This petition requests that the American Philosophical Society enforce its own non-discrimination policy by ceasing to advertise jobs on behalf of colleges and universities that discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation, or at least indicating that the colleges and universities in question fail to comply with the non-discrimination policy.
APA Anti-Discrimination Petition February 15, 2009
This story is from a while ago (I drafted this post and forgot to publish it – oops). But it’s still relevant. The UK Government is currently debating whether or not to provide sex education to primary school children. The plan has met with criticism from so-called ‘family campaigners’, who think that educating children about sex will lead to all manner of relentless fornication. I must say, that kind of talk pisses me off. For one thing, it’s never been clear to me that being in favour of the traditional family unit, and thinking it’s a good thing to teach young people where babies come from, and how to avoid making them, are mutually exclusive. For another, have people not yet realised that no matter how carefully they closet their children, they will pick up ideas about sex from the world around them – TV, magazines, books, the internet, other children are all a source of information. Some of it better than others, which brings me to my next point. As Dr. Trevor Stammers (a GP and lecturer in healthcare ethics) has pointed out, learning the mechanics of reproduction won’t do much to combat the number of unplanned teenage pregnancies, and sexually transmitted diseases unless it is accompanied with education about sexual behaviour, sexual relationships, and so forth. Some friends of mine run a group that provides sex education of the latter sort in schools, and from what they tell me, it is sorely needed. I suspect many adults know very little about the things children (in some areas) pick up about sex and sexual relationships. In the schools where my friends work, sex is still something that boys do to girls, who let them – reluctantly enough to avoid being labelled ‘a slag’, but willingly enough to avoid being called ‘frigid’. There is still a sense that boys are entitled to girls’ bodies – which, I hasten to point out, is a double-edged sword: girlfriends are under pressure to let boyfriends ‘give it to them'; boyfriends are under pressure to ‘give it to’ girlfriends, and laughed at by their peers if they don’t. What people expect to do or have done to them – or at least what they think others expect to do or have done to them – is the stuff of pornos: oral, anal, the ‘facial’, etc. When asked to name five things that you can do with someone to show them that you love them apart from have sex, one eleven year old suggested ‘fisting’. Another child named ‘dildo’ as a form of contraception. Here’s the Virgin News report – although I suggest not reading most of the comments if you share my views on sex and have high blood pressure. Read them a while back, and still feeling stabby.
There’s a related story about sexual bullying in schools here.
The issue of safety online has been brought to our attention by some of our readers recently. As you no doubt know, we prefer to blog anonymously so that what we say here doesn’t attract unwelcome attention our real life selves. But I recently came across this useful post which has more detailed information about how to keep oneself safe online.
I’m pleased to report that Amazon are now refusing to sell the videogame ‘Rapelay’. The aim of the game is to stalk and rape a family of women (there is an opportunity to gangrape individuals), and then force them to have an abortion. The game is produced by a Japanese company, and was only intended for sale in Japan. But sellers had been supplying UK customers via Amazon’s marketplace site. I’m utterly baffled as to how such things could possibly pass for entertainment. MP Keith Vaz is intending to raise the matter in parliament. And just for the record, I don’t think it matters whether or not anyone can show that there’s a causal link between playing the game and raping someone. It makes light of something serious and despicable. It could play some role in making that crime seem normal, and further decrease the level of empathy society has for real people who have been raped. There’s a more detailed and thoughtful piece over at The Curvature. You can read the Telegraph news story here.
What have we been up to in the snow, you asked?
(thanks to Heg and lp!):
But they’re not just cure furry things: quite formidable creatures, in fact, as this video attests!
Not for the queasy, but here’s some more amazing stoat action: frolicking, sniffing the lovely fresh air, chewing on hare (warning: it does get gory around the 2.30 – 4minute mark!), affectionate play with pals…