Posts tagged ‘Women’

International Women’s Day

International Women's Day rally of the Nationa...

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Today is, apparently, International Women’s Day, and CNN’s website and The Huffington Post and Time all have feature articles involving that in some way. The Huffington Post, especially, has a lot of articles on global injustice toward women. There are blog posts by Marlo Thomas and Annie Lennox, amongst others, bemoaning the sad state of feminism today.

We need to shed light on injustice in the world. We still have such a long way to go towards achieving gender equality. The collective rape of women in the Dominican Republic, and the “corrective rapes” in South Africa, which may be the rape capital of the world, as well as the brutal gang rape of an 11 year old girl by at least 18 men in Texas are featured articles in the news today. There’s also mention of the importance of “V Day,” which is I guess what some feminists are embracing as the celebration of Eve Ensler’s vagina monologues in a tie-in with Valentine’s Day.

Don’t get me wrong. Human rights violations based on gender are disturbing and appalling, and we should work to bring attention to them and, hopefully, towards the end of such cruelty. However, sometimes I wonder if the whole label of “feminist” has become associated with victimization rather than power. How often are we demonizing men instead of really helping women?

On International Women’s Day I think it’s important to remember:

Yes, women were once banned from receiving an education or a higher education, but some men worked to change that policy. And then those same men taught some women in their chosen subject of study.

Yes, women were once banned from owning property or receiving an inheritance or holding a mortgage note, but some men worked to change those laws and policies. And then those same men gave women property and approved loans for women.

Yes, women were once largely banned from the workforce with the exception of teachers and nurses and secretaries, but then some men thought that wasn’t right so they hired women for other jobs. Then those men trained those women on what they needed to know to do their jobs.

Yes, women are victims of sexual violence more often than men, and men are more often the perpetrators, but some men thought that wasn’t right. Those men made laws to see that justice could be applied so that women could be safe. Some men even risked their lives to enforce those laws.

Yes, women once couldn’t vote, but some men thought they should be able to vote so they passed a law so that women could vote, too.

Yes, women can give birth, but they haven’t figured out how to do it yet without some form of contribution from a man.

We’re here where we are today in large part because of some extraordinary men. Don’t forget to put the accomplishments of the women’s movement in perspective. We didn’t do it all by ourselves.

March 9, 2011 at 12:04 am 4 comments

Evidence of Actual Intelligent Life in the “Manosphere”

Women of Ferasibor, Malaita, Solomon islands. ...

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The photo is of women from the Solomon Islands. Though I don’t agree with his contentions about feminism being merely one-sided, I do agree largely with this guy’s post. Here is evidence that a man can make intelligent comments about the gender gap. It is possible. It’s just definitely not coming from Dalrock or Solomon II. It is also coming in the form of comments from a new reader called, oddly enough, Dalrock Reader.

Take a look at this:

http://www.pellebilling.com/2009/03/reverse-feminism/

 

February 22, 2011 at 2:56 am Leave a comment

Lord, Make Me An Instrument of Thy Peace

A garden statue of Francis of Assisi with birds

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All too often what I see going on in the manosphere is a vilification of women, the flourishing of stereotypes without sound empirical evidence to back it up (i.e. all women are sluts, and this is the result of feminsm), and the same tired and stupid arguments being rehashed over ad nauseum by a group of people, some women but mostly men, who are all in agreement with each other’s biased viewpoints. These websites are one trick ponies written by men with their own rationalization warthogs.

No room for dissent here. If a critically thinking person brings up evidence or viewpoints to the contrary, then the blogger or the community resorts to personal attacks. It would bother me if I respected their opinions, but since I don’t I just see it as further proof of their single-minded ignorance, and, to some extent, stupidity. If you have to resort to personal attacks, then the truth is that you just don’t have what it takes to bring it. I don’t hate them. Beyond my initial outrage, it doesn’t even make me angry. It makes me pity them.

These men also aren’t self aware enough to realize that if you’re failing at relationships with women repeatedly, then the one common denominator in all these relationships is: you. The same rule applies to the females, absolutely. I’ve previously admitted to my own failures personally on this blog, if you regularly read it. I absolutely think that I bear responsibility for my failure to secure a long-term commitment. I own that. But you can’t apply that rule to the females only, and then go, “Look! It’s exactly like I told you; they’re all either harpy hags or shallow, slutty bitches!”

Well, actually, you could. But this would be a fallacy. Maybe the reason that these men aren’t more successful with long-term relationships is BECAUSE the women recognize that these men deep-down actually hate women and discount their contributions to society beyond their sexual market value and their ability to conceive and incubate a child. If that’s the case, then women are right to respond to these men as they do. After all, even the hottest youngest woman gets old one day, and fertility isn’t a guarantee, and no person likes being someone else’s slave.

Now I realize that I’ve seen a small portion of the websites and blogs that favor men’s rights, and probably not all of them are resorting to blaming rape victims and outright saying that a woman’s only worth is motherhood. There are probably a lot of guys out there who are bringing up some very good points about the relationship between the sexes. There are some guys out there that are probably writing smart stuff about legitimate areas in our society where men are getting shafted, real examples of misandry. The websites I’ve been to, unfortunately, aren’t it. Although, I will say that several men who have commented on this website have brought up excellent topics for debate. I thank them.

My advice to anyone who’s seeking to bridge the gender gap, as I am, instead of perpetuating it, or, God forbid, widening it, is to listen, seek to understand, be open and tolerable to other viewpoints. We don’t have to agree. There’s no law that says we have to agree on everything, but if you’re open and willing to listen, instead of outright dismissing someone on the basis of his or her sex, you just might learn a thing or two that you didn’t know previously. Someone might bring up a point you hadn’t thought about before.

My goal is for women and men to live in peace with one another, enjoy one another, sacrifice for one another, be selfless and kind and think about the ways in which we might fulfill one another and lift one another up rather than tearing each other down. That counts for everywhere from the battlefield to the boardroom to the bedroom.

Whether you are religious or not, much wisdom can be learned from an ancient prayer widely attributed to St. Francis of Assissi:

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.

Where there is hatred, let me sow love.

Where there is injury, pardon.

Where there is doubt, faith.

Where there is despair, hope.

Where there is darkness, light.

Where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master,

grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console;

to be understood, as to understand;

to be loved, as to love.

For it is in giving that we receive.

It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,

and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.

Amen.

February 19, 2011 at 5:08 pm 22 comments

Soldier Barbie

I wrote a piece on the history of women in the military that argued for the inclusion of women in the draft and allowing women to be in combat positions. Typically, this piece was flagged by some of the manosphere guys who want to point out that:

1)   Most men are stronger than most women. Really. I hadn’t noticed.

2)   Most men are faster than most women. You don’t say.

3)   Women in wartime can be raped and tortured. So can men, but no one thinks about that.

4)   Current physical fitness tests for men and women in the military are not equal. Women are spotted an advantage, in other words.

5)   Therefore, women should not be in combat situations in the military.

Wow. That’s really sound rhetoric. I mean, I can absolutely see why you would have to come to that logical conclusion. Excuse me. My tongue is stuck in my cheek. That’s really painful.

Dalrock, in a piece meant to refute mine, mentions an anecdote of a young female Marine who was beaten to death in a bar fight. This is supposedly an example of why women shouldn’t serve in combat positions in the military. It’s a sad story, but the young woman didn’t die because she was ill prepared for military combat. She died because she was stupid enough to pick a bar fight with men who were larger, stronger and faster than her.

No doubt, alcohol affected this woman’s judgment, but even most men know better. Every once in a while some smaller, weaker man with a few beers under his belt decides to pick a fight with someone twice his size, and every so often that man beats him to death. But those deaths can’t be used as an “example” to keep women in line. That’s just the story of another bar fight gone bad.

There is absolutely no reason why women can’t serve in the military in combat situations. It’s happened before. It will happen again. I’m not about relaxing physical fitness requirements. I’m about making them fair. Push ups, pull ups and sit ups are ways of measuring a person’s strength against his or her own body weight. Any woman in the military should be able to do just as many as a man can.

Let’s make the requirement for lifting, instead of being arbitrarily based on a certain weight requirement, fixed on some reasonable amount based on the person’s size. In addition, if lifting a particular object is required for a particular military job, then don’t allow anyone of either gender who can’t lift the object or its equivalent weight have that particular job in the military. It’s just that simple.

I have a friend who has a son in the military. This kid is 21 or so. He’s only 5’ tall at best, and I’d be really surprised if he weighs more than 130 pounds. He meets the physical fitness requirements for men in the Army. If he can do it, then it’s possible for most women who put forth an effort to meet most of the same requirements, with the possible exception of upper body strength.

One thing that’s frequently mentioned for why women can’t serve in combat positions, and this one’s my favorite: she won’t be able to carry out her buddy if he’s wounded. Who says her buddy is a he, if women are allowed in combat? And do I really think my friend’s son could lift out a 6’ tall, 270 pound man? Maybe, but not for long. However, I think even fat out of shape me could fireman carry his tiny ass for a little ways. Conversely, if a woman is injured, because she’s lighter, then she’s easier to carry out. But the manosphere doesn’t see things like that, because they don’t want to do so.

I’m not the only one who thinks that women should be allowed to serve in the military, and in any capacity that they choose. Take a look at the links for actual intelligent information on the subject of women in combat:

http://www.politicsdaily.com/2011/01/18/women-in-combat-the-debate-begins-anew/

 

http://www.npr.org/series/14964676/women-in-combat

 

http://www.stripes.com/news/commission-to-recommend-allowing-women-in-combat-units-1.131807

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/16/us/16women.html

 

http://www.ibtimes.com/articles/102737/20110119/lift-the-ban-on-women-in-combat-panel-says.htm

 

 

 

February 17, 2011 at 1:01 am 47 comments

The Man Box

Cover of "Against Our Will: Men, Women, a...

Cover of Against Our Will: Men, Women, and Rape

I found a video on cnn.com that they poached from TED. I love that site. They have some of the greatest ideas and speakers on TED. This guy is Tony Porter. I’ve never heard of him before, but now I’m practically in love with him.

His video is about preventing domestic violence and sexual assault, but it’s really a greater idea encompassing total gender equality. The men I know mostly don’t like to talk about the subject of domestic violence or sexual abuse. Good men. They don’t like it, but they also don’t want to even acknowledge its existence. When I was reading a groundbreaking book about rape, Against Our Will by Susan Brownmiller, my men friends who were usually so up for a conversation about anything didn’t want to discuss it at all. And if even good men don’t want to engage in dialogue about this issue, aren’t they really saying that they don’t care?

The Shy Guy said that he didn’t like the idea that sexual violence was misunderstood to be attributable to male aggression, the wish to subjugate, humiliate and hurt women. I asked him what he thought it was about. He never could explain this to me fully, but I’ll bet the explanation would have been something along the lines of the old, “men can’t help it” argument, which means that it’s okay for us to be placed on trial for our own rapes for being so damned sexy that they can’t control the impulse to rip our clothes off.

I wondered how his theory explained the elderly women who are so frequently raped during home invasions or women who are raped who might be of, hmm, less than average attractiveness. He said that I looked at him differently after that, and quite frankly, yes, I did, because after he told me his attitude on the subject it scared me.

There it was. The seed. I hate this seed that germinates into a doubt and wariness. I hate that I have to be scared of virtually all men at all times on a primal level. You may not know it, but if you are a man the woman you are with always wonders in the back of her mind…will he hurt me? Can I trust him? If you are a man reading this, rest assured that I don’t like that attitude anymore than you do, but I’m not sure how to overcome it.

When I was in college one of the guys that I befriended was a coworker from a little town in North Central Oklahoma. I would go hang out with him at his apartment. He wasn’t the guy for me and vice versa, but we had a little mutual crush thing going on that wasn’t any kind of secret. I’ll call him Vern. When our boss resigned they made him a photo album where Vern and I had no less than four photos in the back that looked like we’d had professional engagement photos taken for the papers. We were the official unofficial couple of the workplace, the one that everyone who’s older and more jaded thinks is kind of cute. Will they or won’t they?

He had four other male roommates, and he always had a bunch of guy friends hanging out. For a semester or two I used to go over about once or twice a week during the week and hang out. They would hang out and maybe drink beer and watch sports or hip-hop videos on MTV. Yes, it was that long ago. They were still playing videos on MTV. Sometimes they watched 90210. I think this was the second season it was on.

I was maybe all of twenty years old. It was kind of fun hanging out with Vern and his friends. Sometimes if a song came on MTV that he was really into he’d pick me up and swing me around like a rag doll. I was usually the only woman over there, so I got my share of attention. Vern was very into the whole bodybuilding thing, and he’d often preen around the apartment in nothing but his boxers while his roommates made fun of him. I actually went out on dates with two of his roommates.

Anyhow, one semester I took this night class, and all of the sudden Vern started showing up outside my night class and picking me up or walking me to my car. I remember thinking that this out of the blue chivalry was very strange. He insisted that it was for my safety, and I remember thinking that it was very odd that he was always there at the right time and place. I myself wasn’t worried about walking around campus at night. I suppose I would have taken reasonable precautions like parking close or where it’s at least well lit, but other than that I didn’t think about it very much. Vern, on the other hand, had thought about it a lot.

After several weeks of this he finally told me that one of his friends was a date rapist who had attacked some woman friend in the guise of giving her a ride home. I knew the guy. He was a nice looking guy. He wouldn’t have had to force a woman. He could have found someone that would have been willing. Obviously, he didn’t want a woman who was willing. Vern told me that I was to never be alone with this guy for any reason or to allow him to give me a ride home. And if Vern hadn’t given me this information I might have gotten in a car and accepted a ride from this guy. There was absolutely nothing about him that would have been a warning sign.

I’m pretty sure that story isn’t something that Vern would have made up, and I heard it repeated by both of the roommates I dated anyway. I always wondered if he knew something about this other guy that I didn’t. Rapists frequently target their victims and stalk them long before the attack. The woman never brought up any charges, and I don’t know if Vern and his roommates heard the story from the roommate or from the woman. I did notice, however, that they didn’t kick this guy out of their little circle. He still hung out with them.

Porter, in his video, talks about the Man Box, a very strict set of rules for what is and is not appropriate manly behavior. A man doesn’t cry or show emotion. He doesn’t talk about his feelings. He views women as property. A man doesn’t have a first time; he’s never a virgin; he was a born satyr. Even some of the good guys I’ve known in my life were quick to label other men as “girls,” or “pussies,” or “bitches.” The idea behind it is that the worst possible insult that you can hurl at a boy or a man is that he’s a girl. But what does that ultimately say about how our society values women?

http://www.cnn.com/2010/OPINION/12/26/porter.men.violence/index.html?hpt=C2

December 26, 2010 at 10:10 pm 4 comments

Equal Opportunity

The current United States Supreme Court, the h...

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Over the weekend one of the Mr. Brewsters developed a bleeding ulcer. It affected an artery, and he was vomiting up blood and bleeding internally. He had to be rushed to the hospital and have a blood transfusion. I visited him on Tuesday night. He’s doing fine now, home recuperating, but that was a close call.

I have a lot of experience in hospitals. My mother went to nursing school when I was growing up, and she works as a nurse now. We would frequently meet my mother in the hospital cafeteria for dinner when she worked the evening shift.

When I was in high school we were on one of these excursions when I actually saw someone I knew from school. It was a girl that I hadn’t seen in a while but hadn’t noticed was missing (it was a very large school). She was also eating in the hospital cafeteria. But this wasn’t because her mother was a nurse. It was because she was in the home for unwed mothers attached to the hospital.

Even in the 1980s apparently girls were spirited away when they got in the family way. God forbid that we see them walking our halls. The girl eventually came back to school after she had her baby, and I never said anything about it. I didn’t know if other people knew or if a story had been made up about her going to visit some ailing aunt, and it wasn’t any of my business. But I remember thinking that it would be bad enough to get pregnant and have to give up your baby without also having to miss a year of school. I wondered why they didn’t have a home for unwed fathers and make them skip out on a semester or two.

Last week Solomon II made a comment that went something like this: I don’t get this thing with women’s rights. Name me one thing that you can’t do. Basically, he was saying that we have equal opportunity and that if women aren’t politicians or engineers or business leaders, then that just must be because we’re not doing the work involved.

This is the lame assed argument of a brain dead, entitled man. I say lame assed instead of lame brained because his head is obviously up his ass. It’s like saying that a black man in 1880 had equal opportunity. Well, he had the right to vote, didn’t he? He can run for President. Why doesn’t he? That argument is nothing short of imbecilic.

Sure, technically he can run for President, but if the overwhelming majority of Americans are white and bigoted, and the overwhelming majority of African Americans are poor, then who’s going to vote for him and where will he get the campaign contributions he needs? Hmm. Good question. Never thought of that. But the black man had “equal opportunity.”

We’ve come a long way, baby. We have an African American President, and women run for President. The sad fact is, though, that we’re not there yet. No one, hopefully, with any good sense, would argue that racism and sexism no longer exist. You only have to open your eyes on a daily basis to see it in action. The problem is that guys like Solomon II only see what they want to see. It’s backlash. We gain six inches toward that meet you halfway goal, and they want to take back a mile.

Women are 51% of the population in the United States. There is absolutely no significant difference in intelligence quotient scores for men versus women.

So, riddle me this, Batman.

How come women wear engagement rings but men do not?

How come men ask for a woman’s hand in marriage but women don’t ask the man’s family for the same permission?

How come women make only 76.5 cents for every dollar a man makes?

How come the United States still hasn’t had a female President?

How come there are only three women on the United States Supreme Court?

How come 17 out of every 100 United States Senators are female?

Out of Fortune 500 companies in 2009, only 15 of the CEOs was female. What explains that?

Why are women expected to take their husband’s name and children take their father’s name while women’s last names are deemed expendable?

Why are only 40% of middle managers women?

Why are one in six women the victims of sexual abuse within their lifetimes when only one in thirty-three men are sexually assaulted? What accounts for this discrepancy?

Is the explanation for all this inequality and heinous treatment just that women are lazy and lack ambition? Maybe we should ask that lazy black man from 1880 who didn’t run for President. Darn, he’s dead now. I think it’s because someone dragged him in chains from the bumper of his truck after they kidnapped him while he was on his way to the polls to vote. Something tells me that someone was not a woman.

November 18, 2010 at 2:45 pm 9 comments

Domestic Violence: A Christian Feminist’s View

Lithography. Drunk father.

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Domestic violence is neither a pretty nor a funny topic. People get hurt and get killed. Hilarious!

Domestic violence includes emotional abuse, sexual abuse, economic abuse, physical abuse, intimidation, stalking, and birth control sabotage. Perpetrators isolate their victims, preventing them access to family, friends and coworkers who might be able to help them. They prevent their access to money and sabotage their access to family planning methods because they know that a dependent child will also make it more difficult to leave.

Why do they do it? It’s most likely a combination of factors as varied as the people who offend. For most men who are perpetrators control and a sense of male privilege and entitlement are part of the equation.

Anyone can be a victim. It’s not limited to any race, income, education level, religion or geographic area. Anyone. This includes you.

The men’s movement would have you believe that it’s a pretty equal scenario. Men are victims of domestic violence more often than women. It’s just unreported. That’s a big lie. Statistics can be manipulated. Any statistics can. That’s why when a new study comes out either denouncing or praising some drug our government doesn’t immediately run to jerk it off the shelves or immediately rush to put it on them.

It’s important to look at three different things when you get the results of any study:

1) Who completed the study, and where did the funding come from? You can bet that most studies aren’t “independent.” Someone funded that study, and that someone in most cases has an agenda. The researcher, too, probably has a bias. It’s called a hypothesis that he’s trying to prove.

2) Are there other studies on this particular subject matter? How many are there? Do they agree? If not, then just how different are the results? Is the difference enough to make the results unbelievable?

3) What are the methods used to gather the information for the study and to analyze that information? Do other people in the scientific community respect the results of that study based on the methods used?

While I am sure that men’s victimization is certainly under reported, and it sure is sad that that is so, women are the victims of domestic violence at least 2/3 of the time, according to accurate and respected figures on the matter. Women are more likely to be injured or severely injured in a domestic violence situation. Women are more likely to die at the hands of a husband, lover or boyfriend.

It’s never okay for a man or a woman to beat up on a man or a woman. Let’s be clear about this. Gay and lesbian couples also suffer from this epidemic. Heterosexual men are victims, too, and they are probably severely unreported crimes, since men are afraid of being perceived as being a “wimp” or a “pussy.” Something else to take into consideration: women may actually be violent more often than reported currently simply because they are physically weaker than a man and can’t cause as much damage.

It’s especially unfair for a woman to beat up on a man when she knows that he’s been socially conditioned not to return her attack. Good men will walk away or take it because they know that they are usually so much stronger than us that defending themselves will cause some serious damage to a woman. Don’t put a man in this situation. That’s wrong.

In my reading for this piece I found a statistic that said that one in three women will experience violence at the hands of a man some time in her lifetime. More men will be beaten up by men. The difference is that the men who beat them up will probably not be someone who claims to “love” them.

If you are the victim of domestic violence, know that there are people in the world who want to help you. You didn’t do anything to cause the abuse. You can build a new life and a happy one. Your abuser isn’t going to change, and he isn’t sorry. You have to leave. Don’t challenge your perpetrator’s authority. That will escalate the violence. Involve legal authorities if possible. Call the police. Contact a legal aid office. Do leave your abuser, but don’t leave him until all your ducks are in a row. And even then, be especially careful. When a victim leaves a perpetrator, that is the most dangerous time.

On a side note, if you are a Christian woman and you’ve gone for help from your pastor for marital counseling, and your pastor has told you that it’s not Biblical to leave your husband or that you’re required to submit to your husband…that’s just bullshit. Being beaten or raped is not what the Bible meant about submission. God does not intend for you to be abused by anyone, ever. If you need further clarification on that issue, then please read John Shore’s excellent article on the matter:

http://johnshore.com/seven-reasons-women-stay-in-abusive-relationships-and-how-to-defeat-each-one-of-them/

For further reading on domestic violence and the statistics behind it:

http://www.domesticviolence.org/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Domestic_violence

http://helpguide.org/mental/domestic_violence_abuse_types_signs_causes_effects.htm

http://new.abanet.org/domesticviolence/Pages/Statistics.aspx

http://www.dvrc-or.org/domestic/violence/resources/C61/

http://www.ncadv.org/files/DomesticViolenceFactSheet(National).pdf

http://www.aardvarc.org/dv/statistics.shtml

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epidemiology_of_domestic_violence

If you yourself need help, then in the United States you can contact the National Domestic Violence hotline at:

http://www.thehotline.org/

1.800.799.SAFE (7233) 1.800.787.3224 (TTY)

November 16, 2010 at 12:33 pm 6 comments

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