Archive for June, 2009

The NYT thinks so.

So a questioning of evolutionary psychology is now common enough to grace the New York Times, which is leaning more towards the large world of social constructionist who question the sort of biological determinism that comes from evolutionary social sciences especially.

However the NYT did not go far enough as to disagree with the idea that sexual attraction and tipping habits (seems extremely odd that paleolithic men were tipping resturaunts, but what evs) are biologically determined.

It did however question individualism and economics. W00t.

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penis graffitiRemember in high school when people were constantly drawing penises everywhere.  I always chalked this up to immaturity/silliness.  But I was talking to orkinson the other day and she thinks that it is a manifestation of patriarchy, and even a form of terrorism, not that different from, say, drawing swastikas everywhere.  Although the people I knew who did this seemed more like goofballs than terrorists, I think it is a serious concern, after all, male dominance and machismo were both prevalent in our high school, especially in my class, which seemed dominated by boys, particularly in the honors classes.  So, basically, I ask you, harmless (though tasteless) prank?  Or act of sexual terrorism?  After all, there are many ways to be immature, but the selected weapon is almost always the penis.  Thoughts?

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gay or straightWe must of course pretend that only four groups of people exist: straight men, straight women, gay men, and assumedly lesbians (because there has to be a foil to “straight women”). Then let us pretend that

a) straight and gay men have trouble being friends because gay men get crushes on straight men

b)this makes it awkward

and c)straight men are better able to overcome this awkwardness because they recognize that gay men can help them look nice and get laid with their connection to feminity.

Also straight men and straight women can’t be friends because there is always sexual tension.

The NYT runs some really shitty pieces.

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jasmineThis shit is nothing new. I’ve seen this all over the place, all the time. But since I learned feminism, I’ve avoided clicking on these ridiculous links. But I wanted to revisit the brainwashing of women, so I took a look at this slideshow. There’s nothing much to be said about this, like I said, it’s pervasive, and critiquing this sort of thing would be a pretty dull project. I was surprised by how angry I felt, so I decided to share. So many women read this crap and act on it. It makes me sick.

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Personal Anecdote

boxingLast night I was at a birthday party that I’m still recovering from. There was a lot of Michael Jackson playing, a lot of rum being drunk, and a lot of sketchy party crashers. The party was in a dorm room for a summer program that a lot of my friends are doing, and the party crashers were students working on campus or the children of professors. These crashers came for one reason, and it was obvious. After being rejected, in subtle and not so subtle ways, one of them, D, made his way for my friend A. I figure this was pretty ballsy as she obviously wasn’t interested. His game was wack anyway. He asked her name, and she lied. Then she asked his, and questioned him about which professors were his parents.

Then he fucked up and let slip that he knew who she was from (seems the creepers have a stalker-information network). She flipped. I became more on guard. He tried to touch her shoulder. She told him not to touch her again, and to not talk to her. Then our friend S intervened and asked D if I made him nervous. He looked at me, but didn’t say anything to me. I decided it would be more intimidating if I said nothing, but glared at him. So I did. S continued to tell him he should be intimidated by me. Dude D eventually walked off, and seemed scared of me for the rest of the party.

Then A told me I should go in the hall to make sure that D, who followed a young woman he had been eyeing out into the hall, didn’t follow her any farther. He freaked out when he saw me, and went back to the party. I explained to the young woman, and she laughed and thanked me.

Later it turned out Dude D and company stole a bottle of gin from the party, and also found A’s room and opened the door, before heading out. So yeah– they were real creepers, but people refuse to believe it.

My reason for this anecdote: when does me watching out for my friends become a paternalistic, masculine endeavor. Last night I decided to watch, and let A fuck with D, but I wanted to end it right away. Because I also saw that he thought she was flirting with him. Also because I was itching to fight someone which seems an excessively masculine thing to want. If I had fought him would he have not gone into A’s room? What if she had been there? How do I make the line between interventionism and a caring friend?

Shit’s tough. I guess I need to remain in dialogue; make sure I don’t overstep folks’ personal autonomy.

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iran electionThis article written by an Iranian woman sheds light into some challenges that feminists face in Iran.  In addition, some of the comments under the post offer some insightful criticism of the article. I don’t mean to downplay the anti-feminism of American society by posting this piece. Feminists face different challenges all over the world, and that is what I wish to illustrate. Also, the piece is particular to current events.

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The more I think about rape, the more I feel that it exists in a wider spectrum than is currently acknowledged.  I recently got the news that a girl I know was raped by the guy she was seeing at the time.  There were drugs involved.  She wasn’t passed out and she didn’t say no, but afterwards she was really upset because she thought she was too intoxicated to consent.  I think if  she feels raped she deserves the support that would be given to any other rape survivor, but is the guy who did this a rapist?  Do you think it’s possible for a man to rape a woman unintentionally?  I know that right now the law says it technically counts as rape if the person you had sex with was intoxicated, but most of the drunken sex I hear about (or participate in) results in no more trauma than the mutual awkwardness that sets in the morning after.  It seems like between sobriety and blacked out, there’s a lot of grey area that isn’t addressed very often.  Maybe there are situations where rape has occurred, but also where a prison sentence for the man wouldn’t be appropriate.

So far I haven’t given the guy in this story much of a face, because for the purposes of this post I’m really using him as a composite to make a point about other men in similar situations.  But I can’t allow myself to end the entry without bringing up one terrible thing that he absolutely DID do.  I don’t know if he did it because he actually DID intend to rape this girl, or if he did it out of fear, or if it was a knee-jerk reaction or whatever, but it’s completely unacceptable.  This girl worked up the courage to confront him about what happened and instead of saying “I’m sorry, I didn’t think you felt raped, is there anything I can do?” he got defensive and basically said “no I didn’t, you’re a liar.  fuck off.”  I’m not just bringing this up because it makes me want to do all kinds of harm to this guy.  I’m bringing it up because I think it points to a possible (maybe only partial) solution in those rape cases where the line between able to contest and unable to consent was blurry.  So the question is this:  if this guy had been more compassionate, do you think it would have helped the girl cope with what happened?  And put more broadly, when it comes to the kind of situation I’ve just talked about (because i think there are some rape scenarios that simply DO NOT offer this possibility), do you think it’s possible for the “rapist” to act as a base of support for the rape survivor?

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