J. Soltys's Weblog

October 27, 2010

Is NPR Sexist?

The double standard between men and women with respect to accountability has taken up space once again in the corner of America’s living room.  And that large pink elephant in the room has the letters NPR written all over it.

In case you haven’t heard,  Juan Williams, a new analyst for National Public Radio, was fired last week for saying he becomes fearful when he sees people wearing Muslim dress boarding the same plane as he. He made the comments during an interview on The O’Reilly Factor of the Fox News network. Williams was fired shortly after the show by NPR’s CEO Vivian Schiller claiming Williams violated NPR’s standards of journalism by crossing the line between offering personal opinion vs. professional analysis as a representative of NPR. An even more striking action by Schiller and NPR management was the termination of Williams over the phone rather than a customary private meeting to explain what transpired.  NPR refused to grant Williams a face-to-face meeting to discuss the firing even after he requested one. If that wasn’t horrendous enough, at a conference the next day in Atlanta, Schiller defiantly exclaimed that Williams should have kept his opinions between himself and his psychiatrist.

In the days since his termination, Fox News has hired Williams as a commentator for the network, and he has received plenty of support from both the liberal and conservatives who felt he was unfairly treated. Also, Schiller released a statement further explaining NPR’s reason for Williams’ firing. Here is an edited version which I feel sums up the ideology behind the termination:

This was a decision of principle, made to protect NPR’s integrity and values as a news organization. Juan’s comments on Fox News last Monday were the latest in a series of deeply troubling incidents over several years. In each of those instances, he was contacted and the incident was discussed with him. He was explicitly and repeatedly asked to respect NPR’s standards and to avoid expressing strong personal opinions on controversial subjects in public settings, as that is inconsistent with his role as an NPR news analyst. After this latest incident, we felt compelled to act.

The news and media world is changing swiftly and radically; traditional standards and practices are under siege. This requires us to redouble our attention to how we interpret and live up to our values and standards.

It was clear from Friday’s all staff meeting that you have deep feelings about NPR’s culture, our commitment to diversity and how we communicate.

In the meantime, I want to express confidence in NPR’s  — in your! — integrity and dedication to the highest values in journalism, and our shared commitment to serving as a national forum for the respectful discussion of diverse ideas.

Don’t believe it for a second, it is really a bunch of crap.

Some have speculated the real reason Williams was fired rests in NPR’s disdain of Fox News and Williams’ relationship with them. NPR has vehemently denied this. But if we take them at their word – as is the reasonable thing to do – then I feel NPR comes across as an extremely sexist organization.

Let me explain.

Longtime NPR senior news analyst Cokie Roberts has openly and defiantly launched into controversial statements which were more invective than Williams’. Just this year Roberts called Fox News personality Glen Beck a terrorist. As stated in her syndicated column:

… Beck is worse than a clown. He’s more like a terrorist who believes he has discovered the One True Faith, and condemns everyone else as a heretic. And that makes him something else as well — a traitor to the American values he professes so loudly to defend.

And twice last year, Roberts openly wore her strong feminist’s beliefs on her sleeve and its corresponding contempt for men in public. This past June, while appearing on Good Morning America, she stated she agreed with Supreme Court Justice Sotomayor’s controversial 1994 comment that a “wise woman would come to a better conclusion than a man.” Roberts confidently exclaimed, Of course, I would agree with her that they’re better!  She then explained her position further to host Diane Sawyer:

“You go before these big women’s groups. And, Diane, I’m sure you’ve done it. I’ve certainly done it many times.” And you do say things that kind of rev up the crowd and get women excited. And one of those things that you do say is that women are better than men.

But Robert’s sexist attitude and opinions about men continued to flow unimpeded as a representative of NPR. Two months later in her syndicated column, she wrote how she has no biases – she sees everything down the middle. However, she then explains her decision as to why that is now impossible after reading about politician Marc Sanford cheating on his wife. Roberts piously and confidently writes:

The notion that one side is right and one side is wrong is generally, as one finds in life, not the case. Women tend to be a lot more common-sensical than men are. In fact, when the Mark Sanford thing broke, I went tearing into my husband’s office and said, “Okay, that’s it. Women just are better. Men are just lesser beings.”

 Sticking to her pattern of behavior, two months after that statement Roberts boldly spoke on camera during the “Green Room” segment for This Week with George Stephanopoulos saying this about filmmaker and fugitive Roman Polanski:

 He raped and drugged and raped and sodomized a child. And then was a fugitive from justice. As far as I’m concerned, just take him out and shoot him.

So how did CEO Schiller and NPR management respond to Cokie Roberts’ harsh, disturbing, sexist, invective opinions/comments? They were ignored.

If you go to NPR’s website, Roberts is still happily employed by NPR as a news analysts, and in her profile, NPR piously touts the success, integrity, and confidence in their controversial female employee.

So let me see if I have this right; Juan Williams expressed his fear about boarding a plane with Muslim passengers in light of 9/11, but in the same interview expressed how he recognized these feelings are wrong, and explained how he needs to put those fears and assumptions aside because they breed discrimination.  He then proceeds to defend Muslims against what he perceives as discriminatory statements/opinions during the discussion with Bill O’Reilly and the other guests during the interview. (Seems most news stories did not mention that part) And this type of behavior by Williams was the final straw for NPR?  (For the record, NPR has refused to divulge the “other” alleged incidents Williams was reprimanded for, but if this was “over the top”, I already question the validity of his other indiscretions)

As for Cokie Roberts, in a span of six months last year, and as recently as this year, she expressed sexist, discriminatory, hateful, and violent opinions about men. She never apologized, retracted, or corrected some of her comments to say “these men” or “some men”, but rather painted half the world’s population with broad strokes of hate and contempt. She has consistently expressed her opinion of men – as an NPR news analyst and NPR representative – as worthless, lesser human beings, who are a menace to society. (And Schiller thinks Williams needs a psychiatrist?)

But unlike Williams, her volatile and cavewoman-like opinions go unchallenged and ignored by Schiller. Let me remind you why she said Williams was terminated:

He was explicitly and repeatedly asked to respect NPR’s standards and to avoid expressing strong personal opinions on controversial subjects in public settings, as that is inconsistent with his role as an NPR news analyst.

 So why is Cokie Roberts still considered a valuable employee of NPR? She has repeatedly engaged in conduct Schiller and NPR are claiming they abhor.

Note: I also am aware of NPR’s host Nina Totenberg, who has made some very controversial and disturbing comments over the years (i.e. Hoping Jesse Helm’s grandchildren contract AIDS). With one quick check at NPR’s website one can see she too remains happily employed.

As a casual observer on the outside, it looks to me as if NPR has developed a “matriarchal” culture fostered by CEO Schiller which allows women the freedom to express sexist, hateful, and disturbing opinions without challenge, while male employees are confined to a rigid, puritan-like interpretation of company policy and conduct. Is this “progressive” equality?

The way I see it, no matter which way you slice it, sexist behavior is the norm at NPR, which means not only the men suffer, but the women too. Why?  I can conclude from the unequal treatment between Roberts and Williams that NPR management promotes a culture that believes in one or more of the following:

—  Men should be, or are expected to be, held to a higher responsibility/accountability than women concerning personal and professional integrity and standards.

— NPR management agrees that men are lesser beings, and a menace to society; therefore, no disciplinary action is needed against Roberts.

— A woman’s opinion and actions do not carry the same influence as a man’s; therefore, female aspersions and conduct are not taken seriously.

— Company policy does not respect treating men and women equally. Implementing fair and equal treatment is too arduous.

I hope Schiller has some extra time on her hands this weekend. She’ll need it because looking for a ladder which is big enough to escape the hole she has dug for herself and NPR will take some time.

 

Joe Soltys writes about finding the balance between justified and unjustified negative perceptions and stereotypes concerning men, fathers, and masculinity. He is also a founder of the Chicago Chapter of the National Coalition For Men (NCFM).

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June 30, 2009

Female Psychologist Advocates for Men’s Issues

In the process of advocating men’s issues, it becomes inevitable that I will wind up in a debate with those who feel advocating for men’s causes is a waste of time and resources because men are living in a state of blissful privilege. Instead, these people feel that valuable time and resources would be much better spent helping women’s issues, because according to them, it is obvious men are not the ones who have any real issues, rather it is women who are facing numerous personal and societal crises.
These same people are very creative and vociferous in minimizing the fact that males are failing in greater numbers than before in school, being incarcerated at record levels, likely to be victims of violence 4 to 1 over females, likely to commit suicide at rates 4 to 1 over females, and likely to be falsely accused of murder, rape, and domestic violence at a prodigious rate versus females.
This is called male “privilege and bliss”, and because of this biased and limited thinking, many men’s issues are ignored or placed into the low political/societal priority agenda.

But the tide is slowly changing. More people are starting to realize that recognizing men’s issues will have a positive effect on men, boys, women, girls, families, and society. As a matter of fact, some are saying that women’s issues could gain strength and greater respect, if they were to embrace men’s issues instead of denying and marginalizing them.

For example, the World Bank, a prestigious humanitarian organization which provides research, data, financial, and technological education to developing countries around the world had this to say about gender and men’s issues in a 2006 report:

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

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, according to a new book, The Other Half of Gender, released today by the World Bank.

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, the book reveals 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,” said Steen Jorgensen, Director World Bank Director for Social Development.

Empowering women has been placed at the center of the gender issue since 1970s when feminist advocates and academics brought attention to the special needs and potential of women in development. However, over the last decade, there has been a growing, but still timid, interest in understanding the male side of gender in development, that is, how gender norms and constructs in society negatively affect men themselves as well as the development processes.

“Despite this new understanding of gender, development practice on gender remained firmly focused on women— and to this day, when we talk about gender, we automatically mean women,” said Ian Bannon, Manager of the Conflict Prevention and Reconstruction Unit at the World Bank. “There has also been a concern that drawing attention to male issues will draw scarce resources away from programs focused on women. But this misses the point. Men and gender is not about transferring benefits or attention from women to men.”

Rather women’s well-being can generally not improve without including men because it concerns relationships between men and women, and these relations are subject of constant negotiations. Addressing gender issues, including those that disadvantage women, thus requires understanding gender as a social system that affects both men and women and their inter-relations, according to the book.

And now a female psychologist from Australia is advocating a greater respect and awareness for the development of men’s causes and concerns based on some of the same logic as the researchers from the World Bank.

Dr. Elizabeth Celi recently appeared on an Australian talk show to voice her concerns about how men and masculinity issues are devoid of the same value and respect given to women and femininity issues in modern society.

 

Thank you to Dr. Celi and the those at the World Bank. I hope we can sustain this more modern and compassionate way of thinking concerning our approach as a civilized society when discussing the problems and issues facing  men, fathers, and boys today.

 

Contact:

soltys.joe@gmail.com

https://jsoltys.wordpress.com

June 18, 2009

Some Good Things Happened Since I’ve Been Gone

ncfm

I took sort of a mini sabbatical from my blog. However, it should not be assumed that I wasn’t busy advocating for a greater male voice in gender politics.

One of the things I’ve been working on – for quite some time now – along with another masculinity writer, Tim Goldich, has been the formation of a Chicago chapter of the National Coalition of Free Men. It took time to put all the pieces in place, but we were finally approved by the national office, and conducted our first meeting last month. We have a lot of work to do in building the foundation of our chapter, recruiting members, holding future meetings etc., but we look forward to the challenge.

About the same time that this was happening, another interesting thing happened. A men’s advocacy group calling itself Men in Power was formed at the University of Chicago. The formation of this group made national news, with founder Steve Saltarelli appearing on many media outlets including Good Morning America and National Public Radio to name a few. Steve was also contacted by Warren Farrell, who is considered one of the founding fathers of the men’s movement, and he offered his support. I also contacted Steve and the Men in Power members offering my support and the support of the NCFM Chicago chapter.

MiP held their first open forum at the University of Chicago earlier this month. The format was designed to allow others to hear and discuss MiP’s mission and intentions on campus. Tim and I attended this forum to observe the students reaction concerning the university’s first men’s organization (there are 11 women organizations already established on the campus), and to meet Steve and the other members.
Unfortunately it was a rude wake-up call for these young men, all men advocates, and for the progress of true equality between the sexes. The panel consisted of three MiP members going up against two campus feminist members, within a room which was lined with protesters holding signs that displayed anti-male, and anti-white male wording and symbolism.
The MiP members spent the whole night defending themselves against what the audience saw; a group of white male students trying to reclaim power for white males in this country.
It was a futile attempt because the opposition saw and heard what they wanted to hear, not what was actually being said. The MiP members were assiduously explaining that this was not their intentions, but it fell on deaf ears. Every misstep they took in defending their position was seized by the opposition with resounding sarcasm, taunting, shame, and ignorance. The opposition came looking for a kill and they got it.

It was apparent that the MiP organization had good intentions, but they went about it the wrong way. The members admitted to being new to men’s issues and male advocacy – and it showed. The opposition consisted of student activist who have studied and debated various forms of feminist, gay, lesbian, and transgender literature. They were the veterans, and the MiP members were the rookies. I myself was not sure what their purpose was by the time it was over, but in hindsight, they could never advocate their mission because they were constantly on the defensive. It takes the skill of a seasoned politician to absorb an attack, defend it, and then launch it back towards your opponent as a counter-attack. And considering the hostile crowd, I’m not sure if a seasoned advocate for men’s issues would have gotten the pertinent points across anyway.

The biggest issue appears to be their name, Men in Power. And I have to agree that this was a bad choice. For someone to be in power, it means someone has to be subservient. And given the history in this country, it’s understandable why some people are going to be offended.
I think MiP is distracting the true nature of their mission with that name. Their mission is not about reclaiming power, but trying to help those men who have been ignored or ostracized by society such as homeless men, men with addictions, men who are incarcerated, men who are mentally unstable, etc. And they know that part of this mission is going to be to reverse the downward spiral in education that has been affecting males for years now.

The good news is Steve has talked to Warren Farrell, and Warren has advised Steve that his group should accept the offer of working with myself and Tim, and Steve has accepted our offer. Within a few weeks we hope to get together and begin the process of establishing MiP as a legitimate, resourceful, men’s advocacy group – minus the name. We have already advised the members to change their name. Male advocacy work is hard enough, but with that name, it is almost impossible.

Aslo, Steve has told us he has received numerous requests from other universities wanting to know if they can affiliate with MiP. This is good news for male advocates. It shows a surge of interest in our message and arguments. And it should be noted that at the MiP forum, there was a handful of comments made in which males and female expressed a desire to know more about men and father issues.

That’s about all for now. Once the NFCM Chicago chapter website is established, I will post it on my blog. In the meantime, I will begin writing again. I’m thinking of changing my blog by using a mix of my writings and along with important news stories that concern or affect men and fathers. I guess I’ll try it and see how it feels.

So with that being said, I want to wish all fathers out there a wonderful Fathers Day. Regardless what President Obama says I think you guys are great. (I know it’s three day away, but I know his scolding of fathers is coming. Sadly, he’s clueless on men’s and father’s issues)

Contact:

soltys.joe@gmail.com

https://jsoltys.wordpress.com

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:

soltys.joe@gmail.com

https://jsoltys.wordpress.com

Photo Courtesy of: stockxchng.com

January 26, 2009

A Great Argument For Father’s Abortion Rights

I’ve written about this inequity before, particularly how women expect men to sacrifice their rights in order to achieve equality, but at the same time, women refuse to accept any sacrifice when the situation is reversed. I’ve concluded the women’s rights movement has eroded into a selfish, immature, and sexist movement that advocates and promotes only the security, safety and well-being for women over the “equal” treatment of men, women, and children (including the unborn children).

Writer Tommy De Seno proves this in one of his most recent columns. Enjoy!

 

Roe vs. Wade and the Rights of the Father

By Tommy De Seno
Attorney/Writer

The emphasis must not be on the right to abortion, but on the right to privacy and reproductive control.
–Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Today marks another anniversary of Roe vs. Wade, the Supreme Court decision which overturned all state laws that would stop a woman from having an abortion in the first trimester.

While the topic I have chosen here, “Roe vs. Wade and the Rights of the Father” may sound interesting, actually there is nothing to write about. There are no such rights.

(AP file photo)

(AP file photo)

A father can’t stop an abortion if he wants his child, nor can he insist upon an abortion if he doesn’t want his child.

This situation should trouble everyone, not from a religious point of view, not from a personal choice point of view, but rather from an Equal Rights point of view.

Equal Rights for all people is difficult for any nation to achieve peaceably, because it requires the group in greater power to yield to the group of lesser power. This is usually accomplished only through war. Our own Civil War is a perfect example of equality being created by force, instead of reason and fairness, as it should have been.

This week as I watched and read opinions about Roe vs. Wade, I could find nothing, not a word among millions that addressed a father’s relationship to his unborn child.

Two weeks ago I tried an experiment in anticipation of writing this column. I wrote a column about gun control and posited that only men should vote on the issue of guns. The logic (rather illogic) used by me was that men buy guns the most, men are called upon to use them most (when a burglar enters our home) and we get shot the most. Why shouldn’t men have the only voice on the issue?

I wanted to gauge people’s reactions to the thought that in America we would ever give more weight to one person’s view than another’s because that person can show the issue affects him more.

As I walked around my city during these past two weeks, I was accosted by people who wanted to take me to task for suggesting that women lose their right to vote on an issue just because they may be affected by it less than men. Some pointed out, quite rightly, that even if there was an issue that didn’t affect women at all, as equal members of society, they should still have a voice in all decisions America makes.

Quite right indeed.

So where are all these well-reasoned arguments when it comes to a father and his unborn child? Why do people who have Equal Protection claims at the ready on other issues suddenly suffer constitutional amnesia when abortion is mentioned?

During every abortion a father’s child dies, so fathers are affected. There is much written about the post-abortion depression of women. Nothing is mentioned about the father. A good father knows his role is protector of his child. His depression must be crippling when the law allows him no chance to save his child from death by abortion.

In the Roe vs. Wade decision the Supreme Court found a privacy right in the 14th Amendment, which doesn’t have the word “privacy” in it. Then they found that the privacy right had a “penumbra” containing other rights (penumbra means the shadowy area at the edge of a shadow). In that shadow they found the abortion right. That bit of mental gymnastics aside, it wasn’t the most terrible part of the decision. This was:

The Court said that a woman my not be mentally ready to handle a child at this stage in her life, or the child might interfere with her career path, and that is so important to her that the State has no right to make a law against it.

So I ask today: Might a father find himself mentally not ready for a child? Might a father find a child inconvenient to his career path? If these are the rights women get to protect by choosing abortion, why not allow fathers “the right to choose” also?

I propose a “father’s abortion.” Let a father petition the Court to terminate his own parental rights to his child before or after the child’s birth. He would be rid of his obligations to that child in favor of his mental health and finances, the same as a woman does when she aborts.

As Justice Ginsburg said in the quote that appears at the top of this FOX Forum post, the emphasis is not abortion, rather an individual’s right to control his own reproduction. If we protect such a right for women, can we constitutionally deny it to men?

I propose this not because it would be in any way good. I propose it because constitutional Equal Protection demands it, and to show the danger created when judges destroy democracy by making up laws that don’t exist.

“Father’s Abortion.” It’s high time for a test case.

Any father with such a case can call me and I’ll take it for free.

Read more from Tommy De Seno at www.JustifiedRight.com.

December 2, 2008

Finally – The End of the Sexist DART Ads

male-symbol

For those of you who read this blog, you know that I was involved in a protest against some sexist domestic violence ads that were displayed for several weeks on buses owned by Dallas Area Rapid Transit. Created and funded by The Family Place, a local domestic violence shelter, the ads appeared as shown below:

dart-ad-1

 

dart-ad-2

 

The ads are disturbing and misleading because they promote the image that all men and fathers are inherently violent and should not, or cannot be trusted in a relationship. Also the ads ignore the fact that most research concerning domestic violence shows unequivocally that women are as likely as men to instigate physical violence, yet these ads do not portray that reality.

Glenn Sacks initiated the protest campaign, and now that it has ended, he had this say about its success on his blog:

DART Campaign Wrap-up

As many of you know, the anti-father Dallas domestic violence bus ads we protested came down this week (11/30). While the ads remained up a few weeks longer than we desired, overall our campaign was very successful, and I am grateful that so many of you participated.

Among the campaign’s achievements:

1) Widespread, positive media coverage which allowed us to educate the public on domestic violence and child abuse. Coverage included CNN, The Associated Press, FOX, CBS, hundreds of radio stations throughout the country, and many newspapers. This was particularly remarkable considering we launched the Campaign seven days before the presidential election.

2) To its credit, The Family Place, the prominent Dallas-area domestic violence service provider which placed the controversial ads on DART buses, backed away from the gender exclusivity which was previously prominent in their public materials. They changed several areas of their website to specifically include male victims, and issued a statement that “We are not a male-bashing organization. Our services support all victims—male and female, children and adults.” Some examples are here and here. I commend them for this.

3) A sub-group of our protesters who I selected called over 50 of The Family Place’s financial contributors to express our concerns about the ads. Most contributors said they sympathized with us, and many told us they thought the ads and the subsequent protest were an embarrassment to The Family Place. Many contacted Family Place Executive Director Paige Flink with their concerns.

Several of The Family Place’s financial contributors withdrew or reduced the financial gifts they planned for the end-of-the-year giving season. I don’t say this with pleasure–I would have preferred that The Family Place do the right thing from the beginning rather than lose the funding.

4) Father-bashing is so prevalent in the media today because there is little political cost to be paid for doing it. We launched the campaign in part because we wanted to show that there is a political cost to demeaning fathers, and in that regard we more than succeeded.

5) We compiled an impressive endorsers list which included some of the world’s leading authorities on domestic violence, as well as many other experts, media figures, and prominent citizens.

6) Our efforts generated 10,000 calls, letters, and faxes.

7) Our contingent was gender-balanced, including many women who opposed anti-father stereotyping and the ads’ noxious message to boys.

One of the Dallas journalists who covered the campaign told me “You guys got 98% of what you wanted.” I think 98% is a little high, but we certainly did well. Both I and Fathers & Families–my partner in the DART campaign–again thank all who participated.

 

And it should be noted that two well respected writers have recently commented that the DART protest campaign was an example to everyone with respect to how a protest campaign should be accomplished.
Michelle Malkin is a syndicated columnist whose columns appear in nearly 200 newspapers, the author of three books, and a frequent TV and radio commentator. Glenn Reynolds is a writer with http://www.Instapundit.com, which is perhaps the most-read political blog in the US, and he is an author and frequent TV commentator.
When discussing the recent actions of those protesting the Prop 8 controversy, Reyonlds had this to say:

I’ve actually got an example of how to do this right…Glenn Sacks’ campaign against some of the ads on public transit in Dallas…ads about domestic violence…
They didn’t try to get anybody fired but they contacted them
[sponsors of The Family Place] and asked them, “Did you realize that your money is supporting these ads? Is this what you want to do?”
They made a very big point of being very polite about it and not making any threats. They did get some action and did it without trying to get anybody fired or booted from their jobs or doing anything vicious.
That’s an example of how it ought to be done. That’s something that people on the right should be looking at…for the [next four years.]

Malkin added:

Glenn Sacks has been very effective in getting his message out and rectifying unbalances in media coverage and advertising. You would hope that [other activists] would take a cue and a clue from this type of campaign.

I would like to thank my readers who took the time to make their voices heard on this issue.

(My most recent broadcast of “An With Joe Soltys” is availabe for listening. During this past week’s show, I discussed bad women, and vent about the ugly side of femininity vs. masculinity. Click here to listen.)

soltys.joe@gmail.com

https://jsoltys.wordpress.com

November 25, 2008

Another Female Singer’s Sexist Video – Critics Approve

(Listen to An Hour With Joe Soltys, my new internet radio show at BlogTalkRadio. During my most recent show, I debated the new push by politicians to change tactics towards addressing prostituion – giving comfort to prostitutes, and jail time for the johns. I also discussed the different attitudes/actions towards advertising that offends men/fathers, and advertising that offends women/mothers. Click here to listen.)

poison1 

Just last week I wrote how more female artist are performing songs/videos that degrade, humiliate, or display violence towards men. I find this new female “empowerment” genre to be pathetic, especially when one considers the continuing outcry of songs/videos by male artist songs that degrade women. It shows how selfish and self-serving the women’s movement has become – something I’ve written about many times in the past.
While many women are disturbed by male songs/videos that are offensive to women, and vociferously advocate for men and the music industry to end this despicable and sexist behavior, these same women continue to ignore and defend the sexist and degrading songs/videos towards men by female artist.

A new video by female artist Gabriella Cilmi has caused a stir in Australia. The song is called Sweet About Me. In reality, the song sarcastically sings how sweet she isn’t (the actual line in the song is “nothing sweet about me”), while Climi walks proudly around a warehouse filled with men who are bound and tied by various methods. She saunters by each man singing and admiring her work, one of which is hanging upside down from the ceiling, bounded by rope, and walks by another that is duct-taped to the floor so that only his head is visible.
At the end of the video Cilmi cuts the man from the ceiling and lets him fall to the floor.
Here is the video:

As I’ve stated before, I beginning to think it is time to turn a deaf ear to the advocates that demand the degrading music that portray harmful images of women be halted, when these same women (and men) ignore or justify songs like this from female singers towards men.
An example of this is shown in an article that appeared in the Australian media written by Sacha Molitorisz (a man). The article is titled No history of violence, so girls, keep on bashing the blokes.
Molitorisz covers the controversy the song has stirred among the genders. On one side, men’s rights advocates and masculine writers are claiming this song, and others like them, are discriminatory and harmful to young boys and men. On the other side, women and feminist claim these songs are not harmful to anyone, and that men do not have any right claiming to be victims.

In his article, Molitorisz asks the most poignant question, “What if the genders were reversed?” He implies the impending backlash would be swift and severe.
But he quotes Helen Garner, a feminist writer, who claims the argument is not relevant. She states, “Of course not, because there is no history of women’s violence towards men that it would be subverting.”

Molitorisz then adds, “If Cilmi is subverting the history of men’s violence towards women, she isn’t alone. Rather, she’s evidence of a growing trend towards what might be termed reverse sexism or female chauvinism.”

Molitorisz moves forward by discussing the protest by male writers and men’s activist towards this new anti-male genre. He then poses the men’s concerns to Kathy Lette, the author of 10 books about the modern gender war.
“It’s a man’s world,” says Lette, “One hundred years since Emmeline Pankhurst tied herself to the railings and women still don’t have equal pay, and we’re still getting concussion hitting our heads on the glass ceiling – plus we’re expected to Windex it while we’re up there. Until women are treated as equals instead of sequels, we have every right to comically kneecap you in ads or song clips. And you’re pathetic whinge bags if you complain about it.” (emphasis mine).

Molitorisz then poses two relevant questions about this new genre of man-hating music. He says:

But is Cilmi’s video a step towards or away from gender equality? By tying up boys, is she countering stereotypes and redressing past injustices? Or is her reverse sexism dark and potentially damaging – a vengeful wrong in answer to an earlier wrong?

It’s the former, a necessary step on the path to parity. For too long, men have held power at the expense of women; now, in a few corners of pop culture, this inequality has been overcorrected and replaced by an inverted inequality. In some music videos and ads, sex objects and sex subjects have traded places. As long as this inversion is both temporary and playful, I’m all for it.

Let me take a moment to challenge the thoughts presented in this article and expose them as weak arguments and analyses of the issue.

— Helen Garner claims reversing the genders is irrelevant because there is no history of female violence towards men. Her argument is also equally irrelevant.
We have never seen a society where women have held power over men, so we cannot claim to know what evils would arise when women do have greater power, and how men would be affected by those women in power. However, we can see that when women do achieve power in our present society, attacking and bashing men is considered acceptable. Historically, as the feminist movement rose to power, attacking and bashing men became the norm – even though this is the exact behavior feminist condemned when men displayed it towards women. And this genre of man-hating music is another obvious example of how women are using their newly acquired power and influence.

— Garner’s statement also implies proof is needed before we can claim any harm of women engaging in behavior that harms men. From this viewpoint, in order for an abuse to be validated, the abuse must be historically documented. This is a dangerous statement. It implies that no abuse occurs until the abuse is recognized, studied, debated, accepted as legitimate, and in most cases, laws are established prohibiting the behavior/action.
So does this mean the abuse should be ignored and allowed to proliferate until it is legitimized? This could take years.
But for feminist like Garner, they are asking men to do what they have never done themselves. Feminists have never sat patiently while women were being harassed, abused, raped, etc., and waited for some standard of “evidence” to be reached to validate their cause before they took action. The slow movement of society to react to what feminist saw as obvious issues of humanity, decency and respect towards women has always been vocalized by feminist. Now when the genders are reversed, a slow process of legitimization is accepted as the proper course of action.

— Sacha Molitorisz concludes that in order for the inequities to end between men and women, female abuses against men are going to have to take as “a necessary step on the path to parity.”
Bulls**t.
When has the philosophy of “two wrongs make a right” ever worked? What evidence does he have to support his claim? If he is so confident this approach is morally acceptable, does he teach this philosophy to his children? Does he tell them, “If somebody has wronged you, wrong them back harder?”
Molitorisz fails to realize that by legitimizing hate, discrimination, and bigotry, he is creating the false impression that hate, discrimination, and bigotry has a useful purpose. And more importantly, he creates the false impression that it can be controlled and cultivated. Historically, what society controlled and cultivated discrimination, and claimed it as a valuable societal asset?
“Good discrimination” is an asinine solution to the enormous process of eliminating discrimination. It is an emotionally immature solution perpetuated by those that cannot think and analyze complex thoughts. It’s a cop-out; a lazy solution to an arduous process.

— Kathy Lette claims “this is a man’s world”. Let me explain why this is false. She found success in writing ten books about the gender wars, and she unapologetically states in this article that, “we have every right to comically kneecap you [men] in ads or song clips. And you’re pathetic whinge bags if you complain about it!”
In Lette’s “male privileged world”, if a man opinioned anything remotely similar about women as Lette opinioned about men, he would be shamed, humiliated, and it would begin the downfall of any promising career. As a matter of fact, no man in the western world would even consider vocalizing/writing such hateful remarks out of fear of the consequences he would have to endure for vocalizing/writing such sexist remarks. However, Mrs. Lette found no such fear in expressing her hateful remarks towards men, and since the very moment she did, she has not wrestled with the thought that her writing career and her reputation would be jeopardized by the appearance of her hateful opinions in a major media publication.
Now with that said, ask me if I truly believe Mrs. Lette’s comment that it’s “a man’s” world, a world where women are at an obvious disadvantage when compared to men. Go ahead and ask.

Let me repeat what I wrote in my last column because it is relevant here again:

I’ve come to the point where I’ve just about turned a deaf ear to the cries of women who complain about the harm done by men’s sexist music. I can’t continue to find cause for concern for their issue while these same women completely ignore the amount of sexist songs performed by females, and continue to easily dismiss them as harmless.

As I’ve written before, women passionately want men to stand beside them in an effort to stop the inequities and injustices women face in our society. But sadly, when the genders are reversed, the majority of these same women are quick to turn their back on the same type of inequities and injustices faced by men.

Contact:

soltys.joe@gmail.com

https://jsoltys.wordpress.com

Photo Courtesy of: stockxchng.com

November 18, 2008

Male Artists Sexist? Females Need To Look In Mirror

media-violence1

It’s hard for me to continue taking the claims of sexism and derogatory images of women in modern music when I look at the negative and derogatory images towards men proliferating in music by female artists.

I previously wrote how country female stars have written songs provoking violence towards men, and how society rewards them with awards and accolades.
Carrie Underwood won a Country Music Award for her song Next Time He Cheats which tells the story of a woman scorned by a cheating partner, and how she “got even” by committing a criminal and violent act towards his property – something domestic violence prevention advocates warn is the sign of a typical intimate abuser. But Underwood was not criticized for using domestic violence as a form of entertainment, she was rewarded for it.
And just recently, Underwood was quoted as saying having a dog is better than having a man.

Miranda Lambert was a nominee this year for her song Gunpowder and Lead which tells the story about another woman who deals with a cheating partner, but who also claims to have been slapped a few times by him. Her solution – kill him! The song is loaded with an overdose of female empowerment through the use of violence and murder towards an intimate partner. Yet again, DV prevention advocates are silent, and again, society rewards a female artist for her song of hate and violence towards men.

When my daughter asked me recently if she could by a song on iTunes, I took a glance at what songs were being promoted on the iTune site.
I noticed the new song by Britney Spears called Womanizer. In this song, Spears is filled with chest thumping female bravado as she tells some guy how she can see right through him; he’s just a womanizer.
Here’s a sample of the lyrics:

You can play brand new to
All the other chicks out here
But I know what you are
What you are, baby

Fakin’ like a good one
But I call ’em like I see ’em
I know what you are
What you are, baby

Womanizer, woman-womanizer
You’re a womanizer
Oh, womanizer, oh
You’re a womanizer, baby

You, you, you are
You, you, you are
Womanizer, womanizer
Womanizer

Amazing that Spears would have the nerve to sing this song, considering in real life she began dating Kevin Federline – her former husband – while he was involved with another woman who was pregnant with his child at the time.

I then I saw on iTunes a song called If I Were A Boy, by Beyonce Knowles. This song is an expression of how a woman assumes what the life of a man is like. It is extremely derogatory, negative, and sexist towards men.
Here’s a sample of the lyrics:

If I were a boy
Even just for a day
I’d roll outta bed in the morning
And throw on what I wanted then go
Drink beer with the guys
And chase after girls
I’d kick it with who I wanted
And I’d never get confronted for it.
Cause they’d stick up for me.

[Chorus]
If I were a boy
I think I could understand
How it feels to love a girl
I swear I’d be a better man.
I’d listen to her
Cause I know how it hurts
When you lose the one you wanted
Cause he’s taken you for granted
And everything you had got destroyed

[Verse]
If I were a boy
I would turn off my phone
Tell everyone it’s broken
So they’d think that I was sleepin’ alone
I’d put myself first
And make the rules as I go
Cause I know that she’d be faithful
Waitin’ for me to come home (to come home)

[Chorus]
If I were a boy
I think I could understand
How it feels to love a girl
I swear I’d be a better man.
I’d listen to her
Cause I know how it hurts
When you lose the one you wanted (wanted)
Cause he’s taken you for granted (granted)
And everything you had got destroyed

But you’re just a boy
You don’t understand
Yeah you don’t understand
How it feels to love a girl someday
You wish you were a better man
You don’t listen to her
You don’t care how it hurts
Until you lose the one you wanted
Cause you’ve taken her for granted
And everything you have got destroyed
But you’re just a boy

If Beyonce wanted sing a song about what it’s like to be a man, then why didn’t she sing about real life issues facing men:

If I was a man, I’d have to accept the fact that I will be a victim of serious violence or murder by a ratio of 4 to 1 over women
If I was a man, I would suffer in school, worst than the girls, but watch the girls be perceived as “struggling”
If I was a man, the chance I could be homeless would be greater for me than for woman
If I was a man, the chance I would see my kids only on weekends is greater for me than for a woman
If I was a man, the chances are greater I will face a false accusation of domestic violence, child abuse, or rape
If I was a man, my violence would be perceived as that of a monster deserving emotionless justice, while a woman’s violence would be perceived as the result of mental illness, and deserving compassion
If I was a man, the chance I could be an innocent of a crime, but still convicted and sitting in prison is greater for me than for a woman
If I was a man, the chances of me being put to death for a crime is great, while extremely rare for a woman
If I was a man, I would have to hear women tell me how to be a better man, while if I told women how to be better women, I would be called sexist
If I was a man, I would have to hear women tell me how much better I have it, because I am a man

Maybe Beyonce chose this song and all its assumptions because it strokes her fragile ego. The realities of what it’s like to be a man would mean she would actually have to use intellect and compassion – the same characteristics women say men avoid when writing misogynist music.

I’ve come to the point where I’ve just about turned a deaf ear to the cries of women who complain about the harm done by men’s sexist music. I can’t continue to find cause for concern for their issue while these same women completely ignore the amount of sexist songs performed by females, and continue to easily dismiss them as harmless.

As I’ve written before, women passionately want men to stand beside them in an effort to stop the inequities and injustices women face in our society. But sadly, when the genders are reversed, the majority of these same women are quick to turn their back on the same type of inequities and injustices faced by men.

I guess one is left to assume this is the American women’s version of “equality”.

 

Contact:

soltys.joe@gmail.com

https://jsoltys.wordpress.com

Photo Courtesy of: stockxchng.com

November 10, 2008

I Am Venturing Into New Territory

male-symbol

I didn’t have a chance to write anything last week because I was preparing to traverse into two new avenues.

First, I have a new home on BlogTalk Radio. This website offers amateurs like me the opportunity to host their own talk show about any topic of one’s interests. The beauty of this new technology is that it allows one to broadcast live over the internet, and I can chat with my audience by way of live on-air phone calls and instant messages during the show.

I produced my first live show over the weekend, however, I didn’t promote this show because I wanted to focus on getting the “feel” for it, and working out the kinks. The show can be listened to at my home page on BlogTalk Radio (Click Here). This is also where one can check to see when I am scheduled for my next live broadcast.
The only negative I find with this live show is the audio quality. The sound is not the best, but I’m working on delivering the best sound quality the software can provide.

Also, in conjunction with my live show, I have created a new website called DigitalTestosterone.com. This website will be a collection of audio and videos related to men’s and father’s issues. The live audio shows that I produce will be recorded by me in a higher quality format than that used by BlogTalk Radio, and will be archived at DigitalTestosterone.com, in addition to BlogTalk Radio’s automatic archiving of all my work. If you missed my live show, or would like to hear the show in a higher quality format, it can be listened to or downloaded at DigitalTestosterone.com.

If you know anyone (including yourself) who is currently involved in men, father, and gender issues, and you think he or she would make an interesting guest on my show, please contact me by email. Or if you know of some event related to men and father issues happening in your town and would like me to promote it, please pass the information on. And of course, if you just want to call in to express an opinion during a live show, feel free to do so.

Also, should anyone come across any great videos or audios in relation to men’s and father’s issues that they feel would be appropriate for DigitalTestosterone.com, please send them to me. Or if you come across a news story that you feel would be a great topic on my live show, please forward it.

Links for both websites can be found in the sidebar on this page.

 

Contact:

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

October 31, 2008

Small Victory in DART Protest Campaign

The ongoing protest campaign against the Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) for using what many feel are anti-male/anti-father domestic violence ads on the company’s buses, has achieved a small victory.
The creator and financier of the ads, The Family Place, one of largest domestic violence shelters in the Dallas area, has changed the wording and tone of their website.
As I reported here on Tuesday, the wording of The Family Place website portrayed only men as perpetrators of domestic violence, and women as only victims of domestic violence. No where on the website did it include wording that acknowledged women can be perpetrators of domestic violence. The only implication present was made on its “About Page” which explained the organization helps women, children, and men who are victims of domestic violence.
However, when viewing the website’s “Warning Signs of an Abusive Relationship” page, every warning sign offered began with “He saysHe does…. He will….”. Never was the perpetrator designated as “She”. This attitude is in contradiction with many recent studies on DV which conclude women often instigate physical violence as much as men. Therefore, I opinioned The Family Place is extremely sexist towards men, especially when one includes in the argument the biased ads the organization created for the DART buses.

Now, with no explanation given, The Family Place website has been changed to include women as perpetrators of domestic violence.
As an example, on the page that informs about the “Warning Signs of an Abusive Relationship”, the old information read:
He is controlling. He interrogates you intensely (especially if you’re late) about whom you talked to and where you were. He insists you ask his permission to go anywhere or do anything.

The new page reads:
He/She is controlling. He/She interrogates you intensely (especially if you’re late) about whom you talked to and where you were. He/She insists you ask his/her permission to go anywhere or do anything.

The web page is now gender neutral, and more importantly, acknowledges and reflects current research showing women are guilty of domestic violence towards men in greater numbers than currently believed.

Furthermore

The mayor of Dallas was asked to for his influence and involvement in the DART protest. However, Mayor Tom Leppert, while acknowledging the crisis, felt he would not intervene unless the public personally showed him overwhelming support.
So with that being said, let’s do this one more time. Click here to send a personal email to Mayor Leppert. This is a ready-to-go email form from Glenn Sacks’ website. All you have to do is sign and click.

Also, this protest has reached the shores of Iraq. Our men and women in the military have heard about the vile DV ads on the DART buses. Glenn Sacks recieved this email from Gary Christopher, a soldier in Iraq;

I contacted DART as well as Mayor Leppert’s office. I told them DART’s ads are a disgrace to the servicemembers here in Iraq with me. They are here to preserve the future of their wives and their children because they love them so much.

I explained that I’m a registered voter in Texas, and that I’m going to forward this Campaign email to other servicemembers here, too.


On another note: Many domestic violence shelters claim that funding for their services is always lacking, and therefore, this is one of the many reasons why DV shelters cannot, or will not help men and their children – they barely have enough money to help women and their children.
So it was interesting to discovered during the protest of DART that The Family Place has net assets of almost $10 million dollars. And more importantly, its executive director, Paige Flink, takes home an annual salary of over $160,000.
If The Family Place is indicative of other domestic violence shelters/programs across the nation, the question we may need to start asking is not “why” there is not enough funding for DV shelters/programs, but rather “Is” the money these organizations receive being spent properly?

Contact:

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