J. Soltys's Weblog

February 18, 2009

Careful In Our Judgments of the Chris Brown and Rihanna Episode

men-and-women-symbolsAs I’ve watched the Chris Brown/Rihanna saga unfold, I’ve kept my sympathy and anger in check. Why? Because my experience in dealing with gender issues, sexual politics, and domestic violence topics has taught me that what we believe/assume, and what is real/truth are consistently at odds with one another.

Feminist have done a great job convincing society that domestic violence is a problem that victimizes loving, caring, vulnerable women. Their spouses are the evil, controlling, misogynist partners, whose macho ideals manifest into violence against women. But sadly this is not the case. Feminist and women right’s supporters have been incredibly effective over the past decades creating more mythology than truth about domestic violence and the behaviors of  women and men. Why? Because the truth shatters their benevolent aura they espouse about women and femininity.

Recent research has shown that not only can women be victims of domestic violence, but that they are also more likely to instigate the violence first – the perpetrators. Studies on domestic violence in recent years reported by The Center For Disease and Control Prevention, the American Public Health Associationthe American Journal of Preventive Medicine, the University of New Hampshire, and others are changing our preconceived notions concerning domestic violence. The studies mentioned have concluded that women are just as likely, if not more likely, to instigate a physical confrontation in a relationship as compared to men.  

However, this is really not news – it’s just the first time we are hearing about it.

Feminist and women’s rights supporters have known for a while that many studies have concluded that women are just as likely to instigate violence in a relationship (Martin S. Fiebert from the Department of Psychology at California State University has compiled a list confirming this) .
However, over the years, feminist have successfully dismissed these acts of violence as “self defense”. In other words, it was the victims fault: the very societal cruelty feminist have tried to eradicate, that is, “blaming the victim”. Feminist studies advocates blaming the victim is wrong, as long as the victim is female. But if the victim is male, and the perpetrator female, then this disturbing societal ill is readily acceptable.

Here is evidence of this irony. I found this on a women’s website about domestic violence. It explains one of the warning signs of an abuser – blaming the victim:

  • Denial and blame — Abusers are very good at making excuses for the inexcusable. They will blame their abusive and violent behavior on a bad childhood, a bad day, and even on the victims of their abuse. Your abuser may minimize the abuse or deny that it occurred. He/she will commonly shift the responsibility onto you: Somehow, his/her violence and abuse is your fault.
  • It appears feminist excuses for female domestic violence are at odds with their own beliefs, essentially establishing they may be potential abusers themselves.

    But what separates some of the recent studies from the older studies is that the more recent research includes methods for distinguishing  between reciprocal and nonreciprocal violence in the analysis. And when this is done, the results are surprising – women initiate violence more than we once believed. For example, the CDC study concluded:

    In fact, 71 percent of the instigators in nonreciprocal partner violence were women.This finding surprised Whitaker and his colleagues, they admitted in their study report.

     And it should be noted: when a man retaliates against a woman’s violence, she is more likely to receive the more serious injuries.

    Women receive significantly more serious injuries than do men (Dasgupta, 2001). Archer (2000) found that more than 60% of those who suffered an injury from an act of partner violence were women. Using data from the National Survey of Families and Households, Zlotnick, Kohn, Peterson, and Pearlstein (1998) found that 73% of those individuals reporting injuries from domestic violence were female. Even when the partner violence is mutual, women sustain higher levels of injury.

    In other words, the severity of injuries one receives can never be used as an instrument to determine who initiated the violence, as some feminist and women’s rights groups would like you to believe.

    So why do I bring this up? I’ve learned not to make quick, easy assumptions when hearing about domestic violence cases.

    Here is what is being reported at this point about the Chris Brown/Rihanna case:

    — It was first reported that Chris Brown became enraged in jealousy due to Rihanna’s potential interest in another man. Now it has been reported it was actually Rihanna who became enraged over a text message Brown received from another woman. Ironically,  just days before this violent episode, OK magazine reported a source close to Rihanna as stating she is a “clingy” girlfriend. The magazine reports:

    The Barbados-born beauty is a clingy girlfriend who can’t bear to let boyfriend Chris Brown out of her sight. 
    “She has to have Chris around her 24/7,” a source close to Rihanna, 20, tells OK!. “If Chris is with her on a photo shoot and steps away for a second, she starts saying, ‘Where did he go?’”
    “If Chris isn’t with her, she wants to call and check in every second. She’s crazy about him.”

    Many advocates for prevention of domestic violence offer tips to help individuals spot the warning signs of a potential abuser. Here are the some of the behaviors to watch for:

    • act excessively jealous and possessive?
    • control where you go or what you do?
    • keep you from seeing your friends or family?
    • limit your access to money, the phone, or the car?
    • constantly check up on you?

     Whether or not the OK magazine source is accurate about Rihanna’s behavior, it validates my point about our skewed assumptions concerning men, women, and relationship violence. If it was reported that Chris Brown displayed the same behaviors as Rihanna, he would immediately be judged a typical abuser. However, as we see from the OK magazine article, Rihanna is accused of just being “crazy” about him. In other words, when possessive, controlling behavior is attached to a man, that behavior is judged as a threat. But when that same behavior is found in  a woman, the behavior is judged as “beautiful, feminine love”.

    — It was reported Rihanna suffered “horrific” injuries. But factual reports state that Rihanna refused medical treatment at the scene, and agreed to a medical exam at a local hospital only at the urging of the authorities and friends. 

    — The latest unsubstantiated reports are claiming that the bite marks on Rihanna hands and arms may not have been caused by her defending herself from Chris Brown, but rather the other way around. Fox News is starting to speculate by way of information received from sources close to the investigation that Rihanna became enraged about the text message and began striking Brown in the face while he was driving. In return, Brown used his mouth to clamp down on her arm until he was able to wrestle the car to the side of the road in an effort to avoid a crash. At that point Rihanna took the keys out of the ignition, exited the vehicle, and further enraged Brown by throwing the keys off onto the side of the darkened road. When Brown couldn’t find the keys, he attacked Rihanna. 

    — To this date, Chris Brown has not been charged with any serious domestic violence charges. While he may eventually face these additional charges in the future, some speculate the reason why he hasn’t already, or may not at all, is because he was not the one who initiated the violence. 

    Now I know that this is all speculation, and it still would not excuse Chris Brown for his violence upon Rihanna, but I shudder to think that Rihanna may be playing the victim to avoid accountability for her violence if in fact she did strike first.

    The assumptions made above are not out of reach. To prove how valid this speculation may be, one need only go back and glance at the headlines from July of 2002. At that time, race car driver Al Unser Jr. was driving home from a strip club with his girlfriend Jena L.Soto. Soto claims Unser was intoxicated so she offered to drive them home. As she was driving, Unser began reaching over and shifting the gears on the car. Soto admitted to police she became enraged when he didn’t respond to her repeated request to stop his behavior. She then lashed out and began striking him while she was driving. Unser then hit her back. Soto pulled over to the side of the road and got out of the vehicle. Unser then entered the driver seat and drove away leaving Soto on the side of the road. Soto called the police and Unser was later arrested for domestic battery and other domestic violence charges. Even though both Soto’s and Unser’s stories corroborated that she hit him first, Soto was never charged with any domestic violence crime, only Unser was.

    Does this sound fair and equal to you, or do you think gender stereotypes and feminist misinformation played a role?

    Here is another example how differently we dismiss female-on-male violence. I found this video of an Indian game show host who becomes enraged at a male contestant after he mouth’s off to her. She then lashes out at him with vulgarities, and then concludes her tirade by physically assaulting him. He responds by hitting her back. At that point the male crew members on the set rush in to protect her by beating/subduing him. The crew ignores her initial violence, and is instead coddled and nurtured as the victim in the incident. 

    It is disturbing to me that her irresponsible behavior and violent instigation of the attack was completely ignored.  And it is still more disturbing that she still has her job as a game show host. Imagine if a male game show host physically assault a female contestant during the taping of a show. The incident would make international headlines, seen by millions on the internet and television. He would immediately lose his job, suffer emotional and financial consequences for his actions, and become the poster boy for male violence towards women.
    But when the instigater is a woman, and the victim male, she is still labeled the “victim”, and suffers no consequences for her violent behavior.
    And it should be of pertinent interest that I found this clip while searching a website for “funny” videos – another indication of how discriminatory we are towards female violence.

    It is in my opinion, progress to diminish violence between the genders will continue to stall, or fail, until female violence is found to be as harmful and as dangerous as men’s, and the consequences equal.

    So let’s withhold our judgments of Chris Brown and Rihanna until we know more facts about what happened. If current research is correct, it may turn out both of them need serious help in addressing their emotional insecurities and their violent reactions to them. That would be in the best interest for both men, women, and the prevention of relationship violence.

     

    Contact:

    soltys.joe@gmail.com

    https://jsoltys.wordpress.com

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    January 26, 2009

    A Great Argument For Father’s Abortion Rights

    I’ve written about this inequity before, particularly how women expect men to sacrifice their rights in order to achieve equality, but at the same time, women refuse to accept any sacrifice when the situation is reversed. I’ve concluded the women’s rights movement has eroded into a selfish, immature, and sexist movement that advocates and promotes only the security, safety and well-being for women over the “equal” treatment of men, women, and children (including the unborn children).

    Writer Tommy De Seno proves this in one of his most recent columns. Enjoy!

     

    Roe vs. Wade and the Rights of the Father

    By Tommy De Seno
    Attorney/Writer

    The emphasis must not be on the right to abortion, but on the right to privacy and reproductive control.
    –Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

    Today marks another anniversary of Roe vs. Wade, the Supreme Court decision which overturned all state laws that would stop a woman from having an abortion in the first trimester.

    While the topic I have chosen here, “Roe vs. Wade and the Rights of the Father” may sound interesting, actually there is nothing to write about. There are no such rights.

    (AP file photo)

    (AP file photo)

    A father can’t stop an abortion if he wants his child, nor can he insist upon an abortion if he doesn’t want his child.

    This situation should trouble everyone, not from a religious point of view, not from a personal choice point of view, but rather from an Equal Rights point of view.

    Equal Rights for all people is difficult for any nation to achieve peaceably, because it requires the group in greater power to yield to the group of lesser power. This is usually accomplished only through war. Our own Civil War is a perfect example of equality being created by force, instead of reason and fairness, as it should have been.

    This week as I watched and read opinions about Roe vs. Wade, I could find nothing, not a word among millions that addressed a father’s relationship to his unborn child.

    Two weeks ago I tried an experiment in anticipation of writing this column. I wrote a column about gun control and posited that only men should vote on the issue of guns. The logic (rather illogic) used by me was that men buy guns the most, men are called upon to use them most (when a burglar enters our home) and we get shot the most. Why shouldn’t men have the only voice on the issue?

    I wanted to gauge people’s reactions to the thought that in America we would ever give more weight to one person’s view than another’s because that person can show the issue affects him more.

    As I walked around my city during these past two weeks, I was accosted by people who wanted to take me to task for suggesting that women lose their right to vote on an issue just because they may be affected by it less than men. Some pointed out, quite rightly, that even if there was an issue that didn’t affect women at all, as equal members of society, they should still have a voice in all decisions America makes.

    Quite right indeed.

    So where are all these well-reasoned arguments when it comes to a father and his unborn child? Why do people who have Equal Protection claims at the ready on other issues suddenly suffer constitutional amnesia when abortion is mentioned?

    During every abortion a father’s child dies, so fathers are affected. There is much written about the post-abortion depression of women. Nothing is mentioned about the father. A good father knows his role is protector of his child. His depression must be crippling when the law allows him no chance to save his child from death by abortion.

    In the Roe vs. Wade decision the Supreme Court found a privacy right in the 14th Amendment, which doesn’t have the word “privacy” in it. Then they found that the privacy right had a “penumbra” containing other rights (penumbra means the shadowy area at the edge of a shadow). In that shadow they found the abortion right. That bit of mental gymnastics aside, it wasn’t the most terrible part of the decision. This was:

    The Court said that a woman my not be mentally ready to handle a child at this stage in her life, or the child might interfere with her career path, and that is so important to her that the State has no right to make a law against it.

    So I ask today: Might a father find himself mentally not ready for a child? Might a father find a child inconvenient to his career path? If these are the rights women get to protect by choosing abortion, why not allow fathers “the right to choose” also?

    I propose a “father’s abortion.” Let a father petition the Court to terminate his own parental rights to his child before or after the child’s birth. He would be rid of his obligations to that child in favor of his mental health and finances, the same as a woman does when she aborts.

    As Justice Ginsburg said in the quote that appears at the top of this FOX Forum post, the emphasis is not abortion, rather an individual’s right to control his own reproduction. If we protect such a right for women, can we constitutionally deny it to men?

    I propose this not because it would be in any way good. I propose it because constitutional Equal Protection demands it, and to show the danger created when judges destroy democracy by making up laws that don’t exist.

    “Father’s Abortion.” It’s high time for a test case.

    Any father with such a case can call me and I’ll take it for free.

    Read more from Tommy De Seno at www.JustifiedRight.com.

    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
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    April 8, 2008

    Manipulating – This is What Feminism Looks Like

    A new PR campaign to promote feminism reminds me of my children; shove everything under the bed where mom or dad can’t see it, then presto, the room appears clean and tidy.
    This same tactic is being used for a promotional video put out by the Feminist Majority. In the video, numerous well-known Hollywood actors, male and female, offer their opinions and perceptions on what it means to be a feminist.
    I have to admit the production is well crafted, and will be very influential when viewed by the general public.
    In its purest form, the ideology of feminism cannot be argued: Equality for men and women that transcend all aspects of life.
    And this is the image and mood the video embraces. But as we all know, the devil is in the details.

    This video chooses to present feminism as a historical movement that was essential in achieving many of the gains women enjoy today, and how it is still essential to address the modern day inequities that still persist. It also presents the feminist movement as a historically benevolent movement that is embolden through its use of compassion, pragmatic thinking, selfless activism, and the deep desire to help those who are marginalized in society.

    So I thought, if feminist and their movement truly embody these altruist qualities, why the need to promote themselves? As the saying goes, “Actions speak louder than words”. 

    This is what troubled me the most about the video. This contradiction concerning the need for feminist to promote themselves in spite of all the humanitarian, legendary, and iconic events it claims it has been responsible for. 

    To put it in perspective, did Mother Teresa have to promote herself? Did Gandhi have to promote himself? Did Dr. Martin Luther King have to promote himself? These individuals never engaged in self promoting. Their messages were extremely powerful, but only because their actions ultimately provided the catalyst that fueled and validated their messages. And by action, I mean using the appropriate methods to carry out the message by maintaining a standard of integrity, morality, and ethical behavior.

    It should also be noted that each of the people I mentioned was greatly humbled, meaning they understood the power of humility. Thus, in order to change others, it meant they themselves must be willing to acknowledge their own faults, and be willing to change also. Therefore, the act of humility brought creditability to them as individuals, and ultimately, brought credibility to their message and their movement.
    The feminist have to promote themselves because they have no humility. They have lost creditability with the general public, and more importantly, with the majority of women. They have used sexism to fight sexism, stereotypes to fight stereotypes, and have avoided accountability for their questionable behavior while forcing others to be held accountable for theirs.
    Therefore, it appears to me the vague and opaque message about what feminism really means in the video was intentional, because if any amount of clarity seeped in, the benevolent, altruistic image of feminism would begin to deteriorate rapidly.
     

    Let me present my view of the feminist movement with respect to some of the views that are offered in the video:

    • One woman says feminism is not about hating men.

    Really?

    As a man who grew up during the feminist movement, I have been bombarded with aggressive, sexist, and discriminatory comments about men from feminist icons. Let me provide an example:

    Marilyn French:

    Not many men have both good fortune and good sense.

    Men stumble over pebbles, never over mountains.

    Whatever they may be in public life, whatever their relations with men, in their relations with women, all men are rapists and that’s all they are. They rape us with their eyes, their laws, their codes.

    Gloria Steinem:

    A woman reading Playboy feels a little like a Jew reading a Nazi manual. 

    — If women are supposed to be less rational and more emotional at the beginning of our menstrual cycle when the female hormone is at its lowest level, then why isn’t it logical to say that, in those few days, women behave the most like the way men behave all month long?

    — Pornography is the instruction. Rape is the practice, battered women are the practice, and battered children are the practice.

    Andrea Dworkin:

    A commitment to sexual equality with males is a commitment to becoming the rich instead of the poor, the rapist instead of the raped, the murderer instead of the murdered.

    Men are distinguished from women by their commitment to do violence rather than to be victimized by it.

    Men know everything – all of them – all the time – no matter how stupid or inexperienced or arrogant or ignorant they are.

    The hate and contempt for men within the feminist movement is well documented. However, not one powerful feminist will step forward and admit this truth without conditions. Nor will they apologize for letting the movement become embroidered with such gender hatred, or make a serious commitment to vilify one of their own who has preached male sexism, as they have done to many men found guilty of sexist behavior towards women.

    • Another woman says feminism is about treating women not as somebody special, but just as equals.

    Then why do feminist spend so much time in Washington, and in the family court systems across the nation, fighting for special privileges for women?
    Feminist fight any legislation that would ensure child custody cases automatically assume joint custody unless conditions prove otherwise. They favor legislation that conforms to custody inherently belonging to the mother – yet they claim they want no special privaleges.
    They fight any legislation that awards resources to male victims of domestic violence, and have been known to walk out of domestic violence seminars when male victims are discussed, because they find male victims irrelevant. This despite their vocalization for men and women to be treated as equals.
    They fight any legislation that would bring serious consequences to women who falsely accuse men of rape, sexual assault, or domestic violence, because according to them, it could cause more consequences for true victims trying to find justice.
    So the pain and destruction of men’s lives perpetuated by unconscionable female behavior is ignored by feminist who, by their own actions, show feminists put more value on the well-being of women first, rather than show concern for the safety and justice for both men and women. Five men mistakenly sent to prison is nothing more than collateral damage in their process to ensure one true female victim of violence is not hindered in her pursuit of justice. This is their “equality”.

    • One woman implies feminism is about self confidence. She says that if a woman is self confident, then this confidence will be experienced in the bedroom. She then gives the stereotypical provocative wink and nod. Another woman states that if she wants to wear a really short skirt, then she is no less a feminist for doing so.

    If there is one aspect of gender politics that irritates me the most, it is the blatant hypocrisy of how feminist, and females in general, approach female sexuality.
    Feminist make it clear that the use of female sexuality to sell or promote products/events is sexist, degrading, and is a symbol of male dominance of women. Yet, here they are using the same tactics to promote feminism. I mean, I have to assume the bedroom reference was put in not just for women, but also to appeal to male viewers. Otherwise, why the provocative wink and nod? 
    I’ve written about this situation before, and here is my conclusion: Using female sexuality to sell or promote products/events is OK if the beneficiary is a woman – otherwise it’s sexist.
    And a woman can flaunt her sexuality all she wants, but if a man mistakens her flaunting for something more, it’s his fault.
    Women play both sides of the fence with their sexuality, vacillating between victim status and empowerment status, depending on which position gives them the most power. And feminists are no different.

    • Michael Moore says we [men] have held all the power for ten thousand years and look what we have done with it, implying men have failed miserably.

    Well Michael, if I use you as an example, I think us men have done quite well with it. The industry in which you make your living was created by men, and this male industry has helped you gain incredible financial success. Also, this male environment has also provided you with considerable status that most people will never see. And you achieved your success by creating documentaries that have challenged the actions and behavior of some of the most powerful industries and individuals in the world, and you’re not imprisoned, or exiled for doing so. This is because you live in one of the most emulated democracies in the world, which by the way, was idealized, constructed, and actualized by men. 
    You’ve done very well in this f***ed up male dominated system, and I don’t recall hearing that you’re sacrificing all your privileges and gains within it, in an attempt to show commitment to your beliefs.

    It is well documented that feminism is not the benevolent, altruistic movement the video tries to portray it as. The actions of feminism, historically and presently, do not corroborate the words and images portrayed in the video. This is why it is forced to launch a PR campaign. A campaign such as this is usually reserved for those that have fallen out of favor with public opinion. And feminism is definitely in that category, with polls showing most women who believe in women’s rights refuse to call themselves feminist – a big red flag for their movement.

    But as I have shown, feminism has no one to blame but themselves. It has spent years holding others accountable for their malevolent actions, but refuses to honestly acknowledge or rectify their own. Feminism will never achieve the status or image they desire until they first achieve the arduous trait of humility. This is a form of empowerment shared by all real altruistic individuals and organizations, and it brings validity and credibility to their causes. It embodies the spirit that we come together through our imperfections, not become more divisive because of them.

    Sadly, for all its self-aggrandizing about teaching empowerment, this movement cannot, and has never shown an ounce of humility. It refuses to acknowledge that it has made any serious mistakes. I liken the feminist movement, and this new promotional video as a modern day re-creation of the fairy tale “The Emperor’s New Clothes”.
    The day I see a video that celebrates the achievements of feminism, along with a sincere look at its faults and consequences – by feminist themselves – is the day I know the feminist movement has matured.

    Until then, I guess were subjected to watching videos of feminism as seen through their own rose colored glasses, their own limited clarity, and their own recognition as society’s panacea. In other words, if we really want a true picture of feminism, we need make sure we look under the bed.

    Video: This is What Feminism Looks Like
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