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Archive for the ‘Philosophy’ Category

Without Consent

fascists-with-vaginasAnother Twitter rant, lovingly preserved for your delectation.  This one was inspired by partisans taking exception to my being disgusted when other partisans compared a tyrannical, pro-police-state politician to women fighting for rights under Islamic theocracies on the grounds that said politician has a vagina.  The rant seemed to confuse a lot of doofuses who don’t follow me, but must have seen it in retweets; the idea that the behavior of cops and politicians might be rooted in psychosexual drives was apparently so deeply disturbing to them that many of them felt compelled to hurl insults at me, most of which can be paraphrased as “lol girls are dumb”.  But without further ado:

NEW POLICY: Defend a politician in a reply to me, be instantly muted without appeal.  Politicians are all sociopaths who want to control others non-consensually.  I don’t give a fuck what party they belong to or how much they’ve dazzled you with their bullshit; I’m not interested in it.  And I have no stomach for watching you grovel to them in my timeline.  Look, y’all, I totally get that dominating other people is a huge turn-on; it certainly is for me. BUT I ONLY DO IT TO THOSE WHO CONSENT.  Politicians & cops want to do it to those who do NOT consent; in fact, most of the thrill for them seems to be inflicting their will on non-consenting participants.  That is evil & wrong.  We have a word for using other people to get a sexual charge without those  people’s permission; it’s called “rape”.  And I won’t engage with those who try to defend it in real-life, non-fantasy scenarios.  Furthermore, as a switch I also fully understand that being controlled by someone else can be a huge turn-on.  But once again, with consent.  I’m not turned on by random assholes trying to top me without negotiating my consent, using threats & violence to wring compliance out of me.  If you want to grovel to random assholes, call them the equivalent of “master”, lick their boots & let them beat & exploit you, that is your affair; may you get all you’re looking for out of that relationship.  But I don’t want to watch, and I’m not going to indulge you in your exhibitionist submissive fetish by watching you grovel to cops & politicians in front of me.  You want me to participate in your perverted public humiliation scene?  I’m willing to do that for my normal posted rate.  But try to force my participation without negotiating my boundaries & conditions first, and I’ll mute you so fast you won’t know it happened.

And no, I’m not interested in debating “social contracts” with you.  I signed no contract, nor do I implicitly agree to one by participating in the lie of “elections”.  Nobody has authority over me unless I choose to give it to them; anything else is just cooperation gained by force or the threat of violence.  I reserve my BDSM games for the bedroom; those who want to act it out full-time, lifestyle, in public, with the possibility of permanent damage or other permanent negative consequences, are far more perverted than I’ll ever be.

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trump-protestI’m not easily surprised, but I definitely raised an eyebrow when I saw this on Monday:

…we propose to help build an international strike against male violence and in defense of reproductive rights on 8 March.  In this, we join with feminist groups from around 30 countries who have called for such a strike.  The idea is to mobilize women, including trans women, and all who support them in an international day of struggle – a day of striking, marching, blocking roads, bridges, and squares, abstaining from domestic, care and sex work, boycotting, calling out misogynistic politicians and companies, striking in educational institutions.  These actions are aimed at making visible the needs and aspirations of those whom lean-in feminism ignored: women in the formal labor market, women working in the sphere of social reproduction and care, and unemployed and precarious working women…

The hypocrisy of that call for sex workers to give up a day of income to make these cunts feel “inclusive” is amply demonstrated by the fact that sex work is notably absent from this list of forms of institutionalized violence against women:

…the violence of discriminatory policies against lesbian, trans and queer women; the violence of state criminalization of migratory movements; the violence of mass incarceration; and the institutional violence against women’s bodies through abortion bans and lack of access to free healthcare and free abortion…

There’s plenty of Marxist claptrap in this essay, but nothing for whores except the call for us to carry water for people who don’t give a damn about us.  As I said on Twitter, “The only water I’m going to carry for them is the water in my bladder, with which to piss on them & their hypocrisy.”  I also said this:

Until mainstream feminism starts calling for decrim – not Swedish model or other BS falsely represented as decrim – they can fuck themselves.  So, “feminists”, you want the support of sex workers in your pathetic little Lysistrata ripoff?  Start demanding decrim, and let female legislators introduce bills to decriminalize sex work in all 50 states & denounce “sex trafficking” hysteria in Congress.  THEN we’ll talk, and not a minute before.  We’re sick of your lies & insults, sick of being thrown under the bus.  Fuck you and your “protest”.  “Blah blah blah ‘male violence’!”  Except mainstream feminism promotes & enthusiastically cheers male governmental violence vs whores.  I don’t just “call out” misogynistic politicians & others on one day that YOU get to choose; I do it EVERY FUCKING DAY OF MY LIFE.

And yeah, I mean every word of that.  As Mistress Matisse said, “You really don’t get to just whistle us up when you want us & throw us right back under the bus when you don’t.”  You want sex workers’ help, feminists?  Actually prove you’re our allies in some substantive way.  Then, and only then, will you have the right to ask us to do anything at all for you.

 

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Tiger, Tiger

Lately I’ve found that I’m doing some of my best writing on Twitter, but since it’s an ephemeral medium I’m going to start reposting especially good tweet threads here.  On Saturday, while we were watching the mass protests against Trump’s executive order preventing people from a number of predominantly-Muslim countries from entering the US even if they had green cards, I tweeted the following; the second paragraph was tweeted later in response to people who kept erroneously referring to the protests, and the actions of lawyers rushing out to help detainees pro bono, as “democracy” when in fact it was (the republican form of) democracy that created and empowered the very system which these people were fighting. snarling-tiger

If I were the sort of person who found comfort in being right, I’d be very smug now that millions are waking up to the danger of giving more than a tiny amount of power to “leaders”.  But since I’m NOT that kind of person, I’m just shaking my head.  I’m not a seer or a brilliant analyst of mob psychology; I just understand that ALL humans are too flawed to be given power over others except in very limited circumstances & subject to revocation of that power by EACH individual subject to it.  In other words, no person is morally bound to obey “authorities” merely because he or she happens to be physically located within imaginary lines on a map which those “authorities” claim belong to them.  Donald Trump’s moral authority, or the moral authority of ANY politician, is exactly as legitimate as the moral authority of a tiger pissing on trees to mark its territory.  In other words, one should be mindful that there’s a dangerous and irrational animal in the area which believes it has the “right” to do anything it wants to those within that territory, but that animal’s behavior doesn’t represent “justice” or a “social contract” or “divine right” or anything else but the predictable behavior of a violent animal with no understanding of what right & wrong actually mean.  “Authorities”, like tigers, are best avoided unless they’re locked up in cages where they can’t maim others due to some whim, urge or emotion.  What they are NOT to be given is any kind of obedience or deference except what’s minimally necessary to get away safely if one happens to run into one.  And the same cautions apply whether it’s a Bengal tiger or a Siberian one, whether it has white, black or orange coloring behind the stripes, whether it’s male or female, or whether it’s actually a lion, leopard or jaguar instead of a tiger.  And replacing one tiger with another one won’t change anything except what that particular individual tiger might be most enraged by.

Individuals acting toward some shared goal, without a formal structure enforced by violence, is not “democracy”; it’s anarchy.  Grasp that.  Those who think “anarchy” is evil need to look at these protests & lawyers voluntarily helping immigrants.  THAT IS ANARCHY.  So the next time some ass tells you about how we “need” government to prevent anarchy, remember these protests; the truth is, we need anarchy to protect us from government.

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Asselfiecamera_2017-01-23-09-44-53-758 I told you Tuesday, I’ve let myself get very behind on my blogging during this trip, and the past two days did nothing to help that situation.  In fact, they made it worse!  On Tuesday night I was planning to stay in Ogden, Utah, just north of Salt Lake City, but as I was driving west on I-80 in western Wyoming there was an unpredicted snowstorm and I hit a snowdrift which decided to suddenly jump out in front of my car.  Neither I nor the car was damaged in any way, but I couldn’t get traction to get out of the snowbank and by the time AAA arrived to pull me out I was in no mood to drive any further that night.  So I switched my reservation to the nearest town and then checked in and finished yesterday’s freaking news column (just in case you ever doubted my dedication).  However, that meant two extra hours of driving yesterday, plus an extra half-hour due to the lingering bad road conditions from the snowstorm the night before.  Then the horrendous weather in Oregon added another hour…all of which means as I type this it has only been about 90 minutes since I got home from driving for fourteen and a half hours straight, the last six and a half of it in very stress-inducing weather.  My ears are ringing from engine & road noises & I don’t know if any of you get this weird kind of mental buzz from driving very long stretches, but I do.  And for some reason the Traveling Wilburys’ song “The End of the Line” keeps going through my head.  I have a very full calendar for the next few days, so I’ve taken double my usual dose of nighty-night edibles so I can go to sleep and reset my brain by tomorrow morning.  And that’s why you’re getting a sort of diary column again today; I hope you don’t mind.  I’ve included a selfie I took literally before getting out of bed Monday to soften the blow.  It’s a lot more flattering than the one I took in very bad light while waiting for the tow truck.

However, I do have a question:  Oregon people, is the guy in charge of programming your electronic road signs habitually confused or something?  There was a sign announcing “dense fog, low visibility” over a hundred miles east (measured by road) of where the fog actually was, but no sign at the fog’s real location.  The fog sign was at the beginning of a snowstorm, and though the visibility was indeed quite limited that doesn’t make it fog.  Also, there was a sign announcing “severe icy conditions in the area” to warn of a snowdrift in the left lane which was marked off by traffic cones while a crew worked to remove it.  And while I suppose that does indeed constitute “severe icy conditions”, usually the phrase “in the area” implies a geographic entity larger than five square meters or so.  It’s almost as weird as New Mexico’s oddly philosophical warning signs that say “high winds may exist” and “rocks may exist”.  OK, New Mexico, I appreciate your efforts to inspire drivers to question the nature of reality, but generally speaking highway signs aren’t a proper venue for that.  I think for purely everyday purposes, it’s safe to say that both rocks and high winds do indeed exist in many parts of the universe.  Changing your signs to simply read, “Beware of Rocks” or “Caution: Intermittent High Winds” would probably get your meaning across more effectively than framing the existence of hazardous natural phenomena as though it were a resolution for a debate in a Philosophy 101 class.

See?  I can still be entertaining even when I’m exhausted.  And I’m not even stoned yet.

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inannaMost of you probably already follow me on Twitter (and if you don’t, you should).  But while Twitter is a very powerful tool for publicity and activism, tweets are intrinsically ephemeral; though they do actually continue to exist indefinitely, they’re very difficult to find after a few days.  Therefore, I hope you’ll forgive me if, when I write a string of tweets that I think are particularly important, I republish them here for more attention ad greater permanence.  On January 14th, in response to the widespread fear in our community due to the Backpage takedown, I tweeted out the following message; it isn’t long, but it expresses a truth I think it’s very important that whores remember in these trying times.

Our profession truly is the oldest one on Earth.  Older than the pyramids, older than cities.  Older even than Homo Sapiens.  The US as an institution is just a toddler, albeit one of those toddlers we read about that gets ahold of a gun and kills their parents.  We have survived the fall of empires and the disappearance of whole peoples. We have survived fire, flood, famine, pestilence, war and every other disaster.  We have survived persecution, pogroms, confinement in brothels, literal slavery, mutilation & even burnings.  We will survive this too.  Read what the ancients wrote about us. We are the mothers of human civilization; it couldn’t exist without us.  And these so-called “leaders” know it.  They’re petulant children who resent their debt to us and are acting out violently.  But like all children they have a short attention span, and when some new shiny toy or victim to torture catches their attention they’ll leave us alone.  What we need to do is to survive until then, and to keep fighting to be heard and recognized by good people who will stand with us.  But no matter what, we WILL survive.  And our tribe will exist when The USA is nothing but a thing kids learn about in history, then forget.

We are as eternal as the sea; our enemies are mere insects, who annoy for a season and are then gone.  In order for them to win, they would have to completely destroy human sexuality; in order for us to win, all we need do is practice the patience and courage which we have in abundance.  And though it’s difficult to remember that in trying times, it doesn’t even matter if we do or not because even if we as individuals forget, we as a group will survive and triumph nonetheless.

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Live fast ’cause it won’t last.  –  Chris Stein & Debbie Harry

In Monday’s column “Crystal-Gazing” I wrote, “I don’t think it’s likely I’ll be around to see [the mid 2030s], but many of you will be.”  Several readers asked me why I believed I wouldn’t make it to that point; after all, I’d only have to live to 70, and the average white American woman born in the 1960s lives to about 75.  Now, I could point out that statistically, my chance of dying before 70 is roughly equal to my chance of living past 80, but that wouldn’t quite be true; a lot of the reason the life expectancy keeps increasing is that infant mortality keeps decreasing, so anyone who survives childhood isn’t statistically likely to live as much longer than her ancestors as it might appear just from looking at those life expectancy figures.  Also, most of the female members of my family live into their ’80s, even if the male ones have an odd tendency to die under strange and often newsworthy circumstances (ask me about that if we ever get drunk together).  That having been said, a fair number of relatives of both sexes have contracted cancer or more-exotic terminal diseases, some of them at early ages (like the maternal uncle who died of leukemia in his late teens), and I’ve had several close brushes with sudden death (two of them of the “hushed-nurse-saying-I-shouldn’t-be-alive” variety), so I don’t think my familial or personal life expectancy is quite as high as that of the general population.

And thereby hangs the tale.  As I’ve stated before, I have absolutely no intention of ever enduring chemotherapy; if I develop cancer I’m going to seek out palliative care, put my affairs in order and let the disease take its course.  I’ve seen more than my share of people I love spending their last days hooked to machines in sterile institutions, dying in infernal contraptions surrounded by shouting doctors and nurses pounding on their chests and shooting chemicals into their veins, or electrically shocking their soon-to-be-corpses, instead of expiring quietly in their own beds surrounded by loved ones.  So I have a DNR order; if it’s respected I will die when I die rather than being dragged violently back across the threshold because mere humans have decided I’m not allowed to leave this plane yet.  Furthermore, though the more strictly-rational among my readers may scoff, I’ve never claimed to be strictly rational; my several close brushes with death (and a frank assessment of the chances I have taken in the past and those I continue to take on a regular basis) have led me to feel that I’m living on borrowed time, and Death knows that “when he at last come to collect me it will be a rendezvous rather than a capture“.  Death and I are old friends; he was gracious enough not to interrupt my work before it was done, and it’s the least I can do to return that favor when the time comes.  He’s passed me by on several occasions when he probably should have taken me, and I’m not such a fool that I think he’s going to keep doing that indefinitely.

Nor would I want him to.  I’ve clearly stated my philosophy on this subject many times, including in my fiction; it’s mortality which gives life meaning, and I think it’s a bit rude for those whose dance is done to keep hogging the floor rather than making “room for the new dancers who are always waiting for their turn.”  And besides all of that, I’m far too independent to be able to enjoy a life of decrepitude and dependence, and far too vain to desire a life in which I’m no longer the object of desire.  The song below has always been among the larger group of my favorites, and I don’t feel any differently about it at 50 than I did at 15; when I go, I want people to still be able to honestly talk about how beautiful I was.  Shallow?  Probably.  Silly?  Maybe.  But my friends will tell you I rarely ask for anything, so I don’t think it’s greedy of me to ask that no one begrudge my wish to not have to endure years or decades of life after the things I like best about it are gone.

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New Year’s Eve 2016

The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.
  ―  Omar Khayyám, via Fitzgerald

And so we come to the end of another year, and good riddance.  I recognize that 2016 may have been quite good to some of you, and fairly typical for others, but for me it was (as regular readers already know) one of the most difficult of my life.  Oh, it can’t hold a candle to 1984, 1994 or 1995; 2015 was not far behind it, and 2008 could definitely give it a good run for its money.  But while all those other years were bad for me personally, I’m not remotely alone in feeling that 2016 will go down in the annals of time as one of the crappiest and most ill-famed.  How many brilliant and beloved musicians and other public figures did it take from us?  How many political disasters did it host?  How much tyranny did it preside over?  To be sure, any year in the course of an empire’s collapse is going to have a full measure of awfulness, but this one had far more than its share.  Still, at least we have the comfort of knowing that next year is unlikely to be as bad as this one was; even if it’s equally unpleasant in most ways, we’ll at least be blissfully free of the obscene vileness that Americans call a “presidential election”, which is something like an immense super-geyser from Hell that spews infectious disease-laden diarrhea over the entire planet.  Of course, we’ll have to live with the aftermath of the last one…nah, I had better stop before I say something that will tempt Fate.  In any case, my own life seems likely to be at least somewhat better; the stress has been slowly easing since August, and I’ve recently made some very difficult decisions that, though they’ll complicate my life in the short run, will simplify it (and, I hope, make it better) in the long run. So while it’s never possible to predict what a coming year will be like, 2016 showed its colors within the first few weeks; on that note, here’s a toast to the Moving Finger, and a plea for the next year of its writing to be less tear-provoking than its last.

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