September 28, 2009

Thumbs Down in Advertising: Coopers Premium Light Beer

Posted in 1, Gender Politics, sex tagged , , , , , , , , , , , at 3:09 pm by Femme Mystique

Apparently shaming women who don’t fit traditional western models of beauty is an acceptable way to market your product for this beer brand. Advertised as having just 2.9% alcohol, the company’s three ads suggest that their brew won’t give you “beer goggles”, thus impairing your judgment of what is attractive. Here are the culprit ads:

Coopers Light beer ad 1

Coopers Light Beer ad 2

Coopers light beer ad 3

Because that’s all we need is more companies perpetuating traditional standards of beauty, thus “othering” those who don’t fit the mold.  Hat tip to Socialogical Images for the offending ads.

September 11, 2009

Trim Your Bush, Dammit!

Posted in 1, Gender Politics, sex tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 5:47 pm by Femme Mystique

OK, I’m sure by now you’ve seen this commercial. Last night while watching Project Runway (hey, don’t judge), I saw it no less than three times. I can just imagine someone coming into the weekly board meeting saying, “Hey, I have an idea, let’s take the oldest and most overused metaphor for women’s pubic hair and use it to promote our product”.

Now, I’ll admit, I’m a shaver. I don’t like hair on myself, but that’s a matter of personal preference. I DON’T want to be marketed to in such a way that implies that if I did have pubic hair that it would need to be manicured like shrubbery. I don’t need a special fancy schmancy razor to cut my pubic hair into hearts and flowers and fairy princess crowns, thank you!

I don’t get why they didn’t go with the simple approach of saying, “hey, we have a bikini razor so that if you do choose to shave, you can use something that might give you less irritation,” instead of pissing a bunch of us off.

Thanks, Schick, for reducing our bodies to landscaping projects.

July 21, 2009

Dildos: An Imitation of the Male Penis?

Posted in 1, Gender Politics, Queer Politics, sex, Sex Education tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 12:02 am by Femme Mystique

As a mostly woman-identified queer person, I have at several points battled internally with the idea of using dildos for partner sex.  Identifying as a lesbian places one in a very unique place with regards to heterosexism.

Upon coming out, early lesbian friends of mine shunned the dildo as a representation of the male penis.  “If I wanted a penis, I could have the real thing,” they chided.  Upon further analysis, however, I found this to be a very androcentric and problematic statement.

Havelock Ellis, a nineteenth century sexologist, originated the idea that lesbian sex, especially with the use of sex toys, was an imitation of heterosexual, penis-in-vagina sex.  This androcentric analysis places an extraordinarily higher value on the penis versus the vagina, with emphasis on imitation rather than pleasure.

Without  a doubt women can experience sexual pleasure from sex without the involvement of a penis.  I propose then that dildos are not by default phallic representations, nor in contrast are they necessarily yonic.  They are, in their purest form, merely instruments of pleasure.

I’ve never seriously wanted to be a man.  Sure, I think it might be fun to try.  Sure, I sometimes wish I could gain the privileges that come along with being born into a male body.  But overall I am content with the biological sex into which I have been born and the gender which I choose to present.  I don’t think that my use of sex toys threatens either of these things in any way.

June 26, 2009

Confessions of an Ex-Catholic: Sex and Guilt

Posted in 1, Gender Politics, sex, Sex Education tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 4:58 pm by Femme Mystique

Religion and mainstream media have ingrained in us very disturbing attitudes about women and sexual pleasure.  If we as women like sex too much, we’re slutty and whorish.  If we don’t want to have sex or don’t enjoy the sex we’re having, we’re uptight, frigid bitches.

It has also been taught to us that we are not the focus of sex.  For many of us, receiving pleasure is a source of guilt–what if the other person isn’t enjoying this?  Do I look OK?  Do I smell OK?  Does my partner like the sounds I make?  And, of course, am I taking too long?

A quick internet search produced a ton of results of women who were afraid they were taking too long.  One even said her partner rarely tried, and she didn’t blame him.  This attitude is pervasive even in women who have sex with other women.  Our roles as pleasers of others too often come before our roles as recipients of pleasure.

Many women are not just not having orgasms though, they are going a step further by faking it.  An article in Slate reports that 72% of women have faked it in their current or most recent relationship.  Still more have likely faked it at least once in their sexual histories.  What causes faked orgasms though?  I speculate that it is a combination of guilt about the time we’re taking and an unwillingness to hurt our partners’ egoes.  Faking it allows us to avoid confrontation, but hinders us from getting what we want.

I wish we could free ourselves from the cycle of sexual guilt and dissatifaction.  It’s obvious that attitudes need to change, but how do we go about making those changes?