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  1. Around the Web: Sex and Gender Edition
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Around the Web: Sex and Gender Edition

Non-scandal at Northwestern

  • Psychology Prof. John Michael Bailey organized a optional outside of class lecture for his Human Sexuality class that concluded with a live sex act using a toy to demonstrate female ejaculation. This generated a bit of media attention, both the NYT and the BBC picked it up, prompting bloggers to leave first hand accounts of what really took place. The President of Northwestern was embarrassed. Prof. Bailey stood by the educational value of the demonstration but also apologized and said he would never do it again.

Women and Islam

  • Max Forte starts off this post critiquing the Western imaginary of non-Western women, in particular “the liberation of women” discourse that has circulated around the current American wars, with a brilliant quote by anthropologists Cathy Lutz and Jane Collins. More links follow about representations of Muslim women in popular culture, sexual assault in Tahrir Square, and the culture of rape in the U.S. military.

Marriage in India and the United States

  • The payment of dowries was banned in 1961 but remains a commonplace practice in contemporary India. The Independent reports that the dowry is at the heart of what in the U.S. would be termed “culture wars” as the Indian government contemplates amending the legislation.
  • According to a recent Time/ Pew poll, marriage has become a prestige commodity, “the relationship equivalent of a luxury yacht” and thus an unrealistic goal for many people. A savvy post at Brainstrom matched links from the mainstream media reacting to the poll – many read it as a about the “decline” of marriage – with commentary that recognizes the massive and ongoing structural change that has reshaped how Americans do work and friendship.

It Gets Better

  • Dan Savage made a name for himself with his kinky, political, and frequently hilarious sex advice column, Savage Love, which has spawned a bevvy of internet memes and catchy acronyms like GGG, DTMFA, and, of course, Santorum. Now there is the “It Gets Better Project” which has quickly evolved into something of a movement in which adults address video messages to queer youth that the struggles of growing up can be overcome! Dan and his husband-in-Canada/ boyfriend-in-the-United-States Terry Miller gave a fantastic interview on NPR’s Fresh Air promoting “It Gets Better,” which has now come out as a book.
  • Also on the LGBT front, Two Spirits, is a PBS documentary about the hate-crime death of Navajo teen Fred Martinez.
  • Enjoy this absolutely incredible performance from Thailand’s Got Talent (I love the big hug at the end):


  • Meet Sandra Dubose-Gibson, Mrs. Black North Carolina who, diagnosed with alopecia from age 25, is totally bald. Hat tip to Racialicious, from whom I steal links all the time.
  • Book review – Pretty Modern, an ethnography of beauty, race, and plastic surgery in Brazil.
  • Oprah talks to Lea T, a transgender supermodel for Givenchy who has appeared in French Vogue and is becoming one of the most sought after models in the industry.

Sex and Performance

  • In Quebec an administrative assistant at a local high school was suspended when it was discovered (by a male student) that she was also a porn star. A harsher fate for a psych professor who was fired for appearing in burlesque act. Thank you Gawker, this is why you exist!
  • A contributor to the Ms. Magazine blog remembers a short-lived career stripping on Bourbon Street. The transformative experience wasn’t shaving her legs or wearing pasties, it coming off the stage to serve drinks to the customers.
  • The NYT reports that on the popularity of Japanese porn stars in Indonesian domestic films. Even though the performers leave their clothes on their very presence in the country brings negative attention from Islamists and production companies must operate under secrecy or else be subject to protest or vigilante action.

Representing Women in Popular Culture


  • Another from Sociological Images:

Seen something around the web that you’d like to share with the Savage Minds community? Email me at mdthomps AT


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