Monday, October 31, 2011

I Guess I'm A Beta Male

I have recently come upon MRAs, Men's Rights Activists, on the net, and wow. Just, wow. There are a very small minority of them that aren't bat shit insane and actually have some legitimate gripes, such as male circumcision, but those guys are truly rare. Most MRAs are women hating, misogynistic gas bags.

Today I want to talk about Alpha Males. Read that. I'm sure it will make you...angry. These are just a few of the things that come from 'Alpha Males'. Alphas can do whatever they want, whenever they want. They are the dominate people in the room. No woman can be their equal in physicality, intellect, or social standing. Alphas get tail whenever they want and they cheat on their girlfriends (they also don't get married, because that's how women get ya!). I have even read forums where violence is suggested as a way to make a woman submissive to their Alpha. Alphas are emotionally unstable, the slightest criticism can set them off. (Seriously, read the comment section on those posts. The few voices who criticize the writer's posts have their comments rewritten.)
I'm not emotionally insecure at all!
So upon reading what an Alpha is, I think I would rather be a Beta. The blog linked above says that all Beta's are a whiners and cockblockers. Or even worse, nerds. Really, I think that a 'Beta' male is anyone who isn't clinically psychopathic. I would rather be considered a Beta male than do any of the things Alpha males do. I just can't see treating women like property, or a game. I can't advocate violence or psychological abuse to get what I want. I can't imagine a world where women can't be equals. I can't advocate cheating in a relationship either, though open relationships are a different story. There isn't anything wrong with being clever, kind, loving, empathetic, or gentle. Those traits might make a male a Beta, but they also make them far superior to an Alpha.

To make you feel better about the whole MRA thing, here are some links to sites that regularly dismantle the misogyny. They also have a list of links, so feel free to explore!
Alas, A Blog!

I Attract These People...

While I was on lunch the other day at work, a coworker came in and started talking to me. Normally this would be odd, as I usually don't socialize with others at work while eating, but this was especially odd because I was obviously busy. I was eating, reading, and had headphones in, but all that seemed to scream, "Please have a conversation with me!" I tried to ignore her, but she was persistent. She asked what I was reading about, and I told her I was reading about feminism. She then asked me about what that was (how anyone couldn't know that is beyond me) and eventually she turned the conversation to gay marriage and religion, a place I was trying to avoid if at all possible. She then dropped this little gem,

"I have my own religious beliefs on the sanctity of marriage, and I don't want to get into them, but I personally don't see anything wrong with gay marriage."


I said, "OK", and she left the room because her break was over. 

Cognitive Dissonance in action!
Then I sat there and pondered what I had just heard.  This brings me to the point of this post, well one of them. Most Christians are more moral than their god. She is OK with gay marriage, but her god will damn those dirty sinners. This brings two things to mind. The first, if you are more moral than your god, why worship him? He is obviously of lower moral character, but you look him for guidance and authority. The only reason I can see is fear. He is the great cosmic bully. He is a terrible person, but they are too afraid to not follow. It's cowardice, plain and simple. The second thing it brings to mind is this cognitive dissonance in believers. She has two completely opposing ideas in her head, but thinks both are true. She is fine with homosexuals getting married, but she knows god isn't. God says it's an affront to the sacredness of marriage, that it is dirty and evil. She thinks it's completely fine and harms no one. These ideas can't both be true at the same time. The only way to make them seem like they are is to do mental gymnastics.  

Your brain on cognitive dissonance.
These kind of statements just astound me. When I hear people say these things I know that they haven't taken any time to actually think out their position. They just regurgitate what's been force-fed to them their entire lives. God is all loving, but orders genocide. God is all loving, but hates those queers. God is all loving, but eternally punishes his purposefully made imperfect beings for finite crimes. They just dance around the obvious logical holes like perfect mental ballerinas. 

That's for being exactly how I made you!
The second point of this post is that I just seem to attract these people, especially at work. Talking about religion at work is something I try not to do with coworkers I don't know well (I have a few friends who share my same opinions that I talk to). They always seem to find me though, the religious nutters, and anything short of shouting at them won't stop them from talking to me. Even wearing headphones while reading and eating lunch. 

Monday, October 24, 2011

The Bechdel Test

In my random wanderings of the internet I found the coolest test to use on movies. It's called The Bechdel Test,  from the comic Dykes To Watch out For (a comic I'm not familiar with, unfortunately). It is a test that helps illustrate the presence of gender in movies. It isn't a test to determine if a movie is good, or even pro-feminist, just to show how the genders are represented in film. I'm actually a bit sad I hadn't found this earlier (the strip it came from was published in 1985, it's older than me!) It has three basic rules for a movie to pass the test.

1. The movie has to have at least two named female characters.
2. At some point, the female characters have to talk to each other.
3. When they talk, they can't talk about a man.

It is amazing how many movies don't pass this test. My favorite movie, Fight Club, fails miserably (though, it is supposed to be a movie about what it means to be a man in a consumerist society). Although the Kill Bill movies pass, so I can take some solace in that. I have enjoyed applying this test to all the films I have seen recently, and I think it's kind of sad that more movies don't pass. Do filmmakers really think that if two women are on screen not talking about men that I will lose interest? Ah well, maybe they will get the picture eventually.