Saturday, August 22, 2015

Black and White: A Poem

There is no one else in your home
Thunder rages outside
And you are alone
The lights have gone out
And their words have been swallowed by darkness
There are no laws here
No men with guns enforcing order
You are flying
But flashes of lightning cast shadows on the walls
You cannot move
Freedom isn’t all it’s cracked up to be

Friday, August 21, 2015

Men's Rights Meme; Episode One: Talking About Feelings

I've decided to start a new series on this blog, entitled, of course, Men's Rights Meme. The premise of it is simple, but elegant. I hope so, anyway. Basically, I'm taking memes created by Men's Rights Activists on the internet and, well, beating the shit out of them. That's basically the whole thing. I'm challenging MRA rhetoric from a feminist perspective. That's so original, right?

 This first episode will, I think, be a short one. The meme I'm looking at today is a common one, which has been refuted countless times by better minds than mine. But I think it's a good introduction to the series, so I'm going to do it anyway. Let's get right to episode one: Talking About Feelings.

Here's the offending meme, which is a commentary on Emma Watson's He For She speech. It's a really poorly done commentary, and we'll get to why in a moment, but it's a commentary nonetheless.

Okay, wow. There are so many problems with this thing that it's hard to know where to begin. I would first like to point out that this thing finally shows the hand of the Men's Right's Movement. By that, I mean that the creator makes no effort to hide the blatant misogyny that plagues what can only generously be called a movement. This man seems to think that there's some shadowy conspiracy by a cabal of female leaders designed to suck away his money, for some reason. You'd think the illuminati would have a more reliable source of income. It's like he dated one crazy person in college and then just assumed that every woman is exactly like her, always.

But as much as I'd love to sling insults at those hateful fucks who pretend to care about real issues, we have something more important to discuss.

Namely, that Watson never actually said the words, "Men should talk about their feelings more." What she said was far more eloquent and nuanced than that. I suppose I can't fault the creator of the meme for straw-manning Emma here. Sexist assholes aren't usually known for their sliver tongues or discerning intellects. I'm sorry, I'm sorry. I couldn't resist taking one more cheap shot at this guy.

The entirety of Watson's speech can be found here, but the bit I want to focus on is this, as it's the one the meme is referring to. At least, I think that's the case. Quite frankly, this is so nonsensical that I can't tell what it's trying to say. Anyway, here is the full quote, placed back in the context this guy ripped it from.

We don’t often talk about men being imprisoned by gender stereotypes but I can see that they are and that when they are free, things will change for women as a natural consequence.
If men don’t have to be aggressive in order to be accepted women won’t feel compelled to be submissive. If men don’t have to control, women won’t have to be controlled.
Both men and women should feel free to be sensitive. Both men and women should feel free to be strong… It is time that we all perceive gender on a spectrum not as two opposing sets of ideals.
If we stop defining each other by what we are not and start defining ourselves by what we are—we can all be freer and this is what HeForShe is about. It’s about freedom. 

The part that really gets me is that the above ideas are exactly the kind of thing a real Men's Rights Movement would be promoting. But, like I said, these people don't actually care about the real issues facing men today. They just need an excuse to yell about how awful women are. It's a thinly-veiled way for them to express their deep-seated rage. Personally, I think it stems from the size of their dicks. That's just me, though.

Also, newsflash, guys. Anger is still a feeling. Maybe if you listened to her arguments instead of calling her a bitch on the internet, you would understand that.

You would also understand that men don't become homeless because of the aforementioned secret cabal of evil ladies. Roughly one-third of homeless people are in that situation because of mental illness, according to this. Many of these people would benefit from the opportunity to talk to a trained professional about their feelings directly. And they would have that chance, if the patriarchy didn't regard having emotions as a sign of weakness. Watson is one hundred percent correct here.

So much for this being a short one, huh?

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed the first episode of Men's Rights Memes. Stayed tuned for the next one. I'm going to try and post these every Friday, and we'll see where it goes.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Cloudy: A Poem

They poured water over the fire in my veins
They coated my bones in rusty metal
Their megaphone screams echo in my ears
I gaze up at the stars
sparking dimly in the firmament
Has the light at the end of the tunnel
finally gone out?

The Taste of the Storm: A Poem

They say no one can harness the thunder
I wish I believed them
I wish the lightning could tear the sky in two
I wish freedom's ring
would bounce off the spray-painted walls
I wish the rain could mask your tears.
I wish the storm would keep on raging.

Slipping my Mind: A Poem

I can feel you about to forget
I see the wind take your hand
And pull you away
From my loving embrace
You cry out
But your heart's not in it.
I can feel you acting it out.
The memories are fading
And I know it.
But your lips are sewn shut

Bittersweet: A Poem

It strikes your tongue
Like rain from on high
Your fingers are aching
You can't hear the noise
You raise the glass to your lips
Forcing it past a smile
Drink up your life
You can only taste the dying

Monday, August 17, 2015

Freedom of Speech

Okay, you guys. We have to talk about freedom of speech. I've written about censorship twice before, both in the context of comedy and games. You can read those posts here and here, but I don't think the points I made there have really sunk in yet. So here is my rant about the broader concept of freedom of speech. Put another way, you dumb fuckers don't know what freedom of speech actually means, and so I'm going to beat the real answer into your skull right now. Buckle the fuck up, assholes.

Freedom of speech does not mean freedom of consequence. Nor does it mean that you have the right to an audience. I'll explain what those statements mean in a moment, after I tell you what the idea of freedom of speech is really about. Freedom of speech only applies to the government. Your freedom of speech only guarantees that the government cannot literally put you behind bars for saying something that the regime disagrees with. That is it. Freedom of speech says nothing about criticism leveled against you by private citizens. If someone has a legitimate criticism of your ideas, or they ask you not to say something, they are not infringing upon your freedom of speech. Like, if you call me a faggot, and I tell you to stop doing that, I am not censoring you. Only the government can censor you. That's what the word censorship fucking means.

And, as I said on twitter some time ago, "Freedom of speech means you can say whatever the fuck you want, it doesn't mean I have to listen." That goes back to the bit about right to an audience I talked about earlier. You can say anything you like, but you are not entitled to an audience. If you are sending somebody death threats, they can report you to the police. Like I said, that does not curtail your freedom of speech. If that person decides not to listen to you, if they block you or whatever, that's also okay. Freedom of speech only says you are guaranteed a platform to express your ideas. Nobody has to listen to those ideas. That's not part of the first amendment, all right? Good.

This is not just something to think about. This is not just my opinion, and it isn't up for debate. This is fact. I hope I made you realize that today.