Sex As A Universal Human Right

If you haven’t already perused the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, it’s worth a look. You might be surprised at the things you find there… as well as the things you don’t find. See, I’m beginning to think that sex should be added to the list. It’s already somewhat implied, between the articles about everyone having the right to life, liberty, and the security of personhood and the ones about having the right to have a family and take part in the artistic, moral, and intellectual cultures that surround them. Continue Reading →

Treat Yourself For Valentine’s Day

Instead of a list of some (probably great) gift ideas for a special sweetie or a post about trying to not feel lonely this Valentine’s Day, why not consider spending some quality time with one of the best people in your life – you! Spend a half an hour spoiling yourself or a whole day. So many people i know spend hours a day trying to please everyone around them that they don’t take time for themselves. This Valentine’s Day, I urge you to take some quality time out for you. Think about what makes you feel nice and appreciate yourself – whether it’s a nice bath while reading a magazine, eating crackers in bed, or even some self loving. Continue Reading →

Implications Of The Net Neutrality Ruling For Sex Education

If you haven’t heard much about what the U.S. Court of Appeals ruled on net neutrality recently, this New York Times blog provides a clear run-through of the ruling. Basically, the ruling states that internet service providers (like Verizon) are not required to handle all internet traffic equally. Internet content creators can pay the service providers to move their content through the channels more quickly, thus providing preferential treatment to those internet content providers who have more money. The implications of this for sex education – and for the internet world of sex in general – are disturbing. If certain sites are loading faster, that might dissuade internet users to go out of their way to find other sites. Continue Reading →

Why Beyoncé is My New Favorite Feminist

Ashamed as I may be to admit it, I was a little late on the Queen Bey train. Okay, so maybe more than a little late. Her most recent self-titled visual album is the first one I’ve ever listened to from start to finish. And I’m so glad that I did. With the recent media frenzy over the “respectability” of young pop icons (hello, Miley), I’ve been thinking a lot about powerful female icons that I’d be happy to see my future children idolize. Continue Reading →

Booth Babes: Bad For Business?

For those not familiar with booth babes, they are attractive women hired to draw a crowd at technology conferences, gaming conventions, and other tech- or geek-oriented events where there’s money to be made. Many people decry this practice as another instance of misogyny in the predominantly masculine tech cultures of contemporary times. However, a recent industry test determined that booth babes aren’t ultimately that great for business. They don’t generate more foot traffic or more revenue at tech conventions than more experienced, more covered-up female vendors. Perhaps tech/geek culture is changing, or perhaps the stereotype leveled against it that geeky guys prefer their women objectified is an oversimplification. Continue Reading →

A Politician Implies That All Military Men Are Potential Rapists

You may not be a single-issue voter, but surely it’s worth noting when a politician characterizes rape as inevitable, and further describes it in ways that makes it seem like he expects rape in the military to continue happening. GOP Congressional candidate and current Virginia senator Richard Black has called military rape “as predictable as human nature.” He further commented: “Think of yourself at 25…Wouldn’t you love to have a group of 19-year-old girls under your control, day in, day out?” His implied “you” addresses a male audience, hinting that all men are incapable of resisting the power dynamic of having young women around them in a hierarchy and will inevitably give in to temptation and rape someone. I don’t know about you, but I’d be pretty mad if someone implied that I was a probable rapist. Continue Reading →

No Relationship Model Is One-Size-Fits-All

As I’ve blogged about before, queer and poly relationships actually have a lot of communication strategies to offer straight, monogamous, and vanilla relationships (not to mention the fact that a world where every kind of relationship is not only tolerated but also accepted is a better world for everyone). In a similar vein, Ferrett Steinmetz’s blog post There Is No Okay In Poly does, despite the title, apply to monogamous relationships as well. The post came out of the “Is this okay to do in poly?” questions that the author got tired of hearing, leading him to write of relationship models: “Maybe you select something off the rack at first, but the end goal is to not emulate some other happy couple, but to become one yourself.” In other words, no two relationships are (or should be) the same. Continue Reading →

Decoding Trans-With-A-Star

Perhaps you’ve seen the word trans* tossed around on the internet, and perhaps not. Either way, it’s good to be aware that it’s not a typo, but rather, as this Slate article explains, a more inclusive way of referring to identities that transcend the gender binary. This linguistic convention borrows from computer coding: “the asterisk stems from common computing usage wherein it represents a wildcard—any number of other characters attached to the original prefix.” So rather than having to explain that one is attempting to be inclusive of transsexual, transgender, and genderqueer people, one could simply say trans* to refer to the spectrum of non-cisgendered identities. Good to know, right? Continue Reading →

Understanding “White Feminism”

Depending on how much of the online discussion about feminism you follow, you might’ve run across the term “white feminism.” Batty Mamzelle gives a great description of the term here, explaining that it doesn’t just describe feminists who happen to be white. Rather, it’s “a specific set of single-issue, non-intersectional, superficial feminist practices…that doesn’t consider race as a factor in the struggle for equality.” The post also suggests that when white feminists feel affronted by the term, and want to enter discussions saying “please recognize that I’m not like those other white feminists,” they should remember what it feels like to try to discuss feminism with men who say, “but I’m not one of those men who benefits from male privilege.” It’s totally frustrating to have someone miss the point of a systemic critique of oppression, right? Continue Reading →

Clearing Up Misconceptions About Trans Women

This blog about myths and misconceptions about trans women, in parts one and two, resolves some fundamental misunderstandings about transgender women. One of my favorite (and by favorite I mean annoyingly common) misconceptions is that transgender people are simply reinforcing stereotypical gender norms. In fact, this view is a typical conflation of gender identity (an internally experienced reality) and gender expression (how one behaves/displays that identity). Even cis-gendered folks usually don’t have a perfect one-to-one correlation between these facets of how gender corresponds to biological sex (which is itself a complicated matter, nowhere near as binary as we make it out to be). I’d urge everyone to read up on these issues so that we can be more informed about the complexity of gender, sex, and sexuality, as well as less ignorant about the lives of those who conform less to these standards. Continue Reading →