Hey y’all! Covering quickies today so you’re going to get things like this:

Masala Skeptic

Masala Skeptic

Maria Walters (a.k.a. Masala Skeptic) has spent a lot of time in ‘furrin parts,’ including Hong Kong, Trinidad, and Pittsburgh. Although her passport is from India, she’s spent most of her adult life in the United States. She currently lives in Atlanta and has an unhealthy affection for science fiction, Neil Gaiman and all things Muppet.

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10 Comments

  1. Avatar of Improbable Joe
    December 12, 2011 at 10:11 am —

    On my Xmas list is a guitar distortion pedal called the Atheist, and the proceeds go to… Google is Joe’s friend… Non-Believers Giving Aid. I get something cool, and people get helped.

  2. Avatar of carolw
    December 12, 2011 at 11:25 am —

    The lad mags v/s rapists quotations article made me feel a little ill. I tried to guess which were which, and it was hard. It’s very discouraging that such attitudes are being instilled in young men. Sad.

  3. Avatar of pentatomid
    December 12, 2011 at 11:43 am —

    George Takei rules!!! I hope there’s a place for a Whovian such as myself in the war against the Twilight-folk. Maybe we could have bowships! I hear those are great against vampires.

  4. Avatar of mrmisconception
    December 12, 2011 at 12:20 pm —

    Of course abortion is no more dangerous to mental health than giving birth. In fact, I believe that giving birth may be more dangerous because the impending mental issues caused by childbirth can be spread to those around the mother via a vector we call a child.

  5. Avatar of Narvi
    December 12, 2011 at 12:31 pm —

    To me, the most disturbing thing about the rapist/lad mag article was that I correctly identified 11 of 16 quotes. I should not be able to do that…

    • Avatar of klasbo
      December 13, 2011 at 7:33 am —

      Those quotes are so insensitive and disgusting.
      I sniffed out the lad mag ones by looking for those that try to look like “advice” (“she may”, “I think”) and use past tense (“I used to”, “I’ve given up on”). But there were a few lad mag ones I labelled as rapist quotes… :S

  6. Avatar of zylla
    December 12, 2011 at 6:15 pm —

    Love the Linus monologue!

  7. Avatar of lansellion
    December 12, 2011 at 8:24 pm —

    The rapist/lad mag article looks like poor and misleading research. I agree the Lad Mags use inappropriate and demeaning language but the rapist connection is just trying to use guilt by association. I’m sure you could come up with a list of quotes from rapists and US presidents where readers couldn’t tell one from the other.

    Additionally, the quotes look like quote mining as we don’t get to see the context of the quotes and thus we can’t fully understand what they mean. For example look at this one from a lad mag: “You do not want to be caught red handed… go and smash her on a park bench. That used to be my trick.” It is ridiculous that they left out what someone didn’t want to get caught red handed at. The implication of getting caught red handed when given in the context of rape is that the writer is trying to avoid being caught raping. But if the Lad Mag article was talking about mutual public sex then the inclusion of that quote was ridiculous quote mining. The fact that the authors included the “you do not want to be caught red handed” with no explanation about the context makes me think they were just trying to make non-rape related quotes look rapey. Which brings me back to my point above that if you select the right quotes from any two groups you can make it hard to tell who said something.

    However, again I want to emphasize that I think the language used in the Lad Magazines (and by rapists) is inappropriate, but using guilt by association is likewise an inappropriate way to prove a point. A better study would be determining whether the language in lad magazines was perpetuating sexist views that lead to rape.

  8. Avatar of zylla
    December 13, 2011 at 3:10 pm —

    Something must be wrong with me. I didn’t try to figure out which quotes were which, I was just repelled by all the sentiments and didn’t really care.

  9. Avatar of Veronica
    December 14, 2011 at 10:56 am —

    The atheist donation article was interesting. Glad to hear the donated so much money to DWB.

    Also, the Reuters journalist who wrote the article … I’m pretty sure I’ve met the guy, have his card somewhere, need to double check the name. If it is him, he’s a British humanist.

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