Take Her Seriously

I used to think that the problem with rape was that women weren’t being explicit – they weren’t actually saying no, partly because men weren’t actually asking.  Perhaps because there’s (still?) something shameful about sex that makes people reluctant to come right out and talk about it.  Or maybe that would destroy the romance.  Whatever.

I still think Read the rest of this entry »

Dr. Frankenstein, meet Dr. Spock

Thanks to genetic research, we may soon see people with the money to do so making sure their kids are born-to-succeed – parents paying to guarantee their kids have the right stuff.  I’m not talking about a straightened spine or a functional optic nerve.  I’m talking about designer kids: those made with healthy bodies, intelligent minds, and perhaps a certain specific ability to boot. Read the rest of this entry »

Marriage: A Sexist Affair

Marriage, by its very (traditional) definition, is a sexist affair: it involves one of each sex, one male and one female.  And I suppose this is because, traditionally, the purpose of marriage was family: to start a family, to have and raise children.

This view is fraught with questionable assumptions, glaring inconsistencies, and blatant errors.  I’ll give one of each: Read the rest of this entry »

On Excluding MtFs from a Radfem Site

As soon as I discovered I Blame the Patriarchy, I thought “I have found the mothership.”  Alas, almost immediately, it powered down.  Since I loved the discussion as much as Twisty’s brilliant posts, I decided to set up a new island for the blametariat: Hell Yeah, I’m a Feminist.

Unfortunately, unwittingly, I declared, in addition to the ‘No Dudes’ rule, a ‘No MtFs’ rule.  It seemed logical.  The reason for the first was to minimize dudely mansplaining, and I reasoned that MtFs, having similarly been raised to be men, would be almost as likely to feel and exhibit that ‘entitlement’.  Little did I know.

The rule was met mostly with disapproval, so I posted about the issue in order to open discussion on the matter.  But the matter has been discussed to death on IBTP (I realized this later—there’s one thread there with 772 comments), so posting about it on HYIAF is just inflammatory.  (And upending a barrel of worms on the beach is not a way to attract people.)  So I decided to move it here.  Because it’s an important issue and should, therefore, be discussed.  By everyone.

So, what follows: my original rules (for HYIAF, not this site), my discussion-opening post (excerpts), and then (most of) my explanation (for a revision to the rules). Read the rest of this entry »

Why aren’t there any great women Xs?

A new (for me) answer to the classic question, Why aren’t there any great women Xs, occurred to me when I saw a website for a small company of composers specializing in music for dance troupes (all four composers were male) shortly after a male friend of mine confessed that if he wasn’t getting paid to do it (write a book – he’s an academic with a university position), he probably wouldn’t, and another male friend confessed confusion at the idea of composing something just out of his soul (everything he’d written had been for pay – soundtracks for video games and what have you). Until then, the answer to that age-old question seemed to go to merit and/or opportunity.  Now I’m thinking it goes to money. Read the rest of this entry »

Rules of Combat

Why are there rules of combat?  Rules apply to civil interactions and games.  Combat is neither.

Rules give the impression of fairness, decency, civility.  They thus make war permissible.

But if war is really about defending your loved ones, wouldn’t you do whatever is necessary?  Wouldn’t you ‘fight dirty’ if that’s what it takes?

Rules of combat suggest, therefore, that war isn’t about defending your loved ones.  Or even your land, your water, your resources.  As Allan G. Johnson points out, in the best analysis of men and war I’ve ever read (The Gender Knot, p.138-142), “war allows men to reaffirm their masculine standing in relation to other men….  It is an opportunity for men to bond with other men—friend and foe alike—and reaffirm their common masculine warrior codes.  If war was simply about self-sacrifice in the face of monstrous enemies who threaten men’s loved ones, how do we make sense of the long tradition of respect between wartime enemies, the codes of ‘honor’ that bind them together even as they bomb and devastate civilian populations that consist primarily of women and children?”  Good question.  So (and this explains the response to women in the military) war is really all about men getting together and hating, hurting, killing women.

Same old same old.

The Waiting-for-the-Elevator Thing

So I’m sure this has happened at least once to every woman.  You’re standing in front of an elevator, waiting for it, and a man comes up and presses one of the buttons.

Oh is that what those are for?  I saw the two buttons, one with an upward-pointing arrow and one with a downward-pointing arrow, and I understand that elevators go up and down, but you know, I just never put the two together!!

I was just waiting for it to know that I was standing there.

I thought I might try to push one of the buttons, but then I thought, no, I’m just not strong enough.

So I was just standing there.

Or maybe I did push one of the buttons (you know, I just don’t know?), but the system doesn’t recognize buttons pushed by people with uteruses.  Which is why you had to push a button.  You’ve got a penis!

So good thing you happened to come by!  I could still be standing there!

I’m too drunk. No I’m not.

According to the Canadian Criminal Code, (self-induced) intoxication is no defence against charges of assault (33.1): if you’re drunk, you’re still able to form the general intent to commit said assault.

And yet, with regard to the sub-category of sexual assault, belief that someone is consenting is cancelled if that someone is intoxicated (273.1(2)): if you’re drunk, you can’t consent to sex.

So if you’re drunk, you’re capable of forming the intent to assault, but you’re not capable of forming the intent to have sex? Given that it’s mostly men who do the assaulting, and it’s mostly women who do the consenting (and given, it’s my guess, that the lawmakers had men in mind for 33.1 and women in mind for 273.1(2)), is this some sort of ‘protect the weaker sex’ double standard?

Hey, if we expect men to foresee the effects of alcohol and to be responsible for their behavior while under its influence, we should expect the same of women. Read the rest of this entry »

A Little Less Evolved

Sometimes I wonder whether men have a defective chromosome: the Y was supposed to be an X, but somehow it ended up missing something – a case of stunted growth, or arrested development. This defective chromosome, uniquely characteristic of the human male, causes them to be a little lower on the evolutionary scale, a little less evolved.

Consider their fascination with movement. Read the rest of this entry »

Why isn’t being a soldier more like being a mother?

Motherhood is unfair to women in a way fatherhood most definitely is not. Not only are there the physical risks (pregnancy and childbirth puts a woman at risk for nausea, fatigue, backaches, headaches, skin rashes, changes in her sense of smell and taste, chemical imbalances, high blood pressure, diabetes, anemia, embolism, changes in vision, stroke, circulatory collapse, cardiopulmonary arrest, convulsions, and coma), there’s the permanent damage to one’s career: if she stays at home, the loss of at least six years’ experience and/or seniority; if she doesn’t, the loss of a significant portion of her income, that required to pay for full-time childcare. (And even if she can swing holding a full-time job and paying for full-time childcare, she probably won’t get promoted because she typically uses all ‘her’ sick days, she’s reluctant to stay past 5:00 or to come in before 9:00 or on weekends, and she occasionally has to leave in the middle of the day, perhaps even in the middle of an important meeting. In short, she can’t be counted on. Such a lack of commitment.)

Either way, Read the rest of this entry »