Monthly Archives: December 2012

Tearjerkers

My emotions today have reached a heretofore unprecedented level of sappiness.  I kid you not, as of 1:30pm Pacific time, I have cried over three different things I have seen online.  I’ve decided to share them with you here.

First up is Anita Sarkeesian’s TEDx talk, where she discusses the potential psychology behind the cybermob that attacked her so viciously over her Tropes vs. Women kickstarter project.

I teared up at the end.  Male and female video game characters pander so excessively to the heterosexual male fantasies that it leaves little room for those of alternate genders or sexual orientations to also indulge in the fantasy.  I love playing video games.  Love it.  But just once, I’d like to see a female character that isn’t weak, or aggressively sexualized.  Am I really asking too much when I ask to play a female character who isn’t wearing a chainmail bikini over the balloons on her chest?

And then there’s this picture.

That is Dan Savage (one of my personal heroes, though we disagree from time to time) and his longtime partner Terry, getting their marriage certificate signed in Washington state.  I wept like a baby.  I am so happy that my home state has made same sex marriage legal.

Finally, the fact that this is an actual film that will be shown at SXSW 2013 did me in.

I am so very excited for this film.  Wonder Woman is a personal favorite superhero of mine (and really, she should be for anyone else too!).  I recently read The Supergirls: Fashion, Feminism, Fantasy, and the History of Comic Book Heroines, and the entire premise of this movie ratcheted my geekcitement up to 11.  I’m interested to see how the filmmakers will compare with the author of The Supergirls.

Has anything touched your heart today?  Maybe made you squee a little?  Share your excitement with me in the comments below!

AsapSCIENCE

There is a lot of misinformation about Plan B, also known as the Morning After pill.  I’ve found that a lot of this is spewed by the same people who fail at basic chemistry (I’m looking at you, people who believe that the Earth is only 6,000 years old!), and this video does a pretty fantastic job at explaining exactly how Plan B works.  Contrary to what those protesting Planned Parenthood would have you believe, Plan B is not an abortifacient, in fact, if the fertilized egg has already implanted, it cannot harm the zygote.  I know so many people who actually believe that Plan B is the same as RU486, the abortion pill.  This is patently untrue.  Plan B prevents unintended pregnancies, and RU486 aborts unintended pregnancies.

Another cool video from AsapSCIENCE explains some of the biological responses that men and women experience during orgasm.  I’m sure that little in that video will be surprising to readers of this blog (savvy smart people that you are).  I did find it both interesting and slightly vindicating that there is actual research to prove what many men and women in the BDSM scene have been saying for ages: that pain and pleasure are linked.

I’m really looking forward to more videos explaining the science behind sex.  What did you think of these videos?

Facebook Community Standards

Yesterday, I reported a Facebook group that I found incredibly offensive.  It was portraying young girls (possibly some that were under the age of 18), calling them sluts, and advocating their rape.  I reported them under the “hate speech” section of the “report page” function.

I was horrified to receive the following response email from Facebook:

Hi,

Thanks for your recent report of a potential violation on Facebook. After reviewing your report, we were not able to confirm that the specific page you reported violates Facebook’s Statement of Rights and Responsibilities.

Learn more about what we do and don’t allow by reviewing the Facebook Community Standards:https://www.facebook.com/communitystandards.

Thanks,
Viki

So, I went to the Facebook Community Standards.  The only thing I could find that would have excluded this particular page from suspension falls under this part of the criteria:

Hate Speech

Facebook does not permit hate speech, but distinguishes between serious and humorous speech. While we encourage you to challenge ideas, institutions, events, and practices, we do not permit individuals or groups to attack others based on their race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sex, gender, sexual orientation, disability or medical condition.

Huh.  So, you think it is okay to suspend or remove posts from pages like A Girl’s Guide to Taking Over the World, which challenges gender constructs and other feminist issues, but pages like Slut Memes (choice quote: “What did the left leg say to the right leg? Nothing, they’ve never met. Get it. Cause you’re a slut.), Sluts Embarrassing Themselves, I Kill Bitches, My Whore Wife, and the cleverly titled Whores are allowed to remain because they are somehow satire?  I just found those through searching “slut” “bitches” and “whore” on Facebook.

That stuff is not satire.  I’m not the only one who has noticed that Facebook will happily censor things that could be described as feminist, but they won’t remove misogynist posts or pages.

Come on Facebook, get it together, and make sure that the people you have checking these things are versed in feminism, misogyny, misandry, and other forms of societal marginalization or oppression.

DrinkSavvy

Because I am a terrible procrastinator, and I am desperately trying to stop doing so many “This thing makes me so ANGRY! HULKSMASH!” kind of posts, I was browsing Tumblr earlier for some post ideas.  I found a few really awesome things, like the Hawkeye Initiative, where a talented artist has taken to re-drawing the poses of female comic book characters as Hawkeye.  If you need to giggle a bit, and then weep when you realize how ridiculous female comic book characters are drawn, take a look.  But that wasn’t enough for a whole blog post.

But this?  This is seriously cool.

DrinkSavvy is the brainchild of Mike Abramson, and his invention could save lives.  How many times have you heard to “never leave a drink unattended”, or “watch your drink, you might get drugged”?  I know that I have definitely had my drink spiked by someone that I trusted, while I was dating him.  Normally, this sort of advice is directed towards young women, but the creator was inspired after being drugged himself.

DrinkSavvy is a series of products (cups, glasses, straws and stirrers) that actually change color in the presence of GHB, a common “date rape” drug.  Although it has a slightly salty taste, GHB is colorless and odorless, and can be difficult to detect in a flavored drink.  Here’s what GHB can do to a person, according to Wikipedia:

Its effects have been described anecdotally as comparable with alcohol and ecstasy use, such as euphoria, disinhibition, enhanced sensuality and empathogenic states. At higher doses, GHB may induce nausea, dizziness, drowsiness, agitation, visual disturbances, depressed breathing, amnesia, unconsciousness, and death. The effects of GHB can last from 1.5 to 3 hours, or even longer if large doses have been consumed. Consuming GHB with alcohol is dangerous as it can lead to vomiting in combination with unrouseable sleep, a potentially lethal combination.

If these products become widespread, then we can effectively eliminate one tool in the date rapist’s arsenal.  Do me a favor, share this indiegogo campaign on every social media platform you currently use.  I want to see these used in every bar in the US.

I donated to the campaign, will you?

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