Category Archives: sex

November 12, 2014, 9:22 am

J. Edgar Hoover Uncensored

mag-16Lede-t_CA0-blog427Yale’s Beverly Gage has an essay in the New York Times about the famous letter sent to Martin Luther King on November 18, 1964 accusing him of being “a colossal fraud and an evil, vicious one at that.” The letter, sent by agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation as part of its COINTELPRO operation intended to disable radical movements in the United States, catalogues a range of sexual misbehaviors. It uses the word “evil” multiple times, as Gage points out; and concludes with the well known phrase: “There is only one thing left for you to do. You know what it is.”

We have known about this letter for years, but it has always appeared in redacted form, and those who have used it have always presumed that it was intended to push King to suicide. But was that actually its purpose, and under what circumstances would Hoover have imagined that a man schooled in non-violence, a…

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October 12, 2014, 3:08 pm

Sexy Darwin

EvolutionI want to start this post, which is really about science and it’s various discontents, by saying: The Nation, a publication to which I am extremely loyal, does not publish enough in its regular edition, or even its blogs about LGBT people. Perhaps this has something to do with the fact that it is no longer fashionable on the left, especially among radical queers, to push publications like The Nation to take LGBT people’s politics,or their lives, seriously. Despite the fact that millions of queers are homeless, poor, racially and sexually discriminated against, there appears to be a general consensus that in the hierarchy of global and national suffering, we simply do not rank.

But you do have to credit The Nation with publishing more about sex in the last few years.  JoAnn Wypijewski is doing a great job with the Carnal Knowledge feature, and no longer a backup to Katha…

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January 3, 2011, 10:48 pm

The Radical Culture Corner Corner: Sex, Lies and Videotape Edition

We at chez Radical went to Black Swan last night, by far the most over-rated movie of the season.  You know you are really in trouble as a movie viewer when the character you like the most is the predator ballet master who just swaps in one prima for another, asserting that ballet skills are all well and good, but what really makes you a star is getting in touch with your inner f**k-bunny.  “Go home and touch yourself,” he advises the Natalie Portman character, after a particularly uninspiring rehearsal.  Ho-kay!

Trying to come down off the dreadful high of that movie, I turned to the New York Times Magazine and found myself literally dumbstruck for the next half hour at the story of how Melanie Thernstrom solved the heartbreak of childlessness after five rounds of infertility treatments.  She and her husband bought some ova, had them fertilized with his sperm, hired two other women to…

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December 20, 2010, 3:13 pm

This Is My Weapon, This Is My Gun: A Gay Primer For Worried Straights In The Military

“Simply because you’re near me, I’m in the mood for love!” Credit.

This is my rifle, this is my gun;
One is for fighting, one is for fun.
The Rifleman’s Creed, 1941

Want to know whether repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” is good policy?  Why listen to the generals or the Secretary of Defense?  Go ask an expert — an 18 year-old boy in South Carolina.

In today’s Grey Lady, James Dao goes to Jacksonville, South Carolina to do just that.  Although a few young soldiers offered indifferent or positive responses to the question, “Would you want to share a foxhole with one?” (another version of, “Would you want your daughter to marry one?”) others are worried.  Among the memorable quotes are:

From an 18 year-old soldier who says he is socially comfortable with gays: “They won’t hold up well in combat.”

From a 22 year-old soldier who has served a tour in Afghanistan: “Coming from a combat unit, …

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December 6, 2010, 7:55 pm

Towards A Theory Of Scandal; Or, How To Become Client 9

On The Good Wife, actress Julianna Margulies
assumes an iconic stance as Alicia Florrick.

Laura Kipnis, How to Become A Scandal:  Adventures in Bad Behavior. New York: Metropolitan Books, 2010. 208 pp. Bibliography, no index. Illustrations.

Client 9:  The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer (Alex Gibney: 2010).  Now in general release, and available on some cable systems.

One of our favorite shows chez Radical is The Good Wife (Tuesday nights at 10 EST on your local CBS affiliate or online.) I have always liked Julianna Margulies:  I liked her last series, Canterbury’s Law, which got canceled after six episodes in 2008 because of the writer’s strike.  She appears to have emerged from that complex show having found her niche as a TV attorney. Margulies’ fundamental interiority as an actress is a perfect comment on some of the dilemmas of modern heterosexuality, marriage and parenting for…

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September 17, 2010, 11:58 am

How To Prevent Abortions: Stop Pretending Teenagers Don’t Have Sex

Yesterday I was part of a Constitution Day celebration at the University of Connecticut – Storrs, in which three of us from the academic, activist and policy world were asked to focus on the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment ninety years ago. In one way or another, we all took the opportunity to connect women’s votes to a discussion of what it means for women to be full citizens, with equal rights to men across lines of class, race and region. One of the speakers, a founder of Shoreline Women’s Liberation, made the argument that debates over hot button social issues like abortion have become so polarized that, as feminists, we are left with few options about how to resolve them through rational debate. Inevitably, then, they become the stuff of power politics and embed themselves as wedge issues, allowing legislatures in places where conservatives dominate — Oklahoma, for example -…

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April 16, 2010, 7:58 pm

One Of The Down Sides To The New Media

Is receiving messages from pimps. For example, I just received the following message on Skype:

European and American women are too arrogant for you? Are you looking for a sweet lady that will be caring and understanding? Then you came to the right place- here you can find a Russian lady that will love you with all her heart. Can’t find a queen to rule your heart? How about beautiful Russian ladies that have royal blood and royal look? Here you can find hundreds of portfolios of these fine women of any age for every taste. Please excuse us if you are not interested.

I am not interested, it’s true, but should I excuse you if I find this message a violation of my privacy? Then there are the people who claim to be following me on Twitter, a great many of whom also turn out to be sex professionals. Those of you who are my Facebook friends may recall that this is not the only kind of…

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January 29, 2010, 1:51 pm

On Behalf Of All Wimmin: An Open Letter To Steve Jobs About The iPad

Dear Steve Jobs,

For months I have been looking forward to the release of Apple’s new tablet computer, as I look forward to every new product released by your company. I have put off buying a Kindle, even though all of my friends have them; or even speaking to my sister about her beloved Sony Reader, for fear that I will become so envious that I will have to go into therapy about why she gets everything nice even though she is the youngest. So imagine my dismay when I heard that you were naming this new product the iPad.

Now, this ill-chosen, sexist name did not immediately make me think of a menstrual pad, but since other women have begun to make this obvious connection between a personal computer and a personal hygiene device, I have not been able to get over how crushed and mortified I am. I don’t know if you have ever tried to write something on a menstrual pad, but believe me, it is…

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November 24, 2008, 2:58 pm

What Works For Christians Could Work For Academics Too

Pastor Ed Young of the Fellowship Church in Grapevine, Texas has been urging his flock to improve their emotional well-being by having more sex. In fact, last Sunday he instructed the married couples in his flock to have sex every day prior to coming to church yesterday. The economic downturn (read: Republican trainwreck), in addition to the ordinary problems couples have (adultery, PTSD, child-rearing, exhaustion, quiet and/or open rage, working two or three jobs) are causing people to lose the intimacy that is the key to a healthy marriage, Young argues. In the longer term, the Seven Days of Sex should cause couples to at least double the amount of intercourse they have and “move from whining about the economy to whoopee!”

Well yes indeed. Of course, Young is not the first Christian to suggest this. From Henry Ward Beecher’s gospel of love through Marabel Morgan’s advice in…

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May 1, 2007, 2:12 pm

The Past Revealed: Why Sex Matters to Political History

I am doing my best to catch up on all the television I have TIVO’d, but it won’t really be possible until I have finished grading the set of papers on my desk. And perhaps not even then, given that classes do not end until next week and I have not even begun handicapping the Kentucky Derby.

However, everyone has to eat dinner. So last night I got to the next episode of “The Tudors,” where I learned an astonishing fact: the wheels of fate began to turn for Henry the Eighth only partly because of his urgent political need for a son. Indeed, in episode two he gets a son by Lady Thingumajig, Henry Fitzroy, who could have been made legitimate down the line if necessary. This convinces the lusty monarch, as he says at the top of his lungs while galloping back to court from the lying in, that Katherine of Aragon’s difficulty conceiving “Is Not My Fault!” This is arguable, of course, since…

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