Monday, April 14, 2014

How I Know That You're a Fucking Idiot

The morons are out in full force today, so I'm going to give a list of some common things I see from people that tells me that they aren't educated and don't know how to have a discourse.  In other words, that they're full of shit.

1. You call a citation an appeal to authority.
Earlier today I cited the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy to give someone the definition of feminism because they called feminism a female supremacy movement.  They brushed this off as an appeal to authority.  Let me say this one last fucking time to you morons: an appeal to the academic literature is NOT an appeal to authority.  Citing academic literature to back up your information is what scholars, academics, and intellectuals do.  You CANNOT write a master's thesis or doctoral dissertation without doing it.  Hell, you can't even write a term paper in college without doing it.  That's what citations are for: to back up your claims from the source materials.  It's no different than me citing selections from The Origin of Species in order to define the parameters of Darwinian natural selection to someone.

An appeal to authority would be if I said that Dr. Jones says this, therefore it's true because she's a PhD.  An appeal to authority is exactly what it fucking sounds like.  The body of literature that makes up a discourse is not an authority, it's a body of information.  You are appealing to the facts as they are written out and recorded in a peer-reviewed academic literature, just like citing scientific research.

Basically, if citing literature actually was an appeal to authority, then it means that no atheist in the world would be able to define atheism objectively for me, because looking up the word in a dictionary is appealing to the "authority" of the dictionary.  It would mean that no one could claim that leptons exist because, unless you discovered them yourself and had the evidence to show me right this moment, then you would be appealing to the "authority" of whatever peer-reviewed resource told you about the existence of leptons.  This is why you're a fucking idiot if you call a citation an appeal to authority

2. You give ad hoc definitions of words.
Really, no one gives a shit how you choose to define words if the definitions aren't the actual meanings of words.  Your arguments from those definitions are utterly meaningless.  If words have subjective definitions, then MRAs are child murders because I declare that that's what the term actually denotes.  Don't like that?  Well, you can't convince me otherwise, because showing me a definition of it that isn't my own is an appeal to authority, right?  Fucking idiots.

3. Two words (in Latin): ipse dixit.
If your only way of tearing down feminism is to try to state as fact that it something that it isn't, then fuck you.  How about YOU make a citation?  I find it hilarious that when I actually cite an academic source then I'm appealing to authority, and yet morons can just say things without backing them up and think that they are being more logical than me.  By the way, ipse dixit is a logical fallacy, dipshits, in case that wasn't obvious.

If you do any of these things, and then have the audacity to call me stupid, then I am going to be rude to you.  I am going to insult you in ever way possible, in the nastiest ways possible, just for having the gall.  Fuck you.  Go to hell, you unbelievably stupid fucking morons.  Go re-evaluate your lives because you're some of the stupidest people I've ever met and yet tragically seem to think that you're all a bunch of fucking geniuses.

I've about had it with anti-feminists.  New rule: if you're an anti-feminist, don't talk to me.  I'm about 100% sure you're a fucking moron.  People aren't getting the benefit of the doubt from me anymore.

The Weather Is Changing Too Quickly... And Makeup Talk

I've been at a loss with what to wear.  I've lost some weight since last Spring and nothing fits me right.  I went out with my roommate yesterday to get my car fixed and I managed to buy a couple of new tops, but putting together a decent outfit for work is becoming a chore.  I just want to buy 20 summer dresses and not have to worry about other garments.  That would make life easier.  If you're reading this, then send me links to cute dresses that could be appropriate for work or just sitting around in my new porch.  =P

Anyway, I'd like to talk about makeup.  I know a ton of guys (basically every man I know personally) who complain when women wear makeup.  Or at least they complain when cute women whom they are trying to compliment wear makeup, which is why I pretty much never trust them.  Seriously though, straight guys, it's ok to call me lovely when I'm wearing makeup without having to stumble upon yourself and insist that I look better without it.  Allow me to elaborate.

You don't have to feel obligated to tell me that I look better without makeup.  I don't wear it because I'm insecure with my natural look.  I'm not fishing for compliments.  And in fact it'd be nice for a change if a man noticed my makeup and complimented me on how great it looks instead.  It's kind of like the difference between complimenting my naked body and telling me that my clothing is pretty and stylish.  You're not denigrating my body by complimenting my outfit, are you?  Likewise, you're not calling me ugly if you dare to compliment me on my well made-up face.  (I understand that most men don't know much about makeup, so I'm not annoyed that they never want to talk about it.  But men typically don't know much about women's hairstyles either and yet that never seems to stop them from complimenting my hair.)  If it looks good, you can tell me.

Now, there are other men who are much more vehemently anti-makeup, and it's not about trying to give awkward compliments or adorably/annoyingly trying to assuage insecurities that they apparently think we ladies have about our appearances.  They take it a step further and look down upon women who wear makeup.  The worst of them will go so far as to call us completely insecure, or vain, or even slutty (i.e., that we're just trying to attract men, which assumes we're all straight but I'll leave that matter aside).  I have some responses to these guys as well.

First, let me start off by talking about the status of makeup itself in women's fashion in our culture.  It's not so easy to tell women to stop wearing it.  It's fun to wear, for one thing, unless it's just not your cup of tea, so we don't necessarily want to stop if we're wearing makeup.  Also, our cultural standards for women's grooming typically views women who are made-up tastefully to be better groomed and more presentable than women who go natural.  So telling a woman to stop wearing makeup because it makes her seem vain is like telling a man that he should go to his next boardroom meaning in jeans and a t-shirt because wearing a tailored suit will make him look conceited, or like he's trawling the boardroom for female attention.  I wouldn't go to a job interview without makeup for the same reason that I wouldn't go to one without brushing my hair or taking a shower or wearing appropriate clothing.  For that matter, I wouldn't go to a job interview without wearing makeup for the same reason a man wouldn't go to one without wearing a tie and shaving/grooming his facial hair.  It's not about looking attractive per se, it's about looking presentable and conforming to the cultural standards of grooming that are appropriate for those situations.

I appreciate the sentiment for those people who argue that women shouldn't feel the need to wear makeup, just as I would argue that there's no good, rational reason for men to brush their hair for work (i.e., depending on hair style most people could function all day with disheveled hair, it's not exactly a hindrance to anything).  It would certainly be nice if we weren't judged on whether or not we conformed to these standards of presentability, so to speak, especially since they are often so gender specific.  But for me at least, feeling the need to apply makeup is no bigger a problem than feeling the need to conform to any of our standards of dress and grooming.  I wish I could walk around all day all "goth'd out" in my high school and college fashion.  I wish I could wear dark eyeliner, fishnets, and plaid miniskirts to work on more than one day a year (Halloween).  The reasons why I don't should be obvious, as it should be obvious why I'm compelled to make myself up in a certain fashion.

This issue is kind of ironic to me because I feel like men who are severe in their judgment of women who wear makeup are being misogynists.  The dead giveaway is the fact that they refer to these women with gendered slurs occasionally (e.g., "Only whores wear makeup," etc.) or they call these women vain or even predatory in trying to attract men.  As is typical with misogynists, they interpreted everything women do as an attempt to piss off or trap men.  And yet the irony lies in the fact that it's something of a feminist issue to free both men and women from the conforming to gendered standards of presentability.  So it's like they're advocating for this issue for all the wrong reasons.

As a final point to the men out there who feel this way, let me tell you something: we don't wear makeup for you.  My LAST priority in the morning when I'm applying makeup is how attractive I will be to men (or women).  Obviously, in our culture, makeup can be worn in a manner that enhances beauty, or at least our idea of what beauty is in the West.  However, it's not for you.  It's for me.  I'm grooming myself.  I'm making myself presentable for work with the standards of female grooming and style in mind.  It's the same reason why I brush my hair, or wear modest jewelry, or wear certain clothes that flatter me and make me look like I know how to dress myself properly.  It makes me look professional and like I care about my appearances, which is exactly why men dress and groom themselves the way that they do.  If it were the norm for men to wear cosmetics to look presentable, then most of them would too, and it wouldn't be for attracting women (or men).  I wear makeup even when the only people who are going to see me are married coworkers.  I wear makeup to interview with a straight female hiring manager.  It's not to be more attractive to you, guys, though that may be the result, just as wearing a tailored suit might make you more attractive to a lot of women.  But admit it: that's not why you chose to wear it if it's just a normal day at the office for you.

Indeed, the reason why women do a lot of things in our grooming rituals that men don't understand is because it's for us, or it's to look GOOD.  Not attractive, but good, well-groomed, someone who takes care of herself, someone who makes a good impression, etc.  And yes, occasionally some of our grooming practices do make us feel better about insecurities, the majority of which are only given to us because of the sexist beauty standards we have to worry about in our patriarchal culture.  Which means that you men out there can kindly fuck off about it because it's not something you have to deal with and you aren't judged for it or made to feel worthless when you don't conform to those strict beauty standards.  If you have a problem with our insecurities then maybe you should criticize the culture that gave them to us instead of criticizing us.  And if you have a problem with our standards of presentability, then maybe you should criticize those as well.  The last person I need criticism from is an obnoxious man, especially if it's from a place of misogyny instead of empathy.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go take a shower, wash and condition my hair, shave my legs and underarms, pluck my eyebrows, dry my hair, brush my hair, apply moisturizer, style my hair, pick out an appropriate outfit for this weather, make myself up, and walk around all day in shoes that you wouldn't last 10 minutes in, all so I won't be called a frumpy slob by the same asshole who criticizes me for my "vanity".

Sunday, April 13, 2014

If You're Not Willing To Concede...

...then don't make arguments.

Ugh.  I've really had it with trying to have conversations with people online about anything.  This hasn't been too much of a problem for a small few people whom I talk with occasionally, though it's usually only people who agree with me or mostly agree with me on any number of things.  But to the rest of you, which is the vast majority of people I encounter on the internet, let's talk about why you're fucking obnoxious people.

1. If you are prepared to make arguments, you must be prepared to be wrong.
Not everyone who argues is wrong, but no matter how reasonable you think you are you still might be wrong about something.  Maybe your arguments are built off of faulty premises.  Maybe you don't have enough information to have a meaningful discussion about something.  Maybe, despite your general reasonableness as a person, you have some prejudices that are clouding your judgment or your reason.  Maybe you just fucked something up this time.  But if you aren't prepared to be wrong occasionally and if you're not willing to admit it when it is abundantly demonstrated to you, then you really have no business talking about anything with me except the weather and where I bought my shoes.

2. You may be a reasonable person, but that doesn't mean you're always right.
I consider myself a reasonable person and I'm wrong all the time.  I'm not just wrong in terms of making bad arguments, I'm also wrong about facts sometimes.  It is indeed illogical to suggest that because you consider yourself a "logical" person then it means that every argument you make is logically sound and every premise you have is factually correct.

3. Things are almost always more complex than you think they are.
If you're going to try to invalidate an entire discourse with a three line argument, you're probably doing it wrong.  If you're going to actively participate in a conversation then you need to know what you're talking about.  If not, then you should spend more time listening and less time arguing.  There's a reason why I ask students to read at least 10 sources before writing a 10 page research paper about something.  If you haven't looked at the whole issue then you're much less likely to have anything meaningful to contribute to discussing it.  Also, you have to actually be willing to consider the complexities of an issue.  Many of you intentionally disregard them because you're simply lazy and completely unwilling to reformulate your arguments with the broader scope of the matter in mind.  Don't be lazy, for Christ's sake.  You're certainly not coming off as a well-informed intellectual when you do so.  You come off as an ignoramus, so unless that's what you're going for I'd cut that shit out if I were you.

4. Don't act like a petulant child.  When you're wrong, concede.
Really, you don't come off as any smarter by INSISTING that you're correct, or quipping, or changing the subject, or just being an asshole when someone has shown your arguments to be faulty.  You come off as a moron and an asshole.  When you're wrong, you're wrong.  Obviously, if your ego is what's most important to you, then being right all the time would be ideal.  But since that pretty much never happens, then the next best thing is to act like a reasonable and intelligent person and admit when you said something stupid.  I can't stress enough how much smarter you look when you admit that you're "being stupid", so to speak, than when you obnoxiously try to weasel your way out of being wrong.

5. Some things are just indefensible.
Like Warren Farrell's books, bullying, or the Holocaust (no, I'm not suggesting they're even remotely on the same level), there are some things you just shouldn't defend because they're patently terrible and wrong, whether factually, morally, or both.  I'll confess that it was a defense of the first of these that compelled me to write this today.  If you're an MRA then you're not doing yourself any favors by supporting Warren Farrell.  The arguments in his writings are atrocious both in terms of their speciousness and the lack of factual accuracy and the distortion of the information that serves as his premises.  He argued that a man losing his job is as bad, if not worse, than a woman getting raped.  He argued that a woman who doesn't have sex with her date, assuming he paid for her, is not fulfilling her end of an unspoken bargain (i.e., she is obligated to have sex with any man who does something for her, and if she doesn't then she is a "fraud", in his own words).  He also argued that fathers fucking their daughters was a healthy experience for young girls, and promoted incest (though he now vehemently denies this despite the fact that it's in writing).  This is why people call him a rape apologist and an incest apologist.  If you try to defend this, then your arguments will not stand under most moral systems (and most likely you will be forced to make a moral contradiction in your own positions in order to offer a defense).

You can try as you want to defend it.  "You took him out of context."  "He never said that."  "You straw manned him."  "You're too illogical to understand his arguments."  Blah blah blah, sophistry on top of sophistry.  But it's right fucking there.  It's indefensible and incompatible with the a lot of the shit that MRAs say in their talking points.  This man and his writing are not the least bit helping your "movement".  He's making you look bad.  It's better to turn on your own and be morally sound and factually accurate in your arguments than it is to stick up for him just because he's considered a founder of your little group.  Don't defend the indefensible.  It wins you no points for intellectualism, that's for damned sure, and it makes you look like some sort of irrational moron with his fingers in his ears chanting, "La la la, I'm not listening!"

So yeah, this is why I can't have discussions with people on the internet anymore.  They don't know how to have discussions.  They know how to assert their own righteousness and claim flawlessness in their arguments and then insist that they are brilliant regardless of whether or not people correct them, tear down their weak arguments, or point out their sophistry.  Most of you armchair/keyboard philosophers shouldn't quit your day jobs because you sure as hell aren't intellectuals and you behave like children.  And that might be the truest argument I've ever made myself...

And on a final note, instead of simply being in denial about the interpretations of Farrell's works that people are giving, I'd like to see an MRA write a defense of Farrell instead of just being a sophist.  You want to claim that Farrell never said some rape and incest apology bullshit?  Then read his works and respond directly to what others are saying instead of having some sort of weird meta-discussion and claiming that everyone in the world is quote-mining and straw manning him.  Use quotations yourself.  Pretend it's a term paper or something.  I don't care, because it's still indefensible, but you can at least try an actual defense instead of just accusing everyone of misinterpreting him whilst never actually addressing what he said directly.  Fucking idiots...

Saturday, April 12, 2014

The Name Game

I just learned from someone that my old gal pal Jaclyn Glenn doesn't call herself a feminist.  That surprises me because she seems to support the feminist ethic: all genders should have equal rights and social status.  Maybe she doesn't actually agree with this, but her supporters claim that she does and from what few of her videos I managed to sit through, she does seem to think that women not having equal rights and status is a problem (especially amongst theocratic societies, as she has noted).

I've talked about this at length before, but I just don't understand why people refuse to call themselves feminists.  I'll give people the benefit of the doubt for a while because there are a lot of myths about feminists in our popular culture.  The same can be said for atheists, which is no doubt why many people may take considerable time before reluctantly adopting the label for themselves.  In a society that demonizes atheists, it takes some courage to call oneself an atheist (though not as much courage as many atheists online seem to think, especially if you're from a relatively liberal and non-religious region of the world).  Our society also seems to demonizes feminists most of the time or at least stereotype us in a negative light, so I can also understand why it might take some time before admitting that yes, you are indeed a feminist.

However, at some point there's no excuse.  I think I spent all of two or three weeks refusing to be called a feminist.  (Before that I wasn't anything because I didn't think about gender issues at any great length.  In fact, I think I did identify casually as a feminist once when I first learned what it meant, but I fell victim to ignorant stereotypes as much as anyone else and failed to re-adopt the label immediately when I revisited gender issues.)  I look back on those two or three weeks and I feel stupid and a little ashamed because it shouldn't have taken me two or three weeks to figure out what feminism actually is.  If I can do enough research to write a thesis, I should be able to figure out the denotations of words.  Yes, it is indeed shameful.

So I can only be so understanding and forgiving for everyone else.  Contrary to what many of my readers probably think, I don't think I'm brilliant or think too highly of myself in general.  I think I'm pretty average in terms of intelligence, though I am very educated.  Very few things come easily to me and I'm constantly having to re-evaluate myself and have people correct me.  When I'm around smart people I tend not to do much of the talking.  That being said, I expect most people who are discussing gender at length online to eventually take the time to read even the Wikipedia article on what feminism is, or perhaps the entry in the Stanford Dictionary of Philosophy, since feminism is an ethics issue.  I'll give you about a month.  If after a month you haven't figured out what feminism is, especially if you claim to believe in gender equality as a moral good, then I just don't know what's wrong with you.

I've had debates with people over whether or not it's ok to refuse a label for specious reasons, like not enjoying the negative tropes about that group (see: atheists, feminists, LGBT people, etc.) or simply for not preferring the term with no real justification given.  I'm on the side that believes that if the word describes you, then use it.  If you don't believe in god, call yourself an atheist.  If you believe in gender equality, call yourself a feminist.  Sometimes there are alternative terms or even better terms to describe something, which is why I tend not to call myself a liberal in conversation because it's way too vague.  However, I'll be the first to admit that I am a "liberal" by most standards even if it's not a term I regularly use.  Similarly, if I ask someone whether or not they are a feminist with the actual meaning of the word in mind, I expect them to adopt that term.

Some people try to come up with clumsy alternatives, for which I was guilty myself.  For a couple of weeks I called myself a "gender egalitarian" before finally admitting that yes, by definition, I am a feminist, because that's what the word means.  For those atheists out there, would you come up with alternative terms like "deity non-believer" for no good reason?  And even if you chose to go by that term instead, would you correct someone for saying, "So... you're an atheist then, right?"  In other words, even if you have some nagging reason for not liking the term or using it for yourself, I think you should be able to say "yes" when someone asks you whether or not you're a feminist.

Me: "Are you a feminist?"
You: "Yes, but I don't use that term.  I prefer to call myself a gender egalitarian because [reasons]."
Me: "Ok, suit yourself."

So to say it another way, I think it's silly when people come up with alternative words that mean the same thing, but I won't begrudge them that.  I do, however, get annoyed if you're one of those people who just flat-out refuses that you're a feminist even though you believe in gender equality.  Use any term you want for yourself, but don't stand there and tell me that the word "feminist" doesn't apply to you.  It's as ridiculous as an atheist claiming that "atheist" doesn't apply to her even though she admittedly does not believe in a deity.

The reason why this is important to me is because I think it's obvious that words should be used appropriately by their meaning.  Feminist means "person who believes in gender equality" whether you like the term or not, whether you like its etymology or not, whether you enjoy the stupid stereotypes about feminists or not, whether you prefer an alternative term or not, whether you dislike the association it gives you with other people who use the term or not.  Your personal preferences don't fucking matter when it comes to whether or not a label is a fitting descriptor of you.  Unless the label is itself an offensive slur then there's no reason to so vehemently eschew it.  Call yourself "gender egalitarian", but I'm going to call you a feminist, and you should at least be willing to admit that being a "gender egalitarian" is, by definition, the same damned thing.  In the least this should be in your best interests because it makes you look like someone who isn't completely ignorant.  If you don't know what a feminist is after whinging online about gender issues for months and months, then you should be at least as ashamed as I felt when I realized after two weeks that I was mistaken in thinking that "feminist" and "gender egalitarian" described different things.  They're synonyms.  If you prefer one or the other you shouldn't deny being either of them.  I sure as hell don't have a problem if someone calls me a gender egalitarian instead of a feminist.

And you know what?  I'm not sympathetic to you if you just don't want to be called a feminist because you don't want the stigma.  That's even more reason to adopt the term and educate people.  Should we drop every label that has a stigma?  Are all of you atheists out there unwilling to call yourselves atheists because of the stigma attached to it?  Obviously not, and indeed, many of you have gone the opposite direction to where you stigmatize theists for being "illogical" within your own communities and where atheism is prevalent (which I don't condone).

Well, now I'm just rambling.  To recapitulate, my point in writing this is simply to say that if you are a feminist then don't be afraid to admit it.  You're not smarter for coming up with a different term for the same thing.  It actually just makes you look more ignorant and incompetent for not being able to look up the meanings of words.  And if you prefer another term, fine, but at least be willing to admit that it's just a synonym for feminism.  I will HAPPILY call you something other than a feminist if you believe in gender equality, but only if you're willing to admit that the term "feminist" would suit you.  I won't stop until I'm sure you know what the word means because the meanings of words is important.  And if you want to be called a feminist, even better.  That's one more person who defies the ridiculous stereotypes, just as many atheists are trying to do for that label.

Friday, April 11, 2014

On An Ignorant Parent

One of my friends, a mother of three, shared this with me today.  It's from another woman's blog post.  I'll leave her anonymous because it really doesn't matter who she is.  I want to re-post it here for the purposes of responding to her.  I feel like there's a lot of people who would agree with this woman without much thought, but it's my intention to show how she's mostly wrong about everything she's saying here.  Without further ado...

1.  "The emotions that sparked this blog post were given a little bit of a supercharge last evening. Hendrix was picking out what he wanted to take to school for Show & Tell. He chose a little Imaginext action figure - one that he's had for about two years now. With the action figure comes a little yellow object. For the two years that he's had this toy, that yellow object has always been a drill to him. He gathered the action figure, the mask that goes with him, and the yellow drill and proudly told me he'd chosen that for Show & Tell. Then, you could see him thinking. And he promptly changed his mind and said to me, 'You know what, I better not take this. My teacher will probably think it's a gun, and then I'll get in trouble,' put the action figure back, and chose something else."

Right from the start I can see that she's being a little dramatic about this and the implications she's making for the state of public education and the culture of fear in which we live.  Some of these annoyances are well-founded.  I've noticed myself over the years that schools have taken "zero tolerance" policies to unreasonable extremes, like expelling a menstruating student for having Motrin in her locker by calling it a drug offense, or expelling a student for having a fingernail file that was classified by officials as a potential weapon (as if a pencil couldn't do the same kind of damage).  These occasional occurrences are quite problematic and tell us that our policies used in public schools to protect students and staff need to be applied with some rationality, or in the least some common sense.  I, myself, was a victim of overblown "zero tolerance" rules by school officials several times for dress code violations, one of which gave me a week suspension for wearing a long, black wool overcoat.  (This was after the Columbine Massacre.)  Needless to say, wool overcoats shouldn't be banned because they're of a certain length or color, and straight A students without any psychiatric issues or access to deadly weapons probably don't need to be suspended from school for violating such a ridiculous policy.  In other words, I feel your pain.  But I also think you're being dramatic.  I highly doubt that a child would get in trouble for bringing a toy to school that has a power tool as an accessory.  I also somewhat doubt that your son was the one worried about this.  I'm going to assume that you're putting words in his mouth and that you were the one who recommended he choose something else because of your own sensationalist views on the implementation of school policies.

2.  "I often think about the world my boys will grow up in. I often get angry when I think about it. This particular situation just furthered those emotions for me.  In completely selfish terms, bringing my boys into this world was such a great decision - for me. They bring me so much joy, they fill my heart, they make me happy. But I often question whether or not it was the right decision for them. My boys are typical little boys. They love to play guns. They love to play good guy versus bad guy. They love to wrestle and be rowdy. That's the nature of little boys, as it has been since the beginning of time.  How long will it be before their typical boy-ish behavior gets them suspended from school? How long before they get suspended from daycare? How long will it be before one of them gets upset with a friend, tells that friend to go away and leave them alone, and subsequently gets labeled as a bully?"

Ah yes, the old "boys will be boys" argument.  There's a lot of problems with what she's saying here.  The first is the implication that little boys are just little boys and that there is a such thing as "typical" boyish behavior.  If by typical she means "most commonplace", then sure, I'll agree that there are a pattern of behaviors exhibited by a lot of boys in our culture.  The problem is that it is, indeed, specific to culture.  Little Japanese boys don't act the same way little American boys do, or little Indian boys, or little Iranian boys.  The typical behaviors of her children might be seen as atypical and unseemly in other cultures instead of being the status quo.  It's also problematic that she would even imply that there is a "normal" way for boys to behave.  That sounds a lot like enforcing gender roles to me.  Even MRAs who complain about the perceived unfairness of men's gender roles should back me up on this.  To call certain behaviors normal is to call all others abnormal, which is to place a stigma on children who don't fit her description of the way boys either should be or tend to be.  It's nonsense.

There's something about this that also seems like an excuse for what could be frankly described as shitty behavior.  I'm not going to assume that her children are misbehaved, but let's say one of them pushes around another boy.  Is she excusing this behavior as being typically boyish?  Because one could argue that such behavior is violent and anti-social and hardly something "typical".  I don't want anyone to think that I'm blowing it out of proportion, but you often hear from parents with ill-behaved children that they're just being typical kids.  There's a distinct possibility that her words are coming from a place of resentment because people have told her that she has poorly-behaved children and this accusation offends her personally.  She's blaming it on the rest of us that her boys aren't allowed to be little shits because, apparently, it's "normal" and therefore they should be able to.  Again, I'm not saying this with certainty, but the way she speaks about this causes me to raise an eyebrow because I've heard this before from lousy parents with bratty children.

3.  "The mentality of our society in 2014 is nauseating to me, friends.  Many years ago, there was a time where young boys could run around with their toy guns, killing the bad guys. You could take the toy guns away from the little boys, and they'd find something else around them - a stick, their fingers, etc - and pretend it was a gun. Today, those little boys - if caught doing that - are labeled as threats, and immediate action is taken to remove that threat from the group."

Look, I'm all for asserting that little kids who play games evocative of violence will not necessarily grow up to be violent.  When I was a girl, we played all sorts of games.  We played sword-fighting with sticks (usually until someone accidentally got hurt), we played video games where you killed people with swords and medieval weapons, and we doused each other with water guns and hurled water balloons at each other's faces in the heat of summer.  Even some of our school sports activities were inherently violent, like dodgeball, which was a personal favorite of mine (I sucked at throwing, but was amazing at dodging, my agility was the envy of all).  And maybe there is something to be said about schools going too far in banning certain kinds of games.  However, it's no different today than it was back then.  Kids got suspended for disrupting class with water guns or spit wads.  I had to get special permission to bring my longbow in for gym class when we did archery, and I had to check it in with the office, and it was a real pain in the ass, despite the fact that's it's just a big stick and a string without the arrows.  Kids who got too rowdy were usually punished.  You know what we did?  We waited until school was out to play those games that the school officials didn't want us to play during school hours.  It's really that simple.  Principles and teachers aren't following your kids into the public parks and backyards of parents to stop kids from pointing sticks at each other and saying, "Pow! I got you!"

And don't forget that school shootings in the U.S. have become a "thing".  They happen.  A lot.  Alarmingly so.  What the fuck do you expect?  That schools will be ok with kids pretending to shoot each other?  If you want to blame someone for schools cracking down on evocative violence, maybe you should blame the violence of our culture that has them on edge.  I'm not excusing every poor decision to suspend a kid for pointing his fingers at a classmate and saying "bang", but how often does this happen, really?  How much about this do you actually worry, and is it justified?  I remain unconvinced.

4.  "There was a time - not too long ago - when bullying was defined as slamming someone up against a locker and stealing their lunch money. There was a time when kids got called names and got picked on, and they brushed it off and worked through it (ask me how I know this). Now, if Sally calls Susie a b*tch (please excuse my language if that offends you), Susie's whole world crumbles around her, she contemplates suicide, and this society encourages her to feel like her world truly has ended, and she should feel entitled to a world-wide pity party. And Sally - phew! She should be jailed! She should be thrown in juvenile detention for acting like - gasp - a teenage girl acts."

This whole paragraph is bullshit.  For one, slamming someone against a locker and stealing from them is still considered bullying, and plenty of kids still brush off the stupid shit said to them.  However, some children are teased relentlessly until they kill themselves, and then their bullies have the nerve to gloat over it.  You don't think there's any culpability on the part of the people tormenting such children?  Are you really going to blame these victims for not shrugging off such abuse and harassment?  Are you fucking kidding me?  Also, you're misrepresenting the problem.  Suzie isn't killing herself because Sally called her a bitch once.  Suzie is killing herself because Sally and all of her friends make every day of her life a living hell, both in school and out, often with the aid of social media.  Sometimes things that are very personal to Suzie get outed online.  Sometimes she sleeps with a malicious boy (or girl) who makes a hate page about her on the internet and spreads lies and rumors about her, or even just embarrassing truths.  And that's why Suzie, still an adolescent and perhaps unable to have an adult outlook on such brutal harassment, decides that it's not worth it and ends her life.  And that's when Sally's criminal behavior is usually given the notice that it should have been given long before it went that far.  The way you are misrepresenting this issue as as ignorant as it is callous.

And once again, teenage girls aren't wired to literally ruin each other's lives.  That's not "normal" behavior.  I wouldn't even say that calling someone a bitch for no damned reason is normal.  It's vicious and insipid.  Is this what you think is "normal" for young girls?  If that's true then you insult both young boys and young girls.  You think young boys are supposed to be obnoxious shits and young girls should be cruel and petty.  I'm starting to think you're a shitty fucking parent, or at least you're bound to be with these attitudes and with your lack of compassion.

5.  "Modern parenting and thinking makes me crazy. The young generations of today (yes, I sound old. I realize I'm only 29 years old.) are being taught that they shouldn't have to ever put up with anything doesn't make their hearts feel like rainbow colored unicorns are running around pooping skittles onto piles of marshmallows.  Modern parenting is creating a generation that's not going to be able to function in society."

Oh, well sue me for wanting a world where people aren't fucking assholes to each other and where I expect parents to have more to say in their defense than "boys will be boys" or "teenage girls with be vindictive and mean".  And what's wrong with Skittles and marshmallows?  Except of course that they can give you diabetes, which of course means that evil liberals like me want them banned, so wouldn't we NOT want that?  (I'm joking, if this wasn't obvious.)

6.  "Your child, who you cater to every need, who you shelter from all things 'evil.' How will this child react when he or she grows into adulthood? 'Debbie' graduates from high school and goes to college. She writes her first paper and meets with her professor about that paper and the professor tells her that it's junk and it will get a failing grade. How will Debbie cope with that if she's always been made to feel that no one should ever make her feel sad, or criticize anything she does?"

Except that I am a professor and this never happens.  Most students who do poorly do so out of boredom, laziness, or lack of interest, and hardly seek my validation for their work.  I'd say our culture creates apathetic young adults far more often than it creates super-sensitive people who can't cope with failure.  Also, professors are hardly ever that mean, so I don't know what the fuck you're talking about in this scenario.  Granted, we're talking about people barely much younger than this woman, who I'm surprised is actually younger than I am because she sounds like a 50 year old conservative woman.  But if I can assume that things will be similar in 10 years when your children are old enough to be in college, I think you've overblown things once again.  After all, I was in college 10 years ago and hardly anything has changed in terms of the kid of student who walks through the doors.  I see no epidemic of socially retarded young people who can't handle any criticism and are hyper-sensitive.  People like this woman like to equate trying to make all children feel included and important to coddling children until they aren't functional members of society.  There's really no middle ground with you people, is there?  Give a kid a trophy for losing?  Well, now you've ruined her because apparently in 10 years she'll cry herself to sleep for writing a shitty college paper because she can't cope with her own mediocrity that was enabled 10 years ago.  Give me a fucking break.  It's all in your head.

7.  "'Donna' graduates from college and gets a job - you know, in the real world. She has to work on a committee to come up with a marketing plan. She shoots out an idea, and it gets immediately turned down. What is she to do? Go home and cry because no one liked her idea? Quit her job because she can't handle rejection?"

I don't want to read too much into the fact that she chose two women for these scenarios, but it would be kind of bullshit and sexist if she thinks only women are sensitive.  But again, I don't want to read too much into it.

Again, I just don't see this being an epidemic.  Most people are not that sensitive.  Telling kids not to play violent games on school grounds and protecting young people from insidious bullies isn't going to make them bad at taking criticism.  Where's the connection?  Seriously, where's the fucking connection?  If I want to use my own anecdotes, I'd argue that the "toughest" people I know are the ones who seem most vain and conceited and handle criticism the worst.  Last summer I saw a tough Marine dude punch a man in the face at a house party for making a stinging remark at him.  Are you going to tell me that Marines are coddled in basic training and that this is what made him unable to take criticism?  Spare me.

8.   "Modern parents, who drop everything all the time to sit and play with the child, who 'needs attention,' or drop what they're doing to help the child the second he or she gets frustrated? How is Joey going to deal with the fact that there won't be anyone in his adult life who's willing to stop what they're doing, stop living their busy lives, to cater to his every whim?  How do you think Billy is going to cope in the real world, when his boss gives him a vague task to complete, and offers no helpful information as to how to complete this task? Mr. Boss is certainly not going to hold Billy's hand and help him through the task. Mr. Boss expects it to be completed by Monday. How has Billy been prepared to use his critical thinking and problem solving skills to be able to complete that task? He hasn't."

Why not Ms. Boss?  Well, whatever, don't want to read too much into it again.  Is this woman really suggesting that being attentive to your children when they're young is going to make them incapable of thinking or doing for themselves?  Sometimes when you neglect a child they become crackheads and end up in the morgue due to gang violence.  It's good to pay attention to your children.  Now, I'm sure that this parent isn't suggesting that you completely neglect your child, and I'll agree that a really good parent wouldn't do everything for a child, like all of his homework for him, just because he's confused by it and frustrated.  But I don't think this is a part of modern parenting.  Indeed, I think most guides to modern parenting would be expressly against doing everything for your child in this manner.

Not surprisingly, the students whose hands I have to hold, metaphorically, are most often those who have had the least amount of support.  I have noticed that they are usually low income, often come from a bad school district, and have generally been ill-prepared for college and need more help.  The middle class kids who were "coddled" by their parents?  They usually don't need my help.  Go figure.

9.  "We follow the rules and don't take toy guns or weapons to daycare. But I'll be darned if my boys aren't allowed to be little boys when they're at home. They have several toy guns and it's constantly a good guy vs. bad guy battle in my house. I feel like this teaches them to do the things they want to do, while respecting other's rules and regulations. It also teaches them that there are differing opinions about things in this world and that's ok. We can like and believe in the things we want, while respecting that others may not agree with us."

No one is stopping your kids from playing war games in your house.  Then what the fuck are you complaining about?  You're complaining that places have rules?  This really doesn't fit with the tone of everything she's said previously because it's like she's taken her original complaint and admitted that it in no way effects the way her children are other than teaching them to respect the rules of these institutions.  I just don't get it.

10.  "My children are all but ignored when they ask for something without using manners. They understand that when someone addresses or speaks to them, they are to speak back. When we go out to eat, we don't take 5 electronic devices to keep them 'entertained' for the 15 minutes we have to wait for our food. If Hendrix is 'bored' (and I use that term loosely), then he can put on his jacket and go play outside."

You think other parents are in the habit, generally, of not teaching their children manners because they might be more attentive to them than you are?  I meet rude children all the time.  The last thing I think is, "If only his/her parents were a bunch of tough bastards who didn't coddle their children, or tell them not to play with toy guns at school and not to be rough or cruel with other children, whether physically or verbally.  THEN he/she would be a well-behaved child."  At this point she's just bragging about her children's manners while.  Good for you.  I don't see how any of the things she was complaining about above have anything to do with children's manners.

11.  "Everyone parents differently, and I respect that."

Apparently you don't.

12.  "The current generation may be one that expects nothing less than everything from this world. But I know of two gentlemen that are going to be able to accept failure and move on having learned something from it.  I know of two gentleman who will be hurt emotionally, but who will be able to work through the hurt and carry on with life. I will cushion the emotional fall as much as a mom can, but I will not completely prevent it from happening. They will not expect whoever hurt them to be punished. Heck, I might even teach my children the power of forgiveness.  These two gentlemen will understand the value of hard work, and know that hard work is required to get where one wants to be in life.  They will, while understanding the need for caution, appreciate that not everyone out there is out to get them. Not everyone is out to do evil things.  These gentlemen will understand that there are about a gazillion people in this world. While they are incredibly special to me and my family, they are not special to the world. That probably sounds terrible, but people! It's the harsh truth, and it needs embraced!"

I don't understand how protecting children from bullying and banning evocative violence in institutions of learning will: (a.) make children expect "everything from this world", (b.) make them unable to accept failure, (c.) make them unable to carry on from emotional trauma, (d.) make them expect every ill visited upon them, no matter how insignificant, to be rectified, (e.) make them unable to forgive, (f.) make them lazy, (g.) make them expect the worst from everyone, (h.) make them feel like they are the most important people in the world.

Protecting children from bullying and banning evocative violence will likely only do two things: make children's experiences are school safer, more productive, and less miserable, and make them realize that visiting malice upon others is wrong and that there is a system of justice that protects victims.  Then again, maybe she's right.  Maybe we shouldn't teach them the latter, since there is so much injustice in the world.  Maybe we should teach them cynicism whenever they are victimized.  But that's only because women like the one above apparently love the status quo and think that it's making people "tougher" to be victims of violence and harassment.  Bullshit.

12.  "I know that I can't change the mindset of modern parents. That's never been and never will be my goal. I just want to make sure that I raise my sons to grow into respectable men who can thrive and succeed, due to having been prepared to do so."

About the only think you're teaching your sons is that they need to "man up".  Once again, where are the MRAs to actually agree with me on something?  I know that most MRAs don't believe a fucking word that they spew because they only use it as ammunition to criticize feminists and hate upon women in general, but some of you must surely be at least a little sincere about how toxic masculine gender roles are.  I'd be happy to see such MRAs agree with me that this woman's rant is nonsense and that she's looking to make her little boys become "tough through adversity" or some such bullshit.  I sure as hell don't hope that they fall through the cracks because of her shitty attitude as she scorns the idea of protecting our children from malevolent forces and harmful stereotypes.

Well, I could say more but I have to jet.  No time to edit this...

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

VAWA: Female Privilege?

Before I blocked him into oblivion for being an insufferable asshole, the YouTuber Chazwold Almighty asserted to me that the Violence Against Women Act is an example of "female privilege".  I can't resist saying this: I doubt that Chazwold, a Briton, understands American law, and I most certainly doubt that he's ever actually read the act.

Now, I don't know much about these laws except the distillation of what they entail because I haven't ever read it either.  (I skimmed parts of it, and the whole document is 127 pages long and in American legalese, which makes it difficult to fully understand even for educated Americans.)  But I want to try to put this into perspective for my readers: Chazwold thinks we women are privileged because we've gotten the shit beaten out of us by men so much that our government found it necessary to pass laws to address this issue.  That's right, women, it is a privilege that people of our gender are so often victimized by domestic violence that a bipartisan majority in the House and Senate voted to pass a law to protect us from intimate partner violence.

It's not a perfect analogy, but this is a lot like saying that black people are privileged because the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was passed to protect them.

As far as I understand it, the VAWA is in gender neutral language, which means that, despite the name, it protects men who are victims of domestic violence as well, rendering Chazwold's entire argument completely fucking moot anyway.  (Much in the same way that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 doesn't exclusively protect black people.)  "Damn you privileged women for having laws enacted to protect you that protect us men as well.  You're so privileged!"

Chazwold also said to me that one day I would speak the way I do to the "wrong" person and I would get the shit beat out of me (N.B.: not his exact wording).  This is where the mind of a violent asshole goes: a woman is saying things I don't like, so I'm going to fantasize about someone "putting her in her place" and beating her.  You know what?  I hope an MRA punches me in the face one day for calling him an ignorant, stupid, insecure, smug bigot.  I hope it happens, and I hope we get it on video, and I hope everyone in the world sees it.  It'll be just one more thing we can reference when we want to show people how terrible MRAs really are.  As if there isn't enough already compiled on David Futrelle's blog alone...

And to all of the big talkers and tough guys on YouTube, you think I wouldn't say this shit to your face?  No, darlings, it's the other way around.  You'd all be so fucking intimidated by me if you saw me in person that you wouldn't have shit to say.  Besides, why should I fear you?  I'm a feminist woman, so I'll just have my legion of white knights defend me with "violence by proxy" and invoke the evil, misandrist VAWA to have you jailed forever and ever for looking at me the wrong way, right?  Isn't this how life works, according to you?  You're so full of shit.

Ah, Chazwold Almighty, the man who honestly thinks that he can refute the notion of patriarchal culture by pointing out that the word means "rule of fathers" in Greek and that fathers don't exclusively rule our society.  Yes, that old gem.  Just think about that for a second and reflect upon how fucking stupid this guy is.  As if calling the VAWA a "female privilege" wasn't stupid enough.

So far the only "female privilege" MRAs have convinced me of is that I live in a society where men see me as some warm holes to fuck that are attached to a shapely form, and that I can use that to manipulate people, mostly men, to do trivial things for me, at least for about 10 or 15 years until I'm no longer considered "hot" enough to pull that trick off.  The rampant rape and violence women face?  The discrimination?  The objectification?  The sexism?  Nope, doesn't matter, because somewhere there's a man who will buy me a drink because he wants to fuck me, and I can always rely on some man to feel entitled to me like I'm his possession and he'll punch some asshole for staring at my tits for too long.  Oh, whatever will I do with so much privilege?

What a fucking joke, Chazzy boy.  Indeed, it's the funniest thing you've ever said.  Way funnier than any of your puerile jokes.  Oh, and I take back that thing about having hope for you.  You're hopelessly stupid.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Enter: Henry the MRA

Hi!  My name is Henry, and I'm your typical Men's Rights Activist.  Let me tell you my story.

I'm a 24 year old white man from a middle class background.  I love the internet.  Indeed, I spend most of my time there.  I graduated with a degree in computer science a couple of years ago but I still haven't managed to find a decent job.  I work part-time at a convenience store so my parents don't kick me out.

As I look back on my life I realize that I have been oppressed by the evils of feminism.  I know it sounds a little sensational to say so, but just hear me out.  I remember this one time a teacher played favorites with all of the girls in class.  I should have received the best grade, but all of the studious girls acted like teacher's pets and would always do just a little bit better than me.  Sure, I was awkward and anti-social and they were outgoing and asked questions and were probably more likely to project positivity to the teacher, but it wasn't fair.  I just couldn't stand that these girls did slightly better than me when I deserved it.  This might have been the first time I was oppressed by women.  Sure, I look back now and realize that it was just one stupid class and I got an A anyway, but I shouldn't be demonized for being male, you know?  It just wasn't fair.

The second time I felt the evils of feminism working in my life was my junior year in high school.  I was friends with this girl who I really liked.  I thought she would take the hint, but she just pretended to be oblivious about it.  I asked her to the prom, which was bullshit anyway, because why should I have to ask?  Why don't feminists tell girls to ask boys to the prom for a change?  Anyway, she said no and ended up going with some other guy.  He was kind of tough and "alpha".  That's when I first noticed that nice guys finish last and always get friendzoned.  Why did HE get to go with her?  I'm the one who was always nice to her and friendly to her.  She should have picked me!  I started to notice that all women were two-timing bitches like that.

In college I really started to notice the oppression of feminism in my life as a man.  The university made us take this stupid gender studies course.  The misandrist who taught the class used to always get into dumb arguments with me.  She was such a hypocrite.  She said that we lived in a rape culture where men felt entitled to women's bodies because of cultural norms that enforced these behaviors.  When did I ever feel entitled to a woman's body?  I'm not some kind of rapist.  Rapists are people who are sick in the head.  And when girls got drunk at parties on campus, they were just asking for it.  And she never talked about men getting raped, or about lying bitches sending men to prison just because the girls were drunk and regretted the sex she had.  It's not my fault that some girls are just sluts.  Those stuck up bitches never slept with me anyway, so why should I be forced to listen to this nonsense?  It was the second time I really felt demonized for being a man.  I didn't get a good grade in that class either because she said I failed to understand the concepts.  Yeah, such a misandrist.  I bet she just needed to get laid.  She talked about rape so often it wouldn't surprise me if she had rape fantasies of her own.

I started to fight for my rights when I graduated and didn't have much to do.  I went online and saw all these feminists talking about rape culture and how men are privileged.  It was bullshit, so I got involved and started debating them all the time.  When they acted all smug with their "rape culture" bullshit, I called them out as the cunts they were.  Look, I'm not a misogynist, I just know a feminist cunt when I see her.  The nerve, calling ME privileged?  I can't even find a job because it's a crime to a be a man in our culture.  I bet they hire less qualified women over me.  Let's face it, women aren't as good with computers as men anyway.  I'm not being sexist or prejudiced, just stating a scientific FACT.

And if I'm so privileged, why do I have to sign up for the draft?  My sister didn't have to.  I don't see feminists forcing her to sign up for the draft, but they have no problems with me having to do it.  And if I can even manage to get a date with these stuck up bitches, I'm expected to pay for everything and pull out her chair and shit.  I thought feminists were fighting for equality?  And I understand that there is some prejudice against women sometimes, but if they're not going to talk about how chivalry is bullshit, then it's obvious what feminists really want: female supremacy.

Well fuck that.  This is why I spend most of my free time online calling out feminists with my logic.  Patriarchy?  I'm not as powerful as Hilary Clinton, so obviously there is no "patriarchy", unless you believe in unicorns too.  Just yesterday some bitch told me that if I ran for office I wouldn't have people talking about the way I look, or if my gender would get in the way of me being "strong" in foreign relations, but that's a load of bull.  It's not sexist to say that Hilary Clinton looks like an old hag, or that women really aren't as good at being strong in the face of adversity.  And this cunt also said that she was persecuted by all of the inappropriate flirting and cat calling she received.  These bitches can't even take compliments.  I told her she just needed a man to give her a good dicking and she'd change her tune quickly.

Like I said, I'm not a sexist or a misogynist.  I'm just fighting against the misandry that is holding me down and all of those feminazi cunts who enable it.  It's why I'm proud to be an MRA.  And to all of those feminists out there: if you can't handle my logic on YouTube, I'll find you on Twitter.  What, do you block me because you have a problem with free speech?  And you can't call me a harasser.  This is the internet, baby, deal with it and "man up" like the rest of us.  People joke about rape with me all the time and you don't see me whinging.

Well hey, it was nice talking to you about the evils of feminism and the threat of misandry in our gynocentric culture.  No cunt feminist is going to call me, Henry, a misogynist and get away with it.  Stay strong, MRA brethren!

[Just in case there are people who are too stupid, gullible, or confused to figure out that this is satire, let me say that this is satire.  Henry is not a real person and did not hijack my blog.  I do not endorse these views myself.  Duh.  =P ]