Tag Archives: Facebook

Stand Up!

“I’ve got your good old days RIGHT HERE.”

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There are some topics for which controversy is entirely expected and perhaps even suitable due to their very nature. Abortion is one, and this makes sense when one reflects on the fact that a human life is arguably at stake. Universal health care is another in that it forces us to question the limits of government authority and responsibility. One topic that is absolutely undeserving of any controversy whatsoever in the 21st century is the value of chivalry, however. Anyone who tells you otherwise is either benighted, sexist, or both.

This brings me to a discussion I had on Facebook earlier this week.

Lawrence Adjah, a Facebook friend, was riding a Bay Area commuter train and noticed that there were women standing while male passengers sat. This grated against his sensibilities and as a man of action, he set about campaigning to get every last standing woman on that train a seat…which he did. Excited about the fruit of his efforts, he posted a picture of the results on everyone’s favorite social network.

All aboard! Next stop, gender subjugation!

The electronic ticker-tape parade began in earnest. Accolades from his female friends poured in, and one woman even invited him to come to Boston to “do work.” Well, I couldn’t take it. So I didn’t.

I posted a forceful reply, and although I used highly informal language since I was talking to a group of peers, my point was substantive. The next thing I knew, I was engulfed in a 24-hour, emotionally charged conversation with Lawrence, one other man (who sided with me), and several women (who definitely did not). Although things got pretty heated, I’m used to such scraps, so I walked away no worse for wear…until I saw that my comments had been utterly misconstrued and decontextualized on the Huffington Post.

It turns out that one of the many chivalry-loving women who had seen Lawrence’s post was Ms. Nancy Redd. As a writer and host for HuffPost, I suppose that this little skirmish in the Battle of the Sexes was too good for her to pass up. I mean, you’ve got Sir Lawrence, the White Knight in Shining Armor, multiple damsels in commuter distress, and even a readymade villain, yours truly. This is the stuff of which romantic reactionary dreams are made!

Nancy (and I call her by her first name because, believe it or not, I know this woman personally) proceeded to take isolated statements that I made and present them as fully independent thoughts, without including my milder supporting comments or the often insulting words of those who I’ll dub The Defenders of Feminine Virtue. For example, one woman implied that my comrade-in-arms and I were “diva dudes” who thought that we were too good for women, and another suggested that our beliefs were the result of (drumroll, please) our mothers’ failures. None of these women’s comments made it into Nancy’s piece…yet all of my Black English did. But who can blame her? Nothing says inarticulate and therefore worthless like Black English, right?

What bothered me most about Nancy’s post however, was not her tactless attempt to paint me as a buffoon. Instead, my real anger stemmed from the fact that she reduced my sentiments to “negativity and hate,” when at their core they were actually about equity. Notice that I wrote equity, as in fairness. Women and men are not the same (a truth that is often wonderful), but our differences do not necessitate a return to the bad old days of sexist claptrap like men walking on the outside of the sidewalk, arbitrarily giving up their seats, or I don’t know…keeping women shut in at home.

No. Caption. Needed.

Be not deceived. The idea that chivalry’s origins lie in the chauvinistic past are incontrovertible. I’ve discussed this idea before, so I won’t beat a dead horse, but suffice it to say that men treating women as if they are childish dependents, mental dwarves, or hapless semi-invalids is a very bad thing…for us all. The gender-based niceties that many enjoy so much are the beguiling flowers of a sinister tree with pernicious roots. Until these vestiges of societally supported sexism are purged, women will remain just shy of being men’s recognized equals. As Gloria Steinem said, “A pedestal is as much a prison as any small, confined space.”

Ladies, I invite you to hop off of that pedestal prison and stand up for what’s right. You’ll find plenty of good men ready to stand proudly right alongside you.

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Sex Shooters: Social Media and Female Self-Esteem

If you're gonna post a scandalous Facebook pic, THIS is how to do it. We miss you, Apollonia.

Men spend an inordinate amount of time in the pursuit of encounters with sexy women.  These encounters need not be in the real world, of course.  I mean, I don’t have to tell you which industry is responsible for the big, beautiful broadband world we live in right now, do I?  Hint: it involves naked people having sex.

But guys don’t need to satisfy our sex fix with explicit material.  Women in sexy outfits, making sexy faces, hinting at sexy things that they might do will work just fine (while we’re in public, at least).  Lucky for us, ladies seem more than happy to quench our thirst for this stuff, and the rise of social media has provided them with a huge hose to like, drown us in T&A.  Sorry, Yeezy, but that’s a beautiful death.

From the crazy number of entries to American Apparel’s 2010 “Best Bottom Contest” to sites like ilikecurves.com (lots of pros, but plenty of amateurs in there), women love to let us know that they look sexy.  And I love that they love it.  I just wonder why they love it.

Don’t get me wrong.  It makes my day when I see some fine ass lady has posted a picture of herself with a come-hither pucker on some juicy, shimmering lips, rockin’ a body-hugging dress so tight it appears to be a strange but erotic skin mutation.  Freakum dresses are wonderful, splendid gifts from the gods and are right beneath leggings and biking shorts as the greatest fashion innovation since…well…clothes.

I’m just sayin’ though, it’s like you just walked up to everybody you’re cool with and said, “Me and my girls went to the club last night and I was lookin’ tatalicious: check out these blatant, semi-lesbian photos!  But wait, there’s more!  If you click right now, I’ll throw in this trunk-rattlin’ donk shot – tilt your laptop a little and you might even see some cheek pokin’ out!”

I loves it, but why are there SO many semi-scandalous pictures of you at the club?  And of you in your bikini at the beach?  And of you in your bikini at the club on the beach?  I’m not buying that you got dressed and took those pictures for yourself, etc., etc.  That argument barely holds water in the real world and the whole goddamned bottom drops out the bucket when you extend it to posting photos on Facebook.  By definition, when you put that image on a social network, YOU WANT AS MANY PEOPLE AS POSSIBLE TO SEE IT.  At least the ones in your personal network.

If you ask me, there’s such a preponderance of this behavior because a big segment of women want desperately to be sex symbols.  It validates their self-image and shores up their self-esteem.  I actually feel somewhat silly writing that because it’s not too controversial of a thought, really.  Women know that men like attractive, sexually interesting (and interested) women, so why wouldn’t women want to appeal to that desire?  We all do what we need to do to feel wanted, no matter the context.  We all want to know that we contribute to the world in some way and to be recognized for it.

Of course, most ladies also want to be respected professionals, venerated spouses and adored parents, too.  No one is denying or minimizing that fact.  It’s just that until recently, as crazy as it sounds, it was a lot easier to be a great ad executive or professor or mom than it was to be a pin-up girl, at least for a big audience.

Facebook, Twitter and now Instagram, where the artsy sexy pics go to live, have changed all of that.  Today, a woman can show everybody that’s she’s a mother AND a MILF, electronically gushing as compliments like, “OK WERK IT GUUUURRRL” and “Damn!  Tell Craig he betta treat you rite!” just stream in.  Cherie, the second year med student, need only tag herself in the mechanical bull shot with her girl Peaches to hint at how sweet a night out with the two of them might be.  Dude, who needs King, FHM or even Playboy when you’ve got the muthaeffin’ News Feed?!

Again, I’m all for it.  Self-expression, especially semi-nude self-expression of the female variety, is a moral imperative.

In fact, just to show my commitment to this noble principle, I’m inviting all you ladies to post your sexiest photo to www.facebook.com/scissorspeaks or tweet it to @scissorspeaks.  The one who gets the most positive comments will win a date with me and I’ll interview you about your experience for an upcoming post – you’ll get to tell errbody how it really is.  But here’s the catch: you’ve also gotta include a picture of you when you first wake up.

What, no takers?  Yeah, that’s what I thought.

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Filed under Sexuality, Social Issues