Archive | December, 2012

A Feminist likes Playboy Magazine

13 Dec

I was in two minds over clicking the ‘like’ button on the Facebook page of Playboy Magazine a few weeks ago. On one hand, I like how women are depicted in the magazine and its presentation. On the other hand, as a feminist, I am opposed to the objectification of women for men that appears to be presented by the magazine.

I like the style of photography and presentation of the magazine. There is a classiness to it as opposed to other more pornographic mens magazines. I am a big fan and greater admirer of some of the Pin-Up girl artists who have contributed to the magazine over the years (Alberto Vargas and Olivia De Berardinis). These artists speak of pure admiration and wonder at the beauty of the female form, and present their work in this way. No exploitation or degradation.

I also like the fact that when the magazine was first published in 1953 it represented sexual liberation and the changing of attitudes towards sex and sexuality. I am interested in Hugh Hefner’s story as he had a hand in modern society breaking free of sexually conservative values and pushed natural things such as nudity and sex into the mainstream. I think it is interesting from a females perspective that there have been female editors, pin-up artists (such as Olivia De Berardinis) and photographers who have contributed to the magazine over the years.

Another major factor for me is that the women featured in the magazine don’t appear in my eyes as being exploited or simply a sex object. There is sense of respect. How the individual model feels when she poses for a photo shoot for the magazine is important. Is she in control of how she displays her body and how she is presented? Is she doing it for herself? Does she feel empowered and confident? Is this how she wishes to present her own sexuality? A good an example of this is burlesque performer, model and entrepreneur Dita Von Teese. Dita certainly appears to be a very empowered woman who is in control of her career, her body and her sexuality, and she has graced the cover Playboy and been featured in the magazine. I strongly believe that the women depicted in the magazine are in control of how they are represented and they are not exploited nor degraded.

Moving on from what I like about the magazine, from a feminist perspective I feel strongly about is the objectification (or perceived objectification) of women for a mostly male audience. But is it solely objectification? I think it is a combination of presentation of the female form for admiration and for erotic reasons. Yes, there are elements that the women depicted are to there as erotic stimulants. Purely for a mostly male audience to get ‘their rocks off.’ I am still undecided about this. I think there is objectification, but it is done somewhat differently to pornographic, and particularly hardcore pornographic magazines. Additionally, I don’t like the embracing of plastic surgery enhanced beauty that appears popular in the magazine, and certain ways that female sexuality is presented.

These are the reasons why I was in two minds about ‘liking’ the Playboy Magazine Facebook page. I was uncertain how my ‘liking’ the page would appear to My friends. I wanted to say that I like this because of the depiction of attractive women and not the objectification and perceived sleaziness.

But since ‘liking’ the page and contemplating this further, I am no longer in two minds. I like it for the reasons above and my feminist (sex positive feminist) ideals don’t completely oppose this. There is a celebration of the beauty and sexuality of women, and although it is mostly from a male perspective, I myself as a lesbian and a sex positive feminist can appreciate and take what I want from it. Since then I have set about reading some scholarly articles on Playboy and feminism.

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Scientist Pin-Up Girls – empowering, not porn

7 Dec

Sapphicscientist's Blog

As an original and retro styled pin-up girl fan and a scientist, I think it would great to have scientist pin-up girls. Empowered, intelligent, lady scientists with retro styled fashion and make-up. Oh, red lipstick would look a treat with a crisp white lab coat and funky sneakers! As a sex positive feminist, lesbian and an empowered woman who is proud of her female and lesbian sexuality and her intellect and scientific abilities, I think this would be so fun, empowering and a chance to express science and sexuality. I’d promote this and join in. Maybe this would also help get a lesbian audience interested in science and the achievements of female scientists, all but in a kind of around about way. Bring on the retro styled lady scientist pin-ups!

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7 Dec

Sapphicscientist's Blog

While surfing the net for information on science writing and medical writing agencies & reading science blogs such those from Scientific American, I see successful female science and medical writers and I think “I want to be like them!!” I want to write for a respected science magazine. I would like to make my own mark on the world of science communication. I would love to inspire other young female science writers. A dream of mine is to be either a freelance science, medical and health writer contributing to various science and health magazines and websites or to be writer working with a research organization. I am a former medical research student and I am very passionate about communicating about the essential nature of research and the key
discoveries and disease breakthroughs research has provided the modern world. With training, avid writing and perseverance I can hopefully one day achieve…

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Female Scientist Role Model – Kay Scarpetta

7 Dec

Sapphicscientist's Blog

Kay Scarpetta from the Patricia Cornwell series of crime novels, also a Forensic Pathologist, was a role model and an inspiration to me while growing up. She two was a smart, tough lady.

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Female Scientist Role Model – Sam Ryan from Silent Witness

7 Dec

Sapphicscientist's Blog

Sam Ryan (played by Amanda Burton), a Forensic Pathologist in the BBC Drama Silent Witness was another role model of mine while growing up. She was a gutsy, determined, smart Northern Irish lady. Shame she left the show

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7 Dec

Sapphicscientist's Blog

I was watching the X-Files movie last night on television, and it took me back to my teenage years and my immense admiration and fascination with Dana Scully. She was a strong, intelligent, beautiful, professional scientist and FBI agent. She was my idol. I wanted to be a Forensic Pathologist like her. I wanted to solve crimes using science. She inspired me to want to study science. And watching the movie last night, viewing it from a more mature angle, l realised what a fantastic role model she was. Empowered, intelligent, tough, holds her own, a feminist (or close). And last but not least, as a redhead (not natural though) I thought it was so fantastic that this smart sexy scientist was a redhead! I certainly would use Dana Scully as an example of a good female scientist role model (and as redheaded role model too!)

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7 Dec

Sapphicscientist's Blog

To follow on from my previous post – I am still digesting the different images of women in science.

To be completely honest, as a lesbian scientist who likes a bit of glamour, I quiet like the idea of a sexy female scientist in a lab coat. Though I guess I would see her from two different angles – the smart, intelligent, professional scientist and the attractive woman. And I don’t mean to sound conceited, but I would view her with respect and acknowledge her profession along with her attractiveness.

I think programs such as CSI do sexualise the image of a female scientist and cynically I think they do that to draw in a male audience (and with it a few women as well). Although these female scientists are professionals and are seemingly respected by their peers, their immaculate grooming, high heels etc do still portray a different image.

When I was…

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