monkey’s, porn and consent

Yesterday a(nother) liberal dood I know wanted to share how science totally rocks.  his evidence is that a study was done that shows monkey’s like porn and he read about it on the internet. now I don’t know if he read about it at ABC, but I figured if I was going to rant about it, I should look up an article about it.

Then he got really upset that i thought it was horrible. Later he even sent me an email along the lines of, “but I’m a nice guy why do you think I’m a horrible person?” Which makes the issue, not about my reaction to porn, not about rape culture, not about animal captivity, but about poor him and his feelings. Because my feelings hurt his feelings and that is so mean.

This means that I now I have to spend my time letting him know I don’t think he is a horrible person. Well I have to do this if i want to keep the peace. And I do want to keep the peace since I work with him, and we rely on each other to help each other out when studying, and things like that. GRRRR.

But on to the monkeys. First, the article is about how “The study is the first to show that monkeys appraise visual information for its social value and can then use this data to spontaneously discriminate between images of their fellow monkeys.”

but just like with humans the scientists understood “monkeys” to mean MALE BODIED monkeys.

Twelve adult male rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta) participated in the study

so already there was bias. that female bodied monkey’s don’t count and we don’t need to see how they think since they are the “other sex” anyway.

The monkey’s were given headshots of both males and females, and hindquarters of females to look at. The article does not discuss how the monkeys responded to headshots of the females. but high social ranking males and female hindquarters were “paid for” more often.

Did they pay for headshots of the women too? would they pay for hindquarter shots of the socially high ranking males? how do we know that “sexiness” of the picture had anything to do with it? Maybe social desirability of the subject was important regardless of the position of the monkey in the camera frame. (not to mention that heteronormative assumptions are made about all subjects in the test).  So again, bias about how humans (i.e. heterosexual male humans) view naked pictures comes into how the experiment was organised, and how the data is interpreted:

Camerer says it is “no surprise” that male monkeys “really like looking at female posteriors”. But he is puzzled that males would pay with juice to see high-status males, but would not look at them for very long.

so already we can see this is a problematic study, immersed in patriarchal structure. feminsiting has a post today about science being used to objectify (human) women.

But what about the monkeys? they were “housed in captivity”.  And someone tells me about this study and expects me to be thrilled because no monkey’s were “physically harmed”(quote from self proclaimed nice guy)? Um… vegan here, I’m for autonomy of creatures. that means I’m against captive animals as a slave class for experimentation, regardless of the nature of the experiment.

And onto the issue of consent. This is the biggest issue involved. I don’t know about you, but If I was hanging around and people took pictures of my genitals and butt, and then sold it as porn to someone else, I’d feel angry and violated. But we can do that to monkeys, and its no big deal. More specifically, we can do that to FEMALE BODIED monkeys and it is  SCIENCE.

But you know what? People do this to FEMALE BODIED PEOPLE too. and there is no recourse. If I’m at a nude beach, and someone takes a picture to use as porn, that’s sick right? but shit like this happens, and it is legal, since I’m in a public place. CREEPY. Even if it were illegal, I can’t go to the cops. That could close down the beach, and everyone would “know” its my own fault, and really I wanted it anyway because otherwise I wouldn’t have been naked and teasing men with my nudity.

so this whole taking pornographic pictures without consent issue is both personal and political.

Just more evidence that female bodies are the bodies of the sex class. To be used by men, for sex and porn whenever they want to.  Whether it is male scientists using female monkey bodies to observe monkey objectification, or male monkeys paying to view female bodies as a commodity. Or if it is male humans jerking off in public at a female body who is minding her business and just wants to enjoy the beach. Female bodies are only good for sexual gratification of men and to hell with what women think about it.  Guess what that looks like to me: rape culture.

but you know, getting upset about this hurts the feelings of all those liberal nice guys who really do respect women “both as a group and as individuals”, but who still find this study awesome. /snark.

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why male allies need patience

because LiBerAL Doods and MRAs and Nice Guys (TM) are fucking everywhere.

And I’m sick of it. I don’t want to deal with it. I’m done. its not a great situation for me. my hormones tend to prefer beards and cocks, but I just can’t deal with it anymore. I need a break. I am taking a temporary hiatus from men. not just from fucking them, from them. I don’t want to meet any new men.

If I know you already, you can stay. but I have no interest in befriending new men right now. I do not have the patience to sift through the pile of shit that wants to discuss why I’m doing feminism wrong. and tell me how they NEED to eat meat.

what brought this on? well you really mean “what is the straw that broke this camels back?”

I had a phone conversation at midnight a couple nights ago. that’s right midnight. Some guy from high school saw I was awake online and decided to call me when I was talking online to him. last week in an IM he had asked me to dinner. I said yes. why not.. my facebook is feminist and vegan and nearly gay marriage central. if he can see that about me and want to eat a meal with me, fine. but it was midnight. I was at a friends house (which he knew from the IM.), and he decided it was a good time to call. (ummm o..k..)

I shouldn’t have answered the phone. but I shouldn’t have answered the phone in the same way people shouldn’t drink too much, it doesn’t justify behavior of other people toward them and make things the drunk persons fault.

now it was two days ago and my memory doesn’t work so well when I’m annoyed and tired. so I can’t provide a transcript, but here’s the gist of it:

He started right in asking about the veganism, and telling me that I should respect his culture, because his culture is about eating off the land and that includes eating meat. BECAUSE FACTORY FARMS IN THE US ARE JUST LIKE THAT. blah blah blah, I don’t respect his culture. NEWS FLASH: I don’t respect any culture that is used as a defense of oppression. oh wait, that’s most of them.

any way. he then asked me why I care about gay marriage so much. and I told him the truth. because marriage is a patriarchal structure historically between a woman and her rapist. and that there can be no equality in marriage until it is legally recognized as a partnership between any two PEOPLE. because women should be seen as PEOPLE.

to this he responded that women should be drafted in the military too… its not fair. Feminists don’t stand up for that! but I’m all for equal pay for equal work but women should be part of the draft.

um… how about we should abolish a system that forces any person to be rounded up by the government for the purpose of being shot at.

then he keeping very calm, because maintaining the status quo doesn’t affect him so its all theoretical to him, he tells me that I’m interrupting and getting angry and i should look for ways to fight oppression that are quiet. because black people were quiet during the sit ins in the 60s. and that PROVES that being calm and quiet gets you what you want.

So I let him finish every sentence with 5 extra seconds of silence after he finished and noticed that he kept interrupting me. because MY voice is the one that isn’t important. He told me, “you sound so angry if you sounded less angry people would listen to you more.” I was trying to explain I am angry, and was about to tell him all the reasons we should ALL be angry, but he interrupted me.

after a while I decided I was tired of being interrupted. I was tired in general. It was the middle of the night, he called me, and expected me to be coquettish or something and flirty and compliant. FUCK. THAT. SHIT. I hung up on him. I don’t need to waste my cellphone minutes and my time on that shit.

he then sent an IM to me as I was still logged in, “hanging up on someone isn’t very free thinking”

The Carrie Prejeen defense (or whatever her name is). “but free speech should mean you have to listen to me and not use your words to reply!”

and how many people honestly think its ok to be racist. if you want people to accept people, you are wanting them to think in a certain way. lets be honest about that. you can recognize that you cannot FORCE someone to change they way they are thinking. You can recognize that you should not jail someone for thought or words alone, but I do want to change the way people think.

I want people to think love should be important, I want people to think murder is bad. I want people to think that animals are worthwhile living creatures who should not be raped, tortured, and killed.

when I was in college one girl was being really shitty and mean and she actually said, “but this is just part of who I am you should just accept me.” this is not what I’m about.

so yeah. moral of the story. there will be women who do not trust you if you are a male ally in the feminist fight. but we need male allies. we must all work towards a better future. so please keep organising and working. but know that right now, I can’t deal with you. I can’t educate you, and sure as hell don’t have the patience for you to tell me “yUr doin it RONG!”

I can only hit my head against a wall so many times before I get a concussion

I was in the kitchen at the hostel and Phil comes in.  Yes that’s his real name because assholes don’t need their names protected.  Anyway, he has to dress up for work.  in a theme.  He was rightfully bemoaning this and then said, “well at least hte theme has been picked out, it’s “saved by the bell”  and since most people don’t know about it it’s really just a generic “school” thing”.  (ok I’m paraphrasing, it was a couple days ago I can’t remember the entire conversation….)

He continues, “so I’ve got a cheap white shirt and I’ll just right something studenty on it like ‘so and so’s so gay.”

I for once don’t bite my tongue (yay me), “but something that is less of a homophobic slur, right?”

“well I wasn’t really going ot right that, and i mean it ironically”

I keep trying to explain that it is still hurtful, and inappropriate language since it’s origins are what a group of people self identify as, and it is being used to say that things like that group of people are wrong.  and even if it is a joke it perpetuates an acceptance of that language.

He became defensive because asking him to not use homophobic language was stifling his white male middle-class heterosexual life.  He see’s himself as a "nice guy" so he wouldn’t admit that he was in the wrong, because then he’s have to change to still be a “nice guy”.

I’m. just. so. angry.  This is someone who thinks they are modern and forward thinking and nice.  I just don’t know what to do.  it’s so depressing.