Posted: January 19, 2013 at 4:41 pm | Tags: media, weather, WTF
Instead of writing a researched article which looked at the current impact that the lack of recent rainfall has had on the city of Melbourne and how that lack of rainfall has contributed to Melbourne’s current water usage, Jason Dowling at The Age decided to write instead, “Is the wally back? Melbourne water use surges“, based on the “Don’t be a Wally with water” campaign to reduce water usage during drought in Melbourne. From Dowling’s article:
HAS Melbourne turned back into a city of water wallies?
After years of conserving water, the city’s usage has surged this year.
A hot summer and easing water restrictions have coincided with a big jump in water use. In the week to January 10, Melburnians used an average of 238 litres per person – 50 per cent more than the former daily usage target of 155 litres a day.
It was the highest weekly per capita water use since the week ending February 15, 2009, when 241 litres a day were used.
In the week ending Thursday, average daily water use per person was 225 litres, 45 per cent above the former 155 target.
It’s not just a hot summer that has led to a big increase in water usage and it’s not just the easing of water restrictions that has led to a big increase in water usage – it’s the complete lack of rain. As of writing this post, Melbourne has received a whole 0.6mm of rain* in January 2013. The monthly average for January** is 47.6mm – I don’t see Melbourne even approaching that much rain in the remaining days of January. In December, Melbourne received 30mm of rain *** with the average rainfall for that month being 59.3mm – only slightly over half the monthly rainfall. Again in November, Melbourne received 37.2mm of rain ****, the monthly average being 60.3mm, and so on and so on – all these things that Dowling could have actually researched.
As there aren’t harsh water restrictions in place, because in 2011 and early 2012 many parts of Victoria flooded, which was great for water catchments, people are keeping their gardens alive while waiting for it to rain again. And waiting they are, because the Bureau of Meteorology are already suggesting that parts of eastern Australia are going into drought.
When Dowling approached the Water Minister in relation to the recent increase of water usage, they replied:
Water Minister Peter Walsh denied there had been a cultural shift in Melbourne back to heavy water use. ”Melbourne has had some very hot days recently, we haven’t had a lot of rain, and it’s summer. It is not uncommon for water use to peak during such hot and dry conditions,” he said.
”After restrictions eased to permanent water saving rules last November, water use generally has continued to trend at similar levels, which indicates that the lessons Melbourne customers learnt during the drought about using water wisely have stayed with them.”
It’s also school holidays and we’re fortunate enough to have a heat dome over much of inland Australia. When this heat dome wanders to the outer edges of our island nation people are going to do what they can to keep themselves and their children cool. Water is an excellent method of cooling down. People are also going to be drinking more, using evaporative air conditioners more, showering more frequently and using more water to stay comfortable and alive.
This article by Dowling should have focused on the whys of Melbourne’s increased water usage and asked why it isn’t raining (climate change), and how the heat dome has formed (failed monsoon – climate change), and perhaps even asked a meteorologist to explain how failed monsoons impact on rainfall in the rest of Australia. This article could have been a very useful vehicle for educating people about how and why rain falls across Australia, and perhaps asked more about whether our water usage is sustainable if the continent is going to continue to dry out.
Perhaps instead of Dowling blaming people for watering their gardens with drinking water, using drinking water to cool themselves and their children down (if any), and using more water around the house, Dowling should look at the broader and more interesting story. That’s journalism, this article falls far short.
* January rainfall figures taken from Bureau of Meteorology
** Mean rainfall figures taken from the Bureau of Meteorology
*** December rainfall figures taken from the Bureau of Meteorology
**** November rainfall figures taken from the Bureau of Meteorology
Posted: July 4, 2012 at 9:16 pm | Tags: Christianity, genetics, ivf, media, Religion
On 3 July, The Age published an article called, “Couples use IVF to pick genes” discussing how IVF has advanced to the stage where couples with some genetic diseases or susceptibilities can now screen out embryos (that is an important word there, remember that one for later) who carry the genes for those diseases or susceptibilities. I’ll let the article explain more:
FERTILE women with genes that predispose them to breast and ovarian cancers are using IVF treatment at two Melbourne clinics to select embryos without the genes.
In a new trend that has heightened ethicists’ fears of ”designer babies”, Australian IVF specialists say women are spending thousands of dollars on a technique called preimplantation genetic diagnosis to select embryos without the same genetic issues.
The women involved carry mutations of the BRCA 1 and BRCA 2 genes, which give them a 60-80 per cent chance of getting breast cancer in their lifetime.
Those with BRCA 1 also have a 30-60 per cent chance of getting ovarian cancer while those with BRCA 2 have a 5-20 per cent chance of getting ovarian cancer.
Posted: May 28, 2012 at 11:18 pm | Tags: Ean Higgins, marriage equality, media, politics, The Australian
I’m 100% certain you’re reading this post because you’re looking for more salacious (or what you think is salacious and I actually think is my own private life and opinions) commentary on how my husband and I are agitating for something we’re not.
Let’s get a few things REALLY clear. We’re not “the power couple” of Australia’s polyamorous community – we’ve never made any claim to that title and we specifically told you when you interviewed us that we hold no positions and are currently not on the committee of Poly Vic. You are the one who has identified us as leaders in the poly community despite that not being the case. Today (28 May) you called my husband “one of the polyamorous community leaders” which he also has made no claim to be. I last held a role with the Poly Vic Committee (President) in 2010, and my husband left the committee some years before that.
It may really disappoint you to learn, but we are not special, we are not powerful, we are ordinary people living fairly ordinary lives. We do not speak for the poly community either here in Victoria, or in Australia, and your repeated suggestions that we do are getting a bit old.
The other thing that is getting a bit old is what I perceive to be your willingness to distort facts and even quotes from the two of us. First you misquote my blog by removing a plural – necessitating additional text from you to explain what I meant. My original quote:
I’ve built a house with my husbands and my husband’s boyfriend so there are 4 of us living together in nice harmony.
Your take on my quote (added text in parenthesis):
I’ve built a house with my husband and my husband’s boyfriend so there are four of us living together in nice harmony. (The fourth household member is Rebecca’s boyfriend.)
What you clearly didn’t understand when you first found my quote, was that I refer to my other male partner as my de facto husband. See, now it’s not too hard to parse my original writing. Last time I checked a direct quote was actually supposed to be the text that you’re quoting, not something that approximates said text.
Secondly, your article today suggests that my husband wrote a blog post about The Greens and their position on polyamory. You don’t detail the fact that my husband is not a spokesperson for Greens. You don’t detail the fact that the text you lifted was as a comment on someone else’s blog post.
You’ve misrepresented us and our submissions to the Senate Committee on Marriage Equality. I no longer have any respect for you and in fact am very disappointed in the way you have conducted yourself and this non-story. Not that that will bother you of course.
Posted: May 22, 2012 at 7:15 am | Tags: equal marriage, lgbtiq, media
I am very disappointed and upset that I was so badly misrepresented in the article written by Ean Higgins and published in The Australian 21 May 2012. There are factual inaccuracies and inferences in the article which I would like corrected.
The headline was a deliberate attempt to mislead readers into thinking my submission to the senate supported polyamorous marriage when in fact it did no such thing. My submission, which has been publicly viewable on my personal blog since 12 March 2012, was in favour of equal marriage for same sex attracted couples, similar to many other submissions in favour. There was no mention of polyamory, and in my discussions with Ean Higgins I believed that I was clear that my submission was not in favour of introducing polyamory, but in favour of marriage equality for same sex attracted couples. I am not championing polyamorous marriage.
Furthermore, I do not speak for the poly community in Australia and any suggestion that I do so is a complete fabrication.
I would like these corrections to be noted by The Australia as the inference that I am lobbying for polyamory to the current Senate Committee on Marriage Equality is both factually incorrect and not representative of my submission.
Posted: November 1, 2011 at 8:37 pm | Tags: gah, google, media, WTF
Hi there, you seem to have not noticed my first letter to you, which I found a bit disappointing. Perhaps you did notice it, and thought “well we’ve got all these secret plans which will resolve this issue, but since they’re secret we’re not going to say anything”, which still sucks, because you could have at least said, “Yes, we’re aware that this is a problem and we’re working on a solution”. I would have been much cooler with that… since I wasn’t the only person who had raised this as an issue, something I discovered after checking your google feedback and issues page.
So you didn’t notice, and life moved on. You created Googe Plus (G+), a rival to Facebook, something that looked interesting and inviting until the Nymwars began, and I quit. I didn’t quit all my other google products. I still have my calendar, my email and my RSS feed with Google, it’s annoying (though not impossible) to move them all.
I didn’t complain when you changed the way that Google Calendar looks, although I think it looks sterile and ugly. When there was mention that Google Buzz was going to be shut down, I wasn’t particularly concerned – afterall, most of that stuff was on Google Reader anyway, and Buzz wasn’t all that popular.
When I heard that Google Reader might be rolled into G+ I was concerned. I use Reader a lot. I share articles with friends and people with similar interests to me. I read articles shared by friends and people with similar interests. I have a decent investment in Reader, but I thought to myself (clearly blithely) that most of the existing functionality of Reader would remain, because not every Google client is able to use G+ (particularly those with nyms, and/or a need for anonymity).
Clearly I couldn’t've been more wrong. Google, you broke Reader. You broke everything that made it a product that I enjoyed using, and that my friends enjoyed using, and that was actually useful. You broke communities of people who shared stuff with one another, in the hope of improving your G+ product. I don’t understand why we can’t have both G+ and Reader.
Now, if I want to see what my friends have read and are interested in sharing, I have to rejoin G+, something I’m not interested in doing until you’ve fixed the nymwar issues. I know that you are working hard on this, you’ve had your VP of Social wassname come out and say that pseudonyms will be allowed, but without a time-frame. I’m not willing to rejoin until that happens, so for me, and all of those who can’t or won’t use G+ until that time? You’ve taken away communities from us. That sucks.
The other issue, the one you appear to have completely failed to take into account, is about how much people want to share, and who they want to share it with, as well as how people use Reader and the items that people share with them. In moving Reader to only share on G+, you’re effectively making people spam the feeds of their friends, and not allowing those who don’t have time every day to check the items that someone has shared, to stockpile those and read them when they have time.
I know you can create circles on G+ so that you only share things with people you want to share things with, but do I, or anyone else I know, want to flood a friend’s feed with a whole range of blog posts that interest me, when they can’t pick and choose the time to go and read them? That was one of the best things with Reader. I could leave it for a couple of days if I was really busy, and then spend some time to catch up. There have been months when I’ve had very little time to read posts shared by people who read some very fascinating stuff, and letting it stockpile until I had time meant that I didn’t miss out on anything, and that I knew it would be there for me to read when I found that time.
I know I’m not a lone voice in the wilderness about this. I know that I’m not alone in being very upset that you’ve killed off a community building function so that you could focus entirely on G+. I urge everyone else who is reading this, and who is upset at the removal of sharing functionality from Reader, to sign the petition.
Posted: June 18, 2011 at 9:55 pm | Tags: gender, media, music, sexism
Triple J are running a poll to vote on the hottest 100 Australian albums of all time, and I highly recommend that you go and vote if you’ve ever listened to Australian music ever and enjoyed it. I’d really appreciate it if when people voted that thought long and hard about their choices.
I voted for:
Clouds - Octopus
Crowded House - Woodface
Divinyls - Desperate
Kate Miller-Heidke - Little Eve
Love Outside Andromeda - Love Outside Andromeda
Machine Gun Fellatio - Paging Mr. Strike
Midnight Oil - Blue Sky Mining
Regurgitator - Unit
Tripod - Box Set
Yothu Yindi - Tribal Voice
I’d really be happy if this poll did not become yet another sausage fest as the Hottest 100 Albums of All time did two years ago.
The “Hottest 100 Of All Time” has since aired, and audiences have been shocked to find that only two songs in the top 100 – two! – were sung by women. Only six female-fronted songs made it into the second batch of 100, so it wasn’t as though the men just edged women out in the final vote – women are just overwhelmingly absent. This sort of discrepancy doesn’t happen by accident; we can quibble about the locus of the problem till we’re blue in the face, but it’s a clear sign of entrenched, largely-invisible sexism in action. Quibbling about the locus is pointless because the locus is everywhere. This is the Matrix. (from Hoyden About Town)
It is possibly the modern music industry’s greatest tragedy and shame that it has, collectively, worked so hard to exclude women, keep them to the margins or, at best, channel them into narrow moulds. Given everything that worked against them being acknowledged as musicians it is a testament to the astonishing talent, dedication and sheer strength of will of women that any managed to break through and be heard. But break through they did, and they did amazing things, and now Triple J erases them all over again. (from Hoyden About Town)
The Hottest 100 is a major Triple J brand, and I guess I’m coming at this from a branding and marketing perspective. It’s a major plank of the station – of the network’s promotion, and to hold it up and say ‘Here’s what our listeners think are the greatest 100 songs of all time’ when there’s no women, I think is a major problem for the station, in terms of its representation of diversity and the diversity of views among youth in Australia. It suggests that Triple J is perhaps playing to, or certainly in the case of this poll, is attracting a very narrow sort of white male oriented audience. What it says about the audience, what it says about the station, what it says about the relationship between station and audience, I think is of concern for Triple J as the – let’s face it, the Government, the ABC’s youth broadcaster, and one that’s funded by all Australians. (from Hoyden About Town)
Posted: December 18, 2010 at 10:19 pm | Tags: boat people, politics
The recent tragedy on Christmas Island is beyond words. My sympathies are with the families who are mourning those who did not survive. This post is written because of what has been said since they arrived and their boat disintegrated with some dying and others surviving heavily traumatised, and in a very small way I hope that some people read it and realise that kicking the boat people football is a very bad game.
Unsurprisingly, the recent tragedy has brought out the usual political pundits, kicking the ball all over the place, blaming the Government for the tragedy (both the executive and the legislative arms) and suggesting that as the Labour Government overturned the previous Liberal Government’s Pacific Solution, that they’re responsible for boats arriving to Australia, and that Customs, AFP, Immigration and/or Defence should have known that the boat was nearby (despite the weather and sea playing interference with radar, and the sheer size of territory they’re responsible for monitoring – press release via another website here).
Let’s start with the latter point because it’s fairly simple to address – and I’ve pretty much done so with the fact that a small wooden boat, in high (near monsoonal) seas is going to be hard to spot. Let’s not also Public Service bash, which is nice and easy with a big conglomerate of faceless individuals, but as a former Immigration staffer, I can tell you that most Public Servants I worked with were left leaning, compassionate and dedicated human beings. The type of people you’d actually want making the tough decisions that get made.
Posted: October 7, 2010 at 9:27 pm | Tags: assault, Feminism, not funny, sexism, violence
*trigger warning – this post discusses violence against women*
Jim Schembri posted an article on The Age today which suggested that violence against women is funny. I wrote a letter to The Age about it, which is below.
I am appalled that Jim Schembri’s article, “Top 10 best movie bitch slaps of all time” has been allowed to be published on The Age online today.
“As civil and courteous a species as we like to think we are, we all know that there exists in this world certain people who, every once in a while, deserve a good smack in the chops. And how do we know this? From the movies, of course.”
No one EVER deserves a good smack in the chops. To suggest so implies that victims deserve the crime committed against them. Victim Blaming is where:
“Victim blaming (or blaming the victim) is holding the victims of a crime, an accident, or any type of abusive maltreatment to be entirely or partially responsible for the transgressions committed against them.”
Logically following Schembri’s statement through, people deserve to be mugged, domestic violence victims deserve their abuse, rape survivors deserved to be raped in the first place and murderees deserved to be killed. This doesn’t actually sound all that sane and in a week where we’ve already had plenty of victim blaming and rape apology printed in The Age, I thought that someone would be suggesting to the contributors to The Age that perhaps easing off the violence towards others would be a good start, and that making fun of violence would be a bad idea. Clearly this hasn’t happened.
Of the 10 incidents of violence he lists, 60% of them are men abusing women. Five of the 10 involve a man slapping a woman (or in one case the entire passenger manifest of an aircraft slapping a woman) on the face, one of the ten involves a woman slapping another woman. Only two of his suggestions involve men slapping other men, overwhelmingly his article and examples focused on violence against women and suggested that it was a good or funny thing. Violence is not a good or funny thing.
“3. Godfather II (1974): Al Pacino vs Diane Keaton.
If you’re going to abort a man’s child, and the father is an all-powerful mafia Don, best to keep that to yourself, too. “You won’t take my children,” Al screams after slapping her down. “You WON’T take my children!”"
Heaven forbid that a woman would like autonomy over her own body, to make her own decisions and not be subject to violence as a result. This entry clearly glorifies domestic violence.
“5. Flying High (1980): the entire passenger manifest vs the hysterical woman
Everybody would love to do this in real life. Maybe that’s why it’s still funny 30 years on.”
People who are scared, distraught or upset are not helped by being slapped. The idea that slapping someone and suggesting that they “pull themselves out of it” is a harmful one and again perpetuates abuse against those who cannot defend themselves.
“What do you think of the list? Impossible to limit it to 10, isn’t it? What great movie slaps do think warrant mention? And who, in all of movie history, do you think deserved a slap most – but didn’t get it?”
It’d be nice to not have a list of the 10 best assaults of our time, and to instead focus on something else versus a heavy handed list of violence against women. Who most deserved a slap? No one… but that doesn’t get mentioned.
And finally let’s look at Mr Schembri’s use of the phrase “bitch slap”. As commenter Jacinta rightly points out, “Further, the phrase “bitch-slap” has its own problems, suggesting as it does, that a woman who is slapped deserved it on account of being both unpleasant and female.” I have written about “bitch” being a problematic word and really think that the usage of this words needs to be carefully monitored.
Schembri’s mansplaining my and Jacinta’s comments and suggesting that it was all a joke was also completely unnecessary. It should not come as a surprise that some people do not find this kind of thing funny and that overall suggesting that violence against women (and men) is funny or can be funny is not a good thing, and using phrases like “bitch slap” is not good either.
Jacinta commented on Schembri’s article stating (with Schembri’s response in bold as in the original):
This article is appalling! Within context, there might be cause for a character in a movie to strike another; but to glorify these actions removed from context just so we can see one person hit another? That’s just wrong.
You wrote: “we all know that there exists in this world certain people who, every once in a while, deserve a good smack in the chops.” I disagree. Whenever I feel the urge to slap someone, it’s a fault in me, not in them. People do not deserve to be violently assaulted just for being upset or rude or hysterical or scared. People who are subordinate to you, weaker than you, less assertive than you or less powerful than you *never* deserve to be assaulted just because you’re angry with them or with something else. Yes, people say hurtful things, even that’s not an excuse to inflict physical pain. Slapping someone who is hysterical is never appropriate either.
Further, the phrase “bitch-slap” has its own problems, suggesting as it does, that a woman who is slapped deserved it on account of being both unpleasant and female.
You might think these are funny or memorable for some other reason, but I hope some of that is due to the context around the scene. If you watch these, unfamiliar with the context, you should be appalled too.
Schembri note: It’s all about context, Jacinta. That’s why Chinatown ghets No. 1. And a good slap in the movies isn’t gender specific, which is why we lead with Peter Lorre getting it good in The Maltese Falcon. Every now and again, you gotta cool the jets on the old reading-a-political-agenda-into-everything deal and just have a bit of fun. Take another look at hte Airplane! slapping scene. Tell us you didn’t laugh at least once.
So let’s look at this agenda thing (a similar comment was made by Schembri on my comment (under Rebecca) when he eventually got around to approving it in the moderation queue (some 4 hours after I posted it)). There is ALWAYS an agenda. Humans are political beings, and even when we don’t think we have an agenda we do. Wanting a hug, being hungry or being thirsty are small and easily identifiable agendas. Some agendas are more subtle and harder to pick, whether someone knows you like them, organising a surprise or your taste in music. Some agendas are unconscious and provided by society such as rape culture, victim blaming and the status of women. Although Schembri claims that there was no agenda to his post, he is continuing to add to the “violence is ok against women” agenda prevalent in society. And his comments were beautiful examples of mansplaining, “it’s funny, everyone else is finding it funny, you must have laughed at this – so you’re wrong”.
I was very disappointed in this article and in Schembri’s refusal to see that there were alternate points of view. I’ll be avoiding his articles from now on.
Posted: October 6, 2010 at 11:34 am | Tags: Feminism, victim blaming, words
*Trigger warning – this post discusses sexual violence against women*
“Spida” who apparently is someone (or was someone) in the world of AFL, decides to blame women today for sexual assault and rape. He made his views, which were then instantly news, available on Twitter so that the rest of us could bask in his glorious wisdom and knowledge.
Specifically he said:
Yet another alleged girl, making alleged allegations, after she awoke with an alleged hangover and I take it an alleged guilty conscience
Girls!! When will you learn! At 3am when you are blind drunk & you decide to go home with a guy ITS NOT FOR A CUP OF MILO! Allegedly
Firstly I’m going to pick on his use of allege (and it’s forms) which is something that always bothers me. I think in this instance that Spida was attempting to be funny, because you know rape and sexual assault are hilarious. The “girl” (notice the infantilism here) is not an alleged person. An individual who makes a complaint about rape or sexual assault, is not an alleged person. You cannot make an alleged allegation, you make an allegation, the end. The next two uses of alleged work, though I am not at all happy how Spida’s implication.
The second tweet is disturbing. Spida clearly doesn’t understand consent and that when someone is blind drunk or affected severely by any substance that they cannot consent to sex. I’ll just quote CASA on this (from the ABC):
The comments have outraged Victoria’s Centre Against Sexual Assault, which has had input into the AFL’s Respect and Responsibility program.
Centre convenor Carolyn Worth says the AFL’s efforts to enforce respect for women are not working as well as they should.
“They’re insensitive comments, and apart from anything else they show a scant regard for the legal status of some things, because if you are actually blind drunk you can’t consent to sexual intercourse… ,” she said.
Spida realised that perhaps he’d not been as clear as he liked and he tweeted the following yesterday (5 tweets combined into 1 paragraph):
neil mitchell has taken poetic licence to interpret my words to mean I support matters regarding sexual offences in favour of the perpertrator. This is so far from the truth it is laughable. I can not and will not ever support female abuse in any manner or form my comments are solely aimed at warning females of the danger of being drunk or under the influence of drugs. I do not condone any actions that lead to or may lead to a sexual offence being committed. thank you!
So he then says he will never ever support “female abuse” whatever that means, and then proceeds into some victim blaming – women shouldn’t get drunk or use drugs because it is dangerous! Because men clearly cannot be held responsible for THEIR behaviour.
Sadly both AFL and the rugby codes in Australia have a history of sexual assault, rape and abuse of women. The AFL (and I assume the rugby codes as well) have instituted policies and programs to combat this, to educate players and was compulsory viewing with a questionnaire afterwards (and hopefully if anyone failed they were counselled).
The AFL made a similar interactive DVD in 2008 pertaining specifically to sexual matters. It was compulsory viewing for all league players, and included a multiple choice questionnaire.
At the time, the AFL’s Respect and Responsibility program co-ordinator, Melanie Heenan, said the DVD aimed to “prompt (the players’) confident decision-making in situations that can be quite complex.” (The Age)
I’m annoyed that someone like this gets given any air time, but at the same time I was really impressed with the smack-down that occurred in the media. Even the MX (who has been quite sexist in the past) quoted people and groups who believed that Spida’s statements were wrong and condoned assault. In my opinion AFL players should stick to commenting on football and should not be allowed to speak about anything else unless they pass a test showing an understanding of the topic and the effects of what they’re going to say.
UPDATE: Apparently Spida appeared on Kerri-Anne Kennaley’s show this morning and they both engaged in some victim blaming with Kerri-Anne calling women who associate with footballers “strays”. The comments on the article were closed fairly quickly and were heavily moderated (unsurprisingly).
UPDATE: I’m loving John Silvester’s article in The Age about how people should stop victim blaming.
Posted: October 1, 2010 at 4:54 pm | Tags: Feminism, media, not cool, seriously?, sexism
Well actually I think its incredibly creepy, and I don’t think I’m alone in that assessment. So, the article was published in the Age, but taken from mashable.com – which I don’t read and today cannot be bothered investigating further. I’ll use The Age article for basis and go on rambles from there.
What happens when you mix male gamers, pretty girls, and a social platform where girls that connects the two for a price? The answer is GameCrush, which has just opened to the public.
GameCrush first made headlines in March when it entered public beta. The site hooks up “Players” (mostly nerdy males) with “PlayDates” (mostly young females) to play everything from Call of Duty to simple arcade games. Players can choose to play either Xbox 360 games or just a simple browser-based game.
Initially this does not seem all bad. The idea of “Play Dates” sounds nice, like something you’d take your children along to and getting people together to share common interests is a good way to meet people. But only if it were that simple. The article continues.
Users of GameCrush have four basic options for making connections with PlayDates. … The Edge is this service’s version of a red-light district.
There is a catch, of course. PlayDates don’t crush their controllers for free; it costs $US0.60 per minute to have a pretty girl sniping with (or at) you.
So there is a “red-light” district AND even just to play with “pretty girl[s]” you need to start paying. And this is where it is creepy – in effect this is purchasing time with someone, making their time, attention and their appearance a commodity. Which is pretty much what prostitution is. It still gets worse:
And before you ask, yes, you’ll find girls that are willing to do more than just play games if you ask nicely. Part of the reason for this is the service’s points system; Players are expected to tip points to PlayDates, who can then trade them to get real cash. Simply put, there’s a big incentive for PlayDates to “do more” to earn more points.
While reading this I kept thinking of “gentlemen’s clubs” where for extra you can get private lap dances or private shows… and where some women will go further depending on the venue. Is this really that much different?
Male geekdom already has big issues with the way women are viewed and this is not helping that at all. The whole “Play Date” thing would be nice, if money weren’t exchanging hands and if the mostly female participants were not likely to be pressured to go further than just playing a game. Sadly this type of enterprise just continues adding to the women are objects and can be owned, especially when you get to pay for them.