An Open Letter to Social Workers – Part One

 

 

code-image2The NASW Social Work Code of Ethics is a very helpful but demanding document. It asks us to live a life that stays aware of our surroundings both at work and at home. If we are to take this document seriously we will need to continuously examine the possibility that the things that are going on around us might not be in concert with the Code.

Think about a southern town in the early 1950’s. Imagine you are there to give a workshop to the townspeople on racism. Can you guess their reaction to your words about racial equality? Their daily habits and way of life is based on something far from what you are describing to them. What do you think they would say and do? My guess is they might politely listen but after leaving conclude that you were some sort of nut. A black lover or even more likely, someone who hates them and their way of life. Someone who was trying to ruin things for them.

In some ways I feel like that person right now. I can see a form of discrimination that is potently hurtful and yet most of those around me are blind to in a similar way to the southern townspeople. They just don’t and won’t see it. Most of us believe that our culture is striving to be fair to all, and works towards equality. They would be at least partly correct, except like the southern townspeople there are things that most people simply can’t see and if you mention them they call you the equivalent of what the townspeople would have called you.

Who is the group that faces discrimination that no one sees? It is Men and Boys. Let me explain.

We live in a culture that has flourished for thousands of years. One reason for our success is that for eons men and women have made gynocentric agreements about roles. The man’s side was that he would provide and protect and would risk his life if needed in order to provide the necessary resources and protect women and children from harm. The women, on the other hand, agreed to take care of the children and the hearth. This arrangement worked wonderfully for a long time. With the advent of the industrial revolution and now the 21st century we have far fewer needs for the old roles. Women’s roles have been changed and shifted but men’s roles are pretty much the same.

A very important byproduct of the male role is that men are seen as disposable. Men have died in wars and done the often dangerous work of hunting and of protecting women and children. Men’s roles threw them into positions where people just didn’t know if the men would ever return or not. When we don’t know if someone will be returning we tend to detach from them and for our own psychological benefit we see them as more disposable. We basically prepare for their possible demise. Let’s take an example. Those who are designated to die in war are treated like heroes if they accomplish the miraculous and survive, but are seen as disposable if they do not. It is expected. Imagine that the war dead changed overnight and was suddenly only women who were the ones dying. Would people be upset? Absolutely. You would see a huge outcry. Why? Because women are not seen as disposable and are seen as needing protection.

cherWhen something or someone is seen as disposable we tend to detach from their pain and hardship. This is why there is no similar outcry when so many men die at war. That is expected of the disposable sex. It also explains why in the 1980’s and 1990’s when I worked as a psychotherapist with so many traumatized men and women that it was crystal clear that the world wanted to help the women with their emotional pain from trauma and wanted to avoid the men’s. I found out very quickly that a man’s emotional pain was taboo. No one wants to hear it, people want to run away. It took me some time to connect that it was men’s disposability that was driving this important difference. This same detachment from men’s pain and hardship can be seen in nearly all of the examples that will be given in this article.

I am sure you are wondering what sorts of discrimination men could possibly be facing so we will take them one by one. We will first quote from the code and then explain the areas where men and boys face discrimination and hardship. Let’s start with discrimination by laws.

Here’s what the code says:

4. SOCIAL WORKERS’ ETHICAL RESPONSIBILITIES AS PROFESSIONALS 4.02 Discrimination Social workers should not practice, condone, facilitate, or collaborate with any form of discrimination on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, marital status, political belief, religion, immigration status, or mental or physical disability.
Areas where men face overt discrimination based on sexist laws

Domestic Violence

We know now that men are a significant portion of the victims of domestic violence. The latest CDC research confirms this and in fact states that in the past 12 months men were 53% of the victims of domestic violence. However, the services for domestic violence are astoundingly built to serve only women. This is overt discrimination.

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We know from the research of Denise Hines that when men seek help as victims of domestic violence at these female only services for victims the men are not only turned away they are told they are the abusers! Men face a profound discrimination in today’s domestic violence system since they are often the victims and usually have no services since everything has been built for women. Social workers have said very little about this but the courts have started to acknowledge the discrimination that men face as victims of domestic violence. In the Woods et. al. vs California case in 2008, a Superior Court in Sacramento, ruled that male domestic violence victims had been unconstitutionally denied services. The court held that state laws violated men’s equal protection rights by excluding male victims from state-funded domestic violence services. The court found: “domestic violence is a serious problem for both women and men” and that “men experience significant levels of domestic violence as victims.” Then, in October 2009, a West Virginia judge struck down state rules for regulating domestic violence shelters because they operate “on the premise that only men can be batterers and only women can be victims” and “exclude adult and adolescent males from their statutory right to safety and security free from domestic violence based only on their gender.” It’s clear that this problem is now widespread in the United States.

Family violence against men is seen as humorous.
Family violence against men is seen as humorous.

People are detached from men’s pain and hardship due to the default disposability of men. People simply don’t care as much about the hardships of men when compared to how they see women. If you are a social worker working in the area of domestic violence are you aware of this discrimination? Are you speaking out against it? Remember, being aware and doing nothing is what the code calls “condoning and facilitating.” As social workers we need to stand up for those who are facing discrimination and in this case it is men and boys. If you do see this and say nothing you are a part of the problem. You are like a southern townsperson. Will you follow the code and stand up for these men who face discrimination?

OB/GYN

Social Workers in hospitals pediatric or OB/GYN units should be aware that there is severe discrimination going on right under their noses, a discrimination that is built right into our laws. Baby girls are protected from having their genitals mutilated by law. No exceptions for cultural or religious differences. Penalties for breaking this law are severe. At the same time genital mutilation of baby boys is one of the most popular surgical procedures in America. This is not a minor prick of the skin. Some experts estimate the foreskin that is surgically removed has nearly as many nerve endings as the entire female clitoris. The adult male equivalent in terms of amount of skin removed is the size of an index card, about 3 x 5 inches. It is also a profitable venture since the foreskins can be sold for around $400 each depending on how they are used. Some are used for research while some are turned into very expensive women’s facial cream advertised on Oprah. We are now aware that these circumcisions, the majority of which are without anesthesia, are causing psychological problems and physical problems for the boys and men who are unfortunate enough to have been mutilated. Alexithymia and PTSD have both been connected to male infant circumcision and it is doubtless that many more negatives will be found. In fact much of what we know about girls who have faced genital mutilation is also being found true for the millions of little boys and the men they become. People are rightly very concerned about the girl’s genital mutilation but are detached from boy’s pain and hardship due to the default disposability of men. If you are a social worker are you following the code and speaking out against this obvious discrimination?

Selective Service

The law demands that young men at age 18 sign up for the selective service. Girls have no such requirement. Some argue that this is not such a big deal since we have a volunteer army. However, if he fails to sign up he can be fined up to $250,000 and face up to five years in prison. Even if not convicted he will forfeit the possibility of student financial aid, federal job training, a federal job, and in some cases citizenship. This is clearly discrimination based on sex and based on the laws of the land.

Reproductive Rights

We all know about the idea of her body her choice. But have you thought about the man’s side? Most people have not. She has reproductive rights but he has none. We work hard to insure that she has every right to decide about the newborn but give him no similar rights. I have worked as a psychotherapist with numerous men who have come to me traumatized by the abortion of a child they wanted. He had no rights. Only she could decide. Even though he was half of the couple that created the child only she has the decision making power. He has to simply go along with her decision. Think about the reverse of this. Imagine we lived in a world where men had all of the reproductive rights, they could tell women when to and when not to have children. Would you see that as fair? If not, can you see that the same unfairness is being played out in today’s world towards men? People are detached from men’s pain and hardship due to the default disposability of men. In today’s world men are marginalized when it comes to reproductive rights. As a Social Worker are you speaking out against this?

Now let’s move to an area where men and boys face discrimination not from laws but from societal ignorance and lack of compassion.

Here’s what the code says:

6.04 Social and Political Action (a) Social workers should engage in social and political action that seeks to ensure that all people have equal access to the resources, employment, services, and opportunities they require to meet their basic human needs and to develop fully.

Places men face discrimination based on ignorance and/or lack of compassion.

Suicide

Did you know that eight out of ten completed suicides are males? Have you heard that stat tossed around? Probably not. People simply don’t know or talk about it. People just don’t seem to care. People are detached from men’s pain and hardship due to the default disposability of men. NASW studied suicide some years ago, the study focused on girls and suicide. I asked at the time why they didn’t study boys since boys were 80% of the victims and they said the funding requested the study focus on girls. Sadly, this is not uncommon. The focus of the media, researchers and clinicians is on girls and women even though they are a fraction of the victims. As a Social Worker, do you see this discrimination? Shouldn’t a commensurate amount of research be done based on those who are most victimized? Shouldn’t we create services designed for those who are most at risk? We need to stand up for the victims and potential victims of suicide that are being ignored and marginalized. Will you stand up for boys and men? Now that you know about this, not standing up would be a violation of the Code don’t you think?

Paternity Leave

We all know about maternity leave for women. It is pretty much a standard. But why wouldn’t paternity leave also be a standard? Why is paid leave only given to the mother and not the father? People are starting to wake up to this discrimination. California, Washington and New Jersey have all passed laws offering “family leave” for all, not just for the woman. Why would fathers be an afterthought about leave? As a social worker are you speaking up about this discrimination in your state?

Sentencing Disparity

Men and women receive different sentences for committing the same crime. Women tend to get about 20% less than men. This difference is larger than the sentencing disparity due to race but I would bet you have never heard of it. Right? As a social worker are you speaking out against this sex discrimination?

Longevity

longevity

Men tend to live shorter and sicker lives than women. The fact is that white women have the greatest longevity followed by black females, followed by white males, followed by black males. Both black and white men live shorter lives than both black and white females. Some are thinking that black males are at the bottom since they face the burden of both racism and of being male.

“‘Being male is now the single largest demographic factor for early death,’ says Randolph Nesse of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.’ If you could make male mortality rates the same as female rates, you would do more good than curing cancer,’ he says. Nesse’s colleague Daniel Kruger estimates that over 375,000 lives would be saved in a single year in the US if men’s risk of dying was as low as women’s.”New Scientist Magazine, July 2002

Men die earlier and more often than women from nearly every major cause of death except for one. Alzheimers. They simply don’t live long enough to compete for that honor.

Even with the longevity and poor health experienced by men what we find is that the services available to them are considerably less than what is provided for women. The United States has seven national offices for women’s health but none for men. They have web pages for womenshealth.gov and girlshealth.gov but none for menshealth.gov or boyshealth.gov. Why do we discriminate and treat men and women so differently? As a Social Worker are you speaking out and standing up for the men and boys who are obviously be marginalized? If not, are you violating our code of ethics?

Education

The roles in education have been reversed. What was once considered discrimination against women and girls in their 22% deficit in college degrees has now reversed. It is the boys and men who are getting far fewer degrees than the women and girls. The difference? Now we don’t call it discrimination against boys we call it empowerment of girls. The disadvantage and discrimination of the boys and men is simply ignored and reframed as a positive. As a social worker are you willing to stand up against this discrimination against boys and men?

education

 

Continue reading An Open Letter to Social Workers – Part One

The Making of Gynocentric Foot Soldiers

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Psychologists have studied and argued about male sex roles for many years.  They have done a decent job, with a few exceptions, of describing these roles.  These include the independent, tough, competitive and unemotional types and many others.  But they have missed possibly the most important aspect of these roles completely, and that is the connection of the male sex role with gynocentrism.  Without gynocentrism the male role would simply not exist. It is an essential element in the male sex role and describing the traits that might make up such a role is very short sighted. They have failed miserably at identifying the underlying reason for the roles.  On that point there is mostly silence.  Take the example of the recent movie titled “The Mask.”  In this film male roles are villainized and seen as a problem that boys need to remove as if they can take off these roles like they might take off a mask. There is zero mention of why those roles have evolved as they have.

This article will start a discussion about the connection of male sex roles with gynocentrism and how our zest to push boys into male sex roles is actually a push to train them to be gynocentric foot soldiers.

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I can remember  in the 1950’s when I was a little guy the common phrase used in my elementary school was “girls first.”  Whether it was a line to get ice cream, leaving a large school assembly, or just getting a drink from a water fountain.  The standard chant was girls first. The girls got to go before us boys simply because they were girls.  I can remember asking when the boys would get to go first and was rebuked and told to just wait my turn.  What is the message to boys?  Your needs are secondary.  Your job is to sacrifice and let the girls go first, get used to it. Of course there was never a time when any teacher said “boys first.”  Boys first has a strange ring to it, doesn’t it?  The message was clear.  As boys we needed to put our needs second and allow the girls to go first, simply because of their biological difference,  they were girls. And if you complain about this unfair advantage you will be shamed and labelled as a troublemaker.

If you are going to be a gynocentric foot soldier you had better learn that your needs are never first.  You will be facing many situations in the future where you will need to put women’s needs ahead of your own.  Get used to it.  This is the beginning of basic training. 

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While the overt usage of the “girls first” or “ladies first” adage may be diminished I think that the idea is still  prevalent.  All one has to do is search google and see how many images sport the “ladies first” meme.  This gives us the odd mix of “ladies first” alongside “we are all equal.”  Yet another bizarre twist in our misandrist culture.

Added into this crazy mix is the big boys don’t cry message.  Nearly every male in the US has heard this repeatedly.  Much has been made about how this stops men from emoting in public and encourages them to avoid their tears.  Men have been shamed for eons for not “dealing with their feelings.”  I think this obvious blue pill assessment is limited and misses the mark. If one ignores the gynocentric connection then one sees only a man avoiding emotions. But why?  Why would a man want to avoid emotions?  The first reason is that in a  gynocentric world women’s needs and feelings are important and men’s are not. Think back to a little boy being told that big boys don’t cry.  What are they saying to him?  They are saying that his needs and hurts are not as important as his sister’s.  When do young boys cry?  They cry when they have needs that are not being met, or when they need attention to a hurt.  The message is clear.  When you are a boy and you are hurt or have needs, they are less important than your sister’s. And if you dare complain about it you will just hear the same message once again, “big boys don’t cry.”  Voicing your needs is seen as whining.  If you are going to be a good gynocentric foot soldier, that is, be a good provider and protector of women you can’t whine or cry.

But there is another piece of this mess that is rarely mentioned.  By saying to a young boy that big boys don’t cry you are not only telling him to STFU you are also alleviating yourself from any  responsibility to tend to a boy’s pain or to muster even a rudimentary degree of compassion. So the message to the boys is clear, your pain does not matter as much as our sister’s and it matters so little that those who love you don’t feel the need to offer you support or compassion.  Deal with it.  Be a man.   Boys learn to handle it themselves because very few others will step forward and offer them a hand.  But they also learn that others simply don’t care about their pain. This is the basic training of a gynocentric foot soldier.

And then there is the mess that starts for boys in early childhood where they are told to never hit a girl and if they do they will face severe punishment.  This rule is enforced, not only by the parents or authorities but also by the toughest boys. The girls catch wind of this and take advantage.  Some start hitting the boys knowing the boys cannot hit back. But wait, the girls violence is ignored. No one lifts a finger.  The boys already know that no one will likely listen and will turn away and shame them for complaining. Now they find out that violence is just one more area where their needs don’t count. They also know that if they report a girl who hits them they will face a gauntlet that labels them a pussy.  Boys learn to stay quiet about their needs, even safety needs. This is what a foot soldier is supposed to do. The girls learn that they can be damsels in distress and turn on the waterworks to get what they want.  They also learn they can get away with violence against boys. The boys learn they face a very unfair system and they better stay quiet about it.  If any of the boys speaks up and complains they regret it. They get punished for speaking up.  Quiet, you just take care of yourself and take it like a man.  Reminds me of our present day domestic violence system.

These three, girls first, never hit a girl, and big boys don’t cry are the marching orders of the gynocentric foot soldiers. Each one informs the boy of his role.  The gynocentric army is all about the safety and satisfaction of women through the sacrifice of men.  It’s pretty simple and has been functioning effectively for centuries.  “Big boys don’t cry” tells boys that their needs are simply not as important as the tears of women and girls they are destined to sacrifice for.  “Girls first” tells the boys to get used to the idea of sacrificing their own wants and desires in order to help women and girls. “Never hit a girl” marks out who is the enemy (other men) and who is to be protected (women and girls).  All of this goes on under the radar with most people simply being ignorant of what underlies these messages. 

We can’t blame the culture totally for this.  I think there is compelling evidence that there are biological factors that are driving gynocentrism.  If there were no biology involved do you think for a second that boys would do exactly what they are told?  Hell no.  Do boys follow just about any other dictum offered by parents or the culture at large? No.   Do boys unquestioningly follow?  Of course not, boys by nature are rebellious and very slow to do what is demanded of them.  But do they follow through on these three things?  Pretty much.  Not only do they follow through they also patrol the males around them to be sure that they are also following through.  This is more than just culture.

Boys are surrounded by these gynocentric messages.  At home they will likely see their dads put his needs last and focus on what mom wants and rarely saying “no” to her.  In the media they get more gynocentrism. Men saving women from harm and sacrificing their own safety, needs, their desires or even their lives in order to do so.  Worse yet, if they are not saving women they are portrayed as stupid and incompetent  which seems to be a gynocentric man’s way of trying to make women feel better in comparison.  Men are shown to be unable to make a simple decision without the help of a smart woman who can show him the way.  Most men don’t complain.

Our college campuses are overrun with gynocentrism.  No one dares to cross the gynocentric party line of the women studies departments for fear of their job.  Women first?  Yes, maam.

In our legislators the boys see the same.   Like automatons, our gynocentric male legislators do exactly the same thing.  We have seen them focus on women’s and girls needs,  especially for the last 50 years and ignore the needs of men.  Just like the boys were taught, just like the boys saw from their father, just like we see in the media. Now our legislators are acting out this same foot soldier pattern by enacting laws to help women and girls and completely ignore the needs of boys and men.  Domestic violence laws like the Violence Against WOMEN Act, the rape shield laws, sexual harassment laws, workplace harassment, affirmative action for women and girls, title IX and on and on.  Boys and men are an afterthought.

Gynocentrism is bad enough but what happened In the past 50 years put a new sinister spin on the gynocentric foot soldiers  Now it wasn’t just girls first and big boys don’t cry, now the new fabricated twist was that women and girls were oppressed, by men.   Our young men make it to middle or high school after years of gynocentric training and now they must deal with a new monster, the lethal and incorrect mantra:  Men oppressed women and women are victims. If they contradicted or questioned a party line about women and girls being victims or having special needs they would face overwhelming opposition.  Much of that opposition would be from gynocentric soldiers protecting women. 

So on top of the ideas that boys are here to protect, care for, and provide for women is the bizarre notion that the very people who had been providing and protecting them were now guilty somehow of being perennial abusers of women and girls. So now men and boys need to provide and protect women and also atone for some mythical oppression of those they have sacrificed for years.  Really? Maybe put even more simply, it’s like having a slave owner tell his slaves that they had oppressed him in the past and that their ancestors had oppressed him as well and they now need to make up for that with special treatment for him.  Enough said.

Our boys face a routine and unacknowledged training to be gynocentric foot soldiers. The male sex role is based on placing the needs , safety, and desires of women and girls on a higher level than those of men.  If we ignore this foundation we are sure to fail in serving men.   From the childhood messages like big boys don’t cry to viewing the vast majority of male role models who are serving the needs of women and neglecting their own wants and needs our boys rarely see a man choosing consciously and going his own way.  This needs to change.

If we are really going to free men from their roles we will need to help them first with what has been drilled into them and is facilitated by their biology: putting women first.   Instead of trying to teach boys to cry we need to teach boys that their needs are of importance.  We will need to teach boys that it is not mandatory for them to provide and protect for others, that it is also okay for them to simply care for themselves.  We need to help them see the value in their being, not just in their doing and we need to help them see that, in spite of what the culture and feminists might say,  men are good.  Then once they have the data, once they get the information and understand the gynocentric yoke, then and only then should we let them go whatever way they want.  If they want to get married then so be it.  If they want to move to the desert and be a hermit then so be it.  Unlike the feminists who push women into certain roles and shame them for others, we need to bless the boys in their own choices whatever they might be.  

Men are indeed good.

False Accusations and the Denial of Men’s Emotional Pain

I keep hearing that false  accusations of rape make it harder on real victims of rape.  Really? There may be a kernel of truth in this idea but it completely ignores the trauma and pain of the man who is falsely accused. The knee jerk reaction of most people is to worry over the woman and ignore the pain of the man.

This pattern to focus on females in emotional pain and offer help whilman-164216_1280e ignoring the emotional pain of men and boys is the default in the United States.  This not only leaves our men and boys without help, it also leaves us with an ignorance about their emotional pain.

To get a sense of the emotional pain of the falsely accused listen to the words of a young man falsely accused of rape via an article on slate.com:

“My girlfriend was raped several years ago.  I was falsely accused of rape less than a year ago.  I contacted her (I had known her before her incident) because I was desperate for someone to talk to who would understand what I was going through.  To my great relief, it turned out that we understood each other very well.  From the initial stages of suicidal thoughts and not being able to function to the long-term fear, mistrust, and guilt that are facts of our lives, it turns out that her experience of being raped and mine of being falsely accused of rape were very similar. …”

He touches on some of the hallmarks of a false accusation which he and his girlfriend realized were very similar to her reaction to having been raped.  The loss of functioning, the suicidal thoughts, the long-term fear and mistrust along with the potent guilt are a few of their similar reactions. 

It often starts out innocently enough.  He hears that she has accused him of something he didn’t do.  He is not so worried, at least not at first.  He knows he did nothing wrong and figures that when people get the facts that this will blow over like a dark cloud that never rains a drop.  But, to his shock, he starts seeing that even when he speaks the truth about what actually happened he is still considered a criminal.

But our young falsely accused man goes a step farther in his descriptions of his situation.  Listen to what he says:

“One important difference, though, is that when she was violated, she received a great deal of help (medical, legal, psychological).  Apart from family and friends, I was on my own.  My legal and psychological problems had to be dealt with by me at a time when I couldn’t eat, sleep, or think (except, of course, about killing myself).”

He sees very clearly that very few believe him while nearly everyone believes the woman. The system and our culture are failing him. His pain is invisible while hers is treated with reverence, even though she is lying. 

He must be shocked by the amount of coddling and care that she gets from friends, family, the university, the authorities, and so many others.  He is likely shocked again when he compares this to the reaction he receives.  Almost no support, but plenty of negatives.

In most instances the woman is believed no matter what. The police ignore his side and treat him like a rapist, the media is more than happy to paint him as if convicted and throw his name around willy nilly with at least the inference that he is a rapist. Rape centers make demands that all those claiming to have been raped should be believed no matter what.  While it might be a good idea to put your trust in someone in crisis it quickly turns to crap if you put your trust in someone who is lying.  The rape centers refuse to admit there are liars out there and they will go to great lengths to shame the police, the hospital, the media, the public or anyone who might even ask a question about the veracity of her claims.  This sets us up for a real mess. By giving the liars a pass you set up the falsely accused for chaos.

As time goes on he realizes that he is basically alone in his knowledge of the truth.  No one believes him.  Even his friends are wondering.  He starts to feel way out on a limb and also very shocked.  It is just hard to believe that your entire universe of friends, teachers, adults are looking at you sideways due to the lies of a woman.  It’s hard to believe that a system of “justice” has gotten things so wrong and is intentionally and wrongly painting you as a criminal.  The world which not long ago seemed safe and predictable has now become unsafe and very unpredictable. This promotes confusion and  the devastating isolation that is so common for the falsely accused along with the potent fears of the world being a big unpredictable booby trap.  They feel isolated, profoundly judged and labelled, unsafe and alone and in a world that has gone mad.

This is a billboard that says double standard.  While the emotional plight of the young woman is given support at every step by friends, family, the police, courts, the media and others the emotional state of the young falsely accused male is ignored and denied.  He is viewed as the problem. She is automatically seen as a victim simply because she accuses him, he is seen as a pariah simply for being accused. He is in great pain and turmoil but no one lifts a finger to be of assistance.  The sad fact is he is presumed guilty prior to trial. He is now seen as an object, not as a human being.  He is profoundly objectified. The double standard could not be more stark.

The larger problem is that this pattern of catering to the emotional pain of females and ignoring the emotional pain of males is not exclusive to false accusations.  You see this same pattern most everyplace you look.  In my work with traumatized men over the past 30 years I have seen it repeatedly.  Time and again I would see that in a traumatized family the men’s wives would be the focus of help and the man’s pain would be ignored.  Often times people would approach the father and rather than ask about his situation they would say, “How’s your wife holding up?” The woman gets the support, the man, gets asked about his wife.

This same pattern is seen when our culture, media, and academia all focus on female victims of domestic violence and ignore the male victims.  They do this even though research shows that men are about 1/2 of the victims.  Congress sets up a billion dollar service for women and men get ignored or even blamed.

We see the same ignoring of men’s emotional pain when we see that males are 80% of completed suicide but there are no services specifically for males who are suicidal.  There is also not much research looking into why men are 80% of completed suicides.  It seems it is much easier to get funding to study women, the men get left out.  And of course, the media fails to inform the public of men in pain.  Dead silence.  Same thing with workplace deaths where men are 93% of the dead.  People simply don’t care.  If these deaths were female or even some minority the media would be screaming loudly.  But when men are the victims, we get silence.

Our culture is now and always has been very gynocentric. (for more information see http://gynocentrism.com)  One definition of gynocentrism found on that site is “any culture instituting rules for gender relationships that benefit females at the expense of males across a broad range of measures.”  When it comes to emotional needs it is clear in our culture that a woman’s emotional pain is a call to action while a man’s emotional pain is ignored.  Some try to cover this profound bias by claiming men are cold and don’t want to deal with their emotions.  But this has simply been a cover to excuse oneself from even needing to pay the slightest attention to the man’s emotional pain. Epic fail.

The contrast is great between the cultural response to female and male emotional pain.   One gets compassion and the other gets ignored, shamed, or both.  This contrast is so great that it behooves the label of bigotry. Just as we saw whites create a system where whites automatically got services superior to that of blacks today we see our government and charities  developing services where women get care and compassion far superior to that of men and no one even notices. No one.  Reminds me of a bigoted 1950’s southern town that didn’t think its action were in any way a problem. In today’s world, the status quo, that is nearly everyone, are guilty of bigotry by not having compassion for the emotional pain of men. Which side of the fence do you stand on? Are you a bigot who has little compassion for boys and men? 

Perhaps someday we will look back on this era and see its bigotry just as we now look back on the racism of the 1950’s.  I do hope that day comes quickly.

 

Gynocentric Zombies

 

I love the TV show, “The Walking Dead.” It is a well-written, well-executed and highly entertaining series. I mostly like it because the zombies are just walking around eating people on my TV screen, not in real life.

Actually, I just wish that were true.

This fantastic photo was borrowed from the excellent  http://dailydead.com/ site.  My thanks to them and if there is a problem just let me know.
This fantastic photo was borrowed from the excellent http://dailydead.com/ site. My thanks to them and if there is a problem just let me know.

The world, the real one filled with real people, is already filled with real zombies. Gynocentric Zombies. They are automatons who feed on the flesh of men and boys in order to satisfy the needs, real or imagined, of women and girls. It’s pretty simple really. Just imagine decaying, tooth snapping extras in The Walking Dead and adjust it – slightly — with the zombies of both sexes only attacking men and boys, as they do the zombie shuffle right past women and girls in perfectly good condition. That about sums up our present state.
The vast majority of people are acting as if they were zombies, completely unaware of their inherent bigotry, while managing to zombiethink that they are so compassionate and balanced.

But scratch and sniff and what do you get? Eau de Zombie.

So are you a Gynocentric Zombie?

Do you think that it’s okay for boys to be circumcised/mutilated as infants without any anesthesia while any cutting of infant female genitalia is forbidden by law? If so, you are a Gynocentric Zombie.

Do you do a twitchy shrug and shuffle on when you hear that men are 80% of the victims of suicide? 93% of workplace deaths? If so, you are a Gynocentric Zombie.

Do you think that female victims of domestic violence deserve help while male victims don’t exist? If so, you are a Gynocentric Zombie.

This fantastic photo was borrowed from the excellent  http://dailydead.com/ site.  My thanks to them and if there is a problem just let me know.
This fantastic photo was borrowed from the excellent http://dailydead.com/ site. My thanks to them and if there is a problem just let me know.

Do you think that women are inherently good and superior to men, while men are inherently bad and inferior to women? Then your fetid smell should be filling the empty space where your nose used to be before it rotted off.

This is the real Zombie apocalypse. And is happening right now directly in front of societies, dull, greying eyes.

It’s time we start calling people out. Our politicians are all Gynocentric Zombies. They only make laws to help women and forget the men and boys. And they make laws to attack men and boys.

Remember, Gynozom’s are everywhere and not only the acidic and lethal types. No, the Gynozom Invasion come in all sizes and flavors. The worst are probably the politicians but our academics are not far behind.

Then there is the media. Oh yes, the media. Nearly all are media zombies and are willing to attack and consume men and boys whenever they need a bit to eat and at the same time working hard to protect women and girls. Yes, the media is overrun with Gynozoms. Swarming with them.

The most frightening aspect to Gynocentric Zombies is that you can’t identify them by the way they look. They look just like everyone else. In the Zombie movies it is easy to tell them from those who are fully alive. You can’t miss it. But in real life you can’t tell a Gynozom from a Gandhi just by looking. At any moment a Gynocentric Zombie who looks just like everyone else may come and take a bite out of you. If you are a man or a boy. And no one will care. The other Gynozoms certainly won’t.

Be afraid, be very afraid.

When Psychotherapists Hurt Families

 

Just_divorcedImagine a paranoid schizophrenic. He believes that everyone is out to get him. The world is conspiring to kill him. They are at every corner, at the bus stop, in the parking lot and watching his house at night. He seeks out a psychotherapist. He is surprised but delighted when the therapist agrees with all his delusions. The therapist says, “Yes, people are out to get you, they are at the bus stop and parking lot and they are watching your house.” The patient and therapist collude on how to deal with this “problem” and in so doing dig the patient deeper and deeper into a delusional world that is ruining his life and the lives of the patient’s family. The family has been trying to help the gentleman realize that this is a part of his psychosis, and he needs to take his meds, but they have been far from successful. Nothing they can say has made any difference. Now the patient has a professional ally who agrees with his delusions and that person is also an authority. The family is sunk. They try to get a court ordered commitment to a mental health facility but the therapist testifies that the man is fine and his thoughts are not in error. The judge listens to the therapist and decides against the commitment. Things go downhill quickly. It was bad enough for the family to deal with the man’s pathology on their own but now they are outgunned and easily defeated by the authority, the therapist, speaking out and contradicting their reality. It is simple to see the devastating impact of such collusion and the irresponsibility of the therapist. This is clearly malpractice.

But could this happen in real life?  I’m afraid so.

I have seen a very similar dynamic when watching cases of what the DSM calls “Parent Child Relational Problem.” This is known outside the DSM as PAS or Parental Alienation Syndrome. When this occurs one parent, often the the mother, believes that the other parent, usually the father, is the sole antagonist. She tries to alienate the children from the father by telling them falsehoods about him and claiming what a bad man their father is and that they should be afraid of him and not associate with him. She often wrongly claims him to be abusive, hurtful, and disruptive even though he is none of these things or is only a fraction of what she claims. The man is nowhere near what she is describing, he is simply a partner in a relationship that has gone sour. He likely was a part of the problem just as the wife was also a part of the problem but in PCRP the wife frames him as the only problem and a dangerous one at that.

The wife’s erroneous beliefs share some commonality with the delusions of the schizophrenic. Both are far from the truth. Both are very hurtful to family members with the PCRP untruths being more directly injurious to the children. The underlying reason for this blaming and shaming is unknown but what is clear is that she seems to have an unbridled fury with the father over the failure of the relationship and an intensive desire to make him pay, and pay dearly. She seems literally out to get him. She will often do things such as make false accusations towards the father or accuse him of sexually abusing the kids or of domestic violence against her.

Enter a psychotherapist for the mother. What I have sometimes seen in this sort of scenario is the therapist going along with the mother’s erroneous assessment of the father. Rather than do the hard work of helping the client assess both his and her responsibility in the failure of their relationship, and the tough work of learning to share custody they instead take the easy path of agreeing with all of the negative exaggerations the mom concocts about the dad. The therapist may even encourage the mother to attack the man in court, or push for ending his visitation with the children. Worse yet, the therapist may testify in court that the father is the problem and needs to have a limited role with the children. The testimony is based solely on what was heard from the mother. If you only get one side of the story you are doomed to failure. Mother and therapist are a team in their common belief that the father has been the real problem and work together to find ways to minimize the fathers involvement and cut the children off from any contact with their dad. All the while the mother’s responsibility in the divorce and relationship problems is completely ignored. With the therapists help, the mother is able to convince the judge and lawyers that her husband is the problem and needs to be treated accordingly.

It should be clear to people that this sort of unhealthy alliance between therapist and client is not helpful to the client and is certainly not helpful to the children or father. Now the mother has an ally who believes her delusional fury about the husband and is willing to testify in court to that effect. This sort of testimony is devastating. The judge and lawyers tend to believe a professional therapist and see them as objective and holding the best interest of all. But in this case it is simply not happening. The therapist and mother are fused in a one-sided partnership to sink the father. This puts the man in a very precarious position where it is likely he will not be believed and will pay a steep price of being vilified and cut off from his children at a time that the children need him dearly.

In essence this one sided partnership is setting up a very heinous scenario. Based on the testimony of the mother and her therapist the judge and lawyers will be duped by the false accusations into severely punishing the father. This dynamic is being called “3rd party abuse” where the institution, in this case the family courts, abuses the father in a continuation of the mother’s abuse. Now the father is the recipient of the abuse from not just the mother but from the actual institution that is supposed to be helping him. They are carrying out a punishment based on the mother’s and therapist’s false accusations. The institution is cutting dad out of his kids lives not because he is a bad dad but because the mother and therapist claim he is.

How could this happen?

Gynocentrism

The first reason is gynocentrism. We live in a world that is steeped in an unconscious mandate. That mandate is very simple but very few people are aware of its presence and power. The mandate is to protect women at the expense of men. We have been living this meme for centuries. It is actually what has made every successful culture thrive. It is an essential part of each culture to protect its women. Without women our culture would die a quick death and so we see the necessity and men sacrifice their own safety and sometimes their lives in order to keep the women safe. Think Titanic, where men willingly jumped to their deaths into the icy water while giving the women the lifeboats. Think every war we have ever fought and the hundreds of thousands of men who gave their lives. Think firemen and policemen sacrificing their safety and sometimes their lives so that other can be safe. This mandate runs all around us and most of us aren’t even aware of it. When a mother gets furious and one-sided about the husband being the only problem and being dangerous guess what happens? People automatically jump to protect her. In a gynocentric world where the protection of women is an unconscious priority that is what people do without thinking. Protect the woman. The other side of this is if the man claims he is not the abuser he is immediately seen as suspect. If you add in a therapist testifying in court that the man is the problem this is often insurmountable. Keep in mind that the same gynocentrism is likely present in the lawyers and in the judge. Due to this they will be easily swayed and more vulnerable to the testimony of the wife and the therapist. The therapist is the one link that should have training and awareness that goes beyond the gynocentric brainwashing but sadly this is rarely the case.

Male Disposability

One important result of gynocentrism is that men are seen as disposable. They die in much greater numbers at work, at war, by suicide, by murder, from nearly every major health problem and on and on. And guess what? No one cares. People automatically and unconsciously see men as disposable. If you were to take any of the above examples of places men die more often and suddenly have women being the more frequent victims you would see protests in the streets. Immediately! People would not tolerate seeing women die at war or at work. Congress would act quickly. But why don’t they react now? Because men are seen as disposable. Guess what that perception does? It diminishes the importance of men’s emotions. If he is disposable then his emotions are just not that critical. Not like hers. I have seen couples therapists who focus nearly exclusively on the emotional pain of the wife but blatantly ignore the pain of the husband. This happens more often than you might think but most don’t see it. They too are living in that gynocentric trance that sees women as victims in need of assistance and men as, well, there to help women. Men’s emotional pain is routinely ignored while men are described as cold and unfeeling.

This sort of automatic and unconscious bias plays out in a therapeutic relationship. In our example it increases the chances of the therapist being suckered into the lies of the mother since the therapist is seeing the world through gynocentric glasses. It will also mean that such a therapist will be less likely to sow concern or even see the man’s emotional pain.

Women are Victims

For the past 50 years we have seen an incredible push to view women as victims. This push has been facilitated by the strong presence of gynocentrism. Probably the most influential force in this movement has been the domestic violence industry. Their claims have for years voiced the meme that men are the primary perpetrators and women the sole victims of domestic violence. This is how they gained traction to start out. They would focus only on female victims and male perps. Due to gynocentrism everyone was more than willing to see women as being at risk and men being the perpetrators. The activists pushed this meme hard and told story after story to the media that it was women who were the perennial victims and men the perpetrators. They were successful in gaining the attention of the gynocentric media who went along with this biased point of view and once you get women complaining about their safety and the media reinforcing that the politicians can’t refuse to join the parade with academia not far behind. This push to see women as victims has been so successful that there is now a default disbelief that males can even be victims.

All the while the peer reviewed research is telling a very different story. Good science does not fall for the gynocentric trance. The research is saying that men are between 33% and 50% of the victims of domestic violence but there is no one asking for stories about men, no one highlighting men as victims, no media reinforcing that claim, no politicians working to protect them and very few in academia who might offer support. What do you get? You get a world that sees women as victims and men as perpetrators simply from a woman’s accusation. In divorce cases lawyers have been suggesting women make false allegations of domestic abuse for some time knowing that even an allegation will stop the judge from giving much custody to the father. This is mostly a risk free tactic since false accusations even when exposed, rarely are punished. Women are believed when they claim victimhood. Gynocentrism and the prevailing victim mentality insure that to be the case. Just think of a woman tied to the railroad tracks and imagine how many men line up to help. Judges, police, lawyers, therapists and on and on.

Political Correctness

Therapists are paid a good salary to be able to identify and assess pathology. There are numerous psychological disorders that increase the likelihood of false allegations. Among them are borderline personality disorder, sociopathy, dissociative disorder, narcissistic personality disorder and other personality disorders. Lying and false accusations are not uncommon in any of those diagnostic categories. The therapist is expected to be able to spot this type of pathology and when the pathology is present to be able to not reinforce such untruth either to the client or to the general public or in court testimony. Sadly, the days of therapists being trained to root out such evil are pretty much gone. In today’s mandatory Politically Correct climate any woman claiming rape or domestic violence is believed no matter what. Even questioning her about her story is framed as re-traumatizing the victim or what they are calling blaming the victim. If therapists go along with such a mandate their hands are tied to stand up for the truth if the client is false accusing. The therapist’s inability to do so leaves their clients at risk, the families at risk, the court system perjured and themselves at risk of a malpractice suit. The therapist has simply become an enabler.

Over Identification

The profession of psychotherapy tends to draw people who have a history of difficult childhoods and rocky upbringings. Many therapists work through these early troubles in school or in their own therapy. Having worked it through puts them in a very good position to be of help to others who have experienced similar difficulties. However, there is a sub-set who never really work through their own troubles and this can lead to all sorts of difficulties. One of those difficulties is if the therapist has not resolved old issues around being a victim then when a client comes along who claims to be a victim the chances are good that this therapist will over-identify with the clients victim stance. In other words, the therapists unfinished childhood issues start being seen in the problems of the client. Now the client’s victimhood is partly their own victimhood. As soon as that happens the therapist loses objectivity. It is no longer simply about helping the client see the truth and work towards living a healthy and happy life. Now they are banded together as partners dedicated to stopping the identified perpetrator. They are a team to stop the bad guy, and that bad guy is both the bad guy envisioned by the client and the bad guy of the therapists old unfinished stuff.

So put all five of these things together and what do you get? Gynocentrism, male disposability, victim mentality, political correctness, and a therapist who is overly identified with the victimhood of the client. You get real trouble. The therapist will no longer be able to see the client in a therapeutic manner. More likely they will be seen as a comrade in a war to rid the world of this perpetrator. At this point the therapist has become a danger to both their client and to the clients family. The truth is a casualty but so are the clients family. To make matters worse the therapist carries credentials that make them an authority and a part of the system. The therapist has an official seal of approval that is then carried into the courtroom to sink the chances of the man to even see his children. This application of gynocentrism and the four other factors described above are killing our culture.

Fathers are Good

The fact is that fathers are a critical part of their child’s life. Nearly every metric shows that when fathers are a big part of the child’s life the child does better. When fathers are absent things fall apart in a big way. By limiting father’s access to their children we are not only hurting the fathers, we are also setting our children up for failure. The gynocentric family court system is killing us.

We know now that dads do things automatically that help the healthy development of the child. Here’s one. Fathers are far more likely to toss their kids in the air. The mom’s grit their teeth and warn him to be careful. Now we know that being tossed in the air helps the kids to later be more able to take risks. The dad’s automatic behavior with his children is exactly what they need. By removing fathers from the homes we are shooting ourselves in the heart. The research is clear. Father involvement is a huge factor in healthy child development. By limiting the time fathers spend with their kids we are not only hurting the fathers, we are hurting the children.

Anytime there is therapy done with a divorced family there needs to be checks and balances. If one parent is blaming the other totally, making accusations of abuse and domestic violence and wildly flailing in attempts to implicate the other, there needs to be some sort of safety valve. We need a third party to verify that is the case. We need to have supports for all members of the family whether it is the mom, the dad or the kids. Divorces are serious business and can be extremely hurtful. We need to be sure they we are not the third party abusers who have fallen into a trap of lies.

Those therapists who go along with the pathology of the accusing parent need to be called out on their incapacity to treat their client in a healthy and productive manner. They need to face disciplinary action if their over-identification has caused more pain and trauma in the family. They need to see the rights and well being of all family members as being the essence of their work.

Mother Jones Goes Hypocritical

 

Mother Jones did a 6000 word piece on the Men’s Human Rights Movement and got it wrong in so many ways. Here’s a comment I left on the article:

Screen Shot 2015-01-28 at 3.36.17 PMThe namesake of this magazine is Mary (Mother) Jones, a woman who stood up for the rights of men. ​Her husband was an ironworker and organizer of the National Union of Iron Moulders. After​ his early death Mother Jones honored her husband by becoming a highly successful union organizer fighting for the rights of working men. She dedicated her life to helping men get a fair deal and did so with great gusto and aplomb. Far from a suffragette she is often quoted as having said “You don’t need the vote to raise hell.”

The irony of this article is overwhelming.

​The real Mother Jones fought for the rights of men who worked in the death professions. That is, those jobs that have a very high mortality rate. The jobs that are populated almost entirely by men who are sacrificing their own safety in order to provide for their families and loved ones. Workplace death is actually one of the many men’s issues that the author omitted from bringing up in this article. Rather than compliment the people who are working towards helping with this issue and these men her article instead attempts to denigrate and marginalize those working for the human rights of men and boys by name calling those folks haters and trolls. I do wonder if Ms Blake thinks of Mother Jones as a hater and troll?

She starts off the article with a huge cheap shot. In the first paragraph she tries to associate a murderer with the activists she is about to describe. There is literally no evidence that Eliot Rodger was in any way associated with the men’s human rights movement but facts don’t stop Ms Blake. Right off the bat she loses credibility by pulling such a low minded trick. Just imagine an article about the original Mother Jones that mentioned an unrelated murder in the first paragraph. It’s hard to imagine.

The majority of the article reads like a soap opera. She talks more about the personality of those involved rather than the issues at hand. In over 6000 words she never discusses any of the numerous issues men face for more than a sentence. That is remarkable.

It is also remarkable how she fails to mention the important work being done by avoiceformen.com. And of course, she fails to mention that a good portion of those at that site and who presented at the 1st International Conference on Men’s Issues in Detroit last June were women. Women who see the flagrant bigotry that Blake prefers to simply ignore. This might be more excusable if Blake had a short deadline but that was not the case. She has spent hours and hours, weeks and even months interviewing people about this and is totally aware of the issues at hand (including the workplace death issue) but has consciously chosen to simply not bring them up. That simply wouldn’t go so well with her personal misandrist theme of haters and trolls.

I think a better name for this magazine might be Mother Dworkin.

Men Are Good and so are Male Only Spaces (Part Two)

Part Onelionsmen of this series described numerous male spaces which over the last 40 years have been dismantled. Nearly all of the examples of male spaces had something important in common: they focused on all male groups that gathered to be supportive to women and the culture at large. The armed forces, police and firemen are obvious examples of men being of service. The Lions, Kiwanis and Rotary are also obvious examples of men gathering in male space to be helpful to women and the society at large. These spaces harmonized with men’s traditional provide and protect role. Even the all-male colleges could be seen as ultimately preparing young men to be of service to women and to our culture, especially the military academies. The athletic groups were also similar and provided a competition ground that helped women in choosing which man might be best for her. Most of these male spaces had a similar objective to be of service to women and the culture by helping men perform their primary sex role of providing and protecting.

Then along comes the 1970’s with the battle cry that men and women were equal. No differences existed between men and women outside of socialization they said. When we run under that assumption, that men and women are exactly equal, it is easy to see that the need for male space that enhances his ability to provide and protect for women is no longer a necessity. If we are truly equal then women should be able to provide and protect on their own. Male spaces lose their cultural importance. If we are truly equal then it’s optional. The male spaces become something that is as disposable as the males themselves. They are no longer necessary.

This might have been an interesting development if men and women were truly treated as equal. Women would have been drafted and dying in wars at an equal rate, there would be no affirmative action if we were truly equal, those women’s commissions would have been people commissions to serve both men and women, the health laws and funding would have focused in a more balanced manner rather than focusing primarily on women, we would have a violence against people act rather than a violence against women act and on and on.

But that is not what happened. At the same time that equality was proclaimed we see the powerful and quiet hand of gynocentrism shaping our world. Prior to this gynocentrism helped our civilization by providing and protecting women at the expense of men. This insured the survival of our species. But now with the proclamation of equality​,​ gynocentrism continued its influence but in a different manner. Now the heading is that we are equal but as Orwell explained “some animals are more equal than others.” This is clearly seen in the dismantling of male space and the simultaneous expansion of female space. Yes, we are equal but females should get more. The ridiculous excuse for this is that males had it all for so long and now it is women’s turn. Okay, if that is the case then why not have women only battle groups, women trashmen, women sewage workers? We don’t see that though do we? Just more perks for women and tell the men they are equal and to sit down and shut up and keep those sewers running. This is a far cry from equality.

It is interesting to note that as male spaces that were meant to provide for women, children and the culture at large were being dismantled female only spaces were being built.  These female Screen Shot 2014-12-31 at 12.06.40 PMspaces seem markedly different from the males spaces that were intended to serve women, children, and the culture. The female spaces seem to focus only on helping women and sometimes children, especially female children.  Men’s service groups tended to serve everyone but themselves while women’s service groups seem to serve primarily only themselves.  Very different.  So if men “had it all” then women still don’t have it all since they have omitted a large part of what the men did when they were of service to women, children, the needy and the culture at large.

To make matters worse, the same gynocentrism that offers more to women by default, also continues to hold men accountable for women even though we are “equal.” If we were truly equal then women and the public would have no problem with men meeting in male only spaces. Why not? If we are equal and women can have private spaces, why not men? But we see the opposite. Men are discouraged from meeting together in male only spaces and even more discouraged to meeting together for their own benefit. The male spaces of yesteryear as we have seen had the open purpose of being of service to others, especially women and the needy. So these spaces are discouraged but guess what? Even spaces where men would meet just for their own benefit are greeted with shaming and harsh judgements. Let’s take an example.

Think back to the 1990’s and the Mythopoetic Movement started by poet Robert Bly. This movement began creating very powerful male spaces that had nothing to do with providing and protecting and these men paid a dear price for it. As we have seen, our culture has tolerated male only spaces in the past since they were mostly related to the gynocentric harness that held men to sacrifice their own needs and focus on the needs of the culture and of women and children. But these spaces were very different. The Mythopoetic groups offered spaces for men to enjoy each other’s company as men and to explore their vulnerabilities and woundedness in a non​-​competitive and supportive space completely void of any women. Sounds good right? The media had been blasting men for decades for being too violent, for being too silent, for being too insensitive, too competitive and well, just too “testosterone poisoned.” Then along comes the Mythopoetic movement which is the antitheses of all of these criticisms and what does the media and public do? They shame these men time and time again with insults like “all they do is go out in the woods and bang drums.” The public goes along with the media assessment and this huge shift is simply shamed and turned into a cartoon even though the men were doing the very things that the media and the public had complained that men had forever lacked.

The question is why would this happen? Why would people not see this important shift in men’s behaviors and applaud these men for breaking new ground? I think the answer is very simple. The answer is that the thing that most upset the public was that males were leaving their traditional roles of providing and protecting. It didn’t matter what else they were doing. All that mattered was that they were meeting as men, with other men, and not focusing on caring for women or doing anything that was related to providing and protecting. They were looking at their own wounds and supporting each other and this was enough to set off the media and the public into auto shame mode.

In​ ​so​​me ways I think these men got a taste of what gay men had seen for many years, shaming, harsh judgment and the assumption they just weren’t “real” men. Real men provide and protect​, and have an interest in women, not in themselves or other men​.

In some ways the mythopoetic men and gays were pioneers in the MGTOW movement. We can see the same shaming being dished out to the MGTOW men of today. All these groups have the common bond of not catering to provide and protect for women. When men meet on their own, in male only groups they become a target of the culture.

If I am correct it will help explain why men’s human rights activists are getting such an automatic shaming and hatred for standing up for men and boys. These men and women are focusing on an aspect of being male that has nothing to do with his primary sex role of provide and protect and has everything to do with his own needs, wants, and well being. This is seen as a threat just as the mythopoetic men, the gays and the MGTOW’s were likely seen as a threat since they were ignoring the provide and protect side of things and focusing instead on themselves.

And so it goes.

Let’s not forget, men are good. Gay men, straight men, MGTOW men, Mythopoetic men, MHRA men and on and on. Men are good.

Original Men’s Issues Video w/ audio

 

Here is the original Men’s Issues Video with the audio:

 

After being on youtube for nearly 8 years Youtube decided that the background music in this video was a copyright infringement and without any warning simply muted the audio.  This was the first video I had done and at the time I simply didn’t think that using background music in a free, non-commercial, educational video was going to cause a fuss.  I guess I was wrong.

 

Lesson learned.

 

 

Men Are Good and so are Male Only Spaces


I want to introduce you to a new hero of mine, a man named Johnny Shanahan. Johnny runs barber shops in Ireland and Great Britain. He decided that he wanted his shops to be male only.  This has predictably created considerable resistance from those who felt it was sexist.  johhnnyJohnny won’t back down.  Good on him.  Johnny offers more than just a haircut. In some of his shops a bar is available, some offer poker, some cigars and the welcomed male banter.  Johnny is standing up for the rights of men to gather in a male only space. He sees the obvious benefit for men to gather together.  I don’t think it is a stretch to guess that Johnny also thinks men are good.

But why does Johnny even need to provide such a service for men? Well, because we have seen a systematic dismantling of male spaces over the last 40 years.  The prominent justification is that women are facing discrimination by being excluded from the men’s spaces with the implication that men are using all of their male only spaces to network and market and thus leaving women out and disadvantaged. Framed in this manner male only space was deemed sexist and the demands followed that male spaces need to change and incorporate women. There may be an ounce of truth in this idea but that is no reason to dismantle ALL male spaces.  The feminist demonization of men strikes again and the public has followed along like a little puppy dog. 

At the same time that men’s spaces are being outlawed, women’s spaces are seen as sacred and rather than being opened to men have been expanded as women only.  Due to this 40 years of dismantling of male space and the opposite expansion of female only spaces there are very few places left that men can gather and just be men together.

pinkironLet’s give some examples of the dismantling of male spaces.  

Our gyms at one time were primarily male spaces for men to gather, work out, and compete but now gyms must be open to both genders.  But wait, what about Curves?  Yes, women only gyms are acceptable and are often a very successful endeavor providing women only spaces in gyms like Curves and Pink Iron.girlonteam

Men’s and boys sports teams have been largely opened to girls to participate while girl’s teams are off limits to boys and men.

There were numerous colleges that were male only providing the young men with an experience of an all male environment.  As of 2008 only three all male liberal arts colleges remained.  However, there are nearly fifty all female colleges and no one seems to mind or get upset.  Male space is dismantled as sexist while female space is expanded and blessed.

womeninlockerrooomAt one time women were restricted from men’s locker rooms and only men were allowed inside. Now that has shifted and females are allowed into male locker rooms after games even though the males are in a state of undress.  At the same time female locker rooms are always off limits to men and male reporters.

Barbershops at one time were places that were men only.  That has shifted and now they are mostly unisex.  Thanks to Johnny and others that is starting to shift.

firemen-womanThe military, fire department and police were all male only at one time.  But today they are populated by both sexes with the previous physical requirements to do the job often lowered for the express purpose of allowing women to participate.  At the same time professions like teaching and nursing continue to be dominated by women and no one says a peep.

The YMCA, the young men’s christian association, was once for boys but it has accepted girls and is now for all children.  The YWCA, the young women’s christian association remains for girls and women.

Title IX has been a great help to young women getting important athletic experiences but it has come at a severe price to the men and boys.  Over 2200 male athletic teams have been sacrificed for the sake of Title IX leaving the young men without a similar athletic experience and a huge lack of male space. This is particularly hard on boys since they are more likely to find and maintain relationships on their sports teams.

lionsmenMen’s organizations have taken a similar beating.  Most are now about women and men, not just about men.  Take the Rotary Club as an example.  At one time it was for men only. Then in the late 1980’s the Supreme Court ruled against them and forced the Rotary, Lions, Kiwanis, and others to start accepting females. lions women But take a look at the women only organizations.  Hundreds upon hundreds of them.  We have a national organization to support and promote all of the women’s commissions and another  national organization to support and promote all of the women’s groups.  All male organizations are a thing of the past while female specific organizations are expanding in a big way.  

Women in congress have increased many times over in the last 50 years.  What do they do?  They start a women’s caucus to support and promote any legislation that might help women and girls. That is all well and good but congress has no men’s caucus.  What’s that you say?  All of congress is a men’s caucus?  Nope, you got that wrong.  Not one congressman or senator has an aid specifically for men’s issues but it is nearly guaranteed that each one will have an aid and maybe even a staff of people to focus on women’s issues. Our legislators may be mostly male but these males do their provide and protect routine very well and write legislation that helps women and girls but ignores the needs of boys and men.

ladiesparkAt one time our parking lots were spaces for everyone.  But now we are seeing more and more women only spaces. And yes the pun is intended, there are No Male Spaces.  On a more serious note In many countries they have women only subway cars or buses but nothing similar for men.

So it is easy to see that male spaces have disappeared and today’s generation of young men don’t even miss it since they never knew it existed. “So what” you say?  What’s the big deal?  Well, start off by just imagining that the same dismantling had happened to women’s groups and left them today without any female spaces.  Would that be hurtful to them?  Absolutely.  Women have always gotten a great deal by gathering in women only groups.  Imagine all of that was now available but it was no longer women only, there had to be men involved in every activity as both members and leaders.  Can you feel the difference?  I bet you can. Women would suffer and likely yearn for women only space.

Now think of what it has done to our men and boys. Men have traditionally found it helpful to meet and be with other men whether it is at the barber shop, the gym, on a sports team, at work, or at a service group. Men tend to find and maintain friendships within these male spaces. The male only camaraderie helps build the man’s sense of self and give him an idea of where he stands among men.  The jostling back and forth, the competition, the kidding and the pushing of buttons, and simply the all male shoulder to shoulder time also helps these men. They compete like crazy and then go have a beer. These sorts of things were common place in the male only spaces.  Now they are basically extinct except for the spontaneous gatherings that men create. Men like Johnny Shanahan.  

Johnny be Good!  And so are men.

johnnybegood

The One-Sided Narrative of Domestic Violence

Möbius_strip
The Mobius Strip only has one side and is not too dissimilar to the narrative on domestic violence.

The public is convinced that domestic violence is all about aggressive men beating up on defenseless women. While this is in some ways correct, it is only a fraction of the story.  The reality is that domestic violence is quite complex and women can be the perpetrators and men can also be the victims.  That side of the story though has been deeply buried and ignored.

How did the public come to be so misinformed?  It’s a long and involved tale.  Activists, clinicians, the media, academics and researchers have all played a part in this.  Each group has for many years only told a part of the story, the part about women as victims and men as perpetrators.  To get a good sense of this remarkable and lopsided tale you could read a report to Maryland lawmakers written by the Maryland Commission for Men’s Health that tells the story plainly about male victims of domestic violence. It does not pull punches and goes into more detail than this short article.  

It’s not hard to imagine how an activist, a clinician or the media might have a strongly biased stance that focused only on women as victims. They are all likely to have a vested interest. The activist wants more funding for their specific work, the clinician is tied to their patients and their plight, and the media will print whatever sells more papers. Female victims sell papers, male victims don’t. But how about academics and researchers? How could they play a role in this deception? One might assume that they would have an interest in getting the entire story in the open but that is far from the case.  There is no simple answer to this question but there is a fine piece of writing by Murray Straus,  a renowned family violence researcher that explains his take on this problem. (the Straus report is briefly referenced in the Maryland Men’s Health Commission report cited above) The Straus article describes seven methods used by feminist domestic violence researchers  to conceal and distort evidence on symmetry in partner violence. In other words Straus tells us how these researchers avoided talking about men as victims and women as perpetrators. The article is a remarkable story of a researcher explaining how his craft has been manipulated to tell only part of the story and therefore create a false perception among the general public, the perception that women are the sole victims of domestic violence. It is a must read for anyone who is baffled by this scenario.

Here are the Seven Methods outlined by Straus:

Method 1 Suppress Evidence
Method 2 Avoid Obtaining Data Inconsistent With the Patriarchal Dominance Theory
Method 3. Cite Only Studies That Show Male Perpetration
Method 4. Conclude That Results Support Feminist Beliefs When They Do Not
Method 5. Create “Evidence” by Citation
Method 6. Obstruct Publication of Articles and Obstruct Funding Research That Might Contradict the Idea that Male Dominance Is the Cause of PV
Method 7. Harass, Threaten, and Penalize Researchers Who Produce Evidence That Contradicts Feminist Beliefs

In this article we will be having a look at Method three which shows how researchers can choose to only cite evidence that shows male perpetration and simply omit any mention to alternatives. Straus explains that their own data may in fact have evidence of male victims but they simply choose to not include it in their studies.They simply ignore it and only promote one side of the story: female victims and male perpetrators. 

It is hard to believe that someone invested in the scientific method would stoop to such standards but Straus is 100% correct.  This has been done for years both in research and in the keeping of statistics.

In order to understand how this can happen let’s take a recent example that can show us how this works and also give us some insight into the mentality of those who might utilize such tactics.  

In September of 2014 in the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine an article was published titled “Characteristics of Men Who Perpetuate Intimate Partner Violence.”  The article, as so many others before it, focused solely on men as perpetrators and women as victims. It estimated that 1 in 5 men admitted to being violent toward their spouse.  The media caught wind of this and a flood of articles were published with the headline “1 in 5 men admit to violence toward spouse.”

Here are a couple examples of the types of headlines that were seen:

psychcentral

webmd

Seeing these articles motivated me to contact the researcher, Dr Vijay Singh, and ask a few questions.  We exchanged numerous emails. In his defense, I must say that he was very generous with his time and civil in our discussions. He seems like a very nice chap but he did say some things that will help us in understanding the mentality of researchers who ignore male victims.  

The Gatekeeper

One of the first things I asked the researcher was if he had posed the same question to females about their violence towards men.  One of his eventual responses to this is below.  

“As I’d like physicians to think about asking men about IPV, a place to start is from the traditional heterosexual model of women as victims, and men as perpetrators. Eventually, physicians may get to a point of asking women about perpetration, and men about victimization. The medical community is not there yet, and may not be there for many years.”

So he is basically saying, doctors are not ready to hear about male victims or female perpetrators.  He would like them to be ready to hear about this but well, they just aren’t there yet.  This is somehow used as an excuse to not focus on male victims and female perpetrators?  It’s as if he is saying, “Maybe we will get to the men someday, maybe years from now.”  Imagine a doctor saying, “We have lots of diabetes deaths and let’s start with the white patients since that is where most physicians are comfortable, maybe someday we will get to the blacks. But let’s not talk about them since doctors may not be ready to hear about them.”  Would that go over very well?  Absolutely not,  It would be seen as hateful and racist but somehow if you do the same thing to men no one really cares.  It is also very clear that he is not willing to  point out to M.D.’s that males are indeed victims or females perpetrators.  That isn’t even on the radar.  Not to mention that the “heterosexual model” he mentioned has nothing to do with female victims and is a complete non sequitur.  (in this researcher’s defense he claims to have published research that points out females as perpetrators)

But Women are More Often the Victims!

This is a very common claim that researchers make in justifying ignoring male victims or in only serving women.  Listen to what this researcher says:

“Though women may report higher rates of perpetration, they receive more injuries from IPV, and women constitute 70% of those killed by an intimate partner. Because of the greater burden of injuries and deaths from IPV, we chose to focus on men as aggressors in our study.”

This is a very common excuse for those who are inclined to tell only half the story.  Let’s examine this just a minute.  Most research tends to show that males are a large percentage of the seriously injured in domestic violence.  The J Archer meta analysis estimated that 38% of the injuries from domestic violence were to males so I think it is safe to take this kind of claim with a grain of salt and understand it is just an excuse, not a good reason to avoid bringing up male victims and female perpetrators.  But look at the stats he quotes.  Women are 70% of those killed by an intimate partner. Yes.  Last I checked that would mean that 30% of those killed were males.  Therefore he is willing to turn his back on nearly a third of those killed each year.  To me this is bizarre and indefensible.  Blacks are 25% of those who die from heart disease. Should we have a “Heart Disease Against Whites, Hispanics and Asians Act?”  It’s an act that funnels money and services to the majority of the victims, right?  By this researcher’s logic that would be just fine.  Or maybe the Cancer Against Heterosexuals Act?  Would that work?

It turns out this researcher was aware of the fact that females reported higher rates of perpetration (we will get to this in just a minute) but he was happy to simply focus on 1 in 5 men being violent in relationship.  The only explanation that comes to my mind is that he is motivated by a gynocentrist attitude that thinks of serving females first and males as an afterthought.  

The Catch 22

This researcher claims that he was reluctant to alert physicians that men were also victims of domestic violence since, as he says, there are no interventions available.  Here’s the quote:

“…There is no effective intervention for male victims of IPV, or female perpetrators of IPV. Without an intervention, physicians don’t want to ask men or women about those behaviors. Your point that many domestic violence service agencies not wanting to work with men also complicates this issue.”

So here is the Catch 22.  Only those who have interventions available get referred and discussed.  Men get omitted since they have no interventions.  But how will men ever get interventions and service if they are not discussed? Seems like a fool proof plan to permanently exclude men and justify focusing only on women.  I do wonder what he would say if I suggested that there was a serious disease or problem where researchers didn’t have adequate services or interventions. Would he want to just keep that quiet since there were not interventions available?  I would bet not.  What we see is a callous disregard for males who have troubles.  He is insulated from any criticism  due to the profound lack of anyone in our culture standing up for the needs of boys and men.

It’s worth noting that it could be said that the interventions for female victims and male perpetrators are far from being proven effective but that doesn’t keep us focusing on women only and spending a billion dollars a year on the problem.

But wait a minute. It gets worse.

The STUDY

A public database was used for this research.  I asked the researcher for the raw numbers for females admitting violence and he refused saying I needed to find a statistician to help me obtain that data.  That smelled a little stinky to me and it made me wonder if he had something to hide.  I went about figuring a way to get the data myself and was pleasantly surprised to find that it was open for anyone to see and was online to boot!   

I taught myself the basics to get to this raw data and first looked into the ways the data was collected. They used two questions which were drawn from a nationally representative database. (NCS-R) One of the two questions asked about the respondent’s usage of minor violence towards their spouse and the other asked about severe violence.  The responses were broken down into four possibilities which detailed how often the behaviors occurred:

a. never
b. rarely
c. sometimes
d. often

These categories gave one a sense of the frequency of the behaviors being studied.  But here is the kicker.   The researchers didn’t use these four responses even though they were available on the database.  Here’s a quote from the research paper that describes what they didi:

In brief, the dependent variable IPV perpetration was assessed by asking: “Over the course of your relationship, how often have you ever done any of these things (pushed, grabbed, or shoved; threw something; slapped or hit; kicked, bit, or hit with a fist; beat up; choked; burned or scalded; threatened with a knife or gun) to your current spouse/partner?” Responses included often, sometimes, rarely, or never. We dichotomized responses into any/none.

In other words, by “dichotomized” they mean they turned all the different four responses into either “yes” I committed violence or “no” I did not commit violence.  They took any answer that was not “never ” as constituting an incident of domestic violence. With no way of interpreting the frequency of these behaviors we are left just guessing unnecessarily.  This limits the usefulness of the data. The chart below gives you a quick look at all the answers that were not “Never.” It shows all of the positive responses (the admissions of violence) to the two questions from the database where respondents answered “Rarely”, “Sometimes” and “Often.” Notice that 87% of these responses were “Rarely.” Knowing that the vast majority have answered rarely puts a very different spin on the data.  But since the study has removed this information it leaves the reader unaware of any frequency information and it is anyone’s guess what people will assume. If you only read their study with their dichotomized data and don’t know about this detail of the data you might assume that all of those responses were incidents of serious violence. Have a look at this chart and see how the vast majority of answers were “Rarely” (457) and there were very few “Sometimes” (63) and fewer still “Often.” (7)   

all-responses

Why would researchers do this sort of thing? I am not sure what their reasons were but it is clear that by counting the incidences as they did it will tend to inflate the appearance of domestic violence.  This gave them the ability to make the claim that 1 in five men “admitted” to being violent towards their spouse.  Just imagine if they had not dumbed down the data.  They would have had to say “One in five men admitted to rarely being violent towards his spouse and one in 1000 answered “Often.’  It just loses its sexiness doesn’t it?  

Then the question arises why would any researcher want to diminish the information in his data?  It might have been very instructive if they could differentiate the different levels of frequency of violence.  They could then say things like “Those men who claimed to “often” use violence towards their spouse were more likely to x than the men who said “rarely.”  This could be very helpful information to clinicians, law enforcement, and many others but we simply don’t see that level of detail since the data has been “dichotomized.” My guess is that the motive here is to inflate the appearance of domestic violence and by doing this they get more likelihood of funding for their next study.   But this is just my guess.

When people think about domestic violence they are often thinking of someone being severely beaten. They are not thinking of someone who gave a gentle push or grabbed an arm in a moment of irritation and both parties then calming down shortly thereafter.  But the way these questions were asked all of the “rarely” responses could be just that: a momentary irritation.  One of the questions asked a list of behaviors including if you had ever pushed or grabbed  your spouse.  If you pushed your spouse 20 years ago and never pushed her again you would answer yes to this question and would be counted as someone who admitted to violence in relationship. The way the questions were worded leaves us wondering about the severity of violence associated with the “Rarely” responses. It is possible that with the wording of the questions that the “Rarely” category might be a slight push every twenty years. So just to experiment, let’s exclude these “rarely ” responses and only count the “sometimes” and “often” responses as being evidence of more serious domestic violence the situation changes dramatically.  Now instead of being 1 in 5 it is more like 1 in 50.  Even that I think is not accurate.  If you exclude the sometimes responses and only count for the question about severe violence the figure drops to 1 fifth of one percent .17% (about 1 in 500) Very very low but these researchers tried to paint a picture using all of the positive responses as being a “yes” thus creating the appearance of a more widespread problem. 

But with these caveats let’s accept this as it is and move on.

We have seen how this researcher harbors ideas that are likely to diminish the chances of male victims being highlighted.  We have seen how the data was “dichotomized” and how this may have altered the meaning of the numbers to the general public.  Now let’s turn to the stunning fact that the database he used for this study to show how 1 in 5 men admitted to being violent with their spouse actually showed that women admitted to more violence in relationship than did the men, sometimes by as much as double.  Let’s look at each of the two questions. 

Here’s the first:

MR42. F (RB, PG 56)
People handle disagreements in many different ways. Over the course of your relationship, how often have you ever done any of these things on List A to your [(current)] [(spouse/partner)] – often, sometimes, rarely or never?

         List A
          ·  Pushed, grabbed or shoved
· Threw something
· Slapped, hit, or spanked

Let’s have a look at a chart that shows both men’s and women’s response to that question.

admits-min-viol-full2

Note that the majority of responses were “Never” with “Rarely” coming in a distant second.  Then note that the “Sometimes” and “Often” responses are a very small number in comparison.  You will see that of the responses that admitted to any violence (rarely, sometimes, and often) the female totals were always higher than the males.  In the sometimes and often responses they were almost double. This is remarkable but it got buried by the researchers only focusing on male violence.  Also note that the males admitting to minor violence are about 15.5% of the total while the females admitting minor violence are about 21%.  That is quite a gap.

So we can easily see that the researcher simply ignored the female data.  It was there but he chose to turn his head. 

Next up is the question about severe violence. Here is the question as it was asked:


MR44. F (RB, PG 56)
Now looking at List B, over the course of your relationship, how often have you ever done any of the things on List B to your [(spouse/partner)] – often, sometimes, rarely, or never?

LIST B
Kicked, bit or hit with a fist
Beat up
Choked
Burned or scalded
Threatened with a knife or gun

See the chart below and notice that the same patterns play out in this chart with the major difference being that the numbers are sharply diminished.  Again notice that the female numbers are always higher than the males and in the “sometimes” and “often” responses are double or more.

admit-seve-viol-full2

This seems like a very important difference that is contrary to the stereotype that has become the norm.  The least that needs to be done is for the researchers to attempt to explain this difference.  I am willing to bet that their explanation would  focus on the man’s unwillingness to tell the truth.  This explanation might have some credibility since men are far more likely to face harsh judgement and shaming for admitting hitting a woman while women do not face nearly the same sorts of judgements for hitting men.  But the data does not support this idea.  There were other questions on this same database about domestic violence and one of those asked the respondent for the frequency of how often the spouse hit them.  If we assume that men were lying about their violence we would expect that the women’s responses to how often their spouse was violent towards them would show that their masculine partners were more violent and the women’s numbers about the men being violent would be greater than the men’s numbers.  But that is not what the responses show.  The responses show that women reported that men hit them less than the men report the women hitting them.  This seems to support the idea that women are more violent in relationships (at least in this sample) just as the raw data from these questions suggests.

It is also worth noting that just as the researchers “dichotomized” the Rarely, Sometimes and Often responses into yes or no, they have also combined the question about severe violence and minor violence into one unit that is expressed as a yes or no.  If someone answered affirmatively to either of these questions it was counted as an incident of violence. But keep in mind that there were nearly seven times as many affirmative responses to the question about minor violence when compared to the severe violence.  These important differences disappear when the data is simply totaled and you ignore both the frequency and the severity. Again, the same theme plays out that “dichotomizing” the data and now the questions puts strong and unnecessary limits on its usefulness.  The only reasons I can imagine they would want to do this would be to inflate the appearance of domestic violence. Just as the activists, media and so many others try to paint an exaggerated picture we now see the researchers apparently taking a similar path.

It seems to me that List B is more representative of what most of us consider domestic violence.  Kicking, beating up, choking, threatening with knife or gun etc.  These are indicators of serious violence.  If we only look at the percentages of this question we see that the number of females admitting severe violence totaled 3.1% (approx. 1 in 32) while the males admitting severe violence totaled 2.2% (approx. 1 in 45).  That says that nearly 60% of those admitting to severe violence are women.  What?  Has anyone heard any research that points to those numbers?  No.  And that is the point of this article.  We have heard only half the story and as evidenced by this research the numbers were there, the researchers simply opted to ignore them thus leaving most of us in the dark about the realities of domestic violence.

Conclusion

We have seen how the ideas and attitudes of the researcher played out in only reporting one side of this story.  We have seen how the “dichotomizing” of the data and the questions basically dumbed down the data and made if less useful by making it a simple yes or no. We have seen how very shocking and informative data that conclusively shows that women admitted to being more violent in relationship was ignored and unreported.  This all facilitates the promotion of the default narrative of women as victims and men as perpetrators by only telling the story about male perpetrators and female victims.   We have seen how this works and the powerful national media’s willingness to promote this half story on a national level.

Look at the headline below. Now you know this headline should actually read “1 in 4 American Women admit to domestic violence.”


feministing2

Can you imagine seeing an article like the one pictured below in  a mainstream media publication?  I would bet not.  But like it or not, that is actually the truth.

newspaper (1)

It’s time we started holding researchers, the media and all of those connected to domestic violence accountable.  This charade has gone on far too long.