From harelb Fri Apr 14 23:35:24 -0500 2000
From: Harel Barzilai
To: schissel@lightlink.com
Subject: Thoughts

You know the saying "the fastest way
to a man's heart is through his stomach?" Well..

"What's the fastest way to a woman's heart?

With a knife right through the rib-cage"

-Joke from Garrison K's Prairie Home Companion
Annual Joke show.

What? You don't think that's hysterically
funny? Maybe that's because I changed the
joke a bit: it was told about men, not
about women.

There were a half dozen jokes each about men and woman
but the 2-3 most violent ones were, all of them, about
men. Of course in our culture kicking men in the balls
is quite often an examples of what is supposed to be
"funny".

Rich and others have asked: sure female
circumcision is horrible. Why dont'
activist talk about and work against
the traumatizing, barbaric, and often
without anesthesia male  circumcision?

(2) Would we consider someone progressive, would this
person have our "vote" either literally or
ideologically, if they said they were working for
struggle for racial justice and wrote a piece ending
with a quip about sending all white people to Mars, so
that people of color can stay on _this_ planet and "run
it"?  Would Z magazine consider this an article with an
ending they would enjoy publishing?

Replace black/white with women/men and that
is the ending of Sargent's latest piece in Z.

the ultra-thin disguise is "I'm surprised others don't
suggest X" replaces "why don't we do X?" but you can
see through Sargent's thin disguise given that there is
nothing about "sending" women off of Earth to head for Venus...

(3) How blind can we be that we talk about men spending
very little time with their babies/children as unfair
to, and oppressive of women (which it is), but are so
blind to the fact that a society and culture which
makes for men who spend very little time with their
babies/children is unfair to, and oppressive of men
too?

That is one of the very top joys of being a human
being, no less, bonding with your children!

(4) How blind is society that we can see that men being
make by our culture to not be in touch with the
emotional side of sex and mostly the physical, is
unfair to, oppressive of, their female partners, but
that having the culture bring up men who see only the
physical side and are cut-off from their own emotions
and the incredible, incredible joy and pleasure and
deep meaningfulness of the emotional sides of sex,
somehow we fail to see that as unfair to, and
oppressive of men.

I feel quite "un-male" in this regard, and feel
incredibly sorry for many of my fellow males who
see, feel, and/or experience sex entirely (or mostly)
k in its physical dimension.

We are still stuck in this "zero sum game" mentality on
the Left that sees gender justice as a women versus men
or else which fails to see that it is not zero sum, and
thus comes to the crazy idea that 'oppression of men'
is meaningless because saying that would deny the
existence of oppression of women (a paraphrase of
something told to me). Of couse it's hard enough to
enjoy sex at all in a culture that is so filled with
rape, other violence, individualistic alienation from
one another, stress, etc, but that's a whole bag of
additional issues..

(5) What about "women and children first"?
Sexist against women in a patronizing way?
Yes, it is. What about "in event of saving
lives, men can go to the back of the line" that is
implicit here however? What does 
"but they [a horrible country/enemy]
are killing women and children, too!" tell
us about how much value is put on
men's lives?

(6) There was an article in The Nation in the 90's on
homelessness and how homeless men are discriminated
against and told to go to the back of the bus..or
freeze to death outside...not that plenty of women
and children aren't, but single homelss men are even
lower on the totem pole (rather htan equally low)
than the women and children.

(7) How blind can we be to systemic/institutional
oppression of men when we ask what percent of "cannon
fodder" in the military are male versus what percent
are women?  What percent of people who are in prison?
What percent of people in prison whoa re raped in
prison?

One can reply by quoting (valid) points about
"what percent of rapes in the greater society are
against woman?" (answer: most of them) and so forth,
but if we try to us this to "replace" the
points bout the oppression of men rather than
add to them, then we on the Left are playing a game
no different than the mainstream/right 
tactic of responding to listings of U.S.
international violence by recounting
(accurately or inaccurately) claims about
USSR international violence...and being just
as morally bankrupt in doing so.

It's the year 2000 and we're still
stuck in zero-sum-game mentality.

(8)I've mentioned before how blind one must be not to
see that "boys don't cry" is horrible oppression
cutting off a human being from one of the things which
most makes them human, their emotions. In fact studies
showed male babies not only cried as much as, but more
than female babies.  Then culture comes along and runs
a bulldozer over the fragile house of that young male
human beings emotional structures.

-HB

* If you think it's a zero-sum game, or that analysis of
* how society and culture are oppressive
* of men must mean ignoring or
* diminishing the existence of oppression of women, think
* again. 
* 
* Is "boys don't cry!" any less oppressive than "girls
* who like/want sex are dirty"? 
* 
* Does the gender of most
* secretaries tell us something about sexism? Yes.
* 
* Does the race of most
* janitors tell something about racism? Yes.
* 
* Have a look at the military, or
* at our prison-industrial complex, for starters. 
*
* http://harelbarzilai.org/sex.html
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