Avoiding Rape-Adjacent Sex

From Strong Female Protagonist

I've seen a bunch of pieces about California's proposed Yes-Means-Yes law (which only applies to public college disciplinary hearing, not criminal standards), saying that the proposed law, requiring affirmative consent, isn't realistic.  Sex is too ambiguous for students to be confident, in any given hookup, whether they're having kosher sex or committing rape in the eyes of the law.I do believe them that there's plenty of sex happening now, that isn't experienced as rape by either partner, t … [Read more...]

Why Have Gender-Segregated Sports at All?

different-body-types-olympic-athletes-howard-schatz-2

After yesterday's post on the female athlete who's been banned from competition for having too much testosterone, several commenters asked what criteria I would use to distinguish male and female athletes, in lieu of the testosterone titer test.  Jake wrote: I feel like you've skipped the most important part though. What the IOC is really saying is that they've picked a definition of what it means to be eligible to compete in women's sports, and that definition includes some constraint on h … [Read more...]

But Who Will I Take Care Of? [Desire of the Everlasting Hills]

everlastinghills

Last week, I had the pleasure of seeing Desire of the Everlasting Hills at a screening hosted by the Catholic Information Center.  The movie, which is available for streaming, is a documentary about three celibate, gay Catholics.  Eve Tushnet reviewed the movie for The American Conservative and wrote: There are some fascinating theological contrasts: Paul’s most direct experiences of God come when he is being rescued or spared something he expected to be unbearably painful—the most intense examp … [Read more...]

What’s Wrong with the Cuddling App?

squeeze box

I've been trying to work out exactly how I feel about Cuddlr, the new app that connects partners for a bout of platonic cuddling.  On the one hand, I keep trying to find ways to promote more non-sexual touch.  On the other hand, this particular solution gives me a wiggins, and I've been trying to put my finger on why.  Here's how Salon describes the app: You log on, link up with your Facebook profile and start browsing for nearby cuddle partners. If someone looks especially smush-able, you send … [Read more...]

Selling Beauty Short

bernini1

Nathan Biberdorf would like us all to stop affirming each other by asserting that everyone is beautiful.  It's doing more harm than good. There are plenty of people that are not physically appealing to look at, the primary and most widely used meaning of the word “beautiful”. So why do we use the word as a catch-all for any sort of positive attribute?Nobody says, “Everybody is a good listener.” Nobody says, “Everyone is athletic to somebody.” Nobody says, “You are an amazing writer, whether … [Read more...]

Fear of the Friendzone, Wire Monkeys, and Communion

paro-o

Why do people have so much contempt for "the Friendzone"?  Part of the problem is that we've defined romantic love as the highest form of emotional and physical intimacy, so missing out on dating feels like missing out on communion.  At The American Conservative, I'm talking a little about this problem in "Our Starved for Touch Culture." In the wake of the Santa Barbara shootings, the unpleasant underbelly of the pickup artist community (PUA), involuntary celibates (incels), and other unhealthy … [Read more...]

Making a Home for the Homely in Romance

mary sherlock

I don't follow the opera world, but critics made enough of a stir about the attractiveness (insufficient, in their judgement) of a mezzo-soprano in an English production Der Rosenkavalier for the conversation to cross over to the mainstream media.  The NYT brought together two classical music reviewers to comment, and I was particularly struck by this analysis by Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim:[O]pera has a complicated history of celebrating and exploiting women, and I can’t help feeling that th … [Read more...]


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X