Thursday, March 19, 2015


  • Leave lipstick alone! Count me among those who like subversively-named cosmetics, namely those that lean to the dark-druggy-sexy side of things. I draw the line at MAC's Rodarte collection, and Nyx makes a lip gloss I love called "African Queen," which is pretty insensitive, but names like "Orgasm," "Deep Throat" (call me a nerd, but I thought of Nixon's "deep throat" before that "deep throat" -- it's also the only peach blush that doesn't go orange on me) and even UD's "Backdoor" are, no pun intended, cheeky fun. I get it. It's selling an image, a fantasy. Buying a lipstick is such a small luxury that if I want to wear a shade called "Coven," or even "Underage," I shouldn't feel obligated to turn it into a political issue.
  • Reading this makes me seriously want to consider a handful of things I've written lately, not because I question my own (sometimes contrarian) views on things, but because I'm so resistant to signaling properly. I think it's pretty clear where I stand on things. It's intellectually lazy and makes for sloppy writing at times, but for the past few years, if you want write about politics, it's tantamount to signal to the correct group first. I stand by what I said about the media's hyper-focus on campus rape -- I do think it smacks of a certain brand of leftist classism, but that doesn't mean I don't it's ever a problem, or that there is an epidemic of women lying about rape. And it bothers me that I have to pepper my writing with caveats to prove that I'm on the "good" side. Last month, Laura Kipnis wrote an article blasting what she called the "feminist melodrama" surrounding professor-student relationships,  and was met with protests a demands for a formal condemnation --  a fairly tame response in the current client. No one asked for her resignation and her writing career will remain in tact. (Full disclosure: I like Kipnis's writing a lot.) The phrase "freedom of speech doesn't mean freedom from criticism*" is repeated like a mantra, but doxxing isn't criticism. Bombarding someone's employer with nasty emails until they're forced to take action isn't criticism. Getting expelled or fired isn't criticism. It's meting out punishment.
  • Speaking of punishing those with incorrect views, no one should really be shocked that an older, Italian Catholic has some pretty traditional views about families and IV fertilization. I don't agree with him (signaling!) of course, but there is a faction of the LGBT-community that's anti-marriage, anti-assimilationist whose views should be part of the larger dialogue about marriage and families. I don't think I'm making my point very clearly, and yes, this is a pretty shitty example if I want to make a case for free speech, but an increasingly narrow set of views is becoming acceptable to hold, and that doesn't bode well, not for traditionalists like Dolce and Gabbana, but for someone outside the typical pro-marriage, pro-family LGBT framework that's actually pretty traditional in its own right.
*sometimes "freedom from consequences" is used in place of "freedom of criticism," but consequence usually implies some legal action should be taken, hence, no freedom of speech.