Richard Dawkins reads out some of his "love letters". He seems to be ok with the vitriol thrown at him. While I know that other's opinions do not matter and should not influence how I see myself, nevertheless, there are times that i find mind self to be more vulnerable than others. I think my currentl levels of stress have something to do with that. Anyway, this video made me smile. A tiny proportion of fundamentalists do this type of thing yet it does point to something going wrong with how their "loving" religion has been interpreted.
I love the look of this video. Beautifully done! The music is not quite to my taste but the lyrics are interesting. What appeals to me most is how the prosthetic in this video is striking and iconic. A good watch if you want a different perception on disability.
Listening to the radio this morning I heard interviews with people in muslim communities airing their views. I know many muslims are horrified by what has happened (in case you do not know, click here for for the BBC news website), but there are a number that have voiced their opinion that either the terrorists were correct in murdering people who drew cartoons of Muhammad and made jokes about Islam or others who are indifferent claiming they bought their death upon themselves.
The enormity of the event and it's implications is still reverberating around the world. The level of censorship demanded by Islamic extremists is ridiculous in this day and age. I don't know what the backlash is going to be and I do place the blame on religious fundamentalism, of any creed. Faith is fine until it impinges upon the rights of others. If you want to live in countries where your rights are respected, you have to in turn respect the rights of others, regardless of faith, regardless of their opinion, regardless of their life choices and how they express themselves.
Here is a link to a series of cartoons making commentary on the attack.
Cartoonists show solidarity after Charlie Hebdo attack
There is so much pervasive pressure in media to look a certain way, and people in general do not help situation when they stare or, worse, make disparaging comments about people who look different. This is highlighted in an article in The Telegraph "If my face upsets you, it's your problem not mine." The article features a woman, Joanna Corbin, with a birthmark on her face and tells of her own difficulties with how people react to her.
I have a scar on my face, through my lower lip. It stems from a nasty dog bite when I was 14. I had a plastic surgeon repair the horseshoe shaped wounds and he was able to match up the line of my lips very well. The scar is very faint now but the whole area is slightly raised and I can see and feel it all the time. Most people don't notice the scar until they see me on a particularly sunny day and then will ask "What is wrong with your face/lip? It looks swollen". It doesn't bother me now. When I was a teenager, however, it did bother me and the scar was a livid red for several years before it settled down. This led to a particularly painful time when I was the but of all jokes about dating ugly girls (you can imagine what it was like to go through this between the ages of 14 and 17). It has left me with paranoia and I am very self-conscious about the scar, having to put on make-up before I leave the house or even allow family members to see me in the morning.
My scar is minor and my issues stem from school years, but I can imagine that it must be challenging for those who are affected by the type of behaviour described in the article on a regular basis. Not everyone will judge, but enough do to have a big impact. We cannot tell anything about an individual from how they look. We do not know if they are intelligent, kind, hard working, brave or anything else. One of the reasons I love alternative lifestyles is that people tend not to be too judgemental about appearance. Something to keep in mind next time we encounter someone who doesn't look like everyone else.
PLEASE NOTE - POTENTIAL TRIGGER WARNING.
Coercive sex or rape? More men will admit to using coercive sexual practices and aggression towards women when terminology other than rape is used. An excellent article by +Kimberly Chapman ( https://plus.google.com/u/0/+KimberlyChapman/posts/Botux1aTsAh ) discusses these issues and recent research on the topic. Worth a read but please note the trigger warning.
https://plus.google.com/u/0/+KimberlyChapman/posts/Botux1aTsAhPerception around the word rape is a complex issue. It took a long time for me to admit I had been raped because I didn't want to use that word. I was coerced. I was harmed. I didn't consent. I said no. But I still find using the word rape difficult. When I was dealing with some of the confusing emotions resulting from and after the events (it happened more than once so years apart) I hesitantly used the word rape when talking about them to my (male) partner at the time and was shouted down. Consent is everything. If you cannot get clear, unequivocal consent or if the individual is saying no or is not capable of giving consent then you should not be doing it.
BDSM plays with issues of Dominance and submission, either reflecting, reversing or twisting typical gender stereotypes that seem to be perpetuated across society about masculinity and femininity. But consent is always at the heart and there is a huge amount of emphasis on ensuring consent is in place, whether via the use of formalised M/s contracts at the extreme end or the use of safe words in play situations. Fictionalised forms of BDSM, such as Fifty Shades of Grey, do not place the emphasis on informed consent and that particular book demonstrates an abusive rather than empowered dynamic. Forcing and/or coercing someone into sexual situations they are not comfortable with is morally wrong. You do not have the right to chose what happens to another adult's body without their consent and your wants/needs do not supercede their right to a choice. It doesn't matter whether you call it rape or coercion, it is the same thing and if terminology is an issue, using a combination of terms might help to get the message across.
Skeptical kinkster musing on whatever takes my fancy!