It’s Time to Pass ERA!

I wrote a piece today in the RedEye about how IL needs to FINALLY pass the Equal Rights Amendment, or the ERA. I think most assume that this amendment has already been passed; it is the amendment that guarantees equal rights regardless of gender, it seems pretty “common sense.” But the ERA failed to pass back in 1982, shy 3 states of the 38 it needed to be ratified. Over 3 decades later, it is finally time to right this historic wrong.

“As a past board member of the Chicago NOW chapter, I’ve marched with Michelle Fadeley and other young feminists for everything from abortion rights to protesting Wal-Mart. I know the ERA is not a panacea for gender inequality. But I also know it is time for the U.S. constitution to reflect the reality of American’s values, values which say all men and women, regardless of race or religion, should be treated equally.

This isn’t a simple process. The ERA must be ratified in at least two more states before it can go back to Congress, which will decide if the 1982 deadline is valid. There are many years of legal and political struggle ahead. But Illinois can be the beginning of reinvigorating this conversation about what it means to be an American.”

Read more at,0,1784562.column#Zzodk7kq5xO9OiIe.99


Pooches, naked bodies and what is beautiful

As has been previously established, I watch a lot of porn. Mainly this is for academic research but of course I still watch porn for pleasure. Only now when I do, I do so with a much more “discerning” eye. I’m looking for the what-I-now-sadly-recognize-as-typical violence and degradation, but I’m also looking at body types. It is always impressive to me how female porn stars  manage to keep their stomachs flat in almost every position; like they are constantly sucking in their guts while they are vigorously humping along.

I first noticed this when I was researching Belle Knox’s new porn. As a new porn star, she is still rather novice (and young at 18). In one of her first videos, a hideous thing made for facial abuse, Knox was receiving doggy and her back was hunched up and therefore a bit of the world’s tiniest pooch was sticking out from a very slender girl. The director instructed her to “try to suck your fat belly in.” (I don’t recommend it but if you want to see the full scene, here is the very NSFW or suitable for life video). Granted this is a site designed for degradation and humiliation but it also made me realize as a novice Knox hadn’t learned the tricks of arching her back and sucking in so that her stomach appeared flat at all times.

Knox’s little faux paus also made me realize how used I am to seeing that sucked in stomach trick; I have begun to imagine most women have flat stomachs in all positions all the time when naked. I think it is fair to say that in reality though most women do not. To be honest I’m not usually thinking about my stomach when I’m having sex; I don’t have sex for a video camera so I don’t usually worry if a pooch is hanging down or out when I’m thoroughly enjoying myself.


I guess I wonder and worry if other women do think about their pooches, and if this thought may keep them from fully enjoying sex. To be blunt, when most women orgasm they can barely contain their thigh muscles much less hold tight their guts. If women are obsessed with replicating the flat stomach tricks of porn stars, I wonder if they may be impeding on their own enjoyment of sex.

Beyond though just women enjoying sex, I wonder if we aren’t recognizing the sexy of the pooch. I recently saw a posting on Facebook about what famous paintings of naked women would look like if they were photoshopped to today’s standards. It was terribly sad. All these beautiful women in these gorgeous paintings, cut down, their softness just sliced away. I understand some people’s bodies are naturally slim which is also totally sexy and beautiful but most women have some softness to them, a bit of a curve in the belly, a bump in the hips. This is gorgeous. This is not something to be slivered away at or held in. This curve of lusciousness is meant to be touched and caressed and held (or humped, pounded and spanked if that is what you are into.)

I’m not advocating for gaining a pooch if your body doesn’t have one. Be healthy and happy. But I’m saying, when I look at myself naked, I don’t want to take a magic photoshop eraser to my stomach or my hips or my thighs. I want to see my body, its health, its softness, and see sexy.

I think that is what these artists hundreds of years ago saw when they looked at women and I think that is what modern pornographers have lost in their interpretations of the female body.