A Video Game with a Lesson

(View the video below)

This woman was sick of having to put up with people touching her hair all the time so she made a video game about it.

You can play her video game at hairnah.com

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Food for Thought: We Need to Encourage the Emotional Well-Being of Our Men

Our society discourages men and boys from expressing their emotions besides anger. This is a problem.

Not coincidentally, a common thread between all mass shootings in the U.S is that they are nearly all committed by men. As TIME reports, 98% of all shooters are men. This aspect is often overlooked. Before my male readers get defensive, this does NOT mean that all men are bad, it means that our society has a deeply problematic notion of how men are supposedly supposed to express (or not express) themselves. In addition to adequate gun control, we need a society where men are not constrained by a narrow, violence-centered idea of manhood.

Charlie Hoehn, a blogger and speaker has some important insights on this issue: He says,

“From an early age, we have an unhealthy ideal of masculinity that we try to live up to. Part of that ideal tells us that Real men do everything on their own. Real men don’t cry. Real men express anger through violence…The byproduct is isolation. Most men spend the majority of their adult lives without deeper friendships, or any real sense of community. Not to mention a complete inability to release anger or sadness in a healthy way…We are a culture that continually neglects the emotional health of our boys, and our men.”

Another dimension is that a majority of mass shooters previously committed violence against women. Domestic abuse is a common thread among shooters. This is something we need to take seriously. As professor and writer for the Washington Post, Nancy Leong points out, “Take violence against women seriously. It’s a red flag.”

We, women and men, owe it to each other to demand a definition of masculinity that is not so constraining.

From what I can tell in my friend circles, men are beginning to be able to express themselves more: My male friends are supportive of each other, goofy, fun, and express affection for each other while still being manly. Men are more than their anger or violence, and it’s about time our society supports that.

If you haven’t already seen it, there is a documentary about this subject. Here is a preview:

 

Grappling with a Sickening Day in U.S. History

Some good news first: The Helena City Commission in Helena, Montana has directed staff to remove a confederate memorial. This piece of good news was very much needed.

I haven’t been able to find words to describe the Neo-Nazi, KKK and other white supremacist events in Charlottesville, it’s just so sickening. This Vice video  (below) about the violent and racist rally is an important view if you haven’t seen it already. (What is especially sickening is the neutral reaction of the man supposed to be leading our country. He’ll have strong words and opinions about things like the media, Nordstrom’s not carrying his daughters brand but THIS he can’t outright condemn without flip-flopping?  Disgusting.)

The rally was beyond abhorrent. How can we get through to people who have so much racism and bigotry? One major source of the problem as I see it is the mass -miss-information that is being spread through fear in shows like Fox News’ Tucker Carlson’s show. (Just to give you an idea of the content of his show, white supremacists like former Grand Wizard, David Duke love his show.) When a massive amount of Americans are swallowing down illogical and fear-mongoring news, slowly but surely, it breeds a populous that votes for people like Trump and allows racism (and sexism) to be alive and well. If we impeach Trump, not only would Pence become president, but the next demagogue could be voted in, thanks to the masses being mis-educated and fear-inflicted by “news” like Fox News, Breitbart, and the Daily Stormer. In Rwanda, the genocide was fed in large part because the radio hosts perpetuated hatred towards ‘other’ groups. It’s a very serious example of what manipulation of information can do: The power of fear-mongering about different people in news cannot be understated. It is important to be aware of the impact of the spread of information.

What is the solution? First, we must educate ourselves, take care of ourselves and take care of one another. But that isn’t enough. I’m afraid passive kindness isn’t going to solve the problem of such bigotry in our country. What will? We need compassionate, strong policies protecting the people, strong leaders standing up for what is right and a compassionate and accurately informed populous. But there is so much more that we must do and so much farther to go.