More gender issues I’ve spotted

http://nobaddatesjustgoodstories.tumblr.com/post/173444153673/the-insecurities-of-mankind

I had planned a series of blog posts about different gender items I’ve seen in blog posts, the news , etc but never got the time. Instead I kept adding them to wallabag and tagging them to blog.

So think of this blog post as a series of micoblog with little comments after each link.

No baby slings or bananas: are these the new fragile masculinity rules?

This one sums up so many things I hear and can’t stand. Shes right, how fragile is masculinity that eating a banana in a certain way can cause idiots to worry. Its frankly so stupid I can’t bring myself to say anything more that what I’ve said before.

We can’t want gender equality and still expect guys to pay for the first date and Viewpoint: ‘Why most men should pay on first dates’

Dare I say anything more…? To be fair its been a long time since I mentioned who pays on the first date. But to be fair there is arguments and tensions, which is why it keeps coming up. For example if you take the massive gender pay gap and then exercise it in who pays for the bill. Most heterosexual dates would have the man paying 20-33% more for the bill. This was noted to me and I pointed out the minority pay gap is pretty awful too making things even more tricky on a first date.

How thrillers offer an antidote to toxic masculinity and Flirting and you’ll be called a rapist? Oh please grow up, Superman

Lessons in how to be a good man? Maybe? Not so sure as the old-fashioned view from Superman actor Henry Cavill says it all. Generally the men in  thrillers I’ve seen, might be better than the toxic masculinity you see now but not exactly enlighten to feminism.

What Do Men Think It Means To Be A Man?

So this is very interesting research. I originally heard the love, sex and money issue a while ago, but didn’t dig into the survey till recently.

When I read,

Pop culture was a source of inspiration for an understanding of manhood for younger men (42 percent of those age 18 to 34), while only 17 percent of men 35 to 64 and 12 percent of men 65 and over said the same.

My instant thought was something of a worry, as I’m not seeing the best examples in pop culture (although I have to admit I don’t spend much time in pop culture so maybe I’m automatically biased).

The society pressure and daily concerns was another key one, which I’d love to have similar results from a decade ago and a decade before that.

The question How would you say it’s an advantage to be a man at your work right now? Blew my mind…

59% of men surveyed didn’t think Men are taken more seriously, Men make more money, Men have more choice, Men have more professional development opportunities, Men generally have more support from their managers, Men are explicitly praised more often?

This is delusion at its worst, even Even with the #metoo movement making this super clear. But it is consistent with a conversation I had in my barbars a while ago to be fair, when I mentioned going to see the Guilty Feminist live recording in Liverpool.

All of the survey data is on Github, which feels like could be more data to add to the Modern Romance reddit data. Some of this may appear in my book one day.

Jodie Whittaker is the 13th Doctor Who

I want to tell the fans not to be scared by my gender
I want to tell the fans not to be scared by my gender. This is a really exciting time and Doctor Who represents everything thats exciting about change – Jodie Whittaker, 13th Doctor

Bold move by the BBC and its a long time coming

I say bold but it really shouldn’t be a “bold” move, not in this age. I mean Starwars, Ghostbusters, Torchwood, etc, etc… Its certainly a long time coming… Cut to the joy and outrage on social media.

A step on the way to Diversity?

I understand why the Huffington Post, posted the picture of their editors meeting and to be fair they never actually said it was about diversity. But myself and others looked at it and thought a few things.

There seems to be a lack of black women at the table. To me this reflected the poor state of diversity in the tech sector generally. It almost seems like the 25-30% asian is right on in this picture too. Then you have the issue of them seeming to be middle class and most likely all from a similar class of university (I’m totally guessing and sure will be proven very wrong). Moss code, spells it out in a way I wouldn’t quite go as far.

The diversity in laptops might seem funny, but its indicates a deeper problem I keep seeing. The lack of diversity of thought, fear of individualism and group think. They might as well be wearing the same clothes and the same style hair. Its like those white ear buds, it went from I’m in the same club to a mass thing and you can’t possibily consider another colour. Sad but true

It might seem harsh and there is absolutely no disrespect to Liz Heron or the Huffington Post editors team. Honestly I could walk into most places and find far worst, but its important to note we have got a long way to go and I’m more welcoming to diversity which is not simply replacing one group with another.

It had to be said sorry…

Can the enlighten people step forward?

There’s a lot of things which wind me up but I was shaking my head knowing it was true when reading the study about men being intimated by smart women. It had originally came from Facebook via Anina.

…these studies found that when men imagined a hypothetical woman who was smarter than them, or only knew of the woman in an abstract sense, they were interested in meeting or possibly dating her. Apparently, a smart woman is great in theory but not in practice.

…the men who were partnered with a woman who scored higher on the intelligence test felt the need to physically distance themselves from her when moving their chairs. They also tended to rate the woman as less attractive and datable than the men who interacted with a woman and scored worse than they did.

I tried to fault in the study but honestly its pretty clear on the face of it. Deep in thought thinking about my experiences of how men are crapbrushes with the pickup artists and of course being called a traitor to the male race. I can’t help but feel this type of legacy nonsense is what is holding back the human race. It’s not just this but also who pays on the first date, the height of women, who earns more and even more crap I can’t bring myself to even describe on my blog. It’s all so flipping sad, that this legacy still exists in 2016!

I like to hope there are even more smart women for us enlighten men but I know it’s never that simple.

smart-

In another post which I was reading about the redpill and manosphere, its easy to think every man wants to be the alpha.

Socially dominant. Somebody who displays high value, or traits that are sexually attractive to women.

Most of the postings refer to being the alpha not the beta. For example from the same post.

AF/BB – Alpha Fucks/Beta Bucks. AF/BB, as an idea, is closely related to AWALT (“All Women Are Like That”). All women, in this argument, divide men into two types: alpha males they want to fuck, and beta males they use for financial and emotional support in exchange for sex.

Really?!

It’s this nonsense which bugs the hell out of me on many different levels. All women want alphas, the betas are suckers and you need to be alphas to stand a chance. Do me a flipping favor, what a load of mashed up crap. Now I could argue on ideological and humanity grounds but I’ve tried that and failed to convince my intrenched male pals. So I’m going to try the diversity of thought option.

The biggest problem with all this is (AWALT) all women are like this and (AMALT) all men are like this. Is that there not, yes there might be a large population which are like this but I bet you those stereotypes are dying out quicker than you think. People are finding themselves and are less bound by the norms defined by the previous generation/society.

For example, gay, lesbian and bi people can be much more open than previously (don’t get me wrong, it’s a long way from the idealistic utopian dream in some parts of this country, let alone other parts of the world). But there is no longer a need to hide in the wardrobe/shadows. People are expressing a different more realistic/enlighten view on the world around them and ultimately that is changing things quicker than previously. Also worth saying non-monogamous relationships seem to have increased (or at least become more public). Like wise there’s less hiding in the shadows.

When I attended the event in Manchester with Rosie Wilby, I was actually slightly worried about talking about openly afterwards because it may crush certain friends world view. I could imagine myself talking about the event in detail and upsetting someone in the process.

Going all the way back to the top of the blog, what if smarter women actually preferred less smart men? What would people make of that scenario? It quite a different take eh?

Ultimately attitudes are changing and becoming more diverse, this is a good thing! It’s not good enough to jump to lazy stereotypes. Yes I understand this messes with your view on the world and makes binary answers a thing of a bygone era – Its time to get use to it! People are messy and the world is messy. No matter what Zuckerberg thinks or imposes (yes that is the right word) on a large number of internet users.

I am personally trying to use gender neutral pronouns. So less saying guys and more people. It’s a tiny thing but it all adds up and ultimately may have a positive effect of making others reconsider their own language.

Recently I was asked about my deal breakers, and I said one was old fashioned thinking. It seems harmless at first but I honestly think its holding back real progress and it needs to die/end. I’m not saying we shouldn’t learn from the past but trying to hold on to the past, has conquences like the results we see in the test.

Updated following the artist known as Prince’s death

It was Rebecca’s Facebook where I found the piece from the Guardian about Prince. I felt it was super relevent to what I was trying to say previously in this blog. Prince broke all the rules about what black American men should be

Prince repelled and fascinated me because he represented every side of all the contradictions I felt. I felt nervous even looking at him, and yet I couldn’t look away. What would it mean if I opened myself up to the letting go of all those rules he seemed to have dispensed with? That purple clothing, those high heels and ruffled shirts: was he proudly feminine, or so secure in his masculinity he didn’t mind others questioning it? That small frame and that tight, small butt that seemed to leave him “shaking that ass, shaking that ass” for men and women alike?

I remember when I was young having a discussions about sexuality through the paradox known as Prince. Never a dull moment and I even had the joy of visiting Minneapolis and going to First Avenue, prince’s club in purple rain.

Wow and what a club!

First Avenue, Minneapolis

Prince was so ahead of me in my own understanding of what it means to be black in this country, to have a sexuality and gender expression at odds with the white men who try to tell everyone else how to behave – and to embrace what is amorphous, not easily categorized, beautiful, and yet unknown.

Fitting I feel…

Feminism slowly breaking through?

Its great to see more positive female role models in the media, but I wonder if they go far enough?

Supergirl

Supergirl

You must have heard the pilot episode of Supergirl was leaked (I think put online, I mean the Gotham and Flash pilots and others were also leaked)

The first episode of CBS’s forthcoming Supergirl series has leaked online a full six months before it was scheduled to air. Two versions of the 46-minute episode (one in full HD and another in lower resolution) made their way onto torrenting sites late last week, with BitTorrent news site TorrentFreak describing the leak as a “complete surprise” to the pirating community.

I watched the pilot episode and it struck me as fun and very like the Flash (not really a surprise as its the same kind of team). I’m not the only one who says so either in this spoiler free view.

Agent Carter

Agent Carter

After Agents of SHEILDs got very samey, I pretty much ignored Agent Carter till I saw people talking about it.

To be fair I checked out a couple of episodes but it hasn’t grabbed me, so its just sitting there waiting for me to watch the rest sometime. However, I have to admit its got a good feeling throughout.

Agent Carter, is a sly analogy for the state of women today, especially women in geek culture. The show reflects pop media buzz topics, like Gamergate, Fake Geek Girl memes, and the sexual harassment of creators, through the lens of a time that seems archaic. However, the topics, the misogyny and inequality that Peggy deals with, is anything but archaic. These are things that modern women deal with on a daily basis: the street harassment, the catcalling, the sexualization, the dehumanizing, the diminishing, and the belittling.

Peggy Carter is the modern woman, capable and strong, but forced into a world that will not accept her for who she is and will not listen to her speaking out against the men who put her down

Some reviews are less sure about the feminist angle.

Mad max fury road

Mad max: Fury Road

When I first saw posters for the Madmax reboot, I pretty much dismissed it but then I started hearing how interesting it actually is and how it passed the Bechdel test

The Bechdel Test is a film litmus test. To pass, a movie must have two female characters, with names, who talk to each other, about something other than a man. It’s not perfect but it helps illustrate how utterly underrepresented women’s voices are in film. “Mad Max: Fury Road” passes on a level heretofore unheard of outside “chick flicks.” There is a moment late in the film when no less than twelve women — seven of them named — are talking together. On the one hand I am mortified this is cause for celebration. On the other hand, it’s a decisive victory worthy of a fist pump.

I’m not saying this is all something new, just interesting to see a few come out about the same kind of time. It would be nice if Hollywood would take more risks with the under represented.

Sure its a glitch in the matrix and we’ll be back to the 50 shades of greys again soon enough…

Although I’m going to say, it would be amazing to turn some parts of Girl with a one track mind into a film?

Its certainly could/would work better than as a TV series which diary of the call girl got turned into. Its worth reading both blogs as they so very different in many accounts! The feminist message of empowerment could really work well, wonder if Zoe ever considered it as a film, especially as she use to be in the film business herself…

50 shades of an opportunity wasted?

Saines lectures dans le métro aussi ;-) #qml #ligne6 #50shades #50s #50nuances

Girl with a one track mind, reviews the 50 shades of grey film, so we all don’t have to watch it…

It is not acceptable for a man to stalk a woman, harass her, and to drive a wedge between her and her friends and family. Showering a woman with expensive gifts does not make it okay that a man can break in, then hide in her home waiting for her. Emotionally manipulating, then harassing, a woman to agree to a man’s relationship terms (or have no relationship at all) is not, in any sense, alright. All good relationships are built on respect, trust and consent and this one contains none of that. Grey’s abusive behaviour is excused, because he is “a dominant”, as if enjoying a sexual kink removes the need for a man to be a decent person too.

As I imagined, its a male power film with elements of BDSM thrown in to convince/sidetrack people in to thinking its ok to be a total dick, because the female is calling the shots in his playroom.

No its not ok… Its creepy, manipulative, bullying and just not on, now or ever…

Like Zoe I was hoping for something a little different from this film. I haven’t read the books but heard so much that I feel like I know the text. Not necessarily because its a female writer and director but because it 2015 and I hoped friends would say how good and surprising it is. Heck a clever twist, on the story would have been great. But the opportunity was utterly wasted…!

…as I want to applaud a movie written and directed by women, I can’t condone one which idealises male power and emotional abuse as something seductive and sexy. They’re not. With the kinky-sex as a saucy distraction, the central message of this film – that it’s okay for men to control and manipulate women – remains unquestioned, and that’s not just bad, it’s dangerous.

Men are giving up on women? Really?

The lovely VickyJo sent me a tweet after listening to the new podcast Lovegrumps 001.

I was going to write a very detailed take down of the first link which is all about Men giving up on women and checking out of society.  Then I saw it was written  Milo Yiannopoulos. Milo is one nasty piece of work and I just try and ignore eveything he says and does… for example…

The Telegraph Tech Start-Up 100 and Gamergate!

Its no point in pulling it apart because Milo will keep writing hateful and spiteful nonsense regardless. I feel like I have already given him enough of a platform… As a friend said what a tw**!

The second url… Why women should never go halves on a date!

Paying for a women on a date has nothing to do with feminism.

To me, it’s a way for a man to show, very clearly, that he likes you. Enough to try to impress you. Enough to make some effort. On a bigger scale, it’s a way for a man to prove he will be a good boyfriend – thoughtful, kind, generous and supportive.

Of course relationships are not one-way streets. Many women earn more than their partners and end up being the ones supporting their family financially in the long-run. But that initial gesture of paying for a simple dinner, a lunch or a tea signals an intention to support you, as well as showing that they come from a good family that values manners. In short, it says ‘I like you and I’d like to look after you.’

I disagree! Why is it that the writer (Yvette) assumes the man should “sweep the woman off her feet!” Why is it the man needs to prove he will be a good boyfriend. Human beings, like to be swept off their feet at some point. But equally everybody needs to prove there self  worth to potential partners regardless of the sex.

This emphasis on going Dutch from the start makes my heart sink. How exactly is a man supposed to sweep you off your feet if he can’t buy you dinner and roses any more?

If you can’t think of another way to impress, that with your credit card… you are doing it all wrong! The point of going dutch is to take the whole pay/cost off the table. I wouldn’t mind being swept off my feet every once in a while, just because I’m a man doesn’t mean I should expect anything less? As Yvette says it has nothing to do with feminism but I can already see people like Milo relating the two.

 

Listen to the minorities, they are telling you something important

Doing my bit to Inject feminism into daily conversations with other men (people!) I have been more and more aware of how controversial my enlighten views on feminism seem to be. Luckily I have recently been surrounding myself with people who are equally enlighten in their views. Rebecca posted on her facebook wall something which is linkbaity but I clicked and read/watched for about 30mins solid. The 39 most iconic feminist moments of 2014, will have you almost in tears and punching the sky in a FTW style.

Some of the best parts for me include…

Mo’ne Davis made everyone want to “throw like a girl.”

When the 13-year-old Davis led her team to the Little League World Series, it’s safe to say she captivated the nation. Poised and confident, Davis was an instant role model for millions of little girls — and boys — and also was the first Little Leaguer to grace a Sports Illustrated cover. To top it off, she was also recently named Sports Illustrated Kid‘s “SportsKid of the Year.” You go, girl.

Beyoncé danced in front of the world — and a gigantic feminist banner.

…Beyoncé’s 16-minute performance was quite literally a sight for sore eyes. The world’s biggest diva proved feminism wasn’t just accessible, it was cool. As Time remarked, the entire show was about women’s empowerment.

Aziz Ansari broke down feminism for dudes.

During his appearance on the Late Show with David Letterman in October, Aziz Ansari made some crucial points about feminism to an otherwise pretty mainstream late night audience. “If you look up feminism in the dictionary, it just means that men and women have equal rights,” he said. “And I feel like everyone here believes men and women have equal rights. But I think the reason people don’t clap is that word is so weirdly used in our culture.”

Aziz Ansari is exactly the point of view enlighten man should be thinking. That is what everyman can do to help the movement of diversity and equal rights for all.  And further to that, the words play deconstruction is great.

Ansari’s message was clear — feminism is not about pitting men and women against each other. “If you believe that men and women have equal rights, if someone asks if you’re feminist, you have to say yes because that is how words work,” he said. “You can’t be like, ‘Oh yeah, I’m a doctor that primarily does diseases of the skin.’ Oh, so you’re a dermatologist? ‘Oh no, that’s way too aggressive of a word! No no, not at all, not at all.'”

Whats also interesting for me is continued rise of black women. Outside of the Beyonce’s, Olivia Pope’s, Lupita Nyong’s, etc. You have Roxane Gay, Shonda Rhimes and so many many more strong black women standing for their rights and doing the right thing.

Women stood at the front lines of Ferguson.

Despite reports of women being silenced or interrupted by male activists, women made sure their voices were part of the growing chorus of dissent coming out of Ferguson, Missouri. “Historically, women have always been leading,” protester Thenjiwe McHarris told MSNBC. “A lot of times women are often unseen leaders because women are all just doing it — we’re all just doing the work.” In addition to helping lead marches and chants, women like Jamilah Lemieux from Ebony also fearlessly reported on events from the ground. Although police Officer Darren Wilson was ultimately not charged in the killing of Michael Brown, the conversation about racial justice will continue, with women as some of its most invaluable warriors.

Absolutely the protest/rally I was a part of last week was arranged and put together by black women wanting to show their support from Manchester. This is why I was so upset when it got hijacked by other organisations.

Looking at the battlegrounds of #Blacklivesmatter, its easy to look at it and think, “well theres little I can do…?

But just like feminism, we need support from all sides. You don’t have to be Black to understand or at the very least listen…!

When a woman tells you something is sexist, believe her.

When a black person tells you something is racist, believe them.

Don’t be an online bystander in the face of sexism.

Don’t be an online bystander in the face of racism..

I find the link between feminism and racism far too obvious in my mind but so many people don’t get it. Its about being who you are and not an idealised version which the media and society want you to fit into. Being a woman like being black is not something you can just tone or up/down to fit in with the patriarchy.

I could be talking about another race, age, LGBTQ, Disabled, etc, etc people. We should never have to apologize for who we are

On the last train home to Manchester last night from Newcastle, I was on a very very busy train between Newcastle and Darlington. I did have to throw somebody out of my table seat but he was pretty understanding in the end. His friend was less understanding but by the time the train started moving, he started talking to me. Now to be fair it was 10:15pm on a Saturday night so there was a lot of alcohol involved. but he started talking to me about racism.

I don’t see colour…” So I engaged and carefully suggested maybe he does and actually it might be better if he did? (wasn’t going to bring up the fact he was talking about it with the only black man on a predominately white train) might be counter to his argument). Anyway the guy who I throw out of the seat, standing next to me. Could hear the conversation and seemed a lot more sober, and interjected about the doctor whom saved his daughter who was black. As you can imagine the conversation went on quite a bit but the crux came down to not or seeing colour.

My thoughts is you need to see diversity before you can respect it and do something about it. Pretending we are all born equal is not a mistake. Yes we should/must strive for equality and also celebrate diversity but we are a long long way from either right now.

https://twitter.com/lsarsour/status/541426219657748481/

Not wise to brand all pick up artists by the same brush

Keychain

As most of you know I use to have an inherent hate for pick up artists. And it wasn’t till Geeks talk sexy where my views started to become a little less harsh.  However I am seeing a conflicts in both directions.

One one side myself and female friends have noticed how bad (generally) men are about coming forward and asking women out on dates. I use to put this down to the fear of rejection but I have been told again and again…

Dude, dating is an American concept and you never really going on dates. In my day, we use to hangout and just end up together.

To which I usually bite my lip and hold in my inner rage.

When online dating, if I’m talking to a woman and the idea of going on a date is a big turn off then, I call them timewasters.

Some people are very comfortable with just chatting and chatting, but to be honest, although I’m cool with chatter, texting, phone calls, etc. Its got to be a face to face meet which decides things. And I know I’m not the only one who thinks this… of course timewasters can be male or female.

On the other side, they are too forward (or just want one thing) and as one friend says, their first line is one of the following…

Can I bum you? Do you like it hard? You will beg for more…

(and trust me,  this is the stuff I feel comfortable with posting, its gets a whole lot worst!) I still find it hard in which century its OK to be so direct and simply offensive. I mean its not like they are showing off to their mates, I knew very few men who share their dating chatter with friends. Its almost like they need to be the stereotype of a super alpha male to make themselves and their egos feel good? Daily Mash has a piece I found via Olivia Solon about this type of behavior.

BRITAIN’S sleazy men have confirmed that they are just performing as their amusingly ribald alter egos.

So whats the problem? Is it that men are incapable of being themselves (rather beat their chests and live in the past)? Fearing living in a world where testosterone isn’t need as much? I don’t know the answer, but there is a problem with male society. And I’m not the only one to notice this…

Its well recognised females are rightly finding themselves in a better position that ever before (and rightly so).  As I mentioned before human kind urgently needs the diversity of thought and ideas. But likewise its clear men are struggling to cope with these changes.

Whats all this got to do with pick up artists? I hear you all ask? I know Josh R would love to know…

I’m going to be clear about this… Not all pick up artists should be treated with the same brush. There are some really nasty nasty screwed up people preaching spiteful stuff and theres communities who lap it up.  But like or not (and I really don’t) some are doing encouraging self believe, being respectful and even treating people as equals. Some techniques do work on a number of people in the same way advertisers understand enough about the human brain to make you want and desire objects. Now granted they are not all really calling themselves Pick Up Artists but they are providing a similar service.

Do this and you will end better and with somebody special…

Tyler (Owen Cook) is a example. Between some of the interesting stuff like, “How Rising From A Prison Of Depression / Social Anxiety / Negativity Is Like Crawling From A Pit” where he actually talks about his own depression in a reasonable way and makes a really good case with the dark knight rises. Is Tyler’s secrets for picking up hot girls at crazy parties and chaotic environments.

Calling people saddos and looses isn’t going to help and to be honest its too easy to write them off like that. Once you do, its no big surprised to see how the redpill and many other female hating communities pick them up strays so easily. Its like cults who prey upon those shunned by society. You got to look deeper than that, what can we do to bring them into the light? Bit of a plug for Flirtology and the Manchester flirting weekend which helps people who may be clueless or just lacking in experience.

Some of you are saying why can’t Tyler just leave the picking up stuff and keep the self confidence stuff? I would agree but frankly men are stubborn and the idea this could lead to somewhere, is a powerful motivator. If Tyler did just videos about self help (his inner game – geez really?!), very few would watch (love for somebody to prove me wrong!) This for me has parallels to religion, is it a necessary evil… for the greater good? Who knows?

Manchester flirty weekend

Most of you know we are putting on the Manchester flirting weekend. At the moment we have lots of women signed up but far too few men. Why is this? And its not just our event, its a common problem across the sector of relationship, women sign up and men crawl through afterwards. At the very least the pick up artists are encouraging men to get out there, step up to the opportunities and not just sit back and then moan about things from the currently dominate position.

I never will really support what the pick up artists  do (although I grapple with it constructively in my head all the time) , but at the very least they are making men sit up and think about their lives and place in modern society. This is why I have been known to write posts on Single Black Male and read more enlighten people like the rules revisited.

Its time to wake up and I don’t mean in a flipping red pill nonsense way.

Get a grip and stop blaming others for you’re lack of progress. Stop comparing yourself to gender stereotypes and be honest with yourself. Sexuality is a spectrum and be comfortable with yourself before heading out to seek a partner.

The descent of men not mankind

Thinking Digital 2014

I always get stick for not consuming a lot of BBC media but thats just the way I am to be honest (maybe one day I’ll go into this with more depth). However every once in a while I come across something which somebody recommends or links to.

Recently I have consumed the Future of Radio series (which I’m sure somebody thought after hearing about Perceptive Radio) and a very touching documentary about mixtapes which really sums up a lot of the thinking behind the physical playlist project. However its the Future proofing which has most impressed in the last month.

Can Civility Survive?

Mathematician Hannah Fry and guests look at whether civility can survive in the modern age

The Singularity

What happens if we reach the singularity, the day when machines match human intelligence?

No End of Pleasure

How will humans experience pleasure in the future?

The Descent of Man

Writer Michael Smith explores the uncertain future of masculinity.

It was can civility survive which got me interested in the series. Actually something Zoe posted on a similar vein got me thinking about the connection of doing things the modern way. Not relying on the legacy of the past. I mean for example, I mention Sarah quite a bit, shes lovely but shes an ex. Why should I be afraid to mention her? Anybody finds this weird could do with a strong reminder that its 2014 FFS! The same applies to most of the points Hello Giggles makes especially

  • The wallet reach

  • Being terrified to mention your ex

  • Feeling any embarrassment about online dating

  • Sticking out a terrible date out of politeness

But this blog is about the descent of men… Which I would if creating a mindmap for, would cross check with Blaise’s talk from Thinking Digital (video online now and MUST be watched) which also crosses over with The Singularity documentary from the BBC and many more posts including this one.

Listening to the documentary about the uncertain future of masculinity, I felt like how I felt when blaise gave his talk. Its a little scary from a male point of view and its clear to see why some men are rebelling. They like things how they are and don’t want it to change. The change is scary but theres no excuse for ignorance and hostility! They have to get use it because its going to happen and frankly its a great thing for humankind and the diversity of the human race. I urge men to look at this all as a positive thing!

It always reminds me of my position as a feminist and that blog post which really solidified my view.

Miss America Pageant gives more scholarships to women than any other?

Somebody pointed me at John Oliver’s Last week Tonight show, the other day. They said I will be spitting blood watching it. And to be honest they were not wrong.

Unfortunately to watch it, you need to be in America or on a VPN as its geo blocked.

However basically its all about how The Miss America Pageant claim to give more scholarships to women than any other organisation in America. And if you like me and John Oliver are thinking this has got be bollox. You would be wrong!

Yes a organisation which objectifies women, parades them around like dolls, dismisses women who have had children and many other things. Gives out more scholarships to women than any other…. in America!

Seriously wtf! *sad face*

You call that positive discrimination?

Becky, Rosie, Jasmine - The R&D girls

Rosie recently wrote her feelings about women speakers at conferences and the small backlash against encouraging women to speak.

Most people I’ve spoken to agree that attempts to increase diversity are a goodthing. Inevitably however, there are some that immediately cry ‘positive discrimination!’. I find myself trying to combat the same old misconceptions time and time again

So she runs through some of those misconceptions people cling to when talking about women at conferences. The big one which I hear over and over again is… positive discrimination.

Conflating terms: positive discrimination, quotas, and diversity targets

People often use the phrase ‘positive discrimination’ when they mean something else entirely. Positive discrimination, otherwise known as affirmative action, is the process of; given two equal candidates; preferring the one who is usually disadvantaged by discrimination. This is different to quotas, where a certain number of places are reserved for disadvantaged minorities. This is different again from diversity targets, which as they describe, are a target, not a mandate. Targets often involve simply trying to attract a wider, more diverse range of people to apply for a role, with no preferential treatment after that stage. For brevity, I shall group these under the term ‘diversity measures’. You may take issue with one kind of diversity measure and not with another, but let’s get our definitions straight from the start.

Rosies right, there’s too many people calling things by the wrong name. Sometimes they do it cause fuss and confusion, sometimes its by accident. What ever the reason,  the choice of words tend to strike up visions of people getting ahead not on their own merit and blah blah before you know it, there’s the sliver of anger and before long the rest of the terms come to the minds and out pops…

  • I just want the best person, regardless of gender
  • We should be blind to gender!
  • Women don’t like diversity measures, they’re patronising
  • There just aren’t enough qualified women around
  • It results in a drop in quality
  • Diversity measures are inherently unfair

Yes I know you all have heard this from people we know, and should know better… Ugh. So what we going to do about it?

300 seconds is back in Manchester on Adalovelace day 14th October. Last time we hosted it at the BBC and it was a great night full of enjoyment and a real good chance for some great women to gain some confidence public speaking.

If anything Rosie or I have said chimes with you, and you want to make a difference. Apply to be a speaker, its rewarding and you will be doing something positive which will help pave the path for others to follow in your footsteps.

The effect of Internet p0rn, no fap…

You may have come across the term “No Fap” once or twice while browsing Youtube or Reddit. What does it mean?

Well its simply a made up term for no internet porn. There is enough evidence to show internet porn is somewhat addictive (theres a lot of thoughts this could be the same addictive level as Farmville, World of Warcraft, etc, etc. So maybe more addictive that reasonable) and has a negative effect on men.

Interestingly Hollywood got in on the act recently with a film called Dom Jon.

A New Jersey guy dedicated to his family, friends, and church, develops unrealistic expectations from watching porn and works to find happiness and intimacy with his potential true love.

The film is quite good and feels quite well done. Of course theres no spoilers here, but seek it out but be prepared as the subject matter is uncomfortable for many.

Now I can imagine david cameron, mary whitehouse and many more of the same crowd, standing up and saying. “Yes we told you so! This is why we must ban it and block it.

Well banning it isn’t the idea here but there is something which I touched on in hacking that instant spark of chemistry. I said “We’re all junkies to the buzz” Internet porn seem to have the instant buzzing effect our brain thinks is a good thing, and of course it wants more and more of it. But what makes it more like crack is the chasing of the high. There seems to be a super quick drop off with seeing the same porn and because theres plenty of it around, your brain seeks out more different porn.

Of course this has a negative effect on monogamous relationships. Specially ones based around sex.

I’ve only started to scratch the surface, but the bulk of the no fap movement is around the negative effect it can have. And its not just men, but women too…

Everything in moderation and resist the temptation to keep doing the same thing over and over again. It could be a legacy trap in our minds…

Raspberry Pi’s for the godchildren?

With all wires - Top

Its a tricky one…

I like to buy presents of my godchildren which matter. Its tricky because you don’t want to buy something boring but educational. When I was young my godparents would get me Lego, Chemistry sets and ultimately Technical Lego. This certainly helped my creativity develop.

So whats the modern equivalent of Lego? Something you can buy more of and add to?

Well I thought Raspberry Pi. Yeah, no brainer right?!

But here’s my issue.

I have 2 male godchildren (4 and 6) and 1 female (7).

My natural thought was to get one for the 6yr old, specially because his dad is technical and the child has already shown an amazing comfort with computers. The other male is too young and frankly more interested in super-heroes. So why not the older female?

I don’t know… (and I feel like I’ve had this debate before, so excuse me if you’ve heard it before).

I also didn’t want to buy her pink stuff but she loves it so much. Along while ago I bought her some pink lego and she seemed quite happy with that. Although to be fair I’ve never actually seen play with them. Me being a melding godfather decided one year to buy her a mini telescope, hoping it will foster a little more science in her life. Of course this nothing against the parents, I love them to bits. But my understanding of what a godfather does is to do whats best for the child regardless of how much it drives the parents insane.

So back to the point, why have I not bought her a Raspberry Pi? Is this nasty sexism which I don’t know about? Absolutely not!

I guess I balanced it all in my mind and decided it would be a little unfair to force something like this on her at this stage. Instead I bought her some more Lego but the friends subsection.

What would you do? Am I doing down the godfather title by not giving her what might be good for her? She has godmothers, maybe its the godmothers who gives her what she wants and the godfather who makes the difficult decisions. And I don’t mean that in a sexist way, the godmothers should be making the difficult decisions for the boys, while the godfathers are buying stuff he wants?

Who knows but I am certainly thinking for her birthday, I should find something which crosses over and brings out her geeky side.

Any tips on what, are very welcomed.

I’m hoping the likes of Jasmine Cox, Alexandra Deschamps-Sonsino, Rosie Campbell, Rebecca Gregory-Clarke, etc. Can offer some advice on this? I can’t be the only one wondering about this….?

300 seconds to tell your story

Sharon O'Dea - intro

I have always wanted to help people around me, its in my blood and I sometimes end up doing it regardless of my work load (must stop doing so). Anyhow a few months ago I ran a series of events as part of the BBC’s Connected studio called BBC Connected Social. One of the events was a ignite event about design. Although I tried to get a number of women involved, I got nowhere.

This didn’t go unnoticed and to be fair rightly so… The event went ahead and was a success but I couldn’t help but feel crappy about the lack of women I got onboard. I have been known to level criticism at some events for the lack of women and diversity but I couldn’t make it happen myself.

Ever since (and to be fair before) I’ve been thinking about putting on a conference with the aim of encouraging women to give public speaking a chance. I originally thought about working with Madlab to put on such a event, specially after the last girlgeek barcamp (bracamp) and my rushed look at the success of Girl Geekdinners.

Anyway after getting a chance to hear Melinda’s (miss geeky) views on 300 seconds I joined the dots and connected people.

I believe the event matches the BBC values nicely

We respect each other and celebrate our diversity so that everyone can give their best.

I’m now super stoked to be able to say the 3rd 300 seconds event will be at the BBC, MediaCityUK.

What is 300 seconds?

300 Seconds is a series of talks by and for the digital community. We believe that digital is better when we can learn from the brilliance of the many, not just the few. With our events we hope to give our peers, and in particular women, a means of gaining confidence and experience in speaking in public.

On the Thursday 14th November, you can get your tickets now to apply to speak or just listen and support. Of course the event is open to men as well, so what you waiting for? Go get yourself a ticket and I look forward to seeing you and sharing the special surprises we have installed for the night.