When you can't live without bananas

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Friday, January 16, 2015

Links - 16th January 2015

Think preventive medicine will save money? Think again - ""Preventive care is more about the right thing to do" because it spares people the misery of illness, said economist Austin Frakt of Boston University. "But it's not plausible to think you can cut healthcare spending through preventive care. This is widely misunderstood." A 2010 study in the journal Health Affairs, for instance, calculated that if 90 percent of the U.S. population used proven preventive services, more than do now, it would save only 0.2 percent of healthcare spending. Some disease-prevention programs do produce net savings. Childhood immunizations, and probably some adult immunizations (such as for pneumonia and the flu), are cost-saving, found a 2009 analysis for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The vaccines are cheap, and large swaths of the population are vulnerable to the diseases they prevent. The cost of providing them to everyone is less than that of treating the illnesses they prevent. Counseling adults about using baby aspirin to prevent cardiovascular disease also produces net savings. The counseling is inexpensive, the aspirin even cheaper and the costs of heart disease, which strikes one in three U.S. adults, are enormous. Screening pregnant women for HIV produces net savings, too. Those, however, are exceptions. One big reason why preventive care does not save money, say health economists, is that some of the best-known forms don't actually improve someone's health... The second reason preventive care brings so few cost savings is the large number of people who need to receive a particular preventive service in order to avert a single expensive illness... 217 high-risk smokers would have to undergo a CT lung scan for one to be spared death from lung cancer, according to a database of studies maintained by Dr. David Newman, an emergency physician at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City. One hundred post-menopausal women who have had a bone fracture would have to take drugs called bisphosphonates in order for one to avoid a hip fracture. By comparison, only 50 people with heart disease must be treated with aspirin for one to avoid a heart attack or stroke, making this a good buy... The Trust suggests such steps as extending bus lines to parks so people without cars can go someplace pleasant for physical activity and other "community-based" efforts. These strategies save more money in healthcare spending than they cost."

Firebombs thrown at police in Stockholm riot - "The events in Ragsved in southern Stockholm came after week-long riots in Husby on the other side of the capital in May last year when hundreds of cars were burnt as police battled immigrant youths after a Portuguese man was shot dead by police... "What is quite unusual here is that this was seemingly somewhat planned ahead," police spokesman Kjell Lindgren said. He said firebombs and piles of paving stones were already prepared when police arrived and the approximate 30 people behind the riot were reported to have been masked."

Ivar Ekman | How Immigrants Are Changing Sweden's Welfare State - "Tino Sanandaji is among the last people one would expect to argue that immigrants pose a threat to Sweden’s way of life. An economist at Stockholm’s renowned free-market think tank Research Institute of Industrial Economics, Sanandaji is a member of a Swedish elite that has long defended open borders. And his own life offers a clear example of an immigrant success story: Sanandaji arrived in Sweden from Iran in 1989, with his mother and younger brother, when he was nine years old. With financial assistance from the Swedish government, Sanandaji was able to attend the elite Stockholm School of Economics. From there he moved to the United States, where he earned a Ph.D. in public policy from the University of Chicago. And yet Sanandaji now argues that Sweden should stop taking in people who share his background. “Immigration has meant that Sweden has imported a bunch of social and economic problems that to a degree didn’t exist before,” he tells me, sitting in a modern conference room at his office in the upscale Östermalm neighborhood of Stockholm. “For a number of reasons -- a long period of peace, a homogenous population -- Sweden has had a unique combination of welfare, growth, and equality. That idyll is to a certain degree over... In 2000, 11 percent of Sweden’s population was foreign-born. Today, the proportion is closer to 17 percent, higher than any comparable country in Europe -- and higher also than the United States, where only 13 percent of the total population is foreign-born. And far from slowing down, the trend is accelerating... economic growth has been sluggish since the 2008 financial crisis and, even more worryingly, jobs have become scarce -- especially in the sorts of low-skilled sectors that newly arrived immigrants have traditionally flocked to. Unemployment is now stubbornly stuck above eight percent. Among foreign-born Swedes, the rate is twice as large... the hallmark of Swedish society has been a combination of very high social trust and a marked degree of individualism based on a duty to work. Sweden is becoming the clearest case study of a question being asked across Western Europe: Can a modern welfare state be reconciled with rapidly increasing diversity at a time of rapidly dwindling job prospects?”
Comment: "I'm working on my PhD in Political Sociology from a very reputable world-renowned school, and I'm finding myself silenced in discussing some of the same issues that your article has pointed out, being accused of bigotry, xenophobia, islamaphobia, etc, which affects my professional reputation. Some other concerns that I've had (research on Security and asymmetric warfare) has also been related to the connection between Welfare fraud and human trafficking in Europe and the UK. Unfortunately, I have to abandon my research in this area. Not an easy topic to discuss or for people (especially academics) to entertain."

Why women should never go halves on a first date - "Despite being a feminist and despite being more than capable of affording my own dinner, I still want a man to pay for me on dates... Paying for a women on a date has nothing to do with feminism."
Cue people calling her a fake feminist

Speech by PAP Secretary-General Lee Hsien Loong At the PAP 60 Rally 2014 Sunday, 7 December 2014 - "they tell the people: “Vote for me so that I can check the PAP. I can make the Prime Minister and his ministers work harder.” If everybody accepts what they say, then we will have a lot of checkers; no workers and if they spend all their time checking on one other, there will be a gridlock, like in other countries. There is no way you can run away from the truth. There are so many seats in Parliament. That’s all. For every one more “checker” we have in the Parliament, there will be one fewer “doer, thinker and leader” in the Government, to serve the nation, to serve the people. Eventually, there will be no more PAP to check, there will be no able team of ministers working and solving problems for Singaporeans, no progress for Singapore, no future for Singapore. That will be the last check, because it will be checkmate for Singapore! So a great deal is at stake, Comrades."
If checks on a government are so bad, let's just implement a dictatorship for greater efficiency

Timeline Photos - Channel NewsAsia Singapore - "NAME A BABY DOLPHIN: We recently broke news that Underwater World Singapore has a pink dolphin calf, and now here is your chance to name it!"
The comments are flooded with dolphin-rights activists trolling. If keeping dolphins in captivity is 'slavery', people clearly have nothing better to do. And why don't they go after zoos which keep primates?

Every country needs a political party like Sweden’s Feminist Initiative | Christian Christensen | Comment is free | theguardian.com
Comments: "It's impossible to have a grown-up discussion unless you all agree? Doesn't sound like a very exciting discussion."
"I suspect you're being somewhat disengenuous about this Party's true motives. Back in 2005 shortly after its foundation, instead of tackling a mainstream platform, the FI presented proposals to abolish marriage and create "gender-neutral" names. Is that still their agenda? I also wonder whether they have hoovered up any ROKS members, Sweden's largest women's shelter organization. The former head, Ireen von Wachenfeldt, was notorious for asserting that "men are animals.""
"This is definitely the most depressing story of the day. They are not idealists.
Idealists articulate a happy and positive vision for the future. That's not what feminists do. Most feminism I've seen here, Jezebel, other places is primarily concerned with trying to prove at all costs and using any tenuous arguments available, that women are victims. Whether they think of themselves as victims or not."
"Cool. I'm all for it. a world free of gendered power structures and discrimination sounds brill. I suspect some of the eye rolling you encounter comes from the fact that most people don't think that's what feminists generally want though. most of us can agree with the general gist, but then someone tells you that society's a rape culture, wants to ban stuff left right and centre, pretend domestic violence is an exclusively male-on-female problem, suggests condemning accused rapists on the basis of hearsay outside the constraints of criminal law, artificially engineer company boards so that "women of colour" are massively over-represented, and get everyone to agree that Thomas The Tank Engine is evil. And that's all stuff self-proclaimed feminists have said in this paper, by the way. I really wish I was making it up but I'm not."

Sweden debates hitting men with domestic violence tax - "The Left Party says the idea of men collectively paying for the social costs of violence towards women is similar to the principle of poor people paying less tax than the rich"

Guardian: Thomas the Tank Engine is Racist Because the Evil Trains Pump Out Black Smoke - "By exposing her children to this endless twaddle (remember, the above is only the stuff she feels comfortable publishing) the author is projecting her bizarro notions of class, race, work, and of course the must have guilt burden of the season: the environment, onto her unassuming and likely uncaring kids. Why should children be lumbered with the distressing political correctness of their parents in lieu of a guilt free, enjoyable childhood? "

MP David Lammy apologises for BBC Pope race 'innuendo' claim - "David Lammy was commenting on a BBC Twitter message, which asked "will smoke be black or white?". Mr Lammy, tweeting from the Commons chamber, said the BBC message was "crass and unnecessary". He later apologised after Twitter users pointed out the role played by black and white smoke in announcing the election of a new Pope."
This reminds me of people who claimed calling Libya a tribal society was racist

Why Believing In Astrology Is Not As Harmless As You Think - "Astrology is also bad for us and our interpersonal relationships. Because it tells us to pre-judge people according to their astrological signs, it basically makes us complete assholes"

Paranormal Beliefs Come (Super)Naturally to Some - "Women are more likely than men to believe in haunted houses, communicating with the dead, and astrology. Men, on the other hand, show a slightly greater proclivity than women to believe in extraterrestrial beings"
This is one reason why women are more religious
Addendum: "Kathleen, a New Jersey counselor who treats both men and women for a variety of issues, isn't surprised by the finding that women are, in some cases, bigger believers in the paranormal. She suspects it's a function of how men's and women's brains work. "Women are just more receptive, more intuitive, and more plugged in, whereas men tend to be logical and sequential," she says. "In my work, I find that women are much more inclined to speculate about hypothetical situations.""
More evidence that women are more irrational than men

Why Lawyers and Economists Can't Communicate, And What It Means For Tax Policy - "economists want to know why tax law works the way it does and how it changes behavior. Lawyers focus on the mechanics of how the law works. It is a bit like the difference between and theoretical physicists and engineers."

Toa Payoh resident's Christmas decor to stay - "Member of Parliament for Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC Zainudin Nordin on Thursday (Dec 11) said the makeshift Christmas structures and decorations put up by a Toa Payoh Lorong 7 resident will remain a fixture for the community. Mr Martin Silva has been putting up Christmas decorations outside his ground-floor HDB flat in the common area for the past three years and, for that, received a series of fines from the Town Council, according to a report by the Straits Times. Commenting on this on Thursday, Mr Zainudin said on his Facebook page that he understood the Town Council's concern, as it has the responsibility to make sure the common areas are not for private use and is safe for all residents. "But at the same time, if residents have good ideas to bond the community, we should encourage them," he said."
And they complain Singaporeans are apathetic...

Lee Kuan Yew on Indians and Asian Values

The Prime Minister: I stand by the decisions we made, and the Constitution is functioning. And any tampering, any desire to follow Whitehall or Westminster, Singapore undertakes at its own peril. I know what works. I am not defensive about my colleague, the Second Deputy Prime Minister, being in charge of the NTUC. It is a system that works. It has brought prosperity, high wages and a good life to Singapore workers.

Let me remind a younger generation of Singaporeans who do not know that a British Prime Minister tried to do likewise. Mr Harold Wilson, in 1966, co-opted his Chairman of the TUC, Mr Frank Cousins into the Cabinet. Got him into Parliament; made him a Minister of the Cabinet. Mr Frank Cousins, because he could not carry out policies which he supported in the Cabinet with his TUC, took the easier way out and resigned, and went back to be a great trade union leader. Why is the country in a shambles? Is that a paradigm for us? Or is there not a lesson, that perhaps what is functioning in Singapore should be jealously preserved. Work within the system. There have been more than 50 constitutions promulgated by the British on the independence of their various colonies. Very few have worked, despite radical amendments, despite one-party states. Ours has. Why? Because we have a practical people whose cultures tell them that contention for the sake of contention leads to disaster. I have said this on many a previous occasion: that had the mix in Singapore been different, had it been 75% Indians, 15% Malays and the rest Chinese, it would not have worked. Because they believe in the politics of contention, of opposition. But because the culture was such that the populace sought a practical way out of their difficulties, therefore it has worked.

But I go on and inform my younger colleagues here that, in the process of change, we moved away from the Chinese schools, where the principle is that the rights of society come over and above that of the individual, to the English schools where the philosophy is the individual and his rights to the exclusion of everybody else's. That we now face, even with the Chinese, the English-educated, a novel situation where he has a conflict within him, of deep, abiding cultural beliefs of the family, the clan, the nation, but super-imposed, the books he has read, the television series he watches, in which the rights of the individual are paramount.

If we go with the West, then I say we will have all the maladies, the malignancies of Western society. The Japanese have pointed out to the Americans that they have seven engineers to one lawyer. The Americans have seven lawyers to one engineer. They are always contending. $150 million for one libel suit by a general against CBS. $50 million by an Israeli general against Time magazine. It is a society that believes in contention.

I know exactly what the older generation in Singapore wants. I do not have to tell them; they do not have to tell me. We are pan of one whole that has made Singapore.

I am asking the younger generation to ask themselves what made Singapore work. Are you wise in tossing overboard fixed, settled values which are part of our culture, of our ethos, for principles and theories of government espoused in the West which are not part of our culture and not part of our system? I understand the Member for Anson because that is all he has. He does not share in this other part. It is not his fault. His name is Joshua Benjamin. I know large parts of Jaffna where they cut off their connections with their ancestors and called themselves by the names of their plantation owners. It is not his fault. But these are deep fundamental beliefs, abiding beliefs. He knows no other system. So he comes forth with this.

I know what I believe is a superior system. We adopt enough of the West in order to hoist in their science, their technology, their competitiveness. Like the Japanese, we should try to remain as much ourselves and to keep as much of the fundamentals as we can. And it is very difficult. Language is the key to daily influence, via the media, We have educated a whole generation in English. With it goes all the TV serials. Unless a conscious effort is made, it will be a different Singapore. Do not kid ourselves. I fought strenuously to prevent the drift of the students from the Chinese schools into the English schools. I tried to slow down the process, but parents decided that they wanted their children to have this key to the future. But this key also opened up other values, besides science and technology and engineering. That is the difference between Japan and us, apart from size. No feature goes to Japan without somebody actively having considered the matter, deciding that it is wise to translate or interpret, either a TV feature or a book. We are wide open.

And I am suggesting to this younger generation: you are going to hear more and more of this, and not just from the Member for Anson. If it is just from the Member for Anson, it is easy to demolish. It is from visiting professors, from eminent practitioners in every field, whether they are surgeons, ophthalmologists, whatever. They come from a different system, they espouse the views of their different system. Have we got the self-confidence to say, "No. I start off as the product of a unique civilization, the only one which has no break in continuity for more than 4,000 years." There must be some reason. Is it that inferior? Yes, it has lost in the race for science and technology. But in the interpersonal relationships, the fundamentals of filial relationships, familial relationships, is it an inferior system? This is what the debate is about, about our future. And we will deceive ourselves, particularly the PAP backbenchers, if we begin to talk to the older generation. They already know they are with us. They do not want what they can see is happening with their children, but they do not know how to stop it. And it is partly our circumstance. We had to go this way because we wanted the knowledge to make Singapore viable. There was no other way. The hazards had to be run; the hazards are being run.

Our job is constantly to remind them how different we are, and how important it is that we should stay different in order that we can survive. We are so jejune, so young as a people. We have made decisions without knowing their long-term consequences. I illustrate a very simple one. When the pill was discovered, it was supposed to be a blessing for mankind, and we just took the pill in, and family planning dispensed the pill. It has led to promiscuity in the West, the total breakdown of all family control over children, a new kind of society where you shack up with people and you have one-parent families. It may interest Members to know that the Japanese forbade the pill. And it is still forbidden. If you want birth control, you buy the old fashioned condom. They have it in multi colours. It has taken me nearly 15 years to realize the wisdom of that move. We are too small. Even if we ban it, they will go to Johor Baru and get it. But, as a result, they have maintained their values - chastity, high level of fidelity, maybe old-fashioned, double standards for men and women, but the integrity of the family is preserved.

I am not sure what is going to happen to our families. Our divorce rates are slightly up, but nowhere near the dangerous levels of Britain and America. But we have working women fully independent, economically. We have already unlocked important family grids that hold the units together. We are proliferating homes into Housing Board units. Where are we going? We are not arguing with the Member for Anson or the Member for Potong Pasir. We are arguing for the minds of the next generation and they are too young to know, as we indeed were too young to know what was good.

--- PRESIDENT'S ADDRESS, Debate on the Address (First Allotted Day), 01-03-1985

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Links - 14th January 2015

Women Fighting Against Feminism - "FEMEN operated much like an advertising agency whose only objective was to create a buzz and garner as much media attention as possible. This validates what the manosphere has been saying about the fourth-wave feminism for quite some time now, that this new-age feminism is nothing more than trolling, attention-whoring and validation-seeking without any core objectives. It is also worth noting that FEMEN, who has an anti-prostitution stance, were paying prostitutes to march topless in their demonstrations against the exploitation of women. Whether the irony of this hypocritical behavior was noticed by FEMEN is still a moot point."

Menstrual leave 'good for companies' - "Providing female car workers with paid menstrual leave would improve a company's productivity and quality, Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU) secretary Doug Cameron said today. Production line jobs were tough on some women during their monthly cycle and their problems should be recognised, he said. A claim for 12 days menstrual leave a year for women is one of 600 improvements being sought by the AMWU from carmaker Toyota. "We've consulted with our women members for this bargaining round and they indicated that there were some women who had significant problems during the menstrual cycle""

Left-handed people earn less money - "According to Harvard economist Joshua Goodman, left handed people earn 10 to 12 percent less per year than their right handed counterparts. That's roughly the same gap created with an additional year of schooling. "Lefties have more emotional and behavioral problems, have more learning disabilities such as dyslexia, complete less schooling, and work in occupations requiring less cognitive skill," Goodman told Bloomberg. However, these disadvantages only apply to lefties born to right-handed mothers. Lefties born to left-handed mothers actually had fared as well as righties."

How Sociologists Made Themselves Irrelevant - "It explores ways to alleviate the problems of black youth. Sociologists have shied from such cultural work, fearful of critiques similar to those that greeted 1960s culture-of-poverty scholarship by Oscar Lewis, the policy studies of Daniel Patrick Moynihan, and the Parsonian overdetermining emphasis on values. In focusing on ways that impoverished communities perpetuated poverty, such scholarship was criticized for blaming the victim, and for several decades, sociologists have taken pains to distance themselves not only from that approach but from studies of the cultural dimensions of poverty, particularly black poverty. The great irony in that overreaction is that throughout that 40-year period of self-imposed censorship within the discipline, the vast majority of blacks, and especially black youth and those working on the front lines of poverty mitigation, have been firmly convinced that culture does matter—a lot. Black youth in particular have insisted that their habits, attitudes, beliefs, and values are what mainly explain their plight, even after fully taking account of racism and their disadvantaged neighborhood conditions. Yet sociologists insisted on patronizingly treating blacks in general, and especially black youth, as what Harold Garfinkel called "cultural dopes" by rejecting their own insistence that their culture mattered in any understanding of their plight... black youth, and people generally, are not offended by attempts to change their values, habits, and even their modes of self-presentation if they are first persuaded that it is in their own interests to do so. Jackie Rivers and I learned this firsthand from our study of a group of inner-city youth, many with prison records, undergoing a demanding job-training program that aimed to alter those aspects of their cultural styles and attitudes toward work that made it hard for them to get or keep a job. None of them considered this a threat to their identities, as individuals or as black people... Never treat your subjects as cultural dopes. If you find yourself struggling to explain away your subjects’ own reasoned and widely held account of what they consider important in explaining their condition, you are up to something intellectually fishy... If you end up with findings that have policy implications that you would never dream of advocating for yourself or your loved ones, be wary of them"
Maybe this is why sociology gets bashed so much. If the results of your research make you uncomfortable, you're supposed to consider it fishy

Harry Potter fans can finally study at 'Hogwarts' - "Held at Czocha castle in Poland, The College of Wizardry is a live-action role play (LARP) organised by volunteers in which players take the roles of students, with veteran Nordic LARP-ers playing the staff."

Magnasanti: The Largest and Most Terrifying SimCity - "After a massive amount of planning and a great deal of trial and error, he was able to create a city with over six million inhabitants. Moreover, the city he created was remarkably stable, with no abandoned buildings and no wasted space. There are no roads — all transit is mass transit. An omniscient police force has eliminated all crime in the city. Magnasanti’s water and power needs are supplied by neighboring cities, eliminating the need for much of the related infrastructure. In SimCity terms, it is a masterpiece. But at the “street level,” so to speak, it looks like a horrifying dystopia. Unemployment is high, air pollution is stifling, education is largely absent, medical care and fire response are non-existent. Citizens do not live to reach retirement age. The police state has essentially eliminated free will and allowed the city to maximize its size while reducing quality of life to a minimum — and still maintaining total control over the citizens. Every person living in Magnasanti spends his life working and residing in one small, massively efficient block of space, until death around age 50."

What it was like to teach essay writing to North Korean college students: They all chose topics criticizing America.

A long list of sex acts just got banned in UK porn - "Pornography produced in the UK was quietly censored todaythrough an amendment to the 2003 Communications Act, and the measures appear to take aim at female pleasure."
The bans were probably meant to 'protect' women. From, among other people, themselves.

The UK's sexist new pornography restrictions aren't just an act of state censorship, but could be the first step towards something even worse - "It looks like an unelected quango is gearing up to impose foreign financial sanctions, by utilising unelected bankers to decline payments to foreign jurisdictions, based on a selective interpretation of the unelected CPS’ Guidelines on the OPA, drafted in collaboration with unelected film censors at the BBFC. This is a spectacularly dangerous precedent. It might not be your cup of tea. But pornography is the canary in the coal mine of free speech. It is the first freedom to die. If assaults on liberty like this are allowed to go unchallenged, further freedoms will fall as a consequence."

HIV is evolving to become less deadly - "HIV has evolved to adapt to HLA-B57 more than in South Africa, so patients no longer benefited from the protective effect. But they also found the cost of this adaptation for HIV is a reduced ability to replicate — making it less virulent. The scientists then analysed the impact on HIV virulence of the wide use of AIDS drugs. Using a mathematical model, they found that treating the sickest HIV patients – whose immune systems have been weakened by the infection – accelerates the evolution of variants of HIV with a weaker ability to replicate."

Why ban pickup artist when we can rough him up? - "What is interesting about the Blanc situation is that he has been banned from Singapore, in large part, because of a grassroots campaign. How many of those who signed the online petition, I wonder, also launched the campaign to lift the ban on the library book about gay penguins? Or supported film-makers Tan Pin Pin and Ken Kwek when they were faced with bans on their films? Or muttered about the cuts made to the movie The Wolf Of Wall Street? Have any of them complained of nanny-statism, over-reaching regulations, or pre-emptive restrictions on activities because of the potential for causing offence? Because it would be inconsistent to ask for one and not the other. Banning Mr Blanc because he says things we might disagree with is censorship - it is not the person, book, film or website itself that is the problem, it is the message... he has been banned for his female-objectifying language, similar to the stuff that was snipped from The Wolf Of Wall Street."

Study: Cost of Living for Citizens in Singapore higher than Seoul and Hong Kong - "Singapore has been ranked as the 56th most expensive city in the world to live in for citizens... Singapore was still far behind big, western cities like New York and London which were ranked 11th and 27threspectively, but compared to other regional and Asian cities, Singapore was one of the top. It even came out to be more expensive to live in than Seoul (65) and Hong Kong (66). Singapore also grew in the rankings compared to 2012 when it was ranked as the 60th most expensive city. Overall, Singapore is still less expensive to live in for citizens than for foreigners as it was ranked as the 9th most expensive city to live in for expats. The different is mainly due to the different consumption habits of expats and Singaporeans and the fact that Singaporeans have greater access to subsidized housing, education and healthcare."

Man injured by Amsterdam pop-up toilet - "The man was hit by a moped which was thrown up in the air as the so-called UriLift toilet suddenly rose up... The toilets are a feature of central areas of Amsterdam, emerging at night to deter people from urinating in the streets."

South African academy trains anti-poaching dogs - ""One needs to be the dominant male. Hopefully, it's the guy and not the dog," said Marius van Heerden, a 28-year-old handler who lives, works and sleeps with Venom, a Belgian Malinois whose breed is known for endurance and athleticism and has been used by the U.S. military in Iraq and Afghanistan. Venom probably got his name from biting trainers as a puppy, van Heerden said... The bond between dog and ranger is vital, said Holsthyzen, the South African trainer, recalling a student's mistake. "He gave his dog to someone else to go and put in the kennels," Holsthyzen said. "And my immediate question was, 'Would you have another person sleep with your wife?'""

TGI Friday's Dumb Mistletoe Drone Cut Somebody's Face Open - "When TGI Friday's announced a promotion involving mistletoe-toting drones flying around inside its restaurants, the idea seemed both dumb and unoriginal. Now, that the restaurant's gimmicky marketing campaign has shed blood in Brooklyn, it just seems dangerous. And TGI Friday's isn't even taking the blame!"

Why One Male College Student Abandoned Affirmative Consent

Why One Male College Student Abandoned Affirmative Consent

"Dear Conor,

I am a recent graduate, and want to share with you a few of my experiences that I think are illustrative of why the new affirmative-consent laws are out of touch with the reality of the human experience. I hope they can be of some value to the debate.

I was raised by a left-leaning, feminist family who (at least I thought at the time) were relatively open about sex. But while I arrived at college with a healthy respect for women, I was totally unprepared for the complex realities of female sexuality.

“Oh,” sighed one platonic female friend after we had just watched Harrison Ford grab Alison Doody and kiss her is Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, “Why don’t guys do that kind of thing anymore? Now days they are all too scared.”

On our second night together, one of my first partners threw up her hands in disgust. “How am I supposed to get turned on when you keep asking for permission for everything like a little boy?” She said. “Just take me and fuck me already.”

She didn’t stay with me for long.

This would be a recurring theme. More than once I saw disappointment in the eyes of women when I didn’t fulfill the leadership role they wanted me to perform in the bedroom. I realized that women don’t just desire men, they desire men’s desire―and often they don’t want to have to ask for it. I also realized that I was in many ways ashamed of my own sexual desire as a man, and that this was not healthy.

At this point I was experiencing some cognitive dissonance with my upbringing, but in time learned to take an assertive lead unless I got a “no” or otherwise thought I was about to cross a boundary as indicated by body language.

One night I ended up back in a girl’s room after a first date (those do happen in college). She had invited me in and was clearly attracted to me. We were kissing on her bed, outer layers of clothing removed, but when my hands wandered downward she said, “No, wait.” I waited. She began kissing me again, passionately, so again I moved to remove her underwear. “Stop,” she said, “this is too fast.” I stopped.

“That’s fine,” I said. I kissed her again and left soon after, looking forward to seeing her again.

But my text messages received only cold, vaguely angry replies, and then silence. I was rather confused. Only many weeks later did I find out the truth from one of her close friends: “She really wanted you, but you didn’t make it happen. She was pretty upset that you didn’t really want her.”

“Why didn’t she just say so then, why did she say we were moving too fast?”

“Of course she said that, you dumbass. She didn’t want you to think she was a slut.”

Talk about confusing. Apparently in this case even no didn’t mean no. It wasn’t the last time I've come across “token resistance” that is intended to be overcome either. But that’s a line that I am still uncomfortable with testing, for obvious reasons.

But I have learned not to ask when it clearly isn’t necessary, or desired.

One of my fondest sexual experiences started with making eye contact across a room, moved to a dance floor, and then to an empty bathroom. Not a single word was ever spoken, because none had to be. We both knew and understood. I was a man and she was a woman, and we found ourselves drawn together in that beautiful way that men and women have been since a time immemorial, a time long before language was ever spoken.

Today in California this would be considered rape. I find that very sad. Women are not infantile. They can make their own decisions about sex, and that includes being able to say no―even if they don’t want to have to say yes.





"'Under an affirmative-consent standard, consent need not be verbal. Depending on the details, it's possible that your "saw her across the room" hookup was fine.'

And right there is what's so crazy about affirmative consent. First, the claim is that "just because she didn't say anything didn't mean she wanted it," and now it's "need not be verbal." That's nuts. More and more, it seems that affirmative consent really means "it all depends on how she feels the next morning.""

"the token resistance is formulaic. For instance, if you ask somebody how it's going or how they're doing, you're supposed to answer good, not actually tell them how you're doing, because it's an established way of greeting people. It's a pro forma behavior that doesn't actually mean anything more than shaking someone's hand. You're supposed to lie if you're feeling poorly or whatever.

Similarly, the token resistance on the part of the woman is an established part of the game, though obviously it makes telling the difference between "no, get away you creep" and "no, but really yes, because of tradition" more difficult. However, this is where being able to read people comes in, and being able to tell the difference between what the person really means, and the literal meaning, comes into play."

"You are legislating how consenting adults must have sex. I seriously doubt that women wanted to replace a bunch of patriarchs telling them what to do with their bodies, with a bunch of matriarchs telling them what to do with their bodies. If a woman wants to be pursued or persuaded, why in a free society do people get to tell her she can't? If a woman doesn't want to give verbal permission to every step, why are we removing her choice?... The only thing that will happen is that bad boys will become even more valued by women."

"What do you say to pro-lifers when they say just don't have pre-marital sex (or use protection, etc etc) and that if you do, well, have an "accident" you should own your own mistake? Or what about simply passing a law that any sex between any people less than 18 years of age, no matter the age difference, is by definition non-consensual and therefore rape?"
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