Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Fuck Me? No No No. Fuck Youuuuuuu!

You know I think I'm finally getting to the point where I'm really getting bored with the ongoing battle of the sexes. Constantly going back and forth over who has it worse, who has any right to speak on what topics, who is this, and who is that. Just a massive stalemate. Well here's another chapter in that battle.

First there was Cee-Lo's "Fuck You"

Then there was Whitney Avalon "Clearly Obssessed"

I'm not going to go into arguing the merits and demerits of those songs but to the point I'll say I think I'm getting close to being done with this seemingly neverending back and forth.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Real Men don't need campaigns to tell them if they're Real Men

Initiating Rant Mode...

You know what I've really grown tired of? That whole "Real Men..." bullshit.

On face value it sounds like a good idea. Declaring what real men do and don't seems like an attempt to either call men to action for a noble cause or call them out for any bad behavior they may be doing.

If you look at it a bit further and what you see is that those "Real Men..." declarations are trying to appeal to one of the things that is responsible for so much damage among men. The sense that there is some definition of a "Real Man" that men are supposed to meet in order to have our manhood validated.

Now I'm sure you're probably thinking, "But Danny, we're just talking about things that should be expected of men and help them break out of their societal boxes."

That's fine, well, and good but in your efforts to do that do you realize that you are trying to appeal to the very societal boxes you say you are trying to help us break out of?

When you come with declarations of what real men do and don't do you aren't helping us break out of societal boxes, you're just shaming us into climbing out of one box and into another.

That is all for now.

Ceasing Rant Mode...

Yes we would

Tracy Clark-Flory posted a question as part of an article on a woman who was arrested after being caught on video cheering on her 16year old daughter daughter who was fighting another teenage girl. Her question goes:
Would we react differently if the case involved a father and son?
We most certainly would.

Oh the dad would be arrested just the same and people (and I'm betting Flory would be among them) would be holding this story up as proof that boys and men are raised to embrace violence. Well that and while being circulated on Youtube the son would be teased for needing his dad's help in a fight.

Actually now that I think about the fact that along with that violence boys and men are raised to not need help and to have help, especially from a parent, would be humiliating. If this had been a dad cheering on a son that son would get clowned even if he had won the fight.

What she did was wrong but let's not delude ourselves into thinking that fathers/sons are getting a free pass on such behavior.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Rainbow frosting - the latest weapon in the "Gay Agenda"?

It would seem that the owner of the Just Cookies bakery thinks that filling an order for cupcakes with rainbow frosting for a gay student group at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) would "violate the values of the bakery".
"I explained we're a family-run business, we have two young, impressionable daughters and we thought maybe it was best not to do that," said co-owner David Stockton to a local Fox television station. He then added that it's his bakery's decision to decide what is obscene. Apparently rainbow colors fall under that label. "We have our values, and you know, some things ... for instance, if someone wants a cookie with an obscenity, well, we're not going to do that."
Okay I'm usually not one to try to tell other people how to run their business but I do draw the line at outright discrimination.

As for those two impressionable daughters if anything they just learned that it is okay to treat people differently over a characteristic that is not inherently bad. How's that for family values?

And since when is homosexuality an obscenity? Its not like being gay is such terrible thing.

(Also here is a link to conversation reporters had with the wife of the owner about the situation.)

Weekly Mashup Stage 17

Its that time once again.

Terry Pratchett creates a sword with meteorites: Okay as a fan of fantasy works I deem this to be gangsta.

Get over it already! Helen Mirren STILL mad over 35-year-old television interview with Michael Parkinson: She shouldn't be expected to "get over it". The wounds of sexism run deep in all of us who have felt it.

Wash. woman burned in acid hoax charged with theft: "A prosecutor in the case of a Washington state woman who falsely claimed a stranger had thrown acid in her face says the decision to charge her with theft was an easy one." I can't wait to hear the "Oh but she needs help, not punishment." arguments. Oh and she's only be charged with theft. She didn't file a report of the "crime".

Men edge into women's marathons: ""We're making this race so girly that men won't want any part of it" -- and, of course, plenty of women won't either." Yeah manipulating an environment in order to keep certain people out of it. Sounds familiar...

Why It's Harder For Older Women to Have Healthy Babies: A little breakdown on why women have more difficulty conceiving children later in life.

“Gender Inclusive” Author Calls on UN to Establish Special Rapporteur for Violence Against Men: I linked this because of this part, "Jones also reminds us of the shocking fact that even today, Article 11 of the International Labor Organization’s Convention Concerning Forced or Compulsory Labor allows for adult men between the apparent ages of 19 and 45—and no one else—to be subjected to forced labor."

Local group pushes for all-male school: Now don't go getting your hopes up thinking this is a good opportunity to help boys out. NOW has already declared that such a thing would be sexist. "The National Organization for Women opposes such efforts, saying they "increase sexism and exacerbate feelings of superiority toward women," according to the group's website. But officials of the National Association for Single Sex Public Education support the concept, offering training to teachers so they can provide opportunities that do not exist in coed environments."

First Woman In 5 Years Executed In US Amid Outcry: More proof we live in a post sexist society (yeah that was sarcasm). I find it really odd that the thing that people are getting outraged over isn't her questionable mental capacity or the possible evidence that she really wasn't the mastermind of the murders of her husband and stepson, nah those would make actual sense. No people are flipping the hell out because of her gender. Apparently the "But its a girl!!" defense is grounds for not being executed.

Verizon To Introduce Tiered Pricing Over Next 4-6 Months: Verizon wants to act a fool by ending their unlimited data plans ans switch to tiered pricing.

Aright people take it easy!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Fathers don't count as human?

Tip of the Fro to Robert

I came across this today over at Glenn Sacks' place. Its a small movie that was made for entry into a film festival in Göteborg, Sweden sponsored by Amnesty International. The video goes into the hardships that Swedish fathers go through when comes to parenting, divorce, and custody. Its not a pretty picture.

However there is one thing that I do disagree with. At one point in the video the interview asks a father where he thinks the problems started. He answers that it started around 40 years ago around the time of the feminist movement. I don't think that is case for two reasons. First the presumption that men make bad and unfit parents and women are the perfection of parenting based on their gender predates feminism. And secondly I won't give feminist the satisfaction of giving them something else to cry about being blamed for. HOWEVER while feminists didn't start those presumptions there are those among them that won't think twice about leaning on them to push their own agendas.

But anyway you would think that there would be no problem airing it at a film festival, especially one sponsored by an organization that focuses on human rights. I guess not.
It was scheduled to be screened at the festival and the young people who made it were invited to see their creation shown to the public. But they never did. Amnesty International pulled the plug on the film at the last minute and removed it from its website.
I hope I'm wrong but it looks like in the eyes of AI fathers don't count as humans.

We have seen time, time, and time again how fathers rights get trampled on on a regular basis all over the world. What bugs me out is that people will in one moment support pushing fathers out of their children's lives and in the next go on and on crying about how fathers need to be in their children's lives. It can't be both ways. Either fathers should able to be in their kids lives or they shouldn't. Well obviously they should be but even if you think they don't then dammit at least be consistent.

Boys/Men are raised from the get go to believe that because of their gender they are not and cannot be fit parents. After years of having that drilled into your head it is any surprise they don't stay around to be in their kids lives? It amazes me that the people who complain about men not being around in their kids lives will bend reality to twist that notion that male=bad parent into males being raised to think they shouldn't be responsible for their kids (I suppose it serves the purpose of making women look like the only victims of the equation...).

For ages societies may have needed men to not be in their kids lives as much because they had other responsibilities but those days are numbered. At this point there is only one reason for people to think that dads shouldn't be with their kids and that's because simply do not want men to be with their kids. But I guess since the gender roles have changed up to the point where a dad can actually spend time with the kids new roadblocks have to be put up. False allegations, fly by night adoptions, and the occasional international kidnapping are the tools for building those roadblocks now.

And I can imagine its hard for women who enjoy the privilege of being assumed to be good parents because of their gender (but I'll bet there's women out there that hate that presumption) and they don't the idea of being taken down from their pedestal but they're just gonna have to give it up. There is no way we can expect equality between the genders while at the same time trying to maintain selective privileges.

Men have to change, women have to change, and society has to change when it comes to parenting because this whole deal of assessing one's fitness as a parent on nothing but gender is not right and cannot last.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Theater Thursday: Huge episodes 9 & 10 "Parent's Weekend"

I've been totally off my game the last few weeks when is why the Theater Thursday rotation is off. "Parent's Weekend" is the two part season finale. (If you want to play a bit of catch up firstmy posts on the previous episodes.) Let's do it.

Part 1

It's Parent's Weekend. As the name implies this is a weekend in which the kids' parents come to visit Camp Victory. Just before they arrive two big things come up during a discussion circle. First its revealed that Piznarski's first name is Dante. Second it is finally publicly said that Chloe and Alistair are twins.

The two sets of parents that really interested me were Trent's and Alistair's.

As we've seen this season Trent seemed to be a simple minded athlete that only cared about girls and sports. Well it looks like his dad may be a part of why he seems to be that way. When they first get there his dad sees that he Trent is looking in the direction of Amber and Chloe. The dad asks if he is into one of them and before he can really answer the dad just assumes he's into Amber. Pretty messed up I know. Although with the way he was ignoring Chloe I'm not sure.

And that seems to be a representation of the relationship those two have. The dad (and possibly the mom) seem to put pressure on him to be something he does not want to be.

Things started kinda weird for Alistair. First off his parents pretty much migrated to Chloe. I think his parents don't like the fact that he is not going by the script that's been written out for what boys/men are supposed to do. He doesn't play sports, he does yoga, and he knits. But it gave Alistair and Becca (who seems to be distancing herself from Will) time to hang out. Gotta say they seem to make a cute couple.

Alistair's family (with Becca joining them) meet Trent and his parents at the same restaurant. They decided to share a table. Athena and Becca seemed to be be getting along nicely (he mother says so as well) while Chloe and Trent really weren't on the same page.

By the end of the first part things are pretty weird. But I think the hardest part was that Ian found out that his parents have been to therapy and have decided to get a divorce.

Part two starts with Will and Amber out in the woods trying (and failing) to find and dig up the stash of snacks Will was selling back in the first episode.

At the start of the second day we see that Ian is still taking his parent's divorce pretty hard and seems to be leaning on Will for support. Dante tried to start talking to Alistair and get past what he did to him. Alistair seemed to have gotten passed it. But he won't let him call him Athena.

Trent's dad still thinks that Amber is his girlfriend and its obvious Trent has a hard time standing up to his dad and setting him straight.

Ian's dad started flirting with Amber's mom. I know they had agreed on a divorce but to start messing with other people right there at camp in full view of Ian and his mom? That's just cold.

After playing song with Ian and Will Trent finally got up the courage to show his affection for Chloe in front of his parents. I'm wondering if the basis of him not saying something sooner was race.

Ian finally got a chance to tell Amber how he feels about her. And I'm so glad he did. All season long he has been pining over her to Will. I totally understand him being scared to say something but as I say I'm glad he spoke up.

You know I have to say that for a season finale it really didn't feel like one but all in all I really hope the show comes back next summer.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Is male masturbation really easy or okay to talk about?

One thing I see/hear people talk about is how there is a supposed green light to talk about male masturbation while talk of female masturbation is taboo. I can't say much on female masturbating but I do question whether is such a green light on male masturbation.

If you think about it for the most part when male masturbation is brought up in public its usually in a manner of joking or pathetic loserness. Sure we see a picture of an attractive woman and its all good to say "(insert lingo for male masturbation)". But let me ask, "How often is it you come across actual, serious conversation about male masturbation?"

In my experience its not very often. And I think the reason is that despite the joking about it there is still a very real stigma of "Wow he actually masturbates? What a loser." I don't think people for the most part are really okay with male masturbation but its more of a case that since men want sex all the time masturbation is a consolation prize for those who fail at being men. That's why its okay in the eyes of people to joke about it because the men who masturbate are men that need to release but don't have a partner to release with.

Chances are when you see characters on tv talking about male masturbation there is an underlying, "You poor loser. Can't even get a woman to have sex with." or "Yeah I joke about masturbation but I don't want people thinking I have to resort to actually doing it."

Privilege is Privilege is Privilege

Okay as you know I'm not exactly a friend of many feminists. Now before you try to write me off now and forever let me explain why. Feminism is a movement made up of people, those people would be feminists. And that is where the problems begin. Time and time again I hear feminists hide behind the "feminism is about equality" defense in order to explain away feminist critiques. While feminism may be about equality the people who make up that movement are not always on the same page on how to go about getting that equality (because feminists are not a monolith right?). And one of the things that's gotten on my nerves about some feminists is how they try so hard to explain away the ways that the system favors women over men. Oh here's one now.
As someone who loves to address those who disagree with me, I have become quite familiar with their arguments. Many believe feminism isn’t for equality but for female supremacy, and one of the most common positions I hear is that women are not only equal but have more privilege. What privilege is that? Chivalry, apparently:
Now while it is unfair to try to generalize feminism as a movement for female supremacy there is no question that there those among them that do and carry the label feminist. Yeah I've seen some that try to site chivalry as proof that women hold more privilege over men. Frankly I'm of the mind that I really don't care who has more privilege over who because spending your resources arguing over who has it worse will eventually just lead to time wasted and mud slinging. Let's just get them on the table and deal with them.

I'm going to skip to the bottom for a bit:
Society says men are stronger, smarter, and more capable of handling tough situations. Because of this some men are annoyed at women’s rights movements, because what more could they want? Women aren’t taken seriously in the world and fight to be but their fight is deemed meaningless. Every argument here says women have more privilege but i’m sick of being seen as a delicate little flower who can’t take care of herself.
Check this out. Society says that women are more nuturing, nicer, and should not be held as responsible for certain crimes (especially violent ones). Because of this some women are annoyed that men are starting to speak up for themselves, because really a "real man" wouldn't complain right? There are plenty of places in society in which men are not taken seriously and are outright silenced and attempts to address that are deemed privileged whining. A lot of arguments pretty much label men as nothing but privileged bodies that don't have anything to fear but I'm sick of being seen as a brick wall that never wears over time.

Now I'm not trying to disprove or shut down what the blogger here is saying. They make good points. My problem is that this blogger seems hellbent on trying to spin every advantage that women have over men into "women are the actual victims here". Let's take a look at a few.
1. Men are the ones who have to pay for dinner and dates.

Well, feminists don’t believe men have to pay because they are men, and actually this is insulting to many women because it contributes to the idea that women cannot and are not capable of paying for anything because they are women and women must be taken care of like children. There are a lot of women and men who believe men should pay, but if you ask me, it’s because they have been taught that this is the way things are supposed to be, and it’s rude to behave otherwise on a date.
What the blogger is missing here is that the reason this is a privilege women have over men is because, just male privileges are, it is something that society enforces on a regular basis. This is rule that puts the burden on men to make money, to be providers, to be the one that has to "win" a woman's affections by showing off how he can take care of her. Its good that there are feminists who don't like it either but feminists not liking female privilege doesn't magically make it not a privilege. I don't like the idea that I might be more likely to be considered for a job than a woman but that doesn't mean its not male privilege at work does it?
2. Men are the ones who get drafted.

Women have never been drafted, but women have also been restricted to certain positions in the military and aren’t allowed to do everything men are permitted to do in times of war. Do i believe women should be drafted? No, but i don’t believe men should be either.
Good. Now what about the part where women who don't go to war are women and men who didn't go to war were cowards, draft dodgers, and in some cases war criminals. And while I don't think she meant anything by it note that the writer went straight from "women are treated unfairly by being kept out of the military" to "no one should have to fight" and only took a glance at "men are unfairly expected to fight in the military because of their gender".
5. Men have to pay child support and women never do.

This just isn’t true. I know women who do pay child support and the father has primary custody. I’ve heard people say women are commonly given bias in custody trials and i honestly can’t say whether or not that’s true because i’m not very familiar with it, but i wouldn’t be surprised if it did happen, as this directly reflects values feminists fight against, a woman must care for the child and a man must give sole financial support.
Now if only feminists could actually acknowledge that men who speak up about being treated unfairly on the child support issue are being treated unfairly rather than just write them off as trying to get out of paying money. I mean the system will move heaven and earth to hold a man, any man in some cases responsible for child support but good luck getting help with a woman who is interfering with visitation.
7. Women can hit men, and men can’t hit women.

It’s not okay to abuse anyone regardless of gender. Men shouldn’t hit women and women shouldn’t hit men, period. Feminists know that sexism hurts men too, and feminists want fairness for everyone.(Men can be feminists too.)
Of course its not okay for anyone to abuse people regardless of gender. But fact of the matter is depending on who you're dealing with there are those that think women deserve to get hit by men and/or men deserve to get hit by women. There are those who think that Rihanna deserved to get attacked by Chris Brown just as there are those who think Matthew Winkler deserved to get killed by Mary. Yet for some reason feminists, and a large portion of society, seem to only talk about one side of that equation. And that "sexism hurts men too" is pretty much "(oh yeah I forgot) sexism hurts men too (there I said it so shut up)". Yeah there are feminists who want fairness for everyone but there are those that don't and those that will say they do but at the end of day they really don't.

Now I'm not trying to stick it to this blogger and in fact they even say that they are trying to sort out their thoughts on this. Perhaps its because they are still thinking through things but it seems like this person is trying to use the disadvantages that women suffer in order to washout the advantages they enjoy. What I find odd (and kinda hypocritical) is that for some reason (on the gender front) this seems to only be okay to do for women. Men being expected to choose career over family doesn't mean that men aren't privileged in the workplace so why/how does women being expected to choose family over career mean that women aren't privileged in the childcare realm?

Check this out:
The whole point of the post was that chivalry is a way to oppress women and i know very well that men suffer for it too, i was pointing out that I as feminist am against sexism, in all forms and that includes chivalry.
Does it cause actual pain for a feminist to simply say something direct like "chivalry is a system that oppresses men and women"? It seems that most of the time when a feminist is talking about sexism against men they have to say in a manner of "....too". As a man and non-feminist that bothers me a lot. Its like they can't wrap their heads around that fact the system harms men. Not the system harms men too, just the system harms men.

I'm not going to waste my time trying to post over there because I can already see how it would turn out but I just had to get my thoughts down on this. I just they would understand that when non-feminists critique that movement we aren't just trying to write them off as female supremacists that hate men.

Sunday, September 19, 2010


It would seem that The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), a division of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), spent $823,200 of economic stimulus funds in 2009 on a study by a UCLA research team to teach uncircumcised African men how to wash their genitals after having sex. (According to CNSNews.)

That in and of itself is great idea I think. I've asked before why more effort has not been put into teaching African men genital hygiene. But I think this is the backwards part.
Because AIDS researchers have been unsuccessful in convincing most adult African men to undergo circumcision, the UCLA study proposes to determine whether researchers can develop an after-sex genitalia-washing regimen that they can then convince uncircumcised African men to follow.
So let me get this straight. The thought of teaching those men genital hygiene is coming AFTER the thought of convincing them to have their foreskins removed?

You see this is the part burns me to no end about the "health benefits" of circumcision. People go on and on about how it helps prevent AIDS/HIV. I'm sure it does. But at the same time I find it almost sad that people first thought to remove the foreskin and study its effects before teaching men how to keep the foreskin clean and studying those effects.

I don't know about you but it would seem to me that people would try cleaning something before going straight to cutting it off. People try radiation/chemo-therapy before amputating body parts in cancer cases. People try to treat infection before cutting off body parts. In most other cases as medical technology has advanced people try nearly everything under the sun they can think of and resort to cutting off body parts as a last resort. But somehow that is not the case here.

I'm back!

Okay I've been out of the office for a few days. I had a job offer to consider. It would have been a boost of 13k/yr. however the job sounding boring and would have left me unhappy. And besides in the next year my bank is going to go through a massive conversation and I have a chance to be on the front lines meaning plenty to do, plenty to learn, and plenty of opportunity to make a name for myself at the company. Oh and the job I could have taken would have left me to pay for all of my training/certifications on my own while my current job will pay for it for me. I had to seek counsel and meditate long and hard. In the end while staying does slow down my plans to move I've concluded that when I do move I will be in much better standing (thanks to the training/certifications that my job is about to put me through). But now that that is over on with the business.

This week I got an email with the following joke in it.

One morning, a husband returns the boat to their lakeside cottage after several hours of fishing and decides to take a nap.

Although not familiar with the lake, the wife decides to take the boat out.

She motors out a short distance, anchors, puts her feet up, and begins
to read her book.

The peace and solitude are magnificent.

Along comes a Fish and Game Warden in his boat.

He pulls up alongside the woman and says, 'Good morning, Ma'am. What
are you doing?'

'Reading a book,' she replies, (thinking, 'Isn't that obvious?')

'You're in a Restricted Fishing Area,' he informs her.

'I'm sorry, officer, but I'm not fishing. I'm reading.'

'Yes, but I see you have all the equipment. For all I know you could
start at any moment. I'll have to take you in and write you up.'

'If you do that, I'll have to charge you with sexual assault,' says
the woman.

'But I haven't even touched you,' says the Game Warden.

'That's true, but you have all the equipment.
For all I know you could start at any moment.'

'Have a nice day ma'am,' and he left.

See what she did there? She pointed out that since he is male he has "all the equipment" to sexually assault her. Personally I'm of the mind that it takes more than a male reproductive system to sexually assault someone. I mean me and my male reproductive system have gone about 30 years without doing so. I'm betting there's more to it than that. And don't get me started on all those people who don't have male reproductive systems (that would be women) who sexually assault people...

And apparently threatening to make a false allegation of sexual assault is a valid defense against a game warden that's just doing his job. Yeah the woman was simply reading but he can't afford to take that chance. His orders are to keep people out of the restricted area. Oh it gets better.

The moral of this story is, "Never argue with a woman who reads." Never argue with a woman who reads because she might get mad and make a false allegation against you?

And this is a supposed to be funny?

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Weekly Mashup Stage 16

You know the drill. Can you dig it?

False Rape Allegations Are Rare: Remember, the important part about false rape allegations isn't that people do it, or that it causes damage to innocent people, that those in law enforcement don't want to confront it, or that even those who want equality for all perpeturate it sometimes. No the important part is that it doesn't happen very often.

Murakami at Versailles: "Versailles' latest contemporary art installation opened yesterday, and it's a show that's been knee-deep in controversy since its inception. The Takashi Murakami show features 22 works including 11 site-specific pieces which aim to create a story within a story. Curator Laurent Le Bon states, "The unique experience seeks above all to spark a reflection of the contemporary nature of our monuments and indispensable need to create out own era." Murakami ties the past to the future by placing bizarre brightly-coloured creatures in ornately decorated stately rooms. The show will be running until 12 December 2010."

Koran burner Derek Fenton booted from his job at NJ Transit: "The protester who burned pages from the Koran outside a planned mosque near Ground Zero has been fired from NJTransit, sources and authorities said Tuesday."

Pregnant pepper spray victim: 'It was like being on fire': I'm not so quick to declare that she was the victim in this but she is sure as hell playing up her pregnancy (apparently when you're pregnant you can never be wrong) as a victimhood card.

Video captures home health aide beating elderly New Jersey woman: "The health aide, 52-year-old Carmen Pereira, was charged with aggravated assault and other charges related to what was captured on the video footage, said Mike Post, a detective from the Jersey City Police Department." Abuse of the elderly is a serious problem and this sick woman needs to be punished.

Doctor sued for 'branding' patient's uterus: Okay that's just a lot of WFT going on there.

Exciting News We have all been waiting for!: With shows like "Rome", "The Tudors", and "Spartacus: Blood and Sand" blazing across tv screens in the last several years I knew it was only a matter of time before someone took interest in bringing one of the most intriguing and scandalous periods of European history to tv audiences as well. It looks like Anne Thomopoulos (who worked on Rome) and the writers of the three time Emmy Award winning Mad Men are working on the project. After watching The Rose of Versailles I can say I am definitely looking forward to this.

Confessions of a Pagan Soccer Mom: Oh no link particular. But I mean come on how can a site with a title like that not draw your attention?

Is ethnic beauty the new 'it' factor?: The title in and of itself is explanation enough for why the mainstream media and fashion industries just don't fucking get it when it comes to beauty and attraction.

British High Court Dame Orders Lower Sentences for Women: Yes men and women are equal...until it comes time to answer for your crimes. At that point we just assume that a woman facing charges MUST be a victim of SOMETHING and should therefore be treated with leniency.

Police: False Criminal Reports Must Stop
: Punishing those who do wrong or looking out for women? Wow those cops and lawyers must really be torn up over having to face the fact that making false rape allegations is actually a bad thing and needs to be investigated and punished. I mean what's a couple of innocent people having their lives ruined, possibly going to jail for a crime they didn't commit, and who knows what else when compared to protecting the assumption that women are never wrong with it comes to rape? And a special shoutout to the par for the course method of talking about how false reports waste resources and harms actual rape victims and saying absolutely nothing about how they affect the accused. And people wonder why men are so damn scared of being falsely accused.

Take it easy.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Working on being a man pt.5


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

Okay if you've been reading my "Working on Being a Man" series you know I've been talking about the various items that need to be addressed in regards to being a man in this crazy world we have. If you haven't then take a moment to at the link above to the previous entries. Today time I want to talk about pain.

As most people know we as men are expected to not show or acknowledge pain under any circumstances. To do so is to be considered a sign of weakness. Well the thing is when you really get down to it what we end up with are not men who do not feel pain or are somehow immune to it. We end up with men who simply suffer in silence. (And this is not just limited to the mind and soul. I'm talking about the body as well.)

When having it drilled into your head that you are weak if you show pain and that weakness is the antithesis of your very existence (because in some people's eyes if you have a male body and aren't a "real man" then you are nothing) you are very likely to conclude that in order to validate your manhood you have to put your pain aside. Not actually cope, examine it, or otherwise deal with it. Just put it to the side thinking that if you simply don't talk about it or bring it up it will go away and vola, "I am man hear me roar!". The obvious problem with this is that when subscribing to this script of manhood we never truly learn how to deal with our pain. And that can be very dangerous.

When it comes to men committing acts of violence (against themselves in terms of suicide/attempted suicide or against other in terms of assault/dv/rape/etc...) I wonder how many of them were overwhelmed by burdens that they were told they had to bear but for some reason or another could not. (And by all that is holy please don't waste my time by trying to tell me I'm trying to justify their actions because I'm not.) I wonder how many of those men tried to live by the script and at some point realized they were not measuring up to what a "real man" is supposed to be and decided to lash out over their "failure". I think working this out is an important step in trying to help men. To help realize that a man is not made or broken based on some set of rules put in place by the Kyriarchy and reinforced by society. We can't be expected to free ourselves from the bonds of the male gender role while at the same time being told we just need to "get over" our pains.

What I think the hard part of this is going to be is how to get men to realize that we don't have to suffer in silence and getting the rest of society to basically shut the hell up and let us talk. Now I know to some of you that last part may sound weird. It probably sounds weird because in your mind men don't need help speaking up because of male privilege (and if you think male privilege mitigates away our harms and pain then to the devil with you). Well let me ask you something. If men are so privileged then why do people proceed to flip the fuck out when we say something that is real but not politically correct? If I talk about how attractive Julianna Margulies and Vivica Fox are and one bats an eye but if I start to go into how I was picked on by girls in school and people think something is wrong with me.

If men are going learn how to actually deal with pain in a healthy manner we have to assure ourselves its okay to acknowledge our pain. Acknowledging and dealing with that pain will make us all better men.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Was the Angel/Angelus a representation of Dark Male sexuality?

I'm going to be talking extensively about the tv shows Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel. Tread carefully.

In case you didn't know I'm a fan of the Buffy/Angel universe. Every once in a while I head over to Random Babble (the owner is a big time Buffy fan) to chat things out. From that I've been meaning to take time and do some examining of the Buffy/Angel universe myself. I'm gonna kick it off by hitting something that's been on my mind for a while.

You ever get the feeling that when writing out Angel/Angelus that Joss Whedon was also writing about male sexuality?

As a bit of a background Angel, before being turned into a vampire, went by the name of Liam and was a lad with a bit of social status that pretty much "drank and whored his way through life". Until one night he meets a vampire by the name of Darla. By drinking his life and sharing her own life with him Darla unleashed a terror that would strike fear in the populace of Eastern Europe for over a century. After years and havok, carnage, and mayhem (and bringing Drucilla and Spike into the fold) Angelus, his new name given to him by his "mother" Darla, finally got hit back by karma.

In one of his engagements of torture, violence, and death he rapes and kills a young Gypsy girl. That young Gypsy girl's family retaliate not by burning him, staking him, or cutting off his head. No they punished him in probably the worst way possible. They gave him his soul back.

You see in the Buffy/Angel universe when a person is turned into a vampire they lose their soul. One's soul also serves as their conscience. Its what causes them to feel guilt, regret, and remorse. Without it a vampire is able to commit the most horrible of crimes and not think twice about it. But when the soul returns the memories of all those crimes become a more powerful weapon than any physical instrument.

When Angelus got his soul back he suddenly felt remorse and guilt over the things he did (and also took the name Angel). However the effect is not absolute. In addition to giving him his soul back the Gypsys that gave him his soul back put a curse on him. The curse states that if Angel were to experience a moment of true happiness he would lose his soul and Angelus would rise once more.

That's the part that has me thinking.

During S2 of Buffy she and Angle are a couple and at one point they take their relationship to a sexual level. In that moment Angel loses his soul and Angelus returns. Without his soul Angelus immediately goes back to the manipulative and evil ways he once employed (as a side note bear in mind that while they share the same body Angle and Angelus are treated like two individual entities).

One thing I noticed is that throughout the rest of the runs of Buffy and Angel's own show there is a running notion that in order for Angel to keep his soul he must never have sex again or else. Now of course I think this was supposed to be more fleshed out to mean that he can never get close to anyone like he did with Buffy but there were plenty of "if he gets some he'll go on a killing spree" jokes to go around.

Now as you know current cultures understanding of male sexuality pretty much limits it to the idea that men want sex with women all the time and will do anything to get it. Add that to the two ways the loss of Angel's soul come up but don't actually happen after S2 (in S3 of Buffy when Angel has sex with faith and season 2 of Angel when he has sex with Darla) and its pretty evident that his soul (and by extension his conscience and humanity) are tied to sex.

Next take a look at how Angel/Angelus are when it comes to sex. Angelus was very sexually active (and it wasn't always non consensual). He was also literally a soulless monster that killed at a whim and tortured for fun. On the other hand Angel seemed to avoid having sex (in fact in between both shows he seemed to only have sex when it was part of a plan or when he was about to cross to the dark side). And as we see he is a champion of justice and right. Good guys don't have sex and bad guys do.

Oh and one more thing. Mmmmmmmmm.....Angel.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Weekly Mashup Stage 15 Bonus - Video Style

Okay normally I would just put one video at the bottom of the Weekly Mashup post but this week I just came across a few extra videos I wanted to share. I wanted to share them now while they are on my mind instead of risking forgetting about them or losing the links before I got them up so here you go.

Herding Cats

A Debbie Downer skit that was cut for time from the Betty White episode back in May.

Street Fighter vs. Tekken Rap

Human Tetris

Weekly Mashup Stage 15

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

No, I Will Not Molest Your Kids: A staunch reminder that some people just can't get over the assumption that being a male means I want to molest your kids. "Men, in the general sense, are not a threat to children. In fact I would suggest that men’s increasing absence from childhood activities has caused tangible harm."

Forty-year-old U.S. teacher who had sex with boy of ten is jailed for five years: Still amazes me how women get such nice deals when committing some of the most vile of crimes.

Coastal Restaurant: Parents Must Remove Screaming Kids: "So Brenda Armes has posted signs at Olde Salty restaurant in Carolina Beach that read "screaming children will not be tolerated." She told WECT-TV in Wilmington that the signs have worked by attracting more customers than they turn away."

N.Y. Bride Faked Cancer Diagnosis in Scam to Get Wedding Donations, Husband Says: ???

John Lennon killer Mark David Chapman is denied parole for the sixth time: Okay I know that each time you come up for parole you are interviewed and based on how you perform you are granted or denied parole. However I have to wonder if the reason this man has been denied so many times has more to do with him not performing well or because of who he killed. In other words if Chapman had killed a man who was not famous (meaning he himself would not have become infamous) would he still be in prison after all this time?

Caprica to return to SyFy Oct. 5: I really like this show but I fear all this hand wringing over whether or not it will return for a season two (not to mention going on a 7 month break after only 10 episodes) will spell the end for the Battlestar Galactica spin off.

Race watch on all playground fights: Schools warned after horror attack on white boy: "Henry Webster’s skull was fractured when he was punched, kicked and hit with a claw hammer by a group calling themselves the Asian Invaders. They left him for dead."

Who's Watching the Women?: A reminder of why I don't bother going into feminist spaces to talk about being fat. "That’s why I find it so weird and disconcerting that feminists want to sit around and talk about fat as a problem. You can’t talk about fat separate from bodies. (Well, you could, but a glob of fat in a bowl isn’t a health issue.) Female bodies, in fact. I mean, even when we talk about fat men, it’s about their moobs, like being fat is feminizing them in some terrible way." Yeah its got nothing to do with him being fat, No its all about oppressing women. More of that "women are the real victims of everything" mindset that is so distracting from getting things done.

Iran to free female American for holiday clemency: Iran said Thursday it will free Sarah Shourd, one of three Americans jailed for more than 13 months, as an act of clemency to mark the end of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. Update: It looks like her release has been delayed.

Shaw University introduces first female president: "
The News&Observer of Raleigh reports that Shaw University introduced Irma McClaurin as its new president to faculty and students Thursday morning. Board of Trustees Chairman Willie Gary announced the selection in a Sept. 6 letter to board members."

AXE 'reviewing' T.I. promotions: Oh they don't mind insulting the entire male race but having a possible felon in their ads is just a no no.

Wow. And then they had the nerve to tell her she had to continue.

About that Quran Burning on 9-11

A buddy of mine summed my feelings up on the issue pretty nicely.

Dear Reverend Terry Jones,
What are you thinking in burning the Quran? I understand that you are not Muslim and the book has no value to you, but it is still a book of worship. How would you feel if someone said they are going to burn the bible? The fact that you are essentially lighting a fire not only to those boo...ks, but lighting a fire under every Muslim in the world is dangerous.

Lighting that fire is not only dangerous but highly disrespectful. I understand being angry about the events that happened Sept. 11, 2001 but this is entirely misdirected. It was not as if the terrorists that attacked that day were acting in the name the entire Islamic world.

Over the years countless people have committed extreme acts of violence in the name of God and Bible. Does that mean that those who survived (or the surviving families of those who died) should burn bibles in response? Of course not because those that did those things may say they were acting in the name of God and Bible but that does not mean that they actually represented the entire Christian world.

I personally don't care much for organized religion of any kind but I do respect it enough to know that this burning is not the way to express the feelings from that day.

Its my understanding that Jones has called off the burning and is instead trying to arrange a meeting with imam Feisal Abdul Rauf. Even if Jones wants to stop the construction of an Islamic culture center near ground zero at least he is trying to talk things out rather than using a gesture of anti-Islamic hatred and disrespect.

People are more important than drugs

So apparently all the former heads of the Drug Enforcement Administration have contacted Attorney General by letter asking why President Obama has not come out against California's marijuana efforts with the same force he employed when coming out against Arizona's illegal immigration crackdown.

That's simple.

The rights of human beings trump the whims of a bunch of weaklings that think they are winning "The War on Drugs".

The rights of human beings trump the childish rantings of folks who just want to make themselves feel good for being "tough on drugs".

The rights of human beings trump fucking drugs.

While agree that the issue of drugs need to be addressed it takes a pretty cold jerk to think that they are more important than people.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

About those "Adult Services"...

While the folks that pushed (successfully) to have Craigslist take down their "Adult Services" section in the US (and those same people are now pushing for them to get rid of it on a worldwide level) are patting themselves on the back I have a question.

Now that you've helped to get rid of a widely used and very public forum for the buying and selling of sexual services that dredged up some of the worst of the worst from the underground, meaning they could be more easily caught, what do you think that worst of the worst is going to do now?

If utilized correctly that section of Craigslist could have been used to catch more sexual predators than Dateline.

Well now they will go back to the underground from which they came.

Respect and Mercy eh?

This is a quick one that caught my eye today. I was reading Yahoo News about Iran saying they will release one of the three hikers they have been holding for the last 13 months. There was one line that caught my attention in that story.
During the American hostage crisis in 1979-1981, Iran first released women and African-Americans as a sign of respect for women and mercy toward minorities.
This bothers me a bit. I know this is in the past and not much time should be spent on it but I think it is worth taking a moment to look at.

I'm not much of a fan of treating someone special because of their gender or race. But everytime I see things like this the first thing that comes to mind is that damn damaging code of chivalry. Now I know that women have been and are mistreated throughout the world but but to then give women special treatment as if their lives mean more?

And about African-Americans. Makes me wonder if I were on that flight when would have I been released. I mean apparently I'm worthy of mercy but not respect.

Weird. I'll be so glad when we get to the point where everyone is equal...

Monday, September 6, 2010

As if I needed another reason to not like Axe products

Okay I've mentioned before how I can't stand Axe products. Well after their "Unless you're using Axe you're just a dirty pig no woman wants to get with you." message they see to have taken up a "Axe is the only thing that can clean your balls so women will want to get with you." message.

While I've never gotten with a woman before I can say for sure that a bar of soap does indeed sufficiently clean one's testicles. Once again the forces at work behind this ad are depending on using the notion that men will do anything for the nookie to sale their inferior product.

I mean what if you're not into the conventionally attractive women that are in those ads? Hell what you're not into women at all? Oh and let's not forget that by only marketing to those of us with testicles they are missing out on a LOT of potential customers. This line of advertising pretty much fails all around. But its not like the product is that great to start with...

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Weekly Mashup Stage 14

I don't have a lot this week because a hurricane by the name of Earl tried to roll up on me a few nights ago. Share 'em if ya got 'em!

Should 14-Year-Old Kendall Jenner Be Doing a Bikini Shoot? : The point isn't that a 14-year-old is wearing a bikini. That happens. Girls will be girls. The point is that adults (Jenner recently signed with Wilhelmina Modeling Agency) conceived and approved a sexy, skin-sational photo shoot with a 14-year-old girl; and that other adults -- including her parents -- thought it okay.

Domestic Disturbance: "You did cross a line when you struck your wife, but it's in your power to know that when you die, you will have been a man who did such a shameful thing only one time." Apparently hitting back after getting hit multiple times is "shameful" and is on par with men who initiate violence against women.

Slashing jobs pays off ... if you're sitting in the executive suite: It looks like people are finally realizing what us common folk have known all along. The people at the top actually benefit from firing the people at the bottom.

Spain breaks up male-sex trafficking ring: Toy Soldier talks about the recent breakup of a ring in Spain that trafficked male sex workers.

US Commerce Secretary Sides With RIAA: Warns ISPs To Become Entertainment Industry Cops: And there it is. Dear ISPs: become copyright cops. Even though the RIAA admits that it's impossible for them to combat such infringement, we feel that you should magically know how to do so, even though you have no way to know what is infringing and what is not.

U.S. court backs 'Ladies Night' promotions: Personally I think Ladies Nights are a dirty deal on both sides. Women are used as bait and men are used as walking wallets. I don't think they should be banned but I sure as hell would never set foot in one.

Palin's 'impotent' comments make rounds: I know she wasn't the best friend of women but this really doesn't help her cause either.

'Hey pretty girl': Woman severely burned after acid-like liquid thrown into her face tells of horror attack by total stranger: Bethany Storro was about to walk into a Starbucks cafe when a female approached her out of the blue and asked, 'Hey pretty girl, do you want to drink this?'.

Fat Chance!: "I was trolled and belittled by the Fat Patrol in this thread, and subsequently very dramatically de-linked by a whole bunch of "feminists" in short order (that old phrase "herd of independent minds" just popped into my head, for some reason). So, I guess I can say whatever I like now."

Floyd Mayweather/Reverse Racism: "If it were real then Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, and every other civil rights activist would have came out the woodwork to defend Floyd Mayweather. Lord forbid someone of a different race say something stereotypical or racist about black people. But it seems as if black people get a free pass and are "allowed" to say whatever racist remark they want without any repercussion."

Oh I imagine there are plenty of fireworks going on over this song. Yeah depending on where you haunt its absolutely wrong to point out the fact that some women are indeed gold diggers (and yet those same people will tell a guy he only has himself to blame when he gets got by one and find no fault on the part of the woman that got him). When it comes to relationships and unfairness that shit is coming from both sides. I hate to see the back and forth arguing but at the same time I'm sure a lot of it is posturing or speaking from old wounds.

I'm out!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Through a New Looking Glass: Drill Sergeant Hartman

(The original link I used here is gone and I'm trying to avoid embedding. Here is a link to another copy of Hartman's introduction.)

You ever see the movie "Full Metal Jacket"? It was a particularly gritty and violent movie about a platoon of men being trained at a base at Parris Island, SC for Vietnam. The video clip above is of the introduction of the drill sergeant that trained them.

As you can see that drill sergeant is really really wound up. But I have to say that when I look at that clip I don't have the same reaction that I once did.

Yesterday's Perception: I can recall laughing my ass off at that clip. The way he just barrages them with his take no shit attitude. And the insults were just funny. One of my favorite parts was the part where the guy imitates John Wayne and he comes back asking who said it. He has no problem using violence in addition to words to berate them. In fact I was just talking about this a few months ago with some coworkers and going over how funny that clip is. Complete with quoting large portions of it.

Today's Perception: That clip isn't as great as I once thought it was. Mind you I still do laugh at parts of but that's more reflex than actually thinking its funny (I've been think that was funny for the last 15 or so years so its going to take more than over night to unlearn something.) If you watch the clip and actually pay attention to the way he treats those guys he is breaking them down. Why is he breaking them down? Because it is that drill sergeant's responsibility to turn those men into soulless killers who can walk into hell and stand at least some chance of walking back out.

That's what the language was for. That's what the treatment was for. That's what the abuse was for. It had been determined that in order for those men to survive that had to broken down so they could be built up. That sergeant engaged in all sorts of -ist behaviors just in that opening sequence. Homophobia by implying that they suck dick as an insult. Racism by saying that he doesn't give special treatment niggers and (insert offensive slang for Jews, Latinos, and Italians). Sexism against women by ordering them to refer to their guns as wives. Disablism by harassing a cadet with mental disabilities. And probably more that I don't recognize. But in the end they are all tools of misandry. The point of all that treatment was to mold those men from whatever everyday lives they came from into killers. It takes hatred (via disregard for those men) to single out a group of people for such treatment.

And if you really get down to it what he does in that movie isn't all that different (just not as extreme, usually) from that way boys and men are treated today. Forced into a tight little box of what is okay for us to do. Which is of course followed by people throwing their hands up wondering why we aren't all that well adjusted to society.

When I think about the way the sergeant treated them now it wasn't all that funny. In fact is fucking offensive on nearly all sides of board. When I think about it I realize that is just what the

Disaster averted

Okay all is good now. The hurricane came past last night and the wind was gangsta and it rained hard but other than the power going out it was nothing. The power went out at about 1:30am and it was restored at about 9:30am (I was at work by then which is why I'm just updating now).

But all is good in My Corner and I'll be back up and posting soon.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Pepsi Refrseh Project

(EDIT: 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!)

(Fro tip to TS)

This video is about domestic violence. Tread carefully.

I saw this over at TS's place a few nights ago and I have to say that it was shocking. And I think it shocking because a type of DV that is not talked about that much.

The Domestic Abuse Helpline for Men and Women has entered the Pepsi Refresh Project campaign for a grant for $250,000. Its campaign based on a voting system in which the cause that gets the most votes will get the grant.

These folks are trying to do a lot of good but as well all know going good is not not always free. Go take a look and see what they would do with those funds.
How will the 250K be Used?
$ 150,000 Printing of approx.125,000 posters, booklets, brochures, & placards
$ 50,000 Purchase of 7500 large envelopes and postage
$ 20,000 Stipends for project dir., project coord's and their assistants
$ 25,000 Funds for victim services- more public awareness=more helpline callers
$ 5,000 database programs and expenses

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