Female Genital Cutting, Sexuality, and Anti-FGC Advocacy

This post is a response to the increasingly heated thread at Feministe on Female Genital Cutting (FGC). Nearly every mention of FGC in our society elicits condemnation of the practices and the people who practice them as “bestial”, “barbarian”, “inhuman”, “uncivilized”, “heinous”, etc., which has a tendency to set me off. For a long time I’ve wondered about the incredible and disproportional response FGC incites in Westerners, feminists and non-feminists alike, responses which generally are very far removed from the reported responses and experiences of women who have undergone some form of [Continue reading]

Pornographic Assumptions

Arwan at Pandagon describes herself as pro-sex, anti-porn, opening up a discussion on the boundaries of pornography and how individuals interact with (or choose not to) those boundaries. I left a long comment responding to two of the commentors’ posts, both of which concerned me for their projection of assumptions about the nature of porn onto those who produce and consume it. The comment is in the moderation queue, and I don’t know how that works over there, so I figured I’d post it here (plus, I make some points I want to come back to someday, and this site is for storing ideas I want to come back to [Continue reading]

Bottoming from the Top, or: Do FemDoms Dream of Electric Toasters?

Twisty of I Blame the Patriarchy offers the flipside of my recent discussion of BDSM in two posts about the patriarchy-affirming nature of even the safest, sanest, and consensualist BDSM [Continue reading]

Elyce Elucidates: The Gender Politics of Housework

The Gender Politics of Housework

One key concept to understanding how housework is political is to grasp the concept, developed by sociologist Arlie Hochschild, that housework is work. It is valuable yet undervalued labor because it is unpaid. And the bulk of this unpaid labor, even in dual-career marriages, is done by women, without recognition of this [Continue reading]

Chivalry and the Working Woman

On [Continue reading]

When Monogamy Isn’t Monogamous

Originally posted at Savage Minds on November 16, 2005.

Every time I teach the section on marriage in my Intro to Anthro class, I inevitably face the same question. The book lists four types of marriage: monogamy, polygyny, polyandry, and group marriage. and someone always asks “What about swingers?” (Of course, I live and teach in Vegas…) The question points to a limitation of the concept of marriage not just for anthropological understanding but even within our own everyday usage. [Continue reading]

Sex: It’s What’s for Dinner

Originally posted at Savage Minds on December 14, [Continue reading]

Evolving Consent

Bondage and Patriarchy
Fabulous post and comment thread on Alas, a Blog about BDSM — the eroticisation of power, the operation and definition of consent, the role of fantasy, and [Continue reading]

Compliment-ary Strategies

I have a healthy dose of respect for Hugo Schwyzer, and find myself paying closer and closer attention to him as I enter a situation much like his, a male instructor in a Women’s Studies program. I don’t always agree with Hugo, but I’m always impressed by the way he deals with often sensitive and often highly personal topics. In this post, “But you’re pretty”: a pro-feminist musing on why compliments don’t help, Hugo responds to the targeting of Jill at Feministe on a bulletin board at her school, where students posted and then viciously attacked photographs of [Continue reading]

Pornography and Representation

In the last couple days, I’ve come across two interesting critiques of [Continue reading]