Note: If you’re in New York City, I’ll be giving my talk on ‘Grow Your Orgasm, Grow Your Power’ tomorrow Thursday, 7pm. For more details, go to: http://skl.sh/U3zhgF
The Frisky is a very popular online ‘news’ site with pop articles that range from pretty feminist to tabloidsy feminist. I would say aimed at a younger crowd than Jezebel and more ‘pop’ feeling. Jezebel tries to intellectualize things more. Anyways, there was a screaming headline that I could not not click on this morning, which was “The Ladies of Manure 2013 Calendar is a ‘Tasteful Synergy’ of Sexy Women and Poop” which was also featured in the Gothamist, another popular local online NYC publication.
At first, my reaction was of annoyance and resentment. Here was another organization using sex—and gawking at women’s bodies—to titillate and advance their cause. Whether it’s beer or soju or a charity, it’s still using objectification of women’s bodies to sell your cause. Even if it is for a good cause like environmentalism, it’s using half-naked women to sell sex for sex sake. It’s still being sexist.
The Frisky’s take on it seemed to be semi-positive: “No one needs to sweep the forest. I didn’t come up with that line, the narrator of the promotional video for the calendar did, and I really liked it.” So I clicked through to the original Gothamist article aptly titled, “Hot Sh*t: The Ladies of Manure 2013 Calendar Is Here.” Where the author jokes about ‘scat calendars’ and “finally, a wall calendar that both environmentalists and coprophiliacs can enjoy!” (And yes I clicked on coprophiliacs and yes it was as bad as I thought, and I had to google ‘scat’ as well.)
Of course then I had to go back to the original source of this whole bizarre outhouse-calendar phenomenon—Fertile Earth Foundation themselves—and see if it really was a whole group of hippy sexist men who founded it. Alas, they were women. The two founders are women and two board members are men. Does it make it any less annoyingly sexist? I don’t know.
The other ‘minor’ thing that irked me was that in a couple of the photos (they didn’t show all 12 of the calendar month photos because then it would make purchasing it moot I guess) the women were wearing (or not) lacey semi-thong underwear. On the one hand they’re supposed to be naturey women, taking a dump outside, and on the other hand—of course—they are wearing sexy underwear for the viewer’s pleasure. I just couldn’t help but think of porn (soft porn), or porn-like photos where the poses or actions are obviously for a male audience. Women posing for a women audience is just different. I’m not sure I can tell you exactly how it’s different, it’s just a feeling. Like, for example the women on Suicide Girls, “a community that celebrates alternative beauty and alternative culture from all over the world” don’t scream to me STRAIGHT MEN, STRAIGHT MEN nearly as much.
For one thing, porn for (straight) men often include women in submissive poses and facial expressions. Their expressions are much more docile, almost deer-Bambi-like, and basically I-want-to-do-whatever-you-want-to-do-to-me-because-rough-pounding-sex-really-gets-me-to-come look (yea right). Whereas stuff like Suicide Girls (which could even be for straight-identified girls who have the occasional crush on women) portray women with more personality, attitude, and yes opinions.
* * *
Which leads me to my second topic which I didn’t really want to get into in this post—because I likely will in more depth later—but that you sometimes just don’t know how a guy will be in bed just by talking to them in person. They can even say some feminist-sounding like things like, ‘I am very interested in the female orgasm and have been participating in _______ [said female orgasm training] for several years.’ Leading me to think, oh this is a guy who really cares about getting a woman off. So how could he be so clueless about not sensing when the other person is obviously not enjoying themselves? Unless of course he gets off on that.
I understand there is a fine line between ‘dominating’ in bed, or role-playing dominating in bed, and there is of course big varying degrees of this where people fall. However, just because you’re role-playing a more dominant role doesn’t mean that you don’t need to care about the other person enjoying it. (And certainly I have met men who can role-play that but who do care).
Whereas stuff like Suicide Girls portray women with more personality, attitude, and yes opinions.
Which leads me back to my whole sexual journey recently about women speaking up and asking for what we want. Just as important as telling a guy what we want (do more of this, less of that, no like this) is also telling him what we don’t want. ‘Stop’ is equally crucial. I’ve learned. Not as fun, but just as or even more important.
Note to Fertile Earth Foundation: We either need more ‘alternative beauty’ women models or male models on the calendar. That would be much more revolutionary.
Question: Would you pose in a manure calendar for five minutes of fame?