Good Reads Cheat Sheet

sex talk for muslim women

It has not been easy for my parents to hear their daughter talk so frankly about sex, but it has opened up a world of other women’s experiences. In many non-Western countries, speaking about such things is scorned as “white” or “Western” behavior. But when sex is surrounded by silence and taboo, it is the most vulnerable who are hurt, especially girls and sexual minorities.

st says: It seems like we have something in common across any culture. Underground networks of women are formed when we feel we cannot talk, think, or feel certain things. At the end of the day most of the things we consider taboo are things we’re all doing or want to do.

traveling alone

When traveling alone, you’re focusing on the very micro-things you need — do I want to eat now? Do I want to shop now? Do I want to walk down this street? And it opens you up to more macro-conversations with yourself. What am I doing with my life? Do I like where I’m living? When you have the time and space to figure things out, that’s a huge gift to yourself.

st says: I have never had the desire to travel alone. I prefer traveling with company, seeing new things with/through the eyes of others. I also have the best travel buddy(!!) Reading this post I started to think it might be a fun thing to do for myself at some point in my life. To get out of my comfort zone and travel with myself, if you will. Have you traveled by yourself? What was your experience?

the unintended consequences of purity pledges

Paik explains this in part through the phenomenon of “cultural lag” —the idea that people might reject certain values faster than they update the actions supporting those values. In this case, the pledge breakers abandoned the idea that they should be virgins until marriage, but unlike people who never made the pledges, they didn’t use birth control and condoms, Paik theorized. (Many sex-ed programs and cultures that promote abstinence only until marriage also teach that contraceptives are ineffective.)

st says: It blows my mind that we’re still talking about this. I remember in 2008 I wrote a research paper on purity pledges and how it led to higher levels of unprotected sex and pregnancy. We’ve given so many millions of dollars to abstinence education. We build up this abstinence culture even as we prove over and over and over again that this mentality hurts young girls and young boys. How can people who spew this bullshit live with the shame, the negative health consequences they’re placing on their kids?

the artists way in an age of self promotion

Anyone who whines that they’ll be too old by the time they learn something new—the trumpet, watercolor, screenwriting—she reminds that they’ll be just as old whether they try the new thing or not.

st says: ugh. write in the gut, if you know what I mean.

can porn be feminist?

Through my films I want to show that sex as the beautiful, healthy, exciting, intimate, wonderful and positive experience that it can be. I think we get so used to seeing sex presented only as violent, traumatic or overly commercialized that I think healthy depictions of sex are very much needed today! That’s what I aim for, to show the exciting adventure of passion and intimacy.

st says: clap clap clap.

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