Housekeeping Matter #9: The "Sex Education" Series

I got a somewhat dyspeptic email last night from a visitor to this blog; a woman who has strong objections to the "Sex Education" series I started here a day or so ago. For visitors who may have missed these entries, they entail a series of portraits of women . . . mainly motion picture actresses (I may broaden it to include women in other disciplines, provided I find good enough images) . . . with what I consider to be a strong sexual dimension. My correspondent from the war zone of female outrage upbraided me for engaging in the crudest, most base forms of Sexism anyone could imagine and suggested I put a halt to the series in the name of common decency.

I don't intend to stop the series (I can hear Stephen cheering yet), but I want her, and other visitors to this blog who may be inclined to the same sentiment, to know that I'm not unmindful of the somewhat leering, Sexist component to this series; I wasn't when I started it. However, I cannot lie and say that I don't approve of these images either, because I do. I like them tremendously and I don't think they're at all distasteful. Just surf around blogs for a few hours and you'll see more than enough bloggers who simply retail images they scanned out of old issues of "Hustler" or material they've grabbed willy-nilly from porn sites. I'd like to think I'm putting a bit more care and consideration and, yes, respect into this series (as I do all the entries in this blog) than what those hornball bloggers are trafficking in.

I'm interested to know what other visitors think, though (especially women): Am I deluding myself into thinking that I'm not simply indulging my inner-adolescent, or am I giving these images, and the women who embody them, the honor they richly deserve?

Please leave a comment on that question if you're so inclined.

11 comments:

Dan said...

it's sick and twisted how a person can call nudity bad or wrong or obscene. nudity is pure and clean and natural. what is truly sick is the hundreds of images on our TV's every day depicting shootings, rapes, robberies, murders...and then there is the real horrors being shown on the 'news'. any blog reader woth their salt can take a quick peek at your diversified music link list and realize you are a culture & diverse creature. keep doing what you do, please. it's your blogging right. dan tranth.blogspot.com/

Stratu said...

Your blog is a rare treat in the blog world, and fine, and far from sleazy or exploitational. The objecting woman was clearly out of line and mistaken. No need to justify your work. There will always be people who jerk their knees and throw fits about things that don't warrant it. There are hundreds of more worthy targets to get angry about, like the avalanche of *ad blogs* I've noticed lately. Keep up the fine work.
-Stratu
atomiser.blogspot.com

Bob Keser said...

The images in question are celebrations of human physical beauty and need no justification. Your critic is the one who needs to scrape up some justification. Maybe a few beefcake shots of Ramon Novarro will serve to pacify her, but I'll bet she'll be demanding virtual figleaves.

--Bob Keser

Tom Sutpen said...

Maybe a few beefcake shots of Ramon Novarro will serve to pacify her, but I'll bet she'll be demanding virtual figleaves.

*****
I know I would.

Actually, she did include a line asking sarcastically (I hope) when I was going to post photos of guys.

Uhhhhhh . . . never?

Okay, *maybe* if I get an overwhelming surge in such requests from the distaff side, or a corrseponding uptick in the number of gay visitors . . . I'll think about it.

But only then.

(who the hell'd wanna see Ramon Novarro anyways?)

Prisamata said...

You know... Fact of the matter is: People are made to have sex. So, that's why we are interested in sex. I can't see how one couldn't understand that,

Woo said...

Very late to this question, but just found this terrific blog today.

This here woman loves the Sex Education series.

First, you guys have fantastic taste in women; who wouldn't want to stare at Louise Brooks?

Second, from the distaff point of view, they're inspirational. They make me want to do up my hair, slink into a bias-cut charmeuse gown, spritz a little Chanel, and get my smart-talking debonair guy to take me to the Mocambo.

Tom Sutpen said...

Woo wrote:

Very late to this question, but just found this terrific blog today.

This here woman loves the Sex Education series.

First, you guys have fantastic taste in women; who wouldn't want to stare at Louise Brooks?

Second, from the distaff point of view, they're inspirational. They make me want to do up my hair, slink into a bias-cut charmeuse gown, spritz a little Chanel, and get my smart-talking debonair guy to take me to the Mocambo.

*****
Thank you, on behalf of Monsieur Cooke and myself (even though I think this entry was posted before Stephen signed up as co-blogger), for both your kind words about our blog and (not coincidentally) your taste. Please keep visiting.

Cinebeats said...

I was just searching through the archives trying to see if pics of boys were allowed here, but after reading your post I assume probably not.

I do wish men were included, but I adore this series as it is and I'm a straight lady!

I think I may borrow your idea and start up a sort of "sex education" for the ladies on my own blog. ;D

sonright said...

Can you imagine if this was a blog about men in various stages of undress? No one would complain about it being sexist. Is this something women aren't supposed to do? Is it somehow wrong to reveal themselves, my goodness this is silly--I see not much more than breasts!

These pictures do not belittle these women, quite the opposite. I find it empowering, they capture the beauty of women in wondrous ways. I feel it is refreshing, as a woman, to know that our bodies can be appreciated to this extent. It certainly is much nicer than porn sites by far.

Molly said...

as long as you post the occasional shirtless Clint Eastwood or Marlon Brando I think you'll be okay

Dorit said...

I think the problem here is twofold: On the one hand, when people in the comments above said that the series is okay because "nudity is beautiful," etc., I had to scoff- because this is not *nudity*- it's FEMALE nudity. Moreover, if any man were to be photographed in this style it would seem to us wrong and unnatural.

Which brings me to the other hand- even if you wanted to do justice by the feminist viewpoint and post men in the same kinds of poses, you simply couldn't, because there are none. Carey Grant and Jimmy Stewart were never photographed as objects to be looked at and enjoyed.

All that being said- I loved the series and didn't find it distasteful at all, even if to me as a woman it was more of a study of the expression of sexuality throughout the decades. The only thing that grated me a little (sorry, but it needs to be said)- is any comment of the posters including animal noises or other grunts and leers. Respect for women, even when you view them sexually, comes from addressing them with words.