Monthly Archives: November 2010
In 1975, Meg Wolitzer’s boyfriend wanted to go to third. Meg, as a feminist, revolutionist and most importantly as a teenager, thought this would be a the perfect act of pro-woman rebellion. She thought that until her 14 year old boyfriend crept down the stairs to committ their act of societal rebellion. With the creak of the steps, Meg knew she did not want to go to third which in 1975 is what Meg describes as a boy using a girl’s vagina as a puppet. In the end she did not go to third with her boyfriend, they broke up and Meg became an author, wife, mother and all star home run hitter.
(Listen to Meg’s story here: http://castroller.com/podcasts/TheMothPodcast/1782453-Meg%20Wolitzer%20First%20Love,%20Long%20Island%20circa%201975)
Meg told this story on the Moth, a brilliant podcast of stories from authors, artists and other random folks all over the country. Although many of the Moth’s podcasts are delightful, inspiring and reflective, Meg’s is one of the best I have heard that so honestly reveals the workings of a young girl’s sexual mind, something that hasn’t changed much since 1975 although the bases may have changed drastically.
Teenagers desire to rebel against whatever is the social norm. As the social norm goes from “necking” to boob grabbing to oral sex, so does teenagers’ extremes. But an increase in the sexual ante, doesn’t mean all 8th graders giving blow jobs at the sock hops. As Meg’s story showed, teenagers will want to rebel but it they are instilled with enough self confidence, their desire to be true to themselves will overcome their desire to go to third.
Glee I’m disappointed in you and your Madonna/whore complex.
I’ve never been ashamed to admit I love Glee. The mash-ups, the over-the-top costumes, the high school clichés, what is not to love about this musical dramarama as long as you don’t take it too seriously.
Except lately Glee has been serious, dealing with issues ranging from teenage pregnancy to homophobia to racial stereotypes and dealing with them well. Nothing seems to be off limits for the troupe of teenage stereotypes, nothing except an honest conversation about sex.
Every episode there seems to be this dynamic of “normal” teenage boys looking to have sex and “good” teenage girls refusing them or “dirty” teenage whores indulging them. In this week’s episode Santana aptly said “This wouldn’t happen if you all put out more,” playing the vixen so well while seeming to blame the virgins for the trouble the boys found themselves in the episode.
Besides the obvious Madonna/whore cliché that Glee is playing into, it is obvious that Glee leaves the discourse at this shallow level. No one dives more into why the “whores” have sex with any man who tells them they are not fat or dines and ditches at Breadsticks. No one explains why some of the “good girls” are waiting to have sex.
Either Brittany or Santana have had sex with almost every single male character, while Rachel, Tina and Mercedes have yet to even touch a penis in two years. I realize it is a TV show and stereotypes are easier to adapt current pop songs to but really, it is high school, at least throw in some dry humping.
For most teens, high school can be a healthy time for experimenting with sex. By only showing the saints and the sinners, Glee is enforcing the very sad misconception that the only options for sex are abstinence or vaginal sex.
Maybe oral sex is still too taboo for Fox but if you can have the Rocky Horror transvestite on Glee you should be able to talk about some fellatio or at least dry humping or mutual masturbation.
I know Glee is just a T.V. show but unfortunately it is where a lot of teenagers are getting their sex ed (well that and 16 and pregnant). If we keep forcing the Madonna/whore stereotypes on teenages (especially the young ladies) we are going to get just what we shove on them: a bunch of whores pretending to be virgins, none of whom will have an orgasm until they are 45.
Glee may not be courageous enough to do it but eventually someone out there has to start talking to teenagers about the reality of sex and all the nitty gritty dry humping that goes along with it.
(Sidenote: Thank you Glee for an honest look at homophobia in High School. With all the recent bullying in the news, it is amazing to have a mainstream show deal with this issue with such honesty.)
To watch the “Never Been Kissed” episode check out hulu: http://www.hulu.com/watch/188956/glee-never-been-kissed.
CBS’s one redeeming show “How I met your mother” is like “Friends” but funnier and with more sexual references. Already its sixth season with still no sign of an ending to Ted’s “how I met your mother” story, I look forward every week to a half hour reprieve of good-ole fashion sitcom comedy, a welcomed reprieve from the vampire tragedies, crime dramas or dirty reality TV shows.
Plus occasionally it makes you think. Like last week’s episode featuring the famous New York style “Walk of Shame.” In the episode, Ted and Barney sat on their unrealistically clean NY stoop and watched a parade a disheveled women walk by. They named the parade the “walk of shame” and although I appreciate the sense of tradition that the walk of shame has I can’t help but think it is time for an upgrade in terminology.
Let old-fashioned New York stick with their outdated “walk of shame” but I suggest Chicago, often called the city of sexual liberation, adopt the more 2011-phrase, “stride of pride.” After all, after walking home after a good roll in the proverbial (and often beer-drenched) hay, I think the expected emotion would be satisfaction mixed with a bit of exhaustion and craving for a Bloody Mary and Eggs Benedict not a sense of shame.
This is not the 1960s and TV couples long ago pushed the twin beds together. Yet somewhere between the double bed and the one-night stand on TV, we lost the inhibition against non-marital sexual relations but not the centuries old guilt. The walk of shame seems to imply that people are welcomed to sex each other up as much as physically possible as long as they feel bad about it the next day.
Ladies and gentleman, the days of guilt-filled sex are numbered and the walk of shame is so 2010. As a new year and a new decade rolls in let us all stride home with pride after our sexually-satisfying nights. Whether a steamy one-night stand or monogamously sexy nightly event, the “stride of pride” is the new trend of 2011.
As for the writers of “How I met your Mother,” I know the walk of shame has deep comedic roots in the sitcom world, but think of the potential hilarity of the stride of pride, with missing socks, bed-matted hair and a easily identifiable smile of satisfaction. It is time for a sexy comedy revolution!
At first when I heard Pink sing/scream “Dirty little freaks, won’t you come and raise your glass,” I thought “Woah Pink is trying to be Lady Gaga minus the meat dresses and 13 ft heels.” I was a little disappointed in my screamer sister who I always held as an “original” since the Save the Last Dance days when she sported a pink mohawk when blond was the staple for female singers. But before we judge Pink’s latest fist-pumping soon-to-be-classic song as just another Lady Gaga knock off, let’s remember that Pink was hoisting the freak flag long before Gaga studded her training bras.
Pink has always been about pushing the boundaries of a being a freaky feminist while still being a success and she has treaded that line boldly. Her latest video starts with Pink as Rosy the Riviter, the classic feminist symbol of strength; throughout the video she morphs into a skater, a geek, a “gangsta,” and, what I hope is a spoof on the latest gaga-inspired video trend of just weird images, a masked woman feeding a cow milk. She seems to be saying, as feminists before her said, and feminists after will continue to yell, sing and proclaim, “I am all these things. So raise your effiin’ glass.”
To that I say cheers and let’s save the Lady Gaga clone references for those her deserve the label, a.k.a. Ke$ha (a money sign, really?).
Since Chicago’s 20-year incumbent Mayor Daley announced he would not seek re-election in 2011, the Feb 11th mayor election’s volume has been turned on high with speculation of who will run, who Chicago wants to run and how the city will function without the outbursts of the Daley Machine. The buzz has been so great that until recent weeks it drowned out the increasing uncomfortably tight races for senate and governor. In this traditionally blue state, the reds are leading by about 3% in both races. It is no surprise that the races have not been clean and many constituents are fed up with the negative campaign ads and personal jabs. Yet this is an election that not only decides the color of the state but could also affect universal health care, stimulus for the economy and, an issue permanently tattooed on Chicagoan’s minds, taxes.
For those Chicagoans not thrilled at the idea of spending their Tuesdays in line at local churches, libraries and schools across the city, city offered two early voting options. Residents could request an absentee ballot and to mail in before the Election Day. Unfortunately a glitch in the Illinois Democratic Coordinated Campaign’s plan to get voters to send in absentee ballots may have done more harm that good. Check out the Chicagoist story for the full story: http://chicagoist.com/2010/10/28/glitch_on_absentee_ballot_may_disen.php
Chicagoans also had the option of voting early this year and, as evident by the lines at libraries across the city last Saturday, many took advantage of the option. Early voting ended Thursday 30 October 2010. Those who didn’t cast their votes by Thursday will join the masses at the polls on Tuesday 2 November 2010.
The Big Day: 2 November 2010
Rather shockingly The Board of Election Commissioner for the City of Chicago has an easily navigable and widely helpful website for residents http://www.chicagoelections.com/. Registered voters can look up their polling location at the following address: http://www.chicagoelections.com/voterinfo.php. Regrettably the ease stops there for residents not registered to vote. Those who missed the 26 Oct 2010 “grace period” for registering to vote will not be able to vote in the 2 November election.
The Big Races: Senator and Governor
Although not always the most unbiased source of news, The Chicago Tribune has a great Election Center website for voters looking for some last minute updates or background on candidates. http://elections.chicagotribune.com/. The website includes recent polls, past articles and bio of each candidate with helpful information such as political party, current job and campaign website along with some less helpful information such as marital status and number of children.
As of 25 October 2010, Republican candidates led Democratic candidates by 3% in the Senate Race and 4% in the governor race. With a 6 or 7% undecided population in each poll, these races are so close you can see purple.
Not so big Races
Along with the biggies, Illinois residents are voting for state representatives, the Attorney General, Secretary of State, Treasurer and Comptroller. For bios on the candidates and links to their campaign website see the Chicago Tribune Election Center.
In addition to hiring officials, residents will also get to vote if they want the right to fire the big dog aka the Governor. After the Blagojevich scandal, an amendment has been put on the ballot that would give residents the option of recalling the governor via a special election after support from House and Senate. For more information on this amendment see this Examiner article:
Luckily if Chicagoans are disappointed with the results of the 2 November election or if they just miss all the negative pointless political ads, there will be three more politically-charged months ahead for the city. Mark your calendars for the 11 February 2011 Mayoral Election. This one will be a doozy!