While we’re on the subject: they still want our nudie photos.

Like I said yesterday, all the “advice” aimed at women to keep ourselves “safe” isn’t really serious. Nobody genuinely, truly wants us to behave in such a way that we have no vulnerabilities for predatory people to exploit. Folks love to scold us not to drink so damn much, but they don’t actually want us to take it far enough that rapists and other abusers would be unable to attack us.

Right now the news of Women’s Personal Safety is about nude photos. Unless you live under a rock, in which case you probably aren’t reading my blog, you’ve heard about all the famous women whose intimate photos were stolen from their iCloud accounts and shared with the entire Internet. And I’m sure you’ve heard some of the commentary about what those women should have done so that they couldn’t be violated like this. “Don’t take nudie pictures with your phone!” “The Internet isn’t safe!” “Nothing you put online is ever really secure!” “Use stronger passwords!”

I’m somewhat more sympathetic to the people who now preach the gospel of Not Taking Pictures Of Yourself Naked, but that’s mostly because the Internet is a fairly recent invention, cellphones with cameras are even more recent, and yeah, okay, the advice is pretty straightforward. It’s a lot less socially revolutionary and personally restrictive to refrain from putting nekkid photos of yourself online than it is to avoid rape by eschewing alcohol.

Even so, it’s worth asking why these women took these photos and stored them in iCloud accounts. If we were to sit down with Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Upton, Ariana Grande, etc. and ask sincerely, what were their reasons for taking and uploading those photos, their answers would probably all be variations on a particular theme: there were men who wanted to see them naked. They took those photos, and uploaded them, because some guys asked them nicely to do so.

This is different from revenge porn, in that the guys who asked for the photos to be taken do not appear to have been involved in stealing those photos and sharing them without the women’s consent. Both violations are similar in that they, admittedly, would not have been possible if those women had declined to take photos of themselves unclothed.

So, this is a question that I want feminist-allied, women-loving men to ask themselves: Do you really want nubile women to stop sharing nudie pics with their men? Do you want your next girlfriend to be afraid to give you a picture of her naked self?

Do you want to live in a world in which nudie pics are never taken and shared between intimate friends and partners, because there are too many people who fail to respect boundaries and privacy?

Book Club Edition: The Internet is for Porn

Last Sunday, I was interviewed by Annie at New Books in Secularism about Charlinder’s Walk. The podcast isn’t up yet, but when it is, it’ll be the first fiction book featured on their site. She made me ‘fess up about things like Paleolan family values–they have strong family values, but not traditional family values–and Lacey. We spent a good deal of time talking about Gentiola, and also Lacey. She asked me about this one encounter that Charlinder has in a settlement with, as I put it, some “very strict rules about who can have sex with whom.” Those strict rules end up making life harder for some than others. I had some coherent things to say about Gentiola at first, such as her cultural background, and then we opened up a can of worms that led to me rambling on into McRandomness about some other aspects of Gentiola that are kind of tricky to explain outside the text. We talked a lot about sexual politics, religious beliefs, building families, language barriers and dealing with hunger.

However, one thing she did not ask me about was when Charlinder is actually shown enjoying some sexytimes. I have disclosed with a previous Storytime that there is Hawt Sex in this book, and you may get the impression from some reviews that the sexytimes happen with Gentiola. Since the reviews have been posted, I don’t think it’s a spoiler to say: why, yes, they do. And I know I also said in a previous Storytime that I wouldn’t show you any more excerpts from Charlinder’s Walk, but today, I’m going to show you a little one.

Adult content after the jump!

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Mr. Frothy-Mix does not understand how these Inter-webs work.

This is just too much:

Google search for Santorum has generated some inappropriate results since gay columnist Dan Savage organized an online campaign to link graphic sexual terms to the socially conservative senator’s name.

Now, the Republican presidential candidate says he’s convinced Google could do something to remedy the issue, if the company wanted to.

“I suspect if something was up there like that about Joe Biden, they’d get rid of it,” Santorum said. “If you’re a responsible business, you don’t let things like that happen in your business that have an impact on the country.”

He continued: “To have a business allow that type of filth to be purveyed through their website or through their system is something that they say they can’t handle but I suspect that’s not true.”

Is it wrong to point and laugh at someone who does not understand how a search engine works?

Oh, since when has that ever stopped me?

*points* “Rick Santorum, did your mother drop you on your head?!”

It sure would be nice if you could wipe the face of the Internet clean of all the lube and fecal matter just by harassing Google, but I am afraid that Google does not create the lube and fecal matter, it merely shows us where the lube and fecal matter are. If Google did not provide us with that service, we would turn to Bing or Yahoo or some other search engine. The lube and fecal matter are bigger than Google.

If you want to fix your Google problem, this is what you do: do that search for your name, and visit the first page that comes up with the lube and fecal matter. Contact the owner of the site, and tell him to get rid of that nasty neologism. Go back to the Google search, and do the same thing with the second page. Keep going until they’re all gone.

He says “poo poo”!

Martin Ssempa, Chief Homophobic Fascist of Uganda, riles up the base by showing them gay porn:

“Then, of course, they are grabbing each other’s gentials (sic), that is level number one, touching each other, grabbing each other. Then number three, now they are licking each other’s anus and are licking poop. And they call poo poo, chocolate. You see it is a change of words. I want you to see, Sheikh please forgive me but I want these people to see, they say a picture is worth one thousand words. This is a man eating the other person’s poo poo, can you see that one? Please from BBC, I want you to tell them, we know what they do. “

In order to pass a bill that makes homosexuality a crime punishable by life in prison, Pastor Ssempa shows his audience pictures from gay porn sites and works himself into a verbal lather about men eating each other’s poo poo. Am I the only one with an image in her mind of a little boy squealing in implacable excitement at the sight of a pair of dogs mating in the street? “Lookit, mom! Look at what they’re doing!”

It’d be funny if the situation weren’t so dangerous.

Maybe the amusement is simply a matter of me being a jaded liberal foreigner. The thought of a grown man saying “poo poo” without irony while clutching his pearls at the sight of men grabbing each other seems more comedic than sinister. It’s like he’s never seen porn before. Maybe he really hasn’t seen porn before, or ever engaged in a frank conversation about sex, except for as a clueless kid with other clueless kids who honestly wonder how long they can get away with masturbating before they’ll need glasses.

For the non-heterosexuals actually living in Uganda, however, this is anything but amusing.