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Crafty_Dog
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« on: March 28, 2007, 11:33:49 AM »


Ex-wife becomes a man; ex-husband seeks end to alimony




CLEARWATER, Florida (AP) -- Lawrence Roach agreed to pay alimony to the woman he divorced, not the man she became after a sex change, his lawyers argued in a Florida court Tuesday in an effort to end the payments.

But the ex-wife's attorneys said the operation does not alter the agreement.

The lawyers and Circuit Judge Jack St. Arnold agreed the case delves into relatively uncharted legal territory. They found only a 2004 Ohio case that addressed whether or not a transsexual could still collect alimony after a sex change.

"There is not a lot out there to help us," St. Arnold said.

Roach and his wife, Julia, divorced in 2004 after 18 years of marriage. The 48-year-old utility worker agreed to pay her $1,250 a month in alimony. Since then, Julia Roach, 55, has had a sex change and legally changed her name to Julio Roberto Silverwolf.

"It's illegal for a man to marry a man, and it should likewise be illegal for a man to pay alimony to a man," said Roach's attorney, John McGuire. "When she changed to a man, I believe she terminated that alimony."
Silverwolf did not appear in court Tuesday and has declined to talk about the divorce. His lawyer, Gregory Nevins, said the language of the divorce decree is clear and firm -- Roach agreed to pay alimony until his ex-wife dies or remarries.

"Those two things haven't happened," said Nevins, a senior staff attorney with the national gay rights group Lambda Legal.

St. Arnold is considering the arguments. But lawyers on both sides agreed Tuesday that Roach will probably have to keep paying alimony to Silverwolf.

The judge poked holes in several of Roach's legal arguments and noted that appeals courts have declined to legally recognize a sex change in Florida when it comes to marriage. The appellate court "is telling us you are what you are when you are born," St. Arnold said.

In the Ohio case, an appeals court ruled in September 2004 that a Montgomery County man must continue to pay $750 a month in alimony to his transsexual ex-wife because her sex change was not reason enough to violate the agreement.

Roach's other attorney, John Smitten, said the case falls into a legal void.
"It's probably something that has to be addressed by the Legislature," Smitten said. "There is one other case in the entire United States. It really needs to be addressed either for or against the concept of eliminating alimony for that reason."

Roach, who has since remarried, said has been unable to convince state and federal lawmakers to tackle the issue. He said he will continue to fight.

"This is definitely wrong. I have a right to move forward with my life. I wish no harm and hardship to that person," Roach said of his ex-wife. "They can be the person they want to be, to find happiness and peace within themselves. I have the right to do the same. But I can't rest because I'm paying a lot of money every month."

The legal fight is the second transsexual rights showdown in Pinellas County in less than a week. On Friday, transsexual activists from around the United States packed a City Commission meeting in neighboring Largo to oppose the firing of City Manager Steve Stanton after he announced he was seeking a sex-change operation.

Despite the support, commissioners voted 5-2 to fire Stanton.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2007, 08:33:58 AM »

From an emailing by Glenn Sachs, who writes on these issues.  Sometimes I find him a bit of a weenie, but I do share with him the notion that men, manliness and fatherhood are under general attack in our culture.
=====================================================

June 12, 2007
 
 
Protest TIME Magazine's Father's Day Hatchet Job on Dads!
TIME magazine's new Father's Day hatchet job on divorced and separated fathers--"Daddy Dearest: What Science Tells Us About Fatherhood"--questions whether fathers "have done a good enough job to deserve the honor" of having a Father's Day. The contents page reads "Behavior: Why some animal fathers are more nurturing dads than many men are."

In the article, which appears in the June 18 issue of TIME magazine, Sarah Blaffer Hrdy and Mary Batten write:

"In the U.S., more than half of divorced fathers lose contact with their kids within a few years. By the end of 10 years, as many as two-thirds of them have drifted out of their children's lives. According to a 1994 study by the Children's Defense Fund, men are more likely to default on a child-support payment (49%) than a used-car payment (3%). Even fathers in intact families spend a lot less time focused on their kids than they think: in the U.S. fathers average less than an hour a day (up from 20 minutes a few decades ago), usually squeezed in after the workday."

The drumbeat continues--dads don't care, dads walk out, dads
 
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are stingy. All of these canards have been debunked many times, but that doesn't stop the mainstream media's attacks on fathers and fatherhood.

To write a Letter to the Editor of TIME magazine, click here.

Let's look at each of these accusations individually:

Criticism #1) "In the U.S., more than half of divorced fathers lose contact with their kids within a few years. By the end of 10 years, as many as two-thirds of them have drifted out of their children's lives."

In other words, dad's a cad who walks out and doesn't look back. The authors' assertions are contradicted by a large body of research.

We're not given a source for this information, but it is likely the highly-influential and highly-publicized study conducted by Frank Furstenburg, Ph.D. and his associates. Furstenburg used a large, representative national sample in his study, and he found that half of the children in his study had not seen their noncustodial parent--usually dad--during the previous year. Furstenburg labeled these men the "disappearing dad."

Arizona State University researcher Sanford Braver, who conducted the largest federally-funded study of divorced dads ever done, points out that there are many problems with Furstenburg's research:

1) Furstenberg's research is based only on custodial mothers' views--the fathers were never asked. I doubt many fathers would feel their angry ex-wives are a particularly accurate source of information about their bonds with their children.

2) Those who cited Furstenburg's research widely presumed it applied only or primarily to divorced dads, as did the TIME magazine article's authors. However, in his study Furstenburg did not distinguish between divorced dads and never married fathers. When Furstenburg's colleague Judith Seltzer later separated the two groups, she found that divorced fathers were more than twice as likely to have retained contact with their children as never-married dads.

3) The survey, which is used to condemn American fathers in June of 2007, was based largely on divorces which occurred in the late 1960s! A tremendous amount has changed in the area of gender roles in the past 40 years.

Braver's study found that--by either parent's account--90% of fathers had contact with their kids in the past year. Of those who lived within 60 miles of each other, there was virtually universal contact.

Moreover, Braver's research found that to the degree that divorced fathers' contact with their children is infrequent, the cause is very often not the fathers' lack of desire, but instead attempts by mothers to push their ex-husbands out of their children's lives.

According to the Children's Rights Council, a Washington-based advocacy group, more than five million American children each year have their access to their noncustodial parents interfered with or blocked by custodial parents. We get no sense of this enormous social problem from the TIME article.

Criticism #2) "According to a 1994 study by the Children's Defense Fund, men are more likely to default on a child-support payment (49%) than a used-car payment (3%)."

Whereas TIME magazine assumes that dads don't pay because they don't care, Braver found in his research that "unemployment is the single most important factor relating to nonpayment." Braver notes that his findings were "consistent with virtually all past studies on the topic" and that it "belies the image that divorced fathers don't pay because they refuse to though they are truly able to pay."

Federal Office of Child Support Enforcement data shows that two-thirds of those behind on child support nationwide earned poverty-level wages; less than four percent of the national child support debt is owed by those earning $40,000 or more a year. According to an Urban Institute study, even among fathers who experience income drops of 15% or more, less than one in 20 are able to get courts to reduce their child support payments. In the interim, arrearages mount, along with interest (10% or more in many states) and penalties. This greatly contributes to child support noncompliance.

The "child support vs. used car" comparison is spurious. For one, divorced fathers don't just pay child support--they sometimes also pay spousal support, and are frequently saddled with stiff and sometimes catastrophic divorce-related legal fees, often including those of their ex-wives. Also, child support alone often comprises a third or even half of a divorced fathers' take-home pay.

In California, for example, a noncustodial father of two earning a modest $3,800 a month in net income pays $1,300 a month in child support--almost $300,000 over 18 years. For the financial burden to be equivalent, the father would have to buy a hell of a lot of used cars. 

One more point--since noncustodial mothers' default rate on child support is higher than that of noncustodial dads, the "child support vs. car payment" statistic which is used to vilify fathers also applies to mothers.

Criticism #3) "Even fathers in intact families spend a lot less time focused on their kids than they think: in the U.S. fathers average less than an hour a day (up from 20 minutes a few decades ago), usually squeezed in after the workday."

We're not given a source for the assertion that "fathers in intact families spend a lot less time focused on their kids than they think," but it may have been taken, to one degree or another, from Susan Faludi's 1991 anti-male bestseller Backlash. In that book she contrasts what men and fathers do around the house with what Faludi says men "think" they do.

And who's to tell them they're wrong, that they don't do much, they only "think" they do?

Their wives, of course.

It never seems to occur to Faludi or Hrdy/Batten that perhaps the fathers' assertions of their roles are accurate, and that it's mothers--who often pride themselves on being #1 with the kids--are disparaging or downplaying fathers' role. It is likely that, to some degree, both fathers and mothers exaggerate their own roles, though we get no sense of that from the TIME magazine article.

The "lazy husband/uncaring father" stereotype is a myth. Census data shows that only 40% of married women with children under 18 work full-time, and over a quarter do not hold a job outside the home. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics' 2004 Time Use Survey, men spend one and a half times as many hours working as women do, and full-time employed men still work significantly more hours than full-time employed women.

When both work outside the home and inside the home are properly considered, it is clear that men do at least as much as women. A 2002 University of Michigan Institute for Social Research survey found that women do 11 more hours of housework a week than men but men work 14 hours a week more than women. According to the BLS, men's total time at leisure, sleeping, doing personal care activities, or socializing is a statistically meaningless 1% higher than women's.

Despite the fact that fathers bear the primary burden of supporting their families, the Families and Work Institute in New York City found that fathers now provide three-fourths as much child care as mothers do. This figure is also 50% higher than 30 years ago.

The "usually squeezed in after the workday" slap is also spurious. Between dads working all day and the kids being in school, it's hard to see when a father would have much time to spend with his kids that isn't "usually squeezed in after the workday." The full TIME Magazine article can be seen here.

Again, to write a Letter to the Editor of TIME magazine, click here.

To discuss this issue on my blog, click here.
 
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #2 on: June 15, 2007, 12:22:20 PM »

WSJ

Boys to Men
Raising three sons has helped me appreciate the masculine virtues.

BY TONY WOODLIEF
Friday, June 15, 2007 12:01 a.m. EDT

I think Father's Day ought not to be a celebration of every man who managed to procreate, but instead a time to honor those increasingly rare men who are actually good at fathering. But what makes a good father? This question holds more than philosophical interest for me. Though my father left when I was young, and my stepfather found me uninteresting, I now have three sons of my own (ages 7, 5 and 2). Not knowing any better, they think I have fatherhood figured out. They believe Father's Day is rightly my day.

Judging by the greeting cards, Father's Day is like a Sabbath for many men, a day Dad puts his feet up. I think the Almighty was able to rest one day a week because he had just the two kids, only one of whom was male. I could really use a restful Father's Day, but recently I found my sons huddled over a book on traps, which makes me fear that they're planning for my gift to be something live. Already this spring they've captured a snake, a bullfrog and at least one deadly spider. While other men think about golfing or napping tomorrow, I'm praying I can weather the day without getting bitten.

There's more than a little irony in the fact that I have three sons. I'm not what you'd call a master of the manly arts. I can't start a fire without a match, or track a deer, or ride a horse. I don't know how to fix cars, and my infrequent forays into home repair usually necessitate medical attention. But these are the things little boys want to learn--I remember wanting to learn them myself. Or maybe it's that boys yearn to do things with fathers, and those things usually involve a little danger. A new wildly popular book of essential boy knowledge recognizes this in its title: "The Dangerous Book for Boys." My oldest has dog-eared nearly every page.

I'm allergic to most danger. I get a stomachache at the thought of confrontation. I'm grouchy and self-centered, and have few of the traits that William McKeever, in his curmudgeonly 1913 classic, "Training the Boy," considered essential to manhood: "courageous action in the face of trying circumstances, cordial sympathy and helpfulness in all dealings with others, and a sane disposition toward the Ruler of All Life." I'm hardly qualified to be a role-model for three boys.





Many academics would consider my lack of manliness a good thing. They regard boys as thugs-in-training, caught up in a patriarchal society that demeans women. In the 1990s the American Association of University Women (among others) positioned boys as the enemies of female progress (something Christina Hoff Sommers exposed in her book, "The War Against Boys"). But the latest trend is to depict boys as themselves victims of a testosterone-infected culture. In their book "Raising Cain," for example, the child psychologists Don Kindlon and Michael Thompson warn parents against a "culture of cruelty" among boys. Forget math, science and throwing a ball, they suggest--what your boy most needs to learn is emotional literacy.
But I can't shake the sense that boys are supposed to become manly. Rather than neutering their aggression, confidence and desire for danger, we should channel these instincts into honor, gentlemanliness and courage. Instead of inculcating timidity in our sons, it seems wiser to train them to face down bullies, which by necessity means teaching them how to throw a good uppercut. In his book "Manliness," Harvey Mansfield writes that a person manifesting this quality "not only knows what justice requires, but he acts on his knowledge, making and executing the decision that the rest of us trembled even to define." You can't build a civilization and defend it against barbarians, fascists and playground bullies, in other words, with a nation of Phil Donahues.

Maybe the problem isn't that boys are aggressive, but that we've neglected their moral education. As Teddy Roosevelt wrote to one of his sons: "I would rather have a boy of mine stand high in his studies than high in athletics, but I would a great deal rather have him show true manliness of character than show either intellectual or physical prowess." Manliness, then, is not the ability to survive in the wilderness, or wield a rifle. But having such skills increases the odds that one's manly actions--which Roosevelt and others believed flow from a moral quality--will be successful.

The good father, then, needs to nurture his son's moral and spiritual core, and equip him with the skills he'll need to act on the moral impulse that we call courage. A real man, in other words, is someone who doesn't run from an Osama bin Laden. But he may also need the ability to hit a target from three miles out with a .50 caliber M88 if he wants to finish the job.

Not only do I believe that trying to take the wildness out of boys is a doomed social experiment, but I'm certain that genetic scientists will eventually discover that males carry the Cowboy Gene. That's my name for whatever is responsible for all the wrestling in my house, and the dunking during bath time, and my 5-year-old's insistence on wearing his silver six-shooters to Wal-Mart in order to protect our grocery cart. I only pray that when the Cowboy Gene is discovered, some well-meaning utopian doesn't try to transform it into a Tea Party Gene.





The trick is not to squash the essence of boys, but to channel their natural wildness into manliness. And this is what keeps me awake at night, because it's going to take a miracle for someone like me, who grew up without meaningful male influence, who would be an embarrassment to Teddy Roosevelt, to raise three men. Along with learning what makes a good father, I face an added dilemma: How do I raise my sons to be better than their father?
What I'm discovering is that as I try to guide these ornery, wild-hearted little boys toward manhood, they are helping me become a better man, too. I love my sons without measure, and I want them to have the father I did not. As I stumble and sometimes fail, as I feign an interest in camping and construction and bugs, I become something better than I was.

Father's Day, in our house, won't entail golfing or napping or watching a game. I'll probably have to contend with some trapped and irritated reptile. There's that cannon made of PVC that my oldest boy has been pestering me to help him finish. And the youngest two boys are lately enamored of climbing onto furniture and blindsiding me with flying tackles. Father's Day is going to be exhausting. But it will be good, because in the midst of these trials and joys I find my answer to the essential question on Father's Day. What makes a good father? My sons.

Mr. Woodlief's pamphlet "Raising Wild Boys Into Men: A Modern Dad's Survival Guide" is available from the New Pamphleteer. He also blogs about family and faith at www.tonywoodlief.com.
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SB_Mig
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« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2007, 04:09:39 PM »

Florida man owes $10,000 for child who's not his

FORT LAUDERDALE, Florida (CNN) -- Francisco Rodriguez owes more than $10,000 in back child support payments in a paternity case involving a 15-year-old girl who, according to DNA results and the girl's mother, is not his daughter.

Rodriguez, who is married with two daughters and a son from his wife's previous marriage, is fighting for leniency. "It's not right. I'm not the father, " he said at a recent court hearing.

He says he knew nothing about the other girl until paperwork showed up about four years ago saying he was the father.

He now has DNA results that show the 15-year-old girl wasn't fathered by him. He even has an affidavit from the girl's mother -- a former girlfriend from 1990 -- saying he's "not the father" and asking that Rodriguez no longer be required to pay child support.

Yet the state of Florida is continuing to push him to pay $305 a month to support the girl, as well as the more than $10,000 already owed. He spent a night in jail because of his delinquent payments.

Why is he in such a bind?

He missed the deadline to legally contest paternity. That's because, he says, the paperwork didn't reach him until after the deadline had passed. VideoWatch Rodriguez plead in court for a break »

"It's like you're drowning every day," says Rodriguez, a massage therapist.

Rodriguez's case highlights the legal dilemma states face over how to handle paternity cases. More than a third of children born in the United States are born to unmarried parents, according to the National Center for Health Statistics.

But paternity laws vary from state to state, according to the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP), a nonprofit organization that works to improve the lives of low-income families.

Some states have detailed laws to challenge paternity within deadlines, while others offer little guidance. In most cases, men have 60 days to challenge paternity, according to CLASP.

After that, it can be "challenged only on the basis of fraud, duress or material mistake of fact," CLASP said last year in an update to a report on paternity law.

"There are no perfect answers," says Susan Paikin of the Center for Support of Families in Delaware. "Deadlines are imposed so that when families are broken -- the legal process is handled quickly."

She says state legislatures and courts struggle with paternity cases, trying to strike the proper balance between children's rights and adults' rights, always keeping in mind any potential harm to the child.

"This is a struggle. It's not something easy for courts or legislatures," she says.

Paikin says it's especially tricky in cases where a father has raised a child thinking it was his, only to learn years later the child had a different father.

"Most men who have a relationship with their child don't think of their child in terms of DNA," she said. "The real issue in most of these cases is anger and money."

Tampa Police officer Michael Anderson understands that sentiment. He paid child support for more than 12 years -- a total outlay he says amounted to more than $80,000. But a DNA test after he and his wife divorced showed the daughter he thought was his was somebody else's.

He then separated himself and his feelings from the child.

"I stopped having a relationship with the girl right from the beginning, when I found out," he said. "It was hard, but I had to do it."

A Tampa court earlier this year disestablished him as father and relieved him of his future child support payments. But by law, he is unable to get back the $80,000 he already paid.

Carnell Smith, who founded a group called U.S. Citizens Against Paternity Fraud, wants mandatory DNA tests when a child is born to avoid legal wrangling and anguish.

"Unfortunately, today it's not a crime for someone to lie about which man is the father," Smith said. "The mother doesn't have to return the money and rarely, if ever, is she prosecuted for perjury, for fraud."

Rodriguez's odyssey began in 1990, when he says at age 16 he had a four- to five-month relationship with a woman CNN is not identifying. He says when the relationship ended, he did not hear from her again until child support papers arrived at his home in 2003.

"My wife and I both had a confused look, and we're wondering, 'Where is the DNA test?' " he says.

But it was long past Florida's deadline to contest paternity. A court had already named him the father three years before when he did not respond to notices to appear, notices he says he never received because he had moved a lot.

He was now on the hook for monthly child support, as well as $10,623 in back child support.

He eventually paid for DNA testing. The test showed he was not the father.

A judge has now ordered a court-sanctioned DNA test for Rodriguez and the 15-year-old girl. Rodriguez has taken that test; the girl and her mother did not show up for their appointment to submit to DNA testing and it's unclear if the girl has complied.

CNN has repeatedly tried to contact the mother, but has been unable to reach her.

Rodriguez and his family continue to wait for answers.

"It's hard when your daughter needs sneakers and you have to pay $305 or your husband goes to jail," said Rodriguez's wife, Michele. "It's just unfair."

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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #4 on: August 01, 2007, 03:30:45 PM »


Choosing Foster Parents over Fathers
By Jeffery M. Leving and Glenn Sacks
San Diego Union-Tribune, 7/11/07

In the heartbreaking Melinda Smith case, a father and daughter were needlessly separated by the foster care system for over a decade. Last week, Los Angeles County settled a lawsuit over the case for an undisclosed sum. Yet a recent Urban Institute study found that the Smith case typifies the way the foster care system harms children by disregarding the loving bonds they share with their fathers.

Smith was born to an unwed couple in 1988. Her father, Thomas Marion Smith, a former Marine and a decorated Vietnam War veteran, saw Melinda often and paid child support. When the girl was four, her mother abruptly moved without leaving a forwarding address. Two years later, Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services found that Melinda’s mother was abusing her. Though the social worker for the case noted in the file that Thomas was the father, he was never contacted, and his then 6-year-old daughter was placed in the foster care system.

Thomas--whose fitness as a father was never impugned nor legally questioned--continued to receive and pay his child support bills. Authorities refused to disclose his daughter’s whereabouts, and didn’t even inform him that his daughter had been taken by the County. Smith employed private investigators and attorneys to try to find Melinda and secure visitation rights, but he eventually ran out of money.

Rather than allowing Smith to raise his own daughter, the system shuttled Melinda through seven different foster care placements. An understandably angry child, her outbursts led authorities to house her in a residential treatment center alongside older children convicted of criminal activity—when she was only seven years old.

Melinda says that during this period she was told that her father was a “deadbeat dad” who had abandoned her. When Melinda was 16, she told an investigating social worker that the “most important thing” for her was to find her dad. Moved by her story, the social worker began searching for Melinda’s father--and found him in one day. In 2005, Thomas and Melinda were finally reunited.

Unfortunately, the Smith case is no aberration. When a mother and father are divorced or separated, and a child welfare agency removes the children from the mother’s home for abuse or neglect, an offer of placement to the father, barring unfitness, should be automatic. Yet in the report What About the Dads? Child Welfare Agencies’ Efforts to Identify, Locate, and Involve Nonresident Fathers, the Urban Institute presents a shocking finding: when fathers inform child welfare officials that they would like their children to live with them, the agencies seek to place the children with their fathers only 15% of the time.

Fathers can offer their children a sense of permanence, security and emotional support that a foster family (or a succession of foster care placements) cannot provide. Many foster children are pushed out of their homes and into a tenuous existence when they turn 18 and the foster parents no longer receive state subsidies. Fathers could be a valuable source of long-term resources and sponsorship for these young adults.

Child welfare agencies often operate on the assumption that the fathers of the children they’ve taken away from their mothers are, like the mothers, unfit or uninterested in parenting. Yet many of these men are loving fathers who have been forced out of their children’s lives by mothers who denied visitation, moved away and/or hid the children, or employed spurious abuse charges.

What About the Dads? makes it clear that many child welfare workers treat fathers as an afterthought. The report found that even when a caseworker had been in contact with a child’s father, the caseworker was still five times less likely to know basic information about the father than about the mother. Just as with Thomas Smith, 20% of the fathers whose identity and location were known by the child welfare agencies from the opening of the case were never even contacted.

These policies are harmful and misguided. One shudders to think how many little Melinda Smiths are lost in the foster care system right now—being raised by strangers, and denied their father’s love.

This column first appeared in the San Diego Union-Tribune (7/11/07).

www.GlennSacks.com

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« Reply #5 on: August 28, 2007, 06:27:36 PM »

Virginia's New Putative Father Registry Violates Fathers' Right to Raise Their Own Children

By Mike McCormick and Glenn Sacks

Virginia's controversial new Putative Father Registry law asks any man who has had heterosexual non-marital sex in Virginia to register with the State. Supporters say the law will help connect fathers with their children before the children are put up for adoption. Critics see it as another example of the erosion of citizens' privacy. Both sides miss the real point of the Registry--to remove a father's right to prevent his child's mother from giving their child up for adoption without his consent.

Incredibly, under the new law, putative fathers who fail to register waive their right to be notified that their parental rights are being terminated. They also forfeit the right to be notified of the adoption proceedings and to consent to the adoption. Rather than being required to make a legitimate effort to find and notify the father, the state can now simply check the Registry and, if the man has not registered, give his child away.
 
Such violations of fathers' rights are common. For example, in the widely-reported Huddleston adoption case, Mark Huddleston's baby boy was adopted out when he was three days old, but Huddleston didn't know the baby existed until two months after his birth. As a New Mexico court later found, the private adoption agency did not notify Huddleston of the pending adoption, thus denying him the chance to raise his son.

In an adoption case, the burden of identifying the father should be on the mother. It is the mother, not the father, who is certain to be aware of the child's birth, and it is the mother who knows (or should know) the baby's parentage. However, when states have tried to craft measures requiring a mother who seeks to put her baby up for adoption to find and notify the baby's father, there has been opposition from the National Organization for Women and other women's groups.

Defenders of the Registry justify disregarding fathers with numerous unfair assumptions about men and their intentions. For example, Kerry Dougherty, a prominent Virginia newspaper columnist, asserts:

"I think we're being too kind to these men. Guys who don't stick around long enough to find out whether they've caused a pregnancy have terminated their paternal rights. If they know a baby's on the way and then disappear, they aren't fathers...the General Assembly ought to look for ways to strip these irresponsible Romeos of their rights, not invite them to record their random copulations."

One wonders if Dougherty knows anyone who has dated within the last 40 years. It is absurd to think that in modern relationships, when there's an out-of-wedlock birth it must be because the father ran off. In reality, most unwed biological fathers do care about their children, but often do not know of their existence or are unsure that the children really are biologically theirs. There have been countless adoption cases where these fathers have struggled desperately for the right to raise their own children. One also wonders why a woman who wants to avoid the responsibility of raising a child (and of paying child support) is viewed sympathetically, while a man in exactly the same position is a villain.

There are numerous other problems with the Registry. A registrant must provide his social security number, driver's license number, home address, and employer, as well as details about the sexual affair and his sexual partner. This sensitive, personal information will be available to the baby's mother, the lawyers involved in the adoption, court employees, and anyone able to hack in to the computer system.

The law should instead require that an honest, exhaustive search for the father be conducted before an adoption can proceed. This search should include use of the Federal Parent Locator Service, which contains a vast array of information, including the National Directory of New Hires. The FPLS is used to enforce child support, find children involved in parental kidnappings, and to enforce child custody and visitation. State systems are tied into the FPLS, and they are often remarkably effective at finding parents.

Fathers have the right to raise their own children. Virginia's Registry is a shameful attempt to circumvent that right.

 
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« Reply #6 on: October 30, 2007, 11:23:15 AM »

Why Feminism Is AWOL on Islam
Kay S. Hymowitz
 

U.S. feminists should be protesting the brutal oppression of Middle Eastern women. But doing so would reveal how little they have to complain about at home.

Argue all you want with many feminist policies, but few quarrel with feminism?s core moral insight, which changed the lives (and minds) of women forever: that women are due the same rights and dignity as men. So, as news of the appalling miseries of women in the Islamic world has piled up, where are the feminists? Where?s the outrage? For a brief moment after September 11, when pictures of those blue alien-creaturely shapes in Afghanistan filled the papers, it seemed as if feminists were going to have their moment. And in fact the Feminist Majority, to its credit, had been publicizing since the mid-90s how Afghan girls were barred from school, how women were stoned for adultery or beaten for showing an ankle or wearing high-heeled shoes, how they were prohibited from leaving the house unless accompanied by a male relative, how they were denied medical help because the only doctors around were male.

But the rest is feminist silence. You haven?t heard a peep from feminists as it has grown clear that the Taliban were exceptional not in their extreme views about women but in their success at embodying those views in law and practice. In the United Arab Emirates, husbands have the right to beat their wives in order to discipline them??provided that the beating is not so severe as to damage her bones or deform her body,? in the words of the Gulf News. In Saudi Arabia, women cannot vote, drive, or show their faces or talk with male non-relatives in public. (Evidently they can?t talk to men over the airwaves either; when Prince Abdullah went to President Bush?s ranch in Crawford last April, he insisted that no female air-traffic controllers handle his flight.) Yes, Saudi girls can go to school, and many even attend the university; but at the university, women must sit in segregated rooms and watch their professors on closed-circuit televisions. If they have a question, they push a button on their desk, which turns on a light at the professor?s lectern, from which he can answer the female without being in her dangerous presence. And in Saudi Arabia, education can be harmful to female health. Last spring in Mecca, members of the mutaween, the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue, pushed fleeing students back into their burning school because they were not properly covered in abaya. Fifteen girls died.

You didn?t hear much from feminists when in the northern Nigerian province of Katsina a Muslim court sentenced a woman to death by stoning for having a child outside of marriage. The case might not have earned much attention?stonings are common in parts of the Muslim world?except that the young woman, who had been married off at 14 to a husband who ultimately divorced her when she lost her virginal allure, was still nursing a baby at the time of sentencing. During her trial she had no lawyer, although the court did see fit to delay her execution until she weans her infant.

You didn?t hear much from feminists as it emerged that honor killings by relatives, often either ignored or only lightly punished by authorities, are also commonplace in the Muslim world. In September, Reuters reported the story of an Iranian man, ?defending my honor, family, and dignity,? who cut off his seven-year-old daughter?s head after suspecting she had been raped by her uncle. The postmortem showed the girl to be a virgin. In another family mix-up, a Yemeni man shot his daughter to death on her wedding night when her husband claimed she was not a virgin. After a medical exam revealed that the husband was mistaken, officials concluded he was simply trying to protect himself from embarrassment about his own impotence. According to the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, every day two women are slain by male relatives seeking to avenge the family honor.

The savagery of some of these murders is worth a moment?s pause. In 2000, two Punjabi sisters, 20 and 21 years old, had their throats slit by their brother and cousin because the girls were seen talking to two boys to whom they were not related. In one especially notorious case, an Egyptian woman named Nora Marzouk Ahmed fell in love and eloped. When she went to make amends with her father, he cut off her head and paraded it down the street. Several years back, according to the Washington Post, the husband of Zahida Perveen, a 32-year-old pregnant Pakistani, gouged out her eyes and sliced off her earlobe and nose because he suspected her of having an affair.

In a related example widely covered last summer, a teenage girl in the Punjab was sentenced by a tribal council to rape by a gang that included one of the councilmen. After the hour-and-a-half ordeal, the girl was forced to walk home naked in front of scores of onlookers. She had been punished because her 11-year-old brother had compromised another girl by being been seen alone with her. But that charge turned out to be a ruse: it seems that three men of a neighboring tribe had sodomized the boy and accused him of illicit relations?an accusation leading to his sister?s barbaric punishment?as a way of covering up their crime.

Nor is such brutality limited to backward, out-of-the-way villages. Muddassir Rizvi, a Pakistani journalist, says that, though always common in rural areas, in recent years honor killings have become more prevalent in cities ?among educated and liberal families.? In relatively modern Jordan, honor killings were all but exempt from punishment until the penal code was modified last year; unfortunately, a young Palestinian living in Jordan, who had recently stabbed his 19-year-old sister 40 times ?to cleanse the family honor,? and another man from near Amman, who ran over his 23-year-old sister with his truck because of her ?immoral behavior,? had not yet changed their ways. British psychiatrist Anthony Daniels reports that British Muslim men frequently spirit their young daughters back to their native Pakistan and force the girls to marry. Such fathers have been known to kill daughters who resist. In Sweden, in one highly publicized case, Fadima Sahindal, an assimilated 26-year-old of Kurdish origin, was murdered by her father after she began living with her Swedish boyfriend. ?The whore is dead,? the family announced.

As you look at this inventory of brutality, the question bears repeating: Where are the demonstrations, the articles, the petitions, the resolutions, the vindications of the rights of Islamic women by American feminists? The weird fact is that, even after the excesses of the Taliban did more to forge an American consensus about women?s rights than 30 years of speeches by Gloria Steinem, feminists refused to touch this subject. They have averted their eyes from the harsh, blatant oppression of millions of women, even while they have continued to stare into the Western patriarchal abyss, indignant over female executives who cannot join an exclusive golf club and college women who do not have their own lacrosse teams.

But look more deeply into the matter, and you realize that the sound of feminist silence about the savage fundamentalist Muslim oppression of women has its own perverse logic. The silence is a direct outgrowth of the way feminist theory has developed in recent years. Now mired in self-righteous sentimentalism, multicultural nonjudgmentalism, and internationalist utopianism, feminism has lost the language to make the universalist moral claims of equal dignity and individual freedom that once rendered it so compelling. No wonder that most Americans, trying to deal with the realities of a post-9/11 world, are paying feminists no mind.

To understand the current sisterly silence about the sort of tyranny that the women?s movement came into existence to attack, it is helpful to think of feminisms plural rather than singular. Though not entirely discrete philosophies, each of three different feminisms has its own distinct reasons for causing activists to ?lose their voice? in the face of women?s oppression.

The first variety?radical feminism (or gender feminism, in Christina Hoff Sommers?s term)?starts with the insight that men are, not to put too fine a point upon it, brutes. Radical feminists do not simply subscribe to the reasonable-enough notion that men are naturally more prone to aggression than women. They believe that maleness is a kind of original sin. Masculinity explains child abuse, marital strife, high defense spending, every war from Troy to Afghanistan, as well as Hitler, Franco, and Pinochet. As Gloria Steinem informed the audience at a Florida fundraiser last March: ?The cult of masculinity is the basis for every violent, fascist regime.?

Gender feminists are little interested in fine distinctions between radical Muslim men who slam commercial airliners into office buildings and soldiers who want to stop radical Muslim men from slamming commercial airliners into office buildings. They are both examples of generic male violence?and specifically, male violence against women. ?Terrorism is on a continuum that starts with violence within the family, battery against women, violence against women in the society, all the way up to organized militaries that are supported by taxpayer money,? according to Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, who teaches ?The Sexuality of Terrorism? at California State University in Hayward. Violence is so intertwined with male sexuality that, she tells us, military pilots watch porn movies before they go out on sorties. The war in Afghanistan could not possibly offer a chance to liberate women from their oppressors, since it would simply expose women to yet another set of oppressors, in the gender feminists? view. As Sharon Lerner asserted bizarrely in the Village Voice, feminists? ?discomfort? with the Afghanistan bombing was ?deepened by the knowledge that more women than men die as a result of most wars.?

If guys are brutes, girls are their opposite: peace-loving, tolerant, conciliatory, and reasonable??Antiwar and Pro-Feminist,? as the popular peace-rally sign goes. Feminists long ago banished tough-as-nails women like Margaret Thatcher and Jeanne Kirkpatrick (and these days, one would guess, even the fetching Condoleezza Rice) to the ranks of the imperfectly female. Real women, they believe, would never justify war. ?Most women, Western and Muslim, are opposed to war regardless of its reasons and objectives,? wrote the Jordanian feminist Fadia Faqir on OpenDemocracy.net. ?They are concerned with emancipation, freedom (personal and civic), human rights, power sharing, integrity, dignity, equality, autonomy, power-sharing [sic], liberation, and pluralism.?

Sara Ruddick, author of Maternal Thinking, is perhaps one of the most influential spokeswomen for the position that women are instinctually peaceful. According to Ruddick (who clearly didn?t have Joan Crawford in mind), that?s because a good deal of mothering is naturally governed by the Gandhian principles of nonviolence such as ?renunciation,? ?resistance to injustice,? and ?reconciliation.? The novelist Barbara Kingsolver was one of the first to demonstrate the subtleties of such universal maternal thinking after the United States invaded Afghanistan. ?I feel like I?m standing on a playground where the little boys are all screaming ?He started it!? and throwing rocks,? she wrote in the Los Angeles Times. ?I keep looking for somebody?s mother to come on the scene saying, ?Boys! Boys!? ?

Gender feminism?s tendency to reduce foreign affairs to a Lifetime Channel movie may make it seem too silly to bear mentioning, but its kitschy naivet? hasn?t stopped it from being widespread among elites. You see it in widely read writers like Kingsolver, Maureen Dowd, and Alice Walker. It turns up in our most elite institutions. Swanee Hunt, head of the Women in Public Policy Program at Harvard?s Kennedy School of Government wrote, with Cristina Posa in Foreign Policy: ?The key reason behind women?s marginalization may be that everyone recognizes just how good women are at forging peace.? Even female elected officials are on board. ?The women of all these countries should go on strike, they should all sit down and refuse to do anything until their men agree to talk peace,? urged Ohio representative Marcy Kaptur to the Arab News last spring, echoing an idea that Aristophanes, a dead white male, proposed as a joke 2,400 years ago. And President Clinton is an advocate of maternal thinking, too. ?If we?d had women at Camp David,? he said in July 2000, ?we?d have an agreement.?
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #7 on: October 30, 2007, 11:24:25 AM »


Major foundations too seem to take gender feminism seriously enough to promote it as an answer to world problems. Last December, the Ford Foundation and the Soros Open Society Foundation helped fund the Afghan Women?s Summit in Brussels to develop ideas for a new government in Afghanistan. As Vagina Monologues author Eve Ensler described it on her website, the summit was made up of ?meetings and meals, canvassing, workshops, tears, and dancing.? ?Defense was mentioned nowhere in the document,? Ensler wrote proudly of the summit?s concluding proclamation?despite the continuing threat in Afghanistan of warlords, bandits, and lingering al-Qaida operatives. ?uilding weapons or instruments of retaliation was not called for in any category,? Ensler cooed. ?Instead [the women] wanted education, health care, and the protection of refugees, culture, and human rights.?

Too busy celebrating their own virtue and contemplating their own victimhood, gender feminists cannot address the suffering of their Muslim sisters realistically, as light years worse than their own petulant grievances. They are too intent on hating war to ask if unleashing its horrors might be worth it to overturn a brutal tyranny that, among its manifold inhumanities, treats women like animals. After all, hating war and machismo is evidence of the moral superiority that comes with being born female.

Yet the gender feminist idea of superior feminine virtue is becoming an increasingly tough sell for anyone actually keeping up with world events. Kipling once wrote of the fierceness of Afghan women: ?When you?re wounded and left on the Afghan plains/And the women come out to cut up your remains/Just roll to your rifle and blow out your brains.? Now it?s clearer than ever that the dream of worldwide sisterhood is no more realistic than worldwide brotherhood; culture trumps gender any day. Mothers all over the Muslim world are naming their babies Usama or praising Allah for their sons? efforts to kill crusading infidels. Last February, 28-year-old Wafa Idris became the first female Palestinian suicide bomber to strike in Israel, killing an elderly man and wounding scores of women and children. And in April, Israeli soldiers discovered under the maternity clothes of 26-year-old Shifa Adnan Kodsi a bomb rather than a baby. Maternal thinking, indeed.

The second variety of feminism, seemingly more sophisticated and especially prevalent on college campuses, is multiculturalism and its twin, postcolonialism. The postcolonial feminist has even more reason to shy away from the predicament of women under radical Islam than her maternally thinking sister. She believes that the Western world is so sullied by its legacy of imperialism that no Westerner, man or woman, can utter a word of judgment against former colonial peoples. Worse, she is not so sure that radical Islam isn?t an authentic, indigenous?and therefore appropriate?expression of Arab and Middle Eastern identity.

The postmodern philosopher Michel Foucault, one of the intellectual godfathers of multiculturalism and postcolonialism, first set the tone in 1978 when an Italian newspaper sent him to Teheran to cover the Iranian revolution. As his biographer James Miller tells it, Foucault looked in the face of Islamic fundamentalism and saw . . . an awe-inspiring revolt against ?global hegemony.? He was mesmerized by this new form of ?political spirituality? that, in a phrase whose dark prescience he could not have grasped, portended the ?transfiguration of the world.? Even after the Ayatollah Khomeini came to power and reintroduced polygamy and divorce on the husband?s demand with automatic custody to fathers, reduced the official female age of marriage from 18 to 13, fired all female judges, and ordered compulsory veiling, whose transgression was to be punished by public flogging, Foucault saw no reason to temper his enthusiasm. What was a small matter like women?s basic rights, when a struggle against ?the planetary system? was at hand?

Postcolonialists, then, have their own binary system, somewhat at odds with gender feminism?not to mention with women?s rights. It is not men who are the sinners; it is the West. It is not women who are victimized innocents; it is the people who suffered under Western colonialism, or the descendants of those people, to be more exact. Caught between the rock of patriarchy and the hard place of imperialism, the postcolonial feminist scholar gingerly tiptoes her way around the subject of Islamic fundamentalism and does the only thing she can do: she focuses her ire on Western men.

To this end, the postcolonialist eagerly dips into the inkwell of gender feminism. She ties colonialist exploitation and domination to maleness; she might refer to Israel?s ?masculinist military culture??Israel being white and Western?though she would never dream of pointing out the ?masculinist military culture? of the jihadi. And she expends a good deal of energy condemning Western men for wanting to improve the lives of Eastern women. At the turn of the twentieth century Lord Cromer, the British vice consul of Egypt and a pet target of postcolonial feminists, argued that the ?degradation? of women under Islam had a harmful effect on society. Rubbish, according to the postcolonialist feminist. His words are simply part of ?the Western narrative of the quintessential otherness and inferiority of Islam,? as Harvard professor Leila Ahmed puts it in Women and Gender in Islam. The same goes for American concern about Afghan women; it is merely a ?device for ranking the ?other? men as inferior or as ?uncivilized,? ? according to Nira Yuval-Davis, professor of gender and ethnic studies at the University of Greenwich, England. These are all examples of what renowned Columbia professor Gayatri Spivak called ?white men saving brown women from brown men.?

Spivak?s phrase, a great favorite on campus, points to the postcolonial notion that brown men, having been victimized by the West, can never be oppressors in their own right. If they give the appearance of treating women badly, the oppression they have suffered at the hands of Western colonial masters is to blame. In fact, the worse they treat women, the more they are expressing their own justifiable outrage. ?When men are traumatized [by colonial rule], they tend to traumatize their own women,? Miriam Cooke, a Duke professor and head of the Association for Middle East Women?s Studies, told me. And today, Cooke asserts, brown men are subjected to a new form of imperialism. ?Now there is a return of colonialism that we saw in the nineteenth century in the context of globalization,? she says. ?What is driving Islamist men is globalization.?

It would be difficult to exaggerate the through-the-looking-glass quality of postcolonialist theory when it comes to the subject of women. Female suicide bombers are a good thing, because they are strong women demonstrating ?agency? against colonial powers. Polygamy too must be shown due consideration. ?Polygamy can be liberating and empowering,? Cooke answered sunnily when I asked her about it. ?Our norm is the Western, heterosexual, single couple. If we can imagine different forms that would allow us to be something other than a heterosexual couple, we might imagine polygamy working,? she explained murkily. Some women, she continued, are relieved when their husbands take a new wife: they won?t have to service him so often. Or they might find they now have the freedom to take a lover. But, I ask, wouldn?t that be dangerous in places where adulteresses can be stoned to death? At any rate, how common is that? ?I don?t know,? Cooke answers, ?I?m interested in discourse.? The irony couldn?t be darker: the very people protesting the imperialist exploitation of the ?Other? endorse that Other?s repressive customs as a means of promoting their own uniquely Western agenda?subverting the heterosexual patriarchy.

The final category in the feminist taxonomy, which might be called the world-government utopian strain, is in many respects closest to classical liberal feminism. Dedicated to full female dignity and equality, it generally eschews both the biological determinism of the gender feminist and the cultural relativism of the multiculti postcolonialist. Stanford political science professor Susan Moller Okin, an influential, subtle, and intelligent spokeswoman for this approach, created a stir among feminists in 1997 when she forthrightly attacked multiculturalists for valuing ?group rights for minority cultures? over the well-being of individual women. Okin admirably minced no words attacking arranged marriage, female circumcision, and polygamy, which she believed women experienced as a ?barely tolerable institution.? Some women, she went so far as to declare, ?might be better off if the culture into which they were born were either to become extinct . . . or preferably, to be encouraged to alter itself so as to reinforce the equality of women.?

But though Okin is less shy than other feminists about discussing the plight of women under Islamic fundamentalism, the typical U.N. utopian has her own reasons for keeping quiet as that plight fills Western headlines. For one thing, the utopian is also a bean-counting absolutist, seeking a pure, numerical equality between men and women in all departments of life. She greets Western, and particularly American, claims to have achieved freedom for women with skepticism. The motto of the 2002 International Women?s Day??Afghanistan Is Everywhere??was in part a reproach to the West about its superior airs. Women in Afghanistan might have to wear burqas, but don?t women in the West parade around in bikinis? ?It?s equally disrespectful and abusive to have women prancing around a stage in bathing suits for cash or walking the streets shrouded in burqas in order to survive,? columnist Jill Nelson wrote on the MSNBC website about the murderously fanatical riots that attended the Miss World pageant in Nigeria.
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« Reply #8 on: October 30, 2007, 11:25:26 AM »


As Nelson?s statement hints, the utopian is less interested in freeing women to make their own choices than in engineering and imposing her own elite vision of a perfect society. Indeed, she is under no illusions that, left to their own democratic devices, women would freely choose the utopia she has in mind. She would not be surprised by recent Pakistani elections, where a number of the women who won parliamentary seats were Islamist. But it doesn?t really matter what women want. The universalist has a comprehensive vision of ?women?s human rights,? meaning not simply women?s civil and political rights but ?economic rights? and ?socioeconomic justice.? Cynical about free markets and globalization, the U.N. utopian is also unimpressed by the liberal democratic nation-state ?as an emancipatory institution,? in the dismissive words of J. Ann Tickner, director for international studies at the University of Southern California. Such nation-states are ?unresponsive to the needs of [their] most vulnerable members? and seeped in ?nationalist ideologies? as well as in patriarchal assumptions about autonomy. In fact, like the (usually) unacknowledged socialist that she is, the U.N. utopian eagerly awaits the withering of the nation-state, a political arrangement that she sees as tied to imperialism, war, and masculinity. During war, in particular, nations ?depend on ideas about masculinized dignity and feminized sacrifice to sustain the sense of autonomous nationhood,? writes Cynthia Enloe, professor of government at Clark University.

Having rejected the patriarchal liberal nation-state, with all the democratic machinery of self-government that goes along with it, the utopian concludes that there is only one way to achieve her goals: to impose them through international government. Utopian feminists fill the halls of the United Nations, where they examine everything through the lens of the ?gender perspective? in study after unreadable study. (My personal favorites: ?Gender Perspectives on Landmines? and ?Gender Perspectives on Weapons of Mass Destruction,? whose conclusion is that landmines and WMDs are bad for women.)

The 1979 U.N. Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), perhaps the first and most important document of feminist utopianism, gives the best sense of the sweeping nature of the movement?s ambitions. CEDAW demands many measures that anyone committed to democratic liberal values would applaud, including women?s right to vote and protection against honor killings and forced marriage. Would that the document stopped there. Instead it sets out to impose a utopian order that would erase all distinctions between men and women, a kind of revolution of the sexes from above, requiring nations to ?take all appropriate measures to modify the social and cultural patterns of conduct of men and women? and to eliminate ?stereotyped roles? to accomplish this legislative abolition of biology. The document calls for paid maternity leave, nonsexist school curricula, and government-supported child care. The treaty?s 23-member enforcement committee hectors nations that do not adequately grasp that, as Enloe puts it, ?the personal is international.? The committee has cited Belarus for celebrating Mother?s Day, China for failing to legalize prostitution, and Libya for not interpreting the Qur?an in accordance with ?committee guidelines.?

Confusing ?women?s participation? with self-determination, and numerical equivalence with equality, CEDAW utopians try to orchestrate their perfect society through quotas and affirmative-action plans. Their bean-counting mentality cares about whether women participate equally, without asking what it is that they are participating in or whether their participation is anything more than ceremonial. Thus at the recent Women?s Summit in Jordan, Rima Khalaf suggested that governments be required to use quotas in elections ?to leapfrog women to power.? Khalaf, like so many illiberal feminist utopians, has no hesitation in forcing society to be free. As is often the case when elites decide they have discovered the route to human perfection, the utopian urge is not simply antidemocratic but verges on the totalitarian.

That this combination of sentimental victimhood, postcolonial relativism, and utopian overreaching has caused feminism to suffer so profound a loss of moral and political imagination that it cannot speak against the brutalization of Islamic women is an incalculable loss to women and to men. The great contribution of Western feminism was to expand the definition of human dignity and freedom. It insisted that all human beings were worthy of liberty. Feminists now have the opportunity to make that claim on behalf of women who in their oppression have not so much as imagined that its promise could include them, too. At its best, feminism has stood for a rich idea of personal choice in shaping a meaningful life, one that respects not only the woman who wants to crash through glass ceilings but also the one who wants to stay home with her children and bake cookies or to wear a veil and fast on Ramadan. Why shouldn?t feminists want to shout out their own profound discovery for the world to hear?

Perhaps, finally, because to do so would be to acknowledge the freedom they themselves enjoy, thanks to Western ideals and institutions. Not only would such an admission force them to give up their own simmering resentments; it would be bad for business.
The truth is that the free institutions?an independent judiciary, a free press, open elections?that protect the rights of women are the same ones that protect the rights of men. The separation of church and state that would allow women to escape the burqa would also free men from having their hands amputated for theft. The education system that would teach girls to read would also empower millions of illiterate boys. The capitalist economies that bring clean water, cheap clothes, and washing machines that change the lives of women are the same ones that lead to healthier, freer men. In other words, to address the problems of Muslim women honestly, feminists would have to recognize that free men and women need the same things?and that those are things that they themselves already have. And recognizing that would mean an end to feminism as we know it.

There are signs that, outside the academy, middlebrow literary circles, and the United Nations, feminism has indeed met its Waterloo. Most Americans seem to realize that September 11 turned self-indulgent sentimental illusions, including those about the sexes, into an unaffordable luxury. Consider, for instance, women?s attitudes toward war, a topic on which politicians have learned to take for granted a gender gap. But according to the Pew Research Center, in January 2002, 57 percent of women versus 46 percent of men cited national security as the country?s top priority. There has been a ?seismic gender shift on matters of war,? according to pollster Kellyanne Conway. In 1991, 45 percent of U.S. women supported the use of ground troops in the Gulf War, a substantially smaller number than the 67 percent of men. But as of November, a CNN survey found women were more likely than men to support the use of ground troops against Iraq, 58 percent to 56 percent. The numbers for younger women were especially dramatic. Sixty-five percent of women between 18 and 49 support ground troops, as opposed to 48 percent of women 50 and over. Women are also changing their attitudes toward military spending: before September 11, only 24 percent of women supported increased funds; after the attacks, that number climbed to 47 percent. An evolutionary psychologist might speculate that, if females tend to be less aggressively territorial than males, there?s little to compare to the ferocity of the lioness when she believes her young are threatened.

Even among some who consider themselves feminists, there is some grudging recognition that Western, and specifically American, men are sometimes a force for the good. The Feminist Majority is sending around urgent messages asking for President Bush to increase American security forces in Afghanistan. The influential left-wing British columnist Polly Toynbee, who just 18 months ago coined the phrase ?America the Horrible,? went to Afghanistan to figure out whether the war ?was worth it.? Her answer was not what she might have expected. Though she found nine out of ten women still wearing burqas, partly out of fear of lingering fundamentalist hostility, she was convinced their lives had greatly improved. Women say they can go out alone now.

As we sink more deeply into what is likely to be a protracted struggle with radical Islam, American feminists have a moral responsibility to give up their resentments and speak up for women who actually need their support. Feminists have the moral authority to say that their call for the rights of women is a universal demand?that the rights of women are the Rights of Man.

Feminism Behind the Veil

Feminists in the West may fiddle while Muslim women are burning, but in the Muslim world itself there is a burgeoning movement to address the miserable predicament of the second sex?without simply adopting a philosophy whose higher cultural products include Sex and the City, Rosie O?Donnell, and the power-suited female executive.

The most impressive signs of an indigenous female revolt against the fundamentalist order are in Iran. Over the past ten years or so, Iran has seen the publication of a slew of serious journals dedicated to the social and political predicament of Islamic women, the most well known being the Teheran-based Zonan and Zan, published by Faezah Hashemi, a well-known member of parliament and the daughter of former president Rafsanjani. Believing that Western feminism has promoted hostility between the sexes, confused sex roles, and the sexual objectification of women, a number of writers have proposed an Islamic-style feminism that would stress ?gender complementarity? rather than equality and that would pay full respect to housewifery and motherhood while also giving women access to education and jobs.

Attacking from the religious front, a number of ?Islamic feminists? are challenging the reigning fundamentalist reading of the Qur?an. These scholars insist that the founding principles of Islam, which they believe were long ago corrupted by pre-Islamic Arab, Persian, and North African customs, are if anything more egalitarian than those of Western religions; the Qur?an explicitly describes women as the moral and spiritual equals of men and allows them to inherit and pass down property. The power of misogynistic mullahs has grown in recent decades, feminists continue, because Muslim men have felt threatened by modernity?s challenge to traditional arrangements between the sexes.

What makes Islamic feminism really worth watching is that it has the potential to play a profoundly important role in the future of the Islamic world?and not just because it could improve the lot of women. By insisting that it is true to Islam?in fact, truer than the creed espoused by the entrenched religious elite?Islamic feminism can affirm the dignity of Islam while at the same time bringing it more in line with modernity. In doing this, feminists can help lay the philosophical groundwork for democracy. In the West, feminism lagged behind religious reformation and political democratization by centuries; in the East, feminism could help lead the charge.

At the same time, though, the issue of women?s rights highlights two reasons for caution about the Islamic future. For one thing, no matter how much feminists might wish otherwise, polygamy and male domination of the family are not merely a fact of local traditions; they are written into the Qur?an itself. This in and of itself would not prove to be such an impediment?the Old Testament is filled with laws antithetical to women?s equality?except for the second problem: more than other religions, Islam is unfriendly to the notion of the separation of church and state. If history is any guide, there?s the rub. The ultimate guarantor of the rights of all citizens, whether Islamic or not, can only be a fully secular state.
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« Reply #9 on: November 16, 2007, 09:04:41 AM »

West: The Fatherless Civilization
By Fjordman
The decade from the first half of the 1960s to the first half of the 1970s was clearly a major watershed in Western history, with the start of non-Western mass immigration in the USA, the birth of Eurabia in Western Europe and the rise of Multiculturalism and radical Feminism. American columnist Diana West recently released her book The Death of the Grown-up, where she traces the decline of Western civilization to the permanent youth rebellions of the past two generations. The paradox is that the people who viciously attacked their own civilization had enjoyed uninterrupted economic growth for decades, yet embraced Marxist-inspired ideologies and decided to undermine the very society which had allowed them to live privileged lives. Maybe this isn't as strange as it seems. Karl Marx himself was aided by the wealth of Friedrich Engels, the son of a successful industrialist.

This was also the age of decolonization in Western Europe and desegregation in the USA, which created an atmosphere where Western civilization was seen as evil. Whatever the cause, we have since been stuck in a pattern of eternal opposition to our own civilization. Some of these problems may well have older roots, but they became institutionalized to an unprecedented degree during the 1960s.

According to Diana West, the organizing thesis of her book "is that the unprecedented transfer of cultural authority from adults to adolescents over the past half century or so has dire implications for the survival of the Western world." Having redirected our natural development away from adulthood and maturity in order to strike the pop-influenced pose of eternally cool youth – ever-open, non-judgmental, self-absorbed, searching for (or just plain lacking) identity – we have fostered a society marked by these same traits. In short: Westerners live in a state of perpetual adolescence, but also with a corresponding perpetual identity crisis. West thinks maturity went out of style in the rebellious 1960s, "the biggest temper tantrum in the history of the world," which flouted authority figures of any kind.

She also believes that although the most radical break with the past took place during the 60s and 70s, the roots of Western youth culture are to be found in the 1950s with the birth of rock and roll music, Elvis Presley and actors such as James Dean. Pop group The Beatles embodied this in the early 60s, but changed radically in favor of drugs and the rejection of established wisdom as they approached 1970, a shift which was reflected in the entire culture.

Personally, one of my favorite movies from the 1980s was Back to the Future. In one of the scenes, actor Michael J. Fox travels in time from 1985 to 1955. Before he leaves 1985, he hears the slogan "Re-elect Mayor....Progress is his middle name." The same slogan is repeated in 1955, only with a different name. Politics is politics in any age. Writers Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale have stated that they chose the year 1955 as the setting of the movie because this was the age of the birth of teen culture: This was when the teenager started to rule, and he has ruled ever since.

As West says, many things changed in the economic boom in the decades following the Second World War: "When you talk about the postwar period, the vast new affluence is a big factor in reorienting the culture to adolescent desire. You see a shift in cultural authority going to the young. Instead of kids who might take a job to be able to help with household expenses, all of a sudden that pocket money was going into the manufacture of a massive new culture. That conferred such importance to a period of adolescence that had never been there before." After generations of this celebration of youth, the adults have no confidence left: "Kids are planning expensive trips, going out unchaperoned, they are drinking, debauching, absolutely running amok, yet the parents say, 'I can't do anything about it.' Parents have abdicated responsibilities to give in to adolescent desire."



She believes that "Where womanhood stands today is deeply affected by the death of grown-up. I would say the sexualized female is part of the phenomenon I'm talking about, so I don't think they're immune to the death of the grown-up. Women are still emulating young fashion. Where sex is more available, there are no longer the same incentives building toward married life, which once was a big motivation toward the maturing process."

Is she right? Have we become a civilization of Peter Pans refusing to grow up? Have we been cut off from the past by disparaging everything old as outmoded? I know blogger Conservative Swede, who likes Friedrich Nietzsche, thinks we suffer from "slave morality," but I sometimes wonder whether we suffer from child morality rather than slave morality. However, there are other forces at work here as well.

The welfare state encourages an infantilization of society where people return to childhood by being provided for by others. This creates not just a culture obsessed with youth but with adolescent irresponsibility. Many people live in a constant state of rebellion against not just their parents but their nation, their culture and their civilization.

Writer Theodore Dalrymple thinks one reason for the epidemic of self-destructiveness in Western societies is the avoidance of boredom: "For people who have no transcendent purpose to their lives and cannot invent one through contributing to a cultural tradition (for example), in other words who have no religious belief and no intellectual interests to stimulate them, self-destruction and the creation of crises in their life is one way of warding off meaninglessness."

According to him, what we are seeing now is "a society in which people demand to behave more or less as they wish, that is to say whimsically, in accordance with their kaleidoscopically changing desires, at the same time as being protected from the natural consequences of their own behaviour by agencies of the state. The result is a combination of Sodom and Gomorrah and a vast and impersonal bureaucracy of welfare."

The welfare state deprives you of the possibility of deriving self-respect from your work. This can hurt a person's self-respect, but more so for men than for women because masculine identity is closely tied to providing for others. Stripped of this, male self-respect declines and society with it. Dalrymple also worries about the end of fatherhood, and believes that the worst child abusers are governments promoting the very circumstances in which child abuse and neglect are most likely to take place: "He who promotes single parenthood is indifferent to the fate of children." Fatherhood scarcely exists, except in the merest biological sense:

"I worked in a hospital in which had it not been for the children of Indian immigrants, the illegitimacy rate of children born there would have approached one hundred per cent. It became an almost indelicate question to ask of a young person who his or her father was; to me, it was still an astounding thing to be asked, 'Do you mean my father now, at the moment?' as if it could change at any time and had in fact changed several times before."

This is because "women are to have children merely because they want them, as is their government-given right, irrespective of their ability to bring them up, or who has to pay for them, or the consequences to the children themselves. Men are to be permanently infantilised, their income being in essence pocket money for them to spend on their enjoyments, having no serious responsibilities at all (beyond paying tax). Henceforth, the state will be father to the child, and the father will be child of the state."

As Swedish writer Per Bylund explains: "Most of us were not raised by our parents at all. We were raised by the authorities in state daycare centers from the time of infancy; then pushed on to public schools, public high schools, and public universities; and later to employment in the public sector and more education via the powerful labor unions and their educational associations. The state is ever-present and is to many the only means of survival – and its welfare benefits the only possible way to gain independence."

Though Sweden is arguably an extreme case, author Melanie Phillips notices the same trends in Britain, too: "Our culture is now deep into uncharted territory. Generations of family disintegration in turn are unravelling the fundamentals of civilised human behaviour. Committed fathers are crucial to their children's emotional development. As a result of the incalculable irresponsibility of our elites, however, fathers have been seen for the past three decades as expendable and disposable. Lone parenthood stopped being a source of shame and turned instead into a woman's inalienable right. The state has provided more and more inducements to women – through child benefit, council flats and other welfare provision – to have children without committed fathers. This has produced generations of women-only households, where emotionally needy girls so often become hopelessly inadequate mothers who abuse and neglect their own children – who, in turn, perpetuate the destructive pattern. This is culturally nothing less than suicidal."

I sometimes wonder whether the modern West, and Western Europe in particular, should be dubbed the Fatherless Civilization. Fathers have been turned into a caricature and there is a striking demonization of traditional male values. Any person attempting to enforce rules and authority, a traditional male preserve, is seen as a Fascist and ridiculed, starting with God the Father. We end up with a society of vague fathers who can be replaced at the whim of the mothers at any given moment. Even the mothers have largely abdicated, leaving the upbringing of children to schools, kindergartens and television. In fashion and lifestyle, mothers imitate their daughters, not vice versa.



The elaborate welfare state model in Western Europe is frequently labelled "the nanny state," but perhaps it could also be named "the husband state." Why? Well, in a traditional society, the role of men was to physically protect and financially provide for their women. In our modern society, part of this task has been "outsourced" to the state, which helps explain why women in general give disproportionate support to high taxation and pro-welfare state parties. According to anthropologist Lionel Tiger, the ancient unit of a mother, a child and a father has morphed from monogamy into "bureaugamy," a mother, a child and a bureaucrat. The state has become a substitute husband. In fact, it doesn't replace just the husband, it replaces the entire nuclear and extended family, raises the children and cares for the elderly.

Øystein Djupedal, Minister of Education and Research from the Socialist Left Party and responsible for Norwegian education from kindergartens via high schools to PhD level, has stated: "I think that it's simply a mistaken view of child-rearing to believe that parents are the best to raise children. 'Children need a village,' said Hillary Clinton. But we don't have that. The village of our time is the kindergarten." He later retracted this statement, saying that parents have the main responsibility for raising children, but that "kindergartens are a fantastic device for children, and it is good for children to spend time in kindergarten before [they] start school."

The problem is that some of his colleagues use the kindergarten as the blueprint for society as a whole, even for adults. In the fall of 2007, Norway's center-left government issued a warning to 140 companies that still hadn't fulfilled the state-mandated quota of 40 percent women on their boards of directors. Equality minister Karita Bekkemellem stated that companies failing to meet the quota will face involuntary dissolution, despite the fact that many are within traditionally male-oriented branches like the offshore oil industry, shipping and finance. She called the law "historic and radical" and said it will be enforced.

Bekkemellem is thus punishing the naughty children who refuse to do as Mother State tells them to, even if these children happen to be private corporations. The state replaces the father in the sense that it provides for you financially, but it acts more like a mother in removing risks and turning society into a cozy, regulated kindergarten with ice cream and speech codes.

Blog reader Tim W. thinks women tend to be more selfish than men vis-a-vis the opposite sex: "Men show concern for women and children while women.... well, they show concern for themselves and children. I'm not saying that individual women don't show concern for husbands or brothers, but as a group (or voting bloc) they have no particular interest in men's well-being. Women's problems are always a major concern but men's problems aren't. Every political candidate is expected to address women's concerns, but a candidate even acknowledging that men might have concerns worth addressing would be ostracized." What if men lived an average of five years and eight months longer than women? Well, if that were the case, we'd never hear the end of it: "Feminists and women candidates would walk around wearing buttons with 'five years, eight months' written on them to constantly remind themselves and the world about this horrendous inequity. That this would happen, and surely it would, says something about the differing natures of male and female voters."

Bernard Chapin interviewed Dr. John Lott at Frontpage Magazine. According to Lott, "I think that women are generally more risk averse then men are and they see government as one way of providing insurance against life's vagaries. I also think that divorced women with kids particularly turn towards government for protection. Simply giving women the right to vote explained at least a third of the growth in government for about 45 years."

He thinks this "explains a lot of the government's growth in the US but also the rest of the world over the last century. When states gave women the right to vote, government spending and tax revenue, even after adjusting for inflation and population, went from not growing at all to more than doubling in ten years. As women gradually made up a greater and greater share of the electorate, the size of government kept on increasing. This continued for 45 years as a lot of older women who hadn't been used to voting when suffrage first passed were gradually replaced by younger women. After you get to the 1960s, the continued growth in government is driven by higher divorce rates. Divorce causes women with children to turn much more to government programs." The liberalization of abortion also led to more single parent families.

Diana West thinks what we saw in the counterculture of the 1960s was a leveling of all sorts of hierarchies, both of learning and of authority. From that emerged the leveling of culture and by extension Multiculturalism. She also links this trend to the nanny state:

"In considering the strong links between an increasingly paternalistic nanny state and the death of the grown-up, I found that Tocqueville (of course) had long ago made the connections. He tried to imagine under what conditions despotism could come to the United States. He came up with a vision of the nation characterized, on the one hand, by an 'innumerable multitude of men, alike and equal, constantly circling around in pursuit of the petty and banal pleasures with which they glut their souls,' and, on the other, by the 'immense protective power' of the state. 'Banal pleasures' and 'immense state power' might have sounded downright science-fictional in the middle of the 19th century; by the start of the 21st century, it begins to sound all too familiar. Indeed, speaking of the all-powerful state, he wrote: 'It would resemble parental authority if, fatherlike, it tried to prepare its charges for a man's life, but, on the contrary, it only tries to keep them in perpetual childhood.' Perhaps the extent to which we, liberals and conservatives alike, have acquiesced to our state's parental authority shows how far along we, as a culture, have reached Tocqueville's state of 'perpetual childhood.'"

This problem is even worse in Western Europe, a region with more elaborate welfare states than the USA and which has lived under the American military umbrella for generations, thus further enhancing the tendency for adolescent behavior.

The question, which was indirectly raised by Alexis de Tocqueville in the 1830s in his book Democracy in America, is this: If democracy of universal suffrage means that everybody's opinion is as good as everybody else's, will this sooner or later turn into a society where everybody's choices are also as good as everybody else's, which leads to cultural relativism? Tocqueville wrote at a time when only men had the vote. Will universal suffrage also lead to a situation where women vote themselves into possession of men's finances while reducing their authority and creating powerful state regulation of everything?

I don't know the answer to that. What I do know is that the current situation isn't sustainable. The absence of fatherhood has created a society full of social pathologies, and the lack of male self-confidence has made us easy prey for our enemies. If the West is to survive, we need to reassert a healthy dose of male authority. In order to do so we need to roll back the welfare state. Perhaps we need to roll back some of the excesses of Western Feminism, too.

Fjordman is a noted Norwegian blogger who has written for many conservative web sites. He used to have his own Fjordman Blog in the past, but it is no longer active.

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« Reply #10 on: November 27, 2007, 11:34:07 AM »

New Jersey Court Ruling--She Killed His Son, but
He Must Pay Her Alimony
 
November 27, 2007
 
 
 
She Killed His Son but He Must Pay Her Alimony

Examples of decent, loving dads being manhandled by the anti-father family law system are legion, but this one has to make the Top 10. A recent New Jersey appeals court reaffirmed a decision mandating that a man must pay alimony to his ex-wife--who killed their son. From Legal tussle: Should killer get alimony? (Bergen Record, 11/22/07):

"A state appeals court on Wednesday refused to automatically bar alimony from spouses who kill a child...The decision was issued in the case of Linda Calbi, who is serving a three-year prison term after pleading guilty to beating her son, Matt, on Aug. 17, 2003, during a violent argument at their home. He died hours later from internal bleeding and cardiac arrest...

"Linda Calbi was originally charged with murder, but the charges were later downgraded to aggravated assault, based on expert reports that medical error contributed significantly to the boy's death. She was sentenced last year to three years in prison and won't be eligible for parole until November 2008.

"The Calbis were divorced in 2001 after 15 years of marriage. A few months after Matt's death, Chris Calbi fell behind on his alimony payments and filed papers in court seeking a reduction or termination of his payment obligations.
 
 
 
"'She took the life of her oldest son, scarred her younger son for the rest of his life, and tore the fabric of my soul from me,' Chris Calbi wrote in papers filed in Superior Court in Hackensack. 'To reward this evil and violent woman by allowing her ... to derive a financial benefit from the family she destroyed ... can only be described as a perversion of our justice system.'"

Chris Calbi had been paying Linda $3,183 a month until her incarceration, and may be saddled with that amount when Linda is paroled. Chris is pictured with his deceased son Matthew and his surviving son Dean above. A few comments:

1) Chris Calbi claimed that Linda abused and assaulted him during their marriage, at times employing a kitchen knife and a hammer. The death of the son is discussed in Typical teen meets a tragic end (Bergen Record, 8/20/03), and Linda Calbi sounds like a real sweetheart:

"As [Christopher Calbi's] company - Robert Christopher Sales - grew, [Christopher] was increasingly away in Europe on business, Linda Calbi said in divorce papers. Though they shared fine dinners, and Christopher Calbi showered his wife with gifts, a physical and emotional distance developed between Matthew's parents, her papers say.

"Linda Calbi said in the papers that she felt like 'a highly paid slave.'

"Christopher Calbi countered that his wife subjected him to 'profanity-laced tirades and ridicule.'"

2) From the same article:

"The couple split in 1999 and - after 15 years of marriage - divorced in July 2001.

"Meanwhile, Matthew was having problems at school, said a woman who worked in the River Vale school system.

"When Matthew was in the special education program at Holdrum Middle School, he regularly came to class with bruises, said the woman, who declined to be identified. The teen always had an excuse for the marks - he was playing with his younger brother, or he fell, the woman said.

"But in April 2002, the woman noticed a strange bruise on Matthew's wrist, one she thought looked like a defensive wound. She asked Matt to explain, but he couldn't, she said, so she called DYFS to report the mark.

"As part of the special education program, Linda Calbi met routinely with educators to review her son's performance.

"But when Calbi showed up, she often smelled of booze, the woman said. 'You could light the air on fire, she smelled so badly,' the woman said.

"Linda could not understand why her son wasn't more successful in school.

"'She was very forceful when she spoke. Nothing was ever her fault, and of course she was at her wit's end,' the woman said."

3) The father now has to raise the surviving son, Dean, age 12, on his own. Is Linda being asked to pay child support? Isn't Chris' ability to provide for Dean negatively impacted by having to pay alimony to the noncustodial parent?

4) Chris also needs to save his money--Linda may be out of prison in less than a year and will be fighting for visitation rights to Dean. In July, 2006, a judge ordered a supervised visitation between Dean and his mother, contingent on the boy's acceptance.

5) Linda apparently received a lesser charge and sentence for her crime because supposedly there was medical bungling by the hospital after she assaulted her son which contributed to Matthew's death. How much of her light sentence is due to the alleged medical bungling and how much is just the standard female sentencing discount is unclear.

6) It's amazing some of the things that an attorney will say. Linda's attorney, Ian Hirsch, said:

"'Mr. Calbi is using his son's death to take away any obligations he has,' Hirsch said. 'I think he's trying to take advantage of a tragedy and turn it around to his economic benefit.'"

Yup--dad not wanting to pay money to the woman who killed his son is "taking advantage of a tragedy and turning it around to his economic benefit." Bad dad--how could he be so rotten?
 
 
 
 
 
 
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« Reply #11 on: December 21, 2010, 07:41:03 PM »

What Do Men Want?
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
ShareThis
It is said that the one question about men and women that even the great Sigmund Freud, father of psychoanalysis, could not answer was: What do women want?

Whether or not Freud actually said that is irrelevant. The very popularity of the anecdote testifies to one incontrovertible fact: A lot of men don't know the answer.  It is probably fair to say that a lot of women also don't know the answer. If they did, all they would have to do is tell men. That would solve the riddle -- and make most men and women very happy.  So, to the extent that this is a great riddle, it is so because most members of both sexes seem not to know the answer.

Adding support to the widespread belief that what women want is close to unknowable is the underlying presumption that just about everybody knows what men want.

The number of truly funny Internet jokes that describe what women want as complex and what men want as simple is a testament to how widespread these assumptions about the two sexes are. Three examples illustrate this:

The first example is the one that begins: "How To Impress a Woman."

Listed beneath that heading is this: "Compliment her, respect her, honor her, cuddle her, kiss her, caress her, love her, stroke her, tease her, comfort her, protect her, hug her, hold her, spend money on her, wine and dine her, buy things for her, listen to her, care for her, stand by her, support her, hold her, go to the ends of the Earth for her."

That long list is followed by: "How To Impress a Man."

And listed beneath is this: "Show up naked. Bring food."

The second Internet example:

"Q: What is the difference between men and women?

A: A woman wants one man to satisfy her every need. A man wants every woman to satisfy his one need."

And a third Internet example shows a box divided into two parts.

Under the part labeled "Women" are 40 dials and knobs.

Under the part labeled "Men" is one switch, marked "On-Off."

As with most generalizations, there is much truth to these.

Nevertheless, I take issue with both presumptions -- that what women want is a riddle that would stump the Sphinx and that what men want is so easy it could be written on the back of a postage stamp.  In fact, I believe that both are relatively simple to answer (though neither is simple to achieve).

What does a man most want?

Answer: He most wants to be admired by the woman he loves.

One proof is that the most devastating thing a woman can do to her man is to hold him in contempt. That is so devastating to a marriage that, over time, it is often more toxic than an affair. I am fairly certain that more marriages survive an affair, as difficult as that is, than contempt. Of course, this goes in both directions, but when a woman shows contempt toward her man, his very manhood is called into question.

My father and mother were married 69 years. As my brother and I have heard countless times, "She put me on a pedestal" was the quality my father most often cited in describing what a wonderful wife my mother was. She admired him, and to him, that was everything. On the other hand, in describing her love for my father over all those years, my mother never once said, "He put me on a pedestal" (despite the fact that he constantly praised her). Rather, she always spoke of what a "great man" he was, how "brilliant," etc. Of course, this is just one example, but I think it applies to the majority of men and women.

The obvious upshot of this thesis is that in order to gain a woman's love, a man must make -- and keep -- himself admirable.

Boys know this instinctively. Studies that have observed boys and young men reveal how much harder they work at anything -- sports comes immediately to mind -- when they know girls are watching them. 

That is why many single men in our society (often erroneously but understandably) place so much emphasis on what car they drive: They want to impress women. Yet, men couldn't care less what car a woman drives. In fact, for most men, a woman arriving on a first date in a relatively inexpensive car renders her more desirable than if she showed up in an expensive luxury car -- unless the man is looking to be supported by a woman. But few women are attracted to a man they know in advance they will have to support.

So, although the Internet jokes are right about men wanting sex, it isn't sex men most want from their woman. They want to be admired -- and sex is one manifestation of a woman's admiration for her man. When a man is regularly denied sex, in his eyes that means that his wife does not hold him in high esteem. Worse, he actually feels humiliated as a man. That, not the sex per se, is why regular denial devastates a man.

So, then, if what a man most wants is to be admired by his woman, what is it that a woman most wants?

That is the subject of the next column.

But here's a hint. If we begin with the assumption that men and women are made to bond with one another, what she most wants must be in some way related to what he most wants.

As we shall see, it is.
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« Reply #12 on: June 30, 2011, 08:05:41 PM »

Forget "boy" or "girl".  It is friends or I guess person.  I don't know if this should be under the gay heading, parenting heading gender heading or under a heading of "crazy':

***No "boys" or "girls" at gender-neutral preschool in Sweden
At Egalia preschool in Stockholm, children are not called "him" and "her," or "boy" and "girl," in an attempt to fight gender stereotypes.
News DeskJune 26, 2011 12:04
 
Swedish children from a kindergarden wear their obligatory traffic safety vests as they play in a Stockholm park. At the "Egalia" preschool in Sweden, staff refer to the children as "friends" instead of "boys" and "girls," in an attempt to breakdown gender stereotypes for boys and girls. (SVEN NACKSTRAND/AFP/Getty Images)A preschool in Sweden wants to eliminate gender bias by referring to children as “friends,” instead of girls and boys, and avoiding gender-specific pronouns such as “him” or “her.”

At the taxpayer-funded “Egalia” preschool in Stockholm, which opened last year for children ages 1-6, boys and girls play together with a toy kitchen, which is located next to the Lego bricks, the Associated Press reports.

They read books featuring gay and lesbian couples, single parents and adopted children, instead of fairy tales such as “Cinderella” or “Snow White,” which are rife with gender stereotypes.

School staff try to avoid masculine and feminine references in their speech, for example by not using the Swedish pronouns “han” or “hon” for him or her, and instead using the genderless word “hen,” which doesn’t formally exist in the Swedish language.

"Society expects girls to be girlie, nice and pretty and boys to be manly, rough and outgoing," teacher Jenny Johnsson told the AP. "Egalia gives them a fantastic opportunity to be whoever they want to be."

A 2010 report by the World Economic Forum on the global gender gap found that Sweden and three other Nordic countries lead the world when it comes to gender equality. Sweden is also considered a pioneer in legalizing gay and lesbian partnerships.

A Canadian couple recently drew international attention for their decision to try and raise a genderless baby by not telling anyone whether their child is a boy or girl.

When Storm was born, the couple from Toronto told friends and family that they had decided not to share the baby’s sex.

“When the baby comes out, even the people who love you the most and know you so intimately, the first question they ask is, ‘Is it a girl or a boy?’” mother Kathy Witterick explained to the Toronto Star. “If you really want to get to know someone, you don’t ask what’s between their legs.”

Storm’s brothers Jazz, 5, and Kio, 2, choose their own clothes and hairstyles. Jazz prefers to wear his hair long and in three braids, and his favorite color is pink.****

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« Reply #13 on: June 30, 2011, 08:12:06 PM »

Forget "boy" or "girl".  It is friends or I guess person.  I don't know if this should be under the gay heading, parenting heading gender heading or under a heading of "crazy':

***No "boys" or "girls" at gender-neutral preschool in Sweden
At Egalia preschool in Stockholm, children are not called "him" and "her," or "boy" and "girl," in an attempt to fight gender stereotypes.
News DeskJune 26, 2011 12:04
 
Swedish children from a kindergarden wear their obligatory traffic safety vests as they play in a Stockholm park. At the "Egalia" preschool in Sweden, staff refer to the children as "friends" instead of "boys" and "girls," in an attempt to breakdown gender stereotypes for boys and girls. (SVEN NACKSTRAND/AFP/Getty Images)A preschool in Sweden wants to eliminate gender bias by referring to children as “friends,” instead of girls and boys, and avoiding gender-specific pronouns such as “him” or “her.”

At the taxpayer-funded “Egalia” preschool in Stockholm, which opened last year for children ages 1-6, boys and girls play together with a toy kitchen, which is located next to the Lego bricks, the Associated Press reports.

They read books featuring gay and lesbian couples, single parents and adopted children, instead of fairy tales such as “Cinderella” or “Snow White,” which are rife with gender stereotypes.

School staff try to avoid masculine and feminine references in their speech, for example by not using the Swedish pronouns “han” or “hon” for him or her, and instead using the genderless word “hen,” which doesn’t formally exist in the Swedish language.

"Society expects girls to be girlie, nice and pretty and boys to be manly, rough and outgoing," teacher Jenny Johnsson told the AP. "Egalia gives them a fantastic opportunity to be whoever they want to be."

A 2010 report by the World Economic Forum on the global gender gap found that Sweden and three other Nordic countries lead the world when it comes to gender equality. Sweden is also considered a pioneer in legalizing gay and lesbian partnerships.

A Canadian couple recently drew international attention for their decision to try and raise a genderless baby by not telling anyone whether their child is a boy or girl.

When Storm was born, the couple from Toronto told friends and family that they had decided not to share the baby’s sex.

“When the baby comes out, even the people who love you the most and know you so intimately, the first question they ask is, ‘Is it a girl or a boy?’” mother Kathy Witterick explained to the Toronto Star. “If you really want to get to know someone, you don’t ask what’s between their legs.”

Storm’s brothers Jazz, 5, and Kio, 2, choose their own clothes and hairstyles. Jazz prefers to wear his hair long and in three braids, and his favorite color is pink.****


The muslim immigrants will help them determine their genders. The primary victims of sexual violence will be female, the primary victims of physical violence will be male.
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« Reply #14 on: July 01, 2011, 10:18:31 AM »



http://www.daybydaycartoon.com/2011/06/12/
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« Reply #15 on: November 27, 2011, 07:35:42 PM »


http://www.daybydaycartoon.com/2011/11/27/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+daybydaycartoon%2FkUnt+%28Day+by+Day+Cartoon+by+Chris+Muir%29#006334
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« Reply #16 on: December 17, 2011, 12:13:56 PM »

http://www.cnn.com/2011/12/17/us/vermont-rape-survey/index.html?hpt=hp_t2
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« Reply #17 on: December 17, 2011, 05:09:58 PM »


So, rather than seek to enlighten ignorants that rape is a horrific thing, they silence speech they don't like? How leftist.
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« Reply #18 on: December 17, 2011, 05:14:09 PM »


So, rather than seek to enlighten ignorants that rape is a horrific thing, they silence speech they don't like? How leftist.

I'd also add that "gender feminists" such as Andrea Dworkin in calling everything rape end up trivializing it, feeding into stupid frat boy trivialization of it.
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« Reply #19 on: February 29, 2012, 12:10:34 PM »



By JAMES TARANTO
Over the past few weeks, this column has on more than one occasion expressed agreement with Rick Santorum's view that advances in birth control have had deleterious social consequences, most notably in contributing to the breakdown of the family. To our surprise, a not-insignificant number of our readers have pushed back against this idea, which some find counterintuitive and others downright unthinkable. So we'd like to go through the argument step by step.

The Food and Drug Administration approved the pill for contraceptive use in 1960. Over the next half-century, the marriage rate declined and the illegitimacy rate skyrocketed, Charles Murray notes in a recent Wall Street Journal essay adapted from his new book:

In 1960, extremely high proportions of whites in both Belmont [Murray's metaphor for the upper middle class] and Fishtown [the working class] were married—94% in Belmont and 84% in Fishtown. In the 1970s, those percentages declined about equally in both places. Then came the great divergence. In Belmont, marriage stabilized during the mid-1980s, standing at 83% in 2010. In Fishtown, however, marriage continued to slide; as of 2010, a minority (just 48%) were married. The gap in marriage between Belmont and Fishtown grew to 35 percentage points, from just 10. . . .
In 1960, just 2% of all white births were nonmarital. When we first started recording the education level of mothers in 1970, 6% of births to white women with no more than a high-school education—women, that is, with a Fishtown education--were out of wedlock. By 2008, 44% were nonmarital. Among the college-educated women of Belmont, less than 6% of all births were out of wedlock as of 2008, up from 1% in 1970.
The same trends have been noted among blacks, although they started earlier and are more severe. Of course it would be a fallacy (post hoc ergo propter hoc, for those keeping score at home) to declare Santorum's argument proven on the basis of these facts. But they do demonstrate that the argument is not inconsistent with the facts.

The usual criticism we've heard is that it is absurd to suggest a causal link between birth-control advances and illegitimacy because, after all, birth control prevents pregnancy, and giving birth out of wedlock entails pregnancy. By that logic, though, illegitimacy rates should have remained low, or even declined further, after the inception of the pill. The Santorum argument may be counterintuitive, but the counterargument flies in the face of the facts.

But Santorum's argument is not really all that counterintuitive. It posits that the availability of birth control changed the culture in ways that encouraged illegitimacy. There is scholarly support for this hypothesis, in the form of a 1996 study in The Quarterly Journal of Economics, which served as the basis for a brief written by George Akerlof and Janet Yellen and published by the centrist-liberal Brookings Institution:

Before 1970, the stigma of unwed motherhood was so great that few women were willing to bear children outside of marriage. The only circumstance that would cause women to engage in sexual activity was a promise of marriage in the event of pregnancy. Men were willing to make (and keep) that promise for they knew that in leaving one woman they would be unlikely to find another who would not make the same demand. Even women who would be willing to bear children out-of-wedlock could demand a promise of marriage in the event of pregnancy.
The increased availability of contraception and abortion made shotgun weddings a thing of the past. Women who were willing to get an abortion or who reliably used contraception no longer found it necessary to condition sexual relations on a promise of marriage in the event of pregnancy. But women who wanted children, who did not want an abortion for moral or religious reasons, or who were unreliable in their use of contraception found themselves pressured to participate in premarital sexual relations without being able to exact a promise of marriage in case of pregnancy. These women feared, correctly, that if they refused sexual relations, they would risk losing their partners. Sexual activity without commitment was increasingly expected in premarital relationships.
Advances in reproductive technology eroded the custom of shotgun marriage in another way. Before the sexual revolution, women had less freedom, but men were expected to assume responsibility for their welfare. Today women are more free to choose, but men have afforded themselves the comparable option. "If she is not willing to have an abortion or use contraception," the man can reason, "why should I sacrifice myself to get married?" By making the birth of the child the physical choice of the mother, the sexual revolution has made marriage and child support a social choice of the father.
Santorum has come under particular attack for saying that contraception is "harmful to women." It may reasonably be said that this is an overgeneralization: There are many women for whom birth control has not been harmful--those who don't want children, who prioritize career over family, or who have been able to find husbands in the post-sexual-revolution mate market. Still, Akerlof and Yellen make a compelling case that birth control has been harmful to many other women, and it is not implausible to think, as Santorum does, that it has been harmful to women on balance.

By and large, it is the women of Murray's "Belmont" who have been the beneficiaries of feminism and the sexual revolution, and those of "Fishtown" who have suffered the ill effects. The former (along with men who are inclined to be deferential when it comes to "women's issues") are predominant in the elite media. But they are unrepresentative of the general population, which may explain why, as the Washington Post reported last week, Santorum seems to be doing fine with female voters notwithstanding the fierce opposition of the female elite.

Whether he wins or loses the nomination and the presidency, Santorum is doing a service to American intellectual culture by giving voice to ideas the feminist elite would like to decree unthinkable. For another example of such an idea, get a load of this, from Emily Yoffe's "Dear Prudence" advice column in Slate:

Q: I attend a small university studying engineering. I hold traditional values and I would like to get married to a woman willing to stay home and raise our children. I am lucky enough to not have any student loans and will be able to support a wife and children on my salary. Preferably, I would like to marry a woman who has a college degree and is smart because we would match intellectually and she would provide the best environment for my children. Women I meet on campus frequently call me sexist. I never thought of myself as sexist because I have no problem whatsoever with women who work in general and I respect my fellow female students and professors. Just because I don't want my wife to work does not mean I think women in general shouldn't work. Am I sexist? Is there any way I can meet a woman who shares my values, or was I born 40 years too late?
A: You sound like the male equivalent of the bride in the letter above who much preferred planning her wedding without the bother of a real person to marry. Of course we all have ideas of what our ideal life would be, then life happens and we have to--even want to--adjust to reality. Yes, there are women, even well-educated ones, who would prefer to stay home with their children. But dictating these terms before you've even gotten far enough to go steady makes you sound rigid, dictatorial, and yes, sexist. Instead of announcing your life plan for the so-far nonexistent woman you plan to marry, you should just date interesting, intelligent women and find out what they want out of life. But if you're determined to only spend time with women who meet your qualifications, go to a rally for Rick Santorum. He shares your views of women's roles, and during his Q&A ask if he can fix you up.
Yoffe is not usually that snide and judgmental. In an earlier column, she responded in blasé fashion to a (fictional, we hope to God) letter from a man who claimed to be carrying on a homosexual affair with his own fraternal twin brother: "When people ask when you're each going to go out there and find a nice young man, tell them that while it may seem unorthodox, you both have realized that living together is what works for you," she advised.

 
Don't even think of living like this.
.But when a decent young man professes a desire to marry an old-fashioned girl and take financial responsibility for his family, Yoffe treats him as a deviant. She denounces him as "sexist" even though he is careful to affirm that women have every right to work outside the home if they choose to do so. He mentions nothing about politics, yet she feels compelled to bring Santorum, the feminists' Emmanuel Goldstein, into the mix.

Yoffe's hostility to this young man tells us more about elite culture than it does about her personally. (We've met her, and she's perfectly pleasant.) By his account, his female classmates have been indoctrinated with the same rigid ideas about "sexism" that Yoffe expresses in her response.

But we wonder if female opinion on campus is really quite as uniform as his experience would suggest. Our guess is that there are young women who don't believe the feminist dogma but expect that if they gave voice to their doubts, they'd receive a hostile response, and thus lack the confidence to speak out.

Rick Santorum doesn't have that problem, and that is why he is driving elite feminists crazy.

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JDN
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« Reply #20 on: March 01, 2012, 09:55:01 AM »

Preferably, I would like to marry a woman who has a college degree and is smart because we would match intellectually and she would provide the best environment for my children.
Just because I don't want my wife to work does not mean I think women in general shouldn't work. Am I sexist?

YES

The WSJ's rebuttal said, "She denounces him as "sexist" even though he is careful to affirm that women have every right to work outside the home if they choose to do so."

Actually, not true.  The engineering student in question clearly said that he did not want his wife, a woman whom he wanted to match intellectually, to work outside the home.

Sorry, that's Sexist.  She is his equal intellectually, but she is suppose to stay home, make breakfast and dinner for him, clean his house, clean his laundry and have his martini ready?

Sexist.

But, if he had said he wanted to marry a beautiful woman, one who is his intellectual equal, a woman who she herself expressed that she did not want to work; well that's fine. 
I know a few girls like that here in LA, quite cute, but some call them gold diggers or worse.

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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #21 on: March 02, 2012, 10:27:29 AM »

IMHO I find him not sexist, but I do find you arrogant grin

It is profoundly arrogant of you to say that he should not have an opinion on what kind of an arrangement he wants in his marriage.

Bonus points in arrogance for saying a woman who makes a home and raises children is a gold digger.
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JDN
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« Reply #22 on: March 02, 2012, 04:36:33 PM »

Maybe you don't find him sexist, but I'ld venture to guess that 4 out of 5 women would call him sexist, if not even a higher percentage.  Nothing arrogant about it.

The only arrogance is the engineering student demanding a woman of equal intelligence, but insisting that she stay home, whether she wants to or not, to clean the house, make him breakfast and dinner, wash the dishes, fetch his drink, etc. and raise his family.

It reminds me of a Muslim Marriage that conforms to Sharia Law.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #23 on: March 02, 2012, 07:36:33 PM »

Ah, but there is no compulsion in what he seeks.  A woman seeking otherwise will not accept his offer.

"But, if he had said he wanted to marry a beautiful woman, one who is his intellectual equal, a woman who she herself expressed that she did not want to work; well that's fine."

So a woman can want this, but he cannot seek such a woman?  rolleyes
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JDN
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« Reply #24 on: March 03, 2012, 08:57:17 AM »


So a woman can want this, but he cannot seek such a woman?


A woman can want this for herself, but she is not imposing or limiting her spouse.

Following your logic, so if a woman in amenable to a marriage under Sharia Law in America that is just fine.  Why then do we criticize it on this forum?

Sorry, he's Sexist.  Pure and simple.  It reminds me of many year ago when my parents went to a Halloween party.  My father dressed up as a cave man
and my mother a cave woman.  He had a big club and my mother was to obey and follow him.  It was cute for Halloween, my mother agreed to the outfit,
but even 40 years ago they knew it was a joke.

My mother graduated from the University of Wisconsin.  She was an RN and worked much of her life.  She would have been a doctor like her father, but the
medical field was still quite sexist back then.

That engineering student belongs in the cave man age or at minimum, he should convert to Islam and follow Sharia Law
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« Reply #25 on: March 03, 2012, 09:53:10 AM »

"A woman can want this for herself, but she is not imposing or limiting her spouse."

Well, she will be looking for, and limiting herself to a man who is ready, willing, and able to support her and the children.  How is that any different from what he is doing?

Furthermore I continue your attitude towards those who live this way arrogant.  (The problem with Sharia is its coercion and its mission of Theocracy.) 

"He had a big club and my mother was to obey and follow him".  Ummm , , , lets check the record here.  Did the man in question here say anything about this?   Hmmmm, , , , nope.

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« Reply #26 on: March 03, 2012, 11:06:50 AM »

Sorry, its Sexist; the only arrogant one is the engineering student.  I repeat 4 out of 5 women will call him sexist; probably a much higher percentage.  We've moved passed this archaic attitude towards women.  In contrast, this man in question wants to return to the cave man days.  Or Sharia Law.  I don't know a single college educated (equal to an engineering degree) woman who would agree with this student.
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G M
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« Reply #27 on: March 03, 2012, 11:15:03 AM »

God forbid we return to the old ways where children grew up in two parent homes and the worst problems in schools were talking in class and students running in the halls.

Thank god the left has rescued us from those horrors.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #28 on: March 03, 2012, 01:12:12 PM »

JDN:

"I don't know a single college educated , , , woman who would agree with this student."

That you don't is probably true  cheesy

Still the cognitive dissonance to your reasoning remains.  A woman is free to want this, but he is not free to want it?
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« Reply #29 on: March 03, 2012, 05:35:53 PM »

Sure "he is free to want it".  And I'm free to want to have an open sexual marriage.  But most people would call me a Pig. 
He's just a Sexist.   grin
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« Reply #30 on: March 04, 2012, 11:01:04 AM »


The original point of feminism, before a lot of it went down the femi-nazi road, is that women should be free to choose without social or legal approbation.

You POV seeks to disrespect and degrade a choice that millions of parents make (the husband father, with his work is part of making it possible) a choice that, as GM notes, has a pretty solid record overall.

In this, you are arrogant.

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DougMacG
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« Reply #31 on: March 04, 2012, 11:28:48 AM »

"Your POV seeks to disrespect and degrade a choice that millions of parents make..."

I could not help but notice and be offended reading a view that washing his dishes and fetching his drink is put on the same plane as raising his family.  I visualize a fat slob on the couch belching after his 3rd beer and demanding another from the woman/wife who chose this man as the love of her life now trapped doing all the work with no options as if that is an issue or reality in true stay-at-home-by-choice relationships.  As a single parent I cannot tell you the value of having one person available to observe and communicate everything that is happening with the children and having the other free to hunt and gather or whatever it is we do today to responsibly pay for the enormous costs that make up living even frugally in today's society.  One side or the other of that simply does not get done without an amazing partnership.
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JDN
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« Reply #32 on: March 04, 2012, 01:58:13 PM »


The original point of feminism, before a lot of it went down the femi-nazi road, is that women should be free to choose without social or legal approbation.

You POV seeks to disrespect and degrade a choice that millions of parents make (the husband father, with his work is part of making it possible) a choice that, as GM notes, has a pretty solid record overall.

In this, you are arrogant.

Feminism is a collection of movements aimed at defining, establishing, and defending equal political, economic, and social rights for women. In addition, feminism seeks to establish equal opportunities for women in education and employment.

Images of the traditional family still dominate our televisions and magazines, but they do not represent how most Americans live. In 2002, only 7 percent of all U.S. households consisted of married couples with children in which only the husband worked.  The percentage is probably much lower now in 2012.

However, if the engineering student had like Doug stated, wanted a marriage where one person watches the children and the other gathers, I may or may not agree, but it would not be sexist.  Instead, the engineering student said, although he wants to marry someone of equal intelligence, he expects her to stay home everyday and take care of the daily chores while he goes out and gathers.   Sort of like my cave man analogy earlier.  Sorry that's sexist.

If he is worried about the family, and the wife has a better job offer, why doesn't he then stay home and take care of the family?  Why should she have to give up her career for the family?

That's arrogance.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #33 on: March 04, 2012, 02:05:53 PM »

And this now becomes tedious.
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« Reply #34 on: March 04, 2012, 02:25:50 PM »

I agree, it is a little tedious, this longing for the good old days when women supposedly "knew their place"; as if they had a choice.  It's like watching old movies...  Or the Flintstones.

But I have a question, for discussion sake, let's say we agree with Doug's point, i.e. it's better to have one parent at home raising the family and one parent "gathering".

Why can't the woman work and the man stay home?  I have friends who are married and who are both attorneys.  Both very bright, both with excellent large firms downtown.
He's already in his early 30's.  She's late 20's.  It looks like she is on the fast track to partnership, it's doubtful if her husband will make it.  She plans to have children in 2-3 years; hopefully she will
also be a partner then.  Following Doug's logic, after she gives birth, assuming one parent should be home, why doesn't the husband stay home and raise the children while his wife supports the family.  
She is the better "gatherer".  Do you accept that as reasonable?
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #35 on: March 04, 2012, 02:56:02 PM »

Sure, if that is what works for them; though I suspect for most women, and men, this would run against some rather deep wiring for reasons similar to those that most women don't prefer men who are smaller, shorter, and physically weaker.  Also, nursing the baby would be rather problematic; indeed my understanding is that hormonal changes that accompany the pregnancy and birth process may change the woman's world view and the premises of this theoretical couple's assumptions.
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JDN
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« Reply #36 on: March 04, 2012, 04:17:01 PM »

Sure, if that is what works for them; though I suspect for most women, and men, this would run against some rather deep wiring for reasons similar to those that most women don't prefer men who are smaller, shorter, and physically weaker.  Also, nursing the baby would be rather problematic; indeed my understanding is that hormonal changes that accompany the pregnancy and birth process may change the woman's world view and the premises of this theoretical couple's assumptions.

"smaller, shorter, and physically weaker" is different than intellectual and wage earning ability.  Now a days, being the "gatherer" is all about wage earning ability; no one really cares, unless you are truly exceptional, that you are physically stronger, you can lift more weight, or fight better; it doesn't help pay the rent.  I know quite a few couples where the wife is earning more than the man.  They seem equally as happy as families where the man is the primary wage earner.

As for nursing, most firms and large corporations have maternity leave and many have extended paternity leave. And of course in this example, the father will to home to attend to the baby.

I'm not sure how pregnancy changes a woman's world view as it relates to this discussion or even this couple's assumption; that being to maximize income and still have one parent home with their child.  In fact in this example, it may enhance the woman's viewpoint; knowing that she can pursue her career/passion and have her husband home taking care of their child.
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G M
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« Reply #37 on: March 04, 2012, 06:13:08 PM »

**I bet the genetically unfit are predisposed to ignoring evolutionary biology.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110518171343.htm

"If you're a chimpanzee- or gorilla-type ancestor that is moving on the ground, walking bipedally has a cost," he says. "It's energetically more expensive, it's harder to speed up and slow down, and there are costs in terms of agility. In every way, going from four legs to two is a disadvantage for locomotion. So the selective advantage for becoming bipedal, whatever it was, must have been important."
 
Nearly all mammals, including chimps and gorillas, move on all fours when they run or cover long distances on the ground. On the other hand, all sorts of four-legged animals stand up and use their front legs to fight. They include anteaters, lions, wolves, bears, wolverines, horses, rabbits and many rodents and primates.
 
Carrier believes that the usefulness of quadruped forelegs as weapons is a side effect of how forelegs are used for walking and running. When an animal is running with its body positioned horizontally, the forelegs strike down at the ground. By lifting the body to a vertical posture, animals can direct that same force toward an opponent.
 
In addition, quadrupeds are stronger pulling back with their forelimbs than pushing forward. That translates to a powerful downward blow when they rear up on their hind legs. These advantages, which grow directly out of four-legged movement, can be used most effectively by an animal that can stand easily on two legs.
 
Carrier predicted that animals would hit harder with their forelegs when their bodies were held upright than when they were horizontal, and that they would hit harder downward than upward. Although it would be ideal to test these hypotheses with four-legged animals, humans should still possess the advantages that led our ancestors to stand upright, and they are more practical test subjects.
 
The results were exactly what Carrier expected. Men's side strikes were 64 percent harder, their forward strikes were 48 percent harder, their downward strikes were 44 percent harder, and their upward strikes were 48 percent harder when they were standing than when they were on their hands and knees. From both postures, subjects delivered 3.3 times as much force when they hit downward rather than upward.
 
Do Women Want Men Who Can Fight?
 
While Carrier's study primarily deals with the evolution of upright posture, it also may have implications for how women choose mates. Multiple studies have shown that women find tall men more attractive. Greater height is also associated with health, social dominance, symmetrical faces and intelligence in men and women. These correlations have led some scientists to suggest that women prefer tall men because height indicates "good genes" that can be passed on to offspring. Carrier believes there is more to it.
 
"If that were the whole story, I would expect the same to be true for men -- that men would be attracted to tall women. But it turns out they're not. Men are attracted to women of average height or even shorter," he says.
 
The alternative explanation is that tall males among our ancestors were better able to defend their resources, partners and offspring. If males can hit down harder than they can hit up, a tall male has the advantage in a fight because he can punch down to hit his opponent's most vulnerable targets.
 
Carrier certainly isn't saying women like physically abusive men or those who get into fights with each other. He is saying that women like tall men because tallness is a product if the evolutionary advantage held by our ancestors who began standing upright to fight.
 
"From the perspective of sexual selection theory, women are attracted to powerful males, not because powerful males can beat them up, but because powerful males can protect them and their children from other males," Carrier says.
 
"In a world of automatic weapons and guided missiles, male physical strength has little relevance to most conflicts between males," he adds. "But guns have been common weapons for less than 15 human generations. So maybe we shouldn't be surprised that modern females are still attracted to physical traits that predict how their mates would fare in a fight."
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DougMacG
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« Reply #38 on: March 04, 2012, 07:10:52 PM »

Raising the children is not a 'daily chore', it is an honor and a privilege and a gift beyond anything that you know.

Yes, men can raise children.  I did it.  But besides being plumbed differently, women are actually wired differently - in general.  The freedom to have careers should not pull with it a stigma for choosing not to.  Some women want to be homemakers and raise children.  That does not mean zero other work ever outside the home in a dynamic economy, which is why your 7% stat is highly misleading.  Taking months or years out of the continuity in your career has an enormous and measurable negative impact on future income - for any gender.

"why doesn't the husband stay home and raise the children while his wife supports the family."

Unless you are that husband or that wife, what on earth business of ours/yours is it to second guess what they do, and what happened to a right of privacy?

Two parents both work today for one reason more than any other: the public sector is directly consuming nearly half the resources in the economy and it is more than half if you count the private sector time directly spent on government regulation compliance activities.

Equal is a synonym for same.  The genders are not the same.  Ending discrimination (that happened how long ago?) is not the same as making gender differences go away.

The Equal Rights Amendment failed to be ratified.  Why?

"Following Doug's logic ..."  Of all your strong points, that has never been one of them.   wink
« Last Edit: March 04, 2012, 07:17:49 PM by DougMacG » Logged
JDN
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« Reply #39 on: March 04, 2012, 08:35:11 PM »


Unless you are that husband or that wife, what on earth business of ours/yours is it to second guess what they do, and what happened to a right of privacy?

If I recollect, the male engineering student in question wrote in to the magazine asking for advice.   shocked

Equal is a synonym for same.  The genders are not the same.  Ending discrimination (that happened how long ago?) is not the same as making gender differences go away.

When I think of "equal"; I think of equal opportunity.  Unfortunately, gender discrimination is still prevalent.  Sexism is still prevalent.  To answer your ? discrimination happened a long time ago and is STILL happening today.  It hasn't ended.  


That said, most of the high income attractive single women I know have a problem dating.  It's not that they set their standards so high, it's that the guys are intimidated.  I tell my female friends it's a male problem, it's their insecurity, that you should not worry.  But they are forced to downplay their success and stroke the male's ego on a date.  It seems rather comical albeit necessary.

« Last Edit: March 04, 2012, 08:59:37 PM by JDN » Logged
JDN
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« Reply #40 on: March 05, 2012, 09:59:48 AM »

....because masculinity has been defined as being in control.” 

http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2012/03/04/the-stubborn-gender-gap.html
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DougMacG
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« Reply #41 on: March 05, 2012, 03:44:48 PM »

In the one breath gender discrimination is still rampant and in the next breath all these 'attractive' single women are burdened with the fact that success in their careers is intimidating men.  Which is it?

Not to judge specific people whom I don't know but by 'attractive' I think you mean visually appealing.  If they are high CEO's, boss of many men, maybe they are not the type men are 'attracted to' for forming family partnerships with.  As you intimate, they made other choices. These women commonly insist on finding a man equal to them in career, not a man with time on his hands and willing to be supported and home with the children.  The men equal to them in their careers tend to be married.  I'm sure they will tell you that, or you can have these successful, attractive single women give me a call to discuss this fuirther.

Written before but I am not very sympathetic to the plight of discrimination of the majority having grown up in a family of high achieving women, and having worked in companies large, medium and small where results always mattered more than gender - or anything else.  The on-to-college rate for girls at my daughter's large public high school is very nearly 100%.  Women make up 57% of college students.  http://www.usatoday.com/news/education/2005-10-19-male-college-cover_x.htm  http://www.usatoday.com/news/education/2010-01-26-genderequity26_ST_N.htm  Pretty soon we will have to be offering preferences to men if the alleged discrimination has any scientific basis to it.
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JDN
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« Reply #42 on: March 05, 2012, 07:43:21 PM »

In the one breath gender discrimination is still rampant and in the next breath all these 'attractive' single women are burdened with the fact that success in their careers is intimidating men.  Which is it?

Actually both.

Not to judge specific people whom I don't know but by 'attractive' I think you mean visually appealing.  If they are high CEO's, boss of many men, maybe they are not the type men are 'attracted to' for forming family partnerships with.  As you intimate, they made other choices. These women commonly insist on finding a man equal to them in career, not a man with time on his hands and willing to be supported and home with the children.  The men equal to them in their careers tend to be married.  I'm sure they will tell you that, or you can have these successful, attractive single women give me a call to discuss this fuirther.

Yes, I mean visually appealing.  But they not high CEO's rather they are young, late 20's early 30's who are either associates at large law firms, senior managers at large accounting firms, recent Medical School Graduates, or MBA financial types at banks etc.  All making easy six figures, some over $300K. I will have them give you a call but long distance romances never seem to work IMHO.   smiley  However, in nearly every case they are not looking necessarily for a career peer, but rather just an intelligent nice guy.  My neighbor found that; she is late 30's, on the fast track at a big bank, and married to a nice guy.  No MBA for him, but he did graduate from college and also works at a bank, but at a much lower job with little future in comparison.

Written before but I am not very sympathetic to the plight of discrimination of the majority having grown up in a family of high achieving women, and having worked in companies large, medium and small where results always mattered more than gender - or anything else.  The on-to-college rate for girls at my daughter's large public high school is very nearly 100%.  Women make up 57% of college students.  http://www.usatoday.com/news/education/2005-10-19-male-college-cover_x.htm  http://www.usatoday.com/news/education/2010-01-26-genderequity26_ST_N.htm  Pretty soon we will have to be offering preferences to men if the alleged discrimination has any scientific basis to it.

Kudos to you family, and I agree that the on-to-college rate for girls is equal or higher than for guys.  The same can probably be said about the hire rate at law firms, accounting firms, financial firms, etc.  BUT, did you read the article I posted?  The issue is not entry level, the issue is promotion and the glass ceiling.  Wage scales differ.  Promotions differ.  Who makes partner more often?  Who gets invited to join the private clubs.  Etc.  The guy; more often than not...  THAT is where discrimination still exists.
« Last Edit: March 05, 2012, 07:56:30 PM by JDN » Logged
Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #43 on: March 05, 2012, 08:25:25 PM »

a) Once you filter for age (i.e. the top tiers obviously are older and pre-date many changes in the current environment) the data flattens out quite a bit
b) Disparity does not prove discrimination.  Read that again:  Disparity does not prove discrimination.
c) When I went to Columbia, I met plenty of "successful"/about-to-be-successful women-- but found none of them attractive, even the pretty ones , , , with the exception of one who was a rock and roll lawyer who once played a bimbo in a Fred Williamson movie  wink

Tangent: One suspects that Marcia Clark, one of the two DAs in the OJ Simpson case, got the gig because she was a woman , , , and that did not work out too well.  Ditto Chris Darden, the other DA whom one suspects got the gig because he was black.  Together they form Exhibit A in the case against affirmative action.
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JDN
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« Reply #44 on: March 05, 2012, 08:58:35 PM »

a) This is 2012; the data has not flattened out yet.  The problem still exists; see the article I posted or just ask any woman.

b) "Disparity does not prove discrimination".  Perhaps, but the burden is now on you to prove otherwise...
I'm still waiting for your explanation on another thread as to why you think discrimination is ok.

c) Who is "attractive"; thank goodness we all have different opinions.  I was referring the the general consensus, just pretty, visual as Doug put it, but I agree a lot more goes into the equation.....

As for your tangent, who knows?  It was a very big case; Prosecutor Marcia Clark, a 40-year-old Deputy District Attorney, was designated as the lead prosecutor, which was her twenty-first murder trial during her 13 years with the D.A.'s office.  Darden, who also has experience in murder trials assisted.  I think they chose the best they had for the situation; obviously in hindsight.....
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #45 on: March 06, 2012, 03:55:37 PM »

"a) This is 2012; the data has not flattened out yet.  The problem still exists; see the article I posted or just ask any woman." When filtered for age, they have.

b) ""Disparity does not prove discrimination".  Perhaps, but the burden is now on you to prove otherwise..."  No, it isn't.  There is an alternate explanation.  It is this:  Men and women are different.  Just ask any man or any woman.  evil

"I'm still waiting for your explanation on another thread as to why you think discrimination is ok.  This is a deep subject that would require quite a bit of time which I don't have right now.  In the meantime, please discriminate between bigotry and the discernment of differences.  Please discriminate between wondering if the government has a role and if so, what that role is and thinking that bigotry is OK.   

"As for your tangent, who knows?  It was a very big case; Prosecutor Marcia Clark, a 40-year-old Deputy District Attorney, was designated as the lead prosecutor, which was her twenty-first murder trial during her 13 years with the D.A.'s office.  Darden, who also has experience in murder trials assisted.  I think they chose the best they had for the situation; obviously in hindsight....." 

IMHO opinion they were chosen because she is a woman, like the victim, and he is black, like the accused.  IMHO they were in way over their heads and did a very poor job.
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JDN
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« Reply #46 on: March 07, 2012, 09:19:14 AM »

"a) This is 2012; the data has not flattened out yet.  The problem still exists; see the article I posted or just ask any woman." When filtered for age, they have.

Actually, I don't think they have even if you do an age equal comparison.

b) ""Disparity does not prove discrimination".  Perhaps, but the burden is now on you to prove otherwise..."  No, it isn't.  There is an alternate explanation.  It is this:  Men and women are different.  Just ask any man or any woman.  evil

Hogwash.  Men and women may be plumbed different, but in 95% (excluding physically demanding jobs) there is no logical reason for gender disparity other than discrimination. 

"I'm still waiting for your explanation on another thread as to why you think discrimination is ok.  This is a deep subject that would require quite a bit of time which I don't have right now.  In the meantime, please discriminate between bigotry and the discernment of differences.  Please discriminate between wondering if the government has a role and if so, what that role is and thinking that bigotry is OK.   

Before i expand on bigotry and the discernment of differences and what is the role of government, I'll wait for for you to find time to explain your controversial albeit clear statement,

"Yes, I am saying that people should be allowed to discriminate."
     shocked shocked shocked
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #47 on: March 07, 2012, 10:03:36 AM »

""a) This is 2012; the data has not flattened out yet.  The problem still exists; see the article I posted or just ask any woman." When filtered for age, they have.

"Actually, I don't think they have even if you do an age equal comparison.""

I regret I don't have the citations handy, but I will state with 100% certainly that the data of the sort cited in the piece you posted when filtered for age shows that the disparities diminish considerably.  By "flattened" I did not mean to communicate complete parity, rather a movement towards parity.  I remain of the opinion that when men and women take each other as individuals in the decisions that they make, that there will be considerable disparity between what men and women choose and what men and women achieve.



"Before i expand on bigotry and the discernment of differences and what is the role of government, I'll wait for for you to find time to explain your controversial albeit clear statement,"

Sorry if I wasn't clear.  I am not asking for you to write anything in this regard, rather I am asking you to keep these distinctions in mind as you react to what I, or anyone else, may write.

"Men and women may be plumbed different, but in 95% (excluding physically demanding jobs) there is no logical reason for gender disparity other than discrimination."

Our perceptions of reality overlap very little here.


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ccp
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« Reply #48 on: March 12, 2012, 05:22:57 PM »

Obama is trying desperately to win over the women who I suspect didn't like him so much in 08 not because they loved McCain but because they love Hillary.   Hillary is a giant hit among woman.   She would win them over in a huge landslide in 2016:

http://cnsnews.com/news/article/hillary-clinton-ive-made-women-cornerstone-american-foreign-policy
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ccp
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« Reply #49 on: March 13, 2012, 02:44:12 PM »

Women's History Month
How did March come to be Women's History Month?
By Jone Johnson Lewis,
In 1911 in Europe, March 8 was first celebrated as International Women's Day. In many European nations, as well as in the United States, women's rights was a political hot topic. Woman suffrage — winning the vote — was a priority of many women's organizations. Women (and men) wrote books on the contributions of women to history.

But with the economic depression of the 1930s which hit on both sides of the Atlantic, and then World War II, women's rights went out of fashion. In the 1950s and 1960s, after Betty Friedan pointed to the "problem that has no name" — the boredom and isolation of the middle-class housewife who often gave up intellectual and professional aspirations — the women's movement began to revive. With "women's liberation" in the 1960s, interest in women's issues and women's history blossomed.

By the 1970s, there was a growing sense by many women that "history" as taught in school — and especially in grade school and high school — was incomplete with attending to "her story" as well. In the United States, calls for inclusion of black Americans and Native Americans helped some women realize that women were invisible in most history courses.

And so in the 1970s many universities began to include the fields of women's history and the broader field of women's studies.

In 1978 in California, the Education Task Force of the Sonoma County Commission on the Status of Women began a "Women's History Week" celebration. The week was chosen to coincide with International Women's Day, March 8.

The response was positive. Schools began to host their own Women's History Week programs. The next year, leaders from the California group shared their project at a Women's History Institute at Sarah Lawrence College. Other participants not only determined to begin their own local Women's History Week projects, but agreed to support an effort to have Congress declare a national Women's History Week.

Three years later, the United States Congress passed a resolution establishing National Women's History Week. Co-sponsors of the resolution, demonstrating bipartisan support, were Senator Orrin Hatch, a Republican from Utah, and Representative Barbara Mikulski, a Democrat from Maryland.

This recognition encouraged even wider participation in Women's History Week. Schools focused for that week on special projects and exhibitions honoring women in history. Organizations sponsored talks on women's history. The National Women's History Project began distributing materials specifically designed to support Women's History Week, as well as materials to enhance the teaching of history through the year, to include notable women and women's experience.

In 1987, at the request of the National Women's History Project, Congress expanded the week to a month, and the U.S. Congress has issued a resolution every year since then, with wide support, for Women's History Month. The U.S. President has issued each year a proclamation of Women's History Month.

To further extend the inclusion of women's history in the history curriculum (and in everyday consciousness of history), the President's Commission on the Celebration of Women in History in America met through the 1990s. One result has been the effort towards establishing a National Museum of Women's History for the Washington, DC, area, where it would join other museums such as the American History Museum.

The purpose of Women's History Month is to increase consciousness and knowledge of women's history: to take one month of the year to remember the contributions of notable and ordinary women, in hopes that the day will soon come when it's impossible to teach or learn history without remembering these contributions.

As the Women's History Guide at About, I focus on women's history 365 days a year. To honor this special month, I encourage you to explore this site, learning more about one important aspect of the history of all people. Women's history isn't just for women, although many women find that studying women's history helps them realize that women's place is everywhere.

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