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.

 

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:
soltys.joe@gmail.com
https://jsoltys.wordpress.com
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February 23, 2009

More Gender Myths Shattered

children-poverty1    Just this morning I read that the FBI, along with local authorities, have uncovered and eliminated a child prostitution ring. According to Fox News:

The FBI has rescued more than 45 suspected teenage prostitutes, some as young as 13, in a nationwide sweep to remove kids from the illegal sex trade and punish their accused pimps.
Over a three-night initiative called Operation Cross Country, federal agents working with local law enforcement also arrested more than 50 alleged pimps, according to preliminary bureau data.
The teenage prostitutes found in the investigation ranged in age from 13 to 17.
Historically, federal authorities rarely play a role in anti-prostitution crackdowns, but the FBI is becoming more involved as it tries to rescue children caught up in the business.

When we think of prostitutes and pimps, we think of scumbag men, manipulating young, vulnerable women into selling their bodies for money. We also visualize the pimps enforcing their power and control over these women by way of violence and drug addictions.

These assumptions are inherently true, but it’s time to change these confident assumptions.

According to a new report on human trafficking by the United Nations, the majority of those illegally trafficking adults and children for profit are women.
According to the report:

Women are the majority of traffickers in almost a third of the 155 nations the U.N. surveyed. They accounted for more than 60 percent of the human trafficking convictions in Eastern Europe and Central Asia.
For many, human trafficking is a world they had been pulled into themselves.
“Women commit crimes against women, and in many cases the victims become the perpetrators,” Antonio Maria Costa, director of the Vienna-based U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime, said in an interview. “They become the matrons of the business and they make money. It’s like a drug addiction.”
Most of the world’s nations reported some form of “modern slavery” last year involving mainly the sex trade or forced labor.

My main purpose in writing about gender issues is to counter the feminist driven myth that is prevalent in society which believes that men/masculinity is inherently evil, and women/femininity is inherently altruistic. It’s the biggest myth we have yet to confront concerning the genders. I’ve opined in the past that men and women are human first, which means that each gender has the ability to achieve tremendous greatness, but consequently, each gender has the same potential to put forth malevolent and disturbing behavior.

Men and masculinity have been labeled as the more aggressive and/or violent gender only because we have lived for centuries in societies and cultures that have been male dominated. Power and dominance have been held overwhelmingly by men, not by women. Therefore, historically, we can easily sample the greatness of men/masculinity, as well as we can easily sample the historical, malicious aspects too. However, when analyzing how women and femininity will behave under similar circumstances, there is no large sample to draw from, only speculation.
And where does the majority of this speculation come from? From feminist and women’s rights supporters. According to them, as women ascend into the same milieu of power and status as men, the world will become a more peaceful and benevolent place due to the infusion of the much needed femininity into the world theatre.

To which I respond, “Bullshit”!   

As I have stated, women and men are inherently the same at the core, so as women achieve their status and power, I would expect to see them engaging in the same behaviors as men – for better and for worse. So I’m not surprised to see women heavily involved in the human trafficking trade.
To support my opinion about the closing negative behavioral gap between men and women, I’ve noted some recent events and statistics:

—  According to the FBI, women bank robbers are on the rise. CNN reports: 

Nationwide, 6.2 percent of all bank heists today are committed by women. That’s up from 4.9 percent in 2002 — a 25 percent increase, according to the most recent FBI crime statistics.”
In Long Island’s Nassau County, Detective Sgt. John Giambrone says he came across not one female bank robber in his first 25 years in law enforcement. He has seen 15 in the past three years.
“For a woman, especially a woman, to take that step … you’re crossing a big threshold,” said Giambrone, who heads up the Nassau County police department’s robbery squad.

—  WASHINGTON  –  A Maryland woman was charged Friday with exporting miniature controls for small unmanned aircraft to China.
The government says the controls are the world’s smallest and involve a technology that cannot be shared with China because of national security concerns. The devices can be used to fly small military reconnaissance planes, according to Fox News.
If convicted, she faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine.

England– Drunken students heaped shame on Cambridge University by simulating sex acts in sordid booze society initiations, reports the Sun
Education chiefs were “horrified” as girls were snapped on their hands and knees using their mouths to roll condoms on bananas hanging from boys’ trousers.
The girls belong to the Newnham Nuns — a drinking society at the all-female Newnham College.
Hospital consultant Adrian Boyle said: “In the last ten years the number of female students coming in extremely drunk and incapable has shot up. More are being assaulted too.”

From the USA Today: A “dispute” among teenage girls is being blamed for a brawl at a Washington, D.C., high school that sent five students to the hospital and injured 13 others.

 — EnglandScourge of the ladette thugs: Rising tide of violent crime committed by young women.

The number of crimes committed by girls is rocketing as ‘ladette’ culture takes hold, a Government report has revealed. 
The Ministry of Justice said there had been a 22 per cent increase since 2004. 
Girls of 18 and under committed more than 58,000 crimes last year, seven every hour. 
For the first time in history, crimes of violence have overtaken theft as the most common offence among women and girls.

AfricaOlder white women join Kenya’s sex tourists.  

Hard figures are difficult to come by, but local people on the coast estimate that as many as one in five single women visiting from rich countries are in search of sex.
The health risks are stark in a country with an AIDS prevalence of 6.9 percent. Although condom use can only be guessed at, Julia Davidson, an academic at Nottingham University who writes on sex tourism, said that in the course of her research she had met women who shunned condoms — finding them too “businesslike” for their exotic fantasies.

One can see, as women become more independent, and enjoy the same rights and freedoms as men, their behavior seems strikingly similar to men’s. However, to assume this would be extremely sexists. These behaviors are not inherently masculine, they are inherently human. Femininity and women do not have any superior qualities over men and masculinity as most women would like to think. And as time goes by, and women keep achieving more success, more wealth, more power, and more status, they will be faced with having to make the same moral and ethical choices as men. And just like men, some will succeed, and some will fail.

Next time you read or hear how women entering positions of power and influence in the world will create a new era of peace and prosperity, remember a common but powerful phrase, “The more things change, the more they stay the same.”

 

Contact:

soltys.joe@gmail.com

https://jsoltys.wordpress.com

Photo Courtesy of: stockxchng.com

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.

July 17, 2008

“Sexpert” Or Sexist?

As I stated previously, since I came back from vacation last week, I’m trying to get caught up on news stories. This has led me to find a handful of stories that show what I feel is a strong anti-male sentiment in the media and society.
In my last article, I revealed what I felt was a negative bias towards men by the CNN news network.
Today I will continue another story that I feel displays the same characteristics as CNN.

FOXSexpert: Do Men Really Have More Partners Than Women?
I have previously written how I do not trust female sex therapist. The reason being, most seem unable to show any sincere feelings for men and their issues.
For instance, a while back I read an article by a female sex therapist where she reported that a study found women today are less likely to use condoms as compared to years before. Her reasoning did not include that women today are acting more irresponsible, but instead concluded that because of the wage gap between men and women, women cannot afford condoms as easily as men.
Huh?
Women today are more financially secure than previous generations, and more educated than previous generations, so excuse me for saying that her reasoning is a load of crap. And if I were to except this excuse, then it automatically absolves many men of the responsibility for not using a condom and enduring an unwanted pregnancy by providing a perfect excuse – I had no money for a condom.
But for our men in society, we would never allow them to use that excuse. Instead, we tell them that if you can’t afford the responsibility, then you shouldn’t be having sex – keep it in your pants!
What a difference.

In this Fox News article by “sexpert” Yvonne K. Fulbright, she takes on the conflict found in sex surveys concerning the large difference in the numbers of sexual partners between men and women.
Historically, men have reported more partners than women. Some experts have reasoned this disparity exists because men include prostitutes, exaggerate their numbers, or just plain lie. Therefore, the research becomes skewed.
Fulbright discusses these reasons, and others, to find why the disparity exists.
But she can’t seem to do so without degrading and disparaging men.

Her first off-color remark directed at men is presented while she discusses a commonly held belief that evolution explains men’s promiscuity:

After all, evolutionary argument argues that men are supposed to be promiscuous. That’s what allows them to spread their seed in their effort to guarantee the success of the human race. Women, on the other hand, need to take care of the offspring with those few suckers — I mean, fine gents — who are willing to stick around and help out.

What is that supposed to mean? Does it imply that fatherhood is for suckers? Or does it perpetuate the sexist stereotype that men are likely to run from parental responsibility and abandon the mother and child? Or is Fulbright an over-achiever, skillfully implying both defamatory beliefs in one sentence?
If she wants to take a cheap shot and make generalizations about men, then I would expect a similar cheap shot generalizing women on the same level somewhere in the article in order to show she does not harbor anti-male sentiments.

The next headline reads in bold face:

Men are either pigs or just plain lucky.

Pigs? One would think a professional writer would be apprehensive about using such a derogatory statement, but not Fulbright.

But wait, maybe I’m wrong. She then makes this statement:

While unfair social notions want to chalk men up as pigs on this matter, researchers warn that male sexual antics do not explain the great gender divide in sexual histories.

At first I gave her the benefit of the doubt, feeling she was trying to defend men against this sexist stereotype, but it becomes apparent later in the article how differently she defends the sexist stereotyping of men as compared to women. Further along in the article, she discusses how some women just “forget” to count certain sexual encounters which causes the disparity in sex surveys. At first it appears she is defending men – until I thought about it:

To further take the heat off the men, let’s not overlook her mental lapses in recall. Hers, however, are probably more intentional. This is most ironic given the aforementioned research finding on name recall. Thanks to the double standard issue of women being “sluts” — instead of “studs” like men when it comes to sleeping around — counting up her total to date is a very sensitive matter.

I have a problem with her conclusions at this point. Let me explain my position.

First, she has no problem using the term “pigs”, noting that society has used this term exclusively for men, and she labels this sexism as an “unfair social notion”. To me, the term “unfair social notion” carries the weight of something uncomfortable in society, but definitely not in need of being addressed with urgency.
However, when discussing the terms “whore” and “slut”, she minces no words in calling it what it is, a double standard, invoking the unequivocal image of inequity, unfairness, oppressive, and just plain wrong.
By her own words, Fulbright is validating that she is not only conscious of, but also well versed on issues surrounding gender discrimination. So I find it disturbing that she didn’t address the term “pigs”, used by women against men, with the same unequivocal tone she used for defending women. If she really believes double-standards are wrong, then her article should have included something like this when addressing the word “pigs”:

“This is a derogatory, sexist term used by women in gender discussions that has little value other than to humiliate and shame men.”

But instead, when confronted with sexism towards men, she turns milquetoast, and chooses the term “unfair social notion”.

This is the difference in approach towards the sexes I find from female sex therapists. Intense compassion and understanding for women’s and their issues, indifference for men and theirs.

Second, Fulbright states grown men have “imaginary friends” that they include in these surveys. She says:

“While dream girls shouldn’t count, in his memory they often do.'”

As a man I’m insulted. However, I could forgive and forget if the same tone and language was used towards women in her article, but Fulbright is careful not to humiliate and shame women. While men “lie” about imaginary sexual encounters, Fulbright refers to women as “conveniently forgetting” when it comes to their sexual history.
I can’t help but wonder why Fulbright was extremely comfortable using the term “pigs”, “imaginary friends”, and “suckers”, when referring to men, but she found it extremely difficult to state the obvious about women; they LIE when it comes these surveys. Instead she uses euphemisms like “conveniently forget”, “edit their numbers”, and “selective memory”.
And of course, unlike men, she goes easy on the gals fibbing, using the traditional feminine tactics that it’s society’s double standards, and our oppressive expectations of women which is the cause of female lying.
In other words, it’s not their fault.

Only towards the end of her article does she use the word lying, for both men and women, but at this point the damage was already done.

I’m always amazed how women are willing to vigorously challenge men or institutions that engage or promote those double-standards which rob them of respect, status, image, etc., But as women’s power and influence expand, and they find themselves in positions today to apply the same standards of decency and respect they have demanded from men, they fail miserably. Fulbright is a great example.

Women’s rights advocates vocalize how men and women need to come together to end discrimination against women, claiming it will benefit not only women, but men also. Well if this is the return on my investment; humiliation, shame, disrespect, ignorance, etc., then I’m sorry, I’ll invest my time in another cause.

This is not the first time I’ve taken issue with Fulbright. Here is an article I wrote about her last year which appeared on my former website. Here is a revised version:

A PhD Ain’t What It Used To Be

I don’t trust female sex therapist.
I found my belief validated over the weekend when I read an article by the Fox News “sex expert”.

The article was written by Yvonne K. Fulbright, a sex educator, relationship expert, columnist and founder of Sexuality Source Inc.
Her words and opinions have appeared in many forms of media; television shows, news media, and several books.
Last week she wrote an article for Fox News about what she felt were all the ridiculous sex studies that appeared in the news for 2007. The piece was called: FOXSexpert: Ridiculously Obvious Sex Studies of 2007

After reading it, in my opinion, Mrs. Fulbright has serious issues with men. In her article she comes out attacking men within the first couple of paragraphs.
Example: The first study she mentions is one that discovered the 237 reasons people have sex. Toward the end of this segment she exclaims:

“Calling all men, doing more housework will get you more “bootay” in the boudoir!”

She doesn’t mention how the study actually deconstructed the societal belief that women have sex for emotional reasons while men have sex for purely physical pleasure. It found men and women have sex for the same reasons – there’s no differences. Instead she brushes this aside and writes as if this male/female difference is not an issue.
Breaking long held traditional beliefs is not news?

She also doesn’t mention that when looking at the top ten reasons for having sex, men came out ahead of the women in the category of wanting to please their partner. Men also exceeded women in the category of “wanting to keep my partner satisfied”, and men were also found victims of giving into sex more than women for the reason of “my partner kept insisting”. This shatters commonly held beliefs about men and women.

Instead, Mrs. Fulbright insists on attacking men for not doing enough housework, ignoring the most poignant information of the study.
She assaults men on what SHE feels the real problem is, revealing her contempt for men, rather than dealing with the truths of the study.

So this is a professional sex therapist?

She then continues to cover more research, and continues her assault on men when she writes:

“While psychologist John Gottman has been faithfully churning out respectable work on couples for more than 30 years, did anybody need to remind guys that they can forgo the flowers and chocolate for a mop and vacuum when it comes to wooing women? Practically any gal can tell you that if her partner was more willing to lift a finger around the house, she’d be up for more sex and better sex at that!”

Did anybody bother to tell Mrs. Fulbright that when it comes to “men’s work” around the house, most women do not lift a finger? One would think that women themselves would be flooding handyman and home repair classrooms across the nation in an attempt to bring true equality to the “work” around the house, but sadly they don’t. When it comes to “men’s work” women still excuse themselves from getting involved claiming, “I don’t know how to do that”, leaving men to not only do traditional male work, but also take on the burden of half of traditional women’s work around the house.

She then discusses the study conducted on sex dreams by men and women. She writes there was no ground breaking information in this study. She lied again.
The study actually showed women dreaming more about sex than in past studies, with women’s sex dreams occurring as frequently as men’s.
The study was poignant because it was another example of recent research that shatters society’s myth that men are more obsessed with sex than women.

Another tidbit of information Mrs. Fulbright gives her readers concerns a study about oral sex. She tells us the study found girls feel more emotionally distraught after oral sex than the boys. However, this time it is her wording that caught my attention:

“The killer finding – boys were more than twice as likely as girls to say sexual activity made them feel self-confident and popular.”

Why is this information “killer”? I just revealed some “killer” information with respect to the studies she wrote about. Why wasn’t this previous information considered “killer” and included in her assessments? The only conclusion I can suggest is that information could deliver negative connotations for women. I guess that is reserved just for men.

As I pointed out, Mrs. Fulbright has some serious issues with men, putting the burden on them for most relationship problems and avoiding any blame or negativity for women. For this reason, I can assume that any negative information concerning women found embedded in current research between the sexes is ignored by this “professional” sex therapist.

In the last part of her article she shows how ignorant she is about male health and well-being. Here she covers AIDS and the importance of condom use.
After covering some serious statistics about the prevalence of AIDS, and its prevention through the use of condoms, she states,

“And when you consider that a condom can help a guy last longer and relieve any problems with premature ejaculation, while providing protection against sexually transmitted infections, including HIV, spending a few dollars on your favorite latex or polyurethane smock is not such a bad investment.”

This is a clear example of how men’s issues are glossed over and ignored by professionals. The majority of non-condom wearing men do so out of embarrassment. Because most men lack proper knowledge of condom use, it results in a loss of sensation and erection when using condoms. The result is embarrassment, shame, humiliation, and the avoidance of condom use for men.
A study from the University of Indiana and The Kinsey Institute from 2006 covered this very topic, and how these issues will lead to risky behavior for men.

Mrs. Fulbright – again – avoids the documented major concerns with respect to men and condom use, and instead, chose to highlight some of the minor reasons why men should wear them: last longer; relieve any problems with premature ejaculation.
As a man, I found her remarks condescending. Her remarks sounded more like an info-commercial rather than a serious look at men and condom use. It proved to me she has no clue what men honestly think, feel, and need with regard to the components of their sexuality and sexual health. She obviously makes no effort to find out either. I found the condom study in less than ten minutes of searching.

My point: This is why I don’t trust female “professional sex therapist”. I find most of them are concerned only with female sexuality and health which results in uninformed, misguided, and sexist attitudes towards men – just like I what I observed from Mrs. Fulbright.
My advice to men is to ignore most female sex therapist. If you need accurate and reliable information, try to find a male therapist.
Only rely on a recommendation from another man before trusting a female therapist.

To use a common female defense: I’m not being sexist; I’m just telling the truth.

FOXSexpert: Ridiculously Obvious Sex Studies of 2007

Women Dreaming of Sex More Often

Condom, erection-loss study identifies possible path to risky behavior

Why Humans Have Sex

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July 11, 2008

CNN Sloppy When Reporting On Genders

While I was away on a long vacation with my family, I made a semi-intentional effort to cut myself off from all forms of news media. This meant no newspapers, limited internet access, limited magazines, etc..
Since I spend most of my free time perusing media circles for my blog, I figured this vacation would be like taking a sabbatical from the tenacious reading and writing cycle of my daily life. After all, isn’t “getting away from it all” the main fundamental element of a vacation?

Well I have to say it was quite a challenge. I’m a creature of habit, so to say I became a little “edgy” is misleading. Just ask my wife.

So as I find myself getting caught up on news stories, I can report I’ve come across numerous articles that harbor negatives biases towards men while I was away.
I’m going to try covering a few of these over the next couple of posts. Here is the first.

At CNN the headline read: Women do better as friends of the boss, expert says

Gender stories naturally attract my attention because I usually find the anti-male biases present in society also firmly entrenched in the modern media. One particular bias takes the form of an overt or insidious implication that women/femininity is better than men/masculinity.
In most cases, the “evidence” is suspect, or has been completely distorted from the truth in order to sensationalize the story.
CNN did just that.

I read the CNN story and found no evidence that women are better friends of the boss. There was absolutely no mention of any differences in the genders. The article only mentions a specific gender once:

In his book, Dobransky examines how friendship affects a woman’s career and family life, as well as the science behind making and keeping close friends and avoiding toxic relationships.

I thought, “That’s it?” The article doesn’t mention any differences between men and women.
So began to research the book from which the article was drawn The Power of Female Friendship, and it’s author Paul Dobransky M.D.

I wasn’t actually going to purchase the book, so I relied on press releases and book reviews. Here is a description of this book from Amazon.com:

Psychiatrist Paul Dobransky, author of The Secret Psychology of How We Fall in Love, once again looks to the brain, this time to examine the full range of female friendships. A recent study has shown that women have fewer friends than they used to. In the years after college and before children (and even after that), many women find that they have fewer friends, and new ones are harder to make. Taking his three-parts-of-the-brain theory, Dr. Dobransky breaks down the primal codes of friendship that many women aren’t even aware of and gives scientifically grounded advice for understanding how to be a better friend and how to cultivate new friendships. Women of all ages who are searching for deeper relationships or are trying to break free of a toxic friendship will find help and hope in this enlightening and prescriptive exploration of how the brain makes friends.

Again, nothing else I read about Dr. Paul’s book made any reference towards women and their relationships with their bosses, or how women out perform men at these relationships. Everything I read was more indicative to explaining the importance of relationships to a woman, and how these relationships effect every aspect of a woman’s life.

So why did CNN use the title Women do better as friends of the boss, expert says?

To be fair, I didn’t read the book, so maybe Dr. Paul does mention this distinction between the genders somewhere in the book, but if so, why didn’t CNN use that quote? Wouldn’t that have made more sense? If CNN is going to use such a powerful and controversial headline, which is sure to add fuel to the gender wars, shouldn’t CNN have backed it up with some plausible evidence?

I have always felt CNN carries an anti-male bias in it’s reporting, this blatant bias is another I’ve found recently at CNN. Last month I wrote how CNN ran a special segment on working mothers – and the hardships they face – during the days leading up to Fathers Day. I found it insensitive that CNN could not find the time or space to write a special segment about working fathers around Fathers Day.
So why does CNN find so much contempt for men and fathers?

But wait, there’s more

As I said earlier, sometimes the evidence is suspect in these gender news stories. When I researched Dr. Paul, I found these credentials:

Dr. Paul Darbransky is a board certified psychiatrist, a former associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Colorado, a national speaker, and business consultant. He has appeared on broadcast and cable numerous times, and in a wide variety of print publications, including USA Today, Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan, and First for Women. He is also the sex and dating columnist for Maximum Fitness Magazine.

What began to raise my suspicion was how a professional psychiatrist/researcher can find the time to produce substantial, quality research, and also appear so consistently in various forms of media. So I went to Dr. Paul’s website to look around.
It didn’t take long to have my suspicions confirmed.

Let me show you what I mean. From his website:

You’re About To Learn Secrets That Most Women Will Never Discover About Men, Dating, And Relationships That Last For Life…”

# How to permanently ban cheating from your relationship… and how, when and why he has been thinking about it up to now.

# The five “deal-killers” to avoid that most women accidentally communicate to men.

# What to do if your man has a “wandering eye” or if YOU have one.

# How to learn to speak the language only men speak with each other, in easy, simple steps.

# The four hidden nonverbal clues you can give men that silently but clearly announce you are interested.

# The three hidden actions men will do in return, if they absolutely will follow through on their promise to connect with you. (And they are not even AWARE they are doing them.)

# Why there are only four types of men, and why only ONE type will benefit you for life.

# The three secrets to communicate to a man that will not only open the floodgates of him revealing his true self, they will cause him to follow you to the end of the earth.

# The truth about men who aren’t “emotionally available” or “don’t listen” to you… how to know if you’ve accidentally invested in one and what to do if you’re committed to him.

# The three mistakes women make which annoy men and kill any chance of your relationship moving forward or lasting.

# The three inside tips married women can show you about “knowing, that you know, that you know” the ONLY guy who’s right for you.

# And you’ll also get a FREE trial to Dr. Paul’s “guide you by the hand” Newsletter For Women…

You might be surprised to find how only a few women are aware of the precise ways the male mind works, and that being without this information is the SOLE source of dating, relationship, and personal problems for women.You cannot afford NOT to know this…

Now, if your like me, you probably think Dr. Paul’s work is more about sensationalism/marketing rather than legitimate research. Well Dr. Paul assures you this is not true. His research/information comes from a very reliable source. He states:

And how do I know this? Because I AM a guy. And a pretty good catch too.

Now I know it seems Dr. Paul has quite the ego, but he assures one that he’s not that self-centered:

In other words, what I teach you cannot possibly be good enough or even useful if it is based only on “my experience as a great guy,” or former “player,” or least of all, as merely a “marketer” of products and services.

No Dr. Paul, I never even entertained the thought that you could possibly be marketing a product. I truly believe that your intentions is one of prodigious altruism, working arduously to help women and men develop solid relationships that deliver a perpetual state of bliss. I refuse to believe you are doing this to make a quick buck.

But wait! There’s more!

Dr. Paul doesn’t help only women, he helps men too. He offers a course called The Secrets of Mature Masculine Power, costing only $97. With this course men will learn how to develop that special karma which attracts women and success.

When I read this, I did a big WAIT A MINUTE!
The term “mature masculine” is a term I’m familiar with. It’s a theory  that has been used extensively in the men’s movement for almost twenty years now. It comes from a book called King, Warrior, Magician, Lover: Rediscovering the Archetypes of the Mature Masculine by Robert Moore and Douglas Gillette.
This book is a must read for anybody who is serious about exploring men’s issues. It explains the crisis that modern men and masculinity face, acknowledging the flaws of the patriarchy, yet critical of feminism and it’s efforts feminize men. It’s theories are based on the theories of the archetypal self as developed by C.G. Jung, the founder of analytical psychology. It brakes down masculinity into four different components (archetypes) of a man’s life; king, warrior, magician, and lover. It explores how each of these components have an inherent nurturing side (benevolent), and an inherent shadow side (malevolent). By understanding the differences, a man can lead a more mature (conscious) way of life, that not only transforms himself, but through his personal mission, has the ability to influence others into doing the same. The theories also apply to women; however, the King is changed to Queen.

With my curiosity now in overdrive, I did a little more exploring. Sure enough, I found Dr. Paul’s King, Warrior, Magician, Lover e-course for $47 based on C.G. Jung’s archetypal self model.

Want to save a few bucks? By the Moore and Gillette’s book from Amazon.com for 10$ and $3 shipping and you can go straight to the source and cut out the middle man – Dr. Paul. The book will have everything you need to know about the four archetypes of masculinity.

I didn’t write this article to pick on Dr. Paul. I’m sure Dr. Paul is a fine psychiatrist, and ultimately wants to help men and women change uncomfortable aspects of their lives. He’s entitled to produce and sell a product he believes will help people. And if people enjoy his self help courses, God bless them.
What I really wanted to highlight is how major media outlets can be irresponsible when reporting on gender issues. At first glance, the CNN story appeared completely credible. It recounts the findings of a book written by a legitimate psychiatrist concerning women and relationships, and the ideas presented seem quite plausible. But upon closer inspection, the reader finds no information or quotes that validate the headline which implies women are most likely to have a closer relationship with their bosses than men. Then, after further investigation, one finds the source of the “findings” is a psychiatrist who’s makes a living not doing academic, peer reviewed research, but makes his living promoting his own version of a well known, well established psychological theory.

The common theme in this story is sensationalism.

Dr. Paul has a right to promote his books and services the way he wants. As for CNN? Their behavior appears more like the intentional exploiting of societies current gender wars to attract readers. This type of sensationalism is something I would expected from the The National Enquirer, rather than the behavior of a respectable news network.

As I said earlier, numerous gender based stories that report new “findings” showing women are superior to men usually fall apart under closer scrutiny. I don’t believe them and never will. Most legitimate research will conclude men and women share more similarities in life than differences. Unfortunately, the modern media loves stories that humiliate and emasculate men, providing numerous articles that perpetuate the belief that women are naturally superior to men.

If CNN really believes women make better friends than men with their bosses, and those decisions made by their superiors concerning their quality of employment are based more on the strength of this friendship rather than actual expected performance, then why do women face the proverbial “glass ceiling” in corporate America?

Seems to me if this theory was true, women would have surpassed men in corporate America a long time ago – but they haven’t.

Get it together CNN.

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June 12, 2008

Answering My Critics

After I wrote my two part article on why sexism was not a reason Hillary Clinton lost the Democratic nomination for president, it was picked up by Fox News. This sent my average daily blog numbers skyrocketing. In its wake, I was left with many negative comments, most of them coming in the e-mail form rather than being posted in the comment section at the end of the article. I guess people do not like to see their darker side displayed in a public forum. It seems it is so much easier to write, “J. Soltys, Fuck You!” in a private e-mail instead of displaying it in a public forum in order to protect one’s “good girl” image.

But I promise not to let myself get sidetracked to often on differences of opinion like this. What I mean is that I have a personal rule I follow when posting an article. And that is to let comments that are posted in response to my articles go without debate by me.
The main reason I do this is out of respect for fairness and true equality. I reason that if I have the opportunity to write my thoughts, feelings, and opinions in this forum, then I must honor those that either agree or disagree, and allow their thoughts and opinions to be expressed without interference. I have the power to block or remove any comment, but I choose not to do so unless it is filled with vulgarity, or links to what I feel are disturbing websites.
The exception to my interference would be if an individual placed misleading or inaccurate information about a topic that I felt needed a rebuttal. Then I would challenge something that is posted in the comments section.
E-mails sent to me I assume are meant to be private conversation between me and that person. However, anything that comes into my mailbox is essentially my property and I have a right to use it if I feel it is worth sharing. In most cases however, I will not.

Another reason I do not respond to countering opinions on my blog is because I’ve seen on other bloggers get easily trapped into a “pissing contest” with some people. It consumes most of the bloggers time, and in the end, the blog suffers because of it. I’ve never seen a good outcome for either the instigator or the blogger. Therefore I take a casual approach, and let others have their say, and leave it to the reader make up his or her opinion.

This is one of those times when I am going to break my own rule. Some of the criticism I received was way out of line, and I feel it needs serious rebuttal. In fact, I’m wondering if some actually read what I wrote because it appears their criticism contradicts what I wrote.

Most of the harshest criticism of me and my article came in the e-mail form. And most of it can be summed up this way:
You are:
sexist, misogynist, hypocrite, women hater, caveman, idiot, jerk, stupid, asshole, just like all the rest, no better, etc., etc., etc.
In response to those people, yes. At times I have been accused of all those things, but the charges never seem to stick.

Now that the easy part is out of the way, let’s get to those that actually put some serious thought into their responses and tried to argue that I was somehow missing the bigger picture.

This response was from Dee in the comments section:

I am no hillary, fan, but I am a black american and it really pains me to read the hate trash that people like you write. As a woman I would think that you do not owe hillary anything but as a woman you do owe the gender a little respect when someone is doing their best. No hillary is not perfect, but I have never read or heard her speak so negatatively and hateful against another woman as you and the media and other bloggers trying to make a name for him or herself regardless of whom is hurt.

Thanks for your opinion Dee, but I’m sure you realize I will have to disagree.
To sum up your response: I wrote something really offensive, not just about Hillary but about the female gender in general. And in doing so, I disrespected women. You also say Hillary is not perfect, just human, and that I’m just trying to make a name for myself.

First, let me talk about my ego and trying to make a name for myself. I started writing about gender issues from the male perspective about one year ago. At that time I had my own website, but chose this platform for convenience. After a year of doing this, I can tell you that it is not a path to fame and fortune. If I wanted fame and fortune, I would have tried out for the television show American Idol or Apprentice, or have stayed up late one night and had my choice of choosing what program I was going to use to “make a million dollars in one month with no money down” from the many late night infomercials. I can assure you those paths seem an easier road to fame and fortune rather than writing about gender issues on a blog.
I do this because I believe I have an opinion to offer. Not always the right opinion, but not always the wrong one either. I offer an opinion from the male perspective on gender issues because feminism has generated many unjustified and unqualified negative perceptions of men and masculinity. The negative image of men and fathers has been entrenched in society for some time now; some of it is understandable, but a good portion is also just irresponsible. If the genders were reversed, these irresponsible images and portrayals would cause outrage from coast to coast. But since the negative images are of men and fathers, nobody really cares. However, a small band of brothers like myself have taken to writing about these negative stereotypes, the contradictions, and the hypocrisies displayed by feminism and society, and offer a countering opinion to the general public.

I had no intention of writing about Hillary’s loss. As I mentioned in the article, I wrote about her last year, but what I didn’t mention was that I promised not to write about her anymore. The reason being; I didn’t want to seem like I was piling on her as she began stumbling more and more in the presidential race. I chose to let Hillary and her actions stand alone, for better or for worse, so she could have the decency to be judge the same as anybody else.
And I want to note that during my podcasts at the beginnings of the primary race, both my partner Jim (a staunch conservative) and me, pointed out how we felt Hillary was the strongest candidate and deserved the nomination. We also acknowledged the few times when we thought Hillary was facing criticism that WAS related to her gender.

With that being said, the only reason I wrote about Hillary’s loss NOW, is because SHE and her supporters chose to blame sexism and a misogynist society for her loss. It is at this point that Hillary and her supporters brought the criticism upon themselves. As I mentioned before, I do not have to go out looking for a battle, but it sure seems to me, as a writer of gender issues from a male perspective, that I do not have to wait long before somebody wants to blame men or fathers for events that may well be caused their own irresponsibility. When this happens, and I find it irresponsible, I will challenge it. And this is one of those cases.

You say I owe the female gender a little respect. I never attacked women as a gender anywhere in the articles. But if you want to make a case that I did, then the argument is thrown back at you: Where is the respect for men as a gender when Hillary and her supporters choose to blame men for all her failures? In the name of equality, don’t women need to offer men the same respect in return? As a man, are you saying I owe women unconditional respect, but women do not have to offer men the same in return? Women can place blame, hate, and scorn upon men without any criticism, and men should just stay silent and not speak up? Are you asking me to do what numerous women were subjected to under historical patriarchy? Are you asking me to do what you and millions of other women would never do – stay silent? I thought the women’s movement made it clear this behavior is extremely sexists?
If these are the rules, then I’ll be breaking them quite often, because I refuse to remain silent.

Another point: I personally did treat Hillary as an individual. As I mentioned earlier, when she began stumbling in the race, I backed off my criticism and let her stand on her own. But here’s my thought: If treating people as individuals is important, then why can’t you and her supporters do the same for men? If there were individual men who treated her with disrespect, then why lump them together with all men and use blanket statements such as “misogynist” and “sexism” that generalize men and society as inherently evil? Will this behavior help break down negative stereotypes and breed the individualism you seek? Of course not. It only makes it worse.

And I’m still not sure where I wrote hateful trash. Asking a presidential candidate to take responsibility for his/her contradiction, lies, or other failures is hateful? What male presidential candidate – or seated president – hasn’t been challenged the same way? President Bush deals with it every day.
And why is my challenging Hillary’s perceptions, and those of her supporters, that sexism and misogyny are probably not the main reasons she lost – using accurate and credible information – hateful trash? Are you saying because I’m a man, and her being a woman, I do not get to challenge what I felt were female sexist comments? Have we just encountered an evolving “female privilege” in society?

And finally, how have I deployed hatred by writing that in spite of Hillary’s missteps, she still secured the popular vote, showing how this country is actually not as sexist as some people have vocalized (Note: This fact itself greatly diminishes the validity of their sexism argument.), but more importantly, Hillary’s bid left an unequivocal positive mark by showing how far women and our nation have come by concluding this country is ready for a female president. This was hateful? Why, because I felt Hillary will not be the one?
Thanks for writing Dee, but as I said previously, I will have to agree to disagree with you.

Then there was Bob. He agreed with me about Hillary’s screw ups, but he became angry at my linking her irresponsibility to feminism. He wrote:

You’re very clear on the things Clinton has done wrong. But what do you mean by feminism? How are you possibly linking Clinton’s actions with actions of any feminist? Are you referring to French feminism and it’s concentration on how language promotes sexism? Or maybe you’re referring to Post Colonial feminism? Or maybe you really don’t know anything about feminism and instead are creating a definition based on popular ideas you were too lazy to research? Maybe you should start with Wikipedia and find out what feminism is really about.

He then goes on to say I really don’t know what the hell I’m talking about (Re:Full of shit).
Well Bob got part of it right. I knew when I wrote the article I was writing it from a perspective that would have needed another page to explain why I feel her blaming others is typical of feminism. But since I write to a particular audience that is familiar with my work, I chose to ignore an in-depth analysis. So when Fox News highlighted my article, it became a problem, since all these new readers were not familiar with my opinions.

But, since you asked Bob, let me explain.
First, yes I have read Wikipedia’s definition for “feminism”. As a matter of fact, I’ve read many articles on feminism, women, men, and genders over the last 10 years.
I was actually at one time a supporter of women’s rights and feminism. I even had a long term relationship with a woman who was a member of NOW. But over the years I came to find the writings, research, and opinions of feminist to be contradictory, hateful, blaming, distorted, and heavily biased.
And sadly, these distorted perceptions became very influential. I wish I had a dollar for every woman who has said she is not a feminist but then rattled off an opinion that came straight from feminist ideology.
So you are right that I may not know in explicit detail what feminism is, but it is dangerous to say that I cannot express my personal experiences concerning how I feel feminism has affected myself and others. If you really believe that one cannot express their thoughts without explicit and unequivocal objectivity, then feminism itself would not exist, for women would have been banned from expressing how the patriarchy subjugated them without first having an intense academic study in the understanding of men and masculinity. That would be nearly impossible for the average woman to achieve. And the civil rights movement would not have progressed to where it has today because African-Americans would not have been able to speak out about white privileged unless they possessed a PhD in the study of “Caucasians”.
Neither group needed such an intense pedagogy, nor winded exegesis of the masses, to personally express and instigate a correction to what they felt was the devaluing of their humanity. My blog is nothing more than my expression of my experiences with men, women, and gender, and the ability to share theses thoughts with a larger community. I’m sorry you came to my blog expecting to find a documentary of intense and unequivocal verity. I usually read blogs for what they are meant to be – opinions.

As for why I feel feminism is contradictory, and blaming of others? It is a belief I’ve developed after reading numerous feminists writings and research. If you spent some time reading this literature, it becomes apparent that when given similar circumstances, men have nobody to blame but themselves, while women have the freedom to blame anyone else, most often men and the patriarchy. Hillary’s allegation was a prime example.
Here are some quick examples of what I’m talking about:

  • Feminist abhor male violence, particularly men’s obsession with war. They vehemently detest the killing of so many innocent lives, and label it as probably one of the most irresponsible acts of masculinity. However, under the guidance of femininity, abortion and the killing of over 3000 innocent children a day is protected and held in adulation as one of the defining moments and an important fundamental of a woman’s right. However, in feminist writings, I have found numerous references that women would not need abortion if “men could keep it in their pants”. In other words, it’s not really a woman’s fault she became pregnant and needed and abortion; it’s really the man’s fault. Or another argument is that if men didn’t run from their responsibilities and leave women to raise children alone, then abortion would not be needed. And it is this argument that carries more weight than others, and addresses a serious problem of some men who abandon their parental responsibilities. But there is an ugly flaw in this argument. It implies that when men refuse to accept the responsibility of fatherhood, it usually involves abandoning their children, but leaves evidence to the fact that at least the child is given a chance at life. Consequently, research shows that the majority of women who choose abortion, do so to escape the responsibility of parenthood, deciding that killing the child to avoid this responsibility is the best option.
    My point is not to debate whether abortion should remain legal or not, but instead, I bring it up to show the different perceptions concerning the responsibility towards male and female killing of innocent lives, and the responsibility towards pregnancy and parental responsibility through the eyes of feminist. When men and women are found in similar situations, men are easily blamed without discourse, while immediate discourse emerges to explain why women should not be blamed. As one writer put it, “Women are diagnosed, men are demonized.”
  • Feminist have contended that when ever a woman is charged with domestic violence, it is only because she was defending herself from her abuser.
    More and more research is now showing women instigate violence in a relationship as much as men, so it disturbs me to find feminist still rushing in to blame the man when a woman is charged with domestic violence, in spite of this evidence. And more importantly, feminists have assiduously demanded that blaming the victim is an abhorrent practice and should be stopped. So why are they so comfortable engaging in this practice themselves? Are they saying to blame the victim is wrong when the victim is a woman, but acceptable when the victim is a man? Again we see blame and responsibility disseminated by feminist in a discriminating manner.
  • Back in the 1990’s, feminist reported that females were struggling in our schools due to sexist and discriminatory practices. It was reported that girls suffered terribly from self-esteem problems due to these practices, and this effected how they performed in school. In other words, old man patriarchy (men) was to blame.
    Later it was discovered their research was extremely flawed, and it was actually males performing worse than the girls except in the areas of math and science. And it was discovered self-esteem does not have a powerful effect on scholastic performance as believed. Black males report the highest ratings of self-esteem, yet are some of the nation’s weakest scholastic performers.
    So how have some feminist reacted to these findings? First, they have offered no apologies for their lack of honesty, and second, quite a few have shrugged off poor male performance as not a serious issue needing to be addressed, citing inherent male laziness as the problem.
    So the situation started with feminist blaming males, and then upon further inspection, it was found they lied, and they responded to their indiscretions not by apologizing, but by blaming males again!

I could go on, there is plenty more, but I hope you get the point Bob. If not, stick around. I’ll be doing this for a while, in spite of the fact you think I’m full of shit.

As I said before, I may not always be right, but I’m not always wrong either. As humans we are naturally flawed. This means that what ever we construct, it will be embedded with these flaws. Men are flawed, just as much as women are. The patriarchy has been proven to be flawed by feminist and others, so I’m not sure why feminist have demanded the belief that their movement is free from mistakes and injustices. To believe otherwise is not just illogical, but it also implies superiority over men. That in itself is sexist, along with the idea that men cannot challenge the thoughts and opinions of feminism and find its flaws.

Since I’ve been accused of not having a true understanding of feminism, let me offer an opinion by somebody who does.
Rebecca Walker is the founder of the Third Wave Foundation, a feminist group that works nationally to support young women and transgender activists. She had this to say in her article at CNN:

Obama has gracefully accepted the victory banner, and a lot of Hillary supporters, especially women, are walking off the field as if they’ve lost a war. I understand their frustration, but the truth is they didn’t lose, not by a long shot. Their candidate is stronger than ever, with 17 million votes under her belt, and the public discussion about the role of gender is more nuanced and compelling than it has been in decades.
It is time to turn the page on myopic gender-based Feminism and concede that while patriarchy is real, so is female greed, dishonesty and corruptibility. It’s time to empower the feminisms embodied by millions of women and men who care about everyone, including, but not limited to, women.

Not much difference between my thoughts and hers. And as I have done often, I highlight feminist thoughts and opinions I think are fair and balanced.

I stand by what I wrote. I’m done with this debate.

June 7, 2008

At CNN, Moms More Important As Fathers Day Approaches

Recently I wrote an article explaining how if history repeats itself, the approaching Fathers Day weekend should be imbedded with negative stories and events about fatherhood, displaying a completely opposite trend when compared to mothers. As Mothers Day weekend approaches, we graciously overlook all of “mom’s” failures and indiscretions she has committed, and instead, honor her for all her wonderful attributes and sacrifices. For fathers, we ALWAYS find room to let them know how they have failed us, and how they can do better in the future. (Mothers Day Has Passed. Prepare for the Assualt on Fathers Day!)

Well, I have now found another discreet form of parental discrimination as Fathers Day quickly approaches. It appears CNN is running a special segment within their website which contains numerous articles about motherhood and the hardships working mothers face today. The segment is called “Busy Moms – Staying Afloat” and features such articles as “How CNN moms balance work and family”, “8 things no one tells you about being a mom”, ” ‘Soccer moms’ juggle motherhood and sports”, and “What working moms miss and wish for”.
Maybe I’m letting my adversarial side get the best of me, but why is CNN running a special segment about the joys and stresses of motherhood a week before Fathers Day? In a society that continually preaches the importance of fathers, and stresses the need to find ways to keep children and fathers connected, why spend so much effort on mothers as Fathers Day approaches? And what’s worse, the stories themselves are filled with selfish victimhood – treating some family events and issues as if only working mothers experience them, ignoring the similar impact on working fathers in similar situations.
In all, I find it discriminating and misleading.

For instance, in the article “What working moms miss and wish for” it states:

CareerBuilder.com’s annual Mother’s Day survey finds that working mothers are eager to trade the office for family time if only it were financially feasible.

FYI: Same with men. One of many studies showing men trend towards the same feeling is a study of men ages 20-35 by the Radcliffe Public Policy Center at Harvard University which showed:

82% put family time at the top of their list, keeping pace with 85 percent of women in those age groups. Breaking ranks with their fathers and grandfathers on the important issue of work-family integration, 71 percent of men 21-39 said they would give up some of their pay for more time with their families.

Another part of the CNN article states:

Finding the time to do their job and still be involved parents is a daily struggle for today’s working mothers. Late nights in the office can mean missing a family dinner, a teacher conference or baby’s first words.

And how many fathers over numerous generations have experienced this painful reality as the sole bread winners in the family? But now that mothers are beginning to face this reality, it’s suddenly a terrible tragedy. Should I assume we place more value on a mother’s loss than a father’s?

Seventeen percent of surveyed mothers have missed three or more significant events in their children’s life in the last year. In fact, 34 percent of mothers admit to spending less than three hours each day with their children.

Same again. But this time, let’s consider numerous studies that have shown fathers spend less time with their children than mothers. Every time one of those studies is released, negative criticism is assiduously applied to fathers. It is assumed the data represents that fathers are trying to abdicate from their parental responsibilities. Years ago I remember women advocating men spend “quality” time with their children, and becoming frustrated and angry with them if they didn’t. This was in response to studies at that time which showed how little time men spent with their children. Society and the media echoed this “stand up and be a real man” movement.
But now that women are found to be in a similar situation, compassion and understanding are given in copious amounts.
What a considerable difference in approach and acknowledgement of the same findings. A mother spending less time with her children due to the demands of her career is neither less a mother or a woman. But a man who spends less time with his children is met with skepticism as it relates to being a good father, and is perceived as less of a man because of it.

One common way mothers attempt to balance their workload and their families is to bring work home with them, which can help advance their careers but also damage their personal relationships.

Am I missing something here? If you want to meet the archetypes of bringing work home from the office to balance work and family, it is fathers. They invented, cultivated, and refined the “bringing work home” strategy, staying up late at night in order to spend quality time with the family after work.

Although your family is the most important thing in your life, you might forget to show it. Devote your weekends and any free weekday evenings to family activities. Even if you can’t plan a mid-week activity, make a quick phone call to your children to see how their school day went.

Again, the best consultant for this type of behavior is dad. He has been at it much longer than mom. I’m sure he’d be willing to give out a few pointers.

I’m not sure what CNN was thinking by running this special before Fathers Day. And as I pointed out, these struggles between work and family are more familiar to dads than they are to moms. So why not run a similar special about fathers, and the corresponding joys and stresses of fatherhood? I feel this would have been more appropriate and productive for families at this time.
But as I have written before, fathers are treated as second class parents who expected to quietly perform first class responsibilities with little or no argument. So to find CNN running a segment on the trial and tribulations of motherhood right before Fathers Day validates those feelings of discrimination that I have.

I’ll have more to say on this subject in my next post.

May 15, 2008

Mothers Day Has Passed. Prepare for the Assualt on Fathers Day!

Mothers Day has passed, the day when we set aside any differences, wrongs, resentments, and other negatives about our moms across the country, and focus on all the good mothers have accomplished in raising us, the sacrifices, the hardships, the unconditional love, and other benevolent qualities perceived as only coming from moms.
It’s wonderful that we have created a day to remember the good things about our moms, as any person in the psychology profession will tell you, harping on the negatives without considering the positives in any given situation in life will only lead to anger and resentment. Even better is that we have actually created a day where society – families, media, politicians, governments – will not dare to venture into, or raise awareness to the number of mothers that have failed miserably at the role of parenthood. This is not the time to dwell on the dark side of mothers in America they will tell you. Instead, it is a day to honor women who have managed the difficult role of motherhood for better and for worse – and I couldn’t agree more. Positive, emotional reinforcement will carry greater benefits for women and their children in the long term rather than berating them for their failures during Mothers Day weekend. We all need to know our efforts are being recognized and appreciated, and that our imperfections are being judged relative to our imperfect humanism.

In a short month, the mood will change. Fathers Day weekend will arrive and society – families, media, politicians, government – will let fathers know they are appreciated, but not without condition. Unlike mothers, fathers will hear every detail of their failures, and unlike mothers, will not have the opportunity to enjoy a weekend of compassionate reminiscing, where society refuses to dwell on the negative, and makes an effort to focus only on the positive results of fatherhood.
Right now, politicians are preparing speeches that will remind us how important a father is in a child’s life. The speeches will be eloquent, dramatic, and condemning, because in the end, these politicians will let fathers know they are failing in this important stabilizing family and societal role.
Police chiefs across the country at this very moment are organizing their usual Fathers Day “deadbeat” dad sting operations, as a way to remind men and fathers of their obligations and responsibilities as a parent. These dark headlines will be splashed across most newspapers and newscast during the weekend and will be a mood altering topic of conversation at most family gatherings.
Media outlets will begin to organize tributes to fathers for Fathers Day, but will also make sure to find room for stories that highlight the failures of fathers in order to bring “perspective” to the present condition of fatherhood in society.

So what’s wrong with reminding fathers of the significance and influential role they play in the lives of their children and society? Nothing, except why aren’t these same pivotal, poignant speeches and actions addressed to mothers around Mothers Day? Isn’t the role of a mother just as important as the role of a father, and therefore, a good jolt of reality placed upon them just as important?
The only reason this isn’t done is due to the unjustified discrimination of fathers and men in this country. In the arena of family issues, men and fathers are perceived to be inferior to women, yet this daily discrimination goes unaddressed. In the role of spouse or parent, men are seen as dysfunctional, irresponsible individuals, in need of constant fixing, adjusting, and scolding in order to eradicate and manage their many faults and maintain sensibility. If the genders were reversed, it would be called blatant sexism.
If you think I’m kidding, let me show you why I think this way.

-– Last year presidential contender Barack Obama gave a Fathers Day speech in which he said:

“It’s about to be Father’s Day, let’s admit to ourselves that there are a lot of men out there that need to stop acting like boys; who need to realize that responsibility does not end at conception; who need to know that what makes you a man is not the ability to have a child but the courage to raise a child.”

When was the last time a politician chose Mothers Day to humiliate irresponsible mothers by calling them little girls that need to grow up? It has never happened and never will. The discrimination of fathers is based on the mythology that mothers are superior to fathers, in spite of evidence that proves otherwise.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services through the Administration for Children and Families
reported that in 2006, 40 percent (39.9%) of child victims were maltreated by their mothers acting alone; another 17.6 percent were maltreated by their fathers acting alone.
The agency defines maltreatment as: Any recent act or failure to act on the part of a parent or caretaker which results in death, serious physical or emotional harm, sexual abuse or exploitation; or An act or failure to act which presents an imminent risk of serious harm.

According to Obama, the reason he felt the need for his Fathers Day speech:

“The key to having this conversation constructively is to realize that there’s really no excuse for not behaving responsibly toward our children.”

If this is true, then why has Obama not chosen to scold or humiliate mothers on Mothers Day for the horrific abuses towards their children which is more that double of that with respect to fathers?
Is he implying that a father who refuses to participate in the raising of his children is not a real man and does not deserve forgiveness, but a mother who abuses her children should be forgiven and honored?

 -– Last year, here in the Chicago area, Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart launched a weeklong “deadbeat dad” sting operation that resulted in the arrest of 130 deadbeat dads. Sherriff Dart also arrested four deadbeat moms to show that he was being gender neutral.
However, Dart addressed his reasoning for carrying out the sting around Fathers Day this way:

“For hundreds of thousands of people Father’s Day is just a very, very painful day,” Dart said. “It actually serves as a perverse reminder of just how difficult their life is because there is no father, and not only is there no father there, but there is someone who has walked away from their responsibilities.”

Isn’t Mothers Day a very, very painful reminder to all the children that are abused every year by their mothers? And if Sheriff Dart is truly concerned with the difficult lives of children neglected by a parent, why not launch a campaign around Mothers Day touting the many irresponsible and criminal mothers in society that are abusing their children. It can include the little known fact that besides abuse, mothers also lead fathers in failing to pay court ordered child support.
Glenn Sacks and Jeffery Leving wrote an article refuting Sheriff Dart’s claims that all the men arrested were intentionally avoiding their responsibilities. The article also reveals the discrepancies and complexities between society’s perception of the deadbeat dad and the human reality.

 –- Last year for Fathers Day, Time magazine wrote an article called The Psychology of Fatherhood  which questioned whether fathers deserve to be honored with a special day like mothers because of men’s alleged undesirable track record concerning parenting.
The two female writers (coincidence?) wrote how the research they uncovered shows that:
– In the U.S., more than half of divorced fathers lose contact with their kids within a few years.
– Men are more likely to default on a child-support payment (49%) than a used-car payment (3%).
– U.S. fathers average less than an hour a day (up from 20 minutes a few decades ago), usually squeezed in after the workday.
The female writers never mentioned what research or sources their information can be referenced to, but men’s writer Glenn Sacks was familiar with the sources. He wrote a response to the article and the research in question, showing how the women used family research from the 1960’s and other sources that were eventually proven to be unreliable.
But the best repudiation of the Time’s article comes from the magazine itself. In 2005 it ran an article about fatherhood called The Missing Father Myth in which it disputed the very claims made by it’s own female writers two years later.
In this article the male writer (coincidence?) claims the perceptions of the irresponsible father is false. His article looks at recent study of teenage fathers which show:
– 82% reported having daily contact with their children
– 74% said they contributed to the child’s financial support
– Almost 90% maintained a relationship with the mother
The findings of this study are very similar to the findings of other studies concerning fathers and families. (An excellent, in-depth look at the reality of fathers and custody issues can be found here.)

– Paul Coughlin, a writer of Christian issues wrote an article titled Pastors, Don’t Use Mother’s Day to Bash Dads in which he writes about the discriminatory practices within churches concerning mothers and fathers. Paul writes,

This Sunday we will extol the value and benefit of motherhood, which is great. But in some churches, this will be done by degrading Christian husbands, which is not great. “Our pastor makes us husbands get on our knees on Mother’s Day and beg for forgiveness. I don’t want to do it again this year,” one reader tells me. Another writes, “Our minister makes husbands write on paper all the things we’ve done wrong. Then we’re suppose to give it to our wives and pledge that we won’t do them anymore.”

A church in my community handed out a flyer to all parishioners this past week which read:

With all respect to fathers, no one influences a child as much as a devoted mother. She passes on her faith in God, her beliefs in all the virtues, patience, kindness, forgiveness. As the growing child follows her about, all the mother’s ways of thinking and doing things, are flowing into the life of the child. One might say, the mother is programming the brain and the heart of the little one on how to live in this world.

Well…if this is true, why does society even bother trying to convince men of their importance in a child’s life? After such an overtly pious description of the dominating influence mothers have on their children, what is left to say to men and fathers on Fathers Day that will convince them fatherhood has any value, or is need at all?
And if the writer of this piece really believes that mothers “program” the brains and hearts of our children, is the writer willing to accept the consequences that he/she is implying that the blame for children who grow up and engage in violence and sin must rest solely on mothers since they – not fathers – are fully responsible for the “programming” of the child?
Of course not. If the individual grows up to be a criminal, it’s because the father wasn’t present. Or if he was present, he taught the wrong set of values and virtues – despite the admission of his limited influence.
And so the cycle of discrimination against fathers continue.

While men are expected to share the responsibilities of raising children; the stress, the frustration, the anxiety, the financial drain, the personal limitations, etc., it becomes clear that when it is time to wallow in the rewards, fathers are told to sit in the corner of the room and wait until they are called – if they are ever called.
Fathers are expected to share all the first class responsibilities and hardships of being a parent, yet are treated as second class parents, or even strangers when the adulations and rewards are handed out.
Mothers are given honor and rewards in spite of their failures. Fathers are given greater scrutiny, humiliation, and shame in spite of their numerous successes.

Is it any wonder there are any good fathers left these days? Despite being vilified, disparaged, and unjustifiably attacked at every turn, including Fathers Day itself, men are consistently making progress at becoming better fathers regardless of the roadblocks so many vindictive people try to place before them. In this environment, it would be much easier for men to walk away and give up, yet many choose not to.

I will be smiling in admiration this Fathers Day.

 

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May 9, 2008

The Great Communicators. Are They Listening?

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

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

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

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

The result?

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

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

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

And this is the point of this post.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So what does it all mean?

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

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

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

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

Accomplishing the goal of gender equality will be difficult, if not impossible, without considering men in the gender and development debate and focusing on the relations between men and women.

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

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

“We believe that the time has come to better understand men from a gender perspective, for the benefit of men, women, future generations, and the society as a whole.

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

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

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

Some men say using prostitutes is an addiction

Studies look at prostitution in Chicago

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

 

Contact:           

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