Thursday, March 21, 2013

Steubenville Rape Verdict

I went to college in the seventies, which makes me a kind of historical relic.  In 1973, Roe vs. Wade had just made abortion legal, the "sexual revolution" was well underway, and the second wave of feminism was reaching its zenith.

I had just turned eighteen.  I had lost 100 pounds, morphing from a very obese high school student beyond the social pale, into a very pretty, very buxom blonde.  I could hardly wait for my life to begin.  I was all juiced up on my own hormones and fantasies.

But I was also riddled with anxiety and crippled by lack of confidence.  I didn't have a clue... about practically anything.  So I made a lot of foolish, impulsive choices, as many young people do, especially regarding alcohol.

I attended a large public university in a dry state in the midwest, where the only alcohol legally available was 3.2 beer.  I had very little experience with hard drinking.  One night I went to an acquaintance's room in my dorm with several other people.  He was lavishing us with screwdrivers, and I got very drunk very fast.  One of the young men in the group, Simon Kuttab, offered to help me back to my room.

(I call him a young man now, but in fact he was a grad student at least ten years my senior, with a receding hairline and a pot belly, so from my perspective seemed positively middle aged.)

I remember little of the rest of the evening, except coming to, face down on his bed.  He had removed my bra and pulled my jeans down to my ankles.  He was attempting to penetrate me anally; it was probably the pain of this that brought me back to consciousness.  Although I was now aware of what was happening, I was literally immobilized.  I said, "Please stop" before passing out again.  Perhaps an hour later, I stumbled out of his room and made my way back to my own, losing my bra (never to be retrieved) in the process.

In 1973, the concepts of "acquaintance rape" or even "sexual harassment" didn't exist; they weren't.even on the radar.  I knew whatever had happened to me did not fit the legal definition of "rape."  It's true Simon had acted caddishly, but I was the one who had been defiled. I was responsible because I had put myself in the position to be taken advantage of.  Therefore, I carried the burden of shame alone, and never questioned for decades that I should not.

So I never said anything to anyone about this incident, including Simon's "girlfriend," who happened to live on the same floor.  For the rest of the academic year, I passed Simon in the cafeteria or lobby.  He was usually sitting with his friends, bright, angry Palestinians like himself.  Every day I passed through this gauntlet, as they pointed, jeered, and muttered to each other.  I had become an object of their endless contempt and amusement.  One of them once made a clumsy pass at me at a dance; when I politely declined, the ridicule and gossip escalated.  It was as if  by "allowing" myself to be raped, I had lost the right to own my own body.  I pretended to ignore them, praying the scandal would not spread beyond his immediate coterie of pals. It never occurred to me to confront them and make them own my mortification. 

The same year, two girls who lived in the same dorm, and whom  I vaguely knew, were picked up by some boys in a bar.  They were invited to a party.  They jumped into the boys' cars and were driven to an abandoned barn, where a dozen men were already queuing, and where they were gang raped repeatedly.  One of the girls was hospitalized for physical injuries that included abrasions in her throat and vagina.  I don't recall if there were any arrests.  I do recall the charges were ultimately dropped for "lack of evidence."  The girls were pitied, but also ostracized, and shortly thereafter, they dropped out of school.  The message was clear: report rape at your own peril.

You might have thought I would have learned my lesson about drinking with strangers, but in fact, this episode ushered in a period of hard partying, many hours of drink-fueled dancing and relentless carrying-on.  A year later, I was at a party chugging tequila out of the bottle, while the people around me cheered.  The next thing I remember was waking up in the front seat of an unfamiliar boy's glossy Trans Am..

I tell this story to demonstrate that not all young men are opportunistic rapists.  In fact, I suspect only a minority of them are though it's a theory that I cannot prove.

Anyway, the boy was very concerned about me.  He didn't want me to pass out.  He kept suggesting we stop and get some "bread" because the bread would "soak up" the alcohol in my system.  Every time he said the word "bread," I retched, jeopardizing the upholstery of his new sports car.  He finally drove me to a trusted female friend's house, put me to sleep it off in a back bedroom, and disappeared.  I didn't wake up until three the next afternoon and I never saw him again.  (Of course, in light of what I now know about alcohol poisoning, he should have dropped me off at an ER, but I expect he didn't want me to "get in trouble.")  My finger tips were numb for days and I couldn't look tequila in the eye for years, but I passed through the dreadful experience without the added trauma of having been sexually assaulted.

So what accounts for the difference in behavior between these two young men?  Why will one man view a woman's incapacity as an opportunity to have intercourse, knowing full well she would not consent if she were unimpaired, while another man is motivated in the same circumstances to protect her?  This is the question we need to be asking ourselves, and for which we need to elicit the input and support of men too. 

And another question I've been asking myself is, Where were the Steubenville victim's girlfriends while she was being assaulted?   Why do young women so often fail to look out for each other?  (Although I am somewhat reassured by Roosh that this sort of "cock blocking" is a standard part of the clubbing scene.)

It's hard for me to see the convicted football players as "victims," but it strikes me that they also have been badly let down:  let down by their parents, their team mates, their classmates, and just about everyone in their community who had a chance to support their character development and failed to do so.
There is a petition to make "consent" a mandatory part of sex education in school Because all men are born criminals

No, Roosh, not all men are "born criminals," except insofar as all humans are, by our imperfect natures, capable of doing appallingly evil shit to each other.  Education helps.  As civilization evolves, our mores change.  In fact, statistics indicate the rate of rape has fallen fairly dramatically in the past two decades, even as the definition of rape has broadened, and this does seem correlated with the inroads feminism has made in convincing people that women are autonomous beings worthy of respect and compassion.

I appreciate how fast standards seem to change, and that it is hard for some folks to "keep up,"  (As fond as they are of evolutionary psychology, MRAs don't seem to have read enough "Evolve or Die" bumper stickers.)  Although I am not very old, I have lived long enough to see social attitudes change in ways that I could never have anticipated.  Were I now the 18 year old I once was, I would have felt significantly less shame and significantly more anger at Simon and his friends.  Of course, it's likely it would never have happened at all because Simon was a smart, ambitious fellow who would have been loathe to put his academic career and social reputation in jeopardy.  And nowadays he would know what the consequences were, thanks to education about "consent."

By teaching adolescents the concept of consent, girls are also taught to be accountable for their own sexuality.  I look forward to the day when girls who want to be sexually expressive with a partner take responsibility for communicating that and owning it enthusiastically and unambiguously.

I note also this week the kerfuffle regarding Adria Richards and the vicious backlash she is experiencing.  I have nothing to add to this story except to agree with comments that, while I sympathize with her frustration, she seems to have over-reacted, that sex jokes are not necessarily sexist, that it is a shame the offending programmer was fired and an equal shame that Richards was fired.  The social media has evolved faster than our standards of professional etiquette and decorum can accommodate.

I enjoyed the hilarity of the tweets regarding Roosh's "Feminist Victim Fund."  Nice to see at least half of the ridicule coming from men.   I will also confess to a certain cruel satisfaction in seeing the widespread coverage of Roosh as an "admitted rapist" tied in to the mockery, and knowing that whatever he does, he will never escape that label.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Reckless Blogging

The prevalence of false rape accusations is one of the central obsessions of the MRM.  In response, fervent Roosh fan Matt Forney recently posted "tongue in cheek" advice to would-be rapists.  Yeah, it's obviously meant to be read as Swiftian "satire," a la American Psycho (which I didn't think was funny either).   He admits he has gotten his ideas from watching movies, and there is nothing very interesting here beyond a rehash of morbid cinematic fantasies.

For the record, I don't find jokes or ruminations about humiliating or castrating men amusing either. Neutering my dogs is more traumatic for me than for them!

Rape is the ultimate act of domination, whether male over female or male over other male. (I acknowledge women also occasionally rape men, particularly in cases of statutory rape, and these acts are just as reprehensible.)  Nobody is going to argue that rape is worse than murder or mutilation, but it violates an individual's sovereignty in a way that few crimes do.  And it strikes me as an act of terrorism, because the fear it engenders affects all women all the time.

Although the legal definition of rape has broadened, the rate of rape appears to have declined in the U.S.  This is good news, albeit a trend no one has been able to explain.  People do seem to be more sensitive and knowledgeable about what rape is / is not, possibly thanks to the fact that it has been a feminist concern for a generation.

We don't know why humans are sexually aroused by the imagery, suggestion or reality of violence.  There are almost certainly biochemical mechanisms at work here:  somehow, the wires for aggressive and sexual impulses get crossed in the limbic system.  Furthermore, we are awash in imagery that promotes violent sexual fantasy and horror.  The disappearance, violation and murder of attractive  white women is such a pervasive theme in entertainment and popular media that it is hardly shocking anymore.

What stuns me is that young men like Matt Forney are putting their fantasies out there on the Internet with their legal names attached.  What compels people to burn their social and professional bridges in this reckless way?  I don't buy that it's "ballsy" to commit social suicide.  It's tragic.  

Perhaps he is so young that he cannot envisage a day when he wishes more than anything that he hadn't done so.  Perhaps the ego stroke of Internet "celebrity" is as addictive and self-destructive as crack?  Or do these men feel so hopeless and despairing about their futures that they really have nothing to lose?

Update:  Forney has removed the piece from his blog and (sort of) apologized for it.  I've also ascertained Mr. Forney is forty years old, not as young as I had assumed.  (In other words, old enough to know better.)   

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Roosh is Not an Arab!

If I became a terrorist, what race would the American media say I am?

Uhm... I dunno... "not white?"

Roosh's racial designation is important to Roosh, so please pay attention!

Iranians consider themselves to be Aryans (as do most Afghans).  I have actually met Iranians who concluded on that basis that Hitler must have been a righteous dude.  Iranians are, by and large, incredibly racist.  This helps explain why Roosh insists he is "white" (and he is, sorta, whatever "race" means), and why he has actually constructed a "totem pole" of racial desirability.  Many Iranians look down on Arabs, whom they consider to be of an inferior race. 

The language of Iran (Roosh's first language) is Farsi, or Persian.  It belongs, like English, French, German, Hindi, and Sanskrit, to the Indo-European family of languages -- although the writing system uses the Arabic alphabet.

I hope this helps explain Roosh's notably weird hang up about "race," which seems to cause some of his (nonwhite) readers much pain and confusion.  It also explains why he can only "bang" white chicks.  He has to prove over and over and over... just how very "white" he is.

Class over!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

What's hot, what's not

Roosh, who believes women exist primarily to provide men with boners, spends a lot of time thinking about which women meet his "boner" specifications and which do not.  Apparently, a woman's capacity to give him an erection on sight is his operational definition of "beauty."   (Asian women don't cause his penis to stir; therefore, they are not beautiful to him, contrary to the experience of millions of men around the world.)  Whenever he has nothing else to tweet, he'll post some random woman's picture with the caption "Would you bang or not?" 

It's caused me to think a bit about my own definitions of beauty and sexual appeal in both sexes.  A woman doesn't have to be bisexual, as I am, to enjoy looking at images of both men and women, of course, or to respond sexually to either gender.

Most of the women Roosh seems to find appealing are what the current "Hollywood" ideal deems "beautiful," and although I agree they meet the popular current criteria of "beauty," they are a bit plastic:  augmented breasts, big hair, lots of artful make up, etc.  I know that is what we are "taught" to like, but it's a shame how popular media divorces us from the beauty and richness of diversity.

I find that, at least for myself, sexual allure is quite a different thing than beauty.  Beauty is often a rather cold and sterile thing: "look but don't touch."  Perfect symmetry of features is cited as the universal standard of beauty, but it isn't interesting.  On the other hand, people who project the most sexual "heat" are often what the French call "jolie-laide" (pretty-ugly). 

Grace Kelly?
Anna Magnani?

Alain Delon?
Serge Gainsbourg?

I once had a boyfriend that was the essence of jolie-laide in masculine form.  He looked a little like Iggy Pop.  His mouth was too generous, his rugged facial features somewhat crowded on to a narrow face.  He was not handsome, and he was not photogenic..His frame was light and wiry, a combination of strength and delicacy. Although he was dominant sexually, he had slightly effeminate gestures.  He freely copped to the fact that his sexual promiscuity was his compensation for being ignored and bullied as a boy.  Yet, ever the bundle of contradictions, he was supremely self-confident.  I never got tired of looking at him (or fucking him).

I find some fat women incredibly appealing.  I have a serious girl crush on Queen Latifah: her intense, knowing eyes, her warm, authoritative voice.  Also Rebel Wilson (whom I fancy looks a bit like me, back in the day): that combination of soft, blonde prettiness and self-effacing wit is pretty irresistible.  And again, self-confidence.  I found the late Anna Nicole Smith, may she rest in peace, gorgeous -- both fat and thin, made up or natural. 

I am hard pressed to find any person "ugly" in terms of physical appearance.  Some folks are more stereotypically attractive due to symmetry or conformity to fashionable ideals.  Almost anyone who is willing to "work on" themselves can achieve a pleasing or socially acceptable appearance.  Even people who have been born with congenital "deformities" or have been disfigured in accidents can be gorgeous.  The "difference" seems to draw more attention to their physical assets, somehow, and makes them "POP."

Take J.R. Martinez, for example.  Hot and a hero.

Bree Walker.  Exquisite face, lovely figure, what a smile.

Peter Dinklage.  The eyes, the facial structure, the voice...

I feel sorry for people like Roosh, who have such narrow, rigid, and unimaginative ideas of what beauty is. They miss a lot of opportunities to be pleased and gratified by the endless array of interesting people to look at.  Can they even find the beauty in themselves?

The Shortest Fairytale in the World

This link was posted on some MRM blog, I cannot remember which, probably by a Man Going His Own Way.  I watched it, and wondered if there was a female version, for the concept works equally well for both genders.

The Shortest Fairytale in the World

Not that I'm not against marriage by any means -- it obviously makes a lot of people happy -- and I'm content with my own pair-bonding of the past several years. 

But I'm not against People Going Their Own Ways either.  I just wish the MGTOW would get on with it, and GO already.

Monday, February 4, 2013

A Brutal Takedown

Here he goes again!  Roosh performs a "brutal take down on a budding feminist" who has dared to write in her school paper about the MRM in disparaging ways.  (How does Roosh find time to scour the editorial pages of small provincial college papers, anyway?)

So the "brutal take down" starts out with a bucket load of sarcastic vitriol, the gist of which seems to be a dismissal of her views on the basis that he (Roosh) is no more an MRA than he is "a merman." 

You see, Roosh is not an MRA -- oh no!  Anyone who has read his blog(s) knows that Roosh is vastly superior to the typical "passive" MRA, mostly because, about five times a year, he manages to get himself laid. How silly to conflate misogynistic MRAs with misogynistic PUAs. Shows how much those dumb "feminists" know!

"Thank you, Paige, for your opinion piece about Men’s Rights Activism. In particular, thank you for using fallacious arguments to suggest that because you don’t care for the mission and the tactics of some MRA’s, MRA’s are a farce. Thank you for demonstrating that hasty generalization, straw man, false equivalence and other lapses of logic are not limited to men alone. Thank you for demeaning what many men perceive to be an inherent violation of bodily autonomy and integrity by dismissively saying that it’s not as bad as the “very real issue” of female circumcision. Thank you for grudgingly acknowledging that some MRA’s aren’t a complete waste of time and, as self-appointed Spokeswoman for Feminism, deigning to give me permission to advocate for those things that you believe should be important to me as a man. Thank you for making it clear that it is ok for a member of one gender to tell another gender what to think. Thank you for misrepresenting feminism as a unequivocally, schism-free homogenous quest for good, unlike fractious and controversial men’s rights, and that it is acceptable to define a civil rights movement by an outsider’s perception of its basest members. Most importantly, thank you for demonstrating the self-righteous ignorance and arrogance that drives much of the anti-feminist sentiment that you observed in many of the groups you wrote about. I also would like to pre-emptively thank you for misunderstanding this comment as an attack on women and feminism in general, rather than a criticism of the vapid and condescending nonsense you somehow had the temerity to publish."

But then?  It's like the man cannot help himself.  In the end he just has to "go there," delivering his customary coup de grace by attacking the girl's physical appearance.  This time he cannot bring himself to call her "ugly," he isn't quite that delusional -- so he settles on calling her "fat."  Then tacks on a condescending remark, that she can thank him later for his advice to hit the gym.

First of all, Roosh, you realize that when you tell women they are unattractive to you, they mostly react with sighs of relief?  The last thing any girl, fat or thin or in-between, needs is to have to fend off the advances of a sociopathic loser.

Second of all, Roosh, do you even recognize what the word "fat" means, anymore?  Has every woman with half a brain and a voice that demands to be heard become "fat" by default? 

As a genuinely fat person, I am dismayed by the use of this word to describe people who are thin.  As a fat person (fat baby, fat girl, fat woman, and fat crone), I reckon I have rightful claim to that word.
You wanna know what a fat arm looks like?  I'll send you a picture.  It will give you a real frisson of disgust, and if you tell me that my upper arms resemble "bleached hams," well, I'll laughingly concur.
Readers know Roosh prefers women who have been professionally posed, made up, have long (and "big") hair, and/or photo-shopped to the nth degree, but still...  that bicep he has circled doesn't look plump, or even flabby, by any normal medical or aesthetic standard. 

In short, this girl is in no way "fat."  Au contraire, this is a girl who is very young, quite slender, and perfectly lovely to look at in every respect, by any conventional standard.  

Sorry if I seem to be beating the point to death, but if she is fat, then what am I?  Nothing? 

Never mind.  I didn't want to go there, Roosh, but you made me, you made me say this:  this young woman, purely on the basis of physical attractiveness, is so "out of your league," that it makes your whole post laughable.  Your arrows have rubber tips.  The only way a girl that looks like this would go home with you is because she was (1) poor, and (2) thought you had some money (in other words, if she weren't North American), or (3) was forcibly abducted (and please don't take that as a viable option).

I'm sorry to say this, Roosh -- but YOU MADE ME. YOU MADE ME SAY THIS!

Friday, February 1, 2013

False Nostalgia

Roosh, like most of the New Misogynists, seems to believe that there was some golden era when men were "kings" and women accepted their subservient roles.  This is pure "false nostalgia" -- that is, a nostalgia for a time and place that never really was.  Let's take one of their premises: that ordinary men used to have a greater selection of beautiful, submissive potential wives (before fat, grumpy feminists came along and ruined it for the average joes).

In fact, U.S. history demonstrates that a competitive marriage market has always existed, especially in the West.  The lonely, eccentric Norwegian bachelor is not a myth.  Furthermore, the idea that a wife should be "beautiful" (that is, sexually desirable to other men) is a relatively modern concept.  Throughout our history, men and women have tended to value more practical qualities in mates, i.e., the capacity and willingness to work hard, shared religious values, property or the potential to acquire property.  Marriage was too important a commitment to be based primarily on sexual attraction, and literature abounded with stories about the perils of letting romantic or erotic love take sway over pragmatic considerations.

Let's face it:  George Washington, the most admired American man of his day, did not marry Martha Custis because she was centerfold-worthy!

My own grandfather, as surviving photographs attest, was an exceptionally handsome young man.  My grandmother, on the other hand, was quite plain.  He married her because she was clever with her hands, extremely industrious, both frugal and enterprising, and had skills (including carpentry) that were useful.

So when Roosh and others hearken back to a time when an array of chaste, lovely girls were available for any man's taking, like the houris of an Islamic paradise, they betray their ignorance of the realities of American social history.  Roosh blames coveted status symbols such as I-phones for rendering women "incapable of love," yet his own values have been equally "corrupted" by consumerism and popular media.  

In fact, all of us are to some extent similarly corrupted, awash in advertisements and commercials (some 3000 per day!) that teach us that we not only deserve whatever the sponsors are selling, but will be miserable failures without it.  And this has nothing to do with feminism.