Sunday, March 29, 2015

psycho chicks and "feminism"

   I already know this post is going to make people mad. I'm here today to talk about a group who is underrepresented in all discussions of sexual discrimination. This group is men.
   Right now I already feel the hate. Nobody feels men are ever victims of sexual discrimination, but to believe this one would also need to believe that only white people can be racists. The simple fact is that men can be sexually discriminated against and it happens much more then people may think. Let me break down three cases. First a close to home story for me. My father in law pushed his girlfriend away because she was a psycho and was attempting her best to cause him harm. When he pushed her she hit something and got a mark that was almost a bruise, he went to jail for assault. Next a worst case scenario. A former teacher of mine related to me a story of a friend from home. He was pinned down by his girlfriend and she was stabbing him, not with a traditional stabbing weapon but still an object that prolonged use would cause his death. The motion he used to get her off of him she interpreted as sexual. He was jailed and is a registered sex offender in his home state for saving his own life. And finally my "this could happen to you" story. I was staying with family when a house party somehow happened. My nephew was there and he was attempting to hook up with some friend of a friend who was there. He was stopped quickly for reasons I did not know about until the morning. Apparently the man with whom she did leave the party with while with her tongue three quarters down his throat and hand three quarters down his pants had attempted to rape her, despite everyone at the party knowing he was way too messed up to get it up. Fortunately she was known for doing this and the charges never stuck. There is a rising group of women in the world today who feel power in using their "disadvantaged" state as both sword and shield against men.
   Now as I feel the hate starting to burn me through my computer I feel the need to say I am not anti-feminist, I am a fan of any group seeking equality. I appreciate feminism, as long as it is used correctly.

I understand that within every sub-culture there are sub-sets within who are not helping your cause. I just became familiar with the term "maneater" feminism. The extremists types who basically think all men should be rounded up and shot for the crime of being men. Then there are women who like being complete skanks, and claim their choice to do so is a sign that they are liberated feminists. I understand that these types get too much of the press attention because they are controversial and muddy the waters of the feminist cause. But in turn with that it is important for others to see that men are not all sexual predators who will take advantage of women if given even any kind of chance.
   There is a term called Rape culture, a term I only recently became aware of. Basically it states that there is a belief that men see rape as acceptable, or that they believe rape to just be rough sex. There is a notion out there that some if not all men will engage in some form of rape at some point. A Video was recently online in which a women walked through the streets of New York and was filmed getting cat calls all day.
She saw this as harassment, every single man that showed interest in her she seemed to view as a potential threat. I will say that some were creepy, but if the backlash and parody videos are any indication, the internet mirrored my thought of overreaction and oversensitivity. Some women were even POed that she was mad about having so many offers simply because she wasn't not in the market at the time. The real problem is that she was not showing the minefield that women walk through everyday, she was showing the minefield men walk through everyday. The field where every action a man makes can label him a sexual predator. Another video around the time was of a woman who pretended to be drunk and filmed the overly anxious men wanting to "help" her out.
The video was staged, but initially NOBODY questioned that men would take advantage of women in this situation.
I was once flipped off by a woman who though I was trying to look up her skirt, I was in a public area trying to draw people who weren't moving for a life drawing class. My eyes constantly darting back and forth to a sketch book was apparently lost on her, I was just another perverted male.
   As a man I am genuinely mad that the term rape culture even exists, much less that is is so focused on men and our insatiable sexual appetite. We are not all rapist, we do not all discriminate. We do understand that rape is not acceptable. And yet we at any time we can become a victim, a victim of being a man who does what men are expected to do.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Minutemen, but not the American revolution kind

This is going to be another very bias argument from me, but considering the group in question and the things I've seen of them I'm not too worried. The Minuteman project is a group dedicated to protecting the U.S. / Mexico border, “acting as unarmed and unsanctioned eyes and ears of the Border Patrol" according to an article from fox news. They characterize themselves as a patriot group dedicated to protecting the country. This is relevant to me right now as I have been hearing more stories about them reforming after they largely disbanded around 2010.
The first time I learned about the Mmp it was in regard to an incident at an mmp demonstration. It was a long time ago and I don’t remember all the details, and I have not been able to find coverage about this specific incident. The overall point was that the mmp was speaking at a college hoping to recruit and spread their message. However the students were less than receptive to the message, staging a protest where they attempted to take the stage. The protest, and the demonstration, ended quickly as a young female student attempting to get on stage was violently kick in the face by one of the minutemen members on stage. This is not the only incident of violence attributed to them. Though their mission statement is stated as being there to simply observe and assist the border patrol in a legal capacity they were essentially an armed militia group operating in remote unpatrolled areas, controversy was inevitable. In fact it seem the reason that the group is having difficulty reforming is because they are having a hard time separating themselves from the violence they and many copycat groups caused.
The reason I’m so against this group pertains to a one of my previous posts. I wrote before about groups that seem to have embraced a new form of patriotism which is essentially racism masked as patriotism. This, I believe, is the principle the minutemen run off of. Ambivalence, the concept that racism is somehow necessary and beneficial in some instances. In media today we see this in discussions about Muslims. As the U.S. has been attacked by a Muslim group many have characterized all Muslims as terrorists, and thus that legal policy should be adopted to address them as such. However as any rational person knows there is no group of people that is inherently bad. But nonetheless many people believe anyone of Muslim background could be a threat. So to do the minutemen believe that illegal immigrant are all inherently detrimental to the country. I am not a big fan of slippery sloop arguments but in this case I have seen it happen. If racism is seen as necessary, that is not a large step from it being actable. Worse yet it will extend not just from the original group to any group a racist person, now free from social restraints, might tailor an argument to prove a group is inherently deficient or bad.
Their mission, intentions, and efforts aside, as a group focused on a specific group is always going to attract those with prejudice toward that group. And when those people get together it gives rise to notions that their behavior is more acceptable. We live in an age where racism is not acceptable, and to allow a group that targets a specific group is going to undermine that.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Out of sight, whats in their mind.

I would like to take a few minutes to think about a group that probably nobody else does. Nobody thinks of this group because they pattern their lives specifically so most people don't. Though they are an interesting group because in the last decade or so the advancements in technology have helped them in their lifestyle choice probably more than any other group I've talked about so far. This is the VERY silent sub-culture of recluses.
Like I said, no body reading this would probably even think of recluses as a group, especially since joining together an a group is an experience that makes some of them physically ill. However we have moved into a time when the world is now very recluse friendly. Unless you live under a rock you know that the internet now allows you to do just about anything. People can now make a living by working online, do almost all their shopping online, bank online, even get food online. Not just delivery takeout either, grocery some grocery stores will shop your groceries for you and deliver them. We have reached a point where a person can almost get through their whole adult life without ever having contact with another human outside of delivery people. That is interesting to me because of the extent to which media influences people with regular human interactions. If a person is a recluse I wonder to what extent their reality of the world is based on media. The logical answer should be that their world view is entirely decided by media as they have no personal experiences to view it by.
This idea came to me recently as a result of watching a new Anime by the name of "Watamote: No Matter How I Look at It, It’s You Guys' Fault I’m Not Popular!”, mouthful right. The premise is simple, a girls is kind of a recluse and definitely has some social anxiety issues. So in preparation for entering high school she has done her research, in dating-Sim games. Needless to say she is left ill prepared to navigate high school or even her own issues.,p0,d0
(Couldn’t get embedded video to work)

This made me think about what other recluses think about the world and how they might interact in it if they were put into a situation where they had to. Studies done by researchers like Sut Jhally and Rhonda Hammer suggest that there is always a hidden message in media, and because Media is run by large corporations like Time Warner and Disney these messages often have a distinct direction they try to point people. Researches like this say that television shows have been used by corporations since the early days of TV to influence people to stay on board with them. In older times it was used to make those working in less desirable job seem like they are stuck there either because they want to be or like the ability to do anything else, thus financial security was within everybody’s reach and programs to help people get ahead in life weren’t needed. Nowadays it is used to promote the idea that has be circulating ever since Obamas election, that racism is behind us and we are in a post racial society. Obviously any of us that live in the real world interact with people and can learn that this simply is not true. However if someone were living under a rock, or entirely in their home, and only had what they saw on TV or online then how would they see the world.
I think recluses are a group that would be interesting to study, if someone could find a way to get them to participate. I’m sure researcher like I have mentioned would love to see the affect media has on an individual who has no other context for their perceptions of what they see.