“As a man, one experiences very heavy socialisation from an early age to constrain violent impulses. Agression is channeled out of us in every way (other than on the sports field) which is absolutely correct of course. Anyone who hits another person is a criminal. And all the more so with regards to girls – you never, ever hit girls.
In fact, spanking is okay (great!) because it is highly ritualised, that is, has associated codes and rules which define actions and limits (the key ones are bottom only + consensuality). It is okay exactly in the sense that other code-constrained violence, notably contact sports and martial arts are okay. These also allow and imply consent to violence-within-the-rules. The rules make the violence productive rather than destructive.”
From How to get the spanking you want from Art of Authority
Here’s to liberty and justice:
“It can be very difficult for a woman to accept sexual rejection. Even the temporary rebuff can feel like a strike at the core of our femininity. Hey, aren’t men supposed to always want it, while we imperiously decide whether to grant their petition?
For centuries, women otherwise subject to the whims of men have drawn power from controlling an artificially created shortage. We have reinforced the myth that men always want what we could live without. Our unwritten bargain has been, “Men, be really nice to us and we will give you sex.” Withdrawal from this position is painful. Revising our sexual attitudes with our male friends is something we can suffer through together if we support rather than combat each other.”
From Screw the Roses, Send Me the Thorns by Philip Miller and Molly Devon
Jessa Crispin writes about the intersex phenomenon - that is, people born not identifiably male or female.
“The standard for years has been to assign a gender at a very early age with surgical intervention. [..] Doctors and parents think they are sparing children embarrassment and pain. But now intersex activists are fighting to create a new protocol, one that waits until the child can participate in “hir” (forgive me — I know the pronoun is a clumsy compromise, but one that comes up a lot when you start reading about gender theory) own treatment.”
It’s a complex topic, and demonstrates that the subject of gender is more nuanced than the binary definition that most of us take for granted.
“What is it with you guys and bras, anyway?”
“The brassiere,” I said, pouring us both a glass of Pinot Grigio, “is the most romantic invention of western civiliazation. […] It restricts, restrains. It shapes and displays that which is conceals. It focuses the regard. It presents.”
From Private Eye by Terry Bisson
Why God Won’t Go Away by Andrew Newberg et al. brings the experimental method of science to bear on the slippery subject of spirituality. Based on brain imaging scans of devout spiritual practitioners such as Buddhist monks and Catholic nuns, they locate and describe the areas of the brain which are active during the spiritual (sometimes also called “mystical”) state.
I’ll skip past the neurological details and go straight to the central thesis which unfolds as the book progresses: that the mystical state is the same across all faiths, and that this state can be defined in its simplest form as the overlap of mental arousal and quietude.
Arousal is not just sexual arousal, although that is certainly one possibility. Rather it encompasses any time your mind is alert, focused, energized - in a word, up.
Quietude is a state of calm. When your mind is defocused, peaceful, relaxed - in a word, down.