Hey baby, want to share my unsafe space?

Craigslist is a stew of people I will never have sex with, ever. Most of it is thoroughly unremarkable. It’s only the most special ones who warrant mention in this semi-regular gallery of awful, awful human beings who are not worth a sniff of my mooncup.

Meet Mr Creepytent. That’s not his name, as Craigslist is fairly anonymous, but it suits him fairly well. Mr Creepytent has posted in the “men seeking women” section, with a particular type of lady in mind, as Mr Creepytent has a rather specialist need. Put down those eyebrows, dear readers, as it’s not any sort of filthy fetish from your foetid fancies. It’s creepier than that.

“Are you going to be protesting at the Ecuadorian embassy alone?” asks Mr Creepytent. A faint scuttling sound is heard as he approaches. “Well what a coincidence, so am I” He wiggles his eyebrows.

“I’m heading there friday evening and staying overnight the whole weekend leading up to Assange’s statement on Sunday at 2pm. I don’t have any camping equipment so my plan right now is to sleep on the pavement, but if you want to share what you have, I’ll be infinitely grateful,” he continues. How can you say no? You can’t allow this man to sleep on the streets when there’s hero-worship of an egomaniac to be done, and pizza to be sent to an alleged rapist!

Honestly, I can’t think of a better place to pull for a creep than in an explicitly unsafe space such as camping outside waiting for Julian fucking Assange to emerge. AssAngels are hardly known for a nuanced understanding of consent, either.

So congratulations, Mr Creepytent. I will never share your tent. I hope nobody else did either.

Dear George Galloway

Trigger warning: This post links to descriptions of rape

Dear George Galloway,

Let me start by saying I admire your unending capacity to be a premium-grade tosser. Whether it’s getting snuggly with all-round fuckbags like Saddam Hussein and Assad, or whether it’s you claiming that gay people executed in Iran have committed “sex crimes”, I am perpetually impressed by your ability to fart around like an arseweasel and not have found yourself with an icepick lodged firmly in your occipital lobes.

Anyway, given your previous track record, I can’t say I was surprised when I noticed you defending Julian Assange. You’re both egomaniacal wankers in a similar manner, and you’d probably be well placed to form a comedy duo in a sitcom. By sitcom, of course I mean “gulag”.

The thing is, Gorgeous George, you seem to have got some facts twisted in chumming up to St Julian. You said “if the allegations made by these two women were true, 100 per cent true, and even if a camera in the room captured them, they don’t constitute rape.” Now, while I fully appreciate your right to defend anyone you like and forge links with Ecuador’s future propaganda minister, there’s a few minor factual inaccuracies in what you’re saying.

Let’s start with the small stuff, that you’re coming across of something of a shitbadger by repeating tired old toss about this magical way of “verifying” rape allegations with some sort of “objective proof”. That isn’t how it works, and it’s kind of creepy that you think people should film their sexual encounters all the time. I mean, I know you don’t mind arsing around in a leotard pretending to be a cat, but really, George, exhibitionism isn’t for everyone. The fact of the matter is, decent people know there’s no such thing as this mythical “objective proof”.

And that’s precisely because of things people like you are saying, George. See, the allegations definitely do constitute rape. Let’s have a little look at what your pal Julian is accused of:

  • On 13-14 August 2010, in the home of the injured party [AA] in Stockholm. Assange, by using violence. forced the injured party to endure his restricting her freedom of movement. The violence consisted in a firm hold of the injured party’s arms and a forceful spreading of her legs whilst lying on top of her and with his body weight preventing her from moving or shifting.
  • On 13-14 August 2010, in the home of the injured party [AA] in Stockholm, Assange deliberately molested the injured party by acting in a manner designed to violate her sexual integrity. Assange, who was aware that it was the expressed wish of the injured party and a prerequisite of sexual intercourse that a condom be used, consummated unprotected sexual intercourse with her without her knowledge.
  • On 18 August 2010 or on any of the days before or after that date, in the home of the injured party [AA] in Stockholm, Assange deliberately molested the injured party by acting in a manner designed to violate her sexual integrity i.e. lying next to her and pressing his naked, erect penis to her body.
  • On 17 August 2010, in the home of the injured party [SW] in Enkoping, Assange deliberately consummated sexual intercourse with her by improperly exploiting that she, due to sleep. was in a helpless state.
  • It is an aggravating circumstance that Assange. who was aware that it was the expressed wish of the injured party and a prerequisite of sexual intercourse that a condom be used. still consummated unprotected sexual intercourse with her. The sexual act was designed to violate the injured party’s sexual integrity.”

So, the first point outlines pinning a woman down in order to force her into sexual activity. The second is tricking a woman into sexual activity to which she had not consented. The third is non-consensual–albeit non-penetrative–sexual activity. The fourth is having sex with a woman who is completely unable to consent. The fifth is exactly the same as the second.

You’ll notice, George, that the recurring theme throughout all of this is that the women were not consenting. There’s a word for sex without consent. Rape.

I find it rather concerning that you dismiss this as merely, as you put it, “bad sexual etiquette”. Bad sexual etiquette is not saying “thank you” before leaving. What Julian Assange is accused of is far more than that. It’s rape, George. It’s rape.

And it’s precisely due to arse-gargling ballfarters like you that this imaginary “objective proof” can’t work. Because there’s always scum like you who refuses to call a rape a rape. You’ll cloud the issues with rancid squid-ink because… actually, I have no idea how this state of affairs could possibly benefit you unless you’re a rapist. Would you explain to me why you so fervently pretend that none of this is rape?

Looking forward to hearing from you!

With contempt,

Stavvers xoxo

P.S. Apologies for the quality of my profanity. It tends towards the surreal when I’m furious.

P.P.S. I retract my remark towards the end of my letter comparing you to a squid. I like squids.

Akin’s “legitimate rape” comment is smarter than it seems

Trigger warning: this post quotes some horrible rape apologism and anti-choice rhetoric

Republican Senate nominee Todd Akin seems to be going for gold in the Offensively Stupid Shit Said By Politicians Awards. In one short sentence he has managed to say something so awful it’s almost impossible to work out where to start. When talking about abortion in the case of rape, he said:

“If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing [pregnancy] down.”

In the order it appears in the sentence, we have the rape culture myth that some rapes aren’t actually rapes, anti-choice rhetoric and a huge honking misunderstanding of how biology works. I’m not convinced he would have come across as more profoundly misogynistic had he just flat-out said “By the way, I hate women.”

The thing is, while it appears at face value as some completely ill-informed woman-hating, what Akin is actually doing may be much, much smarter than that. It could be a very well-constructed way of dragging discourse into a more misogynistic direction.

In the US, the war on choice is going strong, and a rather common battleground is the discussion surrounding “abortion only in the case of rape”. This position does not represent a fully pro-choice perspective, but it’s quite common among moderates and is frequently brought out in debates in a bid to get the anti-choice camp to concede some ground. Akin’s comment is his way of shutting down this particular avenue.

At the same time, rape culture thrives on the belief that rape is a stranger in a balaclava leaping out in a bush and violently taking the virginity of a good girl, and that’s all there is to it. There’s “rape rape” and there’s the stuff that isn’t really rape, which is perpetrated by powerful men like Polanski, Assange and Strauss-Kahn, and survived by sluts who were asking for it somehow. It’s a very pervasive belief, and one which benefits an awful lot of rapists.

What Akin has rather effectively done is say something which is difficult to argue against concisely without giving way on one of these two points. One can throw around statistics about just how many pregnancies are the result of rape, or one can argue that there’s no such thing as a “non-legitimate” rape, but it’s very difficult to do both at once.

What obfuscates matters even further is the very tempting distractor of the anti-reality terrible science. It’s a low-hanging fruit wherein it’s very tempting to say “THAT’S NOT HOW IT WORKS, FUCKNUGGET” without drawing attention to everything else that is wrong with the statement. Because that’s not how human biology works, and it’s gratifying to see that everybody is aware of this (except Akin, who didn’t even bother drawing attention to it in his non-apology).

In fact, Akin’s non-apology allows him to further elaborate upon his anti-choice, pro-rape culture position; while claiming he “misspoke”, he doesn’t acknowledge why there’s no such thing as a “legitimate rape”, and further espouses his view that women shouldn’t have control of their bodies.

The interesting thing is, his comment does lay bare how neatly the anti-choice position slots into rape culture. At their crux, both issues are about a complete disrespect for women’s bodily autonomy. People who want to force women through pregnancy and childbirth are less likely to be fazed by other violations. Again, though, this is a difficult position to argue concisely, particularly when the dominant cultural narrative is so heavily set against  bodily autonomy.

Far from being another Republican saying something else silly, Akin’s rhetoric may prove to be more dangerous than expected.

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Thanks to @JamesGraham for a brilliant Twitter conversation which helped me collect my thoughts on this issue.

Julian Assange has imprisoned himself indefinitely without trial

The latest development in the Julian Assange soap opera: Assange has been granted asylum by Ecuador to avoid answering tricky questions in Sweden about some rapes he probably perpetrated. This would be all well and good if he could magically teleport to Ecuador from their London embassy, but unfortunately for him those pesky laws of physics prevent that.

So Assange is stuck indefinitely in a poky little building in Knightsbridge. If he so much as sets foot outside, he’ll be arrested and extradited to Sweden. In his bid to avoid accountability and due process, he has chosen to imprison himself.

Obviously, I find this profoundly weird and more than a little silly, given that Sweden is probably the safest place for him if he fears extradition to the US. Even if he goes to Sweden, answers the charges, then is brought to trial, found guilty, and imprisoned there, he would still be in a better position. He would have a fixed sentence, rather than the indefinite time he will spend in the Ecuador embassy. He will be able to go outside to exercise in a Swedish prison, while he cannot while living in the embassy. And he’ll still have a bed and a TV and internet access. That’s the worst case scenario.

But he has made his choice, and continues to pretend that he will totally be extradited to the USA from Sweden, despite the USA never having asked for anything of the sort. He continues to make the whole saga about him, poisoning Wikileaks with his egomania.

And so I think the best possible course of action now is to ignore him. Let him fade into obscurity, living out his days in a tiny room somewhere in West London. He feeds on attention, let us starve him. Let him become a mild annoyance to Ecuadorian diplomats and nothing else. Let him become a nobody, a nothing. He chose this.

What has feminism done for Jenna Jameson?

Before I start, let’s get the obligatory link to the scene from The Life Of Brian out of the way.

Jenna Jameson is a former porn performer and a millionaire businessperson. She also doesn’t think feminism and women’s organisations have ever done anything for her.

It’s a nice delusion, and a comfortable one, thinking you are where you are in life entirely down to your own hard work. It’s easy to believe when you’re fed the myth of BOOTSTRAPS your whole life, in combination with various cognitive heuristics which make you think you did everything yourself and are better than average. Now, Jameson’s achievements are not to be sniffed at. She’s done exceedingly well for herself, and much of it is down to hard work. The thing is, without feminism, she couldn’t have done it at all.

Jameson got famous through the sex industry, specifically stripping and porn. These industries have been made far safer by campaigning from women’s organisations. Jameson has her preferences in her porn performances, opting not to do any anal sex or double penetration scenes. Thanks to feminists banging on about sexual consent, her wishes have been respected and she has not been coerced to break these hard limits despite these being fairly profitable performances in porn, with anal sex becoming almost a default part of a performer’s repertoire.

Jameson has been married twice. Thanks to feminism and women’s organisations, on neither of these occasions has she been considered the property of her husband. She has been able to make her own money–and keep it–thanks to feminism and women’s organisations which gained women the right to own their own property.

For the 2012 US elections, Jenna Jameson has endorsed Republican candidate Mitt Romney. Now, this probably isn’t the finest of ideas for a woman. Jameson rejects the notion that her chosen candidate is part of a war on women (and says this war does not exist), which is all well and good, as long as she doesn’t use contraception, want an abortion, or mind that in her chosen candidate’s eyes she is a whore of Babylon. Still, she can vote for who she likes. And she can vote because of feminism and women’s organisations.

All of these women who came before Jenna Jameson have helped her get to where she is today. They did not do it specifically for her, but for all women. The fight will go on and on, and continue to improve the lot of women–including Jenna Jameson.

HOT CUM-GUZZLING EVOLUTIONARY PSYCHOLOGY

The news has whipped itself into a frenzy about the latest headline-grabbing guff from evolutionary psychology: blow jobs cure morning sickness. Specifically, the pregnant woman should swallow the semen of the father of the baby because then she’ll develop a tolerance to his genetic material. That sentence alone is eyebrow-spraining. Delving deeper, it only gets worse.

The research comes from an evolutionary psychologist named Gordon G. Gallup. It is useful to view the morning sickness story in the context of his previous work because a pattern starts to emerge.

Gallup’s career started out fairly promisingly, with him developing a paradigmatic test for recording self-awareness in animals, which has been widely used. He was then the go-to guy for research into what happens when you hypnotise chickens, which is probably far more interesting than it sounds.

Somewhere along the line, though, Gallup lost his way, and moved towards the side of evolutionary psychology which is obsessed with sex and comes to thoroughly bizarre conclusions about both sexes through the use of dodgy science. Many of the studies I’m going to highlight here are paywalled, but you’ll probably shit a brick off the abstract alone if you know anything about science or have ever enjoyed sex.

Gallup became interested in boobs, hypothesising that breast implants were a way for women to advertise their fertility, then never testing this hypothesis because, let’s face it, how the hell would you? He delved into homophobia, suggesting that it was an adaptive response to parents thinking the gays would bum their children into homosexuality. This was tested by getting college students–not actual parents–to fill in questionnaires about hypothetical children, and some of them saying they wouldn’t like their kid to go to a gay paediatrician. When the work was criticised for implying that gays are paedophiles and maybe this was down to “xenophobia” (in the evolutionary sense, rather than the sociological sense; i.e. a fear of strangers), Gallup responded by saying that actually there is a disproportionate number of homosexual paedophiles, so there. Another study of Gallup’s ostensibly showed that women take more care to stop themselves being raped when they are ovulating, by guessing when the participants were ovulating and administering a questionnaire.

None of this encompasses Gallup’s true love though. Shaking off the mantle of being the chicken-hypnosis guy, Gordon G. Gallup is now the semen guy.

Regular readers of this blog might remember the time I went ballistic over a study claiming to show that semen was an antidepressant. That was one of Gallup’s studies. It showcased some almost criminally bad science, which I covered here, and it’s worth reading the whole thing to see just how bad it is. If you can’t be bothered, the tl;dr summary is that vaginally-administered spunk isn’t an antidepressant and there was no way he could have ever shown it with that study. Other miracles of semen, according to Gallup, is that if a man regularly spaffs into the mother of his kids, he’ll be a better dad. Again, Gallup didn’t even bother testing that hypothesis.

After covering his bases in getting semen into women, Gallup turned towards how to keep it there. Readers with penises, did you know that your cock looks like that because it evolved to displace semen of rivals from a vagina? It totally is, because Gallup has some hardcore science to prove it. This paper is open-access and well worth a read if you fancy a laugh. He used two different tests for this hypothesis. In the first set of studies, he bought some dildos and an artificial vagina from a sex shop, mixed up some fake spunk, put it in the rubber fanny, then fucked it with some dildos. He found that the more realistic the dildo, the better it displaced the jizz-mixture. Oh, and the dildos being dildos, they lacked foreskins, which throws an enormous spanner in the works as it means that human cocks would function entirely differently, considering circumcision is a minority practice and didn’t happen while we were evolving.

So he turned his attention to humans. Rather than watching them fuck, he went for a questionnaire, which is distinctly less fun, and proved about as much as his sweaty session with a fleshlight and a dildo. From a survey, he discovered that men fuck their girlfriends harder if they’ve been away for a while, or if they’ve heard their girlfriend was cheating. Passionate reunions and angry hatesex, according to Gallup, are actually just the chap trying to thrust any stray spunk out of his lady-friend.

Which brings us, finally, to the morning sickness research. Having exhaustively researched how to get sperm into a vagina and get it out again, he wondered how best he could get it into a lady’s mouth. His theory is this: morning sickness arises from the woman reacting to having unfamiliar genetic material inside her, i.e. the father’s DNA in the foetus. In order to build up a tolerance, the woman needs greater exposure to the father’s genetic material which means loads and loads of semen, and apparently eating it will totally work.

It’s important to note here that this has never been tested, and, like much of the work we have seen here, it is just a hypothesis presented at a conference, which the media have picked up and ran with, presenting it as SCIENCE. It isn’t. Also, it’s a pretty fucking shitty hypothesis for two major reasons.

First, it goes against the general evolutionary thinking regarding morning sickness: that it’s a way of protecting the foetus from any toxins or bad nutrition by causing anything harmful that has been ingested to be shouted into rainbows. Secondly, and perhaps more crucially, how the hell does Gordon G. Gallup think women get pregnant in the first place? It kind of involves exposure to semen. While a lot of pregnancies may not stem from regular exposure to the same jizz, a lot of them do, and morning sickness affects up to 80% of women. Furthermore, within Gallup’s hypothesis, if it’s just the father’s genetic material the woman needs and it can be got through ingested semen, this can easily be transmitted by any other means, such as lots and lots of snogging to exchange saliva, or touch, or blood rituals, or whatever.

It makes no goddamn sense whatsoever, and I look forward to seeing him try to prove it.

I don’t know if Gordon G. Gallup has dedicated the later part of his career towards discovering escalatingly spurious reasons to insert his semen into women–if so, I think we can expect future studies which show that bukakke makes you immortal–or if he has simply found the recipe for media success: say something silly which dovetails with existing patriarchal prejudice. Either way, I wish he’d stop, and I wish the media would stop gushing with excitement about hypotheses and bad research.

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Update: commenter James, who is an experienced midwife and pre-eclampsia researcher has found a cohort study which Gordon G. Gallup obviously hasn’t read. The study looked at recurrence of hyperemesis gravidarum, a severe morning sickness. It found that sickness was less likely to occur in a second pregnancy than in a first. The authors had a large enough sample of women whose second pregnancies were from a different father than the first pregnancy. Comparing recurrence of hyperemesis, it emerged that risk was lower in women whose second pregnancy was by a different father than those who had had two pregnancies from the same father: 11% risk of hyperemesis for those who had changed paternity, versus 16% for those who had not. While this is a cohort study, and therefore low down on the pyramid of evidence, it’s still far better than some dude who had a hypothesis, and provides some evidence to suggest that “unfamiliar semen” is not what causes morning sickness.

Ladies, education makes you masculine. There’s a graph and everything.

I think I might make a semi-regular feature of people I would never have sex with, ever, given the internet seems to be riddled with the fuckers. This week’s fucknozzle is a pick-up artist named RooshV whose advice I would seriously recommend not following if you ever have any intention of ever having sex with a woman.

The thing about dear RooshV is I suspect he’s profoundly dimwitted. I suspect this because he’s seen fit to explain a relationship between “femininity” and education level, by means of a graph. The relationship would be a negative correlation of the statistical holy grail of R=1 were it not for the following criticisms:

  1. He has conflated education level with current career.
  2. “Career” appears to be a categorical variable, and thus it is inappropriate to use correlational analyses in the manner outlined by the author.
  3. It is unclear precisely as to how femininity was calculated due to the y-axis being unlabelled.
  4. He clearly made the graph himself at home using one of those graph generators.

Actually, I’m beginning to see why he finds education unsexy. It can’t be very nice when any woman with a high-school level education in statistics can point out how he is shit at proving his points.

RooshV also provides some qualitative evidence to support his hypothesis, proposing the following occupations to be “boner softening”. These betray a staggering lack of imagination in the bedroom and add to my burning desire to never have sex with him ever. In bold, I have added the first thing that pops into my head when confronted with each of the things which dull-shag RooshV thinks can’t be hot.

Sexy IT specialist (Ethernet bondage)
Sexy business manager (micromanaging)
Sexy tort attorney (would make a good top and gets a fun wig)
Sexy civil engineer (OHMYGOD imagine the possibilities for pervy devices they could build)
Sexy anesthesiologist (needles and illicit substances and fun oh my)
Sexy research associate (sub. Total sub)
Sexy financial analyst (honestly, who doesn’t want to spank a financial analyst every now and then?)

That literally took 15 seconds. RooshV , bro, you are vanilla as fuck.

To complete his thesis, RooshV has decided to furnish us with a list of “masculine traits” that might show up in women who are more educated than him. These include keeping condoms at home, dating multiple men at the same time and “saying filthy things in bed when you hardly know them”. From the sounds of it, RooshV is a total lights-off-socks-on kind of chap, and it’s probably a good thing he can’t conceptualise the existence of strap-0ns because that would blow his fucking mind.

All in all, though, it’s probably a good thing RooshV isn’t into educated women. Because I can’t imagine an educated woman who would consider going within miles of him.