Purely a figment of your imagination

What amuses, annoys, concerns or otherwise interests me – Noodlemaz


1 Comment

On gender-neutral language

Despite being a relatively small issue, this one’s important to me. Hopefully I’ll explain why and what you can do to address it too.

An (imperfect) example that fellow nerds will be very familiar with is:

To boldly go where no-one has gone before

You’ll recognise that as part of the Star Trek: The Next Generation opening credits. In a previous iteration, it went thus:

To boldly go where no man has gone before

Split infinitive pedantry aside (you’re wrong, anyway), unfortunately this change was less about including women and more about including non-human species, but, hey. Take what you can get.

There are far more examples, though, and since whenever we discuss this some men will tend to get very angry, let’s look at it in a bit more detail.

13336131_1264414850255008_9012553096669283373_n

Continue reading


9 Comments

Incels and taking online misogyny seriously

I am not happy to write this. Not a bit. There is absolutely no joy in “I told you so” when “These people are deadly” is again reality.

It’s sickening that having mentioned one murderer so recently, they been invoked in the killing of another 10 innocent people. Another 10 families inverted as misogynistic hate groups congregate online.

I do think it is our responsibility to pay attention to these elements of hate because ignoring them has never made them go away.

This is a resource for learning about “incels” and associated hate groups of the manosphere – the broiling mess of anti-women communities on the internet. I think it’s important to learn about this, so please take some time if you can.

[Content notes for sexual violence]


A great way is to follow David on Twitter and/or get email updates from We Hunted The Mammoth – a truly heroic group, started by him, that summarises what these people are up to so we don’t have to get close to it.

Continue reading


Leave a comment

QEDcon 2017

Rhys boyo and me! Ah, old now.

My 7th QED in a row came around in October 2017. The usual mess of train snacks and a bit of celebratory boozing on the train up, a different (bizarre) hotel – thanks, The Britannia! – and straight into catching up with old friends.

Volunteering last year was enjoyable, but there is always a great team managed by organiser Nicola so I felt OK giving someone else a go this time around.

Another brilliant event with lovely people and if I don’t make it in 2018 (due to being on another continent – more on that later!) – have a great 8th!

Continue reading


3 Comments

Fear, Anger, Hate, Suffering

It’s been an unbelievable few days and now I’ve stumbled home in a daze after shedding some tears at today’s news, I will try to collect myself here.

At the weekend we saw the massacre of 49 mainly Latinx LGBT+ people at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando,FL. This act of homophobic terrorism shook the whole world and I walked down to Old Compton Street to be with the community at the vigil here in London and pay our respects.

Today one of our Labour MPs has been murdered by a man apparently shouting “Britain First” (the name of one of our openly racist and nationalist political groups). She was a passionate activist who was trying to serve people in her work. I did not know her, but friends did, and extremely high praise is all I have seen.

Continue reading


Leave a comment

Double standards in judgement

This makes me very, very angry.

Originally posted via StorifyFavicon for https://storify.com

The victim in the Ched Evans rape case was relocated and given a new identify because people took it upon themselves to judge her a liar, him and his friends heroes because he kicks a ball for lots of money – they harassed her relentlessly.

There’s been a lot of coverage of the #Pistorius trial. A man who shot Reeva Steenkamp through a door in their home, who was feared by her and her loved ones before the act but that’s apparently not relevant.

Thumbnail for Oscar Pistorius would be allowed Paralympic sport return, says IPC
Oscar Pistorius would be allowed Paralympic sport return, says IPC

Oscar Pistorius will be allowed to compete in the future after being found guilty of the culpable homicide of his girlfriend. The South African double amputee runner was said to have acted “negligently” when he fired shots through a toilet door, killing Reeva Steenkamp, but in the “belief that there was an intruder”, judge Thokozile Masipa said in her verdict in Pretoria.

#Gamergate sees Zoe Quinn harassed by gamers because her ex saw fit to tell the world she slept with games journalists, and people claimed she “did it for reviews” (and it seems she didn’t – and anyway, personal lives should be just that, no?), covering their blatant misogyny with accusations of “corruption in journalism”.

Originally on Twitter:

Y’know what fucks me off about the likes of Pistorius, Ched Evans et al (apart from their criminal acts & pain they caused): hypocrisy.

Man is convicted of a crime but, Society: “Well he’s paid for it, work & personal life are separate, he has value, let it go”

Woman is accused by ex-lover and random guys of having consensual relationships loosely related to work “OMG CORRUPT BITCH GET LOST”
And people hound women, harass them, until they leave their industry, their career. Because their personal lives are up for public scrutiny.

This sexist, hypocritical bollocks fills me with pure rage. That these pathetic people are listened to when their hateful motivation is clear.

And abusive, dangerous men are let back out into society, back into their positions of power, to reoffend, to hurt more people. Because men.

In all these cases we are told the men deserve due process, reserve judgement, and all too often they are allowed back into their roles in public life, roles that carry responsibility, prestige, huge earnings, opportunities to repeat offend and ruin more lives.

But the women? No, the women can’t be trusted. They’re lying bitches, they had it coming, they can just stop listening to the abuse if it bothers them that much, but these industries aren’t for them anyway.

Can we stop this?


Links

Thumbnail for Minister criticises Pistorius rulingMinister criticises Pistorius ruling

A South African minister has said the acquittal of athlete Oscar Pistorius of murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp is “extremely disappointing”. Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga told the BBC she thought the judgement was “based on technicalities, not on facts”. Ms Steenkamp’s parents have also said “justice was not served”.BBC

Thumbnail for Ched Evans is a rapist - he does not deserve to waltz back to Sheffield UnitedChed Evans is a rapist – he does not deserve to waltz back to Sheffield United

Does a footballer stop being a footballer when he’s a rapist? That’s the question being bandied around this week in relation to the former Sheffield United player Ched Evans. The 25-year-old sportsman was convicted of rape in April 2012, jailed for five years and is due to rejoin society in October. HOLLY BAXTER

Thumbnail for Misogyny, death threats and a mob of trolls: Inside the dark world of video games with Zoe Quinn - target of #GamerGate - TelegraphMisogyny, death threats and a mob of trolls: Inside the dark world of video games with Zoe Quinn – target of #GamerGate – Telegraph

“The graphic and specific death threats I have received have been terrifying.It’s really just about hurting women, which they have been quite good at. Four women, I think, have withdrawn [from the gaming industry] now saying it’s not worth it.” But trolling women is not what gamers claim that ‘GamerGate’ is all about. RADHIKA SANGHANI


7 Comments

Substituting for ‘crazy’

As I’m sure I’ve argued before, words really do matter in some contexts. They both reflect and define our realities, and can indicate to each other what we feel and think about things, as well as what’s acceptable in groups.

People might now switch off because “omg the PC police” but, try replacing “political correctness gone mad” with “people would like respect” and see how things look…

booksinsane

Yeah, no, it really isn’t

Today’s subject is the increased use of terms that usually reference mental ill-health being substituted for descriptors of the unusual and notable like baffling, unconscionable, inexplicable, astonishing, amazing, awesome, fantastic, brilliant, shocking, clever, super, awful, despicable, outrageous, indefensible, unfair – and many more besides; I am (sadly) not a thesaurus.

That’s a big range of stuff to throw words like crazy, insane, mad, batshit or mentally ill at. I think it’s more common in America (especially insane) but seems fairly ubiquitous now, especially in clickbait headlines (a root of many ills).

Continue reading


Leave a comment

London Skeptics: Truth and Lies In Advertising

A talk by Richard Burdett on the changing face of advertising during his career, and what kind of untruths we should actually be concerned about.

Given today I’ve been wound up by Brands jumping on the current advertising Bandwagon of ’50 Shades’ (because it glorifies abuse and could be doing some real damage – I wish brands would place their profits a bit lower in importance but that’s a pipedream) – here’s some stuff from last night’s skeptics meeting on Advertising.

Continue reading