Do you at least agree with the principle?

Guest post by Daniel Fincke of Camels With Hammers, replying to a comment on It was a joke, huh huh huh.

May 30, 2012 at 6:49 am  (Edit)

1. It’s not okay to assume that any woman (or non-woman) is at a conference to be your plaything.

(I fail to see such an assumption)

First: this is a general principle Ophelia is laying down. Do you at least agree with the principle?

Second, let’s not get distracted by the semantics of whether literally the couple just looked at Elyse and said, “wow, is that a talking sex doll here at the conference simply for our amusement?? Holy crap, I think it is! Let’s go give her our card with our naked pictures and proposition her for sex!” Of course it is not that simplistic. [Read more…]

Something that is actually like the Taliban

Mariz Tadros gives a vastly depressing account of life for women in Egypt.

…on the streets of Egypt, inch by inch, bit by bit, women’s rights are shrinking. Women, Muslim and Christian, who do not cover their hair or who wear mid-sleeved clothing are met with insults, spitting and in some cases physical abuse. In the urban squatter settlement of Mouasset el Zakat, in Al Marg, Greater Cairo, women told me that they hated walking in the streets now. Thanks to the lax security situation, they have restricted their mobility to all but the most essential of errands. Whereas a couple of years ago they could just inform their husbands where they were going (visiting parents, friends or going to the hairdresser for example), now they have to get their husbands or older sons to accompany them if they go out after sunset. [Read more…]

It was a joke, huh huh huh

Elyse Anders was the keynote speaker at Skepticamp Ohio last weekend, and had an unpleasant experience at the end.

Then, at the very end, when everyone was preparing to leave, and I was packing up the Hug Me table, answering questions, and generally socializing with other speakers and attendees, thinking about how fat my check is going to be from Big Pharma when one man and his wife, whom I’ve become vaguely acquainted with on Facebook in the last week, approached my table. He said, “Here’s a little something to remember us by” and handed me an upside-down card. I turned it halfway over, glanced at it peripherally, then thanked them.

A minute or so later, I had a “wait… what?” moment, then flipped the card over and looked at it not peripherally to discover I had not been handed a business card, but a card with a naked photo of the two of them, with their information on how to contact them should I want to fuck.

TMI – with “I” meaning not information but intimacy. Too much intimacy with strangers, without invitation or permission or preliminaries. People, don’t do that.

I cannot think of a single situation where it’s ever appropriate to hand someone an invitation to group sex if you haven’t already had or discussed having sex. I think a nice rule of thumb on handing out such things is: Have you discussed or engaged in sexual activity with this person? If yes, hand them the card. If not, do not hand them the card. If you’re sad because you never had the opportunity to discuss such an opportunity with them, the thing to do is not to shove your card in their face. The thing to do is accept that sometimes, it just doesn’t happen. There isn’t a shortage of humans in the world. You can find another one to have sex with.

There you go, you see –  If not, do not hand them the card. Don’t start from zero with “wanna fuck?”

Also sprach the Taliban, I know. The cool right on anti-Taliban thing to do is just say “wanna fuck?” to anyone you consider hot enough to fuck, just in case. Treat the whole world as a cruisey park where people are there for instant fucking, to let the Taliban know it’s not the boss of us. Except no, don’t. Don’t treat women who are there to work as if they’re really, under the mask of doing-something-else, there to have sex with you.

The myriad other ways the comparison to the Taliban doesn’t fit

‘Ere we go ‘ere we go ‘ere we go – the “Taliban” thing is becoming the latest casus belli for the you know whos. I’ve got one of them right here playing musical IP addresses and calling me every name in the book. Misogyny lives!

Jason has a good post on the subject.

The repeated comparison of this harassment policy to Taliban-like laws, is entirely about the “sexualized clothing” bit. Apparently all the rest of the proposed policy is perfectly fine to these people, and anyone pushing back against the meme is just strawmanning. Never mind all the myriad other ways the comparison to the Taliban doesn’t fit — like the actual protection of women, rather than slut-shaming and stoning them to death; like allowing them autonomy and self-direction instead of subjugating them to man’s will.

And don’t forget the part about not blowing up schools!