J. Soltys's Weblog

September 30, 2008

Loving Men, Respecting Women: An Analysis of Modern Sexual Politics

(Today I’m lending my blog to another writer. Tim Goldich has written a book called Loving Men, Respecting Women: The Future of Gender Politics, Love and Respect in the Past, Love and Respect in the Present, and Love and Respect in the Future.
I feel Tim has a unique perspective on the present dichotomies plaguing men and women, and offers a fresh perspective on how to remedy the persuasive distrust between the sexes. Because of this, I will be promoting his new book, which will be available soon. I am offering my readers a sneak-preview into Tim’s perspective by posting the forward of Loving Men, Respecting Women. Also, Tim has offered to be a contributing writer to my blog in the near future.
Hope you enjoy it.)

I have a truth to share with you, a truth that is at once radical and moderate. It is intuitively known but ideologically obscured. It is the one gender truth to be emphasized above all others. It is the one truth that promises to deescalate the Battle of the Sexes replacing resentment, blaming and victimhood with maturity, accountability and generosity. It is a truth just at the edge of awareness.
And it all begins with love and respect.

As is so commonly the case, I grew up respecting and obeying my Dad more than my Mom while appreciating and loving my Mom more than my Dad. When Mom cooked and served our meals her giving was plain to see and much appreciated. In serving our favorites Mom received our compliments and our gratitude. We came to the table hungry! And she gave us sustenance we could not live without. She gave us food, a fundamental archetype of life that stands at the very heart of family as well as religious, holiday and other social gatherings.
When Dad did his 50 hours a week on the corporate treadmill he did his giving miles away where none of us could see or appreciate it. I directly experienced what Mom was giving, but it often seemed as though Dad gave nothing. Growing up loving our mothers and resenting our fathers is more than just a matter of cultural cliché. It is the murky origin of a profound gender bias that remains with us all our lives.
Have you ever considered a true and deep empathy toward fathers? What is at risk in directing culture-wide caring, concern and compassion toward men in general and fathers in particular? And why will so many of us react with derision at the very idea?
Did you know that on Mother’s day more phone calls are made than on any other day of the year, more than on Christmas day and far more than on Father’s day. Father’s day, in contrast, is the day on which we make the largest number of collect calls.1 If we love Mom and Dad equally then why do we buy and send half again as many mother’s day cards as father’s day cards?2
It would seem that most of us grow up respecting our fathers, but not necessarily loving (empathizing with) our fathers. Likewise, it would seem that most of us grow up loving our mothers, but not necessarily respecting our mothers. At least in part, the disparity in love and respect derive from the roles we play. Clearly the husband role of protector/provider lends itself to being respected while the wife role of lover/nurturer better lends itself to being loved. Of course, it doesn’t always work this way; but it works this way more often than not.
In serving our meals we could say that Mom was being “servile,” or we could say that cooking and serving our meals was one of the ways in which Mom placed herself at the center of our affections. In “bringing home the bacon” we could say that Dad was being “dominant,” or we could say that working to earn his family’s love was one of the ways in which Dad was separated from his family’s love. In this way, we will find that every gender reality has a dual nature.
At home, Mom was as loving, giving, nurturing and omnipresent as Dad was demanding, rule enforcing, cranky and absent. My emotional dependence on Mom was obvious and absolute. It was she who washed us, fed us, tended to our bruises, taught us right from wrong and cared for our most basic needs. Within the mother/child glow we experienced a world of limitless unconditional love protecting us from an outside world cold and uncaring. It was Dad’s interaction with the outside world that insulated us from that world. Yes, we were financially dependent upon Dad, but what does that mean to a child? In our infancy did we experience Dad as he who suffered the slings and arrows making it possible for mother and child to live within a nexus of love and safety? Or, did we experience Dad as he who competed for and often usurped Mom’s love?

Every hour Dad devoted to earning his family’s love left him with one fewer hour in which to be with his family’s love. His work persona, so functional at work, was dysfunctional at home. “I can’t understand it,” he said to me once, “I communicate so well with my young employees; why can’t I communicate with you?” It’s easy to get disgusted with Dad. “I’m your son, not your employee,” I thought to myself. But how was Dad supposed to know about parenting?
Our dads didn’t grow up playing with dolls, playing house and babysitting. The male culture our dads grew up in did nothing to prepare them for the role of parenting. I was born before 1970, which means that I was born at a time when fathers were not even allowed in the delivery room. Think about it. Fathers were shut out right from the start. The anesthesiologist could be there. The family doctor could be there. A man with some practical value could be there. But, apparently, husbands/fathers, having no practical value in the delivery room, were considered to have no value at all. Only wives/mothers were encouraged to think of their nurturing and empathy as valuable gifts to be shared.
Fathers have many such stories to tell. Consider this one: Father listens to the sounds of his child playing outside. Suddenly something happens and the child is hurt. Father hears the sounds of his child in pain running for the front door. His heart goes out to his child. But the child runs right past his father’s open arms and into the arms of his mother instead. The child seeks comfort from the parent he loves most. In keeping with the male code, father does his best to keep his pain invisible, yet he is devastated nonetheless. It hurts to be loved second best. Is it any wonder if, from that day on, the father begins to hide behind his newspaper? Is it any wonder that Dad begins spending more time at work where he feels functional and less time at home where he feels dysfunctional?
Perhaps if we men better understood our father’s inner experience, we’d have more empathy toward our fathers. And if we can have more empathy toward our fathers, then perhaps we can have more empathy toward ourselves.
Dad did give something. Among other things, he gave 40 years of long days that he counted down till retirement from a job that he hated. He could have taken a more enjoyable job that paid less; but that would not have been in keeping with his role as provider. Though he ended up spending more time at work than at home, there on his desk amid the folders and the memos were pictures of his family. There under a sheet of glass covering his desk was a poem I had written in the 4th grade.
What he did, he did for us. Looking back on it, we might have thanked him more and blamed him less for not “being there for us.” He was over there at work for us. Looking back on it, I suppose it was we who were not there for him, to lend an ear to his fears, to love and support him.

A day of reckoning may arrive when a man comes to see his life in pursuit of respect as having been “all for nothing.” “Yes,” he says to himself, “I was respected. I may have been feared, obeyed, admired, lauded and rewarded with authority, status and titles, but I was never loved. Out of the blue, I awoke one day to be served divorce papers. I still love my wife; but she does not love me. And my children to the extent they even know me don’t love me either. With a restraining order effortlessly achieved I was effectively shut out of all their lives. I did it all for them, yet I lost them all. In desperation I turned to my brethren for solace and support, but following some perfunctory remarks (‘Keep your chin up,’ ‘keep a stiff upper lip,’ ‘Hang in there’), there was nothing. Men don’t love men any more than women do. Father’s Days come and go without a card or a call. I was never loved. It was all for nothing.”
Similarly, a day may come when a woman comes to see her life in pursuit of love as having been “all for nothing.” “Yes,” she says to herself, “I was loved. I may have been adored, protected, pursued, financially supported, coddled, catered to, and showered with gifts, mother’s day cards and other affections; but even my women friends never really took me seriously. I took the central place in the emotional lives of our children, but I awoke one day to find my children grown and gone away. I never achieved anything intellectually or creatively. I accomplished nothing with my life. I was never respected. It was all for nothing.”
As is true of men and women in general, we tend to respect fathers more than love them and we tend love mothers more than respect them. The love/respect dynamic is at the heart of gender polarity and in our tendency to respect women less than men and love men less than women, it is also the primary basis of legitimate gender complaint. The challenge for society is to care about men’s issues even when society doesn’t care about the men themselves. Both love and respect are abundantly rewarding in some ways, yet each is lacking certain essentials. For their lives to be fulfilling women need to be both loved and respected, and for their lives to be fulfilling men need to be both respected and loved.

The gender system can be improved. The sexes can negotiate these improvements under a unified banner without resorting to resentment or victimhood. One truth above all others leads the sexes down a path away from destructive battle and toward healthy negotiation, mutual understanding and fairness. So what is this wondrous truth that can do such wondrous things? Simply this:
It All Balances Out.

1[http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9B0DE7DE1031F933A15755C0A961948260]
2[http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1630551,00.html]

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September 29, 2008

I Finally Have A Real “About” Page

(For a long time now I’ve been wanting to create a more detailed “About” page. As my blog grows and receives more traffic, I’ve noticed more people clicking on “About” in the sidebar to learn more about me.

Well I’ve finally finished it. Here it is.)

I write about gender issues from the male perspective. Most notably, I challenge the negative stereotypes of men, fathers, and masculinity.

I became involved in this work after going through a dark time in my life. I was raised in an environment which was heavily influenced by alcoholism. The chaos and abuses I experienced caused personal turmoil throughout my life. It finally reached a pinnacle in my early thirties at which point I sought help.

One of the steps I took to address my issues was to become involved in a men’s only group. In this environment, a group of men would address many different events that have affected their lives, from the obscure to the most serious. Through this process, a man could not only rebuild his own life, but in the process, help other men rebuild their lives also.
As a part of this process, I learned a lot about myself, about the thoughts, feelings, and behaviors of other men, and about the dynamics of masculinity – its truths and its myths.

Thus began a personal mission which led me to research issues facing men, and society’s perceptions of masculinity. This led to studies on gender. Unfortunately, what I found did not corroborate my personal experiences.

I found most gender studies were conducted by feminist researchers, or researchers that are sympathetic, or sensitive to women’s issues. Therefore, I began to question the legitimacy of these same people writing intimately and conclusively about men and masculine behavior. It seemed absurd that groups of mostly women were writing with confidence about male emotions, thoughts, and behaviors. Reverse the genders, and these same actions would be considered sexists.
But most disturbing was how traditional genders studies focused exclusively on the faults and vices of men, and proliferated an ideology that masculinity is inferior to femininity. This was reinforced by feminist writings and speeches advocating a “standard” or model of a “real man”; behaviors, actions, and beliefs that according to them, creates a better or “flawless” form of masculinity.
As somebody who once supported feminism, I began to become skeptical of its agenda. I have always believed in equality between men and women, and still do. But I began to question their commitment to equality for the sexes. I knew ( and I have found true) that if I or any other man began writing how women felt, focused exclusively on their faults, and set a “standard” of behaviors, actions, and beliefs that according to us men, establishes “true” femininity, these same feminist would cry foul without hesitation, stating such behavior is extremely sexist and discriminatory.

I began comparing my own experiences with men with what I was reading in gender research studies. I found almost all negative male behaviors and issues were blamed on the patriarchy within gender research, corroborated with men’s need for power and control. My own experiences taught me that this was a shallow look at the issues facing men and masculinity. What is exactly is power and control? How does it manifest itself in men? What are the top five events or influences in a man’s life that cause it? What percentage of men have it? At what age does it begin to surface? Why is it always considered a masculine trait when I see so many women with power and control issues also?

What was most disturbing is that the solution for many male issues offered by feminist is to reconstruct masculinity to look more like femininity. The more I read, the more it appeared that from a feminist perspective, masculinity was deeply flawed, and the only way to save/salvage it was to infuse it with heavy doses of femininity. If men became in touch with their feminine side, they would evolve into better men, better human beings, and in return, all societal ills would be mitigated.
So according to feminist, if we look like them, think like them, and act like them, the world would be a better place.
Wow! And to think, I used to believe men had the bigger egos.

What I discovered in my experiences is that men and masculinity has been unfairly attacked. I found masculinity actually comprises many of the components associated with femininity such as compassion, empathy, caring, nurturing, selflessness, etc. But what I discovered is while masculinity may harbor these traits, they are not feminine – they are human. Men carry the same emotional components as women; we just go about addressing and managing them differently. Just as selfishness, irresponsibility, dominating, controlling, blaming, and risk taking are not masculine traits, they are human ones, and women are just as guilty of these behaviors as men.

After ten years of quietly reading, listening, and observing men and women in society, I’ve decided to start writing about my experiences, my observations, and my opinions.
Over the years I’ve uncovered many distortions and myths about men, women, and the genders, and how these distortions and myths have created a negative image of men within society.
Through my writings I hope to point out these indiscretions, and offer another point of view, one that not only restores our faith in men and masculinity, but shows how the negative behaviors of men, and men’s issues in general, are dealt with differently; usually being ignored, disparaged, or discriminated against, particularly when compared to how women’s issues are addressed.
Women receive understanding and compassion; men receive blame and shame.
Men need to receive more than this. At this moment the male population is under the burden of having the highest suicide rates, increasing rates of incarceration, males struggling academically with substantial drop out rates, males being more likely to be over diagnosed and over drugged with respect to behavioral issues, males experiencing rates of violence that are four to one over females, males more likely to be imprisoned on false charges, and males more likely to be executed for violent crimes than females.

It’s time for a change.

Bio

I am a married father of three: a teenaged step-daughter, and preschool-aged twin boys. I live in the Chicago area and work in the healthcare industry full-time – writing is my part-time passion.
I returned to college as an adult where I studied chemistry and business, and after ten long years, I graduated with honors.
My blog has been referenced by main stream media outlets such as Fox News and CNN. I have also been interviewed by internet radio to discuss my opinions.
My other passions are golf and fishing.

September 26, 2008

Men and Father Issues Gain Media Attention

In the last couple of weeks, men and fathers have made some headway in gaining recognition in the area of serious family issues.
What’s most interesting here is the paradigm shift that is taking place in the mainstream media.

Last week, ABC’s 20/20 aired a segment about Alec Baldwin and his custody battle with ex-wife Kim Basinger concerning their daughter Ireland. Everyone is familiar with Baldwin’s vicious voice mail rant he left for his daughter, but Baldwin tells his side of the story in the interview and in his new book “A Promise to Ourselves.”

Diane Sawyer of 20/20 conducted the interview and was willing to adress the controversial topic of Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS), something Baldwin and father’s rights advocates have been trying to raise awareness to in the family courts system. PAS is still controversial because it has not been validated by sufficient research – yet.
PAS is based on the belief that present in some bitter custody cases, one parent, usually the mother, will manipulate and brainwash the child/children into believing negative, false, and damaging stories about the other parent such as: the other parent does not love them, will harm them, will never bring them home again (kidnap them), etc.
This invokes tremendous fear into the child/children and can be used by the manipulating parent to try and prove false accusations of abuse against the other parent (“See how fearful the child is of him/her? This behavior proves he/she was abusing them!”). Or it is done to enable the manipulating parent to win a custody battle because a judge, upon seeing this type of parental fear in a child, will be heavily influenced in his/her judgment of who will be awarded custody.

I personally believe it to be true. Common sense and personal experience tells me that it’s true. However, feminist are trying stop the courts from accepting PAS as a legitimate diagnoses. They promote the theory that women simply do not do this, and furthermore, feminist reiterate that there is insufficient research to prove PAS is legitimate.
I’m always amazed how feminist’s, who have been caught perpetuating false research over the years, have the audacity to challenge the research and creditability of PAS with such hubris. One would think if they had any moral integrity, they would be more concerned with taking responsibility for their own fallacies and trying to re-establish their own credibility rather than organizing future events that are concerned only with trying to destroy the credibility of others before the final data is in.
And it should be noted that feminist and women organizations have repeatedly stated on record that they believe fathers who eagerly pursue custody of their child/children are nothing more than pedophiles and abusers who want to further victimize their wives and children.

So while signing books at a New York city book store, Baldwin’s book and his appearance was protested outside by a women’s group called Voices of Women Organizing Project. About twenty women from this organization protested Baldwin’s support and advocacy for PAS and fathers’ rights.
However, it should be noted that Baldwin’s appearance at the book store was standing room only, with an equal attendance of women and men, and the crowd was receptive to Baldwin’s talk on PAS, a biased and faulty family court system, and of his criticism of feminists and their practices.
Chalk one up for the good guys!

Here are the stories and video clip.

Alec Baldwin on Divorce, Children and Reconciliation

I can’t go on; I will go on: Baldwin promotes book

A story turned up on Glen Sacks website called “When dad is just bad” by columnist Mindelle Jacobs. Jacobs wrote about an international domestic violence conference and reported on some of the comments being distributed by the members of the conference.

Rita Smith, executive director of the U.S. National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, said her experience of men working on fathers’ rights is that many of the leaders are abusers or were accused of abuse.
Smith then states, “The agenda, often by the leadership, is to completely undermine women’s rights,” she said. “The ones that are the most dangerous are, in fact, creating safety problems for women and children.”

These sexist and malicious comments caused a firestorm among men and fathers’ rights groups, which then flooded Jacobs with protest e-mails. Jacobs stated that she was just the messenger, and she wrote the column because she thought the comments were controversial.
In response to the protesters, she then ran a follow-up column called “Divorced from reality”.
Some quotes:

Men wrote about being assaulted by their wives – with no subsequent charges by the police. They complained about the nasty games women play to cut them out of their kids’ lives.

Former Edmonton lawyer Grant Brown has heard it all. He quit practising law in March after only four years as a lawyer because he’s sick of dealing with what he describes as a dysfunctional family law system.
“I couldn’t hack it anymore,” says the 50-year-old who’s writing a book called Deadbeat Judges.
“The thesis of my book is that judges actually create the deadbeats. They make such harsh orders against fathers and give fathers no rights,” he says. “A lot of (dads) just give up.”
Police, prosecutors and judges are generally harsher with men in domestic abuse cases, says Brown. And, he adds, judges rarely punish women who violate court orders.
“Dads can spend thousands and thousands of dollars trying to see their kids and the judges do nothing to make it happen,” says Brown.

I would like to extend my gratitude to Mindelle Jacobs for allowing both sides to be heard.

Another women who deserves a shout out is Katie Balestra for her column Taking a New Tack on Domestic Violence which reveals the new approach to diminishing domestic violence by not just focusing on the victim, but by also focusing on the abuser. In my four part series, Domestic Violence Prevention – More Hyperbole Than Truth, I covered this new appraoch and explained how the current model for DV prevention is based more on sexist politics than actually trying to diminish the violence.
Balestra writes in her article:

Amid the launch of the federal Responsible Fatherhood and Healthy Marriage initiatives two years ago, social service agencies and industry experts have begun to recognize the importance not just of helping victims of domestic violence but also of treating the batterers themselves in programs such as the House of Ruth’s Gateway Project.
“No matter how many women you take in, it isn’t going to cure the problem,” said Toby Myers, vice chair of the National Center on Domestic and Sexual Violence, a nonprofit based in Austin.

Balestra also looks at a another insidious side to DV prevention industry – discrimination and money.
She writes:

Abuser programs are like “a stepchild” in the field of domestic violence, says Edward Gondolf, research director of the Mid-Atlantic Addiction Research and Training Institute, who believes the programs offer “a really important laboratory to understand domestic violence and its workings.” At the Crisis Intervention Center in Calvert County, for example, victims get about 10 times more one-on-one counseling than abusers; one full-time therapist worked with 392 abusers last year, while six therapists, three of them full-time and three part-time, treated 207 victims.

“Sometimes you feel like the lone wolf,” Nitsch says. “We can’t compete with victims’ services, particularly when you’re talking about private donors. To be able to say, ‘I helped build a shelter’ feels better to them than to say, ‘I funded classes for abusers.’ ” It’s disheartening, she says, that “some people don’t view abuser intervention as a victims’ service.”

And Balestra covers the financial discrimination between victim and abuser resources:

In 2005, the latest year for which figures are available, the Justice Department gave abuser programs only a fraction of the $113.9 million that was doled out for domestic violence prevention through its largest grant program, Stop Violence Against Women. About 35 percent went to victim services, about half to law enforcement and prosecution services and just $5.4 million, or about 5 percent, to courts for programs including abuser intervention. Officials in Maryland and the District said their batterer programs receive no funding from these grants.

As I stated in my column, one of the main reasons DV is still a problem is because the model used to address DV issues advocates that only men are abusers, and that anger management classes will solve the problem with these men.
Not so.
If the inherent cause for the abusive behavior is not found and treated, the abuser will abuse again. Anger management classes will never accomplish this.
Balestra writes:

Some experts say part of the problem with obtaining funding for abuser programs is that many of them are ineffective, depending on an outdated treatment model developed in Duluth, Minn., in 1981 that, critics say, largely pins the blame on men seeking to assert power and control over women. This standard, the experts say, doesn’t allow for cycles of “mutual violence” — the recognition that women can be abusers — and the use of cognitive behavioral therapy techniques for treatment.

Donald Dutton, a professor of psychology at the University of British Columbia, refers to the old models as “shaming” programs.
“It’s been demonstrated repeatedly that psycho-educational models don’t work,” he said, “and then half the guys repeat” their abusive behavior. The Duluth model assumes the male is always wrong, says Janet Scott, the abuser program coordinator at the Calvert County center. Scott developed a group for female abusers in 2001.

Understanding that breaking the habit of domestic abuse involves a more complex process of reflection is part of the goal at Baltimore’s Gateway Project.

What I find most interesting about these three stories is how the mainstream media seems to be entering a period of recognizing that men and father have relevant issues. And by reporting on them and raising awareness to them, they are doing what they have done for women and their issues for a long time now – giving them the respect and validity they deserve.

I hope the trend continues.

Contact:

soltys.joe@gmail.com
https://jsoltys.wordpress.com
Photo Courtesy of: stockxchng.com

September 23, 2008

Is He Really A Jerk, Or Are We Too Quick to Judge?

As some of my readers already know, I worked for a couple of years in a group setting focusing on some serious issues facing men. The group therapy was designed for men only, to discuss and discover the causes and effects of their present thoughts and behaviors, and with the help and support of other men, reprogram their lives into one that is more fulfilling and enjoyable for them. The issues most men dealt with were addictions, abuses, and relationships. The groups were designed for serious personal growth, and were not used as a vehicle to advocate gender politics, although the experience of being in these groups have resulted in some men, such as myself, to become advocates in gender politics.

When I first entered my group, I entered with an entrenched belief in feminist mythology; believing men (masculinity) was the cause of many problems in the world. I believed men were jerks because they were men; being a jerk was an inherent part of being masculine.
But after hearing many deep, personal stories from the men in my group and others, I began to shed the feminist mythology. I found many men had faced terrible events or tragedies in their lives, and held a tremendous amount of emotional pain inside themselves for years. Many suffered in silence, finding the events or tragedies too painful and emotional to talk about. Sadly, I learned from these men (and by way of my own experiences with uncomfortable events in my life) that these emotions do not go away, they become underlying, unconscious, tumultuous thoughts and feelings that affect every aspect of a man’s life in some negative way. In other words, what I learned is this; men are not inherently jerks, someone or something made them that way. A man’s “jerk” behavior is a learned behavior from years of that man trying to protect himself from some painful, yet buried event(s).

I was reminded of this when I read this story yesterday. This story could have easily been one of many stories I heard when I was involved with other men in group therapy.
Richard Madeley does an excellent job of writing the painful story of his grandfather’s life, and his subsequent behavior, with an extraordinary display of compassion and understanding.
This story could have easily been extracted from one of the groups I attended. I hope this story allows my readers to more fully understand why I have chosen to write from the male perspective, and why I stress more compassion and understanding for men and their issues, rather than the standard shame and humiliation for their behavior.

Here are some quotes from the story;

More than half a century on from these exorbitant homecomings, I believe my father was plainly over-compensating. He was making it transparently clear to everyone – most of all, to himself – that the relationship with his son would not be anything like the one his father had with him.

That person was my grandfather. Geoffrey Madeley, my father’s father, never recovered from the loss of his youngest son – a son he had never once told he loved.

As the small boy trotted from room to room, the children and parents whose names he called out in increasing desperation and panic were already long gone on the road to Liverpool.
My grandfather had not been forgotten. A deal had been done. He had been left behind.

He told me that the shock of being abandoned was total. The panic and fear were so intense as he grasped the depths of his betrayal and sacrifice, he could scarcely breathe.

RICHARD MADELEY: The dark family secret that made me understand why my father beat me

Contact:

soltys.joe@gmail.com
https://jsoltys.wordpress.com

September 15, 2008

This One’s For the Ladies

Previously I wrote a rebuttal to an article Gloria Steinem wrote for the L.A. Times. Steinem basically attacked Palin and the Republican Party on every issue. As an independent voter, I understand that each party tends to be hypocritical, but Steinem’s attacks were of the most egregious form, and I felt compelled to respond.

After posting my rebuttal, I was anticipating some negative responses from women. When I wrote an article concerning how I felt about Hillary Clinton and her supporters engaging in distortions of truth by stating Hillary lost her bid for president due to persistent sexism in the media and society, I received an abundance of hate mail; mostly from women, and a few men.

So I was in for a pleasant shock this time around. After posting my article, I didn’t check the stats on my blog until a few days later. When I did, I found my article had been picked up by two different female oriented blogs. Expecting to find an abundance of negative attacks about what I wrote, I found nothing but positive comments left on my blog, and numerous positive comments sent by e-mail, all from women!

When I actually went to the blogs that linked my article, I found more comments about my article there. Again, almost all comments were positive, and the majority were from women.

So I just want to say thank you to all who took the time to write a compliment about me and my article.
And I would also like to mention that many wrote something like “I hope you do not believe all women are like Steinem, or think that all women put a lot of value in what Steinem has to say.”
Well, if I truly thought that way to begin with, after the response I got, there is no way I could continue believing it.

Truth is, I do not hate or despise women. At times when I have shown a negative bias towards women in general, I’m attacking their belief in the misinformation that feminism has taught them. Over the years I’ve heard a number of women express that they do not like feminism, and proclaim they would never adhere to it’s beliefs. But at some other point, these same women have expressed an opinion about the genders that is clearly from feminist ideology.
I do not personally blame women for doing this. If I was a women, I’m sure I would latch on to some of this ideology too. It is very inviting to have a support system that will blame others for all my problems, protect me from having to bear the same responsibilities as men, and build up my ego to believe that femininity is superior to masculinity. In my opinion, feminism has degraded from its roots of gender equality into being nothing more than a female form of patriarchal behavior.

I write from the perspective of trying to find common ground between men and women, believing that men and women are human first, therefore, our experiences are more similar than different. And I have a strong belief that men and women should be treated equally, for better and for worse, and through our successes and failures.
I do not just see the inequities men and fathers face, but am willing to point out a situation when I feel a woman/women are being treated unfairly.
And to prove it, I want to share an injustice I found that happened to this woman.
Last week at Glen Sacks website, he posted this story:

Denise Harvey, 40, of Vero Beach, was sentenced to 30 years in state prison for having sex with a 16-year-old who was a high school friend and baseball teammate her son’s.
[Judge] Vaughn — at the urging of prosecutors — ruled her guilty of having sex with the 16-year-old five times during high school baseball season in 2006. The judge sentenced her to 15 years for each offense. But only two of the terms will be served consecutively, one after the other. The other three will be served at the same time as the others.

While I have written how women seem to get lighter sentences for molesting children when compared to men, I find this sentence to be extremely harsh. Compare her sentence to similar criminal behavior from other women in the news recently:

— PITTSBURGH — A former gym teacher who had sex with a 14-year-old student and sent him erotic cell phone messages was sentenced Wednesday to up to three years in prison, in part because she called the boy after she was charged.

— NEW CITY, N.Y. — A former prosecutor was sentenced Wednesday to two years in prison for having sex with boys, after her 16-year-old daughter told the judge she and her mother had competed for the same 15-year-old boy.

— Louisville – A 39-year-old Louisville woman who had two children with an underage boy was sentenced this morning to 20 of years probation and ordered to not have any contact with her children until she successfully completes sex offender treatment.

And while this next story is not similar, I feel it epitomizes my opinion:

— DWIGHT, Ill. — A central Illinois woman convicted in the drowning deaths of her three children is free on parole.
Hamm was convicted of child endangerment in 2006 in the deaths of 6-year-old Christopher Hamm, 3-year-old Austin Brown and 23-month-old Kyleigh Hamm. She served almost five years of a 10-year-sentence. (It should be noted that Hamm’s boyfriend was given life in prison without parole for his part.)

I’m not advocating an extremely light sentence for Denise Harvey, I’m just trying to point out how inconsistent our justice system has become. Seems a little odd that Denise Harvey is sentenced to 30 years when all these other female criminals, including a child murderer, received a slap on the wrist. Usually men are the victims of inequities in the system, but this time I feel a woman has been wronged. Her sentence is longer than most men’s. I believe the average sentence for a male in this situation is 10- 20 years.

I truly believe our current justice system is fraught with discrimination and capricious practices. Whether it’s biased towards race or biased towards gender, I find the application of sentencing is this country myopic.
This is a serious issue for both men and women.

Getting Back to Sarah Palin

Palin has been under attack by many feminist, not just Steinem. So I thought it would be interesting to include two articles from two liberal, Obama supporting Democrats. Instead of attacking Palin, both women write about the contradictory feelings felt by Palin’s success, and what it means to them, society, and women in general.

Rebecca Johnson: ‘I am a liberal, but I’m blown away by Sarah Palin’

Camille Paglia: Fresh blood for the vampire

And here are some pictures someone sent me by e-mail.

Enjoy!

Contact:

soltys.joe@gmail.com
https://jsoltys.wordpress.com

September 4, 2008

Gloria Steinem Still A Clueless Hypocrite

Republican Vice-Presidential candidate Sarah Palin had less than twenty-four hours to let her national debut to the American public sink in before feminist Gloria Steinem was doing what she does best; being a hypocrite.

As an independent voter, I have watched both the Democratic and Republican conventions. But also, as an advocate for men’s issues, it becomes very critical for me to choose which candidate has an equal interest in men’s and father’s issues as they do women’s. I’ve concluded over the years that neither the liberals nor the conservatives have any real concern for men’s issues. Liberals scoff and laugh at the mere mention of males having issues, and the only thing men’s and father’s rights advocates have in common with conservatives is their disdain for feminism. After that, the majority of conservatives do a good job of dropping out of the picture where men and boys are concerned.

So as I read the morning media coverage of Sarah Palin’s speech, and took in the diversity of opinions about Sarah Palin, I came across an article by Steinem in the L.A. Times that was so ridicules that I had to write a rebuttal.
Steinem, of course, does not like Palin. You see, to Steinem and her cohorts, a successful, admirable, accomplished woman that has reached the status Palin has achieved in America’s patriarchy should only come from those women who are “reborn” and “saved” through Steinem’s feminist religious beliefs….Oops! I mean Steinem’s feminist teachings. It has become apparent that Steinem and her followers are guilty of the same practices she accuses the Republicans of engaging in.
Steinem writes:

This isn’t the first time a boss has picked an unqualified woman just because she agrees with him and opposes everything most other women want and need.

Really? A case of the pot calling the kettle black? Choosing somebody just because they agree with your interests?
Steinem forgot to include how the bosses of the Democratic party chose an unqualified and untested Barack Obama only because they felt he had the best chance of winning the presidency; hence, trying to secure their own political interests. It’s hypocritical to accuse McCain of the same.
But ironically most of Steinem’s column is composed of her discussing how the Obama/Biden ticket and the Democratic Party are in-line with her own political interests. It is apparent from her writing that Steinem herself will only choose a candidate that will perpetuate HER beliefs and interests. And it is apparent that like McCain, she harbors the same “so what” attitude if her interests excludes the wants and needs of others.
You get the sense that Steinem obviously believes she is blessed with knowing what’s best for everyone. How ironic is it that this woman has spent most of her life pointing out the evils of only the male ego.

Steinem then says:

Palin shares nothing but a chromosome with Clinton. Her down-home, divisive and deceptive speech did nothing to cosmeticize a Republican convention that has more than twice as many male delegates as female, a presidential candidate who is owned and operated by the right wing

Steinem forgot to write how her own liberal democratic cohorts – who have vowed to fight hard for women and the abolishment of the traditional patriarchy – chose a male candidate over a female candidate, chose a male candidate that has less political experience and accomplishments than the female candidate, and tried forcing the female candidate to fold up her campaign in favor of the male candidate despite her gathering in excess of 18 million votes.
And even considering that McCain may have chosen Palin solely to gather the female vote, it would still be humiliating to the liberal democrats and their feminist cohorts that the male-dominated Republican Party would defeat the pro-women advocates, and enter the history books as the political party that was first for putting a female vice president in the White House.

Steinem continues with this comment:

To vote in protest for McCain/Palin would be like saying, “Somebody stole my shoes, so I’ll amputate my legs.”

But does Steinem really mean it? After all, throughout her career she has fought and disparaged the institution of marriage. She is also attributed to saying, “A woman needs a man, like a fish needs a bicycle”. So what has she done since then? Decided to get married.

But Steinem really shows her manipulation skills with this sentence:

I regret that people say she can’t do the job because she has children in need of care, especially if they wouldn’t say the same about a father.

This is true. Palin has been subjected to this kind of gender discrimination, but this discrimination has overwhelmingly come from Steinem’s own liberal, Democratic cohorts – the same people who have always shamed others for this mentality.
Why didn’t she mention this in her article? Why do her cohorts get a break for their sexism? Steinem has fought this mentality all her life, in her speeches and her writings, but suddenly she’s at a struggle for words when it’s her own community showing sexist behavior, conjuring up only one sentence to address it.

Steinem then takes a shot a Palin’s lack of foreign policy experience:

I get no pleasure from imagining her in the spotlight on national and foreign policy issues about which she has zero background, with one month to learn to compete with Sen. Joe Biden’s 37 years’ experience.

Sorry, but I may have missed something here. Where is Obama’s impeccable foreign policy experience? He has none. And if it is implied he will tap Biden’s experience, then she’s being a hypocrite. It shows she admits not only that Obama lacks foreign policy experience, but it also implies Obama – the commander and chief – will learn “on the job”. If she is comfortable with the Obama/Biden ticket doing this, then she must admit that it is more appropriate and more reasonable that Palin – the vice president – can learn “on-the-job” from her boss, John McCain, and his extensive years of foreign policy experience. This makes more sense to me.

Steinem continues:

She was elected governor largely because the incumbent was unpopular

Isn’t this how most politicians get elected?

Steinem then attacks Palin on the issues:

she tried to use taxpayers’ millions for a state program to shoot wolves from the air but didn’t spend enough money to fix a state school system with the lowest high-school graduation rate in the nation

Studies show that men are doing poorly in academics when compared to women, and as a result, statistics show men are more likely to drop out than women. But Steinem didn’t mention that her feminist cohorts consistently challenge any argument and statistics that show boys and men are in an academic crisis, nor did she mention that her cohorts have consistently challenged any institutional changes and resources that would be used exclusively to help boys and men in academics, nor did she mention that she and her cohorts have argued and advocated for the exact opposite for women and girls to this very day, even after the “girl’s academic crisis” back in the 1990’s was found to be a feminist fraud.

[The right wing are] the same ones who nixed anyone who is now or ever has been a supporter of reproductive freedom.

How hypocritical that she attacks the political right for challenging women’s reproductive freedom when she and her cohorts have done everything in their power to deny men the same for years.
Men have challenged a women’s right to abortion, arguing that if the law recognizes them as an equal in the biological creation of the child – and therefore must assume equal legal responsibility for the child – then men should have a legal say whether or not they are ready to assume this responsibility, which would include an equal legal right whether to abort or have the child. This “reproductive equality” infuriates feminist like Steinem. The thought that men should have the same reproductive rights as women is disturbing to them. The majority of feminist believe men should only assume the responsibility for pregnancies, and women should assume the legal rights. This is why feminist have labeled men with the saying, “men think with their penises” and to the contrary gave women the mantra, “my body, my choice”. It seems hypocritical to empower women with a mantra to assume responsibility to kill an unborn child, but that same mantra is never used to empower women not to get pregnant in the first place. If Sarah Palin’s abstinence programs failed at avoiding unwanted pregnancies, so be it. But at least her program teaches responsibility rather than running from it. You see, Steinem and her feminist cohorts have done a great job advocating and securing for women the right to an abortion, access to the morning after pills, and safe haven laws all in an effort to help women avoid parental responsibility. At the same time, her and her cohorts have worked over-time enacting laws to incarcerate, humiliate, and shame men who try to avoid their parental responsibility.
This is Steinem’s and the liberal Democrat’s version of reproductive rights – to ensure that total control of the lives of the fathers and the unborn are determined solely by the woman.
Steinem and other feminist vocalize the fear of someone else (government) intruding and trying to control the lives of women, while at the same time ignoring how they have subjugated men and the unborn to the exact same treatment.

Are you ready for the most ridicules quote by Steinem?

As a lifetime member of the National Rifle Assn., she doesn’t just support killing animals from helicopters, she does it herself.

Does she expect me to swallow this load of crap?
Here is a woman who is implying that Palin’s decision to allow the shooting of animals from a helicopter is an unconscionable and nefarious act which truly displays Palin’s character.
Steinem can’t sleep well at night knowing a woman like this may be in the White House, but she will get up bright and early to campaign for an Obama/Biden White House which will include unequivocal support for a woman’s right to scrap and tear an innocent, voiceless, unborn child from her womb, or inject the unborn child with chemicals that eat through it’s flesh until death occurs. The remains are put in a plastic bag, and then tossed in a dumpster with the rest of the trash.
Under the Obama/Biden/Steinem ticket, this procedure will happen over a million times a year, which studies show, is done mostly by women to avoid parental responsibility.
Which nefarious policy is harder to swallow?

But Steinem’s hypocrisy really comes through at the end of the article. She writes:

And American women, who suffer more because of having two full-time jobs than from any other single injustice, finally have support on a national stage from male leaders who know that women can’t be equal outside the home until men are equal in it. Barack Obama and Joe Biden are campaigning on their belief that men should be, can be and want to be at home for their children.

To put this in perspective, let’s take a look at Sarah Palin’s husband Todd.
Todd is the one who actually does most of the traditional “women’s” work for the Palin household, which in turn, allows his wife to pursue her career ambitions.
According to an interview last year, Sarah Palin said, “He takes care of the cooking, the bills and other domestic paperwork, in addition to driving the kids to extracurricular activities like basketball and soccer…He can go on just an hour or two of sleep a night. There is no way I could have done this job without his tremendous contributions to the home life. He’s able to keep it organized, like a well-oiled machine.”
When Todd worked in the oil industry, his work became a conflict with Sarah’s political ambitions – so HE quit his job.

Here is a look at the candidates Steinem supports.
Senator Obama’s wife Michelle had a great career going for herself. However, she quit her job so her husband could pursue his.
Joe Biden should be honored for the way he cared for his children after his first wife’s tragic death in 1972. But his current wife Jill has said even if the Obama/Biden ticket wins, she will continue her job of teaching, and try to juggle both jobs of career and family as she did during the primaries while her husband was away.

So let’s put this all together: Sarah Palin is a woman who is independent, self-assured, successful, has shown she can compete with men on any level, has a husband that does most of the domestic duties at home so his wife can pursue her career ambitions, has constructed a life so far removed from the traditional patriarchy, and instead, built one that is the closest we have seen to traditional feminist ideology.
But Steinem is going to support the Obama/Biden ticket, whose lives mimic traditional patriarchy to its very core, even though their ticket goes against everything she stands for and has fought for.

So why the beef with Palin? It’s simple: Sarah Palin is independent, strong, family oriented, carves her own path in life, refuses to care what anybody thinks of her, makes up her own mind about what’s important to her, takes responsibility for her choices, and isn’t afraid to get in touch with her masculine side.

You see, the main reason why Steinem doesn’t like Palin is because Palin is more of a feminist than she is.

Contact:

soltys.joe@gmail.com
https://jsoltys.wordpress.com

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