Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Star BU Hockey Player Assaults a Woman

And for once, it's actually handled properly! He immediately lost all affiliation with the team even though he was their most vital player, he is being prosecuted to the full extent of the law, and his behavior is being assessed by the university and it is expected he will receive either academic suspension or expulsion. Go BU!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

UCF Professor and Masculinity

UCF Creative Writing professor David Poissant is featured today on the Good Men Project!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Research on Men and Masculinity

I came across this journal while doing research for another class and I thought I'd share it for fellow psychology students or anyone interested in research :) The Journal is called the Journal of Psychology of Men and Masculinity. Some of the abstracts look really interesting and I'm sure you could get the full versions by logging onto UCF's library website.


I was driving around town for work when I really paid attention to Bruno Mars' latest hit song, "It will rain." It goes something like this "I'm making alot of sacrifices for you; don't you ever leave me baby or I may develop a substance abuse problem " It was alarming to me because I know I've heard my little sister and cousins singing along to this and commenting on how adorable it is. Songs with lyrics like this take away from the gravity of situations in which people do say these things and mean it. It makes it okay for young boys to tell their girlfriends to be ready to feel awfully guilty if they ever try to leave. After researching the song a little bit, it seems that it was produced for the new Twilight movie. A song like this goes along perfectly with a saga that romanticizes a boy staring at you while you sleep from your window.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Becoming a Gendered Body: Practices of Preschools

Came across this and thought it was interesting. I have a couple of friends that are education majors, and they talk about how many educators enforce gender stereotypes within classrooms. Looking back on my preschool education, there were definitely a couple of instances where I was discouraged from doing certain activities because of my gender.

Military’s newly aggressive rape prosecution has pitfalls

In general it seems like there are more cases on rape and sexual assault being brought to trial than originally thought, but the actual charges being brought down are not as severe.  Only 27 percent of those brought up on charges were actually convicted which is a problem.  This was a very interesting read which gave some incite into how the military might be dealing with cases like this.  There are definitely still problems, but it seems that the rate of the cases being brought up and convicted has improved.  It is not being pushed under the rug quite as much as before.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Mobilising Men to End Violence Against Women

 The UN have funded and are still funding money to get men to help end violence against women.  The money is going to around 339 projects going on around the world which are trying to help in this goal.  The only way to end violence is to try to educate others and keep fighting for what is right even when hard.  

Counting the social cost of masculinity

This article really looked at how the biggest thing that was not brought up about the riots in England was how drastically the rioters were men.  Why was this key information not really talked about and what does it say about the views of masculinity?  The article also goes into other moments when men were violent which still goes to the question about are views on masculinity.  It seems like a trend to either not mention the range of men being violent or just not really making it seem important.  It is much harder for everyday people to recognize what some of the issues are in their country if the information is not given or skewed.

Sylvania SilverStar Ultra Headlights Video - Advance

The first thing I notice about this commercial was the fact that the description of what a red blooded American is which I found fit very well with the ideas of masculinity that seem to be pushed on society.  It was pushed as if there is not reason that a red blooded American would leave watching a football game unless it is for a good reason.  It also makes it seem like the commercial is saying that someone is not a red blooded American if they are not watching football.  This also takes away that women could install the lights and that women like football.

A Better Life

Watched this film a couple of weeks ago… a definite “MUST SEE”. It’s a film about a single father and son, whose bond grows stronger while in search of the "American Dream".

Link to their FB Page and Trailer …!/video/video.php?v=947584605930

Church bans interracial marriage..."It sure ain't Christian. It ain't nothing but the old devil working."

Not a new article but it was posted on my friend's FB page and it left me shocked. Ive never realized how lucky I am to belong to groups and communities are are so open-minded and accepting of EVERYONE!!!

here is the video of this article from

Friday, December 2, 2011

A Message To Women From A Man: You Are Not “Crazy”

I thought this article was very interesting and brought up a definite problem.  It was more like a message to everyone instead of just women.  The article was definitely not perfect, but it brought up an issue that is a problem.

Snuff Films

Click the title for a link to a Jezebel (I know, I know) article about snuff films. I wish the author held delved further into how those how consume snuff porn live. We've talked about (particularly with Wresting with Manhood) how media and real life are interrelated. Snuff films are particularly disturbing.
Nothing is ever "just entertainment" and nothing is ever "just porn." This is an extreme case of the mix between sex and violence.

Any more thoughts on the consumption of snuff films and how it relates to a violently sexual masculinity?

The VOX Blog

If you have a tumblr, make sure to follow the VOX blog (and my service learning project) at

How to be a fan of problematic things

I thought this was an interesting read and actually very true.  It is hard to find something that is not problematic is some way, which is why avoiding everything is not really a great option.  The main thing is to not try to justify what is problematic, but to acknowledge it and move on if still a fan of it.  This could become a good teaching moment for others when explaining why it is problematic.  I watched Disney movies all my life, but I never took any of the bad messages, but only the good ones away from the movies.  A big part of that was how my parents talked to me and my sister about the movies.  I still love Disney movies, but I have know problem acknowledging that there are some problematic messages in their movies.
I've been transcribing some of the stories my dad use to tell me as a child. As a kid, I didn't realize the kinds of messages I was receiving and devouring to straighten me into some kind of Athia.

Before I had feminism, I learned resistance from narratives of decolonization. Feminism has given me language, yes. But it has only ever been one part of the picture.

So, I hope ya'll enjoy. Good luck in finals week!

Back in my country, a long time ago when your Dada was a little boy, there was a town where you could find the most beautiful saris in the whole world. It wasn't any ordinary sari. The silk cloth was seven feet long and could fit inside a tiny, tiny matchbox.

It all started with the master weaver. Even before he made the most beautiful sari, he was very famous. He moved his thumbs across the silk like water. People came from all across the country to watch his fingers work. But he was not very happy. He knew that the more and more silk he used, the more and more tired the silk worms became and that when he died, he would have to answer to Allah why he worked the silk worms so hard. So, he would pray every morning during Fajr that Allah show him guidance--how could he still feed his family and all the people dependent on him in the town without torturing the silk worms?

He finally got his answer. One day, while he was collecting silk from a family of silk worms, the littlest of the worms crawled onto his thumb. She said: "My parents are very tired. Please, let them rest." And then she was gone. So, the master weaver decided that he would use only one kind of silk and as little of it as possible. It took him two years to weave the sari and when he returned to the same family of silk worms to show them his work, they were very happy. The material was so strong and so well crafted, it would last an entire lifetime. Now, the silk worms were rested and said that they wanted to share their silk with him.

For a little while, everyone was very happy. The master weaver was able to share his good fortune with the whole town. Everyone had enough food to eat and work to do. But this happiness didn't last long. News traveled very far about the master weaver's extraordinary saris--all the way to the Queen of England. The Queen was a very proud woman and wanted to gloat about the riches of her colonies. She demanded that she have a sari for herself. So, she sent her army to the little town with the message that the master weaver was to make a sari especially for her.

The master weaver became very nervous. He knew that if he made a sari for the Queen, then she would demand he make one for all her family and all her royal subjects. He would have to work the silk worms until they died and would have to answer to Allah. The army took him to England were they kept him in a small cottage outside of the palace. For many days he refused to work until the army threatened to destroy his town. He sent a message to the Queen that he would only make the sari for her if she promised that he had to make just one. She agreed and he began work.

After three years of working on the sari, he finally presented it to the Queen. She was very pleased at the wonderful material. She then became very jealous that she could not show off how magnificent her riches from her colonies were to the rest of the world. She demanded that he make her more and more saris. He refused. She knew she could not force him any more, but she wanted to make sure that no one else could ever ask him to make them a sari. So, she had her guards cut off his thumbs and blind him and had her army burn all the other saris he ever made. She kept her sari in the matchbox and it's now in the museum in London.

When the master weaver returned to his home, he was ashamed of himself. He thought he let down all the people of the town and they would now all starve. As he walked around his garden, he felt something crawl up his hand. It was the same little silk worm come to comfort him. She said: "You did the right thing. If you had agreed to make her more saris, she would have worked all of us to death, from my family to yours." The master weaver knew that the little worm was right. They would find another way. They always had.

We Complain About Treatment of Rape Victims, but it Doesn't Compare to This...

It is true that even here in America there are a lot of issues with how victims of rape are treated, but I don't think it can really compare to the kind of story in this article about Afghanistan. It is well know that women hold little to know power even over their own bodies in Afghanistan and in many cases a woman can be imprisoned for being raped because it is seen as having sex out of wedlock. In this case, the article title seems to be a positive and unexpected one, a rape victim having been imprisoned is being pardoned. In reality, upon reading the article it is apparent that it is actually a tragic story. The woman is only being released because she has agreed to marry her attacker. Not only was she raped, impregnated as a result, gave birth to the child behind bars, but now her only option for getting out is to marry the one who put her in the situation and exerted power and control over her. The worst part? The attacker was a member of her family, though it is not disclosed who he was. There was a film made about the events, but the European Union blocked the documentary from being released to protect the women it featured. We are fortunate to not have to deal with these extremes in victim treatment, but there is room for improvement all around.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

This is the stuff I appreciate from Yahoo!

I posted this to my Facebook wall in October and decided that since I bad mouthed Yahoo! for their crap on dating advice, etc. I should share a redeeming post of an photo found in Yahoo! News which links to the original article at that I would not have otherwise known about. I am pretty impressed because the school realized that a "female identifying person" who happens to have a gay orientation can be a "king." At least the structures of king and queen have been questioned, but I think they should get rid of the whole tradition all together.
P.S. She also just happens to be badass too:
Arellano posted a statement to those who opposed her on her Facebook wall that read: "For all the girls who think tradition should be continued, go back to the kitchen, stop having sex before you're married, get out of school and job system, don't have an opinion, don't own any property, give up the right to marry who you love, don't vote, and allow your husband to do whatever he pleases to you. Think about the meaning of tradition when you use it in your argument against us."

Yahoo! Does it Again

Why does Yahoo! insist on putting this gendered crap on their site? I would hate to assume mainstream society feeds into this bullshit so much that they need to be fed it every other day. I appreciate much of the information Yahoo! puts out there, aside from the celebrity gossip and whatnot, but this is kind of ridiculous... Enough already.

Rise Up UCF

I attended the Rise Up UCF rally today to support the cause and not only had a blast, but was impressed by the turnout and movement of my fellow students. It was refreshing to see such passion for a cause and to hear so many eloquent speakers trying to make a difference. And I think we did make a difference, we were heard, and I was happy to see that many of the legislators took flyers containing the information about our protest. I think we raised awareness through the march and entire rally. Not only were we a sight to be seen, but many people joined the cause as we made our way around campus spreading the word. I can only hope that this opened the eyes and ears of the people in office making such devastating decisions such as cutting Bright Futures and financial aid, raising tutition, and dividing the voting districts to suppress the voices of us students. I have attached a link to UCF's Knight News which contains an article and video of the event.

On state violence, white male privilege, and 'Occupy'

This article states a lot of my issues with the Occupy movement.

What do y'all think?

Anti-Choicers on Our Campus.

Yesterday, suprisingly a group of anti-choice protesters came to campus and set up shop right in front of the library and the Math & Physics building handing out "literature" about abortions with doctored photos, misinformation and flat out lies about embryology and fetal growth and disturbing messages for passers by. A member of Student Labor Action Project at UCF (SLAP) and supporter of VOX and Planned Parenthood saw the protestors and called me. We sent out a call to action as quick as we could and 20 UCF campus activists came to support choice and women. We were forced (by 'free speech zone' regulations to set up right in the middle of their protest, while they were on the outskirts of the grass and the side walk, our table (NOW/VOX) decorated with condoms, literature about prevention, abortion, and reproductive environmental justice, sat in the middle and we spread out in between their signs and photos to support the pro choice UCF community. Here are a few photos from the day.

Here are some pictures from the rally this morning at the Fairwinds Alumni Center where close to 100 UCF students and community members protested the CFLD. These people raise our tuition, continue to cut scholarships and Bright Futures, and are content with us not having affordable access to healthcare while also suppressing our votes. They know that students have immense strength especially in Orlando, and this morning our voices were heard (literally from inside the building). They know why we were there and what our grievances are.

Its World AIDS Day

Although scientific research and prevention has come a long way since the first reported cases of AIDS , today it continues to take hold on the lives of women, children, people of color, and other disenfranchised groups. Student leaders, activists, government representatives and community leaders need to continue to make sure that money is going towards reducing violence against women and promoting comprehensive sex education programs.

(Click the title for an excellent article by Feminist Campus)

Gender Benders

This was kind of a fun slideshow of various actors and actresses who have crossed gender lines for certain movie roles.

Thought ya'll might enjoy it.

Beautiful Ad For Ending Marriage Discrimination

Its definitely time...

I'm Christian... Unless Your Gay

A fantastic must-read. While not directly related to Masculinity, I think we all could all use a little more of this sort of thinking and being. We are all guilty of judging someone at one point or another and judgement breeds prejudice and hate. How can we be more accepting, more understanding and less judgmental in our every day lives?

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Does Anybody Know Where I Can Find Playboy's 1992 Interview with Betty Friedan?

I love Friedan's frequent reminders that the patriarchy hurts men, too. She goes into further detail in the article, but I can't find anything more than a few quotes:

  • Friedan: There was a masculine mystique, too.
  • Playboy: What was it?
  • Friedan: Men had to be supermen: stoic, responsible meal tickets. Dominance is a burden. Most men who are honest will admit that.

  • Playboy: What's behind the current's men's movement?
  • Friedan: I think it's partly a reaction against feminism, partly envy of feminism, and partly partly a real need of men to evolve through the burden of the masculine mystique, the burden of machismo.

  • Friedan: I thought it was absolutely outrageous that the Silence of the Lambs won four Oscars. [...] I'm not saying that the movie shouldn't have been shows. I'm not denying the movie was an artistic triumph, but it was about the evisceration, the skinning alive of women. That is what I find offensive. Not the Playboy centerfold.
  • She also said in 1974 "Men weren’t really the enemy — they were fellow victims suffering from an outmoded masculine mystique that made them feel unnecessarily inadequate when there were no bears to kill."

Goodness! This is disturbing.

This article is certainly a tough one to stomach. It alleges that during a rap music video shoot in Oakland California, a toddler along with six other victims (five of which are males between the ages of 14 and 26) were critically injured by gun shot wounds.

Here's a prime manifestation of the problem with the close association of rap music and violence.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

In the spirit of the false narrative of Thanksgiving...

Do you think we would revere Pilgrims or the founders of this country if we constantly subjugated them and vilified them like we do modern day immigrants?

Masculinity Around the Thanksgiving Table

So when I went out of town this past weekend for Thanksgiving I ended up at my mom’s friend’s house in Tampa. Well my mom is very conservative and her friends are fellow right wingers who’s children have clearly never been prompted or encouraged to check their own white, male, cisgendered, heterosexual, upper middle class, educated, Judeo Christian, able-bodied privilege. Often times light hearted conversation will not go much past the superficial “joke” or statement. However, when you have lived in the world where you have found a feminist lens, it is extremely difficult and even morally challenging to try to not look at things through that lens. The conversation went from racist generalizations, to apathy about the working class, to sexist comments about the “availability” of women in sororities without even touching on sex positivity, or social constructs that not only perpetuates the degradation of sex positive women but vilifies them, then it moved to hazing.  
Growing up in a hyper conservative household where authority was key and was not to be questioned, and women were naturally inferior and thus did not have a voice, it is an interesting experience sitting in a family setting where to speak out would be to leave home – to leave the comfort that home once provided. But it was impossible for me to keep quiet and thus I ended up leaving that comfortable space of silence that housed me all my life to speaking out against the continuing slurs and oppression.
The point is a particular conversation was stricken that hit the context of this class. When hazing came up it was not about the psychological torture hazing can provoke, or the scarring and subjugation it effects but how it happens to men and men need to suck it up because if he’s new then he deserves to pay. Pay? Pay for what? Pay for wanting to be a part of a group that he has probably been conditioned to think is “fitting in” (aka fraternities)? It strikes me as really ironic that the way to fit in on a college campus is to be a part of a fraternity, HOWEVER, in order to join you are alienated and marginalized within that group and oppressed in an extremely overt way – and damaging psychologically and physically. Then my mom’s friend’s son, Kevin started talking about how he couldn’t believe that his fraternity got in trouble for hazing because they made the pledges memorize a lot of detailed information about the frat and if they missed a question then they would receive one of various punishments that were “harmless”. Then I started asking him, well what purpose does it serve to have them memorize the information in the first place? Did they NEED to know the information to be a member of the frat by campus bylaws? His answer: “Well……we just did it to do it…” They mentally harangued and physically punished hundreds of men just for fun. That was the point.
It’s hard in any situation, but like we talked about in class today, micro interactions can change a lot and I know it changed my family’s view of me and their level of comfort around me. We’ll see how it works out, but I feel like it was a really important moment for people who have never been checked on their oppressive ideals never mind recognize them. 

Even WebMD likes to casually reinforce gender stereotypes...

I personally hate articles like these that attempt to "clear up" gender myths but reinforce a two-gender, essentialist binary.

Brawling "Geezers" stun football fans

Just another example how sports brings out the worst in men even at old age ... <

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Federal Health Officials Push ‘Strength Through Affirmation’ of Black Gay Men

An interesting HIV prevention campaign, which specifically targets black gay men. "Testing Makes Us Stronger" was chosen to display "a diverse range of strong men in community. We hope to show that there isn't one idealized form of masculinity but men who represent different forms of strength that come from a place of affirmation."

Friday, November 25, 2011

Dr. Pepper 10: diet drink for men?

I was visiting with my folks over the holidays and some of my family members were sitting around watching some television and this really bizarre commercial came on. Now I haven't had a TV of my own for quite some time so I don't know this commercial is old news by now or what but this just seemed really weird.

Apparently the new Dr. Pepper drink is diet enough to be considered a diet drink but still has enough calories to be considered manly? In the commercial, the ultra-macho manly man says, "You can keep your romantic comedies and diet drinks. Dr. Pepper 10 is for men." So, this ad is specifically trying to appeal to a certain kind of male with this new diet drink. I wonder to what extent this type of ad is effective.


Lets make a rule on sexual harrassment...

Needs to be figured out already!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Fundraiser for Planned Parenthood?

Hey guys!

I thought this would be the best place to post this and gauge interest. Along with a couple of friends, I'm trying to put together a fundraiser to benefit Planned Parenthood. Our idea is to partner with a gay club (we're hoping for Mr. Sisters) and have a portion of all food and drinks sold on the night of the fundraiser go to PP. I know several of you are involved with VOX and the like, so let me know if you're interested in helping to set this up!

Friday, November 18, 2011

What A Man Wants

When posting my last post I came across this on the main page of Yahoo. It is disturbing that this is what we are confronted with every day. The men portray women mainly as sex objects and not only does the host make racist remarks, but she agrees with the men's views and then tries to turn their sexualization of their ideals in women into meaning they just want a woman with confidence. Ha.

I am Not a Rapist

I was looking for an article online that came to mind last class when I came across this article about reporting rape, or lack thereof. What surprised me, and I knew this before but being reminded of it shocked me again, was that rape victim's insurance companies or rape victims themselves often have to foot the bill for the processing of rape kits. The author puts it best when mentioning that this is the only crime in which victims have to pay police to do their job. It is so unfortunate that society views rape in such a way as to not burden itself with having to pay to solve some of the most heinous of crimes.
The article I was looking for was first presented to me in my initial women's studies course textbook. It is by one of my favorite feminist/ gender studies authors John Stoltenberg. His work focuses mainly on sex, violence, pornography and power, but this particular article seems to fit perfectly with what we have discussed in class about men, rape, and their responsibility. "'I Am Not A Rapist!': Why College Guys Are Confronting Sexual Violence," is definitely worth a read if you get the chance.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Penn State and the Crisis of Masculinity

Here's an interesting look at the Penn State scandal that seems to be dominating the news cycle of late. I was shocked when the news first broke and I saw slews of university students rioting over their outrage that Joe Paterno was stepping down from his position as head coach of Penn State's highly regarded football program rather rioting on behalf of the fact that nothing was done in support of the victims when such abuses were brought to light. This evidences an incredibly skewed since of priorities held by the students as well as the administration at Penn State.

The fact that such heinous crimes, which are perhaps the most deeply disturbing atrocities one human being can inflict upon another, were perpetrated defenseless children is sickening. However, the inclination of those who comprise the administration to protect the reputation of the institution rather than tend to the well-being of the children is even more nauseating. When reading about this, I find a lot of parallels between Penn State's reaction to the crimes committed within their institution and the reaction of the Catholic church when similar allegations were brought to light against it. It seems that priority number one is: Protect the reputation and credibility of the institution at all costs.


Anyways, the article I attached takes a look similar approach to the issue to that of our class. Writer Niobe Way examines the role that masculinity played in reaction to the scandal. I think she may be on to something here and the point she makes should lead us to a long needed conversation on the role of masculinity within our culture. Very interesting.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Teaching Good Sex

Article from the New York Times today! This is exactly what we were discussing last night...thoughts?

Stop Trying to Define Franky!

Skins is a British television show that focuses on a group of teenagers attending what is called "College" in the UK, but to us would be junior and senior year of high school. Every 2 seasons, the cast grows up and is replaced with a new set of characters at the same college. The show addresses some very controversial issues that are still very taboo for American audiences-- so in my opinion, it's no surprise that the US version of the show MTV tried to launch was a total flop.

In the most recent season of Skins available in the US, one of the main characters is Franky Fitzgerald, pictured above. Franky is female-bodied and the adopted daughter of a gay male couple. She androgynous and implied as being genderqueer in some sense. Throughout the entire season, despite being questioned and sometimes harassed, Franky never "defines" hir sexual orientation or gender identity, other than saying ze is not into men or women, but just people. Ze does, however, attempt briefly to be more "feminine", and struggles with depression, feeling lost, and feeling weird.

I think it's wonderful that these issues are being addressed in popular television, even if it's in Europe! All 5 seasons of Skins are available on hulu plus, which you can get free of charge for a month if you use your UCF e-mail address. In addition, the title of this post links to the first episode of the season which centers on Franky on youtube. Check it out!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

"Exposed in Iraq"

After reading "Exposed in Iraq: Sexual Harassment And Hidden Rank Structure of the U.S. Army" I thought how similar behaviors are true in all workplaces and even in public space. Any woman that exceeds in the workplace-- the higher the position she achieves-- will find herself surrounded by more and more men. This will place her in a vulnerable position in regards to her exposure to sexual harassment. Having worked in an environment with all men (valet/bell service) there were many times that I felt out numbered. When i worked at the hotel I feared that if I ever questioned their actions or words that I would be the one with more to lose. In this subculture largely dominated by men any opposition from my part would be deviant.

Marshall Thompson asks himself "Why did she play along? Maybe it was a defense mechanism-- an easier way to deal with the problem... But why did the female sergeant on the bus merely laugh and shake her head when her male commander made a joke about them sleeping together? Why wouldn't my coworker file a complaint against the men who had made her feel so worthless?"

Sadly, I feel like the answer is that it happens so often that we are casehardened to such actions. It's bothersome, but it would be destructive to pay mind to every demeaning word/action. It is a defense mechanism. However, it is as equally destructive to internalize all the anger that builds up overtime. More importantly, if as women we never speak up and stand up for ourselves then who will? There is no perfect answer. All I can say is that we should not feel shame, instead we need to take pride in the strength we use day to day.

"Smell Like a Man, Man" Campaign

Appealing to women in order to tell men what "real men" look like, smell like, etc...
What do we think?

"Over It"

This link pretty much speaks for itself. "1 out of 3 women will be raped or beaten in her lifetime" and as sad as this is it gives me the motivation/drive to speak up and take action. Growth requires for you to look at who you are and question yourself (ideals, moral, values, identity, speech, dress etc).

"I am over women still being silent about rape, because they are made to believe it's their fault or they did something to make it happen."

I am over being silent. And I am over accepting a culture that allows such a constant disrespect of women. After reading this I knew that I had to change the way I talk (using words like bitch or pussy to degrade someone), the music I listen to and in general I have to be more aware of the culture I participate in. More importantly I have to ask all the men in my life where have you been?

"I am over the passivity of good men. Where the hell are you?

You live with us, make love with us, father us, befriend us, brother us, get nurtured and mothered and eternally supported by us, so why aren't you standing with us? Why aren't you driven to the point of madness and action by the rape and humiliation of us?"

Monday, November 14, 2011

Transgender kids: Painful quest to be who they are

I found this article weeks ago but was having a hard time posting to the blog (new to blogging) :) ... I found this article interesting. If I had a child that saw themselves as the opposite sex then what they were biologically born with... I question what would I really do? How would I react? Being a mother I know I would support my child 100% but I also feel mommy-mode would kick in and want to protect my child from the hardship I know society would inflict on her.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

UK Gay Men Blood Donation Ban Lifted*

Gay men will now be able to give blood as Government restrictions are officially lifted, the Department of Health (DoH) said.

A lifetime ban on blood donation by men who had had sex with another man was put in place in the UK in the 1980s as a response to the spread of Aids and HIV.

But following a review by the Advisory Committee on the Safety of Blood, Tissues and Organs (Sabto), men who have not had homosexual sex within a year will be able to donate if they meet certain other criteria. The move will be implemented in England, Scotland and Wales.

*Really, it's more 'cis men who have sex with cis men' as not all cis men who have sex with cis men are gay, but you get the point.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Herman Cain accrues whooping $9 million in light of sexual harassment charges

Wow. So, I'm not sure if y'all are following the 2012 GOP field but Herman Cain, the current frontrunner, has been making headlines lately. In October, Politico brought to light a settlement Cain made with two women who accused him of sexual harassment during his tenure at the National Restaurant Association in the early 1990s. Since then, two more women have also come forward alleging that Mr. Cain had sexually harassed them in the past. Now, with the way that these things go in politics, we know that this doesn't necessarily have to be a career-ending indictment but we would think that this should at least lead some to question their support for the candidate, right? WRONG. The first article attached details Cain's campaign contributions for the month of October since these allegations were brought to light. The candidate accrued a total of $9 million in the month of October which is twice as much as he has received in the previous nine months since he first announced his candidacy.

Now, I know that in this country there is a presumption of innocence until proven guilty but what does this tell us about the importance (or lack thereof) placed on something as serious as sexual harassment?

Oh, these aren't the first acts of disrespect committed by Mr. Cain either. He has since called the former speaker of the House of Representatives "Princess Pelosi" as well as cracked jokes about whether or not he'll receive support from Anita Hill, the woman who accused Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment twenty years ago. I attached a second link detailing these issues.


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Rape is Rape!

During last night's class, Leandra briefly mentioned the problematic legal definition of rape, as well as the need/efforts to redefine rape legally and socially.

I thought it'd be helpful to post some information about this so that we can all be on the same page.

Note: While this is still a very important issue, it is worth noting that the FBI has finally changed this definition, as a result of many people's hard work for this issue to be recognized!

About the initial issue:

About the change:

"Why We Need to Reimagine Masculinity"

I came across this article which was originally published in Newsweek. I think it is really interesting, and poses some good points, yet it is still problematic in many ways which it does not even seen to acknowledge. The article is fairly lengthy, so I thought it'd be better to link it in the title rather than to post the entire in the text.

Just incase, here is the link:

What do you guys think?

Rick Scott Throws an Anti-Abortion Party at the Governor's!

Apparently Governor Scott had enough time to throw a part at the Governor's mansion in July to congradulate himself and others for passing 5 of the 18 anti-choice bills introduced that session.

The party included guests such as John Stemberger, president of Florida Family Council; Dr. Michael McCarron, executive director of Florida Catholic Conference; Pam Olson of the International House of Prayer in Tallahassee; Bill Bunkley, legislative and government affairs consultant to the Florida Baptist Convention; and Jim Styer, president of Sarasota/Manatee Right to Life. And as they partied and congradulated themselves they celebrated the elimination of choices people could make regarding their reproductive health and reproductive justices. Rick Scott clearly had an interesting view on choice, considering he has never considered himself "pro-choice" so he clearly was reaching out and testing the waters with this new definition of "choice": "Scott also displayed his garbled interpretation of the phrase 'pro-choice,' telling the Miami Herald, 'You should have the opportunity to see an ultrasound of your child. It's your choice. You don't have to. This creates choice. I think it's very positive.'" .....Meanwhile, back at the ranch we all recognize that the bill just passed when this party was happening made it MANDATORY for the pregnant person to get an ultrasound and to have the fetus described to them before they could have an abortion...

Dear Governor Scott,

Making something mandatory eliminates choice.


Alexa Nelen
Member of the "Not an Idiot" club

Our Governor should not have any sort of control over our bodies regardless. What is he doing celebarting this and spending so much money just to congratulate his closest endorsers? Well, that seems like a stupid question that seems really self explanatory so never mind. I think I grasp the point.

If an outsider had to have anything to do with my uterus I'd rather the only thing they would be able to do is celebrate it from the outside, not be all up in it and celebrate their control over it. But I'm pretty sure we could all agree on that.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Only Rapists Can Prevent Rape

(i have seen this in various places online--i've linked this to one)
A lot has been said about how to prevent rape.
Women should learn self-defense. 
Women should lock themselves in their houses after dark. 
Women shouldn't have long hair and women shouldn't wear short skirts. 
Women shouldn't leave drinks unattended. 
Fuck, they shouldn't dare to get drunk at all.
Instead of that bullshit, how about:
If a woman is drunk, don't rape her.
If a woman is walking alone at night, don't rape her.
If a women is drugged and unconscious, don't rape her.
If a woman is wearing a short skirt, don't rape her.
If a woman is jogging in a park at 5 am, don't rape her.
If a woman looks like your ex-girlfriend you're still hung up on, don't rape her.
If a woman is asleep in her bed, don't rape her.
If a woman is asleep in your bed, don't rape her.
If a woman is doing her laundry, don't rape her.
If a woman is in a coma, don't rape her.
If a woman changes her mind in the middle of or about a particular activity, don't rape her.
If a woman has repeatedly refused a certain activity, don't rape her.
If a woman is not yet a woman, but a child, don't rape her.
If your girlfriend or wife is not in the mood, don't rape her.
If your step-daughter is watching TV, don't rape her.
If you break into a house and find a woman there, don't rape her.
If your friend thinks it's okay to rape someone, tell him it's not, and that he's not your friend.
If your "friend" tells you he raped someone, report him to the police.
If your frat-brother or another guy at the party tells you there's an unconscious woman upstairs and it's your turn, don't rape her, call the police and tell the guy he's a rapist.
Tell your sons, god-sons, nephews, grandsons, sons of friends it's not okay to rape someone.
Don't tell your women friends how to be safe and avoid rape.
Don't imply that she could have avoided it if she'd only done/not done x.
Don't imply that it's in any way her fault.
Don't let silence imply agreement when someone tells you he "got some" with the drunk girl.
Don't perpetuate a culture that tells you that you have no control over or responsibility for your actions. You can, too, help yourself.
This goes for any gendered rape, male on female or female on male or female on female or FTM on MTF or non gendered to dual gendered and so on and so forth....
-author unknown

Read more:

A Brief History of the Bromance

the actual website is another blog post entirely... feel free to write it:) Leandra

You Offend Me, You Offend My Family

So, this website is supposed to be about issues (political, personal, pop culture, etc) in the Asian-/American community. It's an example of progressive, political Pan-Asianism and it's desperate need for intersectional analysis of oppression. I meant to post this article a while back--it's a piece about the "I'm not a costume, I'm a culture" movement. Basically, it's a (ironic) analysis of racism that excludes gender oppression and fetishizes the white female body.

Granted, this can be read through postmodern, ironic lens as a form of counteridentification, but I'm struggling to buy that argument.

Where Our Boys at? Involving Young Men as Allies to End Violence Against Girls

In class tonight we will discuss gender-based violence--violence not only perpetrated against girls and women but violence driven by and illuminating the relationship(s) between gender/gendered constructs, which does not only include violence against girls/women but various forms of violence. With that said, violence (especially sexual violence) is still carried out disproportionately against women and girls throughout the world, making this "toolkit" a valuable resource for education and activism. Thank you to Christine Mouton from UCF Victim Services for providing the link.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Hey, Bro, That's My Little Pony!

You mean men can enjoy a show with a largely female cast and a target audience for young girls? Astonishing!

But, indeed, it's true. My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, a clever remake of the 1980's television show, introduces the fun of MLP to a new generation. Among these new fans are male fans who call themselves 'Bronies'. It's true. I'm not too fond of the moniker admittedly as it seems like it goes out of its way to justify the masculinity of the fans who enjoy a television show aimed at girls, but baby steps, I suppose.

The wonderful thing about the popularity of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic among male and female fans alike is that the show proves that a series featuring a primarily female cast (who aren't objectified for the male gaze) can be successful! In the cartoon world, you see, there's still a long way to go. Cartoons aimed at children audiences mostly feature male protagonists [4 male characters to 1 female character]. The argument is generally that boys won't watch a television show featuring a girl. So, it's nice to see an instance when that theory is proven wrong.

Boys being punished for "being boys"?

"Does your son act too much like a little boy?"
"Is he fidgety and rambuctious?" 
"Does he have trouble listening or have a puerile sense of humor?"
"Is he easily distracted?"
"Does he have a propensity to get dirty?"
"Does he enjoy playing with violent toys?"
"If you answered 'yes' to any of these questions, then it might be time to medicate your son. Even if he doesn't have ADD or ADHD, you'll most certainly agree that he's annoying. Well, now you can curb the boyish tendencies in your son and make him almost [unrecognizable word] in the process. E-MASQL8 Plus has been clinically proven to reduce in boys all signs of unwanted boyishness. You'll never have to deal with snips, snails or puppy-dog tails again".

"E-MASQL8 Plus; A Cure for the Common Boy"

This picture/ advertisement is clearly a parody, pointing out the over medication of youth because a lot of the time the behavior is seen as "inconvenient" whether it's in school, in social situations or at home. This faux ad really stuck out to me because it recognizes all of the traits we usually attribute to masculinity or burgeoning boys in how they're supposed to be, and yet we suppress that a lot of the times and try and shut it down after we spend so much time and energy reinforcing those behaviors, or rather punishing boys who do not have those behaviors. 
It's really funny to me how our society can be so centered around making sure boys display proper amounts of masculinity throughout their development but we don't know why these negative tendencies come out of such traits. 
Medicating it is not the answer. Clearly. This ad not only touches on the over medication of youth but also the ignorance of our society to notice the habits we perpetually reinforce and their direct consequences. "Masculinity" doesn't just come out of nowhere.

Kanye West wearing a skirt

Earlier I read someone post about a rapper gender bending and wearing lipstick. When I saw this it reminded me of the article and it is great to see how popular mainstream artist can break norms (at least norms in American culture). I didn't like Ariel Kaiser's comment about "at least he is not wearing pink..." because this is suggesting that there is clothing that is gender specific. The article tries to justify that wearing a skirt can be masculine. Ignoring that this is one of those poorly written gossip articles I really hope trends can change for anyone to dress with whatever makes them feel comfortable without having their sexuality or their gender identity being questioned.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Rappers wear lipstick??!

Well at least Rapper Dphillgood from Dallas, TX does.  He also wears printed tights and feels that his "XY Movement"that blurs gender lines will help others catch on. When asked his sexual preference he says that he is not gay, and his girlfriend says she is supportive of his gender bending expressions.

Check out his video

Thursday, November 3, 2011

NEW My Tide Commercials Aimed at Dads

I happened to overhear one of these commercials the other day. The commercials are still somewhat gendered in that the character attributes the strength, intellect and problem solving to his "fatherly" side and his nurturing loving side to his "motherly." Regardless though,  I'm glad to see a laundry detergent not aimed at women only, or women cleaning up the mess/mistake of men.

Check out the below links:

Dad Commercial #1:

Dad Commercial #2:

Monday, October 31, 2011

"Real Men..."

Less than a year ago, I heard about Ashton Kutcher's mission to help end "child sex slavery." While the mission is noble, his way of attracting attention with his advertisements is lazy. After you watch, how does this commercial limit men (and women) and how do you feel about it?

Another Tide Commercial

In search of the previous Tide commercial I posted, I came across another "interesting" commercial. This commercial operates with the same father as the previous one. However, in this commercial, he identifies himself as a "dad mom." How do you feel about this term and its connotations that "nurturing" is designated to femininity? 

Tide Commercial

I have been seeing this commercial all over television. Since we were just discussing the unequal allocation of housework in class (Theories of Masculinity), I thought I would post this. How do you feel about how Tide addresses fathers (or men) doing housework?

Inequities for children of gay parents

When I was checking the news this morning, this headline caught my eye. This article illustrates some of the very serious legal inequities (as well as the social stigmas) faced by households with gay, bisexual, and transgender parents. While we all know that marriage equality and equal rights for all of those who are not heterosexual are hotly contested issues today; I was not quite aware of the extent to which the exploitation of children was being used as a weapon on behalf of equal rights opponents in order to achieve their end. I think there is a touch of irony here, or probably more accurately this could be deemed outright hypocrisy and, if it wasn’t so sad, I’d laugh. I think this article shows us some of the negative, tangible effects of this bizarre, mythological normative social unit we refer to as “the nuclear family.”

I think Maryland Attorney General Douglas Gansler said it best when he said: “Same-sex marriage is a pro-family measure.”

Friday, October 28, 2011

Dealbreaker: He Has Low Self-Esteem

This article is pretty interesting. We follow a feminist author who engages in a months-long text-relationship with a man with low self-esteem (lack of employment enables him not to "feel like a man"). The author explains her mixed feelings- the feminist in her wanted to liberate him from his own problematic gender expectations while she allowed him to manipulate her emotional investment. To rub salt into the wound, he ends up meeting another woman! I'd like to know more about this other woman and why she "won" (although, this guy doesn't seem like much of a prize). Was she far less successful than he was? Was she just unsuccessful enough to make him "feel like a man"? Did she enable his "identity crisis" more than the author? The reason why this interests me so much is because if a successful woman makes this guy feel emasculated, what in particular does not emasculate him? That in itself, I'm sure, is entirely problematic and in need of some serious unpacking.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

He wants to be a Girl Scout,

I was skimming the headlines on and ran across a story about a boy in Colorado who identifies as female who wants to be in the Girl Scouts and was told no. He was told that "boy parts" aren't allowed in the troop.  Check out this video to hear more.

He wants to be a Girl Scout

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Hegemonic Masculinity in 90's Pop Culture

The other day I was watching "Roseanne" - I can't lie, it's one of my favorites! - and I noticed that the episode was called "Stand On Your Man."

In this episode, we can see hegemonic masculinity at it's "finest" in 1990's popular culture. In the first clip, the first 2 minutes or so, we can see Dan and his "buddies" playing poker and adhering to their ideas of hegemonic masculinity within their society. Arnie's ex-wife nancy has recently come out as a lesbian, which he feels is a threat to his masculinity.

This entire episode deals with issues of masculinity, as Dan feels he must display his masculinity and "protect" Roseanne now, after she is attacked by a man in her restaurant. We can see this in the last few minutes of the clip above, and in the first few minutes of the following clip. The part of this episode which first caught my attention begins around 5 minutes through in the following clip: Arnie comes to talk to Nancy to "reaffirm" his masculinity after learning that she is a lesbian.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Sticky Fingers, Male and Female

This article addresses the differences between male and female shoplifters. It was surprising to read an article for the New York Times (written by a female) include assumptions like a "lesser" gender, bored and lonely women who steal just because they are broke, or repressed female sexuality and psychic injuries woman suffered as children. Although the author (somewhat) attempted to debunk these myths linked to shoplifting, the presentation provided more attention to previous bogus assumptions and failed to provide any current analysis. What do you think?

Friday, October 21, 2011

Dealbreaker: She's a Bro

Okay, there is so much to unpack in this article! It definitely reads like one of the more problematic articles in "Men Speak Out", but there are many interesting things going on at the same time. The author (a heterosexual man) is talking about girls that he dates who he deems "bros". The term "bro" or referring to something as "bro-y" is somewhat new to me in pop-culture, although I think I have a handle on it's implications. I think some of the things that would be considered "bro-y" for a male would be along the lines of polo shirts, fraternities, those cheap ray-ban sunglasses imitations with the neon sides. The author talks about girls who are "bro-y"- namely in conjunction with sororities, knowing all the words to "Don't Stop Believing", and, my personal favorite, girls who fetishize gay men because they want a "sassy" best friend (a role that the dominant culture has informed both women and gay men that is acceptable). The article brings up many interesting points, but I was wondering why the "type" of girl he is describing still falls under the category of "bro". Is this sexist? Is the entire article sexist? What do you agree with and what do you find problematic? I'd be interested to know!

Hormone Therapy for Pre-Teen

We recently talked about different "types of lesbians" and we watched Venus Boyz so I felt this article was pretty relevant to what we have been discussing in class.

Personally, the biggest issue I see is that the long term side effects are unknown for this therapy on a child. From what I know medicine works differently in adults than it does in children. I feel like more medical research should be done to improve such therapy. However, from what I understood this is not a sex change, just a hormone blocker. So using this for a couple years is not making the decision to change his sex/gender at an early age, but instead preventing puberty so that Thomas has more time to make a proper decision.

What do you all think?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

American Military Officer "Schools" Iraqi Police

This link will take you to a video where American military hyper masculinity is clearly displayed. This video is about 5.5 minutes of one American Military officer shouting at and insulting Iraqi police for being "pussies" for being "women" for not initiating aggression and conflict but instead relying on American soldiers to do it all.

"You want fuel and guns and shit from me but you don't get off your lazy asses and do anything"

He even threatened to beat all of them and show them how to be "real men".

This video clearly displays what American hyper masculinity in the military is all about and what is pretty much expected from men entering the military. The tactics this officer was using on the Iraqi police are tactics used on Americans in training - degradation, subjugation, and threatening and frequent emasculation.
This treatment of men and degradation of women is constantly perpetuated by actions like this in the United States and overseas. This is how some men in our military wish to represent "strong, capable, courageous, independent, FREE" American men and by extension American women as weak and ill-willed things to be ridiculed.
Is this how we want our military representing us? I think not.

"No means Yes, Yes Means Anal"

This was discussed in last night's chat if anyone did not know the reference I've linked the article.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Heinz Deli Mayo Commercial

Heinz Deli Mayo Commercial

Take a look at this video. Would they play this Heinz commercial in the U.S.? I will answer for you...NO!

Paws for Peace

Unfortunately, one of the ways that masculinity is expressed in American society is through domestic violence. Often, pets are harmed in violent homes. According to Harbor House, Orange County's DV shelter, 48% of DV victims delay leaving their homes because they fear for the safety of their pet. 88% of animals living in DV households are either abused or killed, and 57% of survivors entering DV shelters in the US have had a pet killed by their abuser.

It is unacceptable that pets are being treated as collateral damage in domestic violence situations. That's why you should join Harbor House in their 2nd annual Paws for Peace walk, as they raise money to build Central Florida's first shelter for pets of residents in their shelter! Click on the blog title for more information.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Update: Dr. Pepper TEN's Sexist Campaign

If you remember a few blog posts back, I wrote an entry about Dr. Pepper TEN's campaign about how it "isn't for women". Stefanie Harmon made another post with some more info.

In any case, the website has been edited to remove the 'not for women' bit. But the commercials are still going strong. Sign's petition to help get it removed!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Milk PMS Advertisement

I'm sure we've all heard about this pleasant advertisement from the "Got Milk?" campaign....I found a video online of the commercial.

I have been reading about this since July and clearly repulsed but I have yet to see an actual commercial or advertisement for it other than their website. They pulled the ad campaign early but still called it a "success".

The comments at the bottom are startling, one person goes: "These ads made me laugh and there is truth to all of them. We should accept the fact that we are emotional and can be psychotic during this time. Men accept it and love us still:)" ....ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

Only one came to a slight defense of women but in a backwards way, she said that yes, calcium reduces PMS but makes symptoms (ache, tenderness....etc) worse....yeah, well not to mention the multitudes of HORMONES that are in non organic store bought cow's milk...

This campaign is ridiculous and I'm so glad they pulled it but I have no doubt that they really did think it was a success because people, like the above commenter, supported it and bought into it, showing the power of mainstream media in constructing gender roles based on biology and constructing them in such a way to have people say "Oh, poor guys! Their masculinity is always being threatened by crazy women on their periods!"

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Michael Monet

This is the Michael I was talking about in class last night. This website documents his experience with transitioning. He is a beautiful writer. He's also a personal trainer and has designed programs specifically for the trans body. Hope you'll check out his thoughts and writings. He removed his videos from youtube, so I'm not sure if he's going through something right now.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

When I Was a Boy

This is one of my favorite songs and I thought it applied to this past week's focus on female bodied masculinity (and male bodied femininity for that matter.)

Dar Williams: When I Was a Boy

Click Here

Dr Pepper 10 "Is Not for Women."

A great Article on the most recent campaign by Dr Pepper.

Here is the current commercial airing.

What do you think?

Friday, October 7, 2011

Legalizing Domestic Violence(?!?!)

I just ran across this article and I have to say that this is absolutely ridiculous! I think it is important not only to think about the immediate implications of this plan, but also what this says about masculinity and domestic violence. It seems that this plan is saying that it is not that big of a deal to act violently towards women, as long as you are not a repeat offender. WHAT?!

Legalizing domestic violence: Topeka's 'terrible' plan to save money
Just in time for Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Kansas' capital city is on the verge of decriminalizing domestic battery as part of a budget standoff
posted on October 7, 2011, at 11:35 AM
Due to budget cuts, domestic violence cases may no longer be prosecuted in Topeka, Kan., potentially sending a "terrible message" to victims of domestic battery.

Due to budget cuts, domestic violence cases may no longer be prosecuted in Topeka, Kan., potentially sending a "terrible message" to victims of domestic battery. Photo: Gaetano/Corbis SEE ALL 24 PHOTOS

The Topeka City Council will decide next week whether to essentially legalize domestic violence in the Kansas capital, in a budgetary game of chicken with Shawnee County, which encompasses Topeka. The fight started when Shawnee District Attorney Chad Taylor, facing a 10 percent budget cut for next year, announced Sept. 8 that his office would no longer prosecute misdemeanor cases, including those involving domestic violence, inside Topeka city limits. The City Council is betting that if it strikes Topeka's ordinance against domestic battery, it will force Taylor to reconsider. Here's what you should know:

What happens if Topeka follows through?
If the City Council repeals the domestic-battery ordinance, municipal courts wouldn't be able to take on those cases, effectively sending the ball back to Taylor's court. Domestic violence is still a state crime. But "because only Taylor has authority to decide what cases he files and prosecutes," domestic violence prosecution could slow to a trickle, says The Topeka Capital-Journal in an editorial. Repeat offenders are charged as felons, and the D.A. would still take those cases.

How bad could this get?
Already, the standoff is putting victims in grave danger "in the world that does not exist inside of an Excel spreadsheet," says Erin Gloria Ryan at Jezebel. Taylor has rejected at least 30 domestic violence cases since Sept. 8, and the 18 people arrested in Topeka for domestic battery have all been released from county jail because no charges were filed. And even if Taylor eventually blinks, and decides to resume prosecuting first-time offenders, the City Council's decriminalization of domestic violence would still send "a terrible message to victims of domestic battery and the entire community," says The Topeka Capital-Journal's editorial board.

How dire is the financial situation?
In 2012, the D.A.'s office expects to see $347,765 cut from its budget — which is $3.5 million this year. Of course, if nobody takes these domestic violence cases, it could save some money in the short run, says Marie Diamond at ThinkProgress. But domestic violence has "staggering financial consequences" — medical costs, for instance. There are bigger human costs, too, says Topeka victims' advocate Claudine Dombrowski. If the city and county keep up this "disgusting" fight, "they need to invest in headstones, because these women are going to end up in cemeteries."

Who should shoulder the blame?
Everyone involved says they believe domestic violence needs to be prosecuted vigorously, but that they can't pay for it, says Maya Dusenbery at Feministing. And "it’s hard to blame them too harshly for that," given the deep budget cuts hitting states and cities. "Thanks, austerity!" Maybe, says National Organization for Women's Kari Ann Rinker. But right now, local officials are just "finger-pointing and blaming" like 5-year-old children, and they all deserve "some amount of blame" for putting women at undue risk.

Masculinity in Disney Movies

This video illustrates the various portrayals of masculinity in all of our favorite Disney movies. It's crazy that you never even think about it or realize these things when you are a child, even though they play such a huge role in your socialization!

Rethink Breast Cancer Campaign

This video caught my eye and made me smile. The men in this video embody stereotypical "masculinity" however in context of the video they do not come off as "aggressive" or "powerful" or "dominating." How do these men fit into the modern concept of masculinity?

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Why Men Are in Trouble

I would like to preface the article by noting that it is woefully problematic. The author, William J. Bennett, is an upper-middle class white man- and that is exactly the angle presented in the article. The most startling statistic he offered was "Today, 18-to- 34-year-old men spend more time playing video games a day than 12-to- 17-year-old boys." Although his points of men's lack of maturity and ambition are provocative, his solutions (industriousness, religion, marriage) are archaic. The article read as if it intended to register fear in men that "the women are getting ahead" (as if that would be a bad thing). It is full of sexist language (i.e. the dawn of "mankind", men are the "dominant sex") and concludes with masculinity crisis inducing "it's time for men to man up". What Bennett fails to talk about is HOW men got this way- and it's not by lack of faith- it's because of the harmful effects patriarchy can have on EVERYONE. The masculinity crisis is one that should be taken far more seriously than Bennett seems to realize- men don't need to "man up", they need to be able to express emotion, become vulnerable, heal, and join forces with women, transgendered individuals, and gender queers. In my opinion, steps toward a harmonious and progressive future would be far more advantageous than attending weekly church services.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Fountainhead

In one of my film classes, we recently watched The Fountainhead. The basis of the film (written by Ayn Rand) revolves around her desire for people to be individualists above all. Attached is a clip ( from the film including the protagonist of the film, Howard Roark, played by Gary Cooper. Disregarding that, what is glaringly missing from the speech?

Gisele Bundchen Ad: Degrades Women or Underestimates Men or Both?

Recently, I read an article ( about Gisele 's sexist ad and the subsequent banning of it in Brazil. The attached article discusses the heightened female violence (domestic violence and murders) in Brazil and how this ad relates to the serious and severe female issues there (Portilho-Shrimpton). Furthermore, the ad can be dissected in a myriad of  ways in relation to the message. Does the ad portray women as sexual objects or does the ad underestimate men and their "self-control" or both? Also, read some of the comments (if you have time) and see how some people digested the ad.

Works Cited

Portilho-Shrimpton, Thais. "Gisele's sexist lingerie ads are no laughing matter in Brazil." The Guardian. 30 September 2011. Web. 5 October 2011.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Should Facebook Ban Rape Jokes?

Found this article from this morning. It's very frustrating to read, because the author just attributes these rape jokes to "silly male teen humor". The author also asserts that the point of comedy is to make light of tragedy. What the author completely ignores is the fact that Facebook is a main source of information for teenagers, making these "silly" jokes viable sources of social conduct. It was a disappointing read from a "progressive" site like Slate. The article's defense of the jokes is almost as insulting as the jokes themselves. There is no author cited, but I'm willing to bet that it is a man. These are exactly the kind of casual and nonchalant attitudes towards rape that need to be eliminated!

Chief Raoni, I cry with you.

Chief Raoni crying when he learned that the President of Brazil approved the Bel...o Monte dam project on the Xingu indigenous lands. Belo Monte will be bigger than the Panama Canal, flooding nearly a million acres of rainforest & indigenous lands. 40,000 indigenous and local people will be forced off their native lands (as well as millions of unknown species & plants) In the name of "progress" --NorthAmerican WebDesign

In these moments of quiet contemplation, I try to forget what it feels like to live in anger. Not because anger doesn’t have its place. Not because we don’t have every fucking right to be angry. No. But because sometimes great sadness needs the space to sink in. I let it take over completely. Get lost in the kind of despair that shakes apart entire families like a bulldozer ready to fuck over sacred land. We don’t understand how land is sacred. We only understand using land and owning land. But land is alive and it gives life to our body and our spirit. It teaches us to have patience and to wait— as we watch and listen to the earth to get nourishment for our body, for our soul and for our community. It carries the history of people and connects us to dimensions of consciousness, places to understand time. But we forget this. We always forget how things arrive.