Well, it looks like anti-choice activists have finally decided to stop fucking around and get serious about stopping abortion. In order to stop the alleged murder of thousands of “babies” in their mothers’ wombs, a site calling itself Until Abortion Ends: A Hero Initiative is encouraging people to send in videos and stories about making sacrifices to end the baby holocaust wrought upon the country by the godless feminists.”Tell us what you are willing to sacrifice for the unborn,” the site’s submission form says. “With your sacrifice you will inspire others to do the same.”
The news sites are ablaze this week with stories about the discovery of human remains on Long Island that may turn out to belong to Shannan Gilbert, a 24-year-old sex worker whose disappearance last year triggered a search that turned up the bodies of nine other sex workers who advertised on Craig’s List. Gilbert showed up at the house of Gustav Coletti at 5 AM last year, panicked and begging for help: [Read more…]
When you watch Darth Vader blow up the planet of Alderaan in Star Wars, or telepathically strangle an incompetent flunkie in one of the sequels, it may be brutal, but it’s not really upsetting. That’s what Vader is there for; it’s his job to be a professional villain and spread bloodshed, pain, and misery throughout the galaxy. In a strange way, it’s comforting to see him relish his latest act of torture, murder, or genocide; it reassures you that the world is exactly the way you expect it to be.
The Darth Vaders of gender politics are people like Maggie Gallagher, Glenn Beck, Andrew Schlafly, Bill O’Reilly, Ann Coulter, and their various hanger-ons . While I think that the world would be a better place without their hidebound misogyny and homophobia, I understand it. It’s their job to be assholes, and so when Beck spouts off his latest conspiracy theory about how the gays are going to shove their homo thing down his throat, I nod and take it in stride. The world is normal.
It’s when feminists, or anyone else that I think should be on the side of the angels, start weaving reactionary assumptions about gender that I wig out. The world is not as it should be. It’s as though I walked into a theater that’s showing another version of Star Wars, the one that Lucas keeps stored in his basement along with the last existing print of the Star Wars Holiday Special. In this version, Vader is still blowing up planets, but Luke and Leia spend their spare time downing beers with Imperial Stormtroopers and torturing kittens.
On the one hand, we’ve been in desperate need of something like Amanda Palmer’s new song, “Map of Tasmania,” for a long time now. I’m old enough that I can remember when a woman shaving her pussy was seen as transgressive and edgy, but that stopped being true a couple years before people started to freak out about Y2K, and shaved pussy became something that women had to do. Nothing illustrated this better than the internet’s outpouring of shock and disgust last August when Sasha Grey flashed an unshaved bush on an episode of Entourage. If you still needed to have the point made for you, that should have done it: shaving the pussy is now the default, no longer something that women do for pleasure, but as a duty if they don’t want to be seen as gross and unkempt.
With all that in mind, I have to give an enormous thank you to Amanda Palmer: “Map of Tasmania” is a flamboyant, shameless ode to female pubic hair. It’s joyful, and sexy, and the video, which shows off some very creative merkins, is even better. We really need to get back to the idea that pubic hair isn’t gross and disgusting.
I have a real fascination with the history of sex. Because sex as a whole is kept so securely in the closet, its history is one of the most poorly-documented areas of our culture, and it’s easy—almost inevitable—for each generation to feel like they invented everything that’s not ten-up-ten-down heterosexual intercourse. Partly because it’s so well-hidden, the history of sex is especially revealing about who we were then and who we are now.
Below is a great example of the history of sex education called “The Return of Count Spirochete.” Despite its crude and colorful appearance, it wasn’t intended for children. According to the “Armed With Science” blog, “Count Spirochete” was produced in 1973 for the National Naval Medical Center to educate members of the U.S. Navy about the risks of syphilis and gonorrhea. It doesn’t look like a military educational film; what it resembles, more than anything, is an episode of “Schoolhouse Rock” dedicated to VD.
Since Randall Munroe is on an extended leave of absence from XKCD due to family illness (something I can relate to all too well), I’ve recently been inspired to dive deeper into his archives than I normally would. Here’s one of my favorites: if we could all take this one to heart, we’d be a much saner society and I’d be getting a much different kind of spam in my email every day.
Good luck with your family’s health, Randall.
In my unfortunately abortive attempt recently to promote non-crappy porn, one of the positive obstacles that I ran into in trying to get enough articles up was the fact that I suddenly realized that there was actually a surplus of stuff to write about. What I said about there being an excess of crap still stands; whenever you wander into the world of smut, be sure to bring a snorkel so you breathe under all the shit.
But nevertheless, things are a lot better than they used to be; in addition to being ass-deep in personal tsuris, one thing that stalled me was that I just couldn’t decide who to write with. There’s good reason to be optimistic about where we’ll be with our porn in twenty years. [Read more…]
This is something to be optimistic about. Ms. Magazine has long been ambivalent at best about the rights of sex workers. Far more commonly, they’ve fallen in the camp which casts all sex workers as equally victimized, as “trafficked” or “prostituted women.” When something as unreservedly pro-sex work as this piece shows up in such a standby of mainstream feminism as Ms., it says something profound. I was heartbroken to see $pread‘s demise recently, but this kind of acceptance can be said to be its legacy: [Read more…]
A lot of the stuff that streams out of Twitter every day is meaningless nonsense that is only barely above the level of white noise. I have literally known people who regularly tweeted about their bowel movements. BDSM Bad Advice is one of the things that makes the whole thing worth it. Run by Jonathan Byrel Moore since August, the Twitter feed regularly gives exactly what it promises: concise tidbits of really, REALLY bad advice for BDSM which unfortunately skates the line between satire and reality. A few of the helpful hints from the Twitter feed include: [Read more…]
So, on Monday I announced that as my way of commemorating Morality in Media’s White Ribbon Against Pornography Week, I would write a post every day this week about my favorite porn, stuff that in one way or another I think is hot and makes the world a better place.
Obviously, I’ve already blown that somewhat ambitious schedule by failing to get an entry in yesterday or Tuesday. My apologies about that; it’s less because I’m flaky than because I’m undergoing a lot of tsuris right now, which includes a girlfriend in the hospital while she gets turned into a cyborg by the doctors. (Long story.)