J. Soltys's Weblog

February 23, 2009

More Gender Myths Shattered

children-poverty1    Just this morning I read that the FBI, along with local authorities, have uncovered and eliminated a child prostitution ring. According to Fox News:

The FBI has rescued more than 45 suspected teenage prostitutes, some as young as 13, in a nationwide sweep to remove kids from the illegal sex trade and punish their accused pimps.
Over a three-night initiative called Operation Cross Country, federal agents working with local law enforcement also arrested more than 50 alleged pimps, according to preliminary bureau data.
The teenage prostitutes found in the investigation ranged in age from 13 to 17.
Historically, federal authorities rarely play a role in anti-prostitution crackdowns, but the FBI is becoming more involved as it tries to rescue children caught up in the business.

When we think of prostitutes and pimps, we think of scumbag men, manipulating young, vulnerable women into selling their bodies for money. We also visualize the pimps enforcing their power and control over these women by way of violence and drug addictions.

These assumptions are inherently true, but it’s time to change these confident assumptions.

According to a new report on human trafficking by the United Nations, the majority of those illegally trafficking adults and children for profit are women.
According to the report:

Women are the majority of traffickers in almost a third of the 155 nations the U.N. surveyed. They accounted for more than 60 percent of the human trafficking convictions in Eastern Europe and Central Asia.
For many, human trafficking is a world they had been pulled into themselves.
“Women commit crimes against women, and in many cases the victims become the perpetrators,” Antonio Maria Costa, director of the Vienna-based U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime, said in an interview. “They become the matrons of the business and they make money. It’s like a drug addiction.”
Most of the world’s nations reported some form of “modern slavery” last year involving mainly the sex trade or forced labor.

My main purpose in writing about gender issues is to counter the feminist driven myth that is prevalent in society which believes that men/masculinity is inherently evil, and women/femininity is inherently altruistic. It’s the biggest myth we have yet to confront concerning the genders. I’ve opined in the past that men and women are human first, which means that each gender has the ability to achieve tremendous greatness, but consequently, each gender has the same potential to put forth malevolent and disturbing behavior.

Men and masculinity have been labeled as the more aggressive and/or violent gender only because we have lived for centuries in societies and cultures that have been male dominated. Power and dominance have been held overwhelmingly by men, not by women. Therefore, historically, we can easily sample the greatness of men/masculinity, as well as we can easily sample the historical, malicious aspects too. However, when analyzing how women and femininity will behave under similar circumstances, there is no large sample to draw from, only speculation.
And where does the majority of this speculation come from? From feminist and women’s rights supporters. According to them, as women ascend into the same milieu of power and status as men, the world will become a more peaceful and benevolent place due to the infusion of the much needed femininity into the world theatre.

To which I respond, “Bullshit”!   

As I have stated, women and men are inherently the same at the core, so as women achieve their status and power, I would expect to see them engaging in the same behaviors as men – for better and for worse. So I’m not surprised to see women heavily involved in the human trafficking trade.
To support my opinion about the closing negative behavioral gap between men and women, I’ve noted some recent events and statistics:

—  According to the FBI, women bank robbers are on the rise. CNN reports: 

Nationwide, 6.2 percent of all bank heists today are committed by women. That’s up from 4.9 percent in 2002 — a 25 percent increase, according to the most recent FBI crime statistics.”
In Long Island’s Nassau County, Detective Sgt. John Giambrone says he came across not one female bank robber in his first 25 years in law enforcement. He has seen 15 in the past three years.
“For a woman, especially a woman, to take that step … you’re crossing a big threshold,” said Giambrone, who heads up the Nassau County police department’s robbery squad.

—  WASHINGTON  –  A Maryland woman was charged Friday with exporting miniature controls for small unmanned aircraft to China.
The government says the controls are the world’s smallest and involve a technology that cannot be shared with China because of national security concerns. The devices can be used to fly small military reconnaissance planes, according to Fox News.
If convicted, she faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine.

England– Drunken students heaped shame on Cambridge University by simulating sex acts in sordid booze society initiations, reports the Sun
Education chiefs were “horrified” as girls were snapped on their hands and knees using their mouths to roll condoms on bananas hanging from boys’ trousers.
The girls belong to the Newnham Nuns — a drinking society at the all-female Newnham College.
Hospital consultant Adrian Boyle said: “In the last ten years the number of female students coming in extremely drunk and incapable has shot up. More are being assaulted too.”

From the USA Today: A “dispute” among teenage girls is being blamed for a brawl at a Washington, D.C., high school that sent five students to the hospital and injured 13 others.

 — EnglandScourge of the ladette thugs: Rising tide of violent crime committed by young women.

The number of crimes committed by girls is rocketing as ‘ladette’ culture takes hold, a Government report has revealed. 
The Ministry of Justice said there had been a 22 per cent increase since 2004. 
Girls of 18 and under committed more than 58,000 crimes last year, seven every hour. 
For the first time in history, crimes of violence have overtaken theft as the most common offence among women and girls.

AfricaOlder white women join Kenya’s sex tourists.  

Hard figures are difficult to come by, but local people on the coast estimate that as many as one in five single women visiting from rich countries are in search of sex.
The health risks are stark in a country with an AIDS prevalence of 6.9 percent. Although condom use can only be guessed at, Julia Davidson, an academic at Nottingham University who writes on sex tourism, said that in the course of her research she had met women who shunned condoms — finding them too “businesslike” for their exotic fantasies.

One can see, as women become more independent, and enjoy the same rights and freedoms as men, their behavior seems strikingly similar to men’s. However, to assume this would be extremely sexists. These behaviors are not inherently masculine, they are inherently human. Femininity and women do not have any superior qualities over men and masculinity as most women would like to think. And as time goes by, and women keep achieving more success, more wealth, more power, and more status, they will be faced with having to make the same moral and ethical choices as men. And just like men, some will succeed, and some will fail.

Next time you read or hear how women entering positions of power and influence in the world will create a new era of peace and prosperity, remember a common but powerful phrase, “The more things change, the more they stay the same.”

 

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February 18, 2009

Careful In Our Judgments of the Chris Brown and Rihanna Episode

men-and-women-symbolsAs I’ve watched the Chris Brown/Rihanna saga unfold, I’ve kept my sympathy and anger in check. Why? Because my experience in dealing with gender issues, sexual politics, and domestic violence topics has taught me that what we believe/assume, and what is real/truth are consistently at odds with one another.

Feminist have done a great job convincing society that domestic violence is a problem that victimizes loving, caring, vulnerable women. Their spouses are the evil, controlling, misogynist partners, whose macho ideals manifest into violence against women. But sadly this is not the case. Feminist and women right’s supporters have been incredibly effective over the past decades creating more mythology than truth about domestic violence and the behaviors of  women and men. Why? Because the truth shatters their benevolent aura they espouse about women and femininity.

Recent research has shown that not only can women be victims of domestic violence, but that they are also more likely to instigate the violence first – the perpetrators. Studies on domestic violence in recent years reported by The Center For Disease and Control Prevention, the American Public Health Associationthe American Journal of Preventive Medicine, the University of New Hampshire, and others are changing our preconceived notions concerning domestic violence. The studies mentioned have concluded that women are just as likely, if not more likely, to instigate a physical confrontation in a relationship as compared to men.  

However, this is really not news – it’s just the first time we are hearing about it.

Feminist and women’s rights supporters have known for a while that many studies have concluded that women are just as likely to instigate violence in a relationship (Martin S. Fiebert from the Department of Psychology at California State University has compiled a list confirming this) .
However, over the years, feminist have successfully dismissed these acts of violence as “self defense”. In other words, it was the victims fault: the very societal cruelty feminist have tried to eradicate, that is, “blaming the victim”. Feminist studies advocates blaming the victim is wrong, as long as the victim is female. But if the victim is male, and the perpetrator female, then this disturbing societal ill is readily acceptable.

Here is evidence of this irony. I found this on a women’s website about domestic violence. It explains one of the warning signs of an abuser – blaming the victim:

  • Denial and blame — Abusers are very good at making excuses for the inexcusable. They will blame their abusive and violent behavior on a bad childhood, a bad day, and even on the victims of their abuse. Your abuser may minimize the abuse or deny that it occurred. He/she will commonly shift the responsibility onto you: Somehow, his/her violence and abuse is your fault.
  • It appears feminist excuses for female domestic violence are at odds with their own beliefs, essentially establishing they may be potential abusers themselves.

    But what separates some of the recent studies from the older studies is that the more recent research includes methods for distinguishing  between reciprocal and nonreciprocal violence in the analysis. And when this is done, the results are surprising – women initiate violence more than we once believed. For example, the CDC study concluded:

    In fact, 71 percent of the instigators in nonreciprocal partner violence were women.This finding surprised Whitaker and his colleagues, they admitted in their study report.

     And it should be noted: when a man retaliates against a woman’s violence, she is more likely to receive the more serious injuries.

    Women receive significantly more serious injuries than do men (Dasgupta, 2001). Archer (2000) found that more than 60% of those who suffered an injury from an act of partner violence were women. Using data from the National Survey of Families and Households, Zlotnick, Kohn, Peterson, and Pearlstein (1998) found that 73% of those individuals reporting injuries from domestic violence were female. Even when the partner violence is mutual, women sustain higher levels of injury.

    In other words, the severity of injuries one receives can never be used as an instrument to determine who initiated the violence, as some feminist and women’s rights groups would like you to believe.

    So why do I bring this up? I’ve learned not to make quick, easy assumptions when hearing about domestic violence cases.

    Here is what is being reported at this point about the Chris Brown/Rihanna case:

    — It was first reported that Chris Brown became enraged in jealousy due to Rihanna’s potential interest in another man. Now it has been reported it was actually Rihanna who became enraged over a text message Brown received from another woman. Ironically,  just days before this violent episode, OK magazine reported a source close to Rihanna as stating she is a “clingy” girlfriend. The magazine reports:

    The Barbados-born beauty is a clingy girlfriend who can’t bear to let boyfriend Chris Brown out of her sight. 
    “She has to have Chris around her 24/7,” a source close to Rihanna, 20, tells OK!. “If Chris is with her on a photo shoot and steps away for a second, she starts saying, ‘Where did he go?’”
    “If Chris isn’t with her, she wants to call and check in every second. She’s crazy about him.”

    Many advocates for prevention of domestic violence offer tips to help individuals spot the warning signs of a potential abuser. Here are the some of the behaviors to watch for:

    • act excessively jealous and possessive?
    • control where you go or what you do?
    • keep you from seeing your friends or family?
    • limit your access to money, the phone, or the car?
    • constantly check up on you?

     Whether or not the OK magazine source is accurate about Rihanna’s behavior, it validates my point about our skewed assumptions concerning men, women, and relationship violence. If it was reported that Chris Brown displayed the same behaviors as Rihanna, he would immediately be judged a typical abuser. However, as we see from the OK magazine article, Rihanna is accused of just being “crazy” about him. In other words, when possessive, controlling behavior is attached to a man, that behavior is judged as a threat. But when that same behavior is found in  a woman, the behavior is judged as “beautiful, feminine love”.

    — It was reported Rihanna suffered “horrific” injuries. But factual reports state that Rihanna refused medical treatment at the scene, and agreed to a medical exam at a local hospital only at the urging of the authorities and friends. 

    — The latest unsubstantiated reports are claiming that the bite marks on Rihanna hands and arms may not have been caused by her defending herself from Chris Brown, but rather the other way around. Fox News is starting to speculate by way of information received from sources close to the investigation that Rihanna became enraged about the text message and began striking Brown in the face while he was driving. In return, Brown used his mouth to clamp down on her arm until he was able to wrestle the car to the side of the road in an effort to avoid a crash. At that point Rihanna took the keys out of the ignition, exited the vehicle, and further enraged Brown by throwing the keys off onto the side of the darkened road. When Brown couldn’t find the keys, he attacked Rihanna. 

    — To this date, Chris Brown has not been charged with any serious domestic violence charges. While he may eventually face these additional charges in the future, some speculate the reason why he hasn’t already, or may not at all, is because he was not the one who initiated the violence. 

    Now I know that this is all speculation, and it still would not excuse Chris Brown for his violence upon Rihanna, but I shudder to think that Rihanna may be playing the victim to avoid accountability for her violence if in fact she did strike first.

    The assumptions made above are not out of reach. To prove how valid this speculation may be, one need only go back and glance at the headlines from July of 2002. At that time, race car driver Al Unser Jr. was driving home from a strip club with his girlfriend Jena L.Soto. Soto claims Unser was intoxicated so she offered to drive them home. As she was driving, Unser began reaching over and shifting the gears on the car. Soto admitted to police she became enraged when he didn’t respond to her repeated request to stop his behavior. She then lashed out and began striking him while she was driving. Unser then hit her back. Soto pulled over to the side of the road and got out of the vehicle. Unser then entered the driver seat and drove away leaving Soto on the side of the road. Soto called the police and Unser was later arrested for domestic battery and other domestic violence charges. Even though both Soto’s and Unser’s stories corroborated that she hit him first, Soto was never charged with any domestic violence crime, only Unser was.

    Does this sound fair and equal to you, or do you think gender stereotypes and feminist misinformation played a role?

    Here is another example how differently we dismiss female-on-male violence. I found this video of an Indian game show host who becomes enraged at a male contestant after he mouth’s off to her. She then lashes out at him with vulgarities, and then concludes her tirade by physically assaulting him. He responds by hitting her back. At that point the male crew members on the set rush in to protect her by beating/subduing him. The crew ignores her initial violence, and is instead coddled and nurtured as the victim in the incident. 

    It is disturbing to me that her irresponsible behavior and violent instigation of the attack was completely ignored.  And it is still more disturbing that she still has her job as a game show host. Imagine if a male game show host physically assault a female contestant during the taping of a show. The incident would make international headlines, seen by millions on the internet and television. He would immediately lose his job, suffer emotional and financial consequences for his actions, and become the poster boy for male violence towards women.
    But when the instigater is a woman, and the victim male, she is still labeled the “victim”, and suffers no consequences for her violent behavior.
    And it should be of pertinent interest that I found this clip while searching a website for “funny” videos – another indication of how discriminatory we are towards female violence.

    It is in my opinion, progress to diminish violence between the genders will continue to stall, or fail, until female violence is found to be as harmful and as dangerous as men’s, and the consequences equal.

    So let’s withhold our judgments of Chris Brown and Rihanna until we know more facts about what happened. If current research is correct, it may turn out both of them need serious help in addressing their emotional insecurities and their violent reactions to them. That would be in the best interest for both men, women, and the prevention of relationship violence.

     

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    February 9, 2009

    Women’s Violence Against Men Still Acceptable – Videos

    wounded-heart2 As Valentines Day approaches, every man will be reminded that if he forgets this special day, he will suffer dire consequences. But what is truly amazing his how sexist and one sided this “mutual relationship” day really is.

    In our present environment which stresses gender equality, almost all Valentine’s Day ads will portray the man doing something special for the woman in his life – rare is the ad which shows the woman going beyond her means to please the man in her life. Also consider that when advertisers develop an ad which depicts a spouse forgetting Valentines Day, or depicts a partner being cheap on this special day, it will ALWAYS be the male put in this humiliating position.

    Women consistently gripe about how females are portrayed in the media, but they conveniently ignore how men are negatively portray in the media also. Why is it women cry about all the inequalities in the world when it affects THEM, but do not muster any ounce of energy to address the inequities faced by men? The paradigm of Valentines Day and corresponding silence from the “gender equality” (RE: women) appears to validate my opinion of how selfish the women’s movement has become. These self proclaimed “humanist” care only about themselves. If they truly cared about equality for everyone, they would protest these disparaging stereotypes and portrayals of males in society – but they don’t.

    Check out how the disturbing reality of gender violence is handled by advertisers and the media. 

    In this first video the man can’t make it home to spend Valentines Day with his partner. He’s stuck working late. Her response? Take Valentines Day to him at the office. Sounds great, looks great! But watch until the climax for the advertiser’s “humorous” ending.

     

     

    In this next video, a misunderstanding by the man’s wife causes her to assault him. No apology, no mention that if this was real life, her actions would be considered an act of domestic violence. In our present society, men are warned of the consequences of their anger and violence towards women. However, women are taught – with the medias help – that violence against men is acceptable, and hey, it’s also a great form of amusement.

     

     

    If you think I’m over extending myself, watch this next video. While on live TV, a woman finds it perfectly acceptable to harass and assault the male reporter. She does this, knowing that society will not hold her accountable for her violent actions. It is only labeled violence when men assault women. When women assault men it’s called “humor”, which is why I found this video while searching for “funny” videos.

     

     

    So this is the new gender equality? This behavior is what society piously proclaims we should be advocating? Also, the most vocal and influencial feminist do not find the many examples of female-on-male violence in the media disturbing  judging by their silence?

    Count me out of this form of equality. I finished grammar school a long time ago – my thinking has matured since then.

     

    Contact:

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