Wednesday, June 30, 2010

About Chirs Brown at the BET Awards the other night....

Well since everyone else is throwing in their two cents I may as well do the same.

Look the record will show throughout history and the world that Chris Brown assaulted Rihanna, he plead guilty for it, and was punished for it.

However there seems to be a bit of hang up on how to move on. On one hand it seems that Chris Brown is trying to get on with his life while on the other it seems that people have decided to pause time and use his assault on Rihanna to pass final and absolute judgement on him forever more.

Yes he attacked her, yes he should be punished, and yes he needs whatever it will take to help him not do it again. I just don't think constantly bringing it up every time his name comes up for the rest of his life is going to have the affect some think it is (I can totally see it when he passes away people writing whole series of posts about why everything else, good and bad, should be erased and demand that all conversation center around this one event). Sure they may think they are "calling him out" and whatnot but really what they are doing is trying to present that one event as his entire life and then looking for thank yous and high fives afterward.

So while I don't support the idea of just "getting over it" I also don't support the idea that this is the beginning, middle, end, and afterlife of Brown.

And speaking of trying to ignore the people that are coming down on him I have to love this comment from Feministing:
Maybe it's dumb, but for kicks I searched facebook to see how many anti-Chris Brown groups they have. I found none. I did, however, find a lot of groups joking about how Rihanna got beaten. HAHA domestic violence is oh so funny, huh?
I wonder what they searched for because when I looked I got these. So I don't know what kind of selective denial that person is trying to play but there are groups and pages out there that hate Chris Brown just like there are groups and pages out there that support him.

Get It By Your Hands, Fly Up In The Air, and Get To Burning!

Its the end of the month you know what time it is. Well I almost forgot what time it is because I thought there were 31 days in June until actually looked at a calendar. I know right?

For the last month or two I've been really getting back into anime. One I'm way behind on what's out there these days and two I want to be at least somewhat ready in case I do get to take the voyage to Baltimore for Otakon at the end of July. I've re-watched Martian Successor Nadesico and Vandread with plan future plans to re-watch Rose of Versailles, Area 88, and much, much more (so if you have an inner otaku it is more than welcome to drop in and chat). But in the meantime I'm watching something that I've been wanting to see for a long time, Ranma 1/2. I'll get back to that someday because this is about song title links.


Get It By Your Hands - Eurka 7 OST
If I ever get my hands on a giant robot this is the first song I'm playing if I ever have to fight in said giant robot (but really if you get your hands on a giant robot what else is there to do with it other than fight?). This is from an anime called Eureka 7. The main character Renton Thurston is a teenage boy trying to find his place in the world. Well his place in the world kinda finds him in the form of a young girl crashing her giant robot into his home. Teen angst, sibling rivalry, messages that children are the future, and saving the world ensue. But doesn't this song kick ass?


Fly Up In The Air - Macross Plus OST
Ah Macross Plus. A classic. Giant robots, two former friends at each other's throats (and over more than a woman), great music, a futuristic transforming fighter (and where I totally think the makers of that Stealth movie with Jamie Foxx got their idea from), and an Artificial Intelligence named Sharon Apple who is a pop idol. What more is there?


You Get To Burning - Martian Successor Nadesico
If you recall I actually talked about Nadesico a few weeks ago. This track is the opening theme for the show. Invigorating right?

That's all for now folks.

Monday, June 28, 2010

This is some baffling shit

Saw this today and just had to share.

How in the holy hell do you do that without noticing it?

Never been a fan of guerilla marketing...

especially when its for something that I already have an opinion on.

You see a a while back I firmly said that I am not a feminist. Well imagine my surprise when I checked my comment queue today and saw a link to a post at Tomato Nation called, "Yes You Are".

Pretty damn presumptive ain't it?

You see this attempt at guerrilla marketing is nothing more than attempt at trying to make feminist the moral and ethical default. Think is its not.

Just as there are different ideas of what is good, evil, just, and unjust there are feminists that are good, bad, reasonable, unreasonable, and downright nasty.

Yes it would be nice if we all just pretended "those" feminists did not exist. That way the ones that want to badly for the title feminist to become the standard for all that is good and holy will have their dreams come true. As long as there are bad ones out there then the title can't become the default.

Oh and another thing. For a feminist to come and tag my post like its graffiti with a post that is pretty much forcing a label on me is pretty arrogant. How dare they try to erase what I'm trying to do by telling I'm a feminist when I have seen and experienced those among them that directly contradict the very things they supposedly believe in. Funny thing is I thought they were against, no above, that.

So in the end more than likely that person is a drive by commenter that will never grace this blog again (which is a damn shame because I'd really like for them to really understand me rather than just shrugging off my words and telling me what I am anyway) I just needed to get that off my chest.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Uprooting ingrained phrases

If we as a society are to make real change and really get rid of -isms now and forever one crucial thing that must be done is to remove the various -ist remarks, phrases, and idioms from our everyday language.

I was over at Random Babble in a threat about "Forbidden Fruit" type relationships (characters wanting what they can't have) in tv shows. During the discussion I used a line that most people probably hear and possibly use on a very regular basis:
And you would have to be blind to not see Angel/Cordy coming from a few dozen miles away.
See what I did there? Yeah I didn't notice it either until Ouyang Dan pointed it out.
Danny, in the future I would prefer it if you would not use language that uses disability as a metaphor.
That's a precise example of the stuff people shouldn't be saying. Now I'm sure you've heard that line used a lot and maybe even used it yourself. Using a disability to get a point across about not paying attention to something. To me it doesn't sound like much but bear in mind that I have near perfect vision and only wear reading glasses because I spend about 12 hours a day in front of a computer screen. But now that I think about (which in and of itself is a part of the problem) I can imagine someone who is blind would not appreciate someone using their disability in a witty turn of phrase.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

I caught a Jirachi!!!

Okay so I didn't catch it I got for free from WiFi distribution as part of a new event for Pokemon HeartGold and SoulSilver. That's right starting today until July 16th you can get a free Jirachi, a pokemon that has a history of being very hard to come by (in fact I think before this the only previous way to get one was from the Gamecube game Pokemon Coliseum).

So get out there and add this gem to your pokedex today!

Huckaby accepts plea deal and recieves life in prison without parole

A few weeks ago Melissa Huckaby(via Toy Soldier) took a plea bargain deal and accepted a sentence of life in prison with no possibility of parole in exchange for taking the death penalty off the table for the death of 8 year old Sandra Cantu. The deal also dropped the sexual abuse charges, charges in two unrelated drugging cases involving another Tracy girl and a Hayward man (whom police say was an ex boyfriend), and charges in an unrelated theft case.

Released court documents give some detail of crime.
...Melissa Huckaby drugged her 8-year-old neighbor, Sandra Cantu, and sexually assaulted her with a rolling pin before stuffing her body into a suitcase and throwing it into a Tracy irrigation pond last year.

Sandra"s body was found with a blood-soaked cloth knotted into a noose, and her official cause of death was listed as "homicidal asphyxiation,"...
A terrible fate for anyone, much less child.

As far as I can tell it looks like Huckaby guilty and am glad to see her punished for her crimes. Her spending the rest of her life in prison won't bring Sandra back but at least a vile criminal has been removed from the streets.

Gay marriage deemed not a universal right

The European Court of Human Rights rejected a bid by an Austrian couple to force the state to let them wed and has further ruled that European nations are not required to allow gay marriage.

Horst Michael Schalk and Johann Franz Kopf brought the case up saying that the country's policy against gay marriage was a violation of their human rights. The Court ruled unanimously that gay marriage rights are not such a violation. The judges commented that while “an emerging European consensus towards legal recognition of same-sex couples,” the form of said legal recognition is still left to the discretion of individual states.

Austria does legally recognize homosexual partnerships, but apparently there are differences between them and heterosexual marriages. To put it bluntly if there are any differences then its not right and it most certainly is a violation of human rights.

Its rulings like this that plainly tell homosexuals that they are not welcome because of one part of their identity. We can't just pick and choose what parts of people we accept and expect them to just allow the other parts to be ignored, ruled against, and discriminated against.

Friday, June 25, 2010

I would like to think Britsh Airways has learned its lesson...

If you recall a few months ago I talked about the sexist practice that British Airways undertook with its new policy stating that any man that is seated next to a child they don't know is asked move to another seat. (Pssst - The policy also says that the flight WILL NOT TAKE OFF until said man moves.)

Well it seems that British Airways will have to put its money where its mouth is in the case of Mr. Fischer.

Tracy Clark-Flory has a post up about the airline being ordered to pay him an out-of-court settlement totaling £2,911. But the best part is he donated all of the compensation, in addition to more out his own pocket, to the child protection organizations Kidscape and Orphans in the Wild. Not bad for a person, as far as British Airways is concerned, whose gender supposedly means he is lying in wait to abuse/molest/attack children during flights...in the open...in front of dozens of people...while attendants are patrolling the plane.

I'm glad to see Tracy swing for the fence on this:
As I acknowledged at the time, men are responsible for the majority of child sexual abuse cases, but, as Fischer hints at, you can't broadly base public policy on that fact. Not unless you're comfortable banning men from sitting or standing in close proximity to any unattended child.
(Mind you Fischer is in the UK whereas here in the States evidence shows that most child abuse is committed by women.) However the fact of the matter is the men who do abuse children are a small subset of men and it unfair to base policy on what a small subset of the group does. (Yeah imagine an airline in the States trying to pass a policy saying that women are not allowed to sit beside children they don't know.)

And then she takes another big swing:
What's more, strangers account for a minority of sexual abuse cases. If the airline policy were to accurately rely on sex-abuse stats, they would ban kids from sitting next to their own parents, relatives, family friends and casual acquaintances. Too often, we take child protection measures that ignore actual facts -- maybe because the facts are too unpleasant to face.
(Again this is in the UK but much like adult against adult abuse/rape here in the States the majority of it done by people who knew their victims.) She ends by saying that people ignore actual facts when talking about child protection because perhaps the facts are too hard to face. I think its that plus the fact that the people who generate and benefit from from the fear behind the threat to children stand to gain so much from it. Think about how many politicians have gone nuts with the old, "won't someone think of the children" argument.

But somewhat sadly while BA has admitted that what happened to Mr. Fischer was sexist and discriminatory they still maintain that the very policy that put him in this situation in the first place is not.

So exactly how much will it cost British Airways in lawsuits and revenue lost from bad publicity before they realize that this policy is sexist, wrong, discriminatory, and needs to be done away with? Well if the winnings keep getting donated to child protection organizations I'd almost say its worth finding out.

I tip my Fro to thee Tracy.

Other sources: Telegraph

Anti-woman behavior? I think not.

A few days ago after its loss to the American team during the World Cup soccer tournament Algerian player Rafik Saifi slapped reporter/writer Asma Halimi in front of several witnesses. Oh correction Saifi slapped female reporter/writer Asma Halimi. Yes apparently the important part isn't that a supposedly world class athlete behaved in a totally inappropriately violent manner by attacking someone unprovoked. The important part is that a supposedly world class athlete behaved in a totally inappropriately violent manner by attacking a woman. Do I even need to ask if this had been a man would the media be constantly reminding us that a male reporter/writer has been attacked or would he suddenly become a reporter/writer?

Well it seems that such a thing doesn't stop some from taking the anti-woman bias and running with it. Can't blame them. Playing up the victimhood of women sells and its a good way to get brownie points (even though from what I can tell there are women out there who are starting to catch onto this).

Run Ryan Brown (of Salon)! Run!

Alright in order to prove anti-woman sexism (or anti-man sexism) one would need to show at least some evidence that the person's gender had some part in why they were attacked by the assailant. So why did Saifi attack Halimi?
Apparently last year Halimi, who writes for the Algerian sports daily Competition, published a translation of an interview Saifi did with an Arabic paper in Qatar, revealing his engagement to a French woman.
Okay so what in that explaination points to Halimi's gender? From the sound of it he was pissed that someone spilled some personal info on him. How Brown goes on to mention that the info had already been spilled to by another source, from Saifi himself.

Now don't get me wrong he most certainly should not have attacked anyone like that, man or woman. I'm just having a hard time how this slap can be lumped in with:
...from British authorities encouraging women to avoid domestic violence by steering clear of their men after games (because, you know, when it comes to battering women, boys will be boys) to Spanish fans viciously blaming their defeat against Switzerland on the distracting influence of journalist Sara Carbonero, girlfriend of goalkeeper Iker Casillas (she was reporting from behind the net during the match). Oh yeah, and there was that whole bit where FIFA refused to make sex safer during the Cup by allowing the distribution of condoms at games.
Slapping a reporter you're pissed off with is not as gender specific as giving bogus advice on how to avoid violent men during the games, blaming the girlfriend of a player for a team's loss, or refusal to distribute condoms which would promote safe sex (sex that will certainly involve women).

But I'll tell you what Brown does a pretty nice looking job at bootstrapping this to violence against women. Thing is he had more than enough material for this article to stand alone without the serious and unbelievable stretch he made in order to get Saifi's attack in there.

In the end Saifi attacked a woman unprovoked and I would like to see him get punished for it. But its a bit dishonest to try to call this violence against women when the attacker has an established beef with the victim.

Why does there have to be a next King of Pop?

In case you've been under a rock you know that Micheal Jackson aka The King of Pop passed away a year ago today. I saw an article on CNN a few days ago talking about how the legacy he left behind still lives on in current artists in the form of how he influenced them (I wish I had kept the link but I can't find it again).

Well a short time after that while at work I went to the building across the street and was talking to one of the tellers and we were talking about Usher and he said how people are saying that he could one day be the next Micheal Jackson. I find that hard to believe.

Now don't get me wrong I think Usher has done some cool stuff (I especially like the West Side Story/Clockwork Orange/You Got Served vibe of My Way and the beat he used on You Don't Have To Call was the hotness) but just don't think he can take the throne. And I have one simple reason for this.

While Usher is hot (and not bad looking) most of what he is doing was heavily influenced by Jackson. Unless Usher can truly innovate in the realm of pop music in such a way that he can take it to an entirely new level, hell not just a new level but create a new game like Micheal did, I don't think he will be worthy of the title.

When Michael went solo and really broke out in the 80s he brought something to pop music that just was not there before. His dance moves. His sound. And Thriller. Say what you want about the man outside of music but there aren't many who have brought so much to the genre of pop.

To compare we aren't just talking about how Jay-Z dominated the rap game for a long time here. We are talking like something like what Elvis and Chuck Berry did for the early days of rock. We're talking something like how Aerosmith and Run DMC did the first major rock/rap collaboration. We aren't talking about driving over established ground in a nice car I'm talking breaking new ground here.

In order for Usher to really become the next King of Pop he will have to bring something new, major, big, and most importantly long lasting to the game.

The trick is that even if Michael had not come before him this would still be difficult simply because of the fact that others have come before him. Its hard to innovate when you are in an arena that has been occupied with so many people. However if he manages to pull it off this fact will make him even greater for being able to bring something new after all this time.

But when you get down to it if Usher were to do it should he just be called The New King of Pop? That really sounds like he is just living in Jackson's shadow. And while that might be an great shadow to live under who wants to be under a shadow when they could be in the light?

Thursday, June 24, 2010

How do you diffuse a standoff?

Alright so we're chatting things out over at Feminists Critics when something that's been on my mind for a while came up again.

How, when there are people on all sides of the debate are carrying wounds from interactions with people from other sides, can we really get together and hammer things out so that everyone has a fair say?

You got men and women harmed by sexism. You got gays and Lesbians harmed by homophobia. You got transgender people harmed by transphobia. You have people of all races harmed by racism. You have people with disabilities harmed by disablism. You have people of different classes treating people treating people of other classes in elitist ways. And the list goes on, and on, and on, and on, etc.....

When you have that much going on people on all sides are bound to get hurt by others. Just as sure as you are reading this now I'll bet you can think of some instance(s) in which someone hurt you (and not just physically either) or tried to hurt you because of some characteristic of you person. Those wounds are hard to forget and they don't fade easily, if ever in some cases.

Now on one hand I firmly agree that no one group or set of groups should be expected to just put their pain aside in order to accommodate others. I think that only leads to resentment which will lead to grudges which will lead to the continuation of the cycle of hatred. However on the other hand with the belief that everyone has a right to have their pain acknowledged and brought to the table to be dealt with how can prevent the human rights equivalent of World War 5? How can we help each other without it devolving into a shouting match over whose wounds should be addressed first or people on one side declaring that the wounds carried by people on another side don't matter?

Maybe its something that will just have to wear itself out over time. But traveling that path may lead to no resolution of hurt feelings. Perhaps the people carrying the wounds will have to resolve them some other way before coming to the table. But that seems like telling someone, "Go deal with your problems elsewhere because I don't want to hear them."

I'm just lost on this. The stalemate is getting boring. Well I'm saying this as I look at mudslinging matches I've seen and engaged in (got into a particularly nasty one a few weeks ago, even though I still stand by my statement that that vile and disgusting woman is not worth the internet space she takes up) with 20/20 hindsight but its true nonetheless.

All I can say is that the stalemates and shouting matches, while feeling good, won't bring final resolution to our issues.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Stay thirsty my friends

I've never even had a Dos Equis beer before (and I'll bet I wouldn't like it) but I really like some of the ads for them. The going theme is that this man is "The Most Interesting Man in the World" and while it seems to want to embody the traditional idea of machismo I have to admit that some of those ads offer interesting opinions and insights. Here's a few that I've seen and really like:


Lady Luck
Useful one indeed. A person should really be mindful of people who only seem to show up when the chips are up for you and I think by mentioning women and the fact that these ads is pretty much aimed toward straight guys he is sending an extra message about women who do such things. Yes there are deceitful men that a guy needs to watch out for but frankly speaking if said guy is heterosexual then there is no doubt that he needs to be on the lookout for a deceitful woman because she can come at him at a different, and possibly more damaging angle than any man can, romance. That opens the gate to playing with a man's heart and from there all kinds of damage can be done. So yes I agree that when it comes to at least heterosexual guys they should be mindful of a woman that only appears when they are winning.


Life
I really like the "live life to the fullest" message here.

Now I am by no means saying that the ads are perfect. First off some of the individual ads are pretty mean (like this one on tight pants). Second of all like I said at the top this seems to be an attempt at propping up one type of masculinity as "the" masculinity that all men (and no women) should follow. Anyone who knows me knows that's not how I roll. But unlike others I'll at least say that there is interesting advice to be had from that old traditional masculinity.

Its not all sunshine and rainbows

While this is about Father's Day I decided to keep it separate because frankly this days is not all sunshine and rainbows for for many fathers out there.

There are fathers out there who despite doing everything they thought was right aren't able to celebrate this day with the very people who made them fathers. There are fathers out there who, just like the children they are separated from, are victims of many destructive forces that take pleasure and profit from breaking the father/child bond. There are fathers out there who are fathers and will never know it. There are fathers out there who are fathers but will never get to meet the people who granted them that very title. There are fathers out there who have been literally cheated out of the joy of being fathers to their children by laws that not only turn a blind eye but at times even supported such immoral tactics.

To all the dads out there who are not able to engage in the highs and lows of being a father I just want to take this time to acknowledge your pain say that I'm sorry. I know those two words and the feelings behind them won't get you back into your children's lives but its all I have to offer in a world that doesn't acknowledge your sorrow.

Happy Father's Day

A day to honor dads indeed. (I'll even be nice and make this sentence the only reference to how Obama didn't go for the hat trick on attacking dads on Father's Day and actually spoke positively about dads today.) I want to take this time to tip my Fro to all the dads out there that are doing everything they can to be in their kids lives despite the forces working against them. I want to take this time to tip my Fro to all the dads out there who work hard to give their kids the best lives possible, even to the detriment of their own. I want to take this time to tip my Fro to all the dads that do their best to make sure the kids they raise grow up into the best adults possible. I want to take this time to tip my Fro to all the dads that are passing on their good virtues to future generations.

And most of all I want to take this time to tip my Fro in thanks to all the dads our there for being dads.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Wow!!! 500 Combo!!! And it only took 2 years!!!

Goodness my oh goodness me my precious corner turned two today and this is my 500th post. Which is kind of amazing since I just hit 200 posts at this same point last year. Speaking of the last year let's take a look back. Here's one post from each month since Jun 19th of last year.

June 29, 2009 - Well Actually They Are Out There: My response to a Courtney Martin article that seems to push the idea that in order for men to gain for themselves we need to play second fiddle to women.

July 24, 2009 - Echoes From the Computer Room: The first in an admittedly sporadic line of posts about work.

August 17, 2009 - Because there is no way a child would want a fit father right?: Canadian Justice Minister Rob Nicholson attempt at misdirection when it comes to parenting.

September 30, 2009 - Does it really matter if he acknowledges or denies the photos?: Wondering what a mayor's taste in clothing has to do with his ability to be a mayor.

October 6, 2009 - Unless We're Talking About The Body Part...: I'm done with associating unlikable jerk-like behavior with a part of male anatomy.

November 23, 2009 - This Is What Feminism Is Talking About: Just wanting to make sure that Nadya Suleman's actual name goes in the history books instead her being remembered only as "Octomom".

December 26, 2009 - So this is how far we've come with Domestic Violence awareness?: Asking why if people take DV so seriously why do people still act like female against male violence is not only not a big deal but something that should be cheered on and encouraged.

January 23, 2010 - To The Devil With This Expectation: My experiment with shaving the hair under my arms. You'll notice that takes you to Ethcofem, a place where I co-blog. Go check it out and show April some love.

February 26, 2010 - I am so glad Biurny Peguero didn't get that deal.: Biurny Peguero is a women who, after sending a man to prison for a rape that didn't happen, finally offered to tell the truth...under the condition that she get immunity from prosecution. Thankfully she didn't get the deal.

March 1, 2010 - No Fat is not the same as Nigger.: Why are people so obsessed with "_____ is the new ____" statements? People are trying way to hard to be hip.

April 6, 2010 - A bit closer...: I'm starting to question the way people throw around the word "patriarchy" so much. To quote a famous swordsman on a quest for revenge, "I don't think it means what they think it means."

May 17, 2010 - Being A Guy And Being A Virgin: Shedding some light on the life of being a male virgin.

June 2, 2010 - His body, his choice?: In terms of male birth control some people just can't handle the idea of men having more options that condoms and not having sex.

So there you have it folks that's some of what I've been up to for the last year. Here's to hoping that I continue on my path to find my way, learn and hopefully teach the basics of human rights, and cross paths with others doing the same.

Take it easy folks.

Friday, June 18, 2010

A broken bond that may never be mended

All to often we hear about how dads have it easy when it comes to parenting and how moms have it so hard. Talking about how when it comes to parenting men have the easy choice of walking out the door when women don't (this is one of those times when pro-choicers seem to go mysteriously quiet). How dads aren't held to unfair standards and all that. There it one big problem with those presumptions.

They absolutely ignore the men who fight tooth and nail against vindictive mothers and morally bankrupt courts to get even the smallest bit of time with their kids.

These are the men that the mainstream media and the anti-male/anti-dad crowd don't want to talk about because actually lifting a finger to help them would mean that maybe, just maybe, that they need to rethink their presumptions which are based more on gender than performance.

So while telling this man's story won't probably won't change any minds and the people who do as I describe above will try to write this off as not happening very often or by some other tactic I still think this story just needs to be told.

For the last 10 years Gerardo Serrano has been trying to get back into his son Mycah's life. But that is very hard to do when Gerardo is in America and Mycah is in Poland.

Gerardo Serrano and Joanna were in a relationship when little Mycah was born in 1995. Gerardo and Joanna broke up a short time after. The pair were engaged in a custody battle when in 1999 Joanna, who was not an American citizen, fled for her home country of Poland with Mycah in tow.

Over the years Serrano went to Poland to visit his son but since Polish courts had awarded custody to Joanna he was never able to be alone with him. But over time Mycah became hesitant and eventually grew tired of the visits. What can you expect from a kid that only got to see his dad a few times a year at the most?

Now you would think that this is bad enough it actually manages to get worse. All of this has happened despite having a court order awarding him custody. You think that's it? No.

Not only did Joanna take Mycah away under circumstances that basically amount to kidnapping and then have a Polish court award her custody Joanna has petitioned for child support from Gerardo. Now here's another hit.

She got it.

Yes a woman who kidnapped her son and took him away to a country to that signed the Hague Convention Treaty (meaning that children who are illegally brought into that country are supposed to be returned) managed to file for child support with the Polish government to collect funds from him and the department of Department of Healthcare and Family Services in Serrano's county froze his account. And to sneak in another hit his account was frozen without him even getting a hearing to contest it.

Serrano and his lawyers have managed to get a hearing on the matter in August but according to them it looks like the matter will end up in court.

At this point Serrano has not seen Mycah in two years yet he still calls on a regular basis.
"I call every Sunday, but he hangs up on me," Serrano said.
Joanna took Mycah away when he was about 4 years old and now he would be about 14. At that age, after 10 years away from Gerardo, is it really any surprise that his son would not want to talk to him? I wonder what exactly Joanna has been telling Mycah about his father during all that time?

But neverminding that I have to say that the saddest part in this is how this article ends.
"If I would have known this was going to happen, I would have kidnapped him and returned home with him. I came in with my hands clean, and I thought justice would be served," he said.

He plans to move to a farm he owns in Kentucky.

"This thing broke me," he said of the kidnapping case. "I pretty much just want to be left alone now. I'm tired."
This man went into this thinking that justice would prevail. And it looks like it has, just not the way he imagined it. (I guess you could say that both justice and history have been written by the winner.) But at the end of a 10 year battle a vindictive mother and an immoral court system has seemingly successfully alienated a child from his father.

I'll go on record now saying that if he had gone to Poland and kidnapped his son and brought him back, which I would understand him wanting to but glad he didn't, nearly every law enforcement agent and court between here and Poland would have chipped in to bring him "to justice". But since it was the other way around no one cares and some probably think she was right to do what she did.

So as Father's Day comes up this Sunday and you are reading all these posts/articles that are popping up to attack dads (a thing most of them would not dare do around Mother's Day), listening to Obama attack dads for the third year in a row (while not lifting a finger to help dads like Serrano), and listening to/reading people who are declaring that fathers are privileged (while ignoring the female privileges that let Joanna pull this off) and have the easy way out of parenting I want you to think about this dad (and I'll bet he isn't the only one) who is about to spend his 10th, of what seems to be a very long line of, Father's Days without the person who made him a father.


Tip of the Fro to Robert Franklin.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Theater Thursday: Martian Successor Nadesico

Spoiler Warning - Okay as the title says I'm going to be talking about a movie/show. Despite the fact that my Theater Thursday posts are more discussion than review I will be talking about what goes on during the movie and doing so I will inevitably bring up specific details about said movie. If I bring up specific details about a movie that you haven't seen yet this is what you call a spoiler. Now its up to you and your taste in movies to decide if you don't want to read said spoiler. So now that I have explained a spoiler I warn you. This post contains specific details about the movie mentioned in the title of this post that you may not want to read. Tread carefully.

Hey folks it that time again. This time I want to talk about justice.

According to Wikitionary on definition of justice:
The state or characteristic of being just or fair.


Sounds simple right? To promote the idea that what is fair and right should overcome that which is unfair and evil. When you are only thinking about your perspective you probably have no problem with thinking that your cause is just and the other side(s) is wrong and must be dealt with. Well what happens when you sense of justice collides with that of the other side(s)? That is what happens late in the anime series Martian Successor Nadesico (which I will simply call Nadesiso from here).

Nadesico is an anime series that starts out with a simple premise. The humans that much up the population of Earth are at war with the Jovians. The Jovians are a race of space lizards that are intent on destroying humanity...or so you're led to believe.

About half way through the series (the whole series is 26 episodes with a movie that takes place 2 years after the end of the series) it is discovered that the Jovians are not a race of space lizards but are in fact human as well. It turns out that 100 years before the start of the series a small portion of humanity was forced away from Earth and over time they made their way to the deep reaches of space. While in said deep reaches they discover the technology of an alien race and use it to wage a war to take back the home they were cast from. That begs one question. How is it that the characters of the series didn't know this?

That's because when the Jovians were forced from Earth that little part of history was removed. So in a literal example of "history is written by the winners" most everyday Joes and Janes never knew about this. Well its then the characters and Jovians have one thing in common, their love for the anime series Gekigengar (yes we're talking an anime within an anime, serious). Not only do the Jovians love the series but they model their society by it and one of their strongest principles is justice. A point of commonality right?

No quite.

After expressing their love for the show by way of having a GekigenFest (mind you these people are on a spaceship a few thousand light years from Earth and they are having what's basically an anime convention) both sides agree that in the name of justice they will come to terms and end the war. Problem is the terms that the Jovians offer are not quite those of a peace treaty but those of an unconditional surrender.

Surely a society that is just and right would not demand an opposing side give up their planet and all natural resources would they?

In the end it all comes down to one's idea of justice. For some it may be that all sides live in peace. For others it may mean total subjugation and obedience from other sides. For others still it may mean absolute annihilation of others.


Take it easy folks.

Im pretty sure this is what feminists are talking about

You thought I had forgotten about the "This is what feminism is talking about" posts didn't you? Nah. Just hadn't used them in a while. But I think I just found a good reason to blow the dust off of it.

Okay sex in and of itself is a hot button topic in gender discourse and the ante goes up quite a bit when you mention sex for money. I'm gonna go straight to it.

Is there a such thing as consensual prostitution?

Now yes there are certainly people in this world who are forced into sex work by others and I am not questioning that. However to leap from there to claiming that sex work can never be consensual is bit much. And it looks like someone over at Toy Soldier's place jumped:
Men and women who pay prostitutes for “sex” are raping those prostitutes, whether those prostitutes are men, women, children, transgendered, transsexual, or queer.

There is no such thing as non-coercive prostitution. Prostitution is coercive. Coercive sex is rape. The end.

Now this is pure speculation (because the commenter in question is pretty much a coward and is claiming "I’m not a feminist 101 resource, and I certainly don’t believe you’re asking those questions in good faith. As you’ve been over this ground before, elsewhere, with many a radfem back in the blog we’ve in common, I’ll refer you to those discussions. Cheers.") but I get the feeling I know where this person was going.

You see like I said sex is a powder keg and adding "for money" is a lighter. I wonder if this person was trying to imply that even people who engage in sex work for money of their own will are only doing of their "own will" as in they really only agreed to do it because they had no other choice.

I have a small problem with that. Who is to say that sex is such a special act that no one could possibly choose to engage in it for money unless they had no other choice? What is so wrong about the idea that someone, man or woman, may have other options but choose to engage in sex work? If I quit my IT job tomorrow and because a sex worker does that men I didn't choose it? And speaking of other jobs here's another thought. I perform IT work for money. Does that mean that I'm not consenting to helping people solve their technical problems because I'm going it for money? What's the difference between my IT skills and sex in terms of money?

Why would anyone try to hold sex up on such a pedestal that implies that as soon as money comes into the equation consent goes out the window?

I'm sure that most reasonable people would agree that such a thing is not so and I'm pretty sure that even a reasonable feminist would not jump to the conclusion that money means sex can't be consensual.

Under Construction....part godzillion and three

Alright had some folks saying they were having a hard time reading my corner. Can't have that now can we? Made some more color tweaks, which are quite....challenging when you don't have the preview ability. (Don't ask its some sort of error that comes up when I try to preview.)

Take a look around. Try things out. Poke. Prod. Let me know what's up.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

"Proof of stereoypes" or "I think I'm starting to lose faith in statistics"

I came across a post at Salon today.

The post is about a study recently published in the British Medical Journal on fat men and women and their sex lives. It would seem that according to the 10,000 men and women that fat women were about 30% less likely than "normal sized" women to have had sex in the last year whereas fat men seemed to have still had sex in about the same numbers as "normal sized" men.

Like I'm sure a lot of people have and are the writer of that post, Christine Mathias, seems to have gone straight to the conclusion that women are more accepting of fat men that men are of fat women (a very heteronormative presumption to say the least) but I'm not sure its that cut and dry. Sure there are folks that want to point to this as some sort of "In your face! Men ARE shallow!" but think about this for a bit.

When it comes to sex there are a few forces at work.

First off there are the forces of what The System presses on men and women when it comes to who we are attracted to. Men are impressed upon to be attracted to a specific type of woman. This specific woman must be the "right" shape, size, age, skin color, etc... (which is half of a pair of mixed signals that haunt male sexuality). I highly doubt that one can say that this does not influence men's tastes in women.

Second when it comes to sex we as me are expected to have as much sex as possible for that is supposedly a sign of one's manhood. I'll tell you from experience that this can and does temp guys to lie upward about how much sex they have. Yes I know it sounds terrible but I actually used to lie about having sex. Mind you it wasn't the over bragging that most teen guys do but let's just say that when someone made an assumption about my sex life I was in no big rush to correct them. But now that I've grown up a bit I realize there is not point in it. I don't advertise it but if someone asks I have no problem telling them. I've even worked up the nerve to actually correct assumptions. But enough about me. Believe me when I say that while its bad enough for "normal" guys to feel the need to verify their manhood being a fat has a bit of a twist to it. Getting ostracized by the "normal" guys and girls can pressure one into wanting to prove they are a "normal" but like the other guys. In short I honestly wonder if some of those fat guys (hell the "normal sized" guys too) lied upward about how much sex they've had.


Just wondering.

Pains, Triggers, and Automobiles

Okay so that wasn't the most clever title, trying to lighten the mood a bit.

This actually started earlier today at work. I was talking to coworker today about our dead parents (her dad and my mom) and pain associated with those events. During the conversation I managed to dig up a grudge that I had developed, kinda buried, and never really dealt with. I'll get back to that in a bit.

This evening when I get home I see this post by Sparky about anger. His post is about anger as a marginalized person (something that I dare say damn near every person alive knows) but the topic of anger triggered something in me. Back to the grudge.

You see when my mom was diagnosed with cancer I was away in college. A few months after I had left (but not graduated) I had a phone conversation with my dad in which he was talking about how we were going to have to keep and eye on here and help her and all that. My mom was a strong independent woman and really wasn't for people doing things for her so I knew something was up. So I just called for all the cards to be laid out and flatly asked, "She's sick isn't she?"

The problem with this conversation is that it was taking place in June-July but she was diagnosed back in February-March. See the problem? Yeah that's not all. To make it worse not only was I figuring it out on my own several months after the fact apparently literally the rest of the family knew about it except for me. Yeah my dad told me that she didn't want me to find out about it while I was away at college and didn't have anyone up there with me (my younger sister was still at home and my other sibling are married so they "had someone with them").

That's the point where my soul started to go empty.

No matter how many times I run that reasoning through my head it still only sounds like an excuse. I mean my mother was dying of cancer and the rest of the family knew about it while I'm toiling away at college none the wiser.

That's the point where the my trust and love for my family faded. And frankly no even after all this time it still hasn't been restored.

How can you expect someone to just "get over it" when the it is something so damn huge? Well that's just what my dad expects me to. That's why I don't even bring it up with my family anymore. As far as they're concerned I'd be the jerk for having the fucking gall to get pissed over having a major family illness hidden from me for several months and only finding out about it when I did because I figured it out on my own. That's just a sense of betrayal I just haven't managed to get over...and probably never will.

That's the point where the grudge was born.

Monday, June 14, 2010

All is good on the eastern front....I think

Okay after playing around, blowing things up, fixing things, blowing them up again, and so on I think I finally have the blog up and running properly. I like the new layout options but they seem to actually cause the page to load more slowly (nod to any dial up users, drop a line if you're having problems accessing the site).

Everything seems to be fine. I've tested by looking at the site while not logged into Blogger (meaning I see it just as you, average Joe/Jane user would see it) and it looks okay.

However I don't pretend to be perfect so if you notice something I missed drop a comment or send me a line at sanguine - dream - at - gmail - dot - com.

Working on being a man pt.2

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

A week or so ago I did a post on the subject of being a man in today's world. I think it's prudent to revisit this from time to time. Last time I was talking about sexuality (but I may very well come back to it another day) and today I want to talk about violence.

Let me get something out of the way. Yes most violence is committed by men so spare me the attempts at claiming I'm denying it. Now that that is out of the way let's get to it.

The odd thing I notice is that when talking about stopping violence people seem to suddenly go into this state where the only violence they talk about is male against female violence. While it is important to talk about and deal with the violence that men commit against women I think there is a bit of a flaw going on with how it is addressed.

If you look at groups like Men Can Stop Rape, NOMAS, and XYOnline you'll see that they focus almost entirely on the violence that men commit (and frankly I think XY is borderline hate speech against men) to the exclusion of all other types of violence. Sure they talk a good game about how men need to change and how we need to make ourselves better allies to women/girls. You know the usually fluff you would see from anyone trying to schmooze up to feminism. But I think that in all their talk about wanting to get men to change I think they are starting their efforts too late in life.

As I have said in the past if we really want to do something about violent men that one key (well at least I think its key) I think that needs to be addressed is the violence that a lot of these men suffered when they were children.

There are studies out there that show that people who abuse were abused themselves (there seems to be conflicting evidence as to whether most of that abuse is at the hands of women or men but that's not the point the point is they were abused as kids) at some point in their past. This needs to be confronted and dealt with. There are examples of the current literature that not on pays no attention to such thing but actively dismisses them. How do you expect someone who is lashing out to act when you tell them that their past pain is just an excuse? If they have become abusive then chances are they have already internalized their abused and concluded that lashing out in the form abusing others is the only way to "make things right" for what they went through.

When a man comments that he was abused as a child chances are that is a cry for help. And being a man chances are this is a cry for help that has largely gone unanswered due to the horribly misguided and damaging belief that boys aren't abused (part of the messed up myth of masculinity). As I've said before his unanswered cries may manifest themselves in the form of abusing others.

I think for the sake coming to terms with the abuse they suffered and thus ending the cycle of violence they are trapped in and passing on to future victims (not to mention the direct damage to their victims) I think one of the crucial steps to ending the violence that men commit is giving them the voice they never had and giving their pain the attention it never received.

Like I said before we get to grilling men/boys on how they can be allies to women/girls and end the pain some of them are causing them men/boys need to be able to confront, and hopefully overcome, the pain they have been carrying with them for so long. Help men/boys help themselves and then we can go on to help others.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Under construction...part godzillion and one

Okay in my efforts to straighten out the commenting situation I seem to have totally killed the ability to comment altogether.

I'll keep you posted.

Under construction...part godzillion

If you've looked in the last day or so you'll see I've been made some changes again. You can thank Blogger for releasing new ways to customize and alter layouts. So far the only thing that looks out of place is the commenting section. It seems that the JS-Kit commenting form has been overwritten by the default Blogger comment screen. I'm gonna check things out but in the meantime keep an eye out for any other weirdness.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Apparently they are still having trouble with it.

A while back I did a little venting over the thought that feminists have monopoly over the idea of equality for all people. It would seem I need to say it again.

I'll get back to the main subject of the post another day but there is one part I need to pick a bone with now:
In one of my sociology lectures, which held in excess of 100 students, the professor asked everyone in the class who was a feminist to raise their hand.

I observed as several females raised their hand in support. One lone male did the same, garnering grins and laughs from his fellow male counterparts. Apparently, showing open support for equality in gender is not cool, and certainly not macho.


Okay folks say it with me. Feminists are NOT the only ones who stand up for gender equality and to say that they are is a massive disservice to those of us who are not feminist, erases our efforts, and makes anyone who believes this a hypocrite.

Alright lets try this another way. Slight word change.

"In one of my technology lectures, which held in excess of 100 students, the professor asked everyone in the class who was a geek to raise their hand.

I observed as several females raised their hand in support. One lone male did the same, garnering grins and laughs from his fellow male counterparts. Apparently, being interested in computers is not cool, and certainly not macho."

Yeah that doesn't work because everyone who likes computers don't identify as geeks.

Don't recognize the difference? I'll tell you. The difference is "being interested in computers" and "showing open support for equality in gender is not cool" are ideals while "geek" and "feminist" are labels. While some(because there are negative and hateful ones out there) feminists do stand up for equality there are a lot of us who don't.

I'm a not a feminist and I want equality for all people. Renee is a womanist and she wants equality for all people. Daran is not a feminist and he wants equality for all people. Glenn and Robert are MRAs and they want equality for all people. I'll bet they wouldn't be so quick to attribute a negative behavior to a single group (like say only Nazis hate people who aren't like them). And I'll bet there are more out there that I haven't named here. Rest assure there are a lot of us out here standing up for equality for all people and we are doing outside the banner of feminism.

I know it might be hard for feminists to face the fact that they can't make the title feminist synonymous with equality and make non-feminist synonymous with against equality but they need to get over themselves. And we will all be better off once they realize that.

Echoes from the Computer Room: Jerks you say?

You know know why IT staffers appear to be inconsiderate jerks? Because of the stuff they have to put up with from end users.

In my time of surfing around the net and through my own actual experience there are a lot of people that think IT staff are a bunch of holier then thou greater than thee jerks. Let me tell you, end users (the people we help) aren't perfect angels in this seemingly eternal grudge match.

Now let me establish a difference here. There is a big difference between someone simply not knowing something or not having the authority to do something. Those are things that can't be helped. Let's take Microsoft Word for example. On one hand if you need it installed on your pc of course you're going to call us and have it installed for you. On the other hand when you have it installed and then you turn around and call me asking how to spell a word (and yes I have seriously had people call my Help Desk asking how to spell words, with MS Word and its spell check at their fingertips) of course I'm not going to take kindly to it. Or how about passwords. The phone banking setup at my bank allows customers to call in and check their account balances and transfer funds. The PIN for this system is a four digit number. Okay I understand that every once in a while anyone can forget their PIN but if you need to call in and have it unlocked and reset once a week I start to wonder.

But my personal favorites are the ones that think they are the center of the universe and if I'm not helping them right that instant then that MUST me I'm doing absolutely nothing and should devote all of my attention to them. That's a numerical impossibility. In my own company there are over 300 employees. Guess how many IT staff we have. Six but mind you 1 of those six has been out with serious health issues for the last 2 months (and projected to be out for the next 3), another of those six is actually a night time data processor meaning she only works nights, and one is actually assigned to work on projects (mainly working on introducing new software) meaning he is not around on a regular daily basis. So its actually 300 to 3.

That means I'm fighting 100 to 1 odds here.

Now while the numbers may not be the same in all IT staffs that ration is only going to close so much because when it comes to spending money and earning money IT departments probably spend more than any other department and make none. But remember all that money we're spending is being spent on for other departments.

This rant isn't meant to just let all you IT staffers off the hook but next time before you go into a profanity ridden tirade against them think about their situation for a bit. Think about their day. And realize that you aren't the only one that may be wanting to unleash a profanity ridden tirade.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Stuck in my head

Don't you hate it when you get a song stuck in your head and can't get it out for the life of you? Yeah I was walking home this evening and had my mp3 player going and this song came up.


Threads of Fate - Fancy Mel

What you are listening to is the theme music of a character named Fancy Mel. Who is Fancy Mel you ask? Well she is a horribly dressed mage from the video game Threads of Fate that you have to seek advice from. For some reason I imagine faeries dancing when I listen to this.

Enjoy

Yet another reason why I don't watch "reality" tv

Just when I thought that networks were done trying to stigmatize dads here comes another. But unfortunately this one has already made it to the air.

Robert Franklin has a post up about a new "reality show" called "Dad Camp" playing on VH1.
The set-up is this: six couples - none of them married, all of them young - have experienced an "unintended pregnancy." The women are all preparing to have what seems to be the first child for each; the guys are all absurdly immature, not ready to be fathers, not ready to give up partying and cheating. They all get together at a large house hosted by Dr. Jeff Gardere whose mission it is to change these guys into responsible fathers in 30 days.


I supposed that since we are closing in on June 20, that's Father's Day, its no surprise that such a show would come up. The show (there is a link over at Robert's post) even plays a small bit of one of Obama's speeches in which he specifically attacks men/dads (which again given Obama apparent tradition of going to a church and bashing men/dads on Father's Day its no surprise) so I'm sure we can fully see what's going to happen here and the show doesn't seem to deviate from that expectation. That expectation, cashing in on father's not being in their kids lives all dressed up as an attempt to address the issue (yeah and the brains behind Biggest Loser are really only doing it to inspire people to lose weight).

But probably even worse than that something else. At the end of the 30 days the each of the 6 women will make a choice, keep him or kick him to the curb depending on the guy's performance (yes I mean performance not grow/change because this is really all about parading these guys around, regardless of the horrible stereotypes it reinforces). So what's going on here? Women's parental rights are automatic and non challenged whereas men have to earn their parental rights and prove they are worthy.

I like Robert's ending:
We doggedly cling to the notion that mothers should exercise power over fathers' rights. We see that all the time and yet it never occurs to us that it might have anything to do with paternal irresponsibility. Beginning at conception we tell fathers in countless different ways, "you're not important; you don't know what you're doing; you're dangerous to your children and their mother; she can get along fine without you" and then we're outraged when fathers learn the lesson.

When men are constantly bombarded with messages that tell us we are by virtue of our gender we are bad parents and we see time and time again cases in which mothers taking it upon themselves to determine a dad's rights are backed by The System is it any wonder when men start to buy into it?

Monday, June 7, 2010

Making a rude comment means you deserve to get shot

It would seem that someone has gone and made a game called Hey Baby in which you play as a woman carrying a gun and the objective is to kill guys who make rude comments at you and catcall you.

Oh I can just hear the people who argue against the killing of prostitutes in Grand Theft Auto III go absolutely silent on this.

Thing is its no better than what players could do in GTAIII. In fact you could argue that its worse considering that GTAIII was an actual video game that had a plot, story, and characters and the killing of prostitutes was a part of a larger game. On the other hand this Hey Baby title is solely about shooting guys for making rude comments. Yes saying something rude to a woman means you deserve to get shot. Now don't get me wrong I certainly agree that catcalling and rude commentary are totally disrespectful and wrong. But to go from a nasty comment to shooting someone?

I'm sure the arguing on the blogs will be interesting over this one.

What a pamphlet

So I'm at the clinic today waiting to get my ear checked and I have some time to burn. And just like most people waiting at a doctor's office/clinic they spend time checking the random health pamphlets. I saw one for a local DV Hotline and decided to take a look. And I have to say that going by the material in it as a man I would not feel comfortable going to this place for help.

The first paragraph is dedicated to the question "What is Domestic Violence?" Not that big a deal right? It proceeds to go downhill.

The next section is literally titled, "Why does he do that?". First paragraph of that section:
Yes, women can be abusers, too, but research show that males are responsible for 95% of all domestic abuse. So why does he do it? Because he can!

Okay while I only spent a few minutes looking I could find no source for this claim. Not only that but I find it pretty dismissive of the "Oh yeah" attitude of the fact that women can be abusers too. Like I say it doesn't sound like a very welcoming environment for men abused by women. And from here the pamphlet takes a very gendered slant.

It gets a little funny after than. In the same section:
Some people believe we have domestic violence because our social history is patriarchal. They say both women and men's belief in male privilege and entitlement has resulted in tolerance for men's use of violence, threats and intimidation toward their partners and the idea that it is OK for one partner to dominate the other.
Translation: It's all men's fault. This section completely disregards any and all reasons that a man may be abusive. Not just disregard them them actually calls them excuses. Such "excuses" include:
"She pushed my buttons."
"She knows how I feel."
"I was abused as a child."
"My dad abused my mom."
"Its only when we drink."
(emphasis by me)

Okay I don't know about you but the first two I emphasized definitely have more than "I'm a man and its my right to control women." behind them and the third more than likely does too (I'd be curious about he seems to drink so much that he becomes abusive). As for the first one I emphasized this is most certainly not a matter of some male privilege or entitlement. He was abused so he therefore becomes abusive. It could be that his abuse led him to think abusing someone you supposedly love is okay. It could be that he was abused as a kid and has concluded that he will take it out on the people in his life. This pamphlet doesn't even bother to attempt to look below the surface on abusive men.

The next section, called "Why does she stay?" seems to do a decent job on addressing the fears of abused women which I suppose is a good thing sine this pamphlet is pretty much starting off declaring that the only DV that really happens is male against female.

I can also get along with the third section called, "How are children affected?".

The fourth section, called "Abuse - A crime or not?" is a completely gendered mess. "Destroying property he owns....", "...who thinks she may be next.", "...his requiring her to assume all the debt."

While it is certainly true that women are abused by men in large numbers with biased literature I am really not surprised that abused men (especially those abused by women) are hesitant to report their abuse and seek help. Which in turns keeps the information and stats on abused men low or short to come by which in turn allows people to pull stuff like claiming "...males are responsible for 95% of all domestic abuse...".

Like I say if I were being abused I would not be comfortable going to this place for help.



As a sidenote I've seen folks here and there talk about how they conducted a bit of a survey checking to see if the shelters in a certain area actually offers aid and support to male abuse victims. I would very much like to check this shelter but at the same time it would be rude and tacky to call their help line which is reserved for actual emergencies. Looks like I may have to find another number for this place...

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Working on being a man

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

I submitted this post to a new project known as Hack Gender, a project meant to examine, explore, poke, prod, question, and otherwise look at gender.

Point blank the boys and men of today's world need help. We are kept down under the oppressive heel of The System and pressured into being something that we don't want to be. Often the forms of help that I see for men/boys is something that is help for boys/men buried under the main goal of making sure men/boys treat women/girls right. Now don't get me wrong such a thing is important but I think that if we really want to help men/boys we have to go back further than just how we relate to women/girls. I guess what I'm saying is that before we to how boys/men treat women/girls we first need to address men/boys themselves.

Now one thing to keep in mind is that the idea of helping men/boys help themselves first and foremost seems like a vaccum and I suppose it is. But to paraphrase the old saying how can you help others if you can't help yourself. Take sexual attraction for example.

Yes it is important that boys/men learn not to be rude to and catcall girls/women but I think it would help to go a bit deeper. Where is the pressure for such behavior coming from? Well from my own experience it comes from different places. (Mind you these are not in any order.) First you have a society that tells men that in order for them to matter they have to be overtly sexual to the point of being rude. Second you have women/girls who re-enforce such behavior by responding to it positively (or perhaps negatively to other types of behavior). Third you have men/boys themselves who participate in such behavior thinking its the right thing to do. All these in an effort to maintain the idea of what "a real man's" sexuality is supposed to be about.

It seems to me that the way to helping men/boys with this is to help them realize that they don't have to give in to what society, men, or even some women say male sexuality is supposed be about. What if I'm not the type that is overt? What if I'm more subtle? Hell what if I don't like women at all and would rather be flirting with men? What I'm getting at is that instead of drilling stuff into the heads of men/boys I think the first major step is to lift the expectations of what male sexuality is about and give ourselves the room and freedom to learn and explore before barraging them with a bunch of dos and don'ts.

Why work on lifting the burden rather than pelting them with more advice? Because it will give each man/boy a chance to learn and explore their own sexuality in their own way. Hell I've been trying to get a reign on my own sexuality for the last few years and the jury is still out on it.

You know if I were any good with kids I would try to set up some sort of support group where boys could come and speak and ask freely. Away from The System, away from women, and away from the damage we've pretty much fooled ourselves into doing to ourselves. Just wipe the slate clean, start fresh and work from there.

This might be a pondering worth revisiting one day.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Come on...


Brought to you by Economist's View. Remember what the future may hold when you make clever ads.

Conference on DV Against Men to be Held in London, Ontario, June 5th

(I'm sure Robert Franklin won't mind me copying his title.)

In fact for something as major as trying to raise up awareness of domestic violence against men (yeah folks all DV is not male against female and the female victims aren't the only ones that need help) I don't think he'll have a problem with me just copying his post word for word.



Here is the information on a conference to be held in London, Ontario on domestic violence as it affects men. It's in memory of Officer David Lucio who was on the London police force when he was murdered by his girlfriend who was also a police officer. Interestingly enough, when the London chief of police made his quarterly report on domestic violence homicides for the quarter in which the Lucio murder occurred, he reported no DV homicides even though the Lucio murder was exactly that.

Domestic Violence Awareness Day

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Wolf Performance Hall

251 Dundas Street, London, Ontario

5:30 P.M. - 9:30 P.M.

Attend a conference devoted to exploring the rarely talked about reality of
domestic violence against men.

Government and the media want you to believe it only happens to women.
It’s time to come hear the truth and finally separate fact from fiction.

With years of political experience and legal knowledge between them,
these dynamic speakers have all had inside access as to how men are
really viewed by our government and legal system, and after June 5th, so
will you. A Q&A session will follow each presenter’s discussion.

Doug Lucio will also be speaking in honor of his son David Lucio.

Following the conference, a candle-lit vigil will be held in order to help
raise public awareness of violence against men, which will also include
a walk to the London Police Station in honour of David Lucio.

Presented by
London Equal Parenting Committee
Tickets will be available at the door
or can be purchased online at
canadianepc.com
You can also contact Brad
Phone: 519-614-8713
Email: lepcinfo@gmail.com
Web: canadianepc.com/lepc
Cost: $20/person

Speakers will be:

Born in Sarnia, Mr. Gallaway holds a BA from the University of Western Ontario and an LLB from the University of Windsor. He practiced law before entering political life, initially as Mayor of Point Edward (1991) and subsequently as the Member of Parliament from 1993 to 2006. Gallaway was a Committee Chair in the House of Commons, a Parliamentary Secretary and was made a Queen’s Privy Councillor by the Governor-General in 2003. In 1998 he was the Commons’ Chair of the Special Joint Committee of the House and the Senate on custody and access which produced the report entitled For the Sake of the Children. He now teaches and does foreign development work for Sarnia’s Lambton College.

Grant A. Brown has a BA (Hons.) and M.A. in philosophy from the University of Waterloo. A DPhil in political philosophy from Oxford University, and an LL.B. from the University of Alberta. He taught business and professional ethics, business-government relations, and political philosophy (among other courses) at the University of Lethbridge from 1990 to 1999. From 2003 to 2008, he practiced law, focusing on family law, in Edmonton, Alberta. He is currently a free-lance author and home renovator. Dr. Brown has published widely, both in academic and popular presses, particularly on topics related to political philosophy and gender issues. His forthcoming book is called "Deadbeat Judges: How Courts Separate Children from their Fathers."

Marty McKay obtained a Ph.D. and post-doctoral qualifications in psychology and has over 30 years of experience in working within the court systems both in Canada and the U.S. Her professional experience with interpersonal violence dates back to 1975 when she began consulting to Children's Aid Societies throughout southwestern Ontario and to women's shelters. In her work, she accumulated case history data which demonstrated that violent behaviour was a problem which was not gender specific. Her message has
been that, in order to deal with interpersonal violence, it is important that objective data, rather than politically convenient myths, be used for formulation of public policy in order to effectively combat violence and to promote justice.



NPR + Auto Tune = Hell Yeah!

Okay to be exact the vid is about several internet trends but the Auto Tune bit is the funny.



Courtesy of Gizmodo.

Oh the answer to that is simple....

When talking about the barrage of products that are marketed for so-called feminine hygiene there is often some side remark complaining about how men don't get barraged in such a manner. Maybe its by design but these remarks usually come across in a "men have it better than women" tone and then dropped at that as if that is all there is to it. I was reading a post at RedVinylShoes that pretty much does the same thing.
Something tells me society doesn’t care if a male-identified person’s junk stinks. Or at least, no one shames them into worrying about their junk stink.
You know why men aren't shamed about their genital smells (and I just want to point out how not just in that post but in society in general that male genitals are so lovingly referred to as "junk", yeah no problems there...)? Its because we are told that having those smells is part of being "a real man".

Now don't get this mixed up with "its just a natural part of being male so there is nothing to be worried about". No I'm talking about this "real men are rugged, stink, and don't care about smelling like flowers" attitude that is just starting to fall (but given the way Axe ads are I'm not sure its much better).

Ever noticed how most body products like soap, wash, and spray that are marketed to men seem to go out of their way to reassure men that its okay to smell nice while making sure we know that using a body wash doesn't mean we will turn into a woman? That's because unlike women who are force fed the societal message that smelling good is the norm and that having any odor, no matter how natural it is, is a disgusting deviation men are force fed the societal message that having an odor is the norm and that smelling good, regardless of how said guy may feel about it, is a disgusting deviation.

Just wanted to clear that up for the people that think that men have some sort of fucking cake walk when it comes to smells and odors. Oh and for the love of all that is holy I'm not trying to say that men have it worse than women, I'm saying that men don't have it as easy as women like to declare we do.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Theater Thursday: Living Single

I'm still fighting that ear infection so this is going to be short. But I do have an appointment this coming Monday (that's the earliest I could get).

I don't think spoilers are going to be a problem here since we're not talking about a movie but rather a show that ended its run a little over 10 years ago. I was reading a post over at Transgriot asking why seasons 2-6 of A Different World haven't been released on DVD yet. Even though it was a short mention Monica brought up how only season 1 of the 5 seasons of Living Single have been released. But the memories came back.

Living Single ran from 1993-1998 which was right through my teenage years. The show centered around three black women who lived together in a brownstone, another who lived in the building across the street, and two male friends who live upstairs above their own brownstone, all in Brooklyn, NY. Like many other sitcoms various situations came up like dating, work, and life in general. All in all I really liked that show.

But the thing I want to talk about is how only the first season has been released on DVD and how other shows seem to have fallen to the same fate.

After a bit looking as far as I can tell Living Single, A Different World, Roc, and South Central have only seen partial or no DVD release. Now at a quick glance one may think that the problem is race. However consider that there are black shows that have been fully released on DVD like Martin and Chappelle Show. So maybe its a matter of shows that give good social/racial/cultural/etc... commentary or break some sort of barrier. But then you have a show like The Cosby Show. Maybe the difference is an active attempt at said commentary versus passive. Watching the Cosby Show it didn't seem like there was an active attempt at trying to send a message (but mind you I was a kid during the peak of that show).

Whatever the reason may be there seems to be a definite disparity between which shows have been released to DVD and which ones haven't.

So I guess its best to not hold my breath until the day comes that I can buy all of Living Single on DVD.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

This is just brutal....


There isn't a whole to say about this....

Why have I waited so long to get my ear checked out?

I've had an ear infection for a little over a week and I've yet to go to the doctor for it. Why is that?

Well the short answer (and the answer most people will stop at) is that "I'm just being a man."

The long answer is (and this really speaks to the heart of the short answer) that as a man I've been socialized to simply fight through the pain to validate my manhood.

Growing up as a guy being able to keep on working through disease and illness was a badge of honor. Its the reason a boy playing a sport may try to cover or play off an injury. Yes girls may do this too but that is usually treated as a deviation of how a girl "is supposed to be" whereas the culture forces this on boys and punishes those those who don't man up.

I mean hell we even have ads telling us that the way for men to become more aware of their health is to act like women (I'm sure the ad means well but I don't think its a good idea to play up something as inherent to one gender and implying the other has to imitate that gender in order to achieve that good idea).

So long story short I'm going to make some time to get my ass to the doctor before this ear infection turns into something worse (in fact there has been this wicked ringing in my ear for the last 2-3 days that I think needs to be checked).

And besides its Men's Health Month.

Future Weekly Menu: Homemade Ketchup

Came across a recipe for homemade ketchup.

This looks interesting. Well not only does it look interesting but damn its amazing how many preservatives, sodium, and other stuff you can't name go into this simple condiment.

Hell from the looks of it I wasn't too far from my own ketchup with that BBQ Sauce recipe I did a while back.

I'll bet this will be great!

His Body, His Choice?

Okay so I've spoken on the whole deal about men, birth control, and parenting before. As you may know I'm all for men having options when it comes to those things but it just seems that some people are hell bent on using the biological differences between women to intentionally argue against men having options. Take a look at this by Mary Beth Williams of Salon.com on the idea of men having reproductive rights.

While the final word on reproductive rights of men is still up in the air at the end of the day I have to point out a few things that rubbed me the wrong way.
And yet, it's not that simple. There are plenty of paternity tests and child-support suits to go around, but the fact remains that choice for a man is still frequently as close as the nearest door.
This totally ignores the fact that if said man chooses that door that does not always equal a total severing of anything and everything to do with that mother and child he is leaving behind. He might walk out that door but that mother has a legal system setup to aid her in her efforts to squeeze him for all the money he has (and doesn't have).

Now there is some disconnect here. One thing that a lot people may not notice (well I'll be the folks who pay child support notice) is that often times a large part of what they are paying is not the actual support amount but actually interest. Yes is most places (in the States at least) child support payments have interests attached. If the folks that want to advocate for women who are not getting the money they need I recommend they look at the government agencies that are keeping a noticeable amount of what those dads are paying.

Then there is the fact that local and state governments get federal reimbursements for the money collect. In other words the more money they get the more money the feds pay them.

Oh and one other thing. People who don't pay child support are hunted down and tossed in jail for not paying. And on top of that, knowing full well they cannot work and make money while in jail, their payments continue to stack up. So these folks come out with a mountain of child support debt to pay off (and remember a big chunk of that is pure interest). Back to the cell. Not very "all about the interests of the children" to constantly loop someone in and out of jail over child support versus them being out and working to pay is it?

And considering that approximately 84 percent of children in single-parent families are being raised by mothers, it doesn’t look like there's an epidemic of reluctant fathers being dragged into the role of patriarch.

As soon as she can provide proof that all of that 84% is the result of those men running out on them I may put some more stock in that statement.

When it comes to potential to make a child it seems that the general attitude (and the law) seems to be to make sure women have as many options as possible* while making sure men have a few options as possible. And I also find it funny that people in the comment thread of that Salon post are so quick to say, "If he didn't want kids he should have kept in his pants." I wonder if those same people tell women, "If she didn't want kids she should have kept it out of her pants."?





* - The exception to this being abortion. Despite safe haven laws, the ability to put the child up for adoption, and the ability to literally have full control over the father's role in a child's life there are people who strongly oppose abortion.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Seriously?

I can understand that technology is a valuable tool in this wonderful world but technology does not mean that we can now throw caution and personal responsibility to the wind.

In the vein of GPS for vehicles Google has started to work on a similar solution applied to giving walking directions. Well it would seem that one woman decided to put more faith in the directions than in her own common sense. While getting directions to walk to a location in Park City, Utah this woman came up to a street that has multiple lanes and has no crosswalk (there are pictures on the TechDirt post I link to). I don't know about you but would cross such a street simply because some GPS directions said that was the way to go? Well apparently this woman did and as a result she was hit by a car.

But this woman takes her lack of personal responsibility a bit further. She is now suing the driver who hit her and Google for giving her such bad directions. So on one hand its the driver's fault because they were driving too fast but on the other its Google's fault for leading her to cross a roadway. Confusing I know.

Look tech is great and wonderful thing that has made our lives easier but goodness high end tech does not give us the greenlight to abandon things like old fashion common sense.

Racism?

I saw this post up at the site for one of my local news stations today and I am really not sure if this chimes off as racist to me in this instance and I wonder if there is a need for punishment on this.

Lately, especially with the drama going on with people trying to alter the history curriculum being taught in the Texas school systems, people have been very keen to point out that we should not be attempting to erase the facts of history regardless of how painful that history is or how bad it makes people look.

Based on that I'm not sure I think that the teacher in question here should be punished for her actions. Were they offensive? I can agree with that assertion. However I do think that this is one of those times where intent matters.

The four students were wearing the white robes as part of filming for history class. As far as I'm concerned this is a valuable lesson that needs to brought up in school. In its prime The Ku Klux Klan was a terrorizing force that wreaked lots of pain, misery, and hatred on the land through its racist practices. While not as powerful as it once was this incident is evidence that the fear and hatred are still real and still powerful.

Now this is where I may part ways with other people's thoughts on this. I personally think that bringing it up in the classroom like this is a great way to make kids mindful of this horrible organization while at the same time lessening the fear and hatred its invocation triggers. To me part of the source of the power the KKK holds lies in the fact that people don't want to bring it up. Gaining power from lying in the shadows. To me bringing it out in the open like this pretty much serves to say that this is what the KKK are, this is what they do, and we will not let them spread their message of hate.

But at the same time I was not one of the kids at the school so while I can talk about what I think of it I can't speak for those kids who were offended by it.

Is the term "women of color" offensive?

Okay so I'm reading this post at The Movie Blog about FHM's 100 Sexiest women in the world list. Well this post focused on only the top ten of that 100. Well I take a look at the top 10 and I'm sure you'll notice something. Got it? Okay.

So in noticing that I ask:
And this is why I don’t bother with such lists. If I think someone is hot I’ll just find pictures of them myself and not waste time on lists. And speaking of differing opinions (and I think this points towards the popularity contest theory as well) where are the women of color?
and in response I get:
There are plenty of women from all sorts of ethnicities on the list. “Women of Colour” is an offense. These are women. Who cares what colour their skin is.
Okay as a person that finds women attractive I do agree that a woman's skin color should not have a bearing on her attractiveness but at the same time I wonder if there is some racism at work that affects our opinions of attractiveness (note how the responder even straight up says that blondes tend to be at the top of the list when it comes to attractiveness). Oh I'm gonna get to that other part in a bit.

Thinking back on my life as a guy I noticed how when it comes to what is attractive I, just like most guys, had the image of a white woman drilled into my mind as the definition of attractive. (I wonder if women have a similar experience of having the image of white men drilled into them as the idea of attractive. With heteronormative assumptions attached to men as well as women.) So I'm left thinking that if skin color doesn't mean anything in terms of attractiveness then why does it always seem that when we talk about beauty why is it often white beauty? (Mind you I'm not trying to say that the image of white beauty is perfect there are presumptions attached to it as well). Now back to that other part.

There are plenty of women from all sorts of ethnicities on the list. “Women of Colour” is an offense.

Okay at first I was going to go off on how there is no way this is offensive but then I had a thought, "Hold up Danny. While you are of color you not a woman therefore what you think on the possible offensiveness of the label "women of color" won't carry as much weight as the words of someone who is actually a part of that group." Indeed.

Now in my time of interacting with people and blogging I have never, never, ever, heard a single woman of color say that being called such is offensive. I personally don't find the label men of color (a group that I fall into) to be offensive.

So I need some input from women of color on this (Renee I'm looking in your direction). Is the label of "women of color" offensive? Or is this guy just talking out of the side of his ass?