Tag Archives: Women

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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Nut Check: Why Nagging Doesn’t Work

The double team dance from Precious and Innocence was TOTALLY worth it though.

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Men need help keeping it all together.  We can be disorganized, forgetful, and self-centered, and the women in our lives often serve as a welcome counter to those tendencies.  There’s no question that we appreciate our girlfriends and wives for providing a helpful hand, but what we hate is when that hand’s graceful nudge transforms into a fist that beats us swollen until we throw up our arms, spit out the blood pooling in our toothless mouths, and quietly mumble, “No más.”  Telling us something twice should be enough.  Three times is pushing it.  If you tell us more than three times, then you better have early onset Alzheimer’s.  If not, you deserve to be ignored more than Mitt Romney ignores the working class ‘cause you’re violating a basic principle: THOU SHALL NOT NAG.  Now, before your neck starts working overtime, gimme a chance to explain.

Your home is not in imminent danger of a category seven biohazard just because there’s been a full bag of trash waiting at the door for two hours.  As surprising as it may be to you, the theory of spontaneous generation was disproved in the 19th century: no mutant roaches or rats will suddenly emerge from that Hefty bag to recreate the biome of the New York City subway system in your kitchen.  The shit can wait 30 minutes until AFTER I finish watching “Wild Things”…for the 33rd time. (I never get tired of Denise Richards in that movie.  Never.)

Still, at least there’s an identifiable reason for the nagging in that context.  There’s a task that needs to be accomplished, the gender gods have assigned said task to men (I’m not even going there now), and you, dear lady, are ensuring that the necessary occurs.  Got it.  But there’s a whole class of nagging that consists solely of behaviors firmly rooted in tomfuckery.

For example, what exactly do you think will be accomplished by calling me four times in rapid succession when I don’t pick up the first time?  Will I suddenly have a change of heart somewhere between calls three and four, throw Saccharin off my lap at Shakealot’s, leave my boys sitting in the VIP, and run outside to pick up your call?  Sorry to break it to you, babygirl, but the answer is no.  In fact, the more you keep callin’, the more I’m likely to ignore you.

See, unless a dude is seriously whipped, he has an innate aversion to feeling like a little punk ass bitch and will instinctively react to threats of this nature.  This reaction is known as Sudden Scrotal Enlargement Response.  And when you nag the holy hell out of us by calling incessantly, scrotal enlargement seriously kicks the fuck in.  Now, instead of coming right home at 1:30 AM, we’re staying out until 3 AM, drinking way more than we planned, and we MAY even sneak a little tongue onto a wayward nipple as it passes our face.  Yep.  The worst part of this is that it’s all your fault.

If you hadn’t been hammering away at his testicles all night, he probably wouldn’t have been getting them messaged in the Rozay Room, diverting good money away from your red bottom fund.  So, ladies, my question for you is a simple one.  Now that you know the true impact of your actions, will you become the dependable right hand that your man needs by his side, or will you continue allowing your nurturing instincts to overrun their boundaries, turning you into a cackling harpy in t?  Consider your answer carefully: your relationship and the fate of millions of balls hang in the balance.

Hit me up on Facebook and Twitter to continue the convo: facebook.com/scissorspeaks and @scissorspeaks.

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F*ck Girls’ Night Out: Part II

Were you listening to me, or were you looking at the woman in the red dress?

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Last time around, I wrote about the stresses of navigating the choppy seas and treacherous winds of the infamous Girls’ Night Out.  If you’ll recall, I made mention of the darkness that is the dreaded Circle of Death, a terrifying feminine fortress that has dashed more men’s hopes than Obama’s first term.  Oh, that circle may look harmless enough, but be ye not fooled.  These sirens‘ greatest joy is to toy with a man, leading him ever closer to their shores until, before he knows it, his ship is splintered on their estrogen encrusted rocks.

Even if you’ve got Travolta’s moves, look like that kid Eggs from Trueblood, and are a certified mack daddy, you might still get totally crossed out.  This leaves a lot of us handsome, skilled dancer types scratching our heads.  “I was polite.  I smiled.  I didn’t stare at her breasts (that much).  Why did she diss me?”

To fully grasp what’s going on here, you’ve got to understand the basic structure of female social group dynamics.  Surprise, surprise, they’re strikingly different from those of males.

Male social groups are organized pretty much like fighter squadrons.  They can execute coordinated attacks, but are completely willing and able to break apart as necessary to accomplish the current mission.  On the other hand, female social groups operate using a totally different configuration.  More often than not, they’re arranged like teams of escort fighters aligned with a single bomber.  Those escorts will fight tooth and nail to protect that bomber, and would rather crash and burn than lose it to the testicularly endowed enemy.

Each group member has a role to play in the sociosexual war, and though the lyrics change from crew to crew, the song remains the same.  Here’s a quick rundown of the usual cast of characters:

  1. Prom Queen –She’s fine and errrbody knows it (including her).  She’s been showered with male attention since junior high and getting hit on is as common for her as misspelled signs are at a Tea Party rally.
  2. Big Mama – Who run it?  Yep, you guessed it.  Big Mama is the matriarch of the group, and while she may not have absolute authority, her opinion is so influential that it’s de facto law.  Basically, she’s the U.S. and her crew is like the U.N.  They can do whatever they wanna do…but there will be consequences.
  3. Runner-Up – She’s kinda cute.  She’s got spunk.  Still, line her up next to Prom Queen and Big Mama, and she’s just not quite there.  Maybe it’s something really small, like her left eye is kinda sleepy.  Or perhaps it’s a glaring deficiency, like a chest so flat its freakin’ concave.  At the same time, she always manages to come up short in battles for leadership: Big Mama’s beak just keeps on pecking the bird shit out of her.
  4. Gotta Man – Who cares.  Kidding.  Her relationship status makes her a wildcard.  She could be your best friend, encouraging her girls to enjoy life to the fullest, living vicariously through them.  Or she could be a spiteful ass hater whose unhappy relationship causes her to view all men through shit colored spectacles.  Dicey.
  5. Ugly Betty – Yeah, so…the name pretty much says it all.  She may be a straight sweetheart, or an acid spewing bitch, but regardless of the multifaceted and richly textured personality within her, we know one thing for certain: babygirl is as ugly as the black unemployment rate.

Wherever she goes, Prom Queen is the center of attention.  When she’s around, heads turn, eyes widen, tongues wag.  The spotlight shines steadily on this scion of Venus and more than a little on anyone around her…which is why her friends are so fiercely protective.  She’s one bangin’ ass bomber and they’re her zealously protective escorts.

If some dude comes along and snatches her up, they’re afraid that they’ll have to kiss the attention leftovers goodbye and prepare for a long, cold winter.  That ain’t about to go down, at least not without a fight.

When a dude enters Prom Queen’s airspace, the escorts immediately fly into defensive formation.  Instead of clearing out to give you room, they remain half an arm’s length away, shooting mind bullets indiscriminately and hoping that the initial barrage alone is enough to dissuade you.  Assuming you bravely continue, they’ll move on to such battle-tested tactics as Intermittent Interruption, in which they make excuses to fuck up the flow of your conversation with crap that not even their nosy ass mother would care to hear.  “I think I found a new spin instructor.  Cortez is fabulous!”  What?!  The fuck outta here with that buuuhlshit!

Anyway, if all else fails, they bring out the big guns.  That’s when someone nonchalantly says, “It’s corny in here.  Let’s go.”  That person is usually Big Mama, and Runner-Up and Ugly Betty are almost always down to follow her nut-crunching lead.  At that point, you can only hope that you’ve fired enough well-placed shots to disrupt communications between Prom Queen and her escorts, enabling you to separate her from her crew and finish the job.  If not, you may as well say your prayers.  ‘Cause you’re gonna die.  When your plane crashes.  Metaphorically.

And that’s too bad.  I really wish women would understand that their pretty friend need not be their only path to attention from the opposite sex.

  • Big Mama, channel all that aggression toward the man at the bar who you’ve been eyeing all night.  Use those huge balls of yours for good, not evil!
  • Runner-Up, realize that to somebody in the room, you’re actually a Prom Queen.  Stop doubting and own your strength and beauty.
  • Gotta Man, let somebody else grab a little piece of happiness, even if you fucked yours all the way up the wrong end.  Be a cockbooster, not a cockblocker!
  • Ugly Betty, I’ll level with you.  Yours is not an angel’s face, but maybe you do have an angel’s heart.  Let it show.  Oh, and usually the ugly girls get like at least one freakishly dope body part, so accentuate the hell outta them breastesses and/or that derriere.  It won’t hurt.

Feel like I missed something?  Want the conversation to continue?  Drop a comment below, hit me up on Facebook, or follow @scissorspeaks on Twitter.

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Death to Chivalry: Notes from a Bearded Feminist

Death Knight

Maybe chivalry is actually UNdead?

Less than four decades after Roe vs. Wade, the thrust of the entire feminist movement is facing death by the most unlikely hands—liberated women.  I think a short history lesson is in order here, because I’m afraid that some of us may not remember how things went down.

Once upon a time, there were men and women, and the line between the two couldn’t be more distinct.  When a man liked a woman he pursued, wooed, and courted her.  Once she was his, the man’s romantic overtures could just as easily disappear as not, while the woman’s work as his de facto maidservant was just beginning. Her only comfort might be the fact that her husband was obligated to protect and sustain her and her children both physically and financially for life…at least in theory.  For generations these traditions were supported by Western society as a whole until, after a protracted struggle that began in the late 19th century and arguably reached its climax in 1973, women decided that enough was enough.

Sadly, less than four decades later, the very progeny of the women who stood up to men in defense of their rights are threatening to throw away the boon of that hard-fought war.  I’m talking about the fact that though most educated women will tell you that they’re strong, independent, and loving it, many continue to have the strangest affection for one of the most insidious tools of oppression ever created by man (and I do mean man)—chivalry.  You may call it being “old-fashioned”, or “traditional”, but it boils down to good old sexism, simple and plain.

At its core, chivalry is about the protection of property, and ladies that property is you.  Doors should be opened because you’re too weak to do it yourself.  Jackets should be draped over girly shoulders because you can’t brave the elements as well as we hardy menfolk can.  And men should always pay for dates because we need to proove that we have what it takes to support you once sign your life away to become our mother-whore.  (After all, when you pick up a stray at the pound, they make sure that you can feed and shelter the flea-bitten cur, don’t they?)  When viewed in the light of truth, how can any sane woman support chivalry’s existence?

The problem is that so few people have the stomach for truth.  (See my earlier note, “The Policy of Truth,” for more on that topic.) It’s much easier to think of chivalry as a set of quaint customs that demonstrate devotion and honor than as enablers of sexual discrimination and objectification. After all, it feels damn good to have someone treat you like royalty. If you can grab a free meal twice a week with absolutely minimal effort, then why not do it? If you can take a trip to some exotic destination on someone else’s dime, why not? I’ll tell you why not: there’s no such thing as a free lunch.

Chivalry breeds resentment like you wouldn’t believe in the un-fair sex. The man that consistently drops his credit card for you will be looking for you to drop something of yours in return, and if it doesn’t happen, you’ll be labeled a gold digger. Actually, even if you do make like Beyoncé and let him get you bodied, he’ll probably still label you a gold digger. Now, maybe you’re thinking, “I don’t give a damn. It’s only fair that in exchange for my valuable time, I get something in return.” For any whores reading this, please persist in that thinking. It’s a completely appropriate mindframe for you. Unfortunately for the rest of you ladies, that philosophy only serves to reinforce the mistrust that many men hold for women but tend to keep to themselves…or use to inspire platinum-selling albums.

It’s time for strong and enlightened 21st century women to take their rightful place as the torchbearers for sexual equality. Chivalry was a necessity in the past because it served to bring a modicum of humanity to female-male relationships. Now that most Western women are in control of their own lives, it’s time to move forward. With that said, please don’t misunderstand me: men (particularly white ones) still have a tight grip on the reigns of power. If we don’t abandon the last vestiges of the old broken, oppressive sexual system though, this will never change.

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