April 11th, 2012

Recommended Reading #94: The Female Body, Pt. II



      “Ashley Judd Slaps Media in the Face for Speculation Over Her ‘Puffy’ Appearance” by Ashley Judd (Non-sex-related, Gender Socialization, Sociology, Self-Awareness) 4/9/12

I found this a compelling and level-headed inquiry about far-ranging tendencies of our culture that I myself have frequently found disturbing as well. (She mentions parenthetically the perception that people who have chosen to express themselves or offer their service in a way that leads to fame somehow sacrifice their right to privacy—I understand, of course, why she did not expound on that in this piece, but I appreciated the mention, as it is a tendency I have perceived in this culture that I find abhorrent and unambiguously bullshit.) To see someone address an uncalled-for personal attack with such clarity and self-possession strikes me as both refreshing and inspiring. I appreciate especially the questions Ms. Judd asks in the latter part of her response. Turning a personal attack into an opportunity to ask questions such as those seems of profound value to me, and I truly appreciate her capacity and choice to do so.

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      “Understanding Birth and Sphincter Law” by Ina May Gaskin (Physiology, Medicine) 9/2004

I am fascinated by this exposition about birthing in medical and physiological contexts. I speak as someone who has never birthed a child who certainly appreciates many of the advances of Western medicine; that said, it seems valuable to me to open up the conversation about childbirth and to ultimately recall that the female body is built to undergo this phenomenon.

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      “Connecting How We Have Sex with How We Give Birth” by Ursula Ferreira (Pleasure, Medicine, Sex and Spirituality, Self-Awareness) 4/4/12

I love the emphasis in this piece on pleasure, autonomy, and trust. Again, expanding the way our culture seems to look at birth seems profoundly healing and awakening to me, and to me this piece seems to offer acute potential as such.

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Recommended Reading posted every Wednesday

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4 Responses “Recommended Reading #94: The Female Body, Pt. II”

  1. Another thought-provoking week of reading! (Your recommended reading post marks the slide into the weekend for me–a little treat for my mind.) Ashley Judd’s eloquent article was fantastic, and I found it especially empowering because celebrities are not supposed to talk back. They are supposed to be hunks of flesh that we dissect or adore as the mood moves us, and yes, their images are effective tools of the patriarchy used to oppress us all. (This is one reason why I’m ambivalent about muscled male torsos as the “answer” to female objectification).

    Also, having experienced unnecessary intervention the first time I gave birth–an unidentified doctor just wandered in and broke my water immediately after I was admitted, bringing on a precipitous birth that required more intervention–I totally related to Ina May Gaskin’s article.

    Last comment–when I tried to access the GV article, Firefox informed me it was an infected site. I clicked through anyway, but wonder if it was targeted by anti-sexual-education trolls?

    Thanks again for this!

  2. Emerald says:

    Hi Donna! Truly, I was so delighted to read what you said about the RR posts marking the “slide” into your weekend. It means so much to me that you’ve enjoyed/appreciated them.

    Ah, very interesting that you got that message at the GV site too—I had as well, and in talking with Rick Write about it, he eventually suggested I click “ignore” the message (or whatever allowed one to click through), and I did, and the site showed up fine…. I first checked Twitter to see if Charlie or Good Vibrations had mentioned it at all; since I didn’t see any mention of it, I wondered if it was my computer or if they seemed to have whatever went on under control, so to speak. I don’t know…but interesting that you encountered it too. Hmmm.

    Oh, I have never given birth, but I cringed just reading that comment about your birthing experience. It’s not even graphically stated, but I seem to have a visceral response at this time to the seeming impersonalness and/or intrusion of the birthing process. It seems so distorted and misplaced to me.

    Yes, I was delighted to see Ashley Judd address an issue I hadn’t even heard about (I deliberately tend to not follow or even be exposed to “celebrity gossip”—I find it incredibly distasteful and would like to see it simply disappear) in a way that seemed so un-self-centered, thoughtful, and expansive.

    Thank you for coming by, and huge hugs! Xoxoxo

  3. Thanks for the kudos, and look out for continued writing from me on birth and sex.
    FYI Good Vibes totally changed sites due to the malware issues: http://goodvibesblog.com/
    There still seems to be some issues with crossing over the content; I can only find one entry of my own. I will report back with an updated link once i get it figure out!

  4. Emerald says:

    Hi Ursula, and welcome! Thank you so much for the heads-up—I found out after this post that the site had been infected with malware, but I had no idea what the progress on fixing it was or that they had a new site. (I’ve written for them too, so I appreciate the information!) Thank you for stopping by and for the link!

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