Thursday, September 25, 2014

BLURRED LINES



Elliot Rodger left little doubt about his motives, intentions, or the source of his problems when he went on his killing spree a few months ago in Isla Vista, California.  His 141-page manifesto was filled with hatred towards women and his violent misogyny ignited debates that brought the term “rape culture” back into mainstream conversations.  Sadly, most men have no idea what rape culture means, including some who argued vehemently against its existence.
If you’re a man, the first thing you need to know is that rape culture exists.  It’s as real as the way you suck in your stomach on the beach and how you pretend to have been a better high school athlete than you ever really were.  You can deny its existence all you want – pretend it’s fanaticism or feminism or anything else you can label with an “ism” that lessens the blow, but rape culture is real.
            And if you’re a man, it’s your fault.
            That might hurt, but it’s undeniable and men have to face that fact.
            Rape culture exists because men believe it does not exist.  We hide behind phrases like “it’s not all men”or “I’m not that kind of guy”, and make excuses to minimize the things other men have done and soften the pain their actions create.  We find explanations and reasons, and point to dozens of examples that show how we’re not all the same - anything to get us off the hook.  But we can’t rationalize it away because facts don’t lie.
            The hard truth is that men are the primary reason for the existence of rape culture.
            If you ask, most men can’t define rape culture or put into words what it means in today’s world.  It’s not a theory – something imagined by radical feminists or hysterical left-leaning writers on college campuses and in Brooklyn coffee houses. It’s not created by socio-economic conditions.  Rape culture is about the way we collectively deal with situations where sexual assault and rape are tolerated, ignored, trivialized, normalized, or made into jokes.  It’s not just our actions but our attitudes.  Rape culture is about exposing women to unwanted sexual advances and a lack of accountability in the excuses we make when it happens.  It means a rape victim is victimized all over again when she reports the crime.  It’s about blaming victims for actions against them.  Most importantly, it is a conscious decision by some men to commit an unwanted act against another person, and other men allowing it to happen.
            It happens a lot.  Every day.
            Women get that and understand it.
            Men still have a lot to learn and a long way to go.
            Some guys think it’s unfair to categorize men into one homogenous group.  That it’s unfair for the actions of a few to reflect poorly on this group.  That it’s wrong that all men have to adjust their behavior, and they are right.  It is unfair and wrong.  But it’s also unfair that not enough men have been taught not to rape.  That not enough men have learned that “no” means “no” – that grey areas don’t exist between “yes” and “no” when it comes to consensual sex or even unwanted attention.  It’s unfair that women cannot go anywhere without looking over a shoulder, holding car keys like weapons, or considering every man she sees as a threat – considerations men rarely think about.
            If you can’t understand how that works or what it means, think about it this way: there are 470 species of sharks but only 4 have ever been involved in a significant number of fatal, unprovoked attacks on humans.  If you are swimming in the ocean and see a dorsal fin pop up between the waves, you don’t stop to calculate your chances – you turn into Michael Phelps and freestyle back to the beach.
            It’s like that for women.
            Every man is a threat.  Even nice guys can turn out to be someone or something different, especially since over 70% of all women know their rapist.  Like it or not, all men need to be judged by our worst examples.
            That is how we have forced women to live.
            Rape culture is about vulnerability and we need to fix it.
            Bad men exist.  Our role is to do something about that and change the way other men behave.  We talk about rape prevention but instead of teaching women how not to be raped, we need to teach men not to rape.  We need to act in ways that make all women feel comfortable and be considerate of the space we share.  Men need to stop objectifying and degrading women, then blaming victims for things men have done as a result of that.
            If you’re a man, you need to act as if every woman is your wife, mother, daughter, or friend and treat them accordingly.  If you have daughters and sons – if you care about the women in your life – if you care at all about ending hatred, violence, and sexism against women, do something.
            Stop making excuses and start making changes.
On a Friday night in Southern California a few months ago, Elliot Rodger unleashed his rage and millions of women again told stories of sexual violence, sexual harassment, and sexual fears.  Painful, powerful, and brutally honest stories that have been told before. 


This time, all men need to listen.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Why I Think The World Should End

"More people want 15 seconds of fame
Than a lifetime of meaning and purpose
Because what’s popular is more important than what’s right"

and

"Robert Kennedy once said that
Few will have the greatness to bend history
But each of us can work to change a small portion of events
And in the total of all those act
Will be written in the history of a generation"

Watch this - memorize it - go out and shout it at everyone you see........

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

10 Things I Wish I Had Been Told

Great post by Russell Blake on writing - every writer (as well as anyone who wants to be a writer today) needs to take a look at this post.

You can read it here

Monday, April 21, 2014

SHORT, SHARP INTERVIEW

My short, sharp interview with Paul Brazill - a terrific writer of books and short stories - can be seen right here

Check it out if you have a moment

Thursday, April 17, 2014

NINE IN THE MORNING - FREE FOR KINDLE ***UPDATE***

Pick up a free copy of MY new short story collection NINE IN THE MORNING. Intense, edgy, and explosive, NINE IN THE MORNING is an engaging collection of stories filled with razor-sharp dialogue, intense storytelling, and powerful imagery.

Available FREE for your Kindle through Sunday.


Pick up a copy here

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

RELEASE DAY: NINE IN THE MORNING

NINE IN THE MORNING BOOK RELEASE

My collection of short stories - "Nine In The Morning" - is out today and available for Amazon Kindle (the paperback version will be out this weekend). My advice: save those hard-earned dollars and tax refunds, and pick up your free copy this weekend......my attempt to stimulate economic recovery and growth.

Both the Kindle version and paperback will include a preview of my next book: "Still Black Remains" which will be out this summer.


You can check it out: HERE

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Coming Soon: "Nine in The Morning"

Just confirmed the April 15th release date for "Nine In The Morning".

"Nine In The Morning" is a collection of my recent short stories and flash fiction.  Filled with thugs, gangsters, addicts, dealers, families on the edge, and characters looking for a better life, the stories explore the dark underbelly of urban America - a place where everyone tries to survive at any price.

More to follow......

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

HOW IT ENDS

My story "How It Ends" originally featured at Jeanette Cheezum's Cavalcade of Stars is up now at fictionaut.com.

You can check out the original link:

HERE



And if you can, please take the time to go through all the stories at Cavalcade - in a short period of time, it has become the go-to place for new and exciting literary voices.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Writing Program - BBBS

Celebrate Big Brothers Big Sisters Writing Program

Click on the link above to check out the writing program we run through Big Brothers Big Sisters of Monmouth & Middlesex Counties in NJ.  "No Rules...Just Writing Part 2" is the second book published by these young authors to showcase their writing.

Self-esteem through self-expression.

Friday, September 27, 2013

CAN'T MISS CONTENDER IN PAPERBACK

This weekend Fight Card: Can't Miss Contender will be released in paperback... for all you traditionalists who haven't yet bought the book, this is your chance to grab a copy.  And while you're throwing down the green over at Amazon, pick up the other books in the Fight Card series!

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Fight Card: CAN"T MISS CONTENDER

My latest entry in the Fight Card Book series entitled "Can't Miss Contender" was released on Monday. The Kindle version is available now at Amazon and the paperback will soon follow. 

And while you're shopping, please pick up copies of all the other Fight Card books (by a great roster of writers) if you have the chance.

You can check it out at Amazon right here 

Friday, June 7, 2013

New Story at ACTION

Out now: ACTION: PULSE POUNDING TALES Vol. 2. Including my story "PUSH" about a robbery gone bad with a Pulp Fiction beat.

Pick it up if you get a chance:


ACTION: PULSE POUNDING TALES Volume 2



Thursday, May 2, 2013

Story Tellers In Asbury Park


There's a great article and cool video in the Asbury Park Press about my literacy group: Story Tellers in Asbury Park and the work we do through Big Brothers Big Sisters of Monmouth County.  You can read the article and check out the video (as well as some pics) here.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

LOST EXIT - book trailer

The updated book trailer for Lost Exit is finally completed (featuring the music of the Red Hot Chili Peppers). 

Check it out when you have a moment.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

30 Points For Prose

An excellent(and updated) POV on the 30 points/tips for writing fiction from Owen Egerton.  You might find others that are relevant, but these work now.....  especially #1 and #4.  #7 ain't so bad either.

Check them out HERE

And if you don't know who Owen Egerton is, then check him out at:

http://www.owenegerton.com

Monday, April 8, 2013

Asbury Park Bookfest

If you're in the Asbury Park area on April 20th (or if you feel like doing the Jersey thing, getting in your car, and visiting), check out the Asbury Park Bookfest.  30+ authors including yours truly will be discussing, signing, and selling books.

You can check out the details at:
Asbury Park Bookfest

 AP-BOOKFEST_the_authors copy


Thursday, March 7, 2013

Willis Gordon: On Boxing

"Over the past few decades, with every passing year we've gotten just a little bit softer, just a little bit weaker, just a little bit further removed from the realities of life...... We live in a world now where we are overprotected. We spend most of our lives coddled behind a screen. Whether it’s a television, a laptop, an iPod, or a cell phone. We’re free to shit-talk and firebomb online with the protection of anonymity........"

Great POV on boxing and life.


http://willisgordon.blogspot.com/2013/03/on-boxing.html


 

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

How It Ends

My latest story "How It Ends" is published at Jeanette Cheezum's Cavalcade of Stars (which is quickly becoming a personal favorite for fiction and poetry).  If you have time, please check it out at:

http://cavalcadeofstars.wordpress.com/2013/01/14/kevin-michaels/