Category Archives: Links

The Pornography Fact Sheet.

It’s available here. Includes statistics, ex-porn star testimonies, studies, links and videos, and more.

On sexual coercion.

If someone makes you feel obligated or forced to do something you don’t want to, you may be experiencing coercion. By definition, sexual coercion is “the act of using pressure, alcohol or drugs, or force to have sexual contact with someone against his or her will” and includes “persistent attempts to have sexual contact with someone who has already refused.”

Think of sexual coercion as a spectrum or a range. It can vary from someone verbally egging you on to someone actually forcing you to have contact with them. It can be verbal and emotional, in the form of statements that make you feel pressure, guilt or shame. You can also be made to feel forced through more subtle actions. For example, your partner might:

* Make you feel like you owe them — ex. Because you’re in a relationship, because you’ve had sex before, because they spent money on you or bought you a gift, because you go home with them
* Give you compliments that sound extreme or insincere as an attempt to get you to agree to something
* Badger you, yell at you or hold you down
* Give you drugs and alcohol to loosen up your inhibitions
* Play on the fact that you’re in a relationship, saying things such as: “Sex is the way to prove your love for me” or “If I don’t get sex from you I’ll get it somewhere else”
* React negatively (with sadness, anger or resentment) if you say no or don’t immediately agree to something
* Continue to pressure you after you say no
* Make you feel threatened or afraid of what might happen if you say no
* Try to normalize their sexual expectations: ex. “I need it, I’m a guy.”

Excellent additional comment by queeravenger:

I never see posts like this mention an abuse of power. If a person in a position of power (teacher, professor, boss, internship director, etc.) has sex with a subordinate, even if it seems consensual in every other way, it’s coercion and rape.

And, as Amy in the comments points out, don’t forget therapists, doctors, and so on.

Are the Teletubbies utopian fiction?

Simon engages in an entertaining speculation, but taken very seriously: are the Teletubbies utopian science-fiction?

The Teletubbies, I’d suggest, are contemporary versions of Wells’s Eloi, those indolent foppish creatures from The Time Machine. Indeed, they are a more thoroughly-worked through rendering of the Eloi mode of life. Where Wells saw his Eloi as adults, still capable despite their degeneracy of adult pastimes (so that Wells’s time traveller is for instance able to have sex with the Eloi Weena), the Teletubbies inhabit a more self-consistent vision of complete degeneracy.

Let’s put it this way: imagine a culture that develops such sophisticated technical prostheses that its inhabitants no longer need to work, to worry, to strive in any way. Imagine those inhabitants, through choice or through evolutionary pressure, losing all stress-related functions of adult consciousness: work-ethic, conscience, guilt, lust, anger, avarice. Imagine them, in other words, regressing back wholly to a toddler’s existence, finding in that simplicity a maximum fit between existence and stress-free-satisfaction, like those German 40-something businessmen who like dressing in nappies and rolling around on the carpets of speciality brothels. Or, in fact, not like those men, because (unlike the Eloi) the Teletubbies have discarded the sex impulse as well, abandoning with it the dangerously fretful anxiety-gratification ratio of adult sexual life.

The machines in Teletubbyland, in other words, are the devices necessary to free mankind from its attachment to the adult world of necessity, provision and work. And once freed from those constraints, the show suggests, evolution or choice leads life back into the calm, bright satisfactions of toddlerdom. The Teletubbies are purer Eloi than the Eloi, a more complete rendering of the old SF convention about degeneration. Wells characterised his Eloi as child-like in some respect, but adult-like in others (physical appearance, sexual appetite). Huxley’s Brave New World also posited human global happiness upon an infantilisation of the human animal, although his future humans are also adult in appearance and physical appetite.

Benatar defending the right to die.

I don’t agree with everything David Benatar writes, but I do think he’s right about antinatalism and issues related to it, such as the right to die. In this article, he defends the right to die and euthanasia against common objections.

With that scenario in mind, we can see the hidden assumption in the slippery slope argument against legalizing euthanasia: It is the assumption that the instances of euthanasia that the Netherlands now permits are morally wrong. But the problem is that very many defenders of a legal right to die would deny that those instances of euthanasia are wrong. Some of us think that the suffering that a person endures need not be the product of a terminal disease in order for it to be intolerable. We also recognize that some mental suffering is intractable and as unbearable as physical suffering. And we recognize that it is not only competent patients, but also incompetent ones who can suffer from conditions that make their lives not worth living. Accordingly, we would like to see euthanasia and assisted suicide permitted in such a wider range of cases. If, however, we cannot effect that legal change in one step, we recommend, in the first instance, a more limited liberalization of the law. Once that change has been made, people might realize that the next step and then the next are also acceptable, even if they cannot see it now.

And thanks to Michael in the comments for posting this quote from another article:

The decision about whether to continue living in such conditions is among the most important that can be made. Just as people value having control over where to live, which occupation to pursue, whom to marry, and whether to have children, so people value having control over whether to continue living when quality of life deteriorates. That is why the right to life and the right to die are not two rights, but two aspects or descriptions of the same right. The right to life is the right to decide whether one will OR WILL NOT continue living. The right to die is the right to decide whether one will die (when one could continue living). If the right to life were only a right to decide to continue living and did not also include a right to decide not to continue living, then it would be a DUTY to live rather than a RIGHT to life. The idea that there is a duty to continue living, regardless of how bad life has become, is an implausible one indeed.

MRAs are motivated by frustration at not getting laid.

I’ve often wondered how many MRAs are motivated by frustration at not being able to enter in meaningful sexual or intimate relationships. This entry from the anti-MRA blog We Hunted the Mammoth ponders the same thing.

There are a lot of angry divorced men in the MRM – including some with several divorces in their past. The standard MRA explanation is that these men come to the Men’s Rights movement after being “raped” — their word, not mine – in divorce court, or kept apart from their children by angry exes.

But I don’t think that’s it. Many of the angriest don’t even have any children. I suspect that the rage they feel is more like the rage of Elam’s hero – a rage borne out of a deep sense of sexual humiliation and the loss of control over the women who have rejected and abandoned them.

The anger of many younger MRAs seems to have a similar psychosexual source. These are the young men who rage against “friendzoning” and wax indignant about “false rape accusations” and “yes means yes.” In their mind, women are the “gatekeepers” of sex, and this frustrates and sometimes enrages them.

Vegans should not procreate.

I agree with the anonymous author of this piece, which was apparently censored all over the place, that vegans who are concerned with the planet should not procreate. Of course I also agree that no one should procreate, but most of the arguments here also apply to humans in general. Since vegans are just as much selfish assholes as anyone else, I’m not surprised that the message didn’t gain traction.

Many will of course argue that it is the basic urge of a human being, like other creatures, to proliferate. A vegan who is vehemently against the breeding of all domestic animals may fiercely defend his or her personal right, as they see it, to multiply their own chromosomes. But believing you have a right doesn’t make it ethically right. The farmer believes he has the right to manipulate other beings for profit; others believe it is their right to exploit living beings for food, clothing, science, amusement etc. Is it not the duty of a civilized, enlightened person to examine all aspects of their nature and ask themselves whether such so-called ‘rights’ are simply self-serving? A child does not ‘need’ to be born. It is the need of its parents which is gratified.

The switch from -ism to -phobia and what it means.

Here’s a great article from Trouble and Strife, which can always be counted on for in-depth analysis, looking at the new tendency of activists to talk about -phobias instead of -isms, and how it has the consequence of reducing structural oppression to a simple-minded, individualistic analysis of “hatred.”

Yet just as ‘ism’ words have yielded to ‘phobia’ words, this understanding of the structural and systemic nature of oppression seems increasingly to have yielded to an analysis which is more and more focused on hatred as the driving force behind it. In the criminal justice system, for instance, there is now a category of ‘hate crimes’—offences motivated by hatred of the group the victim belongs to—which are treated as more serious and punished more severely than the same offences committed for other reasons. As Liz Kelly has pointed out, this approach does not help to deliver justice for women and children, because the ways in which they are most often victimized do not fit the definition of a ‘hate crime’. Domestic violence, child sex abuse and rape are not rooted in fear and loathing of women or children as a group, but have more to do with men’s feelings of superiority and entitlement, their assumption that women and children exist for their benefit and may be controlled, exploited and abused with impunity. These are not crimes of hate, they are crimes of power and domination; but that in no way diminishes their impact on the lives of those who are or may become their victims.

From a radical feminist perspective it is crucial to hold onto the understanding that oppression is only sometimes about hate, but it is always about power—about the structures and systems that serve collective political interests. The language of ‘phobia’ obscures this: it personalizes the political by concentrating on the feelings an action expresses rather than the interests it serves, and it pathologizes prejudice, representing it by implication as the irrational response of (some) individuals rather than the product of a system that benefits some groups at the expense of others.

The Anxiety Culture, and how to fight it…

I have been quite remiss in not featuring this site before. It is an anti-work, anti-capitalism site which concentrates on the psychological effects of work and capitalism on the individual, and how they frame concepts in order to indoctrinate us. Highly recommended. Subgeniuses will find a lot to like about it as well.

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