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Eric TF Bat said on April 24th, 2008 at 6:28 am

People are still considering it workable? That’s… weird.

My opinion (I know you’ve been hoping I’d pass it on, so here it is) is that the problem boils down to this: some young lasses, in response to a conversation inspired by the usual convention hormones, decided something like “I don’t mind the objectification, because it’s for a good cause”. The hormone-raddled lads interpreted this as “this isn’t objectification, because it’s in a good cause”. The rest, as they say, is hysteri.

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mygif

Wow, I hadn’t heard of this before but I have to agree that it’s an amazingly poorly thought out idea. I’m sure everything I would say has already been brought up, so I’ll just leave it at “Wow, I can’t think that stupid.” (Note; I’ve had roman candle fights and set off home made pipe bombs, so that’s saying something.)

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mygif

I’m hearing the “he’s married” argument a lot in his defense, but I still have no idea what that’s supposed to mean about anything. He’s married, therefore he can’t be a pervert? He’s married, therefore he can’t think with his erection? Connect the dots for me.

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Space_Battle said on April 24th, 2008 at 10:08 am

‘I know he’s both intelligent and married’

Neither of which has stopped men from being neanderthal pigs in the past. I didn’t see any good intentions. I see someone being needlessly blind about a lot of issues facing women. I think you are being needlessly blind, as well.

Here’s a thought experiment, change a few words about the project. Instead of the project he created, let’s instead call it, ‘Open Source Touch a Black Person’s Hair’. It will be a project to teach black people to have confidence in their own bodies and create harmony between the races. That sounds great, right? Actually no, that’s pretty damn racist, and the project he envisioned is pretty damn sexist.

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mygif

I think you are being needlessly blind, as well.

Given that I immediately recognized the idea as being not only completely unworkable but furthermore borne of male privilege (as I’ve commented elsewhere), I disagree.

Look at the original post, and his basic intention as written (and it’s all we have to go on as regards his inner mind on the issue) is pretty arguably to create a non-oppressive sex-positive environment. That’s a reasonable goal. The problem is that the idea wasn’t going to be either of those things and he didn’t realize it. Given that he’s since completely retracted his statement and said “no, you’re right, even proposing the idea made women feel less safe,” it’s clear that he gets it to an extent if nothing else.

That’s why I’m opting to go for the “generally decent person proposes blitheringly stupid idea in round of cluelessness” mode of interpretation here, particularly in conjunction with what I’ve read of him in the past.

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mygif

Only the blogosphere could come up with a controversy like this.

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mygif

And with this post, this kerfuffle has now spread to every single blog on my daily trawl. (being that the foci of almost all the blogs I read are nerddom and/or feminism, this probably shouldn’t come as a surprise)

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Space_Battle said on April 24th, 2008 at 12:22 pm

I keep finding new gems in his writing:

“By the end of the evening, women were coming up to us. “My breasts,” they asked shyly, having heard about the project. “Are they… are they good enough to be touched?” And lo, we showed them how beautiful their bodies were without turning it into something tawdry.”

‘We showed them how beautiful their bodies were’

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mygif

I, for one, would be all for an Open Source Nuts Project (even if I can’t see any reason why people would want to grab my particular nuts). But I have to admit, I’d mostly be drawn to it for 1.) the thrill of breaking moral taboos and 2.) it feels physically nice to have my nuts grabbed. I’d probably want it to go both ways, though — the moralist intellectual in me would feel bad if I made some distinction between women grabbing my nuts and men grabbing my nuts — idealism demands equality.

But I have a safety net. Men have never been under the threat of being treated as a sexual object; when I say “Grab my nuts!”, that moment in time has been assumed to be an exception in my life. If a woman, for whatever reason, says “Grab my boobies”, then that’s assumed somehow to be the rule in hers. This is a spot on example of something feminist thought has been trying to rectify — that men can move in and out of being sex objects, but women are automatically sex objects and must forcefully remove themselves from the role.

But this brings it’s own problems. Because so long as you try to avoid being a sex object by completely de-sexxing an environment, then when you do concede at some point to sexual contact, you’re supposedly backtracking, because any sexual expression becomes the path to being a sex object. So we come to a final point in which women, to avoid being branded as accessible sex objects, must in someway allow sexuality into their environment, under their control, with full social support in defending themselves against those who would sexually abuse them. This could be seen as one of the ultimate goals in feminist community building.

In short, if the Open Source Boobies Project in their thing, more power to them, but it’s not something that can be just tossed out there. It needs to be proceeded by education of people in the social environment, so it can be understood that a person freely advertising sexual contact for interested parties can still be sexually abused and that they still have a responsibility to help that person if things go out of hand, just as though a person who desired no sexual contact at all was being treated similarly.

Also, this post was a chance for me to type “boobies” and “nuts alot.

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Space_Battle said on April 24th, 2008 at 12:27 pm

I keep finding new gems in his writing:
“By the end of the evening, women were coming up to us. “My breasts,” they asked shyly, having heard about the project. “Are they… are they good enough to be touched?” And lo, we showed them how beautiful their bodies were without turning it into something tawdry.”

‘We showed them how beautiful their bodies were’ WTF! The layers of condescension here are staggering. And I love how he framed it, with the breathlessly submissive females. I feel like I’m in a bodice ripper. Why do these assholes get to be the gatekeepers of female self-worth? I’m sorry but this guy is a douchebag.

Sorry, previous comment got cut off, so I reposted.

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mygif

Space_Battle, I see your “Open Source Touch a Black Person’s Hair” and raise you an “Open Source Touch a Teenager’s Zits.” Like the “hair” project, this “zits” project will include both females and males. The project’s title refers to younger people, but I think we can include anyone with terrible acne. By touching their zits, we will demystify them and create harmony. Verily, it will be because of us that these pimple-ridden people will finally and unequivocally accept themselves as beautiful. What heroes we will be.

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Andrew W. said on April 24th, 2008 at 2:18 pm

I’m also in favour of a “touch my nuts!” project. I’d like to be a sexual object once in my life.

Also: fuck evolution. Making men this way.

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Space_Battle said on April 24th, 2008 at 3:13 pm

The guys on this blog are also real gems. I’m taking this blog out of my feed. Just another geek blog with leering, panting, male geeks.

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mygif

Ah yes, Space_Battle, let’s go looking for a fight and then feign disgust when no one bites. And please do utter some passive aggressive epithet on your way off to ensure you have a go at the last word in your one-sided argument. You have such a case too, the way Chris just begs you to read his blog and then doesn’t bother to entertain your baiting beyond the bare minimum it took to defend his already clearly-stated position.

Maybe we all should have responded with a cascading, ZOMG! A girl reads blogs, we’re all so pants-itchingly backward it never occurred to us. Everyone put away the pr0n!

In short, get over yourself. Being a girl doesn’t make your opinion exceptional or unique to all us leering, panting male geeks. Nor any less sexist apparently.

In other news:

NCallahan/AndrewW: Stand up and present, sons, cause I’m comin’ for dose nuts. Be careful what you post on the internets.

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mygif

This is so deeply weird.

Personally, I think they should just legalize prostitution and then open up a booth at conventions like any other company’s booth – like a minibrothel for the nerd populace.

I could sell it easily to the Congress in America, too. I’d just say something like “I envision a world where congressmen and women can freely enter a brothel in America without the worry of becoming the next scandal for cable news.”

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mygif

Ah yes, Space_Battle, let’s go looking for a fight and then feign disgust when no one bites.

I thought she was talking about theferrett there, but who knows. If that is what she did, then it’s kind of weird, because pretty much everybody agreed with her.

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mygif

and it’s all we have to go on as regards his inner mind on the issue

Sadly untrue, we have a whole host of his previous writings. The guy is a tool. “Long-winded pervert” =/= “smart guy with good intentions.”

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Katzedecimal said on April 24th, 2008 at 6:57 pm

It’s not possible *not* to know about this stupid thing, at this point. What I found the most amusing was how one man, who thought himself to be enlightened, progressive and beyond that sort of thing, learned the hard way just how deeply the rakes of sexism, objectification and male priviledge lurked in the long grass of his soul. *WHACK!*

I’ve also been amused by the defences of “I’m married” and “but women were participating too” — as if women don’t objectify each other. Hello — “Barbie,” the frickin’ *queen* of objectification, men and friends are mere accesssories, along with the car, the house and the horse. “Barbie” is both a symptom and an education.

And lastly, I was amused by the way all the participants, both male and female, totally played into the “inept sex-starved nerds who’re too socially incompetant to attract steady mates” con stereotype. Ye gods XD

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mygif

Can we talk about the neanderthal pigs someone mentioned instead? Because THEY sounded pretty cool. Maybe Devil Dinosaur could fight them.

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MGK

It looks to me like she was offended at the rather cavalier way some of your posters took something she saw as terribly sexist and made light of it. It is pretty easy to see how the balls and zits posts can be construed as mocking.

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April 24th, 2008 la 6:57 pm
It’s not possible *not* to know about this stupid thing, at this point. What I found the most amusing was how one man, who thought himself to be enlightened, progressive and beyond that sort of thing, learned the hard way just how deeply the rakes of sexism, objectification and male priviledge lurked in the long grass of his soul. *WHACK!*”

I didn’t know anything about it till today. Sounds ridiculous. When I read the title I thought it was some sort of online thing.

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mygif

From what little I’ve heard of Penguicon, this sort of idea (from writers of any gender) is pretty much par for the con; there’s apparently a lot that goes on behind closed doors there that makes this sort of thing (and the sorts of things you hear about on occasion from other cons) look tame.

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I thought that everything wrong with the whole idea can be summed up in his line, “I touched at least fifteen sets of boobs at Penguicon.” Not, “Fifteen women were willing to share this experience with me,” or “Fifteen women trusted me enough to allow this kind of intimate contact,” but “I touched at least fifteen sets of boobs at Penguicon.” He reduced these women to their anatomy, notched up a tally of how many he got to grope, and then tried to insist that it was all about empowering women.

Suffice to say I strongly suspect that his not attending the con in future was not solely his decision.

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Aardy: From what little I’ve heard of Penguicon, this sort of idea (from writers of any gender) is pretty much par for the con; there’s apparently a lot that goes on behind closed doors there that makes this sort of thing (and the sorts of things you hear about on occasion from other cons) look tame.

I’ve heard this sort of comment repeatedly in the wake of “Boobgate,” and I’m really beginning to wonder: What kind of massive nerd orgies are going on at cons that nobody’s been telling me about?

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