J. Soltys's Weblog

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.

 

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June 18, 2009

Some Good Things Happened Since I’ve Been Gone

ncfm

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Contact:

soltys.joe@gmail.com

https://jsoltys.wordpress.com

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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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 9, 2009

Women’s Violence Against Men Still Acceptable – Videos

wounded-heart2 As Valentines Day approaches, every man will be reminded that if he forgets this special day, he will suffer dire consequences. But what is truly amazing his how sexist and one sided this “mutual relationship” day really is.

In our present environment which stresses gender equality, almost all Valentine’s Day ads will portray the man doing something special for the woman in his life – rare is the ad which shows the woman going beyond her means to please the man in her life. Also consider that when advertisers develop an ad which depicts a spouse forgetting Valentines Day, or depicts a partner being cheap on this special day, it will ALWAYS be the male put in this humiliating position.

Women consistently gripe about how females are portrayed in the media, but they conveniently ignore how men are negatively portray in the media also. Why is it women cry about all the inequalities in the world when it affects THEM, but do not muster any ounce of energy to address the inequities faced by men? The paradigm of Valentines Day and corresponding silence from the “gender equality” (RE: women) appears to validate my opinion of how selfish the women’s movement has become. These self proclaimed “humanist” care only about themselves. If they truly cared about equality for everyone, they would protest these disparaging stereotypes and portrayals of males in society – but they don’t.

Check out how the disturbing reality of gender violence is handled by advertisers and the media. 

In this first video the man can’t make it home to spend Valentines Day with his partner. He’s stuck working late. Her response? Take Valentines Day to him at the office. Sounds great, looks great! But watch until the climax for the advertiser’s “humorous” ending.

 

 

In this next video, a misunderstanding by the man’s wife causes her to assault him. No apology, no mention that if this was real life, her actions would be considered an act of domestic violence. In our present society, men are warned of the consequences of their anger and violence towards women. However, women are taught – with the medias help – that violence against men is acceptable, and hey, it’s also a great form of amusement.

 

 

If you think I’m over extending myself, watch this next video. While on live TV, a woman finds it perfectly acceptable to harass and assault the male reporter. She does this, knowing that society will not hold her accountable for her violent actions. It is only labeled violence when men assault women. When women assault men it’s called “humor”, which is why I found this video while searching for “funny” videos.

 

 

So this is the new gender equality? This behavior is what society piously proclaims we should be advocating? Also, the most vocal and influencial feminist do not find the many examples of female-on-male violence in the media disturbing  judging by their silence?

Count me out of this form of equality. I finished grammar school a long time ago – my thinking has matured since then.

 

Contact:

soltys.joe@gmail.com

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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 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

December 2, 2008

Finally – The End of the Sexist DART Ads

male-symbol

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

dart-ad-1

 

dart-ad-2

 

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

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

DART Campaign Wrap-up

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

Among the campaign’s achievements:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

Malkin added:

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

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

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

soltys.joe@gmail.com

https://jsoltys.wordpress.com

November 25, 2008

Another Female Singer’s Sexist Video – Critics Approve

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

poison1 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Contact:

soltys.joe@gmail.com

https://jsoltys.wordpress.com

Photo Courtesy of: stockxchng.com

November 18, 2008

Male Artists Sexist? Females Need To Look In Mirror

media-violence1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Contact:

soltys.joe@gmail.com

https://jsoltys.wordpress.com

Photo Courtesy of: stockxchng.com

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