Category Archives: the sexual revolution

May 19, 2011, 2:38 pm

Love Is A Many Splendored Thing Department: This Week’s Sexual News In Review

Happier Days?  Photo credit.

I want to start out by saying that there are more men than Arnold Schwarzenegger who have children that they know about but did not acknowledge to their wives and the children they live with until much, much later in the game.  I have met four in my lifetime, quite ordinary men who were not governor of anything, so it’s not really that rare.  But I have the same question about all of them, large and small:  how do you hide a second family?  And more important, how many people have to be paid off not to reveal that you have a second family when you are governor of California?

Personal responsibility is definitely taking a hit this week, since it turns out that pedophile priests are not responsible for their actions, and the church was not responsible for supervising them.  No,  it’s what you suspected all along: the collective power of queers and fornicators to …

Read More

May 30, 2010, 11:59 am

Sunday Radical Roundup: (Don’t) Ask, (Don’t) Tell Memorial Day Edition

Congressional Dems Reach Down And Locate Their ‘Nads: Will long-standing legal discrimination against gay and lesbian service people be struck down this summer? We at Tenured Radical certainly hope so. Although we are more than ambivalent about armed conflict, we are not in the least ambivalent about the right to serve in the military without discrimination because of race, gender or sexual orientation. As Janet Halley argued years ago in Don’t: A Reader’s Guide To The Military’s Anti-Gay Policy (Duke, 1999), this has not been an overwhelmingly popular item for queer activism. The fight for marriage — by which overwhelmingly white, well-to-do queers confer rights and wealth on each other just like straight people — has been far more popular than the right to military service, which is often the path to citizenship, education and income for people who are working-class, immigrant …

Read More

May 14, 2010, 12:19 pm

Ova There! Ova There! Send The Word, Send The Word, Ova There!

After reading a critical piece in the New York Times about the booming market in Ivy League ova earlier in the week, Radical Correspondent Oklahoma Annie writes that she was “incensed” by it:

What’s going on, in summary, is this: Agencies who traffic in human ova are seeking the highest achieving young women from top universities as donors, and are offering them upwards of $10,000 to donate their eggs.

The American Society for Reproductive Medicine, which set the $10,000 cap on payments in its guidelines, is now “concerned” that young women may be lured by excessively high payments to become donors “against their own best interests.”

Now, excuse me, but we’re talking about the top percentile, crème de la crème of American elite universities, and we’re afraid they won’t be able to make informed decisions about their own health and finances?

Well, OK, so we’re also…

Read More

July 22, 2009, 5:35 pm

Adultery Carnival: John Updike’s Couples and the Sexual Revolution

John Updike, Couples (New York: Fawcett Books, 1996). Originally published 1968. 458 pp. $14.95

I don’t know whether I meant to bring two books about adultery on vacation but I did, and the contrast between Jed Mercurio’s American Adulterer and John Updike’s Couples provoked many thoughts about the shift in our sexual culture as seen through this knotty, diverse practice. One important similarity in the two books is what has not changed: adultery generates its own complex rules so that adulterers can evade and break other rules. In other words, the adulterer, although perhaps motivated by a desire to be free, is never truly free.

But the differences are also interesting, particularly since both novels describe the same historical moment, the early 1960s. While Updike’s adulterers operate as a community and literally as couples who protect each other, Mercurio’s adulterer in chief, JFK…

Read More