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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May 9, 2008

The Great Communicators. Are They Listening?

  Let’s get one thing straight; women are not better listeners than men. Contrary to popular belief, I feel men are better listeners than women. So bear with me while I vent a little bit.

The reason why men are considered lousy at listening is based solely on the assumptions and vocalization of women, the recipients of men’s alleged callous behavior. But isn’t asking women if they feel they’re being heard by their men the same as asking teenagers if their parents understand them? Hearing only the teenagers’ side of the conflict would leave the impression that the majority of parents in this society are abusive and oppressive (As a parent of a teenager, I can confirm this theory).
The same can be said for the conflict of listening between men and women. If it’s true men don’t really listen to women, then why would any woman marry a man who didn’t consistently acknowledge her?

The truth is, men listen very well to the women in their lives. Sometimes we do fail, but not as much as portrayed. We are tuned in to many aspects of her needs, personality, desires, etc. That is why women fall in love with us.
However, overtime the relationship changes. Women find ways of letting men know where they are lacking in the relationship. As the saying goes, “Men marry women hoping they will never change, while women marry men hoping to change everything about them.”
Men perceive the constant nagging as a reminder of their failures, and sadly, many men try to change only to find out their “change” wasn’t good enough, or more commonly, after each change is accomplished, they are immediately greeted with another “change” that needs addressing. “And why not?” women will reason. “He did so well with that one, this next one should go faster and easier.”

When I worked with men in a group setting years ago, these men became exactly what every woman says she desires from the man in her life: a man in touch with his feelings.
Since the men in these groups were dealing with serious issues, it was imperative that they learn the art of going deep within the core of their feelings and emotions, and developing appropriate ways to express and talk about those difficult feelings and emotions. Without this ability, it would be difficult to heal any past physical, emotional, or psychological trauma.

The result?

Some men found while they were becoming more skilled in dealing with their emotions, from their more mature, emotional perspective, they began to realize how unskilled their wives were in dealing with their own issues. More importantly, some men found the more attentive they became to their wives emotional needs, the more aware they had become of how their wives really didn’t want to seriously acknowledge their needs. In other words, as the men recognized and asked for more attentiveness to their emotional needs in order to build a deeper relationship with themselves and their wives, the more their wives tuned them out.
I remember reading somewhere that one of the biggest lies women tell is their desire to have a man in touch with his feelings. I don’t remember who said it, but they warned that a woman only wants a man who is in touch with his feelings because she believes he will understand HER feelings better, and be more attentive to her needs. The truth is most women aren’t interested at all in men’s true feelings, unless of course, they are the ultimate beneficiaries.

In my group experiences I found this to be true.
One common thread I discovered in my personal experiences and listening to the experiences of other men is how wives or girlfriends are quick to embrace and display their omnipotent knowledge of men. Wives and girlfriends do not listen to the men in their lives because they have already concluded how they [men] think and feel. In many conflicts, it becomes apparent that women have already made up their mind about how men feel, so any expression by their men that does not fulfill a woman’s provisory belief, is discarded or de-valued. In other words, men’s true feelings – when expressed – are ignored, and the ability to obtain a resolution to the conflict is lost.
Over time , men listen again and again how their thoughts and feelings are not important. Couple this with the systemic aspersions women and society will endlessly direct towards men which overwhelmingly portrayed them as lazy, selfish, incompetent, and many other negatives, and it becomes apparent the only way to manage the overload is to cut it off. Eventually, the ABUNDANT listening done by men in which they consistently hear their feelings and behavior consistently disparaged and ignored causes them to “tune out”, or more appropriately referred to as, not listening.

So you see, its not that men are not listening, it really becomes a matter of men listening too much – AND ITS ALWAYS NEGATIVE. I can assure that men, just as much as women, what to be acknowledged and heard. Unfortunately, feminism and society has done a good job equating men’s thoughts and feelings as a form of sexism if it doesn’t corroborate the man as bad, women as good point of view.

And this is the point of this post.

If we compare gender issues with relationships, we can see how similarities arise. The most important is how we acknowledge and recognize the male point of view in these issues. Feminism has been at the helm of most gender studies, and unfortunately, feminism has conducted their studies to perpetuate their own political and social agenda. These inherent biases have resulted in the feelings and thoughts of men being deemed unimportant unless those thoughts and feelings can be malleable enough to “fit” the provisory feminist ideology of:
power and control = patriarchy and masculinity.
This behavior, in my opinion, has created its own form of sexism, and also has shown a lack of serious problem solving when addressing gender issues. Feminism has never looked into men’s behavior with the same depth and compassion as they have for women. And for this reason, just as in personal relationships, the ability to find resolution is lost.

So what the hell am I getting at?
Let me explain.

I recently posted a column in which I offered two different views concerning the controversy between a women’s right to her sexuality and prostitution. I wrote how there is a shifting belief in society that prostitutes are victims of the highest order, and the only way to resolve this problem is to come down hard on the johns. This is not just happening here in this country, but also around the world.
I took exception to the fact that researchers – influenced by feminism – are willing to look deeply into why women become prostitutes, reserving compassion and dignity for them, while perceiving the johns as cold, uncaring, selfish men who have the ability to know right from wrong, and the knowledge to make better choices.
I questioned, why aren’t we asking the same compassionate questions to the men as well as the women? Maybe these men frequent prostitutes due to past abuses, sex addictions, or other tragic life events? Why do we always find compassion for our women and their past abuses but not our men? If we really want to solve issues such as these, shouldn’t we dwell deeply into the male side of the equation?
The reason why this is so important to me is because when I worked in my men’s group, I found some men engaged in risky or unusual sexual behavior due to sexual, emotional, and physical abuses in childhood, from both males and females equally. For some of these men, frequenting prostitutes was a form of escape or “acting out” what had happened years ago.
Since my experiences with these men, I have often wondered how many men who arrested in prostitution stings are men who are better served with counseling rather than jail time.

A report was released this week by researchers that studied prostitution in Chicago over the last couple of years. What makes this research different is that it actually dwelled deeply into the men who visit prostitutes. Research into prostitution has never really addressed the thoughts and feelings behind why men solicit prostitutes.

So what did it find? (Pardon me while I bite my lip and try not to scream “I told you so.”)

The men said going to prostitutes is similar to an addiction. As a matter of fact,
83 percent view buying sex as a form of addiction, according to the study.
Also, the study found that these men are often deeply conflicted about their behavior (I’m biting my lip harder).
Rachel Durchslag, director of the Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation, which conducted the survey in Chicago said she was stunned by the large response from men, and their willingness to talk to strangers about such a taboo subject.
More importantly, it was noted the mostly all female researchers expected to be offended by some of the men’s viewpoints – and they were – but the female researchers were shocked to find they felt sympathy for many of the men. Durchslag said,
“A lot of us felt really sad for a lot of these men. It’s more complicated. We were all surprised by the number of men who said, ‘I’ve never had a chance to talk about this.’ “

A former prostitute named Olivia Howard, who knows first hand the mentality of men who regularly use prostitutes and is now an advocated against prostitution says, “Some of these men are very sick men who have been abused themselves. And who need to be taught early on that this is not acceptable.”

“These men also have lived troubled lives and started buying sex at a very early age and that’s impacted their idea of what women are like,” said Samir Goswami, Justice Project Against Sexual Harm.

So what does it all mean?

It shows how devaluing and/or ignoring men’s thoughts and feelings transcend personal and societal behavior. Discarding what men have to say concerning gender and family issues has been the norm for too long now. And because of it, a more complete understanding and resolution to many issues has been left unaddressed.
In the study above, the female researchers were “surprised” how willing and open the men were when it came to talking about their thoughts and feelings concerning their use of prostitutes.
I learned a while back men will “tune out” if placed in an in an environment were their thoughts and feelings will be judged, humiliated, or shamed; consequently, place a man in an environment where preconceived notions about him – or men in general – will carry more weight than anything he has to offer, and he will become adversarial, and any hope of deeper thought is lost. However, change the environment to where he feels what he has to say will be taken sincerely, and a man will jump at the chance let you in on his deepest thoughts – it is an opportunity he rarely enjoys.
The myth created by feminist and perpetuated by society is that men do not open up and talk about their feelings due to the restrictions of masculinity. Wrong! That is only a part of it. The other missing piece is how men have been made to feel marginalized or shut out concerning gender and family issues if their thoughts and feelings do not corroborate feminist beliefs, or place blame and responsibility upon women.

When the researchers gave theses men an opportunity to speak under favorable conditions, they actually felt sorry for them. Why? For the first time they became aware that men are not monsters, just human – just like them. They learned a man’s present behavior is predicated on the behavior he experienced by others in his life, and how deeply it impacted him – just like most women. In other words, for the first time these women decided to really LISTEN to men, and in the process, discovered valuable information to address and help resolve an issue that involves both genders, and in turn, help both men and women. Instead of taking the traditional, indolent, feminist approach that requires all men’s thoughts and behavior to be automatically filed away in the “power and control” box, these women decided to approach the male side of prostitution with the same detailed, compassionate, and aggressive approach usually reserved for women. This required thinking “outside” the box, and for that they were rewarded.

My point in all of this is simple: women label themselves great communicators and great listeners, and this is true – as long as their concerns are dealing with women. But when it comes to communicating and listening to men, women fail miserably. And I should note its not only women, but also men who have been influenced by feminist ideology that pressures society to believe men are naturally bad and women are naturally good.

And I have a major influential organization that corroborates what I feel.
In October of 2006, The World Bank released a study concerning what obstacles  women face in achieving equality. The female researchers concluded:

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.

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, 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.

There you go. The concept of LISTENING to men rather than judging them is not just a concept of some male blogger such as myself, but also the findings of a major organization whose sole purpose is to research and address issues concerning the well-being of humanity around the world.

If women what to have a more satisfying relationship with the men in their lives, and if they want to resolve the gender wars that inhibit both men and women, take the time to listen to men rather than judge them.

We are listening, and willing to talk, more than you think.

Some men say using prostitutes is an addiction

Studies look at prostitution in Chicago

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



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May 5, 2008

Our Pretty Little World of Distorted “Truths”

   Today’s theme is going to address how reality and perceptions about men and women in society clash. However, instead of doing all the writing myself, I am going to use articles written by others to help address these distortions. These writers address the issues as well, if not better than I could, so I’ll share their articles with my readers.

Are Other Men Keeping Men Down?
In this article Dr. Helen addresses the way men in power actually use their power to discriminate against other men. Her article contains many elements that I feel are relevant to issues surrounding perceptions of men and masculinity. The most poignant is the belief that because men hold the most powerful positions in the world, men are living in a state of bliss because this aggregate wealth of power is shared. This is probably the most absurd myth generated by feminism.
The priority for the judgment of power should be less about who has it, and more about what those who have it actually do with it.
While men in this country hold most of the power, how many of these men can openly advocate for more resources and attention directed toward causes that are exclusive to males? And how many can openly advocate resources and attention to causes that are exclusive to females? It is easier to do the latter.
Any politician or corporate board member who openly advocates for male exclusive issues would immediately surround himself in damaging controversy – one he would never professionally recover from.
Quote from article: The mistake in that way of thinking is to look only at the top. If one were to look downward to the bottom of society instead, one finds mostly men there too. Who’s in prison, all over the world, as criminals or political prisoners? The population on Death Row has never approached 51% female. Who’s homeless? Again, mostly men. Whom does society use for bad or dangerous jobs? U.S. Department of Labor statistics report that 93% of the people killed on the job are men.

Why women don’t want top jobs, by a feminist
This article is probably one of the best I’ve read about gender issues in a long time. Author Rosie Boycott, a feminist, writes how she has started to discard many feminist thoughts and ideas because she has realized how unrealistic and damaging they are. All this after reading a new book by Susan Pinker called The Sexual Paradox. Pinker’s book presents evidence that males and females are genuinely different in spite of what feminist research has led us to believe, which leads Boycott to begin looking back at her own feminist beliefs, and start drawing different conclusions. Juxtaposing Pinker’s evidence, other research, and her own perceptions, Boycott begins to understand what I and others who once supported feminism have already figured out; the need for women’s equality is genuine, but feminists have made many too mistakes on the way to equality.
Her article is filled with many poignant insights, but here are two notable quotes:
Our values, Pinker asserts, are based on the simple fact that the world of men (i.e. success and drive) is the correct model.
I have always wondered why feminist disparage everything created under the umbrella of the patriarchy or masculinity, particularly its lust for power, control, money, sex, and status, only to find their advocacy desires these same components of life. It has always appeared to me that feminist conned us into believing that the behavior of the patriarchy was incorrigible, when in reality, feminists always seem more pissed off for being excluded from engaging in the same destructive behaviors as men, or just pissed off only because women are being judged more harshly when they do it. (See last article in this post)
To make men and women genuinely equal, we have to accept and honour difference, not mark everyone’s scorecard according to the same set of standards.
I find this hard to believe it came from a card-carrying feminist. When did logic trump feelings?
Anyway, good for her, and her willingness to change.

Sorry ladies, the male birth control pill is not about you
Excellent article concerning the controversies surrounding the development of a male birth control pill. The author, George Dvorsky, explains why the male contraceptive will actually liberate males the same way female contraceptives did for women.
Dvorsky cautions that while women have been looking at the male pill as another step towards equality, the reality is, it will begin to address the inequalities males endure concerning reproductive rights – an inequality females refuse to address.
Quote from article: According to the 2004 National Scruples and Lies Survey (which polled 5,000 women in the United Kingdom), 42% of women claimed they would lie about contraception in order to get pregnant, regardless of the wishes of their partners.

Despite DNA, Dad’s Paternity Denied
Here is another story that makes me question all those in society that vocalize how important fathers are to their children. I am not talking about father rights activists or men’s rights activists; I know their commitment is genuine. I’m addressing those who talk so feverishly about the importance of a man’s role in raising his children until, of course, a crisis develops. These people consist of men and women, feminist and liberals, Christians and conservatives, and most importantly, politicians, lawyers, and judges.
Hope I didn’t miss anybody.
And that’s my point. Our society is hell bent on making men take responsibility for their children, that is of course until a situation arises where a man is actually trying to take responsibility for his children, and in return it may lead to the mother having to sacrifice some of her rights. This is when we find out emphasizing the importance of fathers and fatherhood is nothing more than an insidious conceptual tool used to manipulate men into believing they are of equal parent status, and will receive the same treatment as mothers for similar responsibilities.
In this story, a man named James Rhoades had an affair with a married woman that resulted in the birth of a child. Stupid on both their parts, but it gets crazier.
Instead of running from his parental responsibilities, which would have been the easiest thing to do, he chose to venture into the unknown, an uncomfortable situation of fighting for the right to be the father of his child under these unusual circumstances.
He lost.
The Kentucky Supreme Court ruled that Rhoades could not move forward with a paternity case to prove he is the biological father. The court ruled that the sanctity of the women’s marriage and the undisturbed well-being of the child is of greater priority than Rhoades inherent biological right. He is denied any part in his child’s life until he/she reaches adulthood and decides on his or her own to have contact with him.
After reading numerous stories like this over the years, I’ve come to really appreciate the saying, “Actions speak louder than words.”
I only trust those people of action concerning fatherhood, not words. The “wordy” people are pious “do-gooders” looking to shape an egocentric image of themselves rather than a sincere image of fatherhood.

I pay a man for regular sex
This article is anonymously written, and from what I read, it was the only thought that showed an ounce of intellect.
The female writer shares her story with readers concerning her arrangement for sex – she pays for it.
After being divorced, and feeling the need for an active sex life, she decided to pay a man at least once of month for sex.
What I love about this article is the many excuses she uses to justify her behavior – just like women’s stereotypical assessment of men. As a matter of fact, she shows an interesting trait that most women have over men – they are much better liars. Not only does she concoct a ritual used to shield and deceive her family and friends from her behavior, but it is apparent her ego has convinced herself that this arrangement benefits everybody – the “benevolent factor”.
The benevolent factor is a term I use to describe women who, when caught engaging in the same behavior as men, twist the consequences of their behavior to appear as if it actually is a greater benefit for everyone involved. As an example she says,
“I don’t want all the complications involved in getting into a relationship – I want to be able to concentrate on my children, my job and my life without introducing a man who might well walk out at some point, thus upsetting the children.”
She uses the emotional needs of her children to justify her behavior. And at the same time, she blames men and their irresponsible behavior for her irresponsible behavior. She believes,
Her behavior can be seen as a cry of desperation towards the recognition that men need to change their behavior. If they would just change, then those like her will change; therefore, everyone will benefit!
I think this is where Tiny Tim exclaims, “And God Bless everyone!”
It’s prostitution – that’s it!
As I wrote earlier, it appears women have never been actually upset or appalled at some of men’s behavior as they claim. As women become more empowered, their own questionable behavior creates the appearance that in the end, inequality has only denied them the opportunity to do the same.
This is why I am proud to be a man and masculine. It seems to me, contrary to popular belief, when women are put in the same situations as men, they are not any better than men.
It’s just another distortion of the truth.



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April 28, 2008

A Reasonable Voice In A Sea of Confusion

    If you read my blog you know two things about me. First, when I find something written by a feminist that I feel is fair and balanced -meaning I do not necessarily agree with everything that is said, but feel it represents a shift to a more reasonable exchange of ideas and viewpoints concerning gender issues – I am more than willing to share it with my readers.
Second, I find the feminist viewpoint of the overt equalization of females in society really confusing. I know that this subject is controversial even among feminists themselves. The paradox is generated by the feminist ideology of a woman’s right over her body – my body, my choice. But for some feminist, this does not extend to a woman’s sexuality. Rather, they perceive any woman who uses her sexuality for the sole purpose of pleasing men, is allowing herself to be exploited by the patriarchy.

However, other feminist see women today as having a choice whether to use their sexuality as a means to an end – whatever that “end” is. These feminist postulates that women having the opportunity to choose is proof of feminism success, and anybody trying to diminish this success cannot lay claim to the feminist label because it robs women of the well guarded feminist ideology of true empowerment – personal choice.

The reason I bring this up is because I read two articles over the weekend concerning female sexuality and prostitution. The article on prostitution took the position that all prostitution is harmful, and is/should be a violation of law and human rights around the world. It states all prostitutes are victims, and feels that society glamorizes prostituion, and therefore, neglects the real harm this is having on women and society.

The second article is written as a counter-point to the first, and I want to commend the Chicago Tribune for showing the integrity needed on this subject by responding with an opposing view.
In the second article, an African-American feminist takes on the controversial paradox concerning female sexuality and whether all cases of female sexualization are really exploitive.
What I liked about her article was her honesty. She is a feminist, but she is willing to admit that the feminist movement sometimes acts as if it “knows it all” about women. She states,
“As much as my experiences have taught me, I’m still continually shocked at our lack of knowledge and the silence surrounding sexuality among feminists.”

It should be noted that I find her position similar to mine, which might explain the magnetic draw to its finer points. To the contrary, the prostitution article relates all forms of prostitution as a product of the sex slave trade. I do not feel this way. I also do not feel that our society glamorizes prostitution. If that were true, Eliot Spritzer would still have a job. Their generalizations seems to hurt their cause rather than help it. 

I have written before that I am appalled by the international sex slave operations that manipulate, then kidnap, and then force women into prostitution around the world.
However, I feel it is a different story for runaways, victims of abuse, and others who fall into prostitution in this country. Not that their stories aren’t tragic or real, but I just do not believe that all prostitutes are victims of the slave trade, and I do not believe that all prostitutes are helpless victims. And I do not believe that all men who indulge in the services of prostitution are selfish, self-centered perverts looking for a little action. (I will right more extensively on this in the future)
I believe the true power of choice and personal responsiblity are uncomfortable thoughts within the context of gender issues, especially this one. 

The power of “choice”: I felt these articles display this dilema, but I found the dissenting feminist and her approach a step in the right direction. It is honest and thought provoking. And it is an admission by another feminist that feminist can be wrong, and act elitists. Rarely will you see this.
Enough said.
Here it is: A Positive View of Sex

Here is the article about prostitution: Prostitution Looks Chic, But the Truth Is Ugly



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