Sunday, July 31, 2011

Tall or Short

FUCK YOU. If I could be taller or shorter than I am now - I'd rather be shorter. Yeah, I said it: SHORTER.

I could fit into a Ferrari or a Porsche or a Miata. A fucking MIATA.

Shorter, thank you.

Why? Because I like to drive cars. Cars are made for shorter people.

If I wanted to be a rapper, I'd want to be black.

If I wanted to be a gymnist, I'd want to be a woman.

If I wanted to do motivational speaking, I'd be handicapped.

And you know what - I want to drive cars - ALL CARS - so I want to be shorter. Fuck anyone who doubts me.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Good Relationships Are Better Than Good, They're ...

My wife has recently become employed after our move to a much larger city. We moved because my job moved - either move or become unemployed. Easy choice, huh?

So she came back today after her third day of working and her first day with her new schedule - one that means that she comes home about an hour and a half later than I do.

For the past 2 months, my wife has been dutifully fulfilling the roles that a non-working spouse should: basically everything regarding maintaining the household. And trust me, I've appreciated it.

But now that she's working, I need to pull my weight. So, before she got home, I emptied the dishwasher, loaded it full of dishes, and started cooking dinner. Because my ex-housewife (now just "wife") had so much extra time, she got into raiding in World of Warcraft. Becoming a part of a team isn't something you can just stop doing, so she had to run off to join her raid after she got home tonight.

We didn't get to do the usual bonding time that we're used to when I come home from work. Instead, she scuttled off (freshly-made-plate of Chicken Alfredo in hand) to join her raid with her guild.

After I cleaned up a bit and went to my office, the following conversation took place over Google Chat: (reposted with assumed permission)
Wife: Are you OK with me still raiding now that I'm working and might not be home til 630 or 7 some nights?
Me: Of course
I know how to find you when I need you
Wife: OK. I don't want you to feel unloved or neglected
Me: No, but I will let you know if I feel that way. Thank you for being mindful - that means a lot.
Like - A LOT.
You're an awesome wife
Wife: :D
I felt bad just running upstairs after unloading my whole day onto you
and after you'd cooked dinner and did the dishes
Me: It's ok - we have a give-and-take relationship
Wife: I give you shit
and you take it out of my ass

I am so in love with this woman.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

"Rape for Men"

This started out as a comment - but I think it's too long.

It's in response to Ozymandias post at her blog: Myth of Male Power Rant

In her post, Ozy calls Warren Farrell (the founder of modern masculism) out for drawing an analogy between some things that happen to men and the rape that women experience.
I have to say, although I don't worship Warren Farrell as some sort of masculist god, this post raises my hackles a little bit.
Also, I haven't read the entirety of "MoMP" so judge me accordingly.

Warren writes from a position that many men who were raised in progressive circles in the 1970s and 1980s can relate to - and those men, like me, often view rape as a relatively unique violation that only women can be victimized by.
(Obviously: We are quickly learning that the number of male rape victims is greater than we suspected - so our views are changing.)

But with (the false, yet thoroughly ingrained mindset that) rape, being a violation only women can experience, it is a useful analogy for men to use to examine their own violation.

Most young men who grew up in the 70s and 80s view the violent rape (date or stranger) as one of the most heinous crimes imaginable. Many would kill anyone who did that to a woman they care about. We see rape as a unique, grotesque violation of that which we love - women.

By the same token, we were still taught that we, men, could not be victims. Either we deserve what we get, or we should've been strong enough to fight off our attackers.

I think what Warren was trying to do here was to use the visceral reaction we have of rape as a unique crime against women - and attempt to draw some line of similarity between these two gender-based injuries.

Ozy, if you subscribe to the oppressive concept of women as "sex objects" and men as "success objects" then I can perhaps help you see where I'm coming from:
If a woman's worth is seen as a "sex object" then to "violate" her in only a way that she can be violated is to take/use/destroy her sexuality and sexual agency. Rape, disfigurement (acid splashes and box-cutters) and genital mutilation are some common ways of doing this - I think we all agree here.
But the flip side is what I think you are misunderstanding from Warren's point of view. If a man's worth is seen as a "success object" then to "violate" him in only a way that he can be violated is to take/use/destroy his ability to provide for his family or himself.

In this gender concept, women who use child support systems to take wealth from the man are a form of "gender identity violation." When women encourage men to "rape them" ( they are asking a man to engage in behavior that could put him in jail, ruining his reputation, ending his career and destroying his ability to perform as a "success object."
Child support can be $800 a month. That's $172,000 over 18 years going towards a woman and her child who should've used a sperm donor but who decided to be deceptive.
I know men who'd rather be raped by a stranger than pay $172,000 that they may never even be able to earn.

Men and women who grow up identifying their self worth in either their sexiness or wealth have different vulnerabilities - that is the point that Warren Farrell was trying to get across.

We can either divorce our genders from these notions of sex and success - or recognize that men have a unique way of being injured that women experience through sexual violation.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

My Penis and This Post

I read this post at No, Seriously, What About Teh Menz and started writing a comment. It got too long (hehe) and decided to post my response here.

A word to my wife, first of all: I THINK I've told you all this, although maybe not in all detail. It regards my penis size and my exes. If you don't want to read about it and would rather hear it from me personally, just let me know.

I am a well-endowed man. I am, "unfortunately" for me, a grower -- not a shower, and uncut. What that means, in realistic terms, is that during my normal, everyday duties, my penis has the appearance of the average man's thumb, tucked in against itself. It is pitiful and makes no knowledge of its presence. Add to that a foreskin that completely shrouds my "penis" and it feels forgettable.

This was how I went through life, convinced that I had a small penis. A forgettable, small penis. Through high-school shower rooms, college bathrooms and invitations to skinny-dip in college.

Of course, during sex with my handful of partners during these years, I never heard them complain. I even enjoyed the odd "complaint" from my 5-foot 1-inch girlfriend who said "you're a bit to take." That was all that was said on the matter.

Fast forward to a year after graduation from college. My current girlfriend and two other women I worked with were at my basement apartment enjoying some food and drinks I had made them. The four of us were playing truth or dare (can you imagine 22+ year olds playing such a game?) and I excused myself to the bathroom.

After my business was done, I headed down the long, carpeted hallway back towards the kitchen only to hear my girlfriend say "Truth." "Laura" (The intern) asked her "How big is 's dick?"

I stopped in my tracks. I didn't want to hear the answer - my girlfriend, the woman about to answer this question, had more than 40 sexual partners before me. She was 6 years older than me. This was NOT going to be good. The best I could hope for was "He's pretty average." I froze - not wanting to hear the answer but afraid to move.

She replied: "The biggest I've ever had."

I thought to myself: "A 28 year old woman with more than 40 partners, and I'M THE BIGGEST?" But she was a brutally honest person. She never, ever lied - even when it was in her best interest. I felt I had spent too much time in the hallway and strode into the kitchen. I felt eyes on me.

I pretended to wash a dish in the sink. "Is it true?" my co-worker asked me. I feigned ignorance ... "Is WHAT TRUE? Heather, what did you say?"

Heather said, "I told them about your ... endowment," she said, with slurred speech. (Heather was very Christian like that, she'd not say the word but participate in enthusiastic adultery in the dark.)

I replied, "I have no idea - I've never been able to compare myself to other men."

With that, Heather (my girlfriend) got up off the floor with her wine glass in hand and came over to me as I leaned backwards over the sink. She put her elbow into my crotch and pointed to her wrist with her free hand. I looked up towards my two co-workers with no expectation of what to expect. There were cries of "Holy shit!" and "Can I see?"

That was the day that I learned that I was well-endowed. Because of my life as a grower-not-a-shower, I was convinced I was smaller than most men (because I never had the opportunity to be around excited men.)

Because of my time watching porn, I was convinced that I was, AT BEST, average.

I spoke to Heather after wards - I needed to know - was I THAT large?
Yes, I was.
Here I was, in my mid 20s and I just now found out I had a big 'ole penis. For Fuck's Sake - seriously?

In the days and weeks after I broke up with Heather (religion, in case you were wondering why we broke up - followed almost immediately by the infidelity of the forementioned intern from the Truth Or Dare story above) I spoke to exes on Facebook - asking, bluntly, about my penis.

The results were unanimous - I had a gigantinormous penis.

Well, isn't that special?

I even had my ex of 15 years tell me that my penis size had ruined her. She couldn't enjoy P-I-V sex with her 10+ partners since we'd dated like she could with me.

So I should be feeling pretty damn awesome about my junk right? Well I didn't. Big doesn't equal beautiful. Big is just big. Hard is just hard.

Fast forward a couple years. I was laying in bed with my (now) wife after sex. The lights were on. I was laying on my back, overheated, like I am after sex, and she was laying over towards me, her head on my chest. Her hand was holding my penis - I could feel her tossing the weight of my half-erect penis around in her hand. Her head was angled down towards it as she played with it.

"I love your penis," she said.

And for the first time in my life, I felt like my penis was beautiful. I felt like the woman who loved me, loved my penis, too. Me and my penis - both loved.
And that's a good, good thing.

For me, her, and my penis. For everyone involved.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

It's Lonely On This Side

Well, the atheist community has spoken, and I find myself on the outside looking in on my favorite bloggers. It appears, I disagree with the vast majority of mainstream atheist bloggers on the Elevatorgate issue. I also happen to agree with Richard Dawkins.

Wow, against the odds, I agree with his Lordship Richard Dawkins. I should be giddy with intellectual indignant pride.

But I'm really not.

Adam Lee, the founder of Daylight Atheism is the blogger I admire most in the world. He talks about complex issues that challenge what we know about truth, justice, morality and ethics - and no matter the position he takes - I always found myself agreeing with him. Always.
But not now.

Hemant Mahtma, founder of the Friendly Atheist has always been the voice of reason in the community. He blogs about important events in the atheist community almost instantaneously. He is always approachable. I don't agree with him on vegetarianism, but he's mostly spot on. I especially appreciate his friendly, not-in-your-face strategy when dealing with atheist Public Relations issues.
But not now.

P.Z. Meyers, the founder of Pharyngula, is a fiery, angry atheist in the most stereotypical vein of thought. I don't like P.Z. I'm going to come out and say that. There are people in the world I disagree with, but like. P.Z. is a guy I generally agree with, but dislike. I don't like his tone, I don't like his blog style - it's all too angry for me. He probably is a fine person - but as a blogger - no me gusta. That said, he's usually right about issues. He may speak arrogantly, but his point is right on, and I agree with him.
But not now.

Lastly, Jen is the founder of BlagHag, and next to Greta Christina, probably the most famous female atheist blogging right now. Jen is a sex-positive, science-loving not-straight feminist atheist blogger. In the past, she's called out feminists for it's failure to embrace science. I particularly like her because she can poke holes in evolution misinformation. And generally, she's got the movement right and we agree.
But not now.

When I find myself on the opposite side of "party lines" I usually use that as an indicator that I need to re-evaluate my position.

Surprisingly, I think I can clear up this problem, and the above bloggers probably aren't going to like what I have to say. This comes down to which you are first - a humanist or a feminist?

Borrowing from Hemant's blog, here's the rundown of the situation:

1) Female 1 is at a bar after giving a speech on sexism in the atheism community in a foreign country. She announces she is tired and goes to the elevator.

2) Unknown Male approaches Female 1 in the elevator and says: "Don't take this the wrong way, but I find you very interesting, and I would like to talk more. Would you like to come to my hotel room for coffee?'.

3) Female 1 says no and then goes to her room.

4) Female 1 makes a video in which she mentions the situation, that she felt creeped out, and tells men "not to do that."

5) Female 2 responds to the video saying that situation doesn’t sound as bad as Female 1 made it out to be and that although Female 1 has a right to feel creeped out, she has no right not to tell men not to do that.

The situation progressed a little further when Female 1 called out Female 2 while giving a speech where Female 2 was an audience member. But that is a separate matter and not something I care to address.

For most of my regular readers of this blog, the situation may not seem like a big deal. But this is a HUGE deal - both for the atheism movement and for feminism.

For what it's worth, I stand very firmly on the side of Female 2 (Stef). In some ways I can identify with Unknown Male (Elevator Guy) because it's possible that he really did find her interesting and wanted to talk to her more before she probably left his country. That said, of course I think Female 1 (Rebecca) had every right to feel creeped out. However, when she sent out a APB to other men saying "don't do that" she was taking a subjective experience that creeped her out and saying that it creeps all women out - therefore there is no good reason to do that.

Rebecca makes a serious error here - because not only does she impede Elevator Guy's freedom to engage in polite conversation - but she speaks for other women by branding his actions as something that is universally deplorable. It was this second point that I think prompted Stef to make her video.

If you're having trouble understanding Stef's point of view, how would you feel if a member of your sex made a blog post that said "Please stop complimenting us on our hair. It creeps us out - and we imagine you making little hair dolls of us."

You might say "Wait a second! I got a compliment on my hair the other day and it really lifted me up! And just because you are afraid of someone making strange hair-dolls out of your hair, doesn't mean that I get that mental image when someone compliments me. LET THE HAIR COMPLIMENTS CONTINUE!"

This is the difference between Feminists and Humanists.

Feminists want to maintain the class differentiation between men and women - and give women improved protections from men (because men are physically stronger than women) and maintain female victim status. In other words, they want to keep up the fence between men and women, put a gate in between it and only allow women to pass through to the other side. They see men's side of the fence as having the greener grass and the richer soil. It's got more sun, more shade and higher property value. They want to mosey on over to the men's side so that things are "equal." When men express interest in heading over to the women's side - the reply is simple "No, no no, that side is shitty and there's no reason for you to go there, so you just stay over here on the nice side."

Humanists want to tear down that fence and give everyone the freedom to enjoy the entirety of the human experience. Sometimes that means sticking to one side of the field - but the most important thing is the ability to pursue the act of being your own person. You should not be held back by other people for any reason, especially race, sex, ability or orientation. Genetics and fortune will already do enough to hold us back - we don't need other people to do it for us.

From a humanist perspective - the admittedly "not threatening" behavior of Elevator Guy could not have reasonably been expected to ilicit a creeped-out response in Rebecca. Therefore, he was acting reasonably in approaching, conversing and then ending the encounter after she declined his offer. These were simply two people - on of whom with power and fame (Rebecca) and one without (Elevator Guy). He made a request to spend more time with her. In a humanist world, every person, regardless of sex, class, race or orientation has the right to speak to another person in respectful manner. It doesn't matter the time or location. That is a human right.

From a feminist perspective - the subjective experience of the woman in the situation (Rebecca) is paramount. She has unique perspective on the actions of men and how they relate to the oppression of women. Her uncomfortableness is valid, and that valid uncomfortableness is the direct result of another persons behaviors: therefore that other person's behaviors are WRONG. FULL STOP.

I can be pretty cruel to feminist ideology on this blog. But the above sentence is intended to be a real, honest attempt at summarizing the feminist position here. I'm doing that because I realize that feminists aren't evil - but their ideology is based on a flawed idea of gender classicism that, if we continue to follow it, will result in more suffering than is necessary. That's why I'm a humanist before I'm a feminist - because sometimes the answer to society's problems isn't "More Feminism."

There is another angle to this - and it's how atheism deals with the lack of women active in our groups. But I'm going to save that for another post.

P.S. I, personally, would never engage in any meaningful conversation with a person I'd not met previously in an elevator. I have a few reasoned, rational reasons for this:
A) Elevators constrict our movement. Body language is important in gauging a person's mental state and emotions.
B) Possibility for conflict. You can never be sure when someone will "go off." If I mention to someone, for example, that I'm about to get my tax return, they could've just been informed that they owe millions in back taxes and could have an emotional breakdown that I will have to be party to for the remainder of the trip.
C) Possibility for extended discussion. I might hit a sweet spot with the other passenger - they may want to tell me a story longer than I have time for - I don't want them to hold me up from getting to my floor.
D) Possible false rape accusation. I'm just saying, it's possible.

Now many of these issues are "non-issues" at a convention when you know the person. That's why I don't give Rebecca any slack. In fact, at a convention, I'd be MORE likely to strike up conversation in an elevator. That said, I would not proposition a woman I had JUST met on an elevator while she was heading back to the room - because I know I would have about a 0.00001% chance of being successful. 1 - Because I'm not much to look at and 2 - because typically an intelligent woman speaking at an atheist convention wouldn't be turned on just by my looks and I'd need to develop some rapport for her to comprehend my "assets."

P.P.S. Some people - trying to get it across to white, privileged men what it feels like to be propositioned in an elevator have offered this analogy:
Suppose you were in an elevator, and a big (bigger than you) thug said to you "How about we go up to my room and I fuck you in the ass."
My honest response would be to laugh and say "No thanks, I'm sore from playing Halo." And if he continued, I'd say "You would not survive the attempt; I'll cut your balls off."
I'd rather be dead than a violent rape survivor.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Everything Means No - OR Why I'm a Post-Feminist

Why I am a Post-Feminist

People have criticized me elsewhere for describing myself as a Post-Feminist. They say things like "There are still millions of women being raped every day across the globe - how can you say we don't need feminism anymore?"

This weekend I was blessed with a perfect rebuttal.

Feminism has been shouting for decades that No means No.

Imagine the following scenario: A man says to a woman "Don't take this the wrong way, but I find you very interesting, and I would like to talk more. Would you like to come to my hotel room for coffee?" The woman says "No, thank you." Hearing this, the man says no more to her and leaves her alone.

Feminists should be happy with this outcome. But they aren't.

No, because feminists want a world where men can't initiate sex. They might say that what this man did was wrong because:
1) It was 4 a.m.
2) They were alone in an elevator
3) He was drunk

But none of those things matter - it might've been 4 a.m., but hookups happen at that hour, too. He also probably didn't ask in the company of other people because he wanted to give her the option to be discreet. He also probably wouldn't of had the courage to ask her if he were completely sober.

But no - none of this matters because No means No isn't good enough apparently. The new feminist moto is "Everything means No!"