Monday, April 30, 2012

Musings of a Vengeful Spirit - Rewriting the Past, Damning the Future

I Wonder...

Does the taste for revenge come from a desire that things had played out differently? Constantly dwelling on the event in question and wishing so hard that it had not gone the way they did. Playing things out in one's mind but changing them in a way that alters history so to speak.

I think this might lead to the vengeful one in question wanting to recreate the event just for the chance to have things go differently. Wanting to have things go differently to ease the pain that they were caused. Obviously such dark thoughts and wishes can lead to ruin.

Take for example any type of harm you can think of, let's just say A harms B in some way. If B were to follow this path they would want very badly for what happened to them at the hands of A to have happened in another way. B thinks on this and almost obsesses with it until they focus on easing their pain in terrible ways.

One could argue that maybe A deserves to be hurt in the way that B was but its not that easy. B stands a good chance of not only going after A but anyone that even so much as appears to be similar to A in the slightest way.

And that is only the beginning.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Weekly Mashup Stage 99

Got a link you want to share?
Want to spark some discussion?
Need a place to talk about something that wouldn't be welcome else where?
Then come over to the Ethecofem Forums!!!

This is my Weekly Mashup. You know the drill. Feel free to treat it like an Open Thread.

The Six Billion Dollar Sex Worker and The Bionic Prostitute?: A new post I have at Womanist Musings this week on android sex workers.

Drop It Like It's Hot: Renee's one link drop.

Are men stupid?: Yeah you read that right. Funny that the actions of a few jerks turns into declaring that men are stupid but men supposedly have the privilege of not being judged as a monolith.

Proposed SC State Health plan won't cover abortion: "Besides the garden-variety misogyny involved in forcing a 12-year-old raped by her father to give birth, what really gets me is: these same Republicans claim they are all about saving money, and how much money has all this pro-life political wrangling cost us, compared to a measly 19 abortions? How many working hours have been wasted on this noisy grandstanding to the right-wing base?"

Can CISPA Be Fixed?

Masculism: Discrimination against men has disappeared! READ!: Are there feminists going around and deleting masculinism and MRA related wikipedia pages?

Power (Dis)Play? Teams In Black Draw More Penalties: Does playing in a dark color jersey meet the "....While Black" condition?

Two-fifths of UK trafficking victims are male, survey reveals: Finally some real progress to helping ALL trafficking victims. Not just the ones with female reproductive systems. (Fro Tip)

Ain't that the truth.

Nintendo's gunning for retailers, expanding eShop offerings for Wii U, 3DS: Nintendo opening up an eshop?

VA Supreme Court Approves John Wyatt’s Lawsuit Against Adoption Agency, Attorneys: It looks like John Wyatt will be able to continue with his lawsuit against the adoption agency that basically aided the mother of his child in stripping him of his parental rights despite his active efforts to perform said responsibilities.

Proponents could not find a single pro‑Amendment One CEO in the state of North Carolina: It looks like most of the CEOs of NC based companies recognize that at the very least Amendment One is bad for business. Awesome.

Tamara Favazza Awarded $5.8 Million Lawsuit Against Girls Gone Wild: Let's hope this takes a lot of the wind out of the sails of Girls Gone Wild.

Dentist pulled out ALL boyfriend's teeth after he dumped her (and new girlfriend leaves him because of his empty mouth): I'm wondering if this is not a real story or is this just a case of where female against male violence is not being taken seriously it just that no one else is talking about it. Every mention of this story I could find points back to this Daily Mail story...

Indian baby bride Laxmi Sargara wins annulment in landmark case: A truly good conclusion to a horrible situation. And I especially like that the husband supported the annulment (because all too often the only time men are mentioned in child bride cases is when they are the disgusting ones that support such bull).

Gender Differences In Suicide: ballgame with a few words on gender and suicide.

Something to mellow out on.

Take it easy!!!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

A Wicked Web Indeed

So a few weeks ago there was the Cassandra Ann Kennedy, who when she was a child, said that she was raped by her father. Said father ended up getting convicted and sentence to 15 years in prison. Now that has served about 10 of that she has come forward and said she made it up.

The most interesting part? County Prosecutor Sue Baur has said that she will not be pursuing charges against Kennedy. Why?:
...partly because prosecutors do not want to discourage people in similar circumstances from coming forward
Okay I'll admit that I blew my top when I read that and even misread it as saying the usual "it would discourage actual rape victims from coming forward". From there I kind of lost it going on about how this logic is almost never applied to any other crime. But after I cooled off I saw what she was really saying.

She is saying that they don't want to prosecute partly because they don't want other false accusers from coming forward to admit they lied.

I'm going to go straight to the point here.

This basically means that they are not going to (at least try) to punish a person that committed a crime under the premise that if they do so others like them will no admit the truth. I'm sure you can see the problem here right?

A false accuser makes their accusation and gets someone sent to prison. By not prosecuting them the false accuser is basically free to dangle the life of that innocent person over the prosecutor's head in order to escape justice.

Not cool at all.

Have we really gotten to the point where not only can a person be sent to prison over a false rape accusation and have their life wrecked but if the false accuser does come forward they can use the life of that innocently convicted person as a bargaining chip in order get out of being punished?

A Good Man Indeed Stage 6

From The Blog of Natalio Perez:
The Biblio-Burro. It is an initiative of a teacher (in capitals), Luis Soriano called Borges, who runs the hidden villages of Colombia to teach children's books. Beto the donkey and the donkey called Alpha.

The Biblio-Donkey. This is an initiative by a teacher named Luis Soriano Borges, who travels through the most distant and hidden villages of Colombia to bring books to children. The male donkey is named Beto and the female is Alfa.
Going out of your way to educate children? I think that speaks for itself.

Well it does if you aren't some anti-MRA whiner that's just looking for an angle to smear MRAs with.

Monday, April 23, 2012


They say that in order to know the light you have to know the dark. Over the last few weeks since moving and things starting to settle down I've been thinking about relationships. If you have been following you know my thoughts on this you can see they have not exactly been pretty. I'm working on that but the going is not going to be easy.

Near the end of a recent piece at Good Men Project Jeffrey Platts gives a few bits of advice in order help overcome the negativity that's eating away at your mojo:
Bask in your mojo. I don’t care who you are or what you look like, you’ve got natural mojo. You might do or think things that block it, but the reality is that you have an attractive essence that is unique to you and people want to be around. SO OWN IT. If a guy smiles at you, ENJOY IT. If a girl says she likes you and wants to hang out with you, then BELIEVE HER.
Okay there's two things at work here. First there is the recognition of what makes you interesting to people and draws them to you. Second there is the recommendation of believing a compliment or accepting an invitation to an activity. Or should I say not at work.

Firstly I often have a hard time with the recognition that I am good at something. A skill or ability that while it may not get me my own show, gain me world wide fame, or vault me to professional level status it is something that someone can point at and say, "Danny's pretty good at that." If you were to ask me what that is I truthfully could not give you an answer. The question, "Name something you are good at?" is the bane of my existence because I get lost in the thought of "Well am I really good at it or am I overestimating myself?". I don't even have that part filled out on my OkCupid profile. Its like I'm constantly asking myself, "How can I say I'm good at something when I have no external critique to confirm it?"

The second thing is the whole part of believing a compliment or accepting an invitation. How can one do that whey they simply do not receive such kind words or offers?

Now I'm betting that someone reading this is thinking, "Well of course you don't get compliments and invitations. Look at the way you feel about yourself." That is true in the here and now but bear in mind this is the result of going a really long time not hearing this stuff. This isn't just a matter of overcoming a lack in belief of the comments you get. This is a matter of overcoming a lack in belief of comments you get where the lack of belief is based on the fact that you have (almost) never received such comments.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Weekly Mashup Stage 98

Got a link you want to share?
Want to spark some discussion?
Need a place to talk about something that wouldn't be welcome else where?
Then come over to the Ethecofem Forums!!!

This is my Weekly Mashup. You know the drill. Feel free to treat it like an Open Thread.

Drop It Like It's Hot: Renee's weekly link drop.

Petition to stop dancing boys abuse: Toy Soldier with a few words a nod to a petition on the dancing boys in Afghanistan.

I’m Not the Only One to Think Ashley Judd Is Full of IT: It would seem that Renee is not the only one that doubts Ashley Judd's words.

Anders Breivik Trial: Norway Massacre Suspect Originally Planned To Bomb 3 Targets: Hopefully before folks use this as another log in the "video games make you kill" fire they will realize that this man had some dangerous ideas long before Call of Duty: Modern Warfare released.

To sit or not to sit: I got nothing here.

Deputies: Child in medically induced coma, step-grandmother charged: This is just f'd up. A 2 year old girl in a medically induced coma after being abused by her step grandmother.

Probation officials: Woman accused of killing former York mayor missed restitution payments in rent scam: I wonder if this will get counted into the stats on domestic violence.

Mums spared jail for the sake of their children: Oh really?

“NO” is Not For Men, the story of how the state snags then destroys a productive man: This is a long read and its also a pretty sad read.

From Denver Post
So what if Secret Service agent David Chaney commented "I was really checking her [Sarah Palin] out, if you know what I mean?" on this photo in 2008? I don't think its even worth trying to boot strap to the current situation of Secret Service agents supposedly hiring prostitutes.

If You Resell Your Used Games, the Terrorists Win: So game developers are pushing the line that if it weren't for the used game market then developers would be able to sell games at a lower price. Yeah...

Campus Police Allow Students to Desecrate Crosses: Apparently after a pro life group set up a display of several crosses at Western Kentucky University an art student went out and placed condoms on several of the crosses and campus police did nothing to stop it. That's not cool.

White House Criticizes CISPA, Though Meekly And For Partially Wrong Reasons: National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden almost criticized CISPA. Almost.

Etheridge: Hiring teachers shouldn't require fundraiser: Yes the education situation in NC is so bad that children are doing fundraisers to hire teachers. Not to pay for a new gym or sent a school team to an out of town trip. But to hire teachers.

: Could there be something else behind why boys are backing away from sex other than romance and "down with gender roles!"?

MISANDRY – An Amazingly Vile Article Dismissing Fathers’ Depression After Birth: So let me get this straight. Women want men to "step up" when it comes to long as we don't talk about any negative side effects that they might incur? Both parents must do their part but the only person who gets to have any side effects is the one that carried the child.

After talking about sex at GMP I couldn't get the phrase, "Lick it before you stick!" out of my head. I hope your head will now suffer a similar fate.

I'm out!

Friday, April 20, 2012

What if you were the minority? Would it matter then?

Came across a rather interesting short film a while back at Good Men Project.

A good question indeed for heterosexuals to ponder.

What if heterosexuals were being imprisoned/exiled/executed for their sexuality?

What if heterosexuals were to hiding in a proverbial closet for their safety?

What if heterosexuals were looked at in disgust when being the least bit intimate in public (not to be confused with folks that don't want to see any intimacy in public but those that just don't want to see homosexual intimacy in public)?

What if heterosexuals were having to face their children being told something will be wrong with them because they were raised by one mom and one dad?

What if Brokeback Mountain had starred (insert big name actress) instead of Heath Ledger (yes Gyllenhaal stays) and people were making jokes in reference to that movie about heterosexuals?

And there's more questions than this.

I sometimes like to flip things around to test their unfairness and I think this does an excellent job of it.

The Horror

Have you ever looked in your Stats for your blog to see what keyword searches people are running to see how they get to your blog and see something that scares the living hell out of you?

Yeah that just happened to me.

I won't get to specific but it was "______ rule 34"For those of you who may not know Rule 34 simply states, "If it exists there is porn of it, no exceptions."

This freaked me out because in that blank is the name of a blogger that I hold in pretty good regard (and if you are a regular here then its almost 100% certain you have come across this person or some of their work at least).

But on a lighter note those hateful idiots at Factcheckme seem to still be coming here every once in a while....Later.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

So does this mean...

The next time after a woman has consensual sex with a guy but when she tries to leave he keeps her there against her will and forces her to have repeated sex with him we won't call him a rapist we will call him 'sex mad'?

But at least its not surprising that a few people in that comment section are pulling out the old "but he's a man and he's a woman, he could have easily overpowered her" justification.

I really like this gem from the user "haterofstupid":
Nice try dude.. No guy can bone against his will. My thinking is he sobered up and realized how ugly she was, and in his haste to escape, was spotted by someone that knew him.
Either this person lacks understanding of how the penis works, has no penis (thus no intimate understanding), or is just a moron. Hey does that mean that since they are using the name "haterofstupid" they are a self loather (see what I did there)?

Just so we are clear yes it is possible for a woman to force a man to have sex against his will.

She could overpower him (if you think this is impossible then you have no problem with managers in physically demanding jobs automatically skipping all women applicants either right?).

She could threaten him with a weapon (I have yet to see the physical weapon that worked on women but not men or the other way around).

She could remove his ability to give consent (drugs, alcohol, tie him up, etc....).

She could threaten him in a verbal/blackmail way (yes the "Who's gonna believe you?" argument works both ways).

Oh look. Even taking into account that its not as likely that a woman can overpower a man those other three ways are some of the very same ways that a man can force a woman to have sex against her will....

Could it be that when it comes to rape strength isn't everything?

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Uncertainty, Born of Despair

Quick review on the Spiral of Despair. That dark crossroads where one resides in which they have had precious little to no success in the areas of dating/sex/relationships and sees only unfavorable options:
1. Become spiteful and lash out in anger and jealousy.
2. Abandon the idea of dating/sex/relationships altogether.
3. Concluding that out of all the people in the world you are one that simply has no compatibility with anyone, and thus are truly undesirable.
None of these sound too pleasant. Lashing out at people over your own lack of success pretty much ensures that you will continue to fail. Giving up on a strong desire is not only hard to do but feels like chickening out just because the going got tough. When cross referencing you own lack of success against the idea that you are simply not compatible with anyone it becomes difficult to argue against it.

Also it leaves you feeling that the talk of, "There is someone for everyone." and "Everyone is beautiful in their own way." are only supported by the numerical fact that you will never be able to prove that there is no one for you (because who really has the opportunity to meet every person in the world that matches their orientation?) and even discovering your own beauty doesn't do much good when you're alone all the time. Its hard to maintain a positive outlook when the numbers and the history are working against you.

However there might be a glimmer of hope. You see I've recently moved and despite what I just said I do believe that there is at least an opportunity for me to try my hand at the things that I have been missing out on for most of my life. The big question is how do I go about taking advantage of this opportunity.

When it comes to these things I'm still pretty much that kid in high school that has really no idea how to talk to people, introduce myself, or anything like that. And even on the occasions that I did manage to get past these barriers they ended badly (well one time in particular was just unfavorable since she was simply not interested which while not great is at least sensible, the woman that I expressed interest in and was treated to 3 months of avoidance and silence on the other hand...).

And its not that I'm looking for a 100% sure fire magic bullet that will always end in a favorable result. What I'm looking for is the courage to take that chance to make a move and exactly how to make that move (although the occasional favorable result would be nice). Just to go ahead and get it out of the way I'm going to go ahead and say something about the one response I have heard plenty of times and would do well not to hear again anytime soon.

Just be yourself.

Now this sounds all fine and cheery and everything but let's face something. Being told to be yourself in the face of a history of unsuccess rings hollow. Apparently either something is wrong with myself or myself has just had the mathematical misfortune of never coming across someone that's interested in me.

Mathematical misfortune indeed. The passage of time. Unlike the days of my youth when one could argue that time was on my side the opposite is true now. Not only is time not on my side anymore but its probably my worst enemy.

"Why haven't you had a girlfriend?"

"What kind of guy goes so long without ever being in a relationship?"

"Well all the good ones are taken so why is he still available?"

"You're how old and you've never had sex? Are you gay or something?"

When your heart is empty the weight of such words increases drastically.

Maybe time has shown me an answer that I do not wish to face. Perhaps that something is wrong with me. I guess when you consider the math it would seem unlikely that there could be "someone for everyone" or that even with the idea that "everyone is beautiful in their own way" how certain can you be that you will come across someone that will see that beauty (thus leaving you with obscure assurance that you aren't ugly)? And while I can't be certain of all the people who offer these assurances I've noticed that a lot of them seem to have some level of success with these things. (I mean unless someone out there knows of a person that has made it to their early 30s with zero relationships, never even getting the point of wondering if it was love, one sexual experience, and can count on one hand the number of times someone has flirted with them...)

There's an old saying that goes, "Its better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all". I'm starting to think there's at least some truth to that. The one that's loved is probably wanting that feeling back while the one that's never loved is probably wanting that feeling in the first place.

You're probably reading this and thinking its repetitive and looping. And you'd be right. When faced with three exits that are all displeasing and the fourth being dependent on another person its no surprise that a person can get lost in the Spiral.

(In case you're wondering why the hell I'm going on about this here its because I wager that I am not the only guy that's thinking what I'm thinking here. So please feel free to chime in on this.)

NC Democratic gubernatorial debate - Third Stage

So I watched the last of the three debates tonight and I have to say that there really isn't much to tell. They literally retreaded what had been discussed the last two nights. Education, job market, fracking, etc....

With the primaries coming up in a few weeks I really do have the feeling that voting for any one of them would amount to voting for the same person. There isn't much to separate Faison, Etheridge, and Dalton. On one hand I think this does good for it shows that the Democrats appear to be on a united front on how to jump start this state (and let me tell you, it needs it). But on the other there really isn't much to distinguish them from each other besides their views on fracking and that's no much of a difference (Faison is totally against it while Dalton and Etheridge would like to see more data on it).

I'll say this as of right now I'm not sure which way my vote would go in May.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

NC Democratic gubernatorial debate - Second Stage

No go on tonight's debate. I was watching it stream on my pc but then the feed got jacked up about 5 minutes into it and I didn't get to see the rest of it. Once I can find some coverage of it I'll post about it tomorrow. Although I don't expect much because in the few minutes I saw of it it seemed like they were pretty much treading the ground they covered last night.

But in the meantime here are a few links on the things they did talk about last night.

North Carolina has fewer jobs now than in 1999.

North Carolina unemployment rate falls below 10 percent.

What is "fracking" and why do so many oppose it?

Amendment One. Thankfully Faison, Dalton, and Etheridge are all against it, as is current governor Perdue. This is important since the governor would have veto power (although if Amendment One passes in May I think it will still be up to Perdue to veto it since the new governor will not be in office until later this year).

A little number crunching and fact checking on figures given during last night's debate.

The third and final debate will be tomorrow evening.

Monday, April 16, 2012

NC Democratic gubernatorial debate

Tonight was the first of three consecutive nights of debates between state Rep. Bill Faison, former Congressman Bob Etheridge, and Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton. The three are vying for the Democratic nomination for the governor's race against (most likely) Republican candidate Pat McCrory this coming November.

The competition has been pretty quiet even here in NC probably due to the fact that it was only last December that current governor Beverly Perdue announced that she would not be seeking a second term. This did not afford them much time to campaign in comparison to longer running contests like the race for the Republican nomination to run against Obama which has just now finally left us with Romney standing after the dust settled.

I have to say that for early voting to start this Thursday (BTW if you in NC reading this are you registered?) this was a pretty tame start. Seriously the city council meeting I went to last week got more heated than this (mayor had to pull out the gavel and lay the smack down once even).

All three seem to agree that education and jobs are top priority. The unemployment rate in North Carolina has been about 1-2% higher than that of the national rate for at least the last year. Our teachers have not gotten a cost of living increase in about four years while at the same time education spending seems to have been the first thing on the chopping block for the last few years. Our state's big job strength has been manufacturing for a long time and its been hurting for a while even before the economic down turn. Likewise while jobs are being lost at a rate that nearly cancels out jobs created in the last 10 years or so. The population is growing, the job market is shrinking, and education quality is falling. A bad place to be in.

Those weren't the only topics they agreed on:
They all supported re-imposing a sales tax that the last Democratic legislature passed in an effort to minimize cuts to education funding. They also all opposed a constitutional amendment on the ballot that declares that marriage is between a man and a woman. They opposed tolls being imposed on Interstate 95 drivers. They opposed the medical use of marijuana.
Not bad at all.

One thing I liked was that not only was there not much sniping there was also cross agreement between the three, each pointing out ideas given by the other as viable recommendations to getting NC's job market and education path back on track.

If nothing else it looks like that even though they are all competing for the same spot there is enough respect between them that they aren't at each other's throats. This is good as it shows a bit of common ground.

The debates will continue for tomorrow and Wednesday night, I'll try to have something on those nights of coverage as well.

Five Reasons to support VASGEL (RISUG)

Check it out!

1. One contraceptive shot that can either last nearly 10 years or be counteracted with a second second.

2. Its about as expensive as the syringe used to inject it.

3. Its been 100% in human trials in India for about 15 years.

4. It will give men even more control over their reproductive rights.

5. If brought to the States it could make to to human trials in the next few years (probably thanks to those trailblazing Indian men that have been using it for so long already).

Is there really anymore to say than that?

Weekly Mashup Stage 97

Got a link you want to share?
Want to spark some discussion?
Need a place to talk about something that wouldn't be welcome else where?
Then come over to the Ethecofem Forums!!!

This is my Weekly Mashup. You know the drill. Feel free to treat it like an Open Thread.

Foxconn's Overtime Reduction Will Not Affect Product Prices, Analysts Say: Yeah because the main concern behind cutting overtime hours at a manufacturing plant where people were killing themselves so often a fence was put around the roof to stop them from jumping is that product prices won't be affected.

Farm-fresh infringement: Can you violate a patent by planting some seeds?: So it looks like ridiculous licensing problems aren't limited to songs and movies.

Why I'm Not Renewing my NPR Membership:"Recently there has been a lot of media attention on obesity because it is a currently popular trend. Many studies are pouring out of universities with poor methodology and low statistical significance, but if they attach the magic word "obesity" to the study they are not only funded, but seized upon as confirmation by the media."

NC sees growing mobilization on marriage amendment: "The referendum is partly about partisan politics: previous efforts in the General Assembly to put an amendment before voters was rebuffed when Democrats controlled the legislature, and won approval after Republicans took control of both chambers in 2010. Republicans' traditional allies on social issues, especially conservative churches, have lined up to support the amendment, while Democrats' support base, particularly the state NAACP, have been prominent opponents."

Famous comic book creator starting his own convention in Los Angeles: Stan Lee working with another convention to compete against the world famous ComicCon?

More on "Stand Your Ground" laws: Daisy with a few some data on Stand Your Ground laws.

ME Bar Counsel Recommends Discipline for ADA Mary N. Kellett: I'm still trying to figure how Mike NiFong got stopped dead in his tracks after one major fuck up but this woman has been running unchecked for a few years. I guess when its women running around just ignoring court orders its no big deal.

Ladies Bleaching Private Parts… Men, Are You Getting A Bad Rap?: Personally I think when it comes to items like this we are all getting hosed.

Sunday Link Encyclopedia and Self-Promotion: Clarissa's weekly bundle of links.

Man Flees After Woman Demands Too Much Sex: So a guy fleeing a woman that is demanding too much sex is "Weird News"? I recall people saying that that is usually called other things ranging from "false imprisonment" to "abuse" to "rape"...mind you the genders are usually reversed when those words come out though...

Middle School Student Suspended For Hugging Teacher: More on the "Why boys are afraid to show emotion" front. Dude tries to hug his teacher after she breaks up a possible fight...and he gets suspended.

Zenimax Files For Trademark On A Skyrim Internet Meme: I tried to trademark a popular meme, but then I took an arrow to the knee.

Staying Strong, Staying Silent: Male Body Image: "Shame also plays a large role in the development of body image issues in men."

Is CISPA going to inspire the next major internet protest?

Take it easy!!!!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Setting A New Precedent For All Rape Victims

I have a new post up at Good Men Project.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Violation of Freedom of Speech?

Last year after being found guilty of civil domestic violence against his wife and granting her an order or protection against him he posted a rant on his Facebook page:
"If you are an evil, vindictive woman who wants to ruin your husband’s life and take your son’s father away from him completely – all you need to do is say that you’re scared of your husband or domestic partner and they’ll take him away!"

As a result a magistrate gave him two choices. Either re-friend his wife and post a public apology every day for 30 days or 60 days in jail.

Byron took the apology deal in which he would post a "court approved" apology status on his Facebook everyday for 30 days. It looks like he stopped posting before the 30 days were up but will not be jailed.

A few things seem odd here:
1. Apparently when Bryon made that rant about his wife she was not even on his friends list meaning that she found out about it by some means other than actually reading it through her own FB account.

2. Okay let's say that what he said is an actual indicator that he was a threat to her (and I don't think it is). Why would you open up a channel of communication between a woman and the man that she is supposedly scared of? Yes a part of the apology order was that he re-friend her (although I thought for sure that another option was that she could appoint someone else to be added to Mark's friend list and that person would check to make sure the apology went up each day).

3. I put court approved in quote marks for a reason. The apology was totally written by someone other than Mark himself.

It seems clear to me that this was not about dealing with Mark Bryon's angry outburst but this was really about trying to embarrass him and make his wife out to be a poor terrified victim.

Imagine that for a moment. You say something on the internet and the person you can actually be ordered to post a pre-written apology to them by the courts. This doesn't sound too different from doctor's offices that try to sue forums for giving bad reviews of their practices or restaurants trying to force a site to take down a negative review of their food.

Sure you can argue that what he said was wrong but once you get into the realm of legally forcing him to read a pre-written apology as a way to correct it you are dancing way too close to Free Speech for my taste. And speaking of the letter here is is from his Facebook page (I had to go back to February 25 on his timeline to find it.):

"I would like to apologize to my wife, Elizabeth Byron, for
the comments regarding her and our son Jonathon which were posted on my Facebook wall on or about November 23, 2011. 1 hereby acknowledge that two judicial officials in the Hamilton County Domestic Relations Court have heard evidence and determined that I committed an act of domestic violence against Elizabeth on January 17, 2011. While that determination is currently being appealed, it has not been overturned by the appellate court. As a result of that determination, I was granted supervised parenting time with Jonathon on a twice weekly basis. The reason I saw Jonathon only one time during the four month period which ended about the time of my Facebook posting was because I chose to see him on only that single occasion during that period. I hereby apologize to Elizabeth for casting her in an unfavorable light by suggesting that she withheld Jonathon from me or that she in any manner prevented me from seeing Jonathon during that period. That decision was mine and mine alone.

I further apologize to all my Facebook Friends for
attempting to mislead them into thinking that Elizabeth was in any manner preventing me from spending time with Jonathonan, which caused several of my Facebook Friends to respond with angry, venomous, and inflammatory comments of their own."

Here's a few other links about this:

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Getting to know you

I know I did one a while back but I feel like doing it again and since the questions are different it should be fine if I borrow this from Daisy right?

1. What is the most daring thing you've done?

Honestly I've had a pretty boring life so I don't really have much to say on this. Although there was that time I was nearly killed by the onrushing train...

2. What is your favourite article of clothing?

My Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess jacket. Its green with the Hylian symbol on the back in gold paint. I love it so much that I only wear it maybe 2-3 times a year other than that it stays in my closet.

3. What is your favourite monster?

Glory from season 5 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. So sexy and so simplistic in her acts of violence. And I'm also fond of Dracula from the Castlevania games. An evil that never truly dies but just rests until it regains strength to rise again? Yes.

4. If you had to dress up as your favourite literary character, who would it be?

I don't have a favorite literary character but despite my disdain with chivalry I have to go with Sturm Brightblade from Dragonlance. Guns: He stuck to them.

5. What is your favourite fairy tale, urban legend or nursery rhyme:

I don't recall the exact details, the author, or even when it was written but one has been coming in my mind a lot lately.

The wind and sun were talking about who was more powerful. After a long exchange with no conclusion the wind sees a lone traveler in a long coat walking along a road makes a deal with the sun, "Whoever can get that coat off of him is more powerful. Deal?" The sun accepts and wind went first. Blowing and thrashing and thrashing and blowing the wind tried with all might to get the coat off the man but he just kept holding it tighter and tighter. Eventually the wind gave up, thinking the sun had no chance. The sun simply identified increased the temperature until it became so hot the traveler had to take off his coat.

I don't recall the exact wording of the lesson but it was something to the effect of, "Force, the best approach it is not."

6. What is a cause near and dear to your heart?

I try not to hold one cause to my heart out of fear of denying the validity of others. But unfortunately I've done just that so now I'm working on that.

7. What is the strangest item you've used as a bookmark?

A Magic: The Gathering card. I think it was some generic Forest land card.

8. Do you have any nicknames? What are they and how did you earn them?

I have others but they have person meaning but the one I will share is how I came to go by Danny. When I was in my first year of college I was still introducing myself as Daniel but a few weeks into the semester I started running with a group of friends that basically said, "No man we're calling you Danny.". And it stuck. Without even thinking about it I was introducing myself as Danny to everyone I met, even long after I lost touch with that bunch of friends that renamed me. Hell I even remember the very last time I introduced myself as Daniel to someone. So to this day there is an odd condition on what people know me as.

If you knew me before fall of 1999, are a current co-worker, or are family you would know me as Daniel. Other than that you would know me as Danny.

9. Name one habit you want to change in yourself?

Time management: I fail it. And a soul crushing self doubt that I'm working on these days.

10. Tell us something interesting or shocking about yourself.

Dammit I hate these questions. Well I did go to a fetish party this past weekend...

Dichotomies, Dichotomies, Dichotomies!!!

About a week or so ago there was a lot of talk about dichotomies (which has more than likely cooled off by now, I hate having to schedule posts in order to spread out my content).

First Bridget Welch chimes in about the virgin/slut and protector/rapist dicotomies.

Then Ozy talks about the knight/beast dichotomy.

So why not join the fun?

As I'm sure most folks reading here are familiar the belief that when it comes to sex women are often held up in a dichotomy that says they are either perfectly pure and delicate virgin angels or down trodden dirty sluts. This is a view based on a woman's sexual activity (or lack thereof). So after wondering for a while and seeing a comment by the user Rapses over at Bridget's post I saw what I think may be the male equivalent of the virgin/slut.:
Answer: Pairing virgin-slut dichotomy for women with protector-rapist is oxymoron. Men are not responsible for protecting women who are not related to them and rape is a punishable offense. The male equivalent for this dichotomy is loser-stud.
Now I'm not certain the writer of that post was trying to say that protector/rapist was the equivalent of virgin/slut but I think that when you look at how male sexual activity is looked at Rapses correctly points out the male equivalent of the virgin/slut. The stud/loser.

The stud. We all know this guy. This is the guy who gains popularity by having lots of sex with lots of different women/girls. Sure he is often looked upon with admiration by other guys and looked up with captivation by women but is it really all that rosy on that side of the fence? Some think that the stud is getting all positive praise for his active sex life (while a similar woman is painted up to be a whore) but I'm not sure its that clear. If he weren't having said active sex life he would be looked down upon. Looked down upon as if he was less than a "real" man. Just as with women men are appraised based on their sex lives. If the stud was not having all that sex he would suddenly not be a man anymore. No he would indeed become a loser.

The loser. We know this guy as well. This is the guy who doesn't have lots of sex with lots of different women. And for not doing that he is looked down upon by other guys and by women. Yeah since he isn't out there trying to get with every woman/girl in sight something is apparently wrong with him. He doesn't want to have sex with (insert popular attractive actress)? Oh then he must be gay or something. Any "real" man would be interested in (insert popular attractive actress). Oh if only the loser would get out there and have sex with some woman, any woman, and he would finally become a "real" man.

And when you look at it there is a line up of insults waiting for both of them.

The stud must be afraid to commit. The loser must be gay (yes its wrong to use gay as an insult but bear in mind that the person that's saying it is saying because they want to insult the loser's sexual orientation). The stud is a dog. The loser immerses himself in geek/game/fantasy culture and no "real" man does that stuff. The stud never treats women right. The loser wouldn't know what to do if he were ever with a woman (because even in this age there is still a presumption that guy's are supposed to just "know" what to do in the bedroom). (I think that last reason is part of why a male's viginity is treated like a curse that must be dispelled).

A guy has lots of sex then he must be damaged. A guy doesn't have much sex (or none) then he must be damaged.

Now just to go back up to that "equivalent" bit I said.

1. For all that is holy no I am not trying to say that stud/loser is exactly the same as virgin/slut.
2. I'm not trying to say that one is worse than the other.
3. I'm not trying to say that one is more important to deal with that the other.

I'm just saying that when it comes to measuring the worth of a man or woman in terms of how much sex they have or do not have men face the stud/loser dichotomy and women face the virgin/slut dichotomy. They are both heavily restrictive and they both need to be done away with. I mean really, trying to measure the worth of a person by how much sex they have?

Bonus section: When it comes to how women are measured by how much sex they have and the way that affects men we see that we have women as virgin/slut and men as either beast/knight. When it comes to how men are measured by how much sex they have and the way that affects women we see that we have men as stud/loser and women as...?

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Weekly Mashup Stage 96

Come shout a holler at us at the new Ethecofem Forums!!!

Also feel free to treat this as an Open Thread.

Let me lead off with some self promoting.

I can't believe it! I've managed to get some serious writing published this week!
1. First of three posts at Good Men Project on a new Charles Barkley Weight Watchers ad.

2. Second of three posts at Good Men Project on the site His Black Dress. This is actually a revisit to a previous post on them I did where I look at how clothing, gender identification, sexual orientation, and attraction are linked.

3. Third of three posts at Good Men Project on the "Sex Sells" method of advertising products towards men.

4. First of two articles at the quarterly online gaming magazine Gaming Insurrection, where I joined as the fourth member of their staff. A review of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.

5. Second of two articles. A review of Prince of Persia: Sands of Time

And for you regularly weekly mashing.

Courage: We Cannot Exist Without Each Other: Julie Gillis sharing a story of compassion and courage in hopes of showing why they are important for humanity.

Thank You: And speaking of compassion Renee was in a tough spot this week and thanks to some overwhelming support she is doing good.

Wrongfully Imprisoned for 17 Years, Man Must Pay Child Support to State:Is it really fair for a state to put an innocent man away, refuse to offer compensation for the trouble they've caused him, but then demand compensation for the inconvenience they cause themselves by putting away an active father?

Verizon to End Stand-Alone DSL Service: Forcing customers into a bundle that they don't want (because if they wanted it they would signed up for it already wouldn't they?) is not "a better overall experience".

Alleged Rape Victim Jailed to Ensure Testimony: Imprisoning an alleged rape victim? I understand the desire to get a possible rapist off the streets but I think that putting the alleged victim in custody (the trial has been rescheduled once already due to her failure to appear) may be crossing a line.


Domestic violence campaigns one-sided: A small piece on the one sided nature of domestic violence prevention

Working URLs: Sex Workers And The Wild Wild Web

On The Future of Small Blogs: Daisy on why she thinks it doesn't look good for small blogs compared to larger community blogs.

Why I Don’t Like Myself: Clarissa makes it look so easy.

Manipulative Behavior?

Maybe They ARE That Into You: If you have been reading my posts lately on trying to overcome obstacles to meeting people and engaging in relationships/dating/sex then take a moment to read this linked post by Jeffrey Platts. We'll be coming back to it soon.

Take it easy!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Or Should That Be 6?

I came across this list at Its list of the 5 most insulting ways products are advertised to men. Its rather accurate but I think there is a very big one missing from the list.

Let's take a quick run down of the five that are listed:
#5. Assume Men Are Stupid (And Proud of It)

#4. Question Your Masculinity

#3. Dress Ordinary Products Up as Manly Industrial Power Tools

#2. Turn Regular Foods and Flavors into Sausagefests

#1. Assume You're Hungry for a Heart Attack
No question on these items. They are all true and they all happen. However I think there is an insulting way that is missing. And insulting way that happens all the time. An insulting way that probably should have been No.1.

Assume You're Doing It All For The Nookie

There is a saying that goes, "Men think with their dicks." Yes highly insulting I know that but has not stopped the advertising divisions of a lot of companies from marketing their products in a way that stimulates our "lower brains".

I wonder if this would get guys to overlook
the price of those Bose headsets?

When you advertise something as common as, oh I don't know, deodorant spray you have to do something to get the attention of your target audience. How about getting your them to believe that if you use a certain spray women won't be able to keep their hands off of you?

"He's not much but he's wearing Axe."

For the longest time products have been advertised to men as the one sure fire way to have women swooning and tripping over (and sometimes fighting among) themselves. Also there are ads where when faced with a choice between something highly important and a man the product in question is sure to tip the scales in his favor right?

"Eternal salvation? Good smelling guy?
Eternal salvation? Good smelling guy?"

Axe makes my soul burn with a fiery passion that surpasses even the Power Cosmic but let us move on shall we?

I think cars and sports speak for themselves so let's go on to web domain spaces. Yes I'm going there.

Still not sure how these women make the domain space sold by
Go Daddy superior to domain space sold by other registrars.

Finally we have food with sex. The strategy of getting guys to buy certain brands of food by getting us to think about sex and food at the same time. Because that's all we need right? Give us food and give us sex and the rest will take care of itself. But I'm not going with the obvious Burger King ad that caused an uproar last year. No I'm going to go a bit further out for an example.

Who knew women had to pull back their hair and
bob their heads when eating noodles?

As I said at the beginning the five items they brought up are accurate, I just think they missed a really big one. If you go back and look at anything that is advertised to men I bet nearly every single ad will invoke at least one of these. And its a problem.

First and foremost these methods of advertising pretty much case men as a monolithic entity that all think the same and we will respond to the same stimulation. These agencies can thank the highly restrictive and oppressive gender roles that we are all bound by for being able to do this. Secondly a lot of these methods don't speak very highly of women. Unfortunately marketing execs keep using these methods for one reason and one reason only.

People are still buying their products, which shows that these highly offensive ways actually work.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Charles Barkley Misses The Point

I've got a new post up at Good Men Project about the upcoming Charles Barkley Weight Watchers ad.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The power of words and the sting of loneliness

(I know that there is some overlap of people who read my stuff here and those who read NSWATM. In light of that I have to give a warning. If the post that Ozy did on April Fool's Day hit a sore spot or two with you then you may not want to read this, lest you risk having those sore spots hit again. And Ozy if you're reading this, hear and me and hear me good. This is not some attack at you for that post. This is me trying to open up about a sadness I've held in for an extremely long time. You may have similar experiences (or lack thereof depending on how you look at it) and if you do then I'm sure you'll see nothing new here.)

After reading a certain April Fool's Day post I was not in the best of mindsets. It didn't help that the brakes on my car failed and I had worked on my next Sprial of Despair post that same day. With that stuff on my mind I think I made a big mistake. I listened to "Given" by Black Tape for a Blue Girl the next day.

I know I've said in the past that I'm a bit on the fence about how much lyrics matter in a song and frankly its very rare that I pay attention to the lyrics of a given song unless they are just so clear and addictive that I pick them up on an almost subconscious level. But today it seemed like a combination of Ozy's post, my own posts, my car troubles, and the traffic I had to go through on my way home from work just culminated in a perfect storm where some of the lyrics of this song just hit me in a way that they truly never hit me before.

Here are the lyrics for the song.
I want to stop thinking of love
Dreaming of love
Defining love
I want to feel the earth below me
Ravish me

The waterfall, the illuminating gas
The bachelors, suitors at my call
I used to dream of love as a machine
Myself as the motor, erotic energy

I'm ready to experience this love
To look beyond this glass
Leave concept for reality
I want to feel the water immerse me
Consuming me
I want to leave behind this lauded virginity
To experience love
To be taken by love
I want to feel the sunlight upon me
Overpower me

The waterfall, the illuminating gas
The cinematic blossoming, halo of the bride.
I used to diagram love as a machine
Myself as the motor, erotic energy
That first verse has me thinking about how a person wants to get love off of there mind. They no longer want think about it, they don't want to fantasize about having it, they don't want to conjure images of what it might be. They just want to get rid of all thoughts of love. Get their head out of the clouds and come back to earth so to speak.

That second verse (or first chorus?) seems to be a pretty straight forward memory of her (the singer) dreaming of love and being full of erotic energy. With suitors at her call it would seem that in her dreams love wasn't much of a problem.

The third verse has me thinking that she is recalling (and I say recall because this runs counter with the first verse where she appeared to be ready to abandon love) her desires for love. Where she no longer dreams about it but actually lives it. She talks about being consumed by love and leaving behind a lauded virginity. I wonder if she is talking about more than just sexual virginity there. Could she be also talking about experience love, not sexual but emotional love, for the first time? (And I think the "lauded" may be a nod to how a woman's virginity is regarded as a treasure to be guarded.)

The fourth verse (or second chorus?) sounds like the second verse where she is dreaming of love and being full of erotic energy. Talking of cinematics and having the hale of the bride I get the feeling she is talking about having a lover and exploring her sexuality.

Now maybe I'm painting my own thoughts and feelings over what's really going on here but this seems to resonate with me a bit. Having thoughts of love. A desire for the dreams and thoughts becoming reality. Being all sexual and sensual with partners. Wanting to abandon the idea of love altogether. This is stuff I have swirled in my head more times that I care to recall.

When you've got very little to no experience(*) when it comes to love (or even something that may or may not be love) you mind wanders in all kinds of directions. And when the mind wanders things, especially on a subject it can't let go of, things can get dark.

Its real easy to get lost in your own thoughts of loneliness and inadequacies when you have no experiences to say otherwise. And when that happens its extremely easy to be set off by things, even things that weren't meant in ill faith.

* - Let's be clear. I'm not talking about having a long relationship, breaking up, and thinking back on the good times of that relationship. I'm not talking about having a series of short term flings but never having anything long term. I'm not talking about having your world destroyed by a past lover and wanting to curl up in a ball and die. I'm sure those things hurt but I say, "I'm sure" for a reason, being I don't know the pain of those things. What I'm talking about here is a sadness and loneliness that takes decades to accumulate. A sadness and loneliness that comes from having extremely little (or no) deep human contact (and not just sexual) across several decades. A sadness and loneliness that comes from never having been in a relationship while spending your entire life seeing other people be in them. I'm talking about a sadness and loneliness that nearly has you convinced that you are unlovable, unfuckable, unwanted, unappreciated, unvalued, and otherwise undesirable.

Monday, April 2, 2012

We'll take your money but we you can't have a marriage license

That is precisely one of the many messages law makers are sending to same sex couples in North Carolina and said law makers hope to etch it into the NC Constitution this coming May.

The following video is from Pam of Pam's House Blend, one of the people being told that her money is good enough to go to the betterment of the state but she is not good enough to have her marriage to her wife recognized by NC law.

Don't let this message become law. Don't tell Pam and her wife that their money is welcome but their marriage is not.

Does Losing Weight Mean Losing Sensitivity?

(This is a post I wrote a few weeks ago and submitted to Good Men Project but never got a yeah or nah on whether it would go up or not. Here goes.)

(Author's Note: This post is in no way meant to attack Jamie Reidy or anyone that may agree with his commentary on what Billy Crystal said about Jonah Hill. This is meant to show that its not too hard to imagine someone not being flattered by it. And while we can see that Jonah was not totally pleased with the remarks, I'm not trying to say this is how he felt about them. Only offering a different view on how Hill may have felt.)

A few days ago Jamie Reidy wrote a letter to Jonah Hill over his reaction to comments that Billy Crystal made about his weight loss during the Oscar Awards last week. In this letter it seemed that Jamie was coming from an angle of, “Why you gotta act all mad about it for?” Honestly I don't think its all that difficult to see why Jonah would be “all mad about it”. I want to look at a few parts of that letter as I explain.
Mr. Crystal didn’t link you to NBC’s hit show “The Biggest Loser.” He didn’t reference the Biblical story of Jonah and the whale. All he did was gently kid you about one of Hollywood’s most noticeable disappearing acts since Cuba Gooding’s career.

Its not always about the intensity of the joke. Sure Crystal's comments may not have been interpreted as being overtly offensive but that doesn't really excuse them. With my own body image issues I know it would bother me a lot if someone told me there will be cupcakes after the show right after saying I've lost weight. He didn't say something like, “I'm kind of hoping he doesn't win. I don't know if Oscars come in plus size.” but I can understand Jonah not being happy about being offered comfort food right after having his weight brought up.
Dude, why drop a baby seal’s worth of poundage if you don’t want people to acknowledge it? Wasn’t that the point of all the effort and sacrifice, so that people would take notice? You’re young, wealthy and not in danger of diabetes; what are you so uptight about?

He may have dropped that baby seal's worth of poundage for something other than the pleasing of other people. It's entirely possible that Jonah did it for his own well being. Also sometimes the desire to put in effort and sacrifice to shed pounds isn't about getting other people to notice you, sometimes its about getting other people to stop noticing you. When you've been figuratively (maybe even literally) compared to the elephant in the room its not uncommon to want to be the fly that no one notices.
I’m sure the producers of your upcoming movie “21 Jump Street” loved the free publicity their star received. You should have, too.
Speaking of your being a movie star and all, that reminds me: why were you seated so close to the stage? Oh, that’s right, you got nominated in a film that got nominated for Best Picture. You’re a damn fine thespian whose eye-opening turn in “Moneyball” stunned Hollywood. So, Mr. Ack-tor, act! Pretend you’re cool with it.

He's not a producer on that movie. He's the guy that got his weight commented on in front of thousands in attendance and millions across the world. Is getting some free press about an upcoming project supposed to be some sort of payment for being embarrassed like that? Is getting insulted supposed to be a tradeoff for being able to put “Appeared in the Oscar Nominated film 'Moneyball'” on his resume?

To bring my point home I just want to say that nearly everyone has their sore spots and it just might be that weight is one for Jonah Hill. And being a legendary comedic actor doesn't give Billy Crystal a free pass to strike at that spot.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Weekly Mashup Stage 95

Come shout a holler at us at the new Ethecofem Forums!!!

Also feel free to treat this as an Open Thread.

Chivalry—Whether or not it’s dead, it’s not for us regular men.: I make it no secret I'm no fan of chivalry. And I especially don't like how most talks of it only talk about how it harms women and benefits men as if that's the only thing wrong with it.

Kony Is Not the Problem: A reminder that letting one person become the face of the enemy when there are more sinister forces at work is a bad idea.

Woman killed workmate then used semen from brothel to make it look as though she'd been raped and murdered: Yes you read that right. There are some really jacked up people out there.

Make More Time by Scheduling Your Media: Are we at the point where our consumption of media needs to be more carefully monitored like our food intake?

Mets pitcher R.A. Dickey talks about his childhood sexual abuse: Toy Soldier with a reminder that expecting a sex abuse victim to "get over it" is not only dismissive and wrong, but very difficult to do.

Judicial activists in the Supreme Court

Personally I think while Barkley and WW had their hearts in the right place I don't having him copy the Jennifer Hudson ad is the best way to inspire guys to try WW.

What You Say to Your Kids Isn't Always What They Hear: Be mindful what you say to your kids.

Female columnists criticizing the violence against woman act: For the people that still have a hard time with the fact that wives do abuse husbands.

Pornography Can Ruin Your Sex Life: A good point but I wonder (and may look into it one day) how this applies to people who have no sex life...

How Modesty Hurts Men, Too: I'd rather that the "too" not be there but in my efforts to try to find common ground I'll try to let it go.

Sex Sells: How Cosplay Could Die: Has the art of cosplay been damaged beyond repair by the desire to see boobs?

U.S. Court Refuses to Enforce Hague Convention: What's the point of the Hague Convention if the countries that sign it can just blatantly refuse to enforce it? (And I also find it messed up that an accusation, not arrest/charge/conviction, of abuse is all it takes to remove one parent from the home.)