semiotic_pirate: (speak your mind)’s-rapist-or-a-guy’s-guide-to-approaching-strange-women-without-being-maced/

That was an amazing summation of the thought processes behind situational awareness in interactions between strangers of the opposite sex. Pay attention to the Truth.

I can only hope the link never dies. Thanks to Lexica510 -

That whole situation that Watson is dealing with is ridiculous, but unfortunately not surprising. She's gotten thrown under the bus by people looking with the "Male Gaze Goggles" stuck to their faces.
semiotic_pirate: (meg ryan)
Now I know why people are freaked out by the creepiness factor when seeing people dating (or getting married) where those people's age gap is so huge. Some cartoonist (who may have gotten it elsewhere) put it into an easy to remember formula:

[(older person's age/2) + 7] where the older person doesn't date/marry anyone who is under this age. When the age is younger than the legal age of consent, your dating pool shrinks until that lowest allowable age equals the legal age of consent. What therefore, defines the upper age range? Add 7 years to our age?

Therefore, unlike the comic strip, an 18 y/o's dating range is NOT 16-22, but rather 18-25.

The age of consent is tricky, because if it is 16, but the other person is 18 and above, then one of the people is considered an adult, the other not. Seems unequal.

Again, if one is 18 and the other 21, then it is again unequal because one person is limited to the types of activities and locations they are allowed by society. A 21 y/o can go to a bar, an 18 y/o cannot. And forget about the 16 y/o.

Then there is the supposed 'age of reason' of 25... which is best known by those of us who wait(ed) for our insurance rates to go down. It has something to do with our biological maturity, I believe. I did hear what exactly it was based on the other night but cannot remember it.

There is the possibility of people (above the age of consent perhaps, above the age of reason more probably) with a vast amount of age between them to understand and love one another... but there is an 'ick factor' involved at that point in the eyes of society. This ick factor was once more geared toward May-December romances where the December was a woman but has now expanded to include the male Decembers as well.

It comes down to a balance and availability of resources and the power structures that control that balance and availability. Which is why, when the December is rich, it is more acceptable to society. This doesn't make it "right" either way. Although it would be interesting to see what would result from an equalized society where all needs are met without needing to worry about them (i.e. food, water, shelter, clothing, health care, etc.). What would happen to the mating practices? It would no longer be ruled by an unconscious, or otherwise, need to find someone who can or someone to "take care of."

Hat tip to [ profile] crasch

This was also prompted by this women's studies community post about this website. Which brings our creepy ick factor to maximum.

I find it interesting that if you reorder the spacing between the words (brought on by looking at the all-male cast of contacts for the company):

Marr Your Daughter

The misspelling of mar is apropos of the whole mindset of this community of selling young, underaged, female girls off to men who have the money to pay for them.

Update: Someone found that Snopes has passed sentence on the website, naming it a likely hoax. However, the question remains. Are we disbelieving it because it is American girls that are for sale? Because, I am pretty damn sure they exist, whether on the net or IRL, these companies. Bride prices ARE still being paid. Women ARE still being sold off in arranged marriages. The closer a society perceives its individuals as being equal to each other, the more disturbed it will be by things of this nature. However, other societies are still being viewed as "other" and it is humanity as a whole that must grow disturbed by things of this nature, no matter to whom it is happening. The more inclusive we get, the better off all people will be. That goes for animals, regardless of the sentience question... because if you aren't equal to another person in the eyes of society, you are being considered in a spectrum that includes animals and beings considered non-sentient.

The episode of Star Trek, The Next Generation, where Data is on trial to determine his humanity is a perfect example of this. The decision of expanding the concept of "do unto others" as well as the concept of 'I am both myself, and the other.'
semiotic_pirate: (Pirate Grrl - RIOT)
Found this on the feminist community... I don't see how ANYONE could say that stripper poles = new feminism or see how any argument claiming that young women in FRAT-HOUSES are flaunting their liberation by swinging around on the stripper pole. WTF?! I love the sarcasm of the biased member of the press, btw. Can't help myself on that one.

Stripper poles: New feminism?
Some argue that the frat-house toy allows young women, sober or not, to flaunt their liberation.

By Alfred Lubrano
The Philadelphia Inquirer

College fraternities, long known as bastions of grace and decorum, are these days featuring yet one more accoutrement of scholastic refinement - the stripper pole.

The most important campus development since the keg, the stripper pole shines like a luminous totem festooning the halls of the American academy. It's erected for a single, glorious purpose:

To get drunken chicks to do slutty stuff.

As students convene on college campuses, many will be partying on and around sturdy items such as the portable Lil' Mynx dance poles, manufactured with love in Fresno, Calif.

Easy to install - and easy to take down when parents and alumni show up - the poles are au courant.

"Not in Philly, maybe," Mynx publicist Jenn Hoffman says, doubtless inspiring relief among local deans. "But in a lot of schools like Arizona State University and New York University. A very good percentage of frat houses now have them."

Retailing for $259 to $600, poles are available in school colors, as well as in tasteful pink and hard-core stainless steel.

Post-feminists argue that the pole is empowering. If a young woman chooses to use it, they say, she is telling the world that she is in charge of her sexuality.

She is not, as some might believe, engaging in cheap exhibitionism for the benefit of the salivating frat boys feeding her cup after cup of "punch."

And there's little doubt the boys would agree:

"My, that half-naked, drunken sophomore entwining herself around our Lil' Mynx like a boa constrictor certainly seems empowered, eh, Biff?"

"Right you are, Dan. Her slithering, lurid dance reminds me that she has a 3.84 GPA and volunteers in a homeless shelter. Perhaps we can all go back to my room and read Hegel."

The Web is rife with pictures of young women dancing on poles in college dorm rooms. Not long ago, three male students at Jacksonville University in Florida were disciplined for installing a pole in an on-campus apartment and running a dance contest. The female student who won the contest also was punished.

One of the young men told the media, "Honestly, we just wanted to say we had a stripper pole. We never actually expected girls to dance on it."

Comedian Chris Rock once said the father of a daughter has but one job: Keeping the kid off the pole.

That's now moot; stripper poles are mainstream.

Rappers like 50 Cent have them in their homes. Poles are common props in music videos. And health clubs feature pole-centered, Pilates-like exercises called "Polates" or "Stripper-cize."

Hoffman, whose company reportedly does $1.5 million in annual sales, says that poles are becoming popular in suburban homes, where moms apparently enjoy feeling like spinning meat.

There was a time when feminism was about women being smart and assertive, and building inner strength.

Somewhere along the line, though, it morphed into slut culture. Girls tell themselves they're in charge. But they're still just strutting it for the boys.

Welcome to Skank 101, freshmen. Open your books to Chapter One, "Pole Vixen." Note how the women in the diagram are dangling, half-dressed and off-balance.

That's how we like them in America.
semiotic_pirate: (speak your mind)
My interest in this isn't so much the "scandal" of the senator, but in the information provided via the dissertation (from 1970) of Laud Humphreys Tearoom Trade. The most interesting thing is that, although "taught as a primary example of unethical social research" this paper, because of its nature, had to be researched using "unorthodox methods" in order to get a true reading on the situation.

It is a shame that this subterfuge had to happen in the first place, never mind that it is still happening in a lot of places. I applaud men like [ profile] sparkindarkness who lives true to himself and is a genuine upstanding citizen. Not that I am implying that sparky seeks public sex - I am more referring to the kind of man (described in the article) who either may be or are using the upstanding citizen front as a veneer to hide their proclivity behind. While lambasting people who don't hide whatever this particular person fears will ruin them in the eyes of society with self-righteous hate-mongering.

As long as it isn't something non-consensual, that it is between adults, where neither party is being abused, what do I care? Hell. I would prefer if no one cared what sexual orientation a person was, and that it didn't matter to society at large, or make any kind of impact in a person's professional life. I wish the same could also be said for gender preference or any kind of difference described by the words "minority."

Op-Ed Contributor
America’s Toe-Tapping Menace
New York Times: Published: September 2, 2007

WHAT is shocking about Senator Larry Craig’s bathroom arrest is not what he may have been doing tapping his shoe in that stall, but that Minnesotans are still paying policemen to tap back. For almost 40 years most police departments have been aware of something that still escapes the general public: men who troll for sex in public places, gay or “not gay,” are, for the most part, upstanding citizens. Arresting them costs a lot and accomplishes little.

In 1970, Laud Humphreys published the groundbreaking dissertation he wrote as a doctoral candidate at Washington University called “Tearoom Trade: Impersonal Sex in Public Places.” Because of his unorthodox methods — he did not get his subjects’ consent, he tracked down names and addresses through license plate numbers, he interviewed the men in their homes in disguise and under false pretenses — “Tearoom Trade” is now taught as a primary example of unethical social research.

That said, what results! In minute, choreographic detail, Mr. Humphreys (who died in 1988) illustrated that various signals — the foot tapping, the hand waving and the body positioning — are all parts of a delicate ritual of call and answer, an elaborate series of codes that require the proper response for the initiator to continue. Put simply, a straight man would be left alone after that first tap or cough or look went unanswered.

Why? The initiator does not want to be beaten up or arrested or chased by teenagers, so he engages in safeguards to ensure that any physical advance will be reciprocated. As Mr. Humphreys put it, “because of cautions built into the strategies of these encounters, no man need fear being molested in such facilities.”

Mr. Humphreys’s aim was not just academic: he was trying to illustrate to the public and the police that straight men would not be harassed in these bathrooms. His findings would seem to suggest the implausibility not only of Senator Craig’s denial — that it was all a misunderstanding — but also of the policeman’s assertion that he was a passive participant. If the code was being followed, it is likely that both men would have to have been acting consciously for the signals to continue.

Mr. Humphreys broke down these transactions into phases, which are remarkably similar to the description of Senator Craig’s behavior given by the police. First is the approach: Mr. Craig allegedly peeks into the stall. Then comes positioning: he takes the stall next to the policeman. Signaling: Senator Craig allegedly taps his foot and touches it to the officer’s shoe, which was positioned close to the divider, then slides his hand along the bottom of the stall. There are more phases in Mr. Humphreys’s full lexicon — maneuvering, contracting, foreplay and payoff — but Mr. Craig was arrested after the officer presumed he had “signaled.”

Clearly, whatever Mr. Craig’s intentions, the police entrapped him. If the police officer hadn’t met his stare, answered that tap or done something overt, there would be no news story. On this point, Mr. Humphreys was adamant and explicit: “On the basis of extensive and systematic observation, I doubt the veracity of any person (detective or otherwise) who claims to have been ‘molested’ in such a setting without first having ‘given his consent.’ ”

As for those who feel that a family man and a conservative senator would be unlikely to engage in such acts, Mr. Humphreys’s research says otherwise. As a former Episcopal priest and closeted gay man himself, he was surprised when he interviewed his subjects to learn that most of them were married; their houses were just a little bit nicer than most, their yards better kept. They were well educated, worked longer hours, tended to be active in the church and the community but, unexpectedly, were usually politically and socially conservative, and quite vocal about it.

In other words, not only did these men have nice families, they had nice families who seemed to believe what the fathers loudly preached about the sanctity of marriage. Mr. Humphreys called this paradox “the breastplate of righteousness.” The more a man had to lose by having a secret life, the more he acquired the trappings of respectability: “His armor has a particularly shiny quality, a refulgence, which tends to blind the audience to certain of his practices. To others in his everyday world, he is not only normal but righteous — an exemplar of good behavior and right thinking.”

Mr. Humphreys even anticipated the vehement denials of men who are outed: “The secret offender may well believe he is more righteous than the next man, hence his shock and outrage, his disbelieving indignation, when he is discovered and discredited.”

This last sentence brings to mind the hollow refutations of figures at the center of many recent public sex scandals, heterosexual and homosexual, notably Representative Mark Foley, the Rev. Ted Haggard, Senator David Vitter and now Senator Craig. The difference is that Larry Craig was arrested.

Public sex is certainly a public nuisance, but criminalizing consensual acts does not help. “The only harmful effects of these encounters, either direct or indirect, result from police activity,” Mr. Humphreys wrote. “Blackmail, payoffs, the destruction of reputations and families, all result from police intervention in the tearoom scene.” What community can afford to lose good citizens?

And for our part, let’s stop being so surprised when we discover that our public figures have their own complex sex lives, and start being more suspicious when they self-righteously denounce the sex lives of others.
semiotic_pirate: (it's over)
Perhaps not so bad as falling, but something terrible has occurred. Anyone remember the fashionable 80's? Specifically the ever so wonderful shirt-dress? I actually had one of these and thought it was quite sweet at the time, with one of those wide belts to cinch it... but seeing it now, paired with one of those super-short vest-jackets. *shudder*

(the vest-jacket addition is featured in the email I got, couldn't find a pic of it on the website)

much as I like french cuffs... blech. not only does it make women appear like they are partially undressed they do the additional insult by dehumanizing the model herself with the deletion of the top of her head. this top of the head missing from the model is a signature for gap, btw.


Lack of commenting and posting otherwise is due to working on the infamous paper. Which is coming along nicely I believe.
semiotic_pirate: (Default)
Hey out there!

Iffen any chick (pirate or otherwise) out there wants to view a movie with female empowerment in it - get ye to see Live Free or Die Hard. The two main female characters are powerful. Especially McClain's daughter. Of course, even from the first, with Ms. Generro, we see a series of strong female characters. Makes me very happy. It was amusing to see the bad guys continue to make patriarchal assumptions about Lucy over and over again. Though it was a surprising attitude from the S/O of the other strong female character... it just might be that he wasn't making the assumptions but his minion was, which is why... no, that would be a spoiler.

That the writers did enough research to at least have some of the hacker speak spot on... that was cute. "Get me the Black Hat files!" Hahahahahaha!

Unlike some of the critics, I didn't find the beginning of the movie to be slow or boring or whatever. It was just right, and very similar in pace as the beginning of all the other movies in the Die Hard franchise. Wow. They actually want to give you some insight into each of the character's personality and what the story... you know, the plot? is going to be about for the rest of the movie. Sheesh.

Five gold dubloons for this one.


In other news: Had lunch with junquegirl and had a great time. We did have a few moments here and there of the first IRL meeting, but it was expected and joked about so we did fine.
semiotic_pirate: (pirate chick - melancholy)
Thanks to [ profile] kadath for this link to pandagon.

CoB and I were on our way home on Saturday and needed to pick up some wine for Sunday - since CT still has blue laws concerning alcohol purchases. While he went into the packie I went into the locally run drug store next to it. (Yeah, I love shopping at locally owned businesses when I can.) I was the designated card picker, to get a card for his dad to go with our gift - he had mentioned wanting to try a Rose' a while back. So. While I was looking for his card I spotted the single offering of "To Mom on Father's Day" card. I was floored. My mum made a lot of mistakes and a lot of sacrifices and she brought me up all by herself. I can't believe I never thought of it before and made my own card. My someday mother in law continues to come up with cards that she gives to me that signify our relationship. And I love it.

People like to be appreciated, I make sure my mum knows that I appreciate her more than once a year but it makes it easier for people when there is an "organized" day for it too. Obviously I don't have the same disgust for this as I do for Valentine's Day. It is illogical. I know that when she gets the card (late) she sure as hell won't be expecting it, and I dare say she will be floored as well when she realizes what it is.

I can't believe that people are in an uproar to recognize single mothers as standing in for both parents. Hell, next thing you know there will be cards for same sex parents... To both my Mothers/Fathers...
semiotic_pirate: (wild at heart)

June 18, 2007
Pigs With Cellphones, but No Condoms

IN a commercial for Trojan condoms that has its premiere tonight, women in a bar are surrounded by anthropomorphized, cellphone-toting pigs. One shuffles to the men’s room, where, after procuring a condom from a vending machine, he is transformed into a head-turner in his 20s. When he returns to the bar, a fetching blond who had been indifferent now smiles at him invitingly.

Directed by Phil Joanou (“State of Grace”), with special effects by the Stan Winston Studio (“Jurassic Park”), the commercial is entertaining. But it also has a message, spelled out at the end: “Evolve. Use a condom every time.”

“We have to change the perception that carrying a condom for women or men is a sign they’re on the prowl and just want to have sex,” said Linda Kaplan Thaler, chief executive of the Kaplan Thaler Group, the New York advertising agency that created the “Evolve” campaign. “It’s a sign of somebody being prepared — if the opportunity arises — to think about their own health and the health and safety of their partner.”

But the pigs did not fly at two of the four networks where Trojan tried to place the ad.

Fox and CBS both rejected the commercial. Both had accepted Trojan’s previous campaign, which urged condom use because of the possibility that a partner might be H.I.V.-positive, perhaps unknowingly. A 2001 report about condom advertising by the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation found that, “Some networks draw a strong line between messages about disease prevention — which may be allowed — and those about pregnancy prevention, which may be considered controversial for religious and moral reasons.”
Read more... )
semiotic_pirate: (sewn-shut mouth)
Clemson coach warned against pregnancy
Report: Seven abortions to keep scholarships
Associated Press
Tuesday, May 15, 2007

COLUMBIA -A Clemson track coach told her athletes that becoming pregnant could jeopardize their scholarships, but the school said Monday that no students lost their aid and the policy was later dropped.

The warnings came to light Sunday when ESPN, citing an anonymous female athlete at the school, reported that at least seven current and former Clemson athletes had abortions for fear of losing their scholarships. The athlete told ESPN that she had an abortion after a school official told her she could lose her scholarship by being pregnant.

Clemson athletic director Terry Don Phillips said in a statement posted on the school's athletic department Web site that track coach Marcia Noad had presented her team with written rules, which included the lines, "Pregnancy resulting in the inability to compete and positively contribute to the program's success will result in the modification of your grant-in-aid money. Please consult your coaching staff immediately to discuss."
Read more... )
Okay... I am all for female athletes. I am all for athletic competition. Schools these days invest a LOT of money attracting athletes and competing between other schools for championships and standing. I just graduated from Uconn - who tout their women's basketball team to no end.

I need to understand something. Up to a certain point, you can be pregnant and still play, but after that you are on the bench. You may or may not have an "easy" pregnancy/birth/recovery and that will affect your ability to participate in said sport. If you were given the scholarship to be a member of an athletic team, to compete and win glory for your university... aren't you breaking the contract by becoming unable to play? Or does this fall under injury/accident clauses, like when a player blows a knee or breaks a leg or pulls a muscle, making them unable to play?

Just because you aren't out on the court, or on the field, doesn't mean you cannot participate. Hence, I believe, that is why the coach (or school, they aren't exactly clear on who originally came up with this idea) put in the caveat of "positively contribute to the program's success" and that the scholarship could be modified depending on the level of contribution. Hrm. Sounds like someone wants to have one rule for "regular" medical snafus and another for pregnancy. Maybe it is a policy thought up to keep students from "free-riding" the system to a degree. Whatever the case, you can't have it both ways.

This feels similar to the policies of the military - especially when you are in your initial training period. If a female gets pregnant during basic training, she (and not the male who contributed to her condition) gets kicked out... Of course, you'd have to already BE pregnant to really get dinged for it, most women who are in tip top condition physically don't begin to show until after the three months it takes you to get through basic training. If someone can get "split-training" to accomodate school, why not to accomodate pregnancy? Why does the military frown on pregnancy of its female soldiers? If you aren't in a situation where you are directly in the line of fire, it shouldn't make any damned difference.

With the sports scholarship... whether it is negligence or purposeful, or just plain dumb luck, it shouldn't make a difference either. Because that's how "regular" accidents and injuries occur. A woman who is in peak physical condition can do A LOT of physical activity (and I can hear people starting to chatter about contact sports being rough and so forth, and she could just as easily slip or have some other kind of accident and get a similar result). Continuing with a physical training regimen will actually make childbirth easier for a woman's body. Which means recovery would be that much quicker.

Example: Woman works in a factory, which requires regular lifting of 50+ pounds frequent bending and ocassional running to and fro in the course of a 12 hour shift. Said woman works until she is a week away from her due date, and only goes home at this point because the staff don't want her to give birth on the premises... Three hours labor, start to finish, and woman walks out of hospital with a flat stomach, still in perfect physical condition. Gets to stay home for two weeks because of maternity leave but could go back to work immediately if sufficient support structure in place to care for infant.

Example: Woman rides horses all day, trains and fights in battles as necessary to protect tribe. Works up until labor begins - gets off horse, has baby, gets back up on horse. Sound familiar? Amazons really might have existed, we just don't have definitive proof. Similar incidents occur around the world for women who's work is physical labor, like farming.
semiotic_pirate: (wild at heart)
"So a bunch of men in the world are in love with Mary Jane, and they buy a model of her standing in a sey pose. Big deal. You can belittle the men in this case all you want; and you’re probably right, who the hell pays 125 dollars for a comic figure. That being said, they arent the only men to ever fancy an unrealistic representation of a woman.

I will never understand what modern feminists are trying to accomplish. Equal pay for equal work, ok I can see that one. Fair representation in science and math? Maybe there wouldn’t be such an issue there if all of the “smart” women became mathematicians instead of women’s rights studies majors (yawn).

But seriously. On the one hand, you people are all about sexual empowerment and liberation. And then you complain when men look at you as sexual objects! You glorify the female body and defend the right of any women to dress the way she wants without attracting unwanted desires. And then you condemn men for picking out figures of women wearing sexy clothes. You obsess over shows like Sex and the City for depicting women in an empowered position. But when men see that show, all they see is four shallow, slutty, shoe shopping, man obsessed, gossipy, but most importantly, TYPICAL - as in fitting all of the most negative sterotypes men have about women. And yet somehow it is empowering. So we just dont get it. "

Quote from this reponse to a post by pandagon regarding the Mary Jane collector's statue ($125).

Okay, lets take this one point at a time, shall we?

1. "Love" is not what men feel for MJ, especially not this depiction. That would be lust, pure and simple.

2. By enclosing the word smart in quotation marks, this person, whose screen name is White Male, is deliberately implying that women in general are not smart at all and that is why there is not equal representation in math and science. That it has nothing to do with decades of socialization, etc.

3. Sexual empowerment & liberation does not equal being objectified. It means that we can be sexual beings who can make their own choices about when, where, how, and with whom. It does not mean that we want to be objects, implying that we are just property to be bought. It is one thing for a man to admire and desire a woman (or even a distorted representation of a woman) it is another for that man to want to OWN said woman, as an object - that said woman is not a person in her own right.

4. Women who like Sex & the City do so because the women depicted are the ones CHOOSING to do what they do. They make their own money, and spend it the way they want. They make their own decisions about who, where, and how to satiate their sexual needs. They are a community of four, who are growing and evolving in their wants and needs through life. Are they "shallow" because they think about themselves?

Please, someone else give me a hand in explaining the HUMAN side of this explanation.

This is the image of the statue in question:

I liked this (quoted on pandagon from feministe in another response) take on the whole issue much better: "When a girl or woman picks up “Wizard” and can’t make it 5 pages in without being grossed out by the softcore and the sexist jokes, or when a woman walks into a comics shop and sees statues like MJ, Emma and Supergirl proudly displayed in a place of honor, and when (as you said) she can’t buy JLA without the Peej cover– or when a woman goes to a website and sees misogynist ads with a woman who’s got a lock over her mouth– more likely than not, she’s going to put down the magazine, walk out of the comics shop, and close the website. If the creators and retailers are okay with the fact that, *to the average person*, they look like a bunch of creepy perverts, then fine– they don’t need to change anything they’re doing.

But I don’t think, judging from the response from DC, that they even realize how bad the Peej cover looks. They really just do not *get* that most people, if you showed them that JLA cover without any context and asked them to guess what the comic is about, and who it’s for, would probably guess “It’s about huge breasts, and it’s for men who want specialty fetish porn about huge breasts.”

They don’t realize *how they look* to people that aren’t familiar enough with the superhero comics industry to know that this crap is just business as usual. *That’s* what makes this a big deal.

The women who got their comments deleted from Sideshow’s website– most of ‘em, I can say with some degree of confidence, are Internet nerds of one stripe or another, and most of them are probably within the target market for Sideshow’s Buffy or LOTR or Star Wars or manga collectibles. Sideshow just spit in their faces. Similarly, the women who left reasonable comments on Quesada’s blog and got those deleted? Yeah, they basically just got told by Marvel’s *Editor-in-Chief* to get the fuck back in the kitchen and make him a sammich.

And for every woman that left a comment and got it deleted, there were probably 20 more lurkers that watched it happen. And again, that’s what makes this a big deal– the fact that a lot of the people who are *really upset* about this *could* have been comics fans, and now probably never will be. I know a lot of people on my livejournal friendslist, mostly women, who have never bought comics before– but lately, they have been going into comics shops to buy the Buffy S8 comics, or the Supernatural prequel comics, or Joss Whedon’s run on “X-Men” or “Runaways.” And I know a lot of people who like the Spider-Man movies, and back when the last movie came out, I was recommending Ultimate Spidey left and right.

But these days, man. I just cringe when I think of a friend of mine walking into a comics store and seeing that Peej cover, or other covers like it. *I love comics*. And I love superhero comics. But some days, they do stuff that’s just indefensible, and I can’t in good conscience recommend DC or Marvel comics to my friends any more. And, yeah, that’s what makes this a big deal."

This is so true. I was a major comic book geek-fan throughout the late 70's and 80's. Life started happening and I fell away from that part of my life, but now I have begun to look back and to check out what's on the shelves at the local stores. When I would occasionally see stuff between then and now, it would all be about the extreme distortion of both male and female physiques. It made a parody of what the human body actually looks like, the story-lines were degraded and overly oriented towards sexualizing and objectifying the women. The dross outweighed the good stuff and made it so I couldn't make myself wade through the morass to get to it either. We will see if I can find anything worth getting hooked enough on this time around to subscribe to.

Another pet peeve: Before, the universe of characters were loosely knit, that way if you just wanted to read ONE series, you could, and not suffer from missing "vital" parts of the story-line. These days, you cannot do that. They cross-market and cross-pollinize their story-lines all over the place. Talk about annoying.
semiotic_pirate: (OH NOZ!)
Okay, there was an article in the NY Times about a book getting banned by a lot of elementary school librarians. You've probably already read about it or heard about it by now, however, me doing my homework all day, this if the first time I've seen it. It won the Newbury Medal... what do all of you think?

With One Word, Children’s Book Sets Off Uproar

The word “scrotum” does not often appear in polite conversation. Or children’s literature, for that matter.

Yet there it is on the first page of “The Higher Power of Lucky,” by Susan Patron, this year’s winner of the Newbery Medal, the most prestigious award in children’s literature. The book’s heroine, a scrappy 10-year-old orphan named Lucky Trimble, hears the word through a hole in a wall when another character says he saw a rattlesnake bite his dog, Roy, on the scrotum.

“Scrotum sounded to Lucky like something green that comes up when you have the flu and cough too much,” the book continues. “It sounded medical and secret, but also important.”
Read more... )

Begin Reaction

It sounded medical and secret, but also important.

The above sentence, coming from a girl of ten, after overhearing the word scrotum smacks of female penis worship and envy. Medical in this sentence is akin to "sacred" because doctors are the priests of science - of the medical profession. So lets see, we have sacred, secret and important. Something to be worshiped. That which is worshiped by someone who does not have said object brings about envy. Blech. Great message to give to elementary shcool level kids.

Scrotum sounded to Lucky like something green that comes up when you have the flu and cough too much.

That this is the sentence previous to the one I just dissected is like an attempt to bait and switch in advertising. Yeah, it may be something green that comes up when you have the flu and cough too much... but it is still sacred, secret, and important.

*shrug* I guess I would have to have a more indepth look at the book and give it a read-through to really assess it. However, off the cuff, my reaction to it is negative. It isn't the inclusion of the word scrotum, it is the symbolic meaning given to the word represented by Lucky's first impression of it that bothers me.


Feb. 4th, 2007 03:36 pm
semiotic_pirate: (Angelina eye)

In other news - I finished the paper that I had to do to convert my incomplete grade from last semester's class. Yay! Now I have to wait for it to be graded...
semiotic_pirate: (sewn-shut mouth)
“Because the number of birth-giving machines and devices is fixed, all we can ask for is for them to do their best per head,” he said. He added: “Although it may not be so appropriate to call them machines.”

source here.
semiotic_pirate: (PirateLiberty)
They kicked the woman off the plane for feeding her baby? So what if she popped a breast out for the kid to latch on to, if it makes you uncomfortable DON'T LOOK. It isn't that breasts are sexualized, they've always been sexualized, it is that they are over-sexualized and objectified as ONLY being about sex. Like men own women's breasts. *rolls eyes* WTF?!

Breast-feeding moms protest lactose intolerance

Babies at the breast, protest signs close by, nursing mothers staged "nurse-in" demonstrations in airports across the country yesterday rallying behind a woman ordered off a plane for breast-feeding her daughter too openly.
"I truly hope it does get the message across," said Becky Fontana, 29, nursing her 4-month-old daughter as she sat cross-legged on the terminal floor at Burlington International Airport.
About 25 women turned out here, parking themselves near a Delta Air Lines ticket counter in a peaceful — but not-so-quiet — demonstration mirroring those in airports in Boston, Columbus, Nashville, Tenn., Harrisburg, Pa., Hartford, Conn., Albuquerque, N.M., Louisville, Ky. and elsewhere. In all, more than two dozen demonstrations were planned.
Some of the women carried hand-lettered signs saying "Don't be lactose intolerant" and "Breasts — Not just for selling cars anymore."
"We're not here to blame anyone," said Chelsea Clark, 31, of Fairfax, wearing a "Got breast milk?" T-shirt as she nursed her 9-week-old son at the Burlington airport. "It's about raising consciousness about our culture's sexualization of the breast. Breast-feeding needs to be supported wherever and whenever it happens. Babies don't know the meaning of 'wait.'"
On Oct. 13, Emily Gillette, 27, of Santa Fe, N.M., was ordered off a Freedom Airlines flight about to take off from Burlington International Airport after a flight attendant asked her to cover up while she was breast-feeding her 1-year-old daughter.
She had been sitting on the New York-bound plane — which was three hours late departing — when she began nursing, prompting the flight attendance to hand her a blanket. When she refused it, the female flight attendant had her removed from the plane, along with her husband and child.
semiotic_pirate: (Kate Hepburn)
The following is a post [ profile] phanatic made a while ago. I found it quite interesting and wonder if more people know about this little tidbit. Kinda blows a wide and gaping hole in the christian-anti-abortion group doesn't it? Notice I call them anti-abortion, not pro-life, because if they were pro-life they wouldn't be trying to kill (or encouraging the deaths) of people who are pro-abortion. After all, if all life is sacred you wouldn't want to be killing anyone. Another point is this; if they are all fired up about saving "the innocent" but they are Christian... what happened to their belief in Original Sin? No one except Mary, mother of Jesus, was born without it. Supposedly. Well, it always seems that, if you make an argument claiming that the Bible backs up your opinion someone else is bound to find a counter argument within the Bible as well.


The pro-life crowd, or at least the Christian subset of the pro-life crowd, tends to argue its case from a Biblical perspective, as one would expect. Generally, it's claimed that abortion is the moral equivalent of murder.

But there's a Biblical passage that seems to call that assertion into question, and in a big way: Exodus 21:22-25.

"If men who are fighting hit a pregnant woman and she gives birth prematurely but there is no serious injury, the offender must be fined whatever the woman's husband demands and the court allows. But if there is serious injury, you are to take life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise."

To sum up, if you beat a pregnant woman and she miscarries, it's a civil matter, punishable merely by a monetary fine. If you hurt the woman, then it's a criminal matter and you can be physically punished. If you murder the woman in the process, you yourself are to be put to death.

Kill the woman, you die. Simply kill the fetus, you're out some cash.

Isn't this a pretty substantial point of evidence that abortion and murder are not morally equivalent?


So? Comments? Discussion?
semiotic_pirate: (wild at heart)
WTF?! Self-immolation? GAH! How the hell do you accomplish that? I mean, how does a young teenage girl suffering in a forced marriage, having been beaten and raped repeatedly by her husband... Oh. But really... self-immolation? How is that effective? And why choose something so painful? And then there's the bit about Pakistan and rape victims still being treated like they committed adultery - yeah, blame the victim a little more why don't ya.

Afghan women seek death by fire

Increasing numbers of Afghan women are committing suicide by setting fire to themselves to escape difficult lives, according to NGOs based in the country.

Marjan, 13, has burns across much of her body

They say women forced into marriage or suffering chronic abuse are killing themselves out of desperation.

Although estimates are difficult to make, one group says cases of self-immolation in the capital have doubled since last year.
Read more... )
In other news:

Pakistan's national assembly has voted to amend the country's strict Sharia laws on rape and adultery.

Until now rape cases were dealt with in Sharia courts. Victims had to have four male witnesses to the crime - if not they faced prosecution for adultery.
Read more... )

Women are the only ones who are really persecuted for sex outside of marriage in whatever story I hear coming out of this area of the world. And anyone raping a woman can claim it was consensual and get away with it. Unless four other men witnessed the rape and call it rape. Sheesh.
semiotic_pirate: (Pirate Grrl - RIOT)
I'm sorry, but this is such utter bullshit. Women finally get some studies done on how their bodies work and what diseases are worse for them and how they work in their bodies and so forth and men are complaining because they aren't the main focus and that they have to share the research dollars and efforts? WTF?! Men (on average) are more likely to suffer an early death because of factors other than disease. Like gunshot wounds and criminal activities - no I'm not saying all men are criminals sheesh. I think what, in the statistics that they are misquoting, should be explained is cause of death. And people in minority groups are known to die due to reasons that are rooted in poverty. Oh, those medicare programs are to benefit the children, not the mother. GAH! The only thing I'll agree on is that prevention is the best medicine. All people need to remember that; it is in the choices we make every day about what we eat, how much we exercise, what stresses we allow in our lives and so forth. Back to the old Nature versus Nurture debate.

November 14, 2006
Health Disparities Persist for Men, and Doctors Ask Why

In recent years, women’s health has been a national priority. Pink ribbons warn of breast cancer. Pins shaped like red dresses raise awareness about heart disease. Offices of women’s health have sprung up at every level of government to offer information and free screenings, and one of the largest government studies on hormones and diet in aging focused entirely on older women.
Read more... )
semiotic_pirate: (ExhibitA)
Note/Warning: Severe rant induced by following article to come. Call me on my mistakes and if you opinion differs, I encourage debate.

Yeah, this sums it up nicely... Why are people so aggressive about needing/wanting their "own" kids when there are plenty out there who need to be adopted? If you have difficult conceiving due to age or infirmity of your genetic content it would be safer and better to adopt anyways. I know of plenty of people who, realizing their genetic carrier status of a specific disease will purposely deny themselves child-bearing but they don't deny themselves child rearing. Adoption. Why is it still viewed as some hideous option for well to do people? Why do people continue to look at these children as someone elses leftovers/byblows and as unworthy-of-my-family-name?? What type of incentive program could be devised in order to market these children as viable alternatives to the extreme expense of IVF and all the other hoo-ha?

Is it because you have to qualify as a good potential parent or family unit to adopt but you don't just to get pregnant? (This getting pregnant is for both the women and the men in a couple or singleton situation, m-kay?) What about foster home caregivers? Are people not willing to do this because then they won't "own" the kid outright? Is it because people expect to be some juvenile delinquent that will ruin their comfy little existences? What? You can "start a family" without getting physically pregnant using your own genetic material.

----->In some small way I understand those religions that deny medical treatment and the over-the-top lifesaving or lifegiving techniques of modern technological medicine. We cannot get around the fact that natural selection exists for a reason. I also think this is why so many folks are tenaciously against abortion of any kind because if the fetus is viable then it is healthy enough to be born and should because it would contribute GENETIC variation and so forth. (Not counting rape, incest, or where the mother's life would be endangered by said pregnancy.) Look at what is going on with the Battlestar Galactica crew - no abortions allowed and pro-baby policies because of a desperate need to continue the human species' existence. Of course, we are in no danger of extinction, look at how the population grows continuously on our little fragile planet.

Here's another reason to consider foster-care and adoption. Oh, and BTW, adopt kids from your neighborhood or at least your own country first because we cannot help others until we help OURSELVES. And that isn't selfishness on my part, just common sense.

And, realize that this sentence: "But the experts stressed the overall risk was still relatively low." is referring to the risk added to possible defects and such only as caused by IVF and fertility treatment itself. The treatments themselves don't add much risk to the already RISKY situation of why the couple or person is infertile in the first place.


Infertility link to autism risk

Couples with fertility problems are three times more likely to have a child with serious conditions like autism and cerebral palsy, research suggests.

The extra risk is likely to be caused by health problems that make it difficult for these couples to conceive in the first place, scientists believe.

Fertility treatments, such as IVF, may contribute too, an American Society for Reproductive Medicine meeting heard.

But the experts stressed the overall risk was still relatively low.

They said couples should be counselled about the risks and encouraged to improve their health before undergoing fertility treatment.

Professor Mary Croughan, who led the University of California research on 4,000 women and their children aged up to six years, explained those with fertility problems were also more likely to have other health problems, such as heart disease and diabetes, and were more at risk of pregnancy and labour complications.

She said: "What has caused them to be unable to conceive goes on to cause problems.

"It is as if a brick wall has stopped you becoming pregnant. Treatment allows you to climb over the wall, but it is still there and it goes on to cause problems."

Raised risk

Her team found the risk of five conditions - autism, mental retardation, cerebral palsy, seizures and cancer - was 2.7 times higher among the children born to 2,000 women who experienced fertility problems than among those born to the 2,000 women who did not have difficult conceiving.

For autism alone, the risk was four times higher.

Moderate developmental problems such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, learning disabilities or serious sight or hearing disorders were also 40% more common in the children born to the couples who struggled to start a family.

Stuart Lavery, a spokesman for the British Fertility Society, questioned how valid the findings were because of the wide range of fertility problems and treatments the women had.

"There is no doubt that people who have difficulties with their fertility have difficulties conceiving and carrying pregnancies, although it has not been shown that it is the infertility that is causing the problems," he added.

Clare Brown of Infertility Network UK said continued work was needed to ensure treatment was safe for couples and potential children.

At the same conference, doctors heard how Britain should consider paying women thousands of pounds to donate their eggs.

US clinics often pay women up to $10,000 (£5,200) per IVF cycle. In comparison, British clinics can offer £250 plus travel and childcare expenses.

A spokesman for The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority said it had no plans to review the £250 cap, set last year.

Story from BBC NEWS:
semiotic_pirate: (eyeball)
Aren't content with the way your eyelashes look? Not long enough, or thick enough to satisfy you? I'm sorry, I realize that the world (western, whatever) seems to be caught in this aging is BAD in a BAD way - hide it, disguise it, lie about it... Because it is okay to lie about your age, it is okay to lie about what you were born to look like, and so forth. I realize that there have been studies that prove that "pretty" people get more things done. However, did they do a study on positive versus negative people, no matter what they look like, and their effectiveness? Because, I'm sorry, no matter how pretty you are, if you are an ass I'll know after a little while and I won't treat you like you are the bestest thing on the planet if you're an ass no matter what you look like. The oversexualization of society is stupid. Forcing women and men to contort themselves into a "fashionable" image is stupid and a way that society is annhilating itself with. Fuck that shit. The economy doesn't need fashion like it needs food and well wrought products that last a lifetime. High gear consumerism doesn't help the economy, it makes it unstable. Yeah, let me turn everything into an economic argument. Lastly, I love that this originated in Los Angeles. 0_o

On with the show:

Eyelash transplants set to sweep nip tuck world

By Jill Serjeant

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Think you've seen it all when it comes to cosmetic surgery?

Look more closely. Eyelash transplant surgery wants to become the new must-have procedure for women -- and the occasional man -- convinced that beauty is not so much in the eye of the beholder as in front of the eye itself.

Using procedures pioneered by the hair loss industry for balding men, surgeons are using "plug and sew" techniques to give women long, sweeping lashes once achieved only by glued on extensions and thick lashings of mascara.

And just like human hair -- for that is the origin -- these lashes just keep on growing.

"Longer, thicker lashes are an ubiquitous sign of beauty. Eyelash transplantation does for the eyes what breast augmentation does for the figure," said Dr Alan Bauman, a leading proponent of eyelash transplants.

"This is a brand new procedure for the general public (and) it is going to explode," Bauman told Reuters during what was billed as the world's first live eyelash surgery workshop for about 40 surgeons from around the world.

Under the procedure, a small incision is made at the back of the scalp to remove 30 or 40 hair follicles which are carefully sewn one by one onto the patient's eyelids. Only light sedation and local anesthetics are used and the cost is around $3,000 an eye.

The technique was first confined to patients who had suffered burns or congenital malformations of the eye. But word spread and about 80 percent are now done for cosmetic reasons.

For many women, eyelash surgery is simply an extra item on the vast nip tuck menu that has lost its old taboos.

More than 10 million cosmetic procedures -- from tummy tucks to botox -- were performed in the United States in 2005, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. The figure represents a 38 percent increase over the year 2000.

Erica Lynn, 27, a Florida model with long auburn hair, breast implants and a nose job, had eyelash transplants three years ago because she was fed up with wearing extensions on her sandy-colored lashes.

"When I found out about it, I just had to have it done. Everyone I mention it to wants it. I think eyelashes are awesome. You can never have enough of them," Lynn said.

Bauman, who practices in Florida, does about three or four a month. Dr. Sara Wasserbauer, a Northern California hair restoration surgeon, says she has been inundated by requests.

"I have been getting a ton of eyelash inquiries ... If I had $10 dollars for every consultation, I'd be a rich woman."

The surgery is not for everyone. The transplanted eyelashes grow just like head hair and need to be trimmed regularly and sometimes curled. Very curly head hair makes for eyelashes with too much kink.

**the last statement seems just like the warnings for olestra... ~snark or, more seriously, the every so small print on the tobacco products, after they'd been forced to put them on the packages in the first place.**
semiotic_pirate: (wild at heart)
Abortion ban closer in Nicaragua

A Nicaraguan parliamentary committee has approved draft legislation to ban all abortions, including in cases where the mother's life is at risk.

The legislation will now be debated at a national assembly hearing before a final vote next week.

If the law is passed, doctors carrying out abortions could face up to 30 years in prison.

At present, abortion is only permitted in Nicaragua in instances where the life of the mother is in danger.

The call for a complete ban has mainly come from the Roman Catholic and evangelical churches.

Church support

The bill - which is widely expected to be approved - has come amid campaigning for the country's presidential election in November.

The leader of the judicial committee which returned the decision is against changing the law. He argues that the process has happened too quickly, and without proper consultation.

However, BBC Americas editor Will Grant says it appears that the much of the assembly, and indeed much of Nicaragua, which is estimated to be 85% Roman Catholic, disagrees with him.

Orlando Tardencilla, one of the members of the sub-committee which proposed the bill, said: "Unless abortion is made a crime, then people can simply come out and say: 'I have the right to an abortion, this is my body and I can decide.' *See below for retort

"That's like saying: 'I'm allowed to commit murder because these hands are mine, this gun is mine.'"

But rights group The Women's Autonomous Movement said it would file an injunction if the bill was approved.

"It's not possible that a woman's life be considered secondary," the Associated Press news agency quoted group co-ordinator Azahalea Solis as saying.

No... then WOMEN can simply say, this is MY BODY and I can make decisions regarding MY BODY because I am an autonomous being with an existence separate from yours. Unless you can figure out a way for YOU to carry the child to term without my womb, I make decisions regarding said womb. And using a gun to murder another person, that person exists independently from my body. Is there going to be an orphanage set up specifically to deal with children who killed their mothers by being born? Who would want to deal with that knowledge? And don't just claim you wouldn't tell the kid because anyone with enough brains can add one with the other... Hmm, my mother died when I was born, after this law was passed - I KILLED MY MOTHER! Yeah, that's wonderful, the catholics (crucifictionists that is) love that built in sin & guilt.

Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2006/10/21 00:14:22 GMT

Also read this this , this and .

One wonders if Orlando owns a coffee plantation...


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