Thursday, May 31, 2012

Musings of a Vengeful Spirit - Poisoned Speech, Poisoned Sound, Poisoned Sight

When the mind has been poisoned by the desire for revenge it will almost certainly spread to other areas, infecting them as well. I was originally going to do separate posts for each of these but then I realized there is no one set order in which these three symptoms will occur. They can happen so close together that it would be hard to know.

Poisoned Sight
When consumed by the desire for revenge the poison can and will interfere with one's sight. It has spread far enough to alter what one sees when they read. Suddenly slights and offenses that may have been implications at best will be read as focused attacks.

It might be as simple as lack of a quantifier, the writer not being clear with their point (and would be more than happy to clarify, if asked in a civil manner), or maybe even an honest grammar error. When the sight is poisoned there is a subtle but very real scanning of people's words. Just looking for something that can be interpreted as a slight or aggression. Ever heard of the phrase, "So angry you can't even see straight?" That's what poisoned sight is all about. So ready to attack that you may miss (or in extreme cases actively ignore) a detail that would have altered your response had you noticed it.

Poisoned Sound

Don't think that what I just said above only applies to the written word. No this effect is not limited to reading the words of a news article or blog post. The poison can affect what one hears in vocal conversation as well. Again as with reading it is fairly certain that when simply looking for a fight that one would miss something that the other party said mere seconds before launching an attack. They may be on the lookout for a specific keyword or phrase that is sure to queue the prepared aggression.

Quite literally listening for an excuse to start a fight.

Poisoned Speech

Speaking of looking for an attack angle the real fury flies once the trigger is heard/read. Its almost like a sleeper agent that knows what their command phrase is and actively seeks it out. When activated the poisoned tongue seems to go on auto pilot. Lashing out at anything and everything that can be considered a threat. Even those they would otherwise agree with become targets.

Next time I want to talk a bit more about the Poisoned Tongue and the damage it can really do.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Men and Body Image at The Good Men Project

I haven't had a chance to sit down and look at the comment turnout on all the post in the series yet but it seems like there has been some decent coverage on the Men and Body Image series that I've been overseeing. Part of me wishes I had held it off until this week instead of having it start just before disappearing for 3 days but it was a chance to be a guest editor and I couldn't pass it up.

Feel free to take a look at the main series or visit the Open Thread and tell us what you think.

Revenge: The Gift That Keeps On Giving

Back in March I did a post on Hunter Moore. For those of you who do not know Moore up until fairly recently operated a site called The site was a forum in which people could submit sexual, lewd, or otherwise inappropriate pictures of people. Along with these photos actual identifying information such as real name, location, and online aliases were published as well. The purpose of the site? To give people a chance to get back at those that harmed them.

Moore's site was what many call a “revenge porn” site. Revenge porn is the public (mostly online) distribution of images of people with the sole purpose of humiliating the subject in order to get back at them for something that person did to them. After being hurt himself in the past (heart broken by a girlfriend and sexually assaulted by a male coworker later) it seemed like Moore had emptied his heart out and decided to open a venue in which he would profit from revenge.

But revenge is not always, you might even be able to say rarely, that simple. Often times when it comes to righting a wrong (or maybe acting out an overwhelming desire that things had gone differently) the damage is not always limited to the ones that are seen as deserving of what comes to them. In the never ending chase to satisfy feelings of pain in a way that usually prove empty and meaningless even if we aren't destroyed in said chase innocent bystanders can very easily get caught up in the mix.

For example when Moore was running his site he had issues with people trying to submit images of under aged children to his site (which is also part of why he sold the site to the anti-bullying site Bullyville). Even though he appears to have been diligent about not allowing it through and reporting it to authorities there is no guarantee that none of it got through.

Also can it honestly be said that all the people that were displayed on isanyoneup really did something to the person that submitted the pictures? Could it be that in some cases submitting photos to Moore's site was not an act of revenge but rather the first strike against another person, who may have gone on to search for their own revenge?

Those are the risks of revenge and honestly once consumed by revenge the person looking to ease their pain will more than likely grow (or die) to not care about those risks. That's how we end up with the possibility of person A's plan for revenge against person B harming person C. Even if C doesn't pursue their own revenge against A there is still the fact of the matter that C was totally and unfairly harmed by A's desire to get back at B.

It is extremely easy for a thirst for revenge to get out of hand and hurt people who had nothing to do with the original offense.

People say that the way to defeat hate, and to be sure revenge is a variation of hate (I think its wrath with a twist of envy myself), is with love. But how do you get a person poisoned by hate to see, feel, and find the love that will treat the poison and ease their pain?

Monday, May 28, 2012

Getting back to action

I'm back from Animazment and now I need to look at my blog roll.

::Looks at blog roll::

Yeah that's pretty much it. But seriously there's a lot of stuff in there so I'll be working on trying to catch up.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Weekly Mashup - Heaven and Earth Style

Dragons, indeed

Got a link you want to share?
Want to spark some discussion?
Need a place to talk about something that wouldn't be welcome else where?
Then come over to the Ethecofem Forums!!!

Should Boys Be Allowed to Play Girls’ Sports?: I've got a new post up at Good Men Project. It seems I have gotten myself almost to the point of posting there once a week now.

Some ‘Splainin To Do… Mansplaining That Is: A post about mansplaining.

A Man, His Fat, and a Hatred of Photos: A reposting of a an edited version of an old post I did here about a year ago to kick off a series on men and body image at Good Men Project.

Weaselly hypocrisy
: TS with a nice response (or takedown) to the response of a Southern Poverty Law Center article from a few months ago that painted up MRAs as nothing but angry woman haters. About the only thing that was true is that they didn't actually call the MRM a hate movement. Yeah they just specifically cherry picked only negative things, ignored the positive, made up some bull for filler, and then let the sparks fly. Nice one TS.

'The Secret Circle' - A Post Mortem: Trust me if you've never seen the Secret Circle show just don't. But seriously I think the books are worth picking up. The story honestly so much better than the heavily altered stuff that played on the CW. Because seriously how can you expect to make an ongoing tv out of 3 books (with a fourth on the way)?

5 Commitments To Become Part Of A Solution To The World’s Problems

The men's rights zeitgeist: Oh what do we have here. We have some feminists trying to take the high ground now that some portion of MRAs have gone extreme. I'm not an MRA but I've had experiences with feminists that told me loud and clear that MRAs didn't just create their extreme anti-feminism out of thin air. In fact the mere fact that instead of looking for reasonable MRAs to talk to (and they aren't that hard to find) they instead reach for the low hanging fruit and then declare that the entire movement is like that. Which is something that feminists regularly scream the bloodiest of murder over when it's done to them. No we're supposed to believe that the battle of the sexes didn't start when feminists, even for as much good as they did, were denying the experiences of men but when extreme MRAs started to get some attention for their lashing out.

NC Pastor Charles ‘put gays behind electric fence to die’ Worley now under media microscope

Internet Man Does Not Want To Be On The Google Anymore: Well now. He apparently didn't get that memo on the whole thing about how once something gets on the internet it can't be taken off.

While it is graphic, this needs to be seen. Male genital mutilation.: This is for the people who when they to justify cutting the genitals of baby boys. Just because they MIGHT be "too young to remember it" or "don't feel any pain" doesn't mean its not a terrible thing. The image is really graphic and totally NOT SAFE FOR WORK.

The Second Sexism: don't judge a book by its press: Good. For a second there I was thinking that everyone was so busy trying to declare this book an attack on women and feminism that no one actually took the time to see what it was actually about.

Music - "End of All Hope" by Nightwish
Anime - X/1999

Alright folks I actually scheduled this a few days ago and if all went as planned I am currently at Animazement taking a long needed break and getting my fandom on. I'll see you all next week!!!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Vulnerability and Shame

Saw this over at the MensRights reddit a while back:
From TED talks on Vulnerability and Shame:
"Here's what you need to know. Shame is highly, highly correlated, with addiction, depression, violence, aggression, bullying, suicide, eating disorders. And here's what you even need to know more: Guilt? Inversely correlated with those things. The ability to hold something we've done or want to do up against who we want to be, is incredibly adaptive. It's uncomfortable, but it's adaptive.

The other thing you need to know about shame is it's absolutely organized by gender.... Shame for women is this web of unattainable, conflicting, competing expectations of who we're supposed to be. And it's a straitjacket. For men, shame is not a bunch of competing, conflicting expectations. Shame is one: Do not be perceived as weak.

I did not interview men for the first four years of my study. And it wasn't until a man looked at me one day after a book signing and said to me, "I love what you have to say about shame, but I'm curious why you didn't mention men." And I said, "I don't study men." And he said, "That's convenient." And I said, "Why?" And he said, "Because you say to reach out, tell our story, be vulnerable. But you see those books you just signed for my wife and my three daughters? They'd rather me die on top of my horse than watch me fall down. When we reach out and be vulnerable, we get the shit beat out of us. And don't tell me from the guys and the coaches and the dads. Because the women in my life are harder on me than anyone else."

Point being you can't say that you are a researcher into guilt, shame, and vulnerability but then leave out massive chunks of the population.

I have to say I think that shame for men is more of a competition than than Brown realizes.

We're supposed to work to support family but get accused of being negligent if we don't spend enough time with them.

We're supposed to make the first move in dating but we are too often called "pushy", "perverted", and of course "creepy" when making that first move.

We're supposed to be aggressive but we are often looked down upon as mindless brutes for it.

We're supposed to be emotionally open but we are often chided for that very emotional openness.

The piece I quoted above is from Brown's talk "Listening to Shame" and an interaction she had with a man at one of her book signings. I think he points out something that people tend to not want to listen to when it comes to gender intersecting with guilt/shame/vulnerability there is this belief that when it comes to men being beaten back when we try to open up it's all happening in a male only vacuum where women simply don't exist. That's not the case.

I know from my own experiences when it came to doing something unconventional in the end men were more accepting of it than women.

If we want to allow for people to be vulnerable as a part of their own growth then it has to be open to everyone, not just the people we want to allow to grow.

Here are links to the videos "Listening to Shame" (which is where the quoted bit above comes from) and her older video "The Power of Vulnerability":

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Scaring people with rape?

(The footage in this clip is pretty rough and talks about prison rape. Tread carefully.)

Okay more than likely the bits of Anderson Cooper laughing were added by the uploader but this isn't an Anderson Cooper hit piece so never mind that.

What I do want to talk about is how guards and prisoners are using fear of rape as a tactic in Scared Straight efforts.

If you don't know scared straight is the idea of taking kids that are about to head down the path of crime and placing them in contact with hardcore prisoners. The hope is that the kids will learn from the prisoners that a life of crime is not a life worth living. Now in and of itself I don't have a problem with that. But I don't like the use of rape as a tool of fear.

The purpose of going to prison is to lose the freedoms of not being a prisoner in the outside (mostly) free world as punishment for crime. While rape certainly does happen in prison it is simply not acceptable that it be regarded as part of the punishment of prison. Ideally no form of rape should happen to anyone so why use it as a threat for kids who are headed for the criminal life?

Again I'm all for showing kids what they truly deserve to stand to lose if they become criminals. Knowing you are all alone? Go for it. Knowing that the world isn't going to stop for you while you're inside? Go for it. Knowing that once (or if) you get out you will have an uphill battle trying to straighten your life out? Go for it. Knowing that if you keep down that path you will likely reach a point where you will never see the light of day as a free person again? Go for it.

But telling them that if they end up in prison they're going to be made into someone's sex toy? No.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Do you really wish it had been you?

(I'm talking about rape. Tread carefully.)

If you have ever heard about, read about, or talked to someone about a case of female against male rape (mostly but not limited to statutory) there is a good chance you've heard some pretty odd commentary. In addition to some women that don't understand how a woman can rape a man there are also some guys saying things to the effect of:

“I wish that had been me!”

“He should feel lucky!”

“He's a real man now!”

“Where were teachers like that when I was in school!”

Let's talk to those guys for a moment.

Okay guys when you talk about female against male rape and how that guy is lucky or however you say that him being raped is a good thing (or a not so bad thing) I don't think you're thinking about it properly.

When someone is raped that means that they had sex under some circumstance in which they were not able to consent (in statutory there is a legal presumption that a person under a certain age is not able to give consent for sex, even if they technically said yes). When you compare the experience of the male that was raped to your own desire to have sex with his rapist you are missing a very big detail.

That rape victim never got a say in that sexual encounter.

To make comments about how that male rape victim should have liked it or how you would have liked it you are trying to equate him being raped with your desire for a consensual encounter. However instead you should probably be comparing his experience with something else.

A sexual encounter in which your ability to consent is taken from you.

Picture it. Think about a sexual encounter that you would not want to have. It could be that you don't find that person sexually attractive. It could be that you are in a one on one relationship and you will not cheat on your partner. It could be that you simply do not want to have sex at that moment. It's your consent and you're free to give it or not give as you see fit.

Now imagine that your ability to say no, turn that person down, or otherwise not engage in sex (aka deny consent) is taken away from you or if you're considered not able to give consent (for example you're below the age of consent). She drugs you. She physically forces you. She blackmails you. The exact way doesn't matter, just that she made you have sex when you didn't want to.

THAT is what you should be comparing that male victim's experience to.

Just something to consider the next time you want to say something like that about a guy that was raped by a woman.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Weekly Mashup - Alucard Style

Wicked Vampire

Got a link you want to share?
Want to spark some discussion?
Need a place to talk about something that wouldn't be welcome else where?
Then come over to the Ethecofem Forums!!!

Revenge: The Gift That Keeps On Giving: I have a new post over at Good Men Project.

How men can beat gender bias in car insurance

Lagging at school, the butt of cruel jokes: are males the new Second Sex?: I wouldn't say that men are the "new second sex". But I would say things are coming to light that have been happening to men for a while....and there are a lot of people that don't like that.

The Bristol Compromise Part 3: Promoting Male Circumcision: So in the same area you have people simultaneously advocating against female genital cutting and advocating for male genital cutting.

Aussie News Coverage of Child Abduction Case Blatantly Anti-Dad

Victim often seen as victor in sex cases with female teachers, male students: An article on how female teacher/male student statutory rape is seen in kinder light that the reverse.

Cops Using Tasers on Pregnant Women: OK?: I kinda don't like the idea of anyone being tazed but I have to wonder exactly what would the alternative have been if tazing this pregnant woman was out of the question. Yes they could have overpowered her for the arrest but what danger would she and the baby have faced if she had been dragged out of the car by force and thrown to the ground?

Male Disposability – Combat Zone Bomb Blasts and Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy: Gingko on male disposability and the injuries suffered by war veterans that go ignored because of it.

Transgender Miss Universe Back in Competition, No Longer Disqualified. A men's Rights issue?: It may not be a direct MRA issue since it's not about a man. But nevertheless this is about the rights of a person, so whether they are a man or not the support should be welcome.

Exclusive: Male Student Suspended for Wearing a Skirt
It would seem that people still don't like guys that don't "dress properly". (Fro tip to r/MensRights)

Who Enjoys Casual Sex, Anyway?

Beaten Ottawa senior jailed after calling 911: The article seems to put the blame on the 911 operator. I think it was the cops. Yes the operator could have done more to understand Andrzejewski when he called but it was the cops that chose to arrest him and hold him for over 2 months.

Evolution of the Hipster

Thursday, May 17, 2012

A Good (Young) Man Indeed Stage 7

No matter how small your voice may be, rising up and saying what you believe in makes you a good man. Mind you it may be a while before 9 year old Josef Miles calls himself a man but if he is doing stuff like this already then I think he'll be okay.

The Westboro Baptist Church has a bit of a history for thanking God for dead soldiers (even protesting at the funerals of soldiers that have literally given their lives to protect us) and expressing homophobic sentiments. While on the campus of Washburn University in Topeka, Kansas with his mother, Josef encountered a group of these protestors. Our man Josef decided to say something back.

He simply pulled out a sketch pad and made a small counter protest sign with the message, "GOD HATES NO ONE".

Frankly I have to agree with the guy on this one. I am no Christian but I have a hard time believing that a God whose son died for the sins of humans would hate gay people.

Josef is a good (young) man indeed.

Fro tip to HuffPo.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

HR 4970 vs HR 4271

With the the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) being such a hot topic there are bound to be confusion and conflicts.

Apparently there are two versions of the re-authorization of it floating around. The first, sponsored by Rep. Gwen Moore is H.R. 4271 and the second is sponsored by Rep. Stacy Adams, H.R. 4970.

I've been looking at these for the last 20 minutes or so and honestly they look so much alike. However if NOW is actively trying to gain support for 4271 over 4970 then there must be some sort of difference.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Video Games as Therapy?

Recently Slashdot ran an short article on a game by the name of Sparx that was tested against cognitive therapy in the treatment of depression of teenagers. Developed by experts in adolescent depression from the University of Auckand in conjunction with Metia Interactive the player performs tasks that are meant to teach the player skills for combating depression.

The game takes place across seven different levels (learning skills in the first six and the seventh being a review of the first six). A breakdown of the levels from an article on it in BJM:
Description of content and core skills covered in each module (level) of SPARX

Level 1—cave province: finding hope
Psychoeducation about depression and an introduction to the cognitive behavioural therapy model
Introducing GNATs (Gloomy Negative Automatic Thoughts)
Introducing “hope” (people recover from depression)
Relaxation: controlled breathing

Level 2—ice province: being active
Activity scheduling and behavioural activation
Relaxation: progressive muscle relaxation
Basic communication and interpersonal skills

Level 3—volcano province: dealing with emotions
Dealing with strong emotions: anger and hurt feelings
Interpersonal skills: assertiveness, listening, and negotiation

Level 4—mountain province: overcoming problems
Problem solving using STEPS: Say the problem, Think of solutions, Examine the pros and cons, Pick one and try it, See what happens
Cognitive restructuring-identifying SPARX: Smart, Positive, Active, Realistic, X-factor thoughts

Level 5—swamp province: recognising unhelpful thoughts
Cognitive restructuring—recognising different types of GNATs

Level 6—bridgeland province: challenging unhelpful thoughts
Cognitive restructuring—learning to challenge or “swap” negative thoughts for helpful ones
Interpersonal skills continued: negotiation skills

Level 7—canyon province: bringing it altogether
Recap of all skills
Mindfulness: tolerating distress
Relapse prevention: knowing when to ask for help

It would seem that at the end of the three month trial the effectiveness of Sparx in the treatment of depression is at least comparable to that of the cognitive therapy.

I wonder. It's very evident that video games have become a very large part of human culture over the last few decades. Given how deeply ingrained they are (especially to younger people) is it possible that this may be a way to treat depressed teens that may not respond to other forms of treatment?

If anything it would seem to me that at least the folks that regularly go on about how video games make kids do this and do that would see this as a way to influence them in a positive manner. Surely if if a video game can cause a teen to go on a shooting rampage then it's possible that a video game can cause a kid to learn how to overcome depression.

Below is a trailer of the game and a few more links on the research.

News 24

SPARX Video Game Helps Teens Battle Depression

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Weekly Mashup - Sanji Style

Sanji. Cooking like a boss.

Got a link you want to share?
Want to spark some discussion?
Need a place to talk about something that wouldn't be welcome else where?
Then come over to the Ethecofem Forums!!!

Controversial circumcision ritual led to infant's death from herpes, says death certificate: I know injuries and deaths related to circumcision are rare but I'm still hung up on why people fight so hard to continue the practice.

A high-fiber diet does not protect against asymptomatic diverticulosis: Looks like high fiber may actually be making diverticulosis worse rather than better.

Is it Okay For a Mom to Be Jealous of Her Own Baby?: I'd say the answer would be about the same as dads who get jealous over their children getting the majority attention from the mom.

Sex Worker Problems: I like this tumblr. Especially how it speaks not only about sex workers but about clients of sex workers. Never did understand why people who probably call themselves sex positive would try to shame and insult clients. If there were no clients, there would be no sex workers.

Verizon, Once Again, Fights For Consumer Privacy Against Copyright Shakedown Attempts: Sure Verizon can and will nickel and dime you to death but at least you're getting something out of it.

Campus False Sex-Assault Convictions Easier Under Obama
: Sometimes I wonder if goal is to stop rapists or to just get more rape convictions. No, they aren't the same thing.

Insight: America's hatred of fat hurts obesity fight: Shaming doesn't actually help as much as shamers seem to think it does. But what do you expect from people that are simply trying to justify their negative attitudes?

They don't get it: it's the double standards that are offensive: Ah Jezebel. The bastion of "it's only bad when it happens to women".

Are Men Attracted to What They Think Other Men Approve Of?
: Hey even a broken clock is right twice a day.

For Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson, Women are Dirty Sluts Who Shouldn't be Allowed to Vote

Penn State prosecutors change the date of alleged rape

Circle of Moms: Friendly Man Equals Child Predator
: So does this mean that I as a man should not be friendly in order to prove that I am not a child predator?

Mayweather: Champion of What?: I don't care how much money he's has or brings to the sport of boxing. Mayweather's ability to fight isn't worth more than justice for a person he attacked outside the ring.

Moms Spray Dirty-Dancing Teens with Lysol in Real-Life Footloose Fiasco

Sixth graders made porn video at Mexican school: I really hope those boys get some help.

Be cool!

Friday, May 11, 2012

The Six Billion Dollar Sex Worker and The Bionic Prostitute?

Source of image[1].

I came across a FOX News article on a research paper on what the sex industry would be like in 2050 (there is a link to the paper there but its behind a pay wall). This sounds like an interesting idea. Something that will do a lot of good for a lot of people. But how much good will it do, how much harm will it do, and how many issues around prostitution could get pushed to the back burner (which I guess would be a harm in the long run)?

The science fiction blog io9 covered the paper as well. Entitled, "Robots, men and sex tourism" Ian Yeoman and Michelle Mars of the University of Wellington's Victoria Management School propose robotic prostitution as a way to combat issues that currently plague the sex industry such as STDs/STIs, human trafficking, sexual abuse, and adultery.

The subject of the paper is the fictional club Yub-Yum, where people have sex with prostitutes who are not people but are androids (and from here on out I'll be using android instead of robot, as an android is a specific type of robot that is designed to resemble a human). Clients are able to choose from a wide variety of prostitutes built in the likenesses of any gender, ethnicity, age or body type imaginable and programmed to perform any act the client desires.

I'm of the mind that the idea of android prostitution would have some good sides.

For one there is risk of infection. With there being no human to human contact in human/android sex (the androids would be made from bacteria resistant materials and cleaned between clients to prevent transfer of disease and infection) the chances of infection would be extremely low.

The idea of android prostitutes could be a great idea for people who for whatever reason are just not very good with people. I suspect the shyness and fear that some people have around other people would not come into play here. This may give them a chance to still experience sex without that fear and shyness creeping up on them.

At the same time though I do wonder about possible negative side effects of prostitution.

As I said above about people who are overcome with shyness and fear of being around other it would be good for them since they would not have to worry about said shyness and fear coming. However there is a chance that instead of facing those problems they may use android prostitution as a shield to protect them from ever having to confront the problem.

If that happens they would not only not overcome their problem but it would actually get worse. Perhaps the human likeness of the androids could used in a therapeutic manner (like getting comfortable with androids as a stepping stone to getting comfortable with humans)?

While I think a lot of people would warm up to the idea of having sex with a prostitute I don't think everyone would. I get the feeling that there will be some holdouts who will still prefer to have sex with flesh and blood people. Now most of those people will keep on having sex with consensual partners.

Unfortunately there are sick freaks out there that actually get off on violating other people against their will. These people would keep the market of human trafficking alive but to make it worse they would probably represent only a tiny portion of prostitution sexual slavery clients meaning that such a market would likely be deep underground. The farther underground the harder to catch. This could leave some innocent people in a lot of real danger.

Then you have some possibilities that may not be obviously positive or negative.

Would choosing an android prostitute by the person its built to resemble be fetishism? White American blonde with big tits. African Man with a huge dick. Tiny submissive Asian woman. Tanned Latino man with flowing black hair.

For a person that has never been very successful in the realm of sex with other people (not to be confused with those who are shy and fearful of others like I mentioned above) would this be an issue? Would they see this as a way to get past having to put up with constantly striking out with human? Could these designs further entrench sexual stereotypes?

Would a married person that hired an android prostitute be committing adultery? Is the "but they arne't human" argument hold true?

What about people who have sex with androids and humans? Would issues arise from the fact that they are used to having their way with androids and thus get a warped sense of what they can do with another person? Is there going to be a problem of a person that hires androids for sex eventually "losing touch" with human sex partners? Even if you take out the possible adultery angle this could still cause problems in a relationship. (This is an issue with porn already in fact.)

Could a person that has sex with androids do it frequently enough that they would come to hold future human partners to expectations that they simply cannot fulfill? (For example a person having sex with an android in a position that is would be painful for a human partner or an android being able to have constant for periods of time that most humans would not be able to match.)

Is there a chance that a preference of having sex with androids could become a new sexual orientation all on its own?

Finally you have the androids themselves. They are built in the likeness of humans and are being used to perform an human act (sex). Is that blurring the line between human and android to the point that said androids should perhaps be treated like a human would? If that's the case then would it feasible to say that instead of getting rid human trafficking we would only be replacing it with android trafficking? At this point we may be touching on ethical and moral issues that were once limited to the realm of fictions like Blade Runner, I Robot, and Ghost in the Shell.

That's not even considering artificial intelligence. Chances are such androids would have some sort of programming in order to do the things that their clients want but what if they were capable of learning? What if over time they came to recognize a client they have had before and knew what they were into? What if they were to start recommending things to clients? What if they knew their client is about to have sex for the first time and were capable of being gentle with them and not going too fast, like a human could? Would these things ignite a new fight for sex workers rights?

The introduction of android prostitutes is a big deal, or at least I think it is. If the things told in that research paper do come to pass and android prostitutes are a real thing in 2050 that means we've got a lot to figure out and work on in the next 38 years.

What are your thoughts on the idea of android prostitution?

[1]: This is a photo of two cosplayers dressed up as Androids 17 and 18 from the anime series Dragonball Z. But I wouldn't recommend propositioning them for sex though as they were rampaging killers.

Here's some other links I came across while looking for info on this:

Sex with Robots: How Humanity is Screwing Itself

Would you pay to have sex with an android?

Seminar on Law and Robots (Artificial Intelligence) at the University of Miami (Originally in Spanish so you may need to translate it.)

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

So, it's happened

Despite the best efforts of a lot of people in North Carolina that damn Amendment One passed.

I'm pretty silent on this right now.

If you have anything to say about Amendment One, say it here.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Musings of a Vengeful Spirit - Poisoned Mind

In my last entry of Vengeful Musings I talked about how a person that is harmed may strongly desire for things to have turned out differently. Let us continue.

Even for as bad as B may want things to have gone differently with A, B understands on some level that it is quite impossible to change history. But that doesn't ease B's pain. Realizing this B is consumed with an overwhelming pain that can seemingly only be soothed by hurting A in some way.

The craving to hurt them back will not be easily quelled. It becomes a dark motivation for things that would otherwise be seen as quite fair minded and good ("the right thing for the wrong reason" effect). When this obsession has set in one thing is clear.

The mind has been poisoned.

B's mind has been poisoned with the hopes, dreams, and wantings of hurting A in way similar to the way they were hurt (although that "similar" can easily become "greater", overcompensation I suppose).

In the next entry I'll go into how this poison spreads.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Weekly Mashup Stage 100

Got a link you want to share?
Want to spark some discussion?
Need a place to talk about something that wouldn't be welcome else where?
Then come over to the Ethecofem Forums!!!

This is my Weekly Mashup. You know the drill. Feel free to treat it like an Open Thread.

Despite tax breaks, some NC hospitals deny care to poor: I guess that is how we manage to have some of the best hospitals in the country here.

Experimental AIDS Therapy May Be Beginning Of The End: Could gene therapy eliminate AIDS once and for all?

Colorado boy, 6, suspended for sexual harassment: Seriously how many times is this that a boy (and it seems to be mostly if not only boys) has been suspended for something minor?

Fathers the central figure in family brand campaigns: Looks like marketing agencies in the UK are coming around to the idea that it might be good to advertise family brands to dads.

The Life of Julia: A composite cradle to grave imagining of a woman and how her life would be helped by Obama and hurt by Romney.

Here's the entire set!

One of the UK's biggest soaps has a male-victim DV storyline...: Unfortunately people from the US can't view the video. But I do like the idea that people are talking about female against male DV on a larger stage.

Wife of NC State Senator says Amendment One is necessary ‘to protect the Caucasian race’

Woman accused of severing man's penis in fatal stabbing at Dallas motel: I can't wait to hear people saying he deserved it or for people to start making jokes about it...

London sperm bank under investigation after couple has baby from different race: So let me get this straight. If a woman commits paternity fraud people trip over themselves to declare that the DNA doesn't matter but if a sperm bank screws up its "devastation"?

State Patrol "looking into" Occupy drug allegations; Mpls police claim no involvement: Police giving Occupy protesters drugs?

MISOGYNY –Toxic Femininity: Ginkgo on some of the different types of toxic femininity.

Canadian university contemplates Men's Centre.: Why is it that whenever someone tries to bring up something for men its often women and feminists that are the first ones to presume that men don't need their spaces? You would think that people who are supposedly all about equality for all people would recognize that the life of men is not peachy keen and would not try to say that men's issues don't matter because women have it worse... (Does Simon Fraser University Need a Men's Centre?)

Activists memorialize North Carolina workers killed on the job: A moment to remember the 83 workers killed on the job in NC in 2011.

Hinckley man allegedly paid undercover cop to kidnap his ex-girlfriend, turn her into sex slave: Oh yeah this clown needs to go away to that special place in hell where women that hire people to kill their husbands are sent.

Is it possible to be an MRA without being a Feminist?: Interesting question.

Because I just love coming out of left field with something weird sometimes.

Well now that I've gotten to Stage 100 I think I want to start doing something other than just numbering for these Weekly Mashups. Oh I'm sure I'll come up with something.


Friday, May 4, 2012

So mixing genders in youth sports.... only okay as long as girls aren't on the short end of the stick?

Boy field hockey star kicked off girls' team for being 'too good'.

The boy has been playing on their girl's team for two years and now he's being kicked off. According to the executive director of Section 11, the authority that oversees sports in that are, it has something to do with boys taking over.
Section 11's executive director, Ed Cinelli, told MyFoxNY, "As a sport, it's a girls sport. When a boy plays, it leads the way for other male players to come in and take over."
So he's been doing this for two years and now its a concern that boys will come in and take over the girl's sport. My first question to this is if that's the case then does that mean that this boy is only one of many that have joined the team and he's just the only being talked about?

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Large But Not Quite in Charge: 5/19

Guess who just got tapped for a guest editing spot at Good Men Project? That's right. I'm totally pumped (and a little worried). But its for a good reason and for a topic that I don't think is talked about nearly enough.

Large But Not Quite in Charge: 5/19

Are you a man or boy that has had or is currently having body image issues?

Are you a man that has had such issues since long before the relatively recent stories that say men are “now starting” to feel the pressure many women have felt about their bodies?

Are you a man or boy whose fat has caused major damage to your self esteem, confidence, or has altered your life in a major way?

Are you a man or boy who is teased or harassed for not having a “real man’s body” because of your ethnicity or heritage?

Are you a man or boy who worries your physical disabilities disqualify you from being considered a “real man?”

Are you a friend or loved one of a man or boy who takes his desire to have more muscles to the point of unhealthy obsession?

Are you a mental health professional who works with men and boys who have problems with their body image?

For a long time these have been questions that were considered off limits. As men and boys we could be on the verge of burning out, going over the edge, and just plain shutting down over these issues but were largely left unable to speak up because “men don’t open up about their pain.” I think it’s high time that changed.

Let us create a place where we can talk about men and boys and our bodies in a way that doesn’t seem to happen very often.

Email your submissions on men and body image to Danny at by Saturday, May 19 for consideration. See our submission guidelines for more information.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

A Selfish Act?

(I'm talking about suicide here. Tread carefully.)

A few weekends ago I went out to a show at the request of a friend that wanted to see some familiar faces around as he coped with the fact that another friend of his (one that I never knew but was a long time friend of his) had committed suicide. While talking about it someone mentioned how suicide was such a selfish act. The idea that one who commits this act is being inconsiderate of the people they leave behind.

But I wonder.

How is that conclusion made? How can it be said that a person who commits suicide is not being considerate of those they leave behind?

Work with me here for a bit. Also as a warning these are my own thoughts and therefore I don't claim to speak for all people who have thought about suicide.

When one is suicidal they are at the point where they are truly thinking that the people they would leave behind would be better off without them. In my own thoughts on this over the years it doesn't strike me as inconsiderate if for no other reason than, at least in my case, there has already been quite a bit of thought on exactly that subject.

Whenever I've been at that point I started questioning my value to my loved ones. Its said that love conquers all but when one believes that they are so useless, so worthless, so horrible that they are actually a burden on their loved ones and friends it becomes uncertain if love can overcome that.

Now some may be thinking that yes it can overcome those feelings. The thing is with me that actually means I am a burden to you if you are coming to my aid to show that you do love me and that you love me so much that you don't want me to die. Well that just makes me feel even more worthless. Now I'm thinking to myself, "If they have to do this then why am I here?". But even taking that into account I have one other question that I want to get at. Here is where things get dark and a bit mean.

Who in the hell do these friends think they are to declare that I'm being selfish with my own life?

When I was at my darkest moments the last thing I would want to have to hear is the idea that I am being selfish with my own life. Again I can't speak for everyone that has been there but another reason I'm on that edge is because I feel that I don't have control of my life. As in, "Well if everything is hopelessly out of control then why bother?" or, "The only thing I have control over is when I die."

In short suicide can feel like an act of taking control at a time when all other control is lost. Having even friends call a suicidal person selfish rails against the very control that they are trying to take into their own hands. A sort of, "How dare you do something with your life that I do not approve of?!?"

In closing I want to say that I'm not saying these things with the intent of telling you that caring about your friends and loved one's is wrong or that you shouldn't do it (because really if love conquers all then how easy can it be to simply not acknowledge it?).

What I am saying is that you may want to bear in mind what that suicidal friend may be thinking and how that intersects with you calling them selfish.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Just a bit of fuming here...

I came across a rather old article about something that was done at University of Maryland.

It would seem that members of a feminist art class got the idea to gather the names of, well simply put, men list them on posters and put them up around campus. Oh and the men were also labeled "Potential Rapists". Lovely I know.

Well I noticed two very odd things. One while the names of those men were put up on public display there seems to be no confirmed list of the names of the women that put the posters up. That's a bit unfair isn't it? Willing to plaster the names of quite literally random men and call them potential rapists with no evidence other than they are men but then not willing to reveal themselves?

Secondly there is this bit at the end of the article.:
"A lot of people are very upset by it, but I think if a man was secure he wasn't a rapist, he wouldn't be threatened by this list," Ms. Lane said.
That's a trap if I ever read one. That woman is basically saying that it should be okay to call a man a potential rapist and it not be of any threat to him if he is secure that he is not a rapist.

There's a few things wrong with this.

1. This presumes that there is no legitimate reason for a man to feel threatened if accused of rape or believed to be a potential rapist. There are more than enough false rape accusations to blow that out of the water.

2. This the rape equivalent of "If you haven't done anything wrong then you don't have anything to worry about." So does that mean that all those men who were damaged by false rape allegation had nothing to worry about because they didn't do anything wrong?

3. This is unfairly putting the onus on innocent men to jump through hoops to prove themselves to women that have basically appointed themselves as the arbiters of lie and truth.

I have to say that if I were a more vengeful spirit and were on that campus at that time I might have been tempted to gather the names of random women and post them up on campus as being "Potentially Promiscuous". Because apparently:

1. By some feat of magic no one would know who did it.

2. "A lot of people are very upset by it, but I think if a woman was secure she wasn't promiscuous, she wouldn't be threatened by this list" right?

a. Because what reason is there for a woman to feel threatened if she is accused of being promiscuous.
b. "If she hasn't done anything like that then she doesn't have anything to worry about."
c. And if those women have a problem with being accused then all they have to do is jump through hoops to assure men that they are no promiscuous.

Now I'm sure you're probably thinking that stuff like that doesn't happen anymore. Are you sure about that? Sure there aren't random events of women tear assing across campuses posting names of guys and calling them potential rapists. But it still exists.

Think about it. Someone claiming its okay to label you a potential rapist for literally no other reason than you are male. That someone claiming that you should have nothing to worry about if you are not a rapist. That someone claiming that now that they have stuck that label on your forehead it is now up to you to prove to them that you are not a threat. Sounds really fucking familiar doesn't it?

In fact I bet you've even seen him a few times....

Take it easy.