April 6, 2012
"

But if you’re going to argue that something women are freely choosing to do with our bodies is still harmful to other women, and that we ought not to do it, you need to actually make a strong positive case for that position. The default assumption should be that women are free to do with our bodies whatever the hell we choose, and that feminists ought to not only accept and tolerate each other’s right to make those choices, but actively support it. This should be the default assumption… unless you can make a strong positive case for why a particular choice is harmful, and we ought not to make it.

And you haven’t made that case. All you’ve done is re-state your conclusion, again and again, using hyperbolic language that makes it sound as if you’re making a case. All you’ve done is say, again and again, “It’s always bad to offer pictures of naked women for money, in all circumstances, because… it just is. By definition.”

Now. It is certainly the case that my choice to participate in this calendar was made in the context of a sexist culture: a culture that treats women as sexual objects rather than subjects, a culture that treats women’s bodies as commodities, a culture with a strong tendency to value women primarily as ornaments, sexual playthings, and babymakers. My choice to pose naked for this calendar and let the photo of my naked body be (a) disseminated for free on the internet and (b) sold to raise money for feminist causes… yes, that choice was made in the context of this sexist culture. It was in some ways influenced by that culture, and in some ways it contributes to it.

And your choice wasn’t?

Your choice to scold me, and the other women who posed in this calendar, is somehow magically free of this sexist culture? It somehow has not been tainted by the sexist culture that treats women’s bodies as shameful, the culture that reflexively abjures women to cover our nakedness, the culture that demands that women share our bodies only with the men who rightfully own them, the culture that reflexively slut-shames women for enjoying our bodies and our sexualities and making our own decisions about it? My selling photos of my naked body to raise money for a cause I believe in is automatically part of the commodification of women… but your attempt to enforce the standards of modesty has nothing to do with women’s physical and sexual suppression? I am a cog in the machinery of this culture… but you, magically, have freed yourself from it?

And as a result, you have earned the authority to tell me what I should and should not do with my own naked body?

I have heard arguments like yours many times, aimed by women at other women. “You should never sell images of your naked body — we live in a culture where female bodies are commodified, and even the consensual display of female nudity contributes to that.” “You should never have consensual sadomasochistic sex — we live in a culture of violence against women, and even consensual SM contributes to it.” “You should never have sex with men — we live in a culture of deep power differences between men and women, and even a consensual heterosexual relationship can’t escape them and contributes to them.” And yet the women passing these judgments, the women demanding that other women make complicated choices about their bodies based on someone else’s rigid ideology, never seem to say to themselves, “You should never shame other women about their consensual choices with their bodies — we live in a culture of relentless slut-shaming, in which women are not seen as having physical and sexual agency, and these judgments contribute to it.”

"

Greta Christina’s Blog - What I May Do With My Naked Body: A Reply to Azar Majedi About the #NudePhotoRevolutionaries Calendar (via eddieatthegov)

This is a really great blogpost.

(via notevensurewhy)

(via notevensurewhy)

April 6, 2012
dammitjean:

zombify:

Jesus ? A lich ? OH no…
nyquilontherocks:

Finally, somebody gets it.


Important information for my fellow heathens.

dammitjean:

zombify:

Jesus ? A lich ? OH no…

nyquilontherocks:

Finally, somebody gets it.

Important information for my fellow heathens.

(via metagasm)

January 2, 2012
Criticising a lack of respect serves what purpose?

Those criticising Dawkins for lacking respect seem to be confused about the definition of respect. There is no reason Dawkins should show respect to beliefs which he finds patently absurd. He should probably tolerate them, and he does, but there is no reason to give them any more respect than they deserve. Some say he is strident. I really don’t see it. He is very measured and polite, but he is critical, and incisively so. Such claims about him lacking respect or being strident are silencing tactics.

What also concerns me about the footage is that the people criticising Dawkins on such specious grounds (as opposed to criticising his argument) seem to be in positions of power. Julie Bishop, deputy leader of the opposition in Australia, in her comment about the neo-Darwinists and neo-creationists uses a false equivalence fallacy - which “occurs when someone falsely equates an act by one party as being equally egregious to that of another without taking into account the underlying differences which may make the comparison patently invalid” - by equating those who believe in evolution (a theory with significant evidential backing) to creationists (a theory with no solid evidential backing), stating both are extremes. Furthermore, in equating both to be extremes she implies the truth lies in the middle - another logical fallacy known as the argument to moderation. Tony Burke, the Minister for Agriculture, appears to be in complete agreement. These people are either stupid or they are cheap hacks who use glib rhetoric in order to win an argument. Why have they been given power? Why do they continue to be given power?

November 19, 2011
A message for those considering voting

"if you do decide to vote, you have a duty to not reduce the quality of the median vote."

Making the informed choice is what democracy should be about, as opposed to merely ticking boxes for the sake of it. Don’t vote unless you’ve put some serious thought into it. That doesn’t mean picking a party or local politician because you identify with their branding. It means looking at the policies and thinking about the potential effects they are likely to have. It means looking at what the local politician you vote for is going to do for your area. It means raising the standard of discourse to that which has substance. It means holding the elected representatives accountable after they are elected, regardless as to whether you voted for them, because they (at least ostensibly) represent your interests.

If you aren’t going to do this, don’t vote. You are the problem with democracy. You lower the standard of discourse, policies, representatives and accountability. You are the problem.

If after putting serious thought into the policy options bundled amongst the parties and candidates you find the least worst is bad or even worse, don’t vote. If you vote for bad policy, you will get bad policy.

Bad policy can have significant impacts and if you vote for it, you will be giving it an implicit endorsement. You will forfeit your right to complain.
And by “will forfeit”, I mean you can still complain, but I see no reason to care about your specific complaints because by voting for bad policy you are the problem.

As well as this, without a gap in the vote market indicated with a non-vote, the likelihood of good policy being used to capture votes in the future remains extremely minimal because the parties don’t have to work for the vote. You need to make the parties work. Correspondingly, if you don’t vote, you should also get your view out there as to why you haven’t and promote what you want to see from the people who claim to represent you. If you’re not proactive, you won’t see change.

Relevant:

http://www.overcomingbias.com/2011/11/political-puzzles.html
http://www.overcomingbias.com/2011/01/rulers-are-far.html
http://press.princeton.edu/titles/9464.html
http://twitter.com/#!/CanMedianVoter

November 19, 2011
Government intervention

The questions I ask when the idea that government should do more things comes up are “Do I trust the government?”, “Am I still likely to be able to trust the government in the future?” and, most importantly, “Will the government intervention be better than it not intervening?”. Where the benefits of government intervention are not clear and large, it is likely that the risk of government intervention is too high due to the costs that such intervention is likely to have, both intended and unintended (unintended effects are a significant problem for a government lacking perfect knowledge).

Relevant:

http://mungowitzend.blogspot.com/2011/11/test-your-economics-knowledge.html

http://www.smbc-comics.com/index.php?db=comics&id=2434&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+smbc-comics%2FPvLb+%28Saturday+Morning+Breakfast+Cereal+%28updated+daily%29%29

http://elmoiscariot.blogspot.com/2011/11/libertarian-metaphor-government-is-like.html

March 20, 2011
"Dance like you’re stamping on a human face forever, love like you’ve been in a serious car crash that minced the front of your brain, stab like no one can arrest you, and live like there’s no such thing as God."

— Warren Ellis (via digitalyn) (via notevensurewhy)

March 20, 2011
kateoplis:

Just a friendly reminder that the Qu’ran isn’t the only holy book the ignorant take literally. 

When does it stop? Can we stop it?

kateoplis:

Just a friendly reminder that the Qu’ran isn’t the only holy book the ignorant take literally

When does it stop? Can we stop it?

February 26, 2011
Pricing goods in times of scarcity

I was intending to write about other ideas first, but I think this is an important idea to try and get people to understand. I was at work the other day, strangely enough - yes, I have a job so my life now revolves around that - and of late much discussion has revolved around the recent earthquake in Christchurch. It is the second high impact earthquake in the last six months and was a lot more damaging than the first despite being weaker on the richter scale: 6.3 as opposed to 7.1. This is likely because the second earthquake occurred during a much busier time of day where people and vehicle density in the centre of town was much higher than in the first earthquake, Christchurch infrastructure and buildings were already in a weakened state due to the damage of the first earthquake and the second earthquake was shallower and in closer proximity to the city.

Nonetheless, that is just the background. The precise discussion I am concerned with is one that was had regarding prices as apparently some retailers have been raising prices to much higher levels than they previously had been. There was a level of disgust around this from some people and as I was pretty exhausted yesterday, I did not quite manage to formulate precisely why I had little problem with such behaviour, so I would like to explain here why such pricing is actually positive.

Read More

February 21, 2011

If your political position can be defined with one word, you’re not thinking hard enough.

I saw words to this effect a few days ago and I agree. It is also frustrating seeing and hearing people make comments on politics (or any issue really) without considering the ramifications of what they are proposing:

x is bad/not enough therefore we should support y

Sure y sounds lovely, but what happens if you follow through with it?

Don’t know? Then shut the fuck up until you do.

Scott Adams had a good post, “Philosophy versus Plan" , which covers similar ground and is pretty spot on.

I hope to post around this later.

7:20am  |   URL: http://tmblr.co/ZWuMPy3B2A_Q
(View comments  
Filed under: politics 
February 14, 2011
Anybody see a problem here?

So in recent times, Bobby Franklin, a Georgia state representative said of homosexuality:

The Bible says it’s a capital offense. You want someone with unrepentant criminal behavior? And it’s not just that, neither should adulterers, neither should thieves, neither should a lot of things. The church is full of sinners, but we’re told in 1st Corinthians it rattled off the homosexual, the adulterer, the thief, the liar, and such were some of you, but you’ve been washed, you’ve been justified and so forth. It’s not what you were. You’re not punishing a thought. But do you want an unrepentant drug dealer in the military? Same thing.

(source: http://www.advocate.com/News/Daily_News/2011/02/09/Pol_Compares_Gays_to_Drug_Dealers/)

How does it come to pass that a US lawmaker doesn’t understand there’s a difference between Biblical law and US law? Or that he’s in a country which has a constitutionally mandated separation of church and state? Do Cobb County voters not understand this either? Is that why they (presumably) voted in such an idiot?

Of course, it wouldn’t be at least partially the result of a disconnect between religion, religious belief and observable reality, and if there was it wouldn’t be problematic anyway. And if one were to get annoyed at people making decisions which adversely affect them and others because of such a disconnect, that would be totally unjustified, right? Because religion’s not an insidious public bad at all.

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