Friday, October 31, 2008

There's a lot going on this week

Okay I've been reading Womanist Musings for several months now. I haven't agreed with always seen eye to eye but I have to say that I'm feeling a lot of what she says:

The Oppression Olympics are a damn waste of time.

She questions why European style hair is the norm and deviating from the norm can lead to a racist confrontation.

Proclaims that she will not be ashamed of her naturally occurring bodily functions.

Gets the word out on missing children(and she also has a small gadget on her site that that a displays alerts on missing children.

But like I said I don't always see eye to eye with her.

Recently in the Dallas area the Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) bus system began running an awareness campaign on domestic violence. I would like to say that most people would agree that DV is wrong no matter who the abuser is and who the abused is but I don't think that is the case.

On a daily basis you can find stories about people who are attacked by their spouses/significant others and the media will dance around the term domestic violence. Some of those victims are men. Some of those abusers are men. Some of those abusers are women. Some of those victims are women. Sadly when people try to bring attention to certain stories they get attacked.

One of the people trying to bring attention to that ad campaign in Dallas is Glenn Sacks. Why is he bringing attention? Because so far but ONE of the ads (and that one is about suicide) portray men as abusers and women as victims. Thats right according to this "awareness" campaign all DV abusers are men and all DV victims are women. Well given that Glenn Sacks is an MRA (men's rights advocate) he has a problem with this and is encouraging people to contact DART about such misleading ads.

So what is Renee's reaction?

Well it should come as no surprise to anyone that Mr.Sacks (I won't link to him) is continuing on with his misogynistic attacks against women. In his teeny little world, it is all about the penis, and if you don't have one your story does not deserve to be told. We certainly cannot have a world where women speak out against the violence and the oppression that they face at the hands of men, that would be far to threatening to patriarchy.

She starts off with accusing him of making it all about men when it is indeed about men and using this as a chance to back up her personal attacks against MRAs.

This is a series of ads that are raising awareness about DV by starting off with the assumption that only men commit DV and only women can be victims of DV. No one questions that more women are targets of DV than men but for some reason trying to say something about female abusers is "silencing" female victims.

One of the commentors is actually making some sense:

I agree with you that that's exclusionary and hurtful to male victims of intimate partner violence, Danny. What I'm saying is that a guy for whom that was the real issue would mount a campaign to get ads depicting male victims up there, too--not to have the existing ads removed.

Now it would be constructive to start a campaign to focus on male victims and female abusers (since there are a LOT of people who refuse to admit that either exist). And in fact Glenn has done quite a few posts on men who were abused by women but the article he would be speaking of would often call it everything but DV.

So I have to admit trying to put focus on male victims and female abusers would be a viable option rather than ending the campaign.


The only people who find this offensive to fathers have a vastly lower opinion of most fathers than I do.

Not so. I would say that the people who find those ads offensive to fathers have a low opinion of the masses upon masses of people who buy into the all abusers are men and all victims are women nonsense. Call me cynical all you wish but agencies know that they can use misleading ads to fool the masses.

Well it looks like some effect has been made. One of Glenn's posts on the subject has links to before and after versions of the "Signs of an Abusive Relationship" page at The Family Place site.

Yes this post is muddled. I started it at like 1am and I've been sleep deprived for the last week. But I felt it important to get these down before lose them.

Sunday, October 19, 2008


What was the first thing you thought about when you read the title of this post? I'm sure I know but I wanted to ask for a reason.

More than likely when you read that word the first thing you think about is how black men were hanged by white plantation owners during the days of slavery. Thing is lynching was also a very common method of execution for pirates.

The reason I bring this up is because I'm helping my local volunteer fire department put on a haunted house next week. One of the guys working it had wanted to put up some skeletons in nooses as part of the decoration. Now I've known this guy for several years and I am certain that since he is big fan of pirates he clearly meant it as executing pirates and not hanging black men. However since most people would not understand what his point was they would just decide that he was being racist we decided not to go with that idea. (And we're in the South to give an idea of just how big the "outrage" would be).

On one hand I'm all for calling people out on their racism but can you call it "calling out racism" if you're just bullying someone into doing or not doing something because people may be likely to take the most negative interpretation of it and run with it?

Thursday, October 16, 2008

...but that's not the main issue at hand here.

Anyone who has been paying attention to the GLBT community recently knows about Proposition 8. In case you don't know Prop 8 it is a measure that will be on California's ballot this year. What is the measure you ask? It's a measure designed to eliminate the right for homosexual couples to marry.

To say that the gay community has had a hard lot in life would be a severe understatement. Targeted for all sorts of things from name calling to countless acts of discrimination to even murder. Yes there are several walks of life that have faced those things and many facing those things even as you read this. Yet the gay community has to deal with one thing that most of those other groups don't have to deal with. I've had my share of mistreatment due to being born into the combination of being black and male. Women the world over have been and are being mistreated just being born female. There are men who have to put up with mistreatment due to their gender. However as long as those women, other men, and myself are heterosexual we don't have to worry about being targeted for harassment over who we fall in love with.

You can try to think about that and goodness knows I have. To have to be worried about what gender you are attracted to. I've never been in a relationship but I just can't think about how it would feel to not be able to make public displays of affection with the woman I'm in love with. Or pretending to be heterosexual because I don't know who may attack me for being gay. Or hiding my feelings out fear of losing friends or being disowned from my family. Do us both a favor and go check out the perspective of a woman who can think of how it would feel.

Most activists are angry and they should be but honestly I'm past anger (not to say that anyone else should though). I've gone into sadness, confusion, and pity. To know that there are people in this day and age that have to keep it a secret who they fall in love with makes me sad. To know that there are people in this day and age that think someone's sexual orientation makes them fair game for harassment confuses me. To know that in this day and age anyone who thinks that sexual orientation is a proper way to base how they treat someone, such people have my pity.

Now I'm sure you're a bit confused by the title of this post. The title is because of one other part of the ad. When the "Gender Auditors" measured the couple for inspection why did they have to throw in a penis size joke on the guy? That ad could have very easily gotten its point across without resorting the age old tried and true formula of insulting the size of a guy's penis. And even though it would be just as wrong I didn't hear them make jokes about the woman's labia not being symmetrical or taking pictures of them. So to explain the title of the post it means, "Yes this ad is making fun of men but that's not the main issue at hand here.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Either they are responsible or not...

We are all constantly told that children are below the age of consent and therefore should not be held accountable for their actions within reason. A kid starts a fight at school and they get suspended. A boy graffiti tags the side of a building he gets community service. A girl shoplifts and she gets arrested. All of those things sound like reasonable measures for the crimes they commit. But what about when "the crime" is something outside the norm or when victim ends up getting punished for being a victim?

First there's the under aged boy who was raped by an adult woman. Yes I know the word rape does not come up in that article but at the time of the sexual acts she was 19 and he was 15. To make matters worse she got pregnant as a result. To make it worse still the under aged boy has been sued for child support. To make it even worse still a judge ordered him to pay $50/month in child support. Stop to take that shit in.

Yes an adult woman raped an under aged boy, got pregnant by him, sued him for child support, and won. Okay how can this happen? So you have a person who has been declared unable to consent to sex due to age. But at the same time this person, who was declared unable to consent to sex due to age, has been deemed responsible for the child that was produced as a result of him being raped. And that doesn't even cover the fact that a rapist is keeping custody of the child that was born out of her raping the child's father.

Next we have an under aged girl who distributed nude photos of herself to other minors. Now as mentioned before under aged kids are not able to consent to sexual acts because of them not being old enough. So why has she been arrested and now faces two charges: illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material, a second degree felony; and possession of criminal tools, a fifth degree felony?

When a child is forced by an adult to pose for nude photos for distribution we all know that is a crime due to the fact that a person is being forced and that person that is being forced is a child. But when a child decides to pose for her own nude photos and distribute its a crime? A person under the age of consent is declared to not be able to consent to sexual acts. The charges she faces implies that she is of age and knowingly performed illegal acts.

So on one hand you have people who have been legally declared to be unable to consent to sexual acts but on the other hand those same people are being treated like of age adults for the sexual acts they commit. Either they are under aged kids that cannot be held responsible for their actions or they are not. Can't have it both ways.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Help me out here...

Read this.

Eighth grade girl texts nude a photo of herself to some male classmates at her school. One of the guys (13 years old) who got the picture has been arrested, suspended from school, and spent a night in a juvenile detention center. What is wrong with this?

1. Why is only one of the recipients of the photo in trouble? They seem to know that several people received the photo yet only one is doing down for it. Maybe the others have already deleted it from their phones. Or someone took a look at the sender's phone to see who received it. Whatever the reason it seems odd that only one of many is getting in trouble without explaining why.

2. Why would a receiver of the photo get in trouble and not the sender? If this were an 13 year old boy that sent a nude photo to a young girl he would be under the jail by now. But for some reason when the sender is the girl all of a sudden she is a poor victim. If he had gone out of his way to get the photo (like sneaking into the girl's locker room to take a pic) I would say that he should go down and go down hard.

What in the world has happened that has caused blatant shifts of responsibility like this? How can an underaged child distribute a nude photo of herself and then walk away free while a receiver of the photo get in trouble? This reminds me of the woman in Las Vega earlier this year that blew all of her money gambling and then tried to sue the casino because they didn't try to stop her from gambling. Is it so hard for people to take responsibility for their actions?

BTW I bet this woman won't get in trouble either.

Friday, October 10, 2008

So I won't mess up the flow over there...

Warning: Sometimes I ramble. Sometimes I ramble when I speak. Sometimes I ramble with I type. This is one of those times.

Last night I was reading a post about fat men and feminism. A few things came up in the comments that lead to general "men and feminism" discussion. I decided to add to them and in the course of things I derailed the damn thread. The people responding to my posts are giving advice and recommendations and I want to respond to them but my responses end up causing them to give more advice and recommendations. A vicious loop indeed. While not related to to the topic of fat men and feminism those comments have lead to things I want to talk about without destroying the discussion over there. Well since I have my own corner of the universe to iron things out why not put it to good use? Go read the post at Shapely Prose to see how this all started then come back here if you are interested in my side ponderings.

Some of the last responses to the last comments I made:

fillyjonk, on October 10th, 2008 at 5:06 pm Said:
Pretty sure I’ve read it before and its good stuff. However it does not entirely address what I’m talking about.

You should read it again. In fact, I’ll pull out the relevant parts for you:

“It’s not ABOUT me, always. And even if it is about me, so what? I’m not perfect. Why shouldn’t I have to take some shit once in awhile? Heaven knows I dish enough out in a day. Would it kill me to get an attitude adjustment? Would it kill me to listen to someone unlike me for five minutes?”

“What we aren’t doing is taking care of them. Nurturing them. Putting their feelings first. Looking out for them, making things safe for them. We aren’t making them the center.”

“Everything else IS centered around y’all. Everything else–you guys got the talk radio to take care of you, the ESPN, the CNN, the New York Times, the advertising industry–you can’t bask in all that adoration day in and day out and then pitch a fit because a handful of blogs on the internet don’t recognize your awesomeness.”

I understand that it takes you out of your comfort zone to hear women talk candidly about men and know that they’re not talking about you specifically, nor have they asked for your specific story. But what I said was that feminism has something to offer men. That doesn’t mean it’s a place where individual men’s beliefs, histories, or feelings take precedence over the deep need for equal rights and the defeat of misogyny. Feminism has something for you, if you’re willing to accept it, but that doesn’t make it ABOUT you. It’s fundamentally the one thing that’s NOT about you.

A lot of that first paragraph sounds a lot like, "They aren't always talking about me but when they are talking about me and what they're saying is true I should let it go because I do the same thing to other people." Yes I do the same thing to other people and as far as I'm concerned its just as wrong. Listening to someone different from me is not the problem in fact I like to hear from people different me because they are different, they might cause me to think of something I haven't thought of yet. And about the attitude adjustment, if I'm misrepresenting you or treating you unfairly then by all means adjust away. Kinda like right now.

You're right I shouldn't be the center of attention in your world and in your own world your feelings should be first. If you decide to help me make things safer for me thanks but if you don't then so be it.

"Everything else IS centered around y’all. Everything else–you guys got the talk radio to take care of you, the ESPN, the CNN, the New York Times, the advertising industry–you can’t bask in all that adoration day in and day out..."
This is what I'm talking about. The assumption that just because I'm male that everything is geared to towards every indvidual male.
...then pitch a fit because a handful of blogs on the internet don’t recognize your awesomeness.
I don't need my "awesomeness recognized". In fact those handful of blogs that don't talk about me might sound interesting...until they start putting words in my mouth.

I understand that it takes you out of your comfort zone to hear women talk candidly about men and know that they’re not talking about you specifically, nor have they asked for your specific story.
The discomfort is on me and I'll deal with that in my own way. You say the word specifically. That word is of interest. When I am being addressed specifically and words are being put in my mouth I don't like and that is what I was trying to get at this whole time. As as far as my story is concerned remember that I said "If you want my story ask for it and I’ll tell...". If you don't ask thats fine. But don't decide to not ask then try to tell me what my story is.

The generalizing statements you hate so much are either a) not about you at all, because you are a happy exception to the generality (but that doesn’t make the generality untrue), or b) about you and you’re not getting it. In either case defensiveness that people aren’t taking you seriously enough is not a fair response, especially in a discussion that was patently not about you in the first place.

Here's a breakdown of those A and B type generalizations. An A type would be someone saying, "In my experience black men have been trouble makers". Now even before you get to the black men part I know that does not include me because I've more than likely never crossed paths with you and I'm not a trouble maker anyway. Another would be something like, "Overweight women have low self esteem." That doesn't even apply to me and thats that.

The B type ones are intersting because sometimes they really about about you and you really don't get it and sometimes people like to try make the generalization fit you just so they can feel smug about the "fact" that their generalization still fits. "For the most part men usually don't have to worry as much about walking alone at night as women." For a long time I would say to myself that "Gender doesn't matter when to attacker." This is not so and I had to realize that while it is dangerous for men to walk alone at night for the most part it truly is a bit more dangerous for women. Another generalization would be "Anyone that doesn't take up the feminist title is a rape apologist and has no respect for women." Now being a person that doesn't claim the title of feminist it bothers me to think that someone is pushing the idea that not claiming the title of feminist is a surefire indicator that said person is a rape apologist and has no respect for women. That's a pretty serious charge and laying charges like that on people is where the defensiveness comes from.

I've rewritten parts of this a few times due to thinking about that points I'm addressing and drawing new conclusions. So even if I don't fully agree with what the folks over there are saying it was still a stimulating experience. I just wish I could have done without almost proving them right about making it all about me. So I guess one thing to work on is how to deal with people who may talk about me or a group that I fall in with in an unfair and untrue manner. And another would be to not fall into the trap of making it all about me in my effort to correct them.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

You mean there's a name for it?


Okay you mean to tell me that there is now a term for women that put on those fake displays of homosexuality?

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

An attempt at goodwill...

Sometime recently Glenn Sacks and Lisa Kansas had some sort of interaction. I'm not sure about the exacts of the interaction but that's really not the reason I'm posting this.

Most of the time when Glenn crosses paths feminists (and its usually not under the best of circumstances) he will extend his hand to them in the form of an invitation to post on his site as a part of the "Feminist Dissent" series. What is that you ask? Well its a series of posts on Glenn's site that are written by feminists to give them the chance to tell their side of things.

Now I know you're thinking that since Glenn is an MRA he obviously has no (and the posters on his site) desire to get an understanding of how feminists think. Well you're wrong. It's not everyday you see feminists and MRAs interacting with each other without it turning into the war to end all wars. Now yes there are some on that site that use the series as chance to lash out at feminists but there is good interaction going on there too.

While I don't want to speak for Glenn I'm pretty sure that any feminist that wanted to could contact him with interest in making a post in his "Feminist Dissent" series.

Don't be scared to check it out.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Mary Winkler did it and so can you...

So apparently killing your husband in your sleep is about to become the latest craze. What we have here is a 75 year old woman who killed her husband in his sleep. She does say that she killed him because she "was at her wits' end". How many times have men killed their wives "because she made him mad"? How much sympathy does he usually get? Not much because he will be called the murderer that he is. But since this is a woman (and an elderly one at that) I'm sure she won't have much trouble drumming up some sympathy. I wonder if she'll get an interview with Oprah so that she can tell her chilling tale and how she decided enough was enough and bravely fought back.

I'm not going to pretend that I know what her experience was like but the fact that she killed him in his sleep has to count for something. It's not like they were in the middle of a fight or he was on his way home after threatening her over the phone or something. She waited until he was sleep, shot him once, saw him move, shot him twice more, and then watched as he died. That wasn't self defense. That was cold blooded murder.

So I wonder what kind of slap on the wrist "sentence" she will get away with?

Friday, October 3, 2008

Hundred Dollar Biscuit and and Joe Six Pack of beer

This is two different stories but I don't feel like making another post. Well that and I want something funny and serious for my 50th post. Anyway on with the show.

Good News: I was ready for work 20min. early this morning.

Bad News: I was 10min. late to work this morning.

Good News: I got a Ham & Egg Biscuit for breakfast this morning.

Bad News: I paid $100 for that Ham & Egg Biscuit this morning.

Good News: I have until December 10th to pay for the $100 Ham & Egg Biscuit.

Bad News: I have until Dec. 10 because the trooper that gave me the $100 Seatbelt ticket I got after I left the house 20min. early to get my Ham & Egg Biscuit also gave me an continuance instead of giving me the next immediate court date (10-29).

Now on to the seriousness. Okay last night Joe Biden and Sarah Palin met for the Vice Presidential debate. Well due to the fact that her oppenent named Joe there were plenty of "average joe six pack" moments appearently. Well in honor of that reference we have this from Feminsting. Take a moment to look at it.

Get it? The joke is a play on words. Since Biden is supposed to be "Joe Sixpack" someone edited a photo of him onto the body of a man with six pack-style abs. Now I'm all for a good joke but I have to ask: What makes this okay but the slightest reference to the faintest inkling of the tiniest hint of a sexist joke against Palin warrants a rallying call to gather the troops?

Its possible to crack a joke on someone without resorting to sexism.