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Godey’s Magazine Mockery Of An 1851 Men’s Rights Convention (With Actual Sources)

2 Jan

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It’s a brand new year, and a weekend, so I can understand why folks may be choosing to phone it in at their chosen profession. “Best Of” Articles and such are all over the place; I get it. But the sadclowns over at A Voice For Men have taken it a step further, recycling material from two centuries ago. Unable to find an example of men’s oppression in the past two hundred years, they are currently ugly sobbing about a satirical article from 1852. 1851mensrights7

But rather than, you know, make any commentary on it, they just copy-pasted the text and called it a day. Because ethics in crying about 200 year old satire, I’m sure. They didn’t even post source material, just a couple half-ass links to Wikipedia. With about ten minutes on Google, I managed to track down the source material, which I will now post/reference because public domain. Also, I want this archived somewhere besides A Voice For Men.

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Anyway, the article comes from the April 1952 issue of Godey’s Magazine And Lady’s Book. The magazine itself was incredibly popular in pre-Civil War America. Edgar Allen Poe got his start there, when they published several of his short stories (including “The Cask Of Amontillado”!). You can find archives of the entire print run of the magazine at archive.org and at accessible-archives.com. The article in question can be found here:

https://archive.org/stream/godeysmagazine44gode#page/268/mode/2up

As for the author, Chericot, Google is really not helping much with finding details. Apparently they also wrote a short story (with a sequel) called “Who Wants A Monkey” for Arthur’s Home Magazine around the same time. Maybe a pen name?

The article itself is as vicious as it is hilarious, in an olde-tymey way.

On taking- a survey of the meeting, one thing struck us very forcibly—the uneasy and restless anxiety that characterized the demeanor of most of the men; the slightest noise caused a general sensation; and, in one instance, the shrill cry of a fishwoman threw a gentleman into hysterics, which he explained, on his recovery, to have resulted from his mistaking it for the voice of his wife.

The basic premise is that the author is beholding a formative “Men’s Rights” meeting, in which a bunch of 19th-century sensitive “nice guy” patriarchs get together to kvetch and wring hands about how empowered their wives have gotten. It’s pretty brutal.

That an unblushing claim has not only been made on our clothes, but on all our masculine privileges; and as this evil has resulted, in the first place, from the impunity with which the women have put their hands in our pockets, and as it will end only in the usurpation of our business, and of our sole right to the ballot-box, it becomes necessary for us to impress upon this rebellious sex our united determination to resist their aggressions

As a work, it definitely hasn’t aged well in terms of racism. There’s a scene involving a Native American MRA that is as embarrassing as it is unnecessary. Seriously, skipping over it doesn’t even make a hiccup in the narrative.

The proceedings themselves are a series of bickerings, non-sequitors and displays of plumery until such moment as the founder’s wife appears, beckoning him home. After which the henpecked revolutionaries tuck tail and disperse.

“Here I am, my dear 1” said a sharp voice, and a small, thin, vinegar-faced lady entered the room, and walked up to the platform, at the head of a numerous procession of females. “My love,” continued she, “it is late; I am afraid you will take cold. Hadn’t you better come home?”

“If you think so, my dear, certainly,” replied Mr. Husband, turning pale, and trembling so he could scarcely stand, perceiving which, his wife affectionately offered him her arm. Mr. Easyled meekly obeyed an imperative gesture from Mrs. Easyled, and Mrs. Bluster picked up the general, who had fainted, and carried him out in her arms.

Exeunt omnes, in wild confusion.

Scans of the article are below:

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COGIATI Is The Worst Classic Text Adventure Game #Retrogaming #90snostalgia

19 Jul

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So I know it’s been ages since I’ve done a video game review on here, despite promising I would be more proactive in that regard. So today’s game is a classic from the mid 1990s.  It appears to be some sort of text adventure created by the same designer that made the classic Apogee game BOPPIN.

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The game is called COGIATI (which is probably one of those nonsense magic words like XYZZY or PLUGH). It promises the acquisition of a “transsexual gender inventory” which honestly doesn’t sound very epic, but I’m not too good to grind for unusual and rare items.

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The game opens up with an admonition to “answer truthfully” to some questions that will follow, which I thought was cool because it reminds me of that fortune teller from the Avatar trilogy of Ultima games.

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It’s kinda dated, but I do get a kick out of the non-traditional methods of character generation. Some of the questions seemed to lead to certain classes, even though they were kinda sexist:

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And others that seemed to be pointing towards special super powers your eventual character may possess-

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The thing is tho, the questions never seem to stop coming. No recognizable character development or progress is shown, and some questions seem irrelevant or morbid-

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So then I finally get to the end of the questions, and instead of presenting a well-rounded character and a world to explore, I was presented with an ending screen:

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What a ripoff, right? I go through all that and I get is a psych recommendation. I mean, it’s better than the endings of River City Ransom or Ultima Exodus on the NES, but still. It’s almost as disappointing than the ending of NARC where it tells you to become a cop-

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So seriously, even if you’re somewhat of a completist when it comes to classic text-adventure games, you may want to pass this one up. There’s no plot to be seen, just endless grilling about your identity forever. Real life provides way more than that to spare.

Creepy-Ass Scrapbook Is Creepy.

12 Mar

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Found this odd little thing over at All Things Beautiful. The $25 asking price was pretty steep, but it definitely caught my eye. It was about 100 pages long, and nothing but near-contextless cut out magazine photos of babies and toddlers. But why tho?

To be honest, it kind of reminded me of the “Memory Lane” scrapbook from Misery. Creepy.

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The Effeminist Manifesto Is A Forty Year Old Pile Of WTF.

24 Jan

In preparation for my cross-country move from Austin to Portland during the summer of 2013, I found myself begrudgingly paring down what was previously my impressive (if I must say so myself) personal library of counter-cultural literature and publications. Part of that daunting task included rooting through the stuff that was not worth salvaging or selling (usually because of damage sustained from previous moves) and tearing out articles of interest to revisit.

While digging through an old Whole Earth Catalog (I think) from the early 70s I noticed this gay culture manifesto that included the word “f*ggot” like 50 times.

What the shit is this? I thought to myself. A quick scan showed it to be a call to arms for effeminate men to reject the masculinism in gay culture. “Fuck. Yes” I thought to myself and put it in the keep pile. I chatted up this discovery with my partner at the time, another trans woman who I’d met on a fetish site, without having any idea of the irony. No joke, I even think we were going out to a drag show that night.

What I’d stumbled across was the fierce anti-trans, anti-BDSM, anti-androgeny, anti camp and gay culture Effeminist Manifesto.

Founded by Steven F Dansky, John Knoebel, and Kenneth Pitchford (husband of old-school proto-TERF Robin Morgan), The Effeminist Movement was a short lived, tightly-knit and controversial group mostly centered around their publication project Double F. The movement, in their own words, “did not seek to the legalization of f*ggotry, quotas or civil rights for f*ggots” but instead spent the majority of their time declaring members of the Gay Liberation movement and other counter-cultural movements “enemies of feminism” and seeking to discredit and slander them. Anyone familiar with a certain branch of radical feminism would immediately recognize these tactics.

Looking over this document, I find myself torn because when I read things like:

F*ggots and all effeminate men are oppressed by the patriarchy’s systematic enforcement of masculinist standards , whether these standards are expressed as physical, mental, emotional or sexual stereotypes of what is desirable in a man.

…This means rejecting of objectification of people based on such things as [physical or facial features], genitals, ethnicity or race, physical or mental handicap or lifestyle…

…Even as we learn to affirm in ourselves the cooperative impulse and to admire in each other what is tender and gentle, what is aesthetic, considerate, affectionate, lyrical, sweet…

I’m like “this is awesome, these are things that really need to be put out there; wish the other 85% of this thing wasn’t crap”. The rest being this campaigning of a sort of compulsory celibacy akin to political lesbianism, but for gay dudes, rejection and dismantling of gay culture altogether, and this realization of the innateness of maleness and femaleness that is “outside of gender”. I have to admit I find myself scratching my head over that last one.

It’s a pretty common argument in that branch of radical feminism, this whole baffling idea that gender is wrong but people should still be categorized by estimated reproductive role and viability. I say tomato, you say transgender identity is a form of cultural appropriation. *shrug*

I really wish there was a situation where all possibility of open, frank discussion of the navigation of gender by people with a lifetime of gender-non-conforming history hadn’t already been hijacked rhetorically by strict binary narratives we have to repack our lives into in order to express ourselves in order to be understood.

Really tho, it’s not too far off from the complications of explaining the social navigation of monogamous bisexuality, something else I’m all too familiar with.

I will say this tho, I kinda wanna reclaim Eonism, which is the term they use in this when talking about trans folks. Even though I’m well aware of the etymology, it still also sounds cybernetic. So any anti-trans jerks reading this should feel free to call me that all you like.