Safe Words

Abby Ohlheiser: All the religious language of the last fortnight’s Perry and Ames fest ’11 (or should that be ’12) made me click on this tweet (despite the parenthetical clue) without thinking for a second that it would be a comment on anything other than something Bachmann or Perry have talked about recently. By the way: don’t google “perry bondage.”

It was, in fact, an article about the sort of bondage with a bigger but quieter internet presence: BDSM, which stands for bondage, discipline, sado-masochisim. Continue Reading →

Gender Caricatures

How are ideas of masculinity created and enforced?  Are the political and Christian right less tolerant of a spectrum of male behavior than those on the left?  What about Boehner’s crying and Obama’s killing?  From Amanda Marcotte’s article at The Guardian, “The soft underbelly of the right’s hard abs”:

Unfortunately, the right’s obsession with masculinity, and the fear that if they aren’t constantly shoring it up and attacking the feminine, they might grow soft, has very real effects. Many, maybe most of America’s problems go back to this manlier-than-thou attitude on the right. Wars are started. Women’s basic human rights are denied. Gays are bashed. The main slurs against Democrats are about how they’re feminine, childish or weak for doing things like thinking through important decisions before making them or caring about the environment. Even fights over the budget become masculinity displays, with Paul Ryan casting people who use the social safety net living “lives of complacency and dependency” – all the while, portraying himself as a tough guy with his own hefty workout routine.

Continue Reading →