I need a break from all this talk of the fucking election and fucking goddamn Stephen Harper and all that fucked-up fuckery.
Bitch Magazine had this article in my news feed the other day. I love Bitch Magazine. Where else can I get information on the stupid fucked up shit that goes on in the U.S., and with a snappy, smart-assed feminist critique to boot?
What Would Your Mother Do? at bitchmagazine.org
msmagazine: New line of tween panties promotes abstinence
And the site itself, wwymd.com
I really can’t make this shit up.
Having high schoolers of our own, we realize that at one point or another, teenagers are going to want to date. Yep. That means nothing short of orchestrated torture for parents. We’ve decided there’s no reason to get uptight about it, after all, finding a romantic partner is a normal and healthy part of adolescent life. But, why not help our teens make wise choices (whatever that may be for them) while they navigate the dating scene? We created a line of underwear to use as conversation starters to help reinforce family morals as they relate to relationships and dating. One part Victorian (who are we kidding?), three parts frisky, these adorable undies put new meaning to saying it loud and proud.
I have no idea what fucking family morals involve wearing undies that say “Not tonight” are supposed to be saying. And “Victorian”?!? Re-write history much? Also, if it’s only “one” part Victorian, that seems to be out-voted by the 75% frisky in their own words.
Weird. And hilarious.
the msmagazine blog talks about the site in relation to date and acquaintance rape, and the “no means no” campaign.
[T]he whole concept of abstinence-promoting underwear makes about as much sense as commemorating sobriety with flasks instead of coins at AA meetings.
It isn’t just dumb, it’s dangerous. There’s nothing wrong with encouraging your children to choose abstinence before marriage; there is something wrong, however, with not empowering them with the knowledge and tools to make that choice and confidently communicate it to romantic partners. Without pulling down their pants.
What’s more, the panties can really muddy the notion of “consent” in young people’s minds. What if a teen girl wears “Not Tonight” panties and decides at some point in the evening that she actually does want to have sex? Nothing wrong with that, but the dissonance between the panty-message and her ultimate decision may well reinforce the mistaken idea that “no means yes” in her partner’s mind.
The site, which reads like a parody, says that promoting abstinence through sexy undies is the way to go to achieve their goal of fewer young women having sex before they’re properly married off. It reminds me of this quote:
Life in Lubbock, Texas, taught me two things: One is that God loves you and you’re going to burn in hell. The other is that sex is the most awful, filthy thing on earth and you should save it for someone you love. – Butch Hancock
Back to WWYMD?
The site’s sub heading is “conversation underwear”. What the fuck does that mean? This begs the question, if I have the words “Not tonight” stitched onto my undies, who the hell is going to read them, if I’m being all pure and abstinent? And technically, “not tonight” as the author of the bitch piece wrote, is incorrect. If I’m being all abstinent, then it would be “Not any night, ever”, right?
From the Bitch magazine article:
The subtitle “conversation underwear” begs the question: conversations with whom? You’d think, given the name, that the answer would be “their mothers,” but the ads repeatedly show panty-clad young women posing with a fully-clothed man. Yes, that’s a fully-clothed man, as in, always the same one, while there are six different female models posing around him, sometimes with his hand hovering millimeters away from their WWYMD? undies. (All appear to be white, only one is non-blonde, and the panties themselves only come in one small size, if you weren’t sure who WWYMD? considers the proper virgin.) Skivvy-sparked conversations about non-sex are apparently supposed to take place with the wearers’ heterosexual love interests, because there’s no mom in sight, unless you count WWYMD?’s age-ambiguous logo.
Other excellent phrases include “Zip it”, “Make wise choices” “Not tonight”, “Dream on” and “What would your mother do?”. My brain is boggling.
Added to that are the images of sexy (by society’s standards) young women (all thin and white) posing in unquestionably sexy ways. The mixed message is loud and clear, and having young women responsible for sexuality is made once again. I can hear the rape apologists already. Fucking hell.
And there’s a promotional video. Um, yeah. Whatever.
The logical flaw in the abstinence-only, sex-negative, “my morals or the highway” crowd, made popular in the U.S. by GWB’s defunding of clinics that offered birth control, free condoms and abortion, is the assumption that there’s no way for young women to have sex in responsible ways, so just shut it all down. The implication is that if young women have guilt-free and worry-free sex, if all women have sex in ways that don’t lead to unwanted pregnancy and STIs, somehow society would collapse onto itself and never recover. There’s no responsibility ever, from the abstinence-only crowd, placed on young men, or men in general, or on creative ways that safe, fun and hot sex can be had without fear of any of those nasty side effects.
And guess what? Folks are still having sex! Cue collective gasp of righteous outrage. And guess what else? Society in all its repressive sex-negativity bullshit is alive and well. Aww.
But wouldn’t that be cool if orgasms caused our puritanical uptight society to collapse? Ha.
I see a political action forming. I just have to work on the details.