philosoraptor42: (Fatpie42)
The last time I felt compelled to write about movies I was unable to finish was just over a year ago. The movies were "The Conformist" and "Perfect Sense". (Read my entry on those here.)

Another movie I felt unable to finish watching was "Fantastic Mr. Fox" a little over three years ago. (Read what I wrote about that here.)

Earlier than that was "Vicky Cristina Barcelona" (before I recognised how unfair it is to grade a movie I didn't see to the end). I actually tried to finish off "Vicky Cristina Barcelona" at a later date but it didn't take long before I felt compelled to turn it off again. I have never reached the point where Penelope Cruz turns up. (That entry is here.)

I've now seen another two films which I've felt unable to finish. Read on...

The Wolverine (2013)

I watched this at a friend's house around Christmas time, so I might well have finished it if I was watching it on my own. But having already been bored to death by the first half, I'm rather lacking the motivation to get hold of the DVD to see the second half. (I'd already seen leaked footage of the after-credits sequence when the film was in the cinema.)

I was a little confused when the movie began with Wolverine wandering in the woods. I had presumed that the film would start off with Wolverine already in Japan rather than taking us there. Our metal-clawed hero takes pity on a bear that is dying in the forest. He then makes his way into a local bar to find the people responsible for its death. I was a little unsure at this stage why we were wasting time on this, but then Wolverine gave a little speech. Logan, the Wolverine, is no fool. He's worked out that one of the hunters has been using an illegal poison which sent the bear mad. So even while this hunter is boasting about how savage the bear is and how great it is that they took the bear down, he's failed to recognise (or at least he's not acknowledging) that he's actually responsible for some of the damage the bear caused. Logan's also not very happy that this hunter failed to finish off the bear properly too.

The first thing Logan does? He stabs the hunter in the hand with the dart. When the hunter denies that he was using illegal poisons, Logan gruffly replies "well you've got nothing to worry about then." This was the first and last part of the movie where I was excited. We do not even get to see Wolverine kick arse here, because a Japanese woman (with her own X-man powers) turns up to break up the fight.

Read more... )

Ted (2012)

I should make clear from the start, I actually like Family Guy. (Well, 'liked' Family Guy. I reached a particular season, didn't laugh at all in most of episodes I watched, and pretty much gave up on the series after that. And yes, the early seasons involved this whole politically incorrect 'shock' humour and yes, the character of Peter Griffin was pretty obnoxious and at times the humour could wear thin. But what Family Guy had going for it was the creativity made possible by the cartoon format. Whether it was spaceship sperms, exploding donkeys, an epic fight with a man in a chicken suit, a police officer in a wheelchair who is infinitely more manly and capable than anyone else in the show, or a monkey who points angrily on cue, there was always something surprising and unique in the show. You simply had no idea what was coming next, so whether it was due to cleverness, satire, irony, silliness, shock or just because you were caught unawares by the pure randomness of it all, the volley of hit-and-miss jokes would generally be pretty successful in keeping me laughing.

So now we have "Ted" which begins by pretending that will be a straight-up inspirational children's movie. The first indication that it won't be, is when we are told that it is a Christmas tradition to "beat up the Jewish kid". The 'Jewish kid' in question, cycling into frame wearing glasses and looking relatively nerdy. (The intended joke here being that neither the bullies nor even the 'Jewish kid' being beaten up by them has any interest in being friends with the protagonist.) This is just one of many pointless references to race, sexuality or gender that litter this movie and, I felt, failed to work as humour.

The first point where I did give a chuckle was when I realised Patrick Stewart was the narrator and he pulled off a gag exactly like you'd expect from his character in "American Dad". The line goes like this: "Now if there's one thing you can be sure of, it's that nothing is more powerful than a young boy's wish. Except an Apache helicopter. An Apache helicopter has machine guns AND missiles. It is an unbelievably impressive complement of weaponry, an absolute death machine."

Perhaps they could have done with keeping a narrator throughout the movie, because it was one of the better opportunities for randomness. For the most part, the only thing that is out of the ordinary is that there is a talking teddy bear. Asides from that the world the characters are inhabiting is pretty much plain and realistic. And it's a real pity, because there are certain points where the over-the-top crazy style of a Family Guy episode would probably have worked a lot better.

Read more... )
philosoraptor42: (Fatpie42)

*Mild/Moderate Trigger Warning* This discussion of misogyny and the damsel in distress trope may inevitably be triggering for some readers as it discusses power-imbalances and some violent or abusive scenarios. That said, there is no use of graphic descriptions nor any reference to sexual violence.

The post below is going to analyse some bigotry against Anita from Feminist Frequency. She has released the first of her "Tropes Vs Women" series about videogames now. Personally, I was unsure about some of the stuff about Starfox Adventures (since I cannot help but imagine that the character change in that game must be somewhat related to Microsoft buying Rare - since it would be harder for Nintendo to keep hold of a game not starring one of their copyrighted group of characters), but asides from that I was mainly reacting with "ah, I guess that's right".

Inevitably there's been some backlash. One of the videos criticising Anita (and undoubtedly NOT one of the best critiques she'll receive) comes from a Youtube user called Thunderf00t....

Now it's been a while since I've been made really angry by some bigoted ranting. I've reacted to some news articles, sure, but I've generally not been chasing down internet idiots. I've been a lot better off for it though.

The last idiot I really thought I needed to alert people to was Pat Condell. Condell was seemingly only known on the internet, but he seemed to have a wide following. So when his videos went from annoying and crass to all-out hate-mongering, I felt the need to expose precisely why people shouldn't support him. (He's still up to the same old tricks it seems. One of his latest videos claims that it's racist not to consider all Palestinians, every man, woman and child of them, to be evil terrorists. That's pretty typical rhetoric from him sadly.)

But the recent dodgy internet hatred doesn't seem to come from a single person. Instead it seems to be embodied by a large gang of mostly libertarian internet users who are strangely opposed to feminism and demand protection from criticism if they post offensive comments (on the grounds of 'free speech' apparently).

"Thunderf00t" seems to be a pretty big ringleader of this group. By this point Thunderf00t is pretty well known to be someone your average decent supporter of feminism will be upset by, but he attracts a lot of attention so I feel like he's probably as good a representative as any for this disgusting internet misogyny recently.

First of all some background...

Thunderf00t and Freethoughtblogs

Thunderf00t had a run-in with well known pro-feminism atheist blogger P.Z. Myers (who runs the blog Pharyngula) who is disinclined to accept misogyny, racism, homophobia, etc. on his comments threads. When Thunderf00t was offered space in Freethoughtblogs and decided to use it almost entirely to dismiss women's rights the other bloggers on Freethoughtblogs decided that he wasn't fitting in. He was alienating their female audience and conveying bigoted views with which Freethoughtblogs bloggers did not want to be connected.

Anita's "Tropes Vs Women" series

Anita used Kickstarter to get funding for her project to analyse the history of gaming and the portrayal of women within videogames. The comments at Kickstarter began to fill up with misogynistic comments from utter scumbags and the response by decent human beings across the internet was to donate huge amounts of money to her project. The misogynist comments had made it very clear to everyone just how much of an idol videogames were to these horrible individuals and just how sorely the world of videogames needed to be analysed from a feminist perspective.

Thunderf00t's video "Feminism Vs FACTS (RE Damsel in distress)" and how it completely misses the point of Anita's original video at Feminist Frequency, feminism as a whole, and plain old common sense.

I only came to watch Thunderf00t's poor attempt at a critique because I stumbled on someone showing one of his old videos "The Internet: Where Religions Come To Die". Not knowing it was from Thunderf00t I approached it with a pretty open mind. There were parts that were well-argued and other parts where it was more obviously labouring the point. I noticed that the video seemed to have a very "us and them" stance which appeared to represent the vlogger's genuine stance rather than being a rhetorical tool.

1- Double Dragon Neon

Thunderf00t's latest video begins by questioning Anita's research for her videogame critique. He argues that she is wrong to claim the damsel in distress of the game "Double Dragon Neon" is portrayed as weak, ineffective or ultimately incapable because the game finishes with her punching the villain in the crotch.

While this might seem like a reasonable argument to someone who had never watched the original video, already Thunderf00t is showing a clear failure to understand Anita's argument. Anita's concern with "Double Dragon Neon" mainly focusses on the opening which, as an update of an older game, rejigs the 8-bit classic by showing the damsel in distress character being punched in the gut and carried away in deeper colours, pristine 2D graphics with her cleavage clearly visable as she is punched and her knickers clearly visible as she is carried away. This update of the older classic begins straight away with an utterly demeaning image for women, right before introducing the two MALE playable characters.

The ending where she gets to help beat up the villain in the end is earned after the two male characters have spent the entire game trying to save her, while she sits and waits for them. There's even a part of the game where the two playable MALE characters (since Marian herself is NOT a playable character) can fight for her affection, while she cheers them on in the background. This all serves to back up the idea of women as objects the male characters compete for. Yes, even if the unplayable female character gets to help deliver the finishing blow at the last minute, she's still been completely helpless for the whole game and used as a woman-shaped trophy by the game designers.

Read more... )

Thunderf00t simply doesn't understand the topic he is trying to discuss and yet there are internet misogynists rallying around his video which now has over 10,000 likes. Meanwhile Anita has had no choice but to disable ratings and comments because of an over-abundance of misogynistic trolls. Check out her excellent analysis of the Damsel In Distress trope in videogames below:

(video link)
philosoraptor42: (Default)
... the answer is "pretty damn horrible", okay?

Y'see Ireland has this law whereby abortion is made illegal. It's not actually supposed to include cases where there's a danger to the mother, but that didn't stop the recent ridiculously unnecessary screw-up. The law actually doesn't really so much stop abortions as make them extra specially difficult because anyone who wants one has to travel specially to the UK to get the procedure done. Of course, that's not really feasible when your fully intentional pregnancy has gone awry and you are in a severe condition in an Irish hospital.

This lovely lady is called Savita Halappanavar. She died tragically a week after being admitted to a hospital in Galway where she was found to be miscarrying. For three days she asked for doctors to terminate her pregnancy but this was refused on the grounds that: "This is a Catholic country." Apparently her response that she was neither Irish nor Catholic made no difference to this (she was Indian and Hindu).

Dr. Jen Gunter explains:
...“Miscarrying” at 17 weeks can only mean one of three things:

A) Ruptured membranes
B) Advanced cervical dilation
C) Labor (this is unlikely, although it is possible that she had preterm labor that arrested and left her with scenario B, advanced cervical dilation).

All three of these scenarios have a dismal prognosis, none of which should involve the death of the mother.
Since Savita was told that the doctors would need to wait until the foetal heartbeat stopped before they could intervene, Dr. Gunter has a number of possible explanations, all of which are horrible:
As there is no medically acceptable scenario at 17 weeks where a woman is miscarrying AND is denied a termination, there can only be three plausible explanations for Ms. Hapappanavar’s “medical care” :

1) Irish law does indeed treat pregnant women as second class citizens and denies them appropriate medical care. The medical team was following the law to avoid criminal prosecution.
2) Irish law does not deny women the care they need; however, a zealous individual doctor or hospital administrator interpreted Catholic doctrine in such a way that a pregnant woman’s medical care was somehow irrelevant and superceded by heart tones of a 17 weeks fetus that could never be viable.
3) Irish law allows abortions for women when medically necessary, but the doctors involved were negligent in that they could not diagnose infection when it was so obviously present, did not know the treatment, or were not competent enough to carry out the treatment.

What we do know is that a young, pregnant, woman who presented to the hospital in a first world country died for want of appropriate medical care. Whether it’s Irish Catholic law or malpractice, only time will tell; however, no answer could possibly ease the pain and suffering of Ms. Halappanavar’s loved ones.
And it only gets worse...

This is Senator Ronan Mullen. He's decided to take this moment to announce that: "he hoped protestors outside the Dáil would not use the tragic death of Savita Halappanavar as an argument for legislating for abortion."

Yes, because clearly a woman dying from being denied an abortion is NOT the time to start asking questions about access to abortion, right? No, instead it's the PERFECT TIME to start denouncing any such idea and SHAMING anyone who even dreamt of bringing up the matter, obviously! *facepalm*

(Reminds me of the pro-gun guy who got upset that people were suggesting that the Colorado shootings
might indicate that gun control was lacking. But at least he was just some random guy on the internet and not a public figure in a position of authority.)

Meanwhile the minister for health, James Reilly, reckons that it's too early to say whether ties to a Catholic ethos were at fault:
Speaking in the Dáil this evening, he said we "could not pre-judge" the situation, adding he had no evidence to suggest a Catholic ethos at the hospital prevented the pregnant woman's life from being saved by a medical termination.

Okay, fair enough, I suppose that's true. However, if we consider Dr. Gunter's words, Reilly appears to be ignoring the seemingly inevitable consequences of what he's saying here. If the Catholic ethos was not at responsible for this tragedy, either through Ireland's Catholicism-determined anti-abortion law or in through the practices of the medical staff at the hospital, then there is only one possible alternative. That alternative is that the medical staff involved were abysmally and ludicrously incompetent.

In the meantime there are candlelit vigils across Ireland in response to this tragedy. One might have hoped that the Irish authorities would take it a little more seriously.... D':

(Guardian - Ireland should change abortion law)
(Dr. Gunter considers the case)
(Reilly: No evidence Catholic ethos prevented Savita's life from being saved)
(Pharyngula weighs in)
(Images of vigils and protests)

philosoraptor42: (Default)

(Via Bors Blog)

More details on the news story in this article here. That article also includes a poll where nearly 10% of votes currently say that it was okay to censor a woman for using the word "vagina" in a debate about abortion. Please do your part to lower that figure. :)
philosoraptor42: (Default)
I recently came across the hilarious Lindy West when she spoke on the Filmdrunk Frostcast. (She's actually been a relatively regular feature, appearing on and off for a while now.) At the time she'd been called a c*** by Penn Jillette (her big crime apparently being making fun of adverts. Penn's libertarianism couldn't bear the thought of costly advertising being mocked so he proudly did his part to fend off communism by calling her names. According to Penn's fans it's unfair to criticise him for this... because 'free speech'. *scratches head*)

Left: Lindy West (Awesome!) Right: In case you didn't already know, Penn Jillette is a big arsehole.

Lindy West has sadly stopped writing movie reviews for The Stranger, but she has articles all over the place and is regularly writing for Jezebel where she recently published this little gem...

....An old lady recognizes her boob-doodle on the news and goes to visit Bill Paxton on his rock and roll treasure boat, where they make her watch a graphic CGI reenactment of the Titanic sinking (I believe the working title is Hey Granny, Fuck Your PTSD)....

Lindy West re-watches Titanic so you don't have to. Click here or on the image above for the article.
philosoraptor42: (Default)
Earlier there was a post on the wtf sexism community criticising the odd choice of pose for male characters and female character (just the one, hmmph!) in early Avengers posters. The issue can be seen clearly in the following image (click on it to see it full size):

As you can see, the female character is the only one showing off her bottom while all the other characters are facing straight forwards.

Someone has decided to reverse the gender poses, as follows (once again, click to enlarge):

The same artist has also done some work with Master Chief.
(Master Chief gender swap piece here.)

(Gender swap Avengers piece can be found on Deviant Art here.)
(Story originally found on the intentionally immature movie news website, Filmdrunk.)

x-posted to [ profile] wtf_sexism
philosoraptor42: (Default)

This guy regularly gets interviewed as if he's a genuine representative of Christians. (Even on the
BBC, even though he sued them for blasphemy!) Want evidence that he's not? Well being disowned
by the Daily Fail has to be a good start, surely?

As much as I hate providing links to the Daily Fail, I've got to give them credit for being seemingly the only paper with an article on this. Stephen Green is the homophobic bigot who formed the fundamentalist group Christian Voice after giving up on the Conservative Family Campaign for being too moderate. The Daily Fail, in a break with tradition, have got an exclusive interview with his ex-wife who claims that Stephen Green hit her as well as her children during her 26 year marriage.

Still, the really stupid thing is the about of time Stephen Green has been used as an example of "Christianity-under-attack" and his "Christian Voice" organisation has been proposed as a genuine representation of real Christians in the UK. As is noted here, the Daily Fail themselves have long been guilty of this.

It's actually quite shocking to see that the Daily Telegraph, who regularly pick up on religion-related stories from the Daily Fail, have not followed suit on this one in spite of using Stephen Green to fuel free speech debate (when Stephen Green is rightly brought up for harassment when publically airing his homophobic bigotry) in the past. Still, they aren't alone with the BBC having recently used Stephen Green as a counter-point when reporting on Elton John's adoption of a baby boy.

You can find the contents of the Daily Fail interview with Caroline Green (which appears to be an exclusive) under the cut, but the link is at the top nonetheless:
Read more... )

But just in case you were unsure whether you were reading the Daily Mail, here is a recent comment on this article:
"mm. sounds like just another bitter moaning whining ex wife to me!" 
- sam, braunton, 29/1/2011 11:49
Ahhhh the world makes sense again....
philosoraptor42: (Default)
Okay, I've had a bad day of apologetics recommendations. (Well, just two actually, but anyway.) I don't seek this stuff out, but in two separate places it's been recommended to me and so I'm being actively encouraged to get pi***d off.

The second (and far more annoying) of the two recommendations came from [ profile] talk_religion in this entry. The piece of apologetics they link to says "oooh btw the verse in the Bible doesn't say girls must marry their rapist" and then goes on to say "stupid atheist should have known better".

(Please note: The two quotes above were paraphrased from the general gist of the article for the purpose of summarising and comic effect.) 

The apologist give three reasons why they disagree.

The first reasonRead more... )

The second reason Read more... )
The third reason is the only one I felt it necessary to comment on. And that was this:
The third reason is that, to interpret the law in Deut 21:28-29 as a rape is to make God the commander of a morally heinous command.
Oh I'm sorry. It's horrible, so we'll have to change it, eh? After all, that's obviously how you should read the Bible. You don't go into the Bible looking for moral truths. You go into the Bible interpreting it especially so it fits with your existing understanding of morality, don't you?

For me, this was quite enough. No need to make a big long explanation (as I have done above). This alone was enough to show how daft this whole thing was. I gave the following response:
So the reason it can't be translated as "rape" is because that would be horrible....

Yeah, that's some pretty lame apologetics right there.
Then I found myself following up with this:
I do wonder what his explanation is for punishing a woman who loses her virginity outside of marriage with stoning....
(Deut 23-24)
And that's when I got the following response and the naivety managed to quite severely enrage me. (I kept my annoyance restrained obviously, but even so. Grrrr!):
Well, ask. The website itself deals with a lot of biblical stuff and in interesting ways. He or she (there are two) might make it a blog post.
The basic gist of this response being "hey, if there's still some stuff you aren't sure of, maybe they can explain!" The commenter didn't seem to understand from my nice and restrained response to the initial article quite how ludicrous I would find this. My stance is that the initial article (which they recommended) was rubbish and quite possibly intentionally disingenuous. As such, I have little reason to think any follow-up articles won't be similarly rubbish and disingenuous.

The first line of my response to them was this:
There are tons of apologetics websites out there. What's so special about this one?

I'm not really terribly interested in apologetics, wherever it comes from. The fact is that there is tons of sexist stuff in the Bible and plenty of religious people who want to offer excuses for it.
I then looked into the article further and found a number of issues, and I'll quote the rest of my response below. The main discovery however, was that they were actually responding to an article from Michael Martin (amongst other things, the editor of the "Cambridge Companion To Atheism"). The article he wrote is available online and the point of it was not to start whining about particular verses in the Bible, but to respond to the idea that atheists can't have objective morality. His argument was intended to demonstrate that looking to the Bible for morality doesn't work and if there's one thing that the apologetics article failed to demonstrate in response to that, it's that the Bible is a clear source of moral precepts. In fact, they've shown, at very least, that there are clear language barriers and cultural barriers to interpretation, if not actually unconscionable recommendations for the treatment of women.

The rest of my response is quoted below. Including the bit where I get annoyed by yet another mistake in his references, this time for a passage from Aquinas. Grrr!:Read more... )
x-posted to [ profile] apololgetics 
philosoraptor42: (Default)

Picture on left chosen because it is somewhat emo. Picture on right chosen because it looks cool.

Oh dear, and I'd been really looking forward to this one. I've been alerted to a rather big issue with the new Metroid game ("Metroid: Other M"). Now it has to be said that I'd been warned to expect a certain amount of objectification because of the group working on it (Team Ninja), but this I wasn't prepared for.

The real cause for concern is this cut-scene (pointed out on [ profile] the_gel  's blog) where Samus not only turns to jelly at the thought of facing a foe, Ridley, whom she has dealt with twice already (and another three times if you count the Metroid Prime games, which it seems that they probably aren't). She gets an attack of nerves so bad that she has to be saved, by a man. And not only that, but the man who saves her is black and expendable! *facepalm*:

To quickly explain the title of this post, it's one of the cons in the review I found. At the beginning of each Metroid game Samus normally loses a few abilities at the beginning of the game, often due to a malfunction. She then progresses through the game by gradually earning those abilities back (along with some extra ones). In this new game, she has a professional relationship with an older man called Adam who used to be her boss. Now that he's running the team she randomly chooses not to use her abilities until Adam gives her the order to do so. The suggestion here is that this is somewhat BDSM-like. If you don't know who Montana Fishburne is, she's Lawrence Fishburne's daughter and she's been having arguments with her daddy recently over her decision to go into porn (allowing Filmdrunk to get more than a few cheap laughs).

So here's the review from G4TV which caught my eye:
Metroid: Other M Review
By Abbie Heppe - Posted Aug 27, 2010

The Pros

* Secondary plotline is interesting, engaging
* Graphics are very pretty

The Cons

* Samus has more daddy issues than Montana Fishburne
* Control layout is awkward and interrupts combat
* All the game elements feel disjointed and not fully developed

As the 11th game in the series, Other M is a bizarre collaboration between the Metroid series co-creator Yoshio Sakamoto and Team Ninja of Ninja Gaiden fame. Indeed, “odd pairings” becomes the common thread throughout the game and its clashing dualities extend to the storyline, control scheme and onscreen action.

Time-wise, Other M is tucked in between fan-favorite Super Metroid and the critically beloved Metroid Fusion -- the first game that showed a hint of Samus's personal history and the introduction of Adam Malkovich, a core character in its newest iteration.

This makes Other M the second-to-last game sequentially, as the bulk of Metroid games have wedged themselves further and further into the early years of Samus Aran’s story. Ironically, Other M feels like a prequel to the franchise while attempting to be the culmination of everything Metroid has been and become.

But I’m a Bounty Hunter

In the world of Other M, Samus stumbles upon her old Galactic Federation squad mates while answering a distress call on a seemingly abandoned vessel. Among the people she encounters is her former captain, Adam Malkovich. In the most contrived manner possible, Samus loses her special abilities. How? She opts not to use them. Why? She wants to show Adam she can follow orders.

Yes, that’s right. The woman who in the first five minutes of the game gives the squad access to the ship by using her missiles is restricted from using her abilities -- some which could open a path or save her life in the future -- until a bland male character dictates it to her. She does this because she likes him, but only as a friend.

No matter what way you rationalize this mechanic, when you're 10 minutes into the lava sector and you can't use your Varia Suit yet, you will understand how painfully stupid this plot device is.
Read more... )

I had previously considered that making Samus more "feminine" might cause problems (and the whole zero-suit thing was already causing issues tbh), but it sounds like they could have done a lot better than this.

The video review here:

Discussion about the issues here:

philosoraptor42: (Default)
Okay, so this is in response to the recent Guardian article which has received so much attention: "Why Men Use Prostitutes". In particular the following comment really bugged me:

"I concluded from this that it's not feminists such as Andrea Dworkin and myself who are responsible for the idea that all men are potential rapists - it's sometimes men themselves."

[ profile] sabrina_il noted that it was actually quite a prevalent misogynistic perspective in the ninteenth century to say that men "cannot help themselves" (that post continues from a previous one about TAs btw).

So yeah, I guess all men are potential rapists in the same sense that all men are potential burglars. However, the idea that rape is something we ought to expect from men seems like it's actually tied up with quite a misogynistic perspective. We shouldn't expect men to be rapists any more than we should expect women to be chaste and saintly. It's a stupid expectation which we should do everything in our power to challenge.

As an analogy, what kind of idiot involved in black rights would want to encourage everyone to expect white people to regularly use racist slurs? "They need to say n***er. They just can't help themselves!" *facepalm*

And finally here's an interview with Jack The Ripper:
"I really need to get off my chest why I kill prostitutes."

Ah really? Go ahead.

"Well y'see. I have this urge to kill, so I feel it's better that I express that urge on prostitutes, else I might start killing 'real' people."

Oooh that is interesting. I guess this backs up that old idea that all men are potential murderers.

Did I miss anything? If you interview people who regularly go to prostitutes, it's hardly going to be representative of all men, is it? The main thing the interviews revealed to me was that men who regularly go to prostitutes know that prostitutes aren't enjoying it. The moment someone has recognised this, that ought to be enough to put most men off of prostitutes for life. That men continue to use prostitutes in spite of this suggests some worrying issues in the background.

Yes, you should double-facepalm mr prostitute-user. BTW if you want to keep your anonymity, I suggest you buy a new watch.
(In case anyone is confused, the photo on the right comes from the Guardian article which my Jack the Ripper interview is intended to parody.)
philosoraptor42: (Default)
In the Values Voters Summit, a conference for whom it seems that even Fox News is too left wing, there's been a speech from anti-choice activist Lila Rose (whose claim to fame seems to be filming with a hidden camera and making completely uncontroversial discoveries).

Anyway, in her speech she says she wishes that women were forced to have their abortions in the town square. Ah, can't you just feel the love? (Via Right Wing Watch)

x posted to [ profile] sluts4choice
philosoraptor42: (Default)
Jennifer Howze in The Times explains that there is a simple explanation for opposition to sex education:
So why do some groups keep condemning efforts to improve and normalise sex education? Why don't they applaud the move to bring education into a safe classroom environment conveyed by teachers or parents rather than leaving it to nuggets whispered by the know-it-all kid in the playground?

It seems obvious to me. What so-called family campaigners' want to teach children about their bodies and sex is shame. Shame explains the thinking that there's something inappropriate and "wrong" for a child to know the correct word to describe a part of their body. That knowing the correct words indoctrinates an attitude of free and easy sexuality. That it sullies their pure souls to know how babies are made and to explain what they can see the cow and the bull doing in the field.

A few years ago I wrote a piece for Seventeen magazine called Vagina 101 that answered the real questions young girls had about their bodies: what should I look like? Should I shave my hair? What's a clitoris and where is it?

It was refreshing to interview highly respected doctors who robustly argued that girls and parents should get over their phobias. "The vagina is no different from an ear or a nostril. It's just a place that's part of us," one said.

The piece won an award, but one chain of grocery stores pulled it from the shelves. Some parents had complained about the "graphic" nature of the medical illustrations and descriptions. They likened it to pornography. One mother of a 17-year-old told a local reporter, "It's dirty. It's dirty."

philosoraptor42: (Default)
I saw this several years ago and am unsurprised to see it on youtube. It's a recruitment video for Nottingham University Christian Union. What is remarkable though is that after searching for other CU vids, this appears to be the only one in the UK which puts so much effort in and yet remains unashamedly condescending:

On the one hand there's appalling music in the background. Then there's the claim that everyone in the university is going to hell (and the implication that barely any of them are actually Christian already).

When they get onto what Christianity is all about, surprise surprise, it's about evangelism. Yep that's right, joining Christian groups is all about making new Christians. That's what the big exciting mission is all about: Getting people to go out and tell more people what they should believe because 'the Bible says so'. Oh how thrilling.

The first example is set in a lecture. Someone asks whether they agree with the post-modernist idea that there's no truth. The Christian responds by showing that they (like many other students) have not done their reading and have quite possibly been asleep for the whole lecture, by completely missing the point. Their response? There is truth because Jesus is the truth. If I heard that I'd strongly encourage them to avoid the post-modernism question on the exam.

The second example is set in a house. Rather unrealistically, the housemate asks a Christian housemate what they think about Christianity and then leave the Christian to freely spout some rather mundane theology. So it seems that boring your friends to sleep is another skill Christians should brush up on.

The third example is pretty much trolling on the internet. Someone asks "is there really evidence for the resurrection" and the Christian Union member lies and says there are loads of eyewitness accounts.

One awful thing I was able to find on youtube was a typical example of a CU talk. While the clip isn't taking place in Nottingham, these speakers tend to make the rounds between the various CU groups in the UK. The CU offers free sandwiches and crisps, watches the students line up, then proceeds to spout condescending twaddle at them for half and hour.


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