internet

Victim Blaming

I keep trying to write this post…and keep hitting a stopping spot…I’ll try again…

There is a candidate for Senate that has some allegations of forcing himself on a 14 year old girl 40 years ago. I keep reading comments that say, paraphrase, “why did she wait 40 years? It MUST be political” 40 years ago, the common defense to a charge like that was to blame HER for HIS actions. Even now, she is being doxed and having death threats…

I was reading, on a slightly different note, a discussion of men making undesired advances and the person that wrote the article used the phrase “creepy guy”. The conversation went from being about respecting the right of the woman to refuse to being one about what constitutes a “creepy guy” and denying that the Men’s Rights Movement exists.

*exhale*

I’m having a hard time getting past my own anger and disgust so, short words for stupid people…

NO MEANS NO.

Abusing or being in a position of power and using that to proposition a woman is wrong. What was she going to do? How could she refuse him without him lashing out? Hint, being coerced DOES NOT EQUAL CONSENT.

If you have to ask what defines the phrase “creepy guy” odds are, YOU ARE HIM. Denying that the Men’s Rights Movement exists is one of the bigger loads of Horses**t that there is. Justifying it is even worse.

Telling myself to slow down…didn’t work…

What in the hell are you thinking? Women have been coerced for all of time. Most of the women I know, rephrase, every one that has said anything about it to me, has been in that spot. Every. Single. One.

I am NOT a feminist. Don’t need to be. That implies lesser capability. The ones I know are NOT less capable…

What I am is a realist. Not every man has done this stuff. I haven’t. Period. I am not excising some personal guilt. I am speaking as a Man to say no wonder women fear us. Males, the half of the planet that is generally stronger, have forced ourselves on women. We have given them reasons to fear and resent us. Do I really need to rehash all the BS we have, over the length of time, put them through?

It isn’t really about “politics”. Respecting the dignity of another human is basic Adult 101. Not causing fear is the next lesson…or maybe even the first.

F**k me…How hard is the damn lesson?

Ladies, I can’t fix it. Sorry. Apologies for the profanity-laden diatribe. There are some, most I think, kind and decent males in the world. I am sorry that some of my sub-human brethren exist and that you’ve had to bear the brunt of their insecurities and frail egos. Not all of us demand your fear or obeisance. Most of us would prefer that you are what and who you are, capable and strong.

Men, she doesn’t owe you a d**n thing. She doesn’t owe you sex or respect. Those are earned. When you do earn those, you have a treasure beyond price. When you steal sex and force deference, your treasure is like ashes…

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I Want to Title This “I Am Lucky” But, I Don’t Remember If I Have…

I haven’t written in a very long time. I don’t know if the words will find me…

Since my last post, it seems the World has changed. We are more divided than ever. *editorial, I am not and will not make this “political” because I think the state of “politics” is a symptom and not the disease*

If anyone is to “blame” it is ourselves. Maybe I missed it? Whatever happened to “live and let live”? What happened to being responsible for our own actions? Why is it someone else’s “fault” if something happens to me?

Why is it that it is easier to see someone as “different” and then claim persecution by them. Yes, persecution does happen. I am not denying that. Yes, prejudice and misogyny exist. People are stupid. I really get that. People are xenophobic and clannish. People are a$$holes just because…

People can also be kind and caring. People can empathize. People can reach out to strangers. We may, if we’re lucky, meet people that give us a chance to learn and grow.

I am lucky. I married my best friend. It was our first marriage. It happened in our mid-40’s. It is still, some years later, an “adventure”. I have said a few (thousand) times, “Smartest damn thing I ever did was marry her”. She makes me grow. She, not realizing it, forces me to look outside myself. I do things for her that I will not do for any other human…and sometimes I fall flat on my face, too…

Yesterday, I was also lucky. If you happen to read back through the blog from years past, you’ll find Aj all through them. I used, in a conversation a few minutes ago, the phrase, “I am romantically attached to ONE human and love a vanishingly few others”. As it turned out, yesterday, I was able to talk to, and watch them talk, a pair of them. It was the first time they interacted. There are not really words for how nice that was. The “funny”, read odd, thing is that I don’t really have any common demographic with them…race but, that doesn’t count…The list of “we don’t share” includes, gender, faith, geographical location, parental status, probably “that ‘p-word'”, a desire to go outdoors…pick a bunch more… and I love them dearly… What they have in common with my wife is that they force me, unknowingly, to look outside myself…and for that, they have my eternal gratitude…

Hobbes said, “No arts; no letters; no society; and which is worst of all, continual fear, and danger of violent death: and the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short.” 

Yet, if we are lucky and I am, there are reasons not to be those.

We can make our own society that doesn’t include fear…well, aside from our own nightmares and insecurities but, you get my point. We can live knowing that the odds of “violent death” are small. We can be not “solitary”. The paragraphs up there prove that to me…As for the next two, “nasty” and “brutish”, those choices belong to YOU. “Short”? Who knows when this path ends? We are all going to be surprised when it does…

Life is an odd place. I am lucky that I finally grew up. I am grateful for every breath I am allowed. I am also grateful that I am allowed to have some people to love and that, I truly hope, love me back.

Ya know what? You decide what you want to do. Love me or hate me. See my demographic and blame me. See my loves as different. Those are YOUR choices. Live a cold, bleak, and distant life. See life as competition and struggle. I am not willing to spend my emotional energy on that. For me and mine, I’ll care for those in MY world and not be concerned with how you live in yours. Seems fair to me…

 

Being a Reasonable Person

I quit writing earlier this year. I hit burnout. It felt useless to write because of several reasons the primary ones being that I was, and still am, tired of everything becoming politicized and that the vilification of differences of opinion makes debate seemingly impossible…

Which brings me to why I decided to break my silence. Being a reasonable person is hard. It requires me to assume the person I am talking to is also reasonable. It forces me to maintain the idea that their beliefs and convictions have come from as much thought and internal debate as mine have and it means that, even if I disagree, I have to credit them with intelligence and rationality…

I’m fair minded enough…I hope…to believe that I am capable of being mistaken. I know that I have mad mistakes and will again but since I make mistakes and want my failings forgiven, I must be willing to return that same grace. It would be far easier to be a mean-spirited cynical old b****rd. It would simplify debate if my answer to anything I disagreed with was, “are you f**king stupid?”…and it would make lie to my claim and desire to be reasonable and occasionally rational…

My father says, “everyone has their flat sides.” The way I think he means it and the way I take it is to read that there are imperfect parts to all of us. I KNOW, read “bedrock belief”, that I have mine, see “mean-spirited cynical old b****rd”…and I struggle against that. I enjoy being that person. He’s comfortable. Part of that struggle is to, pardon the trite expression, I have to clean my side of the street before I worry about yours. If I decide to be against something, in Millerspeak, to be an “anti” I have to be sure that what side I take hasn’t done the same or worse than what I’m against. Just because I support something or person or view doesn’t give them a free pass…in fact, it means I hold them to a higher standard and if they fail, I reevaluate MY position.

Being reasonable both simplifies and complicates things. I’ll explain. It simplifies because I have zero tolerance for people that aren’t willing to be and return the same. As a result, I refuse to engage them in conversation. It complicates because, when people disagree rationally and reasonably with my views, I have to give some credence to their view and explain my view in a civil manner, see my comment are you f**king stupid?”…

Anyway, life is too short, my life is at any rate, to be more hypocritical than I can avoid. My own code requires me to give the same consideration and respect that I would want given to me. My friends and loved ones were too carefully allowed into my life to have me want to drive them away because I just decided to be a twerp. Live yours as you wish but, for me, being a reasonable and calm human is a worthy goal and part of my chosen path…

It isn’t how you treat the people you like that matters. That’s easy. What counts, what reflects on you, is how you treat the people you despise. That’s the hard part…

The Internet and the Middle of the Night

I have some really good stuff come into my mind late at night…then I go back to sleep and somewhere between waking up, coffee, and morning routine I forget the train of thought. I hope I can hang on to a bit of whatever it was. This is one. I know the thought is, very probably, not original. Most of mine aren’t. Having said that…

I have a love hate relationship with the interwebbish thing. It has allowed me to meet some people, my wife included, that I never would have met without it. It allows us to bring up issues, in a public forum, that would have remained in the shadows. It gives us real time views of the world around us. Our horizons have broadened to include the whole world. Because of the net, I know and love some people that I would have never encountered without it. The group of friends I have is more varied than my life in North Texas would have ever become. On the other hand…

There is also much chance to narrow our horizons. We may, if we wish, surround ourselves with people that only share our views. We may publish misinformation and have it taken as fact. We have invented what is, in my opinion, one of the lowest forms of life, the Internet Troll.That is a weakness of mine. I read the comments sections of posts or articles and see how some people hide behind the anonymity of a made up identity and make some of the most hateful comments possible. They are made “directly” to people while giving the illusion of being impersonal.

*editorial, I don’t really care what you say to or about me. I am protective of my friends*

I think that is where I was going with this a  few hours ago. I wish that people would only say on the net what they would say over dinner to an individual. If you have to hide behind a made up name and face *editorial, I have one, too. He has a total of 3 FB friends but, only so that I don’t lose track of those friends. Not to use for trolling* and hide behind it you are, in my opinion, a coward.

I wish the net was more personal. When I write these, the name and face are mine. Aj and Z are real people and those are their names. The subject matter is personal to me. *editorial,The only identity that I hide belongs to my wife because she asked me to do that. I will respect her wishes.* When I write these words, I try to avoid attacking someones faith or individuality. It’s kind of hard when I see some of, probably a majority, my coreligionists saying/believing that my friends are going to Hell for being themselves.

Still, I wish the people that held those beliefs would tell my friends that directly. I mean, sitting next to them on a park bench during a conversation. Just look over at Z and say “You know, you are going to Hell”. *editorial, I really don’t wish that because I would have to send money for her bail* I wish someone would look to Aj and say “You know the Inquisition was right, you Pagans should be burned at the stake”. Again, probably a bad idea for the same reason. I wish you would sit next to me and say “Miller, your friends are going to Hell.” So I could ask “Why?” and we could have a conversation. The end of it would probably be you telling me that “You can’t be Christian and defend them so you are going, too” So be it, at lest we would have had a chance to change the other’s views through a conversation. *sigh*

The reasons I want that are varied. First, it would take some courage of conviction to do it face to face. Second, it is easy to hate a group and much harder to hate a person. Third, I believe that if you knew those ladies your views of them would be different.

****

Remember what I said up there about the train of thought going away? Well, it’s happening now. This post is going to take a revisit or two or six. I hope this has made a tiny bit of sense. I wish that we would remember that being anonymous doesn’t take the hurt out of our words. I hope, I really do, that if you are going to hate my friends for being themselves, that you hate me for being a defender of them. It seems that the group that does most of the hating is the one you would look at me and put me in. Don’t do that. The group I am in is “Christian humans that think that human beings deserve respect and dignity”. I’ll publicly post with my real name and face as a defender. I’ll do my best to avoid being a troll. That doesn’t mean that we can not, and probably will not, disagree. What I would really prefer is that we use the net to build up and not tear down.