Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Beware the feminists! Many are lesbians!

...and other wisdoms by this dude, who makes Michael Savage look like a model of sobriety and self-knowledge, albeit some similar-sounding obsessions.

Yeah, who knew, right? I want the T-shirt. Or maybe a lawn sign, if I had a lawn. BEWARE OF THE LESBIAN.


"Why All Porn is Gay"

"Sexual 'Liberation' is Illuminati Subversion"

"How UFOs Relate to the New World Order"

"Bush Victory could foil Occult Plot"

"Now Hollywood Sexualizes Grannies"

"We're Being Brainwashed to be Gay"

"Best Picture 'Chicago' Celebrates Jewish Duplicity"

...and much much more!

Note: the author has been called a "crackpot" before, and he will have you know that

I am 100% sane. The difference between us is I have research skills, access to suppressed information and a sense of spiritual truth. I am humbly trying to share these gifts.

Also, he is the inventor of the game "Scruples," and the author of a book about going to the Phillipines for a bride, on account of they're much more feminine Over There. "A Long Way to Go For a Date."

I am an explorer in the undiscovered continent of love, a scientist in the laboratory of masculine longing. Can a middle-aged man, scarred by the sex wars at home, find a new beginning on a tropical island where women are still feminine? Things don't look so good at the moment. Is my hypothesis wrong? Or will it be discredited because I chose the wrong woman? I sense the satisfaction feminists would be feeling now. But I am not about to panic."

Bless his heart.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Girliephobia; or, Sissyhood is Powerful

Today is Blog Against Heteronormativity Day, a day to come out of many closets. For example, first I will air out my phobia of academese. No, I don't much love the word "heteronormativity." However, I love the concept, the reality of it, a lot less:

Everything and everyone goes in the blue box or the pink box*, no exceptions allowed or even imagined. Tab A goes into slot B. Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve. Females are X, males are Y. Real men don't do this, real women don't do that. Girls do blee, boys do blah. Blah blah bliddy blah, B-O-R-I-N-G. And also, hello, oppressive.

(*By the way: once upon a time, pink was actually the boy's color, blue, the girl's).

More important, here I proudly out myself as a rabid Joss Whedon fangeek. Because besides making some really kickass shows, Joss, you know, is rather subversive of the hetnorm himself. And I don't just mean the skinny little blonde chick who can kill grown men and monsters with her bare hands, all the while tossing off witty repostes, although that is nice, yes. Hey, these days skinny pretty chicks kicking ass is positively trendy (sadly, much more so in the media than the real world. If only we all had killer martial arts skills to go with our sparkling wit...) For which I do think Whedon gets a certain amount of credit, although it's also possible that it's just that archetype's time to bloom, given the zeitgeist. Hey, everyone likes skinny, pretty little hardbodies. And everyone admires people who can kick ass. Here in the U.S.A., at least.

Far less fashionable, though, is Whedon's personal aesthetic, at least as expressed here:

(from the notes of a reporter, written up for Ms. Musings):

— Audience member, referring to the pink backpack Whedon brought with him on stage: “What’s with the girlie backpack?”

“Dude, have you got something against girlies?,” responded Whedon, to much laughter. He continued:

“I am a girlie man. I stand before you today to tell you that I am a girlie American. And if you don’t know that about me, I can’t believe you got this close.”

Here's the deal: of course dude had something against girlies. Quite a lot of people do. Even if they don't have anything against women, per se; or gay people, per se. Or think they don't.

Girlies are rather contemptible, after all. They cry and scream and get emotional. They like "frivolous" things: whipped cream and frills, delicate knicknacks, paints and polishes and perfumes; you know, stuff that looks or feels or smells or tastes nice but doesn't, like, DO anything. They're soft. They're vulnerable. Who wants to be like that? Not a real man; and not a lot of women, either, frankly. A girlie girl is, we tend to think, probably rather childlike; or perhaps naive; or oversexed; or undersexed; or, well, not very bright; the implication is that she's hemmed in by her girliness, and needs a man or six (husband, father, string of smitten suitors, Patriarch) to keep her in the style to which she is accustomed. Depending on your worldview, this can be something you approve of in a woman, or something you emphatically do not. In contemporary mainstream America, it's a mixed bag, at best. Be independent, but not too independent (maybe, probably). Be sexy, but not too sexy; and not in the wrong way (there are many wrong ways). Be assertive; don't be aggressive. But don't be a wimp, either. Be feminine, but don't be too girlie.

A girlie man, however, is...well, pretty much a pariah. At best, a bad joke. Sissy, pantywaist, mollycoddle, mama's boy. Pussy. Pansy. Fairy. Faggot. The fear and loathing of gay men, after all, isn't just about the actual sex; it's the intersection of sex-negativity with gender policing.

And oh, how much policing the men in this culture put themselves through, are put through, arguably even more so than the women, these days. I don't envy it. So many rules, spoken and unspoken! Don't be too expressive, in a thousand little ways besides big stuff like "boys don't cry:" the voice, the hand gestures, the eyebrows, the stance. Artsiness: still deeply suspect, on the whole. Clothing: fuggedaboutit. Women have been wearing pants for about a century now; we've yet to see even the most plain and functional skirt in the menswear department.

Oh, sure, there are trends here and there. There's the "metrosexual" thing, that odd no-persyns'-land between gender rebellion and neo-yuppie consumerism. (It is interesting: generally, anti-rich folk sentiment isn't hip these days, but the super-wealthy right wing manages to head any nascent class resentment off at the pass by channeling it into disdain for the "effete," along with a healthy helping of anti-intellectualism. Thus, it's not about being rich; it's about being "culturally elite," or some such. Effeminate, basically, in other words. The "sissy" takes many forms and has many uses). And there is the SNAG, which these days is mostly a term of derision, but still can have the connotation of a genuinely decent, well-rounded, sensitive guy, in the Alan Alda tradition.

But on the whole, the hypermacho idealization never really goes away. At most it recedes a little every now and then. And right now, the tide is way in. The fact that the "manly men" look pretty damn erzatz--George W. Bush playing dressup in a codpiece-padded flightsuit; Ahnold, whose political muscle comes from his image on the silver screen; posturing blowhards like Bill O'Reilly, who's raised whining to an art form and seems about ready to pop like a soap bubble--matters not a bit: it's the fantasy that counts. We are, collectively, Superman; we're top of the world, Ma. We value strength, and speed, and hardness. Winning. We do the penetrating and the invading; we won't be anybody's bitch. Which is, I'd argue, the heart of the reason why we're in Iraq right now, (for instance), at least as much so as the demand for oil or greed or even some misguided sense of revenge.

It's not that I don't think there's a place for butch. Butch is beautiful, or it can be (regardless of your naughty bits and/or chromosomes). We don't all need to be skipping through the daisies or painting our faces. And there is, I think, a need for a men's movement that's meaningful, not misogynist.

But I do think that until such time as it's genuinely not seen as shameful to be "girlie," we're not gonna make much more progress. Not in feminism, not in the gay rights movement, not on a number of fronts, in fact, that on the surface might seem to have little to do with gender.

Because the dirty little secret, which has become a bit more open these past few years, perhaps, is that at the end of the day, "girlie man" isn't just an insult to actual girlies (that is, people with girl bits), or implicitly homophobic, or transphobic, although it's certainly those things as well. It is a very effective club to keep men--ALL men--in line. Just how much violence is committed in the name of proving one's non-sissyhood? How much wasted energy and misdirected passion? I am thinking: quite a lot. ...But I'm going mainly by observation and speculation here, so I'll open the floor. Male-born male-type people: ever done anything you didn't want to do in order to avoid being tarred as a sissy or a fag? Not do something you did want to do? I am interested in hearing from straight dudes and non-straight dudes alike.

Anyway. It takes guts to be girlie in this culture, particularly if you're a dude. It does. I think. There's a lot wrapped up in it, girlieness, stuff we've consigned to the pink-tinged shadows. Sensuality. Aesthetic sensibility. Tenderness. Feelings, yes. Keep shoving all that away, and you're starting to kill a good part of your soul. Regardless of what kind of body you're housed in.

And so I stand with my man Joss: I, too, am proud to be a Girlie American.
And also, I may say, tend to find my fellow Girlie Americans rather hawt.
Viva Girlie Americans! Viva Girlie America!

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Watchin' Scotty go

Yes, Scott McClellan is leaving his gig as press secretary. I don't know what his next move will be, but I'm fairly certain it won't be poster boy for the "Never Let 'Em See You Sweat" deodorant ads.

Rumored replacement possibilities include Victoria Clark, which would be KICK-ASS. Think of all the opportunities for the Ladies Against Feminism to instruct her! Deportment, body language...fashion. Anyway, it is NOT VERY LADYLIKE to melt peoples' eyeballs.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Speaking of fundamentalism

Bitch | Lab provides a link to an outfit calling itself Ladies Against Feminism. Not a parody, apparently, although I still can't suppress the suspicion that Emily Howard would find herself right at home.

"I like to do ladies' things, like attend the operettas and les ballets imaginaires."

Friday, April 14, 2006

The secret relief of crisis; or, what "back to basics" really means.

Dwayne over at Weber's Polar Night has an extremely provocative (I mean this in a good way) post encompassing a rather startling post-9/11 proposition from Baudrillard:

...That we have dreamed of this event, that everybody without exception has dreamt of it, because everybody must dream of the destruction of any power hegemonic to that degree, — this is unacceptable for Western moral conscience, but it is still a fact, and one which is justly measured by the pathetic violence of all those discourses which attempt to erase it.

It is almost they who did it, but we who wanted it. If one does not take that into account, the event lost all symbolic dimension to become a pure accident, an act purely arbitrary, the murderous fantasy of a few fanatics, who would need only to be suppressed. But we know very well that this is not so...

(link to full original Baudrillard piece here)

Dwayne M then asks,

We entertain ourselves with both imaginary and real images of massive destruction. Even as we cringe, we look on in fascination.

What element of the human psyche is revealed by investigating this element of our behavior?

Great question.

I had always been interested in Fromm's expansion on Freud's notion of the "death instinct," with his notion of "necrophilia" (not just or even the primarily the erotic expression; he uses it to mean a mechanistic, death-in-life approach to existence) versus "biophilia." I...hmm.

You know, I have been meaning to post about all that for a while, and my own take on Fromm, and specifically on the whole "culture of life" (which is meant very very very differently from the way Fromm means it, and from the way I mean it; it's a reactionary right catchphrase that I believe originated with the Catholic Church and is used wrt abortion and euthanasia in particular) business. But I'm gonna save that for another day, even though I think it might answer Dwayne's question more directly than what I'm about to say here, because it's, well...deeply involved. There are many whole books' worth of discussion there; this is one of those fundamental, profound questions about human nature and maybe even life itself, and there aren't simple answers.

Instead I'm gonna go with my original impulse and comment more specifically on the strangeness underlying the rah-rah USA #1 4-EVER stuff we've had for a while now, and jacked up to an insane pitch after 9/11.

So, I'm gonna anthropomorphize the U.S. for a moment here. I realize this is problematic and oversimplifying. Still, I think there's enough truth here to be useful. Bear with me.

So, if we look at the U.S. as a person. What does it say about us that we have the Bush administration in charge right now? What does the Bush administration itself say? What's underlying the whole PNAC-neocon notion of the American Century, and why is it that it seems like we/they are undermining our supposed goals at an exact inverse proportion to the amount of blustering about how much we want to, NEED to be/stay Top Of The World, Ma!

What I'm thinking is this. In a way--and again, this is strictly taking the large, blurry, anthropomorphic/psychologizing view, not taking into account how very much individuals here do not want this on any level, and in fact bear the brunt of the actual suffering--in a way, it's almost kind of a relief. "We" know very well the Bush administration has been a miserable failure. Bush knows it; everyone knows it. We didn't put him back in spite of that. We put him back BECAUSE of it.

When Bush first came into office, there was this terrific Onion article (it really says something that the Onion is often far more accurate than the actual news), headline, "OUR LONG NATIONAL NIGHTMARE OF PEACE AND PROSPERITY IS FINALLY OVER." Prophetic words, those.

So let's stop laughing bitterly for a second and consider this: not only is it true, we collectively knew that it would be all along. It's not stupidity or "sheeplike" mentality, in fact. It's something else.

The great thing about war and debt is, they kind of concentrate the mind. Puts things in perspective, as it were. No more time to worry about "fripperies" like the sticky question of remaining racism in a post-civil-rights era, or the increasing alienation that corporate culture brings, or the ways in which the Puritan Work Ethic may just not be applicable anymore, much less the whole "Judeo-Christian" ethic "we're" supposedly all rooted in, or our incredibly complex collective attitudes toward sexuality, or the troubling ramifications of global warming and population explosion and and and... That shit's complicated. There aren't easy solutions, if indeed there are any at all. It's hard work. So...we don't really believe those are worth even talking about, because, ummm...look! There's a War On! There's work to be done! No time for it. And anyway, we're broke now, so there's no help for it. Off you go. Back to basics, yes indeedy. As in: back to survival needs, 'cause that's at least sort of familiar territory.

What's happening on a national level, it seems to me, is sort of the largescale equivalent of what happens sometimes with individuals or couples or families. For instance: the former alcoholic who's had a long and rather fucked-up past. Finally seems to have started getting his shit together, going back to school, maybe four credits away from the degree. And--boom! For the first time in years: off the wagon, gets into a really stupid bar fight which lands him in jail and gets him a record; loses his job, so no money to finish the degree...the degree and the dreams of "upward mobility" go on pause while he struggles with putting the pieces of the recent debacle back together, a fresh stint in rehab. One day at a time, again. Back to basics.

Or: the couple who after years and years of rockiness seems to be turning a corner, finally, finally...and suddenly, one of 'em, for the first time ever, has an affair, with no protection and with a rather unstable person, to boot. And gets caught. Drama, eruption. Either the marriage is saved or it isn't; but all the trickier, subtler issues they'd been starting to explore go on hold, perhaps indefinitely, while the crisis is dealt with. Back to basics.

Now, a popular term for this is "self-sabotage." I don't think this is strictly accurate though, not in its connotations, at least. That is: yes, at some level, it is deliberate, even though at another level, and just as truly, the person doesn't want this awfulness to be happening at all. What's happening here is, the right hand knows not what the left hand is doing. In a Strangelovian sort of way, that is. Those who do not study the past are doomed to repeat it: you know that drill.

But it's a bit more complex than that, and it still doesn't really answer the question why.

And I think the answer, at least on an individual level, is often that in fact the person is not entirely ready to be moving forward in the way she says--hell, believes--she wants to move forward. Because there are still unresolved, deeper, more fundamental issues buried in her psyche, underpinning her behavior in certain areas, if not necessarily the most visible ones; and they need to be dealt with, and they aren't being dealt with, or even really looked at, while the shiny job or relationship or whatnot is taking up all her energy.

So the crisis happens, and she goes back to basics. Lather, rinse, repeat: solving a problem that's supposedly already been solved instead of moving onto new and more challenging ones. But the thing is, problematic as the way in which she's doing this is--and it's problematic precisely because she has not done enough examination--it is, still, an incoherent way of trying to address something that needs to be addressed. Unfinished business. And maybe that shiny new job or that great new relationship wasn't the answer, after all; maybe it was just a coat of glossy new paint over unsteady foundations. Of course, it might not have not been the answer; certainly it might have still been a good thing, in itself. But we're going back to basics now, so we may never really know. Shiny new stuff: off the menu for a while while we deal with the mess we've (frankly) created. Regret it or not; it's done. Here we are.

So, how does this map to the macro level? Well, lord knows the U.S. has plenty of unfinished business. Lots of creakiness in the underpinnings. And the booming Clinton years--hell, the whole more-or-less boom ever since WWII--nice as they were in some ways for some of us, they, well, didn't really address some deeper problems.

But is the endless cycle of crisis and going back to basics the only way to deal with this? Or even the best way? ...is my question.

And my answer, personally, is, well, frankly, no. But as long as the one hand doesn't know what the other is doing--as long as we're not willing to look, really LOOK at everything (and I mean everything) that brought us to this place, then it's gonna keep on happening.

And even that's not entirely hopeless, necessarily on the macro level at least. Suzan Lori-Parks has this theory of "rep and rev," repetition and revision, which she uses as both a theatrical technique and (seems to me) a sociopolitical understanding of how things work. Without getting too far into it, what I take it to mean, at least here (she may not agree with this usage, but for my purposes): history does not repeat itself, exactly, in fact. And what looks like an endless unchanging cycle probably is in fact more like "two steps forward, one step back." Only messier and more uneven. A series of tightly coiled loops, rather than a perfect circle: eventually, you still move forward. But oh, is it a tortuous route.

And, too, finally, not to be too grim, but: sometimes you might simply just run out of steam or luck before you make any more progress on that path. The alcoholic's crisis might come in the form of a stupid but still salvagable fuck-up, or it might come in the form of a fatal car crash. Oops.

And like it or not, the fact is, for the first time in human history, for the past half-century or so, collectively we humans are now capable of wiping our whole sorry species off the map. And if we do, it'll be precisely because we were trying to go back to basics, but good. That's what the fundamentalist (Islamic or otherwise) terrorists are doing, after all. That's what fundamentalism is: going back to basics. And while, as we've seen, it's not the only way of doing so, it is the most ah fundamental way of expressing that cry:

"It's all too complicated. I can't deal."

and, in the case of the terrorists:

"It's all too complicated. Stop the world; I want to get off."

After all, what could be more basic than that? Being and nothingness. Stick it in whatever metaphysical framework you like; when it comes to suicidal/homicidal nihilism, it all pretty much boils down to the same thing, imo. Back to the matrix; back to tohu bohu, the chaotic vasty nothingness; back to the loving all-encompassing arms of the Lord; back to the womb; back to the muddy soil, dust to dust. Take your chances on being born again, one way or another; or not. New body, new life, new astral plane, newly evolved species, or maybe just a perfect blank rest. A fresh start or no start; anything's better than this...this mess. Right?

Back to basics. Hey-ho, let's go.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Delicious irony

Went to see "Sweeney Todd" last night, which was truly excellent.

Two doors down from the theater is an "Australian Tuck Shop." Sign out front advertises:



That girl. No, THAT (kind of) girl. "Oh."

So over at Bitch | Lab, we had been starting to examine a question originally posed by Twisty, namely,

"“What I want to know is, who among us hasn’t been forced or shamed or guilted or brainwashed into fucking someone we really didn’t want to fuck? Does such a woman exist? Are you that girl? Gimme a holler.”

As you can see if you go there (please do), there are some distractions along the way, but on the whole some interesting answers come up. Among them the clear notion that the whole "sexual pressuring=male to female" is overly simplistic, and tends to shut out a lot of, say, gay and lesbian experience. Which has been my complaint for a while now, the overwhelming heterocentricity of the way these discussions often seem to play out in the Big Feminist Blogs (for instance).

So now, though, I read a piece by the inimitable Biting Beaver, Radical Feminist (tm). As is her wont, BB here extrapolates from her own experience to the entire rest of the world. In this case: patriarchy-brainwashed bisexual gal pal kept trying to rope her into a threesome, once she (BB that is; bi galpal remained single the whole time, apparently, the way oversexed bi folk tend to do perhaps) got a Man. And so we learn:

Heterosexual females are bombarded with the male desire for bisexuality. We are steeping in this bisexuality pressure.

From Heterosexual women are sometimes called ‘Vanilla’ and even ‘Uptight’. Mary thinks there is nothing wrong with a straight woman being pressured into bisexual sex with her boyfriend or husband. She wouldn’t see this as rape, or as sexual harassment, or even as wrong. Rather, she sees it as a woman “doing something she may not want to do, but love is all about compromise”. From thinly veiled pressure from men in the form of “Girl on Girl action is so HOT!!” to rowdy bars where men pressure otherwise straight women to tongue kiss for their viewing pleasure, all the way down to the sexualization of bisexuality in a teen magazine, there is intense pressure.

And heterosexual women are being caught in the crossfire

I gotta say: I must have been hanging out in the wrong circles all these years. Anyway I don't remember any pressure to be bisexual, especially. Of course, I was kind of busy with the whole pressure to be straight thing. Maybe that comes first, and then the bi thing. After you get a boyfriend, I mean; maybe that's when all the insidious bi women start slithering after you. I, like, wouldn't know.

So I open this up to you, Gentle Readers: has this ever happened to you? Have you been pressured to make out with your gal pal for the benefit of a drooling hetboy? Have you pressured a gal pal to make out with you or another gal pal for the benefit of a drooling hetboy? Are you a hetboy who pressures gal pals to make out with each other? Do you drool?

I figure after I get four, maybe five responses I can publish the study. Research is important, you know.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

I wonder if that's what McFayden was taught

...that sex is for fags, I mean. More or less. Via red state feminist, we learn that the lad attended the Delbarton School, a boys-only prep school. Boys only, tuition costs $22,500 a year, which included everything but books and transportation. It is

"administered by the Roman Catholic Benedictine monks of St. Mary's Abbey and is rooted in the values of the Christian community and in the monastic tradition.


As txfeminist notes in a follow-up in the comments, a recent USA Today article says that the "Duke lacrosse allegations fit mold." That is,

reports of gang rape in college settings almost always involve fraternities or male sports teams. They say allegations at Duke fit that pattern.

"We do not assume the men at Duke lacrosse are guilty," Smith says. "Yet we are not surprised they find themselves in this predicament."

Meanwhile, back at Delbarton:

Recognizing that athletics are key in the development of a student, the School provides athletic programs that are comprehensive and varied, offering athletic opportunities to all of its students. In deference to the School's Benedictine mission to develop a student's "Mind, Body, and Spirit," the athletic program specifically pursues excellence in competition through personal development and teamwork, admires responsible and ethical behavior on the field and off, and nurtures leadership and strength of character.

Above all, Delbarton promotes the long lessons inherent to athletic achievement and good sportsmanship--that a student-athlete demonstrates humility in victory and grace in defeat.

A quick google search on "Delbarton" turned up this page:

Urban dictionary: "delbarton"

90 up, 89 down

really really gay kids who think they are hot shit just because they either go to the school because they are rich or because they are good at sports and another rich daddy plays their tuition as long as their kid gets to sit the bench on the lacrosse team. have long hair and wear pink shirts and think they are better than everyone else.

I hate Delbarton they are the gayest kids in the world
by Austin Apr 9, 2005 email it
126 up, 117 down

Itz an all boy school in Morristown, NJ. Their sports are defiantly best in the state, crush competition. Also its mainly white ass meatheads there with a coupla cool asians and other dudes on the side. Gets you into college nd stuff.

Delbarton is the greatest school ever...cuz we jus own everyone at sports!
by Fr.Giles Dec 17, 2003 email it
78 up, 76 down

Deerfield Light : Delbarton is a boarding school wannabe in the middle of New Jersey. Striving for excellence and falling short is their main endeavor. You'll find the school's graduates at prestigious colleges such as Colgate and Georgetown. However you will find that they are not well liked among authentic Prep school students. In fact it is commonly agreed upon among graduates of authentic Prep schools that Delbarton's sons are largely responsible for perpetuating the anti-Prep sentiments commonly found among the general public.

"Hey Muffy did you ever sleep with that Delbarton kid?"
"No, he had some problems maintaining an erection...I think he felt insecure in the fact that I went to a prep school thats been around for more than a century."

"Sex is for fags"

This is too perfect:

"Abstinence-Only Coolness for Boys"

Having sex is NOT cool, no matter what the mainstream liberal media tells you. Girls' vaginas are just like venus flytraps: multi-fanged jaws waiting for your tasty bits to slither into their poisonous quicksand. So no matter how much it seems to hurt not to find solace in sticky backseat groping sessions, don't give in to temptation. But how? Simple! Just get heavy into these ten awesome sex-avoidance activities!

As your awkward, gangly body begins to grow – your muscles blooming, your willowy penis thickening into a sturdy tool, you need the guidance of a middle-aged man who likes to play dress-up and go camping in the woods with hordes of young boys. Then at night, when you're Indian Wrestling wearing the traditional bison hide thong and nothing else, you'll find your burning hunger for "squaw beaver" will flicker out like a citronella candle choked with dead skeeters!

Nothing gets icky premarital sex off the brain better than an impromptu game of touch football with your Sex is for Fags brothers. Sinful thoughts dissipate like magic while you writhe under a pile of your buddies' taut high school bodies, bulging zippers grazing firm buttocks, touching, tackling, and wrestling. Then afterwards, you can all take a long, hot, group shower and talk about baseball!

You know that kid in school who dresses a little too well and has lots of platonic "girlfriends"? Yeah, the one who once wore green on Thursday and listens to Britney? Wait for him after school, and once he's walked out of Drama Club, crack him in the kidneys with a golf club. If no one's around, do it again. For good measure, sit on his face and tell him what a homo he is. Of course, you might feel a little worked up after this, so it's okay to take a ball peen hammer to your testicles for relief.

Spending countless hours playing Halo 2, Doom 3 or Medal of Honor helps you focus on the important things in life, like computer-generated mass murder. It's a valuable skill set, especially for those looking to pursue a career in the military – a noble profession where one blissfully marinates with men in tight spaces for months on end. So the next time your man-pipes rumble, simply take your desires to touch, grope, and melt into another human being, and funnel them into a wholesome virtual homicidal bloodbath!


Note: that site is for Boys Only, Girls Keep Out. Go to their sister site instead,
Iron Hymen. With a special message from Mrs. George W. Bush:

Take it from me, girls – there's no good reason to rush into S-E-X. That's why I hope these scientific facts help you choose abstinence, so you need never know the heartbreak of being trapped in a loveless marriage just because you drank too many margaritas one night and gave up your honey pot to a pushy young cokehead from a so-called 'good family.'"

Shout-out to the excellent Kaleiodoglide for the link.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Street smarts, 2

This post over at Bitch Lab, on the multi layers of power struggle in street harassment scenes, over at had me thinking of a short piece I wrote for a late-night cabaret. Since I'm feeling self-indulgent (surprise), I'm gonna repost it here.

(btw post title refers back to an earlier, more prosaic post of mine on the general subject)



In the dark, music: "There she was, just a-walkin' down the street, singin'/Do wa diddy diddy dum diddy do--" Music abruptly stops.

Take one.

Lights up on WOMAN, about to cross a street. As she does, she must pass a MAN, standing against a wall.


WOMAN passes by quickly, eyes averted, head down.

I said, hello. Hello? Hello? Hello? Bitch. Hey, who the fuck do you think you are?


Take two.

Lights up, same as before.


WOMAN passes without replying.

Miss, I sure hate to trouble you, but could you spare a little change?

WOMAN stops, a good distance away from the MAN, fumbles in her pocket.

I'm trying to get something to eat...Thank you.

As she digs some change out:

You're very pretty. Beautiful hair.

The WOMAN hands the change to the MAN. Doesn't reach quite far enough, and the change drops to the ground.


WOMAN makes a half-hearted attempt to stoop, ultimately doesn't, begins backing away.

That's okay. That's okay. Thank you.

As WOMAN flees

You have a nice day now.


Take three.

Lights up, as before.

(As WOMAN passes)

keeps walking. MAN follows her.

Your name's Janine, right?

WOMAN shakes her head and walks faster.

No? Cause I've seen you around. What's your name?

Not Janine.


Not Janine.

Cause I know I've seen you...Hey, you live down the street, right? In that building over there? That big building right there, you live there?


Yeah, I've seen you coming out that building...wearing that little skirt you wear...yeah, you like to wear that skirt, I see you...got your butt cheeks all hanging out...

Get away from me!

I'm not gonna hurt you. All I'm saying is, you got a nice ass, but you should be careful who you go showing it to, know what I'm saying?

WOMAN takes out a whistle and blows into it.

If you want, call me sometime, we can talk about it.

MAN goes. WOMAN flees in the opposite direction. Blackout.

Take three-A.

WOMAN walks briskly and aggressively toward the MAN.

Hello... seen you before...that skirt...

Who the FUCK do you think I am?

WOMAN stomps past him, brandishing whistle with aggressive air. Makes eye contact, glares, passes at brisk trot.


Take 3-A, once more, with feeling.

WOMAN hesitates at her end of the street. MAN is lounging in his accustomed spot. WOMAN revs up and sprints past him at top speed.


WOMAN darts past at the speed of lightning; shrieks as she passes.

What the fuck was that?


Take pie-eye squared.

MAN by the wall. WOMAN walks up to him with an outstretched hand, eye contact, and a big smile.

Hello! I just want to let you know that I consider you a person just as much as anybody else, and even though I have more money, support, education, and opportunity than you could ever dream of having, (or so I imagine), I forgive you. Go ahead! Sit on your steps and stare at me! Wear a bandanna and clothes with holes in them! It's all right! I give you permission! I'll not cross the street to get away from you when it's light out, and if you're lucky, I'll even give you a sickly
fake smile every once in a while!

MAN spits at her feet and walks off.

Well, get you. Who the fuck does he think he is?


Take the negative of an odd number.

Hello. Nice ass.

(Wheels on him, starts unbuttoning her blouse)
Do you really think so? Because gosh, y'know, that's the most sensitive and flattering thing anyone's said to me all week. I mean, oh sure, you're the wrong age and background and even gender for me, not to mention you have terrible hygiene and may well be certifiably
insane, but hey, details, I'm so fucking HORNY at this antiseptic goddamn university my cunt feels like an Electrolux, why don't we do it in the road,

pushes him down and straddles him

yeah, talk dirty to me, baby, monosyllables TURN ME ON, don't stop...

Help. Help! Get the fuck away from me!


Take a flying leap.

WOMAN walking down the street; MAN leaps out of nowhere and opens his coat at her.


WOMAN draws a gun.


Shoots him. Blackout.

Aaand...take it away....

WOMAN and MAN pass in opposite directions. WOMAN seems disoriented.


WOMAN ignores him. MAN gives her a quizzical look, shrugs, and goes. WOMAN greets imaginary people. Trying to connect.

Um, hello. Hello. Hello! Oh, hello? Hello...

The lights fade. She gradually slows down, wanders more and more, and eventually stops. Her voice takes on a plaintive note.

Hello? Hello? Hellooo! Hello?

No response. She stands still and addresses someone "out there," becoming more and more frustrated and confused and angry-scared as she continues:

Hello? Hello? Hello! Hello, hello! Hello?! HELLO?! HELLO??? HELLO????? HELLO, HELLO, HELLO??? HELLOOO! HELLO?? ..hello?

Blackout, end.

Okay, this is some serious bullshit: HR 4337. All queers and/or immigrants prick up your ears:

From blac(k)ademic, a rundown of the latest excretion from the rabid right wing and their appeasers.

in order to prohibit asylum seekers from refuge here in the u.s., our lovely government has propositioned to enact hr 4437 (The Border Protection, Antiterrorism, and Illegal Immigration Control Act of 2005) under the guise of fighting terrorism and protecting our country. this bill will be voted on by the senate, since it has been passed by the members of our "lovely" house of reps.

hr 4437 is not only anti-immigrant, it is anti-queer and criminalizes homosexuals from other oppressive societies abroad which persecute gays and lesbians.

some of the provisions that will directly affect queer immigrants:
"Unlawful presence" would now be considered a crime and a felony, meaning that undocumented immigrants may have to serve jail time and would be barred from future legal status and from re-entry into the country.

queer asylum seekers would become overnight criminals and could recieve up to 15 years in prison to eventually be deported to their countries to face more beatings, rapes and eventually death.

Read the rest over at black lesbians say what? Hope that as one of the commenters suggests, this has no chance of actually passing. And, of course, call your senators. Utter. Bullshit.

fucking reactionary fuckheads.

Finally updated the other blog

Sense and Sensuality. I did mean it to have a tone of its own at least, even if subject matter and/or linkage sometimes overlaps between here and there. Then anal-retentiveness wrt categorization, but mostly plain ol' shyness, I think, got in the way. Anyway, bottom line, that page has been sadly neglected. I don't know that I'll be catching up to this one in terms of volume and frequency, but at least I mean to update more frequently.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Stumbled across: a history refresher

Interesting and fairly in-depth chronicle of first-wave feminism, and its roots in Abolitionism; and of the initial rupture between black rights advocates (especially post-Civil War) and feminists. Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony don't come off so well, you know. Also sheds some light on how the Republican party went from what it was under Lincoln to what it is today; or more so, really, how the Democratic party (originally the pro-slavery party) also went under a rather dramatic sea-change. And yet, and yet.

On a second (if still cursory) glance at the site, I'm personally finding somewhat of a disconnect between the history lesson and the conclusion the website authors seem to draw from it ("individualist feminism" is the philosophy, which to me, at least from the FAQ, sounds more in line with Cady Stanton's approach than not); still, the essay at least is worth a read.

To shift the focus a bit after all that

(although some of the material strikes familiar chords now)

there is some gorgeous, powerful writing on this blog, Deyes Karayib.

A snippet:

I had not touched a woman …yet
When I have been called
“Madivine woman”
My divine woman
Word of one hundred thousand evils
Word of isolation, desolation
Lonely nights, hand stuck between my legs...

from an earlier post:

It was like it always is: seething agony touched with desire. The faces changed or the perfume was familiar, besides that, it was the same. Except this time, this time there was no giving in, not really. Not until it was the right time or the right place, if ever the right person. Ashes fell in swirls, covering her eyelashes in gray soot and I kissed them, transferring darkish splotches on my lips. She only laughs like she does and I am taken. The soot is gritty between my teeth but I am slow to grind it further into dust, now mud as it mixes with my saliva.

" Carolyn... Carolyn..."

" Yes, I am sorry. "

And I give her my far away look; the one that always makes her ask me where have I been and all I can tell her is no where. But all she ever manages to do is come closer and kiss my lips, like kissing me is going to make it all go away...

...Milo was my mother's answer to late nights at Christie's and sleepover's that lasted for weeks before she would think I was no longer her daughter. She hated that relaxed look I had when I would come home: like nothing could be finer than life how I had it. I would give her that look that would make her ask me where I had been, only this time I would smile and leave her unanswered. I knew I had been lost in folds of warm flesh. Tight pink openings and desires hot enough to make me cum with my clothes still on.

Then there was Milo. Arrogant, self assured Milo. Kiss my mother's ass and wish he could have been good enough for me Milo.

" You don't have to love him now Carolyn... that can come later." And she would smile her worst saccharin smile making me sick to my stomach. She fed me lies about how good he was and how much we would have in common. Just like she fed him snakes to make him mean, to make him know that he had to change me, to make him grow to hate in me what he didn't even know...

Finally, (for now),

Black Amazon has a brilliant piece up at her own site, Having Read the Fine Print: "Rainbow Rage." Connecting everything from the money aspect to the "be a good girl" aspect to the mutual suspicion among would-be, should-be allies...the "horizontal" manifestations of institutionalized oppression (in part). She winds up with a blistering excoriation of the "but but but how could it happen here? At a NICE COLLEGE?" business:

...And certain student responses show it out. Surrounding residences who complain about noise are asked why they live near a college ? Because you ignorant fuckheads colleges especially all the top fives EXCEPT Princeton were placed in poor areas ( often black) for cheap land so they have very few other places to go! Because it shouldn't be expected that you kee p your irresponsible drinking and asswholishness to your own property , because you can't be embarassing if you do it to the poor folk around the college. Cause they should suffer for being in your presence.

So pressure shows the true colors of the thing no?

Shes a stripper a bad girl .

She's poor

She's off the radar ( and kept off it) before this in many a discussion cause she fit's nobody's feminist profile

She's lacking privilege.

See had the nerve to forget her slot.She had the nerve to want better and use whatever she could to do so

Furious yes. Shocked no

When even progressive movements demand you fit in or suffer who the fuck is shocked . When children are not taught at all that other people should matter. Not because of some shiny happy people bullshit but because we share the earth with them and they deserve respect. Not because it makes you look a like a good person because you SHOULD WANT TO BE A GOOD PERSON.

Amen, is all I have to say to that.

Getting to the bottom, cont. more

Anyway, back to RJ, he makes a really crucial point here:

Another main premise of homosociality that gang rape enacts is that men bond homosocially over/through the bodies of women.

That is, the woman becomes the conduit for male connection–the male bond is “triangulated,” deflected through the body of the woman.** Not that this is homosexual (that would be insulting to gay men), but the very opposite–the presence of a woman serves to nullify the threat of homosexuality implicit within the homosocial bond.

Look at it this way–is there any place besides a woman’s body that straight guys are willing to put their dicks immediately after another guy put his there?

“Hey Mitch–can I borrow your jockstrap?”
“Sure, Bart, lemme peel it off real quick.”
“Thanks, man. Hey! It’s still warm. Sweet.”

Similarly, can you imagine if two of those teammates had been caught masturbating in front of each other? But if they’re masturbating into a woman, suddenly there’s nothing queer about it.

I'm glad he brings this up, because it's not talked about nearly enough. That is the dirty little secret behind all this, and weirdly enough, starts to tie into the question of "how patriarchy hurts men, too." This is what it's about. In a way, it's not about the woman at all. It's about expressing intimacy with other men in one of the few acceptable ways possible within a deeply patriarchal mindset. Violence, denigrating women (it couldn't even be a nice healthy consensual swingers' threesome or moresome; that would be too much like sensual pleasure, which is actually pretty much Verboten in the Patriarchy; nooo, it's no fun unless she's forced and degraded), putting someone from lower down on the totem pole "in her (or his) place." That's what makes it all O.K. It's not a surprise that this behavior is especially prevalent among certain team sportsmen: all that's pretty much built into the structure of the game, as well, more or less, or at least how it's played. Lots and lots of physical contact in a football game; the symbols of warlike aggression and competition make what would otherwise look like a dry-humping puppy pile of men in shiny skintight pants seem A-OK to homophobic manly men and their enablers. But of course, it only works if you vehemently deny that there's anything--ANYTHING--erotic in the whole business. Which is where the gang rapes and fag-bashings come in so handy. "See? We're manly. We're straight. Here's the proof."

They think they can get away with it, and they're often correct. But even if they weren't: I'm guessing that maybe for some men even the prospect of being a beast and a criminal is preferable to being "effeminate."

Either way, ultimately they're ridding themselves of their own humanity even as they try to destroy any signs of it in the victimized Other.

Getting to the bottom, cont.

Back over at Pandagon, RJ of Bark/Bites is doing some exellent deconstructive work of his own in the comments section.

(edit: it's also on his own site now).


One thing that gang rape does is to enact a main premise of homosociality: relationships between men trump relationships between men and women.

Consider this–-not only would most of those guys at Duke not have raped those women one-on-one, but I’ll bet you dollars to donuts that the vast majority of those guys would have come to the woman’s defense had they stumbled on to the scene of a rape by a single attacker.

Think about it–you’re a young, athletic guy who excels at a contact sport. You turn the corner coming home from the library and you see some guy in the process of sexually assaulting a woman. I’m going to bet that 99% of those guys would have the very least called 911. I think most of them would have kicked the living shit out of the attacker. But when it’s their buddies or teammates–and as a survivor of 7 years of organized football in Texas, I can attest to the lengths that teammate bonding can go to–suddenly it’s “Can I be next?” or at the very best, “Hey guys, I’m not sure you should be doing that. Um, guys?”

That’s because the homosocial codes that are strongly in place in most men’s sports teams (among a bazillion other places) dictate that if you have to choose between your relationship with a woman and your relationship with men to whom you are bonded, you have to choose the latter–or else you’re feminized (a “pussy”) and as such, no longer fit for the homosocial bond.

I can totally see how that would be, although personally I wonder about the bit about most of those guys coming to a woman's rescue one on one. Certainly group psychology makes a strong case that it'd be more likely for at least some of them. But...going back to the Guardian article for a moment, I, like one of the interviewees, am interested in the "emotional coldness" of (necessarily, at least some of) the perpetrators.

Poverty causes stress, which might contribute to emotional coldness. Add a macho culture and you might end up with a gang rape. Or not. No one has a simple explanation for why gang rapes happen, or why a third of all sex crimes are now committed by under-21-year-olds, according to recent Home Office figures.

"Some of the boys are pretty normal," says Barry O'Hagan, who works with Misch on Southwark's Stop (Support, Treatment, Opportunity, Partnership) project for young sex offenders. "That's pretty scary, but that's not what people want to hear." In one notorious gang rape, the group played basketball together. They weren't a "gang" in the street-gang sense of the word. For one of the boys, "it was totally out of character", O'Hagan says. "He knew it was out of order, but in a group situation, it was just what happened. Groups are very powerful."

The leader of the group might be antisocial or psychopathic, Misch says. "They might think it's OK. Some boys are sadistic, some are altruistic." He pauses. "It's very complex...

Misch goes on to talk about how quite often the boys will "help" the victim get dressed and get home, afterward, and the ambiguity of that: is that contrition, of a sort? ("undoing")? genuine conviction that doing such makes it all okay? a cold, calculated move done with an eye toward any possible trial in mind? just part of the headfuck? Could be any or all, I expect.

There is this, too: (still from the article)

One boy being treated in the Stop programme, involved in a notorious gang rape, never once, throughout months of therapy, changed his story that the woman had consented. "He accepted responsibility for every other area of his life," O'Hagan says, "but not that. It was very striking."

At some point I want to really start getting into the ways in which empathy works...and doesn't, because I think it's crucial, and key. One of the interviewees uses the term "morals," which...I dunno if that's quite it. I mean, I'd be surprised if none of the rapists had ever even heard lip-service to the notion that rape is wrong and women are people, too. I know deeply ingrained misogyny is also part of this, and would certainly explain why a guy could take responsibility for everything except abuse of a woman, but...it's more complicated than "thou shalt" and "thou shalt not." "Role models" and "boundaries" talk is closer. well, more on that later.

Getting to the bottom of the toxic muck

...or at least trying to. Via Pandagon, a Guardian article on gang rape in the UK.

This bit was instructive, I thought:

Emma's words do her no favours in the moral universe of the courtroom. She is feisty. She answers back. Easy for barristers to categorise as disrespectful. Lucy is sweeter, prettier and more distressed, but no match for the apparently polite, well-brought-up boys. They pepper their testimony with "yes, sir" and "no, sir". They have good character records, bolstered by teachers and youth workers. They say it never happened. But their strongest defence lies in most people's perception of rape: that it's either made up, or it involves a stranger with a knife. Nice boys don't gang rape. Except they do, mostly with impunity. "Group rape is a black hole," said one senior London policeman I spoke to. "It's a parallel universe where that kind of thing has become a way of living, and that's why it continues."


"Gang rape is really common," says a youth worker in Hackney. "Girls won't talk about it because they think it's normal and there's nothing they can do about it." Met commander Andy Baker, who used to be in charge of street crime, says, "It's been going on for years. Before I was a policeman, I'd see boys coming out of a shed and a girl following later. Now, I'd know what that was, and so would you."

"It's a taboo," says Bernadette Brittain, counsellor at the Haven, London's first dedicated sexual assault referral centre. "It's grim and it's not talked about."

There is virtually no research on gang rapes in the UK. In the US, some work has been done on gang rapes by sportsmen and fraternity members. In 1985, a report entitled Campus Gang Rape: Party Games? - released by the Project on the Status of Education of Women - calculated that at least one gang rape per week took place on campuses. "Fraternities are sporting clubs," a professor was quoted as saying, "and their sport is women." Over here, the best data comes from the Haven, which was set up in mid-2000.

(statistics follow)


"The added element in this is ethnicity," says Trail. The Haven's statistics indicate that, in 2002, in the under-16 age group, 43% of the assailants were black, as were 33% of the victims. Even in an ethnically diverse population such as Lambeth-Southwark-Lewisham (LSL), this goes beyond demographics. It is controversial. When a documentary on juvenile gang rape was broadcast by Channel 4 in 1998, the channel was accused of racism. Trinidad-born writer Darcus Howe was a lone voice of support. Later, writing in the New Statesman, he recounted how his girlfriend Betty was gang raped for hours in Trinidad, and how - after he spoke out in support of the documentary - he got anonymous phone calls saying his daughter would get gang raped, too.

"For heaven's sake," Trail says, "this isn't about race, it's about rape." He points to high numbers of sexually transmitted diseases in LSL, which also has the highest teenage pregnancy rate in Europe - problems that were also hampered by a refusal to look at the racial demographics, in the beginning. "My line is lean, mean and clear," Howe concluded, in the New Statesman. "I take a side in this war, the side of black women ... There is nothing to discuss."

What's interesting to me, here, is that in this case, at least, I think "this isn't about race" is referring primarily to the MEN (as in, if the accused is a POC, historical precendent for scapegoating POC men by false accusations of rape notwithstanding: gang rape is still gang rape, and needs to be addressed as such).

But in the Duke case, certainly, there's no question in my mind that race damn well is at least part of what this is about, although certainly not all of it. And yet people keep uncomfortably twisting about, as though it's an either/or issue instead of both/and, each deeply ingrained bigotry enforcing and compounding the other.

The Guardian article talks a little more about this:

The Commission for Racial Equality was hardly more forthcoming. "We need more data and we need to know it is being collected in a robust and methodologically sound way," a spokesman told me. "If there is a problem, we need to know who is involved and who the victims are. We are also concerned that low levels of confidence in the police might mean that young ethnic minority women are less likely than other victims to report attacks."

The majority of rapes are committed by adults at home, according to Women Against Rape. But young girls are being gang raped by young men or boys, who are - in reported cases - often black. Why? "It's very difficult to explain things away with cultural factors," says Peter Misch, a forensic psychiatrist specialising in adolescents at London's Maudsley hospital. He recalls visiting a young offenders' institute in Siberia in 1993, where each of the 20 offenders aged 14-16 was in for group rape. Camila Batmanghelidjh, who runs the children's charity Kids Company in Peckham, south-east London, thinks gang rapes go in clusters. "It's not about race. You have to ask - is it because the black community is the most marginalised and pressurised, and does that lead to emotional consequences?"

Mostly, the sheer bleak frustration of the whole goddam system keeps coming through again and again. Per the article:

One of the defence barristers, subsequently: "My client apparently used a condom. You may think this is very sensible in one view and very polite in another. Two young people in a park and the boy is forcing himself on a girl who is not willing and he puts on a condom. That's not an easy task in a comfortable consensual setting, but in the cold in the park, and his victim doesn't run off - does that sound like rape to you?"

It sounds like rape to me. It sounds like rape to all the young women I talk to. "Of course she'd get on a bus with her rapist afterwards," says Tamika. "She's scared, isn't she?" She tuts scornfully. "These people need to get out and see what's happening in deep society."

...Most of this is inconceivable to most people, and that is why juries usually acquit. In the courtroom, as the prosecution barrister attempts to explain what "wok it" has come to mean to kids (have sex, from the Jamaican slang "work it"), and as the judge attempts to speak street, with every "yeah" coming out as a "yah", I am struck by the futility of it all. It is two worlds colliding. Outside the courtroom one morning, a solicitor on the defence bench says, "I don't think it was a gang rape. They knew the boys. They always do."

Most girls in gang rape situations know at least one of their attackers. Sometimes it's their boyfriend who hands them over, with sexual blackmail. "If you don't go with my mates, I won't go out with you any more." Sometimes it's the straitjacket of reputation...

and so on.

And then, of course, where's the justice? No frigging wonder so few women report. In one case that had looked strong, the article reports:

The first trial collapsed on a technicality. The second was thrown out when one witness discussed a minor detail - about a soft toy - with another (witnesses cannot discuss the case with each other). It might seem innocuous, but the judge had no choice but to dismiss the case. It can't be tried again. The girls were devastated, and in a letter to the investigation team, their parents thanked the police, and said they'd never again have any faith in the criminal justice system.

I don't have much, either. A dismal number of gang rape cases get to court; an even more dismal number result in convictions. One of the few that did - three young men were given six-year sentences this year for befriending and raping 13-year-old girls in Ilford shopping centres - inspired Judge Henry Blacksell to comment, "This might be normal behaviour in Ilford, but the girls still need protection."

That last bit is interesting: so, the judge needs to "other" Ilford (I don't know the UK, but from the overall context of the article, I'm presuming this is a working-class 'burb or town) in order to make sense of this. Nice boys don't do such things, after all. No. Which is why it's inconceivable to some (I'm thinking quite a few, sadly) people that the Duke shitbags could be guilty...even if the evidence gets put right in front of their noses. Even if such (also nice, well-educated) witnesses (to the case, I mean, not the act!) aren't necessarily misogynist racist fuckbags themselves. Because if "our guys" can act like this, then the whole world falls apart.

Gee. Imagine that.

From the News Observer:

On the same day Duke University lacrosse player Collin H. Finnerty was ordered to provide DNA samples in a rape investigation, he was in Washington to face charges that he assaulted a man last fall.

Court records show that Finnerty, 19, and two friends were arrested early Nov. 5. Finnerty was charged with simple assault.

A man told a police officer who was driving by The Georgetown Inn on Wisconsin Avenue about 2:30 a.m. Nov. 5 that Finnerty and his co-defendants assaulted him, court documents said.

The man said he was minding his own business when the three men started picking on him. The man told them to stop "calling him gay and ... derogatory names." Then they attacked him, he said, "busting his lip and bruising his chin," court records say.

The accuser was not anyone that Finnerty knew, said his attorney, Steven J. McCool of Washington...

Note the charge there: simple assault.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

More Duke aftermath: and now they start pouring out of the woodwork.

Jill at Feministe deconstructs a vile piece of toxic sludge passing itself off as conservative journalism. Which is good, 'cause it means the rest of us don't have to if we don't want to subject ourselves to that racist, misogynistic bilge.

of course, I did anyway, and now I need a serious brain bleach.

What worth noting about that "article," if anything (besides the fact that it's hardly the only one, online or off, that at least tends in that direction) is the tacit admission that they may not be able to fend off the reality that yes, DNA and other physical tests are gonna show signs of rape. That they probably won’t in fact be able to get away with “nothing at all happened, she’s making it all up.”

So now spin #2 begins, pre-emptively, as it were:

This, of course, if true, will mean that it was either an easy set up for the women, or else the fervor of youthful hormones blinded everyone. In the heat of passion, well-ignited before the girls even showed up, there may have been some rough-housing. That should have been a serious tip-off.

So in other words, the stripper, who is apparently "not a person of note" as well as being an exotic dancer and therefore incapable of saying "no" to anything on the job, should have been responsible for the room full of drunken youths, on account of what, she was older? Yeah, because you certainly can't expect a twenty-year-old man to control himself in the presence of booze and a bl--ah, scarlet woman, much less a whole group of them. Really, one considers that perhaps in that case the best solution might be chastity belts for the lads, or perhaps more drastic measures. I mean, if this sort of thing is going to get in the way of the lacrosse season, and all.

But no; the "fervor of youthful hormones" (which is apparently an unstoppable and uncontrollable force, much like a tsunami) blinded everyone...by which of course fuckwad author means including the dancer. She wanted it, see. Including the "roughhousing." Otherwise she would have Just Said No.

So what I want to know now is, still: does ripping a misogynistic fuckwad's spine out through his asshole (tm Hothead) count as an expression of the "fervor of youthful hormones?" I mean, if we're clearly both excited?

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

And then again: Update on the Duke case

So, yeah, at a certain point, the fucked-uppedness goes beyond the point where one can usefully analyze, let alone sympathize. Jesus Christ, what the hell is WRONG with some people?

From the News & Observer, via Alas a Blog:

Search warrant turned up an email apparently sent from one Ryan McFayden, one of the suspected lacrosse players, about a half-hour after the assault-rape was reported:

To whom it may concern:
tomorrow night, after tomights show, ive decidedto have some strippers over to edens 2c. all are welcome..there will be no nudity. i plan on killing the bitches as soon as the walk and proceding to cut their skin offwhile cumming in my Duke issue spandex.. all in besides arch and tack please respond

One of the boyz' lawyer, Cheshire (whilst disappearing grin last, no doubt) is already spinning this as good for their side:

"This e-mail, while the wording of it is, at best, unfortunate, if you read this e-mail and you also are aware of other e-mails that exist contemporaneous with these events, it's quite clear that no rape happened in that house," Cheshire said. "These boys were frustrated because they, as is already been reported, they thought these women had come and taken a bunch of money and started dancing and just decided to leave."

"Unfortunate," that's the word I was looking for. Yes.

Say, I'm feeling kind of "frustrated" at this point, too, if you know what I mean.

So I'm thinking: why not skip the foreplay and just impale the fuckers on their lacrosse sticks?

After all, we all just want to be entertained. Is that so wrong?

Postscript to all that:

Just back to the Eternal Thrash for a second (i.e. "sex-positive feminism" and its discontents), the thing that gets me, over and over again, is how much of a disconnect there is between the notion (shared by certain Manly Men and certain radfems alike, oddly enough) that Men Are Lustful Beasts who've created the patriarchy largely, apparently, because they just love fucking so much; and the reality as I see it. Namely: that in fact if anything the "speed seduction" guides, Andrew Dice Clay and his descendents, misogynistic "mainstream" porn, etc. etc., are in fact reflective of a deep fear, shame, and/or disgust toward the body erotic, not just women per se, (as revealed rather more um nakedly than usual in the below-linked).

I mean, for me at least, what always gets me first about all of that stuff isn't that it's "shocking" or even its hatefulness (although the hatefulness is a REAL PROBLEM, yes), but that it's, well, really dull. And lame. And, finally, kind of sad. Painfully so, in fact. Timid, snickering double-entendres; clumsy, ill-timed and ill-judged gropings toward connection; repetitive, unimaginative fantasies. Relatives of Bontsha the Silent, too cowed and stunted, finally, to recognize love and abundance and sensuality even if it were handed to them. Overgrown little boys telling each other stories to keep their fear of the dark at bay. Sad.

Which doesn't preclude getting angry at the harm done by such folk to real live people on the way, of course.

Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus. Some a lot more so than others.

You know, I gotta say, I don't envy straight people. Not that queer dating, etc. is exactly pitfall/crazy/loser-free. But at least we, or I anyway, seem to have avoided hooking up with people like this guy.

Essentially, the fact that he's made it to nearly 40 without having sexshul intercourse is the least of his worries, at least to my jaundiced eye (and a lot of the commenters there as well; the tone ranges from sympathetic to get-the-popcorn-and-watch-the-traffic-accident); the fact that he's made it that far without apparently developing basic empathic skills is a lot more troubling. And so, like many people who have poor-to-nonexistent social and/or emotional skills, he clings stubbornly to a script/belief system that is as creaky and sad as it is (frankly) offensive. The Cliff Notes:

1) Women prefer "scumbags" like rapists and murderers, or at least abusive jerks, no matter what they say, because noted criminals have gotten lots of nookie and he hasn't gotten any.

2) It's cool to be gay, but it's not cool to be an older male virgin. This is obvious because "Brokeback Mountain" was so popular. Also gay men are "often good looking with extroverted personalities."

3) Men know, but women don't understand: Women Are Spendthrifts. And greedy, and rude, and ungrateful. Especially in NYC, where this guy lives and dates.

4) His $150,000/year salary + nearly 40K in investment earnings isn't enough to attract the "hot gold digger babes," and clearly never will be.

5) It pisses him off that a woman he just started dating is making more money than he is, (or so he calculates, based on some Google detective work and careful questioning) when "she wasn't even born in this country." The 250K job she has is the one he should have had when he was thirty. And he could never marry her, because if they had a kid, he'd be the one who'd have to give up his lower-paying job to stay home, and he can't think of anything more "demasculating" than that, it'd be like getting his penis cut off, and what would he say at parties? And then she'd divorce him for a more alpha male, and he'd end up paying her alimony, "because women always mop up in divorce court no matter what the circumstances." That said, it turns him on that she has a high-powered job, which must make him a pervert 'cuz a "normal guy" would "get soft" in the presence of a woman with a better job than his. (as it turns out, he really liked her, but she didn't think they had any chemistry, which means that he is Doomed).

6) Rich women who don't have high-power jobs are Daddy-spoiled "princesses" who don't have to work to pay their rent, and he resents the shit out of it.

7) "Girls want a boyfriend who is bigger than they are so they can feel small and girly."

8) "Swapping saliva is gross"

9) The reason he sees so many "Asian-white interracial couples" (with the man white, not the other way around) is probably because whereas white chicks are after "alpha males," Asian babes are more likely to be seeking good husband material. Which explains why they're willing to date white "nice guy" geeks, as opposed to those gold digging white women (I guess). Too bad for his poor Asian brothers, though.

10) The top five "motivations" for his dating at all are "wanting what I can't have," "desire to be normal," "status," "habit," and plain ol' loneliness (that last is probably a good part of why people keep tuning in). Sex and love are at the bottom of the list, in that order.

11) He wouldn't belong to a club that would have him as a member (by his own admission)

12) The last woman who wanted to date him and actually kept coming back to his apartment to make him food and do whatever he was willing to do, he got to the point where he "can't stand her," after she gave him a tutorial of the "mysterious hidden female body parts" (and, by his own admission, he couldn't get it up). She's not that nice-looking, and she embarrassed him in public with her cheap, old clothing and her PDA's. At least the doormen thought he was getting laid, though.

13) Yes, he hears the advice to "get some therapy" all the time. Well, he's never heard of a therapist who treats virgins, specifically, so they must not ever do that (even though they have therapists who treat fear of flying and suchlike). And, there was one guy who was a 49-year-old virgin who was in therapy for eighteen years, and that didn't get him laid, 'till he saw a sexual surrogate. So basically, the therapy industry is just after your money (just like women), and a big waste of time.

14) No, he's apparently not gonna just hire a sex worker either, despite repeated suggestions that he do just that, if losing virginity is the main goal, here.

15) Nice Guys like him don't get no respect. More important, they don't get no trim. Clearly the problem is that he's too nice.


The thing is, you know, he's oddly sympathetic in a way, clearly: who can't relate to agonizing fears and shyness around sex and dating at some point in their lives? And yes, naked honesty (of a sort) is always interesting. Trouble is, he doesn't relate back. And while this clearly goes way way beyond simple sex and gender issues, I can't help but observe how his worldview, well, he didn't get it out of nowhere, either, now did he. And he seems to have at least a few guys cheering him on, as though he is speaking The Truth. I think, you know, there probably is a lot of this about; at any rate the "speed seduction" industry is thriving, due, one presumes, to a plenitude of boy customers like this sad bastard.

e.g., from Ross Jeffries:

Listen, if you keep hearing "I just want to be friends" from women,
then there's just one reason, and one reason alone for it: You haven't
learned to create the kind of states in women that MAKE THEM

At best you create states in her of comfort and casual enjoyment, which means...




Uh, yeah.

Misogyny, stereotyped sex roles, an unhealthy obsession with/reification of money, prizing externals over internal reality (including actual sensual enjoyment in the sex, once gotten, is a theme I'm getting), a sense of cheated entitlement, a sneaking suspicion that one must be a total failure if one isn't a Winner (who Takes It All, inevitably)--these are all the dark undercurrents of the American Dream. And the people who are supposed to be at the top of the food chain, or at least some of them, don't see themselves as fortunate, at all, at all. Which, in a sense, they're right about; they have been cheated, in a way, albeit not of the things they think they were cheated of. The problem is that they (again, some blatantly more so than others) can't or won't see that, or indeed anything or anyone else beyond their own woes. Narcissism, in other words; or something along those lines. Which makes awful, perfect sense in some ways: after all, Real Men (tm) don't have feelings, much less work to understand anyone else's. They just...perform. Or fail.

n.b: wrt relationships, this bit from one of the pages linked below felt particularly apt:

Narcissists do not have the emotional capacity to provide support or understanding to others. There are numerous defense mechanisms which narcissists use to confuse and unbalance those around them. Organization is unknown to narcissistic individuals and they avoid future plans if it concerns pleasing another for some reason not evident to them.

They do not want anyone thinking highly of them for several reasons. First, their sense of self as special, unique and deserving keeps them grounded at maintenance level in their relationships. Maintenance level is just enough, just in time to keep the folly of the relationship moving forward, but just enough and no more. To expend more energy on the relationship would cause others to feel some degree of predictability in the whole affair. Contributing to the happiness of the ones they already envy for having the ability to feel love is not a an activity in which narcissists wish to participate...

Just for balance's sake, I'll end this with a conversation I was privy to/part of a while ago; I jotted it down because it struck me as...well, see for yourself:

SETTING: belly dance class, taught by a young, pretty woman

Teacher: I dunno about this guy...I dunno. I mean, after a few
months, you *assume*...but, well, so, he didn't get me anything for
Valentine's Day...

(collective gasp, clucking, from other three students, all female &

Student #1: Dump him.

Teacher: I just don't know where we *are,* you know? I mean, okay,
not everyone belives in holidays like Valentine's Day, and he *is*
English, I totally get that, it's just...just a little piece of
chocolate, you know? *One* rose? But mostly I just don't know where I
stand with him.

Me: Well, was it just Valentine's Day, or do you feel like he's
blowing you off in general? Have you talked to him about this at all?

Student #2: That *is* a point. He's English. They don't make such a
big deal over Valentine's Day over there.

Teacher: Yeah, but he's been over here for, like, years. He should
totally know about Valentine's Day.

Student #1: You should dump him. I told (mumble) my guy I didn't
want anything for my 31st birthday, I just didn't want to be reminded
of it. And he *didn't get me anything!* He didn't get me ANYTHING!
Not even a card!

(knowing laughter)

Student #2: So, that was it?

Student #1: That was it, yeah.


Teacher: Yeah, I hear you. I just don't know...

Me: I guess I just think, on general principles, it's good to be
direct about what you want. I mean, I don't know what kind of a
relationship you have...

Student #1: I just think you shouldn't tell him *anything*. Make
*him* figure it out.

Student #2: (re student #1) Listen to her, don't listen to me. She
knows this stuff. I don't. She's married.

Student #1: Well, uh, no, I'm not, actually.

Teacher: So you think I should just keep quiet?

Student #2: Yeah, make him work.

Student #1: Make him work for it.

Me: Does that work?

Student #1: Well...I don't know!

Teacher: ...just a *little* piece of chocolate...



In other words, and in sum:

Sorry, I don't speak your crazy moon language.

"I know I haven't done anything wrong. I've paid lawyers."

Just a bit more on Tom "I'm in God's hands" DeLay. If nothing else, it is fascinating to see the workings of a psychopathic mind up close:

"I haven't done anything unethical, because my lawyers tell me so. You can't prove anything on me copper, so nyeah, nyeah, nyeah."

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Hm, not bad.

Pink's new(ish; I'm so, like, out of the loop these days) video, "Stupid Girls," as captured by culturekitchen. via youtube.

although Pink w/the long blonde hair and funny faces and self-mocking cleavage-y shots is reminding me a bit of Jenny McCarthy, and not in a good way.

Speaking of roaches: buh-bye, Tom DeLay

Yes indeedy, 'strooth, he's taking his bullwhip and going home.

Shakespeare's Sister has the Cliff Notes/roundup. The bottom line, as they say:

Ever the evasive snake, DeLay failed to mention that his decision may have less to do with a selfless interest in fighting “for the conservative cause,” and more to do with, uh, this:

"The decision came just three days after his former deputy chief of staff, Tony C. Rudy, pleaded guilty to conspiracy and corruption charges, telling federal prosecutors of a criminal enterprise being run out of DeLay's leadership offices."

Wanting to work for a Republican majority...scared stupid about what's coming next... tomato...tomahto. Whatever moves the shit through the pipes is fine by me.

Seeya, Tom.


Hey, there's always the extermination business, waiting to lovingly welcome him back with open mandibles--uhm, arms.

Cockroach consensus and singing spiders

Just a coupla links suggesting that, once again, we're not as unique as we thought. In fact, some of my personal least favorite critters, roaches, apparently "govern themselves in a simple democracy." (From Discovery Channel online via The Huge Entity). I guess if nothing else it makes me feel ever so slightly better about the prospect of the little fuckers inheriting the earth after we've nuked/global warmed/whatever'd ourselves into extinction. Maybe they'll do a better job, after a few hundred millenia to evolve...

Meanwhile, "Female Spiders Love Performers"

Jan. 6, 2005 — Certain female jumping spiders demand that their mates tap dance and sing before they will mate with them, according to new research.

While it is well known that birds sing and bees dance, the addition of Fred Astaire spiders to the story of "the birds and the bees" is relatively new, and suggests that spiders engage in much more sophisticated communication and behavior than previously thought.

All I have to say here is that the little beady eyes still freak me out, although I expect I'd see it differently were I a, you know, spidder.

maybe one of the most-requested tunes is,

"Golly, jee-pers,
where'd you get those peepers,
Jeepers, creepers,
where did you get those eyes?..."

Monday, April 03, 2006

Radical, dewd.

So here comes my own moment of snide: I am havin' issues with the term "radical," especially lately. And no, I expect, it is not entirely fair or rational.

First of all, yes, the denotative meaning of "radical" (as applied to politics) is one I am down with. Or, well, at least some of it:

rad·i·cal (răd'ĭ-kəl) pronunciation

1. Arising from or going to a root or source; basic: proposed a radical solution to the problem.
2. Departing markedly from the usual or customary; extreme: radical opinions on education.
3. Favoring or effecting fundamental or revolutionary changes in current practices, conditions, or institutions: radical political views.
4. Linguistics. Of or being a root: a radical form.
5. Botany. Arising from the root or its crown: radical leaves.
6. Slang. Excellent; wonderful.


1. One who advocates fundamental or revolutionary changes in current practices, conditions, or institutions: radicals seeking to overthrow the social order...


To me the true or best radicals are the ones who are mostly about

1): "going to a root or source."

It is important to do this, and there are people--some who style themselves "radicals," some who don't--whom I respect, very much so.

From there one tends to go to:

"One who advocates fundamental or revolutionary changes in current practices, conditions, or institutions"

--which, well, yes. Theory is no good (to me) unless you can eventually put it into practice. And sure, there is often a need for fundamental change. Depending on what we're talking about and--more important--how, specifically, one plans to implement such, I might be down.

"But if you're talkin' 'bout destruc-ti-ion...don't you know that you can count me out..."

As it happens, though, these days, at least 'round the circles I am most familiar with, "revolutionary" does not usually mean bomb-throwin', building burnin', KILL the fascist pigs. It could do, eventually, I expect, with some people, and that is one reason why I tend to be a bit leery. I mean, I suppose it is possible that that shit can work sometimes (as in has the effect of leading to what you say you want, positive sociopolitical change, better lives), and that it even works better than some other approach might have, or is really the only possible approach left. Maybe. And I'm not saying that I'm such a committed pacifist, or such an enlightened soul (easy enough to cry pacifism from the comfort and safety of one's own home, after all) that I'd vow I could never be violent, or advocate violence, any violence, no matter what the circumstance. But...

I just wonder, you know, what purpose it's actually serving, with a lot of people, this revolutionary zeal. Because I strongly suspect that far more often than not it's a form of expressing older, murkier, less coherent shit, not really calculated for long-term or even short-term consequences at all. Or, not calculated from a reality-based worldview, anyway.

But like I say, I don't currently worry much about this actually happening with the most of the self-styled "revolutionaries" of my acquaintance. Either they are using the term more symbolically, or at least concretely but nonviolently (which again, I could be on board with, depending); or, (she said, more cynically), they are using the Revolution the way certain religious folk use the Apocalypse: a big violently dramatic event in the indefinite future which will wipe out the Bad Guys and deliver them to the Promised Land. Pie in the sky, in other words, except in this case we're more about throwing the pies (which have grenades tucked inside) than actually eating and enjoying them.

Mostly, I tend to see radical as being used in the sense of

2) Departing markedly from the usual or customary; extreme.

Well, sometimes this is simply accurate: relative to the "mainstream," such-and-such a person/group/position is "extreme." Which, fine.

Of course, one recalls that not only is "extreme" based on relativity, but that things change, and what was radical yesterday might be perfectly mainstream today, or nearly. Or, what's radical in one context/setting might be "so what?" in another.

Which, again, fine. ...You would think.

But sometimes, and this is where my knee starts a-jerkin', I do get the strong impression that certain "radicals," far from being delighted that their position is indeed starting to become more widely accepted and practiced, (if perhaps not perfectly so) are, well...rather put out. Oh of course one never says so. Not in so many words. Instead, sometimes, the radical becomes ever-more radical. Everyone I know is starting to eat raw food, just like I advocated? Well, I'm a fruitarian now. Better get with the program and stop eating those legumes; you don't need them. ...What, you think I'm right? Well, uhm, I don't need to eat anything at all! I'm a breatharian! Top THAT. (And, Buy My Book).

More often, instead, a certain stubborn myopia sets in, and, if you don't watch it, you end up coming off a bit like Little Britain's Daffyd, bless your heart.

(DAFFYD dressed from head to toe in shiny latex slutboywear, dripping his rainbow jewelry, nursing a drink in a small local pub full of elderly Welsh people)

DAFFYD: “Oh, Myfanwy, I’m so down. It’s so hard being the only gay in the village. I dream of the day when I will meet other gays who will know what it is like to be a gay.”

MYFANWY: “Oh! That reminds me! Mrs. ___has a new boarder, and do you know! He is a gay!”

D: “What?! What?!”

M: “Oh, look, here he is now.”

(second screaming queen comes into pub, and DAFFYD proceeds to drill him mercilessly, finally determining that he is *not* a Real Gay. newcomer flounces off in a huff:)

“Prrrrrovinical queens!”

D: “This village has a gay already, and that’s me! We don’t need another!”

M: “Daffyd, you bloody fool! You could’ve had a bit of cock, there! ‘I’m the only gay in the village’–you’re full of shit, you are!”

D: “This is exactly the kind of homophobic attitude I’ve come to expect from this village! Good day!”


Of course, my first exposure to the term "radical" was used as in

6) Slang. Excellent; wonderful.

Actually, not "radical;" "rad." The antonym of which, btw, was "gay."

"Dude! Duuuuuuuuude. That's AWESOME, dude. Raaaaaaad."

And, it is hard to shake that off entirely.

Nu, what can I tell you.