There are always unintended consequences of war. But who knew the war in Ukraine would lead to an upturn in men looking for ‘a love match’. At least two countries are seeing men flock to dating sites looking for a match with Ukrainian women fleeing their war-torn countries. In Canada, Quebec-based dating sites have seen interest double or triple. China is also seeing a war-related deluge of online attention for Ukrainian women. Some speculate that these are men with saviour complex or men who simply want to help. But there is a dark side to this phenomenon. There have been reports of offensive on-line content, including videos such as “capturing Ukrainian beauties.” Amnesty International Canada expressed concern to CTV about vulnerable women putting their trust in the hands of men whom they really don’t know. Another bizarre turn is that some Russian soldiers are also promoting themselves to Ukrainian women on dating apps. Let’s hope that traumatized women escaping war find enough economic and emotional support from aid volunteers and others that they aren’t tempted to go this dubious route.
(Not Even) Half Baked
Free dumb fixation
Today’s so-called ‘freedom’ rallies are the go-to manoeuvre of the angry white man’s manual.
Whether being shouted from truck convoys or at another version of today’s recurrent rage fests, it’s a dog whistle for convening bigots, hypocrites, misogynists and white supremacists.
The strategy of vainglorious freedom fighters is all too transparent. Celebrate denial. Trot out the conspiracies du jour. and conveniently overlook that restrictions on behaviour in the interest of public health and human rights are nothing new (ban on tobacco advertising, seat belt requirements, environmental protection standards, child trafficking, rape, slavery).
In their world, freedom equates to the right to opt out of the social contract: Freedom from vaccinations that save lives. Freedom from books whose narratives diverge from the white man’s truth. Freedom from acknowledging alternative gender or sexual orientation realities. Freedom to end reproductive choice for women. Freedom to brand affirmative action as discrimination. Freedom to disbelieve climate change science
Today’s warped and confused definition of freedom – the right to do whatever, whenever – leaves scant hope that we will ever be able to make the compromises and sacrifices needed to avoid climate disaster. Without a basic shared belief in the role of government to protect our common interests, we are doomed. Every regulation or new policy aimed at curbing greenhouse gases, becomes an assault on ‘freedom.’
We can not save the planet without changing the way we live. We will need to give up some behaviours to gain the ultimate freedom to exists. And we need to do it fast.
Time to try woke wiping
Just like Princess Diana used to take her sons on visits to the homeless and people with AIDS, Elon Musk is trying to teach his children the ways of the world. He recently took them to Walmart to witness the toilet-paper shortage cause by the pandemic.
“I wasn’t sure, is this like a real thing or not? Musk said. “I actually took my kids to the H-E-B and Walmart in Texas to just confirm if it was real. Indeed, it was. And there’s plenty of food and everything else but just nothing, no paper products.”
Musk mused about what an “odd choice” of item for people to panic about. “If [the] end of the world is coming, I think toilet paper is the least of your problems,” he noted.
The man of many bidets may not be in the best position to weigh in on the preoccupations of the little people.
Musk’s remarks have highlighted an important issue, though, and illustrated how the pandemic is, in some cases, shaking up the capitalist landscape. According to the Natural Resources Defence Council (NRDC), toilet paper is one of the biggest contributors to global warming by destroying forests that pull carbon from the atmosphere.
The TP shortages caused by supply chain issues during the pandemic have stymied major corporate brands like Charmin and Cottonelle while creating an opening for alternative, more sustainable arse-wiping products. It’s perhaps time to switch rolls and take a crack at some of the products of start-ups using recycled paper and bamboo like Cloud Paper, Cheeky Monday, and Who Gives a Crap, just to name just a few.
(Not Even) Half Baked
Been there, done that
Joe Biden’s vow this week to make good on his promise to appoint a Black woman to the Supreme Count as soon as he got the chance has provoked the usual response amongst the ignorant and racist.
One of the most offensive and yet predictable reactions was that of Fox pundit Tomi Lahren. “I’m sure it would be a Black woman. We saw how well that worked out with Kamala Harris, but here’s hoping he has a better choice in mind for this position.” Senator Mitch McConnell dog-whistled his response when he cautioned Democrats to avoid a “radical’ supreme court pick.
Lahren’s brand of discriminatory thinking is prevalent amongst the historically advantaged. Women and minorities are treated as representatives of their entire cohort. If one stumbles or fails, it reflects on all of them i.e., Hey, we tried a woman. That didn’t work out.’ But the same unwritten rules don’t apply to members of majority groups who are judged as individuals and more often given second and third chances.
As for Kamala Harris, who knows what is going on behind the scenes between her and the rest of President Biden’s administration and the motivation behind the criticism currently being heaped on her.
It’s one of today’s most mystifying and as-yet unanswerable questions confounding humankind, especially women. Why do so many men transmit pics of their penises? To both women they know and women they don’t know. The second-to-last episode of the TV hit series Succession waded into the dick pic zeitgeist but unfortunately shed no new light on the phenomenon. At a meeting, Roman accidently texted his father Logan a dic pick that was meant for his oedipal obsession Gerri, sitting across the table. Logan, aghast and dumbfounded, demands to know: “Are you a sicko? What is this? Why do you send them? Roman contritely responds: “People just send each other pics of their dicks. Just a way to say, ‘here’s my dick’.” Men aren’t known to be the most self-reflective half of the species. But if they can’t explain genital sharing, surely some behaviour scientist can shed light on why we suddenly have men doing in droves what their fathers or grandfathers would never have thought of doing. Is it a technology thing? In the seventies it would have been considerably more logistically complicated given the state-of-the-art photography equipment, not to mention the delayed gratification (i.e., photos still in the snail mail!). Or does it reflect a different view of privacy? Or maybe new concepts of courtship? Although, I’ve yet to meet a woman who says she found a penis photograph the least bit titillating. My guess is that much of today’s generation of guys feels the same way about their penises as guys in the 70s and 80s felt about their cars (definite chick-bait). If true, it speaks volumes about the continuing communication chasm over what women want. And how depressing that so many men see their penis (aka car) as representing and conveying to women the essence of who they are and what they have to offer.
Hymen hype pure hooey
Most girls grow up with mothers and fathers cautioning them that there is no way to un-pop a popped cherry. The issue of virginity is a loaded rite of passage for all young people. Females can get a complex for “losing” it too soon. Males get a complex if they can’t lose it soon enough. Now a TikTok video by a South Carolina mother of five daughters has garnered more than 11 million hits with her brave new spin on the birds and the bees. “I’m raising my five daughters to believe that there is no such thing as virginity,” says Cayce LaCorte. “It is a patriarchal concept used to control women and serves no purpose other than making women feel bad about ourselves. Just because some guy randomly sticks his penis in you at some point in your life, it does not change your worth. It does not change who you are. It doesn’t do anything other than it happened.” LaCorte doesn’t downplay the significance of sex in a person’s life. She just wants everyone to chill about the first time and think more about developing non-stigmatizing, healthy attitudes toward sex. She has my vote for mother of the year.