America’s Next Bill Clinton!


Why we have sex …
No, really. I am not crazy, or at least I’ve not yet gone crazy. It’s a legitimate question, based on my reading and research. So, again I ask: what is sex for and why do we have it?

Often, our conversations around sex consist of what we like, the things we are into, and our experiences with it. But rarely is the question asked, “Is our children learning …” no wait, I mean, rarely do we question the purpose of sex. The first question, many of you will recognize, is a Bush question.

In a culture where sex is framed by mass media and pornography, it’s important to ask that question, mainly because popular culture still frames sex as something men earn and women give. In said culture, where the purpose of sex is framed in a sense of pleasure, we see women as the source of pleasure whereas men are the takers of such pleasure. When framed in said mentality, we no longer see women’s roles in sex as one of humans, but rather humans who serve a specific purpose.

As such, said mentality takes away the idea of human connections. We simply see sex as mechanical, and not as an expression between two people. To be absolutely sure, there can be sex without love, and we have all experienced it, but when human connections are taken out of sex, it merely becomes a biological act, and has nothing to do with humanity. Further, it makes us see others as mere vehicles to our attainment of pleasure, rather than human beings with whom we can connect.

Whether we like it or not, sex involves emotions. Yet, within the pornography industry, it’s treated as a mere act. In the end, it teaches us to detach from our human beings. I am not saying every sex act ought to come with love. I am merely saying we need to see others as human beings. Once we see others as merely sex providers, whether paid or not, any feelings or empathy we have for a person is gone. I say this to merely argue the point that until we can see others as humans, with feelings, needs and emotions, the act of prostitution will still be one that views women as providers of pleasure, and not humans. Sex may be great on its own, but we need to recognize that the person from whom we are getting it has feelings and is a human being.

 
With such acknowledgment, we will be kinder and more in touch of that person. In such cases, date rape can certain be prevented. After all, no does not mean no if we do not respect the other person’s feelings as a human being. To be sure, I can be pretty dirty and kinky, but without sounding too cheesy, sex isn’t about just getting yourself off. There is a piece of oneself, a human connection, left in the other person. Despite of what pornography tells us, sex isn’t just sex. That other person is the body parts we like, is a human.

Again, I ask: why do you have sex? What’s it for? Is it merely a way to achieve pleasure, is it a show of mutual adoration, is it to create babies (who am I kidding) is it to show love and reward, or is it a way to attain mutual pleasure with someone you like and respect? By re-defining to purpose for sex, we too re-define how society sees homosexuality. After all, if it’s about mutual respect and culture, then why does it matter what is natural?

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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.”



Christmas, women and objectification
I am at a bar. I frequent bars. I like to drink. A but how can I continue doing something I enjoy when I can see so much sexism at such establishments? How do I turn a blind eye and just continue to drink? How do I go on without asking if I am part of the problems as the customer?

I am not talking about the interaction between men and women at the bars. That’s a whole discussion on its own.

What I am talking about is dressing up women in costumes, as to be pleasing for men.

At my bar tonight the servers, who are all women, are dressed up hot Santa costumes, and as you may have guessed, without pants of course. Rather, they’re wearing a little skimpy something or other to cover up.
Why is it that women’s bodies are always changed from what they are intended for – nurturing, loving and all those things that come to us naturally, into something of a commodity? Why does it always have to be on displayed, to be sold and bought, to be gawked at, to be turned from belonging to a woman, to a mere object of pleasure.

Just because a woman looks tasty does not mean you have to treat her like a piece of meat. Sure, she has a choice as to where to work, but the sooner she says no to wearing certain clothes, she would be terminated. And my dear readers, can you guess the sex of the manager? Do you have to guess?

I can just easily walk out but instead I stay put. I want to say something but I would come across as a freak. Even feminist activists need days off. Today is mine. But I feel guilty. How do I not say something? If I do, what will it change? More important, I love sex, but why do we need to sell sex? Why can’t sex be something we do without having it to be unequal and so demeaning to women?



The sexism of Southern Baptists …

You know, I am all for people pursuing their religious beliefs, and practicing their beliefs and living  life as they see fit, but things like these piss the hell out of me.

http://www.csmonitor.com/2007/1203/p20s01-ussc.html?page=2

It’s an article about a Texas university that’s offering classes on “being a good homemaker,” as part of sociology classes – although a Bible college, it’s still pretty disturbing – especially the quote below.

“Feminists are right to be concerned about how this agenda plays out among nominal Southern Baptists,” says Dr. Brad Wilcox, a sociologist at the University of Virginia. “But this model works quite well for traditional religious couples. Conservative, Protestant, churchgoing women are happier than other wives, generally, and their work around the home is more appreciated than that of women who are not married to churchgoing, Protestant men.” 

In short, what this class is teaching are the “roles” in which women must have  in the homes – that husbands are the bread winners, and wives are supposed their roles and “submit herself graciously to the servant leadership of her husband.” At this divinity college, women are learning to be homemakers, and the majority of the staff members are men. It’s also a theological college, but as the patriarchy would have it, none of the women are allowed to pursuit those divinity degrees. Why? Because God said so. Essentially, these people are saying at men and women have different roles, and it’s not interchangeable – that they’re equal under the eyes of God, but the women must submit to their husbands, and be “discreet, chaste homemakers.”What the fuck? Doesn’t that sound eerily like “separate, but equal?” As we all know, separate but equal isn’t.

 I support religion, and I believe that in the end, people are responsible for their own search of the truth …but when said beliefs and “truths,” are used to push women back into the private sphere, while men are still the movers and shakers of the world, I have a problem with that. I have a problem with treating women like servants, as if they’re not intelligent or capable enough to do the jobs that men have been “assigned” to be the public spheres.

More importantly, it gives men an excuse to not share the division of labor that women endure in the private sphere. Let’s face it – cleaning the toilet, doing laundry and accomplishing the mundane bullshit of life aren’t exactly exciting for most people. Somehow, to claim that women naturally enjoy cleaning toilets is just an insult to them.  

At the end of the day, these Southern Baptists can claim religion as an excuse for their practice, but in truth, I’ll call it what it is: sexist, discriminatory, archaic and misogynistic.Women aren’t objects. They’re people – the same people as men, and should be afforded every opportunity to do what they want, instead of what the patriarchal, religious and sexist institution wants them to do. Anyone who thinks otherwise is sexist and probably an idiot … 



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?



Of love and masculinity

For the last few weeks, I’ve become more interested in exploring the theories of masculinity in feminism. This came after charges were brought up that I was still hanging on to male privilege – and that my tendency to compete, be violent and even my ambition to grab power and go into politics are signs of male privilege. Because of that, I will be exploring male privilege and masculinity a lot in my notes.

 

One thing I’ve noticed a lot – sometimes in my own life, but in other men’s lives, is their reaction to a rejection of love – and how, no matter how genuine they were in wanting to get to know someone, a rejection drives them into showing their masculinity.

It is, as if, a rejection of love is a challenge to their “manhood” and masculinity – speaking volumes of their maleness when they are rejected. More over, it also says something – coming from a male perspective, that they’re not manly enough and that they don’t have what it takes.

The rejected man, his ego and self emasculated, takes it upon himself then, to re-energize his manhood. How does he do this? He does this by being a womanizer. This does not always have to be about sex – but sometimes does include it. He has to prove to himself (not to others because the rest of the world probably doesn’t know or doesn’t give a damn) that, much like Stacy’s Mom, he still has it going on.

He has to prove to his close circle of friends that he still has it. That he can still get women – even if it just means them falling for him, and him rejecting them. This reinforces his masculinity and ability to attract women. I am not a fan of evolutionary psychology, but I think that there’s some truths hidden in that idea when mixed with masculinity.

This brings up a paradox: if women are seen as less than men, and if what is “feminine” – or belonging to women – is considered negativity, then why does a man, in his manhood, need a woman to elevate his status and to make him feel good about himself?

The reason I bring this up is that I am beginning to realize that masculinity can hurt us all. It hurts us in that our relationships and interactions aren’t defined by who we truly love or care for, but rather, how does our interaction with that person make us feel? Further, it also opens doors to less-than-desirable relationships, in which the purpose isn’t to nurture and to share and to love, but to boost one’s ego.Also – in such cases, the victims are also the women who fall for men who feel like they need to be with these women to feel boost their masculinity. When come to find out that they’re not in it for the love, but rather, their status, women are hurt.

Moreover – it does make one wonder: did this man want to get into the relationship with the original and supposedly true object of his affection because he truly felt something for her, or was it just to boost his masculinity?

Love, after all, isn’t defined by how you react if your romantic advances are welcomed. It’s how you react if your romantic gestures have been turned down.



Feminist relationships.

Over at feministing.com, Jessiva Valenti posted the results of a study that suggested feminists, more often than not, are in more meaningful and satisfying relationships. My first reaction was: no shit – for us, the political is personal, and so our empathy, compassion and love in the political sense can translate into a person sense, thus we often treat our partners with with those traits.

But allow me to bring up another point. Sometimes, in a relationship in which we are both feminists, things can also be extremely frustrating, because we are aware of the political oppressions all around us. As feminists, we thrive to take personal actions that are consistent with our political beliefs, and as such, it can be frustrating sometimes. Because the personal is political and our world is still extremely gendered and patriarchy, and are based on gender roles and sexuality, most of our personal struggles are about relationships and sexuality.

But by no way am I bitching. The personal struggles we face and the questions we ask ourselves are nothing compared to the political struggles many have – especially the women of the Global South.

The following, then, are a list of question I’ve come up with when it comes to relationships and feminism; please feel free to add yours.
1) Is it for me to feel a sexual desire for a woman at the moment of meeting her, without first knowing her as a person? I actually thought of this last night while meeting with a woman at a bar and talking a lot about — nothing. I still felt strangely sexually attracted to her, caught myself and scolded myself.

2) Is it okay for me to buy flowers for a woman-of-interest, knowing the kinds of message flowers might send, and the reinforcement of gender roles and chivalry that it carries? Also – is it really the romantic and genuine gesture, knowing the plights of flower growers in South America (mostly women) where these flowers are shipped? Am I wrong for buying flowers?

3) At a pick-up joint, is it okay to feel like “the man” in having won the attention and affection of a beautiful woman, knowing that she is highly sought after, but is with me? I feel like it’s almost a trophy pick-up – and that is wrong.

4) Is it okay to fall deeply and dangerously in love with someone, knowing the implications of gender roles we might have to give in to, being so in love?

5) Just how adventuous and kinky can we afford to be in our sexual practices? What of roleplaying? Is it wrong to be turned on or to participate in consentual sexual practices, if said practices, in real life, are oppressive to women?

6) Whose names shall we take after the wedding? How do we go about doing this without appearing abnormal to families and friends? How do we remain true to our feminist values, yet remain “real” to the world at the same time?

7) Of diamonds, shall we even consider it for our wedding? Blood diamonds?

8) How do we juggle how much to fall in love, yet remain true to the feminist cause? How do we balance our devotion to each other and feminism at the same time?

9) How do we show our love and affection to each other, yet at the same, show the world that we are equals – and be the shining examples of what healthy relationships should be all about?

A book that doesn’t have all the answers – but rather highlights the struggles between the personal and the political of feminism is called, “To Be Real,” by Rebecca Walker. I highly recommend it to all feminists!