Posts Tagged ‘feminism’

Jaclyn Friedman responds to Daniel Bergner NYT mag cover story

February 11, 2009

Yes Means Yes (which I have an essay in and can’t wait to finish reading; it’s a top contender for a Best Sex Writing 2010 reprint!) co-editor Jaclyn Friedman has a letter to the editor in The New York Times Magazine about the Daniel Bergner cover story on female desire, which I’m reposting below. (via Yes Means Yes blog)

Women’s sexual needs are not a scientific mystery. Want to increase female libido? Put down the pharmaceuticals and free our minds with equal pay, affordable child care and equitable distribution of household responsibilities. Wondering why women gravitate toward sexually passive roles? The answer has far less to do with evolution than with the ways women are shamed for expressing aggressive desire and with the pervasive idea that women who pursue their own satisfaction are asking to be raped.

What this woman wants is an end to tired clichés dressed up as science and the beginning of a world in which women are treated as individuals, each of whom may or may not be turned on by intimacy, back-alley ravishment or any number of things; a world in which anyone wondering what a woman wants knows that the best thing to do is just ask her.

JACLYN FRIEDMAN
Medford, Mass.

Advertisements

Diana Vilibert defends first date sex

January 24, 2009

Whether or not to have first date sex has been a hot topic of late.

Marie Claire‘s Diana Vilibert weighs in with a very strong argument that women should…do whatever they want to do! This reminds me of Tracy Clark-Flory’s piece in Best Sex Writing 2009, called “In Defense of Casual Sex,” leading me to ask why women must always be defending our sexual choices? Men almost never have to, unless it involves paying for sex. But we are guilt-tripped and made to feel like the weight of the world rests on when we put out, and who we do it with, and how many lovers we’ve taken…geez! It’s 2009 already people.

Did I miss the memo that the decision to have first-date sex (or not) is now a statement you are making on behalf of all women? Empowerment comes from control and power over your own sex life and decisions, and confidence in those choices, whether or not they align with popular opinion. I happen to be a fan of first-date sex — but I don’t really expect or want a standing ovation for feeling this way. But neither Emily’s viewpoint or mine makes either of us a lesser feminist, and neither of us, I’m sure, means to speak for all women. If I wake up tomorrow morning to find that celibacy is all the rage, I wouldn’t feel empowered by keeping my legs closed — and there’s no reason anyone should feel empowered by treating sex as a fun, casual thing if they don’t feel that it is for them.

But according to Rich, I’ve been going about it the wrong way, since “Guys like to pursue and feel like they’ve accomplished something when courting a girl…You are a prize, but no one out there deserves to be an instant winner!”

You know, I don’t think I want to date a guy who pats himself on the back when he finally wins the “prize” of having sex with me. Newsflash: women like to have sex, too. We don’t begrudgingly disrobe after you’ve passed a series of tests during a “courtship” period, so please refrain from giving yourself a mental high-five when we sleep with you.