Published on Oct 21, 2010
Krystal Ball, a 28-year-old democratic congressional candidate in Virginia, has made headlines this past week because photos of her at age 22 were released on a blog (a completely unbiased and respectable one I’m sure). In these photos she is dressed as a kinky, pirate, Santa Claus leading around her then-husband on a leash with a dildo strapped to his nose. In some pictures she mimes rubbing the dildo-nose, and in others she pretends to fellate the dildo-nose. Even one of her girlfriends got some dildo-nose action in another photo (this last point is not as relevant I guess but I’m having too much fun with the phrase “dildo-nose”).
Her opponents had a field day, claiming the photos showed Ball was a whore. What I find pleasantly different about this story, however, is Ball’s attitude toward it all. Other than take the usual politician approach - something along the lines of deny until you realize you’re screwed then go on Larry King to apologize - Ball immediately accepted that these photos are of her. Even better, she doesn’t regret having posed for them in the first place.
"Society has to accept that women of my generation have sexual lives that are going to leak into the public sphere," Ball wrote in an Oct. 11 article for The Huffington Post. "Sooner or later, this is a reality that has to be faced, or many young women in my generation will not be able to run for office."
She explains that women throughout the years have been forced to hide any trace of sexuality they might have “if they wanted to be taken as seriously as men.” In politics especially, women have to contain their sexuality in order to prove they’re just as competent as the men - mainly because there are so few female politicians compared to men. The fight for votes, and more importantly respect in the community, requires the submission of femininity.
Now, if having an overbearing Jewish mother taught me anything, it’s that no matter how great I’m feeling about my life at any point in time, there’s always going to have to be something that I should feel guilty about. From obvious things like blaming a friend for something they didn’t do, to more obscure things like always pronouncing the country of Uruguay in my head as “you’re a gay.”
All this nonstop guilt, and yet I feel that if a picture of me surfaces wherein I’m sucking on a dildo-nose, I won’t feel much guilt. In my mind I can still run for president regardless of such trivial things. Am I wrong? Will I automatically be dismissed by the American public and be deemed a whore, unfit to run a country because I’m admitting I know what a dildo is?
This incident also made me think of this issue on a larger scale. More than just female sexuality in politics, I thought about politicians in general. Now trust me, I hate to say this, but it has to be said: Politicians are people too. That one picture you have of some random guy at a party holding a bottle of vodka in one hand and a blunt in the other could very well be our future Secretary of State. Just keep that in mind - our society is going to need to loosen the fuck up fast thanks to our obsession with photographically documenting everything we do. Showing the progression of our lives through social networking sites like Facebook is opening us up to a lot more than we might realize.
More pictures like Ball’s are bound to surface in the future and frankly, I want them to. Sex, sexuality, dildo-noses - they’re all a part of life. We say we want our politicians to be real people, yet the second a sex-related detail of their personal lives comes up, insanity ensues.
I wish we lived in a world in which it were OK to ask Michelle Obama whether she spits or swallows; a world where Hillary Clinton can admit to always being on top; a world where Rahm Emanuel can tell us nothing gets him harder than some good old old-fashioned dirty talk. Unfortunately we’re not there yet, but maybe a few more Facebook albums dedicated to 21st birthdays, and some more women like Krystal Ball who prove to be serious, goal-oriented community leaders regardless of what pictures of them surface on the internet, will help us get there.
original article link: http://theaggie.org/article/2010/10/21/column-balls-under-fire
The stigma created around female masturbation is a lot like the stigma set about female excrement. Basically, it just doesn’t exist. I’ll explain the excrement one first. I have heard from many guys throughout the years these exact words: “Girls don’t poop,” or even better, “Girls only poop rainbows and butterflies.” Seriously guys? Guess what, all women shit. From Mildred, your elderly next door neighbor who has one too many cats and one too few teeth, to Jessica Alba (that hot chick from that movie where she plays a really hot chick). Mainly, it’s because we’re all living creatures; regardless of gender we have these basic biological needs to attend to. Pretty obvious I know, yet many men are still in denial.
That brings me to my main focus: masturbation. I’ll be more lenient with this topic and admit that, unlike pooping, not all women masturbate. Even worse, those who do never like to talk about it. I mean really ladies, when have you ever seriously discussed the matter? And I mean truly discussed it. Not some reference over a comment Samantha made about it on an episode of Sex and the City, or when you made a dildo joke out of some phallic object you saw at a toy store. Most of you will say never, right? For some reason it’s weird for a girl to talk about masturbation, yet at the same time it’s weird for a guy to not talk about it. For instance, if I asked one of my girlfriends what type of lube she thinks I should buy for a standard dildo, she’s not going to respond to me something like, “Try getting one with a water-based solution - it won’t stick to the dildo as much and will make clean up a lot easier.” Instead she’ll say something more like, “I don’t know. Leave me alone.”
Now, let’s flip the gender. When one guy asks another guy, “Hey man, what’s a good porn to whack off to?” his friend is probably going to go on for at least 15 minutes telling him precisely what’s the best porn to whack off to. In a study done by Women’s Realities in 2008, 70 percent of women who admitted to masturbating also admitted to feeling guilt about it. Now, ladies, unless you’re rubbing one out to a Justin Beiber music video there is absolutely no need to feel ashamed for doing what people have been doing since the beginning of time.
In fact, there are health benefits to it all. Benefits such as stress reduction, curing insomnia naturally, lowering chances of certain infections and, oh yeah, having an orgasm.
I guess what I’m trying to get at is that masturbation is so taboo amongst us women because society is still forcing us to hold on to the ridiculous ideals that women are always supposed to be pure. As if admitting to being horny is the precursor to just becoming an all-out slut. I equate it to those 1950s anti-marijuana propaganda films whose plots went something along the lines of: “Billy was a real good kid up until he had his first hit of marijuana. One hit was all it took for him to get hooked. Now Billy is in jail for stealing a cop car, killing an innocent old lady off the street and taking her wallet. Anything to get the next fix, right Billy?”
This is masturbation today. So many women think like this Billy kid and feel as if giving into self-pleasure will lead to a life of sex addiction (and maybe even the stealing of a cop car or two). To many women it is better to succumb to the notion constructed by our social world that men should be viewed as the primary gender that wants sex purely for pleasure. Women just sit back and go along for the ride. Well, screw that. Sometimes we don’t enjoy the ride being offered to us, and usually they end far too quickly. So in turn, we’ll just ride ourselves. Is that so bad? I’m going to actually answer this one and say no, it’s not.
Last but not least let’s not forget about vibrators. If it’s not your best friend by now I highly recommend you reevaluate who your real friends are. If you don’t have one then please, invest in one now. Basic ones are not too expensive and will definitely be worth it in the long run.
original article link: http://theaggie.org/article/2010/10/14/column-masturbation-shmasturbation
Guest post: Alison Stevenson takes over Fembot with “Big Girl”
Finally, someone took up our generous offer to write for us! You should read and click and maybe go to one of Alison Stevenson’s stand up performances.
Being an overweight girl is hard. For me I find it most challenging because I don’t mind having the extra pudge. No, really, it’s not that big of a deal to me. I’d like to think that I’ve learned to dress myself appropriately, and still manage to find clothes that make me feel comfortable, sexy, cute, or what have you. I’m an outgoing gal who still considers myself beautiful regardless of the gut. Is that so wrong? I don’t think so, but there is one person in my life that is very adamant about changing my perspective on me. Her name is Mom.
My mom is a fucking bitch. I mean don’t get me wrong - I love the bitch, but when it comes to matters of my weight I just can’t stand her. She does that sneaky phrasing where she’ll compliment me and insult me at the same time. It’s a very mom thing to do. It goes something like this:
“Alison, you have such a pretty face. Really, you do.”
“Oh thanks mom!”
“Now if only you’d lose twenty-five pounds then you’d be beautiful!”
What the? Are you for real? It’s moments like these that make me wish I could morph into an angry cartoon character, have steam come out my ears, bounce all over the walls, yell profanities, self-combust, then quickly regain composure and walk away like nothing happened. But no, instead I just bounce all over the walls and scream profanities.
In all honesty though, it’s hard to explain to my mom that the things she says are more damaging than helpful. I get where she’s coming from but the woman just can not comprehend that I already feel attractive. Real talk, regardless of my weight I’m a cocky motherfucker. Seriously, I got the self-confidence of Charlie Sheen and don’t need the cocaine addiction to prove it. Instead of obsessing over my negatives I think about my positives and find that bringing those things out make me an overall more attractive person. Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t always like this. A lot of my college years were spent obsessing over how other people might see me. I would get extremely self-conscious and worry if people were noticing my “bigness”. When men approached me I would assume it was because they had no one else to talk to, or they were trying to go through me to get to my “hotter” friend. Now I look back to all these instances and realize I was being one lame ass bitch. I was quick to dismiss potential suitors, or let’s face it it was college so more like potential hook up buddies, and it was all my fault. Purely because I was self-degrading.
I guess that saying is true. You know, the one about us being hardest on ourselves. I was such a bitch to me back then. I wish the now me could go back in time and give college me a fucking wake up call. Just be like, “Alison, stop obsessing over this shit! You’re fine!” It would also be cool to go back so I could warn college me that watching A Bugs Life does not count as studying for that entomology final I am going to fail.
How did I come to realize this on my own? I really don’t know. I guess it’s sort of linked to dating. I’ve moved to a bigger city where I meet more people who tell me they don’t mind a girl that’s bigger than average and I have finally come around to believing them. I guess growing older has done that whole “maturity” thing where it’s much more obvious that there are those who do care about personality and it’s really not some hokey bullshit Lifetime movies try to sell you. I’ve come to learn to ignore the “mom” comments, and if crap like this happens to you then I recommend you do the same.If your weight is damaging to your health that’s one thing, but if you’re like me and are an overall pretty healthy person then don’t stress about it. When it comes down to it, I’d rather just stay like this. I prefer to spend my free time reading new comic books rather than pumping iron at the gym. Is that so bad?
Society, especially the media, has done a good job of defining beautiful as something only thin girls can be. Our job as bigger girls is not to try our best to conform to this, but rather to gracefully wave our middle fingers at those media fucks, and work to broaden the spectrum on our own. Society as a whole has turned “thin” and “fat” into enemies. Two rival gangs that can never get along. It’s all very West Side Story, but with less singing (except for when I sing “I feel pretty” to myself in the shower). If you’re truly satisfied, then stay the way you are and don’t let outside pressures tell you you’re wrong. Easier said than done I know, but instilling this mentality is a good first step in confronting those people who just don’t see it yet.Believe me, I am the last girl you’ll find at a support group. I tend to despise those people who encourage all of us to hold hands, want to sing kumbaya, then talk about their feelings expecting your shoulder to be available for crying on. However, I see how their position is sometimes necessary. As corny as it may sound, and as tired as the phrase may be, big really is beautiful and I guess it’s one of those things that keeps having to be said until society starts genuinely accepting it.