Sexual Harassment Is Pervasive and Under-Reported in Gay Bars – I found this link via a Facebook thread, where a bunch of gay/bi men were arguing that it was ridiculous that anyone would ever complain about sexual assault. They ask, if you don’t want people to grab your ass/dick unasked, why would you even go to a gay bar or club? This is absolutely infuriating. This is the sort of thing that makes me think RAINN et al. are completely underestimating rates of sexual violence.
On the Corner: Intersectionality and the Existence of Privilege – Crip Dyke responded to my article criticizing the “privilege” framework. She disagrees with my conclusion about “privilege” (which is fine!) but thinks that there’s something to be said about the limitations of “intersectionality”. My response is in her comment section. I should also link to this one: Every Other Trans Person is Wrong, which is disagreeing with me re: gender and sex language.
University of Oxford – Why am I linking to a random Facebook post by the University of Oxford? Notice all the comments about the Philippines! Somebody from the University of Oxford published a study looking at government funded trolls. Among other things, they found that President Duterte of the Philippines spent $200,000 on trolls. A bunch of people went to the University of Oxford’s page to attack this study, and it’s hilariously unconvincing.
A reminder to all the Americans out there: Duterte is not like Trump. Duterte has much higher approval ratings, and has already put the Southern Philippines under martial law. The martial law was supposed to be 60 days long, but was recently extended to the end of the year–in conflict with the Philippine constitution.
Alienation 101 – This is a portrait of Chinese immigrants in the University of Iowa. There are a number of funny things, like how the only local students who reach out to the immigrants are Christian groups, sometimes with comic cultural misunderstandings. And the Chinese students seem to have a thing for cars as status symbols. I’ve worked with a couple Chinese immigrants, but also I’m in California and things aren’t quite the same here.
Alex Gabriel talks about the idea that ace/aro people don’t belong in LGBT spaces. In case you didn’t know, I am not the first nor only ace blogger that FTB has had–Alex Gabriel used to blog here!
So yeah, there’s an eternal flame war about whether aces can identify as queer. As someone who has interacted extensively with queer spaces, everything about the argument is absurd to me. The self-appointed “defenders” of queer spaces clearly have very limited experience with the spaces they’re defending. I have trouble taking them seriously, even though I know I should, because they cause real harm.
Trans activists insist trans people are human. BUT HAVE TRANS ACTIVISTS GONE TOO FAR? – Shiv talks about the whole issue of trans people as romantic/sexual partners, and how some cis people freak out about it. This topic has come up many times over the years and it’s always a clusterfuck because, well, Shiv gets into it. Cis and trans people seem to be thinking of completely different situations. Cis people have a fantasy of encountering a sexually aggressive trans person, like happens in the pornos. But trans people understand that the more realistic narrative is a cis person being attracted to a trans person, and when they realize the person they’re attracted to is trans, they become unreasonably angry.
Neuroscientist Sam Harris – This article questions Sam Harris’ legitimacy as a neuroscientist. There are three main critiques:
1. Sam Harris appears not to have done any of the lab work. I think this one is overblown. Lab work is a far smaller part of research than many people seem to think, and getting a PhD without doing lab work is unusual but plausible. Data analysis and writing are important scientific labor in their own right.
2. Sam Harris wrote a sloppy paper. I skimmed this critique by a statistician, and I agree that the paper is pretty bad. They make several bizarre choices in methodology, and the conclusions are way overreaching. Of course, plenty of academic papers are shoddy, what else is new. However, looking at Sam Harris’ list of publications, I found that this was one of 2 academic papers he published for his PhD. (He coauthored 2 more after his PhD.) Publishing a bad paper is rather more concerning when it’s only one of two papers you wrote.
3. Harris’ research was funded by his own foundation, Project Reason. Even to me, a relatively lazy grad student, it looks like Sam Harris took the easy way.