Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Musings of a Vengeful Spirit - Mass Destruction

"Revenge is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die."
I'm sure you've heard this remark before right? If not in this wording probably something more like "Holding a grudge is like drinking..." or "Resentment is like drinking...". The reason I chose the wording with "revenge" in it is because while holding grudges and resentment are feelings, revenge is a matter of acting on those feelings (or at least I think so).

But as I said last time I think there is something still wrong with this quote.

First let me say that as long as we are talking thoughts and feelings I'll agree that grudge and resentment can actually play out as their respective quotes say. Simmering in hatred and fostering those negative feelings does indeed serve the ultimately destructive result of thinking that they other person is going to be destroyed by embracing hate, when in fact the one that is giving into that negativity is the one that will ultimately be destroyed. But when you act on that hate, things change up a bit.

In the last entry in this series I talked about how once a person has given in to hatred and they decide to lash out at others all sorts of counterproductive things happen. Whether they realize it or not, whether they think they are or not, whether they acknowledge it or not. That resentful person is acting on those feelings.

When they go looking for an argument or start shutting other people out from an otherwise civil conversation that's action. That's the decision to act on the hate.

And with those actions come consequences.

Others start to feel unwelcome. They are hurt by your hatred. They are offended by your hatred. They are turned off by your hatred. People begin to lump you in with the worst of the bunch, whether that lumping is justified or not (and not it's not always justified). People stop wanting to talk to you. People stop wanting to work with you. People may duck out of the conversation altogether (not just a particular exchange but drop the subject entirely).

When things like that happen the person that is lashing out is no longer drinking a poison and waiting for others to die. No it's more than that. So when it comes to revenge I think it's not quite poison but more like this.

Revenge is like a suicide bomb. You may hurt the people that hurt you. But you will destroy yourself and hurt innocent people in the process.

That's what it comes down to. Attacking others over your own pain can be (I may dare say "usually is") extremely destructive. Not just to yourself, but to others as well.

Those people that get shut out of the conversation? Hurt.

Those people that have their own experiences denied in some twisted sense of "How do you like it?"? Hurt.

Those people that give up on the subject because of the way they were treated? Hurt.

Those people that would otherwise agree with someone if it wasn't for the aura-like hatred they pushed out to those around them? Hurt.

That's a lot of hurting going on isn't it? Yes it is.

That (to me) is probably the gravest and most long lasting cost of giving in to the negativity and and acting on it in the form of revenge. Not only destroying oneself but taking others with them.

(Honestly I'm not sure if I will be doing more entries in this "Musings of a Vengeful Spirit" series or not. But if I do they will be right here on my blog with the others.)

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Weekly Mashup - Spartan Style

Yes. That is a Spartan, at an anime convention.

So how goes this week people? Tired? Bored? Don't feel like actually looking for something to read? Then please take a moment to browse through these links. And if you have any of our own by all means share them here. (Also feel free to treat this as an Open Thread.)

It would seem that April is in the midst of starting a new Revolution...

Depression: "Let it teach you compassion for yourself, because you deserve it."

MISANDRY – And False Flag Operations

Nobody Has a Normal Life: Trying to fit one's life into a pre-written script is pretty much doomed to fail.

Do Men Have a Right To Be Angry With Women?: Interesting question.

Feds Spend $499 in Child Support Enforcement for Every $1 for Access and Visitation: Robert Franklin with a math on the differences in spending on child support enforcement and custody/visitation enforcement.

Golden Gate Bridge: What's wrong with trying to prevent suicides?

“I’ve shot men before and managed to get out of it.”: Sharon Kinne, Serial Killer - 1964: I do wonder how many past crimes went unpunished because of the belief that "Women don't do stuff like that."

Twenty Years In Prison For Having Sex With His Wife: It's an old story but damn it's a horrible one. Withheld evidence, false testimony, accusation of rape that just happen to coincide with a custody battle, a refusal for parole, an unusually high sentence. That man was robbed of a large portion of his life and three children were robbed of their father.

Asking for Sex: What Do You Do When the Guy Says No?: I'm sorry that this woman is having troubles in her sex life. I have a bit of understanding on where she is coming from. However as guy I've had to put up with women and feminists alike lining up to tell me that women don't owe me sex and it's not fair to try to speak on their motives about it. When a woman turns a guy down for sex she's empowered but apparently when a guy turns a woman down for sex it must be a power play? Am I the only one that thinks if a guy wrote something like this he would be written off as a pick up artist trying justify why his desire for sex should take priority over a woman's choices on sex?

We don’t call this sexism, we call it, err…

Father’s rights breached by mother 'too upset’ to let him see children: This is the kind of uphill battle fathers face. Two children kept from their father not because he was abusive but because the mother was too upset to let him be in contact with him. Yeah a mother's feelings take precedence over a child's bond with their father.

I.C.U. Naked

Alright folks take it easy!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

We Should Be Mindful of Who is Remembered

On July 20 the lives of 12 innocent people were ended by the violent actions of a shooter during a showing of The Dark Knight Rises in an Aurora, Colorado movie theater.

There has been a flurry of media coverage of this horrible event all over the airwaves, radio wave, and internet wave. As with most acts of mass murder the killer is often immortalized by their actions. Having their name forever permeated into the archives of history. From crime dramas writing episodes based on their crimes to books and movies offering the "real story" to becoming a part of language and everyday conversation.

And this is a problem I think.

Don't get me wrong. I don't mean that their actions should be forgotten or forgiven or anything like that. What I mean is that a person should not become a part of history in such a violent while their victims are forgotten mere weeks after they are killed. Faded into obscurity only to be temporarily resurrected on the following anniversaries of their deaths.

I want you to try something real quick.

I'd wager that you know the name of the killer. Have his name committed to memory and have seen his face all over the press and across the world. It will probably stick there for at least the next several years, if not the rest of your life (hell Manson is etched into my memory and I wasn't even born until 8 years after he went to prison).

Now name a victim.

I have to admit that I honestly cannot name a single one of the 12 people that were killed that night. If it weren't for the ability to go look it up at will they would probably be out of the minds of most people by now, living on in the minds and hearts of those close to them.

See the problem?

Regardless of what happens to the killer chances are he is already in the minds of most people in this country and will remain there for a very long time while the 12 people he killed will not. Don't believe me? Try something else.

Ted Bundy, John Wayne Gacy, Jefferey Dahmer, David Berkowitz, Timothy McVeigh, and the list goes one.

People that have lived on for years even decades after they committed their crimes and sometimes even after they themselves are long dead. But can you name one of their victims?

All I'm saying is that while such people should be punished and dealt with we shouldn't let the memory of the killer outlive the memory of the victim(s).

Let's try remembering the people that should be remembered.

Jonathan Blunk, aged 26

Alexander J. Boik, 18

Jesse Childress, 29

Gordon Cowden, 51

Jessica Ghawi, 24

John Larimer, 27

Matt McQuinn, 27

Micayla Medek, 23

Veronica Moser-Sullivan, 6

Alex Sullivan, 27

Alexander C. Teves, 24

Rebecca Wingo, 32

(I just thought of something that I really should have said days ago. Let's turn all that subconscious effort that goes into immortalizing the killer in effort to immortalize the victims. So how about this fellow bloggers? If you post about this don't name the killer, name the victims. If you write an article about the impact of these killings don't write about what the killer did, but instead write about what was done to the victims.)

I think the wrong question is being asked

These days people all over the place seem to have their undergarments in a bunch over men, but not in the ways you think. Sure there are people out there that are actually looking at the lot that men have in life and are seeing the problems (versus the usual strategy of declaring us all privileged and then telling us what our lives are like) but there seem to be some folks that are looking at it all wrong. And some of those folks appear to have ties to The New York Times.

New Rule: If you are holding a debate on the question of "Are Modern Men Manly Enough?", then you're already going in the wrong direction.

Why is that?

Because that question is nothing more than an exercise of someone use their own measuring stick to determine if men are living up to someone their own expectations of what "man enough" it. That's pretty much doomed to fail from the get go because it's going to lead to either people who are not men trying to decide if men are "man enough" or some men trying to decide if men as a whole are "man enough.

But hey the New York Time went through the trouble to get all of 8 people to answer this question so why not give them a shot I suppose.

Joel Stein: "Sure, you could be progressive and buy your son a doll. But he'll thank you if you're more old school and teach him to hunt." Personally I am no fan of dolls. I also don't hunt. But it's not like they are mutually exclusive when it comes to being a man.

I'm really not seeing how someone's future manliness hinges on something as arbitrary as whether or not dolls were involved and hunting skill. Is manhood some sort of game where we only have a limited number of skill points and we have to spend them in a certain way?

But the funniest part is that he seems to simultaneously not think that gender is a social construct AND that in order to be considered "man enough" a man must be constructed in just the right way or else not only will it mean he fails as a man but it will bring forth the apocalypse.

Mark Simpson: I have one minor, but big in my own way, quibble. "Most noticeably of course, men have become very interested in themselves of late – their profiles and their pectorals." Considering how recently people even started paying attention to how men think about their bodies I'm not convinced that this is a new phenomenon. Rather it's something that has just been getting noticed on a large scale.

However he answers this question pretty damn well by saying, "Modern men are quite manly enough for the modern world, thanks very much." Done.

Natasha Scripture: Apparently Natasha has no problem with guys getting more in touch with themselves and opening up...as long as none the resulting show of emotions gets on her.

Near the end she say, "Yet with women becoming more like men in terms of dominance in the workplace -- and in relationships -- perhaps the logical reaction is for men to complement women's ascent to power through more subtle, touchy-feely measures like pedicures and tears."

It's not a matter of one side complimenting the other. It's a matter of freeing up all people on all sides (because when it comes to gender there's more than two sides) to do as they wish without having to be forced to read and act by a certain script that is usually determined by what's between your legs when you're born by people who can't stand the idea of their own preferences becoming harder to find.

People like Natasha.

Loni Love: She spent most of her effort complaining about men going to salons and nail parlors.

I told myself I was only going to use "Shut the fuck up." once while responding to these write ups. I'm using it now. But I'm not going to say it, Penn is going to say it.

Lawrence Schlossman: I'm feeling his flow. He points out that most of history's greatest men were great not because of how many women they slept with, how much pork they ate, or how big their mustache was. We just need to embrace the same honesty, kindness, tolerance, openess, intrepidness (sp?), self-awareness, inquisitive nature, and other traits that those past men had.

In short, good answer.

Marty Beckerman: Oh dammit here's another one that thinks one must have a certain skill set in order to be considered a man. Maybe someday these folks will recognize that there is not one specific recipe to being a man. Sure we can have a preferred recipe but there is no one universal combination and for one to try to impose their own preferences on another is just wrong.

Shawn Taylor: Even with the title of his response using that phrase I adore oh so much, man up, I'll give him a pass because he is trying to make a valid point about being responsible for one's actions (and I'll bet he even doesn't turn a blind eye to all the fathers out there that are fighting to take on those responsibilities, unlike the vast majority of people).

Kelly Turnball: Yes as Kelly says there are many times of masculinity and manhood and they don't all have to be overt badasses like a lot of video game characters.

Speaking of I wonder about Kratos. I haven't played through all the God of War games but I've seen bits and pieces of playthroughs (and played the first one through myself) and I don't recall him having any other thoughts of his wife and daughter that were basically of the, "I will have my revenge." variety. Maybe there are scenes of him in quiet reflection, depression, perhaps an attempt at speaking while holding back tears.

I'll have to give her comic a try.

So by my count its about an even split between reasonable answers (Mark, Lawrence, Shawn, and Kelly) and WFT answers (Joel, Natasha, Loni, and Marty).

In all honesty Mark's answer should have been the only one needed for this question but I'm glad that Lawrence, Shawn, and Kelly chimed in as well.

On the real though my question is this:

Why are people so hell bent on trying to narrowly define what being a man is?

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Weekly Mashup - Wizardry Style

S Class wizards represent.

Easy Parking For Women Only?

Existential Despair, New Directions, and the Phoenix

Not a Joke: Why Do Our Boys Keep Up the Mass Shootings?

Why the man who confessed to his penis enlargement on This Morning brought a tear to my eyes (for all the right reasons): Even in this age of body acceptance there are still some forms of body shaming that are still seen as okay.

A dangerous domestic violence myth is born

NBC's 'The New Normal': One Million Moms Boycotts Ryan Murphy's New Sitcom: Have we gotten to the point where we can say, "If One Million Moms is against it, it probably worth checking out."?

Speaking Truth To Power

Double standard on display

By Reader Request: Closure

David Copperfield Speaks Out About Sexual Assault Allegations: A reminder how the stigma of a false accusation can linger for a long time after.

This German circumcision ban is an affront to Jewish and Muslim identity:Much like AllyF there I honestly can't understand how a person can simultaneously denounced any and all forms of female genital cutting and defend male genital cutting.

Attempting to create an "In Defense of Men's Rights" Tumblr Post

Fuck their shit up

On the Disposibility of Men

MISANDRY – Male Resistance to the MRM

A List of Human Rights for Males

In judo, Olympian recovers from sex abuse

I'll be coming back to this later.

Next week folks!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Insight on preventing military suicide from a study on black women?

So I came across an article a short while back about a study that aims to see how black women's social culture of social supports could offer a some insight in the prevention of military suicides. Don't get me wrong I like the idea of helping out people who feel suicidal. But I wonder if it's necessary.

Similar to the military, in the civilian world most suicides are committed by men. I think it's pretty clear that one social oppression that works heavily against men is that men are prevented from forming systems of support and we are socialized to deny ourselves this support.

It's all tied up in the gender role of being a man. By this script we are told that don't need emotional support, that we aren't supposed to have emotional support, that we don't deserve emotional support. Of course this is all a nicely laid out plan to convince us to ignore the things that ail us so that we can continue to be useful to the system that runs things (and the people that benefit from men cutting themselves short on this support). Because what good is a work horse that actually stops for a break? That time is better spent being productive right?

I'm sure some good will come from this study and I hope it goes well (and I'll even try to remember to look for the finished results). But I think its pretty clear. We as men have to build up our systems of support for ourselves so that when we are in that dark place, that place where we think there is nowhere to turn to for help, that place that whispers faintly "You'd be better off dead", we can actually reach out for help.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Urban Fantasy and Anime

As a little something for this coming Halloween, I'm going to be doing a small write up of anime titles that (I think) fall in the genre of urban fantasy for the next issue of Gaming Insurrection, due to hit the web at the end of September.

Just to give you some context I'm taking a nod from the folks at Fangs for the Fantasy as to what I'm using as a definition for urban fantasy.

So how about it anime watchers and otaku? Have any suggestions for what I should cover? Something new that may (or may not) be the next big hit? An older title that slipped under the radar? A classic that should come up in every conversation?

Let me know what you think!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Weekly Mashup - Hammering Style

The first Hammer Brother cosplay I've every seen.

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!!!

So time management didn't get much better this week so I ended up being a little selective of the stuff I pulled for last week's Weekly Mashup. Just think of it as a bit of a refresh so some of this stuff stays in your head.

Russia Discriminates Against Men

I Am Fat

ADA Kellett Strikes Out in Two More Cases

The Postmasculine Life Guides

My recent weight loss and thoughts on "body image": Yeah there is some generalizing going on in those comments but dammit this is a guy that sounds like his story needs to be told. And good on him and his great feeling.

10 Reasons Why More Guys Should Do Yoga

Why the Overwhelming Evidence on Partner Physical Violence Has Not Been Perceived and Is Often Denied?

Professional Wrestling Champion Calls Police After Wife-Assault

Mother Jailed for 32 months for Rape Lie

Stop stand-up urination for men, Swedish politicians urge: So let me get this straight. The folks behind this requirement that office bathrooms switch to a "sit only" to pee standard with a suggestion of adding other bathrooms for those who still want to pee standing. And then they turn around and say that they want don't want to "...meddle in the bathroom habits of citizens." to "...give men the option of going into a clean toilet."?

Well if that is what they want then why not go straight to just created a new set of bathrooms that are "sit only" to pee instead of turning the current ones that way and then throwing in a suggestion at the end that it might be worth creating some for the standers? And while there might be health benefits I really can't help but see this as wanting to regulate men's bodies on the idea they should have more say over men's bodies than men themselves. Sounds familiar.

Blood and Men

For Machine Gun Kelly, Apparently Black Girls Give the Best Head

Halle Berry Ordered to Pay $20k Per Month Child Support: So what is up with all these wicked ass child support orders?

Quotas Limiting Male Science Enrollment May Be To Come: I'm all for trying to get more girls/women into the sciences. But once you get into the territory of trying to get more girls/women in by keeping men/boys out you are messing up. Yeah I'm gonna say it, that's sexism.

On the real, what the fuck is this?
Fro tip to Toy Soldier

Take it easy people!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Ozy is not like that

Okay believe me when I say that I very much understand why people can be so mean to feminists. More than a few of them are hypocrites and have no problem minimizing the experiences of men in a way they would not stand for if done to women. But you know over the last year or so I've actually come back around to the point where I once was before when dealing with them and that's that they truly aren't all like that.

The fact that the ones that aren't like that being nowhere near as referenced and quoted as heavily the ones that are aside, I have come to actually find some of them quite friendly and reasonable. In fact Ozy is on that short (growing but not fast enough) list.

I've played Faith (which basically consists of hoping and praying that said feminist can actually talk about men without some constant and/or regular disclaimer that amounts to "but women have it worse") multiple times with Ozy and it payed off so there is plenty of slack here.

But nevermind any of that my point is it seems that some of the folks at Antimisandry.com don't like Ozy much. That's not nice. Not nice at all. It appears they are riled up for some not quite accurate reasons and then go on to use a pronoun I'm sure Ozy does not ID with.

As I said above I can understand why people would despise feminism and feminists so much (because frankly all that hatred can't be blamed on "misunderstanding feminism" and media hype) but at the same time there are good ones out there and Ozy is indeed one of them.

So come on people. No need to be so rough with someone that can actually call attention to the way masculinity is used as a way to turn us into cheap labor that will jump at the most dangerous of jobs in order to prove that we are "real men" or to fulfill the role of the "provider" for our families. And even do so while keeping the entire piece focused on men.

Nice one Ozy.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Unorignal Thought #4080 Rent vs Hire

I was driving to work yesterday when I had the most random thought.

"What's the difference between renting and hiring in terms of people?"

What I came up with is that you hire people and rent things.

That sex worker you got down with? You hired that person.

That hotel room you and the sex worker you hired used? You rented that room.

I just felt like sharing that since it seems some folks want to try to reduce all acts of prostitution down to "renting a person", "renting someone's body", or "renting someone's (insert body part)".

Now there are people that hire sex workers that really do think of it that way but to try to pin that on anyone that hires sex workers is just not cool.

Like I said not very original but I just wanted to share anyway.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

No Weekly Mashup This Weekend

Unfortunately due to poor time management on my part (but I had Wednesday off and Skyrim was just BEGGING for playtime) I won't be putting up a Weekly Mashup this weekend. I've got an old friend coming in from out of state and I'll be running with him this weekend. This probably means that the next one will be frigging huge or I will be more discriminating in what I include since it will be two weeks worth of links.

So catch you cats later!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Blood Kiss

So last week I was listening to an audio book of the second Anita Blake book, The Laughing Corpse, when I had a thought. Okay I'm warning you now this might be a bit weird, scary, or perhaps inducing enough fear that you never come to this blog again.

I can't be the first person to think about the idea of cutting someone's genitals and then performing oral sex on them can I?

Like I said I was listening to Anita Blake so I had vampires on the brain.

Just be thankful that I couldn't find a more fitting image for this.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Being A Man 101: Connections

So a few weeks ago I met up with a guy in town that is trying to get a men's group together. While chatting he made a pretty interesting observation.

He commented that when it comes to sharing feelings women seem to be taught to share amongst themselves. Even if the topic at hand isn't "solved" there is still a moment of sharing and connection between them (and this is coming from a guy and as a guy this seems to be true from what I see of women but if there are any women out there that want to dispute this then by all means do so).

On the other hand as guys we are not only not shown how to make those types of connections between ourselves but we are actively denied the opportunity to make those connections. When we have something that we would otherwise need to talk about with other guys we are told that we have to clam up about it and figure it out ourselves.

I think it's a good point (at least from what I've seen of women and from what I've lived as a man).

It's like as guys we are denied those connections under the premise that in order to be "real men" we have to survive without them. That we don't need them. That they hold us back. It becomes hard to see that because we are raised to believe the denial of those connections is what makes us a man therefore when we try to make those connections or when others try to make them with us there is resistance. Resistance in the form of other trying to keep us from making those connections and us ourselves not wanting them. All in an effort to make sure we read from the script of being a man and never deviate.

Why do they not want us to deviate? Because if we do then we become the men that we want to be, not the men that they want or need us to be.

That's what its all about. People don't want to see men help themselves (even folks that claim to be our allies sometimes don't want us to really free our minds, they just want us to follow their script instead of the one we are following already).

That's right guys we need to make connections. Work together and help ourselves. Work together to heal ourselves.

Yeah I'm sure there is nothing new here but I think its something that needs to be said because its definitely something that needs to be remedied.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Weekly Mashup - Cheerleading Style

The front of her outfit says, "Sith".

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!!!

Men and Feminism: A Good Men Project Roundtable

Study: Rate of wrongful conviction much higher than thought

We Need To Teach Men To Ask For Help: I think there should be a good bit of "people needs to learn how to help the men that ask for it" as well.

Child Welfare Dept. Ignores Brutality to Six Children and One Man: How much abuse by women like this has to go unnoticed in order for people to take it seriously?

New drugs offer hope for men with advanced prostate cancer

E. coli Outbreaks Affect Demand for Salad Vegetables

Men’s Rights Activists Upset the Word ‘Men’ Isn’t Used More in Affordable Care Act: I can understand why a lot of feminists don't take Jezebel seriously. The writer actually invoked "we created you in side out bodies!" as a closing remark.

When a “Nice Guy” Is a Bad Guy

Male Birth Control Update: A Topical Gel Could Be the New Condom : More male birth control options? YES!

Some Ways to Improve your Self-Confidence: Always a good thing.

MISANDRY – Fathers of Daughters

Happy Bloggiversary to me!: Five years!

Skyrim OST - Dragon Fight 2
For when your mood of the day is EPIC.

Next Week!