Monday, January 30, 2012

Men act, Women are acted upon

A week or so ago I was reading this post by TyphonBlue over at Genderratic. It was about how damaging it is to constantly cast women as victims who are acted upon rather than people with their own agency. Her post is a lot deeper than that so you should go read it. I just want to point out an odd example of this I saw a few nights ago.

I was reading a manga by the name Akuma no Elevator (roughly "Elevator to Hell"). The story centers around 4 people trapped in an elevator with no way to communicate to the outside world over a weekend (meaning there's a chance no one would notice them until Monday). The four people have dark pasts and in a moment of clarity, desperation, or who knows what they all decide to share histories. We eventually find out that:

One is a man that was in the apartment building visiting the woman he was cheating on his wife with. Oh and the wife is pregnant. Oh and the reason he was leaving (and was ultimately trapped in the elevator) was because he got a call from his wife saying she was going into labor.

The next is a man who kidnapped a little girl. He took her off somewhere and brought her back 30min. later. He doesn't actually say what he did to her before returning her but he does trail off, giving the implication that he did something to her. He lives in the building and was heading down to go out to the store.

Third is a man who is actually a cat burglar. He carries a spray that can instantly knock a person out. Easier to rob a place if you can knockout anyone that's home right? Not only is he a burglar but during one if his break ins he discovered a woman in the house sleep (he had cased the joint and thought the house was empty as the family was supposed to be on vacation). After spraying her to keep her from waking up, he rapes her in her sleep. He was in the building looking to break into an apartment and steal.

Finally we have a teenage girl. For years she was bullied, harassed, and put up with watching her parents argue. In all this her one true friend was her big sister. In an effort to help her the girl's parents got her in a counselling program which included a counselor that came over to talk to her. Her big sister ended up falling in love with the counselor, thus spending more time with him that with her. In retaliation she went to the counseling center and burned it to the ground (thankfully no one was inside). Fed up with her life her plan was to take the elevator to the roof and jump.

Thinking about Typhonblue's post I noticed something.

Did you notice that the three men's stories basically started with their actions where as the girl's story started with what how she was acted upon and then ended her actions?

Its almost like it was written so that the reader would have no sympathy for the men (who would have sympathy for three guys when all you know about them is that one is a adulterer, one is a kidnapper, and the other is a burglar/rapist?) but would have sympathy for the girl (who would not have sympathy for a girl who was bullied, harassed, had to put up with arguing parents and perceived abandonment from her one friend going on to burn down a building?). I mean if she had been presented in the same manner that the men had she would just be an arsonist that was there to commit suicide. Yet its only her life we are offered a pre-criminal look into....

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Weekly Mashup Stage 86

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

Also feel free to treat this as an Open Thread.

Quiz: How did Manboobz’s feminist commenters respond to a man’s account of rape?: I wonder how much longer people are going keep defending this kind of stuff at Manboobz by just whining that "Its a snark site."

Woman gets life sentence in Md. yoga shop murder: Woman found guilty of brutally murdering a co-worker. Her cover? She claimed that said coworker had been killed (and she herself sexually assaulted) by two unknown men.

Double Standard in Action: Remember. Its only bad when male students do it.

Sexual Assault - Male Victims: A reminder that no matter how you look at the stats one cannot assume that when hearing about a sexual assault the victim is a female.

Former Shelter Director Accused of Sexual Assault: Abuses of power to cover sexual assaults like this are truly sickening.


Its Pictures Like This...Something that suddenly hit me while surfing Tumblr this week. Normally I'd put up the actual picture but its so NSFW (full frontal nude woman to be exact).


CNN Owes Fathers An Apology: Good Men Project calling out a bit of anti-male bias at CNN Living.

College Presidents Have Problems With Obama's Message On Tuition: It would seem that college presidents don't like the fact that Obama is putting them on blast for basically raising tuition on an annual basis.

MPAA Exec Admits: 'We're Not Comfortable With The Internet': Looks like the MPAA failed to learn some important facts after that whole SOPA/PIPA throw down. First rule of the interntz: No one entity controls it. Second rule of the internetz: You can't gain control of it just by dealing with a single entity.

Overcoming Abuse and Becoming a Good Man:"People ask me why I am an MRA, why I avoid anything with a feminist label. The answer is simple: I have seen and been part of a damaging past that has happened through bad people using feminism as an excuse to hate and to do bad things. I have been diminished and despised because I’m a man. I don’t hate women because of this. I know there are more good women than bad, in the same way that there are more good men than bad. But the MRA is one place where I haven’t been judged. I haven’t been made to feel shame for what has happened to me. I haven’t been called a liar or been made to feel like one."

Why I’ll NEVER let my ex’s new girlfriend meet my son: I'm having a hard time taking this as anything other than greed and spite with a twist of jealousy.

Professor Charles Francis Xavier the SuperCrip: Just remember folks she's talking about the movie Xavier, not the comic Xavier.


Velveteen by Kanno Yohko w/ Ilaria Graziano on vocals

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Xena Rewind: Stage Two

(I'm going to be talking about to talk a lot about the show Xena: Warrior Princess. If you don't want it spoiled don't read. But at the same time let me say that I've seen the entire series before so I'll be trying to not spoil future seasons. I apologize in advance if I do.)

Its been a while but I finally finished S2 of Xena. So here goes.

I have to say that S2 really pushes home the point that revenge, redemption, attonement, hatred, and love are central themes to the series.

First we learn that Xena actually has a son. Born during the days when Xena was a violent warlord waging a campaign against the Centaurs, she was able to trust on Centaur warrior with her son to raise as his own son under the premise of wanting to protect young Solen from the dangers of her life and in hopes that he would not follow in her foot steps.

This season also marks the return, and death of Callisto. After breaking out of prison (Xena captured her in S1) she continues her vendetta against Xena and those she loves. This time her target was not the warrior princess herself but her companion Gabrielle, well actually Gabrielle's husband. The death of her husband is a true test of her commitment to nonviolence, which she pretty much failed by way of going after Callisto after promising Xena she wouldn't. A final confrontation left Xena and Callisto in a quick sand pit, in which the former allowed the latter to simply drown.

And I do mean she let her drown. I wonder why she did it. Maybe Xena thought Callisto, the innocent girl that was twisted into the violent woman that would cause so much pain, was truly beyond hope and healing. Maybe Xena wanted to avenge the death of Gabrielle's husband without having to see her friend go through the pain of doing it herself (remember Gabrielle has never killed while Xena has kill hundreds). Who knows, but she does in up wracked with guilt over it a few episodes later.

A few episodes later we are given a real big glimpse into Xena's past. It is revealed that she took her first steps to becoming feared killer after defending her home village of Amphipolis. From there she went on the offensive, guided by the belief that she and hers would never be threatened like that again. For a time she was one among many petty bandit leaders but one event changes all that. She manages to capture a young Roman officer who talks her into not only trading him for ransom but also agreeing to join forces with him. During this time Xena also learns the pressure point techniques that she becomes so efficient with later. (Yes the whole, "I've cut off the flow of blood to your brain...." routine? Xena made a slave teach them to her.) Hoping to gain a powerful ally in this young Roman officer Xena naively accepts, only to be double crossed and left for dead. The young slave comes back and rescues her, whisking her off to a healer high upon a mountain. While recovering the healer's hut is ambushed by Roman soldiers that managed to track them down. The slave dies protecting Xena and that slave's death was the trigger moment. This was the point where Xena went from no name bandit to a ruthless warlord that would cut a path of blood and violence so wide that even the god of war himself would take notice.

(Quick note: If you want to get the full story on Callisto I recommend watching the S3 episode of Hercules: The Legendary Journeys "Surprise" BEFORE watching the S2 Xena episode "A Necessary Evil".)

Mind you this was just what happened in the main story of the season. There were plenty of episodes that were pretty much self contained. But if anything else please watch the episode "A Day in the Life". Its supposed to be a normal day in the lives of Xena and Gabrielle (forever called X&G). Complete with giants, a cowardly general, a love struck village man, and rabid fan of Xena. Oh and Xena uses a piece of one of Gabrielle's scrolls for toilet paper. In my opinion one of the funniest episodes of the entire series. And fuck Benjamin Franklin and his kite and key experiment.

Now with more of Xena's past shown and Gabrielle starting to come into her own we are seeing the series starting to shape up a bit. Now let's take a closer look.

Season 2 brought us four men of color. One is actually Draco from the pilot episode. Second was a slave trader that was trying to buy a group of captured virgins from Draco. The third was a nobleman that was forcing his girlfriend to participate in a beauty pageant (yes I said beauty pageant but we'll get back to that in a bit). The fourth was a sailor, cursed both with immortality and banished from setting foot on land, that had given up on love. Two villains, a jerkish boyfriend (who does see the error of his ways), and one man who was not just evil (I would say more lost than evil). More of them over S1 but still lacking I say. But from what I recall this is about as best it gets until about S4. And hell white guys are doing much better either. Autolycus is still Autolycus and Joxer is still Joxer, other than that pretty much all villains.

About gay characters. First off there was a man that came up who MIGHT have been gay. He was commenting on how a man looked good and chased off after him at the end of the episode and he was in what I think is a stereotypical role of teaching Gabrielle how to be a "proper lady". I'm pretty sure that one possibly gay man doesn't really cut it. And speaking of homosexuality S2 is when the "are they gay?" moments really pick up. I mean in this season alone we see X&G take a bath together, almost kiss via Xena's soul in Autolycus' body, and in the last episode Gabrielle is hit with a love arrow and just barely avoids looking at Xena, which would have made her fall in love with her at first sight. She ended up seeing Joxer.

Remember that beauty pageant episode I told you I'd get back to? Well one of the women in the episode may not have been an actual woman. The reason I say may was because (from what I recall) it may have been a man in drag or it may have been a person with a male body but ID'd as a woman (I think that might have been a man in drag though).

So as you can see its still pretty much two white women going around beating down bad white men (and the occasional bad man of color and bad white woman).

Don't be afraid to speak up.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Oh dammit Axe

I'm no fan of Axe. Thousand pardons for not taking kindly to a product that is marketed to me by telling me I'm disgusting and the only way I will have a chance with women is to use their products (which are so full of alcohol they are almost worthless). Well now it looks like they're about to get into the business of telling women they need to smell a certain to attract men.

Great. Fucking great.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Weekly Mashup Stage 85

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

Also feel free to treat this as an Open Thread.

Five Key Challenges Listed for International Men’s Day 2012: Pelle Billing laying out 5 subjects for the upcoming International Men's Day.

Body image concerns more men than women, research finds: Could it be that people are finally recognizing that men do have body image issues? Its a great first step to helping guys like us out ain't it?

If You Think You Are Lonely. . .: Clarissa with some advice on feeling lonely.

We Could Be That Mistake: What does it say about the state of male sexuality when guys feel their only chance at sex is to hope to be a woman's regrettable sexual encounter?


I know its a movie but I do wonder if there are black women who actually have those view points.


Once Bitten: Toy Soldier on what is called "Vampire Syndrome", the belief that once a person is abused they will in turn become abusers themselves. Also he questions why this belief is applied to only male victims of abuse.

Boobs: Tori pointing out a Slate article that seems conflate small breasts with natural breasts. (And for the record as a guy that's attracted to women big boobs never took over, as many of us will agree there is such a thing as too large and that just about a hand full is the preferred size.)

Court: Boy, 16, Can’t Know His Biological Dad: Because the problem with men not being in their children's lives is never women. No its because men run out on their responsibilities right?

Men as the Solution, Not the Problem: James Landrith salutes the men making an impact in sexual violence work and survivor advocacy programs.


Have you even seen Death Battle? Its like Deadliest Warrior with video games.


Later!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Degradation or Affirmation?

Cross Posted.
This one is about to be about porn and sex. Tread carefully.

I'm liking this piece right here.

Its a post on why it may be a bit presumptive to go straight to "he wants to degrade and humiliate her" as to the reason men want to give women facials (facial: ejaculating on your partner's face). A bit of background on the origins of the facial.
Glickman suggests that the AIDS crisis and the concern with safer sex was what made the facial popular. "Cum on me, not in me" was a popular sex educator slogan as far back as the late 1980s. Ejaculating on a woman's stomach, however, usually meant that the camera wouldn't let the audience see the actress' expression. But if the male actor came on her face, the viewer could see two things at once: evidence of male pleasure (symbolized by the ejaculation) and the equally important sign that a woman's reaction to that pleasure mattered. With sex now so dangerous — and HIV particularly likely to be spread through semen — facials were relatively "safe." But in the era of AIDS, they were also compelling visual evidence that a woman wasn't threatened by a man's semen. In that sense facials were, almost from the start, more about women's acceptance of men's bodies than about women's degradation.

I think this is a plausible explanation that could serve as an almost polar opposite of the "humiliation/degradation" view on facials.

I've talked about how many view male sexuality as dirty before. I wonder if the "humiliation/degradation" crowd are starting from the destructive premise that since male sexuality is dirty then giving a woman a facial is a way to "make her dirty". Just like with other sex acts the facial may be seen by such people as another that a "pure woman" is made "dirty" by having sexual contact with men. Which may be why some people have a hard time with the idea that a woman may not care if a guy gives a facial and a really hard time with the idea that she may actually like it (there's a small anecdote in the article about a woman who experienced her first orgasm after getting a facial). But let's go a bit deeper.

It probably won't take much effort to realize that a lot of males think that their sexuality is dirty. They are sex hungry brutes that need to have sex with as many women as possible as fast as possible (its a sign that they're "real men" right?). So what if a male thought that the sight of a woman letting him ejaculate on her face and not freaking out about how "disgusting he is" was a form of acceptance? A sign that she wasn't repulsed by a part of him. Proof that she is okay with coming in contact with semen. Because let's face it (see what I did there) if a woman is letting you cum on her face then that probably means she trusts you if for no other reason than a lot of bad stuff can be transmitted through semen to skin contact.

And yes I said "letting him". This is contingent on consent. There is nothing wrong with a woman that doesn't want a guy to ejaculate on her face. She could have any number of reasons from having a traumatic experience, to she's allergic to it, to even the idea that she thinks its disgusting (and yes its entirely possible for her think semen is disgusting while not thinking the guy its coming from is disgusting) for not wanting it done but those are neither here nor there. Also more than likely a guy that's looking for affirmation, validation, and TRUST will be respectful enough to take a woman at her word when she says she doesn't want a facial.

That bit about trust will eliminate from this line of thought any guys that actually get off on doing it to her for their own pleasure whether she wants to or not and in their sick minds her not wanting it is a usually a bonus. They are in it for the lack of consent (notice that they don't even ask or do it anyway after she says no), humiliation (because there aren't many things that will generate humiliation more than having something done to you against your will), degradation (thinking that them doing it to you anyway is a sign that you are beneath them) and who knows what else. So bear this in mind.
In any case, humiliation and affirmation aren't incompatible reactions to the same act; a feeling of indignity when your partner ejaculates on your face isn't contingent on his intending to demean you.

In short the fact that you find facials to be disgusting doesn't automatically translate into "he wants to do it to humiliate me".

Personally I think that this could hold true for guys that want to ejaculate on a woman's face but don't want to do it to humiliate her, who are probably operating from the thought that if she is being humiliated (and I don't mean "she gets off on being treated that way but its consensual" I mean "she just had her boundaries violated in a serious way") then she's not going to want to be with him. What person wants to be with some that doesn't respect them?

Two things I want to add:
1. I'm not trying to pass this off as proof that no guy has ever wanted to give a woman a facial for sole purpose of humiliating her. Yes there are jerks out there like that.

2. Despite this being written in terms of man ejaculating on woman this could probably be applied to any (and I can't believe I'm about to say this) ejaculator/ejaculatee relationship. In fact I think the existence of facials in male/male porn challenges the assumptions that facials are about humiliating women, as the article notes. (unless you're one of those folks that traces everyone back to a hatred of women).

Monday, January 16, 2012

Third question about profiling

So now that you've had a bit to think about question two let us continue.

This is actually going to more simple than I thought it would be. I was expecting to bring in my dear black man as a test case but I don't think I have to. A lot of the people that talk about profiling usually have it correct that few people are profiled as violent criminals waiting to strike as black men (well Latino men come close and you may be thinking Muslims and while that is true I think that's a bit too focused to say that Muslims fit this bill) are. Even though the black man stands on the intersection two stereotypical trains (the intersection of "Be suspicious of men" and "Be suspicious of black people") I don't think I need to ask a round of questions about him (however feel free to comment on this if you wish). So I'll skip straight to the final question(s).

Why is it that people think that its okay to be suspicious of some groups but not of others?

And because they are two different things why is it that people think that its okay to presume the wort faith in every member of a group for no other reason than being a member of that group?

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Weekly Mashup Stage 84

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

Also feel free to treat this as an Open Thread.

As you can see I came across quite a bit this week. Enjoy. And please feel free to share any interesting bits of your own.

Open Letter to Beyonce & Jay-Z: I want to punch Jay-Z in the throat for doing it and I want to punch Beyonce in the throat twice for acting like she's the first woman to give birth to a child.

How the circumcision solution in Africa will increase HIV infections: Toy Soldier looks at a paper that challenges the notion that circumcision helps reduce the risk of HIV infection.

On Handling Stress: Clarissa with a bit of advice on handling job stress.

My Manifatso:"But mostly: I will be publicly, shamelessly, unshakably fat and happy." Damn straight.

Is the Navy Trying to Keep the Camp Lejeune Investigation Secret?: "Camp Lejeune will likely go down in history as the stage of one of the worst toxic contaminations in the country—and one of the most shameful cover-ups by the Marine Corps. Between 1957 and 1987, as many as one million Marines at Camp Lejeune and their family members used and ingested water contaminated by extremely toxic organic compounds."

Why I Can’t Write What’s Good About Masculinity: Actually, she did.

Plus-Size Model Editorial Says Runway Models ‘Meet the Physical Criteria for Anorexia’: The title is scary enough but the article is pretty eye opening too. There are some almost NSFW photos.


Good point.


The anatomy of a ripoff: A story on the math that's used to come up with those outrageous medical bills.

Jailhouse Phone Calls Reveal Why Domestic Violence Victims Recant: A study whose results suggest that it may be worth considering emotional manipulation, instead of direct threats, as a way offenders get their partners to drop charges.

Original Male Sin and the Strip Show:"For those of us who have an interest in the male point of view and the intestinal fortitude not to turn away from or immediately deny our society’s greatest taboo, male vulnerability, her interview is poignant."

Sexual Socialism: Someone really suggested some all around harmful bullshit like this?

Black Power Mixtape and the story of Daisy Bates coming to TV: One of what appears to be a series of documentaries that will be running on PBS next month.

No Support Modification for Dad Earning $300 a Month: Yeah because ordering a man to pay $2000/mn in child support when he is making $300/mn is the best way to support a child.

Why Santorum's Comment Isn't Racist: Is he trying to please all of the people all of the time?

Hollywood Didn't Want To Fund 'Red Tails' Because Of Its Black Cast


Stay classy, my friends.

Don't fret...the comments aren't gone

You may have noticed that there are no comments on my posts right? That's because I took a gamble and installed Intense Debate on my blog, which resulted in my comments being hidden. They aren't actually gone I can still see them in my Blogger Dashboard. However I learned the hard way that there is currently no way to import Blogger comments into Intense Debate (like I said I took a gamble).

So don't fear all the words we have exchanged over the last few years are still there, we just can't access them now.

As for when you comment you have the options of commenting with Intense Debate, Wordpress, OpenID, or as a Guest by just filling in the Name field (for those of you who wish to post anonymously feel free to make up something to throw in there).

Now....

Let Intense Debate Begin!!!!!

Friday, January 13, 2012

An ugly obsession?

So I was looking around on Slate's "Dear Prudence" advice column when I came across a pretty interesting plea for advice. Okay honestly I came across it first at Spearhead and followed it to Jezebel. However there is so much venom coming from both sides I was barely able to read those posts. But if you insist they're at Spearhead (here read this one 3rd), Jezebel (here read this one 2nd), and again at Spearhead (here read this one 1st). The comments at Slate aren't much better either.

The letter writer appears to be that's 18 and is expressing concern for their dad:
Q: Dad-Related Dilemma: My mom left my dad for another man 10 years ago, when my brother and I were in grade school. She took us with her, and the loss of his family turned my father into a bitter man. He now considers himself a men's rights activist. From what I can tell, the men's rights movement my dad belongs to believes that American law and society has institutionalized misandry. One website my dad frequents warns men not to date single mothers because their children might accuse the boyfriend of molesting them to reap the benefits of victimhood. My dad speaks often about the men's rights movement, and when my brother and I don't want to listen, he accuses us of being brainwashed by feminists. His behavior doesn't come across as crazy so much as it does misogynistic. Now I'm 18 and could stop seeing him if I wanted to. But my brother is younger and still has to see him. My mom doesn't know the full story because we don't want her to overreact. What should we do?

A: Your mother leaving him may have caused your father's personality change—it may also be that his personality was in place and your mother couldn't take it anymore. Both you and your brother are old enough to have some direct discussions with your father about your relationship with him. Talk to your brother and see if he wants to join in such a conversation, and if he doesn't, make some time alone with your father. He needs to be told that his activism is his business, but you don't want to be his audience anymore. Say that you both understand he has strong feelings about women and the legal system, but being lectured to is poisoning your relationship. Reassure him that you love him and want to spend time with him, but you want to talk about things that are less painful and volatile. If he won't curb his enthusiasm, then you can start peeling off from your visits. Now that you're 18, spending less time with your father would be bound to happen anyway. But if you do that, be a sounding board for your brother on how to deal with Dad's ugly obsession.


Okay first things first. Personally I think this dad got hurt. Hurt real bad. How can you not be hurt real bad after having your wife leave you for another man? And after being hurt he simply didn't have the system of support a lot of men are not offered because of the idea that men don't need it (and often don't take when offered it for that same reason). No matter how toxic he may have become over those 10 years the problem isn't the misogyny or hatred of feminists. Those are just a gun so to speak. A convenient weapon to take up after not having a proper outlet for his pain, which led him to wanting to take up a weapon to lash out with. I think that's the basis for a lot of MRAs (versus the belief that MRAs exist only to hurt feminists and women) and I think his chances would have been a lot better if he had fallen in with some MRAs that weren't so poisoned (yes they actually exist).

I think that if this 18 year old and little brother wanted to (and I don't think they should feel obligated) they could do a lot of good in healing his pain by showing that they love him. Unless this dad abused mom or something else to actually run her off she did him wrong plain and simple. More than likely the dad having anything resembling a relationship with the mom at this point is a totally lost cause, but its not a lost cause for the kids.

One other thing that bothers me is the Prudence calling it an "ugly obsession". Okay for the little bit that MRAs get mentioned in the media it usually negatively and its not always justified frankly. So I'm wondering if she's talking about his poisoned attitude or identifying as an MRA in general. (I sent her an email asking for context on that, I'll post if I get a reply.)

Mind you I don't know any details beyond that letter but with the way the letter writer sounds it seems like he changed after mom left (and I almost think Prudence is trying to bury that with the "may"s in the start of her response). Just like all movements there are good elements and bad elements. It seems like he has fallen with a bad element.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Rape, Redefined

(As the title says I'm talking about rape, namely the new definition of it. Tread carefully.)

I'm sure that by now you've read somewhere about the Justice Department redefining rape. Let's review shall we.

Before:
The law then defined rape as "the carnal knowledge of a female, forcibly and against her will."
As you can see that's a very narrow definition of rape that leaves out A LOT of rape cases. a female teacher drugging a male student? Rape but only because of the age different, not because of the act itself. The recent revelations of Sandusky? Not rape. A man forced to penetrate a woman against his will or under means in which his ability to consent is taken from him (ie drugged or drunk)? Not rape. Not a very inclusive definition.

Now:
The crime of rape will be defined as "penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim," a Justice Department statement said.
As you can see this covers a lot more instances of rape are covered. The language is not gender specific and covers many types of penetration and that is a good thing for sure. But I have to say that I have a tiny bit of skepticism here.

When asked about rape I generally think "sex against someone's will or under conditions where they can't consent". I try to be inclusive of all forms of sex and not just penetration sex. To me it seems this new definition is depending on defining sex as penetration and then from there defining penetration without consent as rape. And that's where I think my skepticism lies in this new definition.

For instance is oral sex on someone’s labia/clitoris/surrounding area (which doesn’t always include penetrating the vagina) without the consent of said labia/clitoris/surrounding area’s owner considered rape? Is manual stimulation of a penis (hand job) against the penis owner’s consent rape?

Believe me I'm not trying to nit pick for the sake of nit picking. I just want to make sure no rape victim is left out.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Second question about profiling

If you recall a few days ago I asked about profilng, specifically racial profiling in the form of three scenarios. Well I got a few answers but somehow Clarissa, being the academic she is, actually managed to get more responses than I got here. Crushing I know but nevermind that. In her comment section a few people brought up the fact that I didn't mention black men in my scenarios. We'll get to that later on but for now I want to bring up a response someone gave over at Clarissa's.:
I have to say, I would do all three of the things Danny describes simply because all three scenarios involve men.

As a survivior of sexual violence, there are very few men that I actually feel comfortable being alone with. And if I’m walking down the street by myself and I’m about to pass a man on the street that counts as “being alone.” I would also make sure to lock my car because I don’t want a man to break into the car and hide in the back seat waiting for me.

I react this way to almost every man I know when we’re the one two in the area.
First off we are not here to try and judge this response as right, wrong, or anything else. However it does serve as a good introduction to the next question.

When it comes to profiling about gender people tend to profile men as criminals waiting to strike (namely rapists and muggers).

Let's go back and look at those three scenarios from part one.:
1. You park your car and get out to go inside a mall. As you look up from locking and closing your door you see an Native American man walk by who makes direct eye contact with you. You double check to make sure your car door is locked.

2. Walking down the street one night you see a Jewish man coming from the opposite direction. Just before making contact you suddenly cross the street.

3. Waiting for an elevator you see that no one else is around...except for the Mexican man that comes from around the corner. You hope that he is not also looking to take the elevator.
What would happen if we changed the description a bit (and I'm creating a fourth scenario for balance)?

1. You park your car and get out to go inside a mall. As you look up from locking and closing your door you see a man walk by who makes direct eye contact with you. You double check to make sure your car door is locked.

2. Walking down the street one night you see a woman coming from the opposite direction. Just before making contact you suddenly cross the street.

3. Waiting for an elevator you see that no one else is around...except for the man that comes from around the corner. You hope that he is not also looking to take the elevator.

4. You're at a club dancing your butt off and when you stop to take a break a woman appears offering you a drink.

Now unlike last time when the name of the game was race this time the name of the game is gender. Respond as you wish and just remember that its not about having the right answer. The only right answer is your answer. I'll be back in a few days with the next question.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

The Hugo Schwyzer Post.....or This one's for you Daisy

It would seem that things have heated up quite a bit in the last few weeks in the gender sphere and at the center of the blast radius is Hugo Schwyzer.

I recommend checking out this post where Ozy puts more effort into summing the timeline of events around this than I would be able to (Fro tip to Ozy for this). Long story short Clarisse Thorn did an interview with Hugo and posted it over at Feministe. During the fruit basket upturn that followed it was revealed that Hugo at one point in the past tried to kill his girlfriend at the time and himself during a drug induced rage.

What I want to talk about is the importance of the "I've been there."/"I'm there now." perspective.

Enter Daisy Deadhead:
I am an alcoholic and addict, and certainly, I could tell stories like Hugo’s. And I have done some horrible things. I thought about composing a tell-all for my 30-years-sober post (Jan 22 will be 30 years), but Hugo has died for my sins. I won’t be writing that. I will be keeping my secrets. Hugo has shown me that people are not ready to forgive, regardless of what you do and what good work you have done since. They are clearly morally superior and like to blame addicts for being addicts. Self-righteousness is a lot of fun.
Now my initial reaction was to go on about how I don't think Daisy would generate as much heat with a tell-all like Hugo did (which by the way Daisy I still stand by that for reasons I mentioned in that post) but nevermind that for now. There is something important in that first sentence.:
I am an alcoholic and addict, and certainly, I could tell stories like Hugo’s.
This is valuable.

As a person fighting her own addiction issues Daisy can actually offer some insight into the reasoning behind Hugo's actions. Let me say that again. She is offering insight as to why he would have done such a thing, SHE IS NOT TRYING TO JUSTIFY OR DEFEND HIS ACTIONS.

She also chimes in at a post on the topic over at Alas:
For the record, I don’t simply see this as a discussion about men and women, abusers and victims, feminists and non, etc etc, but also about judging practicing-addicts by the standards of non-addicts and never-addicts. I’d like to restrict this conversation to people in recovery, but too late for that now. I just don’t think people who have never sold their asses for a couple of pills, understand what that reality is like and never will.
This is all worth keeping in mind because as she points out there are things that addicts know about addiction (and what it can do to you) that those of us who have never been addicts can understand.

She knows the highs, the lows, the feelings, the pain, the sorrow, and everything in between. And not just of the addiction but of the long, possibly never-ending battle against it.

So I'll say this in closing.

Hugo: I've agreed with some of your work and I've disagreed with a lot of your work and stances on issues. The revelation of your attempted murder/suicide doesn't alter what parts of your material I agree/disagree with. But it does reveal a part of you that I didn't know existed. As someone who has never been down that road all I can say is best of luck to you fighting it.

Daisy: I now better see where you were coming from when you talking about people pouncing on Hugo about over his attempted murder/suicide. Despite not always seeing eye to eye with you I still say that a confessional from you would not alter my opinions on your stances just as they don't with Hugo (given time to cool off). However I can see how the reactions of the people who did pounce on Hugo over this attempted murder/suicide would make you not want to speak up. I'm learning all to well now that one of the best ways to fight the darkness is to let it out. Therefore I'm sorry that this event has convinced you to keep yours locked away.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Weekly Mashup Stage 83

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

Also feel free to treat this as an Open Thread.

Womanly Women and Manly Men: Apparently there are some who think actors/actresses should abide by traditional gender roles. (No not Clarissa, she's criticizing someone who does think that way.)

Yes, Men Can Stop Rape (But Why Stop There?): James Landrith on why trying to condense rape awareness and prevention into the phrase "Men can stop rape" is not as grand as it may sound.

Hope for infertile men: Breakthrough as scientists grow sperm outside the body: Interesting. Though I wonder how people who are against cloning and genetic manipulation are going to react to this.

Production Stops On 'Akira,' Project Near Death: Thank goodness someone had the foresight to prevent this horrible live action adaptation. No I'm sure the content would be fine but when you adapt a movie full of Asian characters into a live action movie of White characters that's enough for me to call it horrible.

Another Innocent Man Sentenced to Life in Prison: Because even the laws of time and space aren't enough to save a black man from being convicted of a crime he didn't commit.

New Year's Eve most dangerous night of the year for domestic violence: So is New Year's Eve going to become the Super Bowl of DV myths?

Stop whining, you pathetic little man…..: A little advice on how to deal with those who accuse men of "whining" (where whining = having the gaul to disagree).



Alright people take it easy!!!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

You got here by searching THAT?

I don't look at the search terms that lead people here too often but last night I did and it just, well take a look.

1.banana republic penis

2.good looking chubby man

3.fuck youoououou

4.i wanna get funky or christ

5.i went to a party mom

6.is it to okay to masturbate while talking to someone

7.laughing of women in kieu becker case

8.pokemon on pokemon sex

9.skyrim sex

10.touch starved men


I got nothing...

Good Man Indeed Stage 3

Good men come in all walks of life. Rich, poor, famous, ordinary, etc... Today's entry is one of the ordinary ones. Brotherly Love indeed (I'm indenting this myself because that one giant paragraph is killing me.):
you thought I didn’t really notice. But I did. I wanted to high-five you. Yesterday I had a pair of brothers in my store. One was maybe between 15-17. He was a wrestler at the local high school. Kind of tall, stocky and handsome. He had a younger brother, who was maybe about 10-12 years old. The only way to describe him was scrawny, neat, and very clean for a boy his age. They were talking about finding a game for the younger one, and he was absolutely insisting it be one with a female character. I don’t know how many of y’all play games, but that isn’t exactly easy.

Eventually, I helped the brothers pick a game called Mirror’s Edge. The youngest was pretty excited about the game, and then he specifically asked me.. “Do you have any girl color controllers?” I directed him to the only colored controllers we have which includes pink and purple ones. He grabbed the purple one, and informed me purple was his FAVORITE. The boys had been taking awhile, so their father eventually comes in. He see’s the game, and the controller, and starts in on the youngest about how he needs to pick something different. Something more manly. Something with guns and fighting, and certainly not a purple controller.

He tries to convince him to get the new Zombie game “Dead Island.” and the little boy just stands there repeating “Dad, this is what I want, ok?” Eventually it turns into a full blown argument complete with Dad threatening to whoop his son if he doesn’t choose different items. That’s when big brother stepped in. He said to his Dad “It’s my money, it’s my gift to him, if it’s what he wants I’m getting it for him, and if your gonna hit anyone for it, it’s going to be me.” Dad just gives his oldest son a strong stern stare down, and then leaves the store. Little brother is crying quietly, I walk over and ruffle his hair (yes this happened all in front of me.) I say “I’m a girl, and I like the color blue, and I like shooting games. There’s nothing wrong with what you like. Even if it’s different than what people think you should.” I smile, he smiles back (my heart melts!) Big brother then leans down, kisses little brother on the head, and says “Don’t worry dude.” They check out and leave, and all I can think is how awesome big brother is, how sweet little brother is, and how Dad ought to be ashamed for trying to make his son any other way.


The types of games you play or the color of your peripherals has absolutely no bearing on what kind of man you are or are going to be. And to see a big brother take up for his little brother, in the fact of his father no less, is the sign of a good man if there ever was one.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Question about profiling

If you have been following Good Men Project lately then you saw the latest throw down over comments between Tom Matlack, Hugo Schwyzer, feminists, non-feminist, MRAs, and all in between. Well one of the points of contention was on some race. Tom Matlack made a comment about how it is wrong to make presumptions about "all men" just as it wrong to make presumptions about "all black men". (This is not the exact comment but rather him summarizing it later. This fire fight has gone on for so many posts that I simply can't find the original comment. If you do don't be scared to share.)
And, when I say that I believe treating every black man as a criminal just because there are one million of them behind bars is just as abhorrent as treating all men as rapists – it brings strangers to my door to call me not only a sexist but racist and deeply offensive.
Now I think most people can agree with these two sentiments.

Judging any entire group based on the actions of a subset of the group is wrong. Yet there are people who will in one breath denounce one form of such profiling while defending another. Well I want to get at something that seems to get lost in all this race and gender talk about profiling.

Race and gender intersect when it comes to profiling. I want you to consider the RACIAL aspect of these three scenarios for a bit and answer in the comment section if you have anything to share.

1. You park your car and get out to go inside a mall. As you look up from locking and closing your door you see an Native American man walk by who makes direct eye contact with you. You double check to make sure your car door is locked.

2. Walking down the street one night you see a Jewish man coming from the opposite direction. Just before making contact you suddenly cross the street.

3. Waiting for an elevator you see that no one else is around...except for the Mexican man that comes from around the corner. You hope that he is not also looking to take the elevator.

Now like I said I just want you to consider the racial implications here. I'll be getting to the gender part in a few days after you've had some time to think. Don't forget to comment!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Criminalizing Visitation Interference?

Robert Franklin talks about the idea of criminalizing interfering with child visitation.

Near the beginning he says orders shouldn't be about visitation but about parenting time.
Actually, they should never be issued in the first place. What family courts should do is issue orders about parenting time. They shouldn’t name one parent as the custodial parent, the primary custodial parent, the managing conservator, the residential parent, etc. Orders should simply say that Dad gets the kids every other week and Mom gets them every other week. Or Dad gets them for the five weekdays and Mom on weekends. Or vice versa.

There should be no concept that one parent is superior to the other. The order should be about parenting time. Period.
I can get with this. Ideally the point behind "visitation" is about giving the child a chance to spend parent/child time with both parties and for both parents to have time being a parent to the child. And I agree that its not about one parent being superior to the other, with the only exception being perhaps if the schedules of the parents in question don't line up and maybe one ends up with more time with the child than the other. But even then its not that one parent is the better parent for having more time with the kids. And speaking of the flawed thinking:
Courts are still stuck in the past when a father’s minimal visitation time was called an “award.” Meager as that is - usually two days out of every two weeks – courts still refuse to enforce it in most cases, and for the most part, no one except the dads who are cut out of their children’s lives seems to care.
Pretty weird don't you think. During the time of the marriage time with the children is just as much responsibility as it was award. Yet once the divorce happens suddenly one parent, usually dad, has their time with the children changed to an "award". And on top of that the "award" is enforced with nowhere near the level of tenacity that child support is enforced.
Most importantly, the full force of state enforcement is provided free of charge to mothers with child support cases. Fathers with visitation orders must do it all themselves including paying the piper. And by the time they succeed, if they do, months have passed during which time their children, if they’re very young, may have forgotten all about them.
Why is this the case?

It may have something to do with the way people think about support and visitation. On one hand more people will argue that support is something for the child. And they would be correct. Child support is paid to the parent for the well being of the child. On the other hand visitation is considered something for the parent. This may not be the best way to think about it though. When that other parent gets their time with the child can we really say that that is not going to the well being of the child? As said above parenting time with the child is as much for the sake of the child as it is for the sake of the parent, actually more I think. So doesn't it follow suit to say that when a child is being denied time with the other parent that child's well being is actually being affected?

Making my way home

I hope the everyone had a fun and safe time this weekend.
I've been out of town for the last two days and about to make my way back now. I've been looking at the comments that came while I was gone and all seems well. I'll be home in the next several hours.

Now I'm about to start racing the clock to see if I can get home before the weekly Fangs For The Fantasy. Chat starts back after their 2 week holiday break.

Wish me luck!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Weekly Mashup Stage 82

Alright people the New Year is upon us but first I want to take one last look at 2011 before heading off to 2012.

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

Also feel free to treat this as an Open Thread.

The Best Albums of 2011: Warren sharing some of the best albums of 2011.

The Real Buddha Bar, Tended By Tokyo Monks: Tired of being secluded away from the very people they have practiced to council, some monks have taken up running bars and clubs as a way to reconnect to people.

Pa. liquor board pulls ad on heavy drinking, rape: I think I can sense some good faith here. I don't think the folks behind that ad were actually trying to say that "This is what happens when a woman drinks too much." but rather "Alcohol is the most dangerous of date rape drugs. Be careful.". I'll be the first to agree that when someone is raped its not their fault but the fault of the rapist. However I think this conversation about alcohol needs to be had because unlike GHB or any other date rape drug, alcohol has perfectly legal uses, which makes it very dangerous in the form of how easy it is to obtain. Hell as long as you're 21 you can literally just walk into a store and buy it with only one question asked ("Can I see some ID?"). I'll be the first to agree that the ultimate goal is to stop rapists but I don't see much harm in potential victims being made aware of the weapons that a rapist has at their disposal.

Two New Sections on The Good Men Project: ‘The Issues of Men’s Rights’ and ‘Men and Feminism’: After quite the bit of fire fighting (and I'll admit I've been a part of it) at The Good Men Project over the last week or so it looks like they are gonna try something different. But I'll admit that this worries me in the form of thinking it may serve to drive the people over there apart rather than bring them together.



Something borrowed:

I used to think that people with a positive body image simply were thin and muscular (and thereby fit our odd Western standards), so how could they not like and appreciate their bodies?

Or I used to think that I couldn’t like my body until I lost weight, until I actually deserved to love it. In my current shape, it just wasn’t right to have a healthy body image. I had to be ashamed if I weren’t thin.

But, as we know, nothing could be further from the truth. I’ve learned, thankfully, quite a bit since those days. That’s why I wanted to share with you some of the things that people with a positive body image know. The real stuff. Not what you read in women’s magazines or see in weight-loss commercials.

1. That it’s important to take good care of your body.

2. That our body does a lot for us, even though we’ve bashed it over and over and over.

3. That exercise is meant to be enjoyed, so you only practice the physical activities that are fun and truly make you feel good.

4. That you’ll still have days where you probably hate your body and your life. And that’s OK.

5. That your negative thoughts are not actions. So just because you feel bad about your body and want to restrict your food or over-exercise or miss that get-together doesn’t mean you will. It’s just a thought. You can choose to act on it or not.

6. That a positive body image means more than liking your thighs, butt and belly. That it encompasses not just taking good care of yourself but also honoring your body, respecting your boundaries and seeing doctors for regular appointments and when you’re sick.

7. That sleep does a mind and body good!

8. That you always have time to take care of yourself.

9. That you’re more than a few body parts. You’re an entire, amazing package.

10. That you’re worthy and deserving of respect at any size, shape or weight.

11. That weight loss isn’t a magical elixir for everything that’s wrong with your life.

12. That ads and magazines are preposterously Photoshopped so that the actual actresses and models don’t even look like that. That’s why they have to “train” so hard for their fashion shows. (And by train hard, I mean engage in super unhealthy habits.)

13. That eating is flexible and enjoyable.

14. That you can wear whatever the heck you like, not just supposedly slimming black clothes or bulky cardigans and sweatshirts.

15. That you don’t have to wait to lose weight to pursue your dreams. You can. do. it. right. now. (And I hope you will.)

16. That people who make mean remarks about your body are jerks, and their comments are more about them than you.

17. That just because everyone around you is dieting doesn’t mean it’s the healthiest thing to do. (If everyone was jumping off a cliff…just kidding.)

18. That your feelings are not scary or to be avoided at all costs. Instead, they provide you with valuable information about your needs and the actions you might want to take.

19. That having a positive body image is a process. Day by day. It might seem oh-so impossible at first but if you start small, it’ll improve.

20. That you deserve to love your body at any size, shape or weight!


And on that positive note I shall end this post.

Next week!