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Showing posts with label sex. Show all posts
Showing posts with label sex. Show all posts

19 October 2010

Book Review: Pornland by Gail Dines

This review of Pornland: How Porn Has Hijacked our Sexuality by Gail Dines is overdue not so much because my time has been crunched, but because I'm torn about this book. So forgive this unconventional review.

Why I liked the book:
  • The pornification of our society can't be debated. Playboy tees and pole-dancing-as-empowerment are perfect examples of how porn has become mainstream. How we got here is fascinating to ponder and Dines' theory is one that I believe is worthy of reading;
  • The slipperty slope of how much porn is good for society is also one that I've been chewing on. Is erotica ok? Hard core not? Who decides these lines?
  • The money trail of who funds and profits from the consumption of porn (hotels are a huge benefactor) was mind-blowing;
  • Dines details racist messages in how porn is created and consumed;
  • I do believe that the images we see affect us and how we see ourselves and others. The increase in porn-like images is disturbing. Our acceptance of them is frightening.
  • Dines gives us a great look at how our modern porn industry started, especially how Playboy wrote about how women/wives were emasculating men in the early 1950s, yet I bet that real issue was with the post-WWII pressure to be a perfect family. Yes, the same issues that ignited the modern feminist movement.
  • Dines reveals the purification of Jenna Jameson (corporate media glosses over Jameson's survival of sexual abuse in favor of pushing the story of porn = empowered woman) as well as how "Girls Gone Wild" is a bait-n-switch industry. You think it's just about drunk college girls flashing, but there is hardcore porn happening as well.
Why I did not like the book:
  • There wasn't a middle ground. Dines sets up the debate as all or nothing. Either you like porn or you don't;
  • I find it hard to believe that no one was having anal sex before hard core porn;
  • The section about porn addiction depicts men as helpless to the power of porn. The slippery slope of porn addiction seems to be lubricated & no way to stop the addiction until some once-sweet-young-man ends up abusing his neighbor.
In the end, I think this is a book worthy picking up, especially for those of us who may not think about porn and its implications on society. I mentioned this book to a friend who owns an adult toy store. For her, she's tired of reading about the porn wars.

What I would like to read more about is this theme: As society tightened its gender role box on men and women post-WWII, women attempted to bust out of their boxes through feminism, while it seems that men lashed out at women through jokes all the way to violent hard-core porn.

My main interest in reading this was the pornification of childhood. When I talk about this to others, I often get the "High School Musical" versus "Grease" line. I still haven't brought myself to watch HSM. As for "Grease," I didn't get half of the innuendos until college. Madonna versus Miley Cyrus. The Muppet Show songs versus Elmo & Katy Perry. When discussing the pornification of childhood, I am not saying that my childhood was sex-free, especially when Jack Tripper was an early influence on most things romantic. 

But what really got me moving on this review was the current news about how the porn industry handles HIV-infected people, testing and condom usage. Often I hear, "Oh, how does porn hurt anyone?" Well, this week we are learning that when an industry runs its own HIV lab testing company, it can hurt a lot of people.

Purchase a copy from an indie bookstore or Powells.com and let the debate begin!

Disclaimer: The only payment I received was the copy of the book.

* Book links are affiliate links. If you buy your book here I could make a very small amount of money that goes towards this blog.

20 May 2008

Why is the IL Dept of Transportion using sex to sell seat belts?

I ask because I recently caught their new PSAs for the "Click it or Ticket" campaign and they use two very attractive women to urge their men to use their seat belts. Two women...one white and one African-American with sultry voices and in cute outfits telling their men, "You know what I want..." Where is the Latina PSA?

En Espanol! Because us Latinas are never more sexy than when we're seducing our hombres into wearing seat belts than when we're speaking Spanish, eh? The problem is that not all of Latino men speak Spanish or at least would be watching Spanish language TV. I can only consider that a lack of English-language Latina PSA means that the state thinks we all only speak Spanish, they could give a damn about us English speakers, or our Latina sexuality is just too much for English TV.

Can you imagine if JLo, Salma, or Lynda Carter aka Wonder Woman did a PSA in English? Ay, Papi, we'd bankrupt the state due to all the Latino men falling under their Latina spell and always buckled up! Especially if we used Wonder Woman's lasso of truth!

And what's with the men in these PSAs? They are squirming in their seats as if they are innocent virgins and the hot-to-trot women are fiery sirens seducing them into doing oh-so-naughty things. When I first saw these PSAs, it was after 10pm and I thought it was another ad for a chat line. "Wanna be bad? Let's use our seat belts!"

Ironically, I had to go to YouTube to see the PSAs and they are not mentioned on the state's website or offered in their 'Get involved' section. Is the state ashamed of their blatant use of sex to get men to buckle up?

cross-posted at Shakesville

Technorati tags: Illinois, seat belts, Click it or Ticket!, sexism

15 April 2008

Statewide day of action: Stop funding abstinence-only-until-marriage sex ed

The Chicago Foundation for Women and the Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health has declared today a day of action to stop funding abstinence-only-until-marriage sex ed. There are three things you can do today:

  1. Write a letter to the editor. Need help writing one? Here one resource on writing one:
    * NOW MCER Letter to the Media Guide - I wrote this one and while it is focused on mothers and caregivers issues, just insert comprehensive sex ed.
  2. Come to the rally downtown! Join Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health, Foundation representatives and other community activists for a demonstration downtown. Meet from 3:30-4 p.m. outside 28 E. Jackson Blvd. today, April 15. We'll march and regroup for a celebration afterward. View the flyer (PDF).
  3. Tell the Guv to stop taking money that is wasteful!
Now get going!

Technorati tags: feminism, action, Chicago, Illinois, sex education

11 April 2008

Race, Sex, Power: Session 3: Sex & Erotica

With a title like that, my stats should shoot up, eh?

Sorry for the lack of live blogging earlier. My laptop battery was dying and there weren't any accessible outlets in the other rooms. Now I'm on the floor, slightly behind the stage. Hopefully I can suck up enough power before the panel starts.

This will be my last session for today as I have to head out for kid pick-up!

Panelists include:
Dionne Bensonsmith
John Keene
Rebecca Plante
Kortney Ryan Ziegler

Technorati tags: race, Chicago, power, latina, sexuality

Race, Sex, Power: Plenary I: Sexual Citizenship

Panel members:

Joycelyn Elders
Nicole Perez
Urvashi Vaid
Ramon Gutierrez (Moderator)

Technorati tags: race, Chicago, power, latina, sexuality

Race, Sex, Power: Welcome & Opening

I'm trying this with Cover it Live....let's see how this goes.

Technorati tags: race, Chicago, power, latina, sexuality

Race, Sex, Power

I'm headed to the Race, Sex, Power conference today. It's a free two-day conference at UIC, but I'll only be attending Friday's session. I'll be meeting up with some WAMers and seeing my Chicago peeps. It should be one hell of a time.

I'll try to live blog today and at the very least will Twitter from the Treo.

Technorati tags: race, Chicago, power, latina, sexuality

14 February 2008

Happy Valentine's Day Texas!

I haven't checked my referrals that closely to know how many readers I have from Texas, but I want to send a quick VDay shout out to the Lone Star State. Congratulations on the recent ruling that legalizes your "personal massage" devices:

A federal appeals court has struck down a Texas law that makes it a crime to promote or sell sex toys.

"Whatever one might think or believe about the use of these devices," said an opinion written by Justice Thomas M. Reavley of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans, "government interference with their personal and private use violates the Constitution."

Under Texas law it is illegal to sell, advertise, give or lend obscene devices, defined as a device used primarily for sexual stimulation. Anyone in possession of six or more sexual devices is considered to be promoting them.

In case you were a law abiding citizen and now need to stock up, I point you back to my post on Early To Bed special holiday gift packages for you and your loved one or just you. The good part of being in this hyper-consumer society is that there's always a holiday to provide you with an excuse to buy yourself a treat. Buzz on, Texas...Buzz on.

Edited to add: While we celebrate, let's remember that we still have
Mississippi to liberate.

Technorati tags: , sex, Texas


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