Links of Great Interest: If you learned it then you should’ve got an A on it.

Huh. I… don’t know what to say to that.

“After the invasion of Iraq, a team of innovative U.S. soldiers captured Saddam Hussein by using Facebook-style social network theory to crack the network of families protecting him. This week, Slate is publishing a five-part series in which Wilson explores the implication of such social networking for other military operations, and asks why the U.S. hasn’t been able to get Osama Bin Laden using the same methods.” I’m so mad at myself for not going to this!! Stupid wisdom teeth. STUPID VICODIN.

Amanda Palmer of the Dresden Dolls continues to keep it classy by making FWD (Feminists with Disabilities).

Here’s one more reason to NEVER move to Utah.

I love this rant defending black women. Honestly, my education has never been a problem on the dating scene. If anything, it’s helped me figure out in advance if someone is too insecure to handle all of this right here. :sweeping dramatic arm gestures encompassing awesomeness of Maria:

BTW your clothing causes SIN. SIN I SAY!!! SIN!! Was it the zebra print? I love zebra print. I totally only wear it because men love seeing women in slutty clothes, which sucks because then they might rape me. :(

At least I’ll be safe in the bathroom! Oh, wait.


  1. The Other Patrick says

    Not gonna touch the sassy gay friend thing. Noo, not me.

    Amanda Palmer is really disappointing me. It’s not that she is wrong, per se, but how she’s reacting to the criticism. She could listen to it and disagree, but to me it comes off more as dismissive, and snarky comments from her don’t help. I keep wondering whether Neil Gaiman’s gonna say something.

    The Utah thing… in the same week as that oher guy claimed that after abortions, children were more likely to be born disabled – really? A looong way to go, it seems.

    I love the “If you learned it…” video despite being for a Christian school. I can only say that intelligence is one of the, if not the biggest factor in my dating decisions – I want an educated and intelligent woman! Only dumb guys don’t want smart women.

    And finally, from the scary rape article, this quote: ” I cannot believe that a Christian, someone who walks in God’s shoes, would have made this.” I LOLed.

  2. says

    I’ll restate what I said to Dan about the Hamlet thing: There are people that actually think that the “sassy gay friend” is an empowering vision of insight and the bravery to be honest and that the woman-that-dies-of-heart-ache-because-some-guy-is-an-asshat is a role model for patient, altruistic, loving women.

    Thus, placing them in a cross-genre parody is a nice way to point out that each is an absurd stereotype and that functional people are multifaceted. Maybe I’m giving the video creators too much credit, but I’d like to think that it’s a lesson: the next time one wants to give up, hand out some flowers, and jump in a lake, to take a moment and listen to that part of one’s self that isn’t self-martyring.

  3. Robin says

    First, the good news: Those kids are AWESOME! That is all. :)

    Now the bad: Uh… miscarriage = murder? What in the WHAT?!! No. Just no. As the article points out, it’s not an enforceable law anyway, but the concept of it is insane.

    And hooray for more victim blaming. :-{ Why oh why haven’t more people learned that rape is not about sex? It’s about having power over another human being, full stop. Even women wearing full burqas — not showing an inch of flesh other than than their eyeballs — have been rape victims. It has nothing to do with what a person is or isn’t wearing. If it does, woe to people who live or vacation in nudist colonies ’cause they’re all doomed. ::sigh::

  4. amymccabe says

    Last July I went off of birth control with the hopes of getting pregnant and it happened very quickly. I can’t express how excited, how thrilled I was. Early September I had a miscarriage, mostly likely because I became pregnant so quickly after going off of an IUD & my uterine lining didn’t have sufficient time to build up. I’m willing to be my use of birth control under the proposed Utah law would make me a criminal. And it was the most devastating thing that ever happened to me.

    I hate victim blaming and it’s so incredibly common in rape. I don’t know WTF is wrong with people.

    Wow…Sassy Gay Friend. ??? I’m speechless.

  5. says

    The idea that rape is about power rather than sex flies in the face of the misguided but extremely popular belief that not getting laid regularly makes men turn violent and getting them laid fixes it. This is such a preposterous idea – there are so many violent men who have more than adequate sexual outlets, and so many non-violent sexually frustrated men – but it persists. Why? Because it makes women responsible for the wrongs done by men.

    Amy, hugs to you. I think we need psychiatric screenings for politicians. I’m serious. In the 1980s, a BOGUS, let me repeat BOGUS, study full of lies was released and promoted by the Reagan administration, which claimed that having careers was causing women to miscarry, so they should get in the kitchen if they really wanted to have children. I know of women who thought it was their fault for working in an office when they miscarried. I guess that’s what the Reagan administration wanted.

  6. Scarlett says

    I had a woman at work today who wanted some chips made up fresh for her because she was pregnant and didn’t want to eat anything that had been sitting in the heat tray. It was no biggie to make something fresh, but it made me think about this attitude people seem to have about stuff like listeria. Is it really a case of ‘OMG if you have one piece of brie your baby will die and it will be ALL YOUR FAULT, YOU MURDERING MONSTER’ or just a way of controlling women by holding them responsible for stuff that no-one can reasonably be held responsible for?

  7. Jen says

    ergh some of the comments on that ‘clothing causes sin’ link were disgusting, sad to think that they are commonly held views,
    I work as a teaching assistant and I was told the other day that my skirt was too short on my very smart turtle-neck black dress (worn with OPAQUE tights btw).
    I said ‘Oh is there a dress code?’
    ‘no, but you may feel uncomfortable by some of the comments the teenage boys make’
    I just replied ‘if I felt uncomfortable, I wouldn’t wear it.’
    and fyi, no one commented. And if they had it would have been because of the exact same attitude which tells me not to wear it. If they want to ban short skirts, they will fetishise them even more.

    this attitude wants me to walk down the street like Rihanna in the rude boy video, in that little ruffle skirt.

  8. Maria says

    The latter — I’m still reeling from the Utah stats. They follow the gen trend of 10-15% pregnancies ending in a miscarriage. If it’s always a woman’s fault, then soc. and men are no longer culpable for miscarriages resulting from a lack of access to health care, DV, or general body wonkiness. Plus, it makes it a woman’s fault more generally — it’s HER body that LOST the baby, as though she put it down some where, the cow, and then wandered off.

  9. says

    Scarlett, I think a hierarchical society is based on not only extending privileges to one small group of people and denying them to everyone else, but removing all responsibility from the privileged group and foisting it on everyone else, no matter what sort of logic twists are required to make it supposedly make sense. So, most everything is about holding women and other less privileged groups responsible both for the stuff more privileged people do (“shouldn’t have gotten yourself raped, should you?”) and random shit like the weather.

    And if they had it would have been because of the exact same attitude which tells me not to wear it.

    EXACTLY, and well said.

  10. Raeka says

    The best part about all the hysteria concerning miscarriage is that no one seems to realize that, y’know, two people contributed to the child. I think this was posted about on Hathor or one of the linked sites a while ago, but alcohol, smoking, and other stuff like that can damage sperm, thus causing the woman to miscarry later, or birthing an unhealthy baby.

    Here’s a link! Role of Dad’s Sperm in Birth Defects Unknown

    The day I see someone ask a man in that quiet, concerned voice usually reserved for pregnant women ‘Should you be drinking that?’ will be the best day of my LIFE. Seriously. I could get hit by a bus in the next five minutes, and I’d still be laughing.

  11. says

    I can’t remember where it was, but the discussion we had here recently was that in the late 80s Omni magazine reported a study that indicated a man’s intake of drugs, alcohol, tobacco, etc. could damage his sperm production for up to 5 years. That study was BURIED, hardcore. I’ve never in those 20 years found a trace of it anywhere, including online, and I look every year or so. Never even found anything saying it had been debunked. It was like the CIA disappeared it.

    If babies aren’t important enough for us to hassle men about this stuff, then it can’t be baby safety that’s the motive behind hassling women. Ergo, it’s all about controlling women.

    We knew that. 😉

  12. amymccabe says

    I couldn’t find the Omni article and there was surprisingly little on sperm and alcohol, tobacco and drugs, but a brief search pulled up a few.

    There was this one study I saw, however, that showed that men who were drunk when giving sperm samples had much lower motility and higher sperm defects (double tails in particular were common). (Direct effect of alcohol on the motility and morphology of human spermatozoa in Andrologia; Jan99, Vol. 31 Issue 1, p43-47)

    Another search showed a correlation with cigarette smoking and impotence as well as a 13% to 17% decrease in the amount of sperm in a man’s semen. (Erectile dysfunction and fertility related to cigarette smoking in Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology & Venereology; May96, Vol. 6 Issue 3, p209-216)

  13. Scarlett says

    Exactly. There’s a bit in Phillipa Gregory’s The Contant Princess, which is the prequel to The Other Boleyn Girl and focuses on Henry and Catherine’s marriage in the early years, where Catherine consults a Spanish doctor and he says something about men and women being equally responsibility for the health of their baby and it being unfair to hold the woman responsible for everything just because it’s her womb. I figured it wsa just Gregory tossing in a feminist perspective – I doubt anyone would have had that opinion in the 1500’s, let alone said it to the wife of the king of England – but I liked it.

  14. amymccabe says

    The Utah Bill, which was approved by the legislature and was waiting for the Governor’s signature, has been withdrawn by the bill’s sponsor for revision.

    A sweeping anti-abortion statute in Utah that would have allowed up to life in prison for a woman whose fetus died from her intentional or reckless behavior was withdrawn by its sponsor on Thursday and will be revised to be narrower in scope.

  15. amymccabe says

  16. says

    OKAY, so the only thing that would make the Avahontas trailer better would be if copper oxidized to blue instead of green. FO SRS. As it is, I am a big fan of this. Also? I think I am Ophelia’s hetero female sassy gay friend. :/ Is my advice sassy and gay all the time, I wonder? One does try.

    “If you learned it, then you should’ve got an A on it” is now my personal motto.

    And as I recall, the writer of my former personal motto had some choice words to say about absurd rape logic.

  17. Patrick says

    I like the Avatar/Pocahontas mashup, but I still think of the film as “Dances with Fremen in Ferngully.”

    I keep forgetting that, as a 30-year-old virginal male, I’m supposed to be incapable of preventing myself from raping and murdering every woman I see, and it would be their fault anyway.

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