Saturday, July 31, 2010

Austin Pregnancy Resource Center Fails to Comply with City Signage Ordinance

The Austin Pregnancy Resource Center from the sidewalk on Rio Grande

In early April of this year the Austin City Council followed Baltimore's example and passed an ordinance requiring crisis pregnancy centers that do not provide abortion or birth control (or referrals to providers who do) to post signs making that clear to potential "clients."

CPCs in Texas receive both federal and state funding for the non-services they provide, so Austin putting them under the magnifying glass is a powerful statement, even if the penalty is a mere $450 and a Class C misdemeanor.

One of the CPCs, Austin Pregnancy Resource Center, is conveniently located right in West Campus, in the midst of most of the fraternity and sorority housing near the University of Texas at Austin.

The ordinance was passed on April 8 and the text, which was obtained by the Austin Chronicle, is below:
The owner or operator of a limited service pregnancy center shall prominently display, at the entrance of the Center, two black and white signs, one in English and one in Spanish, that state as follows: "(A)This Center does not provide abortions or refer to abortion providers. This Center does not provide or refer to providers of U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved birth control drugs and medical devices. (B) Each sign must be at least eight and one-half inches by eleven inches high and the text must be in a font size of at least 48 point."
As of July 30, APRC failed to display any signage in compliance with the ordinance. See the photos of the "client" entrance below, both close-up and from the street.

From the entry walk on Rio Grande

From the front steps

Front door signs, in English only: "Door bell does not work. Please come in." and "Hours of Operation. Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, 9:00 am - 5:00 pm. Thursday and Friday, 10:00 am- 3:00 pm. Saturday 10:00 am - 2:00 pm. (Closed Sunday)"

The APRC puts up flyers on campus and must have supporters in high places in order to maintain its high-rent location. A misdemeanor and $450 probably won't set them back much, but the law is the law. But why not write City Councilman Bill Spelman, who sponsored the bill, and let him know you want this law enforced?

Friday, July 2, 2010

Surprisingly Good Sex Advice from the Scariest People in Zilker Park

These two kids probably met at church.

Juggalos and Juggalettes, those terrifyingly painted clowns that haunt the parking lots of Zilker Park and are devotees of the band that time forgot, Insane Clown Posse, are the guest advice-givers for's sex advice column this week. For as completely fucking frightening as these kids look they are actually really reasonable.

Dirty Byrd, 25, offered the following:
I was really into this girl. Recently, I looked through her iPod and noticed it was nothing but Ke$ha and Lady Gaga. Is "terrible taste" an okay reason to break things off?

No. But it’s a good reason to just make fun of them.

My girlfriend hooked up with one of her girlfriends and I got mad. She said it didn’t count as cheating, but I’m pissed. Isn’t it cheating no matter who it’s with?

I guess if it was a drunken bar night, it wouldn’t be that big of a deal. Girls do stuff like that, you know. But if you come home and they’re all over each other on the couch, you’d probably be within your rights to get a little pissed. If they ask you join in, that could be another story, I guess. But I’m not too into lesbians to tell you the truth, so I’d probably be a little angry.

Way to go, Dirty Byrd! Read more at and learn more about the shocking reality of Juggalos here.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Q: Why Isn't Grindr for Straight People?

Isn't this helpful?

Dear Julie,

I recently heard about an iPhone app called Grindr, which lets men who want to hook up find each other based on their GPS coordinates. First of all, awesome. Second of all, how come straight people don't have something like that? How sweet would it be to just be able to find a girl within 500 yards of my location and have sex? Can you help?

J/O Enthusiast (jk),


Dear Edward,

From what I hear, Austin's online hook up scene for straight people is dominated by craigslist and, to a lesser extent, OKCupid and that there's no Grindr-like option for us breeders. But the problem with all of those sites is that it takes longer and more effort to create a profile than it does to just, say, go to a bar and make oneself available for sex.

The downside, for straight men anyway, is that men's sex has no value, so you can't just go to a bar with a t-shirt that says "I give great head" and expect that a girl is going to a) take you seriously and b) go home with you. Part of the reason for that is women don't want to "sell" to someone who clearly doesn't have the social capital to find and "buy" from a willing woman. I've [ahem] heard from guys that all a girl has to do is say, "Hey, want to have sex?" and the deal is sealed, so to speak. But if a guy does the same he's liable to get slapped in the face.

So what's a technology-addled guy to do? First, stop checking in FourSquare, stop Tweeting, and put your iPhone down. You have a couple of options and none of them involve thumbing those dumb "Hey, how you doin?" texts late at night.

First, if you haven't totally ruled out guys, why not sign up for Grindr and see how unbelievably easy it is to get laid outside a system that punishes women for having casual sex? Women generally don't go in for anonymous, casual sex because their "value" declines if they sell at too low a "price." (Reminder: Men's sex has no value, so they can sell at whatever price they want and it doesn't have any bearing on their overall social standing.)

If same sex behavior is totally out, you can always try craigslist. Again and again and again. But from what I hear, most of the women who populate the "Casual Encounters" section in Austin are actually sex workers. So try the "Women Seeking Men" section instead. You might find someone to have sex with you after exchanging 75 emails with pictures, references, work history, etc.

If that doesn't work you might take your search offline to bars, clubs, the gym, or the rollerskating rink. (Well, that last one is just if you want to meet me.) The men who are most likely to succeed are smart enough to meet girls at places where their guard is down and they're not steeling themselves to get hit on by every horny douchebag that walks in the door. Try church. Or a bowling alley. Or, again, the rollerskating rink. Have a gay friend? Get him to take you dancing at a gay bar--those places are crawling with straight women looking to avoid the meat-market atmosphere.

Unfortunately there aren't straight bath houses, straight glory holes, straight cruising areas, and so on. Not because women wouldn't like to have anonymous sex--but because they can't due to the social consequences of "selling" at too low a price. Don't like it? The patriarchy isn't fair to men, either.

Much Love,

Julie Sunday