Let's Have A Conversation.

I’m very much okay with disagreement, discussion, debate, questions, challenges, and stretching each other towards new ideas.  I’m okay with wrestling out our misunderstandings and faulty point of views.  I’m open to you teaching me something I never thought of, or to help me think in a new direction, or to correct an obvious error.  This means you want dialogue.  And really, passion and conviction are okay too.  I will have a conversation with you when you see the person, not just a problem.  Then you’re respecting my willingness to learn.  You’re building a bridge towards mine, and even if we disagree in the end, we valued each other’s dignity.

I’m not at all okay with obnoxious arrogance, smarmy diatribes, condescending, one-sided soapboxing, black-and-white pigeonholing, hyper-sensitivity, a persecution complex, yelling “fallacy” or “heresy” or “blasphemy,” didactic lecturing, automatic defenses, blanket statements, unequivocal language like “always” and “never,” putting words in my mouth, or assuming I stand for the opposite of some angle I didn’t cover.  This is not passion, but insecurity.  It’s not conviction, but condemnation.  Your goal isn’t a conversation, but winning a conversion.  It means you love the sound of your own voice, and there’s only room for one person on that platform.  Yet you wouldn’t even listen to someone who talked the same way you talk.  I will hear you, I will even read your picket sign and your angry blog post, but don’t expect much else.

— J.S.

Some MRA/Anti-Feminist Arguments
  • MRA/AF argues that if you accept chivalry, you want preferential treatment and believe you are superior. However, they also argue that if you REJECT chivalry, you are ungrateful and unrealistic.
  • MRA/AF point out how much physical work men have to do in industrial, heavy labor, service fields and how this is further evidence feminists or women want preferential treatment. But when feminists fight for women to have these fields open for them, they are told they can't do it anyway.
  • MRA/AF point out how men usually get the dangerous, combative military jobs and this goes to show how EASY women have it. But once again, when feminists fight for women to have equal opportunity in these DANGEROUS, LIFE-THREATENING fields, they are told that women should not have those options.
  • MRA/AF point out that men are also gender stereotyped, but fail to address that these stereotypes typically work in reinforcing their privilege/working in their favor. Usually stereotyping them as being the more competent, logical, intelligent and more powerful out of all genders and/or sexes.
  • MRA/AF points out that men are also idealized in media, but fail to analyze that these idealizations fit within male power fantasies of physical prowess/physical power, athleticism and having the ability to intimidate simply by using one's presence or body.
  • MRA/AF point out that men are also "sexualized" in media, but fail to address that this so-called sexualization usually involves them initiating sexual encounters, flaunting their virility and potency through a barrage of media that glamorizes straight male sexuality (e.g. - music videos, ads, etc) and portrays this sexuality as something that can be used to GAIN STATUS. While women who are sexually active and overt about it LOSE cultural status.
  • MRA/AF argue that men are more oppressed than women, while completing ignoring the fact that most countries are ran by men, most media corporations are also ran by men and most of the worlds resources are distributed and controlled by men.
  • MRA/AF argue that the fact the world is patriarchal is EVIDENCE of women's inherent incompetence, while simultaneously ignoring how cultural conditioning to conform to gender stereotypes would make political and corporate fields less appealing to many women and also how workplace discrimination plays a role in hindering a woman's ability to be promoted into positions of power with equal pay. They also fail to assess the issue on a historical level, ignoring how centuries of being denied access to equal education is what has made the number of female inventors, philosophers, academics, etc, far less in comparison to the number of males who had the opportunity to specialize in fields of their choice and to harness their potential.
  • MRA/AF argue that feminism is no longer necessary, while at the same time referring to male feminist allies with misogynistic and homophobic slurs meant to intimidate them out of their political and ideological views on gender equality. They are often called in MRA circles, "manginas" and "gender traitors." Women in general are subjected to hateful, gendered slurs even if they are not defending feminism. Our degraded status is the default setting our society has placed us at.
  • MRA/AF argue that feminists think all men are naturally "dogs" or hormonal, neanderthal-like brutes but when feminists try to place emphasis on using diplomacy in place of violence, and assertion over aggression, feminists are accused of trying to "feminize" men (with the stigma that encouraging compassion, empathy and constructive verbal reasoning over physical violence is a BAD THING!!).

Kennedy vs. Nixon - The First Televised Presidential Debate

By 1960, television was fast becoming the primary means by which to reach people. That year, Senator John F. Kennedy introduced a powerful new factor into American political campaigning when he challenged Vice President Richard M. Nixon to debate the issues in a series of joint television appearances.  Knowing that he was the front-runner, Nixon’s advisers cautioned him against accepting the challenge, but Nixon, confident of his debating skills did accept. The political confrontations that followed were the most historic since the Lincoln-Douglas debate of 1858.

Approximately 70 million Americans- at the time the largest political audience in U.S. history- watched on the night of September 26 as the candidates for the Presidency faced each other on television for the first time.

Image: First televised Presidential debate with candidates Senator John F. Kennedy and Vice President Richard Nixon, broadcasted from the WBBM television studio in Chicago, Illinois. 9/26/60.

-from the JFK Library

You Are a Projector for Something You’re Not Aware Of: Your Self | Charles Ray Hastings Jr.

image

When does a projection become reality? Specifically a projection that is a severely obtuse collection of interpretations of all surroundings.

When do people become certain of their views? When does the world lose its wonder and at every turn, they’ve got it all figured out? That moment when their scope of the world aligns with the state of prosperity or, in a lot of cases, the shitty everything that existing is. More importantly, what is it that tears away years worth of intellectual defense mechanisms? I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately.

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So much of the debate seems to boil down to an argument over one question: Is it possible to respect someone yet still want them? I would think that it’s full-on desired. Certainly if you compare it to, say, the goals and techniques of pick-up artists, who reduce women to notches on bedposts, “Blurred Lines” seems at the very least friendly—in one verse Thicke notes how he won’t try to “domesticate” his desired woman like another man, which seems to mean that he won’t try to put her into a box defined by her gender. (I had someone quote the “try to domesticate you” line to me as its own tautological proof of why the song was horrible and sexist, and had to point that Thicke was saying he wouldn’t engage in that sort of behavior.) And further viewing it through the lens of the pick-up artist, “Blurred Lines” is sensual in a way that isn’t wholly reliant on any sort of consummating act—it fades out before its plot comes to any sort of endpoint, yet the pleasure provided by its music (and, let’s face it, Thicke’s sorta-endearing dorkiness on the “shake your body” bridge) is barely diminished.
—  So the whole “Blurred Lines” debate is driving me crazy, being as it is based on half-listens and no-context parachuting into the work of an artist who I have enjoyed for quite some time now. I wrote an essay on my frustrations at Maura Magazine, which includes me asking Ke$ha to save us all from more inanity as the summer drags on. 
Debates | Fabrevans

Morning sickness aside, Quinn knew without a doubt the worse part of her pregnancy was the moodiness thanks to the pregnancy hormones. One minute she felt fine, the next she felt tired or like crying. Sometimes she even felt inexplicably annoyed almost to the point of being angry. The lady in the doctors office was only one example of people she had snapped at over the course of the day, the first having been Rachel Berry at school. In her defense she would stand by the reasoning that she hated when strangers felt the need to touch her. It was annoying and who knew where their disgusting hands had been previously. Quinn swore it was almost like magic the way her baby bump had grown considerable over the past month. It was like it happened overnight. She was by no one standards huge, not even close, but there wasn’t any hiding it anymore. She had the beginnings of a belly. And even though it was clear to people she wasn’t very far along, considering she was only showing a little bit, it seemed to be an invitation for people to touch her stomach. 

It was always a ‘oh how cute’ or a ‘you must not be very far along, can you feel the baby yet?’ from one stranger or another. These days it was all that was needed to set her off before she was demanding the stranger take their hands off her. If they threw in a snarky comment about how she was too young it was game over. The middle aged women had been unlucky enough to commit both offences and even tacked on how unfair it was that her daughter and their husband had been trying for years and teenagers who shouldn’t be having kids had no problem. Quinn hadn’t been in the mood to be sympathetic. As a testament to how quick her moods could change she was immediately upset afterwards because the lady had ruined the excitement of her eighteen week check-up and finally getting to find out if their baby was a boy or a girl.

For the time being though she had settled into mood that was only slightly irritated now that she was back home with Sam, sitting around his table eating a dinner made up of sandwiches and fruit. His family having had gone out to dinner or something. Though they told them not to wait, Quinn had a sneaking suspicion they had waited around longer than they should have waiting to see if they would show up before they left. She denied it but Quinn got the impression Sam’s mother was more than a little curious as to the sex of the baby. It was probably only when his younger siblings started complaining they were hungry that they left.

"I can’t believe we’re having a girl," Quinn mused out loud still staring at the sonogram picture (that actually kind of looked like a baby now) she had laid on the table beside her plate. One of her hands resting gently on her stomach. She couldn’t help but smile at the confirmation that her initial hunch had been right. "We can finally start picking out names." She told Sam still having the urge to give their baby a proper name.

mycatsoundslikechewbacca said:

Hi, so you seem super... knowledgeable (?) I don't know, you just give off vibes that say "wise." But anyways I was wondering about something & thought I should ask you: Do you know why it's so bad to be in the majority? I mean, I'm a 17 year-old girl, I tend to like guys a lot (there's been, like, 1 exception to this,) I'm cisgendered, I was diagnosed with anxiety, and I like to cosplay and read my comics and I thought that this was okay but now all sorts of people on my dash are saying (1/2)

"It’s like, I just want to be able to talk a little bit from my own viewpoint without having to worry about someone telling me I’m a cruddy human being and making me feel like poop and sad. And I don’t know how. So that’s kindof what I’m asking. (2/2") by mycatsoundslikechewbacca

First, I wanna get one thing straight with you: as a gay male, I can confidently say that there is NOTHING wrong with you, nor is there anything wrong with being in the majority as long as you are doing your best to treat others with the same kindness and respect you (and they) deserve.  You seem like a perfectly nice and kind person who has been hit with some of the shrapnel shot in all directions by some pretty toxic people out there.

Never let anyone tell you how to feel about yourself. I know what it’s like to deal with anxiety and I know how awful it feels when others are making you think you’re somehow less than human because of traits you were born with.  

Now, to Tumblr as a whole:

There’s this growing mindset (within Tumblr, at least) that if you are a white, heterosexual, cisgendered male/female your feelings are invalid because (insert list of bullshit reasons).  This is hypocritical and, on top of it all, it’s ignorant. Here is the bottom line:  

  • Being gay does not make it ok to hate straight people 
  • Being a POC does not make it ok to hate white people 
  • Being transgender does not make it ok to hate cisgender people

The classifications of gender, sexuality, and race/ethnicity are incredibly significant, but they should not be as relevant as we have made them. What should be truly relevant and what should hold actual significance is how you treat other people. I don’t care who you are or where you come from, let alone what you identify as:  If you are putting someone down simply because they are different than you, then you are just as bad as the people who are putting people down because they are gay, black, etc. etc. 

"But white, straight, cis people haven’t had to deal with the adversity we have".  Seriously? Shut the fuck up and be a decent human being. I don’t give a damn what you think a subgroup has dealt with, majority or no. Everyone fights their own battles and everyone, I mean EVERYONE deserves to be treated with kindness, respect, and as a worthwhile human being. 

NO BROTHER LOOKS AT HIS SISTER THAT WAY.

So, I’m seeing a huge debate/fan war going on in the TWD tag about Daryl and Beth’s relationship either becoming romantic or becoming brother-and-sister-like. Well, I actually had my two brothers sit down with me to watch episode 13, my younger brother is an avid TWD fan like me, my older brother doesn’t really care much for it. But, nonetheless, I got him to sit down with us and watch it (That was my 3rd time watching that episode). Throughout the whole episode, I felt giggly because I’m pretty bias when it comes down to the Bethyl ship, but my two brothers definitely aren’t since they could care less for effing romance in the show. But, what we all agreed on was that, THAT IS DEFINITELY NOT GOING IN THE DIRECTION OF BROTHER AND SISTER AS SOME PEOPLE PREDICTED OR, WELL RATHER WANTED. My older brother was actually wanting to know if they were gonna “do stuff” because he saw the tension there and he took notice of the look Daryl and Beth gave each other before the walker invasion. My younger brother, who’s a huge Daryl fan even commented saying that ‘He’s never seen Daryl look at a girl like that before, not even with Carol’. It completely shocked him. Next, I asked them if they got any hints to a brother and sister relationship and they both immediately said ‘no’. Both pretty much said and agreed that “No brother in his right mind would ever look at his sister the way Daryl looked at Beth in the dinner scene before the walker invasion”. One is a Daryl fan and one is not a fan at all and both agreed that the relationship between Beth and Daryl was in no way close to a bro and sis relationship. I also asked them about the age gap, my older brother who is 22 pretty much said this, “It’s a ZA, right? Hell, if I had a pretty girl like her by my side, I’d be damn sure to keep her by my side and always protect her. If she’s 18 like you said, then it’s fine if they take their relationship slow”. My younger brother who’s 15 said, “Daryl seems happy with her, so I don’t care as long as he’s happy”.

Conclusion, even real brothers and sisters don’t see a bro and sis relationship happening between Daryl and Beth. Now, I ain’t sayin’ all siblings out there are like my brothers and I, but personally, with my siblings we all agree brothers and sisters don’t look at each other that way. It ain’t right, because the look Daryl gave her went beyond the stare of bro and sis. You can argue a better friendship, but don’t argue with a brother and sister relationship.

Is “literary” fiction just a product of clever marketing? Elizabeth Edmondson thinks it is. At The Guardian, she argues that classically literary authors like Jane Austen had no idea they were writing Literature — posterity classified their work as such later on. Her essay dovetails nicely with our own Edan Lepucki’s argument that literature is a genre.

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