Tag Archives: Gender

6 Ways In Which The Clitoris And The Penis Are Pretty Much The Same Thing

The penis and the clitoris are two sides to the same coin. When in the womb, biology flips that coin and we usually grow male physical characteristics or female physical characteristics. Before puberty the only one of these physical differences that makes itself known is the genitals. But the genitals aren’t as different as they may appear. The penis and the clitoris are formed out of the same material in the womb and perform much of the same functions outside of the womb. The major differences between the two are the fact that the penis is bigger and lives mostly outside the body, where as the much smaller clitoris extends most of it’s shaft within the body. The penis also contains the opening of the urethra from which urine is expelled.

The evidence of the similarities between the two goes much further than that however:

1. The clitoris and the penis are the primary erogenous zones for women and men respectively, that is, they are the sources of the most erotic focus and sensation. The clitoris is the only organ in the human body with the sole function of pleasure.

2. Women and men are both born with foreskin. The clitoral hood, or the skin that rests over the clitoris is made from the same stuff as the oft removed male foreskin.

3. Women get erections. The corpora cavernosa, or the part that fills with blood and causes the penis to enlarge, does the same in the clitoris causing it to swell, usually during sexual arousal, but like men, it can sometimes just happen.

4. Just like men, women get nocturnal erections and sometimes even morning wood. Throughout the night women’s clitorises become erect and are often erect upon first waking (morning hood?).

5. Clitorises also lose their erection after orgasm although it may take a fair bit more time than it would for men.

6.  Some women suffer from a kind priapism, or persistant erection, called clitorism in which the clitoris becomes repeatedly erect causing extreme discomfort and pain, as can happen to men.

Like penises, clitorises (clitori?) come in all shapes and sizes and like penises they are exceptionally sensitive. They don’t really look the same from the outside but as with most things to do with sex/gender, the similarities outweigh the differences.

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Iceland May Ban Porn

The Icelandic government is trying to pass a law that will ban online pornography in the country. They are trying to specifically target porn that is “violent” and “hateful.” This isn’t a particularly surprising move from the country that has already outlawed strip clubs and is ranked number 1 in the Global Gender Gap report, meaning that they have the highest rate of gender equality of any nation in the world. They also have the first openly lesbian head of state in the world, Prime Minister Jóhanna Sigurdardóttir. But banning internet pornography is creating a heated debate about censorship and the slippery slope that banning porn could lead to, not to mention the fact that, logistically, it may be an impossible achievement.

“Web filters, blocked addresses and making it a crime to use Icelandic credit cards to access pay-per-view pornography, are among the plans being devised by internet and legal experts,” writes The Guardian. The only reason why this is even a conversation being had is that Iceland has a population of only 322,000 people. In a country with a bigger population it would be logistically impossible and Iceland may be the same. The debate about censorship that this has sparked has made the likelihood of this actually happening quite low but it also raises an interesting debate about pornography.

In Iceland, the average boy is 11 when he is first exposed to internet porn and the kind of porn he’s seeing isn’t your airbrushed Playboy centerfold either. The kinds of porn available to people of all ages these days is more graphic, sometimes more violent and as men become desensitized to hard core porn they may ‘graduate’ to more and more extreme types of porn to fulfill their erotic tastes. There have been studies on both sides of the debate about wether porn is negatively affecting society but those studies are getting harder and harder to conduct as it becomes nearly impossible to find large enough groups of men who haven’t watched porn.

I don’t believe in censorship but I’m glad that Iceland has opened up the debate around pornography, violence, and what we should deem to be acceptable. I hope that, if nothing else, this news from Iceland will get us to think more critically about what we’re watching, how it portrays violence against women, and wether or not it is helping, hurting, or remaining neutral in terms of gender equality.

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What Is The Bechdel Test? And What Does It Have To Do With Women In Movies?

Woo! TED Talks! Who doesn’t like a TED Talk? The one above [12:57] talks about how we need more strong, smart women and girls in movies for the sake of boys and girls alike. But the point made that I want to focus on for a second is the Bechdel Test.

The Bechdel Test, when you learn what it is, will forever change how you view film and television. It is a very simple test to see how overt the gender bias in the film you are watching is. For a movie to pass the Bechdel test:

1. It has to have at least two [named] women in it
2. Who talk to each other
3. About something besides a man

Now go out and watch some movies and tv and prepare to be stunned by the dearth of contemporary fiction that actually passes this test. It’s terrible.

For a list of movies’ Bechdel test status click here.

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Toys: The Great Bastion Of Gender Role Reinforcement

https://i0.wp.com/www.myorganizedchaos.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/Easy-Bake-Ultimate-Oven-review.jpgIt’s getting close to the holidays, the time of year when toy manufacturers can guarantee big sales. It’s also a time of year when we’re exposed to a lot more toy advertising. Toys have traditionally been a bastion of stereotypes and gender role reinforcement and this year is no different. The easy bake oven is a really great example of this. It comes in pink and purple (traditionally ‘girly’ colours) and sends the subtle message “get good at being in the kitchen from a young age ladies, it’s where you belong.”

It’s really a terrible toy. Not because of what it is, but because of how it’s presented. Not only does it do wrong by girls it does wrong by boys. It sends women the message that the traditional female gender roles are the ideal and tells boys that cooking is for girls and if they want to cook it’s going to have to be with pink icing.

An eighth grade girl who’s four year old brother loves to bake and wants an Easy Bake Oven for Christmas sent a letter and video message to the toy manufacturers responsible for the toy in question:

Once again, the youth of today are giving us all hope for the future of humanity.

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The English Language Sucks At Being Gender Neutral

There are many in the queer community who are not content with the two genders that we as a society assign to people. It’s true that for many, both male and female are limiting or just don’t quite nail down how a person feels in terms of their own gender. There are very specific roles associated with these genders and they tend to be mutually exclusive. For the genderqueer among us finding an identity somewhere in between the two (or outside the male/female paradigm all together) feels more comfortable and more authentic.

One of the main issues that queer people and queer allies deal with in terms of gender is pronouns. She, her, hers, he, him, and his are the only pronouns we english speakers have for referring to someone in the singular. I think we can all agree that ‘it’ is not a desirable pronoun for anyone and can feel down right offensive.

The most commonly used gender neutral pronouns these days are ‘they’ and ‘their’ but, as any grammer freak will tell you, using those words in the singular form is just no good. “They is such a thoughtful person,” is clearly poor english and would make my mother cringe like it’s nobody’s business. In old english there were some gender neutral pronouns like “ze, nis and nir,” but I don’t see anyone adopting them any time soon either.

I don’t know what the solution to the problem is. Perhaps some new words need to be created. There are all sorts of stupid words being invented to describe stupid thinks like burkinis (a burka bikini), why not invent a useful word that can be used to empower people who are being actively discriminated against by the very language they speak. Granted, if your not a straight man, the english language is pretty discriminatory towards you, but if you are one of the many who don’t identify as either a man or a woman, the language practically denies your existence.

Language is powerful. It can greatly affect the way you view the world, in fact the two are intimately intertwined. If your language doesn’t acknowledge you and how you view yourself, you lack the ability to be fully self expressed to a certain extent. I mean how can you be self expressed if you don’t have an expression that adequately describes yourself. Change the language, change the world. Now the only problem is coming up with the words.



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Strangers Tell Little Boy He Can’t Be A Princess For Halloween

ABC staged, with hidden cameras, a little boy and his “Mom,” both actors, going into a costume store before Halloween. The boy declares loud and proud that he wants to be Belle, much to the chagrin of his “Mother.” Some of the other shoppers can’t help but chime in with their lovely opinions. Swap boy actor out for a girl actor who wants to be spider man, lather, rinse, repeat.

Now, I’m not particularly into the deceptive and manipulative game that ABC are playing but it’s pretty eye opening to see how willing these people are to express their bigotry just because they believe they are in the presence of likeminded company. Children are conditioned to fit into the roles of the particular gender they were diagnosed with at birth. So seldom, if ever, do we wait to find out the child’s opinion on the matter. I wonder what a difference it might make if our society treated children as gender neutral until they were able to tell us themselves how they wanted to identify.

Think of the children!!! My God, why won’t anyone think of the children!!! – Helen Lovejoy

Happy Halloween

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Human Sexuality Is Complicated…

The internet famous (but not in any way actually famous) Vlogbrothers explain sex, gender, sexual orientation, sexual and gender spectrums and everything in between in an extremly succinct and well explained video with helpful infographics. I love infographics.

This is one of the best videos on this topic that I’ve seen. Watch it, learn it, share it. If you can wrap your head around then you’re doing the whole human race a great service in bringing us closer to the age of acceptance. Perhaps we’ll design a fantasy sex video game called The Age of Acceptance. Perhaps not. Enjoy.


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Life inside The Man Box

Tony Porter on the collective socialization of men. This is one of the best TED talks I’ve seen. I was going to write more about it but it really speaks for itself.

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New Study Shows Women Less Likely To Orgasm During Casual Sex


Accounting For Women’s Orgasm And Sexual Enjoyment In College Hookups And Relationships  is the (awesome) title of a new study published by the American Sociological Review. A recent article at Salon looks into the fact that most women in casual hook ups aren’t getting off despite the opposite trend with men.

The study also found – not too surprisingly – that first-time hookups are awkward. The tough part about all this awkwardness (How far do we go? What does my partner like? How do I ask for oral sex?) is that many women leave hookups sans orgasm. Not so for the guys they’re hooking up with, though. Whether it’s hookup sex or relationship sex, men largely expect to orgasm and women largely aim to, and do, please. Unfortunately, the guys seem less chivalrous, focusing their efforts largely on girlfriends’ orgasms but not hookup partners’ orgasms. (I cringe every time I read a quote from a guy who says, in regard to whether women he hooks up with have an orgasm, “I don’t really care.”)

Bummer all around. Ladies, we’re sorry. Guys, c’mon. Let’s see some more erotic equity y’all.

Via Salon

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