Today’s edition of Planet Waves FM was recorded Tuesday right before the Pisces New Moon, by your host, the Fire Breathing Fish. It morphs from a reading of the New Moon chart into a rant on women’s autonomy and what used to be called reproductive rights. Casting the issue as total sovereignty is more accurate. But it lacks a certain appeal — where there are rights, there are responsibilities. Privilege without a corresponding sense of duty is inherently toxic — and even well-bred royalty know this. If we’re wondering why any woman is willing to give up her rights, her autonomy or her sovereignty, the answer may be found in her relationship to being a steward of her own body and the power that it contains.
At a certain point in the podcast I launch into a tirade on the religious ‘right’ doing its takedown of women, and then describe a new video by my mentor and friend Betty Dodson. She’s recently come out with a new video in her series on women’s sexuality, a documentary of one of her bodysex workshops.
I highly recommend this video and I will be reviewing it more thoroughly soon. I recognize that it’s $40 so I suggest you go in with a few friends and make an evening or two of it. What this DVD offers is a model for a sane conversation about sex and sexuality. If nothing else, we get a model for how to think and how to speak — in an original way, but within a framework that includes boundaries, a sense of purpose and most important, a sense of humor.
It includes discussion of body image, sexual evolution, making choices, the struggle with sex within relationships and many other topics. Part of the problem we face is that we don’t know how to talk about sex, we’re embarrassed to do so, it rarely happens so we don’t get any practice, and we’re afraid that Western civilization (or at least our relationship) will collapse if we even try. I guess we will have to see. The problems is that we pay a price for giving up the discussion — which is that it gets taken up by someone else (the entire political machine) in a regressive and oppressive way.
It’s twenty-sodding-twelve and we’re really discussing whether people have a right to use birth control? Or rather a bunch of men who want to take public office and be commander-in-chief are discussing women have a right to use birth control? Most of the time I look at this and I cannot believe it’s even happening.
I recommend all of Betty’s videos but my personal favorite is Her Life of Sex and Art, a frank (and frankly hilarious) talk given by Betty in good old politically correct, may I please glance at you Seattle. This is Betty at her most authentic and spontaneous — an off the cuff description of her life, that is, her life of art and sex. This DVD is $10 and it’s nothing but fun. If you would like to read more about Betty, here is one of my articles about her.