Chart breakers

Some people probably shouldn’t try to make charts. I mean, take a look at this fucked up Venn diagram here:


Making a Venn diagram is harder than it looks.

There’s so much wrong with this diagram it’s hard to even know where to start. The letters are too small. “Narwhal” should be plural. The Sirens of Greek Mythology did lure sailors to their death with their songs, but they weren’t sea creatures. They were, rather, bird women – you know, with wings and everything. Also, while Miles Davis was indeed a thing (specifically a man) with a horn, to the best of my knowledge he never stood in a pond, at least not while playing said horn. And even if he had, it wouldn’t have made him a sea creature.

I suppose I should acknowledge that I’m the person who made this Venn Diagram. I would like to apologize for its many failings and for any damage it may have caused.

But, look, I’m not the only one who can’t design a diagram for shit. Consider this unholy mess, put together by Susan Walsh, a retrograde dating “expert” who runs a blog called Hooking Up Smart.  Walsh devotes considerable energy to bashing feminists and sluts, sometimes at the same time. In a recent post, she attempted to spell out the economic costs of sluttery. This diagram was the result.

Even Walsh seemed to realize that it was a bit of a turd, and she offered it to her readers with a sort of apology:

I’m not an economist; this is really more of an exercise in common sense, as well as a work in progress.

No, you’re not. No it isn’t. And that’s no excuse. Essentially, Walsh just made up some bullshit, drew lines between different parts of the bullshit, and pretended it all made sense. There are so many things wrong with her flow chart that, as was the case with that Venn diagram above, I don’t know where to start. Graphically, it’s obviously a disaster.

From Hooking Up Smart. Click on this pic to see the full chart. You really need to.

And when you look at the, er, content of the diagram, it’s equally befuddling. Apparently the only possible results of a pregnancy that results from a “casual sexual relationship” being carried to term are “dropping out of school,” “promiscuity,” “substance abuse,” “violence,” and “crime,” followed closely by “prison,” then “EVENTUAL ECONOMIC STAGNATION!!!!!!!!!!” (And yes, she did use ten exclamation points.)

But my favorite bit of the diagram is the question “was sex consensual?” If it’s not, watch out! Someone might have to go to court! (For some reason she forgets to draw the requisite line to “prison,” perhaps because it is so rare for rapists to actually serve time?)

Here’s the thing, Ms. Walsh: sex that isn’t consensual is no longer an example of a “casual sexual relationship.” Sex that is not consensual is rape. Just as boxing that is not consensual is battery.

Walsh knows all this, of course. It’s just odd that in this diagram she seems to consider the supposedly dire consequences of “promiscuity” as far worse – for individuals and for society – as the consequences of rape.

She might want to make a few adjustments before she puts forth her next version of that chart.A better solution would be to simply delete it from her computer and pretend it never happened. That’s what I’m doing with my Venn diagram.

About David Futrelle

I run the blog We Hunted the Mammoth, which tracks (and mocks) online misogyny. My writing has appeared in a wide variety of places, including Salon,, the Washington Post, the New York Times Book Review and Money magazine. I like cats.

Posted on July 14, 2011, in antifeminism, antifeminst women, I am making a joke, idiocy, misogyny, rape, reactionary bullshit, sluts. Bookmark the permalink. 156 Comments.

  1. I commented! I was busy proving that golden showers were less dangerous than PIV.

  2. Wrote about her fucking “rape is a form of casual sex” bullshit here:

  3. I made a comment on that one too, and pointed out that she was wrong to be quoting Donohue and Levitt re abortion and crime.

  4. tito is starting to remind of Mr. Slave, but without any comedic value.

  5. I made the mistake of going to her site after reading the chart (or trying to) here. She is so dumb, she is really dumb, for real.

    She’s like a betamax tape, I didn’t think they made people like her anymore.

  6. I have to say, following Laplace’s link over and then seeing all of you pile on was awesome, I love you all ^_^.

  7. And that was me. Dang wordpress comment thing.

  8. One of the things which struck me was that she admitted to me that she had a screwed up chart, that it needs fixing; and yet she continues to defend it.

  9. Yeah, frustrating as all hell, I’m sure. “Oh, yeah, i need data” …. “Oh, but it’s all right. because COMMON SENSE” >.<

  10. Nobby: Worse, she thanked me for pointing out those flaws, said she would use my comments to make her next chart.

    I feel dirty (and not in the good way).

  11. Pecunium, you can offer to simplify her chart for her:

    Stuff I don’t like -> EVENTUAL ECONOMIC STAGNATION!!!!!!!!!!

    Just as valid scientifically and economically, and a lot easier to understand. And more honest.

  12. @Pecunium Yeah, I saw that and I’m sorry. I’m entertained, though, at the prospect of a second chart. I mean, it’s crazy and stupid, but it also inspired three other blog posts and is just generally frickin’ hilarious.

  13. Johnny Pez: That was great. Abbot… is scary. The subtext is he likes children, and thinks 14 is a perfectly fine age to be having sex with them.

  14. Part 2 of the story block

  15. ozy, why did you say on Susan’s blog that fisting takes HOURS to get the hand in the vagina?? That’s the most absurd thing I’ve ever heard! I’ve never seen it take that long before. I know I required a few months practice (ie more and more fingers every time, etc) before I could do it, but it just takes like 15 or 20 minutes of playing around (hell I require 15 mins of playing to get a dick in there too) now to get it in there. Maybe the hours was if it was someone’s first time? Hell, it took two weeks my first time trying to get a DICK in me. Or maybe my lube is just awesome. (silicone works great for this.)

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