WBEZ | war on women http://www.wbez.org/tags/war-women Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Cut to a Real Baby: Who's learning what about sex ed? http://www.wbez.org/blogs/onstagebackstage/2012-09/cut-real-baby-whos-learning-what-about-sex-ed-102223 <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/246814741_1cc0c86dea_z.jpg" style="width: 300px; float: left; " title="(Flickr/Casey Hussein Bisson)" />&quot;Some of you may remember that earlier this year, Republicans tried to shut me out of a hearing on contraception,&quot; <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CCp3CWpiPUE&amp;feature=player_embedded">said Sandra Fluke</a> while speaking Wednesday evening at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte. &quot;In fact, on that panel, they didn&rsquo;t hear from a single woman.&quot;</p><p>Fluke, of course, is <a href="http://abovethelaw.com/2012/06/whats-everyones-favorite-slut-up-to-these-days-an-update-on-georgetown-law-grad-sandra-fluke/">the former Georgetown University Law School student deemed &quot;a slut&quot; by Rush Limbaugh</a> after she advocated on behalf of cheaper birth control paid for by her school&#39;s health insurance plan. And writer Megan Stielstra considers Fluke&#39;s absence from said Congressional hearing a problem as well. To Stielstra, it&#39;s a mystery where those Republicans who are particularly concerned with the female anatomy learned what they know about it. &quot;Vague information can be just as dangerous as innacurate information,&quot; she says. Read an excerpt below or listen above:</p><p><em>My four-year-old son will happily tell you that he has a penis. He&rsquo;ll also tell you that most men and boys have them as well, and that most women and girls do NOT. Rather, they have &quot;something else.&quot; I&rsquo;ve asked him on multiple occasions if he&rsquo;d like to talk about what that </em>something <em>else is and he&rsquo;s always said, &ldquo;No thanks,&rdquo; and then back to his robots, which doesn&rsquo;t alarm me because 1) as I mentioned, he&rsquo;s four, and 2) he&rsquo;s not making federal policy decisions that influence the reproductive rights of every woman in the country regardless of her health, family situation, socio-economic status, political affiliation and private belief system. But last week, out of the clear blue sky, while waiting in a very long line at Target, he said, in that very loud,</em> look-at-me<em>&nbsp;way that four-year-olds have in crowded public places: &ldquo;So, Mommy. Vaginas. Tell me all about them.&rdquo;</em></p><p><em>Let&#39;s repeat that: Vaginas. Tell me all about them.</em></p><p><em>It seems to me that there are a lot of grown-up men who should be asking this question.</em></p><p><em>Lately, I&rsquo;ve found myself concerned &mdash; and by </em>concerned <em>I mean </em>angry&nbsp;<em>&mdash; that people &mdash; and by </em>people <em>I mean </em>men<em>, mostly white and old and straight and Republican &mdash; are making decisions about my body &mdash; by which I mean my vagina &mdash; based on false or incomplete information &mdash; by which I mean batsh** crazy made-up fiction. And I&rsquo;m a fiction writing teacher! I love the imagined, the exagerated; except when it&rsquo;s used in legislation.</em></p><p><em><a href="http://thepapermacheteshow.com/" target="_blank">The Paper Machete</a>&nbsp;</em>is a weekly live magazine at the Horseshoe in North Center. It&#39;s always at 3 p.m., it&#39;s always on Saturday, and it&#39;s always free. Get all your&nbsp;<em>The Paper Machete Radio Magazine</em>&nbsp;needs filled&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wbez.org/tags/paper-machete" target="_blank">here</a>, or download the podcast from iTunes&nbsp;<a href="http://itunes.apple.com/podcast/the-paper-machete-radio-magazine/id450280345" target="_blank">here</a>.</p></p> Fri, 07 Sep 2012 09:44:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/onstagebackstage/2012-09/cut-real-baby-whos-learning-what-about-sex-ed-102223 The war on women: 'Fifty Shades of Grey' edition http://www.wbez.org/blogs/onstagebackstage/2012-06/war-women-fifty-shades-grey-edition-99865 <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/50%20shades%20of%20grey%20flick.todd%20mecklem.jpg" style="float: left; width: 300px; height: 300px; " title="Available at every corner, the newest sensation in the literary world is less than high-brow.(Flickr/Todd Mecklem)" />What is left to be said about <em>Fifty Shades of Grey</em>? So much has already been written about the romance novel that you&#39;d think it had reinvented the ancient genre of erotica.</p><p>The novel centers around a submissive relationship, which would be fine, argues comedian Mel Evans, if it wasn&#39;t being taken by others as a metaphor for the way women should be perceived in society at large.</p><p>&quot;It may hurt for a moment, but ultimately, men know better what we want. They know better than we know ourselves,&quot; said Evans, facetiously, at <em>The Paper Machete</em>. Read an excerpt below or listen above:</p><p><em>The Republicans are using a secret weapon in the war on women</em><em>&ndash;</em><em>which exists</em><em>&ndash;</em><em>and this one has infiltrated every home, and the life of almost every woman you know. I&rsquo;m talking, of course, about </em>Fifty Shades of Grey<em>.</em></p><p><em>In case your mom hasn&rsquo;t already gotten you up to speed, </em>Fifty Shades of Grey<em> is a &ldquo;book,&rdquo; and I&rsquo;m using the term loosely, originally written as </em>Twilight <em>fan fiction. It follows the dramatically named billionaire Christian Grey and college student/virgin Anastasia Steele as they enter into a business agreement where she will become his submissive in his&ndash;and I&rsquo;m using this term loosely too&ndash;BDSM extracurricular activities. And maybe, just maybe, they&rsquo;ll fall in love along the way.</em></p><p><em>We are told repeatedly that Steele is beautiful and intriguing, but also clumsy, so she&rsquo;s relatable to real women. And we&rsquo;re told that Grey is beautiful in practically every sentence but also hates being touched, so he&rsquo;s relatable to real men. These two beautiful people have vaguely kinky sex until they break up. The book&rsquo;s enormous popularity is tied to the rise of the eReader, which allows women to read smut on the &quot;L&quot; in anonymity, and the rise of desperately unsatisfied wives and mothers, who have turned to this repetitive, unimaginative and poorly written &ldquo;mommy porn&rdquo; to revitalize their marriages.</em></p><p><em>This isn&rsquo;t about saying domination is wrong, because if that&rsquo;s your kink, go for it, especially if &ndash; SPOILER ALERT</em><em>&ndash;</em><em>that&rsquo;s your cut and dry coping method with your control issues after a childhood of abuse and neglect, as is the case with Christian Grey. And this further isn&rsquo;t to say that it&rsquo;s wrong for middle-aged women to be getting their kicks reading erotica, because romance novels were the biggest share of the bookselling market in 2011, so this is nothing new. The issue here is that the domination in this case doesn&rsquo;t stop in the boudoir&ndash;Christian Grey wants to dictate what his 22-year-old virgin conquest eats, how much she sleeps, what she wears, completely controlling her life.&nbsp;</em></p><p><a href="http://thepapermacheteshow.com/" target="_blank">The Paper Machete</a>&nbsp;<em>is a weekly live magazine at the Horseshoe in North Center. It&#39;s always at 3 p.m., it&#39;s always on Saturday, and it&#39;s always free. Get all your</em>&nbsp;The Paper Machete Radio Magazine&nbsp;<em>needs filled&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wbez.org/tags/paper-machete" target="_blank">here</a>, or download the podcast from iTunes&nbsp;<a href="http://itunes.apple.com/podcast/the-paper-machete-radio-magazine/id450280345" target="_blank">here</a>.</em></p></p> Fri, 08 Jun 2012 08:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/onstagebackstage/2012-06/war-women-fifty-shades-grey-edition-99865