Thursday, January 31, 2008

Androphiles of the world unite!

I try to use the word "androphile" whenever appropriate, in place of "straight women and gay men." It's more efficient, and includes bisexuals too. Unfortunately since I'm one of the few people who uses the term, it isn't that efficient after all, since I always have to explain what it means. Even to presumably well-educated, cultured people. I would have thought the meaning was obvious.

An androphile is someone who is sexually attracted to men. A gynophile is someone who is attracted to women.

The world is a more hospitable place for gynophiles, after centuries of patriarchy, especially modern, homophobic patriarchy. The ancient Greeks were totally patriarchal, but they certainly were not homophobic.

In fact, the Greeks had boy beauty contests and a popular theme of Greek vases was a painting of a nude or semi-nude young man with the inscription "Kalos" on the vase, usually along with the boy's name, which meant "[boy's name] is beautiful."

But patriarchy AND homophobia are a deadly combination for androphiles. Thanks to homophobia, gay men are constrained from expressing their admiration for the erotic charms of men, and thanks to patriarchy, women are only permitted to be the objects of desire, not the desiring subject. Evolutionary psychologists even try to claim that women are not "visually oriented" - in typical evolutionary psychology fashion they turn the causal arrows around: it isn't that the Patriarchy is hostile to female desire it's that females aren't interested in male beauty.

This "women are not visually oriented" meme is so strong that it trumps even homophobia. Images of sexually attractive men are almost always designated "homoerotic" and even usually hipper Sue Johanson pushes the concept.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Friday, January 25, 2008

In yo face, "natural family planning" advocates!

LONDON (AP) -- Women on the birth control pill are protected from ovarian cancer, even decades after they stop taking it, scientists said.

British researchers found that women taking the pill for 15 years halved their chances of developing ovarian cancer, and that the risk remained low more than 30 years later, though protection weakened over time. The findings were published Friday in The Lancet.

''Not only does the pill prevent pregnancy, but in the long term, you actually get less cancer as well,'' said Valerie Beral, the study's lead author and director of the Cancer Research UK Epidemiology Unit at Oxford University. ''It's a nice bonus.'' The study was paid for by Cancer Research UK and Britain's Medical Research Council.


More at the NYTimes

One of the things the Catholic anti-abortion protestors used to harp about, back when I did clinic defense, was the dangers of "artificial" birth control.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Once again Bob Herbert misses the point

Herbert's column "Politics and Misogyny" misses the point because of his obsession with prostitution. This time it's the unpleasant working conditions of prostitutes in Nevada.
It just so happens that the Democratic presidential candidates are campaigning this week in the misogyny capital of America: Nevada. It’s a perfect place to bring up the way women are viewed and treated in this society, but don’t hold your breath. Presidential wannabes are hardly in the habit of insulting the locals.

Prostitution is legal in much of Nevada and heavily promoted even where it’s not. In Las Vegas, where prostitution is illegal but flourishes nevertheless, Mayor Oscar Goodman has said that creating a series of legal, “magnificent” brothels would be a great development tool for his city.

The fundamental problem in all of this is that women and girls are dehumanized, opening the floodgates to every kind of mistreatment. “Once you dehumanize somebody, everything else is possible,” said Taina Bien-Aimé, executive director of the women’s advocacy group Equality Now.

A grotesque exercise in the dehumanization of women is carried out routinely at Sheri’s Ranch, a legal brothel about an hour’s ride outside of Vegas. There the women have to respond like Pavlov’s dog to an electronic bell that might ring at any hour of the day or night. At the sound of the bell, the prostitutes have five minutes to get to an assembly area where they line up, virtually naked, and submit to a humiliating inspection by any prospective customer who has happened to drop by.

What does Bob Herbert think of Hooters, I wonder. I don't like Hooters myself, especially after seeing its Employees Handbook at The Smoking Gun. But I sure as hell wouldn't compare the misogyny of a Hooters with women being raped and murdered, the way Herbert compares - really conflates - rape and murder with prostitution and pornography.

And here's a question that the anti-legal-prostitution people always REFUSE to answer: if going to a prostitute is a man's expression of misogyny, what does it mean when a man goes to a male prostitute? Misandrony? Self-hate?

Or do they just want to have sex and can't find a willing volunteer?

Sunday, January 13, 2008

I love me some Carl Forsman

He is saying exactly what I've been saying for years. People like Forsman are the true radicals in a theatre culture of mindless zombie Mamet imitators and admirers who insist that theatre must be brutal, violent and cruel.
And for him beauty is more than just pleasantry. "I've thought for a while now that maybe true theatrical rebellion isn't saying, 'And then a guy raped a 4-year-old and shot his mom,'" he said. "That’s not radical anymore because we're so desensitized. Now I think true rebellion is saying anything optimistic or positive about humanity. Hope is radical."

Mr. Forsman said his attitude has been met with skepticism. "I was at a fund-raising cocktail party once," he said, "and a man said to me, 'You're a Pollyanna.' And I said, 'I'm a Pollyanna because I'm championing these virtues?’ It doesn’t seem Pollyanna-ish to believe in compassion. It's only Pollyanna if you believe the reverse isn't also possible."

He continued: "There's no question that the cynical viewpoint is viewed as more sophisticated. There's a real fear, especially among the intelligentsia, of generosity and compassion because they look like the acts of someone who’s naïve."


I would hasten to add - they fear they look like someone who's not manly enough. We live in a culture where telling someone they "have balls" is the highest compliment. And the equation of bravery with masculinity is done without any self-consciousness whatsoever. And yet there's still so many idiots who won't STFU with their endless whining about "political correctness."

I believe I will go and subscribe to the Keen Company.

More at the NYTimes

Misogynist of the year - Pat Oliphant

Over at Pandagon, Amanda and friends got into an uproar over Gloria Steinem's recent NYTimes column (I blogged about it recently) about how gender discrimination is worse than racial discrimination.

To realize how right Steinem is, just consider if Oliphant had published an editorial cartoon which was as racist as this cartoon is sexist. There would be a media shitstorm over it, and Oliphant would probably lose his job.

And somebody should tell Oliphant that at Senator Clinton's age, PMS is probably not an issue. What a fucking moron.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Quick! Take the Dowd Antidote!

You simply cannot live in a world where a grade A fancy ninny like Maureen Dowd is considered an important pundit without taking a regular antidote.

My antidote of choice is Bob Somerby of the DAILY HOWLER. I couldn't resist quoting his entire January 9 howl of anguish over her mind-boggling Dowd-osity.


ASTOUNDING: Obviously, there is nothing left to say about Maureen Dowd. On December 30, the nation’s most visible public crackpot wrote a deeply strange year-end column about having a faith healer come to her home to “clear” it of karmic disorder. (And no, she didn’t seem to be joking—click here.) This morning, she gives us a look at the giants among whom she works. Incredibly, her extra-long piece is headlined thus: “Can Hillary Cry Her Way to the White House?” Even we were startled:

DOWD (1/9/08): When I walked into the office Monday, people were clustering around a computer to watch what they thought they would never see: Hillary Clinton with the unmistakable look of tears in her eyes.

A woman gazing at the screen was grimacing, saying it was bad. Three guys watched it over and over, drawn to the ''humanized'' Hillary. One reporter who covers security issues cringed. ''We are at war,'' he said. ''Is this how she'll talk to Kim Jong-il?''

Another reporter joked: ''That crying really seemed genuine. I'll bet she spent hours thinking about it beforehand.'' He added dryly: ''Crying doesn't usually work in campaigns. Only in relationships.''

Bill Clinton was known for biting his lip, but here was Hillary doing the Muskie. Certainly it was impressive that she could choke up and stay on message.


There you see them, swapping quips in their small, cramped part of the palace.

Jesus, what a gang of losers! Clinton was “doing the Muskie,” Dowd says. Of course, as we recently noted, David Broder acknowledged, long ago, that Muskie quite likely didn’t “do the Muskie” himself (see THE DAILY HOWLER, 11/28/07), but people like Dowd never drop preferred stories. Indeed, she may be showing professional courtesy; “the Muskie” is one of the few confections about Major Hopefuls of the last half-century which she herself didn’t invent. (Al Gore said he inspired Love Story! And: George H. W. Bush asked for a splash of coffee! And: John Kerry said, Who among us doesn’t love NASCAR! The crackpot helped dream them all up.)

Beyond that, note the portrait Dowd provides of the people around whom she works. (It’s odd to think that she goes to an office to write about her ghost-busting.) A security expert thinks the next president will be chatting it up with Kim Jong-Il. Others offer hackneyed quips about the way Clinton was faking—although she obviously wasn’t. (If you don’t know that, you don’t understand why acting schools exist.) But the dopes who write our big newspapers instinctively rush to such speculations. (They did the same with Romney in the past few weeks.) Maybe the faith healer has a good friend who can freshen the air inside heads?

Dowd’s whole column today is appalling, even by her own bizarre standards. (Clearly, the Times has gone way past the point of embarrassment.) Her remarks about LBJ are utterly stupid. (“Living Democrats” know that Johnson was a giant of the civil rights movement, despite the tragedy of Vietnam. Dr. King also knew that.) She offers the standard non-analysis analysis of the Kyl-Lieberman vote. (Do you think she has any idea what the measure may have entailed?) She says Bill Clinton put Bush in the White House through his affair with Miss Lewinsky, who must appear in all such columns. (We agree with Dowd’s assessment. But did she herself put Bush in the White House when she invented the Love Story blather, months before we’d heard of Monica? When she wrote, from the soul of her spreading illness, that Candidate Gore “is so feminized...he’s practically lactating?”) And then too, inevitably, there’s feigned non-comprehension:


DOWD: [I]n the end, she had to fend off calamity by playing the female victim, both of Obama and of the press. Hillary has barely talked to the press throughout her race even though the Clintons this week whined mightily that the press prefers Obama.


Should Clinton engage the press more? It’s hard to say. But duh! Targeted pols avoid the press because they know they’re targets. To state the blindingly obvious, that’s why Gore had to stop talking to reporters after Dowd invented the Love Story claptrap—after it became abundantly clear that every trivial, accurate comment would now be used against him. Often, we liberals still don’t seem to understand these dynamics; we echo complaints like this by Dowd—and we haven’t yet come to understand that we have to defend all our leaders, even those whom we might not prefer. Of course, life-forms like Dowd will always pretend they don’t understand this game either.

There’s very little left to say about this gruesome figure. But we liberals still haven’t publicly defined Dowd’s cohort, whom we mock among ourselves as “the Villagers.” Average people still haven’t heard about their culture—this average person, for example:


LETTER TO THE NEW YORK TIMES (1/3/08): I have been a daily Times reader for nearly 40 years, beginning with my first subscription at my New England preparatory school in the 1960s.

The opinion section has always drawn me into thoughtful discussion, with distinguished columnists from William Safire to Maureen Dowd, and from Paul Krugman to David Brooks (about whom I still have doubts).

But surely something has gone wrong when The Times embraces William Kristol, one of the neocon architects of the Bush administration's failed first-strike Iraq strategy, and an unapologetic hawk on similar aggression against Iran.


Good God. This reader still thinks Dowd is a “distinguished columnist” offering “thoughtful discussions.” Liberals should flesh out our ideas about “the Village”—and make sure that such voters have heard them.

For decades, people like this have been told that the Dowds are driven by a vile “liberal bias.” They’ve heard it over and over again; indeed, they still seem to think that the press is “too liberal” when it covers elections (see THE DAILY HOWLER, 12/20/07). We mock Village morés—among ourselves. We need to do what conservatives did—we need to find ways to tell the public, not just ourselves, about this broken-souled clan.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Go Gloria!

So why is the sex barrier not taken as seriously as the racial one? The reasons are as pervasive as the air we breathe: because sexism is still confused with nature as racism once was; because anything that affects males is seen as more serious than anything that affects "only" the female half of the human race; because children are still raised mostly by women (to put it mildly) so men especially tend to feel they are regressing to childhood when dealing with a powerful woman; because racism stereotyped black men as more "masculine" for so long that some white men find their presence to be masculinity-affirming (as long as there aren't too many of them); and because there is still no "right" way to be a woman in public power without being considered a you-know-what.


More from Gloria Steinem in the NYTimes

And the assholes rush to prove her right: Protesters Ask Clinton to Iron Shirts
Calling them "protestors" gives them far too much respect.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Righteous smackdown of moronic 'men are from mars women are from venus' play

This is what you get once you start letting women review plays
The outdated assumption of Matt Morillo’s two-character play at Theater for the New City is that girls just want to get married...
...Mr. Morillo, who also wrote and directed “Angry Young Women in Low-Rise Jeans With High-Class Issues,” seems to be reaching for some up-to-the-minute social observation. What he has done instead is channel some ghosts from lame old comedies.

No wonder the male-dominated NYTimes and the male-dominated NY theatre world have to be dragged kicking and screaming into the scary 21st century, where female voices are heard more often than 5 - 7% of the time!

Sunday, January 06, 2008

What am I, gay?

The top ten search words that lead to this blog, according to my Site Meter are:

1. guys gone wild
2. gay
3. ladyboys
4. gay men
5. gay dude
6. girls gone wild
7. smurfette
8. gays
9. gay guys
10. ladyboy

Eight out of ten are directly about The Gay. Although I'm hetero I'm certainly not against the gay. But I only have like one post each about ladyboys and guys gone wild. Just goes to show you how popular it is to search for those things. And now this post will increase my gay traffic by 100% most likely.

Quite a few of these gay searches come from Iran. Oh, wait, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (here is his official web site) said there are no homosexuals in Iran. Must be some kind of scholarly research.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Snagglepuss - Live and Lion


Heavens to Mergatroyd - it's Snagglepuss and Yakky Doodle.

Snagglepuss becomes a vegetarian it seems. And he teaches Yakky how to exit, stage left.

Friday, January 04, 2008

wow, what a concept for a radio show

On BBC Radio 4 Advice to the Living: "People who only have a short time left to live give advice to the rest of us about what matters and what doesn't, and about enjoying every moment."

I'd listen but I'm afraid I'll either end up depressed, or I'll be exhorted to live each moment to the fullest - which sounds great in theory, but on a practical level must be exhausting.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Big Bad Republicans

This blog post at Cogitamus is genius

Republicans match Buffy universe bad guys.


The Mayor
They're both clever and generically slick politicians, programmed to appeal to middle America. I can't watch Mitt without thinking of the Demon Mayor of Sunnydale, and that's what inspired this whole list.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Alton Brown and Delicious

Well I started the new year with yet another dream about Alton Brown. Although this dream was not nearly as erotic as the first one, there was definitely an undercurrent of desire.

Alton Brown is the host of the Food Network show "Good Eats and is the They Might Be Giants of cooking*. Or as the Village Voice called him, Dorkus Majorkus.

But it isn't just the science nerd aspect of Brown that I find attractive, it's his wacky sense of humor. And his charisma. (See the video posted below.)

And although he is totally masculine - he's got a square jaw and nice solid build - the Village Voice, in another article notes:
On his popular series Good Eats - an eccentric cooking show riddled with sketch comedy and scientific explanations - Brown flaunts his wimpiness like a badge of honor. In one running gag, his PTA-president sister orders him to make dozens of doughnuts for a bake sale; Brown meekly complies with her ever changing wishes, even when she insists he buy all the leftover doughnuts himself.


Not to mention uttering his trademark Winnie-the-Pooism "oh bother." No wonder he drives me wild with desire!

Another favorite phrase of his is "golden brown and delicious" which he inevitably abbreviates to GBD.

And I'm not the only one who notices Brown's alluring je ne sais quoi:Alton Brown is too sexy


===================
They Might Be Giants recorded a song called "Why Does the Sun Shine" that begins:
"The sun is a mass of incandescent gas, a gigantic nuclear furnace.
Where hydrogen is built into helium at temperature of millions of degrees."

Good Eats S3E6P1: Three Chips For Sister Marsha

How many other cooking show hosts would throw out a phrase like "another socio-culinary quagmire"?