If there is one rightwing argument I never get tired of, it's "Why are you complaining about stuff in the country where you actually live instead of criticizing countries where things are worse for [insert minority here]." Mostly I like the dual implication that we are ungrateful and that they would be willing to get in on the fight for social justice were it simply being used as a cudgel against another country.
This argument is not, as it turns out, unique to the United States. This week, the Wiltshire Gazette & Herald out of the UK published a short and sweet letter to the editor from reader Matthew Laverack (a prolific writer of letters-to-the-editor it turns out), asking "When Will #MeToo End Its Silence On The Taliban?"
Given that Laverack went through all of the trouble to write an actual letter to the editor, rather than posting his thoughts on social media, we can all be assured that this is a very well-thought-out argument. And it does check a lot of boxes, including calling women "females."
In calling on City of York Council to 'end it's silence' on the Afghan refugee crisis, Labour cites the plight of young girls no longer allowed to go to school (End silence on Afghan refugees, August 24).
Females have far more to fear than a denial of schooling from the despicable Taliban, who ruthlessly impose strict Sharia Law under which a woman is regarded as little more than a chattel.
So when will the #MeToo movement be ending its silence on the matter? Or are they only concerned about deplorable conduct of certain males in western countries?
Well, I guess he has got us all there? How can we even stand ourselves with all of this rank hypocrisy?
Sadly, Laverack neglected to share with us all exactly how a disparate movement that at its core is just women and others sharing their own personal experiences with sexual assault and abuse online, as well as occasionally calling for their abusers to be held accountable for their actions, would officially come forward and issue a statement on the Taliban.
How would this go? Would we all vote for one woman to come forward on behalf of us all and apologize to the men of our own countries who have sexually assaulted, abused and harassed women, and thank them for not being as bad as the literal Taliban? Should every woman who used the hashtag to discuss how they had been sexually assaulted, abused, or harassed step forward and officially condemn the Taliban? Would he like to see members of the Taliban who participate in the oppression of women lose their jobs with ... the Taliban?
If it makes Laverack feel better, however, I am more than happy to say that the Taliban is bad. In fact, he can quote me on it.
"'The Taliban is bad,' says feminist Robyn Pennacchia, in an official statement.
For what it is worth, Afghan women and girls are also notably and bravely participated in the #MeToo hashtag themselves, which was actually the whole entire point of said hashtag.
There are lots of organizations that address human rights issues affecting women on a global scale, but not every organization or social movement can or should be all things to all people. But it seems less like Laverack doesn't understand that and more like he sure would like women to stop talking about "the deplorable conduct of certain males in western countries."
Hopefully his next letter to the editor will be better thought out.
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Score one for sex work!
OnlyFans has dodged a puritanical bullet. Yesterday, a week after its ban on "explicit" sexual content, it announced it would reverse course and sent out this statement via Twitter:
Thank you to everyone for making your voices heard. We have secured assurances necessary to support our diverse cr… https://t.co/B0cm6Fz4AM— OnlyFans (@OnlyFans) 1629892579.0
While personal trainers, aspiring musicians, and celebrities like Cardi B and Bella Thorne have joined as creators, porn is by far the most popular category on the site, with a large share of its
two million content creators selling sexy pictures or videos of themselves. This safe and legal way for sex workers to make money was what made OnlyFans so ubiquitous that they were given a shout out by Beyoncé on Meghan Thee Stallion's "Savage" remix.
After Axios wrote a piece about how OnlyFans couldn't secure outside investors, despite being on track to have a net revenue of $1.2 billion this year — expected to double to $2.5 billion in 2022 — OnlyFans announced on August 19 that it would no longer host pornography starting in October. This came as a huge blow to many of OnlyFans' two million creators and 130 million registered users across the world. OnlyFans creator Meredith Jacqueline told The Daily Beast:
It's just mind-boggling. It's like, y'all hate porn that much that you're willing to give up money? Because if it were me, I like money more than I hate a lot of things.
Adding to the confusion and sense of betrayal was OnlyFans sending internal messages that were vague or seemed misleading about their intentions for sex workers.
The service team is using purposely vague corporate language to make us think nothing is changing. They do not view… https://t.co/CRbBUfdQWB— pretty and rude (@pretty and rude) 1629421445.0
Until it became clear that is was EXACTLY what sex workers and creators feared it was when they clarified their "new rules."
But the question that was soon raised was the most obvious one: Why would a site making billions, thanks to the content provided by safe sex work, risk destroying themselves like Tumblr did, or alienating users like Patreon, or the way Craigslist shut down sex work due to the unintended consequences of Sesta-Fosta? In a capitalist economy, why would you do this?
OnlyFans founder and chief exec Tim Stokely placed the blame for the UK company's move to ban sexually explicit content as of Oct. 1, announced last week, on several major banks in an interview with the Financial Times:
The change in policy, we had no choice — the short answer is banks [...] cite reputational risk and refuse our business. […] We pay over 1 million creators over $300 million every month, and making sure that these funds get to creators involves using the banking sector.
These banks included JP Morgan Chase, Bank of New York Mellon and the UK's Metro Bank. Because several banks have cut off OnlyFans from making wire transfers, that has made it difficult to pay creators according to Stokely. The pressure on banks and credit card companies could be traced back to National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE), a far-Right, anti-porn organization with an anti-LGBTQ+ past. There were also investors like Bill Ackman who tried to use their influence, until some questionable ties came to light. Their plan almost worked until sex workers and free speech advocates fought back.
Whether or not OnlyFans allows explicit content, JP Morgan Chase & MasterCard will continue their puritanical anti-… https://t.co/UA6LjOHVzy— AILAA (@AILAA) 1629924372.0
We spoke to OnlyFans creator Meredith Jacqueline. She said:
OnlyFans' decision to reverse their sexually explicit content ban is a win for content creators today, but it will be difficult for us to trust them again after the whiplash from this past week's events. I'm glad that sex workers made enough noise for them to figure it out though. Financial institutions should not be able to determine what kind of perfectly legal content a platform hosts, no matter how offensive to those who buy into the Exodus Cry anti-sex propaganda. Banning sex workers from online platforms does nothing but hurt people, make our jobs more dangerous, and actually makes human trafficking easier and more prevalent since it's not out in the open. Allowing banks to determine what content a website can host is a very dangerous slippery slope of media censorship, and I'll take this as a small victory against censorship and the war on sex. I'll still have a back up plan or two and be looking toward other sex-work focused platforms, but for now we're safe and I'm very relieved for myself and for all of my fellow sex workers.
Sex work IS work. It should be treated as such, respected, and protected like any other workers and artists.
And take your staff of disgusting enablers with you.
Who the hell gropes a state trooper? How far up your own ass do you have to be to think that's an acceptable way for anyone, much less the highest public official in the state of New York, to behave? And then to send the COVID vaccine czar out to make sure county executives won't publicly call for your resignation once the news of your vile behavior starts to leak out?
This morning, New York state Attorney General Letitia James held a press conference that should end Governor Andrew Cuomo's career. Flanked by former acting head of the Southern District of New York Joon Kim and employment lawyer Anne L. Clark, James intoned somberly, "I believe these women."
From the podium and in a simultaneously released report, the team laid out allegations by 11 current and former state employees detailing a pattern of sexual touching and comments by the governor, covered up and abetted by staff in his Executive Chamber.
Based on the investigation, and as set forth in greater detail below, we reach the conclusion that the Governor sexually harassed a number of State employees through unwelcome and unwanted touching, as well as by making numerous offensive and sexually suggestive comments. We also conclude that such behavior by the Governor was part of a pattern that extended to his interactions with women outside of State government, and was enabled and facilitated by a culture within the Executive Chamber of secrecy, loyalty to the Governor, and fear, as well as the normalization of inappropriate comments and interactions by the Governor. Finally, we conclude that the Executive Chamber's response to a number of the sexual harassment allegations violated its internal policies and that its response to one complainant's sexual harassment allegation constituted unlawful retaliation.
Cuomo's senior staff, many of whom are women, worked hard to protect their boss and maintain "a culture of fear, intimidation, and retribution" which "normalized everyday flirtations and gender-based comments by the Governor." As one woman told investigators, Cuomo was so vindictive and abusive that it was seen as an advantage if he found a female employee attractive, because she might get yelled at less:
[F]or whatever reason, in his office the rules were different. It was just, you should view it as a compliment if the Governor finds you aesthetically pleasing enough, if he finds you interesting enough to ask questions like that. And so even though it was strange and uncomfortable and technically not permissible in a typical workplace environment, I was in this mindset that it was the twilight zone and . . . the typical rules did not apply.
Cuomo's enforcers even went so far as to leak one former employee's confidential personnel files and circulate a letter attacking her among several high ranking Democrats.
Following Ms. Boylan's public allegation of sexual harassment against the Governor in December 2020 (at a time when she was running for public office), the Governor and the Executive Chamber actively engaged in an effort to discredit her, including by disseminating to the press confidential internal documents that painted her in a negative light and circulating among a group of current and former Executive Chamber employees (although not ultimately publishing) a proposed op-ed or letter disparaging Ms. Boylan that the Governor personally participated in drafting.
The report itself is full of nasty details, including the governor constantly hugging and kissing women, even putting his hand up an assistant's shirt to grab her breast, and rubbing a state trooper's back and belly and trying to kiss her after he'd spotted the officer at an event and requested that she be put on his personal security detail.
When the Governor reached Ms. Limmiatis, he ran two fingers across her chest, pressing down on each of the letters as he did so and reading out the name of the Energy Company as he went. The Governor then leaned in, with his face close to Ms. Limmiatis's cheek, and said, "I'm going to say I see a spider on your shoulder," before brushing his hand in the area between her shoulder and breasts (and below her collarbone).
He even tried to discredit a sexual assault survivor on his staff whom he asked about her views on monogamy and interest in dating older men by saying that the complainant "processed what she heard through her own filter," and that "it was often not what was said and not what was meant."
In short, this is some nasty Mad Men shit, and the guy needs to GTFO yesterday, which is why state officials are running not walking away from him right now, joining Senators Schumer and Gillibrand, who both called for his resignation months ago.
In any rational world, Cuomo would resign immediately. And take his brother Chris Cuomo with him, since the CNN anchor seems to have played a substantial role in crafting the filthy PR strategy once women started coming forward with accusations.
But this is not a rational world, so instead the governor convened a press conference to deride the AG's investigation as a WITCH HUNT. Never mind that Cuomo himself deputized James to do the investigation, perhaps believing that she might be persuaded to go easy on a political ally. But if that was his expectation, Cuomo appears to have drastically misjudged James, and finding himself backed into a corner, he's now going full Trump.
He's even got his own "Grab 'em by the pussy" video:
Incredible moment as Cuomo displays face-touching slideshow: “I do it with everyone. Black and white, young and old… https://t.co/p60GBpwpyU— Jessy Han (@Jessy Han) 1628010905.0
If we have understood the governor correctly, he seems to be suggesting that his father groped everyone, his mother groped everyone, he gropes everyone, and anyone who complains is racist against Italians, who talk with their hands and kiss everyone on the lips.
Also it is sexist to attack women in his senior leadership for being hard chargers, and a culture of abuse and intimidation is good, actually.
And now he's learned that not everyone likes discussing their sex lives with their boss and sitting on his lap at government events, he'll do better going forward. So, we're all good now?
HAHA, FUCK YOU. GET OUT.
And PS, we never want to hear another word from Republicans about dOuBlE sTaNdArD for Dems. Because the Blue Team takes out its goddamn trash.
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Anti-vaxx dating app Unjected kicked out of the Apple store.
Bad news for people who were hoping for a little romance before dying of COVID: the Apple store gave the boot to anti-vaxx dating app "Unjected" this weekend.
The app, which users on the Google Play site have described as "useless," "painfully glitchy," "terrible," and "cold dogshit" -- and that's from people who agree with their mission! -- first came out in May of this year. While the "Tinder for anti-vaxxers" debuted as a dating site, it also promotes businesses where one can easily catch COVID-19, a social feed and "a database where users can list their blood types."
It's not clear if that last one is some kind of anti-vaxxer "thing" or if they just recognize that their behavior may lead to a need for a blood transfusion at some point, as "spontaneous bleeding" is an occasional complication of COVID.
On their since-deleted Instagram page, the founders claimed Apple hated them for sharing their "medical autonomy" and "freedom of choice," though it is just as likely that they hated them because they were beautiful.
Apple says Unjected was kicked off because its "social networking app inappropriately refers to the COVID-19 pandemic in its concept or theme." Apple requires all information about COVID-19 come from "recognized entities such as government organizations, health-focused NGOs, companies deeply credentialed in health issues, and medical or educational institutions." So, you know, not your kooky, Q-obsessed uncle who thinks the vaccine is a ploy to give everyone the mark of the beast.
The app is still on Google Play, however Unjected has been given a deadline to get rid of some of its more objectionable bullshit.
In emails to Unjected, Google flagged posts that included claims of vaccines being "experimental mRNA gene modifiers," "bioweapons" and "nano-technology microchips" used to link people to the 5G network.
Google told Unjected on July 16 it had two weeks to remove the posts from its app store or get booted off. "We've had to walk a censorship tightrope," co-founder Shelby Thomson said. Unjected removed the social feed to get back in compliance on Google Play but Thomson said she plans to restore it, along with the flagged posts, and hopes to "stay under the radar."
Other features on the app that remain active include matches, chat rooms, a community directory of "unvaxxed friendly" businesses and a database where users can list their blood types. "We're not trying to be harmful to society," said Thomson. "We just want to exercise our freedom of choice."
Except by doing that, you are harming society. I am a big fan of "freedom of choice," but there are lots of ways one can make choices that harm society. Especially choices that kill people. If I choose to stab someone in the face, that choice harms society. Or at least that person.
A very dramatic statement on the app's Google Play page reads:
We believe in true science & the scientific method. Observation has shown the science isn't settled. Covid19 vaccines are shedding dangerous spike proteins. [sorry, not a thing -- Ed.]
Those who have chosen not to be apart [sic] of the trials have documented adverse events after being exposed to the Vaccinated. [Because it's obviously not possible to just make shit up -- Ed.]. The long term health consequences are still unknown.
Created by 2 mothers. We believe in the power of the silent majority and want to ensure a platform, a safe space for the unvaccinated to come together uncensored through business, friendship or love.
We dedicate ourselves to health, kindness and consciousness. Medical Freedoms are an inalienable right. But here, we are seeking the likeminded, the covid unvaccinated.
This is going to be the most misogynistic-sounding thing I've ever said, but practically every non-parenting related thing I've ever heard described as "created by moms" has been some kind of bullshit. There's not really a scenario where being a mom gives you special expertise on things that have nothing to do with being a mom, and usually it comes across as a bulwark against criticism. Like "If you say mean things about our stupid anti-vaxx app, you're basically saying moms are bad and you hate all the mothers."
While it's good that the app is no longer spreading misinformation, that misinformation is still widely available, mostly because it comes directly from the imaginations of the kinds of people who would sign up for that app in the first place. Alas, an unfortunate side effect of getting rid of it is that these "unjected" people will be trying to inject themselves into the normal dating pool. Hopefully someone comes up with a way for them to keep to themselves without spreading any misinformation on an app. Surely they can all take it as a given that they all basically believe the same stupid shit.
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