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Second Look Panel

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by

Sarah Hannah Gomez

on 1 April 2013

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Transcript of Second Look Panel

Hannah Gómez What I Learned While Writing My Second Look Paper 1. I am immature Just to get it out of my system: RALPH!

Also: SEX! HANDS! MOUTHS! BODIES! NAKED! CONDOMS! THE PILL! GRANDMA GIVING YOU SEX ADVICE! SEX! EVERYTHING about this book should make you slightly uncomfortable.

Impromptu class survey: Is it more icky to use clinical terms like "manual stimulation," vague terms like "second base," common things like "hand job," or "[insert the grossest thing you heard in high school here]?" 2. Complaining about how an author polices girls' bodies requires policing girls' bodies to make your point Is it really feminist to show Katherine going to first and second base with Michael but him not going there with her? where's her digital/oral gratification? But is it fair to say that it's an anti-feminist stance when I don't know if that is something Katherine would be comfortable with, anyway? Sex positivity means doing stuff you're comfortable with, not necessarily making everything tit for tat. Oops! I just told Katherine what to do with her body. Sorry. 3. Tracking cover evolution is fun! 1975 - ooh, someone
got some! 1978 - umm,
not the point 1989 - looks like
Nicholas Sparks... 1995 - chastity
belt? 2002 - post-coital
cell phone checking? Discuss? Min has a lot of anxiety about her body and about sex...would you say her voice fits more in the institutionalized or individualized view of sex?
Kokkola says that Twilight's view of sex and romance wouldn't make leftist feminists OR conservative Christians happy...what about our books for this week? Whose ideology of romance and sex do they make most happy?
Can today's teens relate to Forever...? More or less than the novels we read for today or the other ones on this panel? Should we care whether they can or not? Does it matter? What do these covers say? Publishers always seem to want to present this book as contemporary, even though the author's note makes it clear it's not, and even though we call it a "classic" and a "touchstone," and even though the covers show how our interests in and anxieties about sex have evolved over time.

What do you think? 4. I am not done with this paper There is way too much to talk about, and I spent most of my time writing it a) flipping out about terminology, b) trying to make sure readers would know that I don't want to tell girls what to do with their bodies but that I had to theoretically tell them what to do in order to make points about what Katherine was and was not doing, and c) wanting to read the novel against earlier and later works to point out how no matter how we tell teens to view their sexuality, that still means we're telling them what to do. This paper is too short for all that! How can you write about this stuff without talking about slut shaming? Historical context? "Splendor in the Grass?" Jackson Pearce's 2012 novel Purity? Sex-positive activists like Laci Green? Third wave feminists like Jessica Valenti and Anita Sarkeesian? Judy Blume herself? Tumblr? YouTube? In today's world, we talk about these things in much more communal, actually PEER-reviewed social spaces that don't exist because they are virtual. Many of us find "make love" the ickiest term of them all. This paper needs to be a book. By all of the people and spaces and communities I just mentioned.
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