Category Archives: mental heatlh

Review: The Red Pill Movie — compassion and choice for men and boys

{Disclaimor: I played a small part in the Red Pill Movie so I am sure that impacts my review. I was able to see a screening in Fairfax VA on November 1, 2016.}

 

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The Red Pill is an amazing documentary that accomplishes an incredible task. It portrays men as human beings who deserve compassion and choice.

It first helps the viewers to see that those bringing the message of men needing compassion and choice are not women haters, not Neanderthals and not unloving oafs but are people who are concerned about the humanity of both men and women and have already taken the red pill. These folks know that men, like women, are deserving humans. People like Elam, Farrell, Pizzey, Crouch, Esmay, Hayward and Angelucci all are shown not as oafs but as caring people concerned about the humanity of men and boys.

With that task started the harder work begins. The work of showing that men and boys face hardship and discrimination and fail to engender compassion from the vast majority of our culture.

The film accomplishes this by describing the inhumanity that men and boys have experienced and the concerted societal effort to ignore their suffering. It succeeds in doing this through graphics, through talk, through human stories and through statistics. It powerfully builds the case that men and boys are silently suffering in a world that sees the needs and pains of women and girls as a call to action and the pain and needs of men and boys as something to ignore. The message and theme of men’s disposability is gradually brought to life along with men’s issue after men’s issue that is driven home with undeniable statistics and powerful personal stories.

red.pill_All of this likely leads to an audience that is unsettled at best. Their blue pill comfort is being shaken and challenged. Two opposing elements come crashing together. On one hand, the viewer’s worldview has likely been that men have it all, have all the power and privilege and don’t need/deserve special help or even compassion. But on the other hand they are now in the midst of seeing the Red Pill message which is elegantly and honestly challenging that worldview by exposing the hardships of men and boys and how that is very often ignored. The unavoidable dilemma is that the viewer realizes they too have been a part of this global ignoring of male pain. These two opposing forces can’t coexist. Something has to give. This is where Jaye truly shines. She seems to have predicted the audiences’ angst response and gives them a balm: she tells them about her own ambivalence, her own disbelief and struggles, and her own discomfort with this new vision of men. She intersperses what she calls video diaries throughout the film and they show her process over the 2-3 years of filming of slowly struggling with the red pill and how hard a thing this is to swallow. I am certain that most of her audience is having the exact same ambivalence, disbelief, and discomfort that Jaye so aptly portrays in the video diaries. This gives them a model, another human being who has a similar struggle. My guess is that having Jaye as a model in these video diaries makes their task of incorporating such a large dose of new information that contradicts their beliefs a bit easier. When they see a very attractive young blond feminist who is openly questioning her own previous beliefs it normalizes their own experience of the same. The audience is at a disadvantage since they do not have 2-3 years to process, they only have the less than 2 hours of the film. Dissonance. My guess is that the end product of the video diary approach is that it helps the audience swallow and process a bit of their own bias. It likely softens things a bit and it does so in a way that facilitates their feeling stunned and minimizes their rage and anger. Being stunned breeds discussion and questions of oneself and others, being furious tends to breed separation and denial.

There will be plenty of folks who can’t psychologically tolerate the message of the Red Pill even with the helpful video diaries. These folks will likely be furious after seeing the film. That is both fine, expected, and welcomed. Better furious than ignorant. Cassie Jaye has given them a good shot to come out of it with questions and feeling at least a little more intact. I’m sure their mileage will vary based on their own level of personal development.

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Jaye also interviews feminists. Quite a few of them. Their words likely grate on the viewer’s psyche due to the viewer’s brand new realization of some men’s issues. The feminists tend to disregard men and boys and overtly contradict the very thing the film has been teaching. When you have seen clearly how men and boys are getting very little compassion it’s much easier to see the stark contrast of the feminist message of blaming men. It makes it very easy to see how their feminist world view is myopic and severely limited. Perhaps an even larger impact on the viewer came from the scenes of protestors trying to keep men’s issues from even being discussed. And then there was Big Red. The people I spoke with after seeing the movie unanimously referred to Big Red as extraordinarily enlightening to the hate that exists. The clips of the protestors and of Big Red were very effective in helping the viewer to understand the depth of their hatred and misandry.

The protestors chanted such hatred as “Fuck Warren Farrell.” They accused him of being a rape apologist, a misogynist, and pulled fire alarms to sabotage his talk. What was the issue they were so enraged over? Farrell was to talk on boys and suicide. Boys and suicide.   Knowing this it becomes clear that their upset was likely not about Farrell but more related to simply wanting to stop anyone from discussing men’s issues such as boys and suicide. That is a forbidden topic to them. Why? Because it challenges their worldview and they will have none of it and will do what they can to stop it. They are like flatworlders who attacked those who said the world was round. This is obvious in the film but what I want to point out now is that we are seeing the exact same dynamic from people protesting this film. Watch the movie and see that it is only about men’s and boy’s issues. That’s it. But the protests of the film, like the Farrell protestors,  are not about the content, they are personal attacks on the cast and on the director. Watch the reviews, or the attempted bannings of this movie and you will see this dynamic repeated over and over again. The worldview is challenged and the response is to make personal attacks, just like “Fuck Warren Farrell” or now “Fuck the hateful misogynist Red Pill”.   It is obvious to even a casual observer that what is driving this frantic screaming has nothing to do with the cast or the director or even the content of the film and has everything to do with the protestors’ lack of compassion for men and boys and their fear of anything that might negate their feminist ideology. Here’s a tip: when you run into someone attacking this movie just ask them if they are having a hard time having a little compassion for boys and men. That cuts through to the reality of their upset.

The film flowed easily for me. In its nearly two hours time I never looked at my watch and was engaged in the flow on screen. So many issues were presented clearly and accurately. I was especially moved by the section on circumcision. I wont’ spoil it for you but will just say that is was a powerful use of cinema to get a message across and will likely open many eyes about the barbarism of circumcision and the default disregard for the pain and trauma of little boys.

I loved this film but if I had one nit to pick it would have to be the omission of the role of gynocentrism. The film does a great job of showing that men and boys have faced difficulties and their problems have been ignored but it fails to help the viewer understand why this might be. Yes, feminism is a problem but the question is what is fueling feminism? Why has it been so successful? Why has it been so easy to over run the needs of men and boys while tending to the needs of women and girls? The answer lies in gynocentrism which has been around for eons as compared to feminism which is a newcomer and basically a parasite of gynocentrism. In a nutshell, gynocentrism is about providing and protecting women and children at the expense of men. You know, the old “women and children first” meme. This is not a totally bad thing since it has been what has built our culture and many others for thousands of years. It does however impact our interest in women’s issues and our turning away from men’s issues. If you are curious about your own degree of gynocentrism you can try an exercise here. If you want to learn more about this I wrote an article Gynocentrism 2.0 that goes into much more detail. (or a youtube video here) Maybe the next documentary will explain this in detail.

Jaye has had the guts/balls to make this film and tell her story, the men’s story, the feminist’s story and let it all stand on its own. When she interviews both MHRA’s and feminists she doesn’t take sides, she lets people talk. She doesn’t interrupt or challenge or try to change minds. She just listens. Through most of the film she just puts the story into the film. This is a gift to the viewer. I can’t tell you how grateful I am to her for this. When you see this movie you will likely join me in that feeling and importantly, will be left to decide on your own.

Jaye has produced a ground breaking documentary that exposes the default lack of compassion for the needs and problems of men and boys. In some ways the film is a litmus test. It will accurately tell you how much compassion you have for boys and men. Those who flail their arms in the air and scream patriarchy, patriarchy, patriarchy are letting you know that they failed the litmus test. They are lacking in compassion for boys and men.

Thank you Cassie Jaye for having the courage to make this critically important film. Thanks too for the unmistakable message that underlies the Red Pill:  Men Are Good!

 

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Suicide and Men: Part One, Why are men so much more likely to complete suicide?

Men commit suicide four times as often as women and no one knows why. This has been going on for many years. The chart below shows this ratio as being stable from 1950 to 2014 so that tells us that the ratio is not due to some recent shift in our cultural values or due to the economy or some other external source. (blue line is males, black line females, US suicides per 100,000) There are other stats that show that even in the 19th century this ratio seems to hold up. But why?

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Let’s take a male friendly look into the possible reasons for this.

First we need to look at the standard manner of dismissing such a huge difference. So many people, including people in our educational systems, suicide prevention organizations and even researchers make the claim that men commit suicide more often due to their choice of lethal means. They point out that 25,926 males used lethal means to kill themselves  in the United States in 2012 and only 2,818 females used the same lethal means. Most listen and then nod in agreement at how many men use lethal means and how few women, assuming this must be why men suicide more often than women. Then it is pointed out that many more males than females commit suicide so it is more accurate to compare the percentage of male and female suicides that use lethal means. Have a look at this chart and notice that men chose the lethal means of hanging or firearms in about 81.6% of their completed suicides. But also notice that women chose those same lethal means in 54.7% of their completed suicides.   Those two numbers are not that far apart. Yes, this is probably a part of the reason for men to complete suicide more often than women but it in no way explains the mammoth four to one ratio that has held for years. Something else is obviously happening.

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Most people are not even concerned about this difference. If you look at the suicide prevention web sites you will notice that this problem is rarely discussed on the first page and all too often not even on later pages. They usually fail to tell their readers that the largest risk factor for suicide is being male. This is such an important piece of data it is hard to believe that they routinely omit it but they do. Even government reports on suicide, college classes, media stories, suicide conferences and many others tend to fail in alerting people to this problem. People are simply not interested. Even researchers lack interest. Just try and find research studies that look into the reasons for this difference. You probably won’t find much.

There is one man, a psychologist, Thomas Joiner, who has theorized about this difference. Joiner points out a possible contributing factor for the 4 to 1 ratio is that men are more fearless and this fearlessness allows them the courage to end their own lives. A very interesting and at least partially true idea but again, it would be difficult to explain such a huge difference by one psychological trait. I think Joiner is on to something but I think it is just a part of the puzzle.

Let’s turn to some other ideas that might relate to our understanding why boys and men are so much more likely to complete suicide. Let’s first look at cultural messages.

CULTURE

It starts early. Little boys are told that BIG BOYS DON’T CRY. Most of us shudder at the thought that this clearly tells boys they need to stuff their feelings but there is an even more pernicious aspect to this. When an adult tells a little boy that big boys don’t cry they are indeed telling him to stuff his feelings but they are also telling him something else. They are telling him that when he does feel hurt and in need of support that they, the adult offering this idea, will not be there to help and offer compassion. So the message is two fold. First it tells the boys to stuff it and second it alerts him that when he is feeling hurt he should not expect support or compassion. He watches as his sisters get what he lacks.

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With this default it is simple to see that he will be unlikely to seek help when he has been taught for years that no support will be there when he is in need.

Much has been said about men being reluctant to express emotions but what has not been pointed out is that no one really wants to hear men’s emotions. How about you? When was the last time you offered to listen to a man who was emoting? Most of us have to answer that we haven’t done that for a very long time or possibly ever. A man’s emotional pain is generally seen as taboo, something that people want to avoid.  You can contrast this with the way people see women’s emotional pain and you see that women’s pain is seen as a call to action. When women have tears people scurry to help, when men have tears people simply scurry away.

But that’s far from all our culture does to boys and men. As boys get older the culture refuses to accept any signs of dependency.   Men, and sometimes older boys must appear to have things covered by themselves, to appear independent, and when they don’t, guess what happens? They are shamed as not being real men. A man named Peter Marin wrote an excellent article on homelessness and explained this very dynamic. Here’s what he said:

“To put it simply: men are neither supposed nor allowed to be dependent. They are expected to take care of others and themselves. And when they cannot or will not do it, then the assumption at the heart of the culture is that they are somehow less than men and therefore unworthy of help. An irony asserts itself: by being in need of help, men forfeit the right to it.

Exactly. A man’s choice is to appear independent or face being judged as not being a real man. The hallmark of a suicidal person is to feel hopeless and helpless. So the man who feels hopeless and helpless also knows that if he exposes this he will be judged as not being a real man. This is a very tough double bind that men face. If I do open up about my helplessness and hopelessness I will be judged harshly, if I don’t open up I am totally on my own. Most men choose to be on their own.  Can you blame them?

This is just one facet of what scientists have named “precarious manhood.” They have shown that around the world men and young men are expected to prove their manhood repeatedly in order to be considered men. Men are under constant surveillance to appear independent and if they fail to appear independent they pay a severe price in being devalued and judged as not being “real” men. Women face nothing similar. When girls reach physical maturity they are considered women, not so for the boys.

Men intuitively understand the above. They live it on a daily basis. However, women are not under similar pressures and don’t realize the hardships men face. Too many times women simply expect men to be more like them. I often see it in the couples therapy I do. The women expect their men to talk openly about their vulnerabilities, their feelings, and their need for help.   This of course flies in the face of his certainty that his neediness and feelings will do nothing but harm to him and expose his dependence. He has a natural and learned tendency to do his best to appear independent and he comes by it honestly. For us to suddenly expect him to do a complete 180 degree change and appear needy is a bizarre and unreasonable expectation.

These two elements, not expecting any help to be available and routinely being shamed for any sign of dependence have a cumulative impact on men. When they do feel hopeless and helpless it is easy to see now why he would be less likely to open up about this to anyone.

RESEARCH

Let’s turn to the research and see if there are studies that help us understand why men would be so much more likely to complete suicide.

The work of Shelly Taylor is a good example of research that helps us in understanding this problem. Taylor realized in the early 2000’s that nearly all of the research on stress had been done only on male subjects. Women had been left out.  What we know about fight and flight surely applies to men. Taylor proceeded to only study women under stress. She wondered if women might have different strategies. She found that women, unlike men, would be much more likely to “tend and befriend.” That is, women were more likely to move towards interaction when stressed, to move towards other people. A sharp contrast to the male tendency of fight and flight that moves men either into action or inaction. So think about it. Can you see how the female nature of moving towards others when stressed will make it much more likely that she will interact with a person who will realize her distress and then push her to seek services? Notice also that the male tendency to move to action or inaction under stress takes him away from concerned others. Indeed action and inaction are very powerful forms of healing (for more info see The Way Men Heal) but they do leave men more on their own to heal and a very powerful depression is a very difficult thing to heal by ourselves. The more feminine interactive modes are more likely to open avenues of loving others challenging our shame, guilt, and self deprecation. Healing with action and inaction will often lack this outer challenge from someone we love and this leaves men more at risk to persistent negative thoughts, shame, and guilt. His pain is less visible to others and this is dangerous in a powerful depression.

I hope you are seeing that men are taught to keep their emotions to themselves, that their emotional pain is not something that others want to hear, and that it is not something that does them much good if expressed. Rather, they see that if expressed they run into a wall of shame and judgment. It is a short step to now realize that for these reasons he is much less likely to seek “help.” First he knows it is likely not there for him but second he also knows that it’s a trap, if he does show his vulnerability he is toast.

BIOLOGY

Then there is the biological aspect to this. Men get 10 times more testosterone than women and we are now learning some fascinating things about testosterone. For years scientists have been  unsuccessful in trying to connect testosterone with aggression. With improved research techniques they now know that rather than being related to aggression , testosterone pushes men to strive for status and to protect that status once gained. Men and to a lesser degree boys, are built to strive for status. Wanting to succeed, wanting to win, wanting to be good at something and working towards that are all now known to be related to testosterone. It’s easy to see how winning and succeeding are important to men and boys and also are the antithesis of dependency. When we win we are far from dependent. Boys and men are not only socially conditioned to be independent they are pushed in the same direction by their biology. Independence equals success, dependence equals failure.

Another impact of testosterone that has been verified recently is that it reduces fear and increases willingness to take risks. This adds some strength to Joiner’s ideas about fearlessness.

If you look at the factors we are discussing separately they don’t make much sense. Why push boys to not cry? Why try and win all the time? Why does precarious manhood push men to repeatedly prove their manhood? Why would testosterone push men to strive for status and take risks? Each by itself doesn’t make much sense. But if you look at them working together it begins to add up. All of these things are helping men in what is being called the masculine hierarchy. Big Horn Sheep butt heads to determine which male will have access to the top rated females, right? What scientists are now finding is that human males also live in a hierarchy. And, like the sheep, the bottom line of the hierarchy is reproductive access. Precarious manhood, testosterone, the desire to win and not be seen as dependent are all factors in moving upwards in the male hierarchy. None of this really makes much sense until you realize that women really, really, like high status.   Men of high status, like millionaires, Senators, professional sports players, famous musicians all have a much better chance of attracting women than most guys on the street. These men are high in the male hierarchy. All men know this and will work hard to be as high in the hierarchy as he can, knowing that higher status means a better chance of success with very attractive women.

So really, the parents discouraging their sons from crying in public is done not as a crazy and inexplicable act but as a way to help him be higher in the hierarchy. They want their son to succeed. Same with precarious manhood. The pushing of males to repeatedly prove their worth is just another way to push him higher in the hierarchy. Testosterone does something similar when it pushes men and boys to strive for status.  It is this striving for status that has literally built much of modernity.  It is nothing to sneeze at.

Men live in this hierarchy each day, in fact, their lives are surrounded by hierarchy. What are men’s favorite sections of the newspaper? Sports and business rightchart-594212_1280? What do those have in common? Hierarchy after hierarchy. Things are broken down to who is first, second, third and on and on. IBM stock up today, DOW up but the NASDAQ down at the close of trading. RBI’s, batting averages, quarterback ratings and a host of sports stats are the domain and love of many men. Think hierarchy. Many men enjoy this and women are often perplexed.

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The hierarchy is what it is, but it does have some lethal effects when it comes to suicide. Men will strive to stay up in the hierarchy as high as they can. But this means putting on your best face whenever possible, putting your best foot forward. In order to maintain your place in the hierarchy you don’t want to share your failures, your dependencies, or your depression. This puts men into a very dangerous place. Their lives have often been filled with striving for status and trying to put a successful face on for the public.

Women often do not understand this. They think that he should just get over it and start talking about stuff. But wait a minute. Women have a similar hierarchy. It’s called attractiveness. Women do their best to put their best foot forward when it comes to their appearance. While men’s hierarchical involvement is more global and touches nearly every sphere of his life, a woman’s hierarchy is more limited to attractiveness.  Just as status is one of a man’s tickets to reproductive success, the same is true for women and attractiveness. And most women work hard at this.  Just a quick look at the 64 billion dollar cosmetic industry should give you a sense of how important this is. Just for reference, the NFL, MLB and the NBA bring in a combined revenue of about 26 billion dollars. That’s less than half of the cosmetics. So women work hard to stay as near the top of their hierarchy as possible and they spend quite a bit to do so. Have you ever heard of a women refusing to leave the house without her makeup? Can you see how this is similar to the men? She wants to put her best foot forward and be able to mask her imperfections just like the men.

The difference is that women’s decisions to not go out without their makeup tends to have much less severe consequences than a man’s reticence over his depression.   Depression is seen as failure, a status dropping weight that needs to be fixed privately and he is all too often left alone in the weight of his troubles.

Devaluing Men

There is one more factor that is rarely discussed that I think we need to at least mention. The devaluation of men and boys.

China is one of the only countries in the world where women commit suicide more than men. The chart below shows three western countries and then China. Notice that all of the western countries appear to have men outnumbering women. China however flips that and shows that female suicide in China actually outnumbers males. Why would this be? Why would almost every other country show men to outnumber women in suicides but China has more female suicides?

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Most of the theorists point towards China’s devaluation of women as being the cause. They say that women in China are seen as inferior, boy babies are preferred to the point of aborting girl babies in order to have a male. Valuing males over females say the theorists, must create an environment where the females are more likely to take their own lives. I tend to think that their assessment is at least partly correct. But what does that tell us about our own country?  I think a case can be made that in our country it is the men who are devalued, men are seen as inferior and this devaluation impacts men and boys in the US in the same way theorists are positing it impacts girls and women in China. Just look at how easy it is to bash men.  Imagine yourself in public commenting that men are jerks.  What response would that bring? I have seen this often and no one bats an eye. Most people will just nod.  But now think what would happen if you proclaimed that women were jerks.  I have seen this one too and can tell you what I have seen is people immediately defending women and castigating you for saying such a thing. This is a huge and unrecognized double standard.   It’s not uncommon for people to laugh at men, for men to be forgotten when it comes to their emotional pain, for men to be devalued and used as cannon fodder, to die on the battlefield (97% male deaths), and in dangerous jobs (93% male deaths). Could it be that this devaluation of men and boys plays a role in their greater numbers of suicides? I am guessing yes.

CONCLUSION

I hope you are starting to get a sense of why men might commit suicide more often than women. Let’s list the factors we have discussed:

  1. Choice of more lethal means of suicide.
  2. Joiner’s ideas of fearlessness
  3. Big boys don’t cry and knowing there is no support
  4. Disallowing dependency in men
  5. Precarious Manhood (facing lifelong judgment about his manhood)
  6. Testosterone and its encouraging striving for status, limiting fear, and increasing tolerance of risk
  7. Hierarchical nature of men
  8. The devaluation of men and boys

Men, due to both biological and social factors are less likely to seek out “help” when they are depressed whether it’s a professional helping connection or a personal one. A great deal of the psychological community views this male tendency to avoid therapy and “help” as being pathological. I am hoping that from reading this article you will be able to see that it is more a natural consequence of the man’s nature, his hormones, and his environment. Our task is to find therapeutic interventions that will work with men. They will likely be starkly different from the traditional modes we now use. Our present therapeutic industry is built for women and their “tend and befriend” styles of healing and their face to face talking and emoting. This works great for most women and some men but it fails miserably for many men and some women. Therapy is not built for men and tends to miss the mark.

If we want to be of service to men we will need to change our ideas about healing and our modes of intervention. Part two will focus on ideas about healing strategies that might be more useful in helping men.

 

 

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Graduate Social Work Textbook Only Tells The Women’s Side

 

Have you ever wondered how erroneous and misleading ideas are spread and maintained in our culture? Look no farther than a social work graduate textbook that errs by telling only a part of the truth. For more on the misandry in social work go here meninsocialwork.org

 

20160913_134815There is a popular text used in social work graduate schools titled American Social Welfare Policy: A Pluralistic Approach. It is meant to be an introduction to social policy in the US and give students a beginning idea of the state of our social welfare system. The parts I have read seem to be a tool of indoctrination that offers students a very one-sided view of issues.   It pushes a liberal feminist agenda that is presumed to be gospel. Perhaps what it leaves out is more important than what it includes. Let’s look a little closer at that.

Yes, the book hammers away at the popular meme that poverty is the biggest problem facing our culture today with the idea that racism is a major factor in creating poverty.  What does it leave out? The book ignores the issue of fatherlessness even though this issue has been revealed as foundational and at the root of poverty. If you don’t know, the research has shown significant father involvement seems to be a greater factor in many problem areas than poverty or better schools. In other words poor children with significant father involvement do better on numerous factors than wealthier children without dads. Getting fathers back into the home should be our #1 priority but sadly that is not even on the radar in this book. They simply don’t mention it.

The book quotes a nearly 20-year-old research study by Sara McClanahan about single motherhood but completely ignores the 2013 blockbuster paper by the same author that summarized the research on fatherlessness in the 2000’s. The paper astoundingly shows that fatherlessness is the #1 factor in so many of the social problems we face. This book was published in 2014 so this 2013 journal article was available at the time of publication as were the 60+ research studies the paper summarized. The title of the McClanahan article is “The Causal Effects of Father Absence” and reviews the numerous studies that lead one to see the causative nature of fatherlessness. That’s right, CAUSATIVE.

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This is unheard of in social science research that typically relies on strong correlations. This is different. This research says fatherlessness causes the problems. This is huge, especially for social workers whose profession played a strong role in removing fathers from their homes. Starting in the 1960’s welfare payments were dependent on men not being present in the home. Yes, social workers were a party in enforcing that hateful policy. Fast forward to the 21st century when social workers are all too often taking the feminist stance and working in and condoning a biased family court system that favors mothers as caretakers after divorce which decreases the likelihood of father involvement. This is just another way to remove fathers from the home through no fault of their own. Shared parenting is the simple solution if we could only get beyond lawyers, feminists, and social workers who stand in opposition. This book, by ignoring the important role of fatherlessness is neglecting an important side of the story that these graduate students need to hear and discuss. That side of the story is simply omitted.

Perhaps the worst of the one sidedness is in the book’s chapter on discrimination with the portrayal of women as having been oppressed. The book places women in the same boat as blacks and gays. Now wait a minute. Blacks and gays have both faced a great deal of difficulties and hardships due to their skin color or sexual orientation. The book is putting women in the same boat? Um, nowhere near the same. Women have faced discrimination not due to being hated, but more often due to their rigid sex role which saw them as pure and worthy of protection. Traditionally women have been placed on a pedestal, not oppressed.

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Try this on for size: “It’s as American as blacks and apple pie!” That doesn’t seem to work so well does it? Okay, how about “It’s as American as gays and apple pie!” Oooops, again, not so hot. Those two really don’t fit. How bout this “It’s as American as mom and apple pie!” Oh yeah! That is just right. Now tell me, why would a country oppress the ones who are the positive symbols of the country and are held up as beloved cultural icons?

American soldiers in Europe during WWII when asked what they missed were most likely to say mom and apple pie. That is apparently where this saying originated. It’s obvious that moms were beloved and held in very high esteem. When people use the phrase “As American as mom and apple pie” they mean to claim that both mom and apple pie are unassailable and universally beloved and agreed upon. No one would disparage moms and very few would disparage apple pie.

So the question boils down to why would a country oppress the very people it held up as their beloved heroes? Of course, the answer is they wouldn’t.

And it was because women were held in such high esteem that radical feminists were able to make the bogus claims to be “oppressed” and get away with it. No one would question mom. She was trusted and believed. This charade, which I think qualifies as the biggest lie of the 20th century, was not pushed by most women, it was pushed by a radical group of women who shoved on us the exaggerations of women’s oppression.  Of course the worst of this fabrication was the blaming of men as being the ones who intentionally kept women down.

The claims of women being kept out of the workplace, banking, education etc., had some reality to it. Women have faced discrimination in our culture. It’s just not for the reasons the radicals portray. Men had striven for decades to allow women to be at home with the kids and not be sullied by what they considered to be the coarse nature of money, the workplace, or politics. They wanted women to avoid the coarse nature of those things and fulfill their biological imperative of having and loving their own children. The men were willing to sacrifice their own efforts in order to insure that happening. This was not meant as a way to keep women down, or restrict their opportunities. At this time most women liked the idea of having, raising, and loving their children and were grateful that the men took on the burden of providing the income and keeping them safe. I for one would love to have had someone take on the burden of creating income in order for me to stay at home full time with my children. My wife and I both worked part time in the 1980’s and some of the 1990’s to insure that one of us was at home with the kids at all times. We both sacrificed our careers in order to make this happen. I found that time to be the most joy filled and fulfilling time of my life. What a joy to have that uninterrupted time with those I love? It’s not hard to assume that women have traditionally felt the same sorts of joy. How much bitterness and ungratefulness would it take to transform this gift and label it oppression? Then blame men, the very people that had sacrificed to make that happen?

This “oppression” nonsense was thrust on a gullible population that would do anything they could to help women/moms. Imagine for just a second that fathers were to make similar claims. Just imagine men saying “We are oppressed!” Pretty funny eh? Dads were not, and are not in such an unassailable and lofty position as women. Would they be believed? No, they would be laughed at. But our country, like all western countries, jumps to gynocentric attention when women claim they are being tied to the tracks. People respond to help women. Just have a look at what congress has done for women over the last 50 years.

This book sports a 40-page chapter on discrimination. The largest section in the chapter describes discrimination faced by women. It’s almost 11 pages in length. In comparison gays got 4 pages and blacks got 5 pages. Since this book will likely be read by mostly white women I suppose they are playing to their readership.

The section on discrimination faced by women starts off with a sub-section on violence against women. It quotes a number from a research study that 1.5 million American women were victims of domestic violence. Here’s a great example of the book’s one-sidedness. What’s the important other side that they don’t tell you? It’s that the exact same study, the one the book quoted that claimed there were 1.5 million American women were victims of domestic violence, also found that 835,000 men were victims of domestic violence over the same period of time. But they didn’t say a thing about the men who were victims! By only printing the female number and not mentioning the men it leaves the reader thinking that this problem must be confined to women. We have known for decades that this is false, that men are a significant number of the victims of domestic violence but the media, academia, and the water cooler all fail to recognize this fact.

This is typical of this book and specifically this chapter. They are only telling one side of a very complicated story and by doing so leading the reader to false conclusions. This omitting important information and leaving a one sided approach is not new to feminism. The early domestic violence activists did just that. One woman, Ellen Pence, the founder of the Duluth Domestic Abuse Intervention Project, and author of an important early book on domestic violence said the following about her efforts in helping with domestic violence:

In many ways, we turned a blind eye to many women’s use of violence, their drug use and alcoholism, and their often harsh and violent treatment of their own children.

Why would Pence and her cohorts deny women’s violence and men’s victimhood? Why would they turn away from a woman’s violence towards her children? Good question but one likely answer is that getting funding for helpless women being beaten by burly men was much easier than trying to get funding for a crazed female beating her children or knifing her husband as he slept. If you mention men as victims it ruins the argument that men are the problem.  When there is an innocent woman tied to the tracks legislators jump to attention. A man similarly tied? Not so much. People don’t care and the money is not there.

 

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Men are the most frequent victims of violence but our government focuses on only violence against women.

 

 

 

 

 

So we see the same pattern of simply ignoring the violence of women and the victimhood of men. Pence was one of thousands of people using this same technique. This left us with a cultural sense that domestic violence was only strong and abusive men beating innocent and defenseless women. This erroneous idea took form in 1994 when the US passed the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) that focused on women who were victims and men who were perpetrators. If you have the idea in your mind that women are the only victims you now know that you have been hoodwinked and this graduate textbook simply keeps pushing the lies.

Another section discusses abortion and women’s reproductive rights. It talks about a woman’s right to choose and frets over whether she may lose those rights. What it does not discuss is the fact that women do indeed have choice but men have none. If the woman wants an abortion she can decide unilaterally to do so. If she wants the abortion and he does not, he is out of luck. He has no rights, no choice and just has to deal with it. Her body her choice, his child, her choice. Again, the book tells only one side of the story. The woman’s side.

There is a large section about the wage gap. This is stunningly ridiculous. The wage gap has been refuted by science for years. They know that the gap is a function of her choice of jobs and preferring employment that is not hazardous, dangerous or highly strenuous and that she is looking for flexible hours. This tends to lead her to jobs that pay less. Her choice. This is worse than telling one side. Pushing the erroneous idea of a wage gap is making up a narrative that is simply wrong and having been disproven by science repeatedly. I suppose the narrative they are trying to create is more important than the truth. The book fails in telling both sides of the story. This error is a little more excusable since present day politicians continue to mouth this disproven idea in order to be re-elected and appear to be friendly to women.

There is another large section on female genital mutilation. Legislation was passed years ago outlawing all forms of female genital mutilation even those that are based on religious or cultural norms. They are all forbidden and outlawed. Some of the conversations are on women around the world who might face such genital mutilation. The side of the story they fail to tell is that male genital mutilation is the fourth most popular surgical procedure in the United States. Little infant boys are strapped down, against their will and a significant part of their penis is amputated usually just days after they are born often without anesthesia. I have heard nurses say that the little boys scream and keep screaming, sometimes for days. Many

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Figure 2 The new Olympic Circumstraint is even more versatile and functional than the popular model purchased by over 11,000 hospitals throughout the world. The new, more compact Circumstraint, always a fast, easy means of immobilizing newborns for circumcision, (From the Manufacturer)

 

 

uninformed people think this is just a little snip. Not so. The amount of skin amputated equals about the area of a post card once the man’s body matures. Even more people think this procedure is medically helpful. Wrong. The medical profession has sung this song before telling us incorrectly that male circumcision will help prevent, syphilis, epilepsy, spinal paralysis, bedwetting, eye problems, deafness, dumbness, tuberculosis, penile cancer, cervical cancer, and now HIV. The US is one of the few countries left that encourages this barbaric practice. This is a horribly painful procedure that is done to more than a million boys each year in the US and no one seems to know or to care. This book is only worried about one side. The women.  It turns its back on the pain of these little boys.

I hope you are starting to see that both men and women are facing hardship and discrimination due to their sex roles. In fact, in some ways the female hardship seems mild compared to the males. Remember those young men, the soldiers who said they missed mom and apple pie? Nearly a half million of those young men died in WWII and they died due to their sex role that said they were the ones to go and fight. Why? Because they had a penis.

This book is a glaring example of how false narratives are spread and maintained. Do women have troubles? Of course. But I hope you can see now that men also have significant difficulties and these are ignored by professionals that claim to have compassion for all. It is obvious that they don’t and that they are only interested in one side of the story. The definition of bigotry is to only be interested in one group or your own group. I will let you be the judge how that may play out in social work today.

If you are a social work student or social worker, please complain today to your schools and let them know you won’t tolerate only hearing one side of the story. If you don’t, you will simply get the same narrative over and over again.

 

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For more on the misandry in social work go here meninsocialwork.org

 

 

 

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Vet Suicide and What You Can Do #22kill

Twenty two veterans commit suicide every day in the United States. Every day. That’s twenty two too many. Want to do something about this? Good. Here’s what you do:

Do as many damn pushups as you can and make a video of your efforts. Post the vid online with hashtags #22kill and #22 if you did 22 pushups. If you did 53 the hashtag would be #53. Simple right?

Yeah, but how can this help?

vetsWell, a group of veterans have started a global movement called #22Kill They are working to bring more awareness to the tragedy that has been slipping by most of us that so many of our veterans are dying from suicide. The idea of their work is to reach 22 million verified pushups. Not only will your pushups move their counter towards the 22 million goal it also sends a message that one more person out there cares about our vets and will take time out of their day to honor them and let them know you appreciate what they have done for all of us.

I admire this group for their efforts. They are using the masculine paths. That is, when men are met with difficulties and struggles they will less often join a support group and more often move to DO something that honors. It is through the action and the honoring that he is able to tell his story. One beautiful example of this is Michael Jordan, who moved towards action after the tragic murder of his father. We all know that Jordan quit basketball after his father’s death. We also know that he started playing minor league baseball in hopes of catching on at the pro level. This confused most of us, just as many of men’s healing paths tend to confuse most people. What we didn’t know at the time was that Jordan’s father always wanted him to be a baseball player and was not shy in telling Michael. So Jordan’s switch to baseball was an action to honor his father. He did it for his dad. Make sense?

Pushups can work in the same way. In fact, their instructions tell you to state your name and then say who you are doing the pushups for. This is connecting the action to honoring. This is healing.

I will be doing my 22 soon and will put it on youtube. I hope you will too.

 


 

It also needs to be added that 66 non-veteran males die each day in the US from suicide.

#22Kill web site

Instructions for making your vid

Book The Way Men Heal

Maryland Report on Suicide, Boys and Men

My thanks to Spencer for pointing this out to me.

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