Groundbreaking Autoerotic Novel Returns to Print

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Award-winning poet and author Marilyn June Coffey is republishing her groundbreaking novel Marcella, 40 years after it made literary history in 1973 as perhaps the first English work of fiction to use female autoeroticism as a main theme. Marcella tells the story of a young Kansas girl moving into womanhood during World War II. She discovers […]

Should Organized Religion Have More Rights Than Women?

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Right now, Catholic bishops, charities, schools and universities are demanding exemptions from new rules requiring that insurance plans cover contraception for women, free of charge. And President Obama is listening, even as Congressional Democrats object. The demand for exemptions is based on moral and religious grounds. Religious rights, it’s claimed. But about women’s religious rights? […]

Penn State Teaches Rape Culture 101

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A man sexually assaults children. Witnesses are appalled. But no one tells anyone outside their tight circle. The assailant is eventually accused of attacking eight boys. Yet members of the community rally around the perpetrator and those who protected him. I’m talking, of course, of community support for Penn State’s coaching staff, particularly head football coach […]

Man as Object: Reversing the Gaze

Man As Object Laura Hartford

“Men act and women appear. Men look at women. Women watch themselves being looked at,” art critic John Berger famously observed. Now some feminist artists are turning the tables in a new exhibit, Man as Object: Reversing the Gaze: With a gallery filled with men stripped naked this body of work exposes women’s cheeky, provocative […]

Testosterone Damages Verbal Skill. Yet We Have Shakespeare

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Penn State psychologists assert that career choice begins in utero, hinging on exposure to sex hormones in the womb. Since testosterone damages both verbal and social skills, it simply makes sense that women would seek people-oriented jobs, while testosterone-soaked males would veer toward non-people pursuits like the hard sciences, right? Indeed, the psychologists found that girls exposed […]

Conservative Columnists Blame Abortion–Not Patriarchy–for Skewed Sex Ratios

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A woman’s right to safe, legal abortion has created a world of missing women, according to the most recent anti-choice talking points. A new book by Mara Hvistendahl, Unnatural Selection: Choosing Boys Over Girls and the Consequences of a World Full of Men–reviewed here on the Ms. Blog–reports that in the natural scheme of things, […]

Are Vibrators Coming Out of the Closet?

Vibrators

Not so long ago, vibrators were illegal in several states, including Texas, Mississippi and Alabama, or found only in seedy sex shops. But as The New York Times reports, today they may be purchased at your neighborhood drug store. Even Oprah has pitched the helpful tool. And who can forget the Rabbit Pearl popping up […]

Does Sexual Objectification Lead to Bad Sex?

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Turning women into sex objects heightens the erotic experience, right? A growing body of research indicates the opposite: for women and, surprisingly, men. A new longitudinal study out of Pennsylvania State found that when women lost their virginity, they lost self-esteem, too. Before they had sex, the body image of the women in the study […]

She Drinks, She Flirts, She Passes Out … Is It Rape?

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Trigger warning: Material about sexual assault. Around midnight at a college party, several young women soccer players are alerted that a 17-year-old girl is barricaded in a room with eight guys on the baseball team. Through a window, the women glimpse what looks like an assault. They batter down the door and, as the men […]

Click! My Church Is Against Battered Women’s Shelters?!

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“We’ve got to stop those feminists from setting up a battered women’s shelter!” So proclaimed my piano teacher in numerous post-lesson conversations with my mom. When she wasn’t grumbling about shelters she was remarking on how lovely Phyllis Schlafly’s bouffant looked alongside those long-haired feminists. I didn’t get it. “Why doesn’t she want shelters?” I […]