The Humble Libertarian

Mind your business.



Friday, October 20, 2017

The Value of #MeToo




Someone I knew from knocking on doors for libertarian-leaning political candidates years ago challenged me on some of my recent thoughts about the #MeToo meme that was re-posted by millions this week. She wrote:

"What is the actual problem of conflating the two, or just including the two as options, in a Facebook post though? As a practical matter, many women who are rape victims may not want to publicly say it but the fact that the meme had harassment as an option maybe allowed them to be freer with their experience. It's not like this is a Congressional law we're talking about where language needs to be precise and not vague... this is a meme."

I wrote back:

Sorry I wrote you a book. There's a lot to unpack here.

So you're saying someone who might be too embarrassed, as sad as that is, to say they were raped, might feel emboldened to speak up about their experience to their group of friends under the cover of the meme's ambiguity?

Wow. That is actually a very good point.

So that's a really great feature of how this meme was constructed. I'll acknowledge that. And I can see the twofold value there of victims feeling a kind of relief of being able to unburden themselves, and a value to society of taking the shame out of being attacked, which is a big tail rattle to attackers and harassers that people are going to be less likely to be afraid to talk about them going forward.

I don't have a problem with people speaking out about abuse. I think it's great. Chelsea Manning. Edward Snowden. Anybody who is hurt by another person or sees another person hurting someone in any way: I say the more people get that all out there and tell others about it and get some sunlight on it the better. Transparency all the way.

In 2013 I shared on Facebook about the years of physical and emotional abuse I endured from my father. I didn't mention my mother (she's been dead since 2001), but she was actually worse than him. He was terrifying and mean when he blew up. She beat me up so badly once when I was 5 and once when I was 11 that I called the police on both occasions. She was surprised the first time that I knew 911.

https://www.facebook.com/wesley.messamore/posts/919252977842

I never got any help. I was actually lectured both times by the police about giving my mother trouble and making false phone calls to 911. My parents made me think it was a horrible embarrassing secret that I needed to keep- that I was a bad kid. It's weird because I hear all these stories about child protective services being on hair trigger alert and taking kids just because the parents let them play outside in the front yard without being out there to watch them.

There wasn't a campaign for child abuse at the time. I just had to share because my son was born the month before and I had to finally reckon with the abuse I'd experienced. I couldn't imagine treating my son how I was treated. And this may sound weird, but Snowden speaking up about the NSA earlier that month emboldened me to speak up about what I knew.

I called every member of my extended family individually and had a long conversation with them about it. They mostly hated me for tearing apart our family.

I don't have a problem with people telling on abusers as publicly as possible. The stories I've read from my friends have made my heart ache for them. The ones who just copy/pasted the meme and said nothing, but whose stories I knew- my heart ached for them too.

Your point has softened my heart about this, but I still don't think that it is insensitive or dismissive to people who have been victimized to put an asterisk on the formula of this meme and say:

This meme purports to give us a better picture of the magnitude of the problem, but don't be assuming every person who posts it without any details has been sexually assaulted and get the impression the world is a darker place than it really is. And that's a real danger of the meme because of how broad it is.

And that's an asterisk that needs to go on it, which does not at all make your point any less true either that the broadness is probably a good thing as well. Nuance. Complicated issues are going to have some. But that asterisk needs to go on it so we don't get a worse impression of men than they deserve.

And another asterisk is that men are raped as often or more than women in America. It needs this asterisk because the one that Alyssa Milano got going and that people re-posted specifies only women. That's wrong. Because you can Google that if it sounds far fetched. And again, so we don't make men out to be worse than they are. Especially in a cultural environment that I see fomenting some seriously troubling misandry.

Some women may roll their eyes at that, but I won't be forgetting about James Damore or mr-hank any time soon.

And also make sure you're clear what totally different categories sexual harassment and sexual assault are, because casually associating the two is as dangerous in our conversations as it would be disastrous in a legal statute. Our words shape our reality, including corporate policy and legal statutes.

And I don't know if you're paying attention to the extreme social justice warrior movement in academia, or the tyrannical corporate anti-harassment stance in many American companies, but it is feeling a little hostile at there for men on this subject.

There should be an acknowledgment of how much our society values women, and tries very hard to keep them safe and make them feel safe, and takes their problems very seriously, and I would say much more seriously than they take violence against men. Which is another reason why I'm tone policing in the wake of this meme.

Just Google "the talk laughs at man" and watch the female celebrity hosts and the studio audience full of women laugh on national television about a man getting his penis cut off by his horrifically abusive wife.



It's 2017 and 8 out of 10 boys are still genitally mutilated by having a part of their genitals surgically removed right after they are born. It is an illegal practice in much of the rest of the world. And it would be easy to end here because it's not like random attackers are the perpetrators as with sexual violence against women. It's institutionalized, so we could make it go away.

Nothing has been done about this. And this is the blind spot society has for sexual violence against men. Because there's no way we would allow girls' genitals to be cut in this country. This country cares about and supports woman far more than it does men.

That doesn't mean women don't have problems, but I am sensitive to anything that might feed misandry. Because it's not right and because I've got a little boy who's growing up in this world too. And if anyone think this means I'm insensitive to the women who have been assaulted or harassed, they're not hearing me.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Congresswoman Who Criticized Trump's Phone Call With The Soldier's Widow Is A Hypocrite




First of all, let's get this out of the way first.

What was wrong with what Trump said?

All the news headlines are clipping off the statement to make it sound dismissive and insensitive:

"He knew what he signed up for."

Well this is deceptive editing, because what he said was:

"He knew what he signed up for... but when it happens, it hurts anyway."

If you idiots keep doing this shit, you're going to get Trump reelected in a landslide.

This is why so many conservatives love Trump for slamming the media all the time. You guys are all dishonest as hell.

There are plenty of actually terrible things about Donald Trump that you can criticize him for without deceptive editing.

I'm still trying to figure out what is so horrible about what Trump said. Does Rep. Wilson know what the military does?

Yes, the soldier did know he was signing up to fight in wars.

Do all these Democrats who are acting appalled today know what happens in wars?

Saying "He knew what he signed up for," is more or less saying he was very brave and willing to make the ultimate sacrifice.

What is wrong with that?

Stop acting outraged over all these petty nothings and start paying attention to what's really going and get angry about real shit.

Like the fact that there are Americans being sent to fight in foreign civil wars in Niger to begin with.

Did any of you even know there were troops in Niger? Does that not come as a shock to you? Care to comment on that?

Are you not sick of this?

Well the congresswoman, Rep. Frederica Wilson, who raised this controversy over Trump's phone call to the soldier's widow is not only not sick of this... she wants more of it.

She sponsored and got a bill passed to expand U.S. involvement in Niger and into neighboring Nigeria!

So by the time she's done maybe she'll get a couple more Americans from her district killed.

Then invent a reason to be angry about how the president talks to their spouse when they call to give their condolences.

But she won't criticize Trump for sending Americans to die in foreign civil wars in the first place.

Because she's helping him do it.

Not only did she sponsor and pass the aforementioned bill, but she votes for the DOD appropriations bills and the NDAA bills.

To keep putting tens of billions of dollars behind getting Americans killed fighting foreign civil wars in Africa and the Middle East.

If any representative wants to stop the horrific madness of it all, they can vote to defund the God damned- and I mean that so literally- "Overseas Contingency Operation."

Johnson was obviously a bright and capable young man, and he could have done wonderful things for our society.

He could have been working peacefully in some commercial enterprise in Florida and living with his family.

He could have produced something wonderful for our country and watched his children grow up.

Instead Wilson and Trump sent him to a place where people are shooting at each other. Which is so fucking stupid.

These politicians got him killed then bickered at each other to score partisan points in the never ending election cycle.

Fuck them all. Wilson, Trump. Fuck both of them.

And everybody getting on social media to act mad at Trump for not window dressing the irrational horror of U.S. foreign policy...

Instead of slamming Trump, Obama, Bush and all of them for getting Americans killed in foreign civil wars in Africa and the Middle East in the first place: Fuck you too.

As for me- I have always been against every war and will continue to be from now until the day I die.

I'm already against the next war.

If you feel the same way and want to see a news source that cuts through all the damn noise in your feed once in a while....

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Tuesday, October 17, 2017

#MeToo Meme Is Muddy and Sexist




I think there are a couple big dangers worth pointing out about the #MeToo meme.

For one, it may have blown sexual assault out of proportion by conflating it with sexual harassment.

This is because of how the meme was formulated:


So that when someone posts it, they could mean a range of things from being horrifically raped to someone just being very rude to them.

But with sexual assault featuring prominently in this meme, packaging the two all together like that risks painting an inaccurate picture of the world.

...in a campaign that is purported to make us more aware of how things really are out there.

But because of this meme, is the world looking like it might be a lot worse than it really is?


When I brought this concern up in a discussion, a friend of mine said something I agree with 100%:

"I think it's the prerogative of anybody who has been raped to be as vague as they choose."

But right before he said that, he said this:

"I don't think a lot of people who haven't been raped are going to leave it ambiguous, and I think it's the prerogative of anybody who has been raped to be as vague as they choose."

So he is assuming the worst might have happened when he sees the meme reposted without any details.

That is exactly the concern I have.

Of course no one has any obligation to publicly share any of the details about anything in their life.

But that doesn't make this potential danger of #MeToo any less of a potential danger.

And I know he's assuming, but that's what the meme is designed, intentionally or not to make you do...

It is suggestive, not clarifying. It impugns the world by repeatedly suggesting a terrible possibility.

Everyone who posted #MeToo essentially posted:
"I might have been raped."

Well I might have too. Glad we cleared that up.

Men are just awful aren't they? The world is overflowing with Harvey Weinsteins.

My friend told me:

"I mean I don't expect them to imply they've been raped. I don't think sharing the meme alone implies that, since it's explicit about the perimeters. And if you want clarity about a friend you can ask."

He stopped responding after I replied:

"Sure if it's a close friend I care about I can ask.

If it's a 'friendly,' not a close friend, an acquaintance that I am FB friends with, which most of us have hundreds of, then I wouldn't dare send them a message saying:

'Hey I noticed you posted #MeToo. Were you actually raped or just whistled at?'

All I know is the number of people I've seen who... might have been raped. And that doesn't clear up anybody's picture of the state of the world like this meme purports to do.

I am concerned, and inclined to think it just muddies up our view of the world."

The other danger of this meme is how it is formulated to the exclusion of men.


That's sexist.

Someone will point out that some men have posted #MeToo, but the meme that has been reposted over and over again by women is worded to exclude men.

It is clear from how it's worded that the meme is not for awareness and sympathy of sexual assault victims.

It is using sympathy for female sexual assault victims to drive a wedge between men and women.

Otherwise why specify the gender of the victim?

Because more men are raped in America than women.

You read that right.

Or do the men who are raped in prison not count?

#MeToo #BlackLivesMatter

Pick one.

Because the #MeToo meme is about women. It says it right in the meme. And the men are forgotten.

I'm not saying pretty white women don't have problems in America, or that their problems are always solved.

But at least they get taken seriously.

It's still perfectly acceptable to make prison rape jokes on television. Those are men. Who cares?

Or they're just criminals, right?

Well it's weird how a disproportionate number of black men are criminals.

And many of those "criminals" are there for non-violent offenses. And many of the criminals getting raped in detention are minors.

And even if they're violent adult criminals, do they deserve to get raped?

And laughed at for it? Or just ignored and forgotten?

It is your white, female privilege in this country to post #MeToo to your Facebook.

The black men getting raped in prison don't have a Facebook and they don't have a voice.

And it is female privilege for a woman who's incapable of taking care of her kids to get a house and food from the government.

Because a male who can't take care of his kids gets a prison cell from the government.

And that's regardless of race.

That's how it works in the United States.

Before you try it, I am not just conveniently bringing this up now because I'm mad about #MeToo.

I felt burdened by and wrote about the rape epidemic in the United States prison system back in 2010:

Prison Rape, A National Crisis, May 1, 2010
Prison Rape, Myths and Misconceptions, Sept 4, 2010
Cross-gender strip searches ruled unconstitutional, Jan 8, 2011


"As I’m sure you know, your previous coverage of the problem of sexual abuse in detention has made a strong impression on the Department of Justice." -Lovisa Stannow, Just Detention International, 3/29/11

That felt good to hear, but it also seemed to me like no one really listened.

When a bunch of pretty white rich women might have been raped, we all pay attention.

When men get raped, no one cares.

As the #MeToo meme shows, women are not even able to form the thought that men get raped.

That is female privilege folks.

And there are too many countless other examples of it to tolerate the combative gender politics hardwired into this meme without pointing that out.

So was I.

Suggested by a friend: "If all the men who have been genitally mutilated by having part of their penis removed when they were a baby wrote 'So was I." as a status, we might give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem."

I wonder what would happen if I posted this.

Because right after they were born, the lives of 4 out of 5 boys in America took a drastic detour that the girls in this country did not, when they had a part of their genitals surgically removed.

Something that doesn't happen to females here.

Something we deplore and call by its correct name, female genital mutilation, when it happens to girls in Muslim countries.

Welcome to America, little boy.

It's a woman's country.

I wonder what would happen if I posted that meme, and I might just do it to find out.

My hypothesis is that it doesn't spread even 1 percent as far as #MeToo did.

Because men are less inclined than women to brag about their suffering to everyone they know.

#MeToo might be the most annoying way people use Facebook crystallized into its purest form.

It is the classic and much abhorred Facebook status update with an ambiguous grievance, against an unnamed person, with no details, and clearly not an invitation to a real conversation with your friends.


Please do not be afraid to share if you agree:


Rich CEO Creeps of America: Please Contact Me. I Will Happily Watch You Shower for a Career Boost




Here millennials have been busting our asses in an economy rigged by the greed and unscrupulousness of the Baby Boomer generation, slinging coffee over counter tops to keep our heads above water month to month while crying over our college diplomas, which were supposed to be the magic key to stability and prosperity, and all we had to do this entire time was watch a crusty old guy shower to get launched to the top of a prestigious career, plus get handsome financial settlements not to warn anybody else about him? Wow!

But only if you're a hot, white woman with rich parents.

Well damn. There went my next career plans.

But really, seriously, no joke: If there are any helplessly lascivious old CEOs with a lot of money and influence in news media who are willing to give me a shot at fame and fortune in exchange for a nude back massage or watching them shower, please send me an email to wemessamore@gmail.com

I'm in.


Now I hear you saying that's not the same thing at all, because I am literally asking for it, and these Hollywood actresses were just ambushed with this crazy shit, and I do hear you on that, and I agree there is a big difference there.

I'm still not kidding. Sugar daddies, hit me up. I'm not a hawt, white woman, but I'm pretty cute and twinky. And I'm Asian for whatever that's worth. Me take care you long time, big guy! Just get me one of those sweet career pinnacle gigs where these yapping Eastern Time zone twats hold a prestigious position at a major newspaper collecting a lucrative salary to write two completely dry, thoughtless, and pointless columns a week that no one really wants to read, and I will watch you shower and let you grope me.

If you can save me five years of battling rush hour to and from the salt mines to do a job more dehumanizing and soul crushing than rubbing your old balls while you shower, just to buy myself only one more month to painstakingly pursue my dreams on the side without any help from someone with money and connections, I won't even hold a grudge against you for it despite taking the deal, and then pile onto you years later with the mighty wind of the hive mind's uncritical support in my sails!

Come get you some, Koch Brothers.

$10,000 for a foot massage (per foot).

No joke. I'll do it with a big smile on my face.

Gwyneth Paltrow's net worth is $140 million.

Gimme that career bewst!

This is not a joke. Let's do some kinky shit.

Email me:

wemessamore@gmail.com

But yeah, I hear you and I am with you all the way on your point, that it really is fucked up to make sexual favors an interview requirement for an acting job or any kind of job at all.

And it should not be that way. And it is stupid in the strongest possible way that you could use that word and still an understatement that this has been going on in Hollywood, and it seems, is an ingrained aspect of the industry.

Hollywood's a nasty business.


And I think it's wonderful that most industries are not like that.

Like at Google for instance, I seriously doubt we're going to start hearing any stories about how Larry Page is offering top programming jobs to women for private coding auditions in his house while he's wearing a bathrobe and plucking his pubes. At that company, all a woman has to do to get a top programming job is under-perform a more capable male job seeker in the application process, and walk her happy pussy right past his sad, wrinkled scrotum and into her job orientation.

And all a top engineer with perfect job performance reviews has to do to get fired from that company is write an internal memo with feedback (solicited by the company!) saying he thinks this is unfair, might be illegal as a violation of discrimination in hiring laws, and that Google is dangerously unwilling to consider points of view like his (which his termination pretty much capped off with the most poetic exclamation point ever).

And without even reading the internal company memo- which lazy journalists were calling a "manifesto" like he was a fucking right wing militia terrorist- the whole world just piled onto him with completely unjustifiable accusations of misogyny, and pretty much nobody gave a shit that he was fired in a totally hysterical witch hunt shit storm, a miscarriage of justice and a serious leadership failure on the part of the grown ups in the room.

Sometimes the scales swing in favor of your genitals, sometimes they swing against you.

Which fucking sucks.

You mother fuckers, you painted him to be this vicious, woman-hating monster, and no one can watch an interview of him and miss seeing what a kind, earnest, respectful, well-mannered, not prejudiced buddy he is. You lied about him.

The antidote to that of course, is for us all to strive as earnestly as possible for a society that is as just as possible and respectful as can be to every individual's inherent dignity and sovereignty regardless of their gender, or race, or age, or religious beliefs, or where they were born, or what kind of privates parts they have, or what kind of private parts they want in their mouth.

I would be happier in a world where James Damore didn't lose his fucking job over the most balanced and thoughtful possible treatment of an issue that Google solicited his feedback on (and fuck you and your opinion about it if you have one and didn't actually read the fucking memo, bitch) and where Ashley Judd didn't get sexually propositioned during a fucking job interview.

You're equating what happened to James Damore with what happened to Ashley Judd?

Well he did get fired for refusing to fellate Google's HR department... so... But seriously that was his fucking job. You're saying threatening someone's right to eat isn't at least in the same realm of awful as surprise masturbating in front of someone?

Whatever. His right to eat wasn't threatened. Okay sure, I guess he can always just get a job at Starbucks. Never mind this guy did not do anything wrong and is a very talented engineer (the people who are keeping civilization going, bitch). You know who else could have always just got a job at Starbucks? Any one of the actresses that sold their soul to Harvey Weinstein and Hollywoood to become famous and live a life of ease and glamour. But they did the math and chose to dance with the devil instead.


And that's why I hear you when you say it's not the same thing at all, my willing proposition above and Harvey Weinstein being such a pig as to make that proposition from the other side of the table with resources and power, in such an anti-socially inappropriate way, in the middle of a job interview. I hear you because it's not the same thing, and because the moment any woman accepted Harvey Weinstein's professional favors or his money in return for their silence, they participated in an act of unholy alchemy that turned the abuse into a willing transaction, and through their moral cowardice, they were complicit in creating this monster. So tell them it's not the same thing, because they seem confused.

And this is what nobody has said so far in all of this... I think because they're too afraid to, so now I have to. Because someone should say it: Harvey is a creep and a predator... and the Hollywood women who have thrown in their lot with him to advance their careers are a bunch of whores. And while intoning with righteous moral indignation at the rest of us here in Central Time for our backward views toward women, for the GOP's "War on Women," for not electing a vagina to steal for Wall Street and drone bomb poor brown people... they were wittingly supporting a rape culture in Hollywood. I think instead of going to the movies for a while I'm going to be reading my fucking Bible.

And fuck your overpriced popcorn too.

Harvey's the easiest and obvious villain to pick on in all of this, but nothing will change that way. As long as the women are perennially off the hook for anything in this culture, it's going to stay sick. Women played a role in this shit, and ignoring that is not honest. It won't make the world better. We have to demand better from men and women. How can you blame women for this? I'm blaming Harvey for what Harvey did. And I'm blaming any woman who knew about it, and sucked up to him, fawned over him, worked with him, excused him, and ignored what they knew about him so that they could advance their own careers- for what they did. And it's quite clear at this point that fucking everybody knew about it. So what's the excuse?


You want equality. Step up and demand it! Women should be held as accountable as men for their own actions. As long as they get a pass as victims with no moral agency or responsibility no matter what, they are being treated as inferior, as weaker, and as unable to stand up and have courage, or less able than men, and society will get more of this shit. That's not equality and it's not right. How can the women of Hollywood be given a pass on profiting from a business they knew was rotten to women? How?

What about the women he just assaulted, who didn't go along with him or Hollywood? Who were just attacked and hurt by him?

"During that time, after being confronted with allegations including sexual harassment and unwanted physical contact, Mr. Weinstein has reached at least eight settlements with women, according to two company officials speaking on the condition of anonymity....

But most of the women involved in the Weinstein agreements collected between roughly $80,000 and $150,000, according to people familiar with the negotiations." -New York Times, Oct 5, 2017

Instead of standing up to him, some just took his money. I do have empathy for them that they were abused based on what little I know, and I acknowledge I don't know anything about them or their situation, and maybe they were doing what was best for them, and they were afraid, and thought they'd have no hope of being listened to or taken seriously in a full frontal, public assault on Harvey, and maybe they needed that money, and maybe they don't owe other women a goddamned thing.

But that's not the feminist position, or at least, good God, it wouldn't be mine if I were a zealous feminist worth my salt. I would say women have to look out for each other and not just themselves, and not be perfectly willing to offer up the next woman to the disgusting pig's groping assaults... so long as I get paid for going through it myself.


And I would say that women should be brave, and speak up, and warn everybody about men like Harvey, and that women should fight this shit, and even if they think no one will listen at all and their career dreams will be completely ruined, that that's even more of a reason why they should try and put a crack in the edifice of corrupted patriarchy. That if this is a suicide mission, so fucking be it, go fight and die on that hill with a clean conscience and do the right thing and tell the truth (right now, not decades later!) and if it's a huge sacrifice make the fucking sacrifice, for the sake of your sisters and daughters, and for your own sake.

You're coming down awfully hard on woman who were sexually assaulted...

Women are just as good and as strong, and as capable and as brave and virtuous as men, right? Well this is what men have been told and expected to literally do in far more horrific situations against far more dangerous monsters with their own actual blood and intestines for centuries. Maybe I am an asshole for telling women to man up, but I thought that was the whole message of feminism, not to treat women any differently than men, which means not expecting any less from them as well. I know this just shouldn't have happened in the first place. Neither should anything evil, but how do you raise your daughter to be in a world that has evil people in it that she might meet?


Maybe I am a jerk, but before you decide I am, let's think about it this way: if I have a daughter this is the kind of virtue I will instill in her. If anybody gets forceful with you, scream in their fucking face. If they persist, go to the police station with their blood and skin cells under your fingernails and shout to high heaven what happened. If he's rich and you can get a nice piece of him, however much it is, it's not enough. It's not enough for you to be disrespected, and to buy your silence so he can keep disrespecting, and frightening, and maybe doing worse to more women. How could any money ever be enough to pay for that?

And if I have a daughter and she wanders cluelessly into a room alone with Harvey Weinstein excited about her big break, and dozens of women went in before her and know what happens in that room alone with Harvey, and they just kept working for him, and smiling and clapping on television when he won his awards, and helped him to keep making his millions, and took their share of fame and profit, or took his hush money to stay silent, with no regard for the safety or dignity of my daughter or any other women... well what do you expect me to think about this den of cannibals? Fuck Hollywood seems appropriate.


Please Like my Facebook page and share this post if you're getting sick of this shit.




Stay tuned today, I've got more coming up about #MeToo

Saturday, October 14, 2017

"You're weird"




Well so are you.

Everything's weird.

Except the things that aren't.

Because we understand them.

Because they're on our map of the world.

And you would want things to be weird.

Instead of all exactly like your map.

Because then you would be living in a map.

Instead of reality.

It would be weird if nothing was weird.

Very weird.

Often we're delighted by something weird.

Though of course not always.

So long as it's harmless to others.

So long as it's not threatening.

So long as it doesn't stand in the way,

Of you being weird your own way,

Let it be weird.

And don't make anyone suffer over it.

You're weird too.

You're so weird.

Everything is so weird.

Weird doesn't even look like a real word anymore.

Weird.