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Episode CCLXXXVII: Them’s good Martians

I have some concerns about the Disneyfication of the classic pulp novel, A Princess of Mars; I’m sure Disney wouldn’t have much trouble with Burroughs’ casual racism, and I see they have an out for the violence — green blood everywhere is OK — but I doubt the casual nudity will make it to the screen. One really good thing, though: those are truly excellent CGI Barsoomians.

And it’s being released for my birthday! How sweet!

(Episode CCLXXXVI: Escape from Wisconsin!)

Comments

  1. walton says

    My point is that it’s uncool to call someone a misogynist because they don’t like a particular sexual technique.

    “Uncool” was inappropriately flippant there, on second thoughts… I find it offensive, and socially-damaging, to judge and condemn people’s personal feelings about sex and about what makes them uncomfortable, or to tell them that they are misogynists because they don’t like a particular kind of sex.

  2. walton says

    (I should add that my #501 was not meant to imply that there was anything wrong with what TLC said. There wasn’t. Rather, it was Jill Filipovic’s post I found offensive.)

  3. says

    Mmmm, fennel. Roasted, as a side with lamb.

    Also, fennel seeds are supposedly good for the digestion. Love my lakhs & crores.

    You don’t put tofu sponge on your plate. you put it in your bowl where it can soak up the laksa soup.

    All these food posts are making me hungry… tonight we’ll have grilled lamb with greek salad. And I have this powerful urge to make cheesecake.

    Well done, Illuminata! I am envious, because I had this plan to increase my walking to mild jogging and maybe one day a little running, but then I got bloody damn fucking shitty stupid sick in July and my lungs have still not recovered enough breath to just walk a mile. (Yes, I’m improving. I can now climb a flight of stairs and walk around the block. The slow pace is frustrating but I will not be permanently disabled.)

  4. says

    Your reading is compatible with what she says in the original post, but look at what she said in comment 134 of the comment thread, which I quoted above:

    Look. I meant exactly what I said: If you’re grossed out by periods, you should not have sex with people who have vaginas.

    Okay, but that’s in response to people going what about hysterectomy and what about birth control. I’ll bet if you ask her what about men who don’t want vaginal sex at all, and are in relationships with women who don’t want vaginal sex either, she’ll tell you that of course whatever sex they have is fine and why are you determined to miss the point.

    Because, while I’ll grant that very few people think about the existence of straight sexual relationships between two people who want no vaginal sex, when most feminists are reminded about that specifically, they aren’t going to have a problem with it.

    I wasn’t even aware that there was a sexist cultural meme that promoted an aversion to cunnilingus.

    Huh. Well, there is.

    I am therefore as certain as I can be that, in my own culture and generation, a dislike of cunnilingus has nothing whatsoever to do with sexist social conditioning.

    Heh.

  5. The Laughing Coyote (Papio Cynocephalus) says

    Walton: I tried to put that across in my post. Some people are just yicked out by blood. Some people like weird stuff. People are strange and unpredictable.

    I really have nothing too insightful to say on the subject though. I like lots of strange stuff other people don’t. Lots of people like weird stuff I don’t. I can’t even conceive of someone not liking meat, for instance, but for some insane reason there are people who hate everything about the taste and texture.

    I can’t deny, from my personal experience, that there’s a misogynistic social taboo about period sex. I’ve seen it myself and it’s weirded me out right since the beginning. “Diseases”, they try to explain to me, without explaining why they have no problem fucking the same supposedly ‘diseased’ woman any other time of the month.

    But some people just aren’t turned on by it. Or are squicked by blood. Anyways, I meant to just write a quick reply to Walton but here I go rambling on again. I’d like it if we could all just do what we like, as long as ‘what we like’ isn’t harming others, and try not to judge, I suppose. Seems that’s the simple sounding answer to so many problems.

    The Laughing Coyote
    I’m glad you’re OK.
    How was the WIND?

    Windy, Chigau, Windy. And fucking loud.

  6. cicely, Disturber of the Peas says

    Maybe we did the fennel wrong? It was as an ingredient in a turkey sausage (stop screaming!), dried seeds (okay, apparently not ‘seeds’, but fruits), and crushed with a mortar and pestle. I notice that The Great And Powerful Wikipedia says that it is related to anise, which I also dislike, and dill, ditto. And coriander, ditto ditto.

    Amusingly, there’s something called “cicely” in that same list.

    Celery is good, and carrots are edible when eaten raw, or in cake form with appropriate icing; but I digress.

    Perhaps y’all are roasting/creaming/frying/whatevering some other part of the plant, that isn’t obnoxious tasting?
    -

  7. chigau (私も) says

    the combination of lousy service, fucking w*nd*ws, fucking *xpl*r*er, fucking netb**k has defeated me.
    good night

  8. says

    Audley:

    Anyway, he decided that he wanted rodents instead*, so we bought two gerbils today– a black one (with a little white goatee!) named Sydney and a gold one named Charles.

    Aaaaw, congrats and welcome to Sydney and Charles! (Do I hafta say…you shoulda got rats!) :D

    Walton:

    But she is not justified in accusing men who dislike period sex of being misogynists, or of encouraging other women to break off relationships with men who dislike period sex.

    Absolutely. From where I sit, she’s full of shit. I find it interesting that she leaves women out of the equation. I know way more than one woman who has a very unpleasant time, physically, when on their period and the last thing they are interested in is sex.

    She comes across to me like an asshole male bragging about getting his redwings. Yeah, yeah, great, whatever. FTR, Mister has redwings and so do I. As I stated earlier, I don’t have problems in that regard, however, I would never extend that to everyone else. Each to their own and all that, and a lot of people are squeamish when it comes to blood.

    Oh, another thing – I also know men who are tentative about penetrative sex with their partner when she’s menstruating, not because they are squicked, but because they are concerned about causing pain. Education generally takes care of that, but you aren’t going to get anywhere by declaring all males misogynist if they aren’t all enthused about period sex.

  9. says

    Walton, I got your cohort right here: Oral Sex and Condom Use Among Young People In the United Kingdom; doi: 10.1363/3800606 (PDF forthcoming in next comment).

    The practice of cunnilingus, although widespread, appears to be slightly less common than that of fellatio. Consistent with this finding, the proportion of respondents who felt that men expect oral sex was greater than the proportion who felt that women have this expectation, which may be evidence of strong and continuing cultural and social taboos imposed on women’s sexual expression and fulfilment. Although it appears that many young women have experienced reciprocal sexual gratification with their partners, expectations of the majority remain low.

    Specifically, Table 2 shows who agreed with the statement that “men expect to be given oral sex”: 34.0% of sexually inexperienced males, 38.0% of sexually inexperienced females, 48.9% of sexually experienced males, and 46.6% of sexually experienced females.

    And who agreed with the statement that “women expect to be given oral sex”: 17.0% of sexually inexperienced males, 9.5% of sexually inexperienced females, 29.7% of sexually experienced males, and 19.6% of sexually experienced females.

    Sexist memes in the wild!

  10. walton says

    I’d like it if we could all just do what we like, as long as ‘what we like’ isn’t harming others, and try not to judge, I suppose. Seems that’s the simple sounding answer to so many problems.

    Yeah, that’s all I was trying to say.

    ====

    Huh. Well, there is.

    Apparently so, but evidently it’s highly contingent on culture and location, because I can honestly say that I’d never even considered the existence of such a meme, or encountered anyone anywhere expressing the view that it was unmasculine to engage in cunnilingus. If anything, I understood the archetypal hetero-manly-man attitude on this subject to be the opposite. (And I’ve met plenty of toxic-masculinity-sufferers in my life, believe me, both in high school and in my OTC days.)

    In any case, whatever the reason, it is, once again, extremely obnoxious to allege that someone is necessarily a misogynist because of not liking, and not wanting to engage in, a particular sexual practice. It’s all very well to claim that people’s distaste for certain sexual practices is unconsciously shaped by sexist cultural programming, and this may be true (though, for the reasons I’ve given at length, I don’t think it necessarily is in all cases). But that does not mean that people who don’t enjoy particular sexual practices and don’t want to partake in them should be shamed as misogynists, or told that they are unworthy of having relationships with a person of their preferred gender, unless they are willing to override their preferences and engage in sexual practices that they don’t like and don’t want to do. People do not usually have conscious control over their sexual likes and dislikes. And it’s grossly unfair to judge someone’s sexual hangups in this way or to treat them as moral failings.

  11. walton says

    In any case, whatever the reason, it is, once again, extremely obnoxious to allege that someone is necessarily a misogynist

    …or, indeed, “likely to be a misogynist, and worthy of being assumed to be one until proven otherwise”. Which isn’t very different in practice.

  12. says

    I find it interesting that she leaves women out of the equation.

    Who cares about accuracy? Not Caine.

    [Becky:] This has never actually come up for me because I’m not ever in the mood for sex during my period. I feel tired and blah and sex is the last thing on my mind. But if a man told me he was too grossed out by my menstrual blood to have sex with me during that time but expected me to be ok with his semen… yeah, I’d have a problem with that.

    [Jill:] YES. I mean, I totally understand not wanting to have sex while you’re on your period — at least for me, I feel like 100% shit on Day 1, and I’m crampy and bloated and cranky and my whole body hurts. So, no sex! But a dude who’s like “period sex is gross, here touch my semen”? NOPE.

  13. walton says

    Specifically, Table 2 shows who agreed with the statement that “men expect to be given oral sex”: 34.0% of sexually inexperienced males, 38.0% of sexually inexperienced females, 48.9% of sexually experienced males, and 46.6% of sexually experienced females.

    And who agreed with the statement that “women expect to be given oral sex”: 17.0% of sexually inexperienced males, 9.5% of sexually inexperienced females, 29.7% of sexually experienced males, and 19.6% of sexually experienced females.

    Sexist memes in the wild!

    Oh, that doesn’t surprise me in the slightest. However, “men are more likely than women to expect to be given oral sex” is not the same thing as a belief that a man giving a woman oral sex is unmasculine and bad. I don’t deny that the latter belief might exist; I can only say from anecdotal experience that I’ve never personally heard anyone expressing it, and I can therefore be confident that it hasn’t affected my own feelings on the subject at all.

  14. says

    Walton:

    or encountered anyone anywhere expressing the view that it was unmasculine to engage in cunnilingus.

    I’ve run in to that, with friends who were from Hungary. It didn’t take much to change that attitude, but I’ll spare you the details.

  15. says

    If anything, I understood the archetypal hetero-manly-man attitude on this subject to be the opposite.

    The archetype appears to be in dispute at this time. You can understand 50 Cent’s statement in the same way you can understand rules against boiling a baby goat in its mother’s milk. These statements appear because they are not so obvious as to go without saying; someone else near the speaker is doing and saying otherwise.

    In any case, whatever the reason, it is, once again, extremely obnoxious to allege that someone is necessarily a misogynist because of not liking, and not wanting to engage in, a particular sexual practice. …or, indeed, “likely to be a misogynist, and worthy of being assumed to be one until proven otherwise”. Which isn’t very different in practice.

    But she didn’t say that. She thought to leave “people who are universally freaked out by any kind of blood and just can’t handle the sight of it” out of her indictment.

    Once we leave them out, and people who don’t have vaginal sex at all (who I think Jill understood to leave out) and people with OCD (who I agree Jill did not think of), it’s actually likely that the rest are partly influenced by a sexist meme.

    I think what you can say accurately is that Jill forgot about some important cases, but when we reduce the population in question by taking out those with OCD and (perhaps more explicitly) taking out those who just don’t want any vaginal sex, I think she’s right.

    But that does not mean that people who don’t enjoy particular sexual practices and don’t want to partake in them should be shamed as misogynists,

    Do you care to engage with this, since it does relate to what you’re saying, and since you’ve complained about her off-hand comment about oral sex without apparently reading the link?

    «I’m mostly in the Jaclyn Friedman camp of sexual ethics: Everyone is fully entitled to boundaries, and sex acts should be consented to enthusiastically, not agreed to grudgingly. But I’m also a Dan Savage sympathizer, insofar as he argues we’re also entitled to sexual pleasure and when in relationships we should try to sexually please our partner — we should (safely) try new things, and be giving and generous in bed (and expect the same in return).

    So of course you should never coerce or pressure anyone into a sexual act he or she isn’t comfortable with. But at the same time, I think it’s important to interrogate the aversion to certain sexual acts — especially those that come with misogynist or homophobic baggage. There are important cultural and historical reasons why “I won’t go down on women” is slightly different from “I won’t let a dude come on my face.” Does a dude have a 100% right to be like, “I don’t like giving oral sex, and that is a boundary for me and I won’t do it”? Yes. Without some relatively good reason for why he doesn’t like oral sex (other than “it’s gross”), do women who enjoy receiving oral sex (who I realize are not all women, but for the purpose of this post I am talking about those women who do enjoy it, which are a lot of women) have a 100% right to be like, “That is some misogynist bullshit right there, and if you are not only unwilling to give me what I need to be sexually satisfied but you also pathologize my body then you are officially kicked to the curb”? YES.»

    That it an eminently reasonable position. What is not reasonable is to insist that it’s this terrible thing to be concerned that a straight man’s unwillingness to do certain sexual acts might be due to sexism — when we know that many straight men’s unwillingess to do certain sexual acts is due to sexism!

    Walton, I think you’re demanding way too much here; if women took your advice, the likely result is that more legitimate suspicions about actually-existing sexism would be silenced.

    Jill didn’t word her argument perfectly, but I really think that there should be more examination of possible sexism in men’s aversion to certain acts — because it’s only realistic; we know that lots of sexism does exist in many cases of such aversions — and if a woman gets the feeling that there’s sexism behind something, she’s justified in paying attention to red flags, even if, as sometimes happens, they turn out to be false positives.

    Since this can’t turn out perfectly, do you want more false positives or more false negatives? Those are the only realistic choices.

  16. says

    However, “men are more likely than women to expect to be given oral sex” is not the same thing as a belief that a man giving a woman oral sex is unmasculine and bad.

    First of all, those are your words. I said “an aversion”. And there are several sources of this aversion. There is the thing about cunnilingus being a lesser act, but there are other sources. It’s probably reasonable to believe that with your cohort, a more influential meme is that cunnilingus just isn’t something that needs to be done; fellatio and PIV sex is more obviously necessary. And why should guys do it if they’re not expected to?

    There’s also the relative silence about cunnilingus. Fellatio is often talked about in the mainstream media; cunnilingus is not.

  17. walton says

    Does a dude have a 100% right to be like, “I don’t like giving oral sex, and that is a boundary for me and I won’t do it”? Yes. Without some relatively good reason for why he doesn’t like oral sex (other than “it’s gross”), do women who enjoy receiving oral sex (who I realize are not all women, but for the purpose of this post I am talking about those women who do enjoy it, which are a lot of women) have a 100% right to be like, “That is some misogynist bullshit right there, and if you are not only unwilling to give me what I need to be sexually satisfied but you also pathologize my body then you are officially kicked to the curb”? YES.

    That is a horrible position, not an “eminently reasonable” one. Disliking cunnilingus is not “misogynist bullshit”, nor does it amount to “pathologizing” a woman’s body. Not liking a particular sexual practice does not make someone a misogynist. It just doesn’t. It is not fair to judge and condemn people as misogynists based on personal sexual hangups and dislikes which they do not choose and cannot change.

    Again, I’m not judging her, and am not interested in who she does and doesn’t want to date, or on what basis. That’s her business. But I have a problem with her labelling men who dislike cunnilingus as misogynists. It’s insulting, it’s false, and she is the one pathologizing others whose sexualities are different from hers and who don’t fit into her view of the “right” way to have sex. I am personally hurt and upset – actually far more so by the passage you quoted than by the original “period sex” post – and I think I’m entirely justified in being so.

    Jill didn’t word her argument perfectly, but I really think that there should be more examination of possible sexism in men’s aversion to certain acts — because it’s only realistic; we know that lots of sexism does exist in many cases of such aversions — and if a woman gets the feeling that there’s sexism behind something, she’s justified in paying attention to red flags, even if, as sometimes happens, they turn out to be false positives.

    Since this can’t turn out perfectly, do you want more false positives or more false negatives? Those are the only realistic choices.

    Why does it have to be a dichotomy? Why can’t couples be open and honest with each other about their sexual feelings and about what they are and aren’t comfortable with, and be respectful of one another’s feelings? If they aren’t sexually compatible, then that’s one thing. But there’s a difference between saying “I don’t want to date you because you can’t fulfil my sexual needs”, and saying “You are a misogynist because you don’t like the type of sex that I like, and you are unworthy of having a relationship with any woman ever”. Why not just say “Different people enjoy different kinds of sex, and that’s fine” and leave it at that?

    Also, why do you keep referring exclusively to straight men? Bisexual men can have these hangups too. I’m bi, and I have plenty of odd sexual hangups and dislikes across the board; it’s nothing to do with women or women’s bodies specifically.

    And now this discussion is inevitably getting much more personal than I’m comfortable with (which is not your fault at all; I just can’t help relating it to my own feelings, given the nature of the topic) and I should really stop and bow out of this.

  18. theophontes, Hexanitroisowurtzitanverwendendes_Bärtierchen says

    @ Josh 489

    Agreed! And further:

    heir to the Fiat car company throne

    The people, in other words, who tried to increase their wealth by manufacturing super cheap, virtually undetectable, anti-personel mines through their subsidiary Valsella Meccanotecnica.

    We are talking about really sick fucks here, who benefitted through the untold suffering of millions. (In Sudan their mines are called “testicle eaters” due to the way they leap into the air to cause the maximum of pain and suffering without killing the victim.)

    unseemly characters—including a 54-year-old transvestite prostitute who ultimately saved Elkann’s life by calling an ambulance.

    WUT? Calling someone “unseemly” for saving another’s life? “Noble” would seem more appropriate.

    (Or perhaps the journalist thinks a ne’er-do-good like Elkann should be left to die. Seems a bit extreme, in spite of the awful things his family have done.)

  19. says

    That is a horrible position, not an “eminently reasonable” one. Disliking cunnilingus is not “misogynist bullshit”,

    It probably is «without some relatively good reason for why he doesn’t like oral sex (other than “it’s gross”)», a stipulation I think you’re overlooking.

    nor does it amount to “pathologizing” a woman’s body.

    It might; we have to keep this discussion grounded in the real world where more women than men feel they don’t even have the right to ask for cunnilingus.

    Why does it have to be a dichotomy?

    Why does it have to be a dichotomy between more false negatives or false positives? I can’t believe that’s a serious question. You know the answer: because systems fail.

    Why can’t couples be open and honest with each other about their sexual feelings and about what they are and aren’t comfortable with, and be respectful of one another’s feelings?

    Well, they can be. But why can’t women also consider that a man’s unwillingness to perform certain sexual acts may be due to sexism? We know that it frequently is, so why can’t she consider it and openly talk about it if she thinks so?

    But there’s a difference between saying “I don’t want to date you because you can’t fulfil my sexual needs”, and saying “You are a misogynist because you don’t like the type of sex that I like, and you are unworthy of having a relationship with any woman ever”. Why not just say “Different people enjoy different kinds of sex, and that’s fine” and leave it at that?

    Because that’s not a realistic approach to the world! Sexist aversions to certain acts do exist!

    For the sake of argument, maybe Jill’s idea of how to approach the problem of sexist aversion to certain acts is completely the wrong approach. But there does need to be some approach, because this is a real issue which needs some kind of treatment, and that is going to involve some kind of open discussion.

    Also, why do you keep referring exclusively to straight men?

    Because I am bad at this, and I ignore and forget about bi men. Even though you mentioned them already. I’m sorry. I realize this is a persistent problem of mine.

    I should really stop and bow out of this.

    You can always yell at me by email, which I’m planning on checking later tonight.

  20. says

    Harrr.

    It might; we have to keep this discussion grounded in the real world where more women than men feel they don’t even have the right to ask for cunnilingus oral sex.

    +++++
    Caine,

    Apparently, that’s SG’s knowledge base now, ya know, him being gay and all. :eyeroll:

    You know better than this; you just don’t care about being fair to me personally.

    Just like it is the job of every non-white person in America to keep track of what white people consider normal, it is my job to keep track of what straight men consider normal, a job I took even more seriously when I was closeted in high school.

  21. walton says

    It probably is «without some relatively good reason for why he doesn’t like oral sex (other than “it’s gross”)», a stipulation I think you’re overlooking.

    I overlooked that stipulation because it doesn’t make sense. How can anyone be expected to give a “relatively good reason” for experiencing subjective, non-rational feelings of personal distaste at a particular physical experience? Would you ask me to give you a “relatively good reason” for why I won’t eat bananas? These kinds of reactions are not susceptible to rational debate. And in the arena of sex, people should not be expected to justify why they don’t want to engage in a particular sexual technique. Our sexual tastes and distastes are not something we get to choose consciously, and not something we should be expected to justify.

    Filipovic is just wrong. Not liking cunnilingus is not evidence of being a misogynist. A straight or bi man can work hard to be supportive of gender equality, respectful of women’s rights and bodily autonomy, conscious of his own male privilege, etc., and yet have a personal distaste for a particular sexual technique (be it cunnilingus, period sex, or anything else). And it is wrong, and harmful to the goal of achieving an enthusiastic-consent-based model of sexual interaction, to say that someone who doesn’t want to have a particular kind of sex should be shunned and stigmatized as a presumed misogynist unless he can offer a “good reason” for not wanting to do so.

    Is it possible that some men who don’t like cunnilingus feel that way because of sexism, conscious or unconscious? Sure; indeed, it’s highly likely. But Filipovic made a much stronger claim than that.

    Why does it have to be a dichotomy between more false negatives or false positives? I can’t believe that’s a serious question. You know the answer: because systems fail.

    I am challenging the boundaries of the scenario. Because I don’t really understand why it should be an issue. If a couple break up because they aren’t sexually compatible, because one partner hates a particular sexual technique and the other really loves it, then that’s fine; I’m not in a position to know, but I’d imagine such breakups happen all the time. And Filipovic has, as I said, every right to date or not date whoever she wants to for whatever reason she wants to. It’s none of anyone else’s business. What I have a problem with is her declaring to the world that men who dislike cunnilingus, period sex, etc., are by definition misogynists and should be shunned.

    Why can’t people just accept that different people have different sexual inclinations, and that there doesn’t have to be a “reason” or a “justification” for not wanting to engage in certain activities?

  22. says

    I overlooked that stipulation because it doesn’t make sense. How can anyone be expected to give a “relatively good reason” for experiencing subjective, non-rational feelings of personal distaste at a particular physical experience? Would you ask me to give you a “relatively good reason” for why I won’t eat bananas?

    If I did, then “because bananas aggravate my OCD” would be a relatively good reason.

    Therefore, relatively good reasons for experiencing subjective, non-rational feelings of personal distaste do exist. Therefore, a person might be expected to be able to give one.

    I would not ask for one in the case of eating a banana. But I do think that different expectations can legitimately apply to sex: “we’re also entitled to sexual pleasure and when in relationships we should try to sexually please our partner — we should (safely) try new things, and be giving and generous in bed (and expect the same in return).”

    These kinds of reactions are not susceptible to rational debate.

    But “good reasons” are not limited to rational reasons.

    And in the arena of sex, people should not be expected to justify why they don’t want to engage in a particular sexual technique.

    I’ll grant that they shouldn’t be expected to justify anything in the heat of the moment, and there’s no place for demands during sex.

    But people should be allowed to ask “I really want X; why don’t you want to do X” at a time when sex is not immediately on the menu. Like, over lunch.

    Filipovic is just wrong. Not liking cunnilingus is not evidence of being a misogynist.

    Oh, you’re just wrong. It really is evidence of sexism. It’s not proof, but it is evidence in favor of that hypothesis. It may be better explained by some other hypothesis, but it is indeed evidence of sexism.

    This is just an empirical fact: because there exists a sexist meme against cunnilingus, and men who’ve absorbed it are more likely than others to have an aversion to cunnilingus, displaying an aversion to cunnilingus is evidence of sexism. The only reality-based disagreement you can have here is on how strong of evidence it is.

    A straight or bi man can work hard to be supportive of gender equality, respectful of women’s rights and bodily autonomy, conscious of his own male privilege, etc., and

    still have a lot of sexist ideas. So can a feminist woman, for that matter. It doesn’t do any good to ignore this possibility.

    (Like I can care about bi men’s rights and well-being, and still say mononormative shit.)

    And it is wrong, and harmful to the goal of achieving an enthusiastic-consent-based model of sexual interaction, to say that someone who doesn’t want to have a particular kind of sex should be shunned and stigmatized as a presumed misogynist unless he can offer a “good reason” for not wanting to do so.

    I disagree. There are four possibilities. We can be:

    * promoting enthusiastic consent, and reminding people that there exists some sexist aversion to certain acts;
    * promoting enthusiastic consent, and not reminding people that there exists some sexist aversion to certain acts;
    * not promoting enthusiastic consent, and reminding people that there exists some sexist aversion to certain acts;
    * not promoting enthusiastic consent, and not reminding people that there exists some sexist aversion to certain acts.

    All of these are logically possible. I think we should do the first, you appear to think we should do the second. (But I suspect that if you brainstorm about this, you’ll come up with some way to do the first that you’re comfortable with; even if Jill’s approach strikes you as wrong, hers is surely not the only way to do it.)

    Why can’t people just accept that different people have different sexual inclinations, and that there doesn’t have to be a “reason” or a “justification” for not wanting to engage in certain activities?

    Because, as you say: “Is it possible that some men who don’t like cunnilingus feel that way because of sexism, conscious or unconscious? Sure; indeed, it’s highly likely.”

    Therefore, there will be some women who would be willing to stay with a partner who dislikes a particular sexual act for non-sexist reasons (or mostly non-sexist reasons, granting that we’ve all learned some sexism), but would be unwilling to stay with a partner who dislikes that same sexual act for entirely or mostly sexist reasons.

    And these women need to have some way of determining whether their partner is the former or the latter. And that is almost certainly going to involve some discussion.

    For the sake of argument, maybe Jill’s way is the wrong way. But then there is likely to be a better way, and this is going to involve talking about the causes — for there are indeed causes, regardless of whether you object to calling them reasons or justifications — of a preference.

  23. walton says

    Oh, you’re just wrong. It really is evidence of sexism. It’s not proof, but it is evidence in favor of that hypothesis. It may be better explained by some other hypothesis, but it is indeed evidence of sexism.

    This is just an empirical fact: because there exists a sexist meme against cunnilingus, and men who’ve absorbed it are more likely than others to have an aversion to cunnilingus, displaying an aversion to cunnilingus is evidence of sexism. The only reality-based disagreement you can have here is on how strong of evidence it is.

    To treat it automatically as an indication of sexism, as she is clearly and unequivocally advocating, is extremely hurtful and stigmatizing to those men who find cunnilingus distasteful and who also work hard at not being sexist. (I deliberately did not say “who are not sexist” because I acknowledge that we all internalize sexist attitudes.) It is completely, grossly, hideously unfair to infer any moral judgment whatsoever from someone’s personal sexual distastes, given that such distastes are something that we cannot change or control, and that are deeply personal and intimate. I am not going to back down on this.

    still have a lot of sexist ideas. So can a feminist woman, for that matter. It doesn’t do any good to ignore this possibility.

    Of course that’s true. But the point is that someone should not be judged, shamed, stigmatized, or told that there is something wrong with them merely because of not wanting to take part in a particular sexual activity. If this distaste is accompanied by obnoxious sexist behaviours and attitudes, then that’s a problem. But in isolation from any other objectionable behaviour, merely not wanting to take part in a particular type of sex is not a reason for labelling someone a misogynist or for casting adverse moral judgment on them.

    Now I really can’t continue this conversation, I am less and less coherent because it is the middle of the night and I feel like crap, and this is a personally upsetting subject for me.

  24. theophontes, Hexanitroisowurtzitanverwendendes_Bärtierchen says

    @ Walton

    I am not going to back down on this.

    A winning argument in one sentence. I capitulate.

  25. says

    To treat it automatically as an indication of sexism, as she is clearly and unequivocally advocating, is extremely hurtful and stigmatizing to those men who find cunnilingus distasteful and who also work hard at not being sexist.

    That could be, but I don’t see this as sufficient reason not to do it. It’s recognizing a red flag. It may be socially destructive to recognize and talk about a red flag. It’s certainly socially destructive to not talk about it.

    I’m trying to think of something similarly not amenable to reason, but not sexual. Maybe there’s a guy who doesn’t want anyone, ever, to spend any money on him, insists upon paying for other peoples’ meals, but gets real upset if anyone tries to pay for his. If a woman goes on a few dates with him and notices this, she may regard it as a red flag for sexism. Turns out he’s just as adamant when he’s out with his male friends. So, while he doesn’t have a good reason for this behavior, it’s at least non-sexist. And maybe dude works real hard at not being sexist. But it’s still important for most women, interacting with most men, to know that this kind of behavior is usually a red flag for sexism.

    I suppose you’re right that talking about aversion to cunnilingus or period sex as an indicator of sexism is going to end up being stigmatizing to a few guys who work hard at not being sexist. But if they’re really so concerned about not being sexist, maybe they should just learn to live with this unfortunate outcome, because the alternative is that a hell of a lot more men who aren’t working to not be sexist get to run amok and women are apparently expected not to talk about these behaviors being red flags for sexism. Even though they frequently are!

    If Jill’s approach is presumed wrong for the sake of argument, but you can’t offer up a better approach that allows a woman to investigate whether a particular man’s aversion to a particular act is due to sexism, then all I can reasonably do here is assume that whatever better approach might exist will include telling women that “aversion to period sex and cunnilingus is very often due to sexism, so if you suspect this, feel free to ask about the cause of your partner’s aversion, and dump them if you aren’t satisfied that the cause is not due to sexism.”

    It is completely, grossly, hideously unfair to infer any moral judgment whatsoever from someone’s personal sexual distastes, given that such distastes are something that we cannot change or control, and that are deeply personal and intimate.

    It’s perfectly coherent, though, to infer that “these man’s tastes are indicative of sexism, which of course he is not morally responsible for, since he couldn’t have chosen not to be sexist, [but I'm still sure as hell going to get myself away from him || I'm going to stay with him anyway].”

    Nothing necessarily moral or immoral about it, you know.

    But the point is that someone should not be judged, shamed, stigmatized, or told that there is something wrong with them merely because of not wanting to take part in a particular sexual activity.

    If aversion to certain sexual acts was never likely due to sexism, then I suppose I’d agree with you. But I don’t know how else to deal with the reality that it very often is. I’m offering the best I can think of with telling women that “aversion to period sex and cunnilingus is very often due to sexism, so if you suspect this, feel free to ask about the cause of your partner’s aversion, and dump them if you aren’t satisfied that the cause is not due to sexism.” I really can’t think of a better way which still allows for women to communicate to each other this fact.

    But in isolation from any other objectionable behaviour, merely not wanting to take part in a particular type of sex is not a reason for labelling someone a misogynist or for casting adverse moral judgment on them.

    It’s one red flag. I don’t know how any particular woman should deal with this one red flag. I’m pretty sure you’re wrong in your insistence that it should never be a solely deciding factor. I think we can all realistically consider that it is not often going to be a solely deciding factor, but I’m not willing to say it never should be.

    I am not going to back down on this.

    I can see that.

  26. janine says

    Heh, remember the wannabe nanny of Pharyngula, Horace? He put in a vote for Abby Smith for most influential female atheist of 2011.

    Caine, I will keep this in mind if I ever want to start using LOLspeak.

    Also, being the most influential is not the same as being a positive influence.

  27. says

    Janine:

    Also, being the most influential is not the same as being a positive influence.

    Oh, true that. I just found it amusing that it was Horace who seemed to think Abby was worth a vote, especially when there are so very many women being brought up and voted for who have been influential and made real differences. Abby hasn’t been particularly influential outside her little coterie, despite what she may think. I’m sure the voting will provide fuel for them though.

  28. says

    He put in a vote for Abby Smith for most influential female atheist of 2011.

    There is a “most damage done to the atheist movement” category as well ?

  29. janine says

    I find it funny that Horace, the schlub who was not happy with how people expressed themselves here, thinks that ERV is fine and dandy.

  30. says

    And it appears she did not: “Don’t like normally-functioning vaginas? Then you should be disallowed from fucking them.”

    I’m just glad I wasn’t born a lesbian.
    I mean, I’d be practically forbidden to ever have sex.
    I don’t like the smell, colour, texture of mentrual blood.
    That doesn’t mean I have a sexist aversion against my own vagina, I quite like the thing as it is.
    Making period sex the litmus test for sexism is just plain stupid.
    Yes, there are sexist taboos against it.
    Yes, the man (or woman, for that matter) not wanting it might not want it due to internalized sexist ideas. Or just because they don’t like it. Also, the man who does want period sex might want it for decidedly sexist reasons, like insisting on having sex although she is in discomfort and pain already due to having her period. Or he might want it just because he likes it.

  31. says

    I’m just glad I wasn’t born a lesbian.
    I mean, I’d be practically forbidden to ever have sex.
    I don’t like the smell, colour, texture of mentrual blood.

    And do you suppose these preferences were all predetermined by the time of your birth? Might they not be socially influenced?

    Making period sex the litmus test for sexism is just plain stupid.

    It would be stupid to make it the only litmus test for sexism. It is perfectly reasonable to make it one litmus test for sexism, because it often is an indicator of sexism. As you admit:

    Yes, there are sexist taboos against it.

    Well, there you go. Empirical fact: because there exists a sexist meme against cunnilingus, and men who’ve absorbed it are more likely than others to have an aversion to cunnilingus, displaying an aversion to cunnilingus is evidence of sexism. The only reality-based disagreement you can have here is on how strong of evidence it is.

    Yes, the man (or woman, for that matter) not wanting it might not want it due to internalized sexist ideas. Or just because they don’t like it.

    Yes. Now since we agree on this much, the question is how to determine which it is.

    Of course, the reasonable thing to do now is what Jill suggests: ask one’s partner why they don’t like period sex. Does the answer sound suspiciously of sexism? Pay attention to that. Does the answer not sound suspiciously of sexism? Okay, then pay attention to that.

    Also, the man who does want period sex might want it for decidedly sexist reasons, like insisting on having sex although she is in discomfort and pain already due to having her period.

    That’s possible. And that would be pretty easy to determine, since as you posit, he’s insisting on having sex although she is in discomfort and pain and, implicitly, doesn’t want to have sex because of this.

    You agree that it’s important to determine whether the preference is due to sexism or not. Therefore, you agree with Jill.

  32. says

    Making period sex the litmus test for sexism is just plain stupid.

    It would be stupid to make it the only litmus test for sexism.

    To clarify, what I mean by this is it’d be stupid to act like there are no other litmus tests for sexism. It is not stupid for a woma to decide to use this one exclusively, if she regards it as a big red flag.

  33. John Morales says

    [meta]

    It may be the narrowest of topics, but with enough hair-splitting and logic-chopping, long disputation has been achieved.

    (Echo-chamber effect)

  34. says

    Eric Steinhart has done a hilarious thing:

    Another hypothesis is that the MPB [Maximally Perfect Being of the Ontological Argument] is the theistic deity – it is God. However, the definition of the theistic deity is fraught with logical conflicts (Martin & Monnier, 2003). And since the MPB cannot be internally inconsistent, the MPB cannot possibly be God.

    +++++

    PS I am grossed out by blood, in any context.

    You’ve been exempted from this criticism since the beginning.

  35. NuMad says

    It’s probably reasonable to believe that with your cohort, a more influential meme is that cunnilingus just isn’t something that needs to be done; fellatio and PIV sex is more obviously necessary

    I certainly hope that the latter proposition is also attributed to this meme.

    I know of no sex act that needs to be done. Shaming people into engaging in cunnilingus is no better than shaming people into engaging in fellatio; which is in addition a fairly well established sexist tradition in itself.

  36. jennyxyzzy says

    I don’t often grace The Endless Thread, but I just bumped into this over on nytimes.com:

    Santorum does not have a secular worldview. This is not just a matter of going to church and home-schooling his children. When his baby Gabriel died at childbirth, he and his wife, a neonatal nurse, spent the night in a hospital bed with the body and then took it home — praying over it and welcoming it, with their other kids, into the family. This story tends to be deeply creepy to many secular people but inspiring to many of the more devout.

    Uh yup, got it in one – deeply creepy. And to think that people keep trying to convince me that Catholicism isn’t a death cult.

  37. says

    I know of no sex act that needs to be done.

    Then you agree with Jill: «It seems to be that dudes refuse to go down on a lady because they think it’s gross, or because they find it emasculating (how a close encounter of the vaginal kind amounts to some sort of “no homo” moment is beyond me, but ok), or because they just don’t have to since vaginal sex is ostensibly for both of your pleasure and if your girl doesn’t come then, well, whatever. Girls don’t like orgasms as much as boys anyway, right? Either way, it comes down to the idea that female bodies are icky, or that female pleasure just doesn’t matter that much. And if that’s your dude’s view, ok — he’s entitled to think that. He’s also entitled to go to Puppy-Kickers R Us meetings. But he’s not entitled to access to your body any more than he’s entitled to kick the neighbor’s dog. He’s not entitled to a pat on the head and approval of his sexist views, just because they overlap with your sex life (He’s definitely not entitled to blowjobs either). Sure, you have to respect his boundaries — but that doesn’t mean you have to keep on having sex with someone who doesn’t respect you, or that you have to keep your mouth shut as to why it’s offensive that he makes a gross-out face in response to your vagina.»

    Shaming people into engaging in cunnilingus is no better than shaming people into engaging in fellatio; which is in addition a fairly well established sexist tradition in itself.

    Again: «So of course you should never coerce or pressure anyone into a sexual act he or she isn’t comfortable with. But at the same time, I think it’s important to interrogate the aversion to certain sexual acts — especially those that come with misogynist or homophobic baggage. There are important cultural and historical reasons why “I won’t go down on women” is slightly different from “I won’t let a dude come on my face.”»

  38. says

    And do you suppose these preferences were all predetermined by the time of your birth? Might they not be socially influenced?

    Sure, they could have been influenced. Now you need to show the connection.
    I don’t like other things that have those characteristics either. Sure that could be because I dislike the first. According to your logic, I can never say that I just don’t like it.*

    Empirical fact: because there exists a sexist meme against cunnilingus, and men who’ve absorbed it are more likely than others to have an aversion to cunnilingus, displaying an aversion to cunnilingus is evidence of sexism.

    Wrong, you’re commiting a fallacy here. Just because all X do Y, not everybody who does Y is X.
    You can’t go from the fact to the reason without any further information.
    Just because people who hold racist views are more likely to dislike Obama, it’s not reasonable to deduct that just because somebody dislikes Obama that they hold racist views. That’s not justified.

    Of course, the reasonable thing to do now is what Jill suggests: ask one’s partner why they don’t like period sex.

    Only that he’ll, just like I just have been by you, be questioned in their answer and be told that unless they can prove 100% that this is not due to sexist ideas, the answer is dismissed. Because you and her don’t start with a null-hypothesis but with an assumption and then set an awefully high bar so that it basically boils down to “either you have a certificate that you’re grossed out by any kind of blood or you have sexist ideas about period sex and if you claim that you haven’t you’re in denial.”

    *It could, of course, also be because I came to associate it with pain and discomfort. I should probably just get over it and come to enjoy my perfectly normal vagina.

  39. carlie says

    Uh yup, got it in one – deeply creepy. And to think that people keep trying to convince me that Catholicism isn’t a death cult.

    A little on the far side from norm these days, but I don’t see it as creepy. You need a sense of closure after a death, and especially for the kids, seeing that mom goes to the hospital to have a baby and then it totally disappears would be really unsettling. It used to be that people had the dead laid in state in their house for a few days during the wake period before burial. If anything, I think we’ve gone too far away from physically dealing with death as a reality of life.

  40. carlie says

    So of course you should never coerce or pressure anyone into a sexual act he or she isn’t comfortable with. But at the same time, I think it’s important to interrogate the aversion to certain sexual acts — especially those that come with misogynist or homophobic baggage.

    Yes, but Jill was absolutist in saying that if you have an aversion to particular sexual acts, you are a misogynist who shouldn’t be allowed near a woman for sex at all.

  41. Irene Delse says

    Walton:

    My point is that it’s uncool to call someone a misogynist because they don’t like a particular sexual technique. I might not have that specific hangup, but I have enough strong aversions to things, including to some sexual practices that many other people like, that I dislike the idea of one’s inbuilt sexual predilections being judged and condemned like this, or of people being told they have something wrong with them because they don’t have “normal” sexual inclinations.

    And yet, there will be hair-splitters to lecture you on the grounds that some men have similar hangups for sexost reasons, therefore you should be questioned, and made to question yourself, until you agree to agree with them. Funny, but it makes me think of the practice of “self-criticism” in Marxist circles… Oh, wait!

  42. NuMad says

    Then you agree with Jill[...]

    No, I don’t.

    She’s paying lip service (no pun intended) to the same general principle I’ve expressed. Then there’s a lot of other stuff attached to that, some of which goes against what I’ve said quite strongly. The rest mostly having no real bearing on what I said.

    I’m not sure how you feel that you can state with some decisiveness that the opinions you cite must overwrite my own because of some superficial intersection of both.

  43. says

    Sure, they could have been influenced. Now you need to show the connection.
    I don’t like other things that have those characteristics either. Sure that could be because I dislike the first. According to your logic, I can never say that I just don’t like it.*

    No, you misunderstand my logic. My logic is that the causes of preferences should be investigated as well as they can be. If you reach something insoluble, it’s sensible to drop it there.

    While there is no such thing as just not liking something without having a cause for not liking it, there are frequent cases of not liking something without being able to determine the cause.

    So the point of this is to interrogate one’s preferences, see what can be learned from that, and see if they sound sexist or not. That’s the best we can do, so that’s what we should do.

    Just because all X do Y, not everybody who does Y is X.

    That’s correct, but such reasoning is only necessarily fallacious when concluding that “someone who does Y is definitely X.”

    If, among all people who do Y, more of them are X than not-X, then it is true that “someone who does Y is likely X.”

    And that is the form of statement I made. Empirical fact: because there exists a sexist meme against cunnilingus, and men who’ve absorbed it are more likely than others to have an aversion to cunnilingus, displaying an aversion to cunnilingus is evidence of sexism.

    Again, not proof of sexism. But evidence. Evidence that might ultimately be better explained by a different hypothesis. But evidence nevertheless.

    So, taking your example:

    Just because people who hold racist views are more likely to dislike Obama, it’s not reasonable to deduct that just because somebody dislikes Obama that they hold racist views. That’s not justified.

    This depends on what proportion of people who dislike Obama hold racist views. If more of them do than don’t, then it is justified to say that someone who dislikes Obama is likely to hold racist views.

    Only that he’ll, just like I just have been by you, be questioned in their answer and be told that unless they can prove 100% that this is not due to sexist ideas, the answer is dismissed.

    Now you’re just making up nonsense. I haven’t dismissed your answer, and there is no reason to expect that a woman seriously asking a man about this is not going to be willing to deal with ambiguity. As I said, “Does the answer sound suspiciously of sexism? Pay attention to that. Does the answer not sound suspiciously of sexism? Okay, then pay attention to that.”

    Because you and her don’t start with a null-hypothesis but with an assumption and then set an awefully high bar so that it basically boils down to “either you have a certificate that you’re grossed out by any kind of blood or you have sexist ideas about period sex and if you claim that you haven’t you’re in denial.”

    Simply not true. You don’t care to deal with reality.

    *It could, of course, also be because I came to associate it with pain and discomfort. I should probably just get over it and come to enjoy my perfectly normal vagina.

    Jill said nothing about this. Where is your care for facts?

    +++++

    Yes, but Jill was absolutist in saying that if you have an aversion to particular sexual acts, you are a misogynist who shouldn’t be allowed near a woman for sex at all.

    Well, that’s Jill I was quoting at “So of course you should never coerce or pressure anyone into a sexual act he or she isn’t comfortable with. But at the same time, I think it’s important to interrogate the aversion to certain sexual acts — especially those that come with misogynist or homophobic baggage.”

    I do think it would have been better for her to quote that part again rather than just link to it, but it does shed some light on her thinking. I don’t see anything absolutist about it. She very explicitly makes an exception for people who just can’t stand blood.

  44. Irene Delse says

    Giliell:

    Because you and her don’t start with a null-hypothesis but with an assumption and then set an awefully high bar so that it basically boils down to “either you have a certificate that you’re grossed out by any kind of blood or you have sexist ideas about period sex and if you claim that you haven’t you’re in denial.”

    If I used that litmus test, I’d go crazy with self-examination. I’m not squicked out by blood per se, I can touch it without a qualm, whether it’s mine of somebody/something else (having an outdoor cat that comes back with cuts or brings home dying beasties that expire on the doormat will help you with that!) but if there’s something I don’t want to have, it’s any kind of sex during my periods. Misogynistic memes be damned, I know too well where it comes from: cramps, anaemia and other uncomfortable side-effects.

  45. says

    And yet, there will be hair-splitters to lecture you on the grounds that some men have similar hangups for sexist reasons, therefore you should be questioned, and made to question yourself, until you agree to agree with them.

    Why do you not allow for the possibility that a woman could ask a man “why don’t you want to have period sex” and he could reply with something that doesn’t sound sexist to her?

    That’s all I’m talking about. Ask the question, see if the answer sounds sexist.

    +++++

    I’m not sure how you feel that you can state with some decisiveness that the opinions you cite must overwrite my own because of some superficial intersection of both.

    Well, that’s not what I meant. I mean that you clearly do agree with her about the part that I cited. It’s possible that she’s contradicting herself in other parts that you don’t agree with.

    But she does not believe that anyone should have to do any act they don’t want to; what she does believe is that refusal to perform a particular act can be indicative of sexism, and such sexism would be reason enough to dump a person.

  46. says

    If I used that litmus test, I’d go crazy with self-examination. [...] if there’s something I don’t want to have, it’s any kind of sex during my periods. Misogynistic memes be damned, I know too well where it comes from: cramps, anaemia and other uncomfortable side-effects.

    It’s a good thing Jill already addressed this:

    [Becky:] This has never actually come up for me because I’m not ever in the mood for sex during my period. I feel tired and blah and sex is the last thing on my mind. But if a man told me he was too grossed out by my menstrual blood to have sex with me during that time but expected me to be ok with his semen… yeah, I’d have a problem with that.

    [Jill:] YES. I mean, I totally understand not wanting to have sex while you’re on your period — at least for me, I feel like 100% shit on Day 1, and I’m crampy and bloated and cranky and my whole body hurts. So, no sex! But a dude who’s like “period sex is gross, here touch my semen”? NOPE.

  47. Irene Delse says

    @ Brother Oggvorbis #471:

    Did my contrary review really mean that you had to rant, again, how much you hated the movie?

    Will you chill out already? I don’t fault you for liking the movie, I expressly said that each is entitled to their opinion (since you have seen my previous comments, you might have been aware of that!), but if you can’t stand the expression of personal disagreement on something as subjective as a movie, then, tough!

  48. John Morales says

    In the news: World-first hybrid sharks found off Australia

    Dr Colin Simpfendorfer, director of the Fishing and Fisheries Research Centre at James Cook University, says the discovery will help expand scientific understanding of sharks.

    “It’s obviously a very interesting observation because we’ve never seen hybrid sharks before, and so it’s been hypothesised that it’s possible but we’ve never had any proof that it happens,” he said.

    JCU fisheries researcher David Welch says it is a remarkable discovery.

    “They actually choose a mate. It’s not like a fish where they actually put eggs and sperm into the water and they can potentially mix,” he said.

  49. says

    To the notion — perhaps held by none but Walton, and perhaps not even him — that we can’t learn anything about prejudice from an individual’s sexual behavior, consider racism instead.

    If a US American has sex with only 10 partners, and all of them are non-Hispanic white, there is approximately a 1% chance that this pattern is not at all due to some racism. At 15 partners, that chance drops to approximately 0.1%.

    At some point we can say with some confidence that there’s some racism involved.

    But it does not follow that we have to shame this person for it. We ought to at least have the ability to talk about it without shaming. (I’m not sure that we always should do so without shaming, but I’m sure I’d like to know how.)

    So if Jill’s approach is terribly, terribly wrong, then I’d still like to know how we’re supposed to let people know that aversions to some sexual acts are often due to sexism, and this is something that can be talked about with one’s partner, and it their answer seems sexist, it’s okay to end the relationship because the answer seemed sexist.

  50. Irene Delse says

    Why do you not allow for the possibility that a woman could ask a man “why don’t you want to have period sex” and he could reply with something that doesn’t sound sexist to her?

    Where do you get that I “do not allow” for that possibility? From the Gospel of Jill? Or is it just that you like to ask rhetorical questions, no matter that nobody is actually saying the things you are “interrogating” here? But hey, nice avoidance tactics!

  51. Irene Delse says

    @ John Morales:

    Wow, thanks for the link! What makes these hybrid sharks even more fascinating is that we may be seeing an adaptation to climate change:

    Dr Ovenden says there is a good reason why these sharks interbreed.

    “Species with the smaller body can hybridise with the species with the larger body, allowing that tropical species to move further south,” she said.

    “We are thinking that it will provide the sharks with a mechanism to adapt to future environmental change.”

    So as the seas warm, some species of shark may well move to higher latitudes…

  52. carlie says

    If a US American has sex with only 10 partners, and all of them are non-Hispanic white, there is approximately a 1% chance that this pattern is not at all due to some racism. At 15 partners, that chance drops to approximately 0.1%.

    What? No. Countrywide demographics don’t scale down that way. I was raised in a town that was 98% white. It’s just now down to 95%. If I had stayed there, the odds that I would even encounter someone non-white are small, much less form a possible sexual relationship with them.

  53. says

    Where do you get that I “do not allow” for that possibility?

    That’s sure what this sounds like:

    And yet, there will be hair-splitters to lecture you on the grounds that some men have similar hangups for sexist reasons, therefore you should be questioned, and made to question yourself, until you agree to agree with them.

    There’s no reason to believe that anyone is going to do this, “until you agree to agree with them”.

    If you do allow for the possibility that a woman could ask a man “why don’t you want to have period sex” and he could reply with something that doesn’t sound sexist to her, then you were just making an unfair accusation in the blockquote above.

    But hey, nice avoidance tactics!

    Dear heavens, what am I allegedly avoiding?

  54. NuMad says

    I mean that you clearly do agree with her about the part that I cited.

    The passages that you’ve cited have a very different scope than my original comment. The parts where we appear to agree in the passages you cite are actually not the meat of those passages at all.

    I’m saying “I think X” and she’s saying “Of course X, but nevertheless Y, Z, Q, M and P.”

    I don’t agree with her in any meaningful sense on anything of substance.

    But she does not believe that anyone should have to do any act they don’t want to; what she does believe is that refusal to perform a particular act can be indicative of sexism

    Heaping scorn and stigma on someone still counts as shaming in my book, so I’m taking her disavowal of “coercion and pressure” very lightly.

  55. says

    And that is the form of statement I made. Empirical fact: because there exists a sexist meme against cunnilingus, and men who’ve absorbed it are more likely than others to have an aversion to cunnilingus, displaying an aversion to cunnilingus is evidence of sexism.

    Again, not proof of sexism. But evidence. Evidence that might ultimately be better explained by a different hypothesis. But evidence nevertheless.

    So, the fact that I just had a bowl of rice for lunch is evidence of me being a poor person in the third world.

    Now you’re just making up nonsense. I haven’t dismissed your answer

    Of course you did, by trying to “make me dig deeper for the real reasons”, as if I hadn’t thought about my reasons before.

    Jill said nothing about this. Where is your care for facts?

    She didn’t, I did. But she went on about the wonders of a naturally functioning vagina. And I can’t stand vagina-mysticism.

    She very explicitly makes an exception for people who just can’t stand blood.

    Just not for people who can’t stand menstruational blood. Which is (and I’ll grant you ignorance on that) pretty different from normal blood, because “menstruational blood” is pretty much a misnomer.

    But a dude who’s like “period sex is gross, here touch my semen”

    I’m a misandrist, obviously. I find semen gross, too. Smell, taste and texture. Wonderful stuff for making babies, but since we’re done with that I like it best inside of a condom.

    If a US American has sex with only 10 partners, and all of them are non-Hispanic white, there is approximately a 1% chance that this pattern is not at all due to some racism. At 15 partners, that chance drops to approximately 0.1%.

    Yeah, and that could be due to some factors that have 0 to do with the actual person involved, because our hypothetical person happily screwing around could live in an area where non-white people are simply scarce.
    Are those factors at least partly due to racism: sure
    Are they due to the racism of the person (unless you have additional information that our hypothetical person moved to such an area on purpose)? No. You need more information than that.
    I’m pretty sure I can make up such a statistic about children with a Turkish migratory background and my daughter’s friends.
    If you just go by that, you will have evidence for our prejudices against Turkish children.

  56. says

    What? No. Countrywide demographics don’t scale down that way.

    What I said is a true statement for the average US American. When we know the demographics of a particular person’s area, of course, the chances are adjusted.

  57. NuMad says

    I’m not sure how one should react to someone else gathering such exhaustive statistics about their sexual partners, and being approached with conversation about trends and patterns (with optional shaming) therein.

  58. Moggie says

    Online package tracking tries me crazy.

    *Click*
    “Ok, it’s been processed through an Atlanta sort facility. Shiny stuff on its way!”

    Time passes…
    *Click*
    “Huh, still in Atlanta. What are they waiting for?”


    *Click*
    “Are Georgians just lazy, or something? Come on, guys!”


    *Click*
    “WTF? DAMMIT, PACKAGE, WHAT’S SO FUCKING GREAT ABOUT ATLANTA THAT YOU WANT TO STAY THERE FOR A WHOLE FUCKING WEEK? HULK SMASH!”

    Something about “a watched pot never boils”.

  59. says

    I’m saying “I think X” and she’s saying “Of course X, but nevertheless Y, Z, Q, M and P.”

    I don’t agree with her in any meaningful sense on anything of substance.

    Alright. So long as you don’t deny she says X, I’ll try not to belabor that point.

    Heaping scorn and stigma on someone still counts as shaming in my book, so I’m taking her disavowal of “coercion and pressure” very lightly.

    Once again, this is a bad comparison: «it’s important to interrogate the aversion to certain sexual acts — especially those that come with misogynist or homophobic baggage. There are important cultural and historical reasons why “I won’t go down on women” is slightly different from “I won’t let a dude come on my face.”»

    +++++

    So, the fact that I just had a bowl of rice for lunch is evidence of me being a poor person in the third world.

    If we knew absolutely nothing else about you, then yes. Introduce yourself to Bayesian logic. If you don’t get this, it isn’t my fault that you’re wrong.

    Of course you did, by trying to “make me dig deeper for the real reasons”, as if I hadn’t thought about my reasons before.

    Putting “make me dig deeper for the real reasons” in quotes amounts to a lie, since I said nothing of the sort.

    I asked you what your reasons were. You made up this interpretation of why I’m asking, as though I could not possibly want to actually know. If I was just going to advise you to direct that question at yourself for your own elucidation, I would have said so; I would have told you not to tell me the answer. I’ve done precisely this on other topics before, and can point to it. Furthermore, my asking does not constitute any dismissal of your answer. You don’t have to bullshit to make me seem more offensive than I am — I’m quite happy to insult you openly if you’d like — the fact is it was just a request for detail.

    Since you’re trying to insinuate that my asking this question is the same as a woman asking a man why he doesn’t want to have period sex, you should keep in mind what her most likely reason for asking any particular question is.

    If she asks “why” once, it’s because she wants to hear what his first-order answer is. If she asks again, it’s because she wants to know more. And so on. This cannot be construed as a dismissal of his answer until it reaches a point where he says “I just do not know” and she does not accept that answer. If and only if she does not accept that answer, then that would be a dismissal.

    And it may be a justifiable dismissal. If she gets the sense that he’s stonewalling, that he really knows more than he’s letting on, she may justifiably be upset about this. This of course requires some attentiveness to social cues, but I trust that people are capable of figuring this shit out on their own. You are the one here who’s positing otherwise.

    But she went on about the wonders of a naturally functioning vagina. And I can’t stand vagina-mysticism.

    Oh dear, no. She didn’t say anything mystical or wondrous.

    Just not for people who can’t stand menstruational blood.

    Indeed, because that’s precisely what’s suspect here. However, it does not follow that she does not allow that there’s no other answer which could not be sexist. This is just something which needs to be investigated.

    You are jumping to the conclusion that any woman who suspects possible sexism about this would not be willing to accept any answers except an aversion to blood per se. There is no reason to jump to this conclusion.

    I’m a misandrist, obviously.

    I don’t accept that there’s any such thing.

    Now, Giliell, I’ll ask you what I’ve been asking generally:

    I’m offering the best I can think of with telling women that “aversion to period sex and cunnilingus is very often due to sexism, so if you suspect this, feel free to ask about the cause of your partner’s aversion, and dump them if you aren’t satisfied that the cause is not due to sexism.” I really can’t think of a better way which still allows for women to communicate to each other this fact. If Jill’s approach is wrong, what would be the better way to do this?

  60. says

    I’m not sure how one should react to someone else gathering such exhaustive statistics about their sexual partners, and being approached with conversation about trends and patterns (with optional shaming) therein.

    :) It’s sometimes something we notice about close friends, at least.

    +++++

    Whose income is 27.000$ (per person) Why are you complaining about poor people all the time?
    Sociology: not like mathematicians think it works.

    Of course, I said nothing to justify your distortion here. In fact I said “When we know the demographics of a particular person’s area, of course, the chances are adjusted.”

    It’s almost as though you deliberately overlooked this.

  61. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    If a US American has sex with only 10 partners, and all of them are non-Hispanic white, there is approximately a 1% chance that this pattern is not at all due to some racism. At 15 partners, that chance drops to approximately 0.1%.

    I don’t follow this at all and how do you come by those numbers?

    Sex is a two way street, people don’t get to demand who their partners are so that they can live up to some ideal racial ratio.

    I’ve had sex with, lets say between 45-50 people. Only 8 or 9 of those were non-white, though I guess there might be more depending on your definition of white.

    At no point was my attraction a point of their race. It was most certainly a combination of location, convenience, circumstance and most importantly mutual attraction and willingness.

    Should any of those things have been different I could have ended up with only 3 or 4 non-white partners.

    Now if you’re including racism in the discussion as part of my position in life growing up as a white upper middle class male and that having a bearing on my circumstance (school, social circle, opportunity etc..) then ok, maybe. But that’s not how I was interpreting this.

  62. theophontes, Hexanitroisowurtzitanverwendendes_Bärtierchen says

    @ Carlie

    I don’t see it as creepy.

    I have to agree with you here. It is a very common trait of all types of apes to have difficulty in letting go. I wonder what role this has played in the genesis of religiousity in our particular branch.

    Here some interesting linkies :

    Gorillas – Gorilla Mother “Mourns” Dead Baby

    Chimpanzies – How chimps mourn their dead.

    Bonobo – Alpha female protects (unrelated) corpse

    The primate specialist Frans De Waal has suggested that the animals think that the dead are actually still alive, just sick/weak and will still recover (worth the effort if true).

    (Not really restricted to primates, as elephants and polar bears have displayed similar behaviour.)

    Where it does become creepy, is when zombie jeebus comes aboard.

  63. says

    how do you come by those numbers?

    64% of US Americans are non-Hispanic white people. 0.64 ^ 10 = ~0.01

    Sex is a two way street, people don’t get to demand who their partners are so that they can live up to some ideal racial ratio.

    But I’m not talking about living up to any ideal ratio; it’s just that after a certain number of partners who are all of the same race, there’s a pattern.

    At no point was my attraction a point of their race. It was most certainly a combination of location, convenience, circumstance and most importantly mutual attraction and willingness.

    That’s to be expected.

    Now if you’re including racism in the discussion as part of my position in life growing up as a white upper middle class male and that having a bearing on my circumstance (school, social circle, opportunity etc..) then ok, maybe. But that’s not how I was interpreting this.

    I’m definitely including social circle. Social circle itself is another indicator of racism. And the other things you list will influence the social circle.

  64. says

    But I’m not talking about living up to any ideal ratio

    I mean, it’s also highly unlikely for a person’s sexual history to very closely match their area’s demographics. There’s a range of highly expected numbers.

  65. says

    Oh dear, no. She didn’t say anything mystical or wondrous.

    You mean when she said idiotic stuff like this:

    Feces is waste, though. Blood is not. And feces will make you pretty darn sick if you come into too much contact with it.

    First she does the false menstruational blood = blood mistake all the time (and I think she does it on purpose to mislead), secondly she denies the obvious that the menstruational blood that my body gets rid of is indeed waste. What else should it be?
    That’s vagina-mysticism. Magical things that are so much different than ordinary things.

    And to quote her straight on the issue:

    I have met a grand total of one dude in my entire life who was like “no” on the period sex (for the record, he wasn’t saying no in the moment; it was a general conversation, not a negotiation). His reasoning was “it’s gross.” And when I stopped seeing him approximately 24 hours after that conversation, my reasoning was, “I don’t want to be with someone who thinks that a natural, healthy uterus-having body is gross.”

    She engages in a massive goal-post shift.
    All she tells us is that he said is that period sex is gross. No other reason, not why he thought that.
    She went from “I don’t want to fuck you while you have your period” to “despises the healthy female body as such”.

    “aversion to period sex and cunnilingus is very often due to sexism, so if you suspect this, feel free to ask about the cause of your partner’s aversion, and dump them if you aren’t satisfied that the cause is not due to sexism.”

    This is very different from what you’ve claimed so far, as you added the additional condition so if you suspect this.

    If she asks “why” once, it’s because she wants to hear what his first-order answer is. If she asks again, it’s because she wants to know more. And so on. This cannot be construed as a dismissal of his answer until it reaches a point where he says “I just do not know” and she does not accept that answer.

    Only that, of course, it means that she doesn’t believe that he answered honestly the first, second, third time. So, giving what the individual thinks to be the actual reason allows her to ask again. Only if he says “I don’t know because he’s fucking annoyed because his honest answers weren’t accepted, then she is supposed to stop.
    Yes, I can see how that method fosters honest and open discourse between partners.

    Anyway, I’m done here.
    I’m off anyway and I’m not interested in discussing this any further upon returning.

  66. dianne says

    The primate specialist Frans De Waal has suggested that the animals think that the dead are actually still alive, just sick/weak and will still recover (worth the effort if true).

    You see people doing this too, if you hang around an ICU long enough. Sometimes it’s hard to tell-everyone has at least one “miracle recovery” story and everyone is hoping that this person before them will be that one, no matter how bad the actual circumstances. I’ll stop now rather than going into just how bad some of those circumstances can be.

  67. KG says

    I understand the idea of a sexual-encounter-cum-interrogation-session which love moderately ॐ advocates, but I can’t personally see its attraction.

    On the broader point at issue, the fact (if it is a fact) that dislike for a specific sexual practice is “evidence of sexism” in a statistical sense among a certain population (how do we choose the reference population, BTW?), does not remotely justify the presumption that a sexual partner who dislikes that practice is sexist. FFS, if you’ve got as far as exchanging sexual preferences and dislikes, wouldn’t you make such judgements in a rather more nuanced and contextualised way? Like: does this partner listen to what I say, take care for my pleasure as well as hir own, respect any boundaries I set without trying to morally blackmail me into changing my mind or pressuring me to justify them? Also, how experienced do they appear to be, are they generally extrovert or introvert, confident or shy, risk-taking or risk-avoiding?
    Dislike of a specific practice would appear quite differently in different contexts.

  68. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    But I’m not talking about living up to any ideal ratio;

    Yeah “ideal” was a poor choice of word by me but you addressed that in #577.

    it’s just that after a certain number of partners who are all of the same race, there’s a pattern.

    But does that pattern necessarily mean racism? In some cases obviously yes, but in others I’m not so sure it’s clear cut at all.

    My point, if there is a discernible one, is that I agree that sexual partners can be a big red flag of one’s racism but it’s not necessarily so. There are a number of other factors that can play a role in a person’s “list”. It’s not so cut and dry.

  69. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    vagina-mysticism

    It might be inappropriate, but this is my new favorite phrase.

  70. walton says

    strange gods, I’ll try this one last time:

    Then you agree with Jill: «It seems to be that dudes refuse to go down on a lady because they think it’s gross, or because they find it emasculating (how a close encounter of the vaginal kind amounts to some sort of “no homo” moment is beyond me, but ok), or because they just don’t have to since vaginal sex is ostensibly for both of your pleasure and if your girl doesn’t come then, well, whatever. Girls don’t like orgasms as much as boys anyway, right? Either way, it comes down to the idea that female bodies are icky, or that female pleasure just doesn’t matter that much. And if that’s your dude’s view, ok — he’s entitled to think that. He’s also entitled to go to Puppy-Kickers R Us meetings. But he’s not entitled to access to your body any more than he’s entitled to kick the neighbor’s dog. He’s not entitled to a pat on the head and approval of his sexist views, just because they overlap with your sex life (He’s definitely not entitled to blowjobs either). Sure, you have to respect his boundaries — but that doesn’t mean you have to keep on having sex with someone who doesn’t respect you, or that you have to keep your mouth shut as to why it’s offensive that he makes a gross-out face in response to your vagina.»

    The problem here is with the generalization. I am being told that if I don’t like a particular sexual practice and don’t want to participate in it, I am by definition a misogynist who should not be having relationships with women at all. (Filipovic does not even allow, as you do, that there could be non-misogynistic reasons for disliking said sexual practice. She just says “It seems to be…” that men dislike those practices for the reasons she posits, without acknowledging that there could be other reasons.)

    Of course she has every right to date or not date whoever she wants for whatever reason she wants. But there is a difference between “I don’t want to date men who don’t like X”, which is a legitimate personal decision that anyone has a right to make, and “Men who don’t like X are misogynists”, which is a hurtful, harmful and unfounded attack.

    And I do not buy her disavowal of “coercion and pressure”, because imposing the shaming and stigma of “If you don’t like sexual practice X and don’t want to do it, you are a misogynist who should never have relationships with women” is, in effect, coercive psychological pressure to engage in sexual practice X against one’s wishes. And it sounds like a horrible way to have any kind of healthy relationship.

  71. walton says

    I am being told that if I don’t like a particular sexual practice and don’t want to participate in it, I am by definition a misogynist who should not be having relationships with women at all.

    (and, for that matter, that disliking a particular sexual practice amounts to despising and pathologizing the female body)

  72. says

    Feces is waste, though. Blood is not. And feces will make you pretty darn sick if you come into too much contact with it.

    Disagreeing with your terminology, due to the implications of that terminology, is arguably wrong but definitely not “vagina mysticism”.

    First she does the false menstruational blood = blood mistake all the time (and I think she does it on purpose to mislead),

    Er, it’s not false that menstruational blood is blood. It is in fact blood. Your proper quibble is that not all menstruation is blood. Some of it is flesh too, but it’s not rotting yet, so big deal.

    She engages in a massive goal-post shift.

    I don’t see where this is alleged to occur.

    All she tells us is that he said is that period sex is gross. No other reason, not why he thought that.
    She went from “I don’t want to fuck you while you have your period” to “despises the healthy female body as such”.

    She wasn’t obliged to care why he thought that. It’s a good indicator that he has a sexist problem with female bodies. Could have turned out to be a false positive in the end, but it’s still a good indicator.

    This is very different from what you’ve claimed so far, as you added the additional condition so if you suspect this.

    It’s not my fault that you haven’t bothered to read what I’m saying. I said exactly that way back at #533 — it’s a direct quote — and my very first comment was full of suspect:

    There is no particular sexist meme against mutual masturbation, that I know of.

    There is a sexist meme about sex during menstruation being gross.

    Therefore, if someone doesn’t want to practice mutual masturbation, there is no reason to suspect that this is partially due to learning sexist ideas.

    But if someone doesn’t want to have sex during menstruation there is reason to suspect this is partially due to learning sexist ideas.

    Can we say that 100% of people who have no aversion to blood per se, no aversion to vaginal sex per se, but an aversion to sex during menstruation, have this aversion in part due to having sexist ideas? No.

    But it’s a pretty good guess. And if a woman doesn’t want to be with a partner because she suspects their aversion to sex during menstruation is indicative of sexism, that’s justifiable.

    And if she wants to remind other women that aversion to sex during menstruation is a reasonable basis for suspecting sexism, that’s justifiable.

    Only that, of course, it means that she doesn’t believe that he answered honestly the first, second, third time.

    1) No, it does not necessarily mean that.
    2) If it does, that’s perfectly fine too.

    On 1, it may mean she doesn’t think he’s really investigated the issue for himself.

    On 2, people are not always honest. It is okay to suspect that a person is not being wholly honest.

    There is just nothing wrong with any of this, and it seems you are trying to make it prohibitively difficult for a woman to ask this of a man. There’s just no reason for you to take up that position, except of course that you like arguing with me. ;)

    So, giving what the individual thinks to be the actual reason allows her to ask again. Only if he says “I don’t know because he’s fucking annoyed because his honest answers weren’t accepted, then she is supposed to stop.

    Well, no. She’s supposed to stop whenever she wants to stop, whenever she’s satisfied that it’s probably due or not due to sexism, that is, whenever she feels she’s come to an apparent conclusion.

    Yes, I can see how that method fosters honest and open discourse between partners.

    If there’s a suspicion of sexism, then how else do you suggest that this be approached? It does appear there’s no magically awesome way of doing it. But if there’s a suspicion of sexism, then why would it be better to leave this uninterrogated?

    Again: I’m offering the best I can think of with telling women that “aversion to period sex and cunnilingus is very often due to sexism, so if you suspect this, feel free to ask about the cause of your partner’s aversion, and dump them if you aren’t satisfied that the cause is not due to sexism.” I really can’t think of a better way which still allows for women to communicate to each other this fact. If Jill’s approach is wrong, what would be the better way to do this?

    I’m off anyway and I’m not interested in discussing this any further upon returning.

    Not even to admit you made a blatantly false statement about “this is very different from what you’ve claimed so far”? Nobody will think less of you for admitting an error.

  73. says

    FFS, if you’ve got as far as exchanging sexual preferences and dislikes, wouldn’t you make such judgements in a rather more nuanced and contextualised way?

    Not necessarily.

    Like: does this partner listen to what I say

    One expects that when this can also be considered, it is likely to be considered. It’s one red flag. I don’t know how any particular woman should deal with this one red flag. I think we can all realistically consider that it is not often going to be a solely deciding factor, but I’m not willing to say it never should be.

    Even if this red flag correctly identifies a sexist idea, that’s of course not the whole story about anyone. We all understand that someone who holds a few common contemporary sexist ideas is different from someone who likes to beat the shit out of women. There are of course degrees of sexism, and I don’t think anyone has suggested that not performing a particular sex act is the height of sexism.

  74. Brother Ogvorbis, OM -- Still Not Grokking says

    Irene:

    This was the second time that I have commented and you, for what ever reason, have either replied in an annoyingly condescending manner or have dismissed me as an idiot. Thank you for accepting that I can have my own opinion, but what the hell is it about me that evokes this in my comments?

  75. theophontes, Hexanitroisowurtzitanverwendendes_Bärtierchen says

    @ Rev. BigDumbChimp 566

    M.I.T

    I see your MIT and raise you Stellenbosch University. (Linky: SUNscholar) They are endeavoring to put all their research output online.

    (MIT have had a substantial number of their lectures online for quite a while now. Some excellent lectures out there – it is great for them to expand this service.)

    @ dianne

    I’ll stop now rather than going into just how bad some of those circumstances can be.

    I can imagine. That chimp that carried a mummified baby around for days on end gives a clear indication.

    ……..
    Hemophobic sex:

    Very strong phobia (so bad it can cause one to pass out completely) versus a very strong urge. The bets are on. *ding ding ding*

  76. birgerjohansson says

    Weed Monkey

    see “Sweden’s ‘warmest December in 250 years’ http://www.thelocal.se/38186/20111228/?utm_source=email&utm_medium=email&utm_content=296

    — — — — — —
    Spicy invention protects dogs from wolf attacks http://www.thelocal.se/38278/20120102/
    Since traffic kills 20 times more dogs than wolves do, it would make more sense designing an orange vest with flashing blue LEDs for the dogs to wear.
    — — — —
    The FDA’s Christmas Present for Factory Farms http://motherjones.com/tom-philpott/2011/12/fda-quietly-delivers-christmas-present-meat-industry

    Corruption, a growth industry

  77. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    SG/LM,
    Let me make clear that I have never had aversion to relations with my partner at any point in her cycle. That bing said:

    OK, at the risk of walking into a fanblade, how is this argument different from a guy saying that if a woman has an aversion to oral or to “swallowing”, then she must not like men?

    I can certainly see why a woman would have trouble with a guy’s aversion to menses, but that would seem to me to indicate incompatibility rather than any strong evidence of sexism. Sex without enthusiastic consent isn’t worth it. Ever.

    So, the couple either need to work through the issue or move on.

  78. dianne says

    Er, it’s not false that menstruational blood is blood. It is in fact blood.

    Actually, quite a lot of it isn’t. There is blood in menstrual fluid, of course, but quite a lot of it is dead uterine lining being flushed out to make way for fresh lining next month. FWIW.

  79. says

    But does that pattern necessarily mean racism? In some cases obviously yes, but in others I’m not so sure it’s clear cut at all.

    A comparison of one’s meatspace friends to local demographics is more indicative, but since one’s sexual partners are somewhat a function of one’s friendships — a lot of people we fuck are friends of friends — I think sexual partners are also indicative. Somewhat less so because there seem to be more oddball circumstances and particular moments that determine sexual partners.

    My point, if there is a discernible one, is that I agree that sexual partners can be a big red flag of one’s racism but it’s not necessarily so. There are a number of other factors that can play a role in a person’s “list”. It’s not so cut and dry.

    As I’ve been using the term “red flag”, I’d say an apparently racist pattern necessarily is a red flag, but sometimes is also a false positive.

    And racism isn’t a binary state. I can say without hesitation that my social circle is skewed extra-white because of my racism. I haven’t done the math on my sexual partners, but I suspect that when I do it’ll suggest a false negative.

  80. says

    Actually, quite a lot of it isn’t.

    Oh dear heavens. Menstrual blood is blood. Menstrual fluid is more than menstrual blood.

    There is blood in menstrual fluid, of course, but quite a lot of it is dead uterine lining being flushed out to make way for fresh lining next month. FWIW.

    FWIW, what else did you think I might be talking about when I said “some of it is flesh too”?

    +++++

    OK, at the risk of walking into a fanblade, how is this argument different from a guy saying that if a woman has an aversion to oral or to “swallowing”, then she must not like men?

    It’s different because we haven’t identified an actually-existing meme widespread in the wild that indicates both that men are bad and swallowing semen is bad.

    We do know of such memes regarding menstrual blood; they date at least to the Torah and Vedas.

    I can certainly see why a woman would have trouble with a guy’s aversion to menses, but that would seem to me to indicate incompatibility rather than any strong evidence of sexism.

    Well, it could be both.

    So, the couple either need to work through the issue or move on.

    Yes! And I’m saying that part of figuring out whether to work through it or move on will include having a discussion which can hopefully put to rest any suspicions about sexism, either in the affirmative or the negative.

    That’s what Jill said about cunnilingus too, and she linked to her post about cunnilingus at the end of her post about period sex; I think it’s reasonable to believe that she holds this opinion about asking questions and trying to figure it out for both issues.

  81. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Somewhat less so because there seem to be more oddball circumstances and particular moments that determine sexual partners.

    Yeah this is what I’m getting at.

  82. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    Demographics and partners:

    OK, the contention that a person who has 10 partners, all white, is 99% likely to be a racist is simply false. First, what matters is NOT the US demographics as a whole, but rather the demographics of the people involved. US society is highly segregated even today. Yes, that is racism, but it is institutionalized racism, not necessarily the racism of the individual.

    What is more, there may be more reasons than racism even for self-selection of one’s peer group. Culture, religion, even one’s preferred physical characteristic can play a role without it necessarily being a racial matter.

    Finally, just because one picks a minority as a sexual partner does not indicate that one is not racist! Otherwise, slaveholders would have been progressive in their views on race even as they were rapists!

    Bottom line. A statistical analysis requires representative data. The general population is NOT necessarily representative of each individual who lives within it any more than the entire produce department is representative of an orange that happens to be found there.

  83. says

    The problem here is with the generalization. I am being told that if I don’t like a particular sexual practice and don’t want to participate in it, I am by definition a misogynist who should not be having relationships with women at all.

    Well, if she’s making too strong a case, then since we still know much of this aversion is due to sexism, I’m offering the best I can think of with telling women that “aversion to period sex and cunnilingus is very often due to sexism, so if you suspect this, feel free to ask about the cause of your partner’s aversion, and dump them if you aren’t satisfied that the cause is not due to sexism.” I really can’t think of a better way which still allows for women to communicate to each other this fact. If Jill’s approach is wrong, what would be the better way to do this?

    (Filipovic does not even allow, as you do, that there could be non-misogynistic reasons for disliking said sexual practice. She just says “It seems to be…” that men dislike those practices for the reasons she posits, without acknowledging that there could be other reasons.)

    Sigh. I don’t like how I have to read the damn post for you, Walton.

    «I mean, look: If you have a spine issue that makes the head angle excruciatingly painful, ok, I get that. I do not doubt that straight men exist who don’t eat pussy for some reason other than being misogynist assholes.»

    “Men who don’t like X are misogynists”, which is a hurtful, harmful and unfounded attack.

    It’s not unfounded. It’s probably true in most cases. It could be hurtful and harmful but I don’t see this as sufficient reason not to do it. It’s recognizing a red flag. It may be socially destructive to recognize and talk about a red flag. It’s certainly socially destructive to not talk about it.

    I suppose you’re right that talking about aversion to cunnilingus or period sex as an indicator of sexism is going to end up being stigmatizing to a few guys who work hard at not being sexist. But if they’re really so concerned about not being sexist, maybe they should just learn to live with this unfortunate outcome, because the alternative is that a hell of a lot more men who aren’t working to not be sexist get to run amok and women are apparently expected not to talk about these behaviors being red flags for sexism. Even though they frequently are.

    And I do not buy her disavowal of “coercion and pressure”, because imposing the shaming and stigma of “If you don’t like sexual practice X and don’t want to do it, you are a misogynist who should never have relationships with women” is, in effect, coercive psychological pressure to engage in sexual practice X against one’s wishes.

    Nope. You might as well say Dan Savage is also being “coercive” by saying we should be “game for anything within reason”.

    And it sounds like a horrible way to have any kind of healthy relationship.

    It sounds like a great way to avoid unhealthy relationships with sexist guys, actually.

  84. says

    It’s only false if you are unwilling to ignore troubling nuisances like population structure, and want to pretend that America is perfectly panmictic.

  85. says

    OK, the contention that a person who has 10 partners, all white, is 99% likely to be a racist is simply false. First, what matters is NOT the US demographics as a whole, but rather the demographics of the people involved.

    OK I already said “When we know the demographics of a particular person’s area, of course, the chances are adjusted.”

    US society is highly segregated even today. Yes, that is racism, but it is institutionalized racism, not necessarily the racism of the individual.

    There is some personal racism in not trying to overcome institutional racism.

    What is more, there may be more reasons than racism even for self-selection of one’s peer group. Culture

    is actually a huge pile of racist dogwhistle. If some American’s got a problem with the culture of another American of a different race, that’s some racism.

    religion,

    could be non-racist.

    even one’s preferred physical characteristic can play a role without it necessarily being a racial matter.

    I don’t see how this could possibly not be racist.

    Finally, just because one picks a minority as a sexual partner does not indicate that one is not racist!

    Agreed! There’s been no implication otherwise.

  86. janine says

    I have great news about one of our missing persons. After months of hormone theory, Patricia says that the biopsy shows no cancer and that the theory can come to an end.

    She did not want to be online when she was not feeling like herself and she hopes that soon, she will be back to her christian slaying ways.

    She also said that all of the people wishing her well did lift her spirits and is thankful for us sticking with her during this trying time.

  87. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    There is some personal racism in not trying to overcome institutional racism.

    Or apathy, or laziness, or shyness or a host of other possibilities. Not everyone has the same initiative to go outside their existing comfort zone to make an effort to befriend people they don’t know or don’t have any social connection to. That doesn’t necessarily make them racist nor should it always be an indictment of that person. Some people have to deal with people differently that the way you or I or anyone think they should.

  88. cicely, Disturber of the Peas says

    jeeebus, cicely
    are there any herby flavours that you do like???

    Sure! I love mint. :)

    I’m also okay with (browsing down a Wiki list) basil, bay (used cautiously), chives, cinnamon (awesome!), clove, garlic (excellant stuff, garlic!), ginger, horseradish (another “cautious” one), lavender, mustard, oregano, parsley, peppermint, rosemary, saffron, sage (caution), and vanilla. There are others I know I’ve eaten, but couldn’t pick out of a taste-test line up—marjoram and thyme, for instance. (For that matter, I’m sure I’ve eaten galingale and cubeb at SCA events, but I have no idea what they taste like.) And there’s no telling what I’ve eaten elsewhere, all unknowing.

    Patricia says that the biopsy shows no cancer and that the theory can come to an end.

    Yay!
    -

  89. Irene Delse says

    LM:

    Nobody’s ignoring population structure, but if your options aren’t close to panmictic for your local area, that’s probably racism.

    Aaaand here we go again. Blaming an individual for what they are or are not attracted to, while treating people like statistics, on the basis that there exist sexist/racist/whateverist memes in society. I have another logical deduction for you: “All men are mortal, all grass is mortal, ergo all men are grass”.

    QED.

    Oh, and note the clever framing: “if your options aren’t”… As if it was “options” in a election poll, or for choosing a applicant to a job. Hello? Sex life, and especially the choice of sex partner, being a very complicated, emotional and subjective phenomenon? (Even the word “choice” in this context is problematic. It’s more “finding someone I’m feeling good with and who feels the same about me”.)

    How about the fact that some people stay with the same partner all their life, will you take that as an indication that they have some sort of Christian fundamentalist bias? Maybe PZ and his wife should “interrogate” their happy marriage in the same fashion?

    If you truly wants to fight for more acceptance of difference in society, try focusing on the ways society is hemming us in, not on what Mr. X or Ms. Y are doing in their beds!

  90. Irene Delse says

    Post-scriptum:

    I hasten to add, to avoid more attempts at weaselling out negative meanings out of what I posted, that I meant of course “…not on what Mr. X or Ms. Y are doing in their beds as long as it’s not abusive to someone!”

  91. walton says

    Sex life, and especially the choice of sex partner, being a very complicated, emotional and subjective phenomenon? (Even the word “choice” in this context is problematic. It’s more “finding someone I’m feeling good with and who feels the same about me”.)

    That’s my point. We don’t really get to choose who we are attracted to, or which sexual practices we like and which ones we find uncomfortable and distasteful. Just as we don’t get to choose whether to be straight, gay or bi, we don’t get to choose these basic inclinations about what we are and aren’t comfortable with sexually. How far a distaste for certain kinds of sex is a hardwired trait, and how far it is ascribable to social conditioning, I don’t know; but it doesn’t matter. In neither case does it reflect poorly on a person’s moral character or commitment to social justice.

    Filipovic’s argument seems to be that if a straight or bi man has a dislike of certain sexual practices, women are justified in shunning and stigmatizing him as a misogynist, despite the fact that he probably can’t do a damn thing to change the way he feels about it. That’s straightforwardly and obviously unfair.

    LM’s argument is rather more sophisticated than this. He is, as I understand him, acknowledging that some men can dislike certain sexual practices for non-sexist reasons, but is arguing that because those particular dislikes may be indicators of sexism in some cases, it is nonetheless justified to suspect men who have those dislikes of being misogynists, and to treat them as such unless they show themselves to be otherwise. He acknowledges that this can be hurtful and unfair to the men in question, but does not see this as a sufficient reason not to do it:

    To treat it automatically as an indication of sexism, as she is clearly and unequivocally advocating, is extremely hurtful and stigmatizing to those men who find cunnilingus distasteful and who also work hard at not being sexist.

    That could be, but I don’t see this as sufficient reason not to do it. It’s recognizing a red flag. It may be socially destructive to recognize and talk about a red flag. It’s certainly socially destructive to not talk about it.

    This amounts to saying that those of us who have unusual sexual hangups should just accept being stigmatized and insulted, for the greater good of society. I am not willing to accept that, and I don’t think it’s fair to ask me to put up with nasty and hurtful articles like Filipovic’s without pushing back.

  92. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    SG/LM, so your contention would be that if a guy has a thing for redheads, he must be an Irish Nationalist? Or that a woman who has a thing for blonde men must be a Aryan supremacist?

    What if someone finds religion a turnoff? Would that not make them less likely to have partners who are Hispanic (and therefore more likely to self-identify as Catholic) or black (and therefore more likely to self-identify as Protestant)?

    Have you ever tried to make a cross-cultural relationship work? It ain’t easy? I know from experience–and the more different the cultures, the more difficult (and at the same time more fascinating) it is.

    There is such a thing as cultural preference, and it can be, but is not necessarily a euphemism for racism. There is such a thing as personal preference–and that, too, need not be animated by racism. And there are preferences for what one feels comfortable with in the bedroom (or on the kitchen table if that’s your thing).

    Have you considered introducing colors beyond black and white into your palette?

  93. says

    That doesn’t necessarily make them racist nor should it always be an indictment of that person. Some people have to deal with people differently that the way you or I or anyone think they should.

    It’s no indictment in any case. It’s an observation. Like I said when I brought this up, it does not follow that we have to shame a person for it.

    +++++

    Blaming an individual for what they are or are not attracted to, while treating people like statistics, on the basis that there exist sexist/racist/whateverist memes in society.

    There’s no blaming. You are the one who decides to attach that.

    Oh, and note the clever framing: “if your options aren’t”… As if it was “options” in a election poll, or for choosing a applicant to a job.

    I don’t know why you’re getting mixed up about this. The options in this case refer to who’s fucking whom.

    Sex life, and especially the choice of sex partner, being a very complicated, emotional and subjective phenomenon? (Even the word “choice” in this context is problematic. It’s more “finding someone I’m feeling good with and who feels the same about me”.)

    And that’s going to approximate the demographics of one’s area with less racism, and skew away from those demographics with more racism.

    How about the fact that some people stay with the same partner all their life, will you take that as an indication that they have some sort of Christian fundamentalist bias?

    I’ll take this question as an indication that you are not a serious person, since the lowest N that I even talked about was 10.

    If you truly wants to fight for more acceptance of difference in society, try focusing on the ways society is hemming us in, not on what Mr. X or Ms. Y are doing in their beds!

    Don’t be silly. I’m not suggesting that sex is a great way to overcome racism. I’m saying it’s an indicator, one measurement of racism.

  94. says

    SG/LM, so your contention would be that if a guy has a thing for redheads, he must be an Irish Nationalist? Or that a woman who has a thing for blonde men must be a Aryan supremacist?

    This is not a serious question.

    Do you think I’m calling myself any kind of suprmacist when I say “racism isn’t a binary state. I can say without hesitation that my social circle is skewed extra-white because of my racism”?

    I don’t see any reason for me to respond seriously when you know you’re bullshitting, a_ray.

  95. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Now this is a defense, sort of.

    Pepsi Co., facing a lawsuit from a man who claims to have found a mouse in his Mountain Dew can, has an especially creative, if disgusting, defense: their soda would have dissolved a dead mouse before the man could have found it. An Illinois man sued Pepsi in 2009 after he claims he “spat out the soda to reveal a dead mouse,” the Madison County Record reports. He claims he sent the mouse to Pepsi, which then “destroyed” the remains after he allowed them to test it, according to his complaint. Most shudder-worthy, however, is that Pepsi’s lawyers also found experts to testify, based on the state of the remains sent to them, that “the mouse would have dissolved in the soda had it been in the can from the time of its bottling until the day the plaintiff drank it,” according to the Record. (It would have become a “jelly-like substance,” according to Pepsi, adds LegalNewsline.) This seems like a winning-the-battle-while-surrendering-the-war kind of strategy that hinges on the argument that Pepsi’s product is essentially a can of bright green/yellow battery acid. The lawyers still appear to be lawyering behind the scenes but we cannot wait for this to come to trial (though we think a trial is about as likely as the chances of us “Doing the Dew” ever again).

  96. carlie says

    Huzzah for Patricia!!!!

    Can we say that 100% of people who have no aversion to blood per se, no aversion to vaginal sex per se, but an aversion to sex during menstruation, have this aversion in part due to having sexist ideas? No.

    But it’s a pretty good guess.

    But WHY is that obviously the majority? I have no problem with blood, but I don’t really want it to be present when I’m having about sex. Menstrual blood is a waste product. It’s not some magic mystical feminine thing. I don’t have a big problem with feces either, but I sure don’t want it around when I’m having sex.

    Sigh. I don’t like how I have to read the damn post for you, Walton.

    «I mean, look: If you have a spine issue that makes the head angle excruciatingly painful, ok, I get that. I do not doubt that straight men exist who don’t eat pussy for some reason other than being misogynist assholes.»

    Which is contradicted by the whole rest of her article, which is a huge BUT MOST OF THEM ARE, and that the default explanation for not liking it is being a misogynistic asshole. When writing something, one can’t spend the whole article making one point and then covering one’s ass by one or two throwaway statements that ok, maybe not everybody is like this, especially when one has gone to pains to say that most people are.

  97. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    SG/LM: “I don’t see any reason for me to respond seriously when you know you’re bullshitting, a_ray.”

    Isn’t that convenient when your position is indefensible?

    Look, I’ll agree that there is a high probability that a guy who objects to menses is probably sexist–that that has much more to do with the fact that we are all raised in a sexist society and absorb some of those attitudes than it does with attitudes toward blood. Human behavior is too complicated to reduce to a series of litmus tests.

    Sometimes preference is animated by racism or sexism. Sometimes it is motivated merely by preference. A single data point will not be sufficient to distinguish.

  98. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    And that’s going to approximate the demographics of one’s area with less racism, and skew away from those demographics with more racism.

    I don’t think this is necessarily true nor is this established.

    It’s essentially saying that sexual attraction and racism are directly proportional to each other. If you’ve got something to back this up, I’m willing to be convinced.

  99. Richard Austin says

    LM’s argument is rather more sophisticated than this. He is, as I understand him, acknowledging that some men can dislike certain sexual practices for non-sexist reasons, but is arguing that because those particular dislikes may be indicators of sexism in some cases, it is nonetheless justified to suspect men who have those dislikes of being misogynists, and to treat them as such unless they show themselves to be otherwise. He acknowledges that this can be hurtful and unfair to the men in question, but does not see this as a sufficient reason not to do it:

    To treat it automatically as an indication of sexism, as she is clearly and unequivocally advocating, is extremely hurtful and stigmatizing to those men who find cunnilingus distasteful and who also work hard at not being sexist.

    That could be, but I don’t see this as sufficient reason not to do it. It’s recognizing a red flag. It may be socially destructive to recognize and talk about a red flag. It’s certainly socially destructive to not talk about it.

    This amounts to saying that those of us who have unusual sexual hangups should just accept being stigmatized and insulted, for the greater good of society. I am not willing to accept that, and I don’t think it’s fair to ask me to put up with nasty and hurtful articles like Filipovic’s without pushing back.

    To be fair, though, isn’t this the whole argument of Schroedinger’s Rapist? That women are often best off when assuming that someone who is exhibiting traits that might be indicative of an intent to rape is a rapist and acting thusly? And that it’s the responsibility of men to recognize this as prevent it as much as possible?

    I honestly don’t see much difference in the arguments (though hopefully there’s a difference in the risk involved).

    On a related note, I have a “hangup” about mixing blood and sex in any way, from any part of the body. It’s called “growing up in the gay community in the 90s and having HIV and STD education pounded into my skull.” I have never looked into the specifics of HIV transmission via menstration results, but even if it’s nonexistent, it would take a lot of effort to get over that “training” and relax. Not that I’m likely to be in such a situation, being gay and all, but I can still see it as a very real psychological factor. Working in a hospital probably hasn’t helped with that.

  100. says

    How far a distaste for certain kinds of sex is a hardwired trait, and how far it is ascribable to social conditioning, I don’t know; but it doesn’t matter. In neither case does it reflect poorly on a person’s moral character or commitment to social justice.

    I don’t care about moral character — it’s a pretty useless distraction from what really matters in life — but one’s willingness to work to overcome social conditioning may indeed reflect one’s commitment to social justice.

    Filipovic’s argument seems to be that if a straight or bi man has a dislike of certain sexual practices, women are justified in shunning and stigmatizing him as a misogynist, despite the fact that he probably can’t do a damn thing to change the way he feels about it. That’s straightforwardly and obviously unfair.

    No, it’s probably not true that someone who holds a preference due to sexism is unable to do anything to change this preference.

    You’re really leaping to an unjustified conclusion there. If a preference is caused by sexism, then identifying its source and working to overcome it is probably possible.

    You might as well go on to say that a preference for not speaking to women professionally can’t be changed and therefore is not a justifiable basis for shunning.

    You’re completely off the mark here. People can and do overcome prejudices.

    You know, there were lots of white people who really had learned visceral disgust about sharing bathrooms and drinking fountains with black people. They didn’t all spend the rest of their days shitting their pants for inability to use integrated public toilets. Most of them got over it. Their visceral disgust was real enough, but they fixed it. People can change visceral reactions.

    This amounts to saying that those of us who have unusual sexual hangups should just accept being stigmatized and insulted, for the greater good of society.

    No, it really does not. It amounts to saying that if you’re in a relationship with a woman who suspects that one of your unusual sexual hangups is due to sexism, she’s justified in asking you to explain it.

    And since I’ve specified that I think we should regard OCD as a pretty good reason, you really can’t claim that I’m saying people with OCD should put up with being stigmatized. If you see overreach on that front, push back. But that doesn’t mean that it’s impossible to make a case about this without overreach.

    If Jill’s approach is presumed wrong for the sake of argument, but you can’t offer up a better approach that allows a woman to investigate whether a particular man’s aversion to a particular act is due to sexism, then all I can reasonably do here is assume that whatever better approach might exist will include telling women that “aversion to period sex and cunnilingus is very often due to sexism, so if you suspect this, feel free to ask about the cause of your partner’s aversion, and dump them if you aren’t satisfied that the cause is not due to sexism.”

  101. says

    a_ray, you know for a fact that you are bullshitting. Do not pretend otherwise. You know for a fact that this is dishonest:

    SG/LM, so your contention would be that if a guy has a thing for redheads, he must be an Irish Nationalist? Or that a woman who has a thing for blonde men must be a Aryan supremacist?

    You ought to be ashamed of yourself for such absurd exaggeration.

    If you’re going to insist that I have to come back and answer all your bullshit, fine, I’ll get around to it, after I answer the people who are being serious,

    but honestly you should do the work of narrowing our claims so that they are not complete bullshit.

  102. Irene Delse says

    Richard Austin:

    I honestly don’t see much difference in the arguments (though hopefully there’s a difference in the risk involved).

    For one, yes, the difference in risk. And also because the “Schroedinger’s Rapist” author didn’t use this kind of argument to shame people, or to claim moral superiority, but to educate them. There’s a difference between saying “you are a bad person for doing X” and saying “what you are doing here is hurtful”.

    At least, that’s how I read it.

  103. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    SG/LM, The exaggeration is meant to show you that you have crawled way, way out on a limb. I’m suggesting you might want to climb back a bit.

    The contention that the racial composition of ones sexual partners is a reliable indicator of one’s attitudes about race is simply not defensible.

    Likewise, to contend that the preferences for particular sexual practices is a reliable indicator of sexism is as absurd as to say that the rejection of a homosexual proposition by a heterosexual implies homophobia.

    A single action cannot be drawn upon as a reliable basis for attribution of a complicated set of attitudes like that characterized by racism, sexism or homophobia. These are characterized by patterns of behavior. A single data sample can never be used as a basis for drawing conclusions.

    Now this is not to say that someone is unjustified in rejecting a suitor on the basis of sexual incompatibility–or for that matter, cultural or religious incompatibility. Preference does not always arise from prejudice.

  104. says

    But WHY is that obviously the majority?

    It is probably the majority among men, since they typically are exposed to the sexist memes before they are ever actually exposed to menstrual blood.

    I have no problem with blood, but I don’t really want it to be present when I’m having about sex. Menstrual blood is a waste product. It’s not some magic mystical feminine thing. I don’t have a big problem with feces either, but I sure don’t want it around when I’m having sex.

    Well, that’s not so great a comparison. Menstrual blood is not at all the same kind of waste product as feces, and it carries very different risk factors. It’s far more safe to ingest menstrual blood; it is really not a good idea to ingest feces. Contact with feces can cause vaginal infection; contact with menstrual blood is rather more unlikely to.

    Which is contradicted by the whole rest of her article, which is a huge BUT MOST OF THEM ARE, and that the default explanation for not liking it is being a misogynistic asshole.

    I agree with her that the most likely explanations are due to sexism. But hey, Walton’s complaint was that, unlike me, she didn’t allow for any other explanation. I’m just trying to point out to him that she did allow for other explanations.

  105. says

    Look, I’ll agree that there is a high probability that a guy who objects to menses is probably sexist–that that has much more to do with the fact that we are all raised in a sexist society and absorb some of those attitudes than it does with attitudes toward blood. Human behavior is too complicated to reduce to a series of litmus tests.

    Now, again, you might try addressing what I’ve actually said:

    Well, if she’s making too strong a case, then since we still know much of this aversion is due to sexism, I’m offering the best I can think of with telling women that “aversion to period sex and cunnilingus is very often due to sexism, so if you suspect this, feel free to ask about the cause of your partner’s aversion, and dump them if you aren’t satisfied that the cause is not due to sexism.” I really can’t think of a better way which still allows for women to communicate to each other this fact. If Jill’s approach is wrong, what would be the better way to do this?

    Or will you agree that what I’ve offered right there is a reasonable approach?

  106. says

    the “Schroedinger’s Rapist” author didn’t use this kind of argument to shame people, or to claim moral superiority, but to educate them. There’s a difference between saying “you are a bad person for doing X” and saying “what you are doing here is hurtful”.

    Well, that’s why I keep asking over and over and over and over (and over)

    how do you recommend that this issue be approached less judgementally, perhaps as “what you are doing here is hurtful”?

    I’m offering the best I can think of with telling women that “aversion to period sex and cunnilingus is very often due to sexism, so if you suspect this, feel free to ask about the cause of your partner’s aversion, and dump them if you aren’t satisfied that the cause is not due to sexism.” I really can’t think of a better way which still allows for women to communicate to each other this fact. If Jill’s approach is wrong, what would be the better way to do this?

  107. Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart, liar and scoundrel says

    Just a drive by, ‘cos I am sick of this argument:
    Caine:
    We would have gotten rats, but Mr Darkheart is whoa allergic. Syd and Chuck seem to be holding their own pretty well– just this morning they were giving my cat Pickles the stink-eye.

    Oh and they ♥ peanut butter cookies. :)

  108. Irene Delse says

    LM:

    how do you recommend that this issue be approached less judgementally, perhaps as “what you are doing here is hurtful”?

    Y’know, the answer is kinda included in your question…

    /snark

  109. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    SG/LM,
    I have said several times that racism and sexism reveal themselves in patterns of actions, not in single actions. Concern should arise if a pattern is seen.

    As to the point in question, what would be wrong with simply asking, “Why do you feel that way?”

    Let them tell you. There is no need for me to attribute the action to any particular motivation. I can ask. If I do not feel that my partner has a sound basis, I can then present an argument based on facts and sound research. OTOH, if I don’t trust my partner to tell me the truth, then we have issues far more serious than a simple disagreement over what we do in bed and when.

  110. says

    Likewise, to contend that the preferences for particular sexual practices is a reliable indicator of sexism is as absurd as to say that the rejection of a homosexual proposition by a heterosexual implies homophobia.

    This is a bad comparison.

    On the one hand, there’s being unwilling to do certain sexual acts with a person you’re attracted to, and on the other there’s being unwilling to have sex with a person you’re not attracted to.

    It’s not a legitimate comparison. It’s the same as saying that a man being unwilling to do certain sexual acts with a woman he’s attracted to is equivalent to a man being unwilling to do certain sexual acts with a woman he’s not attracted to.

    You didn’t even need to bring in a comparison to homophobia to see how wrong your premise is.

    A single action cannot be drawn upon as a reliable basis for attribution of a complicated set of attitudes like that characterized by racism, sexism or homophobia. These are characterized by patterns of behavior. A single data sample can never be used as a basis for drawing conclusions.

    Again you are failing to understand that there are degrees of sexism. It is sexist — one action, all by itself — for a man to interrupt a woman while she’s speaking. Now, of course, this is not in itself an indication that he likes to beat women. You can’t jump to that conclusion.

    But it is an indication that he has this one sexist habit. Likewise, it is often sexist to have an aversion to cunnilingus or period sex.

    You seem to think I’m saying that because a man has such an aversion for a sexist reason, we can very safely infer that he has some other particular sexist ideas X Y and Z. Nope, I’m not saying that. You’d have a reasonable objection there if I was. But I’m not, and never have been, and you’ll be unable to quote anything from me that indicated this.

    What I am saying is what it appears you’ve already agreed with: “there is a high probability that a guy who objects to menses is probably sexist”, on that particular issue. It is probable that an aversion to menstruation is itself a sexist aversion. That’s the strongest claim about inferences that I’m making with regard to menstruation. If you thought I was making a stronger claim about it, I believe you mistook me.

  111. says

    Y’know, the answer is kinda included in your question…

    Alright, then presumably you’d agree that we can tell men who have sex with women that they should try to be game for period sex, because it’s hurtful for them not to try.

    I think that’s fair.

    How about how we communicate to women the fact that a lot of aversion to particular sex act is based in sexism?

    I’m offering the best I can think of with telling women that “aversion to period sex and cunnilingus is very often due to sexism, so if you suspect this, feel free to ask about the cause of your partner’s aversion, and dump them if you aren’t satisfied that the cause is not due to sexism.”

    Do you have a problem with that?

    +++++

    As to the point in question, what would be wrong with simply asking, “Why do you feel that way?”

    Let them tell you. There is no need for me to attribute the action to any particular motivation. I can ask. If I do not feel that my partner has a sound basis, I can then present an argument based on facts and sound research.

    There’s no “need”, but because we do know that aversion to certain sex acts is frequently based in sexism, it appears you’re asking women to ignore a likely reality in this case.

    That’s stupid. “There is no need for me to attribute the action to any particular motivation” and, importantly, there is no need not to attribute the action to any particular motivation.

    It’s a good idea to take one’s suspicions seriously. If a woman suspects sexism, it’s a fucking good idea for her to take that seriously. It’s a really bad idea for you to insist that she shouldn’t take her feeling seriously.

    OTOH, if I don’t trust my partner to tell me the truth, then we have issues far more serious than a simple disagreement over what we do in bed and when.

    That’s how you see it. You know, some people don’t have this particular obsession about honesty. I expect a very different level of honesty from a brief fling — basically, honesty about health status, including intravenous drug use, is all that really counts to me — than I expect from a long term relationship.

  112. says

    janine, thanks for the news from/about Patricia. Go Patricia!!!
    ++++++++++++
    Go gerbils!
    ++++++++++++
    Dr ADZ: Just a drive by, ‘cos I am sick of this argument

    And another one bites the dust.

  113. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    This is pretty cool.

    This December, in a surprisingly simple yet ridiculously amazing installation for the Queensland Gallery of Modern Ar, artist Yayoi Kusama constructed a large domestic environment, painting every wall, chair, table, piano, and household decoration a brilliant white, effectively serving as a giant white canvas. Over the course of two weeks, the museum’s smallest visitors were given thousands upon thousands of colored dot stickers and were invited to collaborate in the transformation of the space, turning the house into a vibrantly mottled explosion of color. How great is this? Given the opportunity my son could probably cover the entire piano alone in about fifteen minutes. The installation, entitled The Obliteration Room, is part of Kusama’s Look Now, See Forever exhibition that runs through March 12. (via stuart addelsee and heybubbles)

  114. Dhorvath, OM says

    Started fresh with this thread because I just don’t think I could dig my way out of the hole.
    ___

    Katrina,

    Probably the same idiot who thought it was a good idea to make shiny, black ceramic stove tops.

    I love my ceran topped stove and wouldn’t choose any other in the future. It cleans easily, heats fast, and has incredibly even heat over the entire bottom of a pot or pan. It just makes it easier for me to cook and that’s what a stove is for.
    ___

    I like CG in movies, I’ll take seemless and consistent over jerky animatronics or rubbery stop motion thanks.
    ____

    Illuminata,
    Yays on the sub seven minute mile. That’s an accomplishment to be sure.
    ___

    Starstuff,
    Yays on admissions to cool classes. Have fun.
    ___

    And a double yay on the Patricia news.
    ___

    but one’s willingness to work to overcome social conditioning may indeed reflect one’s commitment to social justice.

    How does one react on being confronted about not liking sex during menstruation? This is the crux, isn’t it? Jill had a specific story that left her dissatisfied and resulted in her breaking off a relationship because she didn’t feel like his concern reflected or even supported hers. That part doesn’t seem at all unreasonable, and actually views as good advice for just about any circumstances.

  115. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    SG/LM, the problem is that you are making assumptions about motivation. If a male rejects the advances of homosexual male, the latter does not know if it is because he is striaght or just doesn’t find him attractive or is in a committed relationship. The action is not a sufficient basis for inferring motivation.

    SG/LM: ” It is sexist — one action, all by itself — for a man to interrupt a woman while she’s speaking.”

    No, that is not necessarily true–interrupting a woman who is about to step on a rattlesnake would not, in my opinion, be sexist.

    Dude, I’ve seen guys pass out at the sight of blood, regardless of where the blood came from. I’ve also known guys to be misinformed about what is and is not hygenic. I’ve also known guys who were very supportive of feminism, but who were also observant Jews (no we never discussed this particular issue).

    It would seem to me that a reliable indication of sexism ON THIS ISSUE ONLY would be
    1)repeated refusal of sex during menses
    2)repeated refusal to listen to your partner’s concerns and arguements
    3)repeated refusal to consider objective research/facts/arguments

    And again, would you consider a woman who refused to swallow to be sexist ON THAT ISSUE ONLY?

    Shouldn’t the goal be enthusiastic consent in all cases?

  116. Beatrice, anormalement indécente says

    A horrible little gem of hateful advertising… Yes, this is 2012, alas.

    I have no words. I would swear, but all that comes out is incoherent sputtering.

  117. carlie says

    A horrible little gem of hateful advertising… Yes, this is 2012, alas.

    Ho. Ly. Fuck.

    There is so much wrong with that I don’t even

  118. Richard Austin says

    Something folks here might find interesting: Fear Erasure in Mice Requires Synergy Between Antidepressant Drugs and Extinction Training (starts about half-way down the page)

    Clinical experience has shown that a combination of antidepressant treatment with psychotherapy is more effective than either treatment alone (2), but the neurobiological basis of this combined effect is not known. Recently, antidepressants have been shown to enhance neuronal plasticity in hippocampus and cortex (3–5), but it remains unclear whether these effects are linked to their antidepressant actions.

    [...]

    This reactivated plasticity then may allow behavioral experience, such as extinction training, to reshape maladapted networks to better adjust to the environment (4, 5). These data, therefore, provide a putative neurobiological basis for the enhanced effect of combining drug and psychological treatments and support the hypothesis that the chemical effect produced by administering antidepressants alone will not give full clinical benefit. Instead, drug treatments need to be combined with psychotherapy or other kinds of social rehabilitation to optimize their mood-elevating effects (4).

    (Emphasis mine)

  119. Dhorvath, OM says

    Starstuff,
    Premieres. This is an actual TV show that people are proud of producing? Everything is wrong.

  120. carlie says

    StarStuff – ha! I’ve been reading about that cesspool of a show, but that was a fantastic review.

  121. says

    SG/LM, the problem is that you are making assumptions about motivation. If a male rejects the advances of homosexual male, the latter does not know if it is because he is straight or just doesn’t find him attractive or is in a committed relationship. The action is not a sufficient basis for inferring motivation.

    Sure it is. The most likely explanation is that the man is straight. The other options are possible too, but this is an easy one. We know for sure what the most statistically likely reason is.

    No, that is not necessarily true–interrupting a woman who is about to step on a rattlesnake would not, in my opinion, be sexist.

    Good job finding the exception that proves the rule.

    Dude, I’ve seen guys pass out at the sight of blood, regardless of where the blood came from.

    Dude, they’ve been exempted since the beginning of this discussion, way back on Jill’s blog: «exception to the “you’re kind of a dick if you think periods are disgusting” rule: People who are universally freaked out by any kind of blood and just can’t handle the sight of it».

    I’ve also known guys to be misinformed about what is and is not hygenic.

    Note that a lot of this misinformation is passed around by sexist memes too.

    I’ve also known guys who were very supportive of feminism, but who were also observant Jews (no we never discussed this particular issue).

    Ha! Well, I don’t know all the ins and outs of that, but that might be one more of the unforeseen nonrational good reasons for not wanting to have period sex.

    Again, it is rational to suspect that an aversion to period sex is partially due to sexism. If one of these other possibilities comes up that you list, then that’s intended — both by my argument and Jill’s — to shift the prior assumption.

    It would seem to me that a reliable indication of sexism ON THIS ISSUE ONLY would be
    1)repeated refusal of sex during menses
    2)repeated refusal to listen to your partner’s concerns and arguements
    3)repeated refusal to consider objective research/facts/arguments

    That’s an excessively cautious way to approach it, but you certainly have a more rational approach than Walton suggests.

    It’s rational to start out by adjusting one’s prior assumption in response to any information that a man does or does not want to have period sex. If he doesn’t, this indicates he is somewhat more likely to be sexist on this issue; if he does, this indicates he is somewhat less likely to be sexist on this issue. If other explanations come up, like a complete aversion to blood, or OCD, or maybe Jewishness (assuming this particular objection is not patriarchal, which I’m not sure is a safe guess) then this new information should adjust the prior assumption.

    And again, would you consider a woman who refused to swallow to be sexist ON THAT ISSUE ONLY?

    No, I already answered this. I quote:

    “It’s different because we haven’t identified an actually-existing meme widespread in the wild that indicates both that men are bad and swallowing semen is bad.

    We do know of such memes regarding menstrual blood; they date at least to the Torah and Vedas.”

    Shouldn’t the goal be enthusiastic consent in all cases?

    That’s obviously what I’m advocating. And when it’s not present, on issues that are known to relate to sexist memes, it’s reasonable to try to ask more and find out whether there is indeed sexism at play.

    If Jill’s approach is presumed wrong for the sake of argument, but you can’t offer up a better approach that allows a woman to investigate whether a particular man’s aversion to a particular act is due to sexism, then all I can reasonably do here is assume that whatever better approach might exist will include telling women that “aversion to period sex and cunnilingus is very often due to sexism, so if you suspect this, feel free to ask about the cause of your partner’s aversion, and dump them if you aren’t satisfied that the cause is not due to sexism.”

  122. Beatrice, anormalement indécente says

    If you enjoy that feeling, then you’ll love this.

    Ha! I had popcorn this time and the take down was fun.
    About the show… Sounds like

    Offensive to: People who think

    about sums it up.

  123. says

    That’s obviously what I’m advocating. And when it’s not present, on issues that are known to relate to sexist memes, it’s reasonable to try to ask more and find out whether there is indeed sexism at play.

    And since I don’t think you’re really reading what I’ve said, a_ray, I’ll repeat this:

    I’ll grant that they shouldn’t be expected to justify anything in the heat of the moment, and there’s no place for demands during sex.

    But people should be allowed to ask “I really want X; why don’t you want to do X” at a time when sex is not immediately on the menu. Like, over lunch.

  124. says

    Good evening
    Wow, there’s a storm blowing outside.

    Three cheers for Patricia

    arids

    OK, at the risk of walking into a fanblade, how is this argument different from a guy saying that if a woman has an aversion to oral or to “swallowing”, then she must not like men?

    I think in this case the shaming goes more into the direction of “frigid prude who doesn’t enjoy sex”.

  125. Rey Fox says

    I love my ceran topped stove and wouldn’t choose any other in the future. It cleans easily, heats fast, and has incredibly even heat over the entire bottom of a pot or pan.

    Speaking as someone who just spent part of an afternoon scrubbing indestructable black gunk off a metal plate below my electric stove, I think I’ll have to throw my support behind ceramic stovetops as well. Unfortunately, I feel like I probably won’t be living anywhere with one for quite some time.

  126. Classical Cipher, Murmur Muris, OM says

    I have no problem with blood, but I don’t really want it to be present when I’m having about sex.

    This. As far as I know, I’m okay with blood (in smallish quantities, at least). I clean it up and put a bandage over whatever’s bleeding. Businesslike. I’m also generally okay with menstrual blood. But blood is not something I want around during playtime. I’m not viscerally disgusted by it, but I don’t want to touch it more than I have to, and it is not associated with pleasure for me.

    I am, however, averse to semen. Keep it in the condom and take it away please and thank you.

    Yay Patricia! So excited to hear she’s gotten good news.

    I have to go pack. I don’t wanna go pack :(

  127. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    SG/LM: “But people should be allowed to ask “I really want X; why don’t you want to do X” at a time when sex is not immediately on the menu. Like, over lunch.”

    Now there we agree. It is absolutely critical to making a relationship work that the couple (or triple or whatever) be able to communicate their needs/desires/expectations. However, it seems to me that such communication will not be facilitated by labels–whether the labels are sexist/frigid… The goal should always be enthusiastic consent.

  128. carlie says

    NPR’s Monkey See also savages “Work It”: here>

    Work It is simple network anti-intellectualism, daring you to reject it based on its brainlessness and be branded a no-fun enemy of everyone’s good time. To apply any standard to it at all is allegedly to miss the point, which is that it is meant to be part of training audiences to mindlessly gnaw on the bottom of the barrel while paying no attention to how much better comedy is available elsewhere, whether you like your comedy silly or brainy.

  129. carlie says

    According to Jezebel, Libra has released this statement wrt their bizarre ad:

    Libra regrets any offence taken to our recent tampon advertisement. It was never intended to upset or offend anyone.

    Independent research was undertaken and the advertisement was viewed positively during that testing.

    Libra takes all feedback very seriously, and in response to this, we will immediately review our future position with this campaign based on the feedback received. There are no further advertisements scheduled in New Zealand.

    The advertisement has not aired in Australia. The advertisement was placed on Facebook however this has also been removed.

  130. says

    whether the labels are sexist/frigid…

    Again, not a good comparison. We do know that there really are sexist memes in existence which say that women are bad and menstruation is bad. This is why we can rationally wonder if someone with an aversion to menstruation also thinks that women is bad.

    There also exists a meme that women who don’t want to touch semen are frigid. But this is not the same kind of meme, see? To assume that it means a woman is frigid, we’d have to take the meme’s own claims for granted. We don’t take for granted the meme about menstruation being bad.

    However, it seems to me that such communication will not be facilitated by labels–

    Well, there’s nothing in my prescription that says the woman has to say “I think you’re sexist”. That’s up to her.

    What I’m trying to keep open here is the opportunity for her to ask questions about it which will help her determine sexism (whether she uses that word or not), and some lines of communication — like Jill’s post until something better comes along — by which women can be informed that aversions to certain sexual acts are often due to sexism. (Obviously it’s going to be young women who don’t quite know this yet.) It’s important for this to be widely understood.

  131. kristinc, ~delicate snowflake~ says

    jennyxyzzy @545, if I were you I would be more careful about slinging around terms like “deeply creepy” at least unless you have dealt with a stillbirth or the death of an infant. You don’t know who around here has dealt with it and you might be hurtful to them.

    One of my closest friends gave stillbirth to her daughter about 3 years ago. That was her daughter. She had a name. It wasn’t just some gross corpse. It was a baby she had carried for 8 months, a baby she knew and loved.

    She and her family, including her young son, were able to spend an afternoon after her dead daughter’s birth in a private room holding and touching her. One afternoon. Do you get that? She should have had her daughter for her whole life and instead she only had a few hours. And you would judge her for taking those few hours? After they went home from the hospital, my friend cried to me about how much she wanted to hold her baby again. Her whole brain and body were screaming to her that her daughter should be with her.

    The most hurtful thing anyone can do to my friend now, bar none, is to dismiss the fact that she lost a named, known, grieved daughter. When you judge the mode of someone’s grieving as “deeply creepy”, you dismiss that.

    Stop it. Find something valid to criticize the Santorums, and religion, for. There’s plenty.

  132. kristinc, ~delicate snowflake~ says

    There’s an organization, by the way, that sends volunteers to take pictures of families with stillborn babies so they have something to remember by.

    It’s called Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep and it performs a really valuable job for these families, so anyone who is considering end-of-the-year donations could do worse.

  133. kristinc, ~delicate snowflake~ says

    Well, except that it’s past the end of the year. *sigh* You know.

  134. The Laughing Coyote (Papio Cynocephalus) says

    Kristinc: My mom had a friend who gave birth to a deformed and anencephalic infant once. She still gets weepy whenever she tells me how her friend held it until it stopped breathing.

  135. says

    Janine:

    After months of hormone theory, Patricia says that the biopsy shows no cancer and that the theory can come to an end.

    Yay! Thank you, Janine. *Love to you, Patricia, I miss you!*

    Audley:

    Syd & Chuck sound wonderful and it seems they’re settling in well. :D

    Driving by and out, sick of SG’s crap.

  136. says

    TLC
    Yes, and it’s important to give those parents who are going through one of the worst things there can be in life, losing their child* a space to mourn, to say goodbye, to burry them as they see fit, the acknowlege their suffering.
    Please, anybody, if you ever hear about a woman having a miscarriage or a still-birth, don’t say anything stupid, biological, cheerful or encouraging along the line of “next time you’ll be lucky”.

    *Please, nobody say now “but I thought you were pro-choice, it’s not a child but a fetus”. While that’s technically true, there is a world of a difference between the abortion of a fetus a woman doesn’t want to grow inside of her, and a fetus a woman decides to host because she wants to let it grow into an infant and welcome it into the family. The difference isn’t on the side of the fetus, obviously, but on the sode of the woman and the family, and they are in both cases the only people who matter.

  137. The Laughing Coyote (Papio Cynocephalus) says

    “aversion to period sex and cunnilingus is very often due to sexism, so if you suspect this, feel free to ask about the cause of your partner’s aversion, and dump them if you aren’t satisfied that the cause is not due to sexism.”

    This actually sounds very reasonable, but it’s not such a brilliant statement that you have to turn it into a chant or mantra. All morning I kept wondering if I’d accidentally scrolled back or something, because it feels like I’ve read the same goddamn post about 100 times.

    Is anyone ACTUALLY disagreeing with that statement, or does it just keep getting repeated because its originator thinks it’s brilliant and insightful?

  138. changeable moniker says

    love moderately ॐ: “I keep asking over and over”

    It’s like banging your head on a wall. It’ll feel better when you stop. ;)

    Rev BDC: “The Obliteration Room”

    Whoa. Don’t show my kids … too late! This is my future. :-(

    Giliell: “Wow, there’s a storm blowing outside.”

    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/satpics/latest_IR.html

    Oh yes. That was my day; start at 0900, click forward from there. When the office started creaking, we–rather fearfully–stopped working for a while.

  139. KG says

    If Jill’s approach is presumed wrong for the sake of argument, but you can’t offer up a better approach that allows a woman to investigate whether a particular man’s aversion to a particular act is due to sexism – SG/LM

    How exquisitely ridiculous. There are, as I’ve noted already, far more reliable way of determining whether a prospective or current sexual partner is sexist than by interrogating them about a specific sexual preference. Look, if a particular sexual practice is a “must” for you (either for a causal encounter or a relationship), then it’s best to make this clear early, and if the prospective partner is clear that no, they won’t do that, (or let you do that), then go your way – and what the fuck business is it then of yours why they don’t like it? Otherwise, find the things you both enjoy, and judge whether the partner is a sexist (and more generally, someone you want to be with) by the way they participate in the encounter or relationship as a whole.

  140. KG says

    Yah! Just seen the excellent news about Patricia. Here’s hoping she’ll be back here before too long.

  141. says

    Is anyone ACTUALLY disagreeing with that statement, or does it just keep getting repeated because its originator thinks it’s brilliant and insightful?

    I can’t tell for sure. It’s getting repeated because I’m waiting for these critics to either agree or disagree with it. They posit that there’s something wrong with what Jill said; I offer an alternative; they ignore it; I ask again.

    How exquisitely ridiculous. There are, as I’ve noted already, far more reliable way of determining whether a prospective or current sexual partner is sexist than by interrogating them about a specific sexual preference.

    It is a sexist action — one action, all by itself — for a man to interrupt a woman while she’s speaking. Now, of course, this is not in itself an indication that he likes to beat women. You can’t jump to that conclusion.

    But it is an indication that he has this one sexist habit. Likewise, it is often sexist to have an aversion to cunnilingus or period sex.

    You seem to think I’m saying that because a man has such an aversion for a sexist reason, we can very safely infer that he has some other particular sexist ideas X Y and Z. Nope, I’m not saying that. You’d have a reasonable objection there if I was. But I’m not, and never have been, and you’ll be unable to quote anything from me that indicated this.

    Look, if a particular sexual practice is a “must” for you (either for a causal encounter or a relationship), then it’s best to make this clear early, and if the prospective partner is clear that no, they won’t do that, (or let you do that), then go your way – and what the fuck business is it then of yours why they don’t like it?

    Because it’s a social problem, KG, and the documented difficulty (relative to men) that women have negotiating for oral sex is going to show up in people’s lives as examples of how the personal is political.

    Therefore it is a topic for social discussion.

  142. Moggie says

    It appears that learning about Native American culture and Wicca now count as criminal, according to a public library in Missouri:

    ST. LOUIS – The American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Eastern Missouri today filed a lawsuit charging the Salem Public Library and its board of trustees with unconstitutionally blocking access to websites discussing minority religions by improperly classifying them as “occult” or “criminal.”
    Salem resident Anaka Hunter contacted the ACLU after she was unable to access websites pertaining to Native American religions or the Wiccan faith for her own research. After protesting to the library director, Glenda Wofford, portions of the sites were unblocked, but much remained censored. Wofford said she would only allow access to blocked sites if she felt patrons had a legitimate reason to view the content and further said that she had an obligation to report people who wanted to view these sites to the authorities.

    Emphasis added.

    Libraries are required by federal law to install filtering software that blocks access to explicit, pornographic and adult content. But the library’s software went further and blocked any site marked as “occult,” and classified sites related to Native American culture and Wiccan faith in the blocked category “criminal skills.” None of these sites could be construed as having the kind of offensive content prohibited by law.

    If the library director had said “I’m sorry, it’s the blocking software vendor who is responsible for categorising content, and sometimes they get it wrong, like labelling sites as ‘criminal’ when they’re not. I’ll look into unblocking this material”, I’d have had some sympathy – though there’d still be the question of why they chose to block content labelled as “occult” (they even block astrology sites!). But, instead, it appears the library is fully committed to blocking access to sites which might make the baby Jesus cry, and were dismissive of the complaint. Via Ars Technica:

    Hunter attended a meeting of the Board of Trustees for the Salem Library on November 8, 2010. At the meeting, she voiced her concerns about the filtering and the policies, practices, and customs that block religious content based upon its viewpoint.
    After Hunter described her experiences and outlined her complaints, a board member asked if Hunter whether she thought the Board or Library staff are prejudiced.
    Hunter did not answer directly, responding simply that she thought the filtering was unfair.
    A member of the Board responded that the Library’s Internet Content Filtering (“ICF”) system would not change, adding, “If that’s all, we have business to discuss.”

    So, if you’re in Missouri, don’t try using your local library to learn about hokey religions or your (non-white) cultural heritage: the staff have their eyes on you, heathen, and are itching to report you to “the authorities”.

  143. says

    Rev. BigDumbChimp, that sounds like an amazing art exhibit. Collaborative pointillism FTW!
    +++++++++++++++
    Greasemonkey & killfile don’t work on my Mac FF at work, (it said it installed, but I never got the killfile tags), or at home on my W7 FF (Download error -228).

    It’s such a shame
    +++++++++++++++
    Caine: “Driving by and out, sick of SG’s crap.”

    and another one bites the dust.

  144. KG says

    It is a sexist action — one action, all by itself — for a man to interrupt a woman while she’s speaking. – SG/LM

    Equally fucking ridiculous. Out of context, that’s just crap. I find it increasingly hard to credit that you actually believe the blige you’re coming out with.

    and what the fuck business is it then of yours why they don’t like it?

    Because it’s a social problem, KG

    That doesn’t give you or anyone else the right to interrogate individuals about the reasons for their sexual preferences. You really do want to police everyone’s sex life, clearly.

  145. says

    Brother Oggie (@IForgetTheNumber):

    It’s not just you; she took the same tack with me previously.

    ***
    Irene:

    Will you chill out already? I don’t fault you for liking the movie,

    Sure you do.

    I expressly said that each is entitled to their opinion…

    You say that, but your interactions with others on this subject don’t bear it out. If you’d simply said “meh, I didn’t like it,” or even if you’d simply explained at great tl;dr length why you didn’t like it, nobody would be feeling insulted. De gustibus…, as Walton reminded us.

    Instead, you have repeatedly asserted as fact that the movie is “awful” and “creepy” and a disservice to the source material, along with a variety of other opinions that you have given the linguistic treatment of objective truth. In so doing, you’ve implicitly asserted that anyone who disagrees with you is simply, factually, shallow and tasteless and wrong[1]. Brother Oggie told you your comments made him feel that way, and I had done so previously.

    The real problem is not hurt feelings, per se — Ogvorbis and I are both grown-ass human beings who can handle being insulted, and hurt feelings don’t cut much ice around these parts, anyhow — but that an otherwise potentially entertaining and informative discussion about our differences has been lost. I actually enjoy arguing about whether people think art is good or not, and why — I was a Lit major, after all — but when you start acting like your own opinion is Ultimate Truth®, any intellectual or entertainment value of such arguments is forfeited.

    I’d actually been feeling energized by this film to use those old lit-crit analytical “muscles” in a way I haven’t for a long time; too bad the person on the other side of the table can’t see me as anything other than a clueless rube.

    ***
    [1] There was a whiff of general cultural smugness about Americans’ taste in cinema, too, although it was admittedly just a whiff.

  146. says

    Heh, my post ended up being 666. Because my ZIP code features those digits in an interesting way[1], I often tell people I live in “the ZIP code of the Beast.” ;^)

    ***
    [1] I’m not hard to find IRL, so it’s probably pointless to be coy, but I know revealing physical addresses on teh intertooooobz makes people twitchy.

  147. The Laughing Coyote (Papio Cynocephalus) says

    Speaking as only the most casual fan of the TinTin television series from my youth, I enjoyed the movie. It comes nowhere close to shitting on the source material like say, The Thing 2011 shat all over John Carpenter’s Masterpiece*.

    Movies in general disappoint the fuck out of me these days. So when I find something I genuinely actually ENJOY, like Rise of the Planet of the Apes or Tintin, I tend to get pretty excited and focus more on what I loved than the flaws.

    *I’m aware that John Carpenter’s Thing was, itself, very loosely based on ‘The Thing from Another World’ and took liberties there, but let’s face it: The 2011 prequel was meant to be a prequel to John Carpenter’s work. And it appears the filmmaker’s understanding of John Carpenter’s Thing was limited to “Ice and squicky flopping body parts”.

    EVERY SINGLE TRANSFORMATION HAPPENED IN BROAD DAYLIGHT, SOME WITH A BUNCH OF PEOPLE WATCHING! ITS NOT ABOUT JUST STICKING A BUNCH OF MOUTHS AND LIMBS TOGETHER AND CALLING IT HORRIFYING YOU STUPID FUCKS! EVERY SINGLE ‘SCARY’ SCENE JUST BLEW ITS LOAD EVERYWHERE BY HAPPENING TOO EARLY IN THE MOVIE AND IN BRIGHT FULL DAYLIGHT! WHERE IS THE SUSPENSE? THE PARANOIA? THE ATMOSPHERE? THE GENUINE SCARES? OH I FORGOT, THIS IS 2011 AND ALL AUDIENCES WANT IS JUMP SCARES AND CHEAP CGI! FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU…………………………

  148. says

    KG, the definition of sexism I’m using is, as always, one I’ve lifted from Allan Johnson: “the patterns of gender privilege and oppression and anything, intentional or not, that helps to create or perpetuate those patterns”.

    It is possible for individual actions to be sexist actions.

    That doesn’t give you or anyone else the right to interrogate individuals about the reasons for their sexual preferences.

    What you are saying is that if a woman suspects her partner’s preferences are due to learned sexism, she does not have the right to ask about this.

    That’s an excellent way of ensuring that women do not have the ability to deal with sexism. It’s not a realistic approach to the world.

  149. Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart, liar and scoundrel says

    Yay for Patricia! Could someone who has her email send her some hugs from me?

    Gerbil update! They’re still staring down the cats. Those little guys are gutsy!

    Caine:
    Ooooh, I keep meaning to watch Attack the Block. Now I’m definitely going to have to.

  150. changeable moniker says

    love moderately ॐ: “rules against boiling a baby goat in its mother’s milk.”

    It might be worse than that.

    WARNING – VEGETARIANS LOOK AWAY NOW!

    I mean it. Scroll down. Honestly.

    I’m totally serious.

    Seriously.

    OK, you’ve been warned …

    Butchering practices of the time, as well as those of tenderising or flavouring meat (many of them continuing in some form or other until the eighteenth century), may seem particularly horrendous to the modern reader but they were no less to people like Clement. Plutarch describes these practices:

    To slaughter swine they thrust red hot irons into their living bodies so that, by sucking up or diffusing the blood, they may render the flesh soft and tender. Some butchers jump upon or kick the udders of pregnant sows, that by mingling the blood and milk and matter of the embryos that have been murdered together in the very pang of parturition, they may enjoy the pleasure of feeding upon unnaturally and highly-inflamed flesh. [...]

    [Clement:] The Law, too, expressly prohibits the slaying of such animals as are pregnant till they have brought forth … those too that kick the bellies of certain animals before parturition, in order to feast on flesh mixed with milk, make the womb created for the birth of the foetus its grave, though the Law expressly commands ‘but neither shalt thou seethe a lamb in his mother’s milk’.

    http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=rIjZo-cvifAC&lpg=PR5&pg=PA123#v=onepage&q&f=false

    Although, <a href="http://www.scienceofcorrespondences.com/seething-the-kid-in-the-mother-s-milk.htm"someone might be over-thinking this.

  151. Tethys says

    The Patricia news is wonderful! *hooray..confetti..happydance*

    At the risk of sounding like a threadcop, I would really like it if LM would stop taking over threads with what I see as needless nitpicking and attacking of horde members.

    On another happy note, I found a charming movie that I would like to share. It’s free on Hulu for those with access.

    Wilby Wonderful

  152. KG says

    It is possible for individual actions to be sexist actions. – SG/LM

    Duh! Of course it is. That doesn’t mean the claims you’ve made are anything other than fuckwitted.

    What you are saying is that if a woman suspects her partner’s preferences are due to learned sexism, she does not have the right to ask about this.

    Stupid, dishonest crap. I said nothing of the kind. The situation under discussion was when one person has specified that practice X is a “must” for them, and, based on getting a firm “No, I won’t do that”, decides not to proceed with the encounter/relationship. It was precisely in that context that I denied the first person’s right to interrogate the second about why they don’t want to do X – and your right, as a prodnosing third party. Within an ongoing relationship, of course either partner can ask why the other doesn’t want to X – though if this is done in the Jill Filipovic manner, or for that matter the SG/LM manner, if I were the other party I would consider that the end of the relationship.

  153. Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart, liar and scoundrel says

    Laughing Coyote:

    Movies in general disappoint the fuck out of me these days. So when I find something I genuinely actually ENJOY, like Rise of the Planet of the Apes or Tintin, I tend to get pretty excited and focus more on what I loved than the flaws.

    This, holy fucking shit, this. When I see something that is truly engaging, I will see it multiple times (often in theaters) because I am so fucking disappointed with most of the shit that’s been offered lately. If a movie’s flaws aren’t glaring and it was an entertaining experience, I’m willing to forgive a lot.

    (Can we please stop making everything 3D, though? Ugh.)

  154. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    Re: the tedious menstrual sex issue:

    I’m with Jill on this in the sense that, i don’t want to have sex then either, most of the time. i’m in pain, really REALLY goddamn tired during the whole thing, etc. that said, if some dude reacted to the idea with revulsion, I would take pause. I really don’t give a fuck if that’s unfair. i’m going to take time to consider whether he’s displayed other potentially (did you read that POTENTIALLY) sexist opinions, attitudes, etc. – IF he still expected to be given some sort of sexual contact right after outright rejecting me.

    That’s the part missing from the critiques – this is not necessarily about not wanting period sex, in and of itself. It’s about not wanting period sex and then expecting she perform on you.

  155. Brother Ogvorbis, OM -- Still Not Grokking says

    (Can we please stop making everything 3D, though? Ugh.)

    I ended up seeing Tintin at 11:55am to avoid the damn 3D.

    And Bill D? Thanks. I was wondering.

  156. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    (Can we please stop making everything 3D, though? Ugh.)

    I’m glad i’m not alone in this. I genuinely don’t see what the big deal is with the 3d craze. Been to a few of them, and apparently my eyes/brain just don’t process 3d because it doesn’t look all that different, or even vaguely superior.

    is that because i’m horribly nearsighted and wear super-extra-strength contacts?

    I could never see anything in those stupid “hidden picture” things either.

  157. says

    Duh! Of course it is.

    Well, then you can drop the complaint that noting such an action “does not remotely justify the presumption that a sexual partner who dislikes that practice is sexist.”

    I didn’t claim that it meant more. You seem to think I’m saying that because a man has such an aversion for a sexist reason, we can very safely infer that he has some other particular sexist ideas X Y and Z. Nope, I’m not saying that. You’d have a reasonable objection there if I was. But I’m not, and never have been, and you’ll be unable to quote anything from me that indicated this.

    Stupid, dishonest crap. I said nothing of the kind.

    It sure looks to me like that’s what you said. In fact, I can’t tell the difference between what you’re saying now and what I specified, though I trust that to you it appears there is some difference.

    The situation under discussion was when one person has specified that practice X is a “must” for them, and, based on getting a firm “No, I won’t do that”, decides not to proceed with the encounter/relationship. It was precisely in that context that I denied the first person’s right to interrogate the second about why they don’t want to do X

    Well, I’m not sure why you’re stipulating this particular instance. I’ve never been talking about this at any time. And now that you bring it up, I think it’s a silly thing to get worked up about. Because the two people are breaking up at this point, it might not be the sort of information that a person is entitled to ask about, but it’s also not a big deal if they do ask whether the aversion was due to sexism.

    Within an ongoing relationship, of course either partner can ask why the other doesn’t want to X – though if this is done in the Jill Filipovic manner, or for that matter the SG/LM manner, if I were the other party I would consider that the end of the relationship.

    I don’t think you have any basis for saying that there’s any particular “manner” in which I’m proposing it be brought up. I am clearly not. I have no prescription on the manner of the question. Again I quote:

    However, it seems to me that such communication will not be facilitated by labels–

    Well, there’s nothing in my prescription that says the woman has to say “I think you’re sexist”. That’s up to her.

    What I’m trying to keep open here is the opportunity for her to ask questions about it which will help her determine sexism (whether she uses that word or not), and some lines of communication — like Jill’s post until something better comes along — by which women can be informed that aversions to certain sexual acts are often due to sexism. (Obviously it’s going to be young women who don’t quite know this yet.) It’s important for this to be widely understood.

  158. Irene Delse says

    Bill:

    Irene:

    Will you chill out already? I don’t fault you for liking the movie,

    Sure you do.

    WTF? Are you a telepath, now?

    I expressly said that each is entitled to their opinion…

    You say that, but your interactions with others on this subject don’t bear it out.

    You know what? I disagreed with a majority opinion, is what I did. And I expressed this strongly. In an emotional way. I harshed your mellow. I get it, now. This is sooo difficult for you. Oh, my!

  159. Tethys says

    is that because i’m horribly nearsighted and wear super-extra-strength contacts?

    I could never see anything in those stupid “hidden picture” things either.

    Hmmm, interesting. I too am nearly legally blind without my glasses, don’t find 3D to do much of anything, and have never been able to see anything in hidden pictures.

  160. Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart, liar and scoundrel says

    RE: 3D:
    I don’t see it, either AND 3D movies tend to give me really really REALLY bad headaches.

  161. Orange Utan says

    @Irene Delse

    You know what? I disagreed with a majority opinion, is what I did. And I expressed this strongly.

    What changed from your first comment saying you disliked it that you needed to repeat yourself?

  162. NuMad says

    They say no news is good news, but that news about Patricia is certainly better.

    Once again, this is a bad comparison: «it’s important to interrogate the aversion to certain sexual acts — especially those that come with misogynist or homophobic baggage. There are important cultural and historical reasons why “I won’t go down on women” is slightly different from “I won’t let a dude come on my face.”»

    Do you know what else is a slight difference?

    The difference between the comparison I’ve made twice, and the comparison that Jill makes in the passage you’ve cited (twice.) Cunnilingus and fellatio are, on some level, basically equivalent acts. Cunnilingus is, no any level, equivalent with “facial.”

    While there is “historical and cultural” baggage to all three acts, “facial” is arguably composed of 100% historical and cultural baggage. Which is why Jill chose to contrast it to basic cunnilingus. Which is a fair enough. Citing it in response to my comments, however, is not so fair. It’s a shift in meaning, and using someone else’s word to do it doesn’t make it correct.

    A man who pressures someone into fellatio isn’t doing something that’s wrong merely on a political or social level. It’s toxic on a personal level, independently of all that.

    To me, what is grotesque about this default stigmatization of a dislike or discomfort for cunnilingus is how alike it is to some methods men can use to forcefully negotiate for fellatio (or other acts.) The main difference, that is to say the fact that they’ll never dress it up as addressing sexism, is meaningless in comparison.

    Indeed, a man can “interrogate” in their partner, when they refuse to comply with sexual acts, things that are as political or social sounding as that. Is one not sexually liberated? Is one narrow minded? Is one regressive? Or ignorant? Why this discomfort? There can be cultural or historical baggage to that. The correctness or incorrectness of what theories are advanced to explain the refusal is less than secondary. What’s wrong with it is how the refusal isn’t respected.

    Because it’s a social problem, KG, and the documented difficulty (relative to men) that women have negotiating for oral sex is going to show up in people’s lives as examples of how the personal is political.

    Therefore it is a topic for social discussion.

    Positting hypothetical people confronting their hypothetical friends and lovers with no doubt fruitless inquests into their statistically estimated as “reasonably probable” sexism or racism doesn’t sound like it has to do with social discussion, but rather with personal discussion.