What’s Sex Got to Do With Usher?

Usher has imparted many #1 hits unto the world. From “U Make Me Wanna” to “Confessions” to “OMG,” Usher has graced us with not only his voice, but also his softer, more emotional side. However, what happens when Usher switches gears and speaks about his relationship… with a stripper!?

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What’s Sex Got to do With… Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis

http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=11950266

Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis is a guard one UCONN’s women’s basketball team. She has recently talked to ESPN because many people are questioning her weight. It all started with an article/blog on http://www.theday.com/sports-columns/20141124/a-delicate-topic-that-cant-be-ignored

Excerpt from article:

“It is for this reason that I believe Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis’ weight is an appropriate topic in a public forum. I know. Delicate. She’s a kid, not a professional. But, you know, if Charles Barkley was the “round mound of rebound” when he played at Auburn, why is it out of bounds to discuss the importance of whether Mosqueda-Lewis can get in better shape by March and thus fulfill the responsibility she has to her teammates? It’s an uncomfortable discussion, sure. But fair. Besides, aside from injury, Mosqueda-Lewis’ inability to move faster – and by extension, guard anything beyond a chair – is the single biggest obstacle imperiling the 10th championship for the UConn women.” Then in further down in article the author continues to say: “I understand this will offend some folks. I get this is a beyond-the-basketball issue because women are often perceived through how they look and not what they do. I despise the Neanderthals who watch women’s sports to ogle, not appreciate.”

The thing that blows my mind is that this author is questioning Kaleena’s weight and how she looks but then has the nerve to say he deposes the “Neanderthals that perceive women for their looks and not what they do. He’s technically be a hypocrite.

In the video, which is above on the espn website, she responded really well to the criticism she is getting. She states, “she shouldn’t be getting judged on how she looks but how she is playing. She continues to say she is keeping up with her teammates and that the outcome is the most important, If she is helping her teammates and doing her job then nothing should matter”.

This could connect to the article “Sex sells, but what else does it do?”. The article says, “Some people find women’s participation in pornography, both as part of the audience and as part of the production, to be empowering, and argue that is demonstrates the importance of women controlling their own sexuality and others argue that the higher wages exist only because women still have to exploit themselves to make money” (Pappas, 325). So since Kaleena is such a big name in Women’s Basketball do they want her to loose this weight so they can then sexualize her in photos like they do other women athletes? Clearly women in porn is somewhat different then women in sports but they are both being sexualized or judged for their weight or how they look. When is this going to change?

 

 

What’s Sex Got To Do With… Video Games?

For years, video games, particularly fantasy games, have been a “boy’s club” of sorts that operates in an environment where many women feel unwelcome to join. If any women at all exists as characters in these games, they are either presented as a “damsel in distress” that needs rescuing, or as a hyper sexualized commodity, or both. While male characters in these games get to wear full sets of body armor, warm underclothes, and well, clothing that seems relatively plausible in the context of the game, female characters are too often portrayed as having an incredibly small waist, disproportionate breasts, and, as Stephen Colbert puts it “armor that barely covers their nipples.” Needless to say, women who would otherwise play these games are feeling shut out and some are starting to raise their voices against this obvious sexism.

Enter Anita Sarkeesian.

Lauded as a hero to many female gamers who so often feel silenced in the male dominated sphere of internet gaming, Sarkeesian, founder of “Feminist Frequency” has received a never ending stream of rape and death threats since starting her crusade. If you are feeling brave, take a look at some of the posts on reddit.com defending the “rights” of some men to blatantly sexualize women in some gaming universes. Sarkeesian’s actions and the backlash that has been created from it is clearly a manifestation of rape culture. Internet users, who are often protected by anonymity, degrade and threaten assault to women who are pointing out the sheer grossness of their social sphere. There is a currently trending quote that has been circulating online recently that I think can be applied to what is happening in the video game world.

“Woman speaks out against misogynistic abuse and is met with misogynistic abuse from men who believe misogynistic abuse doesn’t exist ant that she should stop making them look bad.”

Whats sex got to do with… “Sexy Can I”

 

The song “Sexy can I” by Yung Berg, Ft. Ray J, is arguably asking for sexual consent throughout the song. Starting almost every line with “Sexy can I” asking if he can perform sexual pleasures in different kinds of ways. Some may argue that this is a form of sexual consent because of the use of such explicit language talking about how the way she shakes “it” makes him like “oh”.

“Girl how you shake it, got a nigga like (oh)

It’s a Kodak moment, let me go and get my camera”

 

“Sexy, can I, visit you at work?

While you slidin down the pole, no panties, no shirt

Then you climb back up the pole, then you drop and do the splits”

Debra Tolman, writer of “Adolescent Girls Sexuality” would use the terms “sexual subjectivity” and “sexual socialization”.  She would use the term sexual subjectivity for either the male or the female, because the male is expressing himself as in he is entitled to having the sexual feelings he is having and making the active decision on talking to the girl in sexual ways.  While for the female (A dancer), she is putting herself out there shaking her booty and swinging on the pole; she is entitled to her sexual behavior.  For the term sexual socialization, it would be toward the woman; because she is socialized that woman should be the object of a man’s desire.

The women he is talking about in this song are viewed as sexual objects and are being used to sell the song.  Could this be viewed in the Marxist approach?  She is using her body to make money, while Yung Berg and Ray J are using her to sell their song to the public.

Steven Siedman in “The Social Construction of Sexuality” states that sex is viewed as social.  That people are born with sexual nature and are biologically driven to engage in procreative behavior; social factors influence with whom this behavior is engaged with (11).  With this said, some may view this song as no problem, because it is natural for these behaviors to happen.  The girl has the mindset that she is a sexual object for the man and it is her job to please him.  This heterosexual behavior is natural throughout history (10).  How do you think the public may have perceived this song if it was guy to guy or girl to girl?

 

Sex is a huge part of today’s culture now, so it is a primary seller.  You see it everywhere, not just in music but in all of the entertainment business and fashion business, like underwear and lingerie.

What are your impressions on society using sex as a big time seller?  Do you think the song would have sold if it were a female singing to a male?

 

 

The Dome of Sex: AKA a College Campus

Most people see college as the easiest time to have sex with friends, classmates, or strangers.  It is probably the only period in life where thousands of young people live in the same community and have (for the most part) a similar goal in mind: sex.  For this reason, I see college campuses as domes of sex, and this sexual vibe will not disappear anytime soon.  In Chapter 5: The Campus as a Sexual Arena of “Hooking Up”, Kathleen A. Bogle analyses the prominence of sex in college and how it elicits misperceptions and certain behaviors among students.

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How to Portray Rape on Television

Rape is a crime that has become increasingly prevalent on TV shows. There’s even an entire show dedicated to it’s litigation, Law and Order: SVU. While it is not inherently bad for such crimes to be used in television, it is important that a character’s rape be an important moment in their history. For the victims of sexual violence in SVU, their stories very rarely last more than 45 minutes. One tragic story is substituted for the next creating a seemingly endless conveyor belt of sex crime after sex crime. I would argue that viewers almost become desensitized to the crimes, after potentially watching all sixteen seasons of the show. I believe Law and Order: SVU is a poor representation of portraying rape on screen. There is one show, however, that uses a horrific gang rape to permanently change the characterization of one of its lead characters. That show is Sons of Anarchy. Continue reading

“The Girl who cried Rape”

“She’s gonna be the girl who cried ‘rape,’ and we’ll never be allowed into any frat party again.”

http://www.rollingstone.com/culture/features/a-rape-on-campus-20141119?page=4

The other day I was on Facebook, casually scrolling like I usually do and I happened to stumble upon an article that was recently shared on my timeline. This article highlighted a girl who was raped in 2012 at the University of Virginia. After being lured up the stairs of the fraternity house she was in by her date, Jackie was raped by seven different men for three hours. She found herself in a dark fraternity house room at 3 am after being traumatized for hours… alone. When she’d realized where she was and what had happened, she rushed out of the house and called her friends to come rescue her. After trying to explain what had happened, one of the guys who came to pick her up stated, “She’s gonna be the girl who cried ‘rape,’ and we’ll never be allowed into any frat party again.”

After such a horrific incident, this seems like the most misogynistic and demeaning comment someone could make. Where is the sympathy and the compassion? It seems these days so many people, men and women, lean towards blaming the victim and making excuses rather than standing up for what is right. This is probably one of the most common reactions because of the false yet common myths about rape. Sexual assault victims may feel humiliated, ashamed, or embarrassed about what they were forced or coerced to do. They may often feel responsible for decisions that they made before the assault that they (or others) may later think led to the assault. Even talking about the sexual assault can be difficult because we risk being disbelieved or rejected. The truth is that rape is never the fault of the victim. One thing our society needs to do as a whole is work towards ending victim blaming.

http://time.com/100137/campus-sexual-assault-mariska-hargitay/

Thankfully, many people in the world today are working to stop this misconception of victim blaming. From celebrities to scholars to politicians, the blame game is in the works of being ended. One celebrity who is working strongly to try and end this is Law and Order star, Mariska Hargitay. In an article in Time magazine that we discussed in class, Hargitay states, “Society continues to misplace blame and shame on survivors—both women and men—on college campuses and everywhere else. That has to end. We must confront the myths and excuses that help perpetuate sexual assault. We must speak about these issues, boldly, thoughtfully and often, because criminals thrive when we are silent, when we are reluctant to engage, when we insist that these issues are too murky to sort out.” Rape should never be an issue that is taken lightly on any accounts. We can’t deny the facts: one in five women on college campuses will be sexually assaulted during their four years, and one in sixteen men will be sexually assaulted. In class we learned that conservative estimates suggest that twenty five percent of women experience sexual assault in their lifetimes and about eighteen percent of those assaults involve rape. Also, eighty to ninety percent of sexual assaults are perpetuated by an acquaintance. In the instance of this case at the University of Virginia, these mere statistics served to be true.

So why do people tend to blame the victim rather than accepting their word and the truth? For women maybe it’s because shrugging off a rape or pointing fingers at the victim may be something done as a form of wishful thinking. It could be done to reassure ourselves that, despite the obvious facts, we could never be so vulnerable to this violence. For men, skepticism is a form of self-protection too. For much of their lives, they’ve looked forward to college as a place to become a man, with no rules and have fun… and of course carrying the expectation that when you consume alcohol, sex may be a given with no-strings attached. However, despite everything, there should be no excuse for victim blaming especially when 60% of rapes have been found to not even be reported. Along with this, 97% of sexual assault offenders will never spend a day of their lives in jail. According to Rolling Stones article, there was a study released in 2002 which explored the truth behind rapists and sexual assault offenders: “Lisak’s 2002 groundbreaking study of more than 1,800 college men found that roughly nine out of 10 rapes are committed by serial offenders, who are responsible for an astonishing average of six rapes each. None of the offenders in Lisak’s study had ever been reported. Lisak’s findings upended general presumptions about campus sexual assault: It implied that most incidents are not bumbling, he-said-she-said miscommunications, but rather deliberate crimes by serial sex offenders.”

The facts are there, so why hasn’t there been more to stop it? In a world where rape statistics are so high and it is something that cannot be avoided, why is there not more to be done to prevent rape and get awareness out there? What more can be done to end victim blaming, and promote compassion among all people when it comes to an issue as significant as sexual assault?

What’s Sex Got To Do With…. Bill Cosby?

Bill Cosby has been recently dominating headlines, but instead of the positive stories that always lag behind the icon, the public has become privy to some incidences that occurred in the past. Cobsy has nonetheless painted his own reputation in America media, making himself known as the sweater wearing, kind, and intelligent family man. Despite building this credible reputation, various Americans have been shocked by the recent allegations that have been made regarding Cosby. Various Women have recently made accusations of sexual assault. CNN reveals that At least 15 women are speaking out to various media outlets accusing Cosby of sexual misconduct. They include 19 women who either CNN has spoken to or read court documents about, who have spoken on camera about their allegations or whose alleged attacks have been addressed by Cosby’s attorney.

The various women include Jenna T, Jewel Allsion, Kristina Ruehli, Joyce Emmons, Linda Joy Traitz, Angela Leslie, Victoria Valentino, Carla Ferringno, Louisa Moritz, Renita Chanel Hill, Michelle Hurd, Therese Seringnese, Janice Dickinson, Joan Tarshis, Barbara Bowman, Beth Ferrier, Tamara Green, Andrea Constand and Lachele Covington.

 

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Hook Up Culture or Pure Conformity?

Biologists argue that personality is merely predisposed. Psychologists argue that genetic and environmental factors interact to determine a person’s personality. When discussing and analyzing different situations in sex and society, large emphasis is placed on how environmental factors shape the personality traits and identities of many individuals.

College is often seen as an exploratory stage or a time where people feel they are able to express themselves freely on a personal and sexual level. With the help of the American media, people often associate university with risky behaviors like compulsive drinking and random sexual encounters. This, in turn, may lead people to false expectations about what American university entails.

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