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Monthly Archive: August 2013

Aug 30 2013

Shouting arson in a crowded theatre: rape, reputations and reasonable suspicion

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Greta, over on her blog, has a summary of statements made to date against Michael Shermer. As of this writing, August 20 2013, 12:19 Pacific time, according to Jason Thibeault’s timeline: We have one unnamed source reporting that Shermer, to use her own phrasing, coerced her into a position where she could not consent, and then …

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Aug 28 2013

Bonding with history: Skyfall’s postmodern 007

[Warning: spoilers!] We are not now that strength which in old days Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are, One equal temper of heroic hearts, Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield. So recites Judi Dench’s M midway through Skyfall, …

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Aug 27 2013

‘Trans people are real people. We are not an agenda’ – Zinnia Jones on CNN

Following Chelsea Manning’s coming out, Zinnia’s been all over the media. See below her appearance on CNN, under her meatspace name Lauren McNamara – noting in particular how host Jake Tapper persistently refers to Manning by her previous, male, name and pronouns. As it turns out, much went on behind the scenes between Tapper, Zinnia …

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Aug 26 2013

Dawkins and Islam: Nick Cohen replies to me at the Spectator

Friday’s post, on die-hard refusal in some quarters even to entertain critique of Richard Dawkins, took to task a column by Nick Cohen, parrying broadsides against Dawkins’ statements on Islam from me, Tom Chivers, Nesrine Malik, Nelson Jones, Martin Robbins, Owen Jones and others. Half an hour ago, Cohen posted a reply to me and …

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Aug 25 2013

Smash the closet! 10 alternative coming out tips for young people

SmashTheCloset

August’s been a good month for comings-out: Raven-Symoné, Ben Whishaw, Troye Sivan, Darren Young, Wentworth Miller, Chelsea Manning two days ago – am I missing anyone? Sivan, Young and Miller have self-identified as gay, and Manning as a woman; the press, annoyingly, have applied terms like ‘gay’ and ‘lesbian’ to Whishaw and Raven-Symoné, who to …

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Aug 23 2013

Don’t be a Dickhead: fisking Nick Cohen’s defence of Richard Dawkins

Earlier this month I wrote a blog post called ‘Yes, Richard Dawkins, your statements on Islam are racist‘. Currently, it’s the most-read thing I’ve ever published. The post argues Dawkins uses racialising, xenophobic language (‘alien rubbish’, ‘Islamic barbarians’ etc.) to mount a clash-of-civilisations critique of Islam(ism) – a misguided one which empowers the neocon right …

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Aug 22 2013

Dear BBC News: please adjust your coverage of Chelsea Manning

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Dear BBC: I enjoy having you around. You make things like Sherlock and Doctor Who and In the Flesh, and I don’t even have to put up with ads. That licence fee’s a good idea. Most of the time, you make me happy. That’s why the coverage of Chelsea Manning’s recent announcement by BBC News disappointed me. When someone …

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Aug 19 2013

Polyamory: our partners may be countless, but they still count

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Remember Craigslist Mom from earlier this summer, who sought a ‘sugar baby’ for her son through an online ad? I wanted at the time to write an open letter to her. So much was wrong with her advert that I ultimately struggled. We need to lose virginity as a concept - having sex doesn’t involve losing anything, or …

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Aug 17 2013

“If you think rape is a problem, talk about it right.”

[Content warning: discussions of harassment, sexual violence, domestic abuse and victim blaming, both here and in the OP.] Jonathan Lindsell of the Haywire Thought blog has a post about rape, and how we discuss it. If you’ve heard the phrase “rape culture” and been mystified by it, this post is for you. It says a variety of essential …

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Aug 17 2013

You want sex? So stop asking for coffee

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If you weren’t aware by now that arguments about harassment are burning through the skeptosphere again, you can’t have been paying much attention. I won’t be entering that fray myself just yet, except to say – in general terms, in principle – that reports of abuse or harassment should always be taken seriously and investigated. …

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