Tag Archives: condoms

Long Time No Talk! Some new stuff…

I’ve been thinking a lot about Matilda lately. You remember Matildaright? The Roald Dahl masterpiece about a tiny girl with terrible parents who can magically move things with her mind? [SPOILER ALERT, though seriously, this book is 26 years old so you probably would have read it if you were going to read it] At the end, when Matilda finally gets some quality education, from Miss Honey instead of the evil Miss Trunchbull, her magical powers go away. When she finally puts her brain to some serious learning, she doesn’t have all the extra mental energy to move salt shakers across the table.

I have a new job and I feel like Matilda when her powers vanished. A little bit bereft, but mostly thrilled to be fully engaged by the thing that I theoretically am supposed to spend so much of my time doing. I had…ahem… outgrown my previous role, and I was directing all my mental energy towards writing, blogging, and communicating with you fine people of the Interwebz.

I hope that explains a bit about my recent absence. I’m planning to continue writing and posting as much as is feasible, because I love it and it’s good practice, but if it looked like I was using magical powers to produce content before, know that it was only a Matilda situation.

That said, I’ve written a few things lately that you should read. This week, I wrote about the douchery of dudes who try to avoid wearing condoms through pressure, guilt-tripping, shaming or old-fashioned TRICKERY. I got SO many stories from people who have experienced this terrible phenomenon. On the bright side, I learned a new term, “micro-consents,” which references all the many other “yeses” we say after the initial “yes” that help us continually stay on the same page as our partners re things like protection and preferences.

To_The_Men_Who_Try_To_Have_Condom-Free_Sex___Role_Reboot

Speaking of new jobs… I got this job I’m doing now through an all-lady, invite-only Facebook group. For a split-second I felt guilty about “taking advantage” of this “exclusive” network, but then I was all like, OH RIGHT OLD BOYS CLUBS HAVE BEEN AROUND FOR EVER. Two weeks ago, I wrote about the specific values of all-lady spaces:

Why_Women-Only_Spaces_Are_Not_Sexist___Role_Reboot

Lastly, if you didn’t catch my segment on The Morning AMp a couple of weeks ago, listen to me, Molly Adams, and Brian Babylon chat about Mt. Holyoke’s new policy about transgender students, the new “normal” family, and other fun stuff.

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What if it were an 18-year-old female pop star talking about her sex life?

Remember that plug in Jailbreak the Patriarchy? It’s been too long since we gender swapped the internet, don’t you think?

A few weeks ago, Harry Styles, the 18-year-old member of the pipsqueak band One Direction, was interviewed by OK about his sexual history. He speaks quite candidly his safe sex habits and about how the first time he had sex, he was “terrified” that he might have gotten his partner pregnant (even though they used condoms).

Generally, I think it’s none of my business who celebrities are having sex with or how, but if we’re going to talk about it, I kind of love Styles for talking about it like this. It’s matter of fact, it’s honest, and it reinforces the idea that safe sex can be sexy (at least as sexy as mop-topped teenagers). But just take a minute and imagine the reaction if an 18-year-old female pop star spoke in exactly the same way. Genderswapping in 3, 2, 1….

“She is a bona fide heartthrob with all the male attention any young woman could want. But Harry Styles has revealed that she was not always that confident or experienced with men. The One Direction star has revealed how after the first time she had sex she was terrified she may have gotten pregnant. Speaking to OK! magazine, she said: ‘The first time I had sex, I was scared I got pregnant. And that was despite the fact we were safe. Luckily, we were fine.”

Harry, 18, has built up a reputation as quite a manizer but despite the many rumours she admitted that she always practices safe sex. She told the magazine: ‘I would never risk not [having him] wear a condom, it’s too much of a risk. If you’re not ready for a child, then don’t risk it.”

Can you ever imagine reading that about Selena Gomez or Demi Lovato? Even from the mouth of a 25-year-old actress I would floored to see such sexual candor in print. Here’s what jumps out to me:

  • “Having all the male attention she could want” – Women are expected to shy away from attention, to minimize it, or at least pretend it’s not what they’re seeking. It’s completely acceptable for a male pop star to admit that he enjoys it.
  • “Being experienced with men.” – How many people read this and kind of smirked. “Experienced with men” is code for slutty, right? If a woman were to claim that she was experienced, especially a teenager, she would absolutely pilloried for setting a horrifying example for her fans.
  • “Manizer.” – Ha. Genderswap doesn’t even have a word for this. You know why? It’s because a “manizer” is another code word for “slut.”
  • Safety – When a 18-year-old guy swears by prophylactics, he’s a responsible, stand-up guy (and seriously, if he’s telling the truth, good for him!). If an 18-year-old girl swears by contraception, she gets Sandra Fluked (who, by the way, is 31).

The goal here is not to berate Styles for being sexually active or to idolize him for his avowed commitment to condoms. The point here is to acknowledge how differently we treat burgeoning sexuality among teenaged boys and girls.

Related Post: Genderswapping the Marissa Mayer Yahoo announcement.

Related Post: The week in feminism, Taylor Swift and more.

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Sunday Scraps 68

1. PROTECTION: A love story, told from the point of view of a condom (The New Yorker).

2. GUNS: In the wake of Aurora, comedian Jason Alexander lets loose on our gun policies. Handgun for protection? Okay fine. Rifle for hunting? Okay fine. Assault rifle? Cop killer? What’s wrong with us? (Salon).

3. POLITICS: GQ reporter Jason Zengerle undergoes the extensive vice presidential vetting process just to see what it’s like. What I learned: I will never be vice president.

4. SOCCER: Hope Solo, Olympic golden girl, has a complicated history. She’s brash, blunt, and funny in this Daily Beast profile. I’m sold.

5. ECONOMICS: John Scalzi writes on Whatever about everything he’s built, how he got there, and who helped him along the way. I believe that we all have these stories.

6. TWENTIES: Blogger Emma Koenig just signed a book deal for her comic Tumblr, Fuck I’m in my 20s. Warning: May hit close to home.

Related Post: Sunday 67The Wire in Legos, models without make-up, hyphen boy meets hyphen girl

Related Post: Sunday 66 – Nancy Pelosi, dying languages, 5-year-old hairdressers

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Filed under Art, Gender, Hollywood, Media, Politics, Really Good Writing by Other People, Sex, Sports

Sunday Scraps Week 3

1. TELEVISION: The Wire, reimagined as a Dickensian serialized novel. Kind of trippy, but way fun….if you know anything about The Wire… and Dickens.

2. MEDIA: Letter to Good Morning America about Chris Brown’s antics… and their less-than-adequate response. He broke a window, they wish him the “absolute best.”

3. SEX IN THE OLDEN DAYS: Gallery of vintage condom wrappers, back when they came in classy paper envelopes.

4. YOUTH: WBEZ story about a Chicago organization redefining masculinity for a generation lacking examples.

5. CLEVELAND: On the scene in Cleveland: “I did it with my teacher 25 years ago. I knew how to keep my mouth shut, and I got straight A’s. I hope this jackass gets the failing grades he deserves.”

6. ROSIE: Soap + Rosie = Oh Thank God

Related Post: Sunday Week 2

Related Post: Sunday Week 1

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Filed under Chicago, Education, Hollywood, Media, Sex