Posts tagged ‘People’

Some Things Never Change

A young girl kisses a baby on the cheek.

Image via Wikipedia

A recent Gallup poll surveyed Americans about their preference in the sex of their children. Just as in 1941, Americans prefer boys.  Perhaps the only change since 1941 is that it’s the men who are causing our preferences. Women basically have no statistically significant preference either way. They are split pretty evenly with about a third preferring a girl, a third preferring a boy, and another third having no preference whatsoever.

Men want boys. Just why is that? Is it because they hate girls? I like to think not, but you have to wonder with nearly 50% of American men having a clear preference for boys. Maybe they just wish the best life for their children and prefer to have boys so that their children will have more opportunities and have a better chance for a happier life. That argument makes sense. Men still make more money, hold more positions of power, and do far less work around the house. It’s pretty cool to be a man, or a husband, at least.

Maybe they just think boys are easier to raise. You don’t have to worry as much about them being molested or raped or getting pregnant. No Doubt’s “Just A Girl” perfectly illustrates the difference between growing up a daughter versus growing up a son in America. Boys cause trouble; they don’t get into it. Or at least, that’s the prevailing myth.

I was on a manosphere website once where one of the participants commented that women were using abortion in order to practice sex selection as a form of gender genocide. I kid you not. However, this article sounds like, if anything, the opposite is happening. Couples are using technology to ensure the selection of boys. If this is a significant trend, it will have disastrous consequences in years to come.

There is another possibility besides plain old misogyny or wanting a better life for your child…there is the possibility that American men prefer boys because they will carry on the family name. Maybe their reason for wanting to procreate is to perpetuate the family name, carry on the family line.

This brings me to another example of sexism in our culture. Women get married and take on their husband’s names. They willingly do so. But why is it that no one ever asks why the family name has to be the husband’s name? I wonder how many men would still prefer boys if their sons didn’t carry their names but their daughters did.

Follow me here. What if two people get married and instead of the wife taking the husband’s name and the kids taking the husband’s name we did something different? What if a man named Smith marries a woman named Johnson. They become the Smith-Johnson family. Any female children get the last name Smith. Any male children get the last name Johnson. Maybe they go by Smith-Johnson until they strike out on their own or until they get married when the boys drop the Smith, and the girls drop the Johnson to include a spouse’s name.

It’s much more equitable. I don’t expect to see it in my lifetime, anymore than I would expect to see the Equal Rights Amendment passed. The fact is that women have shot themselves in the foot. Right now we’re a little over half the population of America. If we wanted to mobilize and get to the polls and vote we could have passed that law a long time ago, or any other law you care to name. We could have formed our very own political party. But we traded all that for the dangling carrot of a princess wedding and a diamond ring.

http://globalpublicsquare.blogs.cnn.com/2011/06/23/gallup-americans-prefer-boys-to-girls-just-as-they-did-in-1941/

June 28, 2011 at 11:32 pm 8 comments

International Women’s Day

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

Image via Wikipedia

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. ...

Image via Wikipedia

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

Image via Wikipedia

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

Evolutionary Psychology: Science, or Merely a Male Chauvinist Justification of Sexism?

The Gilded Cage

Image via Wikipedia

Men who comment here sometimes, and men from the manosphere, frequently espouse views of evolutionary psychology in order to refute feminism. As “evidence” they mention sex stereotypes and attribute them merely to animal behavior and the human species’ wish to propagate our genes to the next generation.

The problem with this, of course, is two-fold. First of all, people are not merely animals. We have the ability to reason which differentiates us from many other species. Secondly, how does evolutionary psychology explain anomalies in our culture and how does it explain the phenomenon of feminism. Does it?

Evolutionary psychology says that women are valued only for their ability to reproduce and carry on a man’s genes, that women are only interested in sex in order to produce babies and are choosier in picking partners because it’s in their best interests to do so. Evolutionary psychology says that men are solely interested in young, hot women and that women are reduced to their “sexual market value.”

It doesn’t take into account those men who mate with older women. It especially discounts all the media cases lately of young men featured in the media who are “hot for teacher,” even when sometimes these much older teachers are not especially physically attractive in a conventional sense. It doesn’t take into account that most women don’t lose their desire for sex after they reach menopause.  How does evolutionary psychology explain these behaviors?

Men do generally prefer younger women, but what explains the differentiations from this? How do we account for the couples where the woman makes more money or has more money than the man? What is the evolutionary psychologist’s explanation for how this propagates the species? If evolutionary psychology can explain the relationship between the sexes, then how does feminism help to propagate the species? I’d be interested in hearing some theories.

But someone smarter than I am has written an article that refutes evolutionary psychology’s claims better than I can. Check out the article here:

http://www.evoyage.com/Evolutionary%20Feminism/Feminism&EP.htm

February 9, 2011 at 12:30 am 4 comments

G.I. Jane

Joan of Arc

Image via Wikipedia

One of the arguments that are frequently cited by misogynists some men for why there will never be equal rights, they say, is because women don’t put themselves on the line in times of war. They say that because we aren’t willing to risk our lives for our country that we don’t have the rights to equal status.

And I say, “Who told you that I’m not willing to die for my country? When were we invaded? Where’s my rifle? Sign me up. I’ll go.” Maybe not all women feel that way, but a lot of women do. There’s no reason why women can’t be great warriors or even battle leaders, such as Joan of Arc, for example. Read Judges 5 for the account of Deborah and Jael.

Women have had a military presence for at least the last 4000 years, and I bet that if you could walk back to caveman times you might easily see a woman or two throwing a spear or a rock. Why? Out of necessity. All human beings are motivated by the survival instinct. Their motivation: fight or flee. Same reaction, whether man or woman.

Feminists, and many other women who wouldn’t identify themselves as being such, have been working for years to get women equal combat status in the military. Why has it not happened?

Well, the laws in this country would have to change. And who makes the laws? In a country where many men and women, too, claim that women have arrived, the United States Congress, where laws are written and passed, contained only 17% female representation in the year 2009. As of the latest elections I believe that proportion has decreased.

If the silly tea partiers can protest about Obama being born in Kenya or whatever other shit they’ve made up, then why can’t women claim taxation without representation? The United States female population is over 50% of the people, but they make up only 17% of lawmakers. This percentage should embarrass us. I know it embarrasses me. This country is such a great country and at the same time such a backward nation. Even Brazil, one of the worst cultural offenders in terms of objectifying women and treating them as sexual objects, just elected a female President. We have yet to see a female Vice President.

There’s absolutely no reason why women can’t be drafted and no reason why they can’t serve in the military right alongside of men in every capacity. Israel requires compulsory military service for both men and women. If women defer to men who say that they want to exclude us in order to protect us, then we rightly deserve to have privileges withheld from us. We’ve given them that power by appointing men as our protectors while we cower in the corner and bite our fingernails, like some simpering love interest in a Hollywood action movie marketed to men, written by, directed by, produced by, and starring men. It’s time we got all Lara Croft on their asses.

January 27, 2011 at 1:09 pm 17 comments

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