De-creating Frankenstein's Shit-MonsterOver in Shaker-Land, Mr. Shakes attempted to do something that many people before him have tried to do and met nothing but complete failure -- to give the average knuckle-dragging human progressive male a rhetorical labotomy. The results are in and it's a day to marked on the calendar. With ever surgery, there results always spell good news and bad news. Sometimes, however, there's good news and better news masquerading under the banner of "bad news". We've reached that rate occurance because the good news here is Mr. Shakes actually fucking succeeded. The bad news (e.g. better news) is the progressive male establishment had better start quaking in their Doc Martins:
This morning, Shakes asked me why it is that there are so many men, including far too many progressive men, who seem so bloody-mindedly determined to malign and attack the feminist movement, even as they are supportive of individual feminists. What is it, she wondered, that makes it feel so threatening, that elicits the urge to try to discredit it or deny its necessity? It’s not an easy question to answer, particularly as it reminds me of positions I once held, because I had never stopped to question why I held them.
Men (and here, I generally mean straight men) are conditioned—by the news media, by the entertainment industry, by religious fundamentalism, by the government, and by other men—to believe that, first of all, they have a more important set of responsibilities and rights than women, and that, not only do they have these things, but that they deserve them and should do everything they can to defend them.
This tendency among men to swallow this bullshit strikes me as being particularly stupid.
It is stupid, but one can't help but notice that human beings -- both men and women; especially American men and women -- have devoted the last 20-30 years of their lives to raising bullshit eating out to be not only an artform, but compulsary to survival. We either love our bullshit or we're very selective when it comes to our Recommended Daily Allowance of bullshit. Isn't that something? We can count our calories, or carbs, our fat grams and such but stop dead short of counting the unmitigated "Go Large" bushels of BS we'll inhale as if it were Albuterol.
Why do we suck down it all down? Probably because the lack of an attention span longer than the wick on a lady finger is where the creation, marketing, and distribution of bullshit via the media comes in as it conveniently fullfills some kind of morbid, sick, corruptive need for a "quick fix" to all the world's vast problems and issues to immediately take center stage and germinate into "conventional wisdom" (e.g. political correctness) as fast as possible.
The faster that pile of prime excremento de toro can germinate into a monalithic golem, the harder it is for the more enlightened and alert masses to hold their breath from the noxious stench long enough to get within striking distance to knock it the fuck down. But, yes - there indeed is a link to our growing lack of an honest attention span that makes us not only just gullible to bullshit, but readily hungry for it to the point where we deaden our own ears and conscience to our internal bullshit alarm going "Pfffffft! Pfffffft!" as if is were a Hindenberg-sized whoopie cushion placed between Karl Rove's asshole and Jeff Gannon's dick on those nights he checked in but didn't check out.
And, of course, anyone with pets knows that a well-irrigated, moist pile of shit is tougher to deal with than when it dries out and hardens. Thus, the media continues to sprinkle water over the bullshit golem every now of then. Gotta keep it watered. Oh, and nothing pisses the media and the patriarchal "Daddy" politicians off than watching the insolent, unwashed, grubby-handed children rebel against their convenient dung babysitter. They create a shit-monster within months and we devote years in trying to de-create it. They might send us to bed without our supper but we send their asses back to the fuckin' drawing board to develope and even stronger, more impervious shit-monster.
Alas, I've two fears of feminism and not because of what it is or its principals. No, I fear feminism because with the combined darth of attention spans among most Americans along with our penchant for gorging ourselves on every single "quick fix" bullshit story the media churns out for them, I can't help but worry that the moment the feminists ressurrect their total equality stump speeches, we're just gonna have more of the same -- a deliberately cyclic, orgiastic, mental masturbatory Pfffffffft! that stunts actual progression. For example it won't surprize me one bit if the next President kicks out with more oppressive "Deadbeat Dad" legislation in order to re-irrigate the "conventional wisdom" shit-golem for Policy-Studies to continue collecting government contracts for their "Catch And Release" program and I fear the feminists along with most Americans will be ordered and instructed by patriarchal "Daddy" government to accept it or else. Both Bush and Clinton did it before them and, besides the housing market, child support collection is a vast revenue ponzi scheme for the U.S Government.
But if I were calling the shots right now, I'd pardon every so-called "Deadbeat Dad" and "Deadbeat Mom" and free them from jail (if there is any "Deadbeat Moms" in jail). Why? In order to make room for the all the Republicans and Democrats in Washington D.C. right this second (Forget the Bush Administration - I've got a special venue reserved for them and it's called The Hague).
Also, they'll probably truck out with another demogogic violent video games campaign, opting to blow another $100 Million on another worthless study on 'em instead of delivering what we really need: healthcare, increases in minimum wage, increases on welfare and other social programs. As for why divorce became so common over the past 20 years, I believe it's because our politicians (and their corporate task-masters) deliberately conceded our leadership in many areas to the third world, particularly our leadership in the automotive, electronics, textile, and steel industries. The loss of these industries have eroded the middle class, leaving them jobless and scraping by financially. Finances are typically what married couples argue about. These arguements are loaded with alot of verbal and psychological abuse, throwing a marriage on the rocks. From there, it's not uncommon for physical abuse to manifest itself over time, which tosses marriages across the point of no return -- nobody likes being abused. Nobody.
Perhaps, however, that fear is misguided. The following from Mr. Shakes gives me hope:
Men need to get it through their heads that they, too, are under the heel of power structures that have no interest in promoting their welfare. They must understand that the rights and privileges that they have hitherto been enjoying fall far short of the privileges they could enjoy were they to try and achieve them. The internecine warfare that occurs between women and men, people of color and white people, straights and gays, as they all squabble like schoolchildren in an attempt to gain or deny rights, is exactly what those in power want. They promote it, they foment it, they do everything they can to aggravate it, because they know that if we were all ever to get our fucking shit together, and demand that the society we all live in and contribute to should be fair and decent to everyone, then the egregious wealth and power that they enjoy would finally meet its end.
What men need to understand is that their wives, the black guy across the street, the gay guy next door, are not the only ones toiling under the weight of a patriarchal system that doesn’t benefit all men, but instead a select few who hold all the power and all the wealth in their hands, the weight of a society that rewards capital and a slavish work mentality over human dignity and the freedom of individuals to express their own interests and realize their full potential as human beings.
Shakes once pointed out to me that the etymology of patriarchy is father, not man, which is an observation that struck right at the heart of the matter for me. In an abusive family, the sons are beat right along with the daughters. Would it not make more sense for these sons to band themselves with their sisters, with whom they, in fact, have more in common than with their father, instead of beating their sisters, too, as mere agents of the abusive father? In the latter case, they only sustain a system that is just as shitty for them as for their sisters. As we spoke about this, Shakes noted, “Abuse by proxy carries the same illusion of garnering the father’s approbation as the American Dream deceives those who will never walk the halls of power.”
Could it be possible - nay, likely - that the feminists and humanists will no longer ravenously inhale another bullshit story from the media? No longer flatten themselves in childlike obediance at the feet of the shit-golem? Have we ultimately come to the revelation that we -- man, woman and child -- have finally reached our breaking point with patriarchy politicians who, after blowing millions of dollars for the privilege of a $160,000-$180,000 government job up on the Hill, dare to turn around and think they can just push and shove us around into blindly accepting whatever it is they and the Corportocracy wishes to do, even if it's against our own welfare, our needs? Are we about to rise up in defiance of the unmitigated abuse from them and start demanding that they instead listen to us like they're supposed to?
Sure as hell sounds like it and if that's really the case, then pass me the T-Shirt -- I'm a fuckin' feminist right here and now. Forever and always. Anyone that doesn't like it? Pffffffft!
The following little morsel from Mr. Shakes's post, however, compells me to make a few startling revelations about myself and brings me to my second fear of feminism -- a fear that's also probably misguided, although I can't help myself:
This relegation to powerlessness is not solved by a small-minded attempt to gain power over others who, in the grand scheme of things, are equally powerless.
This line is exactly why I resist all temptation or manipulation - either by the media, friends, family, etc. - to go for full custody of my daughter Gwen. If anything, the only temptations I have is because my mother could then put her on her social security and the extra cash would sure help us. Another reason would be to insure Gwen makes it to pre-school as "Mouse" (my ex-fiance and Gwen's mother) and her current lover (whom I've known since the mid-1980s as his cousin is my best friend) are having to relocate constantly.
Other than that, I have no real motivation to do so unless I was certain there was abuse and I could prove it. Granted, I've got theories that there is abuse but since everyone in Mouse's family adore me to death and waste no time in giving me (or making sure I get) the latest gossip, they're also the primary source of these theories. But theories aren't enough. Plus there's motive to consider, and the motives of both hers and my families aren't what I would call totally altruistic, especially not after half of them bailed when Mouse's father litigated for guardianship of Gwen a few years back just so he could put her on his health insurance.
But from a big picture perspective, these fools don't understand that, after 5 years, Mouse and I have finally buried the hatchets and reached a mutual understanding. As a result, we get along better seperated than we did together -- just like we did when we were friends for 7 years before the relationship ever started. And if members from both our respective families would simply let us be Gwen's parents instead of them trying to be usurp that role from us, our seperate lives would improve even better.
Plus, the only reason why I'm a "Deadbeat Dad" (yes, Ms. Shakes - pass me one of your kitty-cats; I beez hongweee! FEED!) is because two years after Mouse had left me, she had to get on welfare. Clinton's ridiculous welfare reform makes child enforcement a default proceedure. In other words, in order to recieve assisstance, the welfare office forced her to sic the beauracracy on me, whether she wanted to or not. No way around it. At the time, I only made $4 an hour through the Relative Care provider program my sister was on and whatever cash I gleaned by doing computer jobs was going to keep my mother and I living after the death of my father.
Regardless, this is another reason why I don't go for custody -- by doing so, I'm just shifting the "deadbeat" role from my poor ass to her $6-an-hour poor ass. Considering that a wage like that, adjusted to today's rate of inflation, equals out to be the equivilent of the minimum wage of the mid to late 1960s, how in the hell is she supposed to pay me child support and live?!? Plus, if I were to get on welfare, they'd force me to sic the Child Support collection/enforcement ghestapo on her, too.
And for what purpose other than to make white, well-to-do, middle/upper class people feel better about their SUVs and Athlon64s, make 'em more secure in their marriages, make nefarious corporations feel better about exploiting the cheap illegal immigrant labor force, and make politicians feel better about their not-so-blind trusts?!?
Fuck that and them!
I've got something none of them bastards have: a conscience. It's because of that conscience that I'm more than happy to wear any demogogic label the status-quo wishes to pin on me in their vain, egotistical attempts to make themselves appear better than everyone else. So, yeah, I'm a "Deadbeat, Liberal, Feminist Dad" and proud of it. I wasn't put on this world to be their play thing; their pawn, their scapegoat. And I'm certainly not going to lose a drop of sleep over what they may or may not think of me, especially not after 70% of them thought Saddam helped Al-Queda conduct 9/11. I need their thoughts like I need a hole in the head.
But yet, whose fault is it? Whose to blame?
We both are -- it was a relationship that shouldn't have happened for many reasons but the crux of the matter was that I knew she would cheat on me because she had cheated on every man she's ever been with, I had caught her netsex cheating on me twice before she physically cheated on me, but yet I was a bleeding heart, easily lulled by her sympathy-seeking "Freeper" personality. Add a good dose of pussywhippedness (is that a word? It is now!), and you've got a glutton for punishment.
That revelation brings me to why I harbor a second fear towards feminists. Like Mr. Shakes says about most progressive men, when they think "feminist", the immediately think of women on the same level as when one thinks of a "deadbeat", they automatically think of men. It's so much of my own pre-conditioning that it'll take some considerable ammount of time to shake it off. In the meantime, I can't can help but think "FEMINIST=WOMAN" and it reminds me all over again ...
It's not the fact that she physically cheated on me that hurt me. She's not the only woman in my past that has done that. It's the finer details of it all. When Mouse became pregnant with Gwen, her plug was paper thin and she was always spotting. Her OBG/YN naturally put her on high risk for miscarriage. This meant that I was cut off. No big deal - I was a virgin for 26 years so what the hell is 10-12 months? Nothing. Just means I'm regaled to going Pfffffffft! alone in the shower more often and gives me something to really look forward to after Mouse heals up a month or two after Gwen's birth.
Or, so I thought.
Gwen was born in February of 2000. Mouse cheated on me with my ex-friend in July of 2000. Translation? Not only was I cut off for an estimated 14 months but the very first person Mouse offered herself to after Gwen's birth was not me; it was him. Twice. In the end, she wasn't sorry she did it - she was more upset that she got busted and how I busted her. My natural instinct was to wash my hands of her like I did of all the others but Gwen changed all that. My every option at the point lead to the same outcome: a denial of a daily relationship and interaction with my meany-rat.
Granted, that was 5 years ago and I like to believe that I'm over that and cite proof of it with the fact that I don't let it cloud my judgement anymore, certainly not to the point where I give in to all the manipulation around me to drag her into court for full custody of Gwen. She moved on and so have I.
But have I really gotten over it?
Nope. Not since all I've done is moved on to celibacy, mostly because my experiance with Mouse has unfortunately instilled a fear of women/feminism in general. In other words, although I no longer let my experiance with Mouse cloud my judgement in that regard, I am, however, letting that experiacne cloud my overall judgement of women and feminism. Goofy? Yep. Unfair? Uh-huh. And yes, sometimes I sit and here and say to myself, "Alright, Sizeless -- look at the big fucking picture here. She cut you off for 14 months, gave you the greatest Valentines Day present you could ever want with the birth of Gwen, bangs one of your friends before you, and then blames you for her cheating. Shit, dude! Save for slaughtering your daughter in front of you, that's a level of cruelty no other woman could ever top. At least, not intentionally. Never in a million years! Bring your walls down, man, and let a new woman in ..."
Yet that's exactly why the walls remain: I don't want to risk lowering them and find out -- regardless if it may either confirm my suspicions or leave me pleasantly surprized with a more caring and loving woman standing just behind their destruction.
Bad luck and trouble's my only friend.
I've been down ever since I was ten.
"Born Under A Bad Sign"