Sensuality Reads

Jennifer Lawrence Calls Photo Hack A Sex Crime | $100 Million Lawsuit Threat Finally Prompts Google Action

Anais Mali Pays Tribute To Warrior Women in ‘Amazon’ By Urivaldo Lopes For French Revue de Modes #25

jd Forte’s ‘The Up and Comers’ & A September 11 Women’s Rights Reflection

Lea Seydoux Seduces In Lui Magazine Relaunch, Lensed By Mario Sorrenti

Anne Rethinks ‘Flawless’, Third-Tier Male Photographers & Values That Matter

 


Victoria’s Secret Angels have Appeared Often In GQ & Esquire

Marilyn Monroe Photographer Bert Stern Looks To Kate Upton As Next Muse

The ‘50 Shades of Grey’ BDSM Devil Seduces in the Eternal Submission Collection
Red Genitals Not Arousing In Recent Study, But Men Do Tip Red Shirt Waitresses Better

Sexual Politics & Fashion, 50 Shades of Grey Meets YVVY’s Nude Edition

Islam, Western Guilt, Original Sin & Sensuality | Koray Birand’s Alyssa Miller Images Celebrate Female Eroticism

Loving Relationships | 32 Health Benefits of Sex

American Culture Promotes Female Sexual Dysfunction

For Sister Margaret Farley Responsible Pleasure Is Not a Sin

Strong American Results in Female Sexual Desire Drug

Self Love Is Saying ‘No’ to Fashion Body Images You Hate

Saint Shakira Calls Libido the “Engine of the World”

Male Ego, Women Faking Orgasms & Sensual Chaos in Our Bedrooms

‘Pretty Boy’ Andrej Pejic Talks Sex, Love & Leaving His Gender to ‘Artistic Interpretation’

Find Your Sensual, Sovereign Self with Lone Morch in Paris

 

Tara, Candice & Robyn | Steven Meisel | Vogue Italia June 2011 | ‘Belle vere’

Franca Sozzani on Curvy Girls, Sensuality & More Body Types in Fashion

Givenchy Transgender Model Lea T Stars in French Vogue (2010)

Tom Ford Embraces Natural Breasts, Not Bombshells

Orgasmic Female Brain in ‘La Petite Mort’

Ever Woman Should Own Jordan Matters’ ‘Uncovered’

Men More Likely Than Women To First Look at Face in Porn Films

Selita Ebanks | Kanye West ‘Runaway’ Full Video Embedded

The Great Wall of Vagina | Learning to Love Our Genitalia

Body Talk | Owning Vulvas, Clits & G-Spots

Mysteries of the Garden of Eden’ | History Channel | In Latin Apple Means Evil

Sexy Doublespeak | American Women & Sexual Honesty

Statistics Say Conservatives Buy More Porn

 

Women As Muses: What Is Our Place in the Modern World? Or Are We Just ‘Slut Girls’ Today?

 

Thursday
Nov132014

2014 Variety Power of Women Luncheon Winners & Their Activist Projects

The popular press was all gaga over Jennifer Lopez and Reese Witherspoon arriving ‘perfectly in sync’ in their ‘similar read and black dresses as they got frocked up to attend the 2014 Variety Power Of Women Luncheon at the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons Hotel on a balmy Friday in October.’

The duo represented two of the five power players honored for their philanthropic and activist efforts. AOC loves Jane Fonda, who is ‘sexy at 76’. Rock on, Jane.

Bottom line though — we read not a word about why the women are being honored. Their causes aren’t nearly as interesting as their fabulous bods!! In fact, their philanthropy work isn’t even worth a stylish mention.

Thankfully, AOC Smart Sensuality readers want more substance in celebrity news, so let’s get to work telling the real news story.

Co-hosted with Lifetime TV, the October 10 luncheon paid tribute to Viola Davis and Donna Langley in addition to Fonda, Lopez and Witherspoon.

We share details about these five women and the important philanthropy projects motivate them. 

All Variety photos by Williams+Hirakawa

Five Fabulous Women Honored At 2014 Variety Power of Women Luncheon

Donna Langley

Donna Langley, Chairwoman of Universal Pictures, had her contract renewed until 2017 this past summer, positioning her as the industry’s second most powerful woman after Sony Co-Chair Amy Pascal. Langley has two major female-directed projects in the pipeline: Sam Taylor-Johnson’s ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ (due out early in 2015) and Angelina Jolie’s ‘Unbroken’ (opening December, 2014). Langley was profiled briefly last January by The New York Times.

Langley was honored for her with Vital Voices, an NGO dedicated to identifying, training, and empowering women leaders and social entrepreneurs around the globe. Vital Voices was established in 1997 by then-First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton and former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright after the UN’s Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing.

Universal Chairman Donna Langley was introduced by California Attorney General Kamala Harris at the Women of Power luncheon. Listen to her remarks.

Viola Davis

Viola Davis

Actor Viola Davis is taking ABC television by story in her role as defense attorney Annalise Keating on ABC’s ‘How To Get Away with Murder’. In a recent episode, Viola — as Annalise — removed her wig and all of her makeup before confronting her husband about his infidelities. Removing her wig resonated with so many African American women, with even Halle Berry weighing in, saying: “Girl, I had to send you an email, you’re doing such a great job, I celebrate you.”

Viiola Davis delivered a moving speech at the Women of Power luncheon, where she was honored for her work combatting childhood hunger. ‘Hunger Is’ was founded as a joint charitable initiative of The Safeway Foundation and the Entertainment Industry Foundation. 

“I am honored to help bring attention to Hunger Is and increase public awareness of the problem of childhood hunger right here in America, and I am thrilled to see how swiftly we are responding to the issue at the most local levels with the award of over $1.3 million in grants,” stated Academy Award®-nominated actress and Hunger Is ambassador Viola Davis. “Millions of children go hungry every day in the United States. I was one of those children and I pledge to tell and re-tell my story until we have eradicated childhood hunger across the nation,” Davis continued in comments on the foundation’s website.

Standing before the crowd of primarily powerful women breaking bread together on November 10, Davis spoke of her drive against childhood hunger as being fueled by memories of growing up in ‘abject poverty’, stealing and crawling through maggot-filled garbage bins to get food.

“I sacrificed a childhood for food,” Davis said, “and grew up in immense shame.”

Jane Fonda

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Tuesday
Nov112014

Egypt's Artivists Rally To Combat Increased Sexual Harassment Against Women

Egyptian Women Protest Rape

A problem for decades in Egypt, sexual harassment against women has been on the rise in Egypt since the 2011 uprising. A 2013 report by the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women reporting that 99.3% of Egyptian women have experienced some form of sexual harassment, reports EgyptianStreets.com.

As in most countries around the world, women are blamed for causing their own sexual harassment because of how we walk, how we talk or how we dress. In the case of the Egyptian women, daring to enter society as professionals is a reason to accept the inevitability of sexual harassment.

Society’s Complicit Role In Sexual Harassment

Two new songs released this summer articulate strongly society’s complicit role in promoting sexual harassment head on.

The first video with almost 1 million page views is by the rapper Zap Tharwat and singer Menna Hussein. While there are no subtitles in English, the message is clear to all who watch the popular culture artistry.

This second song ‘I won’t blame the harasser’ by Abo stresses that he is holding society responsible and not the harasser. Again from EgyptianStreets.com:

The music video follows actress and activist Sarra Abdelrahman as she takes out her anger on a projection of mob harassment in Tahrir Square and TV anchors denouncing the victims of one of the many sexual assaults on women in Tahrir this year.

In a superb statement on the role of media and popular culture in promoting women’s sexual harassment, writer Mustafa Abdel-Halim —a London-based broadcast journalist and lecturer at the University of Westminster, underscores the opportunity for art and culture to promote a questioning voice against long-held cultural assumptions against women.

Street Art & Violence Against Women

Sexual harassment is now a crime in Egypt, but no one has high expectations of major changes as a result. Time will tell. Street artists are also joining Egypt’s artistic community. The ArtNewspaper.com reports a new term ‘artivists’, a term increasingly used in Egypt to describe artists who are also activists.

Melody Patry, a London-based film-maker and advocacy officer for the charity Index on Censorship, spent several months in Egypt last year interviewing around 20 artists for her documentary, “Shout Art Loud”, which she finished in June. The aim of the film, Patry says, is “to break down the barriers between art and daily life and to encourage women to speak out against sexual assault”. Patry says the term “artivists” is increasingly being used in Egypt to describe artists who are also activists.

The street artists El Zeft and Mira Shihadeh created a mural about the rampant sexual assault in Egypt called Circle of Hell

Artist and activist Merna Thomas is featured in Patry’s documentary ‘Shout Art Loud’. Thomas co-founded the project ‘Graffiti Harimi’ in 2012 with the goal of promoting ‘positive images of women in public spaces.

‘Shout Out Loud’ Trailer

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Monday
Nov102014

Kurdish Women Soldiers Inspire New Rights For Kurdish Women

Once again, the incredibly skilled and brave Kurdish Women Fighters are making headlines on two fronts.

Kurdish Women Fighters On Front Line In Kobani

JUST IN from NBC’s Richard Engel on MSNBC Andrea Mitchell November 10, talking about ISIS in Kobani. Richard got into the country — a very difficult feat — and to paraphrase his report, “Most of the FRONT LINE positions in Kobani are held by WOMEN!!! They are holding slightly more than half of the city.

This was the first time I’ve heard a TV reporter fully acknowledge the truth of the Kurdish women fighters and the decisive role they are playing against ISIS. We’ve been following the story for two months now with major exposure of the Kurdish women and their fierce refusal to turn over their land and towns, their parents and children to ISIS (ISIL).  Read our largest story about the Kurdish women fighters: Kurdish Women Fighters In Syria Say ISIS Fears Women Soldiers So Much They Shake. AOC Salon

ISIS is besides themselves in Kobani and MUST take the women out. Reports today say that rather than beheading the Kurdish women, they will make wives of them — a far more repressive punishment.

“I believe in a greater cause, which is protecting our families and our cities from the extremists’ brutality and dark ideas,” she says. “I read Nietzsche and Marx, which they don’t accept. They don’t accept having women in leadership positions. They want us to cover ourselves and become housewives to attend to their needs only. They think we have no right to talk and control our lives.”

The Kurdish women aren’t shy about their competency.

“Women can fight better than men,” says Britain Derek, 33, a commander in the YPG’s unit in Hasakeh. “We remain calm and steadfast. We are usually snipers, or on the fighting fronts. Women don’t have much to lose in battle. Men dream of starting a family, or returning to their families. Whereas women who have chosen this path do so willingly. They have no other purpose.”

New Rights for Kurdish Women

Not being an independent nation, the legal implementation of new decrees passed in Kurdish territory to advance women’s rights remains unclear.Kurdish women have long lived by more liberal standards around women’s rights.

By contrast, The Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) has issued rules on how women should dress and has curbed their movement outside the home — basing this on a radical interpretation of sharia (Islamic law) — according to residents living in territory it holds.

In response, joint leaders of the “self-ruling democracy of Jazira province” have issued a 30-point decree.

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Thursday
Nov062014

Trans Activist Lavern Cox Honored As Glamour Woman Of The Year 2014

Lea T For Redken

Many people in the fashion and beauty industries clapped this week with news that transgender model Lea T would become the new muse for Redken 5th Avenue. Brazilian-born Lea T shared her journey as a transgender person in a public, insightful and articulate series of conversations over several years, including this one with Oprah.

Lavern Cox Shares ‘The T Word’ Documentary

Earlier this week trans activist Lavern Cox was named one of Glamour Magazine’s Women of the Year 2014. The Orange Is the New Black star is part of a team producing a new documentary ‘The T Word’. The feature follows seven people aged 12-24, as the explore the intersections of transgender identity and race.

“For many of us, the ‘T’ in LGBT means more than transgender, it also means truth,” Laverne said in a statement. “The cast members in this documentary are fearlessly living their truths and in sharing their stories will send the message to other trans youth that it’s okay to be who you are.

From left, Avery Grey of Long Island City and Daniella Carter from the Bronx, who are featured in “The T Word.”

Andreja Pejic

The second major voice in the fashion industry on transgender issues is Andre Pejic, now Andreja Pejic. Speaking to People Magazine in July 2014, Andreja said “I want to share my story with the world because I think I have a social responsibility. I hope that by being open about this, it becomes less of an issue.”


Follow ALL AOC writing about Lea T and Andreja Pejic.

Saturday
Nov012014

Kenya's Cattle Trade For Girl's Education | Malala Donates $50,000 To Rebuild Schools In Gaza

Kenya’s Surprise Proposal For Girl’s Education

1. The global challenge of keeping girls in school is a formidable one. In Kenya a parent who fails to educate his child faces possible imprisonment. Reality is that child marriages are common among Kenya’s pastoral community, with poor Maasai fathers receiving nine cattle in exchange for each of their daughters. Once married, young girls are no longer educated.

Laikipia Governor Joshua Irungu believes he has a solution, with the government providing fathers with the nine cows so that their daughters can stay in school. To insure that the project is sustainable, Governor Irungu intends to launch a livestock breeding center in Laikipia. via BBC

Textbook Censorship in Arizona

2. An Arizona school district, under pressure from a conservative Christian organization, Alliance Defending Freedom, has bowed to pressure regarding the mention of the morning-after pill and mifepristone in the seventh edition of Campbell Biology: Concepts and Connections.

The Gilbert Public Schools’ governing board voted 3-2 to redact the pages in question and under the threat of a lawsuit. Members of the board contended that the pages violate a state statute, which prevents school districts from providing instruction that “that does not give preference, encouragement and support to childbirth and adoption as preferred options to elective abortion,” says the outlet. via Huffington Post

American parents overwhelmingly support comprehensive, medically accurate sex education that includes information about abstinence and contraception, STDs and disease prevention. Even in Texas, 90% of adults favor sex education that is comprehensive.

In Nigeria, Child Marriage Under Debate

3. The trial of 14-year-old Wasila Tasi’u, who is accused of murdering her 35-year-old husband with rat poison has sparked a debate about child marriage in Nigeria. As Nigerian prosecutors in Gezawra seek the death penalty in the case, child brides are front and center in public debate in the poor, conservative Muslim region located in the north country.

The defendant’s parents have condemned their daughter’s actions, while activists in Nigeria’s Christian south have called for her immediate release and rehabilitation. Her trial will resume on November 26. via The Guardian

Malala Rebuilds Schools in Gaza

Malala Yousafzai receives the World’s Children’s Prize from Queen Silvia of Sweden on Oct. 29, 2014 (Photo: Reuters/Anders Wiklund)4. Malala Yousafzai, the now famous Pakistani girl awarded the nobel Peace Prize this year, has donated $50,000 — all the proceeds from the World’s Children Prize — to rebuilding United Nations-run schools in Gaza, damaged during the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflicts.Malala is the first child to receive the award.

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Saturday
Nov012014

Fishnets & Feminism | Powerful Women Like Our Fishnets Thanks To Madonna, Beyonce, Angelina, Jennifer Lopez & Co

Left: Belt and fishnets Louis Vuitton

History of Fishnets

The term ‘fishnet,’ meaning a loosely woven fabric, was in use by the early 1880s, writes Valerie Steele for CR Fashion Book: A Hole In The Sole,  but common wisdom dates the use of ‘fishnet stockings’ to 1933. Cancan dancers at the Moulin Rouge evoke evoke images of fishnets, but in reality the dancers wore opaque tights, says Steele. Even New Orleans prostitutes wore vertically striped stocking, not fishnets as a way of seducing men.

Wearing fishnets has always been associated with varying degrees of risqué, immodest and taboo behavior among women. It seems to me that the size of the hole communicates the desired message from bold to demure. Indeed, Fogal’s fine gauge, back seam fishnets are the epitome of refined raciness and self-assured, elegant femininity. 

Fishnets and the Male Mind

Most historical writing about fishnets is processed through the lens of the male mind. As symbols of naughty girl sins and a willingness to walk on the wild side, fishnets can transform a woman’s body into an erotic object through veiling and unveiling.  “Is not the most erotic portion of the body where the garment gapes?” asks Barthes in 1973′s The Pleasure of the Text. “There are no ‘erogenous zones’…; it is intermittence…which is erotic: the intermittence of skin flashing between two articles of clothing…between two edges…It is this flash itself which seduces…The staging of an appearance-as-disappearance.”

“The popularity of fetish objects is not biologically predetermined”, writes Steele,” but neither is it random. Male sexual arousal is highly visual … There is even some evidence that fishnets, like thigh-high boots, were often associated with ‘whip girls’ (dominatrices).”

Fishnets As Anti-social Fashion

Madonna by Terry Richardson for Harper’s Bazaar November 2013. Where is Steven Klein when she needs him!!!Returning to Steele:

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Tuesday
Oct282014

Beyoncé For Topshop | 10 Worse States For American Women | Annual World Economic Forum Gender Gap Report

Helen Mirren Becomes L’Oreal UK Brand Ambassador

1. The always notably fabulous Helen Mirren joins Jane Fonda and Julianne Moore as brand ambassadors for L’Oreal Paris, appearing in an ad for the band’s anti-aging skincare called Age Perfect.

The Guardian reminds us that in the 1990’s, Isabella Rossellini was dropped from Lancome — or so she says — for being too old. Certainly women over 40 were generally invisible in major marketing 20 years ago.

Whether she’s acting, twerking or telling rowdy buskers to shut the fuck up, Helen Mirren is incredibly popular. She ruled the M&S Leading Ladies campaign, despite wearing a jaunty Per Una sailor’s cap. In L’Oréal’s press release announcing the hire, the company said it had surveyed almost 9,000 women and found the Oscar-winning star repeatedly ranked top as the woman who appealed most to consumers. Participants described Mirren as “genuine, intelligent and glamorous, with looks that seem only to improve with the passing of time”. And this down-to-earth, positive approach to ageing comes across in the 69-year-old’s comments about the L’Oréal gig: “I am not gorgeous, I never was, but I was always OK-looking and I’m keen to stay that way.”

“I hope I can inspire other women towards greater confidence by making the most of their natural good looks. We are all worth it!”

Beyonce’s Topshop Business Partnership

2. Beyoncé has entered into a formal, 50-50 business partnership with British retailer Topshop to produce an athletic streetwear brand.

“I could not think of a better partner as I continue to grow the Parkwood business. I have always loved Topshop for its fashion credentials and forward thinking,” Beyoncé said in a statement today. “Working with its development team to create and produce a technical and fashion-led collection is exciting, and I’m looking forward to participating in all aspects of this partnership.”

Philip Green, owner of Arcadia, parent to Topshop. stressed that this is not a celebrity collection but a bonafide, long-term business partnership.

BloombergBusinessweek writes that because Green doesn’t answer to shareholders, he could give the megastar what she wanted at the negotiating table.

3. We learned in September that Queen Bey’s 2013 surprise album drop is the subject of an upcoming case study by Harvard Business School professor Anita Elberse.

For those who have somehow forgotten about the seminal news event of the past several years: Without any advance marketing, Beyoncé released a self-titled album of songs and videos at the stroke of midnight on December 13, 2013, effectively just leaving it on iTunes and walking away. When fans awoke to the stunning news, they found they could buy only the $15.99 album in full—sampling one song at a time was out of the question.

Harvard Business School students are studying Beyoncé’s business strategy in Anita Elberse’s “Strategic Marketing in Creative Industries” class in the month of October.

Elberse is professor of what the Boston Globe calls a ‘wildly popular’ class. Elberse’s students have previously studied Miami Heat’s forward James LeBron, Lady Gaga, Tom Cruise, and Radiohead.

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