Skunkgal - Too Much Skunk In Your Junk

why i fear the roethlisberger rape allegation

celebrity rape trials make people say stupid things. they create media shit shows. and no matter the outcome or the truth, all the other rape victims out there come out as losers.

celebrity rape trials are times of great cognitive dissonance, inspiring people (usually rabid fans) to repeat damaging rape tropes (in hopes of defending their living jesus): she’s lying. she’s crazy. she wants revenge. she wants attention. she was asking for it. and my favorite: so-and-so can have any woman he wants; why would he rape someone?

maybe this is just the fringe, but it’s there. and maybe it’s the truth in one case or another (duke lacrosse. UGHHHHHHHHH), but for the majority of cases, none of those scenarios is usually true.

rape has a similar rate of false reports when compared to other crimes. that is, people lie about rape about as often as they lie about being robbed, attacked, etc., which is to say, not that often. and lets not forget that rapists’ actions have nothing to do w/ the scarcity of sex, and everything to do with control, power, and misogyny.

but reality has never stopped the masses from creating a damaging atmosphere. i really don’t care about the one bonehead who says something ignorant in the checkout line. i do care when victims hear it, and start believing it. this is assuredly the start of another sad chapter where just about everyone loses.

two equals a fetish

LA mayor villaraigosa is dating a news anchor, again. they were seen canoodling at a bookstore, where this hilarity ensued:

When the pair walked in [to the bookstore], authors Elizabeth Ford and Daniela Drake were signing copies of their new book, “Smart Girls Marry Money: How Women Have Been Duped Into the Romantic Dream — and How They’re Paying For It.” The two authors invited the mayor and Parker over, Otto said.

“They gave her a copy,” Otto said.

girl … READ THE BOOK.

vaccines, jenny mccarthy, playboy

jenny mccarthy is an anti-vaccine advocate (vaccine critic?). people like her who don’t vaccinate their children are stupid and are a threat to the populace, but what really pisses me off about this whole mccarthy/vaccine thing is the way mccarthy (who, i repeat, is totally wrong) is often described in articles:

discover:

It has had a particularly strong life on the Internet, including the heavily trafficked Huffington Post, and in pop culture, where it is supported by actors including Charlie Sheen and Jim Carrey, former Playboy playmate Jenny McCarthy, and numerous others.

slate:

Jenny McCarthy begs to differ. McCarthy dropped out of nursing school in 1993 to become a Playboy bunny and later starred in an MTV show that focused on her bodily functions. She believes that vaccines made her 7-year-old son autistic—and that she “recovered” him with alternative therapies, as she details in her parenting books.

time:

There was not much in Jenny McCarthy’s early career as a Playboy model and MTV star to suggest that she would become a passionate advocate for family issues, children’s health and autism awareness.

abc news:

Amy Pisani, executive director of ECBT, says she hopes Peet’s advocacy is “a 100 percent antidote” to the position of former Playboy model Jenny McCarthy’s position that the current vaccine schedule places children at a higher risk of developing autism.

shockingly, usnews, the latimes, and the ny daily news manage to write a story about jenny mccarthy without mentioning her playboy stint 16 years ago.

the time and discover descriptions are the worst of the bunch. why do jim carrey and charlie sheen not have descriptors in front of their names besides “actors?” i believe mccarthy can accurately be described as an “actress” right now, and it sounds like the author is mostly amusing himself by being able to get “playboy” into his science piece. if the writer wants to kill the credibility of all celebrity anti-vaxxers, why doesn’t sheen get the the hit job treatment either? i do believe he was a loyal heidi fleiss customer and a coke addict, making him a pretty shitty authority on vaccines.

the time one is even more stupid. a playboy playmate can’t ever become a “passionate advocate for family issues, children’s health and autism awareness?” even if they’re having children 16 years after they were a model? women who do dumb things when they’re young can’t ever be expected to become good moms later? things change when people grow up and have kids. not that surprising.

it’s perfectly valid to point out mccarthy has a credibility problem. she’s not a scientist, a doctor, or anything that gives her any authority to talk about a public health issue like wide-scale vaccination. it’s even ok to call her “just an actress” (which is what she is, right now). but her occupation in 1993 is pretty irrelevant, and it’s just another annoying way that women’s sexuality gets woven into unrelated narratives. just another way to snicker at women that men don’t have to deal with.

/feminist rant

philippines = gender equality

apparently the philippines is one of the most gender equal countries in the world. the U.S. ranks 27th out of 140.

methodology:

This does not refer to the famous gender gap in earnings but to a study (pdf) which compares men’s and women’s economic, educational, political and health outcomes by building all that into an index. The index measures outcomes (for example, the labor force participation rates of women and men) and not inputs (for example, the presence or absence of paid parental leave). What is interesting about this particular index is that it doesn’t weigh the results by the economic development level of a country. Thus, a poor country can rank high on this index even if it doesn’t offer many opportunities for girls to get educated as long as the opportunities are the same for boys and girls.

top ten:
1. Norway
2. Finland
3. Sweden
4. Iceland
5. New Zealand
6. Philippines
7. Denmark
8. Ireland
9. Netherlands
10. Latvia

so this is sort of weird. what’s the philippines doing w/ all these advanced industrialized countries? (except latvia, which is falling apart, and i guess iceland, too.)

my theory, based on speculation: there aren’t overt social/cultural barriers to women getting an education or jobs, and the sentiment that “women should stay home and cook and take care of the children” isn’t that prevalent. they’ve also had two female presidents, which i think makes a huge difference.

for people with no access to education, there might actually be more opportunities for women in service industries (live-in cooks, housecleaners, and nannies). and if that’s completely not true (totally possible since i don’t believe in “math” or “statistics” or “facts”), then i posit that being dirt poor is pretty good inspiration to get every person, male or female, to work or out of the country to send home some cushy remittances.

and for your own edification, the bottom 10
1. Bahrain
2. Ethiopia
3. Turkey
4. Egypt
5. Morocco
6. Benin
7. Pakistan
8. Saudi Arabia
9. Chad
10. Yemen

sex. babies. religion.

new yorker story about chastity, abstinence, abortion, marriage, and everything sex-related.

some of these differences in sexual behavior come down to class and education. Regnerus and Carbone and Cahn all see a new and distinct “middle-class morality” taking shape among economically and socially advantaged families who are not social conservatives. In Regnerus’s survey, the teen-agers who espouse this new morality are tolerant of premarital sex (and of contraception and abortion) but are themselves cautious about pursuing it. Regnerus writes, “They are interested in remaining free from the burden of teenage pregnancy and the sorrows and embarrassments of sexually transmitted diseases. They perceive a bright future for themselves, one with college, advanced degrees, a career, and a family. Simply put, too much seems at stake. Sexual intercourse is not worth the risks.” These are the kids who tend to score high on measures of “strategic orientation”—how analytical, methodical, and fact-seeking they are when making decisions. Because these teen-agers see abstinence as unrealistic, they are not opposed in principle to sex before marriage—just careful about it. Accordingly, they might delay intercourse in favor of oral sex, not because they cherish the idea of remaining “technical virgins” but because they assess it as a safer option. “Solidly middle- or upper-middle-class adolescents have considerable socioeconomic and educational expectations, courtesy of their parents and their communities’ lifestyles,” Regnerus writes. “They are happy with their direction, generally not rebellious, tend to get along with their parents, and have few moral qualms about expressing their nascent sexuality.” They might have loved Ellen Page in “Juno,” but in real life they’d see having a baby at the wrong time as a tragic derailment of their life plans. For this group, Regnerus says, unprotected sex has become “a moral issue like smoking or driving a car without a seatbelt. It’s not just unwise anymore; it’s wrong.”

this pretty much sums up my existence.

what i like about this passage is that it implies that girls in this middle- to upper-class group have something to strive toward, which in turn gives you something more to lose, which is why they tend not to have sex. maybe i’m making a leap here, but i’d posit that the girls in the pregnancy pact demographic aren’t exactly planning for their M.D.s or six-figure paychecks.

i don’t know how you inculcate career goals in huge swaths of the nation, but that’s what i suppose the liberal feminist agenda is for.

sarah palin, you’ve ruined my blogging ability

HAIR!!my mind has been totally preoccupied with palinmania, and my feminist rant is lurking somewhere, but i can’t find it in the muddle of the palincopia of news. i do know one thing, i don’t want to hear about bristol palin’s uterus again. ok, yes abstinence-only doesn’t work, but let’s talk about all the other scary things about palin:

1. she hates polar bears. she sued the interior dept to get them off the endangered animals list. she also dislikes salmon, other bears, and caribou. (but where will i get my coffee?)
2. she wants to drill the bejesus out of alaska. but whatever, it’s her state.
3. she apparently has foreign policy experience b/c alaska is near russia, says cindy mccain. i lived 20 min from windsor. what does that make me?
4. she may or may not have been part of an alaskan separatist party. her husband was part of one until 2002. GO AMERICA.
5. she has at least contemplated banning books from the wasilla library. then, for not supporting her administration, she fired the librarian who thought all the little kiddies should be able to read the catcher in the rye. kind of sounds like stalin.
6. she attends a pentecostal church. i guess that doesn’t affect her VP abilities, but i think it’s kind of creepy. ever see jesus camp!!?!?!
7. she’s anti-abortion.

given all that, there are a couple things in the wikipedia page that make me like her a little. obviously she’s an aggressive and ambition woman, which i can appreciate. also when she was mayor of wasilla, she reduced the mayoral salary, and when she was governor, she made the legislature sell some jet they had. i think she legitimately thinks waste spending is bad … she and i just completely disagree on what “waste” even is.

lastly, this sentence on her wikipedia page AMAZED me:

In 2002, term limits prevented Palin from running for a third term as mayor. Her stepmother-in-law, Faye Palin, ran for the office but lost the election to Dianne Keller after Sarah Palin endorsed Keller, her cousin.

is everyone in wasilla related to palin? yeesh.

volleyball uniforms: my inner feminist is so torn

lots of feminists really hate how beach volleyball leagues have really unfair rules about what women wear vs. what men wear for tournaments. women must wear bikini bottoms no larger than 2.5 inches on the side, or something like that; men can wear shorts and tank tops.

i agree it is a little ridiculous that they’re forced to be scantily clad (apparently this is a problem for some conservative countries that want to compete), but i have to admit that the slightly gay part of me really enjoys the bikinis. the solution to this objectification problem is to force men to go topless. then everyone can be equally naked, and joy will be felt by all. hooray.

btw, the fact that crocs is an AVP sponsor kind of pisses me off. george bush wears black crocs w/ black socks, and that is just terrible.

the grossness of bridezillas

this weekend i watched for the first time two episodes of bridezillas — the show on WEtv where women act absolutely batshit as their wedding approaches. by the end, i was feeling mentally icky.

this is the highest rated show on WEtv, so i asked out loud to my (female) viewing companions: why do women watch and enjoy a show where women absolutely embarrass themselves — a show that revels in the instability these women display and finds glee in ridiculing them. answer: because it makes the viewer feel better about not being that nuts.

this made me really sad.

i cannot think of a male equivalent of this, where men watch other men act like idiots and feel good about not being an idiot themselves. there are shows where men do dumb shit (jackass, for one), but these guys aren’t derided; they’re objects of hero worship. people want to sleep w/ these men or hang out w/ them or get a beer. that is definitely not the case in bridezillas. (here, i recognize that idolizing men who hit themselves in the nuts is probably as twisted as finding joy in watching a bride-to-be throw her “cheap” platinum wedding band in the wine, but whatever.)

now a bit of disclosure: i already have a huge bias against this show since i’m coming from a stance of moral condescension. i do not enjoy watching bad things happen to people. i can’t stand america’s funniest home videos, and have never fully appreciated the office or seinfeld b/c they rely way too much on the utter humiliation of their characters for laughs. i realize most people find this sort of thing funny, but i think it takes a partially cruel mind to find it entertaining. i might be coldly rational, but i have no taste for schadenfreude.

and now that i’ve just insulted almost everyone, back to bridezillas.

this show is exactly the type of entertainment i’ve just derided, which is bad enough, but it takes it to a new, depressingly anti-feminist level. this isn’t a passive sort of “bad/awkward things happening to sort-of good people” (like the aforementioned sitcoms); bridezillas is about the active self-destruction of these women. and, just because it’s too obvious not to say, this “reality” show plays into the overemotional, highly volatile, irrational female stereotype — whose use would be more insulting if it didn’t have the ratings to back it up.

i’m not appalled that the women on these shows exist, but i am appalled that so many women watch it. i could probably go on for longer, but you get the gist.

and to end on a tangentially related but hilarious note: WEtv = wet v. entertainment for women (damn straight).