Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Columbine caveat

The tenth anniversary of the Columbine High School massacre occurs later this month, but when discussing this tragedy, I cannot overemphasize how important it is not to use it as male-bashing. In an episode of the TV show "Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher," this, sadly, is what Michael Moore does. In this video, about 1:45 through, he tries to make the implication that it is only men who walk into schools and open fire. True, Michael, but I got bad news for ya: that isn't going to help destroy the culture of man-bashing in this country that, I believe, is an indirect cause of massacres like the Columbine one.

Now, am I trying to make excuses for what the gunmen did on that day almost ten years ago? Of course not! What I am saying, however, is that we, as a society, should not be surprised if other future massacres like the Columbine one take place as long as there is plenty of "misandric bile," as YouTube user Argus Eyes calls it, to go around (by the way, more people need to watch his videos).

You may now be asking me, well, what should I do (that is, what should I do that could help prevent another disaster of that magnitude)? The best answer I can give you is one my choir director gave our ensemble a few days after Columbine took place, which is: look out for those kids whom you feel are ostracized, left out, or outcast. Talk to them. Lend them a writing implement or piece of paper and don't be offended if you don't get it back. Ask for their cell number, then give them a call every now and then just to see how they're doing. Or text them every once in a while if you're technologically inclined. Befriend them on Facebook... and so on and so forth.

If you think the foregoing sounds corny, I can assure you it's a small price to pay to avert a potential massacre. As the saying goes, "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure". And though it is true that girls are under lots of pressure from the media, what few people are saying is that the media also pressure boys a great deal, and that like girls, it is easy for boys to become depressed by all this pressure. Another finding that people don't mention is that depression is one of the causes for violence in boys, so this underscores the importance of looking out for the outcast in our society.

The bottom line, therefore, is that for the sake of the safety of our society -- not just on the national level, but also worldwide -- it is necessary to do away with the evil that is misandry. If that cannot be done, then at least be a friend to those around you whom you feel are ignored.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Other issues I care about

By now, you can probably guess that I've issues concerning feminism, but that's not my only topic of worry. Though I believe we should eradicate sexism (all forms of sexism, not just sexism against women), there are other forms of injustice in the world that also attract my concern. Three of them are as follows:

Mixed-Race Rights. If there are history months or awareness months for African-Americans, Asian-Americans, Hispanic Americans, and Native Americans, then where is Mixed-Race Awareness Month? Part of the problem that is hampering development of such a month is that the term "mixed-race" is offensive to some of those who identify as biracial, triracial, &c., but nevertheless a month should exist for those people who identify with more than one race/ethnicity on official forms. This is one of the many issues that concern mixed-race rights.

Only Child Discrimination. There is a Chinese saying that describes an only child as a king of the house who hogs everything, or something along those lines. I have also overheard people on a bus talk about how spoiled only children are, and what's even scarier is that an actual psychology textbook says the same thing. Discrimination against the only child is not only unjust; it also constitutes a double standard, since such discrimination doesn't affect people who have siblings.

Age Discrimination. Unless an arbitrary 20-year old on April 3rd who cannot consume alcohol responsibly can magically correct his problem on his 21st birthday, April 4th, the law in the United States that says you have to be 21 or over to drink is age discrimination. A similar analysis applies to the age of consent, driving age, voting age, and gambling age.

These are just three of the several issues that attract my concern. My hope, succinctly put, is that all forms of discrimination stop.