The Female Orgasm

This (https://docs.google.com/document/d/1m0-s6l8PHJfAMBcUjRPzdOUFFJwHkBJAA-Z9sOSNZ-Y/edit?usp=sharing) is a paper I wrote last semester for my Special Topics in the Sociology of Deviance class which focused on the topic of sexuality. It’s one of the longest papers I wrote at university and it took a long time (not surprising). I was kind of uncertain about it but I ended up get 98% on it and it was worth 50% of my mark for the class, so I am happy my effort paid off.

I picked the topic because none of the other ‘deviant sexualities’ were of particular interest to me and this is something that is still quite taboo to talk about. I found a TON of interesting stuff while I was doing this research and would like to emphasize how important it is for people to get to know their bodies and avoid falling prey to big companies.

Obviously this paper is quite long but feel free to read it/parts of it and comment. One point I would like to emphasize is the element of control that has historically existed in regards to female sexuality. Women are controlled by men and religion and the liberation of female sexuality is inextricably linked to feminism. This is evident in the following excerpt from my paper:

“Female masturbation can be viewed as a woman taking back control of her body. Block’s (2014) comment that “it’s empowering to be able to do it for yourself” is a perfect example of how masturbating puts women in control of their own sexuality and pleasure. In this instance, women are no longer at the mercy of men to awaken their sexuality and the female orgasm is no longer a tool to reassure men of their sexual abilities. In these ways, female masturbation is challenging historical and current ideologies about female sexuality and the notion that it is a response elicited by men.”

Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is incredibly prevalent in many countries around the world, including Canada. It can take many forms (physical and verbal) and can take place between strangers and non-strangers and in essentially any environment. This happens in public, the work place, and in schools with kids as young as 12 (yes, 12 year old girls are being sexually harassed by their male classmates and sometimes much older boys/men).

There is a lot of focus on the experience of women being sexually harassed, and they are the primary target, but the truth is, anyone can be a target, and anyone can be a harasser. In addition to women, other common targets are effeminate men or really anyone perceived as abnormal.

This is a really important topic to talk about because of its prevalence and its effects. Individual’s who are sexually harassed experience many negative side effects including self-objectification, poor self-esteem and fear of being in public. In this case, it really seems that education is key. Men who are uneducated are likely to continue sexually harassing women and encourage their peers to do so as well. Women who are uneducated are likely to be more severely affected and be unable to respond to or cope with the experience appropriately.

To learn more about how sexual harassment is a gendered phenomenon, check out a literature review I wrote this past semester for my sociology of sexualities class – https://docs.google.com/document/d/1z66MIvTgW7dCke_avaqX_iERcid6PTZQroQIAY8t0-s/edit?usp=sharing  (feel free to read and share your thoughts).

The paper talks about how men and women perceive the impacts of sexual harassment much differently due to their experiences and then how sexual harassment is used to reaffirm gendered identities – men sexually harass women to assert their masculinity and establish a hierarchy of power.

While doing research for this paper, it became more and more evident how much we still need feminism. In a place like Canada, known for being progressive and equal, it is not nearly as bad as the situation is some other places. But we still have men who are treating women as animals just to prove that they are ‘manly,’ not to mention to establish that they are superior to women…

Educate yourself. If you witness sexual harassment, do something about it. This is especially important for men – call out your friends who are acting inappropriately. Maybe you think it’s a joke or a compliment, but chances are, the women does not appreciate it.

 

Mexican Souvenir

skull.jpg

Last January (2016), I was in Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico with my family, playing in the waves and looking for shells when I found this little skull.

I have never quite confirmed what animal it came from, but I think (and others have said this as well) that it’s the skull of an axolotl. This seems possible as the axolotl is native to Mexico. It’s kind of sad though because the axolotl is currently critically endangered and possibly extinct in the wild.

I thought it was a really cool thing to find among all the shells and waves. Definitely the best souvenir I’ve ever found.

Ecosia

ecosia_logo

This is one of the things I recently discovered which I think is really cool. Ecosia is a search engine that helps you plant trees. It works just like Google (you can download a chrome extension), but it uses the money from ads, to help plant trees rather than keeping it for profit. With every search you make on Ecosia, you are helping to save the environment and it really doesn’t cost you anything. It also lets you track how many trees you have helped to plant (I’m at 136).

Ecosia also has an app which you can download on your phone or tablet which works just like Safari (I have an iPhone, not sure what it is like on an android).

I have done a pretty basic job of describe it, but there is a lot more information on their website (https://www.ecosia.org/). This includes why they choose to plant trees, FAQ, where the money goes and how they decide, and the ways in which they are helping communities around the world. And if you’re too lazy to read about it, they have a nice little video you can watch that sums it all up.

With such a large portion of the world’s forests gone, I urge everyone to download Ecosia. It’s super easy, convenient, and doesn’t cost you anything. It’s as easy as adding a chrome extension or downloading an app.