30 March 2011

good morning, internets!

i have been absent lately because i've been moving (from one apartment to another just down the street, most annoying of moves ever) while simultaneously attempting to kick what seems like the most persistent case of upper respiratory death plague in human history. it is the gift that keeps on giving, if you consider fevers and coughing and, yesterday, an absolutely prostrating migraine to be gifts.

anyway, there's been a lot on the docket that i would have liked to post about, if i hadn't been too busy packing and/or being sick, but being as how i am already totally fucking miserable, i will refrain from commenting on these topics (i.e. chris brown, scott adams, and gerard way and bonus hypocrisy) and instead point you to two awesome, awesome instances of jerks getting called out.

first, following an incident at sxsw in which ben foster of the punk band screeching weasel punched a lady audience member, the other four members of his band quit because they don't want to deal with his bullshit anymore:

The un-calculated act put forth by Ben Foster leading up to and including the violence that erupted on stage is seen by the band as shameful and embarrassing. The sentiments and actions expressed were completely out of our control and in no way represent the band members' view points or moral compasses. As a result, the band has discussed at length and has come to the conclusion that as a group we will not likely be able to muster the dignity to attempt a live performance as "Screeching Weasel" in the for-seeable future. We each look forward to re-evaluating our involvement in the band as we move forward if we are given the opportunity.

and second, a senior writer at bioware by the name of david gaider responded to privileged whining from a self-described "straight male gamer" who doesn't think that dragon age 2 caters to him enough with the following:

The romances in the game are not for "the straight male gamer." They're for everyone. We have a lot of fans, many of whom are neither straight nor male, and they deserve no less attention. We have good numbers, after all, on the number of people who actually used similar sorts of content in DAO and thus don't need to resort to anecdotal evidence to support our idea that their numbers are not insignificant...and that's ignoring the idea that they don't have just as much right to play the kind of game they wish as anyone else. The "rights" of anyone with regards to a game are murky at best, but anyone who takes that stance must apply it equally to both the minority as well as the majority. The majority has no inherent "right" to get more options than anyone else.

and thirdly: officially -- that is, according to Science -- abortion is safer than having a baby. or at least it is in the UK!

and fourthly, because it is awesome, i have added no more lost to my blogroll.

stay gold, friends, i'll be back in full-on rage mode ASAP.

10 March 2011

another day, another rage blackout

this is all the fuck over, but: vicious assault shakes texas town:
The case has rocked this East Texas community to its core and left many residents in the working-class neighborhood where the attack took place with unanswered questions.

well, i know i'd have some questions, if 18 dudes i knew kidnapped an eleven year old girl and filmed each other raping her! for instance, "would it be possible for us to take those dudes out back and shoot them?"

just kidding, i don't believe in the death penalty.

however! read on, plucky adventurers!
Among them is, if the allegations are proved, how could their young men have been drawn into such an act?

"It’s just destroyed our community," said Sheila Harrison, 48, a hospital worker who says she knows several of the defendants. "These boys have to live with this the rest of their lives."


. . .

. . .

and the rest of it goes on like that. she dressed like a much older girl, so it's her fault. (and apparently 20-year-olds deserve to be raped for...dressing like 20-year-olds?) her mother didn't keep an eye on her, so it's her fault. these "boys" (the eldest is apparently 27) were "drawn into" this business; they didn't make a conscious decision to abduct and repeatedly rape a child.

this is truly atrocious on so many levels that i barely know where to start. didn't stop me from calling the NYT correction/retraction line (888-NYT-NEWS) and demanding an apology in writing, but there have been good responses elsewhere:
This is the point at which, as the writer's editor, I would send him an email. "Dear James," it would say. "Thanks for getting this in! I have some concerns that we've only got quotes from people who are worried about the suspects ('The arrests have left many wondering who will be taken into custody next') and think the girl was asking for it, especially since, even if she actually begged for it, the fact that she is 11 makes the incident stupendously reprehensible (not to mention still illegal). We don't want anyone wrongly thinking you are being lazy or thoughtless or misogynist! Please advise if literally no other kinds of quotes are available because every single person who lives in Cleveland, Texas, is a monster."

02 March 2011

here is a post i meant to make yesterday!

so yesterday was not a good day for me. this article was the second thing i read after i woke up. but as i was reading my news feed and contemplating what to write about it, this article came up on my news feed. and, granted, that is much less unexpected, i think, since it's about creationists also being homophobic bigots, but i figured i could get some amusing cheap shots in.

and then this showed up, and i pretty much had a rage blackout at my desk and didn't write anything or get any actual work (for which i get paid) done for the rest of the day.

but! today i am, in fact, going to discuss that slate piece, or at least point to this one part of it:
As Baumeister and Vohs note, sex in consensual relationships therefore commences only when women decide it does.


seriously, though, this whole article is just precious. you usually know it's going to be a doozy when a dude is posting to double-x (blog subtitle: what women really think about news, politics, and culture), but this is really a gem of absolute fail.

in case you have been living on a different planet for the past half-century and/or lack even the most rudimentary understanding of statistics, marriage as we know it -- one man, one woman, unequal incomes, 2.5 kids, picket fences, etc. -- is On Its Way Out. but even if you don't note things like the divorce rate or the steady increase in nuptial age, the amount of nonsensical, offensive, and desperate pushback against a changing view of heterosexual relationships would tell you that something is definitely Up.

what i find most interesting about this is the flat refusal to look at direct evidence of change as...evidence of change. at least where ladies are concerned. and i get that all of that is wrapped up in gender essentialism, which just about everyone with any sort of say in media or pop culture is heavily invested in defending, but the vehemence of it still surprises me sometimes.

if more ladies are engaging in relationships to pursue sexual satisfaction rather than lifelong companionship and financial security, so the conventional narrative goes, it must be because men have changed. women can't possibly have realized that, by and large, in an economy that is finally beginning to recognize and reward their willingness and ability to work just as hard as men, marriage doesn't actually benefit them anymore.

the misogyny inherent in these assumptions is pretty staggering! and also pretty pathetic. but it's also inevitable, given gender essentialism! because if all ladies are desiring of this one gold-standard sort of relationship -- which neither gender really seems to want all that much nowadays -- then the decline of this kind of relationship must actively disadvantage ladies. if relationships are trending shorter in duration, lower on commitment, higher in turnover, and more focused on sex, it must mean that men are...what? yanking on puppet strings in order to get what they want out of women?

funny how the cited national longitudinal study of adolescent health wasn't consulted as to relationship trends as reported by actual ladies. almost all of the statistical evidence in the article is focused on men, and all they could get out of ladies, apparently, was anecdata from college students. is that because the numbers don't exist, or because they don't support the columnist's thesis? you make the call.

the author is definitely right that somebody here is pulling our strings, but it certainly isn't dudes sitting at home on their couches. maybe we should start pointing fingers elsewhere.