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漫画 女郎蜘蛛其の一

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Happy Christmas! I should've made a Jo-rô-gumo with a Christmas theme.


漫画 Swords Gesture


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模倣子 Again with the Patriarchy

 Here's the original article on Medium 

Here's the original post I was replying too...

Really good stuff. Yes, men are really treated horribly in USA society. But it's ironic we are so at odds with the arabic world, since we treat women comparatively badly.
For example, circumcision in the USA--how can we expect men to be sympathetic to women's genital and sexual self-determination when it's denied men so brutally and right at birth?
"A Man's Gotta Do What A Man's Gotta Do" says the most sexist official sign in the US -- the draft registration sign at the Post Office. Men have to die, by law, not get onto the lifeboats, by law, men get punished far more harshly, everywhere, and so on and so. This is all true.
The thing is that women's oppression could mostly be turned off overnight with the stroke of a pen, in many cases. Free day care, free menstruation holidays (like in Japan), but not so easy for men. Men's suffering really may be necessary for society to function.
Labeling things "patriarchy" and then drawing conclusions from that, as opposed to the reverse, may be a bad way of going about it.
As soon as you start saying that "women suffer more" or "no, men suffer more" your activism grinds to a halt. Men do suffer horribly, aren't allow to cross the border into Poland with their children but are instead handed a gun (if they're lucky) and turned back to be slaughtered with a cruelty we usually spare even insects.
If your women's liberation agenda is based on "women suffer more than men", you may be right, but it's a pointless argument. Women should not have to suffer at all, certainly not in ways that are easily prevented. With ADA we spent billions for wheelchair ramps and big-door elevators, and yet we spend nothing on the basic needs of women, and I hear little or no discussion of this, and when I bring it up at corporate planning meetings I get ignored or shouted down (often by managerial women). Just forget that. Forget the "framing arguments" to do with "patriarchy" or "systemic misogyny" -- those are descriptions of SYMPTOMS. Maybe useful, but may not serve the cause of activism and progressive change. I don't know if Ghandi said this, but it's sometimes attributed thereto (it might've been Abby Hoffmann):
"The measure of the soul of a society is how it treats its women (and children)"
And another of my favs:
"No people are truly defeated until the faces of its women are on the ground."
-- Apache (Cheyenne) proverb
...so by both of those we're going a pretty piss-poor job in the ol' US of A.
We don't HAVE to play the blame game, and say that "it's a patriarchy" or "we're under alien control" or "it's a communist takeover" (notice how all of these have in common that they're equality plausible, equally impossible to define or verify, and equally distracting from the work of actually doing the work of getting people together and solve the problem?).
A more useful tack might be, instead of HAVING to label everything before proceeding, is to just acknowledge that men suffer horribly in our society, that's it's really unfair, but that we're not going to do anything about it because that suffering might be hard to unravel without destroying the economy and our military preparedness, and that since we CAN make women's lives much better, and that IS a very valuable objective, we should TRY making women's lives better, starting with the things that will be:
a) easiest and quickest to implement
b) the cheapest
c) will have the widest and greatest benefit to the largest number of women
And then we might have to actually have to be honest with ourselves. This is a whole book in itself, but we may have to take an honest look at how we're exact as misogynist and in the same ways as the arab world. If a woman is walking unescorted, especially at night, then she's obviously a prostitute and is fair game for cat-calling and other attention (that's what they do over there). We need to admit we have that attitude and do what we need to to change it, if that's the case. The Sexual Revolution and The Pill may have changed the dynamics such that contraception is now 100% the responsibility of the woman, and maybe we need to confront that. Is it useful to say that "Women in the USA don't get free menstruation holidays like they do in Japan and they should, and the USA is a patriarchy" or do we just need to say the first part? Try this "USA Women should get free day's off for their periods like Japanese women do, and we have to stop those invisible purple elves from stealing our magical pancake syrup." How does the last clause help? How does adding a nonsensical, oxymoronic, unfalsifiable, beggared question to the end make it better?
I guess if something's linguistically problematic then it's just problematic, full stop. Again, I'm not sure we need to say something "is a patriarchy," especially when it invites an avalanche of pushback and counterexamples, and so on. It's enough to say the punch line, which is that women are being mistreated, independent of how horribly men are being treated, and here's a prioritized list of things we can do about it. If once those things start to get fixed, it will cease to be "a patriarchy," then what's the use in putting forward the? patriarchy argument in the first place? Since by your statements, MOST MEN can do nothing about making it a "not patriarchy" and "patriarchy" is merely a catch-all description and does not point to a "solution" (since it's not a statement of a problem, per se) how does attaching this name, and making some kind of a case (which can be strongly argued against) that women suffer more than men, and women are "less valued" than men, it seems you're putting out an argument that may be at least somewhat circular, i..e, "the USA is a patriarchy, therefore women suffer more than men (by definition of a patriarchy, I guess), but hey wait! here's a bunch of cases where men suffer more--oh but that can't be, or we need to sugar coat that somehow, or they brought it on themselves (while of course women did not) because it's a patriarchy, etc., etc., etc."
The way you use patriarchy is a bit like me saying "my new couch is comfortable". It can be subjective, and if I try to lay across the drink island thing, it ceases to be true...."
I don't mean to demean the seriousness of the issue at hand, but at the same time I have to press the issue that "It's A Patriarchy" is a label (and possibly also a name of a game show) and not a "description" that can be extended, like, because Japan has sei-ri-bi (menstruation holidays) and the US does not, does that make Japan less of a patriarchy than the USA? Can you answer that question or any others like it?
Is this car legally licensed to drive on the roads in the USA (of Japan, or Switzerland, of Mexico)? Yes. Great. No, well, what needs to be done to it to make it roadworthy? Nothing--it's a wagon and can never be licensed. It's emissions need to be fixed. It's tires need to be replaced, etc.
Is patriarchy really the problem? Roadworthiness obviously is, but what's the equivalent in what you're talking about? If the USA (or Japan) ceases to be a patriarchy (by your or whoever's definition), then are we done? Will women no longer be suffering? Will women finally be "valued"? Will MEN no longer suffer, commit suicide six times as much, die in wars and work accidents twenty times as much, live longer, whatever? Or can we still be a patriarchy if we fix all that stuff anyway?
Can we decouple this mania to label things patriarchy and still help women, and maybe even ultimately men, lead better lives?
Does everybody know what a "beggared question" is, or "question-begging"? That may be rather salient here...

Original Post

It is widely known that women live longer than men.

It is widely known that men have higher suicide rates than women.

It is widely known that sexual assault is common in men's jails and prisons. Meanwhile, men are incarcerated at a much higher rate than women.

We do almost nothing about any of it.

It is my understanding that in many jurisdictions female-on-male rape is not recognized, let alone criminalized.

Our national pastime in the U.S., the sport of American football, destroys players' brains. Yet we keep on watching the games from high school to the NFL; the bids for the broadcast rights of the games keep getting higher; and all of college sports is being reorganized around that one sport.

I remember reading that upper middle class white men were hit the hardest by the 2008 recession. Such a man was known as a Beached White Male.

Men in general have been hit the hardest by the wage stagnation, automation, and offshoring of jobs that started in the 1970s.

We do almost nothing about any of this.

What is ironic is that many of the manufacturing jobs that men lost have been filled by women in low-income countries. Among other things, it is believed that women are less likely to unionize.

I don't know the data, but I would not be surprised to find that men are victims of police brutality much more often than women.

I personally have felt the unpaid body guard business sting deeply. I heard at a young age that apparently by being male it is my job to shield a woman from bullets, an oncoming vehicle, etc. and lose my life if that is what it takes. It is one thing to be altruistic and make the conscious choice to sacrifice oneself for others. It is another thing to be told that making such sacrifices, especially sacrificing one's life, and especially to save women, comes with being male.

Yet, much of my life I have heard people say that I and other men "enjoy" male privilege. No, I don't enjoy it at all. I am glad that I have been spared much of it. For example, I never played American football.

Yet, in spite of being fully conscious of everything above and having no hesitation in sharing it, I am now being told that I am not conscious of how I am being exploited, abused, etc. Gosh, I am even being told that my perspective is "specious".

I am so used to it that I have become numb to it, to be honest. I have heard all of it repeatedly in my 51 years on this planet. You know, like how I don't like my female bosses as much as my male bosses and because of my male privilege I don't see that the former had to work harder to get to their positions on the corporate ladder. How I won't ask for directions, won't go to the doctor, etc. because of my toxic masculinity, stubborn male pride, or something like that. How even if I do 50℅ of the housework I, because of patriarchy, male privilege, or something like that, don't take it seriously like a woman does. How I am "visual" and sexually objectify women. How I don't speak up about rape culture, sexual harassment, and other things terrorizing and oppressing women.

But the worst part is having been repeatedly told that because I am a man I can't understand what women have gone through.

Well, I have endured my own share of mistreatment from men--and women--due to sexism/misogyny, homophobia, racism, ableism, etc.

So what have I done about it? Perseverance and resilience. For example, I have enjoyed and supported women's basketball for a long time. I have, among other things, been met with "I don't like girls basketball!" when I tried to discuss it with one woman. The funny thing is, women have no problem discussing with me a sport that destroys men's brains (American football). I have, in the middle of trying to enthusiastically follow the women's game, been met with headlines reminding me that, oh, all of the head coaches in the Women's Final Four are men and how sexist we, including me, still are. Just scratching the surface there. Yet, I keep on supporting and enjoying the sport and expanding the number of women's sports that I follow. You should see the reactions when I try to talk about, oh, women's pole vault. It's like nobody else, including women, is aware that such a thing exists or that anybody cares about it.

Gosh, in spite of all of this people feel the need to hold me accountable for, oh, not being aware of women's oppression, its causes, my role in it, and its negative impact on me.

Not only can one not point out simple, indisputable facts like rape in male prisons and our indifference to it, he can't even get women to respect that he is on their side.

But I persevere. Maybe someday I'll break out of this working-two-minimum-wage jobs rut, have a powerful, brilliant female boss, and have the opportunity to tell her how highly I think of her. Or maybe someday I'll have the time and the money to be a women's basketball season ticket holder and someone will publish a story about how I haven't missed a home game in 10 years. Maybe someday the context and the conversation won't be about how me and others like me (men) are oblivious to what women go through and because of our "privilege" and our complicity in women's oppression are completely clueless about the fact that the things that oppress women oppress us as well.




模倣子 Macromemetics and Improv Comedy

Memetic Essays LIST - Manga Index 


I thought I'd just call a pause for a moment and review some memetic concepts, make sure there's not too much jargon muddying the waters. I thought I'd make a direct and consistent appeal to Improv Comedy and link that directly to memetic concepts. The match-up is pretty good.

What is Improv Comedy? 

This is kind of an ambitious question, but a basic concept of improv is to "make an offer" and have others in the group or troupe or whatever "accept the offer." Not accepting the offer is known as "blocking." So that's the dynamic: offer, accept the offer, or block the offer. Obviously, when one comic makes an offier and it's accepted, then both comics get a "bump" (1) or a "payoff". The comic making the offer is taking a "risk." The risk is that their offer will not be accepted, they try to pitch the first half of a joke, making themselves look ridiculous, silly, not funny, for a moment, until somebody else picks up on it and completes the joke.

I'll see if I can think of some examples.

Mapping it onto Memetics 

These concepts: "making an offer," "accepting an offer," "blocking an offer," "taking a (comedic/social) risk," "getting a bump/payoff," or "getting made to look silly" or "getting left holding the bag" are all concepts that relate directly to macromemetics.

Making an offer is deploying a meme, and accepting that offer, or helping that offer to work, is resonating with the meme, or deploying alliance memes to support that meme. Agents are the comics, the ones deploying the memes. Blocking an offer is deploying an immunomeme.

A comic putting a bit out there, making an offer, is hoping to move the act to a new and better state. This means that all the other comics, or actors, will have more chance to throw out, make offers, of funnier and more high-stakes bits, that will give everyone more places to go, which makes it more exciting for everyone, including the audience.

By the same token, a memetic agent is putting memes out there, and if they are accepted, if they resonate with the rest of the cohort (the audience and the other actors/comics), that is, the others reply with "favorable" memes, the system moves to states that give the originator, and his/her allies, more chances to deploy more and more powerful memes.

If a meme or bit is blocked, however, then the system moves to a different place, one where fewer people have the chance to do anything, or where the original comic/agent does not get to move things in the direction they wanted.

The risk that an agent takes is called "memetic debt" and the hope is that this will be "paid back" when his/her meme "lands" or "resonates" with the "audience" and the "other actors" which we just call the memetic cohort. One of the things agents most fear and try to avoid is "residual memetic debt," which is where you take the risk and it doesn't get paid back, so you are left with part or all of what you risked.

Residual memetic debt is kind of like loss of face, or lost of reputation, or even just "accumulated pain" associated with this rejection, like when a comic is trying to be funny, trying to put some energy out there, and others do not extend the joke, do not capitalize on the offer, and instead shut the original comic down and go in a totally different direction. When an offer is paid back, it feels good, partly because there is no residual memetic debt, and partly because the system, the act, has moved to a place that makes it easier for the comic to put more offers out there, and hopefully more impactful ones.

Summary & Conclusions 

I should probably wrap it up here, keep it short and sweet. Concepts such as "offers" and "accepting" or "blocking" from improv comedy translate pretty directly onto "memetic deployment" and "resonance/alliance" and "immunomemes".

There's the idea of "residual memetic debt" which is related to the comic whose offer gets blocked and is left holding the bag and looking stupid. One takes a risk, or incurs memetic debt, in the hope that it will be paid back by others' reactions.

Finally, a big deal is that the object of improv is to put offers out there, get them accepted, and this moves the act to more and more sophisticated states, where there are more and more offers that more and more actors can make. A memetic agent also wants to move the system forward, into memetic states where he/she and his/her allies have more and more opportunities to make high-stakes high-impact memetic deployments.

A bad improv show is one where the actors are not resonating, not clicking, or are working against each other, some pulling one way and others another. Memetic systems, full of agents and memes, moving from state to state, looks quite the same. Factions, or powerful individuals, may pull the system in one direction, which others pull it away from there, and there may be many agents who simply feel powerless. Powerlessness leads to violence (or apathy) just as how in improv people not cooperating leads to frustration and a bored (or angry) audience.

That's where macromemetic engineering comes in...

(1) "bump" is kind of my term, I think. I'm not sure if this is actually used in the field of improv.