Saturday, April 30, 2011

Weekly Mashup Stage 49

So what's up B?

The Dancing Boys of Afghanistan: "It is a difficult report to watch, largely due to some of the similarities to my own experiences. Of the men interviewed, only one was coy about raping boys. The others freely acknowledged “having sex” with boys, one going so far as to claim that most of the boys he abused wanted sex (this man later redeems himself a little by helping rescue one boy). The men were also open about how they sell boys and allow boys to stay the night at other men’s homes. I was truly amazed by one boy’s desire to eventually have his own group of boys to use for himself and his friends. That made me think of my father and uncles, specifically how easy it is to get so used to a given situation that a person would go on to perpetuate it."

Microsoft counts down to XP death: A countdown to the end of support for Windows XP. Its meant to encourage you to make the jump to Vista or Win7...but the countdown clock only works on Win7 or Vista. Its things like this that make me angry when it comes to computers.

Oh No, Women Aren't Violent, Are you Watching "Dear Woman" ?: This is humanity at its worst. Those women are terrible for taking advantage of those homeless men (and I'd even be willing to bet that they chose men to beat on for a reason, would that make it a hate crime?).

The RPG Series: A line of scents based on RPG races, classes, and alignments. I just had a nerdgasm.

The Massive Treasure Trove Of Historic Jazz Recordings That Almost No One Has Heard... Thanks To Copyright: Hold on I thought the point of copyright was to protect the artists who make creations. So where's that protection when works are left to deteriorate over time because the entities that own the copyrights keep them locked away, preferring to let them waste away than risk someone "stealing" them.

On mothers’ groups and men-bashing: "Furthermore, generalizing those complaints to “men” instead of her man places her in solidarity with other (male-partnered) women rather than (falsely!) placing the blame on her and her “bad choice” of a partner. I can’t — won’t — deprive someone of their coping mechanism, won’t condescend to presume even that such is true for every woman I’m listening to, won’t offend by assuming ill-intent or laziness."

The SaVE Act: Trading Liberty for Security on Campus: "If you take seriously statistics indicating persistent violence against women on college and university campuses, you have to acknowledge that disdain for due process and onerous restrictions on speech and belief that have long prevailed on campus do not alleviate sexual violence. Arbitrary, unfair disciplinary procedures, expansive speech and harassment codes, and intrusive "sensitivity trainings" have denied students fundamental freedoms for years, in the hope of creating "safe" and "nurturing" environments for women and other presumptively vulnerable groups. Yet, according to frequently quoted Justice Department studies, 20% to 25% of women on campus will be the victims of sexual assault this year. Recent campus murders, rapes, and alleged rapes dramatize these frightening statistics. "

Syrian Lesbian’s Blogspot - ‘My Father, the Hero’: "Another problem for western feminists confronting the Islamic world is that women there seem to balk at the misandry that must seem to them to be required here. Much feminist orthodoxy in this country has for years involved the notion that families are the seat of the oppression of women by men and that male relatives are uniquely dangerous to women and girls. Islamic women may have more respect for men, marriage and families than western feminists are comfortable with."

Is it me or does this Cliff House look like the perfect place for a murder mystery?

Take it easy!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Five types of racism explained

I saw this one over at The Angry Black Woman. It seems to have been making a lot of rounds and I figured I'd share it here too.
She argues that there are five main types of racism, each equally as detrimental as the next:
  • Aware/Blatant Racism: Outright racists that, without apology or confusion, tell people of color, that because of their color, they “don’t appeal to them.”

  • Aware/Covert Racism: When racists are being racist but just not saying it. For instance, upon seeing that a potential tenant is Indian, rather than saying it directly, a landlord will pull the apartment “off the market” without providing an explanation.

  • Unaware/Unintentional Racism: “With the best of intentions, the best of educations, and the greatest generosity of heart, whites, operating on the misinformation fed to them from day one, will behave in ways that are racist, will perpetuate racism by being ‘nice’ the way we’re taught to be nice.”

  • Unaware/Self-Righteous Racism: “The ‘good white’ racist attempts to shame Blacks into being blacker, scorns Japanese-Americans who don’t speak Japanese, and knows more about the Chicano/a community than the folks who make up the community.”

  • Internalized Racism: Stereotypes and attitudes of the white hegemonic system are internalized by members of oppressed groups and peoples and taken for truth or inform the ways they think about themselves and others from similar backgrounds or cultures.
Makes sense when you think about it. Funny thing is I ran those through my head in the form of using the apartment example in Aware/Covert Racism.

1. Aware/Blatant Racism: A racist landlord/lady will open say something like, "We don't rent to your kind."

2. Aware/Covert Racism: A racist landlord/lady just pulls an offering off the market when people of a certain race come looking for openings.

3. Unaware/Unintentional Racism: A landlord/lady that will make it a point to rent to people of a certain race because, "You know those folks need all the help they can get."

4. Unaware/Self-Righteous Racism: A landlord/lady that will be shocked that tenants of a certain race don't act a certain way. Such as, "I know Indian people live there but the hall doesn't smell like curry every evening. Odd."

5. Internalized Racism: A potential tenant that won't even look for places in certain places because they think they are not good enough, smart enough, rich enough, (i.e. the wrong color)

Pretty interesting read.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Interesting user of the word Beard

So I was watching an episode of the new show Happy Endings last week and the character Max was asking for one of his female friends to act as his Beard for the weekend while his parents are in town. What's a beard you ask?

Well in this context a beard is a person of the opposite sex that accompanies a homosexual person in order to give the impression that they are heterosexual.

In this particular episode Max was looking for a Beard because he had not told his parents he was gay.

I'm guessing this is a fairly new terminology since I've never heard it before but I'm usually behind on lingo. Although I get the feeling that if this word had been around in the late 90s it would have been used on Will and Grace.

But there are entries on Urban Dictionary.

So what do you think about this term? Fitting, offensive, don't care?

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

I think its about time to buy a Blu Ray player...

I love the Lord of the Rings movies. Mainly because they are the only way I can make through the entire story. I've tried reading the trilogy three times and everytime I get stuck about halfway through the second book, it Tolkein takes too many damn pages to describe stuff. So I've taken a bit of liking to the movies.

More than likely these movies will be among those that will stand the the test of time and there aren't many that can do that. By stand the test of time I mean go back and watch it 15-20 years later and it still holds your attention. Off the top of my head I can only think of Ghostbusters I, True Lies, and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.

Right now I only have the standard theatrical cut dvds. I know you're asking, "But Danny if you like them so much then why not get the other editions with more stuff?" My answer is, "Because studios are greedy bastards and will milk fans for all they can. (just look at Lucas and the Star Wars movie franchise that seems to re-release about every 10 years.) Wait a while and a really badass collection will come along. And that time has come. Take a look at Think Hero for a list of what will be in this edition.

I know that with The Hobbit coming down the pike there will someday be a Super Ultimate Omaga Grand Edition with the the trilogy and The Hobbit together but I have to admit that after looking at Amazon's pre-order listing (plus a comparison chart for all the editions of the trilogy so you can decide which one to pick) I am really tempted to buy this....and I don't even own a Blu Ray player.

Oh and did I mention that that link to The Movie Blog is talking about a the replaying the extended editions in theaters again this coming June? Where each movie has at least an extra 30min. of extra content? Meaning that if you were to do a LotR marathon it would run a shade over ELEVEN hours!

Working on being a man pt.12

This is one of many parts in the ongoing series of working on being a man. They aren't in any special order I just number them to keep up with them.

You remember that movie, "But I'm A Cheerleader"? It was about a teen girl who thought her feelings for girls was normal and life was dandy. However all was not "normal", resulting in her parents and boyfriend staging an intervention to call out her homosexuality. The remedy? Her parents send her off to a camp in order to "correct" her. The purpose of this camp was to straighten out homosexuals and get them to act according to their gender. Girls are shown cooking and other "girlie" things while boys are show how to fix cars and other "boyish" things. And counseling activities included encouraging the kids to think back to what moment made them gay. When I first saw this I just went with the laughs without thinking about it. But looking back on it (and watching it again) I realize just how fucked up society can be. Why fucked up? Because there are really people out there who do want to straighten out gay people as if something is wrong with them.

And it seems that such a camp has come up for Malaysian boys.
Malaysian authorities have sent 66 Muslim schoolboys identified by teachers as effeminate to a four-day camp where they will receive counseling on masculine behavior to discourage them from being gay, an official said Tuesday.
There's a lot going on here.

Educational director Razali Daud:
The camp is meant "to guide them back to the right path in life before they reach a point of no return," Razali told The Associated Press. "Such effeminate behavior is unnatural and will affect their studies and their future."
The right path? Point of no return? Unnatural behavior affecting their studies? What makes heterosexuality the "right" path and homosexuality the "wrong" path? The fear of homophobes (considering that phobe is derived from phobia which is fear and homo is short for homosexual hence fear of homosexuals and homosexuality). For some reason these people just can't get with the fact that there are men out there that are sexually and romantically attracted to other men. As far as crossing a "point of no return", please. Its not like being homosexual means you are some horrible abomination or something. And the only "unnatural behavior that's affecting their studies" is this government backed hatred and discrimination towards boys that might be gay (because really short of them actually saying they are gay how else can you tell they are gay). Oh it gets worse.
"It is not an overnight cure," he said. "We can't force the boys to change, but we want them to know what their choices are in life. Some effeminate boys end up as a transvestite or a homosexual, but we want to do our best to limit this."
Just like our characters in "But I'm A Cheerleader" they are sent to this camp (although the official claim here is that they are invited not forced) in order to be "cured" of their condition. They say they "can't force boys to change..." but if that were the case why even bother with the camp in the first place? If allowed to grow and develop on their own they will see that there is homosexuality and there is heterosexuality (and plenty of other sexualities) and will develop however they develop. And considering the hatred toward gays its real easy to say that they aren't forcing them. Yeah a woman that bundles up in sweatpants and sweatshirt wasn't forced to do so, she "chose" to do so because of an environment and people that make her feel like such a sex object that she would rather not put up with dressing how she wants. Yeah.

But it looks like there is at least some voice of reason here:
Pang Khee Teik, the co-founder of a Malaysian sexual rights awareness group, called the camp "outrageous."

"If we don't do anything to stop the rot of homophobia ... I worry it may get worse," he said.

Gay Malaysians say they face discrimination from government policies such as a law that makes sodomy punishable by 20 years in prison. The law is seldom and selectively enforced, but some states also impose jail terms for public cross-dressing.
Homophobia is most certainly a rot. Such hatred will only damage everyone (especially gays) in the long run. The director of this camp says that they are all about guiding these boys in the right direction. What the hell is guiding about criminalizing one of the sexual acts that these future men may engage in with men if they are indeed gay? Guiding is about showing people right vs wrong but to this day I have yet to hear one solid reason that homosexuality is wrong to the point that they should not be allowed to marry or to commit one of the most common sex acts among gay men. You may not be gay, you may not like gays, but none of that, your religion of choice, or anything else justifies making homosexuality illegal for everyone else.

Oh yeah this:
Malaysia's most high-profile use of the anti-sodomy law involves opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, who is on trial on charges of having sex with a male former aide. Anwar, who is married with six children, insists the charge was fabricated to smear his reputation.
If such camps and attitudes weren't about forcing heterosexuality then it would not even be possible to smear someone's reputation with accusations of homosexuality.

This is a major problem. Forcing boys into heterosexuality (or any type of sexuality for that matter) is one of the biggest things that is damaging to us boys and men today. A man may choose to make his sexuality a part of his being a man and that is up to him. However trying to make a man's sexuality a defining part of what it means to be a man is not only discriminatory but just straight up wrong. When that happens it inevitably creates an opening to hold up an ideal of what a "real man" is, the proverbial measuring stick that all men are held to to see if they count as men or not. That's part of why male virgins have their sexuality and manhood questioned (raises hand) and why despite being called pervs, lechers, and of course dogs by some there are other people who think that a guy who's had a lot of heterosexual sex is a "real man".

Trying to guide force boys through these camps is only going to do one of two things. If they are gay it will feed into the already very real fear of being gay (and its not like gay guys need any more reasons to be afraid because of their sexuality, its not like they chose to hide in the closet). Their sexuality becoming the reason for the scorn, abuse, hatred, harassment, and violence that they face is something no one should have to put up with. If they are not gay then this will instill the idea that heterosexuality (or not homosexual at the least, but I can't imagine any country that would go to these lengths to fight homosexuality would being any friendlier to any other orientation that's not heterosexual) is a defining part of what it is to be a man. That it will be okay to police other men on their orientation. That teasing other men/boys about it is justified. That give strength to the use of accusations of homosexuality as a way to get rid of people you don't like.

As long as they aren't hurting anyone there is no reason to interfere with someone becoming a man on their own terms and that includes sexual orientation. And places like this Camp Misandric Homophobia don't help in a world that's already set in policing one's sexuality and one's manhood.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Weekly Mashup Stage 48


D.C. voting rights proponents’ faith in Obama sinks: Its never good when the locals are losing confidence in your leadership.

The Dr. Who Drank Infectious Broth, Gave Himself An Ulcer, And Solved A Medical Mystery: Hardcore: He did it right.

Are colour blind gamers left out?: A look at how being colorblind can drastically affect one's ability to play video games. (Not the first time I've mentioned this.)

Won’t Someone Just Let Me Stream Game of Thrones Already?: Yeah this is why I haven't seen Game of Thrones yet. Looks like I'll be waiting for the dvd releases in a few months.

Kathryn Schulz: On being wrong: Pretty interesting TED Talk.

Shrink Rayed Noxzema Jar Has 2 Fewer Ounces, Bonus False Bottom: Keep an eye on those "larger" containers of products.

Ontario funds services for male victims of sexual assault: "At this stage, something is better than nothing. It took years to get to this stage, and the recent change occurred due to the hard work of organizations like the Men’s Project, not organizations focused on helping women. Since the latter does not provide much assistance to male victims, even this small funding could go a long way to getting some men and boys the help they need. It is also possible that if the request for help is great that the Ontario government may increase the funding to meet the demand."

My Take on the Savage Beating at McDonald's: A different take on the transphobic attack that recently took place in a Baltimore, MD McDonald's.

Courtesy of KoreAm

Stay Frosty!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

I'm scared.

I was glancing at my traffic stats today and I saw that one of the search keywords used this week to get to my blog was, "are there people who are sexual attracted to pokemon".

This worries me. A lot.

Transphobic Violence at a Baltimore McDonalds

Found out about this from LorMarie (I'll get back to the subject of that post later), read up on it at Questioning Transphobia then tracked it back to World Star Hip Hop (NSFW and quite violent, tread carefully.)

The video is of two women attacking a third. Why was she attacked? Well it seems that there are still some transphobic jerks out there that think being transgender is a valid reason to commit violence against them.

Of course its not. But's not stopping people from thinking that everyone must abide by the body they are born with. Reproductive system. Chromosomes. The clothes you wear. The optimal position for peeing. None of those things are ironclad criteria that determine what your gender is to anyone except for yourself. There is absolutely no reason to take your definition of gender and try to literally beat it into someone else.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Working on being a man pt.11

This is one of many parts in the ongoing series of working on being a man. They aren't in any special order I just number them to keep up with them.

Have things been tough for men in the past? Yep. Are things really tough on men these days. Yes. Are the odds insurmountable? Hell no.

I've been thinking about a post on this for a while and I got a bit of extra motivation from Hugo so I decided to go with it now.

You see in the past when faced with adversity men displayed an amazing ability for overcoming it.

Coming over to the New World and setting up shop in a time when disease was rampant, living conditions were harsh, and help was months away at best? I think we can say those men handled business. But all was not perfect.

That whole Frontier era when men were striking out into the unknown? We survived.

The early days of the Industrial Revolution?
You already know the answer. Men adapted just fine.
I wouldn't say just fine but I'll get to that in a bit.

In these hard times men are met with a pretty serious challenge. Unlike those previous examples where the belief that men are only useful as low end labor and are disposable were held firmly in place this time around things have shaken up. And with that shaking something comes out in the harsh light of day. A myth.

As Hugo suggests there is a myth of male inflexibility at work. That there are forces at work that leave men in a position of thinking that they cannot change with the times as needed. There is some truth to that. Those forces create and depend on that illusion to keep men in the limited places they have been for ages. Why? For their own gain and power of course (which is why I find it odd when I'm suddenly represented by the likes of Donald Trump and Bill Gates just because I got an X and Y on the Chromosome Dice Roll like they did).

Well the trick is that this myth has been shaken up by the fact that these tough times have shown that toiling away in a factory to make ends meet, risking dying in a mine for the kids, or ignoring one's own health to finish that construction job to put food on the table are no longer the only options that men have. Not only because women are stepping up but because the times don't allow for it now, those ways are dying out. A lot of the jobs that were lost were in areas where men were pretty much relegated to (via believing the myth that that was their place) and a lot of those jobs are not coming back. This is where a piece of traditional masculinity actually comes in handy. Being able to make it against the odds. Yeah things a bit tricker now. The old ways of getting tough are not there anymore, the forces and people that would like for us to stay in our place are still there, and we have to forge ahead.

So the old ways are fading. New ways must be found. Our forefathers found new ways. We can do the same.

Monday, April 18, 2011

#thingsfatpeoplearetold: Real stories, real pain, real shame

I'm not sure when it started up (correction: Looks like it came from Brian over at Red No. 3) but the Twitter hasttag #thingfatpeoplearetold is some serious shit.

Its become a beacon for people to share their experiences with fat hatred and shame and they are pretty terrible.

Folks being told they only sell smaller sizes so pretty people can shop. Being constantly asked if you play a sport. Being told you would look better if you weren't fat. Being suddenly asked if you lost weight immediately after a compliment on your looks (because the only way a fat person can look good is to lose weight right?).

But I think the greatest part of it is that I, as a fat guy, have been able to add my two cents without someone swooping in to remind me that hatred against fat guys isn't as bad as fat hatred against women. But despite that there aren't that many guys chiming in. Believe me guys I know how hard it is to be teased, ridiculed, shamed, and otherwise harassed about being fat. And I also know how hard it is to come through that and be able to actually say something about. (And I also know how hard it is to actually say something about it and be dismissed.) You aren't alone in this. Even if just a single tweet or if you only read them know that you aren't the only one being treated that way and you aren't the only feeling the way you do.

So come on guys don't be scared to chime in.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Weekly Mashup Stage 47

So how does it go? I actually managed to come up with quite a bit this time.

Cesar Laurean Wife Files Divorce, Obtains Custody Of Daughter: Kinda reminds me of how Mary Winkler killed her husband in cold blood and managed to keep custody.

Don't let ignorant people vote: I can understand wanting to increase voter education on the issues. But I can't help but think that putting in some sort of registration exam or requirements would do some sort of harm.

How to Find Thousands of Free Ebooks Online: In the market for some free ebooks?

Statutory Damages In Copyright Law Make It More Appealing To Sue Than To Innovate: Mike Mansick on how and why companies have turned suing into a business model.

Amazing how the reactions two different feminists get on about the same subject when one goes in guns blazing then complains when people fire back and the other actually comes in with the good faith the gun blazer is claiming.

Japanese citizens turning in cash found in tsunami zone: Now that's honesty.

AOL, Arianna Huffington Hit with Class Action Suit: "Huffington Post bloggers who think they ought to get paid for their volunteer writing have been litigating their case in the court of public opinion. Now they’re taking it to a real one." On one hand I can understand bloggers that worked without monetary payment (not to be confused with working for free) on the Huffington Post are upset at the fact that she turned around and sold it for a lot of money (not just a lot of money, no she made fucking bank off that deal with AOL) but on the other I wonder if the Huffington Post had gone down in flames of failure would they be so quick to chip in money to help her recover (because its not like they were taking the monetary risk).

Street Fighter vs Tekken beta video: All I'm saying is that if I can't have Sagat vs. Marduk and/or Steve Fox vs Dudley I will refuse to play this game.

‘The Boyfriend Trainer’: Choke and Tase Him When He Misbehaves: A bait and switch on awareness of violence?

Who knew men suffer from psychological trauma too: Its amazing what you can find out about men when you start treating them like people isn't it? On one hand I think studies on male victims of violence are needed because they would do a lot of good at showing people that males are abused. On the other it pains me that society so hyped up on the idea of what a "real man" is that it refuses to acknowledge abused men, thus making such studies necessary.

Show Us Your Genitals! and Other Gender Weirdness: "Even though El’Jai Devoureau has identified as male all his life – and has the necessary paperwork to prove his male identity – the fact that he was assigned female at birth was enough to cause him to lose his job at a drug treatment center in New Jersey, a state that has job discrimination protections based on gender identity and expression." Shit like this should not be happening.

"The Victorian Dead" An August/Davenport Collaborative Album: The Davenport Sisters (the brains behind the Clockwork Cabret radio show) are part of a Kickstarter project.

Woman Kills MIL, Shoots Husband, Gets Visitation With Son, Victim Has None: "Yes, the woman who tried to murder his father, did murder his grandmother and considered drowning the child in the bathtub gets to visit with him regularly.

The man who barely escaped death, who managed to call 911 on his own behalf and who stood up in court, in the darkness of his blind world to testify for the woman who tried to take his life, is being denied all access to his son."

Drop It Like It's Hot: Renee doing her own mashup.

A way to shot machetes at people?

Have you got anything to share? See you cool cats next week.

From Soy Milk to Browncoats

(A browncoat is the term applied to a fan of the tv series Firefly.)

I'm lactose intolerant so I've come to love soy milk, particularly Silk Soy brand (Lite Vanilla for the win). While waiting on someone to look for some of the Very Vanilla (for my dad) I see this woman while past me wearing a tshirt about something called Browncoats: Redemption. What's that you ask? I didn't know so I stopped her as asked.

It turns out that a group of fans got together to produce their own fan film buy the name Browncoats: Redemption. She also told me about how the project (that she has a bit role in it (pause the trailer at about :24 and notice the woman behind the man at the podium) raised funds for several charities.

One more thing. The woman I spoke mentioned that copies of the movie would only be on sale for one year, which started last year. Meaning that if you are interested in buying (it was shot in HD so there is DVD and Blu Ray formats to choose from) it do it before this coming September.

Without further ado the trailer for Browncoats: Redemption.

Browncoats: Redemption Final Trailer from browncoatsmovie on Vimeo.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Sympathy for the devil?

I'm sure you've seen it before. Someone does something bad and people crowd around them trying to defend them. More than likely you can think of at least one instance of that happening. Well here's another.

I'm sure you recall Crystal Mangum right? About 5 years ago she was in the middle of a major dust up when she accused 3 Duke Lacrosse team players of raping her. Long story short the charges were false, she wasn't punished, the players were found guilty in the court of public opinion (apparently despite contradicting evidence some people just "know" they raped her that night), the coach of the team was forced to resign, and the DA who tried to prosecute the case (Mike Nifong) was disbarred. Fast forward to today.

Back in the beginning of April Mangum was arrested on charges of assaulting (stabbing) her boyfriend Reginald Daye. Earlier this week said boyfriend, who was still in the hospital for injuries from the stabbing, passed away. So there is a real chance that the charges will go up from assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill to some sort of murder charges (I hope first degree). What does that mean? Well of course that means that she is the victim in all this.

I've got a copy of a local newspaper called The Washington Daily News that I picked up after reading a headline about Daye's passing. (I haven't had luck finding a copy of the story online so I'll be typing from the paper itself.)

First off the title:

More drama for Duke LAX accuser
As if the death of the live in boyfriend is just an event on that "Real Housewives..." show.

Second off the subtitle:
Man's death adds to Mangum's woes

Yes woe is the poor innocent victim of a woman who is alive to possibly (hopefully) face murder charges over her boyfriend's death.

Now, a boyfriend she's accused of stabbing has died-plunging her story to a new low.

Her story? She falsely accused three guys of raping her and has since assaulted her boyfriend (in a separate assault that happened before this last one) and setting fire to her home while her three children were inside. Yeah.

I could go on but I don't want to copy too much of this. The article goes on to try to paint Mangum up as a mother who struggled to raise her family in Durham, NC. Okay I know the city of Durham and I know it can be hard and raising three children is not easy but that is not an excuse for acts of violence and arson and endangering said children and it certainly not an excuse for murder.

Sympathy indeed.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Working on being a man pt.10

This is one of many parts in the ongoing series of working on being a man. They aren't in any special order I just number them to keep up with them.

This week I want to talk about male body image. Its something that doesn't come up a lot. For the most part society doesn't think that men can be desired sexually (which if you take heteronomativity into account this goes hand in hand with the idea that women cannot have sexual desire). There's a few examples of it here and here but despite those sources inspiring this post that's not where I'm going with this today.

You see I get the feeling there are a lot of men out there that actually acknowledge that men can be sexually desired and that women do have sexual desire. In fact we see it everyday on a regular basis so we know it happens. We just don't think it happens to us.

If you recall a while back I talked about why I hated having my picture taken (thats a work in progress). Well a part of why that's the case is that I just don't think I'm that attractive. Its not a matter of thinking that since I'm a guy I can't be desired. In fact my body image issues on attraction actually depend on the notion that men can be sexually desired but unlike other men who are attractive and are desired I myself an not attractive and not desirable. (This is isn't to say that what figleaf and Clarisse say doesn't hold true, I'm just saying that when it comes to men who feel they are not attractive there is more going on, which they may very well acknowledge and just don't go into.)

Perhaps the notion that men cannot be desired has become a mask for men to hide behind so that everyone can forget the fact that we do indeed have body image issues (mind you I don't think said mask was created for this purpose). That way we can keep our hurt feelings hidden away (and remember the script of being a man says that having hurt feelings is not allowed) behind the belief that people aren't really caring about our looks anyway. While it can save pain in the short run it can cause a lot (if not more) pain in the long run when we do start to speak up about our feelings about our bodies (talk about one hell of a double whammy, fessing up to hurt feelings and having body image issues).

This mask must be broken and its going to take more than realizing that men can be sexually desirable to do it. Like I've said I (and guys like me) know that there are men that are considered attractive and desirable. The trick is that each one of us is going around thinking something like, "I'm not attractive those other guys. I'm not desirable like those other guys. Something is wrong with me." Its going to take each one of us realizing that while we may not look like the idea image of a man (which is another story for another day) we are attractive in our own way and there more than likely someone somewhere would find us desirable.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Weekly Mashup Stage 46

Whasssssuuuuuuuup?! I've begun studying (X)HTML and CS3 (in addition to my A+ study) so I don't have a lot.

Fat Disgusting Americans Force Coast Guard to Change Regulations: I'm sure the writer of that post "wasn't meaning to offend anyone" and all. Well then why do I still feel plenty offended by that post?

Netflix Update: All Star Trek TV Series To Begin Streaming In July: Oh hell yeah! Its not cool that they hatin on Deep Space 9 (its not coming until October) but this might be enough to get me to switch from Blockbuster Online.

I Implore Every Public Bathroom to Install These Toepeners Immediately: This would make going to the bathroom in public SO MUCH nicer.

Transocean Execs Get Bonuses after `Best Year in Safety': The bonuses ultimately went to charity but still.

If you remember Street Fighter 2's bonus round then you'll love this.

Take it easy!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Succubi and the Attraction of Pokemon and Opposite Sex People

We've all seen it happen before. Some work of fiction in which a plot device involves some supernatural (or otherwise fictional) creature has some ability to charm those of the opposite gender and bend them to their will.

I think that's pretty boring (if not dismissive) way to use it.

So I was watching an episode of Pokemon Black and White a few weeks ago in which Ash was trying to capture a particular monster by the name of Snivy (its a grass type pokemon modeled after a snake and ivy, hence Snivy). Ash was having a hard time catching it because it kept using the move Attract. For those not familiar Attract is a move that when used against pokemon of the opposite gender said target has about a 50% of being so love struck they are unable to do anything each turn. Which is is not good considering that the Snivy he was trying to catch was female and the majority of the pokemon on his team (Tepig, Oshawatt, and of course Pikachu) are male. In the end he was only able to catch it because the last of his four pokemon (Pidove) turned out to be female. Other than his Pikachu (whom he's been travelling with for years) he seemed to not know the gender of any of pokemon. We'll get back to that in a bit.

Do you recall the season 2 episode of Charmed, "She's a Man, Baby, a Man!"? That episode starts off when sudden murders of men who have been mysteriously drained of their testosterone. Also all of these men were linked by way of all of them having used the same dating service. Once they learn that they are dealing with a succubus the sisters cast a spell in hopes of finding a way to defeat it. The spell ends up turning Prue, the oldest sister, into a man. Now that she was in the body of a man (Which despite her keeping all the same knowledge, memory, feelings, and experience Prue suddenly starts performing pretty much every negative behavior associated with men. Yeah only the negative stuff, but that's another story for another day.) Prue was suddenly susceptible to the draw of the succubus. After being captured by the demon and on the brink of the same fate as its other victims she is able to fight off the influence by reminding herself that she is a woman. You see what I'm about to get at?

And let's not forget the season seven episode of Buffy, "Him". In this episode a boy at Sunnydale High draws the attention of Dawn. Over time he also attracts the affections of Buffy, Anya, and....Willow. The influence (which later turned out to be his letter jacket being enchanted with a love charm) had roped them all in. Even though despite itself I could not help but laugh at particular scene in which Buffy, Willow, and Anya are arguing:
Buffy: Willow, you're a gay woman... and *he* isn't.
Willow: This isn't about his physical presence, it's about his heart.
Anya: His physical presence has a penis.
Willow: I can work around it.
I see the heteronormativity at work but there's still the fact that they were talking about one who clearly does not identify as a woman. Its as if we are supposed to believe that Williow being gay is going against some "natural" heterosexual imperative and the love spell is bringing out her "true" sexuality. Yeah right. (Also a nod to the season two episode "Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered" where Xander casts a love spell that attracts every woman in town except the one he was trying to attract.)

A few questions. First how does being female seem to always protect one from the charms of a female? Second is it really so that suddenly appearing as a male makes one unable to resist the charms of a female? Well if you limit attraction to the realm of heterosexuality those things could hold true. Third are we to believe that heterosexuality is such a deep part of us that a simple spell can override one's homosexuality? Come on we all know that when it comes to attraction heterosexuality is not the only sexuality at work.

And that's my point. We are talking about fictional creatures here but even they are somehow bound to societal forces that limit what they could do. It just seems to me that if a demon were to take on a particular gendered form enhanced by supernatural power it would not result in people of the opposite of that gendered form falling head over heels but rather would result in anyone that is attracted to that particular gendered form to fall head over heels. But even that's probably not ideal either if someone else were to examine it.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Theater Thursday: In My Skin

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.

(Along with the usual spoiler warning I'm throwing up a content warning. The movie I'm about to talk about has displays of EXTREMELY graphic self injury. I'm talking borderline cannibalism here. Tread carefully.)

I'm going back in time a bit to talk about a movie I actually watched about 3 weeks ago called "In My Skin". I don't fully remember all the details and I've already sent it back to Blockbuster so bear with me.

Its the story of woman named Esther who while at a party slips and falls against a jagged piece of metal. The result is a very large and deep gash on her right calf that requires stitches. Most people would just let the wound heal and go on about their lives. But this woman is not most people.

To her that wound is a path to obsession.

Starting off with just being fascinated with her original injury Esther begins to reopen the wound repeatedly, ripping out staples and digging in it with other objects. When that wound no long holds her attention she begins to engage in other forms of self injury. At first its simply cutting herself with knives and metal shards. Not long after she is not just cutting herself but actually chewing on herself and actually bitting off flesh and skin, which she plays with in her mouth.

However such things hardly go unnoticed. Esther changes her wardrobe to mostly long sleeves and long pants/skirts. After a while she is hardly able to keep her hands off of herself when out in public (which leads to a very disturbing sequence where she is hallucinating that one of her hands has been removed). She even fakes a car accident to cover up some of her injuries to her husband, who had caught on to her self injury and had made her promise to stop.

Near the end of the movie she is going off to hotel rooms to injure herself. After getting a idea she even goes to the point of cutting a section of skin from her thigh, tanning it into leather, and placing it inside her bra. By the closing credits all she has is her fascination turned obsession.

As someone who used to self injure I have to say that this movie held my interest and it wasn't as shocking to me as it probably is to others (not sure if that's a good thing or bad). Like myself it seemed like part of the reason she took on this dangerous practice was for the sake of validation. At that point in my life I just wanted to feel something, anything that would prove I was human and let's face it all humans know pain. But that's another story for another day.

Career taking off. A relationship that's about to get into full swing. To a lot of people it may be hard to see why she would descend the way she did in the face of such good things in her life. But I suppose if one could easily answer than people would be a lot better equipped to treat this.

So how about you (yes you, the one reading this post right now, I'm talking to you)? Have you seen this and want to share your thoughts? Maybe have stories of self-injury you wish to share? The floor is open. Don't be scared to take it.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Pretty funny

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Those reasons look awfully familiar...

When you mention interpersonal violence most people will not just presume that the violence is male against female but will go the extra mile and be unable to comprehend the possibility of female against male violence and many will even go the extra two miles and outright refuse to acknowledge the fact that it does happen (the fact that its more likely to be male against female is not the same thing as only being male against female). There's this post over at in which clinical psychologist Sally-Anne McCormack is quoted on why female abusers attack their partners. And they sound familiar:
SHOCK VALUE: “Girls who beat their boyfriends can have the mentality that ‘I can get my point across by hitting him because it will scare him and I know he won’t hurt me back’,” says Sally-Anne. “The girl won’t think twice about hitting because she’s safe with the knowledge that ‘boys can’t hit girls’,”
Sounds a lot like guys who use fear to keep their abuse victims in line.
ANGER ISSUES: “Girls hitting into boys can be the result of an adolescent temper tantrum,” says Sally-Anne. “A girl sees her boyfriend as a reflection on herself and if he doesn’t act the way she thinks he should, she might take her frustration out on him, sometimes to extreme levels.”
Just like guys that throw fits if the women in their lives do live to the exact expectations they put before them.
THE SPOILT FACTOR: If a girl was the centre of attention in her own family and was given everything she ever wanted by her parents, she’ll want her boyfriend to measure up,” says Sally-Anne. This type of girl can begin to hit if her boyfriend isn’t worshipping her to the degree she expects him to. “If she beats him to submission, in her mind it will teach him to treat her accordingly.”
This sounds a bit like guys who grew up in homes where they always got what they wanted. Not used to the fact that things won't always go their way and that people aren't going to bend to their will. And when the spoiled person doesn't get what they want the anger rears its ugly head.
ABUSIVE PAST: Some girls model their own behaviour on how their parents abused them in the past. “It’s a possibility they’re emulating behaviour their parents used on them as they were growing up or behaviour their mum used on their dad,” says Sally-Anne.
We've all heard people talking about how a lot of abusive men were either abused themselves or witnessed regular abuse on someone else during their childhood. (The only difference being when talking about men suddenly this is swept away as an excuse.)
DOMINANCE: Some girls who violently abuse their boyfriends are wanting to show their partners that they’re the ones in control. “She’s trying to send the message that ‘if you don’t respect me, I’ll beat you’,” says Sally-Anne.
Do I even need to talk about this one?

On one hand I can totally understand why people would want to talk about male against female abuse in separate spaces and context. On the other that does not explain why, in the face of similar reasons, people want to base laws, policies, and practices on how to handle all abuse on a single model and act like that single model is the only one that exist (to the point where people committing abuse in ways outside that one accepted model are often treated more leniently and the victims of that abuse are left with weak or no support).

Monday, April 4, 2011

Working on being a man pt.9

This is one of many parts in the ongoing series of working on being a man. They aren't in any special order I just number them to keep up with them.

Goodness I was so busy today at work that I wasn't even able to do my usual blog surfing for things to read later (I had to actually work today, I know right?). So imagine my surprise when I came across this little gem by Renee.

We have a problem here.

Okay I know I've said this before and I'm sure I'll say it again (this is meant to be a place for beginnings of manhood so yes there will be repetition of the basics). One's sexuality is NOT a defining part of being a man. When I first heard that ad I heard Billy Dee Williams say "I don't have any problem with....." and I was like "Fuck Yeah Billy, there's nothing wrong with being gay and now there's another mainstream voice, and badly needed one in terms of him being a black man saying it." There I heard the rest "....the gay people. No Homo."


You see one of the worst things that we as men have internalized is homophobia. We live in a society that constantly tells us that we must be straight in order to count as "real men". To break away from this once and for all would be a major victory for men everywhere. Imagine a world where a man can just be whatever sexual orientation that fancies him. Men, women, either/or, neither, or something else I haven't thought of.

That's why it pains me when I see displays like this that sink us right back in that hole.

Unlike the original Dos Equis ads this is spoofing, which while not perfect are of at least some value, this is not just worthless but is actually counterproductive. Counterproductive to the goal where men can be free to have whatever sexual orientation that suits them. Counterproductive to the goal of eliminating misandric acts and words of homophobia.

You know its times like this I wish I were bold enough to record video of myself (I'm still working on photos, not quite up to video yet). I'd make an ad that would actually say something like, "Why should anyone have a problem with gay people?"

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Weekly Mashup Stage 45

So what's the dealeo?

Should we move away from the word feminist?: Personally I think they'd better served by actually addressing the negativity in the movement that causes the negative reactions rather than pretending those negative reactions are all just total works of fiction. Yes that would be a much better way than just changing the name.

A photo tour of the abandoned Six Flags New Orleans: A rather sad look at a Six Flags park in New Orleans that closed down after Hurrican Katrina came through and never reopened.

Reasons the “Feminists Fuck Better” Catch-Phrase Makes Me Queasy: I'm pretty sure I've posted this before but even if I did its awesome enough to mention again.

Losing puts hair on your chest: I can dig that. Part of being a man is being able to come back after a loss.

Fuck The World.

Exalt for Men: "Exalt is donating 100 percent of the net profits from the sale of its next 10,000 cases to ZeroCancer: The Project to End Prostate Cancer. So when you buy Exalt, you’re not just buying a tasty beverage—you’re doing good." Yeah that's a good cause right there.

Leading scientist 'trafficked Tanzanian woman, 21, into Britain and kept her as house slave': "A scientist at one of the world's leading medical research institutions has appeared in court accused of keeping a 21-year-old woman as a house slave.
Rebecca Balira, 46, is alleged to have trafficked Methodia Mathias into the UK from her homeland in Tanzania to keep her as her unpaid servant.
Ms Balira, who has a 15 year association with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, is also accused of physically abusing the woman by beating her."

Good Question: How The Hell Did The NYT Spend $40 Million On That Paywall?: Good question indeed.

Top 10 Ways to Upgrade Your Morning Routine: A set of tips to get your day off to a better start.

Boston College Tells Students That Using A Wireless Router Is A Sign Of Copyright Infringement: O Rly?

How To Make Beer: Wow. I want to make beer now...but this does not make me wan to make a bloody mary.

Kodansha to bring Sailor Moon back to the United States: Do you think if this catches on someone will decide to rerelease the anime? And if so by all that is holy would it be unaltered. Zoycite was a guy and Uranus and Neptune were NOT cousins.

NY: Child Welfare Workers Charged with Homicide in Death of Child: Another example of child abuse and another example of the system failing a child that needed help.

I think I just came a little.

Take it easy!