It's been a busy couple of weeks at my socialist law commune, so I haven't had the chance to put together something really good for you all today. What I do have, though, are a cool set of interesting links from around the web that might be of interest to you. In no particular thematic order I present them to you.
1. Bioware tells Straight Dudes to stop complaining about gay characters. Nice news out of the often-times less progressive world of gaming, Bioware staffer David Gaider responds to some straight white dudes' complaints that their characters will get hit on in the new Dragon Age 2...by other male characters. Gaider's got a particularly on-point description of privilege:
And if there is any doubt why such an opinion might be met with hostility, it has to do with privilege. You can write it off as "political correctness" if you wish, but the truth is that privilege always lies with the majority. They're so used to being catered to that they see the lack of catering as an imbalance. They don't see anything wrong with having things set up to suit them, what's everyone's fuss all about? That's the way it should be, any everyone else should be used to not getting what they want.
2. The always awesome Thomas has a great new post up over at the Yes Means Yes blog about the myth that rape happens because of miscommunication. In a long line of scientific studies (and let's hear it for more good science that helps us understand the world better), Thomas reviews information that shows that there really isn't much confusion when it comes to rejections or denials of sexuality activity:
(from researchers Kitzinger and Frith, 1999): Drawing on the conversation analytic literature, and on our own data, we claim that both men and women have a sophisticated ability to convey and to comprehend refusals, including refusals which do not include the word 'no', and we suggest that male claims not to have 'understood' refusals which conform to culturally normative patterns can only be heard as self-interested justifications for coercive behaviour.
3. Two hits from Amanda Hess, over at TBD.com. First, an indication of the type of culture that anti-violence activists are up against: hilarious rape joke t-shirts! /snark. Second, some interesting moral quandries with discussing homophobic violence when the victim turns out to be straight. On the possible positives of directing a lot of media attention towards this type of crime:
Focusing on straight victims can also help illustrate the depths of homophobia. When a straight person falls victim to an anti-gay hate crime, those same homohobes who blame gay victims for "flaunting their sexuality" will also search for clues that a straight victim was not straight enough, and therefore complicit in the attack. Perhaps the victim was hanging out with gay people; maybe he did not act, dress, or talk "straight" enough. These crimes reveal a culture of homophobia where it's not enough that a person be not-gay. He must be not-anything-like-gay. Ideally, he must be anti-gay. In this hierarchy, straight people are punished for not being gay enough- and not hating gays enough - thus perpetuating anti-gay violence.
4.Holly Pervocracy, who, as a writer, I want to be just like when I grow up, has an awesome post on why so many people so vociferously defend rapists when they themselves are probably not rapists. Go check out the whole thing.