Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Yes but, WHY was it wrong?

(Looks like this link has been killed. There is a video of the attack at the link below.)

By now I'm sure you've seen this story about the Cleveland bus driver that uppercut a woman on his bus. Am I the only one that noticed that some of the very same women that were cheering for the woman while she was talking smack and attacking the bus driver then turned around and started crying "but that's a woman!" after she got hit back?

That's what I want to talk about.

First off I'm not trying to argue that the bus driver should not have been suspended. I'll be the first to agree that he was wrong for STRIKING BACK against someone that attacked first. I put that in bold letters for the folks that will invariably try to turn this into some, "this shows that violence against women is okay" angle.

She attacked him first plain and simple. Sure you can argue that he shouldn't have struck back but let me ask you something.

Exactly WHY was it wrong for him to strike her back?

I'm asking this question because the fact that she struck first seems to be getting left out of the outrage. I mean look at the very headline of the link I gave above, "RTA bus driver suspended after video surfaces of him uppercutting female bus passenger".

Now if you want to argue from a generic, "Violence is wrong" perspective then I can respect that because ideally there would be no violence against anyone and no matter which two people you put in that situation it would be seen as wrong. And I also hope that someone who believes this would recognize that by the virtue of violence being wrong the woman that attacked first was also wrong.

But I don't think that is the reason that people are outraging over what he did. No I think they are upset and
calling him wrong for hitting a woman specifically.

I know I'm not the only guy in existence that was taught that under no circumstances should I ever hit a girl/woman. Now there is something useful there as it relates to the generic, "violence is wrong" standpoint. However it goes beyond that. The idea that as a guy I should never hit a woman/girl is a sexist notion in two respects.

First and foremost it locks guys under a condition that simply being a guy means that hitting a woman/girl is wrong not because violence is wrong but specifically violence against girls/women is wrong, no matter the reason. Whip on guys all we want but touch a woman and suddenly we're wrong.

Second it doesn't do a lot of favors for girls and women because it treats some of the the violence they commit against men as something that should not be taken seriously.

Well by not taking the violence that women/girls commit against guys seriously you give rise to the other, unspoken, side of "men/boys should never hit girls/women".

Girls and women are free to hit boys and men free of consequence.

Now you're probably thinking something to the effect of reaching for male against female violence stats and try to prove that women and girls are not able to hit boys and men free of consequence. No it doesn't prove that it only proves that not all girls and women enjoy this privilege and that that there are other "truths" at the intersection of violence and gender. Don't believe me? Take a look at how female against male violence is treated.

But anyway back to this incident.

People aren't mad because the bus driver got violent. No they are made that the male bus driver got violent against a woman. Why are they mad about that? Would they be just as mad if the unruly passenger had been a man?

Now this is not to say that there was no entertainment value taken from the fact that this man hit a woman. There sure was. But I also bet that some of that entertainment value came from a woman thinking that she could get physical with a man and get away with it and learning the hard way she couldn't.

And let's face it if he had not hit her back this video would be posted as evidence of how that bus driver got put in his place by a woman and there would be "girl power chanting" and "you go girl" cheers all over the place. But she learned the hard way that that bus driver doesn't roll that way.

So for all the people that want to get all "why is violence against women seen as okay for funny" I have to ask.

Where was your concern and outrage when she was the one that got physical first?

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

So why the gender swap in Silent Hill?

You know when you are talking about gender long enough you get the urge to revisit things that you've looked at before but possibly from a different angle. Well all this talk about men and parenting (and a comment I someone made at GendErratic several months ago) makes me want to take a new look at a fairly old movie based on a ground breaking video game series.

Are you by chance familiar with Silent Hill?

The first game (which is what most of the movie was drawn from, well Pyramid Head is from Silent Hill 2) was centered around Harry Mason and his daughter Cheryl. While driving along a road one night with his daughter Harry swerves to avoid hitting a girl standing in the road, causing his car to crash. When he comes to he finds that he is in the town of Silent Hill and more importantly his daughter is missing. Without giving away the story the main point of the game is to find Cheryl.

A detail that didn't get quite as noticed as the psychological themes, hauntingly beautiful music, and relatively new concepts that made it the first in a series of hit titles was the fact that Harry Mason was a father who set out to find his missing child in some manner that did not center around blowing up everything in sight and killing all who stood before him.

Let's face it for most part when you have a setup such this what does the dad (or most men for that matter who set off to find a missing or kidnapped loved one) usually do? He beats up people, destroys massive amounts of property, and looks like a total heroic bad-ass while doing it. Not Harry. No he is an average non bad-ass looking guy that doesn't do well in direct confrontations and really doesn't blow stuff up while shooting off clever one liners. Which made him different.

You see unlike other leading men of similar games (::coughcoughChrisRedfieldcoughcoughLeonKennedycoughcough::) Mr. Mason wasn't be presented as what some may call a "real man". He was presented as a regular simple man that just wanted his daughter back. So now I'm left wondering one thing.

Why in the hell was Cheryl's dad changed to Cheryl's mom for the Silent Hill movie?

Okay so I'm not wondering too much.

I think that this is a matter of the makers of the movie deciding that Harry Mason wasn't "enough of a man" due to choosing to brave the horrors of Silent Hill without blowing the town off the map. Instead we get Rose.

Don't get me wrong there's nothing wrong with having a lead woman in a movie. I just don't think those leading woman roles should come at the cost of keeping men locked into a script that limits what we are able to do.

The idea of a dad that uses means other than wanton destruction to reunite with his family shouldn't be so foreign that he has to be swapped out for a mom.

Just a little something to keep in mind with the sequel, Silent Hill: Revelation, hitting theaters later this week.

Should sex offenders have their participation in Halloween limited?


With Halloween around the corner people are getting ready to dress up in costumes, go out and party, and give out candy to the kiddies. (BTW the girlfriend has talked me out of my last Halloween idea, but I am making a mask to wear that night, I'll post a picture later.) 

While everyone else is preparing for the night of candy and costume some residents of the California city of Simi Valley are gearing up to take legal action against a new law that they argue violates their 1st Amendment rights.
The city's new law bans Halloween displays and outside lighting every Oct. 31 at the homes of people convicted of sex crimes. For offenders listed on the Megan's Law website, the city also requires a sign on the front door in letters at least an inch tall: "No candy or treats at this residence."
Janice Bellucci, the attorney that is representing five offenders, three of their wives, and two of their children, has made the terrible analogy of comparing this law to the branding that Nazis inflicted Jewish people with in the form of the yellow stars they were forced to carry in public to let everyone know of their heritage. That is total nonsense. Jewish people did absolutely nothing to warrant the treatment they suffered while Bellucci's clients were at least convicted of crimes, not so innocent.

On the other hand I do have to wonder about such a ban. Being a registered sex offender already carries some types of similar treatment like not being able to live within a certain distance of places where children may be (like schools and churches) and they having to make their presence known to local law enforcement when they move into a neighborhood.

Is not only stripping them the ability to decorate for Halloween but also putting up signs to basically ward children off a reasonable measure?

Why not just go round them up and put them in a holding cell for the night?

Maybe this law goes too far?

Perhaps not far enough?

Are there other measures you would employ along with what's already included (like no costumes)?

What do you think?

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Sneaking Style


Yeah I'm so good I got a picture of an infiltration expert.

Open Thread: How Effective Would a Civil Rights CAPTCHA Be?: A post I did at Good Men Project last week.

Why I'm a Feminist With a Big, Fat, Loud EFF: These are the articles you get when you attempt to dismiss legitimate criticisms of feminists and feminism. Notice the illusion that if is conflating not being a feminist with being anti-feminist and then making a plea of "but look at what you have today that you owe to feminism".

Infographic - Domestic Violence: An Urgent Humanitarian Crisis: So the International Rescue Committee just starts from the get go by defining domestic violence as something that happens to women? Great.

Black man’s burden: myth of the deadbeat

Sex abuse double standard: "That lie that male victims will become abusers comes from someone who supposedly advocates on behalf of male victims. How can you possibly help abused men and boys if you tell the public that the only reason we should care about them is because they will become abusers?"

Press Silences Father of Abducted Girl

Hollywood Accounting: How A $19 Million Movie Makes $150 Million... And Still Isn't Profitable: Mike Masnick on the funny math of Hollywood movies.

NC Group Finds Increase In Verified Sterilizations: Looks like there are more victims of the forced sterilizations that originally believed.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Cooking with Danny: Stage 6

So my ladyfriend's girlfriend's birthday was this past week. I didn't want to just cook a cake, too simple. No I had to do something different.

Strawberry Cheesecake Pie

1 pint of fresh strawberries

1 container of fat free Cool Whip

1 pk sugar free cheesecake flavored Instant Pudding

1 Shortbread crust (Yeah shortbread, not graham cracker but it's on the same isle.)

1 3/4 cup of skim milk

2 tblsp. of sugar

First I cut the tips off of the strawberries, sliced them into small pieces (except for three of them which we are going to save for the top of the pie), and put them in a container. Sprinkle the sugar over them and stir it up. Put aside.

In a mixing bowl whisk together the pudding mix, milk, and half of the Cool Whip.

Stir in the sliced up strawberries and pour the mixture into the crust.

Spread about half of the remaining Cool Whip on top of the strawberry mixture.

Slice the remaining three strawberries in half and place on the top of the pie.

Put the crust top on and place the pie in the fridge to set for about 4 hours.

Now this recipe sounds good and all but it is far from perfect.

Even thought she liked the taste of it it was too runny. It didn't set proper.

I have one idea as to why this happened.

Yous see with the pudding mix there are two sets of directions. To make a pudding the directions call for 2 cups of milk. When trying to make a pie filling the directions call for 1 3/4 cups of milk, which is what I did. There must be some other source of moisture that I did not account for, thus causing the pudding to not set right.

I think it was the water in the strawberries.

You see strawberries, like most fruits, have their own internal water or juice. I think that extra water/juice is what caused the problem.

This is one I will have to revisit.

Below is a picture of the pie I made. Let's yummy right?


Sunday, October 14, 2012

Weekly Mashup - Newton Style

I'm not on my main pc tonight so no cosplay photo. In it's place please enjoy this Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal on what may have happened if the concept of patent (and the mess that it's in today) had been around in the days of Issac Newton.


The latest issue of Gaming Insurrection is out. I have write ups on Kingdoms of Amalur: The Reckoning and Syberia this time around.

I also have my first post up at Good Men Project in a long while. It's about a new CAPTCHA being developed by Civil Rights Defenders.

Darden Experiments With Cutting Worker Hours To Avoid Paying Health Insurance:  So now instead of keeping people under 40 hours a week to avoid insurance they will start keeping people under 30 hours a week.

Sony Sues Actor For Trademark Infringement For Looking Too Much Like Himself In Another Commercial: Well coporations do like to argue that they are people too...

Men owe child support despite not being fathers: Notice the loophole. Even if passed this law passed it would only allow men to prevent future charges for child support for child that are not they biological relation. Meaning that whatever the state can stick you with before you can prove it, you are still stuck with having to pay for it.

Media Give Mom a Break in Death of Son: It's simply amazing how simpathetic media sources are when women commit violent crimes, even against children.When will people actually start taking their cries of, "bests interests of the children" seriously?

Roseanne Barr of Peace and Freedom Party is honest about DV and gender

Lawsuit: MI’s Child Abuser Registry a ‘Black List’: I'm sure we can all agree that a registry that carries that much weight should be regulated.

Honestly I ain't mad at him for hitting her back. I'll buy the whole "violence is never the answer" argument but the this "But she's a woman" bullshit is just that, bullshit.

Take it easy people!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

EA Sports, It's in the (same) game

I'm not much of a fan of sports video games. The last sports game I actively played was NHL '99. They just get boring after a while and I lose interest. But there is a market for them and there are a LOT of people that are more than willing to cough up that $60 every year to get the latest iteration of their favorite sports game. Well what if those folks have been coughing up not just features that are a lot a like but for features that are actually the same?

The Consumerist has an article up on on the very striking similarities that EA product FIFA '13 bears to last year's model, FIFA '12.

Truthfully with the way that sports games only really seem to change every few years I am not only not surprised by this but I have way expected it. Like cars that change body style at intervals a lot of the sports titles put out by the gaming giant (and if you are into video games based on actual pro sports, you are playing mostly EA produced games) appear to have only relatively small changes (like updating rosters to reflect actual current pro sport rosters) and then something big every years.

Personally I think the cheapest way for EA to go would be to sell the game at $60, offer downloadable content (that's DLC) packs for things like roster changes and new uniforms for a few years, and then every so often (like every five years) release an actual new game.

So for example EA would release FIFA '10 as a full game. When it's time for 2011-2014 instead of releasing a whole new game just drop a DLC pack. When 2015 comes along then release a full game for FIFA '15.

But that probably won't happen.

Generally speaking DLC packs are a lot cheaper than the game they are updating. Let's do a bit of math.

Let's take a look at buying FIFA '10 - FIFA '15 in two different ways.

With the way things are now: $60 x 6 = $360.

If done my way: $60 + ($30x5) = $210.

Yeah EA would laugh at this idea if someone proposed it to them. As a game company they are in it for the money. There is no way they would adopt a release schedule that would net them less money from customers.

So in light of that bear the advice at the end of The Consumerist article in mind:
For folks who don’t want to get burned by buying the same game with a new name, we recommend not pre-ordering the game. Instead, wait until it’s been out for at least a week. Then check the various review sites and online retailers to read through reviews before deciding if it’s worth plunking down your hard-earned cash.
There is a reason pre orders are pushed so hard. When you pre order a game you are literally betting your money that the game you are waiting for the release of is going to be a good one. Once they have your money it almost doesn't matter how much you really like the game or hate the game. You've already lost the bet by then.




Sunday, October 7, 2012

Weekly Mashup - Hawkeye Style

Everyone chill out, he's got this.

So what's been going on this week people? Find anything interesting you want to share? Then share it right here.

I've been listening to the 7 part radio drama, "Speak To Me". It is a tale of a young man who reluctantly attends a family where the past traumas of being sexually abused by an aunt are reignited.

Misogynists are made, not born. And can be made in places you would not expect.

Stoner With a Boner working on a version 2.0 of a list of human rights of males.

Let me guess, feminists that pull stuff like this don't count as real feminists and it's "silencing", "oppressing", and "shaming" to call them feminists right?

AllyF on the double standards in talking about how prison impacts fatherhood vs motherhood.

Dad finds out his son is watching porn, doesn't go apeshit level ballistic.

Why do guys ignore women that offer to split the check? Because we are/were raised to believe that regardless of whether or not she can cover half, it is out duty to cover it solo. Yes there are problems with that presumption but it's more than just guys thinking they women can't cover a bill.

Nothing says, "Domestic violence is something men do to women." like an organization declaring that they will do what they can to help women that are accused of it find legal aid but not extend the same efforts to men.

Why are father intentionally left out of their children's lives not only by mothers but by systems of support that are supposedly working in the, "best interests of the children".

A reissue of Smashing Pumpkin's "Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness"? Fuck Yes!!!

Looks like that "Women kill because men make them" illusion may not lasting forever.

Lying about being raped and abused to win money? Fucking disgusting.

In all seriousness where are all those tasers when events like this happen? A young man is shot to death by a cop, but he was naked at the time. I think we can fairly say he didn't have a weapon so if he was indeed a threat (and it seemed like he was) I think a tazer would have been the perfect way to deal with him.

Why didn't anyone tell me that this is what ostrich pillows looked like? I'll be needed to get one.

Beerd? Yeah someone thought it was a good idea to harvest yeast from a man's beard and make beer out of it.

Police shoot a man 41 times, delete aftermath footage from a witness's camera.

If you've been here before then you know I really like this song ("Given" by Black Tape For A Blue Girl) Keep it in mind as I'm about to post about it again soon.

Alright people stay classy!!!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

"Because we don't want him around" isn't a valid reason to sever father/child bond

Here is a pretty odd story.

In the country of Austria a man and woman have a son. Over time they break up. Mom has sole custody while dad pays alimony and has regular contact with the son. Mom meets and gets together with a new partner, a girlfriend. This new partner wants to adopt the son, thus forming a new family with them. Before that can happen though the father's parental rights would need to be dissolved.

So far it seems that the lesbian couple has tried to forcefully strip the father of his parental rights. Thankfully previous decisions have been against what I call a jerk move. The couple has now gotten their case in front of the highest European court on human rights will rule if a lesbian can adopt her partner's child by basically forcefully stripping the father of his parental rights.

There are a few things of interest here.

1. Whatever decision is made in this case will reach across all 47 countries in the Council of Europe and cannot be appealed.

2. Many countries that make up the Council of Europe do not allow a child to have two mothers or two fathers.

3. Previous attempts to adopt the son seem to have failed not because of the violation of the father's parental rights but because it would go against some apparent presumption that a child must have a mother and a father and if a second mother is trying to replace the father (or if a second father were trying to replace the mother I presume) then that's just not right.

This worries me for one reason. If this new partner were a man, thus making it a matter of a man trying to adopt a child and push the birth father out, would there have been no major stink raised over it? Would this have not even made the press and would that birth father already be somewhere lamenting how he was pushed out of his child's life through no fault of his own?

4. This bit from the end.
It is unclear whether the father is aware of the court proceedings since the lesbian couple is pursuing the case anonymously. Nothing indicates the boy’s opinion.  The same lawyer – Helmut Graupner, legal counsel of ILGA-Europe – represents the women and the boy.
This is something that happens in America. Mother takes it upon herself to decide the fate of the father/child bond so she sets about doing so in secret. In a situation where there appears to be no evidence of the father being abusive or otherwise unfit how can the mother be allowed to sever the father/child bond in secrecy? If it is true that they are trying to pull off this adoption without the father knowing about it how can that possibly be see as anything resembling fair? And don't you find it funny that the same person is representing the both the couple and the son? So much for "the child's best interest".

Now I will be the first to agree that the logic that a child cannot have two mothers or two fathers is messed up. This is nothing but a manifestation of the homophobic idea that a child cannot possibly grow up to be a responsible, respectable adult if they have two parents of the same gender. But frankly that doesn't excuse the underhanded tactic of trying to force one parent out of the child's life when that parent appears to be fit and is in active in the child's life.