Thursday, November 30, 2017


International Men's Day was earlier this month. You could hardly be blamed for being unaware of its existence. But rather than frantically trying to quote and rebut each and every snarky misandrist response posted on that day (there were a lot of them), I'd prefer trying a different approach.

Unwanted touch, whether deliberately malicious (Harvey Weinstein) or merely awkward and unintentionally offensive (Al Franken), is a problem worth discussing as a society. But what if a lack of wanted – or needed – touch is the other side of that equation?

Essentially, that's the question posed in an article by Mark Greene on, titled "How a Lack of Touch is Destroying Men". I'm reposting the article in its entirety here, giving full credit to Greene and UpliftConnect, because it's one of the most beautifully-written and insightful (albeit dispiriting) pieces I've read in a very, very long time.

As I often do when I use this approach, I am color-coding the text: light blue represents the content from the original article, while red represents what I consider to be the article's most resonant points (consider those the TL;DR version). And I've added my own thoughts at the bottom, in standard white.

How a Lack of Touch is Destroying Men
By Mark Greene on Saturday January 28th, 2017

Image: Excerpt from 'Ajitto' by Robert Mapplethorpe

Why Men Need More Platonic Touch in their Lives

In preparing to write about the lack of gentle touch in men’s lives, I right away thought, “I feel confident I can do platonic touch, but I don’t necessarily trust other men to do it. Some guy will do something creepy. They always do”. Quickly on the heels of that thought, I wondered, “Wait a minute, why do I distrust men in particular?” The little voice in my head didn’t say, “I don’t necessarily trust people to not be creepy”, it said, “I don’t trust men”.

In American culture, we believe that men can never be entirely trusted in the realm of the physical. We collectively suspect that, given the opportunity, men will revert to the sexual at a moment’s notice. That men don’t know how to physically connect otherwise. That men can’t control themselves. That men are dogs.

There is no corresponding narrative about women.

 Men need gentle platonic touch in their lives just as much as women do.

Touch Isolation

Accordingly, it has become every man’s job to prove they can be trusted, in each and every interaction, day by day and case by case. In part, because so many men have behaved poorly. And so, we prove our trustworthiness by foregoing physical touch completely in any context in which even the slightest doubt about our intentions might arise. Which, sadly, is pretty much every context we encounter.

And where does this leave men? Physically and emotionally isolated. Cut off from the deeply human physical contact that is proven to reduce stress, encourage self esteem and create community. Instead, we walk in the vast crowds of our cities alone in a desert of disconnection. Starving for physical connection.

We crave touch. We are cut off from it. The result is touch isolation.

Men crave touch but are cut off from it and experience touch isolation.

The Comfort of Contact

How often do men actually get the opportunity to express affection through lasting platonic touch? How often does it happen between men? Or between men and women? Not a hand shake or a hug, but lasting physical contact between two people that is comforting and personal, but not sexual. Between persons who are not lovers and never will be. Think holding hands. Or leaning on each other. Sitting together. That sort of thing. Just the comfort of contact. And if you are a man, imagine five minutes of contact with another man. How quickly does that idea raise the ugly specter of homophobia? And why?

While women are much freer to engage in physical contact with each other, men remain suspect when they touch others. There is only one space in our culture where long-term platonic physical contact is condoned for men, and that is between fathers and their very young children.

How often do men experience physical contact without it being sexual?

The Transformative Effect of Fatherhood

I found this kind of physical connection when my son was born. As a stay at home dad, I spent years with my son. Day after day, he sat in the crook of my arm, his little arm across my shoulder, his hand on the back of my neck. As he surveyed the world from on high, I came to know a level of contentment and calm that had previously been missing in my life.

The physical connection between us was so transformative that it changed my view of who I am and what my role is in the world. Yet it took having a child to bring this calming experience to me because so few other opportunities are possible to teach men the value and power of gentle loving touch.

A Lack of Physical Connection

As a young child and as a teenager, contact between myself and others simply didn’t happen unless it came in the form of rough housing or unwelcome bullying. My mother backed off from contact with me very early on, in part, I think, due to her upbringing. I can only guess that in her parent’s house physical touch was something for toddlers, but not for children past a certain age. Add to that, the fact that my father was absent due to my parent’s divorce and years of work overseas, and it meant I grew up without being held or touched.

This left me with huge insecurities about human contact. I was well into my twenties before I could put my arm around a girl I was dating without first getting drunk. To this day, I remain uncertain about where and how to approach contact with people, even those I consider close friends. It’s not that I can’t do it, it’s just that it remains awkward, odd. As if we all feel like we’re doing something slightly…off?

Contact with male friends is always brief; a handshake, or a pat on the back. Hugs with men or women are a ballet of the awkward, a comedic choreography in which we turn our groins this way or that. Shoulders in, butts out, seeking to broadcast to anyone within line of sight that we are most certainly not having a sexual moment. We’re working so hard to be seen as sexually neutral that we take no joy in these moments of physical connection.

Men often experience a lack of gentle touch from others from a young age.

The Sexualizing of Touch

Not only do we men distrust others in this muddled realm of physical touch, but years of shaming and judgement have left us distrusting ourselves. Did I enjoy that too much? Am I having taboo thoughts? This distrust leaves us uncertain about touching another human being unless we have established very clear rules of engagement. Often we give up and simply reduce those rules to being in a relationship. We allow ourselves long-lasting comforting touch with our girlfriends or boyfriends. The vast universe of platonic human touch is suddenly reduced to the exclusive domain of one person and is blended into the sexual. That’s a lot of need to put on one person, however loving and generous they might be.

Which leads to the question, how do we teach our sons to understand how touch works? How to parse out the sexual from the platonic? Is the pleasure of human contact inherently sexual to some degree? I doubt it’s a question the average Italian man would ever ask himself. But here in America, generations of puritanical sexual shaming have made it a central question. By putting the fear of the sexual first in all our interactions, we have thrown out the baby with the bathwater, avoiding all contact rather than risk even the hint of unwanted sexual touch.

The sexualizing of touch means that physical contact can be uncomfortable for men.

Giving up Human Contact

Many parents step back from physical contact with boys when their sons approach puberty. The contact these boys seek is often deemed confusing or even sexually suspect. And, most unbelievable of all, all opportunity for potential physical touch is abruptly handed over to young girls, who are suddenly expected to act as gatekeepers to touch, and who are no more prepared to take on this responsibility than boys are to hand it over.

And so boys are cast adrift with two unspoken lessons:
1. All touch is sexually suspect
2. Find a girlfriend or give up human contact

A particularly damning message to boys who are gay.

American culture leaves boys few options. While aggression on the basketball court or bullying in the locker room often results in sporadic moments of human contact, gentleness likely does not. And young men, whose need for touch is channeled into physically rough interactions with other boys or fumbling sexual contact with girls, lose conscious awareness of the gentle, platonic contact of their own childhoods. Sometimes it’s not until their children are born that they rediscover gentle platonic touch; the holding and caring contact that is free from the drumbeat of sex, sex, sex that pervades our culture, even as we simultaneously condemn it.

The message is that gentle touch is not part of being a man in our society.

Craving Real Connection

Is it any wonder that sexual relationships in our culture are so loaded with anger and fear? Boys are dumped on a desert island of physical isolation, and the only way they can find any comfort is to enter the blended space of sexual contact to get the connection they need.

This makes sexual relations a vastly more high stakes experience than it already should be
. We encourage aggressive physical contact as an appropriate mode of contact for boys and turn a blind eye to bullying, even as we then expect them to work out some gentler mode of sexual contact in their romantic lives.

If men could diffuse their need for physical connection across a much wider set of platonic relationships, it would do wonders for our sense of connection in the world. As it is, we can’t even manage a proper hug because we can’t model what was never modeled for us.

There needs to be more modeling for men of a range of platonic relationships.

The Value of Touch

We have seniors in retirement homes who are visited by dogs they can hold and pet. This helps to improve their health and emotional state of mind. It is due to the power of contact between living creatures. Why are good-hearted people driving around town, taking dogs to old folks homes? Because no one is touching these elderly people.

They should have grandchildren in their laps every day, or a warm human hand to hold, not Pomeranians who come once a week. And yet, we put a dog in their laps instead of giving them human touch, because we remain a culture that holds human contact highly suspect. We know the value of touch, even as we do everything we can to shield ourselves from it.

Older people are brought therapy animals to alleviate the lack of touch in their lives.

Fear of Judgement

We American men have a tragic laundry list of reasons why we are not comfortable with touch:

1. We fear being labeled as sexually inappropriate by women.
2. We live in a virulently homophobic culture so all contact between men is suspect.
3. We don’t want to risk any hint of being sexual toward children.
4. We don’t want to risk our status as macho or authoritative by being physically gentle.
5. We don’t ever want to deal with rejection when we reach out.

But at the root of all these flawed rationalizations is the fact that most American men are never taught to do gentle non-sexual touch. We are not typically taught that we can touch and be touched as a platonic expression of joyful human contact. Accordingly, the very inappropriate over-sexualized touch our society fears runs rampant, reinforcing our culture’s self fulfilling prophecy against men and touch. Meanwhile, this inability to comfortably connect via touch has left men emotionally isolated, contributing to rampant rates of alcoholism, depression and abuse.

The fear that surrounds physical connection results in men becoming isolated.

The Prohibition Against Platonic Touch

And what if the lack of platonic touch is causing some men to be far too aggressive toward women, who, as the exclusive gatekeepers for gentle touch are carrying a burden they could never hope to fully manage? Women, who are arguably both victims of and, in partnership with men, enforcers of the prohibition against platonic touch in American culture? The impact of our collective touch phobia is felt across our society by every single man, woman and child.

Brené Brown, in her ground breaking TED Talk titled The Power of Vulnerability talks at length about the limitations men face when attempting to express vulnerability in our culture. She notes the degree to which men are boxed in by our culture’s expectations about what a man is or is not allowed to do. I would suggest that the limitations placed on men extend to their physical expression though touch. And are just as damaging in that realm.

Men are limited in their attempts to express their vulnerability.

The Awakening of Touch

But here’s the good news.

There are many reasons why full-time stay at home dads are proving to be such a transformative force in American culture. One powerful reason is the awakening of touch. As full-time dads, we are presented with the absolute necessity to hold our own wonderful children. We are learning about touch in the most powerful and life-affirming way. In ways that previous generations of men simply were not immersed in.

Once you have held your sleeping child night after night or walked for years with their hand in yours, you are a changed person. You gain a fluency and confidence in touch that you will never lose. It is a gift to us men from our children that literally has the capacity to transform American culture.

The awakening of touch is possible for men who let go of their fear and reach out.

How to Reach Out

Accordingly, now, when I am with a friend I do reach out. I do make contact. And I do so with confidence and joy. And I have my own clear path forward.

The patterns in my life may be somewhat set but I intend to do everything I can to remain in contact with my son in hopes that he will have a different view of touch in his life. I hug him and kiss him. We hold hands or I put my arm around him when we watch TV or walk on the street. I will not back off from him because someone somewhere might take issue with our physical connection. I will not back off because somehow there is an unspoken rule that I must cut him loose in the world to fend for himself. I hope we can hold hands even when he is a man. I hope we continue to hold hands until the day I die.

Ultimately, we will unlearn our fear of touch in the context of our personal lives and in our day-to-day interactions. Learning how to express platonic love and affection through touch is a vast and remarkable change that has to be lived. But it is so important that we do it. Because it is central to having a rich and full life.

Touch is life.

Excluding the occasional handshake, there are about five or six people who I ever have any sort of regular physical contact with, and that's including my parents and fiancée.

To men, though, none of this is even remotely surprising or unusual. Half the planet has decided to demonize and dehumanize us to the point where we're viewed as nothing but mindless, stupid, gross, violent, planet-destroying rape-monsters, because something something something patriarchy!!!

But it does hurt. I am admitting it hurts because I'm not a posturing meathead douche like Nick Offerman –types are, who treat their masculinity as something to be performed ("I don't even care. I don't like people enough to want to be touched by anyone anyway!") rather than something intrinsic to their identity.

I would posit that the type of emotional isolation described in this article, felt by such an overwhelmingly huge number of men, is connected to many of the other problems related to men, whether those problems are inflicted on others by men or endured by men themselves. But these are the types of questions and considerations that are so quick to get overlooked in the moral-panic rush to condemn all men for the inappropriate behavior of a few that we are currently seeing in society. At this point, the simple question "But what about men?" is among the quickest ways to invite massive amounts of ridicule and scorn not only in communities that identify as feminist, but also communities that identify merely as liberal (perhaps ostensibly so).

Taking everything into account, such as the emotional isolation and the ever-increasing torrent of contradicting edicts that society is placing upon men, is it really so surprising that International Men's Day is so often used to highlight things such as the tragic frequency of male suicides?

Friday, November 24, 2017

My Seven Photos

Several days ago, my friend (and future groomsman) Ryan tagged me in the "seven black and white photos" post that's gone viral on Facebook. The explanation that gets shared with each image:
"I thought this could be interesting :) Seven days and seven black and white pictures of my life. No people no explanations. Each day tag someone else to participate."
I thought instead of doing one each day, I'd take my seven photos and share them as a single blog post. (Any tags I add will be done through Fb as well.)

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

No, my body is not "an obligation".

Video here, if you must.

Michelle Wolf can take her sexist, hypocritical body-shaming and kindly GO FUCK HERSELF.

Link for a website with info about male body-image issues, including a toll-free helpline for people struggling with them.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Exasperated. Exhausted. Discouraged.

How would people be reacting if it had been a man – any man – who had posted this picture, instead of Ellen?

I posed this question on Facebook the other day, forgetting momentarily that Facebook in 2017 is a website that sucks in just about every way imaginable besides vacation photos and instant messages.

This was the first of two responses:

Of course, that really doesn't answer the question, does it?

1) Obviously, these are a series of photos that make it seem like Daniel Radcliffe had glanced at Emma Watson's breasts on various occasions. Is it really that hard, in 2017, to acknowledge that photos taken from just the wrong angle at the wrong moment can make a glance or a gesture seem more awkward or less innocent than it actually is? It happens literally all the time.

2) I wasn't actually criticizing Ellen for looking at Katy Perry's breasts, as the overwhelming majority of breasts in the world are quite lovely and worth looking at. I was commenting on how Ellen could get away with creating a post like this, whereas almost any straight man would be mercilessly ripped to shreds by feminists for objectification and harassment.

3) Radcliffe himself did not create, caption, or even post this image. What would have happened if someone had taken a photo of Radcliffe staring directly and unambiguously at Emma Watson's breasts, and he posted it with a caption like "HERMIONE HAS SUCH LOVELY BAZONGAS!"? Does anyone really think that a site like Jezebel or Everyday Feminism would just let it slide as harmless fun, as we do with Ellen? Or would we be seeing the words "creepy" and "gross" ad nauseum?

This was the second response:

I mean, there's nothing particularly revelatory here. Most people already know that men are reserved when it comes to positivity toward other men, whereas women are allowed to be more exuberant toward each other. But that hints at the more pertinent issue: that there is a wide range of behavior that is deemed acceptable, harmless, or funny when women do it, but unacceptable, perverted, or disgusting when men do it – and this often extends to things as small as simple appreciation of the female (or male) form:

This is one example among countless thousands. So if the motivating factor for all of the outrage we're seeing is a simple desire for gender equality, then maybe we should also look at why Ellen DeGenerous can stare directly at Katy Perry's "balloons" and nobody bats an eye, but an astrophysicist can't wear a T-shirt with anime characters in bikinis – a shirt given to him by his girlfriend, no less – without being so shamed and bullied by feminists and SJWs that he's not only forced to apologize for wearing it, but also breaks down in tears when doing so.

I gave serious thought to replying to these images on Facebook, but here's how that would have played out: as almost all of my Facebook friends are either liberal or apolitical at this point, these two rebuttal pictures would have received a showering of Likes and other positive responses from feminists and women who sympathize with them, along with a chorus of either outspoken or implied messages of "YOU GO GIRL!! YOU PUT HIM IN HIS PLACE!! TEACH HIM TO CHECK HIS PRIVILEGE!!!"

As I would inevitably be defending myself alone (per usual, on radioactively controversial issues like this), there would be no real way to fight back, regardless of how carefully I made my points. So I just deleted the post altogether instead. It just wasn't worth the loss in social capital, which I am already frequently bereft of.

The next day, while reading an article in The Atlantic, I came across this quote:

Oof. Talk about hitting close to home.

The reason I posed the question in the first place is that with the avalanche of disturbing sexual assault accusations that we've seen over the past few weeks, I find myself also increasingly disturbed by the corresponding think-pieces in liberal publications that are all too happy to use the accusations as an opportunity to use men's libidos as a cudgel to beat us into submission and self-loathing, and tell us that we are all worthless, violent trash regardless of whether or not we've committed any actual wrongdoing. (I would say "then the cycle repeats", except it's less of a "cycle" and more like two waveforms with opposing peaks.)

I've actually been trying very hard to envision what the ideal "end-state" in all of this would look like, regarding gender. "DUHHHH, IT'S THAT MEN STOP TREATING WOMEN SO BADLY, YOU IDIOT!" screams the entire SJW left. Except that this answer still has far too many missing pieces to form a complete and useful picture of where we should be trying to go from here.

The fundamental problem is that both genders are guilty of treating the other gender badly. More often than not, I am sympathetic to the argument that, if one insists on playing the "Oppression Olympics", women have it worse than men overall. Men are both more likely to be in positions of power and wealth (positions that many women still find extremely attractive, despite how frequently they lead to the abuse of that power) – as well as more biologically inclined toward aggression, regardless of status.

But this is why I very frequently borrow a John Oliver metaphor to explain it: A couple years ago, Oliver did a show about the pay gap between men and women. He first cited the frequently-disputed statistic that women make 30% less than men, and then played a dissenting clip from Fox News saying that the gap was really in the single digits. Oliver's point was that the size of the gap doesn't matter: "If there's a pile of shit on your desk, it doesn't matter how big the pile is – the problem is that THERE IS SHIT ON YOUR DESK." Which is a perfectly valid point for men to make, as well: Even if we concede that the "pile of shit" on women's "desks" is larger than the pile of shit on men's desks, [there is still] [a giant pile] [of shit] [on our desks] [too].

So maybe while we're taking a good hard look at what does and doesn't qualify as sexual assault, we should also be looking at some of the double-standards that society holds us to, as well as the mixed messages we so often get.

Because after all, there's a word for people who think that everyone of one gender should just shut up and be silent while the other gender writes all the rules.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Appeasement and Allyship

So this garbage article appeared on garbage website The Root a couple days ago:

The article (which I would directly link to if I didn't hate the goddamn thing so much) is basically a Greatest Hits compilation of male feminists flagellating themselves. Some choice quotes:
The scope and the pervasiveness of this culture of abuse and our roles in perpetuating it—and not “our” as in men collectively but ourselves specifically—has resulted recently in a reflexive and unwieldy and messy and self-conscious excavation of memories, relationships and interactions: a digging that has intersecting intents. It’s reconciling with what you might have done—and might currently be doing—to prevent yourself from doing it in the future. And, well, it’s asking yourself, “How fucked up am I?” Which, expressed another way, is “Wait ... should I be worried about this avalanche, too?”

The answer, of course, is hell fucking yes. We are all complicit. We are all agents of patriarchy, and we’ve all benefited from it. We are all active contributors to rape culture. All of us. No one is exempt. We all have investments in and take deposits out of the same bank. And we all need to accept and reconcile ourselves with the fact that, generally speaking, we are trash.

Oh, right. I happen to have been born with a Y-chromosome. My bad, everyone.

If it helps, think about everything we know about racism. And how the less visible forms of bias combine with both overt acts of hate and the structural racism embedded in our nation’s core on every level to maintain white supremacy. Think about all of the acts of abuse and hate and violence committed against black Americans (and other nonwhite people) and how the well of white supremacy is so deep that we don’t even know where it ends (or if it ends at all).

Now try to apply those same thoughts—particularly the vastness of its impact—to patriarchy. And sexism. And gender and/or sex-based abuse and violence.
It's funny that he brings up racism, because I frequently bring it up as well. More to the point, I frequently bring up the fact that a headline like "How, if You're [Black/Muslim], to Deal With the Fact that You're Probably Trash" would sound exactly like the kind of goddamned garbage you'd hear on a white supremacist website.

Another example:
It’s realizing that it’s going to be hard as fuck. It’s being unconcerned with lauds and pats on the back and any other signs that women have recognized that you managed to clear a shin-level bar. They will be—shit, they are—furious and fed up. At us. At you. At me. At the culture that allowed this to happen. At the country that allowed this culture to breathe and breed. At the fact that it’s taking such an onslaught of terrible news for so many of us to begin to realize that the world treats them terribly. That we treat them terribly.
Uh huh.

And after all of this self-misandry, here is the top comment on the article:

I mean, to a certain extent, she's not wrong. Young's article isn't just self-misandry, it's blatantly performative self-misandry. But her comment also lays bare one of the main problems with articles like this: no matter how much you prostrate yourself, people like this will never tell you it's enough. They will always demand that you give them more.

And this is why I give exactly zero fucks about what kind of "ally" marginalized groups judge me to be. I do not need your permission to support Planned Parenthood. I do not need your approval to support Black Lives Matter. I do not need your blessing to support gay weddings. If nothing else, you know beyond any shadow of a doubt that my beliefs are not "performative" because I absolutely could not give less of a shit about whether or not people like Damon Young and "Wild Cougar" think my progressivism goes "far enough" for them. I do not care if my style of liberalism appeases you or not.

I am a man. I am not ashamed to be a man. And I am not trash. You, dear misandrists, can all kindly go fuck yourselves.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Oh Myyyy

For the most part, I really like George Takei a lot. He was always great as Sulu on Star Trek, and I actually own his autobiography. For the past several years, what's he's been known most for, obviously, is his presence on social media. The majority of his posts are innocent and amusing, good for a mid-day chuckle or two. But he also often throws political posts into the mix, as well. And even with those, many are simple and positive messages of equality and progressivism (I'm assuming anyone reading this already knows that Takei is gay).

The catch is that many other political posts of his are heavily bent in the "SJW" direction – criticizing men and masculinity, painting women as either helpless victims of patriarchy or mighty and brilliant warriors of righteousness, and urging his followers to 'check their privilege'. As his frequency of those types of posts increased over the years, and as my patience for puritanical, identity-politics demagoguery from the SJW left has diminished, I eventually had to unfollow his posts.

(I am very quick on the unfollow button these days. It helps mitigate the mental health catastrophe that Facebook has become.)

Fast-forward to 2017: every other day brings a new complaint lodged against men in entertainment, business, or public service. The chorus of feminist voices telling men that we all need to blame and hate ourselves for the actions of the accused has grown from an irritating background hum to an incessant ear-splitting screech. Takei, being a boilerplate liberal SJW (albeit a well-intentioned one), has been more than happy to hum right along with them this entire time. Any time that any man is accused of any misdeed, he is tried, convicted, and sentenced in The Court of Internet Opinion in mere microseconds. It's practically one of the commandments in the SJW Religion of Intersectionality:
Thou Shalt Not Grant Men The Presumption Of Innocence

Enter Scott Brunton:
Published by The Hollywood Reporter, Brunton’s account states that he originally met Takei at a bar, with the two exchanging phone numbers. He and Takei eventually went out to dinner, where Takei lent him a consoling ear about a recent break-up. Then they went back to the actor’s condo for a drink:
We have the drink and he asks if I would like another. And I said sure. So, I have the second one, and then all of a sudden, I begin feeling very disoriented and dizzy, and I thought I was going to pass out. I said I need to sit down and he said sit over here and he had the giant yellow beanbag chair. So I sat down in that and leaned my head back and I must have passed out.

The next thing I remember I was coming to and he had my pants down around my ankles and he was groping my crotch and trying to get my underwear off and feeling me up at the same time, trying to get his hands down my underwear. I came to and said, ‘What are you doing?!’ I said, ‘I don’t want to do this.’ He goes, ‘You need to relax. I am just trying to make you comfortable. Get comfortable.’ And I said, ‘No. I don’t want to do this.’ And I pushed him off and he said, ‘OK, fine.’ And I said I am going to go and he said, ‘If you feel you must. You’re in no condition to drive.’ I said, ‘I don’t care I want to go.’ So I managed to get my pants up and compose myself and I was just shocked. I walked out and went to my car until I felt well enough to drive home, and that was that.
Takei responded to the allegation on Twitter and Facebook:

As Takei himself is one of the standard-bearers for the SJW left, this accusation presents a problem: Do they adhere to the Commandments of Intersectionality and throw good ol' Uncle Georgie under the bus? Or do they circle the wagons to defend him against his accuser, and risk becoming the oppressive victim-blamers they have always railed against? ("Surely this is a lie! Uncle George would never do such a thing!!")

Takei's appearances on the Howard Stern show have not exactly helped his case:
On Saturday, an audio clip surfaced from Takei's appearance last month on Howard Stern's radio show. The interview was recorded less than two weeks after sexual assault accusations against fallen film mogul Harvey Weinstein were made public. Stern and Takei were discussing the "irony" of the Weinstein case and the audiotape of President Donald Trump boasting about grabbing women's genitals years ago when Stern asked Takei whether he had ever grabbed a man's genitals against his will.

Takei, a staunch opponent of the Republican president, initially was silent, then said "uh oh" and laughed. Stern asked again and Takei said, "Some people are kind of skittish, or maybe, um, uh, afraid, and you're trying to persuade."
Would Takei's fans on the left be so quick to defend him if the accusations were made by a woman, rather than a man?

And thus we find the 80-year-old actor hoisted by his own petard. I can only react to this in the same way I reacted to the infamous "A Rape On Campus" article in Rolling Stone: a millisecond's worth of schadenfreude, immediately drowned out by overwhelming despair at how little effect any of this has on the underlying and UNQUESTIONABLY REAL problems of sexual assault and liberal myopia on gender issues.

My take on Takei's offence against Brunton is that romantic and sexual encounters are rarely as black and white as the feminist left insists. Many of these situations fall into a gray area, because THAT'S HOW HUMAN NATURE WORKS. We are imperfect and messy and flawed and horny as fuck. These are qualities that are woven into our biology, and if you're demanding that people act absolutely perfectly every single time they're inebriated on arousal (let alone adding alcohol into the mix), you may as well be demanding that they change their eye color.

Should the incident count as a great big tally mark in Takei's "fuckup" column? Maybe so. But does it make him a monstrous sexual predator for life? Is his entire standing as a decent human being forfeit because of the accusation? Many members of the SJW left are debating these questions now – but if it weren't Uncle Georgie, one of their own, their answer would unequivocally be yes. And I disagree.

I am not trying to make excuses for all of George Takei's behavior that night, and god knows if it were my name in the headlines instead of his, and SJWs and feminists were calling for my blood, he'd be standing right beside them, nodding in agreement. I am trying to point out that there is a human element in all of this that most of my fellow liberals in 2017 are exceedingly quick to overlook, which is doubly true whenever the person being accused is male.

For what it's worth, I had an experience similar to Brunton's story when I was in my early 20's at OSU. I went to a bar with my roommate, his ex, and one of her female friends. After several rounds, my roommate went back to our house and I stuck around for a while. My the ex's friend wanted to have sex with me, which I was not even remotely interested in. Several shots later, when I was too drunk to understand or care what was happening, we had sex anyway.

By modern feminist/SJW definitions, what happened to me counts as sexual assault (or even rape, depending on who you ask). I have never once seen it that way. The only way I've always seen it is "Welp, I guess I should have stopped drinking a lot earlier, huh?"

But in this particular case, all I can hope is that George Takei uses this whole experience to better understand that issues related to gender and sex are rarely as ironclad black-and-white men-are-guilty as his fellow SJWs would have us believe. Surely there's some place we can arrive at where we acknowledge that people – all of us, both men and women – are flawed and will make occasional lapses in judgment, especially when we're horny – while also reckoning with the truly sick bastards out there like Harvey Weinstein and Roy Moore (personally I'd prefer a baseball bat upside their skulls, but maybe that's my "toxic masculinity" talking).

Monday, November 13, 2017

Me on Election Day 2016 vs Me on Election Day 2017

Last Tuesday's mid-midterm election saw the Democrats slaughter the Republicans in most contests, thanks in large part to people wanting to fight back against the Trump Regime.

That election also resulted in the "Me on Election Day 2016 vs Me on Election Day 2017" meme, which this article thoroughly explains, as does this one from Slate.

I thought I'd add my own contribution to the mix:

But in all seriousness, the main point here is that this momentum needs to be kept up during the 2018 and 2020 elections, as well.

Friday, November 10, 2017

I want to shout every single part of this article from the rooftops as loudly as possible

All the kudos in the world to Cathy Young for speaking truth to power like this.

Seriously. The entire piece is astoundingly beautiful and truthful, and the people who need to hear its message the most will tune it out immediately for fear of cognitive dissonance.

The Song of the Week

So I discovered this song through Reddit, and it had me in stitches the first time I listened to it:

To me, the most obvious interpretation of the song is that it's making fun of modern feminists for blindly and derogatorily stereotyping and generalizing men as they incessantly do.

Apparently quite a few people saw it differently? A Slate article described it as a "an '80s-inspired anthem about how terrible men are". And here is how perennially terrible website reacted, with quotes from several people on Twitter responding the same way. The most spit-take-inducing part of this article:
Everything, from the sentiment to the amazing '80s pop power anthem style, hints at a less enlightened version of feminism that was embraced by pop culture during the era of big hair and shoulder pads. Feminism has evolved quite a bit since then [...]

I've actually had to put some effort into understanding these responses. There are some possibilities for what's happening here:

(1) They have completely missed the point of the song, in the "conservatives thought Stephen Colbert was a conservative" sense

(2) They think the song isn't talking about them because they "don't ACTUALLY do that!" (spoiler alert: you do)

(3) They understand that the song is making fun of them, but have simply accepted and embraced their own eagerness to denigrate men through generalization

(4) *I* have completely missed the point of the song, and it really is some sort of feminist anthem for how generalizing all men based on the actions of a few is totally justified.

It's probably some combination of all of the above. But in any case, it would be interesting to see how these people would have responded to a song called "Let's Generalize About Syrian Refugees!"