Friday, February 26, 2010

I am so glad Biurny Peguero didn't get that deal

A bit of backgroud on this from Glenn Sacks:
Biurny Gonzalez, nee Peguero accused William McCaffrey of rape four years ago. You see, she'd promised a ride to a party to some friends, but stood them up when she went off with McCafffrey instead. The friends were angry with her, so she did what any responsible person would do; she accused McCaffrey of rape. He was slapped with a 20-year sentence despite there being no evidence but her say-so and some bite marks on her arm she claimed McCaffrey had made.
So what you have here is a woman who falsely accused a man of rape. Now thankfully Peguero did come up and offered to tell the truth and help McCaffrey go free but she had one condition:
Now she admits it was all a lie. He's done four years in stir and would be on his way out the door but for one thing. Gonzalez refuses to testify unless she's given immunity from prosecution for her perjury.
So basically you have a woman that wanted to set things right and help the man whose life she long as she didn't have to face any punishment except for her own remorse. Yeah she thinks that feeling bad about what she did makes up for putting an innocent man away for four years. But today while surfing around I was kinda amazed at the two very different tellings of the news that she didn't get her deal and is going to prison for 1-3 years.

First we have Feministing:
Why is this front page news? By all accounts, she deserves no more mainstream retribution and criticism than any other person who commits an act of perjury or falsely reports a crime. It is not readily apparent to me why this woman's particular story was featured on the front page of a high-traffic , mainstream, online media outlet. After digging through the related news stories spanning many years, I still can't recognize why her story is national-media attention worthy?

Yeah a woman commits a crime by making a false claim that sends an innocent man to prison for 4 years (of 20) but she doesn't deserve any more attention than any other false report. See what is being done here? This is what you call marginalizing. We aren't talking about someone that falsely reported a car being stolen. WE ARE NOT TALKING ABOUT A PIECE OF PROPERTY!!! THIS IS ABOUT THE LIFE OF AN INNOCENT MAN!! When you knowingly make a false claim that results in someone getting punished for that crime that did not happen you bet your ass that they deserve to be called out on the front page.
The message ingrained in this one headline, regardless of the content and context of the article, is that women will make up being raped or physically assaulted by men. Women are meant to be recipients of a male's sexual appetites and when she rebukes this role, innocent men go to prison.
See the slight of hand there? This isn't about how there actually are cases out there in which innocent men go to prison for rapes they did not commit no no the problem is that she rebuked her role of fulfilling men's sexual appetites. So in the end the innocent man is not the man that spent four years in prison for something he did not commit no the victims here are women. This is the type of stuff that you see commonly from feminists who just can't get over the fact that when it comes to rape it is not automatically set in stone that men have the upper hand over women and they just have to take it upon themselves to set the scale "right" when it happens.

And I really like this comment:
Women do make up these claims, as this case clearly shows. The important part is that false reports are a tiny minority of all reports.
The important part isn't that false reports happen. The important part isn't they do real damage to the falsely accused. (Yes it can cause actual victims to be believed less often but I'm really sick of this "there's no incentive to file a false report" nonsense as if there is no way that a woman would falsely accuse a man of rape out of spite or self preservation.) No the important part is that they don't happen very often.

I think its almost ironic that in a thread that is supposed to be calling out victim blaming the people in that thread are engaging in that exact activity.

Next we have Toy Soldier:
Of the numerous cases of false accusations reported in the news, only a handful result in criminal charges. Of those that result in charges, only a handful result in jail time. And of those that result in jail time, only a handful result in anything more than a few weeks behind bars.
Notice how unlike the first post TS talks about the actual crime at hand. You know the whole thing about how a woman lied about being raped and had a man sent to prison for a crime that did not happen (not to be confused with someone actually being attacked and mistakenly IDing the wrong person).

So yeah I just had to point that out.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

So Senator Reid what are you gonna do about it?

It would seem that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid commented that men "tend to become abusive" when out of work. Now while there may be such a link between the unemployment of men and committing domestic violence I'm a bit curious what his reason for bringing it up is.

You see there is a tendency when talking about domestic violence (especially male against female DV) it is usually brought simply to tug at heartstrings or garner some eleventh hour support (the tactic of aligning yourself with a serious issue to drum up some votes). Often times good things happen like opening up new or boosting support for existing channels for victims of DV. Sometimes however such rallying overshoots the target of helping victims and begins to serve to further attack abusers while not really offering one of the most crucial things needed to combat such violence, educating abusers so that they don't do it again.

And when I say that I'm not talking about some Duluth Model forced counseling bullshit that pretty much does nothing but force the abuser (even whey they are not the actual abuser but that is another story) to admit they were wrong and beat into they heads that they are wrong at every turn without trying to get to the root of the problem and actually treat them nor am I talking about some changes in police procedure that leads to cops being trained to go into a possible DV situation with the decision that someone MUST be arrested (guess who that is).

Now if Reid is going to support some measures that will give avenues of support for victims and ways to treat abusers so that they will not abuse again then I'm all for it. But if this is a half-assed attempt to rally some last minute support then I suspect that the good done will not be anywhere near as effective as what they claim. So which is it Reid?

And one other thing.
"Abusers who lose their jobs are home more often. If they used their income as a means of controlling their victim, they may turn to violence when that source of control is gone. Victims who lose their jobs may feel more financially dependent on their abuser and less able to leave.
While this is certainly one of many a situation in which DV can and does happen its just that, one of many. In relation to getting to root of why some men commit DV one thing that is not brought up very often is the expectation that is pushed on men that in order for them to validate their manhood they must work and be a provider. When they fail that expectation (in the form of losing their job) they lash out. Now there are two things that need to be addressed.

First it is totally unfair, damaging, and frankly sexist towards men to heap the expectation to work and be the provider on their shoulders as if they are the only ones that can do it. Second it is totally wrong for them to be socialized to think that upon not being able to fulfill their expectation of worker/provider they can lash out physically at other people. Well come to think it I wonder if that second thing may be some parts being socialized to lash out physically at other people and some parts the expectation of men to internalize their feelings and not bring them up that they reach a boiling and result in lashing out when they think there is no other way.

Just wondering.

To be a Non-Custodial and/or Non-Biological Parent

One of the things that Glenn Sacks is passionate about is the right of a (fit) parent to be in the life of their child whether there is a biological connection or not or whether the parent has custody or not. In being passionate about this of course he will be bound to come across those who staunchly oppose the idea that a parent has a right to be in their child's life. One of his latest examples is of a custody battle that pits biological mom (Kelly Mullen)/biological dad (Scott Liming) vs. non-biological mom (Michele Hobbs) over custody of four year old Lucy Mullen. (Glenn uses the term "social mom" but that just sounds like it is belittling the role such a woman can play in a child's life.)

One thing that Glenn points out is that the behavior and treatment displayed by biological moms towards their former lesbian partners is very similar to the way biological moms display towards former male partners such as distance the child from the other parent by trying to break their parent/child bond:
Mullen (and perhaps Liming) are also trying to alienate Hobbs from her daughter. Little Lucy calls Mullen "mommy" and Michele "momma," but Mullen tries to convince her to call Hobbs by her first name instead of "momma." This is very similar to the way some custodial mothers try to convince their children to call their new boyfriends/husbands "dad" and call their exes by their first names.
and keep them out of the child's life:
At one point Hobbs was prevented from seeing her daughter for 7 months. According to Hobbs, she was warned by a child psychiatrist that Lucy might not even remember her. Hobbs says, "It was exactly the opposite. Lucy ran up and hugged me and just started talking and chatting like we had never been apart. She didn't miss a beat."
This type of behavior sounds familiar doesn't it? While it does mostly happen to fathers that want to be in their children's lives but are actively pushed away by mothers and the courts that profit from the alienation and demonization of those willing, ready, able, and fit fathers this case and others like it show that this can and does happen to women/moms as well. Down right anti-woman to declare that since she is not the biological mom she has no place in her child's life ain't it?

And to think this is coming from an MRA. You know those men that only advocate for the taking away rights from women and want to have the right to beat and rape women at will. Yeah.

Thursday, February 18, 2010


A few weeks ago the folks at Glenn Sacks' blog permanently closed their comment section in order to devote more time to their activist (because frankly maintaining a blog eats a lot of time even for folks like me who get very little traffic) efforts. Thankfully they are still posting taking requests in their Letter to the Editor section. Click here if you have something to share with them.

But that doesn't mean I can't keep linking their material and here's a nice one.

It would seem that Maryland law makers have been working on passing legislation that would increase the amount of child support awarded in custody situations. The rationale behind the increase? Inflation.
...politicians have been touting the bill with the claim that Maryland hasn't upped its child support standards since 1988. Therefore, since inflation hasn't stood still in that time, surely child support amounts shouldn't either.
There is something not quite right here.

Okay the line of thinking is that since inflation rates have changed (gone up) since 1988 then child support awards should go up as well. Now this sounds all well and good until you realize that in Maryland child support awards are based on the payer's income. But hold up aren't salaries already adjusted for inflation and more importantly here in 2010 people who are ordered to pay child support are not ordered to pay based on what their income is/would have been in 1988 so why the increase now?

Simply put if you are being ordered to pay child support its not like the court is translating your salary from 2010 dollars to 1988 dollars to get the number. No they are basing it on the 2010 dollars you are currently making. In short there is no need to "adjust" support amounts since they are derived from a number that is already being adjusted for inflation.

And it gets worse. What do you think is going to happen if child support payment amounts are increased on low wage earners who are already on the edge of not being able to pay? They are going to fail to make their payments through no fault of their own. And to add to that the custodial parents who depend on the payments of those barely able to pay could very well see their benefits go down.

"Best interests of the children" my ass.

Maybe its because I'm not white...

So there was this article on Sarah Silverman (including a small vid clip) and in one of the parts she talks about the types of comedy that she finds offensive and she talks about how she is not comfortable about fat jokes about women. Okay I can get with that.

When it comes to weight there is no question that there are a lot of jokes, stigmas, expectations, etc... that loom over the heads of women and girls. Not trying to argue against that and in fact I agree with it. However in her talking Sarah takes that extra step that people like to take when talking about fat and gender.
"Because I feel that we live in a society where fat men deserve love, and fat women do not deserve love -- at least in white America. And so I feel like that's an ugly thing, and it doesn't make me laugh."
I'd really like to know what society and what America she is talking about.

We'll get back the race thing in a bit. I want to know where this love for fat men is because I could sure as hell use some if it. From being teased by other kids in school, to other kids pretending to be scared of me because "I'll sit on them", to being told I need to workout because I don't look like a body builder, to being told I should never be on top during sex because I'd crush the woman I'm with (hetersexist assumption yes but that assumption is based on my gender), to being portrayed as unintelligent/uncultured/brutish/comic relief on TV shows (not me specifically mind you), to being "jolly" enough to take all those "jokes" in good stride, to having random people starting conversations with "What team do you play for?", etc..... So where is that love we deserve again?

Now about race. I myself am black not white but from what I've seen in my day being white does not magically protect one from fat hatred. Between Fat Bastard, Peter Griffin, Homer Simpson, Kevin James' career, Andre the Giant, white guys who used to be able to make a living at "freak shows" (and I only used that word because historically that is what they were called) as attractions and other fat white guys it just shows that as long as you're willing to play the part* you can be successful too. Making fun of and insulting fat guys comes in all colors and races.

So in conclusion while the things that fat guys have to deal with are not the same as what fat women have to deal with I find it pretty insulting that Sarah just sweeps in and assures us that despite all fat based misandry around us society thinks fat men deserve love much less that fat men get love. Not being a fat women herself she seems to have no problem recognizing that fat women are discriminated against and despite being neither fat nor man she somehow knows what its like to be one. Go figure.

This is one of those times where I'm really pissed because once again someone tries to speak on the life of a group of people they are not a part of (funny how that seems to be a-o-fucking k when speaking on men or some subset of men).

* - By "play the part" I mean that as long as you use your status for the entertainment or advantage of others its okay for you to be what you are. Similar to gays ("you can entertain us with your Will and Grace like antics but you don't deserve to get married."), people who are disabled ("we don't have a problem with you being disabled as long as helping you doesn't inconvenience us"), and people of different races ("we're not racist! now go (insert racial stereotype).". In this specific case as long as fat people use their fatness to make thin people feel good about themselves by insulting us, by us doing things that get them to laugh at us because we are fat, or by hiding in basements while crying and eating ourselves to death in shame.

I hope history doesn't repeat itself

Unless you were living under a rock about 4 years ago I'm sure you heard about the Duke Lacross case. In that case a young woman named Crystal Magnum claimed that three players from the Duke University Lacross team raped her. After a lot of finger pointing, blaming, assuming of guilt, and calls for blood it was shown that those three guys did not rape her on the night in question. To this day Magnum was never charged for the wasted police resources or the damage done to those three accused (but she did manage to get a book deal out of it). Well she is making headlines again and it looks like she is the accused this time. From CNN and WRAL. WRAL:
A judge set her bond at $1 million during a Thursday morning court appearance. Mangum, 33, has been appointed a public defender and is scheduled to appear in court on Feb. 22.

Police charged her with attempted first-degree murder, five counts of arson, assault and battery, communicating threats, three counts of misdemeanor child abuse, injury to personal property, identity theft and resisting a public officer. (fyi the identity theft charge is from her giving a fake name and age to police)
Now at first I will admit that my first reaction was to be happy that she was getting charged and she deserves what gets for never paying for the harm she did four years ago. That's not a good attitude to have about this.

Thing is while she did do a lot of damage back then this is unrelated and to hope she goes to prison because of what she did then and not what she may have done now is not only wrong but expresses some of them same ill sentiments towards those three guys four years ago (there were some that said to the effect of, "well even if they didn't rape her they probably raped someone so they should be punished for something"). Its not right to hope that someone gets punished for one thing because they did or you think they did something else. You can try to call it karma but that's just revenge.

Now to the matter at hand I find it odd that despite, "punched and threw objects at Walker and told him, "I'm going to stab you, (expletive)!"" the term domestic violence never comes up (this isn't the first time people have avoided that term when talking about female against male DV).

More importantly I honestly hope that unlike last time she crosses paths with the law that there will be a more thorough investigation into it and I really hope that the bloggers, commentators, and the court of public opinion in general have learned how to not proclaim guilt at the first sign of charges. But I doubt that and most will just run the gender check and take to their predetermined sides.

Last time it was male against female rape so the lines were pretty much drawn between those that assumed they were guilty because of their views on gender (who were suspiciously silent once it turned out they were innocent and even some claims that bloggers went back and deleted posts as well), those that assumed they were innocent because of the their views on gender (who went nuts when it turned out they were innocent but for the wrong reasons), and the few that actually wanted to find out what happened before considering action (who were such a minority that it was hard to find out what they thought on the matter).

If Magnum did indeed abuse her boyfriend then she needs to be punished (and remember with three children in the picture the ante is even higher). If she didn't then she needs to be left alone, or at least be left alone to answer for the damage she did four years ago.

I'm hoping that the media and court of public opinion give her the fair shot that those three did not get three years ago.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

2002 Winter Olympics Ad

With the 2010 Winter Olympics going on my mind wandered to an awesome ad Nike did for the 2002 Winter Olympics. Yeah I know the line up of sports in the ad don't quite line up with that sports that are actually played (like a good chunk of the ad is of basketball, unless basketball is played at the Winter Olympics?) but that song is just great. I'll go as even as far as to say that there has not been a single Olympics ad (and I'll even let you bring up Summer ones) that has been as good as this one. Enjoy.

So I started wearing glasses....

and so far its not that bad. Last year when I went to the eye doctor (for the first time in who knows how long) I learned I had an astigmatism in my left eye and I got a prescription for reading glasses. Well this year (the script was the same) I was finally able to afford glasses so I took advantage got them while they were still a recommendation and not a requirement (thank goodness for insurance).

Thank goodness other than one coworker making the "You trying to look intelligent now?" joke I've only gotten positive commentary on them. But I'll tell you the one thing that I now have to get over is not taking them off when I come inside. You see this is the first time I've worn any glasses other than sunglasses which I take off when going inside or talking to a person. That's gonna take some time.

The fine art of book twisting

Okay this is going to take a bit of explanation so bear with me. As the title says I twist books. Oh you probably do it to and just call it something simple like reading multiple books at once but since I am one of many people that have OtaGamer Syndrome (I'll get back to that one in another post) I just occasionally relate what is a simple thing to complicated name. Here goes.

In the world of MMORPGs (that's Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games) most have a character type that has the ability to buff other players. To buff is to give a temporary boost in some stat or ability such as strength, speed, or life points with emphasis on temporary. Well in some games people who play such characters have the ability to cast one buff (A) and while A is active cast a second (B) before A runs out. The goal is to constantly cast A and B (and sometimes C, D, E, ect...)in such a way that they are both active at the same time and thus players get the benefit of both buffs at the same time.

Well that is what I mean by book twisting. Currently I am twisting Twilight, Percy Jackson and The Olympians: The Lightning Thief, Batman: Arkum Asylum, Introduction to Reiki, and Watchmen. Yes that is a lot of input to sink into at once but thankfully they are different enough that I don't cross them up. Although I would like to see what would happen if Batman had the powers of an Olympian and we up against Edward who is a practitioner of the healing arts all set in an alternate 1985 where Nixon served multiple terms as president.

So are you twisting any books?

Maybe I should just not bother with that whole flying thing

Now that that dreadful day has passed I'm back.

Last month I commented on how being a person of color means one is going to blow up a plane and that being male means one is going to molest children on a plane. Maybe their line of thought is that if too many big people get on the plane at once it will not be able to lift off or worse cause the plane to crash one in the air. Whatever the reason Southwest Airlines concluded that director Kevin Smith was too fat to take one of their flights last week.
Smith, 39, originally purchased two tickets "as he's been known to do when traveling Southwest," the airline noted, but when he decided to fly standby on an earlier flight, only one seat remained. Although he had been seated, he was asked to leave.
So dude was already on the plane and in his seat and was later approached about getting off the flight. There's a few things that bother me.

First off from Southwest:
"If a customer cannot comfortably lower the armrest and infringes on a portion of another seat, a customer seated adjacent would be very uncomfortable and a timely exit from the aircraft in the event of an emergency might be compromised if we allow a cramped, restricted seating arrangement," Southwest said.
The article doesn't say anything about the two people he was sitting between (or person he was sitting beside) complaining about him encroaching on their space. Next are they really trying to argue that he is somehow going to get lodged into place in such a horrific manner that if disaster strikes he is not going to be able to get out of the way and will thus be responsible for the deaths of innocent people? Yeah.

Next what bothers me is that more than likely this is only getting attention is because it happened to a celebrity. If that had been me (or the guy that Smith saw on the plane that was actually larger than him) this would not have gotten anywhere near as much attention. Does this really mean that things like this are only a problem when it happens to certain people of that group? I wonder just how many people have tossed off of flights because they were too fat and we never heard about it.

But I suppose that just as we expected to back in school us fat guys are supposed to suffer in silence and just accept the treatment that we get as a result of our own actions. Lifeless. Slobbish. Unattractive. Unclean. No social life. Unable to get a date. Closeted. Low self esteem.

Maybe Southwest thought that Smith would just internalize their hatred towards him and not make any noise about it. Its good to see that he didn't.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Theater Thursday: The Breakfast Club

If you recall last year John Hughes, the brain behind many of the most memorable teen movies from the 80s passed away last year. One of his many gems was the film "The Breakfast Club" (which BTW is 25 years old this year so be on the lookout for some sort of special edition DVD/Blu Ray). It just so happens that it was on tv this past weekend so for the xth time I watched it.

While watching this movie I often find myself comparing my teenage years (mid to late 90s) to those of the teens depicted in the forms of the five kids spending that Saturday in detention. And just like past and future generations the usual characteristics of the teenager are present. Angst, rage, sadness, attitude, happiness, mischievousness, mixed emotions, etc... In fact I can even relate to or crossed paths with the five walks of life in that film.

The Brain: The one whose pursuit of dominance and perfection in academia takes precedence over all other things.

The Princess: The one whose designer clothes, expensive shoes, pampered existence, and entourage make up the center of their universe.

The Athlete: The one whose body is a finely tuned machine capable of great feats of strength speed and endurance.

The Basket Case: The one whose desire for a free life nurtures a mind free of conformity.

The Criminal: The one whose path to a simple life sometimes leads away from the law.

At the start of the movie those kids seemed to have everything figured out and knew exactly who they were and where they stood...until they all crossed paths and began to open their minds and their mouths.

The Brain: The pursuit of dominance and perfection in academia can push one to the edge and possibly have disastrous results.

The Princess: The largest most luxurious universe is nothing but a void if there is no real substance at the center of it.

The Athlete: The loss of one's will to speak up cannot be compensated by even the most finely tuned machine.

The Basket Case: The hottest of blazed trails can get very lonely when one has no company for the journey.

The Criminal: The one who lashes out against the law may be crying for help from something even more frightening.

Yes these teens were not perfect. They did not have everything figured out, hell they didn't even have themselves figured out. But anyway back to my point at hand.

While there is a lot that parallels between the teens of that time and teens of today and all in between, before, and after there is one thing that is quite right.

It's a bit dated.

Now don't get me wrong the feelings are still there and those five walks of life still roam the halls of many a high school today. However I think it is safe to say that there are several more walks of life roaming, have roamed, and will roam the halls of high school.

From the get go just about any people that has seen this film and specifically familiar with John Hughes material have surely seen how white his images of 80s teen life were. Now I would not say that he was trying to be overtly racist as if trying to push the point that people of color should not be in school or anything like that but more like racist by omission. I wasn't a teen until about 10 years after this film was made but I'm sure there were blacks, latinos, asians, etc... in American high schools in 1985 (same goes to you Back To The Future, another film that turns 25 this year and another possible special anniversary DVD/Blu Ray) yet Hughes did not include them. So from this mention of race I lead into the question of this entry.

If The Breakfast Club were to be filmed today, how would you cast it?

Now just so we are clear this is not about who would you put in place of Emilio Estevez, Ally Sheedy, and the others (but feel free to give names with your answers) but who would you put in the film for examination in place of/in addition to the brain, the princess, the athlete, the basket case, and the criminal.

With the way our population and culture have changed so much in the last 25 years there is no way that those five simple examples can fully encompass today's teenage life. Hell they weren't exactly all inclusive back then either.

Now you're probably thinking, "But Danny there is no way you can give an accurate examination of the various walks of teenage life in a 2 hour movie." Correct. There is no way to include them all but there is one way to fit in more than just the five Hughes used 25 years ago.


Yes just as with adults teens are made up of several characteristics that each have their own affect on the individual they are a part of. Hell if I were a character in that movie I'd be bringing my baggage as a fat/black/gamer/brain/outcast/male to detention that day.

So how about you reader? What baggage would you bring to detention that day?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

And to think it shares a name with a children's story

So I'm just getting my random blog reading on when I come across this at The Movie Blog.

It seems that Emily Browning (from the film Uninvited) is going to be taking on the role of Sleeping Beauty but make no mistake that this will NOT be a movie for children. Don't believe me?(via Screen Junkies):
She's just signed on for The Perfect Woman Sleeping Beauty, an erotic thriller about "a student who drifts into prostitution and finds her niche as a woman who sleeps, drugged while men do to her what she can‘t remember the next morning."(emphasis by me)
Okay I'm pretty sure that you (as you the person reading this right now) and I agree that this is a problem.

Okay you can argue that there are probably some sort of guidelines in place setting the limits of what is okay and not okay. The flaw of this logic is pretty obvious. Don't think? Check this out.

Let's say that you are a prostitute and you and your client agree to you being drugged while they do certain things. Well those certain things are defined and laid out as well as things that are not allowed. After coming to an agreement on those items you are drugged and go unconscious. Okay what's to stop them from doing some of the very things you told them they are not allowed to do?

Drugged, unconscious, no memory of the elapsed time, in a compromised position with a person who is free to do what they wish. Do I even have to take the time and space to say what that recipe adds up to?

Such a shame....

Glenn Sacks and Robert Franklin, the two main brains behind Glenn Sacks' blog, in an effort to devote more attention to their activist efforts have decided to cease commentary on their blog.
Fathers & Families is working hard to build affiliates, increase funding, and expand the scope of our organization. That agenda, together with efforts to pass our extensive legislative slate while simultaneously defending against harmful bills, require us to re-budget our time. Largely as a time-saving measure, we've decided to leave the comments off the website.
I have to say that my time posting on that blog was a bit of a mixed bag. At times there was useful and insightful commentary and at times there was hateful spew (and it wasn't always towards women), often at the same time. Hopefully they will succeed in building a stronger and larger network and will one day be able to spare the resources to resume commenting on their blog. They will still continue posting and as far as I can tell its still possible to link to them meaning if you can't the conversation there you can at least take it somewhere else.

Until that day comes Stay Frosty Glenn and Robert!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

These folks may be on to something Part 2

If you recall recently I did a post about the Male Studies Symposium this coming April. While being pleased to see someone expressing interest in examining the state of being male I had one small bit of doubt about something that came up in their FAQ.
Is Male Studies essentialist?

One fundamental question of Male Studies is whether there are essential features of being male. Having a male body is clearly one of them. Male Studies raises the question of whether there are other fundamental features of being male such as an inner experience of being male.
Well I emailed a question asking about this:
I'm not sure how to word this question so I'll just ask what you mean by saying that having a male body is essential to the male experience? Do you say this to mean that those who were born with bodies that biology calls female but identify as male are to be excluded from the male experience? I'm sure you don't mean it that way but it would be very easy for someone (especially those who are looking for any piece of "proof" they can find to discredit this symposium) to think you are doing so.
Well I got a reply to that email yesterday.
Sex refers to the genetic makeup of the individual. Being of the male sex is a unique experience just as being a female has it's own set of unique experiences. Gender is not the same as sex. It is an aquired experience that is cultivated during life.
Just as I figured. So as you can see this is not meant as an effort to undermine or deny those who were born in bodies biology labels as female but perform (for lack of a better word) as male but simply that they seem to mainly focusing on those born in a body biology labels as male while performing as male in society.

I wish I could go but I have to work that day and probably would not have the funds for the trip even if I took it off. Hopefully there will some recording or extensive summary available after the symposium.

Monday, February 8, 2010

I think we have a problem here...

Borrowed from Gotcha Media.

I didn't watch the Super Bowl last night (but I did take the time to talk smack to a buddy of mine that was rooting for the Colts and I told him the Saints were due) and therefore I didn't watch the ads. Well it would seem that I did not miss much over the ads. For some reason advertisers think that violence against men is a problem that needs to be addressed but rather a comic device useful for hocking products.

Yeah nothing makes me want to buy drinks, chips, cars, clothes, etc... like seeing a person, a fellow man no less, being attacked, abused,and hit.

(And I also have to say that in all the rounds of pointing out -isms and offensiveness of last nights ads most people act as if they are trying to keep from using the word misandry...just an observation)

Friday, February 5, 2010

Stop The Abuse: The Domestic Abuse Helpline for Men and Women

Borrowed from Toy Soldier.

Often times people want to help others but do not know how. This cannot be any truer than when it comes to helping abused men and boys. The resources sometimes are not apparent and are often difficult to find. Sometimes the resources are hidden or even barred by other groups who wish to polarize the issue. The intent here is to provide those who wish to help male victims with the opportunity to do so. Every month I will post a new link to an organization that provides services for male victims. As the list grows, I will create a page where all the links can be found.

Please remember that you do no have to empty your wallets to help. Even a small donation can go a long way. And for those on the other side of the issue, it would go a long way to demonstrating real concern for all victims if you donated as well.

The Domestic Abuse Helpline for Men and Women
The Domestic Abuse Helpline for Men and Women (DAHMW) is a 501(c)(3) non profit organization, and is a member of the Maine Association of Nonprofits. DAHMW is at the forefront of today’s new perspectives on Intimate Partner Abuse and actively assists the research community.


To provide crisis intervention and support services to all victims of domestic violence and their families in order to help survivors recover from the trauma of domestic violence. We work toward the elimination of domestic violence by increasing public awareness and decreasing tolerance of domestic violence through community collaboration and education. DAHMW will strive to improve the quality and safety of the lives of victims who are seeking peace in their homes and in their daily existence.

Please donate and help make a difference.

Call for Submissions: Queering Sexual Violence

Borrowed from Renee.

An anthology of LGBTQ writers, survivors and activists confronting heterosexual privilege and the gender binary system while creating a dialog about the limitations of the anti-sexual violence movement in hopes of creating change.
Edited by Jennifer Patterson

Queering Sexual Violence seeks 20- 25 LGBTQ writers who are interested in submitting pieces that confront the current state of our anti- sexual violence climate. Part memoir/ part criticism/ part call to action, this anthology seeks to address the limitations of a society that is not only unequipped to deal with rape culture but also unable to look at it without the lens of heterosexual privilege and through the interests of a gender binary system. The anthology seeks to destroy the image of the “perfect survivor” and motivate the anti-sexual violence community to embrace a more radical perspective in order to foster sustainable change.

For general purposes, the definition of Sexual Violence attached to this anthology is as follows:

Sexual Violence is an unwanted or non- consensual act, whether completed or not, that is sexual in nature and violates a person physically, emotionally, spiritually and/or politically.

To be more clear, Sexual Violence can be a range of non-consensual sexual exchanges, from unwanted interactions on the street, to non- consensual rape from either a stranger or within a relationship, to incest or also invasive sexually based comments in regards to ones gender presentation or identity, among many other things.

The pieces submitted should be of the writer’s personal experience and explore the intersections of ability, sexuality, race, class, religion, citizenship, gender identity, sex, age, ethnicity and how these either magnify or minimize your experience/ work and your history with sexual violence. I encourage you to write about living as a “survivor” but also the ways in which you navigate and celebrate not being a “typical” survivor (as I am sure most of us are not, by the larger societal definition.)

I believe that organizing from the center of our many different and overlapping marginalized communities could do nothing but improve the current anti- sexual violence movement.

I am looking for pieces 1200- 2000 words, Times New Roman Size 12, double-spaced in length. Upon publication, I will supply moderate compensation for pieces picked. Also, please provide a short bio (150 words or less) with your submission.

Please send submissions and/ or questions to by March 31, 2010. For extension requests, please write.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

When you want to make a group look bad....

you take the worst small sample, insult it, point out where its wrong, and act like they represent the entire group. And is just what The Daily Show did.

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I've never been much of a fan of The Daily Show and this might be why.

Now its my understanding that the point of clips like this is to point out people who are being hypocritical, outrageous, and sometimes perpetuating the things they claim to be against. I suppose in this segment they are trying to poke fun at people who think that the state of masculinity/manhood today is in trouble. Well they hit and miss.

They hit by pointing how some try to pass off that women outnumbering men in the workforce in and of itself hurts men. They miss by acting as if men running 485 of the Fortune 500 hundred companies somehow benefits men as a class. For every one of those 485 male CEOs there are 50 average joes we'll never know the name of.

They hit when they point out that men there are plenty of places of men to gather despite what Wayne M. Levine of says. They miss because those "plenty" of spaces they show are a golf course, strip club, and sports bar. While I don't endorse Levine (don't know enough about him and his organization) he says that it is socially unacceptable for men to gather. Now the Daily Show counters with the sports bar, strip club, and golf course. There are people that do frown on those places as unacceptable (especially the strip club). So basically they try to prove him wrong by invoking a stereotype and in odd way almost prove his point.

They hit by giving an example of women being left to do things on their own. They miss by way of their example being hunting a deer. Say what you want but men have been the hunters so I'm not sure what the overall point there was.

So essentially they were trying to make fun of the idea that there are problems with masculinity and manhood that need to be addressed by supposedly pointing out that they really don't have anything to complain about. Now if it wasn't for things like child custody, false rape claims, suicide, living a shorter life, being expected to give one's life up for a woman because her life is more valuable than his, drop in education, treatment of male abuse victims, etc... they may actually have a point about men not having anything to complain about.

Oh and about Warren Farrell. If a select few remarks are supposed to be enough to discredit someone then why are there people arguing over Mary Daly's contributions to feminism despite her misandric and transphobic speech? Hopefully there aren't too many people out there that will try to pass this off as representation of MRAs.

But the breakdown of the family is men's fault right?

Let's suspend reality for a bit. Let's imagine that the image of deadbeat dad was true about all men that are not in their children's lives. Wears fancy suits, drives multiple cars, spends half his time on vacation, makes more money in 15 minutes than you or (actually I'll raise that to "AND") I make in 15 years. He goes to work, comes home, and has great sex with this new wife while the ex-wife and kids barely make ends meet. Yes there are times when that happens but lets turn reality back on and show one reason why it doesn't happen as often as some want us to think.

Robert Franklin brings up a terrible and sad story in which a seemingly ready, willing, and able father was removed from his child's life by a mother that simply didn't want him there.

When Cody O'Dea's girlfriend Ashley of Wyoming said she was pregnant he stated that he wanted to keep and raise the child. Sometime afterwards the couple split and the baby was thought to have been miscarried. Ashely moved away but word got back to Cody that she was 8 months pregnant, putting the pregnancy back in the time frame that he was with her.

Upon hearing this he filed the appropriate forms with the putative father registries of Wyoming and Montana (that state where Ashely was working with an adoption agency). The adoption agency contacted him asking for his consent for the adoption Ashely was trying to put the child up for. Cody stood his ground and said he would raise the child even if she didn't want to. He thought it was all said and done until he got a call from her that according to him went like this:
Ashley: You will listen and you will not speak. First of all I want you to stop harassing me and that includes your mother. I am in Utah. You will not father this child. You will pay child support until the child is in College. You will never see this baby. Do you understand?

Cody: No, I do not understand, does this mean you are planning to keep the child?

Ashley: Do you understand what I’m saying?

Cody: No, I don’t understand, does that mean you are keeping the child and not giving it up for adoption?

Ashley: If you understand what I have told you, that is all I have to say.
Now notice that that call mentions nothing of adoption. But the trick is in the state of Utah (where she called from) that phone call counts as giving him notice of the adoption she put the child up for. And with that simple phone call Cody's parental rights were terminated and the Supreme Court of Utah ruled it so. Well the Utah House of Representatives has passed a bill essentially greenlighting the Supreme Court's ruling.

So what all does this bill mean you ask? The biological father of a child is entitled to be notified of his child being put up for adoption he must assert his rights of a father or else his rights are terminated. Oh about that notice?

When a mother in Utah is about to put up a child for adoption she has to put out a notice to give the father a chance to contest the adoption. Well that notice can possibly be as simple as an ad in some Utah newspaper. What if the man in question doesn't live in Utah? Doesn't matter he still only has 5 days to make contact and assert his rights. (Oh but if he's in Utah he has 30.) And best part of all is that the mother doesn't even have to give her name when giving notice. So yes it would be possible for a woman to get pregnant in New York, whisk off to Utah without telling the father, put an ad in a Utah new paper for 5 days and if he does not respond he automatically loses his paternal rights. Hell if she is in Utah she can just run off to another county put an ad in a Utah paper without giving her name for 30 days and and if he does not respond he automatically loses his paternal rights.

As Robert points out:
And while we're on constitutional principles, this law, like so many others dealing with fathers in adoption cases, makes no pretense of treating men and women equally. In the single parent situation, both decided to have sex outside of marriage, both apparently did so without some form of contraception, but only one gets to decide her own parental rights and duties. Indeed, the mother can decide her own rights and those of the father as well.
In what reality is it fair that one person has control of not just their own parental rights but those of the other parent as well.

When it comes to parenting men have been on the short end of the stick for a long time and even worse that the effect on the father this type of treatment leaves children vulnerable to a life without ever knowing that there is a father out there that was ready, willing, able, and fit to give them a loving home. And this is magnified considering how often children are put into abusive homes.

So the next time you come across someone spouting off about how the courts give men the favor when it comes to parenting you point them to stuff like this.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Well I suppose I would smile too if I got away so lightly...

Recall that story a while back about the four women that found out a man was multi-timing all of them and in retaliation they lured him to a hotel room, tied him to a bed, glued his penis to his stomach, verbally berated him, robbed him, and left them there?

Yeah apparently off of that is only punishable with one year probation plus community service.

One of the women involved, 48 year old Therese A. Ziemann, said she and three other women only meant to confront the married man about his cheating ways. Her decision to grab the bottle of nail glue from her makeup bag was "a stupid spur-of-the-minute decision," brought on by finding out that the man in question had been trying to contact her 12 year old daughter. Okay I can fully understand wanting to protect family. I don't have kids of my own but I have nieces and nephews that I will lay waste and do damage for if need be. At the same time though I know full well that if I do something illegal I have to face the consequences. Which is not what happened here.

Basically what happened here is that four women were given a free pass take their revenge for being hurt by that guy. And probably the most messed up part is that the judge almost alluded to gender bias in this case. From Judge Donald Poppy:
The judge acknowledged a possible double-standard with the sentencing. If the incident involved a man who committed similar acts against an unwilling woman, that man would doubtless face prison time.
Possible my ass. If the genders were reversed in this chances are he would be facing hard time, sex offender registry, people would be thankful that such a horrible man was put away.

The judge also commented that his "bad behavior" were partly to blame for what they did to him. Victim blaming if I ever heard it. Yes he his behavior was bad but there is no way to justify what they did to him and crying that she "overreacted" is no reason to let her basically get away with it. She could have just left. She could have divorced him and possibly cleaned him out. And if I'm not mistaken adultery is actually still a punishable crime in that state, surely if the other three women were in on the act they would have been more than happy to help put him away for that. So there were plenty of perfectly legal and non-violating ways to handle this but they chose not to. And now they have been given a pass on it because of their gender.

I gotta say that this guy is a better one that me because even after all I just typed out here I would still be tempted to take justice into my own hands.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

These folks may be on to something

It would seem that there are those in the scholarly community that have decided to hold a symposium on the state of men and boys this coming April 7.

I have to say I like the idea.

A lot of the time when people want to speak on the lives of men all that is brought up the negative. Well that in and of itself would not be a problem. The problem is that when such things are brought its usually in the context of blaming men, holding them responsible for things that are beyond them, and venting anger. Not very often do you actually hear about how to actually address these issues beyond shouting that men are bad, are the reason the family is breaking down, etc.... In short some real analysis is in order and this might be the place for it.

Unlike other sources that focus only on the harm that men do and totally ignoring the harm dome to men when it suits them this symposium may actually succeed where others fail:
It will encompass a broad range of topics relevant to the study of boys and men in contemporary society ranging from their roles in the family and workforce, as well as their physical and emotional health, to the growing problem of misandry—the hatred of males, an unacknowledged but underlying socio-cultural, economic, political and legal phenomenon endangering the well-being of both genders.

I think it would be interesting to actually take a look at the state of being male beyond. Yeah people can say that being male is the default and therefore we know everything about them but at the same time things are lost in this. However while I would like to see a more serious look at things such as misandry, the performance of boys in school, and the unfair gender based expectations imposed on men this symposium appears to not be free of flaws.
Is Male Studies essentialist?

One fundamental question of Male Studies is whether there are essential features of being male. Having a male body is clearly one of them. Male Studies raises the question of whether there are other fundamental features of being male such as an inner experience of being male.

I have a bit of a problem with this. Now it is possible that the meaning behind this is to convey that having a male body is essential to fully knowing the male experience. This would make sense given that for the most part the gender expectations heaped on males and females stem from the bodies we start off with. Me and my male body (and I mean this in the biological sense) are expected partake in such things as having a wreckless sex life, work insane hours, and take violence against women more seriously than violence against men (and conversely those who have female bodies have their own sets of expectations that come into play). So at face value this paragraph could just be saying that in order to understand being male one must have a male body and thus have to face the expectations I mentioned above (and many more) that come with it.

However I can see where this could very easily be taken to mean that only those with male bodies (as defined by biology) can identify as male. I don't really agree with this notion. While I did say above that having a male body brings the full brunt of being male in this world it would be unfair to say that having a male body is a requirement for being being male. There are plenty of people out there that have what would biology call a female body but act, speak, dress, and otherwise perform in a manner that would be classified as male. Yeah they may not have the bodies that would subject them to the full experience of being male but that should not exclude them from being male if they wish.

I've sent an email about this issue to the address listed on the site but have yet to get a reply but when/if I do I will be sure to do a followup post.

All in all if this symposium opens up some real discussion on being male in this world I'll be very grateful.