Tag Archives: mens rights

Is Kylo Ren Queer-Coded? Well, Yes And No.

14 Jan

kyloren0Image from this comic by Andi Espinosa.

Since finally getting to see the new Star Wars movie about a month after everyone else did, I’ve found myself immersed in the surrounding discussions of it. Like, why the fuck was Han so excited to use Chewbacca’s weapon for apparently the first time in the decades they’ve been friends? How come in 30 years has none of the computer tech advanced past 16 color raster graphics, blinking lights and LEDs? Also is Kylo Ren technically yet another Disney queer-coded villain, and how awful are you for empathizing with the Nazified little shit in a queer way?

kyloren5Okay maybe I’m participating in different conversations than y’all.

I’ve been seeing a lot of talk lately about how Kylo Ren is the modernized face of impotent nerd rage. He’s like a one-man Gamergate, without all the Nazi imagery… oh wait. And, honestly, many of the traits that could be read as queer have been gradually integrated into uneasy heteromasculine posturing the past few decades, as addressed by fans and critics thinking of him as “emo“. There is a lot to be said about imagery of nerdbro ego projection and predation in many of his actions as well.

kyloren8Above borrowed from this comic strip.

And yeah I get that. I’m sure even more can be said in that regard. I’ve personally been humoring the idea that Kylo Ren’s encounter w/Han Solo is a commentary on neo-masculinity. Like Han represents old-guard swagger and grit and “benevolent sexism” and is a masculinity relic… he’s literally a cowboy. An artefact of a different age of manhood. Kylo Ren represents the new face of such: internally tortured, confused, with wildly inappropriate idealizations and bad posture. Watch Kylo Ren walk around uneasily in his uniform next time you see the film, see how forced his movements are. Kylo’s nervous stilted gait represents the new guard carrying the torch for men’s advocacy. Kylo winds up doing what he does (SPOILER: murders his dad) cuz of his misplaced interpretation of how masculinity works: aka a compulsive desire to “prove himself”.

But we’re not actually suggesting that Kylo Ren is queer. Or at least I’m not. But we have to keep in mind what queer coding is. We also need to differentiate queer coding from queer-baiting, a more modern trope of hinted sexuality, which also appears in the film.

kyloren1And how.

Spoiler alert, but I’m gonna be hammering on and on about this sort of thing over the course of several upcoming articles (not about Star Wars tho). In this case, I believe whether Kylo Ren is queer-coded or not may mean different things between folks older or younger than 30. Folks like us grew up with less media representation. Some of us may be a bit more sensitive or in-tune with the “nod-nod wink wink” aspects of this than folks growing up in an era where a character can actually be queer without also having to be a mass-murderer to satisfy some garbage moral clause.

To me Kylo’s unmasking scene in the torture chamber more than a little bit resembled when Ra unmasks himself in the first Stargate movie. The hard, cruel gray and black immobile feature-obscuring mask giving way to reveal a soft androgynous face and sensitive eyes. In the case of Stargate, particularly, strategically revealing the face of the actor that played a trans woman in The Crying Game just a couple years before, one of the most iconic and recognizable trans characters in film (for good or for bad).

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And it’s not like we haven’t seen the “prissy evil son in the shadow of an impossibly badass father whose shoes he may never fill” dynamic before.

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Also, this is Disney we are talking about. The company that pretty much wrote the book on queering up their baddies.

kyloren4Coincidence? I think… actually yeah probably coincidence.

The thing about Star Wars movies, however, is that just by existing they change the face of  everything they touch. While doing so, they completely reinvent the visual language surrounding such, from fashion to archetypes and of course special effects. These changes become so widespread because damn near everyone winds up seeing them.

kyloren7Well everyone that matters, anyway.

Perhaps this really is a calculated narrative side-step to replace tired Hollywood Golden Age homophobia with biting commentary on evolving male ego. If so I have to admit I’m impressed.

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

2 Jan

1851mensrights6Pic Unrelated

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.

1851mensrights8

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:

1851mensrights3a1851mensrights3b1851mensrights4a1851mensrights4b1851mensrights5a1851mensrights5b

What If Elliot Rodger Was A Gay Dude? #MRAKills

30 May

Amongst the more outlandish of ideas going around about yet another mass killing (at least the second one of it’s type in the past five years, with at least one similar within the next 24 hours), Fox News decided to bring one of their psychological experts that blamed it on gay people. Because that seems to be the only thing Fox News psychological experts are able to blame for anything.

elliotrodger2

In an unsurprising show of solidarity, masculinist anti-trans hate site Gender Identity Watch (run by a failed writer for A Voice For Men), was tweeting all day about the killer possibly being/resembling a trans women. Because to a special kind of person, seeing a blatantly obvious racial/misogynist inspired tragedy is a perfect time to direct more vitriol towards a completely unrelated minority.

elliotrodger3elliotrodger4

It was their only related original content the day of the tragedy, other than some half-hearted reblogs that seemed to glorify the violence, and/or help distribute his videos/blogs messages. You’ll note I won’t be posting that asshole’s picture or linking to his blog, his “My Twisted World” manifesto, or his Youtube channel because fuck him.

This is all only slightly less absurd than claiming it was a conspiracy to discredit the Men’s Rights Movements or gun rights or whatever, but of course MRA assholes , washed up punk rockers and other assorted clowns are doing exactly that as well. But if you think about it, how much difference *does* it make if he had been gay? Unless you buy FOXNews/Gender Identity Watch’s archaic and long ago discredited notions that being gay or trans is rooted in deep-seated misogyny, not much actually. It’s not like gay men and gender-non-conforming folk don’t find themselves under the crushing pressure of toxic hegemonic masculinity and coercive heteronormativity. The shit certainly manifests in gay male relationships, I’ve seen it firsthand.

And it’s like, it’s no secret dude hated women. Like, loathed and resented them through the lens of his sad impotent desire. Better writers than I have spelled that shit out in detail. And it’s not like online echo chambers of mewling racist/misogynistic/homophobic shitheads hadn’t already driven creeps to commit mass killing just a month ago. I’ve mentioned on my blog a couple times already the similarities between far-right wing ideology, the Men’s Rights Movement, and white supremacy, and fuck I’m just getting started. But yeah, shithead creep finds similarly minded shithead creeps that warp his perception with their creepy viewpoints and terrible Matrix references (seriously, wtf is the deal with imagery from Wachowski sibling movies getting co-opted by the worst humanity has to offer?).

elliotrodger5

Even flecks of human garbage that have the audacity to identify themselves as “incel” (involuntarily celibate) feel the need to simultaneously laud and distance themselves from Rodger’s particular brand of narcissistic entitlement. So like, there’s literally no question there was/is a culture out there willing to nurture this troubled kid into eventually acting out their collective hateful fantasies. I mean, by no means was he mentally stable, but keep in mind this was a kid from an impossibly rich family, who claimed he was seeing multiple therapists. I think it’s more about how society and psychology treats hypermasculine performativity, even hugely overcompensating, as synonymous with “high-functioning” in cases of mental illness than any ridiculous notion of him not getting the help he needed. If someone like that can’t “get the help they need”, we’re all fucking doomed.

But I have to wonder if there isn’t something even deeper than that, this sort of fundamental malfunction in the way society builds those designated at birth. Like, toxic masculinity is a great term for the result, but what particular limb of that great octopus of the patriarchy can we cut off so we’re not breeding more of people like this? These “artless, empathy-devoid, posturing obelisk in trousers and sensible shoes” I lamented the possibility of even so-called-“radical” society turning us all into. Alienated from self, alienated from romantic and sexual partners, barely present in their mule of a body, compulsively pursuing signifiers of achievement and pleasure without the capacity to enjoy or even recognize them. People who, at best, have to spend most of their adult lives unraveling the messages literally beat into them since childhood.

“You buy furniture. You tell yourself, this is the last sofa I will ever need in my life. Buy the sofa, then for a couple years you’re satisfied that no matter what goes wrong, at least you’ve got your sofa issue handled. Then the right set of dishes. Then the perfect bed. The drapes. The rug. Then you’re trapped in your lovely nest, and the things you used to own, now they own you.” – Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club

Just this stony, but fragile thing, a statue of Ozymandius unto oneself. Unable to confide, unable to care, so puzzled by the idea of approaching others not as conquests or on the basis of what you can gain from them, but as just actually people.

Fuck that, and fuck the Red Pill. Hell, fuck the Blue Pill too, unless it contains at least 2 milligrams of estrogen.

How To Buy Happy Meal Toys Like A Suspected Sex Offender.

19 Apr

So like, you’d think I’d be excited to hear about a policy like this:

ponytoy2

I mean, gendering toys is pretty much bullshit and forces unnecessary social pressure on children, especially those that don’t fit neatly into the roles society wants for them. So on one hand it’s cool to see that mentality being moved away from. Realizing, however, that this policy is not in place for the benefit of gender-non-conforming children, but to spare mostly heterosexual men in their late 20s/early 30s from having their sexuality challenged makes me kind of nauseous. Even more nauseous than McDonalds usually makes me feel.

I frequently find myself bothered by feminine things repurposed through the lens of heterosexual masculine sexuality. Take “guyliner” for instance. No seriously, take the entire concept of “guyliner” and throw it down a well and fill the well with cement.

ponytoy8Why yes this is some creep’s actual police mugshot.

Now, I’m not saying that guys shouldn’t wear eyeliner, because holy shit that’s hawt yes please. The thing is, until the mid-2000s or so, around the time “metrosexuality” (something else I hate) became a thing, wearing makeup for guys largely betrayed a social vulnerability/had a counterculural element. There’s a great scene in the 1982 punk rock travel documentary Another State Of Mind where Mike Ness puts on his trademark sloppy eye makeup. He acknowledges that vulnerability, even pointing out and shrugging off the assumption that me might be considered gay. He’s a punk kid, trying to freak people out… it’s kinda adorable to be honest.

But then around 2007-2008, after this douche started making the rounds, the dynamic around it changed. You wind up with dudes in the club mascaraed out to the nines and feeling compelled to constantly overcompensate to not seem gay or whatever, and queer folks like I was pre-transition find themselves having to reiterate “No, see I’m not into pickup artist bullshit, I’m actually queer. I have sex with dudes and whatever.” Just seems so unnecessary on all fronts.

So anyway, I’m not here to talk about makeup (for once). I’m here to talk about sweaty men buying tiny horses. To talk about their strategies and their compulsions.

bronyhat2.pngTo talk about their terrible taste in hats.

And before you get locked into some sort of misconception, this isn’t about adults buying toys, or even about adult heterosexual men buying girl’s toys. I’m a grown ass adult that buys toys with exactly zero reservation. Just a few years ago, I was ordering Happy Meals to get that cool Devo-looking “New Wave Nigel” guy from their American Idol toy collection (especially since Devo was suing them over it).

ponytoy3Seriously, this little fucker is adorable and I regret nothing.

Thing is tho, I have never found any compulsion to try to navigate/rationalize it through some sort of gauntlet of heterosexual male identity. This is where I think the metrosexuals and the bronies and such are kind of fucking it up for all of us. Not satisfied with existing in some sort of grey era of social presentation, these folks have to turn enjoying feminine things as a straight male into this hideous sexualized gender monstrosity. Seriously, read this thing. There’s this unnerving level of calculation and compulsion to it, this sort of forced awkardness under the attempted tongue-in-cheek tone that makes even basic actions seem fetishistic if not sexualized.

ponytoy4Like, ewwww.

Again, I buy toys from both sides of the aisle myself even now, but I don’t approach it with the sweaty-palmed awkward anxiety of a man forced to go door to door disclosing his sex-offender status to his neighbors. The only thing that tutorial got right was the line “McDonalds workers don’t care about some 15-30something walking in to buy cartoon horses”. They seriously could have definitely left it at that, rather than suggest flashing MLP fan art, which seems like a hell of a good way to get arrested.

ponytoy5SERIOUSLY FOR THE LOVE OF GOD DON’T FLASH FAN ART IN PUBLIC

Anyway, when all is said and done, the article makes it seem so damn difficult. Just to test this theory, I went to the McDonalds near my job to buy some ponies. I went ahead and bought two, because fuck the police.

ponytoy6ponytoy7Whatever that look on my face is, I’m pretty sure it isn’t pride.

Both ponies are now on my desk at work. Mission accomplished.

And whatever, I’m sure there was at least one person there totally thinking “wow what a f*gg*t”. Point taken, way to point out the obvious. Better than having people wonder if I was gonna take the ponies home to fuck them.

The Worst Thing Of 2013 Is Now The Worst Thing On eBay.

16 Feb

bronyhat1

Well, technically, according to Buzzfeed it’s the 36th worst thing on the internet from last year, but it’s still pretty terrible. Basically Poe’s Law come to life in jaunty hat form, it’s an actual, totally, for-real My Little Pony Fedora.

bronyhat2.png

Apparently the hat’s original creator has decided to cash in on his semi-anonymous fame and is now offering the hat for sale on eBay. The auction itself walks a fine line between being humorously self-aware and awkwardly defensive. Honestly, the funniest part about it is the $20 opening bid, because holy shit dude are you for real. Actually that’s not fair, cause the part about the $2000 Buy-It-Now in reference to this:

bronyhat3

…is also kind of clever, too.

Anyway, if you really want the hideous thing for yourself there’s several days left on this lonely auction.

Be a part of internet history!

Or, preferably, spend that same amount of money ordering pizza.

Board Games, MRAs, David Icke and the Transluminati.

26 Jan

transplanettransluminati1

So in just a moment we will be discussing one of my favorite internet forum threads ever, but first lets talk about a terrible board game. Let’s take a moment to watch the corniest white people in the world play and pretend to enjoy it:

Basically, the whole point of Scruples is to out your friends as the morally-inferior weaselly dirtbags they are. You have cards with moral dilemmas and a card with a yes, no, or maybe response. You pick the friend that is most likely to give the reply on your card. So… which one of your friends is most likely to pick up a lost wallet and not try to find the owner? Which one takes the money from the Nielson people without filling out the survey?

How much fun does that sound? None?

So it turns out that the creator of said game, Henry Makow, is a hardcore homophobic, anti-Semitic men’s rights activist conspiracy theorist, and boy is he way out there.  The logic of his now defunct “Save The Males” MRA site goes something like this:  1) Gay men have sex with each other because they hate women 2) Feminists hate men and want to destroy them all 3) Since both hate heterosexuality (naturally), they’ve joined forces to create porn to poison the spirits of manly men. And you can bet your sweet bippie that he has some rambling jackass opinion on where trans women use the restroom.

transluminati2That fedora is permanently attached to his head.

Of course this all makes sense because the Illuminati.

Which brings us to this amazing 380 post thread from the David Icke forums on Freemasonry’s Hidden Transgender Agenda. Only four posts in folks are claiming the Illuminati’s ultimate goal is “ to confuse humanity and subject them to a transgender master race” which frankly would be AWESOME (sorry cis folks).

Further highlights:

The bombing of Hiroshima was part of the Trans-Gay Agenda because Enola is Alone spelled backwards and the names of the bombs imply a pregnant man.

A reminder to myself to struggle through this dreadfully boring video to see if there’s anything that would make cool samples:

Trans women are a part of a Jewish Conspiracy to make cishet white dudes confused and feel guilty.

Obligatory Holocaust Denier post because this is the David Icke forums.

I AM THE TRUEST TRANS THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE.

The truth behind Barack Obama’s birth certificate is that he was born a woman.

So like, I’m a transsexual/transgender whatever and I find this whole speech laughable. Fuck your right-wing HBS BS.

Seriously, trans separatists are just so fucking awful.

…they want you to mate with negroes and produce hybrid slaves for the Jews

The Illuminati are known masters of forum thread-jacking.

transluminati3

Apart from false-flag 9-11, nothing better demonstrates society Illuminati subversion than their attempt to make us behave like homosexuals.”

SASS

Biochemically engineered gay and trans folks to dilute real men for the Androgeny Agenda.

Okay this person GETS IT.

Obligatory post of someone doing a Google Image Search for “Gay Pride” to make some stupid point (surprised it took this long to show up).

SASS

The “gay voice” is created from too much TV and microchips.

Gay jeans and CIA planted counterfeit lesbians.

“Conspiracy nuts” is a slur.

A symbolic deconstruction of the Michael Jackson album Dangerous for some reason.

SASS

And then, sadly, the thread drifts off and ends.

 

No Homo: On Jared Leto And Destroying A Beautiful Creature.

16 Jan

A lesson I’m learning over and over in life is that pretty boys can’t be trusted. They’ll break your heart as soon as they open their big stupid mouths.

So remember that part in Fight Club where Edward Norton sees Brad Pitt and Jared Leto embrace tenderly and gives them both this look of utter jealousy and betrayal? Remember how the scene immediately shifts to Norton cheap-shotting Leto and pounding him into hamburger meat and later admitting to Pitt that he did so simply because he was beautiful? Remember how technically (spoiler) Edward Norton and Brad Pitt are the same person?

Have you ever *really* thought about that scene? No homo.

nohomo1In case you forgot this part, I’m totally not joking here.

Anyway…

I haven’t seen Dallas Buyer’s Club, but I intend to. I have a soft spot in my heart for what Julia Serano would call “sad trans” movies. So let’s get that out of the way.

And I’m not gonna get into the “should cis actors play trans women” argument in this article because that conversation has been done to death. Smarter people than I have tackled the subject better than I ever will. I am, however, eternally frustrated by how said actors spend their interviews screwing up and misrepresenting our lives even as they try to broadcast us into mainstream visibility out of the supposed goodness of their cis ally hearts. I mused about this frustration on my Facebook page while on the train a couple days ago:

nohomo2

This post inspired my friend Diana Tourjee to do an expanded write-up for Original Plumbing magazine on the subject. She says it with far more nuance than I am willing to.

Cause really, it’s not even the terrible sexualized jokes which are honestly more boring and sadly predictable than offensive. What gets under my skin is Leto not only rhetorically separating himself from the character of Rayon, but also divorcing this character he brought to life from having any sypmathetic reality or social consequence. Referring to her as a “creature” and an “impossible person” at a time when the lives and experiences of actual trans  women are still considered up for debate, for instance.

I think we really get to the root of the problem, however, by noting how neither him or costar McConaughey mention AIDS once regarding their roles in a movie whose entire plot focuses on the AIDS crisis.

See, male privilege is a funny thing, and a lot more nuanced than people allow by simply equating penises with institutional social power. I swear, to hear some people talk you’d think you could post a dick pic on your resume or whatever. So much of it is conditional and hinged on gearing not only your presentation but your narrative towards patriarchal heteronormativity. And it’s not only among cishet dudebros like Leto and McConaughey. See also: LGBT assimilation movements, “straight acting” gay people (whatever the fuck those are), and femmephobia.

Considering how even certain feminists present the idea of masculine presentation as a social default and femininity as this socially constructed demeaning performance, it’s amazing how society treats masculinity as this fragile, breakable thing. Seriously, how many times are people gonna spout that tired idea that allowing boys to enjoy feminine things will “ruin” them with no irony? Yet the idea persists. Think back again to that scene in Fight Club, that paean to toxic masculinity, where the only time a man can tell another man (or really anyone) that they are beautiful is after they’ve destroyed them. Remember that whole story was written by a hypermasculine heavily-closeted gym bunny that frequently looked like he could grace the cover of a 50s gay muscle magazine before he finally got over it and was ok with being out.

nohomo3Totally wasn’t joking about that either.

Tell me again how masculinity isn’t performative.

So really,  it’s transparently obvious why a guylinered prissy metrosexual like Jared Leto would be so prone to blatant overcompensation after playing one of us Super Saiyan transfairy gaymosexuals on the big screen. He’s trying to bounce back, prove he wasn’t ruined by the experience. While Dustin Hoffman could realize women were people, realizing trans women are people is apparently way too much to ask for Leto.

I get it.

So why don’t you just shut the fuck up pretty boy and just admit you’re using us for Oscar bait. No homo.

I’ll go on living my beautiful impossible life and making better music then you ever will. *hair flip*