Links of Great Interest: ANOTHER FAST UPDATE

Brilliant post on The Walking Dead

HIV vaccine approved for human trials!

Hooray for this Nevada judge!

From Casey:

From Shakesville, Gabe and Tycho are riling up rape survivors and those triggered by rape jokes AGAIN with a character called “Fruit Fucker” who is force-feeding a bound and gagged Humpty Dumpty (conflating BDSM with rape) with the phrase “NON-CONSENSUAL BREAKFAST!” in big bold letters labeled on it.

Diagram of the pro-life debate

This was going to be WAY longer, but like half the post disappeared. I’d love it if people could talk about their favorite links of the week in the comments section. 😀

 From Casey:

At least it is according to Minnesota’s Rosemount High School, where
a whole bunch of kids were blindfolded and forced to unwittingly make
out with their own parents (and the parents got REALLY into it).
Apparently the victims of this prank were supposed to be sexually
humiliated even though their parents were molesting them. Ha-ha?

On screening Yellow Earth

From Casey:

Here’s a stupid DA journal from one of the head creators of the “sexy
monster girl” fighting game SkullGirls explaining why they’re TOTES
NOT SEXIST! (I like the game so far but he invokes a lot of logical
fallacies that bugged me).

This story breaks my heart.

On being bi in a gay world

An open letter to Oprah Winfrey

A moment of silence, please.

On the iPhone and job creation in the US


  1. says

    I like the article on bisexuals, but don’t read the comments. The very first one is a gay person spewing biphobia, and they don’t get much better. :( It actually ruined my good mood, seeing that great story about discrimination immediately felled by a “you deserve it”, so now I’m going to get offline and try to cheer myself back up.

  2. says

    The HIV vaccine is exciting! Yay Nevada judge!

    The first comment on the news article about the “prank” is perfect: “WTF? WHY would a parent agree to this? Boundaries people. You need them.” I seriously just don’t know where to start on that. I know crowd psychology can cause people (the parents) to do things they would never consider doing on their own, but if it’s that easy to find a bunch of parents who need only a little peer pressure to make them decide this is a good idea, I may be underestimating the problem of child molestation when I call it “epidemic.”

    The man who shot his son for raping his daughter: I think there’s a lot of racism and “black men=bad fathers” going on in people’s heads when they comment on this. Once again, knowing anything at all about psychology is helpful: the article is correct. The kid had almost no chance of reforming, and our justice system isn’t smart enough to put these people away for life. I’m not in favor of what the father did, but I do think he may have had a case for diminished capacity, the way it went down. I also know that for a kid to be a rapist, he has to have certain things in his background, and one of those things is parents/guardians who tell him the sun shines out of his ass and viciously defend him against anything implying he forgot to so much as dot an I. Obviously, that wasn’t the father (or he would’ve been okay with the raping), so I’m guessing the mother and grandmother were a problem. All the ignorant theories being spouted in that thread, but this is textbook stuff. Killing the boy was wrong, but what the justice system would have done with him was wrong too. It’s one of those situations you really, really hope you are never in.

    Sylvia Sybil,

    Of course I had to read some of the comments. :) But there was one I liked: a woman talked about a lesbian hitting on her, and then when she revealed she was bi, the lesbian said “That’s disgusting. You’re giving it up to everyone!” Lovely!

    A moment of silence, indeed. That was painful to watch, but I really admire these citizen/YouTube journalists.

    The Apple/jobs article is awesome. I don’t understand why people need examples of this, though. They keep saying “business innovation will rescue the job market”, as if nothing’s been invented in the past few years. It has, and nothing’s helped so far, right? I mean, duh?

  3. Fairfield says

    The article about the father executing the son is pretty horrific; not only in terms of the story but also in what the author writes and the message implied therein. I’m a victim of a sexual crime and I could not support the idea that it is somehow best to execute a child (and that is what his son was by the way, he was only 15) for what he did.

    I personally think that the three year old victim would have grown up better with the continued love and support of her father to get through the ordeal as opposed to this outcome.

    Oh and this blanket statement doesn’t help: “There is no cure, and all the counseling in the world doesn’t cure child molesters of their sickness.” It is a perfect example of what Jennifer was talking about in

  4. Shaun says

    Sylvia Sybil,

    Yeah I had to read the comments too. LOLOL “Try living in the gay world for more than 3 years.” As if we don’t live in it constantly.

    I’m a little amazed at how many people colluded on the “prank” but I really shouldn’t be.

  5. Casey says

    Here’s a gem of a comment from the Jamar Pinkney Sr. link:

    Spoken like a true republican, you sound overjoyed that Pinkney killed his son just one less young black man. Debbie you are a sick and twisted individual. I am all for allowing the justice system do it’s job, however according to the details of this case it is questionable that a rape at the hands of the younger Pinkney was committed. Why don”t you do society a favor and keep your sick and twisted ideas of justice to yourself.

    Wow, that sounds JUST like the people who said I was a conservative who raped people!

  6. M.C. says

    Okay, that guy who shot his daughter’s rapist? He had just learned that his daughter had been raped! There is no way that this man was in his right mind when he did what he did. He must have been in a state of extreme emotional upheaval that prevented him from making an informed desicion to murder someone. How could any jury find this man guilty?

  7. Casey says


    But you don’t understand! His son didn’t RAPE his daughter PER SE, he ONLY took off her pants and touched her down there! At least that’s what the commenters are saying…ick.

  8. Søren Løvborg says

    So, to summarize the Penny Arcade debacle:

    1. PA creators makes comic that references rape humourosly in passing.
    2. One person notes that she didn’t find it funny, because it validates the twisted world view of rape apologists.
    3. PA creators reply that it _so does not_ validate the twisted world view of rape apologists.
    4. Seeing their twisted world view validated, legions of rape apologists come crawling out of the woodwork.
    5. PA creators finds that discussion turns nasty.

    I mean, come on. This is rape culture 101; a shining example of how pretending that there’s no such thing as rape culture leads to facilitating that very same culture. In particular, the way “I don’t find rape funny” is quickly reframed as a first amendment issue is a by-the-book derailment.

    For a creator of a comic about gaming, Mike Krahulik seems surprisingly clueless about internet culture.

  9. says

    Fairfield: Oh and this blanket statement doesn’t help: “There is no cure, and all the counseling in the world doesn’t cure child molesters of their sickness.” It is a perfect example of what Jennifer was talking about in

    Actually, you’re the one assuming your theories to be fact, in this case. The author is quite correct. There is no cure for child molesters. No one has ever found a way to ensure that they are safe to be let back into society, and yet the justice system lets them back in and puts them on a registry which is really not that helpful. Your comment seemed to assume that the boy might have reformed, but if you actually bothered researching the topic before preaching about it, you might realize that all rapists start in their teen years, and have personality disorders which are not treatable.


    Yep, I definitely think this is what diminished capacity pleas are for. That’s why I think some racism is involved here. This guy had kids with two different women, and somehow that makes him some stereotype of an irresponsible black man who runs around impregnating the whole Eastern seaboard who must not have loved either child. If he’d been an executive in the oil business on his second marriage, this would be a totally different narrative about a distraught man making a tragic mistake for understandable reasons.

    It also would’ve been important that the raped little girl was white. As we’ve learned from stories like the NYPD ignoring the rape and serial killing of a black girl while turning the whole city over to find a white girl who went missing, white girls may be second glass citizens, but black girls are a distant third or so.

  10. Quib says

    Søren Løvborg,

    Especially the part about internet culture. You would really think people who do this for a living could take more than two goddamn days of criticism without needing to openly mock people for their emotional trauma. (original comic posted on Aug. 11th, “breaking it down” comic posted on the 13th)

    My, but Walking Dead has just been getting exponentially worse. There were some faint glimmers of hope there for a while, like maybe this /won’t/ turn into an anti-choice glurge-story, but no such luck. Done with that.

    Republican ideals have taken a memetic and very tiresome turn. It’s losing coherency in the constant one-up-manship. “I love zygotes most” “no! I love zygotes more!” “I love zygotes so much, I’ll make them legally people” “I love zygotes so much, I’ll make it illegal to make them unhappy!” “well, I hate taxes more!”
    Now that I think about it, I’m kind of amazed the unrelated threads of ideology don’t openly clash more often. Someone might accidentally love zygotes enough to offer them free health care, or hate taxes so much they want to stop giving subsidies to “job creators”.

  11. says

    I acted out on younger kids when I was 11 or 12. I was trying to get into trouble so that someone would notice something was wrong, but no one noticed, so I had to stop on my own. I’m no child molester (now), but I was a kid in trouble.

    I suspect that many hard core child molesters started young, but at the same time you’re going to get kids who don’t know what they’re doing or who just aren’t thinking and make mistakes they are unlikely to repeat. That is why we have the juvenile offender category.

    And yes, I’ve heard of others who did stuff as teens who don’t seem to be dangerous as adults, including (I think) one of the ones who molested me. I think some kids just repeat what they see other people do around them and don’t really understand it. Even at 15. You can’t tell how dangerous a criminal is by their age. You have to go by how they tend to behave over the longer term.

  12. says


    I think we’re mixing legal and psychiatric assessments here. You’re correct about what you say, and that’s why personality disorders are not formally diagnosed until age 18. Therapy before age 18 has even had some success with heading off some PDs (which rapists most likely always have). It sounds like you made a conscious choice once you were cognitively and emotionally able to, about what sort of person you wanted to be, and that made all the difference.

    So what you’re saying is correct, but what the author said is true, too: there isn’t a cure, and no one has ever successfully turned a rapist into a non-rapist – even castration doesn’t work.

    My understanding is that the girl was medically examined, and sexual abuse discovered, and that’s when the boy confessed and asked his father to forgive him and said he needed counseling. This is what’s so tragic: maybe the boy’s plea for counseling was sincere (though possibly not). Maybe counseling would have worked.

    His father’s response was wrong, but was it first degree murder? I don’t think so. He killed the boy within minutes of hearing this revelation, and I just don’t believe he was thinking rationally.

    I heard a really interesting story on talk radio a few months ago – they were discussing why African Americans have (so they said) a higher rate of child beating than other racial groups. Several experts suggested it went back to slavery. One caller said that was probably true, but there was another factor: for a couple of centuries, this country has carefully taught blacks that “if they don’t beat their kids, the police will kill them.” When groups are oppressed, they begin to self-police in hopes of keeping their oppressors from policing them (because that might be even worse). This cultural issue also doesn’t justify what Pinkney did (nothing ever could), but I believe it does shed some light on why his response was so violent.

  13. says

    Jennifer Kesler,

    I…don’t get the joke? Are you being sarcastic?


    Ugh, yes, that was the comment that set me off. ‘Cuz yanno, “gay” is not the end-all and be-all of LGBT+ discrimination. That not is the bar of what real pain looks like. It’s just…blegh.

  14. Shaun says

    Sylvia Sybil,

    No gay is actually a really easy place to be in terms of LGBT. My boyfriend and I had an argument today because I was saying straights shouldn’t be in queer spaces and maybe Pride should be a protest and not an “inclusive” parade. He accused me of being “Magneto.” One, that’s a ridiculous comparison, but I pointed out he’s a cis white able gay man: he can afford to have an attitude like that, because he’s top of the queer world. For me, just being in a queer space doesn’t mean it’s a safe space, and if we “fix” homophobia my life is still not going to look like his.

  15. says

    Jennifer Kesler,

    o_O Umm, there isn’t a cure because raping isn’t an illness??? It’s a decision???

    I’m really worried about what looks like a “medical model” of criminal behaviour. Hardened criminals may or may not have PDs or other psychiatric disorders, and people with PDs may or may not be criminals. And afaik most criminals are not hardened criminals. And people with psychiatric conditions get treated terribly by the police. I’ve been stopped 11 times in the last year and a half for walking on the sidewalk or waiting for a bus. The last stop took 30 minutes. So when I hear that people “have to be sick” to do such things, or “can’t be cured”, it really gives me the willies.

    I’m not going to argue with other sources of research, but for reference, my favourite source for info on criminal behaviour is Why They Kill, by Richard Rhodes, about Lonnie Athens’ research.

  16. says


    You commented on my “How Not To Raise a Rapist” post, in which I discussed some of this, with links and citations, but to summarize: most rapists are NPDs. This is becoming standard teaching in law enforcement, and I’ll be discussing it in the upcoming NPD series. What this means is:

    –Rape is a decision, but it’s a decision that only a particular type of adult mind would consider making, because only a particular type of adult mind can ENJOY raping people. Or derive some kind of satisfaction from it, as rapists describe.
    –Since that type of adult mind is a mental disorder, people who want to reduce rape are very interested in finding a way to treat NPD.

    It IS oversimplifying to refer to rape in any form as a disorder. What’s meant is that most rapists have, or are developing, NPD, and we don’t know how to treat NPD. Since non-NPDs rarely rape, it does seem logical to assume that if we could somehow treat NPD, we’d reduce rape to a small fraction of the incidence rate it’s at now.

  17. says


    I agree that gay cisman is the easiest queer identity to have. Not that they don’t have their problems too, but somehow theirs are almost the only problems that ever get fixed. And their perspective is the normalized non-straight one! If I hear “suck cock” used as a synonym for “homosexual” one more time… *shakes claws*. It’s like, you do realize that half of the homosexual population has no interest in men, don’t you? And that not all men have cocks, and not all people with cocks are men? Grrrr.

    Also, Magneto? Really? Granted, I’ve only seen the movies, but since when does “queer people need some breathing room” equate to “the oppressing group should be massacred and/or forcibly converted”? *eyeroll*

  18. Casey says

    Sylvia Sybil: Also, Magneto? Really? Granted, I’ve only seen the movies, but since when does “queer people need some breathing room” equate to “the oppressing group should be massacred and/or forcibly converted”? *eyeroll*

    Even then, I always kinda liked Magneto’s rhetoric more than Dr. Xavier’s “WE HAVE TO BE MODEL MINORITIES AND CONVINCE THEM WE’RE GOOOD~!” bullshit.

  19. Amy McCabe says

    I’m bi but I really hesitate to tell anyone in real life mainly because I found two responses:

    1. “So you’re into threesomes?”
    2. “You’re indecisive. One day you’ll figure it out.”/”But you can’t be! You’re married!”

    Between that and the strong homophobia in my family (and my male partner) it is just easier to claim straight.

  20. says

    I would love to say TWD the comic does better on race than the TV show, but I honestly haven’t decided yet because there are so few POC in the series to begin with. There were two surviving Black protagonists at the point I stopped reading TWD (and while I loved Michonne, there was also a lot of highly problematic stuff, including very sexualized and drawn-out rape scene, for that character fairly early on)– which is incredibly odd considering in both canons the characters travel through Atlanta. There is only one interracial relationship in the series as far as I’ve read and watched, and the author seems to like going out of his way to pair up or kill off Black characters.

    (Btdubs, during T-Dog’s “infection rant”– and if his blood infection was weaksauce enough that oral antibiotics smacked it down once his fever dropped, he was not all of that sick, you guys– he referred to himself as “Theodore Douglas,” which is a horrible source for a nickname, but a fauxplination for it nonetheless.)

    I still have a horrible fascination with TWD the show, though, since I guess it requires less mental effort than reading the comic, so I can get angry at race/gender relations in-story in a lower-key way if I don’t think about it too hard. Also, watching a show gives you a community experience/conversation centered around, “Those guys are so stupid! Here is what I would have done.” …Still. The “Lori is pregnant” episodes were extra horrible, especially since taking a half dozen Plan Bs won’t terminate a pregnancy anyway, it will just make you nauseous as shit. Also, HOW WASTEFUL. I have never seen a pro-life/pro-choice argument so obviously written by men, especially considering all of Lori’s points about “This is the apocalypse with hearing-reliant zombies and babies are hella noisy and hella needy” are incredibly valid. Especially especially considering in-comic, which didn’t have the “oh noes should I abort” subplot, Lori didn’t realize immediately she was pregnant because the stress and food insecurity that came with fleeing the undead led her periods to be irregular in the first place. (Related: the pro-life flowchart is fantastic, even with misspelling “fascist.”)

    Also! I have not seen Yellow Earth (and now I really, really want to), but archival trails are fascinating. At least to me. Because I’m a nerd. ANYWAY, information acquisition and preservation of cultural materials! Yay!!


    I would like X-Men a LOT more if Prof. Xavier and Magneto weren’t canonically meant to represent Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X, respectively, because even if that was in any way accurate (it’s a fairy common myth certain White conservative folks have that Malcolm X, The Black Panthers, and any other Civil Rights groups not explicitly dedicated to being nonviolent model minorities were “out to get” said White folks), it would still be such a gross oversimplication, and disrespectful to the memory of two cultural leaders. Not to mention the fact that minority statuses are not mutually exclusive, so mutant activism could be informed by the Civil Rights movement, but mutation = racial minority/LGBTQ/religious minority/disability/etc. is overwhelmingly stupid. Like, the only way you’ll truly understand the pain of these minority groups is to portray them as pretty, cis, het White folks cursed with the powers of awesomeness! Woe is them!! And their pain is so profound, no other pain can touch it, because they took gold in all the Oppression Olympics. UGH. /rant

  21. says

    Jennifer Kesler,

    When I was growing up, in the 70s, rapists were ordinary men. Feminists *stressed* that rapists were ordinary men, not those stereotypical villains with ableist profiles who jumped out of the bushes, but ordinary men. That you couldn’t see any real differences between rapists and other men. And I can say for sure that many of the men who raped me when I was a child did NOT qualify for NPD. They were selfish gits, but they were selectively selfish – they had plenty of empathy, but they compartmentalized it. (Compartmentalization is normal for people who grow up in authoritarian environments, as was the norm when they were growing up. They have ingroups and outgroups, they displace aggression onto outgroups, and they come across as total hypocrites because at the same time they’re genuine pillars of the community.)

    It would be great if ordinary men didn’t rape any more – actually that would be pretty cool. But I’m willing to bet rape still relatively common among ordinary men who grow up in authoritarian environments, as is still normal in many parts of the world, and still far too common in the US (less so in Europe and other English speaking countries, but alas not yet gone). After all, I can remember when ordinary people drove drunk, and I can remember when that changed (early 80s, I think – I was in high school), so I can see that a lot of ordinary men might have stopped raping because they finally starting thinking about the consequences. I’m not sure when that would have happened – probably with the shift away from authoritarian parenting – so people my age??? (I’m 47.) Or maybe with the speakout on sexual abuse in the 90s?

    But I’m really uncomfortable with the assumption that most rapists qualify for NPD. Partly because I’ve known far too many who didn’t. Partly because I can see how tempting it is to compartmentalize “those bad people”, and I can remember how hard it is to stop people from doing harm when they don’t fit the stereotypes. (And I know how ableist the police can be. And psychiatrists.) But on the other hand, if it turns out that the bulk of rapists do qualify for NPD these days (because the majority of those who don’t no longer rape), well I suppose that would be progress.

    (Of course I still think Athens’ model fits the data better. *ducks*)

  22. says


    The 70s feminists were pulling theory out of their asses with no actual science, though. Psychology, moving slowly and cautiously as always, only officially created the NPD diagnosis in 1980. And then we had the big revolution when criminal profiling began to be widely accepted in the 90s because it worked time after time. And FBI profilers were among the early voices pushing the idea that when you’re looking for a rapist, you are looking for a narcissist profile (which is hard to recognize because they can mimic generosity and empathy and all that stuff so well – but there are tell-tale signs that well-trained investigators recognize).

    The compartmentalized “empathy” you describe is classic NPD, except it’s not actually empathy at all – they just MIMIC empathy quite excellently toward people who have something to offer them, or the power to crush them. They only show their true, empathy-free self to vulnerable people who are easy targets for them.

    So, given how fake empathy is such a classic sign of NPD, I’m wondering if we have remotely the same understanding of the disorder. In a sense, the whole point of the NPD diagnosis was to clinically isolate (for better understanding and treatment) a group of people who are so lacking in empathy and so desperately in need of ego boosts that they remorselessly harm others to get their way.

    I tried to address every point you made, but I deleted all I typed. I think I’ll just leave it there, because I don’t know what understanding of NPD you’re working from. Mine comes from psychiatric literature, clinicians, and my life experience with diagnosed NPDs.

  23. Maria says


    Jennifer Kesler,

    Jenn, I think part of what you’ve also been saying is that NPD is not an extraordinary diagnosis, and that we might live in a culture that encourages NPD and its symptoms, particularly in men, yes? So I’m not sure if “ordinary men rape” necessarily contradicts “men with NPD rape.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *