J. Soltys's Weblog

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

Photo Courtesy of: stockxchng.com

January 13, 2009

I’m Back, But With A Sad Story

male-symbol

I haven’t been writing for a while due to a tragic incident that happened within my family almost two months ago. Because of a pending criminal investigation, future court proceedings, and respect for some privacy during this time, I am going to keep this brief and vague. However, due to the respect I have for my readers, and because what has happened is an unfortunate issue concerning men and women- the very subject I blog about – I felt it was necessary to explain what is going on, and not try to hide it from my readers. It also explains why I haven’t had the desire to write lately.

Back in November, my wife and I became suspicious of my younger brother’s behavior. He seemed to have developed an obsession with my teen-aged daughter; he’s in his late thirties.
This suspicion was present before, but not as pronounced. It was hard to tell if it was something perverted, or just a loving uncle having a close relationship with his niece. We kept our eyes and ears open, consulted other family members, and the overwhelming response was that it was only suspicion, nothing concrete. And as a writer and advocate of the ease and numerous false accusations directed at men in this society, I was very cautious about making a false claim against my brother.

But then my brother began crossing boundaries that raised red flags. I finally confronted him about this, and this led to a heated argument between him and me. At this point, all I can say is that it was this argument that led my wife and I to take a much closer look into the relationship between my brother and my daughter.

Not long after my confrontation with him, one particular situation arose which gave me and my wife reason to believe that something uncomfortable might have happened. So we sat down with our daughter and asked her direct questions about my brother’s behavior when towards her, particularly when she has been, or was alone with him in the past. Her mood and body language said it all as we began to ask specific questions. She became very uncomfortable. Eventually she broke down crying and made allegations that on a few occasions when she was younger, he had molested her.

I can’t begin to describe the feelings that race through your body and mind at that point. It’s unexplainable, surreal, like a really bad dream. And it doesn’t go away. It stays for days. It’s there in the morning, afternoon, evening, and is even in your dreams. You can’t escape it. It takes over your life completely.

After letting the reality of this sink in, and after talking to some family members, my wife and I called the police and an investigation was launched. II felt if these allegations were true, then I had a moral obligation to make sure he was removed from society so that he did not harm any other children, and determine if any other children were harmed also.

The authorities brought in a trained child sex abuse investigator to question my daughter, to not only verify the validity of her story, but to document the details of the alleged crimes. My wife and I were not allowed in the room during this time. However, observing this interview from a different room was the lead detective, a juvenile officer, and the state’s attorney. Two days later, after reviewing her testimony, a judge granted a search warrant of my brother’s residence. The search was executed and the police alleged evidence of child pornography was found at my brother’s residence. It appears my brother will be spending some time in jail.

So forgive me if I didn’t have the motivation to write. The impact of this upon myself and my family has been devastating. There are those that believe it, and those still in disbelief. I really don’t care what others think, I just want to make sure my daughter gets the help she needs.
And while my anger for my brother is great, I hope this eventually leads to him getting the help he needs. I’ve written before that it’s ludicrous to keep sending more and more men to prison, but not try and rehabilitate them in the process. Or better yet, maybe if we focused more on men’s issues with the same intensity, compassion, and understanding that we give women’s issues, maybe incidents like these may be avoided through early intervention. It would sure help both men and women in the long run don’t you think?

I plan on doing some writing again as all this chaos scales back – for now. But I have to be honest and say I’m not sure how often I will write. Maybe once I “get back on the horse” it will be easier, but for now it seems like a lot of work.
I’ve been reading some stories that have ticked me off, and I feel the wheels inside my head turning with passion and fire. I hope to get one or two columns out over the next week.
So check back often. I will also keep my readers updated on this tragic turn of events in my life – if my mood allows.

Best Wishes,
Joe Soltys

November 25, 2008

Another Female Singer’s Sexist Video – Critics Approve

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

poison1 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Contact:

soltys.joe@gmail.com

https://jsoltys.wordpress.com

Photo Courtesy of: stockxchng.com

November 18, 2008

Male Artists Sexist? Females Need To Look In Mirror

media-violence1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Contact:

soltys.joe@gmail.com

https://jsoltys.wordpress.com

Photo Courtesy of: stockxchng.com

September 26, 2008

Men and Father Issues Gain Media Attention

In the last couple of weeks, men and fathers have made some headway in gaining recognition in the area of serious family issues.
What’s most interesting here is the paradigm shift that is taking place in the mainstream media.

Last week, ABC’s 20/20 aired a segment about Alec Baldwin and his custody battle with ex-wife Kim Basinger concerning their daughter Ireland. Everyone is familiar with Baldwin’s vicious voice mail rant he left for his daughter, but Baldwin tells his side of the story in the interview and in his new book “A Promise to Ourselves.”

Diane Sawyer of 20/20 conducted the interview and was willing to adress the controversial topic of Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS), something Baldwin and father’s rights advocates have been trying to raise awareness to in the family courts system. PAS is still controversial because it has not been validated by sufficient research – yet.
PAS is based on the belief that present in some bitter custody cases, one parent, usually the mother, will manipulate and brainwash the child/children into believing negative, false, and damaging stories about the other parent such as: the other parent does not love them, will harm them, will never bring them home again (kidnap them), etc.
This invokes tremendous fear into the child/children and can be used by the manipulating parent to try and prove false accusations of abuse against the other parent (“See how fearful the child is of him/her? This behavior proves he/she was abusing them!”). Or it is done to enable the manipulating parent to win a custody battle because a judge, upon seeing this type of parental fear in a child, will be heavily influenced in his/her judgment of who will be awarded custody.

I personally believe it to be true. Common sense and personal experience tells me that it’s true. However, feminist are trying stop the courts from accepting PAS as a legitimate diagnoses. They promote the theory that women simply do not do this, and furthermore, feminist reiterate that there is insufficient research to prove PAS is legitimate.
I’m always amazed how feminist’s, who have been caught perpetuating false research over the years, have the audacity to challenge the research and creditability of PAS with such hubris. One would think if they had any moral integrity, they would be more concerned with taking responsibility for their own fallacies and trying to re-establish their own credibility rather than organizing future events that are concerned only with trying to destroy the credibility of others before the final data is in.
And it should be noted that feminist and women organizations have repeatedly stated on record that they believe fathers who eagerly pursue custody of their child/children are nothing more than pedophiles and abusers who want to further victimize their wives and children.

So while signing books at a New York city book store, Baldwin’s book and his appearance was protested outside by a women’s group called Voices of Women Organizing Project. About twenty women from this organization protested Baldwin’s support and advocacy for PAS and fathers’ rights.
However, it should be noted that Baldwin’s appearance at the book store was standing room only, with an equal attendance of women and men, and the crowd was receptive to Baldwin’s talk on PAS, a biased and faulty family court system, and of his criticism of feminists and their practices.
Chalk one up for the good guys!

Here are the stories and video clip.

Alec Baldwin on Divorce, Children and Reconciliation

I can’t go on; I will go on: Baldwin promotes book

A story turned up on Glen Sacks website called “When dad is just bad” by columnist Mindelle Jacobs. Jacobs wrote about an international domestic violence conference and reported on some of the comments being distributed by the members of the conference.

Rita Smith, executive director of the U.S. National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, said her experience of men working on fathers’ rights is that many of the leaders are abusers or were accused of abuse.
Smith then states, “The agenda, often by the leadership, is to completely undermine women’s rights,” she said. “The ones that are the most dangerous are, in fact, creating safety problems for women and children.”

These sexist and malicious comments caused a firestorm among men and fathers’ rights groups, which then flooded Jacobs with protest e-mails. Jacobs stated that she was just the messenger, and she wrote the column because she thought the comments were controversial.
In response to the protesters, she then ran a follow-up column called “Divorced from reality”.
Some quotes:

Men wrote about being assaulted by their wives – with no subsequent charges by the police. They complained about the nasty games women play to cut them out of their kids’ lives.

Former Edmonton lawyer Grant Brown has heard it all. He quit practising law in March after only four years as a lawyer because he’s sick of dealing with what he describes as a dysfunctional family law system.
“I couldn’t hack it anymore,” says the 50-year-old who’s writing a book called Deadbeat Judges.
“The thesis of my book is that judges actually create the deadbeats. They make such harsh orders against fathers and give fathers no rights,” he says. “A lot of (dads) just give up.”
Police, prosecutors and judges are generally harsher with men in domestic abuse cases, says Brown. And, he adds, judges rarely punish women who violate court orders.
“Dads can spend thousands and thousands of dollars trying to see their kids and the judges do nothing to make it happen,” says Brown.

I would like to extend my gratitude to Mindelle Jacobs for allowing both sides to be heard.

Another women who deserves a shout out is Katie Balestra for her column Taking a New Tack on Domestic Violence which reveals the new approach to diminishing domestic violence by not just focusing on the victim, but by also focusing on the abuser. In my four part series, Domestic Violence Prevention – More Hyperbole Than Truth, I covered this new appraoch and explained how the current model for DV prevention is based more on sexist politics than actually trying to diminish the violence.
Balestra writes in her article:

Amid the launch of the federal Responsible Fatherhood and Healthy Marriage initiatives two years ago, social service agencies and industry experts have begun to recognize the importance not just of helping victims of domestic violence but also of treating the batterers themselves in programs such as the House of Ruth’s Gateway Project.
“No matter how many women you take in, it isn’t going to cure the problem,” said Toby Myers, vice chair of the National Center on Domestic and Sexual Violence, a nonprofit based in Austin.

Balestra also looks at a another insidious side to DV prevention industry – discrimination and money.
She writes:

Abuser programs are like “a stepchild” in the field of domestic violence, says Edward Gondolf, research director of the Mid-Atlantic Addiction Research and Training Institute, who believes the programs offer “a really important laboratory to understand domestic violence and its workings.” At the Crisis Intervention Center in Calvert County, for example, victims get about 10 times more one-on-one counseling than abusers; one full-time therapist worked with 392 abusers last year, while six therapists, three of them full-time and three part-time, treated 207 victims.

“Sometimes you feel like the lone wolf,” Nitsch says. “We can’t compete with victims’ services, particularly when you’re talking about private donors. To be able to say, ‘I helped build a shelter’ feels better to them than to say, ‘I funded classes for abusers.’ ” It’s disheartening, she says, that “some people don’t view abuser intervention as a victims’ service.”

And Balestra covers the financial discrimination between victim and abuser resources:

In 2005, the latest year for which figures are available, the Justice Department gave abuser programs only a fraction of the $113.9 million that was doled out for domestic violence prevention through its largest grant program, Stop Violence Against Women. About 35 percent went to victim services, about half to law enforcement and prosecution services and just $5.4 million, or about 5 percent, to courts for programs including abuser intervention. Officials in Maryland and the District said their batterer programs receive no funding from these grants.

As I stated in my column, one of the main reasons DV is still a problem is because the model used to address DV issues advocates that only men are abusers, and that anger management classes will solve the problem with these men.
Not so.
If the inherent cause for the abusive behavior is not found and treated, the abuser will abuse again. Anger management classes will never accomplish this.
Balestra writes:

Some experts say part of the problem with obtaining funding for abuser programs is that many of them are ineffective, depending on an outdated treatment model developed in Duluth, Minn., in 1981 that, critics say, largely pins the blame on men seeking to assert power and control over women. This standard, the experts say, doesn’t allow for cycles of “mutual violence” — the recognition that women can be abusers — and the use of cognitive behavioral therapy techniques for treatment.

Donald Dutton, a professor of psychology at the University of British Columbia, refers to the old models as “shaming” programs.
“It’s been demonstrated repeatedly that psycho-educational models don’t work,” he said, “and then half the guys repeat” their abusive behavior. The Duluth model assumes the male is always wrong, says Janet Scott, the abuser program coordinator at the Calvert County center. Scott developed a group for female abusers in 2001.

Understanding that breaking the habit of domestic abuse involves a more complex process of reflection is part of the goal at Baltimore’s Gateway Project.

What I find most interesting about these three stories is how the mainstream media seems to be entering a period of recognizing that men and father have relevant issues. And by reporting on them and raising awareness to them, they are doing what they have done for women and their issues for a long time now – giving them the respect and validity they deserve.

I hope the trend continues.

Contact:

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

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.