Thursday, January 20, 2011

Bodies and the Blogosphere

I've been linking Womanist Musings alot lately, and there's a good reason: Renee and the other writers all write great posts, and they are particularly effective at grounding their discussions in the physical - that is, in the body. So, here are a few more posts.

Child Labor and Cigarettes describes the working conditions of the children who work to produce cheap cigarettes. Pro-smoking activists promote cigarettes as a personal choice that hurts no one else, but in addition to endangering others through second-hand smoke, purchasing cigarettes promotes inhumane and dangerous working conditions for children. And while I see the logic in the argument of "the kids are taking the jobs for a reason - their families need that money," there are better ways to bring 17 cents a day to those families. My goodness, that's not even a quarter!

Womb for Sale addresses the downsides to women selling their eggs and their wombs in order to help other couples reproduce. As with the article on child cigarette labor, this article points out the inherent flaw in celebrating the fact that single moms can earn $7000 through a painful and exploitative process: it may seem like the best solutions for the parents and for the woman, but it shouldn't be necessary. Adoption should be a simpler, less-expensive process, and single moms like the one in the article should have access to resources to help her get through med school, without having to sell part of her body.

Black and Latina tells the story of a contributor who identifies as both black and Latina but who often encounters skeptical individuals who refuse to accept the possibility that her identity includes more than one of the traditional labels found on the census.

And we have another revelant post from I Blame the Patriarchy, Pornsick Dudes Give Blamer the Screamin' Mimis. In this post, Twisty shares an email from a feminist who is disgusted by how common pornography has become and by how casually both men and women treat this topic. Even self-proclaimed feminists sometimes promote pornography, and I have read blog posts by authors who celebrated emerging outlets of homosexual pornography. As Twisty responds, however, and as I fully agree, pornography is always damaging, and it is never okay. Reducing human beings to reproductive organs is never acceptable, and I see everything about pornography as antithetical to the core aims of feminism. If you think ads objectify women, then you must also admit that pornography does so even more. If sexist language dehumanizes women, pornography goes ten steps further. Just don't.




  1. I have to disagree with you about the last one- and I'll do a full post to give better nuances- but I'm particularly disturbed by Twisty's statement that "The masturbators you describe [men who masturbate to porn] are porn addicts." Not only is that a pretty heterocentric statement, but it forgets that there almost 7 billion sexualities on this planet, and that a lot of them are influenced positively by visual stimulation. I don't disagree that porn as a broader category is intricately tied in with a culture of many -isms, but I also think that Twisty's making an overbroad statement that restricts people from being "okay" just the way they are.

  2. I think this is a topic worth hashing out - I'll admit that as I was typing that last part, I thought "Erica probably won't agree with me."