Tag Archive | Gender

Real quick: Thinking bigger than sex ed

Kaitlyn Kenealy from Fem2pt0 shares why teaching teens about masturbation fits into a healthy, comprehensive sex ed framework:

Even though all teens begin masturbating at an early age, and often feel embarrassed and ashamed about it, when we become adults, it is males who tend to be empowered to talk about their sexual practices, while females sit in silence. This embarrassment is the primary reason we decided to advocate for more inclusive sex education and a more open dialogue about masturbation. We know that healthy choices and respectful behavior are the products of a mind that has been nourished by knowledge and confidence in oneself. Trusting individuals to make the right choices about their own bodies and sexualities is crucial to empowering women.

And, I’d argue, crucial to empowering men! Sending gendered messages about what’s right and wrong does a disservice to all genders.

But the real point here, I think, is that sex ed isn’t just gory pictures of STI-infected genetalia, or labeling diagrams of reproductive organs. Or at least it shouldn’t be. Sex ed should be a vehicle for helping shape healthy adults – and that means introducing them to what healthy relationships do (and don’t) look like, what it means to be financially literate, and, yeah, knowing your body and what feels good.

Not my job

This week is international anti-street harassment week, and many brave, eloquent, and all-around amazing individuals have shared their experiences with street harassment.

But this week I’ve also been reflecting on a common reaction to stories of street harassment: the “why-didn’t-you-just…?” You know…

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Real quick: All the aspirin you want, ladies!

If you haven’t had the opportunity to really soak in Rush Limbaugh’s obsession with Sandra Fluke (and the sex lives of women everywhere)…now’s your chance.

And if you think this is just one man talking about just one incident, you’re wrong. Sexism in our media and in our communities is very, very real. It’s just so rarely captured so bluntly on YouTube.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go see a radio host about some aspirin.

Angry about that panel? I’ve got news for you.

It is understandably ire-provoking that Thursday’s hearing on birth control coverage featured zero birth control consumers. That women would be blocked from testifying on a panel concerning an issue that impacts them uniquely tells you what the debate is actually about: shutting women up.

So it speaks volumes that the ensuing media conversation about a lack of female representation in the contraception debate has featured…a lack of female representation.

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Latest jobs numbers don’t add up for women

The good: As we climb out of the recession, women have gained 150,000 new jobs.

The bad: That’s 150,000 new jobs…out of 1.9 million jobs added to the economy since June of 2009 (a measly 8% if you crunch the numbers).

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On pink, blue, and science sets

Color is a powerful primer for humans. Red sparks people’s appetites, making it an ideal logo color choice for everyone from McDonald’s to Safeway. Blue does the opposite – precisely because there are few naturally-occurring blue foods in nature, our body doesn’t develop the same physiological and psychological reactions to it.

But our relationship with color transcends our stomachs. It provides valuable clues on gender – particularly for bodies that aren’t distinctly gendered already, like infants. We see a newborn wrapped in a pink blanket and assume that that newborn is a girl – and react to her accordingly. We see a blue blanket and are primed for a score of other behaviors that we believe are in line with how we should treat baby boys. All this, from a blanket or bib.

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