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Archive for February, 2012

In Mala Fide posted an article about domestic violence (27 Feb 2012) which I find repellent, but I cannot quite refute. To explain myself, I have to completely bare my “inner mangina”: I abhor violence. I won’t use violence. But I know that “violence works,” at least to the extent that a dog kicked out of the parlor won’t come back into the parlor. Except maybe to bite you in return.

But Ferd’s article linked to another, which had a gem in it. An Asia Times column from 2004, written under the byline of “Spengler” (in honor of German philosopher Oswald Spengler), that spoke harsh truth:

In every corner of the world and in every epoch of history,
the men and women of every culture deserve each other.

– Spengler’s Law of Gender Parity

Harsh? You betcha. But it is karmic truth, and it extends down into your own relationships with others. What goes around, comes around – maybe not in the same fashion, but likely with complementary results.

Spengler wasn’t talking any such nonsense as “women deserve it.” Oh, hell no! He made it clear, from the start, that he did not condone ill-treatment of women. “I take strongest exception,” he said, “to the implication that ‘women’s rights’ and human rights in any way are separable.” But what he was saying was this: Where women are badly-off, so are the men.

And, significantly – where men subjugate women physically, women ravage men psychologically.

Take a look at our society and you can see example after example of women’s psychological savagery toward men. Toward boys. Toward children. Toward each other. Women are past masters of the cutting remark, the belittling comeback, the deflation of the good with a dismissive statement of why “it wasn’t good enough.” Women have refined language into a remarkably versatile tool, and a trenchant weapon. They know just where to slip in the needle, and how to break off its tip.

Men don’t play as well at that game. When it comes to a battle of barbed words, men generally come off second-best.  And a man who “comes off second-best”, even in a conflict of words, is “not good enough to mate.” That, we could say, is the Law of the Jungle.

Furthermore – and worse – all too few women know when to stop, or when to let go of an issue once they’ve won. They’ll keep on pecking, even after they get what they want. They’ll save up old arguments, old disappointments, old anger and frustration, and rub the man’s nose in them again and again. It worked before, and they’ll push it harder and harder. Society doesn’t intervene; it is the woman’s right. He backs down gracefully; she steps up aggressively. He backs down further; she keeps on coming. And eventually she backs him into a corner.

Now what?

It is an unfortunate truth that men, males of our species, tend to respond to conflict with action. We learn it as little boys, who will tussle to establish their pecking order. It is reinforced, though channeled and rendered less dangerous, in the active and physical games that older children will play, and in team sports of all kinds, from baseball and cricket to rugby and American football. It is part and parcel of war, that profession of rough and violent men who defend our borders from enemies without, and in law enforcement, wherein a certain professional class (policemen) are authorized to use violence in response to criminal activity. It is in our genes, this readiness to make war, this recourse to violence in the face of a threat.

But violence against a woman is especially condemned. That starts in childhood, where every boy is repeatedly commanded, “You can’t hit a girl!” (Never mind how the girl might have taunted him, teased him, even hit him herself. Nobody ever tells the girls that they mustn’t hit a boy.) It continues into adolescence, where grown-up boys become infatuated with the grown-up girls around them; and they are charged to be as absolutely-controlled in their behavior as the girls are allowed to run riot. It is reinforced, incessantly in our society, through adulthood, through our courts, through our laws.

So … the man pushes her aside, on his way to the door.

And that self-defensive, minimal physical response – is held to be domestic violence. That calls for the Guns of Government, the courts and the police, to come and restrain him and haul him off to jail. That calls for “civil protective orders,” and eviction from his home, and all the sanctions that Society saves up for a man who “has laid hands on the Woman.”

Now let me repeat, I am not saying this because I condone violence – against anyone. Or at least, not unless that person has started violence first.

But let me ask you this: Women have campaigned, harangued, lobbied, marched upon the capitol, and all-but-rioted in pursuit of a Society that denies them nothing in the way of freedom, privilege and special treatment. They’ve tried to take every possible win out of the hands of men. They have taken over the colleges and universities, with their Women’s Studies; they have taken over the workplace, by stuffing it with “Human Resources” commissars (almost all female) and rules & regulations and policies that make it very uncomfortable to be a man in today’s “Encorpera” environment. They have taken over the family, to the extent that a woman can have their husband booted out of the house by the police, virtually at a whim – without affecting his legal obligation to keep paying the mortgage or the rent for her. They have all but made it illegal to be a man; and I think they’re trying to do even that.

What kind of man do you actually think that the “entitled, empowered, victim” Women Of Today deserve?

They sure as hell don’t deserve me. Not by my lights, they don’t.

I don’t condone physical violence. And I don’t condone the emotional violence of somebody pecking, pecking, pecking at their partner. I have borne up under enough of that in my own life; at the hands of my grandmother, my mother, my aunt, and enough “girlfriends” to have had a surfeit of it.

That’s why I won’t even seek out a girlfriend. I figure I deserve better than what I’ve gotten.  And you, ladies, with your actions and your barbed words, deserve no better than what you’re getting.

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… in Family Court.

Just ask photographer Mark Byron, of Cincinnati, Ohio, who was ordered (by Domestic Relations Court judge Jon Sieve) to take an angry rant about his ongoing divorce off of his Facebook page – or spend 60 days in jail for “contempt of court.”

Mark and Elizabeth Byron were happily-enough married up till the birth of their son in July 2010, but things soon went south. Elizabeth accused Mark of “verbally abusing her, threatening her with his fist, and threatening to ‘end’ her life,” according to the Cincinnati Enquirer. He was found innocent of criminal allegations, but the Domestic Relations Court still issued a “civil protective order” commanding him to stay away from his wife.  He argued that the order also kept him from seeing his son.

Finally, in November 2011, his emotions boiled over in a Facebook post where he blasted the situation, and the Domestic Relations Court system that he believed wronged him:

“If you are an evil, vindictive woman who wants to ruin your husband’s life and take your son’s father away from him completely – all you need to do is say that you’re scared of your husband or domestic partner and they’ll take him away!”

Elizabeth Byron saw his angry post – even though her husband blocked her from viewing his page – and she took him to court over it, alleging that it violated a previous protective order by Domestic Relations Court Magistrate Paul Meyers that prevented Mark Byron from doing anything to cause his wife “to suffer physical and/or mental abuse, harassment, annoyance, or bodily injury.” She said the rant, and the comments made to it by Mark’s friends, embarrassed her, and that meant it was “harassment.”

A page she was blocked from reading; a rant that she deliberately sought out, which leads me to suppose that she was cyber-stalking the victim of her destructive divorce. Or did her attorney show it to her? Or some other – put this in scare-quotes – “friend”? Doesn’t matter. The gavel of Domestic Relations Law was on its way down to Mark’s nuts. Magistrate Meyers found him “in contempt of court,” and ordered him to be arrested March 13th – unless Mark removed the rant from his Facebook page, and posted an apology to his wife that would have to remain in place for 30 days.

Hanni Fakhoury, a staff attorney with the San Francisco-based Electronic Frontier Foundation, said the rulings are unique and “raise quite a few” free speech issues. That’s putting it mildly.

Mark Byron’s statement – at least the excerpt that has been published after the legal reprisal at the hands of Magistrate Meyers and Judge Sieve – could be said of any “evil, vindictive woman” in the United States or in numerous other “First Feminist World” countries. “I’m scared of him,” said even as a provable lie, is enough to start the testicle-mills of Family Court to a-grinding. Our legal system, together with our Main Scream Media system, stand hair-trigger ready to smash the reputation, the finances, the family life, of any man confronted with even the most specious accusation of wrong-doing, wrong-saying, even wrong-thinking. It’s the law, chum, Ve Arrre Chust Following Orrrders!

Mark Byron’s Facebook page now carries an apology so fulsome, so self-abasing, as to make it clear that it was written with a gun to his head. And Family Court is ready to put that gun to your head, too.

____________________

Follow this link for the story in the Cincinnati Examiner.

Follow this link for coverage in the London Daily Mail, including Mark Byron’s court-forced apology.

Follow this link for Mark Byron’s Facebook page.

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A recent comment on A Voice For Men brought my attention to a new-to-me feminist blog, “Gamers Are Embarrassing.” I’ve got to admit that my near-complete absorption with the Manosphere brought me to think the “gamers” being targeted were the Pick-Up Artist crowd; and I could see how those “gamers” could embarrass feminists, by charming the pants off of them quite literally.

No, it wasn’t. “Gamers Are Embarrassing” is all about the guys who have more fun chasing pixels than chasing skirts. Even more embarrassing, the blog is ranting-and-raving about guys who find the Mating Dance so hostile a field that they’d rather avoid it all and battle their way through Duke Nukem or Super Street Fighter or Grand Theft Auto …

Speaking as a lamer-gamer who takes the occasional break with Spider Solitaire, I must admit I’m way behind the times with these things. Perhaps I spend too much time on the boat to appreciate the importance of video games, or role-playing games, or World of Warcraft, or the like. (Please, if you get the idea I’m putting them down, I don’t mean to do so. I speak out of ignorance, not out of malice.)

But the writer of “Gamers Are Embarrassing” does speak out of malice. And very heatedly, too, in terms that are unquestionably crude, rude, shaming and insulting.  Such liberal, sometimes almost exclusive, use of the “Seven Words Banned By The FCC,” results in a diatribe the likes of which would get a man thrown the hell out of any well-run bordello in the Western World.  Yes, thrown so hard he’d bounce twice.

To what end? What is the major and overwhelming sociological disaster that leads “Gamers Are Embarrassing” to spread so much spleen across so much bandwidth? The most heavily-commented post on the front end of the blog would seem to answer that question:

Who Needs Love When You Can Have Videogames?

The shaming is laid on thick, the contempt is harsh. Any alternative point of view gets an immediate slap-down from the blogger, all to a constant theme of “it’s all the gamer’s fault.” No tolerance at all for the fellow who prefers video games to sitting “parked in front of (the TV) with you simply to get some ‘together time’.”

Underlying all the shame, the blame, the frothing foaming rabid monologue … it appears to me there is an overwhelming current of narcissism. An attitude of “How dare you be interested in something other than me, me, MEEEEEEEE!!!!!!”

Well, gee. If you’re so completely wrapped-up in yourself, ladies, you make a pretty small package. Something on the order of an “emotional black hole,” absorbing all the attention you can get and infinitely hungry for more, more, more. Anything that takes away the attention of your vic- ah, “boyfriend,” is intolerable and shameful and wrong, in your eyes.

And what about your interests? What about your demands? What gives them precedence over his interests and goals and pleasures, outside of your head?

As Alek Novy, who brought this blog to AVfM’s attention, puts it:

What does that say about women? Think about it… If a man would rather spend time with a bunch of pixels rather than spend time with you – what does that say about you? If you get beaten by a bunch of pixels, or some round white thing traveling around the screen (sports)?

______________________

A few good links:

A Voice For Men has brought out a trifecta of stellar posts in the last week, with Setting the record straight (20 Feb 2012), Sexual privilege checklist (21 Feb 2012),  and Double standards: the sine qua non of misandry (23 Feb 2012). There is a reason that Paul Elam’s site is the most heavily-visited Men’s Rights site on the Internet.

Judge Orders Man to Post Facebook Apology to Ex-Wife (The Spearhead, 24 Feb 2012) is a textbook example of double standards and misandry in the courts. The apology is eloquent of Stalinist show-trials, and the story is neatly counter-balanced with feminist lawyer Gloria Allred’s “victory for (feminist) free speech” described in the second comment to Welmer’s original post.

The False Rape Society has a couple of fresh items that have me scratching my head: Female animal oppression taken up by feminists and Date Rape lie led to revenge.

I went to Spacetraveller’s The Sanctuary in search of something to lighten up … and I suppose you could say I found it with her Feminism: A simple case of adult P-envy? (23 Feb 2012). Her description of watching a ‘master class’ on boxing, followed by a surely-hilarious bout between the male and female reporters doing the documentary, was certainly a well-needed piece of comedy relief.

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The Violence Against Women Act is up for renewal in the U.S. Congress, and – most remarkably – it’s facing some opposition. I say “most remarkably” because “violence against women” is the kind of issue that gets automatic support from every level of Authority – like “Mom, apple pie, and the Flag,” it is not to be questioned. In fact, the opposition is directed only at a few new provisions in the reauthorization — specifically, protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals; expanded visas and protection for undocumented immigrants who are victims of domestic abuse; and the authority of Native American tribes to prosecute crimes.

Unquestioned and ignored, though, is the underlying injustice of this bill – that it designates Woman as the Victim, always the Victim. It completely ignores violence done to men, unless perhaps they are gay or transgendered. More than that, it designates men as the villain – and specifically targets them for State-sponsored violence, at the hands of the Law, the Courts, and the Domestic Violence Industry. All for the sake of the Woman, the poor, poor Woman, who can beat on men with impunity but can have a man arrested for blocking her attack.

A recent article about female-on-male violence, on Britain’s Daily Mail Online website, included this figure:

According to recent British Crime Survey statistics, a third of domestic violence victims are male. That’s 400,000 men a year. At least. ‘All the evidence suggests it’s much more widespread than the figures suggest,’ says John Mays of the equal rights organisation Parity. ‘Between one third and 40 per cent of domestic abuse cases are female perpetrator and male victim, and it’s a sad fact that this isn’t generally known.’

It’s easy to project a series of knee-jerk reactions to that statement:

“This can’t be true. We never hear of female-on-male violence that way!”
“But men are bigger and everybody knows they’re more violent.”
“These women are just defending themselves against those violent men.”
“What did these guys do to deserve to get beat up by their women?”
“It can’t be the woman’s fault. It must be the man’s fault.”

I offer that last item as a summation of “Society’s Wisdom” about female-perpetrator, male-victim violence. It doesn’t fit the “Woman Good, man BAD” gospel. Society will spin up its “rationalization engine” immediately to cover for a woman’s violence, where it will simply kick a man in his nuts for defending himself against her violence. This approach is actually enshrined in the “Duluth Model,” created by the Duluth, Minnesota Domestic Abuse Intervention Project; a program that simply equates violence with masculinity, under which a woman’s violence is excused or ignored and the focus of blame is directed squarely and solely on the man.

Men are, on average, bigger and stronger than women. This doesn’t equate to “more violent,” any more than it equates to “invulnerable.” Men hold ourselves in check because of that advantage; we’re most carefully taught that from childhood, when “hitting a girl” was a cardinal sin. (But what about a girl hitting, or kicking, a boy? Hear the crickets …) Women have no such qualms; if anything, they’re encouraged to believe that they can’t do any “real” damage, and Society is encouraged to believe that any damage women inflict on men is not to be taken seriously.

In fact, men are routinely punished for being battered. As researcher Malcolm George put it, in his article Riding the Donkey Backwards: Men as the Unacceptable Victims of Marital Violence (The Journal of Men’s Studies, Volume 3, Number 2, November 1994):

In post-Renaissance France and England, society ridiculed and humiliated husbands thought to be battered and/or dominated by their wives. In France, for instance, a “battered” husband was trotted around town riding a donkey backwards while holding its tail. In England, “abused” husbands were strapped to a cart and paraded around town, all the while subjected to the people’s derision and contempt.

And even without the donkey, today’s society still ridicules and humiliates the battered husband, the battered boyfriend, the male victim of female violence. Even before the Duluth Model was formulated and adopted, police called to a woman-beats-man scenario would laugh it off, dismiss the bleeding-and-bruised victim entirely, and threaten to arrest him if they were called back. His neighbors, his friends, his family are quick to dismiss him as well. “Grow some balls!” might be the gentlest thing he would hear. “What did you do to cause it?” would be the most common. Walking on eggshells – striving not to trigger more violence – becomes his only, futile defense.

Is there any less societal contempt being exhibited in the Duluth Model, the current standard for dealing with domestic violence? Certainly not. In fact, there is more. There is no help, only “treatment” reminiscent of Maoist “re-education”, for the man in a violent relationship; no matter the facts, he is the Designated Villain. There is no treatment, only insitutional favoritism and excuses, for the woman who beats up on her husband while he tries only to block her blows.

The VAWA takes this further, by providing Federal funding for community efforts to reinforce the Duluth Model and expand it to take in as much territory as possible. The terms for its renewal, if anything, make it more lucrative for communities to seek out men to blame as “Designated Villains” and women to uphold as “Designated Victims.”

It becomes more and more evident, to more and more men, that the only sane and self-preserving thing we can do is to avoid relationships with potentially-violent women. More and more of us are saying of  the Mating Dance what “Joshua,” the computer in War Games, said about thermonuclear war – “A strange game. The only winning move is not to play.” It won’t stop women from becoming violent, but “not playing,” not being there in the first place, may keep a man from being the target of her domestic violence.

____________________

Further reference:

MenWeb (www.batteredmen.com) is devoted to the men-as-victims side of the Domestic Violence argument.

Riding The Donkey Backwards” (cited above) details the perspective on women’s violence against men, as viewed in the 1970s to early 1990s.

Dewar Research is a British organization that “seeks to provide information generally on the issue of Domestic Violence, in particular on the victimisation of men in domestic relationships and the nature and prevalence of abuse by female partners.”

References Examining Assaults By Women On Their Spouses or Male Partners: An Annotated Bibliography (Martin S. Fiebert, California State University, Long Beach; last updated May 2011) is a list of 282 scholarly investigations which demonstrate that women are as physically aggressive, or more aggressive, than men in their relationships with their spouses or male partners.

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My last few months have been … interesting, as in the ancient Chinese saying “May you live in interesting times.” It’s five months since I found Dear Auntie on her bedroom floor, hours after she’d had one stroke too many; I have spent a lot of those five months, dealing with the nearly fifty years of “saved memories” that filled her house. It has been, by turns, surprising, frustrating, hilarious, and heartbreaking. Occasionally it’s made even more poignant by the fact that this was my boyhood home.

And it has rubbed my nose in a lesson that I should’ve always borne in mind:

Just as you own your “stuff”, your stuff owns you.

My first task was to select the furniture to go into her new studio apartment. There was room for her bed, her living-room couch, a couple of easy chairs, and two dressers from her bedroom (one of which had to go into her walk-in closet, along with such of her clothes as would fit and be useful to her). I brought over what I could of her favorite treasures – like the display case she had in her dining room, full of her Hayden-Renaker porcelain horses – but I was left with a lot more stuff that would never fit. And my major task, in getting her house ready for market, has been that of clearing out the remains.

Some of it’s been funny, although frustrating. She hadn’t touched her son’s room after he died in 1987. I found nearly a decade’s worth of Playboy and Penthouse magazines, plus over a hundred plastic model kits that he’d stashed in his closet and in the attic. His bedroom walls were papered over with girlie posters from the 1980s, and he had duplicates for all of them on one closet shelf. Other things have been kind of, well, heartbreaking – like the chopped-off ponytail, long and bronze, that Grammy had saved when Dear Auntie decided to change to a page-boy cut; or the Capezio toe-shoes left over from her first career as a professional dancer. And I found boxes and boxes and boxes of photos – this after Dear Auntie had declared that she never took any photos, didn’t have any in the house.

And the papers. Saved receipts, account books that she kept all her life (she was utterly particular about writing down every cent that she spent), bank statements, old love-letters … good grief! I found over $1000 in cash, stashed in different dresser-drawers in her room and my cousin’s. I found silver ingots, old silver dollars, and her sterling table service from her first marriage. I took just-about-all of Dear Auntie’s jewelry over to “Shady Pines” with her.

It took me four months to go through everything properly. Some of the extras went to a consignment store near her place; some went to the Salvation Army, including boxes and boxes and boxes of books. I found “good homes” for some unlikely stuff through a Yahoo! group called “Freecycle,” and I was every bit as happy to get it out as the takers were to receive it. Finally the house is empty and clean, with fresh paint on the walls and ceilings and fresh varnish on the old hardwood floors; our realtor put it on the market yesterday with an open house that attracted a lot of interest (and should result in a good offer).

That brings me back to my nose-burning lesson about “your stuff owns you.”

I acquired my own “stuff-habit” in childhood. Learned it from my mom, from Dear Auntie, from my grandma. It was probably a matter of insecurity, on several levels; my gut feeling is, “if my stuff is there it’s okay for me to be there too.” It doesn’t help that I am addicted to the printed word, fond of re-reading favorite books and hanging on to magazines that have articles I want to keep for reference. And it’s too easy for me to see the possible value in something and say, “Well, I really ought to hang on to that, shouldn’t I?”

So, all too often, I do. Just as Cousin Mark did. Just as Dear Auntie did. And therefore I’m “hanging on to” a houseful of “stuff.”

As long as you’re staying put, this problem seems “minimal.” But what if you’re going to move? What if you have a goal to “sail beyond the sunset” – or to make yourself a new home in a new land? What are you going to do with all that “stuff” – sell it, give it away, throw it away? And when the day comes that you can’t handle the task any more … what then?

Well, that’s what I’ve just done with some 90% of Dear Auntie’s stuff, isn’t it?

Now that I’ve done that, I need to start the bigger task of handling my stuff. A bigger task, I say, because I have my emotions involved in this. With everything I examine, I’m going to be asking myself, “Why was I keeping this? What was I planning to do with it? What value did I place on it? And why do I think I might need it some day?” The inconsequentials will be easiest; the fond mementos will be tough; the real treasures may be heart-wrenching. But even a big sailing yacht will have room for less than 5% of my belongings, so I’ll have to be ruthless toward the end.

I’m going to be breaking the habit of a lifetime. I almost need a Twelve-Step Program to achieve my goal. But this “stuff,” these “inconsequential treasures,” these years of collected memories, are now standing in the way of my dreams.

____________________

Setting The Record Straight (A Voice For Men, 20 Feb 2012) is a frank review of thirteen subjects of men’s rights, which have been distorted in the service of Female Supremacy. Robert St. Estephe documents the historical record, and it’s not what “Mommy/Teachers/The Sisterhood” have been telling you … hence, this “weapon of mass instruction.

Courageous (The Elusive Wapiti, 20 Feb 2012) is a review of the latest “made-for-the-congregation” movie about fatherhood and the definition of “righteous men.” As with “Fireproof,” though, the movie is laden with man-shaming, guilt-tripping, and “it’s all the men’s fault” …

No Man’s Land (Jack Donovan) is a triad of articles about the way that masculinity has been maligned, re-imagined and mis-represented by others. He has brought them together as a free e-book.

Davis-Bacon “Equality” (The Spearhead, 19 Feb 2012) relates Keoni Galt’s experiences on a major renovation project at the Pearl Harbor Naval Station. “Equal Work Deserves Equal Pay” – but he shows how and why some workers are “more equal than others” at the hiring and the firing time.

Friendship 7 lifts off - 20 Feb 1962

Today, 20 Feb 2012, is the 50th anniversary of the first US manned orbital flight. Astronaut and Senator John Glenn, who rode “Friendship 7” into history on that day, finds it a bittersweet anniversary; especially so since we have to cadge a ride from the Russians – our Cold-War adversaries of Project Mercury’s day – to access the International Space Station that was lofted into orbit by our now-retired Space Shuttle program.

Those first days of the Space Program, from the “International Geophysical Year” (1957-1958) through the Apollo lunar-landing program, were heady with the promise of a space-based future. Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey looked like the future to us, and despite the dark tone of the movie, the future looked mighty good. The reality of today, of our place in space, is far less exciting – have we turned away from the long goals, the daring goals, in the pursuit of a kinder, gentler, more comfortable, more inclusive, less-elitist society?

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Many, perhaps most, bloggers are projecting their beliefs into the future. These are people who have a stake in the future. People who are young enough, themselves, to feel self-assured about living well into the future; people who have children, and who are worried about their future.

I find myself, more and more, unresponsive to that luxury.

At nearly sixty years old, I have had to come to grips with my mortality. As a spiritual being, I believe in my own continuance; but that particular continuance is not contingent on the survival of “HERE.” As a corporeal being, I know this body will die in a few decades; “I vill coagulate,” as Alfred Korzybski put it, and this living tent of protoplasm will cease operating, will rot and need to be buried. As a “blood-line” … as the continuance of the DNA of my parents, and their parents, and so back into genetic history … I have already given up.

There will be no re-mixing of my chromosomes. There will be no half-continuance of my genetic essence, with that of a mate, into some hypothetical (or, perhaps, “hypocritical”) next generation. No woman gave a rat’s patoot about my fitness for such a continuance – well, maybe there was one; but she came along far, far too late. My line ends with me.

My mother died when she was 28 years older than I am today. She wasn’t concerned with the future of her DNA; she was concerned with her own welfare, and I was a good and dutiful and loving son in that regard.  My grandmother survived to age 96. My last remaining elder, my mom’s sister, is 91 – and her mind has gone skeewoggy after a series of debilitating strokes. I’m not even sure if the “She” who lived those experiences of Dear Aunties life, still remembers, still lives on. Dear Auntie’s son died young, at age 26; a brain tumor, of a variety that usually strikes down young children. Well, Dear Auntie kept him as much a “little child” as she could, all his short life.

My own “time horizon,” then, is limited to the years that this particular sack of protoplasm, the one that I inhabit as “BeijaFlor, can expect to continue, to experience the joys of peristalsis, to continue such a level of organized activity that the heart still beats, the muscles still contract, the skeleton still stands erect, and I can continue to drive the body.

So what should I put after that ellipsis? The future of me? The future of man? The future of humanity? Of the human race?

I have a hard time believing that any of those mean much to more than a tiny minority in my homeland, the United States of America, or even the world.

“The future of the Self” is personally important to every living being; but few of us look far ahead. “Am I surviving today?” is cardinal! “Will I survive tomorrow?” seems to be less important; too many of us live for today. There’s an excuse for this, in that he who dies today will have no life anyways tomorrow. But there are too many stories, too much evidence, of people who will enjoy today without a thought of the morrow.

“The future of the Children” does get a lot of lip-service. It should get more than “lip-service.” It deserves our active participation, if there is to be a future for the Children, a future for Humanity, a future generation. As for me, though, I have no children. (At any rate, nobody has sent me a Father’s Day card signed “Guess Who!”) And no woman has given me to believe that she thought well of my potential as a sire for her children. Certainly not any conclusive evidence.

So how about … the future of you. Of your society. Of your family, your children, if you have any children.

Financially, for starters: I’m afraid your society is kiting too many checks, in the interest of providing “bread and circuses for the masses.” Of course, my saying so may mark me as provincial – I’m speaking as a USA citizen, and our eager efforts to increase our national debt make the notorious “drunken sailor” look quite abstemious and utterly frugal. This money is going in all kinds of directions – save for any that would power-up the productive class, the actual job creators. What money isn’t being borrowed is being siphoned away from them.

Sociologically, your society is penalizing those who make things work, to support those who offer nothing but evidence of neediness and victimhood and poor-poor-me-ism. There are a lot more people “on the bottom of the ladder” than there are on the upper rungs, and politicians count on votes, not jobs. Too many of us figure that “TANSTAAFL” applies to others, not to them. Too many of us don’t pay attention to how the Government has to pay for social programs, by “robbing Peter to pay Paul.”

Sexually – in a fashion that spills over into the sociological and financial aspects – things are completely backwards. Do you really want to raise … a “family”? Or are you going after a kid or two, on whose basis you can get more benefits, and who you’ll be able to train and shame into taking care of you in your dotage? While we’re at it, why has Society worked so hard to reduce the proud and difficult role of Father into that of a financial pack-mule, a walking wallet regarded as “useless (except for the money)” by the current version of the civil-law system?

Can you come up with more ways that Society is shooting itself in the foot? I’m sure we could. I’m not going to try, right now, my head aches; so I’ll fill this out with some recent links:

All Men Are Official Suspects (The Spearhead, 13 Feb 2012). A grandfather gets arrested, cuffed and manhandled by enough police to make up a riot squad, just for taking his granddaughter for a walk.

Steven Fisher’s Lies To Australian Men (A Voice For Men, 8 Feb 2012). The “White Ribbon Campaign” shames all men for the actions of a few, and ignores the fact that more men are assaulted by the women in their lies than vice-versa.

Girls Gone Hyper (Wall Street Journal Online, 14 Feb 2012). WSJ columnist James Taranto examines the conflict between female hypergamy – not a human trait alone, but one we share with the whole animal kingdom – and the way that women have been given the upper hand in society today.

As Mancession Fades, Women Suffer (The Spearhead, 10 Feb 2012). When men can’t pay their taxes, because they’ve been fired or laid off from their productive jobs, where is the State going to get the money to pay the women who suck at its monetary teat?

How I became an MRA: Domestic violence advocacy (A Voice For Men, 11 Feb 2012). A behind-the-scenes look at female-on-male domestic violence, from a man who grew up victim to his mother’s violence.

Good luck with that future of yours.

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Veni, Vidi, Abii

I’ve lifted this title from a comment by Spacetraveller on her blog, The Sanctuary. For reasons I detailed back in my first posts, she was the “midwife” for this baby – and her post on MGTOW, that I’ve linked, started the labor. Thank you, again, Spacetraveller. I hope you don’t regret it … 😉

“Veni, Vidi, Vici” is a famous utterance from Julius Caesar, his report about the uprisings in Gaul: “I came, I saw, I conquered.” It is the message that Society has evidently come to expect from men; that they came upon the situation, or circumstance; they saw the problem; and they conquered the wrongdoer, thereby saving the day. It’s a common theme of classic theatre, from Aeschylus, via Shakespeare, to Rodgers & Hammerstein. The hero saves the day – and lives, or dies, according to the plot.

(Of course, we’ve seen variations on this. Robert Heinlein, in his Time Enough For Love, re-wrote it as “I came, I saw, she conquered” – asserting that “the original Latin seems to have been garbled.” And there’s the classic-but-crude “Vidi, Vici, Veni” which should not need translation. But I digress.)

Everybody loves a hero, certainly everyone in the audience. And since man began, there have been ways big and little in which a man could aspire to be “a bit of hero” – at least to his mate and their children, at least for a day. That warmth of their appreciation for “their hero,” at the end of a hard day or a hard task, brought (and brings) a lot to a man’s life; when Junior jumps in his lap to give him a hug, and Mommy smiles and joins in to embrace her Hubby too, that does a wonderful lot to ease the hurts of “life out there.”

But that’s changed, for the worse, over the past forty or fifty years. There’s less and less room for a Daddy-Hero, or a Honey-Hero, in today’s script. The current fashion is to turn Daddy into the villain of the piece – the Monster Down The Hall, in a recent Verizon “public-service” video, or the “creep” in the office down the hall, or the “man that never was.” The hero’s role has been ceded to the Strong, Independent, Brave, Courageous Woman, and the best a man can hope for is a role as the Fall Guy, the Comic Foil. (If you don’t believe me, go watch a couple of episodes of “Everybody Loves Raymond,” or “Two And A Half Men,” or countless other rom-coms that put the guys down hard in favor of the women.)

So an increasing number of men are re-writing the old quote:

Veni, Vidi, Abii.

I came … I saw … I left.

What is there to conquer, in this modern world? The bad guys? We are “the bad guys,” for the most part, in the script of Modern Society. We are the Official “Ones To Blame” for every incident, for every inequity, for every problem or struggle that shows up on Society’s tee-vee screens. We are damned if we do, and damned if we don’t, and damned if we dither about whether to do or not.

Oddly enough, the complaints tend to cease when there’s something to do that “takes a man.” Something as small as a spider that needs to be put outside – oh, not killed, not in today’s Kind To Animals world. Something as mechanical as a car that won’t start. Something scary, or apt to trigger apprehension in the Suddenly-Not-So-Strong Heroine. No, no, no, better let a man do it.

And then? When he “conquers” and saves the day, or the car, or the spider? Oh, well, that’s just what a man has to do. No appreciation need be offered, beyond a curt “thank you” – in fact, many Strong Heroines disdain that, and even strive to “take back points” by archly informing the man how “he could have done it better.”

And sometimes, the would-be hero is flipped into the villain, or the victim. How about this case, where a woman asked a fellow if she could stay the night at his place – for unknown reasons – then accused him falsely of rape when he refused her  advances? Or this case, where policemen in Shavertown, PA (police are a hero’s occupation, aren’t they?) arrested an underage woman for “disorderly conduct” – and she tried to accuse them with a false-rape claim? There are more of the same, oftener than we know, and different ways that a would-be rescuer can get victimized.

Sometimes the “better part of valor” … is to just leave.

Does it really surprise you that more and more “could-be heroes” are taking the word “hero” off their shingles? The difference between “hero” and “zero” is only one letter, and it appears that more and more of us are getting that quick Zorro-slash to mark us as the latter.

There’s another word for “hero” in many of the classic plays, the stories, the Massive Multiple-Player Role Playing Games that we participate in as real life. That word is … target. And more and more men are noticing that “target” is the default role into which they’re being dressed and placed. And the compensation these reluctant heroes might once have had, the admiration and thanks of those close to them, the appreciation of Society … just aren’t there, any more.

When we question the role, the rest of the cast, the stage crew, and the script-writers start shaming us for our dereliction.  “Cowards,” they call us. “Eternal adolescents. Losers. Wimps. You’ll never get loved. You’re creepy and disgusting. Goddammit, MAN UP!!!”

And we’re supposed to like that? We’re supposed to accept the shame and the blame, knuckle down, accept the role, and come to the table dressed and served by the Kanamits as the sacrificial centerpiece of the banquet?

Exeunt, stage left.

____________________

I’ve spotted a couple of recent blog-posts that really deserve attention:

If The Genders Be Reversed (The Spearhead, 15 Feb 2012) asks a critical – and necessary – question about “Gender Equality” as it’s being practiced today: “If the genders were reversed, would the outcome be the same?” The truth would be comic if it weren’t so tragic.

Components Of Bullying (A Voice For Men, 16 Feb 2012) shines a glaring light on social aggression, the covert sniping style of undermining, false-friendship and masked hostility that is the preferred fighting form of the sociopath – and of the feminist movement.

Weakness is a mighty weapon for fragile feminist crybaby girls: The Sexual Harassment Industry (Human Stupidity.com) “Sexual harassment” is, to the public space, what divorce is to marriage: highly disruptive, gender-polarized, and profitable as hell to the bloodsuckers who work in the business.

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Rupture

Have you ever noticed yourself in a situation where you think you’re in the middle of a conversation with someone … and you suddenly discover that the two of you have merely been making noises at each other? You’re using similar noises, but the meanings and things and experiences you’re labeling with those noises are fundamentally so different, that there’s a chasm of misunderstanding between you beside which the Marianas Trench would be as a rut in a road.

Samuel Delany, the science-fiction author, called this phenomenon “rupture”.

It’s a phenomenon that, I think, might be illustrated in the exchange I chronicled in Escape From The Village.  I believe it could be caused by our using different maps to describe our environment. For instance, Spacetraveller’s “village” was on my map as “plantation”; her refuge was my trap.  Or, more simply, the words we were using did not refer to the same things – feelings, or concepts, or situations, or things.  She said “chair,” I heard “snare.”

Could the misunderstanding between men and women be as “simple” as that?  (“Simple,” more as in “basic” than as in “easy”.)  Or could it be more organic; could it relate to actual structural differences between men’s and women’s brains?  Could such concepts as “equality,” or “responsibility,” or “entitled,” or “victim,” mean something different to men and women because of hard-wired differences between men and women?

I hope not.  The differences are there, but they don’t define our words for us.  Just as Society mandates that the differences between male and female – whether hidden like the corpus callosum (the ‘bridge’ between the left and right hemispheres of the brain), or obvious like breasts or genitalia – is not permitted to divide our social roles, words and their meanings ought not divide our understanding of the world we share.

And yet – apparently – words do.  Or – more accurately, in my opinion – factions in Society use different meanings, and enforce their meanings, in order to control the public debate and subvert language for their own ends.

Take “equality”, for example.  What is the cardinal meaning of that, to you?  “All men are created equal” – a phrase from the Declaration of Independence, of the USA.  Are you going to accept the original writer’s meaning that “All men are equal in the eyes of God;” are you going to look at the men, women and children around you, and protest “But they’re all different;” or are you going to get riled up because “those old dead patriarchs didn’t include WOMEN in that phrase!”  Those are awful simplifications, but … haven’t we seen all three, and more, reactions to that phrase?

What about “patriarchy”? My battered-and-tattered old Funk & Wagnalls  dictionary defines it as “a system of social organization in which descent and succession are traced through the male line.” Feminists seem to define it as “the Devil Incarnate” or something like that, but it’s hard for me to interpret just what their interpretation might actually be, for all their rantings and ravings.

Here’s another: “Domestic Violence.” My understanding of that would be “a violent assault by any one member of a family, toward another.” The family-law system appears to define it differently; something like “anything a man does that irks his wife.” When the Australian Plan actually labels the common male tactic of “keeping quiet to keep the peace” as Domestic Violence, something is SERIOUSLY screwed up.

Or … the classic “Victim.” Used to mean someone who was killed by something – a victim of homicide, of genocide, of war. You could also use it to denote someone injured or disfigured by an attack, an accident, or an illness – “a victim of alcohol abuse.” But feminists use it as a favorite complaint, “We are victims of the patriarchy!” And states … persons use it in some interesting ways, too, such as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton pronouncing that “women are the primary victims of war; they lose their husbands, their fathers, their sons …” How do they “lose” them? Men are killed and buried in mass graves, while the women are hauled off to refugee camps under the auspices of the International Red Cross. I for one would rather be a live refugee than a dead “patriarch”.

And how about the “SCUM Theatre” video, from Sweden, that started with a woman shooting a man in the head and went on with several women partying around his corpse? (“When is a death threat funny?” – A Voice For Men, 27 Nov 2011) Supposedly this was inspired by Valerie Solanas’ S.C.U.M. Manifesto, a tirade and a call-to-violence from the woman who shot Andy Warhol. We are commanded to recognize it for the “joke” its apologists want us to believe it is. Apologists, moreover, who will blow up in your face, if you say something that takes their beliefs lightly.

It could be that the above-noted structural differences between male and female, are what’s causing this rupture of communication between men and women. But to me, it seems more likely that feminists and feminist polemic are at the root of it, with this “failure to communicate” being used intentionally to confuse The Powers That Be, and the imposition of “feelings” instead of rational discourse is to snow the legislatures into passing laws that “feel good” to the women – but work their wrongs on the men.

____________________

Five minutes after I published this, I found another good example: Justice.

This is beautifully shown in the person of Judge Kelly Ballentine, of Lancaster, PA. In her six years on the bench, she has committed at least 12 criminal acts; she gave a “Get Out Of Jail Free” card to her cocaine-dealing boyfriend, after a traffic stop where police found a loaded 9mm Luger under his car seat (she grabbed his gun for him, too); she falsely accused a man of rape, and had to be dragged out of the courtroom when they declared him innocent.

Justice indeed. At the very least, a judge with questionable judgment.

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February 14th. Day of hearts and flowers, sacred to Love.

For me, a day of … saudade.

The word is Portuguese … the language of Brazil, of samba and bossa-nova, of quiet nights and quiet stars; the language brought to Brazil by its mother-country Portugal, clinging to the west end of Europe. The language of Prince Henry the Navigator, Royal Patron of Explorers, who died thirty years before Columbus reached the Americas; a language as much that of adventure as French is the language of love.

Saudade” is translated, offhandedly, as “nostalgia” in the pocket dictionary I carried in Brazil. The translation falls so short of its meaning, of the depths of its roots in the Portuguese – and Brazilian – heart. It is the ruling passion of “fado,” the classical-but-still-alive music of Lisbon and Coimbra, that skilfully blends joy and pain in its own bittersweet way. It is a shadow, not so much a darkness as the fading of sunset light, in the Portuguese – and the Brazilian – soul. It includes nostalgia, yes, and pining for loved ones lost; but also the awareness that Paradise itself will pass on, and the longing for that which once might have been … but can never be again, nevermore.

And, for me, especially today, it’s a feeling that lives in my heart, in the space that was vacated by the hopes I held for romantic love, “someday”. For the someday that will never be. Saudade is not something that one can label, but something you have to experience, you have to feel.

Hoje, estou morrendo de saudades.

My own saudade was awakened, a few mornings ago, while I was browsing around the website of one of my favorite writers, “Cap’n Fatty” Goodlander, and followed his link to a love-letter to his wife, Carolyn. Its header is a portrait of her, in a tropical garden, and what overwhelms me is that her eyes, even after forty-plus years at sea with Fatty, are full of the bright wonder of a child, and her smile eloquent of the joie de vivre of a fresh-into-womanhood teenager. And his story is a tender tribute to her, and a testament that he still sees that bright wonder in her, and that he is ever-thankful that she shares his life with him.

His love story, their love story, still growing, still going ever-stronger, reminds me of what might-have-been. It rouses my awareness of “the presence of absence,” as the fado artists say. Their love story is a “something” whose absence in my life … I used to grieve.

A love like theirs would have had to happen, for me, thirty or forty years ago – maybe twenty-five years, at the latest. I’d have had to be that young, footloose boat-bum with an impossible dream; someone would have to have been attracted to me for that dream, with a wild adventurous spirit of her own. We might have been as different as oil and water, but we would have fitted together like yin and yang, opposites but utterly complementary. And we would have had to share a lifetime of adventure, of storms weathered and hurricanes survived, of insurmountable problems surmounted and unreachable goals accomplished, of hard times and good times, and love as a steady undercurrent throughout – to get to where Fatty & Carolyn are today.

And such a love would have to have grown up in a Society where a man’s worth was counted in more than utility and sacrifice; one where a woman’s dreams would be “what can we do together!” rather than “What can he do for me?”

Such a world has passed on, years ago. It was killed by the strident demands for “Equality!” from those who weren’t satisfied by actual equality, who grasp now for supremacy. It was laid to rest by a court system that rewards an ex-wife’s anger with riches milked from her ex-husband’s responsibility. And it was buried by an acculturation, forced by the schools, the laws, and the mainstream media, that scorns and demonizes man while it pedestalizes Woman.

I grew up in the old world, grew mature in the changing world, and I’m “growing older but not up” in the dystopic world of today. I’ve learned to live my life on my own; I take pleasure in the company of others, but I’ve learned the folly of relying on “others” for happiness or social validation. I find satisfaction in helping others, and in working with others to achieve common goals; but I draw the line at self-sacrifice, at altruism and self-abnegation proffered to Woman “for the sake of her smile,” or in hopes of winning her acceptance, or just because she – and Society – demand it.

And yet, I still feel a wistful longing for that certain special “what might have been” in my own life. And for that old world, that old Society, that still favored it. For that, which can never be again, I feel … saudade.

Happy Valentine’s Day, Carolyn & Fatty. May your love be forever.

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A frequent theme in literature, as in life, is the Eternal Triangle of Man, Woman – and interloper. A married couple, in the usual portrayal, whose pair-bond is strained by the presence and attentions of another; the lovely stranger who captures the desire of the man, the handsome rogue who captures the desire of the woman. The subject of the whole story, of course, is the strains that are visited on the pair-bond, and the attempts of the jilted partner to win back the heart of the partner gone astray.

For the past few decades, though, the Eternal Triangle has gained a new and sinister interloper. It doesn’t come to steal your partner’s heart, or to steal you away from the bonds of an old relationship. It comes instead, as a “White Knight,” to rescue the “afflicted, powerless, victimized” partner of a strained marriage from the “dominating, dangerous, threatening” other; and it brings not seduction or flattery to the table, but overwhelming power – guns and handcuffs and restraining orders, and a court system to back up its will.

The new Eternal Triangle is Man, Woman – and The State.

For 97% of the “History Of Marriage,” the union between a man and a woman has been a private matter, not one of the State. In many societies, it was a matter between families; the Smiths had a husband-high daughter, the McCoys had an old-enough son, and the two were introduced and induced to “kindle a spark,” with the goal of a June wedding. (Or a May wedding, if she “may be pregnant.”) In others, the parents were introduced by a matchmaker, whose business it was to “arrange these matters;” the lucky couple might not even meet until the ceremony. Among the aristocracy, marriage was less about love or happiness than about political unions – and power, a power to be joined and sealed by the next generation. (Hence the famous motherly advice to the bride – “Lie back and think of England.”)

It’s only recently that love, romantic love, between the partners, became the primary and even the sole criterion for selecting and marrying a mate.

Now, I’m not saying that’s a problem, certainly not for the engagement and the wedding and the honeymoon. It does leave an open-ended question, though, that can, and often does, become a problem: What happens when the “romantic” period, the giddy head-over-heels infatuation of young love, loses its force to long familiarity and custom? What happens when “the honeymoon is over” and that “love” fades?

For 99% of “History,” the fading of giddy infatuation was ignored. By the time it faded, the couple were too busy raising children, and providing for them, to give it much thought. “Romantic” love naturally was superseded by motherly/fatherly love, by the comradeship of the shared struggle to raise a family; or else some sort of accommodation was reached, with the help and encouragement of the extended family and the community, to keep Maw and Paw at peace and keep the family together. Divorce was rare, and it was regarded as failure; as failing your families, failing your spouse, failing your children.

When marriage was the province of the Church, dissolving the marriage bonds was not an easy task. (Consider Henry VIII, who is said to have founded the Church of England in anger over Rome’s refusal to let him divorce Catherine of Aragon and marry Anne Boleyn.) As the Church relinquished control of marriage to the State, the bar was still set high; the State still regarded that it was in its interest that the marriage should survive, and so a petition for divorce had to include solid reasons why the marriage should be dissolved (such as desertion, adultery, or the classic “cruel and abusive treatment”). This eased off some in the 1950s and the 1960s, but with the advent of “no-fault” divorce laws (starting, in the USA, with California in 1969), divorce could be granted virtually on the say-so of an “aggrieved” spouse; the marriage could be dissolved almost on whim, as in “I’m not ‘in love’ with him any more.”

But what about the children? And what about the joint property of the marriage – the cars, the house, the furniture, the “joint” income? What happens to them? Especially “the children – the poor, poor children,” as Society would say. “No-fault divorce” led to “plenty-of-fault” custody battles, and the lawyers were not slow at taking these issues to court.

Feminists, and their White Knights in the legal system, labored mightily and effectively to make this a “winning situation” for the ex-wife – and they continue to do so. “Domestic Violence” is a fruitful area, and the DV laws and procedures stack the deck heavily in favor of the “little woman,” the other “DV” in this scenario – the “Designated Victim.” And modern White-Knight jurisprudence, following the “Duluth Model” of domestic-violence resolution, designates Woman. She can be found standing over his slashed body, knife in her hand, bloody and crazy as Lucia Lammermoor, and The Law will arrest … the man. It may be his blood on the knife, his blood on her hands, but The Law still holds him as the “primary abuser.” Yes, It’s All His Fault ™.

Even better is a charge of “child abuse,” especially “sex abuse.” This will definitely bring out the neighbors with torches and pitchforks. Even the accusation alone could get him fired, blacklisted, shunned as a pariah. And it actually takes no more than her statement, “I’m afraid of him,” to set the juggernaut to rolling inexorably over his rights, his liberty, his everything. She can get a restraining order in a heartbeat; he’s forbidden to visit his own house, talk with his children, visit or even call on the phone in many cases. He is out of the picture. Meanwhile … she keeps the house. He keeps the mortgage. The children, of course, stay with her. There is an immense governmental machine ready to help her, if she needs help; he might find a sleeping place on a friend’s sofa, if he’s lucky.

The Family Court process completes the drama. Family Court is quite completely biased in favor of the Designated Victim. Her tears, her emotional histrionics, can only be out-weighted by serious “hard’ evidence; the Court is biased against him, especially if she accused him of domestic violence or “sex abuse.” Professional witnesses, social workers and court-appointed guardians, are biased against him too. He’s likely to lose fifty percent of everything he’s managed to put together for his family, his children, his-and-her future. And court costs, attorney’s bills, and administrative fees will likely strip him of whatever he may have left after the Court levies child support on his wages.

At the end of this “Eternal Triangle,” then, we get the man, cold and lonely, on his own; and the Woman, safe in the protection, the enveloping and supporting arms, of The State.

Happy ending?

Fade to black….

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