Considering bad motherfuckers: Hildegard of Bingen and Janelle Monáe

I, like all the best people, have spent the last month or so being absolutely amazed that there was a time before Janelle Monáe’s ‘Dirty Computer’ existed, and that apparently there was music before now. It’s a lot to deal with, you know? Obviously, this album is important for a number of reasons, the most pressing of which is that it BANGS. However, it is also an amazing record of queerness and female auteurship in a male dominated society.

And of course, all of this is rather like the work of Hildegard of Bingen.

Continue reading “Considering bad motherfuckers: Hildegard of Bingen and Janelle Monáe”

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On sex work and the concept of ‘rescue’

My lovely lambs, if you are not on Twitter, I mean first of all congrats for not getting involved in that hellsite? Second of all, however, you may have been missing out on SWARM (the twitter of the amazing Swarm Collective) taking over the legendary goal keeper Neville Southall’s twitter account in order to talk about sex workers’ rights. It has been a generally wonderful thing to see these voices elevated outside of the usual bubble, and I for one have been super pleased to see decrim discussed in a more public way.

Unfortunately, Big Nev and the amazing collective of sex workers behind SWARM have received much too much pushback from would-be ‘feminists’, including members of the so-called Women’s Equality Party here in the UK who have come at the genuine concerns of sex workers with offensive, degrading, and dehumanising stuff like this:

Walker
I’m sorry I made you look at this.

 

What these haters have in common is usually a belief in, and often financial backing from, what anthropologist Laura Agustín has dubbed ‘the rescue industry’. The rescue industry sees all women who engage in sex work as victims, relying heavily on modern ideas of such women as ‘fallen’ or somehow soiled or victimised. The latest part of the trend is to insist that sex workers advocating for their own humanity are part of the so-called ‘pimp lobby’ a theoretical cabal of men who somehow are able to lobby at a high-level for sex work so that they can control women, while also keeping sex mostly illegal world-wide. *thinking emoji*

Continue reading “On sex work and the concept of ‘rescue’”

On Mike Pence, Holocaust Memorial Day, and Christian interpretations of Jewish utility

If, like me, your primary form of entertainment is reading the news, becoming angry, yelling, and then drinking to try to forget about what you just read, you may be aware of the stupid offensive bullshit that Mike ‘If I’m in another room with a woman alone I might rape her, IDK’ Pence tweeted for Holocaust Memorial Day. If you have somehow escaped this and are blithely unaware, I am sorry to do this to you. Behold:
Pence

This right here, is a veritable parfait of wrong in that there is just layer upon layer of inappropriate, with a bonus cherry of apocalyptic Christianity on top. So, let’s talk about this.

Eagled-eyed readers (LOL) will note that every single thing this man has just said about the Jewish victims of the holocaust is set out here in Christian imagery. (There is a separate conversation to be had here about how this tweet also ignores the Romani, gay, and disabled victims of the Holocaust, of course. I am trying to cut down on my rage posting by just focusing on the largest and most glaring parts of the evil that is spewed by this administration, right now though. I’m tired, OK?)

Continue reading “On Mike Pence, Holocaust Memorial Day, and Christian interpretations of Jewish utility”

On the Medieval secret to a balling Christmas, for once.

Christmas, amiright? It is A Thing.  And every year it seems to creep a bit further into autumn as capitalism demands larger and larger blood sacrifices in order to slake its consumerist thirst. Tra la la.

Now, some people really really dig Christmas, some not so much, and some are just deeply ambivalent and stoked to get some time off. All of this is good and fine and you should be able to do you.

I have found through extensive research (i.e. living) that a lot of people sort of struggle with the Christmas thing because you have said GIANT BUILD UP, where everyone you know insists that you ‘get together before Christmas!’ Also, you need to buy a Christmas jumper to wear to the office do! Also, have you sent out Christmas cards? Also, Christmas is the most meaningful day of the year and you should be spending it with your family and if it isn’t magical, then maybe you don’t actually love them?

It’s a lot.

Continue reading “On the Medieval secret to a balling Christmas, for once.”

On Jerusalem and the Apocalypse, or, why you should be deeply unsettled right now

Ever since Constantine the Great converted to Christianity, it has not been possible to simultaneously be both a Westerner and view Jerusalem as simply a city. Part of this, obviously, has to do with the fact that some of the more memorable parts of the life of Jesus took place in Jerusalem.* The other thing is that Jerusalem is absolutely integral to the Christian idea of the Apocalypse.

Now as a sane, happy (I hope, anyway. I believe in you.) person, you may not quite get why we should give any fucks about the Apocalypse. Why worry about the end of the universe? Why does that come into play at all in the day to day life of your average Christian? These are good relevant points that we must cling to in order to continue to fight off overwhelming feelings of dread in the nightmarish hellscape that is the current political landscape.

 

Trouble is, Christianity as a religion is obsessed with the apocalypse.

Continue reading “On Jerusalem and the Apocalypse, or, why you should be deeply unsettled right now”

Look up – this church is judging you

So, I went to Rouen last week in order to be the Biggest Geek in the World ™. I have returned with a video showing you how to catch churches judging the fuck out of you for being sinful. In particular we’re talking about how S. Maclou church, which was built in the late medieval period in the Flamboyant Gothic style (Yes. That is what it is called.), is judging you.

This is essentially what travelling with me is like, except you aren’t drinking with me. You are welcome.

The history of penis in vagina as default sex at Bish!

 

I’m super delighted to have written a piece for Bish (insert fan-girling here) on the History of Penis in Vagina Sex as Default Sex.

Come for an explanation of why the Church are total haters about any sex that can’t get you knocked up, and stay for Justin’s insight on, well, basically anything involving sex, gender, relationships, and self esteem.

Massive plug here also for Justin’s book Enjoy Sex (How, When, and If You Want to) with Meg John Barker. Spoiler alert: enjoying sex usually requires more than inserting tab a into slot b, and that’s why the Church wanted to limit sex to just that.

Anyway, um, enjoy!


For more on sex in the medieval period see:
These hoes ain’t loyal – on prostitutes and bad bitches in medieval and hip hop culture
On women and desire
On power and entitlement to the bodies of lower status women