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Sex in the Waves

Beltane is a charged holiday if ever there was one. The world comes to life and sex is literally suspended in the air, as evidenced by my seasonal allergies. At the same time we are reminded of just how precarious life can be. The veil is thin this time of year and life is as likely to move out as in. There is a brutal honesty about Beltane that is utterly appealing to me, which is why, rather than euphemistically naming this quarter's Feminist Wave Dynamics (FWD) something like "Making Love," or "Feminists in Bed," I decided to name it simply, "Sex in the Waves."

Let's Talk About Sex… Please?
It has been remarkable to watch what has happened among the group of writers with whom I've been corresponding about this new section. In January, when I first sent out the email outlining what I was hoping for FWD, I had an equal number of self-identified second- and third-wave writers who were interested in contributing. After my article, Generations in Conflict, was published at Imbolc, I announced to the potential writers the theme of this issue. I specifically asked Chava to represent the third wave, knowing she would have something thought-provoking to say. I must admit that even I underestimated how thought-provoking and self-exposing her piece would be.

I then set about the task of finding a second-wave writer. I sent emails, I made phone calls, I left messages. I bargained, I pleaded. Nothing. I couldn't understand. Was it my Imbolc article? Was it the subject matter? In all fairness, it seems that the women on my second-wave list just became, legitimately, very busy all at the same time. But it is interesting to note that while my second-wavers were dropping out and begging off, I had third-wave-identified women coming out of the woodwork wanting to write on the topic of sex.

From the second wave of feminism arose the phrase, "The personal is the political." The third wave has taken this to heart, to the point of forsaking any right to privacy and providing total disclosure in order to make a point or further a political agenda, while our older feminist counterparts seem still to feel that some things are sacred and should be kept private. I think, despite my age placing me firmly in the third wave, I am somewhere in between when it comes to personal disclosure, but I greatly admire those who will go out on a limb and say, "This is what I do, this is how I live."

Birkenstocks on Red-hot Pumps
I finally had the revelation, thanks mostly to prompting from my editor, of asking Carolyn Gage, the feminist playwright, if she would be interested in writing for this issue. I have been pleased to count Carolyn among my friends since I attended her theater workshop at the Michigan Women's Music Festival in 2004. I hadn't asked her earlier because it hadn't occurred to me that she might write anything not meant for the stage. I was thrilled to read the article she sent, not only because I found the analysis of Marilyn Monroe's sexual affectations fascinating, but also because it fit the theme and exemplified second-wave theory so beautifully. I'd like to express my gratitude to both Chava and Carolyn for helping this section get off to a great start.

After you've read these articles, I encourage you to get out there and celebrate the season … by yourself, with a loved one … with loved ones! Whatever trips your trigger as long as it's safe, and consensual. Hey, some things are, indeed, universal.

Lammas
Women's Space and Gender Challenges
Samhain Feminism and Spirituality
Imbolc The Feminist Activist

Forthcoming Seasons
And now the process begins anew. The themes for the rest of the year are in the table at the right. Which appeals to you? Represent your generation, or write an article about or from the viewpoint of a first-wave feminist. Let's chat about the possibilities: bebhinn73 [at] hotmail [dot] com.

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