L Word: Fourth Season

I really didn’t care for the fourth season of The L Word, the writing wasn’t all there and what was there was a scatterbrained attempt to cover all bases and then some.  This season really didn’t hold my attention in a “must see tv” kind of way.

On the positive note, the Army officer was an interesting addition, but was too over-done.  Cybil Shepard’s character and the subplot that came with it was a waste of paper and cellulose.   Why couldn’t a Latina actress play Papi or just have Javina Gavankar play a Desi character?

It was nice to see Dana in the finale, I miss her.

Many Sleepless Nights Indeed

From Chris Zammarelli @ Bookslut

When Earl Adams discovered his two teenaged sons had seen Felice Newman’s book The Whole Lesbian Sex Book at the Bentonville (AK) Public Library, he e-mailed Library Director Cindy Suter and requested the book be removed from the stacks. Suter had the book moved to what Richard Dean Prudenti described in an article for The Morning News as “a less accessible location” in the library.

Adams responded by faxing Mayor Bob McCaslin with the demand that the book be removed from the library for good because it is “patently offensive and lacks any artistic, literary or scientific value.” He also requested that Suter be fired and asked the city to pay him and his family $20,000 in damages because the library violated Arkansas obscenity law.

In an e-mail to McCaslin, Adams wrote, “My sons were greatly disturbed by viewing this material and this matter has caused many sleepless nights in our house.”

Adams said that his younger son Kyle found the book while browsing the library’s stacks for books about military academies. It’s worth pointing out that The Whole Lesbian Sex Book, which is no longer in the public library’s catalog, would probably be shelved in under the 613.9 section of the Dewey Decimal System. Books on military academies, (say, David Lipsky’s Absolutely American: Four Years at West Point, which is in the Bentonville Public Library collection), are classified under 355.

When asked in an interview for the San Francisco Chronicle about Adams’s contention that his sons were looking for military books, Newman told Violet Blue:

“Perhaps the book ended up in the military section because the boys hid it there. Or perhaps, having found the book in its proper section, the boys were reading it in the military section, where they had told their father they would be researching military academies. Someone catches them smack in the middle of the fistfucking chapter and they make up the story as an alibi.”

The library’s advisory board voted to remove the book from the stacks while, as Prudenti’s article notes, “a suitable book on the same topic” is found to replace it. Said board member George Spence, “A more sensitive, more clinical approach to same material might be more appropriate for the library.” Adams was invited to attend the board meeting on the book, but did not go.

“I’m not sure what Spence means by clinical. Some people say my book is pretty clinical, in that it gives basic health info, etc.,” Newman said in the Chronicle interview. “But if by ‘clinical’ Spence means boringly technical, I can’t see who is going to write it, let alone read it.”

Suter said that if a more appropriate book is not found, The Whole Lesbian Sex Book will be returned to the stacks. Adams responded, “Any effort to reinstate the book will be met with legal action and protests from the Christian community.”

The city’s attorney, Camille Thompson, told Prudenti, “There is not a valid legal concern here” because the book is not pornographic. She added that Adam’s demand for $20,000 “made me question his motivation.”

Suter, as it turns out, resigned from the Library Director position, effective May 31. Both she and McCaslin said that her resignation had nothing to do with the flap over The Whole Lesbian Sex Book. Suter said that she wanted to spend more time at her art gallery.

Newman sees a silver lining to the controversy over her book: “If there was one teenaged lesbian or bisexual girl in America who didn’t know there was a book about the sexual experiences she so desires, she knows now.”

Lapdances, Constitutionally Protected Free Speech!

Judge’s ruling protects lap dancing as free speech

Dancer was cited in April 2005 after ‘prohibited touching’ of undercover officer

June 30, 2007

Lap dances are legal in Salem, protected by the Oregon Constitution’s free speech provisions, a Marion County judge ruled this week.

A city ordinance outlawing “prohibited touching” — sexually exciting physical contact for pay — has been ruled unconstitutional by Circuit Judge Albin Norblad.

The case involves Laurel Guillen, 24, a dancer at a northeast Salem club called Cheetah’s who gave a lap dance to an undercover officer in April 2005.

Salem residents hoping to limit strip club activity in the city called the ruling a setback.

“You see what they’ve done, they’ve taken free speech and they’ve stretched it to cover everything,” said South Salem resident Julia Allison, a member of Oregonians Protecting Neighborhoods. The group hopes to put a ballot measure before voters amending the state constitution to strengthen government regulation of strip clubs.

Two Salem strip clubs shrugged the ruling off Friday, saying it wouldn’t affect their business because they don’t allow lap dancing.

“We have table dances, where our entertainers stay 6 to 12 inches away at all times,” said Claude DeCorsi, manager of Star’s Cabaret. “Any victory for the adult industry, way to go, but it doesn’t really apply to us.”

Frank Boussad, owner of Presley’s Playhouse Cabaret, said his club also limits activity to table dances. “We don’t allow lap dancing,” he said. “We just try to run a real clean establishment.”

Cheetah’s is a “juice bar” club located on Silverton Road NE, which does not serve alcohol and is open to people 18 and older.

Court records say the officer paid Guillen for touching “her pelvis to his pelvis area and thigh for the purpose of arousing sexual excitement.”

Guillen was found guilty of prohibited touching in Salem Municipal Court in November 2006, fined $250 and sentenced to a year’s probation. She appealed her conviction to the circuit court.

In his ruling, which lawyers received in the mail this week, Norblad cited an Oregon Supreme Court case in which the high court found it legal under the state’s free speech protections for a stripper to rub her breasts against a man’s chest and perform a live sex show with another woman.

Norblad threw out the charge and found Guillen not guilty.

Guillen’s attorney, Kevin Lafky, said the city’s ordinance was written too broadly.

“Laws can applied arbitrarily,” Lafky said. “A whole host of very normal conduct, such as theater performance, movie making, photography — things of that nature — would be illegal under this ordinance as well.”

The ruling also applies, Lafky said, to a second dancer Salem police cited for prohibited touching during the same sting operation at Cheetah’s, Portland resident Stephenie Lawrow, 22.

Guillen, who lives in Gresham, did not respond to phone messages left Friday. No one at Cheetah’s was available for comment.

Salem City Attorney Randall Tosh said he was not prepared to comment Friday.

“We’re going to be doing a review of the ordinance in light of the case, and make some sort of determination to see if we can appeal it,” he said. “We’re considering our options.”

Allison said she hopes some action will be taken.

“I’m a moralist, I guess,”she said. “It’s disgusting. It’s another form of prostitution to me. You can’t tell me that they sit on their laps and that’s it.”

Federal Abstinence-Only-Until-Marriage Programs Not Proven Effective in Delaying Sexual Activity Among Young People

Final Report on Federally Funded Programs Released Today

[SIECUS.org] NEW YORK, NY— After years of delay in its release, a federally supported evaluation of abstinence-only-until-marriage programs funded under the 1996 federal welfare reform law has proven the programs ineffective in changing teens’ sexual behavior.  The report, conducted by Mathematica Policy Research Inc. on behalf of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, found no evidence that abstinence-only programs increased rates of sexual abstinence. Also, students in the abstinence-only programs had a similar number of sexual partners as their peers not in the programs, as well as a similar age of first sex.

“This report should serve as the final verdict on the failure of the abstinence-only industry in this country,” said William Smith, vice president for public policy of the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the U.S. (SIECUS).  “It shows, once again, that these programs fail miserably in actually helping young people behave more responsibly when it comes to their sexuality,” Smith continued.

In 1996, the federal government attached a provision to the welfare reform law establishing a federal program for abstinence-only-until-marriage programs.  This program, Section 510(b) of Title V of the Social Security Act, dedicated $50 million per year to be distributed among states that choose to participate.  States accepting the funds are required to match every four federal dollars with three state-raised dollars (for a total of $87.5 million annually, and $787.5 million for the eight years from fiscal year 1998 through 2006).  Programs that receive the Title V funding are prohibited from discussing methods of contraception, including condoms, except in the context of failure rates.

On a call yesterday organized by the Abstinence Clearinghouse, abstinence-only proponents were clearly rocked by the potentially ruinous news in the report.  High profile abstinence-only advocate, Robert Rector, led the preemptive damage-control planning.  He outlined several strategies the abstinence-only movement could use to rationalize the findings in the report saying, “The other spin I think is very important is not [program] effectiveness, but rather the values that are being taught,” Rector said.  Whether or not these programs work is a “bogus issue,” Rector continued.  

Whether or not these programs are effective is the single most important issue.  Existing research has already shown that comprehensive programs that include messages about both condoms and abstinence have been proven effective, and yet, federal and state governments continue to dump millions of dollars into abstinence-only-until-marriage programs that are not effective, and, in fact, have been shown to cause harm,” continued Smith

Eight states have already made the decision to refuse Title V money.  The overwhelming feeling in these states has been that the money came with too many strings attached, was ineffective in achieving its goals, and promoted extremist policies. Even with increasing numbers of states recognizing the waste and futility of the Title V spending, a federal legislative solution is still needed to ensure that proven, comprehensive sexuality education gets the funding it needs.  

“This Congress has a momentous opportunity to end the charade and use these federal funds to support programs that actually work,” said Smith.  “We fully expect this Congress to look at the government’s own commissioned evidence set forth in this report and end funding for these failed and ideologically driven programs,” Smith continued. 

The program under scrutiny in the report is set to expire on June 30, 2007 unless Congress takes some action to extend it.

À Ma Soeur!

An autre fillm français, aujourd’hui.  Vrai montrer fort de scènes combien pour obtenir l’homme jouent les jeux psychologiques avec des filles ce qu’ils veulent, la plupart du temps sexe. Éléments intéressants dans l’esprit d’une jeune fille experencing sa <<première fois>>. Puis ne pas ruiner le fin, mais moi était comme, ce qui ? !

The Almond

 A nice little novel about the (sex) life of a single Moroccan woman.  A bit hot at some places, a bit slow at others.

Currently reading :
The Almond: The Sexual Awakening of a Muslim Woman
By Nedjma
Release date: By 10 May, 2005

Double Standards as a Method of Control

A quote from Nerve.com’s interview with Marcos Siega about his movie, Pretty Persuasion, “a dark satire-cum-morality play about a sex scandal at an elite Beverly Hills private school”

N: How has teen sexual awareness changed?
MS: Guys sort of want slutty girls, the ones who wear nothing and dance around and look really sexy. But once they get them, then they want the tame, non-sexual girls. That’s probably been around forever, but today you get so many mixed signals. You read People, or In Style, or those other magazines — they’re all selling midriffs, cleavage, and breast implants. But if a girl does that, she’s labeled slutty. <1>

Indeed she does often retain this lable given to her by both her male and female peers.  The double standard as we know it, is: a man who is is having sex is (what the kids call) “a player” while the female who embraces her sexuality is termed a slut, a whore, etc.  Why the double standard?  Control. 

Most Men feel the need to dominate to conquer, while females (according to men’s machissimo manifesto) are to be the conquered.  Which is why in some traditional societies such as Latino, Mid/near eastern, Indian, etc, the men of a woman’s family are seen as the guardians of her chastity.  Brothers and fathers act under the guise of protecting her virtue, while in all actuality they are controlling her body, and hindering her social and sexual devolpment. 

In the west they may just control her mentally and physically by not letting her go anywhere or controlling her wardrobe; there are also more serious things that happen such as the barbaric genital mutilation (which is often carried about by older women), and “honour” killings.  All of which are uncalled for and speak of the unequal and subserviant (some say sub-human) level by which they view “their” women.

But back to the article, it speaks about what men want and what happens after.  These men are attracted by the sexuality of the girl, “the ones who wear nothing and dance around and look really sexy” but once they conquer that fericious beast they seek to tame her, to de-sexualize, to keep her sexuality, her body, her mind, her emotions and have them exclusivly at his command.  Why want then change?  Control.  Men really are idiots, animals, with no self-control.

Why must men feel the need to control women? Are we not equal? Who gave men the right? Why do we let (ergo encourage) this behaviour?  We are all responsible for allowing this.  We need to all be responsible to stop it. 

Really guys, be a (real) man and love yourself enough to love others. And ladies, do not  let anyone control you, the way you live / speak/think/feel/dress/act etc.  Be your own woman and dont be afraid to be yourself.  Who you want to be, not what someone else wants you to be.

It is your individuality that makes you special.

<1> http://www.nerve.com/screeningroom/film/prettypersuasion/