Tuesday, September 30, 2008

LGBT Culture, White Supremacy, and Communism

There is a discussion which I've just jumped into which I thought also belongs here. For the original site of the thread, click here.

Here's my comment, and I welcome respectful discussion on this and related matters (as determined by the moderator of this blog, yours truly).

A few comments to toss into the conversation.

First, in response to Linda D.’s comment above:

“[...] it is obvious to most of us that under socialism, and certainly under communism, social relations will be ruptured and go through lots of changes, in line with the necessities of building a new society.”

The question, of course, is whose new society, and is there just one? If just one, is it based and constructed on the political philosophies and practices of white europeans and their descendants? If so, this is deeply problematic, which is to say, white supremacist. See, Yurugu: An African-Centered Critique of European Cultural Thought and Behavior (1994), by Marimba Ani for much more on this matter.

Although not strictly on the topic of LGBT community and its future, Ward Churchill does tackle this matter rather impressively. I shall first pull the passage from the above discussion I am responding to, posted by Dave:

The issue is a line that says that it is an open question whether or not a certain group of people will “cease to exist” under socialism or communism. This is wrong, and worthy of derision and scorn.

What follows is from the book Acts of Rebellion: The Ward Churchill Reader (2003), page 260. I believe it can apply to some degrees to many marginalised and oppressed ethnic/cultural groups, but here he is discussing Indigenous populations/nations. I will note that I consider Ward Churchill to be a U.S. white man, as am I, but in the passage below he speaks of himself as someone directly descended from American Indian nationalities. This is beside the point, in terms of accepting his analysis of marxism-leninism, however. His work is thoroughly researched, and not only academically.

Our very right to exist in a national sense, and usually as distinct cultures as well, has instead been denied as such. Always and everywhere, marxism-leninism has assigned itself a practical priority leading directly to the incorporation, subordination, and dissolution of native societies as such. This is quite revealing, considering that the term “genocide” was coined to describe not only policies leading to the outright physical liquidation of “ethnical, racial, religious or national” aggregates, but also policies designed to bring about the dissolution, destruction, and disappearance of these “identified human groups as such,” by other means. [see note 113 in the book] Viewed this way, it is impossible to avoid the conclusion that marxism-leninism is and always has been a genocidal doctrine, wherever indigenous nationalities/cultures are concerned. [see note 114 in the book]

I also want to recommend two other books to the readers and commenters here on the matter Linda D. specifically raises. One is titled Black Sexual Politics, by Patricia Hill Collins (2004) and the other is called Homophobia: A Weapon of Sexism (expanded edition, 1997), by Suzanne Pharr. With those two books, and Churchill’s and Ani’s, I strongly agree with Linda D. that Dworkin’s analysis, too, is needed in this discussion.

Related concerns:

Whose LGBT culture are we talking about? Is our understanding of this culture u.s./eurocentric? Does it place the experiences of Two Spirited people and Womanist woman-centered women at the center of its theories on heterosexuality and queerness? What is our analysis of heterosexuality and its causes? Heterosexuality, not having an asocial or cross-cultural history, nor a future that is eternal, is infused with political ideology, is it not? (It sure seems that way to gay ole me!)

Do those who discuss "the LGBT community" mean white people in the middle class or those who are part of the bourgeoisie? If so, this is but a small piece of the whole of Queer experience and culture.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

A Very Important Petition to Raise Awareness of Missing Black Women and Girls

This link: http://www.petitiononline.com/media07/petition.html is one place to support a campaign to get the media to confront and change their racist-misogynist-classist policies and practices when it comes to reporting on missing females in the U.S.

My thanks to Ann for all the information she shares and discusses at her blog BEAUTIFUL, ALSO, ARE THE SOULS OF MY BLACK SISTERS. END OF POST. THERE IS NO MORE

A White Profeminist Listens to and Learns from a White Feminist

I remain personally and politically discouraged by the degree to which white folks refuse to read, listen to, and learn from Womanist and feminist women of color. My blog exists, in part, to highlight the views of women of color in discussions about political matters which oppressively impact women and girls within and beyond North America. What I have been increasingly aware of over the years, as my own whiteness becomes more real to me as a form of power and privilege, is that the white feminist agenda (which in some ways includes the white profeminist agenda) is not in sync with the political agendas of various active feminists of color and Womanists.

The exchange that follows is between two honest and thoughtful white activists: one a woman who has been doing anti-rape and rape survivor support work for a long time, informed deeply by the work of a few white feminist writers, and the other a man who has been active in the white-led feminist anti-pornography movement.

Here is the link to that discussion between those two activists, Ruth Anne Koenick and Robert Jensen.

As this is a profeminist blog, I will add that Robert Jensen has wrestled with and has written about the problem of whiteness far more (and far more honestly) than any other white profeminist man I know. I appreciate this about his work.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Honoring Andrea Dworkin

On this, what would have been Andrea Dworkin's 62nd birthday, I will post two items: one that I wrote for her, when it was too late. The other is a link to a speech of hers, which I believe all men should read, comprehend, and act on in women's interests.

Here is my statement of love.

And this is Andrea's speech to antisexist men.

I believe this day should be a national holiday, and that it should be a day to speak out about men's violence against women, and about rape specifically, and how to end it.


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

How to End Men's Rape in North America: a Fantasy Top Ten List

This is a work of creative fantasy writing protected by the U.S. First Amendment.

Written by Julian Real, 2008

Consider this a dream, a thought-bubble over my head. It has been in my mind in some form for a long time--ever since I learned that girls and women are raped systematically and systemically by men. And they are raped precisely because they are girls and women. And the rapist often experiences no public or private negative consequence sufficient to stop him from ever doing this again. He is usually neither caught nor sentenced, for example, not that being caught and sentenced to a series of therapy sessions or a few weeks or months or years in prison makes him ethically and politically incapable of repeating this human rights crime. I, alone, am responsible for creating this list. Feminists I know would have a variety of critical responses to this list being implemented in dominant North American society. I know of no single feminist who would fully support it.

1. After clearing the Criminal Justice system of its endemic racism, misogyny, and classism, change or create laws that make any sexual assault by a man of another person or non-human animal a criminal offense punishable by imprisonment for the remainder of his life without the possibility of parole. (This will help cut down on repeat offending in society.)

2. Given that contemporary rape laws generally do little to nothing to deter or pause--let alone end--rape, decriminalize and endorse the creation of vigilante groups, who may responsibly patrol any public or private areas for the purpose of apprehending and detaining known serial rapists, incest perpetrators, child molesters, industry pornographers, corporate and non-corporate pimps, serial johns, and sexual traffickers and traders in girls, boys, intersex and trans folks, and women.

3. If documented rape and child molestation is found being visually distributed to or through a network of sighted men not involved in the work of identifying, apprehending, and arresting sex offenders (via home computers, any other internet-receiving devices, or video/digital/still image cameras or webcams), make the arrest and detainment of such men mandatory, with a penalty of having their retinas destroyed, by laser, or other means.

4. Teach boys that rape is not masculine, an entitlement, or a right. Have every social, religious, and legal institution in society reflect and reinforce that teaching. Eliminate from society all practices, customs, and social codes that endorse men possessing or subordinating women. Teach boys that their penises are not weapons for predatorially penetrating girls' and women's bodies. Make in mandatory for every literate man to read Pearl Cleage's book Deals With The Devil, And Other Reasons To Riot, Andrea Dworkin's book Letters From a War Zone, and Andrea Smith's book Conquest.

5. Abolish frat houses and frat boys.

6. Legally and socially support every woman, individually, carrying the means to effectively halt or apprehend any man who sexually harasses her or physically threatens her. (Such as by women arming themselves with stun guns and restraining devices for this purpose.)

7. Specifically to men: effectively interrupt, at every opportunity, the good ol' rapist boys' and men's "brotherhood" that condones the degradation and violation of women. Do this in your families, among your friends, on the streets, at home, and in schools and places of business. Use physical violence if necessary.

8. Decriminalize being a prostitute, and criminalize (make it a felony with a lifetime sentence without the chance of parole or release) for any man to pimp or procure a girl or woman for the purpose of using or abusing her as a prostitute. (See Sweden's law that does this for an example of how it works.)

9. Make it fully legal, and culturally and socially acceptable, for any white man not explicitly invited onto Indigenous/American Indian/First Nations land to be shot on sight by any Indigenous person on their land, if the white man approaches a girl or woman unknown to him, or not welcomed by her. See this, for some information on why this is necessary.

10. With the educational, social, and legal measures identified elsewhere in this list fully in place, make it a criminal offense punishable by life imprisonment without the chance of parole if a man is found to be engaging in, or is truthfully reported as having engaged in a form of sex with a girl or woman that is not meaningfully consensual, such as a man having sex with a very intoxicated woman, a date-rape drugged woman, or a woman who is severely mentally or physically disabled.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Same Old, Same Old: Racism, Misogyny, Ageism, and Heterosexism: all in one movie, or all in one movie review?

Roger Ebert, the long-time movie reviewer of ole "Siskel and Ebert" fame, has just released his review of a new feature length film called "The Women". The movie should be called "The Mostly Heterosexual, Mostly White, Mostly Class-Privileged Women With The Requisite Queer Character, This Time a Black Lesbian" but that's a critique for another time.

My beef is with Roger's review, more than of the film, which I have yet to see, and so can't even offer an opinion of it. Ebert seems a tad obsessed with this film being "all female", or is it the fact that it's lacking men?, as elsewhere on his website he asks: "Can you spot the only male in this movie?" So I guess we're not supposed to just appreciate and welcome the female actors and storyline, but be on the look-out for a cameo by a fleeting penis.

What irks me even more is this comment by Roger: "What a pleasure this movie is, showcasing actresses I've admired for a long time, all at the top of their form. Yes, they're older now, as are we all, but they look great, and know what they're doing." Well, we're not all "older now", as the film stars one actor who is all of thirteen; let's hope she's not yet hit the top of her acting game. And I doubt he's been admiring her for a long time, or, well, I hope he hasn't.

So, getting to the most sexist portion of his review: why do men ALWAYS say things about women's appearances like "they're older now, BUT they look great"? What, exactly, does "great" mean: not old? That they've had enough cosmetic facial surgery, but not too much? First, older women are older than younger women AND they look great. Age doesn't take away beauty; it adds more dimensions to it. And what's with the obsession about how great older or younger women appear, particularly to white heterosexual men who write movie reviews? This film's actors are whatever various ages they are (and they are various ages: a teenager performing in a film with women in their thirties, forties, fifties, sixties, and at least one woman in her eighties). And whether or not they are still lookin' great really ought to be entirely irrelevant. It would appear looks don't matter when we're dealing with white male actors who are "older." There's plenty of unattractive older male actors, and plenty of ugly-as-f*ck younger ones as well.

I'm not sure if the side-ad I saw will be up when you check out the page where Ebert gives his review, but right now on the right hand side there is a stupid thing, letting us all know the definition of "babe.ol.o.gy": noun- 1. the study of beautiful ladies. Note: this is not a synonym for older women. This misogynist horseshit is being brought to us by IGN.

IGN is a Video Gaming company. Go to their site and first among "Today's Top Stories" is the opportunity to learn more about their "babe of the day": Tera Patrick. (That's not the woman's birthname; they tell us what it is, but I'm not repeating here, in case she's harassed by those who stalk her). She is known, so the site tells us, for being in pornographic movies. They have a whole page about her love of videogames, managing to squeeze text on that subject in between a bountiful number of photographs of her appearing precisely the way corporate pornographers and pimps insist that women look. (You can also "rate her" physical appearance.)

In our liberal society, what if women choose not to look like that? In the "adult entertainment industry" the reply will likely be: "Sorry, honey, no paycheck for you." Yes, women have choices, but not to get paid well for all work, including working at cleaning up the spousal home, and the spouse's children, and the spouse's dirty clothes and dishes. Women, in North American and in Europe, don't have the choice to be considered beautiful BECAUSE they are older than fifty, not despite it. Because they are darker-skinned. Because they are butch lesbian. Sophia Loren is the standard of what constitutes an older beautiful woman--unmistakably white and "femme", for starters. And let's face it, most women don't look like Sophia Loren, including Sophia Loren.

But back to the film. The cast, of, um, old-but-still-beautiful women, is as follows:

Mary Haines: Meg Ryan (very white)
Sylvie Fowler: Annette Bening (white)
Crystal Allen: Eva Mendes (Latina)
Edie Cohen: Debra Messing (white)
Alex Fisher: Jada Pinkett Smith (African American)
Leah Miller: Bette Midler (white)
Catherine: Candice Bergen (very white)
Bailey: Carrie Fisher (white)
Maggie: Cloris Leachman (white)
Tanya: Debi Mazar (white, but "ethnic")
Molly Haines: India Ennenga (white)

Here's the blurb about the movie:
"Picturehouse presents a film written and directed by Diane English. Based on the play by Clare Booth Luce. Running time: 114 minutes. Rated PG-13 (for sex-related material, language, some drug use and brief smoking). Opening today at local theaters."

Apparently there are no requirements for warning the public about the level of heterosexism, misogyny, racism, classism, ableism, and ageism in a film. But at least we know there's some "brief smoking" and, well, "language". (So it's not a silent picture, I guess.)

Hey, I'm going to say right now: I'm looking forward to seeing this film A LOT. It has an intriguing cast, and by all accounts the performances are excellent.

And, well, I don't get to see enough U.S. movies with only women in them! "All male cast" Amairkin movies, though, are far more plentiful. See herefor a list of titles. Of those, I've only seen two (12 Angry Men, and My Dinner With Andre), as "all male cast" movies don't generally entertain me as they tend to contain lots of boy-violence. For a list of "All Female Cast" films, see here. "The Women" (this new version) will be the first film with an all-female cast. I wish there were more spaces, within and without cinema, for women to work without the fear and reality of men's violence--racist, ageist, misogynist, and heterosexist--against them.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Tim Wise on White Privilege


Assumptions I encounter among white folks like me

1. We know best. When we fight for justice, for, say, animal rights, we are quick to condemn those other human cultures (you know, the ones we have colonized and are exploiting and destroying) because they, allegedly, "don't get it" that animals are not inferior to us. Never mind that this view doesn't inhere in Western Philosophy, in our Civilizations at all. Our religions, laws, and customs place men above women, (some) humans above animals, (some) men above the Earth, as a ruler, as a dominator. Never mind that most white folks, disproportionately men, are or have been barbarians and savages (currently often by proxy). Never mind that any notions of animals being like us, not being inferior, being spirited and sentient, comes from the cultures we oppress, not from our own.

2. We behave, without acknowledging it as reprehensible and wrong, as if white folks were adults, and people of color are children. We will actually argue (not in so many words, necessarily) that because some people of color participate in the systems which disproportionately harm them and benefit us, that they are not equipped to lead a struggle against oppression.

3. We actually believe that because not all Indigenous cultures were/are [fill in the blank: respectful of women, respectful of animals, peaceful, sustainable] that we ought to decide who owns the land, as if it is ethically ours to begin with. (It isn't: we stole it, and ought to give it back "without reservation.")

4. We think we are the experts on everything that isn't about us, while being profoundly ignorant about how and what we do that is so harmful and oppressive to others. We call our oppression of others "good", "moral", and "right".

5. We don't think we are raced: we actually believe that "those people" are a race of some kind, and we are, well, just people. We refuse to acknowledge that in any social space, we are white supremacists. Whether we behave like white supremacists has a lot to do with what we recognize in ourselves as racist actions. There are exceptions to this belief: white liberals think we are white, but that race should just be invisible, meaning we should all act like white people. White Nationalists do believe in a white race, and that it is in danger, or must be "pure" as if that was ever the case, or as if creating "purity" involves anything other than bigotry and violence against people of color. White Nationalists, the ones I've heard speak out, believe that race is natural, inevitable, not political and cultural. White Nationalists believe in genocide against non-white people, even if they don't promote it publicly. Such white folks, it may be concluded, aim to be purely evil.

6. We argue there is such as thing as "reverse racism" and reverse ethnic bigotry. We carry around a ridiculous belief that we either have been living in, do live in, or will soon be living in, an Indigenist Supremacist, Asian Supremacist, Latina/o Supremacist, Arab Supremacist, Jewish Supremacist, Muslim Supremacist, or Black Supremacist society. Never mind who still controls every political institution and economy in this country and other white-dominated countries. (The answer is white Christian men.)

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

The Twentieth Anniversary: Tracy Chapman, Talkin' Bout a Revolution


What does "Radical" mean here?

image of book cover is from Powell's Books, here

I am thinking now about Winona LaDuke's comments in a book which originally came out in 1998, called Talking About A Revolution: Interviews. She mentions how "radical" the Bush policies have been: those of GHW, at the time that book came out; who knew we'd look back on GHW as the lesser of two evil Bushes. LaDuke discusses how she's a conservative, not the white kind. By this she means she's into honoring and conserving the Earth, not objectifying it and wasting it away, conserving Native/Indigenous language, culture, and, societies, and not continuing the genocide that the US government has been practicing for the last 150 plus years, in the hopes of "finally" perfecting it.

The dominant culture's radical policies have all been advocated or endorsed by all them good ol' whiteboy presidents ["whiteboy" here is a political term, not a biological category of humans: it is not synonymous with "humans who are pale, male, and young"]. Each and every one of 'em presidents of the US of A, has put in place or maintained policies and practices that are a combination of the following: pro-slavery, pro-white supremacy, pro-male supremacy, pro-industrial civilization, pro-post-industrial civilization, pro-urbanization/suburbanization, and/or pro-agribusiness. This is all a fancy way of saying that the themes in U.S. presidential ethics are inhumane and pro-destruction, radically, to the root. The whiteboy leaders have not maintained these dehumanising and death-loving practices all by themselves, but they have done so with considerable power and influence, regionally and globally. The trajectory of this course of action leads to only one thing: the callous disregard and destruction of all spiritual/material being on/around Earth: water, air, rock, plant, insect, animal, and human, with some nifty perks for rich white folks, especially rich heterosexual white men, on route to hell.

One could also take her mention of "radical" to mean those presidential policies are extreme.

"Radical" is used, often enough, as a synonym for "extreme" or "extremist".

What is "extreme" and harmful to the root, following up on LaDuke's comments, is rape, racism, heterosexism, and ecocide. It don't get much more "extreme" than charting a one-way course to destruction of the Earth and its inhabitants, some of whom think "we own the place." (That would be, disproportionately and overwhelmingly, white Corporate-Christian publicly heterosexual men, and the followers of them.) Pro-corporate Christian whiteboys are radicals, extremists, pure and simple.

But when I use the term, here, what I mean is this: a profeminist who is open to being challenged to the root of any issue and discussing any issue that serves the aim of ending CRAP (corporate, racist, atrocious patriarchies); a profeminist who thinks white supremacy and male supremacy are inextricably linked, and that those men folks and/or white folks who claim otherwise don't understand what their manhood-behavior or white-behavior means and does to people who are gender- and race-oppressed; a profeminist who thinks ecocide and genocide are intricately related, and no less (or more) harmful and atrocious than patriarchal crimes against humanity; a profeminist who doesn't assume that everything harmful can be reduced to or seen as originating from "sin", personal history, social psychology, capitalism, patriarchy, science, God, the Left, or the Right. Not that the Right is right: it's ethically, morally, and politically wrong alright.

Radical here also means "not [white male supremacist] liberal". NOT liberal: not viewing the world, people, social and environmental issues as primarily problems of the individual mind or heart solvable through "better" philosophical ideas, or more empathic communication, or by being more loving. I'm not against developing new theories, new ways of relating, or embracing dying ways of doing things that were better than the way we do them now. I'm saying that the source, the central force of what we experience, collectively--all of us sentient beings--does not find its motor in an individual's childhood; it is not a consequence of of unintelligent thinking, poor planning, laziness, tough luck, innate inferiority, or "feeling like a victim".

Radical here, means that promoters, profiteers, and enforcers of liberal society cannot adequately explain or efficiently end rape. A radical profeminist perspective doesn't sit with occasional discomfort believing "rape happens to some women, unfortunately, so too bad for them." It doesn't assume those who have been and are traumatised and degraded "were in the wrong place at the wrong time". It doesn't displace the responsibility for the violent act on the one who was harmed by saying "she should have known better than to go out with a guy like that." It means rape is understood as part of a larger system of interpersonal and institutionalized terrorism, violation, and social subordination of women by men, in service to men's greater domination over and control of women as a class. A radical profeminist view sees that those of us in North America live inside a network of interlocking systems which men control and own, not women; whites control and own, not people of color; that the rich control and own, not the poor. A radical perspective on rape means one looks at it in terms of both race and gender politics, among other issues, not just gender politics, because rape is a raced act as well as a gendered one, largely perpetrated here by white men against women of all ethnicities.

Radical means I don't accept that "race" or "sexuality" or "desire" are either "natural and inevitable" or "biologically driven" in the f*cked up dualistic sense in which many people--often white academic men who call themselves scholars--toss those terms around. Nature/nurture and biological/social are made up binaries. The world don't work that way, in binaries. There's gray in them there black and white understandings of reality, and colors too.

Please read Yurugu for a much more thorough and deep understanding of this.

Radical means open to new and other understandings, to new and other perspectives, to new and other awareness; it means valuing, through practice, self-examination and self-critique. White Men's Conservatism and White Men's Liberalism are closed systems of thought. The champions of these points of view deny that they have any the boundaries, any limits, any misunderstanding. The most statused advoates of white Conservatism and white Liberalism are ideologues who refuse to acknowledge, identify, or name the problems in their perspectives, or that they are operating out of a perspective. Radicalism as a social-political perspective, here means not closed. It means acting without the assumption that "people like me" know it all. Radicalism means it is understood that no one view is correct, but when manifested as actions, some are more oppressive and deadly than others.

And "a radical", the noun, not "radical", the adjective, means that if one is also profeminist, one is an activist, not a passivist. It means one is engaged in a daily practice of resistance and struggle toward transformation, alone or in groups or community, to stop rape, end racism, and halt ecocide.

So that's what I mean by the word here on this blog, and that's why it appears before the term "profeminist".

And I have great respect for Indigenist and non-Western perspectives which see the U.S. presidents and U.S. CEOs of globalizing corporations as "radical" and "extremist."

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Kyle Payne, short hair, and a lack of self-loathing

Someone who has done a fantastic job of keeping a lot of us updated on the "Kyle Payne" sexual assault case, is the operator of the blog, Eleanor's Trousers. So I want to publicly thank her for all her work. I have found it to be thoughtful, incisive, and invaluable in tracking what has been going on.

There was one paragraph in her last post on K.P. that troubled me. It was troubling because, from what I know about rape and other assault, it missed the mark on a couple of potentially related matters: Kyle's short haircut and its relationship to him being a self-loathing person.

Obviously, I can have no idea about why K.P. keeps his hair the way he does, and I cannot know to what degrees he loves or loathes himself. But I can speak beyond K.P., to "Standard Operating Procedure" regarding repeat offender rapists. And I don't know if K.P. is one of those. I just know he sexually assaulted a woman, and that since he's been caught, he has expressed much more concern about himself, detailing the consequences on him, than he has on the consequences of his actions on the woman he assaulted. And, for me, that is grossly antifeminist and antiwoman, which is to say, inhumane.

E.E. wrote:
While the change in hairstyles could be a simple result of the change of seasons, I couldn't help but think about the women who, after suffering from an assault or incidents of domestic violence, pull out their own hair and eyebrows. From there my thoughts drifted to the primarily young women who take up the practice of cutting themselves. Is it possible that Payne could be that self-loathing? You wouldn't know it from reading his blog or watching his videos.

My response to the above is this:

I don't think that's it. Honestly. I have known women who pull out their hair, carry great shame about it, and generally don't want to talk about it with anyone. No men that I know of have been compulsive hair-pullers(to my knowledge).

A man, especially a very privileged white man, who sexually assaults a woman and gets his hair cut, well, that's well within S.O.P. for assaulters. I see this as a year-round phenomenon, not one related to it being summer or winter. I'm not critical of E.E.'s thought process per se; I can relate very much to the way her mind works--one thought leading to various associations, and then on to others.

I guess, using that same process, I am speaking out about where my mind goes when I hear about men who have sexually preyed on a woman or women, who also change their hairstyles. I have seen many TV programs (mostly the evening news) that show one photo of a wanted man (not necessarily, and usually not, a rapist) followed by the mugshot when he's caught. (And we know most sexual assaulters of girls and women are not caught.)

What strikes me again and again is this: men cutting off our hair, or growing it out, or growing a moustache, or cutting it off, or doing the same with a beard, or changing appearance in any number of other ways, such as dying one's hair, gaining or losing weight, wearing unusual clothes (for the particular man), affecting a different accent or speech pattern, adding or removing a scar, moving to another part of the country, etc, is, for me, unambiguously a strategy for single-time offenders (or re-offenders) to more readily "get away" with committing more crimes against (too often women's) humanity. If Kyle grows out and dyes his hair, and grows in and dyes facial hair, he can appear very different from the photo that has made the rounds online, one of himself that he originally posted; in white lingo, that image is of a man who is "clean cut." This is one way to have status and cred among, for example, potential employers, in the racist/classist society I live in.

Kyle's "clean cut" look would work in his favor both in terms of him being placed in the position of RA, and in the lighter level of sentencing he got, regarding time in jail (not prison). In fact, I think it is worth noting what Kyle Payne chooses to look like in the near future, once he is released from jail, especially given that he won't be on any sex offender registry list.

Cutting to the chase: I do not believe Kyle Payne cut his hair as a compulsive expression of self-loathing.

Payne has not demonstrated any self-loathing, in my opinion. Also, many women I know dislike themselves, some intensely. They don't necessarily pull out or cut their hair, compulsively or otherwise.

Kyle, to me, is not self-hating. He's self-absorbed. Big difference: the first makes him dangerous to himself, the second makes him dangerous to others.

Hence the case itself and his on-going determination to have a good life.