Posts Tagged sex

Purity Balls and the Guardians of Vaginas

PurityIn case you did not already know (and I did not know) purity balls [insert your own joke here]  – where “ball” refers to a social gathering or dance, such as a prom, not a hairy gonad as I first thought – are a religious rite wherein girls pledge not to have sex until they’re married. 

Photographer  David Magnusson captures the, creepy, may I add,  institution of the Purity Ball in pictures where young girls pose with their fathers who glow with pride at the thought that their little girl’s vagina is safe and sound in their arms, protected from the evil penis.

Purity

It’s like the fathers own their daughter’s vaginas (just like they think they own every woman’s uterus and vagina and everything) and they are holding that “high priced” possession, that family heirloom, in front of them, like a trophy, so that everyone really understands that this vagina here, with the woman/daughter attached to it, really is theirs to give away  and do with what they want, and no one else’s.  The guardians of the pussy, the purveyors of all of womanhood’s sexual organs.

Purity

I must say that this one of the most fucked, creepiest and most inappropriate things have I have seen in a long while. It is amazing that this is a real thing in the world.

Now, many of you may agree that this is messed up and creepy and think that this sort of thing is confined to a few lunatics on the fringe, the extremes.

But it is not.

Purity

A lot of men, especially Christian men, do believe they have some kind of a say to and ownership rights over a woman’s body and what a woman does with her body – vagina and uterus included-  especially if that woman is a relative or spouse.

Just enter the world of anti-choice legislation where women are treated as incubators who apparently owe the world babies.

Also look at how women in porn, for example, are referred to as “whores” and, generally, a culture that places a woman’s value as a human being between her legs, which is why porn stars are viewed as whores and thus worthless. In fact, any woman who is confident in her sexuality and has a sex life similar or comparable to that of a man is valued as less than women who are “virtuous.”

The Purity Ball images by Magnusson are a stark, obscene and visual depiction of the culture of misogyny.

The same culture that puts rape victims on trial; the same culture that values a fetus more than it values the person carrying it; the same culture that works hard to subvert a woman’s agency and bodily autonomy by closing abortion clinics or else working on taking away a woman’s right to choose, which includes access to affordable and safe abortions.

It is the same culture that disbelieves rape victims and puts them on trial as opposed to the perpetrator; the same culture that pays women less than their male counterparts for the same work; the same culture that pays for a man’s erection pills, penis pumps and vasectomies, but takes a woman’s access to birth control pills to the Supreme Court so that some dusty old relics who neither have uteri and whose penises haven’t been functioning for years can decide whether insurance companies should pay for that woman’s birth control; the same culture that holds women to standards men are rarely held to. Note that there are no sons in any of these images, only daughters.

Purity

It is easy to view and dismiss misogyny as a relic of the past, as something that is going away, as something that only “those extremist” nut jobs engage in.

However, when talking about and looking at misogyny and the mechanisms and institutions, as well as mind-sets, that perpetuate and uphold it – in very real policy terms, it becomes apparent just how deeply misogyny is ingrained and interwoven into our society, determining ultimately how we treat women.

In other words, Purity Ball images, as creepy and amusing they may be, are not the only depictions of misogyny. They are a blatant and obvious part of it, something we can point the finger at and ridicule, even admonish, but it does not end there because misogyny is real everyday for countless women and it is deeply ingrained in our society and its institutions, from gendered slurs, jibes and insults to unequal pay and everything in between.

It is real for your daughter, your mother, your sister, your female girl-friend, your grandmother, your wife and battling it requires awareness every step of the way not just when some messed up fathers pose for pictures with their daughters whom they have shamed into thinking that sex is a terrible, sinful  thing and that it was their job, a man’s job, to tell them what to do with their bodies. These girls, when they do get older, will then just replace their fathers who tell them what to do with their bodies, with another man, such as a boyfriend, spouse or a Justice of the United Stated Supreme Court.

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Parenting For Purity

The other day I ran into this unscripted piece of mind vomit from a religious member of Lighthouse Catholic Media‘s Facebook page, Ms M. Lopez.

Ms Lopez had the following to say when responding to the post by Lighthouse Catholic Media on Facebook encouraging parents to manipulate teach their children to believe sex was a bad, sinful thing and that they needed to remain “pure” and chaste for the Lord blah blah yawn.

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M. Lopez said: “we have a 14 year old and we teach her to stay pure for God, Herself and most of all to save that very special gift for her husband. So, today I took her to her doctor’s one year appointment and why would this doctor take her in another room and ask her and talk to her about sex like its a great thing, I mean it is a great thing when your married, but I wish people would just respect the way I teach my children. When I say I am Catholic RESPECT IT.

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Dear Ms Lopez: First of all, yes, how dare that doctor have a frank, honest and fact-based discussion about sex and reproduction with your teenager. That is completely irresponsible and your kid is definitely better off with being fed misinformation and the head-in-the-sand approach when it comes to exploring sex and her sexuality. Don’t worry about STDs and unwanted pregnancies, abstinence totally works. HPV is fun and what you are doing is totally responsible parenting.

Guilt tripping your child and threatening them with eternal damnation is also a very effective way of keeping them from engaging in sexual activity and – as an added bonus – it is sure to result in a lot of dysfunctional behavior later in life, not to mention that it will instill a sense of trust and confidence in your child knowing that her mother, and god, think that she is a worthless, sinning, filthy whore simply because she likes sex and considers using contraceptives.

So please, keep telling your child sex is dirty and unnatural (except for when you are married, of course. Hint: this is a good way of rushing her to get married to just any guy who can read a Bible) and that sex is overall a liability that makes her a sinner whom god hates and will punish fiercely.

Signaling to your child that sex is a sin resulting in eternal damnation and hate from god will do a whole lot of psychological damage to them in the long run and result in them having a pathological relationship to sex, viewing it as something bad, dirty, undesirable, and sinful rather than as a perfectly normal biological function.

Therefore, dear Ms. Lopez, it is not enough that you just unleash a chastity belt in the form of threats and guilt onto your child, but it is imperative that you also work hard to unleash a chastity belt of the mind onto her to make sure she grows up to be a formidable bigot, going through life ignorant, confused, frustrated; a truly fucked up individual full of judgment and issues regarding sex and sexuality, coming full circle with the cycle of ignorance and hate you planted earlier when praising that Duck Dynasty was coming back . Amen to that.

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Rick Santorum Photographs Lindsay Lohan, then Denies it

I love it when sanctimonious, Bible-regurgitating, supposed men of honor turn out to be real letches. Like Rick Santorum. He reportedly asked Lindsay Lohan to pose for a photo at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner on Saturday but true to form for someone of his character, he later denied it.

Rick Santorum NOT checking out Lindsay Lohan

Lohan was sitting with Greta Van Susteren when Santorum approached her according to TMZ. He reportedly asked Lohan to take a picture of him with Van Susteren, then snapped a photo of Lohan alone. When a reporter asked him whether he  took a picture of Lohan, a visibly uncomfortable Santorum mumbled that he “took a picture of a lot of people today.”

This all wouldn’t be a big deal, of course, if a) he had not denied it and b) if he wasn’t a chest thumping religious bigot who has been openly against non-procreative sex  – even for married couples – and against contraception in general, the latter of which he believes to be a “license to do things in the sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be.

It doesn’t surprise me at all that he would be secretly feening after a twenty-something year old. After all, just a few weeks ago, he vowed to dismantle the porn industry for its alleged detrimental effects on society, and you know what they say, usually the loudest opponents to something are hiding the fact that they are thmesleves doing it. Like secretly taking jerk off pictures of a bloody young hot actress and then denying it like dirty, old men ashamed of their sexuality usually do.

One of these days, like they did with bin Laden, they will uncover a stash of porn and other similar “memorabilia” from one of his computers and he’ll turn out to be a real hustler.

But jokes aside, the hypocrisy of the religious right never ceases to amaze me. This all really wouldn’t be an issue and I could not care less about a fifty something year old feening after a girl the same age as his daughters, if it weren’t for the fact that Sanotrum has repeatedly portrayed himself as a pious man of character holding the moral high ground.

For someone who once talked about the “dangers of contraception“, warning against “the whole sexual libertine idea“, it is quite strange and hypocritical to be lusting after Lohan and then denying it too, to draw even more attention to the issue. And let’s face it, you only lie if you got something to hide.

Shame

Santroum appears to be feeling a sense of shame over this whole Lohan thing and his sexuality in general. He maybe really just thought she is attractive and he did take a picture of her because she was a celebrity – which I think is a healthy reaction to have in the first place, i.e. being attracted to a beautiful person – but since he is also such an uptight religious bigot, he appears to have a hard time reconciling his baser instincts, his human emotions, with the wall of doctrines about alleged sexual impropriety he built around himself. Hence the shame and stumbling over his words like a kid caught with his hand in the cookie jar.

He probably also really enjoys high speed internet porn but because he probably once again could not reconcile that with  his beliefs, he vowed to go after the porn industry when elected. If he cannot fight his own urges for gangbangs, creampies and triple anal, he will then just legislate it away. This way he rids himself of the temptation and can also claim a clean slate at the Pearly Gates (but why would god be against fucking?)

So this issue seems to be more about him than about porn or Lindsay Lohan. The one who has a problem here is Rick Santorum and everything else is mere projection in order to reconcile his human side with the stupid, repressing, religious side. One more reason religion is bad for everyone.

All of which brings me to my next point: sexual repression.  The root-cause of all this hypocrisy of religious people in sexual matters – i.e. preaching one thing, doing something else – is because religion is once again unnecessarily interfering with the natural order of things. There is nothing wrong with a sexually healthy man feeling attracted to a woman, any woman, and taking her pic and openly admitting it too by stating that he is a fan. But religion and these self imposed, often false moralities it creates, have made it feel wrong and a taboo, ultimately forcing people like Santorum into hiding and having to jump through hoops to cover his “tracks” like he was doing something terrible. I mean heck, as repressed as Santorum is, he’d probably deny having sex with his own wife if he didn’t have to explain the children.

Look at Michelle Bachman’s husband who loathes himself and his homosexuality so much he created a foundation aimed at praying away the gay.

It is frightening how far people will go, even so far as to deny their own nature,  to uphold some elusive, outdated moral standards and beliefs that have their basis in fairy tales. Homophobes have become the new homosexuals and in the case of Santorum, the harder a politician lobbies against something on moral grounds, the higher the chances that they are doing exactly what they preach against themselves. It is personal.

In Santorum’s case I could not care less about his sexual desires and preference for really young girls if he wasn’t standing up there preaching the opposite to everyone  – even going so far as to try to influence public policy to make up for and cover his own inadequacy.  Not that having a libido is an inadequacy, but for him it is, and therein lies the problem.

The word “hypocrite” does not even begin to cover his actions. He’s a closet freak and a real hustler, which is exactly what you expect out of someone who is so vehemently outspoken again sex.

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