Civil war isn’t coming

November 5, 2016

Cracked posted an article about the “coming” civil war:  http://www.cracked.com/personal-experiences-2403-6-reasons-why-new-civil-war-possible-terrifying.html

#6. The Beginning Looks A Lot Like Where We Are Right Now

#5. The Violence Could Start With Farms Choking The Cities

#4. The Revolution Will Plagiarize ISIS’s Tactics

#3. There Will Be Hundreds of Sides

#2. Decades of Military Spending Will Bite Us In The Ass

#1. The Internet Will Make It Even Bloodier

All good points, and yet completely missing the point staring us all in the face:  how many of the pictures show women?  How many of our public terror incidents have involved women?  Clearly, this is an issue specifically affecting men and masculinity.  It’s not the only cause, but it’s definitely a bottleneck.

We are talking male-pattern violence, a product of patriarchy and masculinity.  Men are not inherently loose cannon hyper-violent control freaks.  I can’t take much more of this ignoring the obvious.  We need to get to cut to the main points, and one of them is masculinity and patriarchy.  Another huge one is control. If we crack down on institutions and norms that control others’ thoughts and behavior, much of this goes away.  Because it levels the playing field:  without the power dynamic of control, you have to engage and negotiate on equal footing.  That requires social skills.  And if you use controlling physical violence, manipulation, coercion, etc instead, and get punished, then it’s a form of meta control that forces you to adopt pro-social behavior, like emotional maturity and self-care practices.

This is eerily reminescent of how we ignore domestic and sexual violence as early-warning signs of more public acts of terror to come.  The public terrorists (whether independent or state-sanctioned paramilitary) commonly draw from a pool of people who terrorize others in their private lives. (http://nymag.com/thecut/2016/07/mass-killers-terrorism-domestic-violence.html; http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/16/world/americas/control-and-fear-what-mass-killings-and-domestic-violence-have-in-common.html)

Men shoot people.  Men plant bombs.  Men make public terror threats.  Men kick the shit out of people.  Men exert control.  Men rape. 99.9% of these things occur because men do them, most of the time.  Sometimes women do them (and often because they “toughen up” and start “acting like men”).

I don’t blame men.  I blame the system of behavioral control and masculine identity into which men are indoctrinated.  Men are even more often the victims of non-sexualized forms of male-pattern violence than women.  And we need to start engaging with the boys and men in our lives to change this.  Stop holding signs and shouting at random strangers.  Start having difficult conversations with the people you already know.

Because you know perpetrators of controlling violence.  And you also know victims and survivors.  You.  All of you.  All of us.  No one here does not know a survivor of male pattern violence.  I guarantee it.

I walked passed a church parking lot yesterday and was surprised to see several armored vehicles and few dozen cops (no women) prepping assault gear for something.  No “training exercise” signs, no lights.  Just quiet prep work.  A few of the guys looked downright blissful.  How you can get to the state of bliss prepping for murder is beyond me.  Except for the “Salem Police” labels I could not tell them apart from our imperial military forces.

When we bring masculinity in the discussion, we end up modifying the discussion:  the civil war isn’t possible.  It isn’t coming.  It’s already  here.  It’s unfolding right now.  In our midst.  At the most intimate of levels.

Packs of militarized, heavily-armed men roaming our cities (cops and gangs) and countrysides (militias and military) is only the most recent outgrowth, the cherry on top of the patriarchal sundae, peppered with little sprinkles of public bombings and shootings.  Whether we can stop or even reverse it depends on our ability to confront painful, difficult and terrifying truths about the most intimate aspects of our lives and relationships.

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070710 tunnel vision

May 9, 2015

070710

we all play our parts in the game
bent hardened links in the chain
some of us ride neutral class
sipping suicide on the train
in comfort finding others to blame
some of us are hog-tied up
to struggle on our backs, we lay
in desperate wait like deer
spread across the tracks
for the light drawing near

inside our oil dark tunnel vision
steam-powered industrial precision
destructive engines of creation
burned so many times before,
now numb to that once-familiar sensation
drowned sorrow in the alcohols of negation,
so much pain
real men withdraw in isolation

individualist collective
begs salvation
severed tissue connective
antisocial way to cope,
no empathy here, slippery slope
we hide our fear, hidden
turning hostile toward
the faintest spark of hope

once pure, now corrupt we are
the end of the line,
the bridge is gone
and we’re all out of luck
how many have you seen self-destruct?
these words are my last spasm and
this voice is my last breath
because it only matters
how old we are
when we stand
the same distance from death


121812 single spark

October 7, 2014

121812

my friend, I see you
as you walk so calmly amongst us
as if you were nothing more
than a simple guy with a smart strut
sliding between us
smooth as silk cuts through strands of smoke
searching.  I search, too.

I hear you
laugh as you take a joke
and file it away, for later
the same as I see the wheels in your rational head
twisting and turning, thoughtful dead
I feel the empty hunger in your heart
pumping and burning, and
I sense the doubtful blood in your veins
yielding to the yearning.

you are kind and gentle
to us, perfectly flawed
you are a good friend
to some, and we stand blind, in awe
but all it takes is just one, to me
no turning back, you embrace
what you’ve become

I am here to help you
realize what you’ve done
because i see you, in the dark
and in the moment that we meet
will be a single spark
so it’s with a heavy hand
and an open heart I offer you
fair warning and a fresh head start:

watch your back, monster
you might hide from others
but I see you for what you are
I know your victims, some survive
I see them in the skies at night
and I feel their scars

you won’t be the only one
stalking its prey, by night
and by day, any where, any way
might be the perfect time to strike

you won’t be the only one
calculating, cold, cautious of his choice:
vulnerable, accessible, lacking credibility
those without a voice
whose silent terror falls
with the cycles of the moon
because they put their trust in you

relish their fear
you will know it soon.
living too much in your brain
run away, hide, explain it all
the pain you cause
you will feel it, too

the moment when we meet again
we won’t be so lonely, because
you won’t be the only one
refusing to take, ‘no’ for an answer, anymore
I know exactly what it is about you I abhore
you’re nothing special, nothing unique
not talented, nor gifted
nothing, and no more.

Do you see me, now?
because i see you in the dark
and in the moment that we meet
will be a single spark
through the lens of history:
your life, your death
our one, and only mark.


men are anatomically inconsiderate?

September 30, 2014

To all the men reading this:

If you identify with the reasons stated below, please listen.  I’m saying this out of genuine concern for you as a human being:  Go see a doctor.  It’s neither normal nor healthy for your junk to hurt when you assume a normal sitting position (and I say this as someone who hates sitting, period).  You might have cancer, or a particularly nasty STI.  A few (very very small percentage) of you might actually have abnormally large reproductive organs which makes sitting (or maybe even standing) normally difficult.  I feel for you — maybe consider surgical options?

http://mic.com/articles/99858/entitled-men-everywhere-just-can-t-stop-taking-up-all-the-space-on-public-transportation


Guns, Sex(ism), and Hugs

February 13, 2010

What a week.  One shooting at Fort Hood, then a second shooting in Orlando…a bit closer to home (Portland, OR), the 3rd shooting of the week…because she filed for divorce??  And a fourth shooting and a fifth shooting in the Portland-metro area.  In all five cases the perpetrators are men.

UPDATE (11/18):   A sixth shooting

UPDATE (11/30):  Seventh shooting and eighth shooting

UPDATE (12/03): Ninth shooting

UPDATE (02/11): Tenth shooting

In the last three four SIX SEVEN EIGHT local murders in a matter of weeks, it is the same old story…

  1. man believes he has a right to control women Read the rest of this entry »

Football Fans: Racism, Sexism, Masculinity

December 31, 2009

Data source: Stokley gets ejected for slapping the ref
sample size: 1622 comments (as of 01:30 12/31/09)

A keyword search of comments reveals the following:
Pussy (and variants) x 72
Sissy x 4
Bitch (and variants) x 63
Fag (and variants) x  32
Gay x 30
blowjob jokes x 18
Nigger (and variants) x 36
Coons x 2

Assuming 1 keyword per comment, ~15.5% of comments are sexist or racist

CAVEATS: Read the rest of this entry »


Quote of the Day: Gender (e)Qualities

December 2, 2009

Thomas over at Feministing posed a great question in response to the movie trailer for the new film, An Emasculating Truth:

So I’ve been thinking about this, and I keep coming back to a question that I can’t answer:

What positive qualities do I want to see in a son that I don’t want to see in a daughter?

I can’t think of any.

Great question.  Hopefully, it stumps most everyone.  Hardcore sexists, maybe not so much.  But in the least, it’s a great conversation starter.