January 10th, 2015

Internet of Things, BE SCARED NOW! So we can make money off your clicky goodness

http://www.businessinsider.com/3-things-that-terrify-the-government-about-the-internet-of-things-2015-1

I tend to ignore these, however, there is some irony embedded in this article that cracked me up. FTC commission chairwoman lists a bunch of things you could learn about people through the Internet of Things (many of these based on a lot of unjustified assumptions, imo, but hey. People make those).

She would like this to be fixed via opt-in, notice, etc. "outside of lengthy privacy policies and terms of use". (Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha)

Cisco systems blog is quoted including "But in general, it appears that the architecture for protecting IoT consumer data will follow the format of current regulatory regimes for data privacy and security overall."

The author of the BI piece chose not to point out the massive gap in hopes/expectations between these two statements. Is the author aware of the gap? It's Chris Neiger over at the Motley Fool, who I am not familiar with, but it seems quite possible that Neiger did this on purpose.

I have mixed feelings about all this. I do think that location data on one's phone should have pretty hefty protection on it. But what about the location data on the Tile you threw in your gym bag because you tend to lose track of it? If you lose your gym bag, you can't use the gym bag's Tile to track the person. What _is_ there to worry about with the location data on the gym bag's Tile? Similarly, could you figure out somebody went to a lot of trouble to automate their household lighting, thermostat, etc. from Friday evening to Saturday evening and thus jump to a conclusion about their religion? Sure! But I'm pretty sure that the person in question isn't trying to _HIDE_ their religion, because that probably isn't the only conspicuous behavior associated with that religion that they are exhibiting.

I'm sure we're going to figure out that there are problems with the Internet of Things. I, personally, worry a lot more about automated lighting coming on in the middle of the night and waking me up, say, than I am about people figuring out that we don't spend a lot of time on the first floor in the middle of the night and thus we turn the temp down. There's a marginally larger security concern associated with turning the Nest to "Away" when we go on vacation, but you could figure out we weren't home just by shooting an IR thermometer at the house windows, probably. Drones could do it (are thieves trying that in expensive neighborhoods yet?).

Not too long ago, BI did another article scaremongering about IoT:

http://www.businessinsider.com/every-smart-home-device-has-been-hacked-2015-1

Here's my favorite line from the story:

"Nest thermostats: A hacker with physical access to a Nest can compromise it in 15 seconds."

Dude, if the hacker has physical access to my Nest, the hacker is IN MY HOUSE. There are a lot of things I'd worry about a stranger with bad intent doing in my house in 15 seconds than ... hacking my thermostat. Jesus. We are on a natural gas pipeline. They could go into the kitchen, turn on all the burners without lighting them and walk out the door and BOOM. No more house. Why would I worry about a hacker when that is possible?

The CBS article that the tea kettle claim links to includes the Ruiu claims about the sound based air gap jumping virus that no one was ever able to reproduce. Really, people? This is what we are worried about? I would list the things you could do to a tea kettle to fuck with someone that don't require a "smart" tea kettle, but, you know, makes me look bad, might give someone ideas. (Kitchens are terrifying places. I love them.)

One of the better links embedded in the piece is this one:

http://www.symantec.com/connect/blogs/how-safe-your-quantified-self-tracking-monitoring-and-wearable-tech

Why anyone would assemble an article containing the CBS link and this link is beyond me -- I chalk it up to Slate being click-bait-y and entirely without morals.

Anyway. There are some real issues if you reuse login credentials and something you use transmits those in clear text. Go get a password manager and you won't need to worry about it any more. There are some real problems if you acquire a stalker. Ditch everything electronic on or around you, go to a police station and work with them to detach your stalker safely. But the exact problem that Symantec (and anyone having trouble with a stalker) is concerned about is the exact opportunity that companies salivate over when it comes to wearables: when someone walks into the store, we know a little about them and that can help us "serve" them better.

IoT should definitely Get With The Program and up their security (clear text broadcasting of information is bad). We should all just give in and get a password manager so we don't need to do a bunch of foolishness with our passwords. Stalkers are a special case, and we need to take that problem seriously and provide support for their victims and deploy the law with a heavy hand to make it clear we don't allow that kind of thing.

But long before we need to worry about this:

"For example in one app that tracks sexual activity, the app makes specific requests to an analytics service URL at the start and end of each session. In its communication, the app passes a unique ID for the app instance and the app name itself as well as messages indicating start and stop of the tracked activity."

We should be a lot more worried about the cowboy culture over at Uber, where they are tracking who goes where, when, how long they stay and when they go home. Because you are way more likely to get outed in an embarrassing way by them that you are by the sex tracking app that anyone who uses would probably LOVE to get ... caught using.

ETA: Wondering about what a sex tracking app is? Thinking, maybe it's about getting pregnant?

This oughta answer most of your questions.

http://www.thebolditalic.com/articles/4774-sex-tracking-is-the-new-fitbit

Oh, and the requested cock ring is being contemplated, but hasn't reached prototype yet.

http://www.engadget.com/2014/08/07/bondara-sexfit-i-used-to-be-a-serious-journalist/

Today's Activities Include: Train! Lunch, shops

T. wanted to ride the train. I offered Boston -- he wanted to go the other way, or at least Not Boston. And then I went, d'oh. Let's reduce the size of this outing. Dramatically. I said, how about we take the train to West Concord (one stop), have lunch at the 99 (less than 100 yards from the platform) and then take the train back. Sold!

A. latched onto this program, so R. got her ready thinking he'd drive over to Concord and meet us, serving as a Back Up Plan. But no, she wanted the Train!!! So we parked two cars (yikes) in the parking lot (almost empty) and went to West Concord. We got to buy tickets with our phones (kids under 12 ride free with a paying adult), which was very smooth. They just visually check the ticket -- they don't read the bar code (yet).

After lunch, we got cupcakes at Concord Teacakes and a hat and gloves at Concord Firefly (A. had left without hers and my second pair of gloves -- don't ask -- was absolutely huge on her; the hat was for me, but I could have loaned her my other hat if she wanted it but she didn't complain about her head being cold with her hood up so I didn't worry about it). I bought wool socks at the fishing outfitter. We got some paper plates (T.'s choice) at New Leaf. And eventually, we rode the train back.

Oh, and we stopped at Debra's Natural Gourmet, which is one of those organic food stores (sort of like Horizon on 15th on Cap Hill, for my Seattle friends) that is maybe a quarter supplements/naturopathic/holistic stuff and there's also a juice bar in there, too. I was almost out of mayo, and figured I could just grab some there and save myself a trip to Roche Bros or Donelan's later in the day. It took a while to figure out where the mayo was (they have Bubbi's pickles! Yay! Didn't buy any today but will remember). Interestingly, Eden Organics was the entire display in the front window, and they had end caps as well. Which raises a fascinating series of questions. Like, in the past (pre ACA lawsuit), Eden wouldn't have felt compelled to buy space at a place like Debra's -- they would have sold reflexively and not had to pay. If they are feeling like they have to buy goodwill and space, how well is that working?

And does that mean there's a real chance they will eventually capitulate?

Here's a blog entry that provides a good sense of how hard it has been for Eden's long time customers to boycott them:

http://newhope360.com/blog/eden-foods-birth-control-controversy-reason-boycott

I stopped buy Eden a while back, but I don't know how meaningful that is, given how much is still sitting in the pantry.

It took me a while to even become aware of what Eden was up to; here's what I posted when I belatedly found out back in July.

http://walkitout.livejournal.com/1140293.html

ETA: Here's what another coop store did in the wake of the law suit.

http://www.willystreet.coop/action-following-the-eden-foods-comment-period

More local to Seattle (including Central Co-Op, where I used to shop when we lived on Jackson when T. was born):

http://www.seattlemet.com/news-and-profiles/publicola/articles/monday-jolt-choice-and-july-2014

In general, co-ops appear to be discussing this as organizations, paying attention to sales. As individual products drop, they are refocusing their shelf space on the products which are selling. This, in turn, suggests that Eden is feeling compelled to buy display space in an effort to counter this trend.

On the whole, as irritating as I found it to have to look at a window full of Eden products at Debra's today, I am happy to learn that Eden is giving Debra's what is presumably a chunk of change -- for product placement that is unlikely to counteract their actual drop in sales, and which might function as an opportunity to further educate people who are unaware of what Eden is doing as a company to make life harder for the women who work for them.

Austin co-op voted, 65%-35% in favor of dropping Eden products, in November.

http://www.austinchronicle.com/daily/food/2014-11-14/wheatsville-drops-eden-foods/

Bozeman had a vote, came out roughly even, letting individual boycotts tip item by item decisions:

http://www.bozemandailychronicle.com/news/economy/article_25ad5e84-32f5-11e4-b29e-001a4bcf887a.html

Another co-op put it to a vote during their annual election and the boycott did not pass.

http://www.tpss.coop/Newsroom/EdenFoods.html

It's worth remembering that organic/naturopathy/holistic/alternative medicine DOES NOT cleanly align with either the left or right wing in United States politics, or at any regional or local level that I know of. The Organics designation of the late 1990s was accomplished through a true, cross-the-aisle coalition of individuals and organization, and its success (and how people felt about that success) really illuminated how different the components of this group really are from each other. It's increasingly clear that where the Organics designation battle united a lot of people, and marginalized those who were ideologically opposed to compromise, the Eden Foods lawsuit is not going to result in group action. We'll have to wait and see how the additive effects of individual actions work out both for the business and the politics of this issue.

Blasphemy in Perspective

When I was graduating from high school and in college, this was in the news:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piss_Christ

At the time, I was a Jehovah's Witness (I had been baptized as a full member when I was in 9th grade). I was an active member, and during this time frame, I spent some months as what was then known as an "auxiliary pioneer". I was not ashamed of my beliefs and while I tried to respect other people's desire not to be harassed by evangelism, when asked about them I shared them freely. A variety of things happened a few years later to convince me that the beliefs of Jehovah's Witnesses are entirely wrong and quite evil, and I disassociated myself when I was 25. But at the time of these events, I viewed blasphemy as a really serious issue. [ETA: Albeit one which God was responsible for dealing with, beyond organizational enforcement through shunning.]

Because Piss Christ involves a crucifix, and because I, as a JW at the time, firmly believed that Christ was murdered on a stake, not on a cross, the particulars of Piss Christ, while somewhat appalling, were not regarded by me as blasphemous in the same way they presumably were perceived by, say, Catholics. But it was interesting to me to see people who were otherwise Christmas-and-Easter Christians suddenly get Real Excited about something somebody did in the art world. As a member of a religious organization that worked hard to _set_ precedents about religious freedom (such as conscientious objection to military service including alternatives acceptable to SDAs, the right to refuse medical treatment such as blood transfusion, the right to go door to door), I found something about this very darkly humorous. Ha ha ha, you never had any issue treading on me, now look what somebody did to you. Tee hee hee.

Piss Christ has been a focus of religious anger, and accusations of blasphemy ever since. It has even come up in conjunction with the film, Innocence of Muslims.

But as far as I know, Piss Christ, while the target of vandalism in reproduction, has never been the focus of killings and hostage taking.

Tolerance in our society is meaningful and widespread. Let's continue to be uncompromising in our tolerance. Self-defense is an excuse for violence. The defense of others against violent assault is an excuse for violence.

Blasphemy is no excuse for violence. Suggesting that blasphemers who are targeted by the violent are in any way to blame for what the evildoers have evil done, is on a par with blaming a rape victim for wearing the wrong clothes, being in the wrong place, or just being a woman.

Using FitBit to reduce activity

http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2014/09/hacking-the-fitness-tracker-to-move-less-not-more/380742/

This is kind of funny, because it's what I've been using an Omron to do for years now. I know that I have a tendency to be extremely uneven from day to day, and that can be a problem if I am not aware of it (why am I so tired today? *looks at pedometer* Oh, yeah, that'd be why my feet hurt.). I don't have any of the spreadsheet-y tracking that FitBit has -- I just have in my head that I want to be above a certain level and below a certain level (and those levels change if I'm sick, for example).

Nice to see other people are finally using these tools to do something other than the Mindless More Is Better.

The intersection of FitBit, smoking and privacy and other random crap

Over on my FB feed, a friend asks about the intersection of employer wellness programs that include FitBits, ToS on fitbit, breaks for exercising and other healthy habits and comes up with this question: "could the employers contracting with wellness service use this to determine who gets cheaper premiums?"

And all kinds of questions occur to me.

Expect lots of updates.

http://www.desmoinesregister.com/article/20131201/NEWS/312010065/Insurance-smoking-fee-could-spur-another-vice-Lying-about-doing-it

Insurers aren't necessarily being horrible about the 50% extra they are allowed to charge.

"CoOportunity Health, a new Iowa insurance carrier, is charging 49 percent extra. Cliff Gold, the company’s chief operating officer, said the premiums are justified because of the increased medical costs many tobacco users incur.

Gold noted that tobacco users can avoid the extra premiums by agreeing to participate in tobacco-cessation efforts. For CoOportunity policyholders, that would entail participating online in three 20-minute educational sessions over two months. Participants also would be offered free stop-smoking aids, such as nicotine replacement patches or gum.

“We certainly hope that people will go through with that process,” Gold said.

Tobacco users who participate in the education sessions but fail to kick the habit would qualify for the lower premiums until the beginning of the next year, Gold said. Then, they could either retake the tobacco-cessation classes or pay the higher premium."

A friend had her oxygen saturation checked with a finger clip pulse oximeter on a recent doctor's visit. She misunderstood what was going on and found out what it was for (obvs, as someone who has had two c-sections, I'm way familiar with these things): a cheap and easy way to find out whether someone is a smoker (or chronic, heavy drinker, conceivably):

http://www.masimo.com/pdf/clinical/carboxyhemoglobin/reddy-noninvasive-pulse-co-oximetry-as-a-tool-to-dectect-smoking-oct-2007.pdf

For all of that, however, there are people who think using a pulse oximeter on a smoker who _just_ smoked could be misleadingly high.

http://respiratory-care-sleep-medicine.advanceweb.com/Article/Pulse-Oximetry-User-Beware.aspx

Looks like doctors can _definitely_ tell your insurer that you are a smoker -- so insurers who catch you at this and terminate/raise your rates are already happening presumably.

What about the employer/FitBit question?

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/20130123054057-258347-fitbit-to-give-employers-your-fitness-report

This guy claims to be pretty blase about privacy stuff and new tech, but he's freaking out about "Fitbit is working with an insurance company to "determine whether individuals who use the mobile devices visit their physicians less than those who do not use the devices."". I don't think he's as blase as he claims. Wouldn't we kind of all want to know this or some similar health proxies (lower blood pressure, better controlled blood sugar, better triglycerides, lower whatever the hell that proxy for inflammation is, etc.)? I mean, isn't that what we _believe_ FitBit does? Wouldn't contrary evidence be kind of important?

Here's a funny one:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/parmyolson/2014/06/19/wearable-tech-health-insurance/

Especially this paragraph, which is about as loony as I have ever read.

"The founders of stickK, a NYC based startup that sells white-label software for corporate-wellness programs, have been trying to talk large U.S. companies into plugging both wearable devices and punitive measure in their wellness plans. These punishments include taking away wellness points if employees don’t reach certain activity targets. It’s a controversial approach, but stickK argues it’s far more effective than offering rewards. (More self-insured employers are already looking at adding $50 surcharges onto the premiums of employees who smoke.)"

This suggests that I am right to believe employers will be wary of this approach. And I find it risible that punitive measures work at all (other than to chase away everyone who can get a job somewhere else -- and believe me, that's not likely to help your company). We've got decades of research on aversives, incentives and environmental change and the most effective stuff is environmental (remove the cigarette vending machines from the lobby and ban smoking in the office), next is incentives and somewhere way, way, way later is aversives. Otherwise moral and ethical people are highly likely to strap their FitBit to a vibrator or the washing machine or the kid -- whatever is necessary to juice their numbers -- if they are subjected to a program as disrespectful as what stickK is proposing.

Wow, this is even better. Derek Newell of Jiff, a "health platform", "Devices that can passively monitor what we eat are also on way, he says."

Seriously? How would that even work? I feel like some of these people played a lot of D&D and don't really understand that when Arthur Clarke said that thing about technology and magic, he meant technology seemed like magic NOT that magic could all shortly be implemented by technology.

Wow. stickK is actually way sillier than I thought.

https://www.stickk.com/faq

So they don't seem to even have a psychologist around to explain to them where they are making their errors. *sigh* Their current focus is on helping people attain goals they have set for themselves (think: volunteer). You can't take the techniques that may work in this context and then apply them to goals Other People Have Set For Them and expect it to work (think: draftee). You aren't actually motivated to cheat (much) if you set the goal. But if someone else set the goal . . .

"And it makes sense. We all start off wanting to achieve our goal, but most of the time there's simply nothing out there to make us stickK to our word. By entering into a Commitment Contract, backing out on that promise just got a whole lot harder. If drinking a can of soda meant you'd have to fork over $10 to your friend, just about anyone would look for something else to drink."

Yah, actually, especially if it wasn't actually our goal, a whole lot of people would sneak the soda and then lie about it. I get that this is a law professor and an econ guy, but do they not remember childhood? Do they not have kids? Who _are_ these people?

Dean Karlan got his MPP and MBA from U Chic, so I think we all know what is going on there. Sure, he got his PhD from MIT in Social Capital and Microfinance so he's not a _horrible_ human, but there are some real blind spots involved here.

Ian Ayres has a picture on his faculty profile page with a classic Ekman half-smile!

http://www.law.yale.edu/faculty/ianayres.htm

Who _does_ that? Somebody who can't be expected to show much respect for anyone else, presumably. (On a _profile_ page? Who puts a contempt smile on their _profile page_?)

That part of me that found really great tricks in NLP wants to like this guy, but that half-smile makes me run in fear. Altho I think this trick actually is pretty awesome:

http://perinealpressure.yale.edu/

I finally found someone who took a look at efficacy that isn't part of this amazingly blinkered little mini-group!

http://www-psych.stanford.edu/~knutson/bad/karlan09.pdf

They aren't very impressed. It mentions this:

Bosch-Capblanch X, Abba K, Prictor M, Garner
2
P. Contracts between patients and healthcare
practitioners for improving patients’ adherence to
treatment, prevention and health promotion activities.
Cochrane Database Syst Rev
2007;(2):CD004804.

So that's a Cochrane review of from 2007. Let's go look for it!

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17443556

That's not real enthusiastic. But this one is even more negative:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3232314/

Read that one -- it's good.

_Real Knockouts_, a sorta live blog

I abandoned _Smile at Strangers_ a while back, because I had intense, ambiguous feelings about the hostility I felt about many of the ideas and stories in that book. I wanted to like it (women beating people up! Yay!) but really, really, really disapproved (hey, you're supposed to pick the right targets! And, safety first in training!!!).

But it reminded me that I had other books about women and violence that I had not yet read. Picking up _Real Knockouts_, the first few pages are reminding me already why I have never read this book. The subtitle, "The Physical Feminism of Women's Self-Defense" is sooooo promising. But sexual violence in the first few pages is relentlessly portrayed as perpetrated by men against women. I get the numbers. I really do. But my early history of sexual mistreatment came at the hands of another girl.

So.

I read on. But not with optimism.

Also, I did a lot of the same things the author refers to doing (taking self-defense or martial arts classes, learning to shoot -- it's not clear if she actually owned and carried or not, but I did), but all the men who were a part of that process (and they were overwhelmingly men, with very few exceptions) were enthusiastic about what I was doing and supportive and not creepy (some of the men I dated who found out I carried were creepy, but not the men at the range and not anyone in martial arts contexts) and didn't have any trouble at all with these behaviors fitting within their ideas about what it meant to be a woman vs. being a man. I don't know if this is PacNW stuff, or generational. I believe what she's saying -- it's just wildly at odds with my personal experience. It's entirely possible that I'm misunderstanding some of what she is saying.

Weird statement about self-defense and anger and women that made me go whaaa? And I found this:

http://www.samharris.org/blog/item/self-defense-and-the-law

Okay, before you go there YES I HATE SAM HARRIS TOO! All right. He set up a roundtable with very interesting, smart people and while he was an idiot (what, he can't tell the difference between what you can do if the other guy starts something vs. what you can do if you start something? Seriously. How hard is that to understand?), it has some awesome stuff in it.

There's a whole bunch of stuff about self-defense claims failing because the person making the claim was the first person to show a weapon and/or attack (duh. NOT SELF DEFENSE). And then there's this:

"Steven Levine: If you’re being robbed, you can just kill the other person.

Sam Harris: Are you kidding?"

Duh, Harris. He is not kidding. It can actually get considerably weirder than that. Here's more from Levine, involving a hypothetical armed robbery of a store. You can run, what if you decide to shoot the guy?

"Steven Levine: Yes. Once somebody is engaged in felonious conduct, you can do whatever you do to stop him. "

I think I should have found this when I was reading _Smile at Strangers_. I was so incredibly appalled that she was considering attacking those two mountain bikers after her dog bit one of them. And she was thinking that this was legit, somehow self-defense. But the framework presented by Levine and the others is super clear. Don't Fucking Start Anything. Once the other person has committed a crime, they are in trouble for nearly everything that happens thereafter. And the owner of the biting dog didn't realize that.

Scary.

Levine even does a good job of handling what if you see a fight on the street situation. I've seen that happen twice -- once at a Denny's when I was in my teens, and it turned out that the guy winning the fight was a cop. Good fight not to get involved in. Second time was outside a Burger King on my way to martial arts -- irony! Pretty clear cut case of domestic violence and there were dozens of us in the area all calling 911 and reporting it, which is what you are supposed to do.

Okay, McCaughey's sense of history is kinda bad and weird. She has spent many pages on how feminists don't seem to want to entertain self defense as a way to address rape. She never, ever, ever mentions the long history of blaming women for being raped because they didn't fight back adequately. So, that's kind of a problem.

Then she starts in on protective labor legislation in the US during the Gilded Age. There were a lot of efforts to limit the work day and work week and require employers to implement basic safety measures in the work place. These were repeatedly struck down in the post-Civil War era. The _only_ ones that were upheld by the Supreme Court were those that were specifically about women. And so that's where labor activists focused, because their efforts would actually stand up over time.

That is totally lost in McCaughey's analysis. "In the 1890s, U.S. social reformers sought to exclude the married woman from factory labor on the grounds that distress and disorder would result." *sigh* Were there reformers that took this approach? Sure. There were a lot of people coming from a lot of different perspectives. But a lot of the reformers were trying to make things better for every worker, and their efforts kept getting shot down on the basis that they were infringing the right of labor to make a "free" contract. Only married women with children were presumed to be worthy of additional protections, because children were dependent upon them.

And then men get blamed for separate spheres! Crazy! That was a woman-led effort to increase the power of women (and in its time and place, for the white, middle and upper class women it affected, it worked!).

The relentlessly repeated idea that rape is always heterosexual is really driving me bananas. Ba-na-nas.

"To be sure, there are men who act violently, sexually and non-sexually, toward other men. But those acts of violence are often clear to all participants as violent, while rape can often be construed as a man's "natural instincts" responding to a woman whose appearance, behavior or reputation "invited" it." Look, I only know one man who talks about another man who attempted to force sex with him, and he makes it clear that the person doing the forcing was as oblivious with a man not wanting it as the McCaughey asserts is the case with women. So there is some oblivious out there, with m on m as well as the more expected m on f. But in a whole lot of cases, it is not oblivious, and it is an intentional, power seeking violation. Sentences like the above really are a distraction from that core criminality.

"boy scouts can learn to shoot rifles and shotguns starting in the sixth grade. Girl scouts sell cookies and contribute to charities, but never learn to shoot."

I may be done with this book, because that is just not true. Girl scouts can start shooting once get get out of juniors, which turns out to be 6th grade, just like boy scouts.

https://www.girlscoutsp2p.org/img/Safety_Activity_Checkpoints_Riflery.pdf

I really want to like women writing about beating people up! I swear! I do! Give me a woman author writing about women beating people up who does it even at a mediocre level! PLEASE!

_Real Knockouts_, knocked out NOT A BOOK REVIEW

I made it to page 41, partly by skipping stuff. There might be a good book in here somewhere, but I can't find it. There's bad analysis in here and bad theory, but I'll tell you right now where I parted company with the author.

"Girls and women lack such inspiration to shoot and fight. In fact, girls don't achieve womanhood by cultivating those skills, they compromise it. To this day, boy scouts can learn to shoot rifles and shotguns starting in the sixth grade. Girl scouts sell cookies and contribute to charities, but never learn to shoot."

It's just not true. It's never been true. Shooting rifles has always been a part of Girl Scouts, and that part of the program is available, to this day, starting in 6th grade, just like boys. Do all Girl Scout troops offer it? Probably not. But I bet not all BSA troops offer shooting, either. It's going to depend on the participants and what their desires and wishes are.

This isn't the only error in the pages leading up to page 41. There are misrepresentations of feminism, notably, why feminism avoids focusing on self-defense and similar physical resistance to rape and other sexual assault. Feminism tends to avoid that because women are already blamed all the time for not resisting adequately/appropriately. The focus has been on reducing "blame the victim" approaches, and self-defense advocates often wind up blaming the victim, quite often for exactly the same things the wider culture blames the victim for, like high heels. The explanation is different -- can't run or fight in heels, rather than they make you look like you are asking for it -- but the effect is the same.

There are misrepresentations of labor law's focus on women in the late 19th/early 20th century and there are misrepresentations of how we got "separate spheres" ideology, that make it sound like more male oppression, rather than as the women's power movement of its day.

I have some other issues with the way she is framing rape, because I really do think that you want to have different responses to someone who is using words vs. someone who has a gun out and pointed at someone. A good self defense orientation will address those different situations. But by conflating them in the rape culture framework, I feel like she has muddied things.

ETA: Like a dog to its own vomit, I foolishly returned to this book. Let's see how McCaughey represents the 1959 Inez Garcia self defense rape case!

"After Inez Garcia was found guilty of murdering the man who had assistedin his friend's rape of her and who had called her to promise that both men would return to her home to do something worse, one juror remarked, "You can't kill someone for trying to give you a good time" (Schneider and Jordan 1981, 15) 10.

"Garcia's case exemplifies another sexist bias in self-defense law. The imminence requirement, stating that the threat must be immediate in order to justify lethal self-defense, makes sense for men in an agreed-upon barroom brawl [me: whaaaa?]. But when it comes to a woman facing a man trying to rape her, she must wait long enough for the rape to ensue but not so long that she cannot still stop it from occurring."

Okay. So what _is_ the Inez Garcia rape case?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inez_Garc%C3%ADa

So, kind of a lot got left out there! Like, later on, she got a gun, drove over to the guy's house and shot him. With her drug dealer friend, who, honestly, was kind of at the center of all this, making one wonder who actually did the shooting. Cause for sure if he'd done the shooting, he'da gotten the chair.

Importantly, the first trial had a weird, diminished capacity defense and got Garcia a couple years. The appeal apparently got her a retrial, where the new lawyer argued simple self-defense ... and won.

Lesson here is probably: don't fuck around with these women-specific psychological things. If you argue straight self-defense, and the facts are on your side, it'll probably turn out better. Funny how exactly the opposite lesson was learned from this case.

I feel a morbid curiosity about what _else_ is embedded in this terrible, terrible book.

ETA: Ah, the 1990s. What a horrible time that was.

http://articles.philly.com/1994-10-02/news/25872163_1_student-attack-kung-fu-master-instructor

Chapter 2, where she describes Model Mugging, and Defending Ourselves classes, and her experiences with various firearms instructors, is a huge improvement, because they aren't theory or history. She is describing what she experienced in some detail, and that is Awesome. There was one on one with a woman, one on one with a man, and then a group class with another woman, Paxton Quigley. Weirdly, Paxton Quigley promotes one of those purses like the one the toddler got into at a Wal-Mart recently, with tragic results. I have mixed feelings about those purses, because I used to carry (with a permit) in a purse. But boy I never left that purse unattended for a second, and while I was occasionally around small children with the purse, I was never _responsible_ for small children while I had the purse. I didn't bring it when I was babysitting. Once I was responsible for small children of my own, the guns went to a friend, because I just can't pay attention to that many things at once. Which is really neither here nor there.

ETAYA: "medico" lock. Oy! Medeco! Medeco! Jeez.

I'm freaking out a little that Paxton Quigley was telling the class a story about a woman who held someone at gun point until the police arrive.

Fundamentally, I want women to be much less annoying about this stuff than men are. And yet, they are really just the same. Frustrating.

There was substantial debate about revolvers vs semiautomatics when I was going to ranges, and a fair number of men who were extremely contemptuous of revolvers but observed that women preferred them. Paxton Quigley prefers revolvers. "One woman had brought in a semi-automatic and Quigley gave her a revolver to use. Quigley recommends revolvers since they jam less often, you can see the bullets and they're easier to clean." All debatable assertions; I carried a revolver at the time because of one of my usual dorky Find The Very Lightest Device That Is Best At Accomplishing the Goal, which led to a 5 shot, snub nosed, titanium, look, never mind. It was horrible to shoot, as you can imagine, with +P.

ETAYA: She observed a couple of women's Okinawan Karate classes, one in LA, one in Easthampton, MA. The LA instructor has a hilarious quote about how if the attacker is wearing a groin protector cup, "you just grab the cup and scrape it forward and you've got cup-o-noodles." Which is funny! (ok, probably not if you have an outie instead of an innie) But I question the relevance to a self-defense class? I mean, this is a sport leakage issue if there ever was one!

Others have asked and answered . . .

http://www.topix.com/forum/city/moscow-pa/TE1R698GNV7S3L5JF

ETA still more: Weirdly, I'm at page 118, and it is bugging me now that she keeps quoting people who clearly learned a bunch of situational awareness. But the author seems entirely unaware of the concept.

So the book has improved dramatically, because that's a whole other category of annoyance.