Here is a relatively tricky quiz from Buzzfeed about sex. It should be no surprise to anyone that I did very well on this quiz. After all, I have been writing about sex for a *while* now. Go on, you know you want to…
Emma Watson dared (dared!) to give a very mild speech about feminism and how rigid gender roles define both men and women at the UN recently and has been threatened by 4chan users with having nude photos released as punishment. Let’s have a look at some sample quotes from 4chan users enraged by her speech: It is real and going to happen this weekend. That feminist bitch Emma is going to show the world she is as much of a whore as any woman. she is a delicate flower and it is time for her fans to see her in full bloom, unlike your shitty cow tit attention whore there she makes stupid feminist speeches at UN, and now her nudes will be online, HAHAHAHAHAHAHAH Lovely. For comparison, let’s look at what Watson said that got the neckbeards enraged:
I was appointed six months ago and the more I have spoken about feminism the more I have realized that fighting for women’s rights has too often become synonymous with man-hating. If there is one thing I know for certain, it is that this has to stop. For the record, feminism by definition is: “The belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities. It is the theory of the political, economic and social equality of the sexes.”
Men—I would like to take this opportunity to extend your formal invitation. Gender equality is your issue too. We don’t often talk about men being imprisoned by gender stereotypes but I can see that that they are and that when they are free, things will change for women as a natural consequence.
It is possible it may be a hoax, but even if so, the message is clear: if you talk about gender equality you will be punished. In an interview with Hot Press, Laura Bates of the Everyday Sexism project told me of the numerous threats she had received, including violent threats targeting her wedding. For more examples see: Anita Sarkeesian, Caroline Criado-Perez, and Amanda Hess to name a few.
EDITED TO ADD: It seems the leak may have been a stunt from Rantic Marketing aimed at discrediting 4chan (or at least their users). 4chan is of course not averse to hosting hacked private nude pics, and many women who speak out about gender equality are rewarded with death and rape threats, having their address made public and other sensitive information doxxed. If this is indeed a stunt, it is easy to see why it was so believable.
Do you judge someone’s class by their Tinder picture? According to a study done by journalist Anne Helen Petersen markers of class, race, religion and education all affect whether we decide to swipe left or right. Here’s the full piece. There are a few issues with how the study was conducted (Petersen doesn’t focus on weight, for example) but it is a pretty fascinating read.
If you’ve been reading the US media for the past few weeks, you’re sure to have seen the shitstorm around the American football player Ray Rice, who was caught on an elevator camera punching his then-fiancee, now wife, Janay Palmer. In case you missed it Rice hit Palmer so hard she passed out and Rice’s team, the Baltimore Ravens, suspended him for two games.
The Baltimore Ravens’ response to the incident is not surprising given that Rice is a star player and brings in a lot of money – but after a media and public outcry, Rice was fired by the team and indefinitely suspended by the NFL. Some commentators argued that Palmer married Rice after the incident, which they took as evidence that she didn’t mind been punched in the face by her partner, while others took the view that one’s personal and professional lives are separate, and it is not up to your employer to police your behaviour outside of work. However, by and large, most people were disgusted by the incident and the slap on the wrist Rice initially received. That’s as it should be – so why aren’t more people up in arms about Kelly Brooks’ admission that she has punched two of her previous partners, Jason Statham and Danny Cipriani?
You could argue that when talking about domestic abuse, size counts. Certainly Brook is no match physically for Statham or Cipriani, just as Rice significantly outmatches Palmer in terms of size and strength. In one sense this is a perfectly valid argument: a punch or kick that causes permanent damage or breaks bones or leaves marks behind is a worse thing to experience than a slap that doesn’t.
The 2005 National Crime Council and ESRI research into the domestic abuse in Ireland found that 1 in 7 women in Ireland compared to 1 in 17 men experience severe domestic violence. Chances are you know an abuser, and a victim, if not more than one of each. According to this survey, women are twice likely to be injured as a result of domestic abuse; more likely to experience serious injuries; more likely to require medical attention as a result of abuse.
But domestic violence isn’t only about the physical abuse, but the emotional toll too.
Western culture (at least the English speaking part) prefers to pretend domestic violence only happens infrequently or that the perpetrators are almost always uneducated men from low income backgrounds. This is not the case. Abuse happens across the socio-economic spectrum, and abusers can be male or female, gay or straight. We particularly have a blind spot when it comes to female on male violence, treating it – or the victim – as a joke.
The fact that Brook felt free to publicly admit to her violent behaviour speaks volumes about how we treat male victims of female domestic abuse. Brook did not expect to be castigated for her behaviour. Instead she’s been making a meal ticket out of it. In interviews over the past few days, Brook has engaged in victim-blaming: “I started to think all these men are absolutely spineless” and “I’ve wasted so much time with stupid boys and doing stupid things.” When TV host Phillip Schofield called her on her violent behaviour, Brook suggested that the men were to blame: “I’m not going to do that in the future, I’m just going to pick more wisely in the men I be with.”
Sure, Statham and Cipriani are both bigger and stronger than Kelly Brook, but that’s not really the point. The point is that nobody, no matter what your size, deserves to be their partner’s punching bag. Cipriani has admitted to cheating on Brook, but that doesn’t excuse her behaviour either. Why has Brook been largely given a pass? Is it because she is a woman, and an incredibly attractive one at that? I suspect it is – and that’s not nearly good enough.
I’m writing about the celebrity nudes hacker scandal in the next issue of HP, and hot on the heels of that, TMZ has reported that Iggy Azalea’s ex-boyfriend is shopping around a sex tape featuring her. Azalea originally denied making a sex tape, but now her legal team have hinted that it might exist, but if so, the home movie was taken “without her knowledge or consent.” If this is true, then her ex is a piece of human excrement…
Adding to the skeeviness of the entire thing, it seems it may have been taken when she was under 18. In that case, it qualifies as child porn and her ex could find himself facing charges instead of a big, fat payday.
Are you a straight woman who prefers the old P in V to oral sex? If so, maybe you are suffering from internalised misogyny and body issues. That’s according to an not-very-scientific study done by vlogger Arielle Scarcella.
Scarcella hosts the popular “Lesbians Explain” YouTube series, and she wanted to know what kind of sex her viewers preferred, so she asked 500 of her straight female viewers and 500 lesbian viewers whether they prefer oral sex or penetration. She found that a majority, 55 percent, of her straight female viewers preferred penetration, but only 25 percent of lesbian viewers agreed. Scarcella wanted to know why there was such a large difference, and analysed the responses.
Many of the straight women felt that oral sex requires a greater level of vulnerability, and felt uneasy about receiving pleasure without giving any in return is uncomfortable. That’s entirely believable given that simultaneous orgasm is the Holy Grail of straight sex – despite the fact that this is can be very difficult for many couples to achieve. Gay and lesbian sex tends to be more turn-based, for obvious reasons, so it is not surprising that Scarcella’s lesbian viewers felt more comfortable being on the receiving end.
However Scarcella loses me when she concludes that a preference for penetrative sex “all relates back to misogyny and how women feel about their bodies.” Er no. I can think of several reasons why straight women might prefer P to O more so than their lesbian sisters that have nothing to do with sexism or self-esteem. Here’s a few:
1. Penises are better than strap-ons or dildos. No matter how fancy your strap-on is, it is never going to be as flexible or as fleshy as a dick. If you are in an exclusive sexual relationship you have skin-to-skin contact, which allows a man and woman a lot of sensory feedback about their partner’s enjoyment, which is not possible with a toy.
2. Furthermore, penetrative sex is *supposed* to be about mutual pleasure, if not necessarily mutual orgasm. If you are both having a great time simultaneously, that can feel more emotionally satisfying than taking turns.
3. Practice. Straight couples probably have more penetrative sex than oral. Orgasm is partly a learnt response, so if you have more P in V than oral, and learn to achieve orgasm this way, you’re likely to prefer it.
4. Many men are not that good at oral. If you have a full set of lady parts, you’re probably going to be better at dealing with them than if you don’t. No disrespect intended. I’d bet good money that the average gay man is better at blowjobs than the average straight woman too.
5. Having to return the favour. Many women just don’t like giving blowjobs, and if you nix oral in favour of penetration, you won’t feel obliged to.
That’s off the top of my head. Anybody have any other ideas? I’d love to hear them.