oh no michael shermer no

I am simultaneously surprised and not surprised. Michael Shermer tweeted this:

Inez Milholland was a prominent suffragist, so it’s good to acknowledge her. But…

  • He’s using her to promote an article by Christina Hoff Sommers, who is about as much of a feminist as I am a Republican.

  • This article is about how it is inappropriate and weak for feminists to be dismayed about the election of Donald Trump. Don’t worry, girls, the patriarchy doesn’t exist!

  • The article ends by accusing modern feminists of being hyperbolic and harping.

  • You know what’s just not right? To use one feminist to berate a different feminist. We can see right through you guys: your beef is with feminism, period.

  • Insulting modern feminists with slurs like fainting couchers is directly analogous to the insults given to the suffragettes of Milholland’s time.

  • Somehow the only good feminists in some people’s minds are the feminists who died a hundred years ago.

  • It’s telling that the “good feminist” is the beautiful white woman on a white horse wearing white robes. Dead symbols are so much easier to deal with than fractious, real, complicated people.

  • The 1913 march is also known for it’s blatant segregation of black women who wanted to join in — they were sent to the back of the line. Unlike the old feminists he likes, “fainting couchers” now are intersectional.

  • Over 100 women in that march were hospitalized for injuries they received from harassing men. But Shermer accepts Sommers’ claim that there is no patriarchy, women aren’t in any way oppressed?

Just to add arsenic icing to his poison cupcake, his next tweet praises Ben Shapiro. He later declares that he disagrees with Shapiro that transgender men and women are mentally ill, but never walks back the fact that this Shapiro fellow he’s praising is also homophobic, anti-feminist, anti-Muslim, anti-abortion, and doesn’t accept global climate change. But he’s sharp! Just the kind of guy a skeptic would like!

The Morris NorthStar owes me $15

I put up a sign saying that I didn’t want their racist rag delivered to my door any more, and that I’d bill them $5 for each copy they trashed my office with. This morning: three copies delivered. Ka-ching!

Except…I don’t seriously believe they’ll pay up. Just like I don’t think their declaration on the cover, First Copy: FREE. All subsequent copies are $5 is realistic or valid. Therefore I’ll consider their trash to be fair game for trashing. Since they don’t take my demand seriously, I won’t take theirs seriously, and obviously they don’t even take it seriously. It’s SATIRE, don’t you know.

I did glance inside as I was hauling them off to recycling, and I see they’re still maintaining high journalistic standards. Their recent thrill was a visit by Little Ben Shapiro, which they described in an article titled Ben Shapiro Visits UMM, Discusses Trannies and Freedom. Charming. We learn exactly what Shapiro thinks of the topic.

Transgenderism is a tragic, horrible mental illness that people suffer from. It should be treated with nothing but sympathy. The idea that you can magically change a man into a woman or a woman into a man is anti-biology and anti-fact and foolish.

What I consider anti-biology is this prejudice that every human being must conform to one of only two types with regards to phenomena as complex and psychologically and socially fraught as sexual behavior and gender roles. But what do I know? I’m just a biologist, while Shapiro is a professional right-wing bozo and utterer of simplistic bigotry.

The article unfortunately says next to nothing about free speech, except to say that Shapiro is annoyed by the exercise of it: he doesn’t like being labeled a “racist, sexist, bigot, homophobe”. The whole thing is almost entirely about those awful “trannies”.

But he doesn’t want to be called a bigot or homophobe. Go figure.

I look forward to disposing all of the future copies of this vile thing that cross my path. Don’t worry. I’ll do it satirically.

Those open, shameless Norwegians

These videos are very nicely done, but entirely NSFW — they are intended for children in Norway, though, which is impressive. The narrator is simultaneously enthusiastic and not at all salacious, a tough line to draw.

I’d have shown these to my kids, if I’d had them available back in the middle ages.

Here, learn about the vagina:

And for balance, here’s the penis:

I am deeply offended

This is a story about sex dolls — specifically, male sex dolls. By the way, totally NSFW.

I was horrified and offended. Not by the sex dolls, though, or the fact that some people really want these things — that’s fine, whatever floats your boat — but by a comment the owner makes. She’s asked by the reporter where these dolls are most popular, and she says “Texas, Minnesota, and Michigan…Republican states“.

I will have you know that Minnesota is not a Republican state.

I may have to sue for the damage to our reputation.

Who are the grown ups here?

Wow. You’ve probably heard about the Harvard men’s soccer team scandal — they’ve been compiling a yearly “scouting report” of the women’s soccer team, rating each team member’s appearance and speculating about their sexual preferences and other such juvenile shit. They ought to be deeply embarrassed. Their team has been suspended, which is an appropriate step, although if it keeps up it ought to be just completely shut down, but I doubt that the boys who thought such nonsense was funny are at all ashamed.

But then you need to read the response by Kelsey Clayman, Brooke Dickens, Alika Keene, Emily Mosbacher, Lauren Varela, and Haley Washburn, members of the women’s soccer team. The boys write like a puerile gang of inflamed testicles, the women write like thoughtful and intelligent human beings.

The sad reality is that we have come to expect this kind of behavior from so many men, that it is so “normal” to us we often decide it is not worth our time or effort to dwell on. Yet as the media has taken advantage of the Harvard name once more, it has become increasingly difficult to evade the pervasiveness of this story, harder still to elude the abhorrent judgment of our peers and the outrageous Internet commentary of the public, and hardest to subdue the embarrassment, disgust, and pain we feel as a result.

In all, we do not pity ourselves, nor do we ache most because of the personal nature of this attack. More than anything, we are frustrated that this is a reality that all women have faced in the past and will continue to face throughout their lives. We feel hopeless because men who are supposed to be our brothers degrade us like this. We are appalled that female athletes who are told to feel empowered and proud of their abilities are so regularly reduced to a physical appearance. We are distraught that mothers having daughters almost a half century after getting equal rights have to worry about men’s entitlement to bodies that aren’t theirs. We are concerned for the future, because we know that the only way we can truly move past this culture is for the very men who perpetrate it to stop it in its tracks.

Having considered members of this team our close friends for the past four years, we are beyond hurt to realize these individuals could encourage, silently observe, or participate in this kind of behavior, and for more than four years have neglected to apologize until this week.

I know who impresses me and who disappoints me, and it’s a shame the difference falls along such strong gender lines.

What also worries me is that I read this satirical (?) article on McSweeney’s right after that, and you know, it sounded less like satire and more like a really good idea.

The Constitution? Yeah, we’re done with that. We’ve enlisted a group of multi-racial women, The Founding Mothers, to draft a new document, The Socialist Mixtape, which will become the law of the land. We’re only going to let non-white, low-income women vote for the first 150 years or so — just until things settle down enough to let white men have a say.

Right now, if it were announced that the US was going to disenfranchise all white men (which includes me) until they learn a little intellectual maturity as a group, I wouldn’t be too horrified. I’d at least regard it as an idea that might have some merit. I’d worry more that it was a proposal that was going to anger the largest bloc of armed assholes in America.

We have a BigBro442 problem

You knew it was coming. The technologies are developing to introduce us to virtual reality games, and right away, there are men showing up to ruin it all.

I wasn’t as experienced a player as BigBro442. Everywhere I ran, he appeared beside me, ready to grope as soon as the zombie wave was over. I’d had enough. With a final parting obscenity, I yanked the headset off my face and stood back in the sunny, familiar room of my brother-in-law’s home.

What had just happened? I hadn’t lasted 3 minutes in multiplayer without getting virtually groped.

There are no penalties for that sort of behavior in the game. There is no one looking on to see that someone is having a miserable experience in what should be fun entertainment. BigBro442 — even his chosen name is a tip-off that he’s a creep — is more experienced in that particular game, which means he’s been playing it regularly, and hasn’t experienced anything to drive him off, unlike the woman who would write that piece.

We just shrug and accept that there will be assholes in games. It’s people like BigBro442 who convinced me to abandon multiplayer games — that, and the developers didn’t give a damn. Every game is targeted right at the young male jerk audience.

Contrast that, though, with what happened when two women went on a date, and the creepy real-life version of BigBro442 started harassing them.

Here’s what happened when the man started asking me and my date about our private lives: First of all, not one, not two, but three employees — two men and a woman — rolled up on this dude, like a very refined food-service gang. Then, everybody behind the bar looked up, watching the scene, and you could almost hear them all thinking Just make one move, fool, I swear to fucking God. I realize now that the staff had been watching us for some time, trying to measure our level of discomfort at an intervention versus their obligation to their customers to maintain a chill, relaxed atmosphere. I’m going to guess that some of these staff members were LGBTQ folks, but all of them were the strongest allies I’ve ever met in my life.

The manager then spoke clearly: “Sir, you need to leave. You’ve made our patrons uncomfortable, and we do not tolerate this kind of behavior in THE BRANDY LIBRARY.” That’s a hilarious statement, but it’s also a very beautiful one — especially when you’re a scared twenty-something on your first big date with a person of the same gender, and you just want to have a nice night.

Wow. That’s how you do it.

It sounds like The Brandy Library is a good place to visit in New York…hey, wait a minute. I looked at the photos of the interior, and the address, and I think I have been there, years ago. But it had a different name. I think?

Well, gosh, I guess I’m going to have to visit New York again and check it out.

I’m not so keen on checking out yet another multi-player video game with little boys running rampant.

Jordan Peterson is an ass

Remember Peterson? The tenured professor at the University of Toronto who insists on disrespecting his students? Shiv is collecting all the news about this bozo, so if you want to learn more, you know where to go.

One of the things that surprised me, sort of, was this account of a teach-in to discuss the issues.

The event was interrupted by Lauren Southern from The Rebel, a right-wing online media outlet. Southern, pretending to be transgender, took to the microphone to defend Peterson and was quickly shut down, having not identified herself as a media correspondent.

That left me very curious. How does someone who doesn’t believe in the reality of transgender people pretend to be transgender? That could be revealing in itself.

I guess I’m going to have to come down on the side of free speech, though. If that ass Peterson can refuse to address his students respectfully, I think it’s only fair that his students get to address him as “Peterson, you ass…”.