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Monday, August 03, 2015

Links - 3rd August 2015

Amanda Lee Koe - i read this online article about the impending... - "i read this online article about the impending closure of yangtze cinema last week and was a little upset because it felt to me largely like a collection of words pretending to be an article so that the author could make a heap of dick puns at the expense of elderly chinese uncles... if you sit around long enough and interact and bother to be more than a voyeur, you'll realize there is a community there that is more about the solidarity than the softporn"

'Victim culture' means seven out of ten feel oppressed - "Huge chunks of the population have been racing to join the ranks of the officially disadvantaged, a report found. Belonging to a victim group means the opportunity of financial gain and promotion at work, and the chance to denounce enemies to police or in the courts. The ranks of those given special rights because of their victimhood have now swelled so that they outnumber their alleged oppressors. The analysis by criminologist Dr David Green said that Government recognised victim groups now take in 73 per cent of the population... Dr Green said victim culture had now become so popular that, if the claims of some victim groups are taken seriously, there are more victims than people in the country. He said this is because of 'multiple discrimination', in which some people are said to be victims on more than one count. So gay lobby group Stonewall, for example, says that a black gay man experiences prejudice from blacks because he is gay, from gays because he is black, as well as racism and homophobia from everyone else. On this reckoning, the number of victims amounts to 109 per cent of the population, Dr Green said... In his report, We're (Nearly) All Victims Now, published by the Civitas think tank, he said: 'The political-recognised victim status described by this list of isms and phobias has begun to do lasting harm to our liberal culture.' 'Groups who have been politically recognised as victims are starting to use their power to silence people who have had the cheek to criticise them.' Dr Green added: 'Modern victim groups create entrenched social divisions by defining opponents as oppressors who not only must be defeated by the state, but silenced by the state.'... The report referred to the case of Lynette Burrows, the writer warned by the Metropolitan Police that she had been reported as causing a homophobic incident after she gave a BBC radio interview in which she questioned whether children always benefit from having gay adoptive parents"

We're (Nearly) All Victims Now, David G. Green - "Many were surprised to learn in June 2006 that the law now considers the murder of a gay man as a more serious crime than the murder of someone who is not gay. The murderers of Jody Dobrowski on Clapham Common were given 28 years when, according to the judge, if they had voiced no hostility towards the victim's sexuality, the sentence would have been halved. The case sparked some media comment. Was it really worse than the murder of medical student, Daniel Pollen, in Romford, Essex in July 2005-a killing that was captured on CCTV and appeared to be without obvious motive? The judge thought so in June 2006, and the 'starting point' for calculating the sentence of Daniel Pollen's killer will be only 15 years. Is animosity to gays a worse motive than, for example, a calculated killing to silence a witness-perhaps when a rapist murders his female victim to prevent her giving evidence?... Our democratic culture has been based on discussion, compromise, give-and-take, and mutual learning. Victimocracy creates entrenched social divisions between victims and their oppressors. It makes the political process more of a battle for advantage at the expense of other people instead of a search for the common good. By trying to put some issues beyond rational contradiction, victimhood reduces the role of reasoned discussion, and thus the part that can be played by ordinary people in puncturing the pretensions of rulers and elitists with brute facts. Moral equality is the belief that every individual has the potential for rational autonomy and seeing right from wrong. From this view, it follows that people should not be treated differently solely because of inherited group characteristics (p. 29): "civilisation has advanced by individuals pushing themselves to the limit-pursuing 'transcendental' values: truth, goodness and beauty-not wallowing in self pity and delighting in blaming others" (p. 23) An important part of victimocracy is the strategy is to establish that the victim is the sole judge of when language is offensive. To keep oppressors and sympathisers on the hop, every now and then they change the words that cause offence. Recently the commonly-used term 'mental handicap' has been redefined as insulting (pp.32-33). But sometimes the tactic backfires. Stonewall in Wales has decided that the term 'openly gay' is unacceptable. Its web page on hate crime warns journalists that including phrases in reporting such as 'the victim was openly gay' or somehow 'flaunted her/his sexuality' suggests to readers that the victim is somehow responsible for the crime. It suggests they 'brought it on themselves' and can serve to 'endorse some people's prejudices'. However, the penchant of victim groups for changing at very short notice the words they find insulting not only traps oppressors, it can also catch out fellow victims. Word had obviously not got through to Stonewall in London, whose website displays the Stonewall manifesto for the 2005 general election. It regrets the fact that there are still only a 'tiny number of openly-gay MPs'. (pp. 33-34)
Freedom for groups undermines freedom for individuals"

Automatic podcast downloads - Will they download whilst I'm away on holiday? - BBC - FAQs - Home - "We understand that this may not be possible or practical, so you may need to make other arrangements (e.g. asking a friend to download episodes on your behalf). It's also worth noting that many of the BBC's podcasts are available to download internationally. So if you have access to the internet while you are on holiday, you may not have to miss out."

Man jailed 12 months for underage sex following chat on mobile app - "Ngo Choon Seng was the final accused person convicted before the State Courts, after four other men were jailed for engaging in sexual acts with the same girl on separate occasions."
Some victims get victimised a lot...

Rachel Dolezal's Parents Say She Has A History Of 'Seeking To Reinvent Reality' - "Larry and Ruthanne Dolezal told hosts Marc Lamont Hill and Nancy Redd that their daughter has a history of "seeking to reinvent reality," according to her mother. She had "expectations of herself that were not realistic, and also just a negative sort of view of people and family –- that sort of thing was also concerning," Ruthanne added... The Dolezals view their daughter's dishonesty about her identity as a way of disowning them as parents, which "is the painful part of this," they said. "We're very fond of our African American friends. We've always enjoyed ethnicity and diversity and had friends, and Rachel grew up that way. Adopting the four children was an extension of that as well. [Rachel's] identification with African Americans is not hurtful to us, but for her to reject us as parents, that is what hurts, and the dishonesty is very concerning," her mother said."

Sikh postman 'wins turban battle with Disney' - "A Sikh postman at Disney World has won his fight over claims he had been made to work away from customers so they would not see his beard and turban. Lawyers for Gurdit Singh said he had been segregated from staff and customers at the Florida theme park because he violated a "look policy"."

Letter - On Mozart - A German, Not Austrian, Composer - - "Salzburg did not become part of Austria until years after Mozart's death, and the city had been bound by historical and ecclesiastical connections to Bavaria (in what we now call Germany) since the ninth century. Furthermore, in Mozart's day most of the archdiocese of Salzburg, headed by the autonomous prince-archbishop, was still in Bavaria, not Austria. Remember, too, that Mozart's father came from Augsburg in today's southern Germany. That Mozart considered himself a "German" is beyond question"

Circumcised women can have healthy sex lives: expert - "Women who have been circumcised can lead healthy sex lives and achieve orgasms, an expert has told SBS's Insight. Anthropologist Fuambai Ahmadu specialises in female sexuality and health, and defends the right for women to undergo initiation rituals such as circumcision. "As an anthropologist who has studied female mutilation rituals in West Africa for many, many years and have written about it extensively," Ahmadu said, "most women do not experience it as mutilation and would never refer to themselves as mutilated." She also speaks from personal experience. Despite growing up and studying in the U.S., Ahmadu chose to be circumcised at age 21 in her home country of Sierra Leone. She was already sexually active at the time and told Insight that the traditional initiation ceremony, in which her clitoris and labia were cut, did not negatively impact her sexuality. “I was surprised to find out that there was absolutely no difference in terms of my sexual experience, sexual feeling, ability to achieve orgasm,” Ahmadu said. “There was absolutely no change at all”... some experts say the legal stance against female circumcision is contradictory, given the rise in labiaplasty in white Anglo-Saxon women. Sonia Grover is a Melbourne-based gynaecologist who has been working closely with the African community for almost two decades and thinks the current law is racially targeted."
Keywords: female circumcision

Rights Versus Rites - "In Senegal, in Gambia, in my country, Sierra Leone, there are words that we can use, as circumcised women, against uncircumcised women that are very insulting and very nasty and very offensive." Comparing these slurs to the word "mutilation," she continued, "I may be different from you and I am excised, but I am not mutilated. Just like I will not accept anybody calling me by the n-word to define my racial identity, I will not have anybody call me by the m-word to define my social identity, my gender identity." Ahmadu sees herself as speaking for African women who value female genital cutting but are shut out of the rarified realms of international civil society. "The anti-FGM activists have access to the media, and they have enormous resources, so they're able to influence the media in such a way that most of the women who support the practice cannot," she told me later that evening. "Even if they did, a lot of them are illiterate, so they can't even speak the necessary language, and they cannot respond to charges of backwardness and barbarity"... Opposition to anti-FGM efforts has been particularly strong in Ahmadu's native Sierra Leone, where, according to the United Nations, 94 percent of women have had clitoridectomies. The link to tradition is so valued that politicians have sponsored mass circumcisions to garner votes... For the Kono, circumcision is at the center of a girl's initiation into Bondo, a powerful female secret society (initiation into the male counterpart, Poro, also involves circumcision). "Among the Kono, Bondo is part of life; it's part of the culture," she said. "So in a sense it's your right. It is your privilege. And if you don't, then you are being denied your right. For me, it was something I was very excited to belong to . . . it was a question of when, not if.""

Why cocky guys get the girl - "“We found that, on average, overconfident people came across as a blend of highly desirable confidence and highly undesirable arrogance.” A key issue appeared to be whether there was competition for their romantic target. Women didn't necessarily find the cocky men more attractive initially. However, when men were given the opportunity to pit their profile against someone else’s, they were less willing to compete against cocky guys, while cocky guys were more willing to compete against others. Computer simulations based on the findings revealed that cocky men were more likely to succeed with women in a competitive environment like a crowded bar or club, because they were less likely to back down when competing for her attention and more likely to drive away the competition. The researchers also found that it wasn’t just men who benefited from being cocky – cockiness in women was equally as effective at deterring other women."
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