I’ve mentioned (in comments on other sites) that whilst feminism (which aims for equality between the sexes) is a worthwhile movement, there are elements to it that are harmful to the overall movement, such as radical feminism.

I found a post the other day, on a site called Radical Witch, that for me highlights some of the more extreme lines of reasoning, even within radical feminism itself. The site’s author has written a post called ‘There is no Rape Culture, only Men‘, which takes the step of implying all men are rapists, or will be rapists.

Naturally, as a man, I can’t say I was too pleased to see such a post.

To quote:

This is wrong. Males rape. Males are violent toward women and girls. They do this because they are males and not because of cultural norms or cultural expectations. Males sometimes like having these excuses so they can blame women, especially mothers and single mothers, in particular. But, more often than not, they issue denials of the existence of rape culture, which usually centers on a denial of the mass epidemic of rape that exists the world over. Of course, the truth is that rape is as ubiquitous as air. It’s everywhere. It’s what men do. But, it is not “culture.”

There is a lot of blanket blame being placed here. Yes, some men are indeed rapists and some men commit acts of violence toward women. These men are frankly, disgusting and should be loudly condemned, without reservation. However (and I am reluctant to fall into the trap of using this phrase regularly), not all men are violent. It is an ugly stereotype to suggest we are.

Male denials of rape culture, centering on a denial of the everyday normalcy of rape, are a psyop (psychological operation, a propaganda tactic used against an enemy in war). When they claim that 1 in 3 or 1 in 5 women are raped, this is a psyop. We know that nearly 100% of women are sexually assaulted and most are raped by a man, at least, once in their lifetimes. Many of us have been raped multiple times by multiple males – yet, there are no statistics to reflect that. Their statistics, also, do not reflect the victims of institutionalized rape in the form of prostitution, medical rape, and sex-on-demand, which is a norm in marriage and male/female cohabitation – these victims are entirely ignored. Nor could any statistic reflect the horror, the damage to our bodies, our spirits, and our psyches, or the overall damage to society, as a whole, which is full to the brim with traumatized girls and women, in many cases, unable to function at their maximum because of the onslaught of male violence and the threats thereof – the stalking, the perpetual harassment, the endless terror of it all.

I’m not sure where to start here. Whilst statistics can certainly be manipulated, she is redefining rape to suit her agenda. I would never force my wife into having sex with me – I want her to enjoy the experience, not feel coerced or manipulated into it.

It seems she wants to characterise rape as any set of circumstances where the man is persuasive. If a man seduces a woman, is that somehow rape? (and on the flipside, if a man says no, and the woman convinces him to change his mind, is that sexual assault?)

We know it is a psyop because we know our own experiences and the experiences of our mothers, our grandmothers, our sisters, our aunts, and our friends. I don’t know any women who have not been raped – and not only raped because rape doesn’t take place in a vacuum – there is other violence, as well – strangling, being held at gunpoint (loaded policeman’s service revolver in my face), being held against our will, injuries to our internal organs, being battered and bruised – these are the experiences we know and so male lies don’t phase us much – we know these are males, again, doing what males do to women and girls and lying about it.

At this point, I can only offer the conjecture that she has been the victim of violent assaults – obviously I don’t know that with any degree of certainty, and if she has assaulted, then that is clearly very sad and should not have happened – and now she is projecting her experiences upon all men and women.

Denials of the existence of rape culture come from males on both the left and the right. But there is a grain of truth in these denials – men know the truth: There is no rape culture, as such. There is only men and their inherently violent, sexually perverse, brain-damaged, testosterone-poisoned selves. Rape culture is men being men, it is “boys being boys.” I don’t say this to dismiss this problem. On the contrary, confronting the fact that the male human is inherently,  innately violent, especially directing his violence at the creator class – women and girls – is the only way to get at the foundation of the problem of male violence and root it out – or, at least, greatly reduce it.

I reject the notion that men are ‘inherently violent’. The language used here is colourful but certainly not descriptive. Is it true that we as men are more inclined to commit violent acts than women are? I don’t know. I know that we do commit more acts of violence, but is this because of genetics? Or is it down to cultural factors? I do know that Radical Witch is vastly overstating this issue.

From a little bit later on:

Therefore, I ask you to envision a world in which the number of male children born is very, very small. Imagine a world in which men die – mostly of natural causes – without male off-spring. What would that world look like? Would we need many laws? Would we need prisons anymore? Would we still have to look over our shoulders constantly? What would it feel like if we did not have to fear waking up to a man on top of us in our beds while we sleep? What would the social order look like? What would be regarded as normal or abnormal?  What would women be doing differently?

I urge you to think about these things and, if you are inclined, write a fictional story about it. Post it online for everyone to read for free or sell it.

Fiction and non-fiction are both very powerful. We cannot change males, but we can change ourselves, how we view males, and how we deal with them. We already know that they cannot be educated out of raping or in any other way socialized out of abusing women and girls. This leads us to one solution. Write about how we are going to get there. Or write about life when we are already there.

Putting this idea out into the mental realm (metaphysically, an energetic field of ideas that can be transmitted from mind to mind)  will help make it happen.

I don’t like the implication here. Is she wishing that effectively 50% of the human population dies off? Why does she think that we wouldn’t need as many laws, or that we could do away with prisons? Even worse, what does she mean with that last sentence?

I decided to get a woman’s perspective on this (since, as a man, much of this article made my blood boil, and I wasn’t at all sure I could be objective about it), so I contacted Carla from the Melodramatic Confessions site that recently hosted a post of mine. Here is what she had to say:

I don’t agree with this article at all. I think the statistics are wrong and flawed, and the mindset is dangerous. I know plenty of women who’ve suffered violence of all kinds at the hands of men. However, not every woman I know has been unfortunate enough to experience it. 
I do believe rape culture exists – and here’s why. I think she’s wrong when she says it’s used as an excuse. I don’t see rape culture as an “excuse”. I see it as an explanation as to why statements like “boys will be boys” and “she was asking for it” are used. I see it as a phrase that describes our society – one that seems to dismiss rape victims, often without realising it. People are often told they are “lucky” after they’ve been raped, because it wasn’t a stranger or their injuries aren’t that bad. Men are constantly dismissed, to the point where male rape in movies and TV shows is seen as a laughing matter. To me, that’s rape culture.
I think the rest is incredibly man-hating and demeaning. Yes, we would still have crime. Yes, we would still have rape, murders, domestic violence, everything. Removing men is not the problem; but her mindset is. I find this article despicable. She is not what I would label a feminist, not even close. She’s no different from MRAs spouting hate – that’s all she’s doing. 
I don’t know what the likelihood is that Radical Witch will see this post. She does not allow comments on her posts and there is no email address via which to contact her. I can only hope that maybe, just maybe, this post appears on her feed, or she searches and somehow finds it. If she does, then I wish to add that she is free to comment on anything I have to say, as is anyone.

Time for the next team profile, and this time I’m looking at the hosts, France.

It’s been 18 years since France hosted (and won) the 1998 World Cup, and 16 years since they triumphed at Euro 2000. Since then, they have been decidedly up and down with their tournament form. In 2002 they crashed out of the World Cup at the group stage, something they would repeat in 2010, but in-between they would reach the 2006 World Cup final, and they were quarter-finalists in Brazil in 2014.

The last time the French hosted the Euros (in 1984) they won it, whilst since their last success they have been quarter-finalists in 2004, out at the group stage in 2008 and out in the quarter finals again in 2012. All of this adds up to France being hard to predict.

Key Players

Much has been made of Juventus star Paul Pogba, who has become a highly rated and sought after midfielder. He is skillful and capable of scoring goals, whilst alongside him could be West Ham’s Dimitri Payet, who has been a revelation this season (as well as something of a dead ball specialist). Patrice Evra (also of Juventus) is an experienced defender whilst Karim Benzema is an accomplished goal scorer for Real Madrid. Joining him upfront could be Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud, though Manchester United youngster Anthony Martial has been quite good this season and might get an opportunity.

It would be fair to say that this French side doesn’t stand out in the way previous teams have. They once had the likes of Thierry Henry, Patrick Vieira, Marcel Desailly, Lilian Thuram and of course Zinedine Zidane in their ranks (to name but a few). I can’t help but think this French side is still developing, and therefore winning the tournament may be a step beyond them. They will be in the latter stages, but they won’t win it.

After what feels like a long, drawn out past few weeks, where Leicester City have sat on the edge of unprecedented glory, the Premier League title finally ended up at the King Power Stadium, following a bad-tempered 2-2 draw between Chelsea and Spurs at Stamford Bridge.

Riyad-Mahrez-Jamie-Vardy(Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy have been instrumental in Leicester’s title success)

No one expected this of the Foxes. After a narrow escape from relegation last season, Leicester appointed Claudio Ranieri to try and ensure they would survive in the Premier League a little longer, but the bookies believed he would be the first manager to be sacked. The odds of Leicester City winning the title? 5000 to 1. So, to win the title in those circumstances is beyond any words I can find to describe.

Their squad cost a fraction of the teams around them, yet for all their star players, Chelsea, Manchester City, Arsenal, Tottenham, Manchester United and Liverpool all lacked the cohesion and spirit that Leicester have had in droves. Watching the celebrations among the Leicester players, it was clear this was a triumph of hard work and togetherness, on a level not seen in other squads.

Every week, they were expected to drop points. The so-called experts predicted they’d start to fall away as the season wore on. Every week, they defied expectations to keep on winning, and the occasional setback did nothing except provide a platform for them to bounce off.

Ranieri, often doubted, showed he could switch things around tactically, with Leicester winning matches via pacey, blitzkrieg football, via battling back when behind, and grinding out results. Different sides to their game – and their ability to win even when key players weren’t firing on all cylinders – underpinned their understanding as a team.

Leicester offer Hope

In an era where football is dominated by big money and big egos, the sight of Leicester marching on quickly caught the imagination of the public. It’s all too easy to be cynical about life in general (let alone football), so the Foxes were a breath of fresh air. From their likeable and charming manager, to the stature of the club, their turnaround from last season and even the stories of their players, Leicester have been remarkable.

In the end, every neutral was rooting for them, whilst even fans of other clubs fighting for the title won’t begrudge what Leicester have achieved. It sends a message to other players and clubs that the so-called ‘elite’ is not invincible, and that money cannot guarantee success. It emphasises the value of hard work and teamwork, something football needed to see.

What happens next?

To be honest, this question can wait. It will pop up in the coming days and weeks, but for this moment Leicester and their fans should enjoy this. They are champions, and no one can ever take that away from them.

Not for the first time, my mind has proven itself to be a thoroughly frightening place, even for me. In my dream last night it was implied I was running from these…

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… And having sought refuge in an abandoned farm building (with a lion for company), I was then abducted by these:

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So, in one dream I managed to be chased by zombies and taken by aliens. I didn’t mind the abduction either!

I’ve been poking around the subject of feminism, radical feminism and misogyny lately, and in the course of my travels stumbled upon an interesting article by one Carla Louise, who has extended an invitation to men to describe how the patriarchy hurts men as well as women.

I’ve decided to take up this invitation, though between feeling exhausting from several sleepless nights courtesy of my daughter and the beer I’ve just had, now may not be the best time to be writing an in-depth, serious post. Nevertheless, I shall try.

The first question to answer is – does the patriarchy indeed hurt men? To begin to answer that question, we must first define patriarchy, which according to the Merriam Webster dictionary is a ‘social organization marked by the supremacy of the father in the clan or family, the legal dependence of wives and children, and the reckoning of descent and inheritance in the male line; broadly :  control by men of a disproportionately large share of power.’

Is this bad for men? Well, it certainly assists in creating stereotypes that men are expected to live by.

If the man is the head of the household, then it falls to the man to be the breadwinner – to go out to work every day, working whatever hours are required of them and to be strong in the face of anything and everything. A leader is after all, impervious to pain, to stress or anxiety – they can weather any storm, without requiring help from anyone. A man is to be ‘manly’ (which is usually explained with examples of barrel and bear-chested muscle-bound men, who can grow a beard just by thinking about it, whilst chugging ten pints of beer and sweeping every women they meet off their feet). A man is to show no emotion, for emotion is weakness.

As a man who cannot grow a beard, who is far from muscular, and certainly not someone who can charm every woman off their feet (which presumes I would even want to, but I’ll be coming back to that particular point in a moment), I feel I am meant to feel inadequate about myself (I don’t, but society wants me to feel that way) if I am not living to the standards of ‘manliness’ and the patriarchy.

Coming back to the ‘charming women’ point, not only does this expose a double standard (why is it a man who sleeps around is almost revered, yet a woman condemned as a slut?), but what happened to the idea of loyalty? Of love? When I married my wife, it wasn’t a one-way commitment – yes, she said her vows, but I said mine as well. I declared before witnesses, on holy ground, that I would love and honour my wife, and I do not expect her to obey me – I only want for her to love me. At the risk of getting overly personal, my deepest, most passionate fantasies involve… my wife! There is nothing wrong with that, yet it isn’t ‘cool’ in the eyes of misogynistic men who believe women are property and should be treated as such.

It’s almost as though the elements of society that support a patriarchal/misogynistic approach to the world are afraid of strong, confident women. Why on earth should we as men be afraid of women as equal partners? What difference does it make to us as men if women earn the same, or if we stay home to look after the kids?

Men are indirectly taught to be afraid of this because we are taught to be the strong sturdy type. Without that, we would apparently have no identity. I for one disagree. My daughter deserves the same opportunities as any man, and I do not want to be labelled, simply because I am a man. I don’t see why I should have to conform to anyone’s expectations of me other than my own, and I will not dance to anyone else’s tune.

wpid-1280px-circuit_yas-island.svg_.pngWell, having begun this particular journey back in 2014, earlier today the three-season career that F1 2009 gives you came to an end.

The race was a satisfying conclusion to the adventure of running a full career mode with full-length races, with a pole that was won quite easily and a race that could not have gone better. I lost out ever so briefly at the start to Mark Webber, but got by him on the second lap and never looked back. In the end, I was able to drive a smooth, composed race, often lapping four seconds or so a lap faster than everyone else.

In truth, it was a boring race for me. I cruised it, deciding to push for faster and faster laps every now and then, but by and large simply seeking to get through the race and lap slower cars without hitting them. It was by and large a trouble-free experience, right up until the end of lap 55, when I claimed my 32 win in in 51 races, with 39 pole positions. I’m pretty pleased, and pleased to have completed this ride! So, what’s the next challenge?

For the third straight year a Mercedes driver triumphed at the Russian Grand Prix in Sochi – would Lewis Hamilton make it a third straight win at the venue, or would Nico Rosberg break his duck?

F1 Grand Prix of Russia(Rosberg makes a clean getaway)

Qualifying looked to be a close and private battle between the two Mercedes drivers – no one was getting near them and the pair were trading fastest laps, setting the scene for a fascinating Q3 and also a good race – until disaster struck for Hamilton when a component on his engine – the same part that failed in qualifying for China – gave up, leaving Hamilton to start from 10th. Rosberg was untroubled in taking pole.

Another potential rival, Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel, qualified in second, but would start from seventh, having been given a five-place grid penalty for a gearbox change. This promoted the Williams of Valtteri Bottas to second, and the second Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen to third.

Rosberg had a good start, proving to be untroubled and making it around the fast turn 1 without any problems. He also got around turn 2 without any bother, but the same could not be said for everyone.

F1 Grand Prix of Russia(A chaotic first lap saw the Manor of Haryanto and the Force India of Hulkenberg retire, but that wasn’t the only incident)

Having not seen it, I can’t pass judgement on who is to blame (if indeed anyone is to blame), but a collision between several cars toward the back of the pack put the Manor of Haryanto out, along with the Force India of Hulkenberg. They were not the only casualties…

Russia F1 GP Auto Racing(Kvyat tagged Vettel not once but twice on the opening lap to put the German out)

Vettel would turn the airwaves blue as he registered his disgust at the accident, which (unlike their clash in China) is very much Kvyat’s fault – and he took a ten-second stop go penalty for it.

The early melee (and safety car that followed) saw Hamilton jump to fifth, and whilst he spent a bit of time stuck behind the Williams of Bottas, he was able to dispatch the Finn following the pit stops, and would get up to second before too long – but not before Rosberg had etched out a comfortable gap of around 12 seconds.

Slowly but surely Hamilton would reel Rosberg in, but a water pressure problem meant he had to back off to protect his engine – and in truth, Rosberg was probably holding something back, just in case.

Further back, Williams might feel a touch disappointed not to land a podium, with Ferrari having too much pace for them – Raikkonen had a comfortable third. Max Verstappen might have been on for a points finish, until his car gave up.

There were some absorbing scraps throughout the field. Both Ricciardo and Kvyat tried to battle their way through the field and McLaren managed to score a double points finish – the best being Fernando Alonso, who claimed sixth. Perhaps the best result though, belongs to Kevin Magnussen, who scored Renault’s first points of the season with a highly credible seventh. Romain Grosjean picked up more points for Haas, whilst Red Bull failed to score any points whatsoever – a poor afternoon for them.

In the end though, the day belongs to Rosberg. Four wins out of four (and seven consecutive wins now) moves him 43 points clear at the top of the standings. Is there any stopping him?

RUSROS

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