Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Race Relations: Telling a Sliver of the Story

I had originally planned for my latest entry to be a philosophical analysis on the concept of karma and my theories regarding how it plays out in real life. However, in the wake of the earth-shattering exoneration of George Zimmerman who, regardless of events, deliberately placed himself in a dangerous situation and therefore should have at least been guilty of manslaughter, pundits have been crawling out of the woodwork to spew half-baked statistics about the plight of African-Americans. Case in point.

Stories like this really irritate me because they ignore so many of the socioeconomic causes and roots of the problems stretching back centuries. When the Portuguese first landed on Africa they were given human beings as currency, thus was the concept of institutionalized slavery introduced to Europe. It was only through chance that Europe managed to stabilize and develop technology more quickly, thus dominating Africa and the slave trade that was once the jewel of such nations as Mali. The lucrative nature of the slave trade for ruling African tribes was so great that they began engaging in new wars just to get more slaves to trade for valuable resources.

In essence, Africa institutionalized dehumanization while Europe was able to reinforce it due to the differences in skin color: this was a fundamental asset in separating blacks and whites into a "them and us" mentality which allowed whites to continue dehumanizing blacks.

While other races, and even white nationalities, were never enslaved wholesale they were often looked down on as even lower than slaves. Numerous slave narratives include comments of pity for the Chinese and the Irish, who were treated just as poorly and didn't even have the "luxury" of housing. So-called "Poor Whites" could be seen on the side of the road eating dirt because their bodies so desperately craved minerals like iron and calcium that they were reduced to chewing clay in the fleeting hope that they could stay alive for another day.

The Chinese were the subject of rampant racism in the late 1700s and early 1800s yet remained as a result of their willingness to work for almost nothing. Despite it not being law, most Chinese workers in the Western United States were essentially slaves to the wealthy, kept often against their will after their initial arrival and some months of work because their labor was cheap. When even slaves, non-persons, looked down on a group of people, one can only imagine how bad those conditions must have been.

If anyone believes that whites maintained their grasp on the vote out of racism, that person is an idiot. In fact, upon this nation's founding the vote was only open to wealthy landowners of any race, though the only people wealthy enough to own large estates were the British (white) colonists. When tensions ran high and the vote had to be opened up for equality's sake, the wealthy managed to bargain their way into only allowing whites the vote, thereby entrenching their own privilege and allowing them to reinforce the "us and them" mentality which kept the poor divided and unable to overthrow the will of the wealthy.

The problem with modern equality, as it extends, can be traced back to the years after the Civil Rights Movement. In a bizarre act of counterculture, the black community further insulated itself from the society to which it had just been allowed full access, going so far as to shame anyone who reported black-on-black crime because to expose criminals was somehow against racial solidarity.

It is from the divisive words of Elijah Mohammad, Marcus Garvey, Malcolm X (in his early days) and others that the racial divide was allowed to fester. Now the racism cuts both ways, and in many cases actually cuts deeper on the opposite side, with many black communities far more distrustful of whites and other races than the reverse.

From Frederick Douglass to Martin Luther King, Jr. to Daymond John to Barack Obama and countless others, individual black Americans have proven that they can rise to prominence no matter what level of privilege or adversity faces them. It is time for the black community as a whole to stop demonizing education, self-respect and pacifism as "acting white" and acknowledge that young men and women committing crimes and acting as the antithesis of what they see as white America is only making their own situation - and their children's situations - even worse.

In order for all races to truly integrate and find equality, those races must be open to integration. One does not have to sacrifice heritage and pride, but it should be acknowledged that society is shaped by its participants and the only way to change the world for the better is to be an active part of it and work toward greater goals. An optimistic and hopeful mentality may never once see success and may not be a panacea to all of the world's ills, but a bitter and defeatist attitude will only ever make things worse.

Goodnight, and stay safe.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The Myth of Modern Equality

One morning, one of our dogs accidentally nipped my mother’s finger, drawing a little blood. She shrieked and cried and did a little dance of pain and I know that, instinctively, that is how I would react at the same issue. Except that’s not how I react. I yell and shout and get angry, then am chastised for it.

Why do I react contrary to my nature? Because I have been trained. All through society, and even in my own home, I have been subjected to a form of social brainwashing that tells me I have to be aggressive. If I’m not, I’m shamed and made to feel subhuman, yet when I act on the programming society has given me, I’m chastised for being so angry and aggressive. It’s easier to have someone mad at you than to be made to think that you are less than a person, so men such as myself go along with the training.

This exact training leads to the violence and aggression that feminists insist proves the evil of men – violence and aggression, mind you, that may never have materialized if we, as boys, hadn’t been told that this is how we must behave. In essence, our culture creates us and then condemns us.

This is neither a sob story about the plight of men nor an indictment of the evils of women, however. It is instead a crusade in literary form, an act of dragging demons into the light where they may be seen for what they truly are.

Feminists point to history as the reason for their endless litany of grievances, yet this same history is what is causing the suffering of both men and women.

I will illuminate:

When humanity was still in its primate stage, each gender had its duty and behaved much like the apes of today: the males, being larger and stronger, protected their families from predators while the females nurtured the young.

However, we are no longer primitive apes simply looking for survival. We possess conscience, the ability to feel regret, understand others’ points of view, and form our own moral compass. We claim the greatest asset of all, the power of self-determination.

Self-determination allows us to be the people we want to be. A man can be a nurturer and a caregiver while a woman can be a fighter. Unfortunately, society and culture get in the way of this ability.

While religions such as Judaism, with its codified misogyny, might seem like the starting point of male dominance, historical context says otherwise. Considering that Judaism also has holy writ against bestiality, it seems less like turning women into possessions and more like ensuring that the tribe would continue. Since such rules would not exist if everyone wasn’t humping everything, it can be inferred that the Israelites might have ended up with a single man left to impregnate the entire tribe, resulting in catastrophic inbreeding and rapid extinction.

The alternative provided in the Torah is savage, yes, but remember that at the time humanity was most likely just as savage. As Mike Judge’s Idiocracy shows, if you’re dealing with people far less intelligent than yourself, it’s easier and oftentimes safer to just say that your knowledge is magic or your rules are holy law, rather than try to explain the reasoning.

However, this is not a study in religion. It just so happens that, as religion has a practically immutable place in human culture, religion must be addressed.

The true origin of male dominance in Western society lies with Aristotle. In his scientific observations, based on what information he could gather from investigating flowers, pinecones and other more easily dissected living things, Aristotle determined that the man implanted the baby into a woman, who then served as the incubator. He asserted, based on observations and theories that were at the time irrefutable, that the woman only served as the host to the child, and did not contribute to the child’s creation.

When the world’s smartest person, taught by the world’s smartest person, who was in turn again taught by the world’s smartest person, makes an assertion, it is widely accepted as law. As such, women were relegated to the secondary role in reproduction; however, with the Greek pantheon containing such powerful female figures as Athena and Demeter, this did not cause an immediate change. It did, however, lay the foundations for what was to come.

If Aristotle was the originator of male dominance, Constantine was the codifier. One of the reasons why the Roman Empire expanded so easily and remained stable was the limited intrusion of Roman culture upon the conquered. It was a slow and easy assimilation process that allowed defeated nations to retain much of their history and traditions.

This all changed with the establishment of Constantine’s Holy Roman Empire. Suddenly Christianity was the state religion, rigidly enforced. Anyone who’s played the children’s game “telephone” knows what happens when information gets spread around to those who don’t understand it, particularly when the actual source is jealously guarded. Through repeated partial interpretations, misunderstandings and politicking, women were now officially second-class citizens and possessions according to holy law.

But did Aristotle and Constantine know what would happen and plan for a male-dominated society, or was the result simply caused by the balance of power shifting?

Feminists love to paint all men with the wide brush of rapist, potential rapist, rape apologist, misogynist, and all sorts of other lovely words that demonize an entire gender, but is it truly the gender’s fault?

To paraphrase Abraham Lincoln, “Anyone can handle adversity. If you want to see someone’s true character, give them power.” I use gender-neutral pronouns for a reason: as of today, men are no more naturally aggressive than women. The cause of many crimes is the possession of power, or the perceived possession thereof.

The Japanese were widely known for their politeness, honor and strict code of conduct, yet during WWII the number of atrocities committed by Japanese troops – rape, looting, sexual abuse, degradation – was astonishing. Were these Japanese men always like that, somehow held at bay by the mere presence of Japanese women? A radical feminist might like to think so, but the truth is that when someone is given absolute power and a guarantee (real or perceived) of no consequences, they will often do horrible things.

Likewise, if the oppressed allow themselves to be consumed by hatred and the desire for vengeance, they will become the oppressors and their atrocities will be far worse than those perpetrated on them. My example, also drawing from WWII, is Germany. After being drawn into the first war through alliances and treaties and being forced to hold their own even after their allies fell, Germany was deemed a threat and picked apart. Their economy, their heritage, their homes and their happiness were systematically destroyed. It was in this despair that fascism took root and allowed WWII to commence.

So too is it with the feminist movement, which insists that all men are responsible for the crimes of a few, and that all men carry the crimes of the past with us. We in 2013 are to blame for the Middle Ages. It’s not the fault of the church, or of society as a whole, and of course it’s not the fault of the people of that time period. Men are compressed into a singularity: no matter where or when an atrocity was committed, each and every man shares responsibility.

Take a moment and look down at your fist. How many times have you dealt with someone who made you want to punch them, to beat them to a bloody pulp? How many times have you acted on those impulses? That is not only law at work; it is the human conscience. The brain can override the body, reason can triumph over animal instinct.

Why, then, do feminists claim that they want equality and then immediately insist that men are subhuman, that they cannot control their instincts in a manner in which humans are able?

I often say that, “stereotypes are stereotypes for a reason,” yet most are analyzed, proven false, and forgotten. Why, then, have the stereotypes of masculinity and femininity persisted for thousands of years, and why are we as a society complicit in the perpetuation of these blatant lies?

Male aggression does not come from being a man: it comes from being a man who is then taught that he must be aggressive, that he must be insensitive and refuse to show emotion, that he must never display pain and that any deviation from this list of rules means that he is no longer a person.

From infanthood, boys cry and fuss more than girls but are more often ignored. Even at that young of an age, he is presumed to be an angry and violent sort whose desires should not be indulged, while a girl who cries even a little is immediately attended to. Babies who are forced to cry themselves to sleep and whose pains and needs are ignored or discounted end up displaying symptoms in exact alignment with post-traumatic stress disorder. We are torturing our children – particularly our boys – from birth. Is it any wonder why so many men seem screwed-up?

And why are girls permitted to cry and protected when they do? This has been the state of the genders for centuries. During the Renaissance a woman could start crying at a man’s slightest actions and said man could be ejected from the manor or even challenged to a duel for insulting the woman. Women keep this power, as well as accumulating more, and yet men start at a disadvantage and only lose ground.

How about the illusion of male power? Men are automatically presumed by society, courts and police to be the ones in the position of power, so they are automatically guilty until proven innocent. Male victims of domestic violence are mocked, insulted, told that they are in fact the abusers, and all sorts of horrible things. As bad as female victims of rape suffer, they at least have support groups. Male victims of rape are emotionally abused by their peers and often refused aid on the grounds that a man supposedly can’t be raped. He must always secretly want it, even though it’s a patently obvious fact that involuntary erections can be caused by stimulation.

According to the CDC’s National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, men constitute more than 53% of domestic and sexual violence victims. This doesn’t even include male rape victims, who weren’t even tallied. Of course, the actual numbers only appear buried in the CDC’s full report. The female numbers were the only ones publicized.

In essence, men are told that they are in power but then every facet of society shows them that they are not. The only men truly in power are the ultra-rich, and it is those men that feminism focuses on. They see only the top while attacking only the bottom, those men who have already been abused by the system.

Many women complaining about equal pay for equal work are convinced that this is some sort of conspiracy by men to keep women down. Seriously? Men have so little actual power as it is; are they really supposed to have the clout to ensure an international conspiracy?

I put forth this alternative: In the capitalist, corporate world, there are no men or women. There are only numbers: the cost, profit, reliability, et cetera. Women who get pregnant will not be able to work for several months, up to a year. Women suffering from particularly bad PMS or PMDD can be a detriment to workplace productivity. If a man sexually harasses a woman in the workplace, it is cheap and easy to sweep under the rug and costs almost nothing in terms of time or money. If a woman gets pregnant, she can no longer work and may not even return after birth. Is it any wonder that the faceless corporations, for whom there is only profit and human rights are a bad joke, prefer men over women?

And again, through the false perception of male power, the sexual harassment of men in the workplace is something funny or even good, a way of “sticking it” to other men who may have potentially wronged the woman, even if the man she harasses has no association with anything except for the fact that he has a penis.

Of course, this abuse of power is not limited to small gestures that amount to death by mosquito bites. In fact, let’s look back into history again. The next time a feminist tells you that a female government would abolish war, hand her a book on African history and resist the urge to slap her with it. Before European sailors discovered Africa, the vast majority of nations there were matriarchal. Not only did these female-led nations wage war, they took vast amounts of slaves and used them as sex toys, target practice and even currency.

Despite the modern depiction, Europeans never went into Africa to capture slaves. They bought slaves who’d already been captured. Tell me again how good and pure female-run governments are when the largest matriarchal nations in history not only dehumanized other men and women to the point that they were currency, but created enough of a market for their atrocities that they would wage wars exclusively to take more slaves for sale.

The reason that the African tribes changed from matriarchal to patriarchal (or, rather, patriarchal except in subservience to European men and women) was, again, power. The Europeans had guns and flotillas; the Africans had spears. They may have had the numbers and the advantage of home terrain, but when firearms and the economy are both in your opponent’s possession, you’re going to lose the war.

And that is exactly what has happened to the men of today. Only a small percentage of unbelievably wealthy – mostly white – men enjoy the supposedly universal “male privilege.” The rest are exploited by those men in power and persecuted by the subtly powerful feminist movement for the crimes of being how society forced them to be.

Ask a feminist why, if men were supposed to be in power, were African men treated as property and as subhuman chattel right alongside the women. The answer, and not the rhetorical sputum that will come from someone who lacks talking points to regurgitate, is simple: the hierarchy was not based around men; it was based around power. Men were simply lucky that a number of coincidences favored them.

Those coincidences no longer exist. Men are automatically expected to be bad; exploitation of men is discounted because it’s supposed to be a male fantasy and can’t possibly be negative; and whenever feminism makes an advancement it does its damndest to deny the same advancement to men. The canned reasoning is that men must already have such advantages, but the truth is that feminism is no longer about equality: feminism is now about making modern men pay for crimes in which they had no hand, and manufacturing new criminals and victims in order to keep the illusion consistent.

If we strip away all the rhetoric, the history, and the gender warfare, men and women are exactly equal in their propensity to do harm (emotional or physical) to others, to themselves, to both; or to do good for all. In order to truly move forward, we must ensure that both men and women are treated fairly, that they are no longer forced into gender roles and then either punished or rewarded by fiat.

All human beings have the right to self-determine. It’s time we exercised that right. A man shouldn’t be made to feel less than human for crying when he gets hurt. A woman shouldn’t be told that she must have enjoyed being raped since she got pregnant. Men must no longer be automatically assumed to be the bad guys. The sexual and domestic abuse of men cannot be the subject of ridicule; it must be treated just as seriously as if a woman were the victim.

We repeatedly assert that prejudice is an evil; why is prejudice against men portrayed as a virtue?

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Civil Rights - OR - Why Can't We Just Kill Everybody?

The title isn't really a joke; more and more, with the sheer number of willfully ignorant and hateful people infesting this nation, I think a zombie apocalypse or another giant asteroid might actually make things better.

So what has me pissed off today? I'm glad you asked, disembodied source of inquiry! There are two things that are really making me angry as of this moment. The first is the NRA and the second is the marriage equality debate, and both have to do with equal rights under the Constitution.

First off, the marriage equality debate should not be a debate. At all. The Constitution is pretty clear on this in the 14th Amendment, providing equal rights and protection under the law for all US citizens. Ever since Loving v. State of Virginia, marriage and all the laws/protections provided thereby are counted as rights for anyone willing to make use of them. This isn't quantum physics or an attempt to prove Toni Morrison isn't a repetitive and formulaic writer; things are pretty damn straightforward.

I will illuminate: According to US law, no citizen can be denied equal rights and protections under law. Also according to US law, marriage is a right that provides more than 1,500 protections. Therefore, since even criminals are still permitted to marry, there is quite simply nothing legally preventing homosexuals from getting married and any preventions thereof are demonstrably unConstitutional.

The only things in opposition to the very real legal imperative to permit marriage equality are the religious and right-wing lobbies. For some reason lawmakers are so scared shitless of these groups that they are willing to ignore unConstitutional laws being written into existence and to permit the obliteration of every principle upon which this country was founded.

The nation of the United States of America was founded on the principle of religious freedom. No religion could impose its rule onto the people of the nation. Should "Christian" laws get ratified by the Supreme Court, this nation will have obliterated one of its oldest tenets.

The only thing preventing our Supreme Court from doing the right thing is a combination of personal bias and fear of retaliation. If we had given in to petty squabbles and fear of a violent presence instead of standing as one, this nation would never have been founded. Every moment of hesitation on the part of the Supreme Court is another moment spent shitting on each and every person who died defending this country or who dedicated their lives to ensuring the survival and correct course of our nation.

Now, since I don't really have a segue, let's just take a moment and shift gears. From the legally-ensured right to the Pursuit of Happiness, let's move to the right to Life. Hey, that was a segue after all!

So the NRA have started sending robocalls into Newtown, just three months after the Sandy Hook massacre. Well of course they are; after all, how long do you have to take to get over your children's deaths? They're just noisy little bastards who aren't good for anything. You can't even get 'em to work since those silly child-labor laws got passed. Like any other possession, it should only take a month or two for you to get over it and focus on what's really important, like guns!

The Second Amendment is one of the least-contested of the Constitutional Amendments and for the life of me I can't see why. The entire point of the Second Amendment, as written into the Bill of Rights, was to ensure that the states could protect themselves should another nation invade or a civil war between states stir up. That was the reason for the first phrase in the Amendment: "A well-regulated militia." Well, now we have a well-regulated militia. It's called the National Guard. State militias have been outlawed, since heavily-armed groups with questionable sanity and morals are a threat to everyone else, so there's really no need for all these firearms.

Of course, the Supreme Court spat in the eyes of our Founding Fathers on that one, ruling that the well-regulated militia part of the Second Amendment was outdated and everybody had a right to guns whether they intended to defend their nation from invasion or just planned to kill their governors.

Gun violence in this country should have reached its saturation point last year with the sheer number of mass shootings, but sadly it seems that no number of dead children and loved ones can sway gun-lovers' hearts. Apparently a chunk of metal designed for murder is more important than the life of your spouse or parent or child.

The illegal firearms trade is inextricably linked to the war on drugs. By turning drug possession into a multi-billion-dollar black market, we've made it a requirement for all drug peddlers - from cartel lords to street pushers - to carry guns so they can murder one another and take territory. Basically we established an underground repeat of early-Renaissance mercantilism, and we all know how fucking well that turned out.

Honestly, I foresee that if the underground drug trade were killed through legalization, taxation, recuperation programs and the decriminalization of those users inadvertently hooked, the illegal firearms trade would all but dry up. There just isn't any other major money-earner for gangs that can be hidden and shipped so effectively, so gangs wouldn't have the income to continue buying guns and their rackets would be easier to shatter.

And then, when the illegal gun trade is practically dead, perhaps people's eyes will be opened to the wanton slaughter perpetrated by psychotic alpha-types when they feel their authority is threatened, or by self-styled victims who decide to lash out.

We've created this mess, true, but we can still undo the horrors we've helped to bring into existence. We need to follow the moral compass provided by human empathy and common sense. It's not that hard; it's just inconvenient sometimes, and some people would rather a million innocents die than they be inconvenienced for a minute.

Goodnight, and stay safe.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Gender Confusion

Last night I re-watched one of my all-time favorite action movies, The Long Kiss Goodnight. For anyone who hasn't seen it, I'll give a brief rundown while keeping as spoiler-free as I can: Geena Davis plays Samantha Cane, a woman with amnesia looking for her past while caring for her daughter. She's accompanied by Mitch Henessey (Samuel L. Jackson), a rather sleazy but kindhearted PI. They discover that Samantha - or rather, Charlene - is much more than she thought she was; Charly Baltimore was one of the US government's best assassins before she was presumed KIA.

The movie has some of the most heartfelt moments, some of the most genuine and natural humor, and some of the greatest action scenes ever shot. Both heroes and villains stay within the realm of believability while still being almost impossibly badass.

This and Davis' other mid-90s adventure movie, Cutthroat Island, should have spawned a wave of female action stars by sheer virtue of their awesomeness alone. And yet, they didn't.

...Well, why the fuck not!?

"That's Discrimination!"

Let's face it, for as liberal as Hollywood's actors and writers tend to be, those with the real power - CEOs, marketers, accounts managers - tend to be horribly bigoted even today. Despite more and more evidence to the contrary, many bigwigs still seem convinced that a movie won't sell because it stars a woman in an unconventional role, or because it stars any manner of minority. So they set it up as a self-fulfilling prophecy by investing next to nothing into advertisement campaigns so that when the movie doesn't sell well they can say 'I told you so.'

But is this genuinely a conspiracy? Or just the result of generations of fiscal cowardice? We all know that most of the ├╝ber-rich would eat their firstborn rather than part with a single penny of their money, so the fear that something might not sell has to turn them into economic hermit crabs. This wasn't like when Sidney Poitier got top billing on In the Heat of the Night. Race relations were improving, wounds were slowly beginning to heal, and the nation could take steps toward acceptance.

The 90s were a time of discovery, social upheaval and an attempt to forge a new status quo. The most enduring fear ever to breathe down America's neck, the USSR, had just given its death rattle. We were no longer told by our government to look over our shoulder with every step. It was the perfect time for new beginnings.

And yet nothing came of it. Shit, we had more female action stars per capita in the 80s with the likes of Cynthia Rothrock. And yes, while in real life Rothrock does kick all kinds of major ass, her movies were kind of...shit. Is it really that executives can't comprehend a woman being in such a strong role?

"I Love a Woman who can Kick my Ass"

Beyond Good and Evil. Tales of Symphonia. Metroid. Surprisingly enough, video games - the genre that's often decried as being a haven for male power fantasies - have far more and far better female protagonists than Hollywood can credit to its own action franchises. Let's just list the badass ladies from these games alone:

Beyond Good and Evil:
Jade, journalist and martial artist working to uncover the truth of a dark web of conspiracies invading every aspect of a nightmarish war between human and alien. All she has is a camera and a bo staff, yet she's determined to expose the lies even if it kills her.

Tales of Symphonia:
Colette, the one Chosen to save the world. She suffers silently, shouldering the burden of her own inevitable death in order to spare her friends from panic. She hides her pain behind a curtain of happy-go-luckiness and inextinguishable optimism, yet anyone who's played the game properly knows better than to just classify her as a 'genki girl' or a brainless blonde. In her vulnerable moments it's clear that Colette knows exactly what is expected of her and is grimly resigned to her fate. She doesn't take pride in her sacrifice; the only thing keeping her sane is knowing that her death will protect those she loves.

Sheena, the assassin sent to exterminate Colette before she can sacrifice herself. Her self-confidence and almost vicious nature in initial meetings belies her deep fears and insecurities. She has failed before and it has cost the lives of her loved ones. Failure again means that everyone dies. Her suffering as more and more family and friends die around her is palpable, but so is her resolve to stop the endless cycle of murder.

I'm pretty sure that everyone's heard of Metroid and its titular character, the master bounty hunter Samus Aran. It was a surprise to everyone back in the 80s when the badass planet-killer turned out to be a woman. Through the years she has consistently been one of the icons of female power, able to stand fast against seemingly impossible odds and yet retain her beauty and almost delicate nature outside of her armor. Of course, 'delicate' is a relative term when she's 6'4" and can bench 250 lbs.

"In Conclusion..."

So why haven't we seen more genuinely good and well-marketed female action heroes in movies, or even more in video games? Certainly the marketers and executives shoulder a good deal of the blame, but just like in early feminism I think one of the worst enemies in this case is women themselves, or rather, in their response to such media.

Davis' Cutthroat Island has been torn apart by many 'feminists' who insist that her character isn't strong enough, or that she should be more independent and able to move freely like any man. *patpat* That's right, sweetums, let's just rewrite all of history for you. It's not like ever since Aristotle made his completely bigoted and false assumption about women simply being the incubation pods for babies - that is, not contributing anything more than space for a full child to be implanted by a man - that women have been discriminated against in the Western world. The Abrahamic religions certainly didn't make things any better, and brutal tribes such as the Mongols and the Vandals pretty much covered the rest of the known world for anti-woman stances.

Criticizing a period piece for having women forced to be subservient is like criticizing a mammal for having to defecate.

Some of the most common complaints are that the women are too much like men, or they aren't enough like men. It seems like you can never win. Someone's always quick to start a riot about sexism whenever boobs larger than an A-cup appear on a video game character, yet as the blog Busty Girl Problems ( will attest, real-life women with such figures are never so defended.

Fuck, Metroid: Other M was decried as demeaning and sexist for showing post-traumatic stress disorder coupled with the return of a father figure. Don't believe me about the PTSD? Just google Metroid and PTSD and see what articles pop up. Real soldiers complimented the game on how realistically it portrayed their suffering, yet armchair crusaders managed to shift popular opinion and shit all over a very real and well-handled issue.

So what's the real reason that more female-centric action movies and games haven't been made? There is none. There's just a bunch of prejudice and imagined issues that come together and keep legitimately good storytelling out of the spotlight.

So the next time you're watching a Jet Li movie, just think: 'In another world that could have been Angela Mao.'

Goodnight, and stay safe.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

It's A Wonderful Lie

Everybody remembers from The Matrix where Neo first finds out that his entire world is a lie upheld by those who don't want to see. Everyone who saw Dances with Wolves or Avatar knows when the hero discovers he's been fighting on the wrong side. I assure you, the realization is far more chilling in real life.

I made such a discovery just today.

As anyone who reads this is sure to know, I'm not a fan of modern-day feminism. However, I've always stood up for the protection of women against abuse. Now, let me clarify that such a position is not going to change. I am still vehemently against the abuse and exploitation of women and I stand staunchly against the Limbaughs and Hannitys of the world and their campaign to turn women into a slave class.

That said, my eyes have been opened to one of the few legitimate conspiracies on this Earth. This is a conspiracy perpetrated not by a nebulous evil organization such as the Illuminati or Freemasons; rather, it is a road to hell paved with good intentions and whose upkeep is provided by tacit agreement to the status quo of popular opinion.

I present you with a video I stumbled upon entirely by accident but which definitely caught my attention and - to run the risk of sounding like a stoner - opened my eyes, man:

This analysis of institutionalized misandry is amazing and shocks you into a realization of how men are portrayed in the Western world. Think of the last time you saw a news story about a tragedy: did they single out women and children as victims and ignore what the men went through? Did the news single out a man or group of men as the perpetrator(s)? And even when the entire group of victims was male, did the newscasters ever describe the victims with any male terms? Or was it just gender-neutral monikers?

Have you ever wondered why roughly 90% of the homeless are men? Why, in a society supposedly so dominated by men, are they so swept under the carpet and left to literally die in the streets?

In Western society, men don't exist unless they're doing something evil or hateful. Now, in America of course we have the Republican movement but it's not like they're actually doing anything to help men. It's just more abuse toward women and advocacy of programs that don't actually help men. When was the last time you saw a Republican arguing for prostate cancer awareness or for male victims of domestic violence to be taken seriously? Just as in everything else Republicans are so convinced of male superiority that they can't tolerate acknowledging that men may be imperiled. Of course, it helps that the majority of men so victimized aren't in the Conservatives' holy upper-upper-class.

Now, speaking of domestic violence, there's another incredible eye-opener regarding misandry, American misandry in particular:

Male victimization from domestic violence is never reported in the published sections of any sponsored study. The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV) is happy to publish blatant lies stating that 85% of domestic violence victims are women. However, this is a vicious lie. The NCADV's own studies reported that, while 1.3 million women are victims of domestic violence each year, nearly 900,000 men are also victims. That means that, out of 2.2 million annual victims, women barely constitute half of the domestic violence victims. Far lower than the 85% the NCADV argues, isn't it?

Oh, but the NCADV never advertises the fact that their own studies turned up over 40% of the total domestic violence victims having penes. You have to dig through their full reports in order to reveal this lie.

In fact, domestic violence has skewed about even in man-on-woman and woman-on-man attacks since about 1984, when there were already more than twenty peer-reviewed and certified studies noting the violence as being roughly 50/50.

It gets even worse, though: In 2010 the CDC did a massive and intensive study across the country in the form of the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey. This survey came back with staggering results, which of course were never publicized: According to this survey, men constitute at least 53% of domestic violence victims! This doesn't even include male rape victims, who weren't tallied AT ALL. But nowhere in the NIPSVS' results will you find this fact except buried deep in the full report. Again, the CDC only publishes the female results of the survey.

The true statistics aren't published in the executive summary. They aren't even in the letters released to the US Department of Health and Human Services. The male victims are made not to exist. In fact, yet again in another heinous lie, the basic NIPSVS summary page states that women are vastly and disproportionately the victims of sexual violence, stalking and domestic violence. The survey's findings on victims of violence and shelter clients are equally disheartening: 53% of physical violence victims are men, and while women are higher on the "severe physical violence" list, that list includes rape which, again, was not tallied for men, meaning that the male victim percentage in that area most likely also skews even if not higher.

The worst part, however, is that 99.3% of domestic violence shelter clients are women. Less than 1% of the total abuse victims who use shelters have a Y chromosome. This is just unbelievable.

Actually, I lied. The worst part is what happens to men who actually build up enough courage to fight against the social stigma against male domestic violence victims and actually try to find some help:

A Douglas/Hines survey in 2011 titled Men's Helpseeking Experience found horrible statistics. When men sought aid for domestic abuse, barely a quarter were referred to a helpful program, and that was only with a domestic violence hotline or an online resource possibly completely unrelated to domestic violence agencies.
More horrible still is that men who went directly to the most lauded DV agencies were told, "We only help women." More than half the responses from any conventional method were this. And when it rains, it pours. About a fifth of the men seeking help were outright MOCKED AND INSULTED for having been the victims of domestic abuse.
And then, a good portion of men were referred to "batterer's programs," implying or outright telling the help-seeker that he was the batterer and not the victim at all.

My new sign-off has become, "Goodnight, and stay safe." I'm not just ending it with that this time. I usually call for action but leave it to my readers exactly what kind of action to take. This time I'm telling you what to do: call or email your Senators and Representatives and tell them to do something about this. Men are being erased from the world's sight and are being erased just as steadily by violence and tragedy that always goes unacknowledged. No one, man or woman or alien from the planet Glorboks, deserves to suffer abuse and disenfranchisement. This must change.

So goodnight, and take action.