Saturday, April 28, 2007

What If They Grew Teeth?

YES means YES and No Means CHOMP! shirt

"If only I had teeth down there"
- the words of a rape victim which inspired this device.

The First Post : Rapex: the internal anti-rape device

The words of a rape victim - "If only I had teeth down there" - have inspired the design of a new anti-rape device.

Rapex - dubbed the 'rape trap' - is a product worn internally by women. The hollow inside is lined with rows of razor-sharp hooks, which are designed to latch on to a rapist's penis during penetration. They can only be removed by a doctor.

The product will be on the shelves of South African chemists and supermarkets later this month. South African mother-of-two Sonette Ehlers developed the original prototype in 2005 but has struggled to get it patented and approved for sale, not least because of staunch opposition from feminist groups.

I don't know what is so "anti-feminist" about this little latex jellyfish of doom. It's certainly "unfeminine" from a dead white male perspective - anything or any action that squarely prevents or forestalls sexual intercourse and which is at the discretion of the female is "unfeminine" in a classical European sense. Women are supposed to depend upon the discretion and good will of Gentlemen who will protect them, their reputations and their genetic legacy.

I consider myself a gentleman - and I consider the above to be insulting; not just to women, but damned presumptuous in general. I'm a gentleman, but wasn't put on the earth to waste my time protecting the unprotected against their own urges and desires.

The presumption that a woman cannot or should not take her own personal steps to control her own sexuality, or even prevent a rape is a pretty stunningly patriarchal view. For anyone to suggest that a woman should not have the choice to "bite back" strikes me as absurd. Yes, men should be gentlemen, and for those that are, such a defense need never be an issue of offense - it is, after all, not intended as a defense against gentlemen.

As a gentleman - and gentle person - I have a view toward those who presume the right to casually violate the boundaries and persons of others that can be summed up in two words: "Potential Compost."

Please notice that aside from painfully interrupting the rape, it's a rape-kit in itself. It must be removed by a doctor, it will have DNA from both persons - in the form of an entire penis and body in the perps case, and epithelial cells from the female.

And the only way to get bitten is to stick your shlong where it don't belong!

One great problem with the current views of sexuality is that nobody seems to respect the idea that individuals have the right to make choices, and that those choices are based on individual needs and desires. "The good of society" has certainly never crossed MY mind at the time!

But the idea that I advocate; the right of individuals to say yes to sexual encounters - is meaningless without the right to say "NO" and make it stick.

Current religious morality states that all sexual activity of any sort, with anyone is wrong, unless "permission" is obtained in the form of a marriage contract, and then it's wrong to refuse to have sex. Note that in socially conservative, religious families it's still not unheard of to arrange marriages or pressure children into marriage. In my mind, this is non-consensual sex; rape by proxy.

Rape is a crime of power that happens to be sexual in expression. This little device is a way of responding to that abuse of power in a way that is symbolically and directly significant.

While it would be nice if all men were civilized and ethical in the use of power, that's not a reasonable expectation. Hell, it's not reasonable to expect such perfection of women, either. So a feminism that depends on people behaving as they "should" isn't very useful. Hell, any 'ism' that has no useful answers for individuals under non-ideal social circumstances is useless - no, worse than that; it's directly dangerous to those who rely upon it.

There are risks to a woman who chooses to live outside of patriarchal definitions of her role, there will be both men and women who will oppose that choice, up to and beyond violence in some cases. Nobody should ever think that the excercise of individual liberty is a "safe" choice; they should consider each choice mindfully, with the understanding that there is no mommy or daddy figure to protect one from the consequences of one's own actions.

There are a lot of ways of describing that state, from various perspectives. Me, I refer to it as "being a grown-up." And I see patriarchal societies as being a means of either preventing or at least allowing most people to avoid that dreaded state of individual responsibility for the consequences of one's own actions and choices.

Now, one consequence of being a woman who does not choose to live under the protection of a man is the possibility that some sick fuck will see you as being "legitimate prey," possibly even seeing you as "a whore" because you choose who to have sex with. Oddly, some men will see you this way even if your choice of sexual activity is "no, thank you." I don't presume to understand that, any more than I presume to understand women who get all squishy at being seen and treated as a whore, whether or not they really are.

But I do recognize them as being real people with real desires. that I am aware of to the extent that they may affect me and my own interests. For me, at my age, my main risk is having some dear young thing try to hump my leg. For men, unwanted sexual advances are pretty much just awkward, unless they are accosted by another, stronger male. For women, it's a much more visceral threat and has to be considered in that light.

So to sum this up - not only do I approve of this idea, but I approve enough to help get it kickstarted. RapeX and appear to have a budget of three stale cheese sandwiches and a box of bent staples. It's the only apparently commercial site I've ever seen that asks for donations!

But remember, this is a product that was inspired by the conditions for poor women in South Africa, designed and brought to market by a South African. Now, that's not to say, "well, gee, that's amazing" - but it is a recognition that they need some help marketing this so that the price can be low enough for all women who feel the need to use them can afford them. Maybe some first world hard currency can serve as enough to help - or maybe the exposure of the idea will invite venture capital.

And, just incidentally - I'd kinda like to see these available in MY corner drug store - if for no other reason than to see Focus on the Family scramble to figure out what the hell their official position should be!

Anyhoo, I've created a bunch of products to help promote the idea. Money will go to the firm, with a split for me, as soon as I have a way of getting it there. Until then, it piles up. Please use this as a way of creating blog graphics for your site, for creating products for events, or in other ways that may suggest.

create & buy custom products at Zazzle

Graphic Credits : RapeX Condom graphic courtesy
YES means YES and No Means CHOMP! by rapexsa, the RapeX Promotional Gallery

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Thursday, April 26, 2007

Limbaugh Jumps the Shark

Alternet wonders why Limbaugh hasn't been fired yet - apparently not understanding what "syndicated" means. But I do wonder how long it will take for people to realize he's about as funny and relevant as "Who's the Boss" re-runs.

This is a head-shaker. Imus gets canned for calling some college women basketball players "nappy-headed hos" and yet Rush Limbaugh plays "Barack The Magic Negro" on his show and he is still on the air?

And the story links to a video that is one long "coon joke" which makes me wonder another thing entirely: How stupid do you have to be to consider this either funny or informative?

If the best ammunition you can come up with against the policies of flaming liberals like Barak Obama and Al Sharpton is that they are (gasp) black, you ain't much use. Because, well, I got eyes, son. And whether their skin color matters to me or not, it's damn insulting that you think I think that's the ONLY thing that matters.

When the sum total of Conservatism has been reduced, on air, to "be afraid of the scary brown people" and "Trust George Bush because he's a good Christian White Man," I start recalling the awkward fact that George Wallace was a DEMOCRAT.

To add to your discomfort, here's a few more examples of what Conservative talk has become:

To think that thirty years ago, there were Conservatives on air like Ira Blue - and now all there is to represent the Conservative worldview are intellectual failures like Limbaugh, Imus, Boortz, Morgan and Coulter.

Good thing I'm a Libertarian already, or I'd have to become one just to save myself from the shame.

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Monday, April 23, 2007

The Virginia Tech Blame Game

Thanks to Cyinical-C, there is now a comprehensive list of everything to blame for the Virginia Tech Shootings.

In this excerpt, you will note many of the usual suspects, and you are invited to add your own in the comments section.

In case you were wondering who’s to blame for the Virginia Tech massacre, I’ve created a list this morning to keep track. Feel free to send in any that I’ve missed.


The list keeps on growing and has 45 46 47 49 51 55 56 57 58 different items at the moment. Thanks to everyone who is sending me more links to add to the list.

It’s the fault of violent video games.

It’s the fault of movies.

It’s that no other students were armed.

It’s the cowardly students who didn’t rush the shooter.

It’s the first victim’s fault.

It’s secularism’s fault.

It’s the Muslims’ and/or foreigners’ fault.

It’s the Atheists’ fault.

It’s the fault of the colleges and how they coddle their students.

It’s society’s fault.

It’s the Second Amendment’s fault.

....and so-forth. I even added my own thing to blame, the abuse of power.

Now, many of these ideas, left and right, wackadoodlish and irrelevant though they are, are still mostly sincere. But there are a couple of exceptions, and here's one of them.

Think Progress » AFA blames school shootings on lack of prayer, spankings.: "AFA blames school shootings on lack of prayer, spankings.

In a new video, the the right-wing American Family Association attributes the tragedy at Virginia Tech to: a lack of prayer in school, a lack of the Bible in school, a lack of spanking kids, a lack of physical punishment in school, abortion, condoms, Bill Clinton, Internet pornography, free speech, the entertainment industry, “satanic” music, and liberal culture in general. Watch it:"

I actually couldn't bring myself to watch more than a few seconds. Let me know how far you hurl if you feel brave.

I note they have disabled comments, but just in case they are paying attention,make sure you blog it, stumble it, digg it and bookmark it every way from Sunday, along with your comments. If you don't have anything profound in mind, well, you could respond with this rather eloquent fellow who has a terribly educated accent and quotes Epicurus.

But it is a majestic example of the cynical manipulation of the fearful and ignorant. It's not AFA you have to fear, though. It's the people who are persuaded by this sort of fear mongering.

The fact is, all the things the AFA would like to blame, the lack of proper authoritarian guidance with a steel hand in a steel wool glove are in fact just as likely to cause someone to go postal. The abuse of power tends to do that. And the solution for that is not to crush the souls of the innocent even harder, no matter what the ironically named "American Family Association" would tell you.

Update: A link from the above source, "It's the bullies" leads to a well-researched and passionate article at Alternet by Mark Ames, who leads gently into a multi -page article with these observations:

Of all the idiotic reactions, so far none tops an article posted on, written by an "investigative reporter" with the ill-begotten name of "Bill Dedman." His investigation allegedly revealed that Cho Seung-Hui, the shooter, displayed alleged classic warning signs of a rampage shooting. Citing a landmark Secret Service study of schoolyard rampage massacre, Dedman observed, "In more than three out of four school shootings, the attacker had made no threat against the schoolteachers or students. But most attackers engaged in some behavior prior to the incident that caused others concern or indicated a need for help. The attackers posed a threat even though they hadn't made a threat."

In other words, if you think someone's weird, but he hasn't threatened anyone, he's a threat.

There are two very serious flaws in Dedman's investigation. First, if the profile of a schoolyard rampager is someone who doesn't threaten anyone but who raises suspicions, then America will have to open up a new GULAG archipelago to hold all of the millions of kids who fit this description. But the second flaw is even more serious: the Secret Service study Dedman cites draws exactly the opposite conclusion: There is no way to profile a potential schoolyard killer. That was what was so shocking about the report. Everyone who has studied these rage massacres knows it. Everyone but journalists like Dedman, that is.

What Dedman's article reveals isn't just the sloppy work of a typical mainstream hack but, rather, of a culture desperate for an easy explanation for the massacre -- one that doesn't implicate it in the crime.

It is is far more difficult to deal with the possibility that other factors may have led to the massacre, factors that are still too painful and close to us to consider. For example, how was this nerdy South Korean immigrant treated at his suburban high school and at Virginia Tech? What is the campus life like? What was it about Virginia Tech that made it the setting for the first student-on-student college massacre? And why were there copycat threats at campuses across Middle America over the following days? [emphasis mine]

I suggest you go to the source article and, if you know people who may be usefully influenced by it - school board members, teachers, administrators, politicians - forward it to them. After that, digg it up, stumble it and otherwise generally raise it's profile to the skies.

And thanks, Mark.

UPDATE: I've started a YouTube Vblog with a subcategory of School Shootings, rather than clog this post up even more with videos.

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The AutoRoll Box and why it's there.

For those who may have noticed the Crireo Autoroll in the sidebar and wondered what the heck it was - here's a little more about it. I'm giving it a few more weeks, as they hope, and I hope others will pick it up. If it works it should be great for everyone.

Criteo The Blog : After Installing Criteo AutoRoll: "After Installing Criteo AutoRoll

Earlier in the month, we posted an article which was entitled On Criteo Autoroll Origins.
The article talked about how we decided to distribute the open API we had created. As that article discussed, we went straight to the biggest test base of users, bloggers, for one of the first products of the API, Criteo Autoroll."

The whole idea is to create a web wide relational database of highly relevant linkages, so that people who like your blog will find others that are closely related - and vice versa.

So help make it happen, folks!

An Aspie moment, caught on tape

I was bumbling about myspace and found this amazingly true-to-real-nightmare video.

If you aren't aspie or autistic, you will think it's funny. But to us - this is our Blair Witch Project!

Aspergers and me

Add to My Profile | More Videos

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