From my recent read of "America's War on Sex" by Dr. Marty Klein I became inspired to check out some of the things that he mentioned in the book. The first one that I decided to check out was his statement that Dr. Phil and Oprah hate sex. I was pretty surprised since K had mentioned that Oprah has had Violet Blue on her show before to talk about pornography and erotica. However, I checked it out and these were the disturbing articles that I found that show that Oprah and Dr. Phil do indeed have a very limited understanding of what is "appropriate" and "normal" sexual expression.
For a brief summary of this issue I encourage you to read a short article by Dr. Klein titled, "What Oprah and Dr. Phil Don't Understand about Sex." Here is the link: http://www.martyklein.com/what-oprah-dr-phil-dont-understand-about-sex/. It is filled with hysterical and enraging quotes like the brief excerpt below points out:
"When it comes to sex, Oprah believes that men are like ATMs–ready to go 24 hours a day, rain or shine. When she recently read mail from viewers complaining about their husbands’ lack of interest, she was stunned–”Hard to believe,” she said. “We thought, you know, men always wanted it.” Dr. Phil also finds it hard to believe. When confronted by Robert, who doesn’t want sex with his wife, Phil says “it’s just not natural that you’re just laying there thinking about work or something. What is it you don’t like about” sex? And to Rod, whose wife felt sexually deprived, Phil demanded “are you some kind of weirdo?”
Now, here are some links that my own research on Oprah's website revealed. Keep these links in mind when you are talking to women like your Mom that may idolize Oprah; just remember that some of their views about sexuality and "appropriate" sexual expression may have been shaped by her show.
Oprah on Open Marriage: http://www.oprah.com/relationships/Do-Open-Marriages-Work/1. This article was written by a contributing writer to Oprah's website. It is, in my mind, a very poorly written, one-sided argument about why Open Marriages are bad and, even more, why they actually aren't "marriage" at all.
Some of the more disturbing quotes from this article are:
"I must confess, every time I type the words "good open marriage," my fingers twitch. These words feel oxymoronic."
"By the end of my research, I firmly believed that open marriage is merely an excuse for getting away with behaving self-indulgently and recklessly. In my book Prince Harming Syndrome, any man who wants an open marriage is what I call a Prince Harming. Prince Harming is someone who does not make his partner feel safe, calm, secure, confident—and the idea of an open marriage does not leave me feeling that way."
The second quote personally makes me cringe because I can't believe there are people out there who think that it is their partner's job to make them feel "safe, calm, secure, [and] confident." A person that needs all of these things are what I think Dan Savage would describe as "not in good working order."
What I found most disturbing about this particular article was the layout. The first section was titled, "What's good about open marriage." The second section was titled, "What's bad about open marriage." The third section was titled, "What's #$@%^! about open marriage." You may realize that the third section has exactly the number of characters needed to spell FUCKED. So, it is broken down to "the good, the bad, and the FUCKED." That doesn't seem very balanced. . . this layout reflects a very unbalanced attack on open marriage so I guess it is appropriate.
http://www.oprah.com/relationships/The-Negative-Effects-of-Porn. This is just a brief excerpt from Rabbi Shmuley. He hates porn. Check it out! My personal opinion on Shmuley's conclusions is that this man has clearly not watched a lot of porn OR he has experienced considerably different effects than most of the 50 million people in the U.S. who regularly watch porn.
http://www.oprah.com/relationships/MaleFemale-Friendships. Ugh. I just had to put this on here to point out some rules that I hope you are all following ;-) Besides the fact that this article is extremely heteronormative, it is messed up in so many other ways too! There is so much to dislike!
The following is an excerpt from the article:
- You can't go out to late night dinners together. You can have lunch together in a public place, but you should not order alcoholic beverages. "The embers of attraction really can grow in situations like that, and suddenly it's not so innocent, it's not just friendship anymore," Rabbi Shmuley says.
- You can't take long drives or long flights with the other person, even if it's for work. "Even if you have to work with a colleague [of the opposite sex], there are still certain boundaries you need to preserve," he says.
- You cannot place yourself in any situation where romance can grow. "Romance grows when people are alone; romance grows when people tell secrets," Rabbi Shmuley says.
- You can't share secrets with a platonic male or female friend that you don't share with your spouse. "Because then you're sharing an exclusivity with a member of the opposite sex that you're not with your partner, and that can lead to a big no-no," he says.
- You should not be friends with ex-lovers.
How well I personally did with the rules:
2) WTF? Even for work. . . haha. I hope I never have to work with a colleague of the opposite sex. If I do, I will just explain to my employer that I need to take a separate flight so that I am not on a flight with her. Maybe we should have sex-segregated work places, flights, cars, buildings, schools. . . OR, maybe Rabbi Shmuley should just recognize that people who want to be intimate with others will be intimate regardless of the arbitrary rules that he develops to help keep people from developing "inappropriate" friendships with people of the opposite sex.
4) OH NO! It can lead to a "big no-no."