Science Memebase

I’m pretty excited about this: Memebase has added a science section to its site. It’s mostly just neat-o pictures, but still. Neat-o.

Ridiculous story of the day

A transgendered woman in Tennessee wanted to change the sex on her driver’s license from male to female. The DMV said no, so the woman became proactive about the situation:

As is reporting, Andrea Jones was arrested for indecent exposure after taking her shirt off after the Morristown Driver’s License Office refused to change her sex from male to female on her driver’s license.

She was out in the parking lot when this happened, so it can’t particularly be said that she was being a disruptive jerk right in the middle of the DMV office.

“If I was a male, I had the right to, when I stepped out the door, take off my shirt,” Jones, who has had a partial sex change, explained. “It’s not right for the state to ask me to be both male and female. A choice needs to be made. They cannot hold me to both standards.”

I have no doubt there are conservative Christians out there who would be perfectly happy to condemn Jones’ plight in its entirety, but I’m hard pressed to see an iota of rationality in any of this on the part of Tennessee. She is having two separate standards applied to her; this whole thing is fundamentally unfair. And utterly ridiculous.

Nudity versus sex

Aliaa Magda Elmahdy is a student in Egypt who has started a campaign to challenge silly Muslim attitudes towards nudity, and in fact, towards women in general. Her strategy? Posing nude on her blog:

The 20-year-old wrote on her blog that the photos, which show her naked apart from stockings, are her “screams against a society of violence, racism, sexism, sexual harassment and hypocrisy”. Her blog has received 1.5 million hits since her photos were posted earlier this week.

From this we’ve learned two things and reinforced a third: We’ve learned that some people do have guts, we’ve learned that novel nudity has a strong appeal, and it has been reinforced that people like naked women.

And yes, yes, here is the link to her blog.

The article, apparently being written by a lazy journalist, goes to Twitter feeds for quotes on the issue. There was one I especially liked:

Another supporter commented: “We need to learn how to separate between nudity and sex.”

Whether in the Islamic, Christian, Jewish, or other religious world, there is a difficulty people have in distinguishing between these two things. There really isn’t a good reason for it; I think, like with the unprincipled opposition to legalized prostitution, this all comes down to an irrational “ewwy!” feeling. Sex is something which has been beaten down, portrayed as a negative thing which comes with nothing but bad consequences (unless done within the confines of marriage, of course). I think that’s a view we could do away with for the better.

via PZ.