A new boobquake song?

It’s called Boys Love Earthquakes by Nichole Alden. I think it has to be about boobquake, but it’s not explicitly clarified anywhere. Here are some of the lyrics:

Cover your head
Beauty must hide
Silence your lips
Keeping Inside
Far too tempting to uncover what they might
Beautiful girl, this submission isn’t right

Lower your head
Body must bow
Purity gives excuse to disavow
Your defiance will devour and deny
Beautiful girl, there’s no reason to comply

Don’t shake, shake, shake
They don’t allow
Don’t shake, shake, shake
It’s all your fault now

It’s not exactly my type of music, but I like the lyrics. If it’s not officially about boobquake, I think it definitely could be.

Boys Love Earthquakes by Nichole ALDEN

(Via Common Sense Atheism)

Next item on the gay agenda

Oh Indiana. And to think this happened in one of our biggest, most liberal (relatively) cities.

This is what they were after: a mulitcolored cupcake to celebrate “National Coming Out Day” next month; a rainbow confection to honor the diversity on the campus of IUPUI. But the student who had the order placed at Just Cookies was told no. [...]

“Look around, we don’t have cupcakes,” said owner Lilly Stockton.

Stockton said she talked to someone who did ask for rainbow cookies but couldn’t accommodate the order.

Stockton: “I don’t have enough colors to do that.”

Reporter: “Not enough colors, not because you didn’t like what they stood for?”

Stockton: “She didn’t tell me what it was for.”

Oh, wait, that sounds like a reasonable excuse. I’m sure other people from the store would back her up.

Then we talked to her husband David, who gradually made it clear that there was an earlier order… and yes, the customer was refused.

“I explained we’re a family-run business, we have two young, impressionable daughters and we thought maybe it was best not to do that,” said co-owner David Stockton.

Nevermind.

To quote one of my fellow grad students: “First cupcakes, then THE WORLD!”

Who knew gays were like CO2?

Looks like Global Warming is in need of a scientific update:

Clerics in the South Pacific have fingered the key cause of climate change – homosexuals.

The revelation came at a conference at the University of the South Pacific considering the implications of Climate Change and Creativity.

Academics were apparently thrown off their consideration of “Arts in the Age of Global Warming” and “Ecology in Poetry / Poetry in Ecology” by reports of Church Ministers who maintained that climate change in Samoa are clearly attributable to to homosexuals.

Come on, that’s preposterous. How in the world do gays cause climate change? I mean…

…wait a second.

GBLT.

Global Bolstering of Lavalike Temperatures.

Oh my god.

An ingenious plan, gay agenda. An ingenious plan.

Dan Savage’s “It Gets Better Project”

Last week an Indiana teen committed suicide thanks to merciless anti-gay bullying at his school. It stings that it’s from my home state, but it hurts more that this isn’t shocking. Gay teens are four times more likely to commit suicide, especially if they don’t live in urban areas. Which is why Dan Savage thought of this wonderful project:

I wish I could have talked to this kid for five minutes. I wish I could have told Billy that it gets better. I wish I could have told him that, however bad things were, however isolated and alone he was, it gets better.

But gay adults aren’t allowed to talk to these kids. Schools and churches don’t bring us in to talk to teenagers who are being bullied. Many of these kids have homophobic parents who believe that they can prevent their gay children from growing up to be gay—or from ever coming out—by depriving them of information, resources, and positive role models.

Why are we waiting for permission to talk to these kids? We have the ability to talk directly to them right now. We don’t have to wait for permission to let them know that it gets better. We can reach these kids.

So here’s what you can do, GBVWS: Make a video. Tell them it gets better. [...]

Today we have the power to give these kids hope. We have the tools to reach out to them and tell our stories and let them know that it does get better. Online support groups are great, GLSEN does amazing work, the Trevor Project is invaluable. But many LGBT youth can’t picture what their lives might be like as openly gay adults. They can’t imagine a future for themselves. So let’s show them what our lives are like. Let’s show them what the future may hold in store for them.

I faced a lot of anti-gay teasing in middle school and high school even though I was straight. Because, dontcha know, anyone who’s friends with gay people must themselves be gay. I can’t imagine how bad it would have been if I actually was a lesbian, or if I hadn’t had boyfriends. Not to mention the fact that our principal fought tooth an nail against us forming a Gay Straight Alliance my senior year. Heaven forbid we form a safe community for harassed students.

If you’re a GLBT adult, please consider uploading your own video and submitting it by emailing Dan (mail (at) savagelove (dot) net). This may be our best chance to reach kids who need to hear that life is worth living, yes, even if you’re gay.

Another example of feminist distrust of science: Vaccinations

Not all feminists distrust science, but it’s a common enough theme that it’s become a major pet peeve of mine. I ran into another example reading a blogger I usually love, Lena Chen (who’s also one of More Magazine’s up and coming young feminists). So Lena, I apologize ahead of time for making an example out of you, but this issue is very important.

One of Lena’s readers commented that vaccination seemed a lot like circumcision in that it lacked consent, and asked for Lena’s opinion. Here’s the bulk of her post:

I’m against mandatory vaccinations, but that doesn’t mean that I’m against vaccinations. [...] Invasive or not, vaccinations are something that individuals should be able to decide on themselves. Requiring them means that the government is essentially making health decisions for its citizens, without taking into account what they (or their parents) may want. (Most girls getting the vaccine are at an age when they can be informed about the benefits and risks of the procedure.) I got the HPV vaccine myself, and I’d recommend it to anyone, but I would never be able to justify mandating it, because I value personal freedom and think that choice should be left up to the patient.

And while, of course, it makes sense — in theory — to say that a modicum of personal freedom is a rather minor sacrifice for the “greater good”, it’s not like this line of reasoning hasn’t been abused in the past. Women — especially women of color and poor women — have more than just cause to be wary of a medical establishment that has historically profited from the coercion of marginalized groups. Forced sterilization of Black women threatened with the loss of welfare benefits, forced sterilization of individuals deemed “mentally defective”, electroshock aversion therapy to cure homosexuality … all of these things occurred in this country in the last fifty years. Frankly, I could give less of a damn about “public health” if it means that I get to live in a slightly more civilized society where no one is told what to do with their bodies anymore.

I commented:

Sorry, but I’m going to have to disagree. The way vaccinations work is through herd immunity. If the vast majority of people don’t get vaccinated, it puts those who can’t get vaccinated for medical reasons (newborns, the elderly, immunocompromised individuals) at even higher risk. If the government didn’t require vaccinations, they would be effectively worthless.

Thanks to vaccination fear mongering by people like Jenny McCarthy and people who make it into a personal freedom issue instead of a scientific issue, we’ve seen a sharp rise in diseases that were thought to have been eradicated. See: Whooping cough in California.

This isn’t some nebulous “for the greater good” ideology like forced sterilizations. The mechanics of herd immunity are pretty cut and dry.

Lena replied:

I think that one can definitely make a case for vaccinations being a good thing that benefits society and people’s health, which is why I don’t see a lot of folks opting out of vaccinations just because they’re no longer mandatory. I do think that a lot of anti-vaccination advocates spout arguments that sound like conspiracy theories (I’ve even seen 9/11 comparisons made), but I have to agree that there’s no reason why the government should be able to make decisions about their citizens’ bodies. This isn’t even something I would necessarily call fear-mongering, since there’s a historical precedence for this concern.

Me:

Except that people do opt out of vaccinations when they’re not mandatory. That’s precisely the reason why we’ve seen a sudden whooping cough epidemic. This is especially true when you have people like Jenny McCarthy going around lying about how vaccines are dangerous and cause autism. Not to mention that she’s well publicized by people like Oprah.

To say the government should not be able to make decisions about their citizen’s bodies is nice in theory, but ludicrous in practice. Do we want disease epidemics spreading across the country? Do we want children dying of genetic disorders that could have easily been treated if tested at birth? Do we want food and drugs we put into our bodies to become dangerous because the government shouldn’t regulate what’s safe or not?

There’s a point where historical precedence becomes antiquated distrust for science in general. We shouldn’t forget the past, but we shouldn’t be paralyzed by it either.

This could be worse. She obviously accepts that vaccine works and rejects the completely anti-science loonies. But at the same time, this is a perfect example of when ideology, specifically liberal and feminist ideology, supplants science and reason. And I say that as a liberal feminist. People have abused science in the past, but that doesn’t mean science itself is forever evil. It’s something that needs to be closely scrutinized, not ignored.

From my personal experience, I have a hypotheses as to why you see this sort of distrust in the feminist community. So many vocal feminist aren’t scientists by training, but rather come from liberal arts educations like English, Political Science, Sociology, or Woman’s studies. And when you consider most liberal arts majors probably only had to take one or two introductory science classes in college, it’s understandable why they might not fully grasp how vaccinations are effective or why not all evolutionary psychology is bunk (though some is). If I tried to give my opinion about economics based on one class I took senior year of high school, I’m sure I’d be wrong about a lot of things.

Now, plenty of scientists are feminists – we sort of have to be in a traditionally male dominated field – but there’s usually not much overlap between our studies and our feminism. That is, a political scientist can use their expertise to focus on women’s issues, but a chemist can’t really weave feminist philosophy into her next paper. Since we have less overlap, we can get busy in our geeky scientific jobs and forget to be vocal about other issues we care about. That’s why I personally try to be an outspoken scientific voice for feminism whenever I can.

And that’s why I’m going to give a damn about about public health – because it means I get to live in a civilized society, instead of dying from preventable whooping cough, measles, rubella, or polio.

I’m ready to take over the world with Rationalism

Who else is going to waste their entire Tuesday playing Civilization 5? I’m purposefully making this post now because tomorrow I’m going to be too busy conquering the world.

I’m a huge Civ fan, though I got into the series a bit late. A friend introduced me to Civ3 in high school, so I played that and Civ4. But I fell in love with the game instantly. There’s just something so addictive about taking over the world! And something twisted and entertaining about Gandhi declaring war on you, or Abraham Lincoln adopting Slavery.

So needless to say, I’m excited for the new game. Sure, I’m going to miss sending out my flood of missionaries to convert everyone to Judaism. And I’m a bit sad Montezuma is back – seriously, what an asshole and source of much ragequitting. Go die in a fire, Monty.

*ahem* But I’m really happy about the new way city borders expand, aka logically and not based on a little arbitrary plus sign. And I think I’m going to love how the battle system actually relies on strategy including the map, not just stacks of doom. When I first played Civ, I would strategically place cities by mountain passes, until I realized it didn’t matter. But now it does, woo!

But the new thing I’m geeking out about the most? One of the Policy trees you can research, in addition to things like Tradition, Honor, and Liberty, is Rationalism. I am atheist-geeking out about this so much. The bonuses are great:

  • Rationalism – Immediately enter a golden age
  • Humanism – +1 Happiness from every University
  • Secularism – +2 Science from every Specialist
  • Freethought – +2 Science from every Trading Post
  • Scientific Revolution – Gain 2 free Technologies

And the cherry on top? You can’t have Rationalism at the same time as Piety, the religious Policy tree. Which is all about increasing happiness, not actually making progress.

lulz

Anyway, I’m super excited. Like I said, I’m going to play as much as possible tomorrow, mainly because I have my departmental retreat Wednesday through Friday. Need to get my conquering in! And classes start the 29th, so I’ll try to squeeze so more in before I have no free time. If anyone is interested in a giant multiplayer Blag Hag reader battle over the weekend, my Steam username is Jennifurret. Friend me!

Now, I’m off. It’s released at 7am here, so I need my beauty sleep. Yes, I’m willing to wake up early for a video game, but I bitch about 9:30am classes. I am a geek.

Today is the start of No Make-up Week

What is No Make-up Week?

I’m asking you to conduct your own experiment. To go a day or a week without make-up, to upload a no make-up photo online or simply explore the relationship through writing or whatever feels right. Make it your own.

It’s not about taking a week off because make-up is somehow bad or because not wearing it is better. It’s that by taking a week off, I should be able to understand my relationship to cosmetics more clearly. Why do I feel I need to sketch on eyebrow pencil before going to the grocery? To shellac my face before seeing a friend? And if I am going to a networking event or party, can I feel comfortable in anything less than contoured cheeks and caked on lashes?

When I think about not wearing make-up for a week, a voice inside of me screams, Noooooooooo! And this is exactly what I want to explore. I mean, the thing is this: Make-up is a powerful tool, it has the ability to transform, to incite imagination and creativity. But, when an option turns into a necessity, I don’t know it it’s still a tool. At the least, it loses it’s spark.

I won’t be spamming you with photos, because I’m sans make-up in all of my photos – or at the most, wearing a little foundation. But I thought this was a great little project, so I wanted to share it with my readers.

I’ve blogged in the past about my make-up anxiety, but I’ll probably put up another post or two throughout the week. There’s also a Facebook event, and you can follow it on Twitter with the hashtag #nomakeupweek.

For now, consider this an open thread. What’s your relationship with make-up? Do you ever feel obligated to wear it? Obligated not to wear it? How do you feel about the make-up double standard between the sexes?

One way to deal with crazy campus preachers

This is what Purdue’s campus looked like last Monday:Crazy campus preachers are fairly typical in the fall. One, it’s still warm, which is conducive to standing around outside yelling at people. But two, they hope to prey on the confused and lonely freshman. Because, according to this group, going to college is the work of the devil:

“Satan has a job to do…and you are it! The tremendous emphasis put on education these days is demonic. Satan knows his time is running out. Resounding throughout the halls of Aristotle are the voices of demons imposing their curriculum from hell. They insist ‘Memorize and regurgitate. Better this world. Self-esteem. Defy God! Exalt Babylon!”

“Deny God! Exalt Babylon!”? Shit, they found the Biology Department’s curriculum!

But my godless alma mater, the Society of Non-Theists, has a light-hearted way of dealing with our standard street preachers: our annual Pastafarian Preaching on Talk Like a Pirate Day.

Mike has a great summary here, describing the overall positive reaction of the event. Our Pastafarian Preaching is a silly satire of all the hateful preachers who come to campus, so it really does put a smile on people’s faces. And they even made the day of this little pirate fan:
Great job, Purdue Non-Theists!

Spider siege update

Somehow I was able to get to sleep last night, but I was forced to wake up early because my bed was being delivered. Finally! The air mattress my landlord had lent me was slowly becoming deflated, so every night of sleeping became sadder and sadder. But here came the movers with my big new bed!

In a horrible twist of fate, THEY BROUGHT IN TWO MORE GIANT HOUSE SPIDERS. I froze watching one cling to my box spring, thankfully on the outside of a plastic sheath. When it fell to the ground, the guy simply picked it up like it was a piece of trash and carried it out. I was terrified. I mean, I’m glad he removed them, but ararrhghgh.

…I mean, I think he removed all of them. Gulp.

The worst part? I have this little overhanging canopy above my door overgrown with some cute vines. As they brought in the mattress, a giant house spider became dislodged from the vines and fell down to the opening of my door.

My doorway is a giant house spider home.

Fuck.

I would say I’m going to go buy a bottle of strong liquor to calm my nerves, but that actually involves going through the giant house spider infested portal. Right now I just can’t imagine walking under something that I know contains these horrifying things. I’m doomed.

Maybe I can use my sincere terror to negotiate with my landlord about how he really should let me have a cat. I’d be willing to pay a pet deposit – I need a spider assassin on duty at all times. Plus, cat’s require less effort than keeping around a spider squishing boyfriend.

Your regularly scheduled atheist programming will be back once Jen stops freaking out.