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Playboy, Feminism and Being a Gay Girl

9 Oct

I have been pondering a question that came to mind the other day. How can you reconcile feminism and lesbianism with an interest in Playboy Magazine? I had been watching a documentary on Hugh Hefner and I was thinking about what really attracted me to the magazine (other than the glaringly obvious). And how could I reconcile this with my feminist ideals around the depiction of women in the erotic and porn industries, and being a woman attracted to other women reading a men’s magazine?

To put it simply I love photography and artwork (particularly Pin-up art from the 1940’s – 1960’s) that pays homage to the female form, that focuses on the female subject, that depicts women in all their beauty. And with this there must be a sense of respect from the lens or the paintbrush or airbrush. In my opinion most of the photography and artwork in Playboy subscribes to this. And there is sometimes an ‘old school’ vibe to the images in that they are shot in the style of the 1940’s and 1950’s. Also, there appears to be no exploitation, little or no pornography (as in sexual acts) and these artistic pieces are for the purposes of showing the female form in all its glory. Yes, in many ways these photographs and artwork are purely erotic and for the purpose of arousing a primarily male audience. But I think it goes beyond that. There is a ‘worshipping’ of the female form.

As a lesbian I can view these images, with a sense of admiration of the female form. As a feminist I can view these images with a sense that the women depicted are not being exploited, they have chosen to be photographed nude or semi-nude, and they are open minded.

There is also an element of admiration for the positive role that Playboy Magazine played in the sexual revolution of the 1960’s. It was magazines such as this that bought the discussion of sex and depiction of public hair out of the shadows, from the land of the taboo and bohemian, to everyday society. And thanks to this we can discuss such things openly and we are much more aware of our sexual selves, which is natural to us human beings.

I’m not saying I like all aspects of the magazine. Most articles are of little interest to me. Certain styles of photos depicted,such as the one with a more men’s magazine aesthetic, don’t always appeal to me. I don’t really like the whole playmate presence beyond the photo shoot in the magazine. This could be where I have a flawed like of the magazine.

But all said and done, I just like to look at beautiful photography and artwork depicting women.

Note – these are my own personal views and opinions. I realise others will have views differing to mine, and I respect those ideas too.

20131009-181156.jpg (July/August 2013 issue of Playboy Magazine)

Pin-up Girls

3 Oct

The glimpse of a girl
Glamorous
Sensual
Risqué
On the cover of a men’s magazine

From that moment
My interest stirred
For the Pin-up Girl
Forbidden territory
For a girl like me

If I spied a magazine
Under the arm of a passerby
Or in a newsagent
I would feel a sudden rush
Anticipation

I’d sneak a look
Flick through the pages
Lingering, admiring these women
Something igniting inside me
Changing

One day I found one by accident
I picked it up, kept it
In my room that night
I finally looked at my prize
My heart pounding

Such beauty
I found between the pages
Feminine glory
Dripping with glamour
A feast for the eyes

I began to dream of these women
Their clothes
Their flowing hair
Their sensuous lips
The curves of their bodies

I felt a longing, a desire
I wanted to kiss those lips
And caress those curves
I had an epiphany
Forbidden fruit
Of which I wanted to be a lover

Block Chicks Directory

20 Sep

My blog has been listed in the Blog Chicks Personal Blogs Directory!

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Farewell Australia’s First Female Prime Minister

27 Jun

Last night, after another leadership challenge, Julia Gillard, Australia’s first female Prime Minister, was outsted as Prime Minister and the leader of the Australian Labor Party. I personally think this is a shame and a step backwards for women in politics. Yes, Julia became Prime Minister in a takeover coup when she outsted Kevin Rudd. But her leadership was plagued by leadership challenges and speculation. I heard on the ABC news last night a query – ‘would there have been so many leadership challenges if it had been a male politician in power?’ Does this whole leadership fight indicate something deeper about women in politics in Australia? Following the sacking of radio ‘shock-jock’ Howard Sadler over asking if Julia’s partner was gay, I wondered if the same question would have been asked of a male Prime Minister. Julia’s fashion sense, hairstyle, hair colour, diction and accent has been scrutinised by the media and the public. This doesn’t indicate respect.

For me, Julia Gillard as Prime Minister symbolised that women share an equal role in society and are more than capable of being the leader of a country. I support some of the major policy changes she made while in power. However, I agree with a comment (I actually can’t remember who made the comment – perhaps a member of the Australian Greens are a marriage equality campaigner) I heard last year after the push for marriage equality in the Australian parliament – Julia could have really made her mark in Australian politics by standing up for marriage equality and voting for the bill in parliament. This would have been especially important as the Australian Labor Party had at the party’s national conference voted to support marriage equality, and the fact that a large portion of the Australian public supports marriage equality. Shame to see that Julia didn’t support marriage equality, especially too when one of her cabinet members was an openly gay woman raising a child with her partner.

Perhaps with Kevin Rudd now in the role of Primer Minister, we may see a change in the marriage equality debate. I heard this speculated on the ABC radio news this morning. Kevin Rudd recently announced that he now supports marriage equality. Interesting…….

20130627-072423.jpg (Source – http://www.pm.gov.au/your-pm)

The 1790’s – a Fascination

28 May

As a history buff I am interested in particular eras and periods in history, more specifically society, culture, politics, and fashion from these different eras. I am rather fascinated by the 1790’s, primarily the years between 1790 and 1795, but also reaching to 1799 and to the early 1800’s.

Events / philosophies / fashions / socio-cultural aspects

The French Revolution
– The politics
– The concept of Liberty, Fraternity and Equality
– The concept of a republic
– Revolutionary and Republic symbolism – red, white and blue tricolor flag & cockade, Phrygian cap, Liberty, nature etc
– Removing the importance of the church and Christian beliefs and replacing these with more classical and nature based beliefs and forms of worship
– The role of women in the revolution including female revolutionaries advocating the rights of women and women actively fighting in the revolution
– The revolutionary calendar
– Revolutionary fashion, including the use of red, white and blue ribbons (showing support for the revolution / republic) and the rejection of symbols of the ancien regime such as elaborate dress and hairstyles and emphasis on more classical and natural lines and hairstyles,

Feminism / Feminist Thought / Advocacy of the Rights of Women

Cross Dressing Women / Female Soldiers

Lesbian Sexuality / Romantic Friendships

Female Novelists
I am interested in the female novelists of the time, and the fact that writing and publishing novels was an accepted (if marginally) pursuit for women
– Female Writers & Novelists – Mary Wollenstencraft, Jane Austen, Fanny Burney, Anne Radcliffe
– Gothic novels and the gothic / horror / heroines that characterised this gene – almost contrasting to the image of gentility and domestic worlds written about by Jane Austen (except in Northanger Abbey which is a sort of parody of gothic novels)

European Women in India

18th & 19th Century Historical & Fictional Women – Inspiration for My Novel Characters

28 May

Eliza de Feuillide – Jane Austen’s cousin / sister in law, raised in India, married to French aristocrat murdered in the French Revolution

Philadelphia Austen – Jane Austen’s aunt – I know very little of her life, but the anecdote (from a book on Jane Austen) that she was sent to India as a young woman to find a husband struck a cord with me – the practise of sending young women to find a husband to a far away exotic land seemed exotic, exciting and indeed comodifying of women

Anne Lister – English gentlewoman and diarist – famous for her coded diaries depicting her affairs with women

Olympe de Gorges – French Revolutionary and advocate for the rights of women. Executed in the Reign of Terror

Theroigne de Mericourt – French Revolutionary, female militant and advocate for the rights of women. She was known for wearing a man’s riding habit and a belt of pistols at her waist

Mary Wollstonecraft – English philosopher, advocate for the rights of women and novelist. Famous for response to the French Revolution’s Declaration of the the Rights of Man, her radical beliefs, unconventional love life (she passionately loved a female friend, had an affair with a married man and bore a child outside of marriage) and being Mary Shelley’s mother

Martinette de Beauvais from the novel Ormond by Charles Brockden Brown – A soldier, Republican who fought in both the American and French Revolution who wears men’s clothes and enjoys the life and freedom of a soldier. The subject of same sex feelings

Marguerite St Just / Blakeney from the Scarlet Pimpernel series by Baroness Orcy – French Republican and actress married to the Scarlet Pimpernel (the saviour of aristocrats and royalists from the guillotine). Passionate, loyal, sassy

Charlotte Corday – French Revolutionary who stabbed radical revolutionary Jean-Paul Marat in his bath tub. She was executed during the Reign of Terror

20130528-180614.jpg Marguerite Blakeney

Asperwomen: Adult Women with Asperger Syndrome. Moving towards a female profile of Asperger Syndrome

23 May

An informative list of traits associated with Asperger’s Syndrome in women. Below, are my comments (and personal experience) I posted.

Thanks for a really informative list of traits / characteristics of Asperger’s Syndrome in women. I have not been diagnosed, and I don’t know if I would be diagnosed, but many of the traits describe how I work, see things and react emotionally. Definitely intense interests, good long term memory, perfectionism, emotionally aware and vulnerable to other’s emotions, feeling different to others applies to me. When I was younger (in primary and high school) I certainly felt different to others and I wanted to be like more “popular” people and I strived for that, but could never get there. I had my special interests and friends that were like minded so that helped. When I got to university I felt less pressured to be like others and I felt more comfortable with the feeling of being different. During postgraduate studies, I started to find myself – I embraced alternative music, lifestyles and fashions and I felt like I belonged, especially amongst a loosely collected group of people who celebrated their difference to the mainstream and made the point that they were different to others. I became alot more extroverted and socialised more. It was like I went through the stereotypical teenage years in my early twenties. During doctoral studies I travelled overseas. Being in a foreign city without family, friends and people who knew me, was a watershed experience, I shed something then. Back in my home country, over the next few years I went through great emotional turmoil, but I realised and discovered my same sex attraction (which had started with my fascination with an actress in a TV cop show in that foreign city). I eventually came out and I feel now, a few years later and a six year relationship, that I know who I am, and why I am different, but also I feel I can relate to a lot more people. While coming out (and going through depression / anxiety and chronic fatigue), a counsellor mentioned Asperger’s Syndrome to me. She said that many of the things I described fitted the traits / symptoms of this syndrome. Perhaps I was going through a transition stage where I was “overcoming” these Asperger’s traits and my personality and the way I saw things was changing. Thank you for a great article, and inspiring me to write about my experience.

Tania A. Marshall, M.Sc.

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Updated June 1st, 2017

Tania Marshall© 2013-2017. All rights reserved. Aspiengirl and Planet Aspien are trademarked. Thank you.

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p style=”text-align:center;”>Aspienwomen : Adult Women with Asperger Syndrome. Moving towards a female profile of Asperger Syndrome. This blog has been viewed almost 350,000 times since I initially wrote it and was the inspiration for my second book, released August 29th, 2015, Foreword by Dr. Shana Nichols. and now an international best seller. I am pleased to announce this book just received a 2016 IPPY eLit Gold Medal award in the ‘Women’s Issues’ category. This book is available at http://www.aspiengirl.com, Amazon, the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) and other fine book stores.

Tania is available for fee-based in-person or Skype remote assessments, consultations, problem solving sessions, intervention and support. She also works regularly with a variety of professionals in many countries, in the areas of referrals and assisting individuals to obtain and/or…

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