liveonearth: (Default)
I read this morning about a doctor who went mad and shot people in a hospital. As a doctor myself, I know that docs have terrible stresses trying to deal with a corrupt medical-industrial system that impairs our ability to help people regain their health. Then I went to look at the NY times article, here: He's richly melanated, that is to say, he has lived a life of fear because of his skin color. I infer from his violence that he may have been guilty of the accusation--sexual misconduct. He was a man, and he was angry enough to shoot others and hopeless enough to set himself on fire and shoot himself. He did not see any way out. He knew he would not receive compassion.

What people forget when they demonize any group of humans is that they are human. Dark skinned people. Doctors. Men. Gun owners. Murderers. Whatever group. All humans share the same basic needs. When those needs are not met, we have the same basic emotions. Driven hard enough, any of us could become dangerous. Hitler had reasons. The Arabs that flew airplanes into buildings had reasons. No one is pure evil, we are simply human and if tortured we can lash out, or become cunning.

My hope that that everyone who reads this will take a deep breath or three and think about the kind of pain that drives a person to such horrors. My hope is that compassion will rise in spite of the poisonous atmosphere of shame and blame that dominates our political world. We all deserve an opportunity to be free from fear, long enough to find our centers and our hearts and reach out into the world from that place. It will take a lot of us finding compassion to heal these wounds.
liveonearth: (Old man)
One of the best things about my sweetie is that he is at least 73% grown up.  He's 62 years of age, and he's neither an early or later bloomer, he's just a man.  I credit his wives and life with educating him, and him with making the effort to become a decent human being.  It doesn't happen to everyone.  The mankind project helped.  He really is kind, generous, and thoughtful.  He is a very hard worker.  His word is better than his memory.  He's trying.

Unfortunately, he still leaves dirty dishes in the sink.  I've been working on him to realize that this is important to me but he persists in thinking that I am unreasonable in asking him to do it differently.  When we have partners that we care about, it is wise to concern ourselves with their desires, even if they seem irrational.  Doing what we want to do for them is different from doing what they want us to do for them, or just in general.

So I just ran across this article by a man who confesses up front that he was a terrible husband.  He's so awash in authenticity and willingness to work on himself that I'd be surprised if his ex-wife doesn't want him back.  If she doesn't, someone else will.  Guys who are sincere and have integrity rule.

Here's the guy's blog.  It's awesome.

And the article about leaving things in the sink:
liveonearth: (moon)
Check out the photo of this convicted rapist who did it again and got convicted again.
Handsome, eh?

What does it tell you?
What it tells me )
liveonearth: (moon)
Over the Edge: Death in the Grand Canyon
by Tom Myers and Michael Ghiglieri

This book logs all the mistakes you can make at the Grand Canyon.  There's an interview with the authors here.  There have been some changes since the first edition.  There are more environmental deaths, climbing deaths down in the canyon, and suicides than when the book was written. There are fewer deaths overall and fewer falls from the top of the canyon. Perhaps the park has improved safety and access to cliff tops to cause this change.

Q: What are common risk factors for death at the Canyon?

A: "Men, we have a problem," Ghiglieri said to an audience at NAU's Cline Library this winter, displaying a graphic with a skull and crossbones.

Being male, and young, is a tremendous risk factor, he and Myers found.

Of 55 who have accidentally fallen from the rim of the canyon, 39 were male. Eight of those guys were hopping from one rock to another or posing for pictures, including a 38-year-old father from Texas pretending to fall to scare his daughter, who then really did fall 400 feet to his death.

So is taking unknown shortcuts, which sometimes lead to cliffs.

Going solo is a risk factor in deaths from falls, climbing (anticipated or unplanned) and hiking.

Arrogance, impatience or ignorance also sometimes play a part.

liveonearth: (moon)
I'm happy to read that California colleges are adopting this new standard which says that in order to not be rape, sexual interaction may occur when both partners are conscious and actively consenting. I hope that this new standard is widely adopted and eventually becomes law for the nation, not just a few colleges.

My partner points out that it does not remove the possibility of a "he said she said" standoff in court, and this is true. It requires education, so that everyone knows that it is the standard, and support such that all persons feel empowered to say "no" when they want to.

What this standard does, in my mind at least, is raise the bar ever so slightly for aggressors seeking sex. It removes the defense "She didn't say no" from play. I have been appalled to see that a raped woman cannot get justice unless she gets hurt. If she is not injured, and does not have ejaculate on her, then the court could find "no evidence" that she was raped. Requiring that a woman be injured or that there be witnesses who heard her screaming "no" before you believe that she was raped is a terrible baseline, but in practicality it plays out this way. This is why even in our supposedly open culture most raped women do not seek legal recourse. It's not worth it.

I would like to believe that a good lawyer or judge can elicit signs of the truth from a person even when they are trying to hide it. I would like to think that attentive jurors will instinctively know when someone is lying. Perhaps I am too idealistic about our court system, and it malfunctions more than it functions.

There's nothing direct or simple about the way sexuality plays out in our culture and legal system. Messy is more the word for it. Within a relationship that has been sexual in the past, men do take advantage, and women do submit in order to not be hurt. That submission is not consent. For young men who have no partner, the situation is worse. I have read that many young American men today are angry at women because they cannot get the sex they want. One such young man took up a gun to express his anger. Intense desire is normal, but such anger is dangerous. Modern youth partake of online porn that gives them an unrealistic view of sex and does not educate them on the delicacies of dating or seduction. It is an unhealthy situation, and this standard does nothing to resolve it. Who is going to teach the young people how to talk to each other, to be respectful, and to flirt gracefully? I do not know. I only know that the social structures that used to educate us about proper mating behavior have fallen apart, and nothing has taken their place.

At least here raped women are not stoned to death, though I can comprehend how this would be better for the males in a patriarchal system. She can't complain if she's dead. At least in colleges in California, "yes means yes" is an excellent new dividing line between consent and submission or worse.
liveonearth: (trek jive)
American men have a variety of handicaps, not the least of which is that ruggedly independent badass image they try so hard to live up to. But it does them a disservice when it prevents them from really being close to others. There's no guarantee that they'll have or develop the ability to really connect deep down .... so it's something to celebrate when it happens. It turns out that age 80 is not too late to develop emotional intelligence. =-]

liveonearth: (Default)
They spend all day in their dripping wet rainforest camp. The men stay in their tents and their sleeping bags as if they existonly only to live in them. The women do what the men are always too tired or too uninterested or too caught up in a conversation about sport or politics to be bothered doing. They work. They peel vegetables. They collect firewood. They fetch water from the river up the steep and awkward bank to the campsite. They wash dishes. They help the guides organise the camp, unpacking and packing barrels. Repairing equipment. The men reserve their energies for some future conjectural at of courage. The women's courage is of a type that endures this day of rain. Meanwhile the men get depressed. The men feel some embarrassment that women are on the same trip and doing things that really only men ought be doing. The guides prefer it. Nothing, for a river guide, is worse than an all-male trip. They are boring and lazy and inclined to foolhardiness. They are considerable work to look after. They are generally not in the same class for company. Aljaz likes sitting down with the women around the fire....
--Richard Flanagan
another quote, p224: )
liveonearth: (Default)

I've been hearing a lot about circumcision lately. This morning I hear that the CDC has determined that circumcision reduces a man's chance of contracting HIV by 60%! This is news to me. I even have it in me to doubt it, having not heard it until just now after so much previous noise about the question. I suspect the mechanism of resistance to the virus has to do with the thickening of the skin on the glans when it is exposed all the time, as versus the thin-ness of such skin, more like a mucous membrane, when it is permanently covered. One kind in Africa has issued an edict that all men must be circumcised, and young Zulu men are getting cut as a rite of manhood. Cultural change is in progress in Africa.

Anyway, other mentions include a pack of people in San Francisco who tried to get a law passed BANNING circumcision as male genital mutilation. They didn't get very far, but they did get a lot of attention. And also, in pediatrics class I heard that here on the West Coast 60% of new baby boys are NOT being circumcised, and that number is increasing. The pediatrician's perspective is that we will have a generation of men for whom either circ or non-circ is accepttable, and then the next generation will probably be almost entirely noncircumcised. Cultural change is in progress in America, but in the opposite direction from Africa...
liveonearth: (Default)'s+AndroGel
It's supposedly for hypogonadal adult males but we shall see who gets scripts.
liveonearth: (sexy tits)

Women don't want the carved guy walking down the beach. But they want everything else. Many thanks to [ profile] hausfrauatu for pointing out THIS NY times story about sex research. It centers around researcher Meredith Chivers and her findings. Her study involved monitoring people's arousal while viewing video of various sex acts. Arousal was measured subjectively (self report) and objectively (genital physiology). Then the people's real and reported arousal levels were correlated, along with their reported sexual prefences. The findings were...well....INCREDIBLE. Yet credible. My head is reeling with the implications. Makes me want to go into sexual health...
text from which I will make my usual notes )
liveonearth: (Default)
Scientists are experimenting with the use of ultrasound to the testicles. They say here on the BBC that it can stop sperm production for six months. The Gates Foundation is supporting the research.
liveonearth: (Default)
National Organization for Men Against Sexism

article by Jack Straton: What is Fair for Children of Abusive Men?

and on the Prevalence of Rape in the US


liveonearth: (Default)

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