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Breakup with your girlfriend and post nude selfies to a revenge porn site? You should be in jail! Go on two dates with a guy, get dumped, then send sceencaps of sexts to his BOSS and you’re just a misguided narcissist? That seems fair.

27 Sep

 

Ah, is there anything more fun and self-affirming than capturing that perfect nude sexy selfie? Run it through a few filters, give yourself some “blurred lines”, fuzz up the harsher contours, add some shadows, cascade a little peachy glow over the whole thing.

 

You look gorgeous!

 

I’ve done it myself. The first person to hack my husband’s phone will get an eyeful! The copies on his phone are the only ones in existence (right, honey?), because I delete them off my own phone so when I use Fruit Ninja as a distraction for my four year old, there is no chance of accidentally posting racy shit to Twitter.

 

fruit

 

So the question of the moment is “who owns the photos on your phone”?

 

I’m not the only narcissist amused by taking sexy selfies, and I’m far from the only one to polish those shots and then press “send”. The data for exactly how many people send sexy selfies is kind of all over the place, and most of the research looks at teenage sexters. You get everything from 1% of teenagers between 14-18 have sent sexually explicit texts OR images , to 40% have done one or the other. Far more people admit to RECEIVING sexts than sending them.

 

This is probably a self-reporting problem. Something tells me if we actually examined the data contained on phones, we would get a startlingly difference answer.

 

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23675996

 

Again, using self-reporting, the PEW Research Council comes up with the following number for adults, based on a telephone survey with 2252 adults over the age of 18. That’s a good sample size, assuming it was drawn randomly from all over the country. The PEW Council is usually pretty reliable.

 

slide

 

I’m in the 30-49 category, where 5% of people admit to sexting, but curiously, 17% report having been the recipient of sexts. PEW doesn’t offer a gender breakdown, but who wants to bet it’s mostly women who say they haven’t sent sexts, but they HAVE received them?

 

Just a guess.

 

Once you have decided to press send, who owns that image?

 

revenge

 

The topic of “Revenge Porn” is being debated pretty ferociously in the media these days. Most examples almost always feature a woman who has sent sexy nude selfies to a man, who then posts the said selfie on a so-called revenge porn site after an acrimonious break-up.

 

This leads to embarrassment and discomfort for the woman. She wants to decide whom, and under what circumstances, gets to see her nude body.

 

Fair enough.

 

http://www.slate.com/articles/double_x/doublex/2013/09/revenge_porn_legislation_a_new_bill_in_california_doesn_t_go_far_enough.html

http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2013/01/23/women_sue_to_fight_back_against_revenge_porn.html

http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2013/09/24/revenge_porn_is_domestic_abuse_it_should_be_a_crime.html?wpisrc=burger_bar

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/24/us/victims-push-laws-to-end-online-revenge-posts.html?hp&_r=0

 

I’m not convinced we need a law to address this particular issue, when a little foresight and self-control on the part of the offended women ought to do the trick.

 

If you are the sort of woman who truly, deeply cares that images of your nude body are not widely circulated around cyber space, the solution is kind of simple, no?

 

Don’t create them. Don’t give them to other people.

 

In the alternative, only send photos that won’t cause crippling anxiety should they be made public. Keep your goddamn clothes on. Is it really that hard?

 

Personally, I wouldn’t give a crap if someone DID hack my husband’s phone and stole images of me. Meh. Whatever. I sent them to my HUSBAND, and I am not the slightest bit ashamed. And there are already laws in place to punish people who STEAL photos. Stealing is not the same thing as giving freely. If the thought of those images being freely available freaks you out, DON’T TAKE THEM AND DON’T GIVE THEM AWAY.

 

Rather than turn this into a huge discussion of privacy law and copyright infringement, I want to discuss why men posting sexually explicit images of women without their knowledge or consent (although I would argue if you GIVE AWAY these images, you should probably just assume they will be shared eventually) has created a giant cultural scream to THROW THE BUMS IN JAIL, but women posting sexually explicit TEXTS from men doesn’t get the same reaction.

 

Anthony Weiner anyone? Where is the shrieking chorus demanding that Weiner’s privacy be respected?

 

*crickets*

 

Look at this little cupcake. Her name is Quin Pu.

 

quin

 

After two dates – TWO!! – Quin felt she was in an established relationship with this poor schmuck, and when he declined to attend her birthday party with 125 of Quin’s closest friends, she lost her little mind!

 

text

 

I was stunned into paralysis. I had no words–this never happens–and I just felt short of breath. There were many things that pissed me off, but I was so flustered I couldn’t even articulate them. Again, this is a serious problem for a writer and effusive communicator.

 

http://littleblackblog.net/

 

So Quin sent back the following response:

 

text 2

 

After two dates, she gets a break-up text and decides to fuck with his professional life by sending his executive committee copies of sexually explicit messages?

 

wtf

According to the New York Times article, revenge porn can have devastating consequences and should therefore be criminalized.

 

The effects can be devastating. Victims say they have lost jobs, been approached in stores by strangers who recognized their photographs, and watched close friendships and family relationships dissolve. Some have changed their names or altered their appearance.

 

“It’s just an easy way to make people unemployable, undatable and potentially at physical risk,” said Danielle Citron, a law professor at the University of Maryland, who is writing a book on online harassment.

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/24/us/victims-push-laws-to-end-online-revenge-posts.html

 

 

Oh, I see. Well that’s a problem we need to bring the full force of the law down on, and punish those terrible people men.

 

Where’s the cry for Quin to be arrested?

 

Now, to be fair, Quin hasn’t gotten nearly the reaction she imagined. Most people have quite rightly condemned her as a snobby, self-absorbed bitch who probably shouldn’t date anyone ever again.

 

Some people are down with Quin, but most aren’t.

 

haynes • 14 hours ago

The problem isn’t the breakup–the problem is he made plans with her for a day, and then totally spazzed out and backed out of the plans. That is not cool, nor okay. If you say you’re going to do something, do it. He deserves a bit of humiliation.

 

http://thedailybanter.com/2013/09/warning-all-men-in-dc-do-not-date-quin-woodward-pu/

 

A little humiliation? Actively trying to destroy his professional life is not a “little humiliation”.

 

Quin, meet Adria Richards. Didn’t work out so well for her.

 

http://judgybitch.com/2013/03/22/delicate-flower-has-her-sensibilities-offended-gets-her-ass-handed-to-her/

 

What are we to make of this not unexpected set of double standards? When men take revenge on women by posting sexually explicit photos they likely LEGALLY OWN the right to, they should be charged with a crime.

 

cuffs

 

But when women post sexually explicit TEXTS from men with the explicit intention of harming that man professionally, it’s just a bit of poor judgement?

 

You know, I think we have it right in the latter situation. Quin is a fucking bitch, but that guy who went out on TWO dates with her and felt compelled to send sexually explicit texts should have exercised better judgement.

 

Just as I would tell any woman DON’T SEND PICTURES YOU DON’T WANT MADE PUBLIC, I would tell men the same thing: DON’T SEND SEXUALLY EXPLICIT TEXTS YOU DON’T WANT MADE PUBLIC.

 

anthony

 

Anthony Weiner got nailed to the wall for his cringingly unpoetic sexting AND explicit selfies, and as far as I’m concerned, the minute he decided to press send, he accepted the consequences. And the same goes for women. The minute she presses send, she accepts the consequences of that.

 

http://www.businessinsider.com/anthony-weiner-lisa-weiss-facebook-radar-2011-6?op=1

 

This whole conversation seems to me to be a perfect illustration of what I find such bullshit about modern women: you can’t have it both ways. If men are going to be held accountable for the contents of their digital legacy, then women need to be held accountable, too.

 

Or we can all just grow up and accept responsibility for our OWN actions!

 

That IS an option.

 

We don’t need more laws. We need more grown-ups. Both men and women alike.

 

Lots of love,

 

JB

 

Ladies, are you short a little cash? Here’s a quick and easy way to beef up your bank account and it’s filled with LOL, too. Fun for everyone!

3 Sep

plan B

So, you’re a responsible girl, right?  A totally modern woman, down with premarital sex and physical pleasure and you know all the right moves when it comes to preventing pregnancy.  You’ve been on birth control for most of your adult life and you have Plan B in your medicine chest just in case some catastrophic failure happens and the fruits of your loom decide to weave you up a darling little bundle of joy.

You have the abortion clinic on speed-dial.

Good for you!  Yay!  Abortion is dirty, nasty business that it’s best to avoid if possible.

visa

But all the responsibility in the world won’t prevent those moments when the Visa bill comes and you find yourself financially screwed once again.  Damn those credit card companies, giving you so much free money!

Courage, my love!  There is a solution.

There are two ways to go about this little money-making scheme – one for amateurs and one for the more experienced ladies.  Both require that you have a boyfriend with some assets (or the ability to acquire them), and the first step will be to accurately evaluate what resources your sweetie can come up with.

guitar

Is he a shiftless musician playing in dirty dives most weekends and delivering some pizza on the side?

Well, he can sell his guitar and his car, right?

Is he a staff accountant at a prestigious firm?  Not rolling in the dough quite yet, but chances are he can qualify for a nice tidy line of credit at the corner bank.

Is he a stockbroker lining up for a wicked Christmas bonus?  Oooh.  Jackpot!

jackpot

Let’s get the moral quandary out of the way right off the bat, shall we?  Men rule the world.  They have all the money, all the power, all the opportunities and all the privilege.

So fuck them.

My plan for profiteering is not only perfectly moral, it’s pretty much REQUIRED just as means to get the balance a little more right.  Men have had it too easy for too long and it’s time for a little comeuppance.

People only feel guilty for doing the WRONG thing, right?  So don’t feel guilty, because none of this is wrong.  It’s fairness.  Justice.  Follow my advice and know you are acting with integrity and walking the path of righteousness, redressing centuries of wrong with one cool trick.

righteous

Let’s go the amateur route first.  What you are going to do is get a positive pregnancy test and then inform your astonished boyfriend that you will need money for the abortion.  Based on your calculations of his available resources, select a clinic with a fee set as close to that number as possible.  Screen cap the payment info and have it close at hand for the conversation.

Practice looking wretched.  Rub a tiny bit of Vicks or Tiger Balm on your eyes for the full flood effect.  Weep your little heart out.  Let him know you never, ever wanted this to happen and you can’t bear the thought of ruining his life.  Cast him as the hero who alone can save you from the terrible fate of bearing his child.

weeping

Make sure you get cash.

And set a calendar alert for the day you are having the “abortion” so that you don’t accidentally forget and get caught out shopping with your new moola!  Spend two days on the sofa clutching your tummy and a teddy bear, and ask him to order in all your favorite foods, which you can freeze for lunches for the next week!

See?

How clever.

You’re very welcome.

Now, let’s move on to the more professional ladies.  You’re not in it for a couple hundred bucks.  Fuck that.  All of this rests on the assumption that your boyfriend has some serious resources, which you are entitled to because he only has those assets in the first place because he’s a man and the world happens to consider his Masters in Finance oh so much more important than your Barista of Arts degree.  Obviously bullshit.

You will not need any Vick’s or wretched looks. Oh no. You need to be excited!  Cautiously excited, but excited nonetheless.  Your boyfriend, you see, will not just be paying for the abortion, he will be paying you TO CHOOSE abortion.

Wonder out loud, as you giggle about how surprised your mother will be, just how much child support you will be able to count on.  Throw out a wicked number for the nursery and preschool fees.  What you want to do is get him to think about just how expensive this little bundle is going to be, and then the negotiations begin.

nursery

Maybe the baby isn’t a good idea.  Maybe you want to pursue your dreams of creating a felt installation that will get you into the MOMA.  Give him an opening.  Let him talk you into a settlement.  If the money he is offering isn’t quite what you want, switch back to enthusiasm until he gets it up near what you deserve.

Again, cash only please.

See how easy this is?

All you need is positive pregnancy test without actually being pregnant.

Well, fuck me.  Guess I didn’t think this one through very well.  How are you going to get a positive pregnancy test?  I guess you could follow a pregnant woman home and search her garbage, but by the time you can SEE she’s pregnant, the testing period has long passed by.

thinking(2)

If only you could BUY positive pregnancy tests from women who really are pregnant.  If only it were possible to purchase a stick covered in some other woman’s pee containing those knocked-up hormones.  If only there were women brave and dedicated enough to offer such an item for sale to help redress all those many wrongs that have accumulated over the centuries.

Oh, look!

test

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/pregnant-women-selling-positive-pregnancy-tests-online-article-1.1443432

And only $25.

Sweet!

All right, ladies.  Get to it!  Bundles all around!

cash

Of cash, of course.

Not babies.

Ewww. Ick.

baby

Who wants those?

Lots of love,

JB

Women are more ethical? Okay. As long as by “ethical” you mean “chicken-shit cowards”.

4 Apr

berkely

Jessica Kennedy and Laura Kray, working out at UCLA Berkeley, are concerned about the underrepresentation of women in business schools and across corporate boardrooms in the US.  This is a “problem” that must be “fixed”. Women don’t particularly want to be in biz school or stuck in a boardroom?  Men would much rather be there?  Too bad.

http://spp.sagepub.com/content/early/2013/03/28/1948550613482987.abstract

We need equality, folks!  And the only acceptable definition of that term is girl-drones and boy-drones doing the EXACT SAME SHIT AT ALL TIMES EVERYWHERE. Your personal interests or inclinations are irrelevant. You will be assimilated.

borg

Ok, all snarkiness aside, there IS a gender disparity in business, both schools and practice, and whether that is a problem that needs fixing or not, it’s always interesting to explore the reasons behind such disparities.  So here is the hypothesis Jessica and Laura were testing:

Women don’t like business because they associate business with immorality and that’s unacceptable to their superior lady ethics.

Only when jobs involved making ethical compromises did women report less interest in the jobs than men. Women’s moral reservations mediated these effects. In Study 3, we found that women implicitly associated business with immorality more than men did.

Let’s start with the basic assumptions underlying the whole study:

Business = immoral

Men = business

Men = immoral

Or, in the alternate:

Women = moral

Woman ≠ business

Business ≠ moral

Either way, we begin with the assumption that WOMEN ARE MORE MORAL than men, and that this morality shows up in their reluctance to dirty their pretty little hands with the ickiness of business decision-making.

bushido

Well, the Decalog, Bushido, Mosiac, Buddist and Koranic codes were all written by women, no?  Most of our laws and statutes governing morality and ethics were written by women, no?  Most of the books and tracts and declarations and treatises on ethics and morality over the long history of our culture were written by women, no?

Oh, oops.  No.  No they weren’t.  Which is not to say the ladies haven’t written some smoking books over the years.  Hello, Jane Austen!

http://judgybitch.com/2013/01/26/it-makes-me-laugh-when-feminists-love-jane-austen-because-im-pretty-sure-she-would-spit-on-them-politely-of-course/

But women in general have not concerned themselves overly much with morality and ethics at the universal level.  At the personal level?  Oh hell yeah.  Check out any junior high, anywhere, in any city, any country, anywhere on the planet.

graffiti

Ladies be calling each other out on morals all the time!  But codifying those morals into laws that apply equally to everyone, everywhere? Yeah, not so much.

But okay, let’s accept, just for shits and giggles, that women ARE more moral than men.  According to Jessica and Laura, when women are confronted with tough decisions, like whether or not to make a cancer drug that contains a cheaper ingredient that will A) save a lot of people because it’s affordable and accessible; and, B) kill a few people because a cheaper ingredient was used, the ladies are incredibly reluctant to make the decision.

Because morality?

Bullshit.

Because RESPONSIBILITY.

http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2013/04/03/do_women_think_working_in_business_is_immoral.html

You see, at the end of the day, someone is going to have to make that decision, and when the chips fall, someone will also have to own that decision. A truly brilliant business leader will have the power to make decisions, and always have some starry-eyed lackey to blame afterwards.

boo hoo

Oh, boo hoo!  That’s so unfair.

Welcome to life, cupcake. You don’t get what you deserve.  You get what you negotiate.

Here’s another issue that sets the Moral Lady head aspinning:  child labor.  What if that shitty cancer drug is being made in a factory staffed largely by children?  Another decision the ladies DO NOT WANT TO MAKE.

Now, having grown up on a farm where we produced virtually all of our own food, I have a very different take on the issue of child labor.  You see, the way food works is that you mix some cow shit and dirt together and plant seeds and then water the little sproutlings and rip out all the bad little sproutlings that aren’t supposed to be there and the sproutlings grow into food and ripen under the sun and then ALL THE FOOD IS READY AT ONCE.

harvest

Seriously.  It’s true.  You have days and days and days with NO TOMATOES and then all the fucking tomatoes turn red on the same day and holy shit, what are we gonna do with all these tomatoes?

field

Pick them, cook them, puree them, can them.

canned

There was no way my mom and dad could do all that by themselves, so we all pitched in.  Yep, we were child laborers.  All four of us.  And not just us!  Every kid in the county!  That’s farm life, and although my parents were shitty and violent and stupid, the farming aspect of my childhood was absolutely wonderful.  My fondest memories are of churning butter and baking bread and harvesting potatoes and there is nothing quite like the enormous satisfaction of knowing that you are living off the fruits of your own labor. Popping the lid off a jar of tomatoes YOU planted, YOU watered, YOU harvested, YOU cooked, YOU canned – there is nothing quite like it.

There is also nothing quite like a jar that wasn’t perfectly clean when you sealed it.  The bacteria grows and grows and grows and then WHAM – the whole fucking jar explodes!  Tomato grenade!

smashed

Child labor is, and has been, a fact of life for almost all of human history.  Our own culture and economy evolved on the backs of child labor.  Textile mills and coal pits and tanneries and chimney sweeps.  We built our city with the help of kids.

child

The idea that childhood is a special time of life and that children should be protected from the adult world of production and labor is very, very new.  And it doesn’t apply in most of the still developing world.  Mr. JB and I spent our first year of married life in a rapidly developing city in China, and we have seen modern child labor up close.

china

Is it pretty?  Not always.  Lots of little shops and restaurants are family-owned businesses, and there is no question that the kids help out.  While China has a technical “one-child” policy, the reality is that only people with bank accounts and tax returns can effectively be policed vis-à-vis that policy.  The truly poor and the truly rich (who can pay the fines) very often have more than one child.

And those children work.  Especially since only one of them, in the case of poor folks, can go to school.  Is it fair?  Nope. But it’s life.  And that one kid who makes it through school and college and into the emerging middle class workforce takes the whole family along with him or her.  The whole family rises, just as the whole family succeeded in North America, when they all worked together.

far kids

It’s the height of hypocrisy for the rich Western world to deny the developing world the same advantages they had while building their own economy.  Our economy wouldn’t exist without the tremendous wealth and opportunity provided by agricultural sector.  An abundance of FOOD is what made the Western world possible.  It is the basis of all our success and it would not have happened without the labor of children.

empires of food

Let’s go back to the idea that women are more concerned with making moral decisions in the business world.  As you can see from Jessica and Laura’s work, women have no problem making decisions.  They just don’t like making TOUGH decisions.

So, you’re an executive at a pharmaceutical company and you have a choice to make: produce a low-cost, accessible cancer drug that uses a cheaper ingredient that might actually kill some patients, OR produce a higher cost, less accessible drug that uses a more expensive ingredient, but that is UNLIKELY to kill any patients.

Except for all the patients who couldn’t afford the drug in the first place.

exec

The executive has more than just one set of constraints.  His first job is to ensure that the company (and by extension, all the workers) continue to exist.  He needs to take care of his people.  His second job is to make sure he is earning some PROFITS.  That is HOW the company will survive. His third job is to produce a product that is safe, effective and sellable.  And he needs to do all that with a pack of competitors snapping at his heels, ready to knock him off the top of the pile and take the lead market position.

It’s a tough call.

And that is where codified morals and ethics and laws come into play.  If the FDA has approved the cheaper ingredient, then the executive would be foolish not to use it.  If he doesn’t, someone else will.  And that cheaper, more accessible drug will kick his more “ethical” drug onto the dirtpile of failed enterprise.

dirtpile

He will be out of a job and so will all his workers.

Sooner or later, someone will notice that, oh shit, that cheaper ingredient is actually KILLLING people, and the FDA will rescind its approval.  Now EVERYONE has to use the more expensive ingredient. The playing field is levelled.

That’s how it works.

But knowing the rules of the game doesn’t make the game any easier to play.  There is a distinct possibility that the executive will be held responsible for choosing the cheaper ingredient when he KNEW it could be lethal for some patients.  He might have to face some music for that decision, and that’s where the ladies quaver.

jail

Laura and Jessica aren’t terribly interested in the consequences of valuing morality and ethics more highly than good business decisions that keep people in their jobs and our whole society moving forward.  Not surprising for some ivory tower eggheads who have probably never done a real day’s work in their lives.  They would like to see some ethics training put into place, so that lady executives, when confronting the above situation, can actually refuse to use the cheaper ingredient.

And in doing so, run the risk that they destroy the whole business.  Good plan.

But at least you won’t have to own your decision.

 

One promising conclusion from this research is that if more women do enter the business world, standards of ethics may evolve. “We need to see more women at the top,” Kray says. “I think that will change the culture of corporate America.”

Oh, you got that right.  It will tie the hands of corporate North America.  Boardrooms stuffed with chicken-shit ladies too afraid to make tough decisions and take responsibility for rational actions carried out in a context that has mechanisms to ensure, over time, that better and better decisions are made.

boardroom

But hey, let’s not let the world’s most successful society and economy, the one that has delivered untold riches to the entire planet, keep on trucking.  Let’s make everything pleasant and kind and fair and maybe put some special troughs out in the parking lot to feed our unicorns their sparkle dust.

unicorn

Just be careful not to step in a big steaming pile of unicorn shit on your way to the corner office ladies.

shit

Your superior moral decisions already stink.  No need to make it worse.

Lots of love,

JB

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