Name: Lanae St.John
Occupation: The MamaSutra – Sex Educator, Board Certified Sexologist, Sexy Mamas Blogger for Good Vibrations, Co-Host for SexxxTalkRadio
Location: San Francisco Bay Area, California
Any other relevant tidbits you’d care to share: Kinsey zero. Former beauty pageant contestant. Divorced. Mother of two preadolescent girls. Bachelor of Science in Psychology. Certificate in Women’s Studies. Masters in Human Sexuality.
How do you define feminism?
Feminism to me is about equality on a number of levels (social, political, economic) along with love and respect for one another. Perhaps it is “the mom” in me but feminism has always represented something greater than oneself.
My particular flavor of feminism includes Sex Positivity. I believe in a huge helping of commonsense around sex and sexuality, removing guilt and shame around both, and comprehensive, accurate, open and honest sex education for all.
Feminism to me is not the man-hating, hairy underarmed, lesbian caricature that some call “feminazis”. I do not hate men & I had a wonderful relationship with my own father. I am not a lesbian (but appreciate the beauty of other women AND get really flattered if women do hit on me). Contrary to what some anti-feminists believe, I do not see the advancement of women equaling the downfall of men. If you believe in the law of abundance like I do, there is enough for all. To believe anything else is just fear. I do see anti-feminism as misogyny.
When did you first identify as a feminist?
I went to the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the early ’90’s where, in addition to my degree, I received a Certificate in Women’s Studies. It was there and then that I started to identify as a feminist. I started to identify specifically as a sex positive feminist when I began my studies at the Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality.
Has your (definition of) feminism changed over time? How?
Yes, my definition of feminism has changed over time. Once I became a mother of two girls, I realized how strongly I felt about wanting my daughters to have the same opportunities to choose what they want to do with their lives and their bodies over their lifespan that boys enjoy. I also broadened my definition to include the sexual equality of all men and women, all sexual orientations, and all races.
Have you ever experienced resistance to identifying as a feminist? If so, why do you think that is and how do you handle it?
I wouldn’t say I personally have ever experienced resistance to identifying as a feminist. I see more resistance in what others try to do to restrict or control the sexuality of women and others (This has never been more apparent than right now with the battles going on in all aspects of the U.S. Government over women’s reproductive freedom and choice, abortion, Intra- [or more appropriately, Inter-] Vaginal ultrasounds, and birth control).
What do you see as the future of feminism?
I think the future of feminism needs to be more about love and acceptance. What I mean by that is this: where I see feminism failing is infighting. That thing we women do when we judge or shame each other; where we take a position, dig in our heels, refuse to look at all possibilities/answers, and judge others for their views or opinions. We must show love and compassion for one another and the choices we/they make in order to advance.
Lanae St.John is a board certified Sexologist and co-founder for the site NotSoSecret.com, a site that seeks to empower women to discover and enjoy their own sexuality. She is a Sex & Relationship Panelist for the popular site Dick-n-Jane.com and is also an expert on gasm.org, a website combining sex educators and medical professionals together to talk about the female orgasm. Her blog, “The MamaSutra” on Good Vibrations’ website, was voted into the Top 25 SF Bay Area Mom Blogs. Lanae also co-hosts a show called Sexxx Talk Radio on the Progressive Radio Network – the podcast can be found on iTunes.
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