29 January 2013

What to Read?

I have been writing since 2006, and if my blogs were a MS Word document (as they are, as a backup), they would take up about 350 pages.
And a whole lot of that is just little random tidbits from my life that I found interesting the day I was writing.
Mixed in among those there are a number of in-depth essays on a wide variety of topics.  There has been no way to easily sift through all the random crap to find the good stuff.

Until now!
Wondering what to read next?
Of 200+ posts, these are (in my personal opinion) the top ~50 most interesting or useful

22 January 2013

What does our gut reaction to the word "rape" say about our subconscious beliefs about women's agency?

[NOTE: This article is longer than the typical blog post.  As an MS Word document it comes to about 30 pages.  Much shorter than a book, but longer than a magazine article.  Its probably better to think of it as an internet based paper, and not expect to read the entire thing straight through in one sitting.  I have broke it into 5 parts to facilitate that.
Also, if it isn't obvious enough from the title, its a very sensitive subject.  I am definitely not trying to offend or upset, but I am deliberately trying to be real, which means not being "politically correct" or sensitive for the sake of sensitivity.]

A friend of mine sent me a link to an internet blog article recently:


I read it, it was interesting and insightful and honest and unfortunately rare in its open-mindedness and candor.  I didn’t know when I read it,  but apparently it was read by a great many people, many of whom did not share that opinion of it. 
It was reasonably infamous among feminist bloggers, and induced quite a number of responses - none of which I’ve read. 
I did, however, take several days to go back and read the comment thread in its entirety.  The comment thread was surprisingly thoughtful for an internet discussion on a topic that causes intense negative gut reactions and has generated plenty of controversy, one which people are passionate and angry about. 
So much of the discussion was so good already that I had nothing to add.  
The first three pages are almost entirely filled with reasonable, open-minded people having a back and forth conversation on really difficult topics.  From all appearances these are regulars to the site, readers and contributors.  On page three the sort of knee-jerk responses that you would expect for the topic finally begin appearing, and it appears as though few of the new commenters took the time to read the existing comments before adding their own.  Not to say that intelligent conversation does not continue, it does all the way to the end, only that the ‘TL;DR – still have an opinion’ comments start becoming more common, - no doubt as the article began to be read and popularized more and more.
If you are interested in the topic, and have a few hours to kill, I recommend reading all of the comments from the beginning.

Though much of what I would have said was addressed, some very important things weren’t, and that’s what inspired this essay that you are reading right now.

21 January 2013

The Oldest Profession

First of all, let’s make one thing clear.  A prostitute does not sell their body.  The only circumstance in which any person actually sells a body part is when someone sells a kidney.  When you sell something, the buyer takes permanent possession of it, and the seller can not get it back.  The new owner can do anything they want with their purchase, because it is now their property.  This does not describe the prostitute / client transaction at all.  Even when people accepted indentured servitude arrangements they were only offering themselves on a long-term lease, not actually selling themselves.  A prostitute normally only allows her (or his) clients limited use of a portion of their body for a short, usually designated time period, an hour perhaps, maybe a few. 
This is not just semantics.  It’s a very important distinction.   

Really, what the transaction consists of is a person agreeing to engage in a specific activity for a specified time period which they otherwise might not do, to the benefit of another person who offers compensation for the time and labor involved.
Which, if you think about it, kind of describes every job.

Why is sex a special case?