Monday, June 29, 2009

Well actually they are out there

I got pointed to this (via this) piece on how people should not be trying to dig gender based trench lines using the current economic situation as shovels.

Weekly Menu June 29 - July 3

You may notice that I didn't have a menu post for last week. I was slumming and slumming cramps creativity. Well the wallet is (a little) better off so its back to cooking.

I was looking for something to new to try and came across wheat pancake mix. Well new to me anyway. Never having seen such a thing before I just had to try it. Along with it I bought some smoked beef sausage (Lumberjacks) because I hadn't had any in a while. I followed the directions on the box of wheat pancake mix (cooked in a waffle maker) and for the sausage I split each piece in two and baked them in the oven for about 15 min. (400 degrees)

For lunch I decided to try some baked chicken. I baked eight short thighs in four pairs (remember chicken draws up when baked) with each pair spiced and wrapped in aluminum foil then placed in a greased baking pan (just in case the foil leaks) and placed in the oven at 400 degrees for about 1 hour 15 minutes. I got that time from the fact that I cooked mine for about 1 1/2 hr. and it was drying out. As for spices:

1. Honey
Leftover local store brand BBQ sauce
Black Pepper

2. Italian Seasoning (prepacked mix of Oregano, Rosemary, Thyme, and Basil)
Garlic Powder
Sea Salt
Crushed Red Pepper

3. Five Spice (prepacked mix of Fennel, Ground Cloves, Black Pepper, Cinnamon, and Ginger)
Chili Powder
Black Pepper

4. Italian Seasoning
Five Spice
Crushed Red Pepper
Onion Powder
Garlic Powder
Black Pepper
Chili Powder

Along with them I'm munching on my usual assortment of bags of steamed veggies.

Well there you have it waffles and sausage for breakfast and baked chicken and veggies for lunch.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Way You Make Me Feel Billie Jean, I Just Can't Stop Loving You

It's the end of the month and given the passing of the King of Pop I just went with it.

"The Way You Make Me Feel"

"Billie Jean" (My favorite Michael Jackson song of them all.)

Friday, June 26, 2009

...A king rejoins his ancestors.

Late yesterday Michael Jackson, one of the greatest musical performers of all time, passed away suddenly from a heart attack. With a grand music career that strated in his teens with the young group The Jackson 5 to his many years as a successful solo talent Michael Jackson was one of those people that nearly anyone, anywhere, at anytime regardless of personal opinion about him could spout off at least some of his lyrics. There are people who are active in the music industry for decades but there are very few who become the monarch of an entire genre of music. He may be gone but he will never abducate the throne.

Rest in Peace Michael

...An angel ascends the heavens...

Farrah Fawcett passed away on June 25 after a long battle with cancer. Pioneering actress. Pin-up model. Wife. Mother. Angel. These are only some of the words one could use to describe Farrah Fawcett. From gracing the best selling pin-up poster of all time to winning three Emmy Awards she was an icon and an inspiration for the better part of three decades.

Rest in Peace Farrah

A legend taken from us...

This week on June 23 Ed McMahon passed away. His days with Johnny Carson on the Tonight Show were a bit before my age but I do faintly recall his famous "Here'ssssssssssssssssssssssss Johnny!!" introduction at the start of each night. What makes McMahon so amazing is that he pretty much (imho) solidified the position of co-host. It's one thing to become famous as a host but it is quite another to become a legend as a second banana. That takes a lot of class.

Rest in Peace Ed

Thursday, June 25, 2009

This is part of what I mean

A day or so ago Renee did a post in response to the resolution passed by the House to apologize for slavery and the injustices of the Jim Crow era. I have to agree with her on this that while an apology sounds great in the soundbytes and headlines unless there is at least some sincere effort to make up for it then the apology is ultimately empty. From there I started to wonder, "How exactly could reparations be calculated and distributed?"

For the last several years I've heard a lot of people say that reparations should be paid to Americans of African decent but other than just a lump some of money I've rarely heard anyone recommend exactly how to figure the calculations and distribution method. I want to take a moment to look at money as a possible method of compensation.

A. Who would get it?
The most direct way of returning what is owed. Let's say the government were to distribute large sums of money. First who would get it? (Because we all know the government isn't just going to hand this money over to anyone claiming ancestry.) Would they include anyone who has even the slightest amount of slave ancestry? That would take some method of verification that would take years (You'd be checking upwards of 200 million people). And then there are the people who have no way to tracking their family lines back that far. Would simply being "black enough" suffice to warrant them a cut or would there be a whole hell of a lot of people being informed that since their heritage could not be verified they do not qualify? And finally would those who descended from slaves that left the country (such as those who made it to Canada via the Underground Railroad) and never returned qualify?

B. Where would it come from?
Money doesn't come from nowhere (well it does but it shouldn't). Once it is sorted out who will receive monetary compensation this compensation has to be funded by something. Many would insist that the only people affected would be those that really didn't earn their money. How the hell do you determine who "really earned" their fortunes (however big or small) and who is riding the coat tails of unearned advantages? I'm going to go ahead and say it, no you can't just blanketly assume that all white people owe their fortunes to unfair advantages and to do so would be a serious slight against those who did work for theirs (yes you can say it would not be as bad as the slave trade and Jim Crow but I don't think "an eye for an eye" is the answer). And remember, this country isn't just black and white. What of the millions of tax payers whose ancestry had absolutely nothing to do with it?

Now I'm not trying to jerk and imply that the difficulty of calculating and distributing repayment is justification for not going through with it but I am saying there will a lot more to it than just writing a few million checks. Shoutout to Renee for bringing this up.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Dessert Idea 1 and Dessert Idea 1 Revisited

Last week I tried out a dessert idea that was loosely based on my desire to make my own granola. Here's how it went down. I'll warn you know I didn't keep track of measurements because this came from off the dome as they say.

Oatmeal (You know those large cylinder containers of oats)
Sunflower Seeds (Kernels of course)
Pumpkin Seeds
Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips

First off I toasted the oats in a frying pan. No butter or oil or anything I just constantly stirred them so they would get toasty without burning. After toasting (it will be hard to see the difference so you're gonna need to keep a smell out for the difference, you want to take them off the fire slightly before they start burning) I placed them in a large mixing bowl and then procceded to toast the pumpkin and sunflower seeds in butter. You want to stir these almost constantly for about 3-4 minutes or until they smell good and toasty. Mix these in with the oats and WHILE THE SEEDS ARE STILL HOT hurry up and mix in the chocolate chips and honey. You have to do it while they are still hot so that the heat of the seeds will melt the honey and chocolate. Once they are all mixed press it out into a baking sheet and let cool.

Flaws: Now the problem here is that this mix, even when refrigerated, does not hold together very well. I think the chocolate caused a sugar overkill and the pumpkin seeds threw off the texture (and even though they taste good they are tough and sharp, a dangerous combo). So next time no chocolate, no pumpkin seeds, and I need to find a binder.

The day after the first attempt I asked some coworkers about what could I use as a binder and one of them joking said marshmallows. Hell it works for Rice Krispie Treats so why can't it work for me?

Take two:

Oatmeal (same as before)
Sunflower Seeds (same as before)
Marshmallows (one bag of the smaller marshmallows, the small ones melt faster)

I toasted the oats and sunflower seeds as I did before but this time I didn't depend on the heat of seeds. And also I used a wok instead of a basic skillet for the sake of not losing oats over the edge of the pan while toasting and to have a deeper space to melt the marshmallows. Mix oats and seeds in the mixing bowl.

****Get your pan(s) ready before the next step because once the marhmallows melt the time window to press it into the pan(s) will be short****

Leaving the seeds and oats in the large mixing bowl I melted the marshmallows and butter in the wok (didn't even wash it to conserve a bit of the butter from toasting the sunflower seeds). Drop the heat to low then first melt the butter then add the marshmallows and then stir to preven sticking (and the stirring helps it melt faster). Once its melted its gonna get tricky because you have to pour the melted marshmallows into the bowl with the oats and seeds, mix it vigourously while pausing to add honey (I used about 4oz.), and press it in the pan in a matter of a minute or so before it starts to harden.

Once you have it set in the pan just let it sit and cool or you can cheat by putting it in the fridge. Yeah I went back and checked (it was cooling as I typed this) and it is hard as hell. Perhaps the fridge was overkill or maybe the oats don't take to the Rice Krispie Treatment who knows. I'll have to work on that one so rest assure this will be revisited.

Its almost 2am so I'll post my weekly menu tomorrow.

The State of Fatherhood Address?

Last year Barack Obama saw fit to not only blame the breakdown of the family solely on fathers but he managed to get his father bash on on the one day of the year that is supposed to set aside for honoring, loving, cherishing and otherwise acknowledging fathers, Father's Day. I had hoped that was just a fluke and not the start of an annual tradition.

It would seem I was wrong.

Now don't get me wrong he is bringing attention to the men that do walk out on their responsibilities and the children who are lost without them. He even manages to pay a bit of lip service to the fathers that are doing what they should. However he does the same thing here that he did last year: totally ignore the fathers are desparately trying to do the right thing and be with their children.

In most discourse about fatherhood the vast majority of it is about trying to paint all men out to be deadbeat dads and a small minority of it dedicated to actually acknowledging the good fathers out there (mostly by men's and father's advocates). Mostly lost in the storm are the cries for help from dads that are being forcefully kept away from their precious children (or if you can't stand to acknowledge that men are being hurt then try to think about it from the perspective of the kids that are being kept away from their dads). (And again the it seems the ones that acknowledge these men are men's and father's advocates.)

Perhaps if Obama wants men to "step up" why doesn't he try lending a helping hand to all the children and dads out there that are beind kept apart by vindictive moms and the corrupt excuse for a "family court" they hide behind.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Dad's Day

I just want to give a shouout to all the dads out there. Take a moment to call your dad, hug your dad, take you dad out, it doesn't matter. In some way or another take the time to let your dad know how much he means to you.

(And here's to hoping that Obama isn't in a church somewhere trashing dads today.)

Friday, June 19, 2009

So we're still shocked by it eh?

If you recall the town of Tracy, California was shocked when the main suspect in the murder of Sandra Cantu turned out to be a woman and not a man. Well it seems that the people of Mars Hill, Maine were caught off guard by the possibility of a bad woman as well.

Child Sex Charge Against Mom of Four Leaves Small Town Reeling

Julie M. Carr is facing charges of gross sexual assault and felony exploitation of a child for allegedly webcasting the assault of one of her four children (who all range from appoximately 18 months to 5 years) over the internet. A disturbing and horrifying crime indeed but just like the people of Tracy folks seem to be having a hard time with fathoming the idea that a woman can commit a violent crime or at least allow a violent crime to occur.

"It's just unbelievable that something like that would happen in this town," she said. "It's a shock. You usually hear about men doing stuff like this to children, but a woman? No, that's beyond even thinking about. And then to find out that it's her own child, that's just beyond anything someone could think about."

More of the standard, "Oh my god I can't believe a woman would do such a thing!", routine.

It would do us all a lot of good if people would take women down from this pedastal and quit acting as if women cannot do terrible things. Its assumptions like the woman above made that lead to investigators wasting resources on looking for men instead of looking for a suspect.

I Know Your Name But Excuse me "Ma'am"

For the last day or so people have been all buzz about Senator Barbara Boxer's correction of Brigadier General Michael Walsh to address her as "Senator" instead of "Ma'am" during a session earlier this week. Some people think that she owes him an apology for the "dressing down" (as Fox News calls it) she gave him. Some people think that she was simply politely asking him to address her properly. Me? I'm kinda in the middle.

First off if Boxer wants to be addressed as "Senator" instead of "Ma'am" there is nothing wrong with making the correction and I hope the people who are clamoring for an apology realize that making such a correction does not warrant an apology. However they may be talking about what she said when correcting him.
"You know, do me a favor," a clearly agitated Boxer said. "Could you say 'senator' instead of 'ma'am?"

"Yes, ma'am," Walsh replied.

"It's just a thing, I worked so hard to get that title, so I'd appreciate it, yes, thank you," she said.

"Yes, senator," he answered. (emphasis mine)

This to me seems like upon being called "Ma'am" she instantly decided that he was trying to undermine her authority and disrespect her when I highly doubt this was the case. Now I'm sure that there are people and bloggers out there that will see the people calling for an apology and assume that such people are trying to paint her as an uptight bitch or something and I'm also sure that those people will claim that she was being polite when asking him to address her properly.

Its understood that it is military protocol to address a woman higher in the chain of command as "Ma'am" so its pretty clear that he did not intend to disrepect her hard work in achieving her position. At the same time Sen. Boxer perfers to be called "Senator". In the end I would say that while the fact that she corrected him was proper she went a bit overboard with mentioning her hard work. An apology may not be the fix but she could have corrected him in a more respectful manner than she did.

(In case the title looks odd its a play on the Chris Brown song "Excuse Me Miss" in which one of the chorus lines is "I don't know your name but excuse me miss...".)

52 Weeks (and 200 Posts) Later

Well its been one year since I setup shop here. In the last year I've taken the time to think about and share my perspective with other people in hopes of hearing what other people think and to get my own thoughts straight. So far I think its been good that I did open up my corner here. Yeah I'm not exactly full to the brim with regular readers like other blogs but hey maybe that is the penalty of saying things people don't like and those people not wanting to talk it out.

A lot of the things that I've posted on in the last year are subjects that other people have already been milling over for years but like a Jedi I think its arrogant to think that one can actually outgrow the basics. Whatever happens in the next year I hope to raise my level of consciousness as well as keep my feet grounded in the basics.

(BTW you'll notice that I shortened the name to "Danny's Corner". I didn't change the url so there no need to update links.)

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Weekly Menu June 15 - June 19

Money was a bit short so I wasn't able to really try anything new this week. For lunch I took another swing at turkey burgers. I could not find any ground turkey meat so instead I searched for some pre-patted ones again but I made sure to look at the calorie count this time and found some by Butterball that are 150 calories (the ones I had last time were by Shady Brook and were 240 calories each). For breakfast I repeated the quiche from last time with a few modifications.

First Quiche:
Breakfast - Homemade Quiche
Okay I kind of just made this up off the top of my head but in the end it came out pretty well. This is enough for 2 pies.
2 Deep Dish Pie Shells

1 Quart carton of Egg Beaters (I didn't use the entire carton mind you)

6 slices of turkey bacon (I recommend Butterball over Louis Rich because that stuff when cooked leaves a smell that lingers for about 2 days.)

1 pound package of turkey sausage (The one I found came in a log so that you can cut it into patties, like the Jimmy Dean stuff.)

1 package of frozen spinach (I used one of those frozen steamer packs that you can put in the microwave and cook in a few minutes. The package only has about 10oz and remember that it will draw up a bit when cooked so feel free to use it all)

1 package of mushrooms (You know those that come in the little blue cartons wrapped in plastic? Yeah those. I used plain white button mushrooms but feel free to get shitake or portabella to mix it up.)

Cheese for topping (I used shredded sharp cheddar.)

Quiche Revisited:

2 Deep Dish Pie Shells

1 Pint carton of liquid egg whites (I did use it all this time)

5 slices of turkey bacon (my dad ate one while I was cooking)

8 Turkey sausage patties (Jimmy Dean brand)

1 package of frozen spinach

1 package of mushrooms

Cheese for topping (This time I used Mozzarella this time)

The preparation was pretty much the same as last time except that I didn't burn my crusts and it wasn't as greasy this time because of the mozzarella not being as greasy as the sharp cheddar I used last time. If I keep this up maybe I'll be good enough at making it that I'll get to the point where I'm bold enough to share it with people other than my family.

Last night for dinner I made a Chicken Salad. Well unlike most people on this planet I hate the standard chicken salad with mayo, pickles, onions, boiled eggs, etc... So when one's Cooking Spirit has been revitalized what do you do when you come across a recipe you don't like? Build one of your own!

Spicy Chicken Salad

2 Cooked Chicken Breasts (pan fried with crushed red pepper and Five Spice to season)

Mayo (Kraft Light)

Horseradish Sauce

Celery Seeds

Crushed Red Pepper

Cashew Nuts (I used Emerald's "Sea Salt & Pepper Cashews" to be exact.

First I chopped the chicken (with a Slap Chop by the way, those things rule). Next I mixed in the Mayo and Horseradish Sauce (50/50 ratio to make it spicy but you may want a different mix). Next I chopped the cashews and mixed them in. Finally I added Celery Seeds and Crushed Red Pepper for the desired taste.

Pretty simlpe stuff but hey its a been a while since I've been cooking regularly so its not like I'm gonna be at Iron Chef level or something.

She is not a feminist

Throughout the world various people take on various titles and labels. They claim said titles/labels because they identify with the values, beliefs, traits, etc... of that title. However when measuring ones own beliefs against the various titles of the spectrum and notice that while they closely align with some of the values of a specific title the differences are so great that they cannot take on that title something happens.

Some people like me will choose to take on no label in an effort to avoid the negatives of them (namely people who use labels as a quick way to identify someone they don't like, no matter how wrong the reason is, in order make themselves feel good about dismissing them). Some will take on a title that is a slight variation of that label they closely align too. This is where you get Moderate Republicans, Radical Feminists, and so on. And some will take on a separate title altogether. This is what Renee has done.

Having decided to no longer put up with the racism that she has seen in feminism (somewhat similar to the sexism that I've seen) she has left the title behind to embrace the title of womanist. Go check Wiki for a start. To people like Renee the current landscape of feminism is so white female-centric that voices of color are being left out in the cold. For such people womanism has become the banner under which they operate. A banner that gives voice to the women of color that have been left silent by white feminism.

Now don't be cheap and just read this post here without taking a moment to at least check out Renee's place and Wiki I linked to. How are all of us different groups ever gonna get on the same page if we don't take the time to get to know each other?

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Star Wars'gasm‏

I just came a little. Oh I am so going to get my game on when this comes out...


Friday, June 12, 2009

I'm glad I don't have children and live in Scotland...

If you recall yesterday I was preemptively addressing my concerns over the ill will towards fathers that seem to hit hardest on the one day that should be reserved for the honoring of fathers. Well Robert Franklin reminded me of this bit of Father's Day sexism that happened last year.

Last year several schools in Scotland introduced a ban on the practice of school children making Father's Day cards at school. The reasoning behind the ban?
From the Telegraph:
The politically correct policy was quietly adopted at schools "in the interests of sensitivity" over the growing number of lone-parent and same-sex households.
Alright folks this statement fails for many reasons.

1....politically correct policy...
This is not a good sign. The schools that took part in this ban are deeming that the political climate is more important than the bond of love between a father and child. Such an act also makes the statement that it is okay to dismiss fathers and their contributions to their children's lives.

2....quietly adopted at schools "in the interests of sensitivity"...
For this to have been done for the sake of sensitivity and political correctness one has to wonder why knowledge of ban did not become public until after Father's Day when it was noticed that scores of child did not get to make cards for the day at school. Usually when you make a political statement or are acting in the interests of someone's sensitivity you come out make your statement/act known before hand right? Then why the convert decision making? And I have to wonder if sensitivity was really their motive. If the ban was over the concern for children without fathers in their lives does this mean they are going to ban all card making occasions because they don't apply to a portion of the children?

3....over the growing number of lone-parent and same-sex households.
This has to be the most damning of all. The language is gender neutral and all but if that is so then why was only one gender targeted by the ban? And in the case of a same sex home would someone please tell me who was interested in the sensitivity of the child with two daddies that doesn't have a mommy to make a Mother's Day card for and is then banned from making a Father's Day Cards in school (if there are any of course).

Now that sentence was more than likely from the writer of the article so let's get to some direct quotes from some of directly involved.

Father's advocates rose up to campaign this action and were told by authorities that teachers, "need to react to 'the changing pattern of family life'". We have a bit of a problem here. According to Robert Franklin, "By the way, according to the Office for National Statistics, 75% of Scottish children live with both parents. Of the remaining 25%, who live with single parents, presumably some live with fathers. " So that means that for the sake of sensitivity it was decided to snub the over 75% of children who have fathers in their lives for the feelings of the less than 25% of children who do not. Now I'm not saying that the 25% don't matter and even if the percentages were closer to equal or even reversed when dealing with children is it really fair to implement such a major ban?

"The teachers are aware of the family circumstances of the children in each class and if a child hasn't got a father living at home, the teacher will avoid getting the children to make a card."
I'm not a fan of punishing the group for the actions of the individual and I certainly am not a fan of punishing the group for the circumstances that are beyond the control of the individual. Yes when you ban a class of school children from making cards for an occasion you are punishing them and unless they did something to deserve said punishment you are doing it because of circumstances beyond their control.

This demonstrates a pretty clear intent to send the message that fathers do not matter which is a grave insult to children and fathers.

I was just about to finish this post but I just thought of something else and shame on me for forgetting it sooner. Most of the time when children make cards in class for occasions they are usually making those cards with school supplied materials. Has anyone stop to think about those children who may have been depending on making that card at school because without it they have no other way to get a present to give to their dad on Father's Day? still an -ism

This has been on my mind for quite some time and today I think I finally have my thoughts straight to put down on paper...well electronic paper anyway.

When it comes to -isms, privilege, and power people seem to like to point out how their group is powerless and some other group is powerful. Once that line has been drawn people can then "call people out", tell them they are "blind to their privilege", and so on. Now this is not to say that there are no imbalances between different groups that exist on this planet that need to be addressed however some people use these terms as a beat stick to shut out anyone that does not agree with them or as a shield to protect themselves from criticism (and there's some really crafty ones out there that use it as both). One way of beating or blocking is insisting that when someone commits an -ist act their institutional power must be gauged in order to determine if it actually -ist or not.

That's some ole bullshit.

I see this alot from women's advocates so let's go there. A lot of people like to link to Feminism 101 for its definition of sexism. If you would read the first paragraph of that page:
Short definition: Sexism is both discrimination based on gender and the attitudes, stereotypes, and the cultural elements that promote this discrimination. Given the historical and continued imbalance of power, where men as a class are privileged over women as a class (see male privilege), an important, but often overlooked, part of the term is that sexism is prejudice plus power. Thus feminists reject the notion that women can be sexist towards men because women lack the institutional power that men have.

As you can see this definition of sexism hinges on institutional power.

Institutional power you ask?
Now that that’s out of the way, let’s look at why feminists make a distinction between sexism and gender-based prejudice when the dictionary does not. A running theme in a lot of feminist theory is that of institutional power: men as a class have it, women as a class don’t. Obviously the power dynamics do shift around depending on the culture and the time period (not to mention the individual, the other privileges that the person does/does not have, etc etc), but ultimately the scales remain tipped in favor of men in general (if you disagree with that statement, please go read the Why do we still need feminism? FAQ entry first before proceeding).

What this imbalance of power translates to on an individual level is a difference in the impact of a man being prejudiced towards a woman and a woman being prejudiced towards a man. While both parties are human, and therefore have the same capacity to be hurt by the prejudice, whether they like it or not, the men have a whole system of history, traditions, assumptions, and in some cases legal systems and “scientific” evidence giving their words a weight that the women don’t have access to.

I think the problem I have with this is that something that is as painful, offensive, and wrong as an individual -ist action is being weighed on the global scale (the scale being the balance of power between the groups involved in the action) to determine if its -ist or not. As we all know when it comes to -isms the very words themselves are charged/loaded as they should. Racism, ageism, sexism, and so on are powerful words that invoke a lot of emotion when used or when their corresponding actions occur. To me it seems a bit dismissive to tell the target of an -ist action that because the person that committed the said action against them belongs to a group that "for the most part" does not have any power said action was not -ist.

Now I bet you're thinking something along the lines of the disclaimer feminism101 used:
Now, before I say anything else, the obligatory disclaimer: When feminists say that women can’t be sexist towards men, they aren’t saying that women being prejudiced against men is a good thing, or something that should be accepted. Prejudice is bad and should not be accepted. (emphasis theirs)

If that is so then why the desperate need to claim that one is -ist and other is not?

Another reason I don't like or agree with this criteria to determine an -ism is because it gives a small shred of credibility to the notion of "reverse -ism". Let's get exact for a bit by filling in the "-" in -ism.

By their definition sexism can only occur in the instance of male vs. female due to men as a class having power over women as a class (which after the last year or so I'm not so sure about but that is another story for another day). As we know reverse is the opposite of the standard. This would imply that reverse sexism is indeed female against male. To imply that one form of sexual discrimination is the norm and other is the deviation serves to minimize the one that is portrayed as the deviation.

As a man if a woman commits an act of sexism against me the fact that I share gender with most of the people at the top has nothing to do with whether or not what that woman did was sexist and it doesn't mean that her sexist act is a deviation from the norm of sexism.

Firstly men as class are not a monolithic entity therefore judging an act based on the power a subset of our class has is unfair. Yes I share gender with most of people at the top but that does not change the fact that they do not think, speak, act, or anything for me. So why is their power the sole weight used to measure whether a sexist against me actually is sexist? When you do that you are selectively upgrading Average Joe to Elite Joe for the sake of your argument just to have him fall back down to Average status when it doesn't suit your argument anymore.

Secondly women as a class are not a monolithic entity therefore judging an act based on the power a subset of their class has is unfair. Yes a woman judge does not share gender with most of the people at the top but that does not change the fact that she does not think, speak, act, or anything else for all women. So why is the power of those women who are not at the top the sole weight used to measure whether a sexist against she commits against a man is actually sexist? When you do that you are selectively downgrading Elite Jane to Average Jane for the sake of your argument just to have her rise back to Elite status when it doesn't suit your argument anymore.

So I'm sorry but trying to measure your ________'s (gender, race, etc....) power in relation to who is at the top sounds like an attempt to create a loophole to excuse one's group from the emotional charge that is associated with the -ism in question.

An attempt to re-label an -ism by any other name...

(Disclaimer: Now this is not to say that this does not happen with other -isms as well but I've just seen it happen with sexism so much I chose to go with that one as my example. I don't like this happening in regards of race, religion, etc....whatever subject of discrimination you can think of.)

Thursday, June 11, 2009

This should be interesting...

Father's Day is a little over a week away and I'm curious as to what kind of treatment fathers will get this time around. For those of you that didn't know then presidential candidate Barack Obama chose Father's Day 2008 as an opportunity to attack fathers. I kinda wonder what he may have in store for June 21st.

Now don't get me wrong I'm not trying to say that all fathers are good men but at the same time when you take the one day of the year that is supposed to be dedicated to fathers as a chance to attack them I have to wonder how pure your intentions are. Yeah I know you probably want to say that you're only sending a wakeup call to the bad fathers but that does not explain or excuse the choice of that exact day to call them out. As if he could not go with one of the other 364 days in the year. There is no way in hell you can convince me that any politician, especially someone going for the White House, would have the gumption to use Mother's Day as a platform to "only talk about bad mothers".

May 10th of this year was reserved as a day to honor, love, cherish, respect, etc... mothers as it should be. I don't recall any major figures using Mother's Day as a forum to attack them but if they did I'll bet money we would have known about it.

If Father's Day is supposed to be a day for fathers then where is the love, honor, and respect for the dads that have to work through Father's Day to support their families? Where is the love, honor, and respect for the fathers that are no longer with us? Where is love, honor, and respect for the fathers who are sitting somewhere crying their hearts out in pain because they are being unfairly kept away from the very children that graced them with the title of father?

It's real easy to kick dads around for a few extra brownie points but who among them has the guts to actually help those dads out?

Being a man

So I'm doing my daily reading of Pelle Billing today and I come across this. It is a post by a guest by the name of Eivind Figenschau Skjellum. Eivind is one of the brains behind Masculinity Movies.
I am still reading the site (hey I just found it) and so far it seems that they are are on to something.

Their site is dedicated to their own approach dispelling the untruths, lies, and myths that plague the meaning of manhood brought on by various sources like the government, feminism, and men themselves. They want men to be able to wash away that nonsense and redefine masculinity. What I find interesting so far is the approached employed by the site. In a move that I have not seen before the minds behind Masculine Movies uses words and movies (hence the word movies in the title). Now I haven't had time to fully go over the site but it does look like its worth a read through.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

One more thing about hair...

I was reading ireport today and started reading about people of color (would like to have heard from more men of color though) and the hair issues they face. One thing I kept seeing was the mention of using natural hair products and I'm curious them. I'm currently using SoftSheen Carson Optimum Care Shampoo, Conditioner and Daily Flake Control Gel but they are getting hard to find so I better find something new soon before they disappear. For anyone (regardless of color or gender) reading this what type of hair products do you use? Who knows someone may tip me off on something good.

Stand your ground

Last month a new company president was hired and will be taking over in a few weeks and as with any changing of the guard people are concerned. You'll have upper management kissing ass to get on the good graces of the new boss in hopes of maintaining their dominance. You'll have mid and lower management kissing ass to get on the good graces of the new boss in hopes of climbing the corporate ladder. I on the other hand have a more personal concern, my hair.

For the most part the only people that will be seriously concerned about making sure their appearance is proper for the president are the people that are going to be around him most and that would be the people working at corporate headquarters. Our corporate headquarters is two buildings with about 50 people. Well the other 49 can all be divided between black woman, white man, and white woman. Yes that leaves me, the only black man out just not corporate headquarters but out of all 250+ employees across 28 offices and branches, as the odd man out.

That means there is absolutely no one else in the whole company that has my exact combination of hair issues. Currently I keep my hair in an afro that I'm damn proud to have for my own reasons. Don't get me wrong I don't mean to shrug off the people who started the style but I wear my afro because I like it. Along with it I have thin sideburns that lead into a goatee and mustache that just quite can't connect on my top lip. It stays neat and trimmed and I really don't see any reason to remove. On the other hand I've been told that this new president is a very formal person as in he only owns suits and tied formal. Now I don't want to assume before even meeting him that he would have a problem with my hair however having heard so many stories from men of color about how others problems with their hair has interfered with their careers I'm worried.

I don't want to start off on an ill note with this guy (through my own fault or otherwise) however if he pulls some racist shit over my hair this might get ugly and I'm about certain I would not have a job by the time the smoke clears. Yeah about two weeks ago I probably would have cut it depending on how he went about requesting it but now I'm pretty sure that no matter how he goes about trying to get me to change my hair it will not end well (and it also helps that my brother is a paralegal).

Perhaps I am the one that needs to teach him that there is no correlation between hair style and work ethic (meaning afro/braids/locs don't necessarily mean thug/gangsta/degenerate). Perhaps it won't matter to him as long as I handling my responsibilities. Perhaps I'm getting worked up over nothing. But what I do know is that I'm going to stand my ground on this.

Feeling alive when facing death

This post was not triggered by an article I read somewhere or anything like that but it is something that I've been thinking about for a long time.

Military research divisions all over the world are always constantly looking for that next breakthrough in unmanned combat, surveillance, infiltration, whatever else is needed in war. The main benefit for such advances in technology is that lives would be spared in the form of not having to send them out to perform tasks that can be done with machinery. In effect you would remove a large portion of the human element from war. And that is what bothers me.

Don't get me wrong I'm not advocating for putting people in harm's way but at the same time I wonder about what would happen if the time came when wars were won or lost at the press of a few buttons. Imagine our president deciding that a terrorist organization is major threat and needs to be taken out. Instead of the way it is today when the cost (American soldiers) is weighed against the benefit (eliminating the terrorist organization) the organization could be wiped out by a smart weapon that can be fired from 3000 miles away. This has the benefit of not being a blanket kill all "dumb weapon" like the bombs that were dropped in Japan during WWII meaning that you kill enemy targets and enemy targets only (thanks to the unmanned drone you launched to gather recon instead of sending in a covert unit which would have put lives at risk). Pretty easy to commit to war when all you have to do to kill the bad guys is press a few button ain't it? But stop and think for a moment what the president is doing.

An evil organization rises. Press button to kill them. Another one rises. Press a button to kill them. And so on and so on until one days the president comes across an organization that MIGHT have terrorist ties. The president's drones can't confirm or deny terrorist activity but since its now so easy and "its better to kill them now than to take a chance that they are evil" the button is pushed again. And again and again and again. After a while the threshold of what a terrorist organization drops. And drops and drops and drops. Next thing you know damn near anyone can be killed at the literal press of a button.

On one hand I don't want to see people get killed defending our country but on the other I don't want the pursuit of fighting the enemy with little cost in human lives to lead to the casual choice of killing anyone that might look like a threat. Call me what you will but I think that having humans on the battle field keeps us mindful of the costs of war. Sure we bear in mind the territory, or crops, or whatever it is we are fighting for but I think the possible loss of human life is a limiter that keeps many leaders from going too far in their efforts. Removing that limiter could be disastrous.

I know you're wondering where the hell this came from. Honestly I was at work today and I started thinking about the Metal Gear Solid series of video games today. One of the themes of the series is the advance of technology and discussion of how the human factor is being removed from battle from the perspective of battle worn veterans.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Have you seen this boy?

Oh shit.

Okay yeah they are trying to ride the curtails of the Transformers 2 hype which is fine I suppose but this is really cool stuff.

It would seem that the military is working on something that is called "programmable matter". The purpose of this matter is to allow the user to command the mass of matter to take on the form of whatever simple tool is needed at the moment. Imagine having a small container of this stuff instead of having to make room for small tools. Going to work on something screws but don't know what head or size they are? You can command the mass on the spot instead of trying to carry enough screwdrivers to cover all possibilities. Sounds cool right? It is until you think about the T1000 from Terminator 2.

Yeah I know you recall Robert Patrick as the liquid metal terminator that could shape his body into whatever simple tool he needed (usually blades). Now imagine if this stuff were to go Skynet on us and develop intelligence and start to think and act on its own and for its own? Yeah its all fun and games until a few million people are dead, the spirits of humanity are crushed, and machines run the planet.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Weekly Menu June 8 - June 12 2009

Week 2 of the menu.

Breakfast - Turkey Bacon and Scrambled Eggs

This is as simple as it sounds. Since last week's breakfast was sorta complicated I turned it down a few notches. I fried up 10 slices of turkey Bacon (some left over from the pack I bought for last week's quiche) and scrambled 8 eggs. This sound like a lot but bear in mind that this is lasting me five days. Add in a loaf of wheat bread and you have 5 bacon and egg sandwiches. On the side i have a cup of Mott's Applesauce (Granny Smith Apples-No Sugar Added). So to total it up:

Butterball Turkey Bacon - $2.73 (And mind you I've now eaten out of it for 2 weeks.)
1 Dozen Large Eggs - $1.59
1 Loaf of Nature's Own wheat bread - $2.99
1 6-pack of Mott's Applesauce (Granny Smith Apples-No Sugar Added) - $2.50

Total = $9.81

Lunch - Chicken Spaghetti
Alright I got a little experimental on this one so bear with me.

5-6 boneless skinless chicken breasts (Most grocery stores sell packs of these for about 6-8 dollars. The trick is to look at the frozen meats not the fresh ones.)

1 Can of mushrooms

2 jars of whatever spaghetti sauce you like (I personally used the "Mushroom" and "Traditional" varieties of my local grocery store's brand and just spiced it up.)

Spices for sauce (Trust me if you use a store bought brand, I don't know how to make my own, you will want to spice it up). Crushed red pepper and garlic powder

Noodles of your choice (I personally used Ronzoni wheat spaghetti noodles.)

Let's cook.

Okay first you want to clean and cook your chicken (Flaw: I pan fried the whole breasts without cutting them first. Big mistake, this increases the cook time. Cut them up first and then cook them.). I seasoned with Five Spice (prepacked mix of Fennel, Ground Cloves, Black Pepper, Cinnamon, and Ginger) and Italian Seasoning (prepacked mix of Oregano, Rosemary, Thyme, and Basil). In a pot go ahead and mix your two cans of spaghetti sauce and spice it up to you liking. Once the sauce is right just add your chicken and you have your sauce. Prepare you noodles and you have chicken spaghetti. I personally put a bed of noodles in my container then a layer of sauce on top and leave it that way until its time to eat it (I'm one of those people that will only mix sauce and noodles just before eating).

One other word of caution. Since chicken isn't as tough as beef try not to stir it up too often or you will risk tearing it up into even smaller pieces. With my spaghetti lunches I am eating those frozen steamer packs of vegetables. They come in 1 pound packs so I eat half a pack each day.

Tally up:
Pack of frozen boneless, skinless chicken breasts - $7
2 jars of store bought spaghetti sauce - 2 x $1.89 = $3.78
1 can of mushrooms - $.99
Noodles - $2
3 packs of frozen veggies - 3 x $2 = $6

Total = $20.77

Well that's what I'm eating this week. Time to think about next week.

Weekly Menu June 1 - June 5 2009

I think that in an effort to keep track of what I cook for my weekly breakfast/lunch at work I'll start making a weekly post. These aren't going to be full on recipes (mainly because I'm not following one) but just a basic writeup. This first writeup from what I had this past week.

Breakfast - Homemade Quiche
Okay I kind of just made this up off the top of my head but in the end it came out pretty well. This is enough for 2 pies.
2 Deep Dish Pie Shells

1 Quart carton of Egg Beaters (I didn't use the entire carton mind you)

6 slices of turkey bacon (I recommend Butterball over Louis Rich because that stuff when cooked leaves a smell that lingers for about 2 days.)

1 pound package of turkey sausage (The one I found came in a log so that you can cut it into patties, like the Jimmy Dean stuff.)

1 package of frozen spinach (I used one of those frozen steamer packs that you can put in the microwave and cook in a few minutes. The package only has about 10oz and remember that it will draw up a bit when cooked so feel free to use it all)

1 package of mushrooms (You know those that come in the little blue cartons wrapped in plastic? Yeah those. I used plain white button mushrooms but feel free to get shitake or portabella to mix it up.)

Cheese for topping (I used shredded sharp cheddar.)

Okay start off pre-baking you pie crusts (there should be directions on the package but make sure you punch a lot of holes in them to prevent bubbles). When those are done you want to cook your bacon, sausage, spinach, and mushrooms. I cooked the meats separately but instead of cooking the spinach in the microwave by the directions on the bag I just sauteed it with the mushrooms In the bottom of the pie shell lay a layer of cheese and on top of that pour some of the egg beaters. Next lay a layer of one of the meats and pour on some more egg beaters. Add a layer of spinach/mushroom and some more egg beaters. The next layer is of the remaining meat and some more egg beaters. Finally put your cheese on top.

I cooked with my oven on 375 but honestly I'm not sure how long I cooked it. To get a good guess at the cook time bear in mind you only have to cook the egg beaters and get the cheese to a golden brown. Now assuming you layered the food into the pie pan while it was still hot like I did if would have only taken about 20 minutes. Take it out, let it cool, and you have quiche.

Just as you would with an omelette you can customize it by adding and taking out ingredients as you please.

Flaws: Okay this is the first time I did this so it wasn't perfect.
1. I overcooked the crusts when I baked them so by the time I put in the ingredients and cooked it again it was burnt.
2. Cheese - I chose to use sharp cheddar when is one of the most fatty and oily cheeses you can buy. There was so much oil that it actually made the quiche greasy. Next time I'm switching to provolone.

Not perfect but all in all I think it was pretty good for a first try.

Lunch - Turkey Burgers
You're gonna notice a lot of turkey popping up in the things I cook. I might be on the verge of giving up red meat. While out shopping I decided to pick up some pre-patted turkey burgers. I'm fortunate enough to have a full functioning kitchen at work with a George Foreman grill so cooking them was easy. However just before I ate the last one I decided to look at the nutritional facts out of curiosity and I was shocked. Each one of those burgers has 240 calories. Not very good. I suppose next time I should get ground turkey and pat them out myself.

Well that's what I had last week. Its 2am now so I'll post what I've got in store this week tomorrow after work.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Men's Health Month? Never knew about that one...

In an environment where its is just assumed that men have everything this post I found via Toy Soldiers makes me feel a bit better.

When it comes to men's health things are not doing so well but at least the people in Cambridge are trying to do something about it by celebrating Men's Health Month. Claude-Alix Jacob, the city’s chief public health officer and director of the public health department says that “American men are experiencing a silent health crisis." have higher rates of death than women for heart disease, cancer, chronic lower respiratory diseases, and HIV/AIDS. They are also more likely than women to die in a car crash, commit suicide, or suffer a fatal workplace injury.

But despite how bleak men's health may be it would be easier than one thinks for us to turn things around.

Three things that Jacob mentions that could help us improve our health. The age old advice to include more exercise into daily life would help. The next bit of help would be to eat better. We see all these ads on tv about "man food". These products are usually notoriously unhealthy being loaded with calories, fat, and preservatives. Avoiding them would certainly improve the quality of our lives. The biggest piece of advice is also a bit of a touchy subject with men. Due to the conditioning we get from society men are of the mindset that a trip to the doctor is not needed unless a body part has been severed, something is broken, or there is so much blood it can't be cleaned up with a paper towel. This has to change.

For years we men have been denying ourselves medical treatment and preventive checkup and all for what? Working just a little bit longer to ensure the futures of our partners and children? Putting in ungodly long work weeks in order to get that promotion? Of course it is important to take care of one's partner and children and it is important to do the best you can in your career but what good is it to literally work yourself into an early grave if you aren't there to enjoy it with your partner and/or children?

It is important to stay healthy not just for our family's sake but for our own sake as well and this month is a good time to start. And if you're a woman or a child reading this then its a good time to encourage the men in your life to start making AND keeping doctor's appointments and not expecting aches, pains, and other abnormalities to just go away.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

I'm not so sure I like this

A man is a suspect ,or person of interest if you will, in the beating and rape of an 11 year old girl in Philadelphia, PA. He had not been charged or brought in for questioning yet so a group of upstanding citizens decided to do the grunt work and bring him in for the police.

To make things even more interesting when the police arrived they not only arrested him (on an outstanding warrant on unrelated charges) but police commissioner Charles Ramsey has decided not to press charges against the mob, yes I said mob, that assaulted him. And his attitude is a bit disparaging.

First we have this:
"From what I've seen so far, we have one victim and that's an 11-year-old girl," Ramsey said in an interview with The Associated Press.
Now of course the young girls that was attacked is indeed the victim but to be able to overlook the fact the suspect was beaten by a small mob reeks of selective enforcement. I wonder how selective he would be if the guy had fought back and injured a few members of that mob that attacked him.

Next we have this:
"These people saw him, he attempted to run and they caught up with him," Ramsey said. "If the injuries had been severe, maybe we'd have to rethink it."
So a man can be charged, tried, convicted, and in some cases executed for a crime that he did not commit with no witnesses around while at the same time a man can be chased a beaten in broad daylight on tape and be seen by the cops (because apparently they noted that the assailants stopped when the police arrived) and the ones that beat him aren't charged.

Oh but here is where the Ramsey assures us that he does not condone vigilante justice:
"I think you have to take into account the emotion. I think you have to take into account the severity of the injuries," Ramsey said, adding that he does not condone vigilante justice. "It's unfortunate that we didn't find him first."
Awww damn. You see he does not condone vigilante justice but due to the emotion of the situation and injuried that the girl suffered its okay for an angry mob to chase down a suspect and beat him up but not too badly. And of course he expresses his regret that they did not find him first.

Now don't get me wrong I'm not saying that he should not be investigated and charged if there is enough evidence however allowing a gang of people to beat up the suspect and then not only not charging them but paid a cash reward to members of the mob is just wrong and it sends out the wrong message.

Edit: I was reading a post on this at feministing and one of the commenters pointed to this article in The Daily News that says the man is in critical condition. Hold up Ramsey was quoted saying "If the injuries had been severe, maybe we'd have to rethink it.". If the injuries were not severe then why is he in critical condition. I personally don't like the idea of criminals suing but in this case I kinda hope he sues the people that beat him, the commissioner that didn't condone it but rewarded the assailants, and the police department for not arresting the assailants. Problem is he would not get a fair shake because people would assume he's a rapist and say he deserved it.

And think about this folks. Being called a person of interest is enough justification to beat a man into critical condition. No arrest. No trial. No verdict. This is that stigma I mentioned a while back. Yes I know there has been mention of physical evidence but that doesn't mean we can skip straight to the excution phase.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Musing in My Corner while thinking about Race and Gender

So I'm out walking this evening and listening to the bi-weekly Womanist Musings podcast and the hostesses Renee, Monica, and Allison McCarthy were mainly talking about race and feministing (there's a long story behind their interactions with Jessica Valenti of feministing that makes this cast much worth the download) but the main thing that caught my attention was something that came later in the show.

Not sure who brought it up but the topic came to the question of how does one go about calling things out when the ones being called out generally refuse to listen?

Specifically the hostesses of the show were talking about how, as women of color, they speak to the white women who dominate sites like feminsting and get called "angry" and other silencing language white women use on women of color for their trouble. Usually these silencing tactics are a result of not wanting to listen to said women of color (WoC from here) while at the same time wanting to benefit from their precence. By this I mean they want WoC to embrace feminism under the banner of sisterhood while putting WoC's issues on the back burner with a promise to address them later. By this I mean they want to flaunt the street cred of being "allies" (and anyone that has read stuff here before knows I don't like the current frivolous use of that word) yet only do so with the bear minimum of mention in the form of quicklinking, a form of lip service that involves simply linking to someone with only a few if any words of mention (almost like you didn't actually read the post you're liking to). By this I mean they are all for WoC being around as long they make sure they don't get "angry", "out of hand", "hostile", or whatever.

(Everything after this is a tangent of my own sparked by their podcast. They talked about a whole lot more than what I'm mentioning here so you really, really, really should go listen to it. It's 90 minutes well spent.)

This struck a bit of a chord with me and got me to thinking about the problems I have to deal with in human rights discourse from my own perspective. Now most of what Renee and Monica were speaking about was from the perspective of women of color (African decent to be exact) so as a man of color (African decent to be exact) my problems are not quite the same.

Currently two of the largest human rights issues on nearly everyone's lips are race and gender.(disclaimer: I am by NO MEANS saying that sexual orientation, religion, economic class, weight, ability, etc... issues don't matter just saying race and gender come up most often.) Generally the way it goes is to pretty much assume men are the haves and women are the have nots in terms of gender and whites are the haves and people of color are the have nots in terms of race. So according to common perceptions that puts me in the position of being both a have (male...) and a have not (...of color) with the other side of the coin being white women. So I get quite the mixed bag.

Being black in some ways gives me quite the bit of latitude some of which is deserved some of which is not. On one hand when I point out racism to white people there is a chance that they may apologize, announce their ally status, then wait for me to reciprocate. On the other hand they may get hostile as Renee and Monica have experienced. There have been quite a few times I've been called "angry black man", asked "Don't I have a liquor store to rob?", (let's not get into the abandoning children remarks) and other silencing remarks. As a side note its almost as if people think that I am not capable of committing racism. Well I can but some people to try to throw in "institutional power" and say that I would not be racist in said situation if I was targetting a white person. Yeah it seems that whether or not something I do is racist depends on the race of those I target but that is a-whole-nother can of worms for another day.

Apparently some people (i.e. some female feminists) like to think that as a man I have this stack of privileges over them by virtue of being a man. Many of the items they try to bootstrap to me don't apply but that doesn't stop them from making the claim and here lies the problem. (And never mind the notion that with "institutional power" in the mix if a woman does something to me because I'm male its not sexism.) These assumptions make gender discourse a bit difficult. When speaking in gender discourse they like to think that as a male I always have privilege on my side therefore anything I say besides apologizing and pledging to be an ally is assumed to be suspect at best and a display of privilege at worst.

It is quite the disheartening and frankly aggravating experience to be called names simply because I have the audacity to not agree with something said by a feminist. I don't agree with the outlandish notion that "men don't have to worry about...."? Then that must mean that I'm blinded by my privilege. I don't agree with the claim that "women are the real victims of..." despite having mountains of male victims (that they push to the side and ignore)? Then I must be a troll. I dare to point out that lumping all men together with the elite few at the top that are causing the problem is an incorrect and gross generalization? That has to be because I'm crying "It's not me!" Point out the hypocrisy of claiming to care about all people while at the same time ignoring the issues of any who do not fit in a narrow concentrated group? Then it has to be an attempt to derail.

What I'm getting at is how can you expect to talk to much less work with a group of people who have already decided that because you are of a certain class of people you are some demon that cannot be trusted and should be cast out at the slightest hint of dissent?

Now I'm not saying that I should be taken at face value but at the same time if my trustworthiness, credibility, likability, etc... are being determined solely by one part of who I am how can I contribute to making the world a better place? Well that is part of the reason why I created this place so that I can speak just how I want without worrying about a few feminists crying foul because I'm not acting quite how they want me to. This works for now but it causes more separation which is the exact opposite of the unity that needs to happen.

Going to have to come up with a better way...

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Are you the Key Master?

I'm sure just about anyone reading this recalls the name of Arthur Freeman. That would be the man that threw his daughter from a bridge in Melbourne, Australia earlier this year. The child died as a result of the injuries from the fall. Now I remember this being all over the place when the story broke so I wonder if the actions of Amanda Jo Stott-Smith will ring just as loud.

Amanda Jo Stott-Smith has been charged and indicted with murdering her four year old son and attempting to murder her seven year old daughter, both by forcing them off Sellwood Bridge in Oregon. Now as you can see CNN has a small write up on it but if you look at this you see that CNN, and probably most of the mainstream media, might be missing a big part of the story. Possible motive.

It would seem that Stott-Smith may have gone to such an extreme as a result of the divorce and insuing custody battle she was going through. At the time of act her husband had custody of the two children and she had visitation rights. Since this just happened there may be more to this but at first glance this may be a case of gatekeeping (If I can't have my children no one will). This would not be the first time that a parent has gone to extreme lenghts to make sure the other never sees their children again and I doubt it is the last.

Say it with me now...

A short while ago I tossed my hat in the ring on this Men in Power organization at the University of Chicago. I pointed to a piece on the organization at the University of Washington's web site. The term reverse sexism came up and I said I would get back to it later.

It's later and I'm gonna be blunt.

Reverse sexism is a loaded term. Loaded with bullshit.

Most of the people that use the term buy into the idea that by default sexism is male against female and it is not. I don't care how much you whine about "institutional power" and try to say that female against male sexism isn't really sexism because women don't have power (nevermind the fact that they must have had some sort of power if they were able to commit the sexist act to start with) sexism is about treating someone a certain way because of their gender.

If I fire a woman from her job because she is a woman that is sexism. If a woman fires me from my job because I'm a man that is sexism. Our levels of institutional power have nothing to do with it. It has to do with the fact that we were treated a certain way because of only our gender.

That is the type of stuff the idea of reverse sexism pushes. Hell if you look at the fact that sexism is to treat someone a certain way because of their gender the reverse of that would to...not treat them a certain way because of their gender.

Imagine that.

So folks say it with me, "Female against male sexism is NOT reverse sexism. It is simply sexism."

Through a New Looking Glass: The Power of the Y

Okay I've been a bit out of it the last few days (major car trouble + sucky financial situation) so I know I'm a bit late on this whole Men in Power student organization that has started at University of Chicago. This just screams for me to compare my past perception of such a thing to my current perception.

Yesterday's Perception: Up until about 3 years ago I would have shrugged this off in disbelief. I mean really why do men need a student organization that focuses on their issues. Just one look at society would show you that men pretty much run everything. Most highend politicians are men. Most high end corporate positions are held by men. In short men are in control. Why on this good green Earth does there need to be an organization dedicated to men when the default of nearly everything is male?

Today's Perception: The answer to the question I would have asked 3 years ago is that the other things I would have said would only make sense if the male gender were a monolith that all talk, think, act, experience, etc...the same. But we aren't. Has anyone stopped to realize that just because there is a men's organization starting up they maybe, just maybe, actually have issues to address that are NOT being addressed by those male politicians, CEOs, and so on and they don't necessarily have the intent to hurt women? Contrary to what some may think we are not all connected by our Y chromosome and have the ability to just call up a man in high office and just tell him to fix a situation and we aren't all trying to oppress women. There are plenty of men's issues that need to be addressed that people are not talking about either because they don't know about it or because they don't want to acknowledge it and some of us are just trying to help ourselves out a bit.

So as you can see my perception has changed a good bit in the last 3 years and frankly they have changed for the better. However there are those that refuse to move beyond my old perception. Check this out. Its a small article from the online new site from the University of Washington. It would seem that some of the women on campus have already decided that such a group is unnecessary at best and misogynistic at worst. (The article also mentions "reverse sexism" which I will get to later.)

Chicago student Jessica Pan, president of the school’s Women in Business club, finds the club’s mission entirely unnecessary, telling the Chicago Tribune she wasn’t “sure [the campus] really need[s] another student organization that focuses on pre-professional development for men.”

Ali Feenstra, a third-year student and member of the campus group Feminist Majority, agreed. “It’s like starting ‘white men in business,’” Feenstra said. “There’s not really any purpose.”

The first quote is problematic due to the woman speaking goes with the assumption that the "other" student development organizations are dedicated to specifically men when they are not. Sure many of those organizations may end up being overrun by SUBSETS of men but just like any other organization they do not actually represent the entire gender. In order for Pan's comment to hold true those other organizations would have to actually be focused around men instead of assuming they are like she does.

The second quote fails. Feenstra invokes racism and sexism by trying to say that being white and male is some magical key to the kingdom that makes all of one's problems go away. I'm not white but I can say for damn sure that being male doesn't guarantee success as much as people may think and I've known enough white males to know that being white and male is not the magical key either. By making this statement Feenstra is trying to say that white males don't have issues and that is not right. I'm male and I for damn sure have gender specific issues that would not be wiped away if I were to suddenly become white.

Now I'm sure there are feminists somewhere tripping over themselves to get in a "what about teh menz?" cheap shot but if they would quit assuming that males have it made they would notice that we don't. I'm not saying they have to donate resources to men's issues I'm saying it would so them some good to stop thinking they already know everything about men's issues and the male perspective.