Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Myth of "Sex Wars" and Why White Het Men Rape Women

"Before our white brothers came to civilize us we had no jails. Therefore we had no criminals. You can’t have criminals without a jail. We had no locks or keys, and so we had no thieves. If a man was so poor that he had no horse, tipi or blanket, someone gave him these things. We were too uncivilized to set much value on personal belongings. We wanted to have things only in order to give them away. We had no money, and therefore a man’s worth couldn’t be measured by it. We had no written law, no attorney or politicians, therefore we couldn’t cheat. We were in a really bad way before the white man came, and I don’t know how we managed to get along without the basic things which, we are told, are absolutely necessary to make a civilized society."  Lame Deer (Tȟáȟča Hušté)
[source for the quote above is here]

I will keep all that follows here. But, I want to warn you, I SO misread what Veronica says below, and SO overreact to what she says that I am baffled now at what was going on with me. I think I misread something early on and then just held to that misread the rest of the way. But she and I have gotten clear on all that so please know that's where it goes. We like each other! And you'll see that at the end. I do apologise to her for being so VERY out of line. But for CygnusX1, I have no such warm feelings. You'll see.

*          *          *
What follows is the rest of the exchange I've had with some folks over on a website called Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies, on a post called "In Support of Boobquake" which is a piece of writing by the inane WHM named Russell Blackford. But it seems that a man named Kyle is the moderator there and Russell seems to have left cyber-town. The first part of this exchange may be found *here* on this blog.

Posted by Kyle Munkittrick  on  04/26  at  03:13 PM


The debate over both Dworkin and MacKinnon's anti-pornography legislation is too long for a blog comments thread. People who want to know more can research and read on their own time, but the debate is far from resolved and there are respected and intelligent people on both sides.

I agree that Blackford's use of the word "pseudo-feminist" for Dworkin was inappropriate, but it is not out of line for him to express his disdain for the woman. It isn't as if Dworkin herself is uncontroversial. The very creation of F.A.C.T. was in reaction to her work and her rhetoric is incendiary, for better or worse, that earns as many enemies as friends. But, from a skimming of your blog, it seems you're a Dworkin fan, so there really isn't much place for this debate to go.

Beyond defending Dworkin, I really don't see what criticism you have of Blackford's support for Blaghag's protest. It's more of an atheist issue than a feminist one, which is why he commented on it in the first place.

Posted by Julian Real  on  04/26  at  04:36 PM

Hi Kyle,

I simply sought to hold a white man accountable for proclaiming himself an expert both on who is and who isn't a legitimate feminist, and on misunderstandings of Dworkin's position, re: censorship. Believe me, no radical feminists I've known in thirty years have ever been supported by the U.S. government, and Right-wing pro-censor folks have nothing in common with feminist anti-pornography activists who I've worked with and supported.

I was setting the record straight, and calling him out. And he has yet to own that what he did was irresponsible and inaccurate.

As you say, there's no further need for engagement, as this thread is not about the history of the North American feminist antipornography movement.

I'll close by saying that the pornographers were quite sufficiently endowed, financially, to fight any battles feminists brought their way, and had the means to discredit feminists at every turn. Their media is larger than the "legit" movie and music industries combined. So F.A.C.T., which was a very academic and privileged group of women, who were no survivors of the sexism industries, did side with them, yes. This was a low point in feminist activism, marking the first time feminists used the State to battle against poorer, more disenfranchised women fighting for the right to sue those who harm them.

The media pounced right away, incessantly saying that Dworkin and MacKinnon were "pro-censorship" just to get the masses upset, and it worked. And the pornographers' smear campaigns worked as well.

The pornographers won, with help from the women of F.A.C.T., but with far more help from the A.C.L.U., which has always valued individual rights over civil rights.

I'm done now! wink

Thanks for responding as you have, Kyle.

Posted by maymay  on  04/26  at  06:37 PM

I have to echo Kyle's sentiments. The "Feminist Sex Wars" may be considered done, but they are far from finished. I see sexuality being used as a divisive force every single day in feminist debate, and THAT is what's most saddening about the entire Boobquake vs. Brainquake argument so many people are having.

In response to the polarizing effects of these debates, I thought it would be worthwhile to support Femquake instead:

Posted by Julian Real  on  04/26  at  11:10 PM

Hi maymay (and this is also to Kyle),

Thanks for promoting the idea that women are full human beings, not just "a pair of bosoms".

The issue in the 1980s wasn't warring over sex. Kyle mentions a book called "Sex Wars" by Lisa Duggan and Nan Hunter--two very privileged white women. They "frame up" the issues to their advantage in the first chapter. Their issue is sexual libertarianism and Queer Politics. That's their cause. Fine.

But the significant feminist issues of the day, then and now, are women's lack of freedom from male domination and gross exploitation, not "sex wars". The issue was and remains women's autonomy and liberation from pimps' imperatives and mandates about how and what women are supposed to be, as if all women are only supposed to exist for and be appealing to white heterosexual men.

That's not a "sex war" issue; it's a human rights issue. There is more sexual slavery now than ever before. As you may know--or not if your only source of information is dominant U.S. media and the bulk of what is taught in The Western Academy--1.3 million children in India, alone, are trafficked and enslaved, and women across Asia are organising to stop the rape and trafficking of women by men. This is not a "sex wars" issue. It's a human rights issue.

There is not a "war between the sexes" and never has been. What there is, is systemic and systematic sexual violence against women. What there is, is ONE in THREE Indigenous North American women being raped, primarily (80% or more) by white men. That's not an issue of "sex wars". That's a human rights issue. Amnesty International agrees with this perspective. It's not mine. And it wasn't Dworkin's alone either. Hundreds of thousands of women fought difficult battles to get dominant society to recognise that rape is not "women's fault" and that battery exists, men beating the crap out of women, regularly, and that sexual assault happens on dates and in frat houses, and on the street and by husbands against women they think should "honor and obey" them. "Obedience" isn't a value that promotes a war between people; it's a value of male domination of women. Right?

Russell and Kyle are misrepresenting what the issue was and is, based on one book (although there are others too) that had that as its primary goal to do some pretty irresponsible historical revisionism to pretend that the issue was "wars about sex" rather than women challenging men's violence against women. Kyle, do you get that rape crisis centers and domestic violence centers were the consequence of what feminists did in the 1970s and 1980s, in the U.S. Do you get that these are not issues of "sex wars"?

Right now, Sarah Deer in the U.S. and London feminists in the UK women, the women of RAWA in Afghanistan, Yanar Mohammed and other women fighting for women's freedom and liberation in Iraq, Ruchira Gupta and her organisation Apne Aap, are working for human rights for women and girls, to be free of Western colonialism, rape, slavery, and murder. That's not going to be turned into a chapter of some book that comes out in a decade about "the sex wars" of the first ten years of the new century, is it, Kyle?

We all know the media spins reality, sometimes in dizzying ways. Duggan and Hunter's book does that. Why? Because they are invested in people NOT focusing on this little matter of men raping and enslaving women and girls all over the world. I don't fully understand why they did that with their book. I suspect it is because they are so very privileged they get to care more about their own rights to do what they want to do, sexually, than about what men do to women globally. That's sad and quite ethically deplorable.

How privileged some of us in the West get to be, to forget that a horrifying number (in the MILLIONS) of women and girls, and some boys, are being used/abused as sexxx-things for men, including many Western men who travel very freely around the world specifically in order to sexually assault children and women in Asia and in other regions of the world, with no criminal consequence to them.

Is all of this really a matter of "sex wars"? Honestly? I don't see how any empathic, feeling, socially aware person can claim that, unless you're in profound denial about what is going down. Please listen to Yanar, Ruchira, Malalai Joya, and Sarah Deer. Listen to the women who are on the front lines of men's sexist, racist, and very brutal war against women.

Andrea Dworkin's work (a dozen books, not just one on pornography) was comprehensive in exposing, analysing, and challenging men's sexual, emotional, psychological, economic, and religious domination of women, focusing on white men's sexualised violence against women of all colors. She was an anti-racist/anti-misogyny human rights activist, which would be noted profusely by men now, if only she had been working on behalf of men. But because she focused on women, on what happens to women inside systems created and controlled, to this day, by men; because she didn't shy away from telling the masses what pimps and rapists do, she is seen as participating, foolishly, including here on this pro-ethics site, in some "Sex War" debacle.

Please don't misrepresent her or her work here, Kyle. That's what I'm asking of you. To be ethical and to care. Please consider the harm of what men are doing to women across the globe. Breathe in that pain, that injustice, that violation of bodies and psyches. Please imagine, right now, being a seven year old girl in Asia, or anywhere else, who is being coerced and forced by many circumstances, all of them run by men, to accept into her mouth the penis of a middle aged white man from Ohio, New York, and California, right now.

Please don't be in denial about what "one in three" Indigenous women in North America being raped means, politically, ethically, socially, psychologically, emotionally, as well as physically. Imagine the collective pain. Please. That's what I'm asking of you. Is that really too irrelevant, too unethical, or too irresponsible of me to ask?

Please be accurate about the issues that are harming and killing women. Don't encourage us to pretend those human rights atrocities are not happening, and instead there's this silly problem called "sex wars".

Am I asking too much of you, Kyle--and Russell?

Posted by veronica  on  04/27  at  12:46 AM

Julian Real wrote: "What there is, is systemic and systematic sexual violence against women. What there is, is ONE in THREE Indigenous North American women being raped, primarily (80% or more) by white men. "

Can I ask for your source? It seems so opposite from this Department of Justice source:
According to
"The black-white disparity in arrest rates for forcible rape peaked in 1981, when the black rate was almost eight times the white rate. In 2008, the black rate was about three times higher than the white rate. "

Posted by veronica  on  04/27  at  12:53 AM

Mr. Blackford, you write: "Get it clear: there is ... nothing wrong with displaying (the human body) to the world. ... let other people take pleasure in it. Strut your stuff, and don’t let anyone make you feel ashamed about so-called “immodesty”."

When I read this, I keeping thinking about challenging it with, "but what about...?" You never mentioned a point at which you should stop. For instance, and I'll choose what I consider an outlandish case, just to test the waters: would you recommend that a gorgeous school principal strut her naked body into the second-grade classrooms in her school? I'm just so puzzled why you felt no need to put a limit on your suggestion.

Posted by Julian Real  on  04/27  at  09:49 AM

Hi Veronica,

Yes, of course you can ask for my source.

Here it is:


I hope you get how utterly racist and classist our "criminal" justice system is. So that any reports on who is arrested will be grossly biased against people of color. You realise, I hope that rich white men do not go to jail for snorting cocaine or smoking pot, but poor people do, for using illegal drugs, such as crack cocaine. Does that mean that rich whites don't use illegal drugs? Hardly.

You get that poor Black men are targeted, profiled, and harassed by the police, as well as arrested for doing nothing more than existing in public, right?

You get that poor Black women are as well, yes? So this might explain, for example, why more Black women are arrested as prostitutes than white women.

And so when you quote stats on the numbers of arrests for rape re: race, surely you've got to know how the racism of police forces factors into those figures, I hope.

Class-privileged white men rape women and children of all colors, globally. That they routinely and regularly do so off U.S. shorelines means they are not accountable or arrestable by U.S. police forces. So how would they account for those in coming up with their figures.

White men rape their wives, with impunity, so the prevalence of that wouldn't be factored in. You know that in some white communities, it is common practice to have more than one wife, and that some of those wives are related to one another, such as mother and daughter? Does that count as rape?

Does incest count as rape? Father (or father figure)-daughter incest is the most common form of child sexual assault.

White boys and men date raped girls and women I know. I assume if you ask all the women you know, they'll report the same to you. It's common, as common as women blaming themselves for it occurring; as common as wives, daughters, prostitutes, and many other women blaming themselves for being raped.

Disproportionately white frat boys "party rape" young women, usually using at least one drug to do so: alcohol.

Procurers of women in systems of prostitution rape prostitutes regularly. Do women in systems of prostitution in the U.S. report it? No, because they'd be arrested. Why not criminalise being a procurer and decriminalise being a prostitute? Given the economic and other systemic factors, including the preponderance of pimps who lure and season homeless girls to be prostitutes, why not do what Sweden did?

And are those rapes, by men with money to use to rent and abuse girls and women in the U.S., counted as "rape" in the stats you cited?

No woman I know who has been date raped reported it. All the perpetrators were white. So how does that factor into the statistic you chose to put forward?

In your education, did you not study the racism and classism endemically skewing arrest reports and statistics? If you didn't, please let me know what schools you attended, so I can alert the public about the racism and classism of their criminal justice/law programs.

See this (source provided after the passages):

Child sex tourism makes its profits from the exploitation of child prostitutes in developing countries. Many children are trafficked into the sex trade. In Thailand, for example, Burmese girls as young as thirteen are illegally trafficked across the border by recruiters and sold to brothel owners.

The lives of child prostitutes are almost too appalling to confront. Studies indicate that child prostitutes serve between two and thirty clients per week, leading to a shocking estimated base of anywhere between 100 to 1500 clients per year, per child. Younger children, many below the age of 10, have been increasingly drawn into serving tourists.

Child prostitutes live in constant fear; they live in fear of sadistic acts by clients, fear of being beaten by pimps who control the sex trade, and fear of being apprehended by the police. It comes as no surprise that victims often suffer from depression, low self-esteem, and feelings of hopelessness.

Many victims of child sexual exploitation also suffer from physical ailments, including tuberculosis, exhaustion, infections, and physical injuries resulting from violence inflicted upon them. Venereal diseases run rampant among these children and they rarely receive medical treatment until they are seriously or terminally ill. Living conditions are poor and meals are inadequate and irregular. Many children that fail to earn enough money are punished severely, often through beatings and starvation. Sadly, drug use and suicide are all too common for victims of child sexual exploitation.

The Internet has also facilitated the recent rise in child sex tourism by providing a convenient marketing channel. Websites provide potential child sex tourists with pornographic accounts written by other child sex tourists. These websites detail sexual exploits with children and supply information on sex establishments and prices in various destinations, including information on how to specifically procure child prostitutes. Additionally, sex tour travel agents may publish brochures and guides on the Internet that cater to child sex tourists. In 1995, there were over twenty-five businesses in the United States that offered and arranged sex tours. One particular website promised nights of sex "with two young Thai girls for the price of a tank of gas." The easy availability of this information on the Internet generates interest in child sex tourism and facilitates child sex abusers in making their travel plans.

The international tourism industry is booming. Since the 1960's, international travel has increased seven-fold. As tourists eagerly travel to distant lands to enjoy new landscapes and cultures, economically developing countries have welcomed the expansion of the international tourism industry as a much-needed source of income within their own nations. With the exponential rise in this industry, however, comes the growth of a darker, more clandestine phenomenon: child sex tourism.

Child sex tourists are individuals that travel to foreign countries to engage in sexual activity with children. The non-profit organization End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography, and the Trafficking of Children (ECPAT) estimates that more than one million children worldwide are drawn into the sex trade each year.

Child sex tourists are typically males and come from all income brackets. Perpetrators usually hail from nations in Western European nations and North America.


Now, if you think poor women of color are left out of the pool of the raped and exploited, you'd be mistaken. So, again, when studying "who the rapists are in the U.S." does the quote you gave me factor in all the information presented here?

Posted by Analyst  on  04/27  at  12:11 PM

What about homosexuals who are causing the hurricanes in USA? It seems West also has its own holy cows. Do not throw stones while you are living in glass palaces. Holy cows of homosexuals and God's punishment is cornerstone of Christian Sharia law. Just ask pope about his views. A depressed girl committing suicide goes to hell for eternity. How sick the church can be. It has sanctioned in the past 600 years the slavery and killing and maiming a billion people and the theft is still continuing by the so called Christians. How shameful. But West has its big holy cows, from holocaust to fascism and theft of natural resources of other countries to pedophilia and torture and illegal invasions, the list continues. The reason for all this media hype against Iran is because Iran is fast progressing in science and technology. In fact they have the world's fastest growth rate in science. Wikipedia: List of statistically superlative countries

Posted by CygnusX1  on  04/27  at  01:13 PM

@ Julian…

You have taken this debate to deeper and deeper levels and what you say is very important. These modern liberal freedoms, ease of travel, Internet communications and anonymity has all helped to encourage sex trade and tourism.

Yet you must also acknowledge that many international sex rings have been detected and brought to justice in the last few years. There are now sex registers enforced here in the UK and around Europe to dissuade sexual deviants, and even Thailand is now attempting to reverse its image as a nation for sex tourism.

Let me ask you this sincerely, how would you plan to reverse this trend in sex trade and slavery? What are your ideas on how to overcome this ethical whole in society?

1. One who advocates maximizing individual rights and minimizing the role of the state.
2. One who believes in free will.

1. A dissolute person; usually a man who is morally unrestrained (noun)
2. Unrestrained by convention or morality (adj.)

Posted by Julian Real  on  04/27  at  02:03 PM

I'd replicate the law in Sweden making the practice of being a sex tourist a criminal offense, and making "the purchase of a human being, even for an hour" illegal. I'd support this happened everywhere that it is found to be effective, with "effective" named by the most harmed, not by the procurers.

Stating that something is being addressed in no way indicates it is becoming less of a problem. It could be addressed and also flourishing, which is the case with pornography that films rape and battery and calls it "pimp's free speech". Am I for State censorship of such materials? No. I am for laws which enable and support people harmed taking the abusers and makers of the pornography to court under the umbrella of civil rights abuses and/or human rights abuses.

Kyle, I have a question for you:

Given this whole discussion, would you say that "Sex Wars" was "an ethical, responsible" book dealing with the reality of sexual violence against women and the feminists who gave so much of their lives to challenge men's rights to abuse women? Or, do you agree with me that it was "framed up" to bypass those atrocities, and instead focus on liberal issues that don't address the civil and human rights issues?

Posted by veronica  on  04/28  at  01:46 AM

Thanks for your answer. I definitely see the seriousness of the problems you describe.
I see why our stats differ. I was talking about the rape-rates across America, and you focussed only on the rates dealing with Native American victims. I do not know why you'd focus in like that.

Posted by Frank  on  04/28  at  02:14 AM

Mr. Blackford, I'm curious if you've seen fellow outspoken atheist Jerry Coyne's commentary about Boobquake:
He addresses your comments specifically.

Posted by Julian Real  on  04/28  at  10:55 AM

Hi Veronica,

What about the endemic racism and classism in the U.S. "criminal" justice system determining who is arrested in the first place? What about the fact that wealthy white men can afford lawyers to keep them out of any courtroom, and keep charges of rape from appearing on their public records?

Does that not factor at all into why you think it is that "Black men" appear to be the largest population of rapists in U.S. society?

I eagerly await your reply, as it seems as though you missed most of the point I was making here.

Posted by veronica  on  04/28  at  02:34 PM

Julian, trying to keep things quick, I already said that "I definitely see the seriousness of the problems you describe," but you didn't address the last thing I said.

Posted by Julian Real  on  04/28  at  04:17 PM

Hi Veronica,

I focus in on it for a variety of reasons:

1. In the U.S. there is and has always been, since the white man came here, a myth about men of color being "dangerous", and the "men you have to watch out for". There is much murmur in white communities about the terror of "getting lost in 'the wrong part of town', meaning where poor Brown and Black people live. This mythology produced lynching of Black men, and its legacy remains in many forms, which result in police officers pulling over Black people who are driving from point A to point B like anyone else, but are presumed to "be up to something no good" based on their skin tone.

2. Lost in all of that is this: white men are the most violent people on Earth, unequivocally. If you add up the atrocities committed by white men, since "white" men have existed as such, and consolidated power around such an ideology, you will find that white men are THE rapists, thieves, burglars, tax evaders, and general criminals about town. That white men have so many protections, like laws, government, police and military forces, to keep them from facing the consequences of their criminal pursuits, means the white owned media can promote and promulgate ideas that Black men, not white men, are "the most dangerous demographic".

Consider: The Crusades, Colonialism, witch burnings, Imperialism, Wars against people of color around the world, Nazi genocide, the Maafa, U.S. (with Europe at times) wars on Vietnam, Korea, other countries in Southeast Asia, covert warfare in Central American countries, U.S. war on Afghanistan and Iraq, globalisation and the impoverishment of the Third World with the help of the IMF and WTO, sex tourism and sexual slavery.

3. With that, is the almost complete invisibilisation of Indigenous people. They are, in media, either already gone, presumed dead, or available for on-going plunder and rape, which isn't reported, it is just done off camera.

4. Whenever I hear someone promote a white male supremacist mythology about "The Black Male Rapist", I feel it is ethically imperative to set the record straight, and one of the most glaring means of doing so is pointing out who, in the U.S., the land of the free and such, is most raped and by whom. This, alone, should suffice to demonstrate the racism and fallacy of the "Black Male Rapist" as THE perpetrator against women. Let's not forget: the slaver owner raped both white women and Black women, at will, legally, as both white women and Black women were his property. So too were Black men his property, and how this all plays out to this day has been written about extensively, although there will always be plenty of white voices ready to chime in "That was in the past, why don't you let that go?", to which I reply: why don't whites let go of inheritance laws designed to keep white supremacy fueled with resources? Why don't white men forget what they learned from using pornography when unwelcomingly approaching women and children they think of as "existing to meet their sexual needs"? Why don't white men forget how to oppress women, and men of color? These things are not forgotten at all.

Another answer to you is this:
As presumably humane and ethical beings, why shouldn't we all, collectively, focus on what is happening to Indigenous women?

Posted by veronica  on  04/28  at  06:49 PM

I'm all for helping and defending the American Indian. But maybe the high stats of whites raping them (compared to blacks raping them) is because whites are more likely to live near them.


My reply:


There's clearly no dissuading you from your wish to demonise Black men and be in denial about white men. What you just wrote is about as racist a comment as I've read online in a while.

If an Indigenous woman lives on a reservation, that means any white man has to travel onto reservation land. Even if he doesn't live far away, he has to walk, at least. He has to make an effort to get from where he lives off reservation land, to where he goes to commit the rape. Wherever that is.

And, you know, there ARE American Indian MEN living WITH those women, right in the same homes, often!

So why would white men be 80% of the rapists? Why are white men raping children in Cambodia? Why do white heterosexual men rape white woman and Black women and any other women?

Entitlement, privilege, access, power, and a lack of accountability and negative consequence to the white rapist. It's really that simple.

In the U.S., all men are raised to believe they have right to take women by whatever means necessary to have whatever experience they wish to have. But some cultures discourage this, and others encourage it. White society encourages it. And if you talk to women who have experienced white male "frat houses" as social partying spaces, you'd quickly learn exactly how much white heterosexual men are capable of encouraging individual rapist and gang-rapist behavior and attitudes. You'd realise how much white het men encourage it and pride each other for participating in it.

Please check your anti-Black male and other racism. It's reprehensible. The women who are most raped by Black men, are, surprise: Black women.

And there isn't "the American Indian". There are many societies, many different Nations, many different people, of all skin colors, sometimes many ethnicities, in many regions, on and off reservations, living urban lives and rural lives, sometimes near white people, sometimes near Black people, sometimes near people who are neither white nor Black. Some American Indian women ARE also Black. As are some Indigenous men in North America. According to your racist logic, the American Indian women of any ethnicity who live near Black men are most at risk. Why don't you accept that WHITE men can be very, very DANGEROUS? Why, given so much evidence and the statistics, is this so hard to accept?

Your racism really is stunning to me. No person of color I know needs any help from someone whose racism is as unchecked as yours. Try not being so racist in public spaces, for a start.

Posted by CygnusX1  on  04/29  at  05:19 AM

@ Julian…

Your comments have travelled from the sublime to that of the outrageous bigot. And I’m sorry I needed to say that, yet it is the truth. You not only promote strongly your own prejudiced views, you also accuse others of racism, and your comments clearly show that you are racist yourself. According to you all white men around the world past and present are evil, power hungry tyrants who rape everything in the path black, white, young or old. Take a step back from yourself and take some time to revisit your thoughts on human beings in general, and recognise that “it’s not just white men that have been, and can be immoral”.

The reason why someone rapes or murders or partakes in any heinous or immoral act is…

1. Because they do not know any better. This also applies to indigenous black men raping black women and children, and religious doctrines that devalue women as lower class humans in general terms. As well as to other humans low on morality and it’s general understanding. Education of moral values may overcome this problem of nations and their societies, and this includes the education of third world nations. Yet, and I again ask you this sincerely, does a black man in Africa who rapes a black woman know he is doing wrong?

2. Because they think they can get away with it, even though they know it is wrong to force their own cravings, wants and desires on others at their expense – this is “SELFISHNESS!” Like the psychopath who knows that he is doing wrong, yet still persists with his selfish desires and ideas of superiority – he has no value of the feelings of others, of victims, little or no sympathy or empathy. This does not describe any society or nation or national identity as a whole, only individuals within those societies.

It does not describe all white men, or all men, or all people, or all humans. You need to examine the human condition to find the roots of selfishness that includes all of your previous points. Examine this, and you will find the root of the evils that you describe and profess. Your political views on subjugation may have some validity perhaps, (in the US?), yet your descriptions of the world political and social view is wrong. You need to see past this and recognise that immoral and uneducated people perpetrate immoral acts and wrong doings – it is individuals! Not ethnic groups nor merely rich white men !

Posted by veronica  on  04/29  at  07:14 AM

Your accusations of me (I wouldn't be surprised to discover that I have more black friends than you do) are as ridiculous as arguing that white men are four times as likely as black men to rape silver-haired librarians named Agnes. Get a clue.

Back to Boobquake: I agree that it's good to argue that women should be allowed to strut their stuff, but I think it's foolish to argue that they should be encouraged do so. Why? Because I know that I get more respect from men when I'm dressed modestly. I don't mean "burka". I just mean modestly. They treat me more seriously. It's easy to spot when you test it out.

Posted by Julian Real  on  04/29  at  03:59 PM

I apologise for calling you racist, Veronica.

I was reading some stuff into what you posted. Sorry about that.

And I like that distinction you're making, between being allowed and being encouraged.

Posted by Julian Real  on  04/29  at  04:20 PM


Seems to me like you're overreacting to me simply pointing out the history of white men's violence.

The history is there. I didn't make it up.

And 80% of the rapists of American Indian women are white. That's Amnesty International's report, not mine. You can go read it for yourself.

You also seemed to have not read the part where my explanation is that rapists are people who have privilege, power, entitlement, access, and living in a system where there aren't likely to encounter negative consequences. That's far truer of wealthy people than poor people who commit any crimes, right?

So this isn't rocket science.

Stop misreading and misstating what I'm saying, please. I never said white men are the only men who rape, or who do really awful stuff, did I? (No.)

Try replying to what I did say.

Posted by veronica  on  04/29  at  06:47 PM

I suspect we'd make pretty decent friends, Julian. Wishing you well.


Posted by Julian Real on 04/29 [later on that day]

I was thinking that too, Veronica!

And I know that I was letting some anti-racist stuff I've been dealing with elsewhere bleed, inappropriately BOTH into my responses, and ALSO into my readings of what you've been saying all along here. I've reread it all and am like "What was I getting so upset about?! She's saying such uncontroversial things!!!"

So, my sincerest apologies to you. I am grateful you were willing to not slam the cyber-door in my face, and would have understood if you did! :)

Taking on One Big Pimp: Here's How...

 [image is from here]

This information came to me via a profeminist group. With thanks to a radically profeminist man named Martin. Note: if you are not a, you can still sign the petition. There is an option to the right of where you would open a list of U.S. states, to click on "non-U.S." which will then open a box from which to choose your country. All that follows is from Martin.

Please join a worldwide effort to get the biggest pimp in the US to cease and desist its exploitation of women.
All you have to do is add your signature to this petition and circulate it to your network. The organizers are aiming for 2000 extra names within a few days.

Here is that petition text - just click on the link above to sign it.

Last year, you made a very important and commendable choice to remove the "erotic services" section of  As someone who cares deeply about the issue of human trafficking and sexual exploitation of children through prostitution, I commend that decision and thank you for it.

However, the new "adult services" section which has replaced it still contains ads for illegal prostitution, many of which are thinly veiled as legal erotic services.  These ads are similar in tone and content to those which were previously used to advertise the sexual services of trafficked women and girls in the Craigslist erotic services section.  I hope Craigslist will renew its commitment to reducing human trafficking and sexual exploitation of children by taking the following important steps:

1. Publically release the new standards which are being used to review the ads in the new adult services section, including the standards for staff training and supervision.

2. Take further steps to cooperate with law enforcement in the identification of illegal activities taking place on
3. Take further steps to identify the euphamisms and codes which are being used to conceal illegal activies and use that knowledge to prevent ads for such activities from being posted.

Craigslist provides many valuable community services, and should not be tainted with advertisements for illegal activities, especially the exploitation and trafficking of women and children in commercial sex. Please renew your commitment to this important issue by making real and lasting changes by creating barriers to prevent the exploitation of women and children and the conducting of illegal activity on



Andrea Dworkin - Why Men Like Pornography & Prostitution So Much. Keynote Speech at International Trafficking Conference, 1989
(Audio File: 22 min, 128 Kbps, mp3)
(Thanks to Nikki Craft for her awesome archiving work)

Why So Many Womanists and Feminist Women of Color Describe White Feminism as Racist: A Case in Print

Ann E. Cudd, of Kansas University, pictured atop the series of photographs coming up later, is the co-editor of a feminist philosophy anthology (book) described below. Kansas University produces a calendar honoring the women in their academic institution. Here's the layout of two images from one year's calendar, and see if this strikes you as grossly racist as it does me. (The two spliced images--put together for their website or calendar, are from *here*. It looks to me like it could be a poster for White/Aryan Surpemacy:

From left: Delia Kimbrel, Santos Nunez, Vedrana Balta and Alexandra Baldwin.

If there are borders around these images above, then please click on the link above them, because it is how they appear without the border that is most striking.

You have to do a fair amount of intentional work to arrive at that image, above. Note the women on the left are not standing up. They are tilted, so that their gaze is directly "up" at the TALLER VERY WHITE (ARYAN) WOMAN. This is fucked up and the designer of the image is to blame, but someone else had to approve this image being presented on their website.

But let's move on to the book Ann co-edited. Not only does it centralise white-anglo-euro perspectives as "definitional" of what constitutes philosophy and philosophical concerns, but it also does what so many white-dominated anthologies do that are multi-racial/multi-ethnic: the discussion on race must not be about how problematic "whiteness" is, but will, almost always, be about Blackness. In this volume, Blackness is discussed by African American professor of many academic disciplines, bell hooks. The subliminal message, often reinforced by men is that women of any race do not really "do" philosophy. When white women "do" philosophy, it is often termed something else, like "theory". And when white feminists put together an anthology of feminist philosophers, it follows that Black women, and many other women of color, only write "thought" or "theory" or about subjective person experience and white women and white men write "philosophy". Sometimes women of color aren't even recognised as being the thinkers, but rather the "subject" to be studied by whites. See, for example, from the journal Radical Philosophy, this:




Knowing the Difference

Straight Sex


Being in Time

Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre



*          *          *

I will go out on a limb to say that even though a very high percentage of women are Chinese in this world, the discussion of "philosophy, feminism, and universalism" isn't written by a Chinese woman. I could be wrong. But something about the mentioning of two white philosophers by name and then having a category called "Chinese women..." doesn't give me hope. Nor does it give me hope that it was not written by any women who are Chinese:

Jean Grimshaw and Kathleen Lennon
Issue: 74 - November/December 1995

I knew nothing at all about this journal before composing this post. I have studied philosophy, many philosophies, African, European, Asian, and Indigenous, mostly that of women, but by some white euroboys. This is what the journal descibes itself as being:

Radical Philosophy is a journal of socialist and feminist philosophy. It was founded in 1972 in response to the widely felt discontent with the sterility of academic philosophy at the time (in Britain completely dominated by the narrowest sort of "ordinary language" philosophy), with the purpose of providing a forum for the theoretical work which was emerging in the wake of the radical movements of the 1960s, in philosophy and other fields.

Radical Philosophy is not committed to any particular philosophy, ideology or political programme.
[Added emphasis is mine, JR's].The purpose of the journal is to provide a forum for debate and discussion of theoretical issues on the left. It encourages the serious and informed discussion of such issues in clear and non-technical language, aimed to reach a wide audience.

As well as major academic articles, it has a large and diverse book reviews section (covering 12-15 books per issue), as well as News and Commentary sections. It is an attractive, competitively priced, large format (A4) publication, with graphics and ilustrations. It is probably the most widely read philosophical publication in Britain, and has a large circulation throughout the English-speaking world.

*          *          *
I would make the case that the UK journal is, consciously, willfully, or not, quite committed to a white supremacist ideology and political programme, and to not name it is to make it impossible for them to correct it. And as such it is not practicing feminist values or valuing feminist practice, if "feminist" means challenging the forces that harm women-as-women. Racism (white supremacy and white dominance) harms women-as-women. In media, in academic institutions and public and private schools, in white religious institutions, in all major sectors and systems comprising US and UK society.

The literary subject of this post, though, is a book on feminist philosophy, and most of the contributors' images appear below. Some do not, but they are well-known to be white people, or, in the case of Catharine A. MacKinnon, she is a white woman who has been featured, with photo, on this blog before. I am making no determination, at all, about which, if any, of these white contributors to this anthology is racist, overtly or in regular practice, or to what degrees they are racist. I cannot say, as I'm not familiar with any of them, except bell hooks, Marilyn Frye, and Catharine A. MacKinnon. I thank bell hooks and Marilyn Frye, particularly, for all their fine work to address a virulent form of misogyny called white supremacist racism. I would feel more strongly about putting MacKinnon in the category of overtly anti-white supremacist had she not written an essay called "From Practice to Theory, or What is a White Woman, Anyway" without substantively addressing that very serious social problem of white women structurally, if not also interpersonally, oppressing women of color, systematically and systemically, and with as much refusal to stop as men demonstrate in refusing to give up male privileges and power. Her essay appears in her book, Women's Laws, Men's Lives and it can be read from that text *here*. It also exists on a webpage, *here*.

The point of this post is to note how often white-euro-anglo-centric anthologies and other writings produced in the West are white supremacist. One is told of a global community made possible by the internet. Yet we know that the internet most benefits white men.

However, given the degrees to which some levels of interconnectedness among universities and colleges and communities do exist across the globe, there is no honorable reason to have an anthology be so centralised on the experiences, analysis, worldviews, and politics of a global minority group of people: whites. Even a book about whiteness would be woefully lacking in understanding and analysis if its contributors were all white. Dare I say it, I doubt such a book could be effectively written. That "Men's Studies" pretends men can know enough about men to turn out volume after volume of anthologies "all about men and only by men" is utterly alarming and reprehensible to me.

If this book was described as being, consciously, primarily white, as seeking to locate itself in a white-euro-anglo tradition, with the intention not to do much to break out of that, well, then at least they're honest about what they are doing. But too often, whether or not it is happening in this particular book, the views of whites are presented as sufficient--more than adequate--to represent all of humanity, in this case, women. The views and values of white women, I contend, cannot possibly represent "women" globally, or even women in the West, or, even, WHITE women in the West, for the same reasons I state above about men writing about men.

Because most women experience white supremacy in a way that white women do not: as a source of subjugation and oppression, marginalisation and lack of status and prestige. Whiteness doesn't carry the stigma or enforced denigration of status and social standing, in white male supremacist societies, that being "of color" does.

For the structure and content of the book, see below. And note the cost: $190. I know many books designed only to be read by white academics are this expensive. But that is a problem, isn't it? Clearly this book is not intended to be read by poor people, who are, of the literate people in the world, the vast majority. Not only are most literate people not wealthy, but they are also not white. This collection is a product of the white male supremacist academic system. Yes, it deeply and seriously challenges white male supremacy and domination in many ways. And it may well be an excellent book for this reason. But it reinforces this notion that feminism is white. And that is a serious and oppressive problem, in the view of this blogger. Below the information about the book, and its contents, are as series of images, of most of the contributors to this volume. I speak more about that later.

I cannot comprehend how an anthology on any subject, but here on philosophy, could be published with any sense of racial ethics or social responsibility, while completely ignoring and invisibilising Asian, Latina, Indigenous, Arab, and non-African American Black women's philosophical and political viewpoints and intellectual contributions. There is still an old white men's club, that works well to keep women's voices out. There is, here, an old white women's club that does the same with women of color. Intentionally or not, this is oppressive and harmful to women: women of color. And feminism, as I understand it, opposes, challenges, confronts and resists those social forces that harm women-as-women. To centralise white women as "women" is to turn women of color into non-women, and to pretend that they are only raced, not gendered, or that race, itself, isn't gendered. Why is white supremacy still being protected and privileged by whites? That question needs some more white people thinking on it and writing about what they conclude.

Feminist Theory - a Philosophical Anthology


Published by:
John Wiley & Sons (UK)



Feminist Theory: A Philosophical Anthology addresses seven philosophically significant questions regarding feminism, its central concepts of sex and gender, and the project of centering women’s experience.
  • Topics include the nature of sexist oppression, the sex/gender distinction, how gender-based norms influence conceptions of rationality, knowledge, and scientific objectivity, feminist ethics, feminst perspectives on self and autonomy, whether there exist distinct feminine moral perspectives, and what would comprise true liberation.
  • Features an introductory overview illustrating the development of feminism as a philosophical movement
  • Contains both classic and contemporary sources of feminist thought, including selections by Mary Wollstonecraft, John Stuart Mill, Simone de Beauvior, Kate Millett, bell hooks, Marilyn Frye, Martha Nussbaum, Louise Antony, Sally Haslanger, Helen Longino, Marilyn Friedman, Catharine MacKinnon, and Drucilla Cornell.


Ann E. Cudd is Professor of Philosophy and Director of Women’s Studies at the University of Kansas. She is co-editor of Theorizing Backlash: Philosophical Reflections on the Resistance to Feminism (with Anita Superson, 2002).

Robin O. Andreasen is Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Women’s Studies at the University of Delaware. Her work has been featured in many journals including The British Journal of Philosophy of Science, Philosophy of Science, and Biology and Philosophy.

[Julian is pressing pause here.] Before we get into the details of the table of contents, let's make sure we see what has happened thus far. Here are the co-editors, who selected the rest of the material in this book:

[photo of Ann Cudd is from here]

[photo of Robin Andreasen is from here

Mary Wollstonecraft, John Stuart Mill, Simone de Beauvoir, Kate Millett, Catharine A. MacKinnon, Marilyn Frye: all quite white. Marilyn Frye is one of the few white radical feminists who addresses "race" as the problem of "whiteness", and "racism" as a serious problem in white feminism. MacKinnon routinely and regularly confronts the premises and practices of white male supremacy, including by addressing how women of color are impacted by it. As noted above, I do have a problem with one of her essays on "White Women" but generally, as white writers go, I find her work to address racism as a problem for women, and, in my read of her work, anyway, she doesn't invisbilise women of color. She understands and writes about women of color as being centrally within the population of people harmed by male supremacy: women.

But none of the others listed just above are known for addressing women of color, for even noticing women of color in any centralising, prominent way--as if women of color's humanity must be known to discuss matters pertinent to and about "humanity". This is racism, folks. Now, on with the table of contents, and then on with the images of these contributors.  
[I now unpress pause.]

Table of Contents


I. What is Feminism?.
1. Of the Pernicious Effects Which Arise From the Unnatural Distinctions Established in Society: Mary Wollstonecraft.
2. The Subjection of Women: John Stuart Mill.
3. Introduction from The Second Sex: Simone de Beauvoir.
4. Theory of Sexual Politics: Kate Millett.
5. Black Women: Shaping Feminist Theory: bell hooks.

II. What is Sexism?.
6. Sexism: Ann E. Cudd and Leslie E. Jones.
7. Oppression: Marilyn Frye.
8. Five Faces of Oppression: Iris Marion Young.
9. On Psychological Oppression: Sandra Bartky.

III. What is Gender?.
10. Pre-theoretical Assumptions in Evolutionary Explanations of Female Sexuality: Elisabeth A. Lloyd.
11. Natures and Norms: Louise M. Antony.
12. Subjects of Sex/Gender/Desire: Judith Butler.
13. Gender and Race: (What) Are They? (What) Do We Want Them to Be?”: Sally Haslanger.

IV. Is Knowledge Gendered?.
14. The Man of Reason: Genevieve Lloyd.
15. Feminist Epistemology: An Interpretation and a Defense: Elizabeth Anderson.
16. Can There Be a Feminist Science?: Helen E. Longino.
17. Rethinking Standpoint Epistemology: What is "Strong Objectivity”?: Sandra Harding.

V. Is Value Gendered?.
18. The Need for More Than Justice: Annette C. Baier.
19. An Ethic of Care: Joan Tronto.
20. Vulnerability and the Moral Nature of Dependency Relations: Eva Feder Kittay.
21. Feminist Contractarianism: Jean Hampton.
22. Women and Cultural Universals: Martha C. Nussbaum.

VI. What is a Self?.
23. Autonomy and Identity in Feminist Thinking: Jean Grimshaw.
24. Autonomy, Social Disruption, and Women: Marilyn Friedman.
25. Forgetting Yourself: Anita L. Allen.
26. Outliving Oneself: Susan Brison.

VII. What Would Liberation Be?.
27. Conclustion from The Second Sex: Simone de Beauvoir.
28. Difference and Dominance: On Sex Discrimination: Catharine A. MacKinnon.
29. Toward a Humanist Justice: Susan Moller Okin.
30. Feminism, Utopianism, and the Role of the Ideal in Political Philosophy: Drucilla Cornell.

*          *          *

One needn't look any more deeply into the text than to see the races of the vast majority of contributors (all but two are white) to determine that it is racist. This is institutional racism at least: the racism found in the white male supremacist academy, in white male supremacist publishing, and in Western philosophy and other fields of white intellectual investigation such as the West's humanities and social sciences. But before I say more, I want to make sure that my hunch is right: that most, if not all of the contributors selected by two white editors, are also white. So let's have a look at the contributors, to see if we can discern any "race issues" here:

 [photo of Leslie Jones is from here]

[photo of Iris Marion Young is from here

[photo of Sandra Bartky is from here]

[photo of Elisabeth A. Lloyd is from here]

No photo of Louise M. Antony was found by me.

[photo of Judith Butler is from here]

[photo of Sally Haslanger is from here]

No photo of Genevieve Lloyd was found, but she's white (Austrian).

[photo of Elizabeth Anderson is from here]

[photo of Helen E. Longino is from here]

[photo of Sandra Harding is from here]

Photo of Annette C. Baier not found, but she's a white New Zealander.

[photo of Joan Tronto is from here]

[photo of Eva Feder Kittay is from here]

[photo of Jean Hampton, who very sadly died far too young, is from here

[photo of Martha C. Nussbaum is from here.
Don't let the last name fool you: her upbringing is as U.S. WASPy as it gets.]

No photo of Jean Grimshaw was found.

[photo of Marilyn Friedman, who is white and Jewish, is from here]

[photo of Anita L. Allen is from here]

[photo of Susan Brison is from here]

[photo of the late Susan Moller Okin is from here]

[photo of Drucilla Cornell is from here]

I think that a book that is so well organised around the ideas and perspectives of whites cannot help but be racist and white supremacist. And I feel exactly the same way about books by men: they cannot and do not represent or speak for "humanity", but they do, far more than they wish to acknowledge, tell us a lot about "manity". Not enough in a self-critical voice, but a lot. All of this is why I try to centralise the experiences, analysis, philosophies, and politics of women of color on this blog. Because I do want to know what is happening to humanity, and how oppressed humans are contending with this harm and horror.

Boobquake's Het Male Supremacist Seismic Aftershocks: be careful where you cyber-step

slavery.jpg Slavery image by polaff

[image is from here. You can click on it to see the smaller text.]

It is so typical of white societies to discuss things like this ad nauseam, while millions of children and women die and suffer from marital or date rape, men beating up women, lack of clean water, or lack of health care, being bombed or raped by white country's leaders' coloniser-by-proxy soldiers, or due to the lack of so much that white men have, globally. It's so damned typical. Economic-social-political privilege does many things; making some human beings utterly unaware and callous to the suffering of others is high on the list, in my view.

Witness the sputtering and mutterings of Jacobus van Beverningk, following the utterly misogynist terminology of an "evolved" man named Jerry A. Coyne, who penned a book and, now a website, titled Why Evolution is True. How egotistically emphatic we whiteboys are about our truths!! Have you noticed?

What follows is from *here*. Warning, you are entering a zone where white men and all our privileges are fully engorged. Tread carefully. Or, rather, just stomp on anything that looks too egotistically engorged. First, the initial post by Jerry A. Coyne, who does, I'll admit, try and do something good here. And he does quote from a feminist blogger who does speak to the issues rather effectively. Too bad Jerry doesn't get the following:

-- That making fun of an Islamic Iranian cleric is oh-so-easy when you ignore the misogyny of your own culture's dominant faith traditions. (We can't have cultural self-reflection and accountability. No, no, no. That's not how white het male supremacy works AT ALL.) (Yes, there's plenty that's grossly misogynistic and loaded up with sexist double-standards that cleric Sedighi reportedly said. And I feel no need to protect him from criticism. My issue is this: white Christian-cultured men always find it very profitable to their egos and stature to put down men of color around the world, as if white Western men are god's gift to aetheistically and scientifically understood human life.

-- Or that using a term like "blag hag" isn't helpful to the cause of ending misogyny.

-- Or that putting down radical feminists as "priests" isn't funny either. As if radical feminists organised, ruled, and maintain a centuries old religious institution for the primary purpose or raping children and nuns. Oh, wait. He said "acolytes", not "altar boys". That means he's Anglican or Episcopalian. My bad.

As for Dworkin, other radical feminists, and myself lacking senses of humor. Hardly. He clearly hasn't read a damn thing Dworkin has written, or he'd get how funny she is, about the stupidity of white men's logic. (Funny. White men don't laugh about that.)

Here's a good one, boys:

Q: What's the quickest way to a man's heart?
A: Through his chest.

Misogynist white het doods, why aren't you laughing? Oh, right. Antifeminist men have no sense of humor. Moving on to Jerry's words of attempted wisdom:


Okay, we all know that Blag Hag (Jen McCreight) had the bright idea of “Boobquake,” a way to make fun of a Muslim cleric’s accusation that immodestly dressed females cause earthquakes.  Jen jokingly suggested a “scientific” experiment in which women would test this hypothesis by showing their breasts today on the internet and looking for an increase in seismic activity. (Actually, this isn’t really a test of the cleric’s idea, since he blamed earthquakes on the adultery attendant on display of boobage):
“Many women who do not dress modestly … lead young men astray, corrupt their chastity and spread adultery in society, which (consequently) increases earthquakes,” Hojatoleslam Kazem Sedighi was quoted as saying by Iranian media.
Regardless, the idea has been taken up with approbation by some of my favorite bloggers, including P.Z., erv, and Russell Blackford.  How do I feel?

I can’t get behind it.

Call me humorless, call me a militant pro-feminist, call me a prude—call me what you want, but somehow the idea of women mocking religion by showing their breasts comes perilously close to making points through sexuality instead of through good arguments and brains. (Just imagine how tepid the response would be if, in the same cause, all of us male bloggers decided to show ourselves in jockstraps).  The predictably leering response of men, who of course have tendered enthusiastic thanks for the mammaries, just confirms this suspicion.

What’s worse is that some women who don’t want to participate in this affair have been derided as anti-sex.  Even Russell Blackford took this tack:
Unfortunately, there was a lot of 1980s pseudo-feminism that took a similar attitude to that of Christianity and Islam, problematising displays of female beauty and even expressing disgust with heterosexuality itself. The worst offender was the egregious Andrea Dworkin – who died relatively young back in 2005. In her case, good riddance. These pseudo-feminists merely use feminist-sounding language to rationalise the religion-based anti-sex morality into which they were socialised. But they lack the self-insight to understand that it’s what they’re doing.
Look, Russell, if you really think that male and female bodies are both beautiful, why do you suppose that this event is getting much more publicity than would a similar display of male skin? Do you think CNN would be all over the event if it was men who were showing their junk? Of course not—and you know why.
And do you really want to tar women who object to selling ideas with sex as acolytes of Andrea Dworkin?  That’s simply unfair.  Some women don’t want to bare their mammae, and NOT because they have a “religion based anti-sex morality”; they simply have good reason to think that in the long run such stunts will hinder women being taken seriously as thinkers and colleagues.

I have to agree with the take of Miranda Hale at Exquisite With Love,  who is an atheist and a feminist, but won’t be doffing her duds today:
The idea is fantastic and well-intentioned. It points out both the ridiculousness of the cleric’s claim and the despicable and harmful practice of blaming all sorts of horrible things (including sexual assault) on women.
However, the great majority of the responses to this effort have been anything but fantastic. Instead, it has inspired, primarily at its Facebook event page, many comments of the “show us your tits!” or “Dude, awesome, I’ll get to see some boob photos on Monday” variety. And, for some reason, women are complying. They’re posting photos of their cleavage and men are responding with “awesome boobs!”, etc. The Facebook event page has almost 200,000 “attendees” and the effort has received a great deal of media coverage. And that’s all well and good, but how many of these individuals are actually concerned with raising awareness of this issue? Very, very few, I’d say.
Sure, one can assert that the event has been unfairly “hijacked” by the men who are reacting in this way, but this response wasn’t hard to predict. And although the men making these types of comments are solely responsible for the attitudes expressed in them, why provide them with fodder? I understand that this is intended to be a lighthearted attempt to point out the ridiculousness and stupidity of the assertions made by the cleric, but that intention has been completely buried under a constant stream of “show us your tits” comments. . .
. . . Let’s dress however we want to, let’s be as modest or as immodest as we choose, and let’s use our sexuality however we see fit. It’s all about choice. If Boobquake is your kind of thing, then, by all means, enjoy it. But don’t stop there. Write about these issues. Raise consciousness about them. Speak out against the “show us your tits” reactions. And please don’t pretend that merely showing as much cleavage as possible is somehow making any kind of difference. It’s not.
If it doesn’t make a difference in promoting atheism and mocking faith, what good is it? It’s just Playboy on the internet.

UPDATE:  Ceiling Cat weighs in.


  1. Stan Clark
    Posted April 26, 2010 at 2:47 pm | Permalink
    This stupid idea could have exactly the opposite effect that was intended. As we all know, there has been a substantial amount of seismic activity in recent weeks, and there may well be more. If that happens, then the idiot clerics will claim the earthquakes resulting from the showing of tits on the internet as evidence for their position. What a dumb-ass box to put ourselves into.

    • Posted April 26, 2010 at 2:53 pm | Permalink
      Then we can very calmly try to explain plate tectonics to them. But for now, let’s just laugh at them.

    • MadScientist
      Posted April 26, 2010 at 4:11 pm | Permalink
      Don’t be silly – if it works they can tell Iran to drop its nuclear fuel refinement program and just buy fuel from the Russians or else they will flatten Tehran (though our diplomats would prefer they bought from us – not even the French are an acceptable supplier).

  2. steve oberski
    Posted April 26, 2010 at 2:52 pm | Permalink
    Unfortunately there is a dearth of Muslim clerics chastising young men for dressing immodestly.

    • Posted April 27, 2010 at 4:22 pm | Permalink
      Indeed. But Jerry is wrong about a tepid response if it was about men scantily clad. In fact, Rebecca Watson offered, very tongue-in-cheek, an “alternate theory” to the one of the Iranian guy:
      Obviously, for her, the latest tectonic catastrophe, that volcano eruption in Iceland, was caused by Matt Smith getting naked in the premiere of Doctor Who! And she asked for more such exhibitions if we are to test the theory!

  3. Jacobus van Beverningk
    Posted April 26, 2010 at 2:53 pm | Permalink
    I’m afraid you’re right: you are humorless.
    Of course it attracts ‘show me your tits’ remarks, but that’s just a minor price to pay for the greater good.
    The main purpose was to get this religious stupidity greater audience attention and get people to talk about it.
    If that takes showing some innocent cleavage (NOBODY has shown her breasts!), so be it.
    To then start about whether this constitutes demeaning women, etc, is missing the point entirely.
    The intent was to raise awareness about religious stupidity. It worked. It worked VERY well.
    You REALLY think you can get through to this particular cleric through “good arguments and brains”?
    Trying that would be utterly pointless.
    Mockery is called for here!
    Call him a kook, stick out your tongue, or show some innocent cleavage. Who cares.

    • Posted April 26, 2010 at 3:02 pm | Permalink
      What’s your evidence that it’s “worked very well”? Sure, it has garnered attention, but that doesn’t automatically imply consciousness-raising.
      And do you think that this event has actually affected this particular cleric? Or that he cares about it in the least?

      • MadScientist
        Posted April 26, 2010 at 4:08 pm | Permalink
        I wouldn’t expect the cleric to become any less stupid, but this reinforces the notion that you shouldn’t believe the stupid things these self-proclaimed holy men say.

      • Jacobus van Beverningk
        Posted April 26, 2010 at 4:54 pm | Permalink
        “What’s your evidence”
        Isn’t that obvious? All the comments on the various blogs about the issue, by people revealing that they were not aware of this cleric’s statement, and now they are. And horrified by it. Didn’t you read those comments? Can’t believe you had to ask.
        “do you think that this event has actually affected this particular cleric”
        No, of course not, nobody does. That’s part of the point! You CAN’T ‘affect’ this guy. So mock him. If that’s not your style, fine. But don’t deny a few folks with some innocent tongue-in-cheek counter action some fun.

        • Posted April 28, 2010 at 8:26 am | Permalink
          So the “smart” white guy doesn’t get it about why this whole response and attendant gawking and stupidity by white het men isn’t harmful to women.
          Hmmm. I’m about as surprised by that as I am that the cleric wouldn’t be transformed by the reactions to his comments.
          Of course it’s all just unserious fun and good ol’ mockery to you.
          You’re not part of the group who is harassed and groped in public by heterosexual men trained to “take what they want” from women. Why, I bet your response to me even saying that is “women don’t experience that!!!”. Right. Little do you know what women around the world, and even exclusively in the West, experience. Very little do you know.
          You can’t see the connections between promoting the objectification of women’s bodies, again, and again, and again, and the advertising and pornography industries which use up and toss out pimped girls who become women who become too old (say, 25) to be considered “profitable”. You don’t get the overlap with that and trafficking, and with trafficking and sexual slavery. And guess what, Jacobus van Beverningk, you don’t have to.
          Yes, in your “lucky” white man world, all phenomena exist “discretely”, independent of one another.
          Meanwhile, for women of color around the world, this is not how the world works at all. But what the hell would you know? You’re just a silly white dude, who pretends to be smarter than intelligence itself.
          So please own the position of privilege and statused being from which you speak, sir. Because you are a minority in this world, white man, and you don’t speak for the majority. You just get to have the arrogance and ego of a god, if not the knowledge and wisdom presumed to exist in concocted monotheistic gods, or any other kind.
          This is not a theist writing to you, so don’t get your underpants in a twist over some religious nut critiquing you. I despise patriarchal and theistic religion.
          Why don’t you show some concern about sexual slavery, sir? Isn’t that reality more important to address than you spouting off about how harmless and productively fun “boobquake” is?
          Oh, right, you’re a privileged ignorant-arrogant white man who gets to ignore and deny atrocities if they don’t negatively impact white men like yourself. How could I forget?
          Tell me, smart sir, how many people–disproportionately children and women of color–not white men like you, right now, are being trafficked across the globe and within various systems of sexist exploitation and violation, with no human rights at all, by pimps for procurers who think it is ethical to sell and purchase human beings so they might stick their dicks in them?
          Oh, how unfunny it all gets when we’re asked to focus on something of import. So sorry to ruin your good times.