Category Archives: Feminism

On Porn II: Definitions

Porn by Definition

One thing I learned to abhor about academic philosophy was the almost compulsive need to redefine commonly used terms in order to buttress otherwise confusing or inconclusive arguments. By the end of a 20-page discussion of something as unobscure as “justice,” most theorists had redefined the term itself and spend the majority of the paper defending that definition.

That is not what I’m going to do here.

A lot of people try to draw a distinction between erotica and porn. I don’t think that this distinction is useful. In the common vernacular, I’ve heard people refer to porn as erotica and erotica as porn. True, some porn is more focused on the relationship and emotions of its actors than others. I don’t think that a focus on the eroticism rather than the physicality takes a piece of porn out of the realms of pornography.

More importantly, I think drawing a distinction between porn and erotica legitimizes really toxic stereotypes about male and female sexuality. You can read exactly how people separate porn from erotica here and here, among other places. What seems to be common in these dichotomies is that they posit that porn entirely focuses on the physical aspects of sex and is often obscene with no higher aspirations; and erotica focuses on feelings and emotions, and often has high-art aspirations.

If you feel that this dichotomy mirrors a similar one, you’re not mistaken. The differences assumed between pornography and erotica are the very differences we falsely assign male and female sexuality. Female sexuality is art, and more acceptable for public consumption (witness the proliferation of images of the female form versus the concealment or non-erotic cultural assumptions made of the male form). The sexuality of women is all about emotions and feelings, not about being attracted to the physicality of sex or the body of her partner. Female sexuality is inward-looking and passive. On the other hand, male sexuality only consists of the obscene and degrading. It wants nothing to do with feelings or emotions, just raw physicality. Men can have sex with people whom they’re only physically attracted to, women cannot. Men don’t have any use for love, unlike women. The nude male body is obscene in order to shock, or something that is unremarkable, common, and ugly. There’s nothing artistic about men.

Do I think that the way the divide between porn and erotica mirrors the divide between the common assumptions made of male and female sexuality is a coincidence? Hell no. I think that the porn/erotica divide is another toxic manifestation of gender values in our culture, and entirely useless. There is a very real association of erotica with femininity, and porn with masculinity. The very words themselves conger images of roses, love, and passion versus bodily fluids, full-frontal nudity, and gratuitous focus on the “obscene”.

Likewise, from an artistic standpoint, it’s entirely false to say that a woman’s body and her desires (or what they are idealised to be) are only “high art” while a man’s body and his desires are obscene and serve no other purpose other than to arouse, shock, and satisfy cheap physical needs. I have no erotic desire for the male form myself (since I’m a lesbian), but straight women obviously do legitimately desire the bodies of their male partners. Likewise, the idea that men want nothing to do with the feelings and emotions of sexuality is degrades the humanity and agency of men. It posits that men have no use for love, which is obviously false, and pretends that male sexuality is inherently obscene, disgusting, uncontrollable, and animalistic. Men do look inwards while expressing their sexuality, just as women look outwards. But our cultural messages claim otherwise, robbing both genders of their agency and pathologizing those who express their sexuality in ways not sanctioned by the zeitgeist.

Thus, for the purpose of this series, when I speak of “porn,” I speak of any form of media that depicts some sort of sexual behavior (in the case of more obscure fetishes, this may be more subtle and altogether exclude physical intercourse) with the intent to cause sexual excitement for the purpose of obtaining sexual satisfaction or selling the pornography itself. I think that caveat about satisfaction and selling the porn is useful, because without it, we might have to consider advertisement that relies on arousal to sell an unrelated product “porn.” In the common sense of the word “porn,” I get the feeling that nobody actually thinks that models in bikinis selling beer is considered porn — unless they are using the term “porn” with a negative connotation in order to critique the ad.

What I also want to establish here is that I feel that this definition of porn (which is adapted from the Merriam-Webster Dictionary), most closely approximates what most people really mean when they call something porn, smut, or erotica. And for the purposes of this series, I will consider all of these terms more or less equivalent, or at least different forms of the larger category of media we think of as “porn.”

Likewise, I don’t want to use the baggage associated with the erotica/porn separation, or the inherent negativity invoked by the word “smut.” I think pornography, by definition, is entirely neutral. Here I speak only of the theory of pornography. Considering only the definition of porn — and internalizing no negative or positive cultural messages about sexuality — ought to isolate the meaning of the word from the baggage associated with it.

Of course, the baggage associated with it is precisely what I discuss in this series. But there is something to be said with being semantically clear without redefining words in order to suit my following arguments. Here, I hope I have captured what the common American actually thinks when they call something “porn” without making any connotations of whether or not it is obscene or artistic, masculine or feminine, and divine or sinful.

To be continued in On Porn Part III: Fiction vs. Non-Fiction…

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On Porn I: Introduction and Disclaimers

Introduction

I’ve vaguely referenced porn before, but I’ve never really done a complex write-up about. I know that I’m opening a flood gate of critique, but I think it’s something worthwhile to discuss and reevaluate. One such write-up that I admire is Nine Deuce’s impressive Porn Series, which takes a highly critical stance to the modern porn industry.

What I don’t want to do is jump right in without making an important distinction. This post — and hopefully the posts that follow — are not about the idea of porn. They are about the reality of porn. First and foremost, I am not speaking about porn from a pulpit of righteousness. I have viewed a considerable amount of it ever since it became easily available on the internet. I have even gotten off to it, or used it as some sort of bizarre entertainment if it was not arousing. When I talk about porn, I’m talking about trends I have — firsthand — observed. I am also critiquing things that I have used or enjoyed, probably more than once, in the past. And since porn is so ubiquitous, they are also things I may view and enjoy in the future.

Does that make me a hypocrite? Yes, in a sense. But I think in a valuable sense. There’s something to be said about critiquing an institution from the inside, instead of the outside. Critically analyzing the implications of your own sexuality is a very worthwhile task. I feel that we take far too much about sex for granted, and just internalize toxic cultural messages as the “way things are.” I don’t feel that sex and sexuality needs to be shut into some sacred box, free from critique. Nor do I think that it should be thought of as inherently immoral, and something that we need to control rather than celebrate. But much like fireworks are beautiful, firing them into a crowd is deadly. And I think that a lot of our baggage around human sexuality, particularly when it comes to the porn industry, is not handled with enough care.

One distinction I learned in my years as a philosophy undergrad was that between ideal and non-ideal theory. Ideal theory is the stuff that constructs an ideal model of human behavior or takes a really idealistic view of the establishment of certain institutions. John Locke’s theories on the consent of the governed are an example of this. Even Rousseau, who saw the advent of human civilization as an abomination, deals in ideal theory. Ideal theory is useful when discussing things in the abstract. But it’s not very realistic. I’d compare it to trying to determine how much fuel a plane requires without accounting for air resistance and assuming you are flying it in a vacuum.

Non-ideal theory deals with the reality of things. Most of philosophy is done with ideals, but certain thinkers have been distinguished by describing how things are rather than how they ought to be. One such thinker is Karl Marx, who described the very real alienation of the proletariat from his or her production. Another thinker, unfortunately less well-known, was Franz Fanon, who’s seminal The Wretched of the Earth, which is probably the titular example of anti-colonial theory.

So when I talk about porn, I’m talking about the reality of it. I’m talking about the beautiful, bizarre, dangerous, exploitive, and abusive practices that have gained notoriety today. I’m also talking about the very real effect porn has had on my life — both on my views of myself and my sexuality, and how it has impacted and will continue to impact my relationships (and not only my intimate relationships).


On Sex-Positivity

I think the biggest mistake made by radical feminists in the late ’70s and early ’80s was to ally themselves with Republicans to shed light on the abuses of the sex industry (more info here). It had the nasty effect of forever aligning Radical Feminism, and its critiques of porn, with the Puritanical woman-hating bullshit that conservatives and their allies are so often fond of. From this unfortunate association sprung the lie that feminists (particularly Radical Feminists) were anti-sex. Liberal feminists, willing to sell their sisters out in order to realign themselves with the Democratic party, dreamed up the misnomer of “pro-sex” feminism.1

Pro-sex feminism is a misnomer precisely because there are no anti-sex feminists. I’ve read dictionaries worth of radical feminist theory (Dworkin’s Intercourse is probably the most famous text), and nothing in them is remotely opposed to the idea of sex. What they are all opposed to is the reality of sex — in particular, the predator/prey model that alienates women and girls from their agency and sexuality while normalizing violent masculinity, coercion, abuse, and rape. This is why I wanted to make a distinction between ideal and non-ideal theory before I jumped right into porn: I am not opposed to the consumption of erotic materials or sex between two (or more) consenting parties.

Aside from completely absurd religious demagogues that have people believe that you’ll go to hell if you masturbate or have sex without the express and immediate intent of conceiving a child, there’s not lot of people I would describe as “anti-sex.” Thus, that’s a conversation I’m not going to have in this series. I will not make excuses for my critiques, nor will I temper them with “there are exceptions” and “what about teh menz!?” rejoinders.

What I care about is less what consensual people do to get their rocks off, and more of what our culture tells us we ought to do, or what is acceptable to do, to get our rocks off. If you want to critique your own sexual practices, be my guest. I’ve done as much for myself, and it’s a very illuminating task. I am not interested in establishing that certain sexual acts are inherently shameful, dirty, or wrong. What I want to discuss is what those acts represent in the zeitgeist, and what their ubiquity means in porn.

Being sex-positive is not something I’m after. I’m not here to enshrine any sexual practice, nor am I here to demonize one. As I said before, putting what we do in the name of orgasm on some shelf and forgetting about it is a mistake — whether we think our sexuality is holy or sinful. Sexuality is just that: sexuality. It’s uniquely human and established in a toxic soup of really horrible cultural messages that often conceal and  distort healthy sexuality. It’s something worth talking about not because it is more important than any other human activity, but because we have established it as more important than any other human activity by the enormous trouble and expense we go to judge, critique, express, conceal, protect, criminalize, and define it.

In closing, I am not trying to be pro-sex, and I refuse to even discuss what entails being ‘anti-sex.’ I am not interested in porn in theory, but in porn in practice and reality. I do not think human sexuality is inherently all that interesting. It’s only really interesting, in a very public way, because we made it so (see: Foucault’s excellent The History of Sexuality for more discussion in this vein). Why, how, and to what ends we did so is what I will discuss.

Continued in On Porn II: Definitions


1Please note that I do not harshly judge them for doing so. They did so in order to reestablish women’s issues as central in the Democratic party, who was leery of anyone aligning themselves with Republicans. I, in fact, think that Radical Feminists made an even graver error in selling Liberal Feminists out first by aligning themselves with Republicans — who are manifestly opposed to the very idea of gender equality in a visceral way. When it comes to gender equality, the enemy of my enemy is not my friend.

Porn, or Being a Cowardly Dishonest Douchebag

So the internet is all in a kerfluffle about Hugo Schwyzer’s recent piece on how almost all men participate in the sex industry, and almost all lie about it too. But that’s not really the content of this post. I’m done with the porn debate, honestly. This post is not about whether or not porn is good or bad. This post is about lying and then arguing in bad faith.

What the subsequent fallout around Schwyzer’s article told me is this: some people think that porn is so important to them, such an intrinsic part of their sexuality, that they are willing to lie about it. What this indicates is that there’s a metric fuckton of people out there that are self-aggrandizing shitbags. Here’s why:

If you enter into a relationship, you agree typically to abide by previously settled guidelines. According to the popular American set up of the traditional relationship, this typically constitutes not expending sexual energy with other people. It also includes not being dishonest. For a lot of women, using porn, buying the services of an escort, or going to strip clubs counts as cheating, since their partner is expressing their sexuality in a way that does not involve them. Whether or not this is “Victorian” or “sex negative” is not the point. The point is that if you do not think that using porn, a prostitute, or strippers to get off (notice that these are all real people, not sex toys, erotic literature, or lurid fantasies) constitutes cheating, you should probably say as much to your partner.

If you haven’t and just take it for granted, that’s fine. I understand how that happens. In fact, many commenters in Schwyzer’s thread seem to think that porn isn’t cheating, and thus, their use of it doesn’t need to be explained. But what that doesn’t explain is why anyone would then lie about it, then, if it was just some silly misunderstanding.

I submit that it’s not. Most American men know full well that unless a woman explicitly says so, she probably thinks that any use of a real person to get off other than her is cheating. I also assert that American men don’t lie about it because they’re afraid women will “jump down their throat” and turn into banshees or cannibalistic she-demons of the netherworld. They lie because they want to have their cake and eat it too. They want a relationship that implies monogamy, but they don’t want to actually adhere to that implication. They want to place their sexual “needs” (however they define them) over their partner’s right to consent to the actual, rather than fictional, parameters of their relationship.

In fact, they’re behaving exactly like extremely petulant and malicious children who really don’t want to justify their behavior with anyone, but want to retain the ability to censure and question the behaviors of other people.

Know what that is? That’s manifest horseshit. If you honestly think that porn, hiring escorts, or going to strip clubs is your right, and that someone is wrong and full of Puritanical bullshit to deny you the ability to do so, then why are you dating them in the first place? Know what I do with people I don’t agree with on the fundamental aspects of what constitutes a relationship or infidelity? I don’t date them. Know what I do with people whose positions on what I do or like to do to get off I object to in a very visceral way? I don’t date them.

This isn’t fucking rocket science.

You know, if I started a relationship with someone, and told them, “don’t ever eat an apple if you’re dating me. In fact, I think eating apples is completely abhorrent and disrespects me and/or our relationship, so if you do it, I will have a problem with it,” I expect them not to eat goddamn apples while they’re dating me. If they know what I think about eating apples, think my opinions about them is completely and utterly asinine and a violation of their “rights” and self-expression, and then eat apples anyway and lie to me, they are being fucking cowards. And liars. And violating the terms of our relationship.

You know, human sexuality is way more complicated than apples. I get it. My opinions on porn, buying sex, and going to strip clubs has nothing to do with what I’m saying. What I’m saying is that if someone holds a position about the very bedrock of your relationship that you highly object to, you don’t tell them as much, and then you go out and do it anyway knowing that they object to it, then you’re a cowardly lying sack of shit. Even if it’s something as utterly benign as eating apples. You want to have a relationship, but you don’t want the other person to have any say in what that relationship entails. In fact, you disrespect your relationship and that person so much that you will allow it to be built on lies and malicious deception. You want all the perks of a relationship without doing any of the work, without being accountable to the person that you have an obligation to be accountable to, since, you know, they’re goddamned equal human beings. Not only that, they are equal human beings you supposedly care about.

In conclusion, men who use sex services, lie about it, and know that their S.O. doesn’t want them to use it are absolute filth of the worst kind. Not because they use sex services. But because they have the audacity to enter into a relationship on false premises, and then pretend as if they don’t understand why anyone would be so angry when their deceptions and lies are uncovered.

Here in Arizona

Yeah, so I dropped off the face of the planet for a while, whoops?

To those that have blogged before—you know that it’s something a bit like a double-edged sword. It’s nice to put your words out there, in the void, and just get them out of your head. But at the same time, you feel like you need to have an opinion about everything, and that that opinion needs to be cogent and well-ordered. Well, fuck that, say I! There’s a lot that goes on in this old head of mine that isn’t logical at all. So I dropped out of blogging for months and months because I really wasn’t feeling the blogging vibes. I didn’t want my thoughts up to scrutiny. Sure, I posted on other people’s blogs and generally said a lot of horribly liberal progressive shit to Americans completely untutored in the practice of progressivism and leftward thought (the horror! The socialism! Ieeeeeeee!).

Also, I was kind of feeling glum about the title of my blog. I made it up when I was new to this lady business of blogging, and I wasn’t really aware of the intersection of cis-priviledges and feminism. So I equated two X chromosomes with femininity, thought it made a catchy blog title, and thought nothing more of it. Ah, the blindness of priviledge! Now, I’m sorry to whomever doesn’t share my cis-priviledge who stumbles across this blog. I was very ignorant of my own ignorance, and I’m a bit ashamed of it now. And, of course, I’m a bit stumped. I’ve put a lot of work into XXBlaze, and I’m loathe to give up the url and the title that has been associated with me for so long. But I also don’t want to be associated with that ignorant stain of cis-priviledge any more. Yes, I will always have cis-priviledge. But maybe it’s not a great idea to advertise it or smush it in the face of the unprivileged, no?

But the rest of my motives are not so selfless—not that the above two were to begin with. I basically finished my undergraduate degree and received quite a few promotions at my current place of labor. Now, I find that I’m paid to write, and to code websites. So the last thing I want to do, understandably, is write and code when I get home… especially since at least work pays me to do it, whilst blogging is sadly, totally unpaid.

The last motive, and perhaps the most shameful (although don’t get me wrong, I’m deeply ashamed of my cis-ignorance), is that I’m fucking sick and tired of politics. I like dipping my toes into outrage and contempt through other people’s blogs and then going about my day as if I don’t give a fuck. When I actually have to write about it myself, I find that I do give too much of a fuck, and it’s quite the mood-killer. That, and the people around me seem to prefer that I have less of a cogent and less of an outraged argument before I talk to them about politics. When I don’t blog, my opinions are less well-formed, and I’m more apt to give them up so we can talk about meaningless bullshit instead of things like social justice. I put it in italics because I’ve come to realize that it’s a very dirty word, and good girls really ought to have nothing to do with such thoughts.

Well, I had such thoughts this week, when politics basically came to my back door, took a nice stinky shit, and then went on its merry way like nothing at all had happened. See, I live in Arizona. I’m Jewish, and a woman. And once, when I was unaware that you had to be a soulless corporatist piece of warmongering shit in order to get elected (also, a hell of a lot more conservative, and a just a wee —okay, a lot—more demure, and straight), I wanted to be a public official. Now, I’m all like, fuck that, but I was a child of the ’90s, once—a million years ago—and we were quite fond of telling little girls back then that you too could grow up to be president! (Not that we’ve ever had a female president, but it was the ’90s, that glorious age of unbridled optimism and really horrible pants).

So, it was quite alarming, but not surprising, to see someone attempt to assassinate Gabrielle Giffords; a woman that—when I was fresh and funky free—I could have seen myself wanting to grow up to be like. After it all sunk in (sometime around Monday?), I said to myself, “that could have been you.” And make no doubt, I highly anticipate that if I decided to run for public office one day and actually won, I would have been at the other end of the barrel of a gun too.

Because while Giffords was Jewish, and a woman, I am the same—but also left of the Democratic party (while she’s a Blue Dog Democrat), and also a lesbian. The target Palin would have put on the map of my state would have encompassed the entire country.

I don’t know particularly why Loughner decided that Gifford deserved to die. But I’m not exactly going to be surprised if it turns out that her sex, religion, and political affiliation had something to do with it.

In this country, there is a large and violent swath of people that would like to see me and people that are like me, or people that think like me, dead. They want us dead for wanting to cure the sick and help the poor. They want us dead for loving someone of the same gender. They want us dead for wanting to provide a comfortable retirement for the elderly. They want us dead for a thousand reasons, and all their rhetoric belies their terrible sense of entitlement to our demise.

The right in this country is premised on ignorant grassroots that thrive on a culture of eliminationism. Whatever they don’t like, whatever they don’t understand, whatever doesn’t exactly conform to their ideals, deserves to die. Maybe they aren’t willing to pull the trigger. Maybe they won’t even be particularly pleased if someone else does it for them. But they are happy to sit and listen to those that call for our silencing, our deaths, and cheer when we are thrown under the bus, time and time again. And I know that they would not shed a tear if we and our “special interests”—if you can call asking to be treated like a fucking human being a “special interest”—up and disappeared from the face of the planet.

When O’Reilly and Palin and their ilk pretends they don’t condone the actions of the terrorist who attempted to assassinate Congresswoman Giffords, I know the truth. When they use loaded terms like “blood libel” (the Anti-Semitic fucks) and slather their websites in gun imagery, it is any wonder that I assume that they’re utterly and completely insincere?

Here in Arizona, I bathe in a culture of hate. Hatred of liberals, hatred of gays. Hatred of Mexicans, hatred of the poor. Hatred of gun control, and hatred of the sick. Hatred of anything that asks for understanding and empathy instead of exchanging lies for fevered calls for what amounts to fascism.

My country is poised on the brink of fascism, led symbolically by the state in which I preside. From SB1070 to the Tuscon shooting, there really isn’t anything good to say about my home right now. I live in a state of muted horror, nose stuck permanently in the air to avoid smelling the stink of ignorant lies that litter the Sonoran desert like bloated corpses, putrefying in the Arizonan sun. My political opinions are stuck permanently on “contempt.” What do I feel for Republicans? Contempt. Democrats? Contempt. President Obama? Contempt.

It’s exhausting and disheartening. You’d think that when the blinders come off, and now that I see that we live in a country for the rich, by the rich, and fueled by violent hatred, I’d have a lot to say.

Instead, I have nothing much to say at all. The only sound I can stand to make is a long silent scream which echoes through my head —the overlapping sounds of all the impassioned things I would say, if only there was someone in power who cared.

God/Nature isn’t in the gaps

As I’ve grown older and wiser, and sharpened my intellectual criticism and skepticism, I’ve drifted ever closer to full-blown Atheism. I now identify myself as one, with the caveat that if really pressed, I’m much more Agnostic (as in, I believe the existence of God is extremely unlikely, but not entirely impossible). The bottom line is, though, that I’m a Godless Liberal, and semi-proud of it.

I say semi-proud, because there’s a disturbing tendency in Skeptic circles to completely ignore the truth of social awareness movements that draw attention to racism, sexism, and other forms of interlocking institutional privilege. I’m not the only one who’s noticed it.

There’s also a disturbing tendency to be ridiculously enamored of evolutionary psychology and pop science. While Skeptics will quickly jump to dismiss psuedo-intellectual claims that shots cause Autism or that the Bible is the final arbiter of morality, many seem to pick and chose pop science when it suits their purposes.

By “when it suits them”, I mean when it ‘proves’ that they are the superior individuals they think they are, when it confirms that their bad behavior is not their fault, or when it gives them an excuse to avoid skeptically analyzing the station they current enjoy in life.

I could say that I’m surprised that an intellectual movement openly devoted to questioning everything doesn’t feel obligated to own up to the fact that a great many of them refuse to question ongoing prevalent social problems. But I’d be lying, given that I know for a fact that the Skepticism movement, like any other intellectual movement besides the obvious ones (such as feminism, civil rights, gay advocacy, for starters), is led and mostly populated by a slew of economically advantaged white men. And where there is a group of white men pontificating about how their intellectual premises are better than their opponents, there is going to be a veritable truckload of unexamined social premises and advantages. History has taught us that this is inevitable.

What results is that while Skeptics rush in to debunk pop science that demonizes modern science, cosmology, or physics, they aren’t nearly as willing to do so for pop science that ‘proves’ that men are naturally something more than women, or whites are naturally something more than blacks. In fact, quite a few of them will actually go out of their way to parrot studies with even more shoddy methodology than the studies that supposedly show that Western medicine is bad or may cause horrible side effects.

For all the faults of the homeopathic and other cottage industries, at least they can claim that they manage to have better designed methodology than studies, funded by respected universities and conducted by tenured professors, such as the ones that ‘prove’ that women naturally like red more than men because something to do with hunting and cavemen.

So, what does this have to do with Atheism? Actually, an awful lot. A major tactic of Creationists and their ilk, when it comes to defending their faith in a Judeo-Christian God, it that “God is in the Gaps“.

This tactic references the idea that there are certain things in the universe that are currently unexplainable. This could be due to the simple limitation of modern science, or the fact that perhaps human minds will never be complex enough to comprehend the universe in its entirety. Creationists take the stance that some things are unexplainable — probability, the dual properties of light, the mystery of the composition of quarks — are because God is “in” them. They are unexplainable because God is somehow manipulating those factors in a supernatural way that can never be explained by science.

As the Scientific Revolution gained headway, people couldn’t claim that God moved the planets on their inexplicable orbits and kept them in place. Now we had gravity and physics to do that. With each cosmological advance, there is less and less uncertainty and less and less gaps for ‘God’ to wriggle his way into.

The point is that the history of astronomy reveals that cosmological arguments that claim God in is the gaps are always defeated. It’s simply insanity, and pure irrationality, to claim that it’s likely that this time, surely, God is in the quark. Well, he wasn’t in the origin of the Earth, he wasn’t in the origin of the Sun, he wasn’t in the movement of the planets, he wasn’t in the development of life, he wasn’t in the development of geological phenomena, and he wasn’t in the composition of stars. The odds are clearly stacked against God being “in” anything, cosmologically speaking. But that doesn’t stop people from trying to marry cosmology and religion in yet another ill-fated theory that will eventually, no doubt, be proven wrong.

I bring up the idea that “God is in the Gaps” to demonstrate a similar phenomenon. I call it, “Sexism is (Naturally) in the Gaps“.

When women wanted to be considered something other than property, it was decreed that it was the natural way of things to say that women ‘belonged’ to their husbands or fathers, because there was just some natural feature of gender that made the total disenfranchisement of an entire gender necessary. When women fought for the vote, it was lamented that their silly lady brains couldn’t take the strain of political decision-making, and that it was simply the natural way of things to prevent them from voting. When women fought for opportunities to work outside the home, a collective worry rose up to contemplate the inevitable ‘alienation’ of women from their true nature if they moved out of the domestic sphere and into a more economic one. When women ran for high elected offices, many worried that women were naturally unsuited to lead, and that their emotions and passivity would make them inevitably poor leaders. Now, when women demand equal pay for equal work or adequate representation in formerly male-dominated industries and positions, the pay gap and lack of powerful businesswomen is chalked up to our unfortunate inability to think logically, be aggressive enough for a raise, manage employees effectively, and naturally leave the workplace by 40 to soothe the ticking of our biological clocks.

All these explanations propose that the reason women were/are property, can’t vote, shouldn’t work outside the home, can’t be political leaders, and can’t make the same as men and advance as far as them is because we are naturally mentally inferior.

Sexism is in the Gaps theorizes, just as it has for hundreds — if not thousands — of years, that the reason women are collectively oppressed is because it’s just the natural order of things, and everything is really equal, even if separate, because there’s just no helping the natural mental abilities and aptitudes of the sexes.

This isn’t new, and it never was. Every time I see some ridiculously shoddy and poorly designed experiment get circulated as new! shocking! News! that once and for all proves that men and women are just mentally different, because of natural causes (or genetic, take your pick), I roll my eyes hard enough to sprain something. If anyone had half a brain when it came to this nonsense, they could easily see that these ‘studies’ just repeat the same tripe when it comes to differences in achievement between the genders. The message is always the same: the status-quo is good. Men are naturally superior to women in all the ways that society just happens to value. This is surely an extraordinary coincidence in the favor of men. But the implication is clear: feminism is stupid and misguided and possibly dangerous because it seeks to force us all into its wrongful idea of equality. We’re all already equal, and if we are magnanimous enough to admit that women often get the short end of the stick in most exchanges, it’s only because they’re just naturally deficient.

Just as the idea that God is the Gaps has been knocked down time and time again, so has the idea that Sexism is (Naturally) in the Gaps. To honestly point to any current achievement gap between the sexes and blame the ‘natural’ deficiencies of the female brain is completely irrational. And while Skeptics will loudly debunk those who wish to claim that some new poorly comprehended cosmological theory ‘proves’ the existence of God, they hardly ever do the same for poorly designed ‘studies’ (or single anecdotes of one bitchy or stupid woman, or just plain bullshit repeated through the generations) that ‘prove’ that men achieve more than women because they are better.

It all boils down in the end to this: there is always some natural biological or psychological explanation for why men achieve more than women, and it has everything to do with a woman’s natural inferiority and the superiority and honestly earned privileges of men. Bottom line is that bitches ain’t shit.

What’s amazing about this is that pointing out the similar fallacies between Sexism in the Gaps and God is in the Gaps ought to be enough for any logical person to admit that their faith in the natural psychological/biological reasons for wrongful achievement gaps is probably bullshit.

But there’s also another cool way to do the same thing: point out transsexuals.

When it comes to really teasing out the differences between the sexes, transsexuals are the penultimate subjects for research. Nobody else gets to live as both sexes, and nobody is probably more aware of how gender is perceived than those who find it enormously psychologically damaging and depressing that they cannot be perceived as the gender they know themselves to be.

Not only do transsexuals have the opportunity to adopt both gender identities (even if one fits poorly) and be perceived as one and then the other, those that undergo hormone therapy irreversibly alter the chemicals pumping through their bodies. Surely, if there was some biological or psychological explanation for the separation of the sexes, transsexuals who transition to female would notice that their ability to do math declines when female hormones flood their system. Surely, those that transition to male would realize that they are suddenly more apt to be aggressive in social situations and more self-advocating.

They actually didn’t observe anything of the sort. Apparently, transsexuals largely observe that mental and psychological aptitudes and attitudes remain the same. The only trait that often differed between individuals with male or female hormonal levels was the ability to suppress certain displays of emotion. Those transitioning to female reported that they could more easily express their emotions, while those transitioning to male repeatedly attest that they have a much easier time swallowing their urge to cry, even though neither reported any difference in the intensity of the emotions they felt before and after hormone therapy.

So other than the obvious physical changes and reproductive roles, it appears that sex hormones have not a lot to do with the basic psychological functioning of the adult brain. In other words, the biggest determinate of gender — hormones — has almost nothing to do with the ability of the brains of men and women. Hormones can’t explain why women are paid 70 cents to a man’s dollar for equal work. Hormones can’t tell you why men are more likely to sexually abuse women, children, and other men. Hormones can’t tell you why men are reportedly ‘naturally’ better at mathematics. Studies of transsexuals establish that mentally — besides aptitudes/deficiencies in expressing (not feeling) emotion — gender-specific hormonal levels really don’t do shit.

Those still searching for a ‘natural’, or biological/psychological explanation for the achievement gap between men and women will now inevitably turn to genetics, prenatal development, and/or early childhood development. Once a child is out of the womb, his or her physical sex is largely determined by secondary sex characteristics governed by a potent mix of hormones. Which is why hormone therapy can so reliably suppress or create  those characteristics for transsexuals. Thus, genetics only determines the gender differences between individuals of identical genetic code (excluding the singular different X/Y chromosome, if they are genetically ‘normal’) for a very brief period of time.

Not only that, the different content between a second X chromosome or a second Y chromosome is remarkably small, all things considered. Although I’m not a geneticist, I’d also gather than the vast majority of that different information is devoted to the formation of hormonal levels that determine the genetic sex of the child in utero and later, the secondary sex characteristics.

This leaves us with an infinitesimally small ‘gap’ to attribute to natural sex differences. The likelihood of mental sex differences being found in this gap is equally small, considering that we’ve failed — time and time again — to demonstrate any other ‘natural’ biological  source of psychological-based gender inequality. Additionally, the chances that these differences, if they exist, can reliably explain why men own 99% of the land on this planet, earn more than women doing the same exact work, and display toxic masculine behaviors that destroy their lives and others is even tinier. I’d say the chance that the differences between the genders in something like mathematical ability ever being reliably shown to be based in psychological differences caused by biology is about as goddamn likely as the change that the universe will spontaneously collapse, or that there really is a pink teacup orbiting the Sun between Mars and Jupiter.

It’s truly pathetic that a group of people who call themselves “Skeptics” — hell, anyone that considers themselves intelligent — can attribute gaps in achievement to the unbelievably tiny chance that there is a biological explanation for such vast disadvantages rather than a phenomenon that pervasive, consistent, and well-documented.

That phenomenon is sexism, not biology or potential ability. Nothing more, and nothing less.

And anyone who chalks up such pervasive systems of oppression to anything other than those systems of oppression is practically denying that 1 + 1 = 2. They are worthy of the same scorn as a fool that passes himself off as an astrophysicist when he can’t even reliably add single-digit numbers.

Misadventures in the world of blogging

So I’ve been wrapping up my semester, and thinking all about my philosophy and finals and law. Updating the blog has obviously fallen to the end of the to-do list. Shame. I have a couple of things I’m working on that I might post.

Anyways, I wanted to share with you all this hilarious comment I received on an old post. It seems like my blog has made the rounds at various Men’s Rights forums, and a couple have dropped in uninvited to piddle on my carpet. While I always enjoy the douchebags who think it’s evidence of a VAST FEMINIST CONSPIRACY that I don’t approve their comments, it’s actually because (a) they’re douchebags, (b) they say absolutely nothing of substance, (c) they ignore my commenting policy, and (d) they violate the minimum standards of human decency.

So here’s a nice pile of poo a gentleman by the name of “Hmmm” left here. Consider this your trigger warning for violence, misogyny, and death threats. In short, just a usual day as a person with a vagina on the internet:

Does your husband know you are speaking or using his computer?
In fact, are there any Patriarchs that are aware of your writings?

You had better not get caught or he might decide to either beat you to an inch of your life or overpower you, your feminine Will and savagely rape you for what you’re worth. This will be up to him to decide..

It is simply man’s place to subjugate, use, abuse, rape and harm women, it’s simply what men were designed and ordained by the creator to do. As a result this has been the MOST PROMINENT experience in most women’s lives i.e. that of oppression from men…. If you would like to go to war you are welcome to raise arms but I warn you that you will be put right back in your place where you belong to service me both sexually and any other way I see fit and if you refuse I will simply force you to do whatever I want or simply extinguish you from existence.

All hail the Great Patriarch! I am Man ruler of and master of women! She, thy piece of meat, my servant wench from which the almighty male God created for my use and abuse…. I’m so tickled by my power and control over women.. It really is great to be the Great Male Patriarch! It is important that women mind their place, serve men and bend to our Will or you will be forced to submit, bent open to take what we give you……

Aww, how cute. He thinks he’s powerful. LOL. All joking aside, I’d say that comments like these are pretty much par for the course if you’re a woman blogging about lady business. But since I’m nice, I’m going to take a minute of my time to answer this lovely chap.

Dear Hmmm,

Perhaps a man of your esteem and lofty circumstance thinks the law is beneath him, but I think it might perchance interest you to know that threatening people with vicious acts of savagery is, unsurprisingly, illegal. Many a better and greater sirs have made the unfortunate mistake of assuming that the interwebs are a glorious free-for-all, but that is indeed not the case. We do live in a society in which threatening gentle women and men with random acts of violence is frowned upon. Afterall, the law has codified this disapproval. But since I assume that you are a nice fellow, I am compelled to think that you have simply been caught unawares by the passion of your — sadly mistaken — convictions. Instead of turning to a keyboard to vent your ire, might I instead recommend a fainting couch? Or a psychiatrist?

If it pleases you sir, perhaps you might turn to the information I have kindly included on my blog to answer your pressing questions. No, my Nigel does not know that I use my mouth for speaking, or my keyboard for typing. This state of “knowing” for my Nigel is quite impossible, given that my Nigel doesn’t exist. Alas and alack, that is verily because I take comfort in the pleasures of the similar sex. My Nigellete is thusly quite enamored of my keyboarding activities. We converse nightly with the aid of this technological marvel.

Patriarchs my friend? Oh, what an antiquated notion! Surely you do not mean my father? Frankly my dear, I do not give a damn. About the knowledge of my father, that is. Being of the much lauded age of majority, I assume my activities beyond his notice. He does agree with that notion, being that he lives many days away as the crow flies. Or the horse trots. Well, in all fairness, I do have to praise him for introducing me to this wondrous technology we call the internet when I was but smaller and less cooth. Strange, but he did seem to encourage my use of it. The mistake, I fear, is yours.

Might I suggest you find yourself nicer company? It seems that you have be taken by the notion that fathers and Nigels are in the frequent habit of unwanted sexual congress with their progeny and paramours. Nay, but I do not myself know of such men! Verily, I have heard many a frightening rumor of such beasts, but they seem to be unfortunate and, thankfully, frowned upon. Kinder company seems unenamored of such behavior. Perchance, whereby do you find yourself presently? It seems like a ghastly place — where such men are the norm and their behavior expected. I do so wish to avoid travels in that place.

As for the rest of your missive, I find it distasteful to comment upon. I recommend the aid of a learned physician. Once I overheard that hysterics are the unfortunate symptom of floating reproductive organs. It might be in your best interest to uncover whether or not your testes have been firmly tethered to your abdominal wall. Delusions aside, you do seem to have a rather lofty opinion of yourself. While a good sense of the self is always recommended, may I suggest the cooling of your passions? As we well know, success in moderation!

Alas kind sir, but I do not have more time to address your, dare I say it, sophomoric concerns.

Good day, sir. I say, good day!

Women: always the problem

Think about it. Take any social problem. Now ponder it. Ask people about it. Contemplate why that problem exists, and who is responsible. Wonder who has the ability to prevent that problem, and who has the power to fix it.

Now, if you’re progressive, the answers to those questions may be different. You could say that poverty is the fault of an economic system that simply must have desperately poor people toil without any hope of advancement for the benefit of the wealthy. You could say that homelessness is the fault of sub-par mental health facilities and the outrageous cost of living. These are all very progressive answers. They may or may not be true for each individual, but they tend to explain the general cause of large social problems quite accurately.

However, these explanations aren’t common. Most people aren’t sociologists. Most people don’t deal with trends and “social institutions” and privileges. Those words mean nothing.

So why are people poor? Why do people commit crimes? Why is adultery so common? What happened to the stability of marriage? Why are people fat? Why are today’s kids lazier than ever? Why is prostitution and sex trafficking so common? Why are half my neighbors sex offenders? Why?

Here’s why: women. Everything is the fault of women. Women are too uppity, they are too meek. They are too slutty and too submissive. They are too bitchy and too shy. They eat too much and they eat too little. They are too hormonal and too frigid. They are too smart and too shallow. They are too demanding and too accommodating. They are bad mothers and bad girlfriends and bad wives. They are bad nurses, teachers, and maids. They are too masculine. They are too feminine. They are bad doctors, professors, and CEOs. They make too much. They make too little. They think too much of themselves. They don’t have a backbone. They are barren. They have too many children. They frown too much and then they are too friendly. They have too much sex. They don’t have enough sex. They don’t enjoy sex. They enjoy sex too much. They drink too much. They don’t drink at all. They talk too much. They shop too much. They laugh too much. They cry too much. They are hookers, they are asking for it, they have driven off the men. Their movements have gone too far but they haven’t gone far enough.

Does this sound familiar? There is always a reason to blame women — a woman, some women, those women, all women — for something. Doesn’t matter how perfect she is. She could be 5’8″, perfect hourglass, hair like sunlight and skin like silk. She could be cute and fun in all the right circumstances, and professional and formal in others. Then, she’ll be too perfect. That’s her fault too. She’s so perfect, that if anything ever happens to her, around her, to people she knows, it’s her fault.

There is one thing that most self-identified women have in common: a vagina. As long as you have a vagina, you are guilty of something. It doesn’t matter what, because it depends on what needs to be accounted for. Innocent until proven female. That’s how it all works.

Here’s the plot: there’s a kid you know. He’s troubled at school. Or she’s troubled at school, it doesn’t matter what gender the kid is. She’s bullied a lot. He brings home bad report cards. She acts out in class and hits other kids when she’s upset. He cheats on tests and eats glue. She draws in the books and on the walls. He grows up a bit and gets into drugs. She smokes some pot after school. He gets in with the “wrong crowd”. She gets caught doing something for their approval. He goes to jail. She can’t make bail, her mother is too poor. He gets in fights with other inmates. She spit at a guard and attacked her cellmate. He is denied parole. She gets out. He sells coke to make ends meet. She violates parole. He goes back to jail. She dies there.

That should be the end, right? What a sad story. Here’s the catch: that kid grew up without a father. Her mother was single. She never got married. She got pregnant in high school. She got a divorce when he was young. She was raped and kept the child. The point is: this life-long criminal was raised by women. Only women. Her family, her money, and her blood, sweat and tears.

Oh! Now it’s different! See, that kid went down that road because they lacked a “strong male role model”. If their mom had just found a good man to marry, or been a better mother, they would be the motherfucking President. They’d be in the NBA, making six figures at a law firm, and closing deals with international corporations. They could have had the world, if only they had dear old dad. Or their mother wasn’t such a failure, such a slut, having too many kids and not enough money.

Here’s another plot: woman gets dressed up. It’s a hot night, humid too. She wears a short skirt. It makes her feel good and keeps her legs cool. She wears a thin low-cut top. It doesn’t stick to her skin or collect sweat. She puts her hair up, puts her make-up on, and slips into some shoes that just pull it all together. She meets some friends, and they have some drinks. She’s feeling good. She meets a guy. His name was David. Or was it John? He’s funny. His cheeks dimple when he smiles. His teeth are straight. Did you know he was an Eagle Scout? She likes him: the way he makes her feel, the way he wears his jeans, and the way his eyes crinkle at the corners when he grins. She thinks he likes her too: he bought her three — or was it four? — drinks, held the door open, and found excuses to whisper in her ear even when she could hear him fine. Her friends went home a while ago. She doesn’t mind; Victor is all the company she needs. She’s a little too drunk to drive. He invites her to his house. She accepts, and they giggle on the ride to his apartment. He lives on the third floor, and she can’t climb the stairs right now. He sighs, grins, and carries her instead. She vomits in the neighbor’s petunias and apologizes. He shows her to his couch and tells her to sleep it off. She thanks him and passes out. She woke up once, she thinks, and it hurts a lot. Where did her skirt go? Oh, why are you here Thomas? Hey, you’re too warm, get off. She wakes up again. The morning sun leaves stripes on the carpet. Her skirt is on the television. She thought he feel asleep with it on. Her panties are missing. Her thighs are wet. There’s a bruise on her knee. She hurts all over, especially there. She knows what happened. She leaves before he gets up. He calls three days later. Tells her he had a good time, didn’t she? Does she want to do it again sometime? She declines. John is a nice guy. She’s not good enough for him.

What a whore! Her skirt said “yes” even though her mouth didn’t move at all. Her flimsy shirt said “yes” too, even when her lips were sealed. It was her fault really. She could call it rape, but it wasn’t rape-rape, you know? She’s just a statistic. Oh, she’s just the kind of girl that gets raped. Short skirt, promiscuous, doesn’t mind giving it up before you put a ring on it, goes out by herself at night. It’s like she took all those tips that good girls take to heart and spit on them. Good girls know that if you follow the rules, The Rape will not get you. They’re not like her: they follow the rules. They don’t like her: she lives when they hide. She pretends that her body is her own. She pretends that the night is fun and safe. The Rape is inevitable. She should have known better.

Here’s another: she has a kid. No Dad. He wasn’t any good, so she left. Good riddance! She goes back to school, wants to do right by herself. Only classes at night are classes for dead-end jobs. She wants more than that. She quits her job, enrolls full-time, goes to school all day and pays for a babysitter. The savings run out. There’s not anyone hiring part-time. Well, she’s still got something to sell, so she does. It’s hard work, but she sets her own hours, makes her own rules. Sometimes it’s really scary, and the guys smell bad and pant like rapid dogs and their sweat smells like onions. But she’s paying her bills, paying the daycare, and getting her degree. It’s not forever. Until the night she gets caught. She thought he was just another guy. Hell, he even got his money’s worth before he pulled out the badge. Now she’s at the station, what a mess. She doesn’t have anyone to call. She thinks it’s funny that she couldn’t count on them when that one man held a knife to her throat while he fucked her, but she can count on them now.

That’s what prostitutes get, you know. Or whores, escorts, whatever they call themselves, it’s all the same. Prostitution is a blight on society. It spreads disease to good women (white women and rich women!) whose poor husbands are swayed by marketing of the flesh. John’s didn’t invent the business, and pimps don’t run it. If you want to stamp it out, you have to arrest the whores. Whores don’t have dicks like the cops and the judges and the lawyers. They don’t have “urges” like the johns and the pimps. Hell, we can all appreciate some good enterprising businessmen and some lonely sex-addicted slob. But whores? Dregs of society, you know. Washed of women of the night. Breaking up families, soliciting important men, dragging their names into the mud.

It’s always the fault of women. Poverty? Single mothers. Rape? Women whose skirts can consent, even if they don’t. Adultery? Sluts, scarlet women, single women, and whores. The Rape, cheating, crime… all inevitable. You can’t stop it, you can’t ask why it happens. You certain can’t ask who does it. Well, you could if the answer was black men, poor men, or homosexual men. But not white, middle class, Christian, American, able-bodied men. They don’t have anything to do with The Rape. It’s all feminism’s fault or something.

Yeah. That’s how it all goes down. Why focus who rapes when you can focus on who gets raped? Surely, it’s their fault. Why focus on who leaves the kids when you can focus on who stays? Surely, it’s also their fault. Why focus on who buys sex when you can focus on who sells sex? You know that it’s certainly their fault too.

Because all of those people — single mothers, rape survivors, and prostitutes — all have two things in common: they are abandoned/violated/bought by men and they all have vaginas. But since we know that men are never responsible for anything, the reason The Rape, broken homes, and the sex industry exist is because there are people with vaginas. There are people with vaginas, and it’s all their fault. Women — what they are, what they do, and everything they’re responsible for, especially feminism — brought it upon themselves.

They are women. Bloody, beaten, broken, poor, fat, abandoned, or perfect: they all are women. And all women deserve to be judged and scrutinized, no matter what.

MRAs took a crap on my blog

Earlier today, I got one request after another to approve comments on a post. I glanced at the alerts on my Blackberry and decided to wait to investigate until I wasn’t at work.

So I get home, and lo and behold, Men’s Rights Activists had taken over 20 craps on my blog and my view-count for a single day shot up to over 300. You could call them “comments”, but that would be implying that there was any sort of rational content therein. Naturally, they were all on this post, which was authored over a year ago. I guess taking dumps on current posts would have been too hard or something.

Of course, I didn’t approve any of them. I have no patience for fecal matter masquerading as poorly constructed sentences. Also, comments on very old posts typically aren’t something that I approve. Especially ones that come from such high-minded sites as MisandryReview, Remasculation, and the Counter-Feminist. No, those sites do not get any link sauce from me. If you wish to wade through the stupidity for a brief chuckle at  hatred-steeped flatulence, you have Google at your disposal.

I would also like to take the opportunity to thank the MRA community for widening my audience. Bravo! I so do appreciate thoughtful input. Honestly, I don’t think so highly of any of you that I peruse the internets for your year-old posts and then distribute them to my cabal of hooligans for our puerile amusement. Thus, I am forced to admit that you must think quite highly of me and those lovely like-minded women who posted such things so long ago. Either that or you’re simply too much of cowards to engage me face-to-face, or even give me a link back to the seedy dens of misogyny that gave you directions to my corner of the internets.

Never fear! I have the use of WordPress’s handy-dandy tools which tell me which sites directed you here. I thank you all for the fine chuckle. Really, that amount of delusion in one place is a terrible thing to hide. You should have shared it with me sooner. I especially got a chuckle out of your bulleted list of terrorist tactics instructing your goons how to troll feminists on their blogs.

I especially think it quite hilarious that you think trolling and other virtual harassment is a good thing. I really bespeaks of your claim to the moral high ground, no? Since I am neither a troll nor a coward who uses the internets for such idiotic and juvenile things, I shall take the gifts you have given me and respond to them right here. I have no wish to visit your websites, as hospitable as they may be, to harass you. Nor shall I recruit a cabal of radical feminist terrorists — such as the ones you assume control the universe — to do my bidding. I’m just one fat radical feminist lesbian, with a cat and a blog, responding to your thoughtful posts.

Thus, I have included some of the aforementioned “comments” in this post for the sake of my amusement. Since everything submitted to my blog thus becomes part of my blog, I get free reign to post it where I please. Since I hardly think that such intelligent and thoughtful comments should be buried under the oppression of the chronological nature of blogging, I have decided to post them at the top of my blog to give them the spotlight they deserve.

So without further ado, let us give a warm round of applause for MRAs and the foul gifts they have left so graciously upon my virtual doorstep!

LW:

Wow, I just read through all this and I have to say, they way all you girl’s proved D right was amazing.

Your misuse of the possessive is appalling, as is your misuse of  “girl” to label adult women. Thank you for playing, please come back soon!

John Dias:

Why is disagreeing with feminist views conflated here with not understanding them? Feminism is a subjective political ideology just like so many other perspectives in the world. It’s not “reality,” but rather an interpretation and prescription for reality.

Perhaps because there actually was a genuine lack of understanding, John. Also, you may be thinking of liberalism and conservatism. Or perhaps fascism or socialism? Communism? Marxism? Those are political ideologies, John, feminism is a sociological discipline much like Jewish Studies or Sexology. You could perhaps debate that analysis of sociological trends and gender would be unwise and bear little fruit, but I doubt you’ll break any new ground or bestow upon us any worthwhile findings. You may also want to dispute physics or mathematics while you are at it. I hear those disciplines are aching for criticism from people who don’t understand the slightest bit about them.

Outdoors:

D-sure does show what feminist thinking is all about.

kudos to him for making them look like the spoiled arrogant fools they are

this thread has got to be exploited for what it is-a sound defeat against feminists by a single person who ended up being banned because the feminists couldn’t answer a couple simple questions.

just goes to show the intelligence of this board–none

Outdoors, my friend, I think your caps lock key is broken. You may want to look into fixing that. Also, I think your period and hyphen keys are sticking. It seems that your post is lacking in all punctuation but misplaced hyphens and scant periods. What does this have to do with your comment, Outdoors? Why, nothing of course! I simply followed suit, you see, as your comment had nothing to do with the post it was submitted under!

ryan:

wow alot of sexist women on this thread. so what if historically the poor women were oppressed does the justify the oppression of men today, because thats what it sounds like to me.

gasp men having the same rights as women say it aint so.

You and Outdoors simply must tell me what brand of keyboard you are using. I need to take a note so that I remember not to buy keyboards lacking caps locks keys. I am also puzzled as to which “rights” you are referring to. I detailed many privileges that men possessed, and many rights that women do not. There was little to no discussion of rights that men are currently gaining that women have long enjoyed. Such a discussion would be silly, you see, since women are in the process of gaining rights which men have denied them through vicious oppression.

ryan (again):

oh and D stop arguing with ignorant sexist feminists like these they hate men probably because they cant get one arguing with these silly girls is very stupid of you.

male privilage (the only argument feminazis have against men having equal rights)

Now I’m beginning to think that you like the sound of your own typing. Responding to yourself is quite narcissistic of you. Also, you may keep your men to yourself, thank you. I am quite happily gay, you see, and find women infinitely more fascinating than a group of outwardly misogynist men.

Nicolas:

Nobody seems to have mentioned that rape has dropped by nearly 80 percent in the past 30 years. Why no celebration?

http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/content/glance/rape.cfm

Well, this wasn’t a post about the rape rate, Nicolas. Seeing as you are not the author of this blog, it would be silly of you to assume that I have the same posting priorities as you think I ought to.

Mike:

Well, this blog post and the following “discussion” proves beyond any doubt that feminism is nothing but a cult, impervious to rational reasoning. Good to know that humanity moves on and that “feminism” soon will be nothing but an entry in a dictionary of failed belief systems.

Apropos dictionaries, some definitions of “whore”:
– a promiscuous woman. [New Oxford Dictionary of English, 2001]
– a prostitute or a woman who has many casual sexual relationships [The Penguin English Dictionary, 2003]
– a woman who has many sexual partners [Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English, 2003]

So anyone looking for the correct term describing a promiscuous woman – it’s a safe bet to trust the experts on word definitions.

Why, Mike, this feminism you speak of is a lonely cult indeed. I fear that I have neither paid my dues nor met with the Grand Master Feminist this year, so I have yet to receive notice that this we have moved from a decentralized organization of like-minded sociological theorists to a bonafide cult. I want a temple or something. Also, I do believe I know what a dictionary is: a book that gives you definitions of words, but not an in-depth critique of their use and misuse in the present culture and the sociological implications thereof.

cb750:

This would then mean women also benefit from the very same patriarchy. Nearly all buildings, dams, sky scrapers, infrastructure, roads, electrical, technology is built and developed by men. Men fight wars so western women are safe. In fact western women benefited from the two wars. The less groups like the Taliban exist the safer women and the rights are. Women benefit from chivalry as is the case of Bill Clinton and Obama giving women special programs like VAWA.

The fact is if you argue I and other men benefit from a patriarchy system then it is extremely clear women also benefit from the same system. Why do liberal woman and feminists vote for patriarchs over women in each election? 51% of female democrats voted against Hillary in the run offs.

Men die 5 times more on the job. We have higher drop out rates. We die more in wars that benefit the freedom of Western women. Every 5 floors of a skyscraper one man died. We men perform most of the research, most of the technology advancement… all things women greatly benefit from. Carrie and the other fab 3 from Sex and the City wouldn’t be cavorting around unless men built that city and gave them a world where they can buy shoes and dresses instead of being honor killed, burned alive or beaten for speaking to another man.

Western women benefit off our backs. So if you wish to claim men benefit from patriarchy and I some how owe the world then you women ALSO benefit greatly from a chivalrous patriarchy and you women ALSO owe.

Dear me, cb750, you seem to have forgotten that men could have done all of the above with women at their side more efficiently than they did it in the past with women at their feet. Patriarchy didn’t build civilization, people did. Unless you are in the habit of constructing buildings and paving roads with your penis, I hardly see how the lack of an extra set of hands is a good thing.

Karl:

Why does feminist ignore female privilege but blame – collectively – men for male privilege?

Ahh we all know the answer – typical feminist hypocrisy. End of.

Karl, please contact ryan and Outdoors re: the proper use of the dash. They seem to have mistaken it for a hyphen and could really use your assistance. Also, end of… what?

Factory:

Oh look, Feminists ganging up on, then banning dissenting viewpoints in the name of “safe space for women”. I’m shocked. No really, I am.

I thought you guys were all concerned about men’s issues too…cause you’re all “egalitarian” n stuff…

Or is it simply YOUR take on men’s issues? Men can’t have a perspective of their own? Is it not “valid” unless approved by Feminists?

This whole thread is arrogant dismissal of D, and anything he’s brought up. This whole thread is flat out PROOF that Feminists have zero interest in looking out for men in the same manner men looked out for women.

Just one more reason to ignore anything your kind has to say.

Disgusting.

Wait, so you’ve gone out of your way, Factory, to my “safe space”, read my post, put your hands on your keyboard, and pressed “send” because you’re “ignoring anything my kind has to say”? Also, if you want to make a statement, such as “this whole thread is flat out PROOF,” you may want to prove some context or proof of that yourself. Am I supposed to take your word for it? Additionally, I’m going to take a wild shot in the dark and say that you’re really not shocked at all.

JenK:

This is interesting. I still for the life of me cannot figure out where is all this supposed male privilage, in the USA.

[Insert long list of her experiences arrogantly standing in for all women in America here]

[Insert rosy and overstated female “privileges” here].

I also find it interesting, JenK, that your lack of experiences of male privilege and glut of class- and race-specific experiences of “female privilege” are supposed to negate the experiences of other women. Are you superwoman? A god? The speaker of all woman-kind?

Dakota Smith:

D, you’re wasting your time. I don’t know why you’re bothering.

They’re FEMINISTS, dude. They don’t care about rational discourse, they just want to whine. They’re psychologically predisposed to hating and detesting men, even when it’s self-destructive for them.

And they will never, ever change their minds about ANYTHING, no matter how hard you try.

Reading this thread, I’ve noticed the usual feminist “debating” tactics against you (in no particular order):

Ad hominem attacks
Insulting your intelligence
Insulting your masculinity
Libelous statements

They’re feminists and out of contact with reality, dude. You’re wasting your time. Best to ignore them and go somewhere that the general populace is capable of rational discourse.

Hey Dude! Can I call you dude? I want to relate to you as a human being, so I’m going to use slang that is supposed to stand for all of humanity through the use of the male default on a feminist blog. You might want to look up libel, by the way, just for shits and giggles. I don’t that word means what you think it means. Since this post was original made in September of 2008, D is probably long gone by now. He can’t hear you, dude.

Pete:

The quickest way to know that your argument is sharp is to get banned on a feminist blog. Good job, Jenn! Now nobody will know how badly D beat your group of cat herders in debate.

Quickly, delete his most cogent posts so other commenters may think he is more stupid than your supporters.

Getting banned on a blog = good argument. Sorry, were you just mistaking trolling for intellectual debate? That explains a lot, honestly.

ZenCo:

Don’t sweat it D – the 800-pound gorilla in the room is that THE MOMENT the lights stopped coming on these women’s ‘feminist perspectives’ would dissolve on the spot.
Maybe, after 40+ years of abuse from you ungrateful cows, men won’t want to fix it for you next time.
Maybe, instead of wasting Daddy’s hard-earned money on useless degrees, you should have learned electrical engineering or carpentry. THAT would be empowering.
And, when that day arrives, EVERY SINGLE ONE OF YOU will abandon your Marxist horeshit and find the nearest man to provide safety, sustenance, and security. The only problem is, too many men without short memories will tell you to screw off.
It won’t be male priviledge that sees me through. It will be hard work and knowing how to do usefull things. Whining is not useful.

I enjoyed your mish-mash of cliches, ZenCo. It was sweet as cats on a hot tin roof. Like pie on a cool summer’s day. Once in a blue moon I shot at it and landed among the stars. Or something. Yeah. Your discussion of bovine, daddy issues, Marxism, and he-man heroics was also particularly original and insightful.

David:

…and in particular curious about how you, as an individual woman living in 21st century America, experience oppression and suffering. What direct negative impact does living in a patriarchal society have on your day to day existence?
The reason I ask is because from this distance (I am in New Zealand) it is difficult to reconcile the notion of “oppression and suffering” with my understanding of life in the US.
I would say that black people in South Africa prior to 1995 were oppressed; ditto women in Afghanistan under the Taliban, or pretty much anyone living in modern day Zimbabwe or Somalia. Sadly, there are lots of people in the world who are oppressed, and who suffer as a result.
You on the other hand, live in a country where your constitution guarantees your rights of free speech, association, protection from authority (at least it did before your ridiculous Patriot Act), and to practice you religion. There are no laws or statues that actively promote discrimination against you (but a few that do so in your favor). You have the same access to legal and political representation as pretty much anyone else, male or female, and while bad stuff certainly happens to women in your country, it certainly happens to men too. In western societies, men don’t have rights or privileges that you do not have (despite your assertions to the contrary) and while your government may impose restrictions on your activities that you don’t like, disagreeing with government policy is not oppression; it is a difference of political and social opinion.
The truth of the matter is that your oppression is in your imagination, and you are actually one of the least oppressed people in history.

Ah, I do love a sporting day at the Oppression Olympics. I do hear the scenery is lovely in New Zealand, though, and wish to express my jealousy that you live in such a picturesque country whilst I live in Desert Hell Hole, USA. I also do enjoy hearing that men know more about the experiences of women in other countries than those women do. Really, the foresight and knowledge of the male gender is truly astounding.

Porky Domesticus:

I started to read this irrational rant then i ran into this…

“I refuse to even debate any statements to the contrary.”

and so i am leaving, after all whats the point in arguing with someone who treats feminist ideology the way Sarah Palin treats the bible?

I like your inclusion of my prose without context. It bespeaks to your intellectual integrity. Even more amusing was your entry into the conversation just to say that you’re leaving. It is rather rude to crash a party only to leave when you’ve pissed in the punch 30 seconds after you walk in the door. Hit and run trolling! How very courageous of you.

Anonumous:

Feminists forgot about the women they have enslaved and exploited just so they could, and can, enjoy prestige, entitlements and, power. They forgot about the women who were oppressed by women.

Something you say is not so. I have not forgot the details of history or the oppressions such as racism and classism in which wealthier or white women profit off the backs of poorer or darker women. I merely find it tedious to discuss every single  nuance of reality in every single post to preempt totally inane and off-topic discussions of what someone who is not me thinks I do or do not know from a single discussion of an entirely different subject.

Well, that was fun. A rousing and thoughtful gate-crashing. Round of applause for our visitors, folks, for the free entertainment!

Seriously, Democrats really hate women or I use the skills I got in law school to analyze shit that takes away my rights

So it gets worse.

Behold the absolute draw-dropping shittiness of The Stupak Amendment. Here it is, proof positive, that Democrats really hate women. What’s also awesome is that the first female Speaker of the House presided over a Democratic majority that passed the most expansive restriction on women’s rights in recent history. Not only was the amendment passed by 62 democrats (and all voting Republicans), the bill carrying the amendment was passed through Congress 220-215, with the majority of Democrats blithely signing the biggest roll-back of reproductive rights. Super.

Some Democrats (mostly women) did not take this shit sitting down. They tried to speak in Congress, only to have male Republicans heckling them and shouting “I object, I object, I object, I object” over them. Think Progress has the video. Thrown under the bus by their own party, some of the women we voted into office were forced to speak out against their own party signing away their rights while they were viciously silenced by the very men that orchestrated this new oppression. I’m sure that while the men in Congress, some of them in their own party, thought this was just business as usual, our minority of female lawmakers got a heady sense of deja vu. Men talking over them in a meeting? Nah, that never happens. Especially when you’re talking about your own freedoms and liberty. I mean, just shut up bitch. Know your place.

Out of this process of ugliness came the unholy spawn of the Stupack Amendment. However, unlike some other places, I believe that the proof is in the pudding. I’m not doing to quote from some dude that quoted from some other dude that quoted from yet another dude. I’m including the full text of this steaming file of fail. Here’s your fucking hope and change, right here:

AMENDMENT TO H.R. 3962
OFFERED BY MR. STUPACK OF MICHIGAN
AND MR. PITTS OF PENNSYLVANIA

SEC. 265 LIMITATION OF ABORTION FUNDING

(A) IN GENERAL—
No funds authorized or appropriated by this Act (or an amendment made by this Act) may be used to pay for any abortion or to cover any part of the costs of any health plan that includes coverage of abortion, except in the case where a woman suffers from a physical disorder, physical injury, or physical illness that would, as certified by a physician, place the women in danger of death unless an abortion is performed, including a life-endangering physical condition caused by or arising from the pregnancy itself, or unless the pregnancy is the result of an act of rape or incest.

(B) OPTION TO PURCHASE SEPARATE SUPPLEMENTAL COVERAGE OR PLAN—
Nothing in this section shall be construed as prohibiting any nonfederal entity (including an individual or State or local government) from purchasing separate supplemental coverage for abortions for which funding is prohibited under this section, or a plan that includes such abortions, so long as—
(1) such coverage or plan is paid for entirely using only funds not authorized or appropriated by this Act; and
(2) such coverage or plan is not purchased using—
(a) individual premium payments requires for an Exchange-participating health benefits plan towards which an affordability credit is applied; or
(b) other nonfederal funds require to receive a federal payment, including a State’s or locality’s contribution of Medicaid matching funds.

(C) OPTION TO OFFER SUPPLEMENTAL COVERAGE OR PLAN—
Notwithstanding section 303(b), nothing in this section shall restrict any nonfederal QHBP offering entity from offering separate supplemental coverage for abortions for which funding is prohibited under this section, or a plan that includes such abortions, so long as—
(1) premiums for such separate supplemental coverage or plan are paid for entirely with funds not authorized or appropriated by this Act;
(2) administrative costs and all services offered through such supplemental coverage or plan are paid for using only premiums collected for such coverage or plan; and
(3) any nonfederal QHBP offering entity that offers an Exchange-participating health benefits plan that includes coverage for abortions for which funding is prohibited under this section also offers an Exchange participating health benefits plan that is identical in every respect except that it does not cover abortions for which funding is prohibited under this section
.

The emphases are mine.

For those without a background in legalese, this is about as unequivocal and binding as law can get. There’s no wiggle room. No exceptions. What this creates is a health care system in which women are second class citizens, forced to choose between even private coverage of a perfectly legal procedure and all federal funding of health care. This, simply, is an outrage. As far as I’m concerned, this violates both Roe and the substantive due process of the 14th amendment, but for those without a background in law, rest assured that this shit is really, really, really, legally dubious.

So let’s digest this, line by disgusting fucking line.

Section A explicitly prohibits any federal funding governed by HR 3962 (the larger Affordable Health Care for America Act) going towards the provision of abortions. But if you thought that they really needed to put this in, that anyone was really ever in danger of seeing their tax dollars going to “kill babies”, well, you’re a fucking idiot. No, seriously. Behold the related 30-year-old shittiness of the Hyde Amendment. Passed in 1976, in the immediate backlash of Roe decision three years earlier, the amendment explicitly bars all appropriations for The Department of Heath and Human Service budget from going to the purpose of funding abortions. It does not prohibit all federal funding of abortion, just anything out of HHS. Since H.R. 3962 would be administrated by HHS, there was absolutely no way, shape, or form that its provisions would go to funding abortion. Got it straight?

Moving on, the second clause is the kicker: “or to cover any part of the costs of any health plan that includes coverage of abortion”. You catch that? If you have a health plan that covers abortion, you cannot receive any federal assistance. Can’t make the last $300 for a root canal? Too fucking bad. Choose between your teeth rotting out of your face or abortion coverage. Want part of your “exchange” to go towards a consultation with an allergist for your seasonal allergies that you couldn’t otherwise afford? Too fucking bad whore, you got an abortion last year on that plan.

This amendment goes beyond limiting federal funds. This explicitly bars even private insurance companies from covering abortions.

Well, so can insurance companies just offer plans with abortion coverage and ones without? Sure, if you’re cool on getting totally substandard care and no government assistance whatsoever. Given that the majority of those who see themselves in low-paying part-time positions that don’t offer health coverage are women, there’s going to be a lot of women who need federal assistance. But they won’t get it unless they accept prohibitions on their rights, and start saving for out-of-pocket abortions if they need it, instead of putting away money for retirement. That’s other thing: men won’t have to save for expensive procedures that they need. They won’t have to choose between affordable health care and their reproductive rights.

But all this begs the question: will insurance companies continue to offer abortion coverage? The answer: probably not to the extent they do now. Providing abortion coverage will undoubtedly require additional administrative costs to make sure that the company remains in compliance with the amendment. Additionally, by section C Paragraph 3, those additional administrative costs will have to be covered entirely without federal assistance that insurance companies could get if they didn’t offer abortion.

The result is obvious: some companies will just not offer abortion coverage. It’s too troublesome and expensive. If they offer it, they’re required by Section C Paragraph 3 to provide identical coverage that doesn’t cover abortions. Notice that the amendment, however, does not require that companies offer plans that do offer abortion coverage. A company would be in compliance if they did not offer coverage for abortion at all. In fact, it’s transparently obvious that this is the goal of the entire amendment: to make it so that insurance companies will have lots of incentives to never cover abortions.

If a company decided to offer coverage including abortion, the coverage would be prohibitively expensive. Not only could the insured not use federal monies for any medical procedure so long as they are covered for abortion, they also would be forced to pay higher premiums. After all, the additional administrative costs of the plan could not be paid for with federal assistance, which would transfer the additional fees directly unto women. To really sweeten the deal, you’d also be ineligible for Medicaid matching even from your state while your insurance covers abortion. Awesome.

At the end of the day, you’re left with a tiered health care system. At the very top are men. They can purchase private insurance. They can use public funds. They can do what you want with them, within reason, and not have to worry about losing coverage.

Quite a way below them are women paying for identical insurance except for abortion coverage, but paying much higher premiums. They cannot use public funds for anything.

Below them even further are women who can’t pay for the prohibitively expensive private insurance of their female peers. Among them are women that need any assistance whatsoever for anything, even something as simple as a teeth cleaning. They must pay for abortion out-of-pocket or choose between any federal or state assistance.

And at the very bottom are the women who can neither pay for prohibitively expensive private insurance or out-of-pocket abortions. They get pregnant, and they’re forced to procure risky abortions by untrained providers or have a baby against their will. At best, they succeed. At worst, they bleed to death or lose their fertility to a massive infection.

Oh, and they will suffer from those cheaper abortions. I’d bet all the money I have that someone will make it so the prohibition against paying for abortions will extend to paying for the complications from botched abortions. Or they’ll extend it to birth control, IUDs, and all those things that wackos say “kill babies”. Before long, everything that has to do with your right to exercise your entirely legal reproductive rights will damn you to fork over big bucks. No assistance. No coverage.

Lo and behold, our fucking Democratic majority has opened its collective asshole and shat out a mammoth steaming pile of shit that only allows us to avoid bankruptcy by medical bills only if we promise to be good girls and never ever kill babies.

There’s your Hope™ and Change™. You thought that Democrats were cool with just throwing gays under the bus? We’re not stopping at anything. Fuck the poor. Fuck women. Fuck the environment. Fuck the Middle East. Fuck accountability. Fuck ending tax cuts. Fuck our progressive base. Fuck federal law and Roe v. Wade and the things we could do with a Democratic majority.

If you have a Senator that would otherwise vote to pass this bill (mine are all Republicans), please, for your rights, send them a letter. Give them a call. Do something! Otherwise, I’m afraid that this is the death-knell for reproductive rights.

Movies to Throw Up To, Part 1: Paranormal Activity

Note: This post contains big spoilers for a movie that you probably shouldn’t want to see anyway.

Screenshot

Nobody caters to the easily nauseated. Here at XXBlaze, I like to pride myself at catering to really unpopular abnormalities. Being about as abnormal and unfit for civilized society as I unwillingly can seems to be my niche.  According to the powers that be, there really isn’t a bigger crime against nature than being a educated opinionated fat gay woman.

So right here, I’m declaring a new series. I’ll call it, “Movies to Throw Up To”. I figure with the popularity of playlists such as “Songs to Have Heterosexual Church-Sanctioned Sex To” and “Songs to Get in Shape So as to be Suitably Fuckable To”, I might ride their coattails a little. In the name of feminism, squeamishness, and informing the public of what to avoid, you understand.

Right, so Movies to Throw Up To. First up is the movie I reluctantly saw this Halloween: Paranormal Activity. When it comes to riding coattails, this flick has got it in the bag. Cashing in on the popularity of other really fucking stupid movies like Cloverfield and The Blair Witch Project, Paranormal Activity captures suspense with a camera technique I’d like to call “I paid $10 to see a movie costing a more money than I’ll ever see that looks like it was shot by a $50 camera attached to a run-away washer”.

In other words, the movie is much more likely to make you physically sick than to scare you.

So like Cloverfield, Paranormal Activity required that I take several short breaks in the middle of the film to step out into the hall. Not because it was too scary or intense, you understand, but because I was really fucking nauseous and had to go learn over a trash can until I figured I was fine enough to return to indulging my masochistic taste in cinema.

But unlike Cloverfield, I actually made it through the entire movie. I really wish I hadn’t.

Paranormal Activity reminds me of being eight years old at a slumber party and telling creepy stories to friends to see who would get more freaked out. We’d sit around in our Barbie sleeping bags and tell stories about white vans and creepy coincidences. Funny enough, all those stories were total bullshit and the product of sugar binges and reading too much Goosebumps. We were all more frightened of a totally innocent white van parked by a telephone pole than we were of the dude that showed us his penis in the public library.

Being a big girl now, I’m a bit more concerned with 40-year old sex offenders than demons and ghosts. I wish I could say that the rest of the world shares my good sense of priorities, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.

Thus, the thriving popularity of movies like Paranormal Activity: movies that don’t scare you once you grow the fuck up and figure out that demons are the dudes who run the fucking world or who fly under the radar because the people they hurt are just blamed for being victimized.

Which brings me to my next point: that douche Micah, Kate’s, the protagonist’s, boyfriend.

The scariest part of the movie, aside from how close I got to throwing up the chili I had for dinner, was how much of an unsympathetic misogynist asshole Katie’s live-in boyfriend is. She tells him to stop doing something, he does it anyway. She pleads with him to do things her way, and he blows her off. She tells him to turn off the camera when, he keeps it on. He even tries to keep it on while they have sex.

Katie quickly figures out, however, that the demon that has been haunting her since she was eight is angered by a dude stepping in on his territory. Because, ya know, women are totally the property of whatever paranormal shit is out there or a dude. Match-up: Demon From Hell versus Misogynistic Boyfriend. Who will win the ownership of a vagina? Very original. My third favorite part is when Micah gets pissed off at the demon and starts yelling about “his house” and “his girlfriend” and how he’s “going to take care of it”. Yeah dude, you’re going kick the ass of something that doesn’t have a corporeal form. Good luck with that.

Obviously, everything that Micah does to “take care of it” pisses the demon off. Katie doesn’t want him to do it, he does it anyways, the demon gets angry and does more crazy shit when they sleep. There, I just ruined the plot of the whole movie. You’re welcome.

Coming in a close second for my favorite scene is when Micah gets pissed off (good acting dude: varying between ineffectual pissed off he-man and dismissive surly ineffectual he-man for two hours) at Katie because she tells him that she’s really mad at him for getting an Ouiji board, after everyone told him not too and he promised Katie that he wouldn’t, that she needs to “go upstairs and hang out with her demon boyfriend”. Silly bitches, putting their needs and safety above listening to the Man of the House. They should just go upstairs and hang with the demon that wants to kill them, if they’re going to be uppity like that and think that they know better about how to deal with the shit that haunted them for like, most of their lives.

So Katie goes upstairs and slams the door. The camera shuts off, then turns on again to a scene of Micah holding Katie on the floor of the upstairs hall while she cries and tells him she’s sorry. He replies, “it’s not your fault”. Which, funny enough, it isn’t. See, the demon has been haunting Katie since she was eight. It even burnt down her childhood home. This demon is Serious Business. All the demon did, until Micah got his camera, against her wishes, and put powder on the floor to track its footprints, against her wishes, and trying to contact it with an Ouiji board, against her wishes, is burn down a house and breathe on her while she slept. Creepy dangerous shit, you understand, but not anything close to what it’s been doing now. Probably because Micah thinks that his pride and chest-beating he-man antics are more important than not pissing off the thing that you can’t hurt but has really evil intentions towards someone you supposedly love. To get back at Katie for involving her boyfriend, the demon basically does creepy shit every single night instead of just sometimes, which escalates to leaving supposedly irretrievable mementos from her childhood burnt-down home around her house and dragging her down the hall while she sleeps and biting her.

Instead of this being a good indication that Micah really ought to listen to his girlfriend and stop doing shit she knows will piss the demon off, he gets it into his head that’s it’s a good idea for him and Katie to leave the house. Even though the medium (whom he predictably thinks is a quack), Katie, and her best friend all told him that the demon will just follow and get more pissed off. Just like it has been following her since she was little. Micah doesn’t listen though, because he’s smarter than the quack physic and all those silly bitches with their vaginas. He packs up, and prepares to leave the next day when Katie stops protesting.

And here comes my favorite part of the movie: the end. I loved the end because I got to stop watching the totally asinine antics of the Man Who Hasn’t Got a Fucking Clue through the lens of a camera attached to some sadistic machine hell-bent on making me as motion sick as possible.

Additionally, the end was sweet because Micah finally shuts the fuck up. Yep, the Demon From Hell figures that Micah has stepped in on his territory for the last time. As they sleep, it possesses Katie, makes her stand over her boyfriend and watch him as he sleeps for three hours, then walks her down the hall, down the stairs, and makes her scream for her boyfriend.

Micah, like a fucking champ, wakes from a dead sleep with an instant woody at the idea of saving his damsel, vaults over the bed, and runs down the stairs. There’s a bunch of screaming, and then silence. Then, in the only part of the movie that made me jump, something is thrown at the camera, knocking it off the tripod.

That something is Micah’s lifeless body. Fuck yeah. And then Katie just kinda stands there, with her blood-stained pajamas, walks over and calmly smells him. Apparently being possessed by a demon makes the boyfriend you just killed smell good. Okay. Then she makes the patented creepy horror face, lunges at the camera, and everything goes dark.

The End.

So I stumble out of the theater, glad to be able to stand outside in the cold night air and let the combined motion sickness and the nausea of the totally asinine acting and plot fade. Just for an idea of how dumb the plot was, I spent at least 80% of the movie with my eyes closed trying not to throw up, and an additional 10% outside the theater and I didn’t miss a goddamned thing.

After returning home, I figure that I’m going to do this post. I sit down to do it, but as I start to type the first part of it, I am totally stumped on how to spell “Micah”. So I pull up IMDB and look it up.

What really killed me, and just hit home how much I fucking hate this movie, is that the most discussed thing in the movie’s forums was not the shitty camera angles. It wasn’t what a big stupid douche Micah is. It wasn’t that I was exchanged $10 for a ticket and an assumption of being entertained and got ripped off.

Nope, it was how “fat” the actress who played Katie was. Yep, the woman who walked around in barely-there pajamas for most of the movie, with nary a love handle or Buddha belly in sight, is a fucking whale. She’s just such an offense against the patriarchal standards of fuckability that the entire board is buzzing about what a goddamn fat ass she is.

Moral of the story: you can attach a camera to a washer and make a good portion of your audience want to hurl. You can make your secondary character an annoying macho butt nugget. You can cash in on the ever-so-popular horror genre of “hurting women for funsies”. You can forget to include that thing called a plot.

But all that anyone will notice is that the actress isn’t a size 0.

The verdict: I give this movie a 10 out of 10 on the nausea scale for finding a way to make me simultaneously physically and mentally sick, even an hour after I leave the theater. Well done.