Romeo And…

2.09: Our Whole Lives - Interview with Elizabeth Mount

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I have a conversation with Our Whole Lives (OWL) educator Elizabeth Mount. OWL is a program for sexual education created by the Unitarian Universalist and United Church of Christ faiths. The program has a curriculum designed for specific age groups to teach about body awareness, dating, consent, and safe sexual practices. I talked briefly about the OWL program on a previous episode of the show, and I wanted to follow up by chatting with someone who teaches the actual curriculum. 

Elizabeth talks about the progression of the OWL curriculum throughout the different age groups, as well as why comprehensive sexual education is important and what we can gain from practicing safe sex and consent. For more about the OWL program, check the references below for links to more information. 

At the top of the show, I talk about men's fashion. The Emmys were last week and every time I see an award show, I am reminded about how little choice men have in terms of fashion compared to women. The fact that men are only allowed to wear suits, ties, and tuxedos is extremely constraining. As a guy, it is nice that you don't have to worry as much as women do about changing fashion trends. However, I know a lot of guys wish they had more freedom of choice without being criticised for their dress at formal events. 

REFERENCES 

Unitarian Universalist Association OWL Page - Unitarian Universalist Association - http://bit.ly/1QHFQDn 

United Church of Christ OWL Page - United Church of Christ - http://bit.ly/1QHGgto 

Unitarian Universalist Congregation Locator - Unitarian Universalist Association - http://bit.ly/1QHHkxo 

United Church of Christ Church Locator - United Church of Christ - http://bit.ly/1QHGuRm 

Unitarian Universalist seven principles - Unitarian Universalist Association - http://bit.ly/1QHGEZ5 

Amy Poehler's Smart Girls on Twitter - @smrtgrls 

2.08: Post-Story Discussion - Val

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In the previous episode, I had a conversation with my guest Val, a bisexual woman, who talked about asking out both men and women. Continuing off of that, I bring up the major points we touched on in the conversation and shed a little more light on them. 

People often say that it is dangerous or uncomfortable for women to approach men and ask them on dates because men could react unpredictably. They could get upset. They might see you has a slut or call you demeaning names. They might talk about you behind your back, or even physically assault you. I definitely agree with all of these points, but when we say this, it seems as though the assumption is that men never experience the same asking out women. But this couldn't be any more false. 

People (both men and women) are unpredictable, so there is really no telling what any one person will do when they are approached for a date. I want there to be an easier and better solution to this problem, but I don't know that there is one; other than just teaching people not to conform to these ideas about gender, and not to be assholes to each other. 

I also talk about what happens when a person is so infatuated by their crush that they can't even speak to them, even when on a date. Spoiler: the relationship is probably not going to work out. 

At the top of the show, I also talk about the MTV Video Music Awards and Miley Cyrus. She has gotten a lot of flack from the media and feminists about how she performs her identity. I play devil's advocate and point out the ways Miley may be even more a feminist for doing what she does. 

REFERENCES 

- Miley Cyrus - Wikipedia - http://bit.ly/1KQm76e 

- Sound clip from Dragon Ball Z courtesy of Cartoon Network 

2.07: Guest Story - Val

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In this episode I am joined by one of our very own podcast listeners. Val came on the show to share her experience being a bisexual woman dealing with the dating world just as everyone else does. 

Val talks about how she felt men were privileged to be able to ask out women as opposed to waiting to be asked. However, when it came time to ask people out herself, she found it more stressful than she anticipated. Perhaps the grass isn't always greener on the other side. 

We also discuss what happens when women ask out men and how we as a society still tend to think of it as inappropriate. 

At the top of the show I also take some time to discuss the "Dear Fat People" video that has recently gone viral. Do we as a society still view fat and overweight and obese people as lazy, unhealthy, and ill? Fatness isn't always a result of a sedentary or unhealthy lifestyle, nor is it universally seen as problematic or unattractive. So it's not fair to criticize "fat people" as a group. 

Next week I'll be revisiting some of the topics I discussed with Val, so send me your comments and questions and I'll try to hit on them in the next episode. 

REFERENCES 

The 'Dear Fat People' video is tired, cruel and lazy – but I still fight for the woman who made it - The Guardian - http://bit.ly/1LXgQa6 

2.06: Don Jon

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In this episode, I review the indie film Don Jon by Joseph Gordon-Levitt. The film centers around topics of pornorgaphy, masculinity, femininity, and relationships. 

Trigger Warning: I also talk about the situation regarding Conrad Roy III's suicide. Roy was a teenager in Massachusetts who took his own life after his girlfriend urged him to go through with it. The details surrounding the case caused me to get a little passionate, but suicide and mental illness are very sensitive topics for me. You can find more details about the trial in the references below. 

A big topic raised in the episode is the control women have over men in our society. We often think of women as being the "weaker sex," but it is often men who derail their entire lives simply to please women. In Don Jon we see how Joseph Gordon-Levitt's character is strung along by his romantic interest. Is it truly the mark of a "real man" to serve his woman hand over foot? 

I also discuss pornography and porn addiction. Pornography in general is an extremely taboo subject, but mainly because sex in general is seen as taboo. I think if we were to be more open about sex and how we talk about it and learn about it, we can avoid a lot of the problems we run into regarding pornography. 

REFERENCES 

'It's Now Or Never,' Texted Teen Charged In Boyfriend's Suicide - Huffington Post - http://huff.to/1Jy8frp 

Michelle Carter texts - Scribd - http://bit.ly/1JyhIic 

‘It’s now or never': Texts reveal teen’s efforts to pressure boyfriend into suicide - The Washington Post - http://wapo.st/1Jy7WwA 

Suicide Facts and Figures - American Foundation for Suicide Prevention - http://bit.ly/1JyclzC 

Our Whole Lives reference page - Unitarian Universalist Association - http://www.uua.org/re/owl 

- Movie dialogue and sound clips from Don Jon courtesy of Relativity Media