Gun violence in America: the stats

I wonder why America is such a gun violent society? Considering how geographically close Canada is the the US, I wonder how we managed to escape the need to use guns. Not saying people never get shot in Canada, but Canadians are nothing like Americans when it comes to gun violence. Here are some of the stats:

  • On average, there are nearly 12,000 gun homicides a year in the USA.
  • On an average day, 93 Americans are killed by guns.
  • 62% of the gun deaths are suicides. Does that mean the problem is not as deeply entrenched as it seems at first blush?
  • At the same time, 7 children and teens are killed each day…
  • And in an average month 50 women are shot to death by intimate partners.

Such carnage! Most of it preventable. Just take the guns away. Melt them down.

But… If they didn’t have guns, would Americans find other ways to kill themselves, each other and women and children? What could be behind this epidemic? Poverty? Ignorance? A lack of education? Some kind of existential crisis? An inability to use words to resolve conflicts? A bizarre need to dominate? The simple availability of guns? … Don’t know that there is a simple answer. There are solutions proposed. Mostly they involve restricting the availability of guns. And such solutions are vehemently opposed.

I guess the gun lobby, the people who profit from the sale of guns, want to protect their profits. I know, they hide their opposition under the guise of a constitutional right. If you buy that, you have probably also invested in swamp land in Florida.

It seems that it is easier to carry a gun in the US than it is to smoke in public. It makes no sense to me. But then I guess I’m just a naive Canuck who can’t understand why a man would want to kill a woman, child or other man.

Donald Trump, the president of the US, has taken to calling terrorists “losers”. And I agree, they are mentally and emotionally deficient losers. But if he scoped out his own backyard, he would sadly find his country is full of losers, and people who are only too happy to profit from them.

We Wonder Women how many ways men can prove themselves idiots

The richest country in the world is run by a man who has no women in significant positions. And yet when a theater in Austin, Texas decides to screen the first major female-led superhero movie of the 21st century, Wonder Woman, for an all female audience, men protest and claim discrimination.

Really guys, with all the shit that is going on in the world these days, this is where you draw the line?

To mark the premier of Wonder Woman, the dine-in theater chain Alamo Drafthouse announced an all-female screening of the film at their Austin location—and when they said “all-female,” they meant it, promising not just a women-only audience, but also female projectionists, chefs, and other theater staff. And as the first quickly sold out, they added another.

What a marvelous idea. Kudos to whomever came up with it.

These all-female screenings are not the only screenings of Wonder Woman that Alamo is offering. In other words, men can go to the movie. Still, a group of men managed to say, ‘How can I make this about me?’ They took to social media to protest that all-female screenings as “discrimination” and a serious blow to “equality.”

Right. Don’t know how equality or the egos of men will ever survive such a blow.

To its credit, Alamo responded to these critics by adding even more all-female screenings at its theaters across the country, which are selling out rapidly. Proceeds from certain screenings are even going toward Planned Parenthood.

Meanwhile, the protesting men just look like, well, idiots.

Why don’t you just buy a case of beer and invite your fellow neanderthal friends over to watch some stupid sporting event.

Tell you what, the only reason I’d want to go to the all female screening (and I would not ask to go!) is so that I would not have to sit in the theater with the likes of you.

Seriously, look in the mirror. I suspect you will see a butt crack staring back.

I could be wrong, but I could not imagine women giving a shit if you want to hold an all male screening of Thor.

God, how did we as a gender ever manage to survive our stupidity?

Why no recent Honorable Men blog posts? The answer may disgust you.

Someone recently asked me why there have been no recent Honorable Men blog posts. The short and honest answer is that I have been overwhelmed. Not overwhelmed by work or life. No. But overwhelmed at how disgustingly dishonorable men are. And by ‘men’ I mean governments, societies, gangs and groups and individuals.

When I first set up this blog, I thought I’d comment on the occasional dishonorable act committed by men. And every now and then I’d nudge men, suggesting that they clean up their act and act in a more honorable manner.

The sad, sad, so very sad, and disgusting, truth is that there is a freaking overwhelming number of dishonorable acts committed by men in government, men as a societal gender, groups and gangs of men and male individuals on a daily, hell, hourly basis–all around the world.

I don’t know how or why women put up with it. Why they haven’t revolted. Why they accept baby steps forward even as nothing seems to change.

The other contributing factor to my lack of posting is that men are not listening. I’m not surprised they they are not listening to this blog. I mean who the hell am I? But they are not listening to people–honorable men and women with power and academic smarts–either.

There have been gains, but the war is not going well.

To wit, Canada has elected a male prime minister who calls himself a feminist. Cool. Justin Trudeau has appointed women to 50% of his cabinet positions. Very cool. But overall, what has this progressive Canadian government run by a feminist leader done to put and end to the assault–mental, emotional and physical–by men on women?

I dare say the answer is very little, or next to nothing. So what the hell can we expect from a country like America where they have elected a “pussy grabbing” man as president (and 52% of white woman voted for the miscreant!)? Let alone what can we expect from countries where genital mutilation is the norm?

I haven’t given up hope, but I’ve all but given up writing about the issue. There is just so much to write about and it’s all so bloody overwhelming, how men treat women, gay men and children… and continue to basically get away with it…

Oh, in some countries, men are caught and they go to jail. But that is barely a band aid on a bleeding jugular vein. It is going to take a revolution to end the mental, emotional and physical abuse that is, sadly, a deeply entrenched part of our culture. And even more deeply entrenched in so many other cultures.

The really sad thing? Men are negating a vital half of the world. I mean think how much better the lives of women and men would be if we worked together in harmony. By negating half the world, men are in fact denying themselves of much more fulfilling lives. And that is sad, beyond sad.

Don’t get me wrong. There are honorable men out there. Many of them. And for the record, I happen to believe that our prime minister, Justin Trudeau, is one of them. But the fact that little or nothing is being done in an overall enlightened country just goes to show you how deeply entrenched the problem is, and the extent to which we are in denial about it.

Men need help. They way we treat others need to change. But help doesn’t seem to be forthcoming… With that in mind….

…I for one look forward to the revolutionary wake up call! Now that is something that I would love to be able to blog about.

Should you separate the man from his art?

Should you separate the man from his art? In the case of Chuck Berry, should you separate the man from his music?

Chuck Berry, an early pioneer of rock ‘n roll, made some great music.

At the same time, he was convicted of transporting a teenager across state lines “for immoral purposes” (sex with a minor, now call statutory rape).

In addition, he owned a restaurant in which he installed cameras in the women’s washroom… Don’t think we need to guess what for…

In short, great rock ‘n roll artist; creep and pervert. Kind of like Bill Cosby, who is now facing multiple rape charges. Great comedian; creep and pervert. And kind of like so many other male artists.

Does this abuse of women fuel their art? Does it diminish their art? It is a complex and complicated subject, life versus art. All I know is that I can no longer listen to Bill Cosby comedy and am now avoiding Chuck Berry music.

India film banned for being ‘lady oriented’

Since the Oscars were yesterday, this article from The Guardian seems sadly appropriate.

Alankrita Shrivastava, the director of Lipstick Under My Burkha, calls Central Board of Film Certification’s decision ‘an anachronism’

An award-winning Indian film with a feminist slant has been refused a certificate by the Indian censors.

In a letter to the producers of Lipstick Under My Burkha, the Central Board of Film Certification denied the film a certificate because “the story is lady oriented … there are sexual scenes, abusive words, audio pornography and a bit sensitive touch [sic] about one particular section of society”.

Directed by Alankrita Shrivastava, Lipstick Under My Burkha describes itself as a story about “four feisty women in small-town India [who] try to chase their little dreams and desires through secret acts of rebellion”, and has won awards at the Tokyo and Mumbai film festivals.

Shrivastava responded by saying: “The CBFC’s decision is an anachronism.”

In an interview with the Quint she added: “Why should a film that tells a story of female desire be stifled? Don’t women have dreams? Why is it okay for women to be shown as mere objects of male fantasy, but not women with agency over themselves? It is about the continued stifling of women’s voices in our country.”

Read the full article in The Guardian

BBC article: Does Silicon Valley have a sexism problem?

As soon as I saw the headline, Does Silicon Valley have a sexism problem?, I thought of course it does. After all, Silicon Valley is full of engineers, the majority of them male. I recall male engineers at the University of Toronto. A then friend of mine was in the engineering program and I went to several functions with him. Sexist doesn’t come close to describing these events. Misogynistic would certainly come closer to the truth. It was like this heard of men hated women. You would think they were stereotypical construction workers wolf-whistling as women walked on by.

That is not to say that all engineers are sexist or misogynistic. (or that all construction workers are!) That is to say many of them, engineers and construction workers, are–to the extreme. I’ve never understood  how a group of well educated men could behave that way. Call me naive. I guess education has nothing to do with it. If your mentality is idiotic, if you are an idiot, then you behave like, well, an idiot. And just because you graduate university, get a job, perhaps even get married and have kids, doesn’t mean you stop acting like an entitled jerk.

Don’t know how women exist in such an environment. If men had to put up with such attitudes, well they wouldn’t!

Not sure how you put an end to it. Perhaps women should form their own firms, ones that hire no men. Not saying these companies would be perfect, have no issues. Saying at least sexism and misogyny wouldn’t be one of the problems. And it is a huge issue. One, as I say, if it were reversed, men would not put up with it. I am suggesting that women find a way–I am not smart enough to figure out the way–to not put up with it.

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Here is an excerpt from the article with a link to the full article and other BBC articles on sexism.

Taxi-hailing app Uber has promised an “urgent investigation” into claims of workplace sexual harassment, after a female engineer said misogyny was rife at the firm and women were quitting in droves.

Susan Fowler, a software engineer, wrote a blog post about a “very, very strange year at Uber”. In it, she says her manager tried to have sex with her on her first official day at work, sending her messages about his open relationship.

It’s just the latest blow for a company that has gained a reputation as a bastion of Silicon Valley’s macho “bro” culture. But is Uber really any more sexist than other tech giants in the Valley?

Ms Fowler’s claims have resonated with many women in the tech world, and surveys suggest her experiences are not uncommon.

According to a 2016 survey, 60% of women working in Silicon Valley experience unwanted sexual advances.

The “Elephant in the Valley” survey found that 87% of the 220 women interviewed had witnessed demeaning comments from their colleagues. Almost 40% of those who said they were harassed at work did not report the situation, fearing it would damage their careers.

“I was propositioned by a hiring manager early in my career when I was a job candidate,” one contributor to the study wrote. “He clearly indicated that if I slept with him, he would make sure I was promoted as his ‘second in command’ as he moved up the ladder in the company.”

Former Reddit CEO Ellen Pao tweeted a message of support after Ms Fowler’s story was published. Another said she had turned down her CEO’s sexual advances the first time they travelled together for work. “After that, I was never asked to travel with him again,” she said. “This impacted my ability to do my job.”

The study followed a high-profile gender discrimination lawsuit in 2015 from former Reddit CEO Ellen Pao – one of those praising Ms Fowler’s stand against Uber. On Twitter, Ms Pao said Ms Fowler’s blog post shows “the state of tech in one woman’s story, also the story of many women, many people at many companies.”

Read the full article here.