- Disney’s 2014 Maleficent

Since the sequel to 2014’s “Maleficent” — “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” — is currently out in theaters, my family just rewatched the first one. Five years ago, “Maleficent,” starring Angelina Jolie, received a green-splat score of 53% on Rotten Tomatoes, with a review by the Chicago Sun Times’ Richard Roeper calling it “plodding and utterly unconvincing.” But the second time around only confirmed my first assessment: “Maleficent” is, in fact, awesome! As with many movies featuring a female lead with a majority of female characters that explore feminist themes, the (mostly male) critics got it wrong.

In the genre of…

There were audible groans among the crowd — especially from the hetero dads — at my friend’s Super Bowl LII party when Maroon 5’s frontman Adam Levine took off his shirt towards the end of their halftime show and spawned Nipplegate 2. The consensus seemed to be that this was not only cheesy, but inappropriate.

Levine spent much of the performance making bedroom eyes at the camera, gradually removing layers of clothing — first a long jacket, then a tracksuit top, and finally his tight-fitting tank top — to reveal chiseled abs, extensive tattoo art, and two — count ’em…

It’s time to start talking to kids about sexual respect, consent and bodily autonomy outside of the classroom.

A dad friend of mine, who’d read my recent piece on making sexual assault in the news a teachable moment for kids, forwarded me the following tweet from Andi Zeisler while I was in the middle of my 11-year-old’s birthday slumber party:

I wrote back to my friend, “So awesome! I may have to follow her lead tonight.”

I thought about it: Not only am I a parent, I’m a sex educator currently getting certification from the Institute for Sexuality Education

So much of today’s news — Cosby, pedophile priests, crotch grabbing — is “inappropriate” for kids. But kids can and should learn something from the Brett Kavanaugh case.

These days, you hear a lot of parents bemoan the fact that they can’t have the news on, for fear their kids might hear something sexually inappropriate. That “America’s Dad” Bill Cosby drugged and sexually assaulted 60 women. That the Catholic Church has been a child-rape factory and cover-up machine for decades. That our own president, accused by several women of sexual misconduct, has admitted to grabbing women “by the pussy” without their consent. And that yet another conservative candidate for a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court — where he will potentially make judgments about laws that affect women’s…

What Eric Schneiderman did was NOT kink.

photo via flickr

Are there no decent men in the world? NY Attorney General Eric Schneiderman was supposed to be one of the good ones, a champion of the #MeToo Movement who was going after alleged serial sexual assaulter and rapist, Harvey Weinstein. But then The New Yorker (which might seriously need to consider changing its name to “To Catch a Predator Weekly”) revealed that four women have accused him of sexual, physical and emotional abuse, which involved things like non-consensual choking, verbal humiliation, and hitting to the point of causing unintentional long-term damage. …

still from the 2018 Oscars

A 1995 study called “The Role of Classification Skill in Moderating Environmental Influences on Children’s Gender Stereotyping” showed that the simple organizational technique of separating kids by gender in elementary school classrooms has a profound effect on the way those kids think about gender. In her excellent book, Parenting Beyond Pink and Blue: How to Raise Your Kids Free of Gender Stereotypes, developmental psychologist Dr. Christia Spears Brown explains:

Early in her career, [Rebecca Bigler, a professor of developmental psychology at the University of Texas at Austin] conducted an experiment with a group of elementary school teachers and their students…

image via flickr creative commons

To read the Tweets and comments on the Babe.net story about one woman’s horrible night with actor & comedian Aziz Ansari (read it here if you haven’t already), you’d assume there were only two possible, mutually exclusive conclusions to draw: either you believe that Ansari is a sexual assaulter who’s career should be over OR you’re convinced that the anonymous “Grace” is a weak woman who’s playing the victim card because their date didn’t go exactly how she had hoped. There is no potential for grey area, no possibility for overlap. …

The Senate candidate may be a disgusting, manipulative child predator unworthy to serve in the United States Senate, but he is not a pedophile.

Here’s the definition of hebephilia, according to Psychology Today:

Hebephilia is the sexual preference for early adolescent children (those roughly ages 11 to 14). Some evidence suggests that hebephilia is a distinct and discernable erotic age preference. But whether it qualifies as a disorder is the source of debate as critics believe including it in the DSM [The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the bible of health care professionals in the United States] would pathologize a reproductively valid behavior. The DSM workgroup on sexual disorders is the main proponent of hebephilia, and much of the supporting research has…

A lot of strides have been made around educating people about consent. But does it always work like it should? Not in the case of Louis C.K.

A lot of strides have been made in educating people, especially college students, about consent. Many now understand you have to ask for it throughout a hookup, it must be given enthusiastically and verbally as you go, it can’t be given by people impaired by drugs or alcohol, and it can’t be given by minors. Consent (or the lack-thereof) is now the crux of many sexual abuse cases. And news anchors and pundits…

photo via flickr

This past weekend, over takeout and then later texts, some friends and I were discussing the Louis C.K. allegations. (Talking about sexual misconduct, assault and rape has become regular cocktail party conversation these days, which is a good thing.) One friend shared the following social media post by the writer Emily Bracken:

Lo Sharkey

Founder of TheButterflyAcademy.com, an extracurricular sex ed org (originally one half of EMandLO.com & co-author of 8 books on sexuality).

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