Category Archives: media

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.

Dear Abby Strikes Again!

 

Check out this slightly altered Dear Abby column and see what you think.

 

abbyDear Abby: I think I have an abuse problem. I’ve been with my girlfriend for a year, and already I feel she is fed up with me. I don’t want to lose her.

When I was younger, my father used to abuse me. It was years ago, but I feel like I might have gotten that trait from him. In addition, I have a tendency to smack my girlfriend on the arm when she’s verbally abusing me. I just want it to stop.

I love this woman and I feel terrible after I do it. I keep telling her I’m sorry and that I have the worst tendency to act on impulse. Please tell me how to stop because I CAN’T lose her.

Sorry in Kansas City, Mo.

Dear Sorry: If you want your relationship to improve, you must realize it will take effort, not only on your part, but also your girlfriend’s. Neither of you handles anger or frustration appropriately. She shouldn’t verbally abuse you if something bothers her. And you need to find other ways than hitting her to make her stop.

Couples counseling could help you communicate more effectively with each other. Many licensed mental health professionals offer it. Please don’t wait.

 

See anything fishy here?  See the actual column here
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Choose the Best Soundbites

 

Below is a list of nearly 70 soundbites that were suggested on a recent menaregood youtube.  I wanted to open this list up to a vote and get everyone’s opinion about which ones might be the most useful for our purposes.  You can vote for up to 25 soundbites.

What makes a good soundbite?  It tells a story in very few words.  The fewer the better.  It is catchy and easy to remember and will leave an impression on those who hear it.  A very good soundbite will help people see their own double standards.

I will paste in the original youtube at the end of the poll for those who may not have seen it.

 

 

[yop_poll id=”3″]

 

Salon’s Misandry on Display re: the 1st International Men’s Issues Conference

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There was  a recent article on Salon.com about the 1st International Men’s Issues Conference.  The article was not so dissimilar to some other major publications who had an obvious strong bias against men and boys. It needs to be said that there were some very good articles that were much more accurate. An example is the USAToday piece.
This Salon article offered a paragraph about my part in the conference and I found it highly inaccurate. I thought I would take some time here to voice my side of things.  I have been interviewed by the mainstream media many times over the years including The New York Times, Washington Post, CBS Evening News, CNN, and even the NFL Channel and ESPN.  Each of these interviews was fair and accurate in their portrayal of the message I was trying to get across.  The Salon article however fails in that regard and the writer seems to have a bone to pick with men and boys.  Here’s the paragraph in question:

 

If one of the primary messages of the conferences was “feminists are bad,” the other was “men’s rights activists are good.” In the talk “Men’s Unique Way of Healing,” social worker Tom Golden covered every inch of the stage with his energetic pacing and pantomiming, opening the talk by holding his hands in the air and chanting, “Men are GOOD!” “How many of you have been told that you don’t know how to talk about your feelings?” Golden asked the crowd. His explanation: Men shouldn’t be expected to open up emotionally. They sit in a fishing boat all day without saying a word and then exit the boat as best friends. Michael Jordan emoted by crying for his late father after winning the championship. Men are “good” just the way they are, and need not bother with all of that “crying” and “talking about your feelings” stuff.

Okay.  So let’s take the very first part.  

 

opening the talk by holding his hands in the air and chanting, “Men are GOOD!””

 

​Now have a look at the very beginning of the youtube (about 2:40) and see if I hold my hands in the air and chant men are good:

 

So I hope you noticed my hands were behind my back and I said “men are good” exactly two times.  Not much of a chant. But why would he want to portray me like that?  My guess is that what I was saying went against the grain of his own belief system and he was trying to paint me as a fanatic of some sort.  Perhaps he was thinking… “men are good?  No, can’t be right.  Men are the problem!”  And when we don’t agree with someone and want to diminish their ethos what can we do?  Say they are chanting!  You know, who chants?  Mostly religious folks who are far from the mainstream and often seen as fanatics. The default population views “chanting” with great suspicion.  So let’s just paint Golden as a chanter!  LOL  Cheap.  Whatever happened to Woodward and Bernstein? This writer actually reminds me of what I might expect from a middle school student who had it in for the person they were writing about.

 

But it gets worse.  The article​ quotes me as saying “How many of you have been told that you don’t know how to talk about your feelings? Golden asked the crowd.” (the actual quote was “how many men in this audience have heard that? That you are not dealing with your feelings” – considerably different but close) But then goes on to say

 

“His explanation: Men shouldn’t be expected to open up emotionally.

 

Okay now this one gets me.  I have spent over 30 years sitting with men in deep emotional pain and have never said and will likely never say that men shouldn’t be expected to open up emotionally.  He has missed the entire thrust of the talk.  What I tried to say was that men have a very different way to open up and most people can’t even see it.

 

​The article says:

 

Men are “good” just the way they are, and need not bother with all of that “crying” and “talking about your feelings” stuff.“​

 

Yet another horrible interpretation.  What I have found and I hope what I said in the talk was that men have a different way to get at their emotions.  I never said anything about them not needing to bother with the crying etc.  The fact is that their actions and inactions will often move them to a place of tears.  They are just much less likely, for a wide variety of reasons, to do this in public.
​The question that arises in my mind is why would this reporter write such a biased and inaccurate piece when all of the rest of the interviews I have done over the years have been markedly different in accuracy?  I think it is a small jump to see that​ this was the first time that I had presented for AVFM in a public men’s issues setting.  My normal setting is with mental health professionals or with hospices.  In those settings people seem very receptive to the message but once you get associated with men’s issues you get slammed.  I think what we are dealing with is a culture and a writer who is so gynocentric and so threatened by hearing the idea that men have needs that he fails repeatedly to be able to see and discuss those needs.  He shuts down and attacks.  This is what people do when they are feeling threatened.  Be sure to read the rest of the article and you will see that his slant was not reserved just for me.  The entire conference seems to have gotten under his skin.
I wrote a comment for the online Salon article to try to clarify what I actually said but I think it is falling on deaf ears.  Read some of the comments and you will see Archie Bunker and worse. Archie was at least lovable.  If you can detach it can actually be fairly entertaining to read through them. This is a brainwashed group that is vehement that their brainwashing is the only way to see things and anyone voicing a different viewpoint is seen as an idiot who can’t get dates.  I mean really?  I will paste in the comment I made here.
Enough said.

Here’s the comment:

Thanks for including me in your article.  While I do appreciate being included I feel that you didn’t seem to portray the talk in an accurate manner.  I thought I would post here and offer the basics that you seem to have missed.  I would encourage everyone to have a look at the free video on youtube and judge for yourself the accuracy of this article.  http://youtu.be/h7yaH-DVbYQ?t=2m34s Here are the main points:


 You can’t say all men heal one way and all women heal another. It is much more complicated but it is fairly safe to talk about most men and that is what the talk considered as will this post.  

1. Most men will process their emotions in a way that is very different from the cultural default.  They will tend to use action, inaction, and honoring to do so.​

​2. Men do this for many reasons but the main reasons that were discussed in the talk were that a man’s emotional pain is taboo in our culture. The second reason of four was that men are expected to provide and protect and this expectation includes a powerful expectation that men avoid any form of dependency.  When men are seen as dependent they are often judged as not being “real men.” Men are not dumb enough to fall for that trap.

3. There are physical reasons for these differences starting with the large levels of testosterone that boys (and about 18% of girls) receive at about 2 months in utero.  We discussed the probable impact of this on the processing of emotions.  The work of Shelly Taylor (The Tending Instinct) showed us that when stressed, men and women have different paths to cope.  Men tend to fight or flight.  That is, they tend to connect their stress with action or inaction ​while women do something very different.  Taylor found that women will “tend and befriend.”  That is, women will move towards INTERACTION when stressed.  This contrasts with the men’s tendency to move towards action and/or inaction. This important bifurcation starts to help us understand our differences in processing emotions.

4. The talk then gave two examples of the way men heal.  We discussed Eric Clapton and the way he worked with his loss following the sudden death of his young son.  We also discussed Michael Jordan and his ways of coping following the murder of his father.

I have been working with men in emotional pain for over 30 years and having someone write that I said “Men shouldn’t be expected to open up emotionally” is pretty shocking and inaccurate.  I said nothing of the sort.  What I did say was that men have a very different way to process their emotions and we need to factor that in when we help them connect.  The material I presented was a summary of what usually takes 3-4 hours to get across. Many details were left out due to time. If you have any interest I have written two books on the topic, Swallowed by a Snake: The Gift of the Masculine Side of Healing, and the more recent kindle book “The Way Men Heal.”

Time Magazine Gets it Wrong – The 1st International Men’s Issues Conference

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“Crass ideological opponents”
“Paranoia and vitriol”
“Violent Internet histories”
“A palpable distaste for women”
These men laugh at rape jokes.
Describing a Saturday Night Live sketch as if it attacked our beliefswhen it addressed none of our beliefs at all
Mentioning mass murderer Elliot Rodger

These are things Jessica Roy used in describing the International Conference on Men’s Issues and its readers and editors in her Time magazine article.

She went as far as describing a point during the conference when she got the vapors and had to leave the building! Interesting that she doesn’t tell us what content gave her this vaporous experience, nor does she tell us when and if she returned.

Here’s the way her article starts:

I went to the conference in suburban Detroit expecting a group of feminist-hating Internet trolls; I found much more.

It is clear that Roy had very strong preconceived ideas about this conference prior to even setting foot in the venue. In other words, she was prejudiced. In her mind, she seems to have thought that these were her enemies, these were violent and vitriolic opponents who said things so vile that she had to leave the building. It’s little wonder that her article is desperately biased as she clings to her outdated, half-the-story ideological-feminist indoctrination.

Roy peppered the article with examples of how men are indeed in need of services at times but implied that the “paranoid” and “vitriolic” leadership was not doing a good job of getting them the help they need. Presumably, from her perspective, the conference also failed in that regard.

At some points during the article Roy related content from the conference and then immediately offered a refutation. In most good reporting, I have seen the reporter report what transpired and then, when it is an important point, seek out other expert opinions as a counterpoint to help the reader see both sides. In Roy’s case, most of the time she simply saw herself as the expert and worked to refute the claims of the conference speakers. This shows us clearly that this was personal to her; she wanted to refute what was being said. There was “her side” and then the side she was writing about. Her stance as a journalist was biased and far from neutral.

A very strong indicator of her defensiveness and brittle worldview:

Still, being surrounded by men who belly-laughed at rape jokes and pinned evil elements of human nature wholesale on women was emotionally taxing at best and self-destructive at worst. Once, during a particularly upsetting segment of the program, I had to excuse myself from the auditorium to seek refuge on the bug-filled bank of Lake St. Clair. I kept wondering why I had volunteered to fly 600 miles to attend the conference alone, to surround myself not just with crass ideological opponents, but with people with violent Internet histories who believed my very existence oppressed them. But to emerge on the other side of this with both my sanity and a worthwhile story, I would have to actually adopt a grain of their advice. I would have to stop feeling like a victim, and in turn cast aside all of the humiliating and unfair and devastating experiences I had collected as a woman.

Of course “belly-laughs at rape jokes” were hardly the norm for anyone there, and all evil elements of human nature were not pinned wholesale on women; women were just held to be as culpable as men by most of the presenters. And men must not experience humiliating and unfair and devastating experiences as men just because they couldn’t immediately rattle them off for her when prompted.

As an example of the distorted lens Roy sees things through, when Dr. Tara Palmatier showed a slide in a presentation on clinical narcissism, rather than trying to understand or to expand on what Dr. Palmatier was saying about it, Roy decided instead to try to disprove the assertions of Dr. Palmatier without discussion, by claiming it was about how attire causes rape. This is the work not of a journalist but of an ideologue trying to promote their own view of the world. Give them an alternative viewpoint and they go bonkers.

The question does arise: Why would Time magazine send a reporter who was so biased and closed-minded to cover this conference? Maybe like sending an “earth is the center of the universe” proponent to cover a Copernicus news conference. What would you expect from that? Then again, maybe Time doesn’t hire unbiased reporters anymore?

Time magazine is not the only culprit here. The Washington Post also sent a reporter who had strong biases and training that focused more on women’s issues and had left out men and boys. The article she wrote is not unlike Roy’s. It’s biased. Both were obviously steeped in the wrong-headed, half-truth feminist dogma that has been the default of the media for many years. If only either could have listened carefully to the presentations they might have seen the damage their thinking and writing has been doing. Compare either of these articles with this USA Today story on the conference. Note the contrast and that it lacks the bitter hatefulness seen in the other two.

My wife, who attended the conference and is sympathetic to the views expressed at the conference but who could not be described as an “activist,” read the Time magazine article and said, “It’s hard to believe that she related in the article the way she did. It is just bizarre … her perceptions of the situation, it’s way off base.”

I must wholeheartedly agree, having been there myself.

Now it’s your turn. All of the presentations at the conference are now online and linked below and free for viewing. Have a look and decide for yourself whether you agree with my wife or with Jessica Roy. I am betting strongly on my wife.

 

DAY ONE

Senator Ann Cools
Erin Pizzey
Tara Palmatier, PhD
Mike Buchanan
Fred Jones
Barbara Kay
Tom Golden
Paul Elam  

DAY TWO

Warren Farrell, PhD
Karen Straughan
Carnell Smith
Robert Franklin
Terrence Popp
Stefan Molyneux 
PANEL

The International Men’s Issues Conference 2014:  An Astounding Event

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If you missed the International Men’s Issues Conference in June of 2014 you missed an astounding event.  Lucky for you it is now online and viewable. (links at the end of this post ) The consistent theme that was heard repeatedly during the event was that the old narrative is woefully inadequate and is being replaced with a new one that improves the focus of compassion and choice to everyone, not just a select few. Exposing this old narrative came from almost each speaker and was described in a wide variety of ways.

I do hope that those who attacked this conference and unsuccessfully tried to shut it down by sending death threats to innocent people will take the time to listen to these presentations.  I think if they take the time to do this that they will find that the speakers all offer a similar message of wanting the best for all people, not just a select few.  They are truly humanitarians.  How could anyone want to shut down a humanitarian event?

I am reminded of a book I read many years ago.  It was a book on human evil by Scott Peck.  The title was People of the Lie: The Hope for Healing Human Evil.  In it, Peck explained that evil was most often practiced by those who would attack others rather than deal with their own failings.  This sort of attack would then leave what Peck described as the hallmark of evil, it would leave a huge amount of chaos in its wake. Of course I won’t need to remind anyone that men’s issues consistently focus on events and problems where men and boys are facing huge amounts of chaos whether it is the family court traumas, the domestic violence industry, or some other misandrist avenue.

I couldn’t help but notice that the First International Men’s Issues Conference had a number of speakers addressing the idea of evil.  Sen Ann Cools, the first black female Senator in North America started off the conference by openly asking how anyone could actually believe the feminist narrative that has been thrust upon us all for the last 40 years.  Senator Cools told stories of her experience in the Canadian Senate that exposed the half truths and the gynocentric majority that turned their backs on the needs of men and boys. Erin Pizzey then gave a remarkable presentation about the plight of men and boys. She labelled what has been done to men and boys, particularly in the domestic violence arena as done by  “The Evil Empire.” Then Tara Palmatier, PhD eloquently and humorously pointed out the lopsided nature of acceptance of the narcissism of girls and women and the shame, blame, and lack of acceptance for boys and men on so many levels.  The conference started off with three women who very eloquently and powerfully labeled the state we are in and the impact this has on boys and men.  

crowd-end-sm-14The presentation where I learned the most was from Karen Straughan.  I would highly recommend you check it out.  I had been duped by the idea that feminism in the beginning was actually for equality.  Karen rid me of that notion.  She went into detail about the Seneca Falls Convention and showed clearly how the feminist narrative, even in the 19th century, was clearly blaming men for the ills of the world.

There were so many other presentations that were simply excellent.  I can honestly say there was not one presentation I heard that didn’t get an A. Barbara Kay did a great job in exposing the misandry in the media. Mike Buchanan brought to life the political reality and shared his experience in starting a political party in England to focus on boys and men.  Fred Jones inspired us in laying out what it takes to win a fight that may be stacked against you in the start. Golden did okay talking about men and their unique ways to process emotions and Paul talked about the importance of honoring our blue collar men and the fact that the world functions due to their often unappreciated efforts.

Warren Farrell started off day two with a ten point summation of the most important issues we need to address in order to find success.  As usual Warren is thinking ahead of the curve! Carnell Smith told the story of cupcake and had us all laughing and inspired to keep any eye peeled for the soul crushing impact of paternity fraud. Robert Franklin exposes the partnership of feminists and family court lawyers and their goals of keeping fathers out of families.  Terry Popp focused on the huge problem of suicide in the military and showed the excellent video Purple Heart’s Final Beat.  Then Stefan Molyneux spoke and began by looking at evil and how it starts and stops, moved to circumcision and then beyond. He really kept us all interested and laughing.

What a great group of presentations.  This conference was truly an astounding event. 

At this point day two is online on youtube.  The present video is a number of hours long and difficult to navigate and find the beginnings and ends of each section.  For your convenience the links below will take you to each presentation.

Introduction for Warren Farrell
Warren Farrell

Introduction for Karen Straughan
Karen Straughan

Introduction for Carnell Smith
Carnell Smith 

Introduction for Robert Franklin
Robert Franklin

Introduction for Terry Popp
Terry Popp 

Introduction for Stefan Molyneux
Stefan Molyneux

Presentation to the VFW

Panel