“Men’s rights activists don’t organize marches; they don’t build shelters or raise funds for abused men; they don’t organize prostate cancer-awareness events or campaign against prison rape. What they actually do, when they’re not simply carping in comments online, is target and harass women—from feminist writers and professors to activists—in an attempt to silence them.”—
I want to add to this that MRAs really aren’t there to help men.
I’m a Big Sister for Big Brothers Big Sisters and we run campaigns nationally every year that specifically target men to sign up to be Bigs. EVERY YEAR. Because the average wait for a girl to be matched to a female Big is 6 weeks after being enrolled. The average time for a boy to be matched with a male Big is 6 months to a year because so few men actually sign up to be mentors and many of them don’t actually complete the one year commitment to their Littles, either.
And this is a deficit that is particularly prevalent at my agency.
Mentoring a kid through a program like BBBS is one of the most rewarding things I have ever done in my life. It has also been the most challenging thing I have ever done in my life. As a Big, I have a direct impact on someone else’s life and little boys, in particular, who do not have a father figure at home benefit very strongly from having a male mentor in their life. They typically do better in school, have a better social life, and are more likely to accomplish long-term goals and take responsibility for their actions and mistakes and learn from them.
If MRAs were ACTUALLY interested in helping men and boys, they would be mentors. But instead they sit on the internet in their Fedoras and bemoan the fact that women aren’t being forced by the government to sleep with them.
(We can argue about whether having MRAs be mentors to impressionable young men is a good idea in a separate post because obviously there are better role models for young men and boys but the point still stands that there are very clear things that MRAs could do to tangibly and immediately help men and boys but instead they focus all of their time and energy denigrating rape victims, berating feminists, and whining about services that specifically serve women.)
So, instead of just hand wringing about how males are targeted and denigrated within all aspects of life, I decided one way of trying to help would be to join the Big Brother Big Sister program. The first meeting I went to explained that there are twice as many boys looking for a match than there are girls. They said it was partly because more females than males volunteer. They didn’t mention how most boys have a mother in there life but no father because of the misandric divorce courts but I digress…
Anyways, as part of the process, I had a one on one interview with a female member of the organisation to assess if I was suitable to be a Big, and if so, they wanted to know about me so they could match me with a little. I mentioned that I carry a firearm everywhere I legally can, I also wanted to know what protections were in place to protect me from unfounded accusations, and I expressed how I couldn’t be with a Little if his father had been forcibly removed from his life because of the vindictive actions of the mother. I think the final one sealed my fate however. I’m not particularly upset at being rejected because after looking into it more, the activities deemed appropriate to do with your Little seem somewhat feminine, but it just further hammers home that even when you try to help because there are boys out there screaming for some positive male role models in there lives, you’re only allowed to show them masculine things that females deem are appropriate. It just makes me sick.
Yeah, because it has nothing to do with the fact that you said you would carry a gun around the kid, or suggested you might be accused of assaulting him and that the organization would need to stand up for you, or that you don’t want to help any children whose mother is divorced. It’s just so amazing how they don’t understand how screwed up they sound to everybody else. This is perfectly reasonable to the guy and the other forum members. -_- Also, he doesn’t sound like he cares about helping boys at all. It’s all about him, his hatred of divorced mothers, his need to carry a gun, his paranoia of “unfounded accusations”, and that the organization should stand up for his ‘rights’ over those of the child. He doesn’t come off as somebody who really cares about the kid he’d be helping, just somebody who wanted to do something to make himself feel good.
It is sad though that we don’t have more men volunteering and trying to help in these programs. :( (Though, not the MRAs, they would be so toxic for the kids.)
“Fucked-up people will try to tell you otherwise, but boundaries have nothing to do with whether you love someone or not. They are not judgments, punishments, or betrayals. They are a purely peaceable thing: the basic principles you identify for yourself that define the behaviors that you will tolerate from others, as well as the responses you will have to those behaviors. Boundaries teach people how to treat you, and they teach you how to respect yourself.”—Cheryl Strayed (via bigfatfeminist)
A surreal moment in the dark long ago triggered a reflection on writing for young readers and the ethics of handling the fantastic that remains something of a mission statement for me. With the 50th anniversary of everybody’s favorite Time Lord upon us, I thought I’d post it here.
Ok Dr. Phil’s wife, Robin, (yes groan, but listen up) has this new app out (iPhone and Android) that’s for people in abusive relationships. It’s called Aspire News and it’s disguised as a regular news app, but when you go to the “Help” section of the app, it leads you to…
1. There will be some days when you close your eyes while crossing the street, maybe because you want to see what fate has in store for you, or maybe because your depression is running rampant again and you don’t know how to calm her. It’s okay. I will still love you.
2. There will be a year, or a series of years when your birthday doesn’t feel special. Celebrate anyway. Because people spent time baking you a cake and buying you cards and even if they’re your family and they’re obligated to, they still love you. Cherish that love. Revel in it. It is the best gift you will ever receive.
3. You will learn that the saddest word in the English language is stay. Whether it’s your mother’s voice whispering it before you leave for college, or your ex-lover’s desperate screams as you walk out of the house, it will always be a hard word to hear. Sometimes you should listen to it, other times you shouldn’t. Trust yourself. Go with your gut.
4. Along with hearing the word stay, you will also hear the word why from every person who is remotely related to you. Why did you get that tattoo? Why did you try to kill yourself? Why aren’t you married yet? You don’t have to answer them. Be selfish. Keep somethings to yourself.
5. Some nights you won’t be able to sleep. You will lie awake at 2 am and contemplate existentialism and wonder if the French had a point. Get up. Get out of your bed. Do something. Because even if there is no God, what you do matters, who you are matters. You matter to me.
6. Some days you will want to run away and never return. So go. Drive to a small town in the Northwest, maybe Oregon, and settle down there for a while. Tell people your name is Elizabeth, because you loved Jane Austen as a child and because this a town full of strangers and who’s to know the difference? Don’t be selfish. Call your mother each night and remind her that you love her. Come back home when you find yourself seeing your sadness painted in the shadows, and when you feel more at home in the arms of a stranger than on your own.
7. There will be several nights when you lose yourself in the medicine cabinet, because liquor and morphine seem like a faster cure than time. It’s okay. I will still love you in the morning.
8. One day, in the midst of work, you will learn to forgive. It will start out with a simple reminder of the past, maybe a facebook notification from an old schoolmate or a wedding announcement from an ex-lover. In that moment you will learn that yearning for the past isn’t romantic, it’s stupid, and that if Gatsby had just let go of the green light he would’ve lived. So forgive your past, it didn’t know any better, and move on.
9. Leaving home will hurt, but soon you will learn that home isn’t a place but a feeling, and that there is a compass on your heart that points directly to that feeling. Follow that compass. Don’t get sidetracked by boys who don’t care or alcohol that doesn’t forgive. If you follow that compass, no matter how lost you get, you will always have a home.
10. The hardest lesson you will ever learn will be to love yourself. But you can do it. There will always be days when you hate yourself, days when you wish you had never been born. But darling you are beautiful, and if Shakespeare had met you you would’ve inspired his 18th sonnet, and if Monet had known you he would’ve given up painting water lilies and chosen to paint you instead. I know it’s hard to love yourself, but sometimes it’s okay to be a little selfish with your love.
11. When you begin to feel worthless, remember that the stars died for you. You are made of elements that are thousands of years old, elements that make up every atom of your being. When you want to cut your wrists, remember that the souls of stars live in your veins. Don’t kill them. Don’t be selfish.
12. Some days will be beautiful. Live for those days. Live for the days when the sun shines on your soul and the smile on your face isn’t forced. Live for the days when you don’t give a fuck what anyone thinks because your scars are a part of your story and you don’t need someone else’s approval to wear them with pride.
Live for the life you always wanted but were too scared to pursue.
Live for you. Live for me. Live for every person who has ever loved you, for the people who have come before you so that you may be here today.
Live for the fire that burns in your soul, that tells you: keep going, you’re almost there, just a little farther. Because when Rome burned down the emperor didn’t run away, he stayed and he sang for his people. Stay. Sing for your people. Sing for us.
Are you listening? Because this is your life, singing a siren song to capture your attention and steer away from the rocks, to guide you back home.
“The truth is that the more intimately you know someone, the more clearly you’ll see their flaws. That’s just the way it is. This is why marriages fail, why children are abandoned, why friendships don’t last. You might think you love someone until you see the way they act when they’re out of money or under pressure or hungry, for goodness’ sake. Love is something different. Love is choosing to serve someone and be with someone in spite of their filthy heart. Love is patient and kind, love is deliberate. Love is hard. Love is pain and sacrifice, it’s seeing the darkness in another person and defying the impulse to jump ship.”—(via thatkindofwoman)
this right here, this comment right here pisses me the fuck off.
you’re in your every right to like one company more than the other but cite “better women” as your reason is not only insulting to the amazing, wonderful female characters DC has created but also hailing marvel’s female characters for all the wrong reason.
If you said your reason for liking one company more than the other is because Marvel treats its female characters better or is starting to, i would completely agree with you and probably have a discussion.
BUT THIS. THIS IS NOT OKAY
There’s also the fact that it goes against every notion of feminism ever.
"Better Women" is reducing a whole group of women to one broad gesture, and using it to degrade another group of women.
No woman is better than another, and DC’s women certainly aren’t terrible. They’re amazing. And so are Marvel’s; all women are.
DC treats it’s women like shit. That’s not their fault, and it doesn’t make them less than.
Every time a Jennifer Lawrence or Anne Hathaway challenges an interviewer’s question on the basis of sexism/feminism – asking why their male counterpart got the “good” question about his work and she got the question about her outfit and workout routine we come a little bit closer. We do a tiny bit better.
Moments like these are praised, especially on Tumblr. Gifset after gifset of JLaw or Anne Hathaway makes its way across my dash with thousands, sometimes hundreds of thousands of notes, praising the actresses for rejecting the systematic sexism thrown their way in interviews or speaking out or being vocal for (white) feminism.
Yet when Nicole Beharie does it, we get a soundbite turned gifset stripped of its context, spun around, and flipped on its head to paint Beharie, Fox’s breakout star, and Black America’s latest hero, as some fronting, demeaning, sexist, spewing divisive, anti-feminist logic with a misogynistic undercurrent.
HUH! Well will you look at that! It’s the Miley Cyrus twerking debacle all over again. As I scroll through the “Nicole Beharie” tag I’ve tracked on tumblr I find myself taking a deep cleansing breath to rid myself of the frustration that’s come over me, and realize the smell of sexism and feel of racism permeating my lungs is all too familiar. And expected.
Beharie’s comment about preferring Marvel over DC because they have better women, wasn’t “reducing a whole group of women to one broad gesture, and using it to degrade another group of women.” On the contrary, she was praising Marvel for it’s better treatment, visibility, and writing of their women/female characters – thereby declaring her preference for Marvel’s story telling. The darnest thing is that somehow when I watched this interview, I squealed in a total fangirl moment that consisted of a gasp & “me toooo.” Y’know…because I got it!
The Bijou Art Cinema in Eugene, Oregon is sold out of tickets for the 11/21 7pm Last Unicorn screening. So they’ve added an 8pm showing! You can get your tickets at www.lastunicorntour.com
The Hollywood Theatre in Portland, Oregon is *almost* sold out of tickets for the 11/23 and 11/24 screenings, so they’ve added a 9:30 screening on 11/24. You can also get those tickets at www.lastunicorntour.com.
Vancouver screenings on 11/19 & 20 are not sold out yet, and we are really hoping they will be sold out early enough for us to plan extra shows while we are there. Plus, if we have strong ticket sales on both Vancouver screenings we’ll be back in April to spend the month visiting every single city we can get onto the schedule. Have friends in the Vancouver area? Let them know we’re coming!