Sunday, September 22, 2013

Another hiatus

Unfortunately, I will be taking a short hiatus until December.  Basically, my life has become that much more busy in recent weeks, so I will be updating this blog less frequently in general.

In the meantime, thank you for reading.  Keep up the good fight... the true good fight!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

On Jennamarbles

[Insert squeaky toy noise here]

I first got into the YouTuber Jennamarbles in 2011 with this video.  At the time, hers was a perspective you just don't encounter that much in the mainstream, which already scores major points with me.  Several videos later and I was hooked.  To this day, I make it a point to watch her new videos every week.

In February of 2012, she made a couple more videos, namely this one and this one.  Even though she did one video, then turned things around and made the second video from the opposite perspective (which she has done on more than one occasion), I found both videos misandric.  What I got from one was that it's men's fault guys don't understand gals, and from the other, it's men's fault gals don't understand guys.  In other words, you can't win!  If you're a guy, that is.  What's more, Jenna says in one of the videos how she knows a lot of guys from her boyfriends to her brother, etc. which in turn gives legitimacy to her point of view.  Trouble is, knowing a lot of guys doesn't rule out the possibility of some dude coming along that could totally obliterate your viewpoint, thus rendering it invalid (to say the least).  Hence, her argument is standing on awfully shaky ground, I'd say.

Then came the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, and with it, this video on some guy's ignorance about sports bras.  Clearly this was rubbing it in the face of men (that's how I took it) how little they know about brassières, or about women in general, and that the latter has to put up with this BS.  Which is accurate, but Jenna fails to mention how little women actually know about guys and that this inconveniences the latter big time.  Here's an example that I hope will clarify what I mean.  One time, I noticed a comment thread on Facebook (I wish I could upload it here for you) that blamed men for being unable to pee in a toilet, standing, without leaving liquid on the rim.  "Isn't the target wide enough?" the commenter asked -- or something along those lines.  What she overlooked is that when urine hits the water, it splashes, so liquid can potentially end up on the rim of the toilet even if you aim accurately.  What's more, you could tell that when the guys were correcting the commenter, they were annoyed that they had to do so in the first place.  Hence, men not knowing much about women is merely half the story.  How about person A not knowing stuff about person B?  Why do people make the objective subjective?  Sigh, I've got a feeling I'm repeating myself here...

Given the foregoing misandry, you may be compelled to ask me "Why, Vince, are you still a fan of Jennamarbles?"  There are a couple answers to this question.  One of them is that there is misogyny to balance out the misandry.  She constantly mocks girls in her videos for being stupid, annoying, etc. -- have a look at this video and this video for evidence supporting my assertion.  Granted, I would prefer it if people were sexist towards no one, but all of the videos I've pointed out thus far demonstrate that Jennamarbles is sexist towards everyone, so you can't accuse her of practicing a double standard.  Actually, you could make such an accusation, but then your argument would be "standing on awfully shaky ground, I'd say".  Thus, she's in the clear.

And the other answer, you ask?  Well, Jennamarbles's recent videos are accompanied by long, winding descriptions that are literally (yes, literally) all over the place.  Those of you who have stayed on top of Jennamarbles's videos as of late, know precisely what I mean.  Anyhow, a very recent video has a description featuring a hypothetical scenario about a guy conversing with his wife.  Here's an excerpt:

"Hello? Oh now you're ignoring me. Real mature. Verbal abuse?? HAH! You verbally abuse me just as much, did you ever think about that?? I have feelings too and you hurt them sometimes! Like when you say I don't care about the kids' baseball games and stuff, of course I do honey, I always want to be there I just have to work sometimes that's all."

I recall reading the comments section and coming across one user who wasn't too thrilled with Jennamarbles's description, spouting the usual story we hear about guys who are abusive to their wives, yadda yadda yadda.  In other words, the status quo -- which our society can't afford, last I heard.  Didn't the commenter get the memo that spousal abuse goes both ways, not one way?  For shame, commenter.

In short, Jenna's description touched a nerve -- meaning that she did something right.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

A double standard -- the sequel

You know, in writing my post last month about a particular double standard, I realize I left out one of its more glaring examples, one pertaining to men's health.  Men's health was one of the original issues that propelled me into the discussion on men's rights -- in particular, the gap in funding between research on prostate cancer and that of breast cancer, even though the rates of incidence are similar -- so it's hardly any surprise that men's health is an issue I hold near and dear.

Speaking of surprise, it should surprise practically no one that not only federal funding, but also societal sympathy and overall attention, are disproportionately doled out towards breast cancer awareness.  Meanwhile, hardly anyone care's about men's health, let alone prostate cancer awareness -- well at least this was the case about eight years ago.  So imagine my joy when, in a desert of popular women's health initiatives such as Go Red for Women and Susan G. Komen for the Cure (never mind that men can also get breast cancer; despite this, all of the popular breast cancer initiatives are tailored towards women), I came across an oasis.  An oasis called Movember, where finally, finally, an initiative for men's health gained worldwide attention.

But recall what I wrote last month about initiatives for men, let alone men's health: "Come up with an initiative that benefits boys only, however, and people invent an equivalent initiative that either benefits the girls or is gender-neutral."  And alas, that is precisely what happened roughly three years following my discovery of Movember.

Men and gentleladies (of the jury), I give you... Fanuary.

For those in the UK, NZ, and Australia, "fanny" is the word for "vagina" -- hence the name "Fanuary".  People who observe Fanuary modify their pubic hair through shaving, coloring, etc.  Of course, this is for charity, and upon discovery of this initiative, I learned that proceeds from Fanuary benefit "gynaecological cancers," which I understood to be female-specific (even though nowadays, the website says that the initiative "raises awareness for mens & womens health" -- interesting; however, the Facebook page only says "women's health").

However, what I really found offensive isn't so much where the money goes towards, but rather, the attitude that permeates the site.  Participants of Fanuary team up and form groups, and there is one group in particular that exemplifies this attitude.  It is the British Forces Ladies Fanuary, and the attitude is precisely when they prominently display the following: "Movember is very popular with British Forces Chaps, now it’s the Ladies turn!!"

Facepalm -- like, major, major facepalm.  Actually, much worse than a facepalm.

Not only is this attitude present in the group (one group is too many), I also noticed it on display upon my initial discovery of Fanuary.  Namely, that Movember was really popular and that a female equivalent was necessary.  I mean, really???  Ugh!!!  Not only do these people not get it, but also, I dare say that part of the reason men's health isn't receiving the attention it ought to receive is simply because of mere existence of attitudes such as this one.

There's no justice.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

A double standard

Here's a double standard that I've been noticing over the years.  Whenever there is some initiative that benefits girls only, people leave it alone and the girls benefit.  Come up with an initiative that benefits boys only, however, and people invent an equivalent initiative that either benefits the girls or is gender-neutral.  Below, I provide a couple examples of the latter half of this double standard.

I remember when the book The Dangerous Book for Boys came out.  Not only that, but more importantly, why such a book was important in the first place.  This article, written by one of the authors of the book, does a great job explaining this.  But imagine my dismay when right after that, The Daring Book for Girls came out.  And right after that, to add insult to injury, The Double-Daring Book for Girls.  Apparently, the authors of both of these books failed to see the point of The Dangerous Book for Boys and are now collecting royalties from the sale of both of their books.  There's no justice.

And then there's the famous song by The Killers, "When You Were Young," whose lyrics contain the phrase "talks like a gentleman".  Which is good; I mean, do you remember the last time a song praised a man for his inherently good, masculine qualities?  Not that that's what The Killers had in mind, but anyway, that's how I interpret their lyrics.  Now there is a cover of this song by The Noisettes, which alters The Killers' original lyrics somewhat.  The phrase I cited above is now sung this way in the cover: "talks like a gentle soul".  Really?  Gee, where were you, The Noisettes, when there were song lyrics out there praising girls for their innately feminine qualities and you made them gender-neutral?  If such songs are in your repertoire, then I am willing to admit my fault and rescind what I wrote, but otherwise... shame on you, The Noisettes.

At this point, a natural question may come to mind; namely, have there ever been times when some initiative for girls only has been made gender-neutral?  The answer is, yes there has.  An example that comes to mind is when "Take Our Daughters to Work Day" was made gender-neutral.  However, that's not the point.  The point is that if we are to have gender equality in our world, then society must make sure we are praising boys for being boys, just as profusely as society already praises girls for being girls.

That is all.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

On male disposability

Consider these famous song lyrics by Lee Greenwood; emphasis is mine.

"And I'm proud to be an American,
Where at least I know I'm free,
And I won't forget the men who died
And gave that right to me."

It is true, there are women in the military who sacrificed lots in defense of the United States.  However, never, ever forget which gender overwhelmingly paid the ultimate sacrifice for Country.

Happy Memorial Day America.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

The fallacy that rare = unimportant

Before I forget, can we dispel one more myth, namely, that rare does not imply unimportant?  Let me explain what I mean.

Suppose I said that in the event someone is accused of a crime, that person deserves the benefit of the doubt from society rather than a rush to conclusions about the accused being guilty by default.  I say this for a myriad of reasons, but one of the most important ones is that alas! the allegation may be false.  (I realize that people will assume that the falsely accused is male, and the falsely accused man is an MHRA issue, but anyone may be falsely accused, male or female.  Just saying this for the record...)  To which the standard feminist response is "False accusations are rare," to which my response is "So?"

So just because someone is falsely accused, the statement that false accusations are rare renders our discussion on false accusations unimportant?  Like, wow... just wow.  And my reaction is identical when the issue of the male victim of sexual violence is brought up and a feminist is like "sexual violence against men is rare".  Gee, I thought that in the event a problem is rare, it means the victims of that problem are falling through the cracks of society and that we should help them -- but apparently that line of thinking is wrong if you're a feminist.  Thank you Ms. Feminist for enlightening me!


I've said it before, and I'll say it again: Feminists have no shame.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Steubenville rape case

I don't know too much about the Steubenville rape case, but I will say the following.

(1) What the athletes did to the girl is reprehensible.
(2) Blaming the victim is unjust.

That aside, the main idea I want to convey is one that isn't thrown around all that much, which makes it all the more important (this basic idea -- namely, that the most important ideas are the ones that are swept under the rug -- is a central motivation for my tendency towards activism).  If people said "person A should never rape person B" and stopped there, then there would be no need for this blog post.  Unfortunately, there are those in our society who are interested in making the objective subjective, and within their ranks is a faction that would gladly take the above quote and replace "person A" and "person B"  with "men" and "women", respectively.  Who are they?  You guessed it -- feminists.

Feminists have no shame.  Just the title of this article alone is ignorant because it assumes the victim and perpetrator are female and male, respectively.  Which is a very ignorant assumption, as it ignores same-sex rape and female-on-male rape.

Long story short, there is a perspective on scenarios like Steubenville that is marginalized -- let me say that we need much more exposure of it in our societal discussion of rape.  Here is an article that exemplifies this perspective, an article I can't recommend enough.

Friday, February 22, 2013

On the movie Thelma and Louise

There are feminists in the blogosphere (sp?) who have argued that the movie Thelma and Louise is not misandric.  Their argument (one of them) will go something like this:

"People have said that Thelma and Louise is misandric because of the way the film portrays its male characters.  In the film, we see characters such as a controlling husband and a rapist, which prompt people to conclude that the movie is anti-male.  What these people forget is that there are also good male characters in the film..." that one police officer who helps Thelma.  Or did he help Louise?  I dunno, I don't remember.  But anyway, that's how the argument goes... the argument, being one big straw man.  Oops, I meant straw woman.

The problem with this argument is that it sidesteps the real misandry in the film, which can be found not in characters such as the controlling husband and male rapist, but in the lack of female equivalents thereof.  Thelma and Louise features neither a controlling wife nor a female rapist, and it is this that makes the movie misandric.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Women in the military

You will recall that quite some time ago (to be more exact, 4 1/2 years ago), I blogged about one of the only things I liked about President Obama, namely, that he would sign a bill into law requiring females to register for the Selective Service upon their turning 18.

Cue in recent developments about women now having equal access to some combat roles in the US military.  Though of course this still means only men are required to register for the Selective Service by their 18th birthday, the point is that we are now one step closer to the US requiring Selective Service registration of guys and gals alike.  For me, I'm just happy that I'm currently witnessing dialogue of this nature happening in my lifetime, however wayyy overdue it is; discussion about gender equality in the battlefield, in the line of fire, etc. needed to happen 50 years ago, if not earlier.

Let me be more specific.  In a whirlwind of feminist slogans such as "equal pay for equal work" and "my body, my choice" that are so hackneyed and overused that they are annoying as hell, a new slogan -- you may call it "equal access in combat" -- is a breath of fresh air.  Being even more specific, I am happy that finally, instead of the status quo of discussing ways to give American women equal rights without equal responsibilities, suddenly I hear talk of ways to give them equal responsibilities without equal rights.  In other words, I find it pleasing that discussion of this side of the coin of gender equality is finally, finally starting to surface.

It is long overdue, I must emphasize -- but hey, I'll take it.