Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Missing The Point

The internet and social media in particular is a lot like Who's Line Is It Anyway: everything is made up and the points don't matter.  Nonetheless, with the Supreme Court hearing oral arguments on Proposition 8 and DOMA this week, the pro-gay-marriage folks have taken to the virtual streets in force and you can't swing a flamboyantly homosexual cat on Facebook without tripping over someone with a red equals sign as their profile picture.

The anti-gay-rights folks, who are apparently just now realizing that it's inadvisable in this digital age to pick a PR fight with a group of people who are stereotypically young, technology savvy, pop-culture literate, and willing to endure derision for the sake of what they believe, have managed to marshal an image commissioned from the only anti-LGBTQ graphic designer in the country and are making an anemic effort to mount some kind of counter-attack.  

It's sad, really.

Friday, March 22, 2013

The Friend Zone

Amanda Marcotte writes in Slate that "the friend zone is mostly a straight-male phenomenon based on the widespread sexist belief that straight men can never truly be friends with women without having an ulterior motive. "

She writes this in response to the phrase's inclusion in the Oxford English Dictionary, which itself catches some sarcastic flak from her for deigning to give legitimacy to the term. Marcotte's objection is that the phrase "friend zone" implies, in her view, some kind of obligation on the part of a woman that, to quote her, "shifts the locus of responsibility from the subject to the object of the crush. It implies that, as the object is at fault for "putting" her admirer into the friend zone, it is her duty to do something to remove him from it, preferably by getting naked. "

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

"Real Men Don't Rape" Is Stupid

PoliticsUSA has an article up today that attacks Fox News viewers for lobbing racist taunts and rape threats at Zerlina Maxwell for her comments during an appearance on the network. Ms. Maxwell was invited onto Fox News to discuss women arming themselves to prevent rape in light of a column she wrote in Ebony which suggests that more of the onus for reducing rape needs to fall on men.  

In light of that view, Maxwell rejected the idea that women should have to arm themselves or alter their behavior in any way to prevent rape, drawing, unfortunately, the predictable tidal wave of vitriol, hate, and racial epithets from the right.

Those threats and epithets are unacceptable and universally so and while it is tempting to use them to highlight yet again everything that is wrong with the American social conservative movement, that horse has been beaten about to death.  It is, instead, the folks presently bludgeoning the horse that warrant some attention: Maxwell's hangers on, for lack of a better term.

Thursday, March 7, 2013


The #StandWithRand hash-tag has been trending on Twitter recently in response to Rand Paul's 13 hour Mr-Smith-Goes-To-Washington-style filibuster of the nomination of John Brennan to be the Director of Central Intelligence.  Senator Paul wanted more information on the Obama administration's assertion that it could use deadly force on US soil without warrant or due process and so he went to the Senate floor.