Sunday, May 12, 2019

After 15 Mother's Days...

To think.

Today is the 15 Mother's Day without my mom. But like I said back in 2017 things are getting better. I didn't spend as much time dwelling on it today. I actually looked forward to time with my wife (even though I ended up spending most of the day cooking).

I guess what I feared is coming true. That I'm thinking about her less and less. Does that mean I'm learning how to be at peace with remembering her without obsessing over making sure I remember her.

I expect that one year I will stop with these sentimental posts where I dwell on her endlessly.

Part of me looks forward to that time even as part of me dreads that time.

But eventually that time will come.


Tuesday, March 12, 2019

15 years....

It's hard to believe it's been that long.

15 years to the day since my mom died.

Looking back on it it's easy to pick and prod about how I have done this thing wrong or that thing wrong. Almost like I am still wanting my mom's approval and for her to be proud of what I've been up to.

Well I am married and have a step daughter and we all care about each other. Haven't got the house and picket fence but I'm working on it.

No I'm starting to think that I obsess with her approval because I don't want to lose her.

By that I mean I her memory. Other than a few phrases I've largely already forgotten the sound of her voice. I don't recall any specific scents or smells like a soap or perfume she used. I still recall some of the things she cooked and I do have several pictures of her so there is that.

I suppose in the long run I will eventually forget her completely, lose the ability to cook what she taught me, and the pictures of her will be lost to time even if they outlast my own time on this planet.

So why? Why go through so much trouble to hold onto something that I know I can't hold onto forever?

The best answer I can come up with is love.

I love my mom and just like anyone when they love someone they want to hold onto any and all memories, hints, traces, and parts of them they can.

So regardless of the fleeting nature of love I still want to keep up with it.

I wonder how I'll feel in 2024 at 20 years? 30 years? 50? In my final moments?

Who knows but for now I will hold on to it for as long as I can.


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.