Thursday, January 22, 2009

Through a New Looking Glass: Music

I'm sure I'm not the only person that occasionally looks back at things from the past. I'm also sure I'm not the only person that will notice the difference between how yesterday's perception is often different from today's perception. Today I was watching the music video from a song that was real popular back in the day.


(It would seem that someone has decided they don't want the original Baby Got Back video on youtube anymore because the one linked to was removed and I simply can't find another one. So for the sake of letting you hear the words here is an AMV (anime music video) that uses the song to clips of various anime.)

Yesterday's Perception: When I first heard this song I was just getting into my teens. Teens mean puberty. Puberty means horomones. Horomones mean seeing things that one has never seen before. Seeing things one has never seen before means thinking things one has never thought before. I began to take notice of the female form (and I say female because I was "noticing" both girls my age and grown women). Then I heard this song and saw the video and my eyes, mind, and ....ummmm....other things were thankful to see so much body shaking and to hear declarations of what a good looking woman looked like. To put it shortly I was horny and was glad to have such things to look at.

Today's Perception: A mixed bag.

On one hand Sir Mix-A-Lot and the guys in the video were standing up and saying that they were not buying the nonsense that the media was feeding them about what was an attractive woman but were making their own choice (mind you this was before today's hiphop/rap which pretty much constantly states that phat booties are the hotness). On the other hand the women in the video are sexualized and are being reduced to a single body part for the sake of this song.

On one hand the song is saying that there is nothing wrong with having curves and a woman does not have to look like a magazine model to be considered attractive. On the other hand the video actively puts down women who do look like magazine models.

On one hand Sir Mix-A-Lot is rallying together the guys that do like curvy women who aren't paper thin. On the other it seems that he is doing so to the point that men who do like paper thin women are wrong about their preference in women.

On one hand I'll bet that he was speaking from his own personal experience (and there's nothing wrong with that). On the other I hope it was his personal experience because the video was limited to black and white with clear racial definitions of who is attractive and who is not (notice that all the curvy women are black and all the non curvy women are white).

Amazing how one's perception can change between a time when you don't want to stand up because you don't want to be embarrassed by an erection that you don't fully understand and a time when you've come to understand how erections actually work and there is no reason to be embarrassed by them.

I'll have to use this new looking glass more often.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Mind, Body, Conscience, and Dance Part 1

A little background here.

A few weeks ago BigFred put up a post about rap and gender relations. Fred mentions the misogyny that has permeated today's rap music and he also touches on dance music vs. conscious music. While talking about the difference between dance music and conscious music the topic of lyrics are brought up. Fred specifically says this:

There's always a question of how important lyrics are for a song. There's a question of did the beat influence you first or was it a combination of the lyrics and beat.

I know its been a few weeks since this conversation started but I would like to go on a bit of a tangent and talk about lyrics, beats, and influences.

To answer Fred in the above quote I would say that the answer is going to vary. Some of the variables involved are going to be what group of people you're talking about which will in turn influence what genre of music you're talking about and on top of that one would need to consider the emotional state of said group of people.

People pick music that matches the energy/tension they are feeling with the intent of enhancing their current physical, mental, or emotional state. People pick music that contrasts the energy/tension they are feeling with the intent of altering their current physical, mental, or emotional state. People pick music that will make them think. People pick music that will make them get up and dance. Countless motivations and countless choices.

In part 2 I'll go into some specific examples of these various states.

Monday, January 12, 2009

So that's what it means to be an "unfit" parent

Check this out. Some bullshit right?

Criminal background. Major disability(ies). Insufficient economic status. None of that. Damien and Charlotte Hall have been informed that they are being denied the opportunity to adopt a child because Damien is overweight and unfit.

You mean to tell me that the child care system in that area would rather leave a child in the system to get pushed around to who knows how many families and through who know what trauma than to send him/her to a home with two caring parents in which one is overweight?

That is the state of affairs when it comes to weight these days folks. The assumption of big equals unhealthy has run so deep that it now being used as criteria in adoptions. What harm will befall a kid who has a large dad that is worse than what they would suffer through years of feeling unwanted by way of bouncing around to different homes and schools? I know we aren't the most aesthetically pleasing people on the planet but damn.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

But remember, men are not portrayed as walking wallets

So I'm doing some surfing and run across this at Shakesville.

It's an ad for an insurance quote generator. Depicted is a sad little girl whose left hand is holding the hand of what appears to be an adult (all you can see is the hand). The caption reads, "Dad, what would happen to me and mommy...if you died?"

So you have a little girl who thinking about what would happen to her mommy and herself if her dad died attached to an insurance quote generator. I guess the insurance company in question is implying that her daddy was only around to supply money (as well as imply that the mom cannot make money) and now that he's gone it's "ZOMG!!!" time.

I mean really why do insurance ad agencies seem obsessed with killing dads and husbands? Every time you see one its about a kid and their dead father or a widow and her dead husband. I understand that the life expectancy of women is higher than men but damn. Would it hurt just to have one insurance ad with kid is talking about a mom that's passed or a widower talking about his passed wife?

And considering that the folks at Shakesville don't like the assumptions this ad makes about women I think it can be said that this is an example of burning at both ends.

I've asked it before and I'll ask it again:

"When will agencies realize they can make ads without insulting classes of people?"

Friday, January 9, 2009

I just found a movie I need to see

Its a trailer for a rock opera called Repo. I'm not that much into musicals but given the type of music I'm willing to make an exception. And yes you Buffy fans that is Anthony Stewart Head.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Why yes, women can rape men.

Just like my last post this one is also talking about rape so the same (possibly unnecessary) warning applies.

Okay the folks over at Feminist Critics are having a discussion about rape. A poster by the name of DaisyDeadHead ask a few questions:

Okay, full disclosure: I have trouble understanding how women can rape men and I am going to have to get someone to explain to me how this can happen. Do not yell at me for not knowing or getting it. I am asking politely. I figure this is the place to ask, yes?

Do you mean overcoming men physically? How would a woman force a man to have an erection and penetrate them? Is there a thread here I should be reading? Link?

Or are you defining rape in another way?

I’ve been married three times, and in my observation, when a man is uninterested or tired or whatever, well, that’s that. ;)

Well since that thread started as an off topic post from another discussion I'll be nice and take a moment to answer her question here (even though a response post has already shown up on the site).

Do you mean overcoming men physically?

Bear in mind that on the average men are more powerful than women. Based on the definition of average alone it is evident that there are women out there that are more powerful some men. So regardless of how often it does happen the fact of the matter is it can and does happen.

How would a woman force a man to have an erection and penetrate them?

First it would be worth to say that it is much easier than one thinks for a man to develop an erection. That does not mean that "he really wants it" (which is just a cultural misconception) anymore than a woman that gets wet (or perhaps orgasm if that happens) when she gets raped. The belief that every erection that a man gets is intentional is wrong. I've gotten erections by simply having my pants rub against my penis the wrong way, when I'm washing my body in the shower, and yes there is truth to morning wood.

Also bear in mind that physical force is not the only way to rape a person. You think women don't know how to use drugs (Edit: and alcohol)? You think women don't know how to silence a man by asking him "If you don't consent I'll scream rape. Who do you think they'll believe?". There is no amount of "male privilege" that will convince any man that in such a he said she said he would have a fair chance. (Edit: And no male privilege does not translate into all "He said/She said" situations going his way.)

Or are you defining rape in another way?

There is no need to define rape in another manner. Rape is when someone is forced to have sex against their will or has sex when they are by some manner unable to consent.

So to answer your question Daisy yes it is possible for a woman to rape a man. It may not be under the same circumstances or with the same methods but it is most certainly possible

Sunday, January 4, 2009

So I'm really trying to rape her?

Like the title implies this post talks about rape. I've never needed to forewarn readers here before and I'm not sure if I need to now or not. So for the sake of caution I'll put a warning here anyway. If talking about rape makes you uncomfortable for whatever reason you might not want to read this.

Check this shit out.

That post is a break down of the various forms of rape according to Maggie Hays. Well according to Maggie it almost sounds like she is saying that male heterosexual sex drive in and of itself if nothing but the vile desire to rape a woman. You know how MRAs complain that people try to make male sexuality dirty and disgusting? This is the kinds of bullshit they are talking about.

It would seem that Renegade Evolution and the folks over at her place (which is where I got the link over to Maggie's) don't seem to be too happy about that list. They don't like the notion that women are such delicate works of art that the only way to protect them from unwanted advances from men is to criminalize male sexuality. Honestly I don't blame them for that. Women are adults and are capable of picking their sexual encounters and unless someone can prove that acts of rape outnumber acts of consensual sex there is no reason to just assume that every time a guy chats up a woman or does something nice for her his sole motive is to have sex with her and even if it is and they do end up having sex it is not rape. But if you wanna know what some women think about it go check out what Ren has to say about it. I'm here to talk about what I, as a man that apparently is only motivated to do nice things for a woman by the chance to lure her into my web of rape, think about it.

Shortly put its bullshit. Here goes:

- prostitution: (in the vast majority of cases) when a woman or girl's body is bought and sold to primarily satisfy men's sadist sexual desires in a patriarchy;

Unless the prostitute in question is being forced to into it prostitution is not rape. Yeah she did say "(in the vast majority of cases)" and she might even have some numbers that show most acts of prostitution is against the prostitute's will but it almost sounds like this was thrown in to silence anyone that would dispute this.

- pornographic coercion: rape of the mind; forcing or persuading a woman or girl to watch pornography so then her resistance to unwanted and uncomfortable sexual activities can be more or less overpowered. Alternatively, pornographic coercion can be forcing or persuading a woman or girl to have herself being photographed or filmed whilst naked or having sex;

Rape of the mind? So if I'm forced to watch something I don't want to watch then I'm being raped? I suppose if I'm forced to walk somewhere I don't want to it's rape of the feet right? But seriously I wonder if the attempt to call this rape is based on the images in question are sexual. And it would seem that voyeurism is also rape as well. Follow me on this. If I drug a woman's drink and have sex with her it is obviously rape because I bypassed her ability to consent. If I physically overpower a woman and have sex with her it is obviously rape. So if I put a camera in a woman's bedroom to take video or go out in public and take upskirting photos of a woman I'm raping her? Violating her privacy of course but rape it is not.

- seduction: when a man persuades a woman to have sex with him, often subtly, through being kind, polite, chivalrous, etc;

Read this one and weep guys. Buying your lady flowers? That's laying the groundwork to rape her. Cooking dinner for her? That's the first step on the road to rape. Waiting on her hand and foot when she's sick? That's the first step on the path to rape. I do agree that chivalry can be bad for one's health (especially a man's) but to just classify attempts made by men to earn the affections of women not only as an attempt to rape but rape itself is going too far.

Now this is not to say that everything on her list is nonsense:

- forcible rape (the most obvious), i.e. literally violating a woman while using threats and violence;

- sexual coercion: this may involve grabbing, pushing, hold a woman down tightly, forcing any kind of sex on her, though sexual coercion may take different subtler forms, e.g. closer to sexual demand;

I'm not sure I would want to associate with the kind of person that didn't think things like this were rape.

I'm not saying that women should never be suspicious of men. There are a lot of dangerous men out there and a lot of them do indeed hurt women. But according to that list everything men do should be suspect. Maybe MRAs are on to something when they talk about man-hating feminists after all...

Saturday, January 3, 2009

I knew they could see eye to eye! Part 3

Okay so in parts one and two you have the folks at both Glenn Sacks' and Feministing talking about how offensive Britney Spear's new video "Womanizer" is from two different angles.

First you had the feministing community talking about how the video perpetuates the idea that men want sex all the time and therefore are always consenting. Later the Glenn Sacks' community commented on how female against male violence is not only looked over but it often encouraged and applauded. After reading those posts I found a very funny statement on each one.

Check out this comment on the feministing post:
I can guarantee you there are no "male" based sites out there talking about how this video is horrible and unfair to men. If anything they'd be saying how lucky he is.

And look at what Glenn says at the end of his post:
And while I'm asking, let me ask this too: Do feminists ever condemn this stuff? They've preached the evils of DV for decades, so what's NOW's take on depictions of female-on-male DV? Or any other feminist organization's for that matter. Inquiring minds want to know.

Okay so maybe they aren't eye to eye just yet. How about they are eye to eye but the lights are out so neither one can see the other?

Friday, January 2, 2009

Can you still call it a joke?

Before we get started I want you to look at this clip of Jamie Kennedy tearing into a heckler. Go ahead and get your natural reaction and keep it in mind for this post.

(Hey!!! Did you go and look at the clip like I asked? No cheating!!!)

Often times when someone insults another person its because they want to embarass that person (who probably insulted them first). Well as we all know these days all too often jokes tend to "insult" their target by placing them in a group they may or may not be a part of. This is not a good thing.

If someone tells a woman that she "acts like a man" because she gets lost and is too stubborn to ask for directions the implication is that men not as humble as women when it comes to knowing when to ask for help.

If someone tells a man he is "acting like a woman" because he is scared by horror movies the implication is that women are more easily scared than men when it comes to a frieghtening situation.

Keep that in mind as you check this out over at Pam's House Blend.

Its a clip of Kathy Griffin's response to a heckler that shouted at her during the New Year's celebration she hosted with Anderson Cooper. Her response to the heckling is:

"Screw you," "Why don't you get a job, buddy? You know what? I don't go to your job and knock the d- - - out of your mouth."

Yes "d - - -" is dick.

Now given who we're talking about, what was said, and the context of most insults I think it's pretty easy to say that she was trying to imply that either the guy is homosexual or that he performs homosexual acts for money.

I'm sure someone would defend her remarks with, "She was only talking about him being unemployed!" (and probably throw in some comment about how she, as a woman, what putting a man in his place). Does that mean unemployed people are funny? I've been unemployed and even though I was fortunate enough to have a home to return to that shit was not funny.

So I have a few questions:
1. Does this mean that Kathy Griffin insulted homosexual men, male sex workers who have male customers, and unemployed people?

2. To those of you that think Griffin's reaction was funny but Kennedy's was offensive, am I missing something? If so what is it?

3. To those of you that think Griffin's reaction was offensive but Kennedy's was funny, am I missing something? If so what is it?