Helping Mothers be Closer to Their Sons

 

hmcb-3dcov2Helping Mothers Be Closer to Their Sons is a book that does just that, it helps moms be closer to their sons. It does this by first offering mothers new information on the uniqueness of their sons.

The first section of Helping Mothers Be Closer to Their Sons offers moms the important information the media and others have omitted. It examines the role of the testosterone flood in utero and how this changes boys even before they are born. It looks into the newest ideas drawn from improved methods in testosterone research. These new methods show that testosterone is not about aggression or violence, it is instead about striving for status. That is, pushing him to compete, to win, to be at the top. Testosterone pushes boys to win and this is just one of the many ways that a boy’s biology impacts his way of being.

The book shows how boys adjust their behaviors based on their differences and importantly how moms can use these differences to get closer. Sections on why boy’s emotions are invisible and how to see them, on how they play, how they compete, how they heal and more. Golden offers tips and suggestions about how to take advantage of the boys uniqueness and use it as a way to get close. There are bonus sections on discipline, adolescence, and teaching boys about emotions.

Concise and straight forward this book will put moms in a position to truly appreciate their boys for who they are and to get closer in the process.

Give it a try. You can’t go wrong.

Buy Here

Excerpts

 

About the Author

Tom Golden, LCSW has over 30 years experience working with men and boys. He has appeared on a wide variety of media including CNN, CBS Evening News and many others. Shown here on ESPN and the NFL Channel for a special through NFL Films bringing the message that men have unique healing paths that are too often unseen. Tom has given workshops in Australia, Europe, Canada, and the US.

Demonising Male Sexuality, Frustration and Loneliness

 

anger-1226157_1280We had a reunion for our summer camp. It was held at one of the attendees home, a young man named Jim. He had an older 20 year old sister, Dora, who was also there. Peter and I were both present having been two of the leaders of the camp.

As soon as Dora saw Peter, she went wild. All girls went wild as soon as they saw Peter – one of my biggest mistakes has always been going on any holiday with him. She hurried upstairs and came back, dressed in a delicious sexy outfit: a short dress, black stockings and ample make-up, hoping to get Peter interested.

But Peter didn’t get interested. The one who got interested was Bob, another teenager and an uncomplicated working-class boy. He made it very clear that he loved what he saw, even though he didn’t touch Dora or say anything indecent.

It was also clear Dora wasn’t happy about the situation at all. We laughed a bit about her, without any malice or disdain: what did she expect, dress up like that and then decide who could chase her and who couldn’t?

This all happened quite a while ago. Nobody would have thought about calling Bob’s behaviour ‘harassment’, even though we laughed a bit about him too, without the slightest malice. Nowadays, Dora would at least have given an interview to a newspaper to prove how sexist men are, that we live in a rape culture that is unsafe for women. Bob’s behaviour isn’t forbidden yet in my own home country, the Netherlands, but some women who are very concerned about human rights are working on it.

 

ADMITTING THAT SEX IS A PROBLEM

Feminists talk about male sexuality all the time. Anti-feminists and MRA’s hardly ever do, and then it is mostly about false rape allegations, not about (straight) male sexuality as such. Why is that?

Of course, men are already vulnerable protesting against anti-male injustice. They’re portrayed as ‘whiners’ or ‘crybabies’, who are ‘trying to divert the attention from much bigger injustice done to women’. Nevertheless, some brave men are willing to speak out when it’s about affirmative action gone too far, judges being unjust to men, and meta-issues such as free speech for MRA’s and anti-feminists. In fact, those meta-issues very often seem to be the main issue.

Admitting that sex is a problem, however, is lethal for men. Who will ever address the issue except when he is unattractive, clumsy with women, creepy (the word always used in this context) and blaming all his incapability on women and feminism? Men complaining about sex, or the absence of it, are seen as the very worst crybabies. So men shut up about it.

And to cite Warren Farrell: women don’t hear what men don’t say. That goes for anti-feminist women as well. So male and female MRA’s only touch the subject occasionally.

True, Katie Roiphe and Daphne Patai wrote books about it – long ago already. Since then things only worsened.

 

HARASSMENT

Male sexuality is demonized by the term ‘harassment’. That term confused me, because my idea of harrassment seemed to be about wilful insults from men who don’t respect women and love to humiliate them. At the same time I wasn’t too sure that bona fide approaching of women with erotic intentions couldn’t be interpreted as such, if only as a result of misunderstanding. So I googled it. What I found was confusing.

One of the more reasonable sites said that as a man (boy), you might unintentionally do things that a woman (girl) didn’t like, and then you’d better apologise to her and make it clear you didn’t mean it that way. No problems with that.

Other sites were frightening. No misunderstanding at all.  Asking a colleague out for a drink or dinner, phoning somebody and declaring your love, could all be included under their definition of harrassment. One site said: ‘If something happens that you don’t want, it’s harassment’, turning the whole world into one big therapy group for women that men have to adjust to. Remarkable detail: a questionnaire on one site where 30% of the women thought it ‘harassment’ when a colleague asked them out, made clear that 30% on the other extreme didn’t think it was harassment when somebody complimented their breasts or even bottoms. Goes to show how subjective these things are.

Feminist sites suggest it’s hell out there for women. They are teeming with anecdotes about men doing the most horrible things, grabbing intimate parts, calling women whores etc. If those things are so common, why did they even release the ‘catcalling video’, on which you hardly see anything more horrific than black men saying ‘Good morning beauty’ to a white woman (and that two minutes out of an alleged ‘ten hours’)?

Even more of an embarrassing failure was the video of the woman ‘turning the tables’ by going out on the streets and ‘harassing men’. The men hardly reacted, more surprised than indignant, she had to become very rude to get a negative reaction at all. She proved the opposite point she tried to make: men in the same position as ‘harassed’ women mostly don’t feel humiliated or frightened at all.

 

SELF FULFILLING PROPHESY

The double standards about ‘harassment’ and ‘objectification’ (that other word demonising male sexuality) are so ridiculous and very obvious that it seems useless to point them out. A Facebook photograph of John Travolta got the comment ‘juicy piece’ by tens of women. (No misunderstanding – I think they have the perfect right to do so.) Pictures of nice asses, whether of men or women, are routinely and enthusiastically complimented by women – men are wiser. Less known than the video’s mentioned above is the video about gays in Amsterdam who got ‘discriminated against’ because they tried to pick up random men on the streets! Of course, that video was linked by the same sites who post one issue against ‘street harassment’ after the other.

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There was even a video about an actress dressed up as a nurse, who offered to feel men’s balls in the street, to check if they had cancer. Some men accepted, some reacted a bit embarrassed, no one was indignant. Imagine a man offering to feel women’s breasts, let alone vagina’s! No doubt he’d end up in jail.

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So, in a nutshell: the criteria for harassment are vague, double standards are rampant.

The vicious part of it all is not just that some women may not like some men’s behaviour – tastes differ – but that the whole culture suggests men behave that way because they don’t respect women and they love to humiliate them. I find that outright misandrist slander. Even if a man approaches a woman a bit rudely, I think he approaches her because he wants to make contact with her. Possibly wants to have sex with her, but there’s nothing wrong with that either as long as he does’nt force her. (Some feminists will say it is wrong because it is ‘objectification’, but that word is even more meaningless than ‘harassment’, only suggesting it is wrong to find somebody sexually attractive.) But the idea of humiliation is a self-fulfilling prophesy in two ways.

First: when women learn to see compliments, and approaches with erotic intent, not as well-meaning behaviour that might even cheer you up, but as sexist and objectifying, it will be hard for them to take any other viewpoint. They will feel unease and even fear at about every approach by a man, and more and more behaviour will be seen as sexist.

Second: when men learn that approaching women that way is wrong, the nice ones will stop doing it and only the rude bastards will continue their behaviour. And women will complain men can only approach them so rudely…

 

ROAD IN THE MIST

I hope I made it clear now that the current approach of straight male sexuality is nonsensical and unjust, but so many things in life are nonsensical and unjust. Why then is this especially so bad?

Because it leads to a terrible amount of loneliness and frustration. It may be exaggerated that all the roads men have to approach women are blocked. There are still a lot of good heterosexual relationships, for a week or a lifetime. Nevertheless, for single men, the way to go there often seems like a long, winding road in the mist, littered with hordes, and always with the risk that at the end you turn out to have taken the wrong one. That is not exaggerated. In the Netherlands, there are 2.000.000 single adults on a population of 17.000.000. They they spend hundreds of millions of euro’s yearly on dating sites and organized dating events, often joyless projects which don’t bring them very far. This must be bad for women, too. Loneliness is a big problem, but the institutions fighting loneliness never address this point.

Probably lots of problems of boys between, say, 13 and 25 years old (maybe even the suicide rate) are also connected with this: approaching girls, which has always been a big issue for them and never was a piece of cake, is more frightening than ever. You don’t just risk getting rejected, which is bad enough. You risk getting accused of hurtful behaviour towards the girl, which is horrible, whether there is a real punishment or not. For the last thing a boy wants to do is to hurt a girl he admires.

Many interesting stories and talks about boys hardly mention this. An exception is the excellent articles ‘Sexodus 1 and 2’ by Milo Yiannopoulos (he’s not always excellent in my opinion, but here he is).

Like I said at the beginning: men’s groups and everybody criticising feminism should address the men’s sexuality issue much more often. Not just mention it every now and then, but make it one of the main issues of the movement. It’s worth it.

 

STAGGERINGLY SEXY

The girl behind the bar had her hair painted in four or five colors, it looked quite nice and I complimented her about it. A girl standing next to me remarked: ‘She’s staggeringly sexy, ain’t she?’

I took a deep breath and answered: ‘Well, I always learned that men are not supposed to say these things, but now that you ask me, yes, she ís staggeringly sexy.’

She told me she had a history of abuse, but still she could understand men’s problems, and her advice was: always be yourself, and that also meant: compliment women the way you feel like doing.

She had already told me she had a boyfriend, so I didn’t try anything with her. But when I left the party I gave her a big, long hug and said: ‘Thank you for what you said to me. And I’ll tell you: you’re also staggeringly sexy.’ And I meant it. And she loved it.

There is hope.


 

IMG_0936Eisso Post had his red pill moment in the second feminist wave
when he discovered a lot of ‘prejudices’ against feminism simply were true, and in the third wave when discussions online with feminists turned out to be impossible without being accused and insulted in incomprehensible lingo. He is still rather left-wing, but dogmatically undogmatic. He is an author and a coach for people writing novels and short stories.

Sticks and Stones, but Words will never hurt you.

 

Sticks and stones can break your bones but words will never hurt you.

Right.

The woman pictured above, Michelle Carter,  is now on trial for manslaughter.  It seems she encouraged a young man to take his own life.  In fact it is worse that that, when the young man was in his pickup truck in the process of asphyxiating himself he had second thoughts about ending his own life.  She promptly told him to get back in the truck and do this.   Apparently just before his suicide she said via text that “You just have to do it like you said.”  But it gets worse.  She was telling her friends how worried she was over his mental state while simultaneously telling him he needed to end his life.

It will be interesting to see how the court will handle this. We all know that women for the same crime are arrested less than men, prosecuted less than men and then if convicted get about 20% less jail time then their male counterparts for the same crime. (barbed wire ceiling?)  This is gynocentrism at work.  Since nearly every male and female on the planet have a bad case of gynocentrism it will be likely she gets off or gets a slap on the wrist. Of course the gynocentric  ACLU is in the act of defending this woman.  We will see how things turn out.

In my mind this is a petri dish to observe the world’s reaction to relational violence.  We have spent 50 years getting tougher on physical violence, and rightly so.  But that same 50 years has passed by without much of a whimper about relational violence.  It is clear in this case that relational violence was deadly.  It killed.  But will she pay a price in the same way that men spend years in prison for their violence?  I would bet not.

From my perspective relational violence needs to be called out.  I have spent years working with couples who are struggling.  I have seen plenty of fights and many if not most are ignited by relational violence.  Usually the woman, but not always.  She knows just what will ignite him, just where his soft spot is, just where it hurts the most and that is just where she goes.  Whether it is sexual failures, business failures, or some personal weakness or blemish she goes there and the fight is on. Men who have a great deal of patience can weather such attacks.  Many men cannot.  Some men, a minority actually, can’t take it and will lash out physically.  Once he makes this mistake the ball game is over.  She has won and she knows it.  If the couple go for therapy the entire time will be spent on his violence and inconsiderate behavior towards her.  If they go to the police it is worse.  You know what happens there.  In both scenarios he pays a serious price and she is held accountable for NOTHING.  But wait a minute, she threw the match in that lit the fire.  She is the arson but he is the felon.

Most therapists will fall for this in a heartbeat.  They will focus on the evil man and his brutish behavior and do everything to protect poor ol innocent her.

Can you see what is wrong with this picture?

We are leaving out any accountability of the woman and holding the man totally responsible.

It’s time we started seeing the injurious nature of relational violence and holding women accountable.

Know what I mean?

Let’s see what happens with Michelle Carter.

 

 

 

 

Uncle Sam Needs You

 

family-sam2

 

It started in the 1960’s when in order for black females to get their welfare checks they had to prove there was no man in the home. This played a part in ruining black families.

Black men were still reeling from the psychological trauma of slavery where everything that was masculine was taken away.  Men live in a hierarchical world where they strive for status and work to provide and protect.  All of this was killed in them.  They had no status and no way to strive for it, no way to provide, and very little way to protect.  Their traditional role as head of household was gone.  Their power was completely stripped.    The women however were also stripped but maintained a very essential part of their role as women, they could have children.  My guess is that this plays a crucial role in the impact of slavery being harder on black males.

So what does the government do 100 years later?  Strip them yet again of their power, their importance in the family to provide and protect.

Even a quick glance at the metrics comparing black males and black females and how they are doing in today’s world shows that the females are doing much better.  I think this, along with the standard gynocentrism, is playing a role.

Next came no fault divorce and the draconian child support system where government collected money from the dads and distributed it to the moms. Fathers were routinely removed from their homes and children through no fault of their own.

No fault divorce is now doing to white males some of what was done to black males.  They are at times being stripped of their ability to even see their children, are removed from providing (except by donating from afar at gunpoint) and stopping them from being able to protect their children.

We are going beyond Warren Farrell’s astute observations about the disposability of males in our culture.  Now we are actually disposing of them by removing them from the families they love.  Can you think of anything more harsh?  Imagine a government program that demanded that women not be present in order for men to qualify.  Can’t imagine that?  I know.  Me either

We now stand in a time where only 46% of children are growing up in a two parent family with mom and dad. We are shooting ourselves in the head with this one. Just one example: Children learn empathy from the parent who sets limits and requires them to stay within that limit. That is almost always the dad. Another: Children learn to take risks via experimenting with a loosening of boundaries. One traditional father behaviour that facilitates this experimentation for later risk taking is being tossed up into the air. (as mom yells not to do that! lol)The children learn to go beyond their norm from within that safe place.

So think about it.  Are today’s children more empathetic?  Do they focus on the needs of others or are they moving towards a more narcissistic bent?  You know, it’s all about them.  Have you seen that?

 

Precarious Manhood – the third piece

The following is an unedited excerpt from a new book I am hoping will be finished and published by this February, “Helping Moms Get Close to Their Sons.”  This is the concluding section about the unique factors that boys experience that their sisters don’t. TG  

We have seen how boys are impacted from within by their brain differences and organizational testosterone.  We have seen how the testosterone pushes them towards competition which then translates to impressing women with higher status and then to reproductive success.  But there is another factor that greatly impacts boys not from within but from outside.  Researchers are calling it “Precarious Manhood.”

When girls successfully go through puberty they are nearly always considered to be women.  They have no need to prove their “womanhood” to anyone.  It is simply accepted.  Not so with boys.  Boys may successfully navigate the physical side of puberty but this does not make them men.  Nope.  Manhood is something that he must prove. Repeatedly.  Scientists have dubbed this phenomena “Precarious Manhood” and state that manhood is not a condition that comes about through biological maturation, that it is a “Precarious or artificial state that boys must win against powerful odds.”  They have studied this around the world and say that this is nearly universal.  In a wide range of cultures boys often face a difficult task to prove their manhood and even when he succeeds he must continue to prove his manhood throughout his life. 

Manhood is constantly judged, womanhood is not.
Manhood is constantly judged, womanhood is not.

Generally at puberty and beyond boys are expected to prove their worth. According to a leading expert on this topic Joseph Vandello,  “manhood must be earned and maintained through publicly verifiable actions.”   This unwritten mandate leaves men and boys anxious about proving themselves.  Research has shown that men are indeed more anxious over this than are women and that in response to being challenged are likely to exhibit risky or maladaptive behaviors. 

Whether it is on the soccer field, at school, with girls, or schoolyard brawls boy’s manhood is being observed and graded. This, along with his biology creates a profound difference in boy’s lives.  His sister does not have the testosterone differences we have described, she is not pushed into a competitive mode, and is not graded at every step in a similar manner.

These three things, the testosterone flood, being the competing sex, and precarious manhood play are large role in how boys will act in the world, how they will behave towards themselves and others, and how others will perceive them. The testosterone pushes the boys to succeed from within as it pushes him to strive for status while the precarious manhood pushes him to succeed from outside as the culture demands he repeatedly prove his manhood.  All the while he lives in an invisible competing role that says he should win or at least look good in order to succeed reproductively.   He gets it from all ends. 

Knowing these things makes it easier to get a sense of boys and to understand some of their ways.  Boys are thrust onto a stage that expects them to strive for status, to succeed, and to prove their worthiness at every step.  This is a profound difference from his sisters who do not face these three things. 

What does a boy need to do to win in this sort of scenario?  One ironic answer is that he needs to do the very things that his parents have been telling him for eons but therapists have been telling him he should ignore.  Things like be tough, be strong, big boys don’t cry, and so many others.  These messages begin to make more sense when you can see that the boy’s parents love him and want him to succeed.  They can intuitively understand that being tough and strong will place him higher on the hierarchy while crying will send him in a downward spiral.  My sense is that parents are aware on some level that their son is indeed in a race and needs to look good in order to succeed.

The mental health industry has missed these critical differences and continues to push boys to be more like girls.  One well known psychologist told me once that men simply need to developmentally “catch up” with women and that the world would be a better place if only men could be more like women!  I hope you can see now the danger in that sort of thinking.  All of the related urgings of the mental health professionals for boys like “You don’t need to be tough.” “Be sensitive” “talk about your feelings”  “Crying in public is a good thing.”  Knowing what we know now about boys and the world they face makes this like telling a long distance runner that he does not need to train for that upcoming marathon!  It would be like the mama big horn sheep telling her son to stop butting heads, he doesn’t have to do that! Telling him this sort of thing would complicqte his task rather than helping. Being sensitive and crying in public would drop him in the hierarchy and make his task all the more difficult. With our boys we need to be aware of the stressors they face and help them navigate those as best we can.

This reminds me of an experience I had the other day when talking with a group of male psychologists.  They were all impressed that the winner of the Heisman trophy had cried during his speech and heralded that event as a sign that things are changing and men and boys are becoming more sensitive.  I laughed.  What they didn’t understand was that when any man or boy is at the top of the hierarchy he can do whatever he wants.  If he wants to cry he can get a way with it since he is at the top. He is the proclaimed winner.  Just think of what reaction they might have had if one of runners up might have cried during his speech.  They might have liked it but the world would see him immediately as a whiner and a poor loser. 

We’ve gone over some of the basic male tendencies.  The impact of the testosterone flood, the hierarchical mindset, the push to strive for status and compete, some information on boys and girls different ways of communicating and of getting what they want and their differences at play.  With that under our belt we are in a good position to tackle something that has confounded women for some time: Why can’t you see boy’s and men’s emotions?

Star Wars: The Decline of the White Males

Star_Wars_The_Force_Awakens

The only white male star in the new Star Wars movie outside of a bit part pilot was a lying cheating smuggler.  Other than this one white male the major protagonists were white females who without training could handle a light saber effectively enough to at least disable the villain who was, of course, a white male along with the other major villains who were nearly all white males.

I actually enjoyed the movie but the pc plot and casting is just too much to bear.    

Gynocentric Media – Men’s Problems, Women’s Emotions


The media is all about women as victims and their emotional pain.  It is also about men as villains or heroes.  The last 50 years has made a dent as the media has begun portraying women as villains and heroes but has failed miserably in seeing the emotional pain of men and boys. Have a look at this article. The article is about three male reporters who were being sentenced to jail.  Note that the picture that accompanies the articles doesn’t show the men in pain, or even the men feeling uncomfortable, it shows one of their wives in tears!  This is just the way it goes in our gynocentric media.  Men’s Problems, Women’s Emotions.

I have worked with men and women in trauma for many years with a focus on men and boys.  It has been very clear for decades that in the media articles about those who are suffering from trauma the women get the lions share of the coverage.  The men?  Well, you know.

nrew-gyno2

Is Social Work Following Its Own Code of Ethics? Part 2

 

 

code-art-1Part One of this article addressed some of the historical aspects of gynocentrism, its necessity in early civilization as a survival mechanism, and how it has become antiquated and restrictive for both sexes as we evolved into modern society.

We examined how men and boys, even after decades of a “sexual revolution,” are still very tightly bound by expectations based on their sex, and indeed how this even extends pervasively into the areas of mental health and social work.

Time after time, as we look first to the NASW Code of Ethics, then examine what is actually happening in real world social work, we see a profession that has all but severed itself from its guiding principles and has done so in order to practice sexual discrimination rather than prevent it.

I cited examples from the areas of domestic violence services, genital mutilation, suicide prevention and other areas where the social work profession has become a wealth of contradictions and an embarrassing lack of ethics that often crosses the lines into civil rights violations.

Sadly, social work schools do little to address any of these things. In fact, as we further this examination we will see that social work schools are actually contributing to the problem rather than helping.

While it is not an excuse for violating the NASW Code of Ethics, it is little wonder that most social workers are unaware of the issues men and boys face, given that all these issues are simply ignored and even suppressed by the social work educational system.

That is not hyperbole and I am about to prove it to you.

What you do see in social work education is a lop-sided (read discriminatory) focus on women and their issues. There is no question that women face hardships. There is also no question that they are not alone in that capacity.

The social work code of ethics rightly states in the preamble that social work is concerned with ALL people and yet our social work educational system is actively and consciously avoiding and ignoring difficulties faced by half the population based on their sex.

Here’s what the Code says:

1.05 Cultural Competence and Social Diversity (c) Social workers should obtain education about and seek to understand the nature of social diversity and oppression with respect to race, ethnicity, national origin, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, marital status, political belief, religion, immigration status, and mental or physical disability.

So the Code encourages us to understand diversity based on sex and to practice with informed compassion about the same. Let’s take a look at what the schools charged with educating our social workers actually provide.

If you survey the courses of an MSW program you will see courses about working with women, gays, minorities and other special populations but what you are very unlikely to find are courses about working with men. Specialized training is vital for an education that works to enhance the understanding of practitioners and to further the mandates of the NASW Code.

Yet when we acknowledge that men comprise a large portion of social work clients and certainly represent a population in need of those services we must also conclude that they are, as a group, largely marginalized in social work education.

At this point perhaps you can think back to Part One of this series for a moment and recall what I said about gynocentrism; about how human beings have an instinctive fear about and resistance to elevating the needs of men into a prominent position.

Could it be that gynocentrism at least partially explains the exclusion of men, as a group, from social work education?

Are the schools breaking their own code of ethics by focusing on one sex and ignoring the other?

A quick glance at the University of Maryland School of Social Work’s online available coursesshows a course focusing on clinical issues with women, one on clinical issues with adolescents, one for clinical issues with gays, one for clinical issues with African Americans, one for aging, one for immigrants, one for just about everything but none for men. If you search on their web site for the word “women” you get nine results. See below:

code-art-2

When you search for “men” you get three results, all of which say “men and women.” Can you see how men would feel marginalized by that sort of thing? There is zero interest in teaching about men and their needs while the dominant focus is on women, girls, minorities, and gays. That is not acceptable.

At this point you may be in disagreement. It is common, especially within the social work profession, to operate on the assumption that these specialized courses are a natural response in a world which has always been about prioritizing men (the subtext of that being that men either do not need or do not support).

It should be noted that the assumption that men need no specialized support is directly a part of the gynocentrism we have discussed in this series. It is also a product of misandry. Misandry, even if not hatred of men and boys, is a rationalized neglect of and indifference to their pain and suffering.

It is the same mode of thinking demonstrated by people who scoffed at women’s suffrage or indeed wondered what on earth African Americans were complaining about in the 1950s rural south. And it is in clear and egregious violation of the NASW Code.

Another way to evaluate the degree that men and boys are being ignored in social work education is to have a look at the index of social work textbooks. When you look for “men” in the index you will usually find nothing. When looking at the index of the 2014 edition of American Social Welfare Policy: A Pluralist Approach, written by two men, Howard Karger and David Stoesz you find no mention of men in the index. However, there is an extensive entry under “women.” The image below shows page 441’s index entry for women. Note there are 17 entries under the heading “women.” Enough said.

code-art-3

The Code says that Social Workers should seek education about social diversity based on sex but what we see is a focus only on women and girls. Social work schools are predominantly female institutions. It is a sad fact that this majority has created a system that focuses nearly exclusively on themselves and ignores the minority (men).

If this same dynamic were played out with race instead of sex the racism would be obvious and quickly condemned. If the roles were reversed for the sexes it would be equally obvious that there was a problem. And social workers would be deeply invested in correcting the problems.

What we are witnessing here on an institutional, day to day basis, is sexual discrimination in action. The interests and needs of women are put at the forefront while men are marginalized.

Can you see that this focus on women and a lack of interest in the lives of men creates a chilling effect on men? Shouldn’t social work attend to men and women equally? At this point it is clear that it does not. As a social worker are you willing to stand up against this discrimination? If you are an administrator at a school of Social Work are you willing to stand up for Social Work to be more inclusive?

The social work educational system is failing to teach about the issues that disproportionately affect men and boys. Male suicide, genital mutilation, men as DV victims and a range of other issues are simply treated as though they do not exist.

If it were just an omission of content it might be an easy fix but it goes a number of steps further and literally creates a hostile environment for male students.

The research of Hyde and Deal shows clearly that men in social work schools are reluctant to speak up in class for fear they might be judged as sexist or racist. Casual conversation with these male students will give you a sense of their fears of being judged for their opinions. Here’s a quote from Hyde and Deal:

Many (males) indicated that they were viewed as the “symbol of oppression” and lamented that they were not treated as individuals.

And this:

“It’s like some instructors hate white male students—like we’re the ones responsible for discrimination.” Or, as another student forcefully stated, “I am sick and tired of apologizing for having a penis!”

The male students in the study and likely many more male social work students see their school as promoting an anti-male agenda where males, especially white heterosexual males are blamed for the ills of the world. Is it any wonder that men don’t flock to social work schools?

If it is true that white males get a more negative and disparaging treatment than others it is clear that they are being prejudged based on their sex and race. This, of course, goes against every basic concept in Social Work and leaves us with the inescapable conclusion that Social Work schools that maintain this practice are both racist and sexist.

Being negatively pre-judged by sex and race must create a hostile environment for these males. Here is an quote about the all female focus groups and their harsh judgment of the men:

However, only in the all-female groups were the following caveats added: “It’s about time they experienced being silent” or “They might feel censored, but they still dominate the conversation.” When these views were shared with the mixed-gender and all-male groups (who did not generate these ideas), the female members smiled and said nothing; the male members indicated that such statements “proved” that there was hostility against them.

This seems to simply add to the hostile environment. A good case could be made for institutional bullying. It seems that there are many roadblocks that male social work students face.

All over the news in December of 2009 was a story about 50 women’s organizations who had written a letter requesting President Obama create a White House Council for Women and Girls. Note that it was “Women’s organizations.” Who was the fifth on the list of women’s organizations to sign this letter? The NASW.

Then farther down the signees you find the Council of Social Work Education.

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A government council on women and girls is a noble but incomplete idea. The solution, though, is pretty obvious. A council for men and boys. That council was an effort in which I took a personal interest.

Several years later a group of 35 top scholars, researchers, authors, and clinicians came together to create a similar proposal for a White House Council on Boys and Men. NASW was contacted to possibly support this effort. CEO Angelo McClain wrote back in response to our initial request saying he would check into things. We never heard from him again. I sent several reminders over a period of many months but he simply never responded. Nothing.

What message is NASW sending to men and boys? NASW bends over backwards to portray themselves as a women’s organization in working to help women and girls and willfully disappears when it comes to the needs of boys and men. (If you don’t think we need a White house Council for Men and Boys just have a look at the proposal.)

There is one last devastating piece to this. The prevailing theoretical framework at many social work schools is now feminism. This ideology is surrounded by a deep moat of political correctness that disallows dissent, challenge or questioning in any way.

What are the unquestionable tenets of feminism? Patriarchy and so called “toxic masculinity.” Both blame men for their own ills and the ills of the world, saddling them with a sense of original sin. The imagined culpability for that sin translates to a depravation in services and bigotry in education on every level.

There is little question in the minds of the male social work students (as seen by the above quotes) that they are being held accountable for the problems of the world.  They can clearly see that seeds are planted in the minds of the students that  men are the problem, men are privileged, men are greedy, me are violent, and on and on.

I can’t blame men for avoiding social work school in the least. Their needs are ignored. They are a marginalized minority and they are personally scapegoated by professionals who are supposed to educate them. It would take a brave man to venture into that sort of hateful judgment.

It would be easy (and quite justified) to push more into this very troubling aspect of social work education. There are crippling problems so deep and widespread that the challenge to correct them appears overwhelming. And we see those problems writ large in society as a whole where it concerns the lives of men and boys. Each and every one of those problems has a tangible connection to gynocentrism.

Our war dead are nearly all males. If that were any other group it would not be tolerated but since it is males, many in their teens, the response is silence. They are disposable. Our workplace deaths are 93% males. Child custody after divorce almost always means the virtual removal of one parent, more often the father. Rather than our courts seeking to restructure families through sensible plans of shared parenting, they opt for profitably ugly battles and persecution.

No one suffers more from this than the children of divorce. Fatherless children are clearly and negatively impacted by every psychosocial measure we can make of their lives. Truancy, delinquency, teen pregnancy, drug use, academic failure, violence and mental illness all skyrocket in homes where the father is largely absent.

Rather than point to the discrimination in courts and how it is ultimately damaging children, many, some social workers included, are generally more likely to sloganize the problem in terms of “deadbeat dads” and other shallow and misleading buzzwords.

Adding insult to injury men are forced to pay child support without being a frequent part of their child’s life. Fathers who failed to pay child support in Georgia now comprise 25% of the Georgia prison population.

Many of those men were unemployed and unable to find work so they have essentially been imprisoned for being poor, meaning they are 100% removed from the child’s life and guaranteed to continue their inability to provide.

It is time for me to ask you some more questions. If you are a social worker reading this information do you maintain the position that there is nothing wrong in the profession or the education system that informs and educates its members?

Do you think the social work industry isn’t affected by gynocentrism or misandry? Do you think the apparatus for teaching social work adheres to the ethics it is based on?

With all respect I have to tell you that I hope your answer is different from what I have been hearing for years. My experience is that when I offer this information to people, including fellow social workers, I hear a disturbing amount of comments like “You must hate women,” or “You are a misogynist,” or “You must be lonely/horny”, or “you are just a whining privileged white male” and so many other sexist and insensitive responses. And it is at this point when I understand that they are simply from that small southern town, immersed in a culture that can’t or won’t muster compassion for anyone but themselves.

How about you? Do you think I am a misogynist and a whiner or do you see the need for all of us as social workers to stand up for any group that is facing discrimination and hardship, even if that group is not our own? Are you willing to take a stand? Or are you just willing to operate in bigoted defiance of your ethical imperatives?

That is not meant to personally insult you but it is meant to be very direct about some very obvious problems in the profession. The problem here for me is that I have subscribed to a code of ethics that demands I be open to the needs of all human beings. That code does not allow me to block coursework on women’s issues or issues faced by African Americans or any other identifiable group for that matter.

It also does not allow me to treat men and boys any differently. Not for ideology and not for money.

In fact, by writing this series I am actually following the mandates of NASW. It is with deep sadness I note that NASW and most of its members appears to be doing the opposite. We have become, as an industry, more like the pathology and less like the cure.

It is time for that to change.

 

References

Hyde, C. A., and K. H. Deal. “Does Gender Matter? Male and Female Participation in Social Work Classrooms.” Affilia 18.2 (2003): 192-209. Web.

disposability – http://menaregood.com/wordpress/mice-men-and-disposability/

domestic violence – http://menaregood.com/wordpress/maryland-report-domestic-violence-and-male-victims/

longevity data http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr62/nvsr62_07.pdf

univ of md curriculum http://issuu.com/umssw/docs/2014_msw_catalog?e=8856154/8719217

education http://whitehouseboysmen.org/blog/the-proposal/the-education-of-our-sons

selective service https://www.sss.gov/FSbenefits.htm