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.

     

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    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.)

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    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

    October 30, 2008

    DART Launches Sleazy Counter Attack Against Sexist DV Ads

    The ongoing campaign against anti-male/anti-father domestic violence ads appearing on buses of the Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) has heated up. In a local news outlet Morgan Lyon, DART’s media relations official, tried redirecting the focus and seriousness of his company’s blunder by stating the company has received very little negative response from the public about the DV ads via the company’s online customer feedback form.
    It is a pathetic and disturbing attempt to minimize the magnitude of the situation. The company’s online form was never mentioned as a method in which to file a complaint until yesterday. If one clicks to this page on DART’s website, what appears is a form used to file complaints about particular bus routes. It’s obvious this form was not designed to handle a serious public relations crisis.
    In contrast, the protest form found at Glenn Sack’s website – the ONLY KNOWN ONE – has led to over a thousand complaints against the ads forwarded to DART – confirmed by DART officials.
    Also, DART has stated that the majority of the complaints received via Glenn Sacks site have been from outside the Dallas metro area, implying this controversy has no validity because the locals aren’t complaining.
    My question to Mr. Lyons is, “So are you saying the Jena 6 incident was devoid of any real racism because the majority of those protesting the charges against the six students were from outside Jena?
    Is this the “community standard” upon which you claimed to have used in judging the sexist DV ads, now posted on your buses, as acceptable?
    Is this just another example of the dysfunctional corporate culture at DART?

    Since Mr. Lyons felt not enough individuals used their online complaint form to take this situation seriously, I’m asking everyone who is disturbed by these ads, and the sleazy behavior of DART officials, to fill out the top and bottom portion (comment box) of this form. Here is the link.

    Numerous Women Join DART Protest

    Erin Pizzey, the founder of the first domestic violence shelter in England back in 1971, and a long time advocate for domestic violence prevention, has signed a petition asking the Dallas Area Regional Transit (DART) to remove the misleading and vile domestic violence ads from their fleet of buses.
    Pizzey has been joined by over 50 others from various backgrounds on the petition in an effort to try and convince DART the ads are a mistake. The petition reads:

    The undersigned believe that DART’s domestic violence ads ‘One day my husband will kill me’ and ‘When I grow up, I will beat my wife’ provide a distorted and counterproductive view of fathers, children, and domestic violence. We respectfully request that DART remove these ill-advised ads as soon as possible.

    Other women joining the protest and signing the petition:

    — Barbara Kay, a writer for the National Post called the ads “hate speech” in her most recent column.

    — Syndicated Columnist Amy Alkon called the ads “ugly, toxic, and wrong”.

    — Dr. Helen Smith, columnist with Pajamas Media

    — Wendy McElroy, writer and founder of ifeminist.net

    The petition can be found at Glenn Sacks website.

    Note: The creator and financial backers of the discriminating domestic violence ads, The Family Place, rushed Paige Flink, Family Place Executive Director, to a public board meeting by DART Tuesday to defend the ads. It is reported that she and the organization have vowed not to “back down” from the criticism received from those ads.
    According to Glenn Sacks website:

    Flink spoke in support of her own ads along with two men who she brought with her. However, they avoided (emphasis mine) answering the challenge that the ads might depict males negatively or confuse children who see them but lack the maturity to understand the underlying messages.

    Answering My Critic

    Yesterday I received a response in my comments section essentially scolding me for being completely wrong on this recent issue, and criticizing the research I consulted. Here is the comment followed by my response:

    And if you stay on their front page long enough, it scrolls through a picture with text, “We help ALL victims of family violence, men, women and children.”

    And this, taken from their About Us page:
    “We helped 423 women and 497 men recover from childhood sexual assault and incest in our Incest Recovery Program.”

    Good on them and good on DART for providing the confrontation society needs about the truths of domestic violence.

    You quote the report dated August 2007 about “non-reciprocal” intimate partner violence. The reason why women appear more in this report is because MOST of female to male violence occurs within the context of the female being a victim of physical violence, so when you ignore the factor that in most cases of IPV men are hitting women who are hitting back, and just use the one’s where women weren’t hit first, then it would show that women instigate IPV more…..but that is putting a spin on the numbers for the benefit of achieving some specific agenda, it doesn’t show the real truth that MEN are the biggest instigators of IPV.

    In the November 2007 report, if it included stalking, sexual coercion and sexual abuse the figures would be very much different. In fact, the incidence of male to female aggression would skyrocket to somewhere around about 30 – 45%. It’s quite convenient to leave out the violent behaviours that are specifically used by men more than women, don’t you think? Another report with a spin to fit an agenda.

    Comment by shivers

    Dear Shiver,

    It would be nice if you stuck to the facts concerning what I wrote, and didn’t twist the argument to something completely different. With that being said, I would like to thank you for your comment, because you have unknowingly proved my point about male discrimination on this subject better than I could have.

    First, my argument, and the protest campaign, is about the discrimination men face in the DV prevention environment. The DV prevention industry and their supporters will go to great lengths to minimize or devalue men as victims of domestic violence, and at the same time, try to minimize and diminish the fact that women can be as violent as men in the home.

    Your response pointed to the fact that The Family Place has helped over 400 men and 400 women who were victims of molestation. The difference of treatment concerning sexual abuse of males and females by The Family Place WAS NOT my argument. My argument was the discrimination men face concerning the DV prevention industry that continues to perpetuate a false ideology that men are always the perpetrators of DV, and women are always the victims in spite of numerous studies which prove otherwise. I opinioned that The Family Place is guilty of this behavior as proven by a page from their own website which I included as evidence, and the sexist nature of their ads that are now being protested. Also, I did mention their claim of helping male victims, but an indirect point I was looking to make was how could an organization that advocates unequivocally that men are the sole perpetrators of domestic violence rather than victims, effectively address and help male victims of DV and their children?
    I’m sorry if I wasn’t clear enough.

    Second, you wrote:

    “You quote the report dated August 2007 about “non-reciprocal” intimate partner violence. The reason why women appear more in this report is because MOST of female to male violence occurs within the context of the female being a victim of physical violence, so when you ignore the factor that in most cases of IPV men are hitting women who are hitting back, and just use the one’s where women weren’t hit first, then it would show that women instigate IPV more…..but that is putting a spin on the numbers for the benefit of achieving some specific agenda, it doesn’t show the real truth that MEN are the biggest instigators of IPV.”

    Thank you again for displaying the sexism men face when discussing domestic violence.
    Feminist and women’s groups deplore the behavior of those who would sink so low as to dare apply “blaming the victim” to women who have been victims of violence, and have worked tenaciously to eradicate this behavior. However, these same women – you included – have no problem engaging in this disgusting behavior when the victim is a man and the perpetrator is a woman. So my question to you is, “Do believe blaming the victim is an acceptable form of behavior that applies equally to male victims as well as female victims, or do you believe that this malevolent behavior should only apply to male victims?

    But let’s ignore your sexism and hypocrisy for one moment and extract it out in another way. Let’s say that it is true that the reason so many women are often charged with domestic violence is via the mode of defending themselves against an abuser as you have claimed, and as many in the DV prevention industry have also claimed as truth. If one accepts this argument as a realistic truth, the one must also find as an equal truth that many men are falsely charged with domestic violence in the process of defending themselves against an unprovoked attack by a female partner. Considering that many states have made it mandatory if injuries are present in a spousal altercation, then the individual without injury is presumed to be the perpetrator. Under this presumed judgment of guilt, the presumed attacker is immediately arrested and charged. Given the DV prevention industry’s mantra that men are more physically stronger than women, and the potential injury to a woman is much greater for them in even the most minor altercation, it becomes extremely plausible that a man defending himself from an unprovoked attack from a female partner will run the risk of causing visible injuries on her, but consequently, will have minimal or no injuries on himself. Therefore, the odds are much greater that a man defending himself against a female attacker is more likely to be presumed falsely as the aggressor by the authorities, resulting in his arrest and a charge of domestic violence. The female attacker will be falsely calculated as a victim.
    Therefore Shiver, implying the numbers as being grossly inflated for female aggressors by using a “self defense” argument, in return, you and others in the DV prevention industry are inadvertently creating a valid argument that the statistics showing men as the dominate aggressor in domestic violence incidents have the potential to be grossly inflated also. The “self defense” argument cuts both ways, however, you and the DV prevention industry conveniently leave this valid point out.

    And isn’t it a little pious for you and others to assume that of the numerous DV studies which found women are as violent as men, that not one of these professional, seasoned, experienced researchers even considered your argument that self-defense may skew the numbers, and accounted for this variable in their research? One of the researchers in the above mentioned studies is Murray Strauss. He has been studying family violence for almost forty years. Maybe you should contact him and offer to consult him about the serious faults you found in the majority of his research along with other fatuous research you’ve discovered on domestic violence.

    You also wrote:

    In the November 2007 report, if it included stalking, sexual coercion and sexual abuse the figures would be very much different. In fact, the incidence of male to female aggression would skyrocket to somewhere around about 30 – 45%. It’s quite convenient to leave out the violent behaviours that are specifically used by men more than women, don’t you think? Another report with a spin to fit an agenda.

    Well thank you again for helping me display the bigotry men face when it comes to discussing relationship violence.
    What you state is somewhat true, but again, your skewing the argument, and your approach towards analyzing gender violence is an example of the enormous bias men face on these issues. But I’m willing assume your position to prove my point.
    If we are going to account for all acts of violent behavior when discussing the genders to make a point, as you did, then I will start with family violence. If one considers that all violence in the home should be labeled “domestic” (the actual meaning of the word), then the numbers for female and male perpetrators of domestic violence drastically change.
    If the abuse of children in the home is categorized as domestic abuse – with mothers outnumbering fathers in abusing children according to statistics – then female as perpetrators of domestic violence begins to increase. If one includes the killing of children as domestic violence, then females as perpetrator of violence rises again. If one includes the number of female nannies, childcare workers, baby-sitters, housekeepers, au pairs, etc. who commit violence against children in the home, then the number of females perpetuating domestic violence increases again. If one includes the number of false allegations of abuse made by women against men in divorce and child custody cases as domestic abuse (emotional, financial, etc.) then females as perpetrators of domestic violence begins to take a commanding lead. If one includes the number of women who have hired or manipulated others to commit acts of violence or murder against their partners, then the number of female perpetrated domestic violence increases beyond expectation. And lastly, since we are speaking of violent behaviors towards one gender by another, if one also includes the number of women who bring false allegations of rape against men, and consider the destruction it causes men physically, emotionally, mentally, and financially, and how devastating it can be for a man’s reputation, his family, his career and such, then this type of female harm/violence should just about bring female malevolent behavior on the par with that of men.
    My point is Shiver, if you want to “lump” everything together to validate your argument to increase the perceived harm/violence men do to women, then a convincing, substantial argument can be made to counter yours by “lumping” together women’s harmful and violent acts against men and children to prove women are just as harmful/violent as men. Fortunately I am never in a “contest” to prove women are worse than men. I only write to prove women and men are equally guilty of harmful/violent acts as a defense against those like yourself who feel an uncontrollable need to always make these serious issues into a “contest” of gender superiority.

    And while I will agree that research at this point show men are responsible for most forms of stalking, you are displaying once again the discrimination men face on issues such as sexual coercion and sexual abuse. Most studies on gender violence issues begin with an inherent sexist assumption that most men are the perpetrators and women are most often the victims.
    The most noted study on sexual coercion was done by Koss, Gidycz, and Wisniewski (1987). In that study, it was found that 15% of the women in a national sample of over 6,000 college students had experienced rape. About 4% of the men indicated that they had perpetrated rape. What is not mentioned whenever this research is cited is how only the women were asked if they were ever sexually assaulted while only the men were asked if they ever committed a sexual assault. This isn’t just a little sexist, it is extremely sexist!

    In looking at research which included sexual coercion by females as well as males, one finds women aren’t far behind the men when engaging in this behavior.

    In the 1990s and early 2000s, at least a dozen more studies that included both male and female sexual victims appeared in the literature. For example, Lottes (1991) discovered that 24% of the men and 35% of the women in a classroom sample of over 300 college students reported that they had been coerced into sexual intercourse. In a survey of 433 Canadian college students, O’Sullivan, Byers, and Finkelman (1998) found that 24% of the men and 42% of the women reported being pressured or forced into sexual contact in a heterosexual dating context in the past year. A survey of 221 high school seniors in New Zealand (Jackson, Cram, & Seymour, 2000) revealed that 67% of the boys and 77% of the girls reported that they had engaged in unwanted sexual activity.

    And a study from California State University collaborated those findings in their own study by stating:

    Results reveal that 70% of subjects [men] reported experiencing some form of sexual coercion within the past five years.

    Looking at sex crimes in general, newer research is shattering the myth that women rarely engage in crimes of sexual perversion;

    Canada’s largest study into the sexual exploitation of street kids and runaways has shattered some myths about who the abusers might be – with the most surprising finding being that many are women seeking sex with young males.
    “Some youth in each gender were exploited by women with more than three out of four (79 per cent) sexually exploited males reporting exchanging sex for money or goods with a female,” said Elizabeth Saewyc, associate professor of nursing at the University of British Columbia and principal investigator for the study conducted by Vancouver’s McCreary Centre Society.
    “I must admit it wasn’t something we were expecting.”

    And it seems a week doesn’t go by in which the media is reporting another crime involving a female teacher having sex with one of her male students. Consider, these are the ones being reported, so how many are not?

    So let me ask you this Shiver, “Who really is trying to force an agenda here?
    I’m write from the perspective that men and women are human first, and therefore more likely to engage in the same behaviors – good or bad.

    Your approach of spreading misleading and biased information is not a solution to these issues. You and others like you are part of the problem.

    October 28, 2008

    DART Refuses to Remove Sexist Domestic Violence Ads

    The campaign to address the biased and misleading domestic violence advertisements presently being displayed on Dallas Area Rapid Transit buses in coordination with The Family Place has led to nearly a thousand emails of protest by both men and women across the nation, as was reported by the Associated Press and two dozen other news outlets.

    In response to my support for the campaign, I received this reply from the Dallas Area Rapid Transit:

    I’m writing to provide additional information about the ads running on 45 DART buses. These ads began running on October 1. They were produced and paid for by The Family Place, a long-standing family services agency based in Dallas. DART had no involvement in the creation of the ad campaign. The ads were reviewed by DART staff when they were first presented to us by our bus ad sales contractor. Staff determined the ads were not inconsistent with community standards. The Family Place paid approximately $25,000 to purchase bus side advertising on 45 buses and 300 bus interiors. The ads are scheduled to come down November 30 when the ad contract expires.

    Please contact me if you have any questions.

    Regards,
    Morgan Lyons
    Director, Media Relations
    Dallas Area Rapid Transit

    In other words, in spite of offending many men, fathers, women, and mothers with these disturbing ads, DART has chosen to ignore the public outcry, and continue to run the malicious ads.

    In my opinion, Mr. Lyons and DART have chosen to avoid accountability for these offensive ads by using a common corporate practice of shifting blame to “committees” (staff) and “focus” groups in these situations. It allows for responsibility and accountability to be distributed among some mythical “group think” because the actual individuals of these groups are never revealed, nor are they ever available for questioning when requested from the corporation.
    My experience has found this is common practice when the discrimination is against men and fathers. The opinions and decisions of these “groups” are viewed as scripture, and their decisions are rarely overturned when men and fathers complain of feeling marginalized. However, I have found when the discrimination is found to affect women or other minorities, the corporation makes a decisive move to immediately override the decision of the “focus” or “committee” group.
    Sadly, DART has taken the same demeaning and callous approach as others when men and fathers are offended.

    Also, considering Mr. Lyons and DART are defending their actions by saying the “Staff determined the ads were not inconsistent with community standards”, it makes me ponder how low are the “community standards” in that neck of the woods? And furthermore, how effective can the the human resource policies at DART be concerning the recognition and procedures to address such issues as discrimination, sexism, and harassment within its own environment? Considering the DART “staff” did not find these ads offensive by their own merit, and needed to consult a “community standard” for guidance is troubling in itself. But given that after implementing the ads, it has now received nearly a thousand complaints from the public, and the “staff” still finds no reasonable concern to remove the ads, makes me wonder what kind of business culture is present at DART.

    After finding the website for The Family Place, the domestic violence prevention group who created and paid for the placement of the ads on DART buses, it became obvious that the group is an insidiously sexist organization. While claiming to help all individuals that are victims of domestic violence – including men – their website states repeatedly that only men are the perpetrators of domestic violence. The group’s site refuses to make any mention that women can be perpetrators of domestic violence against men.
    Here is a copy of the groups web page concerning the warning signs of an abuser:

    1. He pushes for quick involvement. He comes on very strong, claiming, “I’ve never felt loved like this by anyone.” An abuser pressures a girl for an exclusive commitment almost immediately.

    2. He is excessively possessive. He calls constantly or visits unexpectedly, prevents you from going to work because “you might meet someone,” and even checks the mileage on your car.

    3. 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.

    4. He has unrealistic expectations. He expects you to be the perfect girl all the time and meet his every need.

    5. He isolates you. He tries to cut you off from family and friends and accuses people who are your supporters of “causing trouble.” An abuser may try to prevent you from holding a job, going to church or being part of school organizations.

    6. He blames others for his problems and mistakes. The teacher, the coach, you—it’s always someone else’s fault if anything goes wrong.

    7. He makes everyone else responsible for his feelings. An abuser says, “You make me angry” instead of, “I am angry” or, “You’re hurting me by not doing what I tell you.” Less obvious but equally telling is the claim: “You make me happy.”

    8. He is hypersensitive. He is easily insulted and claims that his feelings are hurt when he is really mad. He rants about the injustice of things that are just part of life.

    9. He displays cruelty to animals. He kills or punishes animals brutally.

    10. He displays “playful” use of force. He enjoys throwing you down or holding you down against your will. He forces you to kiss him and doesn’t accept “no.”

    11. He verbally abuses you. He constantly criticizes you or says blatantly cruel, hurtful things, degrades you, curses and calls you ugly names. If he does this in front of other people, you may really be at risk for physical abuse.

    12. He insists on rigid roles for men and women. He is strong. You are weak. He expects you to serve and obey him because you are “his woman.”

    13. He displays sudden mood swings. He switches from sweetly loving to explosively violent in minutes.

    14. He has battered in the past. He admits to hitting girls in the past but says they or the situation made him do it.

    15. He threatens you with physical violence. He makes statements like, “I’ll break your neck.” or “I’ll kill you.” and then dismiss them with, “Everybody talks that way.” or “I didn’t really mean it.” If he has come this far, it is time to get out and get help.

    Considering the ads it created for DART, and considering the above informational page, it is obvious this organization is engaging in the disturbing practice of sexual discrimination.  What’s even worse is that DART has since been made aware that the ads are misleading the public about the realities of domestic violence via the protest campaign, but has ignored this and chose to continue them.

    The controversy with DART and The Family Place comes less than a week after Third District Court of Appeals in California ruled in favor of the plaintiff, David Woods, his daughter, and three other men that DV programs in California have discriminated against men. The court ruled,

    We find the gender-based classifications in the challenged statutes that provide programs
    for victims of domestic violence violate equal protection. We find male victims of domestic violence are similarly situated to female victims for purposes of the statutory programs and no compelling state interest justifies the gender classification.
    We reform the affected statutes by invalidating the exemption of males and extending the statutory benefits to men, whom the Legislature improperly excluded.

    Finally men and father’s rights advocates have legal proof needed to provide credence to their claims of historic discrimination against them by those in the DV prevent industry.

    And this discrimination is hiding in plain sight. The Family Place – advocating men as sole perpetrators of domestic violence- appear to be engaging in this ongoing discrimination of males by intentionally ignoring some of the most relevant and recent research concerning domestic violence, such as:

    August, 2007 – In fact, when it comes to nonreciprocal violence between intimate partners, women are more often the perpetrators.
    These findings on intimate partner violence come from a study conducted by scientists at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The lead investigator was Daniel Whitaker, Ph.D., a behavioral scientist and team leader at the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (which is part of the CDC). Results were published in the May Journal of Public Health.

    May, 2006 – A 32-nation study of violence against dating partners by university partners found that about a third had been violent, and most incidents of partner violence involve violence by both the man and woman, according to Murray Straus, founder and co-director of the Family Research Laboratory at the University of New Hampshire. The second largest category was couples where the female partner was the only one to carry about physical attacks, not the male partner.
    Straus’ new research also found that dominance by the female partner is even more closely related to violence by women than is male dominance. These results call into question the widely held belief that partner violence is primarily a male crime and that when women are violent it is self defense.

    November, 2007 – Physical dating violence (PDV) affects almost one in every 11 adolescents, according to research presented at the American Public Health Association’s 135th Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C.
    The study, which looked at data from the 2005 National Youth Risk Behavior Study, also found that contrary to common general perception, males and females equally report being victims of PDV. The researchers found that in their study population of 6,951 male and 6,807 female students in grades 9 through 12, 9 percent of boys and 9.2 percent of girls responded yes to the question “during the past 12 months, did your boyfriend or girlfriend ever hit, slap, or physically hurt you on purpose.”

    These are not the only studies. There are many more corroborating their findings.

    What is really pathetic here is that DART could easily recognize its mistake, and remove the ads from the buses, and terminate its association with The Family Place until this organization addresses its sexism. But it appears to me that DART is not really interested in helping prevent domestic violence, or provide accurate information for those men, women, and children affected by domestic violence. Instead, it appears to me the real tragedy here is that DART is hesitant to return any portion of the $25,000 it received from The Family Place.

    I can only assume from their actions that in DART’s corporate culture, money has greater value than morals.

    Contact:

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

    October 27, 2008

    Please Join Me In Protesting Sexist Domestic Violence Ads

    The Dallas Area Rapid Transit in coordination with The Family Place, a Dallas Domestic Violence service provider began running domestic violence prevention ads on DART buses that openly discriminate against men and fathers, and mislead the public into believing the myth that men are almost always the perpetrators of violence and women are most always the victims.

    Men’s issue writer and advocate Glen Sacks along with Dr. Ned Holstein, Executive Director of Fathers & Families have organized a protest to these disturbing ads.

    I’ve posted the campaign’s webpage below. Please join me in protesting this type of discrimination against men and fathers, and protest the damage done to all victims of domestic violence by promoting false and misleading information.

    Protest Father-Bashing
    Domestic Violence Ads!

    dart

    Several hundred Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) buses feature misleading, father-bashing ads purporting to address the serious issue of domestic violence.

    One ad depicts a happy little girl with the message “One day my husband will kill me.” Another shows a smiling boy with the message “When I grow up, I will beat my wife.”

    The ads are, to put it bluntly, hate speech against fathers.

    We want DART to take down these anti-father ads. To send a protest email and fax to DART executives, click here.

    To depict only males as perpetrators of domestic violence, and only females as victims, is a severe distortion. DV research clearly establishes that men account for half of all DV victims and incur a third of DV-related injuries, as women often employ the element of surprise and weapons to compensate for men’s strength.

    In earlier years, it was common to see crime stories presented as if only African-Americans and Latinos were perps, and whites their only victims. We now recognize that these distortions are bigoted. DART’s ads are the same kind of distortions, only the “perps” are now dads.

    To send a protest email and fax to DART executives, click here.

    The offending ads were placed on the buses by The Family Place, a Dallas Domestic Violence service provider. Family Place Executive Director Paige Flink told Fox News in Dallas that says she designed the ads to provoke, saying “I hope you are offended.”

    Flink is practically daring the fatherhood movement to respond, and assumes that domestic violence organizations can insult men with impunity. As a general rule, she has been correct–the domestic violence establishment, much of it funded with your tax dollars, has been allowed to get away with serving the public the false woman-as-victim/man-as-monster domestic violence model.

    To send a protest email and fax to DART executives, click here.

    DART Buses & Trains serve a total of 10 million commuters per month. To read the Associated Press’ and others’ coverage of the ads, click here.

    The message of the DART ads is clear–kids need to be afraid of fathers. Boys need to be afraid to grow up to be like dad, and girls need to fear marrying a man like dad.

    Dads-as-Monsters ads such as these influence our popular culture, our news media, our legislators, and our family law courts. If you’re a divorced dad who can only see his kids a few days a month, or who’s the victim of false accusations of abuse, ads like these are one reason.

    To send a protest email and fax to DART executives, click here.

    Two major billboard companies–Clear Channel Outdoor and CBS Outdoor–have already rejected these ads. Jodi Senese of CBS said the ads “can be both misleading and disturbing.”

    There are three ads in this series–the two mentioned above and also one apparently gender-neutral ad which discusses the issue of domestic violence and teen suicide. We have no problem with the third, but we want the first two–“One day my husband will kill me” and “When I grow up, I will beat my wife”–removed.

    To send a protest email and fax to DART executives, click here.

    We abhor domestic violence and child abuse in all forms, and give credit to agencies like The Family Place which help victims. However, by failing (or refusing) to recognize male victims of domestic violence, the domestic violence establishment and The Family Place harm male victims and their children.

    Society once swept domestic violence under the rug, marginalizing abused women and their children. As California’s Third District Court of Appeal recognized in a recent decision, today male victims and their children are marginalized. These DART ads are part of that marginalization.

    Internationally-recognized domestic violence expert John Hamel, LCSW, a court-certified batterer treatment provider and author of the book Gender-Inclusive Treatment of Intimate Partner Abuse, explains:

    “Men account for half of all DV victims and incur a third of DV-related injuries. Ignoring female-on-male violence inhibits our efforts to combat domestic violence.”

    In the column to the right we provide quotes from numerous internationally-respected domestic violence authorities, all of whom, attest that domestic violence is committed by both men and women.

    To send a protest email and fax to DART executives, click here.

    To learn more about the ads, click here.

    We oppose DART’s Anti-Father Bus Ads Because:

    • To depict only males as perpetrators of domestic violence, and only females as victims, is a severe distortion of domestic violence research. A mountain of DV research clearly establishes that women are frequently the aggressors in domestic combat, often employing the element of surprise and weapons to compensate for men’s strength.The most recent large-scale study of domestic violence was published in the American Journal of Public Health last year. The researchers analyzed data concerning 11,370 respondents. According to the researchers, “[H]alf of [violent relationships] were reciprocally violent. In nonreciprocally violent relationships, women were the perpetrators in more than 70% of the cases.” (This study is illustrated in the diagram at right from the Psychiatric News, 8/3/07).A quarter of the women surveyed admitted perpetrating violence, and when the violence involved both parties, women were more likely to have been the first to strike.Such findings are consistent with decades of domestic violence research. The National Institute of Mental Health funded and oversaw two of the largest studies of domestic violence ever conducted, both of which found equal rates of abuse between husbands and wives.
      New California Appeal Court Ruling: ‘Domestic Violence Is a Serious Problem for both Women and Men’
      “California domestic violence laws violate men’s rights because they provide state funding only for women and their children who use shelters and other programs, a state appeals court has ruled.

      “The decision by the Third District Court of Appeal in Sacramento requires the programs to be available to male as well as female victims of domestic violence…

      “Justice Fred Morrison said in Tuesday’s 3-0 ruling, the state acknowledges that ‘domestic violence is a serious problem for both women and men.'” –(San Francisco Chronicle, 10/16/08)

      California State Long Beach University professor Martin Fiebert maintains an online bibliography summarizing 219 scholarly investigations, with an aggregate sample size exceeding 220,000, which concludes “women are as physically aggressive, or more aggressive, than men in their relationships with their spouses or male partners.”

      Nor is this violence trivial. A meta-analytic review of 552 domestic violence studies published in the Psychological Bulletin found that 38% of the physical injuries in heterosexual domestic assaults are suffered by men.

      Dr. Jennifer Langhinrichsen-Rohling of the University of South Alabama says that as she and other researchers grappled with this research, “Every time we tried to say that women’s intimate partner abuse is different than men’s, the evidence did not support it.”

      According to Dr. Donald Dutton, author of Rethinking Domestic Violence, research shows that domestic violence is actually more common in lesbian relationships than in heterosexual relationships. For example, one study of 1,100 lesbian or bisexual women who are in abusive lesbian relationships found that the women were more likely to have experienced violence in their previous relationships with women than in their previous relationships with men.

      Domestic violence service sometimes providers justify their exclusion of male victims by citing crime and/or crime survey statistics which show that most reports of domestic violence are by women. Dr. Dutton explains:

      “Domestic violence ‘research’ has been misleading, in that data has been extracted from crime reports and/or crime victim surveys – in which men underreport more than women – and have been publicized as indicating domestic violence is a gender issue (male-perpetrator/female-victims).

      “In fact, when larger surveys with representative samples are examined, perpetration of domestic violence perpetration is slightly more common for females…”

      In the column to the right we provide quotes from numerous internationally-respected domestic violence authorities, all of whom, attest that domestic violence is committed by both men and women.

      To send a protest email and fax to DART executives, click here.

      Hide

    • The Ads Send the Message That Kids Must Fear Dads, When Most Child Abuse and Parental Murder of Children Is Committed by Mothers, not Fathers The child victims of male violence depicted in the DART ads are, in fact, most likely to be abused by a woman, not a man.According to the most recent data available from the US Department of Health and Human Services, mothers are more likely to commit physical child abuse, emotional maltreatment, and neglect than fathers. The only form of child abuse fathers are more likely to commit is the one that’s the most infrequent—child sexual abuse.

      According to Child Maltreatment 2006 (pictured), a report by the Federal Administration for Children & Families, leaving aside killings by nonparents or by mothers and fathers acting together, mothers committed almost three-quarters of the parental murders of children. If one looks only at murders committed by mothers and fathers acting alone, the ratio is over 2 to 1 committed by mothers.

      Leaving aside child abuse by nonparents or by mothers and fathers acting together, mothers committed almost three-quarters of child abuse.

      If one looks only at child abuse committed by mothers and fathers acting alone, the ratio is 2.3 to 1 committed by mothers.

      The data cited here are raw statistics, and all raw statistics are subject to various biases and influences. However, they do very much contradict the DART ads’ de facto claim that it’s fathers and only fathers who are a threat to their children.

      To send a protest email and fax to DART executives, click here.

      Hide

    Fathers & Families, a national shared parenting organization, and Los Angeles journalist/radio commentator Glenn Sacks are partnering in a campaign to ask DART to remove these anti-father ads.

    To send a protest email and fax to DART executives, click here.

    Contact DART Executives & Ask Them to Remove These Anti-Father Ads

    Below are the phone numbers, fax numbers, and email addresses for DART’s leading executives. I suggest campaign supporters email and fax all of them by clicking here, and also call the executives listed below.

    If the intended party is not available, which will often be the case, please leave a short, clear message telling them that you want DART to remove these ads. Leave your name, phone number and email address. Please remember to always be polite, respectful, and to the point.

    Let us know what happened when you called by clicking here.

    Running these campaigns takes time and money–to make a tax-deductible contribution to support our efforts, click here.

    To discuss the DART campaign on the campaign blog, click here.

    Many of our supporters live in the Dallas area and use DART. If you are one, please contact us by clicking here.

    Best Wishes,

    Glenn Sacks
    Dr. Ned Holstein, Executive Director of Fathers & Families

    Contact:

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

    October 14, 2008

    Violence In the Home vs. Gender – Diagnosed or Demonized?

    (October is domestic violence awareness month. My blog will focus on domestic violence from the often ignored and silent perspective – the male victim – and how organizations, politicians, and society deny men and their children the same awareness, compassion, and resources offered to women.)

    Lady Madonna: Part 1

    by Tim Goldich

    The dark picture we have of men would lead us to believe that most child abuse is male-inflicted. In fact, the opposite is true, and by a wide margin. Women commit the vast majority of child abuse and infanticide. Of course that’s only because women perform the vast majority of childcare, nevertheless, our assumption that men are the primary perpetrators against children is emblematic of our attachment to the MB/WG paradigm.

    We would hate to think that there was anything less than a Madonna in the nursery, but the facts paint a less-than-“angelic” picture. In fact, if we dare delve deep enough, in the shadows there lurks a picture of motherhood darker than any we care to know.

    Before embarking down this road it is important to remind ourselves why. Why do we delve deep to reveal the darkest corners of the maternal psyche? I can answer that question with another: “Why do dads kill?,” asks the front-page headline of the Chicago Sun Times (06/25/07). In answer to that question, also from the front page, in “family-murder cases, a clear pattern emerges, experts say. The father wipes out his family simply because he’s tired of dealing with them.” Really, as simple as that? Also on the cover in a narrow-cropped photo of Christopher Vaughn, who allegedly killed his wife and three kids, eyes staring out and looking a lot like Satan. So, here on the front page of a major metropolitan newspaper we are told that dads kill their families simply because they grow weary of them. Message sent: men are evil violent scum; don’t marry a man, he’ll kill you and your children the moment he grows tired of dealing with you.

    So, again, why do we delve deep to reveal the darkest corners of the maternal psyche? Because, in failing to do so, we are left with only a demonizing of men and an anglicizing of women—we are left with ManBad/WomanGood.

    When Andrea Yates drowned her children in the bathtub, all five of them, one at a time, it made the cover of Newsweek (07/02/01). The headline? “‘I Killed My Children’: What Made Andrea Yates Snap?” Note how this Newsweek cover treats both Andrea Yates and what she did as unique. By contrast, in dealing with Christopher Vaughn and what he allegedly did, the Chicago Sun Times cover asks why dads kill as if to implicate all dads. It may not literally implicate all dads, but oftentimes it is the blunt message that sticks in the brain and the blunt message reads “dads kill.” Not some dads kill, or this particular dad killed, but just: “Why do dads kill?”. A headline that asked “Why do moms kill?,” would be protested accordingly.

    The Newsweek cover quotes Andrea’s reply when a police officer asked, “Do you realize what you have done?” Her reply, “I killed my children,” could either be taken as cold-blooded or it could be taken as an expression of horror and remorse. What follows may nudge us toward the latter interpretation: “What made Andrea Yates snap?” Isn’t that really asking: What was Andrea Yates’ excuse? Also on the cover: “Understanding Postpartum Depression” and “Anna Quindlen on Every Mother’s Secret.” Yes, Anna “It’s not that I don’t like men; women are just better” Quindlen is asked to give her unbiased opinion on the subject [Live with Regis and Kathie Lee, CBS, 04/15/93]. So now we know what made Yates “snap” and we are given a further nudge toward an empathy interpretation of her actions.

    Many will merely glance at the covers. The verdict will be obvious. Look for it and you’ll find the ManBad/WomanGood paradigm insinuating itself into our media/cultural products with a pervasiveness comparable to the way food additives are included in the products we buy at the grocery store. Comparing the two covers, the greater empathy shown a woman could not be more self-evident. Now let’s take a look inside each article starting with The Chicago Sun Times.

    According to Minneapolis criminal profiler Pat Brown, men who commit “familicide” fall into one of two categories. “Some men decide to commit suicide because they are heavily in debt, have failed in their jobs or are otherwise falling apart. In a supremely selfish act, they decide to take their families with them. Those who don’t kill themselves are more likely to just want to be free, Brown said.” (Sun Times, p. 4). When a father kills we don’t ask what made him “snap.” We don’t care to know what his excuse was. He may well have been provoked in the worst way imaginable, but we’re too intent upon vilifying him to seek out that which might mitigate his guilt in some way. We are not invited to consider either his “depression” or his “stress.” In fact what we’re told explicitly precludes any possibility of redemption: “They are manipulators. They’re narcissistic, filled with grandiose thoughts. And they’re pathologic liars who blame everyone but themselves for their problems.” And there’s no end to it. “But they’re usually not insane . . . they know right from wrong” (Sun Times, p. 4). So, when it comes to fathers who kill, there can be absolutely no possibility of an “excuse.”

    When the article shifts its attention to their female equivalents, however, the tone shifts dramatically. According to John Philipin, psychologist, crime profiler and author of true-crime books, “By contrast, many mothers who kill their families suffer from depression, depressive psychosis, schizophrenia and other mental illnesses” (Sun Times, Jim Ritter, “Why do dads kill? To be ‘free,’ experts say,” p. 4). Women who kill are said to suffer from these illnesses implying that even women who kill remain the victims.

    The Newsweek article begins: “Andrea Yates was the ultimate caregiver—until depression and the strains of raising five children drove her to an unspeakable crime.” (p. 20). Note the air of incredulity that accompanies a heinous act when committed by a woman. “How could a mother commit such an act against nature and all morality, ending the lives she had so recently borne and nurtured. And kill them so methodically, one by one, holding them under the bath water (imagine eyes staring back) and laying them out on the bed wrapped in sheets like little Christian martyrs” (Newsweek, p. 20).

    “About 200 children are killed by their mothers every year, according to Justice statistics. Sometimes moms blame the Devil. Or they think they are saving their children from a hellish life by sending them to heaven. The psychologists call these ‘altruistic killings.’ Andrea Yates was apparently suffering from a specific, diagnosable—and treatable—condition called postpartum psychosis.” (Newsweek, p. 20). It was on the basis of that diagnosis that Yates was eventually judged not guilty by reason of insanity. “Yates’ attorneys never disputed that she drowned 6-month-old Mary, 2-year-old Luke, 3-year-old Paul, 5-year-old John and 7-year-old Noah in their Houston-area home in June 2001. But they said she suffered from severe postpartum psychosis and, in a delusional state, believed Satan was inside her and was trying to save them from hell.” (“Andrea Yates Found Not Guilty By Reason Of Insanity; Will Be Committed To State Mental Hospital,” http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2006/07/26/national/main1837248.shtml, 07/26/06). So, I guess it was five of those “altruistic killings” that Yates committed?

    Patricia Pearson:
    By contrast, when a sample of men convicted of infanticide were surveyed in Brixton Prison in Great Britain, those who offered altruistic motivations were scoffed at. Wrote their interviewer: “The statement ‘that it was best for the children’ . . . is an expression of the fact that the perpetrator himself thought that the infanticide was the best way out—that is to say, the act was egosyntonic.” [When She Was, p. 88]

    No matter what the circumstances, a father who drowned his five children one at a time couldn’t possibly be received so empathically as to have his actions labeled “altruistic.”

    Newsweek quotes Andrea’s mother, the one person we would expect to love Andrea most unconditionally. “She was the most compassionate of my children. Always thinking of other people, never herself. She was always trying to care for everybody.” (Newsweek, p. 20). And follows that with a pitiful image of Andrea Yates caring for her Alzheimer’s stricken father while pregnant. “Between caring for her father and her children, it is hard to think that Andrea ever had time for herself.” (Newsweek, p. 21). True enough, however, between working/commuting 70 hours a week plus domestic and other chores expected of him, many a husband/father has no time for himself.

    According to the Newsweek article, most multicide killers (i.e., men?) are coldly psychopathic. “Andrea was the opposite; if anything, she apparently cared too much. She may have felt she could never do enough for her demanding husband. In a horribly twisted way, she may have tried to be too good a mother.” (Newsweek, p. 20). Even as we’re canonizing the female killer note how we begin blaming the nearest male, her “demanding” husband. But no one blames Andrea, not even the devastated father of those five murdered children. ‘“One side of me blames her because, you know, she did it. But the other side of me says, ‘Well, she didn’t, because that wasn’t her.”’ (Newsweek, p. 20). Spoken like a typically chivalrous and infinitely magnanimous male. What wife would express such forgiveness toward a husband who did what she did?

    Houston police officer Frank Stumpo: ‘“Do you realize what you have done?’ he asked her. She looked right at him and said, ‘Yes, I do.’ She told the police, ‘I killed my children.’ Stumpo looked around. The house was a mess, he thought, dirty and unkempt.” (Newsweek, p. 25). At this point Rusty had returned home but was kept out of the house presumably to protect Andrea. Asked if he wanted a glass of water, “he doubted anyone would find a clean glass in the house. Stumpo looked anyway, and couldn’t find one—until Andrea calmly pointed him to the china cabinet.” (Newsweek, p. 25).

    Rusty Yates was earlier described as “demanding.” Maybe so, but if he didn’t demand housekeeping, and he didn’t demand help with the financial burdens, then perhaps he wasn’t all that demanding. Many a wife is “demanding”: demanding toughness, strength, and courage of her husband; demanding of competence, demanding of domestic chores, demanding of career success and demanding financially. Even so, if a husband/father did what Andrea Yates did, who would ever think to pin the blame on his “demanding” wife? Yet the media made every effort to vilify Rusty Yates and hold him responsible for the murder of his children.

    In a follow-up article, Newsweek (04/01/02) describes Rusty’s tireless campaign on behalf of Andrea. He defended her on every show from the “Today” show, to Larry King, to Oprah. For his chivalrous efforts he faces contempt of court charges for violating a gag order. But that’s only the beginning; “as he crisscrossed the nation, simmering questions about his own accountability have boiled over.” (Newsweek, 04/01/02, p. 6).

    Andrea’s mother and siblings told reporters that Rusty, a controlling husband who often downplayed his wife’s mental illness and shut them out, bears some responsibility for the tragedy. Andrea’s best friend, Deborah Holmes, did the same. On radio call-in shows, Internet chat rooms and newspaper editorial pages, the questions continue. . . . Rusty is “innocent of any criminal offense,” says his lawyer, Ed Mallet. Some legal experts, however, think that even if Yates escapes criminal charges (including contempt of court) he may have a tough time defending himself in civil court where a jury could find him partly responsible. (Newsweek, 04/01/02, p.6)

    (Tim Goldich is in the process of publishing a series of books on the subject of gender issues as seen from both the female and the male perspectives. His first book, 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 will be released in the near future.)

    Contact:

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