The Myth of the Hymen: A Social And Medical Mystery

hymen female anatomy 3

by Fei Cai

Hymen. Maidenhead. Cherry.

For something that people do not seem to know much about, it definitely has a lot of names.

I am not sure when I first heard about the hymen. Like many growing up, I thought it would hurt to tear it, and that it was some kind of physical sign that a woman had lost her virginity. I was convinced that the first time I had sex, there would be bleeding and pain, which of course, added to the already huge amount of anxiety I had about having sex for the first time.Continue Reading

Tomboys Can Wear Dresses, Too: Why We Must Stop Dismissing Femininity

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by Melissa Brooks

The perks and pitfalls of being a tomboy

When I was a kid, being a tomboy was cool. It seemed every girl in my grade claimed to be one whether they really were or not. My friends and I argued about who was the most authentic tomboy. I remember challenging my friend Jennifer’s authenticity because she wore dresses. “Tomboys can wear dresses, too!” she spat back.

We tried to act tough, which amounted to pushing the boys or stealing their baseball caps. We underwent “boot camp” training on the playground, during which a kid named Mike put us to a series of tests assessing our toughness, such as flipping off of the playground’s 6-foot-high metallic bridge.1 I remember feeling triumphant as I overcame my fear and did it, and feeling more triumphant as the-too-girly Jennifer couldn’t work up the nerve.

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Why I’m Choosing to Stop Doing Harm Against Other Women’s Bodies

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by Courtney Morgan

While I mean what my title says, I’m not talking about the type of harm that may immediately spring to mind. I’m not talking about physical harm or violence. I’m talking about something that seems much more benign and innocuous. I’m talking about the daily, hourly, sometimes minute-by-minute attack I commit with my thoughts, my words, with my mental and emotional responses to other women’s bodies.Continue Reading

Feminist Porn: Imagining Beyond Western Patriarchy

Édouard Henri Avril

by Kathleen J. Woods

Pornography has long been a topic of impassioned debate among Western feminists. Anti-porn feminists argue that porn’s representation of degrading language and behavior is harmful to women. They believe that porn is a tool of the patriarchy that normalizes the subjugation of women and the violent power of men. As Robin Morgan concisely stated, “Porn is the theory, rape is the practice” (The Feminist Porn Book 10). Anti-porn feminists have supported legislation banning or drastically limiting the production of pornographic materials.

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Kiss Off: How We Use Our Mouths On The People We Love

Kissing

by Matt Lurie

A man and woman once told me they no longer kissed because “they had better things to do.” The man and woman were Stephen and Amy, my girlfriend Elizabeth’s parents.[1] Elizabeth, who sat with us at the dinner table, said she couldn’t imagine it—not kissing.Continue Reading

To Divide is Not to Take Away: My Life as a Polyamorist

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by Matthew Pridham

In the Beginning—My Poly Predecessors

I blame the Bible.

This is the response that runs through my head every time I’m asked how I became a polyamorist. It is a snarky answer, the sort of thing one trots out in order to be provocative of either thought or a nice juicy argument, but there is some truth to it. I was born into a family and a sub-culture saturated with all things Biblical. Characters such as Jacob, David, and Solomon have been a part of my imaginative landscape as long as Darth Vader, Sam Spade, and the Gremlins have.Continue Reading

Princesses, Prostitutes, Penises and Patriarchy

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Princesses, Prostitutes, Penises and Patriarchy—What Pretty Woman and The Little Mermaid Taught Me About Sex, Bodies and Womanhood

by Courtney Morgan

Edward: Tell me, what kind of money do you girls make these days, ballpark?
Vivian: Can’t take less than a hundred dollars.
Edward: Hundred dollars a night?
Vivian: One hour.Continue Reading