Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Carless Damsel in Distress

"Boyish, softy men all the rage"

I'm gonna keep this blog short and sweet since my last blog was apparently a never ending nightmare of words. This article is just wrong on so many levels and I probably don't even notice them all. The research, although maybe somewhat true, is either ignorant of the changes that can occur in social attitudes or is misrepresented in the article*. But to make it interesting I'll assume the former. Also, I know the writer is a humor columnist, but I don't really think the humor is all that innocent.

Things wrong with this article.

1. Referring to "softie" men in a condescending light.
The issue? Gender roles and it's a reflection of the condescending way men view women.

2. Deeming the sole reason the contraceptive pill.
The issue? That women are lead by their troublesome mood swings and hormones. Cause you know women are bitches because of they're either having that time of the month, about to have that time of the month, or are not having that time of the month. Apparently, women can't actually think. They just feel and react. Wars, economic breakdown, political corruption, the progress of women's rights, and tragedies don't affect social attitudes.*

3. The "sissification" of men and the attraction women have to them as being bad.
The issue? Refer to #1. Also, it's perfectly fine for someone to feel confused, but it isn't until we read that he concludes that it's a bad decision that not all men are "tough guys" anymore. Why is that? Well this leads to #4.

4. The damsel in distress without a car or man.
The issue? Women can't possibly learn how to fix a car. Women just can't survive because they can't learn how to do "man" things or they shouldn't cause this guy says that men should be "men". This writer believes he has the idea of what a man should be.

This guy has our roles pretty figured out. I wish he were being sarcastic though because now I have to acknowledge the existence of another idiot.

You know, on the flip side, women aren't "women" anymore either. The majority of my girlfriends don't pay very much attention to sewing, cooking, ironing, cleaning, or entertaining like they used to in the "good ole days". Maybe women don't seek this "tough guy" anymore. Doesn't mean they don't like a "tough guy" at all, but they just don't feel as pressured to seek these men anymore. And maybe, in turn, men don't feel pressured to be this "tough guy" anymore. Maybe people are starting to be themselves more. If so, then I think it's great.

OH. And sorry I lied to you. This wasn't short and sweet at all.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Thoughts on the End of the First Decade of 2000



"'Forced labor in Latin America is closely linked to patterns of inequality and discrimination, especially against indigenous peoples.'

About 80 percent of forced laborers work for private companies. The remaining 20 percent work for state enterprises such as are found in China, North Korea and Myanmar, she said.

'Many of them make the goods and products that we buy,' Ewart-James said."

Exploitation maintains our way of life. Lowest cost, highest profit. I'll think about this for a few seconds and then settle the thought of fighting for human rights with apathetic reluctance. And I wouldn't necessarily be wrong to do so either. What can be done anyway? Revolution? Who knows what that is anymore? There are no more free lands to exercise new free thoughts. There is no room for revolution. So what now?

For now, the capitalist economy will continue to exploit and abandon the oppressed and mask it as a complication of expenditures. It'll continue to pick and choose the laws it will showcase and the laws it will enforce. It'll continue to disillusion us into believing we have freedom when everyone knows that our popular votes are babysat by an electoral college making sure we make the right decision for those wallets of a few. It'll continue to deceive us into thinking we are still trying to do the right thing. It'll continue to lull us into a trance and we'll forget what it was we wanted.

I'll argue for human rights, but it's as far as I'll go. I'm not fighting. I'm not moving anywhere and giving up the luxuries of my friends and family. The relationships that give my life meaning and are too important for me. So leave me out of it. I wouldn't be necessarily wrong to do so. It's hard to believe it's true.


All this talk recently about the end of the decade has me wondering a lot about this generation. Huge amounts of technology dependence this decade. Natural tragedies. War. Economic breakdown. Global warming on the rise. TIME magazine refers to it as "The Decade from Hell". Not a surprise considering that out of this decade came the "emo", or "emotional", boom.

Every decade is followed by a stereotype of the attitude of that certain decade which completely decontextualizes the events of that decade. The over romanticized hippie of the 60s is the first example that comes to mind. I'm going to have a really hard time accepting "emo" as the stereotype of the 00s. Very hard to live with the fear of future generations haunting me with deep seated anger and suicide threats. And today we see the beginning of the "hipster" boom. I see where it's coming from. Still some rebellion, but trying to take an active part in a world that maybe doesn't seem so doomed anymore. The overtaking pop culture is starting to participate in the world again, but still maintaining a social distance. Still feeling the burn of the 00s I suppose. Don't know where that'll go.

But I'm personally still feeling a lot of that modern guilt of the 00s. Everything going wrong and knowing that your way of life is the reason for the problems in the world. Beck describes this feeling as "Don't know what I've done but I feel ashamed". We've created a dependence on exploiting "third world" people. The events we perceive as opportunities, the social expectations for relationships and behavior, the values that we view as the dominant and correct values for the world are some of the main reasons for the deterioration of the 00s on all fronts. And we don't know how to acknowledge it, accept it, or change it.

We are too proud and for that we have become stagnant. We have been refusing to socially progress being too satisfied with our egos with our "invention" of democracy and capitalism. In essence, we believe we've invented opportunity. We have been disillusioned, possibly due to years of government manipulation, into thinking that there is nothing better than "the land of the free and the home of the brave", but ask the common person on the street he or she will tell you that they are unhappy with this system. We ask for change and offer no solutions. I'm not suggesting political overthrow. But I think it's possible that we could regain our dignity as a society. Cause how does change happen in today's world? And what's revolution, anyway? I think I'll just get back to work.