Romeo And…

3.01: 50 Shades of Grey PLUS The End of Capitalism?

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SEASON PREMIER! 

In the first episode of season 3, we take a look at the movie 50 Shades of Grey, and why everyone love/hated it. Who is Christian Grey? What does he represent? What makes him such a terrible person? Why does everyone love him anyway? Why should we even care? 

I argue that Anastasia, the story's leading lady, is actually the classic "Nice Guy," but in a woman's body (and Grey is her Manic Pixie Dream Billionaire). I also briefly discuss how the film falsely portrays BDSM and consent, and how romance novels like 50 Shades of Grey are not unlike pornography. 

At the top of the show, I talk a little about the 2016 US presidential race with the Iowa caucus happening today. I then discuss how the American people seem to be favoring smaller businesses and how that affects today's entrepreneurs. 

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2.22: Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer

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Happy Holidays! For this very special, season finale episode of Romeo And... I give you my review of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, the 1964 classic based on the ever popular Christmas song of the same name. The film has been a Christmas tradition in my family for several years, and was one of my first explorations into the world of sex discrimination. 

I discuss how differently discrimination was addressed 50 years ago, and the way these sex differences were regarded. How we addressed discrimination then paints a very distinct (and often hilarious) picture of the way we look at these same issues today. Unfortunately, though we enjoy much more equality nowadays, we are still dealing with the same issues of discrimination that we dealt with back then. 

At the top of the show, I also give a reminder that the holiday season is not happy and joyous for everyone. Be mindful about how you engage with others. It doesn't mean you're not allowed to be joyous yourself, but recognize that resentment and sadness are natural reactions to tough times. Sometimes people want to endure these feelings without others insisting they need to cheer up. 

That said, have a wonderful New Year! And I hope you are all back in February for season 3 of Romeo And...! 

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2.21: My Spiritual Awakening (Discussion)

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Continuing from the previous episode of the show, I discuss the story My Spiritual Awakening. Though the story focuses a lot on how I came to become a Unitarian Universalist, I focus my discussion on my experience with my crush, Yolanda. 

I discuss how I handled the situation in general (what I did well, what I should not have done), how men are shamed for feeling sexual desire, how we teach men that being chauvinist is acceptable, and that women do not all have the same interests simply because they are women. 

At the top of the show, I talk more about "patriarchy." What it is, and how it came to be. Ultimately, it comes down to how we develop a preference or interest in anything. We are brought up a certain way, which leads us to develop a certain fondness and nostalgia for things from our childhood. Patriarchy does not significantly benefit any group of people, and yet, we don't like the idea of changing it because it is all we've ever known. 

What is your opinion on patriarchy? What do you feel the term refers to, and how does it manifest in the world we live in? Send me your thoughts! 

2.20: My Spiritual Awakening

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Sharing the story "My Spiritual Awakening" about going to college, finding religion, and finding myself. Also, about not finding love, of course. Essentially my origin story of converting to Unitarian Universalism. 

Not only is this the last story I will be sharing on the podcast before season 3, it will likely be the last long-form story I will be doing on the show. Going forward, I will most likely revert back to sharing shorter stories. Additionally, I will be focused more on sharing stories from guests and listeners like you, so be sure to send your stories in to me! 

At the top of the show, I talk about the differences between complimenting people as a man versus as a woman. Men are way more likely to be seen as potential sexual predators, so they have to be more careful about how they approach people. It sucks that men are automatically seen as potentially threatening, but women (as the primary targets of sexual violence) have to be careful about how they interact with men they don't know. 

As a guy, it's important to recognize that women have to view you as potentially threatening to protect themselves. If you are unwilling to adjust your behavior to indicate that you are non-threatening, you refuse to consider the realities of the world we live in, and you can't be upset if women are less likely to trust you. 

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2.19: Gladiator

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This week, I reviewed the 2000 instant classic Gladiator by Ridley Scott. When I chose the movie, I figured there would be a whole lot I could talk about in regards to gender representation. I was mistaken. To my surprise, the film was so good, that I couldn't come up with a whole lot to criticize it about. 

And instead of trying to pull the film apart anyway, just because I can, I decided to call a spade a spade, to demonstrate that not every piece of media needs to be torn apart. Gladiator is an example of a movie that doesn't necessarily do everything "right," but does what it does without falling into tired conventions and stereotypes just to pad the plot. 

If you came for a biting feminist critique of Gladiator, you won't find it here. 

At the top of the show, I discuss mental illness. Again. But this time, I focus specifically on men. Men are still demonized, criticized, and humiliated for wanting emotional support. As a result, we either develop a thick skin, or develop a negative self-image. Generally we do both. But we don't talk about men's mental health or self-image like we do for women. And so, men continue thinking that they are inadequate or weak, which can lead to resentment, anger, violence, depression, and often suicide. 

Instead of continuing to claim that there is "something wrong with men," we need to start recognizing how we as a society have failed them, and continue to fail them. Only then can we begin to heal. 

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2.18: Q&A - What are “Men’s Issues”?

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Answering questions about men's issues from men's rights activists. After hosting an AMA (Ask Me Anything) on the men's rights subreddit, I compiled a list of questions many MRAs have for feminists. Unfortunately, (mainly due to my own oversights) the people who commented on my post were all looking for an argument. As a result, most of the information I could gather from the AMA is ineffectual. 

However, the actual questions I was asked were thought provoking and yielded some good insight as to what many men's rights activists dislike about our current social systems, as well as where my thoughts and theirs overlap. 

At the top of the show, I talk about mental illness and a lot of the misconceptions people have about it. Does having depression mean you are just "sad" and need a pick-me-up? If you have a lot of friends, and a good job, and a caring partner, does it mean that you can't be depressed? Can having these things cure depression? 

The short answer: Nope. 

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2.17: Dress How You Want to Feel - Interview with Serastar Freese

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In episode 9 of the show, I discussed how I felt about men's fashion, especially at award shows. Women seem to have all the options, while men have the choice of: black suit, grey suit, or white suit. In response to this, seamstress and artist Serastar Freese got in touch with me to open my eyes a bit about men's fashion and the options that do exist in dressing up. 

A lot of men think of suits as "one suit fits all." Meaning, your one suit can be worn to any formal event, in any location, at any time of the year. And though, to a large extent, men can get away with this more so than women can, there are suits made for specific occasions and instances. There is such a thing as a summer suit versus a winter suit. And the fabric used to make your outfit can ultimately determine how comfortable you end up feeling in any given situation. 

Serastar gives some great insight and tips for how to better understand what to look for in formal attire, as well as how you should end up feeling when wearing your clothes. If it doesn't feel comfortable, it just isn't right for you. 

At the top of the show, I talk about International Men's Day, which occurred this past week on November 19th. The University of York canceled their International Men's Day event, and it stirred up a good amount of controversy, especially within the Men's Rights community. Is International Men's Day really that big of a deal? Should we really have a special day to celebrate the lives of men? Send me your thoughts! 

REFERENCES 

Row after University of York cancels International Men’s Day event - The Guardian - http://bit.ly/1MTzkpN 

International Men's Day - Official Site - http://www.internationalmensday.com 

Craft Caravan - Official Facebook Page - https://www.facebook.com/craftcaravancolorado 

2.16: For the Love of Flying Trapeze (Discussion)

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I shared the story For the Love of Flying Trapeze in the previous episode of the show. This week, I'm following up with my analysis of what I learned and what conclusions could be drawn from the events. I hit on some really key points as well. 

Namely, I talk about long distance relationships and what conditions need to be true in order for them to succeed. I explain how to tell if someone is flirting with you or if they are just being friendly, and whether the distinction is important to make (spoiler: it's not that important!). I also bring up once again why it is important to be clear with your intentions. In other words, if you want to go out on a date, don't simply ask your crush to "hang out" with you. That said, I discuss how just hanging out could actually be a good way to get into a relationship as well. 

I also talk about the so-called "Friend Zone," and why, instead of dreading it, you should celebrate it! I know it's not something you would expect a "Nice Guy" to tell you to do... but trust me on this one. There are plenty of benefits about being in the "Friend Zone" that you can use to your advantage. 

At the top of the show, I talk about the biological differences between men and women and how these differences led to the development of the "gender laws" we live by today. I try to highlight the difference between the behaviors that stem directly or indirectly from our different biology (ex. women being more sexually selective than men, and men being more competitive than women), and the ideas that we develop based on our socialization, independent of our biological nature (ex. women must be caretakers, men must be soldiers). 

REFERENCES 

MATE: Become The Man Women Want by Tucker Max and Geoffrey Miller - Mating Grounds -- http://bit.ly/1Q0UQPT 

2.15: For the Love of Flying Trapeze (Story)

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Sharing the story For the Love of Flying Trapeze about my experience dating a fellow circus person. With the challenges of constant travel and irregular schedules, it can be extremely difficult to be in a relationship when you work in the circus world. That difficulty is multiplied when you add the fact that you are a socially anxious "Nice Guy"... 

At the top of the show, I talk about the video game streaming website Twitch and the recent tightening of its dress policy. The new policy was targeted almost exclusively at female streamers who would attempt to entice young male viewers with their cleavage. This incited a heated debate about censorship and freedom of expression on the site. I share my two cents about the various arguments. 

Be sure to send in your thoughts and questions about this week's story so I can address them in the upcoming episode! 

REFERENCES 

For the Love of Flying Trapeze - Street Saint - http://bit.ly/1XNem3B 

2.14: The Baxter

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Movie analysis of the independent comedy The Baxter by Michael Showalter. The film centers around the character in a romantic movie who is left at the alter. He is the guy who the leading lady starts dating after breaking up with the leading man. He is a nice guy, but he is not right for her. And this movie shows us exactly why. 

In my analysis, I talk about the defining features of a Baxter (aka. Nice Guy). Namely, they are naive losers who don't know what they really want or need out of life and relationships. I discuss how the aversion to taking risks is often falsely cited as the cause of the Baxter's failure to maintain a relationship, and how we demand these men to change who they are to fit a more idealized version of masculinity. 

At the top of the show, I discuss the viral video of the boy who knocks a girl off her bike with a basketball. I talk about how catcalling is deeply rooted to men's upbringing, and I share my theory as to why men catcall women in the first place. 

REFERENCES 

Boy Knocks Girl Off Bike With Basketball - The Young Turks - http://bit.ly/1Q0Uskr 

MATE: Become The Man Women Want by Tucker Max and Geoffrey Miller - Mating Grounds - http://bit.ly/1Q0UQPT 

Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari and Eric Klinenberg - Modern Romance - http://book.azizansari.com 

Angry White Men: American Masculinity at the End of an Era by Michael Kimmel - http://amzn.to/1Q0V7Cq 

- Movie dialogue and sound clips from The Baxter courtesy of IFC Films 

2.13: Stony Brook University Center for the Study of Men and Masculinities

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I took a visit to the Stony Brook University Center for the Study of Men and Masculinities after reading an article about their new masters program in "Masculinities Studies." At first, I was just confused about why they insisted on making "masculinities" plural all the time, but I figured I could learn a lot from people who study men professionally. 

I did end up learning a whole lot in just the few hours I was there, including how much biology informs our perceptions of gender, why gender inequality exists in most cultures, and of course, what the difference is between "masculinity" and "masculinities." 

At the top of the show, I talk about the book The Humor Code by Peter McGraw and Joel Warner. I was intrigued by the authors' theory on "the benign violation," and what it could tell us about the difference between male and female comedians. Why are there more male than female comedians? Are women just not as funny as men? 

Let me know your thoughts about humor in the comments below! Why do you think men are more likely to be comedians? 

Also, don't forget to tweet me @Street_Saint and let me know something you liked or a comment you had about this particular episode! #RomeoAnd 

REFERENCES 

Proof That Men Are Not Funnier Than Women - Slate - http://slate.me/1PxfeIc 

The Humor Code by Peter McGraw and Joel Warner - Amazon - http://amzn.to/1k3CZdB 

A Brief Introduction to the Benign Violation Theory of Humor - Peter McGraw - http://bit.ly/1PxheQF 

Peter McGraw: What Makes Things Funny - TEDxBoulder - http://bit.ly/1k3D9lc 

A Master’s Degree in ... Masculinity? - New York Times - http://nyti.ms/1ksayX7 

Stony Brook University Center for the Study of Men and Masculinities - Stony Brook University - http://bit.ly/1k3E1q5 

Dr. Michael Kimmel - Official Website - http://www.michaelkimmel.com 

Michael Kimmel: Why Gender Equality is Good For Everyone, Men Included - TED - http://bit.ly/1k3DPqS 

Michael Kimmel Author Page - Amazon - http://amzn.to/1k3DvID 

Sex and Temperment: In Three Primative Societies by Margaret Mead - Amazon - http://amzn.to/1k3EmZH 

Raewyn Connell - Official Website - http://www.raewynconnell.net