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Tiger Woods apologized and the world stopped so that everyone could watch. A friend of mine posted to her Facebook account: Tiger Woods does NOT owe me an apology, and he doesn't owe you one. Unless your name is Elin. Tiger felt otherwise. He apologized to friends, family, fans, sponsor, employees, and the parents of children who looked up to him as a role model (though not directly to the children apparently).
I did not watch the apology. I did not listen to it, nor did I read it afterwards. I did note that the New York Times had two full articles about it, though. That article noted that two of the major US TV networks interrupted their regular coverage to carry the apology live. It also intrigued me to read that the apology was delivered in person to an audience of only about 40 people. Forty is still too big a group for a really personal apology but it is a much more intimate group than "the whole wide world" which is approximately the size of the audience watching and listening yesterday.
And now for a public service ad you will never see on US broadcast television, not during the Super Bowl, not ever:
I saw several tweets about it and found the YouTube video embedded above linked by most. Lots of different users had posted the same video to YouTube and I found one that had a link to Creativity Online where you can see the full credits.
I can't say enough about this video so I'm not going to say anything at all right away. What do you think of it?
It seems to me that Super Bowl Controversy is a sport unto itself. This year the controversy centers on an anti-abortion ad by Focus On The Family. The ad features football star Tim Tebow and his mother discussing her choice not to abort, despite medical advice that it might be best for her health, when she was pregnant with him.
Focus on the Family is an exrtraordinarily regressive organization when it comes to women's rights and sexual freedom and I would not expect to like any ad of theirs. But this one in particular is galling because the only reason it tugs at our hearts is that Pam Tebow HAD a choice, one that she exercised after private discussions with her family and her doctors. Yet her very exercising of this choice is being used to swing public opinion in a direction that would take choice away from other women.
Women, Sex and Blogging
Earlier we have written about the difficulty many bloggers and people working in stigmatised trades and professions have with maintaining multiple identies. We have also frequently described the tragedies that unfold when people are outed by zealous media, bigots or jealous colleagues.
This solstice season, a time for reflection and coming together, has been marked by an enthusiasm that at times borders on a feeding frenzy, to out bloggers, or suggest that they may be not be quite who they appear to be in their blogs. This raises many concerns.
There are lots of sex advice columns out there. Most deal with practical, technical, emotional and idenity-related questions about sex. Now there is a place you can go to get your ethics questions answered. Cory Silverberg, the sexuality guide at About.com launched Doing it Decent, a twice-a-month column that will address your thorny sexual ethics dilemmas.
Here's a peek at the first two questions:
My girlfriend and I both work from home and last Wednesday we took a lunch break to go for a walk in our local park (which I’ll add is usually deserted). I was feeling bored and horny and suggested to my girlfriend that we have sex in an area almost completely hidden by bushes. She didn’t want to and said it was wrong, I think she’s just a prude. Is there anything to her argument?
Read the answer here.
On August 12, 2009 I submitted this to the editors of National Review Online. I got the standard automated response and will certanly post here to let you know if the letter is published there. Meanwhile, here is what I sent them.
RE: "Not a victimless crime" by D. Hughes and R. P. George
"Not a victimless crime," (Hughes & George, Aug. 10, 2009) is misleading from the start in that what it describes (prostitution in Rhode Island) is not a crime in the first place. In addition, the article contains several logical flaws and much misinformation. It gives the impression that decriminalization of prostitution is associated with more violence against prostitutes and that criminalization of prostitution is associated with more effective policing of human trafficking and better protection of public health. None of this is accurate.
First, violence against prostitutes is associated with misogyny and the stigmatization of sexually active women, not with the legal status of prostitution. People suspected of being prostitutes are assaulted and killed in places where prostitution is criminal and in places where it is not. While there is violence against women, and against sex workers everywhere there is stigma against sexually active women interestingly, in places like New Zealand where prostitution was decriminalized in 2003, there has not been an increase in violence against workers.
I'm working on a research project about women's use of the Internet to get information about sexuality. I posted this to the site project partners use to communicate, about the site we use.
Many servers and forums are based in the US, therefore the US research team's description of context is relevant to each of Erotics Project research countries. Sex Work Awareness is the US organization, and co-founder Audacia Ray pointed out to me that Ning, the networking site used for the Erotics Project, instituted a policy excluding 'adult' groups on the site. The research project information is not 'adult' but this is part of the context that we will include, which we discuss on Ning, bringing this exercise to a meta-level. The real question is how this plays out and affects users.
Click here to read more
I'll be speaking at Suffolk Community College (Ammerman Campus, Selden, NY) on Tuesday March 17 as part of their Women's Week program.The theme is "Sex, Lies and Feminism" and speakers include Katha Pollit among many others.
My talk will describe ways that sexual content on the Internet helps us expand our understanding of sexuality and will explain why efforts to censor "objectionable" content often do more harm than good. I argue that more, rather than less, sexual material should be the goal (she calls this "expanding the sex commons") and talk about how we can build pathways that help us navigate through sexual material instead of building walls to segregate it from all other online content.
I'm even losing my power point virginity on this so that I can show screen shots and I'd like to keep working on my slideshow skills.
Details: Why we need more sex on the Internet
Tuesday, March 17, 2:00-3:15
Ammerman Campus, 533 College Road, Selden NY 11784
Montauk Point Room, Babylon Student Center.
I'm furious about the way this young woman's story is being reported. Jesse Logan killed herself last July not because of the "dangers of sexting" but because of the dangers of sex stigma and "slut shaming." She had sent some naked photos of herself to her boyfriend by cell phone. When they broke up he showed those photos to other people at their high school. Some of those people then visciously shamed and bullied Jesse. But to read this MSNBC story you would think that it was her sending of the photos that was so dangerous.
Slut shaming works because girls are told to be sexy but not sexually active. I don't know whether Jesse had ever even had sex with the boyfriend to whom she sent the pictures. It doesn't matter. What matters is that words like "slut" and "whore" were hurled at her and that those words are understood to be condemnations. They should not be, yet they are, and the same attached to them caused Logan such pain that she began skipping school, spiraled into a deep depression and, after a friend of hers committed suicide, she did the same, hanging herself in her closet. What a tragically symbolic end for someone whose privacy had been so violated.