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.

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 »

Trust – the movie

I’m so bloody sick and tired of men who assume center stage is for them.  The way the movie ends, and most of the way it plays out, it’s about the dad, about how he can’t deal with his failure to protect his daughter.

Mom’s not quite so important, apparently, despite her greater empathy with the whole experience: not only is she too beating herself up over her failure as a parent, for, after all, she’s as much the girl’s parent, but also she must surely be saying to herself ‘It could’ve been me — at 13.’

And that’s what the movie’s really about.  The real story, Read the rest of this entry »

Walking Alone in a Park at Night

In a rape trial, that the woman was walking alone in a park at night has been considered relevant – presumably it’s a mitigating circumstance: the accused can be excused for thinking she wanted it if she was walking alone in a park at night.

What!?  Why? Why is it that a woman walking alone in a park at night is understood – by men – to be implying consent to sex with any and all men?

Are parks designated sex zones?  I suppose in a sense they are.  Lovers often meet there for clandestine encounters.  Yeah, for consensual clandestine encounters.

Okay, but parks at night are also popular mugging zones, perhaps because of the poor lighting which makes escape easier in the event they are policed.  Okay, but a woman walking alone in a park at night is more at risk for rape than for purse-snatching.

So why is a woman walking alone – ah, is that it?  A woman unaccompanied by a man is unowned?  Up for grabs?  Literally?

Making Kids with AIDS

What has been glaringly absent in news stories about children with AIDS in Africa is comment about why there are so many children with AIDS.  “We are going down,” a woman says, “Theft will go up, rape all over will be high.  People –  ”  Wait a minute.  Back up.  “Rape all over will be high”?  And that’s just one more unfortunate circumstance beyond their control, is it?  What, as in ‘boys will be boys’?

Excuse me, but when someone knowingly infects another person with a fatal disease, he’s killing her.  And if someone takes away someone else’s right to life, I say he forfeits his own.  And not only is the HIV-infected rapist guilty of murdering the woman he rapes, he’s guilty of murdering in advance the child he creates (whether he himself is HIV-infected or whether he rapes an HIV-infected woman).  There’s something incredibly sick about knowingly creating a human being that will die, slowly and painfully, because you have created it.

So, the solution?  Drugs, yes.  But the kind vets use when they put an animal down.  (Or, if mere prevention rather than justice is the goal, castration.  At the very least, vasectomy.)  I mean, let’s have some accountability here!  Those 20,000 kids with AIDS didn’t just appear in a pumpkin patch one morning.  Someone made them.  With a conscious, chosen, deliberate act. 

 

 

 

The Superbowl: knock yourself out

So does anyone think someone’s going to get knocked out during this year’s Superbowl? It’s happened before. And frankly, I’m surprised it doesn’t happen more often. Just like that latest disgrace with our prisoners of war.

I mean, consider the similarities: Read the rest of this entry »

Bang Bang

Ya gotta love Christmas. Peace on earth, goodwill toward men, and record sales of toy guns.

But, my friend says, her son, and all of his friends, will make a gun out of any old thing. The problem isn’t the toys.

Okay, so it’s the boys. Seems they’re hardwired with a propensity toward killing. Why is this not a problem? A stand-up-and-scream problem. Not a sweep-it-under-the-carpet boys-will-be-boys problem.

Why does it not bother parents that their son considers pretending to kill to be fun (that is, that he derives psychological pleasure from pretending to kill)?

Why does it not bother them that their son considers killing a game (that is, an appropriate activity for make-believe)?

Anticipating ‘It’s just the noise and the chasing that’s fun, he doesn’t associate the action with killing’ – is that supposed to make it better? That he pulls a trigger on a gun and doesn’t associate the action with killing? Maybe you should take him to an ER and let him see what a bullet does to a body. He might think twi – he might think then before so casually making that pulling-a-trigger motion.

I wonder whether parents would be as blasé if he as repeatedly put his arm around someone’s throat and swiped a piece of stiff cardboard across it? Is it just that people have become desensitized to the shooting-a-gun action?

Further, I am puzzled by the ‘doesn’t bother me’ response not only because of the psychological and philosophical implications, but also because of the practical ones: first, once he’s fourteen or sixteen, the action becomes illegal (at least in the States). (Then again, it might be illegal at all ages and maybe it’s just when a kid points a fake gun, no one presses charges.) (Because boys will be boys?) (So the men who do so are also boys?)

And, second, such an action may well get him killed. ‘Cuz I have to tell ya, since real kids have access to real guns these days, if I were walking down a city street and a kid jumped out at me pointing a gun, I’d shoot first and ask questions later. If I had a gun.

Which I don’t. So instead I’d just break out into a cold sweat and try to raise my arms. And then when the kid laughed and lowered his arm, telling me it’s just a toy, I’d haul him off to his parents and give all three of you a huge piece of mind. What right do you have to let your kid terrorize me like that? What the hell is wrong with you??

An End to War

At one time, bank tellers and secretaries had a certain prestige – the time when such positions were held by men. Schoolteachers used to be schoolmasters – before women entered the classroom. People who boast that many doctors in Russia are women fail to mention that doctoring in Russia, well, someone’s gotta do it.

The thing is this: whenever women enter an occupation, it becomes devalued. It loses glory. It loses funding. It loses media coverage. It becomes unpopular, even invisible. So if we were serious, really serious, about ending war, we’d fill the military ranks with women. When becoming a soldier has about as much appeal as becoming a waitress (another archetype of the service sector industry) – Read the rest of this entry »

Guns

Guns have a tendency to kill people. Usually when injury would have sufficed. What to do. (Assuming killing people isn’t always a good thing.) Hm. I know! Let’s replace bullet guns with dart guns. Darts filled with something that temporarily disables or immobilizes the person, causes an hour of paralysis or unconsciousness. Or severe nausea. Or diarrhoea.

Nah, that’s too humane. It’s okay for elephants, but for people?

Or probably, more importantly, it’s too expensive. I would guess that a dart costs more than a bullet. But maybe only because of supply and demand. And surely if we add in the lawsuits for accidental injury and death, the price of bullets increases substantially. (We won’t add in the loss of limb or life because apparently that doesn’t count for much—otherwise we wouldn’t have so many bullet guns in the first place.)

Or well, it wouldn’t work. What if you missed, what if, in a shoot-out, the police shot some innocent bystanders instead of the bad guys? They’d be the ones lying there unconscious. Well gee. Some might think better that than lying there dead. Read the rest of this entry »

Gay Bashing

Gay bashing. Now there’s something I don’t understand. ‘Queers are disgusting, man. Men touching other men, that’s really sick.’ So, yeah, go beat ’em up. Get real close and touch ’em all over. And they say men are the logical ones.

But of course it’s not just the no-necks roaming the streets at night. It’s also the ones in the highrises during the day. Consider these words of a cable television program manager: “…men French kissing and …caressing …thighs…the scene [was] offensive…bad taste.” But men hitting each other, bruising and breaking bodies with fists, and men killing each other, spattering blood and guts with bullets and knives—this is, what, good taste? I’d rather see men kissing each other than killing each other any time. (But then I’d really rather see Boston Legal reruns.)

It’s weird, the relationship between sex and violence. I don’t understand it. Mitch, the bouncer, says “They’re either gonna fuck or fight.” He understands it. Okay, think like a man. (I can’t, it hurts.) (Yes you can, try harder.) Read the rest of this entry »