Category Archives: Media
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?
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?
Let’s get one thing public here, right off the bat. I am a self-identified “geek”. I wasn’t one of the “cool kids” in high school, though I stood up for myself enough times to never be outright bullied to my face. I’ve always managed to find my fellow geeks in whatever city I reside. [Please note: although I am sure that there are people who will react with vehement outrage, for the sake of argument, I am going to use the words "geek" and "nerd" interchangeably.] Read the rest of this entry
With reports from North Korea showing that the general populace has a hard time finding any sort of contraception, a group of South Korean activists have launched several balloons, hoping they will drift across the border and find their way into the hands of North Koreans.
Among other essential items like sanitary napkins, toothpaste, underwear, socks, anti Pyongyang information, and flashlights, over 5,000 condoms were airlifted to drift north. According to this article, the groups who normally send balloons like these are North Korean defectors, Christian groups, and the South Korean right wing party.
Does anyone else find it somewhat incongruous to see that list? I did a double take.
[I would like to give thanks to someone on the Jezebel fan page for the title of today's post. I'm unsure if I should thank them by name, due to Google searches, but thanks anyway. It made me giggle. If you don't know the reference, what, have you been living under a rock this whole time? Treat yourself to the magic that is the Gangnam Style video. Heck, do it even if you've seen it before.]
Today, the Director of the CIA, David Petraeus has resigned his post, citing an extramarital affair as the reason for his resignation. While I know that within the military there are laws against adultery, and his affair could have had the potential for blackmail and a subsequent security breach, I am outright disgusted at the way the media is treating this entire situation.
I have seen no less than 10 news stories questioning who he had the affair with, and, sure enough, someone has dug it up. Why are we, as a nation, delighting in what has to be an incredibly painful situation for General Petraeus, his family and friends, and his alleged mistress? He has resigned his position, and is effectively bowing out of the public life, and has done so with dignity and grace. To be quite honest, I am looking forward to my imagined utopian-esque future when non-monogamy is no longer a Big Deal for the media. Give the man some peace. He’s done the right thing here, and no one should be getting blasted by the media.
San Francisco has decided to no longer prohibit gender reassignment surgeries from the list of covered medical treatment under the city’s Healthy San Francisco program, a sliding scale health care coverage system that can be used by everyone in San Francisco. Though the city currently does not have the capacity or surgeons who are skilled in this particular type of surgery, so this is a mostly symbolic move for the city. Transgender patients currently are able to receive hormone therapy, counseling, and regular medical care under Healthy SF.
While I am glad that the city takes these concerns seriously, gender reassignment surgeries are extremely expensive, and can go into the tens of thousands of dollars, depending on the specific services provided. As someone who is cisgender, I can’t imagine the mental anguish of someone who doesn’t feel that their body matches their identity and mentality. I am glad that there may be a solution for the transgender in my community in the next few years.
But to be honest, as someone who is currently covered under this program, I’d like to see Healthy SF start providing some other services first, specifically preventative and non-emergency dental care. So many other medical problems can be circumvented with regular cleanings and filling of cavities that seems rather odd to me that there hasn’t been a big push for this sort of service.
In other news, I am considering offering a weekly podcast compilation of each week’s posts. Do me a favor, and cast a vote below to let me know if you’d like to hear my dulcet tones reading my posts each week!
Last night was a night of things both wonderful and heartbreaking. Here’s my pros and cons:
- Same sex marriage (also known as “marriage”) has been legalized in three states (Maine, Maryland and Washington), and a fourth (Minnesota) struck down a proposed constitutional amendment to ban same sex marriage. I’m pretty proud of my former home state, Washington.
- Wisconsin elected the first openly gay Senator, and she’s their first female Senator! Congratulations, Tammy Baldwin!
- The first Asian American female Senator, and the first Buddhist Senator, is Mazie Hirono from Hawaii.
- Bonus points to Hawaii for electing the first-ever Hindu Senator too.
- There are now 20 women in the Senate. That’s an additional three from the previous record!
- All of New Hampshire’s delegates, AND their Mayor are women.
- Most of the candidates who made headlines with ill-conceived notions regarding rape, abortion, or contraception were defeated!
- Proposition 35 in California won by a landslide. But there’s some good news, as the EFF and ACLU have already filed suit to strike it down as unconstitutional. I will remain heartbroken about this until it is struck down. I have friends who are sex workers, and I am very concerned about how this will affect them.
- Some really awful people decided that calling our President a monkey, and the “N” word were totally acceptable on Twitter.
- Donald Trump completely lost his mind last night.
Overall, I think that it was a great night, with impressive leaps forward for women and the fight for equality. I am proud of my country for making huge strides forward. Now let’s fix that economy!
PS: This marks the 100th post for Nice Girls! Thanks for joining me on this ride, and here’s to a few hundred more.
So, I know that I already had a blog post about this, but honestly, this issue is too important to me and people I care about to let it sit. If you haven’t read it already, please take a look.
There’s even more to the story. People need to know that the proposition with the “feel good” name isn’t what it’s cracked up to be.
From this post:
Another HUGE problem with Prop 35 is that it mandates that anyone convicted of lewd conduct since 1944 register as a sex offender. Lewd conduct is what the police like to charge women and men working on the street with when entrapping them for solicitation seems like too much of a hassle. So thousands of people who are not traffickers and were never accused of being traffickers are going to have to register as sex offenders. And here’s another kicker – throughout the 50′s, 60′s and 70′s, when it was practically illegal to be queer, the police had a tendency to charge gay men with lewd conduct. So now thousands of gay men will be required to register as sex offenders – because they’re gay. Yes, there are people being exploited, sexually and otherwise, and they should be getting help. But Prop 35 is not the way to do it. Maybe the police should start enforcing the laws we already have against rape, statutory rape, assault, and kidnapping.
This bill has over $1.85M backing it, and the people who oppose it have no budget to buy commercial time on the radio, or TV, or for big splashy advertisements in local papers. Please. Please share this information.
Have you heard the name Amanda Todd? Hers is a heartbreaking story of a young teenager who was relentlessly bullied by an anonymous online man, and then in person by her classmates because of a youthful indiscretion. Specifically, she was encouraged to lift her shirt and flash someone on a cam-chatting site, and the man who encouraged her then shared a screenshot with others, including her classmates. The man has been identified by Anonymous, they of the “we are legion” variety, and his personal information is now available for any person who has the desire for vigilante justice. I admit, I felt a little thrill of joy when I saw the video on the Anonymous YouTube account, stating the name of Todd’s harasser, but I immediately felt guilty about it.
How about the name Violentacrez, also known as Michael Brutsch? He’s been outed from his anonymous screen name as a chief moderator and expert troll on several unsavory subreddits. He’s also been targeted, and he has subsequently lost his job, and his wife has become a target as well.
I have shared my opinion on “naming and shaming” publicly before, and I am going to do it again. Right now. I find it all incredibly distasteful.
Amanda Todd and her parents should have gone to the police with the information she had regarding her harasser. He was ACTUALLY distributing child pornography, and blackmailing her in the process. When her classmates were harassing her in person, she and her parents should have gone to the principal, or called the police. The Gawker writer who outed Brutsch should also have turned over his information to the police, as he was also distributing child pornography. Yet no one is talking about the things that could have been done to stop these people from hurting others. There is no discussion of how the legal system is the proper venue for reporting harassment, or turning in evidence that someone is committing illegal acts.
Instead, there are Facebook pages about how the man who was accused of harassing Amanda Todd is going to die; two men are being held up as the worst that society has to offer, but that’s okay because now they’ve been caught and aren’t we glad that now we know their names?
Knowing their names does nothing but allow other assholes on the internet to use the same tactics of bullying and harassment, which sinks these would-be white knights down to the same level as those they purport to abhor. It allows those who are innocent in these dealings, like Brutsch’s wife and children, to be caught in the crossfire as the internet burns and pillages real names in a virtual world. It creates a mob mentality that makes scapegoats out of the unsavory in their thirst for blood, and we are better than that.
Use experiences to educate about the bad situations and behaviors you want to see changed, but don’t give the internet the names of those who are guilty of perpetuating the bad situations and behaviors. Allowing a particular person to become a scapegoat for broader problems only allows the group who accepted or encouraged the behavior to disavow that person, and then claim that they have changed. It is the best form of misdirection, and allows the group to continue, essentially unchanged.
Using the heartbreaking story of Amanda Todd as a tool to educate other young women about how to deal with coercion, blackmail, mental illness, harassment, and bullying would be a much better way to make sure that this happens less frequently. Turning in Brutsch privately would have given the US justice system a much better chance at a fair jury trial, and would have prevented his family from being vilified along with him.
Don’t get caught up in the sensationalism of the story, learn and teach the lessons that the story has to offer.
Sorry for the short post, everyone, but I saw this, and just had to share.
I’ve rolled my eyes for years at the commercials for tampons, menstrual pads, and, more recently, yogurt. They depict women experiencing an unreasonable amount of joy while engaging in activities that would leave me sobbing and snarling at anyone who came near if I were menstruating. And while I enjoy yogurt, let’s be real, it isn’t actually that fun to eat.
The last time I laughed so hard at a viral marketing video was when the original Old Spice Man, Isaiah Mustafa, was doing response videos to random internet people. Take a look at this video, and then the response video here.
The pencil snap and the flatulence at the end were what really sent me over the edge. I laughed so hard I had tears, and then I watched it two more times. My hat is off to you, Bodyform!
Proposition 35, also known as the Ban on Human Trafficking and Sex Slavery sounds like the kind of bill that no one can argue with, right? I mean, no sane person actually thinks that human trafficking or (non-consensual) sex slavery is a good thing, right? Right. That’s why these things are ALREADY illegal.
So why has Prop 35 been introduced? There is more to the bill than what meets the eye in the small blurb in your voter guide. This bill would broaden the definitions of human trafficking and sex slavery to a point where the terms could include people who have chosen to be prostitutes, as well as their customers, and people who have chosen to be adult entertainers (working in porn or as strippers). These people (men and women) who have chosen to engage in sex work could be prosecuted as “human traffickers” and sentenced to a decade in jail, with a $500,000 fine. If the police chose to do so, you could be charged with human trafficking merely by having sex with a date that paid for a meal. There’s nothing okay about that.
Here’s an excerpt from The Myth of Sex Trafficking, regarding Prop 35,
Here’s a riddle:
Q: Under §6(h)(2) of the CASE Act, what makes a sexual act into a “commercial sex act”?
A: That it occurs on account of anything of value being given or received by any person.
Here’s another riddle:
Q: Gee, does “anything of value” include buying someone dinner? A ticket to a movie? A drink?
A: “Anything of value” is not defined — but if it meant “money or its equivalent” it would say so.
Here’s a final riddle:
Q: Do you really think that prosecutors will think that they can get a jury to convict for a 19-year-old boy who takes a 17-year-old girl (or boy) to a concert, leading her to be grateful and to engage in a sexual act with him, under the CASE Act?
A: Maybe not. But if it’s your son facing 12 years in prison and being branded for life as a registered sex offender as a result of the conviction, would you be more likely to tell him to accept a plea bargain just in case? And don’t prosecutors like plea bargains to pad their conviction statistics? And have they ever been known to deploy their prosecutorial discretion somewhat selectively?
(By the way, that could be your daughter in the above example rather than your son.)
I highly recommend that all of my California readers go to the websites that discuss the pros and cons of Prop 35 (especially the blog linked above, for the cons) and educate yourself. While the proposition title sounds like a great idea, in reality, it will only increase the number of frivolous arrests and prosecutions of legitimate sex workers, and will increase the already overloaded court system.
I will be voting “no” on Prop 35. Instead of going after women and men who work in the sex industry by choice, why not help the women and men who have asked for the court’s assistance? I’d much rather see that energy, manpower, and judicial resources going towards processing the over 180,000 rape kits that are languishing in California.
L’Shana Tova to any of my Jewish readers! I spent the last two days attending Rosh Hashanah services with Fiance and his family, which was quite an experience. I attended with them last year, and, to be honest, I find the amount of Hebrew kind of overwhelming to someone who doesn’t understand a bit of it. It is traditional for those attending services to take the two days of Rosh Hashanah off of work to celebrate the Jewish New Year, so I did this as well. Learning about Fiance’s culture and religion is fascinating.
As I said previously, I attended the SF Slutwalk, and took a lot of fabulous pictures. I had a great time, and it really re-energized my dedication to Nice Girls. For the complete set of pictures, you can visit the album on my new imgur account (some images may be NSFW). There were some fantastic speakers at the pre-walk rally in Dolores Park, including Carol Queen, the founder of the Center for Sexuality and Culture, who wore a fabulous shirt that said I <3 Female Orgasm; Tommi Avicolli Mecca, who spoke about his experiences being a drag queen in Philadelphia in the 1970s; and, my personal favorite, Assemblywoman Carol Lieber, who told us that she is a slut, and hopes to be one all of her life.
Then, the Slutwalk began. We walked about half a mile, some of the ladies managed to do it in their stilettos! We cheered as a woman came out, asked what the march was about, and joined as soon as she understood. There were chants, but I spent most of my time running around taking pictures of everyone (but not before asking for their consent, of course)! We ended up at a small plaza in the Castro.
At that time, anyone at the walk could take the bullhorn and share a story. A few chose to just thank the crowd of people who attended. I got up and spoke about how the walk had inspired me to continue writing on Nice Girls and some of my experiences with rape culture. There were a couple of men sitting at a table who were definitely angry at their pleasant afternoon being invaded by a group of women, some of them dressed in lingerie. Unfortunately, a couple of the attendees had already responded to the gentlemens’ consternation with some anger, but I took the opportunity to sit down and explain the purpose and the message of the Slutwalk. They seemed a lot less upset afterwards, and I even saw one of them cheering after an attendee’s speech.
Overall, as I said, the Slutwalk was an overwhelmingly positive experience. I had a great time meeting new people, test driving the new-to-me camera, and listening to the poignant and interesting stories each speaker had to share. I can’t wait for next year!