If at any time you begin to feel that the perfection of Jesus makes him difficult to identify with on a human level, you should remember that one time he had a hunger induced mood swing that was so bad he started yelling at a tree in front of his disciples.
18 Now in the morning as he returned into the city, he hungered. 19 And when he saw a fig tree in the way, he came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it, Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever. And presently the fig tree withered away.
– Matthew 21:18-19 (King James Version)
This is not about all men. This is about men given to a particular kind of attitude toward women.
I think this is something that stuck with me, because the first time I saw it, I thought he had a point. Because I thought it was a good point, I shared it with others. In the process of doing that, I realized how stupid it is.
Yes, I realize this was a bit of standup comedy, and maybe I shouldn’t take it so seriously. However, part of what makes comedy good is the commentary it provides – a keen sense of the difference between the way society tends to understand things and the way things actually are. It is a way of understanding things from a different perspective. In this case, it seems like a perspective that makes a very comfortable transition to the one held by this guy – The Death of Pretty.
The whole concept of a “whore’s uniform” is basically bullshit, because the definition of whore’s uniform is dependent on factors ranging from the overall existing standard to the personal tastes of the individual making an evaluation. Now, I think what these two men are trying to describe is something along these lines:
But maybe they meant this:
So the problem is essentially this:
If the standard is a skirt that just hits the top of your knees, a miniskirt marks you as a whore.
If the standard is ankle length skirts, a skirt that stops at mid-calf marks you as a whore.
If the standard is a burqa . . . well, you can probably see where I’m going with this by now.
If you didn’t find that very useful, I made this non-intuitive graphic to help.
The brain is (in part at least) a comparison engine. It is tuned for noticing differences. When something is different – when it stands out against a backdrop of uniformity, we want to examine it. We want to know what the significance of that difference is. We want to know what it means.
Meaning is important to us – it is how we learn to interpret and navigate the world. It is also how we reconcile our impulses with the world.
You are born into the world wanting things. The world abruptly begins to tell you which wants are ok, and where and when it is permissible to satisfy them. This is important to us, because we are conditioned to be social creatures. We look for social cues from others of our own kind to let us understand how to satisfy our urges without stepping on someone else’s toes and getting banished from the village.
However, the impulses we have do not self-regulate. The old wyrm coiled at the center of your brain does not want its fair share. It just wants. Forever. So you reign it in most of the time, while keeping an eye out for when it it’s ok to . . . indulge. We are always looking for the special occasion – the little mini-vacation from dealing with the stress of considering others. When is ok to eat or drink to satiety? When is it ok sleep in? When is it ok to not work? When is it ok to express the fullness of my emotional state?
What situation makes it ok to see to my urges without bothering about how other people feel about it?
Sexual urges are no different – except in this case, you are not merely using up resources, such that another person cannot use them. You are not merely burdening someone else with an unfair share of work. You are using a person directly as the resource which satisfies your urges.
I get the impression that the difficulty some men have with women is inability to reconcile then notion of a woman as a person with rights, and the feeling of a woman as a resource capable of satisfying an urge1. If a man has strong sexual urges towards women, and also understands that you must generally respect the wishes of other people, then he is likely to try to find the situation where a woman can be considered not in terms of her person-nature, but in terms of her resource-nature. When is she saying that she is not to be respected as a person? What signal can I look for that tells me I am free to indulge.
Restrictive dress standards do not exist to protect women from objectification. They exist to protect the right of men to objectify some women.
Suppose you are an average male who is attracted to women. Let’s suppose also, that you have something in your system of beliefs that causes you to have a negative attitude about sex. Like you think sex is really bad, or something terrible will happen to you for wanting it or thinking about it. You are still subject to these desires even though you also feel that it is bad. You may feel a twinge of anger directed at the perceived source of your frustrations. Around that same time, your mind is furiously working out a way to relieve the stress your body is under in a way that won’t provoke so much cognitive dissonance that your mind breaks. You probably begin to see all the little ways in which females must be intentionally trying to manipulate you into feeling this way. And what right does she have to make you feel this way, after all, without expecting anything to happen to her? Why should she be so powerful?
Designating someone else as not deserving of respect is a psychological get out of jail free card for people like this. It is a way to carve out a place in both the mind and society where it is safe and acceptable to feel what they are feeling without the negative emotional state that occurs when you have the sense that you have done something wrong. The more restrictive the standard, the greater freedom there is for a man to interpret a garment (or lack thereof) as an invitation to use her as a resource, rather than respect her as a person. It makes it feel like the woman has given consent simply by not adhering to the standard. Or it removes a man’s sense of guilt because he was provoked into a reaction that “couldn’t be helped”2.
And if you feel that all of the above is reasonable, again, do be aware that interpretations vary on what slutty is.
1I also get the very strong impression that, when these sorts of men say that women have too much power, they are referring at least in part to resource control. As in, women (people) have too much control over women (resource).
2This probably also explains a lot of the homophobia that seems prevalent within the same demographic. Not just the dudes who hate the object of their own closeted desires either. Some straight dudes just have a very violent reaction to being evaluated (sexually speaking) by another dude. I suspect that the reason may lay in their own understanding of the weight of the male gaze. There is an implicit moral judgement within it. As if a gay man is saying “I am looking at you because you have done something wrong, and because it’s your own fault, I can use you.”
But honestly, wtf do I know. I have a vagina.
I obviously pulled a bunch of pictures and shit from the internet, so I don’t want to claim them as my own. However, I forget where I got most of them, so I will just credit Internet.
A few months ago, my father and I were discussing morality and whether it is necessary for a person to believe in god in order to be a good person (to have a moral center). I hold that no, it is not.
The concept of morality (much like law, rights and money) is man made. It is a fabrication to facilitate orderly existence among creatures that have evolved to be primarily concerned with their own immediate interests. Morality is not handed down by the god of any particular religion. Any rights that I have were granted to me by my fellow humans. And they were granted with the expectation that I will behave in kind.
You be cool. I’ll be cool. Everyone is cool.
Though you could make the claim that the urge to establish a moral code is natural to us – as a consequence of evolution. Evolution gave us the ability – the instinct – to “feel” for others. It is why laughter and tears seem infectuous. It is why you flinch when you see someone injured. It is why you can learn a task by watching it performed. It is a reflexive twinge that says “Here is a connection. Here is a thing like me. Here is symmetry.”
This is the basis for empathy, compassion and ultimately, morality.
On this foundation we may begin constructing a moral framework. It is because we are able to identify with other people that admonishments like “How would you like it if someone did that to you?” have meaning to us. And I intend here real meaning – as in understanding. Not “I know the definition of the words you uttered and how they relate to the other words in the sentence.” This is more like visceral knowledge – the way we understand what blue is, or what sour tastes like. It is that understanding that makes us see the connection between another person’s condition and our own. Without that understanding, all you have are rules with no real meaning attached other than obedience avoids punishment.
Now, it may be the case that a god or gods put this whole mechanism into place. It may be the case that, at the end of everything, we will find a very smug deity all “See what I did there?” and shit. That’s fine, but it says nothing about the necessity of belief in god, and so cannot really be used to support the argument that belief in god is necessary for morality.
However, if you do want to start from the assumption that a deity built into its creation a means by which the denizens of said creation might understand morality independent of a set of explicitly stated rules, is it not also reasonable to suppose that the deity might wish us to look to that deeper understanding?
For example, you might set a rule for your child like “Don’t punch your little brother in the face.” Certainly you want them to obey that particular rule, but you may also hope that they eventually grasp why it is in general a bad idea to go around punching people in the face.
If you never extrapolate past the rule to understanding the concept, morality has not yet come into play – you are an amoral creature. Simply following rules does not make you good, it makes you programmable.
I call bullshit on anyone claiming abortion is murder while also claiming that it should be allowed for cases involving rape or incest.
To claim that abortion is murder, you must regard an embryo (or fetus) as a person. So if abortion is killing a person, and you say that there should be exceptions for cases of rape or incest, you seem to be saying that it is ok to kill people so long as they were born as the result of rape or incest. Or possibly you are saying that anyone born as the result of rape or incest is not a real person.
Or possibly you are saying that you don’t actually give two shits about saving innocent little babies. Maybe, just maybe, what really bothers you is the idea that these women – these whores – are out there having shameless, enjoyable pre-marital sex . . . and they are getting away with it.
If you remove all the negative consequences, how will people know it’s bad?
Why is skyface so very disappointed? Perhaps it is our frivolous use of resources. Perhaps it is because we started beating each other to death with handfuls of dirt the very moment we logged into a shared server. Perhaps it is because of the donggarden.
You know what, I bet it is the dongs. I feel like most gods are represented as being pretty solidly anti-dong. Unless that’s what they happen to be the god of, I guess. Then it probably wouldn’t be all that upsetting.
Which is to say, Happy Thanksgiving! It’s 5 A.M. and I’m still sort of too full to sleep. I have done this American tradition proud.
Holidays usually don’t mean much more to me than enjoying the company of friends and family and enjoying obscene amounts of food. I do not mean to minimize rituals I’ve embraced, I just recognize that getting drunk on poultry and watching Mystery Science Theater 3000 might appear to miss the point of the occasion. The particulars of any given holiday typically don’t concern me beyond what I recall observing in my childhood. Even then I’m probably just enjoying all the nostalgia chemicals.
However, I would like to take a moment to appreciate the truly balls-out way that we celebrate conquering the land on which this nation was built. In a gesture rife with symbolism, I feed the heart and liver of the turkey to my little dog. It’s how he steals the turkey’s power.
He also enjoys the end of the day ritual wherein I tear down the main bird structure and occasionally flick scraps his way. As I toss him chunks of offal that I only deign to touch in order to retrieve the surrounding meat, he gazes up at me like i am his best friend. It shows what a special bond we have. It also shows that I am not above attempting to buy love.
Since I probably fed him a good two cups or so of grease and meat(ish) substances, he is now stretched out next to me, occasionally grunting like an old man trying to rise from a chair. Call me an irresponsible pet owner, but if we can wreck our bodies in celebration of our bountiful spoils, I see no reason why he shouldn’t as well. Besides, I’ve already decided to tell myself that all that fat will really help promote a shiny coat.
Happy Thanksgiving buddy, your cup runneth over. With fatty skin.
Then he must be made of wood. Burn the witch! (Burn to ash and bone)
PASCO COUNTY, Fla. — A Florida substitute teacher says his job disappeared after doing a magic trick in front of his students.
Substitute teacher Jim Piculas made a toothpick disappear, then reappear in front of a classroom at Rushe Middle School in Land O’ Lakes, Florida. The Pasco County School District says there were several other performance issues, but none compared to his “wizardry.”
“I get a call the middle of the day from head of supervisor of substitute teachers. He says, ‘Jim, we have a huge issue. You can’t take any more assignments. You need to come in right away.’ I said, ‘Well, Pat, can you explain this to me?’ ‘You’ve been accused of wizardry,'” Piculas explained.
The assistant superintendent with the district said Piculas had other issues, like not following lesson plans and allowing students to play on unapproved computers.
Piculas said he’s concerned the incident may prevent him from getting future jobs.
I really don’t get why we are, in general, way more ok with our kids seeing a violent act than a sex act. I watched a lot of war movies as a kid – my grandfather was a marine, so they were on a lot. He seemed to think that is was healthy for me to watch them. I also watched a lot of horror movies as a kid. I remember specifically a horror marathon I was watching with some friends. My grandmother was walking in and out of the room while we sat merrily enjoying the blood bath with nary a word of admonishment for what we were watching. Then she came in during a scene where there was a naked girl swimming in some dude’s water bed (he was dreaming). Holy crap, you could see boobs. As everyone knows, boobs are horrible things that will scar a young child for life. At this point we were told that we ought not be watching movies where we could see a lady’s dirty pillows, and it was time to change the movie.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but if I’m too young to see a naked person because it might have some kind of negative impact of my developing morals, then I probably shouldn’t have been watching wholesale slaughter performed by psychopaths/cops/soldiers either. So why does the former get a far sharper reaction than the latter?
One of my friends explained to me that sex was a selfish act, whereas people fight in wars based on love of country. That just doesn’t ring true for me. Sex is usually based on very positive things – love, pleasure, the instinct to continue the species. The majority of any kind of conflict, ranging from getting mugged to waging war tends to arise from one basic thought – “I want my way, and I’m willing to kill to see that I get it.” I want your land. I want your oil. I want your wallet. I want my ideological view to prevail over yours. It all boils down to the same thing.
And just so people don’t get confused, let me make it clear that I am not saying parents should let their kids see sex in movies. Neither am I complaining that they aren’t more restrictive about viewing violence. I’m simply trying to figure out why we think like we do. That seems to be a really difficult concept for some people to grasp . . .
I already know I’m going to get shit for this from all five people that read what I post, but I don’t think this is necessarily a bad idea: UK official proposes “temporarily” sterilizing teen girls. For argument’s sake, let’s say it’s completely safe – will not hinder development, will not cause ovaries to erupt into tumors, etc. Seems at least like a not terrible idea . . .
Of course I’m also a fan of requiring a breeding license before you start inflicting your offspring on the general population – to at least make sure you can afford to cast your lot into the gene pool rather than filling out your welfare forms during the first trimester. And before anyone cries inappropriate government interference, consider that you already need a license to get married, drive a car, carry a gun or catch a fish. It’s not such an infringement on your rights to make sure you can afford a kid before you have one. You don’t actually have a right to breed and expect the state to compel the rest of the population to support your young.
And where do you suppose most of the welfare mums come from? Just taking a wild guess, I’d say a fair amount were high school girls either too stupid, uninformed or self-destructive to take steps to prevent a pregnancy. I knew a lot of girls in high school that ended up pregnant. One girl admitted to me that she thought as long as the guy pulled out, you were ok. That’s bad enough for a face-palm, but I also knew a girl whose plan was to get pregnant and collect welfare. That was it – she had figured out how many kids she needed to have to get by without even working. Is . . . is it going too far to think some people need their uterus revoked?
I don’t think this is going to make teenagers more promiscuous. Most kids feel as though they are exempt from consequences anyway – it just seems to go with the youthful territory. This would just protect them – and the rest of society – from their own poor judgement.
As part of a greater plan, you give the girls one of the five year implants, say from 13-18 or 12-17. Health classes starting in or around the seventh grade should start educating kids about sex. Yes this should happen in schools. No, this is not the domain of parents – at least not anymore than any other school subject is. Homeschool if you want, but know that if your kid doesn’t understand the basics, you fucked up. Sexual reproduction is a biological function, and as such is the province of science, not ethics. Much like our other biological functions, a series of social mores and restrictions have grown up around it – that is a more personal subject, and probably the right time to tell the public educators to butt out.
“Fixing” your kids for a few years might be an extreme step for a parent to take, but if it were safe I think I’d do it. I’ve said before – I’d advocate a broad spectrum vaccination for all STDs at birth if such a thing were available. I wouldn’t fear my child becoming a sex addict at fourteen because of it. Ideology can still be taught. If the ideology takes hold, then that young person will have made their choices based on the “right” reasons, rather than out of fear of mundane repercussions. If the ideology does not take hold . . .well, then at least society will not have to bear the burden of the person’s choices.