But, but, teh baybeez!

For anyone making a show of speculating on how many “unborn babies” lives were “saved” by the shooting at the Planned Parenthood in Colorado Springs: absolutely none. Some of those fetuses might end up getting aborted at a later stage of gestation, at which time they’ll look more human, but those pregnant people still don’t want babies and laying siege to an abortion clinic won’t make them any more interested in adding more human beings to this world.

But don’t shut up on my account! By all means, keep telling us how you understand this act was a terrorist attack against abortion rights. Keep telling us about how the idea of those “unborn babies” is so much more important than the lives of breathing adults.

You LOSE, you get NOTHING, good DAY, sir.


Someone is telling a heap of lies.

A link to this gem popped up in my Facebook feed this morning, and oh dear, what a perfect Gordian knot of online dating FAIL.

The content is all screenshots, and I can’t be bothered to save/upload/display them on this blog, so I recommend you follow the link to see how the conversation goes. I will fill in with my commentary. My thoughts, occurring in approximately this order:

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Well, there’s your problem, SXSW.

You may have heard about a panel on online harassment getting cancelled by SXSW because the conference was getting harassed about the panel. Not exactly a surprising turn of events. The anti-feminist brigade is constantly demonstrating to us why we need feminism.

The note went on to explain that “[f]or this reason, we have also cancelled other sessions at the 2016 event that focused on the Gamergate controversy.”

By “other sessions” SXSW actually meant only one other session, a putative discussion of “the Gaming Community” featuring a panel of Gamergaters.

The panel on harassment, while featuring Gamergate critics/targets Randi Lee Harper and Katherine Cross, was not intended to be an anti-Gamergate panel as such, but a wider discussion of harassment online.

If we’re just talking about the fact that they cancelled the panel, I understand that much. You get threats of violence against your conference, you might want to eliminate the locus of those threats, even if it means the terrorists win in the short term. Terrorism can be effective that way. That’s why terrorists keep on terrorizing.

Here’s where they go off the rails, though. It’s the statement they released to explain the cancellations:

[P]reserving the sanctity of the big tent at SXSW Interactive necessitates that we keep the dialogue civil and respectful. If people can not agree, disagree and embrace new ways of thinking in a safe and secure place that is free of online and offline harassment, then this marketplace of ideas is inevitably compromised.

Oh, it’s that “big tent” again. I’m all in favor of big tents, when implemented appropriately. But here’s the thing: there is no tent big enough to accommodate both harassers and their targets. The prevalence of online harassment has already established that some people are not interested in civil and respectful dialogue. There’s no “marketplace of ideas” with sufficient space for, say, feminist women writers, and those who think feminist women writers are scum who should be bullied off the Internet. There’s no middle ground between, “We belong here and we deserve a space to share our ideas,” and, “no, you’re garbage and we will keep on hounding you until you disappear.”

If your “big tent” is an enabler of harassment, then you need to take a side.

You want to go as THAT for Halloween? Really?

Watchers has a list of ideas and sources for Game of Thrones-related Halloween costumes, which is great!, but there’s just this one thing that’s been bugging me for a while.

(I’m about to ruin y’all’s fun.)

There’s a costume for Cersei’s Walk of Shame.

And this is the part where I go: Really? Are you quite sure you want that to be your Halloween costume? Have you stopped to think about what exactly went on in that scene?

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Cargo Cult Social Justice: You’re Fooling No One

I’d like to talk about the rhetorical tactics on display by these forced-birth women claiming to be feminists:

According to Murphy, “the central tenement of feminism is equality for human beings regardless of sex, gender, orientation, race, religion,” and that concept should extend to unborn children. “To devalue the preborn life simply because of their location or of their dependency is an act of discrimination,” she said. “In what good society does improving one side of human rights involve harming and causing violence to other human beings?”

The word you want is “tenet,” not “tenement,” for fuck’s sake.

This type of argumentation is what I call “cargo cult social justice.” It’s where regressive social movements—and opposition to legal abortion is absolutely regressive—appropriate the language of progressive movements and think it works the same way. Ms. Murphy’s use of social-justice-derived language to support the cause of forcing women to have babies is especially transparent, but she’s far from alone in this.

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Using Women as Product

One of the revelations to come out of the recent blow-up of Ashley Madison is that nearly all of the site’s female users are fake profiles. Relative to the number of men using the site, the number of real women actually interacting with men looking to have affairs is nearly zero. Annalee Newitz then invites us to ask whether Ashley Madison deliberately set out to create a site in which married men paid for the privilege of pursuing non-existent women, or whether they simply ended up operating that way after they failed to attract a non-trivial number of women to the site. Either way, the end result is that tens of millions of men are putting money into Ashley Madison and almost no extramarital affairs are resulting from those expenditures. The site is just ripping off tens of millions of married men who want to cheat on their wives. You have about as good a chance of winning the lottery as a man has of scoring an affair through Ashley Madison.

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And now I will talk about Josh Duggar.

You may have heard that someone hacked into the Ashley Madison servers. I’m sure there are ethical reasons why I shouldn’t stoop to reading about who was caught maintaining a cheat-on-your-spouse account, but, when it exposes ripe hypocrisy, I just can’t help it! Exhibit A: Josh Duggar. Yes, THAT one. First child of Jim Bob and Michelle of 19 Kids and Counting fame, and now the executive director of the Family Research Council. He’s been caught with TWO accounts at Ashley Madison.

Of course this isn’t nearly as disturbing as his sexually abusing younger girls, including his own sisters, but it’s still the sort of thing where he should know better. He makes a living in telling the rest of us what to do with our juicy bits? He shouldn’t be running around on his spouse.

Something that stood out to me, while fish-bowling his latest shame, is that the experiences he’s looking to get from an affair are so uninteresting. According to Gawker, Josh is seeking an extramarital partner for:

“Conventional Sex,” Experimenting with Sex Toys,” One-Night Stands,” “Open to Experimentation,” “Gentleness,” “Good With Your Hands,” Sensual Massage,” “Extended Foreplay/Teasing,” “Bubble Bath for 2,” “Likes to Give Oral Sex,” “Likes to Receive Oral Sex,” “Someone I Can Teach,” “Someone Who Can Teach Me,” “Kissing,” “Cuddling & Hugging,” “Sharing Fantasies,” “Sex Talk.”

That’s it? Really?

I’m not shaming him for being insufficiently adventurous; having vanilla taste in sexytimes is fine. I just think…if he were into weird stuff, I could sort of sympathize with his stepping out on his spouse. It would still be ripe hypocrisy, and unfair to Anna, but I’d see where he was coming from if he were trying to fulfill kinks that Anna didn’t share.

That, though? THAT is why he needs a lady on the side? I could believe that maaaaybe Anna won’t try sex toys, or that her sex talk game is weak, or she’s not so articulate about sharing fantasies, but Josh cannot expect me to believe he can’t have the rest of that incredibly tame shit with his faithful Quiverfull wife. I don’t believe it. *crosses arms stubbornly*

Nope. He’s been cheating on his wife just because he feels like he should have MORE. Maybe the Quiverfull model of marriage ends up being insufficiently fulfilling for Josh; maybe he feels like he needs a more interesting woman to share his bed. Maybe there’s something inherently oppressive in the sense that he cannot fuck his wife without making yet another Duggar. So perhaps he needs another lady just to get the feeling, which most people do enjoy with their partners, of fucking just because fucking is fun. And if that’s his issue, then he should not be telling the rest of us how to build our family lives, because the Family Values party line is that “fucking just for fun” is warped and wrong. Of course he lost his leg to stand on as soon as we found out he sexually abused his sisters, so there’s also that.

Oh, yes, PLEASE bring this to SCOTUS!

In a bit of big news that makes the U.S. an even better place for sexual minorities, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has decided that discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is effectively a subset of discrimination by sex, which means it is already illegal under existing civil rights law.

You know what this means?

When the SCOTUS decided that bans on same-sex marriage were unconstitutional—thus giving us nationwide marriage equality—there were still some states where employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation (read: you could get fired for being gay) was still legal. The EEOC’s decision means that firing someone for loving the same gender is now especially unlikely to go unpunished.

Is this as binding as a Federal law? Not quite. But it definitely means something.

The ruling — issued without objection from any members of the five-person commission — applies to federal employees’ claims directly, but it also applies to the entire EEOC, which includes its offices across the nation that take and investigate claims of discrimination in private employment.

While only the Supreme Court could issue a definitive ruling on the interpretation, EEOC decisions are given significant deference by federal courts.

Oh, man, I relish the thought of the SCOTUS ruling on this question. I can’t wait to see Scalia throw another tantrum over his colleagues having the gall to do their jobs. (But really he’s throwing a tantrum because the law no longer honors his prejudices as it once did.)

I’m interested in this decision because the commission is recognizing what we in the queer and feminist communities have been saying for decades: homophobia is dependent on sexism. The way society treats LGB people (this particular decision does not affect transgender folks) has everything to do with the way society defines man, and woman, and what it expects of us depending on those labels. Furthermore, any hostility to people of same-sex orientation can be ultimately boiled down to a question of what would happen to an opposite-gender (although “opposite” is a problematic concept where gender is concerned, but just humor me for the sake of argument) person in the same place. Specifically: if my employer fires me because they found out I lick pussy, the question is, would they treat a man this way? Would a man lose his job because he’s attracted to women? Ridiculous, isn’t it? Would a woman have to worry about becoming unemployed because she craves cock? The idea is preposterous. Thus, homophobia (and also biphobia, though when bisexuals experience employment discrimination, it’s usually a matter of homophobia) is a wholly owned subsidiary of sexism.

Anyway. The commission’s decision means that the situation of “lose job because we got married” is increasingly unlikely.

Good. We are on Team Fabulous and I want that to mean something.

(Also, I just created the “proud to be an american” tag for this blog. It’s about time I started saying that.)

Kalahari Bushmen, Han Chinese, Carthaginians and Aztecs

It’s basically impossible for anyone to make an argument continuing to exclude same-sex couples from civil marriage without embarrassing themself anymore. Today I show you this vicious BURN from Ishaan Tharoor on Chief Justice John G. Roberts, who complains:

…the Court invalidates the marriage laws of more than half the States and orders the transformation of a social institution that has formed the basis of human society for millennia, for the Kalahari Bushmen and the Han Chinese, the Carthaginians and the Aztecs. Just who do we think we are?

As Tharoor goes on to show us, the randomly chosen four cultures (I will be charitable and assume he just listed whatever cultures came to mind without any research) are hardly exemplars of the procreative, monogamous, heterosexist culture Justice Roberts thinks we should be trying to maintain. At least he didn’t mention Ancient Greece.

That out of the way, I will answer each of Roberts’s questions in turn, with all the consideration and nuance his concerns deserve. In order of appearance:

…the Court invalidates the marriage laws of more than half the States

More than half the states had discriminatory, unfair laws on marriage. They can fucking deal with it.

and orders the transformation of a social institution that has formed the basis of human society for millennia

Society is not going to fall apart because we civil marriage to another small percentage of the population. No, it really won’t. We’ll be okay. Several countries have had marriage equality for a number of years, and their people aren’t facing a degradation in their quality of life. Several states in the US instituted marriage equality years ago (some of us even by popular vote!) and we’re still doing just fine. Humanity might destroy itself by fucking up the planet with carbon emissions and ocean acidification, but same-sex marriage is not the bringer of Doomsday.

Just who do we think we are?

We are the newest member of Team Fabulous! Rainbow is the new black, muthafucka!

No, you are not the Bonhoeffer in this moment.

It’s so cute when the Enforcers of Tradition act like they’re the victims of the evil status quo while they take the side of the oppressors. (And by cute I mean pukeworthy.) Huckabee is up to his usual tricks

I don’t think a lot of pastors and Christian schools are going to have a choice. They’re either going to follow God, what they truly believe, or they will follow civil law. They’ll go the path of Dr. Martin Luther King, who in his brilliant essay, the Letters from a Birmingham Jail (sic), reminded us — based on what St. Augustine said — that an unjust law is no law at all.

Abusing the words of Dr. King is basically a reflex for the American Right Wing at this point. It’s like someone pushes a button, and they start talking about MLK like they would’ve been on his side. Nice try, but I fucking see you.

Huckabee isn’t the only one calling for grassroots opposition to the Supreme Court’s ruling. For months, several far-right conservative pastors — including Southern Baptist Convention President Ronnie Floyd — have been referring to America’s slow embrace of marriage equality as a “Bonhoeffer moment” for opponents of LGBT rights, invoking the name of famous German Lutheran pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer who was killed for participating in an assassination attempt against Adolf Hitler.

Oh, dear. How do I say this?

Fifty years from now, opponents of gay rights—emphatically including civil marriage—will be the ones that we struggle to explain to our disbelieving, horrified grandchildren. From what I recall, sexual minorities were among the groups targeted for extermination by the Hitler regime. If Ronnie Floyd had lived in Germany at that time, he wouldn’t have sympathized with Bonhoeffer. 

But by all means, Enforcers of Tradition, keep on acting like we’re making you the oppressed underdog by letting more people get married to the people they love. Keep on embarrassing yourselves.

I’ll be the weird old lady hobbling around the neighborhood, surrounded by a gaggle of curious little kids examining my wrinkled tattoos, while I explain to them that when I was their age, same-sex couples could take care of each other for decades and never be allowed to marry. I’ll be the one who explains to them how society could be so warped and hateful.