Elevate Difference

Reviews tagged Sexuality

Sometimes the Spoon Runs Away with Another Spoon

Sometimes the Spoon Runs Away With the Spoon review, short version: If you have children, know children, or were ever a child yourself, you need this new coloring book by Jacinta Bunnell and Nathaniel Kusinitz.

When Did Indians Become Straight?: Kinship, the History of Sexuality, and Native Sovereignty

In When Did Indians Become Straight?, Mark Rifkin takes on a monumental task, exploring the intersections between sexuality, race, colonization/imperialism, sovereignty and nationhood as they apply to Native American tribes and their struggles over the centuries. As someone who is both of Native descent and gay, I was intrigued.

Time Binds: Queer Temporalities, Queer Histories

In a temporally queer attachment of my own, I was bound to Time Binds before it was even published. With versions of the preface, introduction, and three out of four chapters having already appeared in academic journals, Elizabeth Freeman’s arguments had already made an impression on me. This is not to say that Time Binds is a redundant publication. Bound together, the individual pieces only gain in strength, displaying Freeman’s commitment to theorizing the intersections of temporality, queer theory, and the body.

Put This on the {Map}: East King County

Part education, part cinema, all honesty. Put This on the {Map}: East King County gives a youthful face to gender and sexuality through its twenty-six compelling high school narrators. Filmed in Washington State on the east side of Seattle, where there is seemingly no visibility of queer youth, the strength of these young people to comes out on camera. Celebrating who they are is astonishing for any high schooler, let alone a queer one in a community where they are often isolated.

Teacher at Point Blank: Confronting Sexuality, Violence, and Secrets in a Suburban School

When Jo Scott-Coe began teaching in the same suburban California high school she’d graduated from four years earlier, she had to overcome her reluctance to call former teachers by their first names. Once that was accomplished, she set out to bring new life to the literature and writing classes she was assigned. In seventeen essays Scott-Coe lays bare the disappointments and frustrations that marred her eleven years in the classroom.

A World Apart (2/4/2011)

As Susan Mosakowski’s A World Apart opens, Mother Augustina, an abbess in a Cistercian monastery, is deeply engrossed in reading a religious text. Once interrupted, she explains that she is searching for answers to a host of troubling questions. Doubts about all kinds of things have begun to creep in, she says. Take the issue of heaven and hell. Common assumptions posit one above and the other below us.

The Last Pretence

In the South Indian town of Machilipatnam, Mallika gives birth to twins, Tara and Siva. Emotionally and psychologically damaged when her daughter dies during childbirth, Mallika finds herself unable to love Siva who is a constant reminder of Tara’s death. Pretending that Siva is Tara, both Mallika and Siva embark on a downward spiral of self-destruction that ends in tragedy.

Black Swan

The hype had me prepared for Black Swan to be a disturbing and gory movie. But the truth of it is this: even if you’re squeamish, like me, there’s nothing in the film you can’t look at… out of context.

Monstrous Intimacies: Making Post-Slavery Subjects

Christina Sharpe’s work Monstrous Intimacies is concerned with reading how the Euro-American and African-American post-slavery subjects are constructed. An academic text, and at times quite dense with analysis, this work will be of interest mostly to academics working in the fields of critical race theory, post-colonial theory, or literary and cultural theory.

Erotic Revolutionaries: Black Women, Sexuality, and Popular Culture

Shayne Lee, an Associate Professor of Sociology and African Diaspora Studies at Tulane University, sets out to make feminism more “chic” and release black women from the shackles of respectability in his latest book Erotic Revolutionaries: Black Women, Sexuality, and Popular Culture.

Aarekti Premer Galpo (Just Another Love Story)

Rituparno Ghosh completely reinvents himself from director to actor and delivers a gripping performance in this very lyrical film by Kaushik Ganguly. Just Another Love Story (original Bengali title: Aarekti Premer Galpo) is about a filmmaker Abhiroop Sen (played by Ghosh) who makes a documentary about Chapal Bhaduri, the legendary jatra (Bengali folk theatre) actor who spent his entire career playing female roles on stage, primarily as Goddess Shitala.

Leaving Art: Writings on Performance, Politics, and Publics, 1974-2007

A student of Judy Chicago and Allan Kaprow, Suzanne Lacy’s collection of essays about her performance art pieces showcases not only Lacy’s development as a powerhouse feminist artist of her time but also the changing landscape of political art throughout the past four decades. Following a thoughtful introduction by her friend Moira Roth, Leaving Art traces Lacy’s self-criticism, the intended meaning behind her pieces, and reflections about the effectiveness of her work, at times in journal form (e.g., “While I was working on this piece I figured out why it has been so hard for me to consider myself grown up”) and at times as she reflects about the meaning of art more broadly. As an introduction to Lacy’s work, or as an in-depth look at Lacy’s artistic process, the book will appeal both to those newly familiar with Lacy or with those who have long followed her career.

The Pillars of the Earth

The Pillars of the Earth is the best kind of paint-by-numbers historical fiction: while it exhausts almost every cliché of its period and genre, it is nonetheless entertaining, perfect for lovers of history, action, romance and drama. Set during the twelfth century period in England known as “the Anarchy,” The Pillars of the Earth comes complete with lustful monks, displaced monarchs, incest, power-mongering, jealousy, greed, rape and treachery.

Cho Dependent Tour (9/23/2010)

Margaret Cho's hour-long set at The Grove began with a story about her recent experiences as a contestant on Dancing with the Stars that parlayed into a story about using a vocal coach from American Idol while touring in support of her newly released album Cho Dependent. Apparently her vocal coach made her drink shots of olive oil when she developed a sore throat, and as a result, Cho suffered from uncontrollable flatulence and diarrhea. This was a reoccurring theme of the night (I actually wasn’t aware Cho had such a penchant for poop jokes), and while I spent half of Cho’s act loving her intensely and laughing out loud, the other half I found myself wondering if she’d lost her edge.

Best Sex Writing 2010

As a fairly obsessive sex educator, S&M activist, and informal researcher, I didn't expect Best Sex Writing 2010 to make me think nearly as much as it did. I'd imagined it as an anthology that would hit all the usual bases and say the usual sex-positive things: Sex work should be decriminalized! Open relationships can work! Fetishes don't have to terrify us!

The Bradshaw Variations

In earlier times, a set of variations on a theme in classic art music was a chance for a composer to play around with a melody, try it on in various guises, and allow the audience to hear possibilities. Each variation was minute, an aural petit four to be savored briefly while one contemplated on the sweet yet temporal nature of life.

The Last Living Slut: Born in Iran, Bred Backstage

The Last Living Slut: Born in Iran, Bred Backstage, written by Iran native Roxana Shirazi, was a complete and utter waste of my time. The book was championed by writers Neil Strauss and Anthony Bozza, who met up with Shirazi one faithful day and immediately became enthralled by her tails of debauchery with bad up and coming rock ‘n’ roll bands, as well as some oldies, but not so goodies like Guns N’ Roses.

Tea on the Axis of Evil

After two years of providing security intelligence about the activities of Al Qaeda to the United States government in the wake of 9/11, the Bush Administration publicly dubbed Syria a threat to democracy by including it in the so-called Axis of Evil. Knowing very little about the secular republic, filmmaker Jean Marie Offenbacher decided to spend a year in Damascus in order to offer a look at everyday citizens of Syria and combat stereotypical depictions put forth in the mainstream media. Though the U.S.

Happiness Runs

I sat through this eighty-eight minute monstrosity two and half times. And the question that I’m still asking myself is, “What the fuck?” Set sometimes during the eighties, Happiness Runs is the semi-autobiographical story of its tyro director. Happiness Runs centers on Victor (Mark L.


Christina Aguilera has been a polemic figure since her breakthrough hit "Genie in a Bottle". She has a sexual aesthetic similar to a young Madonna’s, fashion sense like Cher’s, and raw vocal power comparable to a younger Whitney Houston’s. Her albums contain raunchy sexed-up tracks that appeal to sexually blossoming young adults and stately ballads that appeal to their post-menopausal mothers.


Originally written for the German public, Wetlands has made its way west to shock some freedom into the views of female sexuality and feminism. Wetlands could be the placid story of Helen, a girl using her hospital stay to get her parents back together.

Torah Queeries: Weekly Commentaries on the Hebrew Bible

Torah Queeries is a compilation of sixty drashot, short exegetical essays, each of which addresses one of the parshiyot, segments of the Torah that comprise the yearly cycle of the reading of the Five Books of Moses. The reason there are sixty drashot rather than the usual fifty-four is because six additional ones are included, each dealing with one of the major Jewish holidays.

Sapphistries: A Global History of Love Between Women

Sapphistries is an epic journey through real and fictional love between women. It is so epic that the author, Leila J. Rupp, had to coin a new term to describe this type of book. It is not just a history; it is an interweaving of prehistoric musings, fictional accounts that draw on suppositions of what it must have been like in times when no evidence was left of when and where these kinds of love was forbidden, right up to the modern day.

The Little Black Book of Grisélidis Réal: Days and Nights of an Anarchist Whore

Writing a review for a book like The Little Black Book of Grisélidis Réal is not a simple task by any means. On the one hand, I want to be as straightforward as possible and simply give my impressions of this one particular piece of writing without going into the issue of prostitution and whether or not it degrades women.

Don’t Be a Dick

Do-It-Yourself (DIY) culture has made an array of otherwise lofty topics accessible through the format of personal zines that aim to educate and inform—from bicycle maintenance to vegan cooking. In particular, the strong foothold that DIY culture has in radical politics and feminism has allowed for the creation of some radical, eye-opening work. Paul Brown’s zine, _Don’t Be a Dick, _is an archetypal DIY zine, complete with staples, a gray-washed Xeroxed background, hand-drawn pictures, and a curious layout.

Sexualities Special issue: "Researching and Teaching the Sexually Explicit: Ethics, Methodology and Pedagogy"

I am just about to begin teaching a new course in Human Sexuality, so I was excited to review this special issue of Sexualities, the UK-published journal that features new and different voices from sexology, gender studies, and cultural studies. Each of the eight original essays provides teachers, activists and researchers with much-needed breathing space.

Revenge of the Mooncake Vixen

Forget fairytales and fables that threaten rape and violence to women who go off the beaten path, deny their parents, or refuse to marry. Marilyn Chin's novel, Revenge of the Mooncake Vixen, doesn't lock away its female protagonists into a tower so a prince can climb up their hair and doesn't ask the women to honor and obey their parents.

First Timer's Kit

When I read the name of this product set, I laughed. First time? If you're old enough to tap the keyboard, you're probably familiar with repeatedly hitting 'shift' until the screen goes blue. It's like the old joke: “What do you call people who don't masturbate? Liars.” Then I paused and reflected that the "first time," without doubt, referred to mechanical enhancement. My first vibe was a gift from a college pal, a basic bullet model much like Early to Bed's Mary.

SexIs: Sex and All Things Sexual

There are an abundance of websites about sex, gender, and pleasure that range from academic, theoretical discussions to medical descriptions to sexual how-to guides, and I was admittedly skeptical of SexIs, a sex-positive community devoted to “sex and all things sexual” started by online sex toy company Eden Fantasies. Updated weekly by a diverse collection of writers (including Feminist Review founder Mandy Van Deven), [SexIs](http://www.edenfantasys.com/se

Los Abrazos Rotos (Broken Embraces)

The latest Pedro Almodóvar film is very much what we expect, but it’s also what we don’t expect. One of the many things I love about Almodóvar is that he has normalized some of the most marginalized and oppressed people in our society in his films (i.e., Transgender Latinas, mentally ill communities, and queer communities). I also love that he creates relationships with all the people in his cast and allows them to demonstrate their acting range as he cast them in other projects in completely different roles.