Spotlight on…Magdalene House and Thistle Farms

In 1997, the Magdalene House was founded by Becca Stevens, a priest from Vanderbilt’s campus.  Magdalene House and Thistle Farms both work hand in hand to provide a safe and helpful community to women who have survived sex trafficking, prostitution, an abusive relationship, and/or addiction.  Magdalene House and Thistle Farms work together to help the lives of these women, but specifically Magdalene House is the residential community and Thistle Farms is their “social enterprise” (www.thistlefarms.org).

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Masculinity In a Nutshell…Are Times Changing?

After spending a quarter reading many articles and watching many documentaries, I thought it would be interesting to go back and look at the very first article we read titled “Theoretical Perspectives” by Steven Seidman. Specifically looking at the section titled “Feminism: the gender of sexuality”, the ideas of feminists such as Nancy Chodorow, Adrienne Rich, and Catherine MacKinnon and the relationships between males and females and how they became this way. The ideas of Nancy Chodorow specifically look at the origins of how males and females have gotten to be the way they are today. In The Reproduction of Mothering by Chodorow, she describes that for girls and boys, the mother is often the most loving between the two parents. There is an “extended and intense intimacy between mothers and daughters [resulting] in girls developing a syche that is relationship-oriented. Accordingly, girls tend to connect sex with intimacy and as a means of caring” (Seidman 6). In contrast, boys tend to break away from their mothers at a much earlier age, and come to spend much more time with their “achievement-oriented” (Seidman 7) fathers, hence them becoming more oriented with more characteristics that are described as “masculine”. Chodorow states, “boys’ sexuality tends to be more performance- and body-oriented” (Seidman 7). For this reason, a typical boy activity as a child is going out and playing football with his father, while girls stay inside and play with dolls, a much more “caring” activity than the competition of sports. Looking later in life, she states that, “boys can be intimate, but they will likely express sexual love in terms of the giving and receiving of erotic pleasure” (Seidman 7). For this reason, many females are attracted to boys on a much more emotional level, where boys are characterized to only thinking about sex.

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What’s Sex Got to Do With…Tiger Woods?

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In thinking about the idea of cheating, one major example comes to mind: Tiger Woods. As many people know, Tiger Woods cheated on his wife, Elin Nordegren, with 14 other mistresses, which is an extreme form of cheating seen in our society today. Cheating is not considered a form of consensual non-monogamy, and the idea of cheating in itself can have many different levels. Cheating is a form of being unfaithful to a partner, and can be as small as an emotional relationship with someone else other than a person’s partner or as large as having an affair with someone else. Cheating pertains to any type of romantic relationship, from boyfriends and girlfriends, to husbands and wives, to gay and lesbian partners. Statistics show that 20-25% of married men and 10-15% of ever married women have an affair on their partner, but why is this number so much higher for men than it is for women? This is a question that people have been asking for years, but it most likely comes from the beginning of written time when it was very common for men to have polygamous relationships and have multiple wives. This makes men look as the dominant sex, as they most always are.

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