According to a new report from the government, teenage birthrates are rising. Bloomberg.com points out that this is the first increase in fifteen years. Although the article doesn’t make any sort of reference to sex education, I’m afraid that the information will be used to increase support for the Bush administration’s abstinence only programs, even though studies have shown that these programs are dismal failures. See, for instance, this Fox news article for a “fair and balanced” report. For a humorous look at this failure, see Susie Bright’s take on it. She ends her commentary with the following: Clearly, more needs to be done toRead More →

War is hell for everyone involved. For women, this hell can be especially deep. Recruiters don’t tell those who enlist that 30% of military women will be sexually assaulted while serving. Women who work as contract employees in Iraq face similar dangers. Jamie Leigh Jones, a former Halliburton/KBR employee in Iraq, recently testified at a Congressional hearing that she was drugged and brutally gang-raped by her co-workers in 2005. Three years later, KBR and the military have failed to punish the perpetrators or provide redress for Jamie Leigh. We met Jamie Leigh in Washington and we were moved by her courage-under tremendous pressure-to speak outRead More →

Mira Nair’s films evoke the feeling of lush reds and yellows. That is such a prevalent visual theme in the four films I’ve seen by her: Mississippi Masala (1992) Kama Sutra (1997) Monsoon Wedding (2002) Vanity Fair (2004) I saw Vanity Fair last night. It was better than expected, and better than the critics rated it. But then, I LOVED Kama Sutra. Of those I’ve seen, Kama Sutra is my favorite, mostly that’s due to the director’s commentary. On the one hand, Kama Sutra is somewhat inaccessible to American audiences. OTOH, I love this film because I do find it most accessible compared to someRead More →

I have half the football team in my class. They greet each other with Sugarbowl-infused respect knuckles. Ten percent of the population is football players, twenty percent is black (which I believe is higher than the college population), and forty percent is male. It’s a difficult demographic for teaching a course topic in a state that denigrates black folk, valorizes football players, and barely acknowledges that women’s destiny can be something other than marriage. As Arsenio said some ten years ago, “hmmmmmm.” Well, this brings up a whole thicket of issues that I don’t know how to address: I wonder how many of them willRead More →

It is in this juvenile ecstasy of the modern that we must locate the progeny of the future and initially ponder why a man, who just wants to be a boy, is apparently powerless to profess his innocence and relinquish his sexuality, despite assurances everywhere that he can and must.

– Slavoj Zizek in CTHEORY

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