Blogroll: Judgy Bitch

The Blog: Judgy Bitch.  Monthly-ish updates, usually in the form of long, point-by-point critiques of articles by feminists saying the sorts of things that feminists who write say.

Why I Like It: In a perfect world, debates would be independent of debaters, and issues would stand on their own.  However, this isn’t a perfect world, and it sure is nice to have a duo (I think) of the female persuasion on-board in this community.  The writing is thoughtful and frequently wickedly funny.

Best Of: The humor in this post made me laugh out loud in public today, and inspired me to get back to updating my blogroll a bit more often:

My husband pays all the bills, so I OWE him blowjobs, right?

…what I object to in Wurtzel’s despairing accusation is that my relationship with my husband is a strict quid pro quo exchange of one service for another.  It’s Wurtzel’s insistence that an equal relationship can only be measured by one metric:  MONEY.  A  marriage is a vehicle for the EXCHANGE of wealth.

That leads to only one conclusion: If my husband earns all the money, I must OWE him something for that, and in Wurtzel’s mind, that one thing is SEX.  Wurtzel didn’t say women who are supported by men are HOUSEKEEPERS, because that would mean I owe my husband a clean house.  She didn’t say women who are supported by men are CHEFS, because that would mean I owe my husband food.  She didn’t say women who are supported by men are NANNIES because that would mean I owe my husband childcare.

Nope.  We’re PROSTITUTES, so that means what I owe my husband in exchange for my keep is BLOWJOBS. Lots of them.  What’s the street rate for a blowjob? I’m not sure.  Let’s say $50?  Does that sound fair? So we’ll put Mr. JB’s salary at $100 000/year (I’m not really sure, I pay very little attention to those details).  That means I owe Mr. JB 2000 blowjobs every year.

Jesus.  That’s over 5 blowjobs a day, no weekends off!…

So in Wurtzel’s mind, I have two choices:  I can ante up and deliver my fair share of blowjobs, or I can get out there and earn some money, thereby reducing my blowjob workload.  If I picked up a job for say, $50 000/year, I would be down to just over 2 blowjobs a day.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is what a truly equal partnership looks like!  Microsoft Excel is going to be useful in keeping track of all this.  I’m also going to need some kneepads and probably a whole lot of Prozac to survive this kind of equality.

Check them out.

Blogroll: Athol Kay

The Blog: Married Man Sex Life, ran by Athol Kay.

Why I Like It: It’s important to read from perspectives other than your own, and Athol Kay is one of the few bloggers in his field who has been married for a long time (19+ years!)  His writing reflects his experiences and lessons learned and therefore covers angles that his fellow bloggers’ writings don’t.

Athol Kay writes about maintaining a happy marriage in the face of a culture that distorts images of love, romance, and marriage, and actively encourages divorce.  In many ways he seems to be re-discovering traditional conventional wisdom as opposed to current conventional wisdom, and it seems to be working for him.  He is no Bible-Belt Traditional Conservative though, Athol is open about his atheism and his principals don’t rely on blind acceptance of any particular theology.

His writing is the antithesis of the all-too-common victimhood mentality.  His book centers on self improvement, raising one’s value in the marriage, and brutally confronting pretty lies that block honest communication.  While divorce rates may be high, it is not a hopeless situation and there are steps couples can take to strengthen their marriages.  It’s a lot more uplifting message than, say, Eat, Pray, Love.

Finally, Athol has the distinction of being one of those damn inflammatory writers that the Jezebel and Feministing crowds would love to lynch, yet he was also invited to work the a US Army family strengthening program!  I regret I haven’t followed up more on this project of his; I would certainly like to learn more.

Best Of: First, it goes without saying that his first book serves as a reference point.  It’s even called The Married Man Sex Life Primer.  Obviously his other book serves a similar purpose.  It is a collection of essays entitled, How to Answer, “Do these pants make my ass look fat,”…and Get Laid Like Tile. 

Second, the aforementioned self improvement which he refers to as the MAP; Male Action Plan.

Finally, he has an encyclopedic-type post which offers his take on a concept I have yet to get around to in my own writing, the Red Pill.  As I mentioned briefly above, current conventional wisdom has yielded a culture with significant social problems that no one seems to understand.  Athol Kay and compatriots offer their advice and explanation for the confounding state of affairs using the Matrix’s Blue Pill/Red Pill concept as a metaphor.  The Blue Pill represents the politically-correct, approved set of beliefs we are supposed to hold and the world that they create.  The Red Pill is the body of knowledge that can be gained simply through observing the world we actually live in.

 

Blog Roll: Vox Day

Time to add to my blog roll.

The Blog: Vox Day, written by Theodore Beale/Vox Popoli, who also maintains Alpha Game Plan.  In his day job he is a sci-fi/fantasy author with quite a few books to his credit.

Why I Like It: Vox Day offers daily, often multiple-per-day, articles on current events that pay notice and dissect the baises behind their sources as well as places them in the context of mainstream and alternative narratives.  Alpha Game Plan is a spinoff from his original blog where he puts all of his romance and relationship-related articles, which still follow the same guidelines.  His articles on the internal politics of sci-fi authors and professional organizations is a niche that doesn’t get a lot of coverage on the web, but is fascinating nevertheless.  When you consider that this is a genre read predominantly by the middle class, technically inclined STEM guys who shape the world we live in, it takes on a few extra facets worth dwelling on.  The range, depth, and volume of commentary are all great.  I recommend anyone who likes anything I write add his blogs to your RSS feed.

Best Of: Once in a while a blogger writes a post that serves as a center, a foundation, and a reference point for related discussions.  Vox’s “The Socio-Sexual Hierarchy” is one such post.  This hierarchy serves as a reference for discussions of social dynamics on his blogs and elsewhere, and as such is worth reading if you are working your way through my blog roll.

 

Blogroll: Hyperbole and a Half

This is my first blogroll post.  Rather than instantly conjure a blogroll that just lists things I like, I will be using this series to also cover why I like them and in some cases include a short list of my favorite posts.

The Blog: First up is Hyperbole and a Half, written by Allie Brosh.  The content generally takes the form of whimsical drawings illustrating her ideas, experiences, and pet peeves.  It’s relatable, entertaining, and I wish her all the best as she recovers from depression and releases her first book!

Why I Like It: I need to understand things and ideas.  This leads me to take them apart.  I credit this compulsion with my skill at untangling complex arguments and noticing biases, agendas, and especially unspoken, unacknowledged assumptions.  Academics often refer to this as “unpacking” an issue; usually with the condescending connotation that whoever’s idea they are about to unpack is full of aforementioned small-minded assumptions.  For that reason I usually think of myself instead as a deconstructionist.  While I think this pretty accurately describes my method of thought, I also speculate that my results and therefore my politics and worldview probably don’t align with many others who also see themselves as deconstructionists.  I think it’s a pretty cool place to be.  Friends have said they’d pay money to see how the wheels in my head turn.

However, this skill has a dark side to it.  It inevitably and repeatedly leads to depression.  At a certain level of deconstruction, concepts begin to lose a level of meaning that resonates emotionally with people.  As River from FireFly explains to Sheppard Book, “I tore these out of your symbol and they turned into paper, but I wanna put them back, so…”

Allie covers this phenomenon masterfully in her two comics dealing with her own depression.  I have lived the bowling alley discussion over and over again at times and places I was supposed to be enjoying myself and wasn’t.  In the span of a few pictures and a dozen words she explains why you can’t “just cheer up” a depressed person; they aren’t refusing to enjoy themselves—they genuinely don’t understand how to be happy in their present circumstances.

Furthermore, advice from those who don’t understand falls on deaf ears.  “That”, as she says, “is a solution to a different problem than the one I have”.

Finally, Allie illustrates one of the (only?) most reliable cures; a sense of defiance of circumstance and an exertion of control and ownership over one’s circumstances.  In the same way that tearing down your environment to threads of understanding renders it joyless, (and for a visual example, the way that viewing the Matrix as a code renders it overwhelming and senseless to the human eye), grabbing those threads and assembling them into something, be it a video rental or The Woman In Red, puts the joy and fun back into life.  Her pure joy in free will at the video store is something else I’ve experienced more than a few times, and is a lesson worth sharing.

Best Of: Obviously I am a huge fan of her two long posts on depression.  However, I’ll use this section to acknowledge:

  1. The origin of a near-universally-known internet meme as well as a description of where I am in my own life.
  2. Her new pain scale which I hope finds more wide-spread acceptance in the medical community.  Because the current one is just not useful (4:25 on).

So, those are some reasons to check out hyperboleandahalf.  Enjoy!