Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Disassembling Misandry

Hi folks.

A few days ago I came across an interesting post that got me thinking about men, the resentment they have towards women, and giving voice to that resentment with the purpose of making constructive change. I found it on reddit written by u/woah77. With his permission I'm just going to copy/paste the post directly.
[[Disclaimer: This is not a post about all of any group. Merely about members who engage in the activities described within. No part of this post should be construed as generalizing or describing any group in its entirety.]]

Misandry. Something often spoken of as a myth. When someone is criticized for it, they often respond that such could not be the case for it doesn't exist. When described as sexism against men, one is often told such things are impossible. It is the most interesting term in the world. It doesn't always drink beer, but when it does, it drinks The Order of Yoni.

Over the past few weeks I've posted a few times about why men need to be allowed to be "Misogynists". I've repeatedly mentioned how feminists and women have been allowed to be misandrists (to differing amounts of protestation). I wanted to take some time today to attempt to disassemble Misandry, because while I am disgusted every time I see it, I've recently run into somethings that made me reconsider why it exists.

Human evolution has lead to a deeply seated need to preserve oneself. When you see a shape moving through the bushes, a first instinct is to think Tiger! or Wolf!, because that though helps defend you. Even if it isn't a wolf, treating it as a wolf leads to you running which, over time, increases the chances you'll survive. We do the exact same things with personal experiences: someone hurts us, and instead of going "well it was just that one person" we generalize to all people who look, or act, or smell like the person who hurt us.

Sometimes we grow up in an oppressive culture, one that shames us for taking care of ourselves, or simply for being who we are. This can build into a resentment that can manifest itself in many painful and disgusting ways, but that doesn't mean that it doesn't make sense. I strongly suspect that many misandrist feminists have had very bad experiences with men, and have started to have a hard time blaming them for being defensive towards all men. I've read u/lordleesa 's stories and I can't blame her for any suspicions she has about men, given her experiences.

Even though I point out disgusting things that women have written in my posts about misogyny, I'm not calling for them to stop. I understand that many women have been hurt by men and are angry. That's entirely reasonable, and it would be cruel to prevent them from experiencing their grief and anger. I hope that feminism can come to a place where they see that men have been hurt by women and that men need to be able to experience their grief and anger.

To make a final analogy, asking either men or women to be silent about their pain is like asking the atheist who was abused by the Jehovah's Witnesses as a child to be silent about their contempt towards religion just because you were raised Deist and have no ill will towards religions. Context of experience matters, and silencing the experiences of the hurting makes one more cruel than any single abuser.
Now there is a lot going on here and I'd like to over everything a piece at a time. Let's start.
Misandry. Something often spoken of as a myth. When someone is criticized for it, they often respond that such could not be the case for it doesn't exist. When described as sexism against men, one is often told such things are impossible. It is the most interesting term in the world. It doesn't always drink beer, but when it does, it drinks The Order of Yoni.
I don't think there is much to explain here. Misandry simply is regarded as being either a man made myth, simply does not exist, or some method of taking attention away from misogyny (or that bringing up misandry is in and of itself misogyny).
 Over the past few weeks I've posted a few times about why men need to be allowed to be "Misogynists". I've repeatedly mentioned how feminists and women have been allowed to be misandrists (to differing amounts of protestation). I wanted to take some time today to attempt to disassemble Misandry, because while I am disgusted every time I see it, I've recently run into somethings that made me reconsider why it exists.
This I'm sure refers to the protected (or at least acknowledged status) granted to women that want to express their anger towards men, about men, and/over men. While I do think it's often taken a bit too far I can understand the value of simply being able to express your anger towards the point of trying to come up with a solution not just being permanently anger for the same of being angry.To that end it's worth looking at where that anger comes from.
Human evolution has lead to a deeply seated need to preserve oneself. When you see a shape moving through the bushes, a first instinct is to think Tiger! or Wolf!, because that though helps defend you. Even if it isn't a wolf, treating it as a wolf leads to you running which, over time, increases the chances you'll survive. We do the exact same things with personal experiences: someone hurts us, and instead of going "well it was just that one person" we generalize to all people who look, or act, or smell like the person who hurt us.
Here I think Woah is trying to explain how a person may come to generalize groups of people. It develops as a response to thinking you are in danger. A survival tactic.
Sometimes we grow up in an oppressive culture, one that shames us for taking care of ourselves, or simply for being who we are. This can build into a resentment that can manifest itself in many painful and disgusting ways, but that doesn't mean that it doesn't make sense. I strongly suspect that many misandrist feminists have had very bad experiences with men, and have started to have a hard time blaming them for being defensive towards all men. I've read u/lordleesa 's stories and I can't blame her for any suspicions she has about men, given her experiences.
While its easy to pick over why generalizing is wrong it must be bore in mind that there are often legitimate sources for why people generalize. For example there likely understandable and possibly relatable reasons why there are misandrist feminists/women who generalize all men. Most likely a bad experience or a string of bad experiences. Not hard to imagine wanting to avoid pain.
Even though I point out disgusting things that women have written in my posts about misogyny, I'm not calling for them to stop. I understand that many women have been hurt by men and are angry. That's entirely reasonable, and it would be cruel to prevent them from experiencing their grief and anger. I hope that feminism can come to a place where they see that men have been hurt by women and that men need to be able to experience their grief and anger.
From that place of understanding I agree with Woah that it wouldn't be reasonable to expect feminists/women to stop writing about their bad experiences with men. They have their stories to tell and they shouldn't be prevented from speaking them. There are a lot of women out there that have been hurt by men. There are a lot of women out there that have been hurt by men and have been left angry, in pain, and suffering.

I also hope that in due time feminists/women can come to understand that there are also a lot of men that have been hurt and left in a place of anger, pain, and suffering by women. Women are not the only ones that have stories to tell.
To make a final analogy, asking either men or women to be silent about their pain is like asking the atheist who was abused by the Jehovah's Witnesses as a child to be silent about their contempt towards religion just because you were raised Deist and have no ill will towards religions. Context of experience matters, and silencing the experiences of the hurting makes one more cruel than any single abuser.
There needs to be room for everyone to express and talk about their experiences. Trying to keep one side silent because their speaking up would "offend" someone would be additional pain on top of the pain people on that side has already experienced.

Woah has more posts like this and over the next few weeks I'll be going over them here.

Friday, June 29, 2018

So about Terry Crews...

This week Terry Crews gave a statement at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing. He goes into not just the assault that he suffered at the hands of a influential and powerful producer but also of witnessing his mother being abused by his father. From there he bridges that into how he felt he was more important than women and and more valuable than women but that's a different thought for a different day.



What I want to focus on is the value of a black man speaking up about his experience of being assaulted.

Frankly speaking I think its a good thing that a black man has opened up about his story of being assaulted. Black men are burdened with a uniquely high (notice I'm saying uniquely high, not trying to say that its higher than the expectations on men in general) expectation to appear to be invulnerable.

On top of being men we are expected to maintain an aura of invulnerability. That we are pillars that can never weaken, crumble, or need maintenance. The idea of the strong black men is one that we get drilled into our heads from the earliest of times. That we are the foundation of the community. That we have to give our all or else we are a failure.

The problem is that this expectation tends to get in the way of basic things like taking the time to heal, taking the time to seek help and support, and taking the effort to support ourselves when we need down time.

For the most part unless a black man is the victim of a racially motivated crime or issue not many people care what happens to us. I'd even go as far as to say that outside of such racially motivated crimes and issues black men don't get much in the way of support and will more likely be met with condemnation from many if not all sides.

But I think Crews does something important.

He as a black men does the service of making the point that black men do have issues that affect us and that support for us in them is quite valuable.

While its true those outside of black men don't care about unless there is a chance to show off that they are anti racist it's also true that black men ourselves have a very valuable tool for gaining the proper support and help that we need.

We can use our voices to tell our stories.

Yes it will be a hard road. People will try to silence us. People will try to co-opt and take over our struggle. Hell even Crews with all his fame and star power isn't immune to this. There is a reason Crews didn't immediately speak up about what happened to him and since speaking up he has faced quite the bit of mockery (go to hell 50 Cent).

I'm glad that Crews spoke up because doing so gives voice and attention to an issue that often goes unnoticed.

I would encourage more black men to do the same. We can't wait for anyone to heal us. We have to heal ourselves.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

A Day For Fathers

I have to admit I never put much thought into Father's Day beyond my own dad. It was always a day to take time to think about how much my dad meant to me. And he means quite a bit.

From him I learned how to be resourceful, how to stay focused, and how to be resilient. Some of the cornerstones of being a man.

But for the last several years it's been slowly dawning on me that not only is this day a time to reflect on my dad but reflecting on my own daughter. 

She is a good kid. Gets a little out of hand at times but nothing out of the ordinary that a teenager would do. She just finished up middle school and will be moving on to high school this coming fall but today she is blasting Rick Astley's "Never Gonna Give You Up" for some unknown reason.

Here is the card she gave me today. Its good to know that she cares.


But I do worry. Am I going to be able to prepare her for the world at least as well (but hopefully better because what parent doesn't want their kid to be better than themselves) as my dad prepared me.

I'm sure my wife would have some words of reassurance to let me know that I will be the best dad I can be. Here is the card she gave me today.

Even though I've technically been a dad for about 4 years now its really just beginning to hit me that I'm a dad.

That's a lot of pressure and responsibility. But I'm slowly coming around to the belief that I am ready for it.

It will take time and I will make more mistakes along the way but I think I'll be alright.

This is a day for dads and that makes it a day for me.

Take the time to recognize your dad, anyone else's dad, and all the dads around the world that are doing their part to make this world better.


Friday, June 8, 2018

What Would You Do?



So earlier this week I had to go to the pharmacy to pick up some meds. In doing so I noticed something pretty odd.

The woman that helped me has on a really bright pink lip stick.

And it was smeared on her teeth.

I ultimately didn't say anything to her on the premise that she wouldn't want some guy telling her about her makeup.

When I get back to the car I run the situation by my wife who tells that no as a guy it really wasn't my place to say something (she wasn't hostile about it mind you).

And it got me wondering about why would it be out of place.

Would she take it as harassment?

Maybe she would be offended that a guy commented on her makeup?

Perhaps she wouldn't care?

Hell there is a chance she would thank me for telling her?

Is it possible that I could have said something about it and not caused trouble? Yes there is and thinking back on it more than likely she would have thanked me and gone to clean it up.

But at the same time I didn't feel comfortable rolling the dice on how telling her would go.

These are pretty tense times where a simple misunderstanding can turn into a viral event. Next thing i know my picture is on Buzzfeed on a article titled, "If You're A Guy That Sees A Woman With Smeared Lipstick NEVER Do This!".

The norms and standards and codes of conduct are really awkward these days and talking to people feels like a walking a minefield.

So ladies that wear lipstick reading this.

Would you want a guy to tell you that your lipstick is smeared?

How would you respond to a guy telling you that your lipstick is smeared?

Have a good night folks!



Thursday, May 31, 2018

Can Multipath Games Be A Boon For Gaming YouTubers and Streamers?

(Warning: This post openly and freely talks about the video game Detroit: Become Human. That means this post will contain spoilers for this game. If you do not want any details spoiled then  DO NOT READ THIS POST!!! This is your only warning!!!)
The image above is from the recently released PS4 exclusive Detroit: Become Human developed by Quantic Dream.

Since I don't own a PS4 I've been limited to watching playthroughs of it on YouTube. And while I have spectated countless games in my day this one made me realize something. 

I've seen just how unique a player's own experience with a game can be and how that unique experience can be worth watching across different players even on the same game.

The main premise of the game is that in the not too distant future humans have figured out how to create life like androids in the image of humans. As such these androids are often utilized for tasks that many if not most humans don't want to do. Construction work. Child care. Even sex work. One driving force behind this is that androids unlike humans don't have the ability to choose what to do with their existence much less the free will to act on such desires. But what if androids started to develop those desires? What if if they gained the will to act on such them?

Detroit: Become Human gives players the task of playing out the seeming rise of androids as they fight for freedom from their human creators. This puts their fate, and the fates of many humans, directly in your hands. 

At the start of the game you play as Connor, an android assigned to assist the Detroit Police Department on any and all cases involving androids.

Connor enters a high rise apartment. An android servant has killed the father of the family he serves and is holding the daughter Emma hostage on the roof while armed with a gun. The fates of Connor, the rogue android, and Emma all depend on how you perform.

This is where I immediately was taken by surprise just how much of a gold mine this game can be. Here are three gamers going into the same situation and getting three different results.

In this clip we see JazzyGuns convince the rogue android to let Emma go just to be gunned down by snipers on nearby rooftops.
Here we have Suzy Lu grabbing Emma and pushing her to safety as Connor falls to his "death" along with the rogue android.

Finally TuYasRecords managed to push the rogue android off the roof, taking several shots to the back while protecting Emma.

And this is just the first instance of a tense situation you will have to navigate. Later events include having to decide what to do when a young girl is being abused by her father (which shakes Suzy Lu up real bad), dealing with an unruly hostage while hijacking a broadcast station, and whether or not to snitch on an android who murdered his abusive owner in self defense.

We have seen games before where the player has multiple choices to pick from. Do you use Jill or Chris in Resident Evil 1 (or Leon or Claire in RE2)? Who do you side with an any given Far Cry Game? Do you shoot Emily in Until Dawn after she is bitten by the Wendigo? And we've also see less remarkable examples where choices just don't seem to matter in the long run (coughcoughTellTaleGamescoughcough).

I think what makes Detroit: Become Human is that the games I mentioned above have major choices that are few and far between where you can easily go back and look at footage of what another person did. On the other hand with Detroit there are so many branching paths and intertwining decision that it's quite difficult (or at least time consuming) for a single player to see every single branching path.


In fact at this point I'm actually watching Detroit on the above 3 channels plus theRadBrad to see as many possible outcomes as I can in this game. Which brings me to my point about this being a great development for YouTubers and streamers that do video game content.

For the most part when it comes to watching gamers online people will find a few favorites and pretty much stick to them.
 

When a game like Detroit comes along it leaves viewers curious other choices and outcomes. However due to the nature of streaming game content gamers don't have much time to spend on a single game and will have to quickly move on to the next release.



But what about those other choices and outcomes?

These days with so many streamers and YouTubers active online its very easy to find a channel where the player will do different things than what you previously saw.



Now I'm not saying that these sorts of games need to become the flavor of the month where every publisher and developer has to drop battle royale and zombie action in order to cash in. But I do think we will see more of these games as time passes and I think streamers and YouTubers will benefit greatly from them.

I hope to see more games like this.