Jason Aaron: God of Blunders

Back in September, Marvel decided to strip Thor of his hammer and give it to a currently unnamed female character. This is not the first time the God of Thunder was deemed unworthy of wielding Mjolnir. Beta Ray Bill, Thunderstrike, Throg, and even Wonder Woman have held the hammer for a period of time.

The difference this time is that not only was the hammer taken from Thor, but also his identity and name. Writer Jason Aaron stated in an interview that this new female replace is “not She-Thor or Lady Thor. She’s not Thorika. She is Thor. This is the new Thor.”

The problem is that Thor is not a mantle. It is not a title. It is the character’s given name.

To put this perspective, Spider-man is mantle. While one can argue that the mantle is defined by Peter Parker and that no one can truly replace him, it remains a title Parker applied to himself. In contrast, “Peter Parker” is his given name. No one can simply take his name and become “Peter Parker.”

However, this does not work with Thor since “Thor” is his given name. He is Thor Odinson, and simply swapping him out with a female character will not change that. Continue reading

Feminist: Male rape victims have more privileges than women

Originally posted on November 28, 2014

I take a simple position on discussions about sexual violence: leave out the politics. Politics make an already complex issue more complicated. They lead to bias, bigotry, and favoring the protection of political stances over addressing the problem. This is particularly true when feminists are involved in the discussion.

It appears many feminists are incapable of discussing sexual violence without resorting to “who has it worse” arguments. Advocates for male victims and men’s rights activists frequently challenge feminists on those arguments. Feminists usually respond by dismissing the challenges as “misogyny” or an attempt to silence women.

Yet there is good reason for people to persist in those challenges, and that is because when such arguments are left unquestioned, they lead to rather ugly statements. For example, Kaelyn Polick-Kirkpatrick wrote in The State Press:

[…] men’s rights activists and skeptics alike raise questions about feminism’s tactics. For instance, why not include everyone in conversations about rape given it’s such a prodigious problem? Well, conversations that include men do need to happen — everyone has a role to play in mitigating rape culture; but these conversations do not necessarily need to happen within the feminist community.

Feminism provides a safe-space for women to cope with and fight back against the oppressive society in which they live. It exists because oppressed people often need support from others who can empathize with their struggles — men have privileges that prevent them from being able to empathize with the struggles of women, even when they are survivors of sexual crimes. For instance, it is unlikely that a man will be asked what he was wearing during an assault, and it is unlikely that a man will be told that he deserved it due to his promiscuous behavior.

Continue reading

Cenk Uygur interviews Karen Straughan

I commend Karen Straughan of the Honey Badger Brigade for withstanding her interview with Cenk Uygur.  He tried very hard to get her to say something nutty, but Straughan proved far more capable. He wanted her to support feminism just a little, but she does not. When she would not commit to his position, Uygur turned on the condescension. Again, Straughan did not fall for it.

Very well done.

Bulletin Board v251

180 Boys in Two Dorms, 11-Year-Old Found Dead in Hyderabad Juvenile Home — At a government-run juvenile home in Hyderabad, the mysterious death of an 11-year-old boy this week has uncovered horrifying conditions in which nearly 200 boys are forced to live. The boy was found dead in his bed on Wednesday morning in the home located in the city’s Saidabad area. The police suspect that he was allegedly sexually assaulted and murdered by a fellow inmate.

Au pair who sexually abused young boy and had more than 30,000 child porn images is jailed for ten years — AN AU PAIR was today starting a ten year jail term for sexually abusing a young boy and possessing more than 30,000 child porn images. Czech national Dusan Juran was caught when police swooped on the Bradford home where he was caring for two young children, after catching him file sharing indecent photos on the internet.

Ex-Boy Scout describes mental scars left by abuse at trial — A California man suing the Boy Scouts of America over sexual abuse suffered at the hands of a volunteer Scout leader was so scarred by the incident that he once threw up outside a restaurant when he saw someone who looked like the man, he testified in the opening day of a civil trial. The 20-year-old man, who was 13 when he was molested in 2007, told jurors Monday that he secretly taped the Scout leader making a partial confession because it was “a 13-year-old’s word against a Scout leader, an adult.” Continue reading

A Dose of Stupid v106

It happens every day. In fact, it is pretty hard to avoid it. There are some things that can only be understood with a slap on the forehead. Things so mind-boggling that one wonders how humans managed to evolve thumbs while being this mentally inept. Case in point:

Why Reverse Oppression Simply Cannot Exist (No Matter What Merriam-Webster Says)

From the title alone I got the feeling the stupid is strong with this one, and Melissa A. Fabello proved my feelings right.

Fabello starts with an anecdote:

It’s a common argument that those of us – all of us – who work in social justice movements face: the straw man of reverse oppression. Even within the in-crowd of people who are quote-unquote “socially conscious,” this argument pops up now and again.

It is a good thing Fabello knows what a logical fallacy is because she engages in scores of them. For example:

“Yes, black women are beautiful — but I think what you mean is that all women are beautiful,” they say.

“But isn’t telling men to ‘sit down and shut up’ also sexist?” they ponder.

“But in the dictionary,” they start.

And we – seasoned veterans in the war against anti-oppression – know that the battle has already been lost.

It’s hard to convince someone that they’ve misunderstood a concept when their very (albeit misguided) understanding of the world depends on the existence of the falsehood in question.

However, it’s true that reverse oppression – like “reverse racism,” “female privilege,” and (so help me God) “cisphobia” – cannot possibly exist. Because the very nature of oppression won’t allow it to!

That is a nice example of denying the antecedent. Fabello, like most feminists, defines oppression in a way that wholly excludes certain people from being considered oppressed, and then uses this as proof that said people cannot be oppressed.

She cites Urban Dictionary when she claims people have “internalized oppressive ideas and values,” which is odd considering that she immediately argues:

The Dictionary
Put it down. Close that web browser. And for those of you who I know are going to post dictionary definitions in the comment section before even reading the article, you— I don’t have anything to say to you. Just stop.

Merriam-Webster is not your friend today.

The dictionary, to begin with, is a really trite resource to use when arguing complex topics.

I am curious: if dictionaries are so useless and untrustworthy, why did Fabello cite Urban Dictionary? Are people to understand that Fabello considers Urban Dictionary, yet Merriam-Webster is not? Is it not possible she favors the Urban Dictionary definition because it is written by users, meaning that feminists like herself can add a definition and upvote it to popularity, making it the topmost definition?

Likewise, given that many feminists cite Merriam-Webster’s definition of “feminism” whenever people criticize the ideology, does this mean that said definition is now inaccurate? Is Fabello arguing that feminism is not “the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes?” Continue reading

Breaking Poe’s Law

I wrote about an article satirizing feminists’ tendency to coin misandrous terms to vilify and humiliate men. A few people seemed to take the article seriously, which excellently demonstrated Poe’s Law.

For those who do not know, Poe’s Law is defined as:

Without a clear indication of the author’s intent, it is difficult or impossible to tell the difference between an expression of sincere extremism and a parody of extremism.

If one thought that no feminist could come up with anything as ridiculous as “broplimenting,” I give you “manterrupting” and “bropropriating.” As Jessice Bennett explains on TIME:

Manterrupting: Unnecessary interruption of a woman by a man.

Bropropriating: Taking a woman’s idea and taking credit for it.

Bennett cites Kanye West interrupting Taylor Swift at the 2009 MTV VMAs, an act universally reviled, as a prime example of “manterrupting.” She goes on to list a study conducted by a woman Bennett frequently works with as proof of this imbalance:

Sandberg and Grant cite research showing that powerful male Senators speak significantly more than their junior colleagues, while female Senators do not. That male executives who speak more often than their peers are deemed more competent (by 10%), while female executives who speak up are considered less (14% less). The data follows a long line of research showing that when it comes to the workplace, women speak less, are interrupted more, and have their ideas more harshly scrutinized.

Someone even created an infographic based on the TIME article.

This is the perfect illustration of Poe’s Law. There is no difference from the nonsense in Bennett’s serious “commentary” and Katherine Timpf’s satirical article. If not told, one cannot tell which is which.

Thank you, modern feminists.

Nerds and Feminism: Feminists Behaving Badly

We are two weeks into the new year, and feminists have begun the year in true form by going after the most oppressive of all men: nerds.

Granted, feminists engaged in a great deal of nerd-bashing last summer with the fallout from GamerGate. The current round, however, has a different cause.

Scott Aaronson, a scientist and blogger, wrote a comment describing his fear of approaching women as a young man:

I spent my formative years—basically, from the age of 12 until my mid-20s—feeling not “entitled,” not “privileged,” but terrified. I was terrified that one of my female classmates would somehow find out that I sexually desired her, and that the instant she did, I would be scorned, laughed at, called a creep and a weirdo, maybe even expelled from school or sent to prison. And furthermore, that the people who did these things to me would somehow be morally right to do them—even if I couldn’t understand how.

Aaronson’s fear came from feminism, specifically the feminist notion that all interactions between men and women contain a power differential that men use to exploit women. Aaronson tried to conform to feminist demands, yet it only made the situation worse, to the point that he contemplated suicide. Continue reading