Ron Paul on sexual harassment

From Joe My God:

“Employee rights are said to be valid when employers pressure employees into sexual activity. Why don’t they quit once the so-called harassment starts? Obviously the morals of the harasser cannot be defended, but how can the harassee escape some responsibility for the problem? Seeking protection under civil rights legislation is hardly acceptable.” -Ron Paul, from his 1987 book, Freedom Under Siege.

I thought it would be pretty straight forward that this sort of victim blaming is dispicable. I mean, it’s so easily to instantly find a job, you should be the one who quits when someone else does something wrong, right?! But then I got this comment on facebook:

“The next sentence from the book was “If force was clearly used, that is another story…”. The analogy I’d draw is that if a guy says to you “if I take you out to dinner I expect you to sleep with me”, then you’re welcome to decline the offer. Likewise, for employment, “if you want this job, I expect you to sleep with me”. It comes from a background belief that the right to own and use one’s property (the capital of the employer) as one sees fit is foundational to a free and productive society. You can’t take this one bit and graft it onto a socialistic/liberal world view and expect it to jive in that context. I believe that in a completely free market, this type of sexual harassment would be extremely rare, because it hurts the bottom line to hire based on sex favors rather than on job performance, a.), and b.) in the absence of government civil rights, people would take such issues into their own hands, ie., boycotts, sit-ins, etc.”

Sexual harassment is sexual harassment, whether violent force is used or not, and whether you have the ability to decline or not. My vagina doesn’t become your property because you’re my employer. And the idea that a free market will magically get rid of sexual harassment is probably the most fucking moronic thing I’ve ever heard. Do people recognize how much better the workplace is for woman now that we can actually do something about sexual harassment? Ask a secretary from the 1950s how comfortable she felt in her workplace.

And the idea that the government shouldn’t support civil rights is just fucking terrifying. You know the term “minority”? It generally means there are less of you, and you’re less powerful. No one would give a diddly if you organized a sit-in when your numbers are insignificant to them.

The idea that “hurting the bottom line” is more of a concern than violating human rights is why I hate libertarians.


I was playing Cranium with my family, and as luck would have it, my team got an evolutionary question. My dad and grandma turned to me, since, you know, I’m an evolutionary biologist and stuff. This was the question:

“True or False: Dogs are more closely related to cats than they are to bears.”

I knew it was false. I don’t have an evolutionary tree of every species in my head, but I had heard of this comparison before. People intuitively think dogs and cats are more closely related because they’ve both been domesticated – but that has nothing to do with evolution. I also knew this was an example of an evolutionary tree that had been tweaked as we gained more knowledge. Very preliminary, simple genetic studies shows dogs more closely related to cats. But as we expanded the comparison to the whole genome, we found that dogs were more related to bears.

I was very annoyed when I flipped the card to find this answer:

“True – The three species are all distantly related, but genetic evidence has established that bears split off from a common ancestor well before cats and dogs had their big split.”

My family immediately started giggling. “Good job, Miss PhD.” This would not stand. I flipped out the iPhone and searched for a modern phylogenetic tree of carnivores. I immediately found one in Nature Reviews Genetics based on karyotype data, indeed showing that dogs were more closely related to bears than cats.

I pointed at the image on my screen.

“Too bad” my family said, as they continued on with the next question.

It may no longer matter for the game (though my team did win – neener neener), but in case you’re interested… yes, dogs are more closely related to bears than cats. They’re all carnivores. Dogs and bears both belong to the suborder Caniformia, while cats are in suborder Feliformia.

So why was Cranium wrong, if it’s claiming its answer is based on genetic information? The answer lies in the date. I checked the box, and this edition of Cranium was made in 1998. In the rapidly expanding field of evolutionary genetics, that’s ancient. We can now compare whole genomes, while before we were limited to a single gene (at best). Different parts of the genome can evolve at different rates if they’re under selection (or not), so it’s important to look at the big picture instead of a tiny snippet. Our methods and technologies are improving, so our results get more and more accurate.

Hooray for science!

Re: Reddit Makes Me Hate Atheists

What she said.

This is why I stick to r/Seattle, r/TwoXChromosomes, r/Cooking, r/AskScience, r/LGBT, and r/Sex. Don’t feel like reading through a thousand rape jokes targeted at 15 year old girls just to find an atheism comic from 2003 that’s been reposted 100 times.

Only in a Florida retirement community…

My dad and I spotted a older woman driving a golf cart with a vanity license plate with two names – for the sake of the person’s privacy, let’s say the license plate was “PAT&PAM.” Except a large X had been placed over Pat with black electrical tape. We wondered if this was due to a divorce and she was advertising her single status, or if her husband had died and Pam had a particularly morbid sense of humor.

Since the Villages has a highly skewed female to male ratio and STDs run rampant here, I’m going to go with the former.

What happens if you’re a woman who criticizes Ron Paul?

Your opinions and facts aren’t addressed at all, oh no. You’re called a hideous retarded man-hating bitchy cunt who can’t understand politics because you’re a chick with a vagina, and you need to have a hysterectomy/get raped/kill yourself. Oh, and you’re a Jew.


What lovely, misogynistic supporters Ron Paul has. Not shocking, giving his anti-choice (aka anti-women) platforms. If you want to learn more about that and his other despicable traits, you really must read Ashley F. Miller’s post “Why does anyone like Ron Paul?” You know it has to be good if it inspired such bile.

My favorite piece of vitriol Ashley has received was the following comment on Vox Day, a renowned repository of conservative trash:

“This is why it’s nearly impossible to have a conversation about politics with or give any real consideration to the political sentiment of, generously, unmarried women, probably more accurately – any women who aren’t all the way through menopause yet. It’s a shame they are allowed to vote, but that’s part of the death-spiral of the republic.”

Yeah, that whole women being allowed to vote thing is such a nuisance.

It would be hilarious if it weren’t so scary how many misogynist are out there in the world. If you need to remind yourself, go read all the nasty comments Ashley has received. Some are quite…inspired. Especially the one about Dobby the House Elf.

There’s a reason Ron Paul supporters tend to be primarily young, white, straight men. Because with a libertarian like Ron Paul in office, minorities, GLBT individuals, and women (and atheists) get utterly fucked over. He’s anti-war, you say? Even a broken clock is right twice a day – that’s not enough for me to ignore his other stances. He wants to get rid of the waste involved with federal bureaucracy? It’s politically impossible that he’ll accomplish his economic libertarian goals with our Senate and House. But what he would easily accomplish is allying with the religious right to strip rights from minorities, which they’re already on the verge of doing.

If you’re young white straight man who doesn’t support Ron Paul, thank you for not being utterly selfish.

And they say atheists are arrogant

It’s jarring traveling from Seattle to middle-of-nowhere Florida. Here the lawns are overflowing with signs proclaiming “Jesus is the reason for the season” and “Happy Birthday” Jesus. Sure, it’s their lawn. They can put up as much kitschy Christmas shit as they want. But frankly, it pisses me off for two main reasons.

1. They are blatantly wrong. This might seem petty to some, but the pursuit of truth is important to my ethics. No (EDIT: sane and unbiased) historian believes that Jesus was born in winter, let alone exactly on December 25th. The only reason we celebrate December 25th for Christmas is because Christianity was made the state religion of Rome in the 4th century, and the Pope co-opted pagan holidays that fell around that date in order to more efficiently convert the masses. The solstice was celebrated because that’s when the days started growing longer again, which meant spring (and crops) were eventually coming. That’s reason to celebrate, not because an old guy in a dumb hat is trying to convert people.

2. This isn’t just blinking lights or “Merry Christmas.” This isn’t wishing goodwill and cheer and joy to all. This is a “My holiday is the real reason we celebrate anything this season, my religion is better than yours, fuck your inferior Hanukkah and Kwanza and secular celebrations.” How fucking arrogant. Your mythological holiday isn’t superior. Go shove your “Jesus is the reason for the season” signs up your ass.

…I miss Seattle.

We’re winning against the bigots

Here are four GLBT news stories to warm your heart:

An iconic kiss – take that, DADT:

“Petty Officer 2nd Class Marissa Gaeta, left, kisses her girlfriend of two years, Petty Officer 3rd Class Citlalic Snell at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek in Virginia Beach, Va., Wednesday, Dec. 22, 2011 after Gaeta’s ship returned from 80 days at sea. It ís a time-honored tradition at Navy homecomings – one lucky sailor is chosen to be first off the ship for the long-awaited kiss with a loved one. On Wednesday, for the first time, the happily reunited couple was gay.”

This is how strangers are reacting to public gay marriages:

Twenty-four gay and lesbian couples were wed Saturday under two “pop-up” chapels designed to celebrate the first full weekend of same-sex marriage in New York. With every “I do,” jubilant whoops and cheers burst from the crowd, a mix of friends, family and passers-by. The weddings, although held adjacent to the commotion of New York City’s Columbus Circle, felt comfortably ensconced in Central Park. The event’s organizers reported no protests or disturbances throughout the day.

And public gay flash-mob wedding proposals:

And this warms my way in a giddy, sticking it to the hypocrites way:

​The gay and lesbian community of Minnesota has issued a letter of apology to recently resigned Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch for ruining the institution of marriage and causing her to stray from her husband and engage in an “inappropriate relationship.”

“On behalf of all gays and lesbians living in Minnesota, I would like to wholeheartedly apologize for our community’s successful efforts to threaten your traditional marriage,” reads the letter from John Medeiros. “We apologize that our selfish requests to marry those we love has cheapened and degraded traditional marriage so much that we caused you to stray from your own holy union for something more cheap and tawdry.”

The letter comes on the heels of Koch’s own apology, released yesterday, in which she expressed her deep regret for “engaging in a relationship with a Senate staffer.” Although the letter did not specify the identity of the other participant in the “inappropriate relationship,” it is widely rumored to be former communications chief Michael Brodkorb, who lost several positions with the GOP in the wake of the scandal.


Oh Harry Potter :\

While looking at random Harry Potter merchandise at Universal Studios, I found a cart full of pins. They had a lot of neat ones, including house pins and prefect badges. Though the latter was only for Gryffindor and Slytherin, which is a constant source of annoyance for me. I want Ravenclaw stuff, dammit!

Then I spotted a Head Boy badge. I started searching for a Head Girl badge, but couldn’t find one. I asked the person working the cart, thinking they may just be out. Nope. She and her coworker said that they only make Head Boy badges, and they agreed that it didn’t make any sense. They wondered when they’ll eventually make a Head Girl badge too.

…Sigh. I know in the grand scheme of things it’s dumb and insignificant, but it’s the little things. How hard is it to include the ladies? It’s one thing to exclude houses that the majority of people (wrongly) think are stupid or boring or crappy or insignificant, but why exclude a gender that the majority of people… oh. :\