Monday, April 26, 2010

Questions in the news (from Erica)

Now that the master's degrees are out of the way, I can finally come back to the bloggosphere and bring you some interesting editorial items that have been catching my attention for the last few weeks! In no particular order, but probably oldest first...

Here's an article about a sex ed campaign in the UK that emphasizes- wait for it- masturbation. The campaign's point is that sexual pleasure is a natural drive of most adolescents, and that instead of expecting teens to be fully abstinent, we should be teaching them to find ways of indulging that don't put themselves (or others) at risk. My two cents? Brilliant idea. While I have no delusions that masturbation promotion will eliminate risky sexual behaviour amongst teens, it'll probably reduce it- or at least give teens to learn about their bodies in ways that don't involve others trying (and failing) to do so for them.

Then, of course, the retirement of Justice Stevens from the U.S. Supreme Court has garnered attention for political pundits everywhere. A lot of this attention, of course, dichotomizes attention to the law and attention to "morality" (however you define that term)- which is a really bad idea. The law COMES from a moral structure, and professes to uphold it. This is a decent editorial that provides an interesting layout of how, exactly, morality and the law often go hand-in-hand for the benefit of people and their civil rights.

Vanity Fair ran an interesting piece on the cost of the Republican Party these days, examining how much money we spend on them to stand around and say "no" when they could be doing something useful for the world. My only complaint about the article? I'd love to see it in a side-by-side comparison with the cost of the Democrats, since while I'm pretty far left in my political leanings, I'm not naive enough to believe that the Republicans are the only ones with bloated staff and benefits.

Here's an interesting post from Ephphatha Poetry, asking us to consider how the media and the public would handle Tea Party (and Conservative in general) behaviour if the racial demographics of its participants were different. I won't waste space by describing it- he's very eloquent- but instead I strongly encourage you to go read it for yourself!

And finally, I'm embedding the YouTube copy of a Lane Bryant ad that's got people all riled up:

What's got them upset, you might ask? Well, since major networks (including Fox, CNN, and ABC News) decided to pull it, many people have been bringing this question to as much attention as possible. The answer, of course, is that the model is plus-sized. It has nothing to do with the relative amount of nudity pictured- not with ads for Victoria's Secret, Viagra, and hell, even just cars on display through the same networks. It's simply the fact that there's a buxom, beautiful woman being displayed. And that makes people angry, apparently.

Happy boobquake everyone!


  1. Do you have any thoughts about the recent issues of star athletes and scandal? There is a pattern of athletes, most recently Ben Rothlisberger of the Pitt. Stealers, feeling that they have the right to take advantage of woman because of there status. Is this worth talking about?

  2. You know, Jon, I saw an interview with Tracy Morgan recently, where he said he was mad at Tiger Wood's wife. He claimed she had to have already known that he was cheating on her, and he seemed to hold her responsible for poor, poor Tiger taking all this heat. And now that you mention other scandals... I think you're right. There is a pattern. But I have a feeling that what we see with these athletes is just a symptom of a greater problem. I mean, when people get rich and they buy big houses, it's not because big houses are only attractive to rich people - it's because as a culture we value big houses. The big houses just go to extremes with these celebrities. So I suspect we have a widespread idea that women are objects that go along with power... and I think it shows up with these athletes. And I'm not just blaming men for this - a lot of women will devalue themselves in order to be with a rich, famous man.