Douche defends douching


There is a small group of obsessives who really hate Atheism+ — they hate it so much that they pick over every thread on the Atheism+ forum, looking for nits. And then, unfortunately, they write to me in email and twitter and tell me how stupid they are. The latest example: an atheism+ mod writes a short comment rejecting the utility of vaginal douching, complete with a link to a scientific review of the practice.

Douche is emblematic of the patriarchy. It’s a completely unnecessary product marketed to women as vaginas are icky. In many cases, it actually makes things worse. It’s basically completely awful.

So yeah, douching is in no way a natural or automatic part of life as a woman (or even as a cis woman), nor does it appear to be even remotely a good idea, so how do you figure the word is sexist?

That’s pretty much the world consensus. There are only a few benighted places on the planet, the United States among them, where people believe that flushing out the urogenital tract with scented water is beneficial.

So then I see this tweet flash by from some manic goon going by the name @NYBoxTurtle, who claims that Atheism+ mangles scientific data.

#AtheismPlus takes a stand on vaginal douching. How do they interpret scientific data? FIND OUT! http://www.reddit.com/r/AntiAtheismPlus/comments/13tszo/how_atheism_plus_mods_interpret_scientific_data … #FTBullies

11:12 PM – 26 Nov 12

Here’s what Mr @NYBoxTurtle claims is evidence of science abuse by Atheism+:

Science:

Studies around vaginal douching “conflict…and the strength of association varies enormously between studies” resulting in “less agreement…for hygiene and relief of vaginitis symptoms” with “many potentially confounding factors blur[ring] the epidemiologic assessment.” Additionally, “conflicting results are reported regarding sexually transmitted infections and douching…cross-sectional studies cannot determine reliably whether the douching preceded the disease or if the symptoms led to the douching.” And while “there are several ways by which douching may contribute to disease,”…it’s also noted that “different types of douching liquids have various antimicrobial effects” which “may be less harmful or may be beneficial.”

Atheism Plus mod:

Cites that very source and summarizes:

“It’s a completely unnecessary product…It’s basically completely awful.”

Wait. I read the article. It’s a very thorough review of the scientific literature on douching, which reports on a few studies and meta-analyses that showed a possibility of slight benefits, but also found studies that conflict, and other studies that showed marked deleterious effects, including increased incidence of cancers and ectopic pregnancies. It’s all couched in the neutral and objective language of a scientific paper, but the review is very, very clear: douching is not a good thing. Women shouldn’t do it at all, although it reserves the possibility that there are some specific, serious medical conditions that might be addressed by some douching. Mr @NYBoxTurtle was doing some serious cherry-picking to find a few phrases that could be pulled out of context and made to sound as if the paper were endorsing douching.

I read the paper. I was appalled. It was the most dishonest distortion of scientific results I’ve read since the last time I read a creationist’s claims. Mr @NYBoxTurtle was basically lying about the paper to make a petty and false case against Atheism+.

So I fired back, briefly, by quoting the conclusion of the paper:

Conclusion of the cited article: “since there are no demonstrated benefits to douching and considerable evidence of harm, women should be encouraged to not douche”. The linked summary is actually an accurate interpretation of the work. It’s unnecessary. There is no evidence of an advantage. There is evidence of harm.

Did you even bother to read it?

Seriously. Read the paper. The conclusions are completely unambiguous and strong. Here’s the introduction if you don’t believe me:

Vaginal douching is the process of intravaginal cleansing with a liquid solution. Douching is used for personal hygiene or aesthetic reasons, for preventing or treating an infection(1), to cleanse after menstruation or sex, and to prevent pregnancy (2). For at least 100 years, there have been conflicting views on the benefits or harm in douching. Although there is a broad consensus that douching should be avoided during pregnancy, there is less agreement regarding douching for hygiene and relief of vaginitis symptoms. Two earlier reviews of douching data in women (3) and adolescents (4) have concluded that douching is harmful and should be discouraged because of its association with pelvic inflammatory disease, ectopic pregnancy, and perhaps other conditions. Nonetheless, douching continues to be a common practice. We seek to review the evidence of the impact of douching on women’s health.

And here are the full conclusions.

The present review suggests that future studies must assess more directly the extent to which douching is a causal factor in diseases such as pelvic inflammatory disease and bacterial vaginosis, or if douching is merely a behavior that is more common among women who are at risk of sexually transmitted diseases and/or that douching is done in response to symptoms (15). The effects of different solutions and devices must be considered in more detail. Perhaps there are adverse effects associated with douching if only certain solutions are used but less or no harm with other solutions.

The weight of the evidence today suggests that stronger regulations for vaginal douche products may be indicated, including ingredient control, clearer labeling, and a required statement on product advertisements and on the products themselves that douche products have no proven medical value and may be harmful. A prospective cohort study or, if serious ethical concerns can be resolved, a randomized clinical trial may address these questions. A randomized “community” trial could be considered, where the communities studied are a large group of people from the same area, such as a college or a city. They could be assigned at random to treatment and no treatment, where the treatment group would receive an educational program regarding the potential dangers associated with douching and the women would be encouraged to not douche. Douching prevalence and sexually transmitted disease rates could be assessed before the educational program and at regular intervals during the program. The no treatment group, receiving no such educational intervention, would be assessed in a similar way. The study endpoint could compare rates of douching and sexually transmitted diseases. However, because motivational factors for douching are individualized and often women strongly feel the need to douche, the educational program may not influence enough women to stop douching, affecting the statistical power of such a study. Feasibility and cost may be prohibitive, in which case we may continue in our present state of knowledge/ignorance.

It is accepted that pregnant women should avoid douching. Intrapartum vaginal antiseptic lavage can be highly beneficial, but this is a completely different irrigation event than repetitive vaginal douching. There are limited data that suggest that douching in symptomatic women may have some utility. The preponderance of evidence shows an association between douching and numerous adverse outcomes. Most women douche for hygienic reasons; it can be stated with present knowledge that routine douching is not necessary to maintain vaginal hygiene; again, the preponderance of evidence suggests that douching may be harmful. The authors of the present review believe that there is no reason to recommend that any woman douche and, furthermore, that women should be discouraged from douching.

Many women douche, especially African Americans. Because the population-level health risks attributable to this common practice could be very large if douching predisposes to even a fraction of the disease burden discussed in this review, the potential salutary impact of reducing douching activity is substantial. Intervention studies may be the very best way to gain both health benefit and insight into the temporal associations of douching and adverse outcomes. We also believe that responsible government, health, and professional organizations should reexamine available data and determine if there is enough information to issue clear policy statements on douching. We believe that, when they conduct such reviews, they will conclude, with us, that since there are no demonstrated benefits to douching and considerable evidence of harm, women should be encouraged to not douche.

So this morning I discover that Mr @NYBoxTurtle has replied…by accusing me of cherry-picking.

What a lovely little cherry-pick! (And if anybody knows cherry-picking…)

Let’s look at those full conclusions, yes?

Seems to me, across the board, as I’ve indicated, the final conclusions are out and more studies need to be done in terms of ingredients, labeling, instructions, and quality, but that douching in and of itself has not proven helpful or harmful, depending on a case-by-case study. Some results are positive and some are not. Not, as the AtheismIdiot mod indicated and advised:

“It’s a completely unnecessary product…It’s basically completely awful.”

Funnily enough, the article didn’t mention “douching” in terms of “partiarchy” or “ableism” as the Atheism Plus mod was abstracting it.

So. My analysis (that results are inconclusive) is much more accurate than those of the Atheism Plus mod (that results are in and douching is bad bad bad – unless it’s a substitute for an ableist word, in which case it’s complely sanctified).

PS- Remember that time on your “Dungeon list” when you referred to the vulva as “the most odious of anatomical features”? Maybe ask whoever you’re doing to…uh…douche. I know, I know, the vulva’s external. Still. “Odious”? Time for a deep clean.

By the way, I’d like to remind you of something from our sidebar:

If you’re PRO-AtheismPlus, your comments won’t be too welcome. Go to their little circle-jerk.

Keep it in mind, drunky. And belated happy Thanksgiving. Sorry that, the next day, we all saw you tweet your way through it. It was pretty fucking sad.

The paper says “no demonstrated benefits to douching and considerable evidence of harm”. Mr @NYBoxTurtle says “results are inconclusive” is a more accurate assessment. I’ll let you read the conclusion quoted above or the whole paper if you’re more ambitious, and then you can be the judge. Looking at @NYBoxTurtle’s interpretation, it’s a lovely exercise in how not to read a scientific paper.

I am totally unsurprised and find it not ironic at all that an anti-atheism+ kook is defending douches against all the evidence. It seems somehow…appropriate.

The bottom line is this: women should not douche, unless they are treating a specific and serious ailment and have the recommendation of a doctor. It’s a peculiar practice promoted by pseudo-science and the cosmetics industry — it really is part of a culture that shames women for the reality of their private parts.

(By the way, the claim that I called the vulva “odious” is typical of this guy. I did not. I was sarcastically referring to the anti-woman attitude of raving misogynist troll who was banned for his bigotry.)

(Also, you can look up my struggle to tweet through Thanksgiving. It consists of all of five tweets, four of them automatically generated links to posts on Pharyngula. I spent most of Thanksgiving reading lab reports. @NYBoxTurtle just makes shit up.)


Amanda Marcotte weighs in. Maybe that link will attract even more douches!

Comments

  1. says

    Do you ever stay on topic?

    Yes.

    Currently, the topic is “Mock the clueless guys who stroll in to make cliched arguments.”

    I hate to have to tell you this, but you are egregiously off-topic here.

  2. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    Men are routinely tortured in war. This doesn’t seem to have a major effect on morale

    WTF?! You’ve never actually spoken to a single solider ever, have you.

    If a predictable consequence has a negative impact on combat effectiveness of troops that is reason enough to avoid it.

    And then a segway into backdoor victim-blaming. Lovely. If those bitches were there getting raped, those soldiers would have sky high morale! Because only manly macho men ever survive torture with strengthened resolve. Everyone knows rape survivors are like broken dinner plates – useless!

    Men can better relate to the fate of other men.

    And now for some deranged misogyny disguised as The Truth™!

    When did putting women in a position with an increased likelihood of getting raped become a good cause for promoting equality?

    Well, you’ve convinced me! Clearly, women should be wrapped in bubble wrap and kept in the house! Because, apparently, we don’t live in a rape culture and we don’t have to constantly think about our safety outside of a warzone, nope! The poor little dears can’t handle anything like men, and according to you men don’t give a fuck what happens to women anyway. So, clearly, the answer is to hide women away from the scary, scary world. And definitely continue to ignore everything they say to you. Their just girls, after all.

  3. says

    Another thing is the problem with personal hygiene in the field. My guess would be that doctors would not recommend women to crawl around in the mud for a few weeks without cleaning themselves or having access to hygiene products while menstruating

    what a gloriously biblical explanation of your sexism. do you also expect that all soldiers everywhere get circumcised, because “hygiene”?

  4. says

    So far, I have gathered these reasons for banning women from infantry:

    1) Because a woman chosen at random out of the population has a high likelihood of being weaker than a man chosen at random out of the population.
    2) Because some women experience stress fractures under a specific set of circumstances.
    3) Because women get raped and then are useless, or see raped women and are too sad to shoot things.
    4) Icky stinky girly parts.

    Did I miss some?

    Please remember: the two woman disemboweling wooden mallet is for historical arguments only.

  5. Esteleth has eaten ALL the gingerbread! Suck it! says

    Here’s a modern argument! I just stubbed my toe and spent a few minutes cursing, hobbling around, and crying. Obviously, that means that I, a weak little woman, am utterly incompetent at everything, amirite?

  6. Mattir says

    So Mirenas for all the women in combat. There, that problem’s solved.

    Also, how do I know if my menstrual blood is cleansed or uncleansed? I wouldn’t want to go out in public, or on a hike or anything with the uncleansed sort – might give someone a DISEASE with that stuff.

  7. Brownian says

    Women are more likely than men to get raped, especially in a war, and especially if they are combatants

    Evidence for this claim?

  8. anthrogirl says

    I am a longtime lurker and a first time poster. Let me start off by apologizing in advance for any spelling or grammatical errors. I was recently diagnosed with a disease and the medication is causing some severe side effects. Some of them are cognitive and specifically affect my ability to communicate. I hope my post isn’t too hard to understand. I am told these effects will pass in the next few months (fingers crossed). Until then, my posts will probably read like a ten year old’s. Apologies.
    I completely agree with your article about douching Dr. Myers. However, I have noticed that many people on here (the bloggers and the commenters) throw around the word “douche” as an insult. I don’t think this is okay and I’m going to share a very painful story from my personal life to illustrate why. When I was very young (almost prepubescent), I was raped at knifepoint. Afterwards I went to the hospital to report the crime and get an examination done. After the examination was completed, the nurse handed me a douche “to wash the semen out so that I would feel cleaner”. I did so. For several years after that incident I continued to douche even though I knew it was harmful because I felt dirty “down there”. After I received counseling and I was able to heal from this incident, I stopped this practice. However, every time someone nonchalantly throws the word “douche” around as an insult it’s triggering to me. I also know that it was not rare a few decades ago for rape victims to be given douches in the hospital. Obviously this probably shouldn’t have been done, but it doesn’t change the fact that it was done and we are out there. We read your blogs. It is triggering. I know that you probably didn’t know about this. I know that you would never want to hurt a sexual assault victim. So, I’m just asking if everyone could think about not using this insult. Thank you

  9. says

    How do you think menstruation works? Do you think we have to wash the blood out of our vaginas?

    probably yes. pretty sure in his mind, bleeding vaginas really are open hatchet wounds.

    snark aside, that’s pretty much the only explanation for that weird-ass concern about menstruation, cleaning, and infection; he thinks menstruation is like an open (and therefore bleeding) wound, and since open wounds really do need to be cleaned and kept clean to prevent infection, he thinks the same is true for menstruation.

  10. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    shorter noelplum99:

    “I don’t advocate discrimination against women, but…”

    Yep, been that way from its first posted bit of fuckwittery. The BUT is always the tip-off to the ***ist.

  11. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    Another thing is the problem with personal hygiene in the field. My guess would be that doctors would not recommend women humans to crawl around in the mud for a few weeks without cleaning themselves or having access to hygiene products while menstruatingdefecating. I would assume the probability of infection would considered unacceptable by the military commanders.

    How can we allowing anything as unhygienic as shitting and peeing to happen in trenches that humans will be in for weeks at a time?

    (Sorry, I had to do this.)

  12. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    Take two.

    Another thing is the problem with personal hygiene in the field. My guess would be that doctors would not recommend womenhumans to crawl around in the mud for a few weeks without cleaning themselves or having access to hygiene products while menstruatingdefecating. I would assume the probability of infection would considered unacceptable by the military commanders.

    How can we allowing anything as unhygienic as shitting and peeing to happen in trenches that humans will be in for weeks at a time?

    (Sorry, I had to do this.)

  13. says

    Caerie:

    3) Because women get raped and then are useless, or see raped women and are too sad to shoot things.

    ‘S funny, I started sword and knife fighting after I was raped and while I was a counselor and advocate for other rape victims.

    Women, ever unpredictable! Oh hey, that’s a reason to keep us in the kitchen, amirite?

  14. Brownian says

    My guess would be that doctors would not recommend women to crawl around in the mud for a few weeks without cleaning themselves or having access to hygiene products while menstruating.

    My favourite thing about skeptically skeptics is that this level of Did Not Do the Research is only unacceptable if it comes from creationists talking about evolution, physics, and the like. But if it’s us guys talking about menstruation, any random thought, no matter how ill-considered, goes. I mean, who could possibly know anything about menstruation, other than, as arcus grants, a gynaecologist? Nobody else reading this blog could possibly know what kinds of havoc might happen if mud gets near someone’s period.

    Oh, I understand that women read this blog, but clearly women have never been more than fifteen minutes away from a spa and a M·A·C counter, so we’d best get a real doctory-type doctor to explain how vaginas are like Roombas when you get them in the jungle.

  15. says

    Wow. I have now learned things about my old man’s unmentionables that I never knew, and can’t unlearn even if I wanted to. I never knew the secret shame men must feel at that not fresh feeling. I wonder (when may be I shouldn’t) if men ever get an itch, so private they can only discuss it with their doctor?

  16. Brownian says

    I wonder (when may be I shouldn’t) if men ever get an itch, so private they can only discuss it with their doctor?

    Right, like we’re generally shy about scratching our itchy parts.

  17. says

    Another thing is the problem with personal hygiene in the field. My guess would be that doctors would not recommend women to crawl around in the mud for a few weeks without cleaning themselves or having access to hygiene products while menstruating

    er, you know that “geurilla warfare” was written by che guevera, who was a doctor? its a short book and he talks in detail about how disgusting and smelly everyone gets during a war. There is nothing unique to women about getting really fucking dirty. Each person gets their own brand of horrible stench from walking several miles each day in the jungle. He advocates for women to be soldiers if they want to and are able.

  18. Brownian says

    I don’t even know what this ^ is. Guess that makes me an extra special bad woman. Curses.

    Sorry, I wondered if that might have been too obscure. M·A·C is a cosmetics company. I thought it might be relatively recognisable, as the only reason I know of it is from the lyrics to this TLC song.

  19. says

    anthrogirl @ 9, I’m very sorry for your experience and that you find the word douche to be triggering. You may not be aware that there are a considerable number of regulars here who have been raped (I’m one of them) who don’t have a problem using that word as an insult, and in fact, find it to be a highly appropriate insult for people holding certain attitudes and opinions.

    Given that the word is used here fairly often as an insult, the best I can say is to be careful reading here. You might feel more comfortable in The Lounge, which is our hangout to chat about whatever.

  20. says

    Brownian:

    M·A·C is a cosmetics company.

    Oh. I am a bad woman then. I don’t do much cosmetically these days. I forgot I was supposed to in front of a stove cooking a roast, making sure my house was magnificently spotless, wearing a dress and fuck me heels and of course, flawless make-up.

  21. Louis says

    Lilandra,

    Of course a True Gentleman never mentions any “downstairs ailment” to his doctor. He does the decent thing and silently, uncomplainingly dies.

    Why yes I am wearing tweed at the moment, how insightful of you to ask.

    Louis

  22. says

    Why do you think routine hygiene would prevent a woman from doing her job in combat, and not a man?

    Why Lilandra, that menstrual blood might not be benign! My goodness, it could attack someone who matters, like a man. After all, everyone knows how rare blood is on a battlefield.

  23. Brownian says

    I forgot I was supposed to in front of a stove cooking a roast, making sure my house was magnificently spotless, wearing a dress and fuck me heels and of course, flawless make-up.

    How could you forget? It’s utterly impossible that you could ever have been muddy, so I demand to know where you’re keeping yourself hermetically sealed if not the kitchen.

    I’m sorry for making you feel bad. If it’s any consolation, I’m a terrible man. I know nothing of this haw-key so many of my countrymen are always yammering about.

  24. says

    Brownian:

    so I demand to know where you’re keeping yourself hermetically sealed if not the kitchen.

    I am so ashamed to admit this, I’ve been in my studio…working. *sobs in shame*

  25. says

    Caine this is hardly mentioned in polite company, but speaking of the dangers of unhygienic behavior, did you know that 7 million duty days were lost during WWI to STDS in male troops?

  26. says

    Lilandra:

    STDS in male troops

    No! Seriously, this has been a major problem in every war and why much money has been wasted over the years in one ineffective VD film after another. Seems there’s no convincing those manly men types to keep a certain member either protected or zipped up.

  27. says

    Louis,
    Another morbidly fascinating insight into male “downstairs ailments” that is rarely mentioned because society is mainly, morbidly fascinated by “downstairs ailments” of the ladies.

  28. says

    You mean those poor men keep getting nasty, gross infections in their naughty bits?

    For their own good, we should keep them out of military service. They just aren’t cut out for keeping their genitals healthy under war conditions like women are.

  29. says

    Why are the tests that armies perform to sort fit men from unfit women insufficient to sort fit women from unfit women?

    For the seventh time this is not about fitness. From the very first time i mentioned this it was about stress fractures and it has been about stress fractures all the way through and it STILL ABOUT FUCKING STRESS FRACTURES (unless you are gathering my argument from the idiots misrepresenting me rather than from my own posts)!!!!

    LOL! Color me baffled then–susceptibility to stress fractures is UNRELATED to fitness? Fascinating.

  30. carlie says

    Wait, women used to be told not to take baths during their period. Now we can’t get dirty during our period either? Are we supposed to be in some quantum state?

  31. StevoR says

    @5.The Mellow Monkey: Caerie :

    Please remember: the two woman disemboweling wooden mallet is for historical arguments only.

    Oh I dunno ’bout that. It does a pretty good job of demolishing misognist Male Supwemacist argum,ents and making them look very silly* too!

    &&&&&&&&&&&&&&

    * Okay, not that *that’s* all that hard to do!

  32. says

    Carlie:

    Are we supposed to be in some quantum state?

    Now, now, Carlie. You know perfectly well that when a woman is where she belongs, in the kitchen, a state of ideal womanhood is achieved and there’s simply no need to address or talk about the private functions of the private bits.

  33. Tony ∞2012 recipient of the coronal mass erection∞ says

    Since we have established who is in charge of cooking…where’s my sammich??!!

  34. says

    Tony:

    Since we have established who is in charge of cooking…where’s my sammich??!!

    No, it doesn’t work that way. Us lowly wimmin have to stay in our own kitchens and can only cook for our famblee. It’s men who are allowed to actually make a living and be independent by cooking, so you’re on your own.

  35. Tony ∞2012 recipient of the coronal mass erection∞ says

    Caine:
    But I am of THE QUEER. I do not have a personal sammich maker. I was told by a very nice individual who was an activist man seeking rights that women would be available to fix sammiches on demand…how else are my people supposed to eat? We shop, decorate, and fuck like rabbits. We do not cook.

  36. says

    Tony:

    We shop, decorate, and fuck like rabbits. We do not cook.

    Oh my, but The Spokesgay will have words for you.

    You’ll just have to eat out at fabulous restaurants, dahling.

  37. Tony ∞2012 recipient of the coronal mass erection∞ says

    Words??
    This ‘spokesgay’ must be No True Gay if he has time to talk while having his throat inspected.

  38. carlie says

    Give a man a sammich, he eats for a day.

    Teach a man to order a sammich from takeout, and he eats for his life.

    (¡Me ducho regularmente!)

    Oh sure, John, bring up douching again. *eyeroll* (joking)

  39. Tony ∞2012 recipient of the coronal mass erection∞ says

    Well if I don’t get a sammich I’m going to flounce like you’ve never seen. It will be an epic flounce. A cross between Noelplum and Renee with a dash o’ Reap for good measure.

  40. says

    FFS did I literally see someone cite trench conditions?

    Well misterman let me tell you considering how weak our navy is what with its lack of battleships and how weak our army is what with bayonet production in the crapper we may NEED women to swell the ranks.

    I think we can safly say anyone who is making an argument that requires conditions of war from 60+ years ago can be safely ignored

  41. No Light says

    Carlie

    Wait, women used to be told not to take baths during their period. Now we can’t get dirty during our period either? Are we supposed to be in some quantum state?

    Foolish fellow female. Two words:

    Schrodinger’s Box.

    As for arcus and his bizarre ideas of how ~unclean~ women are, he should give Orthodox Judaism a try. I have a feeling he’d really approve of the concept of Taharas HaMispacha (family purity) which essentially boils down to “OMG vagina-cooties”.

    Anyone feeling particularly masochistic should google “Niddah”. Learn about the wonders of “Harchakot” and “white nights”. Feel your mind boggle and your rage rise when you learn about how THM is promoted as a good, special thing for women, and is sold as ~empowering~.

    Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

  42. Tony ∞2012 recipient of the coronal mass erection∞ says

    No light:
    Being wholly ignorant of Judaism, I will bite. BRB.
    Ok, I am back.

    According to the Bible, sexual relations are forbidden while a woman is a niddah, and the rabbis prescribe a number of additional regulations. The main ones are avoiding physical contact between spouses and sleeping in separate beds. Many couples also avoid passing objects directly to each other, seeing each other undress, and flirtatious conversation.
    http://www.myjewishlearning.com/life/Sex_and_Sexuality/Jewish_Approaches/Prohibited_Sexual_Relationships/Niddah/Laws.shtml

    They can’t make with flirty talk??!! What is supposed to happen?

  43. No Light says

    Flirty talk might lead to sex Tony, it’s forbidden! When a woman gives birth her husband’s not allowed to touch, hug, or kiss her. If she needs to give him the baby she has to put it down, then he has to pick it up, or else sex!

    Lots of couples do the no passing/no touching thing all the time, so that nobody can figure out when she’s niddah, as that would be immodest too, having someone know. So as if half of every month wasn’t. enough, it gets to be a permanent thing.

    Then, at the end of your two weeks you send your undies to the rabbi anonymously with your mobile number in the envelope. He checks the stains and lets you know if you’re clean enough to go to the ritual bath and immerse to make yourself “pure” again. They have huge albums full of swatches of menstrual stains showing what’s “clean” and what isn’t.

    Hell, even when sexytiems is permitted again there are so many rules, even down to permittea times.

    The Gur sect are among the strictest. Men have to get the permission of a ‘kommandant’ to have sex with their own wives. They pride themselves on their harsh take on “Family purity”.

    Oh, and the “no touching or hugging” after birth thing? Stillbirth and later miscarriages count, so if your baby dies it’s tough, get a hug from another woman.

    But it’s totally a religion that glorifies women, and tries to put a positive spin on the prayer men must make every morning as he wakes:

    Shelo asani isha

    Which means “Thanks god for not making me a woman”. Totally not sexist.

  44. arcus says

    http://www.usmedicine.com/compendium/menstrual-suppression-could-help-deployed-women-avoid-discomfort-inconvenience.html#.ULdMlqx9Lng

    Findings:
    •Menses are intensified during deployment.
    •It is hard to take care of yourself during your period.
    •Menstrual challenges include heat, dirt, and portable toilets.
    •Menstruation is an inconvenience when you are deployed.
    •Dealing with menstruation is difficult in the military world where women are a minority.
    •The negative aspects of menstruation outweigh the positive during deployment.
    ——-
    http://isme.tamu.edu/JSCOPE90/Dillingham90.pdf

    Argues that women tend to stand up better to torture than men in training scenarios. Also highlighted is the potential deleterious effects on the war support. Concludes with the risk of capture not being sufficient argument to deny front line service (I agree on that point).
    ——-
    Also worth reading is “On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society”, which has a passage about the IDF experiences with female front line troops. They performed impeccably, but seeing dead female soldiers routed the male troops. These were subsequently disbanded. I believe the Soviets had similar experiences. “Bravo Two-Zero” is a good portrayal of front line duty in general.
    ——-
    I assume those who opines on this subject has infantry experience? I see several gender equality arguments which I find to be redundant in what is a national security discussion.
    ——-
    As to the OP subject, which I forgot to comment on earlier and initially came here to say my piece about. I recall the first time I was told about this and that it was common in the US (it doesn’t exist here, at least to my knowledge). At the same time there was a discussion around the dangers of colon cleansing, and my immediate reaction was that both seemed to belong far into something only the alt. medicine/woo crowd would champion.

    That said, BoxTurtle’s reading of the science seems devoid of the ability to read a scientific paper, but the whole argument that the procedure is somehow linked to patriarchy rests on the unfounded assumption that the patriarchy find vaginas inherently “icky”. I seem unable to find support for that assumption.

  45. keenacat says

    Menstruation is an inconvenience when you are deployed.

    http://i1.kym-cdn.com/entries/icons/original/000/007/666/_57c8a1a431a592af806925e57258202f.png
    No shit pal.
    Here’s a newsflash: It’s even inconvenient when you are in the kitchen taking care of womanly duties. Sheesh.
    Also, if you ask me and most other women, menstruation has no exactly “positive aspects” to speak of, if you are not into wombynly menstruation meditation or something. So it’s kind of a given that negative aspects outweight the positive, you know?
    Menstrual suppression actually can and frequently does avoid discomfort in non-deployed women, too.

    It is hard to take care of yourself during your period.

    Oh come ON with the platitudes again. Haven’t we established that taking care of yourself during deployment is hard all the tiemz for even the menz?

    rests on the unfounded assumption that the patriarchy find vaginas inherently “icky”. I seem unable to find support for that assumption.

    You seem unable indeed.
    It’s just a totally unfortunate coincidence that the more patriarchic a society is, the more obsessed vagina-related cleanliness rules become, as demonstrated right above your fucking post with regards to niddah.

  46. says

    arcus:

    •Menstruation is an inconvenience when you are deployed.

    Good lord! Warfare should, under no circumstances, be inconvenient.

    •Dealing with menstruation is difficult in the military world where women are a minority.

    Women are the minority, and so we shall do nothing to ease their wartime inconvenience.

    •The negative aspects of menstruation outweigh the positive during deployment.

    Ah, yes. The positive aspects of menstruation are all the youngsters talk about these days.

  47. says

    the unfounded assumption that the patriarchy find vaginas inherently “icky”. I seem unable to find support for that assumption.

    summer’s eve

  48. No Light says

    OK arcus you shitlord king of the ignorami, I’ll break out the caps because you’re clearly visually impaired or something.

    MENSTRUATION AND WITHDRAWAL BLEEDING IS OPTIONAL. IT IS NOT A FUCKING INEVITABILITY. THIS IS NOT WWII

    Also, WRT your “I hear there’s a shot for that” actually, no. Depo provera only lasts for ninety days. There are solutions that last for five years and have no detrimental effect on future fertility, so the bitchez can still perform their ultimate womanly goal of being ambulatory incubators, once they’re finished with the military mudbath.

    Now stop being a fuckknuckle, and displaying your total lack of knowledge of female anatomical processes, while expecting actual women who’ve experienced it from the age of 9+ to cater to your testerical obsession with “AHMYGAD DIRTY AXEWOUNDS IMPURE! IMPURE!”

    Protip – your rav/priest/imam is wrong.

  49. carlie says

    Then, at the end of your two weeks you send your undies to the rabbi anonymously with your mobile number in the envelope. He checks the stains and lets you know if you’re clean enough to go to the ritual bath and immerse to make yourself “pure” again. They have huge albums full of swatches of menstrual stains showing what’s “clean” and what isn’t.

    WAIT WHAT

  50. No Light says

    It’s srs bzns carlie!

    There are books available such as Charlotte Fonrobert’s “The Hermeneutics of Colors and Stains: The Rabbinic Science of Women’s Blood”.

    See, SCIENCE. And WOMEN. So it’s totally a feminist, woman-centred religion.

    Doesn’t it make you want. to convert asap?

  51. Esteleth has eaten ALL the gingerbread! Suck it! says

    Arcus, your argument seems to be that:

    1. Because women are a minority in the military, the mechanisms for handling menstruation are patchwork and imperfect.
    2. Because they lack the means to effectively manage menstruation in the military, women need to be kept out of the military.

    You do realize how that logic fails on a basic level, right?

  52. Esteleth has eaten ALL the gingerbread! Suck it! says

    Also, y’know, menstruation is 100% optional. Biologically speaking. It is a side effect of the fact that humans are placental mammals. Shut down ovulation, shut down endometrial production, shut down menstruation. QED.

  53. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    Also worth reading is “On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society”, which has a passage about the IDF experiences with female front line troops. They performed impeccably, but seeing dead female soldiers routed the male troops. These were subsequently disbanded. I believe the Soviets had similar experiences. “Bravo Two-Zero” is a good portrayal of front line duty in general.

    How much of this is because we live in a society that stresses that women must be “protected” from situations like this while it is also the duty of men to be ready for military duty.

  54. Brownian says

    I assume those who opines on this subject has infantry experience?

    LOL. Were you there? Classic.

    And similarly, I assume you have a fucking vagina, and have been menstruating for the last thirty yars?

  55. says

    That said, BoxTurtle’s reading of the science seems devoid of the ability to read a scientific paper, but the whole argument that the procedure is somehow linked to patriarchy rests on the unfounded assumption that the patriarchy find vaginas inherently “icky”.

    I don’t think that is an accurate description of the argument here.

    I seem unable to find support for that assumption.

    I wonder why.

  56. Tony ∞2012 recipient of the coronal mass erection∞ says

    lilandra @68:
    Ah, I think you may be mistaken. With regard to douching, it has been said-in this thread-that the patriarchy is at fault.

  57. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Ahem:

    This ‘spokesgay’ must be No True Gay if he has time to talk while having his throat inspected.

    Angling for a little private time with me, baby?

    Certain factions of The Queer do indeed cook, and even sometimes for their menz. What they do not do, however, is suffer ignunt fools who have a hard time understanding how to place savory fillings betwixt two pieces of bread without help.

  58. says

    @Tony
    He describes the argument here that as the patriarchy finding vaginas as “inherently icky” and therefore the practice of douching arose. That is a bit more specific and a bit of an exaggeration of the patriarchy is at fault for the practice of douching.

  59. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Wait. . someone actually said menstruating women pose an infection risk because mud? WHAT THE EVERLOVING FUCK. . IS THERE NO BOTTOM TO THIS BRAIN-DEAD STUPIDITY?

    I fuckin’ hate people.

  60. says

    Josh:

    IS THERE NO BOTTOM TO THIS BRAIN-DEAD STUPIDITY?

    That’s unclear. We did drop a big rock in, and didn’t hear it strike anything, though. Our next test involves a balrog and a wizard.

  61. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Darling fake wife, I’ve been watching from the sidelines. It gave me a sick headache so I just got high and went to bed.

  62. Ogvorbis says

    IS THERE NO BOTTOM TO THIS BRAIN-DEAD STUPIDITY?

    Nope.

    (This has been another edition of, “Obvious answers to obvious questions.”)

  63. ChasCPeterson says

    Biologically speaking. It is a side effect of the fact that humans are placental mammals.

    Actually, very few mammals menstruate. Primates only, afaik, and not all of them. Us.

  64. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    Josh, I could lead you to a thread that is over a month old and kept going by a rather dim and repulsive troll.

  65. Ogvorbis says

    Chas:

    I think that shrews (or some shrews) menstruate and no, I have no idea where I read that.

  66. says

    Giliell:

    It means I’m not pregnant.
    That’s at least something

    Every month I inform my uterus that it’s never exposed to semen and therefore doesn’t need to go through all this silliness.

    Every month it ignores me.

    The negative aspects of menstruation outweigh the positive during deployment.

    Positive aspects of menstruation during deployment: grossing out men.

  67. Esteleth has eaten ALL the gingerbread! Suck it! says

    Elephant shrews, some bats, and some other primate species menstruate. But most mammals are estrous.

  68. Esteleth has eaten ALL the gingerbread! Suck it! says

    My uterus sheds its endometrial lining from time to time. Seems silly, really. I don’t get exposed to semen, and in any case those little tablets that I swallow make my ovaries (and those damn cysts) STFU. I keep meaning to ask my doc about the 3-month packs.

  69. Ogvorbis says

    Elephant shrews, some bats, and some other primate species menstruate.

    Thank you. I thought I remembered ‘shrew’ (though ‘elephant shrew’ always reminds me of jumbo shrimp for some reason). Didn’t know about the bats, though.

  70. says

    Also worth reading is “On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society”, which has a passage about the IDF experiences with female front line troops. They performed impeccably, but seeing dead female soldiers routed the male troops. These were subsequently disbanded. I believe the Soviets had similar experiences. “Bravo Two-Zero” is a good portrayal of front line duty in general.

    Ok, dumbass this is the military we are talking about. Learning to kill and see death is sort of the fucking point. And really the US military cannot use “war is so horrible” as an excuse to keep women out while at the same time having that “Killing is our business and business is good” macho bullshit culture.

  71. Esteleth has eaten ALL the gingerbread! Suck it! says

    Not all bats. Only some species, but I’ll be damned if I know what they are.

    With primates, the Cercopithecoidea and those more closely related to us than them menstruate, but those further out do not, at least not regularly. Strepsirrhini and lemurs apparently sometimes menstruate (damned if I know how that works). Further out than that none do.
    So it must have evolved three times inside mammals, unless the elephant shrews and bats share a common menstruating ancestor and the other descendants flipped to being estrual.

  72. No Light says

    Esteleth –

    The pills in the. three month pack are the same combined pills as those in the monthly packs, just packaged with fewer placebo pills (if you ‘merkun, usually no placebo pills here in Yurp).

    You can just run packs together if they’re monophasic (same colour active pill every day), if they’re triphasic (different colour for each week) take them in either 1-1-1-1-2-2-2-2-3-3-3-3 order (so four weeks of each colour) or the slightly more likely to be bleedy 1-2-3-3-2-1-1-2-3-3-2-1 method.

    Not every uterus will play nice with extended pill taking, but it’s safe and less annoying if it does.

  73. says

    seeing dead female soldiers routed the male troops.

    That would be a reason to bar men from front line duties, not women.

    Arcus, every one of your so-called arguments has been thoroughly dismantled and shredded. Your continued obsession with menstruation and the possibility of woman being raped has gone beyond creepy. You are now giving the vibe that talking about such things is just fueling your fantasies.

    Either provide a well constructed argument based on facts and current times or shut the fuck up.

  74. Esteleth has eaten ALL the gingerbread! Suck it! says

    Yeah, I know, No Light. My pills are monophasic, so I could just run them back-to-back. I have pulled the “I don’t want to be bleeding on Tuesday, so I’ll start taking the placebo pills tomorrow” stunt from time to time.

    I know that doing the back-to-back thing is perfectly fine in most cases, but I do want to ask the gyno about it, as I want to be sure. *shrug*

  75. Esteleth has eaten ALL the gingerbread! Suck it! says

    seeing dead female soldiers routed the male troops.

    How is this an argument for not having female troops? This is an argument for either (1) giving the male soldiers better psychological-protection training or (2) not having male soldiers.

  76. says

    Esteleth:

    How is this an argument for not having female troops?

    Arcus’s “arguments” come across to me as the same type of “arguments” for women needing to be covered head to toe in tents – “oh those poor, poor men, if they see any bit of a woman, well, they can’t control themselves!” “You can’t have men distracted by women dressing in unauthorised ways!”

    In my head, I hear Arcus as Zapp Brannigan, who got women barred from military service because of his own perpetual horniness.

  77. Esteleth has eaten ALL the gingerbread! Suck it! says

    Caine, have you read anything about what is (currently) happening in the Israeli army with increasing numbers of Orthodox soldiers? Many Orthodox men refuse to be touched by women who are not their wives or (close) blood kin, so they will not allow themselves to touch or be touched by a female comrade.

    They also will leave ceremonies where women are speaking (or singing).

    Others cannot see a woman handling a weapon. I read a story about a woman (a sergeant or something) who was assigned to give a group of new recruits an Uzi lesson. Apparently half of them stomped out the instant she set the diagrams down and actually picked the rifle up.

  78. ChasCPeterson says

    Interesting–I had forgotten about the elephant shrews and bats. (They are not closely related, btw…elephant shrews are actually much closer to elephants. And the report of menstruating elephants is apparently anecdotal and doubtful.)

    (I say “forgotten about” instead of “never knew before” because I commented on this post, so must have read it. There’s a color-coded phylogeny there.)

  79. Brownian says

    They performed impeccably, but seeing dead female soldiers routed the male troops.

    I think this is the same reasoning ReneeHendricks used.

    “Women are excellent soldiers, and in fact I was one. Therefore, they should not be in the military.”

  80. says

    Esteleth:

    Others cannot see a woman handling a weapon. I read a story about a woman (a sergeant or something) who was assigned to give a group of new recruits an Uzi lesson. Apparently half of them stomped out the instant she set the diagrams down and actually picked the rifle up.

    Oh for pity’s sake. And none of this has to do with the patriarchy, no sir!

  81. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    All this tells me is such menz are big-ass whiny li’l baby brats. Jeezis Christ. . . they’re struck dumb by seeing women handle a gun?

    Grow the fuck up.

  82. Tony ∞2012 recipient of the coronal mass erection∞ says

    Josh:
    ” WHAT THE EVERLOVING FUCK. . IS THERE NO BOTTOM TO THIS BRAIN-DEAD STUPIDITY?”

    Oh, there is a bottom. Up for a trip to the Challenger Deep?

  83. says

    Josh:

    they’re struck dumb by seeing women handle a gun?

    Perhaps if the women weapons instructors were in a kitchen set, wearing a dress, fuck me heels, a string of pearls and flawless make-up…

  84. Brownian says

    Others cannot see a woman handling a weapon. I read a story about a woman (a sergeant or something) who was assigned to give a group of new recruits an Uzi lesson. Apparently half of them stomped out the instant she set the diagrams down and actually picked the rifle up.

    Idiots. A well maintained and cleaned rifle carries virtually no risk of infection, even when held by a menstruating woman.

  85. says

    Ing:

    You know if the study actually showed that soldiers are freaked the fuck out by dead women (yeah right) wouldn’t that mean that someone who swells their ranks with Femsheps would get a big psychological advantage over everyone else?

    You’d think so, yes. Of course, this does require a person to be capable of thought in the first place.

  86. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    •It is hard to take care of yourself during your period.

    LOL Fuck. You. You seriously need to STFU about that which you clearly know nothing. Women, military service, menstruation, logic, etc. All beyond your boundaries.

    ++

    In my head, I hear Arcus as Zapp Brannigan, who got women barred from military service because of his own perpetual horniness.

    LOL Good call. arcus comes off as about as intelligent of Brannigan is.

  87. says

    Josh:

    Periods are hard!

    So sayeth the moron who doesn’t have a clue. Apparently, Arcus thinks every single period is the same, and the same for every single woman on the planet.

  88. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Caine:

    Well, he’s right, ya know. It’s hard to take good care of yourself when you’re. . .at that time. Being a wife, mother, and career woman is exhausting! Sometimes, a woman just needs “me time.” You know, those special moments [cut to soft-focus scene in bath tub with vanilla candles] when you give a present. . . from you to you!

  89. says

    Josh:

    Sometimes, a woman just needs “me time.” You know, those special moments [cut to soft-focus scene in bath tub with vanilla candles] when you give a present. . . from you to you!

    Oh, er…um, yes. Pardon me, I forgot to put on my brain blocking pearls this morning.

  90. says

    Others cannot see a woman handling a weapon. I read a story about a woman (a sergeant or something) who was assigned to give a group of new recruits an Uzi lesson. Apparently half of them stomped out the instant she set the diagrams down and actually picked the rifle up.

    I have to call ad hoc on this story. The US military uses M-16s to train recruits not Uzis. Also, as long as we are being anecdotal, every recruit has to throw 2 live grenades during training. I was told that male recruits have to be rescued, because they freeze with a live grenade in their hand more often than females. Therefore by your reasoning males should not be soldiers. Only it doesn’t happen that way in a patriarchal society.

  91. Esteleth has eaten ALL the gingerbread! Suck it! says

    Lilandra, that story came out of the Israeli army. AFAIK, they use Uzis more than M-16s. And in any case, even if they do use M-16s, having a “this is how to use an Uzi” lesson does not necessarily mean that “this is how to use an M-16″ lessons don’t happen.

  92. says

    Esteleth-I can’t speak to training in the Israeli army, but I don’t think it would be worse than US training given they live in a war zone. All drill sergeants including females are selected by excelling in military skills. My female drill sergeants knew how to handle a rifle. All recruits must pass marksmanship tests. Why would anyone select a female or male that didn’t know how to demonstrate an Uzi to train recruits? It makes no sense.

  93. says

    Esteleth my misunderstanding. Religious law forbids them from looking at a woman handling a weapon. They didn’t leave out of fear for their safety.

  94. Esteleth has eaten ALL the gingerbread! Suck it! says

    Glad you caught that, ’cause I was about to correct you. The recruits watched while the sergeant pointed at various diagrams, but then stomped out when she actually picked the gun up.
    I presume that she was competent, because, based on what I know of the Israeli army, they don’t fuck around.

  95. says

    Placebo pills?
    Interesting. Are they meant to make the thing more fool-proof so you don’t forget when you have to re-start taking them?

    BTW, at least over here more-month packs were much cheaper than single month packs. I think it was like 20€ for the month, 30 for 3 months and 50 for 6 months.

  96. No Light says

    Gilliel – yep, American women are apparently considered by manufacturers to be too stupid to remember when to start a new pack, so they have a week of sugar pills at the end.

    Oh, and they’re almost all told to start on a Sunday. Not “Start these new pills whenever/when you stop bleeding” but “Start the Sunday after your period ends”

    https://www.google.com/search?q=pill%20Sunday%20start&client=ms-opera-mobile&channel=new

    As for cost, I’m from the land of free contraception. I almost resent my lesbianistic self for not being in need of such a bargain. Now I have a magical Mirena though, so I’m happy!

  97. Tony ∞2012 recipient of the coronal mass erection∞ says

    I’m with CAINE. I already explained my reasoning in this very thread.

  98. says

    No Light
    Well, I don’t think it’s too bad an idea.
    Honestly, lives can get busy and with something you have to do routinely it’s easy to mix up things (I have to write the date of my period down so I can keep track). And I’m more than happy that my current Thyroxin package comes in a “daily dosage” pack so I can check whether I already took it or not.

  99. mildlymagnificent says

    my current Thyroxin package comes in a “daily dosage” pack so I can check whether I already took it or not.

    Good grief! Mine come in a box of 200. If I’m having a vague time, I just cut a week’s worth of foil pack off so I don’t get mixed up.

  100. keenacat says

    my current Thyroxin package comes in a “daily dosage” pack so I can check whether I already took it or not.

    Meh.
    L-Thyroxine has a half life of about two weeks. Missing one doesn’t make that much of a difference, so I usually leave it out if i’m unsure if I’ve taken it already.
    I could use a daily dosage pack with my venlafaxine, but due to the massive adverse effects of not taking it, my body tells me when I forgot…

  101. says

    Also worth reading is “On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society”, which has a passage about the IDF experiences with female front line troops. They performed impeccably, but seeing dead female soldiers routed the male troops. These were subsequently disbanded. I believe the Soviets had similar experiences. “Bravo Two-Zero” is a good portrayal of front line duty in general.

    One wonders how the vikings managed to dominate north europe prior to their christianization when half their fighting force was women.

    You ‘believe’ the Soviets had similar experiences, yet they didn’t actually remove women from combat until after the Great Patriotic War was, you know, over. You don’t really know shit, do you?

    In my head, I hear Arcus as Zapp Brannigan, who got women barred from military service because of his own perpetual horniness.

    Haha, perfect.

  102. vaiyt says

    seeing dead female soldiers routed the male troops.

    And the solution is to ban the women. Fucking genius.

  103. says

    keenacat

    L-Thyroxine has a half life of about two weeks. Missing one doesn’t make that much of a difference, so I usually leave it out if i’m unsure if I’ve taken it already.

    Yeah, but you’re talking with somebody whose brain has a half-life of about 30 minutes ;)

  104. arcus says

    Quite interesting to see that the federal government’s opinion on the menstrual cycle are worthless, while non-serving people’s opinion somehow carries weight. Apart from that I’d just state that the weight of ad homs are astonishing (though not unsurprising).

    I’d love nothing more than to let women fight on the front lines. In fact, please take over the whole shabang, there’s been way to many guys getting killed in wars since the dawn of history and it’s about time women carry their weight. Hopefully, the US gets entangled in yet another geography teaching missions with massive bloodshed, and the females here get drafted to the front to be meat shields. Seeing as I am going to Skiringssal this weekend, I’ll pray to Freyja that your wishes of equal opportunity are fulfilled.

  105. arcus says

    I apologize for my previous out-of-context reference. It was a play by the Bierce statement that “War is God’s way of teaching Americans geography.” I would presume this is not required reading in women’s studies class, in the same way anything written by Russell would be disregarded since is’s analytical.

  106. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    I think that arcus was trying to be insulting because women are not supposed to be analytical.

  107. arcus says

    @Rey: If you spend a minute refraining from coveting a sheep’s reproductive and non-reproductive tracts, the latter in particular, you may come to appreciate the difference yourself.

  108. arcus says

    @janine

    I may have been referring to the analytical/continental split in philosophy. But that would merely an informed insider’s opinion.

  109. arcus says

    @Janine

    That speaks volumes to your abilities to understand. Was middle or primary school your first issue in this regard?

  110. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    That speaks volumes to your abilities to understand.

    No, it speaks volumes for you lack of clarity and erudition in explaining exactly why you are a fuckwitted sexist idjit. All perspective my ignorant tool.

  111. arcus says

    @Nerd
    That I make an abundantly clear, at least to any thinking human, reference to the analytical/continental divide between philosophers means something else than the abundantly clear division made somehow make me speak volumes of my “lack of clarity and erudition in explaining exactly why you are a fuckwitted sexist idjit”.

    Seems to me that that particular ball isn’t exactly in my court. Or don’t you understand the divide yourself?

  112. Brownian says

    In fact, please take over the whole shabang, there’s been way to many guys getting killed in wars since the dawn of history and it’s about time women carry their weight.

    “then to open his mouth and remove all doubt.”

  113. John Morales says

    [OT]

    arcus:

    I may have been referring to the analytical/continental split in philosophy.

    But you weren’t, and your transparently ad hoc rationalisation is cringe-worthy.

  114. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Seems to me that that particular ball isn’t exactly in my court.

    It isn’t in your court, the court of fuckwittery. Try rationism. Acknowledge you are wrong, and go from there…

  115. Brownian says

    arcus is now employing the Disinterested Intellectual gambit.

    Quote-dropping, references to unrelated philosophical schisms: has this obvious trick ever worked as intended?

    Unoriginal as it is, it gives me an excuse to link this Onion article.

  116. arcus says

    @John

    You may have my word that it was exactly what I was referring to.

    I should perhaps made it more explicit, but I thought I did and chose to elaborate on a quote I didn’t expect everybody to know. You have my apologies for not having been immediately clearer, and furthermore my apologies for expecting the general readership to be at least somewhat informed.

  117. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Quote-dropping, references to unrelated philosophical schisms: has this obvious trick ever worked as intended?

    We, meaning the whole group of regulars, are immune to such idiocy. Why do they even bother to try other than desperation….

  118. arcus says

    @Brownian

    While it’s elating to see someone who I presume to be American to understand irony, you are missing the point. I’d really, actually, honestly, and non-ironically, love to have men removed from the whole war thing. I firmly, and non-ironically, believe we’ve fucked up things way more than they should be, and welcome the chance of women to try to do better.

    Better that is, than one of my former heroines, Gro H Bruntland (she was a pioneer in humanistic confirmation), that has recently embraced EM radiation woo.

  119. says

    Brownian:

    Quote-dropping, references to unrelated philosophical schisms: has this obvious trick ever worked as intended?

    No, especially when it’s used a pathetic, limp attempt to justify all the manly mansplaining. However, it’s most amusing to read the pathetic ‘splainin and hear it spoken by Zapp Brannigan.

  120. arcus says

    @Caine: Without knowing me or my intentions you have afforded me a number of preconceived notions. It’s about as applause worthy as pathetic.

  121. John Morales says

    [OT]

    arcus, you were clearly attempting to diss “women’s studies” (a subset of sociology) by suggesting analytical thought is disregarded by its participants.

    (And to equate the analytic rigour of the journalist/satirist Bierce with that of the mathematician/philosopher Russell is risible)

    … and furthermore my apologies for expecting the general readership to be at least somewhat informed.

    <snicker>

  122. says

    Janine:

    I think that arcus was trying to be insulting because women are not supposed to be analytical.

    Unfortunately, the art of the insult is yet another thing beyond arcus’s ability. As is the difference between an ad hominem and an insult. Honestly, the inability to understand the difference is an instant tell of an idiot.

  123. arcus says

    @John

    I have a great respect for the majority of sociology, I just have an issue with the parts which have been clearly disproved by biology/(evo-)psych/medicine/anthropology and somehow seems to still gather research dollars. One of my major interests is in behavioral finance and excluding sociology is pretty much a death knell.

    As an example, I still can’t quite wrap my head around the claim that homosexuality is purely cultural (i.e. arguments made by gender researchers with sociological backgrounds such as Lorentzen, Bolsø, Nissen) vs biological claims.

  124. Brownian says

    While it’s elating to see someone who I presume to be American to understand irony, you are missing the point. I’d really, actually, honestly, and non-ironically, love to have men removed from the whole war thing. I firmly, and non-ironically, believe we’ve fucked up things way more than they should be, and welcome the chance of women to try to do better.

    Better that is, than one of my former heroines, Gro H Bruntland (she was a pioneer in humanistic confirmation), that has recently embraced EM radiation woo.

    Yeah, I know how the bit works. I’m not paying to see your C-list version.

  125. Rey Fox says

    Please note that nobody had even mentioned the “geography lesson” before arcus decided to remark on it as a pointless distraction. One doesn’t exactly have to be a scholar on late 19th-century American writers to grok the idea that America’s foreign endeavors of the last half-century or more have involved places that would not otherwise be common knowledge to the average citizen. Geography lesson, yes, har har.

    Not that that has anything to do with Russell or philosophy. Or anything else.

    In other words, wankery. Not that we’ve come to expect anything more.

  126. says

    one of my former heroines, Gro H Bruntland (she was a pioneer in humanistic confirmation), that has recently embraced EM radiation woo.

    Translation: Look here, I am not a douchecake! One of my heroes* was a woman! Of course, being a woman, she’s totally unreliable, gone to the woo side and all that.

    *Naturally, I don’t go for the modern usage of hero** for both sexes, why that just wouldn’t be the douchehat way. I’m paying respect by using the outdated and chauvinistic heroine.

    **I get the feeling our douchehat isn’t a Shakespeare fan.

  127. Rey Fox says

    As an example, I still can’t quite wrap my head around the claim that homosexuality is purely cultural (i.e. arguments made by gender researchers with sociological backgrounds such as Lorentzen, Bolsø, Nissen) vs biological claims.

    Hey! Hey! Look over there! Hey!

  128. arcus says

    @Brownian
    “I’m not paying to see your C-list version.”

    Could you please explain the meaning of this statement?

    Please take note that I am ESL here, and trying to do my best in a barrage of fairly hostile comments with obscure references. My initial presumption was that this was a forum which welcomed debate and thus dissenting opinion, but it’s not like your comments are quite helping that perception by virtue of your argumentation, this specific bit in particular.

  129. arcus says

    @Caine

    Next year I will vote for a female head of state (admittedly I will cumulate the male Per-Kristian Foss, but that’s because I have more faith in him as we share education), and pretty much any way I vote we will have a female head of state.

    Tell me how your country is doing in that regards again?

    [Note that I had to do literature analysis of Shakespeare plays in High School IB English, which is where the word imprinted on me. According to my Merriam-Webster it’s defined as “a women of heroic character”, which is a description I generally tend to afford to Bruntland (sans said EM woo).]

  130. says

    @Arcus

    Allow me to to a TLDR version

    a) Make insulting and stupid arguemetns for banning women from services
    b) get upset people called you out
    c) invoke collective guilt and claim you are better concerning feminism because YOU are going to vote for a woman and America collectively hasn’t had a female president yet

    You do realize you demonstrate that you are a faux-intellectual right? You are clearly more concerned about being perceived as right than being right.

  131. arcus says

    @Ing

    a) I quoted actual research in support of my argument (i.e. http://bit.ly/U7v9L5), detractors generally resorted to ad homs in response. No research or evidence has been offered in any of the posts that is in disagreement.

    b) Upset? When? I have asked for clarification once when I just didn’t get the reference.

    c) Guilty as charged. Perhaps you should make me unable to make that particular comment instead of whinging that I made it.

    I have no particular interest in being perceived as right, that would have been evidenced of me piggybacking the majority, not disagreeing with it.

    I hardly think you would be able to spot a faux-intellectual if it was staring back at you in the mirror, which it clearly is.

  132. says

    Ing:

    claim you are better concerning feminism because YOU are going to vote for a woman

    The idiot doesn’t seem to realize that voting on the basis of gender is pretty damn stupid. An intelligent person bases their votes on a politician’s stance on various issues and their record, to say the least.

  133. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Arcus still wanging its miniscule fee-fee? Typical of abject losers. Can’t shut up when it is in their best interests to do so, to stop foot in mouth disease…

  134. arcus says

    @Caine

    Henceforth I will refer to you as “the imbecile” because, you know, reasons, otherwise completely unsupported by my interaction with you in this thread.

    I don’t vote on gender, I vote on whichever party I disagree with the least and the politician which either has a track record or seems to be the person best qualified for the job. That’s why I’m voting for Høyre (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conservative_Party_(Norway)) and cumulating PK Foss (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Per-Kristian_Foss).

    Please have a decent day an read up on argumentation, my suggestion would be Govier’s “A Practical Study of Argument”.

  135. arcus says

    @Nerd

    Your arsenal of arguments seems spent, or are you just an abject loser resorting to ad homs because of deep intellectual insecurity?

    @Ing

    I have an American accent, often confused by Americans as Canadian for some reason, but otherwise I attempt to utilize (admittedly limited) vocabulary to the fullest effect. Please also note that your language, which is a bastardization of mine, is often employing irony and hapless optimism in the way the video you linked employed. Please feel free to return when you have an actual argument and don’t feel compelled to resort to mere ad homs.

  136. says

    And the stupid continues to flow…yeesh. On top of all the stupid, arcus, you’re boring as all hells. You’ve gone above and beyond in proving you’re a fuckwitted sexist douchecake. We get it, you can shut up now.

  137. arcus says

    @Caine

    So I’m boring AND stupid, but you continue to read and respond to me? Wouldn’t that imply that I’m entertaining and intelligent, or do you have a habit of reading and responding to things that make you bored and feel stupid? If the latter, wouldn’t it be indicative of some deep seated psychological issues?

  138. No Light says

    Right arcus, for the final fucking time (not that you appear to address comments that blow holes in your demented theories) here we go:

    MENSTRUATION IS NOT INEVITABLE.

    MENSTRUATION IS OPTIONAL.

    MENSTRUATION CAN BE STOPPED FOR AS LONG AS WE WANT IT TO STOP

    The Implanon and Nexplanon implants can stop bleeding for up to three years.

    The Mirena intrauterine system can stop bleeding for up to seven years.

    Progestin-only pills eliminate bleeding in some users.

    Combined pills can be taken continuously, and indefinitely, to eliminate bleeding.

    Given the likelihood of rape by their colleagues, women in the armed forces are served doubly well by using these methods for both contraceptive purposes and for menstrual suppression.

    Got that? Need anything written down with crayon in monosyllabic chunks, so that you can grasp it? Ask your mummy, I’m sure she’ll explain it all to you,’

    Oh, btw, I’m not American. Many of the regulars are not American either, nor are they native English speakers.

    A pox on your pompous, douchesplaining undercarriage.

  139. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Your arsenal of arguments seems spent, or are you just an abject loser resorting to ad homs because of deep intellectual insecurity?

    No, I respond to your lack of response and dismissal of your being refuted. Your attitude, in other words. You don’t control what I think or how I respond. When people don’t listen to arguments, like you did, I respond to attitude.

  140. says

    arcus:

    I quoted actual research in support of my argument (i.e. http://bit.ly/U7v9L5), detractors generally resorted to ad homs in response. No research or evidence has been offered in any of the posts that is in disagreement.

    And?

    The research you reference tells us nothing we don’t know already: that women menstruate, and that is inconvenient. This is well-known.

    It’s your conclusions from that research that are questionable. “Menstruation + mud = infection” indeed.

  141. says

    Nigel:

    “Menstruation + mud = infection” indeed.

    Well, what do you expect from someone who can’t manage to keep their penis clean? Naturally, that makes him a compleat expert on menstruation.

    And what with mud getting such a bad rap, I’d like to point out that mud baths are still popular, after thousands of years.

  142. Tony ∞2012 recipient of the coronal mass erection∞ says

    So arcus, doesn’t your argument fall apart upon the realization that menstruation is optional?
    And if not, how do you have a valid point?

  143. says

    Tony:

    So arcus, doesn’t your argument fall apart upon the realization that menstruation is optional?

    He didn’t have an argument prior to that. Throughout history, women have led battles and fought in wars. This was long before the advent of tampons, kotex or even underwear, ffs. Arcus seems to think that menstrual blood is filthy (it isn’t) and that women gush gallons of it for the duration of their periods. He’s a total idiot.

  144. Tony ∞2012 recipient of the coronal mass erection∞ says

    Interesting. The information that arcus quotes @167 doesn’t mention anything about preventing women from serving in the military. I wonder why xe comes to the conclusion that because of these surmountable issues wrt women’s health, they should be prevented from serving

  145. Amphiox says

    Arcus seems to think that menstrual blood is filthy (it isn’t)

    When I first saw him advance that argument I had to read it again because for a moment I couldn’t believe me eyes that the old medieval menstruation is filthy belief could even still exist in a brain that can figure out how to use a computer.

  146. StevoR says

    @ 186.Caine, Fleur du mal :

    Throughout history, women have led battles and fought in wars.

    Boudicea (spelling?), Cleopatra, Joan of Arc to name three famous examples from ancient times right?

    Can’t really think of too many others from more recent eras, eg. British-US female military leaders but wouldn’t be surprised if there were a few.

  147. jefrir says

    your language, which is a bastardization of mine

    Wut?

    Quite interesting to see that the federal government’s opinion on the menstrual cycle are worthless, while non-serving people’s opinion somehow carries weight.

    Yes, because obviuosly, if you want expertise on the menstrual cycle and how it actually affects women, you should ask the government. Definitely not women. I mean, what would they know?

  148. StevoR says

    Queen Elizabeth I maybe – pretty sure she armoured up and was leading troops onshore ready to fight any invaders who did manage to land whilst Sir Francis Drake and his sea dogs fought and defeated the Spanish Armada back in 1588.

    (Okay not all that recent really.)

    Fairly sure the Soviet and Chinese Communist revolutionaries and some of the Spanish Civil War factions included female soldiers right?

  149. StevoR says

    @jefrir :

    Yes, because obviuosly, if you want expertise on the menstrual cycle and how it actually affects women, you should ask the government. Definitely not women. I mean, what would they know?

    But, but what if the government is run by women?

    Julia Gillard my current PM, Golda Meir of Israel, Margaret Thatcher, Benazir Bhutto, etc ..

    Should’ve been President Hilary Clinton in the States too really.

  150. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    It doesn’t take much to bring out the MRA contingent to spew their misogyny. Arcus at least tried to use evidence, such as it was, to support his hatred for women. Which is the only explanation for his conclusion. But the fear of actually competing with half the population, a good portion of which are better than him, came through his vain attempt to pretend to be rational and evidence based.

  151. says

    Amphiox:

    When I first saw him advance that argument I had to read it again because for a moment I couldn’t believe me eyes that the old medieval menstruation is filthy belief could even still exist in a brain that can figure out how to use a computer.

    It was a jaw drop moment for me as well. The way some people cling to old, incorrect myths is astonishing.

  152. Amphiox says

    Queen Elizabeth I maybe – pretty sure she armoured up and was leading troops onshore ready to fight any invaders who did manage to land whilst Sir Francis Drake and his sea dogs fought and defeated the Spanish Armada back in 1588.

    She dressed up in armor and war regalia and gave an inspiring speech to her troops, but she couldn’t really have been said to have lead them in battle – she didn’t make any strategic or tactical decisions (and indeed she had no training required for this and was smart enough to let her generals do their jobs), and she certainly didn’t participate directly in any of the fighting once it had begun.

    As for the Soviets, we have this:

    The Soviet Union mobilized women at an early stage of the war, integrating them into the main army units, and not using the “auxiliary” status. Some 800,000 women served, most of whom were in front-line duty units.[19] About 300,000 served in anti-aircraft units and performed all functions in the batteries—including firing the guns.[20][21] A small number were combat flyers in the Air Force.[22] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Women's_roles_in_the_World_Wars

    In short women pretty much did everything combat related you could think of. Quite a number of them won medals and were bona-fide war heroes. No record of how many combat losses there were to the tragically toxic mixture of menstrual blood and mud….

  153. carlie says

    It seems that, more than thinking that menstruation is dirty, arcus has a misunderstanding of female anatomy. His comments seem to assume that whether or not bleeding is occurring, the vagina is an open wound at all times simply because it’s an opening. Not sure why he doesn’t think ears, noses, mouths, or anuses are equally dangerous locations that could cause infections, but there you go.

  154. Amphiox says

    Indeed one (of the many) reasons the Allies won WWII was because they more effectively deployed the human resources of their female population. The Soviets as described above even had women in combat roles en masse. The Western Allies didn’t have them in front line combat, but they mobilized women into support roles, and into manufacturing on the home front.

    While the Axis powers largely kept their women confined to the old traditional home-maker roles, and even kept them out to a large extent, from home-front industry. To the Nazis, they regarded their women’s primary contribution to the war effort was to make more babies to become soldiers for the next war.

    Throwing away 50% of your human resources like that, in a conflict when you are already starting at a significant disadvantage to total human resource availability can be called many things, none of which include “rational”, “intelligent”, or “effective”.

    Allowing women to fight in combat roles is simply that – the smart thing to do if you’re interested in mobilizing your society’s resources in the most efficient manner with a view towards having the most effective military fighting force possible for the winning of wars.

    And this is true even if all of arcus’ asinine arguments were true. Even if menstrual blood combined with mud was really strychnine. Even if fuzzy lady brains really made them less likely to be good soldiers. Even if it turned out that males had some sort of ingrained biological advantage that made them better soldiers on average. That STILL means that the smart thing to do is to allow females into your military unrestricted. Any biological disadvantage will be hashed out in basic training. Perhaps you’ll end up with only a minority of the females making the cut compared to the males. But that still means SOME qualified females to add to your fighting force, and from that some might come your next great general, your next war hero, your next critical individual in the right place at the right time to do the one thing that tips the scales between victory and defeat.

    The just rule out 50% of your entire population from the outset, to not even consider looking among them for talent to bolster your war effort – that is simply stupid. And militarily irresponsible.

  155. Ogvorbis says

    The just rule out 50% of your entire population from the outset, to not even consider looking among them for talent to bolster your war effort – that is simply stupid. And militarily irresponsible.

    Well, to be fair, that half of the population are the dirty wimmenz, so it doesn’t count.

  156. dumbeddownatheist says

    Free Reap Paden from your stinking dungeon or I’ll chain myself to Rebecca Watson. Kinda suffragette style

  157. Anthony K says

    Free Reap Paden from your stinking dungeon or I’ll chain myself to Rebecca Watson. Kinda suffragette style

    Have you tried submitting this request via something photoshopped?

  158. maddog1129 says

    Just an aside on the issue of “women get stress fractures in military training” argument that’s been thrown up as a reason to keep women soldiers out of combat arms . . . Women were first admitted to West Point in 1976, and the women cadets suffered a disproportionate number of stress fractures in basic training. In future classes they reduced the incidence remarkably by changing the shoes. For some training, athletic shoes rather than combat boots were substituted, and then they redesigned the combat boots to suit women better. Voila! Fewer stress fracture injuries.

  159. nightshadequeen says

    Free Reap Paden from your stinking dungeon or I’ll chain myself to Rebecca Watson. Kinda suffragette style

    If you’re not being sarcastic:

    There’s a huge fucking difference from chaining yourself to a fence (an inanimate object) and a person.

    The suffragette thing to do would to be to chain yourself to Rebecca Watson’s fence.