Wednesday, December 31, 2008

My over due Christmas round up

I know I might as well be a year late doing this since I'll bet literally everyone else in the blogsphere has already done theirs but here goes (and this gives us a small break before part three of "I knew they could see eye to eye!").

Went out of town to visit my brother and his family (wife and two daughters). Lots of food. Lots of alcohol. Lots of good time. Found out my brother has been trying to design a family crest as part of an original tattoo he wants. Depending on when he finishes it I will certainly work said crest into a tattoo for myself. I mistakenly slept through Christmas morning and missed my nieces opening their presents (they say they woke me up and I went back to sleep but I have no recollection of that...).

As for me I didn't come away with a lot but that's cool because I did get was cool. From the Secret Santa at work I got some books ("The Darkest Evening of the Year" by Dean Koontz, "Cross" by James Patterson, and "The Appeal" by John Grisham) and BADLY need wallet. Now I have some motivation to finish reading Harry Potter book four. From the company I work for I got a $25 card to WalMart and another from my boss. And they were well spent. I was able to get some necessities (it was Christmas and a few days before payday, I was broke) and the season 1 box set of Angel. I've been a big fan of the show for a long time and now that the box sets are only $15 at WalMart they will be mine...oh yes...they will be mine.

So maybe I didn't come away with a lot of loot but I am very thankful for the loot I got. All in all it was a good chance to relax. Unfortunately all that patience, calm, and tranquility was short lived.

I knew they could see eye to eye! Part 2

Okay last time I was talking about how the Feministing community was raking Britney Spear's new video, "Womanizer".

About a day or so ago I saw Glenn Sacks talking about the same video but from a different angle than the Feministing community.

Now instead of talking about one of the myths of male sexuality ("Men always want sex therefore its okay to treat them badly.") Glenn chose to focus on the violence the man in the video suffers at the hands of women and how it is received by an audience.

In his post he links to a clip of Good Morning America and the hostesses are talking about Britney. While talking there is a clip of the Womanizer video playing. Why does the audience cheer when Britney kicks the guy in the crotch?

I'm pretty sure that there is no way a mainstream male pop singer could get away with treating a woman like that. Try to imagine if Justine Timberlake was throwing a woman around like that, getting ganged up on and groped by group of men, kicked in the crotch, and then when he was "done" with her just tossed her to the side.

Male against female violence is definitely wrong but for some reason it gets policed more than female against male violence. If you look at out culture (namely sitcoms) you will see how violence against a woman is treated as serious business (as it should) while violence against a man is funny at best and encouraged (passed off as "empowering") at worst. And there is one simple reason why such things go on on tv, music, and commercials.


You know those same producers I talked about in part one that are willing to drag one group through the mud in order to gain the approval of the other groups? They are at work here too, feeding stereotypes about men. "A man can't be hurt by a woman." "A man can't be raped by a woman." "A man should never attack a woman but if a woman attacks a man then he must have done something to deserve it." "A woman can't rape a man." "If he had an erection then that means he wanted."(So far I've only heard that one from women, go figure.)

These days such myths and stereotypes are politically correct therefore its okay to play off of them.

I'd really like to see the day when those things are not only no longer politically correct but all pointed out for the sexist, misandrist, nonsense they are.

Okay you have a video that is clearly offensive to men and both sides recognize it. Why it is good to see that they do that alone is not what made me think to do this post. One more part to go.

(I know this seems jumbled but I had to get these thoughts down somewhere so I can sort through them.)

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

I knew they could see eye to eye! Part 1

Well they could if each weren't so busy trying to tear the other side's eyes out that is.

Go take a look at Britney Spear's new video Womanizer (I refuse to embed it).

So about two weeks ago there was a post on Feministing about it. The writer comes at this from the very valid angle of how this video perpetuates the myth of male sexuality.

Come on don't act like you've never encountered someone that thought that all straight guys (and perhaps gay men too and I just haven't seen it) think about sex all the time, want to have sex all the time, and if we could get away with it we'd have sex all the time. And based on that one can conclude that a man could never be raped by a woman. Why? Because "deep down inside he knows he wanted it".

That's what we call a myth.

Contrary to what pop culture may say about male sexuality this is not the case. First let's just do a gender switch. What is the usual reaction if a woman was raped and the notion came up that she really wanted it? Yes there are a lot of people out there that would believe that but there are also a hell of a lot of people out there that would argue against such a statement. So if its unfair to say that a female rape victim really wanted it then why is it fine and dandy to say that a male rape rape victim really wanted?

So the question is why is it okay to assume that since a man always wants sex there is no such thing as "against his will"?

The writer says that such a thing is a patriarchal value. That's close but I think there is something else that is just as powerful and (IMO) more widespread that that. Yes the notion that men always want it (and therefore cannot revoke consent) is an old and long ingrained idea but in this day and age I wonder why is such an old and wrong idea still being fed. I'm gonna say money. Hear me out for a moment.

Video producers are basically marketing the artists they produce videos for. And like any one else that is in marketing video producers are out to make the most money for the least effort possible (and by least effort I mean abiding by what is politically correct at the time). Unfortunately with this approach a lot of people will be offended and lot of toes will be stepped on. Commercials with idiot dads who are rescued by all knowing all forgiving wives. TV shows moms who are "too weak" to do things like fix a car, mow the lawn, or hunt. Music videos that say since men want sex so badly they are always consenting and therefore cannot be raped. It pays to insult or hurt one group to entertain the other groups.

And not only is such a video telling men that they cannot refuse consent but it tells women that since men want sex very badly it's okay to hit them, push them, and abuse them over it.

Okay this is going a bit longer than intended so I'm gonna split this one up.

This is what the MRM is talking about

Glenn Sacks put this up earlier today.

Alright most of us agree that minors should not have sex and in fact it is a crime to have sex with a minor. Well when two minors have "consensual" sex how does one go about dealing out punishment?

Well it seems that Pastorius Elementary School has decided that when a young teenage boy and girl have "consensual" sex only the boy should get in trouble. In this particular case the young boy was suspended for first 5 then 10 days from school while she received no punishment.

What kind of lesson do you teach your young girls and boys when you have two kids break the school rules but only one of them gets punished. Yes I know you're thinking double standard and you're correct to do so. This isn't the first time a female has gotten preferential treatment over a male (and damn sure won't be the last).

A couple of kids have sex and only one gets in trouble. Suspending them both would make sense. Not suspending either of them until the matter was investigated would make sense. But based on the info in that story it makes no sense that he got suspended and she walked away scot free.

PS: Yeah and I also notice that his name is dropped in the first sentence and then mentioned 10 more times. Take a moment to count how many times her name was mentioned.

This is what feminism is talking about

Renee put this up earlier today.

Okay I'm sure most of you will agree that violence is wrong and in the idea world no one would have to even consider resorting to it. However we do not live in an ideal world and violence is a common thing in this non-ideal world.

In fact many people go by sayings like "violence begets violence", "two wrongs do make a right", "an eye for an eye leaves everyone blind" and so on. But what if you are in trapped in a situation in which your body, and possibly your very life, is in danger? Would you be able to commit violence in order to prevent violence from being committed against yourself?

Well Charris Bowers was willing to do such a thing. However it would seem that committing violence in self-defense is a crime. Kinda reminds you of grade school when the bully would pick on someone until they fought back but the teacher would then deal punishment the kid that fought back instead of the bully.

A woman's husband tries to force her to have sex when she didn't want to so she fights back. If anything I would say perhaps both of them getting arrested until things could be sorted out but to only arrest one of them is not right at all.

PS: However Renee did mention one thing that I don't fully agree with.
Loranna didn't cut off her husbands penis because she got bored one day, she did it in response to the abusive relationship that she was involved in.

I wouldn't have a problem with what Loranna did if she had cut his penis off during a struggle or came at him head on. No she did it in the middle of the night while he was sleep. Yeah she just happen to snap while he was defenseless... One could say she pulled a Mary Winkler but since this came first I guess you could say Mary Winkler pulled a Loranna Bobbit.

Demonic Fury at Work

At first I thought I was gonna have some cool shit to put into my 100th post but so far this week has been so shitty that I just have to vent.

I know that I'm probably about one declaration away from claiming an activist title and all but some days after putting up with the bullshit that I put up with at work I just feel like committing violence. No need to be shy I'm sure you've had those moments in you life when things like patience, calm, and tranquility go straight out the window and the inner demon takes over. So let me ask you. When you think dark thoughts like that is there music playing in your mind and if so what is it?

Here's mine:

The song playing in the background is called Demon's Theme by LTJ Bukem. I'm most of you will recognize the video clips of Akuma (which roughly translates into devil or demon) from the Street Fighter series of video games. Pure unadultred violence...

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

I guess the gong was broken...

Saw this today over at Bikerbernie's.

Okay first off yes I do think that some of the stuff he was talking about in his routine was offensive. Most of the time when someone goes off on a comedian all you hear about is the fact that said comedian said something offensive and they check some privilege or something like that. What I want to talk about (and other than at Bikerbernie's I've yet to hear a peep about this from anywhere else) is the fact that one of the two women that confronted him on stage actually punched him.

I have no problem with the fact that they thought his material was offensive. I have no problem with the fact that they wanted to say something about it. But attacking him? They could have walked out. They could have continued shouting at him. Hell they could have even somehow got a mike of their own and cracked jokes on him until the crowd turned against him (well they were shouting some jokes about him but if I heard them right they were the usual "insert insult about a man's sexual performance that women like to resort to" stuff.

Anyone reading this is gonna have one hell of a time convincing me that if two guys ran up on stage and one of them punched Paul Poundstone in the middle of a set they would not have landed in jail. The bouncers would have descended on them like vultures.

The fact that a woman can just walk up to a man and punch him in the head ON FILM and not get pounced on...

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Doing good things can feel so good

I was reading this a few days ago and I started thinking about the acts of kindness I've performed over the years. Freshmen year when I chatted up a woman who was waiting for a cab at 2am on an empty campus. Helping the young girl my friends and I encountered walking down the street late one night (in her prom dress). This past Black Friday when I helped a woman out by putting a trampoline she bought into the back of her SUV. It would seem I have another one to add to the list.

I live in what people call the boondocks. By that I mean that in order to get anything beyond the bare necessities I still have to "go to town". When I do this I have two choices on where to go. East or West. For as long as I can remember I've always gone west. In fact I had not gone beyond 10 miles east of my house in over 10 years. Well a married couple I hang out with wrecked their car (the deer around here are like no other) and needed to get a rental replacement while it was in for repairs. I agreed to take them to the rental spot which was 1 hour east. Why not I haven't been out there in over 10 years. It would seem that it was a good thing I did.

After finishing up with my friends and taking time to ponder life while staring out at the ocean from the beach (yeah I live barely 1 hour away from The Outer Banks in North Carolina and have not been out there in that long) I head back home. Just to give a description of the 60 miles 40 of them are a stretch of road where there is NOTHING but woods and canals deep enough for cars to totally sink into on both sides, soft shoulders, and wild animals (namely bear, wolves, foxes). Not only that but NO cell phone service works in this space. I'll put it to you like this: My dad is a 59 year old retired cop and he won't drive back there at night unless it is the dire straits emergency.

So anyway I'm heading back with just enough time to cross that 40 mile stretch before sundown (I spent too much time at the beach) and I see an SUV and a family of five on the side of the road stuck in the mud at the start of said 40 mile stretch. With their luggage and Christmas presents out on the ground it looks like they had tried to push it out but to no avail. One of them was trying use her cell phone but her carrier doesn't work in that area. I offer help in the form of my cell phone to call for a tow truck. After about a 45-minute wait a tow truck came and got them out of the mud and they were on their way.

It was a good thing that they had gotten stuck where they were. If they had been about 20 miles further east (where even my cell phone would not have worked) and about 1 hour later (after sundown) their is no telling what would have happened to them (they were from Florida so they had no clue about the area). Interesting that going that way for the first time in over ten years put me in a position to help a stranded family out.

It didn't cross my mind to respond to their offer of payment with anything uplifting and spiffy like, "Just pay it forward.", but I'm sure that wasn't the main point here right? Just a simple "No thanks." and off I went.

Friday, December 19, 2008

It's illegal to fight off a stranger?

I have a scenario. Imagine you are the parent of a 12 year old girl. A breaker goes out and you send said 12 year old daughter to reset it. Once your daughter gets outside three men in a van pull up and try to drag her off, calling her a prostitute.

You're inside the house and you hear your daughter screaming for help. What do you?

I think it's safe to assume that anyone reading this would have rushed outside at top speed ready to lay someone the fuck out for attacking their child right? And more than likely it said defense would be justified right? Apparently this is not always the case.

Read about this incident from about 2 years ago that is still haunting an innocent family.

Yes you read that right. Three cops who were responding to a report that three white prostitutes were soliciting a white male and a black male. Well it would seem that even after going to the wrong house they mistook the young girl for one of the protitutes in question because she had on "tight shorts". Nevermind the fact that this young girl is African-American though.

You would think that it would end there right? Oh no its not that easy. After getting out of the hospital for two black eyes and throat and ear drum injuries (I wonder if they had the right woman would they still have started off with such rough treatment. I though you had to identify yourself as a cop before moving for the arrest...) it would seem that the police decided that the girl and her father who went out to help her after hearing her scream for her Daddy have been arrested for assulting a peace officer.

So there you have it. A girl fights back against strangers (the cops were in plain clothes) who are trying to drag her off and her dad comes out swinging to protect her like a parent should and they get arrested for it. It goes without saying that this is more than likely that this arrest is nothing more than the city trying to save face. The police don't want to admit they screwed up by going to the wrong location so now they want to cover it up by crying that they were "just doing their job".

A little girl is terrorized by the police and a father that fought to protect his daughter are they are the criminals?

Thursday, December 18, 2008

A Thin Blurry Line

Cara over at The Curvature has a post up. The subject of the post touches one of the biggest issues in science: robots and human relations.

The post in question is about an image of a what appears to be a woman with a game controller extending from her waist. Was the image in question meant to depict a woman that has had her humanity and free will stripped and reduced to a object of pleasure or an object of pleasure that, while looking like a woman, is not meant to be connected to a real woman in anyway whatsoever?

Now I personally think of that pic as an object that should not be construed with a real woman but I can fully understand how someone would conclude the image does indeed depict a woman that has been reduced to a controllable thing that exists for the pleasure of her controller. So that has me thinking, where is line between fantasy and real and what is considered to be crossing it?

Perhaps the line is based on how much of the woman is depicted:

1. If that image is reducing a woman to a pleasure object then who is to say that a fleshlight is objectifying due to the fact that all the "unnecessary" parts a woman's body are removed and the user is only left with the "important" part.

2. Perhaps if you take that fleshlight and add a basic rubber body around it. Now its been upgraded from a portable vagina to blowup doll. Now that its in the crude shape of a woman does this mean that it has now become offensive to women?

3. Now take away that crude rubber skin and add a lifelike cyberskin. The device is in the shape of a woman and has "skin". Is it Objectifying yet?

4. Okay this time we'll add facial features, breasts, hair, fingernails, movable joints, a voicebox, etc. The result would be something that Geppetto would be jealous of.

At what point do you say that the line has been crossed and you no longer just have a sex toy for your sexual pleasure but have decided that all the parts of a woman's body are not needed and its best to just discard the the useless ones?

I have to say that the mentality of the owner of the object can offer quite a bit of insight into that. How does the owner treat the women in their life? Do they tend to stay away from real women? What types of fantasies does the owner have about women?

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Good idea....Bad idea...

After years ofhelplessness at the hands of the husbands that abandoned and beat them and the corrupt police officials that would not help them women of India's northern Uttar Pradesh state's Banda have decided to band together to form The Gulabi Gang.

Now I'm sure that most people will agree that there is nothing wrong with using force, even lethal force, against someone that is attacking you and threatening your life. However if this story is true (with emphasis on the if its true part). I think someone has either gone a bit too far or the Minority Report Rule is in effect.

It would seem that in order to resolve the conflict that has been tearing two villages in Papua New Guinea apart for the last 20 years the women of the villages decided to kill all newborn boys. Apparently the train of though is that men cause conflict therefore if there are no men there will be no conflict. Get it? Instead of killing the ones that are actually causing the conflict just kill ALL the males so that there is absolutely no chance that conflict will break out. Why wait until they actually commit the crime when you can just kill them before they are even old enough to comprehend what crime, violence, and murder are?

Now you have two instances in which violence is being used in the name of justice but I'm sure you can tell that they are not the same. In one case you have people fighting back against their actual attackers. In the other you have people preemptively wiping out an entire gender on a count of the future violence they might cause.

And don't think I didn't notice the biased reporting in the PNG story. In the Gulagi Gang coverage the article is correctly focused on the women who have suffered at the hands of evil husbands and corrupt police. But for some odd reason in the PNG story its all about the women who were forced to commit such horrible crimes (I guess it really does hurt the parent more than the child...). But considering that there are no victims to speak to the reporters had to take whatever information they could get.

I really hope that this is story in Papua New Guinea is not true (from what I can tell people are still trying to verify it and there are some claiming that it is not real) because it if is I really don't see why they should be allowed to get away with village wide gendercide like that but more importantly to think that an entire generation of boys is gone is just shocking.

(PS - I'm kinda upset over the fact that in some of the comment sections on sites with the PNG story is posted there are people actually saying that exterminiting all those boys was a good idea. Misandry at its finest...)

Monday, December 1, 2008

This is what feminism is talking about...

Okay anyone that has ever read my blog here can conclude that I am not the biggest fan of feminist. I really don't have problems with the base premise of equality but once its members begin to splinter off into their own variations of feminism things get dicey. But even as a non-feminist (not to be confused with anti-feminist) it's as plain as the nose on my face that shit like this not cool.

I saw this over at Renee's earlier today.

I don't agree with everything that feminists are talking about but I can totally understand where they are coming from. Pirelli is a tire company that makes an annual calendar for its top clients. Well it seems that this year's calendar was designed with a certain "exotic" flavor. Mind you by exotic I mean showing "other" cultures as wild, beastial, and abusive. And there is also the part where the women of that culture (and women of "the normal" culture as well) are targets of the abusive and violent ways of that "other" culture.

When are people going to get to the point where they can do things without resorting to -isms for inspiration?