J. Soltys's Weblog

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

 

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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

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October 6, 2008

Female Country Music Singers Advocating More Domestic Violence?

(October is domestic violence awareness month. My blog will focus on domestic violence from the often ignored and silent perspective – the male victim – and how organizations, politicians, and society deny men and their children the same awareness, compassion, and resources offered to women.)

Women’s groups have been advocating that many forms of media, particularly rap and hip-hop music, carry words and images that are degrading, sexist, aggressive, and violent towards women. They have defined this as a serious cultural problem that needs to be seriously addressed.
As a father of a teenage daughter, I couldn’t agree more, and have found many other women and men feel the same, taking up the cause by boycotting those individuals, groups, or corporations that perpetuate this type of gender humiliation – whether on a personal or organizational level.
This awareness, led by women’s rights and domestic violence prevention advocates, has resulted in aggressive pressure being placed upon those responsible for creating these harmful images to change their ways.

While I have never questioned the purpose, I have always questioned the cause. In some of my previous writings I have questioned whether blaming men, masculinity, and the patriarchy is actually valid in the present social environment. I have reasoned, in an age when women are out pacing men academically, making incredible strides in the areas of independence, career, money, status, and power, why is it they have chosen to exploit themselves, or allow themselves to be exploited, in such growing numbers?
Feminist ideology says that with the rise of all the components listed above, the ability for women to be exploited would decrease. Instead, it has been increasing.

I believe that if more emphasis was placed on seeing women as being just as exploitive as men, then the cause of this societal stain would become clearer. I believe women are no different than men; they are human first. This means that if exploiting themselves or others for their own personal gain is within their reach, they will do so. And just like men in the past, when caught doing so, women try to avoid any accountability.
Men, having held power for so long, have filled many history books with various methods of exploitation. This is why exploitation is viewed as a masculine issue, but as women gain power, it is becoming clearer that such issues as exploitation, discrimination, and violence are as much a part of the feminine personality as the masculine.

With that being said, let’s take a look at female violence in the media.

But My Violent Media is “Different”

A female reader of mine recently sent me the lyrics for a country song by female artist Miranda Lambert. The song is called “Gunpowder and Lead”. She was disturbed by the content and images of the song, which unfortunately, her young son was listening to.
Here is a sample:

I’m goin’ home, gonna load my shotgun
Wait by the door and light a cigarette
If he wants a fight well now he’s got one
And he ain’t seen me crazy yet
He slap my face and he shook me like a rag doll
Don’t that sound like a real man
I’m going to show him what a little girls made of
Gunpowder and lead

His fist is big but my gun’s bigger
He’ll find out when I pull the trigger


In all the advocacy done to raise awareness towards violent images and words in modern music/media, I have never heard this song mentioned. Is it because the violence is directed at a male instead of a female?

Would the same hold true for Carrie Underwood’s song, “Before He Cheats” which tells the violent reaction of a women scorned by a cheating partner?

That I dug my key into the side of his pretty little souped up 4 wheel drive,
carved my name into his leather seats…
I took a Louisville slugger to both headlights,
slashed a hole in all 4 tires…

Maybe next time he’ll think before he cheats.

Nobody in the DV awareness circles complained about this song. In fact, this form of toe-tapping domestic violence towards men garnered Underwood a Grammy for Best Female Country Vocal Performance! (And she demonstrates exactly how a woman should do this during her live performances. Underwood violently attacks a car on stage with a baseball bat during this song.)

Domestic violence awareness advocates have stated repeatedly that any form of violent outbursts by a partner is a significant indication if that person is a potential abuser. But DV awareness advocates and women groups were silent on Underwood’s song, failing to criticize or reach out to young women (Underwood’s fan base) to educate and counter the dangerous image and message the song was sending these young women, that using violence in any manner is not the way to address and handle emotional situations in their relationships.
So why were they silent? One will have to assume it’s because the victim is male and the perpetrator female.

But finally there was controversy when the Dixie Chics came out with their song, “Goodbye Earl” which tells the story of an abused woman who along with a female companion kills her abusing partner (Earl) with passion and glee:

Right away Mary Anne flew in from Atlanta
On a red eye midnight flight
She held Wanda’s hand as they
worked out a plan
And it didn’t take long to decided

That Earl had to die
Goodbye Earl
Those black-eyed peas
They tasted all right to me Earl
You’re feeling weak
Why don’t you lay down
and sleep Earl
Ain’t it dark
Wrapped up in that tarp Earl

Earl had to die
Goodbye Earl
We need a break
Let’s go out to the lake Earl
We’ll pack a lunch
And stuff you in the trunk Earl


The video even includes a scene of the women dancing all giddy like school girls after killing Earl.
However, the Dixie Chics did show how sensitive they were to the issue of domestic violence by including this disclaimer:

“The Dixie Chicks do not advocate premeditated murder but love getting even.”

Gee, how sensitive and understanding.

Furthermore, in an interview, Natalie Maines, a member of the Dixie Chicks, said, “I think initially when we heard it, we just thought it was so funny.”

When men are victims of violence, it is “so funny”.

As I stated, controversy did engulf domestic violence awareness advocates over the Dixie Chic song and video – but not how one would think.
The dichotomy among DVA advocates was drawn between those who felt it helped raise awareness for domestic violence victims, and those who felt is was too comical and “tongue-in-cheek” to raise awareness to the cause. None, however, felt the actions and violence of the women were disturbing, or felt that using violence to solve violence is acceptable.

In contrast, when male country singer Garth Brooks produced the video for his song “The Thunder Rolls” which tells the story of a cheating man who comes home and beats his wife, The Nashville Network (TNN) and the Country Music Television (CMT), refused to play the video.
However, both stations played the “Goodbye Earl” video, and CMT never questioned playing all three videos which showcased females singing about death, violence, and revenge towards men. And it should be noted that not one DV prevention advocate that I’m aware of stated that Garth’s song/video displaying male-on-female violence “helped” raise awareness for domestic violence victims.

So what’s the difference? It’s obvious.
Garth’s video was male-on-female violence. That is wrong.
But female-on-male violence is funny, empowering, and educational.

The Research

DV prevention advocates and women have a legitimate cause for concern when it comes to how the media, particularly music, affects or influences our nation’s young men and women. According to researchers, both male and female teenagers spend more time listening to music than any other form of media in a correlating ratio to their age. The older they become, the more music they listen to. By the time he or she enters the dating years of high school and college, music is the dominate form of media in his or her life. And it is noted that females show more of a reliance on music than males.
But what’s more interesting is how this demographic responds to controversial lyrics in their music.
According to this study:

Two general patterns seem to emerge from the research on attention to lyrics: First, the more
important music is to an adolescent, the more importance he or she places on lyrics relative to other elements of music gratification. Second, attention to lyrics is highest among fans of oppositional or controversial music (whether it be 1960s protest folk or rock or the heavy metal and rap of today). In other words, the more defiant, alienated, and threatening to the mainstream a music type is, the more closely its fans follow the words (Christenson & Roberts,1998).

This would help explain the appeal and fascination with heavy metal and rap/hip hop music, and it also brings validity to the concerns of the misogynistic lyrics and images these genres proliferate.
While research analyzing the affects of misogynistic lyrics and images are a dime a dozen, there is barely any research analyzing how anti-male or mysandric lyrics and images affect male and female listeners.

I finally found one, and I can only say the results are surprising.

Music and Aggression: The Impact of Sexual-Aggressive Song Lyrics on Aggression-Related Thoughts, Emotions, and Behavior Toward the Same and the Opposite Sex, by Peter Fischer and Tobias Greitemeyer from the Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich.

In a series of three studies, we investigated the impact of misogynous and men-hating song lyrics on aggression related thoughts, emotions, and behavior toward the same and the opposite sex. In Study 1, male and female participants listened to misogynous or neutral song lyrics and, subsequently, their actual aggressive behavior toward a male or a female confederate was measured. Study 2 attempted to shed light on the underlying psychological mechanisms by measuring aggression-related cognitions and emotions. Furthermore, Study 2 widened the scope of Study 1 with regard to the effect of menhating music on aggressive inclinations of women toward men: Participants were exposed to misogynous, menhating, and neutral song lyrics and then the listeners’ aggression-related cognitions and emotions were measured. Study 3 intended to replicate the findings of the previous two studies by employing additional measures of aggressive inclinations and behavior. In short, the aim of the present research was to investigate whether male and female participants are prone to be influenced by violent music. More specifically, we tested the impact of misogynous song lyrics on aggressive responses of men toward women as well as more aggressive responses of women toward men after being exposed to men-hating music.

To sum up the results:
Study 1 showed male participants had increased aggression towards the female participants after listening to misogynist music. Females showed no measurable difference towards the male participants after listening to misandric music.

Study 2 was used to correct for the flaws in study 1. After listening to misogynist music, the male participants showed heightened aggression towards women again. However, this time, women began showing negative reactions to males, but still lacked the measurable form of vengeance found in the males.

In study 3, the researchers corrected a problem found in study 2, which was the realization that the intensity of the misogynistic music was greater than the intensity of the man-hating music. When the negative intensity of the anti-male music equaled the negativity intensity of the misogynistic music, women showed an unmistakable negative reaction towards their male participants:

Furthermore, we found evidence that men-hating song lyrics could have a similar effect on aggressive reactions of women toward men: Listening to men-hating song lyrics substantially increased women’s recognition of negative male attributes.

The study also found that as the intensity of the man-hating music increased, the males that were exposed to it showed an increase in aggressive and negative behavior towards women.

It’s sad there is only one study out of hundreds that had the integrity and courage to approach this subject from both sides. In recognition that only one study does not make absolute truth, there are still some important conclusions to be drawn from it:

— It is apparent that anti-male music is not funny or empowering – it is just another form of discrimination. I believe that common sense and historical evidence will establish that the uncontested and unaddressed proliferation of degrading, shaming, and humiliation of any individual, gender, race, religion, etc., will always lead to open and accepted discrimination of those individuals or groups by society.
I think this study only verifies that anti-male music, videos, and other media is as dangerous as the misogynistic music. However, I guarantee there will be no rush by women’s groups to address or question the female artists responsible for anti-male music. As usual, they will remain silent.

— If further studies corroborate the research, this study reveals a very important correlation: women who engage in writing anti-male music are not empowering women or creating a feeling of “justice” for women. Nor are they raising awareness to DV issues. Instead they are creating more aggressive behavior and actions towards women in men. In other words, if women choose to create this music they are contributing to more aggressive behaviors and actions not only towards men, but towards women also.
In no way is this anti-male music creating awareness towards DV prevention. It is actually raising the potential for domestic violence for both men and women.

— Women’s groups and DV prevention advocates have done a great job of raising awareness to the forms of media that are harmful to women. Since these same women believe in equality between the sexes, why do they consistently ignore popular media which displays blatant violence towards men when the perpetrator is female? When are they going to address and speak out about these forms of media being just as harmful and disturbing?

The two arguments I find that are used to dismiss this obvious gender hypocrisy by women and others is; “Men have done it for years (misogynistic music), so why can’t we”, and “Some of the songs are written by men so it’s OK”.

First, it is true, men have done it for years, but if that is your argument, then you have just done tremendous damage to your own cause. One cannot have a valid complaint of feeling marginalized if one is also openly engaging in the same behavior. When that happens, my attention and sympathy for your cause is lost.
Second, just because a man/men may have composed the songs does not mean that it is morally acceptable. If that were true, then the argument against rap and hip hop falls apart. Since so many women have contributed to the proliferation of rap/hip hop and its corresponding words/images involving women being denigrated and sexualized – from appearing in the videos, to buying the music, to attending live performances of the artists – it proves that rap/hip hop is not bad for women.

As the father of a daughter, and the father of two sons, I find any type of media that degrades or portrays violence against either sex for humor or empowerment disturbing. Fortunately, for my daughter, there is plenty of awareness and advocacy being generated to voice concerns about various forms of media that may harm her. For my sons, very few people are advocating for them, and the people who are supposed to be advocating for them are not. Why?
Because they are the wrong gender.

July 30, 2008

More Distorted Research From Relationship Violence Advocates

Recently, many news outlets ran a story concerning the results of a survey indicating how prevalent dating violence and abuse was among “tweens and teens in our society. According to a report by CNN:

Sixty-nine percent of teens who had sex by age 14 reported some type of abuse in a relationship, with slightly more than one-third saying they had been physically abused, according to the survey, conducted by Teenage Research Unlimited.

The survey was intended to raise awareness, particularly for parents, to this hidden crisis among our youth. But as I have written before, many studies done by domestic violence awareness advocates, and similar groups, are seriously flawed, distorted, or discriminatory towards males.
It appears this study can be added to the “junk science” pile.

According to Benjamin Radford, the “Bad Science Columnist” at the website LiveScience.com who’s job it is to review research making the news, this study is deeply flawed.
He states;

Parents may want to remove their fingers from the panic button and take a closer look at the study. Some of the most alarming statistics are misleading.

What Radford found alarming was how easily the numbers became distorted from the type of questions the survey asked. For instance, one question asked the respondent if he or she has ever experienced being called a derogatory name by a dating partner. If they answered yes, it was recorded as dating abuse.
As a former teenager, and the current father of a teenage daughter, this behavior is common among adolescents. So as Radford points out, of course the numbers are going to be huge, but shocking?
I always thought that society expects this behavior from adolescents, and society also expects that this will be the most trying time to teach them proper behavior and how their behavior affects others. I always thought this was called growing up, or the natural maturing process – not a crisis.
So the question becomes, “Is it fair to classify immature adolescent behavior as abusive, or should we tread more carefully when labeling various types of adolescent behavior?”
If not, we will see a crisis everywhere, and open up the possibility of overreacting towards all adolescent behavior, including labeling teenagers who do not clean their rooms as displaying signs of serious depression, or teenagers who are rebellious against their parents as having serious anger and authority issues, or teenagers who lie to their parents about who they were with, what they did, and why they came home late as having serious moral and discipline issues.
Where do we draw the line between what is normal and expected behavior versus what is abnormal behavior? Determining this could cause more problems if we don’t add some rational thought into the process.

Another serious flaw Radford points out is that the survey used questions that asked if “you or somebody you know has experienced…” which leads to inflated and distorted numbers. Adolescents are notorious for gossip, so how did the analysis of the survey dissect fact from fiction?
This is not known.

Radford also discusses how this type of questioning can lead to serious distortions:

It doesn’t take into account multiple reporting of the same incident among survey respondents. For example, let’s say there’s a fight at a high school and someone gets stabbed. If you later take a survey of students at the school and ask them if they know or heard about anyone who was stabbed, hundreds of people will say yes. But that doesn’t mean that hundreds of people were stabbed, it just means that all of the people asked had heard about the one person who was attacked.

What is also alarming about this study, and studies similar to them, is that when the media reports on them, some news organizations will include pictures or stories of individuals that have dealt with abusers in their relationships along with the report, and those individuals are always females. It projects a false image that it is always men who are the perpetrators of abuse. CBS News and Katie Couric did just that when this report was released, in spite of growing research that shows females are as likely as males to be abusive in relationships:

Male And Female Adolescents Equally Victims Of Physical Dating Violence, Study Shows
Men Shouldn’t Be Overlooked as Victims of Partner Violence
Men are More Likely Than Women to Be Victims in Dating Violence, UNH Expert Says

Sadly, the programs that are implemented into our nations school systems to deal with dating violence are developed and structured on this myth that females are almost always the victims, and males are almost always the abusers. I’ve been told some programs actually focus exclusively on demanding young males denounce violence towards women, while the similar issue of female dating violence towards males is ignored.
It sends a clear message to young men that their emotional and physical safety, as well as their overall well-being does not carry the same concern or value as that of women. It also generates a very egregious implication to the young and impressionable minds of our males and females that violence towards males, particularly by females, does not need to be taken seriously.

Radford includes a statement in his critique of the study that is worth mentioning:

There may indeed be “shocking horrors” in teen dating, but these particular statistics do not reflect them. Teen dating violence and domestic abuse are serious issues, and deserve both credible research methods and good journalism.

I can’t agree with him more.

One final note: As far as I can tell, the study appears to have been released to the press before it had the chance to be reviewed by other professional researchers, something that is required to attain credibility in serious research environments. One can only wonder why is was not done.

Contact:

soltys.joe@gmail.com
https://jsoltys.wordpress.com
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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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https://jsoltys.wordpress.com
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April 28, 2008

A Reasonable Voice In A Sea of Confusion

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

April 25, 2008

False Accusations: A True Story – All Charges Dropped!

   A family court judge has dismissed all charges against my friend Josh. He had been facing three counts of battery for alleged assaults against his wife and one of her daughters (the accusation of molestation upon the daughter was eventually defined as an aggravated battery charge).

To read the complete story, (written in four separate posts), click on false allegations in the sidebar of this page

Two days before the criminal trial, the eldest daughter of Judy called Josh saying she, her sister, and their mother wanted a secret meeting with Josh; meaning they wanted no lawyers present to discuss the division of assets – particularly the business.
Josh refused to meet with them because of the permanent restraining order that is in place. If he met with them, he would violate the protection order and face the legal consequences.
The daughter tried to reassure him that nothing was going to happen. She said they would never tell anybody. Josh just laughed at the audacity of her to make such a statement considering everything they have accused him of.
His reluctance to meet, and his sarcasm towards their assurances caused the daughter to become hostile with him. She began blaming him for everything, stating that if had he not asked for a divorce from her mother, all of this would have never happened to him.

“Imagine that,” Josh said to me, “If I didn’t ask for a divorce, they wouldn’t have had to file false charges against me! I told you these three women live in their own world. They have no guilt, no shame, and no morals. I can’t wait to get far away from them.”

The next day Josh received a phone call from his attorney. It seems Judy had contacted the district attorney handling the criminal case and was pleading for a continuance. She claimed the youngest daughter, the one Josh allegedly molested, can’t make the court appearance to testify about the incident between her and Josh. Seems she has a test at school that – strangely – is more important than her testimony in this serious violation of her safety and well-being. This is not the first time she has done this. In a pre-trial, she was supposed to appear and give her testimony about the incident, but strangely, she had vacation plans that were much more important. At that time, Judy contended her daughter couldn’t get out of that commitment, so she didn’t appear then.

The district attorney made a phone call to Josh’s attorney asking for new trial date. Josh’s attorney refused. He told her, “When I first presented this case to you, you admitted it sounded “fishy”, but you still chose to proceed. It should be obvious to you that this is nothing more than a perversion of justice by these women and their lawyers. Doesn’t it seem “fishy” that every time this woman is asked to testify about the allegations she has placed against my client that she cannot make it… she always has something more important going on? You and I both know these accusations are nothing more than spite and revenge, and are being used as a leveraging tool against my client in the divorce proceedings. I refuse to play this game any longer.”

Josh began formulating his own thoughts after hearing about Judy’s call to the district attorney asking for the postponement. He felt the “secret” meeting to discuss his role in helping them run the business after the divorce was a setup.

“I feel their plan was to find a way to hang a noose over my head until I gave them what they wanted. I think the meeting would have consisted of them telling me what they wanted, and if I didn’t agree to it, they would have called the police saying I broke the restraining order, and would have said I threatened them in some way. It would have been a surefire way to screw me and return power and control to them. She could keep her word about dropping the previous charges, but now she would have new charges to pressure me with. I would have been back right where I was before,” he told me over the phone.
“And I now feel it was a desperation move. I was always close with the youngest daughter, and that is why I was shocked that she would take part in these false charges. But, I now feel that I was right about her – she can’t do this. Her conscious is getting to her. I’m willing to bet that she is refusing to testify against me. Twice she wouldn’t come to court. This has Judy in a panic.
(Note: The daughter’s testimony gave credibility to Judy’s accusations. Every person involved in the legal system that I and Josh talked to agreed that the daughter’s testimony was key to Judy’s credibility. Otherwise, Judy’s accusations, made only after Josh filed for divorce, would appear transparent, and lack substance to those in the court system.)
So Judy was trying to manipulate and con me into doing something that would put her in a better negotiating position heading into divorce court. She could use the new false charges to pressure me into giving her what she wants in the divorce proceedings which would conclude before a new criminal trial. After she gets what she wants, she then drops those charges.”
He paused, and then said, “She’s a very scary person. She never stops scheming.”

At the trial, Josh had a female judge who presided over his case only one time previously. And this judge, according to Josh, seemed to be sympathetic towards women. This made Josh extremely nervous.
The female district attorney, who has admitted all along that these charges were “fishy”, presented the battery case by the daughter to the court and promptly asked for a continuance. Josh’s lawyer fought back, repeating to the judge what he told the district attorney over the phone – the charge is phony; she is not going to testify. Surprisingly, the judge agreed. She felt for something as important as this, she should have honored her commitment to the court. She felt the daughter wasn’t taking the charge seriously – charge dismissed.

When the district attorney presented the charges filed by Judy, she explained that Judy wanted to drop the charges. The judge asked Judy if she was sure she wanted to do this. The concern in her voice made Josh nervous. He said it appeared the judge was overly concerned that this wasn’t something she should do. The judge repeated the process again, and Judy maintained she wanted to drop the charges. The judge then dismissed the remaining charges.

Josh said the physical and emotional relief was indescribable. He said he woke up that morning with a backache, neck ache, headache, and numerous other aliments. But after the judge dismissed all charges, he said miraculously all the aliments went away, proving the power stress can have on the body. As he talked to me on the phone, he said this is the best he has felt in months.

Josh said there was one moment in the court room that bothered him. After the charges were dismissed, the judge turned to Judy and asked how she was handling all of this.
“How was she handling all of this?”  Josh exclaimed over the phone, “All the shit she put me through, and the judge asked her how she was handling all of this? I can’t believe how sexist the family court system is. This judge never asked me if I was OK. Not once. She ignored me the whole time. It was obvious that she believes all women who file charges are truly the victims, and men are always guilty of what they’re being accused of. I can’t believe the judge was openly assuming that I was guilty of the charges, and Judy was the victim. Obviously the thought never occurs to this judge that some of these women could be lying and putting guys through hell.”
“And if you think I’m being hypersensitive, do you know what she said after that? She told Judy she hopes the divorce proceedings go well. Again, didn’t wish me well, but she then tells Judy that if she could help her she would, but she does not preside over divorce cases. She said her job is to put people in jail!
I’m not that stupid … since this is family court, you know what she really means, it is her job to put men in jail. I can’t believe she was being so open with her sexism.”

Josh said afterwards he was right about Judy’s intentions to maintain some kind of legal “noose” over him for the upcoming divorce proceedings. He said before the trial started Judy approached him and stated she felt he should be forced by the final divorce agreement into helping them run the business to ensure that it doesn’t fail before she and her daughters have a chance to learn the everyday workings of the business.
Josh just laughed. He told me, “All this time she and her daughters have maintained that they were the brains behind the success of his business. This is why Judy has been so aggressive in trying get ownership. She really feels she deserves it. Now that she realizes it will be all hers, reality has set in, and now she is desperate for my guidance and knowledge.”

Before they walked into the court room, Judy told Josh she will only drop the charges if Josh agrees to meet tomorrow with the lawyers and agree to run the business for her until she feels she is ready to handle it by herself.
Josh told her, only if he walks out of the court room with all charges dropped.
Judy became very uncomfortable about that. She tried getting Josh to make a commitment with the lawyers present before entering the court room.

Josh reiterated, “I will do what ever you want, but only if all charges are dropped.”

“Do you promise me?”  Judy said.

“Yes. Drop the charges and I’ll meet you tomorrow to discuss it,” said Josh.

 

Later that day, Judy’s daughter called to tell Josh the time and place for tomorrow’s meeting.
Josh told her he wouldn’t be there – he had made other plans.
Judy was furious.

“They’ve lied all this time, and now I’ve lied. You reap what you sow. I have no intention of helping them run that business.  I’m going to be gone all weekend, celebrating with some of the friends who have helped me through all this. This business bullshit can wait. I just need to relax and recharge my batteries.
I know more shit is coming, but the playing field has changed. I plan on sticking to our original agreement where the business is hers – alone.
We’ll see how things go when there aren’t criminal charges hanging over my head… when neither one of us has that kind of power.” 

 

Note to my readers: I don’t know if this is really the end, but if anything develops, I’ll let you know. In the meantime, Josh and I are making plans to spend an upcoming weekend fishing and relaxing. I think he deserves it.

 

Contact:           
soltys.joe@gmail.com
https://jsoltys.wordpress.com
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April 23, 2008

False Allegations: A True Story – Update

   (This post is to inform my readers about my friend Josh who is being falsely accused of battery and molestation charges by his wife after he filed for divorce. The four-part story I wrote about him can be found by clicking false allegations in the sidebar.)
Last week, Josh’s wife Judy, called him to express her concern about the amount of money being spent on lawyers. She told Josh, “We have to stop this. The lawyers are taking all are money and were going to have nothing left when it’s over.”

Josh had a moment of two powerful dichotomies come crashing together in a split second as Judy’s words faded. First, he was ecstatic that she finally was showing some rational thought by realizing how financially draining this has been. He wondered was she finally coming to her senses and realizing the amount of damage she is caused with her behavior?
His second thought answered this question. WE have to stop this? This mess was all her doing; her immaturity, her vindictiveness, her need for power and control. And now she wants to play nice, and does so by opening up negotiations by blaming ME for helping cause this whole mess? Obviously she hasn’t come to her senses. She cannot accept full blame and responsibility for what has happened. A typical feminized woman he thought. Always got a find a way to blame someone else.

Josh listened to her offer.

The deal she offered him was to basically call everything off and resume their lives as if nothing happened – and stay married!
Again, Josh was experiencing the contradicting feelings between extreme anger and extreme relief.

“How could she expect everything to just return to normal? I spent time in jail, I’ve been sleeping on the floor of my office for almost a year, my mental and physical health has taken an enormous beating and she wants me to just forget it all and play nice,”  Josh told me over the phone. “She really is fucking crazy! And at the same time, I feel a sense of relief that I can put this all behind me and get on with my life. So there is this sense of joy – the light at the end of the tunnel.”

Josh agreed to have an emergency meeting with her – with the lawyers in tow. He had about 48 hours to think about all of this.

Josh knew he needed to make his own offer because her offer was completely ridicules. So Josh came to a decision that wasn’t easy. He decided to walk away from his business.
As of right now this is what Josh agreed to: Judy will buy out Josh’s half of the business and assume ownership of it. For what Josh calls a cut-rate price, Judy can have the business, the property, and some of their assets. In exchange, Judy drops the false charges against Josh.

I told Josh, “Are you fucking crazy? You’re going to give her everything you’ve worked so hard for? I have to disagree with you. I think your caving in.”

He told me, “You don’t know what it’s like to go through all this. I’ve taken a beating and I just want it over. Believe me, this is a great deal.”

“But Josh, what happened to your dignity in all of this? I thought you said you weren’t going to let her push you around?  If you give in, it just makes it easier for her and other women like her to continue to destroy men’s lives. You have to stick it out,” I told him. “Too many guys cave in rather than fight.”

He replied,

“You don’t understand. You haven’t been in my shoes. This is not the way to live. I thought this through and made a decision that looked beyond what is happening now, and considered what kind of future I’m going to have after all of this. I came to a couple of conclusions.
The first conclusion I reached was that if I fight it out, it is gong to cost me what ever I have left. These lawyers are making a fortune off of this. And if I decide to fight it, she has already shown her willingness to drag this out for as long as it takes to get what she wants the most – the business.
Her willingness to negotiate now does not equate to her willing to negotiate for what is fair for both of us. If she really was thinking along those lines, why not call me and present a fair proposal? Instead, she presents me with a proposal that places everything back to status quo.
Why?  Why would she want me back in her life? I allegedly beat her, threatened to kill her, molested her daughter, and she still wants to remain married to me and run a business together? What the fuck is that all about?

It’s all about her!
She sees an advantage for herself in this proposal. She doesn’t really give a shit about me or my feelings in all of this. She only sees what’s best for her, and by remaining together, she re-establishes financial and emotional power. Do you really think that I could live emotionally comfortable in that relationship? You think I wouldn’t live in fear at every little conflict? She knows this. She knows what she’s doing.
But if I fight all this win, do you really think this would be the end of it? She can’t let it go. Her personality has shown this. If the court awarded me the business, this shit would never end. She would find ways to constantly harass me, make my life difficult because she is so emotionally immature. She can’t handle losing. She has to be in control at all times, and when she isn’t, as we have seen, she will engage in unconscious behavior to reclaim that power and control over others.
So after giving it some thought, I realized how this is all about the business. She really believes that the business will make her happy. And when I thought about her life, my life, and the future as a whole, I realized I would be happier without the business, and she would be more miserable with it. So I’m giving her the greatest gift I could think of  – after allshe has put me through.
She honestly thought she was the brains behind the business, but I know she wasn’t. She won’t be able to sustain the business on her own. It’s one thing to assist in running a business, and it’s another to lead the growth of a business. She never understood this, and this was evident by her behavior during this divorce and criminal process. Remember, she called my customers telling them what a monster I was, how I abused her and her daughters, in an effort to destroy my customer base. That is not how you do business. These customers became extremely offended by her behavior, and now she thinks these customers are going to be glad to hear that she is the new owner? They’re going to bolt out the door and take their business elsewhere. She will be saddled with the debt of the business during these bad economic times; the greater debt she is going to assume from the buyout of my portion of the business and assets; the loss of customers; the lack of any real business skills to handle all of this. (She was a bartender before this.)
It was nice when I took care of the pertinent responsibilities and she just assisted and enjoyed the financial windfalls, but now that she has to do it all herself, and actually work hard for that money… she won’t survive, the business will fold.
As for me, I realized I wasn’t going to stay in the business much longer anyways. I knew I wanted to get out and move west, maybe try doing something different in my life. While I wish it didn’t happen this way, I am starting to look at this as a blessing in disguise. I realize I’m just being forced into something I was going to do anyway… just under different conditions than I had planned.
When I began to look at it this way, it became clear to me that giving up the business is the best thing for me. In order to move onto the next level of my life, it requires walking away from the business. Having your own business ties you down. It’s hard to make drastic changes in your life if you have your own business -everything evolves around it.
With the buyout from Judy, I’m actually freed from so much responsibility and commitment that has been an enormous part of my life for over twenty years. I will actually have so many opportunities available to me, things I have thought about doing or trying, but could never attempt because of the commitment to my business.
When I thoroughly thought it over, I realized by turning the business over to Judy I have the opportunity to enter a very exciting time in my life, a very liberating one. Judy will be entering a very constraining and burdensome one.

So I hope you see now where I’m coming from. I’m trying to think long term, not short term. I have everything to gain, she has everything to lose. She’s getting what she wished for. God bless her.”

After hearing Josh out, I agreed that if this is what makes him happy, then he made the right decision. I just expressed my disappointment that it appears so many men are getting their lives turned upside down by false allegations, and yet, most of these men just want to put it all behind them and not fight the system and try to change it. I explained to him I have another lead about a man who was put through the same hell he was, and yet he too doesn’t want to do anything more than just put it behind him. I’m hoping he’ll change his mind and let me tell his story.

“Well,”  Josh said, “This is all contingent on Judy dropping the criminal charges. If she doesn’t follow through with that then I’m going to fight back – hard!”

I asked him what he was going to do if Judy backed out of her agreement. 

He said, “When I had the meeting with her about this proposal, she raised that very question. I told her if she didn’t drop the charges, I would close the business and walk away…sell the building.”
“She looked stunned. She said I can’t do that while all of this is going on. I reminded her that the court has already ruled the business is legally mine. The partnership is 51% to 49% in my favor. And I told her the court can’t stop me from running the business into the ground if I choose. So if this goes on any longer, there will no business to make the money needed to pay the lawyers. We’ll have to pay the lawyers by selling all our assets. When we are done, there will be nothing left. So I told her, do want ever you feel you have to do, and so will I.”

Josh said the look on Judy’s face was priceless. She realized in her scheme she never counted on Josh doing such a thing. The loss of power and control over the situation was evident by the look on her face.
I asked Josh, “Would you really do it?”

He replied, “Absolutely! I told you, my mind is made up. I want out of here, out of this situation. A new life awaits me and I’m excited about it. I’ve already called a friend out west and he said he will let me stay with him for a few months while I get situated. And he owns his own business, and offered me a job until I decide what I’m going to do. I’m ready to go.”

Josh’s criminal trial is at the end of this week. We’ll see how it plays out.

Two hours later while I was writing this Josh called me.

“You are not going to believe what just happened,” he said. “I just got a call from the oldest daughter. They want a secret meeting with me without the lawyers present before the criminal trial this week. Seems they might want to change the agreement.”
With a sense of frustration and pride he said, “Get this shit. Now they admit I did a great job running the business and want to know if I would remain a business partner and run the business for them. Can you believe this shit?”

“Are going to meet them,” I asked.

“I can’t,” Josh said. “There is a restraining order in place. I’ll go to jail if I break it. When I reminded her of this she assured me nothing would happen. Yeah right! Do they think I’m that fucking stupid? They’re up to something. They’re always scheming. I just don’t know what, but I you can bet I’ll find out in about 48 hours.”

Stay Tuned!

Contact:           
soltys.joe@gmail.com
https://jsoltys.wordpress.com
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April 21, 2008

A Man In Touch With His Feminine Side: The New Enemy

     A man in touch with his feminine side? After years of pressuring men to accept this, how about we accept the fact that here in America this is an antiquated concept? I say this because as a man, I constantly read articles – almost always by female writers – that remind me that male privilege is alive and well according to them. These women analyze the present social environment and extrapolate data and conditions that they conclude are indications that male dominance and influence hasn’t diminished, it has just evolved, even if the evolution was by their own design.

Before I go any further, let me tell you all a story that will help clarify my position about this phenomenon.

When I was in college I took a class about modern Catholicism; the philosophy, the influence, and the resulting benefits and consequences. The professor, a Catholic theologian, began the first class by introducing himself. He then launched into a harangue about all the problems within the Catholic Church, and detailed how disturbing some of the issues were to him. After twenty minutes, he stopped. He then asked if there were any questions. Numerous hands were raised. He looked at the students and said, “Anybody who is going to ask me why I have remained a Catholic if I feel so negatively about the Church, put your hand down.” All the hands went down. He smiled and said, “That is the first question I am always asked after launching every semester with the same speech, so let me explain.”

I will try to condense and paraphrase what he said.

I think the core philosophy of the Catholic Church is a beautiful thing, but I do not feel it is always carried out the right way. The Church seems to say one thing, and then act in the opposite. When it should be compassionate and change its position, it is defiant. When it needs to stand firm, it gives in. To me, the Catholic Church seems to have lost continuity in its message. In an effort to maintain and gather new followers, the Church is willing to compromise some of its original message. As the mood and beliefs of its followers change, so does the Church. What was wrong yesterday is OK today. What is OK today, will be wrong tomorrow, and so on.
I stay in the Church because I know I can only influence more change and continuity in the Church by being an integral part of it. Being on the inside complaining [of the organization] has more influence than standing on the outside complaining. So I will remain a part of the Church until I die, for better or for worse. 

So what does this have to do female writers and gender issues? A lot from my perspective.

I read an article today my Marie Wilson at the Huffington Post titled, Leading Like a Girl: For Men Only.
She starts her article by informing her readers that the financial genius Warren Buffet actually invests and manages his money like a woman, according to an article written by LouAnn DiCosmo, and published by the Montely Fool. The article looks at the financial differences between men and women and gushes how women are “naturally” better investors than men. And according to this article, Warren Buffet’s financial style is similar to that of women.

But Marie Wilson then continues with more data from a research group which discovered that Fortune 500 companies with a higher percentage of female directors sitting on the board did better financially than those with the lowest percentage of females. She uses these examples to launch into the true purpose of her article – how women are still being discriminated. Huh?

Marie uses the previous examples of female superiority to construct an argument that men who assume feminine qualities are being rewarded more than women are, particularly Barack Obama.
Marie concludes that men find success when they get in touch with their feminine side, and Barack Obama has proven this by successfully displaying the feminine virtues of “inclusivity, sensitivity, and an eye towards thinking outside the box” in his pursuit of the Democratic presidential nomination.
But for women, Marie states, it is completely the opposite. If women display traits usually associated with masculinity, they are vilified for doing so. Displaying I’m “man enough for the job”, is suicide according to Marie.

Let me offer my opinion which I think will bring clarity to the situation Marie is talking about. 

In a typical ”women equality” supporter fashion, she excludes herself and other women from any responsibility for their contribution to the situation. Marie tries to blame a sexist society – male dominated, patriarchal, male privileged, etc. – as the reason why women are not allowed to display masculine traits without receiving a societal backlash.
The reality is that Marie, the feminist, and the majority of American women who think like them are responsible for making it impossible for women to express their masculine traits without backlash, not the patriarchy.
The reason being, the women’s movement has successfully convinced our culture – particularly women – that masculinity is inferior to femininity, and masculinity can only be trusted and accepted if it is willing to sacrifice many of its core traits, and replace them with feminine ones. I wish I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard that men and masculinity would be “better” if men were to “get in touch” or accept their feminine side. Consequently, our culture does not tell women that femininity is harmful, dangerous, and in disarray, and only the immediate infusion of masculinity in place of femininity’s core traits would solve the problem. That would be considered sexist.

Marie chooses to blame male sexism for the backlash women face when expressing masculine traits, but in reality, it is female sexism towards men and masculinity that is the real perpetrator. After years and years of bitching and complaining about all faults men and masculinity suffer from, while at the same time piously claiming that feminine qualities are superior to masculine ones, explains with utter confidence why society would abhor these qualities when displayed by a woman seeking power. It would be perceived that the woman in question was digressing rather than progressing. At the same time, a man showing feminine qualities is seen as progressing and expanding his potential, personally and professionally.

The solution is easy. If females would drop the egomaniacal behavior that feminine traits are superior to masculine ones, and start showing appreciation and acceptance for masculine behavior and traits, the culture would come to see these qualities in women as an asset rather than obstacle to their ambitions.

Speaking of the female ego, I feel Marie’s analysis reeks of the selfish attitude that is present in many women who speak out within our culture concerning gender issues. As I mentioned earlier, women have pressured men to absorb more feminine traits (their traits), in the belief that this recipe will lead to ”better” men. This in itself is arrogant and selfish, but the more selfish behavior is found when the result of their advocacy is delivered in a way that was unexpected. As more men have assimilated feminine traits into their thoughts and conduct, it is apparent the female wish of feminized men has backfired, becoming advantageous for men in society instead of women.
You see, upon a closer look, it becomes apparent to me that women have only wanted men to become more feminine because they thought there was something in it for them. But when the results are in, and the men who made the changes do become better individuals as planned, and they are recognized for doing so, there is no rejoicing by these women. Why? Because these so-called humanitarians can only focus on the thought that men have somehow “stuck it” to women again.
Men becoming better men was OK as long as women benefitted, but now that the men are actually benefitting from their willingness to accept their feminine side, these women can only scorn and cry sexism. The long term benefit to men, women, and society is ignored. Time has shown it was really all about them all along.

I have seen this in other issues too. Women have been the impetus behind getting men to recognize the restraints and narrow focus of machismo, and telling men of the liberating process of expressing their deeper emotions. One component of this was the ability for men to cry openly without harsh judgments. Today, many men have cried openly on in public and on camera, most notably some of sports most macho guys. But again, as men began to cry, and society embraced these men for doing so, here came the bitch wagon filled with female writers complaining that men who cried were being perceived as more human, more down-to-earth, and more respectable for leaving themselves so vulnerable. However, these female writers complained that when women cry in public, it is perceived as a weakness, and women lose respect because of it.
Maybe this is true, but wouldn’t a woman living in a society where masculinity is respected much as femininity -offering her a chance to display both qualities freely – have her crying subjected to less scrutiny because she also displays strong masculine qualities as well?
Just a thought.

I have also seen this within family issues. Men have been told for years by women to become more involved with their families. Men, they said, needed to step up and become better fathers. 
Men did so, and today, more fathers are involved than ever before in all aspects of raising their children. But no sooner had society begun rejoicing how fathers were gaining momentum and respectability for reconnecting with their parental responsibilities did the female writers begin whining that men who spent more time with their children were receiving more praise than they should. According to these women, mothers should be the ones endowed with overt adulation, not the fathers, because mothers still do more for their children than fathers on any given day. 
Note: Most family court systems overwhelmingly grant child custody to mothers. When it really counts, mothers get the advantage, so this argument is ridicules.

These patterns are repeated constantly in gender issues. Men have been asked, told, maligned, and shamed by women into making changes, only to find that when the changes are made, if the changes result in a greater benefit for men than women, then these men can expect no rewards, praise, or feeling of self confidence for their changes. Instead, the omnipotent gender revolutionist will run these ”better” men out of town.    

This is the selfishness that I feel is persuasive within the women’s equality movement. On the outside it appears to be filled with women that honestly care about not only creating better women, but also concern for creating better men. But when the dust settles, and the results are tabulated, one can guarantee if the benefits do not show an advantage for women, the pendulum swings in the opposite direction. The true ideology of the movement is a selfish one, concerned only with themselves rather than embracing and encouraging everyone’s human capacities, for better or for worse.

Just as my professor of Catholicism saw the Church as an organization with no continuity in its message, and as a result, felt it has lost credibility because of it, I feel the women’s movement has followed the same pattern. Women right’s advocates say one thing and then do another. What is right today will be the wrong tomorrow. 
When the message of the Church does not deliver the desired result expected, it blames the devil. Feminists and their supporters have their own Lucifer to blame for their failures – they call them men. 

If women like Marie want to see women accepted for their masculine traits, the first step would be for women to accept masculinity for what it is. When masculinity can be acknowledged for having all the wonderful qualities that femininity has, and not be perceived as a bastard child of femininity, only then will women feel comfortable to begin freely expressing their inherent masculine side. This is a good educational tool on how maligning men and masculinity will never be “liberating” for women.

So let’s start dropping the whole men and their feminine side garbage. Most men don’t like it, and as we now see, it’s not helping the ladies either.
However, changing women’s attitudes will have to begin on the “inside”. As my professor noted, if one wants to see real change and influence in an organization or movement, one must be an integral part of it. I sure my feminist membership card has been denied. But on the other hand, I’m sure your membership seems to be in good standing Marie.

Good Luck! 

 

Side Notes

For the record, Warren Buffet learned his “feminine” financial skills from a man. The man’s name was Benjamin Graham, and he was a well known securities analysts who created and taught “value investing” at Columbia University.

And it should be noted, other studies have conclude that men generally do better financially than women because men are willing to take more risks.

Also, the research and advisory group mentioned which found Fortune 500 companies do well with a greater percentage of female board members is a non-profit organization called Catalyst. Their mission is to find ways to get more women into the corporate world. (Read what you want from it, but remember, no organization with a specific mission and goal is going to release data that would deliver a counter argument to its mission, should it come across such data.)

 

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

 

 

 

 

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
 

 

 

 

 

April 14, 2008

She Inspired Me, and Yet Depises Me

 

I ran into an old friend last week. Well, she’s really not my friend, and even if I wanted to be her friend, she would rather burn her skin and soak in a salt-water bath before having anything to do with me. 

 

Let me explain.

 

Back in 1998 I had fallen on some rough times. I was working on myself and helping other men do the same when I began an interest in the intimate details of men’s lives. As a man who supported women’s issues for much of my life, as I began to work more with men, I noticed tremendous differences in the way society, research, and psychology approached the genders. To me it appeared the emotional, physical, and spiritual well-being of women was being placed above men’s. The closer I looked, and the more questions I asked, the common response I received to this inequity was that it is probably true, but it’s only because men have horded the attention for all these years, so now it’s the women’s turn.
I was struck by this heartless and callous attitude in two ways. First, it implied two wrongs make a right. This is something we never teach our children, but here were many adults – male and female -relying on this form of school yard politics to dismiss what I saw as a troubling inequity.
Second, I had to admit that I was guilty of using this excuse myself many times. And now, through my own personal experience and those of other men, I began to realize how damaging this thinking can be. 
 

 

I began using the internet looking for research related to men’s issues. At that time, there were hardly and websites devoted to men’s. When I Google today, it is amazing how far we have come, as thousands of sites appear.
But during this time, I ran across an article that would change my life. It was an article about Mary Daly and radical feminism. For the first time in my life, I would see feminism differently because an introduction to Mary Daly and the beliefs of radical feminism would be the catalyst that would cause me to rethink my support for feminism. The deeper I looked, the more startled I became. I felt extremely embarrassed that I was so ignorant as to the details of the feminist movement and felt extremely embarrassed that I had actually defended them on numerous occasions. After reading about Mary Daly, and digging deeper into the history and details of the feminist movement, I would withhold my support for feminism, and take up a new position advocating for men and fathers. I felt this movement was more in line with equality than feminism.
 

 

As I introduce Mary Daly and her beliefs, I think you will see this transformation wasn’t a great stretch.  

 

Mary Daly was once a tenured professor Boston College. In her career she has been labeled a “prophet” and “the grande dame of feminist theology”. She has spent her life educating herself, and in turn, educating others, achieving six graduate degrees in religion, theology, and philosophy. She also has lectured around the world about her spiritual beliefs. She finds all religions to be patriarchal and oppressive to women. This analysis (not really a stretch in my book) of the world’s religions, and her venomous attacks upon them is not her most notable claim to fame. What she will be remembered for the most is her refusal to teach male students at Boston College. At a time when the women’s movement was voicing complaints about the exclusion of women in many areas of society, Mary Daly was openly doing the same to men. She believed, and still does, that a women’s most beautiful moments on earth are brought to fruition when men are absent. Therefore, she would not allow men to “taint” her classroom. She was willing to teach men separately, and did so for a number of years to appease the administration, but having to sit in the presence of men made Mary squirm.
Surprisingly, Boston College did very little to stop it. They would reprimand her, and she would continue. Then another reprimand and Mary would not change anything. And this continued for numerous years. It all came to head after a male student sued the college after being denied access to the “women only” classes. Only when faced with a lawsuit the college knew it could not defend itself against did the administration initiated a serious look at the years of discrimination taking place by Daly at the college. The college finally did the right thing and forced her out… well, in this case, forced her into retirement. And Mary did not go without a fight, filing her own lawsuit against her forced resignation.
  

 

But let’s get to the details of Mary Daly and radical feminism. All of its creepiness came back to me after I read this interview with her at a religious website 

Here are a few quotes to get us started: 

  

“I don’t think about men. I really don’t care about them. I’m concerned with women’s capacities, which have been infinitely diminished under patriarchy. Not that they’ve disappeared, but they’ve been made subliminal. I’m concerned with women enlarging our capacities, actualizing them. So that takes all my energy. I’m not interested in the differences between women and men. I really am totally uninterested in men’s capacities. If you’ve read my books, you might notice that I don’t talk about their capacities.”

 

Not the worst I’ve heard, but wait, it gets better. 

 

I was brought up in the patriarchal way of thinking. I spent years in school getting degree after degree after degree taught by patriarchs. At Fribourg I was with all male fellow students: two hundred seminarians and priests and me. I know how they think and I abhor it.

 

What I’m concerned with is the war between biophilia and necrophilia. It’s love of life versus hatred of life. Necrophilia translates strictly into love of death, or loving the dead—actually f—ing corpses. And in general, patriarchal culture is necrophilic, fixated on hatred of life and love of death.

 

There is a tremendous uniqueness, but that uniqueness surfaces only when you have a predominantly female mode of being that is at the same time daringly, forcefully breaking out of the patriarchal mode of thinking. So, no, I don’t feel at all like a human being. I hate the “human species”—look at it! I hate what it is doing to this earth: the invasion of everything. The last two frontiers are the genetic wilderness and the space wilderness; they’ve colonized everything else. It’s a totally invasive mentality—rapist.

 

What Mary is talking about is her belief that women are at the core of spirituality. She sees women and femininity as having an interconnectedness with nature, the earth, the universe, etc. She says men and the patriarchy have tried to destroy this because this is what men and masculinity does – destroy things. She does not see herself as a human being because to her, that viewpoint is limiting, but she also despises it because it was constructed by the patriarchy.  

 

As one reads Mary Daly’s beliefs about our world, it is evident she dismisses and despises any references to standard or historical beliefs, ideas, philosophies, etc., because these beliefs and perceptions were created by men; therefore, these standards are greatly tainted and distorted by the masculine ego and are considered to hold no value to her, or to what she perceives as absolute reality. She believes true spirituality and “be-ing”ness is found only in females and femininity. Men, she believes, are completely devoid of this.   

 

But let’s continue with some more of her quotes concerning her beliefs:   

 

If we lived in a gynocentric [female] society, first of all, it wouldn’t be matriarchal; it wouldn’t be like patriarchy transposed with big mama on top instead of big papa. It would be totally different, and I believe that it was before patriarchy came—this evil. And men would be different, too. They would not have been socialized into this—assuming that they have been socialized into it and they’re not all mutants—they would be different because the female way of seeing things would be, I don’t want to say “dominant” because that’s a patriarchal word, but it would be all-pervasive.

Mary Daly has been one of the prominent influences in modern theology which has challenged the idea and belief that God is masculine. She has worked extensively to eradicate this belief, but in its place, tries to convince others that God, or Mother Earth – as she sometimes refers – should be seen as female rather that male, but only if we choose to assign a sex to something that she believes is essentially gender neutral.

When challenged by male theologians whether that thought processes is just the same patriarchal sexism in reverse (and just as dangerous), Mary states,  

 

Well, it’s not totally adequate because it assumes that there are two sexes throughout the universe. These are the models for reality, and I don’t know if there are a hundred sexes or if sex would be of any interest whatsoever in some system other than our solar system. How can I know? So it’s limited, but insofar as our experience gives us images, certainly the female is more appropriate for talking about nurturing life, loving and creativity on every level. If you have to choose between the two, female obviously is better. And I don’t even have to choose between the two; I mean, the other isn’t worth consideration anymore. It’s just hanging all over putridly.

 

When discussing how women struggle for “enlightenment” in religions that see them as having less value than men, she says,   

 

I don’t know what “enlightened” means. It’s not a word that’s in my vocabulary. This is like a Christian woman being upset over something that Paul said, instead of seeing that of course he’s an asshole. He’s one more very macho asshole described as a saint and as enlightened, and once you get over that, you get over it.

 

Mary is asked about her latest book in which she writes about a utopian society located on its own continent, but surrounded by other societies in the world that are of mixed gender. Of course in Mary’s book, the supreme society is the all-female society:  

 

It’s a description of an alternative future. It’s there partly as a device and partly because it’s a dream. There could be many alternative futures, but some of the elements are constant: that it would be women only; that it would be women generating the energy throughout the universe; that much of the contamination, both physical and mental, has been dealt with.

 

She is then asked about the belief that some “thinkers” have put forward stating that if our world is going to survive the future, it must become female dominated. Mary responds,   

 

I think it’s not a bad idea at all. If life is to survive on this planet, there must be a decontamination of the Earth. I think this will be accompanied by an evolutionary process that will result in a drastic reduction of the population of males. People are afraid to say that kind of stuff anymore.

 

To get a greater understanding of Mary, one needs to read the whole interview. If you are a woman reading it, her beliefs will probably make you feel a sense of empowerment. If you are a man, then her beliefs will definitely disturb you on many levels. And that is the beauty of Mary’s philosophy. While trying to break down the dominance of patriarchy in religion and society, she essentially is doing nothing more than creating a matriarchy that does the same thing.   

 

Here are the most notable contradictions I found in her beliefs:

  

·      Mary says women have a natural “interconnectedness’ with everything in the universe. But she indulges in nothing but contempt and hate for half the world’s population. This is what she calls a natural ”interconnectedness”? 

  

·      She claims that once women are educated into her way of thinking, they will finally “get it”. To me this is just a re-packaging of the elitist mentality found in many of the male dominated religions. Look at Christianity, Buddhism, Islam, Taoism, etc., and one will always find a spiritual road map or goal that leads to not just enlightenment, but to those individuals that achieve “it”, they are rewarded with an egocentric and pious recognition from others that they finally “get it”, and are considered superior to others. Mary’s philosophy is no better than the patriarchy’s.   

 

·     When asked about the reputation that feminism has always been good at blaming men for all their problems, and that her approach is grounded in this same behavior, Mary engages in a creative, intellectual argument that essentially says, if women are blaming men for everything, then its cause is predicated by something men have done. So she essentially goes full circle, blaming the men for causing the feminist to blame men. However, when asked about male writers and philosophers that have challenged her, and other feminist, about their intellectual contraventions, at one point she says that the patriarchs have just come up with more sophisticated arguments these days.
Hmmmm! Isn’t this the pot calling the kettle black?
She says its not worth her time to argue with these men and the patriarchy because they are only trying to find superiority over women in every situation. She then reiterates that the inadequasies of men is why they just don’t “get it”, thereby implementing her superiority over them – the very same superiority trait she abhors in men. 

  

·      Lastly, she tries to convey a message of hope, joy, self awareness, and physical, mental, and spiritual interconnectedness in this physical universe upon women by way of her teachings. She does this by holding beliefs that are toxic, hateful, disturbing, discriminatory, hypocritical, marginalizing, angry, and heartless to name a few. Seeing she has completed six graduate degrees, and considering I’m male, she will have to explain to me how this pathway to eternal bliss while carrying all of this negative baggage works. 

 

Strangely, I and Mary do agree on some points. I have always found religions to be extremely sexists. It always disturbs me to how the major religions think women are less connected to God than men, and that a woman’s view of her relationship with God, and how it affects her relationship with others is any less important than a man’s. And I agree with Mary that religions have always been at the core of creating and perpetuating most of the “isms” in the world.

 

However, I find her approach towards fixing the problem totally disgusting. Mary Daly reminds me of the saying, “We have met the enemy, and he is us.” She has established her own world of discrimination to fight the one she lives in now.  

 

Mary Daly will always be in my heart though. It was her aggressive and vengeful thinking that made me take notice of what really went on in feminist circles. After much research, I discovered that Mary’s radical feminism is just an extension of mainstream feminism. Fundamental use of hypocrisy, sexism, blame, and superiority to implement change are present in both mainstream and radical feminism. It was this discovery that forced me to withdraw my support for anything that embodied feminism. I believe in equality for everyone, but my methods for getting there are different. I’m waiting for a group of women and men to come together who believe that equal rights for all begins with credible intensions and dialogue. I see it coming one day, but it seems to be arriving slower than I would like. 

 

But in the meantime – while I’m waiting – I could always read Mary Daly and remember why the long wait is worth it.

 

 

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

 

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