Saturday, June 26, 2004

Real Men Only

Anyone who reads my blog with any regularity is well aware of my opinion of how society is treating men. I have received several e-mails from one reader who put an interesting spin on it. These were sent as comments on my male questionnaire.
Ally: I see men in their early 20's as completely different specimens than men after, say, 50, so responses to your questions will be slanted accordingly--probably significantly. Mother Nature imbued men with an inordinate "itch" that short-circuits the brain for 25+ years. Once hormones level off, the brain can function ( last!!!). It is THIS turn of events that is interesting to me as a wife is selected in an induced stupor that eventually clears leaving husbands finally seeing the real person they married across the table each morning munching on her corn flakes. Alas, Mother Nature has no use for men (and women) after child-bearing years and leaves older marrieds to their own devices. Sex is a "lubricant" to a relationship...evening bumpy roads. Without it BOTH partners are forced to re-evaluated their lives and relationships. In essence, at 21 a stump with a little perfume and lipstick suffice for a man. Past 50 and grey matter becomes vital. ALL marriages transition from husband and wife to brother and sister. Roles invariably change, often dramatically and unexpectedly. And, sorry to say, often sadly. I fail to see how it could be otherwise given the hand Nature has dealt us. As I wrote to analphilosopher, males were wired by Mother Nature to be faster and stronger and more "virile" than women so as to keep multiplication roaring. Mother Nature INTENDED males to be violent rapists. Male homo-sapiens are now in the docket, being prosecuted for their wiring. Perhaps civilization requires it, but few comprehend its effects on men, much less sympathize. Mother Nature, in Her eagerness to maintain species, went a little too far when bestowing the male "itch." Society is restoring "balance." This requires than men are looked at as anachronistic, in dire need of being "saved." Alas, society is rejecting maleness and tossing out the good with the bad with, dare I say, unintended consequences? I am torn because you cannot bloviate about "men being men" to a rape victim. But is society better off if men are neutered? Or, even, would there be LESS rape if men (and their "wiring") were more fully understood and accounted for? Perhaps they have a subconscious (violent?) reaction to being universally targeted for re-wiring and who they ARE is, essentially, plaguing mankind (women!). So deep down (subconsciously) men realize women have come to despise them and all the men who came before them BECAUSE of what Mother Nature imbued them with. Women have come to resent men AND Mother Nature. They want to FIX IT!!! For men so inclined, rape and abuse against those bent on their castration isn't a stretch. In the end, do we "work around" men's wiring...or kill him on the operating table? Men AND women have natural positives and negatives. Only men face annihilation despite the positives. This from a happily married man of 35 years. And long married parents. Go figure. Name Withheld Wisconsin
His second e-mail:
Ally: ....My point was that Nature hard-wired males to "follow their itch." In non-human species, would anyone NOT classify this as rape? Indeed, I have a long-standing request to several of my friends: name for me the non-human female species that enjoys sex. The only variance to this would be the (non-human) female that does her best to SELECT which male is going to rape her...!!! From this backdrop the human male evolved. Various factors lead him to throttle down native instincts, not the least of which is to conform to society's wishes. So my overall point is that of the two (or three...?) sexes, it is human MALES that face a life of masking, inhibiting, or controlling their basic instincts--not women. Oh, we are all animals so certain limits are required of both sexes, but men are having their ESSENCE besmirched. So while civilized men do NOT rape, it is only because they have taken it upon themselves NOT to follow their instincts! Is there a similar core struggle in women going on that I don't know about? And do women get up each morning and get bombarded with how awful they are? (Men either cave or get.......angry) Castration? Again, the DEED will never take place (one would hope...), but the net EFFECT is the same. They will use more acceptable terms like getting in touch with his feelings or heeding his FEMININE side. Maybe put something in the water... After all, how long before the long list of awful things MEN do will hit its target? Hells bells, half of MEN are now in agreement: masculinity is passe and a curse upon society! So some sort of "gentling" drug slipped into our water? (Ahem, check out ritalin for little BOYS...! A beginning...) "Men are forced to control themselves while women are babied and allowed to express their emotions freely without restraint and then given excuses for it." Right. MEN are forced to........ WOMEN are allowed....... So my concern is men have come to resent not only women, but society. Perhaps without even knowing it. MEN are under constraints. MEN must be watched. MEN are...animals. Ayn Rand was powerful to me IN that she realized both men and women had their masculine and feminine sides. For EITHER sex to cull their masculinity was a grievous error. Her heroines were all highly rational, decisive, intellligent, AND sexy. To her intelligence ALWAYS trumped it male or female. Sexual attraction and romantic love to Rand was based on one thing: the other person embodied/represented YOUR ideal person. (God grant you find him or her before hitting 50!!!!!!!!!!!) Oh, emotions could factor in, but when the rubber met the road INTELLIGENCE must prevail. Our aim in life should be to develop our gray matter as best we can and then USE it as best we can--NEVER opting for emotion winning out. Society is swinging towards emotionalism. And it seems like most of the women are in the fold and half the men. "Objectivism" is Rand's mantra. Reason winning out over emotions. Always. Always. Sorry to bore. But I see this male/female thing as the lynchpin in MOST of the goings-on today. In reality, it is reason vs. emotion. Unfortunately, women get linked with emotionalism and men with reason (where BOTH sexes can and should fully embrace reason!). Hence men AND reason are under the gun. Most of the crap I see going on all around me (and driving me nuts) boils down to this and only this: people (both sexes) are discarding reason for emotion. Why? It's EASIER to feel than to think. Blame prosperity and the resultant laziness.
While I would argue against his claim that the urge to rape is natural to men (female species have always had the ability to turn down sexual advances from the male of the species and walk away; therefore, it is not rape), their nature towards violence is a psychological fact. Men are typically more violent than women, beginning as babies and continuing through childhood and adulthood. That men are animals....again, I don't agree. We are definitely wired differently, and as a heterosexual female, I'm glad. But hey, this is a man calling his own gender animals, so take that as you will. I posted these e-mails to lead into the following post from Kim Du Toit's blog. It is entitled "The Pussification Of The Western Male." I welcome any responses you may have. You can e-mail me here.

We Wouldn't Want Convicts To Feel Bad

I've been gearing up for a good rant, and I have found one. If you are bothered by VP Dick Cheney's language in response to Rep. Leahy, you don't want to be near me when I gear up. You can see the full article here. It is a New York Times Op-Ed on the Second Chance Act that is before congress.
A bill known as the Second Chance Act, endorsed by the White House and developed primarily by Representative Rob Portman, Republican of Ohio, and Representative Danny Davis, Democrat of Illinois, would invest a modest $112 million over the next two years in drug treatment and mentoring programs aimed at helping newly released felons rejoin their communities. It would also do away with a punitive federal law that denies college loans to applicants with drug offenses, even if the offenses resulted in no jail time and occurred in the distant past. The loan ban, which has been used to deny aid to more than 140,000 students, would remain in effect only for people who committed drug crimes while actually receiving federal aid. Unfortunately, the bill would not eliminate a similar rule that excludes inmates from the federal Pell Grant program.
First off, I am a student. I have lived my entire life inside the law - I even try not to speed on the highway. Explain to me why a criminal should have the same access to federal college loans as I do. Why should we be viewed on the same plane of eligibility? Why live my life to the good side of the law if I am going to be seen as the same as someone who did, sold, or trafficked drugs?! And if they can't get student grants (remember, this is free money from the tax payers' pockets) for education, tell them to go commit another crime. They can get sent to jail and get a full education without a student loan to be found. That is certainly more than I can do as a law-abiding citizen. Aside: Rob Portman needs to change his party affiliation - that ain't no Republican I know.
The Second Chance Act calls for a task force to review the obstacles that keep ex-felons pinned to the margins of society. If this bill is passed, as it deserves to be, the task force will find a wealth of information in a recent study by the Legal Action Center, a criminal justice policy group, which identifies laws in all 50 states that bar former convicts from scores of professions that require state licenses. While it is important to screen for prison records when hiring teachers or day care workers, it makes no sense to tell men and women who once served time for breaking state drug laws that they are barred for life from careers as barbers or landscape architects. Some states even strip convicts of their driver's licenses.
I, for one, would not want an ex-felon to feel as though society is not fully accepting of his bad behavior. He should certainly not be limited in his choices, or feel ashamed or not understood due to his previous example of lack of character. The article goes on to describe how those that are mentally ill and in prison do not get proper treatment. Being a psych(o) major, you'd be surprised how many conditions that word is used to describe. So while I have no problem with medically treating someone who is schizophrenic or has bipolar disorder, I'm not real keen on having my tax dollars used up on a bank robber who has OCD, agoraphobia, or binge-eating disorder. What just drives me up the wall (and yes, I'm sitting on the ceiling right now) is that we have this idea that there should be no shame place on you by society if you act badly. You can deal drugs, which may in turn kill children and adults, ruin lives, and encourage violent behavior, but you should not feel bad about it. Here is what I think is a better plan than the Second Chance Act (I might even be hard-nosed enough on this for Kim Du Toit). We need harsher penalties for criminals, including celebrities, that involve serious jail time. Jail time should be made up of hard labor. No more cable TV, college education, and basketball courts. They should have to earn their board in jail. That would go a long way to easing the strain on the price of over-crowding in prisons. Also, if prisons were hard, over-crowding might be less of a problem. Somewhere along the line we forgot that prison is supposed to be a punishment, not a halfway house. It is not supposed to be the opportunity to get a free education and brush up on your ping pong skills. I am not suggesting we start removing digits or limbs - though you might think twice about committing a crime if the price was dear enough. And society should use a bit more shame as a punishment. Why should we all be viewed as equal chances when some of us abide by the law and some of us do not? Those that abide by the law have established their character and trustworthiness. If you break that trust, you deserve to be sidelined. You have to prove your way back into people's trust. It is absolutely baffling to me as to why breaking the law is viewed as a chance to rehabilitate rather than a chance to show everyone else out there that you don't want to behave this way. We have no problem nailing Martha Stewart to the tree (as is appropriate), but don't look funny at the drug dealer that just walked out of the barbed wire down at the local jail. You're just being mean, and he deserves an equal chance too.

Family Friendly Debate Continues

Here are "the thoughts and ramblings of a southern, straight, childless, single man in these fast, new times," to quote the man himself, in response to the debate between Amy, Geekgirl2, and me. One of the many things I love about the blogsphere - intelligent debate. And you thought it was becoming a lost art!

!@#$% Unbelievable!

Wait just a second. Isn't it John Kerry who used bad language on the campaign trail and was hailed for it? Now we are going to cast a spurious eye on Vice President Cheney because he also is human and let it slip? (See here.) Oh, I forgot. Democrats are allowed to push all the rules but heaven forbid a Republican say a bad word. Clinton can screw someone in an office that is now referred to as the "Oral Office" so easily it has almost been renamed and he has a presidential legacy that warrants a 1000-page door stop; Kerry can be a man of the people and use "bad" language without the Democrats having a problem with it, but Cheney has to say "Golly, shucks."
Vice President Dick Cheney, long portrayed by his aides as unperturbed by partisan attacks, admitted Friday that he "probably" cursed at a senior Democratic senator this week, said he did not regret it and added that he "felt better afterwards." Then Mr. Cheney quickly reverted to type, flying here for a tightly scripted campaign rally where he never mentioned the incident in a speech on terrorism and the economy to an adoring Republican crowd.
What the HELL is he supposed to say? When you slip in front of your children, do you apologize for the next four conversations? Oh, and do read the rest of the article and notice how it turns into a reason to plug Billy Crystal at the Barbara Streisand Democrat Fund Raiser and criticize everything else about Cheney. You'd think from the title this was all about a four letter word. Leave it to the New York Times to turn it into a Bash-the-Bush-Administration column.

Humbled by an Outlander

I love my country. I have never made any secret of it. I honor the flag, support our troops (in what ways a civilian can), and give respect to our leaders, no matter how hard that task may be at times. When I was caught out of the country on 9/11, and not sure how I was going to get back in, I wanted nothing more than to be on my own soil, regardless of what was going to happen. However, I have my share of irritation with it as well. I received the following e-mail from an Australian reader that made me rethink my citizenship in a new light.
As you stated asked 'After all, we see what good the constitution does in our court system.' The judiciary is not there to make the laws, only to interpreted them. And without doubt they interpreted the constitutional law in highly suspicious ways. However they would find it very hard to justify a misinterpretation of 'It is illegal to desecrate the US flag under any circumstances'. It is a straight forward sentence. The deterrent comes if stiff penalties were imposed for doing so. Most activists will happily do something illegal if they get a slap on the wrist and a $250 fine or even 6 months jail. I wonder however, would they be so devoted to their cause if they received a mandatory 5 years and $10,000 fine? I would guess not. I am in Australian so one might think it should not even concern me. However, one day I hope to become a proud US citizen and it totally dismays me to see pathetic people burning their own flag. The flag of which is, I believe, the greatest nation on earth. I have had a gutful of people who do these things. They seem to forget the reason they can do these things is because they are in a great and noble country that is represented by the very flag they burn. It is almost tantamount to treason. As you said 'Why have we raised a generation of people who are comfortable burning and disrespecting the symbol of a country that gives them that freedom in the first place?' Never a truer word spoken. Bruce Tritton
Then he added:
I forgot to mention my reasons for wanting to become a US citizen. Primarily because of the attitude of her people. I admire it. Don't get me wrong, I love Australia, overall it is possibly the best country in the world to live. In fact the city I live in, Melbourne, has been voted 'World's most livable city' for the last few years I believe. America is a country of dynamic and positive people who stand up for themselves. It is a country that affects the world in so many positive ways. I have been to the States a number of times and always feel positive, motivated and welcome when I am there. I have been to many parts of the world and some places just feel like home. That is America for me. It is very hard to describe :) I have always held the belief that the people of the US have a very simple attitude. 'We will give you the shirts of our backs. We want to be your friends but god help you if you harm us.' What better attitude could a people have? I read somewhere recently that the States pays for 50% of humanitarian aid in the world. 50%! And it is an evil country? Every country in the world has done morally wrong things and yet many stand up and point the finger at the States. I can at least say that my own country is a true and staunch friend of America. Perhaps it is the similarities between the 2 countries that give me a good grounding for wanting to be American. Countries like France should be in total support the States. Need I remind France of Napoleon. Need I remind France of WWII. Need I remind France of the Rainbow Warrior (Green Peace ship they blew up in New Zealand). Obviously I must because they are one of America biggest detractors. Who would countries like France turn to if they found themselves at war once more. One guess. America has sacrificed tens of thousands of her son's lives to protect and save other countries. She has spent trillions of dollars helping other countries to feed themselves and rebuild their economies. THAT is a nation to be proud of. Perhaps a large part of it is pride. I may not yet be American but I am proud of her. Proud of what she stands for and proud of her people. I want to be part of such a great nation. There is much more of course but I could be here all day God bless America.

Decency in Technology

So now we have discovered a way to get even cell phones to lie for us. I hate to see where we are in another 20 years when it comes to honor and decency. I don't know how parents today manage to teach their kids good character when we have such sad examples around them.

Friday, June 25, 2004

More On The Family Friendly Debate

Amy Ridenour has made her response to our debate on the family friendly situation in workplaces and society. See what you think.

When Moore Is Less: Fahrenheit 9/11

As I was listening to the radio today, I was struck by how much attention a movie is getting. It is playing down at Regal cinemas, and yet it is being given the credibility of an impeachment trial. And all you hear on the radio is the viewers claiming that it will change the way you vote. Why? Moore is not a widely-recognized expert on politics. He is a little fat guy with attitude. He uses his political opinion to get money out of people. Why anyone would believe something that is as one-sided at "Fahrenheit 9/11" is reported to be is crazy. Debate involves offering up both sides, backing it up with credible evidence, and then trying to argue for your position. All this idiot wants to do is take things out of context and sound threatening. I will be curious to see the response to the movie from the conservative side. Hopefully they will overcome their bashful history and tear this movie apart. You can say anything you want when take things out of context and have an agenda to push. The truth is rarely present when ulterior motives are your guide. Check out some Moore Quotes. Some interesting fallacies:
'9/11' OMITS A FEW FINER POINTS Fahrenheit 9/11 is not intended to be objective; director Michael Moore concedes that point. But he also has said he is "presenting the truth." A look at some of the movie's controversial points: President Bush's reaction to news of the Sept. 11 attacks Moore uses video of the president as Bush learned that a second jet had hit the World Trade Center the morning of Sept. 11, 2001. The president was in a classroom in Sarasota, Fla., listening to second-graders read. Bush sat in the classroom for seven minutes after learning of the news from his chief of staff, Andrew Card. Moore superimposes a timer on the screen to document the passage of time, then asks what was going through the president's mind. Was he, Moore wonders, regretting spending 42% of his first eight months in office on "vacation?" Moore bases his quip on an Aug. 6, 2001, story in the Washington Post that said by the end of that month Bush would have spent 42% of his first seven months in office "at vacation spots or en route." The calculation included weekends spent at the presidential retreat in Camp David, Md., and a month-long "working vacation" at the president's ranch in Crawford, Texas. Moore doesn't say that the "vacation" days included weekends or that Bush worked part of most of those days. He met, for example, with British Prime Minister Tony Blair. The other message Moore sends is that Bush was frozen, unable to do anything until he was told what to do by his aides. The independent 9/11 commission reported that Bush told its members he felt it was important to remain calm when not much was known about the attacks. Andrew Card told ABC's Good Morning America this week that Bush showed "a moment of shock, and he did stare off maybe for just a second." The decision to let some Saudis leave the USA shortly after 9/11 and alleged connections among the Bush family, Saudi royalty and Osama bin Laden's family Moore questions why the Bush administration allowed 142 Saudis, including members of bin Laden's family, to fly out of the USA Sept. 14 through Sept. 24, 2001. He suggests that business ties between oil-rich Saudi Arabia and the Bush family might have resulted in special treatment for some Saudi citizens — even though 15 of the 19 terrorists who hijacked planes on 9/11 were Saudis. The implication: Saudis who might have had information about the attacks — or even been involved — slipped through the president's fingers. But the movie does not point out that the FBI interviewed about 30 of the Saudis before they left the USA and that investigators say no one on board the planes has turned out to be of interest. The independent 9/11 commission has reported that "each of the flights we have studied was investigated by the FBI and dealt with in a professional manner prior to its departure." An alleged connection between Bush and the Taliban that ruled Afghanistan In December 1997, a delegation of top Taliban officials visited the USA at the invitation of officials from Unocal, a California-based oil and gas company with extensive business dealings in Texas. At the time, Unocal was pursuing a deal to construct a gas pipeline through Afghanistan. Moore notes that the delegation visited Texas while Bush was governor. He doesn't say the delegation met with Bush, but that is implied. In fact, Bush did not meet with the Taliban representatives. What Moore also doesn't say is that Clinton administration officials at the State Department did sit down with the Taliban officials and that their visit was made with the Clinton administration's permission. By Mark Memmott, USA TODAY
And an interesting article on the movie that is slightly less partisan than most articles.

The Monster Within

Kim Du Toit's take on the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse is well-spoken, and definitely makes you think. What is it that happens inside us when we are faced with situations outside of what our delicate sensibilities are accustomed? Can we ask our military men and women to be both killers and gentle creatures? Is there any allowance offered by society, or do we demand to high a price?

Thursday, June 24, 2004

Pointless Politics

While I appreciate the point of trying to make it illegal to desecrate the U.S. flag (see story here), I see no point in it. First, people are still going to do it, whether or not you succeed in a consititutional amendment. (After all, we see what good the constitution does in our court system.) Two, what is the point? The issue is not that people are doing it. The issue is that people do it. Why have we raised a generation of people who are comfortable burning and disrespecting the symbol of a country that gives them that freedom in the first place? You can pass all the amendments you want, but that is not going to improve the beast. We would do better to examine the mentality of those that would do such a thing and strive to improve on our attitudes in future generations. After all, driving over the speed limit is against the law, and it never stops anyone from disobeying it.


Hmph....these are some of the keywords people are using that bring up my site. Some make sense....and others? Sorority hazing coffins?? whomovedmytruth blog and hazing sorority truth problems with dooh nibor economics article "my girlfriend never listens to me" "child abuse" "sex than men" sorority hazing coffins it wouldn't be hard to get rid of the second-rate forced bussing boston history 1970's

How Quickly We Forget

Isn't it amazing how we have completely glossed over the deaths of Kim Sun-il and Paul Johnson? Two more beheadings, certainly not the last ones we'll see, and we are more concerned with the eating habits of the wealthy Olsen twins. How is it we can ignore vicious beheadings and let that news line our waste paper bins, but the Iraqi prison scandal is still making headlines. And, strangely enough, I don't remember any beheadings in that mess of a story. What a country.

More Information on the Singles Thing

In today's Wall Street Journal, there is an article titled, "The Singles Lobby: Unmarried People Seek Economic Perks Enjoyed by Couples," by Jeffrey Zaslow. As the Wall Street Jounral is a fee-required site, I am going to give you a synopsis from what I read. (I can read the print version for free, so forget paying for the electronic version!) This article focuses on the AASP, the American Association for Single People. Headed by Thomas Coleman, they lobby in Washington, D.C. for the right of single Americans. Here is what Zaslow found:
In the workplace, singles are expected to put off summer vacations so married colleagues can visit Disney World while their kids are out of school. Married people get family leave and special dispensations to work at home, while singles often feel chained to their desks. Married people enjoy economic benefits, too. If your spouse relocates, and you leave your job to join her, you can caollect ynemployment. If your spouse dies, you can receive half his Social Security benefits. Married couples often have lower car insurance rates, and enhanced corporate discounts at health clubs, exemptions on estate taxes, and richer housing allowances if they're in the military.... ....One man recently wrote that his company considered layoffs, and a married co-worker argued that single employees should get the ax because they didn't need to support families.
Also, check out Geekgirl2's offerings on this topic today. I have to admit, I am torn as to where I stand on this issue. On one side, I have personally dealt with the attitude, "I have kids." This excuse is given for any host of questions or complaints, including tardy arrivals to work, calling off sick, inability to make it to a business meeting, etc. To which my response is, yes, they are yours. Your choice, your responsibility, not mine. So stop trying to get me to pay the price for them. On the other side of the equation: Parents are doing a valuable job for society - well, some of them, at any rate. As a society, we need to be encouraging and helpful to them so they are able to do their job as good parents. I think where things get dicey is when people with children demand things as a right, rather than ask for things as a favor or a helping hand. Having children is a choice. In today's pro-choice society, that statement carries even more meaning. If you choose to have them, that is what you have decided. To demand that others make way for your is not the right attitude. To ask them to, give them good reasons, and be a good parent - these are the arguments for why others should be tolerant at the least, and understanding and helpful at the most. Most childless and/or singletons are not so much bothered by the fact that others have children - most of us are glad you do so we don't have to! But, as is the case most of the time, it is all in how you say it. If you try to force me to do something, I'm going to fight. Make a good case and ask for my support, and you'll have a better chance of winning your case. Just one last thought: check out Geekgirl2's response to Amy Ridenour's blog. She makes an excellent point. Just because you are a parent does not mean that your time with your children in your life is any more important than the time I spend with people in my life. I am NOT saying that time with your children is not important - quite the contrary. But my time and my enjoyment in life is just as important to me. So please respect that.

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Why Men May Avoid Marriage

According to a Rutger's University study, men from broken homes and/or non-religious homes are more likely to feel negatively toward marriage. Those from traditional families and more stable backgrounds are more likely to want to marry.
"A huge percentage of the men say they'll marry when it's time to settle down, which a lot of women don't quite understand," Popenoe said. "A word of advice to women — make sure you're getting the guy at just this time." Survey responses from the married men painted a positive picture of marriage — 94 percent said they were happier married than single, and 73 percent said their sex life was better. "For men, even more than for women, marriage is a transformative event," Popenoe and Whitehead wrote. "They work harder and do better financially than men who are not married. They are less likely to hang out in bars, to abuse alcohol or drugs."
Doesn't this say something for the breakdown of the family in society?
Stephanie Coontz, a history professor at Evergreen State College in Olympia, Wash., and author of several books on families, questioned the utility of such findings. "There's this endless stream of correlations that seem designed to convince people, 'By golly, we'd all do better if everybody got married and stayed married,'" she said. "That's unrealistic in the modern world." She said researchers should conduct more detailed surveys, for example, comparing the outlooks of men whose parents divorced amicably with men whose parents endured in an unhappy marriage.
Lord knows, we would not want to encourage people to get married in order to stay that way. Why, that would mean honoring the vows you swore before witnesses, which sounds suspiciously like having honor and decency, and we wouldn't want people to worry about things like that, would we?
"Young men face few, if any, negative consequences to delaying marriage," the report said. "They can live with a young woman and gain some of the sexual and domestic benefits of marriage without the long-term commitment of marriage."
This is one of those NSS moments. (No Shit Sherlock!) I daresay there are some sharp guys out there who did not need a study to figure this out. While I appreciate this study, did we need a study to say this? It makes sense that someone who comes from a bad example of marriage is not likely to want to jump in the sinking ship themselves. And as for Ms. Coontz's inane response, I suggest she come to terms with the fact that it is not asking too much of people to keep their word. Otherwise, don't marry! There are instances in which divorce is the last resort, but for most, it is much too readily available and convenient. Good luck to our children growing up in this culture. They are going to need it. (Much thanks to John Venlet of Improved Clinch for the link. Be sure to check out his site for sharp wit and rare news finds.)

Love of the Blogsphere

If you haven't check out Amy Ridenour's blog, you are sorely missing out on some pithy commentary. At her request, I am posting an e-mail I sent her in response to a post she made in response to a post I made in response to a post Geekgirl2 made.....did you follow all that? Never mind if you're lost, just check out these posts regarding family-friendly workplaces and benefits and see what you think. Post 1 by Geekgirl2, Post 2 by yours truly, Post 3 by Amy, and then the following is my response to Amy's post.
While I agree with your premise regarding family-friendly institutions, I disagree with your last statement.
But, childless workers, if the situation still seems unfair in the short run when you really, really want to go home and can't while you co-worker gets to attend her 25th piano recital, consider the long run: The children your co-workers are spending a small fortune in cash, sacrifices and sweat equity to raise will someday pay your generation's Social Security benefits. Your co-workers won't get a cent more in benefits than you will despite having paid to raise the kids who will make the benefits possible. That's not fair either.
One, we all pay for the Social Security of the previous generation. That is just the way it is whether or not my co-worker shoves them [her children] into daycare (of which I am not a proponent) or raises them herself. So I don’t see what bearing this has on the situation. Two, when I have to always cover because your children are sick, have commitments, etc., it is unfair. However, life is unfair, and I am a huge respecter of motherhood. If you are going to make that claim, and I am giving up things for you to raise your children, then perhaps I should have a say in how you raise your children – that is not a good plan, in my opinion. And my co-workers get all kinds of “cents” in benefits from raising children. Look at tax benefits, health benefits paid by employers (which can have a tremendous effect on whether my employer pays for my benefits 100% or whether he charges me a portion), FMLA, etc. Women and/or families with children get benefits because they have children. To suggest they don’t is not true. In addition, employers must be careful. If you are looking at promotion, and a mother with 2 children and a single childless woman are up, but the mother has more senority....well, that employer is going to walk a fine line. It is a sensitive issue. I agree – parents are going to get certain benefits because they have children....and appropriately so. And those who chose to remain childless get the advantage of having more of their money to themselves, and a chance for advancement. Each has their advantages. I think when single people get touchy is when they feel like they are having to pay for someone else’s decision to have children. That being said, if the parenting is good parenting, I think we all benefit in the end, both the childless and the child-bound. Just my thoughts on it. Very interesting read. Ally
Let me just add that while I wholeheartedly disagree with employer prejudice against those that have children, I do think that having children is your responsibility. Others around you should not have to pay the price - but as a society, we should be respectful of parenting and encourage those who are parents, and therefore be willing to help out when things arise. Many of our social programs and social problems are the result of a society in which people have become so disconnected from each other that the government has to the job of what used to be "being a good neighbor" or relying on friends and family. Take it away, Amy.

Unfair To Women....Or Men?

Geekgirl2 has a great post on job opportunities and lifestyle choices available to men vs. women. This could make a very interesting debate. See what you think.

There Is Hope

Can a high school student make a difference? This one certainly is. Bryan Henderson is proving that you don't have to be an adult to take on the system. That all our young people were willing to stand up for what they believe in such a respectful and well-thought-out way. Thanks to the Texas Conservative and Bill's Comments for the link.

The Man's Point of View

Here is an e-mail from a reader and fellow blogger who decided to give me the man's view of it. I'm not making this up, ladies. Hey again Ally :) I thought I might do a little discourse about what men today are thinking. Unfortunately it turned into a big discourse lol. It is a bit rambly but I haven't yet developed the skills to be more consice hehe. I think one of the reasons you are so attractive to men is that you do not fall into the perceptions that are listed below. Nor does my own girlfriend, one of the many reasons I love her. The following is simply some of the issues than really boil men's blood. And in reality it is not women who are creating these issues, it is a small group of radicals who somehow feel they have the right to call themselves women when infact, they are little more than pigs. Sometimes when our blood boils we unfortunately often tar all women with the same brush until we have had a chance to cool down hehe Much of mens thinking today is of anger and mistrust. Men simply do not trust women anymore. They see women turning on the feminine charm when they want something. They see them playing the helpless female when they can't or don't want to do something for themselves and then on the other hand try to be independant. They see women as wanting to be 'Miss independant power woman' but at the same time want men to fulfill tradional roles. They want to feel safe and protected. They want men to be the provider, though ofcourse very few would admit it. This is evidenced by numorous polls you see around the net. Allways, somehere in the top 5 spots is that women want a 'Professional', which is simply a nice way of saying 'We want a rich guy'. Why would women want this if not as a provider?. But they want a provider when it is convenient for them. ie, When they want babies. Another way of saying it is 'We want to be able to enjoy the full benefits of independance but be cared for and looked after and provided for when it suits us'. They don't seem to be able to fathom why men will not accept ' We expect this from men but they have no right to expect anything from us'. They see women as enjoying all that society has to offer without wanting to work for it on an equal footing. Affirmative action is prime example of this. Another perfect example of this was seen when one of my states former premiers (equivelant to a governor) who was a radical feminist, wanted to have laws passed that 40% of all governing bodies, companies boards, government bodies, educational institutes etc, to be made up of women, because they were women. Not because they had earned it. feminists try and justify this by saying that women will never get fair and equal treatment if such laws are not passed. We only have to look at how successful women have become to realise the stupidity of this thinking. Women did it for themselves, mostly without the aid of laws. Men see that women expect everyone else to pay for their choices, primarily the choice of having kids. Society is expected to pay to help support single mums. Not discrimination! How many single fathers do people know in comparison with single mothers? Business is expected to pay so women can have crache at work and then maternity leave. Oh sure there is no such thing as discrimination against men. There is paternity leave. But who instigated leave for pegnancy and birth? Women. Abortion is another issue. While I personally support abortion with stringent controls, something that is never mentioned in the abortion issue is the father. It takes a Father to make a baby and yet it is entirely the women's decision? Atleast according to feminists it is. It is a VERY difficult situation ofcourse. Why should the women have to carry around in her body something she may not want? It is a small issue but an issue none the less for some men. Men are simply not sticking to the values that make them men. Cerainly if a woman who is not afraid to be a woman comes along, men's instincts will kick in. Part of these insticts is chivalry. However if a women cracks the sads because some guy opens a door for them, chivalry goes out the door with them. There was a woman interviewed on tele here in Australia who perhaps summed up men's views on women today. 'If he opens the door he is a chauvinist pig, if he doesn't open the door, he is bastard'. This is how men are seeing women today and are at the point now of saying ' Theres no pleasing women so we won't bother.' It is also becoming more and more aparent to men that women are becoming scared. They biologically almost 'need' babies and their window for having them is becoming smaller and smaller. They are finding it much harder to find men. One of the complaints by many women today is that they cannot find relationships. And it really is no wonder. Women want men to accept the tradional roles of protector and provider but are not willing to accept that men will then also expect women to accept the tradional roles of nurturer and carer. Women cannot have it both ways and slowly men are expressing this by not getting involved in full on relationsips. Not very long ago, something like divorce would not have crossed a man's mind. You simply would not think about divorce. Now ofcourse divorce is pretty much inevitable. And divorce to a man now means 'getting completely screwed'. Men used to think of the future with their lady. They would dream about success and having their lady right by their sides and being able to spoil them rotten. A man would be proud to give his lady the finest things in life. This was the future he would dream about. He still thinks about the future ofcourse. only now he has to think about what the future is going to cost him. Now he must think that everything he has worked for will be taken away. He used to be proud of traditional roles. Now he feels that his pride and drive to fulfill those roles is not only undervalued but frowned upon. It is the same future that he has to think about for when the woman is ready to make use of him as a provider. And then be disgarded when baby comes along. Everything about the end of a marraige is going to cost a man. He will lose far more than 50% of their holdings. He will lose his children. He will lose 1/3 of his wage in maintenance. What does he gain? Visitation rights to his own children. Another recent interview with a woman on television here put another nail in the relationship coffin. The lady was a housewife. It was pointed out to her that she gets a protector and provider. Then was asked, 'What does he get in return?' and her response was 'He gets me! giggle giggle''. That about says it all. Women are constantly showing themselves to be selfish in men's eyes. Ofcourse it is not neccessarily true! It is interesting to note however that men will allways encourage their ladies to be the best they can. They will push them and drive them and outright cajole them to reach the top of their fields. Above everything they want their ladies to be happy and personal success for anyone will help give them happiness. Men are constantly under attack as being the ones who will cheat in a relationship. Yet it is now believed that over 10% of children in the States are being raised by mothers and fathers where the father is not the real father and does not even know! Those women are using these guys as a provider. Note the term 'using'. All of these things simply add to men's disgust. I feel there is now a total lack of respect for each other. Men don't respect women's ethics and women don't respect mens values. The SNAG of the 80's and 90's neve truly existed. They were simply men who were trying at all costs to fight their own instincts. Perhaps they were just guys who 'couldn't get any' and were trying to get into womens pants through subversion. Now many people will think these are the words of a bitter and twisted man who went through a really bad divorce and lost his kids. Actually I have never been married nor had kids. But I am a man. A man who like most men who is angry about the discimination against men. And the fact that it is legal discrimination makes it even worse. It is discrimination against men bought about by politicians of our own sex generally, who were simply chasing the female vote. I forsee big problems in the future. Women have allways fought their battles with razor sharp tongues and cutting wit. Both of these things women are vastly superior at than men. Men on the other hand have fought their battles physically. The number of embittered men is growing at an alarming rate. There is a group here that was banned recently that was made up of irate fathers. in a few short years this groups numbers swelled to over 5000 and thats in a small country like Australia. They would stand outside womens houses and harrass them which ofcourse is wrong. However it is no more wrong that some of the things Suffragettes did. My point here is, what will it be like in a country the size of America in another 10 years when these 'getting completely screwed' men's anger boils over and violence starts to happen? Who will women turn to to protect them? One guess. It is the lies and hypocrosy of feminism that men are truly angry at. The 'stats' that feminists use that completely mislead. The 'stats' that are not used and therefore only tell half a story. The physical and emotional abuse that women suffer. This is bullshit. Women are much more adept at dealing out emotional abuse than men. A woman mouth is her weapon. It is MEN who suffer emotional and verbal abuse. And this is even made more so by the fact that any man who stands up and defends himself is shot down and labeled a sexist pig. Ladies, feminists are doing you far more harm than good. They are driving men away from you. By not speaking out against them you are letting men cast you in the same mould what in men's eyes are just a bunch of ugly lesbians with no selfesteem . True or not that is the perception. You are perhaps winning in in your independance but you are losing in love. This is not attack on women. Please believe that. It is simply trying to express how men of today are feeling. Ofcourse not ALL men feel this way but I think you will find the majority do. I wish I could express it with the skill that Dr Burgess-Jackson at the AnalPhilosopher does hehe. I have been very fortunate in my relationships. The ladies in my life have been truly equal and believed in it true quality. They are, I believe, a true indication of what women are actually like. Men's jusdgement is often clouded by feminism though. I think men tend to lump all women who say they are feminists into the one category. Feminazi. A lady friend and I once had a discussion about equality. In one sentence she completely summed up my philosophy of the whole subject. I said 'It is not about equality, it is about being different. men and women are different so there is no such thing as equality'. She replied 'It is not about equality, it is about equal consideration.' Bam! Right there! She had expressed in one simple sentence, something I had been trying to put into words for years. it was like a reveation lol. It describes perfectly what men want. Equal consideration lets women be women but still gives them a large degree of equality. Let women enjoy men being real men. There are women out there still that enjoy men being real men and THOSE are the women that are attractive to men. I might even go out on a limb here enough to ask, 'Will women ever be truly equal? No they won't be'. Our world is measured by materialist success. Men are generally far more driven than women to be successful so it logically follows that many more men will be successful than women because that is in their make up. Women tend to be more concerned with social issues than materialistic success. Big business will allways be run by men because success is the issue that men are concerned with. Ofcourse this is not allways the case. Women CAN be as successful. Helena Rubenstein is a perfect example of this. To the ladies out there. We men do love you, sincerely. Let men be men. Let them be proud to be men. Encourage it. Be proud of them for being real men. Tell them how proud of them you are for being a man and having a man's protective and providing instincts. Let him carry you across the threshold instead of thinking you need to hold up the independant womens cause and walk across yourself. Women have protective instincts toward children. men have the same Instincts towards women. Women must be cared for, protected and provided for. Enjoy it and don't throw it away because you will never get it back once you do. For you guys out there. I know that social issues are not out primary concern but consider this. Women got all the things they have today by fighting for it, speaking out and most importantly using their voting rights. Make discrimination against men your one social concern. Start reminding politicians that YOU make up the other half of the voting power. use it! Name Withheld

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Family Friendly?

Ah yes, the singleton's dilemma: where are the perks when you decide not to have children? Why do we pay the same price at the gym when I don't use their childcare and you do? Is it fair? Or just the way things have to be? Geekgirl2 has an interesting take on just such a question, see here. (Thanks to the AnalPhilosopher for the blog link)

Things That Make You Go....

Hmm. For an outspoken view on Islam, and one that definitely makes you think, whether or not you agree, check out Kim Du Toit's rant here.

Missing the Point

I received the following e-mail from a female reader:
Ally, Like you, I,m also finding the responses to your "What Men Want" questions to be really interesting. I think a good read would also come from women's answers to questions like these. Being women, you and I don't really wonder at what other women want, but I think women's answers would be at least as interesting, and probably a little more diverse, than the ones you're getting from men. (Name withheld) Hurst, TX
After giving this e-mail some thought, I realized somehow, this reader is missing the point. I am tired of hearing women drone on and on about what they want. If I want to know what they want, I can go to any website, magazine, daytime talk show, books, etc. and find out what women want. I can talk to my girlfriends, listen to what women at work tell me, talk with the 10 female students (out of a class of 12) in my college courses. As this reader point out, I don't wonder at what women want because I hear it all the time. In our society, you would have to be a blind, deaf mute to not know what women want in relationships. I am interested in what men have to say. While there may be a National Organization for Men, I don't see it on the news or in the newspapers. I don't hear men having a voice about their complaints in today's society anywhere near as much as women do. What rankles me is that this reader, as well-intended as she may be, suggests that women's answers would be more diverse than men's answers. Why? Because women can be more garrulous, can use a thesaurus, and tend to be long-winded? We still can't figure out how to avoid divorce. Women still struggle over what they want in relationships as much as any man, if not more (I'll post another reader e-mail on female worry in a few days). Given my small part of the world, all I see is that both sexes want the same thing - but we live in a society that promotes the physical aspect of relationships long before the intellectual relationship has formed. In addition, men are treated as though they should be subject to the female whim, and God forbid if they forget it. The term "female mystique" has long worn off, leaving us with little question over women, their needs and desires, and their value in our society. It seems as though we now have a "male mystique," as we have forgotten that the other 49% of the population has a say too. I hope this reader will not take offense. Her attitude is common and promoted in our society. I find myself listening to little off-hand comments I make, and often shuddering as I hear myself say things that offend my ideals. I recently made a comment about men at a Sheetz (a gas station and convenience store), and the cashier, a man, jumped to his gender's defense. My comment was not negative or derogatory, (I said, "Men aren't stupid, as we like to think" in response to my female companion's surprise at the insight of one of her male friends) yet this guy is so used to being put down, he felt he had to defend himself. Oy vey. Hopefully, the trend will move towards more fairness between the sexes, so neither feels the need to defend their own intelligence or value in the presence of the other.

Sunday, June 20, 2004

Mars and Venus May Be The Same Planet

So what have I learned from my questions that I posed to the male slice of the blogsphere? 1. What men and women want are not that different. We each seek companionship, romanticize relationships, desire to be accepted for who we are. 2. Men want more than just sex from a woman. They also want a brain, opinions, and independence. 3. Contrary to popular culture, men do think with organs above the waist, and many of them are decent individuals. Damn, I love it when I'm right.

Responses to Questionnaire (part 3)

If you have not read (or responded) to my questionnaire for men, please see that post here. Here are the questions. 1. What attracts you to a woman physically? Mentally? 2. Does a woman have to look like (insert name of supermodel of choice here) for you to find her attractive? 3. Would you sleep with a woman simply because she was available? 4. Do you only want one thing when you go out on a date with a woman? 5. Do you believe in old-fashioned manners, such as holding a door for someone, standing up when a woman stands up, and walking in step with a woman, not ahead of her? Have you ever been upbraided by a woman for doing these things? Why? 6. Have you ever cheated on your spouse/significant other? What were your reasons? 7. If men only want one thing, how would you define that one thing? 8. Have you ever had the opportunity to sleep with a woman you found very attractive, but decided not to? Why? 1. A pretty face and a fit body. Mentally? Intelligence and curiosity. 2. Absolutely not. 3. When I was single, yes, now that I'm married, no. 4. No, but the less interested I was in a long term relationship the more interested I was in sleeping with her on the first (last?) date. 5. Yes. Have you ever been upbraided by a woman for doing these things? Not in a very long time. Why? Because I was, apparently, implying some level of inferiority by doing these things. 6. Nope. 7. Men joke that they only want one thing, sex, but in my experience men want what many people want: companionship. 8. Yes. Because I feared she was a "fatal attraction", stalker type person and didn't want to encourage her by sleeping with her. Age not given ____ 1. physically: physical looks is important, but there is no template, per se. i see many women, who, while looking or styling themselves in a manner which normally wouldnt attract me, still strike me as very attractive. this could be due to distinctive features (beautiful eyes, etc.), grooming, dress and presentation, or even similarity to other women i have already decided i find attractive. also, positives outweigh negatives: an overweight woman with a very beautiful face, for example gets more positives for her attractive face than negatives for her body shape. mentally: smarts, common sense, friendliness, lack of involvement in far leftist issues like animal rights. 2. not at all. personally i find many women who dont look like (insert name of supermodel of choice here) very attractive. 3. possibly. established prior interest on my part would be required. knowing the person would also be required. 4. no 5. yes. no. 6. no 7. power over others 8. yes. multiple situations multiple reasons, including possible repercussions from third parties, not wanting to complicate platonic relationships i value, knowledge that the act would create a situation wherein i would become emotionally unsatisfied with only casual sex. 9. i heartily agree with your concluding paragraph about picking bums.... 41 year old respondent _____ 1. physically, i am attracted to many different types of women so there is not one specific physical type mentally, someone i could talk to with an open mind, who wouldn't dismiss my beliefs and not listen to how i developed them, because they don't agree with my opinions on politics, religion, and personal choices. i do not like rigid minds and non-thinkers 2. no 3. no 4. no 5. yes, because i was taught it was to show respect for women upbraided a few times, once on a date and a couple of times by strangers 6. no, ex-wife cheated on me 7. friendship/companionship 8. once because she had to much to drink, and once because i just did not like her personality 26 year old respondent _____ 1. Face, eyes, body, look in her eyes. Lack of caked-on makeup. Mentally, education/intelligence, independence of thought, sassy self-respect and kindness/fairness. AND a moral structure heavy on personal responsibility. 2. No, in fact the only thing I seem to get hung up on is I like big noses. My wife does not have one, but I still think she's unbelievably beautiful. 3. No. 4. No, in fact I don't want sex of any kind with the wrong kind of woman. This is all speculative, I guess, but I walked away from a number of potential sexual encounters when I wasn't married, usually for the reason that I found the woman distasteful in some non-sexual way. 5. I was brought up in the Southern Gentleman mode despite being an Army brat. I have been scowled at repeatedly, mostly in Berkeley/SF when I lived there, for opening doors. I can't imagine why this was a problem with anyone. 6. Never. It's one of the things I'm most proud of. 7. Love. You just can't get it from consequence-free (or so it may seem) sex. 8. A number of times. Sometimes she was a friend's girlfriend, sometimes I came to realize I had nothing in common with a willing date, and sometimes the woman in question just gave me a bad feeling, usually that she was emotionally unstable and would become more work than play despite what she pretended on the spot. A couple of times I was just too screwed up over a recently failed relationship. I have been propositioned since I got married and a couple of times when I was in a serious relationship. Age not given

A Fallen Idol?

The New York Times does not seem in awe of the Clinton Memoirs, My Life. Certainly no where near as much as I thought they would be. Instead, the author of this article seems weary and irritated with Bill Clinton's attempt to define his legacy. Will wonders never cease? However, turn the page to Maureen Dowd's column, and suddenly they are trying to make George W. Bush into Clinton, only worse. According to Ms. Dowd, the power trip that led Clinton to have sex with Monica Lewinsky is the same power trip President Bush was on when we commenced war with Iraq. She says of our ousting of Saddam Hussein:
But the Bush team knew that it wouldn't be hard to get rid of the second-rate dictator and romance novelist who posed no real threat.
Romance novelist? I suppose opposition to torture, rape, and murder is merely a moral high horse.
Huffing and puffing Dick Cheney comes across as barking mad when he keeps lassoing Saddam and Al Qaeda. Tricky Dick may actually believe in his concocted connection, but he must also realize that the administration can't lose the terrorist-linkage argument for war, having already lost the W.M.D. argument. If our leaders didn't lead us there, why did 69 percent of Americans, in a Washington Post poll last September, believe that Saddam was involved in the attacks? And a University of Maryland study last October showed that 80 percent of those who mostly watched Fox believed at least one of three misconceptions: that W.M.D. had been found; that Al Qaeda and Iraq were tied; or that the world had approved of U.S. intervention in Iraq.
Ms. Dowd seems to miss the fact that the connection of terrorists with Iraq has always been clearly stated. There is evidence showing that Iraq harbors and abets terrorists. It was never suggested that W.M.D. had been found, and the last time I checked, a good portion of the world did approve of our intervention in Iraq: look at our allies. If people have misconstrued certain plainly spoken facts, well....we are a nation who claims to be confused by butterfly ballots. What can I say? It cracks me up. The liberals' favorite democrat looks like an idiot, once again, with his statement regarding his affair with Monica Lewinsky. Rather than examine the morals of their idol and consider finding a new mascot, they try to distract everyone by insisting President Bush is worse. Sounds like the same tactic they are using with John Kerry. It is a sad day when the best thing you can think to say for your leader is that, "Well, he's better than that guy."