Stop Moralizing Shame, It’s Ruining Everyone’s Day


As some criticism on my post on slut-shaming put it, the concept of shame as a protective feeling for the integrity of the entire person is "not even in the ballpark" of what shame really is. Shame is, in fact, "the negative judgment of the conscience directed towards ourselves...[it has] nothing to do with objectification or wholeness of person."Now while this seems to make shame something simple, useful, and necessary to the restoration of a moral world, it actually makes shame a senseless … [Read more...]

Rethinking Slut-shaming

Shame, oil on canvas, Vesna Kittelson

I do not operate, move, or control my body. I am my body. It is I who see, smell, touch and move. It is my spirit which lives in and through these fingertips and toes. I don't think "let's type the next letter" and then wrangle my finger into obedience -- I just type the next letter, my finger and internal intention in a beautiful, natural harmony.But let one become ashamed, let him break a vase or stand caught in some wrongdoing, and this felt unity of self and body dissolves. We become awar … [Read more...]

5 Things We Should Think About Before We Say “Slut-Shaming”


Hyphenate the word "shaming," and boom, you've got a ready-made evil, a buzzword everyone on Facebook agrees is something Very Bad -- slut-shaming, body-shaming, single-shaming, fat-shaming, formula-shaming or, ah, sunscreen-shaming. I agree with Mark Peters, when he wrote for Slate that "shaming is probably already finished as a meaningful word," and even more so with Callie Beusman, when she wrote for Jezebel that "telling someone she's slut-shaming has mutated into a method of dismissing her a … [Read more...]

Ain’t Nothing Indissoluble About Natural Marriage

The indissolubility of marriage is not natural. I could not agree more with Dan Savage when, in the great American tradition of offering unsolicited advice, he told heterosexuals that this till-death-do-us-apart stuff is an impossible expectation. Indissolubility, by his view, cannot be a norm. Perpetuity can only be a preference. If we could "acknowledge the drawbacks of monogamy around boredom, despair, lack of variety, sexual death and being taken for granted,” instead of mindlessly pumping a … [Read more...]

Ain’t Nothing Catholic About Heterosexual Civil Marriage

The naivety with which Christians call gay marriage an attack on the civil institution of marriage has finally induced me to air grievances. Gay marriage attacks civil marriage as auto-tune “attacks” the mainstream music industry -- not by a shocking change or an unspeakable perversion, but by another weary alteration of an already defunct industry.Civil marriage, long before any question of gay marriage, is already a disappointing birthday party, antithetical to anything a rational being cou … [Read more...]

Sexuality and the Land


The following is a selection of an essay written for the recent Winter issue of the Slovenian cultural journal Razpotja, which focused on topics in sustainability. If you want the whole essay, you have to learn Slovenian. The essay owes a sizable debt to the author and environmentalist Wendell Berry and his marvelous pieces Feminism, the Body, and the Machine, and The Body and the Earth.Sexuality and the land both have a life of their own. The land has its soil, weather, insects, and idiosyn … [Read more...]

Objectifying Soccer Players Probably Won’t Help Fight Sexism

...Ronaldo, come on, you're embarrassing the Americans.

Amanda Hess' article for Slate, "Why it’s great to objectify World Cup players," is wonderful. In it, she argues that the hyperbolic and often hilarious "sexual gaze" at soccer players from Jezebel-esque journalists is calling out and offering a counter-balance to the over-sexualization of female athletes."These days, clicking through a slideshow of the world’s hottest female soccer players makes you look like a bit of a creep. But admiring the abdominals of male footballers? That just means … [Read more...]

The (Usually Ignored) Difference Between Sexual Identity and Sexual Event


NSFW, or children, or anyone, really. Let's just put this one in the grave, alright? Sexual identity cannot be based on the object of our sexual arousal.I know this is how we've been doing it: If you are aroused by members of the opposite sex, you're a heterosexual, the same sex, homosexual, two sexes, bisexual, all sexes, pansexual, the intelligence, sapiosexual, and so on and on and on. But "how we've been doing it" has made us miserable, killed gender theory, and turned the beautiful, … [Read more...]

How “Cis” Killed Gender Theory


Modern gender theory is dead, and we have killed it. Weep -- we were really onto something.We wriggled out from a dichotomy of a "normal" sexual orientation (heterosexuality) and deviations from that norm (homosexuality and lesbianism, largely), to a world of "alternative lifestyles" (homosexuality and heterosexuality as equally valid "life choices"), to a world excited and exploding with the hundreds of labels we are growing fond and familiar with today (sapiosexual, omnisexual, pansexual, … [Read more...]

Sexuality and Personality


Sexuality is a microcosm of personality. It is a part of the person -- I can draw it out from other parts, like rationality -- but it also signifies the person. Like a fractal that contains within itself the governing idea of the fractal-pattern, a sanctuary in a temple, or a thesis statement that is both a part and the whole of an essay, sexuality recapitulates the fundamental realities of the person of which it is a part.This is the reason that sexual issues are controversial. … [Read more...]