Monday, October 31, 2011

Weekly Mashup Stage 73

Dammit I thought I scheduled this before I went out of town this past weekend. Sorry.

In an effort to build up the Ethecofem community into a place where any walk of life will feel welcome to come and discuss things we are looking for another regular contributor, preferably of the female persuasion to balance things out a bit, but anyone interested is welcome. We like a variety of viewpoints, experiences, and perspectives. And as always April is on the eternal lookout for guest bloggers as well. If you're interested drop a line at ethecofem[at]gmail[dot]com.

Also feel free to treat this as an Open Thread.

Domestic Violence Awareness Month: Adding Insult to Injury…: "Domestic violence against men is a story that is rarely told. Their stories will not be readily posted in the headlines or shown on the evening news, simply because women are normally the ones reporting the abuse, not men. According to some statistics in 2008 The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stated that 11.5 men reported being abused by their mates."

Self-Defense or Cold-Blooded Murder? Trial Begins for Mom Charged With Killing Neighbor: What? This is the kind of stuff you see in an episode of NCIS.

Are Good Men Scarce?: Clarissa questioning the idea that good men are scarce.

Ex-Ohio teacher convicted in student sex case: You ever notice that when it comes to under aged kids men "rape" while women "have sex"?

National Writers Union, Guild drop Huffington Post boycott: The end of a boycott that a lot of people probably forgot about already.

Child’s Death Points To Maternal Gatekeeping: Its stories like this that scream for a dire need for reform in matters of custody.

Study Shows Why Underrepresented Men Should Be Included in Binge Eating Research: So it took a study for people to realize that contrary to the cultural expectation of men as a whole do not deal with issues with eating disorders (and body image by extension) there actually are men who do? Can't wait to hear about the next study from the Mel Brooks Institute of WTF, "Study Shows That Most Men Have Testicles And In A Surprising Contrast Most Women Do Not".

Failing on Purpose or Socialized to Fail?: In my experience the idea of young boys of color avoid being seen as smart out of the thought that smart = feminine is totally wrong. To me the issue has been that smart = weak, and no in this equation weak does not equal feminine.


Friday, October 28, 2011

When displeased, say something

If you recall last week I talked about that terrible new Dr. Pepper 10 ad. Its an affront to most of the people in this world that call themselves men (and its not exactly working wonders for women either). Well if I'm displeased enough to try to re-imagine it then why not say something? Good idea. Time to ante up. I headed over to the Contact Us section of the Dr. Pepper site to say my piece. Here goes.

Recently I saw an ad for your new Dr. Pepper 10 product and I must say that I am less than pleased with it.

You see while you may think you are creating an ad that appeals to men to get them to drink your soda what you are (also) doing is alienating a very large portion of your target audience by thinking that enjoying movies (and behaviors) that are stereotypically associated with being a man. There are plenty of men out there who do not like the action movie cliches depicted in the ad. And using those cliches comes across as a clear sign that you either are not aware of how to target a larger portion of men are that you may not care about men in general.

Those cliches represent a very narrow band of what is considered acceptable in terms of being a man and the use of them in that ad only reinforces them. And then of course there is the also the issue of using "its not for women" as a part of what makes Dr. Pepper 10 the ideal soda for men.

Frankly most men don't care if women drink the same things they do and those that do may not be the positive audience you are looking for.

For a long time its been a long running tactic to limit men to a certain stereotype when advertising to us. Times are changing and those days are numbered. I think its high time that advertising reflect this and come around to finding ways to focus on your target audience without insulting said target audience (or insulting those who are not for that matter).

Thank you for your time.

Don't be scared to chime off yourself if this ad bothers you.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Male Responsibility and Support of Children

I came across this in my reader feed and it got my mind churning on some things.

Most people say that when it comes to child support its supposed to be about holding men responsible for the children they help create and to make sure the children in question are cared for.

Here comes the churn.

Pedro Soto was paying support (and spending time with) for his son Aaron with no thought that the they were not biologically linked. It turned out that Aaron was actually biologically linked to Francisco Serrano, the man that the mother of the child, Maricela Guerrero, was partnered with. Now in a case like this one would think that if Pedro is not the biological father it would make sense to terminate the order for him to continue paying child support right? Wrong.
[T]he Department concedes that Francisco Serrano, not Petitioner [Pedro Soto], is the real father of Aaron Soto, but insists that due to the passage of time the injustice of Petitioner paying child support for a child that is living with, and being supported by his real father, should be extended at least another five years until Aaron reaches eighteen and finishes high school. The sheer injustice of the situation does not seem to bother the Department one bit.
So if child support orders are about making sure men are help accountable for the children they help create and making sure the child is being supported why is it that in a case when the man that's making payments is not the biological father and the biological father is known and active in the child's life the man is denied the justice of having that order terminated?

Let me focus on something specific.
...but insists that due to the passage of time the injustice of Petitioner paying child support for a child that is living with...
That's right if a man has been paying support for a child that is latter proven not to be his biological relation there is a chance that enough time will have passed that the order for support can't be terminated for reasons that amount to, "Well we know you aren't the biological father but you've been paying for so long you shouldn't be allowed to stop paying." Why should the passage of time even matter in a situation where the wrong man is being held responsible for payments and the right man is actively in the child's life (meaning that the "but its about making sure the child gets the support they need" excuse does not fly)? And even if that right man is not in the child's life why not seek him out instead of sticking with the safe bet and holding up a man who is not the one that should be held responsible? Why is there a statue of limitations on something that is dependent on evidence that can never be clouded or mistaken?

Think about it. When it comes to establishing paternity as long as that child is living there will ALWAYS be a way to tell if a given man is the biological father or not. This is a case where the DNA tells the whole tale (versus other situations like the crime of rape*). At literally any time a DNA test can be administered to know if a given man is a given child's biological father. And isn't that the whole point? Hold the biological dad responsible for the child he helped create? So why are there clauses in place that basically allow the courts to pass on holding the biological father responsible when they already have some man on the hook?

And that's one thing that really bothers me. The courts may not have caused the man to be deceived (no that mostly falls in the lap of the mother, who is often held up on a pedestal where its taboo to even question her) but they have the tools to at the very least stop a terrible injustice that is being carried out on an innocent man. Yet they actively refuse to use them. If it were about holding the biological father responsible Pedro would have been relieved of his order to continue paying support the moment he was declared to not be the biological father. But no instead it took quite a bit for him to get justice.

Basically what's happening is that instead of these laws being used to hold biological fathers responsible for the children they help create its telling men that if they can pass the buck on to another man they will be just fine and its telling women that they can pick and choose the father of their children and not worry about being held to holding the actual biological father responsible.

What do you think?

* - Let me be clear. In the case of adult against adult rape DNA alone doesn't prove guilt of the crime. At best DNA can only prove that sex happened. Rape is having sex with someone who did not or cannot consent to the act. DNA can't tell you if the act was consensual or not.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Damn you Echo!!!!!

Alright after thinking about it for about the last month I can only come up with one reason for using Echo for my commenting and that's because their spam filtering was really good. But its just not worth the aggravation of comments just not showing up at random. So fuck it Echo is gone.

We're going back to the original Blogger commenting system for the time being.

The biggest penalty I've seen so far is that Echo did nested commenting and without Echo in place anymore the nesting was lost so some of the comments might not make sense since they now appear in the order they were made rather than nesting beneath the comment someone was responding to. So for future reference when you comment here and you want to respond to something someone else said please try to copy and paste the portion of that other person's comment you are responding to.

Normally there would be two ways to do this, blockquoting or italicizing. However Blogger's commenting system doesn't allow for blockquoting so that just leaves italicizing. Here's how to do it.

What you do is this: <"i">Once you have set the opening and closing tags for the block quote you put the text that you wish to quote in between them like this (just make sure you remove the quotation marks out of the sample tags I'm showing here).<"/"i">

And when you do you will get this: Once you have set the opening and closing tags for the block quote you put the text that you wish to quote in between them like this (just make sure you remove the quotation marks out of the sample tags I'm showing here).

Oh and also it would help if you were to add the name of the person you are quoting as well. Like this:

Once you have set the opening and closing tags for the block quote you put the text that you wish to quote in between them like this (just make sure you remove the quotation marks out of the sample tags I'm showing here).

That way you have what was said and who said it, making it easier to keep up with who said what in the conversation.

So Jim, now that Echo is gone feel free to comment with all your might.

Store bought Halloween costumes suck....that is all

I went to a few Halloween shops last weekend to pass out some flyers for a Haunted House some friends are working on and took a spare few minutes to check out what the costumes looked like this time around.

Fucking. Terrible.

Simply put damn near all the female costumes are "Sexy _____" and damn near all the male costumes are "(insert sexual innuendo joke here)". (Don't believe me? Check out some actual pics.)

So presumptions of sex have utterly and thoroughly penetrated Halloween costume choices.

For the time being I'm just going to continue taking Halloween as the one night out of the year where I can let my inner goth out (my own homemade bondage straps and all).

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Weekly Mashup Stage 72

In an effort to build up the Ethecofem community into a place where any walk of life will feel welcome to come and discuss things we are looking for another regular contributor, preferably of the female persuasion to balance things out a bit, but anyone interested is welcome. We like a variety of viewpoints, experiences, and perspectives. And as always April is on the eternal lookout for guest bloggers as well. If you're interested drop a line at ethecofem[at]gmail[dot]com.

Also feel free to treat this as an Open Thread.

Navajo calls out Urban Outfitters for its products: Traditions aren't fashion statements.

Tears and empathy on the college gridiron: A bit of evidence a guy just letting it all out is not so dangerous, and can actually be helpful.

State House Leader Talks About Welfare Drug Testing: "House Speaker Thom Tillis said last Friday at a meeting of Madison County Republicans he would like to push the requirement if the Republicans remain in power after the 2012 elections. He also agreed with a town hall participant's statement that such testing be expanded to state employees. The recorded comments were uploaded to YouTube." I'm kinda torn on this. On one hand don't think assistance funds should be spent on drugs but on the other I have a hard time imagining how much money this is going to cost, money that could be used for assistance.

FBI expands rape definition… kind of: So I guess instead of straight excluding female against male rape the FBI is now accounting for the (rather vague) inclusion of it.

Verizon Wireless Changes Privacy Policy 203: Are you a Verizon customer? You might want to check this out.

How To Make Ghosts In Photoshop or GIMP: Halloween is coming up so this might be useful.

DEPUTIES: Sex Offender Used Facebook To Lure Women: I'm having a bit of disconnect here. I'm not trying to say that him hiding his sex offender status is okay mind you. However I'm a little curious as to why the fact that he used FB to "lure" women is the title of story. By "luring" them does that mean he was gaining their trust and then forcing them into sex acts they didn't want to do? Just feels odd they would lead off with the morally questionable act and then just throw in the straight up illegal act as an "oh yeah he did this too".

Dickhead Dad Forced His Daughter to Put on Armor and Fight Him in a Sword Match: You see these are the types of horrible and unfit dads that people need to really be going after rather than just trying to pretend that all dads are like this one just because they share gender.

In PA, Inherited Money Increases Child Support: How exactly does a one time boost of cash (inheritance) equate to a permanent increase in child support payments?

Dirty Jokes: Sharing Time!: Have a dirty joke you want to share? Want to go read some dirty jokes?

Jenna Myers Karvunidis placed on offenders registry: "With that in mind, meet Jenna Myers Karvunidis, a Chicago wife, mom, feminist and blogger that has taken it upon herself to pressure a local pre-school into excluding men from certain types of child care, because, well because she feels they are inherently more of a threat to children than are women." A vile and disgusting woman she is. I feel sorry for her husband.

Special report: The 'silent taboo' of suicide among young men in the UK: "What makes a seemingly vital young man take his own life? Suicide is the biggest cause of death in men under 35 yet it is seldom discussed, with parents left feeling ashamed and that they have failed their child. Catherine O’Brien talks to families who want to bring ‘the greatest taboo’ into the open."

Africa: Rape as a 'Weapon of War' Against Men: "Cape Town — Sexual violence against men, including rape, is under-reported, poorly addressed and has a severe impact on both men and their families, according to a presentation at the annual Sexual Violence and Research Initiative (SVRI), held in Cape Town, South Africa."

Swedish Court Convicts 23 Women over Child Porn: You ever notice that when women are up on serious charges like there there seems to be a hell bent rush to find some "reason" to explain why they did it?

Men Batter, Women “Use Force”: I guess now that people are coming to terms with the fact that female against male partner violence exists there has to be some new line drawn to show that what men do is worse than what women do.

Take it easy people.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

1000 COMBO!!!!!!!

This post is of absolutely no relevance other than to celebrate my 1000th post. Took me about 3 1/2 years to do it.


You've seen 1000 posts here, you've seen this blog change quite a bit over the time I'v been here, what do you think?

Take this as an open thread to talk about anything you wish and to comment on what you think about the blog. Don't like the font color? Think I'm missing a really good link in my blog roll? Have at it.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Masculinity of Color

Was reading this a short while ago. Its some pretty sound things on the things that young males of color should be focusing on in order become men that can operate in the real world. On the other hand there are some things that I have a bit of an issue with.
...I am convinced that traditional male behaviors are a barrier for our these young men. Because traditional male behaviors are not valued in today's society, these young men are at a serious disadvantage.
While it is true that traditional male behavior is a barrier for young men of color today I don't think its a matter of those behaviors no longer being valued. I think its more of a matter that they are being recognized for the limiting scripts that they are. Being expected to abide by these behaviors, as well as actually abiding by these behaviors, really put them at a disadvantage. With that out of way I want to tap on some things worth tapping.
We sometimes think of masculinity as a natural part of being a male, yet males and masculinities are not two sides of the same coin as masculinities are socially constructed identities. In fact, women can exhibit masculine behaviors and actions that can reinforce hegemonic (or dominant) forms of masculinity currently found in society.
Yes. Masculinity and manhood should not be considered hand in hand. If a guy wants nothing to do with masculinity then he should be free to do so. If a woman wants to be masculine then she should be free to do so. As I've said before its all about the individual. Everyone should be free to make up their own masculinity (and femininity as well) as they see fit.
I keep wondering how do we change or direct males to have masculinities that allow them to function in both their social and cultural contexts locally and in the larger society. I am not interested in telling young me that they should not talk or act a certain way. I am more interested in expanding their concepts of masculinities that will allow them to exhibit forms of masculinities in their appropriate contexts (i.e. Time and place).
I wonder if its worth looking to how these ultimately harmful masculinities came to be in the first place. This phenomenon doesn't just appear on its own. Look at the media. Young men of color are constantly bombarded with images of committing violence and glamorizing the idea that ignorance is hip. Also look at parenting. Let's face it there are a lot of parents out there that could really contribute to the well being of these young men. Perhaps in order to open up the minds of our young men of color it would be possible to use those same means.

Imagine a rap video in which instead of glamorizing crime how about glamorizing law abiding behavior. Instead of movies where men are praised for useless violence how about movies where men actually think twice and choose not to carry out the violence. Instead of shows where men have their manhood measured by how many women they have sex with how about shows where men are free of the pressure to have sex just because they are men (the SyFy Channel Show had a very good example of this during this past season).

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Men and Food

When you talk about men and food you usually get the impression of the rough and tumble "real man" that lives on meat and has no time for simple things like veggies and foods aimed at health and nutrition. And things like this don't help.

Personally I like:

Sliders - Bite size meaning you can carry a lot of them at once. And I can sometimes take one out in a single bite.

Sushi with Brown Rice - I haven't tried it but since I like sushi I'd try it.

Cupcakes - Bullshit. That is all.

Look different guys have different tastes and as I've said with other things before trying to fit us into a narrow band of "acceptable things" is not right.

Now if only feminists could mention this in some other capacity than to pretend that there is no negativity in feminism and the fact that "other people do it too" should let them off the hook.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Brushing to the side versus confronting?

A week or so ago I saw this rant on self worth at NSWATM. As I said over at NSWATM that rant (and let's not pretend that calling it a rant protects it from criticism) that piece felt like an attempt to make feelings of loneliness, emptiness, and worthless just go away by calling them silly and saying they don't matter.

Then I came across this at Clarissa's, a list of instructions on How to Remain Alone Forever.

Funny thing is the trigger that went off when reading that Internal Acceptance rant did not go off when I read How to Remain Alone Forever. But I think I know why.

I'm thinking that maybe the first piece seems like its telling me that desiring close contact with another person (sexual or otherwise) but not getting it isn't that big of a deal while the second piece is telling me that desiring close contact with another person (sexual or otherwise) but not getting it means I need to do something about it.

First one feels like a cop out and the second one feels like advice. I like the second one better.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Ads, Reimagined: Dr. Pepper 10

I'm sure by now you've seen this ad right? Its a new variation of Dr. Pepper called Dr. Pepper 10. Its meant to be an ad for "a man's diet soda". I wanted to laugh a bit at the excluding of women if for no other reason than that damn Yoplait ad where the wife is on the phone talking about the things she has been eating in her efforts to lose weight. The husband, hearing about those delicious names, starts tearing through the fridge trying to find them. But Ah-Ha! They aren't the desserts he's thinking, they are actually flavors of Yoplait yogurt, he's just too stupid to realize it. But hey we're trying to be all inclusive here right?

The ad is of a guy going through several action movie tropes (like the big chase, the big explosion, and even the witty catchphrase) while addressing women.

"Enjoying the film?"

"Of course not."

"Because its our movie, and Dr. Pepper 10 is our soda."

"It's only 10 mainly calories but with all 23 flavors of Dr. Pepper its what guys want, like this."


"So you can keep the romantic comedies and lady drinks."

The tagline for this product is, "Its not for women."

As I said above I can understand the desire for some turn about when it comes to advertising but let's get real. Just as that yogurt ad wasn't the kindest treatment of men this ad isn't either. Now if I were filming it would do something like:

::Start with an action movie::

"Enjoying the film?"

::Switch to knitting::

"It doesn't matter."

::Switch to some sport::

"Because we're just doing what men do."

::Switch to changing a diaper::

"And Dr. Pepper is a soda aimed at men."

::Switch to playing a harp::

"Its only 10 manly calories but with all 23 flavors of Dr. Pepper. Its what guys want, like this."

::Switch to the guy hugging his children::

"Family Time!!!!"

"But don't let that stop you from drinking it."

And I'd change the tagline to, "We don't care who drinks it."

Its pretty damn insulting that an ad for something targeted at men is still in this day and age just a rundown of the stereotypical expectations of what "real men" like. As I try to convey in my reimagining of the ad different men like different things so not only is there no need to presume we are all into that narrow selection of things used in the ad but doing so actually alienates a large part of the target audience.

Damn I need a camera so I can start trying to file this stuff. Although I don't know where I'd get the cool explosions though.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Gender Symmetry Checklist v2

So along with my Gender Symmetry Checklist being the most visited post ever here I've also gotten a bit of feedback on it.

From Alas:
Amp: Danny, I think your list needs a different format from other lists; probably a table so that the flip sides of the sexist coin can be presented side by side, instead of being listed vertically.

i.e., instead of:


It should be

Lauren: Danny, I think one potetial problem with your list is that it is very white middle class centric. Now, this is a direct result of the fact that examinations of gender imbalance tend to have this limit/ bias /generalisation far too often and you are building on what is already there. But it still excludes a lot of perspectives and is therefore not true for a lot of women.

For example “women are expected to stay at home and take care of the children” is not at all true for working class women. They are (and have always been) expected to work full time and take care of the children on top of that.

The idealization of women as mothers is also limited to those society considers “good mothers”, which excludes mothers who are disabled, who are poor, who are not hetero, who are women of colour and so on.

Also, a lot of women are considered to be unrapeable / in a state of permanent consent not based on how they act/ dress but simply based on who they are. There is a long, disgusting tradtion of treating women of colour this way. There are also a lot of women who are disbelieved about their rape because “who would want to rape someone like that” (fat women, “ugly” women, old women, trans*women and others who are constantly devalued as “not feminine enough”).

I don’t know enough to say if your list of male advantages/disadvantages is similarly biased.

I am not sure how you would fit these things into your list, but without them, it is not really a comparison of male/female but one of only a selected group of them.

I'm currently working on v2 of this list where I turn it into a table. Also like Lauren said I'll be trying to account for variations of the listed items.

I wonder if I've bitten off more than I can chew...

A chance for male victims to be heard

When it comes to talk about domestic violence its pretty clear that male victims (especially male victims of female abusers) are often silenced because of sexist beliefs like "oh he must have done something to deserve it", "women don't do stuff like that", or "what kind of man are you?". This is something that needs to change and a chance to so has come up.

There is going to be a Domestic Violence blog carnival at anytime yoga at the end of the month and this is a golden chance for male victims to have their stories heard.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Weekly Mashup Stage 71

In an effort to build up the Ethecofem community into a place where any walk of life will feel welcome to come and discuss things we are looking for another regular contributor, preferably of the female persuasion to balance things out a bit, but anyone interested is welcome. We like a variety of viewpoints, experiences, and perspectives. And as always April is on the eternal lookout for guest bloggers as well. If you're interested drop a line at ethecofem[at]gmail[dot]com.

Also feel free to treat this as an Open Thread.

I am not in what we would call a "good mood" right now. Having car trouble that's going to prevent me from going on a small business related outing tomorrow. Its so much the car trouble itself that bothers me but the business trip. I was pretty excited to go because I almost never get out of my computer lab at work and I wanted to prove to myself that I was worth more to myself (and my company) than just the guy that answers phones. Fuck.

Different Treatment For Tech Related Law-Breaking Depending On Whether Or Not You Have Power: "What bugs me the most is that those who get away with doing these kinds of things never seem to realize how they're in a position of power and protected. They just brush off their own failure to abide by the law as if it's nothing -- and never realize what they're doing to the people they go after."

MacFarlane: 'Family Guy' should've already ended: MacFarlene no longer interested in Family Guy?

Dad Taking Photos of Daughter Is Banned From Mall on Terror Concerns: Yeah I'm sure that policy was not intended to "stop innocent family members from taking pictures". But oh look that's exactly what how it was used.

VA COURTS: Grandmother guilty of throwing toddler off sky walk: Terrible, terrible, terrible. (Although I'm a little curious about why the father is barely even mentioned in this story.)

The ‘gentler’ sex: "The social perception of female abusers does more to keep victims silent than anything else, and not just because victims think no one will believe them, but also because the notion that females cannot abuse or that they only do so if they are crazy or made to by a man makes people less willing to examine the prevalence of female-perpetrated sexual violence. If we never bother to look for it or address it, how can we ever come to understand and prevent it?"

Waitress Reacts to Insult With Online Lynch Mob: The next time you want to make a name for yourself by going after someone who insulted you with guns blazing, it might do some good to make sure you got the right person.

UK Court Endorses Mom’s Abduction of Children: I've read more than a few times on the topic of custody situations where the father is getting pushed out of the children's live say something to the effect of "If he had been doing more parenting he would have gotten a more favorable custody agreement". Funny how those people seem to conveniently forget situations like this where a mom basically either kidnaps the kids or tricks the father into a position where she can take them and run. How much more "parenting" do dads need to do in order to prevent mothers from kidnapping their children?

School Threatens To Forfeit Football Game If Girl Plays: In the end the girl sat the game out. Now there is no question that this was a terrible thing to do to that girl and it really is an example of the sexism that I'm told that I try to ignore. But let's look at why they didn't want her to play in the first place. The simple answer is boys are raised to believe that its wrong to hit a girls under any circumstance from self defense to contact sports. Maybe if people would quit raising boys with such sexist ideas they wouldn't turn around and hold sexist presumptions about girls later.

Vancouver restaurant bans men from peeing standing up: Apparently it was a joke but if they wanted to do something about it they could have put small targets into the toilets. Basic research shows that men are actually more accurate when there is a target to piss on. And my own practical experience supports this.

Perdue opposes marriage amendment: If you've been here before you know I think intent matters right? Well Perdue's intent just cost her my respect. Yes she is going to oppose the constitutional amendment defining marriage as one man/one woman. However I have a big problem with WHY she is opposing it. "But I’m going to vote against the amendment because I cannot in good conscience look an unemployed man or woman in the eye and tell them that this amendment is more important than finding them a job." Does this mean that if NC's job market didn't look so bleak she would be supporting this amendment? She seems to oppose it because jobs are more important. I oppose it because the very idea of banning gays from getting married is wrong.

Because I'm in that kind of mood right now.

Til next week!

Friday, October 14, 2011

I'm sorry I just had to...

Old school baby.

How about "A Mile in a Victim's Shoes"?

Sometimes an idea will come to mind that I don't have the resources to bring to fruition. However they are often major ideas that I would have no problem with someone else taking and running with it. So I'll share.

I was reading over at and had a thought.

Due to the fact that victims of gender violence came from any and all genders why not an all inclusive "A Mile in a Victim's Shoes" campaign?

No I'm not trying to say that those "A Mile in Her Shoes" efforts should be stopped. I'm saying that victims come from many walks of life and, as the campaign suggests, wear many types of shoes.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

School "fixes" haircut with sharpie

Yes you read that right and yes that is exactly what you are about to see. It would seem that appropriate disciplinary action for having a haircut that violates the dress code is to fill in the offending parts with a sharpie (sorry no embed code).

Even if the second part was in violation of the dress code what sane principal thinks that its okay to mark on a child in order to "correct" the violation? I think its pretty pointless to have something like a limit on the number of parts a student can have on their head but even getting passed that this type of action is simply unacceptable.

With teachers and staff doing these things to students I wonder exactly why. Is it some manner of lashing out over an inadequate school system? Is it that they are fed up with the way the children are getting out of line? Maybe they are angry about other things in their life and are taking it out on "safe" targets (safe as in safe in the idea that being students means they can't do anything about it)? Who knows.

While what Sheldon Williams may not have gone through the same ordeal that Nina Campbell did I really hope that like her he just does the damn thing and lives life to the fullest.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Blog Carnival: Domestic Violence Awareness Month

I came across a link at Clariss's that goes to anytime yoga who is trying to organize a blog carnival for this month being Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

Just though I'd share in case someone wants to chime in on it.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Weekly Mashup Stage 70

In an effort to build up the Ethecofem community into a place where any walk of life will feel welcome to come and discuss things we are looking for another regular contributor, preferably of the female persuasion to balance things out a bit, but anyone interested is welcome. We like a variety of viewpoints, experiences, and perspectives. And as always April is on the eternal lookout for guest bloggers as well. If you're interested drop a line at ethecofem[at]gmail[dot]com.

Also feel free to treat this as an Open Thread.

Friday Marks War In Afghanistan 10-Year Anniversary: Maybe this anniversary has been so quiet because no one really wants to talk about this war anymore?

Iraq War Vet Fights for Return of Children Taken by Estranged Wife to Japan: So about that Hague Convention, Japan, and how it harbors mothers who flee there with children who are basically kidnapping their children...

The Husband-Killing Syndicates: Misandry in Action: "Apart from a few of the more than twenty cases now rediscovered and presented to the public in The Unknown History of Misandry, these crimes are completely lost to the official historical record (there is no taxpayer-funded army of university researchers working tirelessly to dig up the truth about misandry)." I am so reading this.

Owners of Zuccotti Park Say Conditions Unsanitary From Wall Street Protests: I'm all for people protesting but its worth keeping in mind that the right to protest does not mean the right to disrupt the lives of innocent people and does not mean the right to be destructive (destructive doesn't always mean something overt like running around the starting fires and turning over cars). Keep it clean.

From death row to freedom: Woman gets second chance: Yes I'm gonna say it. If she were black or male this cat would have been dead years ago.

Ginger May Prevent Prostate Cancer: Help against prostate cancer from a little root?

My Respect: My governor just got more of it.

Airport Pat-Down for Breast Cancer Patient: Yet another medical patient humiliated and harassed by TSA.

NC unveils design of Civil War license plate: Not bad.

Mortal Kombat getting movie reboot: Let Mortal Kombat Begin! (Again!)

North Carolina Courts’ Odd Interpretation of Equal Protection Clause: "However, women are not only granted a greater degree of protection, but more leeway as well: only men can face more serious sentences as a result of assaulting a female."

“Don’t Say Such Things About Yourself!”: " Of course, I had always thought that positive body image and self-confidence had more to do with being capable of stating that you are not thin when that’s how things are than with pretending to be what you are not."

Ultrasounds worsen Asia women shortage: UN: Funny I was thinking that the blame rested on cultures that heap so much responsibility on males that females are unfairly disregarded as useless burdens. Maybe if they gave females a chance and quit holding males responsible for everything this wouldn't be such a problem...

Woman downed pint of whiskey before groping male Virgin Airways attendant: "He said, "It is a serious allegation but there are good reasons why it would be in the public interest for the Crown to deal with her by way of a caution."" Gee I wonder if that translates into "we don't want to talk about this because its not as bad as when males sexually harass females"...

Brooklyn performance artist to give birth before audience in gallery: "“I hope that people will see that human life itself is the most profound work of art, and that therefore giving birth, the greatest expression of life, is the highest form of art,” she said."

Catch you next week.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Fat Men, Feminism, and Shadows of the Past

So I'm looking through my stats in Blogger tonight and see an incoming link from an old Kate Harding post from a few years ago (a few months after I setup shop here in fact) called, Why Fat Men Need Feminism. Yes I'm even more put off by that title now than I was back then but I decided to read it again to see how I felt about it now. (BTW I even did a post on it back them too.)

Still not feeling it much but I think for a slightly different reason now.

Here's the main thing that still puts me off.
But fatphobia directed towards men is heavily steeped in misogyny. Because female fatness is considered to be such an affront, fat men are feminized, or at least unmanned, before being attacked or dismissed. Think about the insults you see directed at fat men: they have breasts, they are soft, they can’t see their penises or their penises are small, they can’t fight (except by sitting on someone), women won’t have sex with them. These aren’t the only ways that fat guys are picked on — I asked my husband what insults he thought were directed at fat men in particular, and the first thing he said was “you smell bad even if you don’t.” Then of course there are the stereotypes about being lazy and eating everything that we all know so well; fat dudes get that too. And fat men as portrayed in the media can sometimes be exaggerated examples of masculinity (also as portrayed in the media) — meat-eating, sports-watching farting machines. But if somebody wants to be truly nasty or threatening to a fat man, they tend to start by equating them with women.
In a post that is supposedly about how fat men need feminism why would you go and basically tell us that the hatred against us is "really" centered around hatred of women?

Here's the thing about the intersection of fat hatred and being a man. The first thing that comes to the mind of some bigot when they want to insult a fat man is that for some reason that fat man is not a "real man". (And I can't believe I'm going to say this...) Full Stop. That's the problem right there. Holding fat men to some standard of what a "real man" and then attacking him for not meeting it is the problem here. It the fact that some portion of fat hatred is in reference to women doesn't matter (I don't see too many people making a big deal about how gay women are masculinized and how "if somebody wants to be truly nasty or threatening to a lesbian, they tend to start by equating them with men"). To focus on this is like thinking Al Queda is dangerous because they have access to AK-47s. Yeah they have the bombs, dangerous thought, and other weapons in their arsenal but its the AK-47s that make them dangerous.

Just in the paragraph before that one:
One effect of intersectionality, when it works, is that the language and concepts of one social justice movement can be enlightening and liberating even for those who are facing a different challenge. A fat man encountering feminist ideas for the first time will be privy to a new rhetoric of body autonomy and rejection of beauty ideals.

So she speaks of intersectionality and how the tools of one social justice movement can be used in others. Can someone tell me how this equates to acting like the reason fat hatred against men needs to be confronted is because of its misogyny? Sure it exists and needs to be confronted, and maybe I'm just in the minority here, but I don't feel a lot of love when the intersection of my fat and being a man is pretty much only being talked about in terms of women. Last I checked feminism is supposed to be a movement for all walks of life and all people. So why is it so hard to make a post about the shaming of men in which you actually focus on the fat and the men?

Near the end:
But I do think that feminism has something to say to fat men in particular. They get insulted by being compared to women, and we espouse the still-radical idea that being feminine (or being called feminine) isn’t inherently insulting.

So nevermind all those other ways I'm insulted right? Its almost like they want to get fat men into the movement while still keeping it all about the women.

Oh and there was one comment in particular that I just had to respond to:
Danny, think about it this way: You are upset when feminists treat you as a member of a group instead of asking after your personal experience. You get to feel this way, because as a man you get to consider your personal experience to be paramount and you are allowed to become accustomed to being treated as an individual and not a representative of your sex. It feels unusual and uncomfortable for people to ignore your personal experiences because of your gender, or consider your gender more important than your personal experiences. Male privilege is not being used to that. Male privilege is not growing up thinking that’s your birthright.

Yes I tend to get upset when people treat me like a member of a group instead of asking for my personal experience. Even we ignore this from the end of the post, "So… where’s the men at? I know there are a few of you. Does this idea resonate? (If not, set me straight.) Have you found feminism to be personally useful in combating your own internalized fat hatred? And, because I know there are only a few of you: how can we get the word out to other fat men?" this is offputting.

But here's what burns. Okay fillyjonk comments that it feels unusual and uncomfortable for people to ignore my person experiences because of my gender. That is the fucking opposite of what I'm feeling. The discomfort isn't because my "male privilege" makes me unused to be treated this way. The discomfort comes specifically from being treated as representative of my sex. Its almost like she is saying that I don't feel upset and uncomfortable from the fat man hatred but because I'm a man and I'm not used to not having my experiences being treated as paramount. I'm sure she wouldn't say that about a fat woman.

Look fat men want to be treated with the same respect that any human being deserves. This post still comes off sounding like in order for fat men to get anything from feminism we have to make fat male hatred all about women. You don't win allies by drawing them in with an issue that hits close to home but expect them to ignore what their own experiences tell them about the issue.

(PS - If feminism isn't just about women then why the constant need to turn nearly every issue they think is important into how it harms women?)

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

I can answer that.

I saw this posted on a friend's FB page last night and, you being all about thinking about being a man and all, I just had to answer. The picture is of Betty White with what appears to be a quote from her.
Why do people say "Grow some balls."? Balls are weak and sensitive! If you wanna really get tough grow a vagina! Those things take a pounding!
At first glance I just took this to be a volley in the seemingly never ending battle of the sexes over declaring which one is better. But then I got to really thinking, "Why do people say 'Grow some balls.'?". The answer came to me almost too fast.

The answer is simple. As a men we are expected to prove how tough we are by doing difficult things such as enduring intense pain. Okay I don't know about you other folks with balls but I know that when it comes to mine if I'm not careful the slightest shift can result in a jolt of pain more than intense enough to remind me they are down there. When you have something that is capable of generating that much pain then of course it will become the benchmark for "manliness".

So when someone comes at you with comments about having balls its usually in the context of being tough in painful situations. Yes vaginas are tough but they are also built tough (I didn't say they are immune to pain but often when I hear this line of conversation people go straight for natural experiences like childbirth). The idea behind "having balls" is to be tough in any and all situations no matter how normally or abnormally tough it might be.

Yes there are problems with that message too but let us not fool ourselves into think the problem with the "having balls" comments is simply that vaginas are tougher so we should just rewrite the commentary to reflect that instead.

It all goes back to holding men to high standards when it comes to handling tough or tense situations. More of that same ole "You're not a real man if..." bull.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Calif. Gov. Brown signs bill prohibiting circumcision bans

Yes you read that right.

Governor Jerry Brown has signed a bill that will prohibit circumcision bans in the state of California.

You know I wasn't even going to do a post on this until I saw this line from Assemblyman Mike Gatto.
Gatto argued that such bans were an affront to the exercise of "personal, medical and religious freedom."
Yes that is a copy/paste from the article.

Can someone explain to me how, in a country where its a federal crime to circumcise girls, banning circumcision of boys is considered an affront to "personal, medical, and religious freedom"?

Alright let's not get all twisted up into believing that this is about the "personal, medical, and religious freedom" of infant boys. They don't even know what those things are at that point in their lives. This is about the "personal, medical, and religious freedom" of people who want to have the foreskin of infant boys removed for their own reasons be they religion (as a rite of passage), medical (because it MIGHT help with prevention of STDs), or personal (so he "looks normal"). If you recall the original ban that was proposed was a ban on circumcision of boys under 18 meaning that guys over 18 would still have the "personal, medical, and religious freedom" to do with their foreskins as they please.

I've talked about this before. Why in the hell are people so hell bent on defending a practice on boys that could get you thrown in prison if you did it to girls? Why in the hell are people defending a procedure that permanently alters the body yet whose benefits are contested? Why in the hell are people defending what amounts to preventative maintenance (seriously name one other body part that is cut off of newborns as a "just in case..." precaution)?

As far as I'm concerned unless there is a medical necessity (and the "help prevent STDs" bit is still too contested to count as a necessity) there is absolutely no reason to remove one's foreskin while they are an infant.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Weekly Mashup Stage 69

In an effort to build up the Ethecofem community into a place where any walk of life will feel welcome to come and discuss things we are looking for another regular contributor, preferably of the female persuasion to balance things out a bit, but anyone interested is welcome. We like a variety of viewpoints, experiences, and perspectives. And as always April is on the eternal lookout for guest bloggers as well. If you're interested drop a line at ethecofem[at]gmail[dot]com.

Also feel free to treat this as an Open Thread.

Review of Sapphire "The Kid" Part Two: Falling: Part 2 of 4 of a review of "The Kid" by Sapphire (a novel that takes place 10 years after "Push" and centers around Precious' son Abdul).

The Big Sexy Problem with Superheroines and Their 'Liberated Sexuality': "Since pointing out my issues with Starfire yesterday, I have received numerous e-mails -- from men -- accusing me of slut-shaming. Since there are a lot of people who don't understand the sexual dynamics that are in play here both creatively and culturally, I'd like to dissect this a little bit and explain why these scenes don't support sexually liberated women; they undermine them, and why after nearly 20 years of reading superhero books, these may finally have been the comics that broke me."

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Its things like this that remind me that I actually have a heart.

'Angry Birds' and teaching physics: Due to the facts that the physics in Angry Birds seem to be set on Random I call bullshit.

A cupcake sellout at 'inherently racist' bake sale by UC Berkeley Republicans: You know I had a rather snide remark lined up but I'm not so sure it actually applies...

Judge: Debra Lafave's probation will end early: This is one of those times when someone should be acting in the "best interests of the child". Debra Lafave statutorily raped a 14 year old boy and got a deal for 6 years probation (versus 30 years in prison) and now she's even getting out of serving all of that? I wonder how the victim that she scared for life feels about that.

Cab Fair: Amy Alkon on the protectionism and legalized thuggery of the taxi cab industry.

Talk Shit About Your Ex Without Consequences at Oh you know that shit is gonna get ugly.

Excuse Me, That’s Ms. Andry: And this place is supposed to be a place for good men? Yeah I feel real welcome at a place that's more concerned with making sure the things that harm men are labeled as not important as the things that harm women than actually trying to address them. They may as well name that place Feminism 101: Male Edition.

Ex-model who killed, ate husband seeks parole: Yeah you read that right. If the person who killed John Lennon by shooting him in the back is still in prison after 30 years how in the world can anyone think that a person who killed and ate their spouse could be fit for release?

Too Fat for President: "It's not so much that Eugene Robinson, or Michael Kinsley are being intrusive. It's that they're being rude. And their rudeness has targets beyond Chris Christie. The last thing people--and really kids--who are struggling with this need is columnists yoking the megaphone telling them how simple it would be for them to be in "optimal health." I don't grasp any great understanding of the science of hunger and weight from either of those columns."

Wash. mom who tried to sell baby to be set free: Well Mary Winkler did kill her husband and managed to keep custody...

News Video: Abused Men

Take it easy folks!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Looks like I better hurry up on v.2

Okay I'm not sure how but that Gender Symmetry Checklist has gotten more views in 2 weeks than any other post on my blog in the three and half years I've had my shop running here.

Out of the 10 posts in terms of views its gotten nearly double what the other 9 posts raked in combined. I'm sure this doesn't seem like much to most of you but I am just not used to that kind of traffic.

Thanks. And as I say I'm working a v.2 of it and will try to have it up by next week. (And yes Amp I'm taking you up on that table suggestion of yours.)

So about that radical notion...

So Toy Soldier on how to teach boys to be feminists. Oh this is going to be good.
A couple of years ago, I recall a conversation I had with my 13-year-old nephew who is quite intelligent and a bit beyond his years. He was saying that he and his friends had had a discussion about who had it easier, men or women. They decided that women did for various reasons. A huge conversation ensued, as you can imagine, with my nephew, his mother, his grandmother and grandfather, and me. I think decidedly, by the end of the talk, we might have changed his mind!

I'd be very curious as to what they changed his mind about. Did they change his mind to realize that its hard on men and women? Did they change his mind to think that women actually have it worse? The difference being one is an egalitarian approach while the other is engaging in Oppression Olympics (well feminists don't call it that because to them OO is disagreeing with a feminist assertion that women do have it worse).
There seems to be a lot more research being done lately about boys and gender stereotyping. Undoubtedly, we need boys who will grow up understanding and appreciating what it means to be female in our society as well as the world-at-large because they will benefit from that awareness and so will everyone else.
Now this I can agree with people need to be mindful of how other folks are (or are not) faring in this cruel world.

Further down there is a list of things people can do to "do to educate our boys about feminism and being a feminist" (I added the numbers):

1. Teach them it’s okay to be emotional and that holding feelings in is not what being a man is about.

2. Become media literate so that they can become aware of how gender is portrayed in terms of what they are seeing and hearing.

3. When a boy sees an ad or a TV show in which stereotypes are present, make sure you point it out.

4. Teach them that there is more to a girl than what she looks like. Discuss famous women who have done and are doing important things.

5. Make play dates in which there are boys and girls to play with. Making friends with girls can be an important part of how they will perceive women.

6. Introduce them to female characters through books, movies, etc. Research shows that a majority of these characters are male, so it will be up to you to provide a variety.
Honestly my gripes are few.

1. I'd actually try to teach them that emotional freedom is an important part of being a man. And by that a man should be able to be as emotional or not emotional as he wants to be.

4. I'd also encourage the fact that other guys are there for more than just competition. Competition is fine but (linking back to 1) boys needs to know that a guy could be their strongest emotional support pillar as well as their greatest rival.

6. I'd encourage them to pay attention to more than the numbers when it comes to gender ratio of male/female characters. Despite most characters being male a halfway decent look at them will show that the majority of them are cliches and stereotypes (so I hope that points 2 and 3 were meant to apply male stereotypes as well).

Now those basic building blocks are nice but here's where it gets fun. The next list is of things to teach young men.

1. Teach them that “feminism” means promoting women’s rights and interests.

2. Discuss how being a feminist does not mean women hate men or that women think men are the enemy.

3. Teach them that by taking a role in feminism they will be helping everyone, not just women.

4. Teach them that because they are at the top of society’s hierarchy, they have a responsibility and an ability to be part of social change and justice for everyone.

5. Simply talk to them and use probing questions when teachable moments arise. Allow them to reach their own conclusions.
Here we go. I'd be fine with 1 if it was properly executed but frankly its not always so. Point 2 would be more believable if weren't for the contradicting points pushed by feminists (they don't hate men but have no problem minimizing our experiences, they don't hate men but have no problem defining out experiences for us out of fear of losing their victimhood status, they don't hate men but have no problem crying Oppression Olympics the first time you disagree with their assertion that women have it worse than men, they don't hate men but expect us to join a movement where the things that are of concern to men are forced to the back burner). Ideally point 1 can coexist with point 3 however with the way some of them execute point 1 they end up contradicting point 3, you can't really call yourself helping everyone when you deny the experiences of those who aren't in line with you. And they sure as hell can't fulfill point 3 when they're basing their perception of boys on point 4.

Four is situational at best and straight bullshit at worst. The fact of the matter is the vast majority of boys that these lessons will be pointed at are not at the top of society's hierarchy. In fact by starting off with that presumption they run the risk of turning those boys into the very thing feminists claim to be against, entitled assholes that think they are owed the world because they are male. Why not talk to them and learn where they see themselves in society's hierarchy and work from there rather than presuming that they are at the top? Oh and I'd also teach boys that sharing gender with the precious few men at the top don't mean shit. I have a Y chromosome just like all those guys that run Fortune 500 companies. That power does not trickle down like a lot of feminists would have us believe.

And based on that I am really concerned about point 5. After the stuff I just pointed out about the first four how much faith do you have in the idea that those boys will actually be able to reach their own conclusions or better yet what are the odds on how long those boys will keep those conclusions if they are not the ones that feminists have already decided are the right ones?

Yeah feminists are just like members of any other movement. There's good ones and there's bad one and you better be damn careful which ones you cross paths with or you might end up with someone like this trying to teach your son.