J. Soltys's Weblog

March 30, 2008

New Podcast is Posted

I’ve posted my most recent podcast. It can be found by clicking on JJ’s Garage-Semi-Live in the sidebar or by clicking here.

For this podcast I go solo, as my partner Jim is taking a sabbatical. This is the first time I’ve had to do a show by myself.
I talk about Hillary Clinton, her lies, and her daughter’s “shock and awe” over the question of her mother’s handling of the Monica affair.
I also talk about the increasing stories of false allegations of rape being committed by women and the limited consequences they suffer.
I then share a female writer’s article with my listeners concerning her disgust with spring break gals who look forward to this tradition to hyper-sexualize themselves.
And I end with some serious man talk: Ten drinks men should never order. 

So enjoy!

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March 27, 2008

False Allegations – A True Story: Josh Waits It Out

divorce1.jpg   (This is a true story describing what a friend of mine is presently going through. I never thought I would be writing about the realities of false allegations from such a personal perspective.  However, this expeience has shown me the extent of the damage done to those falsely accused. My friend Josh and his wife Judy (not their real names) are going through a divorce. He is also facing criminal charges based on her accusations. The story is being written from my own personal recollection of the many conversations between Josh and myself. Josh and I have agreed to write his story from this perspective because he is still in the middle of many legal proceedings. When the outcome of his situation has been finalized, he plans on sharing his experience with my readers in more detail. This is part two.)  

Josh began living out of the business he owned, only returning home to gather the things he needed to try and make his life comfortable at his new “home”. His business didn’t have a bed, a couch, a microwave, or other amenities. He never found a need for these items because he and his wife Judy bought a home within a couple of blocks of the business shortly after they were married. Any luxury Josh needed was within a five minute walk.

Josh was surviving day-by-day by sleeping on the floor, eating simple store-bought meals that required no cooking or microwaving, and a whole lot of snacking. This was an extraordinary life-style shock for him. Josh considered himself a health nut, eating organic foods, taking exotic supplements, and enjoyed eating at fine restaurants with menu’s that complimented his healthy lifestyle. And it was also becoming more frustrating to sleep on the floor each night on a makeshift mattress. All of this was taking a toll on him mentally and physically. And it was beginning to show. His customers were starting ask him if everything was OK. They noticed he hadn’t looked well for some time. Josh put on a happy face and told anyone who asked that he was fine – just suffering from some insomnia.

This went on for a couple of months. During this time, Josh continuously approached his wife looking for an amicable and fair solution to dissolving their marriage. Judy was defiant as ever. She now had her daughters maliciously attacking him whenever he was in their presence. The daughters began parroting their mother’s invectives. They began using derogatory names to describe him and his character – the same terms their mother used; lazy, irresponsible, selfish, loser, white trash, etc. They also began to vehemently support their mother’s belief that she was the brains behind the success of the business. And because both daughters had spent some time working at the business, they started including themselves as co-creators of the business’s success behind their mother. Josh was not only defending himself from his wife’s verbal and mental abuses, he now was facing an ongoing assault from both daughters. Josh said, “This really hurt, especially the words and attitude coming from the younger daughter. I raised her like she was my own. Before all this we were really close. On a number of occasions she told me how important I was in her life. She told me she considered me to be her real father. Now, its obvious her mother had successfully destroyed the great bond we shared. I guess she saw our relationship as a threat.” 

At this point Josh recognized going home for any reason could result in an ugly confrontation, so he rarely went home, living for days and weeks at a time out of his office, going home only when he absolutely had to.

One day Judy showed up at the business to do some “work”. It resulted in a verbal assault on Josh. She launched into a tirade about the business being hers, and if he wasn’t going to give it to her, then she would destroy him and the business. To prove her point, she began walking around his office and other rooms picking up objects and threatening to smash and destroy valuable business property. When Josh asked her what the hell she was trying to prove, she said, “Since I built this business, I can do what ever I want with it. And since I created it, I have the authority to destroy it!”  
Josh patiently waited for her childish tantrum to end. She eventually left.
Josh was exhausted. “It’s always about the business” he thought to himself. She was obsessed with it. She was making it clear that if he wanted a divorce, he was going to have to sacrifice it – or go through hell. Days later, he even tried pleading with the daughters to prevent their mother from doing anything stupid that would just aggravate the situation. They refused. Josh said it was apparent they were getting great pleasure in watching their mother invoke power, control, and intimidation upon him.

I remember Josh calling me after this incident. He told me this was the final straw – it was time to file for divorce. But while talking to him, I could sense apprehension in his voice. It was apparent his wife was succeeding in her effort to intimidate him. While it was obvious he had to get away from this woman and her daughters, her repeated actions and threats to destroy his life and take away his business where finding their emotional targets. He wanted a divorce to escape this mentally and emotionally destructive situation, but at the same time, he wondered how much worse it would be when he does file for divorce.
He had no choice. The future made him extremely uncomfortable and nervous. He would have to leave this nightmare – his marriage – and knowingly enter a more volatile and unpredictable one – divorce. Josh would spend hours a day trying figure out how he ever got into this situation.

A few days later the youngest daughter walked into the business. The discussion immediately turned towards the friction between him and her mother. The daughter demanded to know whether he was actually going to divorce her mother. Josh knew better than to tell her the truth, but months of frustration needed an outlet. “Yes” he said. And with anger and defiance he told her, “She’ll be receiving the papers next week. I can’t take this shit anymore. I’m kicking your mother out of MY business and I’m leaving. I’m sick of all the bullshit.”
The daughter looked stunned. She got up and quickly left. Josh knew what was coming next. He sat down and prepared for the impending confrontation. He had no doubt that she was running home to tell “mommy” what he had just said. 
In less than ten minutes the phone rang. Josh answered the phone. It was Judy. She started screaming at him, wanting to know why he was harassing her daughter. Josh was not going to get into a foolish argument with her. He was tired of defending himself. He just calming told her to go fuck herself and slammed down the phone.
Within a few minutes a familiar car came screeching to a halt in front of the business. Josh sighed, “Here we go – round two.”
She and her daughter hopped out of the car and stormed into his office. Judy went absolutely berserk. She started telling him she was going to kill him, destroy him, have him locked up for as long as she could. She then began to knock objects off his desk and shelves, smashing some of them into the ground. She began screaming, “Your not going to do this to me!”
Josh looked at the daughter and pleaded for her to do something about her mother before the situation got worse. The daughter refused. Instead, she warned him he was about to get everything he deserved.

At this point Judy grabbed a trophy off one of the shelves and began trying to hit Josh over the head with it. Josh had to forcefully push her off of him.  At that point Judy said, “I’m calling the police.” When the 911 operator came on the line Judy said she needed help right away. When the operator asked why, Judy said something that Josh will never forget for the rest of his life.

Judy said, “I just found out my husband molested my daughter.”   

Next posting: How the “system” works.




Photo Courtesy of: stockxchng.com

March 25, 2008

False Allegations – A True Story

divorce.jpg  I was just reading an article about prostitution and whether or not it is a victimless crime. At one time, prostitution was perceived by society as a victimless transaction; man offers cash in exchange for sex, woman agrees, what’s the harm? But today, due to a better understanding and personal stories from those in the industry, society is more likely to view prostitutes as truly being the victims in the seedy world of sex for cash.

It was this train of thought along with my personal experience this past weekend that led me to conclude that society views men who are the victims of false allegations of rape, domestic violence, or sexual assault as if it were essentially a victimless crime. Man is accused of crime(s), authorities investigate, find no crime was committed, man goes free. No harm, no foul, right? Nothing could be further from the truth, and here is a true story to raise awareness as to how destructive it can be to a man’s life.

I invited a friend to spend Easter weekend with me and my family. My family and I decided Josh (not his real name) should not have to spend this holiday alone eating simple meals, fast food, or snacks as he usually does. We figured he needed a home cooked meal combined with a decent place to sleep, the camaraderie of other people, and most importantly, the ability to experience 24 hours of feeling safe – something he hasn’t felt for almost a year now. You see, my friend Josh made the mistake of wanting a divorce from his wife of eight years. For this, he has spent a night in jail, lost his car, his home, and by the time it is all over, he will be financially and emotionally deteriorated, and have to rebuild his life again at a time when most people his age are looking towards slowing down and enjoying the rewards of their hard work over the last 30 years.

It all started last year when he began to realize the woman he married Judy (not her real name) was not the compassionate, loving, companion he thought she was. For the last couple of years he observed as his attractive, charming wife began to exhibit an insidious dark side – her growing use of viscous personal and emotionally disturbing attacks upon him. At first he brushed it off, feeling she really didn’t mean what she said. But when the attacks began multiplying, and becoming more toxic to him and his marriage, he realized it was more than her just venting, it was becoming abusive.
Overtime he began to ask himself what he was doing wrong that he deserved such brutal treatment from her.
Throughout their relationship he had doted on her in many ways to prove how much he loved her. During their eight years of marriage they traveled extensively, invested their money into various pieces of real estate around the country, and basically enjoyed the good life. He also took in her two daughters, one a teenager, and the other a pre-teen, from a previous marriage. He raised and treated them as if they were his own, doting on them the same way he did their mother. He says, “I did everything I could to create a great family life. I did everything that society expects a man should do for wife and his children. I can’t believe what I’m getting in the end for doing everything the “right” way.”
The greatest gift he gave his wife is the one he now regrets; offering her a partnership in the business he had built over a ten year period before they met.

As the relationship began deteriorating, he noticed Judy finding numerous excuses to create space between them. She began demanding the need to take vacations by herself, or with her daughters only. He was left on many occasions to run the business by himself, as she was taking numerous vacations around the world. He began to notice she was socializing more and more without him. He also found her making and receiving phone calls late at night.

He decided to confront her on these and many other issues their marriage was facing. The arguments were contentious, and he makes no bones about being frank and direct with her. His frustration with her lack of empathy for his feelings concerning in all of this, along with her strong emotional disconnect from the realities of their fading marriage was causing him to feel agitated, angry, and helpless. He also noticed how his wife was making an extra effort in spending more time with her daughters, making him feel isolated from his own family. The only thing “normal” about their marriage was her daily berating of him for all the problems she felt he was causing.

The animosity was building in the relationship. Josh realized he could not live like this any longer. He approached her about separating for a while.
It did not go over well. 
An argument quickly ensued. She became extremely defensive, and began to focus her thoughts exclusively on Josh and the business. Josh began to get an uncomfortable feeling that his business, rather than their marriage, was the most important thing to her. He says he was shocked when she declared that his/their business was really HER business. She began to tell him – and eventually, anyone else that would listen – how she saved his business from going belly up. According to her, Josh was a failure as a businessman; incompetent, lazy, irresponsible etc. She boldly vocalized how she is the real brains behind the business, and any success the business enjoyed was the result of her extraordinary skills and effort.
At this point it should be noted the only job she was able to manage with any success before meeting Josh was bartending. That was how they met. She tended bar a block away from his business. After putting in long days at his business, Josh would walk down to the local watering hole for a beer and some relaxation before calling it a day. This led to many conversations between them, which then led to a deeper friendship, which then led to them taking their vows. Everything went the way a great relationship should; friends first, then a committed dating relationship, and then marriage.

Overtime, Josh more aggressively expressed his displeasure in their relationship and conceded that a divorce was inevitable. He felt they both needed to salvage what they could from this marriage and then move on. He approached her about divorcing, and asked if it was possible to do this amicably. He said he was willing to be as fair as possible. “I’m sure if we can talk it through, we can come up with some kind of agreement that both of us will feel good about” Josh told her. This is when she began making ludicrous demands before she would agree to a divorce. She said he could have a divorce only if he gave her 75% of his business and all the assets they accumulated in their 8 years of marriage. 
Josh thought she was just being difficult at first, but after a while, he realized was absolutely serious. She was adamant that SHE built the business; therefore, she should reap the rewards – the majority of their assets.

After some initial anger, Josh realized she probably had a greater fear of financial stability because she had no real skills to support herself. Recognizing this, he created a business proposal in which he would actually give his business to Judy within five years after the divorce. You see, Josh had been anxious to leave the Chicago area and go some place warm because he has certain medical conditions that are aggravated by Chicago’s cold weather. He made Judy the offer of liquidating all their assets excluding the business. He would then take what was needed from this pool of money to open up a new business out west. For the next five years following their divorce, his share of the Chicago business revenue would help support the opening of a new business out west. After these initial five years, he would turn over full ownership of the Chicago business to Judy. This, he felt, would be enough time to establish his new business, and have it become financially stable enough to survive on its own. In his plan everybody walked away with something positive from the marriage. Both of them could walk away with the financial safety and stability that is usually absent in contentious divorces, and also absent in new businesses. And each would be blessed with something they truly desired; for Judy, who never acquired marketable job skills, her very own business. For Josh, the ability to enjoy the remaining years of his life’s hard-work by settling in the warmer western climate – something he has desired for a while. So what could go wrong?

One weekend I received a call from Josh telling me he just had a big argument with Judy. He tells me, “I think she’s really losing it.”
I ask him what he means by “losing it”.
He says with an uncomfortable tone in his voice, “I think I’m in for some tough times ahead. She’s really becoming more combative with me. Now she tells me if I don’t agree to her terms for a divorce and give her the business she’s going to destroy me.”
I asked how she was going to do that.
Josh said, “She tells me that she knows how the “system” works, and she will destroy my reputation, my business, and see to it that I go to jail for a long time.”
“Did she say how she planned on doing this?” I asked.
“She started telling me how she would claim I attacked her and the cops would have to take me away and lock me up, and the law would keep me away from her, which means I would be denied access to my home and my business” said Josh.

I told him I didn’t like what I was hearing, and reasoned with him to leave his house. “Find someplace else to stay for a while” I told him.
He refused to do that. Taking the position of most men in this situation he said, “I’m not leaving my own house, or avoiding my own business because of her. She can say whatever she wants, but I’m not going to bow down to any threats or accusations. I’ll fight this.”
I told him if he didn’t want to leave, then the next best thing to do was to walk down to his local police station and explain his situation to the commander. I said the commander may not do anything, but the fact that the police are now familiar with your situation may help you in the long run. If she files any false claims against you, at least it shows you tried to do the right thing and alert the authorities to your situation. And any advice they give, may put you in a stronger position if she does decide to do something stupid.

Josh never went to the police station. He has strong ties and a strong reputation within the community. So he decided to talk to a good friend and local patrolman about his dilemma. After spending a couple hours talking to him about the “system”, Josh packed a small bag and headed for his business. One can say the patrolman either “sobered” Josh up to his situation, or one could say he scared the shit out of him. Either way, Josh began to feel that his situation had the potential to get much worse for him. To avoid any false accusations, to diminish the hostility towards him, and most of all, to just try and remain amicable and friendly to his wife, he chose to start living out of his small business. He felt if he showed a willingness to make sacrifices in an effort to smooth things out, his wife would become less defensive, and eventually a palatable solution to all of this could be worked out to the benefit for both of them. Always looking for a positive side in everything, Josh felt just a little time and space between them would help smooth things over.

His optimism was admirable. But his wife was playing a calculating game of chess with their lives. A zero sum game. And Josh’s naivety would help her move closer to checkmate.

NEXT: In my next posting, I will begin to show how Josh’s life begins unraveling quickly, and how false allegations are not a victimless crime.

Contact: soltys.joe@gmail.com


March 21, 2008

Obama’s Speech Not Necessarily Honest

barack-obama.jpg       Normally I don’t dwell into racial politics, but lately, like everyone else, I feel that I have become drawn into. And the reason why I will write about it now is because of the similarities I see between black leaders and feminist leaders. Both groups demand others hold themselves accountable for any “ism”, whether great of small. At the same time, both refuse to offer apologies and hold themselves accountable when some “ism” is found embedded within themselves or within their own groups.

I read Barack Obama’s speech he gave on racism earlier this week and I walked away feeling Obama is a greater idealist rather than a sincere leader for racial healing. More importantly, I feel Obama is starting to show similarities to what I’ve seen in other black leaders who, when faced events resembling racism and hate within their own circles, find someone else or something else to blame for the behavior. Also, many black leaders refuse to apologize to those harmed by their false accusations or invectives when over a period of time, the evidence brought forth concerning an incident proves their zealous assumptions were wrong.

It was Obama’s minister and spiritual adviser Jeremiah Wright and his racist, anti-American sermons that forced Obama into addressing the complex and insidious nature of racism in this country. In his speech he said,

I suppose the politically safe thing would be to move on from this episode and just hope that it fades into the woodwork. We can dismiss Reverend Wright as a crank or a demagogue, just as some have dismissed Geraldine Ferraro, in the aftermath of her recent statements, as harboring some deep-seated racial bias. But race is an issue that I believe this nation cannot afford to ignore right now.

This is what raised the first red flag for me concerning Obama’s sincerity. Consider this: Rev. Wright’s inflammatory comments and Obama’s relation to him were brought to Obama’s attention almost a year ago. He made an attempt then to ignore it, and try to distance himself from the controversial minister.
Fast forward to this week, and Obama conveys to the American public that race is such an important issue in society that it shouldn’t be ignored. To the contrary, when confronted with this same information almost a year ago, he chose to ignore it. And it should also be noted that he chose not to address this “serious” issue of racism until he felt compelled to. Only when he was forced into it by the surge in public awareness of his pastor’s controversial remarks, and more importantly, when his popularity polls were suddenly taking a nose dive due to his relations with the pastor, did he begin to assume the role of St. Obama, harbinger of racial healing.

And it should be noted that this presidential candidate, who strongly vocalized how racist behaviors can no longer be ignored, and must be dealt with directly and honestly, actually denied last week that he ever heard such language come from the mouth of Rev. Wright. But in a stunning change, during his “historical” speech, he openly admits to being present and listening to Rev. Wright’s inflammatory sermons.
Is this tackling racist behavior “directly and honestly”?

I remember Mr. Obama being attacked last year by the Rev. Jesse Jackson for acting “too white”. This accusation was made due to Jackson’s frustration with Obama’s slow reaction and commentary to the racially charged Jena 6 controversy. It took Obama and his staff longer than expected to weigh in on the controversy.
Again, a man who is telling others the implications and impact of racism cannot be ignored, had to be goaded into a response concerning Jena 6 with a racist remark from a fellow black leader. Talk about irony!

However, when it came to Don Imus and his infamous “nappy-headed hos” remark towards the mostly black female Rutgers basketball team, Obama chose not to ignore it, and immediately called for NBC to fire Imus.
Talking to ABC News, Obama said,  

“There’s nobody on my staff who would still be working for me if they made a comment like that about anybody of any ethnic group. And I would hope that NBC ends up having that same attitude. He didn’t just cross the line, he fed into some of the worst stereotypes that my two young daughters are having to deal with today in America.”

 BIG red flag!

The remarks by Don Imus were very offensive to his daughters, but the hate-filled racist rants by Obama’s own Rev. Wright were a weekly ritual for Obama and his family. And a black man, who made a name for himself spewing virulent racist remarks, was Obama’s first choice to baptize his daughters – the two people he claims he is trying to shield from such damaging rhetoric. 
For over twenty years he listened to this racist behavior along with family and friends, but not until now did he make an effort to condemn it. In other words, he chose to ignore it – the opposite of his position in his “historic” speech.

So let’s reflect.

If you’re like me, you begin to see some serious bullshit being flung your way. Most notably, you see that when Obama is faced with having to address racism or hate coming from black people that is directed towards white people, he is hesitant to address it. When the racism or hate comes from white people and is directed towards black people, his hesitancy disappears.

This is not unusual behavior for black leaders. When faced with having to condemn one of their own for serious racial divisiveness – just as Obama had to do – blame is always shifted back onto someone else or something else – just as Obama did – and the offender(s) walk away without any serious consequences for their actions – just as Obama allowed for Rev. Wright.
Black leaders protect their own. If we are seriously going to address racism in this country, them we must be willing to understand that just like any other “ism”, it is always a two-way street. While black leaders can hold white people responsible for their racism, when the tables are turned, to prove the sincerity of their cause, they must hold black people just as accountable for their nefarious actions.

Here are some racially charged events where black leaders have avoided holding themselves, or others in the black community, accountable for their actions:

  • In 1987, Tawana Brawley, a black teenager, accuses six white men of raping and beating her. It turns out the allegations were false, but not before the Rev. Al Sharpton unleashes numerous racial inflammatory accusations against the men, particularly Steve Pagones. Pagones eventually sues Sharpton for slander and defamation of character and wins. To this day, Sharpton has openly refused to apologize for any of his remarks, beliefs, or the harmed he caused Pagones and others associated with the Tawana Brawley case. 
  • Sharpton’s National Action Network became involved in tenant-landlord dispute involving Jewish and black building owners in Harlem. Sharpton incites racial overtones into the dispute claiming the Jews and racism are to blame. Some protesters stand outside one Jewish store threatening to burn it down. Sharpton’s own colleague, Morris Powell states, “We’re going to see that this cracker suffers.” Eventually the store is burned down and seven people are killed. Sharpton and his organization deny any responsibility for the incident. 
  • When New York Knicks coach Isiah Thomas is video taped saying white men calling black women whores is wrong, but black men calling black women whores is not as bad, during a sexual harassment deposition, Rev. Sharpton calls for a boycott of Thomas at first, but then forgives Thomas say he was too quick to judge.
  • When female broadcaster Kelly Tilghman, who is white, uses an insensitive remark about “lynching” regarding the play of Tiger Woods, Tiger reviews the context of her comment and accepts her apology saying, “We know unequivocally that there was no ill intent in her comments.” However, the Rev. Al Sharpton refuses to accept Tigers forgiveness, or Tilghman’s apology, and demands she be fired for her irresponsible behavior. He stated in a CNN report, “it is the word — not the person or their history — that matters.”
  • When asked about Rev. Wright, whose daughter also happens to be president of Sharpton’s National Action Network chapter in Chicago, Sharpton told the Chicago Sun-Times that the judgments against Wright are “grossly unfair.” “He has a right to express his views,” he said. “This is ridiculous. I think Jeremiah Wright has been totally distorted.”
  • The Rev. Jesse Jackson positions himself as an ally of the black female accuser in the Duke University rape scandal against a group of young white men. Jackson helps promote the belief that the men accused are guilty based on evidence of historical racism in this country. After the young men are cleared of rape charges, and the original story appears fabricated, Jackson never offers an apology to the accused men. However, the false accuser was given a free college education by Jackson and Operation PUSH. 
  • After the Don Imus controversy, both the Rev. Jackson and Rev. Sharpton come under criticism for their outrage at Imus’ comments towards the Rutgers women. Critics began to question the duo as to why the same outrage is not directed towards black hip-hop artist and black rappers whose words and images of women in their music and videos is much more offensive than Imus’ words. Both Sharpton and Jackson acknowledge this disparity and vow to put pressure on those in the music industry guilty of the same behavior. Within days, they both announce the real blame for the degrading attitude towards women in rap and hip-hop music belongs to the white record producers, not the black artists.
  • Last May, a deer was found in a Baltimore fire station adorned with an afro wig, gold tooth, gold chain, and a cigarette hanging from its mouth.  Marvin “Doc” Cheatham, president of the Baltimore chapter of the NAACP, immediately accused the Baltimore Fire Department of institutional racism. He stated, “There is now and has been a culture of racism and white supremacy within the Baltimore City Fire Department”.  After a black firefighter came forward and admitted he was responsible for the behavior, Cheatam refused to apologize for his harsh words against the white firefighters, and stood defiantly by his original statement.
  • In November of last year, at the same firehouse, a noose was found with a sarcastic note referring to an EMT cheating scandal within the department. Marvin “Doc” Cheatham pounced on the opportunity to prove white racism is rampant in the Baltimore Fire Department, and he demanded the incident be handled as a hate crime – which after the Jena 6 controversy, did result in a federal investigation into the matter. Later, a disgruntled black firefighter confessed to be the perpetrator of the incident, but Cheatham refused to blame him. Instead, he blamed white racism within the fire department for the man’s actions. Cheatham stated, “It really saddens us to hear that evidently things have reached a stage that even an African-American does an injustice to himself and his own people as a result of a negative culture in that department.”

As someone who was schooled, has always worked, and currently lives in a diversified community, it is with confidence that I can say that many middle-class African-Americans do not identify with the current black leaders. They too, have been appalled and disillusioned by some of the actions of these men, but at the same time, they conclude, these men are the only powerful black voices looking out for their people and their issues. This is why Obama has become so popular for them. Not only does he have the opportunity to become the first black president, but besides all his faults, he has become the first black powerful voice of reason for the black community. 

And for that I cannot fault them. I too see Obama as a better leader because of his ability to reason, to understand, and his apparent greater flexibility than the traditional black leaders. But what I saw from him is something that has been present in the equality movements for sometime. I have to challenge what I see as the continuance of the inequality of responsibility that exist in America today. What I mean is the constant need for minority leaders to excuse themselves or those close to them while austerely demanding full accountability and penalties for those who are perceived to have harmed them. 

As a white male, I am willing to hold myself accountable for any “ism” I manifest consciously or unconsciously, but I am not so stupid as to think that only my recognition and accountability of these “ism” is the gateway to harmonious diversity. Sadly, many minority leaders feel the serious work and change belongs with the “other guys”. They truly believe that they are devoid of any “isms”, that somehow they are superior human beings that didn’t succumb to the powerful evils of hate, contempt, and humiliation when they were the targets of those forces. Every time one is brushed by those forces, it leaves its stain, and the power of those emotions become embedded in ones soul. Therefore, to truly reverse these “isms”, everyone must be responsible for their doing their own laundry. This means everyone must be held equally accountable. The past is no excuse for the present; it is only an understanding of how we got here.

I think this is the message Obama was trying resonate. However, I believe in actions not words. If he wants me to believe  in his message, then it must show that it starts with him, and transcends to those close to him. If he begins to hold himself, and those around him as accountable as he did Don Imus, then I will believe him. If he challenges the traditional black leaders in this country concerning their volatile racial messages, then I will stand with him. If he truly wants to help fathers become more involved in their children’s lives, something stated in his speech, then he must address the “isms” in feminism. Only then will I see a man who is sincere about our nation’s future.

Until then, I will reserve my position that Obama is a better politician, than a genuine racial healer.




March 18, 2008

Advertisers Trying To Get It – From A Woman

20-dollar-bills-01.jpg   There has been much debate about how advertisers portray men and fathers in the media. For sometime now men’s rights and father’s rights groups have been creating awareness and engaging in protests campaigns in an effort to derail the common default logic that the best way to reach the male consumer is to portray him as dumb, selfish, immature, irresponsible, inferior to women, and most disturbing, show numerous acts of physical violence upon him, particularly by women, as standard humor that leads to increased sales.

Besides the obvious absurdity in the advertisers logic, a strong argument for the men’s and father’s protest groups is based in solid logic; would advertisers use the same approach for women? Of course not. The public outrage would cripple their image and strangle their sales revenue. Advertisers inherently know that the risk vs. rewards in portraying women in such a manner is not good business.

But for men, advertisers throw simple logic under the table, and proceed with a logic similar of someone suffering from serious head trauma. The pendulum swings to the extreme opposite of female consumer rationale, and dives head first into a world where humiliation and loss of dignity are revered as the gateway to the elusive and capricious emotional mosaic of the male consumer. Advertisers believe his attention and loyalty is derived from polarizing his humanity, demonstrating to him that he is not just a human being who makes mistakes, but he and his manhood, as a whole, are delegated as an unequivocal mistake, which society reluctantly tolerates.

Advertisers defend this type of male advertising by consistently referring to the fact that their focus groups approved it. Well, excuse me for being such a prick and placing the whole arduous logic thing back in their laps, but just because a focus group approves of something, does it automatically remove the corporations involved from any responsibility?  Years ago in this country, a focus group would have approved without hesitation an advertiser’s campaign of dressing white people up in black face to sell products to black people. The suggestion would never leave a person’s lips today. 

Consider that a requirement in today’s business schools is to teach diversity issues, cultural differences, minority sensitivity issues, and ethics. And all major corporations have extensive programs and policies in place to construct a corporate culture that is aware and sensitive to these issues. So sorry corporate America, blaming focus groups for insensitive advertising is a blatant cop out. You are well aware of the intention and impact of your advertising. Ultimately it is the responsibility of the advertisers and the corporate clients for the creation and implementation of any advertising campaign, and how it will affect those in society. Both of them have the opportunity to stop careless advertising of men and fathers, and with all their education and training, it is apparent they have chosen not to.

So is progress being made? Yes it is, and a woman is leading the way. Her name is Rose Cameron and she is the “go to girl” in advertising circles when corporations want to find out how to capture the attention of the elusive male consumer.

In an article written by Jason George titled, Delivering the Male, Rose implies her skills may be the result of her attitude. She states, “I just love men.” And as senior vice president and planning director for Leo Burnett USA advertising agency, Rose found herself becoming an expert on men after the agency asked her to oversee a global study of men in 2005. What the study found was that men were becoming more insecure and confused about their roles in society as it rapidly changes. Rose says, “[Men] are losing all their institutions. All day they have to control the way they behave, and they need places to relax. Men have to decompress somewhere,”

The article notes how she applies her skills when visiting the Hooters restaurant chain. Rose says it’s success is not based on the girls. Instead, it’s a place whose careful consideration and construction in the details of the environment make men feel very comfortable and very relaxed – a place where they can be themselves.

The study she took part in showed that 74% of the men interviewed (over 2000 participated) said they could not relate to the male images portrayed in modern advertising. The study proved that advertisers were out of touch with male consumers.

The article then states these interesting facts:

According to the study, the greatest insult to a man is when someone declares that “he’ll never amount to anything” (29 percent), followed by “everyone laughs behind your back” (24 percent) and “you’re stupid” (21 percent).

Rose Cameron shows how compassion and understanding for men and fathers concerning the issues they face in their lives is the best way for advertisers to connect with them. The article gives an example of how McDonald’s used this totally “radical” approach to connect with fathers in comparison to Pizza Hut, whose similar ad used the traditional humiliation method.

Both ads used the concept of how the family responds emotionally when dad is responsible for dinner that night. The Pizza Hut spot showed the wife and children in fear of putting this responsibility in the hands of dad, and emphasizes how shocked they are that dad actually has the mental ability to bring home a dinner favorite without screwing up. The McDonald’s ad portrays fathers faced with a similar responsibility, but the emotions are different in this spot. Dad intuitively knows what pleases his family, and more importantly, the ad shows his children waiting in anticipation when dad is bringing home dinner, because to them, dad has proven himself on many occasions that he cares about his families happiness, and can be counted on to do the right thing.  

So what’s the down side to all this?

To put it bluntly, advertisers aren’t really concerned with how men or fathers are portrayed in their advertising. They’re only concerned with how to connect with them on some level in order to sell products for their clients. Rose Cameron’s work to change the thinking of advertisers concerning men and fathers began, and is still, predicated on the success of sales revenue coming from a particular demographic, not out of a concerned corporate consciousness. The 2005 men’s study was initiated not because advertisers felt an uncomfortable feeling about their work, or felt they were becoming morally or ethically shallow. It was initiated to address sagging numbers for a particular demographic. In my opinion, it appears the bottom line – the spreadsheet- is a greater priority than simple respect and ethical integrity towards the consumer for advertisers and their clients.

I’m not attacking Rose’s work. Sshe properly demonstrates to advertisers that men and fathers are more than just data/numbers, and are actually human-beings who are well aware on some level of society’s lack of sympathy, understanding, or interest in their well-being, particularly when juxtaposed to women’s issues.

So what’s the next step?

Keep putting pressure on advertisers to change. Keep writing letters. Keep reminding them that us men and fathers are more than their narrow judgements of us.
And remember, it will take time. Be patient with them.
These people have proven they’re a little slow when it comes to understanding what we want.




Photo courtesy of Free Images

March 16, 2008

In the News…


It must be the end of the week. This means I must share the stories I’ve come across over the last week that I found interesting in some way.

(Note: Concerning some emails I’ve received: Do not take all my comments literally. I impose a great amount of sarcasm in these news articles. Sometimes I am serious, and sometimes I am not. But I will not “tag” each piece so others can figure out which is which. That wouldn’t be much fun.)

Gender Issues 

Robbing the Hearts of Men

Here is an article written by a feminist that surprised me – until I had time to think about it. Written by a woman calling herself “PortlyDyke” she engages her readers in compassion for men and what issues they face on a daily bases concerning the emotional limitations society…ooops, misogyny allows them to express. This is where me and her diverge.

She expresses quite well that how to be a “real” man in society means to “shut up” and deal with it. She correctly explains the paradox men are in; express yourself and watch ridicule and shame follow, and yet at the same time, you are told your problems arise from you not expressing your feelings.

But as usual, feminist refuse to accept any blame or responsibility for how they helped create the very environment in which this happens. She blames it all on men and masculinity. This couldn’t be further from the truth.

The feminist movement has been well known to be filled with hatred and contempt for men. It has created an environment where women’s physical, mental, and emotional well-being has been advocated to have more value and a greater priority than men and boys. Feminism has done a great job of convincing society that any hardships men face are not nearly as difficult has the ones women face. And any sexism, discrimination, or unfair sacrifices men face, are justified/payback for the years oppressing women. In their book, “two wrongs make a right”. And to think, this vicious mentality comes the very people who believe THEY are better suited to teach our society’s children the concepts of fairness and equality.
For all their whining and crying about the patriarchy perceiving anything feminine as being “wrong”, and how destructive and dangerous this is, it is always with great humor that I find them so ignorant of their own belief that masculinity is inferior to femininity, and only they, and their idealized vision of a ‘real” man, created with the infusion of copious amounts of femininity, can produce superior men.
Now, who do you think is more dangerous? 

In spite of this, it was nice to see some acknowledgement of men and their feelings from a feminist. However, feminism is built on the ideology that any compassion shown for men automatically makes one less of a feminist, and that in turn will risk virulent attacks from the “sisterhood”. My belief that feminism shuns compassion for men is proven by the second column PortlyDyke. This piece covers the response and emails received from what she assumes were other feminist attacking her for showing compassion for men and their issues, and insinuating that feminism may be partly responsible. In this column (scroll down to “I’ll Do It“), I got the feeling she is apologizing for her column about men, and trying to re-establish her standing and credibility within the feminist sisterhood.
You be the judge.
(Note: In the second column she write about living in a “manless” community where no men were allowed in. Take notice how their sexism is justified, but men’s sexism is dangerous. She validates many of my beliefs.)

‘I was terrified I would never bond with my baby’

Another column written by a woman, and another one that attacks men in various spots (I’ve grown used to the fact that many female writers cannot write about gender related issues without taking cheap shots at men. That’s one of the reasons I do what I do. It’s done in the name of “equality”. As I wrote above, feminist have instilled the belief that two wrongs make a right. So in defense of MY cheapshots towards women, I justify it by saying “I’m getting in touch with my feminine side!”).

What I like about this one is that this female writer/mother drops the “woman are natural martyrs” ideology, and comes clean with her “unnatural” feelings after the birth of her first child. I am moved by her honesty. More interesting, is how she points out the many times she felt ignored and neglected by many females in the healthcare system. I can actually relate to her story. When my twin boys were born, my wife and I experienced many female MD’s and RN’s that displayed the “I could care less” attitude towards my wife, our boys, and me. The standard belief is that females are much more compassionate than males, particularly in healthcare. I work in healthcare, and I can assure you this is the greatest myth out there.

Anyway, read her story and formulate your own thoughts.

Human Remains Found in Dumpster of Abortion Clinic

I included this story because it goes quite well the other stories today. It concerns the contents found in a dumpster behind an abortion clinic. The story states, “body parts of aborted babies, bio-hazardous materials and patients’ medical records were found earlier this month.”

I’ve written before how I’m surprised the matriarchy of the women’s rights movement is obsessed with how the male patriarchy has harmed women in various ways, but they sleep well at night, ignorant in the ways their advocacy has hurt others.

This story reiterates the reality of carelessness and indolence in female dominated healthcare fields that I mentioned above. For me, it also raises awareness as to why we don’t question the validity of so many women’s rights organizations that claim to be the saviors of our children. Killing over three thousand unborn children a day in the matriarchy-based abortion profession and claiming to be emotional about the welfare of children is the most absurd hypocrisy I know of.

I’ve included a link to the video showing what was found in the dumpster. I am not a zealous anti-abortion advocate. I just believe since women have consistently over the years made every attempt to display various forms of male violence perpetrated on females in various avenues of media, why can’t we show the realities of everyday female violence perpetrated upon the innocent in the name of equality?
Here is the video.   (caution: the ending gets graphic)

From “Fighting the myth Men are Monsters, Women are Martyrs’ Files”:

Boys, 4, cuffed for refusing nap: Parents of two four-year-old boys in New York are suing officials after their sons were allegedly handcuffed for refusing to take a nap. Lawyer Scott Agulnick says a substitute teacher took Jaden Diaz and Christopher Brito to an empty classroom. Then, a school safety officer allegedly entered the room, cuffed the boys’ wrists – and told them they would never see their parents again.

Masculinity’s oppression of women starts early doesn’t it? Good thing they were able to control it quickly. 

Baker Sheriff: Woman Borrows Gun From Neighbor, Kills HusbandA woman is charged with the shooting death of her husband before dawn Monday in their home south of Macclenny, according to the Baker County Sheriff’s Office. Investigators said Meloney Jackson borrowed a gun from a neighbor, entered the house in the 7000 block of John Rowe Street and shot Kevin Jackson. Bill Krall, owner of Hole In The Wall Antiques Guns and Ammo, said Jackson came into his store last Thursday to buy a gun. “She was telling me how her husband had threatened her and they were going to court on Tuesday, and she needed a gun right now,” Krall said.

Oh, by the way, divorcing your wife is now a symptom of battered woman syndrome. It’s not her fault, he deserved it.

Burned alive for “not washing feet: A Chinese bride burned her new husband to death after he got into bed after a drunken argument without washing his feet, state media reported on Wednesday.

This is not the whole story. He also left the toilet seat up, left his socks on the floor, and didn’t put his dishes in the sink. These behaviors are also consistent with abuses that lead to battered women syndrome. Another man who deserved it.

Wife of Soldier Serving in Iraq Charged With Starving Their Infant Daughter to Death: The wife of a soldier deployed in Iraq is charged with killing their 11-month-old daughter after the infant was found starved to death in their littered home on the Fort Leonard Wood Army post, authorities said. An autopsy found that Alexis most likely died from dehydration, starvation and malnutrition the day before she was found.

Killing a child in the womb or outside the womb – what’s the difference. My feminine side tells me the most important thing to ask is, “Is SHE OK?”

Mother Barred From Seeing 12-Year-Old Son Charged With Murder After Telling Him to Commit Suicide: The mother of a 12-year-old boy charged with killing a Broward County toddler was ordered to stay away from her son Thursday. Broward County Circuit Judge Charlie Kaplan issued the order after employees at the juvenile detention center overheard Guerla Joseph encourage the boy to kill himself. The mother was also heard telling the boy that his situation was comparable to the persecution of Jesus.

She also wants to be called Mother Mary-Kevorkian in the future.

Tests Show Children Ingested Crack: A woman was charged with four counts of first-degree endangering the welfare of a child Thursday after admitting she gave children in her care crack cocaine, police said. Tasha Cole, 17, took her child to the emergency room on Wednesday when the 2-year-old starting having seizures. During routine tests at the hospital, crack cocaine was found in the child’s system, according to court documents.

It’s not her fault. The government took away all those over-the-counter children’s medicines. She was left with no choice. Damn this patriarchal society!

Woman Apologizes For Reporter Attack: One of the women charged with attacking an Upstate television reporter earlier this week said she is sorry for what happened and did not use racial slurs against the news crew. Billie Joe Taylor told WSPA-TV that her family was under a great deal of stress dealing with the killing of a relative Tuesday, a few hours before the attack on reporter Charmayne Brown happened. Taylor said she hopes Brown and the community can accept her apology. The reporter and other witnesses of the attack said the four people, all white, yelled racial slurs and profanities before the attack and as they hit the reporter and cameraman, who are both black.

Apologize! Where is Gloria Steinem to defend this woman and educate those involved that white women have been oppressed on a much greater scale than black people?

Video: Woman Attacks Clerk Over Cup of CoffeeA woman distraught over having to pay for a cup of coffee she poured down the drain, refused to pay and began attacking the clerk.

Obviously he doesn’t know women make only 82 cents to every man’s dollar. She’ll pay when this damn discrimination ends.

Fairmont Woman Accused of Having Sex with Teen Boy: The Marion County Sheriff’s Department has arrested a Kingmont woman. Deputies charged Rachel Dawn Watkins with sexual assault in the third degree. The criminal complaint says Watkins admitted to having sex with a 14 year old boy two times last month. Watkins, 31 is out of jail after posting a $10,000 bond.

Gates woman sentenced to six months in jail for sex with teenage boys: A Gates mother of three who pleaded guilty to having sex with two teenage boys will do six months in jail. Today a judge sentenced Dena Greene and also gave her 10 years of intensive probation. She’s also required to register as a level-one sex offender. In December, Greene admitted to having sex with a 15-year-old boy last summer. Today in court Greene apologized.
She said, “I’m sorry for the entire incident. I’d like to apologize to the people and the families. I wish I could take it all back but I can’t.”

Video: Team Mom Charged for Having Sex With Basketball Players: Mother charged with having sex with one of the players on her son’s basketball team.

Hey, give her a break. She said she was just taking one for the team.

Florida Middle School Teacher Charged for Sex With 14-Year-Old Student: A Hillsborough County middle school teacher has been arrested and is charged with having sex with a 14-year-old student. According to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, Ragusa had a sexual relationship with a 14-year-old boy at Davidsen Middle School from October of 2006 to May of 2007.

You see it’s true guys. Helping your woman around the house DOES leave them more time to enjoy sex. It’s just not with you.

Louisiana Mother Says Revenge-Seeking Woman Tortured, Killed Her Baby: A mother whose 6-week-old baby died after being burned, beaten and drugged says she thinks the motive was revenge, a Bogalusa newspaper reports. The child’s mother, Lindsey Daigle, 19, told The Daily News she believes Amy Leighanne Thomas, 22, harmed the baby after finding out that Daigle had tattled on Thomas for taking something from a co-worker’s locker. Investigators have said the infant was beaten on the head, singed with a curling iron and drugged. Thomas was arrested Wednesday, and police said she confessed to the crime.

Woman Drove Into Crowd Outside Nightclub, Police Say: An 18-year-old woman is in custody, accused of purposely driving her car into a group of people outside a nightclub. Police said the woman drove into a crowd outside Club Onyx, at 3120 W. Villard Ave., around 1 a.m. Sunday. Two 24-year-old men were hit, but not seriously injured, when the woman drove into the crowd, backed up, and drove into the group a second time, according to reports.

We all know women are fragile, vulnerable people with prodigious hearts. They are not inherently violent. The real question is, what did these men do to this poor woman that forced her to act this way?





Photo Courtesy of: stockxchng.com

March 14, 2008

Domestic Violence Prevention – More Hyperbole Than Truth:Part 3

screaming_mouth_open1.jpg      I previously wrote how I feel anti-sexist advocate Jackson Katz is one of many domestic violence advocates who use hyperbole in their work, which in turn, leads society towards more of a misunderstanding, rather than a greater understanding, of domestic violence and its causes. Mr. Katz postulates that a “masculinity crisis” is responsible for much of male violence, not only towards women, but also towards men themselves. In parts 1 and 2 of this series, I addressed these claims and found some of his statistics to be distortions of the truth, and some other statements to be not completely irrelevant, but not overwhelmingly convincing either.
In this last part, I want to focus on some of the latest research into domestic violence, and show how those who claim to be vigilant in eradicating domestic violence are actually the ones who may be putting future victims at risk. All because of politics and pride.

But in order to understand these new theories, I will focus on the smallest percentage of all domestic violence cases. This  will be serious violent offenders which are traditionally male. Most of what I am going to talk about comes from three sources. The first is an article called “Inside the Heart of Marital Violence”by Hara Estroff Marano. This article appeared in the Nov/Dec issue of Psychology Today in 1993 and was last reviewed in January of 2007.
The second source comes from “Domestic Violence and Attachment Theory: Clinical Applications to Treatment with Perpetrators” by Dr. Daniel Jay Sonkin. Dr. Sonkin has spent 25 years treating perpetrators of domestic violence, and his views differ from most DV prevention advocates with respect to causes and treatment of male domestic violence perpetrators.
The third source will be my own experiences from working with men in group therapy. I was personally a victim of various forms of abuses during my childhood manifested by an alcoholic environment. For a couple of years I took part in group therapy that delegated to men-only. I used this therapy to rebuild various pieces of my life, and in turn, helped many other men do the same. It was through this experience that I learned so much about male behavior, including anger, violence, accountability, responsibility, masculinity etc. But most importantly, I became familiar with attachment/abandonment issues. The group work also taught me how complex men and masculinity can be.

To make this part of the series as brief as possible (and avoid a part 4), I’m going to generalize. For more details and a better understanding, it is best to read the actual sources. I also want to note that I agree with the core principles of the research, not all the details.

The New Kid on the Block

The introduction of neurobiology on the study of domestic violence has eroded the feminist Duluth Model approach to DV, which predicates patriarchy and distorted gender roles as the bases for almost all violent incidents. It also is adamant that men be labeled perpetrators and women victims. As one can see, this is a must, for to include women as perpetrators, and men as victims, renders the Duluth Model an invalid theory. This is why new research showing women equally capable of initiating violence in a relationship sends waves of insecurity and panic through the DV prevention culture. It’s like telling Christians that Jesus wasn’t really crucified. You’re challenging a belief that even inspite of overwhelming evidence supporting your claim, it will be vehemently denied. The Duluth Model is similar in the sense that it is a belief system that many have built their reputations and life’s purpose around; therefore, that it HAS to be true.
And what also is disturbing to the traditional DV advocates is that this new research shows that in order to truly understand and mitigate domestic violence, advocates will have to focus more compassion and understanding on the abuser rather than the victim – another blow to the Duluth Model.

The science of neurobiology allows researches to understand the intricate details of how the brain processes thoughts and actions. In some work, researchers can monitor brain activity while thoughts are being processed in real-time. By using sophisticated technology, researchers can now monitor a person’s or persons conscious and unconscious reaction to different stimuli, record the findings, and then compare the findings with control groups (“normal”). This field of science has lead to some remarkable findings in determining different catalyst behind violent behavior in men within the context of family violence.

One such researcher is Dr. Sonkin. He has researched the correlations between what is found in the neurological testing of male batterers and combines it with attachment theory psychology. Dr. Sonkin’s research has found an important condition present in male abusers. He has found the vast majority of male batterers have insecure attachment issues. To generalize, these men were affected negatively in childhood by their caregivers, usually the mother, father, or both, which in turn effectively disrupted the individual’s emotional growth, resulting in immature responses and actions by the individual under various stimuli. At a time when the caregivers should have been acting as the template for logical, mature, and intelligent reasoning to emotionally charged events, and instilling the growth of empathy and sympathy for the child, the caregiver(s) instead used emotionally immature or inappropriate responses and actions in many situations – usually abusive actions – and constructed a template for the child in which emotional growth and maturity was essentially halted. Dr. Sonkin says, for children who are raised without the security of a stable caregiver,

“Their particular behaviorally coping mechanism may become more behaviorally sophisticated, but the net result will essentially continue as the individual ages. Research has documented that adults assessed as having an insecure state-of-mind or insecure attachment style with regard to attachment have a greater difficulties in managing the vicissitudes of life generally, and interpersonal relationships specifically, than those assessed as securely attached.”

Dr. Sonkin also emphisizes their are different levels of attachment issues, brought on by various negative experiences – not always serious abuse -and this is why a “one size fits all” treatment of abusers is insufficient. And he emphasizes that attachment issues are “a process, and that it changes over time.”A once secure and healthy individual can undergo a traumatic experience or series of negative experiences and become an unhealthy insecure individual. Neurobiology has found the attachment process is malleable.

Neurobiology has linked the formation of attachment issues to the early stages of development of a child when it is found dramatic “wiring” of the brain, particularly the right brain takes place. It is the formation of this wiring that will set the foundation for future self-regulation and the implicit self according to psychologist Alan Schore who has worked extensively on attachment theory using data from numerous professional fields. His work has found that the right hemisphere of the brain needs healthy development because it is responsible for such things as reflective function, empathy, response flexibility, social cognition and emotional regulation. This is what is missing in the abuser.

So what does this all mean? Basically it means that “masculine identity” and “gender role” are symptoms of violent men, not the cause. In reality, due to some unusual event, or series of events early in a man’s life – usually violent or abusive – his ability to form trusting and intimate relationships was halted. The neurological patterns in his brain used for coping do not mature, resembling more child-like patterns than adult. This is not something that can be overcome with anger management classes. Anger management will work on one time offenders, but will not work on serious abusers.

Lending credibility to abusers having neurological problems, rather than patriarchy issues, is the discovery that numerous batterers had suffered some kind of head injury in their life. Dr. Alan Rosenbaum found that in a small sample of batterers, over 60% had suffered significant head injury. This included loss of consciousness, concussion, or post-concussion symptoms. He then conducted a more thorough study and found that over half of batterers had suffered serious head injury at some point in their life, and concluded that “head injury may increase the chance of marital aggression by a factor of six.” He is also currently involved in research which shows low serotonin levels may act as a component that triggers aggressive behavior in men. His work has shown the drug Paxil as being effective in minimizing aggressive behavior. 

Personally Speaking 

In my work with men, the attachment theory is much more plausible than the Duluth Model. And I can say with confidence that it is not only present in abusers, but also present in many men who have suffered abuse at the hands of caretakers, but who have not become abusers.

Let me put attachment and abandonment theories into my own words using my own experiences with it. I am not a licensed therapist so what I say has absolutely no value other than it is my personal experience that I choose to share. However, I my words are the layman’s perspective.

I personally had undergone numerous abuses in my childhood growing up in an alcoholic environment. Later in life, I chose to take part in a group therapy delegated to men only in an effort to rebuild various pieces of my life. I worked on myself, and in the process, helped other men who had also suffered, put their lives back together. In the time I spent doing this work, I learned a lot about male behavior. Part of it included learning how attachment and abandonment issues affect men. This is my perspective from my own experiences and the experiences of others. It is predicated on childhood abuses including mental, emotional, physical, and sexual.

I’ve listened to many personal stories of different abuses placed upon men as children. And I was surprised to find that the number of abuses committed by mothers, or other female caretakers, is equal to the number of abuses by men and fathers. There is no gender war here, each are guilty. And this is an important note to remember: If society really wants to stop domestic violence, it starts by holding men and women equally accountable and responsible. What I discovered is no man is born an abuser, someone or something made him that way. And it is usually traced back to a caregiver.

The term “power and control issues” is used extensively in social circles, but rarely are the actual causes of this behavior given equal amount of time. These issues arise from a great source of insecurity. And thanks to feminism, society perceives these issues as simply being a matter of conscious choice. They are not. They are a matter of survival for those who suffer from them. The need to control arises from unbridled fear. In my work and the work of others, it manifest from a feeling of helplessness in the face of immense terror – actual or perceived.
A child relies exclusively on its parents to provide security on many levels. This is an inherent awareness, recognized emotionally by the child, if not fully understood. Many fears of the developing child are assuaged by the caregiver(s), and when handled properly, it leads to healthy emotional development. To the perception of the child, the caregiver(s) are God-like. Unconsciously, the child knows its existence could not continue if the caregiver(s) ceases to exist.
But what happens when the caregiver(s) is also the source of immense terror? How does the immature mind process the thought that its very existence is dependent on an individual that produces some of its most tremendous fears? 
God, it seems, sets up a dynamic of becoming both creator and destroyer.

In order to survive, the child recognizes that he has only himself to rely on to fulfill his needs. He turns inward and obsesses over all personal thoughts and actions. This will be perceived later as selfish thoughts and actions, but to him it is essential for survival.
At the same time he becomes hyper-sensitive to all environmental nuances. This behavior is developed to assess and respond to all possible future “attacks”. Simple changes in body language, tone of voice, or focus of attention by others are seen as clues to the future behavior and mood of those around him. This skill may actually become highly developed; as it has shown many times to be effective in helping him perceive and avoid imminent danger from the caregiver. However, while becoming skilled at perceiving these nuances, the child cannot effectively judge these subtle changes. Because of the historical abuse, he sees most of these subtleties only as an imminent personal threat. His world is one of constant potential threats – until proven otherwise. Trust is the one of the most highly valued commodities to him. The loss of trust can become the loss of emotional safety, security, and stability; consequently, the loss of self. 

As Dr. Sonkin mentioned earlier, his coping mechanisms may develop throughout life, but the actual causes of the behavioral issues are not being treated. I call these coping mechanisms containment skills because they allow the individual to function somewhat normally in society by containing, rather than acting out most impulses. But the core issues are still imposed on some level within all thoughts and actions.

In most cases, as an adult he will unconsciously enter a relationship looking for the nurturing, caring, and acceptance that was never present in his life. In the beginning of any new relationship, the excitement of love, intimacy, and attention soothes the wounds of the past. His partner becomes the provider of lost innocence, provider of emotional safety and security, and most of all, her emotional commitment to him is seen as some sort of epiphany, emancipating him from his personal feelings of a fragile existence and fragile sense of self. She is now GOD, and his existence cannot perpetuate without hers. 

As the “newness” of the relationship wears off, he begins to use his well developed skills of intercepting intimate nuances. He will try to analyse these nuances out of habit to “protect” himself from any “attacks” that may be imminent. His partner may now face an alarming sense of issues concerning power, control, and dis-trust emanating from him. 
Her constant reassurances will not be enough though. Five minutes of reassurances does not overcome multiple years of emotional damage. His anger will build as he starts feeling more insecure, and his emotional skills lack the ability to cope with this situation. It needs to be understood, most angry men are not really angry at all. It is the emotional tool they use to guard against the release of tremendous sadness.
He will begin to act out, as his “survival” skills take over. He cannot bear the pain of inadequacy and worthlessness again. He will use any means possible to “control” the situation. His sense of value, self, and emotional security is at stake. To him this is a serious threat and it may require serious measures. She is no longer his partner, she is a symbol of everything negative he has been taught to believe about himself.

My How Things Have Changed

I shared my personal experiences with you in order for you to understand with greater clarity some of the new research I am going to present next.

Let me quote one of the sources I am using, “Inside the Heart of Marital Violence” by Hara Estroff Marano:

For decades, the puzzle of spouse abuse has been summed up in the question, “Why do they stay?” As if that were all there is to it—the manufacture of victims of a gender hierarchy that encourages men to demonstrate their dominance. But the question is misogynistic; it fails to grapple with a very obvious fact: that between batterer and batteree there is a relationship, and a very powerful one. It has a dynamic that stubbornly defies what is well known at the nation’s 1,300 shelters for abused women: the vast majority of battered women return to their abusers. If intellectual curiosity is not enough of a reason, then certainly protecting women requires that their marriages finally be probed.

Researchers and clinicians (many of them hard-core feminists) now peering into the very heart of domestic violence find, even to their own surprise, that it is far more complex, and far less dark, than most had imagined. In a turnabout that might just as well serve as a symbol of all else that is now being learned, the crucial question turns out not to be “Why do they (the women) stay?” Rather, it is “What makes them (the men) so vulnerable, so dependent?”

Violence may indeed reflect patriarchy run amok and men may indeed use violence to exert power and control over women. But there’s a dirty little secret in the world of domestic violence: It almost always arises from feelings of powerlessness. Men experience their own use of force as a loss of control. Abusers do not enjoy being abusive.

This new research focuses extensively on the abuser. Here are some of the key findings:

There are elements that work at the cognitive level, like a propensity to misread social cues and attribute hostile intent to others. There are defects in interpersonal skills, like a lack of ability to deescalate the conflict that is inevitable in relationships. There are intrapsychic deficits—a hypersensitivity to abandonment, inability to control negative emotions, and poor impulse control.

*  Apart from the coercion, the relationship between batterer and partner has a positive side. It is typically a highly romantic and deeply loving relationship. Both are drawn by the fantasy and reality of having found acceptance for the first time in their lives and feel their relationship is “special,” a unique haven from an outside world. 

* Not every interaction, not even every argument, in an abusive marriage is violent. Some issues turn out to be uniquely troublesome in these relationships. Violent men seem to have deficits in processing social information in specific situations—typically, they negatively misinterpret their wives’ behavior when, for example, she pays attention to anyone else. Such situations induce an inner panic because they hint at rejection. “These men are very dependent on their wives,” explains Amy Holtzworth-Munroe, Ph.D., a psychologist at Indiana University. “They constantly want their wives’ attention. If they sense signs of rejection, they experience it as a real threat. Violence is related to jealousy and security of attachment. If they think their partners might leave, they become violent.”

Without deflecting responsibility for male violence, it is possible that batterers are also somehow biologically different. “I started from a straight feminist perspective,” reports family therapist Gillian Walker, M.S.W., also at the Ackerman Institute. “I’ve had to broaden the lens as I go. I’m struck by how many of these men are learning-disabled. Or how often they had their heads pounded into the ground as kids.”

The stereotype of battered wives as fragile, passive, placating, docile, and self-deprecating does not do justice to their actual role in relationships. Women prove to be the more functional members of these couples. What’s more, during confrontations, they reciprocate anger and contempt tit for tat and don’t back down. They do not act as if they fear being beaten later. But no matter what they try, once the violence starts, nothing they do can stop it. “The wives are beaten,” says Seattle’s Jacobson, “but not beaten into submission.”

*  Most women in battering relationships are themselves violent, a fact that has proved very politically troublesome to victims’ advocates. But Jacobson’s studies provide powerful proof that their violence occurs only in response to their partners’ attacks. Fear turns out to be the telltale emotion. “Only the husband’s violence produces fear in a partner,” reports Jacobson. “He has the unique capability to subjugate his partner by battering. That’s why I can’t believe in husband abuse.”

Note: I am not in complete agreement with the last statement, but left it in its entirety out of respect for the researchers.

The article goes on to say:

Almost all the men we’ve treated come from families where there was physical violence. The women don’t necessarily come from violent households but from families where they were unmothered. The unmothered girl and the abused boy are two lost souls who don’t trust the world outside. The paradox is they only feel safe together.”

And as for the abusive men:

“We see that some large vulnerability activates them into the abusive rage. There is a deep disturbance in the person, and he believes it is the female’s job to soothe him, to keep him at bay. He sees her job as to make him feel powerful, to attend to him, to meet all his needs, when he wants. If not, that’s when there is violence.

These researchers, unlike traditionalist, have had success in treating couples with violent marital histories using this new information. They do something that makes traditional DV advocates look on in angst – they enter them into couple’s therapy. This infuriates the traditionalist because it implies the woman may risk being held accountable for her actions in the violence encounters. This is seen as “blaming the victim”, something that is abhorred in traditional prevention circles (unless of course you’re a male victim). And it means his word is as valuable as hers. According to Virginia Goldner, a DV researcher, traditionalist argue, “How can the victims of violence who have elected conjoint treatment speak and enjoy justice when perpetrators’ truths are judged equal?” She counters, “After much soul-searching, [I] rejected the polarities of either/or thinking about domestic violence in favor of “the more difficult, but more hopeful, stance of both/and.”

For those who treat violence related couples, the male is required to end the abuse immediately, and must sincerely hold himself accountable. Safety is paramount. And the therapist must be able to find some kind of emotional bond resembling reasonable love and commitment. When those conditions are met, the two can enter therapy together. One researcher noted, “What we’re finding is that we have to fix these men at the individual level as well as at the societal and couple level. These men do not have the social skills to participate in the culture.”

The Duluth Model – Seeing the World as Flat

While research on domestic violence is becoming more fluid, the one thing that has remained consistent is how our judicial system views and deals with violent men. Thanks to prevention advocates, the Duluth Model is overwhelming used as the instruction manual to handle domestic violence situations by authorities, municipalities, court systems, and counseling services. Not only have feminist and DV prevention advocates promoted this theory, but in some states it is illegal not to use it as a model of understanding the cause and treatment of domestic violence. And due to political pressures by activists and feminists, most municipalities and related social services refuse to stray or deviate from the Duluth Model. In other words, even though their may be better approaches in the treatments available to diminish the cycles of violence, they cannot be implemented due to legalities or politics.
Dr. Sonkin notes:

“Imagine living in a society where laws were used to dictate a type of medical intervention for cancer or heart disease. Every time a new drug or treatment approach was developed, either it couldn’t be utilized or a new law would need to be rewritten. Well, that’s the case in the domestic violence field. Many states such as California have essentially mandated the Duluth Model into the law, even though numerous evaluations of the Duluth Model have found that program participation has no impact on recidivism.”  

And that brings up another interesting point. The Duluth Model is extremely antiquated by social research standards with its methods being implemented in the early 1980’s and never receiving serious scrutiny until recently. After twenty years of lack luster results, it is still vehemently defended by its believers, and therefore, maintains its monopoly over other treatment programs.
All this information seems to contradict those in the prevention circles who say they are willing to do anything to end the cycle of family violence.

In Summary

When I wrote the first part of this series, I wanted to show how Jackson Katz and other domestic violence prevention advocates use more hyperbole than truth to promote their message. I hope I have shown this to be true. As one can see, a “masculinity crisis” created by various forms of media is not the cause of serious domestic violence. Nor is it really about “gender roles” and patriarchal leanings. These are only symptoms of a much larger and deeper problem. It obviously is more complex than some would like to believe. 

If DV prevention advocates and feminist really want to solve the issue of domestic violence, it would require having to show compassion and understanding for the perpetrators. It means having to take men’s issues seriously by giving them value, giving them time and resources, and letting go of the indolence towards men and their well-being as seen in the ever present behavior of applying simplicity to their issues, rather than sincerely engaging themselves in the complexity of men and their lives. I think I have shown that liberally applying labels of “problem and control” issues along with “masculinity” issues for most male ailments is an avenue convenience for some, rather than an avenue of truth.

I also want to point out that Mr. Katz and others want men to stand up and take responsibility for their actions. I agree with him. The beginning of any serious change begins with those who have harmed others in some way to hold themselves accountable. When I began changing my life, it was instilled in me by the program that I had to accept responsibility for my actions regardless of my past. I implemented this belief along with many other men. However, it is because of this belief that I write about Mr. Katz now. You see, Mr. Katz and other feminist have have assiduously applied the responsibility factor into so many gender causes, almost always at men. But once a person has truly learned how to accept responsibility, it opens his or her eyes as to how many people do not. If Mr. Katz becomes very successful in helping men accept responsibility, then by proxy he creates a movement of men who will see the irresponsibility in his theories, the irresponsibilities of the traditional domestic violence prevention field,  and the irresponsibility of traditional feminist thought – just as I have.

And maybe these “new” men will also noticed the same irony in all of this that I did. An abuser is usually someone who takes small, or insignificant bits of information and immediatley perceives them as a “crisis”. He reacts to these events with what some might label emotional hyperbole. In this series, I wrote how DV prevention advocates take certain information and exaggerate it into a “crisis”, thereby creating hyperbole.


Anyway, hope you enjoy great success in your work Mr. Katz. I have bought one of your books and I’m hoping my opinion will change after reading it. If it does, I will surely write about it soon. You see, it doesn’t take me twenty years or more to figure out I’m wrong.




Photo Courtesy of: Morguefile

March 10, 2008

Could Have Been Me

male-symbol.jpg    Today I want to share with my readers some other writers and their opinions about men, women, and life. Most of the opinions expressed resemble something I could have written because they carry similar positions and sentiments with respect to my own. 

Ask Dr. Helen: When Wife Out-Earns Hubby

In this article, a woman wants to know how to deal with her husband who seems to be having a hard time adjusting to the reality that his wife makes more money than him. I’ve always found Dr. Helen to give quality advice, and she does so here, however, I wish she would have challenged the woman’s belief that her problems are caused by the “bruised male ego” – which seems to always be the default “cause and effect” for the animosity in these relationships. It appears women always blame the man and his ego for a couples marital problems, but why aren’t we looking at women themselves as being a big part of the problem, if not all of it? Why is it so hard to visualize that once a woman achieves great financial power and independence over a man that her own issues with power and control will not manifest? And maybe, the once reasonable and understanding wife, suddenly becomes the asshole and jerk of the relationship, and maybe her husband’s change in attitude is just a reflection of the change in her attitude? 
Human nature finds it easier to blame someone else rather than ourselves, and after forty years of feminist influences which have indoctrinated women with the belief that their problems are usually the result of someone else’s issues – usually men’s – why aren’t we challenging the woman’s validation of the male ego problem more vigorously?

one giant leap for personkind

This is a great article by anti-feminist writer Mike Adams. Mike is one of my favorite writers because he avoids the militant speech in his writings, and has the impressive skill of making feminist ideology look ridicules by holding it up to its own merits and expectations.
In this article he shows how asinine the feminist approach is to solving gender issues.
Ignore the grammatical errors when reading – there is a reason for it, as Mike will show.

Longtime Feminists Pick Their Candidate

This article by Mark Pazniokas shows how some feminist are not on autopilot when it comes to voting for Hillary Clinton.
I’ve written before that I do not necessarily write from the perspective of a man who hates feminist as individuals, but from the perspective that I fight their ideology. As I have displayed, the gender of the person harboring the belief is irrelevant to me, as I have challenged men as well as women who perpetuate negative images and portrayals of men and masculinity. And I have also displayed that when I find honest and fair feminist, I have no problem recognizing their thoughts. This is one of those cases.

Rediscovering Something Old

Here is a blog I ran across after receiving a compliment from the writer concerning one of my articles.
In the guise of “Sweating Through The Fog“, this gentleman wrote a great piece challenging the philosophy of male feminist writer Hugo Schwyzer and other feminist thinkers. In his article he attacks the persistent attempt by feminist to label every tragedy as a masculine problem. His comparisons and rationalizations regarding feminist ideology and truth are poignant and pragmatic. Check it out.

I Am “OVER” Oprah!

Oprah Winfrey. I have sat in amazement so many times trying to figure out how this woman has created so many followers/robots that hang on every word or every action she initiates. I find her to be one of the biggest phonies out there. This female writer, named Amber, wrote an article that I could have easily written myself. Since my wife watches Oprah, I catch a show every so often, and like this woman points out, the show is unbearable to watch when Oprah interviews an interesting guest. She will consistently ask the person a question, and then cut them off and answer the question herself. What the f*** is the point of having him/her on the show if she piously knows it all? 
She is the the most idolized and decorated ego monster on the planet.




March 8, 2008

In the News…


Sorry for the delays in posting. I’ve been fighting the flu bug all week. Just don’t have the energy I usually do.

Anyway, here are the stories I found interesting over the last week that I wanted to share:

Duke University Trying to Shut Down Lacrosse Team Website

The Duke University legal team and its administration filed a motion in court to have a website, created by the lacrosse team students involved in the ongoing lawsuits, shut down because they feel it might prejudice the outcome of the proceedings. The website is used by the lacrosse players to inform others of the ongoing legal proceedings against the university and others.
So let me get this straight. Duke University, which rushed to judgment against the players, the accused, and the head coach, and played a large role in creating prejudice against these men within the community and the media, is now scared that a single website is going to place so much prejudice against the university, that it is in the best interest of fairness and justice to have it shut down?
Note to Duke University: Had you truly believed in fairness and justice for all, and not just for yourselves, you wouldn’t be in this situation.


Turns out, not only do women lie, but they’re much more skilled at it than men, something men have known for years. A new book by Susan Shapiro Barash called “Little White Lies, Deep Dark Secrets: The Truth About Why Women Lie,” explains that women lie quite often. While the book reveals some very interesting facts such as 60% of women admit to cheating on their partner, it still relies on the “benevolence” of women’s destructive behavior. I’ve written about this before. It involves the way society perceives and judges female destructive behavior versus male destructive behavior. Susan says women lie as a “survival” mechanism. This implies that women have no choice but to lie in order to achieve some kind of normalcy in their lives. When women choose to lie – or engage in some other destructive behavior -they do so as a means to overcome adversity. A woman’s destructive behavior is not her fault; it is really the fault of some other person or entity that has forced her to do so. And even though her behavior is wrong, there is a tremendous positive aspect to all of it. It follows the formula that if we as a society can now recognize the conditions that led to this behavior, and now begin to seriously address them in the future; consequently, we have the opportunity to create a brand new world in which everyone is better and happier. 

As for male destructive behavior? It is usually seen as a product of selfishness, cowardliness, and irresponsibility. Men’s destructive behavior is viewed only from the perception of how it has affected others, and the damage it has caused. The man’s behavior has only one positive outcome: take responsibility for your actions like an a “real man” and apologize to those who have been harmed by your actions.

So you see, male destructive behavior is perceived as malevolent under most circumstances. With female destructive behavior, we find someone or something else to blame, and then create a “condition” upon which it existed, and then begin a process to eradicate the components of that condition, thereby changing women’s lives for the better, and by default, society as a whole. Presto! The “benevolence” of female destructive behavior.
If we approached men’s destructive behavior with the same compassion and understanding, image how much improvement we could make in the lives of men.

Study: Short Sex is Best

Again, let’s chalk one up for men’s intuition and masculinity. After years of being humiliated by women for our “Wham Bam Thank-you Mame” approach to sex, a new study shows that both men and women agree that the shorter the intercourse, the more satisfying the sex.
So now we just need to work on getting the whole foreplay thing down to less than five minutes and I guarantee men’s sex lives will improve greatly. As for the ladies? Well look at it this way. If we are spending less time in the bedroom, then we will have more time to help with housework. A win-win situation the way I see it.

Juggling life as both Mr. Wallet and Mr. Mom

Here is a great article written by a woman who shows something rarely seen by the majority of women – a compassion for men and their issues. The article, written by Sarah Hampson, points out the hardships divorced fathers face, particularly with their children and overbearing ex-wives.
Quote: What is forgotten is that fathers have their own painful adjustment to divorce that is different than that faced by mothers. Just as mothers have to make the transition to single household head, so do fathers, and for them, that often means an increased involvement as a parent on several levels – emotional, social and financial. He becomes both Mr. Wallet and Mr. Mom.

Some victories for men

Man to get child support back

In a rare judicial move, a man who was falsely accused of being the father of a woman’s child was awarded over $14000 in restitution for years of improper child support payments. The judge heard evidence that revealed to him that the mother knew there was enough reasonable doubt to conclude that the man was not the father of her child. 
The sad part in all of this is that the ruling forces not just the mother to pay restitution, but the biological father also. While I’m not disagreeing with this, I feel the mother should bear the majority of the responsibility. It was her intentional lies to both men and child that caused this disturbing situation. Shouldn’t she be a “real woman” and take the majority of the responsibility?

Colorado Rockies face mediation over ‘Ladies Night’

The Colorado Civil Rights Division has found enough credible evidence that the Colorado Rockies Ladies Night promotion, which offers privileges for women only, is discriminatory. Stephen Horner, who has led numerous fights against these inequities, and is the plaintiff in this case, was ordered into mediation with the organization to resolve the issue.
Quote: “Ladies night promotions are an illegal practice and the commission urges public establishments to immediately cease and desist such practices,” the commission wrote in his ruling.

French women ‘are the sexual predators now’

In one of the most comprehensive studies completed by French researchers concerning the nation’s sexual habits, it found the belief that men are the more aggressive sex is changing and women are taking the lead. It seems French women’s sexual habits are more open and aggressive than in previous generations. At the same time, French men’s need for sex is declining.
So I guess we need to change our way of thinking about women. “Sugar and spice and wanna have some fun tonight?”
Quote: “The good old dichotomy (male predators, females patiently awaiting the warrior’s return in front of the cave entrance) is in big trouble”, said Le Nouvel Observateur.

From “Fighting the myth Men are Monsters, Women are Martyrs’ Files”:

Police: Woman fired gun in church, wrecked vehicle: Police say a Newport woman who fired a gun inside a church is in critical condition after she wrecked her vehicle trying to flee officers. Newport Police say Janet Compton, 52, walked into a crowded Hilltop Baptist Church service Wednesday evening with a pistol and approached her husband, Michael Compton, 53. They are going through a divorce. Police say she fired one shot into the floor before pulling the phone line out of the wall. She then began to pursue him as he ran out of the church. She then led police on a brief pursuit before flipping her minivan.
As we know from feminist teachings, this woman is suffering from battered women syndrome. That is how domestic homicide is explained away when the perpetrator is female and the victim is male. As one can see, she was living in such fear of him that she willfully obtained a gun, drove around looking for him, found him in a public place, and then chased him around trying to kill him. This is a clear example of how much fear she lived in day-to-day, by way of the great lengths she went through to eliminate her abuser. It is all starting to make sense to me now.

Teacher Allegedly Sends Boy Topless PicturesA Catholic school teacher on Friday was facing charges after allegedly e-mailing topless pictures of herself to a 15-year-old male student, MyFoxStl.com reported.
English teacher Melissa Moss, 27, was fired from her job at the Barat Academy in November after school officials said the teen’s parents, Robert and Kelly Pfeiffer, found the controversial pictures while monitoring his Internet use.
She must be French.

Jury Convicts Woman of Arson in Eco-Terror Firebombing at CollegeA federal jury Thursday found a woman guilty of two counts of arson for being the lookout in the 2001 burning of the University of Washington’s Center for Urban Horticulture by members of the radical Earth Liberation Front.
How come the feminist aren’t fighting the inequity of women leaders in radical movements such as this one?
Why was this woman delegated to only a lookout? Don’t radicals deserve equal treatment too?

Woman who cried rape five times is spared jail for perverting the course of justiceA binge-drinking woman who accused five innocent men of rape walked free from court.
Tracy Brooks, 26, wasted massive amounts of police time when she made two false allegations against two friends within the space of a month last summer.
The men were arrested, questioned, held for hours in custody and faced the prospect of a lengthy prison sentence if her claims were believed.
But weeks later, she came clean and told detectives the allegations were false.
Several years ago, Brooks, a self-confessed binge-drinker, falsely accused three other men of rape in separate incidents, Newcastle Crown Court was told. But the judge said he could not take these incidents into account in passing sentence because she had never been formally cautioned or charged in relation to them.
It really sucks being female in a male dominated world doesn’t it? Destroy male lives and reputations, and then walk away unscathed, just like the Duke University case.

Police: Wife Kills Husband With Child NearbyA DeKalb County woman is in jail charged with murder, after police said she shot and killed her husband while their 5-year-old daughter was in their house in Dunwoody.

‘Extraordinarily Brutal’ Crime Draws 28-Year Term: Toni Brown is paralyzed from her neck down, the result of a jealous ex-lover’s bullet that severed her spine five months ago. She had just left work at a Safeway store in Northwest Washington when she was hit in the neck and left for dead, prosecutors said. The shot was fired by Brown’s former girlfriend, Raina L. Johnson, who surprised her on the street after Brown, 32, had obtained a civil protection order that was supposed to keep Johnson at a distance. Witnesses said they heard Johnson shout at Brown, “I said I was going to get you,” before she hurled a crude epithet and ran away. Brown later told prosecutors how she had lain on the sidewalk watching her blood “pour out of me like water.”
Judging from the last two stories, isn’t it comforting to know that domestic violence is only a crime involving men attacking women?

I will now take some aspirin and rest. See you all on Monday.





Photo Courtesy of: stockxchng.com

March 5, 2008

Domestic Violence Prevention – More Hyperbole Than Truth:Part 2

screaming_mouth_open.jpg    In my last article, “Domestic Violence Prevention – More Hyperbole Than Truth: Part 1”, I wrote about Jackson Katz, an anti-sexist advocate who’s work focuses on the so called “crisis” in masculinity, and how this crisis leads to violence against women and other men. I wrote that I’m sure Mr. Katz means well, and truly wants to help men, but the fact that his “cause and effect” ideology is based in feminism thought which blames and shames men, and relies on hyperbole to draw its conclusions, leads me to believe his success will be limited.

While I am specifically using Mr. Katz in these articles, it needs to be understood that his beliefs are indicative of the whole domestic violence prevention advocates. His name can be interchangeable with most individuals or organizations.

Let’s continue with some statistics that Mr. Katz uses in one of his videos found on YouTube. He states these statistics:

  1. 85% of men commit murders. For women, they usually commit murder in response to years of domestic abuse by a spouse  
  2. 90% of men commit violent assaults
  3. 95% of men commit serious acts of domestic violence
  4. 95% of men are responsible for the act of dating violence
  5. 85%-95% of men are responsible for child sex abuse

Let me speak briefly about his statistics and similar stats, and how manipulative numbers can be. For the sake of brevity, I will touch on only the most obvious. 

#1. — He claims male violence is the result of a distorted perception of masculinity from the media. However, male violence and crime have many variables that need to be considered before making a quality hypothesis with respect to its rise and fall such as economics, employment, education, population density, sex ratios, demographics, substance abuse, judicial resources, and parolee population. One cannot label male violence as a “masculinity crisis” without serious consideration into all the variables listed above.
For example, in the early 1900’s, America’s large cities saw a sudden increase in crime rates. But this was followed by a decline, and then resurgence in the 1930’s. This was followed by another decline during WWII, and then resurgence in the 1960’s through the 1970’s. It reached a peak in the early 1990’s before falling to some of the lowest levels in 2005.
My question to Mr. Katz is, “What media influences were so powerful on males in the 1900’s and 1930’s that caused a surge in male violence?” There really wasn’t any. And consider the explosion in various forms of media during the 1980’s through 2000 (cable TV, video games, the internet, multiplex theatres, home movie rentals etc.). If the media is responsible for male violence, why has male violent crime actually decreased during this same period?  

When looked upon in the aggregate, and reasoned with ALL the variables I listed above, it becomes clear that men, masculinity, and their violence, is predicated more on multitude of personal life and environmental influences rather than media sensationalism. 

Also, his first statement reeks of blaming the victim, something that is abhorred by feminist when directed towards women, but accepted without hesitation when directed at men. And it should be noted that he abhors those in society that normalize men’s violence, but he went out of  his way to excuse female murderers, thereby provoking society to normalize female violence.

#2 and #5. — While it is apparent that men commit most violence, it still comes down to how one chooses to perceive those numbers. Mr. Katz and other feminist use those numbers to validate how masculinity is seriously flawed and needs to be “fixed”. However, if they really understood men and masculinity, they would see these numbers differently.

Maleness, if perceived without gender biases, is most likely to test the extremes of human nature. For example, males are more likely to have the highest IQ’s, but at the same time, exhibit some of the lowest. Males are more likely to be academic leaders, but also more likely to drop out of school in their lifetime. Males are more likely to be extremely wealthy, but also more likely to be homeless. Males have produced some of the world’s most violent, aggressive leaders, but have produced some of the most well known pacifist as well.
But what is usually missing from gender politics is the number of men that are just average men, which is always found to be the MAJORITY of men.
When we talk about men’s violence, we must remember that the majority of men do not engage in destructive behavior towards themselves or others. As a matter of fact, the majority of men care and work on some level to eliminate the violence against other men, women, and children in some way. Whether it’s through fatherhood, the job, or through everyday “man talk”, men show a genuine concern for creating a better environment for themselves, their families, their communities, and their country. While not always perfect, and still in need of more growth, masculinity has always found a way to adapt and correct itself. 
So while it is true that a high percentage of men are responsible for some of society’s worst violence, the important thing to remember is how those numbers are calculated. They represent the percentage of males committing those types of crimes ONLY – which is representative of the extreme traits of men and masculinity. When juxtaposed to the average male population, the majority of men ARE NOT committing violent crimes. Serious crimes are being perpetrated by a minority of the male population. So from my point of view, his stats, and others like his, are more hyperbole than truth. While masculinity may have its flaws, and some of those flaws impose serious concerns, masculinity as a whole is definitely not in a crisis.

#3 and #4 — When it comes to domestic violence and the correlating statistics, it has become a chaotic numbers game where everyone claims to have the “real” numbers.

Here is what I can tell you from my own personal experience after looking at research and numbers over several years:

Men’s rights advocates are correct, and so are the feminist.

Again, it depends on what one wants to extrapolate from the numbers to further their cause that leads to the confusion and controversy about who is committing violence against whom and in what numbers.

The most honest assessment I’ve read concerning this controversy involves breaking down domestic violence into different categories. The first category is the most common, and it accounts for the majority of domestic violence cases. It is called situational couple violence. It consist of yelling and screaming that escalates into simple forms of violence such as slapping, scratching, hitting, hair pulling etc. While some couples may have reoccurring episodes, most incidents are isolated and usually do not occur again. In this type of domestic violence – again, the most common – women are just as guilty of instigating the violence as well as men. 
This is the point of view of men’s rights activists.

The next type of domestic violence is what some call intimate terrorism. This involves power and control of a partner through various means including economic control, psychological abuse, physical violence, isolation from friends and family, and exertion of the belief of male dominance. Obviously this abuse is considered to be perpetrated by males more than females. 
The last category would be domestic homicide. This is perpetrated mainly by men. But of all domestic violence, this occurs in the smallest numbers.
This is the point of view of the feminist.

So who is right? Both. However, when considering the overwhelming majority of domestic violence episodes, the men’s rights activists are closer to the truth than the feminist. Men and women are attacking each other daily on equal levels, but the more serious forms of domestic violence are usually perpetrated by men. And considering the most serious forms of domestic violence is the least likely to occur, that means the majority of men are not abusers, and the majority of women are not living in serious danger of being a victim of serious domestic violence as some advocates would want us to believe.

But I want to re-consider the perception of intimate terrorism as being exclusively male dominated intimate abuse.

If we include psychological abuse in its criteria, then women are equally capable of being perpetrators of this type of domestic violence upon their spouses and children as much as men. And as for isolating tactics, I have personally witnessed men, who after marrying controlling women, disassociate from their close friends and family members also.

But more importantly, let’s consider how much the dynamics of male/female relationships have evolved since the inception of the women’s movemen – most notably, economic power.

The assumption is made that men are always at an economic advantage over women. This may have been true 30 years ago at the beginning of domestic violence research, but it is definitely not true today. Consider that women have taken the lead academically which in turn, has led women to free themselves economically from men. However, women still choose to marry men with more economic power than themselves. In this age of female empowerment in which women demand the same power and status as men, the majority of women still refuse to propose to men, still refuse to “marry down” economically, and therefore, CHOOSE to become economically dependent upon men in long-term relationships. Therefore, I believe the economic control men have over women is not necessarily false, but in light of women’s changing economic and independence status, I feel we need to re-evaluate economic control as less of a masculine based perspective of accountability and responsibility, and see it more as a female one.

So in the overall scope of domestic violence, men’s rights advocates are actually closer to the truth about the realities of the daily violence males and females inflict upon each other. However, we as men, have to concede that the most violent forms, such as domestic homicide, is perpetrated mainly by men. But again, these acts are carried out by an extreme minority of men. The majority of men will not be guilty of this behavior within their lifetime. As for the intimate terrorism assessment, I think this is a gray area that needs to be studied further.

My point is not to undermine the seriousness of domestic violence. However, if we as a society are going to seriously address it, then we must strip the hyperbole from it, and get at the core of what is really happening. And the way I see it, men and women are equally responsible for engaging in it and perpetuating its existence. And I feel the current domestic violence prevention culture needs a serious make over. It is has been infected with too much contempt for men, and too apologetic towards female violence to be truly effective anymore.

In “Domestic Violence Prevention – More Hyperbole Than Truth:Part 3“, I will examine how feminist and DV prevention advocates are ignoring new cause and effect research that could help break the cycle of domestic violence in society. But because it doesn’t conform to “men bad, women good” feminist ideology, some advocates are trying to silence it.




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