Should Violent War Game Videos Be Regulated Just Like Hard Core Pornography?

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A new video game set in modern-day Afghanistan coming out in October simulates war. The game's multi-player format allows some gamers to be in the role of the Taliban, while others play the part of the coalition forces. Karen Meredith, whose son died in Afghanistan, told Fox News, "My son didn't get to start over when he was killed. His life is over, and I have to deal with this every day...it's just not a game." Jim Sterling, a writer at gamer website Destructoid thinks the war game is fine, “No, war is not a game. But games about war...they are games. Nobody made Meredith's son become a soldier just like nobody will make Meredith buy Medal of Honor." Now you can blast to smithereens allied troops while news filters through on your radio or TV of another young soldier killed by a car bomb.

This new Afghanistan war game raises two questions. The first, of course, is whether it's appropriate for a major corporation to be giving our children an opportunity to play the role of Taliban killing American soldiers. The second and larger issue, is whether these games of violence - which were first developed three decades ago by the US military to help train US soldiers learn to overcome the cultural prohibition against killing - should be considered as neurologically dangerous to young and developing minds as hard core pornography.

Just as with pornography's influence on young people, there is conflicting science on both sides of the argument. But in the face of this uncertainty, shouldn't we regulate games that teach and show murder and violence the same way we regulate actual and even cartoon depictions of explicit sexual behavior?

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Thom
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

Comments

If you are concerned with the effect video games might have on your children then you definitely ought to regulate what they play. I share your concern, which is why I place similar regulations upon my own children. My neighbor, who has different opinions than me allows his children to play such games. To each his own, I suppose.

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rbs
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

Medal of Honor is already a 17+ mature game.

Developer DICE has emphasized that it isn't trying to make any grand political statements with the game. Along with publisher EA, it says it's not possible to make a game about a contemporary war without including this kind of feature -- and facing the controversy that comes with it.

"Most of us having been doing this since we were 7 -- if someone's the cop, someone's gotta be the robber, someone's gotta be the pirate and someone's gotta be the alien," Amanda Taggart, senior PR manager for EA, told AOL News. "In 'Medal of Honor' multiplayer, someone's gotta be the Taliban."

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J.J
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Aug. 3, 2010 12:31 pm

Not true JJ & RBS

We "we the people" have decided that cigarettes should not be sold to children...

We've decided children should not have access to hard core porn....

We've decided that children can't buy liquor....

If you are concerned about the effects of Video Games - as a parent you cannot be there 24/7 nor can you easily fight back at the video game corps that focus millions of dollars at your children to buy...or sneak...their products.

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louisehartmann
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

Your talking in terms of children...
Children still manage to get cigerettes
Children still manage to get Booze
Children still manage to get Porn.
Children still mange to get into rated "R" movies

The game is rated 17+.
According to Target stores they card children wishing to purchase the game.

If you are concerned about the effects of Video Games - as a parent you cannot be there 24/7 nor can you easily fight back at the video game corps that focus millions of dollars at your children to buy...or sneak...their products.

That is a cop out.. All MMO games are designed to be Time sinks. Meaning they require a huge amount of time to level through. If your a parent and don't notice that your child has just played a game for 3 days striaght blowing the crap out of people. You suck as a parent and no amount of Video game regulation is going to correct that.

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J.J
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Aug. 3, 2010 12:31 pm

Wow, thanks for bringing up this topic, Thom. First, it is absolutely true that the U.S. military -as well as other militaries- are using video games as recruitment and training tools. This should be no surprise, as they have been doing the same with films for decades, at least since the end of WWII. The US Army has actually produced its own video games as well, though they were produced strictly for recruitment purposes and were not available to the public commecialy.

As far as using virtual reality and video games as training for existing military members, one of the most reputable sources is a man named Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, who is a former West Point instructor and military phsycologist. He wrote a book called "On Killing" back in the early ninties -on the heels of the first Gulf War- which detailed new training methods inplemented after WWII and the Vietnam area. Grossman himself might have retired in the years following his book, but I strongly recommend him as a guest. I think he could provide a very interesting conversation on the topic.

Should theses types of games be labeled as Poragraphy? Well, if you do place restictions on these types of games, what legal language could you use to differentiate them from, say, a game where the Hero hunts a Vampire? or a Samurai who slays demons by the hundreds with a katana? or a Plumber who gobbles mushrooms and abuses turles? My point being that at a certain level, a ridiculous premise will lose its abilty to effect the player subconciously. So, if you are slaughtering outlandish demons, the effect of "desensitization" is lessened compared to a "War Game" that depicts WWII or any other real conflict, with a premise that is -at least seemingly- much closer to reality.

I actually have much more to say on this topic. but I will leave it there for the purposes of brevity.

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R.K.Hughes
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Aug. 17, 2010 9:52 am

Last year the best selling video game was Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. The niche to this game is that you would play a game with current military weapons and equipment. This game contains conflicts around the world including a level called Afghan. The characters are Taliban except only in name. When you play in multiplayer mode, the system selects which team at random. Sometimes you are the US Forces and sometimes you are the terrorist. There is no outrage for this game at this time.

Video game, like Motion Pictures, regulates itself with a rating system and it is up to the vendors and parents to regulate the ratings. If you sell pronography to minor you can be fined, son fine vendors that sell games to underage people. If parents don't notice what games their kids play they are also part of the problem. Like someone else already stated these games require large amounts of time to earn trophies and awards. If your child played these game for hours and you never notice that your child was playing this game, you as a parent failed.

I play video games and am a parent and I close monitor games my kids play so much as separating the library of game into these you can play and these you cannot. My son can't play a Batman game because it's rated T for Teens and after I played a level to check if it was appropriate I determined it wasn't. This is how parents should regulated.

Also their is no one saying that movies cannot make movies about current war and politics, because that would trample with freedom of speech. So this would also apply to video games which also contain story and are exercising their freedom of speech.

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Archangel78
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Aug. 17, 2010 10:26 am

Okay I work in the computer games industry, currently as a contractor (love the commute). But during the 1990s worked for a very successful game company. We didn't do war games but I can give you the origins of them. Except for ping-pong the easiest way to make a game was to create a "shooting gallery" because basically you check the X and Y coordinates of the "bullet" shot and set if it intersects with a target. We called these "loop games" because they were pretty simple to program. The company I worked for didn't do these but did simulations instead, very popular ones.

I actually got that job due to a silly shoot'em up I had written where the objective was to shoot hamburgers, hot dogs, french fries and milk shakes squirting ketchup from a plastic bottle. It was more of a parody than anything else.

I've heard about the military using game companies but when I never saw that. I think the military discovered that computer games were useful for that. The only thing I noticed that due to defense cuts we began getting visits from companies that were defense contractors trying to get us to buy their technology for games.

Currently I AM working on a game port that is a war game but I waived the rules not just because I have to eat too but it's about historic battles.

Companies have to pay for that ESRB rating. We set that up because the ratings system for movies was ridiculous and we wanted to avoid such silliness. Games can take a lot of time and money to produce so you can't rewrite them just to get the rating you want. You try to target that from the beginning. And like the poster says regardless what you do the kids will still get their hands on them and they will especially want them if you tell them they can't have it just as they really want to see a movie if you slap an R rating on it.

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captbebops
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

JJ - I get the Libertarian philosophy - that you/they think it's a "me" society and it's all about personal responsibility - and not a "we" society. Hilary Clinton was right in my opinion..."It Takes A Village To Raise A Child."

Btw, this is a discussion about issues so you don't need to make personal attacks on people.

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louisehartmann
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm
Btw, this is a discussion about issues so you don't need to make personal attacks on people.

It was the generalize "you" describing absentee, incompetent parents. Not a directed personal attack. My apologies.

JJ - I get the Libertarian philosophy - that you/they think it's a "me" society and it's all about personal responsibility - and not a "we" society. Hilary Clinton was right in my opinion..."It Takes A Village To Raise A Child."

Why is it a libertarian philosophy to note that there already exists a Game rating system that is already enforced, abet not on Hard Core Porn levels and that like other culturally taboo activates, kid will find ways to obtain them and primarily from the Parents themselves whether overtly or covertly. If that is libertarian, what is the liberal viewpoint on parenting responsibilities?

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Aug. 3, 2010 12:31 pm

The Game Rating system is put together by the industry that hopes to sell more videos. Would you want the porn industry to decide who could watch what and at what age? Would you want the alcohol industry to decide at what age you can drink? Do you want the want the gamblng industry to decide at what age and how to gamble?

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louisehartmann
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Quote louisehartmann:

The Game Rating system is put together by the industry that hopes to sell more videos. Would you want the porn industry to decide who could watch what and at what age? Would you want the alcohol industry to decide at what age you can drink? Do you want the want the gamblng industry to decide at what age and how to gamble?


I guess before I answer your porn industry question. I direct you to the Game rating system
Frequently Asked Questions - About the ESRB

From captbebops above post:

Companies have to pay for that ESRB rating. We set that up because the ratings system for movies was ridiculous and we wanted to avoid such silliness. Games can take a lot of time and money to produce so you can't rewrite them just to get the rating you want. You try to target that from the beginning.

To the rest of your points..
legal age to buy porn 18
legal age to buy cigerettes 18
legal age to buy booze 21
legal age to buy the game in question 17

The standard being

"MATURE
Titles rated M (Mature) have content that may be suitable for persons ages 17 and older. Titles in this category may contain intense violence, blood and gore, sexual content and/or strong language."

versus

"ADULTS ONLY
Titles rated AO (Adults Only) have content that should only be played by persons 18 years and older. Titles in this category may include prolonged scenes of intense violence and/or graphic sexual content and nudity."

Are these standard too loose for the game in question?

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J.J
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Quote louisehartmann:

Not true JJ & RBS

We "we the people" have decided that cigarettes should not be sold to children...

We've decided children should not have access to hard core porn....

We've decided that children can't buy liquor....

If you are concerned about the effects of Video Games - as a parent you cannot be there 24/7 nor can you easily fight back at the video game corps that focus millions of dollars at your children to buy...or sneak...their products.


We the people have decided? So you're saying that I have some sort of right to go over to my neighbor's house, walk in his door, and regulate his children? To me, that sounds like a prescription for getting myself a punch in the nose, or worse. I would never even consider doing such a thing, as it would be a decidedly un-neighborly act. Live and let live is the only way for civilized folk to behave.

And then you have to consider what you are going to do about folks who decide not to go along with these regulations of yours. You tell them your regulation, and they tell you to take a hike. Then what? Do you feel you have the authority to...what? Kidnap them and put them in a cage? What if they resist this kidnapping? Do you beat them? Do you kill them? It all sounds terribly violent and barbarous, thoroughly uncivilized.

I think it's incumbent on us as good neighbors to really understand the consequences of "passing a regulation". I will have no part in regulating my neighbor or in the necessary violence required to enforce these regulations. My neighbor is my equal, and I have no moral authority to set myself up as his master.

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rbs
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

These games are another example of corporate America putting profits above any sense of civil responsibility. These games do desensitize kids to the idea of killing. Maybe more actual war footage should be shown to kids (not the kind that resembles video games, but dead people with their eyes rolled back in their heads and their families there crying) to give them a realistic representation of war. As a responsible society, we should try to prevent kids from being conditioned to kill. Parents who allow their children to smoke, watch porn, drink alcohol, etc. are breaking the law and do risk losing their children to CPS. If the same isn't true of allowing them to play these games, I think it's something we should strongly consider if we consider ourselves a peaceful society. I have 3 kids and they are very susceptible to confusing fantasy with reality.

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MarkRoger
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Jul. 20, 2010 12:50 pm

Doesn't anyone ever ask the question , why the U.S. ends up incarcerating more of its citizens than all of Europe combined?

Or why we so willingly have been at war in one way or another under every Pres. during my rather long lifetime?

What's the connection between a violent people and their choices of entertainment. Which comes first....the entertainment or the violence...or does each feed the other in an accelerating spiral?

My own favorite game is "Civilization". If I don't capture another country's oil if I need it...I'm kaput. If I don't develop the economic capacity to support military forces to do that, I go kaput.... if i chose the conquest strategy

On the other hand, there is an option to winning the game without war. That's by developing the most advanced society...a cultural victory...the one with the most cultural achievments, education, World Wonders and the like can win.. My preferred course of play..

It becomes obvious rather quickly that one can't achieve a society like that if the resources are used for war. That's so in real life as well as General/President Eisenhower so elequently pointed out..

What kind of society do we want.? One that glorifies war/violence..or one that glorifies humankind? Choices of entertainment we support provides the answer, doesn't it?

Ulysses wrote: "As a civil libertarian and journalist, I have grave doubts about censoring ANYTHING, with two, and only two exceptions: child pornography and snuff films, both of which are criminal actions."

I'd suggest that many games closely tie in to that sort of thing...glorifying, depicting and encouraging participation in criminal actions.....war included. As Albert Einstein put it, "war is legalized murder". What's often encourged in War Games, was once dealt with at Nuremburg..

Retired Monk '" Ideology is a disease".

polycarp2
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

As a civil libertarian and journalist, I have grave doubts about censoring ANYTHING, with two, and only two exceptions: child pornography and snuff films, both of which are criminal actions. It's unceasingly amazing how often some well-intentioned person or persons will step forward and want to censor something because, after all, "...any reasonable person can see that this is a problem, and I'm not advocating censoring anything else." They never take the broad view, however, that if they could see the "anything elses" that other well-intentioned persons or persons want to censor, most of which have nothing to do with their own issues, they'd see a virtually infinitesimal list, containing virtually everything any individual thinks "isn't fit" for everybody else to see or know.

People should get it through their heads that Milton was correct: the "Marketplace of Ideas" must prevail. Anything short of that is one downward-facing step on the slippery slope toward a smorgasbord of censorship. The late Justice Hugo Black of the U.S. Supreme Court was, perhaps, the greatest friend the First Amendment ever had. Whenever ANY form of prior restraint or censorship was argued, Black simply stated, "...No law means no law...."

Video games made me do it? Porn made me do it? Hermann Goering ordered me to do it? I never had a Prada bag, so I stole it because Prada made me do it?

WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY AND THE IDEA THAT IT'S AN EXISTENTIAL WORLD?

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Ulysses
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

I want to revise my stance a little bit. I think CPS is given way too much authority already. Government should only interfere with parental jurisdiction in cases of fairly extreme physical or any sexual abuse. This subject particularly bugs me, though. It is an example of corporate contempt for a peaceful society. Maybe the effects could be counteracted somehow with education.

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MarkRoger
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Jul. 20, 2010 12:50 pm

I do think laws can be enforced on parents without taking their kids from them.

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MarkRoger
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Quote MarkRoger:

I do think laws can be enforced on parents without taking their kids from them.

Sometimes yes...sometimes no. Have you ever seen a parent on Meth?

Laws were re-written under Pres. Clinton to avoid using the term "welfare". Abused kids are no longer placed with a relative if they can't afford medical care. They go into foster care.. The primary qualification is an empty bed.

After Colo. found it was delivering abused kids to pedophiles on a silver platter..it finally at least insisted on a background check several years ago.. Most states don't. Pedophiles adored Mr. Clinton. In some states they still do.

However, grandma no longer is given "welfare"... medical coverage for her grandchild. The stranger gets it. Foster care with a non-relative isn't "welfare.", and it costs more in dollars and in damaged lives..

The welfare queens.... grandma's and kindly aunts...., were removed from their thrones. as nurturing human beings and their grandchildren, neices and nephews thrown to the wolves.

I raised my neice and nephew. Under the new rules, I wouldn't even have been allowed to see them.

My opinion of Pres. Clinton (and Hillary for her role in that) would violate the rules of the Board.. Can't use those words here.

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

polycarp2
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

Just to add something to the conversation,

growing up, my brother and I always loved sport video games such as Formula 1 racing, basketball, soccer, olympic games, etc.

There was a point when I thought to myself "What happened to all the cool sport video games?" Seems like today, you walk in a video game store and 1/2 of the games are about war or World domination and the sport video games are almost hidden in the back.

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Rodriguez
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

Hey Poly, just back from work. Yeah, I think it's terrible to take a kid from his/her parents, for both. If circumstances do call for it, immediate family should be the first choice. I didn't realize the laws had changed like that. I would consider exposing kids to violent games relatively minor abuse, or more, irresponsibility. Education for parents and kids wouldn't hurt. I think it shapes attitudes more than people realize.

Rodriguez, I bet game makers have less trouble finding business loans to market war games than they do sports games. Talk about investing for the future. Scary

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MarkRoger
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Quote polycarp2:

Or why we so willingly have been at war in one way or another under every Pres. during my rather long lifetime?

What's the connection between a violent people and their choices of entertainment. Which comes first....the entertainment or the violence...or does each feed the other in an accelerating spiral?

My own favorite game is "Civilization". If I don't capture another country's oil if I need it...I'm kaput. If I don't develop the economic capacity to support military forces to do that, I go kaput.... if i chose the conquest strategy

On the other hand, there is an option to winning the game without war. That's by developing the most advanced society...a cultural victory...the one with the most cultural achievments, education, World Wonders and the like can win.. My preferred course of play..

It becomes obvious rather quickly that one can't achieve a society like that if the resources are used for war. That's so in real life as well as General/President Eisenhower so elequently pointed out..

What kind of society do we want.? One that glorifies war/violence..or one that glorifies humankind? Choices of entertainment we support provides the answer, doesn't it?

Ulysses wrote: "As a civil libertarian and journalist, I have grave doubts about censoring ANYTHING, with two, and only two exceptions: child pornography and snuff films, both of which are criminal actions."

I'd suggest that many games closely tie in to that sort of thing...glorifying, depicting and encouraging participation in criminal actions.....war included. As Albert Einstein put it, "war is legalized murder". What's often encourged in War Games, was once dealt with at Nuremburg..

Retired Monk '" Ideology is a disease".

Everybody has a right to participate in, or to decline to participate in, any video games they choose.

Lots of us think war is criminal; that doesn't mean we're going to get rid of it. It'll be with us as long as human nature remains archetypal and human qualities like greed precurse criminal behaviors across the human race. War is nothing more than state policy carried to its ultimate extreme. It's bad for those who have to do the fighting; the rest get promoted and make money. "Just remember, as you suffer through the mud, filth, and lice of the trenches, that your Kaiser loves you, from the depths of his soul..."

We incarcerate more of our citizens than other countries do theirs not because ours are more violent across-the-board. We incarcerate them because over the past 30 years, the populace, hungry for law and order and wishing to be free from crime, has looked the other way while conservatives, through their GOP running dogs, have turned prison into a growth industry and a profit center for corporate prison builders, staffers, and suppliers. That, and not any susceptibility to brainwashing being used to incite violence, is the reason for the prison explosion. Don't go to Texas; the damned rednecks down there actually gave a guy 10 years in prison for possessing three ounces of marijuana during the Reagan administration. And if one really wants to find reasons for crime, look first at poverty and its concomitant hopelessness, a hopelessness whose baseline philosophy is "I have nothing to lose." It's that philosophy that's the main impetus for many, if not most, criminal acts by the poor, including many who, even if they had just the basic necessities of life, would've declined to turn to crime.

We've been so willingly at war so many times because Wall Street, which really runs the government and thus, the military, has required war to suit its purposes.

The question is not what's right as far as a just and advanced society goes. Most progressives are in agreement about that. The question is how do you make the S.O.B.'s who own and run nearly everything bring it about? The focus should be on them, NOT on censoring anything out of the Marketplace of Ideas. Wars and all other negative actions are done legally, in the sense that they're approved by our lawmakers. The solution is to get rid of the lawmakers who vote for these things or sanction them, including Barack Obama.

Once you start censoring things, whether through prior restraint or overtly, there's no stopping; every censor ultimately thinks he or she is on a great crusade for mankind, never thinking for even a millisecond that with every censor's victory, a little more of the core of free thought and the free exchange of ideas has been nibbled away, and the core is now smaller. Who is any one person to say where censorship should start or stop if we're going to have freedom of expression for everybody? THE SOLUTION TO OBJECTIONABLE MATERIALS IS NOT CENSORSHIP, BUT RATHER, MORE FREE SPEECH SO THAT EVERYBODY WILL BE ABLE TO SEE JUST HOW OBJECTIONABLE THOSE MATERIALS (OR VIDEO GAMES) ARE AND BOYCOTT THEM ACCORDINGLY!

And, by the way, Americans only go to war willingly when they've been convinced -- rightly or wrongly -- that it's the right thing to do. There were huge draft riots during the Civil War and the Viet Nam war. I was around for the latter; I saw some big ones. Bush knew he'd get riots during the Iraq and Afghan wars if there was a draft, because nobody believes those are worth dying for. That's why even he didn't bring up a draft. That's the main reason he was willing to all but destroy, bankrupt, and wear out the reserves and National Guard to fight those wars, since the regular armed forces were too small to fight them alone and without a draft, he had to get troops somewhere.

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Ulysses
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

There are, besides the obvious war games, some 'left behind' games to save the heathens, and save the world, or hasten armageddon for your team and still win.

Then this one is kind of hidden in the fan site. I suppose the left behind people would like a parental warning. To get the game click on the file cabinet of characters the F-H drawer, then Rod Flanders. I let my 6 year old daughter play it.

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douglaslee
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

yeah I too think same about it because violent games may effect on the health of kids.

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curtl
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Feb. 21, 2011 4:49 am

REGULATE VIOLENCE / make love not war.

If I had to make a choice of one or the other, whether to regulate violence or porn, the clear choice would be to regulate violence everytime..

I believe the disparity stems from all these church groups hung up on sexuality, so porn is heavilly regulated, and illegal in many cases.. Church groups are responsible for adultry, sodomy laws, etc.. They get cops dressed in disguise to arrest adults trying to meet other adults for sex.. It goes on and on.. In the past church groups used to feel it obscene to see a womand knees, seems similar to how the muslims cover the womens faces to me.. Today we have all kinds of ratings if we see breasts, etc (look at all the hoopla over janets nipple.. how many millions was the fine?)..

Yet its OK to have the most disgusting graphic horror and violence (this is just nuts).. Its all about the squeaky wheel getting the grease, and the church groups (or otherwise religiously inspired) are very motivated for some reason beyond my comprehension to regulate peoples personal sex lives..

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bobbler
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

The game industry expected the kids to have parents ... who watch out for what games their kids were playing. Boy were we wrong! We did learn that some people should not have children.... any more than some people should be allowed to own guns.

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captbebops
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

Same with porn; only pedohhiles expose underage children to porn.. I still say kids would grow up more healthy if access to violence was restricted, rather than porn.. To be clear, I am not pulling to take away adult ratings for porn, rather to address the extreme regulations on porn, while these same regulators seem to not care on bit about violence (which is what makes me believe church groups are driving this.. per the reasoning in my previous post)..

Quote captbebops:

The game industry expected the kids to have parents ... who watch out for what games their kids were playing. Boy were we wrong! We did learn that some people should not have children.... any more than some people should be allowed to own guns.

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bobbler
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

Bobbler, I agree with you that violence is far more injurious to young minds than is sexuality. However, I would feel more comfortable with your position were you to place violent pornography in the violence category. In fact, violent pornography is also damaging—to adult minds, but it is not regulated; somehow we've got it in our heads that the porn business has the same rights of speech as a person and that depictions of violent rape, hate and brutality against women on film is protected speech, not incitement to violence.

Zenzoe
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

Yes I agree violence is voilence..

But I do also hold the position SM, BDSM, etc is a part of human sexuality very misunderstood (and yes, should only be available to adults seeking it out), and that what some see as violence is actually consensual role playing..

In the BDSM world it is the "lone wolf" player that everyone worries about (as really being a criminal, and doing things without the other persons permission).. Every major city has thousands of people doing this stuff, and there is safety for the submissives in these groups, because everyone knows to watch out for the lone wolf..

I have heard of more than one case of people "role playing" and getting thrown in jail anyway even after everyone explained what was going on.. Talk about intrusion into peoples personal lives; regulating consensual sex bt adults, is about as personal as you can get.. No person or group should be able to make laws on how other adults should have fun/sex, etc..

Quote Zenzoe:

<SNIP> I would feel more comfortable with your position were you to place violent pornography in the violence category. In fact, violent pornography is also damaging—to adult minds,

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bobbler
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

Agreed, Bobbler.

I have to wonder, however, based on your response, if you have ever seen the sort of porn I'm talking about? If you were to see it, I don't think you would be inclined to call it "roll playing." I think it would be quite obvious to you what it was—violent, virulent misogyny in action. That a woman would agree to participate (only to regret it during) to get paid, does not mean, necessarily, that it is "consentual,” any more than a kid joining the military because there are no jobs where he lives is a “volunteer.”

If Free Speech TV airs it again, or if you can find it somewhere, the documentary Generation M: Misogyny in Media and Culture has some clips of this violent pornography. I don't think anyone in their right mind could call it "sex," any more than rape is sex.

There’s a myth operating behind this crap that tells young men that women get off on being hurt and violated. This myth has to be debunked. Now!

Sorry to veer off subject, but it needed to be said. :-)

Zenzoe
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

I agree some it is pretty ugly.. But in the BDSM works at least both sex's get abused.. But thats another discussion.. My beef is the strong track record of letting violence slide, and then heavilly prosecute sex (porn, whatever you want to call it)..

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bobbler
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

My son (software engineer & manager) works at Sony Computer Entertainment America or SCEA. They are a major publisher of video games in North America. His department is part of an organization within SCEA known as World Wide Studios or WWS. This is a global organization, and collectively they develop and publish video games all over the world.

I asked him his opinion on this subject. Here’s his response: “My position is roughly as follows: Video games are industrial works of art very much like motion pictures. Of course they have an agenda, and each game will represent things from a different perspective. The fact is: our society is much more shocked by depictions of sex than of violence. (This never ceases to amaze me, but that's the way it is.) Video games are rated, and "AO" games (equivalent to X-rated or NC-17 in film) are very difficult to distribute. So, there's a lot of pressure on the industry to come in below that rating (just like in film). And, I'm inclined to agree with the comments that put responsibility on the shoulders of parents.

Because I believe in protecting speech that I might not particularly like, I don't see a way around this. If my kids are going to be harmed by something, I'm the one who needs to protect them. The older kids get, the more sophisticated they are about circumventing whatever protection I might try to put in place. If you ask me whether I would feel worse about having my kids exposed to misogynistic pornography or military violence, I would probably say the former. But, if a teenager is determined to acquire either of these, his parents will be hard-pressed to stop him.

The industry is already rated. Beyond that, I oppose censorship."

So you see, I even disagree with my own son, in part—I see "industry speech" as a different animal from citizen speech; I don't think commercial industries should have the same rights of speech as real people. I see a community interest factor, where we have an obligation to regulate businesses that program our children, or that create unhealthy environments for our children to grow up in. My son's own admission that kids can get past their parent's monitoring makes my case—the community as a whole must step in and make unhealthy stuff unavailable. However I do see the nuances—what's unhealthy for one is not necessarily unhealthy for all. Also, we are oddly permissive about violence, while being a bit puritanical about sex, with the added note that to be anti-violent-pornography is not to be a prude!

Zenzoe
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

ODD, that I agree with you on 90-95 percent, but we may still be arguing, LOL..

I believe the major control for what children see should be in the hands of parents, in the form of ratings (where underage kids can buy it).. I agree it is very odd that society is so putitanically rstrictive on sex, yet allows incredibly nasty horror and violence..

I do not agree we should outright censor sex, or misogynistic pornography, if that was what you were calling for.. Censorship is a slippery slope, and I find it odd that many liberals dont see this.. Remember playboy's hefner in court (not sure if he did jail time)? His maghazine was very tasteful, and all the girls looked happy.. On misogynistic porn porn, I know this may be hard for you to believe, but many people actually like it this way (both the guy and the girl).. So this adds another dimension entirely to anyone who wants to control the sex lives of other adults..

I do however agree misogynistic pornography are tasteless and off putting to watch.. In the case of kids however, I believe they would have to see it before they are 7 years old for the misogynistic part to "program" their little minds in any harmful way.. I dont know the magic age, but children are mentally damaged at a startilingly young age.. Afterwards they look for what they want and ignore/filter out the rest (so IMHO viewing porn is not programming them, because they already know what they like)..

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bobbler
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

The trend over the years in the entertainment industry has been "if you want your product to get attention then one up the ante as far as it being outrageous." That is what is driving much of this. Again parents are expected to do parenting rather than plop their kid down in front of a TV with a game console and put parenting on autopilot with the game console. Of course so and so down the block talked his parents into buying a game that was rated above his age group and all the kids are borrowing it. Last year I saw the film "Kick Ass" at a matinée at my local theater. In line in front of me was a woman with a bunch of kids ages ranging from 10 to 14. Apparently she had not bothered to check the rating which was "R" and the kids probably talked her into taking them to the movie. Watching her reactions during the film I'm sure there were some words exchanged when she got home. Despite the title it was not a kids movie.

I often think about how I was raised in regards to alcohol. When my dad came home from work and popped open a beer he would often give me a small shot glass of it. At Christmas I might be given a Creme De Mint or Tom and Jerry. By the time I was in high school drinking was no big deal because I hadn't been raised with it being a "forbidden fruit" like the other kids. They were anxious to try the "forbidden fruit" and I could have cared less having been there, done that and got the t-shirt. There is something to be said about the way many Europeans raise their kids as opposed to the uptight way American kids are raised.

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captbebops
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

Ban the bible too, if you want to ban porn because of misogyny.. Before anyone yells at me, read your bible first (people always want to shoot the messenger on this topic)..

I believe misogyny is actually learned from the parents before kids really have a chance to play violent games or happen to see adult porn (forgot to mention in last post).. When I was little, my mom was not allowed to speak in the church (some church in KY my dad belonged to).. Then when I was older I read the bible, on how the woman is punished even if she was raped, and how the woman might have to drink poison to see if she dies or not to prove her innocence.. Women had no rights in the bible, and were in fact treated like cattle (selling daughters and so on).. If a man rapes a women, than he must “pay” the father and marry the rape victim. When you read the old testament, think of ownership of women ad cattle, then all the rules will make sense..

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bobbler
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

Both Bobbler and Captbebops make good points, above. I'm still on a former comment by Bobbler, though, so I'll address that first:

Yes, we mostly agree. And, again, I’m sorry to divert the discussion to this other issue, but I have to say the way this post was framed in the first place brought this up for me—the notion that pornography is “regulated”; I consider this to be a myth.

It’s terribly important to distinguish between regular ol’ pornography, which I have watched and enjoyed at times, and violent, misogynistic pornography. The former is, to my mind, merely the graphic depiction of the wide range of human sexuality enjoyed by both men and women; the latter is not about sexuality at all—it is about humiliation, real rape, even torture: real violence against, and hatred of, women. We need a different term for it—misography? Misogynography?

I don’t think you would be so sanguine about the subject, Bobbler, were you to visit one of the sets where this crap is produced and witness what happens to women there. I doubt you would find it merely, “ugly.” Also, imagine if such films instead used blacks only, male or female, as objects of rape, humiliation, insult, hateful verbal assault and abuse, and so forth. Would your liberal defense of “free speech” hold up there? I doubt it. But because women are the objects of such hate, it’s okay—”Women like it.” I would hope you might question this assumption very seriously—in fact, the majority of women are not turned on by violent treatment, or even insults; the few who do are those who have been damaged by childhood sexual abuse to begin with and have low self-esteem. (Apparently, a woman’s low self-esteem is a turn-on for many men.) Why is it acceptable to do this to women, but not people of color? (However, some see pornography as also being a racist form now.) Why do some men need to degrade women? Maybe you, as a man, can explain it to me. You, of course, are correct to point out the Bible and its misogyny, but is this the whole story?

We’re not talking about an “art form” that offends only a few of us but which is mostly harmless; as violent pornography —misogynography— becomes more and more mainstream, so do the statistics of sexual degradation and violence against women rise: “...Such statistics suggest that sexual violence against women, rather than being the product of only a few deviant individuals, is committed by large numbers of men.” Sexual Violence in the Media: Indirect Effects on Aggression Against Women by Neil M. Malamuth, University of California, Los Angeles; John Briere, UCLA Medical Center

https://docs.google.com/viewer?url=http://www.sscnet.ucla.edu/comm/malamuth/pdf/86Jsi42.pdf

http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2010/jul/02/gail-dines-pornography

http://revcom.us/a/186/sunsara_jensen-en.html

Bobbler, if not outright banning of misogynography, what would you do to protect society from the harm it does?

Zenzoe
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

I really believe the bible is more of a factor than pron or violent games. It is chiild abuse to expose chiildren to religion at a very young age..

Kids are not usually exposed to either violence or porn during their vulnerable years; a critical time when their little minds can be programmed.. However, when parents treat the bible (IE: patriarchial religion) as the most important thing.. Then little 1-5 year old's minds can become damaged (because during that magic age, whatever the parents pour into their little minds will stick like hardware progeramming).. Many families have the man as the head of the household, and I believe this best case scenario is enough to program children that the man is the boss..

You said porn regulatuion is a myth.. Are you talking about restricting sales to minors? Or are you talking about making some regulations that porn can only be made if it conforms to your sensibilities? People have very different sexual desires.. Rape is one of the most popular fantasys (every adult store carroes the bondage equipment).. I think the root of our difference is that you want to control what kind of porn flicks can be created.. I believe this is a bad idea.. I dont like 90 percent of what is out there (similar to watching TV)..

When you use the words violent pornography, misogynography etc, I am not sure to what you are referring. Are you referring to outright torture the S/M people want to buy, or the belittling way the men treat the girls in some of the films? I am going to assume worst case, and go for the S/M.. Are they sick in the head, should we as a society make laws they cant do what they want to do? They "will" simply go underground, and keep on doing it, and then typically the girls will be in danger (as mentioned before there is safety in groups).. The BDSM culture has safety classes, and discussions on what is safe and not safe to do.. BDSM dungeons have house rules.. There is always a safe word, when the submissive can stop the action (the dominants job is to dominate perfectly so the submissive gets what he or she wants).. And in the BDSM community, either a man or a woman can be the submissive (its all adult choices for each individual to make).. I believe it should be fully legal, so people can play safe..

I hate to see girls in strip joints get hooked on drugs; I think that is a problem.. I believe any increase in violence agaist women is more because of the economy (stress), religion, etc. I believe porn serves as an outlet for men, and and probably results in less actual rape.. Im sure some studies link porn and rape, but I remember seeing studies that linked porn with less rape. I really am distrustful of studies, because statistics can be so misleading. A statistical corelation can be found for anything you want to find it for.. Whereas a causal corelation is much more difficult to find (so I think we can only guess)..

Your question asked what would I do to protect society from the harm it does? .. .. I do not believe it causes harm to society (if you are talking about BDSM and S/M porno).. I lived that life for 10 years, and knew many long term happy master slave relationships.. In 10 years I only heard of one real rape, and that was only a rumor.. The community helps people be safe.. One example is dungeons have servises where they know people, and help them with references before anyone play privately.. Make it less legal than it is now, and it creates an environment where the sick people who really want to harm people against their wishes can thrive and succeed..

I had friends who were in poly marriages (illeagal of course), usually bisexual people who need bothe genders in their lives to be fulfilled..

We can pick and choose the sexual lives for others.. If we can somehow determine these people are mentally disturbed, thats another story.. But I feel you are labeling the average person who likes BDSM as a sick person who is harming themselves and others..

The people involved are doing this of their own free will, is the all important thing to note.. The sumbissive on a leash, like the Princess in starr wars, wants to be on a leash. She would "dump" her master and find a new one if she were not happy..

And yes, within the BDSM community there are some wextreme examples.. And we talk about whether there is a real problem or not.. There is a think we call sub frienzy, where the submissive falls in love, and no one can tell if it is the Stockholm syndrom (where POW's would fall in love with the people torturing them).. The BDSM community always keeps a sharp eye out for new dominants abusing that trust..

Sorry I am rambling.. It is something of a private club, so I am trying to help you understand another side of the story.. My girlfriend hated it (we tried it).. Its not for everyone.. For the last 8 years my new hobby has been dancing.. And I have noticed the same feeling of being in charge when leading dance (no its not a sexual thing).. Rambling to my theory that people are decended from pack animals, so there is mental enjoyment in having leaders and followers.. I believe this is the same tap into the human psyche when people follow religuious cult leaders.. There is power here, and we as a society need to learn how to use it, not make it illegal because we dont uinderstand it..

Quote Zenzoe:

<SNIP> We’re not talking about an “art form” that offends only a few of us but which is mostly harmless; as violent pornography —misogynography— becomes more and more mainstream, so do the statistics of sexual degradation and violence against women rise: “...Such statistics suggest that sexual violence against women, rather than being the product of only a few deviant individuals, is committed by large numbers of men.” Sexual Violence in the Media: Indirect Effects on Aggression Against Women by Neil M. Malamuth, University of California, Los Angeles; John Briere, UCLA Medical Center

https://docs.google.com/viewer?url=http://www.sscnet.ucla.edu/comm/malamuth/pdf/86Jsi42.pdf

http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2010/jul/02/gail-dines-pornography

http://revcom.us/a/186/sunsara_jensen-en.html

Bobbler, if not outright banning of misogynography, what would you do to protect society from the harm it does?

bobbler's picture
bobbler
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

Bobbler, I don't disagree with some of your points, for example, the one about religion. I agree totally that that's when the patriarchy gets instilled. Also, fundamentalists believe babies are born bad, thus they believe in corporal punishment, even for infants. This is where so much of the violent culture begins, in my opinion, but not entirely; it's more complicated than that. I can't finish reading your comment, however, because it's clear to me we have a problem with facts, information, and myths. One of the myths you appear to believe in is that the rape fantasy is common among women. I would dispute that. That myth contributes to the high rates of rape in this society. Sorry, but right now I don't have time to discuss the issue at length. Maybe later. (why aren't there more women joining these conversations?!!!)

If you get a chance, you might read the link I provided re the UCLA researchers' findings. Also, again, the documentary Generation M: Misogyny in Media and Culture—if you were to see that one, we might find ourselves on the same page; you might see I am not talking about role-playing S&M porn. This is not about play-acting or any sort of mutuality.

Zenzoe
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

This is one of my favorite topics because it exposes republican hypocracy "Family values" vs "Let the market decide"

But of course, the media never points that out.

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Rodriguez
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

After reading your comments (#36), Bobbler, an impression begins to form in my mind. This impression tells me something is missing —an experience, a set of facts, an emotional attachment perhaps— that could inform your opinion in a way that might surprise the person you are now. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with you as you are now—obviously you’re a thoughtful, intelligent guy. I’m just saying the impression I have so far is that it is difficult for you to take the problem of sexism and misogyny seriously? Just my impression. I could be wrong.

I have questions for you:

Why is child pornography illegal? (You might think this has an obvious answer, but I’d like to know what you think anyway.)

People like doing all sorts of different things—the variety of human tastes for activities is infinite. Does the fact that people like doing different things, according to individual taste, make it ipso facto okay for them to do anything at all? If not, why? What are the boundaries?

When I was a young teen I read a book written by an African American that helped me experience what it was like to be invisible in a white-dominant world. I think it was Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man, but I’m not sure. It’s not easy to have empathy for an Other, but it is possible to try.

Recommended for anybody interested in conscious opinion re misogynistic pornography and gender:

http://uts.cc.utexas.edu/~rjensen/articles_gender.html (Esp. see The Consequences of the Death of Empathy, mid-way down.)

Rodriguez, I wonder if you could expand on your point? I'm not sure where you're coming from, based on what you said in your last comment.

Zenzoe
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

I will try to look at the UCLA link.. This discussuin is a case if I am not convinced you are right, and I believe I am right.. And I believe there is a lot of grey area here, and from the grey we go on emotions..

You're right, that dies sound ugly (and matybe wrong) that rape is a popular fantasy.. Actual rape is ugly.. I do know from experience, for sure it is common for women to fantasize about the man being in charge (maybe ralated to the programming of children at a very young age we talked about before).. People dont just come out and volunteer these kinds of personal fantasys.. Perhaps my view that it is common, is because people wanting that went to the BDSM clubs..

I dont have a lot of knowledge in how misogyny causes rape, because I dont understand it (I see people as people no mater what their color or gender).. These are criminals doing the rape.. I am not blaming women, but from my single years I remember that a "lot" of women were attracted to jerks, and trust these jerks.. I am generalizing here, but the saying that nice guys finish last rings true to my ears (for whatwebver reason)..

Will try to get to your next email on Monday (if I fiorget post something to pull it to the front)..

Quote Zenzoe:

Bobbler, I don't disagree with some of your points, for example, the one about religion. I agree totally that that's when the patriarchy gets instilled. Also, fundamentalists believe babies are born bad, thus they believe in corporal punishment, even for infants. This is where so much of the violent culture begins, in my opinion, but not entirely; it's more complicated than that. I can't finish reading your comment, however, because it's clear to me we have a problem with facts, information, and myths. One of the myths you appear to believe in is that the rape fantasy is common among women. I would dispute that. That myth contributes to the high rates of rape in this society. Sorry, but right now I don't have time to discuss the issue at length. Maybe later. (why aren't there more women joining these conversations?!!!)

If you get a chance, you might read the link I provided re the UCLA researchers' findings. Also, again, the documentary Generation M: Misogyny in Media and Culture—if you were to see that one, we might find ourselves on the same page; you might see I am not talking about role-playing S&M porn. This is not about play-acting or any sort of mutuality.

bobbler's picture
bobbler
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

2B more clear, this was an observation I always thought was odd.. I am not blaming women in the slightest, because criminals are apparently ttacking them.. But I have noticed, from lifelong observation, that jerks seem to be very popular with the ladies (which enables the jerks).. Maybe something here is part of the problem (I have hears self esteem is to blame in this case, but again I dont understand how this makes jerks appear attractive).. The thing I am most sure about, is that misogyny is religiously based, and I believe it is related to strange things like viagra being covered by insurance, while birth control pills are/were not (as well as lower wages than men, etc)..

For actual rape, I will venture an opinion that criminals who do this deed, tend to be the dregs of society anyway, and so are more likely to have several negative characteristics (misogyny being one).. So I am spectical misogyny is the root cause.. And I am fairly positive seeing misogyny in adult films is not to blame either, because by the time someone is 5 or 7 years old, they are already programmed mentally.. People dont just become misogynic when they are teen agers or adults (rather they have misogynistic tendancies already, and the film would make little difgference from this point foreward)..

Quote bobbler:

<SNIP> These are criminals doing the rape.. I am not blaming women, but from my single years I remember that a "lot" of women were attracted to jerks, and trust these jerks.. I am generalizing here, but the saying that nice guys finish last rings true to my ears (for whatwebver reason)..

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bobbler
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

How can we discuss censorship, when half the words on the topic are censored? This is really cumbersome.. Thoms website blew away 30 minutes of work on my last attempt to reply, because the software said inappropriate, so I will try to use code words..

YOU WILL HAVE TO READ BT THE LINES BELOW..

Quote Zenzoe: I’m just saying the impression I have so far is that it is difficult for you to take the problem of sexism and misogyny seriously? Just my impression. I could be wrong.

I dont want to be a naysayer if there is something to this, but I cant see it.. I sent the links you provided, so I will look thru them later.. My GF has opinions similar to yours, and I have never been able to understand..

Quote Zenzoe:
Why is CHLD POR illegal? (You might think this has an obvious answer, but I’d like to know what you think anyway.)

It harms children.. affects their development, and in some cases lifelong suggering.. Usually affects girls more than men (my g... a... y.. friends unaminously said it was their fondest wish when they were very underage.. shocked "me" LOL, but it does harm boys too.. probably if they dont want it.. If we are talking very young, it should be a felony, if they are teenagers (esp boys already interested), it becomes more unclear.. The thing that is clear, is younger children are under the care of their parents, and it is serious if another adult takes liberties (this is much more serious)..

Quote Zenzoe:
People like doing all sorts of different things—the variety of human tastes for activities is infinite. Does the fact that people like doing different things, according to individual taste, make it ipso facto okay for them to do anything at all? If not, why? What are the boundaries?

"Do what thou wilt, harm none," says the wiccan creed.. Thats where I stand.. G.. a .. y // s doing things does not hurt anyone, neither does consensual "acting" activities (we discussed prev; re: grown ups in role of..).. The way religious groups call for households with ### or more, does hurt society (makes other men outcasts, probably coerces wonen involved, leads to in breeding, etc).. Modern expressions or this lifestyle do not cause these problems..

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bobbler
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

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The other way we're subsidizing Walmart...

Most of us know how taxpayers subsidize Walmart's low wages with billions of dollars in Medicaid, food stamps, and other financial assistance for workers. But, did you know that we're also subsidizing the retail giant by paying the cost of their environmental destruction.

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