Art, argument, and grad school


1 note

Seriously, Fuck You, "Kindle Unlimited"


"Last week, Amazon informed us that for ten dollars per month, Kindle users can have unlimited access to over six hundred thousand books in its library. But it shouldn’t cost a thing to borrow a book, Amazon, you foul, horrible, profiteering enemies of civilization.

For a monthly cost of zero dollars, it is possible to read six million e-texts at the Open Library, right now. On a Kindle, or any other tablet or screen thing. You can borrow up to five titles for two weeks at no cost, and read them in-browser or in any of several other formats…”

Filed under kindle unlimited library libraries amazon ebooks books drm fuck you open library the awl

9 notes

Rapists aren't monsters (and that's why they're scary)

Max Temkin is very good at using social justice language. He’s very good at making himself seem sympathetic and reasonable. Rapists are perfectly capable of doing all of those things. They aren’t non-human monsters that leap out of closets, with no awareness of society or communication skills. They’re people, like any one of us. They can be intelligent. They can be involved in social justice. They can create awesome games. They can come across as reasonable, kind people. They can, in fact, be reasonable and kind people in every way except for that pesky raping thing.

Is Max Temkin a rapist? I don’t know. I do know that he’s written a manipulative post, though. I know that he’s spreading harmful rape culture myths under the cloak of being a “feminist and an advocate for women’s rights”. I know that he’s using intimidation tactics against someone who, because of his platform and wealth and gender, has far less power than he does. As one tumblr user put it, this is an epic piece of mansplaining.

(Source: project-blackbird)

Filed under max temkin cards against humanity rape sexual assault gaming board games card games

13,890 notes

YouTube comments aren’t “just the Internet.” They’re not the product of a group of otherwise nice guys who suddenly become evil when they wear a veil of anonymity. YouTube comments are actually a nightmarish glimpse into the sexist attitudes that define the fabric of our own existence in the “real world,” a world that, like YouTube, is owned and dominated by men. The most terrifying gift that the Internet has given us is that it’s shown us how men honestly perceive the world: as a place where women exist exclusively for their sexual pleasure.

In the wake of VidCon, and as more and more women start speaking up about the harassment they face online, it’s time to start realizing that our narrative of progress is deeply flawed. Things aren’t getting better for women on the Internet; they’re deteriorating and ignoring the problem amounts to being complicit in it.

"For women on the Internet, it doesn’t get better" by Samantha Allen (via femfreq)

I agree with her argument, but I don’t like the (deliberate?) misinterpretation of Savage’s “It Gets Better” campaign. He’s not saying that life for LGBT people gets better because society is progressing, he’s saying that life for many LGBT kids gets better once they have autonomy and are not completely under the thumb of parents and school administrators.

77 notes

Earlier this year, after a woman was allegedly assaulted by members of the Naval Academy football team, she was questioned for 20 hours by 12 attorneys and forced to answer questions about her sexual history. She was asked whether or not she wore a bra, how wide she opened her mouth during oral sex, and if she considered herself a “ho” after the alleged assault occurred.
Reporting sexual assault re-victimizes survivors. (via salon)

Filed under rape sexual assault re-victimize rape culture rape apology victim blaming survivors reporting

3,933 notes



This is a blog post that’s incredibly confusing and painful for me to write.

Yesterday morning, Josh forwarded me a tweet that said:

TIL: Max Temkin, co-creator of Cards Against Humanity, raped a friend of my friend while attending Goucher College. I don’t support CAH.

To the lawyer or whoever wrote and edited this post, I commend you. That is one beautiful piece of blame-avoiding PR writing, wow. The author subtly threatens that Max has the right and the power to bring a lawsuit. Then he appeals to the masses by declaring he’s so nice and understanding that he won’t try it. But never once does he admit fault. His only apology keeps the blame on the girl’s overly sensitive feelings and the faceless “rape culture.” I don’t know or care who is right or wrong; the fault is probably shared. Call me cynical, but I’m posting and saving this just because I’m so impressed by the carefully crafted bullshit.

Filed under max temkin cards against humanity cah rape sexual assault board games card games gaming geek culture rape culture misogyny

112 notes

ON "GOSSIP" (TW: Rape)


Earlier today the head of Cards Against Humanity, Max Temkin, posted a blog simply titled “gossip.”

In it he addresses a public accusation of sexual assault by a woman he went to college with. He flat out denies it and writes it off as “baseless gossip” that he cannot defend himself from, just after acknowledging he could easily sue her for libel and writing a lengthy blogpost with heavily gendered, weighted language attempting to get ahead of the story.

Max then declares first thing moving forward that he will remain a (self-declared) feminist.

Filed under geeks we have to watch ourselves community sexual assault cards against humanity max temkin rape gossip

201 notes


The Department of State has 58 nominees pending before the U.S. Senate, which has left us without permanent ambassadors in over 40 countries. That means we’re going without our strongest voice on the ground in more than 25 percent of the world.
Read Secretary Kerry’s personal plea to the Senate to confirm our Ambassadors at

We all understand why this is happening, right? Maybe people can stop saying “both sides are bad” when one side continues to purposefully sabotage our nation at home and abroad.


The Department of State has 58 nominees pending before the U.S. Senate, which has left us without permanent ambassadors in over 40 countries. That means we’re going without our strongest voice on the ground in more than 25 percent of the world.

Read Secretary Kerry’s personal plea to the Senate to confirm our Ambassadors at

We all understand why this is happening, right? Maybe people can stop saying “both sides are bad” when one side continues to purposefully sabotage our nation at home and abroad.


Filed under republicans conservative department of state politics policy diplomacy senate congress nobama

812 notes

Mary Anne Layden, PhD, Director of the Sexual Trauma and Psychopathology Program in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania writes a fascinating paper entitled “Pornography and Violence: A New Look at Research.” I would encourage doubters of my thesis to read the entire paper:

“For many reasons, as we shall see, pornography is a very effective teacher of beliefs and behaviors, and one that also teaches its users that the behaviors are acceptable and stimulates them to do so…

Males who viewed sexual violence obtained higher scores both on scales measuring acceptance of interpersonal violence and the rape myth [the belief that women actually enjoy rape and suffer few negative consequences], when compare to males who viewed either a physically violent or neutral film. The increase in attitudes supporting sexual violence following exposure to pornography is greater if the pornography is violent than if it is non-violent.

A similar effect is seen even when the pornography is not violent. Males who are shown non-violent scenes that sexually objectified and degraded women and were then exposed to material that depicted rape indicated that the rape victim experienced pleasure and ‘got what she wanted.’

Even women who were exposed to pornography as a child have a greater acceptance of the rape myth than those who were not. Those exposed to pornography recommend a sentence for a rapists that was half of that recommended by those who had been shown non-pornographic imagery. These subjects appear to have trivialized the crime of rape.”

And then there’s this, as cited by the Berkmen Center for Internet and Society at Harvard Law School:

[Excerpts of the] Report of the Attorney General’s Commission on Pornography: Section 5.2.1 Sexually Violent Material

“…[C]linical and experimental research … [has] focused particularly on sexually violent material, [and] the conclusions have been virtually unanimous. In both clinical and experimental settings, exposure to sexually violent materials has indicated an increase in the likelihood of aggression. More specifically, the research, … shows a causal relationship between exposure to material of this type and aggressive behavior towards women.

…The evidence also strongly supports the conclusion that substantial exposure to violent sexually explicit material leads to a greater acceptance of the ‘rape myth,’ in its broader sense - that women enjoy being coerced into sexual activity, that they enjoy being physically hurt in sexual context, and that as a result a man who forces himself on a woman sexually is in fact merely acceding to the ‘real’ wishes of the woman, regardless of the extent to which she seems to be resisting…”

And then there’s news stories such as this one out of the UK last year, entitled “Porn ‘drives youngsters to violence during sex,’” where the author notes that “Extreme pornography is driving thousands of young people to commit sex attacks, a study shows. Some nine percent of 14-21-year-olds admitted to carrying out some sort of sexual violence, including one in 50 who had raped someone. Those perpetrators tended to report ‘more frequently being exposed to media that depicted sexual and violent situations,’ the poll of 1,058 people found.”

I could go on. The evidence that pornography, especially violent pornography, both inherently trivializes rape as well as trivializes sexual assault in the minds of those consuming it as so-called entertainment or recreation, is as overwhelming as it is obvious. This is not a very difficult concept to figure out, either.

Regardless of your opinion on porn use, pornography is, at its very core, the systematic dehumanization of those being portrayed and the systematic degradation of unique human beings with personalities, ambitions, personal histories, and perspectives, to a one-dimensional sex object for one-sided consumption. It’s sexually carnivorous, and sexually cannibalistic. If you can boil a person down to a body or a collection of body parts, it’s scarcely surprising that violence against that person can be accepted much more easily by those participating in the dehumanization process of porn use.

As for those who say that my thesis is a moot point because rape culture doesn’t exist at all, I would merely point out that my claim here is not that there is a direct link between those viewing violent porn and sexual violence against women (although many others do make that claim.) The point I am making is that pornography leads to the trivialization of sexual assault, which is how many define the “rape culture.” That point, unfortunately, withstands all objection.

Yes, Porn Does Trivialize Rape, by Jonathon Van Maren

(via gynocraticgrrl)

You cannot be against rape culture without being against porn culture.

If you have a problem with rape jokes because they trivialize rape but you have no problem with pornography, re-evaluate your thought processes.

(via stfufauxminists)

(Source: exgynocraticgrrl, via stfufauxminists)