Sunday, July 28, 2013

Sex sells

Not too long ago there was a conference in Minnesota named CONvergence. It is like any other science fiction/comic convention, however with a few minor add-ons.

Notably, one was "SkepchickCON" which was a gathering of Atheism+ bloggers to celebrate nothing in particular. It exists mostly for giggles and alcohol.

However the Atheism+ crew maintain a veneer of caring about "the issues" wherever they go, so they take a willingness to take the fight to the 'evildoers' wherever they may be.

So it couldn't hurt to point out ridiculous things about their own conference...

For some context, all the SkepchickCON panelists were sitting in front of a large poster of a fembot named "Connie".

Apparently the way to talk about social justice is behind an alluring fembot with large hips relaxing on a bed of letters.

Of course, most normal people wouldn't have a massive problem with this, but recall that these are the types that take issue with Anne of Green Gables.

In any case, Stephanie Zvan is on the case, in response to the tweets:

Answering "Isn't the sexy fembot on the posters sexist?" question, Zvan writes:
A bit, yeah, in the exaggerated form that certainly doesn’t follow any function. But Connie’s shape doesn’t make her just a fembot. She’s a geek through and through. There’s also ongoing talk about depictions of Connie, because while some people want to see her sexualized, lots of us don’t. 
I wouldn’t miss those table banners if they went away, for example.

So yes, it is "a bit" sexist, but it's okay because Connie is also "a geek" based on criteria that are not elaborated upon.

Zvan seems to agree that the table banners are a bit more pure sex appeal than geekiness.

In response to the comment about "tits-bot":
Oh, “tits-robot”. Silly me. I thought you might be serious for a moment.
This is a strange but not unexpected statement.

Often these 'social justice' types think that the people making fun of their little sideshow aren't serious. If one attempts to make a joke or makes a statement that is perhaps a little off-putting it's immediately disregarded as an entirely unserious criticism.

This is perhaps why 'feminists' like to criticize comedians and jokes of a certain subject as being unfunny and even damaging. Unless, of course, you are a woman - then all jokes made are edgy and empowering.

In the same way Zvan and the rest of the Atheism+ crowd will ignore these words - they'll either be too mean or too silly to deserve a response.

The great connection to be made is that people criticize Atheism+ precisely because what they say is both mean and silly.

Moving on... how else did SkepchickCON use sex to entertain and appeal?

The Great Penis Panel.

SkepchickCon hosted a talk called "Penises of the Animal Kingdom".

It was as ridiculous as one could expect, with the males in attendance (mostly from FreeThoughtBlogs) using the opportunity to make jokes that one would expect.

Here is uberfeminist commentary interlaced with Stephanie Zvan's responses...

The tweet linked:

Zvan's two cents:
Actually, some of them were hilarious, but the reactions of the audience were funnier. It turns out that a lot of people normally associate looking at penis pictures and videos with their own sex lives, so the really uncomfortable-looking penises made plenty of people personally uncomfortable. Joking does tend to relieve the discomfort.

Another tweet:

Linked to:

Zvan's answer:
Sorry to disappoint you, but the biggest penis belonged to a whale. Maybe you should have been at the panel to learn something?

The last tweet criticizing the penis panel:
Linked to:

Zvan's response:
Harassment? Someday I’m sure you’ll learn what consent is all about. Unfortunately, it probably won’t happen until after you learn that Melanie coordinated SkepchickCon this year and, thus, was collecting the pictures used in the penis panel from participants, including PZ. They were already joking about PZ sending a penis pic for the first time in his life well before the panel started.
LousyCanuck (Jason) adds:
I was showing the audience dick pics. PZ asked for the “biggest one I had”. THAT MUST MEAN HE WAS SEXUALIZING ME AND NOT THE THING THAT WAS TOTALLY IN CONTEXT AND MADE PERFECT SENSE.

There is a lot to unravel here.

What exactly happened here?

The penis panel presented a lot of opportunities to make a lot of dick jokes. This panel, like many other panels at SkepchickCON, were created just for laughs.

But when you read the rationalization provided by the FreeThoughtBloggers, their rationalization of the event makes everything that much more creepy.

People were making dick jokes at the conference, and either mirroring them or making more on Twitter. That we already knew

However, the following facts have been added:

  1. The panel made several people very uncomfortable. Zvan said the reactions were "funnier" than the penises themselves, and that "joking relieved the discomfort".
  2. The panel was deemed educational as critics of the panel weren't there to learn that the biggest penis belonged to a whale. One imagines that critics of SkepchickCON previously had no idea that this could be the case.
  3. PZ "consented" to Melanie's public dick pic request because they had been sending animal dicks to each other for months.
  4. PZ's request to Jason that he show us "the biggest penis" that was immediately posted on Twitter was not a creepy sexualizing double entendre but rather talking about the rather sterile-yet-funny subject matter.

Ah yes, "context" is what the critics of hypocritical social justice are missing.

It's okay to make sexual jokes, as long as you have a long history of making sexual jokes with that person! Right?

And PZ Myers can joke about having nonconsensual sex with a female volunteer in front of a large audience. Why? Because context! The talk was trying to teach people genetics, of course!

Context! It's the magic wand that heals all wounds for these "progressive" do-gooders.

But wait, it gets worse.

Paying the bills with boobs.

One thing that is difficult about "social justice" blogging is that it costs money.

Actually, scratch that - it doesn't cost money. 

Sure, it may cost quite a bit of time and coffee.

But the most often cited expense of bloggers everywhere - servers and bandwidth - actually does not cost much at all.

Many "social justice" and "feminist" websites run ads on their websites. Defenders of the sites will say something like "these things cost money" in reference to the dollars required to deliver few kilobytes of nonsensical "social justice" rhetoric to your computer.

So the ads are layered on.

FreeThoughtBlogs hosts ads in the following places:
  • A 730 pixel wide banner near the top of the page
  • A 300x250 pixel ad at the top of the left sidebar
  • Another 300x250 pixel ad about halfway down the left sidebar
  • One or more 300x250 pixel ads between posts in the center of the page
Additionally, there may be:
  • Any number of fixed ads for conferences that the blogger is attending (Pharyngula: 1)
  • Any number of PayPal donation links to support the author directly (Pharyngula: 3 - one in PZ's bio, two under "Support FTB")
  • Some space set aside for non-profit organizations (Pharyngula: Currently one link to DonorsChoose)
The cherry on top - if your browser doesn't have a popup blocker or the FreeThoughtBlogs javascript outsmarts it, you will be blessed with a popup ad.

Perhaps these are the Zvan rules of consent, wherein even if every single modern browser blocks them by default, there is a chance that some new visitor to the site is "just asking for it" in regards to a popup ads.

At this point you may be wondering what all these ads are advertising.

The answer?

Boobs. Lots of them

People have reported seeing ads that are labelled as for "Male Gamers Only". The ads typically depict an very large-chested women in a very skimpy outfit.

Additionally there are ads hosted by a company calling itself "AdShuffle" that shows some stock photography of a very beautiful brunette with the text "Google Banned This Video!" This shocking video went viral in days!" The only hint as to what the video's contents are is the woman who looks to be a sneeze away from nudity.

When the ads aren't objectively objectifying people, the ads seem to follow similarly troublesome trends:
  • Weight loss methods that are entirely bunkum
  • Health foods that aren't healthy
  • Empty fashion ads
  • Manipulative "improve your business" garbage
  • Con artists trying to convince you to play games with your mortgage
One might say - "These are just how online ads operate. What's the big deal?"

The big deal is that these would-be culture warriors want to solve all the problems in these ads, while they can't bring themselves to not accept the money.

Defenders of Atheism+ will state that the ads are informed by your "browsing history". This is simply another way to say "profile". Did the algorithm determine that you are female? Then you get a fashion ad. Did it decide you are male? Then you get a gaming ad.

The funny and tragic part about this is that all it took for "liberals" to accept tracking and profiling as a reality is a paltry few dollars from an advertiser.

These "activists" may shed several gallons of crocodile tears for the fate of Trayvon Martin. Skepchick admitted she would profile him in an elevator, but it's true that their websites would profile him as well.

What ad would Martin have seen on the FreeThoughtBlogs website? Probably an ad from some shady mortgage lender in Orlando. Are bloggers proud of this?

Not only that, these "activists" would surely vote in the Democratic Party into state government. But when that state brings in a progressive tax system to try to stick a tax bill on a multinational corporation, solidarity is out the window because bloggers need business.

Odd that these "progressive" "feminist" bloggers often love to criticize capitalism.

For they have already greatly compromised their values for money.

Yes, money.

1 comment:

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