Piers Morgan is no stranger to controversy lately, where in his TV show’s dying days, he sought to turn Janet Mock’s life into infotainment, doing immense splash damage to trans folks in the process. It’s no wonder people are taking it upon themselves to shame him in innumerable ways.
Like with this very probably faked tweet, apparently taken as a photograph of a computer monitor with visible pixellation, posted by some rapper obviously looking to make a name for himself by inventing a “beef” as the kids say with a public figure:
Google is ubiquitous. Everyone everywhere uses Google at some point. And right now, at least in the US and probably Canada, the Google Doodle — the logo Google uses on its main search page and on the top left of every search result page — is sticking it to Russia over the anti-gay human rights violations happening there presently.
A rainbow of silhouetted athletes form the logo, and beneath the search box, this quote:
“The practice of sport is a human right. Every individual must have the possibility of practicing sport, without discrimination of any kind and in the Olympic spirit, which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play.” –Olympic Charter
This is not just subversive, it’s downright defiant. The message is clear: the discrimination that Putin and his government have entrenched in his country, the discrimination that anti-gay right-wingers are cheering in America, is a betrayal of everything the Olympics was intended to stand for. Humanity’s colors are at its most vibrant when it is not suppressed by bigotry and intolerance of difference, especially over something so fundamentally human as who you happen to love.
Google has not always entirely lived up to its mission statement of “Don’t Be Evil”. But on this issue, at least, the pendulum is obviously swinging far in the morally righteous direction. Thanks, Google, for siding with the angels this time.
The first video by Hambone Productions of Skepticon is up, of David Fitzgerald’s comedic analysis of the Bible’s naughtier bits.
Trigger warning: the Bible is very, very rapey.
I mostly enjoyed this talk, though there were a few bits that were problematic.
Many of the jokes are visual or are punctuated with visual aids, with people in the audience who are vision-impaired (Rebecca Watson made a point of narrating her slides for the benefit of these folks), and so they’re not going to get these jokes in this video either. Apologies to my readers. Also, I haven’t rewatched this, so I can’t remember exactly what was said, but I have a recollection of wincing a few times at some problematic language, too. “Bitch”, most likely.
Once upon a time, I was young and foolish, and thinking I was so enlightened about sexuality I suggested at a lunch table with friends that Freud was onto something when he said “the only unnatural sexuality is none at all”. Little did I know a friend at that table with me — about whom I think the world, and would never want to hurt — identified as asexual.
I was mortified to learn this a few years later. Such a casual throwaway comment, made thinking I was flip and clever and progressive, that hurt a dear friend.
I’m happy to see this exists. Maybe I can assuage my guilty conscience a bit by helping promote it. Though I am not asexual myself, I know a few people who do identify as such, and in all our talk about gender and sexuality around these parts, it’s only fitting that we avoid erasing an entire class of people.
An asexual person is someone who does not experience sexual attraction. Most individuals find there are certain people they are not sexually attracted to. For asexuals, this includes everybody!
Is asexual another word for celibate?
Unlike celibacy, which is a lifestyle choice, asexuality is a sexual orientation – just like homosexuality, bisexuality, and heterosexuality. Celibacy is a conscious decision not to have sex, regardless of sexual desire. Many asexuals do not consider themselves celibate, as they are giving up no more in abstaining from sex than a gay person is by abstaining from sex with someone of a different gender or a straight person is by abstaining from sex with the same gender. Furthermore, some asexual people do choose to have sex, and therefore are certainly not celibate.
It’s not about simply being celibate — asexual folks can choose to engage in sexual activities with people or with themselves, without necessarily having a sex drive of their own. They can be in romantic relationships. They can climax. They can do everything you can do. They can have an undirected sex drive. They can simply have no sex drive and if left to their own devices, would not seek it out. Or perhaps they even have boundaries that they define with their partners in advance. Or perhaps they have no desire to enter a romantic relationship at all. It’s every bit as varied as every other orientation.
We’d all do well to remember that when trying to be inclusive.
This is a brutally clever re-cutting of a Christian anti-porn propaganda movie, showing all sorts of examples of people being so addicted to porn that they’ve ruined lives, and suggesting the only way to kick the habit is — like with everything else — to get right with Jesus. Funny that that always seems to be the panacea. And funny the sources they picked to back up their assertions — like Ted Fucking Bundy himself. That’s right, trust the serial killer and sociopath, bordering on criminal supervillain, to tell the truth when a lie could do so much more damage.
To be perfectly clear, there is a (slightly controversial) subtype of hypersexual disorder for pornography, but “porn addiction” is not presently recognized by the DSM. If anything, it’s a compulsive disorder much like gambling.
And for those who aren’t prone to life-ruining compulsive disorders, there’s nothing wrong with enjoying some pornography, even kinky stuff, as long as it involves fully-consenting adults. There’s nothing inherently wrong about exploring one’s own, nor one another’s, sexuality as long as consent is kept paramount. The fact that the god-botherers would rather nobody ever have sex except for procreative purposes, and even then to keep it as vanilla as possible, is shameful — they’re telling humans, in all their rainbow of sexual proclivities, that they’re broken, and the only way to fix themselves is to abstain from everything and seek forgiveness. Trying to convince us we’re broken, and that only they have the cure.
That’s the real shame here. Not that they’re playing people with a real condition as object lessons to the rest of the human race to make more Christians. They’re making something generally natural a sin. It’s sad, really.
A funny thing happened yesterday. I started seeing hits from Reddit. A *lot* of hits. Fully a fifth of my traffic came from a particular thread on Reddit — despite my being in a slow blogging period, posting my one post I managed very late in the day, and despite the long tail on my bigger posts already waning.
(In other words, by “a lot” of hits, I mean ~400. About what I’ll get from posting a video of a turtle doing something cute.)
If I had known the story of my false rape allegation would be held up by so many dudebros as the reason why you can’t take rape allegations seriously, I almost certainly would have thought again about posting the story I told primarily for catharsis’ sake back in 2009, before the shit started hitting the fan in the secular community when people dared suggest maybe we should try not to chase out women so much.
Another comment today has hit my first-post moderation wall, as so many others have since the allegations had been made against Shermer, on that old post. My linking it in the Web of Trust post probably didn’t help matters, but neither did having a shitload of people who hate FtB latching onto it and deciding this meant that we at FtB, monolith that we are, are lying hypocrites and/or rapists and/or something something evil something something blog hits something take over the world.
This comment seems more reasonable than most of them, at first glance. It’s decidedly not, though.
Jackie Paper left a great comment on my post about the Brian Dalton episode I’m informally titling Mr. Deity and the Victim-Blaming and Dismissiveness of Serious Allegations. It’s something I haven’t been able to wrap my head around either.
I’m having trouble understanding why certain people seem drawn to the “She just regrets screwing him” narrative.
If she merely didn’t think the sex was worth shaving her legs over or she found out afterward that he bit his toenails..or whatever caused this “regret”, why would she want to tell anyone she was raped? Exactly how bad in bed is this guy supposed to be? How batshit, cackling, evil is this woman supposed to be to want vengeance years later because she got some dull nookie? Is this something they think women do? Do they think every now and then one of us get’s a lackluster lay, so we write a note in our journals reminding us to frame the dude for rape years later? ? Is she supposed to regret it because sex is shameful and nasty and makes her a slut? That isn’t regret. That’s shame and I don’t see why a person would draw attention to the thing they are so irrationally ashamed of. Are they saying that out of shame she came forward anonymously so that people who don’t know who she is won’t think she had icky, dirty sex on purpose? Really, what sort of motivation is there supposed to be for her to lie about being raped?
In order to think that scenario is more plausible than one in which the woman is being honest, you have to believe some very nasty things about women to begin with. Which I think is the case with these people.
Here’s another of the myriad ways that patriarchy and rape culture hurts men. I know this is going to be counterintuitive to some of you mouth-breathers, but if your first reaction to this story is “that guy has all the luck” or “but he’s a rapper who raps a lot about sex” or anything other than “holy shit that’s rape”, then you’re part of the problem.
If you were watching the SkepTech hash tag on Twitter during the conference last weekend, you probably would have seen the usual suspects making the usual whine-plaints about harassment policies, and how they’re ruining all the fun at conferences. Then you would have seen some of those same whiners lose their shit over the fact that there was a whole panel about sex (HEAVENS FOREFEND), populated by feminists (FETCH MY FAINTING COUCH).
An example tweet from a pro-harassment tweeter (I mean, seriously, what else can you make of this?), believes they’ve caught us feminists, and the founders of SkepTech who supported harassment policies, out on some sort of hypocrisy: