Dinner with Women Who Are Not My Wife

I couldn’t express my annoyance with this in only 140-characters, so here’s a short blog post:

For his part, Mike Pence is also very, very committed to ensuring that there’s never even the slightest appearance of impropriety with regards to his marriage. To achieve such a feat, Pence reportedly won’t have dinner alone with a woman who is not his wife; he also won’t attend any events where alcohol is served unless Karen is by his side. 

 For the record: I’m really, really close with my wife. I love hanging out with her. I also love having dinner with female friends alone. Okay, being a former English major I otherwise would’ve starved alone in my room…

Seriously, some of my best friendships are based on having dinner – drinks included. Many of those nights felt intimate, sometimes we even talk about intimate topics – and yet, I don’t cheat on my wife. Penceites must be so confused. 

I even think that having dinner with women who are not my wife make me a better husband/man/person. Through these 1-on-1 dinners and talks I get to hear stories and perspectives from women who are different than my wife (or mother) and this helps me being less ignorant. Less clueless when it comes to women’s issues in general. When I see how Pence and his ilk talk about women, their healthcare, and sexuality, I’d recommend that they have dinner with women who are not their wife more often. This whole thing is completely absurd once you add the fact that gender isn’t a binary and not all people are heterosexual. 

Not coincidentally, the combination of pity and disgust I have for men who can’t see women as anything else than temptation is similar to the combination of pity and disgust I have for the Trump Administration.

“Here’s the thing; if your plan was to stop only when I became unresponsive, then you still do not understand.”

Emily Doe, the victim of Brock Turner, wrote – and then read in court –  an incredibly powerful, clear, and moving letter during the sentencing process. Turner, a former Stanford student-athlete, was convicted by jury of a number of accounts relating to rape and sexual assault. He was sentenced to a mere 6 months in county jail “because a longer sentence would have ‘a severe impact on him’” according to the judge. Turner still denies assaulting her.
There are many quotable passages in the letter, but I recommend reading it in full. It might be tough (obvious trigger warning) but it’s an important read, as she details not only how she was hurt and the lasting impact of the assault, but also how degrading, confusing, and revictimizing the process of justice was/is for her as the survivor.
The letter is a must-read. Especially for fellow men.
Buzzfeed has published the letter in full.

“I don’t believe in men. I’ve never met a man in my life.”

Today, Guernica Magazine published a great, insightful and inciting interview with South Asian trans performance duo DarkMatter. For instance, this is how they expand upon the above statement that Alok never met a man:

Janani Balasubramanian: I think what Alok was saying with the idea of how we’ve never met a man in our lives, is that manhood is not just an ideal of gender; it also becomes a set of ideals around race, class, respectability, purchasing power, whatever. I’ve never met a single person in their lives who’s rich, has no feelings, goes to the gym every hour, drinks protein shakes all day. This person doesn’t exist.

Alok Vaid-Menon: They’re a fairy tale. What’s difficult is that gender has become only the domain of trans people and women. But we all have gender, and we all have a stake in ending gender.

In a conversation led by Guernica’s Kevin St. James, they discuss gender, performance, colonialism, capitalism, disappointing your parents and the importance of cracking jokes. It really is a must-read, whether you agree with their stances or not.

“Can we please destroy the culture of cis hetero marriages where the guy acts like he’s getting dragged into it?”

I’m a cis husband in a hetero marriage and I approve this message:


can we please destroy the culture of cis hetero marriages where the guy acts like he’s getting dragged into it? it’s misogynistic as fuck, it’s rude and disrespectful to everyone involved, and it’s a huge middle finger to everyone else who would kill to get the privilege that you’re throwing around like it’s 25 to life

if you’re going to act like getting married is the end of your life then your wife deserves so much better than a shit-stained moist saltine cracker of a husband

This kind of rhetoric is still really popular with bachelor party groups tearing through the city on any given Saturday (the horror!) “Last night in freedom” and all that bullshit.

 I love being married and there are very real benefits – but not worth giving up your perceived freedom. If you really feel that way, don’t get married. If you don’t feel that way and think this bullshit is just funny, stop insulting your partner and your relationship, fuckwit.

Manliness, it can be seen, is an eminently relational notion, constructed in front of other men and against femininity, in a kind of fear of the female, firstly in oneself.

Pierre Bourdieu “A Magnified Image.” Masculine Domination. Polity Press, 2001. (53)

This has tended to make socialism too much of a male creed, as others are supposed to hold back in the secure knowledge that their emancipation is in secure hands. This dream has faded. Feminism has helped develop a different sense of politics. Feminism is not just a challenge to men, but an example of breaking masculine hegemony which identifies reason, masculinity and universality, even for men. Feminists have learnt that people have to do things for themselves because it is only each oppressed group which can define the character and form of the oppression it suffers.

Seidler, Victor J. Rediscovering Masculinity: Reason, Language, and Sexuality. Routledge (1989): 191

Fun Times with the First Amendment

Baggy, sagging pants might not be protected by the constitution, while Klans robes and Nazi uniforms are. That’s at least what white, at least middle-class, not-young Danny Cevallos thinks in a piece for CNN. 

I get the “sagging pants don’t have a clear message” argument (however, I hope people wearing their pants low in actual solidarity with prison inmates can continue wearing them low then) but my main question is: Why does (can) the State govern regular clothes at all? How can this be, ACLU? Besides the fact that kids in the neighborhood usually don’t have the legal funds racist groups or conservatives have.

Our Habitus, Or: Men Are Collateral Damage of Patriarchy

This passage of Toril Moi’s great essay on using Pierre Bourdieu’s work for feminist theory touches on why men are affected by sexist structures – without there being such a thing as reverse sexism: 

 Our habitus is at once produced and expressed through
our movements, gestures, facial expressions, manners, ways of walking, and ways of looking at the world. The  socially produced body is thus necessarily also  a  political body, or  rather an  embodied politics. Thus even such basic activities as teaching children how to move, dress, and eat are thoroughly political, in that they impose
on them an unspoken understanding of legitimate ways to (re)present their body to themselves and  others. The  body-and  its apparel such as clothing, gestures, make-up and so on-becomes  a kind of constant reminder ( of sociosexual power relations.It follows from Bourdieu’s understanding of the social effects of gender divisions that the dominant group -in  this case  men- do not escape the burdens of their own domination.