J. Soltys's Weblog

October 27, 2010

Is NPR Sexist?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Let me explain.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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June 30, 2009

Female Psychologist Advocates for Men’s Issues

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

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

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

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

Accomplishing the goal of gender equality will be difficult, if not impossible, without considering men in the gender and development debate and focusing on the relations between men and women, according to a new book, The Other Half of Gender, released today by the World Bank.

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

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

“We believe that the time has come to better understand men from a gender perspective, for the benefit of men, women, future generations, and the society as a whole,” said Steen Jorgensen, Director World Bank Director for Social Development.

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

Contact:

soltys.joe@gmail.com

https://jsoltys.wordpress.com

April 2, 2009

April Is Autism Awareness Month, And Sexism Creeps In

father-and-children     You may have noticed a recent surge in stories about autism. That’s because April is dedicated as Autism Awareness Month.

As a writer of men’s issues, the progress concerning the understanding and minimizing of autism would naturally be of concern to me considering that this disorder affects more males than females. But I also have a genuine concern for the children and parents of those affected by autism, because my wife and I had concerns about one of our twin boys.

Our son displayed an obsessive trait by the age of two that involved him feeling the need to have his environment in perfect order. If everything was not in “his” perfect order, he would throw a serious fit. His shoes and clothing could not have any stains or dirt on them, his shoe laces had to be tied exactly the same way and lay exactly the same way, the stuffed animals on his bed had to be in a certain order before he could go to sleep, and he could spend long periods of time organizing and reorganizing blocks.

With the help of some state run programs, my son was evaluated by many different professionals, which lasted over a period of about six months. In the end, it was determined that my son is not autistic, by has autistic tendencies. Those involved determined most of this behavior could be minimized through early intervention.

My son was enrolled in a special school funded by the state, and within one year, showed dramatic improvement. We still have the occasional tantrum (the shoelace thing is still a problem, but buying Crocs has solved that for now), but I’m aware that what we have gone through is nothing like what those parents who have children greatly affected by autism must go through. My heart goes out to those parents and their children.

 

Sexism in the media?

What really disturbs me about Autism Awareness Month is the blatant sexism involved in its reporting. As I mentioned before, autism affects mostly males, but when reading the stories about autism in the media, one is never aware that this is the case.

Go to any website that is dedicated to autism, and read the facts. Autism affects boys by a 3 to 4 ratio over girls. But this is rarely mentioned in the main stream media while reporting on autism.

For example, here are some recent articles on autism by some of the major news organizations:

  ABC News reports on autism and Jenny McCarthy’s new book (she is the parent of an autistic child). The four page report does not mention the boy/girl ratio.

  MSNBC files a report on research involving autism. No mention of the boy/girl ratio.

—  CBS reports on new research concerning autism. No mention of the boy/girl ratio.

—  The BBC files a report on autism rights. No mention of the boy/girl ratio.

—  Cable news networks CNN and Fox file reports on autism. No mention of the boy/girl ration.

—  Time Magazine reports on Jenny McCarthy’s new book. No mention of the boy/girl ratio. But I find an older article about autism from 2002. In this detailed, eight page report on the history and research concerning autism, never is it mentioned that boys are more greatly affected by autism than girls. How could this be?

Compare this autism reporting behavior with issues that are considered to affect more women than men. The media always makes the effort to highlight the greater disparity faced by women when compared to men.

—  For example, did anyone read a story about the Chris Brown/Rihanna saga without having many different stats presented of females suffering greater incidents of domestic violence than men within these reports?

—  Has anyone ever read about depression and the genders, and noticed how the report will always include stats stating that depression affects more women than men?

—  Has one ever read about the genders and heart disease, and noticed how reports usually mention research showing a disparity between the diagnoses and treatment for men suffering heart attacks, and the diagnoses and treatment of women, and how this disparity puts more women at risk?

The major media seem to find more value in highlighting the suffering of women than men. They seldom cover the facts about men’s suffering or injustices with equal fervor if it means having to put the needs of men before women.

For example:

—  When discussing suicides, the media feels uncomfortable reporting that men commit suicide three times more than women.

—  The media shuns the fact when reporting about deadbeat dads, that statistically, women do not pay child support in greater numbers than men, leaving some single fathers struggling to raise their children.

I feel the reporting on these issues should remain consistent, whether it involves reporting them as gender neutral or not. I would be comfortable either way, but right now it is not consistent, and appears extremely sexist and degrading.

—  When the media is covering a story about single moms, absent fathers, and men taking responsibility as fathers,  it rarely mentions the fact that women initiate the majority of divorces in the US, and the majority of those women demand sole custody of the children. Sadly, in contradiction to the pious cries of many who advocate the need to have more fathers involved with their children, the family court systems most often awards custody to mothers due to an inherent discriminatory belief that children need their mothers more than their fathers. (Note: Fathers who file for divorce ask for joint custody the majority of the time, understanding the importance and need for the mother in the lives of their children.)

—  When covering a story about a tradgic death in the work place, the media never mention that men make up 90% of work place deaths, or that men make up the over 90% of the most dangerous jobs in the workplace. Instead, the media is obsessed with highlighting how women make less than men, and how this is the greatest tragedy in the labor market.

 This discrimination is something I see often, and it is very disturbing that the media – the self proclaimed martyrs of social justice – ignore their own prejudice while reporting and calling out other members of society on theirs.

 As I mentioned before, the media seems intimidated to allow male suffering and injustices to take center stage if it involves having to place the hardships of women backstage momentarily.  However, the media seem very comfortable highlighting women’s greater suffering and injustices when in a position to do so, and do it quite often. It appears as if a dysfunctional form of machismo, patriarchal behavior, or just plain old-fashioned sexism is rampant in the major news organizations.

 

 

As Autism Awareness is upon us, for now, take the time to point out the fact that there is a diparity between the sexes. Maybe in time the word will spread to the major news organizations. And maybe they will finally do their job – reporting the facts.

 

Update: After posting this story, I found CNN is running a story today in honor of World Autism Awareness Day. The story discusses in detail the different aspects of the disorder and the possible causes. But again, after all the facts and observations are discussed, not one of them mentions the gender disparity. Progress is slow in the war against autism

 

Contact:
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https://jsoltys.wordpress.com
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March 30, 2009

Steve Harvey’s Book Just Doesn’t Add Up

men-and-women-symbolsI recently ran across an article posted within CNN’s website that originally appeared at Oprah.com. It seems multi-media entertainer Steve Harvey has written a book about relationships, but more importantly, a book that “empowers women” in relationships. And Oprah, who exclaims “she loves everything it has to say!” was eager to have Harvey on her show to talk about and promote his relationship secrets in his new book, “Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man.”

An example of Harvey’s omnipotent gender and relationship savvy can be found in comments like this:

When a man approaches a woman, he already knows what we wants from her, but he doesn’t know what it will cost. “How much time do you want from me? What are your standards? What are your requirements? Because we’ll rise to the occasion no matter how high you set the bar if we want to. The problem is, women have stopped setting the bar high.

Yeah, right Steve.

I’ve grown weary of observing many forms of media that have cultivated a belief that female romantic hardships is always the result of irresponsible men.

For example, he claims if women are to be blamed, it is only for not demanding more from their men. He is afraid to blame women on the same level as men, allowing the mythical purity of the female gender’s reputation – inherently good people who just make bad decisions – remain intact. His advice for women is delivered with compassion and understanding.
However, for the male population, Harvey’s assessment is different. Men are perceived to be inherently cunning, manipulative, and always assessing the relationship as a game of risk vs. reward, extending themselves only if there is something in it for them. Consequently, it is men and their behavior which ultimately is responsible for being the source of relationship troubles, and Harvey advises women to be cautious observers of men and their actions, or they will get stuck with one of the many “bad ones” out there.

Harvey proclaims:

Without ironclad standards, you’ll always end up back in the dating pool. “You’ve got to quit lowering your standards,” he says. “Set your requirements up front so when a guy hooks you, he has to know this is business.”
And don’t let the man set the pace of the relationship — Harvey says it’s always the woman who has total control. “With all that power, why do you suddenly relinquish this power just because you want a guy to accept you? That’s stupid,” he says. “Say: ‘Look, if you want to be with me, this is what you got to do. This is what it takes to get to me.'”

Sorry, but I find his advice pathetic. First, it is extremely sexist. The historical foundation of the women’s movement was to establish equality with men on every level, not dominate them. Women having total power and control in a relationship is just as dangerous as the man having total control and power in a relationship. Human beings, when given complete control over other human beings, will always abuse that power. Given that Harvey is African-American, you’d think he’d understand what a dangerous mentality he is advocating.

Also, he’s contradicting himself. He’s advising women not to relinquish any power to men, which translates to, do not capitulate to the needs of men. Women should demand what they want with no exceptions.
So I’m confused. Is Harvey  just asking the men and women to change roles? Or Is he saying women shouldn’t lower their standards (demands) to meet the needs of men, but the men should lower their standards (demands) to meet the needs of women? Or is he admitting that men are inherently better at choosing mates than women, hence the title, Act Like a Woman, Think Like a Man? Or is he advocating  a “two wrongs make a right” mentality?

I’m not sure, but even if I try to accept Harvey’s advice as having some credibility, I can’t get past a nagging problem. In the name of equality, doesn’t it beg the question that men are entitled to set a female partner standard also? If women must raise their standards to catch a good man, consequently, shouldn’t it also be true that men have to raise their standards to find a good woman? Or again, are men inherently better at choosing female partners and do not need to be educated and empowered with this ability?

The more I thought about Harvey’s advise,  the more I found it confusing, contradictory, and sexist towards both men and women.

Realisticly, in relationships, if neither one is willing to accept give and take, this behavior evolves into a “pissing contest”, which only ensures frustration and confrontation for both men and women. Also, most authors of those who have researched and written books on dating find that setting standards too high for a potential mate when dating is something both men and women are guilty of.

Now the real kicker

In the article, Harvey goes on to give more advice that is hard on the common sense factor. Not everything he says about men is negative, but it is not all positive either.

However, I feel ANY advice he gives is should be suspect.  Why? Harvey is not the epitomy of a relationship expert. Anyone considering buying Harvey’s “how to book” should know he is on his third marriage already.
And the consumer should also know that according to the Smoking Gun, Harvey’s former wife, Mary, filed a lawsuit against him in 2007. In that complaint, she accused Harvey of:

“adultery, his abandonment of some of his children, his poor and neglectful parenting of the parties’ child, and physical and mental abuse.”

And she claims she was, “severely shortchanged when it came to alimony, division of community property, and child support.”

Now being an advocate for men’s issues – with false accusations by women in divorce a disturbing topic for me – I am not going to say Harvey is guilty of the claims made by his former wife. He claims the allegations by his former wife are false, which I will assume he discards as accusations by a bitter, angry woman.
But I will say I find it extremely uncomfortable that a man who has these allegations against him, along with the fact that he is into his third marriage, would write a book to empower women in relationships. Obviously the guy struggles with women and relationships, so how does he have the audacity to write a book on the subject matter?

So let’s pause: Harvey has been married three times and divorced twice. One of his former wives has filed allegations of adultery, abandonment of his children, neglectful parenting, and physical and mental abuse, all of which he denies. So he decides he has this infinite romantic wisdom, and decides to write a book to empower women about relationships?

Is he for real?

I mean over the years, the guy couldn’t empower himself to stay out of conflict with women, so how the hell is he going to educate women on how to avoid unneccessary conflicts with men”?

Wouldn’t it have made more sense for Harvey to write a book for men, explaining what he did wrong in these relationships, and offer advice to other men on how to avoid some of the mistakes he made? After three marriages, and what he claims are false accusations, wouldn’t his advise on how men can avoid these issues have more relevence than an empowerment book for women? 
Wouldn’t that have been the masculine thing to do instead of writing a book that disparages men and their behavior, and assiduously applies comfort and false bravado to women?

If I may play the role of a psychologist for a moment, and offer my opinion, I would postulate that Harvey wrote this book out of some unresolved guilt he has been harboring for some time now about his behavior and/or actions towards women in his past. In other words, I think Harvey subconsciously wrote this book as an effort to help him deal with his dark side, a side we all carry with us. In order to assuage the guilt he carries for his past behavior, he transfered that behavior on to all men, and wrote the book to help empower women from falling victim to men like himself.

Fortunately, most men are not like Harvey.

So ladies, in these tough economic times, save yourselves a few bucks.

 

Contact:

soltys.joe@gmail.com

https://jsoltys.wordpress.com

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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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    soltys.joe@gmail.com

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    January 26, 2009

    A Great Argument For Father’s Abortion Rights

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

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

     

    Roe vs. Wade and the Rights of the Father

    By Tommy De Seno
    Attorney/Writer

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

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

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

    (AP file photo)

    (AP file photo)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Quite right indeed.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    January 22, 2009

    Feminization of Stalking Behaviors Erodes Common Sense

    stalking

    (Today I’m offering my blog to a gentleman named Dr. Lenton Aikins. I met Dr. Lenton through corresspondence over the internet after he chose to debate me concerning one of my articles. After corresponding back and forth, Dr. Lenton and I discovered we had more in common than not. And after reading his book While African Americans Slept: Leadership by Parasites (which I recommend), I offered Dr. Lenton an opportunity to write articles for my blog. He has obliged. I hope you enjoy it.)

    I oppose stalking. I support handicap parking.

    What I do not support is defining laws or privileges so widely as to make them meaningless. I use handicap parking to illustrate the point.

    Our federal government just released a 12-month report which states that 3.4 million persons age 18 or older were victims of stalking. The government defines stalking with a pinch of specificity, “Stalking Victimization in the United States,” (Bureau of Justice Statistics, Special Report, January 2009) as “a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to feel fear.” As definitions go, this sounds like a reasonable definition to me.

    Then, the report veers into a definitional quagmire, listing no fewer than seven measurements of stalking behaviors, and states that none of these individual acts is criminal (fudging its categories with “may not be criminal”). It is this definitional quagmire that would let almost any real stalker off the hook if he or she has the money to hire a competent lawyer.

    Most of these “victimizing” acts could be readily stopped if the person being “stalked” just had a normal backbone. These acts include:

    Unwanted e-mails (now this encompasses about half of Americans!);
    Unwanted phone calls (well, now we include robo-calls, unsolicited advertising?);
    Following/spying on a person (the report uses the word victim instead of person);
    Showing up at a place without a legitimate reason;
    Waiting at a place for a person (the report uses the word “victim” So I guess it’s ok to wait for a person just so long as the person does not consider him or herself a victim!)
    Leaving unwanted items, presents, or flowers (well, now, guys and gals can no longer leave roses for their pissed-off lovers!);
    Posting information or spreading rumors on the internet, in a public place, or by word of mouth. (No more freedom of speech, guys and gals, the truth is no longer a defense if it includes “posting information” on the internet, in a public place or even by word of mouth!)

    This is not about stalking; it’s about feminizing conduct.

    The report states that about half of stalking victims experienced at least one unwanted contact per week and about ten percent of victims said that they had been stalked for 5 years or more. The report reveals to us a fact that even an idiot should know: highest incidence of stalking occurred with persons divorced or separated. (Wow! Now a guy or gal pursuing a girl with flowers is put in the same category as a stalker!)

    Trying to put an economic face on stalking, the report states that more than half of stalking victims lost 5 or more days from work because of stalking. Well, we should now brace ourselves for a Federal Law outlawing all meaningful contacts between men and women. The federal government has already enacted a statute addressing interstate stalking, 18 U.S.C. §2261A.

    Although stalking is a serious matter and should be treated as such, the gross exaggeration of stalking as being widespread, especially when a little common sense by the persons being stalked would put a stop to it, is just another example of the hyper feminization of conduct in United States. Indeed, there are a sizeable number of women (and men too) who want to destroy all conduct that in any way differentiates between men and women. These folks want to criminalize any aggressiveness in men, apparently leaving women free to kill with words while men—who are verbally inferior to women, generally—is left to bear the burden of silence.

    Comparing stalking to handicap parking, while both are serious matters, is no exaggeration:

    Every mall or strip mall I visit, I cannot help but to marvel at the misuse of parking spaces by over allocation by a factor of three or four to one parking spaces to the handicap. I do not begrudge handicap persons parking spaces. What I am indignant about is the over allocation of vacant parking spaces as “handicap parking.”

    Now, see the analogy of handicap parking spaces with defining stalking to as virtually all contacts in our modern world? When stalking is defined to mean almost anything that makes people, particularly women, uncomfortable, that’s when the ugly sin of political correctness rears its hydra head, and criminal prosecution for stalking is rendered a shadowy apparition.

    Stalking is not a definitional flip of a coin; stalking is not a nuisance; stalking is a crime. Turning it into a nuisance by having it embrace political correctness and feminization (who hasn’t receive an unwanted phone calls, e-mails, etc.?) makes it harder to effectively combat it.

    Why don’t we criminalize telemarketing stalking?

    dr-lenton-akins   Dr. Lenton Aikins is a graduate of California State University at Los Angles (BA & MA in Government), a graduate of the University of Southern California (USC), Ph.D. in Political Science, Latin American Studies Field, and a graduate of Western States University School of Law, J.D. He practiced law for fourteen years in Southern California, representing plaintiffs in employment discrimination cases. While practicing law, he won several high profile employment discrimination-whistle blowing cases.
    Other employment includes Assistant Professor of Political Science and Pan-African Studies in the California State University System, Instructor of Business Law in the California State University System, Political Science and Real Estate Law Instructor in the California Community College System, and Dean in the California Community College System. He recently spent three years in Costa Rica as director of a Spanish Language School. A Lifetime Member of the NAACP, Dr. Aikins served as Chair of the NAACP Legal Redress Committee, Long Beach, California Chapter for three years, Chair of the Board of Directors of the Opportunities Industrialization Center (OIC) , Orange County, Charter President of the Academic Booster Club, Edison High School, Huntington Beach, California, Vice-Chair of the Education Committee, Huntington Beach School District, Basic Skills Planning Committee, California State University, Fullerton, California.
    His book, While African Americans Slept: Leadership by Parasites, is available at: http://zitpub.com/or go to http://lentonaikins.com

     

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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.)

    soltys.joe@gmail.com

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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.

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