Tag Archives: rape

Safety Pins

OK, lets start out with the assumption that it does not matter who you or anyone else supported in the last election or what your politics are. If it happens, hypothetically, to be the case that a vulnerable person feels threatened by some sort of bully, wouldn’t you like that vulnerable person to know that you are an upstanding citizen of good character who is willing to stand up for that person? This is especially true if you are a teacher, or you work in a retail business, or any place where there might be bullies and victims.

One way to convey your willingness to stand up against bullies is to were some kind of button or pin or label or something that says something like “safety” on it. And when you think about it for a second, why not just wear a safety pin???

Most of the safety pins we had around the house are tiny and nobody would see them if I wore won. So I found some larger ones on line.

The really big ones start to look a bit less like regular safety pins. May be it is a good idea to wear two. I don’t know.

Anyway, here is what I found:

screen-shot-2016-11-12-at-9-15-35-amThis is a 3 inch steel safety pin, shiny, pretty obvious, large, and comes in a package of 122.

It is listed as: 12pcs Silvery Extra-large 3″ Steel Safety Pins – Blankets, Skirts, Kilts, Crafts

Something that big might have the downside of damaging the clothes it is attached to. On the other hand, it is so large you can probably sew it onto something, like a hat. Or attach it to your car. Let me know if you have ideas.

Here are some even larger ones, but they look even less like safety pins.

screen-shot-2016-11-12-at-9-19-05-amThen there are these, which look like normal safety pins, but they are not as large. Listed as: Set of 100 Extra-Large 1-3/4″ Safety Pins.

This might be ideal for a teacher, who might wear it as a lapel pin or small broach. It won’t be noticed from across the room at any particular instant, but the teacher’s students will by and by see it and know that this teacher is on their side in case of any bullying, regardless of what the nature of that bullying might happen to be.

By the way, the wearing of safety pins to signal opposition to racist abuses started in the UK after Brexit, according to this.

vintage-safety-pin-oversize-4-brass-tone-metal-horse-blanket-kilt-laundry-3934cba6cb537a05a15cae4fbc1d71a1

Which is worse, rape threats or lightening up about rape threats?

Warning, rapey themes and strong language, go away if you can’t handle that.

Which is worse, rape threats or lightening up about rape threats? Since I hardly ever get rape threats and the ones I get are absurd, it is not really for me to say. The question here, is what does a woman who is active on line and gets numerous and scary rape (and other) threats feel about those threats vs. advice from allies(ish) who say “don’t worry about it, just leave that behind.”

This is tricky stuff, because the overt strategy one takes can vary depending on circumstances and there are a lot of valid strategies one can choose, but few strategies one can foist on others.

A person who is outspoken about a particular issue and receives threats over that issue could take those threats very seriously, calling in authorities, hardening defenses, counter-agitating or counter-activating, and so on, while publicly not talking about the threats at all, or perhaps very publicly brushing them off.

Or, the recipient of the threats could do something very different, bringing the details out in the open, making clear to her audience what is happening and why it is wrong, and making the whole thing very public, in order that people know. And maybe that people change. Or, at lest, that social expectations change ands some people shut up.

These two strategies differ in a number of ways. The former strategy may effectively neutralize some of the threats, those from attention seekers who are themselves paying attention, perhaps, but it will do little to stop or slow down threats from your basic miscreant. The latter strategy is likely to generate more threats because, simply, more jerks become aware of a particular target, but the public strategy serves a larger, very important purpose of educating people to the fact that these things happen, and not only that, but they happen commonly and are rather severe to say the least.

It is really up to the person who is at the receiving end of this horrible stuff to make that decision. One thing can be said, though: because of the dynamics of interaction on the internet, the woman who calls out the harassers in order to move us all forward, in the general direction of civilization (which is slowly being reinvented on the Internet) and widespread social justice, is ultimately hurting herself for the benefit of others. When a man does that sort of thing, Internet society calls him a hero. When a woman does that sort of thing, Internet society at best questions her motives, but commonly does worse. She is labeled as a cunt.

Here is my friend and colleague Rebecca Watson laying out her position on this issue in her most recent YouTube vlog, “Dear Guy Who Wants Me to Stop Talking About Feminism“. She addresses the question that is the title of this post.

I’m not embedding Rebecca’s video here because I want you to GO TO HER YOUTUBE CHANNEL and watch the video there. That way, if you feel like leaving a comment, you’ll be there. I assume most, perhaps all, readers of my blog will be supportive and thoughtful. Otherwise go fuck yourself, OK?

Thank you very much that is all.

How does Richard Dawkins corner the Atheist market?

Years ago I knew Richard Dawkins as a fellow evolutionary biologist (met him only once, at a memorial event for WD Hamilton, but we have numerous mutual friends and colleagues). To be frank, and I’m only being frank now because I’d prefer not to use my real name, Dawkins was considered a bit of an enigma. He had great fame (and fortune and privilege) but that was without doing much important research. I always defended him back in those days. His fame came from The Selfish Gene and his subsequent books, and his popularization of science was well done and important. Those who complained,and there were many (but always behind his back) were just jealous.

Then, later, Dawkins got famous in another area, as a spokesperson for atheism. In fact, as a leader of the Atheist movement worldwide. A major milestone in that digression from biology was, of course, his book, The God Delusion. In The God Delusion, he told most people in the world that they were afflicted with a psychiatric disorder that caused them to believe in god. Atheists totally ate this up and for good reason. Also, Dawkins did the whole thing in his quaint British Accent and that took some of the edge off of it, and really, he did it well.

Then Elevatorgate happened, which had absolutely nothing to do with Richard Dawkins, but he chimed in. When he chimed in he said “Ladies, there is no way to get raped in an elevator. All you have to do is push the Stop and Door Open button and leave.” (or words to that effect).

Then just a few weeks later the person of all the people in the world who is closest to me was raped in an elevator.

The rape was interrupted not by her pressing the stop or open button, because they did not work. The rape was interrupted because she decided to kick the rapist’s ass. Then, he was the one pushing the buttons and when the door finally opened he ran. But it certainly did not have to turn out that way. He happened to be unarmed, for example.

Anyway, Richard Dawkins is a dick and that is not just because of his name. He’s a dick because he is utterly unaware of his white, male, British, academic, authory, etc. etc. privilege. Which would be OK, because who really cares, but privilege interferes with activism and being the guy who wrote The God Delusion makes you an activist. Privilege interferes with being a member of a diverse community (diverse as in other people don’t have the same privilege). You can only be an effective leader of a movement if you recognize your membership in the community, even if as a leader.

But you can stay in charge for longer than most, for longer than you deserve, if you corner the market you’ve developed for yourself. My friend and colleague Sarah Moglia overheard Dawkins say something one day that seemed to be an example of his cornering the market. He told someone in charge of major public event that if a particular person was allowed to speak at that event, Dawkins would not go. In other words, he used his huge and unchecked privilege to get another speaker tossed off the podium.

Why? Who did he get tossed? When did this happen? Why are we only hearing about it now?

It all comes down to Elevators, real and metaphorical. And shoes. Dawkins is actually pretty short.

Go read Sarah’s excellent post and find out what happened.


PS. I happen to know what Sarah is doing right now, as I’m writing this post. The image above is a clue so you can guess what that might be!

Kickstarter’s Guide to Reddit Style Rape.

Humanity truly sucks and I can prove it. One word: Reddit.

UPDATE: ONLY PART OF HUMANITY SUCKS SEE THIS NEWS

OK, you may want some background.

A Reddit Regular, perhaps a Reddit celeb (or at least he is now) wants to write a book on how guys seduce women, and he’s asking for money on Kickstarter. One of his tips is this: You move in close, pull out your penis, take the woman’s hand and …. whatever.

I find it interesting that many commenters are referring to that as inappropriate, or sexual assault, by way of objecting to it. I’m pretty sure, though, that it is rape. Probably depends on the state. In any event, now that I’ve revealed one of Ken Hoinsky’s helpful tips for how to get women to like you, I’ll quickly add just in case you didn’t know: Guys, don’t do that. Just. Don’t. Do. That. Don’t.

The book rape-apologist and redditor Ken Hoinsky intends to “write” is mostly going to consist of previously written garbage he’ll steal from the Reddit “Seduction” community. Clearly, Hoinsky is a loser of the lowest level if that’s all he’s go. Ctrl-c, Ctrl-v, give me money.

Here’s a question that is being asked: Why does Kickstarter allow projects that are basically rape handbooks? And why should anybody ever even visit the Kickstarter site, or give any money to any project of any kind, or take any of your projects to Kickstarter, as long as they Kickstarter is run by boneheaded idiots who think this monstrous project is OK?

Here’s a petition you can sign to tell the Kickstarter CEO to do the right thing.

Here’s the story in more detail.

The Rape Switch, Again

Stephanie Zvan wrote a post re-addressing a few earlier posts she and I had written a few years ago which caused a firestorm of testosterone drenched reaction from men (and a few women) who somehow had a problem with the political, social, and scientific investigation of wartime rape. (A rape in progress, A rape in progress, Part II, Is there a rape switch?, and When Is a Rapist?) In my view, and those of you who know me will recall that I’ve noted this before, this set of posts was actually the first Internet Event in the current Holy War against women and their allies. Certainly, Elevatorgate was an event unto itself and started its own currents of sewage, but some of those involved in the earlier June Rape Month posts continued and this now three year old event could be viewed as the Boston Massacre as Elevatorgate is the Battle of Lexington and Concord.

My posts were about an idea called the “rape switch.” Continue reading The Rape Switch, Again

Your chance of getting pregnant if raped…

… goes down, compared to other forms of insemination, because “the female body has ways to shut that down.” That’s according to Missouri Congressman Todd Akin. But this only works, according to him, if the rape is “legitimate.” From this we can easily develop a sort of Witch Hunt method to determine if a woman accusing a man of rape was actually, “legitimately” raped or if she’s faking it. If she becomes pregnant from the rape, the rape did not happen.

Is this clear?

OK, now that we have that straight, allow me to bring out this one piece of data I thought I’d never have use of. It is a very limited piece of data, not very useful for a large number of reasons. The question at hand can be divided into two parts: 1) What is the chance of a given intromissive internally insemnating sexual event leading to a pregnancy in a woman not on birth control of average fecundity? Then, 2) Does this probability go down, as the good Congresman claims, or does it stay the same.

The answer to the first question is that it is not terribly high. We are not a one-copulation=one baby species. It takes a bunch of tangos to turn out a tyke, on average (but statistics is NOT a birth control method!). As to the second question, it turns out that according to certain data it actually goes up. It is reasonable to suggest that the chance of a single copulation leading to pregnancy if that copulation is rape is about double the overall average. Maybe.

This has been discussed by Thornhill and Palmer, authors of the controversial book “A Natural History of Rape: Biological Bases of Sexual Coercion” and subsequent to the storm of debate that arose from that it has been looked at more carefully and a little bit verified (see this).

I can very easily suggest explanations for this and I can also cast more doubt on the studies. First, the doubt. We have no idea what the actual relationship between having sex and having babies is. One would think we would know, but we don’t. Sure, sex leads to babies and all that, but how many sperm, or how many ejaculations, or whatever, does it take before a single sperm is allowed access to the ovum leading to a pregnancy? Scientifically speaking the research needed to answer this question has not been done. There are no controlled studies in which a sufficient sample of subjects across a range of fertilities (and varying in other appropriate factors) repeatedly have sex with everything carefully measured and controlled. Not one study has done this. I don’t expect there to be one any time soon. Our estimates of fecundity are based on reported data, vague estimates, and a lot of thumb sucking. So, when we have a couple of rape-related studies that show a higher pregnancy rate than background, unless it was a lot higher, we would need to take that with a grain of salt.

But if there really is a higher chance of pregnancy resulting from rape, this still may not mean much. There are a number of reasons this could happen, some of which are discussed in the above mentioned book. One very distinct possibility is that rapists are selecting victims somehow, perhaps with their Darwinian wiles, as it were, or perhaps for purely random reasons, who are slightly more fecund than the larger sample from which the baseline statistic is calculated. In any case, the difference is not large.

But, there it is also not lower. The chance of pregnancy from what the Good Congressman calls “legitimate rape” … a term that will surely live in infamy … is not lower. It might be higher. But it is not lower. The man is an ignorant fool. He is wrong.

Here he is being wrong:

Hattip Kent Jones.

Added: Here’s an idea, ask that this dude be relieved of his duties on the House Science and Technology Committee. Which, amazingly, he is on.

Tears as a human female adaptation to limit rape

ResearchBlogging.orgThis came up a while ago and I assumed the idea would die the usual quick and painless death, but the idea seems to be either so fascinating or so irritating to people (mainly in various blog comment sections) that it still twitches and still has a heartbeat, but only as a result of the repeated flogging it is getting.

Continue reading Tears as a human female adaptation to limit rape

Miss A and Miss W, Sexual Jealousy, and Julian Assange

Almost Diamonds has two interesting posts on the Julian Assange sexual assault/rape accusation/charges. I want to make a comment on part of the second post, but this may not make a lot of sense to you until you read both of them. They are concise and compelling so you will not regret the time you spend on them:
Continue reading Miss A and Miss W, Sexual Jealousy, and Julian Assange

Rape, Deer Hunting and the War on Christmas

Is this thing on? Hello? Hello? ….

Ah, thats better. Comcast, which every day seems to do something to piss me off, had a major sub-regional outage for the last several hours, it would seem. So, we’ve been floating free of the Internet and a few things have accumulated.

First, this: Remember the rape charges brought against WikiLeak’s Julian Assange? It would seem that with the latest Wikileaks leaks, the nature of and the stakes related to these accusations are taking on a new form, and we are starting to see conspiracy theories with a misogynist slant emerging to excuse Mr. Assange of his legal responsibilities in this case. Interesting. Read this post to get oriented then check out the links therein, where you will see the breathless conspiracy theories.

Well, shotgun deer season has started in Minnesota, and we’ve already had one serious accident, as yet not fully explained. The whole point of shoguns is that when you miss the deer, the projectile becomes less deadly quicker and falls to the ground in a shorter distance, so when you accidentally shoot at someone’s house, perhaps you merely dent it rather than kill an occupant as might be more likely to happen with a rifle. Interestingly, unlike the opening of rifle season, we seem to have far fewer accidents. I wonder why?

We are totally losing the War on Christmas. Yesterday we stopped at Macy’s to pick up a Chanuka present to bring to our combined Huxley Birthday Party and Chanuka dinner at the relatives. Standing in the middle of the Macy’s Christmas Present Section and asking people who worked there “Where is the Chanuka section” and recieving blank stare after blank stare seriously amused Julia and I. Well, whatever. Chanuka is all about not having enough oil anyway. It’s hard to signify that with a present.