Obey: The Video

by matttbastard

Compare and constrast.

h/t pale via IM.

Update: r@d@r, bumped from comments:

i’m disturbed by a whole separate issue here, upon viewing the video – the shoppers that just walked by a woman lying on the floor near the entrance with a security guard over her, without slowing down or even turning to look.

what is wrong with these people? was the promise of the unbearable ecstasy of holiday shopping enough to drug them out of their basic human compassion and decency?

sometimes i wonder how our species will survive – and sometimes i wonder if it deserves to.

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Quote(s) Of The Day: Pillars And Foundations

by matttbastard

LGTB blogs need to stand on their own. They do valuable work and should not have to ‘compete’ against war activists or feminists. They are not blogging about fringe subjects. In fact to not be considered fringe is surely some of the point!

Similarly feminism is a very specific activism. Struggles for fair pay, freedom from blame for sexual assault, reproductive choice, childcare… these are issues that affect not only women, but men, families, children, and the way our society can grow to be more inclusive and protective of all.

To suggest that feminist blogging is not important enough to have it’s own category is suggesting that these issues carry no weight..at least not with the operators standing by to dismiss your call.

April Reign

Look — Feminism includes activism, but hasn’t been limited to it since the days I had a “Why Not” poster up on my apartment wall.

The activism began paying off in societal recognition of womens’ issues long ago, and feminism now influences virtually every aspect of our society in some way. If you guys don’t get that, I don’t know what to say. Except I’m very sad.

JJ Hippie

Feminism is now in its third century. Its formal beginning was in 1792 with Mary Wollstonecraft. Its central insight — that social hierarchies are political constructs, not natural facts — is perhaps the most important idea of the post-Enlightenment period. It’s the grandmother of all subsequent social reform movements.

It’s rather important, really.

Chet Scoville

Related: Mary Wollstonecraft, A vindication of the rights of woman

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In Their Honour

by bastard.logic


Here’s some activism for you.

Much love and respect to one of the Best blogs in Canada and to one of the most tireless human rights activists in the nation. No need for any popularity contest to confirm these unequivocal facts. Thank you (and every other blogger and/or blog proud to adopt the title of “Feminist“) for everything you do.

(You’re right, Dave; it doesn’t get any better than being on Jon Swift’s blogroll, does it?)

Related – Coming soon: a list of bastard.logic’s favourite Canadian Feminist Blogs.

UpdateQuote of the Year candidate:

 Did you not understand that if you run a Best Feminist Blog awards [sic], and only feminism [sic] bloggers can run, then a feminism [sic] blogger will win?

Noted without further comment.

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The Wheel Falls Off

by matttbastard

More evidence of satire’s untimely demise:

Men are naturally more comedic than women because of the male hormone testosterone, an expert claims.

Men make more gags than women and their jokes tend to be more aggressive, Professor Sam Shuster, of Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, says.

The unicycling doctor observed how the genders reacted to his “amusing” hobby.

Women tended to make encouraging, praising comments, while men jeered. The most aggressive were young men, he told the British Medical Journal.

Previous findings have suggested women and men differ in how they use and appreciate humour.

Women tend to tell fewer jokes than men and male comedians outnumber female ones.


Professor Shuster believes humour develops from aggression caused by male hormones.

He documented the reaction of over 400 individuals to his unicycling antics through the streets of Newcastle upon Tyne.

Almost half of people responded verbally – more being men. Very few of the women made comic or snide remarks, while 75% of the men attempted comedy – mostly shouting out “Lost your wheel?”, for example.


Often the men’s comments were mocking and intended as a put-down. Young men in cars were particularly aggressive – they lowered their windows and shouted abusively.

This type of behaviour decreased among older men however, who tended to offer more admiring comments, much like the women.

“The idea that unicycling is intrinsically funny does not explain the findings,” said Professor Shuster.

The simplest explanation, he says, is the effect of male hormones such as testosterone.

“The difference between the men and women was absolutely remarkable and consistent,” said Professor Shuster.

“At 11-13 years, the boys began to get really aggressive. Into puberty, the aggression became more marked, then it changed into a form of joke. The men were snide.”

The initial aggressive intent seems to become channelled into a more subtle and sophisticated joke, so the aggression is hidden by wit, explained Professor Shuster.


Hold on, lemme check something. Nope. Not The Onion.

Ok then.

First of all, I’m not sure what Professor Shuster is supposed to be an “expert” in (perhaps unicycling) but it’s certainly not behavioural psychology. According to the bio on this spiked-online essay (which tries to argue that UV rays really don’t cause cancer–oh, and Shuster is also convinced that performance enhancing drugs don’t actually enhance athletic performance, either):

Sam Shuster is Emeritus Professor of Dermatology at the University of Newcastle Upon Tyne, and Honorary Consultant to the Department of Dermatology, Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.

So, we have a skin doctor trying to argue that teh menz have more humour juice than teh wimminz flowing through their mighty veins (he also has funny–hahaha–ideas about the motivations of Karl Marx). And the Beeb decided that this qualified him as an “expert”.

But the writer has quoted an actual psychologist who seems to back up Shuster’s patently ridiculous claim:

Dr Nick Neave is a psychologist at the University of Northumbria who has been studying the physical, behavioural, and psychological effects of testosterone.

He suggested men might respond aggressively because they see the other unicycling man as a threat, attracting female attention away from themselves.

“This would be particularly challenging for young males entering the breeding market and thus it does not surprise me that their responses were the more threatening.”

Attracting away female attention? “Entering the breeding market?” That doesn’t sound like “psychology”; that sounds like evolutionary psychology.

Via the magic of teh Googlez, we find this gem from Dr. Nick Neave, evolutionary psychologist, Sorry, but women are dependent on men:

You’re a successful woman with a job to die for, a fabulous home and a supportive husband, but do you ever get the urge to check his mobile phone for love messages? Or his bank statements for intimate meals a deux that you didn’t share? And do you lie awake at night worrying how you’ll cope if the worst happens, your fears are proved and your husband walks out?

Don’t worry. Your suspicion is only natural. At the risk of sounding extraordinarily sexist, I’m convinced that women, even in the happiest of relationships, are programmed to worry their men are going to abandon them.

And they’re terrified – in a way that most men find it frankly impossible to imagine. What’s more, if their forebodings come true, women are more inclined to forgive an affair than a man if the shoe is on the other foot. That’s not because they’re nicer, more easygoing individuals. It’s simply because their primeval urge to hang onto a male provider is so strong.

Women in the 21st century may boast that they are truly independent for the first time in our social history. They may tell themselves and each other that they don’t need a man. They can even start a family on their own thanks to IVF techniques.

But, while feminists may argue this proves women have finally kicked off the shackles of dependence on men, I’m afraid they’re wrong.

In evolutionary terms the huge cultural changes over the past generation amount simply to the merest blink of an eye. It could take another 10,000 years for women to change their thinking.

Quite simply, women are preprogrammed to feel dependent on men. Even today women may be richer and enjoy all the trappings of success but, deep down in their psyche, they fear they can’t survive alone

Dr. Neave was also called upon to provide expert commentary on a study (also covered by the Beeb) claiming women are bad drivers–and it’s “linked to hormones”:

“The sexes do use different skills to find their way around. Men seem to be able to keep the route in their head without landmarks, whereas women do use them.

“So men may be better at finding the car when its parked in a huge shopping centre car-park. It may also tap into driving and parking abilities.”

He added: “Men do seem to be better at spatial abilities, and women at verbal and emotional skills.

“It may be a generalisation, but that does seem to be the case.”

Gee, and people say feminism is irrelevant.

So, to recap: We have a unicycling contrarian dermatologist and an evo-psych quack arguing that teh menz hold a genetic patent on teh funnah. And the braintrust at the Beeb decided that all this = story!!111one

I’ve got a few snide remarks, but I doubt they have anything to do with my testosterone level.

Update 12.23: Er, so, the study really was meant to be satirical? My head hurts.  Can only imagine how the folks @ The BMJ and the Beeb feel (to say nothing of The Onion).

h/t Kevin for the Shakes link.

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by matttbastard

Someone’s slip is showing:

It was Nov. 26 when 35-year-old Elizabeth Beeland of Ormond Beach stopped at the store to purchase a CD player for her father, she told The Daytona Beach News-Journal before refusing to speak more about the incident.

Beeland’s shopping trip ended up with a ride to the Volusia County Branch Jail, charged with two misdemeanors — one for disorderly conduct and the other for resisting a police officer without violence.


In a report police are required to prepare after deploying their Tasers, Officer Claudia Wright said she used her weapon on Beeland because the woman was “verbally profane, abusive, loud and irate.” Beeland pointed her finger “towards my face” and was waving her arms, the officer wrote.

But is that against the law? And is yelling at a cop considered enough resistance to merit the use of a Taser?

According to an American Civil Liberties Union representative in Orlando, yelling at a police officer and even cussing one out is constitutionally protected speech. And both the ACLU and Amnesty International USA say this incident likely could have been handled differently, adding that Taser use has become too casual and too common among police officers.

Police Chief Mike Chitwood said if a Taser had not been available, his officer likely would have used other weapons to subdue Beeland.

“I was never raised on Tasers,” the chief said. “I used nightsticks and slapjacks.”


Police Department policy states an officer can deploy his or her Taser “for the purpose of subduing a violent, noncompliant or combative subject.”

Another section titled “Use of Force,” says the Taser may be deployed when an officer believes the person presents a threat to the officer or to others “in the event that lesser force options are ineffective.” The Taser also should be deployed to prevent the escape of a “criminal suspect,” and when a “subject actively resists arrest or detention by violence or threat of violence.”

Beeland, although not compliant, was not acting violently, according to the officer’s report. However, Chitwood said his officer had been flagged down under the assumption Beeland may have stolen a credit card.

The fact Wright said Beeland refused to comply only further fueled the situation, Chitwood said.

“The fact that she (Beeland) was resisting and not following commands being given by a uniformed officer, that means that officer eventually was going to get hurt,” Chitwood said. “Claudia Wright did not wake up that morning and say, ‘I think I want to tase someone today.’

“The woman’s actions caused this to happen,” the chief said.

“I was never raised on Tasers… . I used nightsticks and slapjacks.”

“Beeland, although not compliant, was not acting violently

“The fact Wright said Beeland refused to comply only further fueled the situation”.

“The woman’s actions caused this to happen.”

Compliance, not safety.

h/t pale via IM.

Related: Here in Canada, journalists have also recently been expected to comply with demands for obedience from local law enforcement officials, else reap the consequences.

Compliance, not safety.

h/t Berlynn @ Bread and Roses

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