On Feminism

First of all, on labels: I’ve chosen to identify with the label of “anarchist” despite the stigma around it. A common stereotype is that anarchists are teenagers going through an irrational rebellious phase, which, while there are some teenagers who wear a raggedy circle-A symbol on their hoodies and go around spraypainting it on things to appear “edgy”, that’s not a real anarchist. Forgive me for using the term “real anarchist”, but I’m talking about in the most basic sense that a “real” anarchist is a person who supports the abolishment of any ruling class, generally on a moral basis. The stereotype is just rebelling against authority because they feel like it.

That said, even though I’ve embraced the stigmatic label of “anarchist”, I am hesitant to adopt the label “feminist”. I thought at first it was due to its stigma, even though my values would probably define me as a feminist, but I’m not so sure that’s the reason.

Perhaps because the word “feminist” implies a preference for females, which is simply switching the paradigm into the opposite, but still wrong, direction. There should be NO gender preference, which is really what feminism is about, but I think that the word gives the wrong impression, to make no mention of the feminists who are, in fact, misandrist and would prefer women to be on top rather than to level the gender field.

As a proponent of non-aggression, voluntary interaction, a non-hierarchical world structure, and, most importantly, logic, feminism is implied by my values. Harassment, discrimination, or even simple assumptions based on any biological descriptor, including sex as well as race and age, are preposterous. Women do not exist to serve men, just as blacks do not exist to serve whites as slave owners seemed to believe. This is ancient, ignorant, presumptuous thinking.

There is certainly ancient, ignorant, and presumptuous thinking about men on the part of women as well, but not to the extent that it comes from men. As I’ve done some reading and participating in online dating websites, that’s where the disparity between sexes has become most obvious to me. It’s absurd how frequently men contact women to make crass comments about their bodies, or to tell them what they want to do to them sexually based solely on pictures posted on a website, or send unsolicited pictures of their genitalia, or, if they put on the appearance of a reasonable human being long enough to go on a date, then they often expect sex as a “reward” simply because they bought dinner and some drinks. On the other hand, about the only expectations you’ll get out of women are to open the door for them, pull out their chair, and pay for dinner, though, interestingly, feminists are often against these practices as well.

In essence, gender inequality is based in logical inconsistencies; that women, by definition of their gender, have roles and obligations to society, particularly to men. This brings me back around to anarchism, because the allegation that women have inherent roles and obligations to society implies the existence of the absurd “social contract”.

And going back to my original point, since this became more of a stream-of-consciousness rambling than anything, perhaps it’s best to coin a new label such as “humanism” or “equalism”, which may collectively oppose sexism, racism, ageism, and perhaps other -isms I haven’t thought of yet.

Or better yet, maybe I should just label myself a decent human being.

Catastrophic Twitter Entropy

I feel like spending too much time on Twitter has dulled my writing senses and I can no longer write a blog post of decent length. I would already be running out of my character limit here, and probably start looking for ways to trim the message down so I can fit a #hashtag.

I’m experiencing Catastrophic Twitter Entropy. I’m not even entirely clear on the definiton of “entropy”, it just sounded good.

On this note, somebody recently described me as “overstudied and undersocialized” after having met me about 5 minutes before. I’d say that’s pretty accurate, but is it really that obvious?

I must return to my studies.

Color Matching Givi Crash Bars/Tank Guards

I bought a 2005 Suzuki DL650 V-Strom about a week and a half ago. The day after I bought it, tried stopping on a lateral slope and lo and behold, planted my foot downhill and toppled the bike onto the Givi crash bar, gouging the thing up pretty good on the gravel.

SO!

Step 1: You need a metric 6mm Allen/hex key to remove the bolts holding the crash bar on. I didn’t find one in the tool kit that comes with the bike, so I had to buy a set. (Somehow we didn’t have a single metric Allen key in the house.)

Step 2: Regular satin black Rustoleum sold at Lowe’s matches the original color of the Givi V-Strom tank guard really well. I’m no expert, in fact this is my first time doing something like this, but here’s what I did: I took some fine (150 grit) sandpaper to it to get the rust out and smooth out the scrapes, gave the surface a quick once-over with water and dish soap, then put on the first coat of paint, which I put on far too thick, giving it a smooth and goopy appearance that obviously wasn’t good, so I gave it a day to dry, sanded it lightly with 220 grit sandpaper to get the goopy appearance out, cleaned again with water and dish soap, then re-sprayed with the Rustoleum, holding the spray can a bit further back and putting on a thinner coat to give it a rougher finish like the factory paint job. You can tell it’s not perfect if you’re checking out the bar, but I have no prior experience with this whatsoever, so I never expected it to be perfect.

I think this is a win. Ride on! And don’t drop the bike next time!

Voluntaryist Philosophy Simplified

A friend of a friend on Facebook didn’t think I seriously thought that taxes were theft. To prevent retorts and going on bit-by-bit, I simplified the entire philosophy so there would be no confusion.

I wanted to save that post for posterity–and for reposting in case I need it in another conversation.

How is any government supposed to operate without taxes–that’s certainly the question. They can’t, because as soon as their funding is voluntary, they’re not a government, they’re a private service provider. Which would be GREAT! Then they’d actually have to provide quality services and wouldn’t be able to dig their tendrils into your property, your business, your earnings, your marriage… I could go on.

Taxes are collected by force, and therefore it is theft. I sure wouldn’t pay them voluntarily, but I fear the gun and the cage of the government, so I pay up. It’s extortion, basically a mafia racket, and government is at its core an immoral institution because it functions ENTIRELY on initiating force against you.

Either you were going to do things the way they want you to anyway, and government is unnecessary, or you weren’t, and they have to threaten you with kidnapping you and locking you in jail to get you to do things their way. If you were to defend yourself like you should against any kidnapper, they will kill you, so in essence, you are threatened with death if you don’t give up your money to this mafia.

The only time anybody should use force against another is in defense of property. (I use property in a very broad sense, including your life, body, and freedom as well as land, home, and belongings.)

Weekly Anarchist News/Rant Show – State of Madness

I’ve started a weekly news/rant show on YouTube. Check out the first two episodes!

Episode 1: Senator Rand Paul detained by the TSA; ex-Presidents make more money than you probably do, without working; President Obama increasing spending on federally subsidized college loans; and Iowa’s war on the word “retarded”.

Episode 2: The government tells the Catholic Church to go to hell; a Houston man is beaten by police for rolling through a stop sign and not pulling over immediately, and they beat his wife too for holding a cell phone; a documentarian, Josh Fox, is arrested for filming a public House of Representatives hearing; a Virginia family faces a crime for bringing there kids to school a couple minutes late.

So you think the government should regulate TV?

I was just reading a thread on an internet forum on the subject of whether the government should regulate content (particularly profanity and sexual content) on television. Some people–obviously older (50+) Republicans; I could tell by their refusal to admit the parts of their argument that were wrong, as they subtly and gradually changed what they said while claiming they never said their original statement–made some incredibly ignorant arguments and I couldn’t leave it alone, but I knew it was pointless to actually post on said forum, so I resorted to my blog, or as I sometimes like to call it, my rant engine.

Fallacy: “The government needs to regulate television content.”

Why?

Nonsense: “Because what if they advertise porn while my kid is watching Spongebob???”

1. This is pure idiocy. No television network would do this unless, I don’t know, they were showing Spongebob as some sort of joke for their adult target audience or some similar ridiculousness that still would probably never happen.

2. If this did happen, then you call the network and complain. If it’s a subscription channel, cancel that subscription. Petition your service provider to remove the channel. Do everything you can to make the network lose money for doing something so blatantly inappropriate. When their entire customer base does the same, they will either make things right, or they’ll go out of business.

While this next point wasn’t expressed in the original forum thread I’m talking about, I’ll go out on a limb and say some might think it.

Desperation: “But NOBODY (except me) would put in the effort to do anything about it, and nothing would change, therefore we need government to enforce it.”

That either means that the majority doesn’t actually want it to change, in which case government regulation would be enforcing the will of the minority at the expense of the majority, or society is too lazy to work for changes that they want. If society as a whole won’t work for what it wants, then it doesn’t deserve to get what it wants. Block the channel; cancel your subscription; do what it takes so you don’t watch that channel again. You can affect your own corner of the world, even if you can’t rely on the hopeless, degenerate masses to make real change.

On Relationships

There is something to be said about romantic relationships in this world, or at least in America, and that is that they are extremely flawed. Everyone has a desire to love and be loved, and to have someone special who will be by their side and support them forever. This causes an intense drive to find The One, the soulmate, and to lock in their resolve and their belief in their love for one another by committing to one of the most hastily chosen actions in the world: marriage.

As evidenced by the massive divorce rate, as well as the number of existing but unhealthy marriages, the majority of marriages are actually mistakes. (That is to say at least 51%. I make no claims to any specific figure.)

This is where the hardcore believers in marriage are going to immediately argue with me. You might think that a lot of divorcees are just too weak or too selfish to put the work into the relationship to make it work, but that doesn’t make me wrong; their marriage was still a mistake.

If anyone decides to sever a marriage because they’re unhappy with their spouse and can’t or don’t want to make it work, the marriage was a mistake. It doesn’t matter if they can make it work out if they tried; if they don’t have the interest to do so, it would be disingenuous to keep it up just to make others happy by not getting a divorce. Some people even genuinely think that divorce should be illegal. A couple of reasons can be given for this; one is to make people see that marriage is not to be taken lightly, since there is no way out; another would be to encourage people to give it another try, which they obviously would since they have no options, as they are now in a state-enforced marriage from which they cannot escape except by adultery (if the law offers such a provision) or death. There is almost no way for this to be a healthy, happy relationship. It will, at best, be a tense, begrudging illusion of happiness. I’d wager that the rate of spousal murders would increase as well.

The simple truth is that if either married party decides that they would rather terminate the marriage than live with their spouse any longer, it is obvious that the marriage was a mistake.

This usually comes down to a single, simple truth. Barring mental breakdown, insanity, or brain damage fundamentally changing who the person is, the two parties, in all likelihood, just didn’t know one another well enough when they committed to marriage.

That is, of course, the purpose of the courtship period: to get to know one another. But just as people are too hasty to name people their friends, they are too hasty to call their feelings of attraction and infatuation “love”. The entire courtship period is based not only on determining if you want to spend the rest of your life with this person, but also on convincing her that she also wants to spend the rest of her life with you. Without knowing it, many (I dare say most) men will put up facades to appear more appealing to her, and put more effort into things just to win her heart (and vice versa – I’m making no presumptions on gender, just making my pronouns easier.) That’s basic insecurity, and the fundamental flaw in most flawed relationships.

However, what happens when he is comfortable and secure in his standing with her; no longer feels that he has to make her like him? He stops putting up these facades; stops enhancing the truth and being somebody above his real self. He returns to who he is for real, and then, suddenly, the “spark isn’t there anymore.” Unfortunately, this occurs all too often after marriage, and he is now someone different from whom she married; not unrecognizably so, but uncomfortably distant from who he was then.

Even worse than the illusion he creates about himself is when he projects his own fantasy onto her and pretends that she is someone that she is not and doesn’t even pretend to be. On the extreme end of the spectrum, he may choose to be “friends with benefits,” hoping that this girl to whom he is attracted (which can and will only be intensified by frequent sex) will eventually relent and turn this purely physical relationship into a romantic relationship, only to have his heart broken when she finds a guy she actually likes and isn’t just using to fulfill her physical needs. That’s simply trying to get blood from a stone. I’m straying from the subject though, because that never was and never will be a real romantic relationship.

This is where abstinence before marriage appears to be a good idea. Sex often has the power to intensify attraction and therefore encourage false feelings of love and compatibility. This just glazes over a poor personal relationship. A couple must feel joy in their non-physical interactions, otherwise they just have a poor facsimile of love that only looks like it because people who aren’t in love usually don’t have sex.

But really, abstinence is a non-solution because it’s handled so poorly. More often than not, it is a mandate rather than a personal choice. In that case, it’s not unlikely for a couple to marry after six months simply because they’re approaching the end of the early-relationship-euphoria period and now feel that they need to “progress” to the physical portion of their relationship. They then get married, have a lot of sex, start to realize they aren’t who they thought they were when they married, try to bridge that impossible chasm with a lot more sex, then they burn out and get a divorce because they were never actually compatible anyway.

Honesty is the only thing that can make a relationship successful. Facades, illusions, and fantasies will crumble and you will be left, not the Wizard, but the man behind the curtain, defrauding the person who should be most important in your life.

Always be real, and always be yourself. Always expect others to be real, and always expect others to be themselves. The rest will come naturally.

A Rant on Nation Building and Patriotism

It amazes me every time I see a United States citizen attack another United States citizen (verbally; I have yet to see it happen physically, though I don’t doubt that it has) over a disagreement on the validity of military operations that our government is currently carrying out in multiple countries.

We are not at war, yet we have somewhere in the vicinity of 150,000 soldiers on active duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. Our military is battling and killing foreigners every day, yet we are not at war.

I understand the need, after 9/11/2001, for vengeance. It’s a natural (though misled) response to a heinous act, particularly against people to whom you feel a connection. It has been ten years since that act of violence was carried out against us, and we still have 150,000 men on active duty in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Wait… Iraq? What does Iraq have to do with this?

Isn’t that an interesting question?

Saddam Hussein’s regime supposedly had weapons of mass destruction, and this apparently warranted the United States government to invade and put a stop to it. Evidently, our government has appointed themselves as the world police, with jurisdiction in any country they so choose — or rather, any country that they have sufficient military force to dominate.

How long did it take us to determine there were no weapons?

How long has Saddam Hussein been dead? Going on five years.

And we’re still in Iraq. There are still men and women who are fighting and dying on a fallacy. American people still support this, and our soldiers are even willing to die for this, because of “terrorism”.

Every time someone speaks out against the fallacy, against this chain that the government has wrapped around your neck and convinced you was for your own good, the majority has been so hypnotized and brainwashed by the fallacy that it will attack anyone who points out how wrong and backwards it is.

They have been somehow convinced that our military is “defending our freedom.” I can’t count the number of times I’ve seen the attacks consist of a phrase along the lines of, “They are fighting to defend your freedom to say these things.”

This is absolutely, 100% incorrect. In fact, as we continue to root for our troops and fear terrorism, the government pulls the chain tighter and tighter.

You have already lost infinitely more freedom to your own government than you would have if our military never deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq and left things well enough alone.

You now can’t fly without having your privacy agregiously violated. You can’t bring fingernail clippers in your carry-on bag. The police force is becoming increasingly militarized. Police road blocks are commonplace. We have to be careful what we say in public or risk being reported to the police by our neighbors. You can’t sell unprocessed, natural milk. You can’t even grow a garden in your own front yard.

Our military is not fighting for our freedom.

Our military is fighting to distract you from the man behind the curtain, taking your freedom away.

Moreover, these overseas operations continue to suck billions and billions of dollars away while our own country’s economy collapses underneath us.

Do I think our soldiers are murderers? Maybe. With 150,000 of them engaged in the fallacy, there’s no way to give an all-encompassing answer.

Do I think our soldiers are evil? Not necessarily.

Do I hate our soldiers? No. They are all, however, misled.

At the end of the day, everything that our soldiers do to make us proud is based on an enormous web of falsehoods, and is driven by powerful men who want only to become more wealthy and more powerful, and do not care about you.