Archives for February 2011

Don Juans and Berry Pickers: Your Life in Evolutionary Psychology

Menstruation is gross! Everybody knows that. But did you know that the ovulation portion of the menstrual cycle is a dangerous time for men, because the special “I am now impregnate-able” smell women exude makes helpless males engage in aberrant behaviors like flirting and over-tipping strippers?  This is a very important and true science fact, which is why New York Times science columnist John Tierney (remember the “science” part; it will be important later) is telling you all about it, under the entirely sensible headline: “The Threatening Scent of Fertile Women.” Way to go, Newspaper of Record! That is some bitchin’ journalism, right there. [Read more…]

Welcome to Your Bullshit Patriarchy, Senator Brown

If there’s one thing I’ve learned doing social justice work, it’s that America hates a whiner. No matter how legitimate you think your grievance is, society at large will likely beg to differ. Whether you’re a victim of racial discrimination or a rape survivor, you’re expected to pull yourself up by your freedom-having bootstraps and prove to the world just how over it you are by going on Oprah, landing a book deal and also hopefully becoming a millionaire. That’s the only kind of story Americans like, so shut it, trauma victims! We are very busy buying stuff and imposing our insane-o version of democracy overseas, and we really don’t have time for your complaining. And by “complaining,” we mean “talking about it at all.” [Read more…]

Berlusconi Child Prostitution Trial: Revenge of the Lady Judges

[VIDEO] Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has given us so much over the years, that it’s hard to know how best to express our gratitude. What’s the appropriate thank you gift for a European premier who elevated showgirls to Parliamentary seats, and once told an African priest that he had a “nice tan”? A muffin basket? Some kind of desk globe?

Berlusconi is an all-purpose wanker, who’s dodged charges on everything from tax evasion to bribery. But where he truly excels is in the denigration of women. When it comes to lady-hating, he is a rock star. There was that time he hit on a female politician, at an official function and in front of his then-wife, [Read more…]

Rape is a Favorite Pastime in War and Other Uprisings

The moment there is any breakdown in the normal social order, women start to get raped. The first time I noticed this was in the Hurricane Katrina aftermath. First we heard the reports of looting, then of the chaos afflicting the law enforcement system, then gradually the first rape reports began to trickle out. Then the trickle became a flood, and with that flood came the grim suspicion that the stories we were hearing only hinted at the full scope of the violence that was taking place. And at the time I remember feeling confused. I remember thinking that the looting made sense—supplies were scarce, people were stranded—but rape? How did mass sexual assault follow from a hurricane?

Now we’ve heard about Lara Logan, the CBS correspondent who was raped and beaten by a group of men after she was separated from her crew in Tahrir Square on Friday. [Read more…]