White Ribbon Day Links Roundup

white-ribbon-day.jpg

Today is White Ribbon Day, when it’s the menfolks’ turn to demonstrate all over the world against domestic violence and pledge to be better people. To that end, I have the following links for you to peruse and enjoy:

First up, at We Hunted the Mammoth, something to make your blood boil. Paul Fucking Elam, who is most certainly NOT against men beating up women, is now accusing the Australian White Ribbon Campaign of fraud. Considering that his own Menz Rightzer fake White Ribbon site is an actual fraud, this either the world’s sickest joke, or else Paulie is a masochist, just begging to be dragged into a court of law. Stay tuned, this one’s gonna get ugly.

Next, the Toronto Star has a couple of hopeful notes for us: Jian Ghomeshi has dropped his chutzpah-laden $55 million suit against his former employer, CBC. He’s now on the hook for at least $18,000 in legal expenses. No word on when and how he plans to “directly address” the accusations of all the women who say he abused them. Meanwhile, another famous female-abuser, Bill Cosby, remains silent as ever, but his biographer has stepped up to apologize for not addressing the assault allegations against the former voice of Fat Albert. No word on whether any revisions are planned. (The book might sell markedly better if it included them, IMO.)

Also at the Star, something less hopeful: One of the NDP MPs who was sexually assaulted by a Liberal counterpart has come out with more details of the incident, involving Massimo Pacetti. She describes it as “sex without explicit consent”. Uh, that would be rape, would it not? Meanwhile, the other Liberal MP accused of sexual assault, Scott Andrews, allegedly groped his victim’s crotch and verbally harassed her. More still to come? Bet on it.

Back to the Ghomeshi case, and the Financial Post has some interesting predictions of what is likely to happen now that the wrongful-dismissal suit (which Ghomeshi wasn’t even legally entitled to file, as a unionized media personage) has been dropped.

Meanwhile, in Ireland, a member of their parliament has come out in favor of barring Julien Blanc entry so he can’t teach Irishmen the not-so-fine “art” of grabbing women by the throat and mashing their faces into one’s crotch. Billy Kelleher, the health spokesman for his party, has called Blanc “sick and abusive” and hints strongly at following the British example and denying Blanc a work visa.

And finally, back to Australia, where Victoria’s police commissioner, Ken Lay, has told it like it is, calling Julien Blanc “sexually insecure” and drawing parallels between him and the domestic abusers that his own police officers have seen all too many of already. Looks like Australia did right in drop-kicking his ass out of country, eh?

Calle 13: Shut out at the Latin Grammys for political involvement?

calle-13-missing.jpg

Did this t-shirt cost René Pérez (at left) a TV appearance? If his remarks are any indication, then the answer may well be yes:

“They asked me not to talk about Ayotzinapa,” said René Pérez, vocalist of Calle 13, last Thursday morning, after receiving a Latin Grammy award. Although he didn’t indicate anyone in particular, he added: “It seems they suspected it, it seems to me irresponsible that they would have told me that.”

Calle 13 was nominated for nine Grammies, but lost in all the categories that were televised. In the event that he had won, René thought he would use the moment of his acceptance speech to speak of the 43 vanished students of Iguala (Mexico), nearly two months ago.

Since he didn’t win, “El Residente” posted to social networks a screen capture from his cellphone of the rough draft, complete with annotations for improvisation, of the speech he wanted to give during the awards ceremony, transmitted by TNT.

“Above all, I want to give my support to the families and friends of the 43 students who disappeared in Mexico. We are fed up with things like this going on.” And he followed up with an annotation for improvisation: “Maybe ask other artists to join the cause, to demonstrate.”

On the same network, René shared a photo of Rubén Blades, who had joined the call for justice wearing the same black t-shirt René Pérez had also worn, with the slogan: “Ayotzinapa is missing 43″.

“El Residente” was also thinking of devoting some time to the unity as a nation of Puerto Rico, and a short message to US President Obama in favor of freedom for Óscar López Rivera.

In the draft of the speech, one could also read: “Today, November 20, there is a demonstration in Madrid for Ayotzinapa, concerning state crimes and disappearances in Mexico. There was also a demonstration in Mexico, and other places.”

Calle 13 did not win any prizes that night. However, although it did not win in any of the televised categories, it took two awards in the previous ceremony.

Translation mine.

René Pérez’s political activism is turning him into one helluva big rock in the well-polished shoes of the Latin music industry. He’s the most popular rapper in all of Latin America and the Caribbean, and the most outspoken. He’s turned out, musically and personally, for Puerto Rican independence, against the FBI (for its brutal execution of Puerto Rican independence activist Filiberto Ojeda Ríos), in favor of the late Hugo Chávez, and against the mad materialism of the 21st century. He’s not shy about using public appearances to promote political causes; he has often worn his politics on his t-shirt at concerts and award ceremonies. And now this…a shirt reminding everyone, most inconveniently, of the 43 Mexican students who are still missing, presumed dead, and the protests still going on over this.

As the Iguala police have literally gallons of blood on their hands (they handed the politically active university students over to drug traffickers, who executed them and disposed of their bodies, allegedly in a huge bonfire and mass graves), this sort of thing would have been a major downer, at least for those who like to pretend that Latino music is only about celebrating life, with a peppering of ay-ay-ay and cha-cha-cha. The fact that it is also intensely political, and has been for centuries, is something no music industry honcho wants to be reminded of anymore. All they want is to rake in the Yanqui dinero, undisturbed by so much as a peep about the contentious politics of a very fractious region.

Little wonder, then, that El Residente didn’t win in any category that would have allowed him to get up in front of the TV cameras and actually open his big, badass mouth.

The ironies of the Venezuelan opposition, part 55

caracas-music-festival.jpg

“All set for the Caracas Music Festival!” (Note the old seven-star flag, being held upside down. The current Venezuelan flag has eight stars. What decade is this, again? With the oppos, it’s always yesterday once more. Shooby-doo-lang-lang.)

Good evening, world, and welcome to yet another fine edition of VenOpIronía. Today’s installment: How to commit auto-suicide. Sounds a bit redundant, yes? Yes, it is — but it’s the only word that fits when this happens:

Hooded protesters gathered on Sunday afternoon at Plaza Francia, Caracas, causing security forces to appear on site and suspend the 6th annual Reading Festival.

The protest was organized by United Active Youth of Venezuela (JAVU), who informed of their activity on Twitter.

The municipal police tried to prevent the demonstrators from blocking Francisco de Miranda Avenue and decided to temporarily suspend the Reading Festival in order to prevent that.

The demonstration was criticized by [opposition] personages such as Leonardo Padrón, Sumito Estevez and Ibéyise Pacheco, generating controversy on the social network.

Leonardo Padrón tweeted: “The protest at Plaza Altamira ruined the close of the Reading Festival, it’s an exercise in sovereign stupidity.”

Sumito “El Cheff” Estevez wrote: “Don’t try to paint the stupidity of these little kids forcing the closure of the fair a few minutes ago as heroic.

“Don’t go to the book fair at Altamira. They just advised me that the guarimberos closed it. Obviously, my two events are suspended.”

Ibéyise Pacheco wrote: “This protest today looks just like an ‘auto-suicide’.”

Clearly, these personages protested because their interests are under attack. They should have screamed to high heaven when 43 Venezuelans fell dead at the hands of these same guarimberos.

Translation mine.

I can’t imagine why a book fair located in an upscale, mostly opposition sector of Caracas could have brought these right-wing hoodlums out to “protest”. Maybe they were hoping to kill their own cultural stars and fob the blame off on Chavistas, as usual?

Oh, probably. Only problem is, they wound up alienating their own.

Suddenly, all the right-wing media figures are scrambling to distance themselves from JAVU. The same who were silent about JAVU’s violence in recent months, when 43 Venezuelans died, are now squealing like piggies because they got their little literary shindig shut down…by JAVU. It’s especially rich that Ibéyise Pacheco, who made something of a name for herself in 2002, calling for a future “without Chávez, of course” every night on the TV news right before the April coup went down, finally got a taste of her own putschist medicine.

And I…cannot stop laughing at the stupidity and ineptitude of them all.

Music for a Sunday: It’s like a new emotion

Wonderfully minimalist stuff from 30 years ago (yes, really — it’s been THAT long!) And it still sounds fresh and new. Annie’s vocal attack is the very definition of sui generis.

Terrorism strikes again in Táchira

burning-corpoelec-truck.jpg

A truck belonging to the national electric company was set on fire this afternoon in San Cristóbal, capital of the Venezuelan state of Táchira, by hooded vandals. Here’s the story, via Aporrea:

A vehicle registered to the Venezuelan national electric company, Corpoelec, which was at the Catholic University of Táchira in San Cristóbal to serve the student community, was hijacked and burned in front of the university’s main building, located in the La Guayana sector of the city.

According to Major-General Efraín Velasco Lugo, Commandant of the Strategic Integral Development Region of Los Andes, the terrorist act was carried out by a group of approximately 40 hooded individuals, who at around 1:00 p.m. tried to cut off the neighboring roadways to the university and attacked persons passing through the sector with rocks and firecrackers.

Velasco Lugo said that when security officers arrived at the scene to re-establish order, the hooded men hid in the office building, taking advantage of the respect for university autonomy that exists in the land.

Velasco Lugo also mentioned that they tried several times to exit the university to provoke chaos and that they were unable to do so in the face of the effective response of the police and military officers. They then opted to hijack the Corpoelec vehicle which was there, take it out in front of the university, and burn it, around 5:00 p.m.

Velasco Lugo stated that the way these hooded men acted follows the same pattern of the violent, terrorist acts which occurred during March and April of this year, when there were guarimbas in Táchira, which affected all of the local residents.

Major-General Velasco Lugo doubts that students were the ones responsible for promoting these actions, saying that these were infiltrators, and for that reason, he invited the university community to join in the eradication of violence in their schools, and to denounce those who try to use the image of the university to generate chaos.

The commandant reiterated that he would not allow these disturbing actions to occur, and ratified his commitment to guarantee peace and order to benefit all the people of Táchira.

Translation mine.

Ah yes, that ever-peaceful and democratic Venezuelan opposition. Yet again, when confronted with their own failure, they reach for the ol’ guarimba. Will they stop at nothing to achieve their peaceful, democratic, public-spirited goals?

Icelandic funnyman wants to mack on Julien Blanc. Dafuq?

julien-blanc-macked.jpg

Squeal like a pig!

While Ireland is working hard to make sure Julien Blanc doesn’t get so much as a look-in on their green and rugged turf, a very different situation seems to be brewing in a country just one letter different. In Iceland, comedian Hugleikur Dagsson, of Reykjavík, has other ideas. Instead of keeping him out, argues “Hulli”, why not chase him out…the same way he chases women?

I do not think we should prevent him from coming here. Barring people from coming here is stupid. Why make a martyr out of him? Scumbags like him are always the first ones to celebrate censorship and deportation. Because fuckwits like him like to pretend they are the true champions of freedom of speech, and use that rhetoric ad nauseam to justify the diarrhoea that flows from their throats so freely. If we deny him entry, he’ll brag about it on Twitter and probably get loads of retweets from a sad army of braindead, semen-reeking, backwards-baseball-cap-wearing humanoids. He’ll be a hero among skunks and shitheels, and this is what he wants. Let’s not do him that favour.

[…]

I’m now speaking to the men of Iceland: It’s time we use our privilege for good. Chauvinists like this creature are almost without exception homophobic. They fear nothing more than someone treating them like they treat women.

I say we hit on Julien Blanc. Every single one of us.

If we see him in the street, we’ll give him a wink. Whistle at him. If we meet him at a bar, let’s pinch his ass. Blow him a kiss. I urge every male reporter to stroke his thighs while interviewing him. I urge every large man to tell him what a purdy mouth he has. I urge every male bartender to whisper in his ear how much they want to be inside of him.

I think this will be the funniest thing ever. Let’s not help him feel like a hero. Let’s make him feel like the one thing he most despises. Let’s make him feel like a chick.

I have to admit, I kinda-sorta hope somebody does that and catches it on video, and posts it to YouTube for the world to see. It’s not like he doesn’t have it coming. Julien Blanc’s biggest humiliation would be good for a laugh and a half. And it would be nice to think that he might learn a bit of empathy by seeing what it feels like to have his own throat grabbed on the streets of cute little Reykjavík without warning, or his own puny head forced into some strapping, red-bearded Viking descendant’s big, sweaty ol’ crotch.

But at the same time, assault is still assault, and even if it’s funny to the rest of us just to imagine it, the eyes of the law might see it very differently. I don’t know what the legal situation is in Iceland regarding assault, but an international incident is really not the best way to squelch him.

Worse, it probably won’t teach Julien Fucking Blanc a thing. He’s beyond help. He will NEVER learn to respect women, not even if he’s placed in the same position as one by a dude brawny enough to fold him up and tuck him in the ticket pocket of his lumberjack jeans. He will always hate them, and that will guarantee his endless, epic failure with them, no matter what he does, and no matter how much he charges to tell men differently. World without end, amen.

Happily, nobody but RSD’s little ass-barnacles (and the occasional contrarian media idiot) is seeing him as a “martyr”. Most people, once they know what bag Julien Blanc comes out of, have no problem with barring their nation’s doors to him. Because who wants a violent criminal, who also promotes violent crime for big bucks, on their soil?

And besides, he’s a colossal wimp. Canada didn’t even have to formally bar him; the mere existence of a couple of popular petitions against him, plus a smattering of unfavorable news reports, was enough to make all RSD’s odious stable of pickup coaches cancel their dates here. Not to mention that his tweeter’s still on lockdown, and likely to remain so for the duration. I’d say that the simple, nonviolent use of our own free speech to expose this nest of cockroaches* to light was sufficient to send them scuttling.

And we didn’t even have to ask any big, strong machos to sacrifice their heterosexuality for it, either.

*Apologies to actual cockroaches for the odious comparison. And thanks to Hulli for the mental imagery!

Sexual assault in Canada: some statistics and grim facts

YWCA-sex-assault-infographic.jpg

That works out to just 1,380 convictions per year, with 458,620 assailants walking. Shocking, innit?

And for how that fits into the experiences of women in the criminal justice system as a whole, here’s StatsCan’s most recent data.

Dear Emma Teitel and Maclean’s: Don’t tell me how to feminist, and I won’t tell you how to journalist.

stfu-kindly.jpg

You tell ‘em, kitty.

Every so often, I get to wondering why I haven’t picked up a copy of Maclean’s in years. And then I do, and I’m instantly, disgustingly reminded: Oh yeah, Barbara Amiel is still writing for them. Booooooring. And so are her little clones. Like, for instance, one Emma Teitel, who thinks it’s time we big bad meanie feminists stopped picking on pickup artists, just because she felt sorry for some poor little pizza-faced kid who once accosted her at the Eaton Centre:

About a year ago I was walking through the Eaton Centre mall in downtown Toronto when a teenage boy approached me and asked me very meekly if he could have a few minutes of my time. I said sure, assuming that he was working for a charity and hadn’t had much luck attracting donors during rush hour in the dead of winter. (I did a similar, soul-crushing job in college.) I waited for his pitch about poverty, child soldiers or land mines, but it never came. Instead, he told me how “cool” my glasses were and asked me if I had a boyfriend. It became instantly clear that he didn’t want a donation; he wanted a date. I told him I was a lesbian in a hurry (my go-to exit strategy with street preachers) and I was soon on my way—confused about why a teenage boy would so boldly pursue a four-eyed woman in a ski jacket 10 years his senior, but flattered nonetheless.

It wasn’t until the next morning that I realized my age and attire were irrelevant to the equation, because my adolescent suitor didn’t have eyes for me; he had eyes for literally any woman with a pulse. According to multiple news outlets, Toronto’s biggest downtown shopping mall had recently become ground zero for so-called pickup artists (PUAs as they are known online), a loosely connected international community of guys who share seduction tips with each other on the Internet and take to the streets to “woo” as many unsuspecting women as humanly possible. Their techniques range from corny (showering women with compliments) to cruel: “Negging,” a PUA technique popularized by American pickup artist and journalist Neil Strauss in his 2005 book, The Game, consists of showering women with low-grade insults. According to Urban Dictionary, “negs” are “meant to undermine the self-confidence of a woman so she might be more vulnerable to your advances.” (An example, used frequently by my own grandmother: “Wow, you have beautiful eyes. It’s a shame I can barely see them behind your bangs.”)

The Eaton Centre, obviously displeased with the fact that some of its female shoppers were being subjected to this bizarre breed of socially awkward male interference, issued a statement on Twitter alerting customers about the PUA presence on its premises. “Rest assured security is briefed and your health and safety are our top priority,” mall staff tweeted before Christmas last year.

The pickup artist who tried and failed to woo me on account of my cool glasses was, as far as I could tell, a threat to nobody’s health and safety. In fact, I felt a little sorry for the guy. Spending one’s free time trying to engage strangers romantically in a shopping mall doesn’t merely reveal an absence of social grace, but quite possibly, an absence of friends.

Gawd, it sure is windy out there in beautiful downtown Toronto today, eh? But wait, here comes something that looks like a nut graf…finally:

But it is no longer socially acceptable to pity the PUAs, because they are apparently—in these socially divisive, Ghomeshi-saturated times—a viable threat to the feminist cause. That cause has been active against the PUA culture, and has borne fruit. For example, Julien Blanc, the 25-year-old pickup artist of the PUA organization Real Social Dynamics—and author of such promotional gems as: “Develop panty-dropping masculinity with this rock-solid structure to self-generate the powerful emotions girls crave”—was banned from Australia this month on the grounds that his dating seminars (for which he charges more than $1,000) incite violence against women. Several petitions asking the Canadian government to bar Blanc from entering Canada are in the works here too; the outcry against him has been so strong on Twitter that Canadian Immigration Minister Chris Alexander issued a statement on the social media platform last week condemning the pickup artist’s teachings, and ensuring the public that his office is “looking at all options and will consider using every tool at our disposal to protect the rule of law on Canadian soil.”

Er. What’s with the “apparently” there, Emma? And what’s with all the sneery commentaries on “these times”? This isn’t some new thing. This is the same old shit that has always been with us. Why are you undermining efforts to stop it?

If a guy walks down the street randomly grabbing women by the throat and shoving their faces into his smelly crotch, do you not see that he’s committing blatant, overt violence against women? Because that is what we feminists oppose, among other manifestations of sexism and the patriarchy.

And if a guy makes it his mission to preach this same violence like it’s some kind of gospel, and make big money at it like Jimmy Fucking Swaggart, do you not see a problem there, one worthy of feminist efforts to expose and eradicate?

Nope, apparently she doesn’t:

Blanc, by comparison, is a sophomoric ass so blatantly trolling the feminist community with idiotic rape jokes and a following that is insignificant in comparison to the number of people speaking out against him. He has 8,200 Twitter followers; the petition to have him barred from entering the U.K. just reached 150,000. In other words, he isn’t Hitler. He’s Stifler. Which makes the current media blitz he’s enjoying all the more annoying. The most ironic thing about Blanc’s notorious hashtag is that the vast majority of people who appear to be using it are feminists. (I searched the hashtag and scrolled down the results for roughly 25 minutes trying to find one tweet that championed the sentiment rather than derided it. I failed.) Were it not for the scores of women using it in their posts to denounce Blanc, it would likely cease to exist.

Huh. I see she bought his “only joking” defence. Poor dear, she doesn’t realize it, but she’s the one being trolled.

Emma, I’m with your grandma. You really do need to pin back your bangs. An unobstructed view of reality is so much better than looking cute but being unable to see past your own cutesiness. When even the stuffy old Torygraph says nobody’s buying that “apology”, doesn’t that tell you anything? Here, let me brush that wool out of your eyes:

Before he locked down his Twitter account (probably because he realized, belatedly, that no one was actually finding his rape “jokes” funny), Julien Blanc was promoting the Duluth Power and Control Wheel as a “checklist” on how to “Make Her Stay With You”.

duluth-power-and-control-wheel.jpg

Does this sound “funny” to you, Emma? Because it’s actually a teaching tool which feminists helped to develop, and which is used by counsellors of abused persons to help them recognize common strategies of control used by abusers. And there is nothing “sophomoric” about that. On the contrary, it speaks to just how controlling, abusive and downright cynical Julien Blanc really is.

But hey! Let’s throw a few bones to the feminists before we throw them to the dogs, eh Emma?

It appears that out of a laudable and deeply felt outrage at a potential injury to women, some in the feminist movement have amplified exactly the misogynistic messages they’d like to snuff out. They’ve effectively become Julien Blanc’s spokeswomen, his PR firm. Kirsty Mac, a feminist and stand-up comic whose activism was instrumental in the decision to ban Blanc from Australia, disagrees with this idea wholeheartedly. “Australia said no to violence against women and the world followed,” Mac wrote to me in an email. “Social media might very well be the beginning of the end of the misogyny in pop culture.”

Drawing attention to a problem in an effort to eradicate it is not the same thing as promoting it, Emma. And knock off that divide-and-conquer shit about “some in the feminist movement”. This is something we can all get behind, and should. As the AIDS activists used to say, Silence = Death. You might want to remember that before you start prattling about nuance.

Oops, too late. She’s prattling about nuance, now…

It is certainly the beginning of the end of nuance. Feminist causes have exploded on Twitter in the last year, from #YesAllWomen (the viral hashtag that emerged in the wake of misogynist murderer Elliot Rodger’s violent rampage in May) to #BeenRaped­NeverReported, the infinitely powerful and informative viral hashtag that emerged in the wake of the sexual assault allegations against former CBC host Jian Ghomeshi in October. The social media movement against “street harassment” (a.k.a. cat calling) is just as lively. So too, whether we like or not, is the backlash against the Rosetta mission scientist Matt Taylor who wore a tasteless shirt on TV during the live broadcast of the comet landing, emblazoned with hundreds of miniature pictures of semi-nude ladies; a problematic message, many argued, in an industry that employs so few women.

These conversations are overdue. Yet the downside to their playing out on social media is the lightning speed at which online feminism has amalgamated sexist offenses of wildly varying severity—pickup artistry, cat-calling, date rape—into one melting pot of equivalency. The result is that the difference between what’s idiotic, what’s lecherous, and what’s criminal is lost.

This is the hapless kind of false equivalency that has infected so many worthy social movements and reduced their stature, with moral persuasion replaced by ideological bullying. The greatest heresy is for anyone, male or female, to suggest that there might be another side to the story—like, for instance, Brandon Thomas, an 18-year-old self-styled pickup artist who lives in Tulsa, Okla., who told me he was virtually friendless before he got involved with the PUA community two years ago. “I had no idea how awkward I was . . . Parents and friends tell you what you want to hear,” he said. “A dating coach tells you what you need to hear.” (He claims that every PUA technique he uses is imbued with respect for women.)

Not all pickup artists are equal; and very few of them are the spawn of the devil. (Most, I suspect, are merely virgins.)

Yes, Emma, and I was a virgin too, once upon a long time ago. But it never turned me into a serial harasser of strangers in shopping malls.

In fact, I was still technically one on the night this one very slick operator, who I thought was my friend, first “rescued” me from his, er, over-enthusiastic roomie, then took me out of their basement apartment, and later, after a few beers, brought me back to my place, ostensibly safe and sound. On my parents’ own living-room floor he made out with me for a couple of minutes. That was fine; he was a buff, good-looking guy, and I kind of fancied him. But then, without warning, he undid his pants, clambered up over me until he was straddling my neck, and popped his half-masted cock into my mouth.

I was so confused that I didn’t know what to do, other than docilely lie there and let him, so as not to risk offending him and maybe getting myself hurt. (Nice Girl Training, goddamn.)

Perhaps he sensed that there was something ironic and not quite kosher about what he was doing, because after a few half-hearted ins and outs, he stopped, put himself away, and zipped up. He left shortly thereafter. I locked the door behind him.

Then I silently slunk upstairs to bed, bewildered and still a little tipsy, and feeling — not violated or traumatized exactly, but still somehow betrayed. Because he had just a few hours ago saved me from getting raped, and I honestly expected him to know better than to do it himself. He could have asked, and I might have said yes.

But he didn’t. And I didn’t. He never gave me that chance.

I never reported this as a sexual assault, because what would have been the use? I can’t say I was injured, because I wasn’t. My technicalities were still intact, and he hadn’t used any overt force. (Overt is the operative word here. And maybe it’s kind of a moot question when someone’s in a position to crush your windpipe merely by sitting his ass down.) Worse, I knew how it would look if I told the cops, my parents, and maybe even a judge and jury everything that happened: “Well, first we made out on the floor…” Who would believe me if I told them that I did not want him to do that, I did not ask him to do that, and I most certainly did not give him permission to do that?

semi-rape.jpg

Not saying “no” does not equal “yes”. But pickup artists don’t teach you that, they teach you the opposite. “Make the ho say no” is just one of their many rapey mottoes. In fact, there is even such a thing in pickup artistry as “rape game”, and yes, that is exactly what you think it is. (Google it. And be sure to take your ulcer meds first.) The entire thing, in fact, is nothing BUT rape, because honesty is not a pickup artist’s strong suit, and especially not when you’re trying to up your notch count by any means possible.

Yes, Emma, nuance is a very important thing. And nowhere more so than in your black-and-white world of “rape rape” versus mere “pickup artistry”, eh?

It is profoundly important for both its relevancy and survival that feminism retain the ability to distinguish between the handsy jerk who pushes his luck on the dance floor, and a man who allegedly assaults women in the presence of a stuffed bear.

And then, to judge them accordingly.

Uh, Emma? In case you forget, Jian Ghomeshi did both. He was, by all accounts, both a pickup artist AND a violator of the law. There is no rule saying you can’t be both. In fact, there is no rule that you can’t smoothly segue from the one to the other. Feminists have long understood that. It’s time you did the same.

And Maclean’s? Yeah, you suck too for publishing this rag-load of hog snot. But I won’t be holding my breath for you to improve. You’ve been full of crap-ass suckitude for the longest time. Nearly ten years ago, as I recall, you published a fluffy, uncritical feature on PUAs, portraying them merely as a titillating, mildly goofy bunch of totally awesome he-men. That article nauseated me then, and still does now. Seems you haven’t yet twigged to the fact that they are, in reality, all scungy-ass woman-haters. Particularly one of your profilees, the PUA who called himself Gunwitch — who turns out to be not only a would-be “ladykiller”, but a bona fide aspiring lady-killer, too.

PUA coaches are worse than the slimiest snake oil salesman. They are not a source of hope for the socially awkward; quite the opposite, actually. Their methods don’t work, except to lure unwary males. And among those poor saps there is many a ticking time bomb. Who can forget the “sexual frustration” of that poor ignored virgin, Elliot Rodger? When he failed to pick up anyone, he churned out a misogynous “manifesto”, then went on a murderous, suicidal rampage.

No, PUAs are not funny. Nor are they harmless. And they are most certainly not a separate entity from violent, even murderous abusers. On the contrary, they are all on the same continuum. It is a question of degree, not kind.

And since Maclean’s has abdicated its social responsibility to make that connection, I guess it’s little wonder that I haven’t read them in years…and don’t feel like I’ve missed out in the least. They’ve sold out information in favor of titillation, and thrown women under the bus. None of them has any business telling Canadian women how to do feminism, because none of them know how the hell to do journalism.

Bad news for ammosexuals

Music, Maestro Cummings:

Ah, that was lovely. And now, the news.

First, the sublime: It looks as though John “Mary Rosh” Lott has been definitively debunked, by real scientists not in the pocket of the gunmakers’ lobby. Instead of “More Guns, Less Crime”, it’s “More Guns, More Crime”:

Across the basic seven Index I crime categories, the strongest evidence of a statistically significant effect would be for aggravated assault, with 11 of 28 estimates suggesting that RTC laws increase this crime at the .10 confidence level. An omitted variable bias test on our preferred Table 8a results suggests that our estimated 8 percent increase in aggravated assaults from RTC laws may understate the true harmful impact of RTC laws on aggravated assault, which may explain why this finding is only significant at the .10 level in many of our models. Our analysis of the year-by-year impact of RTC laws also suggests that RTC laws increase aggravated assaults. Our analysis of admittedly imperfect gun aggravated assaults provides suggestive evidence that RTC laws may be associated with large increases in this crime, perhaps increasing such gun assaults by almost 33 percent.

In addition to aggravated assault, the most plausible state models conducted over the entire 1979-2010 period provide evidence that RTC laws increase rape and robbery (but usually only at the .10 level). In contrast, for the period from 1999-2010 (which seeks to remove the confounding influence of the crack cocaine epidemic), the preferred state model (for those who accept the Wolfers proposition that one should not control for state trends) yields statistically significant evidence for only one crime – suggesting that RTC laws increase the rate of murder at the .05 significance level. It will be worth exploring whether other methodological approaches and/or additional years of data will confirm the results of this panel-data analysis and clarify some of the highly sensitive results and anomalies (such as the occasional estimates that RTC laws lead to higher rates of property crime) that have plagued this inquiry for over a decade.

“RTC” = “right to carry”.

Higher rates of robbery, rape, aggravated assault AND murder (not to mention accidental gunshot wounds and deaths) go hand in hand with “right to carry” laws. Who’d of thunk? Guess that puts paid to the whole “if guns are outlawed, only outlaws will carry guns” canard of the NRA & Co. Seems that the more legal guns are, the greater the number of outlaws who find themselves free to carry the same. And consquently, the more powerless the cops will be against them, unless they happen to be better armed. What a coincidence, right at a time when even small-town police forces are starting to look more and more like miniature armies, while weapons manufacturers all rub their hands and yell “Ka-CHING!!!”

And now, the ridiculous. Since carrying a gun creates an automatically greater risk that you will wind up on the outlaw side of things, it’s getting harder to tell the cops from the robbers. Particularly in Ferguson, Missouri, where racism is uniting bigoted ammosexual cops with bigoted civilian ammosexuals like never before:

Some suburban St. Louis gun dealers have been doing brisk business, particularly among first-time buyers, as fearful residents await a grand jury’s decision on whether to indict the police officer who fatally shot Michael Brown.

Metro Shooting Supplies, in an area near the city’s main airport, reports selling two to three times more weapons than usual in recent weeks — an average of 30 to 50 guns each day — while the jury prepares to conclude its three-month review of the case that sparked looting and weeks of sometimes-violent protests in August.

“We’re selling everything that’s not nailed down,” owner Steven King said. “Police aren’t going to be able to protect every single individual. If you don’t prepare yourself and get ready for the worst, you have no one to blame but yourself.”

[…]

Protest leaders say they are preparing for non-violent demonstrations after the grand jury’s decision is announced, but they also acknowledge the risk of more unrest if the panel decides not to issue criminal charges against Darren Wilson, the white officer who shot Brown, who was black and unarmed.

No word on what color most of the gun buyers are, but you can pretty much guess. It’s the same color as most of the NRA’s membership. And all of the KKK’s. Ammosexuality is, when all’s said, a white man’s disease.

Where in the world is Miss Honduras?

miss-honduras.jpg

So much for the idea that peace and democracy have been restored in Honduras! If the nation’s leading beauty queen isn’t safe, who is? And she is not safe. She was recently abducted, and they are still searching for her and her sister:

The Inter-Institutional National Security Force (FUSINA) of Honduras is searching for Miss World Honduras 2014, María José Alvarado Muñoz, and her sister, Sofia Trinidad, near the Guatemalan border, particularly in Ocotepeque and Santa Bárbara, according to the Honduran daily, La Prensa.

“Traffic stops, mobile patrols, and raids have been carried out in the sector of Santa Bárbara, a military presence has been placed near the entry and exit of the municipality, said police spokesman José Coello on Tuesday.

“As well, military roadblocks are being carried out in the sector of Arada, San Vicente, and neighboring municipalities where it is believed the young women could be,” Coello added. The spokesman also informed that they had identified the vehicle in which the two were last seen.

The two young women disappeared on Thursday night after attending a party given by Sofia Trinidad’s boyfriend on the outskirts of Santa Bárbara. Currently, four persons are being investigated, among them the boyfriend, Plutarco Ruiz, and the owner of the resort where the party was held.

The mother of the disappeared women, Teresa Muñoz, explained that the women knew the men who were driving the car. “They had met them just a short time ago,” she stated on a Televicentro TV program.

Miss World Honduras had planned a trip to London on Wednesday to compete in the pageant. She also worked as a model on a TV program by the former presidential candidate, Salvador Nasralla.

Translation mine.

If that seems like an awful lot of uproar for one beauty queen and her sister, well, that might be because they’re kind of sacrosanct in Latin America. A pageant career is a common stepping stone for many a model, actress or TV host. Plus, there’s the salient little fact that Honduras happens to be the most violent country in the hemisphere right now, and with the highest crime rates, and has been that way since the coup of 2009.

And the disappearance of María José and Sofia Trinidad Alvarado Muñoz comes right as the 19-year-old former is slated to leave for London to compete in the pageant finals. Obviously, someone is hoping to make big bank off her ransom. And it would appear that Sofia’s boyfriend was in on the kidnap plans, in that he lured the two to a pool party where the abductors took them.

Hope they find both sisters soon, and safe and sound.

UPDATE: According to Buzzfeed, the Alvarado sisters have been found. Sadly, NOT safe and sound. The Washington Post reports that Sofia’s boyfriend killed both of them “in a fit of jealous rage” and buried them, with the help of an accomplice near the resort.

And anyone out there who thinks sexism doesn’t kill…you are officially full of shit.