Tag Archives: the soapbox

The Soapbox: Tumblr Can’t Save Us From The “Pornpocalypse”

Porn Academic Journal
nude woman and book
Should "porn studies" have their own academic journal? Read More »
Sex-pos Vs. Sex-neg
The Soapbox: Feminism Deserves Better than “Sex-Negative vs. Sex-Positive”
Feminism deserves better than sex-positive vs. sex-negative. Read More »
Better Porn Watching
7 Steps For A Better Porn-Watching Experience
Amelia shares helpful hints for a better porn watching experience. Read More »
The Soapbox:Even Tumblr Can't Save Us From The “Pornpocalypse”

Last month, Blogger sent an email to any blogs flagged as having “adult content,” informing them that they had only four days to remove all adult advertisements on their blog or face deletion. My Twitter feed exploded with sex writers trying to figure out what exactly Blogger considered “adult” in both their content and advertising links—pictures of nipples? Stories of hardcore gang bangs? Links to sex ed sites like Scarleteen? Four days also wasn’t enough time for many people to rework their blogs and the material therein — one person lamented that they’d be on a business trip until the day before the “pornpocalypse.” As Violet Blue tweeted, “Google’s @Blogger will delete scores of blogs that have existed since 1999 on Monday under its vague new anti-sex policy purge. It’s wrong.”

Censorship isn’t a new concept for anyone who writes about sex on the Internet, but the Blogger email is just one more example of popular Internet-based companies and social media sites banning porn after years (or in Blogger’s case, more than a decade) of tolerating it. Just a few months ago, Nerve wrote an article on how Tumblr porn might change sex journalism, but for every success, there’s another story of a major social media platform or Internet retailer clamping down on a thriving community or popular authors. Amazon is famous for tinkering with the rankings of its “adult” ebooks,FanFiction.net threw out an estimated 62,000 stories last year, and Facebook’s guidelines are notoriously confusing. We may live in a world that’s more open to sex, but if so, our social media platforms are lagging behind. Keep reading »

The Soapbox: Feminism Deserves Better Than “Sex-Negative Vs. Sex-Positive”

Anti Sex-Positive Feminism
rosie the riveter
On Jillian Horowitz's interview with Thought Catalog about kink. Read More »
Be Sex Positive!
Eight ways to be positive you're sex positive. Read More »
Tales Of A Kinky Feminist
bdsm
You can be a kinky feminist and flawed human being. Read More »
The Soapbox: Feminism Deserves Better than “Sex-Negative vs. Sex-Positive”

As a feminist, kinky person and sex commentator, I am the target audience for Jillian Horowitz’s xoJane essay “I’m a Sex-Negative Feminist” — and that’s exactly the point. Part of the site’s “Unpopular Opinion” series, I can only surmise that the essay, like others before it, was written largely with the intention of riling up its supposed targets rather than fostering a nuanced debate.

I’d also quibble with her quickie history lesson—yes, sex-positive feminism in part emerged as a response to anti-porn feminist activism, but it also sprang from the anti-BDSM and anti-lesbian bent of much of mainstream 1970’s and ’80’s feminism. My understanding is that sex-positive feminism was about embracing feminist ideals and furthering sexual freedom—for everyone, not just women. Keep reading »

The Soapbox: Why Men Need Abortion As Much As Women Do

Dude In A Sexist Society
sexism
On why you can't change sexism in top 10 "hottest women" lists. Read More »
I Had An Abortion
A mother writes about choosing to have an abortion. Read More »
Proving Masculinity
Why owning a gun doesn't make you even more of a man. Read More »
men abortion reproductive rights

Liberal guys like me are often kind of squeamish when it comes to talking about abortion. I mean, we support it. We describe ourselves as pro-choice. We share the ridiculous things that asshole Republicans say on Facebook. (Did you hear the one about the masturbating fetus…?) If we’re straight, and we maybe decide to join our girlfriends or wives or whatever at the rally, we’ll wear the pink or orange t-shirt they pass out, and when they chant “My body, my choice!” we will chant “her body, her choice!” and consider ourselves allies. Look at us A-plus dudes, cisgender and incapable of becoming pregnant, out there to demonstrate for someone else’s rights! We could just stay out of it, but we care!

I know that’s how a lot of men think of abortion rights: like it’s someone else’s fight, and we might occasionally show up and offer support. And while I understand the impulse, that’s not good enough. The fact that guys like me need to realize is that abortion rights are our rights, too.

When I was 23, a young woman I knew needed an abortion. More importantly to me, so did I. Keep reading »

The Soapbox: Hey “Dr. Who,” It’s Time For A Time Lady

"Dr. Who"'s Lady Problem
A look at how the Doctor's female companions are portrayed. Read More »
Tennant, Piper Return
David Tennant, Billie Piper returning for show's 50th anniversary. Read More »
Who Loves "Dr. Who"?
Just about anyone can enjoy this British import. Read More »
Dr Who

On June 1, actor Matt Smith, star of cult TV favorite “Doctor Who,” announced he would be leaving the show at the end of December. This declaration sent shockwaves through the nerd-o-sphere and left everyone asking the question, “Who will be the next Doctor?” As a result, the Internet has been flooded with heated debates and delicious casting suggestions. (“Chiwetel Ejiofor!” “Sir Ian Mckellen!”) As much as I’d love to see these celebrities inside the Tardis, I think it would be best for Steven Moffat, the showrunner of “Doctor Who,” to simply cast the best woman for the job.

That’s right, woman. Keep reading »

The Soapbox: In Defense Of The Crotch Selfie

My Long Labia
Amelia's long labia. Read More »
Barbie Vagina
Women are getting cosmetic surgery to get rid of their labias. Read More »
Calling Women "Vaginas"
Rep. Peter Hansen
"Vaginas" is an appropriate euphemism for "women." Read More »
The Soapbox: In Defense Of The Crotch Selfie

This piece originally appeared on Role/Reboot. Republished here with permission.

Warning: Some parts of this article, and individual hyperlinks, are explicit, and may be considered NSFW.

There’s a lot of pressure to have a good vagina. Rapper Missy Elliott’s mysterious “Pussycat” is a ballad from a woman to her genitals. She pleads that they not “fail her now” so her lover won’t cheat on her. Then she disguises her voice through a creepy filter and raps as her lover, backhandedly affirming that he’s “glad [hers] ain’t that gushy stuff.” Ten years later, I’m still not sure if the song is parody or commentary. It reminds us that in a culture that reduces women to our appearances, we can feel like not much more than walking vaginas. And if you flip and reverse that argument, when we sexualize women, we see women’s genitals existing to perform for a partner’s pleasure. Where every part of a woman’s body is taxonomized, judged, and sentenced, it’s no surprise that we treat our vulvas with fear and disgust.

I know a few extra things about how women regard their genitals. While creating my documentary,Subjectified, I had intimate conversations about sex with women across the United States. In the jarring words of a funny, self-confident, conventionally gorgeous 23-year-old, “I don’t think I have the prettiest genitals…I remember like three years ago I put a mirror down there, and that was the first time I saw up-front what was going on…I was totally horrified for a whole week.” Another woman described how her genitals were seriously injured in childbirth, requiring reconstructive surgery that she couldn’t afford. She felt stuck in a dysfunctional relationship because she was ashamed to show her body to anyone else. Our feelings about our genitals reverberate through our lives, and we project a life’s worth of insecurities onto our private parts. Keep reading »

The Soapbox: What Do Rape Jokes Make Rapists Think?

What's So Funny?
Here's the thing that IS funny about rape... Read More »
Daniel Tosh Rape Joke
Today's Lady News photo
Daniel Tosh joked about a woman in audience getting raped by five men. Read More »
A Funny Rape Joke?
jamie kilstein
Jamie Kilstein tells one. Read More »

The Internet Rape Joke Wars have been waged, on and off, since at least last year, when comedian Daniel Tosh responded to a woman who had challenged him during his set about the number of rape jokes he was making with, “Wouldn’t it be funny if that girl got raped by, like, five guys right now?” (The questions about rape jokes pre-date The Tosh Incident, of course, but that was the watershed moment in which those questions broke into the mainstream – at one point, Louis CK had to go on “The Daily Show” to address a seemingly-supportive tweet that he’d made to Tosh.) Since then, the debate has heated up and cooled down, depending on what jokes comedians are making.

Most recently, it was a low-profile comic named Sam Morril, whose set was challenged in a column by feminist blogger Sady Doyle, that reignited the issue. And last week, feminist and comedian Lindy West of Jezebel took to television and debated the issue with comic Jim Norton on FX’s “Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell.” During the 12-minute segment, West made her points, Barry made his, and a lot of people on the Internet came away from the discussion with the exact same opinion they started with.

West’s argument centered around the (mathematically hard to dispute) fact that, sitting in the crowd each night a comic performs, there’s likely to be someone who has survived a sexual assault, and these jokes are likely to make that person’s night much, much harder. That’s true, and it’s absolutely worth considering. But there’s someone else who is likely to be in that room to hear it at some point, too, and how the joke will make that person feel is important, too. I’m talking about the rapist. Keep reading »

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