Thursday, May 23, 2013

And Another Thing About "Tattoos and Other Easy Ways to Ruin Your Body"

EDIT: Apparently the author of the blog that started this rant has now made his blog private. I don't know that it has much to do with this post, but I like to think that I helped make the internet a little less stupid.


I have to thank Karamazov and his blog post “Tattoos and Other Easy Ways to Ruin Your Body.” If it weren't for that blog, I don’t know that I would have been inspired to start my own.

Welcome to my blog, "And Another Thing" dedicated addressing stupid on the internet.

P.S. I've linked to that blog because it is right to give credit, not because I think you should give it traffic… I will be including completely un-doctored screen shots of the pertinent parts of his blog in this one. 

Tattoos and Other Easy Ways to Ruin Your Body

Obviously, the title is meant to be inflammatory, but I went to this blog giving him the benefit of the doubt that it would at least be restricted to his own opinion about tattoos. I mean our aesthetic preferences are entirely subjective; what one person finds beautiful another person can find revolting. That’s life. I can respect a different opinion. 

But then, this happened:
Again, that is a screen shot that I have not tampered with in any way. That is also the opening paragraph in this blog post that, I think, has actually embarrassed the internet a little bit.

The first few sentences he spends explaining that women’s tattoos are ugly. OK, fair enough. You don’t like tattoos (on women?) and that is an entirely valid opinion to have if you want it. But the eyebrow raise began somewhere around “We do not like them. We respect you less for them.” I mean, he can’t honestly be trying to present his opinion as universally true, can he? Oh wait, yes he can!

“Men who gush about the sexiness of girls with tattoos do this because they are culturally trained to do so.”
Congratulations, guys, your rights to your own opinions on tattoos are have been completely eliminated as irrelevant and wrong if you thought you disagreed with this blogger. I mean, wow. I got right away that he didn’t have much respect for women’s self-expression, but apparently that extends to absolutely everyone with a differing opinion.

Mr. Karamazov, I want to briefly discuss the logical concept of the verificationism (I will be sure to make this as simple as possible). To put it plainly, logic dictates that a proposition (a statement or question) can only be considered valid if there is a way to determine whether the statement is true or false (not believed or disbelieved, mind). A statement like “Men who gush about the sexiness of girls with tattoos do this because they are culturally trained to do so” cannot be determined as either true or false, and is therefore logically flawed. In other words, you are spouting rubbish. Stop it.

In the same way people (not me) become fascinated with Honey Boo Boo, I couldn't stop reading. I was committed now.

“The fact that women with tattoos and piercings are exceptionally easy to conquer sexually with minimal effort always gets contested despite the universal anecdotal evidence to the contrary” Fact? FACT?

Before I move on to the rest of that paragraph, I want to clear one thing up right now. You cannot have a universal anecdote… 

I mean, you just can’t. 
Source: Oxford English Dictionary Online
Source: Oxford English Dictionary Online

"Universal anecdote” is an oxymoron. 
They are for the most part mutually exclusive terms. 

Unless you are trying to claim that you have literally slept with every woman who has a tattoo which you, me and a vast number of other women know is total bullshit. And I do mean just a staggeringly huge number of other women. 

Anyway… that little vocabulary lesson aside…
Let me get one thing out in the open right now. I do not believe that a dislike of tattoos (on women or men) necessarily equates to being an old-fashioned, fundamentalist bigot. An opinion on something like tattoos is the same as an opinion on any piece of art. I don’t expect you to like the same things I do and do expect the same consideration in return.

Whether or not I think you’re a bigot, Karamazov, well… draw your own conclusions. 
Source: Oxford English Dictionary

The condescending post continues for a while much the same as it started, presuming that his opinions are “universal anecdotes” or whatever other nonsense he’d use to describe them. And then this happened:

It’s where another who put what-now, where?

And it was at this point that I decided to write this blog.

OK, I will admit. I raged about this so hard that it was actually difficult for me to do anything but splutter profanities that would make a sailor blush.

“Because it’s where another man left his mark on you.” What? Women are not passports! You won’t often hear me talk about objectification, but this is an astounding example. What you have done here is turn women into something that are only acted upon and who are incapable of acting for themselves. Women have their own wills that you can’t just strip from the tattoo getting process. What if a woman has a favorite necklace that she bought for herself and wears all the time that happened to be made and/or sold by a man? Someone who was jealous of that would justifiably be labeled somewhere around Charles Manson on the crazy scale.

In the same way that the designer/seller of the necklace is a gender-less, neutral service provider so too is a tattoo artist. They are providing a service. They are not seeking this woman out and seducing her into letting her do this to them. They are passive in this transaction, it is initiated, driven and concluded by the woman’s will and desire.  A tattoo is a matter of self-expression and displaying art; would you be equally offended if a woman had a Picasso print or Ansel Adams photo in her house? No? Thought not.

For those of you wondering where that link goes, here you go!

For those of you who would rather just keep reading, it goes to an Amazon link of a book (that we can’t even confirm the blogger has read) which is to a book published in 1933. Let that sink in for a second.

Now, I provide you with a well-researched article detailing the history of tattoos from Greece and Rome to the introduction and development in Western Culture. Note the absence of reference to prostitution.

But honestly, all of that is irrelevant. Whatever the social norms used to be, times change and with it, the social connotations associated with practices such as tattooing.

“A woman with ink is an easy lay compared to her clean-skinned counterpart.” Again, there are a few things I want to say about this statement, and I am actually finding it difficult to know which one to address first because they are all equally important points. So, in no particular order:
  1. You are confusing an opinion with fact again. And before you cry that all your friends agree with you, the plural of anecdote is not data.
  2. SO WHAT? A woman’s worth or value is not determined by the amount of people she has or hasn’t slept with. If a woman likes sex and enjoys a healthy sex life, what right do you have to judge? What is the difference between a man sleeping with 10 women and a woman sleeping with 10 men (or whatever arbitrary number you think makes a person “easy lay”)?
  3. Once more we see Mr. Karamazov assuming that women are devoid of personal drive and will. Women are just as capable as anyone else of seeking out a one night stand for the sake of having a one night stand. How many men are an easy lay would you say?

And that final thought about guys respecting women with tattoos less is laughable, and brings me back to my point about verificationism.  Please, please look this concept up before voicing any more opinions on the internet, or you will just continue to come across like someone who doesn’t understand basic logic.

There you go again, presuming you know what is going through the mind of every person who has ever gotten at tattoo ever.

“Want to rebel? Want to demonstrate independence? Want to be edgy?” Then you should conform to a very specific idea of beauty regardless of your own opinions… because that makes all the sense. All of it.

Oh good, I was wondering if you were going to touch on this subject at all.

“It’s not fair, but neither is child leukemia or Cystic Fibrosis.”

Wait. What?

What is wrong with you? I mean, seriously using terminal illnesses to justify your terrible argument? Are you actually a monster?

Anyway… earlier I asked who you were to judge and what the difference was between men and women sleeping around. Clearly I have my answer. It’s just a truth of society, apparently. You know what? You cannot change what you refuse to confront. If you agree that it is not fair to stigmatize women for sleeping around and not men (which you do, in this very blog, right there in black and white) STOP PROMOTING THOSE JUDGMENTS OF WOMEN!

And what is a manly activity?

In conclusion, if nothing else, you have made it quite clear that you are an outsider of the tattoo and body piercing community looking in through a very dirty window. I am not going to speculate about where the pollution of your view on tattoos and piercings came from. But I will say this: you are wrong. 

I assume the immediate reaction to that statement would be something along the lines of “But it’s my opinion!” This would be uttered with the hope of my conceding that opinions (however much I may disagree with them) cannot technically be wrong. But you are not voicing opinions when you say that “all men” think a certain way or that “all women” get tattoos for the same reason. You are voicing what you believe to be true as if it were truth and anecdotes as if they were established fact. That’s not an opinion. It is a fallacious argument and demonstrably wrong.

Based on how Karamazov responds to dissenting opinions in the comments on his own site, I have no doubt that if he chooses to respond to this he will simply retort with a personal insult against me rather than try to defend his position or legitimately argue mine, but I would welcome him or anyone else to try. I am a huge supporter of free speech and will not block, lock or delete comments for any reason.

Finally, I encourage everyone to read up about the good work done by Ink 180 (a cause I strenuously support).