Being a Stud vs. Being a Slut……

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One of the most important takeaways from this article is the use of people centered language. I find it really interesting that the people don’t see the differences in language that demonize women for their sexuality. Woman a forced into a condition of either being a virgin or a prude or they are considered slutty for having sex. Meanwhile, men have a really opposite experience. Men who don’t have sex are seen as inadequate or undesired but when they do they are praised for their cunning, charm and more. The double standard is more favorable towards men because men at least have an option for positive regard while woman are, metaphorically speaking, in between “a rock and a hard place”.  Because of these ideas, it creates a situation for women where they feel they need to rationalize every sexual act they participate in or they internalize the double standard and begin to identify themselves as sluts. It’s very sad to see how the double standard affects the women’s own perception of their sexuality.

Another problem that I gauged from the double standard is that women are generally thought as to be a docile, submissive, “prey”. I this belief emerges from the Bible and other similar religions. In Christianity, the bible says that men are the head of the household and that women should follow the orders of their husbands. Although many of these ideas may seem outdates, remnants of these ideas exist in the way we behave. Our attitudes in society have a narrative that girls are need to be led astray by a man to let go of her values and have sex when in actuality a girl is acting on her sexual impulses just as much as a man would. This also eliminates the narrative that women can prey on men or be dominant of their sexual acts.

The double standard is very dangerous because it also eliminates the narrative of male rape. If men are always preying on women, the idea that men can be raped by women is impossible. However, we know that male rape is something that happens in our society. This is very dangerous because rape has been a crime that has been thought as only being a crime against women. In recent years, this idea has changed but it’s very alarming to think that it’s only been in recent years that this mentality that women were incapable of rape still existed. Having a double standard that paints a group as weaker than the other can really limit the protections afforded to the dominant group.

An interesting point that the article made was about woman’s bodies being constantly under a state of “conquest”. This statement was pretty profound, however, it resonated with me because it’s true. Woman are constantly at odds with different groups in society who are trying to colonize their bodies for their individual interests. All of these acts by these different interest groups are groups trying to exert their power against women as if women are not able to control what happens with their own bodies.  I find it very insulting that these double standards exist because it implies that women in my life like my mother and sisters do not know what to do with their bodies and I know that they do.

I also thought the commentary the author made about heterosexual sex was the only kind of real sex that existed is a sentiment that is really pervasive today. There is a very specific definition of “sex” in our society that is very heteronormative. If I could ask the author of this article a question it would be, “How can we define sex in a way that in gender neutral?” Defining sex as something that is gender neutral would be very beneficial because I think it may help with language around dominance and submission.  For example, if sex was defined as an exchange between two people rather than a man preying on a woman, then it would really remove the assumption of a gender power dynamic.

The purpose of this article was made clear in the final paragraph. Valenti wrote this article as a call to action. As a man, reading this article was very impactful. I was unaware of the impact my double standards could have on women and how they experience the world. There are a lot of changes I can make to ensure that I do not reinforce double standards with my language and actions.

I think it is very important for people to read articles like this because they can really enlighten people and change their perspectives. We are all human beings and deserve to be afforded the same rights regardless of people’s varying beliefs. Although this idea seems like common sense, there is going to have to be a lot of explicit education and changes in the representation of women in media. Woman need to be represented in media as positive, powerful icons rather than images that reinforce these sexist ideals.

If I had to ask some questions from this article, I would ask:

How can we remove the notion of “purity” around women since it is so deeply rooted in religion?

How does this affect women who want to uphold traditions of virginity until marriage?

What are ways that larger populations of people can be made aware of how these double standards affect women?

Resources

http://www.alternet.org/story/86736/he%27s_a_stud,_she%27s_a_slut%3A_the_sexual_double_standard

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What’s Sex Got to do With Intercourse…… Final Reflection.

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Throughout the semester I learned what sex and society really have to do with each other. Before entering this course I had no idea what I was going to learn about, and at the end I wanted to learn more about sex and society. One concept that really struck my mind was sexual intercourse. Prior to class I thought sexual intercourse involved a woman and a man having penetrative vaginal penile sex. Well I found out that sexual intercourse has way more to it than just two heterosexuals having sex. Prior to this course, I believed the common misconception that sex was between men and women. Majority of people would define sexual intercourse similar to my definition in my opinion. It’s interesting to me that identities and terms that deal with sex aren’t presented to most kids until they reach college. Meanwhile, before this class I would have not seen this issue as a problem in society. Why do you think people in our society lack knowledge about sex, and stroll around like its acceptable?

While throughout the semester we were assigned different reading I made a connection with the article called “Sexual Intercourse” by Kerwin Kaye. In this article Kerwin Kaye goes on to define intercourse as socially determined. Kerwin Kaye states that, Coitus implies that a woman and a man have intercourse until the man achieves orgasm. Furthermore, before entering the class I would agree with coitus that intercourse compacts with a man and a female having sex, but Kerwin Kaye included interesting points. What about more recent terms such as anal intercourse, strap on sex, and oral sex? Anal sex is an act that most likely occurs between men. Strap on sex is defined as a woman penetrating another woman with a toy or dildo, which could be done either anally or vaginally. Lastly, Kerwin Kaye talks about oral sex and I still am undecided on rather not oral sex should be considered intercourse. I still try and answer this question. It seems as Kerwin Kaye information believes that intercourse can involve same sexes or different sexes, but there has to be some form of penetration happening.

Kerwin Kaye concludes by saying that “The point is not to find the single correct definition, but rather see the meaning associated with these terms shift over time and are inherently susceptible to social conflict” (2011). It’s really important to note that sex should only be defined by the people engaging the act. Sex can include a wide variety of intimate acts and definitely transcends gender differences.  A few questions that I have for my audience could be, how do we change the narrative around sex in our nation? I think this is an important question because our nation was built upon Christian values. These Christian values have led us to really have a limited view of the world. If we expand that view to include traditionally excluded groups, we can embrace a more diverse population and enhance the experiences of ourselves and others.

What’s Sex Got to do With Hooking Up?

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Sex and hooking up are terms that are synonymous in many ways while at the same time meaning entirely different ideas. In today’s world, hookup culture is the standard, sex has taken the idea of allowing a person to be sexual without being in love, meaning sex has nothing to do with love or getting to know someone personally it’s all about the end results. In my earlier years of life I remember no one ever talked about having sex. If someone liked someone they would write love letters, talk on the phone for hours at night, put that person they liked first by either holding doors open, or even allowing their partner to meet their family. Today’s society has a completely different outlook on what it means to like someone. For example, hookup culture has become the approach of easy access to sex. Because hookup culture is so powerful in today’s society, many people would say that it has ruined the dating scene. Although, the idea of hookup culture is alive in the world, I believe that “hookup culture” isn’t real. Meaning that people use this term to protect themselves from being called other names, “it’s all a part of the hookup culture.”  Hook up culture is also a way that a lot of people commodotize their bodies in exchange for love. A lot of people feel like they are forced to hook up or they won’t be appealing to people who they are attracted to. For example, hook up culture at Vanderbilt has really dismantled the dating scene and it’s very seldom that one sees a couple on campus. On the other hand, frat parties are a breeding ground for hook ups and you can expect to see at least one couple hooking up at a party.

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How do we know if hook up culture is desired by students or if students want a stronger dating scene?

How can we combat hook up culture?

Does hook up culture create an environment conducive to sexual assault?

Representation of Women in Media

The human body has been mystified from the dawn of time. Their bodies are not only temples of deities up above, but also kingdoms that are to be praised through good health and body appreciation. Modern day portrayal of bodies in the media has come under heat by a lot of different feminist and womanist groups because of different gender expectations between men and woman and furthermore, between races. Media shapes how we perceive their reality and influences what we determine beauty is. However, the images that media bombards us with are a false representation of the lived experiences of people especially minorities in the United States. We all battle with their imperfections, and they are further highlighted when their role models in the media are presented as flawless sex objects. Magazine covers featuring women are often inherently sexual and downright unrealistic whether that stems from clothing choices, provocative headlines or manipulation of images to manufacture a more appealing feminine appearance. These images are everywhere we go, they are on television, in supermarkets, at bus stops, and on social media. Everyday, we subconsciously consume these images and strive to achieve these unrealistic beauty goals. We want to be lighter, thinner, taller, just like the girls in the magazines, when at the end of the day, not even the girl in the magazine looks like the girl in the magazine. This is especially damaging to groups who are not even featured in popular media, groups like people of color are often entirely left out from the narrative of beauty in this country. When they are included, they are generally objectified as a commodity, or ytheir “token” girl of color. Media representation of people of color is very limited and its limitations are pretty offensive considering there are millions of colored models, actresses and actors looking for employment. For example, why cast 16-year old white model, Ondria Hardin, for an “African Queen” shoot when models like Tyra Banks, Naomi Campbell and Chanel Iman are African descendant and also mentor younger African descendant models. This idea really supports the premises of multicultural feminism. Woman of color are treated as other. Media fails to celebrate differences but rather to serves as a force to disenfranchise black faces from the big screen. For example, there has been a lot of controversy regarding movies based on real life in Africa where there have been white protagonists and black antagonists. Currently, Angelina Jolie is in talks to play the role of Cleopatra in an upcoming film. The controversy surrounding this casting choice emerges from ancient Egyptian art, we know that Cleopatra was a woman of color, yet Hollywood has whitewashed history, yet again, limiting representation for little girls who do not believe they can aspire to be queens like Cleopatra. The problem of representation is a lot more insidious than denying people of color, roles that they were born to do. The problem lies in destroying the self-efficacy of people everywhere who do not feel like they can aspire to greatness because no one who looks like them has ever accomplished such greatness. Media is an insidious force that exploits woman as a whole especially woman of color. The lack of representation and the unrealistic beauty standards that permeate their daily lives are toxic and as a society, we need to take steps to remedy these societal ills for generations to come.

According to Gamson ‘s article, a lot of the ideas that I wrote are the sentiments of our society. Popular culture constructs sexuality however it doesn’t make room for different sexualities. This is a problem because many may feel as if the media defines what is normal in our society. Our media is a representation of our ideals and if a group is not represented it could hurt the self-efficacy of the group of lead to objectifying other groups. I think the lack of representation can also hurt groups because it eliminates their narratives from the American experience and almost labels them as “other”. For example, the article mentions that media really excluded the experience of homosexuals in media for so long, this had a really terrible impact on the perception of the general public of people who are gay. People who were gay had very limited narratives in American media for a very long time. Most of the stories surround people who were gay were often based on stories of HIV.

Gamson also notes that often times when media does have representation of diverse groups, that media often objectifies the person or represents them as exotic. It’s important that the media stay away from exoticizing groups of people because it will affect the public perception of that group. For example, there was an event on campus that was put on by Vanderbilt’s chapter of the NAACP where there was a discussion about sexualizing women of color. It talked about how in media, minorities are underrepresented yet when they are represented, they are over-sexualized. They gave examples of how Black women are seen in music videos, half naked and dancing provocatively and how Asian woman are perceived as being submissive. This is a really poor attempt by the media to represent different demographics in this country. This is dangerous because for people who have no exposure to diverse groups in this country, this poor representation is the only exposure they have to these groups.

Why does media continue to whitewash Hollywood?

What’s Sex Got to do With Being a Black Man?

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What’s sexy got to do with being a black man? Sex has a lot to do with being a black man, and the most common characteristics are the different stereotypes. Being a black man is the strongest identity that I have, and it’s what the world sees me as. The most common stereotype when it comes to sex and a black man is if you’re black you have a huge penis. Another stereotype that I personally get connected to is having a lot of girls. For example, in high school I use to eat lunch at a table with all women and some random guy said to me one day, “Damn you eat lunch with all girls man you really have the girls.”  In James Dean article “Straight Men,” he states, “Race is always central in the construction of Jason’s heterosexual masculinity. He says that his black racial identity positions him with an array of racial stereotypes that convey a secure, straight identity. Whether it’s women acquaintances jokingly inferring he has a large penis, male friends insinuating he’s good at basketball, or male friends assuming that his associations with women are sexual, his black racial identity carries a sense of exaggerated masculinity and therefore heterosexuality (Straight Men).

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Why do black people have these different stereotypes tied to themselves? Is it because of race, or is there another reason?  Even today I still have stereotypes that I face and honestly these stereotypes are getting annoying. For instance, a female on campus asked me “Do you only like white girls?” I responded “No lol why?” she then went on and said “I thought all black athletes on campus only like white girls.” How would you feel if a random person came up to you and asked you some off the wall type of shit like this?

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What’s Sex Got to do With Bases?

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What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear the word “bases?” When I hear this word baseball is the first thing that comes to mind, but would you believe me if I told you bases can refer to sex? Well believe it because every base is a step to going all the way with your partner. In my opinion, first base is kissing, second base is touching or playing with one’s private part, third base is oral sex, and a home plate is penetrating the penis into the vagina. Kathleen Bogle defines the usage of bases in two different ways. The first way was from “only yesterday:” first base is kissing, second base is deep kissing, plus groping and fondling, third base is oral sex, and home plate is going all the way. In today’s world was the second way: first base is deep kissing, second base is oral sex, third base is going all the way, and home plate is learning each other’s name. From personal experiences I would agree with Kathleen Bogle’s second definition of bases.

In this situation bases can also refer to going on dates or hanging out. For example, my first year at Vanderbilt I met a girl and the first time we hung out we were deep kissing. The second time we hung out we had oral, and by the third time we hung out we went all the way. After going all the way my partner and I started to go on dates and attend events together. Looking back on the situation it amazes me how so called relationships on college campuses work. Like Kathleen said we have sex first and then get to know each other.

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Why is it that in today’s world we have sex first then get to know someone after sex? How would you define these bases?  Do you still hear people use the base terminology in today’s world?

What’s Sex Got to do With…….. Being Bisexual and Nicki Minaj?

What does it mean to you when you hear the word bisexual? There could be many different claims to this; but when I hear the word bisexual I claim that this classification does not exist. I strongly believe that someone is straight, gay, or something else alone the lines. In other words when someone classifies themselves as bisexual I personally assume that they’re confused on what they really are. What does it really mean to be bisexual?

In Kristin Esterberg article, “The bisexual menace revisited,” she states that, “If we defined bisexuality as simply behavior sexual desire or activity with both men and women then we miss something important” (281). Basically one can not consider themselves as bisexual because they have a desire to be activity with both sexes. From experiences in high school I knew girls that would identify themselves as bisexual because one, they either wanted to experience sexual activities with men and women, or because they were treated badly by men and felt a women could treat them better….

In Nicki Minaj song “Anaconda” throughout the music video she is dancing with other women slapping their booties, but at the end of the music video she gives Drake (a masculine male a lap dance).

Is Nicki Minaj considered bisexual because of her actions in this video? According to Kristin Esterberg, Nicki Minaj would not be classified as bisexual because of her actions and desire she shows throughout her video, but in her song “Girls Fall Like Dominoes” she goes on and say, “I’ma need sixty-nine real bad girls for my tour bus, Somebody get security to escort us
They go the long way, but we take the short cuts, Give me the blonde hair, long weave, short cuts, You know the flow sick, came in on the small bus, So give the d-cup, c-cup, small bust, They judge me like the girls on trial, But every time that I come out it’s just girls gone wild, Got the domino effect in the front row passing out, With little bikini tops they got they x’s hanging out, Say my shoe game nuts, so I call ‘em cashews, Every other city theres another Nicki tattoo
Steal Wayne girls, I steal Drake girls, You know the real bitches love me fuck the fake girls
So if you pretty, I sign titties, I got the key to every mothafucking city.”

In Nicki Minaj lyrics and videos do you think that she is actually bisexual or is she doing this for her fans? Maybe she is doing and saying things like this because she actually is bi or maybe she’s putting on a show. Is being bisexual an identity? Does being bisexual exist, or is this a term one uses to hide what they really are? Lastly, if you believe that someone can be bisexual is it okay for men and women to be bi or is it just acceptable for women to be bi?