Monday, August 31, 2009

2nd Flavor: Big, Nice, and Timid

First I covered the flavor of Big, Dumb, and Angry. Next I'll show you Big, Nice, and Timid.

Now I'm sure you have seen this type of big guy before. On the outside he is not exactly the smallest in the world. But on the inside he is a man that doesn't like to fight, cannot fight, or may even be a coward.

We all know about the movie Animal House right? If you recall there is a character in that movie by the name Kent "Flounder" Dorfman who was a member of the Delta Tau Chi fraternity. This is the kind of guy I'm talking about here. Fat, nice to the point of almost being sickening (in my opinion anyway), and the target of ridicule from other people. Guys like this are usually the ones in school that get harassed by bullies because picking on someone bigger than themselves is a real ego boost for them even though they aren't fighting back.

Character writers sometimes give a bit of a reason why a large guy character acts this way. Take Chad from the anime/manga series Bleach. He is a high school student who does not fight due to an awareness of his size and destructive power. In fact his introduction to the show is a flashback by the main character in which Chad is getting beaten up but does not fight back because there are no other people in danger (a principle taught to him by his grandfather).

Now don't get me wrong unlike the first flavor there isn't as much outward negative treatment of large guys. These guys are running around angry and starting fights because of people picking on them (but I do like how Chad used to be that way and was show how to properly how to use his strength). But at the same time I can't help but point out how these characters are made targets because of their size.

Not as anger inducing as other flavors but still worth pointing out.

Friday, August 28, 2009

For the godzillionth time NO I DON'T play football!

So I'm at the doctor's office today for routine maintenance and it happened AGAIN. A random woman decides to venture a guess that I played for my high school football team.

"I bet you play for the football team don't you?"

"No I don't even play sports."

"Oh I thought you were probably here for your physical."

"Nah I'm not even in high school anymore. Those days are long gone."

"Really? You look young."

"Really? I'm 28. How old do you think I am?"

"Oh you look about 17 or 18."

How many times must I have to put up with people thinking that big guy = athlete?

For all the people that want to tell me that large men aren't stereotyped, tell me that the only assumptions made about us are positive, or try to shut me up by saying that large women (they have they own issues so don't try to wash out mine with theirs okay?) have it harder I cordially invite you to kiss every damn inch of my fat man ass. Being a fat guy is not some position of privilege. Our lives don't magically become easier. We have problems just like any other walk of life.

I still want a tattoo really badly

Lately I have been reading blog posts here and there about tattoos and all this reading has really me thinking more and more about getting some ink of my own.

About 7-8 years ago a good friend of mine (well she was just a friend at the time and I didn't realize how good and close she would become) and I were talking about tattoos and I told her that I want one but wasn't sure what to get. To that she gave what I think is a really good piece of advice. She told me that if I come up with an idea of a tattoo don't go rush out and get it. Think about it for a long time and if after that long time you still truly and fully want that idea on your body then you should get it.

I think I have reached that point.

For the longest time I have been a big fan of balance. Light/Dark. Yin/Yang. Good/Evil. Pairs in which one cannot survive without the other. This firmly sets in my mind that my tattoo will represent that principle.

But along with a theme you must also have an image. In the last few months I have been researching power animals and totems. Well even before that I've always found the bear to be an interesting creature. In my attempts to learn what my power animal is I am almost certain that it is a bear. When you think about it it works with the theme of balance very well.

The bear is a creature that on one hand can be very caring and nurturing for her cubs but on the other can be very dangerous force to be reckoned with. She can be soft and gentle in the handling of her young but is capable of great destruction and violence. A creature that is massive and can weight several hundred pounds but at the same time can tear through a forest at surprisingly high speed and can sometimes even climb trees (assuming they can support the weight).

The answer is clear. My pair of tattoos would be of two bears. On my right shoulder a polar bear and a pair of cubs snuggled under her to represent my caring and protective side. On my left shoulder a black grizzly bear in an attack posture to represent my ruthless and destructive side.

I've had this on my mind for a good while and now I think I'm ready to get it done but the only problem is that even though said tattoos would be covered and therefore not an issue at work I still have to get them done a time when I would have a few days of recovery time before I am able to cover it up with a shirt.

Rest assured though I will get these tattoos one day.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Hopefully this will become the standard

And by standard I mean that people will be presented as they are instead of being squeezed into a mold of what models are "supposed to look like".

Everyone from the mainstream media to the fringes of the blogsphere has been all a buzz over a photo of Lizzie Miller recently published in Glamour magazine. Why the buzz? Because with her size 12-14 waist Miller is considered to be a "plus-sized" model. I know right? We have a problem here.

As we all know the modeling industry has almost always imposed impossible standards of beauty on women (and men) in terms of what they are supposed to look like. Always on their shoulders ever shrinking definition of what beauty and sexy are. For years women and girls have been told by these magazines, models, and clothing designers that in order to be beautiful, in order to be attractive to men (our own tastes be damned), they have to be very small. Even if being so small was uncomfortable, undesirable, and in some cases unhealthy girls and women idolized those models and did whatever it took to look like them and fit into those same clothes. This is the fear that body image issues, insecurity, and eating disorders thrive off of.

For years girls and women have been plagued by these images. Perhaps this image by Lizzie Miller is proof that those magazines, modeling agencies, and clothing designers are finally starting to understand. Maybe this image will get them to realize that they have their own silly notions of what women are "supposed to look like" and they don't make sense, are damaging to the people that try to imitate them, don't always look that attractive and in some cases can be pretty unhealthy.

I really hope that this does not start and stop with this photo of Miller. I really hope that this is not just a one hit wonder but is an epiphany that women come in all shapes, sizes, colors, and other things. I really hope that one day women of all shapes, sizes, colors, and other things will regularly adorn the covers and pages of magazines and runways across the world. They are all beautiful.

Below is a sit down Lizzie Miller had with MSNBC a few days ago.

I would just like to say that as a man that looks at and is attracted to women I think that it is about goddamn time that we start seeing a mixture of women in the magazines and on the runway. Personally I think that she is very attractive (the phrase "pretty damn fine" is not out of the question). When I'm out and about I see a wide mix of women of different sizes and shapes and I find those different sizes and shapes attractive in different ways. And I know a lot of men who share my sentiment.

Thank goodness it would only be a recommendation...

Okay as we all know circumcision has become the standard medical routine for newborn boys. Well in recent times people have begun to not only question the process but to start refusing to put their baby boys through it. Well you know what happens when you take someone's toys (in this case scalpels) away. They begin to dig for reasons to keep them.

It would seem that the Center for Disease Control may officially recommend that newborn boys be circumcised.

The reasoning for this is due to data from studies among African men showing that circumcised men were about 50% as likely to contract HIV and AIDS as those who weren't. Thing is that the vast majority of African men are heterosexual meaning that most of the spreading of HIV/AIDS is heterosexual contact whereas most of the spread of HIV/AIDS in the USA is homosexual. It would seem that here in the USA circumcision does not have the same effect on homosexual as heterosexual men. So at a seeming stalemate what may be the deciding concern to tip the balance? Women.

The people talking here seem to think that the deciding vote may be a matter of whether or not circumcision can reduce STIs and STDs in women. If such a thing can be shown then it may convince the deciding forces that recommending the cutting of little boys may be the right thing to do. Now don't get me wrong I'm all for protecting people from disease and infection but hold up. Its bad enough that males get drilled with the idea that suffering injury and death for women is the right thing to do but we could be looking at a surge in a routine in which baby boys are put through a painful surgery without their consent (and there is the slight but very damaging possibility that things go wrong) because it might reduce the risks of STDs and STIs in women. Interesting that no other body part, male or female, is removed under the guise of preventative maintenance.

Alright before doctors start sharpening their cutting tools would it not be worth it to you know...find out if simply teaching boys good hygiene would reduce the risks. Or how about teaching them about the practice of safe sex? It would be one thing if there was proof that the practice of safe sex and good hygiene were not as effective as cutting but I worry that the CDC is not going to bother with this and just reignite the innate desire to chop little boys up right after birth. Why? Because its the thing to do.

Good thing it would only be a recommendation...

Because black men can't sell software

Okay I'm all for the idea that when a company advertises their product in a new market they are going to put up local faces to ease their way in. However I have to wonder about this.

Seattle based software giant Microsoft has (or had) a picture on its American website that show a black man, an asian man, and a white woman in a office. Fine, well, and good right? Apparently for the Polish it is not. On the Polish version of the website the face of the black man was airbrushed away and replaced with that of a white man.

Now hear me when I say that the fact that the face that was put in place of the black man's was a white man's is not the problem. If the picture had originally been that of a white man and no switch was made there would be no problem. If he had been replaced with any other race, gender, or whatever other characteristics can be recognized on sight the problem would still be the same. Even if it had been originally been a white man's face and was switched for a black man's the problem would still be the same. The problem is that Microsoft, for some reason that may or may not be related to trying to ease its way into the Polish market, felt that someone's face (in this case a black man) was not appropriate for the Polish website.

We all know that when it comes to intelligence black men are supposedly at the bottom of the barrel. I mean when you are just a hypersexual rapist always on the lookout for the next woman to have sex with (her consent be damned) how can you possibly devote time to learning about computers right? It worries me that in this day and age such an idea may be what caused Microsoft to change the photo and it also worries me that the Polish attitude about black men (and women) was so bad that a picture of a black man would dissuade them purchasing Microsoft products.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

1st Flavor: Big, Dumb, and Angry

Okay if you recall last night I mentioned how large men don't exactly have a wide range of character types in works of fiction. First I want to go over the one that you will most likely see: Big, Dumb, and Angry.

I want you to go check out this episode from the series XMen Evolution. If you aren't familiar with it is an alternate telling of the XMen in which most of the XMen roster (and some of their enemies) are portrayed as teenagers. I caught this particular episode on a few nights ago and watched it for the first time in several years...and this is what made me decide on this Five Flavors post. The episode in question introduces the character Fred Dukes aka The Blob.

Okay from hearing his name one can tell this is not going to be a favorable portrayal of a large male character. I supposed in order to simplify things for the television media his powers are reduced to simply having super human strength (Check out the wiki on him for a list of the abilities of his comic book counterpart). Super human strength is a basic ability you see a lot in fiction and is often the power of choice for large men (unless you go for shock value in the form of a small female with super strength but that's another story) however from there it pretty much goes downhill.

In the episode I mentioned he gets by by performing feats of strength at monster truck rallies. Why is he not in school you ask? Well that's because in this particular flavor of fat guys intelligence is a strict no no. When he moves to Bayville (the city where XMen Evolution takes place) and starts to attend the local high school it is shown that he has difficulty even reading his class schedule. Okay I don't expect him to have the intelligence of Hank McCoy but I am really getting sick of the belief that large guys are stupid. The center from Varsity Blues (well any fictional large athlete for that matter), Fezzik (the giant character from The Princess Bride), Duane Doberman (the fat guy from the Steve Martin version of the film Sgt. Bilko), pretty much every role ever played by Ethan Suplee ("My Name is Earl", "Boy Meets World", etc...) and the list goes on.

And of course when a large guy is not very smart what is thrown in to compensate for it? Anger. Looking back at the episode of XMen Evolution you'll see that when picked on about his size Fred goes into a blind rage. It's even to the point where if he so much as think that someone is laughing at him he'll go off (at the end of the episode he is tossed into a landfill and thinks the birds are laughing at him). Now in and of itself getting angry when picked on about one's size is a natural thing (I mean who actually likes being picked on about anything) but with Blob here he never gets past it mostly because this issue is never brought up again. No counseling, no efforts on his own, nothing. I was picked on about my size when I was a kid and it used to piss me off to no end and it still bothers me a bit as an adult. And I can safely say that if I had not learned to deal with such anger (on my own in the form of a "FUCK YOU!" attitude) I would not be a healthy person now. If you're gonna invoke the anger of being picked on in your fiction you can at least put in some effort to deal with it.

As you can see my thoughts on this are bit clouded but the purpose of this place is to straighten out my thoughts and to share them. That's all I have to say for now on the first flavor. I'll be back to talk about the second flavor later.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Five Flavors

Most of the time when you have a large* male character in a work of fiction you have a good idea how he is going to be portrayed:

1. Big, Dumb, and angry

2. Big, Nice, and timid

3. Big, Aggressive, and protective

4. Big, Smart, and repressed

5. Big, Dumb, comic relief

Not a lot to choose from eh? This has bothered me for a long time. To have an entire subsection of the population be limited to a small (and pretty insulting at times) range of character doesn't leave a lot of room to find someone like yourself to identify with. Mind every single large male character in every work of fiction doesn't fall into one of these four groups its just that most of the popular ones do, which is what makes it hard to find one to identify with. I'm sure some of you have noticed how large men are treated in fiction but I'm betting a lot of you haven't if for no other reason then you are not a large man. Lucky for you I'm going to take some time to inform you on the subject.

In the near future I'm going to take on each of the descriptions I mention above and break down what is "good" about it and what is bad about it (hint if you look at the descriptions the problem is usually in the third adjective) with an example character. Also I may touch on how this differs from fictional large female characters. Hopefully this will be an educational experience.

* - You'll notice that I'm using large instead of fat. The reason for is because of what society imagines to be fat. Sloppy, lazy, unkept, nonmuscular, etc... There are lot of male fictional characters out there that aren't small by any means but do not fit the words I just mentioned. So I'll split the difference and call them all large since that is the one thing they all have in common.

Edit - As I write the five parts to this I will update this main post with links to the respective parts.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Weekly Mashup Stage 1

Been a bit of a tough week (I've had to cover for a coworker while doing my own job for 3 of this week's five days) so I haven't had that much time to flesh out whole posts. Here are some of the things I came across.

What could go wrong with a Vasectomy?: India author Neerja Roy Chaudhry has created what is expected to become the Guinness Book of World Records' entry for the world's largest pair of functioning scissors. So what's the thing to do when you have such a large pair of scissors? Joke about sterilizing men of course.

Brazilian Teenage Girl Held in 50 Alleged Stabbing Deaths: A 17 year old Brazilian girl recently confessed to killing 50 men with the same knife over the course of 2 years. (That averages out to about killing 1 man every 15 days.) She told detectives she wanted to confess before she turned 18 and could be tried as an adult in order "to avoid upsetting my family." she says.

Nuns on the run from the truth: Similar to the allegations of past sex abuse against priests in the Catholic Church, victims are now how coming forward with tales of abuse they suffered at the hands of nuns.

The Depths of Male Disposability: Pelle Billing talks about how society imposes upon men the notion that we are disposable and how a man's willingness to sacrifice himself is a measure of his masculinity (and how failure to measure up means declared "not a real man")

Still Waiting for Bob Herbert to Condemn the Kuwaiti Massacre: Robert Franklin wonders why a man killing three women in a gym shooting ignites a wildfire across the media while a woman at her ex-husband's wedding to another burns down a tent that kills 41 women and children barely causes a spark.


How (NOT) to get an accurate reading on what women and men think of strip clubs

Now you would think that if you were to set out with the objective of finding out what men and women think about strip clubs you would think that you would talk to, well women and men. Well apparently Tanya Gold doesn't need to do that. She seems to possess the ability to learn what men and women think on a subject by only talking to women.

Check this out.

This article fails on quite a few points. Here goes:

First off notice the venues that she choose to compare. When choosing a place to observe women watching male strippers she chooses a Chippendale show that is performing in Edinburgh as part of a 20 city tour through Europe. When choosing a place to obverse men watching female strippers she chooses a dive of a place called the Rhino Club in London. So as you see she has already stacked the deck by comparing a one time event where than likely there was a cover charge to get in to an established location that is open every night. This is going to have a big affect on the audience. This is like comparing the crowd at a Korn concert to the crowd at a local bar that has the same local bands playing all the time. This is not going to end well.

Next she makes absolute statements like this about the Chippendale crowd:
There is not a single woman here who actually wants to have sex with a Chippendale. We are all mouth, and no panties. Sex has left the building. We want cuddles, not tongues.
Now I'm sure she spoke to several women while she was there that night but I think it is safe to say that she did not speak to all the women there to find out if they want to have sex with those strippers. I'm pretty sure she is just depending on the gender role of women not actively wanting sex to fill in that space instead of actually asking some more women if they would want to have sex with them.

I would like to point out an absolute statement she made about the men at the Rhino Club but she doesn't actually talk to any of them which brings me to my next point. At the start of the article she asks:
When we watch others shed their clothes, what do we reveal about ourselves?
She somehow manage to figure out what men reveal without actually talking to them. When she went to the Rhino Club she doesn't talk to any of the male patrons she talks to two of the female strippers (I'm almost willing to bet she spoke to more but cherry picked these two responses because they best fit her prejudices). Now in and of itself there is nothing wrong with this but when you walk into a strip club looking to find out what the patron reveal about themselves when they see other people strip it might do some good to actually ask them. She took the time to ask an elderly woman what she was at the Chippendale show for and got the response, "Antique furniture is wonderful to see on stage." (more than likely a reference to wood. At the Rhino she saw an elderly man and took just enough time to nickname him Count Dracula. I guess she already knew what he was there for so why waste time asking right?

She also tries to talk about the difference in the financial dynamic of the two places. Bold mentions how the men at the Rhino Club "The men can make these beautiful women compete for them, when in real life they never would" because of how men pay the women as they strip. What she carefully ignoring is the difference in venues. The men stripping in that Chippendale show are on a tour and more than likely getting a set compensation apart from what they may get from the crowd that night whereas the women in the Rhino are mostly depending on what they get from the crowd that night. If you were to level the playing field in either direction (like compare a Burlesque show to a Chippendale show and/or the Rhino to a regular establishment in which men strip for women) they would balance out. Apple vs. Oranges.

And finally there is her conclusion:
I didn't want to come to a conclusion as prosaic as Chippendales good, lap-dancing rhinos bad. Even as I watched the Chippendales play dirty cowboys, I wondered why they were doing it. But at least they were worshipped. The power dynamic at Spearmint Rhino seems entirely different. The men can make these beautiful women compete for them, when in real life they never would. There was no joy or even appreciation. As I leave, I wonder – have I seen a dark part of human sexuality, sliding wonkily down a pole?
So it would seem that the the women that were whooping and hollering over the Chippendale men was a form of worship while the the watching and paying of men was oppression? I almost like how she decides that the women at the Chippendale show were freeing themselves but the men at the Rhino were forcing women to compete in a way they don't in the real world. She even manages to plant the seed of the notion that the Rhino represents the dark side of human (read: male) sexuality.

All in all this is bullshit. She started off with a conclusion and molded her experiment/test/whatthefuckever she wants to call it around it. Tanya if you want to find out what a group is thinking how about next time you try asking them?

Edit: I forgot to add this link sooner. Its from Robert Franklin at and his own take on this. Worth reading.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

I know she did a HORRIBLE thing but 99 years?

I'm really furious over this.

Houston mother Katherine Nadal has been sentenced to 99 years for mutilating her infant son by way of cutting off his genitals with ab "unknown sharp instrument" two years ago. Katherine claims that the family dog was the one responsible for the mutilation of her son, who was 5 weeks old at the time. Authorities say Nadal tested positive for cocaine, methadone and Xanax after the attack.

Her son's severed genitals were never found.

The infants aunt, Patches DeShazo who has custody of the now 2-year-old boy, gave the following victims impact statement:
"I am thankful by time you are eligible for parole you will be beyond childbearing years. It makes me crazy to this very day to hear you say I did not hurt him," DeShazo said as she read her statement.
For mutilating her nephew in such a manner I really cannot blame her for being thankful Nadal will more than likely never have another child.

This boy will have to go through years of surgeries and therapy but there is almost no way that he will be able to reconcile the kind of treatment that he will receive throughout his life thanks to what his mother did to him. There is no doubt that he will be ridiculed by other boys in the locker room. There is no doubt that he will be haunted by the thoughts of wondering why he is not like other boys. There is no doubt that he will probably suffer from all sorts of troubles in the sexual and romantic realms when the time comes that he wishes to be sexually active.

And while 99 years is a long sentence she will be eligible for parole in 30 years.

Melissa Huckaby indicted in the death of Sandra Cantu

So now that the shock and awe of Melissa Huckaby's arrest in the murder of Sandra Cantu has settled here comes the news of her indictment.

Back on March 27 of this year 8 year old Cantu of Tracy, California disappeared. Days later on April 6 her body was found stuffed in a suitcase in an irrigation ditch near the trailer park where Cantu's family, as well as Huckaby and her daughter who was a playmate of Sandra, lives.

According to San Francisco Chronicle reporter Henry Lee, "Melissa began weeping as the judge read the charges of murder and rape aloud. ... She was shackled and wore a red jail jumpsuit. Otherwise, she said nothing."

Huckaby now faces charges of kidnapping, murder and rape to which she has plead not guilty on all charges. While there is no mention of a possible sentence she would be facing it is worth noting that the death penalty might be on the table depending on what the prosecution decides to do over the course of the next two months.

I'm not sure if the death penalty is the proper punishment but there is no question that she deserves to be punished and more importantly Sandra deserves justice.

Why I think intent matters (to an extent)

Yesterday I did a post about the set of dolls in which one was a black girl that came with a monkey and had on a headband with the nickname "Lil Monkey". During that post I made the statement:
(I'll get around to why that an extent one day)
Now I fully intended to get back to this one day but I got the following comment from Renee of Womanist Musings:
It does not matter what their intent was. Ignorance is no excuse when POC must learn from an early age to negotiate Whiteness. Costco could afford to ignore the consequences of their actions because Whiteness has never been reduced in the same manner.
Apparently today is "one day".

Hear me when I say that I am NOT trying to say that the intent of a person who commits an -ism somehow mitigates away what they did. I am not trying to say that Costco and BrassKey Keepsakes should be given a free pass on what they did because they might not have realized it. However I do think there might be a bit, and I mean bit, of value to said person's intent.

When someone has it brought to their attention that they have committed an -ism one of two things will happen. One they may put in their sincere efforts to ensure that they are more mindful of such things, never commit them again, and perhaps go the extra mile to actively bring it to the attention of others who are doing the same thing. Two they may give excuses that what they did was not -ist, get angry and defensive, refuse to change. I think that sometimes a person's intent CAN be a metric of which will happen.

It has been my experience that the ones who truly meant no disrespect or ill will are the ones that will work towards getting rid of mentality or educating the ignorance that caused them to commit said -ism whereas the ones that will get defensive and angry and refuse to change are the ones that are fully aware of what they are doing and even after having it called to their attention (for probably not the first time) will do just that, get angry and defensive and refuse to change.

Where I think intent will come into play on this is what Costco and BrassKey Keepsakes will do in the future. Will they learn from what they did and work diligently to make sure that it never happens again.

That's all. Simple as that. That is why I think that a person's intent an extent. It MIGHT (what test is 100% accurate all the time?) be an indicator as to whether the person you are dealing with has been enlightened by your intervention or if you will just be another "humorless oversensitive ___________" to them.

(Think about it like this. Even the most "progressive" among you activists make the odd occasional mistake on a subject. Which one of these courses will you follow after being told how it is?)

Racial Sensitivity Check: FAILED!

Costco Stores released a series of dolls. Each of dolls had a baby girl shaped doll one black, one white, and one Hispanic. Each doll came with a small pet monkey doll as well. Each of the little doll girls is wearing a headband with the nickname "Lil Monkey". Yes that means that doll of the black girl has a headband with the name "Lil Monkey" on it. I'm sure you see the problem right?

Now on Costco's part they did pull all the dolls off the shelves within about a day of their release but this is a dark reminder that racism is still a part of everyday life and can appear anywhere. Given the quick and immediate response I'm of mind that that there was no actual racial intent (I'll get around to why that an extent one day) however it does show that manufactures, marketing agencies, corporate (just three places where the production of this line of dolls should have been changed/scrapped) etc... must practice more awareness when it comes to race relations.

For years black people have had to put up with such things and it hurts even more to see it in a child's toy. Imagine (and I honestly would not be surprised if a few of them did get out into the public) a child getting one of these and growing up with the notion of calling a young black girl "Lil Monkey". If said child is black they would literally be growing up with the weight of internalized racism. Insulting themselves and their race and not even realizing it. If said child is not black they would be growing up with the notion that it is okay to refer to a black girl (and possibly boys as well) as monkeys. Of course this would be the fault of the adult figures in that child's life but it would still be quite damaging.

In the end I appreciate Costco's quick response but the fact that it happened in the first place and the first sentence of BrassKey Keepsakes CEO Mary Gustaff's statement:
"It's so unfortunate that it has been portrayed that way. The dolls were in no way meant to be disrespectful."
results in a failure. Failure to keep this from happening and failure in acting as if the people who "portrayed it that way" are the problem.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Because there is no way a child would want a fit father right?

Glenn points to an instance in which politicians use the "best interests of the child" as a shield to hide their malicious intent towards father.

Currently in Canada there is debate over a bill introduced by Saskatchewan Tory MP Maurice Vellacott that instructs judges "to apply the principle of equal shared parenting unless it is established that the best interests of the child would be substantially enhanced by allocating parental responsibility other than equally."

However Justice Minister Rob Nicholson seems to have other ideas when it comes to the concept of shared parenting.
The interests of children must take priority over a father's right to an equal parenting role after divorce.
As the people at Glenn's place point out this is something of a misdirect implying that a father taking an equal role in raising a child somehow conflicts with the best interests of the child. This is false. Unless said father is unfit to raise the child then it is in the best child's interest for the father to be in his/her life. However this means nothing to those that are willing to keep a child away from a fit father for the sake of their own political gain.

For years fathers have been treated as babysitters at best and walking ATMs at worst when it comes to raising children. In recent times fathers have been trying to take a larger role in the lives of their children but the road has not been easy.

When the father is not in the child's life (whether by his choice or not) it seems that the only thing of concern to the courts is ensure that he is paying his financial obligations (whether they are really his or not) yet these same entities turn a blind eye to the fathers that are desperately trying to pay said obligations and are being kept out the child's life by maternal gatekeeping Probably because those men don't make for as good of a soundbite as the ones that actually do run out on their responsibilities.

In the event the father is in the life of the child (such as marriage that ends in divorce) it is often presumed by the court that regardless of finances, connection to children, and most of all the desire of the child to have his/her father the father's role is not very important and has no problem awarding custody to the mother by default. In most situations the mother is the usually the primary caregiver for the children which would explain why the courts often side with her but even in the event that the father may have been the primary care giver custody may still be awarded to the mother. There is a clear desire to keep children away from their fathers and there is simply no reason other than hatred of children, men, and fathers for someone to actively try to prevent a child from having a fit father in their life.

Don't be fooled by attempts to turn this into "the best interests of the child vs the father's rights to the child" as that is not what is at stake here and people that try to make it seem that way are doing so for the sake of casting fathers in a negative light to push their own agenda. The real situation at hand here is "child's right to a fit father vs the mothers that don't want the child to have a fit father and the politicians that are hoping to bank on that fear, anger, hatred, and suffering".

Keeping a child away from a fit father may feel empowering and whatnot but in the end the child being robbed of a father is the real victim. So much for "the best interests of the children eh?"

If anime fanboys are stereotyped as fat then why are 3X shirts so hard to come by?

I'm sitting here and listening to the Womanst Musings weekly podcast, this week is on fat acceptance, and working on my weekly menu post and something came back to me.

Over the last few months I've lost a little bit of weight (yeah me!) and have been able to wear shirts that I could not wear years ago. Well I've been a huge fan of Japanese anime for about the last 15 years. Well if you know anything about anime then you know that the stereotypical anime fan is a fat overweight guy who is shy around women, doesn't go out that much because of hunting the net for the latest releases, and is a smelly slob. I'll get to the other items another day but for now I want to talk about the fat part.

I have to say that for the stereotype of a anime fan to be a fat guy it is sure really fucking hard to find anime t-shirts. As of right now I own exactly two anime shirts, one from Yu Yu Hakkusho and the other is a Crying Freeman shirt that I finally found after about a year of searching. The reason for this is that I've never seen a 3X anime t-shirt.

Maybe there aren't that many 3X anime t-shirts because merchandisers realize they can bank on us fat anime fans to buy other shirts. Usually these will be about advertising that one is an otaku, have remarks about wanting a Japanese girlfriend, or just have some generic word/phrase in Japanese that does not have a translation (because you know that us fat anime fans have all learned the language right?). I'm a fan but not enough of a fan to call myself an otaku, I don't care what ethnicity my girlfriend would be, and I don't care too much about bragging about my knowledge of the Japanese language with a tshirt.

Take a look at Spencer Gifts and Hot Topic (who carries anime t-shirts) if you will. I know that know that most people that embrace the cultures that they cater to wouldn't bother shopping in those stores (unless you're a teenager) but if you are a fat person that is into those cultures then you really have no business there looking for tshirts. I can't count how many times I've been into one of those stores looking for something in a 3X just to be told, "Sorry the largest we have is 2X. Yeah we don't keep those very long. As soon as they get in they go right out." Okay if you have a product that is going out the door that quickly and still have people coming in looking for it while at the same time you have 50 of those shirts in Large on the shelf that will be on the clearance rack in 4 months maybe you might want to think about stocking those larger sizes.

Oh and don't bother with the whole "it costs more to make shirts in larger sizes" garbage. Exactly how much more material does it take to make a shirt in 3X versus Large? I'm sure there is a good amount but is there enough to account for the extra up to $5 a 3X shirt will cost? And besides if your 3X shirts are flying off the shelf at lightning speed while your Large shirts sit there long enough to actually go on clearance (meaning that you have significantly marked the price down and you are not making as much of a profit on it) which ones make more sense to stock up on?

I mean fanboys are stereotyped as being male (hence the -boy part) and merchandise makers have no problem making items and apparel geared to us (even to the point where fangirls are left in the cold sometimes) so why is it that when weight comes into the equation all of a sudden no one can supply us with the gear we want?

Saturday, August 15, 2009

***Comment Policy*** (Updated 9-30-09)

Well after a bit over a year of blogging I suppose its time I made up a comment policy. Nothing really serious and big but I'd rather start laying the law down now before things get out of hand later.

1. Please use a nickname - The comments aren't exactly coming in hand over fist but I'd like to not end up with myself and other posters confused by a bunch of "Guest" (aka Anonymous Cowards) nicknames posting here. So if you don't mind when commenting please add a nickname. I know that if you post through the commenting software I use,JS Kit, there is space for a nickname but even if you don't add one there try to at least add one at the end of your post.

2. Rating Comments - I've recently added a rating system to my posts so I can have an idea of what people think of my corner here. Then I realized that simply rating a post 1-5 stars isn't that great a way at getting actual feedback. So to remedy that I ask that if you are going to rate the post then please leave a comment explaining your rating. Maybe I missed a perspective, maybe I inaccurately represented s perspective, maybe you totally disagreed with what I said. You don't have to agree with me, you don't have to life me, I just want to hear what you have to say.

3. I understand that it can be easy to get heated up while talking things out especially when dealing with those you may not agree with but it is important to maintain a civil atmosphere.

That is all for now but keep and eye on this as I'm sure I will be editing it as time passes.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Say what you want about MRAs but they make good points

The folks over at Glenn Sacks have been been pointing out some serious things this week:

Woman Hires Hit Man to Kill Husband; Oops! It's a Cop: Usually when a woman decides she no longer wants to be married just calls for a divorce and settles for only taking him to the financial cleaners. Well apparently that was not good enough for Dahlia Dippolito who decided that the proper way to end the marriage was to end her husband. Dippolito attempted to hire a hit man to kill her husband after only six months of marriage. I'm pretty sure we know how this would have ended of said "hit man" wasn't actually an undercover cop.

Loving Women, Judging Men in Pop Culture: Robert Franklin talks about how often in pop culture when women do bad things there is often justification given to explain "what made her do it" whereas men who do bad things simply because men are evil and vile creatures.

Desperate Moments at the NYT and - How to Explain a Drunk, Stoned Woman Killing Eight People: A look at articles at Salon and the New York Times that seem to be trying to excuse the actions of Diane Schuler. For those that don't know she is the woman from Long Island who under the influence of alcohol and marijuana caused an accident that killed seven others and herself. It would seem that they think that it is unfair to point the finger at her and her choice to drink and do drugs before going out for a drive.

False Rape Accuser Wants Immunity from Prosecution: Yes you read that right. Biurny Gonzalez accused a man of rape four years ago and he was sentenced to prison on a 20 year sentence. Now it looks like he spent four years in prison for a crime he did not commit. Gonzalez has come forward to say that the rape did not happen and wants to testify...for a price. Biurny wants to be granted immunity from perjury charges before she will testify on her victim's behalf to help free him. Its worth noting that one of the main pieces of evidence was a bite mark she claimed was made by her rapist. DNA tests on the genetic material in the bite marks has no Y chromosome meaning that a male could not have made the the bite mark.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Because I never hear guys talking openly about sex toys...

And now for something a little different. (This post is kinda explicit. This is your only warning.)

So I'm cleaning my Fleshlight attachments and Pocket Pussy a few nights ago and I got to thinking about what other sex toys I'd like to try out. And that is when I realized that there really aren't that many different toys out there for men nor is there much discussion about men using sex toys. So allow me to start.

Before one even gets to spending money on solo sexual pleasure there is the ultimate sex toy, the hand. For most men this will most likely be their first sex toy. Just get up a good erection, take a grip of desired strength, stroke until ready (lube is optional but I personally don't need it). Once older a guy may decide the hand has gotten boring (a great reliable standby but but boring after a while nonetheless) he wants to try something a bit different.

First you have the Pocket Pussy. This is a small hand held sleeve that can be made out of any number of materials. Simply insert penis and thrust vigorously until ready. Not much to it and these can often be found pretty cheap usually in the $30 range or maybe even less. Pocket Pussies have the advantage of being easy to clean, easy to use, and are fairly cheap but are disadvantaged by not being very durable (in fact I intend to replace mine soon). (Oh yeah guys I recommend getting one with ridges on the inside. They can help with coping with the period of sensitivity that the head of the penis goes through during and after ejaculation.) A good start when one wants to experiment with a bit more and can lead to trying other things.

The next step is the Fleshlight. As the name implies a Fleshlight is a toy shaped like a flashlight yet on the inside is fake orifice made of cyber skin. Said orifice can be made in the form of a mouth, vagina, or anus. A guy can simply lube up his penis (and he WILL need lube, especially for the anus) and commence with the standard jerking motions. The inside of the Fleshlight feels just as good as the orifice it is imitating (or so the description says...). I have to say that this feels a lot better than the Pocket Pussy I own however the cleanup is lot more detailed.

TMI moment. You see the opening of my Pocket Pussy goes all the way through so when I cum I can push it out the other side, run a bit of soapy water through, and its clean. However with my Fleshlight the orifice actually fits inside the handle and when I cum it collects inside said handle (the orifice itself has an opening at the end like the Pocket Pussy) meaning that I have to remove the orifice, unscrew the cap on the bottom and then wash out the handle and the cap where the cum collected and then go and clean out the orifice. And along with the cleaning with the way I use toys (I place my penis inside then rub against my bed with a towel underneath) the Pocket Pussy is much easier to use than the Fleshlight.

Beyond the Fleshlight (which seems to be the "it" sex toy for guys) there are other more expensive, much more extravagant things like live dolls (imagine a life size doll of a woman with open and useable openings, yes all three openings), vibrating pussies (a likeness of a woman's torso with vaginal and anal openings that have vibrating motors inside for extra pleasure), and who knows what else.

Yeah I'm sure people reading this think that they now know too much about me. Oh well you'll live. Its just that when it comes to sex toys it seems that guys just aren't expected (or allowed) to talk about them. Well it doesn't help that there really aren't a whole lot of options to choose from either. So guys, what say you about male sex toys?

Monday, August 10, 2009

Justice for Benard Baran?

Took the day off from work today when I came across this over at Renee's place.

We all know that men across the world carry the stigma of being assumed to be child predators simply because we are men. Men like Benard Baran remind us that this is not just about straight men but gay men carry this burden as well.

In 1984 Baran was a daycare worker employed at the Early Childhood Development Center (ECDC) in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. He was known for being excellent with children and had lots of past experience in babysitting. All was going well until October of that year when, at the age of 19, was arrested for sexually assaulting two three-year old children. That's when it all started to go down hill.

When it comes to accusations of child molestation and abuse its bad enough Benard was a man but on top of that he is openly gay. The homophobia of the parents of the children at the center he worked came to light with one set of parents saying no ninth-grade dropout homosexual would help take care of their son. I am pretty sure the whole ninth-grade dropout part was not the deciding factor in their decision to not want him around their son.

There's evidence that parents were coaching their children to make false accusations against him.
§ The children first denied being molested, and produced accusations under parental coaching (one girl, whose mother was a friend of Julie H., told a therapist after the trial that her mother had told her to say Baran had molested her so they could get toys and money). Psychologists working with the police used the same discredited techniques that have typically produced false accusations: asking persistent, leading questions; manipulating puppets and using anatomical dolls. Improbabilities in the children's stories were brushed aside. (Two boys said Bernie raped them on a field trip that Baran had not been on, also in a locked shed to which he had no key.) Dark conclusions were drawn from fragmentary, barely comprehensible remarks.

The anti-gay sentiment was not just coming from parents but also from the prosecution as well. The prosecutor, Dan Ford allegedly intimidated and threatened Bernards's boyfriend with prosecution and anti-gay slurs such calling him a fag. Its also been said that during the trial Ford coerced testimony from the children.
Baran’s sister told him that she heard DA [now Judge] Daniel Ford tell a little girl witness to just say yes to his questions and they would go to McDonald’s afterwards. According to the trial transcript, Ford also used the McDonald’s bribe when kids were on the witness stand. Ford used anatomically correct dolls in the courtroom. The children, when they bothered to respond at all, answered mainly with nods or in monosyllables. Whenever a child gave the wrong answer, Ford persisted until they gave the right one. If this failed, he suggested that the children wouldn’t cooperate because they were in terror of Baran. The judge routinely overruled the defense’s objections.

The false accusations, underhanded tactics from the prosecution, and the homophobia of the community added up to Barn being sentenced to three concurrent life terms. (I'm not sure how long a life term is in that jurisdiction but concurrent means that he would have to served them each individually.)

In 2006 he was granted a new trial and one would think that with the negligence, abuse of authority, and outright discrimination (being a man and being gay) that was carried out against Baran back in 1985 he would just be let out right? Wrong. Current DA David Capeless announced his intent to oppose the decision to grant a new trial. Capeless fought until June of this year when, finally faced with having to disclose Ford's reprehensible behavior in the original trial, he finally dropped the charges and Baran became a free man.

However can it really be that simple? Benard Baran is a man that did not abide by the gender role that he was "supposed to fill". And this refusal is part of cost him 21 years of his life. Twenty one years locked away in a facility where he was the early (he was raped for the first time only four days after starting his sentence and was raped/assaulted 30-40 times in his first four years alone) and constant target of sexual, physical, and emotional abuse. What kind of justice is there for that? And kind of justice can there be for all the other who knows how many gay men (or straight or otherwise for that matter) who are still wasting away in prison for crimes they did not commit?

(I have to say that if I were him I'd clean Ford, those lying parents, and that city out of so much money that my great grand kids would be able to live off the interest.)

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Well if two wrongs don't make a right then how many does it take?

When the whole Chris Brown/Rihanna DV story broke a lot of people said that even if she did start the confrontation he should not have fought back but instead should have just "walked away". (That's neither he nor there since it seems like he did start the confrontation).

When Michelle Belliveau, Wendy Sewell, Therese Ziemann, and Tracy M. Hood-Davis glued their victim's genitals to his body, robbed him, and left him tied to a bed there are people saying that what they did was justified for him cheating on them. (And the mainstream media seems to think he deserved what happened to him.) I'd also like to add that as testament to how female crimes against men are treated as acceptable I've have already had a woman at work threaten to glue my penis to my stomach for not doing something she asked (she was trying to invoke a male gender role but that is another story for another day).

Let us not forget that there are still people that think Lorenna Bobbit and Mary Winkler were justified in maining/killing their husbands in the middle of the night while they were sleep and that Bobbit's husband deserves to be laughed at by women that think threatening to cut off a man's penis is a joke. Bobbit claimed that her husband had attempted to rape her and Winkler claimed that her husband forced her to do sexual things that she did not want to do (including wear a famous pair of wear).

Now we have this. In Greece a British man was allegedly harassing and assaulting a woman in a club and after repeated attempts as trying to reject him and get away from him she poured a drink on his penis, which he allegedly exposed to her, and lit it on fire with a cigarette lighter. She is being hailed as a hero and some are shocked that she is being charged.

Even not taking into account the gendered theme of which way the court of public opinion swings when it comes to opposite gender self defense (some think that a woman is justified in killing a man under any circumstance but a man should just let a woman attack him and some think vice versa) I've never been a fan of the thought that two wrongs make a right and that both wrongs should be punished.

If Rihanna did start the confrontation with Brown then yes I think she should be charged as well as him. I think if Bobbit's husband did attempt to rape her then he should be brought up on charges too. Anyone that thinks the fact those four women were played by that man somehow gives them the okay for what they did to him is a sexist and misandrist. That woman in Greece most certainly has a right to defend herself from attackers but if she poured a drink on the guys genitals and lit him on fire then frankly I think she should be charged for the assault just as he should be charged for the harassment and assault that he allegedly committed upon her. I would say that Matthew Winkler should be charged for what he did but Mary took it upon herself to take her "self defense" to the ultimate level so his life will be forever judged based only on what Mary says about him (and I especially feel sorry for the young children he left behind because now that they are back in her custody they will probably only ever get a biased, if not outright untrue, telling of what kind of man he was).

About a month ago my Nintendo DSi was stolen last month right out of my own bedroom and honestly I wanted to commit violence against the women that did it (I take my gaming very personally and very seriously). Now obviously getting physically violent over getting robbed is a bit overboard like some of the things I've already mentioned above and I'm pretty sure that if I went through with my initial hatred before it cooled off no one would be clamoring to defend me by saying she robbed me first and frankly I wouldn't not want them too. In fact the thought of being brought up on criminal charges and that two wrongs do not make a right are a large part of what kept me from acting on that evil impulse (well that and violence is not the answer).

An amazing world we live in when we think that violent (and sometimes fatal) retaliation is considered to be proper course no matter how small or large the "reason" may be.

Friday, August 7, 2009

I don't think we will forget but just in case...

As I'm sure you know John Hughes, the man behind many of the most memorable (if not profitable) films of the 80s passed away this week from a heart attack at the age of 59.

Probably his most important film was "The Breakfast Club". This movie gave a big screen confirmation that the things that teenagers go through are perfectly normal and not cause for alarm. But I wonder if I'm the only one that noticed something.

The vast overwhelming majority of his characters were white. Even though Hughes did an excellent job of featuring teens from various walks of life (as possibly best displayed in "The Breakfast Club") they were mostly white. Now this is not me attacking him and his selection of cast but I think it is very much worth looking at. And I say this because despite this his characters portrayed many of the things that teens of many races, colors, and genders (well not gender because his material was very much steeped in the male/female dynamic as was nearly all media at that time) experienced even if he didn't always add particular racial, gender, and/or other variations to the mix. Perhaps it was because he touched on basic issues that nearly all teens face despite other factors that his movies and characters will be so fondly remembered.

The princess - The girl that has the world at her fingertips and with such a rich economic background there's nothing she could possibly be wanting for...right? To me this was probably the first example of a upper class person who was actually presented as not perfect. Oh she tried to keep up appearances throughout the movie but we got to see that her world was not the utopia we were led to believe it to be.

The jock - The strong and forceful boy that has the strength and brawn to plow a path through any situation...except for how to deal with the constant pressure of parents that push him into sports and a school that only measures his value as a student and person by how well he performs in athletics. The jock had his image in place and would protect it with brute force rather than the off-putting smug arrogance of the princess. But in the end it comes to light that perhaps that he does not wish to live the life that is being pushed on him.

The brain - The intellectual powerhouse that has more brain power than the other four kids combined. A good student and obedient son that never gets out of line and always keeps his cool. "A parent's wet dream." Well until he is under so much pressure to be the smart kid because he is not good at anything else the slightest blemish on the report card can trigger the desire to kill.

The criminal - Tough exterior. Sharp tongue. Major attitude. In short a badass delinquent that no one cares about or believes in and he would like for it to stay that way...because it saves him the trouble, shame, and embarrassment of having other people know about him. He doesn't want people to know that he comes from a broken home. He doesn't want people to know that he comes from a poor home. He doesn't want people to know that he comes from an abusive home. And while pushing people away people can be an easy way to save oneself pain it can become very tiresome over time and letting people in can be so refreshing and freeing.

The basket case - The oddball that no one associates with. How can anyone like a weirdo like that? If only she would act normal maybe people would want to befriend her. Maybe in her mind and word she is not the oddball. Perhaps they are the weirdos not her. If those normal people would only put some actual effort into getting to know her (and not waiting until after a quick makeover from a princess) they would realize that she is just as human as anyone else.

I'm sure the vast majority of past, present, and future can identify with at least one (or more than one for instance I was about 75% Brain/25% Basket Case)Its characters like these that let them know that the problems they face, the issues they haunt them, and pain that they feel are not some unique and isolated event that was only happening to them. No the characters and movies of John Hughes told us that we are not alone and such things were normal.

Don't worry John we won't forget about you but just in case anyone needs a reminder that the princesses, the brains, the jocks, the criminals, the basket cases, and other types out there are not freaks and will be okay I offer this:

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Nevermind the person tied to the bed, its all about the tech

Trigger warning: this post and the comment thread discuss rape and violence.

I came across this post last week at Gizmodo. It is pointing out an old Nintendo Gameboy Pocket ad which appears to be advertising from the angle that young gamers have a reason to not tie a woman up and rape her. None of that women should be respected and asked for consent before sex. Nah just throw her down and make her take it and if she tries to fight back just tie her hands to the bed posts and continue.

And the comment section adds fuel to the non consensual fire by posting a Virgin Radio ad which a woman listens to said radio station on headphones while a man in the background is tied to a bed. Once again no need to make sure he wants to have sex just do your business and if he gets rowdy tie him up and make him take it anyway.

It good to know that such ads are in the past but the attitudes behind them are anything but. People still believe that women have no say over the people they have sex with and that it is okay to just have sex with them just as they believe that men always want to have sex therefore there is no need to both with a minor thing like consent. Its attitudes like this that justify the very existence of feminists and men's rights activists. If you have a problem with one of those groups a big step to helping them outgrow their usefulness would be to eliminate attitudes like this.

Remember, female against male sex crimes are funny and the female is the victim; part 2

Just a few minutes in part 1 I went over MSNBC's coverage of four women committing vigilante justice against a man that did them wrong. It's bad enough to read the sexist treatment on MSNBC but take a look at this video at FOX News where you can see and hear the sexism and double standards at work.

Why the pun for a title?
I can't help but notice that just like the MSNBC article FOX has chosen to use a pun as a title for this. I really hope this does not mean that they will start using titles like, "It looks like one man will be forced to take it in the end", "Who's the b!cht now?", "Let's see how he likes being the rape victim" for coverage on future sex crimes.

Why is the women reporting laughing and smiling during the setup?
Last time I checked a sex crime is serious business. I've never seen a major (despite your opinion they are a major source) mainstream media source openly laugh at a women who was a victim of a sex crime.

Why are the other two people joining the her in laughing and smiling about this crime?
Once the reporter sets it up and defers to one of the guests she proceeds to start off with talking about what the victim did to provoke the sex crime that was perpetrated against him all the while the other person is laughing. His opening remark when he finally starts speaking between laughs? He compares it to that VISA ads that end with the last item (in this case having his penis glued to his thighs) being priceless.

Why are they using his crimes against them to shield those four women?
I can clearly see that if this goes to trial the defense is going to use his adultery as a crutch. "The poor defenseless women had no other choice but to take the law into their own hands." I really hope that the people on that jury remember that the fact that his adultery is NOT justification for the sex crime that was committed against him. If they want to go after him for the adultery then by all means arrest him and have his own trial but I'll be money that if that were to happen people would frown on using the sex crime that was committed against him as a buffer to spare him a harsh punishment.

What I'm getting at is that I am extremely disgusted over how this crime is being reported and covered. I've seen plenty of activists that would go nuts if a member of their group was getting treated this way after being victimized and honestly I don't blame MRAs for being mad over this one.

So I get the lesson here is that depending on the circumstances it is okay to take the law into your own hands when you are done wrong first.

Edit:I just saw over at Glenn Sacks that apparently one of the women that assaulted that man was married herself. That means that while everyone is making a big fuss over the fact that he was committing adultery one of the women involved was committing a adultery as well. Remember in that FOX clip where the woman commented that adultery is illegal in Wisconsin and that he might face charges. Why do I get the feeling that most of the mainstream media is not even going to check this out and even if they do she won't face charges even if he does.

Remember, female against male sex crimes are funny and the female is the victim; part 1

In the state of Wisconsin a married man was cheating on his wife with three other women. Once those women found out what the score was they took the law into their own hands. What did they do you ask? Well one of the women led him to a hotel room then with the help of the other three they tied him to a bed, glued his genitals to his stomach, then left him there stealing his wallet, car, and phone. Now these women have been charged with things like false imprisonment and sexual degradation and the man might be facing charges because there is legislation on the books that state adultery is against the law. My problem with this is how the mainstream media is reporting on it. Take a look.

First there is MSNBC. Look at the bold wording.

Sticky Situation: You see since the women glued his penis to his stomach he was left in a "sticky situation". Get it? I'll bet the people in the office were laughing their asses off out loud with whoever came up with this.

Sisterhood is Powerful: I suppose the writer is trying to say that it is an act of empowerment for women to bypass the actual law and take vigilante justice.

Emotional Wreck: “I am disturbed. I am upset. I am having a hard time handling life; an emotional wreck,” Wendy Sewell, 43, of Kaukauna, said in a telephone interview from her home. “I am ashamed.” Yes they left him tired to a bed to chew his way out of his bindings to go get help and SHE is the one that is upset? This really sounds like they thought they would be able to do such a horrible thing to that man and then shed a few tears to garner sympathy to get out of punishment (but don't get hopeful there is still hope for a female sentencing discount).

Now that we're past the bold take a look at some of the stuff in the article itself.

"With no way of getting even by legal means, they took the law — along with one of the victim’s more delicate bits of anatomy — into their own hands." This is the second sentence. Look at how the writer is trying to stack the deck by painting those four women as the victims in all this.

“The guy was a cheater. He’s a con man. He was taking money,” Pirro said. “But at the end of the day, the criminal justice system will identify him as a victim; these women will be identified as criminals.” You see what's going on here right. An attempt to make the victim look like the perpetrator. This is a smokescreen to keep people from realizing that what he did to them has absolutely nothing to do with what they did to him. Yes he multi-faced them and mooched their money but that is another set of charges altogether.

"Pirro pointed out that the sense of powerlessness would be reinforced by the fact that the women knew they’d been cheated, but also knew there was no legal recourse for them; the cad hadn’t broken any laws." This is about the second or third time that the article calls these women helpless and that they had no legal recourse. You would think that not having a legal way out actually justifies an illegal act. They could have done some "equalizing" act like steal his money to make up for what he mooched off them but no they went into a totally different direction by committing a sex crime against him.

"When you feel law can’t help you out and can’t punish the person appropriately, then I’m going to take matters into my own hands because it’s only fair. These women were seeking fairness, and this is what they did." My Nintendo DSi was stolen last month. Does that mean that I should be able to lead the woman that stole it to a hotel room, tie her down, glue her labia to her thighs, steal her car, money, phone, and then leave her there as "justice"?

But of course that's not enough. Its not enough this article engaged in victim blaming, tried to paint the perpetrators as victims, and support vigilante justice. No no they drop a shocking revelation.
Pirro said the episode underlines a reality about modern America: Women are getting more violent.

“We see it in teen gang violence where women are assaulting other women and actually killing other women. And more women are going to prison,” Pirro told Morales. “And they’re not being seen as these maternal, soft mothers who don’t deserve to go to jail.

“They’re being seen as human beings who are as capable of violence as men are.”

This is not some new tidal wave that is just hitting America. Women have been violent for a long time its just that their stories are finally getting the press that they should. Us common folk have known this for a long time but looks like the media is finally starting to catch on. The sad part is stories of women being violent are still getting the sugar coat treatment but they are getting out there.

This is getting kind of long so I'll split it. I'll be back in a bit in part 2.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

You know what they say about guys with big feet right?

I only shoe shop about once every 5 years or so. Yes yes I know that sounds creepy as if my shoe shopping is an occurrence on par with the appearance of Castle Dracula but I really really really hate having to buy shoes. I have a 16EEE foot. Unless your foot is this large or larger you have no idea how aggravating it is to have to buy shoes.

There is no question that when it comes to footwear women have the advantage and a large foot man like me has it even worse than most men. Unlike the vast majority of women I just can't walk into any random shoe shop and find my size as part of the buy one get one free or half off sale. And unlike most men I'm not just going to walk into a store and pick up a pair for $30 either. For the last 10 years or so I have only found one store where I can just walk in and buy a pair of shoes and that is Casual Male XL and even then I'm staring down the barrel of at least $55 a pair.

I'm sure its nice to not have to order shoes off the internet but I'll never know.


Did I mention that I'm a guy with large feet? (Now I know that women with large feet have similar baggage in the shoe department but it does not compare to what I'm about to go into next.)

As far as dealing with guys are concerned the most they do is make a few Bigfoot jokes and maybe say that I can put out fires with my feet. But oh my goodness in my experience when it comes to a man with large feet women are the absolute worst.

True story. This past Friday (or maybe Thursday) morning I had to go over to another department to setup a printer for someone. Well while I'm working on the printer in her office two of her coworkers from her department come in and begin chatting about shoes. I knew where it was going to go and sure enough it did.

Okay all three of these women have fairly small feet so they were shocked when I told them I wore a 16 (they guessed 14) and then the real fun began. Two of them just had to confirm by placing their feet right next to mine (yeah they were all up in my personal space) and then it really jumped off when one of them mentioned that she wears an 8. Despite the fact that the calculation for shoe size is different for men and women they are marveled by my foot being twice as long as hers. Oh and they were grinning throughout this entire ordeal. I played it off, finished the install and got the hell out of there.

And believe me that is not the first time I've had that happen. You would not believe how many times I've had women just come up to me and place their foot beside mine and comment on how one of my feet is almost the same length as both of theirs. Oh and they do this while making general commentary about how large my feet are. But the real kicker is one that I have gotten from more women than I care to count and it usually comes in some form of:
"A size 16? Wow. I'd hate to be your girlfriend." (All the while smiling a smile that the Cheshire Cat would be jealous of.)
Yes there are lots of women out there that think there is a relation between foot size and penis size (and from there penis size to sexual performance).

For years I just joked about it and let it roll off my back but I think that is not cutting it anymore. I've got to find some sort of way to deal with this. I have to find a way to put an end to this and let women know that it is not alright to just invade my space by placing their feet next to mine (and sometimes leaning into me to keep balance) and that it is certainly not okay to try to draw some link between my foot size, penis size, and how I perform sexually. More than likely this has to do with the belief that men need to have their egos pumped up at all times when it comes to sex and they that they complimenting me when they make such remarks. They aren't.

So while I think about how deal with this in my own interactions a word of advice to women.

Presuming that it is okay to get close to a guy with large feet to compare is not okay. Going on about how his foot is so much larger than yours is not okay. And implying that having big feet means having a large penis and that he might hurt any women he has sex with is not a compliment. And by all that is holy please do not grab your crotch, contort your face, and wince a few times in mock pain as you comment on much sex with him would hurt (yes I've had women do this to me).

From Toy Soldiers: The Only One

Toy Soldier has a new post up on how male victims of sex crimes are viewed by society.

TS points out how despite assurances to the contrary that male victims of sexual crimes are often silenced and shunned by one of two main ways.

First there is the "its doesn't happen that often technique". People who employ this method like to point out that most male victims were assaulted by men. As if who the assailant is has any bearing on how the victim should be treated. You can see this from feminists who push male privilege checklists that have an item like:
If I’m a teen or adult, and if I can stay out of prison, my odds of being raped are relatively low.
What I find funny is that people who are so quick to point out that there are large numbers of women/girls whose rapes and sex assaults go unreported they seem to think that the reporting on male victims is accurate. Once it has been told that most males are assaulted by males then apparently the remaining males that were assaulted by females are so few in number that they are not worth talking about or at least that since females are assaulted by males in greater numbers that the victims' advocacy efforts should be put there first.

Next you have the method of assaulting ones masculinity. You know you've heard people say something to effect that since males want sex all the time we can't be violated, especially by women. If raped by a man then its proof he is secretly gay because he could have just fought them off. If raped by a women then its proof that he is weak man because a "small and fragile" woman would never be able force a man to have sex and besides if there was an erection then he obviously wanted it. Not only do such people that believe this have a warped sense of masculinity but they also infantalize women by presuming that a woman is somehow incapable of such a violent act and have a grave misunderstanding of the male body (check this post out I did a while back for a bit clarification on that).

TS is one of those guys out there trying to dispel the myths, presumptions, stigmas, and assumptions about male victims of sex crimes. You should go check him out.