Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Working on being a man pt.6

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

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

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

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

It shouldn't be that way.

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Prison for buying the wrong gift

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

But you know what really bothers me about this ad?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, December 27, 2010

Through A New Looking Glass: Summer of '42

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, December 24, 2010

Weekly Mashup Stage 31

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

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

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

Somehow, I don't think so."

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Alright folks take it easy!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A fine for beating someone until their skull cracked?

You read that right.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tip of the Fro to Sonja for pointing this out.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Weekly Mashup Stage 30

Sound off!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Until we meet again.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Rape, Anonymity, and All Things Inbetween

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

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

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

I'm a bit mixed on this.

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

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

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

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

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

Oh yes racism is still alive and well

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

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

All doubt removed.

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

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

Theater Thursday: Summer of '42

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Til then.

Monday, December 13, 2010


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Weekly Mashup Stage 29

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

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

Awesome.: The most badass pocket tee shirt ever.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

See ya next week!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

What if Assange was a citizen of a foreign nation?

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

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

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

What do you think?

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

Monday, December 6, 2010

Six things men say that signal trouble

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Need I go on?

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

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Weekly Mashup Stage 28


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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Pepsi Refrseh Project

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

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


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

How will the 50K be Used?

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

$ 5,000 Purchase of 2500 large envelopes and postage

$ 2,500 Stipends for volunteers

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

$ 1,500 expenses

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sounds like a transaction doesn't it?

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

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