Given the opportunity to create their perfect day for a research project, 900 women prioritised 106 minutes of romance with their partner.
Ideally eight hours sleep would precede the love-in, and 86 minutes of socialising was tagged onto the end of the day, but “intimate time” rated the highest and the most important activity of their perfect day.
But all I take from the study, conducted by researchers for the Journal of Economic Psychology, is a projection of women as a bunch of love-starved, vacuous, and needy individuals who define themselves by their relationships. So how come I don’t know one single woman like that?
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It’s difficult to feel anything but revulsion when pondering the case of former ABC Collectors host Andy Muirhead’s dramatic and public fall from grace. As Kate Legge noted in her lengthy piece in The Weekend Australian Magazine ‘Child pornography sickens to the core’.
Despite his defence arguments to the contrary, this week in Hobart Chief Justice Ewan Crawford told the Tasmanian Supreme Court he was satisfied the 36-year-old entertainer had a “sexual interest” in the 12,433 still and video images, some including sadism or humiliation.
In the case of Muirhead, we now know he downloaded thousands of images of innocent children.
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“Reader, I married him” is the low-key climax of Charlotte Brontë’s gothic, proto-feminist novel Jane Eyre.
In a new “erotic re-imagining” of the book called Jane Eyre Laid Bare, the climaxes are of an altogether different nature. It’s more a case of: “Reader, I ravished his candlesticks, perved on his private bondage orgies, then spent 77 pages rogering him silly.”
Released by Pan Macmillan in Australia this week, the publication is the latest in a long line of steamy novels billed as mummy porn.
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Back in January, SA Police established a special internet child exploitation unit to tackle the rise in internet predators and the growing trade in sexual images involving children.
To date, the unit has made 21 apprehensions and is investigating another 68 cases. (This often means they’re ploughing through seized computer hard drives for images – one hard drive a few weeks back contained 1.2 million photos.)
On average, three South Australians have come under the unit’s spotlight each week, often for possessing what’s commonly known as “child pornography”. That’s pretty alarming in itself, but it’s not the worst statistic in this repulsive and spreading scourge.
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Some call it “erotic fiction”. Others, “those steamy books my friends have been buzzing about”. The 50 Shades trilogy by E.L. James is, however, probably best known for popularising one term in particular: “mummy porn”.
Just to save you a possibly embarrassing Google search with potentially bizarre results, that refers to porn for mothers, and has nothing to do with people having a sexy time whilst wrapped head-to-toe in bandages. Although, Rule 34 of the Internet says that’s probably out there somewhere too.
For the very few who are still yet to find out about this whole phenomenon, Wikipedia will tell you the plot of the first book, 50 Shades of Grey, is about:
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The first I heard about “50 Shades of Grey”, was that one friend had borrowed it from another on a plane, and the one that had borrowed it then proceeded to read it without stopping for the remainder of the nine-hour trip.
“So what sort of a book is it?” I asked my informant. “One with a lot of sex”, that was guaranteed to “get you all worked up”, she replied.
A fortnight later, perusing the bestseller lists, “50 Shades of Grey” popped up again. It turned out it was a trilogy, and that all three titles were dominating mainstream and independent bestseller lists.
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Topless men and women are strutting around in loincloths, the women “wearing” bodypaint on their torsos. A ‘70s rock song is playing over the speakers and there must be few times in history where so many vibrators have congregated in the same room.
This isn’t the beginning of an orgy in some cheesy porno flick. It’s Sexpo, the exhibitionist industry’s annual exhibition, which kicked off in Sydney yesterday. It’s the place to be if you need advice about “how to make your vulva happy”. Or if you want to witness the artist “Pricasso” painting portraits with a fairly untraditional piece of equipment. And if you’re in short supply of handmade, chocolate-scented, penis-shaped soap, well, you’re in luck my friend.
A sideshow spruiker was shouting “roll up, roll up and come whack some cocks” yesterday and it barely elicited a sideways glance. You wouldn’t hear that at the Easter Show. Whatever, it’s standard fare here. What isn’t expected, though, is for a sexhibition to be spruiking an evangelical Christian cause.
He rammed her head against the headboard. She tried to master the silent scream. She is left with a limp and her neck in a brace.
This is the ethical treatment of animals, PETA style. Watch the ad above. Then watch the Sourcefed lads’ excellent discussion.
It’s about a woman getting the ‘bottom knocked out of her’ by a virile vegan. But don’t worry, ladies, PETA also offers some tips on protecting yourself from his aggressive advances!
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In I Spit On Your Grave, a young woman is gang raped in a remote woodland. She is beaten and tortured in a series of deeply disturbing scenes, before she hurls herself into a river.
She survives, comes back, and inflicts a graphic and brutal revenge on the men who so viciously attacked her.
I can’t remember why I picked up the DVD - although I love horror and was possibly overcome with swaggering bravado after seeing the ‘watch it if you dare’ sticker.
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Artists are “appalled” at a suggestions art should get a classification scheme, similar to that used for movies, television and video games. A Senate committee has recommended one be introduced for controversial artwork such as the images of nude children produced by Bill Henson. Here, Tamara Winikoff gives us her perspective.
The question of where the visual arts should sit in a national classification scheme was one of the matters considered by the recent Senate Inquiry into the National Film and Literature Classification Scheme.
Currently, though, artworks are not required to be classified as a matter of course - the Classification Board can call in artworks, especially in response to a complaint or alternatively artists can choose to seek classification themselves if they wish to be clear about their legal status.
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The fetishisation of the female backside reached royal heights this week with the global worship of Pippa Middleton’s bum.
The frenzied prostration before the bottom of HRH Catherine Middleton’s younger sister and bridesmaid highlights anew the objectification of women deeply entrenched in our culture.
This was in the Daily Mail: Many women admired her dress, but an army of male fans were happily distracted by her shapely rear as the procession went up the aisle.
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There is a great moment in The Simpsons where, after mounting a successful grassroots crusade against the violent Itchy and Scratchy cartoons, Marge is called upon to lead a group of concerned citizens who feel that Michelangelo’s statue of David is also not suitable for children (due to his exposed genitalia) and should not be displayed in Springfield during a nationwide tour.
Much to the frustration of Helen Lovejoy – the gossipy, ultra-conservative Reverend’s wife famous for the phrase “won’t somebody think of the children!?” – Marge does not want to participate in this campaign, because she thinks the statue is a renaissance masterpiece that all children should be encouraged to see.
It is a clever plot twist that highlights how slippery the slope of censorship really is, and how inconsistent we as a society tend to be when assessing the relative merits of art and popular culture: that one person’s art is very often another’s filth.
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How convenient to caricature someone whose work you oppose by reducing them to a cartoon parody. Like I haven’t had enough Helen Lovejoy clichés to last a lifetime? Oh, and look, another media studies academic watching The Simpsons. Are we impressed yet?
Warning: Contains graphic violent and sexual images
Where Stephen Harrington sees “a graphic critique of post-feminist female sexuality”, I see Kanye West holding a woman’s decapitated head. Where those like Harrington see ambiguous, complicated narrative and linear narrative fantasy, I see semi-naked dead women swinging from ropes around their necks.
When I see Rick Ross in the ‘Behind the scenes’ You Tube clip tucking into a plate of raw meat before a spreadeagled dead woman on the table, I see the brutalization and degradation of female sexuality. I don’t think ‘check out that satire!’
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It’s common knowledge that men like to perve on women. But what about the reverse? Do chicks want man-p*rn to stick up in their workshops and ogle over with their mates during homoerotic poker games?
Do women like to watch?
The editor of a new mag offering photos of nude men and their dangly bits answers with a resounding “you bet”.
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Bettina Arndt asked: “Why do men take such risks for the sake of sex?”. Novelist Philip Roth wrote: “Every mistake a man can make usually has a sexual accelerator”. What is it about men and sex?
The problem for males begins early. When a boy reaches puberty he’s almost immediately at his sexual peak: too young an age to negotiate sexual agreements with girls his own age who are likely to reject his clumsy advances with disdain, and go off to pine romantically for older boys. So it is with a sense of rejection, inordinate levels of sexual desire and accompanying guilt that he abandons himself to the sordid adolescent world of chronic masturbation - “a world of matted handkerchiefs, crumpled Kleenex and stained pyjamas”, said the famous Alexander Portnoy.
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Three times a week I watch porn. I’m a man of routine, so the days are always the same - Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays.
It’s nothing too explicit – just stocking-clad women stripping off their clothes and shaking their breasts in my face as they rub up against other women, men, poles, or whatever else they can find nearby.
When it’s not lingerie models, it’s women in a nightclub, lying on the top of the bar, near naked, while groups of men pour alcohol over their glistening bodies, to the beat of the latest dance music sensation.
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Depending on which way you look at it, Australia can indeed be considered ‘the lucky country’ when it comes to internet censorship.
Our browsing has always remained the decision of the user, and an entire world of possibilities have been left open – happiness, whatever your definition, has never been further than a mouse click away.
While some of the options available on the internet are morally ambiguous, many of them are legal – you just don’t want to bring up the topics loudly at dinner parties.
I’ve indulged in it; I’ve taken the piss out of it; I’ve patronised the people on it; I’ve got angry about it. No, I’m not talking about the front bench of the Liberal Party; it’s pornography.
Let me say from the outset I consider myself a feminist and it’s through the prism of this theoretical perspective that I’m likely to view stuff that concerns women. But which feminism?
It’s been a long time since the dominant feminist view of porn toed the party line of radical pro-censorship campaigners like Andrea Dworkin and Catherine MacKinnon and their dictum that if you consume pornography you don’t have a right to your sexuality.
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The NSW government have released a set of recommendations that would place responsibility for the work of a grubby network of international paedophiles and child exploiters on a handful of innocent visual artists.
Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday the Attorney-General John Hatzistergos said the NSW government would support new legislation that makes a “clear legal distinction between pornography and art” in order to protect victims and make it easier for police to prosecute cases of child pornography and exploitation
With plans to scrap the defence of “artistic merit” while asking artists to fork out up to $500 per image for Commonwealth classification, Hatzistergos’ recommendations are taking a stab at a group, who up until 2008 had stayed fairly shy of scrutiny in Australia.
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One of the strongest arguments against the exploitation of children by photographers is the potential for long term damage to the child.
What a child may “consent” to when they’re 10-years-old, might make them feel incredibly uncomfortable when they’re 17. Most of the time we don’t get to ask them.
But the Tate Modern in London has just been forced to withdraw a picture of Hollywood star Brooke Shields, taken when she was 10. It’s a rare case where we can see how the subject’s life has turned out.
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A few weeks ago I had one of my worst days as a new MP. A woman came to see me in my office in Caringbah in southern Sydney and told me the appalling story of how her child was being exposed to pornography by the child’s own father.
The child is less than five years old. I won’t go into the other details for risk of identifying the individuals involved, but rest assured it would make the most tolerant and liberal thinking of readers angry and sick.
What is worse is that as we looked to see what remedies were available to help this mum protect her child, we found there were none – and the police confirmed as much to her.
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On the campaign trail in 2007, the ALP promised to make cyberspace a safer place for children. Strangely, this is one election promise that has fiercely stuck its ground.
Australia may soon enjoy the dubious honour of being the world’s first liberal democracy to legislatively mandate internet filtering.
The original proposal creates a mandatory ISP-level filter. Recent debate suggests a ‘voluntary’ scheme, whereby ISP licensing agreements include a filtering clause. The ALP has not updated its original documentation. Significantly, this change removes the process from legislative scrutiny (read: goodbye transparency and accountability).
In terms of what content the filter will allow end users to access, however, the difference is rhetorical: either way, ISPs will filter what users can access.
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