Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Black Male Privilege eh? Part 2

Back in part 1 I mentioned a Black Male Privilege list compiled by Jewel Woods. This part is just a continuation of my two cents on his list. Not trying to prove it wrong or anything (in fact I agree with quite a bit of it), just my two cents. Part one covered items 1-14. I'm going to go a bit farther this time so I can finish this in three parts. Now on with the show.


Sex & Sexuality

15. I can purchase pornography that typically shows men defile women by the common practice of the "money shot.”
16. I can believe that causing pain during sex is connected with a woman's pleasure without ever asking her.
17. I have the privilege of not wanting to be a virgin, but preferring that my wife or significant other be a virgin.
18. When it comes to sex if I say "No", chances are that it will not be mistaken for “Yes".
19. If I am raped, no one will assume that "I should have known better" or suggest that my being raped had something to do with how I was dressed.
20. I can use sexist language like bonin’, laying the pipe, hittin-it, and banging that convey images of sexual acts based on dominance and performance.
21. I can live in a world where polygamy is still an option for men in the United States as well as around the world.
22. In general, I prefer being involved with younger women socially and sexually.
23. In general, the more sexual partners that I have the more stature I receive among my peers.
24. I have easy access to pornography that involves virtually any category of sex where men degrade women, often young women.
25. I have the privilege of being a part of a sex where "purity balls" apply to girls but not to boys.
26. When I consume pornography, I can gain pleasure from images and sounds of men causing women pain.

15. Who decides what is an act of defilement? In many porn production companies the actors and actresses have a say in what they will and will not do. So perhaps he means that it is defiling in the sense that money shots are meant to appeal to a male sense of dominance? If that is the case them what is the difference between the man doing other dominant things like choosing the sexual position? What makes a money shot an act of defilement but a woman tying a guy to bed and giving him a golden shower just "how they get down"?

16. I wouldn't call that a privilege. Guys like that are just being assholes and not paying attention to the woman they are with.

17. "I have the privilege of not being a virgin..."? This sounds like there is just some place out there that men can just go to to turn in their virginity or something. I would have worded it something like, "I can expect my significant other to be a virgin whether I am a virgin or not."

18. Mistaken or ignored? Yes there is a difference.

19. True...they will tell me that, "I should be thankful." and then drown out my complaints by reminding me that women can't rape men.

20. And women use sexist language like "puttin' it on him.", "making it mine.", "riding it like a bronco.". Yes both sets are wrong but there is not reason to act as if one does not exist.

21. I have to look it up but I'm pretty sure that polygamy is illegal for men and women in the US meaning that any man doing it is breaking the law. Not sure about the rest of the world but it is my understanding polygamy is still legal in other parts of the world for men only.

22. How is a preference in sexual partners a privilege? Now acting as if all members of the gender(s) I'm attracted to MUST conform to my preferences? That's a problem.

23. I agree.

24. I feel about the same way as I feel about 15 (about defilement and degradation) as I do here. But I do know that the majority of porn is geared towards men leaving women with much smaller selection of porn to choose from. For the most part men watch a lot more porn than women therefore most porn studios target men with their films. And would the "degradation" any less bad if it were older women (why bother pointing out that most of the women are young)?

25. True. I've always found it a bit unfair that a boy's virginity has been deemed worthless by society whereas a girl's virginity is the greatest thing in all the land.

26. Odd wording. The fact that men might get pleasure from seeing and hearing a woman in pain is not a privilege, that is just being a sicko. Now being taught that it is okay to get pleasure out of someone else's pain (while still imposing the idea that someone else is not supposed to get pleasure my pain) I agree is a privilege.




Popular Culture

27. I come from a tradition of humor that is based largely on insulting and disrespecting women; especially mothers.
28. I have the privilege of not having black women, dress up and play funny characters- often overweight- that are supposed to look like me for the entire nation to laugh.
29. When I go to the movies, I know that most of the leads in black films are men. I also know that all of the action heroes in black film are men.
30. I can easily imagine that most of the artists in Hip Hop are members of my sex.
31. I can easily imagine that most of the women that appear in Hip Hop videos are there solely to please men
32. Most of lyrics I listen to in hip-hop perpetuate the ideas of males dominating women, sexually and socially.
33. I have the privilege of consuming and popularizing the word pimp, which is based on the exploitation of women with virtually no opposition from other men.
34. I can hear and use language bitches and hoes that demean women, with virtually no opposition from men.
35. I can wear a shirt that others and I commonly refer to as a "wife beater" and never have the language challenged.
36. Many of my favorite movies include images of strength that do not include members of the opposite sex and often are based on violence.
37. Many of my favorite genres of films, such as martial arts, are based on violence.
38. I have the privilege of popularizing or consuming the idea of a thug, which is based on the violence and victimization of others with virtually no opposition from other men.

27. Agreed.

28. Agreed.

29. Agreed.

30. Agreed.

31. Agreed.

32. Agreed.

33. Agreed.

34. Agreed.

35. Agreed.

36. Agreed.

37. How is liking violence a privilege? Now the fact that men are taught its okay to resort violence while women are taught they should never violent? That could be called privilege.

38. Agreed.




Attitudes/Ideology

39. I have the privilege to define black women as having "an attitude" without referencing the range of attitudes that black women have.
40. I have the privilege of defining black women's attitudes without defining my attitudes as a black man.
41. I can believe that the success of the black family is dependent on returning men to their historical place within the family, rather than in promoting policies that strengthen black women's independence, or that provide social benefits to black children.
42. I have the privilege of believing that a woman cannot raise a son to be a man.
43. I have the privilege of believing that a woman must submit to her man.
44. I have the privilege of believing that before slavery gender relationships between black men and women were perfect.
45. I have the privilege of believing that feminism is anti-black.
46. I have the privilege of believing that the failure of the black family is due to the black matriarchy.
47. I have the privilege of believing that household responsibilities are women's roles.
48. I have the privilege of believing that black women are different sexually than other women and judging them negatively based on this belief.

39. I'm not sure I'd call that a privilege exclusive to black men since just about every walk comments on the "attitude" of angry black women.

40. Is this saying that I have the privilege of defining black women's attitudes without having my attitudes as a black subject to the same treatment? If that is what he is saying then I don't totally agree. The concept of "Angry Black Man Mode" didn't come from nowhere. I'm gonna have to ask Jewel about this one.

41.That is because the breakdown of the black family is being blamed squarely on black men. Or at least thats what I and am told.

42. A lot of that belief comes from people who are doing studies that link criminal activity among young men to lack of a father in the home.

43. That is obviously not limited to black men.

44. Agreed.

45. No. The belief is that feminism is anti-male. All males regardless of race or class.

46. Just like 41. Most of that blame is place on black men.

47. That is not limited to black men.

48. Agreed but as usual this is a two way street in which the other street is conveniently ignored.




Sports

49. I will make significantly more money as a professional athlete than members of the opposite sex will.
50. In school, girls are cheerleaders for male athletes, but there is no such role for males to cheerlead for women athletes.
51. My financial success or popularity as a professional athlete will not be associated with my looks.
52. I can talk about sports or spend large portions of the day playing video games while women are most likely involved with household or childcare duties.
53. I can spend endless hours watching sports TV and have it considered natural.
54. I can touch, hug, or be emotionally expressive with other men while watching sports without observers perceiving this behavior as sexual.
55. I know that most sports analysts are male.
56. If I am a coach, I can motivate, punish, or embarrass a player by saying that the player plays like a girl.
57. Most sports talk show hosts that are members of my race are men.
58. I can rest assured that most of the coaches -even in predominately-female sports within my race are male.
59. I am able to play sports outside without my shirt on and it not be considered a problem.
60. I am essentially able to do anything inside or outside without my shirt on, whereas women are always required to cover up.

49. Agreed.

50. Agreed.

51. Agreed but Mike Jones was certainly on to something with his line, "Back then they didn't want, now I'm up they all on me." Amazing how money makes people attractive...

52. Agreed and I can work outside the home as well as work inside the home and still be told I'm not doing enough.

53. Agreed.

54. Is this meant to say that when such emotional expression is not done while watching sports it is percieved as sexual? If so how is it a privilege to be limited in how emotional expression is deemed, "okay? Not sure what the line of thought is here...

55. Agreed.

56. Agreed.

57. Agreed.

58. Agreed.

59. Agreed.

60. Agreed.



Diaspora/Global

61. I have the privilege of being a part of a sex where the mutilation and disfigurement of a girl’s genitalia is used to deny her sexual sensations or to protect her virginity for males.
62. I have the privilege of not having rape be used as a primary tactic or tool to terrorize my sex during war and times of conflict.
63. I have the privilege of not being able to name one female leader in Africa or Asia, past or present, that I pay homage to the way I do male leaders in Africa and/or Asia.
64. I have the ability to travel around the world and have access to women in developing countries both sexually and socially.
65. I have the privilege of being a part of the sex that starts wars and that wields control of almost all the existing weapons of war and mass destruction.

61. Agreed.

62. Agreed...I have the privilege of simply being killed on sight.

63. The wording of some of these items throws me off sometimes. I interpret this to mean, "I have the privilege of having most of the African and Asia leaders, past or present, that I pay homage to are members of my own gender." If that is so then I agree.

64. Agreed.

65. How is that a privilege? Must get clarification.



Well now you see why it took me almost two weeks to get this up (and I still have to sit and think of my next Song Title Link post). Part three shouldn't be this long since its the end of the list (items 66-94) but I do have to think of my conclusion.

Part 1
Part 3

Two things missing...

Alright first I want you to read this.

Now can you tell me two things missing here from this article?

1. There is no mention of the word rape.

It's not like we are talking about a 17yr. old and a 15yr. old having sex. She was 25 and he was 12 when they started having sex with each other. As we all know 12 year old children are not able to consent to sex. We all know that when people have sex and one of the parties involved does not give consent, cannot give consent, or is rendered unable to give consent it is rape. So due to the fact that this 12 year old boy is legally not able to give consent he was raped by Kelsey Peterson.


2. Even though it come up later I notice there is no mention of sex offender registry.

So you mean to tell me that Genarlow Wilson was staring down the barrel of 10 years in prison (thankfully he only served two) and sex offender registry for performing sex on a 15 year old girl while he was 17 but this woman was only sentenced to six years for having sex with a child that was only half her age and there is no mention of sex registration. I really hope this will come up later.


I've said it before and I'll say it again, there is a double standard when it comes to child sex offenders. If this had been a male teacher and regardless of the child's gender he would have gotten at least a decade in prison and he would have been put on the sex offender registry before he walked through the gate of the prison.




Okay now that I've taken a moment to say something about this I have other things to work on.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Do you value the uniqueness of others?


It would seem that since young Matt Alsip's method of expression doesn't mesh with what is "acceptable" expression his uniqueness is not valued. The black makeup that he wears has been deemed extreme or distracting according to the school rule that is cited as the reason for making him take it off. Let's cut through the bull here there are two simple reasons why they want him to take it off and neither is because the makeup he wears is extreme or distracting.

First off it's not that the makeup itself is extreme or distracting (simple black lipstick and black eyeliner) its the fact that a boy is wearing makeup that is extreme or distracting. If a girl were to go to school with all black makeup on she would get funny looks and people would whisper behind her back about how she worships Satan, writes sad poetry, is obsessed with death, and wants to commit suicide (more on all that in the next paragraph) but the administration would not tell her to take it off. It would be one thing if there were/are complaints from the other students because at least then it would be a distraction. That would not magically make it okay to put this young boy through such hell but at least then it would fit the criteria for a distraction. But doesn't it seem like the school administration is creating the distraction they don't want?

I'm sure you can already think of the second. Goth. Even though he didn't not say it himself at a quick glance it would be very easy for one to assume that he is of the gothic persuasion. Note that I say look like because all black attire and makeup a goth does not make. (I even dress goth sometimes but I don't consider myself goth, more like goth-friendly.) And to the uneducated masses and the masses that refuse to believe otherwise goth people are believed to be the ones that commit suicide, think they are vampires, sacrifice people to Satan, and most frightening of all shoot-up schools. The school administrators are probably patting themselves on the back for preventing their school from becoming another Columbine.


By all that is holy goth people are not the telltale sign of school violence. They have been around for decades and no one seemed to bother them that much until the mainstream found out about them. Check out this vid clip of Voltaire on Fox News to get you started on finding out what goth really is and is not.

And while I'm giving a shoutout to Voltaire allow me to link to Anastasia, one of the most beautiful songs ever:

Elitism at its finest...

It's messed up that I can't get a simple $16,000 to pay off my student loans but I can cough up $7,000 (that's about how much each taxpayer has to give up to cover that $700 billion bailout) to help the rich?


I'm sure by now everyone else has put this up by now but Wanda Sykes lays it down.

One thing about her comments on Palin. She comments about how its sexist to go asking about how she can juggle motherhood and her position. It is unfair to ask her about those things and Wanda points out how people don't ask men those questions. The reason people don't ask men those questions because they assume that men are not in and do not want to be in their children's lives.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

S.W.P.M

I came across this poem over at Hugo Schwyzer's blog. The writer is Wendell Berry and the subject is about straight white Protestant males (SWPM from here on out) and privilege. I've been thinking a lot about privilege in recent times (just check all the posts I have here with the "privilege" label) and I have come to notice something: People have a tendency to assume that just because a person is a SWPM the deck is already stacked in his favor. And that is what I get the feeling this poem does.

for we have no excuses,
nobody to blame but ourselves.

I personally try not to blame the child for the sins of the parent and that is what I get from this portion. Yes SWPM have a higher possibility of having the deck stacked in their favor but that does not mean all of today's SWPM are to blame for it. It doesn't mean that all SWPM of the past actively worked toward building up said privileges. And the same goes with any issues they may have to deal with.



Who is going to sit at our feet
and listen while we bewail
our historical sufferings? Who
will ever believe that we also
have wept in the night
with repressed longing to become
our real selves?

I would at least like to hear them out. Being a SWPM does not automatically mean you had a house full of servants waiting on your every whim. Yes there was a period of about 400 years where your ancestors could have if they had the money. But even having the money didn't ensure that they would have actively participated in it (there's a good chance that if all the SWPMs of this country had agreed on slavery it would have lasted much longer, if not still going). My point is while your story may not be the most tragic no one has the right to silence you.


Who will
stand forth and proclaim
that we have virtues and talents
peculiar to our category? Nobody,
and that is good.

I understand this to mean something to the effect of, "Who will stand up and tell our story?" Now on the large scale of things I would agree but the problem is you can't just look at history, see the SWPMs, and just assume that ALL SWPM had it that good. Individual people have individual stories. You may not need as much assistance in getting your story told but that doesn't mean you shouldn't have a say.



For here we are
at last with our real selves
in the real world. Therefore,
let us quiet our hearts, my brothers,
and settle down for a change
to picking up after ourselves
and a few centuries of honest work.

Its great to work towards change but this almost sounds like a guilt trip.



The point I'm trying to get at is that when it comes down to SWPM privileges people are so quick to call them out they they don't even bother to notice whether or not those privileges are actually making a difference in the person's life. Yes you can respond with, "But doesn't mean he doesn't have privileges." Then let me ask you, "If he had all those privileges, why does he have such a hard lot in life?" By "calling out" a SWPM on his privileges and telling him he shouldn't have any issues and if he does they are his fault without even bothering to find out him is creating for him to complain about.

I am not trying to say that SWPMs that don't fit the privilege model should be excused from actively working towards equality but by lumping them all together you run the risk of making them feel guilty or even pissing them off. And yes they would be right to be pissed...how would you like it if someone just rolled up on you and started making statements about you and they don't even know you?

Friday, September 26, 2008

Look To the Sky of the Unnatural City as the Angel Falls


System S.F. feat. Anna - Look To the Sky (Original)
This is another song from the music series Dance Dance Revolution. Yes I am a big fan of the music and I even used to play before I hurt my back. Needless to say I have a lot of music from that series so there will be more of it in future posts. And like most songs from DDR there are several mixes of this track. Be sure to check them out.



Kenji Kawaii - Unnatural City
This is used in the open segment of the second Patlabor movie. If you are not familiar with the Patlabor movies but you like movies with heavy political themes then you should really give this one a go. While I have seen all three movies I'm not familiar with the tv series. I'll have to go look that up...



Ayla - Angelfalls
I've been a fan of electronic music for a long time and this has to be one of my favorites. I'm not sure if this is the official video for the song or not but the video is not important, the song is.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The calm before the storm...

The season premiere of Law and Order: Special Victims Unit came on tonight and I think some big changes are gonna happen this season. Just like my Heroes season 3 post last night if you don't want it spoiled then DO NOT READ THIS!!!

Stabler: Stabler has been a truckload of barrels of nitro glycerin for the last 3 or 4 seasons. Sure every once in a while a barrel falls off the truck and blows up but the biggest explosion is yet to come. For the last few seasons he has occasionally bumped heads with his oldest daughter. On tonight's episode she stole his credit card and maxed it out. For a while now he and Fin have not been the best of friends and things came to a head last season when the tension almost got physical. But there are two issues that really concern me. First is the fact that despite the fact that recommended time an officer spends in SVU (due to the nature of the crimes) is about 2-3 he has been there for over 10. That is a lot of pressure, rage, anger, frustration, and pain to carry and I get the feeling one day its going to bring him down. And I don't mean like that one episode where he snapped and beat up a victims dad or when he told a counselor that he dreamed of killing criminals. I mean he is going to go fucking crazy. The other issue is that I don't think he is going to notice the fact that...

Benson:...still has not fully come to terms with the fact that she was nearly raped while on an undercover assignment last season. And by nearly I mean that when Fin got to her the guy had her on her knees with his pants down and his penis only inches away from her face (in fact her description of his penis is what brought him down). I have to say that it was horrible to see a such a strong person to put in such a position of helplessness. The premiere episode ended with her talking to a counselor about what happened to her and she was going through the exact same feelings of "I should have known better. I should not have let him take me down there." self blaming that she has seen in countless victims. I'm just as worried about her as I am of Stabler. While he may fly off the handler I get the feeling that she may lose her confidence which will lead to second guessing that will not have a happy ending.

Fin: As I said Fin and Stabler are pretty much on "deal with each other only as necessary" terms with each other. In fact at the end of last season after almost getting in a fight with him Fin put in a request to transfer out of SVU. The problem is the Chief of Detectives (the person with final say on transfers) is a former coworker of his who is holding a major grudge against him which basically means he's going nowhere for now. Perhaps he and Stabler will reconcile. Perhaps something is going to speed along his transfer request. Or perhaps the tension between Fin and Elliot will be resolved in another way...

Munch: I've been noticing for the last few seasons Munch has been fading into the background. A while back he proposed the idea to Fin to open up a bar. In this episode he mentions that idea like 3-4 times. He also seems to take to heart the fact that Fin is leaving him just like Cassidy, Jefferies, all of his other past partners, and all his ex-wives did. Honestly I worry about him the most because I really think something is going to happen to Munch. Retirement and finally get that bar open? Get fired? Or perhaps killed in the line of duty?

Kregan: He seems to be the most stable of the bunch right now.

Novak -> Grayleck: Last season ended with ADA Novak getting caught lying about evidence during a trial by Judge Donnelly. Novak has always been one to play with fire and now that she is gone its safe to say that she finally got too close. Her replacement is Kim Grayleck . She transfered from DC where she was working on legislation and she seems to have an agenda. At the end of the episode she says that is actively working being the first ADA to have rape classified as a hate crime (under the notion that a rapist specifies their target by gender, one of the criteria of a hate crime). I wonder if she'll suffer the same fate at Novak...

I have to say that TV seems to be picking up this season. And to all this tide me over until the final episodes of Battlestar Galactica air next year.

I am black and I am a man...

Last year in Cedar Falls John McCain was holding a town hall meeting. During said meeting someone asked if McCain as president:

"would be bold enough to address the issue of equal access to children for fathers that have gone through divorce."

Now I would have expected him, like any other politician, to give some non-answer answer to the question but oh no. He actually had a direct answer. He replied with:

"I'm sorry to disappoint you, I am not going to overturn divorce court decisions. That's why we have courts and that's why people go to court and get a divorce. If I as President of the United States said this decision has to be overturned without the proper appeals process then I would be disturbing our entire system of government... But for me to stand here before all these people and say that I'm going declare divorces invalid because someone feels that they weren't treated fairly in court, we are getting into a, uh, uh, tar baby of enormous proportions."

Now there are two -ist insults in there. Can you pick them out? Take a few minutes while I go to the bathroom.

...

...

...

Okay I'm back. Can you spot the two -ist remarks? More than likely you noticed the "tar baby" at the end of the response. Since this is pretty old news I had to do a bit of searching to look up reactions to the remark and low and behold the only thing he was called out on was his racist remark. Not very surprising. Now do you see the other one? It's okay if you don't know I'll tell you. The ENTIRE remark is offensive to men and especially to the fathers out that have really been treated unfairly by the family court system. Despite what members of a certain group of activists may say misandry is real.

Its good to know that McCain doesn't give a damn about any problems that don't lead to a big political payoff (in the way of money and/or votes) for him. The questioner didn't ask him to start willy nilly overturning divorce court decisions. The question at hand was whether or not he would address the issue, not if he would come down with great vengeance and furious anger with his presidential clout (I'm sure he saves that for people that matter).

While I am thankful that people all over the blogshere caught on to the fact that McCain insulted black people I'm a little saddened that only a few people caught onto the fact that he also dismissed the valid concerns of a good sized portion of the American population. (But we all want equality for everyone right?) While the idea that the issues of white men don't matter sounds a little foreign I'm sure that the idea that a black man only partially counts isn't new at all...

Oh great....

Does this mean that blogging is no longer hip cool and part of the non-comformist counter-culture? I really do not wanna have to go find another trendy fad to get attached to...

Monday, September 22, 2008

Days of a Future Past...

This post contains spoilers about the Season 3 premiere of Heroes. If you don't want it spoiled then DO NOT READ THIS!!!!! You have been warned.

Remember how season 2 ended with Peter's brother Nathan getting shot at a press conference? Well thankfully the writers decided to not string out the identity of the shooter for a large chunk of the season. But that is not what caught my attention.

The thing that drew interest is the conversation that Peter and Claire have four years in the future. Peter is running (and by the looks of things he was being chased but his chasers are not revealed) and ends up in an empty warehouse where Claire is waiting for him with a gun pointed at him. Both Claire (with a different hair color) and Peter (with the standard scar across his face to signify that he has had a rough time) are dressed in all black they seem a lot different from the teenage cheerleader and directionless home health nurse from season one. Not only do they look different but Claire has vowed to kill Peter. Before she can shoot he tells her that he can go back fix the what went wrong. He promises to prevent the camps, the experiments, the life on the run. Ignoring his pleas Claire fires. Obviously Peter simply paused time to stop the bullet but then he takes her gun and teleports away...to the press conference that Nathan giving. As soon has gets close enough our scarred Peter puts two rounds in the chest of Nathan.

At this point you may be wondering about the title "Days of Future Past." That was the name of a story arc in the X-Men comics about the character Bishop who went back in time (from 2099 I think) to prevent the genocide that was carried out on mutants in his own time. This genocide was triggered by the death of Dr. Charles Xavier.

I find it weird that Bishop had to go back in time to prevent a murder to save his time period while Peter had to go back in time and commit a murder to save his time period.

And the most interesting part? All of this happened in the first five minutes of the show.


Edit: Actually Peter was not going back in time to specifically commit a murder but more like he was willing to commit murder to save his time period.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Black Male Privilege eh? Part 1

I was doing some surfing last night and came across this post by Jewel Woods. Now I've seen a few male privilege lists across the net but I have to admit that this is the first time that I've ever seen a Black Male Privilege list. From what I gather while there are items on this list that apply to all men in general Jewel has added specific items that apply specifically to black male/black female relationships. But unlike most of the other male privilege lists I've seen this one seems to have had some real thought put into it as opposed to lists that seem to be thrown together.

While reading this list I started thinking about the items on it (and congrats to Jewel if that was indeed his purpose). There are items on the list I agree with. There are items I don't agree with. There are items that have another side that people act like they don't want to acknowledge. There are items that apply to men in general. One thing to bear in mind is that I'm not attempting to discredit Jewel (come on I just discovered his site) or anything like that. Just giving my two cents. So on with the breakdown:

What I'm going to do is just blockquote each section and add my piece at the end of it.


Leadership & Politics

1. I don't have to choose my race over my sex in political matters.
2. When I read African American History textbooks, I will learn mainly about black men.
3. When I learn about the Civil Rights Movement & the Black Power Movements, most of the leaders that I will learn about will be black men.
4. I can rely on the fact that in the near 100-year history of national civil rights organizations such as the NAACP and the Urban League, virtually all of the executive directors have been male.
5. I will be taken more seriously as a political leader than black women.
6. Despite the substantial role that black women played in the Civil Rights Movement and Black Power Movement, currently there is no black female that is considered a "race leader".
7. I can live my life without ever having read black feminist authors, or knowing about black women's history, or black women's issues.
8. I can be a part of a black liberation organization like the Black Panther Party where an "out" rapist Eldridge Cleaver can assume leadership position.
9. I will make more money than black women at equal levels of education and occupation.
10. Most of the national "opinion framers" in Black America including talk show hosts and politicians are men.

1. The Obama and Clinton campaigns for the White House has brought a lot of dregs to the top and this is one of them. One thing I did notice is that there was an expectation that black women would be divided over supporting their gender (Clinton) or their race (Obama) as if those were the only things they had to go on when picking a candidate. Now black men really aren't expected to have to make the same gender or race choice...we are expected to support Obama from the get go. So if you really wanna chalk this up to black male privilege then you also have to acknowledge the fact tht we had the "privilege" of being automatically expected to support Obama.
2. I agree.
3. I agree.
4. I agree.
5. I agree and think it applies to all men and white women.
6. I agree.
7. I'm a little torn on this one. I most certainly agree that black women's issues don't get as much attention as black men's issues but I would not say that they would be shut out altogether.
8. I'm a little lost on this one. I'm not sure how being able to joining such an organization is a privilege. It would be a privilege in the sense that a black man is able to hold a leadership position despite committing such a horrible crime (but that would require the counter point that a black woman who committed such a horrible crime could never lead an organization. Yet due to items 3 and 6 on his list I'm not sure how that would play out.)
9. The wage gap. I've been trying to get a handle on the wage gap for a while to no avail. As most people will agree there should be no wage gap. But the thing I've having a hard time with is finding out just what the percentage is. I've heard as little as 5% difference and I've heard as much as a 35% difference. There should be no difference but if we expect to get rid of it can we at least agree on what we're getting rid of?
10. Most certainly agree.



Beauty

11. I have the ability to define black women's beauty by European standards in terms of skin tone, hair, and body size. In comparison, black women rarely define me by European standards of beauty in terms of skin tone, hair, or body size.
12. I do not have to worry about the daily hassles of having my hair conforming to any standard image of beauty the way black women do.
13. I do not have to worry about the daily hassles of being terrorized by the fear of gaining weight. In fact, in many instances bigger is better for my sex.
14. My looks will not be the central standard by which my worth is valued by members of the opposite sex.

11. Okay. It says "I have the ability..." and then follows with "black women rarely...". This is comparing a black man's ability to do something to whether or not a black woman actually does it or not. I was expecting a comparison like, "black men have the ability to define...in comparison black women don't have the ability to define...". But that does not fly because it is flat out saying that black women cannot impose such standards on black men (knowing full well they could if they wanted). Perhaps something like, "black often define black women's beauty...in comparison black women rarely do."? Or maybe by "I have the ability..." he means "It is socially acceptable for me to..."? I think I may have to ask Jewel some questions on this one.
12. Yes black women do have daily hassles and I don't challenge that. However I would not be so quick to say that black men do not have such hassles. Afros, braids, cornrows...etc. I keep an afro myself and yes indeed there are daily hassles. Not as many hassles as black women certainly but none at all?
13. Being overweight myself this I have to say that this is total bull. The only large men that get the "bigger is better" treatment are famous, rich, and atheletic large men. People assuming that I'm strong and therefore useful for some quick manual labor (that sound familiar?), assuming I'm an athlete (I vow to commit violence on the next stranger that starts talking to me with, "What team do you play for?"), and thinking fat jokes are okay. Not saying that women don't suffer from weight issues. But to flat out say men don't is just wrong.
14. I agree...because the central standard that a man's value is judged on is more often than not is his status. How man figues does he pull down a year? How many houses does he own? How much money is he worth?


This list is way too long for me to get through it in one post so I'll end part one here. Part two is going to be a continuation of my breakdown of this list. Don't be scared to drop in and leave some feedback. I could use the conversation.

Part 2
Part 3

It Feels so Good, I Feel...like I'm in Paradise


Sonique - It Feels so Good
A British DJ/Singer. She had some success in the UK but for the most part in the US she would considered a one hit wonder. But mind you that one hit is pretty damn awesome.




Akira Yamaoka - I Feel...
This song appears in the music games Dance Dance Revolution and Beatmania IIDX (which is pronounced 2DX). And like most DDR and Beatmania songs there are multiple mixes of this song (you can search them out on youtube). It kinda sounds like a mix of mellow trance music with high pace dance music. The singer of this song, Akira Yamaoka, sings a lot of the music used in the Silent Hill (which is property of Konami like DDR and Beatmania) games. If you want to freak yourself the hell out listen to this.




Vengaboys - Paradise
I know this is image in no way matches but its the only vid I could find with the full length of the song. The only lyric is every few seconds a female voice says the word paradise. I first heard this while riding with a college friend a few years ago. Such a nice night driving song...

Monday, September 15, 2008

Is this the start of a new reality show?

It would be something like Punk'd where a someone is arrested, charged, and put on trial facing decades in jail and just before the sentencing Ashton jumps out yelling, "You just got Nifonged!!!"

But seriously. It would seem that in wake of the wave of lies, deception, and ruination caused by Crystal Magnum's false accusations we have a new word: Nifonged.

From a comment on a recent post at Glenn Sacks' site:

Definition of nifonged - Nifonged describes the railroading or harming of a person with no justifiable cause, except for one's own gain. It is someone being taken advantage of unfairly by someone without scruples or morals. It is created more in disdain of North Carolina/Durham District Attorney Michael Nifong, and his screwing of 3 Duke University Lacrosse Team members and helping to inflame a tense racial situation for his own glory, ego, and political gain. (Urban dictionary)


Interesting. I wonder if it will stick. The lives of three innocent kids are ruined and a lawyer's career is (rightfully) ruined. The status of the liar that started all of this? Why she is working on a book and promises to donate a portion of the proceeds to battered women.

Interesting word...

From A Womyn's Ecdysis (orginally termed by Elisabeth Schussler Fiorenza):

Kyriarchy - a neologism coined by Elisabeth Schussler Fiorenza and derived from the Greek words for "lord" or "master" (kyrios) and "to rule or dominate" (archein) which seeks to redefine the analytic category of patriarchy in terms of multiplicative intersecting structures of domination...Kyriarchy is best theorized as a complex pyramidal system of intersecting multiplicative social structures of superordination and subordination, of ruling and oppression.


I've heard this word a few times but I've never seen anything solid on it like this. It seems that this word encompasses all the various forms of oppression we all face in this world. Transphobia, sexism, racism, homophobia, and all the various -isms and phobias that plague humanity. All the ills of the world rolled up into one.

Now this is word is not meant to be a get out of privilege free card. The folks at Feministe have made sure to point that out and it is a valid concern. The concept of kyriarchy seems to be that there is no one oppression that magically takes precedence over all others. It would be foolish to think that one oppression somehow outweighs all others (Oppression Olympics anyone?) or the elimination of that one type of oppression would eliminate all the others. Instead it points out that there are many types of oppression at work. And in the real big picture of things all of these oppressions are linked under one thing:hatred. Every time an -ism is carried out on someone an act of hated is being carried out. So how do we deal with kyriarchy?

Simple, people are already are.

All of you activists confronting trans issues, men's issues, racism, women's issues and so forth must continue to fight your fight in you way.

And while you fight on I must ponder this new information in my quest to find my way.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Slow Down and Enjoy Your Life, You Only Live Twice


Slow Down by Bobby Valentino
A simple slow song. I picked the instrumental version so that you can pay more attention to the beat and not get lost in the lyrics. In this day and age when R&B is going down the toilet (mainly because of attempts at fusing soft R&B with hardcore Rap) its not very often you can find such a nice song.




Enjoy Your Life by Chris le Blanc feat Liz June
If you've never listened to any of the Cafe del Mar albums you really should. This little gem is on Volume 12.




You Only Live Twice by Nancy Sinatra
My absolute James Bond theme of all (and given there are so many great ones that says a lot). Its been covered (by Coldplay and Bjork) and sampled (by Robbie Williams for "Millennium"). Something about her voice in that song. So peaceful. So mellow.



I have to say that I think it was a good idea to start doing these song title link posts. It gives the chance to go through my music collection and listen to things I haven't heard in a while.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Pop-Patriotism

Okay I'm sure we all know that today is September 11. Yes sever years ago today a very horrible and tragic thing happened. Back in 2001 when this happened I was a sales associate (I think that translates into cashier) at a Spencer Gifts shop. And what a learning experience it was to be employed there at that time. The terrorist bombing occured on Tuesday Sept. 11 2001 and despite the sheer horror of the events of that day but I did not think the events that were to follow would play out like they did.

The very next day while I was at work I had the join of having an interesting conversation with a old lady:
Old Lady: "Do you have any flags?"
Me: "No we do not."
Old Lady: "Well, you should."
And she walks off.

At this point I had two choices. I could either:
A. Inform my dear potential customer that, "Well, you could have made sure you had flags before yesterday."

B. Exercise my right to remain silent.

Due to the fact that I literally could not afford to be an unemployed college student I chose option B. Damn shame that informing someone of their pop-patriotism (that would be the concept of embracing patriotism because it is popular) could cost you your job. But even more of a damn shame is the fact there were people who before Sept. 11 did not have any faint inclination of patriotism suddenly bum-rushed stores to stock up on flags, buttons, pins, and other knickknacks.

Given the fact that since Spencer Gifts is in the business of making money it didn't matter if the patriotism was preexisting or not. But it was pretty easy to tell which it was when on Thursday we got a special shipment of patriotic merchandise. How special you ask? We normally got our shipments on Mondays.

Hell I just noticed that I've taken so long on this its actually 9-12 now (I started this before midnight though).

One more thing. I've read stories over the last few years of people whose birthdays are on 9-11 and how people actually get mad at them for having parties and being happy. Did those terrorist attacks do so much damage that the day of Sept. 11 has been permanently scared so that now and forever no one is allowed to be happy? Yeah right. Say want you want about 9-11 but I'm not going to begrudge people their birthday happiness. Just like I did for several years before the attacks when I wake up on that day the first thing I think of will still be my brother's birthday. Its a numbers game. The attacks occurred seven years ago but my brother was born 31 years ago.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

I think I may be on to something...

A short while ago I made a a post which was basically a response to a post made at Womanist Musings earlier.

Now that I've had made a post to work through my frustrations I've got a moment to think a bit clearer. Feminists are pissed off about the "What about the men?" factor that seems to come into their spaces. They are tired of being told that they have to consider the male perspective on the topic at hand. I can't blame them for that. And I know there is some feminist reading this thinking "How can he know how we feel when he has male privilege and shit?" Well frankly its called trying to think from the other person's angle or as I call it "The Test" (that's just a tentative name).

The Test is a simple exercise in trying to imagine someone else's angle on a situation by way of applying it to yourself. In this case the question is, "How would I feel if I had people coming to my site asking "What about ____ ?" type questions. Yes that sounds self centered but short of a massively radical change this is as close one can get.

I'd wonder is why are such people here. Well in the past I know that one of the things that attracted me to a feminist space with such questions wasn't the fact that men weren't the center attention but it was the fact that they were passing off generalizations about men that were untrue. So if I were to start throwing around generalizations like "Feminists hate men.", "They don't want equality they want superiority.", or "They have the upperhand in family court what else do they want?" I would expect a not so welcome reaction because I know such things are not true.

Now of course I'm free to talk about whatever the hell I want on my own site but at the same time is it really fair to think that I can sling generalizations around and not expect a reaction from the people I'm talking about?

In my reading about gender relations in recent times one thing I've noticed about men and women is that when men make unfair generalizations about women they will react on their own spaces and when women make unfair generalizations about men men will react on the space in question as well as on the own spaces. What makes gender relations tough is that fact that while the topic at hand is how can men and women come together men and women seem to feel more comfortable talking about such issues among themselves without the other gender around. How can we decide on how to come together when we insist on working out the kinks without one another?

Guys ask yourselves and ladies ask any guys you know...

Is there any truth to this video entitled "Male Restroom Etiquette"?

Now obviously some of the stuff in the video is outrageously not true there is a lot of stuff in there that is true at least from what I've seen.

The part on how to pick a urinal? True. Now a lot of people think that the reason men try hard as they do to not be near each other when picking urinals is because of fear of having a homo erotic moment. Thats not always the case. Yeah there are some unenlightened guys out there that think that but for the most part it comes from the fact when you use the bathroom you want as much personal space as possible and urinals don't quite give enough.

The part on no eye contact and no speaking? Mostly true. The bathroom is a place for two things, using the bathroom and washing your hands for whatever reason they got dirty. Neither of those acts require much in the way of communication. However there are times when eye contact happens and the usual response if a nod of the head and a generic greeting of, "Whats up?" or "Whats going on?" Its not like guys walk into the bathroom with the specific intent to not talk to another guy. Its just that those other guys are strangers therefore there is no need for long drawn out conversation with them.

This is video is not an universal truth but there are things that hold true.

Time only knows if I belong to you from here to eternity


This is the music that plays in the the closing credits of the video game Prince of Persia: Sands of Time. Has a real nice sound it. Soft and mellow. I will warn you that while there is no in-game sound (the song is played over it) there are clips in this fanvid that give away parts of the story including the ending.




It's fucking Lenny Kravitz what more is there to say? Okay will there is the fact that this song, despite part of video taking place at a dance party, sounds like he is in a secluded place pledging his love to his lover. And the fact that he is not bad on the eyes either...




After spending a few minutes looking him up I've concluded that if all the new wave, synth pop, and electronica artists in the world were placed in a family tree in order of influence Giorgio Moroder would be near the roots of said tree. It seems that during the 70s he was out in the clubs making some of the earliest sythetic and electronic sounds. I'm gonna have to look up some more info on this man.

There is still plenty to be done...

Okay its been a few days so here goes.

Earlier today at Womanist Musings Renee made a post about the one question that could be considered the bane of all feminists, "What about the men?" I've already posted a response there but I cut myself off because more than likely in my attempt to explain that question I would be accused of doing the very thing she is complaining about.

Okay in order to get my thoughts straight I think I will take the surgical approach (meaning I will copy sections of her post and follow with my thoughts on it).

What about the men is a common refrain on feminist blogs. It seems speaking about womens issues is considered an affront to patriarchy. It does not matter what feminist blog you decide to read, at some point someone in the comment section will feel the overwhelming need to point out that men are oppressed to. Dear Lord how do these men manage to get by with the burden of owning and controlling over 95% of the worlds wealth? How do they survive daily beating their wives and raping women?

I most certainly agree feminists should have there own spaces to talk about the things they want to talk about. Take a look at the name of this blog and I'm sure you'll see I understand that everyone needs their space. But unlike my little slice of heaven here I think the reason feminist spaces get clogged up with "What about the men?" talk is because there are a lot of men out there that really are self centered jerks. Not every man that brings up gender relation issues has a valid concern just as not every woman that brings up gender relation issues has a valid concern. Just as feminists say some of those men disrupt feminist discussion for the sole sake of keeping the spotlight on men. However in the reading I've done feminists aren't all that innocent either. You see the last two questions in that section I quoted? Men may very well control 95% of the world's wealth but considering how that 95% is actually distributed among those men trying to lump all men together as if we all are intentionally keeping said wealth out of the hands of women is laughable. Greed is gender neutral. Daily beatings and rapes? Yes men do commit a large portion of violence but again to just put us all together like that? The stuff in those last two sentences sounds a lot like the men who unfairly go around calling women gold diggers and lying bitches.



A man that continually reads feminist blogs would learn how to look at the world with the eyes of a new born babe; not tinted with the social stigmatizations that regularly attach themselves to women's bodies.
Now this is actually good advice. And this is also why my blog roll has more women's spaces then men's spaces on it. I have a good understanding (but not absolute due to the fact that I alone do not represent all men) of how men think and feel so I want to make an effort to understand how women think and feel and what better way to do so than to look those women up?


Men are not struggling, largely living in poverty. Men are not reduced to their genitals and routinely treated as second class citizens. No, men are like a fine bottle of wine, only growing in value as they age.
Notice that I didn't copy the entire paragraph that this section came from. I didn't because I agree with the other part but generalizations like this are what attracts "What about the men?" type responses. About poverty, just as men dominate the top of the economic ladder men also dominate the bottom of the economic ladder. While it is anecdotal in my own experience I have seen way more homeless and impoverished men than women. Men are not reduced to their genitals indeed. They are reduced to their earning potential and class status. On aging I do notice that women are left to the wayside when they get older (which is odd to me because I find older women extremely attractive). But in reverse men are left on the wayside in their younger years and then in their older years they are valuable again. Could it be because they've had a decade or two to get their careers and live established? Notice that when it comes to strictly sex an older woman that goes for younger men is a "free, liberated, and knows what she wants" but a older man that goes for younger women is a "pervert that is only after he body and needs to wise up". So while women most certainly have a lot of issues to deal with men do not have a cake walk through life either.



Now while I agree that interjecting into women's spaces with men's issues is wrong the fact of the matter is in a world of equality men are going to be expected to take an active role in it. Which is why I think that Renee is level headed enough in But to think that women are already at the finish line waiting for men to catch up so they cross together is not true. And in fact one of the paragraphs in Renee's post hits the nail pretty good from the woman's perspective.

Equality would mean actually doing 50% of the housework, child care and elder care. That is right, taking care of the house means more than washing the car on Saturday and sitting on the driving lawn mower while you sip away at a beer. It means learning how to speak without invoking male privilege constantly. No more, calling women sluts, bitches, whores and cunts. It further means the unequivocal end of all violence against women. No more taking out your rage on your wife's body. No more raping, while blaming the victim. Equality means owning every single act of misogyny and hatred, and pledging never again to violate women.

I'd like to add this:

Equality would mean acknowledging there is MUCH more to maintaining society and the family than in housework and child/elder care. That's right busting his butt all week long working insane hours adds a little more value to that car maintenance (which means a lot more than washing it) and lawn mowing. No more, calling men bastards, dicks, assholes and jerks. It further means the unequivocal end of all violence against men. No more taking out your rage on your husband's body then hiding behind false allegations to get off the hook. No more gender sentencing discounts. No more taking your rage at your husband out on the children by abusing them, breaking up the family home, or separating them from their father out of pure spite. No more hitting men and then hiding behind the old gender tradition of, "You can't hit a woman." Equality means owning every single act of misandry and hatred, and pledging never again to violate men.



As well as this:
I would like to see the day that when a woman is not assumed to be a prostitute because of the way she dresses as much I would like to see the day a man is not assumed to be a criminal because of how he dresses. I would like to see the day that a woman with a large stomach isn't assumed to be pregnant as much as I would like to see the day that a large man isn't assumed to be playing for a sports team. I would like to see the day that a woman doesn't resort to making false allegations against a man as a revenge tactic as much as I would like to see the day that a man doesn't see the need to rape a woman to "keep that uppity bitch in her place."



Now imagine if I tried to post all of this over on Renee's place...