Asexual awareness week

Once upon a time, I was young and foolish, and thinking I was so enlightened about sexuality I suggested at a lunch table with friends that Freud was onto something when he said “the only unnatural sexuality is none at all”. Little did I know a friend at that table with me — about whom I think the world, and would never want to hurt — identified as asexual.

I was mortified to learn this a few years later. Such a casual throwaway comment, made thinking I was flip and clever and progressive, that hurt a dear friend.

I’m happy to see this exists. Maybe I can assuage my guilty conscience a bit by helping promote it. Though I am not asexual myself, I know a few people who do identify as such, and in all our talk about gender and sexuality around these parts, it’s only fitting that we avoid erasing an entire class of people.

From their 101 page:

What is an asexual person?

An asexual person is someone who does not experience sexual attraction. Most individuals find there are certain people they are not sexually attracted to. For asexuals, this includes everybody!

Is asexual another word for celibate?

Unlike celibacy, which is a lifestyle choice, asexuality is a sexual orientation – just like homosexuality, bisexuality, and heterosexuality. Celibacy is a conscious decision not to have sex, regardless of sexual desire. Many asexuals do not consider themselves celibate, as they are giving up no more in abstaining from sex than a gay person is by abstaining from sex with someone of a different gender or a straight person is by abstaining from sex with the same gender. Furthermore, some asexual people do choose to have sex, and therefore are certainly not celibate.

It’s not about simply being celibate — asexual folks can choose to engage in sexual activities with people or with themselves, without necessarily having a sex drive of their own. They can be in romantic relationships. They can climax. They can do everything you can do. They can have an undirected sex drive. They can simply have no sex drive and if left to their own devices, would not seek it out. Or perhaps they even have boundaries that they define with their partners in advance. Or perhaps they have no desire to enter a romantic relationship at all. It’s every bit as varied as every other orientation.

We’d all do well to remember that when trying to be inclusive.

Will 20/20 be Must-See or Must-Miss TV this week?

Or Must-Not-If-You’re-A-Miss?

Looks like 20/20 is going to be doing a story on the Manosphere’s ongoing campaign to destroy women fight for men’s rights by destroying women. See, there’s this whole contingent of men on the internet who think that feminism is “going too far”, by, you know, wanting equal pay for equal work, the ability to be hired without discrimination, the right not to have politicians legally enforce their baby-factory status, the right to bodily integrity, the right to not be treated as the Homemaker or Baby-Raiser By Default, or the right to do things that men can do without fear or expectation of being raped or sexually harassed, coupled with immediate blame for same.

You see, the manosphere knows the real issues here: women just want to be lazy asses and never work or join the military, they want to be able to choose who to have sex with (HORRORS!), and then when they get too old and ugly (at, like, 25), spermjack men to have their babies against the guy’s will, thus setting men up for a legal hell of child support without ever being allowed to see the children thereafter.

That’s right… both feminists and “men’s rights activists” are generally fighting for many of the same goals, except for the ones that are totally invented in the MRA’s depraved minds and never actually happen in real life.

So ABC is going to do a piece on how these men hope to achieve equality and end all these shameful issues caused by patriarchy, by… you guessed it… mistreating women on the internet.

Trigger warning: Paul Elam. Yes, he’s his own category of trigger warning.
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Watch Pat Robertson’s enlightenment about trans folk evaporate!

Good ol’ Uncle Pat is a mercurial fellow. One day he seems to have some humanitarian concept within his grasp, and flails about almost grabbing that brass ring, then the religious folk criticize him and he has to regain his religious street-cred. So he plays dumb on the topic, and says something incredibly ridiculous. This time, he forgets everything he said the last time I had to grudgingly laud him, losing all the ground he gained on becoming a decent human being with regard to trans* folk.

A horse that’s been castrated becoming a gelding? Really? I don’t even have the words to express how big a category error that is. It’s as tangential to the topic as if you started talking about how sometimes toddlers get into Mom’s makeup.

Fischer talks about “love for gays”

If you know anything about Bryan Fischer, you probably have a good guess exactly what he’s going to say before he even opens his gob.

Pro tip: this ain’t love. It’s barely-contained seething hatred with a thin veneer of Christian brotherly love spray-painted on it. And since we already know that brand of love is anything but love, but rather a demand for conformity to rules written by goat-herds thousands of years ago, it doesn’t even register on the “worthy discourse” scale. I only add it to my blog in the interest of reminding everyone just how hateful a human being this man is.

The Perfect Victim

Trigger warning: rape, rape culture, rape apologetics and victim-blaming

One of the major themes hit upon by Richard Dawkins’ most recent attempt at creating an objective scale of relative harm, much to the detriment of everyone who’s been harmed by things he’s decreed as zero bad, is that he did not find his own sexual assault particularly bad insofar as he had a support network of other people who were assaulted the same way.

His own encounter was brief, and he did not find it to be particularly off-putting except for an explicit description of the “cremasteric reflex” which makes me cringe just to hear it. He does not recall whether or not he knew of any of his compatriots having been mistreated more than the once. He did not report it to the authorities, but he did report it to his friends, who supported him because they experienced it themselves.

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Ask Dawkins to reconsider his evaluation of the harms of “mild pedophilia”

I would very much like it if people stopped treating Dawkins as the Secular Pope. We don’t want any “leaders” in this movement, and yet friends of the secular movement will bow and scrape, and foes will treat him as the King of Atheism whose decrees are handed down from on high for all to internalize. Hell, half the time we can barely decipher what he’s saying. Take Twitter for example. A 140 character limit does the man no justice whatsoever — he does not wear “pithy” well.

His recent misstep is, as I’m sure you’re all aware, less than pithy — he’s been given plenty of time and space to bring this intellectual pursuit to full flower, and this is what he’s come up with: his recent suggestion that being sexually assaulted as a child is less bad than being brought up religious, and that one shouldn’t condemn sexual assault done in another era under different social mores.
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Chrstian propaganda: Every Young Man’s Battle

This is a brutally clever re-cutting of a Christian anti-porn propaganda movie, showing all sorts of examples of people being so addicted to porn that they’ve ruined lives, and suggesting the only way to kick the habit is — like with everything else — to get right with Jesus. Funny that that always seems to be the panacea. And funny the sources they picked to back up their assertions — like Ted Fucking Bundy himself. That’s right, trust the serial killer and sociopath, bordering on criminal supervillain, to tell the truth when a lie could do so much more damage.

To be perfectly clear, there is a (slightly controversial) subtype of hypersexual disorder for pornography, but “porn addiction” is not presently recognized by the DSM. If anything, it’s a compulsive disorder much like gambling.

And for those who aren’t prone to life-ruining compulsive disorders, there’s nothing wrong with enjoying some pornography, even kinky stuff, as long as it involves fully-consenting adults. There’s nothing inherently wrong about exploring one’s own, nor one another’s, sexuality as long as consent is kept paramount. The fact that the god-botherers would rather nobody ever have sex except for procreative purposes, and even then to keep it as vanilla as possible, is shameful — they’re telling humans, in all their rainbow of sexual proclivities, that they’re broken, and the only way to fix themselves is to abstain from everything and seek forgiveness. Trying to convince us we’re broken, and that only they have the cure.

That’s the real shame here. Not that they’re playing people with a real condition as object lessons to the rest of the human race to make more Christians. They’re making something generally natural a sin. It’s sad, really.

Why they don’t report — except, sometimes, they do

Trigger warning: accounts of rape and discussion of how these rape conversations are cyclical.

Every time we go ’round the rape mulberry bush, well-meaning newcomers to the conversation make unreasonable demands of victims of a crime. It seems obvious to anyone armed only with common sense that if you are the victim of a crime, you report it to the police. So these newcomers make demands of the victims, and some long-term participants in the same conversations actually relish the opportunity to argue the same ground again. The demands almost always include that rape victims be re-victimized by submitting their life to intense scrutiny by the police and by bystanders who are reflexively defensive of the accused.
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