Wednesday, March 21, 2012

A Serious Hiatus

I have recently been informed by my employer that I have been terminated "for cause." Normally, when people are fired, they are given a reason. I was not, except for "poor performance." Amazingly, this "poor performance" came less than 6 months after being transfered to a new city, given a raise and scoring a 4 out of 5 on my latest performance review (given just 2 months before my termination.)

Something else was going on - but I'm obviously not at liberty to say what I suspect in this "anonymous" (or so I thought) blog.

Needless to say, I will be halting all gender topics both on this blog and in comment sections at other sites until I can secure new work. As I was the primary breadwinner among my wife and I, finding employment takes utmost importance.

Much thanks for all your support.


Friday, January 27, 2012

This Story Gives Me the "Cold Scratchies"

It might just be me, but this doesn't seem like much of a "good romance" story. Not only does she not really seem terribly in love with her husband (rather, she just seems to be doing it because he is dedicated and financially stable) but ... what about the original bus guy? 

He just lost his best friend and girlfriend in one fell swoop when they decided to sleep together while he was taking care of a family emergency.

Because, you know, "GIRL POWER!"

Friday, January 20, 2012

Tales of Validation: The Beast's Affection

Over the course of the past year or so, I've come to some realizations about my ability to converse on certain topics online without - well, losing it.

Probably my most "delicate" trigger is the concept of poisonous male sexuality. My upbringing in an anti-sex, second-wave feminist household (and being raised by my mother alone through puberty) meant that I grew up with the idea that male sexual affection is a burden borne by women.

It is not good, it is not noble - it is a disgusting, hurtful burden. This drove my "Nice Guy"-ism in earlier years and my regular placement in the FriendZone by women I was attracted to. Many of my female objects of affection were under the impression I was gay - and told me as much when I finally worked up the nerve to express my affection.

I eventually got over that - but there has always been a lingering question: Why would women appreciate affection from big, burly, hairy, masculine men? Our society clearly pedstalizes the physical beauty of femininity and women - how could women find pleasure in a man's affection?

Well, today I read a comment at NSWATM that was one of those once-in-a-lifetime "click" moments.

My mother was, and is, a horse-lover. We had horses on our farm and I was encouraged by her to learn how to care for and ride a horse. I still remember overcoming my massive fear of an animal far larger, stronger and faster than me. There was a point, after regularly taking care of my horse, Ginger, that she began to trust me, and I began to trust her. There was a surreal nature to our relationship - that a small boy like myself could care for and work together with an animal so capable of a life independent of me. I remember brushing her down one day, and I could feel her leaning into my brush strokes while wrapping her massive head around my back - and taking deep sniffs of my hair and shirt.

This comment was left by Katie Powell over at NSWATM:
things I find attractive in men:
men who hug me with their arms, their chest, and sometimes their pelvis or neck, as if being pressed up against me and holding me close is all they want to do,
men who make me feel a bit like I did when I was a kid and I’d hug the horses I used to ride and they’d wrap their big horse necks around and hug me back, awkwardly, distantly, and smelling of hay and leather, an animal not made for this mode of affection trying valiantly to give it a go.
 And it clicked for me. I suddenly understood why my wife would give an appreciative but brief moan when I come up from behind and wrap my arms around her.

I can finally relate to the deep, inner validation that comes from receiving affection from something that isn't expected to do such things.

I know I'm not a beast - I know the women in my life haven't viewed me as one, either. But I am a human being whose chromosomes, hormones and genetics passed down from tens of thousands of ancestors have twisted and fortified my body and mind for battle.

I find it massively comforting to finally be able to identify with my wife's obvious appreciation for my affection. It feels great.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Conclusions on Feminism Part 2

"Feminism is the radical notion that women are adults."

The problem in America is that we treat women like they are part child, part adult. 
That's really, really it. 
Too many Americans see women as "Adults Lite" or "Children Plus" and it is reflected in the way we employ them, use them in our armies, punish them when they commit crimes and mourn when they are abused. 

As a society, we abhor men who sexually abuse young girls and boys. We somehow see women who do the same thing as slightly less culpable.  I think this is similar to the way that we see less harm in a 19-year-old man having "consensual" sex with his 17-year old girlfriend than we do a 40-year-old man and a "consenting" 17-year-old girl.

Why do we do this? Sex with an under-age child is harmful to them no matter the age of the perpetrator, right? Not exactly. We think of that 19-year-old man as more of a child than the 40-year-old. And we certainly don't think a crime has necessarily been committed when 14-year-olds have consensual sex with each other, right?

Well, what's more child-like than a 19-year-old man? A 19-year-old woman. That's part of the reason why society doesn't care as much when an older woman has sex with an underage boy.

You could even make the case for eye makeup that embiggens their eyes and hairless bodies as the ideal vision of female beauty being tied to the childization of women.
(Yes, I just used two words that aren't words in one sentence. But you knew what I meant, didn't you? That's right. Deal with it.)

Hell, we even have a federal organization named "Women, Infants & Children."

I think this ties into one of the biggest problems facing Feminism today. The effort that has been put into getting women the right to vote and into the workplace has been crucial for women to physically, financially and legally "leave the nest" of child-like status when they were passed from parents to husband for custodial care hundreds of years ago.

But now, women are permitted the benefits of adulthood without many of the societal expectations and responsibilities we expect of adult men. 

Women are still:
Able to avoid parental responsibilities via abortion, adoption or abandonment
Able to sidestep military drafts via exclusion from selective service
Able to sidestep career "duties" via relative ease of being a housewife
Able to sidestep or mitigate criminal sentences 

Don't get me wrong: women being excluded from voting and employment opportunities are not the only ways that women have been and still are harmed by this mentality. Those were just the most egregious and systematic/institutionalized issues. Women still have many issues to deal with today - just add Jezebel to your daily reading and you'll be bombarded with (mostly) valid issues.

That said, there are certain benefits to being a woman today in the same way that there are things that are pretty awesome about being a kid (assuming you're not in an abusive home.) I think Feminists think that these "benefits" to being a woman either A) aren't really benefits at all or B) think they'll go away on their own as Feminism grows in popularity. 

It is especially apparent when feminists stand up for women accused of crimes. They may outright defend them or may look for reasons (systematic/gendered or otherwise) to excuse their behavior. This is blatant childization of women. We do the same thing when a child is accused of a horrific crime - "What kind of home did they grow up in? Were they being abused? Were there drugs involved?" We excuse and mitigate the consequences of the behavior of juveniles because they are less developed than adults. 

When you do it with women, you're saying the same thing. You're saying they're less culpable for their actions because they are "less developed." It's bullshit and I've only seen a few feminists speak up about this.

And that's why I butt heads with Feminists. Women have been committing crimes for the entire length of humanity because people commit crimes. Men, women and children, too. We are all human beings - animals with great intelligence, capability for good and evil acts and an incredible knack for adapting to our environments. 

It makes sense for women to who are enjoying the recently-earned benefits of full adulthood to fail to recognize the increased responsibilities that come with that position. It's called a "catch." And right now, men are the ones primarily being caught by it.

To those of us wishing to change our environment - socially or politically - we'd best not forget the animals we're dealing with: Apes that want to get the most reward for the least effort. It's in our programming.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Conclusions on Feminism Part 1

I said it earlier in the year, and I knew it would happen.
I reserve my space here on the somewhat anonymous internet to talk about things I feel confidently enough to espouse as the Real Me. This also ties into the name of this blog and me - "Easily Enthused." Because when I discover a topic or issue that I don't feel that I've "got a handle on," I very quickly get enthusiastic about it, passionately arguing and discovering until I feel I've reached a resting place, metaphorically speaking.
I knew this day would come. I've experienced it a few times before in my life.
The first was when I left religion and asked myself "Without God, how do I know what is 'good?'"

The answer eventually came in the philosophy of Universal Utilitarian Humanist principles. The long story short was that a good action is one that benefits the most people.
(Aside: The stumbling block is "then why not kill one person and distribute his organs to multiple people who need new organs" and the answer is "because although a few people would benefit from his organs, many more people would be harmed by the knowledge that they live in a world where one innocent person can be killed for their organs.")

The next question was "How can a moral criminal defense attorney defend people he/she knows is factually guilty?"
The answer came in two parts: A) no one has perfect knowledge of truth and B) our criminal justice system relies on the government 'behaving itself' when it comes to depriving a citizen of their liberty. Without someone to hold Government to task, more injustices are sure to come.

It was these two questions I sought answers to that brought me to modern-day feminism and gender in/equality issues. A handful of my atheism and law-related blogs ended up mentioning feminism over the course of a few months and I delved deeper into my own personal experiences and expectations of feminism as it relates to society.

I came into the topic with essentially one "sacred concept." This concept would never change, and most people I cared to discuss these things with should share this principle.

It was:
"Your gender or the gender assigned to you at birth should have no bearing on the treatment you receive, the expectations people have of you, or your value as a human being."

I thought that made me a feminist. Unfortunately, I found that I tended to disagree with a lot of other feminists (online, mind you) on many of the details. I was repeatedly told that I was not a feminist.

So what am I? What do I really believe? This blog chronicled this period of self-discovery.

I think I've come to my conclusion.

It's been said that "Feminism is the radical notion that women are people." 

When I first heard this phrase a few years ago, it angered me. I thought it was as ridiculous - if you're not "people" then what are you? An animal? Pshht. Nobody thinks that. 

I still think the statement, as it is currently worded would be useful in the Middle East and some other countries. Gender equality is a sliding scale, after all.

But in North America, I still think the phrase is relevant - sort of. I think it needs one small change.

Edit: I realized that I really need to flesh this out more and add a few more examples that I had. Right now, I'm going to break this into maybe a two- or three-part post so I can collect my thoughts more clearly and they will better stand up to the criticisms that I expect to come. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Just Read This

I'm not publishing this link to inflame, incite or rally anyone.

I think it's important that people on different sides of a debate make sure they listen very, very closely when a person on the "other side" expresses an emotion other than anger.

Here, we have an older radfem who feels hopeless and resigned that the Feminism of today doesn't reflect what she spent most of her life fighting for. It genuinely made me sad - not because I agree with her movement - but because spending your life working for something that doesn't work has to be one of the most crushing realizations a person can have when it comes to social justice.

Here's the link:

If you care what I think, I think that women like her (30+ years ago) had gotten so wrapped up in the inequity of gender that they successfully convinced themselves that something that naturally is pleasurable for many women is actually harmful for them. Maybe they thought that if they inspired enough women to abstain from sex that men would start treating women better - although I doubt they would admit to this "sex strike" technique even if it were true.

Then, things started changing. Year by year, women gained ground in business, government and education. We're getting to the point now where sniffing out gender inequality is more akin to CSI than forest-for-the-trees. It's getting to the point where men, rather than fighting feminism, are holding outstretched hands to it and asking "What about me?"

We're living in a world where increasing numbers of young women who read the great Feminist authors of more than 20 years ago are saying "this doesn't resonate with me and with what it means to be a woman in 2011."

That comment up there is proof. I'm glad her movement is dying, but I'm always sad to see someone fail at a "noble cause."

EDIT: Commenter Tim has pointed out that the comment on Jezebel has been moved to the (LOL) "ohhellno" category. Generally speaking, I am happy that they did this, but I'm also a bit torn by the ability of a feminist space to "hide" it's ass, so to speak.

On the other hand, I wish to do the same thing to the MRA contingent who continually espouse ridiculous attitudes towards women, so I guess I'm being hypocritical. I guess I'm just going to have to be happy that Jezebel realized how unproductive that sentiment is to the Feminist movement. Thanks, girls women ladies people!

DOUBLE EDIT: After reading through the comments, it seems the original commenter is from Germany. I am slightly more concerned for the entire world after reading that, as I thought radical feminism was a product of North America.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Of Forklifts and Potty Trips

It's story time, again. From the ages of 14 to 17, I worked at a lumber yard and hardware store. This was a well-connected mom & pop type shop. It was a hard, minimum-wage job - and the only reason I kept it was a sense of duty. In my small town, jobs for non-country-club kids who weren't 18 yet were hard to come by. It was either this, or have no spending money.

There was a problem with this job, though. I wasn't allowed to use the fork-lift. Every time someone needed items that were either up on shelving, like a pallet of shingles, or 8x8 lumber (which is too heavy to lift) I had to run around the lumber yard trying to find someone who wasn't busy to bring the forklift over, get the items, then return to whatever they were doing.

Meanwhile, the customer just sat there.  Eventually, a few of the regular contractors there refused to let me serve them.

I'll never, ever forget how that made me feel. I felt like less than whole - like a failure.

And all because of stupid paperwork that said I couldn't operate a forklift until I'd been on this planet for 18 years. I had my license - I could drive my Nissan across the country if I wished. But I couldn't use a forklift to move a pile of bricks four lousy feet.

Funny story (not really), I got in the habit of moving things with my hands that were too heavy - that I should've used a forklift to move - and because of that, I injured my back permanently.

OK, end of story.

Now read this:
(Edit: After some flak from Paul Elam and many people from A Voice for Men, it appears Jenna has taken down all of her offending articles. Register-her has saved a PDF of her original post with the first 100 or so comments. It can be found here:

I keep having to take deep breaths while writing this. This one article has made me angrier than I've ever been since I started blogging.

As someone who notices the way that men are the victims of sexism, I'm used to seeing this - but never so unabashedly.

Unabashed sexism is exactly what this is - and if you read the comments (which I don't recommend) she has plenty of supporters.

Jenna Myers Karvunidis has displayed the holy trinity of bigotry: bad statistics, bad faith and bad logic.

First off, she blithely states "99% of sexual predators are men, only 1% are women and girls are over twice as likely as boys to be sexually abused" with absolutely no citing of her statistics.

That's because she pulled them out of her ass. People from Reddit have flooded her comments with correct statistics - and yes, there is a skew towards male perpetrators but it's certainly not 99%! The ironly is that skew towards men could very well be due to a society that sees women as incapable of harming a child sexually - a society perpetuated by people like Mrs. Karvunidis.

Secondly, she belligerently attacks the commenters who call her out on her sexism by claiming that they're only angry because they're pedophiles who want the opportunity to molest.

Wow, so I guess all those middle-eastern people who are angry over being profiled as terrorists by the TSA are ACTUALLY terrorists who want to sneak by security?

Lastly, she openly admits that she isn't concerned with logic.

She says it best in her very own words:
"Again, why are you guys trying to change my mind? IT WON'T CHANGE. You may use perfectly sound logic, you may use unsound logic, you may bully me, you may scare me, you may send hate mail to my house but I will never, ever change my mind on this."

And best of all, she calls herself a "Feminist." Holy shit! At least she admits that she "pick and choose when I'm a feminist because I'm not down with man-bashing."

Actually, Jenna, you look quited down with man-bashing to me.

(takes a deep breath)

Frankly - I have no idea how to deal with this type of issue or person. There's no way to change her mind (as she has made painfully obvious).

I'm a little afraid at what some of my friends in the Men's Rights community might do about this. As of this post, she's just been added to, a site designed to highlight sexist, sexually abusive or false-rape accusers.

Her unabashed sexism makes it really hard not to take off the gloves - but I fear someone may go too far and take OUT the knives. I really, really hope that no one threatens her or her family with any type of violence or other inappropriate actions. Boycott her site, write letters to the editor, make blog posts like this one - but please, don't make it so she or her family can't sleep at night - no amount of bigotry deserves violence.