Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Harassment: Intervene or Record?

So a few weeks ago I finally got to play through Life is Strange. Its about a teenage girl going to an art school to pursue a career in photography who discovers she has the ability to turn back time. Long story short chaos ensues. With that in mind I will try not to spoil the story of the game but if you don't want to hear specifics then I recommend assuming I will spoil and act accordingly.

One of the big points about this game is that there are several situations where you will be forced to make a major choice that will have some sort of influence on future circumstances. Early on in the game there is one choice that particularly caught my attention. I'll give some basic detail information to set up the scene.

While heading out to meet someone you come around a corner and witness Kate, a fellow student, being harassed by David, the head of campus security. David is being a bit forceful. Not grabbing Kate but getting in her face and using an intimidating voice. She is visibly scared and is backing away. Upon encountering this you are given 2 choices.

Do you interfere and stop David from harassing Kate or do you take a picture of him harassing her?

My initial reaction was to take the photo. Get evidence of him harassing a student so I could turn it in to the principle to hopefully get him fired rather than stopping one incident of bullying just to have it happen again later.

And then Kate sees me and says, "Hope you enjoyed the show. Thanks for nothing.". She is quite disgusted and very upset by the fact that you saw what was happening and didn't take direct action. 

To that I thought was, "I should have been more direct. By standing by even with the intent of collecting evidence, I left her in possible danger.". Utilizing the chief mechanic of the game, rewinding time, I go back and replay the situation and choose to help.

This time while David is messing with Kate I come from around the corner and call him on his harassment. He leaves but lets you know that you the player are now on his radar. Kate thanks you for helping her and tells you it was nice to see him on the defensive for once. Sounds good right? You come to her rescue and stopped the bully.

Until later on when you have a chance to accuse David of harassing students to the principle and he asks for evidence.....

Now to be clear I'm not saying that it was wrong to not get the picture but that was just a moment that clicked for me that if I had taken the photo I could have had a long term solution to stopping David instead of just a one time assist.

I wonder if that is what goes through the heads of people who stop and record rather than intervening in a situation where someone needs help.

Do they think that they are doing a greater good by recording the event rather than directly getting involved?

Maybe they realize they are too scared to intervene but want to do something to help.

It's also possible that they are so plugged into the digital age that their first response to trouble is to be the first to post it online.

There are a lot of things to consider and as a result a lot of different choices to be made.

What would do? Would you intervene? Would you record?

Think about it.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

One of these things is unlike the other....

So about a month ago Pepsi released an ad on police violence and protest starring Kendall Jenner. In short the ad led to a nightmare that gave several impressions. Such impressions include that a white woman is the center of attention in a world of protesting that constantly sees people of color in the cross hairs of police violence, protests are just big parties, and that everything will be fine if you offer the cops a refreshing drink.

Shortly after the beer company Heineken came up with an ad that takes a different approach. It seeks to bring together people from different walks of life in hopes of fostering some sort of communication rather than the usual form of people on different sides bickering and yelling at each other. Mind you people shared it with sniping comments at Pepsi and Kedall Jenner but let's not look at that let's look at the ad in question.

Its a noble effort and I like what they are trying to go for. Take a look at it.

They have 3 pairs of people, each on a different side of an issue. The pair don't know each other and start by working together on a building project to put together a bar. They take a break during the project where they they sit and talk about their respective backgrounds. After finishing their break they go back putting the bar together. Finally they are offered drinks then are shown a short film of each person in the pair giving their opinions on a specific topic. Here each person sees that their partner is on a different side of a major issue. In these cases the issues were transgender recognition, feminism, and climate change. And then the final challenge is presented.

Each person is given the option of staying and discussing their differences over drinks or leaving the encounter.

I wager they did this multiple times until they got three cases to put together but all three pairs shown here agree to stay and the ad ends with them starting to talk.

I'm gonna get to the point fast and say that something is fishy as fuck here.

The transgender and climate change situations are pretty cut and dry. Either you recognize transgender people as they identify or you do not (for the record I do) and you either agree that climate change is a thing or it isn't (I do).

However feminism isn't as plain and simple as this ad shows. It's presented in a manner that was meant to make it very clear which side is right and which side is wrong.

The anti feminist is a white guy and the feminist is a black woman. The anti feminist gives a generic rundown of thinking feminism is about misandry and so forth. The feminist just vaguely says she is a feminist with bold determination. The anti feminist says that women's place is to have men's children. The feminist is asked if she could be friends with someone that says women's place should be in the home and does not answer.

The anti feminist is given a few chances to give his views on feminism while the feminist is allowed to coast without saying her views on feminism.

His concerns are never addressed. Her views are never described much less challenged.

At the end of the ad he toasts with her saying, "Smash patriarchy."

Its like we are just supposed to assume that being feminist is clearly the right thing to do and if you are not then you are absolutely wrong.

What I'm getting at is that unlike transgender rights and climate change feminism is a complex issue that requires a level of nuance that can't be summed up or skipped over for the sake of a 5 minute ad. Hell you could have made that ad with 3 pairs of people with different views on feminism and it would still lack full nuance.

I hope that ads like this continue and hope that useful discussions take place as well but let's be clear.

This was only a start.

Stay Frosty!

Monday, May 22, 2017

Mashup - May 22, 2017

Got links?

Entire college cheer-leading squad suspended over mystery letter accusing them of PROSTITUTION hit back at school and claim 'false' claims have led to their harassment - Interesting how false accusations are suddenly serious business when they happen to women.....

Chechnya Reportedly Sending Gay Men To Concentration Camp - "Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov has authorized a concentration camp for men suspected of being homosexuals, according to reports by human rights groups. The news comes a week after allegations officials in the region have been detaining and murdering gay men."

YouTube will no longer allow creators to make money until they reach 10,000 views - You may want to think twice before planning on making a living making content on YouTube.

Abduction arrest after missing mother Samantha Baldwin found - That is an awfully sympathetic way to report a woman kidnapping children.

Breaking Their Silence: Victims of Female Genital Mutilation Speak Out - This is an interesting read to get familiar with the different types of female genital cutting.

'I WAS SO ANGRY' Dad claims waiter told him it was ‘inappropriate’ to hug son in restaurant because it made other diners ‘uncomfortable’ - But sure, men have a hard time making their place in parenting because we just don't want anything to do with children and its all our fault right?

Drake Expels Male Student Despite Female Admitting She Forced Him Into Sex Act - Female student rapes male student. Male student gets expelled?

How the Roles Society Assigns Men and Women Factor Into Sexual Abuse in Schools - "The narrative is unchanging – men are stupid, uncouth, abusive, patronising, condescending, intimidating, oppressive, predatory monsters who are just occupying time before their next display of brutality. We don’t see men as individuals, we see them as one collective blight on the face of human decency."

Experience by Arbitrarily Censoring Valuable Comments - In other words its not what is being said but who is saying it that determines what comments get deleted (I'm not totally sold on the use of censorship for this context).

Middlebury Professor Apologizes To Rioters For Inviting Charles Murray - Start a riot and then get an apology as if you are the victim? Yeah I got no idea why college students are developing such a sense of entitlement these days.

Can Having Genital Preferences for Dating Mean You’re Anti-Trans? - I have to thank this article for getting me kicked out of a group on Facebook. When someone accuses you of not reading an article and upon telling them you did they respond by kicking you from the group, you're better off without that group.

Students Demand Power Over Hiring After Job Offer to "Racist" White Professor - Not no but hell now. This is a one way ticket to an environment where students get to pick and choose which ideologies they encounter in college and pretty much insulate themselves from ever coming across opposing ideas. That's a bad thing no matter how you slice it.

LAWSUIT: Cornell refused to investigate female student’s alleged rape of fraternity member - Gee a college refusing the investigate an alleged female against male rape? Maybe we'll finally hear from proponents of rape culture actually bring it up in a gender neutral manner in a context other than defending against criticisms that rape culture is pretty much limited to male against female rape.

Hyd woman kills newborn boy as she wanted daughter - Damn. Fucking horrible.

“Nasty women” and “toxic men” - I'd be more willing to believe this if it wasn't for the fact that collectively blaming men for pretty much everything bad has become a part of so many progressive and feminist frameworks.

My Mexican Husband Was Accused Of Trafficking Our Daughter On A United Flight - Again. Stuff like this keeps happening but we're supposed to believe that there are no institutional forces that negatively impact men. I'm sure so call progressives would trip over themselves to explain how this doesn't equate to sexism against a man much less men.

Report: Woman Who Murdered Her 7 Children, Niece & A Duck Will Not Be Prosecuted - Yes its Milo Y. but frankly who else is talking about this case? A man didn't do it so its not showing up much in mainstream media.

Why Feminism Could Use Some Serious Rebranding - Amen to that.

Toronto For All Ad Campaign Forces Viewers To Confront Myths About Homelessness - "Men, need support. Just don't do it anywhere near me."

Professor says she felt raped by white male student’s paper touting men’s rights - So men being treated equally is the same as raping a woman? Damn.

Bye bye, Bernie: He’s not fit to captain the Democratic ship if he can’t stop chasing the great white male - You know one of these days the Left is going to quit searching for excuses to cover up their own involvement in Clinton losing. Hopefully they do it before the 2018 elections.

Ever wonder how history would be different if Korea were unified? Cody at AltHistoryHub has 2 possible answers (What if the South took over the North and vice versa).

Stay Frosty!

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Do they really want men involved?

I've had a love/hate relationship with The Good Men Project for the last year or 2. However despite the deleted comments, submissions not getting a response, and even being removed from their Facebook group under mysterious circumstances I still hang around because despite the bad there is a hell of a lot of good there.

That being said though I did come across this post, We Want Men to Talk About Sexism. I am honestly not sure if this comment will stay up so I'm putting here for prosperity. Go read the post and let it swirl around in your head and form your own opinion though.

The reason you're not seeing many men in the conversation on sexism is because you put so much effort into narrowly defining our place in it that if they don't fit said narrow role we get kicked out of it or get ignored. And what's worse instead of looking at how our prescribed role in the conversation is contributing to us getting kicked out or deciding not to participate you instead just double down on expecting us fulfill the narrow role you have set out in front of us.

The reason you're not seeing many men in the conversation on sexism is because you put so much effort into narrowly defining our place in it that if they don't fit said narrow role we get kicked out of it or get ignored. And what's worse instead of looking at how our prescribed role in the conversation is contributing to us getting kicked out or deciding not to participate you instead just double down on expecting us fulfill the narrow role you have set out in front of us.

Many men feel “attacked” when conversations are literally just talking to them about what language to use. This seems to make some men feel “excluded”, “marginalized”, “unable to participate”...
You immediately start off by putting the treatment men face while trying to participate in scare quotes to minimize the affect it has on us and create the illusion that how we are treated isn't real, in our heads, and/or in the rare example that its real its not a big deal and is likely our own fault. In short you start off by saying you don't care about how we have been treated.

We can not allow people to be sexist, but there has to be a solution that allows men to participate.
A good start. I agree that people can't be sexist but from the sentence before this it seems that male participation is quite conditional.

We need men who acknowledge that sexism does exist and that by being complacent to it, they are supporting it, much the same as racism, homophobia, or other forms of oppression.
Question. What about acknowledging sexism is a two way street?

We never want anyone to feel like they can’t participate or speak up. We want people to learn. However, sexist comments need to be checked. The problem is the manlash that transpires after being challenged about a sexist comment. Voices raise, people talk over each other, mansplaining manifests everywhere.
I think the problem is that whenever a man says something that doesn't tow the line the silencing language, insults, dismissals, and attacks come out so quick. I noticed that there is nothing here about how men are treated. Its only about how men act as if the only reason the conversation gets disrupted is because of a man. Disagree with a woman? Mansplaining. Try to bring up a male perspective? Accusations of silencing. Trying express a difference of opinion? Manlash (and I have to say this is a new one to me but it seems like I can add it to the growing list of terms that exist to gender something negative as male).

Allies have to learn how to be uncomfortable. The discomfort of being told how to be a better ally pales in comparison to actually being oppressed.
There's the divide again. Men's experiences don't matter until its time to teach them how to be better. If they get uncomfortable its for a valid reason and they have to learn how to deal with it.

Men, who are well-intended, but blind to their privilege and subject to the very patriarchal upbringing we are trying to dismantle, don’t see how sexism and misogyny are connected to the disposability of men…or to their mental health.
They probably don't see it because whenever they try to bring it up they are accused of hating women. Also once again you try to take something that is harmful to men and make it out to be a side effect of trying to harm women.

Most men who talk about sexism are already feeling uncomfortable just by having the discussion, no matter how advanced they feel their understanding is. That could be why we see the intense reactions and emotive backlash, because these men are already feeling vulnerable.
I'd say from personal experience the discomfort comes from people who are standing over us ready to attack at the slightest hint of disagreement. Because as you shown in your opining paragraph you are already in position to dismiss men's feelings in these conversations or at best just twist and reframe them as a need to learn how to be uncomfortable.

There has been ground gained in women’s rights, but we are far from stopping sexism. Trying to deny or “water down” the fact that sexism exits will not move us forward.
And acting like sexism is a one way street will continue to alienate the very people you claim to want to work with even as you appropriate our struggles for the sake of women.

We can allow for ingenuous discussions, but we do not have to tolerate deflection. Deflection takes the discussion from the real point. It is like ignoring a problem instead of trying to solve it.

We are here to try to solve sexism by stopping it, are you with us?
This is rich. I have been here for nearly 5 years but I have noticed that deflection has come to include trying to bring up male experiences with sexism in its own right or holding women responsible for their own actions.

I'm still here hoping that you will come around for the conversation you regularly claim to have.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Come on Shea Moisture....

Look Shea Moisture. You have had my back for the last 4 years after Soft Sheen Carson discontinued their Dandruff Solutions line. I've enjoyed your products and have fucked with you for a long time. But this shit?

I can't.

I wager you made this ad with the intention of being inclusive and wanted to promote some sense of unity.

But you dropped the ball.

Black women and men quite literally made your brand what it is today.

To have a red head lecture about their own hair difficulties and have them presented in a way that makes it sound like curly haired white women have the same hair difficulties as black women comes off as insulting.

This is a betrayal that is going to cost you dearly.