Tag Archives: 90swomen

Now Let’s Talk About Abstinence

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ID_N7rv-iN8So, Ada, I’m not done talking about sex! When I was writing about Flanagan’s piece, I started thinking about a recent article by Jessica Grose, with whom—disclaimer—we are both friendly. In an article entitled “Sex-Positive Women Reconsider Abstinence.” Jessica chalks some of twenty-something women’s new interest in not having sex to their cycling through sexual rebellion and regret more quickly than past generations, partly thanks to their sex lives being publicly chronicled via the internet.

I think this emphasis on abstinence is concerning. I think girls not having sex in high school or college or whenever it is that they don’t want to is totally cool. For all my early and intense sexual experimentation, I didn’t actually have sex until college (for a variety of reasons—including that I was afraid that I was totally sure I was going to get pregnant and totally sure that I would never get out of my shitty town). But I hate the idea of abstinence being A Thing, something girls declare about themselves a la “I’m abstinent!” Deciding whether or not to have sex seems like it should be more of a fluid, case-by-case, moment-by-moment thing, and not something that gets bound up in an identity or even a politics. Because that was another thing we talked about today: how damaging the 90s identity politics witch hunts could be.

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Or is THIS the most 90swoman Song of 2010?

Ada, we’ve been waiting for the much-anticipated Kathleen Hanna/Le Tigre/Christina Aguilera collaboration, which I was just reading about here,  and here’s a little bit of it. “I hate boys, but boys love me/I think they suck and my friends agree” is definitely pretty riot grrrl gets 2010. (Or: definitely pretty 90swoman.) The battle of the sexes is alive and well and it sounds pretty fun.


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my photo gallery of awesome 90s stomachs

Omg, Ada, I love this topic. I know everyone thinks it is annoying and privileged and white to think about body image–which it partly is–but a lot of political energy can get siphoned off obsessing about the contours of ones stomach! Anyway, in the 90s, stomachs were hot (though I didn’t actually know that then and wrote some poetry bemoaning my own back in the day. Also: deep thoughts about stretch marks.). Since as a grad student I can no longer afford pilates, maybe we can spearhead a revival of what I think is a very hot–not to mention low-maintenance!–look?

courtney love's hot pre-surgical non-abs

christina, i loved you before all the dieting and vogue profiles

drew looks cute

this is really about kathleen's thighs, but whatevs

not a huge claire danes fan, but this is cute

me, living out a 90s fantasy in 2010 for marisas book party invitation


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Gaga and Beyonce Grapple with Important Political Questions

Ada, Check it out! Today’s most important female performance artists take on female-perpetrated violence. I hope the New York Times likes it.


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If Violence Against Women and Body Image Issues Are Boring, Why is the Times So Obsessed with Them?

Megan Fox takes out some of her anger in Jennifer's Body

Ada, you are so totally right: Fatal Attraction is not so much an artistic rendering of the real problems confronting American women as gender roles evolved in the 1980s as a male-written-and-directed revenge fantasy against women who dared to have career aspirations and extra-marital sex lives.

Much like Sam Tanenhaus’ article on the failure of female artists to be attuned to premeditated female violence is not so much a thoughtful investigation of the relationship between female artists and female perpetrators of violence as it is a revenge fantasy of a powerful man who seems super-pissed at uppity women in general and particularly women who probably don’t give a shit about what a New York Times journalist thinks they should engage with in their art.

Tanenhaus’ piece is obviously not really about female artists not engaging with female violence. Because at the end of the article, he names a whole bunch of female artists who, in fact, have.

But it’s oh-so-instructive to see how he manages to try and support the thesis that he finally disproves. He does it by making the kind of issues that both feminism and some female artists are engaged with seem cliché, uncool, boring.

But if violence against women is really as old hat as Tanenhaus manages to make it seem, then how come the lead story on the NYT’s home page right at this very moment is about Governor Patterson’s domestic abuse scandal? And if body image issues are such a yawn, then how come the NYT’s other baby boomer reactionaries, David Brooks and Maureen Dowd, can’t stop writing about the hidden meaning of Michelle Obama’s arms? (Which I once wrote about, here on Salon.)

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