Men deserve everything women get: waiting periods, purity control and science-free sex education

From The Guardian UK:  http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/oct/06/men-women-waiting-periods-science-free-sex-education

It’s time to end the battle of the sexes and protect men with the same zeal as we do women


theguardian.com, Monday 6 October 2014

As state after state strips women of their access to abortion and the US supreme court rules to strip women of access to contraception, it seems only fair that men should be “helped” in the same way that women have been “helped” all these years. Right? After all, the laws are said to be there to protect us, from ourselves, and we wouldn’t want men to feel left out.

So, before engaging in any sexual act that could lead to procreation, what if all men had to undergo years of male-centric, abstinence-only education to learn about the horrors and all-around grossness of male sexuality? And what if the standards for how we legislated male sexuality and what we taught about it were based on scientific data of the same quality as that which is applied to women?

Boys, for instance, might be taught that each time you put your penis inside a different woman, it gets smaller. It’s “true”! Don’t leave your future wife with a bummer boner – abstain from sex until marriage.

Young men would also need to learn how to truly respect themselves and their bodies, because women have certain needs, and are stimulated visually. Gentlemen, if you go around wearing shirts that show off your biceps or jeans that hug your bottom (or, God forbid, your “package”), young women will think that you’re that that kind of guy. If you don’t aim to please, don’t aim to tease!

When a young man decides that he’s ready for sex – preferably within the confines of marriage – he would be taught that he is expected to be the sole party responsible for birth control? Yes, boys, maybe if you’re lucky, you’ll meet a woman who’s on the pill. But most women find that taking a daily hormone really lessens their enjoyment of sex, so you’d have to be prepared to get gel injected into your scrotum as often as needed to make sure the woman to whom you give your body doesn’t have to choose between really enjoying sex … and the potential negative consequences of having it without birth control.

But don’t get too excited! Before you’d be allowed to actually have sex, what if you had to wait 72 hours to make sure that’s really what you wanted to do? It’s a serious decision after all, with adult consequences, and men are not generally known for their ability to think while aroused. During that 72-hour waiting period (which you’d have every time you want to have sex, not just the first time), you would be treated to a battery of invasive medical procedures making sure you’re free of all sexually transmitted infections. (I’ve heard this involves something like a pipe-cleaner going into your penis-hole, but I try not to think too hard about dude stuff – it’s pretty confusing down there!)

Once your waiting period is over, you might have to get yourself to your nearest men’s health center – which can legally be as far as 150 miles from your hometown, which is not far enough to constitute any real burden – for education on child support and information about the psychological damage men can incur from having sex and how it probably causes penis cancer. You could also be shown a video about how women generally find men who have premarital sex to be disgusting and shameful.

Continue reading at:  http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/oct/06/men-women-waiting-periods-science-free-sex-education

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California’s Drought Is So Bad, Even Its Hydropower Is Drying Up

From Think Progress:  http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/10/07/3576715/california-drought-hydropower/

Posted on October 7, 2014

California’s ability to produce renewable energy from hydroelectric dams has been significantly hampered over the last few years because of an increasingly severe and widespread drought, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said Monday.

 The drought, which began in 2011 and is now covering 100 percent of the state, is drying up the reservoirs behind hydroelectric dams. The reservoirs create power when the force of the water in them is released onto turbines. When there is less water, there is also less pressure to spin those turbines, thereby decreasing the amount of renewable electricity that can be produced.

Hydroelectric power used to account for 20 percent of California’s in-state electricity generation for the first six months of each year from 2004 until 2013, the EIA said. But during the first six months of 2014, hydropower generation was halved, making up only 10 percent of California’s in-state electricity generation.

Continue reading at:  http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/10/07/3576715/california-drought-hydropower/

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Bill Maher’s atheist values: Why progressives must defend enlightenment, critique religious extremism

From Salon:  http://www.salon.com/2014/10/08/bill_mahers_atheist_values_why_progressives_must_defend_enlightenment_critique_religious_extremism/

“Real Time” fall-out illustrates a debate between theocracy and rule of law and reason. Liberals must choose a side


Wednesday, Oct 8, 2014

Bill Maher’s recent monologue on “Real Time” excoriating self-professed liberals for going soft on Islam — hotly debated again last Friday with Ben Affleck and Sam Harris, and expounded on in this exclusive Salon interview — might well serve as a credo for atheist progressives the world over.  He began by introducing a photo, originally posted on a social media site, showing a teenager in Pennsylvania mounting a statue of Jesus Christ in such a way as to create the impression that Jesus was fellating him.  Noting that it “may not be in good taste,” Maher declared that “there’s no picture that makes my heart swell with patriotism quite like this one.”

Why?  He explained that in the United States, with separation of church and state enshrined in the Constitution, the youth, on account of his sacrilegious prank, would not do jail time or face violence because “liberal Western culture is not just different, it’s better. . . . rule of law isn’t just different than theocracy, it’s better.  If you don’t see that, then you’re either a religious fanatic or a masochist, but one thing you are certainly notis a liberal.”

(In fact, Maher proved too sanguine about the supposedly religion-free workings of the U.S. justice system.  As punishment for the irreverent post, a court ordered the teen to do community service, observe a curfew, and stay off social media for six months.  Hardly comparable to facing a fatwa for drawing a cartoon of the prophet Muhammad, but indicative nonetheless of the worrisome pro-faith bias infecting at least courts of law in our supposedly secular republic.)

Maher included Barack Obama among those unwilling to talk straight about Islam, and rebutted the president’s repeated statements that ISIS is “not Islamic” by pointing out that “vast numbers of Muslims across the world believe . . . that humans deserve to die for merely holding a different idea, or drawing a cartoon, or writing a book.”  This means, said Maher, that “not only does the Muslim world have something in common with ISIS, it has too much in common with ISIS.”

Continue reading at:  http://www.salon.com/2014/10/08/bill_mahers_atheist_values_why_progressives_must_defend_enlightenment_critique_religious_extremism/

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This Week, Two Incidents Of Street Harassment Escalated Into Violent Attacks Against Women

From Think Progress:  http://thinkprogress.org/health/2014/10/09/3578215/street-harassment-escalates/

Posted on October 9, 2014

One woman in Detroit was shot and killed after refusing to give a stranger her phone number. Another woman in New York got her throat slashed for refusing to go on a date with a stranger.

 Those are just two examples of violence perpetrated against women over the past week. And while those cases grabbed news headlines, other acts of aggression on the street may have very well gone unreported. Advocates working to stop street harassment say the two incidents are a clear illustration of why catcalls and come-ons aren’t harmless for the people on the receiving end.

“You never know when street harassment is going to escalate into violence — and too often it does,” Emily May, the co-founder and current executive director of Hollaback!, an international nonprofit working to combat street harassment, said in a statement. “These recent cases are chilling.”

In Detroit, witnesses say that a 27-year-old mother of three named Mary Spears was harassed by a man after leaving the funeral of a family friend. He was asking for her number, which she refused to give to him because she was in a relationship. But the man wouldn’t leave her alone. Once her fiancee tried to intervene, the man opened fire, killing Spears and wounding five other people.

“What was on your mind that you could be so evil,” Spears’ aunt told a local Fox affiliate. “Because she said no to you?”

A similar situation recently unfolded in New York City, according to the New York Post. Police say that a man in Queens started pestering a 26-year-old to go on a date with him, but she turned him down. He reportedly became enraged, grabbed her, and slashed her neck with a blade. She was rushed to the hospital in critical condition but is expected to survive.

It’s not uncommon for women to become the subject of violence if they turn down men’s romantic advances, a phenomenon that was put on full display in May after Elliott Rodger went on a shooting rampage against “every single blonde slut” who rejected him. That tragedy, which resulted in the deaths of seven people in the Santa Barbara area, sparked a national conversation about gender-based violence. It also gave rise to a Tumblr called “When Women Refuse” to compile incidences like the ones that just occurred this week. Sometimes, the people who try to intervene on women’s behalf also end up on the receiving end of this violence.

Groups like Hollaback! say that it’s important to think about catcalling in this larger context. While some people may think of it as harmless, or expect women to interpret it as a compliment, it’s actually part of damaging culture that disempowers women and treats them like objects at the disposal of men.

Continue reading at:  http://thinkprogress.org/health/2014/10/09/3578215/street-harassment-escalates/

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