Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Hey Ladies, No Small Boobs or Explosive Orgasms!

Oh boy. I wish I was lying when I said that videos and images of female ejaculative orgasm and small breasts were being banned. I really wish. Really truly.

Unfortunately this is the kind of errant stupidity that our politics fosters. There is no scientific background to this. No logic either however I will explain the apparent reasoning.

According to the Board female ejaculation is just another form of urination and they detest golden showers like nothing else. Personally, watersports aren't my style, but if someone else wants to they're more than welcome to. What boggles me is how easily female ejaculation becomes a freakish, unclean thing (Noted as "abhorrent". I mean come on.) when male ejaculation is all fine and dandy. It's a scientifically noted occurrence.

I love the reasoning for the small breasts. Apparently they're too "childlike". It's too close to kiddie porn to be allowed on our Intarwebz.

Oh where to start with this crock of shit.

Women are already targeted for low self esteem. We're told we MUST be prettier, MUST be thinner, MUST be sexier. Now we're told again that ejaculation orgasms are freakish. I already know of people who have been hugely uncomfortable with themselves sexually because they've had bad reactions to how much they come.

Small breasts are much the same as angst over a small penis really. Are we going to ban all depictions of small penises because they're juvenile? Wait, I keep forgetting this is war against female sexual expression most of all at the moment.

Or we could all just go live in Victorian England.

Monday, January 18, 2010

I Am More Than Just A Great Arse, Thanks.

I was once strolling through town with a friend when he caught sight of his ex and decided to introduce us as "Great Arse" to "Great Tits." It's been quite a while since this happened but it still bothers me.

So I suppose the first lesson from this rant is "if you do something like that, it sticks in the memory." In fact my most distinct memory of the individual in question is this one despite some fun but ultimately it would seem mistaken bedroom antics.

The second would be that this isn't a joke. It's not funny, and in no way does it sound to the other people involved like a joke. His ex and I shared a moment of non-verbal communication that amounted to "This is why the break up?" "Yeah." "I know the feeling." We didn't laugh instead we were pissed off by such blatant and unabashed objectifying and to a degree embarrassed by our association with someone who would say that.

There's a school of thought which says we should be thankful for the compliment and enjoy the fact that he appreciated the fine aesthetic of these particular parts of our respective bodies. I disagree. If he wanted to compliment my posterior he could have, and did, do it privately. The statement he made in introducing me in this manner was not "I think this part of you is attractive." but rather "This is your best, and indeed foremost mention-worthy feature. Name? Personality? Subculture? Nah. Backside, baby." It's the same indication as he made to his ex. I suspect they didn't have a particularly fulfilling relationship.

Many men undoubtedly feel that I should be complimented by attention I get from them. If they're strangers or people who aren't close friends or my partner at the time I really don't. It just makes me feel like they think I'm there for their gratification. In my experience the road from that to being just there for physical gratification and experimentation is very short and rather destructive.

Thanks, but no. I'd much prefer to be complimented on how well I express my anger about these fucking idiotic attitudes and the kind of damage they cause.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Who's Afraid of Virginia's Vagina?

The title of this is, naturally, a reference to the play Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?. It also refers to an article on The Escapist this week about fear of women, fear of "feminine" things and fear of the female body.

I think it's well worth a read:

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Open Letter to Senator Stephen Conroy

Dear Senator.

I can only assume from your continued support for this ISP filter that you have not read the reports on its cost, poor performance, impact upon internet speed and unreliability.

I would also like to add that the concept of a clean-feed for internet is fundamentally flawed because censorship fails to address underlying issues. It's a little like putting make-up over an infected boil. If people want to they will simply go through or around the firewall, for all it is hardly a thorough block. Tighter restrictions won't stop it either.

The ethics of blocking websites other than paedophilic pornography (which is as far as I am aware the original selling point) are questionable at best. Sites such as Wikileaks provide an important democratic check on government activity which the public has the right to know. Others, like the legitimate websites blocked by the filter due to programming limitations, can and will cause damage to small businesses.

As a ploy for the concerned parent and conservative vote it's clever, but a waste of money, especially to make it mandatory. Let those who want it for their homes have it. Let the rest of us try for free speech instead.

Tess O'Brien.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

We Need Male Feminists!

Allow me to clarify a premise. A feminist in this situation is not a man-hating bulldyke who was once chastised for poor personal hygiene and has carried a grudge since. Instead, a feminist is someone dedicated to questioning and reshaping gender norms and the inequality which they have brought to society.

The role of feminists at present is flawed. In seeking to redefine the role of women the movement has a whole has failed to do a similar thing for the role of men. There is no equivalent movement to shift the archetypal male away from the same position it has held for centuries. The drastic flaw in this is that without doing so, the feminist movement as a whole is crippled because we come to be seen as power-grabbers, greedy, selfish. There's no point in saying "A woman/transsexual/androgynous person/whatever can do anything" when the same is not true of men. How many home-dads do you see for example (though much of that is in the economic sense).

This is a matter of equal opportunity in the work place as much as it is of social expectations. A lot of people say we need more sensitive men without being willing to back that up by offering support and acceptance. To expect that anyone would show emotion which could cripple their masculinity is a flawed premise. Change that masculinity and the rest will follow. The aforementioned support for this needs to come from everyone to everyone else.

As such we need more male feminist, and we need strong male feminist role models. They help to communicate with those men who won't listen to silly, shrill lesbian feminists.

The people who would stand to benefit the most from this shift are gay men. Next up, in my opinion, are male prisoners. From there on it moves to the rest of the population as well. Gay men would be removed from the feminine stigma which plagues them, the idea that they are less male for liking other men. It takes a man to take a man after all.

Prisoners are another interesting topic. The kind of rape culture which was investigated in US prisons (and I don't doubt has been present elsewhere too) I see to be based on power discrepancies and perceived loss of masculinity in the same vein as the loss of power. Redefining said masculinity would greatly help with not only the issue within the prison, but also the reception that taking abuse cases to prison authorities receives.

The benefit would not be exclusive. The entire culture would be stronger and men as a whole would see a lot of positive shift in the direction of a less iron-clad and power-dominated patriarchal structure. The alpha-males wouldn't be so alpha and the definition of male would be different. I imagine it'd help gender relations and self esteem for a lot of people.

One of the major challenges facing a masculinity redefinition is finding a way to state what it is rather than frame it by what it is not. It is not, for example, defining a man because of his ability to cause damage and pain, or to exert power. Is it then maturity and control? Is it language ability? Charisma? If it is not sorting people based on their parts is it sorting them based on something else?

These kind of questions will be argued over by feminist and non-feminists of all genders. And so they should. Any kind of shift like I think is necessary needs to be debated to hell and back first. The change itself will be slow regardless. Generations of feminists have yet to produce a concise answer to the definition of 'female' or get the kind of equality which it strives towards. The kind of forced androgyny we see at the moment I consider almost as inflexible as some of the rigid definitions of the past.

Overriding the whole lot is a question of equality. Contrary to popular belief it is possible for genders to be equal without being the same. The two concepts are not synonymous, it's just that a great deal of care needs to be taken in both legislation and society to separate them. If we must define masculinity it needs to be a flexible definition and will probably be an ambiguous one too. Other people argue for the complete scrapping of any kind of gender structure and archetype because of the problems it causes. That goes for both femininity and masculinity.

For that, we need male feminists to help, and more feminists in general. Stand up guys and be counted.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

"Real Women"

Ever heard the phrase "Real women are..." or something similar? I can't stand it. Those three words smack of so many problems faced in the Bitch battles of today. If we're trying to escape from traditional definitions of gender why the fuck are we in such a rush to re-define the restrictions? It's like enforcing gun control with an M16.

"Real women have curves" gives me particular problems. I know a lot of fat women. I am one myself. That doesn't make me any more or less a woman than say, a friend who is thin by benefit of that wonderful 75% genetic influence on ones weight. It just makes me fat. Real women don't give a shit about their weight. Other real women do. Real women are also trapped in the feeling that they absolutely must care about their image because that's the only way that they're going to land a man.

"Real women are intelligent." Nah, not all of us all the time. Not even close. And y'know what? It's not our place nor right to expect that everyone have a high IQ. We can have certain expectations of everyone as people but if we apply the logic to men and expect them all to be intelligent we'll be falling over ourselves with angst and disappointment. It works two ways.

"Real women don't have 12E breasts (32E US)" Really? I've met a few. They're also really intelligent and have curves.

Real women are mothers. Real women hate children. Real women simply couldn't care less either way. We are tall, short and in the middle. We have PhDs and are still in highschool, or have dropped out of highschool, or were home schooled, or never got the chance to go to highschool because we had the wrong downstairs equipment. We are bleach blond and all shades of the rainbow right up to black. We have pimples. We wear make up, or don't wear make up. We fart. We sweat. We wash as often as we can or hardly at all. We write. We type. We do complex mathematics because it's our first love alongside food. We love our 'sisters' and hate them and in the end, whether we like it or not we are all real women. The super models to the physicists to the feminists and the bull dykes.

We also need to grow the fuck up and get on with life without telling each other what to be.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Boobs, Games and Mr Laurie Croft

I've published a 500 word Op/Ed over at It's Nothing Serious. Got bored and started writing then BAM! Anyway, do have a look here, and enjoy. I've written some other stories for the blog, faux-news and the like. Feel free to browse.