America’s Next Bill Clinton!


Anti-rape campaign. Join me!

Here’s the deal: you and I both know rape is a big problem on many campuses. We know the statistics. We know people who are survivors. We know that rape is more prevalent in social situations than any others. And most importantly, we have the answers on how to fix the problems.

Now is your chance to step up and take charge and be a feminist leader – whether you are an undergraduate, a graduate or otherwise. We need you to start a local chapter on your campus.

Rather than starting my own organization – I am piggybacking with another already existing organization that aims at community education and outreach to curb rape. The blue print to our goals and missions is being put together. We should finalize it in less than a month.

There are two goals: to education young men about rape, through encouraging them to deconstruct their masculinity and understand why they take the actions they do. Rape happens, I believe, because we live in a culture that eroticizes masculinity, dominance, and gender roles, in which men’s identities are defined through sexual conquests and ownership.

We’re going to hold talks at bars, freshmen orientation, and other places college students frequent. We’ll also have posters, discussion groups and outreach programs.

The second goal is to give women voices – the survivors of rape never often speak up because of the backlash and stigma that rape carries – and as such, to be able to lead a healthy life, both physically and mentally. By giving women a network to work through, we’ll be able to give women voices – and put their lived experiences at the forefront of the matter.

So, I need your help to start this not only on your campus, but in your community. This is something I want to start at all levels – as low as junior high school, in fact. I need you to spread the message to your brothers and sisters, friends, boyfriends, and anyone who you think might be a good addition to this, in your various cities and campuses.

The majority of my friends are women. I need more men to get involved to this, as to show rape isn’t an issue that affect women and that not only women can speak out on this, but this is an issue that affects everyone, and everyone has the responsibility to make our communities and campuses safer.

Contact me if you are interested. And pass on the information to everyone, please. My contact info is below.

Email: mloix002@odu.edu



A new take on violence …

It certainly took a lot of time to deconstruct, but I think I can safely say that I’ve come up with the conclusion that violence – no matter how justified, is not a trait belonging to the feminist movement – and that just as we speak out against domestic violence, we must also speak out against all other forms of violence.

I write this because my journey to feminism hasn’t been an easy one – it’s been filled with trials and tribulations – particularly dealing with my tendencies to display violent toward those who I deem misogynistic.

But said thoughts and actions, no matter how well intentioned, still reeked of the patriarchy. As feminism asks males to give up our privileges, we too, must also give up the things that we hold closest to. For me, it was the ability to prove to others that I can overpower them, and can render them powerless.

This idea of masculinity, then, is also a social construct. Just as we are socially constructed to believe men and women ought to behave a certain way, we are also socially constructed to believe that violence is a part of masculinity – that somehow, if one walks away from a fight, or shows a desire for peace, that one isn’t “man” enough.

I was ready to give up other privileges, but somehow, I was still reluctant to give up violence. Somehow, for me, to give up violence meant to give up a part of me – that to give up violence, I would no longer be a man, but rather, an “other.”

To truly give up privileges means we should give up the privileges we are uncomfortable with giving up – not just those we feel like giving up. For me, violence was one of those privileges I did not want to give up. I’ve come to realize that feminism is not meant to make us comfortable. It’s meant to challenge us – the way we think and the way we behave.

Consider this: in speaking out against misogynistic actions and the objectifications of women, we are speaking out against social constructs of what it means to be men. To be consistent with ourselves, we must, too, give up violence.

We have to acknowlege that we are affected by the Hollywood version of what it means to be a human being – what it means to be tough – and what it means to be a man. For most, this means embracing violence.

Just as social constructs have affected women negatively in others ways, they also affect women through violence. By my mere actions of embracing violence, I am sending the message to others that, indeed, violence is acceptable. While all of the violent actions I embraced were gears toward those I believed deserved such violence, through their anti-feminist actions, what I did not realize is those violent actions in themselves, were anti-feminists.

After all, the violent actions I take will only uphold violence – by embracing violence, I only reinforced the idea of what it meant to be a man – and while I won’t be affected, such actions have a domino effect, as it further fuels the violence cycles, and the recipients of said violent actions are women and teenagers, whose minds are still impressionable, and thus the cycle of violence continues.

Being a feminist does not mean we get to pick which forms of violence to reject. The truth is all violence is bad – and by picking and choosing, not only are we being incosistent with our feminist beliefs, it also means we are upholding the very things we are fighting against.

For those who have been so patient with me in my walk closer toward feminism, thank you.



Feminist dilemma and MAXIM-like magazines.
January 11, 2008, 2:34 pm
Filed under: Feminism, feminist, journalism, men's magazine, objectification, rape, third-wave feminism
I have a dilemma about feminism and the job I just got last night – and sleeping on it didn’t help any.

First of all – let’s get the first thing out of the way: I am the shit. I get out of the military in three months, and people have been scaring me left and right, telling me there are no job opportunities.

Last night, I went to a job interview with a magazine (name withheld) and about an hour into it (it was mostly of me asking THEM questions and talking about my visions), the interviewer and I went outside for a smoke break and the next thing I knew I was sitting in their editorial meetings. The job is now mine.

It pays well, and I can sustain myself, but here lies the problem: it’s a men’s magazine. Imagine it to be sort of like MAXIM or one of the other men’s magazines.

The whole staff is consisted of men, with the exception of one women; looking at their planning/dummy sheets, I became concerned because the content seems a bit objectifying of women’s bodies. That, coupled with the fact that there are articles that seem a bit patriarchal, I kind of cringed.

The lone woman on the staff, sensing my discomfort, told me that it’s okay for me to work such a job being a feminist (she found out I am a women’s studies major through introductions) and at the same time work for a men’s magazine, just as she does …

But I am still uncomfortable with the idea of making money off women’s bodies – no matter how willing these women are willing to pose for this magazine. Wouldn’t I be contributing to the objectification of women by doing this? Does it go hand-on-hand with my feminist values?

But the person who hired me has given me free range to do whatever I want – he said he isn’t attached to the content, but rather, the money made from the magazine. This gives me an opportunity to bring in feminist thoughts and philosophies to the magazine. For this month, I am doing a few article, one focusing on STDs and safer sex practices. The other on the dilemma of it being two in the morning, and the girl is drunk – but you and her have been talking, and you want to take her home, and whether it’d be the right thing to do. There are more articles I am working on, but the fact is I can sneak my feminist views into these articles.

Because of that, I feel I am justified with this job. But I am still not happy with it.

I know I am the shit and I can walk into any newspaper or magazine, just throw down my resume, talk for a few minutes, and get a job …and I don’t NEED this job, but I feel as though I can contribute to turning this magazine into a better one instead of one like MAXIM, which is clearly misogynistic.

Thoughts?



Hillary Clinton’s “break down” and an asshole …

I want to focus on Clinton’s so-called “melt down” last night and how assertions from the media – and mostly the conservatives, are that she set feminism back about 20 years.

But first, look at this video and tell me it doesn’t piss you off. If I were there, I’d kick him in the chest: http://www.breitbart.tv/html/25784.html

For those who don’t know, at a recent roundtable discussion, Senator Clinton showed emotions in talking about her visions for America, and what are, to be sure, the struggles her campaign has faced.

“This is very personal for me,” she said. “It’s not just political. It’s not just public. I see what’s happening and we have to reverse it.

“Some people think that elections are a game, it’s about who’s up or who’s down. It’s about our country and it’s about our kids’ future.

Because she somewhat teared-up during that discussion, some critics are now labelling her as “weak,” and making women seem emotional and unable to control their feelings.

She wasn’t being a “woman.” She was being a human being. She was showing the side that matters and what guys like Edwards have advocated and asked for in politics – genuine feelings. Isn’t it time we get away from corporate politics and get back to what really matters – truly loving and caring for our fellow Americans as well as our nation?

It’s funny, because I know that if Obama or Edwards broke down, there would be no talk of them being a “woman.” They would look like they’re sensitive and are in touch with their feelings – and critics would say that is the exact change America needs. But because this is Hillary Clinton, people are viewing her as a woman and not a politician. I can’t help but get a little ticked off.

I am sorry that Clinton didn’t act like “one of the boys.” I am sorry that she showed she had feelings. She is not supposed to be a man. She doesn’t want to be a man. She is a human being with emotions and with a geniune love for America – as the majority of politicians – Republicans or Democrats – do.

The bottom line is Clinton has no obligation to act “accordingly.” She is an accomplished woman who has many things to offer America – and if in the course of her campaign, she happens to show her human side, what’s wrong with that?

Furthermore – why do people write off her emotions as fake? Why not give Clinton the benefit of the doubt? Why not TRUST women? Sure, Edwards can talk about his personal life and growing up poor, and Obama can talk about his journey to finding faith, and no one finds it to be fake, but Clinton does it and they do? Why? Because she’s a woman.

I also heard something yesterday that made me frown. Someone told me that he questioned Clinton’s motives. Well, I’ll tell you her motives: she wants to make America a better place. She wants to see progress. She wants to ensure the American Dream is securely fastened in the hands of every man, woman and child.

How and why else would a person run for political office? Why else would someone have political aspiration? The majority of politicians have paid their debt to society to get where they are, while they could have taken the easy way out. Public life is not fun. Travelling to campaign is not a walk in the park – but they’re committed to doing it because they’re committed to America. Let’s give them, and in this case, Clinton, some credit, huh?

I could crawl in a hole – I could be taking the easy life at school, I could have a damn easy school schedule, and I could just turn a blind eye, but I don’t. Why? Because I care about America and believe with the right education, I have what it takes to change America. I am busting my ass to build a political future, and when I do run for office, I’ll be damned if anyone questions my “motive.”



Can I still be “masculine” and be a feminist?

My apogogies for the lack of posting. I’ve been extremely busy, and extremely sick. I am still kind of walking around in a haze, not having eaten since Tuesday because of this really bad flu … 

Can I be a feminist and still, at the same time, hold on to my masculinity? I mean, if a female feminist can still cling on to her “womanhood” and be a feminist, why can’t I be the same? If a woman can still wear make-up and high heels and be a feminist, why can’t I be masculine and still be a feminist?

I bring this up because lately, I’ve been charged with not being a feminist because I still enjoy male privilege.

The most serious charge is that I still want power – that in having political ambitions, rather than giving up power, I am clinging on and going after power.

But if I am using such power for something good – feminism, why is it so wrong?

So what if I enjoy a good fight? So what if, upon hearing a Navy guy make an anti-women, anti-feminist comment at the bar, and acting like a misogynist objectifying jackass, I challenge him to a fight? Sure, it’s violence; but it’s violence for feminism?

So what if I enjoy the sense of women (sexually or otherwise) or the taste of beer, or that on Sundays, I am watching football? So what if I love the feeling of being able to shoot my M-16 so accurately that i can hit a target 500 meters away? I am still a feminist.

I can still be tender, loving, caring, and I can still stick by my values and convictions.

To be sure, those who accused me of such are 2nd Wavers, those who live in their own worlds, reject what is reality, and just are “radical.”

I like sex, I like beers, I like violence, I like football, and I still speak out on behalf of human and women’s rights.

I still fall in love I still enjoy wooing women, I still enjoy wearing my heart on my sleeve.

I love being the center of attention. I love power. I love being in control.

But I would never harm, objectifying, hurt, or deny women of their humanly rights.

Why am I not a feminist?

A girl I just spoke to told me one can still be masculine and “manly” and be a good person and a feminist and that I am an example of such.

I shouldn’t give a fuck what the 2nd Wave thinks. But I still need to give up male privilege, as it is how we pro-feminist males are supposed to act.

What am I to do? What’s a guy supposed to do? If I give up masculinity, all that’s in me will be gone. I’d be left with no passion, no drive, no ambition. This is not because it’s what defined me as a man, but it’s because it’s who I am.

I want to be a man, but I still want to be a feminist.

Thoughts?



My disenchantment with the military

It’s a one-percent chance, but I could get out of the Army as early as next week. It was a decision made in the heat of emotions – and it’s a decision, if the paperwork goes through, is one of the best decisions in my life.

This morning at work, I was asked again, about my re-enlistment and whether or not I planned on signing it. In short, I told them that the Army was no longer my passion – that there are changes I’d like to see in the world, and that I found the military to be useless in my vision for the world.

A co-worker shot up and said that that I wasn’t honoring my commitment and that if it wasn’t for the military, I wouldn’t be able to be able to do the activism for the “stupid feminism and gay rights shit” that I do.

It turned into a screaming match, me telling the Army people to go fuck themselves and them telling me that I am cutting and running, and that I don’t truly believe in America or freedom.

I’d argued that I spent the past six years of my life wasting it away in the military, when I could have done so much more for the world. They shot back in saying that the military is an honorable profession and that they were the true defenders of freedom. I told them they were stupid and hypocrites, for getting angry over the flag being trampled upon, but do nothing when the Constitution gets trampled upon.

To make a long story short, I was asked if I could get out of the Army right now, whether I’d agree to it. I did.

It was supposed to be a challenge to me – I was supposed to say it was only my emotions. But it’s not. It’s truly how I feel.

The easy way in life would be for me to spend the rest of my career in the Army. The money would be good. I am good at what I do – I am well known and respected – and I can get a job anywhere I want. In fact, I was once offered a job as the press secretary to the Secretary of the Army. So, yes, I know I’ve got the skills.

But in the end, it’s not about me. It’s about changing the world. It’s about making other people’s lives better. Too often, people get caught up in their American Dream that they forget about others. My America dream is to ensure that others get theirs.

So, yes, the Army can take its God and country and values and religion and go fuck themselves with it.

I doubt the paperwork will go through, but if it does, then good. If not, then by January or February, I’d be a civilian anyway.

Too often, people make the safe decisions in life. Decisions that benefit them and their lives.

A girl once told that I need to think of myself more – and not to be so selfless. What she didn’t understand – and what very few people understand – is that in working for human rights and social justice, I AM thinking of myself – because I wouldn’t be able to live with myself or be emotionally satisfied if I did anything else.

Besides, I am talented. I’ve got jobs lined up. An ambassador today said to give him a call if I needed help with looking for a job, too. I don’t fucking need the military. It can go fuck itself.



I am not a feminist, but …

Really, why are some young women so reluctant to identify themselves as feminists?

We met in a women’s bathroom at a gay club. A few friends and I had gone to an AIDS fundraiser earlier that night, and decided to drop by the Wave for drinks. Having to go to the bathroom and a bit sloshed, I announced that I had to pee. Someone suggested that I used the women bathroom instead, because I was considered “fresh meat” for one reason or another in the men’s bathroom.

A friend was nice enough to walk me into the women’s bathroom, and there I met and shook hands (after we both washed of course) with a nice young woman from VCU. After about an hour of meeting and talking to her in the bathroom, I ran into her again. She was extremely attractive, so I continued our conversation.

Upon minding out I am a women’s studies major and feminist, she said, “I am not a feminist, but …” and started listing a long list of reasons for women’s rights.

In my extremely fogged up mind, I recalled an article I’d read as a freshman in my women’s studies class called, “Feminism: Why Young Women Get the Willies.”

If I can recall correctly, the reason for it is that young women are afraid of the stigma that comes with feminism – the image of bra-burning, man-hating, armpit-non-shaving, head-shaving, dyke. They were, as the article said, also afraid that they had to give up their sexuality for feminism – that, somehow, calling oneself a feminist means that one could no longer love a member of the opposite sex.

So, why is it, I still wonder, that so many young college women are afraid of being labelled as feminists? I contend that it’s because of the above false image of feminists – that somehow feminists are strange creatures; we hate sex; we hate men (I do, anyway); and we hate anything that’s normal.

While I hold these beliefs to be false, my question is this: even if they were true, so what?

Take away those actions and behaviors and feminism is left with love, compassion, empathy, equality and a sense of responsibility, in making the world a better place. What’s so bad about it?

Yet, time and time again, I run across women (and men) who take feminist positions, but never want to describe themselves as feminists for fear of shame.

The truth is you should never be ashamed of your work in trying to make the world a better place. You should never have to apologize for the desire to work toward equality and social justice. In fact, you ought to be very proud of it. I am proud of you for it.

The next time the conversation comes up, proudly and emphatically claim yourself as a feminist – and answer with a loud and resounding “Yes,” if anyone ever asked you whether you are a feminist.

Bill Clinton was right when he said, “There is nothing wrong with America that cannot be cured by what’s right with America.” You are everything that’s right with America.

On that note – I want a “This Is What A I-Am-Not-A-Feminist But looks like” t-shirt. 😀