Category Archives: Entertainment

The #MeToo Movement Is Infantilizing Women, and that’s Bad for Everyone

Aziz

Framed as a long-overdue feminist call for action and awareness, the #MeToo movement has quickly devolved into a bully pulpit for angry women who would rather cast blame than take responsibility for bad choices.

The most recent example involves Aziz Ansari, who was hurled into the #MeToo wood chipper, based on an article published on the website Babe.net. In it, the writer and her anonymous subject “Grace” detail the latter’s uncomfortable encounter with Ansari, during which both willingly performed oral sex on the other, despite Grace giving what she calls verbal and non-verbal cues that she wasn’t much interested.


Since its publication, the Babe article has sparked heated arguments, not just between men and women, but among feminists, who have questioned the merit of the accusations. After calling the article little more than revenge porn, Atlantic contributing editor, Caitlin Flanagan was joined by other prominent female media members, including HLN host Ashleigh Banfield, who ridiculed Grace for harming the credibility of the #MeToo movement, while calling the Babe article “a story of a bad date.”

Despite these characterizations, many women have applauded Grace and Babe for shedding light on what they say is an issue of consent. While the law may seek to define consent in definitive terms, modern women are attempting to redefine it with a broad, unrealistic definition.

According to New York Times writer Bari Weiss, many women claim that consent is only consent when it is “affirmative, active, continuous and enthusiastic.” While it shouldn’t surprise anyone that this definition has stirred up plenty of debate, few seem to realize that neither side’s opinion really matters that much.

Feminism in the Real World

Many women are tweeting the need to educate young males on how to judge consent, at least from the modern female perspective. In fact, there is some evidence that this type of early education can help reduce instances of sexual coercion, harassment and even assault.

It seems unlikely, however, that any amount of education or tweeting will completely eradicate confusion over consent. What it has done, however, is infantilize women to the point where they are unwilling or unable to assume responsibility for bad choices.

For her part, Ashleigh Banfield expressed dismay that Grace did not respond to her experience with Aziz by standing up, smoothing her dress and leaving. In her Atlantic article, The Humiliation of Aziz Ansari, Caitlin Flanagan expressed similar concerns when she decried “a country full of young women who don’t know how to call a cab.”

Yet, while #MeToo is now polarizing key figures within the movement, its failure really lies in the length of its tentacles. While important in workplaces where men of power have control over female subordinates, #MeToo really has no place in general society, where women are free to stand up for themselves against men who have no real power over them.

In that arena, there are people – male and female – who lack integrity and scruples. There are politicians who will lie to get votes. There are salesmen who will bilk senior citizens out of money. And, yes, there are men who will try to get in a woman’s pants, even if she isn’t “enthusiastic” about the idea.

Despite our best hopes, there will always be people who put their needs above others and seek to fulfill these needs without regards for the other person’s feelings. To teach young women otherwise by championing an idealistic notion is to render them defenseless against reality. No, not every man is out to trick women into putting out. But, don’t kid yourself; there are wolves out there, and nonverbal cues aren’t what strong, feminist women should use to defend their interests.

Instead of railing at reality and nurturing the ridiculous concept of an ideal world, we are much better off teaching our daughters how to stand up for themselves, when they inevitably cross paths with someone who seeks to use them.

4 Weird News Stories from 2013 that Will Make You Say Whaaa?

Surprise (photo by Victor Bezrukov)

There was no shortage of weird news stories in 2013; however, you probably didn’t hear about most of these. Feast your eyes on the following strange-but-true tales that will have you shaking your head in disbelief.

1) $1.5 million U.S Tax Dollars Used to Study Why Lesbians Are Fat

Angering millions of people for a variety of reasons, the U.S. government recently gave a Boston hospital $1.5 million to fund a research project aimed at determining why gay women are fatter than gay men. Although the researchers called the study of “high public-health significance,” the mind-boggling expenditure left many people scratching their heads. (Source: FOX News)

22) Jon Hamm’s Penis Sets Off Media Frenzy

Apparently, ratings aren’t the only big things associated with AMC’s Mad Men. The show recently gained substantial media attention, thanks to reports which claimed that producers had to ask Jon Hamm to wear underwear to prevent his abnormally large genitals from showing through his clothing. Things went crazy from there, with countless websites and media outlets growing fixated with the star’s family jewels. (Source: New York Daily News)

3) Man Has Missing Penis Replaced with Part of Arm

Speaking of genitalia, a 39-year-old British man spent his entire life without any. That is, until doctors crafted one out of tissue from his arm. Oddly, the man claimed to have slept with over 100 women in spite of not having a penis. According to him, his physical limitations actually made him more attractive to women, who felt less pressured and more comfortable in his presence. (Source: Daily Mail)

Bowl4) $3 Garage Sale Bowl Ends Up Being Worth $2.2 Million

When an everyday New Yorker bought a $3 bowl at a local secondhand sale, he (or she) stumbled on to something special. Months later, experts identified the bowl as a 1,000-year-old piece from the Northern Song Dynasty in China. Ultimately, the bowl was sold at auction for a couple million dollars. Apparently, it had been sitting in the seller’s living room for years prior to the sale. (Source: New York Daily News)

3 of the Best Novels to Read if You Like Short Stories

The Hell that Followed

Unfortunately for people who enjoy brief fiction, publishers tend to prefer full-length novels which make readers feel as though they’ve gotten their money’s worth. While you can find plenty of short fiction collections, the quality isn’t always up to par. Most of the best writers tend to craft longer books which allow them to develop characters. That said, some full-length books contain characteristics that make them appeal to readers who appreciate short stories.

Three Good Examples

Recently, I published a brief list at Amazon.com featuring the best novels to read for people who like short fiction. While all of these books are full-length; each features characteristics that will make them attractive to people who prefer short stories.

Illusions

Breezy and short, this beautiful novella is touching and funny. It’s also extremely thought-provoking and entertaining. If you’re looking for a book you can consume in a single evening; this is a fantastic option. It’s also the type of novel which will stay with you for weeks after you’ve read it.

The Hell that Followed

On sale for only $2.99 at Amazon.com, this is the best novel to read for anyone who likes their stories cut up into easily-digestible segments. With an assortment of fascinating characters, The Hell that Follows features several parallel plotlines and a brisk pace which is perfect for people who usually love shorter fiction. The plot is gritty and intense; and there’s an emotional element that will stay with you long after you’ve finished the book.

Fools Die

Author of The Godfather, Mario Puzo wrote plenty of fantastic novels before his passing in 1999; however, many people remain unaware of them. This particular novel offers an interesting mix of crime, gambling, danger and some deep insight into the confounding relationship between women and men. Focused on two different main characters, this novel jumps back and forth between plots, making it a good option for readers who generally prefer brief fiction.

New Book Lists for Thursday, May 16

A great resource which offers reliable suggestions, Listmania is quickly becoming one of Amazon.com’s most popular features. Our in-house book reviewer, Lois McGinty compiles new lists on a weekly basis to guide readers toward novels and authors that are similar to many of their favorites. Below, we’ve listed her most recent lists:

Authors Similar to James Patterson
Books Similar to The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Books Similar to The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Books Like Outlander
Must Read Novels that Stick with You
Books like The Lord of the Rings
Books Like Harry Potter
Books Like Game of Thrones

If you have an idea for a new Listmania topic, contact Lois at lmcginty.kingofhowto@gmail.com.

New Book Lists for Sunday, May 5

A valuable resource that provides great book suggestions, Amazon.com’s new Listmania is quickly gaining popularity for helping readers find authors and novels which have similarities to some of their favorites. Our in-house books and publishing expert Lois McGinty creates new lists on a daily basis to help readers unearth new books they might normally overlook. Below, you’ll find a few of her most recent compilations:

Must Read Novels that Stick with You
Books Like Into the Wild
Books Like Fight Club
Books Like the Alchemist
Books like The Lord of the Rings
Books Like The Hunger Games
Books Like 1984

If you have an idea for a new Listmania topic, contact Lois at lmcginty.kingofhowto@gmail.com.

Best Fiction Books for Fans of Cormac McCarthy

Realistic Fiction Books

Widely regarded as one of the best living American writers, Cormac McCarthy has gathered a substantial following of loyal readers. Unfortunately for them, the Pulitzer Prize winning novelist has only written ten books to date. Rumor has it, the reclusive author will release a new novel called The Passenger in the coming months. Until then, readers are forced to sustain themselves on novels written in similar fashion. If you loved Blood Meridian, No Country for Old Men and All the Pretty Horses; these are the best fiction books for you.

Expert Recommendations

Our in-house books and publishing expert, Lois McGinty maintains a list of the best fiction books available at Amazon.com. Of these, she’s singled out three which are sure to appeal to fans of Cormac McCarthy.

Similar Writing

The Sound and the Fury is an ideal choice for readers who love McCarthy’s writing style; in fact, the latter readily admits that William Faulkner had a tremendous impact on shaping his own writing style. Available for $10.99 at Amazon.com, this American classic may be a little too long-winded for casual readers who don’t appreciate descriptive literary fiction.

Similar Stories

Perfect for readers who enjoy realistic fiction books, The Hell that Follows contains several characteristics that are guaranteed to appeal to fans of novels such as Blood Meridian and No Country for Old Men. The story and plot are very similar to what you might find in one of McCarthy’s novels; as is the dialog and writing. One of the best realistic fiction books at Amazon.com, this novel is available in five parts, each priced at only a dollar apiece.

Similar Prose

For readers who appreciate McCarthy’s terse, intelligent prose, any Raymond Carver novel will do. Virtually all of his books are elegant, polished and beautifully written. They’re also more suited to readers who aren’t overly fond of McCarthy’s earlier works, which can be a bit verbose at times. For a list of some of Raymond Carver’s best novels, visit this page at Amazon.com.