Porn, Pell, & the unruly body.

11 Apr

There’s an interesting piece in The Drum today by Michael Brull, demonstrating just how unreliable are anti porn campaigner Gail Dines’ claims of “studies” and “research.” Dines argues the “studies” support her contention that we are all going to hell in a pornographic hand cart while compulsively masturbating, dressed in crotchless panties regardless of gender, and singing something with mofo in the chorus. For more about Dines unique turn of phrase see here  but if you haven’t got time, her description of men as “amoral life support systems for an erect penis” will give you an insight.

In a spontaneous example of Freudian free association, Brull’s article led me to consider Scott Stephen’s railing yesterday against the Qanda what can I call it, it never once rose to the level of a debate, encounter perhaps, and an acrimonious one at that, between Cardinal George Pell and atheist/agnostic/non believer Richard Dawkins. I was most disappointed with this mutually contemptuous exchange of scorn and mockery. If this is the best there is from both sides, we’re in trouble. Some respect, courtesy and genuine engagement would not have gone astray and on the whole, the audience questions were boring as bat scat. Actually, that is unfair to bats and those interested in their complex droppings.

Be all that as it may, Stephens, the ABC’s Religion and Ethics Editor, was profoundly upset by this programme as you will see if you have a look at the piece he dashed off immediately afterwards. Link above . There are many things with which to take issue in Stephens’ piece, however, because of Gail Dines, I’m thinking about this:

Unlike socialism – which invariably took the form of the radical assertion of the state over the economy, culture and indeed the bodies of the people themselves – the revolution that has defined our time and continues to hold sway within Western liberal democracy is the assertion of the freedom, the rights and the pleasure of the body over every other person or institution that might stake some claim over it, whether it be nation, tradition, community, marriage, children or religion. Or, as Herve Juvin has nicely put it, the Western body is “a body without origin, character, country or determination”.

In just this way, this conception of the body that represents liberalism’s political and cultural centre of gravity is both ahistorical – in that it is unmoored from its traditional determinants of kith and kin, its moral and civic duties, and even its biological inheritance and gender – and nihilistic – determined by nothing but what it chooses for itself, and oriented toward nothing but its own health, safety and pleasure.

Christianity has always had a fraught relationship with the body, and has sought to prescribe and control its functions, particularly the sexual. The body is regarded as subordinate to the soul, or as a temple of the holy spirit. The New Testament is littered with such images. The religious right carries on this tradition with its close attention to female sexual and reproductive behaviours.

It should come as no surprise to anyone that there would eventually be a revolution of the kind Stephens describes, in which human beings in Western liberal democracies attempt to extricate themselves from the constraints imposed by Christianity on the body’s freedoms, rights and pleasures. Repress anything for long enough and it will eventually explode. The sexual revolution of the sixties was in part a reaction to the repression of the fifties, the intense interest in the body in 2012 a continuation of that revolution, enabled as never before by technology. We have the means to alter our bodies. We can do things to them we’ve never been able to do before. We can see the bodies of others as we’ve never been able to see them, just by sitting at our laptops. The body is available as never before, and of course we are enthralled by its availability.

However, there is an apocalyptic tone to both Stephens’ and Dines’ rhetoric. There is an “end times” desperation in their prose. They believe the  body is going to bring us undone. Our  unhealthy enslavement to its desires and demands will lead us into chaos and despair. It would seem that Stephens has nothing good to say about our intense interest in the body: like Dines and pornography, it’s all bad.

The “unmoored” body, that is, the anarchic body, caring only for its own welfare and pleasure, and Dines’ utopian vision of what might be:

We believe in a future free of oppression, and a cornerstone of this future is a world free of commodified sex and a media landscape that does not reproduce patriarchal culture. This is a truth we hold dear and there is no study, argument, or theory that will persuade us otherwise.

The moral fervour of this statement conceals, perhaps even from the enunciator, a blind desire to establish what she considers a legitimate sexual discourse and in so doing, repress and silence all others.

Both Dines and Stephens seem to nostalgically reference an imagined era far better than the one in which we currently exist. Both repudiate the unruly present. Both  imply a utopian dream of reinstating bourgeois moral values. The body must be policed, controlled and kept in its place. But by whom?

I have always considered the body to be miraculous in and of itself. It seems to me perfectly natural that the body should be a source of fascination and wonderment. I can’t agree with Stephens’ generalisation that the body is currently unmoored from its traditional determinants of kith and kin, its moral and civic duties, and even its biological inheritance and gender – or Dines’ ghastly assertions about male sexuality.     Some bodies are adrift, and that has always been so. Some sexual behaviour is frightening and dangerous, and that has always been so. However, both authors seem to be consumed by the same urgent project: that of ridding the world of what they consider to be “evil” and installing a new order stripped of the full human experience, which must, if it is to be real, include the dark, the difficult and the dangerous.

Which brings me back to Cardinal Pell. I detected in the Cardinal a distinct taste for revenge. He wants an afterlife in which those who behave badly are judged and punished. That’s his utopia. It’s not fair, he says, if those who cause suffering get away with it. Especially Hitler.

 

 

 

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65 Responses to “Porn, Pell, & the unruly body.”

  1. helvityni April 11, 2012 at 7:35 pm #

    I’m not going to good in this life in pursuit to be accepted in heaven,only to find out that I’ll have to share the space with Pell andGail, and god only with who else…

    Like

  2. SeaMac April 11, 2012 at 7:36 pm #

    Stephens has had 2 bites at the cherry with that article as he has also posted it on the ABC Religion & Ethics site he administers – http://www.abc.net.au/religion/articles/2012/04/10/3474271.htm

    Thus he’s got two sets of comments, and no indication on either posting that the other exists, which might be of questionable ethics.

    I got the impression the first half of Stephens’ tirade was more than a couple of days in the making, so was “pre-ordained”: a number of memes seemed to be well developed, including the way he introduced and discussed the pet term hyperpluralism.

    I thought this dig at Dawkins particularly yet typically nasty – “Richard Dawkins is not only the most theologically illiterate of the non-believing ultra-Darwinists, but he is also notoriously unsophisticated on questions of ethics and moral obligation.” Scoring points with “the flock”?

    Like

  3. Hypocritophobe April 11, 2012 at 7:44 pm #

    The word hyperpluralism is his latest toy.
    Pell is a sad old man who does not even believe in the product he flogs any more.Maybe he never did.
    Q & A exposed him 100%. The Vatican would have noted it, duly.

    Stephens is petulant self righteous and way over-rated.”Look at moy!”.
    I hope he goes in the cull.I hope MTR is not his replacement.

    Like

    • helvityni April 11, 2012 at 7:49 pm #

      There’s nothing charitable about Pell, and you got Stephens right, Hypo, smug indeed…

      Like

  4. Ray (novelactivist) April 11, 2012 at 7:55 pm #

    Neither Dawkins or Pell were at their best. Dawkins admitted to being jetlagged. Pell just seemed old and tired. Both seemed bored. Having said that, and in reply to SeaMac’s point. No atheist needs to be remotely literate in theology because theology is rubbish because its foundational premise is false. Besides which, which theology should he be literate in? Shia theology, Hindu theology, Buddhist theology?

    As for the Christian aversion to the body, aargh, don’t get me started. And Stephens – well to begin with its a straw man argument and I don’t accept his assertion about the dominance of the body. Bullshit I say.

    Like

    • Hypocritophobe April 11, 2012 at 8:01 pm #

      Theology is rubbish.
      Word! Ray.

      Only thing it’s good for is justifying dogma,bullying and oppression ( or spread across a triple word score in Scrabble.)

      Like

    • SeaMac April 11, 2012 at 8:12 pm #

      I agree, Ray. Theology is about “the vague”, hence the need to appeal to other vague notions such as “hyperpluralism”.

      theology [thee-ol-uh-jee]
      the field of study and analysis that treats of God and of God’s attributes and relations to the universe; study of divine things or religious truth; divinity

      http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/theology

      Religious Truth??! about “God’s attributes”?? mmmm

      Yet there are a number of other definitions of that web-page
      World English Dictionary
      theology (θɪˈɒlədʒɪ)
      1. the systematic study of the existence and nature of the divine and its relationship to and influence upon other beings
      2. a specific branch of this study, undertaken from the perspective of a particular group: feminist theology
      3. the systematic study of Christian revelation concerning God’s nature and purpose, esp through the teaching of the Church

      Cultural Dictionary
      theology definition
      The disciplined study of religious questions, such as the nature of God, sin, and salvation.

      I like this best:
      Computing Dictionary
      theology definition

      1. Ironically or humorously used to refer to religious issues.
      2. Technical fine points of an abstruse nature, especially those where the resolution is of theoretical interest but is relatively marginal with respect to actual use of a design or system …

      Like

      • Ray (novelactivist) April 11, 2012 at 8:28 pm #

        SeaMac,

        Love definition 2 from the Computing Dictionary – ‘fine points of an abstruse nature’ – yep.

        Like

  5. Di Pearton April 11, 2012 at 8:12 pm #

    Having established that hell exists because we want it to, so that Hitler and assorted baddies don’t get away with doing bad things, Pell went on to say he hoped no one was in hell. He is clearly past it, so may be a serious contender for the papacy, since noncomposmomposity is apparently a prerequisate.
    Dawkins really should do some prep on stock answers to some stock questions he is likely to get, such as ‘why?’ rather than his unconvincing, ‘it’s a silly question’. It is, of course, but he could be more eloquent. Douglas Adams said ‘ Isn’t it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?’.

    Like

  6. DontSueMeMTR April 11, 2012 at 8:20 pm #

    On Pell and hell — I noticed he said the reason he wants to believe in hell is so there would be justice for people like Hitler. And then about a minute later he said that “as a Christian” he hoped that NOBODY was in hell. Make up your mind.

    I noticed he rolled out the theory that homosexuality is a learned behaviour, too. I thought the church had officially abandoned that one.

    On Dines quote about men as life support for penises — I’ve only heard her say that in relation to how men are portrayed in pornography. In a lot of cases, I agree with her. If she has gone on to say that’s what watching porn turns men into, that is where my agreement ends.

    On Stephen’s vision of the big bad world of the unmoored body — I don’t know what he’s worried about. It doesn’t sound that bad to me at all.

    Like

    • DontSueMeMTR April 11, 2012 at 8:21 pm #

      Beat me to it, Pearton

      Like

  7. Ray (novelactivist) April 11, 2012 at 8:39 pm #

    Overall the Q&A episode was very disappointing, even laughable. I couldn’t believe it when Dawkins accepted the ex nihilo premise – something does not come from nothing and the singularity is not ‘nothing’. And the real howler – Pell saying we’re descended from neanderthals.

    Perhaps they were both stoned?

    Like

    • Hypocritophobe April 11, 2012 at 8:58 pm #

      Hey hey, Ray let’s not blame poor old recreational drugs for this Q & A blancmange wrestle.

      This could be the one time when we GET to blame the tools.
      (Both of them them were wallowing in pity for their opponent, whilst simultaneously waiting for a killer blow.
      The chemicals in their own bodies derailed them,if anything.)

      And let’s face it.
      Q & A has run it’s race.
      It is a show about providing a venue, to miss an opportunity, every single time.

      Like

    • Di Pearton April 12, 2012 at 7:37 am #

      Well, Dawkins was jet-lagged. In Pell’s defence (three words I never thought I would say) he is certainly not accustomed to being questioned, AND priests do like their whisky, and long term effects are debilitating.

      Like

      • Jennifer Wilson April 12, 2012 at 7:51 am #

        They just seemed like two querulous old blokes. I don’t know why they let Pell do the gig – there must be many more adept at debate than he seems to be.

        Like

        • samjandwich April 12, 2012 at 3:15 pm #

          Oh, um, goodness what a busy day!

          But I tell you what struck me was how monsieur Pell’s mannerisms reminded me so much of Tony Abbott’s! I think we might have seen a vision of the future…

          Which, naturally enough, looked like hell.

          Like

  8. Doug Quixote April 11, 2012 at 9:43 pm #

    So comforting isn’t it? Place all your friends and allies in heaven and place all your enemies and opponents ( and the evildoers) in Hell. That was Dante’s viewpoint in 1300 and it is the view of the Roman Catholic Church today, and probably of most other Christian groups as well.

    Then Pell says he hopes no one is in Hell! Is this some sort of pious sounding wish?

    In 1999 Pope John Paul II declared that Heaven was “neither an abstraction nor a physical place in the clouds, but that fullness of communion with God which is the goal of human life.” Hell, by contrast, was “the ultimate consequence of sin itself … Rather than a place, hell indicates the state of those who freely and definitively separate themselves from God, the source of all life and joy.”

    Benedict XVI seems to have a different take :

    “Hell is a place where sinners really do burn in an everlasting fire, and not just a religious symbol designed to galvanize the faithful”, the Pope said.

    Addressing a parish gathering in a northern suburb of Rome, Pope Benedict XVI said that in the modern world many people, including some believers, had forgotten that if they failed to “admit blame and promise to sin no more,” they risked “eternal damnation — the Inferno.”

    Hell “really exists and is eternal, even if nobody talks about it much any more,” he said.

    see http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,261844,00.html

    (It was a story in The Times but it seems inaccessible now)

    In October the Pope indicated that limbo, supposed since medieval times to be a “halfway house” between heaven and hell, inhabited by unbaptized infants and holy men and women who lived before Christ, was “only a theological hypothesis” and not a “definitive truth of the faith.”

    end quotes

    He seems to be in error here : Dante placed the virtuous pagans and unbaptised infants in the upper level of Hell.

    So you’ll either burn in Hell or not, perhaps.

    Like

    • Hypocritophobe April 11, 2012 at 9:59 pm #

      Pell should be dismissed outright.
      If any organisation feels compelled to find excuses to hide/deny/cover up systematic sexual assault on the vulnerable (inflicting a LIVING Hell) than everything else that follows is inadmissible.
      He is simply an A-Grade denier.Pick a topic,watch him deny.

      There is a reason why he and his mentors purport to know a lot about ‘evil’. It’s their stock and trade.

      Abbott worships Pell.
      Gods Pell.

      Like

  9. Hypocritophobe April 11, 2012 at 10:18 pm #

    Brulls piece has almost ground to a halt at 58.
    It will indeed be interesting to see just how many hits he gets.
    This is a mid week porn article.
    If it doesn’t make 350 400+ before closure, I’ll need to reach for the gas mask to cover the smell.

    Like

  10. hudsongodfrey April 11, 2012 at 11:59 pm #

    Where to begin!

    We already had a crack at the Q&A thing in another thread…I have here concatenated a collection of earlier posts to different forums in response to Jennifer’s having inspired me to make the attempt and unifying my own ideas in an effort to find out whether there is indeed some kind of conceptual continuity?

    Scott Stephens, poor fellow, laments too much pluralism and thinks education has something to do with inculcating virtues rather than incubating students’ critical faculties. His idea that the “common good” is obviated by an excess of [hyper]pluralism is not shared by many who think that there are multiple goods to be shared in communities being well served by plurality. I think you could even conclude in favour of pluralism on a theistic interpretation that simply values a kind of “god given” diversity over some of our more clotted religious traditions.

    He compounds his error by falling back on the line “At a time when so many of our civil institutions have collapsed…”? Really which ones? Has this card not been played once too often without the fabric of society disintegrating about our very ears for that hyperbolic rhetoric to salvage any shred of credibility whatsoever?

    Stephens’ misreading of socialism (too conveniently written off as the sponsor of the authoritarian state by its main competitor in the authoritarianism stakes, none other than organised religion), appears to be somehow linked to this his idea that all atheists are materialists, therefore deference given to our bodily existence must be resisted at all costs.

    Such a grasp of the links between these things as is required to understand this form of apologetics may be better discerned in Jennifer’s mind than my own. I did not at first see the links between the piece that Michael Brull contributed in the ABC opinion pages as to the other pieces Scott Stephens has posted in to Religion and Ethics section later today.

    Nature and freedom: Conserving morality after Darwin http://www.abc.net.au/religion/articles/2012/04/11/3475129.htm

    Behold the mighty multiverse! The deficient faith of Lawrence Krauss http://www.abc.net.au/religion/articles/2012/04/11/3474830.htm

    Does science make belief in God obsolete? http://www.abc.net.au/religion/articles/2012/04/11/3474830.htm

    All of which are tours de force in apologetics, well-argued but ultimately baseless as I tried to point out in my response to them on the ABC website. They confirm some people’s suspicions that gay marriage may have been what he’d in mind when writing about the collapse of those civil institutions he mentioned above, that a religious perspective on cosmology can best be described as deliberately naïve hubris, and that some religious thinkers remain fixated upon setting up categorically false dichotomies between faith and science. If a creator God is proposed then ergo it was she who created science, presumably to enlighten us despite the misgivings of her theological representatives!

    Once more into the breach…

    As genuinely interesting as the psychology of porn use may well be it also has as it corollary the kind of psychology that informs why many people disdain and disparage or are just plain embarrassed by porn. And the latter is I think just as interesting and basically a heck of a lot more accessible if the real intent were only to find a happy medium between whatever it means to use porn excessively on the one hand (no pun intended), or to exhibit hang-ups about what others do on the other. For much as I know I’m stretching the metaphor here this always seems to be the type of topic where opinion is so polarised that the one hand doesn’t know what the other is doing…

    In the meantime a good deal of the fuss that is made by groups whose intent eventually reveals itself to be censorious seems to revolve around efforts to render their subjective sensibilities into objective assertions by finding harm in it no matter how dubious the reasoning they find for doing so. Whatever this represents from a psychological perspective, intellectual rigour it is not! Brull points this much out pretty much as ably as anyone could.

    This brings me to the point where it seems necessary to refute objections to an argument favouring metaphysics over materialism in such a manner as to link them with their psychological motives. It may be unfair to religion to draw a direct parallel between the questionable psychological pathology of religious attitudes toward sexuality and the symptoms of a similar malady evident among the finger waving classes. But if it is there then it is there to be seen to be largely fear based.

    For all its more sophisticated pretensions metaphysics is rooted in the belief that “why?” is a question that there ought to be an answer to. Anyone with the humility to look to the skies and find the Andromeda Galaxy, visible to the naked eye under the right conditions, may realise they’re seeing light that left on its earthward journey before our species even existed (Andromeda is 2.6 Million light years away). Looking even further to Big Bang, an event some 13.75 Billion years ago, the appropriate response to any pretence of certainty isn’t to pose the question “why?” [we can’t understand the immensity of the universe] so much as to accept the inevitability of why not!

    Science knows its limitations. When it doesn’t know it admits it!

    So it seems to me that we may prefer metaphysics to materialism only in the sense that it seems to propose less to fear from the unknown. Yet anti porn campaigners aren’t specifically expressing their disdain for materialism. There is however the sense that they respond to a psychological equivalent. Often without ever mentioning or indeed having theistic leanings they clearly presume a kind of moral absolutism that characterises porn as objectively bad using subjective evidence. When the evidence for their assertions is seen to be poor the fact that this seems immaterial to their convictions gives away their pretence of objectivity. The link between religious objections and what may well be secular ones to the material body is singularly contingent upon insecurity about sexual freedom being a kind of irresponsible freedom over urges that are both too powerful and too difficult for them to understand.

    It is an area where I lack the knowledge of psychology to carry the investigation further for my own part. Much as I express a certain curiosity around things which I don’t understand, I don’t feel in the least disheartened by the notion that I may never understand perfectly, or with the certainty of a religious kind of faith. Yet I have faith in the idea that we cannot and will not improve things at all unless we first admit that we don’t know in order to be able to start learning. That’s where I see there to be a real difference in the kind of thought that wants to be enlightened as opposed to a marked preference for the kinds of constraints that may be provided by traditions or other social ideologies.

    Like

    • Doug Quixote April 12, 2012 at 9:25 am #

      A fine struggle you wage there HG. It epitomises the nature of the sides in the conflict of world views :

      One side seeks the certainty of belief in an all powerful all knowing God, one who they fondly hope is also loving.

      The other side sees no rational basis for such a belief, and stuggles to advance their own knowledge, and seek to close the gaps in knowledge through science. They are by definition uncertain.

      It must be so comforting to be certain that you are right : “God is on my side” is the most dangerous concept known to man.

      Like

    • Ray (novelactivist) April 12, 2012 at 9:32 am #

      Hudson,

      Yep. Agree. Some religious have a hatred of the body in preference for vague ideals of soul or spirit. The body and material existence is always a problem to them. This goes back to the Greeks. Christian absorbed Greek teaching about the purity of the soul as opposed to the corruption of the material world.

      Like

  11. rubiginosa April 12, 2012 at 12:01 am #

    Both Dines and Stephens seem to nostalgically reference an imagined era far better than the one in which we currently exist. Both repudiate the unruly present. Both imply a utopian dream of reinstating bourgeois moral values.

    In this interview with Waleed Aly (08:23), Stephens laments the failure of liberalism in and of it itself because you can buy t-shirts featuring Lenin’s head.

    Like

    • Jennifer Wilson April 12, 2012 at 9:33 am #

      Hahaha! Irony displaces ideology. I like that.

      Like

      • rubiginosa April 14, 2012 at 4:14 pm #

        Also — fraught relationships with the body liberal democracies: Greg Sheridan, performing some transubstantiation of the truth; Stephens’ own work, and his publishing of Peter Hitchens this week. Their turgid prose cannot disguise the melancholy cry of pain about the modern world.

        Like

        • Jennifer Wilson April 14, 2012 at 5:20 pm #

          That Sheridan post is ironic, right? When I stop laughing I’ll read the others but not Stephens again

          Like

        • hudsongodfrey April 14, 2012 at 5:44 pm #

          That sort of crap is why I don’t bother with the Australian!

          Stephens’ for all the bias that he brings to the subject (and don’t we all) at least offers us the satisfaction of riposte.

          Having seen in The Age today that a second round of revalations, about sucides among victims of abuse at the hands of catholic clergymen, may prompt an inquiry I wonder how many articles either Scott Stephens or Greg Sheridan will either pen or publish on that subject?

          Like

  12. gerard oosterman April 12, 2012 at 4:37 pm #

    I wonder if Pell and Dines should stay away from chicken wings. With porn heavily slanted towards shaved genitals, I wonder if the puckered and plucked look of poultry might not lead them astray as well.
    It’s all getting so difficult.

    Like

    • Doug Quixote April 12, 2012 at 4:58 pm #

      To quote a famous song :

      I’m not the Pheasant Plucker,
      I’m the Pheasant Plucker’s Wife!
      And when we pluck together,
      Its a pheasant plucking night!

      Like

      • helvityni April 12, 2012 at 5:11 pm #

        ….oh, and how pleasant this pheasant plucking can be
        when you only need to pluck a half of the fucking bird….

        Like

  13. Hypocritophobe April 12, 2012 at 8:03 pm #

    Some of you will remember JWs article at the Drum about women being capable of abusing children too.(Feminisms Last Taboo??)
    JW was howled down by the torch bearers of pseudo-feminism, and the opportunistic Gravy Train-ers, who used all sorts of slurs, insults and childish rants to condemn her.
    “Women could never hurt their children.”
    This link below may be of some interest.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-04-12/mother-jailed-over-child-porn2c-sexual-abuse/3946990

    It highlights the depravity possible, and no doubt the same screaming banshees will try to link this behaviour to ALL porn.Of course banning ALL porn and forcing it underground is the very thing which may make the above crimes increase in number.

    Interesting that BHearts have suddenly found their voice. Who knows,perhaps some answers are forthcoming?

    Like

    • Doug Quixote April 12, 2012 at 8:28 pm #

      Probably very rare, Hypo. Becoming a mother is a longer process than becoming a father(!) but in a society which tries to compel unsuitable women to carry foetuses to term – ie birth – it will be more prevalent than it was for mothers to mistreat their unwanted children.

      Some mothers are clearly unfit to be mothers. The ‘banshees’ might perhaps consider this.

      Like

      • Ray (novelactivist) April 13, 2012 at 9:39 am #

        Not so rare Doug. Mothers abuse their children too, often emotionally. And just as there is pederasty within the male homosexual community, there is its equivalent amongst the lesbian community – Sapphism. This was actually quite common in the late 19th and early 20th century. Female ‘romantic’ affairs were considered harmless because no penetration was possible and the all precious hymen could remain intact. There were adult ‘romantic friendships’ amongst women and ‘smashing’ or ‘raving’ or ‘spooning’ amongst schoolgirls. Smashing involved intense crushes on other schoolgirls or teachers and it was surprisingly common (Havelock Ellis reported that up to 60% of Italian schoolgirls were involved in smashes). This created an atmosphere where same-sex attracted adults and girls could form relationships and mostly get away with it. Although not always. In one famous case in Scotland the two female founders of a noted girls school got caught having inappropriate relations with several students. Thing is, even today this is more likely to be seen as innocent. As for mother’s sexually abusing children. Depends on how you define abuse, but women are certainly allowed intimate access to children that men are not. In a number of cultures (Arabic, etc) it is perfectly acceptable for women to openly play with boys’ genitals and tease them about their future virility. I have had mothers admit a certain degree of sexual ‘play’ with their children – something fathers could never get away with.

        Like

  14. Hypocritophobe April 12, 2012 at 9:38 pm #

    The true Christian spirit,raw and untamed.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-04-12/rift-threatens-to-tear-africa-charity-apart/3947072

    “Toe the line or fuck off! We choose who to save, and under what circumstances and which God, this saving takes place.”

    Christianity has become another branch of corporate parasitism.

    Like

    • Happy Heyoka April 13, 2012 at 12:12 pm #

      Hypocritophobe wrote:

      Christianity has become another branch of corporate parasitism.

      More like the original branch – they predate corporations as big business by, what, 600 years?

      Like

  15. Hypocritophobe April 12, 2012 at 11:51 pm #

    Now you good NPFS-ers,
    The link below should ring many bells.
    (If you haven’t seen it)

    See just how many people Allison Pearson reminds you of….
    (Hint, she masters in Pot Kettle Black)
    (Second hint,not too many recent photos pop up on the first search)

    http://www.dougstanhope.com/journal/2012/4/7/who-reads-these-turkeys.html

    Recommended follow up link

    http://www.chortle.co.uk/news/2012/03/16/15059/fight!

    Like

    • Jennifer Wilson April 13, 2012 at 10:31 am #

      Hypo that Stanhope rant is AMAZING!

      Like

      • Hypocritophobe April 13, 2012 at 10:38 am #

        It beats a SLAPP, hands down, that’s for sure.

        I love that he ‘wished’ something on someone, who actually believed it might come true!

        And take note of the theme to one of the books Pearson wrote.
        Clearly she is well out of her league.
        I hope this guy comes to Oz.He’s outrageous.Just what we need.Cathartic comedy.

        Like

      • doug quixote April 13, 2012 at 12:49 pm #

        I agree Jennifer – recommended reading !

        Like

  16. doug quixote April 13, 2012 at 9:15 am #

    Hypo, thanks for that! I especially liked the concluding paragraphs of Doug Stanhope’s article :

    “You try to malign me and brand me with the same mark as some headline-making internet troll solely out of personal spite. You tried and failed to have me fired, arrested, denounced as a “vile misogynist” and when all that failed, you fraudulently cast me as a cyber-bully, only because an actual one made the news and you found a weak tie-in.

    You don’t even understand the concept of an internet troll. I stand up alone in front of people nightly, my exact location announced well in advance and speak my opinions openly and publicly. You sit hunched over a laptop with a finger-sandwich hanging out of your mouth, blurt out whatever inane, reckless pap you can generate and think that there will be no repercussions, save for your alleged “flurry” of emails.

    You would never have the balls to stand up and speak directly to a public gathering of Telegraph readers. You are the troll, Allison Pearson. You’ve always been the trolls.

    This is the arrogance of a media that is beginning to realize that they no longer have a monopoly on public discourse. People like Allison Pearson are dipping their toes into the internet, into the medium that is quickly making them irrelevant and they are shivering at coldness of their own sudden vulnerability.

    It used to be that people like me were at your mercy, Al-Zebub Pearson. If I said something considered mean-spirited or off-color on stage, the papers could lambaste me in the press with impunity. Now the shoe is on the other foot as we, the people have columns and readers of our own. You wrote what I found to be loathsome, I gave you a bad review and all of a sudden the flurry of email you’re getting isn’t so pretty.

    You are a moribund Vaudeville act. And you can either sink with the ship or come into the future where you are gonna have to hear what people think in whatever language they choose to use. If you google my name or read the comments on any one of my Youtube clips, you’ll find boatloads of comments that are far worse than any of the slings and arrows you or even Fabrice Muamba suffered. It’s par for the course. And if anyone ever went to prison for even a minute because of the viciousness of their online attacks on me, I would campaign endlessly for their freedom.

    Enjoy your breakfast.”

    (end quotes)

    All I can say is “wow! “

    Like

  17. Hypocritophobe April 13, 2012 at 9:38 am #

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-04-13/premier-hints-at-inquiry-into-church-sex-abuse/3947976?section=justin

    If (very BIG IF!) it happens it won’t come soon enough.It could explain Pells behaviour.
    More skeletons in the closet?
    It will interesting to see how rubbery the terms of the enquiry are.

    I can see all the pro-lifers now,dropping their campaign at the abortion clinics, to circle Victorias parliament House,
    “Leave our Church Alone!”

    I can hear the Catholic paper shredders from here.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-04-13/premier-hints-at-inquiry-into-church-sex-abuse/3947976?section=justin

    Anything short of a Royal Commission will be a farce.

    Like

    • Di Pearton April 14, 2012 at 6:48 pm #

      Why is it that the clergy who protect those perpetrators, who transfer them, who don’t inform the police are not themselves charged as accessories, or with concealing a crime?

      Like

      • doug quixote April 14, 2012 at 9:37 pm #

        A good question; I suspect that the veil of the confessional is invoked to cloak their nakedness. Does any reader know – know – whether this is so?

        Like

  18. hudsongodfrey April 14, 2012 at 10:05 pm #

    It’s not true and I’ve the old episodes of Dave Allen to prove it!

    Like

  19. Darrell April 15, 2012 at 6:20 pm #

    Well.. yes life in the world.. asks us all the question.. “To be.. or not”.. “to be”… Hamlet was faced with the eternal question.. The words above the ‘Oracle at Delphi”.. said.. “Know thyself”… I watched a replay of the Pell-Dawkins talk.. All aimed at promoting the Atheist Convention in Melbourne perhaps.. Beginning on Friday the 13th…. Yes, as we move further & further into the Age of Aquarius.. or the ‘Age of Reason’.. being claimed be all sorts.. Also being the sign of the Truth Sayer, the Rebel & or the Exile.. As we move further & further towards the end of the Age of Pisces.. the ‘Age of Belief’.. also being the sign of the Mystic, the Dreamer, the Poet…. And all this too with my also revisiting a Naturist website.. at http://purenudism.net/ Whose main aim is to free the conditioned or distorted mind or Consciousness, from all the ghosts & taboos of the Piscean Age…… And all the generations of guilt & shame put upon us about the naked human body etc et al….. Bring on the Age of Reason I say….. It’s coming whether we like it or not…….. ie. “As above.. So below”.. So said the ancients…

    Like

  20. Darrell April 15, 2012 at 7:23 pm #

    While also as an astrologer & student of the symbols of life all around us.. & as I perpetually am inclinded to.. I also once again note the symbol for the Ascendant at this time of posting my earlier comment.. And so at *10degSco..

    A FELLOWSHIP SUPPER REUNITES OLD COMRADES.. The overtones of human relationships based on a community of work or experiences.. The Social feeling of communion, plus all that it engenders, arises after the act performed together.. Activity is at the root of Consciousness.. A group-personality emerges, which gives birth to Collective emotions & values.. it suggests the importance of establishing or strengthening links with those whom one has shared, or can share, living experiences.. the value of comradeship.. COMRADESHIP…

    While the previous symbol also shows what lead to this current symbol.. also known at the Halloween degree.. occurring on Oct 31st each year.. & so at *9degSco..

    A DENTIST AT WORK.. Overcoming the negative results of Social practices & Ego-cravings.. Permanent teeth appear normally at age 7, when, according to occultists, the personalised individuality – the Ego – takes full control.. The teeth are used to tear down foods so they can be digested.. Social living & Cultural patterns impose upon us certain habits & desires for unwholesome & denatured food etc.. Life in Society both perverts & repairs, destroys & rebuilds – truly a vicious cycle.. Man is compelled by Social needs to display inventiveness.. INVENTIVENESS…

    While the following symbol also shows the way forward or the next evolutionary step in this sequence.. at *11degSco..

    A DROWNING MAN IS BEING RESCUED.. The deep concern of the Social group for the safety of individuals.. What is pictured is the expression of this relationship rather than the experience of the person who, carelessly perhaps, ventured too far beyond his depth.. A person risks their life to save another: this is love.. Sustained by this love, the individual may be more secure in venturing forth; though this assurance may lead to unwarranted daring & trust.. HUMANITARIANISM…

    From the book ‘An Astrological Mandala: The Cycle of Transformation & Its 360 Symbolic Phases’ by Dane Rudhyar.

    Like

    • Jennifer Wilson April 15, 2012 at 7:48 pm #

      Hello Darrell, haven’t heard from you for a while. Welcome back.

      Like

      • Darrell April 22, 2012 at 8:38 am #

        Yes.. I have been a bit busy going through some deep inner processes & exploring things emerging from my unconscious.. Some of it all rather shocking to me.. And then I see how it all relates back to what is going on for me in my birth horoscope etc.. And I have always railed against any kind of limited or unenlighted or overly judgemental approaches to life.. Although I also find these two, opposed sides.. both lacking in an appreciation of the ‘Other’…… perhaps seeing some of their unconcious fears projected onto the “Other”…. One afraid of “religion”.. or should we say organised religion that is.. as opposed to the pure mystics approach to the great mysteries of the Cosmos.. While the majority of the religiously minded.. who only accept all they are told.. niether experience the realy mysteries either…. What about the work of Jung.. going into all kinds of philosophies & subjects.. the mysteries of the Shaman etc.. I think “real” Spirital visitations & experiences.. like I have in fact have.. can also be deeply shocking to the rational logical mind…..

        And I also realise that I may be going off the subject here a little.. But what about Timothy Leary & his work with LSD etc was also following the way of the ancient Shaman’s etc.. But we are all afraid of doing things that might be dangerous, frightening or even lead to to some kind of madness etc.. Astrologer & Jungian Analyst Liz Greene writes about all this in her book on the archetype of Neptune.. ‘Neptune & the Quest For Redemption’.. And, also after spending years of almost daily study of the whole subject of astrology.. past, & present.. I believe that this kind of archetypal worldview gives one a unique understanding of the whole totality of Life…. Being a mixture of both the way of the msytic & the rational mind….. healing the old spit that has long divided us all since the ‘Enlightenment’…. I’m sure Jung was agree.. Always why always overeactions…. is this just the way of life….. what about the symbols of ‘alchemy’ etc… The astrogliical symbol, is a kind of mandala of Wholeness that allows us to see all of life’s natural polarities & opposites in totality… as Jung also discovered……. And the Buddhists have been into astrology for a long time also.. as they are also rather fond of mandala’s etc……. Then there is Richard Tarnas’ book ‘Cosmos & Psyche: Intimations of a New World View’.. http://cosmosandpsyche.com/.. along with his earlier astrological essay on ‘Prometheus, the Awakener’… that both perhaps might help us all to begin to heal the split between the mind & the non-rational or subjective or mystical reality of this world etc…….

        Like

  21. M.E. In The 21st Century April 16, 2012 at 9:52 am #

    Pell had to apologise to “THE”Jews…& managed to add further insult to his injury while doing so.

    http://www.jewishnews.com.au/cardinal-clarifies-comments/25654

    More backpedalling to come, it seems.

    while looking at the newspaper’s site it is somewhat refreshing to read an editorial posted July 29, 2011

    http://www.jewishnews.com.au/editorial-july-29-2011/22169

    If only the Cattlelicks had taken this stance on child abuse.

    Like

  22. Julia April 16, 2012 at 10:48 am #

    Something else that came to my attention in the past week.
    A letter from Aust Christian Churches Vic (AOG) arrived addressed to a long gone ex-tenant. I don’t normally open other people’s mail. But considering the ex-tenant was into drinking, partying, drug dealing etc, & we don’t know where he is, the letter piqued my curiousity. And was obviously a computer generated mail out anyway.
    It was an invitation to a state conference for men:”
    Black & grunge printing with pics of a muscle-bound short back & side haircut man in boxing shorts & gloves.
    “WARRIOR STATE MEN’S CONFERENCE 2012 July 20-21″
    at Enjoy Church-Sunshine North Vic

    The wording of the letter.
    Dear ….,
    We’re so glad you were able to join us last year at the State Men’s Conference…but now 2012 Men’s Conference ‘WARRIOR ‘is just around the corner!
    “WARRIOR”is someone engaged in or experienced in warfare. As Christian men we’re called to the fight, and as brothers who are bound together in Christ, fight we will!
    I’m so excited about having Pastor Keith Craft with us from Texas and also James Macpherson from Queensland; both these men are experienced in the art of spiritual warfare and are taking territory for Christ.
    We’re all called to be WARRIORS! During this conference we’ll give practical application to this term that we might fight the good fight for the greatest cause of all – the advancement of God’s Kingdom.

    [there’s more, but you get the drift]
    Regards
    Shane Baxter
    ACC Vistorian State President.

    ……………………………………………………………….
    My question is….if this was an Islamic conference instead of a fundamental christian one, wouldn’t this ring alarm bells at the State Police, Fed Police, ASIO, & in every news outlet in the country?
    These fundie fanatcis are not exactly known for the pacifism…esp in the USA.
    So why is this sort of language okay when it’s from christians who openly suppress/oppress women, are anti-muslim, anti-justabouteverythingelse, believe their gods’ laws (and themselves) are above Aust Law etc?
    Is the fact this is taking place in Julia G’s electorate significant…or just co-incidental?
    Hmmm…..

    (Not really paranoid…it was just one more thing from christians that shits me after a week of half a dozen other things that simply proves they are full of it.

    Like

    • Jennifer Wilson April 16, 2012 at 11:35 am #

      Christian spiritual warrior men? It sounds pretty fundy and I think your point about what if they were Muslim is relevant. Maybe you should send the letter to the AFP and see what happens!

      Have I ever told you about the Christian Domestic Discipline sites that teach husbands to discipline wives by spanking, sending to naughty corner, withholding tv privileges etc? Religious porn, really, dominance and submission. Must look up the links and post.

      Like

      • Doug Quixote April 16, 2012 at 11:46 am #

        Doesn’t it seem strange that they think they need to fight : “fight the good fight for the greatest cause of all – the advancement of God’s Kingdom.”

        I thought they believed in an all powerful, all seeing and all knowing God – does such a being need warriors?

        Like

        • Julia April 17, 2012 at 9:04 am #

          Xtian Domestic Discipline…ugh!
          beat the wife…rape the kids.

          S & M with hymns (& hims)

          Like

    • Hypocritophobe April 16, 2012 at 12:04 pm #

      Very Interesting.
      There’s a pseudonym getting around the net with very ‘MTR’ outlooks on life (saw it at another blog)

      http://www.mamamia.com.au/relationships/female-commentators-and-the-fckability-factor-abuse-gets-personal/

      ________________________________________________

      Warrior Mum January 28, 2012 at 02:44 pm

      Dear Danni and Mamamia,
      Thank you for publishing this fabulous article. This post was very timely for me!
      Danni and Mia, I hope you get time to read this…
      Each week, ESPN 700 Radio in Utah, USA, take a break from sports commentary to host the forum, “Hot or Not Wednesday”, for objectifying, degrading and insulting women. Radio staff and listeners select photos of women which they publish on their website and Facebook page and rate their attractiveness. The candidates are usually female actresses or television personalities.
      Actress Hilary Swank (December 15) was rated “not hot” by ESPN Radio 700’s staff and listeners. If you have a look at ESPN Radio 700’s website you will see that the station have stamped the word “NOT” across photos of the actress. On their Facebook page Hilary was compared to a horse, with one person writing the comment:“ Nope not hot at all … she has a horse face”.
      A group called Beauty Redefined, were alerted to the forum and on January 5, the radio station’s Facebook page was bombarded with criticism for objectifying women.
      In response to the criticism the radio station selected (tongue in cheek), television personality Ricki Lake (January 18) as the “hot or not” candidate for the week. According to an ESPN radio announcer she was selected because: “no one would want to objectify her”. Comments on ESPN’s Facebook page included: “Yall serious ??? Ricky Lake ??? Jus on the outside she is one ugly chick.”
      Comments about this week’s candidate actress, Maria Bello (January 25), included: “She wasn’t even hot in Coyote Ugly. Serviceable? Sure. But hot? Not a chance.”
      When Beauty Redefined called into the radio station to debate the forum they were cut off air.
      If you have a look at the radio station’s Facebook page you will see that some of the men and women who spoke out against the forum were personally attacked. One young woman was told she would be a “slow poke”. Others were told to get back to their “embroidery”. One man was called a “dumb arse”.
      You will not see my comments or posts on their Facebook page because they have all been removed by the radio station. Even though my comments were valid and respectful. I have also noticed that some other people’s comments which challenged the radio station’s forum and culture have also been removed. As far as I can tell I have also been blocked from ESPN Radio 700’s Facebook page, because I can no longer write or like comments on their Facebook page.
      I have since written a complaint letter to ESPN.
      One may wonder why I am getting so worked up about what some people may think is a “harmless poll” on the other side of the globe. Why can’t I just ignore it? I think it is because I see so many harmful messages about women creeping in everywhere even into the forums of otherwise ‘professional’ sports radio stations. ESPN 700 Radio’s “Hot or Not Wednesday” forum is as good an example of the harmful objectification of women as any out there. It is also a good example of the way women are treated when they speak up.
      If the Suffragettes never spoke up where would we be today?
      Danni, I posted a link to your Mamamia column on Beauty Redefined’s Facebook page as a way of showing support to those women who were personally attacked. One young woman wrote: “Comments that target a woman for how she looks, rather than her ideas, are designed to do one thing and one thing only: to shut her up. Love this quote from the mamamia.com article!” It has also received a number of ‘likes’.
      Danni and Mamamia, I love your work. Thank you for speaking up!

      Like

  23. hudsongodfrey April 16, 2012 at 1:30 pm #

    Look I’m very strongly against the nastiness of what these radio commentators are doing, but I would prefer to reject it out of sheer disdain for anyone or either sex being publicly held up to ridicule.

    The hobby horse of women being objectified becomed tiresome especially if it has equally to be applied to those we’d happen to praise for equally shallow but ultimatey harmless reasons.

    I always suspected MTR to be posting under a psuedonym to any number of places. I don’t mind if she does and wouldn’t treat it prejudicially were she to continue to do so. If the content of her psuedonyms pronouncements can we presumed to be as lactustre as those she lends her public persona to then I like to think I’d protest both with equal vigor.

    Like

    • Julia April 16, 2012 at 10:44 pm #

      pseudonyms are fine; but one thing they all have in common is the personality using them.
      In chat rooms it usually only takes a couple of minutes to work out who the new ID is…& within a couple of comments in forums (fora..ys).

      MTR is easy to spot…and her co-hort “sisters” too.

      I wonder if their Lord and Masters are muscle-bound warriors too.
      Interesting how they went with a mean boxer…the one sport where you get points for inflicting brain damage..

      The radio station’s FB page should have been reported as a Hate Group to Facbook…Zuckie’d close it down real quick…
      …in Oz the same testosterone ‘mental health issue’ program is the Footy Show’
      with Sam Newman.

      Like

      • Hypocritophobe April 16, 2012 at 10:58 pm #

        “the one sport where you get points for inflicting brain damage..”

        Abbott CLEARLY has a head start.
        _____________________________________________________

        By the way ‘sheepies’, I’m going off-line for about 12-13 days.
        Do take care.I’ll catch up and touch upon returnage.
        Look after the brand/mission/each other.
        Nanu-nanu.

        Like

        • Julia April 17, 2012 at 8:49 am #

          Enjoy your time away, Hypocrite.
          cya when you get back.
          Have fun.

          Like

        • Jennifer Wilson April 17, 2012 at 2:53 pm #

          Bye bye Hypo. Enjoy yourself. I’ll miss you! :)

          Like

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