The anthropologist Margaret Mead concluded in 1948, after observing seven different ethnic groups in the Pacific Islands, that different cultures made different forms of female sexual experience seem normal and desirable. The capacity for orgasm in women, she found, is a learned response, which a given culture can help or can fail to help its women to develop. Mead believed that a woman's sexual fulfillment, and the positive meaning of her sexuality in her own mind, depend upon three factors:1: She must live in a culture that recognizes female desire as being of value;2: Her culture must allow her to understand her sexual anatomy;3: And her culture must teach the various sexual skills that give women orgasms.
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The anthropologist Margaret Mead concluded in 1948, after observing seven different ethnic groups in the Pacific Islands, that different cultures made different forms of female sexual experience seem normal and desirable. The capacity for orgasm in women, she found, is a learned response, which a given culture can help or can fail to help its women to develop. Mead believed that a woman’s sexual fulfillment, and the positive meaning of her sexuality in her own mind, depend upon three factors:1: She must live in a culture that recognizes female desire as being of value;2: Her culture must allow her to understand her sexual anatomy;3: And her culture must teach the various sexual skills that give women orgasms.

-Naomi Wolf

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We also have to consider the many different kinds of rape we have learned about over the past few years as conservative politicians blunder through trying to explain their stances on sexual violence and abortion. For instance, Indiana treasurer Richard Mourdock, running for the US Senate in 2012, said, in a debate, "I struggled with it myself for a long time, and I realized that life is a gift from God, and I think even when life begins int hat horrible situation of rape, that is something God intended to happen." I've been obsessing over these words, and trying to understand how someone who purports to believe in God can also believe that anything born of rape is God-intended. Just as there are many different kinds of rape, there are many different kinds of God. I am also reminded that women, more often than not, are the recipient of God's intentions and must also bear the burdens of these intentions. Mourdock is certainly not alone in offering up opinions about rape. Former Missouri representative Todd Akin believes in "legitimate rape" and the oxymoronic "forcible rape," not to be confused with all that illegitimate rape going on. Ron Paul believes in the existence of "honest rape," but turns a blind eye to the dishonest rapes out there. Former Wisconsin State representative Roger Rivard believes some girls, "they rape so easy." Lest you think these new definitions of rape are only the purview of men, failed Senate candidate Linda McMahon of Connecticut has introduced us to the idea of "emergency rape." Given this bizarre array of new rape definitions, it is hard to reconcile the belief that women are rising when there is still so much in our cultural climate working to hold women down. We can, I suppose, take comfort in knowing that none of these people is in a position of power anymore.

-Roxanne Gay

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Her womb from her body. Separation. Her clitoris from her vulva. Cleaving. Desire from her body. We were told that bodies rising to heaven lose their vulvas, their ovaries, wombs, that her body in resurrection becomes a male body.The Divine Image from woman, severing, immortality from the garden, exile, the golden calf split, birth, sorrow, suffering. We were told that the blood of a woman after childbirth conveys uncleanness. That if a woman's uterus is detached and falls to the ground, that she is unclean. Her body from the sacred. Spirit from flesh. We were told that if a woman has an issue and that issue in her flesh be blood, she shall be impure for seven days. The impure from the pure. The defiled from the holy. And whoever touches her, we heard, was also impure. Spirit from matter. And we were told that if our garments are stained we are unclean back to the time we can remember seeing our garments unstained, that we must rub seven substances over these stains, and immerse our soiled garments.Separation. The clean from the unclean. The decaying, the putrid, the polluted, the fetid, the eroded, waste, defecation, from the unchanging. The changing from the sacred. We heard it spoken that if a grave is plowed up in a field so that the bones of the dead are lost in the soil of the field, this soil conveys uncleanness. That if a member is severed from a corpse, this too conveys uncleanness, even an olive pit's bulk of flesh. That if marrow is left in a bone there is uncleanness. And of the place where we gathered to weep near the graveyard, we heard that planting and sowing were forbidden since our grieving may have tempted unclean flesh to the soil. And we learned that the dead body must be separated from the city.Death from the city. Wilderness from the city. Wildness from the city. The Cemetery. The Garden. The Zoological Garden. We were told that a wolf circled the walls of the city. That he ate little children. That he ate women. That he lured us away from the city with his tricks. That he was a seducer and he feasted on the flesh of the foolish, and the blood of the errant and sinful stained the snow under his jaws.The errant from the city. The ghetto. The ghetto of Jews. The ghetto of Moors. The quarter of prostitutes. The ghetto of blacks. The neighborhood of lesbians. The prison. The witch house. The underworld. The underground. The sewer. Space Divided. The inch. The foot. The mile. The boundary. The border. The nation. The promised land. The chosen ones.

-Susan Griffin

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From 'Creating True Peace' by Thich Nhat HanhTo better understand the practise of protection, please study the Five Mindfulness Trainings in Chapter 3, particularly the third, sexual responsibility. By practising the Third Mindfulness Training, we protect ourselves, our family, and society. In addition, by observing all the trainings we learn to eat in moderation, to work mindfully, and to organise our daily life so we are there for others. This can bring us great happiness and restore our peace and balance.Expressing Sexual Feelings with Love and CompassionAnimals automatically follow their instincts, but humans are different. We do not need to satisfy our cravings the way animals do. We can decide that we will have sex only with love. In this way we can cultivate the deepest love, harmony, and nonviolence. For humans, to engage only in nonviolent sexuality means to have respect for each other. The sexual act can be a sacred expression of love and responsibility.The Third Mindfulness Training teaches us that the physical expression of love can be beautiful and transcendent. If you have a sexual relationship without love and caring, you create suffering for both yourself and your partner, as well as for your family and our entire society. In a culture of peace and nonviolence, civilised sexual behaviour is an important protection. Such love is not sheer craving for sex, it is true love and understanding.Respecting Our CommitmentsTo engage in a sexual act without understanding or compassion is to act with violence. It is an act against civilization. Many people do not know how to handle their bodies or their feelings. They do not realise that an act of only a few minutes can destroy the life of another person. Sexual exploitation and abuse committed against adults and children is a heavy burden on society. Many families have been broken by sexual misconduct. Children who grow up in such families may suffer their entire lives, but if they get an opportunity to practise, they can transform their suffering. Otherwise, when they grow up, they may follow in the footsteps of their parents and cause more suffering, especially to those they love.We know that the more one engages in sexual misconduct, the more one suffers. We must come together as families to find ways to protect our young people and help them live a civilised life. We need to show our young people that happiness is possible without harmful sexual conduct. Teenage pregnancy is a tragic problem. Teens are not yet mature enough to understand that with love comes responsibility. When a thirteen-or fourteen-year-old boy and girl come together for sexual intercourse, they are just following their natural instincts. When a girl gets pregnant and gives birth at such a young age, her parents also suffer greatly. Public schools throughout the United States have nurseries where babies are cared for while their mothers are in the classroom. The young father and mother do not even know yet how to take care of themselves - how can they take care of another human being? It takes years of maturing to become ready to be a parent.

-Thích Nhất

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Every Woman is UniqueAsalamu Alaikum.Every woman is unique for she bears the complete genes and background of her family. She is defined by her roots if she would live her life within the confines of her family values.However, she can be more than that if she dares her limitations and explores her potentials.Every woman loves differently. There are women who master the art of materialism, hence, they define love as a source of material and financial fulfillment using such belief as their motivation to marriage.There are women whose only life is to nod, follow and submit even if silently they do not like what they do.She was raised to believe that she can be nothing without her man. That she is a failure if she is incapable of marriage.Then there are women of great social status and ancestry, well-educated and proud. To them, they set standards, dividing men according to their qualities and would not accept a man who falls below it. This is the type that men avoid because they often bring pain to those they reject.Then there is one type of woman, whose level I belong. She looks beyond the superficial world and desires to connect with the soul.This type finds it hard to find true love for most value physical beauty and nothing more. While physical attraction is the first step to great connection, later on, she wants more depth and loyalty. Purity that is hard to attain for most men evolve in either surrendering to temptation or just playing with it. Rare is the man who shuns temptation and honor his commitment.That is why, I do not seek. I leave it all to Allah and ask His help to send me the man who meets me soulfully, and who would appreciate me beyond what he sees.If there is none, I would be happy to face my fate.I hope this will answer all questions to me.A princess by blood right like me can only go back to my ancestry as my source of inspiration and I cannot ask for the love that can master my heart if my fate is not for it.Love comes when it is ready and it must be the true love that DOES NOT only expect, command and criticize selfishly, but a love that is pure and UNCONDITIONAL.I would not settle for anything less.But certainly, as a Muslim, I should be led to the same faith because I was born and raised as a Muslim, and I would love to die in the arms of a pure Muslim.

-Princess Maleiha

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What do woman say to little boys? " Stop fighting. Stop being so rough. Stop rough housing." They're boys you know, that's kinda what they're sapossed to do. So, men are sapossed to overcome all these biological drives and I'm just really interested in helping women overcome theirs caus' I think the spotlight of " Outgrow your bestial nature." has been pointed just a little bit too long at men and I think it's time to swivel that motherfucker around and point it at woman and say stop making yourself look like fucking sex clowns to milk money out of men's dicks. Stop lying about who you are and what you're about. Stop being flirty, manipulative, and trying to be sexy. Just stop doing it. It's time for women to outgrow biology just as men have been instructed to for about the last 20,000 years to outgrow their biology. "Stop slamming doors. Stop yelling. Stop climbing trees. Stop being rude. Stop farting. Stop enjoying fart jokes. Just stop being men." Ok, Well; women stop being women. Be people. Be people who have sex, absolutely but, don't be caricatures. Don't aim to be like a woman who looks like the outline of some playboy mudflap on a trucker's rig. Just be people. Be sexual. Enjoy your sexuality and bodies but, stop trying to bury us in tits so that we pass out and you can rifle through our bank accounts. Just stop doing that shit. I won't enable it anymore. Why does your face have to look like some half rained on Picasso water color? I don't need rainbows on the face of a woman. I don't need these weird butterfly wing goth eyebrows and shit like that. Male sexuality is demonized and female sexuality is elevated. That's bullshit. Then women wonder why men prefer porn to them. It's caus' porn doesn't nag you for wanting stuff that's defined as "kinky" or "weird". Male sexuality is demonized and held in low esteem. Woman's sexuality is always beautiful. Woman's sexuality is unremitting shallow. I'm not saying men's isn't but, we know that about men, right? What turns women on? Women say confidence. Do you know what that means? Money. Do women say " He is really confident about his sidewalk art. He is really confident about his subway busking. That's such a turn on!" Why do men like looking at naked women and women get turned on looking at clothed men? Because if a man's clothes aren't on you don't know how expensive his wardrobe is. This is what Mohammad Ali said. I'm going to throw on some old jeans and a old t-shirt and I'm just gonna walk down into some little town and find some woman who doesn't know who the hell I am and then when she's fallen in love with me and we get married, I'm going to take her to my million dollar mansion and my yacht. This is the reality. Once you start having money, once you start having power, then the true nature of massive swaths of female sexuality becomes clear.

-Stefan Molyneux

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Their [girls] sexual energy, their evaluation of adolescent boys and other girls goes thwarted, deflected back upon the girls, unspoken, and their searching hungry gazed returned to their own bodies. The questions, Whom do I desire? Why? What will I do about it? are turned around: Would I desire myself? Why?...Why not? What can I do about it?The books and films they see survey from the young boy's point of view his first touch of a girl's thighs, his first glimpse of her breasts. The girls sit listening, absorbing, their familiar breasts estranged as if they were not part of their bodies, their thighs crossed self-consciously, learning how to leave their bodies and watch them from the outside. Since their bodies are seen from the point of view of strangeness and desire, it is no wonder that what should be familiar, felt to be whole, become estranged and divided into parts. What little girls learn is not the desire for the other, but the desire to be desired. Girls learn to watch their sex along with the boys; that takes up the space that should be devoted to finding out about what they are wanting, and reading and writing about it, seeking it and getting it. Sex is held hostage by beauty and its ransom terms are engraved in girls' minds early and deeply with instruments more beautiful that those which advertisers or pornographers know how to use: literature, poetry, painting, and film.This outside-in perspective on their own sexuality leads to the confusion that is at the heart of the myth. Women come to confuse sexual looking with being looked at sexually ("Clairol...it's the look you want"); many confuse sexually feeling with being sexually felt ("Gillete razors...the way a woman wants to feel"); many confuse desiring with being desirable. "My first sexual memory," a woman tells me, "was when I first shaved my legs, and when I ran my hand down the smooth skin I felt how it would feel to someone else's hand." Women say that when they lost weight they "feel sexier" but the nerve endings in the clitoris and nipples don't multiply with weight loss. Women tell me they're jealous of the men who get so much pleasure out of the female body that they imagine being inside the male body that is inside their own so that they can vicariously experience desire. Could it be then that women's famous slowness of arousal to men's, complex fantasy life, the lack of pleasure many experience in intercourse, is related to this cultural negation of sexual imagery that affirms the female point of view, the culture prohibition against seeing men's bodies as instruments of pleasure? Could it be related to the taboo against representing intercourse as an opportunity for a straight woman actively to pursue, grasp, savor, and consume the male body for her satisfaction, as much as she is pursued, grasped, savored, and consumed for his?

-Naomi Wolf

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I feel compelled to make another 'nonapology.' Many readers are likely to be concerned about my use of masculine pronouns in relation to God. I think I both understand and appreciate this concern. It is a matter to which I have given much thought. I have generally been a strong supporter of the women's movement and action that is reasonable to combat sexist language. But first of all, God is not neuter. He is exploding with life and love and even sexuality of a sort. So 'It' is not appropriate. Certainly I consider God androgynous. He is as gentle and tender and nurturing and maternal as any woman could ever be. Nonetheless, culturally determined though it may be, I subjectively experience His reality as more masculine than feminine. While He nurtures us, He also desires to penetrate us, and while we more often than not flee from His love like a reluctant virgin, He chases after us with a vigor in the hunt that we most typically associate with males. As CS Lewis put it, in relation to God we are all female. Moreover, whatever our gender or conscious theology, it is our duty---our obligation---in response to His love to attempt to give birth, like Mary, to Christ in ourselves and in others."I shall, however, break with tradition and use the neuter for Satan. While I know Satan to be lustful to penetrate us, I have not in the least experienced this desire as sexual or creative---only hateful and destructive. It is hard to determine the sex of a snake.

-M. Scott

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Let us look once more at Yeats. At bottom, he was sceptical about the nonsense with which he satisfied what we can call his lust for commitment. Now and again he believed some of it, but in so far as his true commitment was to poetry he recognized his fictions as heuristic and dispensable, 'consciously false.' 'They give me metaphors for poetry,' he noted. The dolls and the amulets, the swords and the systems, were the tools of an operationalist. Yeats was always concerned that what made sense to him in terms of the system should make sense to others who shared with him not that arbitrary cipher-system but the traditional language of poetry. In this way he managed, sometimes at any rate, to have his cake and to eat it. The rough beast of the apocalyptic 'Second Coming,' and the spiralling falcon of the same poem, mean something in the system, but for the uninstructed reader they continue to mean something in terms of a broader system of cultural and linguistic conventions--the shared information codes upon which literature, like any other method of communication, depends. So too in the later plays, which analytic criticism tells us are very systematic, but which Yeats himself declared must conceal their esoteric substance and sound like old songs. So too with the Byzantium poems, and the Supernatural Songs; even a poem like 'The Statues,' which contains notions that are bound to see inexplicably strange to one who knows nothing of Yeats's historical and arthistorical opinions, takes its place in our minds not as a text which codes information more explicitly provided in On the Boiler but as one which in some measure our reading of the other poems, and the persona of the wild old man, can justify.Yeats, in a famous phrase which has occasionally floated free of its context, said that the System enabled him to hold together reality and justice in a single thought. Reality is, in this expression, the sense we have of a world irreducible to human plot and human desire for order; justice is the human order we find or impose upon it. The System is in fact all Justice; in combination with a sense of reality which has nothing whatever to do with it, it became a constituent of poems. The System is a plot, a purely human projection, though not more human than its apparent antithesis, reality, which is a human imagining of the inhuman. For a moment, in that expression, Yeats saw himself as an emperor dispensing equity, transcending both the fact and the pattern; it is what poets do. Only rarely did he forget that whatever devotes itself to justice at the expense of reality, is finally self-destructive. He might talk about the differences between the symbolic meanings of poetry and those 'emotional restless mimicries of the surface of life' which were for him the characteristics of 'popular realism,' but he understood very well the need for that 'moral element in poetry' which is 'the means whereby' it is 'accepted into the social order and becomes a part of life.' He understands the tension between a paradigmatic order where the price of a formal eternity is inhumanity, and the world of the dying generations; that is the subject of 'Sailing to Byzantium,' the poem I quoted at the outset of these talks. He was talking about this tension again in one of his last poems, when he distinguished between 'Players and painted stage'--the justice of formal poems--and 'the foul rag-and-bone shop of the heart'--the human dirt and disorder that underlie them. The whole history of Yeats's style, which from the earliest times, before the turn of the century, he was trying to move towards colloquial uncertainty, reflects this regard for the reality that will not be reduced. In the end this modernism took on characteristic colours of violence, a sexual toughness and slang to represent what Yeats took to be a modern reality.

-Frank Kermode

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