Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Working on being a man pt.6

This is one of many parts in the ongoing series of working on being a man.

Haven't touched on working on being a man in a while. I've been trying to start working towards not just pointing out things that need to be removed from the current state of manhood but also things that need to be included. Well LorMarie reminded me of another that needed to be removed and I think its a big one.

You see with the way The System has things set up men are often pitted against each other in constant contests of dominance. And in order to dominate we are led to believe that actively tearing down other men is the way to display that one is "the better man". And let me tell you the ways that we try to tear each other down can get down right ugly. Take a look at this image from Von's Black Consciousness (where LorMarie was linking in her own post):



I have to admit that I have made commentary like that before about white guys. He jokes about having better credit and I joke about being able to please women better with my larger dick (which truthfully its only average). But its not just a simple dick comment. And even though Von and LorMarie talk more about the "boy" part there's more to it than that as well. As you know with the way things are today a man's manhood is tied to his penis and his penis supposedly indicates his ability to perform sexually (and before you try to get into trying absolve women of perpetuating this let me just answer that by saying that some women really don't perpetuate while others are among the worst offenders). Also we are taught that being properly identified as a man is a crucial part of our identity. Therefore if you insult a man's dick you or if you refer to him as something other than a man (and as you can see its not just a matter of being called a girl/woman, its about matter being called something other than a man) insult his manhood and thus assert your superior manhood and dominance over him.

It shouldn't be that way.

First off as I've said before the body parts don't make the man. Its not as if one can measure his penis to get a measure of his manhood. If you are in the company of women (or anyone for that matter) that puts that much stock in the size of your penis then to the devil with them. If you are in the company of men that think insulting your penis is the way to assert their masculinity then to the devil with them.

Second while I can understand the strong identification with the label of man having that label insulted is not worth the things that some men have done in retaliation or have done to assert their manhood over other men. Number of women one has had sex with? Doesn't matter (besides I'm sure there are a lot of lesbians out there that don't call themselves men). Physically assaulting someone because they were called a boy? Not worth it. And some would argue that avoiding such a confrontation is more of a mark of being a man. The trick is valuing the label for yourself by yourself and being comfortable enough with how you identify as a man that attempts to poke at it such as bragging about sex or bragging about how tough you are in a fight will simply not matter.

And even beyond that there is still no good reason for men to be in contest over who is the better man. We're all just men trying to do our thing and live life. Whether the measure is penis size, the amount of money we make, the car we drive, or whatever. Its not that serious.

This is one of the many internalized things that men must get past in order for us to free ourselves. The few Elite Joes that the run The System (yeah I refuse to call it Patriarchy, what kind of shit is it to label a system as if its working for the benefit of men when its not and the few Elite Joes that benefit sure as hell aren't looking out for us Average Joes) thrive on us Average Joes going at each other. It saves them the trouble of having to actually do something with us as we are destroying each other in the hopes of getting that brass ring that will grant us access to Elite status.

No job is worth it. No woman is worth it. One's own self esteem and sense of worth are not worth it. There is simply no good reason for men to be cutting on each other in order to elevate themselves and it must stop.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Prison for buying the wrong gift



Even before looking at that ad I'm sure you've noticed that notion that men who buy the wrong gifts for the wives, girlfriends, etc... deserve to be attacked. Well now it seems JC Penney is running an ad in which the proper punishment is not violence but imprisonment.

But you know what really bothers me about this ad?

Not the way that the men in that ad are portrayed as prisoners who did a terrible crime and that they are being properly punished.

Not the way that the men in that ad are being judged by other women (instead of you know, the actual woman they offended. I guess pissing off one women warrants a judicial body to intervene) who hold their freedom in their hands.

Not the way that the legend of the one man that got out did it by buying "the right" gift (jewelry).

Not even the way that the men in that ad are not only portrayed as prisoners but as dogs by way of the prison being called the Doghouse and the men being fed from doggie bowls complete with one man who just couldn't take it anymore and became mental unstable. Because yes giving a woman the wrong gift should be punishable by damaging someone's mental capacity.

No those are things that I've seen before and will probably see again everytime some ad agency wants to cater to women by making men look like idiots (but remember supposedly such sexist things only happen the other way around). What really bothers me is something that I have yet to see.

Why is it necessary for men in these ads to be subjected to violence and imprisonment for the sake of making sure we buy "the right gifts" for the women in our lives? Is there really no peaceful way to advertise what gifts women would enjoy?

Monday, December 27, 2010

Through A New Looking Glass: Summer of '42

A few weeks ago I was asked about my thoughts on the movie "Summer of '42" from the perspective of a young male virgin. If you look at my recent Theater Thursday post you'll see my rundown of what happened in the movie. Well that post was pretty long so I decided to leave the description at that and do a separate post for examination. I chose to use my Looking Glass series because of how this film touches on male sexuality. And just like in my earlier Theater Thursday post there will be spoilers so tread accordingly.

Yesterday's impression: I'm twice the age of our young Hermie and as I watched this film I have to say I did see myself in him when I was that age. Often thinking about sex. Looking it up in books and even jacked off to a few of them. Wanting to attain the treasure that is between a girl's legs and prove my manhood. As I have mentioned before boys were trying to meet the expectation that sex is a way to verify one's manhood.

Take Hermie's friend Oscy. The things he was doing throughout the movie would have been written off as the same boys will be boys joshing around that no one would think twice about. The first time Hermie tries to talk to Dorothy, Oscy is yelling obscenities at her like calling Hermie a rapist. Harmless fun right? Later on at the movies he tries his hardest to fondle and touch on Miriam (and I'm pretty sure he crosses the line between flirtation and harassment).

And even Hermie himself pulled off something that society says that teen guys are supposed to aspire to, sex with an older woman. Growing up there were a few teachers that I liked and would have had sex with if I had gotten the chance and think that he was lucky for getting with such a good looking woman. Statutory rape? Yeah right he should be lucky to have gotten it on with such a hot looking woman. Or if you want to come from the other side "Oh she's a woman and a woman would never harm a kid. In fact I'll bet he attacked her".

As far as I can tell those three were doing the entire "boys will be boys" routine.

Today's Impression: Looking back with what I know now I have to continue to say that when it comes to sex boys don't have it as easy as some would like to have us think (and while I can understand how it played out in this movie please don't buy into the idea that its only boys putting this pressure on each other). I mean really the idea that one must have sex with women in order to verify his manhood?

As for the sex between Hermie and Dorothy in today's age I think that it would end up being a case of statutory rape. However Daisy brought up something a while back on an unrelated post that I want to touch on a bit.:
In some ways, it "crosses a line" and I think that's why it doesn't get played on TV the way it used to. i.e. "underage boys and slightly older women" were not considered immoral or shocking back then... this was by the same guy who wrote THE WALTONS, family entertainment!
To me it seems to me that underaged boy/older woman sex is still not that immoral or shocking. And I've covered the reason for this before. Boys are socialized to think that having sex is a requirement in order to be considered a man.

And there seem to be no limitations to this as any and all types (as long as its heterosexual) of sex are allowed to fulfill this. Most of the time you only hear about one side of the coin in which this socialization supports the notion that men/boys are supposed to have access to the bodies of girls/women on demand. What most people don't talk about is the other side of the coin in which boys/men themselves are socialized to think that their bodies must be used in ways that they may not want them to be used in order to assert their manhood.

Think about it for a bit. By asserting that lots of sex with lots of women is a requirement to be considered a man a lot of men are being cut out of the equation. Gay men aren't having sex with any women. Men that are happily monogamous with one woman aren't having lots of sex with lots of women. Men that really aren't that interested in any sort of sex would be left out as well.

But as to why this movie is not played so much these days I don't think its as simple as a matter of underaged boy/older woman sex. Take a look at the movie "American Pie". The character Finch fulfilled his vow to have sex before the end of senior year (a problem in and of itself) by having sex with an older woman. The mother of a bully that harassed him, giving the sex a twist of payback ("Nevermind that you've bullied and harassed me for so long, I had sex with your mom. In your face!") Underaged boy/older woman sex is not considered taboo, at least nowhere the taboo that underaged girl/older man sex has. In fact I'd go as far as to say that its celebrated and excused. The underaged boy is celebrated for "getting with a MILF" (that's Mother I'd Like to Fuck, a term that hit the mainstream thanks to "American Pie") and the older woman's actions are excused in way that would not fly if the genders were swapped.

I wonder if the reason Summer of '42 is not played too often is because of the fact that Dorothy, while never being held legally responsible for her actions, does express some amount of remorse for having sex with Hermie that night. That would imply that such an act is wrong but how can it wrong for a guy to have sex with a woman right? It would not go well with the very strong socialization that boys are getting these days about sex.

Well Daisy here's my look on it. I last watched it about 3 weeks ago so I may have missed something but feel free to bring up anything I might have missed and you may jog my memory a bit and get a few more words on it out of me. And that goes for anyone reading this. Feel free to jump in the discussion.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Weekly Mashup Stage 31

Its been a fairly wild week at work and I've been playing Lord of the Rings Online with some friends so I haven't been hitting the blog much but I do have some interesting tidbits to share. And remember share and share alike.

Bourdieu, The "Hipster", And The Authenticity of Taste"This, Grief concludes, is why everyone, especially hipsters, hates to be called a hipster. The whole idea is to have authentically superior tastes. Once you are revealed as someone who cares about having the right tastes, you are disqualified as a person who has good taste effortlessly." A pretty interesting breakdown on what a hipster is.

Red Pill Reality Dispelling Blue Pill Delusions: Tobacco:"Oh wow...so you're telling me that if I took a seed from a natural, organic tobacco plant, and grew it in my yard, and than harvested the leaf, dried it and smoked it, I'd be ingesting industrial chemicals like cadmium, formaldehyde, arsenic, toluene, hexamine, and methanol?

Somehow, I don't think so."

Personally I think one thing that would really help with getting people to quit smoking would be to actually list the ingredients of cigarettes on the packages.

Two Short Takes: Logan McQueary Update; Homeless Man Called Child’s ‘Guardian Angel’: Updates on one story which involves a mother who kidnapped a child after custody was awarded to the father and another in which a homeless man who possibly saved the life of a young girl whose mother is now facing neglect charges.

North Carolina lawmakers continue to push Lumbee recognition: "U.S. lawmakers plan to continue a fight to grant federal recognition–and eligibility for benefits that include housing, education and health care services–for thousands of members of the Lumbee Tribe in North Carolina."


Oh I just really like this picture so I just threw it in there. I dub thee, "Mommy".


South Carolina's Slavery Secession Ball: Monica reminding us the real deal behind the Secession Ball. In fact now that I recall my US History teacher spit that line about the Civil War not being about slavery but about state's rights.

Elle Decoration: A pretty interesting idea on how to use a bar of soap without getting wet.

A Dose of Stupid v41: Toy Soldier weighs in on a rather disturbing ad that's playing South Africa that invokes prison rape as a deterrent to drunk driving. For the double he also has a good post on how male victims of domestic violence are silenced by some of the very people who claim to take all DV seriously. And for the triple he talks about a 911 Operator that I hope was fired for the way she treated a man calling for help while being abused by his girlfriend.

A little Star Trek humor. You can click on it to make it larger.


When the flames of passion burn a little too realistically: So a woman allegedly sets her boyfriend on fire (his crotch to be exact) and the picture they run with the article of HER crying? What the hell? Neverminding the leading line attempting to add humor to a domestic violence story ("If the John Wayne Bobbitt story has taught men anything, it's to never fall asleep with an angry woman nearby.") I'm just glad they didn't lead off with an attempt to justify the attack. You know the drill usually they lead off with saying she did it because she thought she was cheating on him or something like that.

“I’m not a feminist, but. . . “: People who still don't understand that the negative image cast on feminism is not the complete work of fiction they think it is.

Alright folks take it easy!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A fine for beating someone until their skull cracked?

You read that right.

Twenty-three year old devout Christian (not sure what her religion has to do with this but its in there) Debora Sugiaman was fined $3000 for bashing her former boyfriend's head until she heard his head crack.

I know you sensible people out there are wondering, "How in the hell did that happen?" Well it would seem that the prosecution, defense, and presiding Justice Richard Refshauge agreed that a conviction and a fine were enough of a punishment for her actions. The Justice also said that the circumstances were exceptional. How exceptional were they?

Let's see:
The dalliance went further than Sugiaman wanted, to the point where the committed Christian felt the man had violated her trust and transgressed her strong morals.
Who knew that a woman's trust being violated and morals being transgressed were justification for attempted murder?
Six months after the man ended their brief affair and took up with one of Sugiaman's friends, the woman's mounting guilt and pain turned to deep rage when her friend revealed the man had only seen Sugiaman as his ''f--- buddy''.

She decided to teach him a lesson by making him feel physical pain because he seemed incapable of understanding her emotional hurt.

After returning home from a class on May 4, she strengthened her resolve with alcohol and then drove to the man's house armed with a meat tenderiser, having arranged for his new girlfriend to be there too.
Can someone tell me what the difference between this and any scenario where a guy gets his feelings hurt by a woman and he lashes out at her physically? Yeah I'm going there and saying I have a hard time believing that if this were the other way around that guy would have just been fined because of the exceptional circumstances.

That's just brutal and for this woman to get off what some would call a Pussy Pass just makes me feel bad for that guy. He must be really forgiving to put up with such a "punishment".

Tip of the Fro to Sonja for pointing this out.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Weekly Mashup Stage 30

Sound off!

Air New Zealand Stands on its Sexist Policy: Paul Elam sends a letter of complaint to Air New Zealand about its policy of disallowing unaccompanied minors to sit next to men on their flights. Yeah that same sexist policy that those jerks at British Air got sued for. Oh and he also has the nonresponsive response they sent him.

Creating Flight Plans Online? Patented! Small Company Sued Out Of Business For Not Wanting To Pay $3.2 Million Per Month: You read that right. Someone was allowed to get a patent on creating flight planes online at a time when there was plenty of prior art. This patent thing is way out of hand.

Emphasizing Sports Over Academics Sets Up Black Boys to Lose: I remember being at college and being mad at athletes because they were getting a "free ride" while I had to have financial aid. After reading this (okay honestly I've thought it for a while but reading this just brought it to a head and made me want to say something) though I wonder about the quality of those "free rides" and the quality of the boys/men who get them.

Australia: Women Given License to kill and Gov to Jail Men at Will..: I don't live in Australia but I really hope its not that bad there. Although things like that do happen in America so...

Constable 'throw' passenger out of moving train: Here's some more of that misandry that supposedly does not exist.

Freak Angels: I've come across a web comic that looks interesting.

Probation Bias: "That is no surprise. Statistically, males face harsher sentences than females virtually across the board. It is particularly true with violent crimes. There is no rational reason for this. Many crimes involve a host of factors that may have caused a person to assault someone. Those factors are rarely unique to any one gender."

Until we meet again.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Rape, Anonymity, and All Things Inbetween

Okay unless you have been actively avoiding it I'm sure by now you are familiar with Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks, and the two rape accusations against him. When it comes to rape charges one of the things that quickly becomes a hot topic is anonymity.

With the way things are now when someone is accused of rape people pretty much bend over backwards in most cases in order to keep the alleged victim's identity secret while at the same turning the life of the accused into an open book. In fact often times when the identity of the accused does come to light people will often react quite negatively.

Will it would seem that in this case the identities and contact information of Assange's accusers has been made public (and to answer your question no I didn't provide a link in order add to the spread of the info, I added because I refuse to make this one of those posts where I go on and on about something that got from somewhere and cop out by not providing a link to where I'm coming from).

I'm a bit mixed on this.

I'll be the first to say that given the stigma that rape carries I find it to be pretty unfair that as soon as an allegation is made the life of the accused becomes fair game while even in the event that allegation is false the identity of the accuser is still a tightly guarded secret (meaning that the criminal is free to strike again, funny how people seem to not notice that when its the other way around). But I don't think that tit for tat is the way to go.

Its true that once the identity of the accused is known people will likely go after them. Calling them names, threatening them, and otherwise trying to shame them and pass judgment on them. Its also true that this happens to the accused as well. However when that happens people try to take that "Oh well they're a rapist fuck them and their feelings. They deserve what they get." (And I'll be getting back to that "They deserve what they get." part in the future.)

Should those women be investigated and have their stories run through with the proverbial fine toothed comb? Hell yes because the stakes are pretty high when talking about rape. You're talking about the rest of the life of the accused or the accuser or both. In this particular case you could be talking about either Assange getting put away for something he didn't do (*) or two women who had a terrible crime committed against them never getting justice. Those are high stakes on both sides. And when the stakes are so high a balance needs to be made where the accuser and the accused both get their fair shot at justice.



(In my efforts to keep the rape allegations and WikiLeaks business separate there will be no discussion of WikiLeaks here. They are two separate events and one should have no bearing on the other. If you want to talk about the rape allegations have at it. If you're dead set on talking about WikiLeaks you are more than welcome to do so here.)

* - Warning. There will be no derailing claiming that false accusations don't harm the accused or that there is no incentive to make a false accusation. There is proof of it and frankly I think the only way you can miss it if you intentionally ignore it.

Oh yes racism is still alive and well

So while I'm surfing for news today I come across this story.It would seem that the Logan Village Mall in Noblesville, Indiana was selling a variety of soaps that used racism imagery.

Okay I'm willing to give the benefit of the doubt on something. My first impression was to wonder exactly what the images were. I'm sure for it to hit a news site it had to be at least somewhat offensive but I wanted to hold off on judgment. That is until a bit of digging and found actual images.




All doubt removed.

What really bothers me is the store manager's defense (From the first link):
"As far as I'm concerned, we're conducting a legal business and if these people are upset about it, they don't have to come in the store," Gary Dewester, a shopkeeper in the Logan Village Mall in Noblesville, told WTHR-TV in Indianapolis. "Again, if it didn't sell, we wouldn't have it in the store."
While I'm sure you would disagree with him he does make a point that needs to be addressed. If there weren't so many people who were either actively racist or complacent about it these products would get stopped dead in their tracks or hopefully never conceived of in the first place.

And to make it all the sadder the owners of the store, Gary and Kim Dewester, are attorneys. You would think that people who are officers of the court, people would would be brought in to stop such material, would not sell such products.

Theater Thursday: Summer of '42

Its Theater Thursday so you know the rules. More than likely whatever I talk about in this post will more than likely have spoilers in it. Tread accordingly.

A few weeks ago Daisy asked me about a movie called "Summer of '42". Specifically she was curious to what a young male virgin had to say about it. And Daisy I think I can honestly say this is the first time anyone has ever asked my opinion about something from the perspective of a young male virgin. Here goes.

For the setup the movie takes place on a small island resort (even though it looks more like a small country town than a resort) with summer homes and beach all around. Our main character is a young man (15) named Hermie. Hermie is spending the summer in a home on the island with his parents (who are oddly never shown). He wastes away more of his days with his friends Benjie and Oscy. Little did Hermie know this would be a summer than would change him forever.

Now if you are familiar with other teen "I gotta get some" movies like Porky's, Sixteen Candles, and of course American Pie then you would not be too far off base with what's going on here except content not as wild and in your face. Our young gentlemen constantly obsess over sex and really want to get it on. Mind you can see a big difference between Oscy (who I think could be Stifler's grandfather) and Hermie who I kinda saw a bit of my teenage self in (oddly enough Benjie doesn't get a lot of screen time and at one point even disappears from the story and only returns at the end of the movie).

Even though Hermie seemed like a shy guy that wanted to experience sex he wasn't a horndog like Oscy and this becomes very apparent when Dorothy comes into the picture. Dorothy's exact age is never given but its clear that she is an adult woman and is married to a man in the Army (who is shipped off to war early on).

And his shyness shows even more when it comes to his attempts to interact with Dorothy. While out walking one days he sees her carrying a lot of grocery bags and drops them on the sidewalk. He takes the chance to move in and talk to her (I suppose you could argue that he was only helping her in an attempt to get his foot in the door a la Nice Guy but frankly I get the feeling he would have done it even if he wasn't interested in her). After helping her get her groceries home he sits in for a cup of coffee (which apparently knew nothing about, especially the heat). You can see the nervousness and his attempt to sound more mature than he really is in an attempt to impress her. The next night while out at the movies (he had originally gone out with Oscy and Benjie but on Oscy's insistence two girls by the names Miriam and Aggie joined Hermie and Oscy, and Benjie disappears) Hermie meets Dorothy and she asks him for some help moving boxes the next day, which of course he accepts (again you could try to make the Nice Guy argument but I don't think it would hold against a kid of his character).

Our young friend Hermie manages to anxiously work his way through helping Dorothy with her boxes (while fantasizing about various parts of her body during the process). Later that night Hermie goes to a marshmallow roast with Aggie, Oscy, and Miriam. The next morning Hermie joins Dorothy as she is writing letters to her husband and offers to stop by that evening and she gives an okay. That night things get...complicated (and I suspect this may be why Daisy was wondering what I thought).

That night after getting all decked out Hermie heads over to Dorothy's place but doesn't get a response when he knocks. After letting himself in he sees that Dorothy's record player is still spinning after playing a record, her ashtray is full, and there is a bottle of liquor out. Next to the ashtray is a notice that her husband was killed. Finally Dorothy emerges from her room wiping tears and brushing her hair (I'm gonna stick to the facts for the sake of explanation and I'll get to impressions and speculation next.) After a brief conversation they have sex that night. Later that night Hermie gets up, exchanges goodbyes with Dorothy and leaves with her standing on her porch, smoking. That would be the last time he would see her for when he returns the next day there is only a note on her door telling him that she had to return home, she will always remember him, hopes that he will find his own way of remembering that night, and wishes that his life is free of tragedy.

Damn Daisy there is a lot going here to look at (in fact I watched the movie a second time to prepare for this post). And given how long this post is already I'm going to end here and write a second part.

Til then.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Purpose

This is one of many parts in the ongoing series of working on being a man.

You remember that scene in The Matrix Reloaded where Agent Smith and Neo were at the park and Smith was talking about purpose? In case you don't here's a refresher.

Agent Smith: But, as you well know, appearances can be deceiving, which brings me back to the reason why we're here. We're not here because we're free. We're here because we're not free. There is no escaping reason; no denying purpose. Because as we both know, without purpose, we would not exist.
[Several Agent Smith Clones walk in]
Agent Smith Clone 1: It is purpose that created us.
Agent Smith Clone 2: Purpose that connects us.
Agent Smith Clone 3: Purpose that pulls us.
Agent Smith Clone 4: That guides us.
Agent Smith Clone 5: That drives us.
Agent Smith Clone 6: It is purpose that defines us.
Agent Smith Clone 7: Purpose that binds us.
Agent Smith: We are here because of you, Mr Anderson. We're here to take from you what you tried to take from us.
[Attempts to copy himself into Neo]
Agent Smith: Purpose.


As The System dictates we are slaves to purpose. We do what we are supposed to do in order to justify our existence. If we do not do it then we do not matter. If we do not do it then we are a failure at what we are supposed to be. If we do not do it then something is wrong with us.

I think that's bullshit. However calling it bullshit is not enough. We need to talk this out.

Simply put men have "purpose" according to The System's design. We're rough. Our emotional range is limited to rage and lust. We are supposed marry a woman and have kids. We're rugged, hairy, have scars, and should never be considered as anything other than "manly". These are the things that those of use that are born with the Y chromosome (and only those with the Y chromosome for some reason) must do in order to be counted.

But there is one big problem with this setup. This setup depends on either men believing that we must do those things in order to be considered men or that The System is so crushing and oppressive that we will just shut up and fulfill our "purpose" whether we want to or not. When men start to rise up and demand to be free from such bonds and expectations The System things will eventually shake up and ultimately change for the better (for all us even those among us who are not men).

The times are a changing guys. We should not be defined by what we do. Sure what we do is a part of our lives but what we do should not becomes our lives. There is nothing stopping us from doing what we want (barring harming other people mind you). There is nothing stopping us from creating and living by a purpose of our choosing rather than being bound by a purpose created for us.


(I just took a few moments to rewrite that speech. Its not set in stone its just a little something I whipped up.)
Agent Smith: But, as you well know, appearances can be deceiving, which brings me back to the reason why we're here. We're not here to serve someone else's purpose. We're here find and live our own purpose. There is escape in our reason; no denying our choice. Because as we both know, by finding our own purpose, we live, not merely exist.
[Several Agent Smith Clones walk in]
Agent Smith Clone 1: It is us that creates purpose.
Agent Smith Clone 2: Purpose this is defined by us.
Agent Smith Clone 3: Purpose that is made for us.
Agent Smith Clone 4: That aids us.
Agent Smith Clone 5: That motivates us.
Agent Smith Clone 6: It is purpose that is designed by us.
Agent Smith Clone 7: Purpose that assists us.
Agent Smith: We are here because of you, Mr Anderson. We're here to create for ourselves that which you created for yourself.
Agent Smith: Purpose.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Weekly Mashup Stage 29

Its the end of the week. Time to show what you got!

More Patent Lawsuits Over Interactive Sex Toys -- The Teledildonic Patent Thicket: It would seem that even interactive sex toys are not immune to the shitstorm that is patenting.

Awesome.: The most badass pocket tee shirt ever.

WikiLeaks: Texas Company Helped Pimp Little Boys To Stoned Afghan Cops: "Since this is Afghanistan, you probably already knew this wasn't a kegger. Instead, this DynCorp soiree was a bacha bazi ("boy-play") party, much like the ones uncovered earlier this year by Frontline. For those that can't or won't click the link, bacha bazi is a pre-Islamic Afghan tradition that was banned by the Taliban. Bacha boys are eight- to 15-years-old. They put on make-up, tie bells to their feet and slip into scanty women's clothing, and then, to the whine of a harmonium and wailing vocals, they dance seductively to smoky roomfuls of leering older men."

Why no one should use that word: Kyriarchy instead of Patriarchy: When people just can't come to terms with the fact that "men want to dominate and oppress women" does not explain everything that is fucked up about society.

Let men make informed choices on prostate cancer screening: "Here, we come to the scandalous reality. The government, through its Prostate Cancer Risk Management Programme (PCRMP) says that every man over 50 who doesn't have symptoms of prostate cancer is entitled to ask his GP for a PSA test. Yet, 70% of men aged 50-70 don't even know that the test exists, let alone their right to request it – men are effectively denied the right to make a choice. And if you think that's bad, it gets even worse for men from less affluent backgrounds who are much less likely to be aware of the test, or even of the disease itself."

Exclusive: TSA frisks groom children to cooperate with sex predators, abuse expert says: "Telling a child that they are engaging in a game is "one of the most common ways" that sexual predators use to convince children to engage in inappropriate contact, Wooden told Raw Story." Damn right is. How in the world can you tell a child that something so invasive is "a game"?

Nutri-Grain, Fake Color, and Why Do American Kids Deserve Less than Europeans?: I guess I should start importing Nutri-Grain bars.

Divorced Dads’ Overnights Thwarted by School District: So what if the dad has visitation rights or shared custody? If the school outright refuses to recognize the dad's resident then the kids can't catch the bus to and from his home. And here I was thinking people were complaining that dads were doing their part in raising children.


Okay I know the Bond movie franchise is on a bit of hiatus and the people that do those opening scenes need to make ends meet but damn.



See ya next week!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

What if Assange was a citizen of a foreign nation?

As most people who pay attention to American politics know, American politicians can be quite hypocritical. They say one thing while doing another while promising something else.

These days one of the biggest stories going on is the story of WikiLeaks. The now infamous site has built a name for itself by releasing information that some would rather remain secret. Well as you know Julian Assange has recently also been recently accused of raping two women in addition to the dustups that have resulted from the information that has gone to the public thanks to the efforts of he and crew behind WikiLeaks. And in all this I think Mike Mansick of Techdirt makes a pretty valid observation.

If Assange were releasing information on the government of a different nation like say China would US politicians be so bent out of shape over it as they are right now? I get the feeling that not only would they not be going after him with such fervor but like Mike says they would be cheering for, propping him up like a hero, and may even try to keep him safe in the US a al WW2 defector style.

What do you think?

(I would like to keep this discussion on the topic of how American politicians would react to WikiLeaks. While I won't strike mention of them with extreme prejudice I so not want this thread to get stuck on what people think about the rape accusations or the leaked info itself. There are plenty of places to argue over the validity of those accusations, this isn't one of them. In fact you are welcome to do so here.)

Monday, December 6, 2010

Six things men say that signal trouble

More and more the relevance of lists seem to drop more and more by the wayside. I managed to come across this little gem today. Yes I know. Its another example of how this society that supposedly favors men just loves to shit on us by way of forcing us into tiny boxes of what is deemed acceptable behavior. Let's look shall way?

1. "I don't feel like having sex." Sure, every man has an off day. But you know what? Most guys want to have sex all the time. And if you're not getting it on, on a regular basis, especially because your guy is claiming that he's just "not feeling it," you can bet that your problems are going to turn out to be bigger than a case of the sex blues. In this particular situation, you may want to get to the root of the problem before this supposed dry spell kills your love, too.
So I guess the lesson here is that if a guy is not in the mood it can't be that he's under some sort of stress. Or maybe his reduced sex drive is a sign of a problem. Perhaps he just has a low sex drive. Since this article is "here to help the ladies" let me offer a few words on this. There might be some root to why he's not in the mood but for all that is holy don't act like him not sprouting an erection at the drop of your hat is surefire sign of something being wrong. He just might not be in the mood.

2. "I can't stop crying." Sure, sure, the new man is a metrosexual who is really in touch with his inner-self, does yoga, and gets waxed more than you do. But there's a limit to how much a woman can tolerate seemingly unmanly behaviors.

Crying because there was a death in the family? Feel free. Prone to weeping at romantic comedies? Not so much. If your man can't control his emotions, and you find yourself feeling like you're the one wearing the pants in the relationship, you should ask yourself if that's what you want -- a guy who'll cry over spilt milk.

You know if a woman has problems with a crying and thinks that its a seemingly unmanly behavior then I'm willing to bet that he's not the one with the problem. And really a man being emotional is a sign that he no longer wears the pants? I thought we were past that whole "who wears the pants" stuff.

3. "I'm thinking about quitting my job." There are two ways this one can go. He's dissatisfied with his current work situation, he wants to try something else, and this statement is a prelude to telling you all about his big plans for his next career move. That's fine.

On the other hand, if you're living together, and one day he declares he's going to give two-weeks notice today, and so far as you can tell he doesn't have any idea what he'll be doing after that, or how he'll be paying for his part of your shared bills, this isn't someone who has a work issue. This is someone who has an I-want-my-mommy-to-take-care-of-me issue.

I'd really like to hear what Susannah Breslin would have to say about a woman doing this. Just don't see her calling it an I-want-my-daddy-to-take-care-of-me issue.

Need I go on?

Oh and that image? Well its not the first time its been deemed okay for a woman to hit a man.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Weekly Mashup Stage 28

Hi!

Tis the season for minimizing: TS reminds us that some people will go to great lengths to minimize female against male violence.

Why Did NBC Cancel ‘Undercovers’?: I'm mad. Undercovers was one of the few new shows that I was watching this season. There's no telling how long it will be before a network takes a shot at black people leading in something other than a comedy.

Utah: Male DV Victims in Support Group: "An abused spouse is arrested when police arrive on the scene. Another abused spouse sees charges dropped against the abuser because of “insufficient evidence,” even though the abuser admitted guilt to cops and the court. These situations are real, but the victims of these abusive relationships weren’t women—they were men, men who now have a support group created by a therapist trying to expand the discussion about what constitutes domestic violence and who its victims are."

'Don't ask, don't tell': The reality of repeal: I know it will be a great day when this dreadful policy repealed once and for all but I do wonder. When DADT is no more how well we go about dealing with questions like benefits and housing? Its going to take more than just screaming "Get over it!" and then high fiving each other.

#50 Overcoming the Noble Savage & the Sexy Squaw: Native Steampunk–Guest Blog by Monique Poirier: (via Renee) I have to admit that due to steampunk being focused on mechanics and engineering and (my apparently limited thoughts on) Native American cultures being focused on nature and spirituality I never considered the possibility of bringing the two together. In fact I thought they were mutually exclusive.

Gay Men’s Domestic Violence Projec: Gay Men’s Domestic Violence Project is a grassroots, non-profit organization founded by a gay male survivor of domestic violence and developed through the strength, contributions and participation of the community.


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Pepsi Refrseh Project

(EDIT: Just like last time I've altered the date on this post so that it sits at the top of the main page for the rest of month. Vote early and vote often!)

The Pepsi Refresh Project is back again and the Domestic Abuse Helpline for Men and Women could use your votes to put that $50,000 grant to good use:


Goals

* To raise awareness about the 834,000 male victims of dv annually
* To educate and empower victims and others with our publications
* To offer concrete help and support to male victims

How will the 50K be Used?

$ 25,000 Printing of approx. 30,000 posters, booklets, & brochures

$ 5,000 Purchase of 2500 large envelopes and postage

$ 2,500 Stipends for volunteers

$ 16,000 Funds for victim services- more public awareness=more helpline callers

$ 1,500 misc.office expenses


These folks could really use your vote, your family's votes, your friends votes, and any other votes that come their way.

...but where did that expectation or demand come from?

With so much going on in the blog world its no surprise that sometimes there are things that you missed but when you come across them later you just have to say something. This is one of those times.

In that post figleaf talks about men and how should be simple wants (in relation to women) become demands and expectations.
But if the sexes are no different in that regard the genders are out of whack. Inside of gender men are indoctrinated not just to want but to expect as well. And whereas women are also brought up to have expectations of their own they’re also indoctrinated to regard men’s expectations as something they’re obliged to deal. To consent to or decline but never to be oblivious to, to disregard, or to dismiss as irrelevant.
I'm sure you could in some way argue against this assertion but one thing for sure is that this does hold true in some cases. What I want to do is go beyond just saying the point of saying there is a problem of men's wants becoming demands and expectations and go into how it actually happens.

One part of the old ways of gender relations between men and women is that there is this "give and receive" relationship. One gives. One receives. One receives. One gives. Rinse and repeat. With that setup people get accustomed to giving whatever it is they give and receiving whatever it is they receive in return. Throw gender in the mix and yes you will end up with men who think that because they "give" their wives a roof over their heads they are expected to "receive" sex (and let's not forget women who "give" by keeping the home clear and therefore expect to "receive" lots of material possessions) and other examples. Obviously there are problems with this setup.

First and foremost this relationship operates under the premise that since person A gave something to person B person B has no choice but to give something back to person A. Such expectation and demand pretty much robs person B of consent on the matter.

Next person A ends up left thinking that in order to receive from person B they must give. I can certainly see where A could feel like they are being held over a barrel because they must give X in order to get Y. Person B could very well realize this and start withholding Y until person A gives X.

Sounds like a transaction doesn't it?

Now as for where this comes from its not individual men themselves or even men as a collective (although some would like to think it does). The culprit here is The System.

Its going to take more than faulting men with having these expectations (although some do because it makes them feel better I guess). Its going to take The System being broken so that men won't be raised to think that they have to fulfill so one half of a bargain in order to get sex in return.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Diary of a Bad Black Man

I've never liked Tyler Perry's movies*. I've watched a few of them and from what I've heard it seems like watching one means you've watched them all. And it was when I came across this article today that I decided I needed to get around expressing my displeasure with them here.

Simply put according to Tyler there are only two types of black men. First is the morally bankrupt thug that hates women (mostly black women). Second is the hard working Christian man that is down on his luck. That's it. No more no less. Given that I'm neither of those men I apparently don't exist.

Don't get me wrong here. I am fully aware that for a lot of people the content in those movies is a representation of what their lives are. I'm not trying to say that there are no morally bankrupt thugs, hard working Christian men, and the black women caught in between them. What I am saying is that there is a huge difference between occasionally telling this story and building a movie franchise off of stereotypes.

So maybe when Perry learns that there are other black men out there that aren't trying to be woman hating criminals or Christians trying to start a relationship with a woman with God as his savior then maybe I'll give his movies the time of day.


* - And those Madea movies bother me too. Why? Because I'm finding to be less and less funny to see someone who is not part of a certain group dress up like a member of said group and then proceed to make money off of getting people to laugh at that group and the stereotypes that haunt them. This is also why I'm kinda glad that Eddie Murphy's career has fallen off. Karma for those Nutty Professor movies.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Weekly Mashup Stage 27

Greetings. I'll show you mine if you show my yours. Unfortunately I don't have a lot to show this time since I've been fairly busy this week. Enjoy.

Scorched scrotums: Is your laptop cooking your testicles?: It seems that those of us with testicles may need to pay heed to keeping our laptops (more importantly the heat they generate) near them for extended periods.

Father says his faith cost his custody: After reading the ruling I don't think it was because of his religion. I think its just more of your run of the mill misandry from the family courts.

Black Gate: An online magazine that focuses on fantasy literature. Interesting.

The most awesome door chain ever.


via The Art of Manliness. Some useful information here.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Working on being a man pt.6

This is one of many parts in the ongoing series of working on being a man.

When it comes to living masculinity (or femininity for that matter) different people have different ways of living it. Some feel its about sexuality. Some feel its about sports. Some feel its about mechanics and so on and so on. Let me ask.

Is your masculinity your real face or is it a mask?

You may wonder what this has to do with being a man. Simple part of the script of being a man is that you are expected to live the life of masculinity. Yes there are men out there who don't bother calling their way masculinity but for the most part most men embrace what society calls masculinity. And really there is nothing wrong with that...as long as you are not hurting anyone and are living it because you want to rather than fulfilling someone else's expectations of being a man.

Let's take emotions. Do you have a limited emotional range because that's just the way you are or are you just putting on an act so that people will think you're a "real man"?

Work. Do you work outrageous hours and basically choose career over family because you love your job and/or need to support your family or are you just doing your duty as the provider role because you're a man?

Do you get into sports (playing or spectating) because you actually like them or is it because you want to make sure your masculinity is validated to everyone else?

Is being attracted only to women just the way you roll or is there more to (or something different about) your sexuality that is buried under the cultural expectations of being a horndog that is overwhelmed by the never ending quest to get the nookie.

I think that questioning the parts of what is currently understood to be masculinity is a rather important step to working on what should and should not be a part of it. And more importantly it must established that when talking about what should and should not be a part of one's masculinity we cannot really talk about a single masculinity that everyone must abide by. Just like faces we each have our own masculinity and we must me free to express it as we see fit.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Medal of Honor is not an Xbox 360 Achievement

It would seem that Bryan Fischer thinks that the fact that the Medal of Honor has only been awarded for saving lives rather than killing them is a sign that the medal itself has been feminized. If you want to go on about how that's so sexist against women or high five someone over the thought that saving lives is considered feminine (that whole moral superiority of women thing) then this is not the place. I'm here to wonder what the hell is going through Fischer's mind that has him thinking that inflicting violence in and of itself is masculine and worthy of reward and/or that inflicting violence is on par with offering your life in the place of someone else's (remember most of the people that perform such actions never live to actually receive the medal).

As you know we live in a society that pressures men and boys to embrace violence. Might makes right. Violence solves everything and so on and so on.

My gripe with his article is that he seems to willfully embrace the violent standard of masculinity and dismiss all else as feminine. As a person who is building his own masculinity (and hopefully helping others do the same) this does not sit well with me.

It would be one thing if he was talking about awarding people who have the courage to endanger themselves while committing such violence but I'm not getting that vibe from. I really think that he wants to award people for the acts of violence in and of themselves. One thing he does is invoke Jesus.
However, Jesus’ act of self-sacrifice would ultimately have been meaningless - yes, meaningless - if he had not inflicted a mortal wound on the enemy while giving up his own life.

The significance of the cross is not just that Jesus laid down his life for us, but that he defeated the enemy of our souls in the process. It was on the cross that he crushed the head of the serpent. It was on the cross that “he disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in it” (Colossians 2:15).
I'm agnostic but it seems to me that he is missing out on another significant part of what Jesus did when he gave up his life for the sake of others. It would have been very possible to inflict that mortal wound he speaks of, and possibly more damage, if he had raised an army and went to war. But he didn't. Its not so much what he did but how he did it. He achieved change through non-violence (and he would not be the last to do this). In fact I'd be willing to bet that a lot of Christians hold Jesus in such high regard for the precise reason that even in the face of certain death he was still peaceful and never struck in anger and violence.

I don't care what this man says it would be wrong to award such a prestigious honor for the act of violence and violence certainly not an inherent part of masculinity.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Weekly Mashup Stage 75

Yes its been a while but let us not get hung up on that. 24+25+26 = 75. And as always you're welcome to share any interesting links of your own.

Message to the Tea Party - What took you so long to get angry?: I have to admit Alvin has a point there.

Map Directions WIN: And this is why you really need to pay attention when looking online for directions.

Photodonuts: I really need to start collecting all these photography blog links.

GERALDINE FERRARO: Hateful Language Has No Place In Campaigns: And she actually takes a moment to mention sexism against men.

Here I Stand, With Steam Coming Out of My Ears: Bored with deluge of steampunk that seems to be everywhere you look and think its more about look than substance? I think Yuki-Onna agrees with you. And I have to admit that I kinda agree as well.

Two steps forward, one step back: "Male victims still remain shrouded in silence, part of it self-imposed, part of it socially imposed, and part of it imposed by the very organizations who ought to help them. Breaking that silence takes effort, not just on the part of male victims being willing to speak, but on the part of people being willing to listen."

Mid-Week Motivation: I am NOT your Costume:
I am a human being.
I am not your Halloween costume.
I am not your party theme.
I am not your mascot.
I am not your costume.


I need a bit of help here. Does this mean to imply that apologies should only come from men and that women shouldn't have to apologize or what?

Lawsuit Settled After Cop Revealed Anonymous Blogger To His Church, Then Destroyed Records To 'Protect Civil Rights': "Once the blogger's name was revealed to Hinson, he revealed the blogger's name to church officials, closed down his "investigation" and (wow) destroyed the files related to the investigation. He claimed that the files were destroyed to "protect the civil rights" of the blogger -- which is pretty funny since the entire investigation appears to have been designed to violate the civil right of anonymity of the blogger."

Senator: FDA to ban caffeinated alcohol drinks: I'm just glad Four Loko hasn't been hyped up by the media as the latest date rape drug after what went down a few weeks ago at that party.

Why The Jammie Thomas Verdicts Return Such Huge Amounts Per Song Shared: It's All About The Framing: One example of the straight up ridiculous math that goes into awards for copyright infringement.



Take it easy folks!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Is this really the best solution?

If you don't know I'm against circumcision unless there is medical necessity or if its an adult choosing to have it done. Well it would seem that there are forces at work attempting to not just turn people against it but to make it straight up illegal.
Those who violate the ban could be jailed (not more than one year) or fined (not more than $1,000), under his proposal.
"Intactivist" (an activist that advocates against circumcision) Lloyd Schofield and other activists like him seek to make it "unlawful to circumcise, excise, cut, or mutilate the whole or any part of the foreskin, testicles, or penis of anyone 17 or younger in San Francisco".

On one hand I would very much like to see something done about circumcision. Its benefits are debatable at best and pipe dreams at worst.

People have this done to their sons for reason ranging from health benefits to religion to plain old vanity.

There seems to be conflicting science whether or not circumcision is of actual benefit. Some studies suggest it does help prevent infections while other say it makes no difference (I myself would like to see some data comparing the effectiveness of circumcision versus that of sex education and genital hygiene). If anything I think there should be some solid evidence proving that there are actual health benefits to it before putting so many boys through it.

Religion is a tough one. You see when you talk about religion you talk about culture, history, and tradition. Its not as easy to strike down why Muslims and Jews (and anyone else who practices for religious reasons) have been doing this as it is for Westerners who have not only turned it into a habit but have made it something that can be covered by health insurance. (And besides one could argue that genital cutting of girls should be okay since its a tribal tradition.)

But when you get down to it you might be able to make an argument of medical benefit and you might be able to justify it religiously. However vanity has no place in this.
Amy Jo Jones of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, made the decision to have her two sons circumcised and it "wasn't about vanity."
Sounds noble right? Amy made the choice to have it done and didn't do it for vanity. So you're probably thinking its about medical benefits or religious right or some other justifiable reason aren't you? No. Pay attention because this one is a bit tricky.
"The deciding factor for us was I wanted my son to be like his father. I didn't want him grow up and feel his body was different. It's not about how it looks or doesn't look. I knew there were some medical advantages, although it's not considered medically necessary. The deciding factor was for him feeling comfortable with body and like that of his dad."
So its not about their looks but rather she wanted then to look like their father (well she says "be like his father" but come on). She wants them to be comfortable with their bodies but instead of teaching that there is nothing wrong with foreskin as they grew up and teaching him proper genital hygiene, you know actually showing them how to be comfortable with their bodies, she decided to have it removed. What kind of lesson is that? Can you imagine a parent, in an effort to teach their daughter there is nothing wrong with having really small breasts, getting their daughter breast implants so that she will feel comfortable about herself?

But anyway. While I personally think circumcision should only be done when the guy can choose it for himself or if its a medical necessity I'm not so sure about making it flat out illegal.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Slight of hand on an article about circumcision

Go take a look at this.

Its an article about Kafue Boys Secondary School where some of its pupils registered to be circumcised at Kafue Rural Health Centre without consent from school authorities.

According to Catherine Mutale, headmistriss of the school, posters promoting the process were found on school grounds. The posters were removed however some of the boys at the school had already been booked and others had even had the procedure done already.

After the removal of their foreskins some of the boys have had trouble sitting and walking and some have also missed classes. Mutale has also been concerned about whether or not the boys are practicing proper care in keeping the wounds clean.

There are a few things that bother me about this.

1. The end run around shool and parental consent - From way the health center reacted to Mutale's inquiry it seems like the center went out of their way to avoid getting permission from the boys' parents or the school. You would think that if the process is so helpful they would not mind running it past parents and school authorities.

2. With a title like "Boys see circumcision as a licence for unprotected sex" [sic] one could be led to think that this was about boys concluding amongst themselves. But when one reads the article its pretty clear that this is about a health center trying to influence boys into getting circumcised and their willingness to even dodge parents and school authorities to get it down. Why not, "Boys led to believe circumcision as a license for unprotected sex"?

It would be one thing if these were adult men making the choice after being able to think on the issue but we are talking about boys who were feed selective information in order to make a biased decision.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Veteran's Day

Today is Veteran's Day in the States. If you don't know its a day set aside to honor those who have served our country in its times of need. I'm on vacation but I want to take a moment to give a big tip of the Fro to all the folks out there who have served in our armed forces.

I have a lot of respect for people who do admirable things that I know I could never do. In this case we are talking about people who put themselves in a position where they may have to kill another person in order to protect their homeland. And not only that but also willing to give their very lives doing it. That's big.

If you've served in the military I just want to say thanks.

Monday, November 8, 2010

I should be used ot it....

Don't you just love it when people who (presumably) aren't part of a certain group still decide they are fit to speak on that certain group and will often at the same time go to war if someone does it to them? Yeah just as men do that to women there seems to be women who are more than willing to do that to men.

Otherwise, cisgendered males do not, cannot, and will not ever experience sexism.
I don't know about you folks but I get the feeling that Angel H. here doesn't understand men, and a large part of society, as well as they have already decided they do. This is why I tend to limit the company I keep when it comes this whole gender rights discussion thing.

So let's see:

The specific gender based problems male rape victims go through?: No that's not sexism because this Angel H. person said so.

That whole fat hatred thing?: Apparently when it happens to women its fat hatred and sexism but when it happens to men its only fat hated because despite what I've said here in the past it turns out all of those comments were strictly about my fat and nothing about my gender.

The way men are treated by society when it comes to children?: Has absolutely nothing to do with their gender. Even though somehow men are treated unfairly in different ways than women but rest assured when it happens to women its sexism.

I'm not even going to try to put this (or this on Renee because these are commenters and not her. But damn with comments like that...

Okay now that that is out back to my vacation.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Oppotunity vs. Outcome

So I'm reading an article by Jennifer Lawless at CNN today and I'm reminded of how some people tend to think that equality can only be measured in outcome and may not notice equality in opportunity.

Lawless goes into the number of seats that women candidates lost after Tuesday night's round of elections. And as far as the numbers are concerned she is on the money. However I think there might be something she is missing.

Despite the numbers of women candidates that lost that night I have to say that it seems to me that women candidates had stronger showings this time around than in the recent past. And most interesting of all despite the "Man up" nonsense (oh and you know I'll be getting to that later) most of these women seemed to not be riding the "vote for me because I'm a woman" ticket.

In the end I think that even though women may have lost seats I think its worth noting that women candidates seemed to have commanded a larger presence on the campaign trails this year. And I think that some serious progress worth noting considering how far women candidates have come.

Now I'm certainly not trying to say that this mitigates away the fact that there aren't that many woman in the seats of power. I'm saying that I think its a bit short sighted to say that there was no progress made.

Ichi...

(Japanese)

Thursday, November 4, 2010

McEwan's Theory of Fat Rollativity

I see that Mellisa has put the majority of my life into a math theory.

Glad to see that Fat Math still works:

Skinny Handsome Guy = Not All That Funny

Skinny Handsome Guy + 1 Fat Socially Awkward Guy = HILARIOUS!!!!!!!

Although I note that the variables have changed slightly.

2010 Fat Guy < 1987 Fat Guy.

Because controlling for OH NOES OBESITY CRISIS!

Fat = Gross.

Therefore:

Basically Trim Guy with Beer Belly and Beard should be substituted for Fat Guy.


Even there wasn't such examples as John Belushi, John Candy, and Chris Farley as I said I myself know that this theory is sound and solid.

And yes Due Date is an unofficial remake of Planes, Trains, and Automobiles.

Twee...

(Afrikaans)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Oh I'm totally certain...

...that somewhere in here is some actual concern for men and that this post is not just more run of the mill feminist grandstanding. (And apparently misndry or sexism against men doesn't need a trigger warning.)

Pingasunik...

(West Canadian Inuit)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

When corporations try to patent the ways of old

Imagine you have some sort of formula, remedy, or recipe that has been used in your part of the world centuries if not millenia. Some mixture that serves a purpose such as healing a wound, curing an infection, or soothing an itchy rash.

Now imagine of out of nowhere some big company that's younger than your grandparents sweeps in and claims they have a patent on said creation. That is precisely what the toothpaste maker Colgate is trying to do in its efforts to patent an herbal tooth cleaner that has been used in India for many, many, many years. And it looks like this has even gotten to the point where it has a name:
The patent, the Indian activists allege, is the latest act of "biopiracy" - whereby Western corporations plunder techniques, plants or genes used in the emerging world for centuries, for commercial profit.
Biopiracy. Sounds terrible doesn't it? That's because it is terrible.

As we have seen in the past mega corporations have shown time and time again that, despite what their commercials and slogans might say, they are only interested in making money and keeping their status. They have no problem putting things like customer satisfaction (and sometimes safety) on the back burner to make a few dollars more.

We are talking about people having their very traditions and history being taken out from under them. This is something that simply cannot be allowed to happen.

Chaar...

(Hindi)

Monday, November 1, 2010

Southern Hospitality alright...

Remember a few nights ago when I was expressing my displeasure over the powers that be in my area deciding that Trick or Treating should not be done on Sunday? Well it looks like some folks don't mind being straight up with their ignorance.
Bishop Rosie O'Neal with Koinonia Christian Center Church says, "I have a problem. You know i remember being a little kid and walking out and just wanting that bag of candy, but as i got older i began to understand the focus of evil and darkness and All Hallow's Eve and i just felt like as a believer i don't want to do that."
Yeah.

Evil and Darkness eh? Let's take a look.

While the Halloween we know now is a secular excuse to beg for candy, play pranks, wear costumes, and get wasted its actually based on oldertraditions, some of which predate Christianity.

Part of its origins are from Pagan/Celtic practices of celebrating and praying for a good harvest. Don't Christians celebrate, pray for, and give thanks for the food they are about to receive?

Part of its origins are from the All Saints Day practice of aiding the souls of the departed in crossing to the other side. Don't Christians do something like that?

Part of its origins are from the Gaelic harvest festival known as Samhain. Namely hollowing out turnips and carving faces into them to ward off evil spirits. Sounds a lot like a cross doesn't it.

So....?

But let me guess....

A book that's tentatively titled, "Man Down: Proof Beyond A Reasonable Doubt That Women Are Better Cops, Drivers, Gamblers, Spies, World Leaders, Beer Tasters, Hedge Fund Managers, and Just About Everything Else." is just fine since it only "uplifts" women at the expense of putting men down right? I get the feeling I would not like the writer of this book, Dan Abrams, very much.

I shouldn't have to say that swapping the genders in that book would create that outrage thing that people are known to do when particular groups are insulted but more than likely there is someone out there that would try to justify this somehow some way.

Reckon that some people just can't bear to let go of that old "battle of the sexes" nonsense whether for money, spite, etc.

But to me the funniest part is this:
Of course. The book will discuss some of those areas. This is not an effort to beat up on us guys but it may serve as a wake up call for some.
So this book is not meant to beat up on guys but rather a wake up call but he's thinking about coming out the gate by telling us that women really are better than men? I guess the days of saying the women are just as capable at those jobs as men are gone. Nah they're actually better.

Pyat...

(Russian)

Sunday, October 31, 2010

New Rule

When a Tea Party candidate says something so racist (and probably sexist but since its against men most people even so called "progressives" won't mention that part) that even Republicans think they crossed a line, it might be time to step back and think.

When asked about black men and college Illinois State Senate candidate Al Reynolds has this little gem to say:
"I've been in the city and the dichotomy of the women and the men in the minorities, there is a difference in the fact that most minority women, either the single parent or coming from a poor neighborhood, are motivated more so than the minority men. And it's a pretty good reason. Most of the women who are single parents have to find work to support their family. The minority men find it more lucrative to be able to do drugs or other avenues rather than do education. It's easier."

"We need to provide ways that are more incentive, other than just sports avenues, for the men for the minorities to want to go to college and get an education and better themselves before the women have to support them all."
Now its certainly true that black men are a very disenfranchised people. At one point (and it still might be true) young black men coming out of high school (which happens in small numbers relative to other demographics) were just as likely to end up in college as prison. This is definitely something that needs to be addressed but as Watkins (the writer of the link I gave above) says, "...but such comments must be tempered with the acknowledgment that the majority of African-American men are normal people who make normal life decisions".

Life decisions. Thinks like making money, staying out of poverty as best as possible, supporting their families, etc. The same things that people of any other demographic have to worry about. This is something that people seem to have a hard time getting through their heads. Being black in America is not an easy task and being a man in America is not as easy as some would paint it up to be. Black men are tied up in the rather unique dilemma of being characterized as hyper sexual thugs and criminals that don't care about our children and hate women. This is a tough nut to crack and its not being helped by people like Reynolds who seem to have learned everything they know about black men from watching rap videos and movies.

Let's take a look at this. As men we are expected to be external providers (as in working outside the home) for our families no matter the cost. There are plenty of men who take this idea to the point that they are indeed willing to break the law in order to feed their families (and it doesn't help that Reynolds is trying to paint the picture that the black men who do those things are only acting in their own self interest). I've known guys that turned to illegal activities (that's called "hustling" and if Al really understood black men as much as he thinks he does he would know this) just to put food on their tables. The only difference between those men and men who do dangerous work to pay the bills is that those men broke the law. I'm not trying to say that having to provide for a family excuses breaking the law but if we are going to get serious about trying to help black men (an integral part of helping black people overall) then the real reasons for their acts need to be brought to light instead of just blindly believing stereotypes and biases.

So as you see being black and being a man is not a joyous combination.

About that picking drugs over education think about this. When a man has children early in life he (by the script of being a man means being an external provider) certainly has to provide for said children but more importantly he has to provide for them NOW. Hungry, cold, and dependent children can't wait for a college degree. Hungry, cold, and dependent children can't wait for the job market to get better. Hungry, cold, and dependent children can't wait for the best paying job to come up.

Hell I'll bet that Reynolds even believes that the prison system comes down harder on blacks and men more than any other group of people simply because they commit more crimes.

Weekly Mashup Stage 22

I'll show you mine if you'll show me yours!

Pennsylvania woman charged in deaths of infants: "Michele Kalina, who has been in jail since she was arrested August 9 on charges relating to the discovery of the infants' remains at her home in Reading, was charged Monday with criminal homicide and five counts of "abuse of corpse" and is being held without bail, Adams said in a statement released by his office."

TRICK OR TREAT: Just When Is It?: For when you just don't understand Halloween and assume its all about being anti-God.

Woman Kills Baby For Interrupting Farmville Session: "Alexandra V. Tobias says her three-month old child, Dylan Lee Edmondson, had been crying while she was trying to play the popular Facebook casual game. This angered Tobias, who told authorities that she shook the baby, had a cigarette to calm herself down, then shook him again. It's believed he "may have hit his head during the shaking"."

Congolese women raped on Congo-Angola border, U.N. officials say: "The United Nations said the women reported they were held for nearly two weeks in early October and raped. The U.N. said three people in the group were killed, including two men and a woman, who died after being repeatedly raped. Those who survived and were released then returned to the Congo in the nude and with no belongings, according to the United Nations." (I'm curious as to why is it that when rape in that part of the world is mentioned male victims are almost never brought up and when they do it usually just a brief mention.)

Not one post but two posts by Melissa McEwan on Living While Fat.

NC State Bar Panel Backs Anti-Bias Language: The ethics committee of the NC Bar Association is looking to change their rules of conduct to include language stating that lawyers should not discriminate while working. I thought such language would be in there already...

It’s hard to be a stepmother: Apparently being a step parent is an excuse for abusing a step child.

Due to going out of town this coming Friday (and will not return until Nov. 14) more than likely there will be no Weekly Mashup. See you on the other side.

Lyo...

(Chinese)

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Friday, October 29, 2010

Thursday, October 28, 2010

So the Lord doesn't like to share?

Ok before I go into this bear in mind that I live in The South. For those of you who don't know The South is a section of the United States that pretty much covers from Virginia down to Florida and from the east coast out to about Texas. In this section of geography there is also the name Bible Belt that covers about the same span (just a little further out west in to Texas). In this Bible Belt people take their religion very seriously (to the point of violence).

Now that that is established let me clue you in on how several places have decided that rather than having the little ones get their candy gather on on the actual night of Halloween (Sunday Oct. 31) it shall be done on the night before (Saturday Oct. 30). Now at face value its a good idea because kids need to go to school and adults have to get ready for work on Monday. But if that were the case I would not have led off with that paragraph about The South and Bible Belt.

No no when I ask around the common answer is that Halloween was moved because kids should not be Trick or Treating on "the Lord's day". Yeah I know.

Nevermind that Halloween is based on Celtic/Pagan traditions that predate Christianity. No Oct. 31 just happens to fall on a day that has been claimed in the name of God and therefore must be moved. You would think that our Lord and Savior would have no problem sharing Sunday with a tradition that's pretty much become secular.

I don't know if this attitude exists in other places but I find it sad that people are so quick to push around non Christian things as if Christianity is the only valid religion. Which disappoints me even more since that means I live in an area where I will have nothing to get into for Halloween (not even a costume party).

Neun...

(German)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Casting Call for Guest Bloggers!!!

Oh no not here. While I would like to get to that point one day I just don't think I've built a strong enough of a presence here in The Corner to take it to that level, not yet anyway.

Actually April, the main brain behind Ethcofem (of which I am one of her nearly silent partners in crime) is looking for guest bloggers to drop by her lovely place.


Hello!

I’d like to start featuring guest posts from a variety of people offering different perspectives on topics that we frequently discuss here. I put up a page with more information for people who are interested. Check it out, and email ethecofem(at)gmail(dot)com if you’re interested!
Have something you want to blog about but don't have a space of your own? This might be a good place to get your voice heard. Want to dip your toes into the waters of blogging? A guest post may be what you need to try your hand.

E-oko...

(Lundu dialect of Bantu)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

For the guys that could use a body image boost too

Well it would seem that it is Fat Talk Free Week (via Modus Dopens). Not a bad idea I say.

Its a known fact that idea that there is some "correct" body size that people need to be in order to fit in. This idea is responsible for A LOT of body image issues, insecurities, low self esteem, and all sorts of damage. But since that site is pretty much for women/girls only (which is fine by me) I'll get my thinking on right here (and make this a space for discussion about the body image issues that men/boys have).

You see people have a hard time believing that men/boys even have body image issues and it doesn't help that we fight so hard to pretend that we don't so that we can keep on the mask of invulnerability that is masculinity. Day in and day out I get constant comments about how big I am, how tall I am, how big my feet are, how big my hands are, how I can just sit on people instead of fighting them, etc. Even "positive" comments about my size (like random strangers asking what team I play for or saying that I could be a wrestler) don't sit that well with me. That's basically telling you that since you have that particular body then you must engage in certain activities.

These things hurt a log more than than people, even ourselves, want to say they do.

But its not that easy to just stop someone who wants to put their feet in your shoes and stomp around like their Godzilla stepping on buildings (childish I know but I've had grown ass women do this to my shoes nearly as often as small children). And what makes it so hard is that the people who do these thing often either don't realize how offensive they with such comments or the situation leaves you in a tough spot where pointing it leaves you looking like a grouch.

I have to say though despite the nature of the site there are some useful tips. I especially like the fourth one:
Make a pledge to end complaints about your body, such as "I’m so flat-chested" or "I hate my legs." When you catch yourself doing this, make a correction by saying something positive about that body part, such as, "I’m so glad my legs got me through soccer practice today".
I have to admit that I often make disparaging comments about my body, namely my thighs (because cause me so much aggravation when buying pants) and could stand to try this out. And I'm sure I'm not the only one with feelings like this.

So in an effort to make this a place for guys to come in and talk about I invite you to come in and share. What insecurities do you suffer from? What comments haunt your daily routine? Is there some part of your body that often wish you could change?

Monday, October 25, 2010

Those Axe marketers and their ads...

Fro tip to Smart Canucks


As you may have heard I'm no friend of Axe. As you may realize I am not a fan of their method of advertising which is pretty much shame young guys into thinking that they are dirty pigs (and I mean that literally) that have no chance of getting with women unless they use Axe products to clean up. In short they use sex to sell body spray/shampoo/body wash.

So imagine my surprise when I saw the ad above that's being displayed in Canada.

These folks still have to resort to getting guys to buy their products with promises of getting with women. Their body spray is like 99.9% alcohol. Their shampoo is full of chemicals just like any other shampoo (and more expensive because of their name to boot). Their body wash stinks and doesn't work that well.

Sub standard products, for high prices, pushed with anti-male advertising.

So in short to the devil with their products.