J. Soltys's Weblog

May 28, 2008

Hillary Doing What Feminist Do Best – Blaming Others

    (Part 1)

As Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign appears to be taking its last breath, my prescient abilities concerning her behavior with respect to her feminist leanings has not let me down.

Back in October of 2007, I wrote how I would not vote for Hillary because she had declared herself a feminist earlier in the year while speaking at a National Organization for Women event. I wrote at that time that by declaring herself a feminist, she also declared her expected behavior, which meant her campaign would most likely include traditional feminist characteristics such as hypocrisy, distortions of the truth, or one of the core fundamentals of feminism: the ability to blame someone or something else for your own indiscretions.
It is hard enough to try and determine which candidate is the most trustworthy and honest, but if a candidate declares herself/himself a feminist, in my opinion that all but assures the voters that truth, honesty, and personal responsibility will be capriciously applied by the candidate. I wrote because of this she would not receive my vote.

Hillary made me look like a genius.

Last Tuesday Hillary Clinton blasted the media – and indirectly society – for the failures of her campaign. Hillary and her supporters are blaming the rampant “vitriol” of sexism that pervades most media, pundits, and others for her fall from grace in the race for the Democratic nomination.
In an article published in the Washington Post, Hillary scolded the media by saying,

“The manifestation of some of the sexism that has gone on in this campaign is somehow more respectable, or at least more accepted, and . . . there should be equal rejection of the sexism and the racism when it raises its ugly head. It does seem as though the press at least is not as bothered by the incredible vitriol that has been engendered by the comments by people who are nothing but misogynists.”

In another call to supporters she stated,

“I deeply regret the vitriol and the mean-spiritedness and the terrible insults and rhetoric that has been thrown around at you for supporting me, at women in general, at many of those who support my campaign because of who they are and their stand based on principle. I don’t have time for their insults, I’m impervious to them.”

What?
Hillary, her staff, and supporters have been claiming throughout this campaign that sexist aspersions and actions have been plaguing her bid for nomination since last year, so these new charges are just another notch on her “gender bias” platform. However, after reiterating her position – again – that sexism has played an important role in the outcome of this presidential nomination, she then states she has no time for this ugliness and she is “impervious” to it.
Impervious? If this is true, then why the hell does she keep bringing it up and bitching about it?

Obviously I’m not the only one who has noticed Hillary’s lack of continuity in what she says from one day to the next.
Robert Parry, a former investigative reporter for the Associated Press and Newsweek wrote back in March for Consortiumnews.com that,

[I] observed a disturbing trend in Hillary Clinton’s campaign – her growing tendency to stretch the truth, twist what her chief rival was saying and then rely on her supporters to go on the offensive against you if you spoke up.

He wrote how media articles exposing her contradictions, or challenging her honesty during the campaign led to,

“… furious reactions from Clinton’s supporters who seem on perpetual alert to any criticism of their candidate, so it can be repudiated as an example of “sexism,” “Hillary bashing” or membership in some “Barack Obama cult.”

So is it surprising that as her nomination turns moribund, Hillary and her supporters – using traditional feminist ideology – will place blame on others for her failures rather than accept the fact that she is ultimately responsible?

To set the record straight, and prove her loss had nothing to do with sexism or misogyny, but more with Hillary herself, let me highlight the many damaging issues that occurred within the Clinton campaign:

— During a national presidential debate, Hillary stumbled and flip-flopped on the issue of whether she agreed with the state of New York and their proposal to give drivers licenses to illegal immigrates.
At first she seemed to agree with the proposal, but after another candidate, Senator Chris Dodd, spoke confidently against it, Clinton backpedaled and said she never agreed with it, but rather meant to express an understanding of why it may be needed. She then scolded moderator Tim Russert for “picking” on her after he drew attention to the contradiction. The other candidates took great pleasure in exploiting her gaffe.
The next day her staff sent a press release stating what she really meant to say was that she supported the New York bill. But the Clinton camp also began circulating the propaganda that Hillary was the victim of sexism. In a letter to supporters and donators, her staff wrote,

“On that stage in Philadelphia, we saw six against one. Candidates who had pledged the politics of hope practiced the politics of pile on instead. Her opponents tried a whole host of attacks on Hillary.”It should be noted Hillary was the most powerful candidate at that time, and any kink in her armor would naturally be exploited by her competitors as historical politics would reveal. But she and her supporters twisted the traditional flow of politics, arguing it as a form of sexism, with Hillary portrayed as a victim of traditional patriarchal behavior – the boys picking on the girls.
As columnist Kathleen Parker wrote, 

“Yet the spin coming out of the Clinton campaign is that the men were ganging up on Hillary. Sorry, but when girls insist on playing hardball with the boys, they don’t get to cry foul – or change the game to dodge ball – when they get bruised.”

The same campaign staff that had successfully created the perception that Hillary was as tough as nails and could stand as tall as any male leader, crumbled under a minor crisis, portraying Hillary as a victim, unable to escape a sexist paradigm, and in desperate need of help, both emotional and financial.

— When dealing with sexist attitudes, Hillary portrayed herself as somebody who was more than prepared to handle the bigotry that was lining her path to the White House and beyond.
On the talk show The View, Hillary stated,

“You know, I have been to 82 countries, and I have met with the leaders of a lot of countries that are not exactly in the forefront of giving women their rights. And I’ve never found that to be a problem.”

Again, if this is true, then why is she focusing again on the sexist and “misogynist” attitudes found here within the media and society during her campaign?
Considering the sexism in this country is pretty benign compared to some countries in the world, it would be no stretch to say she is misleading herself and others in believing she would have no problem with sexism on a more serious level. If she can’t handle it here without getting flustered, how can she confidently state she can handle it on a more malevolent level somewhere else?

— Hillary told the now famous story of coming under sniper fire while visiting Bosnia in 1996 with daughter Chelsea. Claiming she made the trip herself to the war-torn country because the trip was too dangerous for her husband, this story was an attempt by her and her staff to validate her foreign policy experience. But soon after, many began questioning its legitimacy with such questions as:
**  If security for the president of the United States – which is the best in the world – found the trip extremely dangerous for him, why would they decide to send his wife and child into this hostile environment?
**  If the president’s wife and child came under sniper fire during a trip to Bosnia, how come nobody in the media could recall such a powerful and dominating headline?
The Washington Post’s Michael Dobbs was the first to report the story as a bold face lie. Immediately, Clinton and her staff demanded a retraction, claiming there was evidence of a real threat that day. Dobbs and the Post refused. Only after CBS ran video of Hillary and Chelsea being warmly and openly greeted on the tarmac at the airport did Clinton and her staff back off the sniper story.
Clinton’s excuse? It wasn’t a nefarious lie; she claimed she had just “misspoken”.

— Her second act of “misspeaking” came shortly after the first when she began using a “true” and tragic story concerning our country’s failing healthcare system while on the campaign trail.
The story, told to her by one of her supporters, consisted of an uninsured pregnant woman who was denied health care at two local hospitals for herself and her unborn child because she lacked insurance. Eventually, both the baby and the woman died.
While the death of the mother and child is true, lack of health insurance was not related to the cause of death for either. As Clinton began repeating the story again and again on the campaign trail, the media began checking further into the story.
It was discovered that the woman actually was employed and insured – contrary to what Clinton was saying – and that neither the child nor the mother was ever denied access to either hospital for treatment. It appears she had gone to the first hospital for a routine exam when the doctors discovered her child had died and would have to be delivered stillborn. She suffered serious complications after the birth and was transferred to another hospital that doctors felt could manage her deteriorating condition by offering her BETTER care. However, the woman was besieged by setbacks and eventually died from complications.
Clinton and her staff claimed they tried to verify the story, but found it difficult. The media however, found no problem finding the woman’s family and the hospitals involved when trying to verify the story. Both family and the hospitals said they were never contacted by Clinton’s staff.

In part two, I’ll continue with more mistakes made by Clinton and her staff which, when summed up, shows numerous contradictions and distortions of the truth, rather than overt sexism, played a key role in her downfall from undisputed leader, to hoping for a miracle in the next few weeks.

(Note: Thank you, to those that sent well wishes to my wife and I. It was greatly appreciated.) 

 

 

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May 23, 2008

Where Am I?

Filed under: men — J. Soltys @ 6:56 am

To my readers,
I have not posted anything for over a week. This is because my wife took a nasty fall about two weeks ago and broke a few bones, one of which required surgery to repair.
Therefore, our usually normal family life is now chaotic, and this has left me with very little time to write.
However, my wife is doing much better and is more active and mobile each day. After this much needed extended weekend, I anticipate things to approach a sense of normalcy by next week.
My next posting will appear on Tuesday.
Have a great weekend.

On this Memorial Day, may I extend my gratitude to all those, past and present, who have sacrificed their lives in some way so I can have the freedoms I enjoy today.

Thank you, and God Bless you and your families.

J. Soltys

 

Contact:           

soltys.joe@gmail.com
https://jsoltys.wordpress.com
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May 15, 2008

Mothers Day Has Passed. Prepare for the Assualt on Fathers Day!

Mothers Day has passed, the day when we set aside any differences, wrongs, resentments, and other negatives about our moms across the country, and focus on all the good mothers have accomplished in raising us, the sacrifices, the hardships, the unconditional love, and other benevolent qualities perceived as only coming from moms.
It’s wonderful that we have created a day to remember the good things about our moms, as any person in the psychology profession will tell you, harping on the negatives without considering the positives in any given situation in life will only lead to anger and resentment. Even better is that we have actually created a day where society – families, media, politicians, governments – will not dare to venture into, or raise awareness to the number of mothers that have failed miserably at the role of parenthood. This is not the time to dwell on the dark side of mothers in America they will tell you. Instead, it is a day to honor women who have managed the difficult role of motherhood for better and for worse – and I couldn’t agree more. Positive, emotional reinforcement will carry greater benefits for women and their children in the long term rather than berating them for their failures during Mothers Day weekend. We all need to know our efforts are being recognized and appreciated, and that our imperfections are being judged relative to our imperfect humanism.

In a short month, the mood will change. Fathers Day weekend will arrive and society – families, media, politicians, government – will let fathers know they are appreciated, but not without condition. Unlike mothers, fathers will hear every detail of their failures, and unlike mothers, will not have the opportunity to enjoy a weekend of compassionate reminiscing, where society refuses to dwell on the negative, and makes an effort to focus only on the positive results of fatherhood.
Right now, politicians are preparing speeches that will remind us how important a father is in a child’s life. The speeches will be eloquent, dramatic, and condemning, because in the end, these politicians will let fathers know they are failing in this important stabilizing family and societal role.
Police chiefs across the country at this very moment are organizing their usual Fathers Day “deadbeat” dad sting operations, as a way to remind men and fathers of their obligations and responsibilities as a parent. These dark headlines will be splashed across most newspapers and newscast during the weekend and will be a mood altering topic of conversation at most family gatherings.
Media outlets will begin to organize tributes to fathers for Fathers Day, but will also make sure to find room for stories that highlight the failures of fathers in order to bring “perspective” to the present condition of fatherhood in society.

So what’s wrong with reminding fathers of the significance and influential role they play in the lives of their children and society? Nothing, except why aren’t these same pivotal, poignant speeches and actions addressed to mothers around Mothers Day? Isn’t the role of a mother just as important as the role of a father, and therefore, a good jolt of reality placed upon them just as important?
The only reason this isn’t done is due to the unjustified discrimination of fathers and men in this country. In the arena of family issues, men and fathers are perceived to be inferior to women, yet this daily discrimination goes unaddressed. In the role of spouse or parent, men are seen as dysfunctional, irresponsible individuals, in need of constant fixing, adjusting, and scolding in order to eradicate and manage their many faults and maintain sensibility. If the genders were reversed, it would be called blatant sexism.
If you think I’m kidding, let me show you why I think this way.

-– Last year presidential contender Barack Obama gave a Fathers Day speech in which he said:

“It’s about to be Father’s Day, let’s admit to ourselves that there are a lot of men out there that need to stop acting like boys; who need to realize that responsibility does not end at conception; who need to know that what makes you a man is not the ability to have a child but the courage to raise a child.”

When was the last time a politician chose Mothers Day to humiliate irresponsible mothers by calling them little girls that need to grow up? It has never happened and never will. The discrimination of fathers is based on the mythology that mothers are superior to fathers, in spite of evidence that proves otherwise.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services through the Administration for Children and Families
reported that in 2006, 40 percent (39.9%) of child victims were maltreated by their mothers acting alone; another 17.6 percent were maltreated by their fathers acting alone.
The agency defines maltreatment as: Any recent act or failure to act on the part of a parent or caretaker which results in death, serious physical or emotional harm, sexual abuse or exploitation; or An act or failure to act which presents an imminent risk of serious harm.

According to Obama, the reason he felt the need for his Fathers Day speech:

“The key to having this conversation constructively is to realize that there’s really no excuse for not behaving responsibly toward our children.”

If this is true, then why has Obama not chosen to scold or humiliate mothers on Mothers Day for the horrific abuses towards their children which is more that double of that with respect to fathers?
Is he implying that a father who refuses to participate in the raising of his children is not a real man and does not deserve forgiveness, but a mother who abuses her children should be forgiven and honored?

 -– Last year, here in the Chicago area, Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart launched a weeklong “deadbeat dad” sting operation that resulted in the arrest of 130 deadbeat dads. Sherriff Dart also arrested four deadbeat moms to show that he was being gender neutral.
However, Dart addressed his reasoning for carrying out the sting around Fathers Day this way:

“For hundreds of thousands of people Father’s Day is just a very, very painful day,” Dart said. “It actually serves as a perverse reminder of just how difficult their life is because there is no father, and not only is there no father there, but there is someone who has walked away from their responsibilities.”

Isn’t Mothers Day a very, very painful reminder to all the children that are abused every year by their mothers? And if Sheriff Dart is truly concerned with the difficult lives of children neglected by a parent, why not launch a campaign around Mothers Day touting the many irresponsible and criminal mothers in society that are abusing their children. It can include the little known fact that besides abuse, mothers also lead fathers in failing to pay court ordered child support.
Glenn Sacks and Jeffery Leving wrote an article refuting Sheriff Dart’s claims that all the men arrested were intentionally avoiding their responsibilities. The article also reveals the discrepancies and complexities between society’s perception of the deadbeat dad and the human reality.

 –- Last year for Fathers Day, Time magazine wrote an article called The Psychology of Fatherhood  which questioned whether fathers deserve to be honored with a special day like mothers because of men’s alleged undesirable track record concerning parenting.
The two female writers (coincidence?) wrote how the research they uncovered shows that:
– In the U.S., more than half of divorced fathers lose contact with their kids within a few years.
– Men are more likely to default on a child-support payment (49%) than a used-car payment (3%).
– U.S. fathers average less than an hour a day (up from 20 minutes a few decades ago), usually squeezed in after the workday.
The female writers never mentioned what research or sources their information can be referenced to, but men’s writer Glenn Sacks was familiar with the sources. He wrote a response to the article and the research in question, showing how the women used family research from the 1960’s and other sources that were eventually proven to be unreliable.
But the best repudiation of the Time’s article comes from the magazine itself. In 2005 it ran an article about fatherhood called The Missing Father Myth in which it disputed the very claims made by it’s own female writers two years later.
In this article the male writer (coincidence?) claims the perceptions of the irresponsible father is false. His article looks at recent study of teenage fathers which show:
– 82% reported having daily contact with their children
– 74% said they contributed to the child’s financial support
– Almost 90% maintained a relationship with the mother
The findings of this study are very similar to the findings of other studies concerning fathers and families. (An excellent, in-depth look at the reality of fathers and custody issues can be found here.)

– Paul Coughlin, a writer of Christian issues wrote an article titled Pastors, Don’t Use Mother’s Day to Bash Dads in which he writes about the discriminatory practices within churches concerning mothers and fathers. Paul writes,

This Sunday we will extol the value and benefit of motherhood, which is great. But in some churches, this will be done by degrading Christian husbands, which is not great. “Our pastor makes us husbands get on our knees on Mother’s Day and beg for forgiveness. I don’t want to do it again this year,” one reader tells me. Another writes, “Our minister makes husbands write on paper all the things we’ve done wrong. Then we’re suppose to give it to our wives and pledge that we won’t do them anymore.”

A church in my community handed out a flyer to all parishioners this past week which read:

With all respect to fathers, no one influences a child as much as a devoted mother. She passes on her faith in God, her beliefs in all the virtues, patience, kindness, forgiveness. As the growing child follows her about, all the mother’s ways of thinking and doing things, are flowing into the life of the child. One might say, the mother is programming the brain and the heart of the little one on how to live in this world.

Well…if this is true, why does society even bother trying to convince men of their importance in a child’s life? After such an overtly pious description of the dominating influence mothers have on their children, what is left to say to men and fathers on Fathers Day that will convince them fatherhood has any value, or is need at all?
And if the writer of this piece really believes that mothers “program” the brains and hearts of our children, is the writer willing to accept the consequences that he/she is implying that the blame for children who grow up and engage in violence and sin must rest solely on mothers since they – not fathers – are fully responsible for the “programming” of the child?
Of course not. If the individual grows up to be a criminal, it’s because the father wasn’t present. Or if he was present, he taught the wrong set of values and virtues – despite the admission of his limited influence.
And so the cycle of discrimination against fathers continue.

While men are expected to share the responsibilities of raising children; the stress, the frustration, the anxiety, the financial drain, the personal limitations, etc., it becomes clear that when it is time to wallow in the rewards, fathers are told to sit in the corner of the room and wait until they are called – if they are ever called.
Fathers are expected to share all the first class responsibilities and hardships of being a parent, yet are treated as second class parents, or even strangers when the adulations and rewards are handed out.
Mothers are given honor and rewards in spite of their failures. Fathers are given greater scrutiny, humiliation, and shame in spite of their numerous successes.

Is it any wonder there are any good fathers left these days? Despite being vilified, disparaged, and unjustifiably attacked at every turn, including Fathers Day itself, men are consistently making progress at becoming better fathers regardless of the roadblocks so many vindictive people try to place before them. In this environment, it would be much easier for men to walk away and give up, yet many choose not to.

I will be smiling in admiration this Fathers Day.

 

Contact:           

soltys.joe@gmail.com
https://jsoltys.wordpress.com
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May 9, 2008

The Great Communicators. Are They Listening?

  Let’s get one thing straight; women are not better listeners than men. Contrary to popular belief, I feel men are better listeners than women. So bear with me while I vent a little bit.

The reason why men are considered lousy at listening is based solely on the assumptions and vocalization of women, the recipients of men’s alleged callous behavior. But isn’t asking women if they feel they’re being heard by their men the same as asking teenagers if their parents understand them? Hearing only the teenagers’ side of the conflict would leave the impression that the majority of parents in this society are abusive and oppressive (As a parent of a teenager, I can confirm this theory).
The same can be said for the conflict of listening between men and women. If it’s true men don’t really listen to women, then why would any woman marry a man who didn’t consistently acknowledge her?

The truth is, men listen very well to the women in their lives. Sometimes we do fail, but not as much as portrayed. We are tuned in to many aspects of her needs, personality, desires, etc. That is why women fall in love with us.
However, overtime the relationship changes. Women find ways of letting men know where they are lacking in the relationship. As the saying goes, “Men marry women hoping they will never change, while women marry men hoping to change everything about them.”
Men perceive the constant nagging as a reminder of their failures, and sadly, many men try to change only to find out their “change” wasn’t good enough, or more commonly, after each change is accomplished, they are immediately greeted with another “change” that needs addressing. “And why not?” women will reason. “He did so well with that one, this next one should go faster and easier.”

When I worked with men in a group setting years ago, these men became exactly what every woman says she desires from the man in her life: a man in touch with his feelings.
Since the men in these groups were dealing with serious issues, it was imperative that they learn the art of going deep within the core of their feelings and emotions, and developing appropriate ways to express and talk about those difficult feelings and emotions. Without this ability, it would be difficult to heal any past physical, emotional, or psychological trauma.

The result?

Some men found while they were becoming more skilled in dealing with their emotions, from their more mature, emotional perspective, they began to realize how unskilled their wives were in dealing with their own issues. More importantly, some men found the more attentive they became to their wives emotional needs, the more aware they had become of how their wives really didn’t want to seriously acknowledge their needs. In other words, as the men recognized and asked for more attentiveness to their emotional needs in order to build a deeper relationship with themselves and their wives, the more their wives tuned them out.
I remember reading somewhere that one of the biggest lies women tell is their desire to have a man in touch with his feelings. I don’t remember who said it, but they warned that a woman only wants a man who is in touch with his feelings because she believes he will understand HER feelings better, and be more attentive to her needs. The truth is most women aren’t interested at all in men’s true feelings, unless of course, they are the ultimate beneficiaries.

In my group experiences I found this to be true.
One common thread I discovered in my personal experiences and listening to the experiences of other men is how wives or girlfriends are quick to embrace and display their omnipotent knowledge of men. Wives and girlfriends do not listen to the men in their lives because they have already concluded how they [men] think and feel. In many conflicts, it becomes apparent that women have already made up their mind about how men feel, so any expression by their men that does not fulfill a woman’s provisory belief, is discarded or de-valued. In other words, men’s true feelings – when expressed – are ignored, and the ability to obtain a resolution to the conflict is lost.
Over time , men listen again and again how their thoughts and feelings are not important. Couple this with the systemic aspersions women and society will endlessly direct towards men which overwhelmingly portrayed them as lazy, selfish, incompetent, and many other negatives, and it becomes apparent the only way to manage the overload is to cut it off. Eventually, the ABUNDANT listening done by men in which they consistently hear their feelings and behavior consistently disparaged and ignored causes them to “tune out”, or more appropriately referred to as, not listening.

So you see, its not that men are not listening, it really becomes a matter of men listening too much – AND ITS ALWAYS NEGATIVE. I can assure that men, just as much as women, what to be acknowledged and heard. Unfortunately, feminism and society has done a good job equating men’s thoughts and feelings as a form of sexism if it doesn’t corroborate the man as bad, women as good point of view.

And this is the point of this post.

If we compare gender issues with relationships, we can see how similarities arise. The most important is how we acknowledge and recognize the male point of view in these issues. Feminism has been at the helm of most gender studies, and unfortunately, feminism has conducted their studies to perpetuate their own political and social agenda. These inherent biases have resulted in the feelings and thoughts of men being deemed unimportant unless those thoughts and feelings can be malleable enough to “fit” the provisory feminist ideology of:
power and control = patriarchy and masculinity.
This behavior, in my opinion, has created its own form of sexism, and also has shown a lack of serious problem solving when addressing gender issues. Feminism has never looked into men’s behavior with the same depth and compassion as they have for women. And for this reason, just as in personal relationships, the ability to find resolution is lost.

So what the hell am I getting at?
Let me explain.

I recently posted a column in which I offered two different views concerning the controversy between a women’s right to her sexuality and prostitution. I wrote how there is a shifting belief in society that prostitutes are victims of the highest order, and the only way to resolve this problem is to come down hard on the johns. This is not just happening here in this country, but also around the world.
I took exception to the fact that researchers – influenced by feminism – are willing to look deeply into why women become prostitutes, reserving compassion and dignity for them, while perceiving the johns as cold, uncaring, selfish men who have the ability to know right from wrong, and the knowledge to make better choices.
I questioned, why aren’t we asking the same compassionate questions to the men as well as the women? Maybe these men frequent prostitutes due to past abuses, sex addictions, or other tragic life events? Why do we always find compassion for our women and their past abuses but not our men? If we really want to solve issues such as these, shouldn’t we dwell deeply into the male side of the equation?
The reason why this is so important to me is because when I worked in my men’s group, I found some men engaged in risky or unusual sexual behavior due to sexual, emotional, and physical abuses in childhood, from both males and females equally. For some of these men, frequenting prostitutes was a form of escape or “acting out” what had happened years ago.
Since my experiences with these men, I have often wondered how many men who arrested in prostitution stings are men who are better served with counseling rather than jail time.

A report was released this week by researchers that studied prostitution in Chicago over the last couple of years. What makes this research different is that it actually dwelled deeply into the men who visit prostitutes. Research into prostitution has never really addressed the thoughts and feelings behind why men solicit prostitutes.

So what did it find? (Pardon me while I bite my lip and try not to scream “I told you so.”)

The men said going to prostitutes is similar to an addiction. As a matter of fact,
83 percent view buying sex as a form of addiction, according to the study.
Also, the study found that these men are often deeply conflicted about their behavior (I’m biting my lip harder).
Rachel Durchslag, director of the Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation, which conducted the survey in Chicago said she was stunned by the large response from men, and their willingness to talk to strangers about such a taboo subject.
More importantly, it was noted the mostly all female researchers expected to be offended by some of the men’s viewpoints – and they were – but the female researchers were shocked to find they felt sympathy for many of the men. Durchslag said,
“A lot of us felt really sad for a lot of these men. It’s more complicated. We were all surprised by the number of men who said, ‘I’ve never had a chance to talk about this.’ “

A former prostitute named Olivia Howard, who knows first hand the mentality of men who regularly use prostitutes and is now an advocated against prostitution says, “Some of these men are very sick men who have been abused themselves. And who need to be taught early on that this is not acceptable.”

“These men also have lived troubled lives and started buying sex at a very early age and that’s impacted their idea of what women are like,” said Samir Goswami, Justice Project Against Sexual Harm.

So what does it all mean?

It shows how devaluing and/or ignoring men’s thoughts and feelings transcend personal and societal behavior. Discarding what men have to say concerning gender and family issues has been the norm for too long now. And because of it, a more complete understanding and resolution to many issues has been left unaddressed.
In the study above, the female researchers were “surprised” how willing and open the men were when it came to talking about their thoughts and feelings concerning their use of prostitutes.
Why should they be? Let me make it clear: MEN ARE NOT GOING TO OPEN UP IF THEY FEEL THEIR THOUGHTS AND FEELINGS ARE NOT GOING TO BEING HEARD.
I learned a while back men will “tune out” if placed in an in an environment were their thoughts and feelings will be judged, humiliated, or shamed; consequently, place a man in an environment where preconceived notions about him – or men in general – will carry more weight than anything he has to offer, and he will become adversarial, and any hope of deeper thought is lost. However, change the environment to where he feels what he has to say will be taken sincerely, and a man will jump at the chance let you in on his deepest thoughts – it is an opportunity he rarely enjoys.
The myth created by feminist and perpetuated by society is that men do not open up and talk about their feelings due to the restrictions of masculinity. Wrong! That is only a part of it. The other missing piece is how men have been made to feel marginalized or shut out concerning gender and family issues if their thoughts and feelings do not corroborate feminist beliefs, or place blame and responsibility upon women.

When the researchers gave theses men an opportunity to speak under favorable conditions, they actually felt sorry for them. Why? For the first time they became aware that men are not monsters, just human – just like them. They learned a man’s present behavior is predicated on the behavior he experienced by others in his life, and how deeply it impacted him – just like most women. In other words, for the first time these women decided to really LISTEN to men, and in the process, discovered valuable information to address and help resolve an issue that involves both genders, and in turn, help both men and women. Instead of taking the traditional, indolent, feminist approach that requires all men’s thoughts and behavior to be automatically filed away in the “power and control” box, these women decided to approach the male side of prostitution with the same detailed, compassionate, and aggressive approach usually reserved for women. This required thinking “outside” the box, and for that they were rewarded.

My point in all of this is simple: women label themselves great communicators and great listeners, and this is true – as long as their concerns are dealing with women. But when it comes to communicating and listening to men, women fail miserably. And I should note its not only women, but also men who have been influenced by feminist ideology that pressures society to believe men are naturally bad and women are naturally good.

And I have a major influential organization that corroborates what I feel.
In October of 2006, The World Bank released a study concerning what obstacles  women face in achieving equality. The female researchers concluded:

Accomplishing the goal of gender equality will be difficult, if not impossible, without considering men in the gender and development debate and focusing on the relations between men and women.

While gains have been made over the decades, initiatives by government and development agencies that focused exclusively on women have in some cases inadvertently increased women’s work burden and violence against them, and recommends applying a more inclusive perspective that also considers men’s gender issues.

The authors believe that while there is a long way to go making a more inclusive gender perspective a reality, the first step must be to move beyond the conventional gender paradigm that focuses exclusively on women and is based on the oppositional and two-dimensional “women as victim, men as a problem” attitude that has pervaded the gender and development debate over the decades.

“We believe that the time has come to better understand men from a gender perspective, for the benefit of men, women, future generations, and the society as a whole.

There you go. The concept of LISTENING to men rather than judging them is not just a concept of some male blogger such as myself, but also the findings of a major organization whose sole purpose is to research and address issues concerning the well-being of humanity around the world.

If women what to have a more satisfying relationship with the men in their lives, and if they want to resolve the gender wars that inhibit both men and women, take the time to listen to men rather than judge them.

We are listening, and willing to talk, more than you think.

Some men say using prostitutes is an addiction

Studies look at prostitution in Chicago

What About Men And Gender? World Bank Publication Calls For “Menstreaming” Development

 

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May 5, 2008

Our Pretty Little World of Distorted “Truths”

   Today’s theme is going to address how reality and perceptions about men and women in society clash. However, instead of doing all the writing myself, I am going to use articles written by others to help address these distortions. These writers address the issues as well, if not better than I could, so I’ll share their articles with my readers.

Are Other Men Keeping Men Down?
In this article Dr. Helen addresses the way men in power actually use their power to discriminate against other men. Her article contains many elements that I feel are relevant to issues surrounding perceptions of men and masculinity. The most poignant is the belief that because men hold the most powerful positions in the world, men are living in a state of bliss because this aggregate wealth of power is shared. This is probably the most absurd myth generated by feminism.
The priority for the judgment of power should be less about who has it, and more about what those who have it actually do with it.
While men in this country hold most of the power, how many of these men can openly advocate for more resources and attention directed toward causes that are exclusive to males? And how many can openly advocate resources and attention to causes that are exclusive to females? It is easier to do the latter.
Any politician or corporate board member who openly advocates for male exclusive issues would immediately surround himself in damaging controversy – one he would never professionally recover from.
Quote from article: The mistake in that way of thinking is to look only at the top. If one were to look downward to the bottom of society instead, one finds mostly men there too. Who’s in prison, all over the world, as criminals or political prisoners? The population on Death Row has never approached 51% female. Who’s homeless? Again, mostly men. Whom does society use for bad or dangerous jobs? U.S. Department of Labor statistics report that 93% of the people killed on the job are men.

Why women don’t want top jobs, by a feminist
This article is probably one of the best I’ve read about gender issues in a long time. Author Rosie Boycott, a feminist, writes how she has started to discard many feminist thoughts and ideas because she has realized how unrealistic and damaging they are. All this after reading a new book by Susan Pinker called The Sexual Paradox. Pinker’s book presents evidence that males and females are genuinely different in spite of what feminist research has led us to believe, which leads Boycott to begin looking back at her own feminist beliefs, and start drawing different conclusions. Juxtaposing Pinker’s evidence, other research, and her own perceptions, Boycott begins to understand what I and others who once supported feminism have already figured out; the need for women’s equality is genuine, but feminists have made many too mistakes on the way to equality.
Her article is filled with many poignant insights, but here are two notable quotes:
Our values, Pinker asserts, are based on the simple fact that the world of men (i.e. success and drive) is the correct model.
I have always wondered why feminist disparage everything created under the umbrella of the patriarchy or masculinity, particularly its lust for power, control, money, sex, and status, only to find their advocacy desires these same components of life. It has always appeared to me that feminist conned us into believing that the behavior of the patriarchy was incorrigible, when in reality, feminists always seem more pissed off for being excluded from engaging in the same destructive behaviors as men, or just pissed off only because women are being judged more harshly when they do it. (See last article in this post)
To make men and women genuinely equal, we have to accept and honour difference, not mark everyone’s scorecard according to the same set of standards.
I find this hard to believe it came from a card-carrying feminist. When did logic trump feelings?
Anyway, good for her, and her willingness to change.

Sorry ladies, the male birth control pill is not about you
Excellent article concerning the controversies surrounding the development of a male birth control pill. The author, George Dvorsky, explains why the male contraceptive will actually liberate males the same way female contraceptives did for women.
Dvorsky cautions that while women have been looking at the male pill as another step towards equality, the reality is, it will begin to address the inequalities males endure concerning reproductive rights – an inequality females refuse to address.
Quote from article: According to the 2004 National Scruples and Lies Survey (which polled 5,000 women in the United Kingdom), 42% of women claimed they would lie about contraception in order to get pregnant, regardless of the wishes of their partners.

Despite DNA, Dad’s Paternity Denied
Here is another story that makes me question all those in society that vocalize how important fathers are to their children. I am not talking about father rights activists or men’s rights activists; I know their commitment is genuine. I’m addressing those who talk so feverishly about the importance of a man’s role in raising his children until, of course, a crisis develops. These people consist of men and women, feminist and liberals, Christians and conservatives, and most importantly, politicians, lawyers, and judges.
Hope I didn’t miss anybody.
And that’s my point. Our society is hell bent on making men take responsibility for their children, that is of course until a situation arises where a man is actually trying to take responsibility for his children, and in return it may lead to the mother having to sacrifice some of her rights. This is when we find out emphasizing the importance of fathers and fatherhood is nothing more than an insidious conceptual tool used to manipulate men into believing they are of equal parent status, and will receive the same treatment as mothers for similar responsibilities.
In this story, a man named James Rhoades had an affair with a married woman that resulted in the birth of a child. Stupid on both their parts, but it gets crazier.
Instead of running from his parental responsibilities, which would have been the easiest thing to do, he chose to venture into the unknown, an uncomfortable situation of fighting for the right to be the father of his child under these unusual circumstances.
He lost.
The Kentucky Supreme Court ruled that Rhoades could not move forward with a paternity case to prove he is the biological father. The court ruled that the sanctity of the women’s marriage and the undisturbed well-being of the child is of greater priority than Rhoades inherent biological right. He is denied any part in his child’s life until he/she reaches adulthood and decides on his or her own to have contact with him.
After reading numerous stories like this over the years, I’ve come to really appreciate the saying, “Actions speak louder than words.”
I only trust those people of action concerning fatherhood, not words. The “wordy” people are pious “do-gooders” looking to shape an egocentric image of themselves rather than a sincere image of fatherhood.

I pay a man for regular sex
This article is anonymously written, and from what I read, it was the only thought that showed an ounce of intellect.
The female writer shares her story with readers concerning her arrangement for sex – she pays for it.
After being divorced, and feeling the need for an active sex life, she decided to pay a man at least once of month for sex.
What I love about this article is the many excuses she uses to justify her behavior – just like women’s stereotypical assessment of men. As a matter of fact, she shows an interesting trait that most women have over men – they are much better liars. Not only does she concoct a ritual used to shield and deceive her family and friends from her behavior, but it is apparent her ego has convinced herself that this arrangement benefits everybody – the “benevolent factor”.
The benevolent factor is a term I use to describe women who, when caught engaging in the same behavior as men, twist the consequences of their behavior to appear as if it actually is a greater benefit for everyone involved. As an example she says,
“I don’t want all the complications involved in getting into a relationship – I want to be able to concentrate on my children, my job and my life without introducing a man who might well walk out at some point, thus upsetting the children.”
She uses the emotional needs of her children to justify her behavior. And at the same time, she blames men and their irresponsible behavior for her irresponsible behavior. She believes,
Her behavior can be seen as a cry of desperation towards the recognition that men need to change their behavior. If they would just change, then those like her will change; therefore, everyone will benefit!
I think this is where Tiny Tim exclaims, “And God Bless everyone!”
It’s prostitution – that’s it!
As I wrote earlier, it appears women have never been actually upset or appalled at some of men’s behavior as they claim. As women become more empowered, their own questionable behavior creates the appearance that in the end, inequality has only denied them the opportunity to do the same.
This is why I am proud to be a man and masculine. It seems to me, contrary to popular belief, when women are put in the same situations as men, they are not any better than men.
It’s just another distortion of the truth.

 

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May 1, 2008

What Message Are We Sending?

   Reverend Jeremiah Wright was back in the news this week. After laying low since the controversy over his offensive and racially insensitive sermons and his relationship with presidential hopeful Barack Obama, he decided to make several appearances and interviews including one before the NAACP and The National Press Club.

If you haven’t seen some of the video clips and observed some of his theatrics (a “spectacle” is what Obama called it) or read some of his comments made at these conferences, I can say it is well worth the time. Any effort to persuade the public that Rev. Wright was being unfairly judged by a “few sound bites” on the internet can be put to rest – he validated almost every disparaging remark his critics have directed towards him.

The real shocker for me has been that as controversial as his remarks have been, the NAACP and The National Press Club asked him to speak at their events.
The NAACP invitation seems obvious until one considers the NAACP’s own mission statement:

The mission of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is to ensure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate racial hatred and racial discrimination.

Having Rev. Wright speak at a NAACP event seems to challenge the very integrity and sincerity of the organizations mission and purpose.
Consequently, The National Press Club honestly describes its history as having to deal with its own “isms”. The NPC originally was a steadfast, all white male organization that shunned women and blacks, but eventually came to terms with their own segregation practices. One would think they would be a little sensitive to controversy.
And it should be noted the Rev. Wright was going to be honored by, and receive an honorary degree from Northwestern University this week.

So what message were these organizations trying to send by asking a controversial person like Rev. Wright to speak at their events? One would think in this politically correct environment Rev. Wright would be ostracized and abandoned for his insensitive remarks, his name sending chills down the spine of event organizers. Instead, his offensive remarks and beliefs blossomed into speaking engagements and interviews.

Contrast the flexibility afforded Rev. Wright compared to that of Lawrence Summers.

Back in 2005, Harvard University president Lawrence Summers addressed a crowd of intellectuals brought together to discuss economic issues. During his speech, he made the mistake of trying to tackle the academic differences between the sexes concerning math and sciences. In an effort to find a reason for this gender gap he suggested that maybe universities should look more closely at possible genetic or biological differences between men and women since most research cannot find concrete cause and effect for this discrepancy. Summers was sincerely trying to help, not offend, but since feminist professors were present in the audience, his remarks could only be seen as insensitive, offensive, sexist, vile, and Neanderthal to name of few. One Feminist professor said Summers’ comments made her so physically ill she had to leave.
Because of his remarks, Summers eventually had to step down from his position. Although his comments were made in a sincere effort to help women, his one time slip of the tongue was weighted by feminist and academia to the conclusion that he was inherently a flawed, troubled, and backwards man.
Eventually Harvard replaced Summers with Drew G. Faust, the dean of the Radcliffe Institute, where she oversaw the study of women, gender, and society.
Today, scheduled speeches by Lawrence Summers on some university campuses have been cancelled due to protest by feminist and other “equality” groups who feel his presence on campus sends the wrong message.

The wrong message? What is the “wrong” message? Rev. Wright has tenaciously preached his controversial “message” for twenty years. Lawrence Summers had no message, just a lapse of reason.
Reverend Wright is honored, Lawrence Summers is vilified.

I’m not surprised. As a follower of gender issues it is apparent that the common thread in these controversies – that is, determining who will be condemned and who will be rewarded – depends greatly on who the malicious attacks are directed towards. If an attack is perceived to be directed at women as a whole, that person can expect to be condemned for life. If an attack is directed at men as a whole, that person will be considered an intellectual.
Rev. Wright’s “message” involved directing his anger at the government, which in societal politics is a euphemism for men. Lawrence Summers mishap was seen as an aspersion towards women – BIG mistake.
If you want to openly display hate, contempt, and discrimination in our society, and be rewarded for it, make sure your aspersions are directed towards men. When this form of gender discrimination is a part of someone’s “message”, it is guaranteed that the equality and diversity police will be present to distribute “get out of jail free” cards.

If you think I’m exaggerating, here are some disparaging, humiliating, and gender de-valuing remarks directed towards the male gender by men and women who are highly respected and/or influential in their profession:

– “I believe that women have a capacity for understanding and compassion which a man structurally does not have, does not have it because he cannot have it he’s just incapable of it” (Barbara Jordan, US Congress, from a speech given in Austin, Texas, The Houston Chronicle, 09/28/91).

– “As is our wont, we commenced work on a series of projects that stunk everything up and made a mess of our world. Women? They deserve none of the blame. They continued to bring life into this world; we continued to destroy it whenever we could. We can’t pin any of this on women . . . every bit of plunder and pillage, every attack on the environment, everything that has brought horror and destruction to all that was once pure and good has come from hands that, well, when they aren’t busy bringing pleasure to one-self, are working overtime to wipe out this beautiful, wonderful home we were given” (Michael Moore, Stupid White Men).

– “Men have a perfect right to be insecure. They’re doomed, poor darlings. It won’t be next Thursday or anything but men, says Bryan Sykes, a leading British researcher on sex chromosomes, ‘are now on notice’. . . . Are men necessary? I ask Dr Sykes. ‘Clearly not,’ he replies. Are men necessary? I ask British geneticist Steve Jones. ‘You don’t even need the sex slaves,’ Dr Jones assures me. ‘You just need their cells in a freezer.’ He fantasizes about ‘a world without men’, a version of the mythological ‘cult of Diana’ hunter-gatherer societies where women were in charge and men were just there for entertainment, where there would be ‘no Y chromosomes to enslave the feminine, the destructive spiral of greed and ambition fuelled by sexual ambition diminishes and, as a direct result, the sickness of our planet eases. The world no longer reverberates to the sound of men’s clashing antlers and the grim repercussions of private and public warfare.’” (Maureen Dowd, Are Men Necessary?, “Male free zone,” 01/22/06, Sydney Morning Herald)

– “The truly terrifying thing is that it could happen. The technology of asexual female reproduction in the human species really isn’t that far off. If suitably dedicated women overcame any ethical objections and applied themselves to the task they could be cloned within a decade. Those women see males for what they are, biological parasites on the parental care of females.” (John Gribbin, The Redundant Male)

– “To create and preserve a less violent world. I) Every culture must affirm a female future. II) Species responsibility must be returned to women in every culture. III) The proportion of men must be reduced to and maintained at approximately 10 percent of the human race.” (Sally Miller Gearhart, University of San Francisco, The Future—If There Is One—Is Female,” MasMystique).

– “One can know everything and still be unable to accept the fact that sex and murder are fused in the male consciousness, so that the one without the imminent possibly of the other is unthinkable and impossible.” (Andrea Dworkin, Letters from a War Zone, Lawrence Hill Books; Reprint 1993, p. 21).

– “Nature blundered badly in designing males . . . because of neurochemical stuff like testosterone; males are not naturally suited to civilization.” (Columnist George F. Will, “Nature and the Male Sex,” Newsweek, 06/17/91).

– “If there were more women in positions of power, not just in Congress, but across the United States and around the world, lots of things would be better. Not perfect. But better.” (Dee Dee Myers’s from her book, Why Women Should Rule the World)

– “I think women are too valuable to be in combat.” (U.S. Secretary of Defense, Casper Weinberger, MOMP, p. 126).

– “Testosterone won’t help if you’re married to a schmuck,” (Sheryl Kingsberg, chief of behavioral medicine at Case Medical Center in Cleveland when discussing testosterone supplements for women with low sex drives, Chicago Tribune 02/27/08).

Not one of these individuals was exposed to the imminent fear of losing their jobs, their status, or their professional respectability for their derogatory, humiliating, and hateful remarks towards men. Reverse the genders and ask yourself if their remarks would have gone unnoticed or unchallenged.

As of this writing, Barack Obama has cut all ties with Rev. Wright. This has angered some in the African-American community. I’m sure Obama was aware of the consequences, but at least I give him credit, he is finally an advocate of equality practicing what he preaches. Sadly, I can’t say that about the majority of other advocates for equality.
I hope this is a shifting of the paradigm – the right message being sent.

 

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Quotes courtesy of Tim Goldich

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