The Terror of…SOY!

Via Medium.com

The things which go on while I’m under my rock. Perhaps it’s just me, but none of the men in the above look to be lacking in masculine qualities. This, of course, calls into question as to what those ‘necessary masculine qualities’ might be, and I’m not sure I want to know. The concepts of masculinity and femininity are, for the best part, damn silly, and for the worst part, terribly toxic and harmful. We aren’t extruded bits of plastic labeled Ken and Barbie. We come in a wide variety of everything. Ah well, on with the show.

Popular figures among the alt-right and users of right-wing internet forum boards such as 4chan frequently used the term “soy boy” to attack their liberal critics, using the term to label their targets as politically or physically weak. Alt-right YouTube pundit James Allsup claims to have invented the term “soy boy,” which experienced brief mainstream exposure through right-wing pundits such as Mike Cernovich.

The weakness, it is argued, comes from increased estrogen levels experienced when consuming soy products and the alleged resulting feminine behavior.

Oh for pity’s sake. Soy has to be one of the most studied and investigated plants on the planet, considering its versatility and utility. There are no studies which show that soy consumption “effiminizes” the poor menfolk. For most people, soy is quite beneficial, and no, it has no impact on those precious testosterone numbers, dudes. Your testosterone is safe with soy.

In a video uploaded to his YouTube account yesterday, Paul Joseph Watson, Infowars editor, attempted to explain how the consumption of soy products is to blame for decreased testosterone levels and lower sperm counts in men, resulting in depression and feminine behavior.

“Men with high estrogen take on feminine traits. They find it harder to handle stress. They become less assertive. They become low energy. Their voices get higher. Their genitals shrink. They lose muscle tone,” Watson said.

Goodness me. You’d think there would be panic in the streets! Media would be wall to wall coverage of the great penis shrink of 2017. Talk shows would have sobbing men behind screens, talking about the horrible degredation of testicle loss and puberty voices. Interestingly enough, there have been a high number of men lately who have not handled stress well at all. These are ‘masculine’ men, too. The ones who have histories of abusive, assertive, nay, aggressive behaviour. They tend to take out their problems with a gun, which ends up with many dead people, including themselves. I think I’ll stick with the men who aren’t terrified of soy.

Later in the video, Watson attempted to correlate increased sales of soy products in the United States to unrelated articles that detail a “substantial drop” in men’s testosterone levels in the United States and “otherwise healthy and lean” young men developing enlarged breasts—or as Watson describes them, “bitch tits.”

Bitch tits. Gosh, that must be one of those necessary masculine qualities, denigrating anything deemed female. I think we can all live without that one. One of these days, you manly menly dudely types are going to have to deal with the fact that yes, men have breasts. By the way, you should be doing regular checks for lumps, just like you do for those precious testicles, because men get breast cancer too. They come in many different shapes and sizes. A lot depends on diet, true, and whether or not you work out. If you’re eating a trash diet, you’re probably gonna have hairy man teats. Have you all taken a good look at your idol Trump when he’s in his golf clothes? Yeah. He could probably do with laying off the McD’s. Going back to the image above, none of those men look like they are sporting a healthy rack.

In his pseudo-scientific explanation, Watson even claimed that soy found in infant baby formula is making children liberal “from birth.”

“Rather than people with already pre-existing left-wing beliefs being attracted to vegan-style tofu soy diets, we’re actually creating an army of soy boys from birth,” Watson said. “What a terrifying thought.”

:Cough: Excu…hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha *gasp* hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha *thud*

Okay. I’m a bleeding heart liberal, a compleat lefty. I did not grow up on soy products, because they weren’t a big thing way back when. I don’t eat much soy now. That has not affected my leftiness in the least. I’m pretty sure you can’t get leftiness in bottle. That would be rather big news. Why do I get the idea you idiots think this is just like the “commies are behind flouridation” business?

Watson warned that “soy is the silent killer” of masculine behavior and that the world is “losing an entire generation of young men to soy.”

At the end of the video, Watson issued a warning to his male viewers: “Men, if you don’t want to develop a bunch of retarded beliefs about how inviting in millions of rapey migrants is a good idea, about how anyone to the right of Michael Moore is literally Hitler, about how fantastic communism is, or about how being a white male is shameful and wrong, while literally growing tits and seeing your penis shrink at the same time, when it comes to soy just say no.”

Hahahahahahaha. My my. I look forward to the intense, saturated, “Just Say No…to Soy!” campaign. The War on Soy. Maybe that could put an end to the idiocy of the war on drugs. Okay, probably not. You fellas don’t need to be concerned with ‘rapey’ immigrants. You should be concerned with all the homegrown rapey men, y’know, the ones who tend to put all kinds of emphasis on being masculine.

Such privilege, that you literally have nothing more to do than to sit around and make up such shit. I wish I had that kind of free time. The whole mess, including video, is available at RWW.

Women and Demons in Medieval Finland.

The aim of the article is primarily to examine late medieval wall paintings in the church of Espoo that include women with some form of diabolical entity. The paintings under examination include five different motifs: the milking and churning, the Journey to Blåkulla, Skoella and Tutivillus.

The milking scene in Espoo shows a woman with a cow and a man-size demon with horns, hoofs and a tail observing the task (Fig. 1). Immediately above the woman milking a cow
another woman is seen riding on a broom, holding a pouch-like object in her left hand and a horn in her right (Figs. 1, 3).

On the south side of the church, the milking scene continues with a scene representing a demon assisting women in churning the butter (Fig. 2). Skoella scene represents a demon passing a pair of shoes to a woman on the west wall above the entrance (Fig. 7), and above, three demons are seen twiddling with a parchment (Fig. 9). This motif is referred to as Tutivillus. The analysis of the motifs begins with the examination of the images at their visual level in which the content of the images is explained. The analysis then proceeds to the examination of the motifs in their cultural and historical context. The article discusses the origin of the different motifs and compares them to similar ones found among other early
sixteenth-century wall paintings in Finland. The methodological approach combines art historical analysis and cultural-historical contextualisation.

A fascinating look at the pairing of women and demons, where a woman-centered activity is involved. Demons, always so much more interesting than saints and gods, even in churches. The paper may be read here.

Celebrating Natural Hair.

It’s truly rotten that so many places are determined to restrict and hate on a person’s natural hair, and to especially make girls feel ugly. This is not a matter of conformity as a social good, this is just plain old hateful bigotry, and it stinks, as bigotry always does. Enter CreativeSoul Photo:

Atlanta-based CreativeSoul Photo brought an inspiring artistic vision to life that highlights the beauty of black girls and their natural hair. Regis and Kahran are the husband and wife duo behind the photography studio, and their series Afro Art represents their expertise in capturing portraits as well as visual storytelling. The striking images feature young girls in elaborate costuming and hairstyles, from a Baroque-era aesthetic to steampunk clothing to fierce high-fashion ensembles.

The portraits of girls featured in Afro Art are stylish and carry themselves with confidence and grace. The feelings evoked from the series speak to the larger idea surrounding it. “We feel that it is so important for kids of color to be able to see positive images that look like them in the media,” Kahran told My Modern Met in an email. “Unfortunately the lack of diversity often plays into the stereotypes that they are not ‘good enough’ and often forces kids to have low self-esteem.”

To help combat these negative feelings, the couple showcases kids who love how they look. “We hope that viewers will see the beauty and versatility of afro hair,” Kahran explains, “and we hope that girls around the world will be inspired to love their unique differences and beauty within.”

The portraits and subjects are stunningly beautiful all. You can see some of them here.

A Solid Christian.

Roy Moore speaks at Voters Value Summit 2017. (Photo: Jared Holt for Right Wing Watch).

Oh, so many evangelicals of the religious reich are propping up Roy Moore with absolute zeal, and a gigantic raft of lies. I’m not going to address all of them; I have a busy day ahead, but some of this, ugh, toxic morality is so damn disgusting. I will make the point that it’s hardly uncommon for men in their late 20s/early 30s to pursue people in their early teens; it happened to me often enough, and yes, that was in the 1970s. That sort of age gap wasn’t as frowned upon then, a man of 32 with a solid career was considered to be a good match for someone 17 to 19 years old, a steady hand, so to speak. Yeah, I know. I am thankful attitudes have changed in that regard. All that said, it does not make that behaviour any less skeevy or questionable. There’s a massive power imbalance there, and that was particularly true in Moore’s case, as he was a district attorney, and most teenagers aren’t completely clear on just how much power is or isn’t contained within that position. Moore was in a position to make an effective threat.

The fact that Moore was so very careful to not engage in intercourse tells me he knew damn well what he was doing was wrong, and he didn’t want to be caught. He certainly didn’t want to be punished in any respect, so he was very cautious. Does the fact he’s been married the last 32 years make it okay? No. I’ve been married for 38 years, together with my partner for 40 years. What does that tell you about the state of my marriage? Nothing. What does that tell you about my character and actions for the last 40 years? Nothing.

I expect many of the evangelicals supporting Moore wouldn’t be upset if a 32 year old wanted to date their teenage daughter, and that really does not make anything better. It makes it much worse.

The American Family Association stood by its endorsement of Moore, writing in a statement, “AFA Action believes Justice Roy Moore to be a truthful man and a solid Christian.” Bryan Fischer, a radio host for AFA’s American Family Radio, wrote that establishment Republicans were turning against Moore because they “despise ordinary Americans like us who believe in the Ten Commandments, natural marriage, normative sexuality, right and wrong, the Constitution as written by the Founders, the rule of law, and the Judeo-Christian tradition of truth claims and moral values.”

I’m an ‘ordinary’ American. I’m mixed race, childfree, bisexual, and identify as female. I’m an atheist who is committed to inclusion and acceptance. I live rural, with one partner and too many animals. I do not believe in the ten commandments, natural marriage, or missionary position only and don’t fuckin’ enjoy it. I don’t believe in the constitution; I think it’s high time for a rewrite. I believe in marriage equality. I do have a strong sense of right and wrong. I somewhat respect law. A lot of it is damn stupid, and needs serious reworking too, and the police system needs to be torn down and redone completely. WTF is the “Judeo-Christian tradition of truth claims and moral values”? Truth claims? Jesus Christ. How about the truth? I’m not allergic to that. I am allergic to the twisted, abusive bullshit you asses present as ‘moral values’. Your ‘moral values’ say Moore is a stand up guy, not a skeevy man who used his position to impose on teenagers. Why in the hell should I pay attention to such a version of “right and wrong” ? No. Just no.

AFA president Tim Wildmon told Religion News Service, “I don’t think this kind of story will change support for him among Christians since he has categorically denied it. Most will see it as dirty politics.”

There are none so blind as those who refuse to see. That little sentiment should be familiar to you all.

Jerry Falwell Jr., one of President Trump’s strongest allies in the Religious Right, told RNS, “It comes down to a question who is more credible in the eyes of the voters — the candidate or the accuser.” He later clarified that he believed the candidate.

Ah, the christian version of bitches be lying. How lovely.

Anti-choice activist Janet Porter wrote in WorldNetDaily that she trusts Moore in part because he doesn’t think her “heartbeat bill,” which would ban abortions as early as six weeks into pregnancy, goes far enough. Porter laid out her theory that Washington Post owner Jeff Bezos encouraged the paper to manufacture accusations against Moore in order to bring him profits. “Not sure who to vote for?” she wrote. “Just look at who the enemy is firing at the hardest. He’s the guy you want.”

Don’t be dragging Lucifer into this mess. Your imaginary archvillain hasn’t done anything. If Moore was such an amazingly upstanding christian, why didn’t he fight off the temptation to impose himself all over one teenager after another? Why, when the urge came over him to accost a teenager or go hunting them at the local mall, was this solid christian not on his knees in prayer? The only enemy here are Moore’s own actions. “Hey, it was a long time ago” does not excuse it. Look at Moore’s attitude towards bodily autonomy rights. Is this a man who views women as full human beings? No.

Ugh, ugh, ugh, so damn disgusting. RWW watch has the full rundown, replete with links.

Further reading from Mano Singham.

Editing Louis C.K.

A few days ago, PZ had a post about Louis C.K.’s apology. Like a lot of people, I wasn’t impressed at all. I commented to the effect that there’s a simple test when it comes to the quality of an apology: who is it about? In Louis C.K.’s case, his apology is all about him. That was bad enough, but as it was going to be all about him, he missed some pertinent bits, like all the denials over the years, and the cover-ups. Basically, it amounted to a “poor, pitiful me” in my eyes.

It is actually possible to sincerely apologize and do it well, and Leah Fessler, Annalisa Merelli, and Sari Zeidler show Louis C.K. just how that’s done.

…However, Louis C.K.’s “apology” devolves into an attempt to paint himself as suffering and worthy of sympathy. He says that until the Times report, he did not realize the full extent of the harm he caused women by taking out his penis and masturbating in front of them. He also tries to reduce his culpability by noting that, at the time of his actions, he thought simply asking if it was OK to masturbate in front of women was enough to guarantee consent.

What’s more, Louis C.K. does not mention his attempts to cover up his actions, nor his stubborn refusal to acknowledge the accusations that have been made several times before.

He does, however, make sure to note how “admired” he was, and is, both by the women he harassed, and the comedy industry at large. In fact, he repeats it four times in his statement.

We took it upon ourselves to edit Louis C.K.’s “apology” in order to make it a real apology. This is how we believe it should read:

The edited version is a fine apology, it’s a pity it didn’t come from Louis C.K. You can read the whole thing here.

Contagious America: The Anti-Equality Tour.

Kim Davis, the county clerk from Kentucky who refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples after the U.S. Supreme Court’s marriage equality decision, spent nine days in October on a tour of Romania to boost religious conservatives’ push for a referendum to put a ban on same-sex couples marrying into the country’s constitution. Davis traveled with Liberty Counsel Vice President Harry Mihet, who was born in Romania. Mihet discussed the trip last week with Liberty Counsel president Mat Staver on Faith and Freedom, the group’s weekly radio show.

Staver said that Mihet and Davis met with “four out of the six top archbishops of the Orthodox Church” as well as evangelical leaders and heads of “pro-family” organizations. Mihet said they spoke to “several hundred people” in six of the country’s largest cities, with “thousands” more watching online.

Staver said that Davis made the trip to tell her story as a warning about “the implications” of a country going “the wrong way on marriage.” Mihet said Davis gave a “powerful” message about the need to define marriage in the constitution to prevent the kind of “devastating” impact on people of faith experienced in the United States because of “judicial activism and judicial overreach.”

The monstrous contagion that is America. People everywhere, don’t let your countries grow up to be Amerikka. Please. Be better than us, it’s not like it’s a high bar. RWW has the full story.