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Aug 20 2007

The Procrastination Chronicles

spinybk_bee.jpg
Today’s unrelated arachnid predation photo: Spinybacked orbweaver weaves orb outside Twisty kitchen window; eats head off bee. Gasteracantha cancriformis, North South Austin, August 2007.

As longtime readers know, so that I can stay on top of developments in my field, Google sends me news’n'blog alerts, to the tune of hundreds a day, on topics relevant to spinster aunting. Dogs. Weird scientific research. Cool Whip. Only occasionally do I force myself to look through the ones on depressing stuff like feminism, abortion, or godbags. But that’s precisely what I did today.

Why?

For purposes of sloth! If I’m reading about how Log Cabin Republicans have launched a “video attack” on Rudy Giuliani, I can justify not running around town reading to the sick, or failing to grow up.

Of course, in order to more completely delude myself that information from the Internet improves me to a greater degree than chores, I need to turn it into a blog post. Toward that end I herewith present a small but representative sampling of web-based misogyny, godbaggery, and buffoonery culled from the Google alerts that showed up in my inbox over the course of just a few hours this morning. I’m omitting from the pool the zillion or so mainstream news items pertaining to violence against women; the sheer volume in that category is overwhelming.

Well, except for the report on this astonishing survey from the Uganda Bureau of Statistics, which reveals, among other horrors, that 60% of men and 70% of women “believe that there are some situations in which a husband is justified when he beats his wife.” Pack that in your bong and hit it, patriarchy-deniers!

Meanwhile, this woman thinks that females, with their well-known predisposition toward mindless violence, shouldn’t be permitted to carry designer Tasers. Women, she argues — apparently basing her views on the behavior of that diaper-wearin’ astronaut who is so exemplary of all women everywhere — are such irrational flibbertygibbets, they might easily go off the deep end, Taser in hand. Somebody might get hurt!

This guy thinks that his job as a respectable white male tour guide in Germany is just like being a prostituted woman. Seriously, it’s the same exact thing! Why? Because sometimes his clients buy him drinks and “extra enthusiasm makes [him] much more money” (his “I am a prostitute” statement seems to be the product of an unsettled mind; in the post immediately preceding, he declares himself a “teacher/professor”).

Speaking of prostituted women, news that a Detroit ‘sheriff’s deputy’s wife’* has been charged with solicitation continues to generate such thoughtful commentary as “can’t turn a whore into a housewife!” Media reports about women charged with prostitution, all of which employ the lively term “sting operation,” are nearly as numerous as those about murdered and raped women, and foster much dudely sniggering. Stories about johns getting busted? Not so much.

Contrary to what certain blamers have suggested, there are insane antifeminists in Canada: The distraught dude president of godbaggy Vote Life, Canada! responds poetically and threateningly to the news that Amnesty International has officially come out against compulsory pregnancy, and to the grim realization that not only are some members of Amnesty International probably Catholics, but that the sect’s pointy-headed bishops did not strike these heretics dead on the spot: “Woe to the Catholic Bishops of Canada who now share in the blood of a new and vast ocean of murdered Unborns appearing just on the horizon.”

“Murdered Unborns,” eh? And tell me, were they once mortal men of great power who became neither alive nor dead under the power of the Nine Rings? What next, I wonder? “Revenge of the Unborns”? Or “Thingonomicon: Book of the Foetuses”?

And some dudes debate abortion, with hilarious results! I mean, it wouldn’t be humor if nobody referenced a hand job.
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* In accordance with Natural Law, her actual name doesn’t usually appear in these reports until a subsequent paragraph, it being of secondary importance to her marital status.

30 comments

  1. PhysioProf

    (1) Awesome vicious spider photo! The very exact bilateral symmetry of the yellow spots is very cool. One of the things we study in my lab are spider venom toxins, and every time you post a picture of a cool-looking spider, I fantasize about what cool toxins might be in there.

    (2) “Amnesty International has officially come out against compulsory pregnancy[.]”

    My understanding of their new policy is that they have only come out against compulsory pregnancy if the pregnant woman has an “excuse”: rape, incest, health, etc. They are not supporting the position–morally required by every human being’s right to bodily autonomy–that a woman can terminate her pregnancy for any fucking reason, or for no fucking reason at all.

  2. PhysioProf

    Oops, I guess I used too many bad words in my comment. It’s in moderation.

  3. PhysioProf

    Moderation is fast!

  4. Twisty

    I don’t know why your comment got stuck. I don’t moderate for “bad words”. WordPress is a great mystery.

    Oh, and from the Amensty press release: “Defending the right of women to sexual and reproductive integrity in the face of grave human rights violations, Amnesty International recently incorporated a focus on selected aspects of abortion into its broader policy on sexual and reproductive rights. These additions do not promote abortion as a universal right and Amnesty International remains silent on the rights and wrongs of abortion.

    ‘Amnesty International’s position is not for abortion as a right but for women’s human rights to be free of fear, threat and coercion as they manage all consequences of rape and other grave human rights violations,’ clarified Kate Gilmore.”

  5. Orange

    Why, who could be lower on the totem pole than the woman who belongs to the deputy who in turn belongs to the sheriff?

    I left the following comment for the exploited and debased tour guide:

    “Plus, if you don’t turn over most of your earnings to your pimp, he’ll beat you senseless. That’s how it works when you’re a prostitute, right?”

  6. PhysioProf

    So based on that press release, it appears that Amnesty is explicitly stating that it will turn a blind eye to compulsory pregnancy as a general matter. They are only willing to object to compulsory pregnancy when it piggybacks on a violation of some other particular violation of women’s rights.

    This may be politically and financially expedient, but it sure ain’t feminist.

  7. norbizness

    Why must the Googlonians keep hounding you like this? Know they no clemency?

  8. Miller

    The “I am a prostitute” hyperbole/trivialization of actual prostitution reminds me of this man who wrote that when women deliberately arouse him with their existence (again, we are to blame for male heterosexuality) yet deny him sex it is the equivalent of being raped. Seriously.

  9. wiggles

    For as little as $299, women everywhere can render any man speechless (or at least any man within 15 feet) without beauty aids or salon visits. And since the new C2 comes in four designer colors, a woman can maintain her social status by not mismatching her accessories. It’s a crying shame the company couldn’t secure the product as an add-on to Apple’s iPhone.

    The taser columnist reminds me of The Onion’s Jean Teasdale. Throw in some shout-outs to her “Jeanketeers” and sprinkle on some coos and sighs over megahunky Patrick Swayze and you have a dead ringer.

  10. wiggles

    Orange: Not most of his money. All of it.

  11. Omyword!

    I found you, believe it or not, through a Google search for “Fear of flying monkeys.” I am so glad that I did. You sent me off on a link surf for an hour. I added you to my RSS feed reader and look forward to reading more.

  12. teffie-phd

    I feel like the bee in that photo ;)

    I know Canada has anti-feminists everywhere. But they appear to have no legislative clout when it comes to abortion rights. Well at least so far–all this legislation in America is probably giving these godbags ideas beyond lambasting Catholic bishops.

    As for Amnesty–they still just don’t get it.

  13. Daisy

    Why, who could be lower on the totem pole than the woman who belongs to the deputy who in turn belongs to the sheriff?

    I was thinking that too. Also:

    You know the sheriff
    has got his problems too
    And he will most surely take them out
    on me and you

    –Warren Zevon, Mohammed’s Radio

  14. doorknob

    Shoot, I want a fetus too if it comes with a Ring of Man included.

  15. Genevieve

    “The “I am a prostitute” hyperbole/trivialization of actual prostitution reminds me of this man who wrote that when women deliberately arouse him with their existence (again, we are to blame for male heterosexuality) yet deny him sex it is the equivalent of being raped. Seriously.”

    What an ass.
    Sorry, but I hate dudes like this.

  16. Foamy

    Holy crap, I had no idea such a creature as an orbweaver existed, and I don’t know if I should be paranoid about finding them in my sneakers or just fascinated.

  17. Ollie

    What nominal clout Amnesty International may have comes from their willingness to stay within strict boundaries and work from “within the system.” At least thats the impression I get, and the impression they seem to operate under. No politician wants to be hassled by AI members writing letters and making phonecalls, but those are all the loony hippies anyway, so if thats the best they can do then its worth the inconvenience.

    I was an intern at AI for a quarter in college. Part of my job was to draft some letters to editors to local papers and such in response to articles about issues AI is watching (they were always mercilessly edited and then someone else got to sign them), and was utterly frustrated by the fact that I wasn’t allowed to call bullshit on even teh most awful policies/politicans. I got to “urge caution” instead.

  18. Amber de Katt

    Holy crap, I had no idea such a creature as an orbweaver existed

    Sure you did, Foamy… you just didn’t know them by that name. “Orbweaver” is a whole category of spiders that weave those big, circular (hence “orb”) webs that are the stereotypical spiderweb. They’ve got tiny, pointy feet so that they can quickly navigate their way around those webs, but they don’t do quite so well on flat surfaces.

    The best-known orbweaver spider is the black widow. There are other species that include “orbweaver” in their name, like Twisty’s little friend there. (Beautiful shot, btw, Twisty!)

    And the only reason I know all this is that my cousin has these really funky-looking orbweaver-type spiders in her bedroom window, and I’ve been trying for years to find out which species they are, and I can’t find them anywhere. Except in my cousin’s bedroom window, that is….

  19. Lara

    I wrote a response to Daysha Taylor at Bizmology. Seriously, was she mindfucked by the big P or what?
    Oh, and I had a big debate with one of my dude friends last night about prostitution. He smirked when I said prostitution is slavery, then later admitted that it is “a form of” slavery. Then he tried to argue that basketball players are just as “prostituted” as hookers….yeah….
    As I am dead tired and have no more brain cells to come up with a quick and easy way to refute that or disprove it, can anyone help a little? Thanks.
    Twisty you keep me sane…

  20. Shira

    If basketball players are just as prostituted as trafficked women, to whom do they give most of their earnings? When was the last time a manager beat a basketball player within an inch of his life because he didn’t play enough games that day? Do the fans regularly rush the court and rape the basketball players? Can they quit pretty much any time they want? Are crimes against them dismissed, or do tens of thousands of people rally around them even if they are accused of committing a crime (a la Kobe)? Are basketball players kidnapped and forced by managers, or coerced through financial desperation, to play basketball? What, exactly, are the similarities beyond “both get paid”?

    Your dude friend is a moron.

  21. Lara

    Thankyou Shira, thankyou… A certain weight has been lifted off my shoulders.

  22. Kali

    Once someone tried to pull that “prostitution is like any other job” argument on me in an online discussion. I had just finished reading a summary of Diana Russell’s excellent and extensive research on the harms of prostitution, including the alarmingly high rates of rape, PTSD, battery and homicide that prostituted women/girls/transexuals are subject to. I gave those numbers to him and his response was along the lines of “some women don’t find rape to be that harmful”. When I expressed my horror at that statement, other online women defended his statement as being objectively factual.

    Trying to explain why pornstitution is harmful is like trying to explain why murder is wrong. If you don’t get it, you never will. Just go and die already.

  23. Jezebella

    Lara – did you email or comment on that Taser post? Because I left a comment and she dumped it via comment moderation.

  24. Nobody in Particular

    OT: Sexual assaults rise on the subway in Boston; the MBTA says it’s no big deal.

  25. larkspur

    If I were to list things that break my heart on a daily basis, I’d have to put “Africa” there.

    I remember reading in some scholarly thing somewhere (which I have searched for and failed to find) of an instance of wife-beating in, I believe, Ghana or some other West or Central African country. The husband’s wife died of some kind of illness. He’d not been in the habit of abusing or beating her, and this fact made him so fearful that before allowing his neighbors to help with the funeral preparations, he actually battered his wife’s dead body so that no one would know.

    Obviously, I don’t know if this is true. I know that I read it, but I don’t know if the sadly sympathetic spin the author put on the anecdote was justified. I’m just saying that when I read it, it seemed credible. Broke my heart again.

  26. NeoCleo

    Beautiful spider, in spite of the headless bee.

  27. Miller

    Kali writes: “When I expressed my horror at that statement, other online women defended his statement as being objectively factual.”

    First, I doubt most of those “online women” were actually women (Especially if they made sure to feminize their screen name or mention their gender). Second, even if the vast majority of women and girls found rape to be a mere inconvenience, it is still a crime because it is against our will and no one–including other females–has the right to encroach upon our personal sovereignty, the most fundamental human right. Sadly, there are many women who refuse to understand that and they believe that simply because they too are women they get to decide what is acceptable for other women.

    Explaining why rape or its commercialized form, prostitution, is wrong in our society is like trying to talk about the horrors of pedophilia to members of NAMBLA. Just earlier this summer, I read this MSNBC online article and this sex “expert” wrote to ensure this man that just because he masturbated to gay porn didn’t mean he was gay by calmly using the example that just because women had rape fantasies, it doesn’t mean that they actually “want to be raped.” This man–a doctor no less–had no clue that the basic definition of rape is that it is *against one’s will*, thus, you cannot possibly fantasize about it happening to you because that would involve desire.

  28. Tupe

    PhysioProf: Specifically, abortion is only a tack-on concern when female bodies are attacked in ways that male bodies can also be attacked. They don’t want to be giving out any controversial “special” rights or anything, though I guess they’re willing to make rape or incest a little easier by ambiguously not making pregnancy compulsory. How compassionate.

    Seriously though, I had no idea that the Amnesty International jury was still out on this one. At this point, any discussion of “human” rights needs to immediately address [i]female[/i] rights or I stop listening.

  29. RadFemHedonist

    I volunteer for Amnesty, I’m not sure if I still want to.

  30. RadFemHedonist

    If they won’t support abortion as a universal individual right of those pregnant or in labor.

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