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Changing Rules for Women and Sex on TV

This latest TV season brought us one woman impersonating an underage hooker in bed (Girls) and another woman smashing her date's head into a car window (Louis C.K.). These were not trashy housewives or the recently arrested on Cops but two Brooklyn girls. A third show features the sweet Jennifer Love Hewitt as an actual high class hooker (The Client List). These shows are exploring the age old questions of the double standard and female desire but in a much more edgy way. Meg Ryan's orgasm scene at the deli in When Harry Met Sally opened the door to honesty about what women do and don't do but now these shows are finally answering the question, what do women want, and can we really stomach watching it?

Join Hanna Rosin & Noreen Malone of Slate's DoubleX weekly podcast with DoubleX/ThinkProgress culture blogger Alyssa Rosenberg as they chat with Girls Executive Producer Jenni Konner about the shifting and groundbreaking portrayal of women and sex on TV at a live DoubleX Gabfest.

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  1. What are the most shocking sex scenes in mainstream TV from the last few seasons? What are the various aspects of these scenes, beyond the obvious, that make them so shocking and revolutionary?
  2. What has changed in TV writing culture to allow these kinds of scenes to be written? Are there just more women writers, or have viewers become more sophisticated? Is there a greater openness in writers' rooms?
  3. Why there aggression and violence in many of the sex scenes we know see? What is behind this?
  4. Does this new openness regarding sex represent an openness in the culture, or does this supposed openness exist just within the television world?
  5. How far can TV take it? What can we expect in coming seasons?



Alissa Neil, Director, Communications, Slate

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