Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Feminist as crazy old man

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  • Sacha,

    In some circles, a bestseller to rival Why cats paint

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19707 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    Julie Bindel has a day job -- and, I think, an important one: researching the sex industry.

    And this is why what she and Tanya Gold are making up about the NZ sex industry concerns me so much - because there's debate in England right now about changing the law on prostitution.

    This may be of interest: a blog by a sex worker who attended a panel discussion on sex work which included Julie Bindel. Bindel then joins in in the comments. And their response to the Bindel-Farley paper. (Farley? Worse than Bindel when in comes to prostitution.)

    Also... if a British man wants to come to New Zealand and pay a willing sex worker for sex... what's wrong with that, exactly?

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4651 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    You're not suggesting that cats socially construct gender in the same way we do, are you?

    No! I'm saying that a biological intervention -- the removal of most of his supply of testosterone -- has significantly altered his social and territorial behaviour.

    In humans, men produce between 40 and 60 times more testosterone than women. That does have an influence on male behaviour.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22830 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Yes, fair enough. I can't really argue with that - perhaps I should find a way of bringing about a testosterone-fuelled enraged response.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    This may be of interest: a blog by a sex worker who attended a panel discussion on sex work which included Julie Bindel. Bindel then joins in in the comments.

    Quick! Hand me a non-gendered insult!

    Bindel really does come off as a dreadful piece of work in that comments exchange. Patronising, immature and arrogant.

    And their response to the Bindel-Farley paper. (Farley? Worse than Bindel when in comes to prostitution.)

    Massive amounts of pwnage. Their point about the absence of a control sample is compelling.

    I also can't help but observe that their response is much better written than anything I've read under Bindel's byline.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22830 posts Report Reply

  • recordari,

    Bindel really does come off as a dreadful piece of work in that comments exchange. Patronising, immature and arrogant.

    Yes, and what I said about popping down the pub with her, can someone please apply the redacted brush of 'WTFWITA' to that aberration. I'd rather have my nails removed with pliers.

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    Bindel really does come off as a dreadful piece of work in that comments exchange. Patronising, immature and arrogant.

    There are smart, smart British sex workers blogging on teh interwebz. Any one of them would be more deserving of Bindel and Gold's column space than they are. IMO, of course.

    And now I've finished it, let me re-recommend that second link too, as a good summary of what's wrong both with the paper and the whole debate in Britain.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4651 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Yes, fair enough. I can't really argue with that - perhaps I should find a way of bringing about a testosterone-fuelled enraged response.

    Ah, but I'd have seen you coming down the street and socially mediated such an enraged response before you even got to me.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22830 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock,

    if a British man wants to come to New Zealand and pay a willing sex worker for sex... what's wrong with that, exactly

    The release of approximately 9,336 lbs CO2 into the upper atmosphere caused by said British man's round trip flight?

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report Reply

  • Lyndon Hood,

    Remined of this one:

    Testosterone leads to fairness, not aggression: researchers

    ... but the women who thought they'd got testosterone were more agressive.

    Speculation at the bottom:

    Eisenegger said the experiment suggests that testosterone increases a person's sensitivity to status. In animals with simple social systems, aggressiveness can lead to higher social status, so testosterone leads to aggression.

    "In the socially complex human environment, pro-social behavior secures status and not aggression," said Naef.

    Which I suppose would still apply to: High-testosterone men reject low ultimatum game offers

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1115 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    Really?
    In my whanau, everyone takes the lids off their own bottles, whether preserving jars or booze...everyone learns the tricks for the recalcitrant containers

    Yes really.

    While of course anyone can get the lid of a troublesome bottle many women/females have learned the tool that requires the least effort to use is a man/male.

    Seriously I think Gio's point is pretty compelling about gender roles being social constructs. But I really also think he is weakening his point by insisting it be absolute. There really are some gender roles that have a strong biological basis.

    And yes of course we are talking about overlapping bell curves here so there will always be females that extend into the normal male range for any biological trait.

    But that doesn't negate the influence of biology on gender roles.

    In the same way that my stating that does not negate the fact that many/most gender roles are socially defined as Gio has stated.

    We live in the shades of grey between absolute black and absolute white. Both views are right in different situations.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4458 posts Report Reply

  • Ross Mason,

    Bull. Cow.

    Male. Female.

    I have been wracking my brain trying to remember if I have ever encountered a gender neutral bull/cow. Or even a genuine bull>cow or a cow>bull. Yes, steers and cows "bonk" their own when in heat but I don't recall seeing overt lesbian cows huddling in the corner keeping to themselves or keeping safe from the bulls....the huddle appeared more for protection from predators rather than a rampant bull.

    It is an interesting intellectual excercise to figure out the human world by starting with the premise we are truly "animal" and worked our way up to the thinking folk we are now rather than start with the premise that the world is ours and we have been gifted the ability of reason, are perfect and socially "tunable".

    Maybe we can be socially steered but I suspect the driver that decides which gender route is taken is biologically based.

    Are we born to accept our own but socially steered to accept others?

    One obvious example stands out and that is the abuse by step parents that prevails in child abuse / deaths. So obviously related to the new bull / alpha male making sure that his genes are the ones propogated in the herd once he reaches head walla.

    Countered of course by the dog that mothers the baby pig or kitten.

    My Mum spent years trying to get me to find things myself. Like the butter in the fridge. I defy anyone to tell me that it is not a "male thing" that prevents me from easily identifying the damn thing!!! Methinks it is a gene left over from Kill Buffalo days.

    Remember Loretta. Men can have the right to have babies....not much else ...at the moment...

    Upper Hutt • Since Jun 2007 • 1590 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    Ross Martin - freemartins

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    freemartins

    So biology does influence gender?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4458 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    Ross Mason said:

    I don't recall seeing overt lesbian cows huddling in the corner keeping to themselves or keeping safe from the bulls....the huddle appeared more for protection from predators rather than a rampant bull.

    Wikipedia:Homosexual behaviour in animals:

    "the animal kingdom [does] it with much greater sexual diversity — including homosexual, bisexual and nonreproductive sex — than the scientific community and society at large have previously been willing to accept."

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    There really are some gender roles that have a strong biological basis.

    I think that people have got to the point that they can accept that gender roles are neither wholly biologically determined or socially constructed, but are variously influenced by either.

    At least I'd hope we're at that point.

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    Bart Janssen - in my layperson's opinion, yes.

    But I also agree with George Darroch's last post. It's a bit like the current state of the 'nature versus nurture' argument which has become 'nature&nurture' -

    there is an excellent book called "Biological Exuberance" by Bruce Bagemihl, that I reccomend to anyone who wants to pursue the topic of homosexual behaviours in other species.

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    At least I'd hope we're at that point.

    I think I was there at the start ;-)

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22830 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    I think I was there at the start ;-)

    Yes, indeed. I think the tone was lost a little in that last post...

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • Ross Mason,

    Re George Darroch. You are dead right. Fully concur.

    Ross Martin??? And no, no squares, aprons or compasses anywhere in the house I am afraid Islander.

    My Bull/Cow analogy was to show the lack of visible identity of gender differences within the bull/cow population. It is obvious - and George pointed to it that almost certainly there are mixed members within bull/cow. (MMB or MMC??)

    I am fully aware that homosexual behaviour occurs in nature which makes the occurance in humans all the more natural surely.

    The difficulty comes with the lack of decent social messages of the acceptance of gender/sex differences. Be they biologically traced or socially steered.

    The acceptance is a two way street. The rabid anti gay rights brigade and the rabid anti men brigade is where the war is at. And wasn't that some of the point of the Russell's post???

    And yes, I need to be careful about which word - sex or gender - I should use. Has it reached the same usage plane as gay? Hijacked it has been yes.

    Upper Hutt • Since Jun 2007 • 1590 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    Ross Mason - sincere apologies for getting your name wrong.

    The point about freemartins is that they are ambiguous in both appearance & behaviour. (I first came across the word in "Brave New World" nearly 50 years ago, where Huxley used it as a synonym for neuter as I recall.)

    The useages of 'sex' and 'gender' have been discussed & written about extensively by feminists of the 1970s & 1980s (when I first encountered the enlightening differences) so they're pretty usual by now.

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Ross Mason,

    Islander. heh.

    One can get scared shitless at times when you think someones accused you of being a mason of the other name!!! ....a bigot...

    So I checked my Friend Wiki:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freemartin ...and lo....mentioned under Fictional Use

    Jeez, what gender would THAT be???

    Upper Hutt • Since Jun 2007 • 1590 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    Ross Mason - wow!
    Thank you for that link - I'd just never thought to wiki it...

    (One of my neighbours is a dairy farmer of long experience - she also runs a bull-beef farm. She has had several freemartins in her herds, and said they 'can be bossy and will mount cows, like they were lesbo.'
    (Her words.) She also said they'll stand up to bulls (paticularly if they're a horned breed) 'unlike steers.')

    My, what one learns throughout life...

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • bronwyn,

    A Guardian column apparently partially inspired by the Air NZ campaign, and I note, written by someone who more often than not is consigned to fashion reports.

    Also includes a great quote from the super Joan Collins:

    who surely earned the universe's eternal adoration when, asked whether she was concerned about her and husband Percy's 32-year age difference, replied, "If he dies, he dies"

    .

    tamaki makaurau • Since Nov 2006 • 86 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    New Guardian CiF thread on prostitution (aren't they all?), with the twist that it's about male sex workers in Nevada. Bindel drops by to rain down judgement -- it seems even more patronising when she's talking about male workers.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22830 posts Report Reply

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