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Decoding Sex in the Media: How Lily Allen's "Hard Out Here" (Sadly) Missed the Mark

I really wanted to love Lily Allen’s new song and video, “Hard Out Here."

The British artist, who took time off to start a family, has recently burst back into the music scene with a punchy, sarcastic pop song that slams the widespread objectification and harsh criticism of women’s bodies in so much of modern media. Far sharper than Beyonce’s generic brand of girls rule!, “Hard Out Here” addresses specific feminist issues with acuity and wit.

She discusses the double standard surrounding women’s sexuality (“If I told you about my sex life, you'd call me a slut/when boys be talking about their bitches, no one's making a fuss”), the unrealistic beauty standard for women (“You should probably lose some weight/'cause we can't see your bones/you should probably fix your face or you'll end up on your own”), and even makes a jab or two at Robin Thicke’s rape-y hit song with the sarcastic lyrics like, “Have you thought about your butt? Who's gonna tear it in two?”

It’s about time for an empow

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Young People Rock at Supporting Scarleteen!

This summer, Arianna, who is one of our readers, wrote and produced a play at her college about sexuality which also included a fundraising ask for Scarleteen.

This month, Marlena, another Scarleteen user, surprised us with this incredible video she made as part of Project for Awesome, to do what she could to help support what we do and express her experience of what Scarleteen can offer to young people, particularly in a world which is so often unsupportive not just of youth sexuality, but of youth as a whole.

And now, in the last week, yet another fantastic young person began an ingenious self-designed fandom auction to help us here, an effort a host of creative, generous folks have hopped on so far to pitch in with.

We feel the information, support and services we provide for young people are things that young people truly are owed: things they should be able to receive for free from any of us who have the ability to provide them for them. Ideally, our hope is always that older

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All About Condoms

Want to watch and find out how to use male and female condoms best in English, Spanish, Arabic, Russian, ASL and more?

So, About That Video...

I tried several times to leave a comment at the National Campaign's blog on this, but alas, it wouldn't let me. I'm pretty savvy with web forms, so it's probably just some kind of temporary technical snag over there. Since it wouldn't let me do so there, I'm doing it here.

After hearing complaints about the video at sex::tech from audience members at one of my own panels, a video I had not seen myself, then getting an email the following morning with some of those complaints CC'd to me, I had a private conversation with Larry Swiader, in his role there as a representative of the NC, about the reactions the video got (which I did look at before our conversation, and was not a fan of myself). This was a conversation where I was primarily trying to help support someone new in the field facing an intense swell of reactivity, however valid. I know how challenging working in sex education can be, especially when you're new to it, and I also know how overwhelming it can be to face en-mass

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Changing Sexpectations

A Scarleteen user's final project for her Feminist Theory class, these two student-made sex ed videos linked through the accompanying blog are informative and a lot of fun.

Vote for Sex Ed Vids: For Teens, By Teens

Like watching video clips online? The cleverer, the catchier, the crazier the better? What about quality vids about things you truly care about, for you and by you? Look no further than the FreshFocus video contest sponsored by RH Reality Check, in partnership with Isis, Inc., Advocates for Youth, SIECUS, and the National Sexuality Resource Center!

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