Category Archives: intro

Discrimination

Some time ago I had the belief that our system of government was fair to all and considered the needs of each person as being important. I no longer feel that is the case. This page will give you a birds eye view of how I came to my present conclusions. If you are happy with your view of the government and don’t want that to change, stop reading now. If not, read on.

As a therapist I often get calls about potential referrals. A number of years ago I had gotten just such a call about a man who was in crisis due to his wife’s violence. He was looking for a safe place for himself and his children. I wasn’t sure what services were available so I decided to call around to find out prior to meeting this gentleman. I called the local abused persons services and told them of the problem and they described at great length the myriad of services that were available. Then I told them the victim in this case was a man. They stopped in their tracks. They backed up and said “Well, what we discussed doesn’t apply to men. The services we described are for women only.” I was shocked. I asked what they could do for him and they told me that in lieu of offering him the shelter and all of the associated services they could put him up in a motel for a night.

I was stunned. I had assumed that the services provided would be for anyone with a need. I was incorrect. I thought that I should contact my Congressman and Senator. I wrote letters to Connie Morella and Barbara Mikulski my Senator and Congressperson at the time but both turned a deaf ear to my concerns. Mikulski literally said it wasn’t her problem, that is was a local concern. Of course she had voted in favor of the Violence Against Women Act several years before which overtly discrminated against men but she didn’t mention that. Again I was shocked and stunned by the disinterest in the pain and suffering of men. I turned to the service providers and contacted them thinking that they were colleagues and would be open to hearing my concerns. Wrong! What I was to find out was that the domestic violence industry is based on what is called the “Duluth Model” which claims that women are the victims and men the perpetrators. Any reverse of that is treated at best as an aberation and at worst simply ignored.

My efforts turned to local legislators and I received the same sort of response. I began looking for others who might see the same discrimination and want to do something about it. I found some small groups who were concerned. Some of these groups were involved in lobbying to change the VAWA to include services for men. In 2005 the law was up for re-authorization. We gathered an impressive group of lawyers, professors, authors, clinicians and male victims of domestic violence to testify on capital hill to encourage our legislators to adjust this bill to include men for services. We lobbied the members of congress on the important committiees and during lunches and meetings with them and their legislative assistants we were assured that our group would be allowed to testify at the public hearings. The hearings were held. Not one of our group was allowed to testify. Not one. The only people invited to testify were the ones that were invested in the status quo. They put on a dog and pony show saying the same things that had been said for the last 10 years. What the congress didn’t hear was the voice of a large group of very intelligent and compassionate professionals who had a very different perspective. Those people were essentially silenced. I thought I was in North Korea.

Prior to my getting the call about a possible referral I had no experience with domestic violence. It was far from an issue for me. I was happily married, with two grown children, having never been divorced or abused in any way. Nothing. The reactions I received from the people to whom I expressed my concern about male victims of domestic violence were consistent. I was treated like a pariah, as if I had some plague and needed to be avoided. At one point I sent out an email to local service providers asking about services for men and was mistakenly cc’d on a response from a local politician to the service providers that said basically, “People like that? Oh just ignore him and hopefully he will go away in time.” It made it clear that this was not simply a dialogue of information. It became clear that the information I was promoting was considered dangerous to them.

What was the information?

Why was this information dangerous?

 

Double Standards

If men and women are truly equal why should the following exist?

 

Men comprise at least 75% of the suicides. No one knows why. According to a Washington Post article the director of the American Association for Suicidology states that there is no research money available to find out why, only money for women and girls.

Men comprise 93% of the workplace related deaths.

Research shows that men comprise at least a third of those injured in domestic violence and yet the only services available for victims of domestic violence are for women and children.

Men comprise 75% of those who are murdered and yet there is no Violence Against Men Act.

Being male is the largest biasing factor in the criminal Justice system. According to an article in the L.A.Daily News (a daily newspaper in Los Angeles, California, USA covering law news.) “Research clearly demonstrates that gender is the most significant biasing factor in determining whether or not someone will be charged, prosecuted, indicted and sentenced, as well as determining the severity of the sentence.” It is a larger bias factor than race, class, or religion.

Men die from every major cause of death earlier than women and have a lifespan that is on average 5 years shorter and yet we have five national commissions for women’s health and none for men. We spend twice as much money on women’s health as we do on men’s.

Female circumcision is against the law drawing large fines and jail time while male circumcision (a comparitively similar procedure) is the most popular surgical procedure in the United States.

Why was it oppression when college enrollment favored males but when enrollment now favors women it is considered empowerment?

When a cruise ship was sinking recently in the Mediterranean women and children were directed to be first on the lifeboats. Men’s roles haven’t changed since the Titanic. Women and children first is not what I would call equal.

 

 

More Questions

Why do women have the choice between abortion, adoption, dropping an unwanted baby off at a hospital, raising the child with a father, or raising the child without a father, but the only choice men have is to agree?

Why is it funny when a woman kicks a man in the groin but terrible if a man did the same to a woman?

Why is it sexist to have clubs for only men but empowering to have them for only women?

Why do men that don’t pay child support go to prison but nothing ever happens to women that don’t allow visitation?

Why is a female marathon runner considered the winner when she doesn’t have the fastest time?

If we are truly equal why do we have red tee’s?

Why are television moms always portrayed as wonderful and loving and television dads normally portrayed as inept buffoons?

Why is it politically incorrect to say anything negative about women but funny to put men down?

Why are women without a job considered to be exercising free choice but men without a job considered a bum?

Why is it that when a woman accuses a man of rape, the man’s name is made public and he is presumed guilty, but when he is proven innocent the woman remains anonymous and the man is still ruined?

 

Double Binds

A man who emotes openly and pubically is called a wimp while a man who doesn’t show emotion is called cold and unfeeling.

 

Men in today’s culture are at risk. There are obvious double standards and stereotyping but they often go unseen since much of the population

 

Stereotypes

How many of the stereotypes below have you heard applied to men? Some of these have quotes from prominent feminist women.

Men are:

Rapists

“All men are rapists and that’s all they are.”
Marilyn French, Author; (later, advisor to Al Gore’s Presidential Campaign.)

Violent

“Men are rapists, batterers, plunderers, killers; these same men are religious prophets, poets, heroes, figures of romance, adventure, accomplishment, figures ennobled by tragedy and defeat.”
Andrea Dworkin, Pornography: Men Possessing Women

“We live, I am trying to say, in an epidemic of male violence against women.”
Katha Pollitt.

Worthless

“I feel that ‘man-hating’ is an honorable and viable political act, that the oppressed have a right to class-hatred against the class that is oppressing them.”
Robin Morgan, Ms. Magazine Editor.

“Women have their faults / men have only two: / everything they say / everything they do.”
Popular Feminist Graffiti

Unemotional/Insensitive/Cold

“I believe that women have a capacity for understanding and compassion which man structurally does not have, does not have it because he cannot have it. He’s just incapable of it.”
Former Congresswoman Barbara Jordan.

Immoral

“To call a man an animal is to flatter him; he’s a machine, a walking dildo.”
Scum Manifesto. (Valerie Solanas)

Controlling

“All patriarchists exalt the home and family as sacred, demanding it remain inviolate from prying eyes. Men want privacy for their violations of women… All women learn in childhood that women as a sex are men’s prey.”
Marilyn French

 

Others

Among the many other stereotypes of men we can include:

Unable to comitt

Focused only on success/money/sex

Overly rational

Coarse

Sex Roles

The sex roles that drove a man’s and a woman’s behavior for thousands of years had great impact on each sex. One of the impacts of the sex role on men was the attitude of disposability that developed over the years. By that I mean the tendency of people to be less likely to get emotionally close to men and to see them as expendable. Why would that be?

Imagine we are living long ago and the women were caring for the hearth and the children and making forays to gather while the men were more likely to go out and hunt. The relative danger of those two behaviors is not subtle. Going out to hunt is decidedly more dangerous and the likelihood of the man returning home after a hunt was much smaller than the same likelihood for the woman performing her daily activities. When we don’t expect someone to return what impact does that have on our interest in making an emotional attachment to them? It diminishes. We are less likely to invest our emotional ergs into someone or something that we fear may not be with us. This was obviously not just around the issue of hunting. Men were expected to guard the perimeter and to repel attacks by intruders. This was a dangerous activity and again, increased the likelihood that the man would be disappearing. We tend to not invest in folks who we fear will not be returning. Yet another example is war time. Men were the ones who were expected to go to war and die protecting the village/community/country.

This diminished investment is not subtle but very few people are aware of their own tendency to do this. Let’s try an exercise to evaluate your way of thinking. Has it ever bothered you that only males are expected to sign up for the selective service? That it is only males expected to go and die in case of a national emergency? Does that bug you? Okay, now imagine that congress in all its wisdom has changed the law and decided that we need to draft only girls and women until an equal number of women and girls have died in combat to the numbers of men and boys who have died. Would that upset you? Why? Do you value women and girls more than boys and men? How about if we decided to draft only Black people? Maybe only Jews? Would either of those groups being sacrificed upset you? Would you protest for any of those to not be the only group drafted? Can you feel in your bones how upsetting that would be? If you answered yes to any of those questions, how was your response different from thinking it is okay to draft only men? If you had a different reaction then you are likely holding some of that tendency to consider men and boys to be more disposable.

You can see this tendency in many places. Boys and men comprise almost 80% of suicides and yet we have no outcry or services specifically for this. Men and boys are over 90% of the workplace deaths in the United States but no one seems to notice. Over 97% if the deaths of U.S. servicemen in Iraq are men and boys and yet we hear no protest in support of men and boys or calls for equality. Men are the victims of domestic violence in considerable numbers and yet we have no services directed towards their needs. All we need to do is open our eyes to see the extent that men and boys are seen as expendable. It is all around us. Ever heard of the wife telling the husband she will go investigate the loud noise that awoke them from a deep sleep?

The age old sex role for men has trickled down into a straight-jacket that harnesses men to be the expendable ones. Most people are simply unconscious of this and treat men according to their own unconscious programming. How about you?

Next – Stereotypes

Thousands of Years of Sex Roles

Long, long ago, in places far and near men and women worked together to survive. In order to survive, men and women forged agreements about who would do what. Basically, all over the world, men generally took on the responsibility for guarding the perimeter and providing the resources needed for the family. Women took on the responsibility for caring for the home and the hearth. They were, accordingly, responsible for the children and for teaching them language. Notice that the flow of resources and goods moves from men to women. The men provide what is needed and the women alert the men of what is needed and then use the resources in caring for the home and children. These basic role differences have been instituted for thousands of years and have had impacts on men’s and women’s bodies, hormones and experiences. The man’s body, due to needing to protect, became more muscular and hardened, more responsive to emergency need due to physical threats. His brain evolved to focus more on goals and strategies in order to provide what was needed. He learned to live in a world where he had to compete with other men in order to provide for his family. This kept him thinking in terms of his place in a hierarchy where he saw himself as winning or losing. He strove to win and to obtain the needed resources in an environment of competition. The woman’s body was different and much less focused on physical strength and competition and more focused on the relationships of the home. Her role demanded that she focus on the needs of the children and in so doing she naturally developed relationships with those in her charge. She did not have the same demand to be competitive for resources. Her husband did that. She likely had relationships with her peers with whom there was no need to compete since they also had husbands who provided and protected. Their focus was likely to be on their relationships rather than competition. Out of these containers men and women developed differently for thousands of years. Each one unique, but each one impacted by these roles.

Then came the 20th century. Suddenly, what had been a survival decision between men and women for thousands of years now became framed as oppression! Somehow the sex roles that women had held for so long were now seen not as a survival decision that evolved over thousands of years but instead as a result of evil males holding women back. This reframing of sex roles as an evil and self-serving act of men is one of the most glaring propaganda events of all time. It boggles the mind to understand how anyone could actually believe this set of lies. One need look no further than the women’s studies courses largely started in the late 20th century to see how these myths are propagated.

Women’s Studies Textbook

This is a link to a women’s studies book on amazon.com where you can search on specific words. When you search on the word “oppression” a list of 65 pages comes up where that word is mentioned. The book is trying to push the myth that women have been oppressed for thousands of years and intentionally held back from being complete individuals. They seem to have forgotten the agreement that was made. They also seem to have forgotten that men also were limited from being a complete individual.

Why would this idea get so much traction? One of the reasons for this is that the sex roles themselves facilitated the myth being propagated. As women started voicing their dismay at being excluded from the workplace and other issues that were sex role related they were following a script that had worked for them for thousands of years. When you want something COMPLAIN TO THE MEN. When complaining find an enemy and blame them for your troubles. In the process make certain to portray yourself as victimized and in need of being saved. Bundle all of this together and what do you get? You get a man trap. Men are geared to provide for women and are ultra geared to provide for women in distress. They will go out of their way if it appears that there is a woman in dire need. Think of the old image of a woman tied to the railroad tracks. This is man bait. He can’t resist it, he is toast.

This is simply playing out their roles they have played for thousands of years. In fact, the men will then compete with other men to see who can help the woman in distress the most! People often wonder why feminism was able to make changes so quickly. This is the answer. The feminists played (and are still playing) the victim card which is irresistible to men. Like moths to a flame men will do whatever they can to aid a woman in need.

Guess what? This is the template for our largely male legislators who have created laws over the past 40 years to “help” women. Laws for domestic violence, laws for sexual harrassment, laws to give women a safety net for resources, commissions for women, for women’s health, for womens this or that. The same pattern can be seen repeatedly: Women voice needs and portray themselves as needy, men compete to see who can do the best job of making women safe and giving them the resources they need.

But what happens if men stand up and say they have needs too? What happens is they are shouted down and called names like wimps or sissies. You see, a man in need is not seen as being someone who deserves resources, no, instead he is seen as someone who doesn’t care enough about women! Imagine a woman tied to the railroad tracks and a man saying that he was hungry! What would happen to him? He would be labelled a woman hater and that is just what we see with almost any man who voices his own needs or asks for services for men and boys. If a man asks for resources he is going against the grain of the thousand years of sex roles. Men are supposed to provide and protect, not voice their needs. If their needs are met this could potentially take away from what can be given to women and children. This brings the familiar public cry tat “He must be selfish!” or is “Only worried about himself!” This is why you don’t see any national health commissions for men or well care clinics for men or special counseling units for men only. Men continue to be locked into their ancient roles of providing and protecting while simultaneously we have released women from theirs.

next – Trash