If you write for a living — especially opinion writing, and especially as a feminist — you set yourself up for criticism. You really have no control over how others respond to your work, other than choosing not to write it. By attaching your name to your views, you put yourself in the position to be agreed with, judged, lauded, mocked, quoted reverently, misinterpreted, called somebody others “must read”, called crazy or ugly or both. I’ve experienced all these things at some point in my career.
It sucks, though, when the worst of those experiences happen from within the feminist community. Keep reading »
I’m on the fence about this ad for Equinox, an upscale gym with locations in Los Angeles, New York City, and elsewhere. On the one hand, I’m not keen on the juxtaposition within advertisement — that the woman herself is a “joy ride” (despite the fact she is freezing in that outfit) or that riding a motorcycle in a bikini would be a joy ride (again, despite the fact she is freezing in that outfit). It’s another unrealistic portrayal of women’s bodies — not the physical body itself, but the unreal suggestion that she’s so “hot” she’s not losing her tuchus to frostbite.
However, I’m not bothered by the fact a woman in an advertisement for a gym is wearing a bikini, or that her face/identity is obscured by her motorcycle helmet. Even though there are other cases of advertising where a woman’s body is used to gratuitously sell a product — many alcohol ads, for instance — I think a gym advertisement is a pretty legit reason.
What do you think? Let us know in the comments. Keep reading »
Back in college, my best dude friend laughingly told me a horrifying — and quite possibly apocryphal — story about a “friend of a friend” whose one-night stand lost control of her bowels during a particularly energetic bout of anal sex. Embarrassed for the woman, I tentatively asked what the man did at that point, figuring he’d gotten angry or flipped out or ran into the bathroom to vomit.
“Oh,” my friend said nonchalantly, “Duh. He took her into the bedroom and kept going.”
The story’s stuck with me for years and not just for the gross-out factor: the more I’d hear about women afraid to crap in their boyfriends’ apartments or in shared hotel room bathrooms on weekend getaways, about psychosomatic constipation related to the mere presence of a man with whom a woman was having sexual relations, the more I’d think about the nonchalant way men talk about shit and wonder if we were really just doing all of this to ourselves. Is it really that men (or, at least the kind of men you’d want near your genitals) need us to be poop-and-fart free to want to fuck us, or have we just convinced ourselves they did? Or, worse yet, are we projecting our own learned squeamishness about our bodily functions onto men, as a way to rationalize yet another internalization of the “our bodies are gross” myths that pervade society? Keep reading »