Saturday, July 31, 2010
Sunday, July 18, 2010
To learn more about Dr. Michael Kimmel go to his website http://creativepromotionsagency.com
Books by Dr. Michael Kimmel:
The Invisible Sex: Masculinity in Contemporary America (University of California Press, 2003)
The History of Masculinity: Essays (SUNY Press, 2003)
The Gender of Desire: Essays on Masculinity and Sexuality (SUNY Press, 2003)
The Gendered Society. Oxford University Press, 2000.
Manhood in America: A Cultural History. Free Press, 1996.
The Politics of Manhood. Temple University Press, 1995.
Against the Tide: Pro-Feminist Men in the U.S., 1776-1990, Beacon, 1992.
Men Confront Pornography. Crown, 1990; New American Library, 1991.
Men's Lives (with Michael Messner). Macmillan, 1989, 1992, 1995.
Changing Men: New Directions in the Study of Men and Masculinity, Sage, 1987.
Absolutism and its Discontents: State and Society in 17th Century France and England. Transaction, 1988.
Revolution: A Sociological Perspective. Temple University Press, 1990.
His most recent book, Guyland: The Perilous World Where Boys Become Men (2008) is a best-selling investigation of young people’s lives today, based on interviews with more than 400 young men, ages 16-26. Featured in major television and radio interviews, the books was widely reviewed and praised in all major media outlets. “If you’ve ever had a conversation with a teenage boy and wondered what on earth was going on…this book will serve you well.” And feminist icon Gloria Steinem said that “Michael Kimmel’s Guyland could save the humanity of many young men – and the sanity of their friends and parents.” Feature film rights were optioned to Dreamworks.
Kimmel is a Professor of Sociology at SUNY Stony Brook, and lives in Brooklyn, New York with his family.
Saturday, July 10, 2010
Animals by CocoRosie (with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra)
I always knew I would spend a lot of time alone
No one would understand me
Maybe I should go and live amongst the animals
Spend all my time amongst the animals
And on the tracks I would go they lead to the sea
To be amongst the animals
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
Lingerie model Larissa Riquelme promises to strip after World Cup and men everywhere are celebrating her choice to exploit herself
Just recently I learned that a lingerie model named Larissa Riquelme had promised to strip and run naked if Paraguay won the 2010 World Cup.
I recently wrote a post entitled Mental Fidelity in which I mention this. In the post I speak about how I spoke with men in committed relationships who were expressing their delight in the idea of this woman stripping. My disappointment sprouted from the fact that some individuals, although committed physically to their mates may actually stray mentally. While we all may find other people attractive other than our partners I think that the desire or fantasy to sleep with someone other than one's boyfriend, husband, girlfriend or wife falls short of complete fidelity.
It turns out that Riquelme has announced that she is going to strip despite Paraguay's loss.
"It will be a present to all of the players, and for all the people in Paraguay to enjoy," she said.
I can't help but be put off by this egotistical statement.
As a feminist against pornography I understand that there are various reasons as to why a woman might decide to undress and have sex for money. Why might a woman strip for free? Well, I cannot crawl inside the mind of Riquelme and I can't state as to why she is deciding to expose herself to the world. My trouble comes not only with the fact that she is making the conscious choice to exploit herself but also with the men and women who don't seem to mind that she is doing so.
Men and women alike consume pornography or applaud the sexual acts of a stripper. Men and women alike also applaud the sexually exploitive acts of strangers. While I maintain that there is nothing wrong with finding another clothed or unclothed person attractive, I think that we exist in a society that is very surfaced when it comes to sexual exploits. Rather than indulging in an event like lingerie models running naked why not take a moment to think about the fact that she is ultimately presenting herself in an objectifying manner. When a person becomes an object they are no longer a person but a plaything, a fantasy, a person devoid of hopes, dreams, desires, vulnerabilities, talents, and uniqueness.
I ask you all this. How would you feel if you're daughter, sister, mother were to run around naked at the win of a soccar match? Perhaps one would feel hesitant or even come up with a list of reasons as to why appearing naked would be an unwise choice. When there is an emotional connection to the person in question it makes all the difference doesn't it?
The issue with porn or with random individuals performing such explotive acts is that there is no connection. Many enjoy this as they feel they are free from having to bargain with their conscience. "Hell, I don't know her all I know is that she's hot!" This mentality is harmful. Even when women exploit themselves with their own free will there is no way to know exactly why they are doing it. Doesn't it seem odd that a woman might want THAT kind of attention? Is stripping what this lingerie model needs to do in order to make herself feel good? Well, perhaps being that she is a lingerie model.
What about the women who are not lingerie models? What about a drunk woman at a party? What about women who flash for Girls Gone Wild? What about, what about, what about? There are many different scenarios in which women can make the decision to exploit themselves and there are plenty of audiences who will be right there to accept those decisions. This is what wrings my heart. How about we support each other as human beings? How about we honor each other? Are we honoring Larissa Riquelme by encouraging and applauding her choice to run around naked? I say no. Again, there is nothing wrong with one finding themselves attracted to a clothed or unclothed woman. But why don't we put aside our lust long enough to introspect. It's not as crazy as so many make it out to be.
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
The subject of the lingerie model brought up old feelings of concern when it comes to committed men and women who lust over other people when they are claiming to be monogamous.
Is it really such a preposterous notion to think that we can admire another being but not have the desire to sleep with them? Sure we may admire the physical beauty and sex appeal of someone other than our partners but there is a difference between admiring and wanting to sleep with.
I was struggling with feelings of frustration as I am often filled with sadness as the sight of committed men lusting after other women to the point that they fill their fantasies and desires. I decided to reach out to a man who's blog I follow. Hugo Schwyzer is a gender studies professor, feminist and leftist Christian who's words often give me something to chew on.
I asked Hugo if he could offer me some feedback or direct me towards one of his blogs that addresses the issues of lust, fantasy and monogamy. Hugo responded and there was one piece of feedback that stood out for me. He stated while two people can be physically committed it might be more difficult for others to obtain mental fidelity. He did say he believes it is possible to achieve mental fidelity and I agree.
I reviewed some of Hugo's blog posts on fantasy and lust and landed on one in particular that offered some great insight.
Here is an excerpt from - A Very Long Post About Bisexuality, Fidelity, Fantasy, Masturbation and Desire: A Response To Neil
Most married folks, including the legions of purely heterosexual ones, struggle to direct all of their sexual thoughts and fantasies towards their spouse. Especially when children are in the picture, or there are work and money pressures, committed folks may find themselves fantasizing about and drawn to people other than their spouse. Nine times out of ten, they will be drawn to someone who has a quality that their spouse doesn’t have. It might be a more gregarious temperament, or it might be a penis. As a defense against loneliness and as a passive-aggressive way of fighting with our partner, we humans are prone to eroticizing those who are fundamentally unlike their current mate. The fact that bisexuals have a greater number of fantasy partners from which to choose for masturbatory reverie doesn’t make their struggle unique. A lot of married folks masturbate alone. Many of them don’t think about their spouse as they climax. From a Christian perspective, entertaining a desire for someone else does fall short of the mark in marriage:
I'm sure there is a plethora of reasons as to why one might begin fantasizing about someone other than their own spouse. Not all reasons include there being trouble in paradise. I however believe that whether one is coming from a Christian perspective like myself or whether one is of another faith or has no sense of spirituality at all, I think the notion of mental fidelity is not so far fetched. So often our actions are thought of as the behaviors that convey how we really feel but I would argue that our thoughts and fantasies bear weight as well.
Fantasies are a glorious part of sexuality however I think sometimes some individuals disrespect their partners by going farther than simple admiration of others.
We do live in a oversexed society (sex sells after all) and definitely a heterosexist one as we are bombarded by advertisements, magazines, billboards and other brands of media that tell us we are supposed to lust over scantily clad women. As a feminist against pornography I often feel swallowed up by sexist societal images.
Not only do I have cause for concern when it comes to committed men and women lusting after other individuals but I also struggle with the issue of some men and women lusting in degrading and objectifying ways.
I can't tell you how often I hear other females tell me that they simply put up with their boyfriend's or husband's porn stash. Does your partner read Playboy or Maxim? Do you just put up with it? Why? Because "boys will be boys"?
If you're like me and you do not accept the patriarchy of the porn industry then why accept demeaning fantasies? Men and women do not always need pornography in order to fantasize in objectifying ways and may simply demean another person (or themselves) in their head. My point? Fantasy is not always harmless. Our thougts are not always harmless. Depending on how we fantasize we can hurt our partners and we can potentially place distance between us and our loved ones by diverting genuine focus towards them. Intense fantasy towards anyone other than our spouses is indeed at odds with mental fidelity.