Monday, June 30, 2008

Quote of the day, 6/30/08

The Doctor:** The very powerful and the very stupid have one thing in common. They don't alter their views to fit the facts. They alter the facts to fit their views. Which can be uncomfortable if you happen to be one of the facts that needs altering.

--Doctor Who

**(no, NOT that one for once, the one with the scarf. bite me)

Sunday, June 29, 2008

The troll encapsulated.

Some people go to the Bible for their clever and profound illustrations of Universal Truths; others find Shakespeare more satisfying. Being of more vulgar stuff, I find this suits my current needs, once more, with feeling:

Saturday, June 28, 2008

"You're the vulgarian, you fuck."

Okay, I know this is cheap as all hell, it's Satsuma for fuck's sake, but still, marvel at it, really:


Ultimately, I believe pornography is about lack of imagination and dehumanization. It really shouldn’t be a debate at all, but people seem to have an incredible lack of sense delving into what degrades and dehumanizes women. Gay men have become so corrupted by this garbage that they live in a lost world all the time.

Young women take on the worst of this, and so vulgarity pervades even this site. Think what most obscenity really is about: insulting the honor of women. That and a rape language culture.

I pretty much make it a policy to let people know that if they are into porn, do drugs or act in vulgar ways, I won’t deal with them. Look for people who care about others, leave behind the vulgar and the clueless. Make it a point to look at art, and to know the difference between what is art and what is pornography.

In a degraded media saturated culture, where violence on TV is common, where blogs are filled with woman hating propaganda, it is about finding what is good in the world.

I find that the arts are a wonderful way to see all that is best and beautiful. Listen to great music often, go to museums, have conversations with people who strive to learn and grow, and encourage all people to share in the beauty of culture that has been around for hundreds of years. There is an antidote to the vulgar; the sound of Vivaldi, an incredible sunset or an Emily Dickinson poem… Turn off the cell phones, turn off the T.V., and savor the conversation and friendship of people who are serious and committed to this life of the mind, and you’ll help defeat pornography.

Pursue the good, and in every way your life will be amazing, sink down to the bad, and bit by bit year after year your character will become degraded. Like the picture of Dorian Grey, this reveals itself in time, unfortunately when it is too late.

Too bad the only anti-porn advocates I ever hear on the radio are right wing christian men. In fact, that is the only time ever that I hear men condemn pornography publically. Hmmm…. what side are men really on?

It is a gift. A -gift-. You can't parody this shit.

In fact, I'm sorely tempted to go along with what appears to be a not unpopular thesis among fellow rubberneckers and speculate that this has all been a very long and elaborate deadpan gag, the Satsuma character, one that would put Andy Kaufman to shame. And I mean, anything's still possible.

On the other hand, well, from slightly more...known...quantities, you also have...well.

Love will drive out the demonic forces of S/M and porn. [--Satsuma]

I believe this with all my heart.

...I agree with you re mental illness in the SM culture and also ::::zipping into flame-retardant suit::: among transpersons, i.e., MTFs that hang around lesbian groups/venues. Someone I very much respect who has done very fine work on transgender issues, a radical/lesbian feminist, said a while back she thinks that quite often, doctors, psychologists, etc. encourage “transitioning” because it’s something concrete that they *can* do, but that it doesn’t help, because again, so often these are not really gender issues the person has, these are issues of mental illness, and as some of us have seen, transitioning is no cure for mental illness.

... by womensspace [aka Heart] February 19, 2008 at 9:22 pm

Isn't she great, folks? Let's give 'er a big round of applause (she seems to be sorely in need of one, after all). Clap, clap.

A bit more wisdom from our favorite wacky l'il citrus fruit to round off with, since she would graciously, if inadvertently, seem to be answering the question I posed here, to wit:

"And I want to know, from feminists, lesbians included: exactly how it is that you justify "being transgendered is an ideology/sickness/perversion/trend" when these are EXACTLY the arguments, but EXACTLY, used by homophobes*.

So, here's one theory:

Remember lesbian porn is viewed by straight men, and this porn addiction will hurt straight women. Straight men force women into sex acts with other women because of this. You will be humiliated by straight men if you don’t stand solid against the entire range of pornographic evil, and it is evil! Sometimes evangelical christians are on to evil, and they have taught us to fight it. It is demonic, and it will destroy the character of women, whether they know it or not.

So this is a fight we can all be in, and we need to be honest about how women are made mentally ill by male sexual colonization. We need to have space for women who have never ever had sex with men — this is a great power women have had througout history, and we overlook the greatness of this. We should celebrate these power women who have kept their bodies free of rape that is ALL SEX with men. Sex with men is rape, whether women want to admit it or not, if women have to rely on it to get fed or taken care of.

MTF lesbians are invading women’s space both straight and lesbian all over the place. Straight women won’t have their spaces either if this persists.

So we can work together to eliminate this preditory assault by the newest form of patriarchal invasion of women’s selves, or we can continue to pretend that lesbians don’t exist, or that we are there to support straight women at our own expense.

...we are the old soldiers who know who we are and where we came from.
We don’t lose sleep over “gender queer” and all the tiresome sex obsessed world that has become more and more the public face of lesbians in big cities.

If we can’t agree on the freedom for women to define and create groups that meet their needs as oppressed minorities, then what’s the point of it all?

Transwomen can aid the cause of women, by doing the anti-rape work, by having marches supporting women’s rights etc. I say, just do the work. But if you harass women at Michfest, or butt into young lesbian coming out groups with porno-talk, and S & M, and just vulgar yuck that I associate with male banter, well then I have a real problem with this.

Clear (eyed gaze) now?

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Quote of the day, 6/26/08

Honestly, I don’t buy either the nature or nurture arguments with regards to gender. I think it’s a combination of effects, and I agree with the line about gender being a “performance” — which I don’t think is the same thing as belittling the importance of gender in the lives of many people or saying that any one gender identity is more or less legitimate than the other. There are a huge range of gender identities, from feminine women and masculine men to feminine men and masculine women, transgender people, genderqueer or gender non-conformative people who alternate gender expressions. For example, I was born female, and since I adapted so easily to that identity I believe that I was also born with a feminine gender. But I think that the ways in which I enact femininity — i.e. the way I cross my legs, or the fact that I shave them, or the way that I often apologize for things that aren’t my fault — were most likely taught to me in a subconscious way and probably don’t have much to do with my vagina or estrogen production at all.

I do agree though that people who take the most strict “gender is a construction” stance are those who tend to be transphobic, or vice versa. Personally, I take the same stance with regards to trans-ness as I take towards sexual orientation: I think that it’s mostly biological, but don’t really give a shit whether it’s biological, social conditioning or a choice. People have the right to express their gender(s) and sexuality however they want, regardless of the reason, and the whole “reason” conversation, I think, distracts from that extremely important fact.

--Cara at the Curvature (read the OP while you're at it)

...actually, minor quibble, I think probably the "most strict 'gender is a construction stance'" is really just...not. I think when you see this from transphobic feminists these days, it's an expression of the contortionist attempt to fuse actual radical feminisms that do/did actually mean the whole "gender is a construction" business (which tend -not- to be at odds with queer theory or ffs the existence of transgendered people) with cultural feminism, which is essentially...essentialist. (I've posted about this before).

But you know, just: if one is THAT invested in the idea of Class Woman and woman-only spaces and so forth, one is pretty much by definition -not- trying to "do away with gender." And no, the whole "nonono, Class Woman is about SEX, that's TOTALLY DIFFERENT from 'gender'" doesn't wash. At all.

a) it's projection on the parts of the feminists in question onto (a lot of) trans people to assume that the -trans people- are the ones who are so hopelessly fixated on genitalia, as Cara notes in her OP

b) hi, speaking of "examination:" exactly how much "gendered" shit that actually has nothing to do with your genitalia or reproductive organs do you take for granted?

Start with the pronouns you use for yourself and expect others to use when talking about you. Then, move onto the amount of tsuris you -don't- get specifically about the "M" or "F" on your government-issued ID when you try to get a job, move to another country, get married, get on a motherfucking plane, get a driver's license, or, well, just a whole shitload of things. Oh, yeah, and of course you have the right to use the "correct" bathroom, don't you? Or any public bathroom at all, really.

Guess what, folks: -none- of that is about "sex." That is about "gender." Presentation, pronouns (you know, in some languages the "genderedness" of possessive pronouns, i.e. "his" or "her" in English, is related to the -object- ("sa plume"), -not- the possessor, so this is hardly a universal), and the everfucking -importance- people place on all of this shit to make sure that everyone either fits into column A, column B, or, well, the outlands. Where we can "pity" "them" (ta awfully so, mAndrea, you hoser), but certainly no more than that.

Yeah, that's radical "deconstruction of 'gender,'" all right. Clap, clap.

And, you know, of course, even if you -did- have The Most Radical Radness Of All, this idea that you're entitled to therefore make or contribute to making other peoples' already difficult lives even more difficult on account of they haven't justified their existence to your stringent ideological demands sufficiently? Or for that matter, even, when the chips are down, write them off as "we eagerly accept and even solicit your emotional and financial contributions to Our Struggle, Which Is Of Course Universal; but as for your -particular- problems, so sorry, not our table?" What part of "fuck off" did you not understand?

On the "personal is political" note, as opposed to "just" being an ally note: this goes out to, well, Certain Of The Same Women Who Should Be Safely Fringey Enough To Just Ignore, But Nonetheless:

You know, even if my less-than-clear-eyed queer pervy lusts and relationships did turn out to be more in line with patriarchal standards than your ever so pure political lesbian and/or separatist and/or wymyn fyrst whatever it is...well, I do think you're full of shit about this, don't get me wrong (this is a separate post); but also? Really not my -first- concern here, how fucking -transgressive- I am against the Evil Empire as compared to you or anyone else, mirror mirror on the wall. I don't live my life in order to conform to -or- rebel against an ideal ideology; my ideology evolves and adapts around actual needs and lives, not the other way around.

Now, you may feel differently, and you know, that's your prerogative; but kindly keep me the hell out of it. And yeah, spouting off ignorantly, and derisively, but Importantly (o rational objective observer that you are!) about things that matters to me and mine? qualifies as -not- "leaving me out of it." You talk a lot of stupid, hateful crap about people; being actual people and not -objects-, they respond, often angrily. This is how it works. Welcome to reality.

Further, I for one reserve the right to be as sweary, mean, and "irrational" as I want to be when you pull this kind of crap, same as I would with any other reactionary, smug, ignorant bigot using someone else's personal shit as a trampoline for hir own sorry, selfish (yeah, you read that right) agenda.

Finally, I keep coming back to this: if transgenderism is an "ideology," then so is homosexuality. As a cis queer person who's heard the latter argument as well as the former invoked by right wingers -way- too often, this shit hits way too close to home. And I want to know, from feminists, lesbians included: exactly how it is that you justify "being transgendered is an ideology/sickness/perversion/trend" when these are EXACTLY the arguments, but EXACTLY, used by homophobes*.

...*Who, by the way, are also inevitably Terribly Offended by being called -homophobes-, because they're not -afraid- and they're not -bad people- and they're discriminated against TOO, at least as much, even, and some of their best friends are, and they don't actually nail anyone to a fence and leave them there to die horribly over a period of days (COOKIE PLEASE) and how dare we label them something they don't believe they are, o irony irony.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Attention, attention must finally be paid. Again.

("D'Artagnan! How dare you talk to me that way, you...!")

O all right then, twist my rubber dwama/trainwreckspotting addict arm. Heart's got a new blog up

"to challenge and refute the attacks on me, on radical feminists and radical feminism on the internet."

I figure it'd be remiss to not at least point the way, all things considered.** So far it looks like the first few posts are about "the attacks on me," but I expect she'll get around to the rest of "radical feminists" and "radical feminism" and "on the Internet" shortly.

I will not be allowing comments on this blog; it is intended to serve as a resource. I will post each lie individually giving it its own post, so that a compendium is compiled, both of the lies and, indirectly, of the liars who tell the lies. I envision this as a sort of “Snopes” to which people can be referred whenever someone repeats or spreads disinformation.

Really? I envision it as a sort of Checkers speech as delivered by Time Cube guy, myself. I also envision you being just about ready for your closeup...

The lies, attacks, slander and defamation will come to an end.

Um...okay! This Will Come To An End! You Will Stop Looking At Me Funny! And then: EXTERMINATE! EXTERMINAAAAATE...!

no, no, sorry, wouldn't want to spread any more lies or slander: Heart is not, repeat, NOT a Dalek. Not even a LITTLE bit. Get that out of your heads right now. Severely.

my comments speak for themselves.

That they do, Heart. That, they most definitely do.

**see, Heart, even if you change your mind and the post after the fact, if you publish the post with links to someone's blog, it still shows up in one's Technorati stats. like this, see?

Lie No. 2: “Heart Has Said Women of Color Oppress Her/Are Morphing
Into Her Oppressor”

morphing into her oppressor’.” Inventers, tellers, and spreaders of
this lie: Encyclopedia Dramatica (which basically tells only lies,
but still, it tells this one specifically so I am including it)
drakyn, belledame, bintalshamsa, lisa harney, veronica, aradhana,
Trinity, Renegade Evolution* Truth: I do not believe, have never
believed, have never stated that women of color “oppress” me or any
other white woman or white women. I do not believe in
9 hours ago in Fight the Lies · Authority: 1

# Author unknown
Lie No. 1: “Heart is ‘Anti-Trans’ or ‘Transphobic’”

Lie: “Heart is ‘Anti-Trans’ or Transphobic” Inventers, tellers, and
spreaders of this lie: snowe, anacas, dorktastic, drakyn, belledame,
snugglebitch, piny, who has blogged at Feministe, box3, bintalshamsa,
armchairshrink, Mandolin of Alas a Blog, lisa harney, marti abernathy
*, shannon* Truth: I believe that transgender persons should enjoy
full civil and human rights with all

Sadly, that excerpt is all that comes up in the stats, so we may never know why Renegade, Marti Abernathy and Shannon were asterisked. I'm sure they'll each be devastated.

ETA: snerk.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

I Blame the Assholes: the Infinite Quest

Strictly in the interest of scientific research, you understand. I may want to design a study, later on.

Keeping in mind that we're looking for unifying principles that transcend particular ideologies or "issues," compare and contrast:

exhibit 1:

These women say they are traumatised. The near impossible job for the Law is to try and assertain if that is the case when often there are no independant witnesses or evidence.

We all do things we regret. We shouldn't expect the Law to sort things out for us afterwards.

Convictions for rape should be made on objective not subjective evidence.

exhibit 2:

If somebody wants to prove that transgenderism is a valid medical condition, then they need to prove that it is not a fetish. Amazingly enough, this can’t be done either — not using any form of logic, anyway. If after 20 plus years of asking for proof, and the transfolk still can’t develope a logical argument, then a reasonable person starts to ask why.

Claiming that something is phobic can only be valid after the criticisms are actually addressed, and proven to be wrong. Asking the trans community to prove their assertions instead of just whining about their feelings is not a lot to ask. So prove it!

Context helps a bit (in both cases, the commenters are addressing arguments that were never actually made in order to bring legality and medicalization into it, respectively), but I think we can start to tease out some common denominators nonetheless.

1) Your feelings are irrelevant, particularly seeing as how we're talking about something that depends -entirely- on a subjective experience.

2) The burden of proof is on you to justify your experience, if not your actual -existence-, to me.

3) why: I am logical and rational and objective! Witness me being logical and rational and objective! WITNESS, I say!

4) also, -appeal to authority-

5) Stop whining! If anything, actually, you're hurting ME.

Further research is clearly indicated. Please send lots and lots of money to Me, c/o I Am Wearing My Serious Pants Cause On Account Of I'm Clever And Rational And Shit, box # lunch.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Dr. Creepo, I presume

um, yeah, no comment:

As soon as you start saying "when a woman says 'no' she does not always mean it" you are in hot water. I have been hung out to dry on various feminist sites recently for maintain that, whatever is going on her or in similar circumstances, it is not rape in the ordinary sense of the word. There has to be a sexual context and (assuming the doctor is not an extraordinary pervert) there is no sexual context. The feminists see this sort of thing as an "exercise of power" against an unwilling female and as far as I can judge feel therefore that it is a sexual assault.

...okay, not much of a comment.

"Hot water" and then "hung out to dry;" and then ironed, I guess. and the OP is, well, it all sounds very -scary.- I mean, if you're him. I guess I just didn't realize how -hard- things were for people like him. Just, you know, your -ordinary- sort of pervert, one presumes. Or, no...

Well, but really; how do we know he doesn't -want- to be flamed, much less hit with a malpractice suit? Besides, it'd be for his own good.

"Your lips say 'no,' but your eyes say 'I'm a big ol' troll'"

--the late blogwarbot, with whom I increasingly suspect engaging would be far more productive, even posthumously.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Et tu, Scottie?

Damn, that's gotta smart. McClellan: Bush must blame himself for mistrust

If the nation doesn't trust the Bush White House, it's the president's and Dick Cheney's own fault, Bush's former spokesman told Congress Friday.

From life-and-death matters on down — the rationale for war, the leaking of classified information, Cheney's accidental shooting of a friend — the government's top two leaders undermined their credibility by "packaging" their version of the truth, former press secretary Scott McClellan said.

He described the loss of trust as self-inflicted, telling the House Judiciary Committee that Bush and his administration failed to open up about White House mistakes.

The focus of the panel's hearing was the leak of CIA operative Valerie Plame's identity, and McClellan said that was a good example of the administration damaging itself by backtracking on a pledge be upfront.

"This White House promised or assured the American people that at some point when this was behind us they would talk publicly about it. And they have refused to," McClellan said. "And that's why I think more than any other reason we are here today and the suspicion still remains."

The White House dismissed Friday's hearing as unenlightening and McClellan, the president's former top spokesman, as uninformed. Republicans on the committee accused him of writing about sensitive matters to make money, a reference to his recent book, "What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and Washington's Culture of Deception..."

I'm sure there's a name for this phenomenon more formal and precise than "rats deserting a sinking ship," but I can't think of one at the moment. Will Ari be next, one wonders?


I used to love that book as a kid.** And last week, it's happened for reals.

thanks for sharing, Lina. too sweet.

**the Wiki review is cracking my shit up. "Poor characterization?"

Critics note that the "loosely plotted" story gives no true explanation for why Mr. Mallard leaves the island in the Charles River or why the Mallards did not simply stay on the lagoon island in the first place and avoid the bicyclists on the shore.

Yes, personally, I prefer your more gritty, naturalistic, three-dimensional duck stories. However, in a more deconstructionist reading, we see that in fact Mr. Mallard is merely a symbol of the war-torn country's existentialist anxieties; in fact, in an era of mass displacement, there IS no "true explanation" for one's actions, no way of guaranteeing one can forever evade the bicyclists, and thus we may understand Mr. Mallard's decision to leave the island as an absurdist expression of protest in a meaningless...okay I really need to stop that now.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

small PSA: moved Female Desire etc. over to other blog

the mostly moribund one, or, well, it's mostly pretty pictures now, I mean it was already, even without the latest additions. Like, a LOT of pretty pictures, all lined up in a vertical row. Just spent a few minutes perusing and gloating. not sure if it's the pretty or the pack-rat in me that's most pleased, but it's all good. Someday, I may actually do...something...with that blog, but for now: just enjoy the pictures.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Quote of the day, 6/18/08

I got in a fight one time with a really big guy, and he said, "I'm going to mop the floor with your face." I said, "You'll be sorry." He said, "Oh, yeah? Why?" I said, "Well, you won't be able to get into the corners very well."

--Emo Philips

(thanks, Evil Bobby)

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

"First, do no harm," continued!!!

Yeah, boy, this Doctor Crippen is a PRIZEWINNER. I honestly didn't think I had any more to say. But, procrastinating on -shit I actually need to do-, I went to check in, idly curious to see if Internets monikering himself after an infamous case where the doctor in question murdered his wife is his idea of, y'know, Teh Funny; or if his name really IS Doctor Crippen--after all, the first names are different--and it's just, well, a rather brilliant coincidence that this one, at minimum, also happens to be a misogynistic fuck what has -something- seriously wrong with him. Doesn't matter hugely either way, understand, just...morbidly intrigued.

But so this is his current top entry--you know, I'm just going to repost it in its entire charming glory.

We are currently running computer searches on all our patients with dementia and by this evening I will have more information as to our prescribing habits. As a prequel though, just a short mention of the sanctimonious hypocrisy exhibited by so many heart-on-sleeve relatives of demented patients. Take a look at the discussion forum on the Help the Aged website. In particular look at this letter from a “caring relative” who styles herself as "pinkslippers".

I hope someone can give me some reassurance about this drug. Mum lives in an emi home for the past 18months. The home has complained that she is difficult with the staff over her personal care. She has always been very anti- interference from strangers. She was prescribed quetiapine 25mg which I understand is quite a low dose but three weeks ago it was increased to 50mg because of increasing agitation and refusing to co-operate.

Now I have noticed she has become physically much weaker and is always slumped in an armchair asleep whereas before she was quite strong and fiesty.

It is very worrying when you read reports of these drugs on the internet but also you feel at the mercy of the doctors and the care home. They think I am always fussing about Mum’s medication but to my mind they want all the patients as quiet and comatose as possible as it saves on staffing .

Thanks for any comments


Help the Aged

Now some hard facts, pinkslippers. The reason you mother has been potted in an EMI unit is because you were not prepared to have her in your house and look after her yourself. Was it when she started caking excrement around the walls of the kitchen that you gave up? Or was it when she kept pissing in the fireplace? Or the way that she kept embarrassing you by farting all the time? God, it didn’t half smell, did it? And have you forgotten those times when you tried to change her underwear and she swore at you using language that you did not believe she knew? Well, Pinkslippers, it was bad enough for her when you tried to change her underwear. She had vague recollections as to your identity. Now it is strangers who try to change her underwear. She thinks they are molesting her, so she screams abuse and scratches them. It is very distressing for all, particularly her.

She was losing weight because she was not eating properly, do you remember? Probably not, because you only visit three times a week, and never at meal times. That sweet young auxiliary nurse, who used to sit with your mother for ages, and thought she had made friends with her, tried to feed her. You weren’t there, were you? Did they tell you what happened? Your mother threw a plateful of mince and mashed potatoes at the nurse. She missed. It hit another patient who started screaming.

And then she started wandering in the middle of the night, and tried to get into other patients' beds. You remember that, don't you? They did tell you on one of your flying visits.

Perhaps the doctors and nurses should have tied your mother down. A straitjacket and gag would have helped too. But they didn't do that. They battled on for several weeks but it was getting worse and worse. Finally, after much thought and discussion, they put her on quetiapine. They discussed it with you, do you remember? Probably not. You were just off on holiday to your house in France. A very small dose at first, then a slightly larger dose. She doesn’t scream any more. She doesn’t play with her shit any more. She doesn’t throw food any more. She is reasonably peaceful. They try to feed her but it is not easy. She is old. She is frail. She is dying. Slowly, too slowly, but she is dying.

Is quetiapine the perfect drug? Hell, no. It’s awful. And don't you hate the name? So close to Quiet-apine. What was the drug company thinking of? Is it better than the older drugs? Hell, no, it’s just new. And very expensive. In a few more years we will discover it has some horrible side effects and then we will all change to the latest anti-psychotic. Big Pharma is working on it now. It will be even more expensive.

Is this perfect medical management? God knows, but can you suggest anything better?

It’s distressing, isn’t it, Pinkslippers? I have an idea. Take a look round the EMI unit. How many elderly Indian and Pakistani patients are there in there? What's that you say? None? Heavens, I wonder why that is, Pinkslippers? I tell you what, why don’t you give up work and take your mother home and look after her yourself?

What’s that you say? Couldn’t manage? Too distressing? Too much of a strain? Ah! I see. In that case, maybe you should shut up.


You know. For -some reason-, I don't feel compelled to bare my throat with all the gory details of -why- this post infuriated me quite as much as it did this merry morning. Let's just say that pinkslippers' story rings some bells, and if the relative currently responsible for the relative who has dementia were to hear "advice" like this?

--Well. I -was- going to say, it wouldn't do any fucking good at all. But actually, reconsidering, knowing her character, at least, it -might- lead the woman in question to justifiable homicide, and that, I am thinking, could only be a blessing.

-Yeah-, asshole, why doesn't she -give up work- and -look after her herself-?

And, what the rancid FUCK is the business about "Indian and Pakistani" patients? What -are- you trying to say, dear? Can't even fisk this today; cannot do.

Just: Seriously, who IS this festering cock?

All I can say is that I hope he really only plays a "doctor" on the Internets, because if he's for real? Is there a better advertisement for -avoiding- doctors, anywhere, particularly in the UK, where he's apparently based? Especially if that -isn't- his real name?

"Yes, hi, I really -want- to be 'treated' by an arrogant, hateful, sexist, racist, sadistic motherfucker who finds random people on the Internets trying to get help--two women for two so far--drags them into the spotlight of his -rather large and well trafficked- blog, and proceeds to mock and abuse the crap out of them for the delectation and/or delightfully outraged reactions of his commentators.

What. The FUCK.

Monday, June 16, 2008

i am wearing brown with black today

i am just THAT edgy 'n' cool *urp* also, i need to do laundry.

just thought i'd share.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

"First, do no harm."

("You might feel a little prick.")

Right, so, Lina has the backstory on this one, here and now here. Very short version: there's this...person? calling himself "Dr. Crippen," who apparently took exception to a woman posting on her own small blog about her own traumatic medical experience. Specifically, that she likened it to "rape," was questioning whether it could be called know, basically starting to process this traumatic experience. On her blog. Not, we note, threatening lawsuit against the good online Doctor here, or indeed anyone else (that I'm aware of). (Attention, please: this is important). See the posts at Lina's for the details.

Back? So, as we see, the gist of boyo's feckin' problem is that he is Offended that the woman is likening her traumatic experience of having someone, a doctor, in this case, painfully pushing foreign objects into an orifice and ignoring her pleas to for him to stop, to "real" rape. Or, well...then again, as it turns out, who knows: perhaps Crippen would also take exception to someone's personal, painful account of that other, "real" rape experience, you know, assuming any other "real" rape survivor or indeed anyone else at -all- asked his damn opinion about her own personal shit in the damn first place (which no one has). Viddy:

(ain't hyperlinking, he can get his damn technorati boost and/or find his way back here to whine by some other means)

Imagine a large, well-furnished room. It is well lit, with no windows. It is soundproof. A psychological experiment is to be conducted. John, a twenty-one year old man, and Mary, a nineteen year old woman, are placed in the room and the door is closed. Eight hours later, the door is opened and John and Mary are interviewed separately and asked to describe what happened during the eight hours in the room. They both give honest and plausible accounts. At least, you think they are both honest but there is a problem. Their accounts are completely different. How do you establish who is telling the truth?

It is not possible.

Change the scenario a little. The room becomes a student bedsitter in a University Hall of Residence. John and Mary voluntarily enter the room together late at night after a party. They have both been drinking. The next morning, Mary leaves the room in tears and tells a friend that John made her have sex against her will. The friend calls the police. John is arrested. John agrees that they had sex, but says it was consensual. How do you establish who is telling the truth?

It is not possible.

blahblah some stuff wherein he sounds nominally sympathetic to the difficulty of securing a rape conviction in the UK, with stats, but including another slam at the woman first referred to here with yet another insistence that SHE at any rate did NOT experience REAL rape, NO. (Trust him: he's a Doctor). He winds up with:

Sometimes, men get a very raw deal indeed.

It is not deemed politically correct to put the case of the male “victims”** of rape and so it was good to see a courageous article by an American psychologist putting just such a case. The article is courageous because she is female...

(quel shock, it's Dr. Helen Smith. tangentially, is there such a thing as a person who unironically insists on being referred to by hir doctorly honorific at all times who -isn't- a total choad? anyway:)

**(of course, here he means -not- actual male rape victims, without scare quotes, as in, men who have been raped, yes, Vern, it does happen, really; he means, of course, men who have their career and lives destroyed by false accusations).

...You get the idea. We are in, short, in rather drearily familiar territory.

--Oh, and he's also concerned about giving "real feminists" a bad name, is this Dr. Doctor (PhD) person. (From such concern, I am verklempt, overall, really). Which, another tangent, tickles me, because, you know what? The person he's currently targeting is someone with whom I am not exactly BFF; is, in fact, a radical/cultural feminist of the sort that I'm rather notorious for snarking at/about, and while I don't know that I've directly tangled with this person so much, I've certainly taken rather strong exception to things she's said, in public, in comments variously, if not an actual entry (too lazy to check). Who, I'm pretty sure, does not consider me a "real" feminist at all, albeit for entirely different reasons than The Doctorly Doctor who is a Doctor (and is also a Doctor). It doesn't matter, see.

Point is, I am not writing this post because we are BFF's forever, this woman and me, or suddenly in synch politically, or even feminist sisterly solidarity as such. I am writing this because some shit is beyond the pale, and needs writing about. And because rampant misogyny, ableism and--yes! I agree with the author! rape apologists suck ass. As for my feminist creds, or the supposed harm I am doing to feminism by saying "hey, you know what? This guy is a sexist, hateful wankstain, and he's being a gratuitous, GIANT asshole to someone who didn't ask for it to boot"? Or anything else, as far as that goes:

"We value your opinion."

Anyway. Moving on.

So, let's just take Dr. Whosis' deep and abiding concern for the "real" victims, whomever they may be, as a given, for a moment. Let's look for just a moment at this idea that whereas forced penis-in-vagina (or other recognized as "sexual) penetration is "real" rape, this, for instance:

A woman who is raped while giving birth does not experience the assault in a way that fits neatly within the typical definitions we hold true in civilised society. A penis is usually nowhere to be found in the story and the perpetrator may not even possess one. But fingers, hands, suction cups, forceps, needles and scissors… these are the tools of birth rape and they are wielded with as much force and as little consent as if a stranger grabbed a passer-by off the street and tied her up before having his way with her. not true, is not in fact rape, this, no matter how "unpleasant" (in Dr. Thingie's term) the experience may be for the woman.

Well, trin has a good and thoughtful response to this:

When things go wrong in medical procedures -- particularly when the people giving them are inattentive or disrespectful -- the experience can be deeply violating.

I had some major surgeries that went terribly wrong, necessitating several emergency surgeries. Those surgeries, because they were emergency procedures, were not things to which I could meaningfully withdraw consent.

Was I raped? No, no I wasn't -- and the doctors had nothing in their hearts but the desire to help me. But it was an *intensely* violating series of experiences that contributed to PTSD that I have.

In therapy and other places, I used the word "rape" to describe them -- because they involved people cutting into and entering my body when I didn't want them there, fiddling around with my insides, and closing me back up.

I don't use that word now, because I don't know what sexual violation feels like. They're not the same thing. However, what I experienced *was* in many ways a deeply distressing series of violations, and I still call it *that*.

The fact is that for some people, certain medical procedures can be VERY invasive. Since ___ reports that the person giving the treatment *did not stop* even when she said she wanted to reschedule later with someone else, her words don't surprise me in the least.

And, while I realize that it may *sometimes* be impossible to allow someone to withdraw consent in the middle of a procedure for safety reasons (or so senseless not to give it, as it would have been if I'd refused those emergency surgeries, that nonconsent isn't a real option unless one is willing to die)... this does not sound like one of them to me. (If I'm mistaken, please let me know.) And if that is the case, well, there's a word for not stopping when someone says no, and being shocked at ___ using it misses the point entirely.

The point is that SHE SAID NO. At which point a responsible person would withdraw immediately, or do whatever is medically necessary and then withdraw.

...As I've said, I don't call what happened to me "rape" any more out of respect for people who have experienced something I haven't. But I will say that it was really freeing to me when I first named it that, because it meant I could actually CALL what happened to me violating, invasive, only-consensual-because-I-didn't-want-to-die...

a commenter:

Actually, having experienced both rape and invasive or penetrative medical procedures that were not being performed in a professional manner with appropriate care given to my concerns and my comfort, both physical and psychological, I DO use the word rape to describe the latter.

At least in part because I could damned well tell that the medical practitioners in question were ignoring my requests for some kind of change in what was happening to me - pausing for a little while so I catch my breath and recentre, stop and try another approach, etc - because they were in power and knew they could do whatever they wanted to me, and I couldn't do anything.

And so forth.

Ah, but: feelings. Subjectivity. "The personal is the political," That's the rub, isn't it, Crippen? So nebulous. So "postmodern," sez you (great, on top of everything else, be like nails on a blackboard to academics everywhere). I mean! It Could Go To Court! It could go to court, and some poor man's CAREER would be RUINED, (even if he didn't actually see the inside of a jail cell, ever), and that would be VERY BAD. At the very least, this is all DEEPLY OFFENSIVE (which is not, please note, about -feelings;- or at any rate, -your- feelings, which unlike everyone else's are Objectively Obvious and SRS BZNS):

You are missing the point. What you do not seem to understand is that categorising unpleasant medical experiences as rape degrades and demeans women who really have been raped. That is NOT to say that some woman have not had some appalling experiences during child birth. I know they have.

But it is still not rape. And categorising the whole of the medical profession as potential rapists is deeply offensive. It is an abuse of all that real feminists stand for. It is the lunatic fringe of feminism and serves only to bring ridicule.

Rape is a dreadful, dreadful experience for any woman. This sort of hyperbole is akin to people who misuse Nazi atrocities, or the Holocaust to make minor debating points.

Finally, why are most of you not even prepared to discuss the issues rationally?


(oh, goodie, we're on first name terms, at last). Well, John, it's like this: we can't discuss it rationally because we are all hysterical creatures who are in dire need of your sturdy, capable, professional hands to set our wandering wombs back on the correct path. Duh.

But just based on your post here,, where, above the "adversial legal systems" tag, you say,

The English common-law system, adopted by so many other countries, is adversarial. In all criminal trials there must be a “winner” and a “loser”. It is like a boxing match. The judge is the referee, there to ensure that the rules of the game are followed. The judges of fact are the jury, who must declare the "winner" making their decision on a “beyond all reasonable doubt” basis. Most members of the jury have probably had sexual experiences whilst under the influence of alcohol that they have later regretted. Mary may say she did not want to have sex with John, but she had been drinking heavily, and went back to his room consensually. The seeds of doubt are sown.

...What is the solution? Is there a way to achieve a fair result in rape cases? Can we ensure that women who come forward will be treated fairly and sympathetically and neither man nor woman will start at a disadvantage? I do not believe this will ever be possible with the English (American) common law adversarial systems...

much less comments like,

These women say they are traumatised. The near impossible job for the Law is to try and assertain if that is the case when often there are no independant witnesses or evidence.

We all do things we regret. We shouldn't expect the Law to sort things out for us afterwards.

Convictions for rape should be made on objective not subjective evidence.

...I'm going to go out on a limb and guess, again, that your real concern is not so much emotional or even semantic, but legal. Amirite?

Okies, but here's the thing, see: The woman whose post you fisked? And keep dragging up to make your points? Was not talking about legal shit.

She didn't threaten to put you, o Doctorly Doctor, on trial, nor indeed (so far as I know), any of your comradely professional comrades. She was talking on her personal blog about her personal trauma. You are not on trial here, and, even more to the point, neither is she; she is not required to -defend- herself to you, Random Asshole; she is not REQUIRED to call or -not- call what happened to her "rape" or "violation" or "unpleasant experience which is still traumatizing me years later and I need to talk about this please" or "Agnes," just because you, Professional Type Rational Mr. Dr. Doctorly Medical Professional PhD, Esq, Ass., PITA, STFU, don't like it. Really.

So, what, in short, the fuck is your gorram problem already?

Oh yeah: "offensive." And I guess this post here is just really REALLY offensive and hurtful, then. To you. And those who think like you. (Please note: unlike you, I am not assuming that most -real- Professional Medical Persons share your views on this). Oh, I feel just awful about it.

It'll pass.

And, yeah, you know...well, I can't be arsed to read John's blog there closely enough to determine whether "Dr. Crippen" is a (no doubt completely postmodern and ironical) nod to this Dr. (Hawley Harvey) Crippen, much less whether the first commenter on that "rape victim" post chiding him as "very naughty" is some kind of running gag allusion to this quaint little bit of doggerel:

Dr Crippen killed Belle Elmore
Ran away with Miss le Neve
Right across the ocean blue
Followed by Inspector Dew
Ship's ahoy, naughty boy!

...or if it's all just some grotesquely hilarious coincidence, or what.

In conclusion (and, no, I am -also- Not Bovvered that I am Getting Personal; this is not "slander," son, this is a flame. Can you say "flame?" I knew you could!!):

Fuck you, you whiny misogynist creepazoid ratfucker, with a rusty, unsterilized, very -dull- medieval medical instrument, in a hitherto unperforated body part of your choice. No kiss, no anesthetic, no reach-around.

And now, I must rinse.

ETA: Want a second opinion? Oh hay, here's another. And another. And another. And another. And another. And another.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Quote of the day, 6/12/08

Unlike Winston, [Julia] had grasped the inner meaning of the Party's sexual puritanism. It was not merely that the sex instinct created a world of its own which was outside the Party's control and which therefore had to be destroyed if possible. What was more important was that sexual privation induced hysteria, which was desirable because it could be transformed into war-fever and leader-worship. The way she put it was:

"When you make love you're using up energy; and afterwards you feel happy and don't give a damn for anything. They can't bear for you to feel like that. They want you to be bursting with energy all the time. All this marching up and down and cheering and waving flags is simply sex gone sour. If you're happy inside yourself, why should you get excited about Big Brother and the Three-Year Plans and the Two Minutes Hate and all the rest of their bloody rot?"

That was very true, he thought...For how could the fear, the hatred, and the lunatic credulity which the Party needed in its members be kept at the right pitch, except by bottling down some powerful instinct and using it as a driving force?

--Orwell, 1984

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Getting off on power exchange is BadWrong, let me tell you it.

Yeah, it's That Time again, apparently. I'm sort of going off a general overview of the thread, any number of previous threads which sounded a -lot- like this one, and the understanding that I agree with RE's rant here, and have taken pretty much that tone in previous go-rounds. Because for whatever reason (the heat, maybe, or the sheer number of times I feel like all of this has happened before and all of this will happen again), I'm not even feeling Ze Rage this time. So, I thought I'd take advantage of my relative, well, it ain't Zen, but it's something, and say a little something. Again.

I'll just say that I am -very- suspicious whenever anyone starts to hold forth about how they -used- to like act X, but now, praise Jesus/Dworkin/Nicolosi/Cthulhu, I have SEEN the LIGHT! and my sexuality has -totally changed,- and -yours can and SHOULD, too- (is the implicit and/or even explicit addedendum).

First of all, I don't think sexuality works like that: yes, it can be malleable and change over the years, but ime and in everything I've come to understand, it is -not- particularly amenable to change because one -wills- it so, because one's newfound political/religious/otherwise ideological -belief- decrees that it -must- be so in order for one to be a whole and good person. You don't get rid of the shadow by stuffing it down.

Secondly, in my experience...people like this, often enough, especially when it comes to kink, are...rather selective, quite possibly not consciously, when it comes to deciding what does and doesn't now qualify as the Bad Bad Thing.

f'r instance: w/in feminism, to take one example I recall seeing a while back: the idea that BDSM is a Bad Bad Thing, meaning a) leather and whips b) particularly, maledom/femsub anything, including any sort of non-implement-including getting off on penetration; -but- c) donning a strap-on and doing one's male partner and getting enjoyment -specifically- out of "whoo, I'm penetrating -him-, what a rush!- is totally fine and not at all suggestive of power!sex; it's just, you know, this...thing I happen to like." O.K.

As it happens, personally, I am turned on by certain kinds of femtop!malebottom much more than I am the reverse; always have, since long before I read any theory or even knew what the terms meant. I don't doubt that my kinks, such as they are, were formed in the same long-ago not-really-consciously-articulate cauldron that all my other erotic general themes were formed, more or less; and that sure, these particular let's say bents at least may well have at least partly to do with stuff I was unconsciously picking up about social messages about what was or wasn't taboo. But that doesn't make me a better feminist, or mean that if for whatever reason I decided tomorrow that you know, I really shouldn't get off on this stuff, I should stop enjoying thus and so and learn to enjoy this other thing, it would be any more successful than when I was trying to be a good little heterosexual, because -that's- what I thought I was -supposed- to be -then.-

Because, see, if there's one thing sexuality doesn't generally do, it's lie down and act like it's "supposed to." Regardless of where the directive is coming from. It's deeper and quirkier and more complicated than that. It's not that one (o the overused term) "examine" what it all MEANS, dear, but ultimately: it will not lie down and fit into your Procrustean bed. It needs, like the rest of the squidgier bits of the unconscious, to be taken on its own terms. Fuck, that's what "examination" -is-, it seems to me. The theory is shaped by What Is Found There, not the other way around. And, well, One Size Does Not Fit All.

And at the end of the day, also, frankly, again, what she said.

x-posted at SM Feminists

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Female Desire/Beauty Appreciation Week: the "What About Teh Menz" edition

Kwon Sang Woo

Because, hey, I am all about equal opportunity objectification, even if slightly choosier with my objects on this side of the aisle. Lots of aesthetic appreciation here for sure, though, plus, spot the fangirl (eyeroll). As with the female OOD post (AKA POST WITH LOTS AND LOTS OF WOMEN PLEASE FEEL FREE TO PERUSE AND COMMENT), many of these cribbed from the excellent skywardprodigal, with some additions of my own interspersed. Enjoy.

Kian Mitchum

Gordon Modibame

Shunei Hosimi

Renald Seme

Jo Ji Hoon

Porter Garner

Tyler Christopher

Anthony Stewart Head

Won Bin

Djimon Honsou

Nir Lavi

Daniel Henney

James Marsters

Michael C Hall in "Cabaret"

Anderson Cooper

Kevin Aviance


David Tennant and Billie Piper

Anthony Stewart Head, David Walliams, and a very frustrated policeman

John Barrowman & Eve Myles

Alvin Goh & friend

Michael C Hall & Matthew St. Patrick ("Six Feet Under")

Kim Sung Soo & friend

from a play called "Dorian"

Ian Somerhalder & friend

Tony Leung Chiu Wai and Leslie Cheung(?) ("Happy Together")

John Barrowman and James Marsters ("Torchwood")

David Tennant & co-stars in "Casanova"

David Tennant

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Female* sexual desire and/or beauty appreciation week

Liya Kebede

Lauren Ambrose objectifying Mena Suvari in "Six Feet Under"

(*personally would also welcome expressions of queer/genderqueer desire by not-necessarily-female persons)

...has been informally declared and is being celebrated, among other places, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

Since I'm both lazy this week and in awe of this woman's efforts to display the gorgeous, week after week, I'm going to kick this off by both paying her homage and shamelessly lifting some of my favorite images from her treasure trove (hope that's all right). Yes, she has way, way more where these came from--98 pages' worth of women alone, and a whole passel of gentlemen (almost as many as women), and art pics to boot. Thanks, skywardprodigal, you are an inspiration, truly.

You can also see my contributions to earlier versions of this celebration on my other page. Also see this recent post for teh slash, I guess.

Most of the following, then, are cribbed shamelessly from skywardprodigal, with a few additions of my own, can't be arsed to remember for positive which now alas--a Maggie Cheung, I think, Aishwarya Rai, and some Alex Kingston. (ETA: and Rachel Weisz, and Grace Park, and Kera Knightley, and...screw it, I lost track. sorry if I broke anyone's Internets).

Sunna Gottshalk

Freema Agyeman

Lauren Ambrose

Grace Park

Patricia Clarkson

Justina Machado

Eve Myles

Nichelle Nichols

Aishwarya Rai

Lucy Lawless

Sheryl Lee Ralph

Rachel Weisz

Naoko Mori

Alex Kingston

Wang Wenquin

Frances Conroy

Kiera Knightley

Lisa Nicole Carson

Mumaith Khan

Mena Suvari

Renee Cox

Sandra Oh

Heidi Klum

Gong Li

Josephine Rukia

Tina Baltzer

Aimee Mullins

Maggie Cheung

Pam Grier

Joan Chen

Michelle Rodriguez

Sophia Myles

Julie Nicol

Caroline Chikezie

Madhuri Dixit

Katee Sackhoff & Mary McDonnell

Meryl Streep & Anne Hathaway

Omahyra Mota & friend

Anna Cleveland and Pat Cleveland

Maggie Cheung & co-star

Omahyra Mota and Boyd Holbrook

Helen Mirren and Olivier Martinez

Aimee Mullins & Matthew Barney ("Cremaster")

Carmen Del'Orifice & friend

Indira Varma and Sarita Choudhury

Brandi Quinones & friends

Gena Rowlands