Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Armor of Contradictions

I've been meaning to post about this for a while but I kept side tracking it. But finding this video today reminded me so I'll do it now while I'm thinking about it.

Okay in the world of fantasy you have characters that wear armor for protection from damage in combat. Speaking of combat supposedly women are weak frail creatures who can't stand up to the hard rigors of physical combat and thus need protection. Based on that one would think that women would get heavy full armor to make up for their frailty. But anyone with experience in the world of fantasy (be it games, literature, or art) knows that is not the case.

When you get down to wouldn't putting the person that you deem to be fragile upfront be counter productive when talking about fighter type classes? Take the woman in the video below. Does it really make sense, whether you think of them as frail or not, to equip a fighter with armor that barely "covers the essentials"? Of course not. Isn't it more sensible to give your fighters the best quality armor possible since as a melee role they will literally be in the enemy's face (and I think protecting the body is a part of the armor's quality).

So folks the next time you want to dress a female warrior up in some armor it might be worth it to take a moment to think about how effective she will be in that armor. Or else you'll probably try to blame her "weakness" for getting wiped*. Or else you're basically saying she's weak but she shouldn't wear any actual protective armor. What kind of sexist mixed message bullshit is that?




* - Wiped. If you don't know wipe its shorthand for wipeout. As in your party went into an encounter/fight/battle/instance and the entire party was wiped out by the enemy. As in if she had some real armor she might have been able to survive that hail of orc arrows that took her out thus possibly saving the party from getting wiped.


(Yes I know that this was not the full on breakdown of why that armor was offensive to her but that was not my point and I bet most of you reading this know that. My point was to relate to those in the various realms of fantasy in a manner they can understand. No its not perfect but if you come at them from the outside just berating them and attacking them for the way they think you won't likely get much in the way of good conversation going.)

30 Day Song Challenge - Stage 30: A Song That You Want To Play At Your Funeral

Something simple. Something powerful. Something I liked in life. Something fitting to send me off to the other side. Something that doesn't have words. Voices (cello version) from the Macross Plus Soundtrack. (The person that put it up blocked embedding, sorry.)

Well folks that's 30. Hope you enjoyed, shared, and spoke your mind. Thanks for following!

But wait...

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Weekly Menu June 28

I decided to share my Zucchini Alfredo over Linguine with April this week. Check it out.

30 Day Song Challenge - Stage 29: A Song From Your Childhood

I know its kinda cheating to use the same song twice but I told you I'd get back to Stargazer. Fished through the site a bit and found what appears to be the very last episode he did before passing away August 20, 2010. When I was a kid I remember staying up until a bit after midnight to watch this show on my local PBS station just before it went off the air for the night (yeah I remember when tv stations didn't run programming 24 hours a day). Funny thing is this song stuck in my head and it was actually several years before I knew that it was Debussy's "Arabesque #1".

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

30 Day Song Challenge - Stage 28: A Song That Makes You Feel Guilty

Its not the song that makes me guilty but the dance routine. I have to admit if were smaller and could get a group together I'd do it. The song is the ending theme to the anime "The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya". Cool stuff.



Almost done!

About Thomas Ball

So while I was out of town last week a man by the name of Thomas Ball left behind a manifesto before killing himself by fire on the steps of a New Hampshire court house.

I'm going to bypass the feminists that are lining up to call the guy all sorts of names (and of course declare themselves victims since the document left behind blames them) and pretty much spit on his grave. I'm also going to bypass the MRAs that want to use his act as a rallying cry for the cause.

No I want to say that while his treatment may have been proof of a double standard (I must admit I'm a bit amazed at how quickly he was arrested and charged) it does worry me that he felt he had no other resort. Somewhat like the suicide bombers who go to the ultimate extreme I can't help but be concerned about people resorting to such acts of violence (and let us be at least somewhat thankful that he only did this to himself instead of physically harming others).

Just a damn shame.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Being A Man 101: Work

Wow has it already been over a month since I first brought this up? I've been a bit busy the last few weeks and my scheduled stuff has run out (except for the end of my 30 Day Song Challenge) so its time to get real again. To get back into the swing of things I'm bring up what will be the first of many entries in this FAQ.

I'm going straight for the jugular on this one. Work.

Now if you recall I said I was building this 101 up as a place where one can come and read up on the basics of being a man. By basics I mean to lay out the topic at hand as it relates to men, cover some of the pitfalls of that topic as they relate to men, perhaps try to throw in a few nuggets of wisdom on how to address them, and most importantly spur conversation on the subject. There's a chance you are burning up inside to talk about something. Come on in and talk. There's a chance you might have a question that you can get some beginner's insight on. Glad I can help. There's a chance you'll see something here you disagree with. By all means point it out and let's talk it out. There's a chance you may read this and think to yourself that there's nothing here you haven't seen already. Fair enough and peace be with you.

I was thinking about starting this off with sex but that's a pretty tall order to start Being A Man 101 with. So I'm gonna tap on another subject that's near and dear to the hearts of men: work.

Society teaches that a defining mark of a man is what occupation he holds.

In decades/centuries long past a man's occupation was so ingrained into his identity that he sometimes drew his very name from it. Meaning that almost quite literally a man was his job. If a man had no job then he had no identity (or at least a negative identity) and he was not a real man (or at least not a real honest man). Not only was having a job important but also what type of job a man held would hold sway over his status as a man. Not just as a man but as a person in general.

CEO of a large coporation? Then you're counted as a important man with the power to rule the world (or at least a noticable portion of it). Work at a steel factory? Then you're an unsophisticated brute that doesn't know the finer things in life. A professor at a high end college? Then you're a knowledgable man whose words should be heeded. However bear in mind that these mindsets are not universal but rather vary from person to person or culture to culture. That CEO could be seen as a greedy fiendish man that would kill his own family for a buck while making a fortune on the backs of others. That steel factory worker could be seen as a hardworking man that everyone should spire to be. And that professor could be seen as a know it who deals in theory but has little actual experience to back it up. Its mostly about how one perceives the job but at the end of the day there are people who base their assessment of a man on nothing but his job.

Now a days a man's status may not be as rigidly associated with this job as it once but the link is still there and its still strong.

How often do you hear people saying that a man that doesn't provide for his wife (yes heteromomative but we'll get back to that in the future) is a real man or try to measure a man's worth and character by his job? It still happens and because of this times have not boded well for men. In the recent economic downturn people seem to be in a state of confusion over what men are supposed to do now that what society tells us is a core part of being a man has been lost. This is the result of not just some rough patch that works itself out but rather this is a big case of a lot of those jobs simply not coming back (remember a large chunk of those jobs that were lost were in manufacturing and who makes up most of the people in those field?).

Something needs to change.

Despite things not quite being like they were a few centuries ago we still have the issue of boys being raised under the belief that they are supposed to be the provider in order to matter or to be worthy of finding a partner. This gives those boys (and men they will become) an expectation that they are unfairly expected to meet (there's a big difference between being expected to be a productive member of society and being treated like you don't count as a man, human, or potential partner unless you have a certain job or have x amount of money).

So what do you think reader? I'm not pretending that this is the absolute definitive word on the subject of men and work, its a work in progress and will probably in progress for a long time. Have something you want to share? By all means come on over and chime in. We'd be doing everyone a lot of good to talk this out.


Edit:
I was just reading a post that just hit me on something.

Something that this expectation for men to be a provider does to men is that it at times forces men to get into a field not because its what they want to do but because its prestigious or pays big money or is a path to power. Yeah I know its hard to believe but there are a lot of men who don't care about those things and/or have passions that would lead them away from such things.

30 Day Song Challenge - Stage 27: A Song That You Wish You Could Play

If could play the piano I would so try to learn "Arabesque #1" by Debussy.



Enjoy

(Bonus to anyone that remembers the weekly astronomy show Star Gazer and the fact that this song was used for its theme. I'll come back to that in a bit.)

Sunday, June 26, 2011

30 Day Song Challenge - Stage 26: A Song That You Can Play On An Instrument

Unfortunately I am not musically inclined so I have no answer for this one. But don't let that stop you from chiming in.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

30 Day Song Challenge - Stage 25: A Song That Makes You Laugh


Voltaire - "Headless Waltz"

The video is fan made but how can you keep a straight face about a song about Marie Antoinette's execution that sounds like something you'd sing while drinking?

Friday, June 24, 2011

Does the name Nasra Yussef Mohammed al-Enezi ring a bell?

More than likely not because despite the horrible crime that she committed she has somehow managed to go nearly completely under the radar. Because on the real you would think that a person that, in retaliation against her her husband taking on a second wife, killed 57 people back in August 2009 (women and children at that, you know, the victims that matter) would garner a bit more attention than that.

Well just to let you know her death sentence has been upheld. At this point the last chance Enezi has to avoid execution would be if the emir commutes her sentence to life in prison.

Shoutout to Mensactivism.org.

30 Day Song Challenge - Stage 24: A Song That You Want To Play At Your Funeral



Just kidding.

Actually I'd go with something short (I don't want my funeral to be too long) like "Road To The West" by The Seatbelts.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

30 Day Song Challenge - Stage 23: A Song That You Want To Play At Your Wedding

I had to dig around a bit for this one. But in the end I want something that DOES NOT HAVE LYRICS. Why? So that when dancing to it you can just get lost in it not have to worry about the lyrics fitting the occasion. Just dance. "The Shadow of Your Smile" by Kenny G.



But I don't expect to be need this song anytime soon...

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Good looking out Barbara Kay

(I'm talking about domestic violence. Tread carefully.)


Okay as we know when it comes to domestic violence two of the prevalent schools of thought is that "men can't be victims" and "women only get violent in self defense". Despite the fact that there are more than enough cases of DV that would disprove those two loads of bull said loads of bull still persist. Barbara Kay talks about a counseling service that seems to believe them.

Merge is counselling and education services center in Ontario, Canada. And boy are they serving the bull.

First off look at the statement on their main page.
MERGE believes that violence is a learned behavior. Violence against women, children and teens is a social problem requiring
change at the individual, cultural, and institutional levels. (Emphasis mine.)
So as you can see from the get go Merge has already decided that violence against men is not that big a deal.

Going on into the site itself we see there are three pages offering services for women, teens, and men. Let's take a look at the services for men and women.

Take a look at the opening messages and how they are different. On the women's page:
MERGE Counselling and Education Services addresses the needs of women to examine their anger issues. Not only do unhealthy anger choices jeopardize her happiness and stability, but also that of those around her.

Women feel tremendous stress and pressure to succeed. In an attempt to cope, anger can easily become self-destructive and have negative effects on people in her life. However, we believe that women can use anger as a powerful tool in achieving safe, positive behaviour.
On the men's page:
MERGE offers group counselling for men who have verbally, mentally or physically abused a spouse / partner. Many men who abuse their partners have abused their children as well. The program also addresses the connection between spouse / partner and child abuse.

Our experience shows us that once a man begins to abuse in any way, he has a problem that won't go away, and will must likely get worse. Men often apologize after an abusive incident, and promise their spouse / partner that they will change.

Unfortunately, we have found that men do not stop being abusive without outside assistance.
Notice how from the get go women have anger issues that are unhealthy and could harm those around her (but can be used as a tool for empowerment) while men are abusive to women and children that have a problem that cannot be dealt with without outside assistance. So from the start this center has already given women a free pass on the abuse they commit namely by barely even calling it about (the word "abuse" appears on the women's page twice at the very end while its used five times in the opening statement on the men's page) while condemning men as violent brutes.

Then you have a list of possible indicators (for women they're indicators of anger issues while for men they're indicators that they have a problem with abuse).

For women:

If you feel attacked or criticized or shamed, or if you find yourself on the defensive a lot....you have an anger problem.

If you find yourself not able to listen or if you find yourself shaming another person ....you have an anger problem.

If you are raging about what is going on .... you have an anger problem.

If you feel you are pushed to the point that you must "take control", verbally or physically .... that is an anger problem.

If you are in a relationship with somebody who has an anger problem, you also have an anger problem.

If anybody is being touched or controlled or dominated, if any abuse is being forced against the will of another, there is abuse going on ... it is likely to be violent... it is an anger problem.
For men:

Have you cheated on your partner?

Have you ever hit, pushed, grabbed, threatened, frightened or intimidated your partner?

Does she complain about you controlling her life?

Has she told you that she is afraid of you?

Are your children afraid of you?

Do you frequently insult her, call her names?

Say things that make her uncomfortable?

Do you often pressure her to do things your way, even she doesn't want to?

When you treat her badly, do you consider it her fault?

Do you blame it on alcohol, stress, or family problems?

Have you ever been accused of mistreating your children?

Has your partner complained about jealous or possessive behaviour on your part?
See the difference?

On the page for women look at how the indicators are mostly things happening to her whereas the list list for men are all things that he is doing to her. Also look at how the list for women is kept gender neutral but the list for men goes straight to labeling the abused partner as a woman? There is a very clear bias at work here. By the literature of this center men just come into relationships already angry and hating women and they are just looking for a woman to abuse while women are perfectly serene creatures that know no anger until someone comes along and pisses them off. I also see where those indicators for women seem to almost want to set up a revenge situation so that, a vigilante sort of way, she should be allowed to commit her violence and then get counselling.

Its double standards like this that are keeping people from confronting domestic violence and dealing with it. Both pages are pretty much screaming, "Its all his fault."

I really feel sorry for any men going there for counselling and I especially feel sorry for any male victims of women that go there for counselling.

Shoutout to Toy Soldier.

30 Day Song Challenge - Stage 22: A Song That You Listen To When You're Sad

For this one I'm going to reach for Buffy the Vampire Slayer. This song was used in the season seven episode, "Conversations with Dead People". Hands down this my absolute favorite episode of the series (much better than "Hush" and "Once More With Feeling"). This is Angie Hart singing "Blue".

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

30 Day Song Challenge - Stage 21: A Song That You Listen To When You're Happy

Have you ever heard of the anime Azumanga Daioh? Its a pretty funny series centered around a group of six girls who attend an all girl high school. This is the opening theme.



Enjoy.

Just terrible



According to the story a woman has allegedly pushed her husband out of a window, resulting him falling 25 floors to his death. If you look at the video looks like this may have been a couple where the violence was mutual (although I notice people are already reaching for the "come on! look how big he is! how could a little bitty woman possibly hurt him?!" defense).

I'm betting that the DV that went on this relationship has been going on for a long time and its terrible that it had to come to such a gruesome conclusion

Monday, June 20, 2011

30 Day Song Challenge - Stage 20: A Song That You Listen To When You're Angry

Okay this one is going to take a bit of explaining since its not just the song but the video that plays with it. If you aren't familiar with the Street Fighter video games one particularly badass character from that series is a guy by the name of Akuma (Japanese for demon). This man has red skin, is alway looking for a fight, and has problem killing people (in fact his ultimate technique roughly translates into "Instant Hell Murder"). The video is of someone recording some combos using Akuma in Street Fighter 3: Third Strike. That's pretty much what I want to do when I'm angry.

As for the song well its a drum and bass track called "Demon's Theme" by LTJ Bukem. Fitting I know.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day!!!

I know I'm a bit late with it but I just wanted to give a shoutout You work hard to to all the dads out there. You work hard to raise your kids in a society that doesn't think highly of you. Keep it up!

1 year! 2 year! 3 year! Three years of blogging! Ah Ah Ah!

Yeah that's right. Danny's Corner turns three today. Damn time flies. I still haven't gotten this blog to the point where I want it (namely in the way of traffic) but I'm getting there (being a regular at Ethecofem has helped).

I want to hit you with a run down of things I've done over the last 12 months as a refresh.

June 2010: Being mindful of the way we use words.

July 2010: When "manning up" can get you in trouble.

August 2010: Still face-palming over feminists that don't get it.

September 2010: So about that "push men out of children's lives while simultaneously complaining that the need to step up" strategy...

October 2010: If you were raised in an home where boys were punished more harshly for hitting girls than vice versa, then you apparently made that shit up.

November 2010: "Dance like no one is watching." Best piece of advice I got last year.

December 2010: I guess its still all men's fault.

January 2011: I haven't checked it in a while but it seems to be what I thought it was. A place where only certain people are every wrong and some people are never wrong.

February 2011: But would it be that big a deal if Hakan were gay?

March 2011: People will fight tooth and nail to deny female privilege. Sounds familiar...

April 2011: Where I work on my Browncoat street cred. (Side Note: If you want to buy Browncoats: Redemption do it fast. The copy I got in the mail the other day had a note in it saying that they were only going to sale copies until Sept. 1 of this year, after that it may never be available for sale again. So if you're thinking about it you've about 3 months to do it.)

May 2011: We must be careful to avoid thinking that Osama Bin Laden was terrorism. He was a terrorist be he himself was not the face of terrorism.

June 2011: I really like the idea of men having more birth control options.

So what do you think? Were there things you wish I had talked about? Were there things you wished I hadn't talked about? Don't be scared to speak up. I know I'm here to tell my story but I'm also here to communicate with people. Now on to year four.



Just to give you some things to poke through here are links to my first and second anniversary posts.

30 Day Song Challenge - Stage 19: A Song From Your Favorite Album

It would be about as easy to pick a favorite album as a favorite band so I'll just pick one that I really love. Korn. Follow the Leader. Freak on a Leash.



Hell Yeah.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Who knew flashing was about the arousal?

I myself was of the mind that the reason flashing was against the law because its rude to go around public flashing your genitals at innocent people. Well according to the law in Berlin it would seem that said flasher must also be in an excited state.

Annette Kaiser of Berlin is a known flasher that freely shows off her nude body in public. Well considering how many times we've seen stories of men flashing in public and getting (rightly) punished for it you would think that a woman would get the same right? Wrong. It would seem that Kaiser is able to avoid arrest because in Germany flashing is not a crime unless the flasher is sexually aroused.

So basically since Kaiser doesn't have a penis that it immediately rises to attention when its aroused (yes I know that erection doesn't equal arousal but we'll let that go for the moment) authorities say they cannot tell if she is aroused when she goes around flashing therefore they can't arrest her.

Does this mean a man can show his penis off in public as long as its not erect?

30 Day Song Challenge - Stage 18: A Song That You Wish You Heard On The Radio

Oh another radio question. I don't listen to the radio so there's nothing I'm wishing to hear on it. Once again I got nothing.

Out of the Office

Okay I'm heading out of town for some job training. I've got posts scheduled through Friday the 24th to give you something to chew on. I may or may not have net access and even if I do I probably won't be posting much. The comments are on post moderation (meaning they will all be visible until I get a chance to go through them). I'll be chiming off a bit on twitter (@dannyscorner) if you really, really, wanna hear from me.

I'll be back to posting around the 27th.

Take it easy!

Friday, June 17, 2011

30 Day Song Challenge - Stage 17: A Song That You Often Hear On The Radio

Okay I really have nothing here because I don't listen to the radio that much. I have like a 2min. drive to work and when I go out of town I have my mp3 player going. Sorry folks.

Medical Justice? Hardly...

I saw this over at Ars Technica a while back.

As you may or may not know in the last few years medical practitioners, in what I think it is a pretty bad display of professionalism, have been suing people who post negative online reviews of their performance. Yes as in if I go to the dentist and they mess something up and I give a bad review they don't try to correct the mistake or work on preventing it from happening again, they just sue me to get my review taken down. Well it looks like someone has come up with a solution. Timothy B. Lee describes his encounter with this solution.
After the usual patient information form, there was a "mutual privacy agreement" that asked me to transfer ownership of any public commentary I might write in the future to Dr. Cirka. Surprised and a little outraged by this, I got into a lengthy discussion with Dr. Cirka's office manager that ended in me refusing to sign and her showing me the door.
It would seem that the organization Medical Justice has been providing its members with these forms.

I'm going to go straight to the point and ask if you know what this means. Imagine walking into your doctor's office after having made an appointment to have something looked at. Before going in to see the doctor you are asked to sign a form that gives ownership of any reviews that you write in the future about that office over to that doctor. Meaning that you would be stuck in a situation where you either have to give up ownership of any review you write later (meaning that even if what you say is true the doctor would have control of it and would be free to take it down) or go find another doctor. Now anyone who's dealt with medical insurance knows that finding another doctor is not quite as easy as finding another restaurant when your first choice is full.

However it might not be so clear cut. Lee took some time to find out just how effective that form would be.
We can't find any evidence that Medical Justice-style agreements have ever actually been used to censor online reviews. Dr. Cirka told Ars that he has never attempted to remove a fraudulent review using the copyright assignment policy. And Yelp told us that they "have never elected to remove a review in response this type of takedown request." The experts we talked to said they've gotten similar statements from other review sites.
As you can see its not as if Medical Justice has been rampantly taking down comments posted by patients who signed their forms. However I think the damage is done. What has happened is that even if that form holds no real power and its just an empty threat it still a threat and threats are meant to scare people. Chances are there are patients that have come across this form and have signed it out of need and are now scared to speak up if something went wrong. Let's not forget people who may have chosen not to get something important looked at until they can find a doctor that doesn't have those forms and we all know that in some cases medical issues should not be put off.

I don't think there will be a mass exodus or anything but I think it will generate more fear which is the last thing we need in this time when healthcare is shaky at best.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

30 Day Song Challenge - Stage 16: A Song That You Used To Love But Now Hate

This is actually one that I started to hate a long time ago.


The Fugees - Killing Me Softly

You see when this song came out it was like every single girl in my school suddenly decided she was Lauren Hill. You would not believe how often they would sing it. On the bus, in class, at the lunch table, at school events. It just wracked my f'n nerves.

Obedient Wives Club?

Okay I knew that things were messed up in Malaysia when I read about what amounts to Camp Misandry. But to further push the point there also seems to be something called the Obedient Wives Club there as well. The point of this club you ask? To show women the key to a blissful marriage. What's the key?
As a new bride, 22-year-old Ummu Atirah believes she knows the secret to a blissful marriage: obey her husband and ensure he is sexually satisfied.
No. I know I'm the last person to ask marriage advice from but I'm pretty sure that sex and obedience are not the key.

I think its pretty clear there are some very poisonous ideas going on here such as this:
"Sex is a taboo in Asian society. We have ignored it in our marriages but it's all down to sex. A good wife is a good sex worker to her husband. What is wrong with being a whore ... to your husband?" [Rohayah Mohamad]she said.
While I'm all for a wife being a good sex partner to with her husband I think this turns marital sex into a transaction and I just don't think transactional sex has a place in a marriage (sure in casual situations but with the person you're supposed to be life long parters with?).

But what really put a bit of a smile on my face was a line near the end. Proof positive that there are men in general that don't want an obedient wife and Muslim men specifically don't want an obedient wife.
One Muslim man, Amirul Aftar, wrote: "I do not want a wife to submit to my every beck and call. I want a wife who understands me ... we are not your masters, we are your equal."

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

30 Day Song Challenge - Stage 15: A Song That Describes You

My interest in duality is closely related to the internal conflicts I feel myself having on a regular basis. What better song to symbolize such a battle? "Duel of the Fates" by John Williams.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

30 Day Song Challenge - Stage 14: A Song That No One Would Expect You To Love

Okay I have a rather accepting bunch of friends so pulling something unexpected is highly unlikely. However I don't have much interest in cars and there are very few country songs I like so I'll go with "Hot Rod Lincoln" by Commander Cody

Why on this good and verdant earth....

are people trying to defend the violation of someone's bodily autonomy?

This article bothers me for a few reasons.

First:
Californians are facing billions in tax hikes and spending cuts that could mean more cutbacks in services and givebacks by state workers.
And yet, for some reason the debate over foreskin has a place.
Notice how the writer seems to think that money is more important that the foreskins of boys who have no say in the matter. Don't get me wrong the money issues in California are a big deal and need to dealt with but that doesn't mean its more important than people (let's see him try to say that he budget issues are more important than say, gay marriage rights).

Second:
And speaking of sex, having a circumcised penis saves the young man of the potential embarrassment of having a new partner look at his nude body and say "What in the hell is wrong with your... penis."
Here we have the writer saying that what future partners might think of foreskin is a reason to have the procedure done. On a person that has no say in the matter. Cosmetics are not a valid reason to do this to children (or does this mean that its actually okay to perform labia-plasty* on little girls, you know so their future partner won't ask what the hell is wrong with their genitals).

Third:
I get the science behind not having the procedure done: There are nerve endings that are being severed during the procedure, and it is normally not medically required. But generally speaking it has not been proven to be medically harmful either, though there have been rare occasions of infection and excessive bleeding requiring stitches.
So he acknowledges that several nerve endings are being severed by having this done and (for the most part) there is no actually medical requirement for it. But then just shrugs all that away by saying that it really doesn't hurt that much therefore its okay to do it. To people who can't consent to having it done.

Fourth:
Besides being an important aspect of some religions, circumcisions improve hygiene, which is effective in limiting urinary tract infections and the transference of STDs. And speaking of sex, having a circumcised penis saves the young man of the potential embarrassment of having a new partner look at his nude body and say "What in the hell is wrong with your... penis."
When's the last time someone tried to defend violating someone's body with religion? When's the last time that defense was allowed to stand? So damn the bible for saying that homosexuality is wrong but hold the Torah up as justification for cutting off foreskins of people too young to say anything about it? And about that hygiene thing. New Rule: If you are going to say that circumcision improves hygiene and reduces various infection and diseases then you should be able to show some evidence that circumcision is more effective than proper genital hygiene and safe/smart sex education (which you need even if you circumcised).

Fifth:
Besides the measure having no provision for religious practices -- thereby making it unconstitutional -- it's downright ludicrous when you consider that Matthew Hess, the man who has written similar, but failed, legislation for states across the country, is the same Matthew Hess who demonizes Jewish culture in his online comic book "Foreskin Man."
Now I'm not going to try to argue that there anti-Jewish sentiment in that comic. However that does not suddenly mean that any opposition to circumcision of invalid. Just because Jewish people perform circumcision doesn't make them demons. I personally think it makes them wrong (but only for doing it to children), but it doesn't make them evil. But furthermore as I say the existence of the extreme end of the opposition (and trying to highlight them as if they represent all opposition) does not nullify said opposition.

As for banning circumcision the only provisions that I think should be allowed for are people over 18 (which is already in the writing, meaning that grownups are free to have the procedure done if they wish) and actual medical necessity (which I'm sure is already in the writing). Anything else is just a violation of a person's body due to the fact that they are not able to say they want it done.







(* - Speaking of female genitals I have this to say. Regardless of which one is more damaging, the reasons for performing them, and anything else you can think of to try to keep the conversation on FGM separate on this there is still one base thing that ties them together. Both procedures are being done on people who are not of age to consent to the procedure. Newborn boy or teenage girl, neither one is able to choose if its done to them. Plain and simple.)

Monday, June 13, 2011

RISUG

Reversible Inhibition of Sperm Under Guidance

This is the name of the male birth control method that has been under testing in India since the early 90s. This is the name of a male birth control method that I think is badly needed. This is the name of a male birth control method that I think a lot of men want.

As you know currently men pretty much have 3 choices when it comes to avoiding pregnancy. Condoms (which can break), Vasectomy (which is for the most part totally irreversible), and Abstinence (which means giving up the pleasure of sexual partners, well female sexual partners). But behold thanks to the work of scientist Sujoy Guha we could be on the verge of a fourth option.

As you see one of the difficulties of male contraception is that, unlike female contraception where you are stopping the monthly release of 1 egg (all of which said woman is born with), you are up against the constant production of millions of sperm cells. However it would seem that there is way to stop said millions of sperm cells.
When his turn came, he lay down on the table, and an orderly draped his lower body with a green surgical cloth that covered everything but his scrotum. Then Das moved in with a needle containing a local anesthetic. Once the drug had taken effect, Das gathered a fold of skin, made a puncture, and reached into the scrotum with a fine pair of forceps. He extracted a white tube: the vas deferens, which sperm travel through from the testes to the penis. In a normal vasectomy, Das would have severed the vas, cauterized and tied up the ends, and tucked it all back inside. But rather than snipping, Das took another syringe, delicately slid the needle lengthwise into the vas, and slowly depressed the plunger, injecting a clear, viscous liquid. He then repeated the steps on the other side of the scrotum.
So as you can see instead of snipping the vas deferens a formula is injected into them. What's in that formula and what is its contraceptive effect you wonder?
The procedure is known by the clunky acronym RISUG (for reversible inhibition of sperm under guidance), but it is in fact quite elegant: The substance that Das injected was a nontoxic polymer that forms a coating on the inside of the vas. As sperm flow past, they are chemically incapacitated, rendering them unable to fertilize an egg.
So what you have is someone has decided not to stop the flow but rather alter the flow. What's one million sperm cells if all of them have been rendered unable to fertilize an egg?

I'm liking the sound of this more and more. Not only is the procedure is simple, doesn't have to be done very often, and doesn't have any adverse side effects there is one more thing. So far all the trials done on Indian men have been 100% effective. But speaking of those reasons here's where I put in my negative hopes.

Okay we're in America where money trumps health. Given that this process doesn't have to be done repeatedly (and simply be reversed with another injection to neutralize the inhibiting polymer) I can totally see our pharmaceutical companies fighting this tooth and nail. Hell Trojan alone would probably start brib- oh my bad lobbying everyone in site to stop this. Imagine what they would stand to lose if guys could get a single shot to replace all those 3 dollar boxes of condoms.

On on the off chance that it did make it to the states I can so see some American company getting a patent on it and then charging outrageous prices for it. $500 dollar injections are not unheard of in The States so seeing this shot go for a few thousand a pop (and the reversal costing the same). Which would do a great job of negating one of the biggest advantages of this, an long term option for couples that don't want kids.

But back on the plus side that would mean that some people would have to go find something else to bitch about in their never ending quest to make women the eternal victims of everything.

Seriously though I would really, really, really, like to see this come over here and give men another option when it comes to taking control of their reproduction. And it looks like I'm not the only one:
But RISUG is garnering interest beyond India. Every week, Guha’s inbox fills with entreaties from Western men. They’ve heard about RISUG on Internet forums or from occasional mentions in newspaper and magazine articles. Some of them even volunteer to travel to India, offering themselves as lab rats. Guha puts them off gently but politely; for now, the trials are open only to Indian men.

30 Day Song Challenge - Stage 13: A Song That Is A Guilty Pleasure

I'm sure you've seen Beyonce's "Single Ladies" video before. So why not watch a man by the name of Sean Mercado perform nearly every single move from the video and having the actual video playing behind him so you can verify it?

Sunday, June 12, 2011

30 Day Song Challenge - Stage 12: A Song From A Band That You Hate



Need I say More?

Weekly Mashup Stage 55

I think I'm running out of greetings.

Charged With Murdering Her Mother-in-Law, Rosa Hill Says Stress of Custody Battle Made Her Do It: "Prosecutors say Rosa and her mother spent months meticulously planning the murder and above all stockpiling a variety of weapons including a crossbow, pepper spray ,stun guns, guns, an axe, and a sword. They also researched things like the properties of nerve gas. The problem came when they were only able to kill Selma. Eric, hit by a stun gun, fought back and prevented them from taking his life."

Why White Men Should Refuse to Be on Panels of All White Men: Yes that does sound all hip and progressive and shit but why not up the ante. Instead of just backing out why not recommend someone in their place?

Jail for student who cried rape for homework time: But let me guess this is another one of those cases where a girl simply would not lie about being raped because there's no incentive right?

If I had photoshop skills I would so add the Eye of Sauron to this.


China acknowledges first aircraft carrier: China trying to stake its claim as a naval power someday?

Make Your Blog Into A Book: Talk about taking bookmarking to the extreme. (See what I did there?)

Truly Easy Homemade Cheese: Sounds good. I didn't think you could make cheese with store bought milk though.

Court Affirms Transfer of Custody to Dad in Giordano Case: A little more info on the custody case that's now known as "The Case of the Mom that Lost Custody Because She has Cancer".

SUPPORT OUR PARTNERS: SAFEWAY: Safeway doing its part to fight prostate cancer.

UT Latino Male Symposium - June 24th, 2011: Symposium on Latino males in education.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Pain's Bay Fire 2011

If you hadn't heard there (and since there are no mansions over here you probably haven't) has been a wild fire going on over here on the coast for about the last month or so. Thankfully its mostly been going on in a remote area where there are few people living and those few people have not been in much trouble of having their homes or lives actually being endangered by this fire. So far its taken out over 20,000 acres and the only major issue is that while there are not many people in the area the smoke from the fire has managed to occasionally block HWY 264. Oh HWY 264 you ask? Well that's on of only two ways to get to the Outer Banks. Depending on which way the smoke is blowing the smoke is so thick it becomes in possible to pass through.

But anyway last week I had to go through that area (thankfully on a day it was open) and I managed to snag a few pictures. Pretty messed up.

IMG_1967IMG_1968IMG_1969IMG_1970IMG_1971IMG_1972
IMG_1973IMG_1974IMG_1975IMG_1976IMG_1978IMG_1979
IMG_1980IMG_1981IMG_1982IMG_1983IMG_1984IMG_1985
IMG_1986IMG_1987IMG_1988IMG_1989IMG_1990IMG_1991

Pains' Bay Fire 2011, a set on Flickr.

Men's Health Month

Like any humans the health of men is important (despite what others may say or portray) and The US Department of Health and Human Services has a few facts to share when it comes to men's health.
Learn the Facts
When you get a preventive medical test, you’re not just doing it for yourself. You’re doing it for your family and loved ones:

Men are 24 percent less likely than women to have visited a doctor within the past year and are 22 percent more likely to have neglected their cholesterol tests.

Men are 28 percent more likely than women to be hospitalized for congestive heart failure.

Men are 32 percent more likely than women to be hospitalized for long-term complications of diabetes and are more than twice as likely than women to have a leg or foot amputated due to complications related to diabetes.

Men are 24 percent more likely than women to be hospitalized for pneumonia that could have been prevented by getting an immunization.


The single most important way you can take care of yourself and those you love is to actively take part in your health care. Educate yourself on health care and participate in decisions with your doctor. This site will help you get started.
Although there is one thing I have to point out.

You see along with physical health I think mental health is also very important. One thing that really needs to change about men's health from the mental perspective is idea that a man's health is only as important as his usefulness to other people. This is what leads men to think that they are better off ignoring their health issues for the sake of continuing to provide for their families. I think it would so us a lot more good to show men that we don't need to assess our health based on how useful we are to other people.

30 Day Song Challenge - Stage 11: A Song From Your Favorite Band

Truthfully this is much like that first day where I had to come up with a favorite song. I really don't have a favorite band. So I'll share something from one of my favorites that I'm really digging right now. "Halfway Underground" by Autumn's Grey Solace.



Notice how it sounds like something you'd play during the ending credits of an 80s movie.

Friday, June 10, 2011

30 Day Song Challenge - Stage 10: A Song That Makes You Fall Asleep

This has been in my nighttime play lists for a very long time. Just makes me want to lay out on a beach at nigh and drift off to sleep.



The name of the song is "Dub In Ya Mind" from Cafe del Mar 6. Enjoy.


Wow I've been getting hit hard with responses to these challenges. I'm trying to take the time to sample them but there's a lot to listen to. For that reason I've left them in moderation because its easier to check them in my mod queue than fishing through the posts themselves. But by all means keep them coming.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

30 Day Song Challenge - Stage 9: A Song That You Can Dance To

I am about to reveal a deep and intimate secret about myself.

Often when I'm working on my Weekly Menu I'm home alone. Most of the time I'm listening to music while I cook. When I get a small break I dance around the kitchen. "Left Side Drive" by Boards of Canada is one of my favorites.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Weekly Menu June 7 Pt. 2

Okay so I mentioned my side dish Mushroom Cheddar Casserole. Allow me to talk about my main dish. I got the recipe from bestrecipes.com but modified it a bit.


Tandoori Chicken

4 boneless and skinless chicken breasts

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

2 teaspoons turmeric

2 teaspoons paprika

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon Indian curry powder

1 teaspoon ground cardamom

½ teaspoon chilli powder (optional)

2 teaspoon fresh ginger root, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

¾ cup low fat plain yoghurt



Okay when I went out shopping for the spices (and OMG why is cardamom almost $5 an ounce?) I didn't get any lemon juice because I thought I had some at home. Well it turns out I didn't but that little tidbit came to light only when I started cooking and all the stores were closed. Thankfully I did have lime juice. Fuck Yeah Close Enough. And I couldn't find any fresh ginger root so I used ground ginger (but I know the potency of fresh so I doubled how much I used). Also I doubled the recipe overall (meaning I used 8tsp of ground ginger in all) because I used 7 chicken breasts instead of 4.

After cleaning the chicken you want to slice it so each piece is about 1/5in thick (allows marinade to penetrate better and for the chicken to cook faster later). Sprinkle with lime juice and place to one side. Mix together next nine ingredients in a bowl. Add yoghurt and mix well. Coat the chicken fillets completely with the tandoori mixture. Cover the bowl and place into the fridge for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.

Okay I have to bite the bullet on this one. I didn't fully read the directions and thought that it had to be grilled. I am minus grill so I decided to bake it in the oven (I marinated it in a pyrex baking dish overnight then baked on 350 for 60min.) Let me tell you it looked horrible but it tasted so f'n good. Juicy and just a hint of spices. However since I was basically baking yogurt in the oven all the water came out of it and think that cost me a lot of my seasoning in the chicken.

Mental note: Make sure to fully read cooking directions to see if pan frying is an option when the grill is no go.
Mental note 2: Buy a grill.

Enjoy!

Double Standard?

(Even with the majority of the video blurred out this is still a pretty tough thing to watch. Just to let you know its a video of two girls holding down a boy and stripping his clothes off, as a third person records. Tread carefully.)



The video also includes coverage from a local station and of the mom showing her surprise over there being no apparent repercussions over what's happened. The police report apparently even refers to it as a prank. (I'm not sure if that's the police saying so or if that was the boy using that word, the boy who didn't realize it was a crime.)

I think its pretty obvious how this would have gone down if it were the other way around. If this were two boys stripping a girl in broad daylight like that people would already be on both sides arguing (some calling for the boys' blood and declaring them sex offenders and some jerks victim blaming). But as we can see here the story barely gets any attention when its girls assaulting a boy. (Hell I'll bet it would be all over the feminist blogsphere.)

However if he is seriously traumatized and does not get the help he needs on this and grows up to be a man that hates women THEN people will suddenly care. But not because he was a person that didn't get the help he needed but rather because he's another woman hating jerk.

On the real if we are going to get better as a society we gotta stop running these gender checks to determine how much we are about a problem.

I found another link when trying to look this up. Couldn't help but notice a distinct lack of big network coverage on this. Other than that hit from a Fox affiliate (on page two of searching "2 girls pin down and strip boy" on Google) this story is simply not getting a lot of play.

Shoutout to Eagle33 for pointing it out.

30 Day Song Challenge - Stage 8: A Song That You Know All The Words To

The name of the song is "Ordinary World" by Aurora. A dance mix of the original Duran Duran track. And yes that is a Sailor Moon amv.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

30 Day Song Challenge - Stage 7: A Song That Reminds You Of Certain Event

Greensboro Coliseum in Greensboro, NC

April 15 2000.

Korn on their Sick and Twisted Tour.

Opening a concert with "Falling Away From Me". That shit was fucking ill.



Oh my god that night was awesome. I remember three things.

1. Being the big guy in a mosh pit is not as cool as it sounds. In fact its a liability because everyone goes after the big guy in a most pit.

2. The two friends I went with went to this concert knowing full well that we would have to take a 1.5hr walk back to campus (we couldn't afford a cab and the show ended after the city buses stopped for the night).

3. When you come out of a mosh pit covered in sweat remember one thing. All of that sweat is not yours. (Now think about that as spend 1.5hr walking home in it on a cool night as someone else's sweat dries into your clothes.)

But I'd do it again if I had the chance.

Weekly Menu June 7

Mushroom Cheddar Casserole

1 lb block of sharp cheddar cheese (by Kraft mind you, not that good stuff you have to get someone to cut off of a hoop) cut into small pieces or shredded (for melting)

1 can of cream of mushroom soup

1 can of evaporated milk

1 box of Whole Wheat Rotini noodles

2 tblsl of butter

Prepare the noodles by the directions on the box and set aside. In a large skillet warm up the cream of mushroom soup and start adding in the cheese, stirring it to let it melt. You aren't going to be able to just dump it all in at once you will have to add it a bit at the time until you melt it all. When the cheese starts to overwhelm the soup add in some of the milk to thin it back out. What you want in the end is a cheese sauce consistency. Once you have it the right way add in the butter (it'll melt pretty quickly).

Mix in the prepared noodles and stir them up real good. Lightly grease a baking dish (you'll need a pretty big one) and pour in the mixture. Bake on 350 for about 15 min.

After eating this I have to say that I might have baked it a bit too long, and I'm even questioning whether it needs to be baked at all since there's nothing in it that needs to cook.

But in the end I its pretty good.

Enjoy!

Monday, June 6, 2011

How can we be certain that vigilante justice is right?

(I'm talking about rape and genital mutilation in this post. Tread carefully.)

A few days ago on a post on the misandry on the show Criminal Minds April made the following comment:
I agree with you, mostly, but have to say... I love me some vigilante justice, and sometimes feel that it is more healthy for the victim to punish the perp, rather than the state. But I don't feel that way strongly enough to, say, vote that way or something.

The idea of a victim getting their own revenge just seems so... heartwarming. In that vicious sort of way.
As I responded to her I can understand the desire for revenge (its one of my Scorpio traits) but I don't think vigilante justice is often as cut and dry.

You see in that episode of Criminal Minds it was clear to the viewer that that rapist had attacked those women so that at the end when they caught him and castrated him (and enforcing the whole "no penis = woman" thing but that's for another day) the viewer felt no pity or sympathy for him. Personally I do feel a bit because I don't think that forcefully removing or mutilating someone's genitals is even justice for rape. That's no better than saying if someone punched me in the face and broke my nose I should get to cut off the hand they punched me with in retaliation. Maybe break the hand but cut it off?

Thing is being a tv show the viewer is being fed the truth in a way that the characters are not. Yes we know that man attacked those women so its pretty cut and dry. So how about when its not so?

Here we have a story of a woman who goes into a police station with a man's penis saying she cut it off when he broke into her home and tried to rape her. The man in question says they were having a consensual affair and when he refused to leave his wife for her she cut his penis off in retaliation. (Here's a link to my Google Search on it given how some people don't like the Daily Mail by default.)

So like that episode of Criminal Minds we have a woman who acted in what she claims to be self defense. But unlike that show we don't know for sure what happened. Yeah its possible that he did try to attack her and she did it in self defense. But what I'm wondering is this. What happens if his story is true and she really did cut his penis off in a fit of rage?

Between her and the police force the penis was kept away from the man for so long that doctors were not able to reattach it (but they did say that they are working on measures to give him a way to urinate). And even if they were able to reattach it its still a pretty serious matter. I think this exposes a serious flaw in vigilante justice. Vigilante justice depends on other people outside of the situation in question believing that the crime did in fact happen or (as I think will happen here) on the belief that enough people will side with the vigilante that it won't matter if they were really acting in self defense or not, which I think is already happening in the Daily Mail comment section.

Personally I have a few doubts about this story namely how in the world did this woman manage to hold onto his penis long enough to cut it off? I mean if he were trying to rape her then wouldn't it have been more efficient to stab him? Yes you could argue that she did that instead to stop him from doing it again but if that's the case I think it would have been easier to just fatally stab him. Two or three stabs to the chest would have done it, one if she hit the right spot. Or maybe if she stabbed him in the genitals and the penis was severed. I don't know this just feels odd to me.

30 Day Song Challenge - Stage 6: A Song That Reminds You Of Somewhere

This goes to show how old I am I guess. Back when I missed a day of school for a doctor's appointment and my mom took me to the doctor I'd be in the waiting office and the soap opera "The Young and The Restless" would be on That doctor died years ago but when I hear "Nadia's Theme" by Henry Mancini (which was rearranged for use on that soap) it takes me back.




I see that many of you have been doing so already but let me formally invite you to chime with some of your own responses to these challenges.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Weekly Mashup Stage 54

Holla at ya boy!

Mother Abducted Daughter 25 Years Sentenced to 18 Days in Jail: So a woman abducts a child and hides her for 25 years, separating her from her father (who was awarded primary custody). She is only caught when said child tries to get a marriage license. Her punishment? 18 days.

I Wish I Had an Evil Twin: Why We Love and Fear Doppelgängers: Come on admit it. At one time or another you probably thought that having an evil twin would be cool right? I know I did.

Running over husband with SUV five times is not evidence of premeditated murder, conviction overturned: So exactly how many times do you have to run someone over in a vehicle for it to could as evidence of premeditated murder? Let me guess it was self defense right?

Make Your Own Ice Cream Bars for Tasty Summertime Treats: Yeah.

Underage sex study reveals selective prosecution of boys: Is there a bias against boys when it comes to punishment for under aged sex?

Dylan: What's Yours Is Mine, And What's Mine Is Mine, Too: "We've pointed out many times before the absolute hypocrisy of those who constantly build on the works of others, but go ballistic should anyone seek to build on their works. Where it gets really ridiculous is when people insist that, if you don't like things like this, you should 'create your own'."

Nadya Suleman's doctor loses California medical license: "The California fertility doctor who implanted a dozen embryos in Nadya Suleman, resulting in the birth of eight babies, will lose his medical license on July 1, state officials said."

Listen up, fellas: Naked man-parts? Not so sexy.: I don't have any idea what the hell this writer is talking about here. Apparently "Because I want some dick." is not closely related to wanting to see dick as a reason for having sex.


I'm calling bullshit.


Later!

30 Day Song Challenge - Stage 5: A Song That Reminds You Of Someone

Next...

Saturday, June 4, 2011

30 Day Song Challenge - Stage 4: A Song That Makes You Sad

1992. "A League Of Their Own" Soundtrack. Madonna's "This Used To Be My Playground".



Feel free to chime in with your picks.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Comment Test

Test post. I'm playing around with the comment system. I've got a person (that would be you Jim) who comments on my posts but his comments never show up. If this keeps up I'm really thinking about migrating to Disqus. (Jim if you comment do you mind adding some info like your browser and OS and maybe I can figure out why your comments don't show.)

30 Day Song Challenge - Stage 3: A Song That Makes You Happy

Good choice to put this after Least Favorite. I'm going old school.



Nice...

Weekly Menu May 30

Oh man this is a good one. And it uses my old buddy the crockpot.

Jerk Chicken Soup

6 chicken breasts, skinned and cleaned

3 cans of whole button mushrooms, drained and rinsed

1/2 bag of baby carrots, rinsed

1 1/2 cup of brown rice

4 chicken bullion cubes

3 tblsp of Jamaican Jerk seasoning (this is premade mix of dry spices)

Sea Salt

Black Pepper

Seriously just layer the ingredients into the pot and sprinkling some of the Jerk seasoning and some sea salt and black pepper (but not much because there is salt and pepper in the Jerk seasoning) on each layer. Fill the crock pot with water and let it go on low for about 6 hours. By the time it finishes any attempt at picking up the chicken will result in it falling off the bone. To quote my dad (I haven't eaten any yet), "It'll work."

Enjoy!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Is it me or are fighting game intros terrible these days?

I'm 30 years old and in gamer time that's pretty old. Mind you I'm not Pong old but I'm pretty far up there. Well in my advanced age I look to Youtube to listen to video game tunes that I don't have in my collection (yeah like so rare I can't even "acquire" them by other means). When I do this I find myself replaying them repeatedly. Why? Because they fucking rock. Also it just doesn't seem like composers are putting the same heart into their music as they used to. And to me this difference really shows itself in fighting games.

Take for instance this intro to Marvel vs. Capcom 3:


Yeah the video itself is cool but the music, its frankly not memorable. But don't let that fool you because the game itself is actually pretty damn fun.

On the other hand check this out from Dynasty Warriors 1 (back when it was a fighting game and not a hack and slash):


The game itself was great back in its day (1997) but by today's standards it doesn't hold up. However I'll take that opening intro any day of the week. That music just really gets me going and ready to play.



Next up listen to the intro to Street Fighter 4:


Now we got boy bands doing fighting game intros...dammit.

But go back a few years and peep out what was used in Street Fighter 3: Third Strike (I tried to find a clip of the actual intro sequence but it seems like everyone on youtube is just sharing the same bad audio quality version of it. This is the full version of the track. But damn even the character select music was tight in that game.):


Well I could go on like this forever but I won't. I'll just say that when it comes to fighting games I have to really get into the music to want to play and today's fighters just aren't doing it for the most part. As a parting gift I'll leave you what I think it hands down the greatest fighting game intro ever done, Soul Edge. Two things, 1 in all my years of playing this game I have NEVER skipped the intro and 2 I decided to buy this game after hearing nothing but this intro. And I was not disappointed. Take it easy.


Because 14 years later when I hear this song I am still amped up to fight. There is just something emotional about this track that really gets to me.

30 Day Song Challenge - Stage 2: You Least Favorite Song

I fucking hate Kelly Clarkson's "Break Away". In fact I'm angry because I had to pull it up on Youtube just to get a link for it. Hate that fucking song....

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

30 Day Song Challenge - Stage 1: Your Favorite Song

I've seen this on Facebook a few times so why not give it a try (I'm not doing it on Facebook because everytime I try I'm taken to a page where I have to grant an app permission to access my page, no.)?

Your Favorite Song

This is extremely difficult. I like way too many genres to just pick on and even in all those genres its hard to just reach in and pick one. So what I'll do it pick a favorite that no matter who old it is (and its pretty old) I will probably always love it. I present to you Nancy Sinatra's "You Only Live Twice".

These are supposed to be solutions?

So a while back the folks at Good Men Project posted an article by Amanda Marcotte about how feminism is supposedly the solution to issues that MRAs bring up. Let's take a look.
Problem: Men are more often the primary or even sole breadwinners of nuclear-family households.

MRA explanation: A matriarchy of spoiled women have managed to get men to pay for it while they sit around on their butts eating bon bons all day, while the children scamper angelically past them, requiring little to no work.

Reality-based explanation: Women still make less than men in the workplace, but still do more free labor at home, even when they work full time. Plus, many men feel scaling back or quitting their jobs is emasculating. So, when someone in a couple decides to scale back or quit a job to maintain the household, it’s usually the wife. But, for many families, women just simply do more for less pay. Being at home is no picnic for women, since it reduces future earning potential. Plus, being around kids all day can be a little maddening.

MRA solution: Women en masse should demonstrate our gratitude for this financial support of some of us by giving up on fighting for equality, especially equal pay. Also, no more child support.

Reality-based solution: More feminism. Women should get paid the same as men, men should do as much housework as women, and men should treat domestic labor as real work, instead of as emasculating. Workplaces should be more flexible for parents of both genders. If that happened, more women would work outside the home, and more men would cut back work hours for family.


The first flaw here is in her "reality-based explanation". Notice how she says absolutely nothing about the fact that society forces men to do the role of "the provider". How did society do that? The system that is in place has people convinced that a man's work is a big part of his identity. If he doesn't work (or depending on what work he does) he is not a real man. And its not like today's men came up with this stuff on their own. This illusion that a man must be the provider isn't maintained by men and men alone. And don't give me that bull about women being totally innocent either. Yes women are getting shorted on this but let's all please quit pretending that women do not engage in some of the very behavior that supports the "if you don't provide (or provide enough or provide in the right way) then you aren't a real man" mentality.

The second flaw is her "MRA solution". While there some MRAs that think that nonsense there are actually a lot of them that want women to get out there and work too. Some of them may feel that way for the reason of "see how that feels" but they know that expecting women to demonstrate "gratitude for this financial support of some of us by giving up on fighting for equality" will just lead to men continuing to be expected to be "the provider". And maybe if custody was enforced as diligently as child support they would calm down about that too.



Next we have:
Problem: Men have to do all the work asking women out, and women are often hostile to men’s overtures, which hurts men’s feelings.

MRA explanation: Women are lazy princesses, who enjoy forcing men to dance for the pussy, and then enjoy shutting them down, because it strokes petty female egos.

Reality-based explanation: These are two separate issues. Women reject men forcefully because 1) a lot of overtures are actually just harassment, and 2) even men who are sincerely hitting on you sometimes are really rude and entitled about it, requiring a forceful response. (Plus, some MRAs experience all rejections as women being too big for their britches, making it impossible for a woman to say no without being labeled a bitch.) Women don’t approach men very often, because doing so often gets you labeled slutty, bitchy, or desperate, or sometimes all three.

MRA solution: Pay a lot of money to creepy men who label themselves “pickup artists” and who promise to teach you how to get any woman you want in bed. The method usually involves taking an abusive posture to women, and learning to identify insecure women, extracting sex from them through bullying. You know, instead of doing something as quaint as sleeping with women who actually want to have sex with you.

Reality-based solution: More feminism. A world where rape victims weren’t denounced because they were overly flirty, where women weren’t mocked because they acted “like men,” and where the word “slut” had no meaning is one where women would feel freer to hit on men. Plus, a world where women weren’t harassed on the street, or where they could tell men “no” and be heard the first time, would be one where women weren’t immediately suspicious of every man who approached them.
I like how the "reality-based explanation" magically absolves women of anything resembling culpability for the f'd state that dating culture is in these days. So according to her the reason dating culture is so f'd is because men are either harassers or entitled jerks and women don't take initiative for fear of slut shaming. Great. And notice how she explains away truly shallow women in that "MRA explanation". So apparently such women do not exist and are figaments of men's (well she probably means men but since are a mixed bag in her eyes she has to label it "MRA" so we know its bad, not the first time I've seen that) imaginations.

As for her "MRA solution" don't pay it much mind after she mentions "pickup artists" because she hates them and has no problem generalizing them in the worst way, which of course manages to sweep away the fact that at least they are willing to say something to guys looking for advice and the fact that there are worthwhile things to the PUA community. Better than just sitting back and bitching and generalizing men (thankfully a feminist by the name of Clarrise Thorn is doing something that a lot of feminists don't seem to want to do, actually talk to men about their fears, anxieties, and experiences around dating and sex rather then just telling us what they are and writing us off as privileged whiners). And frankly given the venomous opinion Marcotte has of PUAs I wouldn't trust her thoughts on them anymore than I'd trust a Klansmen's thoughts on racial purity equality.

And her "Reality-based solution" is incomplete. Sure it would be nice to see women take the initiative on dating. It would also be nice if men were relieved of the expectation, almost demand, that they take initiative on pain of having their manhood questioned (by men and women). It would also be nice to see men actually being able to look for advice on dating/sex culture without having their manhood questioned or being written off as pervert or being thought of as expecting women to do it all for them.



On to workplace deaths:
Problem: Men are more likely to get killed at work.

MRA explanation: Some see it as proof men are hated, oppressed, and being used by women who want to steal all their money and then, apparently, kill them. Some just see it as evidence of anti-male workplace inequality, invalidating issues of sexism. Either way, feminists should just shut up.

Reality-based explanation: Some of the most dangerous jobs out there are ones where women are either formally barred from entering, or informally discriminated against. This is in part a protection racket, keeping jobs from women who want them, because they’re either good pay for relatively low education, or the only game in town. This includes everything from fire-fighting to coal-mining. The military has formal discrimination that keeps women from the more dangerous but higher-paying combat roles.

MRA solution: They don’t really see this as a problem needing a solution, so much as a solution to the problem that bothers them, which is feminists’ pushing for women’s equality in the workplace. They hope this can be a trump card to shut people up about equal pay and opportunity.

Reality-based solution: More feminism. Shut down all formal discrimination against women, and create programs that make it easier for women to get into these professions. Stop informal harassment of female workers that keeps them off the job. Educate young girls about their options to take these jobs. Eventually, you’ll get parity in dangerous jobs, and women will, as a side effect, be killed at the same rate as men.
Again notice how Amanda explains away women who really do use men for their money as an "MRA explanation". Also notice how she leaves out the MRAs that see it as evidence of anti-male inequality in the workplaces, adding to the list of issues of sexism. No because according to her no MRA would ever acknowledge that there is sexism against men and women. And of course the poor innocent feminists being told the shut up.

What a nice "Reality-based explanation" she has there. Apparently there is no intention by the few elites at the top using that discrimination to keep men and women in their separate places where they are the most useful, or "getting rid of the competition", or winning brownie points with women by looking like they are the ones looking out for them. Nothing to do with years of socializing men to think that when the chips are down and shit hits the fan our lives aren't really worth as much as women's (via the belief that "a real man would give his life up for a woman".) No no we (that would all of us men) are just out to hurt women for the pleasure of hurting women.

She finally manages to come up with an "MRA solution" that might actually make sense. While they are certainly doing a better job of raising awareness of the issue that anyone else they don't seem to be much on acting against it. But at least they got part of it down pat (which is more than I can say for a lot of other folks).

Can I get some "don't socialize boys and men to think that we must be the provider", "don't socialize men and boys to think that our lives are worth so much less than that of girls and women that we must do the dangerous stuff", and "don't socialize man and boys to think that doing dangerous stuff is a proof of manhood" with that "Reality-based solution" as well?



And finally the concept of "Ladies Night":
Problem: Ladies Night, where bars often extend a drink special to women and not to men.

MRA explanation: One MRA who doggedly sued repeatedly over this issue claims that Ladies Night is proof of the matriarchal conspiracy to use pussy power to deprive men of their hard-earned money, one $3 drink at a time.

Reality-based explanation: Bars that become sausage parties start to lose business, because neither women nor men want to go there. Drink specials bring in groups of women, and the men will follow. The men tend to benefit more, because women still have to pay the price of fending off unwanted advances just to go out and have fun with friends.

MRA solution: Ban Ladies Night. Complain when you can’t find any cheesy bars with hot women for you to pester.

Reality-based solution: Ban Ladies Night or don’t, because who honestly gives a crap? The only people who stand to lose out are douchebags complaining that they can’t find cheesy bars with lots of hot women to pester.
Actually that "MRA explanation" isn't too far off the mark. I'm sure I'm not the only person that's come across women that have no problem using "pussy power" to get free drinks (and more if the "relationship" goes beyond the club) and also have no problem with men who are silly enough to fall for it. She may be talking about Roy Dean Hollander when she says "that one MRA who sued over....". Well I'll at least give him one thing, at least he's going after the game and not the players (because my money says that if he were going after individual women someone would say that he should "don't hate the player, hate the game").


All in all she is actually making sense in some parts of her post. Problem is I think she's a bit premature to declare that feminism is the answer to the things MRAs bring up, especially when its a dice roll on whether a given feminist will even acknowledge them in the first place. But we're supposed to believe that feminism as a whole is the solution. So feminists are not a monolith, should not be expected to solve men's or MRA's issues for them but they have all the answers to them though?

Please. Its things like this that make me a non feminist (versus an anti feminist, yes there is a difference). They have good ideas. They've gotten major issues on the table. They have done good things and are still doing good things. But they have not done anywhere near enough to back up the claim that they have the answers to everything and the rest us should just join them. Not by a long shot.