The Case Against Female Self-Esteem

The Case Against Female Self-Esteem

This is an article written by Matt Forney and it is one of the worst things I’ve ever read.  It is like the title says, his argument for why self confident women are detrimental to society. If you decide to read this get ready, it made me so angry I was yelling at my computer.  His main points are basically that women have done nothing to deserve self esteem, that feminism is a lie and that women really need men and want men to do everything for them they’ve just been lead astray, and he ends with this gem “They want to be collectively led back to the kitchen, told to make a nice big tuna sandwich with extra mayo and lettuce, then swatted on the ass as we walk out the door.”  There are no words really to describe how awful this article really is.  I even read through some of the comments and found out that he deletes comments that disagree with his points. Sorry but I had to share this with all of you.

Gender-blurring fashion

Gender-blurring fashion

This is one of my favourite androgynous models, Omahyra Mota. I really love the concept of androgynous modeling, but I draw my line when it’s for clothing that makes it almost impossible for women with curves to pull off, like Andrej Pejic’s modeling for women’s clothing.