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About Askthepizzaguy

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    Know the Dark Side
  • Birthday 08/24/1983

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  1. Explain to me why it's ok for someone to scream the N word at black folks or tell Muslims they need to get out of the country they were born in, but it's not okay to verbally condemn those actions? That's the one thing I've never understood. Liberal is a slur, so is social justice warrior. Let me know why the bigots are the heroes and those speaking out against them are the villains. When someone defends it with the only thing they can, in that hate speech is legal, sure. I'll grant that. Legal doesn't mean morally okay. And it's also legal to condemn bigotry, and it's also legal to demonstrate, and it's also legal to vote. When you behave like a bigot, within your legal rights, you're being a whiner the moment you get publicly condemned by someone else exercising theirs. If you're too fragile to dish out hateful insults, and then get called out for it, here's my tip: Stop being a bigot. Works every single frigging time. 100% of the time.
  2. And an apology for either will never, ever be forthcoming. It's like apologizing to someone who is a neo-nazi. Why? Why would I ever do that?
  3. There is no purpose in reaching an agreement with a sexist or a racist. One may caution others to be civil, to not respond with violence. But the call to action, and the call to publicly condemn them with words and marches and petitions, and by demonstrating, and by voting, is the correct and gentlemanly response to bigotry. The moment that makes me a Sith lord, well, the avatar suits me. Let's put it that way. I have no force lightning with which to fry the bigots. I just have my voice and my vote. But you can bet your ass I'll use it every time.
  4. I successfully faked sincerity during this game, particularly in this Day phase that started here http://forums.totalwar.org/vb/showthread.php?152111-Futuramafia-Concluded&p=2053717234&viewfull=1#post2053717234 Culminating around this point. http://forums.totalwar.org/vb/showthread.php?152111-Futuramafia-Concluded&p=2053717323&viewfull=1#post2053717323 I appealed to sincerity. Fakely. Should be useful to you regardless.
  5. Congrats on being a winner, BFG. Don't worry about reads. You were townier than the scums and they all died. That's the only thing that matters. Plus your towning in game 1 was the only towning that was occurring. LEL
  6. My time has been quite divided recently, I don't play as often as I used to, and I'm in school. But, as this is Sooh's homesite and contains a ton of my mafia-playing friends, I always keep an eye out. Sooh and a couple other players mentioned things that, just from my experience on another site, I think has a workable solution. One of the things you gotta watch out for on a site like DM, or my homesites of the org and cfc, is when your player base is roughly around the number that is needed to fill a game, even one issue going unaddressed can cause games to not fill. Stuff doesn't fill very often on my home site. I don't want something like that to happen to DM. It's a good group.
  7. Hey guys, impartial 2 cents Where I play/host there's a standard of not discussing substitutions, either your own, or someone else's, as well as a rule about not posting once you've decided to sub out, and we keep track of repeated sub-outs. That eliminates the damages that can occur to a game when someone decides to sub out, then continues to post in a way that takes advantage of the situation, or, it eliminates the discussion of why someone is subbing out, and most especially, why such a sub-out is actually alignment indicative, which is the worst way to damage the game's integrity. A single sub out or occasional sub out is simply remembered, not reacted to, but let's say three sub outs in a month or a pattern of behavior leads to being unable to sign up for future games for a while. These kinds of ideas make it much easier on the game host who needs to make a decision about the slot. Be advised that it can lead to games being over due to modkill of the final scum, but, it may be preferable to the alternative. If the game host agrees that a modkill must occur when discussion of substitution for the purpose of reading someone's alignment or avoiding a lynch occurs, and does it every time regardless of that person's role or alignment, it puts an end to the idea of angleshooting via that method, intentional or not. Implementing those rules has made the player base much happier as a group. It allows the in-game discussion to remain in-game and not venture out into meatspace where it doesn't belong. I hope I've phrased the above as neutrally and respectfully as I can, not assigning blame to any party or the game host. This situation can occur even when no one has any ill intentions. Sometimes it just happens. But we can proactively prevent it in the future.
  8. Also in the news: "BFG is visually stunning." So there's that as well.
  9. Congats'ed in the game thread etc but wanted to do so here. Was a fun game to watch and narrate. Kill em in the finals.
  10. Thanks for your kind words. Most of the folks I spend time with online just refer to me as Pizza.
  11. I realize I will be bringing up broader themes in my response, so I'll be as direct as I can with a short answer and then expand on it. Short answer: I cannot say that I know for sure. Most of the males that I am familiar with on a personal level are my online acquaintances, I am generally a solitary and private person when I am not in my wife's immediate company. The men that I come into contact with on an everyday basis, I don't find out where they stand on feminism or equality right away, because it's not the first thing that comes up. "Culture war" subjects such as liberalism, progressivism, conservatism, equal rights, religious pluralism and so forth are heavy subjects which are often avoided in business settings and public settings where I tend to meet other people. It would only be in a more intimate and private setting where such subjects would even enter into casual conversation, and even in those cases, they are heavy subject matters. That's why it's hard to say how many men agree with my viewpoint. It would be painful to have to suffer through another fool telling me why women shouldn't have access to contraceptives while they're an invited guest in my home, for example. A lot of these subjects are extremely important to me, yet, there seems to be no natural or appropriate place to discuss them. I do know that men who disagree with my viewpoint are not in short supply and make their opinions heard rather loudly and foolishly without much prompting in wildly inappropriate settings. Essentially anyone who adheres to a supremacist or dominance viewpoint, in terms of marginalizing people of different genders, ethnicities, sexual dynamics, religions, or national origins (etc), casually insert these views into normal conversation as if their views were supportable or valid, or that the debate isn't really settled. It doesn't matter if it is in a business environment, public location, or in full view of employees or customers or people who would be appalled to hear their nasty ignorance. There's something about being sickeningly ignorant that naturally comes paired with a total lack of shame or humility or self-consciousness. Casual sexism/racism and the largely silent response: I remember when I worked at [a pizza restaurant] before moving to where I am now to be with my wife, team members I worked with would casually express sexist remarks, racist remarks, and so on and so forth, seemingly oblivious to either the fact that it is wholly inappropriate to do so at work, or that members of the team who disagree with their idiocy think lesser of them and generally hold their tongue and tolerate it simply to get through a business day and go home. If you were to flip viewpoints, you wouldn't see a bunch of people talking about feminism, or equality of any kind, even in my particular location where the demographics were majority black, racial injustice was not a hot topic at work. Even when police shootings were big news, the discussion of the day at work was not about trying to promote ideas about racial equality. Picking your battles: There's something about holding these two ideas in your head - that the group of people who are most like you aren't better than everyone else, and that other people are due consideration and hospitality, not a target for domination - that generally means you do not go about your day trying to win a power struggle with them. As a result, I find that people who hold egalitarian ideas tend to be more tolerant and don't always challenge those who don't, and thus, it makes it seem like advocates for feminism or equality don't exist. Instead, they're the ones thinking to themselves (when the company racist/sexist is spouting off again) what a jackass that guy is. They understand that it would be disruptive and probably completely unproductive and futile to challenge his bigotry right then and there. Futility in using reason: What is the bigot going to do? Have a come to Jesus style moment when he's caught off-guard spouting an opinion contrary to the majority of the group? Surrender his bigotry and everything he considers precious to him in order to be accepted by those who he sought to dominate? Or is he going to fight the culture war he declared on everyone else and try to win an unwinnable battle, wasting everyone's time and ruining everyone else's day? People understand intuitively not to even try to make the idiot see reason. All the people who are NOT in vocal agreement with the bigot are the ones who are mature enough to try to suffer the fool and get through their day so they can get back into the presence of someone with more sense as soon as possible. Consequently, the bigot seems to think that people agree with his viewpoint, because rarely is his viewpoint openly challenged when he starts spouting it off. As a result, equality is a much more long-term struggle, it is not won in decisive engagements in rapid-fire insult-hurled debates, or in shouting matches. It is not won simply by one person taking it upon themselves to challenge the foolish viewpoint. It isn't won that way. If it were that simple, the bigot would have grown the hell up by now. But the feeling that equality should prevail does exist: As soon as the bigot is out of sight and earshot, knowing glances are exchanged. People shake their heads. The fool has absolutely no idea how loathed and despised he is, or how much of a joke he is. You almost feel bad for him, not knowing how alienated he is, how little people respect him. He's a relic of a time when such things weren't just suffered through and tolerated and politically opposed, they were actively encouraged by the grand majority. He cannot adapt and he refuses to adapt. Those who can change largely will have changed by now. The thing is, opposition to bigotry and the conversation about minority rights and gender equality and the sexual revolution and many other aspects of our culture have been prominent for half a century at the very least. Unless you're a child being taught the idiocy from your parents, if you're an adult you've largely been exposed to the common-sense arguments that support equal treatment. If they haven't budged you from your position, it's because you have made those bigoted viewpoints a part of your personal identity now, as much as someone will identify as a Christian, as Jewish, or as a Muslim, and be offended when you attack the ideas of those religions. Ideas as identities: When ideas become identities, they will not budge. If someone attacks your ideas that you consider fundamental and part of your identity, you will defend them, no matter how indefensible they are. It literally does not matter that there's no merit to your arguments. The defense is reflexive. As long as you verbally respond to every attack, it doesn't even matter if the defense offered makes sense or is valid. It is simply a person trying to keep their own identity valid. Without their core identifying values, they feel like nothing. When challenged, the bigot realizes he's already surrounded by hostile ideas, and that he will likely make no friends simply by conceding all his core viewpoints. He feels like he has nothing to lose, and ideologically speaking, fight to the last man. It doesn't matter if he even understands that he's re-fighting the battle of the Alamo and he simply cannot win, he feels like his defense here will inspire others to carry on and win the culture war for him. The lone wolf mentality: It's the same mentality that bolsters the courage of radical terrorists, fundamentalist radicals, militant white supremacists, and the violent and backwards cultures which endorse the beheading of women accused of adultery, the enforced wearing of restrictive clothing, the mutilation of genitals. It doesn't matter which viewpoint you hold that society is largely rejecting, there are some who refuse to change and will "fight" to the last as if they were on the side of justice, because that is what they believe. They identify with their ideas so much that there is no changing them. It doesn't matter if KKK membership is down to pathetic and laughable levels. People will still join. It doesn't matter if a cuckoo nutter opposes the immigration of people with brown skin and wants to form a militia to overthrow the government and can only get his five drinking buddies to join the movement. It doesn't matter if a person born in the United States and surrounded by freedom and egalitarian ideas about tolerance can't win by converting everyone to radicalized Islam. The lone wolf will not decline to fight his culture war because there's a rational mind at work that says he cannot win. Of course not, it will only mean he has to get louder and more violent. Like the same bigot at work who would be losing a calm and rational debate about his foolish ideas, when convinced that he is the minority viewpoint, it is not a matter of listening and being reasonable. The response is to shout down your opponent. The bigot or the supremacist will overtalk, interrupt, shout and get loud, use fallacies and red herrings and make threats and make insults, almost invariably. It's part of human nature. Convinced that it is society which is wrong, some of these people go from lone wolf to lone gunman, or lone car bomber, or fly to Syria and join ISIL. Identifying with an ideology which simply can no longer dominate, yet seeks to dominate, these men (because this is largely a male problem, although not exclusively) will break ties with the society at large and seek to resist through minority movements, like those militias I described, or terror cells, or simply join Stormfront or other social groups which allow them to hold their viewpoint with like-minded individuals. Whatever the case may be, the bigot isn't changing, they're simply finding other bigots to be around to avoid being the lone wolf. But if it comes down to it, they cling to their ideas so strongly that reason and common sense aren't enough to stop them from being lone wolves. The parasites that hurt women, to everyday misogyny: As it matters specifically to the feminism discussion, these are the men who think it's perfectly ok to abuse their spouses or girlfriends. These are the men who are stalkers, or are controlling, or psychologically abusive or manipulative. They'll resort to drugging women or pressuring them or intimidating them into sexual activities. It is not a relationship of equals, for them. And they certainly don't understand or agree with the feminist movement, that's fairly impossible even for people with high levels of cognitive dissonance. They'll find like-minded men to be their friends. Obviously they can't stand someone who doesn't enthusiastically agree with them that women shouldn't talk back to their husbands, shouldn't be allowed to go out with their friends, or who speak up when they talk about hitting their wives. These are the men who will, as a group, isolate a woman and victimize her. They'll talk a big game about traditional values, how society was much better off when women knew their place, and how immoral today's society is. They'll go on national television and wax philosophical about how blacks were better off under segregation and Jim Crow laws, and that they personally never met anyone who had a problem with it. It's interesting the correlation between this attitude and one which advocates against women's reproductive health and access to contraceptives. Once again the mentality is that women aren't deserving of personal liberties, freedom of choice or control over their own bodies, or capable or worthy of self-determination. That's the harder stuff, and difficult to talk about because it is so abhorrent, but there's also the soft bigotry that is far more widespread, which comes up on a nearly daily basis and in more respectable circles. Otherwise fine individuals, even those who are largely supportive of egalitarian ideals, will still strangely cling to anti-feminist ideas. They'll say "I don't want to hire women because of how they perform on the job, not because I'm a bigot." And they'll justify that by pointing to several specific women they've recently hired and soon fired for being late, being unprofessional, being unable or unwilling to perform basic job duties. Of course, they can rationalize their viewpoint because they are simply unable to look at themselves with a critical eye and see that they've also hired and fired a bunch of men for all of the same reasons, but didn't attribute those negative qualities to the male gender. When a man screws up or has negative qualities, he's just dumb or a jerk or an unprofessional layabout. If a woman under-performs on the job, it's because she's a woman. This is true in the political world as well. You'll probably find that if a prominent female politician is under fire, there will be a lot of references to her hair, makeup, attractiveness, or wardrobe. People will talk about (in Hillary's case, as an example) her partner's infidelity, as if that's something that ever matters to the welfare of a country that needs to be governed. If a male politician's wife cheated on him, it would not be haunting his political career 20 years later. "Both sides do it" arguments will point out that sometimes male politicians will be attacked for looking ugly or old or for the way their face looks caked in spray-on tan and makeup, completely ignoring the difference in proportion, as if the minor instances of these examples is inherently equal to the multitudes of examples on the other side. The offenses against women are staggering to comprehend in total. This does not turn a blind eye to the fact that the world can be a cruel and unfair place to persons of the male gender, but the fact is that for almost any example of injustice a man has to endure, women must also endure it. But there are injustices that are widespread and vile which the vast majority of apply to women exclusively, and it isn't just a coincidence that it is happening to a female. It's because they're female. When you list the offenses that happen to men because they're men, the list is vastly smaller. Where are the serial rapists targeting men who are female? Where are the serial killers targeting men who are female? Where are the female-dominated political power structures and employers shutting men out from equal employment opportunity? "Men's rights" advocates might rightly conclude that there are some few examples where society seems to favor women, but they have to cherry pick those examples, and it makes them look as ridiculous as the rich person complaining that the poor have access to social security, and all the injustice of having to suffer through life in a higher tax bracket. It must be abundantly clear by now that I largely stew in silence about these matters, but they frustrate me, dishearten me, and enrage me to no end. I do make my opinions heard on discussion boards whenever the topic comes up. But it is so very difficult for me to speak my mind about these matters in public, not because I'm embarrassed in the slightest about my viewpoint, but because I would be so deathly embarrassed for those who think feminism is a load of garbage. It is not at all dissimilar to a very brief conversation I had with a co-worker who tried selling me on his holy book, because he had overheard me talking to a different co-worker about gay rights. He went with the usual Old Testament lines and repeated everything he had ever heard anyone say in defense of those lines. I quickly pointed out all the other Old Testament laws he was breaking at that very moment, by having a shaved beard and wearing blended fabrics, his choice of diet, and so on and so forth, but none of the obvious reasons and contradictions fazed this man. He began to resort to repeating over and over about how his book was the word of God and infallible, as I continued to cite examples of direct contradictions and offered to link him a website containing thousands of examples of direct contradictions. There was no intelligible reply, such as "I'll look at it but I'm skeptical". It was simply repeating like a broken record player that what he knew was infallible. There is no debate to be had with a person who identifies with a bad idea. You disagree with them and it is a personal attack. Ideas must be able to be challenged or humanity cannot progress as a species. Warping identity and ideology is such a dangerous and stupid mistake. It is why I am extremely cautious about broaching any heavy subject with anyone in person. I don't want to be the guy sitting there painfully listening to someone babbling in defense of their identity, because they have no other options whatsoever but to surrender to a better viewpoint. It is very uncomfortable for me to deal with because social situations happen to be uncomfortable for me to deal with in the first place, you compound that base discomfort with someone defending ideas on par with slavery or white supremacy or simply plain old misogyny, and I can't leave the room fast enough. I can't think of anyone more insufferable to have to deal with than someone who feels like they must defend ideas that were outdated and already widely being discredited in the dark ages, or else they lose their identity and manhood. It's all so much awkward chest-thumping that embarrasses both the speaker and everyone within earshot. Hence why it doesn't really come up much. Usually what happens is people say their dumb idea, and smart people ignore it. Whether it's actually smart to ignore the guy spouting Hitlerian ideas is another question. But at least they're not supportive of it, and that's a big step forward for humanity. As I went into above, it doesn't come up much in a one-on-one personal basis. There's sort of an unspoken understanding among the few men that I know who I know also support egalitarian and fairness ideas. And basically that unspoken understanding is that we don't generally bring it up to change minds. When Bozo the bigot outs himself as a moron in public, we shake our heads and continue about our day. Later, when he is gone, those who glanced at each other with knowing looks and who said absolutely nothing in agreement with the bigoted moron will seek each other out and bring it up and go, did you hear what Frank said earlier? And then you find out immediately if that person is someone you're about to have a conversation with. They'll either immediately out themselves as a bigot as well and wholeheartedly agree, or they'll immediately out themselves as someone sane. That's the wonderful thing, both sides of these matters don't really feel like they have to hide their viewpoints when around like-minded individuals. I find out quickly this way if I can be friends with someone. It is not without irony that I note that my behavior seems to be a form of counter-marginalization of bigoted persons. I ask myself if that the best I can offer in response? The difference is, I assure myself, that I didn't deny this person employment, and I didn't deny this person their right to say whatever they wanted, or their right to live their life as an open bigot. I am simply choosing not to associate with bigots. There's more I could do on an everyday level, I suppose- It would be a simple matter to rally everyone I knew who opposed his bigoted viewpoint and confront him about it, and pick a battle of wits with someone who doesn't have any. Is that really a solution? He's not going to change. And you never know, it might provoke him to come to work armed with a shotgun. Part of the problem is that it is exhausting. Misogynists and other bigots and oppressors are the internet trolls of real life. You cannot talk a troll out of being a troll. You cannot deal with each troll personally yourself, you would be at it 24/7. There's little point in debating the troll in real life. The viewpoints involved are so predictable and simplistic that it is like trying to talk to a sincere Flat Earth-er or a Bush-did-9/11 conspiracy theorist or a Moon-landing denier. There's nothing you can say, no evidence you can offer. It is a massive waste of your time and a drain on your spirit and it causes you to lose your faith in the positive aspects of humanity. There are days when I feel slightly misanthrophic because it is on a constant basis that I see examples of humanity failing to be humane, an intelligent species refusing to be intelligent, a civilization bent on being uncivil. I grit my teeth and I tolerate the intolerance, and I try desperately to know people who aren't a gigantic disappointment. The good news is that I think we're in the majority, enough to pass some laws even through a hugely corrupted and self-serving legislature, sometimes. And outside of voter politics, the numbers are even greater. Once you get past the very loud and very obnoxious trolls, you start to realize that yes, they are rare. They don't roam around in equal number. They are disproportionately represented because they are the loudest, the most unashamed, the most relentless in not caring about looking like a total idiot, the ones who will foolishly spend all their money promoting their idea and fight to the last man to defend it. It's just that the rest of us know that those ideas are dying out, and that the culture war can be won without firing a shot, without being drawn into the stupid debates, and the march of progress continues. The Cliven Bundys of the world can temporarily seize property and make a giant stink on the news and call for armed revolt and generally throw a tantrum about being willing to die for their futile ideas, but the rest of humanity will scoff at them and we'll wisely attempt to end the conflict without anyone being shot. How we deal with backwards radicals successfully is that we don't sink to their level, we don't get trolled into debating or legitimizing them. We're in this for the long haul. We slowly bring the ideas to the forefront of our society's consciousness, we wait until the moment is right, and we act. We pass the laws that are needed. We spread the ideas out into the culture through our writings, through music, through scripts, through acting, through political action. We normalize and we legitimize our ideas. We find people who are willing to listen or change and we make inroads. Sometimes we do get drawn into the shouting matches, with limited success, but we're only human. But then the time comes for action, when we hear that Frank is beating his wife and we call the police. We give his wife information about organizations that help women like her. We offer to provide a safe place. We tell everyone we know about Frank, to warn them. We do the same when we hear about men who are the abusers in relationships. It's harder work to upend the political and economic power structure which supports misogyny. There's little I can do directly to challenge my employer's misogyny if it is subtle and doesn't cross the line of illegality. It's harder work to remove politicians who support misogynist policies or who oppose equal pay or who shut down women's health centers. It would be a 24/7 effort. But when the time comes I do show up and I vote. In a culture war between misogynists and feminists, the feminists win. But they win victories here and there and there and there, accumulating them toward a more equal and fair society, and it takes time. Some minds are slow to change, others die without changing. That is why the progress of humanity comes so slowly and with such great difficulty. In the meantime, in the short term, it's vital to accelerate the change in society at large by educating young people as early as possible and as often as possible about this form of societal cancer. It's not going to happen in the school system, so it's up to parents, guardians, mentors, and the elder generations to do as much as possible to spread the word one on one, while those minds are more malleable, before it's too late. It's vital to educate women about their options when they are in danger, or in an abusive relationship. We should put more resources into making women's support networks more available. That isn't the entire solution and it is only a bandage to help a wound recover once it has already been inflicted. Always we must seek to change society so it doesn't happen in the first place. I can't change the world and I can't change all men or confront every example of misogyny personally. In order to make a living, I too must subscribe to an unfair system and work for an employer who may not be just and even-handed. I just know that I support the feminist cause wherever I reasonably can and I do not form personal associations with backwards men. Yet it is still much easier for me because I'm not the main target of a misogynist's abuse and as a heterosexual man, I can pretty much ignore them and go about my life. It's not possible for many women to simply turn a blind eye to this problem because they're the target, and they're choosing life mates from among a group of men who may carry a misogynistic streak. I don't have the answer for what they're supposed to do except be as choosy as possible. Obviously there are enough people in actually happy relationships that it is an attainable goal, but if it is difficult or slow to happen, I feel like it is much better for women to be alone than to try to "change" a man who is sick in the head and has terrible ideas about women. It will only end up causing more unhappiness than solitude would, speaking as a guy who preferred solitude rather than abusive relationships or ones that were little more than power struggles. I ended those relationships immediately when I saw they were not fix-able. I can only encourage as many women as possible to be strong and leave when it becomes obvious a man will not change. Do not feed the real life trolls, it will only waste your life and cause you misery. @ Jivenrah, et al I realize I'm speaking in broader themes and I apologize that this is very lengthy and isn't in the form of a brief, short answer to your questions. The subject matter moves me to elaborate enthusiastically and perhaps inappropriately, I'm not sure. I don't have a lot of personal examples of men who share my views or don't, a lot of my experiences are related through people I know, as this problem largely doesn't affect me personally, only my friends, and I can only readily identify the misogynists when they are being open and blatant about it, which (thankfully) doesn't happen as often as it would have in the past. The few examples I did have I did share, without naming actual names. Mostly I find examples of it in the workplace, or hearing about it from my female friends, acquaintances, and co-workers. I have often counseled women I have known who have been in abusive relationships with men (and women) and I have personally challenged my female co-workers to learn as much as they possibly can about pay inequality and employment discrimination, and have spoken at length about how much of a lie it is that employers cannot pay them more, citing other more egalitarian countries with higher living wages and showed them real examples of our company's finances and used calculators to demonstrate that the only reason they do not get paid more is because they have not unionized. These are all matters that affect women in particular, but misogyny is such a massive and multifaceted problem that I simply don't know how effective I am at challenging it.
  12. In my thoughts I am still clinging to a certain notion of what it means to be a man, not in terms of maleness but in terms of what is expected of a man and what is right for a man to be. A lot of that kind of thinking is deeply ingrained into me even as a feminist, that defining qualities of being a man must be strong and superior values and principles, and by implication, those who don't hold those values are lesser men. I don't mean to imply that those qualities aren't found except in men, yet these ideas of manhood and the dominance it implies run so deep in our culture and our collective consciousness that even while recognizing those biases and assumptions, they are difficult to escape from. In some sense we've defined manhood as a struggle for dominance or a loyal adherence to a structure of dominance. The most celebrated men are the alpha males who command and lead, the next most celebrated men are the ones who obey and carry out a mission and in turn contribute to the struggle for dominance. Lower on the list are those who have dominated in a particular field and have plenty to provide with. All the way down the list, until you see that low earners, low ranking persons, and persons who simply do not try to dominate others end up being seen as the weakest and therefore least manly of men. Confidence, success, even a bit of an arrogant streak is often considered attractive in men, whereas you'll notice in the workplace, a woman with exactly the same set of qualities will be seen as bossy or pushy and will be disliked by men and women alike. Although we are an intellectual species we are still one which is still very much based on subconscious power struggles and instincts, and for most men this is a large part of what defines them as an individual, to their own self esteem and confidence, to their male peers, and to women. It's not just a selected-for trait that our species prefers, it's also encouraged and taught to boys as early as possible. To get not just one man but a society of men to confront everything they've been taught since childhood about the need to establish themselves in a struggle for power, and teachings which are reinforced by everyone in their society, to get them all to give up on that power structure is not something that can happen in a day or a year, or by following one leader. Not even being philosophically and intellectually an advocate for feminism can remove all of the biases and assumptions. But any change can be welcomed, and society can transform in steps. It doesn't need to be the case that competition itself needs to be eliminated from our society, it can be healthy. It doesn't need to be the case that a man needs to lose self-esteem, confidence, or his own ego. Men don't have to stop trying to be men. What has to change is that men must stop being taught that the only way to be considered a man is to establish that someone else isn't as manly or dominant as part of a social struggle for power. You can take all of those qualities that are considered a positive in men and use them for a social struggle for an equitable and fair and just society. You can use them to challenge the alpha male hierarchy rather than being subservient to it and an enabler and supporter of it. All one needs to do is make a commitment to the idea that women are peers, equally valued, and to confront biased thinking that says they cannot perform as well as you, or that it shouldn't be allowed even if they can, whether that thought is one that someone else has, or if you catch yourself having such a thought. Just challenge indefinitely the idea that "I'm better / more important because" no matter where the idea originates. If you challenge it, and you reduce those biases, you make the world a fairer place because there is now one fairer person in it. It doesn't need to be perfect, but almost every step that is taken is a positive one. It's pretty hard to go wrong. You'd have to create a system that is needlessly lopsided in the other direction for it to have gone too far.
  13. I understand the awkwardness involved in having male advocates for a women's movement, however I believe it to be entirely necessary. This is quite similar to racial equality in some respects: progress on this matter is largely, though not entirely, on the shoulders of the persons doing the marginalization, not the persons being marginalized. In the same vein that it is not minorities who need to change and progress to be considered equal in a white-majority society, but the white majority itself that needs to change and mature and adapt, so too is it the case that the problems that women face are largely caused by men and a society that accepts gender inequality. Through tradition and cultural pressure, women do sometimes contribute to the inequality and in keeping one another down, but realistically speaking it is the men who need to change. Whether we are talking about issues about pay, employment opportunity, maternity issues, reproductive health issues, or women's right to choose (and also their right to hold a contrary viewpoint to that), whether we're talking about representation in government by elected representatives, or by their voices being heard by those representatives, whether we're talking about workplace discrimination, spousal abuse, domestic violence, rape, or harassment or demeaning treatment, it is largely not the case that women need to somehow improve or progress, as if they were deserving of these multitudes of gender-based mistreatment, it is the men who must alter their understanding of what is just, what is appropriate, and what should be legal. Fundamentally speaking, it is the supremacist attitude that people have that needs to change. Whether it is the heteronormative attitude, where any non-heterosexuals or persons with a differing lifestyle are treated in an inferior manner, whether it's racially-based, or whether it is nativist or nationally-based xenophobia or discrimination, whether it's a culturally supremacist attitude, or a gender-based attitude, the problem is always with the person holding these attitudes. It is not for gays to somehow prove themselves worthy of equality, it is not for racial minorities, nor religious ones, nor non-natives. They do not need to prove themselves worthy of proper treatment. The persons who need to change are the people who have the problem of believing they are in a superior position and that it needs to stay that way, or that they are inherently better people somehow. This too is true when it comes to gender. Misogyny is very real and widespread, and to some degree, I find that most men have this as a character flaw, whether it falls into the category of a lower and progressive level of misogyny, or whether it really sticks out and makes itself known, and really impacts others in a dramatic way. The fact is, little boys grow up in a culture where they are taught it is culturally acceptable and in fact preferred if they compete with one another and assert dominance. And they are also seemingly taught that it is never acceptable to be dominated in turn by a female. It is about status, or at least it starts with that attitude. Once it is celebrated and reinforced that boys must act in a superior and dominant fashion towards their female peers, they stop being seen as peers, but as a different and lesser class of people. That's my opinion on it, but there may be other issues. After puberty and adolescence and hormones get involved, not treating women as equals and with respect starts to turn into an even larger problem, because then women are treated as objects of sexual conquest, as challenges to be met, and trophies to be won, as status symbols themselves. This continues into adulthood, and where the attitude is not challenged, it festers. Violent men who mistreat other men should have little restraint when it comes to being violent toward women, and they don't expect that a woman will fight back, or they'll choose one specifically who will not. Then they can feed their egos by dominating the person they are with. It's quite disgusting. Now, there are ways women can combat this tendency in men, and should be educated especially about these matters, pertaining to self-defense and domestic violence, so in order for feminism to thrive, all genders need to be educated and involved. But truly the education needs to happen on the male end of the spectrum. It needs to be more of a big deal in our society when women are mistreated, and despite the widespread nature of the problem, it isn't the case. It's not a national discussion that's happening on a political level, it isn't really covered well by the news and the media unless the article is written by a woman, largely speaking. But to your questions: To me, being a man and being a feminist are one and the same thing. When I was growing up, most of my actual friends (platonic ones) were female. So my perspective on the matter may be somewhat unusual for a heterosexual male, because I do know that I was privy to a lot of discussion and thoughts that women have that they would generally share with one another, but largely wouldn't be a topic of discussion between themselves and their boyfriends, for example. The stories I heard about apathy, infidelity, or blatant mistreatment, involving my friends, moved me to know as much about it as I could. I haven't lived the life of a woman so there's still much I simply cannot know. All I know is what I can see with my own eyes and hear with my own ears, and the simple truth is that how men are allowed by society to treat women, and get away with it, is largely disgusting and shameful, and part of the reason why I don't respect or associate with men too closely until I get to know them better and see how they treat others. One cannot truly be a man if one holds the attitude that he maintains a dominant position in our society by treating others as lesser people. One does not advance as a mature and whole person by diminishing others. Period, it's a defining quality of being a man. Those who seek social status through the oppression of others aren't men, they are the sociological equivalent of monkeys beating one another with sticks to establish who is the alpha. That kind of insecurity tells you something about the quality of their character: They are nothing unless they are hurting someone else. To me, you cannot be a man if you're that afraid. My reasons and definitions of feminism may differ from others' understanding or their own reasons. But the end goal should be the same, which is a society that has much less inequality and suffering in it, a more civilized and mature place to be. I would hope that male declarations of feminism are welcomed, though I completely understand if those offered are met with suspicion. After all, people do tend to have alternative motivations for why they behave the way they do. Speaking now for probably the first time on the subject matter as a happily married man, as opposed to a single one, my motivations are the same as they always have been- to bring about a world that is safe and welcoming to women, just like I want for the men in the world. No one needs to lose anything. We simply need to stop trying to create losers in our societal structure in order to declare ourselves the winner by default. It's possible for everyone to live in a better society and no one has to be brought down to make that happen. But men have to actually be educated on the subject matter and care, and it is impossible to force an apathetic and deliberately ignorant person to care. That is why most of the efforts on this matter are being carried out by those being mistreated as opposed to those who are doing the mistreating. But if the movement exists and is loud enough and sustained enough, it stops being socially acceptable to be (for example) publicly and openly racist, or homophobic, or xenophobic, or misogynist. Then it goes into hiding, it doesn't disappear, but over time, those attitudes in hiding will then fade, because the next generation isn't exposed to it, and the idiocy of the idea isn't then passed on to a new generation.
  14. Pardon my posting, I have to share a message: Sooh's computer is having issues and we're doing a full system restore. She'll be here as soon as that process is finished, and wanted me to let you guys know.
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