Category Archives: Men’s Emotions

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.

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INTRO – Bias Against Men and Boys in Mental Health Research (1)

This is the introduction to a five-part series of articles about the bias against men and boys in psychological research. There is a short youtube that goes over the very tip of the iceberg of the contents of these articles. I will paste that in at the end of this post.

INTRO

Most of us are familiar with the male bashing we see on television. Men are portrayed as buffoons and helpless ne’er do wells who consistently need others (women and sometimes children) to problem solve and do the right thing. Most people are tired of this ridiculous bias yet it continues unabated. What most don’t realize is that a very similar male bashing exists in mental health research. The past 40 years has brought us a powerful respect and admiration of women and girls. This is a good thing. The problem is that we seem unable to hold both men and women in the highest esteem. As we hold our women up we seem to tear our men down. It’s as if we can only see women as “good” and men as considerably less than good. This binary vision of the sexes gets played out in the male bashing we see on television but it also gets played out in numerous other venues including mental health research.

This collection of articles will offer you an inside glimpse into the workings of several studies and show how the anti-male bias plays out in the research. We have all grown to trust “research” and when we hear that a study shows that “X is correct“ we tend to automatically believe that “X” is correct. Research has taken on an almost divine ethos that carries the seal of approval of correctness. If science says it, it must be so. The problem of course is that science, especially social science, is less than concrete and is much more slippery than measuring a distance or the tensile strength of a bar of steel. Mental health research is much more vulnerable to values and ideologies of the researchers. If a scientist believes a certain thing it usually has little impact on his measurements of the tensile strength of the bar of steel. No matter what he believes the measurement will likely be the same. But what about issues in social sciences where researchers come to the table with a large amount of preconceived ideas, allegiances to ideologies that espouse strong opinions about those being studied or have traumatic life histories that bias them against certain groups? Can those sorts of things influence the “findings” of a social science study? You bet they can. Gone is the impartial judge weighing the evidence and sifting through the data to find the truth. In today’s world of social science research the opposite is happening: researchers are starting at their pre- conceived biases and then designing research to prove that bias. As bizarre as that sounds it is demonstrably true in some social science research. You will see some of that within this paper.

We start off with a short summary of a very important paper by Murray Straus titled “Processes explaining the Concealment and Distortion of Evidence on Gender Symmetry in Partner Violence.” Straus leads us through seven ways that feminist researchers hid or distorted the data of their studies in order to insure their results would reflect the pre-conceived ideology of females being the victims of domestic violence and men being the perpetrators. Straus’s explanations make very clear how an ideological bias can impact the results of social science research. He describes in detail exactly how they accomplished this. One technique he describes is simply ignoring your own data that contradicts your ideology. Another is to simply not ask questions that might risk obtaining answers that would contradict your thesis. After reading this piece you will have a better understanding of the ways this subterfuge has been accomplished.

The next section describes a 2009 study from Great Britain on teen violence. You will see how the researchers follow Straus’s descriptions by ignoring their own data. The original survey showed that boys were about 40% of the victims of violence but by the time the research was done and the recommendations made the ad campaign that followed was designed to help only girls and to teach the boys how to better treat the girls.

The following section features a study on “reproductive coercion.” It will show how the omission of the details about the sample of those surveyed had huge repercussions down stream. In a nutshell the study was done on impoverished African American and Hispanic females. This fact was not reported in the research article, nor reported in the press release, and never showed up in any of the national media articles that followed. It is well known that interpersonal violence is about three times as likely in an impoverished population. By omitting that little bit of data, that the sample was largely impoverished women of color, the ramifications of their study changed drastically from one that applied only to a poor population of women of color to a study that applied to the population at large. This shift resulted in millions of people reading about the study in the national media and being led to believe a message that simply wasn’t justified by the study itself.

The last section looks at the Conformity to Masculine Norms Inventory (CMNI). This inventory claims to measure men’s degree of conforming to what it calls “masculine norms.” There are multiple problems with this inventory but the most obvious is its choice of very negative descriptions for what masculine norms are in this culture. The norms include such descriptors as “Violence” ”Disdain for homosexuality” ”power over women” and ”playboy.” Simply by choosing these words to describe men in this country is misandry. This is male bashing. There’s more.

It’s important to see the ways these studies try to influence the public and promote their own ideological biases. Each of these studies was done by researchers who appeared to have strong ideas about men and women and their research conveniently harmonized with their pre-conceived notions. With “science” holding so much power and ability to sway opinions it is critical that we watch carefully how the social sciences use their studies to proliferate their own ideological viewpoints.

The spreading of misinformation has a very negative effect on the population at large but there is no place in more danger of this than in the halls of congress. Our legislators are easily influenced by studies such as those described herein and the likelihood of laws being written based on one sided viewpoints becomes alarmingly high. To make matters even worse our legislators are largely unaware of their own unconscious chivalry and combine that with hysterical research that claims damsels in distress need funding and what you see is billions of taxpayers dollars being spent in a very questionable manner. Combine these studies with the media, and then the blogs and you get a system that is fed by erroneous data that accepts it as fact and acts on it. One needs to only notice the fact that great majority of people in the US are convinced that women are the sole victims of domestic violence to understand the power of the media and particularly the media in combination with “studies” that are used more for propaganda than for gaining an understanding of the truth.

Part One
Part Two
Part Three
Part Four
Part Five

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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.

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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.

 

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The Invisible Blue Taboo — The Burden of Boys and Men

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This is what you get when you swallow the blue pill.

Most men live under an invisible blue taboo.  This powerful and cloaked prohibition discourages men in many ways, one of which is from letting anyone know if they might be feeling blue.  But it goes much deeper.  It’s not just about emotions, the blue taboo includes being needy or dependent in any way.  Men find themselves automatically avoiding any communication that might portray them as dependent or needy.  I have been watching this taboo for years and have marveled at men’s creativity in sidestepping this dilemma. Men have simply expressed their emotional pain and neediness in other ways.  Some use actions, some use inaction.  Most men have found  ways around this prohibition and feel just fine about it.  We should be good right?  Wrong.

The taboo also impacts women (and other men) by discouraging them from listening to the man’s emotional pain, his neediness or his dependency.  In my years of working with couples in therapy I have very rarely seen a woman who routinely listened to the emotional pain of her male partner.  Think purple polar bear.  Very rare.  Women do often claim that they want a man who is in touch with his feelings but if you scratch and sniff you find that this means that he should be in touch with HER feelings.  It is a rare women who can regularly sit with the man she loves and non-judgmentally hear him out on a feeling level.  Yes, women will claim that men give them no chance to do this, that they are cold and unfeeling, but  give her a chance in therapy to listen to his pain and what I have seen repeatedly is that she has a very hard time with this and often recoils.

Men have also found ways around not being heard in relationships.  Again, they turn towards their strength of action and their powerful ability to utilize solitude.  But that is not the end of this story.

The very same resistance to hearing men’s pain and men’s needs in relationship we can also see in our cultural structures. Just as a man’s emotional pain and neediness is taboo in relationship that same disinterest in men’s needs can be clearly seen in our culture.  It’s the same blue taboo just on a different octave. Take the family court.  How many times have you heard men clearly state that it was as if they were invisible.  When his ex complained to the judge she would get swift and helpful responses.  But when he voices what he needs he gets silence or worse yet, gets slammed for it.  This is the blue taboo playing out in the family courts.  Women’ needs are seen as a call to action and men’s needs are seen as his selfishness. In this arena, the blue taboo is deadly and there is no workaround for men.  They are sunk and no one sees it.  Only the men who are pummeled see it clearly. If these broken men try to explain this injustice the blue taboo works again to discourage anyone from really hearing their needs and injuries. So they had best not complain about it since that is, of course, taboo.  And we wonder why men commit suicide ten times as much as women following divorce?

blue-duct-tapeWe see the same blue taboo dynamic played out in our legislatures.  When women complain that  they are in need you see the legislators jump and jump high.  They are on a fast track to  a solution.  When men voice their needs what do you see?  You see shaming and turning away. Men’s needs are simply not heard. We have a multitude of laws to help women including the VAWA, rape shield laws, affirmative action, and many many more.  This is the blue taboo at work.  Men’s meeds are routinely ignored.  There is no workaround.  But men had better not complain…

We see the same thing in the media.  It fills its plate with women’s needs, women’s complaints, women’s feelings and on and on.  Do you see many articles about the needs of men?  Nope, there is that purple polar bear again. Feminism filled the welcoming media elite for 50 years.  It has literally become the default voice.  But what happens when men start voicing their needs?  Just look at the media reaction to the latest AVFM conference.  Men and women gathered to discuss the needs of men and boys and you know the rest.  Hit piece after hit piece. This is the blue taboo,  The needs of men are taboo.

One would think that our places of higher learning might not be so brainwashed by this taboo but anyone with eyes can see that our universities are about women and girls.  Women’s studies, women’s centers, women health, blah blah blah.  Ask for something for men and boys and you get a cold shoulder.  It went so far in Toronto that campus groups were banned if they were about the needs of men. This is the blue taboo.

So men are in a huge bind.  When men voice their needs they are routinely ignored both on a micro and macro level.  When they complain about this injustice they meet the same taboo.  They are ignored or shamed.  There is no way out. Be a man.  STFU.

At one time in human history this may have been a productive path.  For survival purposes we split up the roles with men doing the more dangerous work of providing and protecting and women the childbearing and child oriented tasks.  This arrangement obviously set up a scenario where women would ask for what they wanted/needed in order to maintain the family life.  There might be arguments over the details of this but the bottom line was the women would “ask for” and the men would then be responsible to get the provisions or the safety that women requested. His job of providing and protecting was directly related to her requests.  She got very practiced at asking for what she wants and voicing her needs.  Men got very practiced at providing for those needs and wants.  Note that this is a one way valve.  Women voice needs, men respond.  There was no corresponding flip side where women responded to men’s needs.

This may or may not be the origins of the blue taboo.  No matter where it came from we need to start dismantling it asap.  We have spent 50 years dismantling women’s sex roles but have yet to even have a look at men’s. This is yet another spin off of the blue taboo.  We work hard to change women’s restrictive roles but ignore those of men.  Blue taboo anyone? Focus on women and ignore the needs of men? Yup.  But how long can we afford to “empower” one half of the population while we continue to ignore the needs of the other half? Probably not much longer.  Let’s not let that happen.  Take that red pill.

 

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NASW News Ignores the Pain and Hardship of Men and Boys

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NASW is mandated by its own code of ethics to be there for those in need.  Sadly, it seems that those in need are defined as those who fit the narrative of political correctness.  Men and boys don’t fit that narrative and simply need not apply.  I could give you numerous examples but here is a start:

I was reading the NASW News a national monthly publication for NASW and noticed an article on suicide.  I was aware of NASW’s past history of focusing on girls and suicide even though 80% of completed suicides are males.  I read the article and found that there was no mention of men and boys being the vast majority of those completing suicide.  I wrote the author a letter which he was kind enough to print in the May edition.  Here’s the letter to the editor: (bold text was in the original letter but omitted by NASW)

– I just read your article on suicide in the NASW News.  I am both saddened and shocked that there was no mention of the fact that males comprise 80% of those who complete suicide.  80%.  Jut imagine for a minute that some other malady had 80% of the victims be female or black or just about any other demographic.  Under those circumstances the article would have likely featured entire sections on this or that group that face the bulk of the problem. The least they would have done would be to call attention to the group most impacted.  Why not so with men?  Sadly this is not a new problem.  NASW has been ignoring men as victims of suicide for many years having sponsored research on the suicide of women even though women are a fraction of those who actually complete suicide.

The obvious importance of the 80% stat is that men comprise a group that is unlikely to seek help in traditional settings.  If people are very serious about wanting to help with suicide they had better start figuring out what might help men and how to attract men to treatment.  At this point we are failing miserably and that is important for Social Workers to know.  Finland was the world’s first country to take actions to help men and they have had considerable success.  Australia is starting to work in that direction.  The US is a Neanderthal with the media blacking out this important bit of information.

It is an embarrassment to me that NASW maintains such a sexist and misandrist attitude towards men and their difficulties.  NASW was at the forefront of creating a White House Council on Women and Girls but when NASW was approached about supporting a proposed White House Council on Boys and Men they at first said they would look into it, but failed in ever responding, even after being prompted.  Many wonder why there are not more men in Social Work.  It seems clear enough to me.

I wrote a report on men and suicide when I served as the vice chairman of the Maryland Commission for Men’s Health.  If you have any interest you can see the official version here (appendix D): http://dlslibrary.state.md.us/publications/Exec/DHMH/HG13-2407_2010(add).pdf

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