Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Tentacles for charity!

So, hands up who's into a little kinky erotica?

Oceana, a charity dedicated to saving the world's oceans, is looking for submissions for their latest anthology.  A collection of short stories devoted to that popular Japanese trope, tentacle porn.
Tentacle sex celebrates helplessness in the face of ravenous, remorseless, undeniable lust. I want to see stories with characters, settings, and plots. People change. The world is revealed. Things happen. They don't have to be deep, but they have to be there.

Stories set in any time period, setting, or sub-genre are fine. Any flavor of speculative fiction is fair game, and if you can figure out a way to do it with a contemporary setting, I'm good with that too!
Stories should be between 2,500 and 7,500 words.  Exceptions will be made for outstanding stories.

If you're still curious and want to know more (or even sneakily submit a story, you can check out the site.

I would comment more, but I think I said enough already.

Saturday, 28 January 2012

I'd call them animals, but that'd be an insult to animals.

I used to think I'd like to visit Egypt one day.  Then something like this pops up and I rethink any future travel plans. 
“My roommates and I fell to the ground when they attacked us. The people pulled my pants off even as I yelled and tried to fight,” she continued.

She said that after the men pulled their pants off, they continued to grab and grobe the woman’s bodies. “It is disgusting. They put fingers up my ass,” she revealed.  Luckily, the women were somehow pulled from the violence by a man and a woman and taken to safety. She said she doesn’t recall exactly how she was saved from the violent attack.
What the bloody fuck?  

What kind of mental processes must go through the minds of these men when they decide it's perfectly okay to strip and sexually molest women in the middle of a public square without warning?  It's depraved and sickening and it goes without saying, absolutely wrong.  The world is watching the country after the people rose up to remove a corrupt power from their government, but it seems that corruption runs far deeper than in just the upper echleons of politics.  It's running rampant in the streets, amongst the people and poisoning the society itself.  It must be, if this is what's happening in the general population after the revolution.

Thankfully, people in Tahrir are speaking out and speaking against these assaults, calling for people to be exposed and brought to face their crimes.

Activists called the attacks on women completely “unacceptable” and must be exposed no matter what. They demanded an end to all violence toward women.
“What happened in Tahrir today has no justification and must be fully exposed even if it taints Tahrir!” wrote EgyptSecularist on Twitter.

However, some people close to the assaulted women don't seem to agree with these sentiments.  Heather, the young woman who came forward with the story of her assault above, was told by people not to share her story as it would "taint the image of the revolution".  I say, good for her and fuck her naysayers.  It has tainted the image of the revolution, but this is a good kind of taint.  If the mobs are made to at least face up to the nature of their crimes and see that the international stage won't allow this kind of behaviour, maybe it could steer them towards a more civilised movement.  However, this optimism is a little strained - the numbers and ingrained mentality involved is exceedingly great.  It will take so much more work and so many more women to come forward and shame the men who assault them, and for the population against this abuse to support them.

Though with the statistics involved, it's going to be a long fight.

According to studies conducted by the Egyptian Center for Women’s Right (ECWR) in 2008, 98 percent of foreign women and 83 percent of Egyptian women surveyed had experienced sexual harassment in Egypt.
Meanwhile, 62 percent of Egyptian men confessed to harassing women and 53 percent of Egyptian men faulted women for “bringing it on.”
Bringing it on?  I'd like to meet each of those men and bring it on.

Preferably with a sledgehammer.

(Article found on Butterflies and Wheels)

Friday, 13 January 2012

Oh you sick bastards.

Some times you learn something new and disturbing, you wonder if it's some horrible sick joke or troll.  Maybe a piece of propaganda.  Then you research a little deeper and you start fearing for humanity that little bit more.

Now, it's not new news to learn about Muhammad and his infamous marriage to Aisha, a girl aged six.  When I was younger, I had already been fed a few lines about their marriage.  One, that she was thirteen at the time of consumation and two, that it was appropriate for the time, both in a societal and welfare context.  Since then, I obviously had both illusions shattered, especially when placed in contemporary context.  Many Muslims exonerate Muhammad for marrying Aisha at six and having sex with her at nine years old, some using it as a divine example to follow.  Many moderate Muslims don't follow that, thankfully, but a sizable number of literal extremists and perverts have taken those teachings to heart, and to my despair, to the extreme.
‘A man can have sexual pleasure from a child as young as a baby. However, he should not penetrate vaginally, but sodomising the child is acceptable. If a man does penetrate and damage the child then, he should be responsible for her subsistence all her life. This girl will not count as one of his four permanent wives and the man will not be eligible to marry the girl’s sister… It is better for a girl to marry at such a time when she would begin menstruation at her husband’s house, rather than her father’s home. Any father marrying his daughter so young will have a permanent place in heaven.’
That was quoted from Ayatollah Khomeini, a high ranking scholar of Islam, from his book ‘Tahrir al Wasilah’.  I apologise for my language and imagery, but what the bloody fuck?  There is so much wrong in that paragraph right there!  Raping babies is bad enough, but he tries to make it okay by saying it's fine if the man only sticks it up her pooper!  Where's the logic or humanity in that?  Incidentally, this did raise a flag in my head - why is it okay to sodomise a baby when two adult consensual men are put to death?  And never mind the permanent damage done to the child.  The only punishment a man receives is that he's not allowed to go on to marry that baby or her sister and has to take care of the victim for the rest of her life.  And not only that, but fathers are encouraged to allow their daughters to marry as young as possible and not taint his house with her first spot of menstrual blood so that HE gets the place in heaven. 

Why is this important now?  It's not like it's widely practiced, right? 

A recent census in Hormozgan in Iran had found there were five marriages of girls under the age of 10 in the province.  24,506 girls and 5, 519 boys have been married off whilst under fourteen years old.  This is too high a number in one province of Iran alone.  Nayereh Akhavan of the Islamic Assembly and it's Judicial Commission has basically trivialised these statistics by saying that most children have reached sexual and intellectual puberty by the age of ten, so it's okay!  And besides, it'd contradict Sharia law and paint Muhammed as fallible as a prophet.  They can't have that, so child marriages can't be banned.

The next video is of Doctor Ahmad Al-Mu'bi, a Saudi Marriage Officiant.

First off, marriage is only two things apparently - the contract and the consumation.  What he is basically advocating is the marriage of children because there is no minimal age of consent - as long as the father gives his permission for his daughter to marry, it's all fine and dandy.  That'd be okay if it weren't for the fact some fathers would give up his daughters so willingly.  What I find poignant is that he doesn't give an age limit as such, but brings up that culture, environment and local laws have a lot to do with age of sexual activity.  Note I said activity, not CONSENT.  I won't go into age limits because that's a whole other kettle of fish (but maybe a topic I will touch on another day), but the bare bones of sex is that it should be between consenting, preferably properly informed people.  Personally, I don't think a thirteen year old is old enough for sex but then again, what do I know.  I wasn't ready for heavy petting, never mind sex, until I was nineteen.  But that was my own personal experience.  What's even more worrying is more the age gaps between these so called married couples, often a child and an adult man. 

The next video is brief but features a woman speaking about the topic of thighing a child, and I agree with her sentiment tremendously. 

It is sexual abuse, it is in violation of a child's rights, and it's outrageous that Sharia allows this practice to happen.  What I also love is that the guy obviously doesn't like this being laid out to him.  Power to the lady for having the cajones to speak up about this. 

(Thanks to Maryam Namazie for this)

Monday, 2 January 2012

Prevention is better than a cure

Except when what's being prevented is some real education.

I was mooching over in the news websites of my birth country and came across this little nugget

EFFORTS to prevent HIV/AIDS must continue even if the number of people suffering from the disease in the Sultanate is low.
This was stressed in the weekly sermon yesterday by Imams at mosques throughout Brunei.

Okay, I resist the urge to prejudge.  After all, just because this advice is coming from the religious leaders of a predominantly Muslim country, it doesn't mean that they can't offer some words of wisdom.  They do mention that making the public aware of the disease and proper medical facilities and practice should be in place to help lower instances of AIDS and HIV infection.  The sermon also mentions to people that unsafe sex was a factor in spreading the disease and anyone who thought they were at risk should be tested.

Brilliant!  What more could the sermon also tell their congregation?  Perhaps some basic level education on how to practice safe sex, or on drug use?  PAH. 

Muslims need to stop themselves and their families from committing sins such as premarital sex.
"It is our responsibility as a Muslim, a parent, a guardian, a neighbour and a friend to give advice and reprimand if we ever catch our children, family members or friends committing an action that is against the religion," the sermon stated, adding that individuals should not be ashamed to do so.
"Remember that the act of not caring is one of the factors why sinful acts such as fornication and misuse of drugs continue to happen, without realising that these factors are the causes of AIDS."
What sort of advice is this to give?  Sex outside of marriage is bad and causes AIDS?  It's against their brand of religion and thus you shouldn't do it?  What about offering real advice, like education about safe, consensual sex or about drug use and safety?  Education is not about condoning the behaviour, but keeping the individual safe from harm and yet some people are so willfully ignorant of that fact.  That last paragraph also had a nice little bit of blame laced through it.  If a friend or family member is aware of someone close to them being "immoral", then they are as much to blame if they fail to warn them of the folly of their ways. 

Parents are told to be clever yet firm in handling their children in this matter, but how are the parents supposed to do this with so little information themselves?  They aren't taught anything about safe sex, or about birth control or condoms or the dangers of things like sharing needles.  Most of these parents only have their Imams and scriptures to go back on for advice, which are woefully lacking in facts.  Some children might be lucky enough to have enlightened parents who might be able to offer advice that the rest of us take for granted, but I'm not so optimistic about that.  Instead, abstinence is taught, but that in itself doesn't work.  Just because you're a Muslim who follows doctrine doesn't mean you're going to be able to shut down your sexual urges until your wedding night.  I mean, bloody hell, but I have known some pretty damned horny Bruneians, not just of my generation but of the older generation as well! 

Brunei always prided itself on being modern yet upholding traditions, on being leaders in the Second World when it comes to development and society.  But news like this makes me shake my head and remember that the country's population still has a ways to go.

But you know, let's not end on a downer.  Happy New Year, everyone!