An orgasm a day, Ben Roethlisberger, and robot models
by Amelia Thomson-DeVeaux
This is a little old, but I thought it was very worth sharing. Britain's National Health Service in the city of Sheffield has produced a pamphlet which has a surprising message for teens - sex doesn't automatically equal moral degeneracy and STIs, and sometimes it actually feels good. What is this, you say? We should be telling our youth that sex is something that should be enjoyed? The pamphlet includes a section called "an orgasm a day" that focuses on the positive physical and emotional results of sex and masturbation. It also contains information about safe sex, but the creators are definitely unique in their ability to connect safe and pleasurable sex. Steve Slack, one of the designers of the pamphlets, says that one of the key aims is to make sure that teens can delay sex until they know that they are physically and emotionally able to enjoy it (which is why it is so important to talk to teens about masturbation), but of course there are those who think that this pamphlet will lead youth straight down the path of sin and gonorrhea.
"Some of it is good sense, but I think it's wrong is to suggest that 16-year-olds should wantonly enter into having sexual intercourse for pleasure," said Anthony Seldon, headmaster of Wellington College, a school for teens. "I think this is medically wrong and emotionally wrong and will increase teenage pregnancy and impact negatively on the formation of a long-term loving relationship." Well, there you have it. Sex and long-term loving relationships have nothing to do with each other - and god forbid that sex should feel good. And we wonder why there are so many adults who are totally uncomfortable with their sexuality.
The NYT has also had a slew of good articles recently, which I'll run through quickly. Nicholas Kristof's latest column tells the story of a young Pakistani woman who was kidnapped at the age of 16 and repeatedly raped by a group of thugs and then, when she was finally delivered to the police, raped by four police officers. Instead of committing suicide, which would be the socially acceptable way to cleanse her family of the shame that she brought by enduring horrible pain and violation for a year, she has chosen to do the unthinkable, and prosecute the rapists and kidnappers.
Women are better managers? An interview with Carol Smith, senior VP for the Elle Group. I'm always a little wary of trying to compare people's work skills based on little things like their genitalia, but it is refreshing to see people asking why there aren't more women in corner offices, when they are clearly incredibly qualified. I didn't appreciate some of her generalizations about men and women though.
This is just fucked up. A robot walked the runway in Japan this week - just to emphasize the extent to which our standards of beauty are completely fucking unrealistic. But at least the robot did give "sidelong glances" to the front row, so she's almost as good as a real woman.
Ben Roethlisberger, the quarterback of the Pittsburgh Steelers, is being sued for rape by Andrea McNulty, a hostess at a Harrah's in Lake Tahoe. This is causing quite a stir over at ESPN, which told its reporters not to cover the story - ostensibly because no criminal charges were filed. The whole situation is proving that rape culture is alive and well - starting with Harrah's security chief Guy Huyer, who apparently told McNulty that she should feel "lucky" that she "got" to have sex with Ben Roethlisberger. The Steelers have an insane fan base (I should know - my dad is a Steelers fan from way back, and our house goes crazy whenever they play), and McNulty is getting some pretty brutal treatment in the press and on the internet. The phrase "lying golddigger" is getting thrown around a lot, simply because McNulty filed civil and not criminal charges. Jaclyn Friedman has a great post here about why civil charges were filed, but sadly, I think we can expect even more attempts to tarnish McNulty's reputation as the case goes on. She's a brave woman for standing up to this kind of horrible scrutiny, and we can only hope that the fact that it's being covered at all will force people to recognize that this happens far more often than we allow ourselves to think.