Sexualization might seem like a sympathetic explanation for sexting because it positions girls as innocent victims of mass culture. However, there are problematic unintended consequences with understanding sexting, the practice of sharing personal sexual content via mobile phones or the internet, in this particular way. One troubling implication is that it provides a rationale for holding girls who sext criminally responsible for producing child pornography. A second is that when girls' acceptance of sexualization is positioned as a key social problem, the solution that emerges is that girls must raise their self-esteem and gain better media literacy skills. Despite the value of such skills, a focus on girls' deficiencies can divert attention from the perpetrators of gender- and sexuality-based violence. Finally, discourses about sexualization often erase girls' capacity for choice, relying instead on normative assumptions about healthy sexuality. Interrogating the pathologization of girls' apparent conformity to sexualization and mass culture highlights the complexity of agency.
Amy Adele Hasinoff
The basic human right to sexual autonomy and self‐determination encompasses two sides: it enshrines both the right to engage in wanted sexuality on the one hand, and the right to be free and protected from unwanted sexuality, from sexual abuse and sexual violence on the other. This concept elaborated by the European Court of Human Rights, in the light of European legal consensus, suggests that the age of consent for sexual relations (outside of relationships of authority and outside of pornography and prostitution) should be set between 12 and 16 years. In any event the age of criminal responsibility should be the same as the age of sexual consent.
Tomson Highway. 2010. Dry Lips Oughta Move to Kapuskasing. Markham, ON: Fifth House.
The issues raised by Mihaela Miroiu are complex ones, and there is much about her position that is persuasive and with which I would happily agree. Primarily, that we can barely speak of feminism as the pursuit of individual autonomy during socialism. For, I would argue, communism is a collectivist ideology by definition, so why look there for something that was never meant to be included? Communism was not started to incorporate personal autonomy; its social base is mostly in people for whom other values are more important than autonomy, and it worked for gender equality for other reasons than women’s (or men’s, though this was less problematic) autonomy.
Julie Billaud and Julie Castro
This essay seeks to analyze the recent reconfigurations of French nationalism, taking as an entry point the legal treatment of veiled Muslim women and prostitutes over the past two decades. We argue that the bodies of prostitutes and veiled Muslim women, both of which have been targeted by successive legal interventions in order to exclude them from the public space, have become central political sites for the state to assert its sovereign power and trigger nationalist feelings. This comparative analysis of gendered “lawfare“ (which John Comaroff has defined as the judicialization of politics and the resort to legal instruments to commit acts of political coercion) provides insights into a new form of nationalism that strives to foster “sexual liberalism“ as a core value of citizenship in order to enforce a virile nationalism, prescribe new sexual normativities, and criminalize immigrants and those living at the social margins.
The teen-targeted website gURL. com is committed to providing educational information about sexuality and sexual health to young girls. In this article, I analyze girls' conversations posted on the site to explore how girls mediate the factual information presented, and how they challenge the borders of the scientific discourse on adolescent sexuality. Without overvaluing the freedom of online environments, I assume that the relatively unregulated space of the Internet encourages young women to create their narratives about sexuality and to imagine themselves as sexual beings. My assumptions are informed by the analyses of Susan Driver (2005), Barclay Barrios (2004) and Susannah Stern (2002): in contrast to the disempowering and alienating effects of institutional policies, I call for the recognition of less regulated sites, which imagine youth not as passive recipients but as active agents who strategically work on developing their understanding of sexuality, and on exploring their sexual selves.
Dustin William Louie
In this article, based on research I conducted in Western Canada, I discuss the significance of the emerging influence of social media on the overrepresentation of Indigenous girls in sexually exploitative situations. In interviews I conducted with Indigenous sexual exploitation survivors and intervention staff I found that social media is being used to recruit Indigenous girls and keep them exploited in three distinct ways: targeting girls in reserve communities and luring them to the city; setting up so-called dates to keep them off the streets; and facilitating constant communication between the victim and victimizer, thus ensuring that girls are perpetually active and reachable. I respond to these by outlining educational possibilities in order to combat the exposure of these girls to predators on social media sites.
Judy Whitehead and Hülya Demirdirek
This introduction explores the contested issue of `prostitution' and the transnational flow of sex labor. Drawing on the experiences of female migrants described in this issue, we rethink the impact of socialist transition and examine larger themes such as the role of discursive practices in the establishment of national boundaries and in various forms of international intervention. We problematize the `traffic in women' as well as the conceptualization of and dichotomies surrounding sex labor. Key points in the current debates on transnational sex work are highlighted and an approach is suggested which conceives of agency and structure not in oppositional terms, but as a continuum. Considering the structural conditions imposed by neoliberal policies, we argue that ethnographic accounts can help explain how transnational openings in the market for sex work are internalized as opportunities for young women in post-socialist contexts and how economic liberalization becomes accepted as `natural' and `inevitable'.
Frank P. Tomasulo and Jason Grant McKahan
Although the extant scholarly literature on the cinema of the late Michelangelo Antonioni has often valorized his use of images and mise-en-scène to explore themes and reflections on humanism and alienation, few have examined the means by which the director conveyed ideas on psychology and sexuality in modern life and Italian culture. This article considers Antonioni's "trilogy"—L'avventura (The Adventure, 1959), La notte (Night, 1960), and L'eclisse (Eclipse, 1962)—in light of the modernist project, especially with regard to the conjuncture of psychology and sexuality within the historical context of the 1960s and the sexio-psychological discourses of that period. Finally, Antonioni's worldview is investigated, particularly as it pertains to his stated concept of malattia dei sentimenti, or "Sick Eros."
Drawing on the Lacanian concept of desire, this article offers a reading of one of Jorge de Sena's most confusing publications, O físico prodigioso. The físico's voyage of self-discovery is first considered from the position of Urraca, the demonic damsel whom he saves. Her survival is not assured by being offered his blood but rather by being provided with a space where sexual difference can open up. The article discusses how Sena's novella may help us to comprehend one of Lacan's more controversial statements, namely 'there is no such thing as a sexual relationship'. It also argues that there is a symbiotic relationship between the Law and desire, and that desire's multiple, constantly changing forms are an inescapable aspect of its very nature.