Thoughts on the Ashley Madison hack

I’m irritated by this whole thing.

On the one hand, it’s interesting that this might be the first time where MEN are being targeted generally for revenge for sexual indiscretions, and that these indiscretions are actually far more indiscrete than taking nude selfies to share with consenting adults.

On the other, this hack is every bit as much of a violation for these men and women, though it seems mostly only the men are going to be targeted. It includes information about their fetishes, and it includes instances of every account that’s ever been created and since “deleted”-but-not-really. The hack of the information from the site’s database is horrid, and the intent from some quarters — political, anti-social-justice, etc — to pore through it to damn specific people over being in that database is really gross. It’s gross in the same sort of voyeuristic way that putting up revenge porn is gross, though maybe not gross to the same degree insofar as it’s damning them for, at best, THINKING of doing something unethical, rather than damning them for doing something totally normal and commonplace as sending nudies to consenting partners.

This amounts to an infidelity dragnet, and it’s bound to catch innocents who’ve only engaged in “thoughtcrime”, having CONSIDERED having an affair. People who had accounts at one time, but no longer. People who had accounts before even being married. Yes, the site is about married people looking to “cheat”, but I’m sure straight and lovelorn people have ended up signing up for accounts on Grindr before, so it’s bound to happen that people sign up for this site just looking to pull a date. Not to mention that poly folks could very well use this relationship-finder with the full knowledge of their partners. Or people who signed up to research the site, even!

Mind you, it is a bright line that I cannot cross, where I would never engage in any activity that anyone directly impacted by it — e.g. partners — would not consent to. I am an advocate of ongoing, active, informed consent, and abrogating that consent is gross and wrong. It is a breach of trust that absolutely could and probably should ruin relationships. An ethical thing to do on encountering this information about someone’s relationship is to tell them privately — not splash it all over the deep web and create searchable indexes so that 4chan can go digging for dirt on all their most hated Social Justice Warriors. Never mind that they’re the ones constantly claiming that feminists just hate sex (despite evidence to the contrary), giving them the narrative that proving they might want sex somehow makes them hypocrites.

And don’t even get me started on the fact that finally, FINALLY, Josh Duggar — who molested several of his sisters — is suddenly viewed as a bad guy because he had an account here. Admitted child molestation is not a less serious crime than planning on cheating on your wife with zero proof of follow-through.

Just an unstructured thought dump.

Gay marriage is no threat to heterosexual marriage

Via their Facebook page, the group Heterosexuals for Same Sex Equality has released a timely video (though, honestly, when is this NOT timely, with enemies to the cause of equal rights so devoted to making life miserable for people just because they are not like them?).

You may recognize some of the people in the video.

Why my initial thoughts on the Obama gay marriage announcement are wrong

Yesterday, Barack Obama declared that his position on gay marriage has evolved, and where once he thought civil unions were sufficient, he’s decided, rightly, that they are not, and has made possibly the clearest and most supportive statement on the matter that any president has ever made.

Critics have contended that civil unions are another way of saying “separate but equal”, only, you know, without the “equal” part. It is effectively a form of soft bigotry to say that one type of life partner contract is allowed to be called “marriage” while this other type is not, for reasons completely unfathomable to anyone but the theists who draw the line in the sand at their personal definition of marriage — a relationship sanctified by a member of their clergy and thus accepted in the eyes of God. There are, of course, legal ramifications as well, but people seem to care more about their precious words.

And while many individual members of many religious organizations would have no problem with declaring that their God has no problem with gays getting married, others obviously find it some sort abomination, owing to their particular readings of the religious traditions they hold dear. The parallels with the religiously-motivated opposition to interracial marriage are obvious and palpable. With good reason — the situations are practically identical.

Despite this good news, my initial reaction — and I suspect many of your initial reactions as well — were deeply cynical.
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Barber/Staver: Dan Savage poisoning kids against “believers in normal sexuality”

From the introduction saying Dan Savage talks dirty to children, through the claim that heteronormalcy is under attack and that gay people are effectively bullying people who “believe in normal sexuality” by trying to create legislation to get them to stop bullying gay people, this video pretty much shows exactly how little of the moral landscape these people understand.

We are near the tipping point, and people like Matt Barber and Mat Staver are the ones who will be seen, through history’s eye, as terrible bigots fighting for religiously-inspired bigotry. I have little doubt that, in the future, those passages that regard homosexuality as abomination will be thrown out exactly like those that condone slavery. These people fighting against gay marriage will be seen exactly like the anti-miscegenation activists, as anachronistic and small-minded, and poor readers of their own bible.

Hat tip Right Wing Watch.

Urgh. These asshats give me indigestion.

Women marrying their rapists: the “perfect solution”?

What a strange few days it’s been for me. It’s 25°C today, and it’s been about that for the past several days. And all the while, while sweating and cursing the unnatural heat, I’ve been working crazy hours and basically ignoring the goings-on on the intertubes. I honestly feel something like one of those Sims characters, whose Fun meter has completely bottomed out and is waving frantically at the camera and yelling about a video game controller or something. For some reason, I consider mocking ridiculous nonsense on the internet to be stress relief in a way.

But, where to start? There’s just so much! I guess I’ll just have to pick the most execrable piece of news I’ve come across; the piece of news that makes all my own personal travails seem like the first-world problems that they are. Something so damning of humanity that I can retreat comfortably into the crazy amounts of overnight work I need to do tonight as though it was a candlelit warm bath with a glass of wine.

Something like this story. Emphasis mine.

The suicide of Amina Filali, a Moroccan 16 year old instructed by a court to marry her rapist, has sparked outrage on the internet and protests in the streets of Barat, Morocco’s capital. A law allowing rapists to escape prosecution if they marry their victims is an “embarrassment”, campaigners say – which is one way to put it, although some might prefer “psychological torture” or “total disgrace”.

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You can change their minds. You can win them over.

A Maryland Republican has done the unthinkable. He has gone from supporting those odious marriage-as-one-man-one-woman acts to opposing them practically overnight. Why? He met some gay couples, and learned they’re human beings.

In an effort to get the bill to the House floor, a special joint committee was formed and legislators were left scrambling for seats. Kach, who had previously backed attempts to define marriage as between one man and one woman, found a space right next to the witness table.

“I saw with so many of the gay couples, they were so devoted to another. I saw so much love,” he said. “When this hearing was over, I was a changed person in regard to this issue. I felt that I understood what same sex couples were looking for.”

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