Friday, April 21, 2017

"10 tweets that reveal the bullshit female writers have to put up with." A Professional Female Writer Who Makes a Living by Complaining

"10 tweets that reveal the bullshit female writers have to put up with.

A Professional Female Writer Who Makes a Living by Complaining about Tweets

There is always something really amusing when reading an article such as Erin Canty's recently published work "10 tweets that reveal the bullshit female writers have to put up with." which was published by the highly esteemed, philosophical deities at 

After reading several of her articles, I have come to the conclusion that Erin Canty is your typical college-educated professional blogger that makes a living by writing the same articles that every professional blog writes, and 90% of the time her articles are nothing more than her incessant complaining about how hard life can be. Of course, I am never one to say that certain people of certain groups face different challenges and face different societal expectations, but what really solidifies Erin Canty as nothing more than an average Buzzfeed journalist is the fact that she doesn't have any solutions. She only wants to complain, but she either doesn't know how to make changes or she doesn't care to try and change anything. In these scenarios, I typically side with the latter, especially since writers such as Erin make their livings off of the things that they complain about. 

In her article, which is literally nothing more than a collection of random, somewhat anonymous tweets, one can see the damage that the philosophies that writers such as Erin subscribe to can have on certain groups of people. I'm going to dissect Erin's article piece by piece in order to help explain the lunacy of it all. 

Erin begins her article with some classic faux outrage against a group of people that doesn't necessarily exist;
"This may not seem like breaking news to most of you, but apparently, quite a few people still can't seem to wrap their heads around the idea that women write and publish works of fiction, nonfiction, journalism, and research every single day."
This is one of the many unoriginal ways in which writers such as Erin begin to garner interest in their writings; they create a group of evil people full of hatred and then write articles criticizing them, or "showing them who's boss." Luckily for us, Erin does both here, but we will get to that towards the end of this blog post. For now, I'll focus on the imaginary group of people that Erin has "apparently" learned about in the past couple of days. 

It is ridiculous to assume that there are large amounts of people that cannot come to terms with the fact that there are professional female writers in the world. Did she forget about the incredibly successful Twilight series written by Stephanie Meyer, a woman with a net worth of over $125 million? Dare I say it, but what about Erika Mitchell, or maybe her more famous moniker of E. L. James, the writer of the Fifty Shades trilogy with a net worth of over $80 million? These are two women who were so wildly successful in their craft that their art has become a household name. I for one think it is incredibly impressive that an erotic, BDSM fantasy novel (or so I have been told from the book reviews as I have not read the book) became something so popular that I still see it mentioned in the news or in other major pop culture references to this day. One might argue that Erika Mitchell and Stephanie Meyer aren't facing some sort of sexist outrage from evil men on the internet because their books were written mostly for a female audience, but to assume that there is a common disapproval of women in the book industry in the age of Harry Potter, a multi-billion dollar franchise that was invented by J. K. Rowling, a woman, is absolutely ludicrous and false.

Other Incredibly Successful Female Writers:
Danielle Steel 
Toni Morrison
Mary Higgins Clark
Maya Angelou
Alice Walker
Jhumpa Lahiri
Joyce Carol Oates
The list is really really long

Perhaps Erin knows of the successful women that have laid a path for an entrepreneurial success as an independent writer, but she has simply decided to pretend that they don't exist. I think it's also possible that Erin has decided to use her creative writing skills that she has gathered over her many years to instead create a universe where women have it too tough to be able to succeed because of what evil men say to them. Unfortunately, the sad reality is that Erin most likely believes whole-heartedly in what she is saying in her article, but I must give her credit as she, like any highly esteemed journalist, has garnered ten solid pieces of evidence to support her provocative claim.

According to Erin's research, Joanne Harris, the author of Chocolat and a person who somehow was able to become a successful writer despite all of the mean things that evil men have told her, received a threatening and unprovoked attack:

"Joanne Harris, author of more than a dozen novels, including the hit 'Chocolat,' which was adapted for the screen, called out this discrepancy [discrepancy meaning the vast imaginary intolerance of professional women writers] on Twitter.  
After one tweeter said, 'Men sacrifice interests for family. That's a fact. I think it's a mistake to believe otherwise,'..."
So this is how it all started. An evil man who has masked himself behind the anonimity of the internet for the purpose of attacking defenseless women on the internet has assaulted Joanne with his hateful words. "Men sacrifice interests for family," pump the fucking breaks right their pal. Did you just really? Don't you know it's 2017? But oh, it gets better when he hits her with the "I think it's a mistake to believe otherwise." Why hasn't this man been arrested for rape with his criminal words? Who is this masked internet troll? I bet he is nothing more than an overweight teenager living in his parents' basement.

The man who wrote this tweet's name is Michael Topic, and he currently runs an in depth blog where he discusses various topics in which he has experience, including but not limited to music, composition, fiction and non-fiction writing, product management, music technology design, and et-cetara. This is unfortunate for Joanne, since where she may have first assumed that she was only dealing with a common keyboard warrior, she quickly found herself in a hot debate with an educated renaissance man; furthermore, this renaissance man was ready to bring out the big guns fast. Honestly, I don't know how someone could say something so heartless and hateful such as "Men sacrifice interests for family." Doesn't he know that men are selfish? Doesn't he know that our society doesn't actually expect men to care about their families at all? I'm a father, or I will be a father this coming august, and I can tell you from personal experience that all men are selfish bastards. Hell, I'm giving up my old dream of becoming a professional cellist and transferring schools to get a different degree that will potentially land me in a career with better pay, and you better believe it is all for my own self interests. A lot of people have said to me, "Man, it really sucks to see you give up on something your so passionate about to take care of your family," to which I always scoff at and reply, "You fool! Don't you know that I'm only doing this for my own self interest?! I'm not a woman, I'm a selfish man!" Oh, those poor, naive imbeciles.

Alright, enough of the personal history; when reading this part of the article, one must be wondering why an evil man such as Michael Topic would attack a woman like Joanne Harris out of the blue in such a disgusting manner. I conducted some of my own research into the feud, and discovered that Michael was actually joining in on a discussion where Joanne had made a tweet that was receiving a wide array of replies, one of which being that of the infamous LBAllen:

What is this serpentine witch I see before me? Is that a woman saying that she could not justify spending time on her professional writing career due to her self interest of writing a novel clashing with her need to raise her family? Well my readers, I suggest you sit down before you fall down, as I am about to expose an extreme case of patriarchal brainwashing. Here one can observe a truly disgusting display of self-oppression; the serpent, disguised under the name LBAllen, is explaining to Joanne that she ended her writing career because she decided that it wasn't worth the time and effort if she wasn't receiving a profit, and in a bizarre exposition of lunacy, she seems to suggest that this decision was made entirely on her own as she believed that her family was more important to her than her dream of becoming a writer. The poor thing, at the time she didn't even know that she was going to receive a truly impressive logical smack-down from the philosophy queen Joanne:

Joanne smartly counters with an excellent point; men aren't expected to make sacrifices for their families! Men are selfish! And to further solidify her argument, Joanne's excellent critical thinking has led her to the conclusion that if men are selfish, then women should also act selfishly! Women don't need to justify why they are spending more time on a personal interest and ignoring their family, since men are evil and do it all of the time! It makes such perfect sense, and it's almost as if Joanne has ascended to some kind of philosophy queen Nirvana and is graciously sharing her sacred knowledge with the rest of the world so that it may better itself. Here one can see that the argument is over; LBAllen has been successfully shamed for giving up a hobby/unprofitable career path to focus more time on her family. The battle is over. Checkmate, evil men. 

But lo, what yonder light mounts over Joanne's logical demesne? Is that what I think it is? It's Michael Topic, and his tweet has finally come into context! So his tweet, as full of hatred as it is, was actually a response to an off-topic sexist remark made by Joanne to shame a woman who made her own decision to spend more time focusing on her family; however, I think I recall Erin Canty depicting Joanne as the victim of making sexist remarks in her fable of an article. 

Now, I would assume that Joanne, after reading Michael Topic's reply and understanding that billions of men worldwide work jobs that they don't enjoy so that they can provide their families the means to live a happy life, however, she decides to double down on her sexist remark;

And thus, the hashtag #ThingsOnlyWomenWritersHear was born, as claimed by Erin in her article. Now, if there was a rational argument behind Joanne's statements, I might be able to understand where she's coming from; however, little does she know evil men are legally required to make sacrifices for their families regardless of what they choose to do, and the legal ramifications for not doing so far exceed any amount of mean tweets she could receive. Just to humor myself and my readers, I'll go ahead and rattle some off.

Regardless of whether or not a man wants to have a child, a woman who has become pregnant with a child that the man has fathered will expect that the man will be helping pay for the child's development in some way, shape, or manner. If he doesn't wish to be involved in the child's life because he doesn't want to be a father, he will still be legally required to pay child support for the full duration of the child's adolescent life, provided that the man is making enough money to financially support himself and the mother has requested such access. Furthermore, if the man decides later on down the road that he wishes to see the child that he has been supporting against his will, he might be denied access to visitation, and he may never be able to see his son or daughter until he or she has surpassed the age of eighteen. I do understand that there is a variety of reasons as to why laws are passed, but one of the primary reasons for the creation of law is that humans have come together as a society and agreed upon the morality of the question at hand, and the expectations for upholding that standard of morality have been set forth by written mandate and threat of prosecution. As a society in the United States, and any other country that has similar divorce law, we not only expect men to make sacrifices for their family, but in many cases we legally require them to do so whether they would like to or not. If they don't, then they get the popular label "dead beat dad." Now of course, divorce law is much more complicated than this simple description of child support, especially since child support is requested and not always received, and it can be awarded to either a custodial father or a custodial mother, but by the mere existence of these statutes does Joanne's sexist remark begin to fall apart. 

Another famous example is that of a historical tragedy, the sinking of the Titanic. Out of the 2226 passengers, 324 survivors were women, 56 were children, and 323 were men. If one were to consider the amount of survivors by these three demographics, one might first assume that the survivor outcome by gender may seem fairly equal, but when the survivor count is compared to the amount of passengers of the three demographics that had originally boarded the ship, there is a different story to be told. 75% of the women on board were able to successfully escape the sinking ship, but sadly only 50% of the children were rescued. The men, however, must have seemed fairly insignificant to the rescue crews as only 19% of them made it out alive. One must wonder why such a large amount of men were left to die during this tragic event, and maybe perhaps the evil men were too busy indulging themselves in their social-criticism-free self interests to notice the water quickly filling the cabins; however, during this time there was a famous phrase coined due to the moral dilemma of a vastly populated ship that accommodated few lifeboats for the preparation of an emergency. During this era, there had never been ships as large as the Titanic, and the people's inexperience with large-scale crowd control and rescue procedure for maritime emergencies coupled with outdated laws governing the amount of required lifeboats for a ship of this size created a heart-wrenching scenario in which the crew of the ship had to carefully decide who got a spot on the lifeboat. The story goes that when the realization that the Titanic was going to go under began to set in, an officer had asked Captain Edward Smith this famous question; "Hadn't we better get the women and children into the boats, sir?" The officer's suggestion to the captain popularized the phrase "Women and Children First" in American newspapers, a famous unwritten rule of maritime ethics in which women and children are the first priority during a rescue operation. Now, it may seem silly to say that because almost every newspaper pushed this phrase heavily after the news of the tragedy of the Titanic reached land, it means that the phrase is treated as common knowledge and general rule of thumb; however, it is a real unwritten expectation that has existed in literature and practice as far back as the early 19th century. In regards to the Titanic, the men that were saved were branded as cowards for placing themselves on a lifeboat before all of the women and children were taken out of harms way. This specific attack on character was incredibly successful when used against men such as Joseph Bruce Ismay, the chairman and managing director of the company that was responsible for the creation of the infamous ocean liners such as the Olympic, the Titanic, and the Britannic. The story of Joseph is quite troubling, as he was one of the main orchestraters of the rationing of lifeboats during the sinking of the Titanic; the story goes that in the area that he was managing, he made sure with due diligence that all of the women and children under his control had taken up every last available spot in the lifeboats. When he finished boarding the passengers and leading them off to safety, he looked around for any woman or child that he may have missed but was unable to find any in his immediate area. When he returned to the final lifeboat to send it off on its way to rescue, he saw that there was one last spot available that he would be able to squeeze into, and the passengers of the lifeboat graciously invited him to join them with the boat's launching. When Ismay was rescued, the prominent majority of news media viciously attacked him for taking the spot on the lifeboat, and he was labeled a yellow-bellied coward for his rescue because he did not follow the principle of "women and children first." Now, of course there are two sides to this coin, since Ismay was the man who made the decision to lower the Titanic's amount of lifeboats from 48 to 16 since 16 was the lowest amount required by the current maritime law, but in the time of crisis he managed to save many lives. Regardless, it is quite appalling that Ismay was publicly demolished in nearly every news outlet simply for being a man that had allowed himself to live. He did make the fatal mistake of removing the lifeboats, but I think it would be unfair to judge him with such disdain, especially since at the time the people truly believed that the Titanic was virtually unsinkable. The main point of the Titanic as an example of societal expectations of men lies more in the method of rescue; "women and children first." I was taught this when I was very young by the school I went to, and our program spent a good week or two on the history of the Titanic with a huge amount of implication placed on the rescue policy. I would say that this is a very big societal expectation men have in which they are mandated by a universal unwritten code of conduct in which during a time of crisis, they are expected to save their families first and sacrifice their own self-interest, even if it is the interest of staying alive.

Some of the readers may be coming to the conclusion that I am complaining about societal expectations of men to sacrifice their self-interests or to sacrifice themselves for their families or the families of others, but that's a bit on the contrary. If I am in a situation where my wife, my son, and I are all in mortal danger, and only two of us will be able to survive, I would proudly sacrifice myself for my beloved family, and I think most fathers would say the same thing. I make sacrifices for my family every day and I know every other father out there does too (however their are always exceptions to a rule, however I believe when considering the amount of fathers in the world, these exceptions are rare). To further counter Joanne Harris's asinine remarks, when men put their own wants over the needs of their families, they are scrutinized very heavily, as they historically have been for several centuries. The Titanic is only one of many cases in western history where women and children were chosen to survive a tragedy while the men were considered with less importance for the focus of rescue. 

I could provide many more examples of the societal expectations of men, but explaining common sense is an arduous process. I'd much rather go back to ripping into Erin Canty's article.

As I stated earlier, Erin Canty provided ten solid pieces of evidence to back her original claim that female writers are constantly under attack of microagressions in the professional industry. Hopefully the reader is now aware of my sense of humor and understands that I am using the term "solid piece of evidence" to describe ten tweets. I could go ahead and explain why none of the tweets matter or should be taken seriously, but I would hope that the point I would make would be blatantly obvious to most people reading this article. If the reader would like to here the number one reason why articles such as Erin Canty's  "10 tweets that reveal the bullshit female writers have to put up with" should never be taken seriously under any circumstance, I would invite the reader to go ahead and skip to the end, as the rest of the article will be the dismantling of a selection from the ten tweets. Essentially, there are some tweets in the article that aren't necessarily worth the discussion either because they are too personal and/or vague, or for the reason that I will give at the end of the post.

Tweet Number 2

One of the major flaws in articles such as these where there's an attempt to collect a wide variety of super deep, super meaningful, and totally edgy tweets is that all of the messages are incredibly vague. I could argue both for and against Sisona Ryder CR's tweet based on the scenario, but the statement has been left broad and vague on purpose to achieve a better level of artificial empathy from its intended audience. 

Another example of this tactic is one of my favorite things I hear from many that use Twitter and it goes a little something like this; "Don't listen to him, he's a climate denier." It always makes me chuckle a little to myself due to its intentional vagueness and idiocy. What in the world is a "climate denier?" Someone who denies the existence of the climate? I'm certain whoever is being labeled as such isn't schizophrenic. Maybe "climate denier" refers to a disbelief in climate change? Surely the person being labeled believes in the changing of the seasons. Maybe the person thinks that the Environmental Protection Agency is over-regulating companies, and the outcome of the regulations are doing more harm economically and less good environmentally than another method of environmental protection that has potential to generate a healthier climate over a long period of time, and that is why they are being called a "climate denier?" I have asked friends of mine what it means to be a "climate change denier," but I never really seem to get a straight answer, but I am getting off topic. 

What if the girl in Sisona's story is riding a bike and then decides to join in a bike race? Then sure, I bet everyone in the world who has ever ridden a bike will be able to identify with the protagonist in some way. What if Sisona's book was a coming-of-age story where the protagonist was making a big leap from being a girl to becoming a woman? Well then of course boys aren't going to be able to identify with that. Boys do not know what it is like to become a woman. What if Sisona's book is about a young girl who falls in love with a vampire, and the vampire is really hot, but he's in an ancient family feud with a pack of werewolves, and one of the werewolves is really hot too, and the girl just can't decide which one is the right one for her, and then the vampire kisses her on the neck or whatever I haven't actually read the book... Boys can't identify with that. Most boys don't know what it's like to fall in love with the perfect boy. I guess a homosexual boy would have an easier time identifying with the protagonist, but homosexuality is not an equivalent for the different thought processes and emotions that girls experience in relations. There are some things that boys and girls will probably never understand about each others' brains. This is not a criticism, nor am I saying that one gender has a better brain than the other, but it is a scientific fact and more importantly just plain common sense to understand that their are chemical and physical differences between boys and girls' brains and that they may function differently in similar scenarios. 

Is this a bad thing? Not at all, it's what makes the societal relationship between men and women so beautiful. Men cannot survive without the women's thought processes, and women cannot survive without the men's thought processes. The genders need each other to solve complex issues due to the fact that the two will attack problems from wildly different angles, however this does not mean that the two genders will necessarily understand each other or be able to identify with each other every time such a situation arises. I really cannot stress this enough; this is not a bad thing. I think every married man has a "my wife/partner is nuts" moment, and every married woman has a "my husband/partner is crazy" moment. Although a wife and a husband may have a serious fight over these differences in thought processes, the true beauty of the relationship between the genders is the love they have for one another and how it triumphs over the anger of the initial disagreement to create understanding for one another. We're different beings biologically and mentally, but love makes us get over each others' shit.  

For some of these Tweets, I wanted to look up the owner of the Twitter handle and see what work they've put out so that I could promote their writing, but for @SisonaCR, I couldn't find any actual published written material, unless I'm mistaken or hadn't looked hard enough. I did however find a YouTube channel that's entirely dedicated to the Mass Effect video game franchise, and more specifically the recently released Mass Effect Andromeda title. I don't play video games, but I heard it was okay.

Tweet 3

To the readers that are female, let me ask you this; have you ever had a moment where you have been confronted by an evil man that is trying to mansplain all over you with his patriarchy and evilness, and you've had to tell him something along the lines of, "You're not a woman, so you don't know how it feels to be a woman?" I know that Joanne Harris has:

Isn't it okay to recognize the fact that a female writer may be creating a protagonist that's based on a faux understanding of the opposite gender? If I, as an evil man, should be expected to understand that there are certain aspects to the female mind and the female body that I will never be able to understand, isn't it understandable to request that women do the same self reflection for men? Could it be that someone has told Andrea McAuley something along the lines of "Hey, I read some of the book you're writing, and I don't think you've quite nailed the feelings and emotions that men experience. Maybe you should switch the character to being a female so that the psyche and the character match up a little better." Is it really plausible that Andrea is using a real quote here?

I guess the readers that sympathize with Erin Canty's article will probably disagree with me and state that she was clearly chastised for writing a male protagonist, and the patriarchy dictates that only evil men are allowed to write for evil men protagonists.

Andrea McAuley has a blog with different styles of writings and some author interviews.

Tweet 4

Is there really anything wrong with men not wanting to read a book that women would like to read? I really like to fish, and one of the great parts about fishing is the ruggedness and the grit. I used to fish for great big carp in our neighborhood lake, and the fish were so big that they would snap the line when they got too close. When the carp got about a foot or a foot and a half away from the shore, I would pass the rod off to a friend of mine or place it under something heavy depending on the day and then jump into the water to wrestle the fish out with my bare hands. When I say huge carp, these fish were about four feet long and maybe two feet thick. I might be exaggerating, but then again everyone exaggerates with a fishing story, but my point is that it was almost like wrestling with something with about the size and the strength of a medium sized dog, but the dog had no arms and legs and it was covered in a thick layer of mucous that it excreted from its scales. 

I'm not going to say that this is an activity that no girl or woman would enjoy doing, but I think it's fair to say that a majority would not actively seek participation in wrestling in the knee-high mud in four feet of water to get a carp that would most likely just be let back into the water after it was caught (some people would kill them for us because carp are considered an invasive species and a pest that destroys natural habitats due to having no natural predators and an ability to turn a pristine, healthy lake into a muddy mess full of rotting duckweed and dead bass). Does that mean I am going to force women to enjoy it? Absolutely not. Does that mean I'm going to be offended when a friend's wife tells me "but none of us [women] would want to do that!" Of course not, my skin is a little thicker than that. Perhaps the friend's husband was suggesting that she increase her target audience to make her book more widely marketable and therefore profitable, although the beauty of art is that she doesn't have to listen to him. The beauty of both objective and subjective criticism is that offense is never given, only taken. 

There will always be people that won't be interested in reading or appreciating an individual's art. Is that wrong? Absolutely not. It's the nature of art. I currently play in a funk band with my roommate and my beautiful and funky fiancée. The three of us take part in the writing process together, and since we are all classically trained musicians of some degree, we enjoy challenging ourselves by making the music rhythmically and harmonically complex. In the world of music, the general rule of thumb is that the more complex the music is, the harder the music is to listen to. This doesn't make the music better or worse than other music, but it does mean that not everyone will be willing to listen to it like the three of us would. I have been told by so many people that the song with a 5/8 waltz doesn't sound right, but the three of us know that it's not supposed to. We like how it sounds just a little bit off and a little bit wrong, but does that mean I am going to be upset when somebody tells me "But none of us [people who don't like complex funk music] want to listen to that?" No, because I'm not entitled.

I want to know why there are people out there reinforcing the idea that mean words can cause real damage? If I was Lexie Dunne's friend, I would say to her that she has a choice on whether or not she is willing to listen to her friend's husband and take him seriously. She also has a choice on whether or not she's willing to take her singular, isolated experience with one man and apply it to explain every man in existence. 

Lexie Dunne runs a blog and has written a book about a female superhero titled Superheros Anonymous.

Tweet 6

Although I am hoping to transfer schools and pursue a different degree, I currently write and perform music as a professional pursuit. If I went to a record label, a venue, or to a gig contractor and asked them for childcare as a part of my payment, I would be laughed at and humiliated. 

I've explained this in a different blog post, but one thing the Twitter society seems to always forget is that a job's salary is dependent on the market value of the skills or trade needed to do that job. I hate to say this, although it should be common sense, but a writer's salary or income is entirely dependent on the quality and status of their work. If someone is a "professional blogger," they're not going to get child care. If someone has written a book that sold 10,000 copies, they're not going to get child care.

Furthermore, from my understanding writing is primarily a free-lance career, meaning that most of an individual writer's income is going to come from their ability to sell and market their own work to publishers, or their ability to entrepreneurialize their own skill and self-publish/market themselves. 

Very rarely would anyone get child care as a free lancer. They either work hard to gain the money needed to pay for child care, or they use whatever government assistance that is afforded to them. Also, most people don't get child care as a part of their salary just because they are a woman. 

In regards to Anna Yeatts' tweet, the statement is once again far to vague to make a critical assessment as to whether or not her quality of writing deserves payment in the form of expensive child care services. If she does have a job currently that has considerable market value, such as one that requires a rare degree or one that requires considerable experience in her field of work, perhaps she should try to negotiate with her employer to add an extra stipend for child care services. If she doesn't have a job, then she is making her money on her own and is responsible for paying for the service on her own, just like any free-lancer, entrepreneur, or business owner. These kinds of statements always rub me in the wrong way. It displays a certain sense of entitlement; she believes that she deserves a very costly compensation for her work, but it's the nature of capitalism for employers to pay their employees a fair wage so that they don't risk their competitors paying their employees a higher wage. Once again, I have explained this concept in great detail in a separate blog post, and it is tiresome to repeatedly type out the basic principles of free market capitalism. 

Anna Yeatts is a writer, editor, and publisher that runs an online writing workshop boot-camp. Sign up now.

Tweet 10

And here's the finale; it wouldn't be a quality opinion piece without a threat to the dissenters. Just remember, evil men; in the words of E. Latimer, "Do as We say, or we will make it our personal goals to destroy your careers." I'm paraphrasing, of course. 

This is the final tactic of the traditional method of argument for the cultural Marxist school of thought. It starts out with using derogatory and demoralizing terms instead of rational arguments, and in the case for faux-feminist piece such as this selection of tweets disguised as an article, the insult would probably be "mansplaining." I did see that tossed around on twitter while I was collecting my information for this blog post. Mansplaining is the term used when men argue against sexist terms made by women, and technically I am "mansplaining" while writing this sentence due the the sexist nature of the term "mansplaining." It's a term that combines the words "man," and "expalining," and although some might try to suggest that the term is meant to be used for when a man is talking over a woman so that she is not allowed to argue, it is actually used as a way of convincing women whom prescribe to such ideologies that men explaining is sexist, and that the women should disregard and ignore men that explain their views or opinions. E. Latimer has decided to skip the insults though, and she's gone straight into phase two of the cultural Marxist's bullying tactics. She is using the "vague threat that contradicts everything that has just been said in the article" tactic, which is something that is not only somehow widely successful in driving away people who do not agree 100% with the views of the #ThingsOnlyWomenWritersHear movement, but also great at reinforcing the echo chamber that is created around the hashtag. 

If there are lots of women agents/editors, then who is saying all of these nasty things to the women writers? Why don't they just work for the women agents/editors that supposedly won't say nasty things to them? I thought only evil men say nasty things, right? Wouldn't the women be able to band together and create their own writing industry that was entirely made up of women writers, editors, publishers, agents, and etc. so that they could bypass all of the mean things that evil men do? Is the reality of maintaining a professional writing career much more complicated than whether or not a writer experiences contact with a sexist person? Is there any benefit to repeatedly telling women that they are treated unfairly no matter what they do? Does it create a sense of futility among women that prescribe to these ideologies, as if they'll never be successful because something outside their control is always at fault for their inability to progress? If there are lots of women agents, is there something else holding women back from dominating the writing industry? 

These are questions that I'd be interested in hearing Erin Canty answer. After all, it is a huge part of her career to write about the evil things that evil men do to hold back women from ever being successful, so I'm sure she has some valuable insight. And I am certain that her insight definitely would not be based on the fact that she needs manufactured outrage to survive as a professional blogger. 

Twitter News is Garbage and Should Not Be Taken Seriously Under Any Circumstance

Whenever I see a trending story about how something was "getting really big on Twitter and Facebook" or whatever, my blood begins to boil. Remember when I said at the beginning of this blog post that I would go ahead and explain why every article such as Erin Canty's should be thrown in the garbage? 

Everything on Twitter and Facebook should really just be assumed as fake. There is really nothing I hate more than mass media regarding a tweet or facebook post as anything more than fiction. All of the girls who posted under the hashtag #ThingsOnlyWomenWritersHear could all be lying. None of it could be real, unless they provided some form of evidence or proof. All the time, there are news stories about how "racist assaults at colleges are on the rise, we can totally prove it because we have a bunch of facebook posts," and I hate to be the bearer of bad news but they're all fake. No matter what it is, it's going to be fake. Here's why;

If it is a real person posting something, then they need to provide some sort of proof. If they don't provide any proof or evidence, then what they posted should not be regarded as anything more than fictitious words. The person could post something nice, such as "I hope everyone has a great day," but the reality of social media is that there's no evidence of whether or not the person who owns the login for that account even had control of their computer at the time. Their friend who saw that the account was left open on a computer in the school's computer lab could have posted it for all I know. Take every facebook post with a table spoon of salt.

If the person is not real, then they are a robot. There are a lot of robots on social media. One in ten twitter accounts is a robot and not a real person. Theses robots are owned by large marketing companies that get paid to force things to "trend" or go "viral" by posting the same one or two different tweets hundreds of thousands or millions of times. For example, if I had a soda that I wanted to sell, and I wanted to sell it to the millennial generation since I thought they might really like the flavor, I would pay the marketing company a couple of thousands of dollars so that the bot accounts could post "Gosh this is a tasty drink #newsoda" three hundred thousand times in the span of three days. This would force my soda to go viral, which not only makes the soda seem more popular than it is, but it makes it seem as if the public has already decided that the drink universally tastes good, and more people will be willing to try it out. The fake social media accounts are used to sculpt public opinions for monetary gain. 

How does this relate to Erin Canty's article? Political groups do the exact same thing for their political ideologies. It's a way of subconsciously convincing people to switch over to one side. The DNC might make #trumphatesmcdonalds go viral, since it is not legally libel, and they don't like Trump. The GOP might make #antifaisaterroristorganization go viral, since it is not legally libel and they don't like Antifa. In reality, the DNC and GOP both do whatever the heck they want with the bots because they never get caught paying for these kinds of things. 

This is an example from a Mexican protest. I don't know much about the photo, but is was the first image that popped up when I searched "twitter bots pushing hash tags."

Hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands, and sometimes even millions of automated accounts that are less than a day old each posting the exact same text literally seconds away from each other. It's all manufactured outrage. It's not real, but it's a great way of tricking people in thinking that they are being oppressed by something else. 

Perhaps I will go into more detail on this in a future blog post, and if I do, I won't use the first image that popped up on the image search as an example.

Thanks for reading until the end.

Friday, February 24, 2017

"Stop Using Women And Girls To Justify Transphobia" - Huffington Post Still Thinks All Women Think The Same

A certain article that I saw from the Huffington Post has peaked my interest. Mostly, I'm fascinated by the truly sincere arrogance and sexism displayed by the writer, and before the reader judges this article solely off of this statement, I will explain further down in the article exactly what I mean.

First, I want to talk about the article itself. Alex Berg posted yesterday her trending article "Stop Using Women And Girls To Justify Transphobia," which has been shared many times over on Facebook and was featured as a 'trending' article on the Huffington Post website. Berg describes herself as a multimedia journalist since she helps produce many of the Huffington Post's video segments along with documentaries dealing with the troublestroubles faced by the transgender population, and she focuses mostly on LGBTQ issues in her reporting. 

The Voice of All Women
Her article is an opinion piece about the recent announcement from the Trump Administration where the president has stated that he will repeal a guidance put in by the Obama Administration allowing transgender people the ability to choose their bathroom of choice in a public school. Overall, she has reacted very negatively to the action, and she is very upset that those who opposed the guidance are using the protection of young girls as an argument against allowing transgender people into children's restrooms. 

After claiming that rescinding the access of transgender women to women's restrooms in public schools as discrimination against the LGBTQ community, Berg begins her argument as such:
"A common claim that opponents of such protections for trans students make is that allowing transgender people into bathrooms endangers cisgender women and girls. In his much discussed appearance on “Real Time,” alt-right former Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos told host Bill Maher that he “makes no apologies for protecting women and children from men who are confused about their sexual identity.” This argument perpetuates the myth that trans people are predators, when they are far more likely to face violence and harassment in restrooms at the hands of cis people."

It looks like Berg really looked at the facts when she decided to write her piece. The only problem is that the articles she is linking to are either misquoted by Berg or useless in terms of factual evidence. The first article that references how some argue that allowing transgender persons into bathrooms endangers cisgender women is actually a link to an interview with self-proclaimed radical feminist and chair on the director's board of the Women's Liberation Front, Kara Dansky, on "Tucker Carlson Tonight." In Dansky's interview, she did not say that the Obama guidance was endangering cisgender women, and instead she talked about the difference between rights for biological women and transgender women. From the Fox Insider article that accompanies the video segment;
"'We think that 'women and girls' are a meaningful category worthy of civil rights protection,' she [Dansky] said. 'If we define sex, under Title IX, to mean gender identity, what we're essentially saying is that "women and girl" can mean anyone who self-identifies as "women and girl," which makes the category "women and girls" meaningless as a category.'"
Of course, it might be silly to assume that anyone can assume themselves as a different gender and therefore be legally defined as "transgender" under US Federal Law. Historically, the legal definition of transgender and gender identity has been left up to the states, but according to the original text from Obama's issued guidance, the letter ultimately usurps the state's power of transgender issues regarding public schools.

The guidance states that any individual who doesn't claim to be their biological gender may be allowed to classify themselves as whatever gender they please. It's also fairly important to note that the guidance doesn't say "student" in these definitions, and instead only says "individual." Although the definition is broad and vague, perhaps intentionally, the guidance does relate these definitions to Title IX as a student related issue. What's baffling is that there is no qualification for being considered transgender, including medical or legal.

Kara Dansky is right when she says that anyone who wants to claim that they are a woman or a girl will be treated as a woman or a girl. The Title IX amendment as given by the Obama Administration grants that power to any student of any school receiving federal funding, which includes all public education systems and any school that receives tuition from Pell grants, FASFA loans, or other federal student aid programs. In essence, anyone who claims to be a woman can enter the women's restrooms, join school-associated battered women's shelters, join women's sports teams, enter women's locker rooms, receive housing in women's-only housing sections, and et-cetera, and the same rule applies to any person claiming to be a man. What I personally find striking is that the Obama guidance claims that disallowing men who claim to be women from entering female-only areas or joining female-only clubs, teams, and housing situations would limit or deny the transgender person from an equal access to educational programs or activities.

There are no educational programs that bar women or men specifically from attendance (except for historically all male or all female institutes, for which the majority have rewritten their rules to accept transgender students), however one could argue that sports teams that have been segregated by sex do limit certain gender's abilities to partake in said sports. I would argue that sexually segregated sports teams are something to be cherished due to the biological differences of the genders. Scientists once thought that women would one day be able to compete with men in track, cross country, cycling, and swimming events if they as a gender were allowed the equal opportunity of proper training, strong coaching, and more experience in the sports, however there is now considerable research available that states that women are unable to fairly compete with men due to the manner in which testosterone affects the muscles' strength and endurance along with the hormone's affects on heart size, oxygen levels in the bloodstream, and body fat percentage. As an example of this phenomena, here is a survey of ten thousand runners' 5k times compared by age and sex from;

The Obama ordinance has the potential of limiting or denying a student's ability to partake in an institution's activity by allowing a transgender female who doesn't have to provide medical documentation or partake in a medical treatment program to join a female sports team which would bar female students that didn't make the cut competing against a biological man and affect the outcomes of future competitions, games, and meets in the female sports team's league, and all the while the biological man will have complete access to the restrooms and locker rooms that would otherwise be restricted to his biologically female teammates. To reiterate, the transgender female wouldn't even be required to make an attempt to look like a female, and before I get criticisms for stating that females have a certain "look," I would like the readers attempting to make this criticism imagine a six-foot-tall, two hundred and forty pound transgender woman with a buzz-cut and goatee showering in the women's track team's locker room. Of course one might argue that this incident never happens and that it never would happen, but the response to such a quip is that if it were to occur, it would be legally acceptable. The fact is that there is potential for a man masquerading as a transgender female to dominate a women's sports league or enter and abuse women in a women's locker room, and that takes away women's protections from both unfair sports competitions against biological men and the reality that any male predator could potentially enter a woman's locker room or restroom.

To bring this conversation back to the quote from her article, Berg then goes on to mention right-wing provocateur Milo Yiannopolous, who stated that he “makes no apologies for protecting women and children from men who are confused about their sexual identity.” She uses Yiannopolous's name as a hyperlink to an article that criticizes Bill Maher for "taking credit for the former Brietbart editor’s swift downfall." Now, a discussion on Yiannopolous's alleged defense of pedophilia is definitely worthy of discussion, however due to the lengthy subject matter that would need to be addressed I will follow in Berg's footsteps by skipping the article's content entirely and only focusing on the quote. Yiannopoulos's quote is similar to Danksy's, and the provocateur is stating that the cost of allowing transgender females into women's restrooms, locker rooms, and other female-only areas is the risk of sexual assault from a man masquerading as a transgender female and the overall degradation of the value of women's biology. Berg counters this statement by claiming that theses risks aren't as important as the risk of bullying and abuse of transgender people in the bathrooms congruent with their biological genders.

With this counterargument, Berg is assuming several things about the sexes. I hope that the reader remembers my claim of sexism at the beginning of this blog post, because this statement is abhorrently prejudiced to men, women, and transgender persons. To begin, the assumption that transgender women won't be bullied, harassed, or assaulted in a women's restroom or locker room implies that only men or those who identify as men are capable of these actions; furthermore, the assumption that transgender men won't be bullied, harassed, or assaulted in a men's restroom also implies that only women or those who identify as women are capable of these actions. In regards to transgender people, Berg is assuming that a transgender person wouldn't abuse his or her access to a public restroom and that transgender people can do no wrong when it comes to sexual assault. This of course is untrue, like for example the 2012 case of Jessica Hambrook (who's legal name is Christopher Hambrook) who had been living as a woman for three years and joined two women's shelters where she raped and sexually assaulted several women.

To further strengthen her argument, Berg used her statement about transgender people being more likely to face harassment and sexual abuse as a hyperlink to a UCLA study done by Dr. Jody L. Herman, PhD. The study concludes that transgender persons and those that do not conform to their biological gender are unsafe and under threat of abuse in restrooms that do not correlate with their biological gender, however the study finds itself under serious scrutiny due to a couple of blatant biases. The first bias is the sample size; the survey consists of 93 individuals who either work, live, go to school, or have spent time in Washington, DC. The second bias is the $50 lottery award to apply incentive for people to participate in the survey. The third and most damning bias that totally discredits the study is the method of data collection used by Dr. Herman;

With a cash incentive and an inability to prove one's nonconformity of their biological gender identity, the data collected excluding the unlisted amount of personal interviews and the six follow-up interviews is rendered unverifiable and useless. Dr. Herman states in her paper that the follow-up interviews were used to give more qualitative data for the study, but it is a logical fallacy to use six singular instances as a method of describing an entire group of people. I am not trying to argue that transgender women don't face harassment or physical assault in the women's restroom, but Berg's use of this study to prove her point is in my opinion extremely careless.

Berg continues her article by further attacking the protection of women and young girls through sex segregation;
"Yet, Yiannopoulos’s line is a common refrain that continues to be used by those who care little about real, not mythical, violence against women. When walking back LGBTQ protections or promoting so-called 'bathroom bills,' proponents of such legislation have said that allowing trans people to use the appropriate restroom means men can 'enter private areas that are reserved for women and girls,' and that businesses that allow trans people to use the appropriate restroom pose 'a danger to wives and daughters.'

But invoking women’s safety while ignoring real violence faced by women and girls on college campuses, on the street and within their own homes is nothing more than a veil for hate. This so-called protection is a justification for transphobia — and as cisgender women, we’re done being your excuse."
These two paragraphs are a shocking collection of blatant sexism, name calling, and projection. To begin, Berg states that those who oppose the sex segregation of gender-specific areas do not care about the violence that she considers real. After boldly making this claim, she then goes on to ignore the fact that the anti "bathroom bill" stance is founded upon the reality that there are people who have been abusing this type of anti-discriminatory legislation for years already; or in other words, she ignores real violence that happens to women. I'd like to allow the readers to imagine a scenario where a middle-aged man enters a women's locker room, exposes himself to a group of young girls, and faces no criminal charges for his actions. It sounds ridiculous that this could happen, but there are already numerous reported cases of peeping toms and sexual predators gaining access to women's locker rooms by sexually identifying as a woman. As an example, here is an incident where a man entered a women's changing room at a public pool and disrobed in front of a girl's swim team. He did this twice, and he wasn't prosecuted since he identified as a woman. Here is another case where a 45 year-old man is known to have spent his day lounging naked in a women's locker room that is frequented by girls as young as six years old. In this incident, the man was not only exonerated from any criminal charge, but he was also given continuous free access to the women's locker room due to his sexual identification.

Berg states that those who oppose this type of legislation due to women's safety ignore violence against women on college campuses, the streets, and women's homes. This is not only a baseless claim, but also an extreme example of a straw man argument. Berg follow's the modern progressive left's practice of demonizing any person that disagree with her, and this is important when considering the information that she has cited to back up her claims in relation to this part of her quote;
" cisgender women, we’re done being your excuse."
One might notice that I put the word "we're" in bold. Here is where the true sexism begins to peacock out of Berg's ideology behind transgender specific legislation and women's safety. She is claiming here that cisgender women are sick of being used as a reason to oppose these types of bills, but a lot of her information that she has supplied to claim that those who oppose "bathroom bills" came from cisgender female feminists. The truth of the matter is that not all cisgender women agree that transgender females should be allowed in women's private areas in a business or public structure, and even the first person she linked to, Kara Danksy, was a cisgender woman who explained the exact kind of behavior that Berg is displaying in her article. Danksy stated in her interview that the progressive left and the majority of the radical feminist organizations do not want a conversation about transgender access to sex segregated areas of privacy, and any person that dares to oppose the so-called "bathroom bills" will be labeled as transphobic or hateful. Perhaps Berg's quote implies that she believes all cisgender women think the same in regards to transgender bathroom legislation, or maybe Berg is suggesting that cisgender women who don't want transgender females in their restrooms and locker rooms have forfeited their right to identify as cisgender. Maybe there really is some kind of collective consciousness of cisgender women, and I am just not aware of it, and all of the cisgender women who oppose "bathroom bills" are just putting on a show. No matter how I try and interpret this statement, it only comes off as not only sexist but also as a blatant disregard for the potential endangerment of women's safety and privacy, and a purposeful ignorance of the previously reported occurrences of sexual harassment and violence towards women as a result of this type of legislation.

The illogical hate Berg has for women's safety advocates continues with more straw man arguments and deceiving statistics from overtly biased studies;
"There are no recorded cases of transgender people harming anyone in the bathroom. In fact, trans people are far more likely to encounter violence and harassment themselves. In 2016 alone, at least 27 transgender people were murdered, the majority being transgender women of color. A whopping 41 percent of transgender people will attempt suicide in their lifetimes, compared with just 4.6 percent of the general public, according to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and the Williams Institute. On top of that, trans women encounter structural sexism just as cis women do. Perpetuating the lie that transgender people are predators just feeds into this discrimination. And we cis women never asked for this kind of “protection” to begin with."
As I've demonstrated earlier, the statement of "no recorded cases of transgender people harming anyone in the bathroom" is a blatant lie. The lie comes from the fact that Berg is ignoring the definition of "transgender" and "gender identity" used in the Obama guidance. Any person who claims to be a transgender person is by the legal definition of the former Title IX guidance a transgender person regardless of medical diagnosis or attempt to display some sort of effort towards transitioning to the claimed gender identity. The 45 year-old man who flashed young girls in the Washington State public pool was protected by this type of legislation, since he is legally considered a transgender woman by definition. Jessica Hambrook who raped young women in the Toronto women's shelters was granted access to the shelters' sleeping quarters, restrooms, and locker rooms due to her legal status of being a transgender woman. The argument against the "bathroom bills" is not centered around those who are transgender and seeking out the proper medical help for their situation; it is about refusing to allow persons with malintent the legal ability to enter any female-only area of privacy while placing women and girls in unnecessary danger.

The rest of the paragraph enters transgender people into the Oppression Olympics, and Berg tries to convince her readers that the safety and privacy of female-only areas is irrelevant because of how badly transgender people get treated by society. These issues are very sad and disheartening, but they are all straw men; and furthermore, if I was a transgender person I would find it incredibly insulting that someone would try to state that sex integration for restrooms and other gender-specific areas of privacy would solve or combat the transgender suicide crisis. I would think that if 41% of all transgender people are attempting suicide, then there is a much more serious problem going on than feeling uncomfortable in a bathroom. The other argument that one could make is that transgender people are attempting suicide due to the amount of harassment they receive on a daily basis, but not only would granting bathroom access be irrelevant to solving this issue, the argument also frames a massive mental health issue that is plaguing the transgender community into something so trivializing as being harassed. There are (however unfortunate) a plethora of minority communities that are harassed on a daily basis, but the transgender community, according to Berg, are somehow the only community that is affected to the point in which there exists a 41% attempted suicide rate. There is no other community in the United States that comes withing spitting distance of 41%, and the margins are historically unheard of. To give some perspective, during the Holocaust, the rate of suicide in Nazi internment camps was somewhere between 25,000 to 100,000 suicides a year, meaning that 8% would be the highest possible estimate for risk or rate of suicide (the calculation being 500,000 divided by 6 million).

In my personal opinion, I think it is crazy to outright disregard the blatant safety risk imposed by allowing transgender person under the current legal definition to enter female-only and male-only areas. I think it's even crazier to make statements such as "Transgender people should be able to enter whatever bathroom they want because they try to kill themselves a lot" or "transgender people should be able to enter whatever bathroom they want because there's rape culture and people who don't support 'bathroom bills' don't care about rape culture;"
"If opponents of trans protections sincerely cared about the safety of women and girls, they’d care about ending rape culture. They’d care about holding President Trump accountable for more than 15 allegations of sexual assault and harassment against women. And they wouldn’t paternalistically tell us who we ought to fear when we proudly count trans and queer people as part of our communities."
Allowing predators a loophole to legally enter women's restrooms and locker rooms is rape culture. President Trump's sexual assault allegations are so amazingly irrelevant that I shouldn't have to mention that they've all either been heavily discredited or the alleged victim has made a point to disappear (possibly because some of them were paid actors). Just because someone is against the "bathroom bills" doesn't mean they are telling you to fear trans people. There is more than one way to skin a cat, and just because people are questioning a law's practicality, it doesn't mean that those people are evil or succumbing to some sort of 'phobia.'

The good news is that I don't have to let people make me feel bad about caring for women's safety in public restrooms, and I hope the readers who took the time to read my blog post understand that they don't have to feel bad either. If you know that what you stand for is right, then you don't have to let anybody tell you how to feel. Offense is never given, it's only taken. As soon as our society realizes this concept, we'll be much more productive when it comes to solving our societal issues.

 "[T]here is a very rich blogosphere and Twitter community of marginalized feminists, and I try to engage with that community, but I find that as a queer woman the way that I experience the challenges that feminism tries to address is really different from a the way a straight woman might experience feminism." I am marginalized because I am queer and that is unfair, but God forbid if you disagree with my political opinions then you are nothing but pure evil.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

"Real men provide/ Real women appreciate it," Triad Community Lets Seven Words Dictate Their Emotions/Actions, And KLEUR tries to Capitalize on the Situation

In the fourth week of February, crisis struck the state of North Carolina. Dozens of people are outraged enough to the point in which a statewide protest will be held at a small location on the business 40 interstate between Winston-Salem and Greensboro. The cause for the protest is this diabolical plot:

From the Triad City Beat
That's right; it's a billboard with a slightly provocative, seven-word message. According to Joel Sronce of the Triad City Beat, the sign that has caused such an outrage is owned by the Whiteheart Outdoor Advertising company. The Triad's community has reacted so far by giving their unofficial Facebook page a rating of one star.

although, there has only been one rating given, so far
Joel Sronce contacted President Bill Whiteheart of the Whiteheart Outdoor Advertising company for comment, to which he responded:
"We understand very well, I’m sure as you do, the Constitution of the United States, and it is a ‘freedom of speech’ type message where the parties that have paid for that advertising are conveying a heartfelt message to the public."
Of course one would be incredibly naive in believing Mr. Whiteheart's statement, since as Joel Sronce points out Mr. Whiteheart is a dirty republican.

does this ring a bell?

The protest is being hosted by KLEUR, a company that describes itself as a "Lifestyle Supply and Marketplace," and it functions similarly to any other middle class clothing store if the store had a coffee shop, a lounge, a donation page, and a social justice warrior attitude. Since this new era of protesting everything can cause misunderstandings as to why a certain company would endorse a political protest, I visited KLEUR's page on Facebook to try and find out what the protest is about. The page states a manifesto of action 
against the harmful sign:

"This billboard is new and currently standing on West Bound Business I-40, headed into Winston -Salem from Kernersville

On Sunday we have a public demonstration expressing our feelings about why this is offensive. If you are a woman or man who feels this is a harmful message, please consider joining us. Stay tuned for location and plan.
The power here is in numbers, so PLEASE make this a priority, and PLEASE spread word and request your friends join and show up. Don't abandon this! Show up right at 11 in case we are made to disperse. (We are looking into securing a an escort but that seems be it. ) 
Call the local papers and news network and demand they come and cover this. The more calls they get, the better." 
According to these statements, KLEUR wants a lot of people to attend, but more importantly they want a lot of press coverage for their event. Although I am now aware that the company is looking for that sweet, sweet free press, I'm still a little confused as to what the protest is about. I think some people often get confused when I ask these kinds of questions, but I am genuinely not sure what the sign is saying that should cause such an outrage, and in these kinds of situations I get frustrated with the lack of reasoning given by the protest coordinators. I understand that some might feel this is offensive, but since I don't exactly understand why I'm looking for the reasoning behind KLEUR's response. So far, I can only tell that the company is only looking for free advertising.

Luckily for me and for the others who may be confused, KLEUR posted an update on their page:
We are NOT protesting that the sign is capable of existing, or the people who put it up, or the ad agency, or the right to put it up. We are protesting patriarchy and sexism, and that this antiquated way of thinking about women exists at all. We are protesting the implied demand that women be silent and appreciate, regardless of whatever circumstances, their role as non-providers."
From here I can gather a few more pieces to the puzzle, but I'm still having trouble putting everything together. If we look at the definition of the word "protest," the word serves as a noun to signify a stance of opposition, and as a verb it either means to project that stance of opposition or to dispute the legality of a certain action. In this case, KLEUR has stated that it is not protesting the legality of the statement, but they are wishing to express their dissent of their interpretation of the seven deadly words on the sign. Essentially, what KLEUR is doing is gathering a large amount of people to sit near the sign for several hours and state that they don't like this thing.

In regards why KLEUR doesn't like the sign's message, I am still left a little puzzled. KLEUR is protesting patriarchy and sexism, and the implied demand that women be silent and appreciative as a non-provider.

So let's look at the sign's message, "Real men provide/ Real women appreciate it." Even though the statement is only seven words long, I think I'll need to break it down to fully analyze a fair interpretation.

"Real men provide." To provide is to make arrangements for supplying a means of support, be it money, love, affection, or even a literal, physical support of a person's body. The sign states that a real man would supply or prepare previous arrangements for the supply of some time of support. The opposite of this would be for the man to not supply anything at all. I think that it is fair to suppose that the sign is speaking in terms of a relationship or a marriage, and if that is the case, I don't know of a real man that wouldn't be supplying whatever support he could in a relationship. If I was a woman that was married to a man that wasn't supplying support of any kind, I would drop him so fast that he'd break the sound barrier.

"Real women appreciate it." If I  analyze this sentence in the context of the first statement, keeping in mind that the sign is referencing a relationship or marriage between a man or a woman, then the word "appreciate" means to recognize the full worth of something or to be thankful and express gratitude towards something. If a man is providing for his wife or partner, should the woman not have to be appreciative for it? If I were married to an unappreciative woman, I'd leave her faster than Britain left the EU.

KLEUR states that these phrases are sexist, so to explore this idea, I will manipulate the phrase and explore its opposites.

"Real men don't provide, Real women appreciate it." In this case, the sign would be stating that women appreciate it when their male partners don't provide for them or their family. I think it would be common sense to state that no woman would want to be in a relationship with a nonsupporting or uninvolved man, and furthermore no self-respecting person would appreciate being in a relationship with such a partner.

"Real men provide, Real women don't appreciate it." This statement would imply that if a woman wanted to consider herself "real," then she shouldn't appreciate it when her male partner provides for her or for her family. A sign with this message would be promoting an attitude of disdain towards husbands and their efforts to support a family in whatever way they can, and if that were the case I would argue the sign would be very sexist. Thankfully, this is not the sign, and women don't have to be unappreciative in order to be "real."

"Real men don't provide, real women don't appreciate it." To take the sign's message and change it to the exact opposite only reinforces the original message of the sign. I don't think either partner of a relationship would appreciate their better half being nonsupportive or unhelpful. A relationship is not a one sided deal; it's a team effort that requires two teammates. If one teammate isn't putting in his or her fair share, then that team is never going to make it to the playoffs.

Another way to analyze the statement for sexism would be to lengthen it's wording and over-complicate it. From this, I would say an accurate lengthening would be this; "Men of worth provide for their partners with their best efforts in either a relationship or marriage, as opposed to being nonsupportive or wholly uninvolved in the two's combined efforts. Women of worth appreciate their partners' provisions, as opposed to being unappreciative or ungrateful for their partners' support."

I could also reverse the roles of the genders in the statement and see how the message portrays itself in a different context; "Women of worth provide for their partners with their best efforts in either a relationship or marriage, as opposed to being nonsupportive or wholly uninvolved in the two's combined efforts. Men of worth appreciate their partners' provisions, as opposed to being unappreciative or ungrateful for their partners' support." As I stated earlier, a relationship is a team effort. Both parties are expected to provide something, and the situation is never as black and white as some might want to believe. If the man has job and the woman is a stay-at-home mother, then the man provides the money and the woman provides the childcare and other housework. If both the man and the woman have jobs, then they both provide money, childcare, and housework. If the woman has a job and the man is a stay-at-home father, then the woman provides the money and the man provides childcare and other housework. Of course, these aren't rules, however these are statements that anyone who has reasonable common sense and views a relationship or a marriage as a team effort would say. For example, just because one partner has a job while the other partner is unemployed doesn't mean that the job-bearing partner never has to watch the kids or clean the house or what have you, but if he or she is gone most of the week while the other is at home all day, maybe the stay-at-home parent should focus more on the housework. These situations are vastly unique across every individual relationship, and a healthy marriage comes with the discussion of how both partners can help contribute as opposed to deciding who is the provider and who is the non-provider.

The word "sexism" defines itself as prejudice or stereotyping against one gender, but it's hard to tell if any analysis I've come up with so far contains any form of prejudice towards either gender. The billboard isn't saying anything specific about either gender unless an onlooker perceives it in that way. I think the billboard can be interpreted in a hundred thousand different contexts if I really sat down and thought about it. Perhaps the billboard is stating that most men don't provide, or that most women don't appreciate their partners' provisions, or that men should always provide and women should always appreciate. In reality, if someone is trying to make a statement that is only seven words long, it probably isn't worth the time to come up with all of these possible interpretations.

In regards to KLEUR's assessment that the billboard promotes patriarchy, I just don't see how that can be the case. KLEUR is attempting some sort of virtue-signaling campaign to capture the attention of women who care about gender equality and manipulate it for publicity reasons. If the protest isn't meant to promote action to remove the billboard, surely KLEUR knows that a protest of this manner would only bring it more attention. Maybe KLEUR isn't aware of the free market of ideas and how attention is used as a currency to invest in arguments, and the lack of attention is the number one killer of stupid ideas, but since I don't doubt the intelligence of KLEUR's businesspeople, I'm sure they know exactly what they are doing. Broad claims such as "the billboard demands that women be silent and appreciative," are such large, vague stretches that it's almost criminal that they are able to get people to believe them.

The question still remains; what does the sign really imply in its statement? Well, according to Joel Sronce's interview with Bill Whiteheart, the party responsible for the sign's erection has stated that "they will have a forthcoming announcement in the future." Although I would say it would be much more responsible to wait and see what other shenanigans the billboard activist has planned, KLEUR has decided to go gung-ho into the "scream and yell at the things we don't like" phase in accordance to the new era's rules for civil discourse. Although I wholly believe that the protest will not accomplish anything, I am confident that the protesters will tell me that I'm wrong while finding the self-righteousness that they are searching for.

When I was growing up, I was taught that offense is never given, but only taken. I hope that those who are truly outraged by this sign can one day learn to look past such petty things and focus their passion on bigger and more important issues. Maybe the person who paid for the billboard only wanted to see a reaction from it, and we're all playing into his or her pocket.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Social Change is a Cult

I go to a small liberal arts college,and I'm only posting this because I hope people realize that liberalism shouldn't be laughed at and called a 'mental illness,' and instead it should be recognized as to what it truly is; a cult.

For one of my classes, I was required to attend a seminar given by Tony Woodcock, who is a leading pioneer in the field of arts management and music education. He was also the president of the New England Conservatory for a number of years, and he's established outreach programs for big-name orchestras that he's managed. He also apparently writes for Huffpo from time to time, as I just learned.

The thing about Tony Woodcock is that I know deep down in his heart, he is a good person, but he has been manipulated, and it was so obvious to me during his seminar. He gave a lecture about "our duty as artists to help change the world," and I wish I had recorded the lecture due to the outright brainwashing he tried to do to the students in attendance. His core message throughout the lecture was this, "if you have the time to be creative while another person in another part of the world is starving, have you really done your job as an artist?" Another strong theme was the purpose of charity, and he repeatedly made statements such as, "in the so-called 'developed west,' we combat poverty by paying for our avoidance of it through poverty," which of course leads me to believe that this guy doesn't give to charity and has found a way to not only justify his decision to not give to his fellow man but also a way of feeling superior about it.

Although, I can't say that he doesn't give to charity since he has helped develop several arts outreach programs in the US for underprivileged youth, however it's his reasoning behind it that seems incredibly strange. His goal was to get us, a handful of artists at a liberal arts conservatory, to enact what he calls "social change" in our communities, and he went on spiels about how it's our duty to help illegal immigrants and refugees and protect women's rights and promote racial equality and every other liberal talking point. At the end of the lecture, there was a Q&A portion, and I made the mistake of asking a simple question about his lecture. I said, "In regards to social change, what should we be trying to change into?" He asked me to clarify what I meant, and I said "What is the end goal to all of the social change?"

I didn't criticize him, I didn't speak out against his lecture, and I wasn't trying to be an edgy kid trying to attack some guy giving a lecture. All I wanted to know is what his goal for this social change was. After all, he explained to us that if we were not a part of the social change, then we would be bad people. I just wanted to know what social change I should push for if he wanted to consider me a good person. His answer to me was so crazy:

"I've never thought about it like that before. You know I think that young people and some older people get too caught up in this idea that there has to be an end goal, so I would say that it is more important to think about the change than to worry about what we should all be trying to accomplish."

What? You're going to tell me that I'm a bad person if I don't follow this ideology of social change, but you can't tell me why I should do it or what the outcome of it should be? Another lady that I didn't recognize chimed in saying that "It's specific to the community you're looking to work with, but I don't think we should be worried about an overall goal." I think that's an acceptable answer, but she was not the only one to answer a question that she wasn't expected to respond to. The dean of my school happened to be there as well, to which he said,

"I think your question is so important, but the end goal doesn't matter. What matters is how we can change people's lives through social change one step at a time."

Then, since this question was apparently open-ended and directed towards everyone, one of the other students in the audience responded, saying:

"I don't really think it should be about an end goal, but it is obvious that there is social change that needs to be done in the world. You might think that nothing needs to be done, but if you look at what's happening today and think that everything is ok, then you should probably do some serious self-reflection."

At this point my jimmies were properly rustled since I knew this student personally and I knew that he didn't involve himself with any charitable programs, and I'm not trying to brag about what I do but I spend a significant amount of time serving for a program (which I don't want to mention since it might cost me my position) where I go to underprivileged schools and help the teachers of those schools. I've helped illegal immigrants, I've helped refugees, and I've been to schools that were so bad that only 20% of the kids passed their reading and math EOG's. What's really crazy is that the question I asked suddenly took all of this information, and that student who said this to me knew this about me, and threw it out the window, even though my question wasn't critical or promotional. I was only asking for Tony Woodcock's reasoning, and he couldn't give it to me.

So let me get this straight; If I don't believe in this progressive ideology of social change, I am a bad person. If I even question the reasoning behind the social change, I am a bad person and it suddenly becomes ok to publicly ridicule me (I should note that I am paraphrasing, but the quotes are practically verbatim). Is this not a cult? Is this not an ideology of "don't ask why, just do as you're told?" I don't see my volunteer work (which is both a part of a certain program and outside of that program during my spare time) as social change or social entrepreneurship, I see it as me trying to be a contributing member of society. But that's not what they want, they want to see our society change, and you're either with them or against them. This is a cult.

Progressiveness, liberalism, social entrepreneurship; the left is a cult.

Here is an archive link to one of Tony Woodcock's Huffpo articles where he talks about Social Entrepreneurship and how there are corporate benefits to giving the poor a better education.

From the article:

"Their philosophies share commonalities too:
• They all hold up education as the foundation for improvement at the individual, family and societal levels, but they question very deeply the methods, relevance, and value of current systems of education." 
This means nothing. Nobody agrees with the current education system. These are just words.  
"• They value Social Justice and people above profits. For them, the notion that the poor represent the price of doing business is anathema. They understand that poverty is the result of choices and structures society has made." 
The poor don't represent the price of doing business. The poor represent the people that give up their rights to an oppressive government, or the people that have made life decisions in a non-oppressive government that have put them in their position. Tony Woodcock believes that people have no control over their own lives, and that a person's own choices don't affect one's own life. 
"• But most of all they believe that poverty is An Externally Imposed Phenomenon, which produces the misery and inequality that we see in the world today. They believe that the poor are fantastic human beings who represent some of the greatest potential for growth and human development. They are not the “deserving poor”; they are the poor who deserve our serious respect and attention."
Tony Woodcock believes that the poor cannot help themselves, and although he likes to say that the poor are fantastic and incredibly smart, he doesn't allow them the thought that they might be able to create success for themselves. They have to be helped because they cannot help themselves. They are the greatest potential for growth and human development, yet they can't do it on their own because society won't let them. 

It seems like such a thoughtful idea, but if I was on the receiving end of this philosophy, I would consider it incredibly insulting that these rich elite were looking to make a corporate gain off of my education because they believed that I couldn't help myself even if I wanted to. They believe that I have been wronged, and instead of allowing me to make my own choices about it, they will make those choices for me because I wouldn't be able to even if I worked my hardest to change my situation. This philosophy is so domineering and degrading at the same time; they claim that the poor aren't stupid or incapable, yet they don't trust that the poor can help themselves.