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The sex and me monologues

URL: http://www.jewishjournal.com/opinion/article/the_sex_and_me_monologues_20101222

How do you discuss virginity with a class of American university students without the conversation sounding irrelevant to their lives or, worse, an exercise in exoticizing another culture? Women, sex and culture can be a Bermuda Triangle that threatens to demolish discussion through either defensiveness — when students feel compelled to defend a cultural practice — or superiority — when students feel compelled to parade their culture as being above whatever cultural challenges are being discussed. The personal is not only political, but it demolishes that Bermuda Triangle. I got a powerful reminder about that in September when I taught a course on gender and new media in the Middle East, in Oklahoma. We had watched the Lebanese film “Caramel,” directed by and starring Nadine Labaki, as the owner of a Beirut hair salon whose friends and co-workers portray a cross-section of Lebanese female experience.

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