xkcd.com/1096/ "Clinically Studied Ingredient" is offensive

Things that don't belong anywhere else. (Check first).

Moderators: Moderators General, Prelates, Magistrates

DaveInsurgent
Posts: 207
Joined: Thu May 19, 2011 4:28 pm UTC
Location: Waterloo, Ontario

Re: xkcd.com/1096/ "Clinically Studied Ingredient" is offens

Postby DaveInsurgent » Thu Aug 23, 2012 3:39 pm UTC

Well, that asterisk you put makes a big difference. Your original statement:

Hell, I don't think it would be that big a deal if Enuja had tested positive and not disclosed to her future partners (assuming they didn't ask).


Read, at least at 2 am, like you were saying that while Enuja was infected, there's nothing wrong with going about business as usual if no one asks. Now it sounds like you're saying after the infection clears up. I agree with that - for temporary infections, having had it in the past has no bearing on your present or future.

HPV is not benign. There's also multiple strains. You've also failed to acknowledge an understanding of the difference between "most people will have had it" [at some point] and "most people have it" [at all times].

*Assuming that she's had clean pap smears since then and I'm correct about how tests work.


Right, and could it not take up to two years for that? Where that led to was my not understanding how anyone would possibly consent to sex with someone who is knowingly infected with HPV, because transmission seems risky despite using protection. For the period where she is still infectious, it seems doubtful to me that she would be able to find partners that are both willing and informed. I understand there are some forms of vaccines now for certain strains? That seems like it would certainly influence the decision-making process for some (again, not myself). But in the scope of this thread, the only example I've heard of is with someone with HIV - which has been explained to be maintainable/preventable with meds and condoms. With that being true, then the risk isn't really changed the same way was with HPV.

So... what about HPV? That isn't? Who here has actually had a full (or at least broad) range of tests run, had them all come back clear (can we use that word?) and then met someone who said "I just had HPV confirmed", and then went on to have sex - knowing that they have a more than average chance of catching it? This is akin to my car analogy - I get in the car every day, that's risky. I don't get in with drunk or untrained (or otherwise "risk++") drivers.

I'm not sure anyone will be able to say me, just because of how few people are participating ... but you can look at this way:

I know with as much certainty as possible that I am free of any STI -----> I know with certainty that I have HPV
I don't know with any certainty if I have any STI(s) ------> I know with certainty that I have HPV

The left side has absolutely no bearing on the effect on risk that the right side produces. I don't see how any sex could ever be worth taking on that risk in absolute certainty.

So for those of you having been on other side - if you do find someone willing to jump in and take that absolute increased risk... don't you wonder what other decisions they've made? How complex is your discussion going to have to be in order to make it "responsible sex" (so that you can actually understand where this persons boundaries/judgements are)?

And setzer777, I said that Enuja was not being responsible because by being polyamorous, they've taken on additional risk already, and some level of risk-reduction should be done in order to combat that. In an ideal world we'd all just wave a smart phone over someone else's genitalia and get a nice big "DTF!" image, or something, but no, increased testing in response to increased risk seems like a pretty reasonable request to me.


Considering that nearly 60% of the population of the US (and between 65% and 90% worldwide) are infected with herpes, you probably have. Hells, I've been strictly monogamous my entire life (i.e., only one sexual partner ever), and I've got it.


Okay, so aside from the fact I meant, I would never proceed with sex if someone disclosed to me that they knew they had...

Yes, HSV-1+ HSV-2 has a rather high rate of prevalence. HSV-2 not as much by itself, and most of my good ol' days were before I was 20, which puts me dipping in a fairly favourable bracket, statistically. You can't say that because 60% of the sampled population has it, 60% of the people I've been with have it.

User avatar
setzer777
Good questions sometimes get stupid answers
Posts: 2762
Joined: Sun Nov 23, 2008 9:24 am UTC

Re: xkcd.com/1096/ "Clinically Studied Ingredient" is offens

Postby setzer777 » Thu Aug 23, 2012 3:54 pm UTC

DaveInsurgent wrote:Well, that asterisk you put makes a big difference. Your original statement:

Hell, I don't think it would be that big a deal if Enuja had tested positive and not disclosed to her future partners (assuming they didn't ask).


Read, at least at 2 am, like you were saying that while Enuja was infected, there's nothing wrong with going about business as usual if no one asks. Now it sounds like you're saying after the infection clears up. I agree with that - for temporary infections, having had it in the past has no bearing on your present or future.

HPV is not benign. There's also multiple strains. You've also failed to acknowledge an understanding of the difference between "most people will have had it" [at some point] and "most people have it" [at all times].


Yeah, sorry I was unclear with that. My understanding is that if you keep getting clean pap smears they won't test you for HPV, but you can't really be sure when the virus has cleared out completely (and if that's the case I'm not sure I think a woman is obligated to proactively disclose that she had HPV multiple clean pap smears ago just because there's a chance it's still in her system).

Yeah, most people don't have it currently, though a pretty hefty percentage do - numbers I've seen suggest that 30% of people are currently infected (15% if you're only counting high-risk strains), while 70% have had it at some point.

Edit: Just as another example - do you think someone with HSV-1 is obligated to bring it up every time before they kiss someone?

Edit 2: Also, what do you think men have to do to be responsible with regards to HPV? My current partner got an abnormal pap and the biopsy after indicated a very low-risk strain of HPV. Her recent pap was clean, but there's no way to test if the virus is still in my system (or if it ever was). If we break up am I irresponsible if I don't bring up this fact to every future partner I ever have?
Meaux_Pas wrote:We're here to go above and beyond.

Too infinity
of being an arsehole

DaveInsurgent
Posts: 207
Joined: Thu May 19, 2011 4:28 pm UTC
Location: Waterloo, Ontario

Re: xkcd.com/1096/ "Clinically Studied Ingredient" is offens

Postby DaveInsurgent » Thu Aug 23, 2012 5:55 pm UTC

So before I go further, I want to apologize for derogatory comments I made due to the misunderstanding about the "don't tell" thing. It was late at night and I'd had a few mojitos, and in the moment it felt like a real WTF situation.

Just as another example - do you think someone with HSV-1 is obligated to bring it up every time before they kiss someone?


For each new person? Or perhaps a reminder if it's been a while? I think it's reasonable. Would you be offended if they declined to kiss you?

If we break up am I irresponsible if I don't bring up this fact to every future partner I ever have?


That's a really good question. I think a lot of how I feel has to do with what you know, outright, and what you can do. Being able to be tested is itself the obligation to be tested (when you're engaging in higher-risk behaviour, especially). I think that it would be prudent of you to inform new partners, in as delicate/detailed manner as you see fit.. I mean, they have a right to know what they're getting in to. To withhold that information seems malicious or disrespectful. And the truth is they may baulk and say "No, way!" - that's life.

But if they don't, if they are OK with it, that is a fundamentally different attitude towards the situation than knowing for sure that you have something, and continuing anyway. It's established that sex is inherently risky. I'm not questioning participating in some form of risky behaviour. I've said time and time again, I drive - that's risky, but there's a risk-reward evaluation that obviously happens. In my personal opinion, engaging in sex with someone who guaranteed has an STI presents a degree of risk to which there is no reward that I would feel worth it. The situation you've described is somewhere between "general case I don't really know where you've been or if what you're telling me is true" and "I know you have something because it was tested and proven".

In retrospect, I don't think we can really come to a useful, meaningful conclusion about how one should behave based solely on extremes and opposites.. but I think we can at least concede that there's an element of expectation that people could have (and you can't know without asking) regarding knowing these details, that you should respect by extension of respecting them as a mate. If it's not there, it's not there, and there's nothing stopping you from proceeding. But when you have a condition or suspect you do or just aren't sure, it's something that is undesirable, no matter how trivial - and I think you should at least be checking with the people or person whose life you could possibly affect, before doing anything. Sex is basically a huge batch of unknowns and any concretion or bit of information you can introduce is for the better.

So we can call it responsible or irresponsible or any other number of labels, but in the end, aren't we all asking that you just tell us what you know, so we can make an informed decision?

You may feel that an absence of history ("I have no idea, I've never been tested") is more objectionable than disclosure ("I was with someone who at one time tested positive, but no longer").. that's your right. But the only actual functional join point between people before they have sex is as much information as possible.

On another note, I was thinking about this request from the OP, and I feel that it is is actually a bit more unreasonable than has already been suggested. Most of us should know that cancer has been a topic in a number of XKCD comics, and so I'd argue that the OP was somewhat ignorant to suggest that the comic was not being sensitive towards what I'll call "disease definition" - I think cancer survivors are just as sensitive to the idea of being defined by their disease as anyone who has or had an STI would to being defined as "dirty". I think that if you actually stopped to consider the content of the comic beyond the single strip, you'd come to the conclusion that the choice of "clean" was in fact for its colloquial use. The request is therefore uninformed.

User avatar
3fj
Posts: 1715
Joined: Wed Jun 11, 2008 1:13 pm UTC
Location: Land of Whisky and Bagpipes (LOWAB)
Contact:

Re: xkcd.com/1096/ "Clinically Studied Ingredient" is offens

Postby 3fj » Thu Aug 23, 2012 6:10 pm UTC

bluerasberry wrote:@3fj See sources. Consider visiting a sexual infection clinic and talking with a counselor. At some point in your life someone you know is statistically probable to get an infection and you would not regret understanding the implications of this before then.

bluerasberry wrote:
3fj wrote:You've been assuming a whole lot in this thread, and frankly you've been getting away with it ...

What makes you think I don't have an STI? What makes you think I don't know anyone with an STI? ... I am well aware what an STI is, ... is that it's you who's looking through a biased lens, and being duly over-defensive because of it.

I assume a lot because I have worked in the field for a while and after having this conversation hundreds of times I have been on most of the paths in which this conversation tree may go. I am biased because I am an advocate and it is my place to be biased and take an extreme position, and I am aware of what is logically legitimate and illegitimate about my argument. Since this is a practical matter and not a theoretical one I make a sweeping assessment that the world would be better in most cases if people quit doing this small thing. I assume that you do not have an STI and that you have not known anyone with an STI because almost everyone in those groups becomes sensitive to the thought of a person's potential lover calling them "not clean". I have never heard anyone say "We should be extra-careful having sex because I am not clean." I have never found a well-meaning community who liked to call themselves "not clean". Because you defend a practice which this minority almost always discourages, I assume that you are an outsider to the minority. Thanks a lot for your comments. I did not mean to offend but I do like to skip to the heart of the argument - I hope that you feel I saved time by being direct.


I'd like to apologise for this whole exchange and taking the time out to respond. I've acted a colossal dick. I felt a little attacked for whatever reason and sort of threw all morals and things I thought I held true out the window in a misguided attempt to "win" or whatever.

For the record I have had minor STIs in the past, and whilst that was clearing up you're right, I wouldn't have wanted to be called not-clean/dirty; but it is how I viewed myself. That's no excuse, and I'll make a serious effort to not use words that way in future.

Back to your regularly scheduled bigotry.
Everything's dead until it's alive. Man will exist, and then he will die. Just take the ride!

User avatar
setzer777
Good questions sometimes get stupid answers
Posts: 2762
Joined: Sun Nov 23, 2008 9:24 am UTC

Re: xkcd.com/1096/ "Clinically Studied Ingredient" is offens

Postby setzer777 » Thu Aug 23, 2012 6:45 pm UTC

DaveInsurgent wrote:So before I go further, I want to apologize for derogatory comments I made due to the misunderstanding about the "don't tell" thing. It was late at night and I'd had a few mojitos, and in the moment it felt like a real WTF situation.


It's no problem, I can definitely understand the reaction. Upon further consideration I admit that my attitude was too cavalier. It is best to share as much relevant information as possible.
Meaux_Pas wrote:We're here to go above and beyond.

Too infinity
of being an arsehole

User avatar
Enuja
Posts: 1576
Joined: Tue Apr 14, 2009 9:40 pm UTC
Location: Chicago, IL
Contact:

Re: xkcd.com/1096/ "Clinically Studied Ingredient" is offens

Postby Enuja » Thu Aug 23, 2012 10:26 pm UTC

I was monogamous when I tested positive for HPV (as part of a normal PAP smear, but my next PAP was abnormal, and the end of my cervix was eventually removed, resulting in the regrowth of a healthy cervix), and the positive test itself did not effect my sexual behavior in any way. At the time, my single sexual partner was a man, and there is no HPV test for men! (The current HPV test tests the cells collected for the PAP smear.) I don't know who brought the HPV into the relationship, because there is no way to know! I also do not care who brought it into the relationship, just as I don't care which job/group of friends gave me my last cold virus. If there is a particular paucity of hand washing, or someone is visually sick, I will be more cautious and wash my hands more, but in the absence of clear risk, I don't worry about the trying to know the unknowable.

As I am painfully aware, HPV can have health consequences, but given the prevalence and difficultly of preventing the spread of HPV, I think that it makes sense for people to get the vaccine, and for women to get PAP smears, and have treatment if necessary, to prevent abnormal cervical cells from turning into cervical cancer, instead of expecting HPV positive people to stop having sex. Similarly, I don't ask new kissing partners whether they've had cold sores, even though, as far as I know, I'm one of the few people who has never had cold sores. I don't kiss people with active cold sores, but that's as far as I go. I don't know if I currently have any strains of HPV in my cervix, because it's been about 9 months since I got a PAP smear and I don't recall if that one, or the ones in the previous five years, were tested for HPV. I don't volunteer my past HPV positive test (and current unknown status) with new sex partners, but if anyone were to ask, I would tell them.

By far my most STI irresponsible partner was my monogamous one: he cheated on me, without a condom! I don't think that the level of risk with actual (instead of professed) monogamy is somehow magical and the level of risk that everyone should be it at. Right now, given regular testing, honesty, discussion of risks, and the use of condoms every time a penis enters vagina, I think I am much safer about HIV, and at more risk for HPV, molluscum contagiosum, and herpes than people who think they are monogamous. And I'm OK with that. I'm much, much more worried about HIV than I am about STIs with less serious consequences. (I'm not interested in having children, so the risk of transmitting herpes to an infant is irrelevant to me.) Risk is contingent: if you want kids, you should be worried about STIs that cause sterility or problems with babies. Me, I'm only worried about untreatable STIs with serious health consequences, although I do try to minimize my transmission of all pathogens.

I consider parasites and pathogens to be a fact of life, a part of human ecology. I do by best to stay as healthy as possible, but I don't try to exist outside of the pathogenic ecosystem, because that would be impossible, and also way too much work. I got a flu shot last night, and go into crazy handwashing mode whenever I've got a cold.

Clean is a bad opposite of "infected" because it's non-specific, and because it suggests that anyone could possibly be uninfected from everything. You're not. I'm not. It's much more important to maintain your general health, and the health of your immune system, than to try to prevent every way of being infected by anything. Mosquitoes with pathogens will bite me, people with colds will sneeze on me (while I sneeze into my elbow), door handles will be covered in pathogens, people with herpes in their lips will kiss me, and people with warts will shake my hands. I wash my hands, and clean door handles with alcohol, but I will continue to touch people, sexually and otherwise.

Chen
Posts: 5577
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2008 6:53 pm UTC
Location: Montreal

Re: xkcd.com/1096/ "Clinically Studied Ingredient" is offens

Postby Chen » Fri Aug 24, 2012 11:50 am UTC

Enuja wrote:Clean is a bad opposite of "infected" because it's non-specific, and because it suggests that anyone could possibly be uninfected from everything. You're not. I'm not. It's much more important to maintain your general health, and the health of your immune system, than to try to prevent every way of being infected by anything. Mosquitoes with pathogens will bite me, people with colds will sneeze on me (while I sneeze into my elbow), door handles will be covered in pathogens, people with herpes in their lips will kiss me, and people with warts will shake my hands. I wash my hands, and clean door handles with alcohol, but I will continue to touch people, sexually and otherwise.


I don't think most people who would use the terms assume that the person they're asking is 100% uninfected from everything. It'd be more likely that they've had tests for the more common STIs and that they haven't been engaging in risky sexual behaviour so that they can adequately respond with "yes I'm clean". I mean the non-specificity is going to come up unless you're directly asking the person if they are free from X STI and go through a whole list of them.

Tyndmyr
Posts: 11443
Joined: Wed Jul 25, 2012 8:38 pm UTC

Re: xkcd.com/1096/ "Clinically Studied Ingredient" is offens

Postby Tyndmyr » Fri Aug 24, 2012 6:14 pm UTC

TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:The OP took something out of context

Tell me, how does the context conflict with the OP's interpretation?


There is absolutely no implication of "dirty" in context. The context is simply focusing on the illogic of focusing on the fact of the test rather than the results.

Furthermore, it's a joke. Yes, people take STIs very seriously. If they didn't, the joke wouldn't work. If you use unusual language, the joke doesn't work as well. "are you clean" is an entirely normal way to phrase the question in the context it's presented.

User avatar
TheGrammarBolshevik
Posts: 4878
Joined: Mon Jun 30, 2008 2:12 am UTC
Location: Going to and fro in the earth, and walking up and down in it.

Re: xkcd.com/1096/ "Clinically Studied Ingredient" is offens

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Fri Aug 24, 2012 9:43 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:The context is simply focusing on the illogic of focusing on the fact of the test rather than the results.

Tyndmyr wrote:Furthermore, it's a joke.

How does either of these claims show that word "clean" doesn't have the connotations being discussed here?
Nothing rhymes with orange,
Not even sporange.

DaveInsurgent
Posts: 207
Joined: Thu May 19, 2011 4:28 pm UTC
Location: Waterloo, Ontario

Re: xkcd.com/1096/ "Clinically Studied Ingredient" is offens

Postby DaveInsurgent » Sat Aug 25, 2012 1:50 am UTC

Does it even matter?

The comic is a comic. It is not a platform to advance one's cause, no matter how noble; it owes us nothing. Had this post been "Since the comic brought it up, I'd like to talk about this issue that is important to me.." it would have been, I believe, recieved entirely different than starting out with the declaration that the comic is offensive.

Bassoon
Posts: 476
Joined: Wed Nov 28, 2007 10:58 pm UTC
Location: Wisconsin

Re: xkcd.com/1096/ "Clinically Studied Ingredient" is offens

Postby Bassoon » Sat Aug 25, 2012 2:34 am UTC

A comic can certainly be a medium used to advance one's cause. Political comics do this very thing. Because this is Randall's webcomic, I think it is safe to say that Randall uses it to express his opinion on many things. Things he thinks are cool, like Fitocracy, or various other random things he finds on the internet. He has such a large following that if he mentions something, google hits on the subject will increase. This comic is more than just "a comic," it's a medium of expression and a transmission of ideas. Don't be so reductionist.

DaveInsurgent
Posts: 207
Joined: Thu May 19, 2011 4:28 pm UTC
Location: Waterloo, Ontario

Re: xkcd.com/1096/ "Clinically Studied Ingredient" is offens

Postby DaveInsurgent » Sat Aug 25, 2012 4:00 pm UTC

His comic isn't a platform for advancing your causes.

You might have had a better point if you said "It's a comic about romance, sarcasm, math, and language, so this could be of interest to him", but still - what you say is right: if Randal feels like calling every person, who's ever been in the same room as someone with an STI, a dirty, filthy sack of disease, he's free to do so, and to transmit that idea. But that would be his idea. As soon as the OP got on the soap box and told us all that the comic is offensive, it wasn't about his ideas or feelings. It was about injecting someone elses cause in to his medium, and under a ridiculous pretense at that.

Bassoon
Posts: 476
Joined: Wed Nov 28, 2007 10:58 pm UTC
Location: Wisconsin

Re: xkcd.com/1096/ "Clinically Studied Ingredient" is offens

Postby Bassoon » Sat Aug 25, 2012 6:52 pm UTC

What the heck are you talking about? The OP isn't making a claim that Randall actually believes that people who have STIs are "dirty, filthy [sacks] of disease" (in your words); he's merely stating that Randall's choice of words is insensitive towards a population of people. The OP is not injecting an agenda into anything, and he's not hijacking the comic for his means. He's pointing out a problem in today's society, which demonizes people who have STIs. It's the same as reading a piece of literature, and taking an issue with something in it. The OP is not saying Randall is a terrible person for it. He's saying that Randall made an insensitive statement and would be better off with a different choice of words. The OP doesn't have a soapbox. On the contrary, Randall is the one with the soapbox, and the OP is making arguments against what Randall is saying, and there's nothing wrong with that.

DaveInsurgent
Posts: 207
Joined: Thu May 19, 2011 4:28 pm UTC
Location: Waterloo, Ontario

Re: xkcd.com/1096/ "Clinically Studied Ingredient" is offens

Postby DaveInsurgent » Sat Aug 25, 2012 9:02 pm UTC

Please re-read the thread up to the point where it diverged to the STI responsibility argument.

User avatar
TheGrammarBolshevik
Posts: 4878
Joined: Mon Jun 30, 2008 2:12 am UTC
Location: Going to and fro in the earth, and walking up and down in it.

Re: xkcd.com/1096/ "Clinically Studied Ingredient" is offens

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Sun Aug 26, 2012 12:50 am UTC

What do you expect that to show, exactly?
Nothing rhymes with orange,
Not even sporange.

DaveInsurgent
Posts: 207
Joined: Thu May 19, 2011 4:28 pm UTC
Location: Waterloo, Ontario

Re: xkcd.com/1096/ "Clinically Studied Ingredient" is offens

Postby DaveInsurgent » Sun Aug 26, 2012 2:02 am UTC

Several people, namely Deva, Zarg, Роберт, You, sir, name?, Intrigued, making good points about the use of the term clean, specifically that it is common. Since the "clean" terminology isn't the subject of the comic, and rather the actual point of the comic is how advertising that something "has been tested" is rather silly, the use of the term "clean" - given it's established commonality - is merely an accurate portrayal of a possible conversation. It is akin to watching a period piece where racism or slavery was prevalent: You can't reasonably be offended by the use of a racist phrase, or the presence of slavery, when it's being used to accurately depict history - in fact, not even if it's depicting present-day reality as we continue to face these problems. There's a complete and total difference between depicting a situation that is "wrong" for the sake of context/making a point, and encouraging/supporting those situations. If this weren't true, every film that has ever depicted murder or rape would be "offensive", when they're not - to reasonable people - but at the same time, a film (or whatever) that encourages such things is certainly offensive. The comic isn't making any statements about the appropriateness of the phrase. It's completely appropriate to bring up the topic - the cause is reasonable, because, as other people have pointed out, it's not about intent, it's not about what you associate, but what others do, and how that makes them feel... but that's beyond the scope of the comic, and asking the comic to be altered seems a little excessive.

Bassoon
Posts: 476
Joined: Wed Nov 28, 2007 10:58 pm UTC
Location: Wisconsin

Re: xkcd.com/1096/ "Clinically Studied Ingredient" is offens

Postby Bassoon » Sun Aug 26, 2012 6:07 am UTC

Basically, you're boiling it down to. "Eh, it's fiction, so why do you care?"

Spoilered for an example of your fallacious logic that may trigger some people (offensive language toward trans* individuals):

Spoiler:
If a contemporary television show called a transgender person a "tranny," by your logic anyone who complains is making a fuss over a historically-accurate portrayal of a period in time. It is still acceptable (sadly) in society to call a person who doesn't fit their gender role a "tranny," and your logic excuses this disgusting behaviour.


You cannot say that this idea of historical portrayal applies because you don't live in some sort of perfect, context-exclusive bubble where you can objectively view the current time period as historical. Just because something is common does not mean it is right. Racism, sexism, homophobia, and transphobia were and are still common societal values in many places today. That does not make them any less excusable.

And no, it's not precisely the same thing, but it still falls in the same vein of calling people something offensive when you can call them something else that is much, much less rude and degrading. It's about respect.

DaveInsurgent
Posts: 207
Joined: Thu May 19, 2011 4:28 pm UTC
Location: Waterloo, Ontario

Re: xkcd.com/1096/ "Clinically Studied Ingredient" is offens

Postby DaveInsurgent » Sun Aug 26, 2012 1:19 pm UTC

Bassoon wrote:Just because something is common does not mean it is right.


DaveInsurgent wrote:... difference between depicting a situation that is "wrong" for the sake of context/making a point, and encouraging/supporting those situations. If this weren't true, every film that has ever depicted murder or rape would be "offensive", when they're not - to reasonable people - but at the same time, a film (or whatever) that encourages such things is certainly offensive. The comic isn't making any statements about the appropriateness of the phrase.


Bassoon wrote:And no, it's not precisely the same thing, but it still falls in the same vein of calling people something offensive when you can call them something else that is much, much less rude and degrading.


Except that you're not calling them anything, the character is. Do you not understand that, or do you not believe it?

Bassoon wrote:Racism, sexism, homophobia, and transphobia were and are still common societal values in many places today. That does not make them any less excusable.


And it's perfectly reasonable and non-offensive to depict that. How do you make a film about it (the problem) without being offensive in your world? I guess you can't - you've kind of demonstrated that because you had to 'spoiler' a simple phrase because it contained a word - not because you were supporting the use of the word, in fact, your post clearly was against it, and was simply demonstrating how it could be used in an offensive manner.. and apparently that's enough to warrant having to tip-toe around people who can't tell the difference between calling them a tranny and talking about someone calling them a tranny. I won't participate in that kind of oversensitivity.

I believe True Blood has had some moments where some fairly racist things have been said, and sure enough there was butthurt about it, but it was aptly pointed out that those characters are racist, because they're not wordly or well educated by any means. That doesn't make True Blood a racist program and no reasonable person can say it is offensive even though it's depicting (close enough) present-day cultural values: because they're of a specific character. Now, in that case there's some ongoing juxtaposition of the vampire/anti-vampire thing, but still... is American History X an offensive movie to you? If so... we're done. I can't possibly argue that, because that's a decision you've made and we basically have a fundamental disagreement with what it means to be offended. If not, how about It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia? Is that offensive? It doesn't have near the 'cultural weight' as AHX, so I am interested to hear what you think when something has characters that are offensive by thier very essence.

I'm not offended by the depicition of things that really happened or are happening. I am offended, of course, by the support of their continuing to happen. Is the violence is True Blood offensive to you? It's not the message of the program. Either way, if someone finds it offensive, you must support the complete and total ban of any kind of violence, historial or otherwise (present day, continues to happen, still a problem - gosh gee!) because any offense is as equal as any other, if you're reasonable. Of course that's not true in practice, such as the sex vs. violence issue in the U.S.

The use of the word "clean" was not the point or the message of the comic.

User avatar
PeteP
What the peck?
Posts: 1451
Joined: Tue Aug 23, 2011 4:51 pm UTC

Re: xkcd.com/1096/ "Clinically Studied Ingredient" is offens

Postby PeteP » Sun Aug 26, 2012 2:25 pm UTC

I would normally be all for the "let characters say what the character would say" side. But honestly XKCD barely has characters, nor does it always sound natural.

User avatar
Enuja
Posts: 1576
Joined: Tue Apr 14, 2009 9:40 pm UTC
Location: Chicago, IL
Contact:

Re: xkcd.com/1096/ "Clinically Studied Ingredient" is offens

Postby Enuja » Sun Aug 26, 2012 2:44 pm UTC

Because the word "clean" was not the point or the message of the comic, Randall does not get the excuse that he was just accurately portraying reality. There are tons of other funny ways (including ways to analogize it to STIs) to make the point that it's the results of the clinical tests, and the results for this particular formulation, that matters, rather than the mere fact that something in it was once tested, with no known results. When you use an analogy for humor's sake, you are responsible for perpetuating problematic social conventions, if your analogy has got them. The stick figures are abstractions, who do not exist as fully formed characters in a realistic world! Any excuse along that line is bogus. Yes, it's awesome for Randall to address important societal issues sometimes, but it's also important for readers to complain when they see something problematic slip in. And the OP caught an important issue.

DaveInsurgent, the majority of your posts in this thread exemplify exactly what is wrong with our society and how we think of STIs. You, who have done risky sexual behavior, cannot be tested for HPV (as a guy) and have almost certainly never been tested for HSP (and probably a bunch of others, too), railed about STIs, giving me the impression that you think it's completely irresponsible and morally reprehensible to have sex with anyone, at all, if I know I'm currently positive for HPV, and that you should probably only have sex with other herpes-positive people if you have HSP. For a person who claims to think that testing is a good idea, that's a whopper of a perverse incentive: you can't have sex with anyone if you know, but if you don't know your status for various STIs, not only is it all good to have sex with people who know they are not infected, it's also okay to condemn any and all sexual behavior out of people who know they have a "temporary" STI! The impression I'm getting of your belief system radically over inflates the importance of STIs because of their method of transmission, as Belial explained really well on page two. I know you didn't buy the argument the first time (and seem to have missed a bit of it: Belial talked in part about transmitting the flu and chlamydia among the same group of polyamorous partners!), but maybe it will be more convincing if you re-read it.

Immediately after testing negative for HPV, would I have sex with another woman who had just tested positive for HPV? Hell, yes! I'd put condoms on dildos, and I'd probably want gloves (or a new glove) for the same hand switching who it was fingering, but I wouldn't use dental dams, and I wouldn't even consider not having sex with her just because she tested positive for HPV. I would insist on an annual PAP instead of a once every two years PAP (which, given my history of past abnormal PAPs, doctors don't suggest anyway), but I wouldn't skip the sex!

DaveInsurgent
Posts: 207
Joined: Thu May 19, 2011 4:28 pm UTC
Location: Waterloo, Ontario

Re: xkcd.com/1096/ "Clinically Studied Ingredient" is offens

Postby DaveInsurgent » Sun Aug 26, 2012 5:09 pm UTC

Randall does not get the excuse that he was just accurately portraying reality.


Well, he does from me, as from others as demonstrated in the thread - because we don't base our vocabulary on what a stick figure says in passing.

(and seem to have missed a bit of it: Belial talked in part about transmitting the flu and chlamydia among the same group of polyamorous partners!),


And I brought up how it makes someone just as much of an asshole if you go in to work knowing that you're sick. Or for not washing your hands. I also elaborated that in a polyamorous context, the possible rate of transmission is going to be greater (What are the odds that the group is only polyamorous with each other and no one else? Is that a thing? A monogopoly group?) - which would warrant the "freak out".

as Belial explained really well on page two


Yeah, that was a really great comparison of something that clears up in a few days - 16 hours with antibiotics to something that can take two weeks and is demonstrating increased resistance to antibiotics. Anyone more upset about the later is clearly afflicted by stigma and isn't reacting proportionatey at all!

Immediately after testing negative for HPV, would I have sex with another woman who had just tested positive for HPV? Hell, yes! ... I would insist on an annual PAP


What purpose, in this case, does the test serve if you ignore the results?

DaveInsurgent, the majority of your posts in this thread exemplify exactly what is wrong with our society and how we think of STIs


That more information is better and you should use as much information as possible to make informed decisions? Seeing as how you just admitted you would blatantly disregard said information, I can see how you feel that way.

it's also okay to condemn any and all sexual behavior out of people who know they have a "temporary" STI


If they don't disclose so, absolutely. That was the crux of my arguments. I admitted to not understanding why one would choose to - but that is your choice. It's the lack of disclosure that I have issue with. If you know, you know. If you don't, it's a risk and you have to decide if it's worth taking. (You don't appear to have a point at which the risk outweighs the reward)

Bassoon
Posts: 476
Joined: Wed Nov 28, 2007 10:58 pm UTC
Location: Wisconsin

Re: xkcd.com/1096/ "Clinically Studied Ingredient" is offens

Postby Bassoon » Sun Aug 26, 2012 5:15 pm UTC

DaveInsurgent wrote:
Bassoon wrote:Racism, sexism, homophobia, and transphobia were and are still common societal values in many places today. That does not make them any less excusable.


And it's perfectly reasonable and non-offensive to depict that. How do you make a film about it (the problem) without being offensive in your world? I guess you can't - you've kind of demonstrated that because you had to 'spoiler' a simple phrase because it contained a word - not because you were supporting the use of the word, in fact, your post clearly was against it, and was simply demonstrating how it could be used in an offensive manner.. and apparently that's enough to warrant having to tip-toe around people who can't tell the difference between calling them a tranny and talking about someone calling them a tranny. I won't participate in that kind of oversensitivity.
(bolded for emphasis)

You've misunderstood the use of the trigger tag. I'm not afraid of being an abrasive asshole to people. I'm not even tip-toeing around anyone. I'm simply respecting some people's wishes about what they would and would like not to be called. Trans* people have gone through more than a century's worth of mistreatment and slander, and that word embodies all of it. You don't fucking understand that using it can bring back terrible memories that can hurt people, even decades after what's happened. And guess fucking what? It doesn't MATTER if it's in a historically-accurate movie or whatever. It still hurts just as much, and that's not being oversensitive. It's about protecting people from the terrible things that others do and say about them. I'll say it again. I'm not tip-toeing around anybody. I'm respecting what certain people wish to not be called.

It's clear now why you don't want to use another word to designate someone with STIs. It's because it's "inconvenient," it's "oversensitive." I daresay you even believe that it's "too PC" (PC being Basically Decent). Here's the deal about Basic Human Decency. People only call something "PC" when they're too lazy to actually put in the effort to respect other people, and it's clear now, in both your argument against changing the word "clean" and your unabashed use of the word I spoilered earlier, that you do not respect other people.

DaveInsurgent wrote:I believe True Blood has had some moments where some fairly racist things have been said, and sure enough there was butthurt about it, but it was aptly pointed out that those characters are racist, because they're not wordly or well educated by any means. That doesn't make True Blood a racist program and no reasonable person can say it is offensive even though it's depicting (close enough) present-day cultural values: because they're of a specific character. Now, in that case there's some ongoing juxtaposition of the vampire/anti-vampire thing, but still... is American History X an offensive movie to you? If so... we're done. I can't possibly argue that, because that's a decision you've made and we basically have a fundamental disagreement with what it means to be offended. If not, how about It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia? Is that offensive? It doesn't have near the 'cultural weight' as AHX, so I am interested to hear what you think when something has characters that are offensive by thier very essence.


These are all fantastic examples of well-developed characters who have offensive personalities who behave in these ways. Unfortunately, xkcd has very few of these, and bald stick man and long hair stick girl are not the characters who have such development. You cannot play the "but it's in the character's personality!" card because these characters have no set personalities, and as Enuja said, they're not fully-formed characters in a realistic world. True Blood and ASiP have worlds that have been built, and characters respond to these worlds. But xkcd has no overarching story arc, no grand-scale world-building. These two characters cannot be excused from acting offensively in this way, because they cannot be offensive in their nature: they're the default two characters, for god's sake!

DaveInsurgent wrote:I'm not offended by the depicition of things that really happened or are happening. I am offended, of course, by the support of their continuing to happen. Is the violence is True Blood offensive to you? It's not the message of the program. Either way, if someone finds it offensive, you must support the complete and total ban of any kind of violence, historial or otherwise (present day, continues to happen, still a problem - gosh gee!) because any offense is as equal as any other, if you're reasonable. Of course that's not true in practice, such as the sex vs. violence issue in the U.S.


Congrats! That means you're probably either a very apathetic minority member, or in the majority! If you're in the majority (in this case, not infected with an STI), you don't get to set the dialogue about how being called the opposite of clean (whatever that may be) affects you, because frankly, it doesn't affect you. Your statement is akin to saying, "eh, it doesn't affect me, so why should I care?" and I have expected this, because of your earlier argument against "oversensitivity," which extends to "Basic Human Decency." What you're doing is very oppressive to people who are affected by being called the opposite of clean, and it's offensive for your to block out all dialogue by saying "But what about me! Think about how inconvenient it would be for me to change my language!" Frankly, it's not about you. It's about respecting others, and what they wish to be called, and how they wish to be treated. But you've already show a disdain for respect, so I think our argument is probably over.

Mindworm
Posts: 88
Joined: Wed Sep 22, 2010 4:06 pm UTC
Location: The dark place where the counterexamples live.

Re: xkcd.com/1096/ "Clinically Studied Ingredient" is offens

Postby Mindworm » Sun Aug 26, 2012 5:54 pm UTC

If you're in the majority (in this case, not infected with an STI)

According to figures posted in this thread (and wikipedia), that's not a majority. Just saying.
If all people who have herpes or HPV really want something, it will be done. Or at least there will be quite an awareness for their wishes.

Note that this doesn't help to determine the offensiveness of .. other words that were recently mentioned, since they refer to people who are in an actual minority.
The cake is a pie.

DaveInsurgent
Posts: 207
Joined: Thu May 19, 2011 4:28 pm UTC
Location: Waterloo, Ontario

Re: xkcd.com/1096/ "Clinically Studied Ingredient" is offens

Postby DaveInsurgent » Sun Aug 26, 2012 7:14 pm UTC

You're right, I don't have respect for people who expect the world to change for them just because they are offended. That simply doesn't scale. You're virtually incapable of living your life without offending someone. You can't hold respect for everyone simultaneously at that point - evangenlical right-wing bible thumpers (see what I did there?) are going to be offended by the mere concept of trans-anything. Do you not respect them?

Like I already said, if the thread had been started under the pretense of "since the comic brought it up..", it would be different. I've actually already said that I've reconisdered my use of the word clean. The only thing I oppose is the idea that the comic needs to be altered. And what you're actually suggesting is that my mere statement, "I've reconsidered my use of the word clean" continues to be offensive. Which I'm not arguing that to be a false statement. I'm arguing that it is a ridiculous notion and something I am not bound to participate in.

I'm not afraid of being an abrasive asshole to people ... I'm simply respecting some people's wishes ... I'm respecting what certain people wish to not be called.


That makes sense. I thought you were suggesting that you had some sort of system that actually worked, and not just for your cherry-picked subset of the population.

and bald stick man


How insensitive! Remember, it's not Basic Human Decency. You're just too lazy to change your behaviour.

These two characters cannot be excused from acting offensively in this way, because they cannot be offensive in their nature: they're the default two characters, for god's sake!


Their lack of depth is precisely why they aren't modeling any particular behaviour or endorsing the use of any particular phrase. You're basically supporting religious nutjobs getting all holy war over a drawing, because shit, those comics don't have character depth, therefore they are offensive and must change!

Frankly, it's not about you. It's about respecting others, and what they wish to be called, and how they wish to be treated.


Actually, it's about a comic. One that the author of owes no one any apology or grace or respect. It's his, and you don't have any right to ask that it be changed. Any. fucking. right.

DaveInsurgent
Posts: 207
Joined: Thu May 19, 2011 4:28 pm UTC
Location: Waterloo, Ontario

Re: xkcd.com/1096/ "Clinically Studied Ingredient" is offens

Postby DaveInsurgent » Sun Aug 26, 2012 7:27 pm UTC

You know what? You're right. I give up.

Now, as someone who is overweight, I'm going to have to request that every comic be altered to remove the use of stick figures. It's offensive to anyone who isn't thin. In fact, it seems to promote and encourage anorexia. Anyone who disagrees doesn't respect people.

User avatar
gmalivuk
GNU Terry Pratchett
Posts: 26766
Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2007 6:02 pm UTC
Location: Here and There
Contact:

Re: xkcd.com/1096/ "Clinically Studied Ingredient" is offens

Postby gmalivuk » Sun Aug 26, 2012 11:36 pm UTC

DaveInsurgent wrote:Yeah, that was a really great comparison of something that clears up in a few days - 16 hours with antibiotics
Have you ever actually had influenza? That is not actually how it works.

DaveInsurgent wrote:You know what? You're right. I give up.
You will not be missed.
Unless stated otherwise, I do not care whether a statement, by itself, constitutes a persuasive political argument. I care whether it's true.
---
If this post has math that doesn't work for you, use TeX the World for Firefox or Chrome

(he/him/his)

DaveInsurgent
Posts: 207
Joined: Thu May 19, 2011 4:28 pm UTC
Location: Waterloo, Ontario

Re: xkcd.com/1096/ "Clinically Studied Ingredient" is offens

Postby DaveInsurgent » Mon Aug 27, 2012 1:36 am UTC

gmalivuk wrote:
DaveInsurgent wrote:Yeah, that was a really great comparison of something that clears up in a few days - 16 hours with antibiotics
Have you ever actually had influenza? That is not actually how it works.


You're right. The original comment being cited was actually about strep, which is what I based my criticism on. I read trough the flu part because I knew which post she was referring to.

In the same manner of thinking, if someone comes in to the office with the flu, is it fair to regard them as being inconsiderate? Unless you have a shitty job with no paid sick days, you really have no reason to do so.

Whatever, in the fantasy world that some of the people in this thread live in, I'm being completely responsible if I shake hands with people that I know are sick and haven't washed their hands. Boy howdy, you could get sick at any point, so you might as well have direct contact with sick people.

User avatar
Enuja
Posts: 1576
Joined: Tue Apr 14, 2009 9:40 pm UTC
Location: Chicago, IL
Contact:

Re: xkcd.com/1096/ "Clinically Studied Ingredient" is offens

Postby Enuja » Mon Aug 27, 2012 1:39 am UTC

DaveInsurgent wrote:I've actually already said that I've reconisdered my use of the word clean. The only thing I oppose is the idea that the comic needs to be altered.
I believe that only the OP, who hasn't been back in a long time now, actually thinks that the pre-existing comic should be altered. I think that the comic used the word "clean" inappropriately, and I think that Randall should be informed, and use the word more intelligently in the future. Clearly, I also think this is a great opportunity to talk about STIs, including what some may consider over-sharing as a way of educating. Maybe Randall could put an apology/note/informational background on the comic itself, but going back and changing the comic feels a little bit like changing the past and is not, in my mind, the important part. Talking about the language, and STIs, is the important part. I'm OK with how the OP brought up the issue, though: just because it probably won't happen doesn't mean that asking for the comic to be changed is inherently wrong. Ironically, I think you're being a little sensitive to the OP's choice of words and approach, but that's your perogative.

But you're clearly opposed to more than just changing the comic. You're opposed to my approach to STIs, and a bunch of other things. No, I don't think it makes sense to test women for HPV, in most cases. In general, HPV tests for women are to help the doctor make treatment advice, not to prevent transmission. As I said earlier, I was annoyed at my doctor for testing me. The reason I was annoyed was because I had already had abnormal cervical cells within the past 4 years, so I assumed I had had HPV (it was a little surprising I still had it/got it again), and testing for it seemed like a waste of resources to me. (Yes, I've had abnormal cervical cells, that were then treated, twice.) I think more information is often, but not always, useful. In the case of chlamydia, more information is always useful. In the case of HPV, more information is not always useful.

Not all STIs are exactly the same thing, nor should they all be treated exactly the same. The more information we have about infectious diseases in general, and STIs in particular, the better the choices we can make about what we get tested for, and what we do with both various positive tests and various symptoms.

gmalivuk wrote:
DaveInsurgent wrote:Yeah, that was a really great comparison of something that clears up in a few days - 16 hours with antibiotics
Have you ever actually had influenza? That is not actually how it works.
Just to put some information in the thread, influenza kills an average of 41,400 people in the US every year, until recently was not treatable with any drugs (it's viral, not bacterial, so antibiotics are straight out), but so few clinical studies on antiviral treatment of the flu have had their results published that we don't know exactly how effective they are in the treatment of the flu. Most people recover from the flu in a week or two, not a in a day in two. When most people actually get serious flu symptoms, they react, "oh, wow, I really need to start getting the annual flu vaccine," not "that was no big deal." Chlamydia can have serious health consequences for (usually asymptomatic) women, but when one partner figures it out, everyone else can be tested (or just treated without testing), and, if caught quickly, it can usually be easily treated without any serious consequences.

DaveInsurgent wrote:Whatever, in the fantasy world that some of the people in this thread live in, I'm being completely responsible if I shake hands with people that I know are sick and haven't washed their hands. Boy howdy, you could get sick at any point, so you might as well have direct contact with sick people.
I have said the exact opposite, and if someone in this thread has made that claim, I'd like you to point it out.

I feel that I've addressed everything you've directed at me (now that you're back in the thread): if I've missed something, please bring it up again.

User avatar
Bakemaster
pretty nice future dick
Posts: 8933
Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2007 2:33 pm UTC
Location: One of those hot places

Re: xkcd.com/1096/ "Clinically Studied Ingredient" is offens

Postby Bakemaster » Mon Aug 27, 2012 2:55 am UTC

DaveInsurgent, I think it would be swell if you had a bit less passion for abstract principles and a bit more for living, breathing individuals. Not saying I don't respect abstract principle, but in a knife fight between beautiful ideas and ugly reality, well. You can't hold a knife if you're intangible. Sometimes reality is a bummer that way. And when your passion for abstract principles get in the way of being considerate of people who are not, and never will be, Big Brother, that's a bummer, too.
Image
c0 = 2.13085531 × 1014 smoots per fortnight
"Apparently you can't summon an alternate timeline clone of your inner demon, guys! Remember that." —Noc

DaveInsurgent
Posts: 207
Joined: Thu May 19, 2011 4:28 pm UTC
Location: Waterloo, Ontario

Re: xkcd.com/1096/ "Clinically Studied Ingredient" is offens

Postby DaveInsurgent » Mon Aug 27, 2012 5:14 am UTC

I can respect that.

So as I've already said: I've personally reconsidered my use of the word clean. I can't say I forsee a time when I will be asking someone if they've been tested/what the results were, but I'll do my best to avoid the phrase.

I still stand firm in that the comic shouldn't be altered. If Randal wants to issue an apology that's up to him and I don't care either way. I don't see how anyone can live their life without offending someone at some point, nor how to decide who gets consideration and who doesn't. My bastard children have offended people by their mere existence. That's not an abstract thing, it happens. Ah well.

As for the HPV vs, the flu thing... Yeah, influenza causes a number of deaths. So does HPV. I know you said you take hand washing seriosuly, I just don't see how you can feel the way you do about HPV. Seeing as how 90 percent of flu deaths were in people over 65 and the figure you quoted was the maximum on an annual figure that axtually varies to be as low as 3000 - that means in in some years, HPV could have killed more than influenza. Not to mention that I don't think you're at risk for dying from it due to your age.

User avatar
Enuja
Posts: 1576
Joined: Tue Apr 14, 2009 9:40 pm UTC
Location: Chicago, IL
Contact:

Re: xkcd.com/1096/ "Clinically Studied Ingredient" is offens

Postby Enuja » Mon Aug 27, 2012 1:02 pm UTC

The number I reported (41,400) was the first average I saw on the wikipedia page, and it is actually an average for 1979-2001, based on complicated statistics due to uncertainty about what people are dying from, but it is a very different average than the CDC is currently standing behind. There are several big issues here: extreme annual variability, larger mortality in the recent past, and difficulty in assigning blame to particular causes. The CDC is currently saying that, in the US, between 3,300 and 49,000 people die of flu every year. I'm sorry I grabbed the wrong (old) average when I skimmed the article.

For people younger than me, who started being sexually active after the commercial availability of a vaccine against several of the high-risk HPV strains, hopefully their risks of death due to cervical cancer will be lower than mine. The PAP smear has greatly reduced cervical cancer deaths, and hopefully the vaccine will greatly reduce medical costs (by allowing us to decrease the frequency of PAP smears we do and by reducing the amount of treatment needed for abnormal cervical cells) in addition to reducing both the amount of circulating HPV and the number deaths.

HPV doesn't cause an acute illness that kills you, it makes cells grows funny that might, eventually, turn into cancer that kills you. For me, HPV is like old age in flu deaths; it's the inevitable or nearly inevitable ground condition, and what you do later, along with chance, determines if it will be relevant to your death. I can see why, for you, the virus seems like the more relevant variable to analogize, but the different physical and medical experience with these two viruses is very important to me, and my perspective.

You seem to think of infections as an external, always preventable, condition. I do not. I think of infections as an eternal reality, due to evolution. Pathogens will change, and we will come up with better ways of lowering transmission and improving the consequences of being infected, but we aren't going to get rid of infectious diseases, not through living in bubbles, not through medical advances. And I don't want to live in a bubble! I keep mentioning bubbles because I like touching people, like being social with people, like having sex with people. And I know all of these things carry risks of infection, but I'm going to keep doing them. You seem to think I behave dangerously and irresponsibly, I think you have a total lifetime STI risk higher than mine, and yet wrap yourself in a veil of moral superiority. You don't, and haven't, lived in a bubble, yet you can't imagine why I don't want to live in a bubble. Because I like life, and my life in particular.

I mentioned that if I were to have sex with a known HPV-positive woman, I'd put condoms on dildos and wear/change gloves for fingering. That's a big deal! That's not closing my eyes and ignoring risks, that's making changes in order to lower the chance of transmission. Your suggested option would be not to have sex with this person at all, because that average of 2 years for HPV to clear is just an average, and I'd probably lose complete contact with the person, if we were just meeting to date, before they were known to be negative for HPV. And, because about 1/4 of women have HPV at any one time, that would be reducing my already very small female partner pool by 1/4! I'm not willing to do that for a virus that might require me to have another procedure done to my cervix.

Tyndmyr
Posts: 11443
Joined: Wed Jul 25, 2012 8:38 pm UTC

Re: xkcd.com/1096/ "Clinically Studied Ingredient" is offens

Postby Tyndmyr » Mon Aug 27, 2012 4:54 pm UTC

Bassoon wrote:Basically, you're boiling it down to. "Eh, it's fiction, so why do you care?"

Spoilered for an example of your fallacious logic that may trigger some people (offensive language toward trans* individuals):

Spoiler:
If a contemporary television show called a transgender person a "tranny," by your logic anyone who complains is making a fuss over a historically-accurate portrayal of a period in time. It is still acceptable (sadly) in society to call a person who doesn't fit their gender role a "tranny," and your logic excuses this disgusting behaviour.


You cannot say that this idea of historical portrayal applies because you don't live in some sort of perfect, context-exclusive bubble where you can objectively view the current time period as historical. Just because something is common does not mean it is right. Racism, sexism, homophobia, and transphobia were and are still common societal values in many places today. That does not make them any less excusable.

And no, it's not precisely the same thing, but it still falls in the same vein of calling people something offensive when you can call them something else that is much, much less rude and degrading. It's about respect.


No. The use of a perjorative term, even in a modern piece, does not necessarily make the work bad. That depends on the portrayal as a whole. If I watch a film set in the civil war, and they've clearly whitewashed all of the offensive things out of that era...is that not worse? Portraying our culture inaccurately simply because we're ashamed of past mistakes?

Portraying people acting normally within the culture they lived in is entirely fine, even if that culture is imperfect. Portrayal is, after all, not endorsement, and you can't reasonably assume that everything portrayed in XKCD is endorsed by it.

DaveInsurgent wrote:In the same manner of thinking, if someone comes in to the office with the flu, is it fair to regard them as being inconsiderate? Unless you have a shitty job with no paid sick days, you really have no reason to do so.

Whatever, in the fantasy world that some of the people in this thread live in, I'm being completely responsible if I shake hands with people that I know are sick and haven't washed their hands. Boy howdy, you could get sick at any point, so you might as well have direct contact with sick people.


I don't particularly want to be sick, and don't enjoy it. This is pretty universal. So yeah, people that put others at risk of being sick are generally pretty inconsiderate. If your friend asks you out and you warn him first that you're feeling poorly...then you've given him the info to make a decision as to if he wants to risk it. That's reasonable. And of course, you should take any reasonable precautions you can to avoid passing it on to others, including calling out sick for infectious diseases. STIs are no different.

User avatar
setzer777
Good questions sometimes get stupid answers
Posts: 2762
Joined: Sun Nov 23, 2008 9:24 am UTC

Re: xkcd.com/1096/ "Clinically Studied Ingredient" is offens

Postby setzer777 » Mon Aug 27, 2012 7:21 pm UTC

Enuja wrote:I mentioned that if I were to have sex with a known HPV-positive woman, I'd put condoms on dildos and wear/change gloves for fingering. That's a big deal! That's not closing my eyes and ignoring risks, that's making changes in order to lower the chance of transmission. Your suggested option would be not to have sex with this person at all, because that average of 2 years for HPV to clear is just an average, and I'd probably lose complete contact with the person, if we were just meeting to date, before they were known to be negative for HPV. And, because about 1/4 of women have HPV at any one time, that would be reducing my already very small female partner pool by 1/4! I'm not willing to do that for a virus that might require me to have another procedure done to my cervix.


Yeah, the one thing I still feel on the fence about is not actively bringing up past HPV status with all future partners. I can understand reasons not to (past a certain point it seems silly, and because of cultural stigma it can lead to people jumping to irrational conclusions), but on the other hand not proactively mentioning something that might cause someone to reject me would make me question my motives.

Even as a guy who can't be tested for HPV, part of me feels like telling every future partner I ever have that I once had a girlfriend with HPV is only a downside for me (because it's awkward and some people might have an exaggerated sense of the risk), and not a downside for any potential partner (since they get to decide what do with the information). So I wonder if the moral and selfless thing to do is share any information that someone might potentially want to reject you based on (even if you think the rejection would be irrational).
Meaux_Pas wrote:We're here to go above and beyond.

Too infinity
of being an arsehole

User avatar
Enuja
Posts: 1576
Joined: Tue Apr 14, 2009 9:40 pm UTC
Location: Chicago, IL
Contact:

Re: xkcd.com/1096/ "Clinically Studied Ingredient" is offens

Postby Enuja » Mon Aug 27, 2012 7:46 pm UTC

I figure that if you want to know, you"ll ask. Although I do usually get to know a new partner a bit before having sex with them, that doesn't include a detailed medical history. There are tons of things a partner might reject me for that I don't proactively mention: family history of mental illness, ignorance of music, accidental condescension, and a ton more. If someone is particularly concerned about one of those things, and absolutely don't want to date anyone with them, they should ask, and I will answer honestly. To me, the same goes for HPV. But you should always assume that new partners have all the STIs, and are lying to you about them if you ask (or are ignorant about them). Trust takes time. That doesn't mean asking is always a bad idea: telling the truth is a great way to build trust. But I assume that my past positive HPV test is irrelevant to my partners, because they've never asked.

Tyndmyr
Posts: 11443
Joined: Wed Jul 25, 2012 8:38 pm UTC

Re: xkcd.com/1096/ "Clinically Studied Ingredient" is offens

Postby Tyndmyr » Mon Aug 27, 2012 7:59 pm UTC

Enuja wrote:I figure that if you want to know, you"ll ask.


I feel like very few people will not want to know about STIs...at least, the more serious ones, at any rate. Just because they didn't ask doesn't mean that "I tested positive for HIV" will get a shrug and a whatever.

I agree that HPV is a significantly lesser deal, but I would still expect it to be brought up or for precautions to be taken if you know you're positive. It's more of in the "hey, I've got a cold" way, which rather a lot of people won't care about, but some will.

But you should always assume that new partners have all the STIs, and are lying to you about them if you ask (or are ignorant about them). Trust takes time. That doesn't mean asking is always a bad idea: telling the truth is a great way to build trust. But I assume that my past positive HPV test is irrelevant to my partners, because they've never asked.


That seems a wee bit on the paranoid side. If someone asks, is told no, then takes no precautions...the person lying is most definitely the one to blame.

Nah, the greater worry is that people may not even know that they have something.

User avatar
Enuja
Posts: 1576
Joined: Tue Apr 14, 2009 9:40 pm UTC
Location: Chicago, IL
Contact:

Re: xkcd.com/1096/ "Clinically Studied Ingredient" is offens

Postby Enuja » Mon Aug 27, 2012 8:13 pm UTC

I do expect responsible HIV positive people to disclose, but don't know how responsible new partners are. And no matter what anyone tells you or doesn't tell you, and how morally reprehensible their lack of disclosure or lie, it's stupid to do anything other than act like new partners are infected with everything.

Intrigued
Posts: 451
Joined: Tue May 11, 2010 3:47 pm UTC

Re: xkcd.com/1096/ "Clinically Studied Ingredient" is offens

Postby Intrigued » Mon Aug 27, 2012 8:17 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:
But you should always assume that new partners have all the STIs, and are lying to you about them if you ask (or are ignorant about them). Trust takes time. That doesn't mean asking is always a bad idea: telling the truth is a great way to build trust. But I assume that my past positive HPV test is irrelevant to my partners, because they've never asked.


That seems a wee bit on the paranoid side. If someone asks, is told no, then takes no precautions...the person lying is most definitely the one to blame.


I have to say I agree with the quoted point. It's akin to walking across a crosswalk, yep if a car hits you, they're definitely the one to blame, but you still just got hit by a car.

User avatar
TheGrammarBolshevik
Posts: 4878
Joined: Mon Jun 30, 2008 2:12 am UTC
Location: Going to and fro in the earth, and walking up and down in it.

Re: xkcd.com/1096/ "Clinically Studied Ingredient" is offens

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Mon Aug 27, 2012 11:10 pm UTC

Hmm, what was that thing where someone does something morally reprehensible to you and the important thing is that you were careless enough to let it happen? Was it dictum framing? Yeah, that must be it. Like you're framing your dicta in a certain way.
Nothing rhymes with orange,
Not even sporange.

DaveInsurgent
Posts: 207
Joined: Thu May 19, 2011 4:28 pm UTC
Location: Waterloo, Ontario

Re: xkcd.com/1096/ "Clinically Studied Ingredient" is offens

Postby DaveInsurgent » Tue Aug 28, 2012 1:15 am UTC

Enuja wrote:The CDC is currently saying that, in the US, between 3,300 and 49,000 people die of flu every year.

HPV doesn't cause an acute illness that kills you, it makes cells grows funny that might, eventually, turn into cancer that kills you. For me, HPV is like old age in flu deaths; it's the inevitable or nearly inevitable ground condition, and what you do later, along with chance, determines if it will be relevant to your death. I can see why, for you, the virus seems like the more relevant variable to analogize, but the different physical and medical experience with these two viruses is very important to me, and my perspective. causes cancer that kills around 4,000 people in the U.S. a year.


FTFY

You seem to think of infections as an external, always preventable, condition. I do not.


If they were always preventable we wouldn't have having this debate. You're very, very apt to assume every new partner has a STI. That is valid! But when you know they do? That's just adding to the risk. This started because I raised my lack of understanding as to why you'd do such a thing. Your point seems to be that you basically can't bear the idea of passing up sex in order to manage your risk and the risk to people involved with you.

...

And I know all of these things carry risks increase my risk of infection, but I'm going to keep doing them.


Okay, but..

You seem to think I behave dangerously and irresponsibly,


Well, knowingly increasing your risk because "why not!" doesn't seem to be the most responsible.

I think you have a total lifetime STI risk higher than mine, and yet wrap yourself in a veil of moral superiority.


I'm not morally superior to you. I fully admit to behaving very irresponsibly in my past. I make no claims to being a model for how a young person growing up should be. I am, however, exclusively monogamous and in a long-term relationship with a family. How that makes my lifetime STI risk higher than yours (considering you've already tested positive, and my partner has tested negative under a full panel of tests for both of her pregnancies) is a mystery to me. If I am not mistaken, each new month-partner you acquire increases your risk of certain STIs tenfold. It seems to me like you're the one who feels moral superiority because you have some kooky mantra involving life and sex and inevitability towards disease.

I mentioned that if I were to have sex with a known HPV-positive woman, I'd put condoms on dildos and wear/change gloves for fingering. That's a big deal!


To be fair, you're right. Although that information came up later on, so we have kind of a mixed up debate that didn't have a lot of facts (there's a surprise - and on the internet, too!). So my next question is... if you were the one infected, would you insist your partner follow these same precautions? Even if they didn't care?

User avatar
gmalivuk
GNU Terry Pratchett
Posts: 26766
Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2007 6:02 pm UTC
Location: Here and There
Contact:

Re: xkcd.com/1096/ "Clinically Studied Ingredient" is offens

Postby gmalivuk » Tue Aug 28, 2012 1:37 am UTC

DaveInsurgent wrote:Well, knowingly increasing your risk because "why not!" doesn't seem to be the most responsible.
Having sex at all, with anyone, ever, is knowingly increasing your risk. Is having sex at all, with anyone, ever, thus irresponsible?
Unless stated otherwise, I do not care whether a statement, by itself, constitutes a persuasive political argument. I care whether it's true.
---
If this post has math that doesn't work for you, use TeX the World for Firefox or Chrome

(he/him/his)


Return to “General”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 19 guests