Uplift | Indy Week

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Re: “The Duke/UNC Drinking Game

If you really want to get hammered, try out the jersey shore drinking game. it will get you plowwed in no time. http://yovia.com/blogs/bargames/2009/12/15/jersey-shore-drinking-game/

Posted by Daniel on 01/19/2010 at 4:57 PM

Re: “Cold-blooded Let the Right One In

Oy. I know it's not the same reviewer, so it's a little unfair, but: you give this one star and Four Christmases three stars?

Posted by Uplift on 12/09/2008 at 7:59 PM

Re: “Neal vs. Hagan

My only experience with the Hagan campaign is consistent with this article's account. Hagan's daughter approached me on the UNC campus at one point - this was perhaps in March - and told me that Kay Hagan was running for Senate "against Elizabeth Dole." I told this women bluntly - indeed, somewhat rudely, I'm afraid - that Hagan was running against Jim Neal, not against Elizabeth Dole. There was no meaningful reply to this. While I wish I had been more gracious to Hagan's daughter (whose name, I regret, I do not remember), I also find Hagan's "coronation" strategy to be quite off-putting.

Posted by Uplift on 04/21/2008 at 11:15 AM

Re: “Love on the half shell

Michael, it's impossible to argue with you because your arguments thus far have been intellectually dishonest. What you said in your previous post was this: "But I do object to patriarchal sexuality that is based on fetishizing and objectifying people's body parts. I am against the sort of sex where one person sees the other person as less than human, as a mere body part. To me that's masturbating on someone's body, w/o respect for that person...sounds a lot like rape to me." There is NOTHING there about women who are too scared to say no; but in your next post you claim that THAT was your real point. Sorry, no. What you said was this: consensual sex that does not meet your standards for lack-of-objectification is like rape. This is a statement of truly astonishing insensitivity towards rape survivors, an insensitivity that superkatie called you on and which you are unwilling to acknowledge. Frankly, I find the trivializing of rape to be much more offensive than use of the word "idiot". Another example of this intellectual dishonsty: as I pointed earlier, you claimed directly that "women continue to be raped and sexuall [sic] harassed because of ...sexualized portrayals...like this cover". When when challenged on it, you said "I never meant to suggest that the picture would 'cause' violence". But of course you did. So I'm not going to bother anymore, and I recommend that no one else does either.

Posted by Uplift on 03/03/2007 at 4:35 AM

Re: “Love on the half shell

Direct responses to Michael_45. I see the distinction you're making between a man with his shirt off and a woman showing off her body, and yes, the contexts are different. But your clear, implied solution to the problem of sex inequality and violence against women is that women must change their behavior. But the problem here is NOT women; the problem is (some) men. So even if you're not "blaming" the victim, you're putting the onus on the victim to change her behavior, because some men are in the wrong. Call it what you want; but it is indistinguishable in form and moral content from addressing violence against homosexuals by telling gay couples not to hold hands or kiss in public. If the problem is heterosexism, we don't tell queer people to act more straight. If the problem is white racism, we don't tell black people to act more white. And if the problem is sexism against women, we don't tell women to change their behavior, either. You say that "I never meant to suggest that the picture would 'cause' violence", but of course you did: halfway up this page, you said "Well actually, women continue to be raped and sexuall [sic] harassed because of pornography, and sexualized portrayals of women's bodies like this cover." So you were quite clear in what you meant, and I'm surprised you would try to claim otherwise. You also claim that you can't understand how comparisons to veils and burqas are appropriate; yet the direct consequence of your view of the problem is that women must wear less-revealing clothes. But then, what are they to wear? What is the Michael_45-approved wardrobe? Once you get to dictate what it's ok for women to wear or not wear, you're well on your way to telling them to cover up entirely. You suggest a link between sexy images in the media including pornography, dehumanization, and violence. This is not a crazy position. It is certainly plausible that men who rape women think of women as objects, and that many of these men also consume pornography. But you seem to be mistaking association with causation, if not reversing causation outright. It is possible that men read pornography BECAUSE they objectify women (and not the other way around). Causality seems less likely still when you consider both Western Europe (more boobs on TV, less violence against women, and Margaret Thatcher) and recent research that argues convincingly - you know, with data? - that wide availability of internet pornography actually REDUCES incidence of rape (see http://www.slate.com/id/2152487/. And - this is crucial - even if we were to prove that pornography DID cause dehumanization which DID cause ("create enabling conditions for") violence against women, solving the problem by attempting to curtail women's human right to self expression would STILL be morally odious. It would also, likely, be ineffective. If your response to objectification of women is to tell women to cover up, what lesson will the problematic men learn? Will they learn that women are their equals and deserve equal respect as autonomous human beings? Or will they learn that their repugnant behavior gives them power over women, who (by the way) need to be told how to dress for their own good? You ask "And when we think about sex with a woman, why are breasts the first thing we think about? Not her mind or thoughts or feelings...but a body part." This, along with other comments ("I think objectifying anybody is wrong and unhealthy so I would object to [a man on the cover] as well"; "there are a lot of ways women can be beautiful, without referring to their bodies") suggests that you're approaching this whole issue from a basically anti-sex or sex-phobic position: in particular, the missionary position. So just for review: people have sex WITH THEIR BODIES. Objectifying people - not constantly, but sometimes, temporarily - is an integral part of our sexual identities, and better still: it's a lot of fun. I respect and love my wife hugely, and we have a wonderful, equal relationship, and we objectify each other all the time. And it's fantastic. It is interesting that your position - women need to behave more modestly, because men have a problem - is essentially the same as that advocated by culture warriors who would prefer women barefoot in the kitchen. Both arguments express an essentially patriarchal, anti-sex, authoritarian worldview, one which ultimately harms and dehumanizes women more than it helps them.

Posted by Uplift on 03/01/2007 at 4:17 AM

Re: “Love on the half shell

In the abstract, Michael_45's argument is: you need to change the way you behave because some people can't handle it. Either because it makes them uncomfortable, or because it "incites" them to violence. There are a lot of arguments - many related to sex or nudity - that take this form: women should wear burqas, because men can't be trusted; homosexual couples shouldn't be affectionate in public; women shouldn't breastfeed in public; women who dress in sexy clothes are asking to be assaulted. I have yet to come across a single instance of this argument that is not essentially about blaming the victim; Michael_45's argument is no exception. His argument is demeaning and infantilizing to women, who must be protected, and who are not allowed to express themselves as sexual beings without risking all of womankind. The argument is also demeaning to MEN, who are so animalistic that they can't control themselves, and who too simple minded to understand that women can be both sexy and human beings at the same time. The argument in its general form is authoritarian misanthropy (usually, misogyny). Michael_45's version is in addition deeply ironic, because it argues that we ought to pursue human rights (freedom from sexual assault, equality of all people) by giving up other human rights (freedom of sexual expression, personal expression). Apparently, Michael_45 feels we need to burn down the village of women's free expression, in order to save it. On a separate note, Michael_45's specific hypothesis - that overt depictions of female sexuality in the media are likely to lead to greater society wide rates of sexual assault - is easily falsified by most countries in Western Europe, where images of nude women are common in tabloids and in commercials on network TV. Western Europe, where rates of sexual assault are lower than in the US; where access to contraception and reproductive healthcare is better; where there are much lower rates of teen pregnancy compared to the US. Good thing we're not more like those heathens.

Posted by Uplift on 02/27/2007 at 5:16 AM

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