Caroline Hax writes an advice column for the Washington Post, accompanied by the work of “relationship cartoonist” Nick Galifianakis. In this particular article, a child's grandmother asks for advice on how to remedy her lack of girlish interests. Hax provides a wonderful response illustrating how arbitrary the lines we draw around gender really are and the importance of accepting each person as is - especially when the majority of society will not.
I've been thinking about this for a while, but it smacked me in the face just now so I'd like to ask all of you what you think.
A couple of years ago a group of television and radio folk successfully lobbied the FCC to allow them to say "bitch" on air.
No "mature content" warnings or apologies needed. They can just say bitch any time they want.
No black crayons for princesses! Even your outlines must be princess-colored! No green either – too bad if you wanted to draw trees. Boys, don’t you dare press too lightly with that red, that would defeat the purpose of denying you pink.
(It also strikes me how many products geared to boys are themed with an object –trucks, cars, trains, etc – and girls’ are a “character” such as a princess. We tell boys what they should like and we tell girls who they should be.)
Kudos, however, to Crayola, for not gendering any of their crayon offerings. The closest they come is the font for glitter crayons, but it’s still the most-gender neutral packaging for something glittery that I’ve come across. Even their pink-tone collection features an un-gendered crayon mascot (and pink is only one of many color collections).
Unfortunately the same can’t be said for ALL their product lines. To save you the trouble, there is no “boys activities” section of the website. (you can enter in http://www.crayola.com/products/boys-activities/ manually and it directs you to ALL products)
In light of the open call for submissions for Smut Peddler 2014 (A lady-made collection of comic erotica – buy the previous version), I thought I would do another post about sexy comics. Last time I told you my favorites, now I’ll elaborate on why they are awesome, and include some more.
Several months ago, inspired by comics of this sort, I decided I wanted to create a sex-positive webcomic. As a scientist and feminist, I saw it as an opportunity to challenge the stereotypical sexlessness of both groups in a fun way. My first order of business was to hone my drawing skills: I have art and illustration experience but am nowhere close to a pro. So it began.
Early on, I was confronted with the question “what makes a drawing sexy?” Is it the shapes of bodies? The acts depicted? The expressions on the faces? The story? The dialogue? The onomatopoeia?
The short answer is “all of the above”, but the real answer is “it’s complicated”. First, lets talk about bodies. I struggled with how I wanted to style bodies in my work – most of the training I had was in life drawing, so I was used to realistic proportions. In most mainstream comics, female bodies are idealized to the extreme: perkiness levels unachievable without silicone, waists too small to fit intestines, any and all fat isolated to the butt and breasts.
A search for more diverse representations of body type led me to explore the world of independent erotic comics. This taught me two important things:
1) I have a long way to go, skill-wise, before I will be able to create anything nearly as creative and sexy as what is out there. Therefore, a polished webcomic from me is not imminent, but I will post sketches as I continue to practice.
2) Once you move away from mainstream “sexy” body types (for both women and men), it becomes clear how important all the senses are to sexual experience. The hottest erotica excels at going beyond visual stimulation.
When I say this, I don’t mean “I’m female so I like a convincing story and emotions” (an overused simplification that hardly describes what women like). I mean touch, taste, sound, smell and the secondary senses. How does an artist convey all of that when she only has our eyes at her disposal? Naturally, our brains are good at associating visuals with other desirable feelings. The most talented artists make it easy for our cranium to connect with our clitoris. Part of this is by depicting real world sex and not just being an illustrated version of mainstream video porn.
Ever notice that people sweat and make incomprehensible noises when they have great sex? Josh Lesnick has.
How about skin’s elasticity? Breasts squish and lips stretch, and Trudy Cooper knows it.
Unsurprisingly, sexy isn’t about plastic people getting poked and prodded. The best erotica pays attention to detail and doesn’t always feature anatomy conforming to the Grecian Ideal. And that’s a good thing.
This week the NY Times will have five articles by and about women in philosophy. Sally's is a great beginning. A sample:
With these numbers, you don’t need sexual harassment or racial harassment to prevent women and minorities from succeeding, for alienation, loneliness, implicit bias, stereotype threat, microaggression, and outright discrimination will do the job. But in a world of such small numbers, harassment and bullying is easy.
Guest Post by Dana Hunter (originally published on En Tequila Es Verdad at FreeThought Blogs)
Men, even good men, believe women lie about rape. There’s this myth that runs amok saying that some enormous proportion of rape accusations are just women lying to get attention, or revenge, or to hide their summer fling from mommy and daddy. And they believe it without question.
My youngest daughter is a bit of a nudist.
And now that she's no longer a toddler, she's a little (okay, a lot) pissed off at the idea that she has to wear a shirt places that her male counterparts don't.
After all, she's just a kid. She doesn't have breasts any more than her similarly aged male counterparts do.
Because I spent this morning at my desk indulging in page after page of pro-gender-equality journalism (don’t tell my boss), I thought I would at least share some of it!
It started with this one (thanks facebook friends):
All the Selfish Reasons to be a Male Feminist
‘Twilight’ vs. ‘Hunger Games’: Why Do So Many Grown-Ups Hate Bella?
(interesting, though I’ve watched neither)
And more… but those are the ones I wanted to share.
Bye for now!
I'll start by saying I'm a pro-porn feminist, and I watch a hell of a lot of it. That doesn't mean that I don't have issues with mainstream porn, like unrealistic expectations about sexual performance, body types and lack of diversity, to name a few, but I appreciate sexual expression and what it can teach us about our own pleasure. I also believe that the sexual repression of women has enforced a lot of fucked up ideas about what female desire is supposed to look like (ie.
From Happy Feminism:
“The question then is: why isn’t it as offensive to call an adult woman a “girl” as it is to call an adult male a “boy.” Is it just because women have accepted a lower position in society or does the term “girl” just not carry the same negativity associated with the term “boy”?
Regardless of which word you use, it’s important to know the impact of your words. Each word categorizes its subject with a fixed meaning, so it is crucial that our words categorizing people maintain equality.”
Why the difference?
Girl 2.(b) sometimes offensive: a female servant
Boy 1. often offensive: a male servant