It’s easy to say that pornography is empowering for women, or that it degrades them. Oversimplifying, certainly, but easy.
The truth is it’s much more complicated than that.
I was 19 when I realized I could go to college without the debt that my friends were already beginning to complain about. I could take care of myself. It was when I held in my hand $100 for one hour of nude modeling, something I never even realized a chubby girl could make money doing. I was juggling three jobs that paid me only twice that amount per 40-hour week doing physically stressful work for minimum wage.
At the time, it was simple mathematics. Keep reading »
Yesterday was a big day: the Royal Baby! Carlos Danger! New York City mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner’s wife Huma Abedin publicly “forgiving” him for his latest sexting/Internet affair gaffe! While Kate and Wills were unveiling their new baby, Weiner was doing damage control and responding to claims that he’d been sexting and consorting with women online (under the moniker Carlos Danger) as recently as 2012. This was after Weiner was forced to resign from Congress in 2011 amid a sexting scandal. At a press conference on Tuesday, Weiner sounded almost annoyed, and certainly not particularly contrite about his most recent troubles. Keep reading »
Stealing credit card information and social security numbers is so passé nowadays. The new fad of invading privacy online is to actually watch unsuspecting victims, or, I’m sorry, “slaves” as these hackers like to call them, through their own webcams.
That’s right, ladies: internet hackers have just found an alarmingly inventive way of invading your privacy by actually watching you through your own computer. Cue the goose bumps.
Keep reading »
GQ: Do you consider yourself bisexual?
Frank Ocean: You can move to the next question. I’ll respectfully say that life is dynamic and comes along with dynamic experiences, and the same sentiment that I have towards genres of music, I have towards a lot of labels and boxes and shit. I’m in this business to be creative-I’ll even diminish it and say to be a content provider. One of the pieces of content that I’m for fuck sure not giving is porn videos. I’m not a centerfold. I’m not trying to sell you sex. People should pay attention to that in the letter: I didn’t need to label it for it to have impact. Because people realize everything that I say is so relatable, because when you’re talking about romantic love, both sides in all scenarios feel the same shit. As a writer, as a creator, I’m giving you my experiences. But just take what I give you. You ain’t got to pry beyond that. I’m giving you what I feel like you can feel. The other shit, you can’t feel. You can’t feel a box. You can’t feel a label. Don’t get caught up in that shit. There’s so much something in life. Don’t get caught up in the nothing. That shit is nothing, you know? It’s nothing. Vanish the fear.
– R&B singer Frank Ocean, offering a radical alternative to the gay/straight, public/private dichotomy. Ocean seems to suggest that it’s not only inappropriate to try and sexually label him, but also inadequate. And while there’s plenty of implied political power in identifying as gay or bisexual, it may not be accurate or adequate for something as large as sexuality. Ocean infamously revealed that he’d previously been in love with a man on his Tumblr this past July. [GQ]
Earlier this week, Anna North, a writer at the women’s blog Jezebel, posted an article about a video uploaded to YouTube which appeared to show, in graphic detail, a woman being gang raped. Just writing that sentence made me shudder, as the thought of someone brutally raping a woman, filming it, and then putting it on the internet for public consumption is horrifying beyond words. The video — titled, in Arabic, “Original video of foreign journalist being raped in Benghazi” — was quickly taken down, but Jezebel rightly wondered who raped this woman, who uploaded the video to the internet, and “will she ever get justice?”
To illustrate their post, North (or someone else at Jezebel) posted four somewhat pixelated screengrabs from the video in which the victim’s identity is obscured, though you can see parts of her mostly naked body. Images of the three men assaulting her are also pixelated, but Jezebel included accompanying captions describing the assault, just incase it wasn’t already abundantly clear that the video depicts a rape in progress. It should go without saying that the crime committed against this woman is sickening and deplorable; but I am also disgusted by Jezebel’s approach to reporting this story — which I will not link to, for this very reason — which is nothing short of callous and exploitative pageview bait. Keep reading »
As if the House of Representatives had nothing better to do, several people inCongress have proposed a bill called the Stop Online Piracy Act or SOPA, which is basically one big booty-kiss to the entertainment industry and a major kiss-OFF to Silicon Valley, aka the big tech companies we know and love – Google,Facebook, Twitter, etc. The name alone may give you flashbacks of downloading illegal MP3s on Napster and thinking the cops were going to come to your house and confiscate your PowerBook that was filled to the brim with ripped tracks by Sisqo and Dido. But this bill really has nothing to do with that … it’s much, much worse.
Here, the five scariest things about this bill that we have to hope and pray never becomes a law or else bye-bye Internet as we know it. Read more…
Last week’s discussion about guys, porn, and honesty raised a number of interesting questions. How much truth do we owe our partners about what we do when they’re not around – and how much should we share about what runs through our heads? Almost everyone agrees that outright lies are bad. But are there some questions that invite lies? Are there some questions we shouldn’t even ask? Keep reading »
“So this was an accident, right? You know, like, ‘We’re having fun and then oops‘?”
Monday morning, 7:30. No coffee, because someone on the internet told me caffeine is bad for pregnant ladies. This week is already uncomfortable, and it’s only going to get worse.
I’m seven months pregnant and, usually, I’m pretty reserved. I keep my sex life in my bedroom and, unsurprisingly, out of my job — especially since I’m an elementary school teacher. I’m also in my late 20’s, in a decade-long, committed, monogamous relationship, and securely employed. In short, I’m the poster child for Mike Huckabee’s idea of responsible reproduction.
And yet. Keep reading »
Some time ago, Amelia and I were chatting over IM about snooping. If I remember correctly, it was in the context of a discussion about sharing passwords. Should you share your email password? Your Facebook password? Your debit card PIN number? Is it a big, serious relationship step to do those things or not super-serious at all and just a byproduct of our digitized lifestyle? I was very pro-sharing passwords, because I have nothing to hide. Go read my emails, I don’t care! The only reason I wanted to share passwords with my boyfriend was to make life easier: we share his laptop at home and I needed to be able to log in whenever I needed. My reason for wanting passwords was not at all motivated by wanting to sneak around in my boyfriend’s private business. I sincerely believed he had nothing to hide from me either.
But more importantly, snooping in someone’s email, or listening to their voice mails, or any of those other privacy-violating things, just seemed like a douchey thing to do. It implied a lack of trust. It implied suspicion. It implied an insecurity on my part. I am a huge, huge, HUGE believer in the Golden Rule and I would never snoop in someone’s private business, I thought, because that is not the way that I would want to be treated. “I just couldn’t go into someone’s emails like that,” I surely told Amelia. “You say that now when everything’s fine,” she replied, in words that have stuck in my head ever since. “But if you really thought something was up, you would do anything at your disposal to find out what he wasn’t telling you.” Keep reading »