August 2012 Molly: Alethea H. “Crocoduck” Dundee

[In response to a pro-choice video, Alethea addresses the desperate effort of people to find strained excuses to control women's decisions.]

Alethea H. “Crocoduck” Dundee — 4 August 2012 at 5:26 am

I’ll tell you why I hate those hypothetical near-birth abortion scenarios. It’s not that they’re stupid, or that they never happen, or even that there’s a real world problem of them encouraging the antichoicers to think of this nonsense as a real thing. All of which are true, too, and seriously annoying. But not why I get the white-hot HATE.

The hate is because the hypothesizer is just so damned keen to find some way, some very very special exceptional circumstance, in which it’s OK to remove my bodily autonomy. It’s very much like asking me when is rape OK.

Never? Really never? Ok, supposing she were the last fertile woman on earth… Or maybe there was a ticking time-bomb nuke and raping this woman would totally prevent it because a secret code has been tattooed on the inside of her vagina by some crazy mad supervillain in invisible ink and only your special semen can reveal the antinuke codes…

Awww c’mon, pretty please, surely there must be ONE situation in which a woman can be reduced to a piece of livestock?

NO. FUCK OFF. IT IS NEVER OK.

Why are you being so meeeeean to me for just asking?

Why are you so damned insistent on finding that one special circumstance when it’s morally OK for you to do something horrific to me? Why is it so unacceptable to you that I have bodily autonomy in all circumstances? NO, there isn’t a circumstance that makes you the rightful owner and master and torturer of me.

Just stop it right now.

August 2012 Molly second place: Erista (aka Eris)

[An asshole makes a joke about raping the Skepchicks. Erista takes on his defenders.]

Erista (aka Eris) — 23 July 2012 at 12:40 am

No, you know what, I have one thing to say before I go to bed.

I was abused by my father, sexually. I do not have a memory of a time before the abuse because it started when I was incredibly young.

I am fucking tired of being told that I’m not allowed to get upset, REALLY upset, about someone joking about that kind of shit. This is fucking serious: A man just made a joke about raping a woman who he’s never met, who never did him any harm, who he doesn’t know at all, and he did this without considering how the fuck it might impact her or people like her. Or if he did consider it, he came to an appalling conclusion.

But no, the people who are truly bad are the people who are upset. We’re not being fair (as if Pappa WAS)! We’re too upset (about having our experiences minimized and used as degrading humor). It was just a JOKE (because jokes don’t carry power)! Why aren’t we being NICER (to/about someone we’ve never met who is more than comfortable saying terrible things about people he’s never met)? It wasn’t that big of a deal (because they get to tell us how upset to be when a joke is made about raping women)!

FUCK that. I’ve had to bear more than enough of that in my life. I am so completely and utterly tired of the fact that it’s so often the person who is on the receiving end of bad behavior is scrutinized. At no point did Amy or any other women gave a say in whether or not she was up to having people joke about raping her, but somehow the important person is the one who had 100% control over whether or not Amy HAD to deal with someone joking about raping her.

No more, no more, no more. Stop asking us to hold in the highest esteem the feelings of someone who just acted in a hurtful way with complete disregard for our feelings. Just STOP. Can you, for just one second, try to stop other people from lashing out at us even when we don’t know them at all? Can you, for just one second, make this about how rape jokes impact the woman and not about how the woman’s anger and hurt impact the joker? We’re not robots and we’re not inhuman. We have feelings and limits and burdens, too, and we didn’t ask you to come and make jokes about raping us, and we certainly didn’t make jokes about raping you.

I can’t deal with this, can’t take it, can’t stand it. It’s too fucking much. Here we are, trying to get through the day, and CRASH! in comes the unexpected pain tossed at us from an unknown source, but we’re not supposed to flinch, because our flinching will make people uncomfortable. We have to be endlessly polite, endlessly calm, endlessly “logical” instead of “emotional.” But we’re PEOPLE, and our reactions and emotions mean something, too.

So, please, stop treating us like we’re something foreign, something alien, something that doesn’t care when people casually joke about hurting us in a way that many of us have already been hurt. The thought of our pain should not be amusing to you. I don’t know what else to do than say PLEASE care about if you hurt me, to beg you to stop insisting that I have no right to be hurt, because there’s a time when even anger isn’t strong enough to serve as a shield. My ability to take blows is not endless, but the number of people who have the ability to inflict blows when I’ve never even seen them is very nearly endless. To you it might be just one little smack, but to me, it’s a blow that’s falling on an already bruised and broken body. If you throw enough stones at me, even little ones, I will die.

So, again, please STOP.

August 2012 Molly runner-up: Anne C. Hanna

[In an argument with a moderate Christian named Chris, who thinks the world wouldn't be any different with or without religion, Anne C. Hanna explains that no, religion has a causal relationship to many of society's ills.]

Anne C. Hanna — 23 August 2012 at 4:09 am

Okay, let’s be clear here, you may not agree with what the bible says about sex, and that’s fine, but if you were to ask me, I’d say that if people listened to what it did say, there wouldn’t be a need for abortion and planned parenthood. What about you? I mean, if any of us had the self control to keep our dicks in our pants until we got married, how many of those programs would be needed? Unfortunately, everyone is fucking everyone and spreading disease along with over populating our country.

The demands religion makes on human sexuality are unreasonable. There has literally never been a human society on the face of the planet, no matter how thoroughly crushed under the thumb of theistic tyranny, where people actually consistently restricted themselves to monogamous marital sex. Even in our modern society, the evidence thoroughly shows that kids subjected to “abstinence only” brainwashing are not significantly different in their sexual behavior from kids given proper sex education, with the exception that the victims of “abstinence only” get more STIs and have more unwanted pregnancies. Given that your friend’s morality appears to be impossible to put into widespread practice, in a pragmatic society, we need to come up with humane ways of dealing with what happens when people deviate from that morality.

Religion’s solutions to the supposed problem of non-sanctioned sex range between completely ineffective and massively inhumane, far out of proportion to any harm that a reasonable person would say could possibly be directly caused by a pair of adults having a little bit of consensual fun. In fact, the notion that two adults engaging in consensual sex has *any* intrinsic harm associated with it (as opposed to incidental harms like unwanted pregnancy) is *entirely* a religious notion. In a secular world, the only harms caused by non-marital sex are: disease transmission, unwanted pregnancy, and relationship conflicts. In a religious world, all of these harms still exist and *in addition* you have the harm caused by religiously-motivated punishment of the people who have sex deemed inappropriate, as well as the harm done by causing people to experience guilt and fear in regard to their sexual desires and interfering with their enjoyment of the positive good called sex.

So, in a world with religion there is just straight-up more net harm. Score one for secularism.

Science education – Yea, religion “shits” on science I guess, but hey, all of the theories and scientific processes to prove things were all invented by men, who as we all know are fallable. The bible? Written by men, so the same concept applies. What makes your science so fucking right? Why is it so believable that we just “poofed” into fucking existence yet unbelievable that someone put us here?

The difference is that the scientific process intrinsically accounts for its own fallibility. Scientists (male and female — it’s not just “men” who invented all this stuff) recognize that we screw up, and so we keep checking ourselves and checking others to find and correct mistakes. In fact, this is what science is, this process of checking your work, looking for inconsistencies, proposing new ways to reconcile them, doing more tests to see if your new ideas are right, and on and on, over and over. The body of facts that constitutes scientific knowledge is just the most current understanding of the results of all this, but it’s perpetually being revised and improved. The Christian scriptures, on the other hand, were set in stone once, hundreds of years ago, and now we’re supposed to accept them as good for all time with no room for corrections, despite your friend’s admission that they are just as much the work of fallible humans as everything in science. It’s just straight-up irresponsible to weigh your understanding of the world down with unbreakable links to some musty old bit of rubbish that can’t ever be revised. If science worked like that we’d be stuck trying to derive particle physics by ever more cryptic extrapolation from the works of Aristotle, and consequently we wouldn’t have any of the knowledge we do today.

Score two for secularism.

As for the Middle East, dude…here’s the deal. We didn’t ask the Middle East to be a bunch of crazy fuckwits, and yeah religion plays a role in their fuckwittery, but I ask you this…..if you believe in something, as passionate as you are, how far would you go to defend it? I’m not saying it makes killing right, but you know as well as I do that if there was no religion, we’d all find something else to kill each other over. You act like if there was no religion then everything would be just peachy, but that’s asinine, and to think otherwise is ignorant.

Your friend needs to read Hector Avalos’ book “Fighting Words”. Avalos makes an (IMO) pretty solid case that in fact religion *does* make this kind of shit worse, by creating imaginary but scarce resources that people are then forced to fight over. Consider, for example, the goddamn Temple Mount in Jerusalem. There is no way in hell that anybody other than archaeologists would give two shits about who owns that tiny little scrap of ground if it weren’t for religion, and yet Ariel Sharon was able to start a riot, and, eventually, a revolt, just by setting foot on the damned thing. There are other concepts beyond supernatural ones that can be similarly crazy-making for people (e.g. The Fatherland, The Proletariat), but throwing supernatural bullshit into the mix adds a whole ‘nother realm for people to be crazy in. Getting rid of religion means there’s one less thing for people to be crazy about, and that seems like a damn good idea to me.

Score three for secularism, and that’s the game. Thanks for playing, Chris, and better luck next time.