Menstrual suppression is becoming increasingly popular, and has been widely promoted for women. For some, especially women with reproductive health issues which are helped by suppressing periods, it's an obvious boon, and some using it electively also report it to be a blessing. But what about the health risks? What about the attitudes informing that choice which cheerlead suppression by maligning menstruation? What about the benefits, emotional and physical, our periods can offer us? An opinionated, no-holds-barred look at the whole works and a paean to the period, no matter what a woman chooses to do with it.
Jennifer talks with us about her new project about rape, which we're participating in at Scarleteen, what the project can do to increase awareness about rape and survivors, where she thinks we're at culturally with rape issues, and what young people can do to help transform rape culture and their own lives.
It’s typically assumed that sex and gender are the same. They’re not. What's gender all about, then? What is the range of gender and gender identity, and how does gender impact our lives and how we live them?
Rape is often framed as about women, but it's not. Something done TO us really isn't about us. It's the things that we choose to do which are about us, which is why it's such an error for rape to be framed as a women's issue or about women: it's almost always a men's issue and really about men. Find out what men need to know about rape and rapists, what you can do to be sure you have consent with sex, other ways to help with rape prevention, and why your help is so important.
If we're going to think of our genitals as big, any one of us, given the small range between them, we should think everyone's genitals are big. We also need to accept that it's ignorant or misinformed to think, presume or suggest that penises are big but vaginas are small, because we really are all about the same size. If thinking big is better for one sex, it's also got to be better for the other. So, if you or someone else is going to go on about some big penis, you'd best get just as excited about the idea of a big vagina, and make having a big ol'Vagowski just as cool. And if you're all hung up on the idea that the vagina be as small as it can possibly be, or is such a small thing, then you've got to accept that penises are small, too.
Want to step up and start standing up for the issues most important to you? Here's a few basics on how young activists can get started.
You probably know what abstinence-only sex education is, and you may also understand what comprehensive sex education is. But we feel we take it one step further around here, and aim to provide feminist comprehensive sex education, for women, men and everyone in between. So, what's that all about?
It's amazing that with something as safe, simple, affordable and revolutionary as emergency contraception that it STILL isn't being used by millions of women who could use it, and who would prefer to avoid an abortion or an unwanted pregnancy. In part, that's because so many doctors and clinics still do not inform and educate women about EC. Here's some EC clarity, on the house. Pass it on!
I don't know if you are Orthodox or not, but if you are, perhaps you've heard of a term called "taharat hamispocheh" (rough transliteration). These are the laws (halacha) of family purity, or so they're called. They cover life situations involving sexuality and sexual activity.
Kate Greenaway is the Canadian director of Medical Students for Choice, a group of 7000 medical students across the US and Canada who are working towards improving school curriculums to include reproductive health training, especially abortion training.
The Biblical sin of Sodom wasn't homosexuality or anal sex -- it was rape, greediness and poor hospitality, and the legal basis of sodomy is not about homosexuality, but about oral and anal sex, and often about homophobia.
I started to grasp that AIDS hit very diverse people from lots of different backgrounds, but AIDS had no face for me. No real face, I mean. Only a face hidden in a shadow, or behind glasses, with a wig or a base cap and a weird, computerized voice, without a name. But it did get a name for me. And a face.
I'm 16 and I used to be pregnant.
There's nothing wrong with masturbation. Come on, say it with me: "there's NOTHING wrong with masturbation."
Hanne Blank is not a virgin. (She's almost 37 and she's been living with her life partner for nine years -- we just thought we'd get that out of the way.) But she is a historian, a writer, and an expert on virginity, having written the first-ever history of the subject, "Virgin: The Untouched History."
Enough people don't talk about abortion. Too many people don't listen to those who do. I'm not talking about conceptually or hypothetically. I'm not talking about discussing this woman or that who you knew that aborted or did not. I'm talking about talking about abortion; intimately, personally. In public, not in secrecy.
After a few years of being the postergirl for alternative approaches to menstruation – writing articles, being interviewed, doing workshops, selling washable pads to women and getting involved in too many party conversations on the topic to possibly count – something is starting to give. The truth is, I’m starting to get a little bit tired of being nice. I’ve lost my patience with trying to pussyfoot around the issue until women are willing to talk about their own blood. And so, as a form of cleansing for me and education for you – should you choose to engage in it – I have penned the following set of arguments dispelling the myths about washable menstrual pads and your period. So there.
There is really only one thing that you need to know about sex and disability: Disabled people have sex, too.
When we look in the mirror as a culture, our tendency toward hysteria always seems to hover in our communal blind spot. We’re not very good at seeing when groups with a political or social agenda are manipulating us with fear, often the unreasonable, irrational fear of the taboo.
I remember when I was seventeen, I tried on some new ideas. One of my ideas was that notions of "right" and "wrong" were false creations of society, and did not actually exist. Yeah, it didn't make much sense back then, either.
The more common meaning and implication of the term came to change around the 13th century and derived a sexual, sexist and moralistic meaning. With that change, the word now implied that staying a virgin until marriage guaranteed that a woman would uphold the family honor by passing from father to husband as an object that was owned -- her virginity, her own body, was a thing of value that would be owned by her father, until such time as ownership of her virginity, body and sexuality would be transferred to her husband.
What IS pornography? Why do people use it? Should I like it or not?
The author of this article is Malcolm Gin, who identifies as a 31-year old intergendered person. In this article, Malcolm explains a great deal about sex, gender, gender identity, and what you can do if you find out (or worry) that you might not be "normal" in terms of your own gender identity. Read on, and find out what it's like to be a "boy" who isn't actually a boy, and what life can be like for people with non-standard gender identity.
What we are talking about here is celibacy, the deliberate choice not to have a sexual partner for any period of time. There's nothing ambiguous about that. Being celibate entails sharing NO sexual acts with a partner: any kind of intercourse (vaginal or anal), oral sex, manual sex, and so forth. In other words, no physical, sexual contact with others; meaning any genital (penis or vulva) touch, with mouths, hands or anything else between you and someone else is off limits.
When I was 16, due to a very irresponsible pairing of an impetuous one-night stand and a few days of partying, I woke up one morning to discover I had mononucleosis and walking pneumonia. As if that wasn't enough, my period was late.