Barbie’s place in adolescence and constructed femininity has baffled psychologists and feminist alike: on one hand, she’s a patient confidante onto which girls might project their hopes and aspirations. But she also espouses limited and damaging views on female roles, bodies, and sexuality. She sends conflicting messages, passively listening to you for hours while remaining inhumanly cold. As girls, we intuitively pick up that Barbie is ... Read More
The artist Addie Wagenknecht is known for her critical examinations of internet culture. In the past, she has staged performance art pieces revealing the appeal of anonymity. She has created internet pages that refuse to load, revealing our urgent need for gratification through imagery. In Brussels’s recent Digital Now exhibit, she uses the internet and technology, tools that she admits are generally controlled by men, to create groundbreaking and ... Read More
Kim Gordon’s recent show at White Columns, titled Design Office with Kim Gordon-- since 1980 has been viewed and critiqued mostly as a tribute to the 1980s and 1990s art world. A 1970s student of the Otis Art Institute in LA, the Sonic Youth lady has been making visual art continuously throughout her career.
The updated version of her 1981 show ties her experimental design work with references to her own work. In her Noise Paintings, she ... Read More
In a recent study involving over 2,000 men and women, entertainment company Mecca found that clean sheets are among women’s top three turn-ons. The well-kept linen closet beat out other strong contenders like a hot bath or a night out with the girlfriends. And the same holds true for men: clean sheets skyrocketed to the top three on the male list of turn-ons.
What else made it onto the lists? Men and women both expressed longings for sexy ... Read More
In attempts to keep hormones and teenage desire at bay, schools across China are enforcing unheard of and questionable rules. In some, kids of opposite sexes are prohibited from walking together; in others, boys and girls must stand fifty centimeters from one another.
This latest rule almost sounds made-up. Zhongshan Technical Secondary School, a high school in the Chinese province Guangdong, thinks colored undergarments are too suggestive. ... Read More
The other day I was listening to an old episode of This American Life with Ira Glass called “Testosterone.” In one story, a transgender male feminist explained how his eyes uncontrollably wandered to female bodies when he took testosterone. He was heartbroken by the fact that he spent more time looking at chests than faces. Of course, his experience is a subjective and personal one that should by no means be applied to all men (cis or trans), ... Read More
Cataloguing one’s first sexual encounter is nothing new. As a teen who pored over magazines in airports, I traced the ongoing debate on what “virginity” means. At what point are we no longer virgins: oral sex, intercourse? Do the rules change depending on one’s gender or sexual orientation? I learned that it’s kind of one of those things an individual must define for her or hir or himself.
And we always want to record it in ... Read More
It is no exaggeration to say that I am obsessed with Hello Kitty. My bedroom is saturated with stuffed animals and wall decals. The first thing I see every morning is an image of Hello Kitty on an airplane adventure, the words “It’s a wonderful day... Hello Kitty” flying alongside her.
But not all of Kitty’s days have been wonderful; like the rest of us, she has faced her fair share of criticism. The Japanese Kawaii aesthetic ... Read More
In Sweden, it soon might be. It was a nice summer day on a Stockholm beach when an unfortunate gentleman, aged 65, got caught getting busy in the sand. Södertörn’s district court acquitted the man of sexual assault because he wasn’t masturbating to anyone in particular. Prosecutor Olof Vrethammar found the ruling fair and does not plan to appeal.
No longer a form of assault in Sweden, public masturbation may still fall ... Read More
Now we can officially stop talking about Miley-gate. No matter how tired we are of rehashing the VMA performance and “Wrecking Ball” video, Cyrus’ work does offer insight into how women are encouraged to express themselves and how young women are viewed by the public. Are Cyrus’ performances feminist and sex-positive as some claim? I personally think not; after all, she has a team of men who aren’t exactly known for respecting women ... Read More