October 22, 2009
Hey, kids! Sex is natural, sex is good! Use condoms! Masturbate! Hooray!
The federal government spent 206 million dollars on abstinence-only-until-marriage programs during 2006. Oklahoma received $690,342 for fiscal year 2005. Yet, as many of us know and the statistics show, not all teenagers are abstaining. In 2005, 48% of Oklahoma female high school students and 50% of male high school students admitted to having sex. These numbers clearly show that our teens are having sex, and now is not the time to turn a blind eye. We must arm our children with the knowledge and tools needed to prevent those who do have sex from unwanted pregnancies as well as contracting Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs).
Oklahoma schools are not required to teach sex education but must teach HIV/AIDS prevention. Many school districts who decide to teach sex education do so by teaching an abstinence-only-until-marriage curriculum. This curriculum gives medically inaccurate and biased information about the benefits of abstinence; it gives little or no instruction to those who do have sex about birth control and STD prevention. Young adults under the age of 25 are contracting the HIV virus an alarming rate.
Nationally and locally, we have seen a decline in the number of teen pregnancies, yet Oklahoma still ranks in the top ten. If we are teaching any sex education at all, we are teaching our students to wait until marriage, yet almost half of our students have had sex. So the message on which are spending millions of dollars, is not as effective as it should be. We need to know what our children are learning about sex, and we need to insist that a comprehensive sexuality education curriculum be taught.
Would you like to know more about sex in Oklahoma? Sex, Etc., provides a rundown.
Oh, and this NOT-heteronormative, pro-masturbation, safe-sex promotin’, educational video (audio only) is fabulous. I wish all pre-teens could listen to it. Ladies, “[T]he space between your legs is a LOT more than just a big black hole, although that’s what it can feel like when you’ve been given no information about your reproductive and pleasure organs.” Anatomy lessons, tips for masturbating, ideas for safe heavy petting, explanations and normalizing statements about the different kinds of sex one can have with a partner, erotic zone locations, etc. There’s some goofy M alliteration at the beginning of the podcast, but the talk becomes little more sophisticated as it goes on… until you get to the part where they tell dudes how to be prepared for safe sex… in a drill seargent’s voice… Anyway…
Yay, orgasms! Yay, knowing your body! Yay, marital sex and non-marital sex! The speakers also discuss emotional consequences, STIs, and the problem(s) of teen pregnancy. They promote “hand-sex” or mutual masturbation in particular and describe how to do it effectively; also, they talk about oral sex and anal stimulation with a male or with a female, pointing out that oral sex and sex in general are not “bad” or “good” acts but are normal. The speakers talk about the issue of virginity and how the choice to have sex is YOURS, not your church’s, not your parents’, not your friends’. It’s all about preparation and smart decisions and PLEASURE, suggest the speakers. Last, the speakers talk to people with penises and then people with vulvas about how to be a responsible sexually active person, including how to masturbate with a condom on and how to make a visit to the gyno, respectively. I wish they’d included a little more about the connection of the abortion debate to the sex ed debate, but maybe that would’ve been a bit much for one video. Maybe.
I vaguely remember gaining some basic sex ed (no condom practice or anything like that) in junior high and high school biology classes. I pretty much wasn’t told anything in school, officially–no abstinence-only bullshit but also no safe sex training. Everything I learned, I learned from friends or from pornos. What was your sex ed experience like?
Spread the good news,
May 26, 2009
CNN has a good article up about Sotomayor’s nomination by President Obama, “Partisan Confirmation hearings expected for Sotomayor.” Highlights from the article include the following:
*Republicans say they need time to examine record of Obama’s high court nominee
*Conservative group calls Sonia Sotomayor “liberal judicial activist”
*Sotomayor’s confirmation virtually certain in Democratic-majority Senate, analysts say
*Obama has said he wants Sotomayor confirmed before August congressional break
I agree with Tara, who said that Sotomayor is not as left-leaning as she’d prefer the nominee to be but that Sotomayor is still a very exciting possibility.
The National Organization of Women released this earlier today:
NOW Cheers President Obama’s Reported Nomination of Sonia Sotomayor to Supreme Court
Statement of NOW President Kim Gandy
May 26, 2009
This morning we will celebrate, and this afternoon NOW will launch our “Confirm Her” campaign to ensure the swift confirmation of the next Supreme Court Justice.
Nominated to serve as the third woman and first Hispanic on the Supreme Court in the history of the United States, Judge Sotomayor will serve the nation with distinction. She brings a lifelong commitment to equality, justice and opportunity, as well as the respect of her peers, unassailable integrity, and a keen intellect informed by experience. President Obama said he wanted a justice with “towering intellect” and a “common touch” and he found both in Judge Sotomayor.
What more do women want? We want a swift confirmation in the U.S. Senate, and Associate Justice Sotomayor to join Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Court before the Senate’s August recess.
To ask your congresspeople to support Sotomayor, check out NOW’s take-action page over the next couple of days as they launch their “Confirm Her” campaign.
April 9, 2009
Nellie McKay sings a song and plays the ukelele:
April 2, 2009
i love this woman. there is buzz about people wanting to see her as part of The Daily Show, but right now she works at Current TV (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Current_TV). here’s what she has to say about feminism:
–Do you consider yourself a feminist, and if so, what does that mean to you, and what role do you think it plays in your comedy?
To me it means that as women we are individuals before we are gendered people and that we’re not defined by our gender except in the ways we chose to appropriate that definition.
We’re in a weird generation, right? Our Moms were forced to grapple with that definition more immediately, and I think it’s changed as we’ve grown up. The core issue “how do I fight bias against me because of my gender” is still there but has gotten more complicated and wrapped into all kinds of identity issues about how you present yourself as a woman and I pretty much think it’s your choice and fuck pantyhose. So, hence my answer above.
I think all comedians bring their experience and perspective to comment on the world and I am a woman, so that gets involved.
February 22, 2009
what do you think?
should folks who cannot carry and bear children be able to vote on the abortion issue? why or why not?–or to resist binarism, just feel free to not pick a side and say something in general. (personal note: i like to say no, they shouldn’t. not that it would ever happen, but to be essentialist for a tiny minute, i think that men are worried about women having the power to decide to have the baby or not. do people who are not able to grow embryos and feti in their bodies not trust those who are able to do so?)
NOTE: ultimately, to me, this isn’t a men/women issue; it’s a who can bear and who can’t issue. gender is socially defined, not biologically. sex is defined biologically. and sex is as fluid as gender (i love you, trannies!). some men can bear children, and some cannot–same for women. some men would want to, and some wouldn’t–same for women. and yes, it does take an egg and a sperm to make an embryo. however, only one person’s body actually carries the embryo and fetus and bears the infant.
i’m not trying to rile y’all up. just wondering. secondary question: if only people who can carry children decided whether or not abortion was legal/illegal/etc., how would the issue and laws be affected? try not to be heteronormative and also try to re-think gender and sex. have fun!
February 9, 2009
I just couldn’t help myself. I woke up this morning and checked the news, and now I have a new obsession: looking at pictures and video of MIA rapping at the Grammys while pregnant, in fact, on her due date!
Beautiful! This just makes me feel so good about our society. I can’t imagine this happening 50 years ago, probably not even 10 years ago. Smile. Good mommy.
December 25, 2008
okay, so the comments from the last blog inspired me to read up on Feminists for Life, and the reading-up i did got me all hot and bothered. first, some reading:
a fan of foster and FFL: http://standingonshoulders.net/2008/06/05/the-historical-shift-from-pro-life-to-pro-choice-feminism/
opposition to foster and FFL: http://bligbi.com/2007/04/20/my-sister-deserves-better-than-serrin-foster/
the wikipedia entry* for FFL: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feminists_for_Life
*NOTE OF INTEREST: Sarah Palin has been a member of FFL since 2006, according to the wikipedia entry.
SO. i am calling bullshit on FFL. i hypothesize that this group is trying to offer up a watered down and domesticated version of the women’s rights movement and trying to give miseducated, misled women who consider themselves anti-feminists a version of feminism to call their own–in reality, this “version of feminism” is not feminism at all.
it’s as if there were a group of african americans in the 19th century who claimed neither to be for the abolition of slavery nor for racial equality, but simply to be for a world where slaves would be treated fairly by their masters. you cannot get to a world of racial equality without exploding the power structure of master/slave and the inequality inherent to that structure.
how very, very NOT mary wollstonecraft. (FFL claims to be following in wollstonecraft’s footsteps; wollstonecraft would NEVER have advocated a reliance on those in power to take care of those without power. she thought the notion of chivalry was poisonous to women and to men.)
the right to choose is a NECESSARY part of the road to women’s equality.
further, FFL’s mission is built on the following fallacy: being pro-choice is being pro-abortion.
FFL is good neither for gender equality nor for women’s rights. FFL is not feminism. FFL unfairly uses feminist figures and rhetoric. FFL is MORE HARMFUL for women than abortion itself. FFL perpetuates the kind of society that it wants to eradicate. FFL feeds “the root causes that drive women to abortion.” to repeat a comment i made on the last post, “the ultimate goal [of feminism, the women's rights movement] is of course to create a world where abortion would hopefully not be necessary–where all people would be educated about sex, have access to birth control, not have to fear pregnancy by incest or rape, have 100% successful birth control, etc.; HOWEVER, since we do not live in that world yet, abortion should be an option for women with unwanted pregnancies.”
FFL has a very nice website, a 36 year history, and does refer to actual feminists in its literature. FFL *sounds* like a group that is making a good point in a very important conversation. FFL has the potential, as a name, as a basic IDEA, to be something good. the goal of eradicating the need for abortion is a big yes, good, i agree, we all agree, go for it. FFL is no good. the way to eradicate the need for abortion is to keep abortion safe, legal, and (therefore, thereby) rare.
November 7, 2008
Congressman Sullivan’s response to an email I sent him asking him to support HR4054:
Dear Ms. Beam,
Thank you for contacting me regarding H.R. 4054, the Prevention through
Affordable Access Act. I appreciate hearing from you on this important
issue and welcome the opportunity to respond.
H.R. 4054 seeks to nullify a section of the Deficit Reduction Act, which
caused many pharmaceutical companies to stop selling birth control to
schools at reduced prices. Specifically, the bill would allow
pharmaceutical companies to sell birth control at discount rates to
college clinics, and safety net healthcare providers.
I am committed to reducing the number of abortions and protecting the
mental and physical health of American women. I believe abstinence
education is an important part of our fight against sexually transmitted
diseases, unplanned pregnancies, the abortions that ensue, and the
physical and emotional scars. Currently, taxpayer dollars are allotted
to various sex education programs supporting both sides of the
abstinence debate. If a tax dollar can be used to fund “safe sex”
education programs, it should also be applied to abstinence education.
I believe that “safe sex” is not always safe and that our young women
deserve to be fully informed before making decisions that will affect
them for the rest of their life.
As your Representative, I will continue to support fact-based
legislation that benefits the health of American women. Currently, this
bill has been referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.
As a member of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health, I
will keep your concerns in mind.
Again, thank you for contacting me to share your thoughts on this
important issue. It is an honor to serve you in Washington and
Oklahoma. Please do not hesitate to contact me in the future via email
to share concerns that you and your family may have, or please visit my
website at http://sullivan.house.gov <http://sullivan.house.gov/>
Member of Congress
So, this response doesn’t make sense. He’s not supporting cheaper and more accessible birth control because money should be spent on both abstinence and safe sex education? What? What I’m reading here is that he’s not supporting cheaper and more accessible birth control because he thinks that women need to put more thought into having sex? Like making birth control more expensive and less accessible will make people THINK more about their sex decisions? Newsflash: IT DOESN’T. All it does is ensure that more and more couples (homosexual and heterosexual) do not have safe sex–because they are GOING TO HAVE SEX IF THEY FEEL LIKE IT AND YOU CAN’T STOP THEM BY MAKING BIRTH CONTROL LESS AVAILABLE SO FUCK OFF WITH THIS BULLSHIT.
And what is FUCKING WITH the notion that keeping women away from the pill is a good thing? Like we think that just because we’re on the pill that sex without condoms is a great idea. Women who are on the pill know more about STD prevention than most–because you have to get a prescription for it from a GYNO who will inform you about all methods of birth control, what they do, what they don’t do, etc. Making any form of birth control less accessible is just stupid all around.
Besides that, does he even fucking realize that men need birth control, too? This is about everyone who is sexually active or considering being so. God damn. I’m going to start carrying and handing out condoms–they do have cheap ones, 10 for a dollar, at the campus clinic at TU, but they suck. They’re basically like balloons–thickish unlubed material. Yugh. Not enjoyable for either party.
Looks like I’ll be writing Sullivan back soon… once my shit calms down a little…
November 27, 2007
(this is a general “check it out” entry. this woman and her zine look pretty interesting, like something some of us might feel like contributing to. not necessarily a midwest thing, but it’s definitely up our alley, something we can respond to, react to, reflect on, meditate on, expand on, log on to, become one with, experience, tap into, turn on to, and you know, like… yeah… http://www.thef-wordzine.com –beamish)
*CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS: OUTLAWS ISSUE
Yay for romanticizing outlaws, misfits and rebels! We certainly aren’t the first to fall for these dashing types who only fight outside of the law because the law itself is unjust. Some fun things to think about: what sort of power is there in observing from the outside? what is the difference between an outlaw and a criminal? yada yada yada.
Our very own Gender Outlaw Kate Bornstein is a featured feminist hottie in this issue, along with the super rad graphic novelist Marjane Satrapi of Persepolis fame. (everyone! persepolis is coming out as a movie on christmas! go see it! and if you have not heard of either marjane then you need to google her right now because she is so awesome!)
ehem, as always, F-WORD themes are super fuzzy and open to interpretation. feminism in general tends to work. so send us words and pitches and artwork already! (before december 15th, please) (and forward this like mad, ja?)
*SUPPORT THE F-WORD:
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Subscribe: donate $10 for a one year subscription (two issues), or $15 for a two year subscription (four issues)!
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Melody Allegra Berger
The F-WORD Magazine
a feminist handbook for the revolution