Monday, 24 October 2005

Guess the title of Clayton Cramer's book

It looks like Clayton Cramer has gotten himself a book advance. Anyone care to speculate on a title for this magnum opus? (Bonus points if you can work in more than one of Cramer’s obsessions.)

Monday, 11 October 2004

Other types of sex Clayton Cramer dislikes

Jon Rowe finds Clayton Cramer inveighing against bukake, admittedly something I don’t particularly see the appeal of for any of the participants. Then again, I strongly suspect it’s the sort of sexual activity (like its single-participant cousin) that only takes place with a camera in the room.

Thursday, 23 September 2004

The lady doth protest too much, methinks

Clayton Cramer enumerates the sexual practices that he finds "gross".

Monday, 13 September 2004

More Ironic Google Ads

Ed Brayton finds an amusingly ironic Google ad at the blog of my favorite anti-gay bigot.

Mr. Cramer has added a disclaimer to the top of his blog, so that no one will associate him with, you know, “those people.”

(Back in January, I blogged about another ironic Google ad.)

Tuesday, 10 August 2004

Volokh the wishy-washy

Eugene Volokh applies his theory of political slippery slopes to gay rights, noting that anti-gay bigots do indeed have something to fear from the end of government anti-gay discrimination, such as anti-sodomy laws.

The gay rights movement has won many victories, and has influenced many people even where it hasn't (yet) won -- such as in the gay rights debate -- by essentially asking "How does it hurt you?" How does it hurt me that two homosexual adults can have consensual noncommercial sex with each other in their own home? How does it hurt me that they can get married, or adopt children? (One can say that it may hurt their children, but many people, myself included, are skeptical about that.)

But that question ignores those gay rights proposals that would reduce the liberty of others—and it ignores the way the various proposals are, as a matter of practical politics, interconnected. As a logical matter, it’s possible to bar the government from discriminating based on sexual orientation, but to leave private parties free to do so. But as a psychological matter, many people’s judgments about what private people (or government officials acting in their private capacity) may do are affected by what the government may do. The more homosexual relationships are legitimized, the more many (not all, but many) people in the middle of the political spectrum on this question will condemn even private discrimination against homosexuals.

The analogy to race discrimination that gay rights advocates often cite is really quite apt here. People who oppose homosexuality are understandably worried that their views will become as stigmatized—and acting on those views will in many ways become as illegal—as racist views are now. And one way to fight this possibility is to fight it early, for instance in the marriage debate, rather than to wait until that’s lost and the gay rights movement moves even more firmly towards restricting the private sector.

Prof. Volokh sees the analogy to race discrimination, but in his final paragraph he goes on to say this:

So the result is pretty sad: Maybe we do have, as a practical matter, a choice between a regime that suppresses the liberties of homosexuals and benefits those who don't approve of homosexuality, and a regime that benefits homosexuals and suppresses the liberties of those who don't approve of homosexuality. Perhaps it's clear that one of the options, despite its flaws, is better than the other; as I said, I strongly support some parts of the gay rights program and tentatively support some others, despite the risks that I identify. [emphasis added]

Perhaps? Let’s alter that last paragraph a little:

So the result is pretty sad: Maybe we do have, as a practical matter, a choice between a regime that suppresses the liberties of blacks and benefits those who don't want to associate with blacks, and a regime that benefits blacks and suppresses the liberties of those who don't want to associate with blacks. Perhaps it's clear that one of the options, despite its flaws, is better than the other; as I said, I strongly support some parts of the civil rights program and tentatively support some others, despite the risks that I identify.

There are some libertarians who think that private employers, private businesses, and private landlords should be able to discriminate on the basis of race, while government should not. I disagree with this position (it’s at the top of my “Why I am not a libertarian” list), but I can respect it.

But if Prof. Volokh is right, and the slippery slope condemns us to one extreme or the other, restrictions on the liberty of racial minorities, or restrictions on the liberties of racial bigots, I can’t imagine a decent human being who would choose the former over the latter. And if it comes down to a choice between restricting the liberty of gays, and restricting the liberty of anti-gay bigots, it’s perfectly clear to me what the right answer is.

I sincerely hope you get that Federal judgeship you’re gunning for, Prof. Volokh. You’re smart, fair-minded, and seem to be a first-rate legal scholar. If I were President, I’d nominate you.

But I also sincerely hope that when you get it, you’ll grow a spine, and start denouncing bigotry for what it is.

UPDATE: According to Clayton Cramer, I'm part of an "enormous threat to civil liberties." (Hat tip to Will Baude.)

Tuesday, 3 February 2004

Lazy link blogging

Lots of interesting stuff out there today. I’m too lazy to comment on it all, so here are some links:

Friday, 23 January 2004

Double-teaming Clayton Cramer

I don’t exactly want to turn this blog into CramerWatch, but this post struck me as being, well, a tad odd. He quotes at length from a Reuters piece on penis enlargement spam (no, really) and comes across this lovely tidbit:

At the heart of the problem, [NYU psychiatrist Virginia] Sadock said, is that since men don’t see many penises other than their own, they have little basis for comparison.

The exception, she said, is pornography, which gay men view more that straight men. And comparing one’s penis size to a porn star’s could lead even a well-endowed man to feel inadequate.

So perhaps it’s not surprising that New York’s gay community self-help arena has expanded beyond problems such as alcoholism and over eating to the affliction of a small penis.

“What is Small, Anyway,” is the working name of a support group in Greenwich Village, which acts as a safe haven for gay men who have small penises, or feel as though they do.

Participants complain about a gay community in which men brag about being bigger than they are and a country where big is king. Like at other support groups, most in this group are grateful just to be in a room together with people trying to confront the same problem.

A slim man with reddish hair told a recent meeting that he is made to feel he doesn’t measure up. “In our community the idea of what’s average (size) is very distorted,” he said.

Cramer’s response: “Of course, this wouldn’t be the only area in which the gay community is a bit distorted about what it considers important.”

Now, this strikes me as something of a weird reaction. For one thing, you’d expect gay men to have a more realistic idea about penis size—not less—since they, er, see more of them than straight men do. For another, I’m not entirely sure that gay men watch more porn than straight men do; now, it’s possible that more gay men watch porn than straight men, and it’s likely that the porn gay men prefer (which, of course, would be “gay porn”) has more penises in it, but I’m not convinced that once you pass the “selection function” (to borrow from Nobel laureate economist James Heckman, who I’m sure would love to know his name is in this conversation) that the count is markedly different in the universe of “porn viewers.”

Lastly, anyone who’s seen the god-awful ads for “Enzyte”—a product for “natural male enhancement” (i.e. a penis enlargement pill, distinct from e.g. Viagra and Levitra, which are erectile dysfunction pills)—would know that it’s being aggresively marketed to heterosexual males. Show me a straight guy and I’ll show you a straight guy who’s obsessed with the size of his penis. What I can’t fathom is that Cramer is apparently more obsessed with gay men than the size of his.

Wednesday, 21 January 2004

Slumming in the blogosphere

Visiting today some regions of blogspace I usually avoid, I found one of Clayton Cramer’s observations about racism:

In general, racism of any sort tends to be strongest among people that are at the bottom of the economic ladder—and need someone below them to look down upon. If you can’t take pride in anything that you have accomplished, you can at least take pride in your race!
I wonder how Clayton would explain vile anti-gay bigotry.