Monday, November 29, 2010

Diary of a Bad Black Man

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Weekly Mashup Stage 27

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

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

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

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

The most awesome door chain ever.

via The Art of Manliness. Some useful information here.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Working on being a man pt.6

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Medal of Honor is not an Xbox 360 Achievement

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Weekly Mashup Stage 75

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Take it easy folks!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Is this really the best solution?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Slight of hand on an article about circumcision

Go take a look at this.

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

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

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

There are a few things that bother me about this.

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

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

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

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Veteran's Day

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

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

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

Monday, November 8, 2010

I should be used ot it....

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

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

So let's see:

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

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

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

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

Okay now that that is out back to my vacation.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Oppotunity vs. Outcome

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

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

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

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

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



Thursday, November 4, 2010

McEwan's Theory of Fat Rollativity

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

Glad to see that Fat Math still works:

Skinny Handsome Guy = Not All That Funny

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

Although I note that the variables have changed slightly.

2010 Fat Guy < 1987 Fat Guy.

Because controlling for OH NOES OBESITY CRISIS!

Fat = Gross.


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

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

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



Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Oh I'm totally certain...

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


(West Canadian Inuit)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

When corporations try to patent the ways of old

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

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

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

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



Monday, November 1, 2010

Southern Hospitality alright...

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

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

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

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

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

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


But let me guess....

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

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

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

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