Last month, the student society at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia, Canada, approved $30,000 to establish a men’s center. The center’s main supporter, a student named Keneen Midgely, said the volunteer-run men’s center would only be equitable, considering SFU already has had a women’s center since 1974. It would be a space, he pointed out, for men to support each other and deconstruct masculinity and gender roles just like SFU women can.
I couldn’t agree more. Yet somehow, establishment of the SFU men’s center is controversial. Instead of being seen in a positive light as a “safe space” for men, it is being seen as an unnecessary, even frivolous, expense to give men their own space in what is already a patriarchal culture. Keep reading »
The issues of male rape and sexual abuse get plenty of sensationalistic air time on “Law & Order: SVU,” but not so much substantive awareness in our day-to-day lives. While it is true that reported sexual abuse of girls and women is far more prevalent than male abuse, I also assume acknowledging or discussing male sexual abuse brings up uncomfortable feelings amongst guys about masculinity and what it means to be a “strong man.” There’s even vicious stereotypes that dog gay guys — who are routinely denigrated as being “not manly enough” — that they must have been sexually abused as kids. In a way, that’s kind of all you need to know about what some (perhaps many) people think of male sexual abuse survivors.
So it makes sense then, from a messaging standpoint, that to reach male victims of sexual abuse, the UK group Survivors UK would address “masculinity” head-on. Their new campaign, which launches this week in time for a rugby tournament in London, features a rugby ball (speared by a nail, I think?) and the slogan: “Real men get raped: and talking about it takes real strength.” Keep reading »
Abortion rights are being screwed with yet again! The Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act seeks to criminalize abortions based on the race or the sex of the fetus. That might sound good to some people: supporters of the bill quickly point out how many female fetuses are aborted in China, where there is a one-child policy in most areas and a nationwide preference for boys. However, a closer look at the bill reveals that it’s yet another tricky-dick move by abortion opponents to restrict abortion rights and make life more difficult for abortion providers. Keep reading »
Just kidding! There was a slight miscalculation. Men don’t actually think about sex every seven seconds. I always thought that 8,000 sexual thoughts a day seemed like an oppressive estimate. New research says that men are not the wild, hyper-sexualized beasts science made them out to be. Men’s sexual notions happen more like once every hour. Much more manageable. The study, done at Ohio State University, found that in addition to their sexual thoughts, guys actually think about (gasp!) other things during the course of a day like eating and napping. The men in the study thought about sex an average of 19 times a day with food a close second at 18 times a day, while women thought about sex an average of 10 times a day and food 15 times. Keep reading »
There’s an interesting essay Chuck Klosterman wrote (it’s really very good, read the whole thing here) where he postulates:
There doesn’t seem to be much debate over what have been the four best television shows of the past 10 years. It seems like an easy question to answer, particularly since it’s become increasingly difficult to write about the state of TV (or even the state of popular culture) without tangentially mentioning one of the following four programs — “The Sopranos,” “The Wire,” “Mad Men,” and/or “Breaking Bad.”
And that’s not just a Chuck Klosterman opinion. A commenter on a Vulture Recap of Breaking Bad remarks:
“This past season ‘Breaking Bad’ passed ‘The Sopranos’ as the best show ever on television (followed by ‘Deadwood’ and ‘Mad Men’).”
Well, if you say so. Keep reading »
“The way I need to look, it’s a very personal thing. When I started experimenting, it was to make myself feel happy, to look in the mirror and be satisfied. I never did drag or anything like that. It was always that I wanted to be pretty, to look beautiful, as a girl would want to … In this society, if a man is called a woman, that’s the biggest insult he could get. Is that because women are considered something less?”
–Gender-bending model Andrej Pejic on his androgynous looks. I find it fascinating that Pejic says that he needs to look the way that he does — it highlights that, for transgender people, the desire to dress or perform as one gender identity or another isn’t simply a matter of dress up, but one of necessity. Pejic also says that he doesn’t ever mind being mistaken for a woman, despite the idea that men typically balk at being called female, and brings up an interesting hypothesis as to why. [NYMag] Keep reading »
Today from the “Seriously, Is Everyone In Congress Trapped In The 1950s?” file: a Congressman and a Congresswoman from Florida are unhappy with each other and he decided the best way to deal with this was to email her to tell her she is “not a lady.” Not a lady? Oh my stars!
Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a Democrat, was apparently stepping on some toes while talking about Medicare. Eh, it happens. But Rep. Allen West, a Tea Partier/Republican, pitched a fit. Naturally, as you do in situations like this, he fired off an email with the subject line “Unprofessional and Inappropriate Sophomoric Behavior from Wasserman-Schultz” to former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and a whole bunch of other people. Let’s see what he had to say! Keep reading »
I didn’t think I could love Jenna Lyons, Creative Director for J. Crew, any more, but my respect for her has grown tenfold beyond just loving her work with the line. On the brand’s website, there’s a feature called “Saturday with Jenna,” featuring photographs of Lyons hanging out with her son Beckett (above). In one photo, she’s seen holding her son’s tiny feet, freshly pedicured with a hot pink Essie polish. The accompanying quote reads:
“Lucky for me, I ended up with a boy whose favorite color is pink. Toenail painting is way more fun in neon.”
Keep reading »