Friday, December 5, 2014

Excuses to be a Fool

Because They Do it Too!

     Well I know I don't write for this like, at all. However there was something that I just had to get off my pasty white chest. 
     So many times, I've told my friend that they shouldn't do something that they did which was offensive or dangerous or reckless or what have you. "I can block that entrance cause everyone else does it!" "I can say that this game is gay, everyone else does it!". WRONG.
     Let's ignore the fact that these things that people do are plain stupid for a moment. Excusing something on the grounds that other people do it is downright wrong. Let me put it to you this way- "Yes I killed the Jews in the camps. But I was following orders! Everyone else was doing it!". 
     If we accept this logic, then we allow for isms to thrive. We allow for stupidity and ignorance to run rampant in our society. 
     Please, if someone excuses a negative action by saying "everyone else does it", just shut them down. 


Thursday, July 4, 2013

Strike Three

     I'm going to keep this one as short as I can, because this topic bothers the hell out of me, and I'm sure it's going to ruffle a great many feathers (commence the hate mail!).

     This past week I've talked to several of my friends about striking children- more specifically, a parent striking his or her child. This action is in no way appropriate, a FACT that is backed by plenty of psychology. Therefore I believe people need to choose not to be ignorant of the affects that physical action has on children (I won't go into details, if you don't know what I'm talking about, you should look into it, as it is a very interesting socio-psychological subject). Unfortunately, many of my friends and my ex girlfriend all believe that hitting a child is fine as long as it is "warranted". All of these people use the fact that they were beat as kids as some sort of reasoning as to why this violence is not a problem. "My parents hit me, so that's how I'm gonna raise my kids".
     But what does this have to do with inequality? Well, it has to do with what I find to be the least noted inequality and "ism" of all that exist: ageism- specifically pertaining to adults and children. Adults in these situations use their strength to disadvantage children, while using age as a rationalization for the oppression. Children have no fault in the matter. They have a natural ignorance which is treated by education. Any acting out is directly related to the parent.
     Furthermore, children have no means of escaping this oppressive relationship. Instead of finding any of the many ways of treating a child's less favorable behaviors, a parent deciding to strike a child is taking an action which demonstrates clearly one body of power disadvantaging a body of powerlessness.
     It's something to think about if you plan on raising a child. Many of you, I'm sure, will tell me why I'm wrong, and how you were beat, or have beaten, and the child/you turned up fine. But I promise you that I'm not wrong, and that you or the child has an issue that stems from an action that provides short term results and long term problems.
     There is no place for oppressive actions based solely on ignorance and a failure to be better. Let me also say that I know some people who have the most kind and wonderful parents, yet who were struck as kids. I can tell you that they are nice people, my friends, but they have their share of problems- quite noticeably- including varying forms of social retardation. Let's just think about it.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Why Not Start at a Young Age..?

Well...Let me start of by admitting to you a guilty pleasure of mine: going to toy stores. I never outgrew the Nerf guns and balls and building objects and EVERYTHING that a toy store sells. I'm a six foot four inch tall twenty year young man and I can't get enough of shooting my brothers in the face with toys meant for ten year olds. Anyway...
Today I actually had to go into the local toy store for the first time in a few months, as I needed a football to throw around with my brothers. Now I hadn't been there in a while, but the changes kind of shocked me, in particular the note of sexism in the selections of toys.
The shop was literally divided into two sides: boy's toys and girl's toys. The right side of the shop was brutally pink, with dolls, ponies, and anything one might have a girl play with.The left side was chock full of weapons made of spongy stuff, footballs, baseballs, blocks and anything a little man would want to destroy. Even the pictures of kids playing with the toys on the boxes were separated by gender: the boys were having fun with toy pistols and the girls were being taught how to be mommies with their dolls.
All of us (dear god, I HOPE so...) know this sort of thing happens, and most of us (again...) know to work against this broken system of inequality. Unfortunately, even toy stores aren't safe from such things, as my blatant example illustrates.

Some of you may read this and say "so..? Why is it so bad to so easily be able to buy a toy either for a girl or a boy?", and to that I say this: one should not buy a toy based on gender. This sets a child up to feel there are certain mandatory ways of being based solely on gender. Why can't a little girl grow up wanted to stab her friends in the eye with a fake sword, or playing sports? Couldn't a boy play with a small representation of  a young human (doll)..? Can't a boy be a fan of small horses?

As I sit here being one of those people typing away on a laptop in Starbucks, I think about all the questions EVERYONE has. There's just so much to write on this subject, and I don't plan on doing it all here, as I am an avid fan of sleeping. However, I urge you all to continue questioning these things we ALL take for granted: things we might not realize are wrong, and things we know are wrong but do nothing to counteract. It's like the Science Channel says: Question everything.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Normalcy and Ignorance

I just wanted to put in a few words on something I heard while I was on vacation recently.
A lesbian friend of mine asked if a woman at a shop was a lesbian as well. Her answer was something like this:
"Oh, I'm just sort of normal. The everyday girl."
I cringed when I heard this.
The correct term would have been heterosexual. Straight works too. But "normal"?
This implies that heterosexuality is the norm. This implication is wrong.
Heteronormativity is mostly related to ignorance. I'm sure the woman at the shop was just ignorant, and didn't mean any harm, but unfortunately such ignorance is always harmful. Any LGBT person who encounters a subtle situation like this is very likely to internalize that heterosexuality is "normal", and that they are themselves abnormal.
Sexuality isn't a subject of normativity. You cannot apply normalcy to one sexuality over another.
It's unfortunate how many people don't even consider this in passing while interacting with other individuals. Would it that they would, society would become a little bit easier to tolerate.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Beauty and the Beast

     Apparently I'm "metro-sexual", a term used to describe a man who observes closely the way in which he dresses, first given to me by a previous girlfriend of mine. I have no problem with this. I mean, I've never been one for labels, but I have no qualms with the concept. I buy myself nice clothes, when I can afford it, and I look pretty damn good.
     However, it isn't just clothes that I pay close attention to: I work hard to stay healthy, and I don't just mean working out, staying fit, and of course working out my brain. I mean my skin. Healthy skin is important to general health. I mean, it is the largest organ in the human machine. Part of maintaining a healthy veneer is washing regularly, with the appropriate soaps and what have you, though I'll grant you that not everyone needs to be so meticulous in their soap purchases. Some people have strong skin that doesn't need too much care. To those people, I am jealous.
     Here in lies the reason for starting this new blog: the purchase of a soap that will be almost medicinal to my skin. The problem? It's this:
     Men do not have a wide selection, or any selection at all, of soaps which are actually good for their skin. I observed in my local Shop Rite that men had a selection of soaps designed to attract a woman (I won't even get into the homophobia there...) with strong scents. It's the most basic soap with a very complicated scent designed to get men laid by women. Nice.
     Except that the women's soap area had exactly what I was looking for. I got a bottle of soap with various  clays and minerals designed to detox the skin. The bottle was beige and pink, with little purple flowers. I seemed to be the only person at the store to think nothing of this purchase. But why is that..? Why shouldn't a man buy soap that's good for his skin?
     Well, the answer is that there is no reason not to get something like that. We (Americans, at least) live in such a sexist society, and I don't just mean the obvious areas that the feminists are fighting so bravely to dismantle. I mean that there is sexism in the market as well, which affects women and men. This further internalizes the ideas that men must bathe only for sexual appeal, and that women must be healthy and radiant for similar reasons. Women are beautiful. Men are handsome. But how do I explain knowing many handsome women and droves of beautiful men..? She is the beauty and He is the beast. Or is He? Where do we begin to question these social "norms"? 
     Answer: wherever you see them. For me, it's in the shop. It's walking down the street. In America, sadly, social inequality is rampant. It is in this blog that I'll share my personal experiences with these realizations and I'll continue to do it, probably irregularly, so long as my passion on the subject exists.