Missing the Point on Chris Brown (Again)

God, Chris Brown is such an asshole, it really is exhausting to watch. I’ve sworn off talking about him at least twice now, but then he goes and does something so terrible, again, that I simply CANNOT refrain from saying one thing more. Because Chris Brown isn’t just a plain old bad guy, he’s a guy who is bad in ways that are very illustrative of what’s complicated about batterers, and what’s wrong with the way we respond to them. So let’s discuss Brown’s new neck tattoo, and how a lot of people who’ve been talking about it seem to be missing the point.
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Unimaginative Sexist Declares Feminism Sucks

What would you call a guy who is on record saying that: 1. men sexually harass women out of respect for their social equality; 2.  women are biologically programmed to desire Victorian-style housewifery over professional pursuits; 3. all straight women are basically prostitutes; and 4. feminism is not just bad, not just wrong, but actually evil. If you responded that you would call this guy “a dickhead,” you are only partially correct. The full answer is “a dickhead whose sexist drivel is repeatedly published by Psychology Today, which I’m sure has editors though you wouldn’t know it from reading this crap.” [Read more...]

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...]

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...]