Lest you thought it was an ordinary day—think twice! Today, Thursday, September 23, has been declared Sexual Freedom Day. The Woodhull Freedom Foundation, a nonprofit organiation based in Washington, D.C , is a leader in the push for sexual freedom as a fundamental human right.
For as long as we can remember, people have debated whether women who wear provocative outfits are just asking for verbal harassment. While "provocative" is a relative term, it apparently applies to a pair of tight-fitting jeans and a white top. In case you haven't heard, Ines Sainz, a reporter for Mexico's TV Azteca who donned the aforementioned outfit, was allegedly sexually harassed by New York Jets players while she was conducting interviews in the team locker room. 78 percent of the people surveyed on Asylum said that her pants are a "ploy for attention," while only 21 percent have answered that sexual harrassment is unacceptable.
Of all the personal essays I've written, "Why Marrying For Money Isn't A Totally Bad Idea" has provoked the biggest response. Some of the things written about the post, and about me, are so untrue that I'm not sure the author actually read the essay all the way through. But it's clear to me — both from the tone of the comments and from seeing the piece run with "fresh eyes" for a second time — that I did not explain myself and my beliefs very well. I think that instead of being speculative, I should have gotten more personal. So. Here we go, again...
Note: You can always follow my journey in real-time on my blog, So about what I said... Feminism – or at least its definition – seems to be taking quite the beating lately. Feminists must be this. Feminists can’t be that. Feminists must always have their “sexist” radar on high-alert and be ready to recite the Feminist Manifesto at the first signs of trouble, because, after all, they are representing all women, all the time. I saw a few glimpses of a feminist shift recently when I met my friend Claire for lunch. We’d always been feminists: independent, feisty, opinionated, strong-willed, in-charge women. Yet during our lunch, we somehow found ourselves on the topic of men: what type we usually go for, how hot they are and how a couple guys’ mixed signals was (frustratingly) throwing off our love radar.
Despite my best intentions, my marriage isn’t new or hip or trendy. I cook and clean. He does the lawn and the taxes. I sew curtains and decorate. He watches the budget and fixes the garbage disposal. It’s not that way because I am trying to reverse the women’s movement, it’s just that our marriage works better that way. I am a better cook. He’s a whiz at taxes. I really enjoy a nicely swiffered floor. He loves multiple trips to Home Depot. Call it genetics. Call it culture. It’s who we are.
The first thing you need to know is that Dan asked me to marry him while we were brushing our teeth. We had been together for almost 10 years at that point, living together for five, and we had plenty of people despairing as to whether we would ever get around to tying the knot. We finally settled matters after flossing. Big romantic gestures? Not our thing. We like to lie around eating ice cream straight from the container and watching It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia reruns. But then we jumped into planning mode for the wedding, a day that's supposed to be nothing but romantic moments and symbolic traditions. And even two cynics like ourselves couldn't help getting caught up in all the excitement. But when it came to walking being a bride and walking down the aisle, did I want my father to give me away?
After an Iranian cleric declared that earthquakes can be, in some part, attributed to immodest female dress (AKA cleavage, mid-drift and rouge). While some people know that this is unlikely, as only immodest dancing can cause earthquakes, others feel that the Persian killjoy really overstepped his bounds. The solution, obviously, was to put him in his place by having women all wear whatever they damn well please as long as it's sexy.
Pole dancing is a controversial sport.It's hard to do; you have to have excellent core and upper body strength, and you have to be fairly coordinated. But it’s also undeniably erotic. Watching it immediately conjures up sexual thoughts for men, and most likely even for some women. It is inexorably linked to exotic dancing, otherwise known as stripping. Therein lies the feminist dilemma.
I am a woman. I have all the biological requirements to have a child. Yet, I do not have the instincts or rational desire to do so. Does that make me less of a woman to not want to have a child either by using my body, my eggs, or my money to adopt?
Frankly, I was surprised some commenters even went there with the word "selfish." After all, isn't one of the upshots of feminism supposed to be that women have more choices than ever before and each of us is free to do what makes us happy? Let me be clear: I respect whatever other women choose to do because I'd want them to respect what I choose to do. Kids, no kids, puppies, iguanas, I don't care what your choice is. But I do care about the kind of judgments us women make against one another.
Earlier this week, New York Times columnist, Ross Douthat, wrote an op-ed piece about how feminism has made women increasingly unhappy over the last 30 years. Despite being wealthier, healthier and better educated than they were a generation ago, women in post-feminist America aren't as happy as they used to be. He suggested this may have something to do with the number of women "stuck raising kids alone," a "depressing" lifestyle that's much more common among women in the lower socioeconomic class. This hardly explains why so many wealthy women in East Hampton are so miserable, though, Douthat admits.