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Member since: Mon Aug 23, 2004, 10:18 PM
Number of posts: 40,317

About Me

Whiteness is a scourge on humanity. Voting for Obama that one time is not a get out of being a racist card

Journal Archives

Falsely Claiming "Cyberstalking" as a Silencing Technique

This is an awesome read

I have been repeatedly accused by a GM commenter of stalking because I stood up to him multiple times. I've seen two other people make a similar claim in the past few days, for the crime of repeated commenting on GM sites, often with a demand to stop. Let's unpack this shit.

One of the things that is most interesting to me about cognitive biases is that they exist for a reason. The way that we store and retrieve memories involves shortcuts that allow us to make safer decisions in times of panic. Evolutionarily speaking, this is extremely beneficial, allowing us to quickly decide upon a course of action by limiting the amount of information that we have to process. They become cognitive biases when we don't realize that we are employing those shortcuts in non-panic situations, leading us to a conclusion based on misinformation from our own brains.

Being aware of cognitive biases and how you may be committing them helps you detect when you are being affected by them, which is important because it's really tempting to accept the shortcut at face value. In times of panic, we need to make fast decisions; in other times, we need to made accurate decisions. Cognitive biases are often cases where we use the fast-decision-making ability of our brains when we need to be using the accurate-decision-making ability of our brains; being aware of our biases helps us detect when we have done that and adjust our reaction accordingly.

Anchoring, Negativity Bias, and Availability Heuristic

Have you ever noticed that when you get in a fight with someone that you love, you remember it in great detail, but you can't remember what the two of you ate for dinner last Tuesday? The difference is anchoring and negativity bias. Anchoring is our natural tendency to remember information that we deem "important" and negativity bias is the method by which we deem emotional charged negative information to be "important." In evopsych terms, you can think about anchoring and negativity bias this way:



10 Monumental Historical Misconceptions About The Female Body

You may have heard about Hippocrates’ hilariously insane belief about women’s wombs wandering inside their bodies, but have you have heard about the clitoris that could be used as a penis? That’s right, the ancient Greeks thought that women with particularly big clitorises could use them as penetrative appendages for intercourse. So prevalent was the belief that it carried over well into the 19th and 20th centuries, when American and European physicians also incorporated it into their study of lesbianism.Perhaps one of the most vocal supporters of the existence of the “female penis” was Italian inquisitor Ludovico Sinistrari. As a priest and author who specialized in demonology and sexual sins, he stated that women who were overcome by lust could enlarge their clitorises and transform themselves into men. In a time where lesbianism was a crime punishable by death, Sinistrari made the odd postulation that such a crime could occur only if the accused successfully penetrated the other party with her clitoris, an argument that may have saved some lives. Nevertheless, Sinistrari advocated extreme punishment for those found guilty of the crime.

Shunamitism—the practice of an older man sleeping with a young, virgin girl without any sexual contact—took its name from the biblical story of King David. Worried for his health in his old age, his attendants found a beautiful virgin named Abishag of Shunam, who slept with him in his bed. While with no established medical rationale—although it has been speculated that it could raise testosterone levels in old men—shunamitism has been practiced in varying degrees by a variety of different cultures. A fourth-century doctor prescribed it for an upset stomach, while in 18th-century England it was believed that a virgin’s breath had health-giving properties. Across the Channel in the same period, the practice turned a profit for French entrepreneurs. One hostess named Madame Janus owned a house with fifty virgins who catered to rich old men, again without any sexual contact.In India, a variation of shunamitism called Brachmarya has been in vogue for a long time, with its most famous practitioner being none other than Mahatma Gandhi.


Being one of the greatest philosophers of all time apparently did not prevent Aristotle from making a whole list of mistakes about the female body. He believed that women were deformed men, with their genitals inside their bodies due to a lack of the “heat” needed to form a “perfect male body.” He also speculated that this disability prevented women from making semen and therefore they were passive recipients in the child-making process. Other gaffes included Aristotle’s declaration that women had fewer teeth and skull sutures than men, and his failure to distinguish the vagina from the urethra.Aristotle equated his findings about the supposed inferiority of the female body to a justification for male dominance in all aspects of life. After his death, his views remained popular until the 15th century and contributed hugely to the prevalent chauvinism of the era.


Misogyny 101

On Wednesday, my friend Christopher Warren posted an astonishing question to his Facebook page. He asked his friends who among us had ever been raped, and if we had reported it or not. What you have to understand is Chris does this a lot; he is a student of the world around him, and he often pushes his friends to think and react in a way they may not have before. Many friends responded truthfully, sometimes posting very short answers (like mine), others posting heartbreaking and powerful comments. It was an incredibly frightening thread, and yet, Chris made sure everyone participating felt safe.

My guess is, some time between the end of Wednesday’s conversation and Thursday morning, Chris realized the Facebook post may have triggered some unpleasant memories for the people who participated. Thursday, he shared another status, and began putting links to resources on his page. It was a very empathetic reaction to what might have been traumatic for someone on Wednesday. And it was on this post, the post thanking the people who answered so honestly, and pointing out that blaming or judging is never the right thing to do, that Bob appeared.

Bob’s first comment was “As insensitive as I know I sound, people that do not report an alleged sexual assault but whine and feel guilt about it 20 years later are very much part of the problem.” This rang warning bells not only in my head, but in the heads of other women on the thread. This sounded like misogyny. Was it? Or would Bob’s future comments clarify his language and choice of words (whine, alleged)?

The bells turned to tornado sirens as the conversation continued. Bob proceeded to blame the mother of the Steubenville rape victim for not wanting to subject her daughter to everything she knew would happen if they went public. He wrote “pfft” in regards to asking men to change; in other words, men rape, deal with it. Bob also blamed rape culture on “radical feminism in America.” And there it was. Feminism is toxic to a misogynist; women are horrible, and deserve to be treated as badly as possible.


Wow does this sound familiar...

Meet Dick Black: Virginia’s pro-spousal rape GOP Congressional candidate!

After running Ken Cuccinelli for Governor and losing, the GOP of Virginia figured that the problem was likely that a man who wanted to criminalize blow jobs just wasn’t conservative enough. Enter Dick Black!

Dick Black is opposed to spousal rape being a crime, because he believes that once a woman gets married, she has officially signed away her right to say no to her husband. Particularly ”when they’re living together, sleeping in the same bed, she’s in a nightie, and so forth.”

Although Dick Black does not understand how marital rape can be a real thing, he is very understanding towards military rapists.

Via Mother Jones:

Black entered politics in the late 1990s after retiring as a military prosecutor. He spoke frequently to media outlets about sexual assault in the military, and called military rape “as predictable as human nature.” “Think of yourself at 25,” Black told a newspaper in 1996. “Wouldn’t you love to have a group of 19-year-old girls under your control, day in, day out?”

Well now that you put it that way, Dick Black, military rape sounds like the best party ever! Because, like marriage, when a woman joins the military, she also agrees to be a sex slave to her commanding officer.



Yesterday #WhiteWomanPrivilege trended around the online feminist community. According to Topsy, #WhiteWomanPrivilege was tweeted over 15K times, just on Tuesday.

It may surprise followers that the hashtag originated from a white woman, @Auragasmic who started the day tweeting about the privilege white men experience:

Auragasmic @Auragasmic
#WhiteMalePrivilege is saying that because you don't personally experience something, that it doesn't exist. #Sexism #Racism
9:06 AM - 14 Jan 2014
18 RETWEETS 15 FAVORITES ReplyRetweetFavorite

After several tweets about #WhiteMalePrivilege, she flipped the script and began commenting on her own privilege, which launched the conversation.

Auragasmic @Auragasmic
Can we talk about the privilege we white women have now?
9:15 AM - 14 Jan 2014
1 RETWEET 5 FAVORITES ReplyRetweetFavorite

Auragasmic @Auragasmic
#WhiteWomanPrivilege is being the idealized as the epitome of femininity and beauty.
9:17 AM - 14 Jan 2014
14 RETWEETS 13 FAVORITES ReplyRetweetFavorite

Auragasmic @Auragasmic
#WhiteWomanPrivilege is being able to express your sexuality/relationship without judgement from MSM (see: the way Beyoncé was judged)
9:24 AM - 14 Jan 2014
10 RETWEETS 13 FAVORITES ReplyRetweetFavorite

The conversation that followed @Auragasmic‘s original tweet sparked further discussions from white feminists who spoke about recognizing their own privilege, and from feminists of color illuminating on their experiences, which differed from the stories from white women.

Tasha L. Harrison @dirtyscribbler
#whitewomanprivilege means never having the talk w/ ur sons about appearing non-threatening and law abiding when you've done nothing wrong.
12:20 PM - 14 Jan 2014
29 RETWEETS 23 FAVORITES ReplyRetweetFavorite

Unlike the #SolidarityIsForWhiteWomen trend, #WhiteWomanPrivilege focused more on the experiences and realities of women of color (WOC) as parents, consumers, and as viewers.

Iris Estrada @Iris_Estrada
#WhiteWomanPrivilege is not having to celebrate the few times a character on tv looks like you and DOESN'T play a maid or a drug lord.
6:50 PM - 14 Jan 2014
3 RETWEETS 6 FAVORITES ReplyRetweetFavorite

Iris Estrada @Iris_Estrada
#WhiteWomanPrivilege is not having to celebrate the few times a character on tv looks like you and DOESN'T play a maid or a drug lord.
6:50 PM - 14 Jan 2014
3 RETWEETS 6 FAVORITES ReplyRetweetFavorite


Question from a good Guy friend of mine

I've got a devils advocate sort of subject for your opinion. As long as we use "male" names for males and "female" names for females, do we have any hope of equality? As a male brought up in the era that I was, when I hear something like....Go ask Melissa, or Go ask Mark? Certain subconscious assumptions probably take place. Just my thought today.

I'm at work and can't answer him properly, but what do you guys think?

7 Reasons Keira Knightley is a Badass Feminist

The upcoming issue of Harper's Bazaar UK should make feminists very optimistic about 2014. In a feature interview, Keira Knightley uses the f-word for the first time, which makes us want to clap, dance, and binge-drink bottomless Pimms. She's become one of the many stars to fully embrace feminism this year, and we couln't be more excited. To celebrate, let's take a look at some of the quotes from her latest interview with Harper's Bazaar UK, and sprinkle them onto other awesome feminist moments in her career.

1. She's Complained About the Excessive Use Of Photoshop to Enhance Women's Bodies
In 2012, the 28-year-old actress told Allure she was shocked upon seeing the poster for her film King Arthur. She says Photoshop is "too much of a good thing," and complained about her breasts always being altered. "They always pencil in my boobs," she told the magazine.

2. She Thinks Feminism Shouldn't Be a Dirty Word

"I think it's great that the discussions are finally being allowed to be had [about feminism], as opposed to anybody mentioning feminism and everybody going, 'Oh, fucking shut up.' Somehow, [feminism] became a dirty word. I thought it was really weird for a long time, and I think it's great that we're coming out of that."

3. The Actress Believes Hollywood Needs to Make Room For Women

"Hollywood has a really long way to go. I don't think that anybody can deny that, really, and I think as much as you are getting more women playing lead roles … they're still pretty few and far between." -Harper's Bazaar UK February 2014 Issue

4. The Actress Called Out Hollywood For Its Obsession With Women's Looks

After she was scrutinized for being "too skinny" at 2006 premier of Pirates Of The Caribbean, she told People Magazine "Whatever people say about my weight they are all wrong. Hollywood is all about the way you look and I don't think that's the healthy thing for anyone."



“I woke up like this”: Beyoncé, CeCe and the fight for justice for black women

CeCe McDonald, a transgender black woman, was released from prison yesterday after being forced to serve 19 months of a 41-month prison sentence for stabbing the man who brutally attacked her. In the months leading up to her trial and the 19 months that she has served, intermittently she has crossed my mind, summoning me to whisper a prayer that prison, brutal as it is, might not be so brutal. I’m sure such prayers are evidence of my naiveté.

But my prayers also come from a place of knowing what it means to have your loved ones locked away, feeling powerless to protect them from a system of ultimate discipline designed to strip them of their humanity, while giving them nothing in return. I don’t have to know CeCe to know what imprisonment does to black people.

But CeCe is free now. And I feel exultant. Another black girl who was never meant to survive made it out alive. She lived to tell the tale. To testify.

She was greeted at the prison by Laverne Cox, another transgender black woman, who plays a transgender character on the show “Orange Is the New Black.” Cox is doing a documentary about CeCe. But in her first few moments of freedom, McDonald and Cox took to Instagram, snapping selfies and tweeting that they were listening to Beyoncé’s latest, “the visual album.”

They know what those of us who have wholeheartedly embraced Beyoncé, the feminist, know: that Bey sings the Black Girl Gospel, like no other in our era. I’m sure after 19 grueling months, in a men’s prison, no less, that CeCe had more than a few bitches she needed to tell to “Bow Down.”


Found a different article


Australian “Male Studies” initiative under fire because of its connections to raving misogynists;

Australian “Male Studies” initiative under fire because of its connections to raving misogynists; raving misogynists blame feminists

Antifeminist attorney, A Voice for Men contributor, and would-be Male Studies lecturer Roy Den Hollander bustin’ a move on the Colbert Report.

NOTE: See the end of the piece for an important clarification from the University.

So it seems the new “Male Studies” initiative at the University of South Australia is running into a few problems. Well, one big problem: members of the general public have discovered that some of the people involved with the initiative are raving misogynists, or have chosen to associate themselves with raving misogynists.

Yesterday, a story by journalist Tory Shepherd noted that two of the lecturers have written for a notoriously misogynistic website by the name of A Voice for Men. (You may have heard of it.) One of them, the crankish American attorney Roy Den Hollander, even suggested in a post on that site that men’s rights activists may have to take up arms against the evil Feminists who run the world.

The future prospect of the Men’s Movement raising enough money to exercise some influence in America is unlikely. But there is one remaining source of power in which men still have a near monopoly—firearms.

Huh. That doesn’t sound like a very academic analysis of the situtation to me.

Den Hollander also likes to refer to “women’s studies” as “witches’ studies.” And if you don’t believe her, here’s the AVFM post in which he does just that; it’s in the first sentence.

Apparently pointing out some of these basic facts about Den Hollander, and about another of the lecturers, Miles Groth, who has also written for AVFM, is causing some trouble for Dr. Misan and his little Male Studies initiative — at least according to a post on AVFM by the always furious Paul Elam, who informs us somberly that [s]ources close to the story report that [Shepherd’s article] is likely a terminal setback for the new initiative.


Why the 'End' of White Men Is Actually Good for White Men

1. We'll probably live longer. The life-span for white men without a college education is actually shrinking, while Hispanic males are the longest-lived American men. For affluent white guys, being in control all the time takes a toll on the heart; for poorer white men, rage at not having what you think is rightfully yours by virtue of your skin color can lead to lethally reckless behavior. The sooner white men let go of the anxiety and resentment that accompany unearned privilege, the healthier and happier we'll likely be.

2. We can finally stop the unhelpful whining about our white guilt. Of course, the fact that white men don't have the power they once did doesn't mean they don't still benefit from unmerited privilege. But perhaps this dramatic loss of influence is a good opportunity to listen to anti-racism advocates like Tim Wise. Guilt over what our ancestors did is useless and self-indulgent, Wise says; instead, we "have to take some responsibility for the unearned advantage, which means working to change the society that bestows that advantage." So quit it with the sulking and the navel-gazing about whether your ancestors' sins apply to you.

3. Women –- and everyone else –- will be more likely to tell us the truth. The more privilege you have (or are perceived to have) the riskier it is for someone who doesn't share that privilege to be honest with you. Anglican feminist theologian Janet Morley suggests that when the privileged use power to dominate, they force the less privileged to use their "weakness to manipulate." Most people dislike being manipulated — and yet a system in which women and non-whites lack equal access to power is one in which honesty often comes with dangerously high risks. We soothe people whom we fear, and we flatter when we've got few other options to get what we need. The more power white men hold in public and private, the less likely that they can fully trust the smiles and the nods and the "yesses" of those who don't share their privilege. Put simply, when we lose our privilege, we'll start to be able to trust what we hear.

4. We can –- maybe –- trust our successes are due to our merit. One of the most pernicious tropes in the affirmative action debate is that minority and gender-based preferences in admissions or hiring make it impossible for non-whites and women to be sure of their own abilities. For two generations, angry white men have complained that they aren't given any special benefits by the state. This lament, of course, ignores what's obvious to everyone who isn't wearing blinders. (Privilege conceals itself best from those who possess it.) The benefits of whiteness and maleness are so numerous (Peggy McIntosh's famous 50 point list hardly covers them all) that most white men just can't see them. Though middle-aged white men like me may never know just how much of our success is due to unmerited advantage, the eclipsing of our power means that our sons and grandsons have at least a better chance of growing up in a world where their triumphs will be due solely to their merits, not their skin or their sex.

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