My mom never read erotica (that I know of) when I was growing up, but on a recent trip home I spotted a copy of Fifty Shades of Grey in the back seat of her car.
“Mom, I can’t believe you’re reading that!” I screamed.
“I just read it for the sex,” she said, matter-of-factly.
Twilight fanfiction/S&M erotic novel Fifty Shades of Grey has struck a nerve not just with my mom but, with millions of woman around the world. The Fifty Shades phenomena has led to endless articles about women’s sex lives and how men should buy things that go thwack in sex shops. Apparently even Oprah likes to read the series in the bathtub? (I don’t need to know.) Keep reading »
No need for horror stories this Halloween when there are lady killers who will sufficiently scare the crap out of you. Reading about female killers is a guilty pleasure of mine, especially when the Halloween season rolls around. Why am I so attracted to the idea of a lady killer? Are murderers feminist icons? OMG, no. But in pop culture we are met with the constant image of women as victims. There are so many crime shows featuring far too many high heels in pools of blood.
The reality is that women largely, are not the ones who kill and those who do, usually do so out of self-defense. The stats say that one in every four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime and according to the U.S. Department of Justice, more than half of women in jail were abused by a spouse prior to conviction. Watching those high-gloss, TV depictions of women getting abused and killed doesn’t feel like its helping anything — even if it comes closer to mirroring reality than “Snapped.”
For your Halloween reading pleasure, I’ve put together the frighteningly true tales of the female killers who fascinate me the most.
I am not a beach person. The way seagulls swoop over your head like rats with wings terrifies me. I hate that feeling of sand caked in every crevice.
But when my friend Thomas invited my husband and I to a nude federal beach in New Jersey, rumored to be filled with spectacularly hung men and tanned, pierced women, I decided it was something worth trying.
“I think we should go,” I told my husband.
Maybe it was because I needed a change. Spring had been of those staying-in-bed-smoking-cigarettes instead of going out seasons. I found myself fighting a constant drowsiness and listening to Jewel. Some days it took an effort to look both ways before crossing the street. Keep reading »
The combination of tits and drive can, apparently, cause the internet to crash. In the past six months I’ve watched as publications and writers I admire scrutinize Lana Del Rey for representing a “passive femininity,” gawk at young writer Marie Calloway for sleeping with older, more established male writers and shake their heads at Rihanna for not giving a f**k anymore and Instagramming intimate moments from her party-fueled lifestyle. What is more controversial than a woman using her sexuality in order to get ahead? I guess, not apologizing for it.
The main reason for feminist criticism in these cases is that the image of sexuality projected by these women doesn’t look “transgressive” — it looks too much like the role assigned by mainstream, for the benefit of the male gaze. These images read socially as “hot,” seemingly heterosexual and femme. I mean, I love it when women rock the boat with their sexual expression. I enjoy the “man repeller” fashion trend, I like seeing stars like Amy Poehler not in suggestive poses on the pages of magazines, I like the ugly-funny sex in “Girls.” But I also think there should be room for more. Why can’t a fantasy-driven femme, submissive, seemingly heterosexual display of female sexuality be a genuine one? Why can’t the image of a self-destructive Lana Del Rey in heart-shaped sunglasses be one of her own creation?
With those questions in mind, click through for a celebration of famous women who are using their sexuality and not apologizing for it.
When the ASME (American Society of Magazine Editors) awards for magazine journalism were listed online, the blogopshere took a quick whiff and reported back with the precise recipe for becoming award-winning journalist: Oh, testosterone. No women were nominated in profiles, features, reporting, essays or columns– the most prestigious categories.
What this sparked was a discussion about the gender byline gap and how the award-winning magazines like The New Yorker and Harpers don’t publish as many stories by women because they don’t pitch them. People pointed out that often, women stick to the “pink ghetto” of women’s magazines (and websites) and write about “pink” topics that are, apparently, undeserving of acclaim.
I am here to reclaim the term, “pink journalism.” I happen to love stories about women, relationships, sexuality, lifestyle, reproductive health, personal essays — all of which are considered “pink”and, I think, wildly important. That said, after the jump are some of the best “pink” pieces I’ve read recently, with comments from some of my favorite ‘”pink” writers. This is in no way a complete list, just a few favorites. And feel free to add your recommendations in the commets. Keep reading »