All posts for the topic: Sex

Rashida Jones on the documentary Hot Girls Wanted

Est Reading Time: 6 min [CN: Porn including some graphic exerpts, sexual assault] Vice has a very interesting interview with Rashida Jones on the documentary Hot Girls Wanted which she co-produced. I haven’t seen the doco yet but the interview alone is worth a look: [Video Link] Jones starts out saying she has “no problem with porn as adult entertainment,” and if she did, who cares since she can’t exactly put a stop to people watching porn. The rest of the interview is about the documentary which is a critique of the “amateur” porn scene in Miami, Florida. Jones’s take is much better than any […]

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If porn is warping the behaviour of adolescents, this is how NOT to react

Est Reading Time: 8 min [CN: Discussion of porn and sex acts] An article from The Age was crying out for a look: How online porn is warping the behaviour of boys with girls. Porn is a two-edged sword. On the one hand, there is conservative moral panic about things that aren’t really a problem (see an old post about the “Center for Healthy Sex”). And then there are legitimate criticisms of many of porn’s tropes and trends and what they’re saying. Allison Pearson tries to do that but ends up missing the point by miles. We need to educate and embolden our daughters to […]

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Yes, cheaters have a right to privacy

Est Reading Time: 4 min The intertubes are alight with articles on the Ashley Madison hacking and two data dumps of the member database. While some of the messaging I’ve seen has been nuanced there’s a good chance it will be dwarfed by hype and clickbait so some thoughts and links about it. The reaction that concerns me the most is a willingness by the public to accept or even applaud this as some sort of “karma” because the people hurt are “dirty cheaters”. The lesson the public may be learning is that if you personally disapprove of someone it’s ok to invade their privacy […]

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On revoking affirmative consent

Est Reading Time: 5 min [CN: sexual assault talk, more graphic than previous posts] Last week, I looked at the specific wording of a law that talks about the application of affirmative consent in Californian colleges. One part of the law deserved a post of its own: Affirmative consent must be ongoing throughout a sexual activity and can be revoked at any time. In the last two posts I’ve deliberately kept the language gender-neutral. The assumption of rape as having a male perpetrator and female victim erases a lot of other possibilities including male victims and female defendants (see these posts for more). This is […]

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Examining an affirmative consent law

Est Reading Time: 6 min [CN: Sexual assault etc.] Last week I posted about what a paradigm of affirmative consent would look like. A lot of the post was general, not talking about specific legislation. And yet, the whole media frenzy was around some of the new affirmative consent laws in college campuses in the US. So let’s look at one of the actual pieces of legislation at the centre of the media discussions. A good candidate would be the California affirmative consent bill SB-967. I’ll quote it item by item with my commentary (skipping the background text and stopping where they get to specific […]

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Affirmative consent: not that hard in life and in law

Est Reading Time: 5 min [CN: Sexual assault etc.] Last year, the idea of affirmative consent was first put into place by some US college campuses. This sparked a lot of discussion, some good and some, ahem, “sub-optimal”. Maybe we’ll remember 2014 as the year of the rape singularity that signalled a change in the way culture and law treat rape. As expected, a lot of conservatives were absolutely outraged. The main arguments being that this allegedly erodes due process for the defendant, that it turns the presumption of innocence into a presumption of guilt, that it is unrealistic and that it could criminalise most […]

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When PSAs take advantage of prejudice, bias or ignorance

Est Reading Time: 5 min [CN: Racist imagery below] ……………………………… What does the image above make you think? While there’s a wide range of possible reactions, I predict the vast majority of people would be simultaneously repulsed by the racist imagery while possibly agreeing with the actual messages of the poster (ie. car safety and minimising waste). I hope most people wouldn’t consider this as an acceptable way to make a public service announcement or that the benefit of the announcement outweighs the splash damage. This is because the splash damage here is so apparent to us because it’s “vintage” and taken from another cultural […]

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The internet IS real life: against the terms online- & cyber-

Est Reading Time: 4 min I’ve got some breaking news: the internet is here to stay. Discounting major catastrophes, it’s going to become a larger and larger part of the lives of everyone on earth. So it’s time to stop treating it as some novel, completely separate part of human experience. One way we do this is with language that has modifiers for the online version of an activity. To be sure, if you can do something both online and offline, there will be a difference between the two. But if you look at the way online modifiers are used in culture, it’s often to […]

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97% of porn statistics are made up on the spot

Est Reading Time: 6 min [CN: Contains links to SFW pages on NSFW/porn sites] Everybody loves a good porn usage story in the mainstream media. The latest one to hit the rounds was this one from Salon/Alternet about the Middle East’s use of porn, but these stories do the rounds quite regularly. They are however often based on really shoddy research methods or misunderstandings about the internet. And yet, this is an area that’s worth studying, reporting and reading about. It’s interesting but there are real social issues at stake too. We need to know about this as a society, for the sake of policy […]

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How would a world with trigger warnings work?

Est Reading Time: 8 min Last week, I posted a defence of trigger warnings/content notes (and an attack on the anti-arguments). This is unfortunately where the debate is at – whether the culture should be more accommodating of people who want to know a few extra things about a piece of content before they consume it with informed consent. A much more interesting discussion is the practicalities of how this could be implemented, how it would start up. Here, I’ll try to propose something concrete. Ad-hoc labelling by content creators This is a content creator who wants to create a content note out of their […]

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