It’s canal or never. Inguinious.

This update is gonna involve talk of body parts and things of a sexual nature, so if that’s not your bag perhaps you should come back tomorrow.

As for the rest of you, I just learned something exciting. Quick question, how often do you find out that you’ve got a body part you never knew existed? Furthermore, how often does that body part end up being something you can use for sexual pleasure? If any of you are like me, you probably feel like some leprechaun just took you by the hand and dropped you at the end of the rainbow. Does it taste like skittles? It may kill the buzz for some of you, but this will only be relevant to your own body if you were born with a penis. Sorry. Though if you’re a vagina owning person who likes playing with penises, this could be something fun for you to play with if your partner is willing.

The words “inguinal canal” are probably not news to any trans women out there, but being a basic bitch cis dude they were all new to me. I mean, I knew canals existed, just not inside of me. What these things are is the space where a scrotum’s balls hung out before they decided to hang out. Once the balls descend, they expand in size and do their thing. The canal still exists, mostly forgotten. I say mostly, because if you’ve ever heard of a trans woman “tucking”, this is where they’re tucking. ” But Leon” you say “what was that whole expansion business? How do they fit? Practice. And stretching. When they’re vacated though, they can be used like an ersatz male vagina. The process of inserting stuff into them is known as “muffing” (the term to Google if you want to find someone wiser and more experienced to explain it).

Finding them on yourself is tough, even if you know what you’re looking for. My girlfriend was poking around for a while and neither of us actually knew if we’d found them. After some time we found unmistakable little rings no bigger than the width of my pinky finger that gave a bit when pushed. The canals run diagonally upwards away from the sides of your penis. Obviously there’s no break in the skin, but the hole feels like it’s deeper the more you apply pressure. If you’re interested it’s well worth looking up diagrams to guide the way. Having a partner to do some exploring certainly helped too.

I found it to be a weird sensation. Not painful and not hugely pleasurable, but somewhere in between. There were some nerves that felt like they might feel titillated if I could just get a little deeper. The person in the instructional video we found could fit a strap on in there, so practice surely counts for something. It’s interesting to discover something new about your body and the best part is there are no messy fluids or anything. Lube would probably help you to press deeper and really get to those pleasurable nerve clusters. As I’m no experienced spelunker, I implore scrotum owners to give it a try. If you manage to get to the bottom of it let me know how it goes, I’m fascinated.

This could be the textbook example of “how we do”.

A special day demands special consideration. A special day demands celebration. A special day demands whatever the hell it wants. My special person’s special day looked something like this:

I’d taken the day off work, so starting the festivities just after midnight was no worry (my girlfriend rightfully didn’t want to be seen in a Denny’s by the light of day). Like Toronto’s favourite former child star turned actor, we started from the bottom. 1am Denny’s for a grand slam breakfast. Complimentary on your birthday, in solidarity I ordered a variant grand slam with turkey bacon, fruit, a Spanish omelette and an English muffin in lieu of pancakes. Given that they weren’t gluten free, I got her pancakes too in exchange for some fruit. If there’s one good thing to say about Denny’s, it’s that it’s impossible to be disappointed. Nobody expects anything from America’s Favourite Diner, so disappointment is nowhere to be found. The pancakes were surprisingly large and somehow dry. The bacon, eggs and sausages marched onto the plate in pairs like it was Noah’s Ark. My omelette somehow adopted the dominant flavour of the residual spinach water. The turkey bacon tasted- in a word- “synthetic”. When the server came around to ask how our food was I replied with a flat and inscrutable “yes”. The best thing that we could say about our Denny’s experience is that once it was over we could speak in past tense. Back home to brush our teeth then fall asleep with full bellies.

We awoke and scooted off to our favourite breakfast café, Karine’s, then followed it up with lattes from Red Eye Espresso. Asking if they did anything for birthdays, they offered to comp the birthday person’s drink. One soy vanilla latte later, success was achieved. We wandered around with a goal of heading to Marble Slab for a free ice-cream, but upon further examination we discovered they’d changed the birthday deal to a BOGO (buy one get one free, because the world didn’t have enough acronyms). We eschewed the deal and instead went out shopping. I’ve been thinking lately that I’m probably old enough now to own a few pairs of sexy undies. Some boxers/trunks that make things look a bit better sorted. I love my Kirkland 3 pack boxers, they’re comfy and supportive, but they’re bland as fuck. We took the chance to shop around and figure out what I was actually looking for. When I queried my girlfriend on why we were wasting her birthday looking for my stuff, she assured me it wasn’t just for me.

While looking at underpant after underpant, we stopped off at Sephora to pick up her birthday gift. Upon leaving, we spied a gathering of people, large plastic poodles and expensive looking makeup things. We took a closer look. To celebrate their new Fall launch, Mac were doing free 30 minute makeovers. Not one to pass on anything free, I signed up for one too and soon enough we were sitting in the chair. I told her to make me pretty. I learned things about powders to put underneath stuff, powders for contouring and accentuating certain things. Apparently if you put a darker dusting of powder on the outside edges of something, then put a dusting of lighter powder on the inside it draws the eye to the outlines and sharpens everything up. No knowledge is wasted knowledge, that’ll do me good someday. She put some weird gel into my eyebrows, some soft, sticky liquid on my lips, mascara on my eye lashes and did a something underneath my eyes to hide my deep, dark pockets. Then she sprayed something on my face to lock it all in. Looking in the mirror I couldn’t really notice much of a difference, but my eyes looked dumb and kind of cartoony. The girlfriend looked gorgeous, as always, but her eyes especially really stuck out. Makeover managed.

Next stop was Booster Juice for a sugary infusion. By this point it’d been about 5 hours since we last ate, causing me to assume the terrible Denny’s fare post midnight had actually filled me up some. Denny’s, at worst it’s still food-ish. We walked up to The Annex with every intention of signing up for her free yoga class, but the lights were off and nobody was home. We ambled a little before deciding that maybe eating a late lunch in lieu of waiting around for yoga would be best. We sat in the park using my yoga mat to lie on. I pulled out a strawberry-lime Rekorderlig I’d picked up at the LCBO earlier and we sipped together, contemplating eating options. While we pondered, malicious squirrels bombed us with mysterious heavy fruit from above. We finished up and sought sustenance.

We ended up at Guu, a Japanese izakaya bar. Little plates on small tables meant a cosy but boisterous meal. The staff loudly greeted everyone who entered while pop music pumped from the speakers. The food was delicious, we got short ribs, carpaccio and a curry bibimbap. Not too full, but with room for dessert, we headed towards the big bad final boss: Yoyo’s Frozen Yoghurt. I’ve been to this place two years in a row for my birthday. The deal is incredible. It’s a serve your own froyo establishment with one free birthday cup of any size. I think I’d managed to get just over $10, maybe even to $12 at a stretch. My girlfriend had plans to one-up something fierce. She layered the bottom with chocolate sauce, and fruit (to end the cup with beautifully chilled fruit). Over the top she draped a fat swirl of mocha/cherry froyo. A multitude of toppings adorned its peaks: Oh Henry bar, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, Nerds, gummy worms, M&M sprinkles, mochi, marshmallow fluff, maple syrup, caramel drizzle and peanut butter sauce. On the scale it went, clocking at an insurmountable $14 of froyo plus toppings. Insane. Every bite was a lifetime of diabetes. It tasted endlessly delicious, until it came to the dense, sickly sweet syrup pool at the bottom. I had a sip and reeled. Now I know sugar like Bart and Millhouse do.

We’re home now and settled in. It’s time for the kind of special birthday fun I’m less inclined to share with you all. Because a special day demands it.

This might be yawn-ic to you, but I didn’t want to pussyfoot around it.

So there are ads on the TTC advertising labiaplasty/vaginoplasty. I don’t know about you, but even raising the idea that there can be something aesthetically wrong with a vagina is many kinds of shite. No matter how much someone disliked the look of their vagina, there’s no way it could look worse than a scrotum. The look of your vagina doesn’t impact how it works. From a guy’s perspective (if that mattered), please don’t think that this is a concern any of us have. I’m not gonna tell any woman what to do, that’s totally not my place. I know if any woman had qualms about having sex with me because my balls naturally hang, I probably wouldn’t want them in my bed. Body shaming is body shaming, but targeting such an intimate area with something that should never be a concern raises my hackles something chronic. Considering there’s dumb religious advertising throughout the public transport system preying on the fears of the emotionally fragile (and responding with scripture that doesn’t address the question they had in the first place. Person: Dear God, what do I do about my unwanted pregnancy? God: I am The Way, The Truth and The Light.), it’s significant that this struck a chord with me. With this in mind, I sent my first complaint to the TTC:

Subject: Cosmetic surgery ads
Hey guys.

I’d like to make a complaint about the labiaplasty/vaginoplasty ads on the TTC. I’m not gonna poke my head into the business of whether or not there’s an issue with advertising cosmetic surgery, but surely these cross some type of line? Yes I realise that these ads adhere to the Ontario Human Rights code and the Canadian Code of Advertising. Still, perpetuating the idea that there can be anything aesthetically wrong with a vagina (and potentially raising this insecurity in impressionable teenagers) is morally a pretty dark area. I’m not some conservative parent or anything, but this obviously stuck out enough to make me as a late 20s straight white dude feel an email was warranted. I can’t even begin to imagine what I’d feel like if I actually owned a vagina.

Is it not possible for them to just replace the labiaplasty/vaginoplasty ads with others from their campaign? Young girls surely don’t need to be given one more unnecessary reason to hate themselves.


I’m sure I’ll get a diplomatic response telling me to fuck off and that they’re not gonna do shit. That’s entirely fair. We’re in a capitalist system and they’re being offered capital to display the ad. Unless the potential bad will outweighed the income they garner from posting it up, there’d be no reason for them to accommodate my complaint. If anyone else wanted to follow suit and complain the address is back at the beginning of the email. Do it if you want, but I’m not aiming to make a crusade out of this. I just thought it was pretty shitty.

Vaginas are great. I’m a fan. Spread them with joy, not judgement.

Well, he was the God of this passage anyway. I’m sure most of you will pass on this regardless.

Today’s post is Magic the Gathering themed. I’d say here be dragons, but the deck only has one. As always, I recommend grabbing Autocard Anywhere if you’re interested in seeing what the cards actually do. I’ve been searching for a new Commander deck for a while and Athreos, God of Passage struck a chord with me. Back when I first started I got mercilessly beaten into the ground with an Opalescence/Replenish deck and it gave birth to a seed of something. A desire to make a better deck of my own? Or just a love of the deck? In any case, the confluence of recent Theros “constellation” cards and Magic Origins’ Starfield of Nyx gave me the idea of putting together a constellation EDH. Thing is, there’s actually not much support (and very little card draw) in the two colours. There are much better W/G/B commanders for that. So I went back to the drawing board.

I thought of Athreos as a way to utilise dumb little cheap creatures. I thought of Shirei, Shizo’s Caretaker as a neat way of getting value here. Thing is, once I started putting together the deck, Shirei didn’t have a lot to take care of. I had a ton of smaller creatures, but very few in the 1 power range. So I thought about it some more. What creatures could I get that gave me value on repeated play? What sacrifice outlets worked? What was the deck looking to do over all? Well if anything it was gonna be a typical Orzhov griefer deck. Slowly draining life points from your opponent. How could I make this process a little faster? I cooked up the following list and played a few games.

// Lands
1 [NE] Kor Haven
1 [R] Scrubland
1 [GTC] Godless Shrine
1 [ZEN] Marsh Flats
1 [EVE] Fetid Heath
1 [THS] Temple of Silence
1 [GP] Orzhov Basilica
1 [ISD] Isolated Chapel
1 [WWK] Bojuka Bog
1 [MM] High Market
1 [SH] Volrath’s Stronghold
1 [US] Phyrexian Tower
1 [DKA] Vault of the Archangel
1 [CMD] Command Tower
1 [TE] Reflecting Pool
1 [PLC] Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
12 [TE] Swamp
11 [US] Plains
// Creatures
1 [ORI] Hangarback Walker
1 [TE] Blood Pet
1 [M11] Viscera Seer
1 [UL] Mother of Runes
1 [BOK] Kami of False Hope
1 [AVR] Blood Artist
1 [C14] Skirsdag High Priest
1 [NPH] Suture Priest
1 [GTC] Cartel Aristocrat
1 [GTC] High Priest of Penance
1 [FD] Auriok Champion
1 [ROE] Pawn of Ulamog
1 [ORI] Liliana, Heretical Healer/Liliana, Defiant Necromancer
1 [GP] Teysa, Orzhov Scion
1 [TSP] Basal Sliver
1 [CMD] Fleshbag Marauder
1 [US] Blood Vassal
1 [KTK] Grim Haruspex
1 [FRF] Merciless Executioner
1 [JOU] Agent of Erebos
1 [RAV] Dimir House Guard
1 [ZEN] Kor Cartographer
1 [UD] Academy Rector
1 [ALA] Ranger of Eos
1 [GP] Ghost Council of Orzhova
1 [C14] Shriekmaw
1 [MOR] Reveillark
1 [CHK] Kokusho, the Evening Star
1 [AVR] Harvester of Souls
// Spells
1 [DS] Skullclamp
1 [ZEN] Bloodchief Ascension
1 [ZEN] Luminarch Ascension
1 [CS] Coldsteel Heart
1 [WL] Mind Stone
1 [CMD] Orzhov Signet
1 [ORI] Sword of the Animist
1 [C14] Malicious Affliction
1 [AP] Phyrexian Arena
1 [UL] Martyr’s Cause
1 [JOU] Banishing Light
1 [ALA] Oblivion Ring
1 [IN] Phyrexian Altar
1 [M14] Dark Prophecy
1 [GTC] Immortal Servitude
1 [SH] Grave Pact
1 [THS] Whip of Erebos
1 [PLC] Damnation
1 [DKA] Sorin, Lord of Innistrad
1 [TSP] Return to Dust
1 [M11] Day of Judgment
1 [R] Wrath of God
1 [JOU] Dictate of Erebos
1 [IN] Rout
1 [AVR] Exquisite Blood
1 [RAV] Pariah’s Shield
1 [MBS] Phyrexian Rebirth
1 [CMD] Martyr’s Bond
1 [LRW] Austere Command
1 [SHM] Wound Reflection
1 [GP] Debtors’ Knell
// Sideboard
SB: 1 [JOU] Athreos, God of Passage

So how does it play? It’s a blast when everything works well, but it has a habit of running out of steam. Match ups I played were:

Titania, Protector of Argoth: Very little land. Got steamrolled by land destruction and a mass of 5/3 elementals. I had a Wrath of God/Grave Pact in hand, but when they played Zuran Orb it was all over.

Rafiq of the Many: Stalled the ground with High Priest of Penance. Gained incremental advantage with Blood Artist and Pawn of Ulamog. Liliana, Heretical Healer and Viscera Seer had a bit of fun. When Skirsdag High Priest showed up I finally had something a bit bigger to beat back with. Game ended soon after.

Alesha, Who Smiles at Death: Blood Artist and Suture Priest were too much. My opponent got some bollocks off with Kiki-Jiki, Karmic Guide and Necrotic Sliver, but after luring him into sacrificing the sliver, I killed Kiki-Jiki and took the game over with some Athreos beatdown. At this stage I was surprised how quickly Athreos comes online. B/W can fittingly turn on the devotion in a heartbeat.

The deck has a ton of fun little interactions. Skirsdag High Priest and Liliana, Heretical Healer get activated with ease. Liliana does some spicy stuff once recurred. Fleshbag Marauder and Merciless Executioner read 2B: Opponent sacrifices a creature and loses 3 life. In the event they let me grab the cards back, things get silly. Blood Pet and Viscera Seer are some serious MVPs, activating most of the deck, recurring with ease and draining the opponent well. I’m suspicious of Grim Haruspex while my creature count is so low and I’m not convinced the usually solid Dimir House Guard is pulling its weight. At times it stalls out without drawing into stuff.

The deck above is actually the post-change version, I added in a bunch of format staples to get a bit of recycling going on. Phyrexian Arena, Skullclamp, Phyrexian Altar. Part of me wants more creature based sac outlets, which I might look into. The deck feels like it could want Mikaeus the Unhallowed, but he’s in nearly all of my B/x EDH decks. The deck could actually use Karmic Guide and Phyrexian Plaguelord, but where do they fit. I don’t want the deck being top-heavier than it needs. Small, cheap threats are the name of the game. I still need to get a lot more playtesting in before feeling secure on my choices, but this could be a neat 1v1 deck in the making.

If you found this entry torturous to read, would you call it “waterbored-ing”?

Awww maaan. Without getting responded to by MRA dudes, this whole writing thing means I need to actually think of topics rather than have them presented to me on a silver platter. I’m not feeling hugely creative tonight. Instead let’s go for little things.

Dominoes, motherfuckers! I played dominoes for the first time yesterday. Hanging out at a potluck barbecue with a huge Jamaican contingent was awesome. Delicious food, friendly jibes and DOMINOES, MOTHERFUCKERS! I didn’t know this was a thing, that dominoes held huge cultural sway in Jamaican culture. I’d never even played, had no idea they had a purpose beyond standing them end on end and tipping them in elaborate patterns. We had a mere 28, so any patterns we made would be impressive only to ants or children. The children in attendance weren’t hugely impressed beyond using dominoes as proxy Lego. I played the actual game though. Jokingly when asked about the rules, everyone just said “match the numbers”. They weren’t wrong, but there’s so much more to it than that. So you’ve got 28 tiles in the game. Each tile has two numbers on it. The numbers go from blank (0) to 6 and the full 28 tiles carry every possible combination of two numbers. So it goes right from 0/0, 0/1, 0/2 up to 5/6 and 6/6. Players take turns matching them number to number in a straight line across the table.

The goal is to empty your hand as fast as possible. If you can’t put a tile down you pass the turn. Strategy starts to kick in. Since there are a finite amount of tiles, once the board gets more populated it becomes increasingly viable to guess what your opponents have (given the information of what you have left in yours). Skill comes in being able to read the table and shape the game accordingly. If there are 6 tiles with the number 6 on the board and you’ve got one that can connect onto the end (say it’s a 5) and leave a 6 to connect to, nobody will be able to connect to that tile. As the game goes around, you can see what numbers certain players pass on and retain that information. In essence, it’s a game of statistics and percentages (like most sports become in the abstract). Everyone there was exponentially more experienced than I was (given I’d never played before), but in an extreme bout of beginner’s luck I won the first 3 games in a row. My beginner’s luck ran out and my lack of skill soon became apparent. Cool game though. The most important lesson I learned was to slam the final tile down with dominance. Show the other player who’s boss. That’s some Sun Tzu shit right there (although clearly from my lack of wins post beginner’s luck, I know naught of strategy).

Tonight, however, was spent with more tiles but fewer numbers. The girlfriend and I dressed up in our finery to eat a home cooked meal and play some Bananagrams. She wore an elegant white dress with floral accents. That’s as far as my knowledge on dresses goes. It was made of fabric I think. I wore the brown 50s-60s suit I picked up from Cabaret Vintage for $9. We feasted on steamed veggies, leftover sausages and tap water. If that ain’t fancy well gee, I don’t know what is. Bananagrams was a fiercely competitive match. She spent most of the game dominating while I drew virtually no vowels other than I and U. Things looked dire, with her ahead by maybe 10 tiles. Soon though I begun to draw into an E here and there. I got rid of my J and things got serious. I dumped a ton of my letters into shitty two letter words just to claw my way back, then shifted into larger words once I got some more useable tiles. It was pretty close in the end and I think I just got lucky. She had the fantastic word “epee” (if you had any doubts as to the many reasons I love this woman), while my first word was “anus”. Good games all around.

I don’t know if there’s anything less interesting than me transcribing the developments of games you weren’t there to witness, but I’m always game to find new lows. If that kind of thing excites you, I’ll rarely disappoint you.

Hooray. Getting responded to by an MRA dude is one more thing I can cross off my dreamboard.

So I wrote a thing yesterday (as I do every day. That’s kind of the point here) and for once the comment section lit up. Well, 3 people commented (and I’m 70% sure the 3rd person was just the 2nd person with another fake email address). Exciting times, folks. One guy took the time to write a lengthy diatribe about why I was wrong, men are so hard done by and women are conniving tricksters taking advantage of poor hard working men. Oh, this is the internet. I can just copy/paste:

LOL You sound like a mafia boss ‘chatting’ with a ‘fellow’ restaurant owner ‘man to man’, discussing how great it is to run a successful business, the pride, the joy, the satisfaction of having your customers enjoying their food in a restaurant with unsmashed windows. The deep sleep you must have knowing your restaurant is not burning down after a gas leak. What? No I’m just saying…. that’s good right?

> It is great to be a guy and society lets us know this. Whether we want it or not, it pushes us towards believing that we’re at the forefront of everything, that our role is to stand up and take charge, that our voice counts. We’re strong, commanding and important.

Yep. Men have less legal rights than women! Hurrah for men! Men still do not even have the right to genital integrity. Throughout history men’s role has been to sacrifice himself working down mines, out in the fields, out at sea, and on the battlefield in order to provide resources and protection to women…. for this men have been labelled as systematic oppressors of women.

Men have always had to jump through a variety of expensive hoops before women allow them to their social circle, and traditionally a boyfriend had to agree (in a legally binding contract!) to financially support his girlfriend for life before she would even allow him to get into bed with her or see her naked. For this men have been accused of oppressing women.

Even today men do the remaining manual labour jobs (which is why 95% of workplace deaths are men). Men are given 60% longer sentences for the same crimes as women. Men’s sexuality is defined as inherently rapey, men’s intent as inherently criminal and natural boy behaviour is now defined in the educational system as being a problem which requires forced medication. Boys are now essentially being defined as ‘defective girls’.

In keeping with men’s lower status (as society’s manual labourers, infrastructure builders and maintainers and financial supporters of women) men serving women (He for She) is now defined as ‘gender equality’.

But despite being kicked in the nuts every day men persevere. They refuse to define THEMSELVES as victims, cleverly shifting this burden onto women’s shoulders! Making women feel depressed and insecure instead (despite having more rights, more privileges and more of a voice than men).

This eschewing of the label ‘victim’ is what gives men the energy and the vigour to excel and to innovate and to be productive in society. The only downside is that a lot of women exploit men’s clever psychological trick by playing the role of victim so convincingly that society ends up actually believing women have it worse than men…. which these women then use to justify demanding special treatment and free stuff – most of which is paid for by those carefree productive men!

Thus men are – in their bid for freedom – ending up further enslaved to women. Their strategy only worked in the age before women had the use of big socialist governments with the legal right to control men by force and confiscate their property by force.

And now for feminist joke of the day.

A young woman with no particular qualifications to speak on gender / social issues walks into a UN conference room and announces to the whole world – via an overwhelmingly pro feminist media – that women have no voice and are not listened to. Boom Tsh!

The joke is she was not even being sarcastic.

Emma Watson is a joke. But Emma Watson plus the UN is serious business. You traditional patriarchal men better watch out because modern feminism IS patriarchy, but on steroids!

Patriarchy = women and children first
Feminism = He for She

It’s the same thing (minus the concern for children).

Feminists are using men’s patriarchal psychological trick against them by playing the burdening role of the victim for their own benefit, in an aggressive way that is the furthest thing from actual victimhood.”

So I decided to write a comment (that got more ad hominem than I’d intended) and since I’m lazy and spent time on it, I’m using it as my daily writing today.

This reminded me of a Bo Burnham joke.
“For every dollar that a man makes, a woman makes 70 cents. That’s not fair. The man’s only left with 30.”

Thing is, it’s a joke playing on the fact that real inequality does exist. Bo knows this, I’m not sure that you do.

I don’t want to get into a protracted debate with an MRA/redpill denizen, because I don’t know if you’re actually capable of seeing things outside of your entrenched myopic scope. I feel like you want to see things a certain way, so you eschew any evidence to the contrary. It’s a pity, because you’re the exact archetype of person that this post could most benefit.

There’s not much that can be done with someone who’s not willing to learn, and while I suggest that despite your bias you go and read that male privilege checklist (even though the word “privilege” probably raises your hackles), you probably won’t.

I don’t know how you were hurt by a woman at some stage in your life (given your above example of the “legally binding contract”. Did you also know that in your example the women were traded like property and had next to no legal rights?). Maybe your advances were spurned, causing you to adopt an “it’s not me, it’s her” position that extended to everyone who shared her chromosome configuration. Maybe the pervasive media narrative told you that as the hero of your own life’s story, you “deserve” a woman and you bought into that.

As someone who professes to the value and integrity of hard work though, you probably understand that nothing is necessarily “deserved” and things don’t just come to you. That’s not how life works. In this case, it seems like the hard work you need to do is to examine why it is you think the way you do and whether that’s actually making you happy. Googling your name very quickly showed a couple of comments on other people’s blogs with angry pro men’s rights rants. That doesn’t sound like the behaviour of a person who’s happy with their lot in their life. Maybe instead of placing the blame on roughly half the population (sorry trans-folk. You matter, but I’m not sure of specific numbers), you look at how you behave towards the rest of the world and think about whether that’s actually doing you any good. Try listening instead of talking for a little bit and see if you learn anything.

Or stay angry and see where that gets you.

If I know the internet like I think I know the internet, this probably isn’t over.

Having a penis is great, but it’s no excuse to be a dick.

Hi guys. Let’s talk. Specifically the guys, males, blokes, dudes, men, and fellows. I know the word has generally come to cater to a large group of people regardless of gender (like how we group our collective species as mankind, humanity for some reason. Whatever, gendered language isn’t the point right now. Let’s table that for another day), but I’m specifically talking to those male identifying people. Ladies and non-gender binary folks, you’re welcome to listen in, I’m just not sure how much you need to hear this.

Let’s talk about being a guy, some things we do and say and how we could perhaps do and say less of these things without being less of a guy. It is great to be a guy and society lets us know this. Whether we want it or not, it pushes us towards believing that we’re at the forefront of everything, that our role is to stand up and take charge, that our voice counts. We’re strong, commanding and important. This is great, you should believe in your own capacity to excel, your ability to take charge and lend your voice when it’s needed. We all should. Thing is, for some reason we believe it’s almost always that time. Spoiler: It’s not.

There are times when the situation doesn’t call for using your big, boomy, bassy voice to trample over the words of others. Like wise teachers often like to teach grasshoppers, listening is often its own reward. By all means, being paralytic and refusing to act won’t get you particularly far, but listening often leads to learning, equipping you to handle future scenarios more effectively. Knowledge is power, right? It’s awesome to have an opinion and enthusiasm often means you want to share your opinion so others can admire that opinion you have. That’s fantastic, but keep in mind that everyone has an opinion and while I know you’re just bursting to share yours, other people have equally important opinions that you won’t be able to hear if you’re always verbally trampling over theirs. If you keep doing this, it stops you from hearing those opinions that don’t come attached to a resonant foghorn voice. That’s a bummer, because you’re missing out on all that knowledge and learning you might’ve had. Instead, your eagerness to share your views all the time and help others see your magical version of society gets in the way of sharing in those others’ societal views.

Another thing that happens when we’re told that we’re commanding, important and that our voice matters is that we truly believe it. We believe that our views hold more weight and importance than all those other views. We believe that our opinions just matter more. As we buy into this idea, bit by bit we feel justified in imposing our views over those of the less visible parts of society. We think if their views were that important, we’d hear themNaturally, people should want to listen to us, because we are the gatekeepers of the important views. We’re told this, so we enforce it. Society stops becoming a utopian paradise composed of all the things that make each of us special and instead caters to the more limited stream of things that please the more dominant majority. Of course it does, we’re not listening to anyone else. It’s ok though, right? Because at least the important views are getting through. Wrong again.

Why am I saying all of this? Because I own a big, boomy voice honed by years of theatre (and the gifts of puberty). Because I love the way I see the world and almost always want to share it with others (coming from the guy who has written close to 900 pieces on the way he sees things). Because I’ve spent years talking over others. Because I still have a habit of running my mouth off before I think. I’m saying this because I want to be accountable to myself by getting other guys to help call me out on this kind of thing.

It’s ok though, all hope isn’t lost. We’re still capable of changing, even an opinionated loudmouth like me. Sometimes it’s as easy as doing a quick check before opening your mouth and thinking is what I’m saying going to benefit others, or just me? Instead of responding instantly to the group with your super important opinion (and I know full-well how tough it is to resist that temptation. Not even being sarcastic right now), maybe throw it to someone who doesn’t get the chance to speak up as often. They’ve probably been listening and learning a bunch, so they likely have something interesting or informed to say. I’ve been trying this when I can over the last little while. You know what? I’m learning. I’m hearing things I’m not used to hearing and it’s helping me see things I never would’ve considered. I don’t know everything. I know so much less than anything. At a stretch I maybe know 0.00000000000000000000012% of everything, so why would I talk over 50+% of the population? That’s just terrible math.

This was a good chat. I think. I hope. Thing is, I’m far from an expert on anything. Maybe for some niche cross-section of the population I’m relatable and that helps the message get through. Excellent. Fortunately there is the internet and an endless sea of voices that aren’t mine. Here are some places you can find some:

  • If you like the relatable aspect of hearing this stuff from other guys, I found that The Good Men Project often has some quality words (also this video was just posted and is relevant to what we’ve been talking about. If you’ve got 3 minutes, I thought it was spiffy).
  • If you’re not scared of the word “feminism” and all the dumb stigma society attaches to it (try just replacing it with “equality”), Everyday Feminism has a heap of great stuff.
  • If you like excellent content that primarily comes from female voices, The Hairpin regularly has a ton of great stuff.
  • If you just want to feel bad about yourself (but a good “bad”, a learning kind of “bad”) and how your maleness is like a cheat code in this current societal configuration, this Male Privilege Checklist was something I found pretty informative a while back.

If you do want to talk about any of this stuff with me knowing full well that others are far more informed, that’s fine. I’m happy to have the conversation with anyone who thinks it could be useful. Just don’t be surprised if I divert you to someone smarter on the subject.