Sunday, July 31, 2011

A dozen questions for men

So, Tom Matlack at the Good Men Project has a set of questions for men. These questions seem to be like a good chance to get men talking. I'm in. But I don't want to leave such a long winded comment over there (and they STILL have their pages set to auto-refresh, which will erase your comment right in the middle of typing it) so I'll put it over here.

1. Are men categorically better parents, at least in some areas? Do you think gay (male) parents have something to teach mothers?

Why: I can understand where this question comes from. For a long time people simply did not want to believe that men could be good parents. Well now that times are changing and some people are recognizing that men can be good parents I think what may be happening is that people are going into overdrive to get rid of the old stereotypes.

My Take: However despite what I just said I think that there might be some areas in which men may be better at parenting than mothers. Unfortunately I don't think its as simple as a sweeping declaration of, "Dads are better at ______ then moms". I think the same about gay dads in comparison to moms. There might be some individual things but I don't think there's anything solid enough to make broad conclusions.

2. What does “telling the truth” mean to you, and how important is it to your sense of what it means to be a “good” man?

Why: Truth is important. Its an indicator of what kind of person you are. There's to the proverb "A man is only as good as his word." If a man's word is not true then how can you trust the rest of him?

My Take: I think that a man really is as only good as his word. I don't care if you wear a different $500 everday or have less that $500 invest in your whole wardrobe. If I can't trust your word then I can't trust you. I'll have more respect for a person that admits to f'ing up then a person that lies to cover their butt.

3. It used to be that manhood was passed down generation to generation by “role models.” Does that still exist in some different form or was it always a crock?

Why: Whether you believe in the concept of being a man or not the fact of the matter is when you are expected to be something one of the first things you'll look for is someone who is already living that expectation and from them learn how to get there yourself.

My Take: When it comes to being a man the path is not an easy one (which is one of the main reasons why this blog is here). There are many bumps in the road and many side paths that can lead to all sorts of outcomes, good, bad or otherwise. As men we owe it to each other to guide and help our fellow man. There is no one right way to be a man. But that doesn't mean that we can't lend the occasioal helping hand whether that hand be in the form of giving a place to talk one's pain or the opportunity to sort out confusion.

I think manhood, just like any other part of humanity, is passed down by the generations and as I said above I think it still does happen. If the influence is good chances are things will turn out well, if the influence is bad chances are things will turn out bad, if there is no influence then who knows what will happen.

4. Are all men on a spectrum from homosexual to bisexual to heterosexual?

Why: One's sexuality is a core part of their being. Men are no different.

My Take: I don't think all men are on that spectrum but I think the vast majority of us are. Depending on where a man falls on tha spectrum he faces a different set of challenges. It really shouldn't be that way but for now it is. From being told you're a predator to being told you can't raise childrent, to being told you have to be one or the other. Such presumptions and challenges must be dealt with if men are to be able to be the the orientation of their choice and by extension be the men they want to be.

5. Why are there so many fatherless children in this country? Is it poverty, divorce laws, race, or guys just being irresponsible?

Why: In order to keep the next generation everyone has to do their part. In order to get those who are not doing their part it must be revealed why they are not doing their par.

My Take: Its a mixture of all four causes mentioned in the queation and probably more. A great number of those fatherless children are black. A lot of those children live in poverty. A lot of those children are left fatherless after divorce. A lot still are without fathers because said fathers chose to turn their back on the responsibilities. Black men must be allowed and motivated to be in their children's lives. These children need to be lifted from poverty. Those divorces need to stop ending with unnecessary outcomes where children are left without their fathers.

6. Should we have a draft in the United States for all men (and women) of fighting age?

Why: Its clear that defending one's home and land is important. What's not so clear is how to decide who should do the defending or how to go about deciding who should.

My Take: Personally I don't like that fact that based on one's gender you may or may not have to register for Selective Services under pain of fine, prison, denial of college application, and being ineligable for citizenship. Also I do not like the fact that one's socio-economic status can be used as a get out of duty free card. Depsite that I would prefer it if there no draft (and by extension no need for a draft) at all. However this is not a perfect world. If the draft were to manage to encompass all people who are of fighting age (or in some other way capable of contributing to the war effort such as people who may not be physically fit for combat but say have medical skills, something that pretty much goes hand in hand with war) I would support it. I think if more people saw the real hell of war, especially those that decide to go to war but then don't have to actually carry it out, there would not be as much enthusiasm for it.

7. What should be done about our separate and unequal private/public education system?

Why: The gap between public and privte is horrible. And when the education system fails the nation fails.

Part of Tom's Take that I want to address:
Through national service, those graduating from the top schools should be required to give back by working in the most troubled schools for a period of time.
I think it will take something more than that. In North Carolina we have a type of scholarship called Teaching Fellows. Basically a student gets their school paid for in exchange for agreeing to being assigned to a school to teach at for x number of years after graduation (not too different from folks who go military to pay for college). Sounds like a good idea but what so often happens is that when such teachers are assigned to those schools they are sent to places that need the extra help and they will stay there just long enough to fill out their obligation and then move on to districts for more money.

My Take: Truth be told I really don't have a solution for the education system. But its a mess and it needs to be addressed.

8. Are women just as horny as guys but afraid to admit it?

Why: Just like many things sex is something that people want. As a gateway to a more intimate connection or just to satisfy an itch real quick. Its all well and good until you get down to a sexual encounter with more than one person. Things can get tricky.

My Take: To answer that question I don't know about the just as horny but I'm betting women are horny and don't want to admit it for some reason (and no its not always a fear of slut shaming). Perhaps its a fear in losing the advantage in a power struggle that ultimately hurts everyone.

9. Do you buy redemption as a key component of goodness? Are there some men who are beyond redemption? Do you believe in the death penalty as a result? Would you hire a convicted murderer? Is there any part of prison that is rehabilitative, or is the point to punish bad guys?

Why: Short of the Powers That Be coming in and giving the final answer we as humans will never be able to conclusively answer whether or not someone's goodness (or lack of goodness) is set by nature, acculumated through nuture, a combination of both, or something else.

My Take: On an individual basis it may be a key component but otherwise I don't think so. Before you can really question if someone is beyond redemption we have to think about if redemption is even attainable (if you look at a lot of fiction, fiction but still written by real people, redemption is an ongoing process that never ends). But beyond I still think that men that are truly beyond redemption are extremely rare cases (nowhere near the numbers that go into prison and never see the light as a free man again). The prison industry as we currently know it does not exist for rehabilitation or redemption or even justice in some cases. Its exists to punish people for crimes, make people feel good for seeing someone punished (think legalized revenge), all the while turning a nice profit.

10. Is racism alive and well in the United States?

Why: We as a human race have to be able to get along or we are all doomed. Its a shame that things as arbitrary as skin color, accent, and geographic location are still used as obstacles from unity.

My Take: As I said skin color is still used as an obstacle to block us from unity. And as such men of different colors have different lives and experiences. It would be nice to say that such differences to matter but that would be foolhardy and dismissive. I would very much like to see men united but it will never happen as long people think that the white man and black man are living the same lives as the Indian man and Mexican man and so forth. One thing that must happen is that these various baggages will have to come to the table eventually. Or unity will remain a pipe dream.

11. How important an issue is the rape and sexual abuse of adult men by women?

Why: As men we are often told that crimes against us don't matter because we are men. There are few crimes where this shines true more than rape. And especially if it happens at the hands of a woman.

My Take: Frankly I think its a serious issue that really needs to be discussed more often that it is. But before than happens the folks that think male against female rape should get time equal to female against male rape (but in their defense I almost can't blame them considering how often male victims of female rapists are outright ignored because they male victims of female rapists), the folks that think one is worse than the other, those that think male victims of female rapists somehow owe it to women to "suck it up" so that more effort can go to female victims of male rapists, those that think male victims of female rapists need to "wait their turn", and anyone that thinks a gender check (of the victim or rapist) needs to be run before deciding how serious it is all need to STFU.

One of the reasons male victims are female rapists have such a hard time being heard is because of the belief that women don't do that kind of stuff, the belief that due to wanting sex all the time guys are always consenting therefore we can't be raped, the belief that if a guy says he was raped by a woman he must just be covering up the fact that he raped her (falling back on the belief that all men are rapists or rapists in waiting), and other nonsense like that. We need to get rid of that stuff so that male victims of female victims can get the help that any rape victim regardless of status, wealth, nationality, religion, gender, or whatever other criteria you can think of deserves.

You can't have gender equality while at the same time thinking that some people are more deserving of help than other because they are "wrong" gender.
(Side note: I can't help but notice how Tom just sidesteps this with a "yeah that's important but..." and goes right into "what we really need to work on is men raping women". I guess some people just can't help but making everything about women being the victims.)

12. Does love require monogamy? Is marriage a life-long commitment, or is it better thought of as an arrangement for a period of time?

Why: Its odd that most people will acknowledge that everyone needs love in their own way but are then so hell bent on trying to stick to such a narrow definition of love that a lot of people are left in the cold.

My Take: Personally I think people should be free to define love on their own terms. However one thing to bear in mind is that once your definition of love involves other people you must be just as mindful of their feelings on the issue as you are of yours. While I have no experience of my own to draw from on this from my observations of others it seems to me that the problem isn't the definition of love and what it requires. No to me it appears that the issue is compatibility. The compatibility of the definition of love between the folks involved. If that doesn't line up its doomed to unhappiness if not doomed to outright failure (and personally think unhappiness would be worse).

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Second question about porn

( I'm talking about sex and porn. Tread carefully.)

A few days ago I asked a question about porn. Namely I was asking if a scene I described was degrading or not. I got three responses:

From Clarissa:
If both participants are consenting adults, there is nothing "degrading" about this scenario.

The only culture that uses the word "degrading" to refer to sex is a deeply puritanical one.
From Meticulous Mouser:
I have to agree with Clarissa...there isn't anything degrading about it if both participants are consenting adults. Power play in sex is a turn-on for some people. As long as the participants are cool with it, I see no problem with it. Besides, we all have our kinks.
From James:
Well, if that person being held down wants to be held down, then they must have enough value as a person to get what they want. So yeah...
I'll say that my answer pretty much falls in with what they are saying. If the people involved into it then I'm cool with it.

Now let me mix it up a bit.

This time the porn scene is your basic heterosexual romp. At the end the man gives the woman a facial (in case you don't know in porn lingo a facial is when a man ejaculates on a woman's face).

Now think about whether or not you think that that scene is degrading to women. Next I want to you consider this. Think about crossing paths with a man does not consider this degrading and perhaps even says he would like to do something like that with a consenting partner.

Would you say that that man likes degrading women? And by extension would go as far as to say that since he is into that that would be a sign that he does not respect women in general?

I can't wait to hear some answers.

The inevitable Facebook pages

I'm a bit surprised that I forgot to look up Facebook for any pages springing up in support of Catherine Kieu Becker, the woman who allegedly drugged her husband, tied him up, chopped his penis off, throw it in the garbage disposal (and turned it on), then called the cops saying that "he deserved it" when they arrived on the scene. Well despite the violence of such an event there are of course people trying to defend her actions.

First we have the Catherine Kieu Becker Fan page. From the wall of that page
Men think they can do or say whatever they want to and about women and women can't stand up for themselves. Ok so a British woman gets her head chopped off at random and it becomes a huge joke but some guy get's his dick chopped off by his scorned wife/soon to be ex and guys everywhere are going apeshit at any chick who thinks that if the dude deserved it then he deserved it. What r u gonna do? Ur angrier than the dude who got his shit chopped off. Anyway, I don't see any hard facts in this case that say's that he didn't deserve it. Cum at me with some solid, evidence that say's that this dude didn't deserve to involuntarily supply her with the main ingredient needed for some Wong Hung Lo soup. In all seriousness, I made this page because I made a few comments in support of Catherine Kieu and the amount of hate mail I received over my rather tame comments were immense. Am I for women? Well I am one so yes. Am I a man hater? I'm happily married to one so no. I don't like men who like to cheat on women and batter them. Women get abused every day. They got persecuted for thousands of years. To this day some women are forced to live in horrendous conditions yet you don't hear these same men crying foul over some dude's wang saying anything about what women have to go through. I've even seen lots of jokes about women being told on sad news stories about women. It's a double standard and if men can joke about the misfortunes of women, then I can joke about this dude getting his junk sliced off with one swoop of a 10 inch blade. Yea, his junk wasn't even able to be reattached. She turned it into meat paste using a penis blending garbage disposal. I made this page because I feel that Facebook should have a penis joke page. It will probably go unnoticed. Maybe it will be the most hated among men. Maybe I can get some awesome castration jokes. Either way, it's for shits and giggles so enjoy. FREE CATHERINE KIEU!!! I LOVE YOU LORENA GALLO!
1. I don't see a damn thing in that spew that actually gives evidence that he actually did deserve it.

2. Say it with me, No one deserves to have that kind of violence committed against them.

3. The fact that this woman is actually cheering this act of violence on really makes me scared for that man that she's supposedly "happily married to".

4. I've already reported this page. Feel free to do the same.

Next up we have Free Catherine Kieu Becker.

Alright well now. Here we have another page that supports this woman. Oh and look at the left side to see that the person running this page likes Lorena Bobbit, Aileen Wuornos, and Snapped (that's a show that runs on the Oxygen network, stories about women that "snap" and commit violent crimes, because we all know that women only commit violence when a man makes them do it).

Take a few minutes to look around, see Becker supporters get all hurt and shit over how they got hatemail for supporting her, and then report them.

You know if those Becker supporters really cared about the women who have had violence committed against them by men and not just using them as ammo to support their own anti-male hatred (and I bet Ginmar is having a fucking field day with this) I would think that they would at least have the respect to remain quiet. But no they'll give their support to violent women then cry bloody murder when they get called for the hateful misandrists they are.

Fro tip to

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Weekly Mashup Stage 61

So what's really good?

A Feminist Critics Milestone: First off I gotta give props to those cool cats at Feminist Critics for hitting that 1,000,000 combo in page views. I'm talking cooler than a polar bear's toenails! (I was going to say "hotter than a dragon's boogers" but that sounds a bit nasty.)

Woman's truck rammed because attacker thought she looked like Casey Anthony: Another reason people might want to tone the vigilante justice down a few notches. This innocent woman could have been killed.

Violent black mob attacks mother and two daughters: Okay I have to admit something. If that had been a mob of white kids attacking a black mom and her two daughters there's a good chance it would be all over the place and "race" would be the first thing out of the media's mouth. If that had been a mob of boys attacking a mom and her two daughters there's a good chance it would be all over the place and "gender" would be the first thing out of the media's mouth. And sadly I think that anchorman was actually trying to avoid saying "black" to describe the attackers.

Why are we afraid of male sexuality?: "Women have been entirely justified in asking that we blokes respect their rights, autonomy and wishes, that we respect them as sexual beings. It shouldn't be too much to ask for a little of the same in return."


Ohio Supreme Court’s Lesbian Child Custody Ruling Ignores Importance of Social Mom’s Bond with Her Child: So as we can see its not just dads that fall victim to the "her body, her baby" mentality that plagues family courts. "Since the breakup, Mullen has tried to strip Hobbs of shared custody rights to her daughter and to drive her out of her daughter’s life, even though Hobbs is a fit parent who enjoys a loving relationship with her daughter."

A Tribe Called Quest: Rise and Fall of a Legend: NPR has a pretty interesting article up about the Michael Rapaport documentary "Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest". One thing I recall from that era was that back then when a group broke up unless it got real personal or if dirty laundry was actually aired out in public you really didn't get the why. Hopefully this may fill in some of those blanks. (Also do you notice that, while not perfect, hip hop of that day was nowhere near as anti-woman as it is today.)

Silence lifted: The untold stories of rape during the Holocaust: (As the title says there's discussion of rape. Tread carefully.) You know I was of the mind that I always thought that rape was a given when it came to the Holocaust. I thought I recalled reading a long time ago that Jewish women were raped until they were pregnant so Nazi scientists could experiment on them (and their unborn children) and of course that German officers would keep women as sex slaves (and according to this article there were female German officers who also kept women as sex slaves). Maybe I was just imposing what I know war criminals do over what the Nazis did?


Beauty salon is ‘sexist’ claims bodybuilder: I think that bodybuilder has a point. If they don't work on men then why did they go through the pricing and then say they don't work on men? "Although the shop front does not advertise the salon as women only, it is written in their terms of conditions and literature." If you're going to service one group and not the other then you can at least have the courage to clearly say so.

Putting together a sports team of winners? Men need not apply: Isn't it just lovely when you take a portion of a group and use the actions of that group as proof that the entire group is inferior?

Okay I get why this groping is a hot story this week since its the latest in a long line of gropings dealing with the TSA. But I wonder why I don't recall hearing about this.

Sole Female Cabinet Minister in Somalia Kidnapped By Rebel Group: I'm by no means trying to minimize that fact that this woman was kidnapped but make sure you not the ending line. "“The Shebab is trying to show how powerless the government in Mogadishu is, and the fact that it’s a woman minister, perhaps, shows an attempt to make the Western press.”" If they kidnapped her because she is a woman in order to get attention from the Western press that makes me wonder. I wonder where they would get the idea that they would need to kidnap a woman in order to get Western attention...

Alright that's all for now folks. Take it easy.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

First question about porn

Okay there's been a lot of heated discussion over at the Good Men Project this week about porn (one, two, three, and four and those just the ones I could immediately find). Well I need to take a moment to clear some thoughts about it.

Hypothetical question time!

Let me describe a porn scene.

The scene is of a two having sex. One is on top of the other pinning the other's hands down. The one on top is talking dirty and giving commands to the one on the bottom. Its very clear that the one on top is in a position of dominance over the one on the bottom.

My question to you is this. Do you find that scene to be degrading to the person on the bottom, and by extension degrading to people of any demographics that person may be a part of? Why or why not?

Yes I intentionally gave no description of the two people. I want a clean slate answer so I asked a clean slate question. If you insist on describing the two people feel free to do so in any way you wish (gender, orientation, race, etc...). But if you add in descriptions in your answer I hope you back up your answer about why your answer applies to the description you add.

I have an answer to that question but I'll come back with that in another post in a few days.

Friday, July 22, 2011

A comic book geek break

While I was looking the net today I came across this little gem.

Its an article on who why Batman is cooler than Captain America. Its not that the writer doesn't make any valid points but I am just enough of a comic book geek that I can't sit idly by and let my feelings go unheard. Although I think Batman may still win. And besides ComicCon is going down. Here goes.
Batman: After his parents are killed in a mugging gone wrong, orphan boy Bruce Wayne obsessively trains in secret for years until he's ready to dress up as a giant bat so he can fight crime.

Captain America: After he is rejected as physically unfit to serve in World War Two, patriotic weakling Steve Rogers volunteers for a medical experiment involving a "super-soldier" serum and Vita-Ray bombardment that transforms him into the perfect warrior so he can fight Nazis.

Advantage: Batman. Rogers went above and beyond the call of duty, sure, but Wayne devoted his entire life, starting from childhood, to a compulsive desire to combat evil.
I don't want to take anything away from the fact that Bruce started at a younger age however I think there is one difference that need to be taken into account. Yes Bruce took on the desire to fight for justice at an early age but I ask. If Thomas and Martha Wayne had not been killed would we have a Batman today? I ask this because Steve Rogers straight up went headlong into the Super Soldier project in order to serve his country. No tragedy to spurn him, or was there? I suppose one could argue that if WW2 had never happened Steve Rogers would have never even had a chance to serve in the military (remember he was kicked out over physical requirements but was then later chosen for the Super Soldier project) much less become Captain America. I'm leaning towards tie.
Batman: None, technically. But through long, grueling training he's become a formidable fighter in prime physical condition. Also, he's incredibly rich, tech-savvy, and a wily strategist.

Captain America: None, technically. But the super-soldier serum puts him in peak condition, with strength and reflexes at the maximum for normal humans. He's also got plenty of real combat experience under his belt, and is an expert tactician.

Advantage: A tie. It's hard to say who'd win in a fight — Cap would probably triumph in a straightforward punch-up, but don't bet against Batman in the long haul.
Okay in Marvel vs DC a while back these two actually fought. In the end both dropped their trademark weapons (Batterang and Shield)...and Batman caught Cap with a surprise 1-hit KO punch. Don't get me wrong I love some Cap but Batman is not only a trained ninja but fights on a level of grime that goes against Captain America's battle ethics. Dark Knight gets the nod.

Batman: Bruce Wayne, playboy billionaire.

Captain America: Steve Rogers, army private.

Advantage: Batman. C'mon. One guy dates supermodels. The other guy gets yelled at by his drill sergeant.
Honestly you really can't even make the argument that Wayne is just living a privileged life while Rogers scrapes by considering that a lot of Wayne's money goes into his crimefighting and he is literally putting his life on the life just like Roger. I'll let this one go.
Batman: A bat, worn on his chest.

Captain America: The letter A, worn on his forehead.

Advantage: Batman. Cap's star-spangled costume, designed by the legendary Jack Kirby, looks pretty snazzy overall, but that A is seriously grade-Z.
Okay technically this is correct however when I think Captain America I think of the shield as his symbol and when you think about it like that Cap all the way baby. But since the A is his symbol I'll let this one stand.
Batman: Batarangs, custom-made ninja throwing stars in the shape of his bat-symbol.

Captain America: A red-white-and-blue shield., made out of an unbreakable metal called vibranium. It's not only bulletproof, but can be thrown like a Frisbee, ricocheting off walls and pummeling his enemies.

Advantage: Cap. Batman has all kinds of impressive gadgets, but none of 'em are as cool as that shield.
I agree here. Plus Batman needs a whole fucking cave of gear to fight crime. Cap has only ever had his shield and maybe the odd gun.
Batman: The Joker, real name unknown, a psychotic serial killer and self-described "agent of chaos." He dresses like a clown in purple and green, with a pale white face and a permanently fixed grin. He's motivated by a morbid, twisted sense of humor and an obsession with Batman.

Captain America: The Red Skull, real name Johann Schmidt, a Nazi and terrorist leader personally trained by Hitler who underwent the same super-soldier process that created Cap. He dresses in black leather and wears a frightening crimson-colored skull mask. He's motivated by plans for world domination.

Advantage: A tie. Both villains are justifiably among the most iconic in comic-book history, polar opposites on the spectrum of evil—insane anarchy for the Joker, and brutal fascism for the Skull. I wouldn't want to meet either of them in a dark alley, or anywhere else.
On a global level Red Skull is the bigger threat in my book. However the Joker's unpredictability counts for A LOT. On some level you can reason with Red Skull. Well you might be able to reason with the Joker too but I'm not sure I'd want to go to that level anymore than meeting him in a dark alley. Tie.
Batman: The Batmobile, usually portrayed as a stylish customized luxury sedan, but more recently as a military-grade urban assault vehicle tricked out with a secret escape module that turns into a motorcycle.

Captain America: Cap doesn't have an iconic vehicle to call his own. In the new movie, he'll ride around on an Army-issue motorcycle.

Advantage: Batman. And that's not even counting the Bat-boat, Bat-plane, Bat-copter, Bat-surfboard...
No contest.

Okay now that I have that out of my system back to your regular programming.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

I'm not completely buying it

So it would seem that the women of The Talk issues an apology for their commentary last week about Catherine Kieu Becker allegedly drugging her husband, tying him to a bed, chopping off his penis, tossing it in the garbage disposal and turning it on, and then telling the cops "he deserved it". As you recall I was, not happy about that.

Well it looks like either enough people were also not happy about it or those women grew a conscience in the last week.

Here's a link to the apology. (Embedding is disabled.) It starts about about 1:15.

Simply put I'm not fully buying it. Yeah its nice they apologized but hear me out for a bit.

1. She couldn’t start the apology on her own because she was fighting off the urge to laugh, and the crowd was laughing with her. You’d think they ask the audience to be serious. But on the real if you start laughing before you even begin your apology you really shouldn't expect to be taken seriously.

2. That apology was so generic you wouldn’t think they were laughing at it because it was a man despite Osbourne even saying that it was "different" because the alleged victim was a man. My money still says if that had been a woman that had her genitals mutilated that 4 minutes of laughter would not have happened in the first place. In fact I bet a few hosts of shows would have even done a "special episode" about domestic violence against women. As someone at NSWATM noted this line of logic basically means that making fun of female rape victims with the implication that rape against women is funny is bad only because you're joking about rape. The problem with their commentary wasn't just they were making fun of genital mutilation. The problem with their commentary was that they were acting under the notion that genital mutilation against men is funny because they're men. That is the conversation that needs to go down.

3. And speaking of that four minutes of laughter one of them gave a sob story about how hard it is to keep the conversation going on a live show. She also said they don’t always say the right thing all the time. Okay I understand no one’s perfect and we say the wrong thing at times but is that supposed to explain or excuse why they went on making fun of that man for FOUR MINUTES. Not 20-30sec, FOUR MINUTES. Can you imagine Dane Cook trying to defend his rape jokes by saying its hard to do live stand up for 10min. and sometimes the wrong thing comes out?

So while I do like that they apologized I'm just not feeling the love. Hopefully Beckers' alleged victim does.

But in the end it does show one thing. If this apology was the result of people sending in letters, complaints, facebook messages, and tweets then it means that there people out there that actually do care about men.

What should the next topic of Being A Man 101 be?

I know a bit of time has passed since I talked about my Being A Man 101. Well one of the reasons is because I'm not sure where to go next (I've already talked about Work, feel free to check it out and comment) with it. I'm thinking violence or sex. Both would take a good bit of work but that's no problem. So I ask you readers, should the next entry in the Being A Man 101 be sex or violence? Or perhaps something else?

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Nevelle Longbottom is the man

(This post is more about the movies than the books but I'll be spoiling them a bit, even the final movie, so tread carefully.)

Okay Harry and Ron were cool and all but if you compare those two to Nevelle you'll see that Nevelle actually developed and changed over the course of the series unlike Mr. Weasely and Mr. Potter.

For the first three movies Longbottom was that kid that everyone made fun of. If it was time for an embarrassing moment Nevelle was the go to guy. His spells would fail, his potions didn't turn out right, and it looked like he would be that outcast that's just a part of the scenery dominated by the main characters. (But he did stand up to the main trio and tried to stop them from going out past curfew). That changed in the fourth movie.

The Goblet of Fire was pretty much a teen movie with the winter social, the visiting mages from the other schools, and high school crushes that left you wondering if you were watching an old episode of Saved by the Bell. If you recall when Professor McGonagall was showing the Gryffindor how to ballroom dance for the upcoming winter social take note of something. While all the other guys were playing wallflower (and after McGonagall "volunteered" Ron to be her partner for the dancing demonstration) did you see Nevelle take to the floor? Even after the lesson and the guys gathered back in the the Gryffindor common room (speaking of were ANY of the female common rooms shown in the movies?) you see Harry and Ron giving Nevelle the weird look as he practiced his dance steps. Who knew Nevelle would have the last laugh?

So when the winter social came up where were Ron and Harry and where was Nevelle. Potter and Weasely were sulking because the girls they wanted to ask already had dates to the dance (which in turn left the two girls they "settled for" miserable too). Meanwhile Longbottom took Ginny Weasely onto the dance floor and made it his.

By Order of the Phoenix you see my man taking up the fight and joins the underground efforts against Voldemort's forces. I have to say I got a rush out of seeing him practice his magic. Harry told him to practice and keep at it. And he did. Low and behold he was a part of the main six in the big fight at the end of the movie (along with Luna Lovegood, Ginny Weasely, and of course the main trio).

For the most part Nevelle wasn't really in the picture that much until the final throwndown (there was that part where two Deatheaters stopped the train to Hogwarts and he stands up to them to say Harry's not on the train, after calling them losers). But damn he delivered. After Harry lost the first round of his final confrontation with Voldemort it was Longbottom that stood against him and tried to rally the troops, even as a captured Hagrid was cradling the body of a dead Harry (or so we thought). After that he actually takes the Sword of Griffyndor (remember it will present itself to Griffynfor student it deems worthy) and fights. And I don't know about you but when he killed the final Horcrux (Nagini, Voldemort's pet snake) it looked liked he had some King Leonidas in him.

One thing I wish they had showed (and it might be in the books) was him finally working up the courage to talk to Luna Lovegood. If I recall the last time those two appear onscreen was Nevelle sitting down beside Luna after the battle is won. So maybe they do get together, I would have really liked it if he was at the train station after the 19 year jump, possibly with Luna seeing their own kids off to Hogwarts.

As I say with it comes to development and change I think Nevelle actually did more of that than even the main trio. I like the guy. Not bad looking either in that last movie. Although I don't think I'd fuck him. However if I were to indulge myself in using the term WILF (Wizard/Witch I'd like to....) there is one...

That's right. Oh you thought I was going to say Hermoine didn't?

Monday, July 18, 2011

Still not funny...

(This post is about the violent mutilation of a man's genitals and some horrible people that actually laugh at it, cheer about it, and joke about it. Tread carefully.)

For the last few days I've been following the case of Catherine Kieu Becker, the woman who allegedly drugged her husband, tied him to a bed, chopped off his penis, threw it the garbage disposal (and turned it on), called the cops then told the cops on the scene that deserved it. However on a count of spending my Friday night getting ready for the final Harry Potter movie and then being away from the net from Saturday morning til Sunday evening I missed out on the news about some rather offensive commentary about the case from the women who host the CBS day time talk show The Talk. I'm going to show you the horror that I'm about to talk about. Like I said above this is some terrible stuff. Oh and if you're a fan of Sharon Osbourne before and still are after viewing this then I'm pretty sure I will no longer respect you in any way shape or form.

From the 7-14-11 episode of The Talk on CBS

Simply put this is disgusting and disrespectful to say the very least. Sara Gilbert eventually mentions the double standard but Sharon Osbourne doesn't let that stop her from celebrating the violence that was committed against this man (and she also joked about having an altar for Lorena Bobbit). All around that was hard to watch. To not only see it happen but where it happened. These are not some random nameless faceless folk in the farthest reaches of 4Chan. No these women are known people and celebrities on a nationally broadcasted show on a major network talking this misandry.

At one point in the video one of them (the woman to the far left) comments that she can think of one instance where she would do cut off a man's genitals. But she won't go into it. Why? Because they are laughing and joking and the thing she's thinking about is not a laughing manner (my guess is she's talking about rape, although I've seen one other speculate child rape specifically). So that one thing is not a laughing manner but this is? No its not. I said a while back that violence against men is not funny. Rest assured nothing has happened in the last year and half that made it suddenly funny or okay.

In case you're thinking about defending it:

1. "But look at all the women who are abused/tortured/raped/killed everyday!"

Doesn't justify vigilante justice or lashing out in violence. Or should we just make the whole world "blind"?

2. "I'll bet he abused her. She was just fighting back.

Early signs say he was drugged and tied up so self-defense is a no go. But if you insist on going this route pulling a Mary Winkler will not cut it here. Her words alone are not evidence of self-defense. Motivation to go looking for actual evidence of self-defense but not self-defense on its own.

3. "But, patriarchy!!!!

If you think that applies then you're using it wrong and there may be no hope for you.

4. "But its different from when it happens to women.

Please explain how the difference in genitals makes this okay.

5. "But she said he deserved it."

Unless he was in the middle of attacking her no he didn't. Refer to point 2.

6. (Oh and if you dare try to use "institutional power", "privilege", or any other buzzwords to explain this away or minimize it I'm warning you now my Moderation Style will be swift and unyielding.)


Point is there is absolutely NO reason that this man deserved to have this done to him.

And Sharon Osbourne should be ashamed of herself but it should be no surprise since just a few weeks ago she said, “I would have chopped his willy (penis) off. Arnie’s willy would have been down the disposal unit spinning around, that’s where it’d be – and I’d make her clean it up. That mop would have been wrapped around her head.” when commenting on the recent discovery of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s infidelity. Just plain awful. If anything Osbourne needs to lose her job on that show and since they were so happy about joking about this attack on national tv they should be able to apologize to him on national tv. So its time to ante up. I was planning on contacting someone about this and low and behold the nice folks at No, Seriously, What About Teh Menz? has rounded up contact info already.

  • At CBS’s website comment form, select “Complaint,” and then “The Talk” from the dropdown menu. Let them know exactly how you feel.

  • Write CBS on Twitter.

  • Write CBS on Facebook.

  • Email CBS Investor Relations or call them at 877-227-0787. (Put your cursor over the link to get the email address from the bottom lower left of your browser window.) You might inform them that you will be contacting their advertisers to tell them what they implicitly supported, and considering boycotting the same. If you have any investments in CBS properties (directly or through retirement accounts, etc.), you should tell them you will be reconsidering those investments.

  • File a complaint with the FCC.

I also received a link to a Youtube video covering the story a few days ago. When's the last time you saw a news station headline a male against female violence story with "Ouch!"?

Received a link to this via email earlier today.

Time to ante up!

(Edit: Why stop at contacting CBS? As you may have noticed I'm particularly displeased with Osbourne's conduct and the folks at What Men Are Saying About Women have gotten some contact info for her and some of the other projects she works with as well as a Facebook page. Looks like I have some new messages to write up tonight.)​sbourne​ourne​08.html​t_Talent/

(Edit: It looks like enough people complained. The crew on The Talk issued an apology. Well something like an apology.)

(Edit: How magical. It would seem that the link to the clip on CBS's site is gone. Here's another:

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Weekly Mashup Stage 60

Goodness so much going on this week and my Harry Potter marathon kept me out of it for most of the week and I've been out of town for the last day.

War, rape, and the invisible victims: " It is unfathomable to think that any army that would torture and brutalize a populace would abstain from sexually assaulting men. Regardless of the social stigmas, in war no act of violence is ever used just against one group. There are thousands of boys and men who have been raped and forced to keep it secret because of social stigmas and misandrist policies that deny male victimization."

Two Short Takes: Domestic Violence and Infant Homicide: "I’ve pointed out that throughout the DV industry, male victims are silenced. The DV establishment only grudgingly admits male victims exist at all, and some parts of it, like the Vice President of the United States, don’t even do that." "Second up is this very strange case (Associated Press, 7/13/11). Last year, Michele Kalina of Reading, Pennsylvania, was arrested for killing five newborn children - hers. It seems that she had become pregnant five separate times and kept them all secret from her husband and her boyfriend who is the father of at least three of the children. She then carried each of the children to term, gave birth (where, no one seems to know), killed the children and stored their remains in a locked closet."

‘Cuckolding Is the Worst Thing That Can Happen to a Man’: Well it seems that at least some feminists do engage in hypocrisy. Somehow its wrong for a man to leave a child if/when he finds out he's not the genetic father because its not about the sperm but about the dad while at the same time its okay for the mom to withhold secrets about a child's paternity. I've asked before and I'll ask again. If the genetics don't matter then why withhold secrets about it in the first place? (Also notice how Hugo manages to ignore nearly all of the civil commentary in order to pretend that its just a bunch of mean old MRAs picking on him.)

The rape of men: "Often, she says, wives who discover their husbands have been raped decide to leave them. "They ask me: 'So now how am I going to live with him? As what? Is this still a husband? Is it a wife?' They ask, 'If he can be raped, who is protecting me?' There's one family I have been working closely with in which the husband has been raped twice. When his wife discovered this, she went home, packed her belongings, picked up their child and left. Of course that brought down this man's heart."

Robin Pagoria Busted For Producing Child Porn and Violence...: Say what you want about MRAs. Yeah some of them go overboard but they seem to have a habit of bringing up stories that just don't seem to make big splashes in the mainstream media.

Received a link to this via email earlier today.

Do you have anything to share?

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Why are people so childish about video games?


How many times have you heard people saying the guys play games into adulthood are somehow defective? As you can see the folks on this panel mean you can add three more. Chris Pereira (the writer of the article I got that clip from) notes that those folks can barely make it through the question before they lay into the laughing. They seem to buy into the idea that there is something wrong with a man that plays video games into his 30s (well they allow for men in their 30s that are playing with their own kids). I'm wondering what they think is so funny.

While it is true that video games have been the realm of children in the past it looks like the critics and teasers have failed to noticed that video games have upped the ante a lot since the days of popping quarters into Pac Man machines. From calling video games "Fat Kids Sports", to making them a staple of "losers that won't grow up" type characters in movies, to stereotyping gamers as fat pasty pale shut ins that just sit in their mother's basement people seem to really enjoy ragging on us. Such a shame they aren't paying attention to video games.

Exhibit A: Silent Hill

The Silent Hill series broke ground in the fact that it brought psychological horror to the mainstream. Not to be confused with action horror titles where you can fight your way out of any situation as long as you have the right ammunition and enough of it (like Resident Evil) Silent Hill didn't give you that luxury. Weapons were simple, few and far between, and ammo was to be used sparingly. To make matters more interesting enemies in Silent Hill aren't in the form of seemingly endless hordes of scary monsters with generic faces intent on killing you. No these creatures were themed, came out rarely, and were more meant to scare you than actually kill you. If you're up for it go read a plot of the first game in the series (I'll leave a link so as not to spoil). Do you think that's kiddie stuff? Oh and watch out for the walls that melt into blood.

The stuff in these games are not too different from what you'd see in a horror movie, but I don't hear people saying that horror movie fans over 30 need to grow up.

Exhibit B : Heavy Rain

If you recall about a month or two ago I talked about the game Heavy Rain. In short that game plays out like a movie. One thing to note here is that unlike many other video games is character death. You play as four different characters throughout the game, but when one of them dies instead of getting a game over you might just move on to the next part of the game, having that character's death altering the ending. That's why each character has multiple endings and some of them actually depend on whether or not some of the other characters died or not. That plus the mood and setting (and music) of this game is why I'm willing to put it up against the majority of what passes for a movie these days.

And besides when's the last time you heard someone saying that fans of murder mysteries need to grow up?

Exhibit C: Alan Wake

I'm currently watching this game in the form of Let's Play videos on youtube. And its great. The story starts off with the title character, writer Alan Wake, bringing his car to a halt after hitting someone. Alan gets out of the car to check on the man he hit. But then suddenly the victim vanishes. Alan walks into the distance, slightly disoriented. He turns back and mysterious man shaped shadow is standing next to his car, then gets closer. We learn that Alan is under attack by they darkness itself, a darkness so evil that even guns won't defeat it. Alan's true weapon against the dark is the light. And I meant that. If you have a flashlight and no gun you can at least stun enemies (called The Taken) and run until you get to safety or ammo. If you have a gun and no flashlight you're fucked.

Seriously when is the last time you've played a game that actually made you prioritize batteries for your flashlight over ammo for your shotgun? Not only that but the town where the game takes place, Bright Falls, reminds me a lot of Twin Peaks. Interesting characters from the brothers who think they are Norse gods, the old woman that stockpiles weapons and leaves them in cache boxes (which by the way save your ass in this game), to the hotheaded FBI agent that has no problem endangering innocent civilians to catch criminals. And the presentation is just brilliant.

The game is divided into chapters that are called episodes (six to be exact). Episodes have cliffhanger endings, ending theme music, and 2-6 actually start off with Alan's voice actor explaining, "Last episode...", giving a run down of the story so far. The episodes play out almost like a miniseries based off of a Stephen King novel (which BTW King and his material are heavily referenced in this game. And how can you not like it when Alan gets to a checkpoint and there is actually a drum roll? If you're up to it take a look at the opening sequence of the game.

Yet and still suspense fans are not the a designated group to rag on like gamers.

Mind you these games are not perfect (such as the absence of people of color) but frankly what form of entertainment media is these days? But somehow gamers are the ones that get picked on if we're still playing after 30. Watching tv shows that are basically popularity contests (all the while pretending that they represent reality) is fine yet playing a game where you actually perform songs and dance steps is childish (frankly I'd rather play Rock Band than watch American Idol). Watching imaginary characters fighting to save the world is fine while controlling imaginary characters fighting to save the world is the sign of a loser (reading Lord of the Rings is cool and playing Lord of the Rings is immature I guess)? Reading a book that will deliver the same ending every single time is considered sophisticated but playing through an interactive story where your actions actually alter the ending means you need to grow up (The Time Machine only has one ending, Silent Hill 1 has 5)? Please.

Mind you don't take this to mean that I think video games are the ultimate entertainment nor am I trying to say that there are no people that really do fit the stereotype of the person that plays video games to the point of it actually taking over their lives. I'm just saying that the next time you want to put down guys over 30 who still play games you might want to take a bit more time to see what he's all about.

Oh and women play video games too.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

If it had been Moaning Morty in the bath with Hermione...

(I'm spoiling Harry Potter so if you don't want to know don't tread. I've only read the first four books but I'm all caught up on the movies so I'll be talking more movie than book.)

If you didn't know I'm putting the Xena Project on hold so that I can marathon the first seven Harry Potter movies in preparation for the 8th this weekend. At first I was not going to post about the movies but then a few things hit me. One of them is about Ron Weasely but that's for another post. First I want to talk about the scene where Moaning Myrtle "joins" Harry for a bath (you can see the part I'm talking about here.)

I'm going straight to the point if that had been Moaning Morty "joining" Hermione in the bath would it have been played off as so funny? I get the feeling that it would not. In fact I'll bet that if we had Morty and not Myrtle the character would have been portrayed quite differently.

Myrtle was written up (at least in the movies, I've only read the first four books and that was several years ago) to draw sympathy from readers/viewers. You find out that our wandering ghost was the victim of the Basilisk 50 years prior to the events of The Chamber of Secrets. Considering that she was teased while attending Hogwarts its pretty understandable why she moans and mopes most of the time. I get the feeling that a Moaning Morty would be more like Screech from Saved By The Bell. Picked on but that wouldn't get as much attention and he'd probably be more annoying loser than eternal sad sack.

Throughout the books its pretty clear that Myrtle interested in Potter. Most of the time her flirting with him is portrayed as funny. Really not seeing my hypothetical Morty getting the same treatment. Referencing Screech you might think that Morty flirting with Hermione would be funny too but I don't think it would be quite the same funny. Let me explain. With Harry when Myrtle got close Harry was usually left feeling awkward or trying to play off her affections, thus the funny is "haha look at how Myrtle is making Harry feel this time". On the other hand (referencing Screech) Lisa Turtle out and out rejected Screech in every way from verbal cutdowns to physical actions and in the end the funny was "haha look at how Lisa shut him down this time." I think our dear Morty would more than likely get the Screech treatment than the Myrtle if he tried to flirt with Granger and him trying to get in the bath with her would be met with some sort of spell that would only be used by her to get rid of him (and would probably become a running gag).

But why do I think that would happen?

I simply think its a result of the gendered way things are portrayed when a "low class" person tries to flirt with a "high class" person (by that I mean in terms of popularity for example Zach Morris was high class while is buddy Screech was low class). Mind you this is not a universal truth. I'm sure there plenty of examples of "low" girls getting treated like Screech.

Do you think the same? Have other examples? Think otherwise perhaps? (Like what's the likelyhood of there being a Morbid Morty trying to get into bath with Harry Potter, and bearing in mind this is a movie aimed at youth audiences and how homophobic people are about adult gay content much less teen gay content)? Then let's talk.

(PS - I get the feeling that if it were Morty his name would not be Moaning Morty but something a bit weirder like Morbid Morty, because boys are weird and gross like that right?)

(PSS - I may be wrong but I swear she said "long and hard" at :51 of that clip.)

Still think sexism only goes one way?

Courtesy of dad4justice.

Note that even the cop (who appeared to be off duty mind you) said that he didn't think that a woman beating a man was not that big a deal but if it had been the other way around he would have jumped into action. And also note how many people come up with some sort of reason (cheating seemed to be a favorite) that deserved to be beaten by her.

Look inter-partner violence is flatly wrong no matter who is doing.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Talk about screwing up the life/work balance

With the advent of various forms of social media different people make different uses of it. Some use it to keep in contact with others. Some use it to play games. Some use it promote their business or cause. But did you know that some use it to decide if you are a worthy candidate for a job?

Now that employers are able to look up your social media presence it begs the question of where exactly is the divide between your work and your life.

Don't get me wrong I'm not talking about obvious stuff that would get you turned down no matter how they found out about it like engaging in illegal activities. I'm talking about simpler things like say drinking. Of course you wouldn't want to hire someone that's an alcoholic/drunk. On the other hand while seeing a few pictures of you drinking does tell a few thousand words they may not really tell the whole story. I've got pics and status updates about alcohol on my Facebook account like a lot of people does that make me a drunk/alcoholic? Certainly doesn't unless I'm the worst drunk/alcoholic ever by the fact of the matter that instances when I drink are very spaced out.

And also its understood that one should keep their work life separate from their outside work life. That's going to get harder now that your work life can peruse through your outside work life (which I think is salt on the wound initially caused by mobile phones, on the real, expecting someone to be reachable at all hours in pretty messed up). And I suspect it will get worse (the company I work for is currently working on plans to get into social media).

So the next time you are doing a kegstand you might want to think twice about posting it on a social media site. It might cost you a job opportunity.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

You're Fired Blockbuster

Okay I've been using Blockbuster's Online service since almost the beginning. For the longest time I stuck with it pretty much because I just needed a way to ship dvds back and forth for my viewing. Well things change such as my desires for watching media. Blockbuster lost me on the three strike rule.

1. Streaming - This is where they really lost me. Blockbuster does streaming, but only movies. So if you have an old favorite show that's no longer airing anywhere you're wasting your time on Blockbuster unless you're lucky and they have the dvds. Oh and about streaming movies Blockbuster pulls a fast one. Okay they say there are no additional fees but low and behold you have to pay for each movie you stream. That's right even though you are paying a monthly fee for the online service you then have to pay extra to stream movies.

2. Price - I was with Blockbuster for 3 dvds at a time for about $20/month. And remember that's $20/month plus extra for streaming (but movies only). Netflix got me going on some $15/month for 1 dvd at a time (in case there's something I really want but its not on streaming) and all the streaming I want.

3. Shipping Time - I don't know how but Netflix somehow manages to get its dvds to me faster than Blockbuster, for less per month.

Done even bother with a fork Blockbuster is done.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Weekly Mashup 59

I've been thinking about renaming these to something with a little more pizzazz. Any ideas?

The MRM is frighteningly effective and does nothing at the same time: I guess MRAs are only as effective as the person complaining about them needs them to be in order to prove their point.

IAmA man who was raped by a woman: A reddit of female against male rape stories. There's some pretty tough stuff in there so read carefully.

Ban on Circumcision: Looks like I'm not the only one wondering why religion is suddenly justification to permanently alter someone's body against their consent.

The next frontier in selling product placement. An ad for a 2011 movie digitally inserted into a 2007 episode of a show.

We Really Hope You’re Not Gross Enough to Need a Man Bowl: If you know me well enough to shop for me let me warn you now. Buying one of these for me will result in the day not ending well for you (and as one of the commenters say if a woman buys this for me she's getting a mop and bucket in return).

Domestic Violence Isn’t Just About What Men Do to Women: While I commend the effort of the putting the spotlight on homosexual and transgender interpersonal violence two things concern me. First despite ending with the very true point of, "Clearly, this is an everyone problem. All communities, all sexual orientations, all gender identifications, all racial and ethnic groups, everyone. Any sort of person has the potential to become an abuser; any sort of person has the potential to fall into an abusive relationship. It’s amazing how many things we don’t discuss." there's not much mention of female against male violence. Two this possible push to divide DV into intimate terrorism and situational couple violence really sounds like an attempt to continue to frame it as "something that men do to women" (notice how with the intimate terrorism they are so antsy they literally say that its mostly men doing it before they even explain what it is).

How in the world did Jezebel get Men May Need More Cuddling Than Women out of Study: Men Need Cuddles, Too?

NC Mother Charged With Murder In Daughter's Death: I hope this does not became the next high profile case. Damn that Anthony trial was just a media circus of a mess. Regardless of your feelings on the verdict (and I think her race and gender played a role) that was just outrageous.

Bachmann’s Husband Calls Homosexuals ‘Barbarians’ Who ‘Need To Be Educated’ And ‘Disciplined: "When trying to figure out where presidential candidate Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) gets her stringent, anti-gay views, you only have to look as far as her husband. Dr. Marcus Bachmann, who has described himself as his wife’s “strategist,” runs a Christian-based counseling center in Minnesota that has been rumored to offer reparative treatment for those looking to “ungay” themselves." Good to know that Bachmann isn't responsible for her own views?

NYPD “Rape Cops” Had Prior Abusive Incident Towards A Woman: I just hope the next time someone calls a woman that kills her husband in cold blood but gets off for it is called a "murderer" anyway I hope folks don't get all bent out of shape about it.

Welcome to the world!!!: A child's (literally) first picture. Possible NSFW.

You Can’t Press Pause in This Call of Duty: A stark reminder about the reality of war.

Memo to NYC Atheists: Please Don’t Sue: I think such a lawsuit would be a hard sale unless there's proof that at least one of them was an atheist (or at least non-Christian).

RIAA Accounting: How To Sell 1 Million Albums And Still Owe $500,000: Ever wonder how a band can sell millions of albums but still be in debt?

Australian Navy to Apologise to Three Male Sailors...: While I think Christian J. goes a bit far in his zeal I think there is the valid point that people are very quick to pile on the shame and grandstanding when they think they have caught a sexual assailant but what happens when it turns out it was all a lie? All of sudden those calling for blood go deathly silent...


How can phobia be both fear and hatred?

A wise jedi once said:
“Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.” (Courtesy of Thinkexist.)

A few weeks ago I was somewhere on the Sociological Images blog and saw where someone was talking about they didn't like the idea of describing a bigot in the same manner as someone who suffered from a phobia.

Let's take a look at the word transphobic. Transphobic (derived from transphobia) is often used a descriptor of a person who biased against transgender people simply because they are transgender. Mind you there are people out there much more qualified than I to speak on actual transgender issues I'm only talking about the language (because without the language to communicate how are we going to address these problems?)

Most people in the activist world use this to mean hatred of transgender people (homophobia being hated of gays, Islamophobia being hatred of Islamic people, etc...). But if we were talking about say, tight spaces we'd be calling it claustrophobia and mean it as a fear of tight spaces. Now there seems to be a bit of disconnect there right? How can one use of phobia be "fear of" but another be "hatred of"? I believe it works and I'm about to try to show you.

Going back to our wise jedi notice that fear is the beginning of the path to the dark side. Meaning that you are afraid of something (in Star Wars Episode 3 Anakin's fear was the fear of losing his wife like how he lost his mother in Episode 2). Like our pal Anakin Skywalker I would venture to say that transphobic people are afraid of transgender people. The reason for that fear may be obvious or it might be mysterious.

The next step is anger. When a person is afraid of something its very possible that they will lash out at anything that might trigger that fear. Anakin feared losing his dear Padme. Near the end of Episode 3 Anakin suspected Padme was cheating on him with Obi Wan. Despite all the years they had known each other, all the hardships they went through together, and the fact that Obi Wan considered Anakin a brother, he was nothing more than a possible threat to the happiness he wanted for himself and his wife. And thus mortal combat ensued. Likewise seeing transgender people treated as they wish to be treated sets off transphobic people (as to why I'm not sure). But I think this is where our claustrophobics (and most if not all the other phobics that are used in a "fear of..." sense) exit the cycle as they for the most part don't go from fear to anger. But our transphobic person does embrace the anger and keeps going.

On to hate. Giving in to his anger instead of reason Anakin attacked a man who regarded him as his brother. It didn't matter that there was nothing between Obi Wan and Padme. All that mattered was he thought there was something between them. From that point on Anakin didn't look back. Even at the end of the fight when Obi Wan had defeated him Anakin's final words were "I hate you!". Our transphobic person also chooses not to look back. They may even not even recall why they lashed out at transgender people or even if there was a good or rational reason to do it*.

Then comes suffering. Oh when Darth Vader donned the black armor and life support system there would be hell to pay and he took it out on anyone that didn't obey him or his emperor. Under the wrath of Vader untold thousands were slaughtered, thousands enslaved, and the jedi were hunted systematically hunted down to nearly the point of extinction. Similarly the transphobic person has no problem with attacking those they think are transgender even in broad public or opening supporting measures that would limit the rights of transgender people. But I do think are those who are of the "fear of..." sense who do make it this far. When I was a kid I was chased by a dog around my grandmother's house. Thankfully it didn't get me but since that day I've feared dogs and its really grown to a hatred. Now I won't go out and just start indiscriminately killing dogs (but I won't cry over one being dead either) I do certainly hate them.

But I don't think that quite explains everything though. I'm sure I'm missing something (namely why is that people call man/woman haters haters but transgender people haters transphobic, why no man-phobic/woman-phobic?). Would anyone care to chime in?

* - No I'm not saying that there is an actual good reason to hate transgender people. What I'm saying is that at some point there may have been a reason to be angry with a specific transgender person because they did you wrong by some means. As in "they did me wrong so I'm going to get them back" like revenge. Problem is at some point it because "they did me wrong so I'm going to do them them all wrong in return". Like if they could have resolved their anger before it got to that point they may have never become a transphobic person in the first place.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

...or were they being "funny"?

Recently there was a contest to find a male model running throughout the UK. Well it would seem by the time the smoke cleared a winner stood over all the others.

Hello. My Name is Roland.

Meet Roland, the winner of the contest by a rather large margin. Now I'm glad to see that there are a lot of people who seem to sincerely think that our friend here would make a good model. I really am. However this is not the first time that a person that was outside the established norm gained a foothold in the modeling world. And thinking back to the attention Miller got its now two years later how much as the outlook on the modeling industry really changed?

Maybe its just the fat hatred I've faced talking but I just get the feeling that for as many people that really and truly thought Roland would make a good model I can't help but think that there are a lot of people who voted for him for the sake of being "funny" or "different". I mean come on the outcast girl was voted prom queen in the movie "Carrie" and we all saw why that election was rigged. (Although I don't think Ronald is going to lock us in a high school gym and kill us all.)

But anyway as you can see Roland is not what would be considered conventionally attractive (acne, fat, etc...) but he still won. As I say its nice because I bet a lot of people really like the way he looks but on the other hand I wouldn't be so quick to say that this means the end of fat hatred.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Looks like the lines are already being drawn

According to this post over at Pam's Houseblend the Republican controlled General Assembly in my great state of NC very much intends to bring up a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage in 2012.

I'm still of the mind of what's so harmful about gay marriage that the very constitution of a state needs to be modified in order to ban it? On the real what is about it that will harm us?

That's the kind of questions that I hope come up in the next year in NC (and everywhere).

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Weekly Mashup Stage 58

The first few links are from the Mashup I was playing to release before I went out of town (nearly 2 week ago) so they are a bit old but I wanted to share them anyway. (And no you didn't miss 56 and 57, I missed them so I've skipped on to 58.)

Guardian Article Gets it Right on Domestic Violence: "Perhaps paradoxically, I would also suggest that the general invisibility accorded female perpetrators by the news media has spurred women to more easily commit DV. They can be pretty certain to get away with it without punishment, so why not? After all, the “dramatic” increase in convictions of women has brought the number to just 7% of all DV convictions." Perpetrators taking advantage of the belief that they don't exist in order to continue to get away with their crimes. Imagine that.

Clueless with Vampires? A look inside Amy Heckerling’s Vamps: On one hand I'll probably watch this but on the other once its made the vampire genre needs to be killed once and for all... Or at least for 100 year after which it may rise again and reign terror on the land.

Have you lost your faith in men?: No I haven't lost faith in men? Why? In addition to being a man I am also aware of the fact that articles like this are depending on massive generalizations. Another one of those examples where a small portion of us are passed off as representation of the whole damn lot of us. You know I swear I've read on some feminist sites about how men don't get generalized like that....

Blueberry Cream Cheese Almond Braid: Oh I want that so badly.

Oh my god Rule 34 has gotten its tentacles on The Magic School Bus. NSFW.

16 hours a week: boys, girls, video games, time and obligation: Because apparently boys were just given a free pass and have expectations or burdens heaped on them.

Sharon Osbourne would 'chop' Arnold Schwarzenegger's penis off: Damn Sharon say it like you mean it. Do I even have to say it?

Former American Idol Contestant Charged with DV: " Two-time “American Idol” contestant Jessica Cunningham is scheduled to go before a real judge this month after being arrested Sunday night on charges of domestic violence following the Old Port Festival."

All Feminists are my kind of Feminists: On the real why can't more feminists be like this? Notice how she is able to acknowledge the suffering of men without immediately drowning it out with "but....male privilege!!!!". The things she talks about here would go a long way towards that activism at a 1000 keys bullshit where people claim to be all about equality while at the same time actively denying the experiences of a significant portion of the population.

California: Shelter Seeking Male Volunteers: "For a child whose only image of a man is that of the monster who beats up Mom, programs like one offered at Haven are vital. Haven, a nonprofit organization based in Bingham Farms, works to eliminate domestic violence and sexual assault through programs and services all over Oakland County and the surrounding communities." A program that's set out to fight against the notion that all men are violent brutes looking for the next woman to abuse? Nice.

Defend Your Research: What Makes a Team Smarter? More Women: But was it because they were women or because they were bringing something extra to the table? The difference being its pretty simple to find like minded women and men who are on the same wavelength. But if those women are bringing some other qualities to the table then that's what makes the difference. If anything this would be proof that "traits that are associated with women" make the team smarter.

Men’s rights advocates promote terrorism: Isn't it just lovely (and hypocritical) to be able to generalize one group while having the option to Flip The Fuck Out when its done to you?

Survey: Fathers Work More than Non-Fathers, Mothers: Possible evidence that fathers are putting in more work than current belief says?

Egyptian men’s revolution stage demonstration for child custody : "The demonstrators believe that the family law favours women over men and demand that the women only get child custody until the age of 7 for boys and 9 for girls as the case was before 2005, when the law changed to rise the age to fifteen. Moreover, men object that the law gives custody priority to the maternal grandmother or maternal aunts before the father in case the mother remarries or cannot take custody, preferring custody to any woman within the mother’s family over the father. "

A little something I've been chilling out on this week.

Take it easy my cool cats.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Axe Getting Its Mind Right?

This is an ad that ran for Axe last year:

I just saw this ad again earlier tonight but it wasn't quite the same. For the life of me I have not been able to find this "new" ad online yet. But anyway if you come across it notice that unlike the one I have above here she actually asks if she can bury her face in his backside. Her actions could still be considered forceful by some but I think its a lot better than the original.

Could it be that Axe is starting to get their minds right when it comes male sexuality? Usually guys in these ads are portrayed as losers that will do anything (namely use Axe products) to get attention from girls/women. Its kinda nice to see this, assuming its part of a larger change in their outlook on their target audience.

And by all means if someone by chance finds this "new" ad online please share so we can do a side by side comparison.