30 September 2010

The Sex Trade in Canada

So, as you've all read by now, an Ontario judge struck down the law regarding bawdy houses. Good.

I am aware that feminists are divided on this issue. I am aware that Christians are divided on this issue. My take is this: Criminalizing sex work is more damaging to sex workers than decriminalizing it. Decriminalization doesn't remove all the problems. Obviously. I mean, being in the position - mentally, emotionally, and financially - to do sex work is problematic, in and of itself. I know, a moralistic judgment on my part, but whatever. Show me a woman who does sex work by choice, who is also mentally and emotionally healthy, and I'll consider changing my mind.

We live in a culture in which rape is normal and viewed as entertainment and suitable for jokes. People who do sex work are in danger every day. And they don't even have the option of complaining to the police about it, because their work is illegal, and the police won't take them seriously. Who chooses that? Vulnerable people. People with a history of abuse. People with mental health issues. People who would otherwise starve. Or lose their children because of homelessness. People with substance abuse problems. At the very least, we ought to make it so that they can be a little safer. Make it so that when they are able to get out of the trade that they aren't hindered by a criminal record, making it harder for them to find other work.

Ideally, no woman, no man, no one at all, would be in sex work. Ideally, there would be no demand for it. Ideally, there would be no situation dire enough that one would consider selling sex. But we do not live in an ideal world. Not by any stretch. And criminalizing behaviours that we don't want to see doesn't stop them. It merely allows us to punish people for doing them. I don't want to live in a society that punishes the most vulnerable people in society for figuring out a way to survive in a way that only hurts themselves.

So I'm glad the law was struck down. And *shame* on the Conservatives for appealing.

09 September 2010

Well, that's just sneaky

Oh Your God. This Jones guy is even more of a psycho than I thought. He's called off the Qur'an burning, saying that he reached an agreement with the people putting up the mosque near ground zero that they will move it. They, of course, have done no such thing. Rather, they agreed to meet him.

You can see where this is going, right? "Them lyin' Mooooslems said they'd move it, just to get me to call it off. They went back on their word because they're eeeeeeevil. Now we neeeeed to burn the Koran!"

08 September 2010

Burn a Koran day?!

This big hullabaloo with the Koran burning seems to be right on topic for this blog. Three guesses where I stand. :)

What in the flaming hell are these bastards thinking?! Of course, it's all about publicity, the ultimate vanity. The ultimate vanity in the name of God. Talk about using the name of God in vain! (That's what that means, btw. Not randomly shouting "JESUS CHRIST!" when you hit your finger with a hammer. In fact, since Jesus's dad was a carpenter, I find it oddly appropriate.) Using God, using Jesus, to further your own vain cause, is a violation of the very spirit of the commandment. It's sickening. And of course, that's what they're doing. They're trying to drum up publicity for their church, by being actively evil. They're going to get a lot of innocent people killed (there goes 'thou shalt not kill'), and it'll be on them entirely. Well them and the fucking media for carrying this clusterfuck. Seriously. If the MSM would just shut the fuck up about these little fringe groups and their stunts, no one would hear about them and they'd go away. Not to mention, they'd keep a lot of soldiers and other innocent people safe.

By burning the Korans, they know they'll inflame the radicals to violence. Then they can say, "Look how violent they are!" But the radicals that would kill people in the name of Allah are no different from the radicals who would show up armed at a Koran burning so they can "protect" Christians from protesters. As Boris said at The Galloping Beaver, if this was an armed Muslim group, they'd be branded terrorists. Of course, he's absolutely right!

Using the Koran to promote hatred, to justify killing people for any reason (including that vile case in Iran that Dawg explained so well) is evil. Using the Bible to promote hatred, to justify killing people for any reason, is evil.

God is Love. God doesn't hate. Not anyone. Not for any reason.

07 September 2010

Feminism: You're doing it wrong

Christina Hendricks, the beautiful co-star of Mad Men had to beg fashion designers for a dress, because she's just too curvy to fit into those size 0 and 2 things that designers are so fond of. 

This article pisses me off in *so* many ways. The obvious, is the point that the writer was making, that she's a beautiful woman, but to the fashion industry, she's nothing, because she just doesn't fit the mold they design for. So change the mold to fit more women. Yes? So why is she so woman-unfriendly in making her point?

Let me pick out some sentences that I find questionable.
'She's a woman, she's got a woman's body. But most actors these days, there's nothing to them - they're a clothes hanger.'
Here, she's quoting Lawren Sample, Hendricks' stylist. It's the quote that they chose to inset. She refers to women whose bodies she doesn't approve of as "clothes hangers". Really? That's how you're going to defend larger women? By objectifying smaller ones? Because we can't have different sizes.

What really got me is the inset near the end:
Sexy Curves - 78 per cent of men say they prefer curvaceous women, while just 7 per cent prefer skinny girls.
Really? 7 percent prefer girls?! Who knew the rate of pedophilia was so high? /sarcasm. Again it's the "curvy women are women. Thin women are girls" meme that is supposed to be supportive of curvy women. Clearly, we can't support ALL women, only a certain subset are valuable.

And lest you think I am being unfair to the article writer, look at the final line:
Good for him. Finally, a woman who looks like a woman. Not like a child or an adolescent boy. And most certainly not like a coat hanger.
I've never met a woman who looks like a child, or an adolescent boy. Why is it always 'boy' in that example? Have you noticed that? The people who denigrate small women always compare them to young boys, never young girls. It seems to me to be another example of humiliation via transphobia. But back to the point, I know small women with small breasts and hips who look like women, with small breasts and hips. They don't look like children or boys. Sometimes they look like they could use a sandwich or an IV drip. But mostly, they just look like small women.

It's truly frustrating that in an article meant to condemn the fashion industry for their short-sighted view of women's bodies that the author chooses to have a short-sighted view of women's bodies.

I think the quote that amused (in an LOLFAIL manner) me most was this:
Starre Vartan, a U.S. stylist who has put together many catwalk shows, defends the fashion industry.
'There is good reason for the small sample sizes. It comes down to business and logistics. The wonderful thing about women is their curves - but the bigger the size, the more curves, and the less easy it is to fit them in a way that's flattering to the clothes, which ultimately you're trying to sell.'
She insists it's not that curves are bad, it's just they vary so much.
'After dressing close to 100 young women, I can tell you that no two bodies are the same.
'Figuring out what outfits will work on which bodies in the short amount of time you have at a fashion show is hard, so going size zero - eliminating those bulges - is just easier.'
So, it is not about what the customer wants, it is about profit.
Okay, so it's "But I don't know how to make any other kinds of clothes. If I try to make clothes for anything but one extremely rare shape, it'll be harder and take more time, and that'll cost money." But in the meantime, the vast majority of women, even the beautiful Ms. Hendricks can't buy the clothes because they're made to fix rectangular* women. So where is the profit in that?!

I'm going to make Product X and tell the world that only the very best people can buy Product X, and then when zillions of people want to buy Product X say, nope, I only can make this for 1% of the population because that's how it looks best. That's the worst logic I've ever seen out of a capitalist except for maybe "buying on margin".

*Not a slur on those women. Just as "pear-shaped" and "apple-shaped" aren't necessarily slurs.

06 September 2010

Jokes about Priests and Little Boys

This was spawned by an offhanded reply to a silly joke about a priest and his lack of a sex life. Someone responded "No more little boys?!" or something like that. It set my teeth on edge. Several reasons:

1) It is *never* appropriate to joke about rape. Never. No, not ever. Not even with prisoners.
2) It totally diminishes the rapes of all the little girls. Like that's somehow not as big an issue. It was, it is, and it's not any more okay to rape a girl than a boy. Or, raping a boy is not worse than raping a girl. Rape is rape.

And to a far lesser extent:
3) Not all priests are rapists. Making that assumption is terrible. No one should be accused of rape if they are not a rapist. This is unacceptable. They are, however, part of the bureaucracy, part of the church who continues to enable rapists, hence "to a far lesser extent".

Shorter me: Rape = not funny.

01 September 2010

sex vs. sex

It seems to me that if the women who had sex in the jail cell had been men, the guards wouldn't have spent a bunch of time watching. They would have burst in and beaten them half to death. Or worse.

Can someone explain that to me? Why is sex between two women such a spectator sport for straight men, but sex between two men is so threatening? (Yes, I'm generalizing. Suck it up. Pun intended.)

Also, you gotta know that for the first few minutes, they had to be saying, "No way! They're not going to... OMG! They are! Holy shit! Dude! Check this out! OMG! They're not going... WOW! They wouldn't really... OMG! Do you think we should break it up? Nah... they're not going to... OMG! DUDE!"