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Crafty_Dog
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« on: November 04, 2004, 08:01:06 AM »

Woof All:

Like the title says, this thread is for matters pertaining to gender.

I begin with something from Glenn Sacks, who has a radio show heard here in LA and elsewhere and who has me on his mailing list.  I listened to the show one time and found his vibration to be kind of whiny and abrasive in an ineffective way-- but I also find him to consistently raise matters of interest that most are afraid to discuss and so I skim his emails and click upon those that pique my interest.

Woof,
Crafty Dog

-----------------------------------

Sacks writes

I invite you to call the show and join the discussion in progress at 5 PM PST/8 PM EST at 1-877-590-KTIE (in California) or 1-800-439-4805 (out of state).

For those who are outside of our radio stations' coverage ranges, you can listen to the show live this Sunday (11/7) via our station's excellent Internet stream at Listen Live. His Side with Glenn Sacks can be heard on WSNR AM 620 in New York City and North-Eastern New Jersey, and on WWZN AM 1510 in Boston on Sundays at 10 PM EST. The show can also be heard in Southern California on KTIE AM 590 at 5 PM PST.


========================


Feminist Law Professor Leads Backlash
Against Paternity Fraud Laws

The stories of victims of paternity fraud often provoke disbelief. Many men are falsely assigned paternity in default judgments and are compelled by the state to pay 18 years of child support for children whom DNA tests have proven are not theirs. Many of these men are not properly served notice of the paternity proceedings, never get their day in court and have no idea they are "fathers" until their wages are garnished.

Often by the time these men realize what has been done to them, the statute of limitations for challenging paternity has already passed, and sometimes lose half or more of their take-home pay to child support, arrearages, interest, and penalties -- often to support children they have never even met.

In other cases, men are misled into supporting children who are not theirs. Sometimes unwed men are urged to declare paternity of their girlfriend's or ex-lover's children at or near birth, and such declarations, when later found to be the product of deception, are hard to undo. Other men are deceived by wives who bear children through adulterous liaisons and who mislead them into thinking that the children are theirs.

In response to the paternity fraud crisis, several states, including California, Georgia, Maryland, Alabama and others, have passed paternity fraud legislation. Now paternity fraud activists' success has created a backlash.

Law Professor Melanie Jacobs has emerged as a leading voice in the backlash against paternity fraud laws. Family law attorney Jeffery Leving has authored legislation to make paternity fraud a criminal offense. Jacobs and Leving will debate paternity fraud laws and their philosophical underpinnings on His Side with Glenn Sacks on Sunday, November 7 at 5 PM PST/8 PM EST.  

===============

The Case Against Paternity Fraud Laws
BY PROFESSOR MELANIE B. JACOBS, JD, LLM

The family unit has dramatically changed in recent years. In an era in which individuals and couples, heterosexual and homosexual, are embracing new reproductive technologies to create families, the biological connection often does not assist in establishing legal parentage for intended parents.

Couples and individuals alike may contract with egg donors, sperm donors, and gestational surrogates to create their families. As a result, reliance on biology as the determinative means by which to establish legal parentage no longer makes sense. Functional parenthood?emphasizing the daily, routine, and even mundane aspects of everyday parenting?provides a more realistic approach to defining legal parentage, especially for nontraditional families.

 Simply because we have the means to determine biological parentage with greater certainty does not mean that it is in the best interests of children to do so.
 

Additional scientific advances, particularly improved genetic testing, are similarly changing how we define traditional families. While res judicata and estoppel principles have long existed to preserve the unitary, nuclear family, some states are moving away from these doctrines in favor of biological paternal certainty. Thus, if a man is not the biological father of a child?and was either uncertain or unaware of this biological fact?he may petition to disestablish paternity. These disestablishment petitions represent the emergence of a new family law phenomenon?the theory of paternity fraud.

Michigan is among a growing number of states seeking to enact a paternity fraud law. About 12 states currently have some form of paternity fraud law that permits a man who learns he is not the child?s biological father to vacate an order that previously established his legal parenthood. Several of these, like Michigan?s proposed statute, are open-ended, such that the man can file his motion to vacate his paternity at any time?for example, five, 10 or 15 years after the child?s birth. Still others have a stricter statute of limitations of two to three years. The statutes also vary with regards to vacating child support orders and arrearages and also ongoing visitation and parenting time. Thus, paternity fraud jurisprudence has at its core the difficulty of balancing competing best interests: those of the child and the child?s non-biological yet legal father. Whose rights are paramount? Whose should be paramount? And can we characterize this issue as one of genetic innocence?

Michigan House Bill 4120 would allow a man to have a prior judgment of paternity vacated upon showing that the man is not the child?s biological father or adoptive father and that the man did not know or had no reason to know that he is not the biological father.1 The proposed bill contains no statute of limitations for the filing of the motion, other than a requirement that the man must file the motion within six months of learning that he is not the biological father. The proposed bill does not, however, prevent a man who learns that he is not the biological father of his child 12 years after the child?s birth, for instance, from filing a motion to disestablish his paternity. Worse yet, the proposed bill and a companion bill, House Bill 4650, would permit the court to vacate all child support obligations and any arrearages, while still permitting the man to seek parenting time with the child. The proposed bill thus miserably fails to protect the best interests of children and instead places the rights of non-biological fathers well above those of the children that they have actively fathered for months and, oftentimes, years.

Paternity fraud statutes?predicated on enhanced and cheaper genetic testing?are being used to destroy established, functional families. Simply because we have the means to determine biological parentage with greater certainty does not mean that it is in the best interests of children to do so. For wrongly convicted felons, improved DNA testing has increasingly provided the means by which innocence was finally proved and freedom from incarceration secured. Regularly, newspapers regale readers with stories of prisoners who were wrongly convicted and were proven innocent through advanced scientific testing. Reliance on DNA testing is not relegated to criminal law, however. Many men who have either been adjudicated fathers or who have voluntarily acknowledged their paternal legal status are now challenging those legal determinations because genetic testing subsequently revealed their non-paternity. A grassroots movement is under way to exonerate these innocent fathers from the ?bonds of parentage.?2 Likening newly discovered evidence of non-paternity to DNA testing that exonerates a felon, the U.S. Citizens Against Paternity Fraud website includes this motto: ?If the Genes don?t fit, you must acquit.? ?3

The issue of paternity disestablishment has become a cause c?l?bre for men who have unsuccessfully petitioned to disestablish their paternity subsequent to genetic testing which disproved their biological fatherhood. Non-biological fathers equate their non-paternity with a wrongful criminal conviction. As authors Anderlik and Rothstein have recently observed, ?...those within the fathers?s rights movement...tend to view family law through the lens of criminal law?It is common to find the issue framed as one of justice or fairness, in the sense that evidence admissible to ?convict? should also be available to ?exonerate.??4 But can (should) family law be equated with criminal law? A wrongly convicted man should be exonerated: he has been the victim of the system. A man who has no biological connection to his child may also feel wrongly adjudicated and tricked by the mother of the child and/or victimized by a federal and state system that forces the mother to name her baby?s father in order to qualify for certain financial benefits. To simply disestablish paternity, however, ignores the crucial difference between the criminal and family law contexts: the presence and best interests of a child.

As our societal understanding of ?family? grows, changes and moves away from the traditional, nuclear family, an interesting disconnect has emerged. As Boston Globe columnist Ellen Goodman has observed, these scientific advances force us to ask, ?What does make a father? Diapers or DNA??5 She aptly continues, ?...family law seems to be going in two directions at once. We are giving more recognition to non-biological relationships?[a]nd more weight to DNA.?6 In recent years, scholars, judges and legislators have begun to recognize the importance of functional parenthood. For example, several states have permitted non-biological lesbian coparents to maintain visitation and custody petitions because of their intent to parent and their history of parenting. Similarly, other non-biological parents such as stepparents, grandparents, and foster parents have been able to maintain greater access to the children they have helped to raise. Thus, biology is not the sole criterion for determining parent-child relationships. Moreover, it should not be the only criterion for determining such a relationship. As one judge has noted, ?A father-child relationship encompasses more (and greater) considerations than a determination of whose genes the child carries. Sociological and psychological components should be considered. The laws governing adoptions have acknowledged that parentage comprises a totality of factors, the least significant of which is genetics.?7

 What determines a parent has been the subject of much scholarship, and many scholars are now embracing nontraditional definitions of parentage and family.  

What determines a parent has been the subject of much scholarship, and many scholars are now embracing nontraditional definitions of parentage and family. For example, both the American Law Institute (ALI) and the newest version of the Uniform Parentage Act (UPA) recognize the fact that parental status and legal parenthood may be established without regard to biological connection.8 To fairly balance the competing interests between a legal, yet non-biological father and his child, the father should have a limited time in which to challenge his legal fatherhood; specifically, I propose that a man have no recourse to challenge his paternity after two years from the date on which he begins to function as a parent and hold himself out as a parent to the child. A two-year period in which to challenge legal fatherhood comports with the two-year statute of limitations contained within the UPA to challenge paternity and/or presumptions of paternity. Furthermore, the two-year period further comports with the ALI Principles time frame for establishing a functional relationship with a child, when the relationship begins after the child?s birth. Just as the ALI Principles recognize that it often takes a period of time in which to establish a functional parental relationship, courts should not ignore the time during which a man has fathered his child. Since legal parenthood can be established based on a two-year period, it would be incongruous to disestablish paternity after an even greater length of time. Finally, by using a two-year statute of limitations in which to challenge legal paternity, the rights of a non-biological father are preserved while ensuring that a child is not deprived of a parent after a significant bond has developed between the parties.

The Michigan legislature should redraft its proposed paternity fraud statute so that it strikes a more equitable balance between the rights of a non-biological, legal father and his child. More often than not, diapers make a daddy?not DNA. The proposed Michigan paternity fraud statute should be amended to better reflect the reality of today?s families.

Portions of this article are excerpted from ?Using Functional Parenthood to Make the Case Against Paternity Fraud Laws,? a paper that Professor Jacobs presented in Eugene, Oregon, at the International Society of Family Law Conference in June 2003.

Melanie B. Jacobs is an assistant professor of law at Michigan State University-DCL College of Law. She holds a JD from Boston University and an LLM from Temple University. Before coming to MSU-DCL, Professor Jacobs was a Freedman Fellow and lecturer in law at Temple University, a clinical instructor for Harvard Law School?s Hale & Dorr Legal Services Center, and an adjunct instructor at Boston University School of Law. While in Boston, she also practiced with Witmer, Karp, Warner & Thuotte and served as counsel to the Massachusetts Department of Revenue Child Support Enforcement Division. She publishes on family law, is admitted to the Massachusetts Bar, and teaches family law; decedents, estates and trusts; and property.

1 Mich. H.B. 4120 (2003).
2 See, e.g., U.S. Citizens Against Paternity Fraud, http://www.paternityfraud.com (visited June 10, 2003). Carnell Smith, the founder of the organization and website, attempted several times to vacate his paternity judgment and support obligation in the State of Georgia. He became a lobbyist for paternity fraud reform and, after Georgia recently passed its paternity fraud bill, Mr. Smith returned to court and had his child support obligation vacated. Id.
3 Id.
4 Anderlik, Mary R. & Mark A. Rothstein, DNA-Based Identity Testing and the Future of the Family: A Research Agenda, 28 Am. J.L.M. 215, 220 (2001).
5 Ellen Goodman, ?What Makes a Father?? Baltimore Sun, May 1, 2001, at 11A.
6 Id.
7 Hulett v. Hulett, 544 N.E.2d 257, 263 (Brown, J. concurring).
8 The ALI Principles include establishment of a legal parent-child relationship without regard to genetic connection in specific circumstances. ALI Principles of the Law of Family Dissolution ?2.03 91) (2000). Moreover, the UPA also includes presumptions of legal parenthood that are not predicated on biology. For example, the UPA presumes a man?s legal fatherhood if ?for the first two years of the child?s life, he resided in the same household with the child and openly held out the child as his own.? UPA ?204 (a)(5), 9B U.L.A. 15 (Supp. 2002).
« Last Edit: September 16, 2010, 04:10:32 PM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2005, 08:30:48 AM »

?Sperm Theft? Ruling a Step Forward for
Men?s Reproductive Rights
By Jeffery M. Leving and Glenn Sacks
 


All?s fair in love, war, and paternity cases. When child support is sought, there is scarcely any deceit that courts won?t push aside under the ?best interests of the child? test.  

Courts have ruled that boys who were statutorily raped by older women must pay child support. Courts have ruled that when a woman has taken the semen from a condom a man used for sex with a different woman and has inserted it in herself, the man must still pay child support. Courts have ruled that when a woman has concealed her pregnancy (denying the man the right to be a father) and then sued for child support a decade later, the man must still pay child support. Courts have ruled that when a woman has deceived her husband into believing that her baby is his child, he must still pay child support. Few if any men are relieved of child support obligations due to the circumstances of the pregnancy, no matter how bizarre or unjust.

Recently, however, the Illinois Appellate Court took a step towards fairness by ruling that an Illinois man can sue his former lover for emotional distress over her pregnancy. Dr. Richard O. Phillips alleges that six years ago Dr. Sharon Irons secretly kept his semen after the two had oral sex, and then impregnated herself with it. Phillips claims he didn?t learn of the child?s existence until two years later, when Irons went to court to get child support. Irons now receives $800 a month in tax-free child support from Phillips.

In yesterday?s ruling the court stated that, if Phillips? story is true, Irons ?deceitfully engaged in sexual acts, which no reasonable person would expect could result in pregnancy." The court reinstated Phillips? lawsuit against Irons, which had been thrown out by the Cook County Circuit Court in 2003.

Unfortunately, the court couldn?t bring itself to properly uphold Phillips? reproductive rights, instead ruling that he must continue to pay child support because ?when plaintiff 'delivered' his sperm, it was a gift?There was no agreement that the original deposit would be returned upon request.? Of course, in Phillips? version of events, there was also no agreement that Irons would use his sperm to make a baby.

Research shows that men are often deceived into paternity. A recent poll of 5,000 women conducted for That?s Life! magazine in the United Kingdom found that 42% of women say they would lie about contraception in order to get pregnant, regardless of the wishes of their partners. According to research conducted by Joyce Abma of the National Center for Health Statistics and Linda Piccinino of Cornell University, over a million American births each year are the result of pregnancies which men did not intend. Jo Checkley, the editor of That?s Life!, notes:

?To deliberately get pregnant when your partner doesn?t want a baby is playing Russian roulette with other people?s lives."

Phillips says he feels as if he?s ?being trapped in a nightmare,? and has had headaches and trouble sleeping and eating.

If Phillips? story is true, Irons has committed one of the most damaging acts a woman can do: knowingly create a child with an unwilling father. The Appellate Court acted correctly in allowing Phillips to take legal action against the person he claims deceived him in such an important, intimate, and emotional matter.


This column was first published in the Houston Chronicle (3/6/05).

Jeffery M. Leving is one of America's most prominent family law attorneys. He is the author of the book Fathers' Rights: Hard-hitting and Fair Advice for Every Father Involved in a Custody Dispute. His website is www.dadsrights.com.

Glenn Sacks is a men's and fathers' issues columnist and a nationally-syndicated radio talk show host. His columns have appeared in dozens of America's largest newspapers.

Glenn can be reached via his website at www.GlennSacks.com or via email at Glenn@GlennSacks.com.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2005, 10:48:24 AM »

Freeze! I just had my
nails done!



Posted: March 16, 2005
6:32 p.m. Eastern

By Ann Coulter

Atlanta court officials dispensed with any spending issues the next time Nichols entered the courtroom when he was escorted by 17 guards and two police helicopters. He looked like P. Diddy showing up for a casual dinner party.

I think I have an idea that would save money and lives: Have large men escort violent criminals. Admittedly, this approach would risk another wave of nausea and vomiting by female professors at Harvard. But there are also advantages to not pretending women are as strong as men, such as fewer dead people. Even a female math professor at Harvard should be able to run the numbers on this one.

Of course, it's suspiciously difficult to find any hard data about the performance of female cops. Not as hard as finding the study showing New Jersey state troopers aren't racist, but still pretty hard to find.
Mostly what you find on Lexis-Nexis are news stories quoting police chiefs who have been browbeaten into submission, all uttering the identical mantra after every public-safety disaster involving a girl cop. It seems that female officers compensate for a lack of strength with "other" abilities, such as cooperation, empathy and intuition.

There are lots of passing references to "studies" of uncertain provenance, but which always sound uncannily like a press release from the Feminist Majority Foundation. (Or maybe it was The Pew Research Center for the People and the Press, which recently released a study claiming that despite Memogate, "Fahrenheit 9/11," the Richard Clarke show and the jihad against the Swift Boat Veterans, the press is being soft on Bush.)

The anonymous "studies" about female officers invariably demonstrate that women make excellent cops - even better cops than men! One such study cited an episode of "She's the Sheriff," starring Suzanne Somers.
A 1993 news article in the Los Angeles Times, for example, referred to a "study" - cited by an ACLU attorney - allegedly proving that "female officers are more effective at making arrests without employing force because they are better at de-escalating confrontations with suspects." No, you can't see the study or have the name of the organization that performed it, and why would you ask?

There are roughly 118 million men in this country who would take exception to that notion. I wonder if women officers "de-escalate" by mentioning how much more money their last suspect made.
These aren't unascertainable facts, like Pinch Sulzberger's SAT scores. The U.S. Department of Justice regularly performs comprehensive surveys of state and local law enforcement agencies, collected in volumes called "Law Enforcement Management and Administrative Statistics."

The inestimable economist John Lott has looked at the actual data. (And I'll give you the citation! John R. Lott Jr., "Does a Helping Hand Put Others at Risk? Affirmative Action, Police Departments and Crime," Economic Inquiry, April 1, 2000.)

It turns out that, far from "de-escalating force" through their superior listening skills, female law enforcement officers vastly are more likely to shoot civilians than their male counterparts. (Especially when perps won't reveal where they bought a particularly darling pair of shoes.)
Unable to use intermediate force, like a bop on the nose, female officers quickly go to fatal force. According to Lott's analysis, each 1 percent increase in the number of white female officers in a police force increases the number of shootings of civilians by 2.7 percent.
Adding males to a police force decreases the number of civilians accidentally shot by police. Adding black males decreases civilian shootings by police even more. By contrast, adding white female officers increases accidental shootings. (And for my Handgun Control Inc. readers: Private citizens are much less likely to accidentally shoot someone than are the police, presumably because they do not have to approach the suspect and make an arrest.)

In addition to accidentally shooting people, female law enforcement officers are also more likely to be assaulted than male officers - as the whole country saw in Atlanta last week. Lott says: "Increasing the number of female officers by 1 percentage point appears to increase the number of assaults on police by 15 percent to 19 percent."
In addition to the obvious explanations for why female cops are more likely to be assaulted and to accidentally shoot people - such as that our society encourages girls to play with dolls - there is also the fact that women are smaller and weaker than men.

In a study of public-safety officers - not even the general population - female officers were found to have 32 percent to 56 percent less upper body strength and 18 percent to 45 percent less lower body strength than male officers - although their outfits were 43 percent more coordinated. (Here's the cite! Frank J. Landy, "Alternatives to Chronological Age in Determining Standards of Suitability for Public Safety Jobs," Technical Report, Vol. 1, Jan. 31, 1992.)

Another study I've devised involves asking a woman to open a jar of pickles.

There is also the telling fact that feminists demand that strength tests be watered down so that women can pass them. Feminists simultaneously demand that no one suggest women are not as strong as men and then turn around and demand that all the strength tests be changed. It's one thing to waste everyone's time by allowing women to try out for police and fire departments under the same tests given to men. It's quite another to demand that the tests be brawned-down so no one ever has to tell female Harvard professors that women aren't as strong as men.
Acknowledging reality wouldn't be all bad for women. For one thing, they won't have to confront violent felons on methamphetamine. So that's good. Also, while a sane world would not employ 5-foot-tall grandmothers as law enforcement officers, a sane world would also not give full body-cavity searches to 5-foot-tall grandmothers at airports.
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buzwardo
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« Reply #3 on: March 19, 2005, 10:58:04 AM »

I'm not a fan of the American Spectator; over the years it's proven to be too rabid and too fond of tin foil hats for my tastes. With that said, found some info here I haven't seen published anywhere else.

Collocating Coffins

By George Neumayr

Published 3/18/2005 12:08:02 AM

Political correctness in the U.S. military did not end with the Clinton administration. President Bush's military is also pushing an ideology of "equality" at the expense of military effectiveness. For the sake of an absurd feminist experiment, the Bush military is willing to sap its strength, expose women to torture and death and mar the lives of children and families. The price tag of this experiment is on the body bags carrying mothers, wives, and daughters who have died in Iraq, and on the growing list of orphans produced by the war. Read the casualty reports: Lori Ann Piestewa, 23, mother of two preschoolers; Melissa J. Hobart, 22, mother of a 3 year-old; Jessica L. Cawvey, 21, single mother of a 6-year-old; Sgt. Pamela Osbourne, 38, mother of three children, ages 9-19, Katrina L. Bell-Johnson, 32, mother of a 1-year-old.

"Tens of thousands of children are struggling to cope while Mom goes to war," reports the Sacramento Bee. And if Mom does come back, she may return as an amputee. Or shell-shocked, reports the Bee: "Returning female vets are bringing back wounded minds, beset by post-traumatic stress disorder, an illness that affects women at twice the rate of men. Health care experts fear an avalanche of cases among female vets will smother the military health care system."

Elaine Donnelly of the Center for Military Readiness reports that the Bush military, far from reconsidering the feminization of the military under Bill Clinton, is advancing it. The Bush Pentagon has now done what Clinton didn't even do by implementing a de facto women-in-combat policy of placing women in front-line support groups alongside combat units.

"Under current federal law and military regulations, women are barred from ground combat groups," reports the Bee. (And Bush has said "no women in combat.") "There are indications, however, that the Pentagon is less steadfast than its commander-in-chief about maintaining the status quo. In February, the Army's 3rd Infantry Division acknowledged it has assigned women to units in Iraq that directly support combat troops by providing food, equipment maintenance and other services. The process, called 'collocation' -- literally to place side by side-- is at odds with an 11-year-old Army policy that bans women from serving in front-line support groups."

Elaine Donnelly tells TAS that a Pentagon attitude of "This is how women grow their careers" is driving the new collocation policy. The Pentagon has bizarrely said that these women will only serve alongside combat units when they are not in combat but should they find themselves in combat the military will "evacuate" the female troops. If that doesn't show the military's willingness to lose battles for the sake of a gender-integration experiment, what does?

What a lunatic scenario: the military is placing women with combat units on the assumption that they won't see combat but should they see combat it will dissipate battle resources to "evacuate" soldiers who shouldn't have been there in the first place all so that it can maintain a modified "collocation" policy that conforms to a careerist feminist ideology in the Pentagon.

Soldiers have told Donnelly that the new collocation rule is insane. An infantry officer described what evacuating the 24 women in these units will mean: "[Removing] 24 fully loaded soldiers [would require] two Blackhawk helicopters, six Huey helicopters, one Chinook helicopter, two 5-ton (or LMTV) trucks, 12 up-armored HMMWV's (with a full crew of three) and four to six unarmored HMMWV's to move. These are assets that cannot be spared simply to move females to the rear. In combat, helicopters are preferable but a very scarce asset. Imagine an entire brigade trying to chopper out these female contingents before combat -- it would require almost half of a division's worth of aviation assets to move them all at once."

A female officer told Donnelly: "The key question...remove females when combat begins. That is ridiculous. When does the combat begin? According to the President the war ended and we are not in a 'war zone' but in a 'Theater of Operations' now. I think it is a play on words and commanders in the field will not follow those guidelines. This is political language that we commanders are not aware of. Once soldiers are in the units they will all be placed wherever they are needed regardless of their gender."

In other words, the new collocation policy is a formula for at once losing battles and getting women killed. It is not even accurate to say that death is an equal opportunity provider on the battlefield as women will have less chance of surviving than the men.

But it is not surprising that the military is blurring the distinction between combat and noncombat field positions for women. The door blocking women in combat has been ajar since it became clear that "noncombat" jobs would mean de facto combat jobs (as evident in the fact that "noncombat" women carry weaponry and are dying in combat situations). The military's new collocation policy signifies that it is readying to kick the door wide open. In the meantime, however, female soldiers will learn the hard way what the military means by career benefits.

"You're not generally told as a female that you will be in that type of situation where you are in harm's way directly," National Guard Sergeant Brenda Monroe said to the Sacramento Bee. "I never dreamed that I would wake up every night and have to run to a bunker and take cover because we were being attacked or under direct fire."

The feminist dream that began under Clinton is producing a nightmare under Bush. How many women and mothers will have to die before a Bush military that should know better stops it?

George Neumayr is executive editor of The American Spectator.

http://www.spectator.org/dsp_article.asp?art_id=7911
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buzwardo
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« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2005, 05:07:13 PM »

May 09, 2005, 9:21 a.m.
Recruitment Killer
Army semantics and sophistry over women in combat are dangerous.

By Elaine Donnelly

If the moms and dads of America find out what the Army leaders are planning for their sons and daughters considering military service, recruiters are going to have a much tougher job than they do now.

General Peter Schoomaker, speaking at an American Enterprise Institute symposium on April 11, raised eyebrows when he dismissed the women-in-combat controversy as not a ?gender issue.? The Army chief of staff was responding to a questioner who rightly praised the courage of female soldiers, but expressed concern about the unprecedented number of women being maimed or killed in Iraq (33, to date) and Afghanistan (5).

General Schoomaker?s rambling answer confirmed a supposedly ?unofficial? plan for women in combat, being implemented in the 3rd Infantry Division despite frequent denials that anything has changed. The blueprint appears to be a ?Women in the Army Point Paper? prepared by the office of Army Secretary Francis Harvey on January 24, which includes a subtle but significant change in the wording of Defense Department regulations.

Current directives exempt female soldiers from direct ground-combat units such as the infantry and armor, and from smaller support companies that ?collocate? (operate 100 percent of the time) with land-combat troops. The new, unauthorized wording narrows the ?collocation rule? to apply only when a combat unit is actually ?conducting an assigned direct ground combat mission? (Emphasis added).

General Schoomaker recited Defense Department regulations, but claimed (without justification) that the Army has separate rules that exempt female soldiers from collocation with land-combat battalions ?at the time that those units are undergoing those operations? (Emphasis added). By adding the words ?conducting? or ?undergoing? (a direct ground-combat mission) to the collocation rule, the Army has created a new regulation that has not been authorized by the Secretary of Defense, or reported to Congress in advance, as required by law.

Secretary Harvey?s plan presumes to alter the ?gender codes? of 24 of 225 positions ? mostly mechanics ? in order to accommodate women in a typical forward-support company (FSC). Unlike transportation units that come and go intermittently, these units are designed to operate in constant proximity with combined infantry/armor battalions.

Army officials say they don?t have to notify Congress of any rule change because women in those formerly all-male positions are ?not collocating.? For this to be true, officials would have to compromise organizational efficiency, or remove female soldiers from embedded forward support companies when their infantry/armor battalions begin ?conducting? land combat. Never mind that spare helicopters and armored vehicles for evacuation purposes would be as rare as ?beam me up Scotty? transporter machines.

The insurgent battlefield in Iraq has not reduced enormous demands on infantry, special-operations forces and Marine units that engage in deliberate offensive action against the enemy. In the fierce battle for Fallujah, great physical strength and psychological bonds essential for unit cohesion made it possible for soldiers and Marines to accomplish combat missions and survive.

The politically correct view is that training alone can prepare female soldiers for land combat alongside such men. According to General Schoomaker, ?we have a moral responsibility to prepare those women that are serving in our armed forces?by providing them with the warrior skills and tasks that are required?.? Improved training on how to evade or survive ambushes makes sense, but gender-normed ?warrior ethos? training ? an oxymoronic concept ? cannot prove feminist illusions of interchangeable men and women in or near land combat.

When the British military replaced ?gender fair? training standards ?appropriate to women?s physique? with an egalitarian ?gender free? regimen, injuries more than doubled. At the Naval Academy, a 1998 study documented knee-ligament injuries among women at rates nine times greater than men.

Women are smart and courageous, but Army would never send female football players to beat Navy on the gridiron. The same officials seem to believe that a few weeks of ?warrior? training is sufficient to transform black-bereted female ?S?oldiers into the functional equivalents of men.

Physical disparities are not the only issue. Noting that many parents teach their sons to be protectors of women, the questioner respectfully asked General Schoomaker whether such a moral upbringing can be reconciled with the Army?s current policy of sending women into hostile circumstances to kill or be killed. Admitting that he hadn?t thought about the questioner?s moral reservations, Schoomaker seemed to equate them with the attitudes of conscientious objectors, or with people who would say that ?men and women can?t even share the same tornado shelter in Oklahoma" ? whatever that means.

The response did not inspire confidence, especially when the Army is implementing an unauthorized ?stealth? plan to gender integrate combat-collocated support companies. Secretary Harvey?s plan even eliminates several land combat units from the list required to be all male.

If the Army succeeds in circumventing law and policy, consequences will be felt in seven major areas, starting with doubts about Army leadership and legal consequences with regard to Selective Service. Military complications could needlessly cost lives and social/cultural dynamics will detract from discipline, leading to readiness/deployability problems and precedent that will eventually apply to special-operations forces and eventually the Marine Corps.

There is no military justification for an incremental, ?little bit pregnant? plan for gender-integration that undermines the advantages of modularity in the Army?s new, smaller ?unit of action? combat brigades. There is no evidence of a shortage of male soldiers, but if there is a need for more men, Army officials should end counterproductive recruiting quotas for women.

Recruiting is difficult, but forcing young women and mothers in or near land-combat units would degrade respect for women, and make it tougher to enlist male recruits that the Army needs now more than ever. If Army leaders are serious about its new recruiting campaign aimed at parents, they need to stop the sophistry and semantics, and take this issue seriously.

The law requires that the Secretary of Defense provide formal advance notice to Congress of policy changes regarding female soldiers, accompanied by an analysis of proposed revisions on women?s exemption from Selective Service obligations. This is a national security matter, not a less important ?women?s issue.? Members of Congress, Defense Secretary Rumsfeld, and President George W. Bush should intervene to enforce the law. The future of the volunteer force depended on principled leadership now.

? Elaine Donnelly is president of the Center for Military Readiness, an independent public-policy organization that specializes in military personnel issues. A shorter version of this appeared in the Washington Times.

http://nationalreview.com/comment/donnelly200505090921.asp
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #5 on: May 26, 2005, 12:40:24 AM »

No Women In Combat Passes House
Associated Press
May 19, 2005

WASHINGTON - Women in the military would be barred from serving in direct ground combat roles, under a House bill that sets Defense Department policy and spending plans for the upcoming budget year.

The House Armed Services Committee approved the overall measure early Thursday on a 61-1 vote. The same committee in the Senate passed a different version last week. The House and Senate are to vote on their respective bills next week.

President Bush requested $442 billion for defense for the budget year that begins Oct. 1, excluding money to pay for wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The House bill, like the Senate's version, envisions creating a $50 billion fund for the conflicts for next year - but provides no money for it.

The measure also calls for increasing the military by 10,000 Army soldiers and 1,000 Marines, boosting pay grades for uniformed personnel by 3.1 percent and permanently providing all Reserve and Guard members access to military health care services.
 
In a nearly 15-hourlong committee hearing, the most contentious issue was the role of women in combat.

The language would put into law a Pentagon policy from 1994 that prohibits female troops in all four service branches from serving in units below brigade level whose primary mission is direct ground combat.

"Many Americans feel that women in combat or combat support positions is not a bridge we want to cross at this point," said Rep. John McHugh, R-N.Y., who sponsored the amendment.

It also allows the Pentagon to further exclude women from units in other instances, while requiring defense officials to notify Congress when opening up positions to women. The amendment replaced narrower language in the bill that applied only to the Army and banned women from some combat support positions.

The Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps currently operate under a 10-year-old policy that prohibits women from "direct combat on the ground" but allows the services discretion to open some jobs to women in combat as needed.

"We're not taking away a single prerogative that the services now have," McHugh said.

Democrats opposed the amendment, saying it would tie the hands of commanders who need flexibility during wartime. They accused Republicans of rushing through legislation without knowing the consequences or getting input from the military.

"We are changing the dynamic of what has been the policy of this country for the last 10 years," said Rep. Vic Snyder, D-Ark.

Added Rep. Ike Skelton of Missouri, the committee's leading Democrat: "There seems to be a solution in search of a problem."

 
The issue arose last week, when Republicans, at the behest of Committee Chairman Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., added a provision that would have banned women from being assigned to "forward support companies."

Those units provide infantry, armor and artillery units with equipment, ammunition, maintenance and other supplies in combat zones. The Army started allowing women to staff such support posts last year and says it is complying with the 1994 policy.

Some Republicans aren't so sure. "The Army is confused. They're all over the place on this one," Hunter said.

Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said Wednesday the Army is working with Congress and battlefield commanders "to find an appropriate way that's consistent with our country's view on that subject."

He said the Army's attempt to reorganize and an asymmetrical front line on the battlefield muddies the issue.

Rep. Cynthia McKinney, D-Ga., cast the lone dissenting vote on the overall bill.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #6 on: May 26, 2005, 11:19:13 AM »

From today's LEFT Angeles Times:
----------------------------------------------------

Lawmakers Retreat on Women in Combat
By John Hendren, Times Staff Writer


WASHINGTON ? In a major reversal, congressional Republicans on Wednesday abandoned an effort to limit the role of women in combat and instead instructed the Pentagon to keep Congress informed about the status of women deployed in war zones.

The compromise, part of a $490.7-billion defense spending bill for 2006, marked a retreat from a campaign by Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-El Cajon), chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, and other Republicans to restrict the role of women in the military.
 
That plan raised hackles across Washington, drawing the opposition of Army Secretary Francis Harvey, the American Civil Liberties Union and lawmakers of both parties.

Commanders feared that any new restrictions on women in combat would make it more difficult to fill the ranks at a time when wars on two fronts have dampened enthusiasm among young Americans to enlist and have left the Army missing its recruiting targets.

Democrats on Capitol Hill derided it as a sexist effort to carve into law a special ? and reduced ? status for women in uniform.

"At a time when our armed forces are overstretched, we shouldn't be turning away people who want to serve their country," said Rep. Ellen O. Tauscher (D-Walnut Creek).

Invoking the names of two female soldiers captured by Iraqi insurgents and later freed, she added, "This step is a slap in the face to the Jessica Lynches and Shoshana Johnsons of our military, who served our nation ably and nobly."

The measure on women in combat was stripped from the defense bill that authorized $441.6 billion in regular defense spending plus $49.1 billion in emergency budget authority to support costs related to the fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The overall bill, approved on a 390-39 vote, would provide a 3.1% pay raise to military personnel and authorize 10,000 more Army soldiers and 1,000 more Marines. The bill also includes $3.4 billion for the Army's next generation of combat vehicles and weapons systems, and $7.9 billion for ballistic missile defense. Those numbers could change when the Senate takes up its version of the defense bill.

As of Wednesday, 35 women were among the 1,649 American troops who had been killed in Iraq, and six female troops had been killed in Afghanistan.

Another 279 women in Iraq and three in Afghanistan had been injured. Women comprise 22,020, or nearly 10%, of the 232,974 U.S. troops in Iraq, Afghanistan and surrounding regions.

In his proposal on women in combat, Hunter sought to codify a 1994 Pentagon policy that barred women from serving in most direct combat roles in armor, artillery, infantry and Special Forces units. It allowed them to serve in the military police and, since last year, in combat support jobs.

The policy, based on Cold War-era concepts of warfare, was rendered partly moot by insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan who do not distinguish between troops on front lines and those on theoretically safer missions elsewhere, such as escorting cargo convoys.

Women now serve as gunners atop Humvees on perilous Iraqi streets. Hunter was particularly concerned that women were allowed to serve in armored Stryker vehicles that are used in combat situations.

In proposing stricter laws, Hunter said he feared that the Pentagon was violating the 1994 rules and placing women at risk. Hunter agreed to the compromise Wednesday after meeting Tuesday with Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, although Pentagon officials stopped short of saying that Rumsfeld opposed Hunter's earlier legislative wording.

The final measure would require the Pentagon to give Congress 60 days' notice ? instead of the previous 30 days ? before changing the role of female troops. The compromise was approved by a vote of 428 to 1.

"It has always been our intent to inject Congress into any policy changes that the Department of Defense may propose regarding the assignment of women to units such as infantry, armor and artillery," Hunter said. "This provision does that."

Rumsfeld, apparently satisfied, wrote Hunter on Wednesday, saying, "I do not anticipate any shift in present department policies, nor in the quality and scope of opportunities available to military women."

The battle to oppose the measure was led by Rep. Heather Wilson (R-N.M.), the only female veteran in Congress.

"In the history of this country, there has never been a law limiting the assignment of women in the Army, and we will not do so now," Wilson said.
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jayceblk
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« Reply #7 on: May 27, 2005, 11:06:33 AM »

I always said if you can do the job who cares what your gender is. But I mean that in the sense that you must do the job, not a dummied down version of it.
Here in New York there was an issue with women firefighters a few years back. If i remember correctly they were given the physical part of the test, with an exception, instead of carrying a 200lb sack up and down a ladder, they only had to carry a 150lb sack. A stop was quickly put to that and all these lawyers and activists were clamoring over it and for once my take on it came out on top. It was decided that it didnt make sense that if one of the women fire fighters found someone weighing 175lbs on the floor of a building that they should leave him for the next person. So that was that. And it was right and just and made sense.
So yeah, if your capable of passing whatever physical and mental stuff you have to, to be in combat, then go. If you dont pass the standard test dont blame it on being a woman. Especially in jobs invoving life or death matters.
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« Reply #8 on: June 17, 2005, 08:22:41 AM »

Soldier Earns Silver Star for Her Role in Defeating Ambush
By Ann Scott Tyson
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, June 17, 2005; A21


Sgt. Leigh Ann Hester fought her way through an enemy ambush south of Baghdad, killing three insurgents with her M-4 rifle to save fellow soldiers' lives -- and yesterday became the first woman since World War II to win the Silver Star medal for valor in combat.

The 23-year-old retail store manager from Bowling Green, Ky., won the award for skillfully leading her team of military police soldiers in a counterattack after about 50 insurgents ambushed a supply convoy they were guarding near Salman Pak on March 20.

The medal, rare for any soldier, underscores the growing role in combat of U.S. female troops in Iraq's guerrilla war, where tens of thousands of American women have served, 36 have been killed and 285 wounded, according to Pentagon figures.

After insurgents hit the convoy with a barrage of fire from machine guns, AK-47 assault rifles and rocket-propelled grenades, Hester "maneuvered her team through the kill zone into a flanking position where she assaulted a trench line with grenades and M203 rounds," according to the Army citation accompanying the Silver Star.

"She then cleared two trenches with her squad leader where she engaged and eliminated three AIF [anti-Iraqi forces] with her M4 rifle. Her actions saved the lives of numerous convoy members," the citation stated.

Hester, a varsity softball and basketball player in high school, joined the Army in 2001 and was assigned to the Kentucky National Guard's 617th Military Police Company, based in Richmond, Ky.

A female driver with the unit, Spec. Ashley J. Pullen of Danville, Ky., also won the Bronze Star for her bravery. Pullen laid down fire to suppress insurgents and then "exposed herself to heavy AIF fires in order to provide medical assistance to her critically injured comrades," saving several lives, her citation said.

Six other soldiers with Hester's unit won awards for defeating the ambush, leaving 27 insurgents dead, six wounded and one captured. They include Hester's squad leader, Staff. Sgt. Timothy F. Nein, who also won the Silver Star.
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buzwardo
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« Reply #9 on: July 01, 2005, 11:19:52 AM »

Might be the wrong thread for this, but this instance of the nanny state running amok made my jaw drop. Guess if one of my kids is about to step into traffic I'd best let them, at least next time I'm in Chicago.


He grabbed girl's arm -- now he's a sex offender


July 1, 2005

BY STEVE PATTERSON Staff Reporter



Fitzroy Barnaby said he had to swerve to avoid hitting the 14-year-old Des Plaines girl who walked in front of his car.

She said he yelled, "Come here, little girl," before getting out of his car and grabbing her by the arm.

He said he simply lectured her.

She said she broke free and ran, fearful of what he'd do next.

In a Thursday ruling, the Appellate Court of Illinois said the 28-year-old Evanston man must register as a sex offender.

While acknowledging it might be "unfair for [Barnaby] to suffer the stigmatization of being labeled a sex offender when his crime was not sexually motivated," the court said his actions are the type that are "often a precursor" to a child being abducted or molested.

Though Barnaby was acquitted of attempted kidnapping and child abduction charges stemming from the November 2002 incident, he was convicted of unlawful restraint of a minor -- which is a sex offense.

'Most stupid ruling'



Now, he will have to tell local police where he lives and won't be able to live near a park or school.

"This is the most stupid ruling the appellate court has rendered in years," said Barnaby's Chicago attorney, Frederick Cohn. "If you see a 15-year-old beating up your 8-year-old and you grab that kid's hand and are found guilty of unlawful restraint, do you now have to register as a sex offender?"

But Cook County state's attorney spokesman Tom Stanton said Barnaby should have to register "because of the proclivity of offenders who restrain children to also commit sex acts or other crimes against them."

In the criminal case against him, Cook County Judge Patrick Morse said that "it's more likely than not" Barnaby planned only "to chastise the girl" when he grabbed her, but "I can't read his mind."

"I don't really see the purpose of registration in this case. I really don't," Morse said. "But I feel that I am constrained by the statute."

Recognizing the stigma that comes with being labeled as a sex offender, the appellate court said "it is [Barnaby's] actions which have caused him to be stigmatized, not the courts."
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milt
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« Reply #10 on: July 01, 2005, 12:34:07 PM »

Quote from: buzwardo
Might be the wrong thread for this, but this instance of the nanny state running amok made my jaw drop.


Something doesn't smell right.  What kind of guy gets out of his car and grabs a 14-year-old girl to "lecture" her?  I have to swerve to avoid people and objects all the time, but it's never occurred to me to pull over and physically restrain someone to "chastise" them.

Why are you willing to cut this guy so much slack?  What do you think your reaction would be if someone swerved to avoid you, then got out of his car and grabbed you or your wife by the arm to deliver a lecture about watching where you're going?

-milt
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buzwardo
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« Reply #11 on: July 01, 2005, 01:02:39 PM »

Milt ask:

"Why are you willing to cut this guy so much slack? What do you think your reaction would be if someone swerved to avoid you, then got out of his car and grabbed you or your wife by the arm to deliver a lecture about watching where you're going?"

Dude, why are you willing to slap a life-long sex offender label on someone who merely grabbed an arm, particularly in light of the fact that the judge in the case said the law prevented him from exercising good sense and restraint?

If there is any sexual component here I say rip the fellows 'nads off and grate them on his teeth. But if this is merely some guy lecturing an erstwhile pedestrian that is now labeled for life due to an inflexible justice system then this is about as odious an exercise in government power as I've heard of late.

Cook County Illinois is well known as an iniquitous den where Democratic Party hacks are appointed to judgeships and other municipal jobs despite any spinelessness and incompetence they display. Unless you are aware of some fact that does not appear in this piece I don't see how you can argue for this Scarlet Letter punishment that clearly doesn't fit the crime as described.

Chicago grapplers beware: grab an arm and be labeled for life.
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milt
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« Reply #12 on: July 01, 2005, 01:18:52 PM »

Quote from: buzwardo
Dude, why are you willing to slap a life-long sex offender label on someone who merely grabbed an arm, particularly in light of the fact that the judge in the case said the law prevented him from exercising good sense and restraint?


I agree that the sex offender label probably isn't warranted, but something seems wrong with a guy that would get out of his car and grab someone like that.  I bet he wouldn't have done that to just anyone, but felt like he had the right to do it to a relatively powerless teenage girl.

Quote
If there is any sexual component here I say rip the fellows 'nads off and grate them on his teeth. But if this is merely some guy lecturing an erstwhile pedestrian


Again, I doubt you'd tolerate a stranger restraining you by the arm and lecturing you about walking properly for longer than a couple of seconds before lowering the boom, as it were.

Quote
that is now labeled for life due to an inflexible justice system then this is about as odious an exercise in government power as I've heard of late.


Really?  You think this is worse than the recent Supreme Court decision that now allows the government to seize your property
and give it to wealthy developers if they can generate more tax revenue from it than you can?

-milt
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buzwardo
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« Reply #13 on: July 01, 2005, 02:04:57 PM »

Milt writes:

?I agree that the sex offender label probably isn't warranted, but something seems wrong with a guy that would get out of his car and grab someone like that. I bet he wouldn't have done that to just anyone, but felt like he had the right to do it to a relatively powerless teenage girl.?

I ?spose that?s one way of seeing it. I?m a fire warden in the building I work in, though, and have had to physically restrain folks seeking to reenter a building with an alarm ringing; several years ago I was in charge of a group of international high school student in town for the World Math Olympiad and fished one out of the Potomac, kept others from stepping in front of busses, etc; I go on sundry fieldtrips with my various kid?s classes where I?m called upon to intervene in assorted situations. I ?spose it could be said I?ve done all the above ?cause I?m a powerful guy who felt like he had the right to do so, though I wouldn?t modify my actions despite this pejorative frame.

?Again, I doubt you'd tolerate a stranger restraining you by the arm and lecturing you about walking properly for longer than a couple of seconds before lowering the boom, as it were.?

Most likely, though context would come into play. If I stepped into traffic, realized I?d done something foolish, communicated that I was at fault, only to have someone try to grab me I?d do what I could to keep harm from coming my way. If I?d done all the above, then flipped off the driver, called him a mo fo so and so, etc, then I wouldn?t be particularly surprised if things escalated.

?Really? You think this is worse than the recent Supreme Court decision that now allows the government to seize your property and give it to wealthy developers if they can generate more tax revenue from it than you can??

Uhm, if I have to choose between selling the house in Connecticut or being unfairly labeled a sex offender for life, I?d sell the freaking house.

Bottom line is I wouldn't be surprised if the gent sporting this scarlet label could have made a better choice, though, from what I read I don?t think his choice warrants the punishment. If someone is being punished for murder I expect that somewhere there?s a corpse, if someone is incarcerated as an arsonist I expect there was a fire he lit, and if someone is punished as a sex offender I expect there to be a sex crime committed.
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buzwardo
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« Reply #14 on: July 30, 2005, 08:10:23 PM »

The News and Observer  |  July 30, 2005

JACKSONVILLE, N.C. - Inside an Afghan village, her unit was conducting random searches for Taliban fighters and weapons caches - then they heard what sounded like a cell phone.
That didn't sound right to Marine Sgt. Christine Griego.

"It's a poor country, and, if someone has a cell phone, it means they're doing something they probably shouldn't be," said Griego, an aviations mechanic with Marine Aircraft Group 26, 2nd Marine Air Wing.

That was the first deployment for Griego, 22, who's now stationed at New River Air Station. The Afghan people had become accustomed to Army and Marine troops conducting searches, she said, so some women would try to hide things under their robes and veils.

"Because of the culture and customs of the country, males are not allowed to talk to or look at the women," she said. "It's not uncommon for female Marines and corpsmen to search the women."

Because of that, Marines with 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment requested the help of a female Marine.

Griego volunteered.

The thought of women serving in combat - on the front lines, no less - is unsettling to some. Earlier this year, congressional representatives sought to repeal some of the jobs made available to women only within the last few years. The debate flared again following an attack in Iraq late last month on a convoy of female troops. A 21-year-old Camp Lejeune Marine, Lance Cpl. Holly A. Charette, was killed.

It's a distasteful debate to many of the female Marines serving today.

Women, they say, are trained just as thoroughly as men are. Women, they say, understand the risks and knew them when they decided to sign up.

Is training enough?

"I went on a convoy ... and was walking around with the squadron, carrying my M-16," Griego said. "I did exactly the same things they did. When we encountered females, I searched them to make sure they didn't have anything and kept them moving."

At times, Griego said, she was scared. But she was confident she had the training needed to do the job.

On this particular search, there were two women who looked suspicious to Griego. Searchers cannot hold a weapon while they work because it might go off by accident - or worse, the enemy might get a hold of it.

"One woman had an infant (in one arm) and a bundle of something in another," Griego said. "She had her arms under her burka which was unusual."

Reciting phrases from the Poshtun language, Griego asked the woman to raise her arms.

The woman didn't move.

"So I lifted her arms and saw the muzzle of an AK-47 begin to slip out," she said. "I slapped the gun down."

All the while, the Marine next to her kept his gun aimed at the Afghan woman. But when Griego slapped the gun down, the woman tried to run, she said.

Griego used her martial arts training to tackle her. The team found not only the gun, but several AK-47 magazines.

"All I wanted to do was get the woman on the ground and cuffed," Griego said.

"Every man who I work with has received the same training. "We all have the same capabilities because of the training."

But some would say training is not enough.

In May, House Armed Services Chairman Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., and House Personnel Subcommittee Chairman John McHugh, R-N.Y., pushed a provision that would have barred all female troops in forward deployed support units from moving to the front lines during combat. Language in the 2006 defense authorization bill would prohibit assigning women to units below the brigade level whose primary mission is to engage in direct ground combat.

McHugh's amendment would have left the door open for other restrictions, particularly if the mission involves long-range reconnaissance or Special Operations Forces. But the issue quickly generated partisan turmoil. Army leaders and two associations representing retired Army and National Guard members fought against its passage. The proposed legislation was shot down.

Had it passed, the amendment would have closed nearly 22,000 positions now available to female service members in heavy and infantry brigade combat, according to an article published on GovExec.com.

Army officials argued that the modern battlefield isn't clearly defined, and locking out female troops, they said, would have caused confusion among the ranks.

Some women who serve every day alongside their male counterparts in the Marine Corps say they want to be regarded as Marines first, women second.

Capt. Jennifer Schrantz, a CH-46 helicopter pilot, joined the Marines during her last year of college. She was 21.

"My dad is pretty traditional and believes women have a certain place, so he wasn't real happy about my decision," Schrantz said. "The Marine Corps offered me a guaranteed flight contract, and I took it."

Schrantz said she went through the same rigorous training as the other pilots. In her class, the men outnumbered the women 20 to 1.

Corpswide, there are nearly 9,700 female Marines enlisted today compared to almost 150,000 males. Male officers outnumber the females roughly 18,000 to 1,100, said a spokeswoman at New River Air Station.

Schrantz, 27, deployed to Afghanistan at the same time Griego did. They're in the same squadron.

While in Afghanistan, Schrantz conducted helicopter medevacs. She would fly from Kandahar Air Base, where she was based, to Tarin Kowt to pick up anyone who had been injured. It could be something as small as a bee sting. It could be life or death, she said.

"It gives you a really good feeling to know that you're helping save someone's life," she said. "I could never have had that feeling anywhere else, and I'm glad I had the opportunity."

Women were not allowed to fly in the military until 1991, when the restrictions against women flying combat aircraft were repealed.

During pilot training, Schrantz said, she saw many people - men and women who simply broke down. They couldn't cut it.

"It's hard in the beginning, but a lot of guys wash out, too," she said. "At least 18 percent don't make it. Females get a lot of attention when they don't make it, but you don't see the same for the males."

Schrantz does not believe women should be limited in what they can or cannot do so far as their jobs are concerned. If that means going into combat, so be it.

Other women Marines tend to agree.

"I earned my title as a Marine the same way the men did," Lance Cpl. Tiffannee Girard said. "I'd fight to the death if I had to."

Girard, 20, from Chicago, is trained as a firefighter and emergency medical technician.

She will head to Iraq for the first time in August. "I joined the Marine Corps during wartime, and I knew I would be going out at some point," she said.

Cpl. Rachel Pasco serves in the same unit as Schrantz and Griego. She trained as an aviation mechanic.

"As far as what I'm expected to do, there is a billet description that everyone must follow," Pasco said.

Pasco, too, was based at Kandahar Air Base in Afghanistan. She joined the Marines two years after 9/11.

"Women have come a long way in our country's history," she said. "People are always going to remember what women were allowed to do and what they were not allowed to do, something we won't ever be able to escape."

In 1948, President Harry Truman signed the Women's Armed Services Integration Act. At that time, women were limited to filling 2 percent of the entire military. Today, it's 15 percent.

While restrictions for women flying combat aircraft were repealed in 1991, the 1948 law still banned women from serving on combat vessels.

Then in 1994, the Defense Department opened previously closed billets in aviation, including attack helicopters, to women.

The official policy of the Army and Marine Corps still excludes women from filling combat and infantry billets.

The largest single deployment of American military women occurred in 1991 during Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm. More than 41,000 women deployed; five died. Two were captured as prisoners of war.

Kathy Hoxie, a veteran Marine and civilian air traffic controller based at New River Air Station, was among the 41,000 women who served in the first Gulf War. She was an air traffic controller in the Marine Corps from 1986 until 1997.

Hoxie has mixed feelings about women serving in combat. As a rule, there are certain jobs that women simply shouldn't do - some of the ground combat jobs, she said.

"On the same note, I do believe that there are some women out there who would be better at those jobs then some of the men," Hoxie said. "I don't think it's because of a lack of desire but the mere fact that there are physical differences that will never change.

"Typically, men are physically stronger."

In the Persian Gulf, Hoxie said, she did exactly what the men did.

"I was initially sent over with a combat replacement company filled with many infantry Marines who had never worked with a woman before," she said. "I was one of two women in my company and one of the senior Marines. I did not know tactics because I had never been taught that, but I did have the smarts to learn quickly and step up to the plate."

http://www.military.com/NewsContent/0,13319,FL_female_073005,00.html
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #15 on: September 20, 2005, 04:44:28 AM »

What joy! Boys wearing
nail polish
Glenn Sacks
? 2005 WorldNetDaily.com

It's one thing to be respectful of gays and gay parents. It's quite another to engineer a deceptive study and use it to assert that lesbian families are a better environment in which to raise boys than heterosexual families. That's what former Stanford University gender scholar Peggy F. Drexler, Ph.D. does in her new book, "Raising Boys Without Men: How Maverick Moms Are Creating the Next Generation of Exceptional Men." Not surprisingly, a friendly mainstream media is helping her promote her claims.

In the book's opening pages, Drexler's message is one of tolerance for various family forms, as she notes that lesbian and single-mother families "can" effectively raise boys. But "Raising Boys" soon devolves into outright advocacy of lesbian parenting. In Drexler's world, lesbian families ? protected from fathers and their toxic masculinity ? are the best environments in which to raise boys. Married heterosexual mothers try their best, but the positive influence these hapless moms try to impart to their children is overwhelmed by that of the malevolent family patriarch.


According to Drexler, lesbian moms are "more sophisticated about how they teach their sons right from wrong" than heterosexual couples, and there are "real advantages for a boy being raised in this new type of family." Heterosexual mothers don't measure up in "moral attitude" and are less likely than lesbian moms to "create opportunities for their sons to examine moral and values issues." This in turn slows the "moral development in their sons."

Furthermore, Drexler asserts that boys raised by lesbians "grow up emotionally stronger," "have a wider range of interests and friendships" and "appear more at ease in situations of conflict" than boys from "traditional" (i.e., father-present) households. Fatherless boys "exhibit a high degree of emotional savvy ... an intuitive grasp of people and situations." Best of all, sons of lesbian couples are much more willing to discard traditional masculinity than boys trapped in heterosexual households.

For example, Fiona's son paints his nails, while both of Maria's sons dance ballet. Ursula's son chose sewing and cooking for his electives in seventh grade. Kathy's son has rejected playing baseball as being "too competitive" ? no surprise, because in their local, father-led baseball league, "the better players get more playing time."

Yet Drexler's research has obvious flaws. For one, the families she studied were middle to upper class, older women who volunteered to have their lives intimately scrutinized over a multiyear period ? an unrepresentative, self-selected sample.

More importantly, her research suffers from confirmatory bias ? Drexler saw what she wanted to see. Drexler is not an objective social scientist, but instead a passionate advocate for lesbian mothers. She calls the "maverick mothers" raising sons without men "avatars of a new social movement" and says her book's "stories, voices, data and findings will reassure, hearten and empower" them. Her research did not measure objective indices of child well-being, such as rates of juvenile crime, drop-outs or teen pregnancy. Instead, Drexler personally conducted interviews of mothers and their sons and made subjective judgments about their family lives. It is not surprising that Drexler found lesbian families to her liking. In fact, her dogged determination to see only good in lesbian couples and problems in heterosexual ones at times reaches absurd proportions.

For example, though Drexler doesn't seem to notice, her lesbian moms, particularly the "social" (i.e., non-biological moms), cheerfully endure insults and disrespect that no parent should ever tolerate. Carol's son calls her "stupid." Bianca's son calls her "lazy." Martha's son hops into her bed and effectively tells Martha tough luck, sucker ? go sleep somewhere else. Thankfully, in each case progressive lesbian mom dealt with the problem through patience and talking. By contrast, Dad ? who Drexler usually portrays as being overly strict ? would probably have had junior pull weeds in the yard for a few hours as he waves goodbye to his PlayStation. He is (sigh) sadly unenlightened.

For Drexler, boys raised by lesbians are a better breed than those raised by heterosexual couples. When Drexler was struggling to hold on to her briefcase and her bags, 11-year-old Damien saw "that I needed help and immediately offered it." Drexler is taken aback ? a boy being helpful and caring? She notes, "When I thought about it later, it clicked in my head: This is a boy being raised by two moms."

Lesbian-raised Cody helps clean up the playroom. Lesbian-raised Brad offers Drexler a stool to sit on when she comes to his room to interview her. Both considerations are the product, we are assured, of their special upbringings. Yet Drexler could have found many kind, helpful, empathetic boys raised by heterosexual couples ? like my 12 year-old son, who recently told his grandparents, "I want you to move next door to us, even though it will mean more chores for me" ? if only she had been willing to look.

At the same time, Drexler refuses to see obvious indications that the boys she interviews need fathers. When one of Brad's two moms picks him up from the day-care center after work, every day she has to pry the 6-year-old off of the leg of an after-school worker named Ron to whom Brad is ? pun intended ? quite attached. A less determined researcher might see this as evidence of Brad's need for a dad. Not Drexler, who instead tells us that, given Ron's presence, Brad's mom "knew she didn't need to worry about Brad's lack of an everyday father in his life."

Julia's little boy says, "I want a daddy." Darlene's little boy tells his mom: "We could find a daddy and he could move in with us." Three-year-old Ian ? fatherless by the decision of his "single mother by choice" mom, Leslie ? watches TV with mom, continually pointing at male figures on the screen and saying, "There's my daddy." Leslie explains, "No, we don't have a daddy in our family," but little Ian doesn't get it and continues to point and ask. A problem? Not according to Drexler, who writes, "Will some little boys trail after men they don't even know, perk up at lower-decibel voices or hang on to the pant legs of the men who cross their paths? Maybe." But whatever it is, she assures us, it isn't father hunger.

She enthuses that "sons of lesbians went to great efforts to define the terms of the bonds and relationships in their lives that the boys from straight families seemed to take for granted. All terms in their lives were complex." Is this a good thing?

Drexler does allow that some male figures can be positive for boys. Who? "Grandfathers, godfathers, uncles, family friends, coaches" ? in short, anybody but dad. In fact, boys being raised without fathers benefit because they enjoy "more male figures in their lives than boys from traditional families." But more does not mean better, and a group of men with little stake in a boy's life are a poor substitute for a father's love and devotion to his children. Nor can they provide the modeling that boys need ? the best way for a boy to learn how to become a good husband and father is to watch his father do it.

Drexler believes that boys in heterosexual families are worse off because they are "stuck with a single male role model" ? dad ? whereas in lesbian families boys are free to choose their own. Yet a child does not have the judgment to properly select his own role models, even with a parent's input. The fact that fatherless boys usually choose older, rebellious, thuggish boys as their role models ? and are often led by them to their perdition ? eludes Drexler.

Drexler holds up a variety of other family forms and "nonofficial parenting figures" as alternatives to heterosexual, married families, including Hillary Clinton's village, "communal living" and "seed daddies." She approvingly quotes a columnist who writes, "With so many single mothers around, and double mothers becoming less of a novelty, it is the children of traditional couples who are going to be asked, 'Who is that man in your house?'"


The boys Drexler studied don't need their dads, but instead benefit because their absence helps create what one might call the "maternal dictatorship." For Ursula, the single mother of two boys, Drexler enthuses that there's "no discussion about parenting methodologies. No crossed signals ... no compromising ... the decisions, the choices, the priorities were all hers." Better yet, "lesbian co-parents achieve a particularly high level of parenting skills ... [and] a greater level of agreement than heterosexual couples. A higher degree of consensus cut down on conflict in the home, enabling a clear message of love and support to be heard by the kids."

Drexler has it exactly wrong ? conflict over parenting methods and strategies is not a negative but a positive, for two competing and different viewpoints wean out bad ideas and help preserve good ones. This is particularly true in heterosexual couples, where both male and female perspectives are considered in decision-making. By contrast, in single parent homes ideas and parenting strategies are implemented without consultation, and the effect can be harmful. In lesbian homes, parenting strategies are used on boys without input from anyone who actually knows what it's like to be a boy.

While "Raising Boys" is being promoted as a harmless, feel-good affirmation for "maverick moms," it is in fact an attack on the institution that research shows is the best-suited to raising children ? the family. Drexler encourages women thinking of having fatherless children to make that "leap of faith." But the rates of all major youth pathologies, including juvenile crime, teen pregnancy, teen drug abuse and school dropouts, are tightly correlated with fatherlessness. Drexler waxes poetic about the nebulous benefits of fatherless parenting, but makes little attempt to explain why fatherless families produce so many troubled and pathological children.

The boys raised by the well-heeled, educated San Francisco lesbian couples Drexler studied will probably do better than most fatherless boys because their socioeconomic status is higher. But nothing in Drexler's research indicates that an extra mom can replace the strength, tough love and modeling a father gives his son.

--

Glenn Sacks taught elementary school and high school in the Los Angeles Unified School District and others, and was named to "Who's Who Among America's Teachers" three times. His columns on men's and fathers' issues have appeared in dozens of the largest newspapers in the United States. His website is GlennnSacks.com.
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« Reply #16 on: September 20, 2005, 02:18:02 PM »

Drexler is a completely nutball...

If what she says stands true, then heterosexual mothers have been ineffective for the past several thousand years. Yeah, right.

My mother would be more than happy to show Drexler some "moral attitude"
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« Reply #17 on: October 06, 2005, 11:39:05 PM »

Under the Microscope
From an Ingredient
In Cosmetics, Toys,
A Safety Concern

Male Reproductive Development
Is Issue With Phthalates,
Used in Host of Products
Europe, Japan Restrict Them
By PETER WALDMAN
Staff Reporter of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
October 4, 2005; Page A1

In the 12th week of a human pregnancy, the momentous event of gender formation begins, as X and Y chromosomes trigger biochemical reactions that shape male or female organs. Estrogens carry the process forward in girls, while in boys, male hormones called androgens do.

Now scientists have indications the process may be influenced from beyond the womb, raising a fresh debate over industrial chemicals and safety. In rodent experiments, common chemicals called phthalates, used in a wide variety of products from toys to cosmetics to pills, can block the action of fetal androgens. The result is what scientists call demasculinized effects in male offspring, ranging from undescended testes at birth to low sperm counts and benign testicular tumors later in life. "Phthalate syndrome," researchers call it.

Whether phthalates -- pronounced "thallets" -- might affect sexual development in humans, too, is now a matter of hot dispute. Doses in the rodent experiments were hundreds of times as high as the minute levels to which people are exposed. However, last year, federal scientists found gene alterations in the fetuses of pregnant rats that had been exposed to extremely low levels of phthalates, levels no higher than the trace amounts detected in some humans.

Then this year, two direct links to humans were made. First, a small study found that baby boys whose mothers had the greatest phthalate exposures while pregnant were much more likely than other baby boys to have certain demasculinized traits. And another small study found that 3-month-old boys exposed to higher levels of phthalates through breast milk produced less testosterone than baby boys exposed to lower levels of the chemicals.

RELATED READING


See various studies related to phthalates:
? Phthalate Exposure and Human Semen Parameters

? Phthalate exposure and reproductive hormones in adult men

? Dose-Dependent Alterations in Gene Expression and Testosterone Synthesis in the Fetal Testes of Male Rats Exposed to Di (n-butyl) phthalate

? Analysis of Consumer Cosmetic Products for Phthalate Esters

? Phthalate Exposure during Pregnancy and Lower Anogenital Index in Boys: Wider Implications for the General Population?

? Decrease in Anogenital Distance among Male Infants with Prenatal Phthalate Exposure

? Medications as a Source of Human Exposure to Phthalates

? Human Breast Milk Contamination with Phthalates and Alterations of Endogenous Reproductive Hormones in Three Months Old Infants

? Follow-Up Study of Adolescents Exposed to Di(2-Ethylhexyl) Phthalate (DEHP) as Neonates on Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) Support

Scientists are raising questions about phthalates at a time when male reproductive disorders, including testicular cancer, appear to be on the rise in many countries. Seeking an explanation, European endocrinologists have identified what some see as a human counterpart to rodents' phthalate syndrome, one they call "testicular dysgenesis syndrome." Some think it may be due in part to exposure to phthalates and other chemicals that interfere with male sex hormones.

"We know abnormal development of the fetal testes underlies many of the reproductive disorders we're seeing in men," says Richard Sharpe of the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, a researcher on male reproduction. "We do not know what's causing this, but we do know high doses of phthalates induce parallel disorders in rats."

It isn't surprising to find traces of phthalates in human blood and urine, because they are used so widely. Nearly five million metric tons of phthalates are consumed by industry every year, 13% in the U.S. They are made from petroleum byproducts and chemically known as esters, or compounds of organic acid and alcohol. The common varieties with large molecules are used to plasticize, or make pliable, otherwise rigid plastics -- such as polyvinyl chloride, known as PVC -- in things like construction materials, clothing, toys and furnishings. Small-molecule phthalates are used as solvents and in adhesives, waxes, inks, cosmetics, insecticides and drugs.

Users and producers of phthalates say they are perfectly safe at the very low levels to which humans are exposed. Phthalates are among the most widely studied chemicals and have proved safe for more than 50 years, says Marian Stanley of the American Chemistry Council, a trade association.

She says studies suggest primates, including humans, may be much less sensitive to phthalates than are rodents. She cites a 2003 Japanese study of marmoset monkeys exposed to phthalates as juveniles, which found no testicular effects from high doses. The study was sponsored by the Japan Plasticizer Industry Association. Scientists involved in a California regulatory review questioned the study and maintained it didn't support the conclusion that humans are less sensitive to phthalates than rodents are.

Ms. Stanley's conclusion: "There is no reliable evidence that any phthalate, used as intended, has ever caused a health problem for a human."

Societal Issue

The phthalate debate is part of the larger societal issue of what, if anything, to do about minute, once-undetectable chemical traces that some evidence now suggests might hold health hazards.

With much still unknown about phthalates, scientists and regulators at the Environmental Protection Agency are moving cautiously. "All this work on the effects of phthalates on the male reproductive system is just five years old," says the EPA's leading phthalate researcher, L. Earl Gray. "There appears to be clear disruption of the androgen pathway, but how? What are phthalates doing?"

To Rochelle Tyl, a toxicologist who works for corporations and trade groups studying chemicals' effects on animals, the broader question is: "If we know something bad is happening, or we think we do, do we wait for the data or do we act now to protect people?" Based on her own studies of rodents, Dr. Tyl says it is still unclear whether low levels of phthalates damage baby boys.

Some countries have acted. In 2003, Japan banned certain types of phthalates in food-handling equipment after traces turned up in school lunches and other foods.

The European Union has recently banned some phthalates in cosmetics and toys. In January, the European Parliament's public health committee called for banning nearly all phthalates in household goods and medical devices. In July, the full parliament asked the EU's regulatory body, European Commission, to review a full range of products "made from plasticised material which may expose people to risks, especially those used in medical devices."

With the controversy particularly hot in Europe, the European market for the most common phthalate plasticizer, diethylhexyl phthalate, or DEHP, has fallen 50% since 2000, says BASF AG, the German chemical giant. In response, BASF says it is ceasing production of DEHP in Europe this month. A spokesman for the company says the cutback won't affect its phthalate production in the U.S.

The U.S. doesn't restrict phthalates, and has lobbied the EU hard in recent years not to burden manufacturers with new regulations on chemicals. Still, a few companies, under pressure from health groups, have agreed to abide by European standards in their products sold in the U.S. Procter & Gamble Co. said last year it would no longer use phthalates in nail polish. Last December, Unilever, Revlon Inc. and L'Or?al SA's American unit promised to eliminate all chemicals banned in European products from the same items in the U.S.

For medical bags and tubes, Baxter International Inc. pledged in 1999 to develop alternatives to phthalate-containing PVC, as did Abbott Laboratories in 2003. (Abbott has since spun off its hospital-products unit.) In a June study by Harvard researchers of 54 newborns in intensive care, infants who'd had the most invasive procedures had five times as much of the phthalate DEHP in their bodies -- as measured in urine -- as did babies with fewer procedures.

Researchers aren't yet sure what this means. Another study by doctors at the Children's National Medical Center in Washington, published last year, found that 19 adolescents who'd had significant exposure to phthalates from medical devices as newborns showed no signs of adverse effects through puberty.


Kaiser Permanente, the big health-maintenance organization, promised in 1999 to eliminate phthalates in hospital supplies. Demand from the HMO has helped drive development of medical gloves that don't contain phthalates, as well as non-PVC carpeting and a new line of phthalate-free plastic handrails, corner guards and wall coverings.

In the early 1990s, the EPA set exposure guidelines for several types of phthalates, based on studies that had been done decades earlier. Since then, much more has been learned about them.

Consider dibutyl phthalate, which is used to keep nail polish from chipping and to coat some pills. The EPA did a risk assessment of it 15 years ago, relying on a rodent study performed in 1953. The now half-century-old study found a "lowest adverse-effect level" -- 600 milligrams a day per kilogram of body weight -- that killed half of the rodents within a week.

A 2004 study of the same chemical, published in the journal Toxicological Sciences, found far subtler effects, at far lower exposures. It detected gene alteration in fetuses of female rats that ingested as little as 0.1 milligram a day of the phthalate for each kilogram of body weight. That dose is one six-thousandth of the 1953 "lowest adverse-effect" level.

It's also an exposure level found in some U.S. women, says Paul Foster of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, a co-author of the gene study. So "now we're talking about 'Josephina Q. Public' -- real women in the general population," he says. "The comfort level is receding."

EPA Caution

Still, because researchers don't know the function of the genes that were altered in the rat study, EPA experts say it's too early to base regulatory decisions on such gene changes. "We're a long way, in my opinion, from considering changes in gene expression as 'adverse' for risk assessment," says the environmental agency's Dr. Gray.

Exxon Mobil Corp. and BASF dominate the $7.3 billion phthalates market. An Exxon Mobil spokeswoman says risk assessments by government agencies in Europe and the U.S. confirm "the safety of phthalates in their current applications."

Phthalates are cheaper than most other chemicals that can soften plastics. But a BASF press release says European manufacturers have been replacing phthalates with plasticizers designed for "sensitive applications such as toys, medical devices and food contact."

Makers of pills sometimes coat them with phthalates to make them easier to swallow or control how they dissolve. A case study published last year in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives said a man who took a drug for ulcerative colitis, Asacol, for three months was exposed to several hundred times as much dibutyl phthalate as the average American. The drug's maker, Procter & Gamble, says it coats the pill with the phthalate so it will stay intact until it reaches inflamed colon areas. P&G says a daily dose of the drug has less than 1% of the 0.1 milligram of dibutyl phthalate per kilogram of body weight that the EPA regards as a safe daily dose.

Sperm Count

Attributing health effects to specific industrial chemicals is a dicey business. Scientists often look for associations: statistical correlations that suggest, but don't prove, a possible causal link.

With phthalates, they've found a few. For instance, a 2003 study divided 168 male patients at a fertility clinic into three groups based on levels of phthalate metabolites in their urine. The study found that men in the highest third for one of the phthalates were three to five times as likely as those in the lowest third to have a low sperm count or low sperm activity. Men highest in a different phthalate also had more abnormally shaped sperm, according to the study, which was done by researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health and published in the journal Epidemiology.

The scientists now are extending the research to 450 men. In their next paper, they're also planning to discuss a separate Swedish study, of 245 army recruits, that found no link between phthalate exposure and sperm quality.

The latest human study, on 96 baby boys in Denmark and Finland, found that those fed breast milk containing higher levels of certain phthalates had less testosterone during their crucial hormonal surge at three months of age than baby boys exposed to lower levels.

Authors of the study, led by Katharina Main of the University of Copenhagen and published Sept. 8 in Environmental Health Perspectives, said their findings support the idea that the human testis is vulnerable to phthalate exposure during development -- possibly even more vulnerable than rodents' genitalia. They added, however, that "before any regulatory action is considered, further studies on health effects of [phthalates] are urgently needed" aimed at "verifying or refuting our findings."

Physical Differences

A human study of 85 subjects published in June linked fetal exposure to phthalates to structural differences in the genitalia of baby boys.

Researchers measured phthalate levels in pregnant women and later examined their infant and toddler sons. For pregnant women who had the highest phthalate exposure -- a level equivalent to the top 25% of such exposure in American women -- baby sons had smaller genitalia, on average. And their sons were more likely to have incompletely descended testicles.

Most striking was a difference in the length of the perineum, the space between the genitalia and anus, which scientists call AGD, for anogenital distance. In rodents, a shortened perineum in males is closely correlated with phthalate exposure. A shortened AGD also is one of the most sensitive markers of demasculinization in animal studies.

Males' perineums at birth are usually about twice as long as those of females, in both humans and laboratory rodents. In this study, the baby boys of women with the highest phthalate exposures were 10 times as likely to have a shortened AGD, adjusted for baby weight, as the sons of women who had the lowest phthalate exposures.

The length difference was about one-fifth, according to the study, which was led by epidemiologist Shanna Swan of the University of Rochester (N.Y.) School of Medicine and Dentistry and published in Environmental Health Perspectives. Among boys with shorter AGD, 21% also had incomplete testicular descent and small scrotums, compared with 8% of the other boys.

Does it matter? The researchers intend to track as many of the boys as possible into adulthood, to address a key question: Will they grow up with lower testosterone levels, inferior sperm quality and higher rates of testicular tumors, as do rats with phthalate syndrome?

When the boys are 3 to 5 years old, Dr. Swan plans to assess their play behavior to see if exposure to phthalates appears associated with feminized neurological development. She says such tests have shown that little girls with high levels of androgens, or male hormones, gravitate toward "masculine" play. But she says no one has studied whether boys' play is affected by fetal exposure to chemicals that block androgens.

"In rodents, the changes result in permanent effects. Future studies will be necessary to determine whether these boys are also permanently affected," Dr. Swan says.

She and others agree that a study of just 85 subjects needs to be enlarged and repeated. She notes that although boys' genitalia were affected in subtle ways, no substantial malformations or disease were detected.

Some endocrinologists call this the first study to link an industrial chemical measured in pregnant women to altered reproductive systems in offspring. "It is really noteworthy that shortened AGD was seen," says Niels Skakkebaek, a reproductive-disorder expert at the University of Copenhagen, who wasn't an author of the study. "If it is proven the environment changed the [physical characteristics] of these babies in such an anti-androgenic manner, it is very serious."

Ms. Stanley of the American Chemistry Council doubts that any study can "tease out" the cause of a human health condition, given the wide variety of chemical exposures in people's lives. She notes that some of the specific phthalates associated with reproductive changes in the two human-baby studies haven't been linked to such changes in rodents. So, she says, it's possible the changes in anogenital distance and hormone levels may merely reflect normal variability.

Dr. Tyl, the chemical-industry toxicologist, says her own rat studies confirm that AGD is very sensitive to phthalates. She says that in rats that had very high phthalate exposures, a shortened AGD at birth was closely associated with a number of serious reproductive disorders later in life. However, in rats exposed to much lower doses of phthalates, a shortened AGD at birth did not always lead to later troubles. Many of these rats grew up to breed normally, she says, despite their slightly altered anatomy.

Dr. Tyl suggests that the same may be true of humans. Dr. Swan's study is "potentially important," Dr. Tyl says, because it suggests that "at low levels of exposure, humans are responding" to phthalates. But it remains quite possible, Dr. Tyl theorizes, that the boys with shortened AGD will grow up normally. "At what point do changes like this cross the line" to become dangerous, she asks. "We don't know yet."

Write to Peter Waldman at peter.waldman@wsj.com
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« Reply #18 on: October 23, 2005, 10:45:05 PM »

Special Forces Commander Transitions from Man to Woman

Retired Officer Now Embroiled in Employment Bias Suit
 
In 25 years of military service, David Schroer reached the rank of colonel and commanded a Special Forces unit in the U.S. Army. (ABC News)


Oct. 21, 2005 ? For more than 25 years, David Schroer was a star in the U.S. Army, rising through the ranks to become a Special Forces Commander while leading a classified anti-terrorism unit involved in covert operations. Fellow soldiers described him as a classic military man.

That all changed two years ago when he abruptly retired from the military and made a shocking announcement that stunned his colleagues and family alike. He would no longer be Col. David Schroer, because he is now Diane Schroer, a transsexual.

In her first television interview, Schroer explains to "20/20" correspondent Deborah Roberts why, after decades of service in one of the most dangerous and macho lines of work, she became a woman.

"Does seem a bit of a disconnect," Schroer acknowledges. But, she says, she has struggled with her gender identity ? privately ? since childhood.

"Something was different since even before I can remember. I was always enthralled with things the girls were doing. ? Whenever my parents were gone, I would experiment with my mother's makeup. And wondered why I enjoyed doing that? Wondered why I couldn't carry a purse," Schroer tells Roberts.

Schroer's family has come to accept her decision, but she is now embroiled in a gender discrimination lawsuit against the Library of Congress, which, she claims, withdrew its offer of employment based on her sex.

A Painful Internal Battle

Her lawsuit may be precedent-setting, but Dr. George Brown, a military psychiatrist, said Schroer's story is not unique. He said he's treated hundreds of soldiers who are transsexuals. Brown described transsexualism as "a sense that there's been a biological mistake ? that the body doesn't match who you are as a person inside."

Schroer says it was apparent to her from the time she was a child, growing up in Oak Lawn, Ill., just outside Chicago. Her brothers Gary and Bill only remember a happy childhood with their little brother, however.

"I think it was probably very much?the typical American family, three boys growing up. We played baseball. We played in the neighborhood. We rode bikes. We pretty much did what other kids did in the 50s," said Bill Schroer.

Schroer's siblings Bill and Gary never knew their little brother was suffering quietly, never daring to mention the anguish inside.


Schroer says growing up as a boy left her feeling uneasy and deeply conflicted about who she really was. "When I hit adolescence, it was at times consuming. ? So I did everything I could to push that out of my mind," she tells Roberts.

When David Schroer entered Northern Illinois University, he was in full denial of his gender crisis. He worked as an auto mechanic, an electrician and joined ROTC. After graduation, he entered Special Forces and somehow thrived in the most dangerous of military careers. He even fell in love with a woman and got married.

"We had a normal sexual relationship," Schroer tells Roberts. "Although I would say that I would often think of myself being on the other side of the relationship."

Ending Years of Denial

Schroer managed to keep up the act, rising through the ranks of the military. By his mid-40s, he was a Special Forces commander leading a classified anti-terrorism unit and managing an $8 billion budget. He even briefed Vice President Cheney on secret missions.

Then, two years ago, he grew tired of denying what he believed was his true sexual identity.

"I think when I learned enough to understand what it was that I was really feeling ? I could either hide that, or I could acknowledge to the world that I was in fact a woman. And receive their acknowledgement back," Schroer says.

Schroer told his wife first, even hoping there might be a possibility they could stay together. But the couple decided to separate.

Schroer's marriage was over, but he was finding fulfillment for the first time. He began openly dressing as a woman and calling himself Diane. Schroer was retired at the time, and didn't have to break the news to Washington's top brass. But Schroer did begin telling his Special Forces buddies, including retired Lt. Colonel Dan Bernard.

"The way she explained it to me was by showing me some photos that had been taken of her as a woman in a business kind of setting, wearing makeup and with a big wig and women's clothes. ?And I didn't get mad and I didn't storm out," Bernard said.

"I explained to him about being transgendered and what that meant, and he sat back for a moment and said, 'You really had me scared. Wow, I thought you were going to tell me something bad.' ? It was a tremendous relief," Schroer recalls.

Now Schroer was confident enough to tell family, nervously breaking the news to brothers Bill and Gary ? still dressed as David.

Even though the news was, and continues to be, difficult to accept, Gary Schroer said there was never a question in his mind about being supportive to his younger brother. "It's still tough. But support and acceptance are two different things," he said.


Schroer then began the long and painful process of becoming a woman, undergoing intense therapy and taking female hormones under medical supervision. He also started wearing makeup, and underwent extensive cosmetic surgery.

In 12 hours of surgery, Schroer said, doctors gave him "a scalp advance, a forehead revision, nose reconstruction, upper lip revision, jaw and chin reshaping, and a tracheal shave." In a tracheal shave, the surgeon reduces the cartilage in the throat to get rid of a masculine-looking Adam's apple.

The genital reassignment surgery would come later. But in the meantime Schroer was already looking more feminine and beginning to envision a new relationship.

But Schroer wasn't envisioning a sexual relationship with any men. Schroer is interested in dating women. "I would say I am in fact a lesbian," she said.

Schroer's desire to be with women is not uncommon for transsexuals. Dr. Brown says gender identity and sexual preference are two entirely different things.

"If sex and gender were the same, then that would make no sense at all. Sexuality is who you're attracted to. Gender is who you are as a person, male or female. So, the surgery and the transition is all about matching the mind with the body. It has nothing to do with sexuality," Brown said.

While Schroer is grateful to have the acceptance of her family, she has encountered challenges in her public life. While still transitioning to become female, Schroer applied for, and was offered, a job as a terrorism analyst at the Library of Congress late last year.

Because she was still legally David Schroer, she did not reveal her plans to her prospective employer during the interview.

She decided to tell the woman who hired her that she would begin work as a woman, not a man. Schroer said it seemed as though the woman took the information in stride and that the hiring was going forward as planned.

But the following day, Schroer said she was told that she was no longer "a good fit" for the position. Schroer and her brothers were furious.

With her brothers' encouragement, she filed what many say will become a landmark law suit against the Library of Congress, charging gender discrimination.

She says she's protected under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. "She is the same exact person that the Library of Congress knew that they wanted when they first encountered the application. And so there's nothing about that that's changed, except her physical appearance," said American Civil Liberties Union attorney Sharon McGowan, who is representing Schroer.

The Library of Congress first agreed to an interview with "20/20," but then declined, citing Diane's lawsuit. In an e-mail, they wrote that they "acted appropriately and complied with the law" and that "claims such as those raised by Ms. Schroer ? are not covered under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act" or the U.S. Constitution.

While waiting for her day in court and looking for a full time job, Schroer's deepest fears concerned her family who had yet to see her as a woman. In July, Schroer allowed "20/20" cameras to film her first visit as a sister with her family in suburban Chicago.

The family was understandably surprised by the dramatic change in her appearance, but before long the brothers were reminiscing about their childhood. For Gary and Bill Schroer, the memories are bittersweet as they feel in a sense they've lost a brother while gaining a new sister.

For Schroer, the childhood memories have a far different meaning. She's always known that inside that little boy lived a little girl who longed to grow up and become a woman. "What's great about my life now is that it's unified, it's focused and this huge distraction that was in my life is now gone."
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ALDurr
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« Reply #19 on: October 26, 2005, 02:39:58 PM »

Quote from: Crafty_Dog
What joy!
Boys wearing
nail polish
Glenn Sacks
? 2005 WorldNetDaily.com



 evil I had to come back to this article because it really got me riled up.  I have a serious personal issue with this topic (I didn't quote the whole article because I realized that it would take up too much space).  The author of this article obviously has a problem with the so-called research that was done to prove that lesbian families are a better environment in which to raise boys than heterosexual families.  I probably have a bigger issue with this than the author.  

Drexler needs to be isolated on a deserted island so her disease of insanity can be isolated, contained and not allowed to be spread further.  The lack of male role models in the household has been proven to have a negative effect on the emotional development of young males time and time again.  This feminazi is obviously trying to prove (very subjectively and sloppily) that lesbian women are superior to raising young men than men.  Just because lesbians have the same sexual preferences as men, doesn't make them better able to raise young men.  They still aren't part of the team and have no idea what it is like to be a man.  

You cannot raise a man if you don't know what it means to be a man.   Conversely, you cannot raise a woman if you don't know what it means to be a woman.  Newsflash for Drexler, women cannot do everything that a man can do, just like a man cannot do everything that a woman can do.  If we could, we wouldn't need each other.

This psycho, Drexler, is also, in my opinion, trying to push the idea that constant testosterone influence in a young man's life is an unhealthy thing.  That is not what is unhealthy.  What is unhealthy is the LACK of testosterone influence in a young man's life.  It's this lack that makes growing boys go out and do stupid things, like hook up with the wrong crowd for acceptance, that causes many problems.  Testosterone is not evil!  Every boy needs to have that testosterone influence, in the form of a father (or some man who decides to step in to that role), to grow up healthy, confident and secure in themselves.

I am all for political correctness when it applies to true respect for others, but when it comes to stupid things like this, it needs to go.  Men should be men, with all of our good points and faults intact.  Men should NOT be wussified, namby pamby, metrosexualized, feminized, castrated beings that just happen to have XY chromosomes.  A true man can be civilized and primal at the same time.  A true man can walk among polite society with the same ease as he can rock and roll on the battlefield of the day.  Young boys cannot learn that from a woman.  

Okay, I'm done with my rant for today.
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« Reply #20 on: December 18, 2005, 10:08:29 PM »

You've Got Male!

By LIONEL TIGER
December 17, 2005; Page A10

Male resentment of the self-righteous and automatic public support for women's interests and issues has been increasingly on the boil for some time. Civic celebrations of antipathy to men such as the Violence Against Women Act are finally generating specific and pointed responses by men fatigued, if still baffled, by the knee-jerk assumption that they suffer irredeemably from what I call Male Original Sin.

At my university as at countless others, one of the very first official greeting to students is a rape seminar predicated on the intrinsic danger which males carry with them. And in family courts, the presumption of male behavioral malefaction has yielded heartbreakingly numerous cases in which men are charged with domestic violence to which courts overwhelmingly -- often in brief hearings in which the male is not even present -- issue temporary "restraining orders." These frequently segue into permanence, and award women the dwelling they've shared, financial support and the all-important privilege of custody -- mothers gain custody in 66% of uncontested cases and 75% of contested ones. Less than a quarter of parents are awarded joint custody.

Judges issue such orders based only on the word of the alleged victim. It is small wonder the overwhelming majority of such actions are sought and achieved by women. It has been legitimately argued that there is a merciless post-marital racket of therapists, lawyers, judges and governmental advocates who prosper because it is so easy to define males as guilty.

Meanwhile, the publicly financed educational system is at least 20% better at producing successful female students than male, yet hardly anyone sees this as remarkable gender discrimination. While there is a vigorous national program to equalize male and female rates of success in science and math, there is not a shred of equivalent attention to the far more central practical impact of the sharp deficit males face in reading and writing.

There are countless thriving "women's studies" programs and only a paltry number of male equivalents. The graduates of such programs (which rarely pass the laxest test for gender diversity) staff the offices of politicians and judges, and assert the obligation of society to redress centuries of dominance by that gaseous overgeneralization -- "patriarchy."

When it comes to health status, the disparity in favor of women is enhanced by such patterns as seven times more Federal expenditure on breast cancer than on the prostate variety. And no one is provoked into action because vaunted male patriarchs commit suicide between four and 10 times more frequently than oppressed and brainwashed women. This isn't simply carping about invidious comparison, or reluctance to support legitimate social responses to the needs of women as workers, parents, citizens and virtuousi of their private lives. It is solely about inequity in law, funding and productive public attention. There is scant acknowledgment of the fact that we face a generation of young men increasingly failing in a school system seemingly calibrated to female rhythms.

A consequence is that male income falls and female income rises. Nothing wrong with that, except that men inexorably withdraw from domestic life: they become out-laws rather than in-laws. Legions of women despair of finding a mate compatible in function and vibrancy. So they go it alone: a third of babies are born to unmarried women, perhaps making a sage choice given the feckless, demoralized chaps from whom they must choose. We lead the world in fatherless families -- 40% of children fall asleep without a resident father regularly within reach.

* * *
Into this acrimonious climate has whispered a breath of spring air in winter -- an extraordinary document which may have surprising impact because of its severe countercultural implications and its almost sweet innocence of purpose. In early November, the New Hampshire Commission on the Status of Men issued its first report (www.nh.gov/csm). The commission was proposed in a 1999 bill by N.H. Rep. David Bickford. The House passed the bill, awarding a budget of $69,561. But months later, the state Senate stripped away funding. The commission was finally established in 2002. According to its report, the Senate's effort to defund it reflects "the inaction of good people who apparently have been led to believe that legislative activity designed to primarily benefit men is somehow not appropriate politically, financially, or otherwise."

To the contrary, the commission's report frontally accepts that there are intrinsic differences in how men and women cope with health, education, responsibility and violence. It concludes that social policies must not begin by denying differences. If you're running a zoo, know the real nature of your guests. This applies nationally, not only in New Hampshire. The clout of female voters has been transmuted into a strangely pervasive inattention to the legitimate needs of boys and men. While there remain grating sources of unfairness to women, the community is in the process of steadily creating a new legal and educational structure which generates new gender unfairness: 90% of the victims of Ritalin and similar drugs prescribed for schoolkids are boys; but even drugged they perform less well than girls. A 2005 study at Yale found nationally that even in prekindergarten boys are nearly five times more likely to be expelled than girls.

What is going on in this country?

Of course those who can do the work should receive the rewards. However, the broader question is: Who defines the work and evaluates it? The drastic occupational and familial situation of especially minority males suggests the urgency of a hard review of this issue. Were females the victims of such apparent sex-based unfairness, the legal paper attacking the matter would cloud the air like flakes of New Hampshire snow. But since it's only males . . .

The report is an innovative 44 pages focused on life in one state. It grips the macrocosm of stunning changes in American sociosexual and family experience. Like those which affect the terrain of a delta the changes are gradual and barely perceptible and yet suddenly it becomes clear there is a new barrier, a new channel, a new uncertainty. So with the issue of men in America. The New Hampshire report may not be a full map of the delta but its alerts us to the large reality of implacable changes. And we may not like them.

Mr. Tiger, Charles Darwin Professor of Anthropology at Rutgers, is the author of "The Decline of Males" (St. Martin's, 1999).
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« Reply #21 on: December 19, 2005, 02:57:39 AM »

Second post of the evening:
=====================

Note: Came to me without paragraphs and I have improvised the ones you see here.

National Review / Digital December 31, 2005
CULTURE WATCH
The Idea of the (Feminized) University
Coeds are one thing . . .
GEORGE GILDER
Why would any self-respecting boy want to attend one of America?s increasingly feminized universities? Most of these institutions have flounced through the last forty years fashioning a fluffy pink playpen of feminist studies and agitprop "herstory" taught amid a green goo of eco-motherism and anti-industrial phobia. They routinely showcase such trendy trumperies as The Vagina Monologues, while sacrificing thousands of men's athletic teams at the altar of Title IX. They happily open their arms to the recruiting efforts of gay and lesbian student centers, while banning the Reserve Officers' Training Corps and other military groups from campus. And, as they launch bidding wars for the few women who qualify for tenured appointments in math and science, they stint on male-oriented pursuits such as engineering and mechanics.

Perhaps this explains why American men have taken a demographic plunge in higher education. Men now constitute less than 43 percent of the U.S. college-student population, and receive only 41 percent of new bachelors' degrees. Similar figures appear throughout the Western world, implying that the emergence of an unschooled male underclass is not only an American problem. In a world where male talent in mathematics and engineering confers significant national advantages in wealth and power, these numbers are portentous indeed.

Disturbing as it is, this pattern is no mystery. Inferior male performance in school is chiefly associated with fatherless families. Among major industrial countries, only Sweden, Norway, and Denmark significantly surpass the U.S. in the female dominance of higher education; these Scandinavian countries also lead in female-headed families. In all of Europe, only Switzerland shows a drastically lower level of fatherlessness, with an 11 percent illegitimacy rate in 2001 as compared with 32 percent in the U.S. and 42 percent in Sweden. And, sure enough, Switzerland disp
lays continued male dominance of higher education, with men constituting around 60 percent of the college-student population.

The ill effects of fatherless families should come as no surprise. Around the globe and throughout human history, mothers left alone have foundered on the challenge of raising and disciplining boys. As I stated in my 1986 book, Men & Marriage, family issolution in the modern world leads to "a welfare state to take care of the women and children and a police state to handle the teenaged boys." I might add today that it also entails immigration or outsourcing to do much of society?s work and to support the childless in their old age.

On the police-state side, the decline of men in higher education relates to the 93 percent male composition of America?s world-leading prison population. As Bill Bennett has pungently observed, America's prisons are dominated by blacks from the fatherless families that make up close to 80 percent of inner-city households. The Department of Justice estimates that fully 32 percent of all black males will enter state or federal prison during their lifetimes, as compared with less than 6 percent of white males. More than a third of American black men between the ages of 17 and 35 are currently in jail, on probation, or on the lam. In Scandinavian countries, the police are similarly busy with truants. Prison populations there remain radically smaller, but, unlike in the U.S., crime rates are still soaring. Sweden leads Europe with a six-to-tenfold rise in various property crimes and sexual assaults since the 1970s.

Family breakdown drives the ever-expanding police state to extend its webs and ensnare men far beyond the prison population. Beadles from divorce courts, welfare agencies, child-support administrations, and child-abuse constabularies use massive computer surveillance to track the jobs and movements of so-called deadbeat or DNA dads. They treat unmarried or divorced fathers, in Bryce Christensen's words, as "quasi-criminals, perpetually under corrective supervision."


As Margaret Mead famously declared, the key social issue in every society is how to deal with the aggressiveness and competitiveness of males. The traditional solution is marriage, which ties men to the future through their children and channels their aggression into supporting their families through competitive success in both education and the workplace.

In families that are intact, boys tend to socialize upward toward their fathers and other adult men, such as teachers and coaches, rather than sideways toward the gang and the street. They also tend to readily accept the educational disciplines required by upward mobility. Even today in intact middle- and upper-class families, where fathers usually perform as chief providers, more boys than girls go to college. The sexual skew in American universities reflects a condition widely reported in anthropological studies: The nuclear family always must compete with polygyny (derived from the Greek for "many women"). Enabling the most powerful men (by whatever relevant measure) to dominate the nubile or childbearing years of several young women, polygyny can be pursued through harems and mistresses or extended over time through a series of divorces and remarriages. Monogamy is egalitarianism in sex; it means one to a customer. When this institution breaks down, it leaves behind an underclass of young men who cannot marry and who are prone to addiction to homosexuality and pornography. It also creates cohorts of abandoned women who are left to struggle with their sons and then grow old alone.

As Swedish economist Assar Lindbeck pointed out in the 1980s, the pattern of family breakdown is fed by the excesses of the welfare state. "Progressive" systems skewed to tax the so-called rich (the top 20 percent of earners) necessarily bear most heavily on intact
families with children who do the lion's share of society's productive work. Recent data show that the top fifth of households perform some 33 percent of the hours worked, earn roughly 50 percent of the income, and pay 68 percent of federal income and payroll taxes, all while raising most of the boys who pursue higher education. The progressive taxes
paid by these families finance programs and institutions such as child support, daycare, job quotas, affirmative action, divorce courts, foster homes, abortion clinics, nursing homes, and cradle-to-grave health care, all of which reduce the unique value of the personal-care functions provided by father-supported families. In this way, state-provided welfare provisions create an anti-family feedback loop in social policy, reducing incentives for families to stay together and creating what Allan Carlson has called a multi-trillion-dollar "lifestyle subsidy" for careerist singles and broken families. Yet despite the state-assisted breakdown of the nuclear family and the resulting dearth of young men in higher education, males continue to dominate the educational statistics in advanced mathematics (and the math-intensive fields of science and engineering) all around the world. The news may prompt the tenured ladies at Harvard and MIT to burst into tears and summon lawyers to sue God, but the evidence for a biological source of male mathematical superiority is overwhelming. Boys are better at math, and the harder the math the greater the male superiority. Indeed, throughout human history, female mathematicians and engineers have made almost no significant contributions to these fields. The absence of boys in colleges does not mean that women suddenly begin writing most of our leading-edge software programs or designing microchips for our missile defenses. The feminization of the universities simply deprives the economy of the technical skills and competitive energies of new generations of men.

In response, the powerful polygynists in charge of many large global corporations range the world to tap male talent wherever it may be. They tend to find it in Asian universities, such as India?s fiercely meritocratic IIT campuses, where males constitute at least 90 percent of the students. The visible results of this are high-tech outsourcing and immigration. But the roots are nurtured by the breakdown of families, the feminization of American universities, and the flight of boys from them.

Mr. Gilder is a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute.
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buzwardo
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« Reply #22 on: January 08, 2006, 05:36:10 PM »

I recently had a close encounter with radical feminists supporting jihadist ends by protesting military recruitment efforts. In light of stories like this, I wonder by what convoluted route they magange to arrive at their plans of action.

This is the first time I've encountered this source so I'm including their blurb about themselves at the end. I confess if it weren't for all the other henious news coming out of Iran, I'd have a hard to believing this.



Iran to hang teenage girl attacked by rapists    Sat. 7 Jan 2006


Iran Focus

Tehran, Iran, Jan. 07 ? An Iranian court has sentenced a teenage rape victim to death by hanging after she weepingly confessed that she had unintentionally killed a man who had tried to rape both her and her niece.

The state-run daily Etemaad reported on Saturday that 18-year-old Nazanin confessed to stabbing one of three men who had attacked the pair along with their boyfriends while they were spending some time in a park west of the Iranian capital in March 2005.

Nazanin, who was 17 years old at the time of the incident, said that after the three men started to throw stones at them, the two girls? boyfriends quickly escaped on their motorbikes leaving the pair helpless.

She described how the three men pushed her and her 16-year-old niece Somayeh onto the ground and tried to rape them, and said that she took out a knife from her pocket and stabbed one of the men in the hand.

As the girls tried to escape, the men once again attacked them, and at this point, Nazanin said, she stabbed one of the men in the chest. The teenage girl, however, broke down in tears in court as she explained that she had no intention of killing the man but was merely defending herself and her younger niece from rape, the report said.

The court, however, issued on Tuesday a sentence for Nazanin to be hanged to death.

Last week, a court in the city of Rasht, northern Iran, sentenced Delara Darabi to death by hanging charged with murder when she was 17 years old. Darabi has denied the charges.

In August 2004, Iran?s Islamic penal system sentenced a 16-year-old girl, Atefeh Rajabi, to death after a sham trial, in which she was accused of committing ?acts incompatible with chastity?.

The teenage victim had no access to a lawyer at any stage and efforts by her family to retain one were to no avail. Atefeh personally defended herself and told the religious judge that he should punish those who force women into adultery, not the victims. She was eventually hanged in public in the northern town of Neka.




About Iran Focus

Iran Focus is a non-profit news service provider that focuses on events in Iran, Iraq and the Middle East. With a network of specialists and analysts of the region and correspondents and reporters in several countries, Iran Focus is able to provide fast and reliable news and analysis on the political, social and economic situation in the region.

Iran Focus is dedicated to providing comprehensive, up-to-date information and news on the Persian Gulf region in a fair and balanced manner. We provide a wide array of daily news, weekly and special feature packages, commentary, news analysis, and investigative reporting. Through editorial initiatives and access to intelligence sources, our stories offer an insight into the complex situation in the Persian Gulf region that is indispensable to scholars, journalists, politicians, business people and all those interested in this sensitive part of the world.

We hope our services give you a new perspective on major developments in the region. Our editors welcome your comments and suggestions. Story inquiries and other comments may be directed to: info@iranfocus.com
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« Reply #23 on: February 16, 2006, 12:25:04 PM »

By Loredana Vuoto

Why Men Earn More: The Startling Truth Behind the Pay Gap ? And What Women Can Do About It, by Warren Farrell (Amacom, 288 pp., $23)

We?ve all seen the statistics that purport to show the raw deal women get in the workplace. But that raw deal simply doesn?t exist, writes Warren Farrell in this new book: It?s lifestyle choices, not gender identities, that determine salaries. If women choose more of the same professions as men, and follow similar career paths, they will earn salaries equal to those of their male counterparts.

Even within the limits imposed by their choices, women?s comparative wages have made great progress in recent years. According to a 2003 GAO report, women earn 80 cents for every dollar a man makes ? a significant increase from the 59 cents women earned compared with a man?s dollar back in the 1970s. But Farrell, author of such previous bestsellers as Why Men Are the Way They Are and The Myth of Male Power, focuses on the bigger sociological picture ? contending that women actually earn the same as men if they have equal experience and qualifications, and are doing a similar job in identical working conditions. In fact, he contends that ? despite the numerous lawsuits launched by women every year against their employers ? women are not being discriminated against in the workforce: They are being victimized not by their employers, but by their own bad professional choices.

Farrell?s extensive research is persuasive: Women generally earn less than men because they choose jobs that are more ?fulfilling, flexible, and safe.? These jobs usually pay less. For example, the librarian with a graduate degree will earn less than a garbage collector who dropped out of high school. The same applies to the educated art historian working in a museum versus the uneducated coal miner working in a mine. The garbage collector and the coal miner get higher salaries because their work involves greater risk and less pleasant working conditions. Few workers are willing to accept the conditions in these blue-collar, male-oriented jobs ? so employees willing to work in these fields are a more precious commodity than workers in lower-paying professions, including librarians and art historians.

Farrell suggests 25 ways women can level the salary playing field. Among his recommendations are that women choose careers in technology or science, work longer hours, accept more responsibilities, and take jobs that are more dangerous and in unpleasant environments. He notes, however, that these solutions ? instead of empowering women ? may leave them bereft of true power, which he defines as ?control over one?s life.? He believes that ?pay is about giving up power to get the power of pay,? and that by choosing to make more money, women limit their options. They forfeit the quality of life they enjoyed when they worked less and in better, non-stressful working environments. They risk relinquishing a profession they feel passionate about for one they dislike. They also will have less opportunity to have children, take maternity leave, or work flexible hours to take care of their children. If they do decide to have children and raise them, chances are they will lose their position and their high salary.

Farrell?s observations about women and the pay gap are bracing, but his proposed solutions are less than adequate for real-life situations. He suggests, for example, that a woman who wants children, or who already has them, should find a mate who is willing to stay home and be the primary caretaker. Such men, of course, are few and far between. And what about the single mother who can?t afford to relocate or work long hours since she must take care of her children? Or the woman who risks losing custody of her children if she pursues any of Farrell?s suggestions? Or the mother who is reentering the job market after a 15-year absence because she chose to raise her children? For them, Farrell has little helpful advice.

Farrell?s 25 solutions basically outline a philosophy of gender neutrality: To earn equal pay to a man, a woman must renounce the specifics of her sex. This is the ultimate goal of feminism, so we should not be surprised that Farrell is the only man to be elected three times to the board of directors of the National Organization for Women (NOW). His analysis reveals the fundamental contradictions at the heart of the modern feminist movement: Although appearing to champion the cause of women, Farrell finally sells them short by viewing them merely as units of production.

But he also lays bare the unpleasant truth about working women. For decades, feminists and Hollywood have perpetuated the myth that a woman can have it all ? a successful, high-powered career, with time for a loving husband and children, all the while looking glamorous, sexy, and carefree. The reality, however, is that working women today are more stressed, overworked, and underappreciated than they were prior to the women?s liberation movement. Pursuing a career carries trade-offs and costs, which usually come at the expense of family and children. A similar dynamic holds true for women wishing to spend more time at home: The result will be less time and less productivity at the office. This book poignantly illustrates why feminism?s war on human nature is destined to fail: Instead of chasing the chimera of perfect wage parity between the sexes, women will continue to harbor the natural desire to be devoted mothers and wives.

? Loredana Vuoto is a speechwriter to the assistant secretary for the Administration for Children and Families of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The views expressed in this review are solely her own.

    
http://www.nationalreview.com/books/vuoto200505200839.asp
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buzwardo
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« Reply #24 on: February 25, 2006, 05:55:15 PM »

An academic controversy recently erupted over the decision of Science Magazine editors to refuse publication of an article about gender difference by British biologist Peter Lawrence. Though the prestigious journal had given Dr. Lawrence a publication date and article proofs, Science editor-in-chief Donald Kennedy abruptly notified the author that the piece could not be published because it did not offer "a strategy on how to deal with the gender issue." The article, in edited form, is reproduced below.

Some have a dream that, one fine day, there will be equal numbers of men and women in all jobs, including those in scientific research. But I think this dream is Utopian; it assumes that if all doors were opened and all discrimination ended, the different sexes would be professionally indistinguishable. Here I will argue, as others have many times before, that men and women simply are born different.

It is not easy to write about this subject. The Cambridge University psychologist Simon Baron-Cohen published research on the "male brain" in a specialist journal in 1997, but did not dare to talk about his ideas in public for several years.

Baron-Cohen makes one point clear: You cannot deduce the psychological characteristics of any person by knowing their sex. Arguing from the scientific literature that men and women typically have different types of brains, he nevertheless points out that "some women have the male brain, and some men have the female brain." Stereotyping is unscientific ? "individuals are just that: individuals."

Yet Baron-Cohen presents evidence that males on average are biologically predisposed to systemize, to analyze, and to be more forgetful of others, while females on average are innately designed to empathize, to communicate, and to care for others.

Many facts argue that these differences have their roots in biology and genetics. For instance, newborn infants (less than 24 hours old) have been shown a real human face and a mobile of the same size and similar colour. On average, boys looked longer at the mobile and girls looked longer at the face.

Autism spectrum conditions provide another example. People with these problems communicate poorly; they are unable to put themselves in another's place, and have difficulties with empathizing. They may treat others as objects. They often become obsessed and show repetitive behaviour. The less severely affected can become experts on recondite subjects, such as train timetables or ocean temperatures. Most relevant for our arguments is that autism spectrum conditions are largely sex-limited, being between four and nine times more frequent in males. From many studies, including psychology and neuroanatomy, Baron-Cohen argues convincingly that autism spectrum conditions are an extreme form of maleness.

It will not have escaped the notice of many scientists that some of their colleagues and maybe themselves have more than a hint of these "autistic" features. There is good evidence that this type of single-mindedness is particularly common in males. Indeed, we might acknowledge that a limited amount of autistic behaviour can be useful to researchers and to society. For example, a lifetime's academic concentration on a family of beetles with more than 100,000 species may seem weird, but we need several such people in the world for each family. And most of these specialists will be men.

It follows that if we search objectively for an obsessive knowledge, for a mastery of abstruse facts, or for mechanical understanding, we will select many more men than women. And if males on average are constitutionally better suited to be this kind of scientist, it seems silly to aim at strict gender parity.

However, in professions that rely on an ability to put oneself in another's place, at which women on average are far superior, we should expect and want a majority of women. For example, among current student members of the British Psychological Society, there are 5,806 women to 945 men; and among graduate psychologists, 23,324 women to 8,592 men.

Many who have turned their attention to explaining the fall out of women from the hard sciences have ascribed the phenomenon to a mixture of discrimination and choice. Regarding overt discrimination, in a lifetime in science, I have seen only little, and it has been both for and against women. Surely, gender discrimination cannot explain more than a tiny part of this trend.

But there is a different kind of discrimination that particularly damages creative pursuits such as science. There is good psychological evidence that aggression and lack of empathy are on average male characteristics, and we may agree with Baron-Cohen that for both sexes, "nastiness ? gets you higher socially, and gets you more control or power." In this struggle, men climb higher because they are on average more ruthless, and many women, as well as a gentle minority of men, shy away from competing with them.

 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

Peter A. Lawrence "The article Science Magazine doesn't want you to read." National Post (February 16, 2006).

Edited version of the original article reprinted with permission from the National Post. The original article is referenced below.

Peter A. Lawrence, "Men, Women, and Ghosts in Science," Public Library of Science (January 17, 2006).

Republished courtesy of the Public Library of Science Biology. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. The original article may be viewed here.

http://catholiceducation.org/articles/science/sc0081.html

THE AUTHOR

Peter A. Lawrence is at Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge, United Kingdom. He is the author of The Making of a Fly: The Genetics of Animal Design.
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buzwardo
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« Reply #25 on: March 08, 2006, 12:57:01 PM »

March 08, 2006, 7:54 a.m.
Witness to the Death of Feminism
Phyllis Chesler on her sisterhood at war.

Q&A by Kathryn Jean Lopez

Don't try to label Phyllis Chesler, because you're not going to confine this woman to a category. She's an American Jew who has worn a burka, while living, ultimately against her will, in Afghanistan. She's a liberal feminist second-waver who's the author of a book called The Death of Feminism ? who will tell you that for feminists today "reality has no defining role in determining their thoughts or their actions."

NRO Editor Kathryn Lopez recently talked to Chesler about where feminists fall short and what they have to offer.

Kathryn Jean Lopez: Are feminists feminism's worst enemies?

Phyllis Chesler: Yes and no. Feminists, as well as women, have some terrifying external enemies. For example, Islamists oppose the ideals of dignity and equality for women by their practice of gender apartheid. This is a system which includes some, if not all, of the following human-rights violations: female genital mutilation, veiling and hijab, purdah, normalized daughter- and wife-beating, arranged (child) marriage, often to first cousins, polygamy, honor murder, the imprisonment, torture, beheading, stoning to death, and hanging of rape victims, suspected prostitutes, and feminist dissidents ? especially in Iran today.

Such Islamist misogynists have many Western allies and apologists...

Among them are many academic and establishment feminists who are also apologists for Islamic religious and gender apartheid and for the international trafficking in women and girls. In this, they are feminism's worst enemies. For example, many academic feminists fear that any serious critique of veiling, purdah, or polygamy might be slandered as "racist." They are right. These days, telling the truth about indigenous Islamic barbarism towards women and men is quickly branded as "politically incorrect" and dismissed as "racist" and "imperialist" arrogance. It requires real courage and clarity to stay this particular course of truth-telling. While some feminists did sound the alarm about the Taliban, they did not rescue Afghan women physically, personally, militarily, or economically. In addition, feminists have not focused on the right to motherhood, but primarily on the right to abortion; they have not focused on creating a strong feminist foreign policy, but primarily on the rights of gays and lesbians. Personal sexual freedom and identity politics have trumped universal human rights.

I happen to support civil rights for gay people and women's reproductive freedom, but we are at war, and such rights will matter little if we are all bombed back to the tenth century. Iranian feminists have always marched for women's rights on International Women's Day. In the past, they have been roughed up, arrested, sometimes tortured. The fact that they are willing to march at all is heart-stoppingly brave. This year, they have been informed that if they march the police will shoot them down on the spot. Western feminists have been as shockingly quiet about this as they have been about the repeated gang-rapes in the Sudan perpetrated by genocidal ethnic Arab Muslims against black African Muslim and Christian women.


Lopez: What do you hate most about feminism today?

Chesler: I don't "hate" anything about feminism. Those feminists who work in the areas of violence against women (incest, rape, sexual harassment, domestic battering, prostitution, and pornography); those feminists who work within religion to further the cause of both God and humanity; and those feminists who fight discrimination against women in the workplace have my profound respect and gratitude: such feminists are both Republicans and Democrats, religious and secular, they are in all professions, and they exist everywhere in the world.

However, I mourn the Stalinization and Palestinianization of the feminist postcolonial and postmodern academy and media. Because such feminists refuse to "judge" Islamic gender apartheid, they and their institutions and organizations have become anti-activist, anti-American, anti-Israeli, isolationist, and, at best, tools of the Democratic party. At worst, they are apologists for Islamist jihad. To avoid the McCarthyite charge of "racism," such feminists have been willing to sacrifice the victims of Islamism on their "multicultural" altars.

Lopez: What's most infuriating about the "death" of feminism?

Chesler: The fact that a cowardly, conformist, and pale imitation of what feminism was meant to be is now touted as the "real thing." The fact that an aggressively secular and primarily narrow and intolerant feminism has driven away millions of women (and men) and that this fact does not give what is left of organized feminism the slightest pause. Also, the refusal of feminists to really grapple with woman's inhumanity to woman (the title of my tenth book) is saddening. Like men, women ? including feminists ? also internalize sexist beliefs. In addition, women are both hard-wired and socialized to compete mainly with other women, not with men ? and to do so through slander and ostracism. Thus, the mainstream feminist refusal to acknowledge that, like men, women are human beings, as close to the apes as to the angels, is sad and infuriating.


Lopez: What would you like every American to know about your Afghan captivity?

Chesler: When I was very young and twice as foolish, I married my college sweetheart who was, I thought, a very Westernized Muslim man from Afghanistan. When we traveled to Kabul on what I thought was merely a visit, my American passport was confiscated and I was put into[isolation]. This was not unique; it's what happens to all foreign brides. And much worse: Custody of children whose fathers are Muslim or Arab and whose mothers are American ? even if they are born in America ? belong to the father and his family; only mercenaries can get such children back to America. And yes, individual Afghans are charming, soulful, poetic, hospitable, and beautiful. But they are not Westerners. Thus, to my amazement, I discovered that my father-in-law had three wives and twenty-one children. I quickly discovered that my Westernized husband also had a strong Eastern side: He saw nothing wrong with how women were treated (sheeted, segregated on public buses, subjected to arranged marriages, denied minimal educations and medical care) and expected me to accept Islamic gender apartheid. Well, as a matter of fact, he did see something wrong, but was perfectly willing to accept a very slow pace of change, even if that meant that I was instantly consigned to the tenth century while he continued on in the 20th century without me. Such behavior is hardly unusual today, nor was it unique to me almost forty-five years ago. I nearly died there. I managed to get out. I write about this in my chapter about my "Afghan Captivity" in my latest book The Death of Feminism. [The chapter is excerpted here.

My experience taught me some important lessons that are currently of vital importance to Americans.

First, I learned that both evil and barbarism are indigenous to every culture and not caused by imperialism, colonialism, or Zionism ? as the Western intelligentsia would have it. Afghanistan had never ever been occupied by the British, who literally died in droves trying to invade. The refusal to enter the 20th century was an entirely Afghan and Muslim decision. I was there in 1961, long before the Taliban made things much harsher for girls and women.

Second, I learned that Muslims who can pass for Westerners often have multiple cultural personalities. In the West, they are like us; in the East, they are not. In a jihadic era, when jihadists are moving among us and have access to our most advanced ideas about tolerance and to our technology, it is important to keep this in mind.

Third, I also learned that America may not be perfect, but it is not the worst country in the world; rather, it is the best country. It is a perspective that I would like other Americans, especially our academics, to ponder. What we have here would constitute a revolution in any Arab and Muslim country.

Fourth, I am not a cultural relativist. I have seen the lives of poor people and of women in a third-world country and believe that they are entitled to the same rights and freedoms that Western people enjoy. We have a moral imperative to assist in the modernization of all human cultures; how to do so, and at what cost, remain unanswered, burning questions.

Finally, every day I lived in Kabul my mother-in-law tried to convert me to Islam. She eventually scorned me as the "Yahud" (the "Jew"). Thus, I became finely attuned to religious apartheid as well. I understood that, with some exceptions, Muslims do not have a history or a psychology of tolerating other religions very well; on the contrary. Islamic history is one in which Muslims have taxed, impoverished, jailed, murdered, or exiled all those who do not convert to Islam. Today, the level of anti-American and anti-Jewish propaganda in the Islamic world is lethal, toxic, and has unleashed a global jihad against both Israel and the West. We cannot afford to tolerate the intolerant nor can we afford to minimize the dangers to our civilization posed by Islamist fanatics who have successfully hijacked their religion and peoples. There were also "good" and moderate Germans during Hitler's reign. What matters is that they did not stand up to Hitler. What matters is that otherwise "good" people appeased him as well....

Lopez: Is it shocking to you that "feminism" can't give President Bush any credit, at least, say, for removing the Taliban from power?

Chesler: Yes. I published a letter in the New York Times congratulating him for doing so. I have also written about the powerful women's-rights language contained in many of Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's speeches throughout the Muslim Middle East. It is also shocking that the same feminists who protected President Bill Clinton's sexual abuse of women have not congratulated President Bush for his appointment of Condoleezza Rice and for his Administration's attempts to craft and enforce legislation against trafficking, both domestically and internationally.

Lopez: Did you actually get grief from feminist for writing about the "gender cleaning" of women in Sudan?

Chesler: Yes, I did. When I sent one such piece around, certain left feminists told me that they did not even want to read what I had written because they did not "approve" of my writing for conservative publications. Not even if my pro-woman pieces were solicited and welcomed in conservative quarters and totally censored in left-liberal mainstream quarters. I had a similar problem when I wrote about the refusal of Lukas Moodyson, the brilliant Swedish filmmaker, to allow his film against trafficking (Lilya-4-ever), to be shown at a feminist anti-trafficking conference in Israel. While he allowed the film to be shown in every country on earth where brothels, pimps, and traffickers flourished, he refused to allow anti-trafficking Israelis to show the film once because he disapproved of Israel's military policies. I wrote a piece about censorship and prejudice and about the demonization of Israel which was immediately rejected by the New York and L.A. Times. I published it in Frontpage Magazine and within 48 hours Moodyson reversed his decision and allowed the Israeli feminists to show his film. The fact that my piece got some immediate positive results did not matter. All that mattered was that I had published it in a so-called "right-wing rag."

In addition, as I write in The Death of Feminism, the level of anti-American and anti-Israeli propaganda and intolerance towards all those who do not kow-tow to it is fairly monumental on many feminist list-serv groups. If one does not believe that America "deserved" 9/11; if one does not view America as the true "terrorist"; if one does not believe that Arabs and Muslims are being persecuted in America for "racist" reasons; and if one does not simultaneously believe that the Jews are "imagining" or "exaggerating" anti-Semitism ? then one is not welcome on such list-serv groups. In fact, I was literally "purged," Stalinist-style from one such group for my various pro-America and pro-Israel "Thought Crimes." It was a most instructive experience.

Lopez: What do you mean by "women's studies has been taken over by totalitarian thinkers?"

Chesler: The kind of closed-minded "political correctness" which I have just described above is typical of groupthink and totalitarian thinking. If someone thinks for herself in an independent and creative way and dares to come up with non-party-line conclusions, she or he is then, in classic Orwellian style, deemed the enemy, a traitor, a non-person. Their work will not be read or discussed. They will not be invited to debate or to debate in a civilized and honorable way. They will be called a "racist" and a "neoconservative." If a feminist dares raise the specter of Jew-hatred and the demonization of the Jewish state among leftists and feminists, she will quickly discover that she has become unwelcome in the mainstream media and among leftists (who actually think of themselves as liberals), and among feminists. Palestinianized Western feminists are more concerned with the so-called occupation of a country that does not exist (Palestine), than with the occupation of women's bodies worldwide under Islam. The fact that feminists and leftists still continue to call for boycotts of Israel and to actively demonstrate against a war-time president even after 9/11, 3/11, and 7/7 tells me that they have literally been brainwashed and that reality has no defining role in determining their thoughts or their actions.


Lopez: What's the "new feminism" you envision?

Chesler: I have no intention of leading a new feminist movement. Hopefully other, younger people might do that. For all the reasons mentioned above, I doubt I could work with feminists who are so anti-America, so anti-military, so anti-Israel, so depressingly left ? and so intolerant of intellectual diversity. I could work with feminists, especially religious, Republican, conservative, and Muslim feminists, who understand that totalitarian and terrorist Islam and jihad must be militarily defeated. If not, all our gains will be for naught.

I would very much like to see every American trade and peace treaties tied to women's rights. In addition, every micro-lending program should stipulate that girls in that particular village will not be genitally mutilated, forced to marry as children, and that they will be educated. I believe that there are feminists in the administration who are thinking similar thoughts. I could work with them, but I could also best work on such policies as part of a conservative think tank. The Western academy, as I know it, is no longer hospitable to non-politically correct thinking. See what happened to Larry Summers, the president of Harvard, when he crushed the divestment in Israel initiatives and dared to say aloud something that might be true about gender differences in math and science He was forced to resign. Also see how many distinguished and Saudi-funded universities feel that the concept of academic freedom exists solely to protect the hate speech of the Palestine Solidarity Movement and of other such hate groups.

Lopez: To what extent is there easy common ground on the Right and the Left as far as a new feminism goes?

Chesler: Perhaps such categories as "left" and "right" are no longer useful. I write about this at length in The Death of Feminism. On the other hand, the "Left" is aggressively secular and anti-religious; considers pornography to be "protected" hate speech; considers prostitution and trafficking to be forms of "sex work" which should be de-criminalized or legalized; views paternal sole-custody of children as the feminist solution to the problems that mothers have when they juggle child care and career responsibilities; believes that men and women are actually the "same"; has absolutely no foreign policy except that of opposing whatever President Bush and America do or ever have done ? they really might as well be French; and has no universal feminist policy vis-?-vis jihadic Islam and its Muslim victims. The "right" has opposite views on these subjects. Although some "right-wingers" have diverse views on abortion, civil rights for gay people, the role of multi-national corporations in a time of war, the importance of intellectual and ideological diversity; the dangers of appeasing the Islam, etc. there are few "left wingers" who are at all diverse on their issues. If I am wrong ? I hope they start saying so quickly, loudly, and proudly.


http://www.nationalreview.com/interrogatory/chesler200603080754.asp
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #26 on: April 04, 2006, 01:16:08 PM »

"Even with a fertility rate near replacement level, the United States lacks
the amount of people necessary to sustain an imperial role in the world,
just as Britain lost its ability to do so after its birthrates collapsed in
the early 20th century."
 
Perhaps "The Return of Patriarchy"  may be the promise to stimulate a
discussion about demography. smiley  In G. we can observe that coeducation and
the supression of male aggressiveness/belligerence in schools give a
decisive adantage to girls. Under these circumstances it is much easier for
girls to take advantage of educational offers offered by schools and
universities. Perhaps you remember that these days I wrote that young women
were the first to leave those shrinking cities in the east of G: They got
the best education, were the fastest moving part of the population. Are we
living these days in some sort of matriarchy?
 
Bob
 
http://www.foreignpolicy.com/story/cms.php?story_id=3376
<http://www.foreignpolicy.com/story/cms.php?story_id=3376&page=0> &page=0
 
Foreign Policy

March/April  <http://www.foreignpolicy.com/story/cms.php?story_id=220> 2006
  <outbind://1/http://www.foreignpolicy.com/images/spacer.gif>        

 
 
The Return of Patriarchy
By Phillip Longman
Across the globe, people are choosing to have fewer children or none at all.
Governments are desperate to halt the trend, but their influence seems to
stop at the bedroom door. Are some societies destined to become extinct?
Hardly. It's more likely that conservatives will inherit the Earth. Like it
or not, a growing proportion of the next generation will be born into
families who believe that father knows best.

"If we could survive without a wife, citizens of Rome, all of us would do
without that nuisance." So proclaimed the Roman general, statesman, and
censor Quintus Caecilius Metellus Macedonicus, in 131 B.C. Still, he went on
to plead, falling birthrates required that Roman men fulfill their duty to
reproduce, no matter how irritating Roman women might have become. "Since
nature has so decreed that we cannot manage comfortably with them, nor live
in any way without them, we must plan for our lasting preservation rather
than for our temporary pleasure."

With the number of human beings having increased more than six-fold in the
past 200 years, the modern mind simply assumes that men and women, no matter
how estranged, will always breed enough children to grow the population-at
least until plague or starvation sets in. It is an assumption that not only
conforms to our long experience of a world growing ever more crowded, but
which also enjoys the endorsement of such influential thinkers as Thomas
Malthus and his many modern acolytes.

Yet, for more than a generation now, well-fed, healthy, peaceful populations
around the world have been producing too few children to avoid population
decline. That is true even though dramatic improvements in infant and child
mortality mean that far fewer children are needed today (only about 2.1 per
woman in modern societies) to avoid population loss. Birthrates are falling
far below replacement levels in one country after the next-from China,
Japan, Singapore, and South Korea, to Canada, the Caribbean, all of Europe,
Russia, and even parts of the Middle East.

Fearful of a future in which the elderly outnumber the young, many
governments are doing whatever they can to encourage people to have
children. Singapore has sponsored "speed dating" events, in hopes of
bringing busy professionals together to marry and procreate. France offers
generous tax incentives for those willing to start a family. In Sweden, the
state finances day care to ease the tension between work and family life.
Yet, though such explicitly pronatal policies may encourage people to have
children at a younger age, there is little evidence they cause people to
have more children than they otherwise would. As governments going as far
back as imperial Rome have discovered, when cultural and economic conditions
discourage parenthood, not even a dictator can force people to go forth and
multiply.

       

Throughout the broad sweep of human history, there are many examples of
people, or classes of people, who chose to avoid the costs of parenthood.
Indeed, falling fertility is a recurring tendency of human civilization. Why
then did humans not become extinct long ago? The short answer is patriarchy.

Patriarchy does not simply mean that men rule. Indeed, it is a particular
value system that not only requires men to marry but to marry a woman of
proper station. It competes with many other male visions of the good life,
and for that reason alone is prone to come in cycles. Yet before it
degenerates, it is a cultural regime that serves to keep birthrates high
among the affluent, while also maximizing parents' investments in their
children. No advanced civilization has yet learned how to endure without it.

Through a process of cultural evolution, societies that adopted this
particular social system-which involves far more than simple male
domination-maximized their population and therefore their power, whereas
those that didn't were either overrun or absorbed. This cycle in human
history may be obnoxious to the enlightened, but it is set to make a
comeback.


The Conservative Baby Boom

The historical relation between patriarchy, population, and power has deep
implications for our own time. As the United States is discovering today in
Iraq, population is still power. Smart bombs, laser-guided missiles, and
unmanned drones may vastly extend the violent reach of a hegemonic power.
But ultimately, it is often the number of boots on the ground that changes
history. Even with a fertility rate near replacement level, the United
States lacks the amount of people necessary to sustain an imperial role in
the world, just as Britain lost its ability to do so after its birthrates
collapsed in the early 20th century. For countries such as China, Germany,
Italy, Japan, and Spain, in which one-child families are now the norm, the
quality of human capital may be high, but it has literally become too rare
to put at risk.

Falling fertility is also responsible for many financial and economic
problems that dominate today's headlines. The long-term financing of social
security schemes, private pension plans, and healthcare systems has little
to do with people living longer. Gains in life expectancy at older ages have
actually been quite modest, and the rate of improvement in the United States
has diminished for each of the last three decades. Instead, the falling
ratio of workers to retirees is overwhelmingly caused by workers who were
never born. As governments raise taxes on a dwindling working-age population
to cover the growing burdens of supporting the elderly, young couples may
conclude they are even less able to afford children than their parents were,
thereby setting off a new cycle of population aging and decline.

 

Declining birthrates also change national temperament. In the United States,
for example, the percentage of women born in the late 1930s who remained
childless was near 10 percent. By comparison, nearly 20 percent of women
born in the late 1950s are reaching the end of their reproductive lives
without having had children. The greatly expanded childless segment of
contemporary society, whose members are drawn disproportionately from the
feminist and countercultural movements of the 1960s and 70s, will leave no
genetic legacy. Nor will their emotional or psychological influence on the
next generation compare with that of their parents.

Meanwhile, single-child families are prone to extinction. A single child
replaces one of his or her parents, but not both. Nor do single-child
families contribute much to future population. The 17.4 percent of baby
boomer women who had only one child account for a mere 7.8 percent of
children born in the next generation. By contrast, nearly a quarter of the
children of baby boomers descend from the mere 11 percent of baby boomer
women who had four or more children. These circumstances are leading to the
emergence of a new society whose members will disproportionately be
descended from parents who rejected the social tendencies that once made
childlessness and small families the norm. These values include an adherence
to traditional, patriarchal religion, and a strong identification with one's
own folk or nation.

This dynamic helps explain, for example, the gradual drift of American
culture away from secular individualism and toward religious fundamentalism.
Among states that voted for President George W. Bush in 2004, fertility
rates are 12 percent higher than in states that voted for Sen. John Kerry.
It may also help to explain the increasing popular resistance among
rank-and-file Europeans to such crown jewels of secular liberalism as the
European Union. It turns out that Europeans who are most likely to identify
themselves as "world citizens" are also those least likely to have children.

Does this mean that today's enlightened but slow-breeding societies face
extinction? Probably not, but only because they face a dramatic,
demographically driven transformation of their cultures. As has happened
many times before in history, it is a transformation that occurs as secular
and libertarian elements in society fail to reproduce, and as people
adhering to more traditional, patriarchal values inherit society by default.

At least as long ago as ancient Greek and Roman times, many sophisticated
members of society concluded that investing in children brought no
advantage. Rather, children came to be seen as a costly impediment to
self-fulfillment and worldly achievement. But, though these attitudes led to
the extinction of many individual families, they did not lead to the
extinction of society as a whole. Instead, through a process of cultural
evolution, a set of values and norms that can roughly be described as
patriarchy reemerged.

       


Population Becomes Power

In the primordial past, to be sure, most societies did not coerce
reproduction, because they had to avoid breeding faster than the wild game
on which they fed. Indeed, in almost all the hunter-gatherer societies that
survived long enough to be studied by anthropologists, such as the Eskimos
and Tasmanian Bushmen, one finds customs that in one way or another
discouraged population growth. In various combinations, these have included
late marriage, genital mutilation, abortion, and infanticide. Some early
hunter-gatherer societies may have also limited population growth by giving
women high-status positions. Allowing at least some number of females to
take on roles such as priestess, sorcerer, oracle, artist, and even warrior
would have provided meaningful alternatives to motherhood and thereby
reduced overall fertility to within sustainable limits.

During the eons before agriculture emerged, there was little or no military
reason to promote high fertility. War and conquests could bring little
advantage to society. There were no granaries to raid, no livestock to
steal, no use for slaves except rape. But with the coming of the Neolithic
agricultural revolution, starting about 11,000 years ago, everything
changed. The domestication of plants and animals led to vastly increased
food supplies. Surplus food allowed cities to emerge, and freed more people
to work on projects such as building pyramids and developing a written
language to record history. But the most fateful change rendered by the
agricultural revolution was the way it turned population into power. Because
of the relative abundance of food, more and more societies discovered that
the greatest demographic threat to their survival was no longer
overpopulation, but underpopulation.

At that point, instead of dying of starvation, societies with high fertility
grew in strength and number and began menacing those with lower fertility.
In more and more places in the world, fast-breeding tribes morphed into
nations and empires and swept away any remaining, slow-breeding hunters and
gatherers. It mattered that your warriors were fierce and valiant in battle;
it mattered more that there were lots of them.

 

That was the lesson King Pyrrhus learned in the third century B.C., when he
marched his Greek armies into the Italian peninsula and tried to take on the
Romans. Pyrrhus initially prevailed at a great battle at Asculum. But it
was, as they say, "a Pyrrhic victory," and Pyrrhus could only conclude that
"another such victory over the Romans and we are undone." The Romans, who by
then were procreating far more rapidly than were the Greeks, kept pouring in
reinforcements-"as from a fountain continually flowing out of the city," the
Greek historian Plutarch tells us. Hopelessly outnumbered, Pyrrhus went on
to lose the war, and Greece, after falling into a long era of population
decline, eventually became a looted colony of Rome.

Like today's modern, well-fed nations, both ancient Greece and Rome
eventually found that their elites had lost interest in the often dreary
chores of family life. "In our time all Greece was visited by a dearth of
children and a general decay of population," lamented the Greek historian
Polybius around 140 B.C., just as Greece was giving in to Roman domination.
"This evil grew upon us rapidly, and without attracting attention, by our
men becoming perverted to a passion for show and money and the pleasures of
an idle life." But, as with civilizations around the globe, patriarchy, for
as long as it could be sustained, was the key to maintaining population and,
therefore, power.


Father Knows Best?



Patriarchal societies come in many varieties and evolve through different
stages. What they have in common are customs and attitudes that collectively
serve to maximize fertility and parental investment in the next generation.
Of these, among the most important is the stigmatization of "illegitimate"
children. One measure of the degree to which patriarchy has diminished in
advanced societies is the growing acceptance of out-of-wedlock births, which
have now become the norm in Scandinavian countries, for example.

Under patriarchy, "bastards" and single mothers cannot be tolerated because
they undermine male investment in the next generation. Illegitimate children
do not take their fathers' name, and so their fathers, even if known, tend
not to take any responsibility for them. By contrast, "legitimate" children
become a source of either honor or shame to their fathers and the family
line. The notion that legitimate children belong to their fathers' family,
and not to their mothers', which has no basis in biology, gives many men
powerful emotional reasons to want children, and to want their children to
succeed in passing on their legacy. Patriarchy also leads men to keep having
children until they produce at least one son.


       

Another key to patriarchy's evolutionary advantage is the way it penalizes
women who do not marry and have children. Just decades ago in the
English-speaking world, such women were referred to, even by their own
mothers, as spinsters or old maids, to be pitied for their barrenness or
condemned for their selfishness. Patriarchy made the incentive of taking a
husband and becoming a full-time mother very high because it offered women
few desirable alternatives.

To be sure, a society organized on such principles may well degenerate over
time into misogyny, and eventually sterility, as occurred in both ancient
Greece and Rome. In more recent times, the patriarchal family has also
proved vulnerable to the rise of capitalism, which profits from the
diversion of female labor from the house to the workplace. But as long as
the patriarchal system avoids succumbing to these threats, it will produce a
greater quantity of children, and arguably children of higher quality, than
do societies organized by other principles, which is all that evolution
cares about.

This claim is contentious. Today, after all, we associate patriarchy with
the hideous abuse of women and children, with poverty and failed states.
Taliban rebels or Muslim fanatics in Nigeria stoning an adulteress to death
come to mind. Yet these are examples of insecure societies that have
degenerated into male tyrannies, and they do not represent the form of
patriarchy that has achieved evolutionary advantage in human history. Under
a true patriarchal system, such as in early Rome or 17th-century Protestant
Europe, fathers have strong reason to take an active interest in the
children their wives bear. That is because, when men come to see themselves,
and are seen by others, as upholders of a patriarchal line, how those
children turn out directly affects their own rank and honor.

Under patriarchy, maternal investment in children also increases. As
feminist economist Nancy Folbre has observed, "Patriarchal control over
women tends to increase their specialization in reproductive labor, with
important consequences for both the quantity and the quality of their
investments in the next generation." Those consequences arguably include:
more children receiving more attention from their mothers, who, having few
other ways of finding meaning in their lives, become more skilled at keeping
their children safe and healthy. Without implying any endorsement for the
strategy, one must observe that a society that presents women with
essentially three options-be a nun, be a prostitute, or marry a man and bear
children-has stumbled upon a highly effective way to reduce the risk of
demographic decline.

 

Patriarchy and Its Discontents



Patriarchy may enjoy evolutionary advantages, but nothing has ensured the
survival of any particular patriarchal society. One reason is that men can
grow weary of patriarchy's demands. Roman aristocrats, for example,
eventually became so reluctant to accept the burdens of heading a family
that Caesar Augustus felt compelled to enact steep "bachelor taxes" and
otherwise punish those who remained unwed and childless. Patriarchy may have
its privileges, but they may pale in comparison to the joys of bachelorhood
in a luxurious society-nights spent enjoyably at banquets with friends
discussing sports, war stories, or philosophy, or with alluring mistresses,
flute girls, or clever courtesans.

Women, of course, also have reason to grow weary of patriarchy, particularly
when men themselves are no longer upholding their patriarchal duties.
Historian Suzanne Cross notes that during the decades of Rome's civil wars,
Roman women of all classes had to learn how to do without men for prolonged
periods, and accordingly developed a new sense of individuality and
independence. Few women in the upper classes would agree to a marriage to an
abusive husband. Adultery and divorce became rampant.

Often, all that sustains the patriarchal family is the idea that its members
are upholding the honor of a long and noble line. Yet, once a society grows
cosmopolitan, fast-paced, and filled with new ideas, new peoples, and new
luxuries, this sense of honor and connection to one's ancestors begins to
fade, and with it, any sense of the necessity of reproduction. "When the
ordinary thought of a highly cultivated people begins to regard 'having
children' as a question of pro's and con's," Oswald Spengler, the German
historian and philosopher, once observed, "the great turning point has
come."


The Return of Patriarchy



Yet that turning point does not necessarily mean the death of a
civilization, only its transformation. Eventually, for example, the sterile,
secular, noble families of imperial Rome died off, and with them, their
ancestors' idea of Rome. But what was once the Roman Empire remained
populated. Only the composition of the population changed. Nearly by
default, it became composed of new, highly patriarchal family units, hostile
to the secular world and enjoined by faith either to go forth and multiply
or join a monastery. With these changes came a feudal Europe, but not the
end of Europe, nor the end of Western Civilization.

       

We may witness a similar transformation during this century. In Europe
today, for example, how many children different people have, and under what
circumstances, correlates strongly with their beliefs on a wide range of
political and cultural attitudes. For instance, do you distrust the army?
Then, according to polling data assembled by demographers Ronny Lesthaeghe
and Johan Surkyn, you are less likely to be married and have kids-or ever to
get married and have kids-than those who say they have no objection to the
military. Or again, do you find soft drugs, homosexuality, and euthanasia
acceptable? Do you seldom, if ever, attend church? For whatever reason,
people answering affirmatively to such questions are far more likely to live
alone, or in childless, cohabitating unions, than those who answer
negatively.

The great difference in fertility rates between secular individualists and
religious or cultural conservatives augurs a vast, demographically driven
change in modern societies. Consider the demographics of France, for
example. Among French women born in the early 1960s, less than a third have
three or more children. But this distinct minority of French women (most of
them presumably practicing Catholics and Muslims) produced more than 50
percent of all children born to their generation, in large measure because
so many of their contemporaries had one child or none at all.

Many childless, middle-aged people may regret the life choices that are
leading to the extinction of their family lines, and yet they have no sons
or daughters with whom to share their newfound wisdom. The plurality of
citizens who have only one child may be able to invest lavishly in that
child's education, but a single child will only replace one parent, not
both. Meanwhile, the descendants of parents who have three or more children
will be hugely overrepresented in subsequent generations, and so will the
values and ideas that led their parents to have large families.

One could argue that history, and particularly Western history, is full of
revolts of children against parents. Couldn't tomorrow's Europeans, even if
they are disproportionately raised in patriarchal, religiously minded
households, turn out to be another generation of '68?

The key difference is that during the post-World War II era, nearly all
segments of modern societies married and had children. Some had more than
others, but the disparity in family size between the religious and the
secular was not so large, and childlessness was rare. Today, by contrast,
childlessness is common, and even couples who have children typically have
just one. Tomorrow's children, therefore, unlike members of the postwar baby
boom generation, will be for the most part descendants of a comparatively
narrow and culturally conservative segment of society. To be sure, some
members of the rising generation may reject their parents' values, as always
happens. But when they look around for fellow secularists and
counterculturalists with whom to make common cause, they will find that most
of their would-be fellow travelers were quite literally never born.

Advanced societies are growing more patriarchal, whether they like it or
not. In addition to the greater fertility of conservative segments of
society, the rollback of the welfare state forced by population aging and
decline will give these elements an additional survival advantage, and
therefore spur even higher fertility. As governments hand back functions
they once appropriated from the family, notably support in old age, people
will find that they need more children to insure their golden years, and
they will seek to bind their children to them through inculcating
traditional religious values akin to the Bible's injunction to honor thy
mother and father.

Societies that are today the most secular and the most generous with their
underfunded welfare states will be the most prone to religious revivals and
a rebirth of the patriarchal family. The absolute population of Europe and
Japan may fall dramatically, but the remaining population will, by a process
similar to survival of the fittest, be adapted to a new environment in which
no one can rely on government to replace the family, and in which a
patriarchal God commands family members to suppress their individualism and
submit to father.


 

Phillip Longman is Bernard L. Schwartz senior fellow at the New America
Foundation. He is the author of The Empty Cradle: How Falling Birthrates
Threaten World Prosperity and What to Do About It (New York: Basic Books,
2004).
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« Reply #27 on: May 08, 2006, 05:45:03 PM »

Symposium: To Rape an Unveiled Woman  
By Jamie Glazov
FrontPageMagazine.com | March 7, 2006



A Muslim rape epidemic in sweeping over Europe -- and over many other nations host to immigrants from the Islamic world. The direct connection between the rapes and Islam is irrefutable, as Muslims are significantly overrepresented among convicted rapists and rape suspects. The Muslim perpetrators themselves boast that their crime is justified since their victims were, among other things, not properly veiled.

What is the psychology here? What is the significance of this epidemic? And how do we face it when our own feminists, with a few exceptions, are deafingly silent about it?


To discuss this issue with us today, we are joined by:

 

Pierre Rehov, a French filmmaker who has filmed six documentaries on the Palestinian Intifada. His new documentary, Suicide Killers, explores the psychology of suicide bombers. It is based on interviews with the victims of suicide bombers, the families of suicide bombers, would-be bombers themselves, and experts on suicide killer mentality.

 

Nancy Kobrin, an affiliated professor to the University of Haifa, Arabist, psychoanalyst and author of the upcoming book, The Sheikh's New Clothes:  Islamic Suicide Terror and What It's Really All About;

 

Peter Raddatz, a German scholar of Islamic Studies and the co-author of the renowned ?Encyclopaedia of Islam.? He is the author of many books, including From Allah to Terror? Jihad and the Western Deformation, Allah's Veil and The Turkish Danger. In a few months he will publish World Risk Iran.

 

and

 

Gudrun Eussner, a journalist with a Ph.D at Free University Berlin, specializing in mass communication and political science, and Iranian philology. She has experience working in numerous Muslim countries, including Bosnia, Indonesia, Kuwait, Malaysia, Morocco, Pakistan, Turkey, Usbekistan and others.

 

FP: Pierre Rehov, Nancy Kobrin, Peter Raddatz and Dr. Gudrun Eussner welcome to Frontpage Symposium.

 

Peter Raddaz let?s begin with you.

 

A man sees a woman and she is not veiled. He thinks to himself: ?Oh, I must rape her now.?

 

No matter how much I try to figure this out, I can?t. What?s the mindset here? If a person is upset that a woman is not veiled, it implies he wants some kind of supposed ?morality.? But if he is thirsting for purity, how does perpetrating a violent sexual atrocity against the ?immoral? one fit into moralizing her and the rest of society ? and himself?

 

Raddatz: Your questions concerning mindset and morals put us right into the middle of the problem. They are the terms any culture's collective psychology is basing on. In the case of prevailing orthodox Islam we are faced with a deep division between the sexes. With Allah's unlimited ruling license the males are entitled to be the masters of the females. The Koranic order says that the man has to "go to the woman" whenever he likes, to "enjoy her however he likes", and to discipline her in case she develops her own ideas like sexual self-determination.

 

Over the centuries this basic frame had been filled with a lot of "prophetic" instructions as to what disastrous role the woman could play if the man as Allah's deputy does not carry out this divine license of fertilizing control. Insofar the woman is looked upon from a "higher" biologistic viewpoint regarding her as "seed field" that - under strict male surveillance signaled by "Islamic correct" veiling - guarantees for the continued survival and expansion of Islam.  

   

We are dealing here with premodern, partly archaic thinking that divides its world into two Manichaean halves. Irrespective of the usual statistical remnant of liberal "dissidents", the orthodox ideology bases on an Islamic half that accords to Koran and "prophetic" tradition and a non-Islamic half consisting of unbelievers and disobedient women. The religious war - known as "jihad" - against the latter two groups belongs, therefore, to the most prominent duties of the "believing" Muslim. Its "religious" dimension is boosted enormously by customary family "honor" installing male control from early youth on, often widening into brutal raping, sometimes incestuous punishing patterns. Here a complicated interaction between father, mother, son and daughter comes into play about which, I guess, Dr. Kobrin will give us quite interesting insights.  

 

Thus, the ontological being in Islam is not defined by individual right but clearly as integral part of the community in terms of a whole and "holy" entirety. In this context the primary form of human being is seen in the male that assumes the right and duty to assist Allah in conserving and expanding his "umma", meaning his community.

 

Its biologistic "thinking" demands the "pure" man as the real human dominating the "impure" woman as a lower form, rather close to some animal-like existence. Therefore, sexuality cannot be sublimated and has to serve - aside from ramifications into homo-, paedo- and sodo-variants - a basic double function: fertilizing and punishing.

 

This paradigm expresses itself not only in highly standardized family patterns but also in an equally conformistic education system. All contents, in school and university of almost every Islamic country, are ultimately restricted and tied to Islamic purposes, thereby avoiding abstract thinking categories that could relativate and jeopardize the dogma's absolute uniqueness. By the same token, however, and this is the core of "modern" Islam's tragedy, the male controllers are confined to physical methods of "sublimation" whenever problems arise. Aside from the usual bombing "protest" against Western "arrogance" and "unbelieving morals", the current rape wave is the vital expression of an ongoing jihad against women who under Western influence may drift slowly out of the grip of male Muslim hands.

 

The war character of this behaviour may become clearer from its archaic punishment perspective that has come out of use generally but survived in Islam until present times. During the Algerian independence war the freedom fighters used to publicly sodomize French officers in order to achieve the enemy's maximum degradation. The same applies to the woman as a possible internal enemy containing even a double danger: her alleged disobedience is a bio-political security risk for the Islamic entirety and her independent "devilish" sexuality represents a religious blasphemy, contaminating male purity. Both have to be dealt with accordingly: beating, raping, torturing, stoning, and killing.

 

While some UN organizations keep on complaining about this, the Western feminists keep silent because they are not interested in the general problem but rather concentrate on clutching to their few elitarian privileges, mainly in business. Doing this they are simple part of a greater Western mainstream that has started to adjust to Muslim immigrant political "sharia" demands based on the growing radical Islamist influence as well as oil price pressure. And mind you: keeping Muslim women obedient through male "honor" might also sustain their "seed field" fertilization rate thereby compensating for the Western "morals" of pornography and weak reproduction. In this respect global elite ideology, anti-Semitic "new age" fascism and Islam are not so far apart.        

       

FP: Thank you Dr. Raddatz. Dr. Eussner?

 

Eussner: Thank you, Jamie. I agree with Peter: The survival and expansion of Islam worldwide is the main goal of Islam since its invention by Mohammed. In this respect, the history of Islamic conquest is self-explanatory. The other aspect is the lack of appreciation for the individual as such. For both, men and women, it is true, that there are no individual rights, but for women it is even worse.

 

It may sound harsh, but the distinction between "fertilizing" and "punishing" a woman is evident. On the one hand you have sexuality as a tool serving the expansion of Islam, and on the other hand there is sexuality as a weapon against disobedient and non-Muslim women, both categorized as "unbelievers". Against them jihad is the duty, and what to do with women "conquered" in jihad, this may be read in the Qur'an: they become slaves to be used by the victors.

 

Why is the raping of unveiled women, either Muslim or non-Muslim, now spreading widely in our countries?

 

The conduct towards these women is due to the new developments initiated by Salafists like Tariq Ramadan. He has invented and introduced a new definition for the Western countries: they should no longer be seen the traditional way as Dar ul-harb, the space of war, but as Dar el-dawa?, the invitation to Islam, or Dar ash-shah?da, the space of testimony.

 

While orthodox Sunni Muslims, stuck to the unchanged application of the tradition are not at all in line with this "modern" interpretation, the "scholar" Tariq Ramadan has paved a soft way for Muslims to take possession of countries formerly belonging to the Dar ul-harb. When living in Dar ul-harb there are two alternatives for the Muslims: either conquer the land by force and rule it by Qur'anic law or, if not strong enough, keep quiet and wait, not touching the property of the enemy.

 

Dar el-dawa? and Dar ash-shah?da are two of the trickiest inventions ever to reach the goal of conquest: at a quick and superficial glance it means resigning from the conversion of the West to Islam, permitting everybody to keep on in his belief, but on closer examination that means what the French call "l'entrisme", unnoticed penetration.

 

The Muslims are not living any longer in a hostile surrounding; they are almost in Dar ul-Islam. Professor Nezvat Yal?intas, member of the Istanbul parliament, made an interesting statement. During the inauguration of the Murabitun mosque in Granada, Spain, in July 2003, he told the audience that Paris, Rome, Madrid now were components of the Islamic world due to the erection of new mosques.

 

But as Muslims are still obliged to wage a perpetual war against those infidels who refuse to submit, the jihad is continuing in Dar ash-shah?da, and people not behaving according to the Qur'anic laws have to be punished. The trick of introducing these new definitions has a severe impact on Muslims' consciousness, especially on young Muslim men. People not behaving according to the Qur'anic laws are to be punished even stronger now. The Muslims are not any more restricted by the laws of Dar ul-harb, that has evaporated without notice, merely by changing the definition. The inhabitants of our countries are to obey to Muslim male supremacy and Qur'anic laws. What better a justification for conduct towards women?

 

The jihad against the infidels is conducted on each and every level, not only as terror and suicide bombing. The jihad against women, who by their behaviour in the public sphere, are "asking for rape", as the Danish mufti Shahid Mehdi, a Qur'an teacher of young Muslims in Copenhagen, put it in 2004, and/or towards their husbands, by their alleged disobedience are challenging the survival and expansion of Islam, of the "Ummah", is a must for the Muslim men.

 

As far as the Western feminists are concerned, they seem to be hovering in other dimensions, in absolute arrogance, learned from ethnologues like Claude L?vy-Strauss. For them, freedom is that each "culture" may it be as inhuman as can be, is entitled to prosper even on our soil.  The next act in this surrealistic piece of stage play is the unlimited understanding that Norwegian Professor Ms. Unni Wikan, shows for Muslims raping Western women: Norwegian women must take their share of responsibility for these rapes, as they are not dressing and behaving according to Muslim understanding. The Norwegian women, in her view, are to realize that they live in a multicultural society and adapt themselves to it, as Mark Steyn reported already in 2002.

 

FP: Thank you Dr. Eussner. Mr. Rehov, your turn.

 

Rehov: There are very few observations that I can add to Dr Eussner?s and Dr Raddatz?s surveys on both the cultural and religious seeds of the phenomenon, although there is a personal dimension that I would like to explore.

 

Of course, in a cultural environment where women are undermined, not to say considered as second rate citizens or even dangerous to the dominant male, the temptation to rape as a result to ? provocation ? is great. Female ?provocation? in the Muslim society is usually a definition for the mildest behavior. Smiling, singing, talking, being alone for one minute in the same room as the rapist, having answered a question in an inappropriate way, wearing clothes which are not strictly in obedience with what is locally considered as the Muslim rules, all of these innocent behaviors are seen as a misconduct authorizing  ?revenge.?

 

In a society where sex is absolutely forbidden, taboo, and where separation between males and females is absolute, where in most cases marriages are not the result of love but of a financial arrangement between two families, the sensual or erotic aspect of any relationship between genders is, de-facto, suspicious, considered evil, and therefore an act of aggression. Sexual ?revenge?, containing violence, can be naturally considered as  the automatic answer to the ? provocations ? described above, and this for two reasons.

 

In Muslim society the male is dominant and almighty since he is made after God, when women have been created as a necessary evil to tempt males. In other words, the female body is the closest thing to the Devil, something which has to be dominated as a proof a faith. We go back to the sacrifice of Eros to Thanatos, as one of the basic sacrifices of all monotheisms, where, since the origins of the Bible, first inspiration to the Koran, women have been the carriers of the original sin.

 

In such a pattern, a male will not only consider any suspect behavior, including the mildest one, as an evil temptation, but he might look forward to experiencing one, as a religious challenge. Whatever will happen then won?t be the result of his own will, but he believes in having received absolution in advance for an act that, he knows, is against his own religion.  During these minutes of deception and absolute power, he is not abusing a woman but fighting the Devil inside.

 

Of course, primitive chauvinism is the second reason. Again, since males in chauvinist societies are deprived of all natural pleasures resulting from what we consider a normal relationship between men and women, beside sexual ones, the level of frustration is very high and the fear of impotency even higher. A male tempted must react. The automatic result to frustration and fear is usually violence. In this case, sexual violence.

 

A friend of mine is a retired chief of police, who used to be in charge of the security of a major city in the south of France. He reported to me that his men had to face an average of 10 rapes a week, 80% made by Muslim young men. 30% being what we call, in French, a ? tournante ?, meaning that the victim is being raped by an entire gang, one after the other, often during an entire night. My friend reports that, in many cases, he was able to locate and arrest the rapists, often very young ones, and, as part of the investigation, call the families. He was astonished that, in most cases, the parents not only would back up their rapist children, but also would not even understand why they would be arrested. There is an instant shift in the notion of good and evil as a major component of culture. The only evil those parents would see, genuinely, is the temptation that the male children had to face. Since in most cases the victims were not Muslims, the parents? answer and rejection was even more genuine: how could their boys be guilty of anything, when normally answering to a provocation by occidental women, known for their unacceptable behavior?

 

Kobrin: Thanks, Jamie. So far I agree with everything the panel has said. There are several layers to this tragedy which will ultimately occur here in the United States, if it hasn?t already. Why? Because other aspects of Islamic practices in extremis, such as marriage under Sharia law but not civil law, polygamy and clan practices of female genital mutilation in the African Muslim immigrant populations persist even though FGM was outlawed in 1994.

 

I have it from first hand experience interviewing Muslim male immigrants that they hate it here in the United States because if they raise their hand, the women and children call the police. However, in the same breath, these same women will defend their men because it is part of the fused mentality and identification with the aggressor.

 

I interviewed Muslim women who justified wife beating because it is ?educational.? These women were probably brutalized as little girls and are unable to know NOT to blame the unveiled woman victim. Every Muslim male and female that I have interviewed has experienced being beaten as a child and have witnessed the beating of their mother.

 

Rape is learned behavior in the home. Peter is absolutely correct in describing the insidious sexual dichotomy of Muslim male supremacy over the lowly denigrated female. Pierre underscored the degree to which a family will defend its own rapist because of alleged ?honor.? Why should it surprise us that they have moved out into the streets and feel entitled to rape?
 
At the ideological level which Gudrun has so aptly introduced into this discussion, we encounter the classic practice of taqiya, lit. ?guarding one?s self? more commonly thought of dissimulation and its insidious behavior of orchestrating jihad by every possible means in a clandestine manner. Rape is just one more weapon in the jihadi arsenal for Dar el-dawaa and Dar ash-shahada. While the labels may change, Muslim male sexual inadequacies, to put it mildly, remain the same and their rage is inflicted brutally on the other. I do not recall ever reading in the literature on rape as a weapon of war that the underlying issue of child sexual abuse is probably the precursor for such despicable behavior. The sexual norms of the Arab Muslim world are totally different. As a psychoanalyst and trauma expert, if there is physical violence going on in the home, I always wonder about sexual abuse and the perpetrator parents.
 
These Muslim rapists are essentially babies, as they show us their pathetic need to target the most vulnerable because they are completely emasculated. They cannot control themselves sexually and they are sexually confused as well. Power, aggression, rage and sex yield a near lethal mix arising out of bizarre family dynamics which they experienced growing up.

 

They are directly attacking not only the venerable Western female but also the rape should be thought of as a kind of ambush on the Western male.

 

I never really bought the argument that Bouyeri murdered Theo van Gogh because of the film -- Submission. Sure that was part of it but the fact that Van Gogh called the Jihadis ? a fifth column of goat f--kers must have really hit Bouyeri where it hurt and he lost it ? I might add, shortly after his mother died. To be a goat herder is to be on the lowest rung. Male children are routinely treated as if they were goats. The pet goat is also slaughtered and eaten. Again the imagery goes hand in glove with the dissociated, denied behaviors and ideologies. Rape is a forced sexual fusion. The rapists remain erotically fused to their mothers upon whom they completely depend emotionally but hate it.
As for the Western feminists in academe who have completely sold out to political correctness, they too remain clueless as to what their behavior tells us about themselves. They function as another fused family who must go to extreme lengths to defend these male rapists as well. I would assume that at some level these feminists must really be terrified because if they were to take a hard look, they would have to admit to themselves that they might be next.

 

FP: I think you have hit the nail on the head, but I do not think the radical feminists are afraid of being next. From my study of the Left, they crave to be next and that is why they support these dark forces. They yearn to submit to the dark forces of totalitarianism and even to be devoured by them. It is the same death-wish virus that motivated many Western communists to go to Stalinist Russia to supposedly build communism, when they actually only went to their deaths, giving their lives for an idea that butchered them.

 

Dr. Raddatz, go ahead.

 

Raddatz: There seems to be a remarkable consent among ourselves on the subject, contrary however, to the official "Islamic correct" reception on Western elite level. Here we can register a very modest resonance to the rising wave of violence against Muslim women. In Europe, for instance, we have a whole species of literature at hand in which female authors from Islamic countries give us personal experience reports on their respective lives with male violence in their families. The public discussion on this was and still is close to zero and the current rape wave has not given much incentive to it.

 

In Germany in 1960, in words: sixty so-called scientists from all thinkable and unthinkable departments, foundations, institutes and what have you published an "appeal" in "Die Zeit", a renowned weekly paper. Here they warned against a "general suspicion" the Western societies may spread over all Muslims in case they keep on criticizing "the few" who act violently against their women. By the same token they themselves criticized a German-Turkish female sociologist for her book on her personal youth experience with family violence as well as the inability of the vast majority of Turkish immigrants to integrate into the German society. Here we see another case of the Western decadence game called "victim turning perpetrator" which is constantly gaining aggressive elements among European - male - "intellectuals".      

 

Earlier in this discussion, Nancy Kobrin described the central role the mother-son-relation is playing in this cynical game, how rape is functioning as substitute measure punishing the mother for eternalizing the male dependence on her, irrespective of the usual imitation reflex following the parental violence behaviour. The personal literary reports and the official UN analyses on Islamic family dynamics concur in a somewhat disquieting aspect. They confirm not only the tendency to incest but also an even stronger attitude towards anal sexuality, meaning an unusually high percentage of males preferring anal intercourse to vaginal, especially in the framework of "normal" marital life.

 

Nancy certainly knows much more about this but the so far irrefutable Freudian theory, the "Anatomy of Human Perversion", offers en explanation which might give us some additional insight. According to this the phallic organization of infantile sexuality if kept from diversification, for instance by Oedipal defectiveness, develops into a general male dominance neglecting the female i.e. vaginal "specialty" altogether. In the adult phase neglect turns into semi-conscious contempt and hate for all female attributes forcing the pervert to physically prefer anus to vagina and verbally compare women with animals and even feces. All this is vastly manifest in the texts of Islamic tradition and daily confirmed in the regrettable practice of actual Islamic life.

 

If Western "elites" are not able to openly discuss these deficits they indicate their readiness to assume similar attitudes and possibly destruct the grown order. The growing aggression against women as well as the obvious sympathy for homo- and paedo-sexuality put them closer to Islamic preferences and may even signal a meta-social trend that could lead back into pre-modern i.e. totalitarian structures. Insofar we are not only dealing with a mere mode of the Left as Jamie implies, but also with a Neo-fascist thinking frame that wants to install Islam unchanged and incessantly demands "respect" for its adored wholeness.  

 

FP: Dr. Raddatz, could you kindly, in simple terms, explain what you mean when you refer to ?the phallic organization of infantile sexuality? being kept from ?diversification?? What exactly is ?oedipal defectiveness? and why and how does it develop ?into a general male dominance? that neglects the female vagina, etc.? Break this down into simple terms for me and our readers. This is obviously crucial because it is the foundation to the pathology in the culture under examination.

 

Raddatz: I will at least try to put this matter into somewhat simpler terms, as it is a very complicated problem indeed. It gets even more complicated as the relativistic development of modern Western science often obscures the view into those contexts, especially if they concern other cultures. Take for instance what I refer to as "the phallic organization of infantile sexuality". Basically it means that the Koran and Tradition are the fundamentals of Islamic societies and are centered around the maximization of male potency. Upon certain festivities like circumcision and others all family members fondle and even kiss the "member" of male babies, speak respective magic formulas and donate money notes to activate Allah?s mercy for its future fertilizing power.

 

The term "infantile" in this respect does not stop at individual male dominance from juvenile age on. It also concerns an infantile society from the anthropological point of view. Western psychology has declared the Freudian theory of "penis envy" as obsolete. The Muslim theory represents the opposite. Since a millennium ago here the sex theologians circle around one and the same project: the optimized spreading and utilization of collective semen by elevation of man, repression of woman, polygamy, rape and marital law. Even Allah bows to the penis power: She, who wants to pray rather than to have sexual intercourse, is a sinneress. And Muhammad bowed to those who wanted to fornicate with prostitutes during pilgrimage, leading to the world famous tradition of "dripping penises in Mecca".

 

What do these practices tell us? Above all they lead us back into pre-modern if not pre-cultural times. Cave drawings show hunters killing big animals while their erected penises are connected through a power line with vaginas of the group' s women. In other words, without dominating women men cannot rule freely - i.e. neglecting the natural order - over the society. This is a very old, pre-modern truth, obviously still deeply rooted in Islam, thereby preventing this culture from sexual and ethical emancipation. Female existence is felt as being lower than the animal stage, and satisfying female sexuality is, therefore, psychotically feared as "devilish" temptation which leads us right into our second point, the "oedipal defectiveness".

 

Men who have been raised as omnipotent family monarchs, some sort of alpha males with a penis as irrefutable power instrument, things may get difficult in the adult age. As I pointed out before, and Nancy Kobrin has described so clearly, incest is one of the biggest social problems in Islam, and incest at last is also connected inseparably to the Oedipus complex. It is the meta-historical expression of breaking the world order by elevating the narcissistic omnipotence of man. As this obviously cannot find the basic fulfillment though reuniting with the mother, it "sublimates" its frustration by repressing, punishing and raping women. The male principle culminates in itself, thereby forced to destruct instead of construct, to express itself not in terms of products but in "disducts" - like feces - and to ultimately drift from vagina to anus. There is no "culture" in the world where more married people practice anal intercourse than in Islam. Individually it is again connected to a regression of the adult person into a childhood ego-idea closing the Oedipal circle of hating the female uniqueness one more time.  

 

There can be no doubt that homosexuality is on a strong march forward, and there can be even less doubt that "disducts" like vomit and feces are also gaining popularity as means of expression on theater stages as well as in films and on television. Watch also the many other aesthetic aspects to this phenomenon like the diminishing degree of light in films, the growing majority of black clothing instead of bright colors, the spreading primitivity of "art" and so on. Not to speak of the biological regression into which a whole myriad of reasons against children has converged. Needless to say that the grown order and its society has to be replaced by an "order" that functions on a counter basis as opposite and alien as possible. The late Michel Foucault is the most efficient priest of this project.

 

What we are watching here is an ultra long-term, meta-historical process, which cannot be influenced on a short-term basis - one of the reasons why it is so difficult to explain and why I must apologize for having been quite academic again. This process simply exceeds the limits of human feasibilities and our lifetimes as well. It is the consequent inexorability of its "progress" that stuns everybody who observes it. All we can do is to be conscious of it and talk and write against it where ever our creator has put us.

 

Meanwhile we can enjoy people who recognize that the creation does not come from man but contains men and women as unity inside an order which is compatible with their minds. The goal of the non-system, however, is the abolishment of every known system, the break of the human mind, the total change from perpetrator to victim, from the old reality to a "New Age, the ultimate return into chaos where we - allegedly - come from. On its way there this "thinking" regards Islam as the most attractive companion as it has "achieved" the most important prerequisite already - the absence of "old" ethics.    

 

FP: Dr. Eussner, your turn.

 

Eussner: Let me answer Pierre Rehov first. I agree in what you said about experiencing religious challenge, the proof of faith, Pierre. The religious task of fighting the Devil inside may be achieved in abusing unveiled women. But this is only half of the story, the religious side. The political side is even more important, as political Islam is using religion as a pretext, as a manipulating tool. The message given to the Muslim women in Muslim and in Western countries is: you don't ask for nothing, neither for equal treatment nor for liberty, otherwise you will be punished, i.e. beaten and raped.

 

A disobedient woman is outlawed. The high percentage of gang raping is due to the cowardliness of the young Muslim men, in France named "les jeunes", the youngsters. As their religion is never appreciating the individuum as such, but only as part of the Ummah, "les jeunes" are not strong enough on their own, so they are acting as representatives of the Ummah, fighting unbelievers, disobedient and unveiled women.

 

This is consented to by the families. You said it in mentioning your friend, the retired chief of police: the parents of the rapist children don't understand why their children were arrested. This is showing their close attachment to Islamic law, the sharia. In midst of our Western society they are living according to their law, which is not compatible to our values and laws.

 

Allow me to please comment on the very interesting comments you made, Nancy Kobrin. Your words support what Pierre said for Europe. The Muslim male immigrants hate it in the USA because they are not totally free to live according to the sharia. Women and children are entitled to call the police and sometimes do. But Muslim women are submitted to their law, they defend their men, they identify with the aggressor. They are afraid of the men. Islam rules by force and violence. And the young Muslim men, living somewhere at the end of a hierarchy of Muslim men, starting with Mohammed at the top and themselves at the bottom, they are indeed essentially babies who are not able to control themselves. Targeting the most vulnerable parts of the society is a typical sign of totalitarian regimes.

 

Political Islam, that is an Islam not only confined to the mosques and the private spiritual life but ruling through the sharia, leads to fear and submission. And we find today, that this fear is spreading into our Western society. Government authorities and offices, media, educational institutions, political parties, intellectuals and feminists are submitting themselves to Islamic claims and laws. The Islamization of our societies is in the making. Step by step we are pulling back. We are not defending our values, but we are submitting to the outrageous claims of dictatorial Islamic governments. What better an example as the handling of the publication of 12 Danish cartoons!

 

And, Peter, you said it: there is a very modest resonance to the raising wave of violence against Muslim women. Even worse: in Germany we are not only facing opposition by ignorant ministries, government authorities and media against the reality Muslim women are facing, but a whole bunch of social scientists are running down testimonies and reports by the victims.

 

Turkish female academics testifying about the situation of Muslim women in our society, talking about forced marriages, beating and rape, are torn down by multi-culti loving leftist social scientists. In my research work on the campaign against the French philosopher Alain Finkielkraut I came across a feminist in favour of the head scarf, who is understanding fully the rioting Muslim youngsters, that is the Allah Houakhbar shouting mob of the French suburbs, and to round it off, cooperating closely with the Salafist Web Site Oumma.com and a so-called Third World Solidarity Center, supporting Tali Fahima and thanking Yasser Arafat for his valuable contribution: "Choukran Abu Amar!"

 

FP: Pierre Rehov?

 

Rehov: Answering first to Dr Raddatz, I'd like to stay a little bit away from any kind of Freudian approach to the problem. In some ways, I believe that Freudism is a tool to explain many problems and behaviors in an involved civilization, most of those problems being generated by the "taboos" of this civilization.

 

When talking about "rape" by young Muslims, I think that our usual approaches don't apply anymore. What builds a Muslim young male's ego is very far away from what we consider as part of the subconscious of any young male in a modern Judeo-Christian society. I am not sure, for instance, that a Freudian approach could explain the level of fear towards Witches, or the violence generated by Inquisition during the dark ages of Christianity. Freudian- in my opinion - is not a tool to understand behaviors connected to the irrational. Although, of course, I am not a psychiatrist, not an analyst.

 

Back to our rapists, I would make it simple by saying that genuine frustration, combined with a high contempt toward women, as a result of a culture in which women are classified way under men, leads to an instinctive - animal type - behavior, not censored nor punished by common cultural values.

 

Inside the Palestinian territories, I collected a lot of different stories involving raping of an innocent girl who later on was slaughtered by her own father or cousin, because she had lost her virginity.

 

This example to say that, in Muslim culture, values exist, but the line between good and evil is drawn somewhere else, far away from our understanding. Protecting women against themselves is considered a good action, even if this includes death penalty, as long as family's honor - which is paramount - is saved.

 

When Dr. Eussner adds to my previous comments that religion is only half of the explanation, and that we mustn't forget the political aims, I could not agree more. Although I'd like to emphasize that in the Muslim world, religion and politics is one single thing. There is no separation between powers in any Muslim society and the ideal Muslim society accepts the Shari'ah (Muslim law, written in the Koran ) as the basis for any civil society, including its rules of punishment.

 

In addition, I can see in any raping of a non-Muslim woman by a Muslim male as a racist action, and it is high time for us to acknowledge and condemn it. The level of contempt towards non-Muslim women is the reflection of the level of hatred towards the society which creates equality between men and women. We all know that there is a sexual component in any form of racism. I personally see primitive racism as the expression of a fear connected to the unconscious protection of the genes among the males. Raping women belonging to another cultural, religious group or race is an act of male domination not only against the woman herself, but against the entire group in which she belongs.

 

Therefore, we have to differentiate two types of rapings: the aims are different whether the victim is a Muslim or a non-Muslim. In the second case, hatred is added to contempt.

 

FP: Nancy Kobrin, last word goes to you.

 

Kobrin: People are more similar than they are different. However, the devil is in the details.

 

Everything is always already psychosexual. Rape by definition is psychosexual, obviously. It is one thing to have rape fantasies which is very common (cf. M. Bader. Arousal: The Secret Logic of Sexual Fantasies, Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin?s Press, 2002). It is quite another not to have any boundaries and to inflict rape, which is a forced sexual fusion. This concretely expresses the inability to be separate and independent. It is pure aggression, rage and severe separation anxiety. The Arab Muslim culture by definition promotes an incested family, a ?closed circle?, and their ?Freud? is Abdelwahab Bouhdiba, Sexuality in Islam, Saqi Books, 1998. If you read French, it?s been available since 1975 in the original.

 

[1] This brings me to Freud. He is not as western as people would like to think. In fact he held strong identifications with Sephardic culture since his adolescence as expressed by a significant body of correspondence (before e-mail) in Spanish with his childhood Rumanian Jewish friend Edouard Silberstein. Elsewhere I have argued that his romance with Spanish was his ?private Ladino? which served him better than Yiddish which was often stigmatized.  The Sephardic culture of Andalusia and its over-idealized Golden Age provided a much-needed psychological refuge for the young Freud facing severe anti-Semitism in Vienna where he was growing up. He needed to cling to a fantasy of convivencia/ coexistence. He was also aware of the Ottoman Empire?s history of breathing down Europe?s neck. It has been western philosophical tradition which co-opted Freud to its various ends while at the same time never able to see this special emotional tie that Freud had. For Muslims Sephardic and Mizrahi cultures and their Jews are most especially threatening because they are so similar up to a point and the fear is one of merging with the Other and losing their fragile sense of self. The jihadis are terrified of them because they raise the question of imitation and inauthenticity. The radical Islamists and to a lesser extent the Ummah harbor such fears of being fraudulent. The identities are intertwined, even geopolitically.

 

[2] This brings me to the recent tragic death of 23 yr old Ilan Halima z?l, baited and tortured to death. We have seen this time and again before. This is yet another psychosexual tactic in the arsenal of terrorism along with gang rape and suicide bombing. These strategies to annihilate the Other which is always perceived as female should be read functionally and by this I mean, that imagery is key. The terrorists think visually. I recently read Dr. Temple Grandin?s Thinking in Pictures: My Life with Autism and her other book co-authored with Catherine Johnson, Animals in Translation: Using the Mysteries of Autism to Decode Animal Behavior, Scribner, 2005. I do not mean to say that terrorists are simply autistic. It is more complicated than that but their behaviors such as gang rape is terror-driven and similar to the rapist roosters who rape and murder hens when they have been bred incorrectly because this is not normal for roosters. ?There is no species alive in nature where half the males kill reproductive-age females.? (Grandin, Animals in Translation, p.70)

 

In my work on Islamic suicide terrorism, I have noted that the rage is really against the prenatal Muslim mother, misdirected to the infidels who represent her in the jihadi mind?s eye. Interestingly enough, Grandin also notes that ?humans have neotenized dogs: without realizing it, humans have bred dogs to stay immature for their entire lives.? (P.86) I would substitute the word "bred" for concepts like child-rearing practices, etc. And raise the question as can it be that Arab Muslim boys turned rapists have been "neotenized", that is raised to stay immature for their entire lives?  

 

Finally, the scariest thing of all of this is when bad becomes normal. Quoting Grandin: ?The really bad thing was that the change happened slowly enough [talking about the rapist roosters] that the farmers and probably the breeder colonies, too didn?t realize they?d created a monster. Nobody noticed what was happening. As the roosters got more and more aggressive, the humans unconsciously adjusted their perceptions of how a normal rooster should act. It was a case of the bad becoming normal, . . . [emphasis mine].? (p.72)

 

Those who defend the rapists and their culture (no matter where they are located on the spectrum of politics) have unconsciously adjusted their perceptions of how Muslim males should act. They have done so because at some unconscious disavowed level they themselves are terrified. I am not advocating ?compassion? for them because they are terrified. That is their problem and I refuse to blame the victim. However, I am advocating understanding the problem at the deepest level possible for ourselves because it is crazy making and we need to stay grounded in what is predicted to be a very long marathon on terrorism. The Israelis say between 300 to 500 years and considering the transgenerational transmission of trauma, to my analytic ear that sounds just about right. Thank you Jamie and your staff at FrontPageMag.com along Dr. Raddatz, Dr. Eussner and Mr. Rehov as it has been for me a thought provoking exchange.

 

FP: Pierre Rehov, Nancy Kobrin, Peter Raddatz and Dr. Gudrun Eussner, thank you for joining Frontpage Symposium.

 

Click Here to support Frontpagemag.com.
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« Reply #28 on: May 10, 2006, 01:05:48 AM »

Victory! Anti-Father CA Bill Pulled
in Face of Huge Opposition  
 
May 9, 2006
 
 
Anti-Father CA Bill Pulled in Face of Huge Opposition

In the face of over 4,000 opposition calls, letters and faxes, California Senator Gloria Romero (D-Los Angeles) has decided to withdraw a bill which would have granted custodial parents an almost unlimited right to move children far way from their noncustodial parents. Romero pulled SB 1482 just before today's scheduled hearing on the bill.

SB 1482 would have weakened if not abrogated the California Supreme Court's 2004 LaMusga move-away decision, which affirmed that courts have the power to restrain moves which run counter to children's best interests.

The bill was supported by a wide array of feminist groups and state-funded pro-feminist organizations, including the California National Organization for Women, the California Commission on the Status of Women, the California Partnership to End Domestic Violence, the Coalition for Family Equity, Haven Hills, Inc., Marin Abused Women's Services, Business and Professional Women/USA, the National Council of Jewish Women Los Angeles, the Santa Clara County Domestic Violence Advocacy Consortium, and others.
 
 Advertise on the World's Largest Regularly Distributed E-Newsletter on Men's and Fathers' Issues
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Contact us for more information.
 
 
 
 

Opposition to the bill and unrestricted move-aways was led by the Alliance for Children Concerned About Move-Aways, an advocacy group endorsed by over 50 mental health and family law professionals, and Mike Robinson and the California Alliance for Families and Children. Several organizations of family law and mental health professionals also opposed SB 1482,  including the California Judge's Association, the California Psychological Association, and the State Bar of California's Family Law Section.

This is the second time an attempt by misguided feminists to abrogate LaMusga has been defeated. From 1996 to 2004 move-away determinations were based on the Burgess decision, which was interpreted by California courts as conferring unlimited move-away privileges. Under Burgess the bonds between tens of thousands of children and their noncustodial parents were needlessly ruptured.

The California Supreme Court addressed the problem in the LaMusga decision in April, 2004 by making it clear that courts can prevent children from being moved when it is detrimental to their interests. Among the factors deemed important were the relationship between the child and the nonmoving parent.

In the summer of 2004 then Senate President John Burton, one of the most powerful people in California, introduced SB 730, a bill which would have granted custodial parents an almost unlimited right to move children far way from their noncustodial parents.

We organized opposition to SB 730, and thousands of you wrote and called Sacramento to oppose the bill. Our campaign gained widespread media attention and was endorsed by numerous mental health and family law professionals. Burton surprised Sacramento insiders by withdrawing the bill a few weeks later.

When SB 1482 was originally introduced in February, its language was innocuous. The bill's backers then made a sweeping, last minute amendment to the bill in order to slip it through committee on April 25 before opponents had a chance to organize. We quickly organized a deluge of calls and letters in opposition. The hearing on the bill was postponed to May 9 and then the bill was pulled.

As the Alliance for Children Concerned About Move-Aways noted in its position letter:

"SB 1482 will make it more difficult for children of divorce to retain the loving bonds they share with both parents.

"SB 1482 specifically prohibits a parent seeking to prevent his or her children from being moved far away from citing most of the evidence that could provide a basis for restraining the move. Under this bill, nonmoving parents are prevented from citing the move's impact on their children's relationships with them or the effects on the children of losing their schools and friends. This directly abrogates current California case law, which says that the children's relationship with their nonmoving parent must be considered when deciding a relocation case."

"The LaMusga move-away case, decided by the California Supreme Court in 2004, is a good example of the way [under Burgess] custodial parents were permitted to move children far away without justification. In that case the mother sought to move her two boys from the Bay Area to Ohio because, she claimed, she wanted to attend a law school there. Apparently none of the multitude of law schools in the Bay Area sufficed. Later she moved to Arizona because, she explained, her new husband needed work. His job? Selling cars...

"Part of the problem is that current policies provide strong financial incentives for moving. California has a high child support guideline, a high cost of living, and high wages. Thus custodial parents can often live better by moving to states which have a lower cost of living, because they will still collect child support awards based on California wages and support guidelines. This is a terrible injustice to noncustodial parents, who often must stay behind to work to pay child support for children who have been moved out of their lives."

Thanks again to the thousands of you who wrote or called Sacramento in opposition to SB 1482.
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buzwardo
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« Reply #29 on: September 03, 2007, 05:56:21 PM »

Oh. My. Goodness.

'You're a woman, because you're not a man'
Karima's dual 'conversion'

by Karima Idrissi and Michel Hoebink*
03-09-2007

Karima Tieleman's first 'conversion' was from male to female; six years later she converted to Islam. However, the acceptance she hoped to find has also proved to be sadly absent among her fellow believers. She believes it is her fate to be misunderstood and rejected for the rest of her life. Although she says she's happy with her life, she also admits that she sometimes tires of having to fight all the time.


Karima Tieleman, her blushing Dutch face ringed by a black chador, speaks softly and is a little shy. It took her a while and much thought before she consented to tell her story.

Psychiatric clinic
Now aged 31, Karima realised she was a female in a male body when she was around eight years old, but waited until puberty to tell her parents. They were extremely shocked and took her to a doctor. In the 1980s, transsexuality was still a taboo in some circles. She was admitted to a psychiatric clinic at a hospital in Utrecht.

She then fell into the depths of misery. She failed at senior school - she wasn't accepted by her fellow students - and attempted suicide twice. The only person that understood her was her younger sister.

As a man
When she was 17, she decided not to fight the world any more and to go through life as a man. She went to work in the horticultural sector, going to discos in the evening where she'd gaze at girls who she didn't find at all attractive.

She managed to maintain this charade for three years before realising it wasn't going to work. Finally, she chose for her own truth. She went to the gender clinic at the Free University Hospital in Amsterdam and found the expertise and support she needed. It was here, that for the first time in her life, she heard that it was okay and that she could prepare to live her life as a girl. A couple of years later, now aged 24, she underwent the final operation to become a woman. She started working in a shoe shop in Rotterdam. "After that last operation, I really started living".

Always rejected
However, it wasn't an easy life. New friends disappeared as soon as they heard her story and she didn't have much luck with relationships either. Her greatest love betrayed her, and later turned out to have been married all along. Since then she's come to the conclusion that she will always be rejected and no longer wants to have a relationship.
Her second 'conversion' took place last year. Many of the customers in the shoe shop were Moroccan women and she got on well with them. Young headscarf-wearing women told her about Islam. She felt accepted by those women in a way that was totally new to her. That is exactly what makes Islam so attractive to her: "In Islam you are accepted just as you are". She eventually decided to convert. She went to a local mosque and said the Shahadah, or profession of faith.

Hijab
She now has an Arabic name,  Karima and lives as a Muslim. In fact, she's become a woman who makes her choice of religion very clear indeed in her choice of dress. Her body - which, after so much anguish, she had altered to reflect the way she truly felt inside - is now fully covered by a black hijab, with only her face left exposed. Even her hands are covered with black gloves.

Rejection continues to follow Karima, only now she is regularly the target of verbal abuse because of her strict Islamic style of dress: "You wouldn't believe all the kinds of insults that get hurled at you", she comments.

However, she also faced resistance from her fellow believers. At the mosque where she first converted to Islam, neither the women nor the men wanted to pray together with her. The imam, who she had won over to a certain extent with her story, came up with a solution: he reserved a special place for her separate from both the women and the men. I kind gesture on his part, yet one that made Karima sad because the place he chose for her was only accessible through the male entrance to the mosque.

100 percent
She then decided to go to a different mosque and to keep her story to herself, but rumours about her were already flying after she had been going there for just a week. Then she was summoned by the imam who came straight out and asked her whether she still had male genitalia. "No", she exclaimed, "I'm 100 percent a woman, it even says so in my passport!."

The imam's response was to say that she was welcome in the mosque and to allow her to pray with the women. They, too, welcomed her in their midst. "You are a woman, because you are not a man," was their reasoning, and that was an end to the matter, or so it seemed. After a while, Karima noticed a growing absence of other women around her when she attended the mosque. It turned out that the women were staying away because their men folk had forbidden them to go to the mosque… because of her. Once again, she decided to stop going to the mosque.

Accepted
Karima embraced Islam because she felt that it was a faith that accepted her, but now she finds herself rejected and even hounded by her fellow believers. How is that possible? Karima has thought about it a lot and has come to the conclusion that there is a difference between Islam as a religion and Islamic culture. The Islamic faith forgives and accepts her, but when it comes to  Islamic culture there's a great deal that's wrong.

When non-Muslim Dutch people speak to her about Islam and she's asked to explain terrorism carried out in the name of Islam, she follows the same line of reasoning: "You'll find rotten apples everywhere. But that terrorism has nothing to do with Islam. Islam in fact says that we are not allowed to do such things."Happy but tired
Karima now prays in a number of mosques in The Hague and Amsterdam, which means she can stay one step ahead of any opposition to her presence. Despite her problems with the faithful, her relationship with Allah continues to be a good one. Sometimes she spends hours in the mosque talking to Allah. She can understand that people may have a problem with her, but that doesn't make things any easier for her.

"I am - praise be to God - happy with my life. But sometimes it makes you tired; it's a daily battle."

http://www.radionetherlands.nl/currentaffairs/ned070903
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G M
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« Reply #30 on: March 10, 2008, 09:03:11 AM »

Feminists Say the Darndest Things   
By Jamie Glazov
FrontPageMagazine.com | Monday, March 10, 2008

Frontpage Interview’s guest today is Mike Adams, a professor at UNC-Wilmington. He is a popular speaker for Young America's Foundation and writes a column for Town Hall. He is the author of the new book, Feminists Say the Darndest Things: A Politically Incorrect Professor Confronts "Womyn" on Campus.



FP: Mike Adams, welcome to Frontpage Interview.

Adams: Hi and thanks for having me. Please hurry up, though. There's are some feminists wearing "Hillary 2008" tank tops trying to turn my car over in the parking lot. I hate California.

FP: Right ok.

What inspired you to write this book?

Adams: I wrote a series of columns called "Why I don't Take Feminists Seriously" two years ago. They were so popular that readers asked me to write a whole book on the subject. So I did it - not because I generally do what people ask me to do. I did it because I thought I could make a lot of money and buy a lot of guns.

FP: Expand for us on why leftist feminists have so much hatred.Adams: They real aren't as full of hatred as most people think. Feminists often pretend to be angry and offended in order to win debates or, I should say, prevent debates from ever happening. If you can act angry and offended, especially on a college campus, you can shut down the other side using a speech code. I'm willing to bet that the average feminist is more likely to fake a temper tantrum than she is to fake an orgasm.

FP: Well, sounds like a subject for another book.

Tell us a bit about the leftist feminists' disposition toward communism as well as toward the First and Second Amendments.

Adams: Well, we all know that feminists are quite censorious, for the reasons I mentioned above. But feminist opposition to the Second Amendment is a little more perplexing. One would think that gun ownership would provide a good way to equalize physical differences between men and women and, hence, to reduce domestic violence and rape.

But feminists have no interest in using explicit constitutional rights to invoke personal responsibility. They prefer using implicit constitutional rights to avoid responsibility. If you want more elaboration, read Roe v. Wade, 1973.The feminist love of Marxism, like their constant "offense" at different ideas, is also fake.

If a feminist is reading a copy of The Communist Manifesto, you can bet she has a four dollar latte in the other hand. She will only occasionally invoke Marxist language when confronted with some statistic indicating unequal outcome for women.

Her goal then is just to invoke such language in order to win some temporary political victory. You will never see feminists boarding leaky boats and heading towards Cuba to escape their male capitalist oppressors in America. In Cuba, feminists can't afford four dollar lattes.

FP: Crystallize for us the leftist feminists' obsession with sex and abortion. And yet, when it comes to female genital mutilation, forced marriage, child marriage, forced veiling and segregation, honor killing and other barbarities that women suffer under Islamic gender apartheid, these same Western feminists are silent. What gives?

Adams: I support a woman's right to have equal opportunity. But I do not applaud a woman's right to be just like a man. That is different. Increasingly, college women are - under the guidance of feminists - acting more and more like college boys who just want to get drunk and have sex without commitment.

I believe that feminism has become a political movement that seeks to obtain unlimited rights for woman without corresponding responsibilities via the suppression of feminism.Under my definition, helping oppressed women in other countries falls outside the scope of the movement's interests.

FP: But still, if leftist feminists in the West really care about women you would think they would support their sisters who are brutalized and mutilated by Islam’s gender apartheid. Why don’t they take a stand?

Adams: I'm afraid that part of the answer is that feminists - like leftists in general - are afraid of Islamic terrorists. Look at what has happened to Van Gogh and Ayaan Hirsi Ali. That is why I think events like Islamic Fascism awareness week are so important. Do something on 100 campuses simultaneously and it's pretty hard to retaliate. Maybe the feminists can learn something from David Horowitz.

FP: I would be in disagreement with you here. I don't think this is a matter of fear. Leftist feminists, like radical leftists in general, support our totalitarian enemies because they have a kindred ideology with them.

They share the instinct for tyranny and destruction - and they are filled with self-loathing. In the end, leftist feminists yearn to submit to, and submerge themselves within, a despotic monolith. Because they despise their own society and are bent on its destruction, they cannot concede that adversarial cultures may be more evil, because that would legitimize their own host society - and they can't allow that. It would rob them of the moral indignation -- and the identity of being victims -- that lies at the foundation of their politics of hate. But in any case, a discussion and debate on this issue belongs in another time and place my friend.

Let's move on. What sense of humor do you find that leftist feminists have?

Adams: I haven't found any. I've only been looking for a few years, though. If I find an example, can we do another interview?

FP: Yes for sure.

The feminists of your study appear to be terrified to act as individuals. Why do you think?

Adams: I think that feminists today are shrinking in numbers. Hence the herd mentality. That is also why they speak of race and sexual orientation so often. They need coalitions to approach a majority. It is a classically Marxist tactic employed by feminists who are not necessarily true believers in Marxism.

FP: How do you think the whole Anita Hill-Clarence Thomas battle was influenced by feminism?

Adams: I think the whole Anita Hill controversy was brewing for years.

People fail to realize that feminists were beginning to craft "hostile environment" sexual harassment codes before the Hill/Thomas controversy. They just needed a big controversy to propel them into the implementation stage. Oddly, the campuses have been far more hostile ever since these codes have been put into place. Relations between men and women have never been so bad.

But, make no mistake about it; these codes hurt women worse than men. They give the false impression that women are easily "offended" and made to feel "uncomfortable." This exacerbates a false stereotype that women are emotionally inferior. The codes represent regress, not progress.

FP: What does Hillary Clinton's success say about feminists' contention that women are marginalized from positions of power by American institutions?

Adams: The Hillary "success" story sends a very bad message; namely, that an unqualified woman can go a long way, but only if she is perceived to be a victim of mistreatment by a man.

FP: What exactly do you mean that Hillary is unqualified? There are many negative things that could be said about her, but are you sure "unqualified" is fair?

Adams: Absolutely fair. No one can be Commander-in-Chief unless he/she is able to articulate one clear position on the Iraq War. In that sense, Hillary is unqualified as was John Kerry.

Rodham Clinton is not dumb. She is not confused. She is simply willing to change her position on the war depending on how well it is going - at least how well it is going at that moment in the minds of the American people. That makes her morally unqualified to hold the office.

FP: So what is the future of feminism in America?

Adams: In the closing pages of my book, I've tried to give some advice on where feminism should go. I believe feminism should become less self-absorbed. I believe feminists should recognize that America is not a "patriarchal" and "oppressive" nation. There is no better place to be a woman than the US. So, I think women should start to focus on global equality. They should stop tearing men down in the US and start lifting women up in places like Africa, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia.

FP: Mike Adams, thank you for joining Frontpage Interview.

Adams: Thank you so much for having me.
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« Reply #31 on: May 19, 2008, 10:40:44 AM »

“In Thursday’s 4-3 decision legalizing same-sex marriage, the California Supreme Court stripped children of the right to be raised by a mother and a father. Most of the media coverage of the California Supreme Court’s decision has focused on the court’s declaration that there is a right to same-sex marriage. The ruling invalidated California’s Proposition 22, a state ballot initiative that passed with 61 percent of the vote in 2000, and which banned same-sex marriage in the state. But the California Supreme Court decision goes beyond simply giving same-sex couples the right to call their unions a ‘marriage.’ It also strips children of the right not to be artificially conceived or adopted by people other than a mother and a father. Indeed, the court does not recognize that children have any right whatsoever to a mother and a father. In the decision, the California court sees children primarily through the eyes of same-sex couples who want to secure custody and control of children. The court makes emphatically clear that it deems this to be a right of same-sex couples that is equal to—and identical to—the right of married mothers and fathers to adopt or conceive and raise their own children. In making this argument, the court addresses biological parenthood as an accident of nature that can be swept aside by the court in its pursuit of what the court understands to be justice.” —Terrence Jeffrey
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rachelg
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« Reply #32 on: May 22, 2008, 07:15:34 AM »

This doesn't seem like a very strong argument against gay marriage to me

 "The nonmarital birth rate also rose sharply, from 47.5 births per 1,000 unmarried females in 2005 to 50.6 per 1,000 in 2006 -- a 7-percent 1-year increase and a 16 percent increase since 2002.
 
http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/pressroom/07newsreleases/teenbirth.htm
 

 
The unmarried birthrate is over 50 percent in this county.  GBLT  population size  is much smaller than that and not all members of that group are interested in  marriage   and even less are interested in being parents.   If you biggest concern is more nuclear families why  attack gay marriage ?  Why not work to have more single parents married. 
Lesbian woman don't necessary need adoption to have children.   Gay man already have the right to adopt children.   Children with two Moms or two Dads already exist and gay marriage would provide legitimacy and protection  for  them. It is possible that  gay marriage would increase families without a man and woman but that is  already very high and gaining every year. 
 
Marriage benefits are about far more than the right to have children.

I definitely don't think biological parenthood is an accident of nature but I don think artificial insemination or adoption is wrong either.    We already allow non-biological parents to be parents. I certainly don't have a problem with. I would hope that  if G-d forbid I am unable to have biological children of my own I could adopt.
 One of the most touching  lines I ever read in the NYT was "That blood is thicker than water, but love can be thicker than blood".
http://relativechoices.blogs.nytimes.com/tag/pregnancy/?scp=1-b&sq=blood+is+thicker+than+water&st=nyt

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rachelg
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« Reply #33 on: May 22, 2008, 07:45:31 PM »

http://www.salon.com/mwt/broadsheet/?last_story=/mwt/broadsheet/2008/05/22/ellen/


"Just days after the California Supreme Court overturned the ban on gay marriage, Ellen DeGeneres invited John McCain to appear on her talk show and -- rather amazingly -- he agreed. At one point during the interview, which airs Thursday, DeGeneres said: "Let's talk about the big elephant in the room." She, of course, is that big elephant; DeGeneres recently made headlines by announcing her plan to wed longtime girlfriend Portia de Rossi, and McCain is anti-gay marriage. McCain responded: "I just believe in the unique status of marriage between a man and a woman and I know that we have a respectful disagreement on that issue." But DeGeneres didn't let him get away with his amiable "Let's pretend my worldview doesn't discriminate against you" attitude. She said:

    I think that it is looked at and some people are saying that blacks and women did not have the right to vote. Women just got the right to vote in 1920. Blacks didn't have the right to vote until 1870, and it just feels like there's this old way of thinking that we are not all the same. We are all the same people. All of us. You are no different than I am. Our love is the same. To me, what it feels like, I will just speak for myself, it feels like when someone says, 'You can still have a contract and you'll still have insurance and you'll get all that' -- it sounds like you can sit there, but you can't sit there. That's what it sounds like to me.

Unwilling to debate the issue, McCain responded: "You articulate that position in a very eloquent fashion. We just have a disagreement." He then wished her "every happiness." DeGeneres thanked him and then, without skipping a beat, asked: "So you'll walk me down the aisle? Is that what you're saying?"

God, I love her.

-- Tracy Clark-Flory"
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G M
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« Reply #34 on: May 22, 2008, 10:30:58 PM »

More than anything, my biggest objection to so-called "gay marriage" is that it's been rejected by the voting public and must be forced upon them by judicial fiat.
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rachelg
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« Reply #35 on: May 23, 2008, 05:33:32 PM »

More than anything, my biggest objection to so-called "gay marriage" is that it's been rejected by the voting public and must be forced upon them by judicial fiat.

One of the roles of US Government and particularly judges has always been protection of minority rights.

The Federalist #10 and #51 #78 etc

"This independence of the judges is equally requisite to guard the Constitution and the rights of individuals from the effects of those ill humors, which the arts of designing men, or the influence of particular conjunctures, sometimes disseminate among the people themselves, and which, though they speedily give place to better information, and more deliberate reflection, have a tendency, in the meantime, to occasion dangerous innovations in the government, and serious oppressions of the minor party in the community"

 The quote is harsh and does not totally fit this situation. I am not accusing anyone of having ill humors etc---
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #36 on: May 23, 2008, 07:24:05 PM »

Woof Rachel:

You seem like someone worthy of having an intelligent conversation wtih.  The problem on my end is that I sense this to be a subject that once entered is likely to call for considerable and extended conversation-- and I have many demands upon my time.  My random participation in the thread could be misinterpreted as meaning I couldn't handle the conversation or was being rude or something like that.  If you can accept these limitations of mine in the conversation, I am game.

Also, I would like everyone to note the word "conversation".   I have some strong opinions on the subject and they are incorrect.  For anyone who cannot handle this, as my Tort professor in law school would say "too bad, so sad."  That said, as strongly as we may disagree, we need to keep the spirit of conversation at all times.

With that said, let me see if I can sort my thoughts out:

First, my basic attitude is that gays/lesbians are free to be gay and others are free to make of it what they will.  That includes thinking it is wrong, repulsive, condemned by God, something to avoid, whatever.

Flowing from the first thought, is the second, making anti-gay thoughts, feelings, employment practices, etc. illegal is liberal fascism.  Government is force and contrary to the Orwellian liberal use of the word "progressive", progress is increasing the amount of voluntary human interaction.  Increasing violence and coercion i.e. the role of the State in human interaction, is the opposite of progress.

Third, by definition marriage is between a man and a woman.  It is not for the courts to redefine the foundational relationship of our society.  Just like Roe v. Wade, the only basis for the CA S. Ct decision and the MA S. Ct. decision is liberal arrogance and judicial imperialism.

Fourth, liberal fascism does not seem willing to compromise.  The offers of compromises such as "domestic partnership" and "Don't ask, don't tell" are disingenuous lies used simply to work towards imposing through the violence of government action an Orwellian  thought crime.

Fifth, there are areas where discrimination probably is a pretty good idea.  For example, a lesbian probably should not be taking a girls school group on an overnight outing.  I don't want a gay scout leader in my son's cub scout troop.    (I note that liberal fascism hounds the Boy Scouts for this very reason-- this fine, wholesome group faces litigation wherever it goes, particularly if it wants to use a facility with some sort of governmental qualities.)  Because I have never served I defer to those that have, but it seems to me that the military is probably a good place for discrimination too.  I would not want to be in a squad with a gay sargeant when it came to deciding who had to take lead the way through the minefield.  It seems quite logical to me that in the close quarters of combat operations in particular, that disciplinary problems could result.

Sixth and last, and probably the most important, I think it should be a strike against someone who wants to adopt.  We can squabble over the exact %, (I think it around 97%) but most children are straight and to place them in the care of "parents" who are not is profoundly wrong.  Children are born to imitate, their parents most of all, and to have a hetero boy naturally and inadvertently absorb the mannerisms of a fairy father and the man who _______ him is to indulge narcisstic cruelty of the highest order.  To have a hetero girl have to turn to lesbian mothers as she seeks to mature into the complexities and challanges of what it is to be a woman and think it does not matter that her "mothers" are at best clueless about men and at worst quite hostile to them is to be an intellectual coward.

Well, there it is.  The Adventure is begun.
Marc
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G M
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« Reply #37 on: May 23, 2008, 08:10:55 PM »

More than anything, my biggest objection to so-called "gay marriage" is that it's been rejected by the voting public and must be forced upon them by judicial fiat.

One of the roles of US Government and particularly judges has always been protection of minority rights.

The Federalist #10 and #51 #78 etc

"This independence of the judges is equally requisite to guard the Constitution and the rights of individuals from the effects of those ill humors, which the arts of designing men, or the influence of particular conjunctures, sometimes disseminate among the people themselves, and which, though they speedily give place to better information, and more deliberate reflection, have a tendency, in the meantime, to occasion dangerous innovations in the government, and serious oppressions of the minor party in the community"

 The quote is harsh and does not totally fit this situation. I am not accusing anyone of having ill humors etc---

**Where in the constitution might I find the right to "gay marriage" ? Do you believe the intent of the founding fathers of this nation was to have "gay marriage" as a right in this nation?**
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rachelg
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« Reply #38 on: May 26, 2008, 07:52:00 PM »

I am still working on my responses. It was a busy weekend and it will be a couple of days. I hope everyone had a good weekend and a meaningful memorial day.

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rachelg
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« Reply #39 on: May 29, 2008, 09:46:22 PM »

I am reposting Marc's original post with my responses in bold.

You seem like someone worthy of having an intelligent conversation wtih.  The problem on my end is that I sense this to be a subject that once entered is likely to call for considerable and extended conversation-- and I have many demands upon my time.  My random participation in the thread could be misinterpreted as meaning I couldn't handle the conversation or was being rude or something like that.  If you can accept these limitations of mine in the conversation, I am game.

Thank you--  You have created one of the few places on the internet where people of different view points can have a respectful intelligent conversation.

Also, I would like everyone to note the word "conversation".   I have some strong opinions on the subject and they are incorrect.  For anyone who cannot handle this, as my Tort professor in law school would say "too bad, so sad."  That said, as strongly as we may disagree, we need to keep the spirit of conversation at all times.

With that said, let me see if I can sort my thoughts out:

First, my basic attitude is that gays/lesbians are free to be gay and others are free to make of it what they will.  That includes thinking it is wrong, repulsive, condemned by God, something to avoid, whatever.
 
My basic though that all human beings are created in the image of G-d have certain rights including a right to marriage.  I also think all human beings be treated with respect at all times though I don't think that should be legislated.

Flowing from the first thought, is the second, making anti-gay thoughts, feelings, employment practices, etc. illegal is liberal fascism.  Government is force and contrary to the Orwellian liberal use of the word "progressive", progress is increasing the amount of voluntary human interaction.  Increasing violence and coercion i.e. the role of the State in human interaction, is the opposite of progress.
 
Is it okay to discriminate against Older people, Women, Jews, People of Color,etc because people don't want to voluntary  associate with them? Why  should gays receive less protection than any other group.

Third, by definition marriage is between a man and a woman.  It is not for the courts to redefine the foundational relationship of our society.  Just like Roe v. Wade, the only basis for the CA S. Ct decision and the MA S. Ct. decision is liberal arrogance and judicial imperialism.
We will have to discuss Roe v, Wade at a later date.
Marriage by definition has changed. Men used to have the right to beat and rape their wives.  It some parts of the world the definition of marriage  includes a man's right to marry multiple women.   All of these things  use to part of the fabric our society.   There were Jews from Arab Countries that when they immigrated to Israel had multiple wives.   I'm positive you don't t think any those things are okay.   The  definition of marriage has changed over time and it made the world a better place .  Plenty of terrible awful things slavery etc used to be part of the fabric of our society.


Fourth, liberal fascism does not seem willing to compromise.  The offers of compromises such as "domestic partnership" and "Don't ask, don't tell" are disingenuous lies used simply to work towards imposing through the violence of government action an Orwellian  thought crime.
 
Why should someone have to compromise about their civil rights?  I don't see the connection between a right to marry and a Orwellian thought crime. Would you please flesh that out.

Fifth, there are areas where discrimination probably is a pretty good idea.  For example, a lesbian probably should not be taking a girls school group on an overnight outing.  I don't want a gay scout leader in my son's cub scout troop.    (I note that liberal fascism hounds the Boy Scouts for this very reason-- this fine, wholesome group faces litigation wherever it goes, particularly if it wants to use a facility with some sort of governmental qualities.)  Because I have never served I defer to those that have, but it seems to me that the military is probably a good place for discrimination too.  I would not want to be in a squad with a gay sargeant when it came to deciding who had to take lead the way through the minefield.  It seems quite logical to me that in the close quarters of combat operations in particular, that disciplinary problems could result.
 
Historically there have been fierce gay warriors that lead men successfully into battle.
There are  straight ( or straight enough to be married with children )  sexual predators  that attack people of the same sex.   I don't think the  assault rate is higher for  GBLT.   It is very hard to get statistics  in that area because I don't believe most sexual abuse cases  are  reported.   If you want to protect your kids from of abuse   never let them   repeatedly   be one on one with another adult or have nanny cam etc.  Boy Scouts/Girl Scouts  have troops of kids and many leaders so that it wouldn't worry me to have a Gay/Lesbian troop leader at all

Sixth and last, and probably the most important, I think it should be a strike against someone who wants to adopt.  We can squabble over the exact %, (I think it around 97%) but most children are straight and to place them in the care of "parents" who are not is profoundly wrong.  Children are born to imitate, their parents most of all, and to have a hetero boy naturally and inadvertently absorb the mannerisms of a fairy father and the man who _______ him is to indulge narcisstic cruelty of the highest order.  To have a hetero girl have to turn to lesbian mothers as she seeks to mature into the complexities and challanges of what it is to be a woman and think it does not matter that her "mothers" are at best clueless about men and at worst quite hostile to them is to be an intellectual coward.

I don't think it is necessary or usually narcissistic to want a child.   Children are not carbon copies of their parents. Do you think mixed race adoptions are also  wrong?  Is gender and sexuality the most important thing in human being. Is it more important  than shared values,  race,   personality type, intelligence level or anything else?     A straight male raised by two gay men might have some more challenges than a child  raised in a traditional nuclear family. It would obviously depend on the traditional nuclear family.   However children  born  in a nuclear family are in the minority and the divorce rate is over 50 percent .  Are you for outlawing all non nuclear families and if you are  what about if there is divorce or a death.  I believe  most kids raised with two loving parents or one loving parent turn out okay and of course  some kids with terrible parent(s) turn out fine. Someone could refer to me as just the person my husband sleeps with. It wouldn't make me any less his life partner.  All lesbians don't hate men. I happened to know a women who previously  was married (to a guy)and  who has currently  been with her partner over  20 years and managed to marry off all thee of her daughters and one son to wonderful people.She now has perfectly normal grandchildren.  I know  another family  where a gay man and his partner of over 20 years are both beloved uncles.     Obviously one example doesn't it make it true in all cases but gay marriage hasn't really existed long enough in any country  for there to be a lot of data. How does gay marriage even effect you personally?   I have respect for the lessons and wisdom  of the past but I won't let it dictate the present for me.
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rachelg
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« Reply #40 on: May 29, 2008, 09:58:23 PM »

More than anything, my biggest objection to so-called "gay marriage" is that it's been rejected by the voting public and must be forced upon them by judicial fiat.

One of the roles of US Government and particularly judges has always been protection of minority rights.

The Federalist #10 and #51 #78 etc

"This independence of the judges is equally requisite to guard the Constitution and the rights of individuals from the effects of those ill humors, which the arts of designing men, or the influence of particular conjunctures, sometimes disseminate among the people themselves, and which, though they speedily give place to better information, and more deliberate reflection, have a tendency, in the meantime, to occasion dangerous innovations in the government, and serious oppressions of the minor party in the community"

 The quote is harsh and does not totally fit this situation. I am not accusing anyone of having ill humors etc---

**Where in the constitution might I find the right to "gay marriage" ? Do you believe the intent of the founding fathers of this nation was to have "gay marriage" as a right in this nation?**

It is the California Constitution because it is the California supreme court. I tried to examine the text but it is really long.  I gave up because I  am never going to live in that state. There is something very wrong with the weather there .  I believe the founding fathers created  a system of government to  protect the rights of the people. I am more interested in the  government  they created than what particular  rights they wanted people to have. After all some of them believed in slavery and  they didn't give woman the right to vote.   
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G M
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« Reply #41 on: May 30, 2008, 04:06:02 AM »

More than anything, my biggest objection to so-called "gay marriage" is that it's been rejected by the voting public and must be forced upon them by judicial fiat.

One of the roles of US Government and particularly judges has always been protection of minority rights.

**Not so. The role of the federal government is enumerated in the constitution, and nowhere will you find the phrase "minority rights". Although it's a popular, but corrosive idea that has been pushed by the left since the 60's, rights belonging to defined groups does not exist in the US constitution. Individuals have rights, not groups.**

The Federalist #10 and #51 #78 etc

"This independence of the judges is equally requisite to guard the Constitution and the rights of individuals from the effects of those ill humors, which the arts of designing men, or the influence of particular conjunctures, sometimes disseminate among the people themselves, and which, though they speedily give place to better information, and more deliberate reflection, have a tendency, in the meantime, to occasion dangerous innovations in the government, and serious oppressions of the minor party in the community"

 The quote is harsh and does not totally fit this situation. I am not accusing anyone of having ill humors etc---

**Where in the constitution might I find the right to "gay marriage" ? Do you believe the intent of the founding fathers of this nation was to have "gay marriage" as a right in this nation?**

It is the California Constitution because it is the California supreme court. I tried to examine the text but it is really long.  I gave up because I  am never going to live in that state. There is something very wrong with the weather there .  I believe the founding fathers created  a system of government to  protect the rights of the people. I am more interested in the  government  they created than what particular  rights they wanted people to have. After all some of them believed in slavery and  they didn't give woman the right to vote.   

**Just because the CA. Supreme court recently issued a ruling doesn't alter the state's constitution. There is a big difference between caselaw and the constitution.**

Marriage by definition has changed. Men used to have the right to beat and rape their wives.

**Yes, and the laws changed by legislation, not by judicial fiat.**

My basic though that all human beings are created in the image of G-d have certain rights including a right to marriage.

**Does a pedophile have the right to marry a child then? Should laws against bigamy and incest be purged as well? If not, why are they different?**


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G M
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« Reply #42 on: May 30, 2008, 04:27:15 AM »

Crafty,

The reason homosexuality is prohibited by the US military is due to the issues of group cohesion, not worries about personal courage.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #43 on: May 30, 2008, 11:41:28 AM »

Which is my point exactly-- sexual energies do not belong in military units, especially combat units, lest they sow doubt and discord.

Again, I have not served, so I leave this to those that have-- but I do note that civilian interventions, e.g. by President Hillbillary Clinton, puts at risk the careers of those with thinking similar to mine should they express that thinking.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #44 on: May 31, 2008, 01:56:23 AM »

Woof Rachel:

I look forward to answering you in the thoughtful manner your post deserves, but at the moment simply do not have the time due to work matters.

So for the moment, I plant you an additional question:

If the courts can change the definition of marriage from being between a man and a woman, why not poligamy too?  As the following article shows, this is not only a theoretical question.

Marc
===============

John Turley-Ewart: Sharia by stealth — Ontario turns a blind eye to polygamy
Posted: May 29, 2008, 4:07 PM by John Turley-Ewart

It’s an issue the Liberal government of Ontario, led by Premier Dalton McGuinty, doesn’t want to deal with — polygamy in the Muslim community. Last week the Toronto Star told the story of Safa Rigby, a 35-year-old mother of five children who recently learned her husband of 14 years had two other wives. Ms. Rigby’s life is in tatters. She followed her husband’s advice that she leave Toronto and live in Egypt for a year on the grounds that it would be better for their children to spend more time in a Muslim country. Now she knows it was a ruse. He used her time there to marry two other women.
Ms. Rigby does not support polygamy, which has been illegal in Canada for more than a century. But Toronto Imam Aly Hindy, who runs the Toronto Salahuddin Islamic Centre, does. He married Ms. Rigby’s husband knowing he already had a wife and counselled him to keep the marriage secret from Ms. Rigby for as long as possible. Hindy has by his own admission performed 30 ceremonies in which men were married who already had wives. When Ms. Rigby confronted Hindy his response was reportedly cold and unsympathetic: “You will have to stand beside him in these difficult times,” Hindy told her. “You should stop causing problems to (sic) him. You will not get anything by divorce except destroying your life” he went on to say.

For Hindy this is not about Ms. Rigby or her husband’s desire to marry another woman — but making a broader political point.
Hindy is using polygamy as a proxy for his fundamentalist version of Islam, something he wants to see legitimized in Canadian society as a whole. It is part of an attempt at empire building, a bid that if successful will enhance his influence within the Muslim and demonstrate that Ontario and Canada is too ignorant and too afraid of Islam to uphold its own laws. He has admitted as much, challenging Ontario’s government to dare stop him. “If the laws of the country conflict with Islamic law, if one goes against the other, then I am going to follow Islamic law, simple as that,” he told the Star. Interviewed after the Star story appeared on the John Oakley Show on AM 640Toronto, Hindy was not apologetic and argued that freedom of religion in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms trumped prohibitions against polygamous marriages.
When he and another Imam from Toronto, Steve Rockwell, were challenged on the appropriateness of polygamy by a Muslim caller to the Oakley Show, the caller was immediately attacked and his identity as a true Muslim questioned because he did not follow Hindy’s view that polygamy is a foundational pillar of Islam that grows out of Sharia Law. This speaks to a troubling absolutist interpretation of Islamic law, which runs against the reality that Sharia law is much more flexible that Hindy allows for, a fact well documented by Anver Emon, a specialist in Islamic law at the University of Toronto. Moreover, as noted in the Star article on Ms. Rigby, there is grave doubt that the Charter protects Islamic polygamy, as Hindy believes. Nik Bala, who teaches family law at Queen’s University, points out that “Islam permits polygamy, but doesn’t require it to be a practising Muslim.” This is key, and may mean Hindy’s attempt to find shelter behind the Charter will fail. Moreover, the impact polygamy has on women's equality and children could also sway the courts to uphold Canada's ban on polygamy.


But there is little chance at the moment that this will become a Charter issue down the road. Dalton McGuinty’s government has responded to the revelations about polygamy in the Muslim community by denying its existence. On Wednesday Liberal MPP Ted McMeekin responded to a question on the issue in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario saying:
“Polygamy is a serious crime in Ontario . It’s not something that’s tolerated. As you know, the best advice I can give the honourable member opposite is that if she has any evidence that someone is engaging in multiple marriages, she should report it, because our Registrar General and our official reporting mechanisms have no evidence that that’s happening. As you know, Mr. Speaker, marriage is a contract. A contract require a licence, and once a marriage occurs, it has to be registered. There are no multiple marriages being registered in the province of Ontario.”
Mr. McMeekin’s response is a shameful twisting of the law. The criminal code is clear. Section 293. (1) reads: “Every one who
(a) practises or enters into or in any manner agrees or consents to practise or enter into
(i) any form of polygamy, or
(ii) any kind of conjugal union with more than one person at the same time,
whether or not it is by law recognized as a binding form of marriage, or
(b) celebrates, assists or is a party to a rite, ceremony, contract or consent that purports to sanction a relationship mentioned in subparagraph (a)(i) or (ii),
is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years.”
There is no provision in the law, contrary to Mr. McMeekin’s assertion in the Ontario Legislature, that a polygamous marriage has to be registered before the government can act. The opposite is in fact true.
By turning a blind eye to polygamy, Premier McGuinty is giving licence to Sharia by stealth.
In 2005 Ontario’s premier rightly ruled out Sharia family courts, conceding that Muslim women may well fair poorly if such a system was allowed to be established. The same concern exists today, yet Ontario’s Liberals sit on their hands.
Muslim women like Ms. Rigby are being victimized as are her children. Imam Hindy has told her to put up with her husband’s desire for other wives. She has properly said no and has now obtained a divorce. When will Premier McGuinty’s government say no and enforce the law it is bound to uphold?

jturley-ewart@nationalpost.com
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rachelg
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« Reply #45 on: June 06, 2008, 10:02:51 PM »

Woof Rachel:



If the courts can change the definition of marriage from being between a man and a woman, why not poligamy too?  As the following article shows, this is not only a theoretical question.

Marc
===============


It seems like we are discussing two different topics that could have two different answers
 
One -- Should gay marriage be legal according to the  US Constitution and State Constitutions and various case law etc?
 
Two --- Is  allowing gay marriage the right thing to do?
 Obviously even when it was legal for a man to rape and  beat his wife it was still wrong.  An abolitionist  who helped a  slave escape was legally stealing someones property  but they were doing the right thing.
 
What is legal and what is moral  is not and should not  be the same in all cases and I believe we should err on the side of personal liberty.

I believe many peoples problem with gay marriage is that they want push their religious views on others and they don't particularly want all that much separation between religion and state.  I understand  that when G-d created the universe in the Bible  he did not created Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve. However  G-d did create  Adam and Steve today   and it would be wrong for them them  to try to marry women just so  can have the same rights as everyone else.
 
Canada currently has laws  on the books that make gay marriage legal and polygamy illegal . In that particular case they just weren't enforcing the polygamy part of it.
 
I believe polygamy is wrong ethically  because it essentially turns women and children into property.   I don't see a  connection between  treating women as object and  the  life partnership that I see in gay marriage
 
I do want  clarify what I said   about everyone should have a right to marriage. I believe marriage  should be  only for people over the age of 18 with some exception for teen pregnancy/ emancipated minors.   This would stop the pedophile thing.
 

I find  incest deeply disturbing   and I am not sure how to deal with it.  It would not be a healthy situation for children and  could case genetic defects.
I wonder how attractive Cleopatra could  have been since  her family tree was a stick. I sort of feel like it should be illegal but what two consenting adults do behind close doors is their business. I don't see a connection between incest and gay marriage.   An incestuous relationship is unhealthy a  gay relationship can be very healthy.

I don't  see a strong connection  between legalizing  gay marriage and legalizing the pedophilia, polygamy, etc.    If you legalize absinthe you don't have to legalize  crack cocaine .
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« Reply #46 on: June 06, 2008, 10:39:29 PM »

Woof Rachel:



If the courts can change the definition of marriage from being between a man and a woman, why not poligamy too?  As the following article shows, this is not only a theoretical question.

Marc
===============


It seems like we are discussing two different topics that could have two different answers
 
One -- Should gay marriage be legal according to the  US Constitution and State Constitutions and various case law etc?
 
Two --- Is  allowing gay marriage the right thing to do?
 Obviously even when it was legal for a man to rape and  beat his wife it was still wrong.  An abolitionist  who helped a  slave escape was legally stealing someones property  but they were doing the right thing.
 
What is legal and what is moral  is not and should not  be the same in all cases and I believe we should err on the side of personal liberty.

I believe many peoples problem with gay marriage is that they want push their religious views on others and they don't particularly want all that much separation between religion and state.  I understand  that when G-d created the universe in the Bible  he did not created Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve. However  G-d did create  Adam and Steve today   and it would be wrong for them them  to try to marry women just so  can have the same rights as everyone else.

**Where is the right to "gay marriage" that you assert, to be found in any legal code? It's not to be found anywhere in the US constitution or in any other part of common law. Humans engage in a variety of sexual behaviors, yet western civilization recognizes heterosexual monogamy as having a special status and doesn't recognize other sexual behaviors as having the same status and has legally prohibited certain behaviors throughout modern history.**
 
Canada currently has laws  on the books that make gay marriage legal and polygamy illegal . In that particular case they just weren't enforcing the polygamy part of it.
 
I believe polygamy is wrong ethically  because it essentially turns women and children into property.   I don't see a  connection between  treating women as object and  the  life partnership that I see in gay marriage

**So you believe polygamy is wrong, so that law should be enforced. Does this count as you imposing your beliefs on others? If not, why not?**
 
I do want  clarify what I said   about everyone should have a right to marriage. I believe marriage  should be  only for people over the age of 18 with some exception for teen pregnancy/ emancipated minors.   This would stop the pedophile thing.

**Again, you wish to rewrite the concept of marriage to fit your personal moral perspective. Why do you wish to allow an arbitrary number like 18 to determine marriage? Again, you are engaging in discrimination and wanting the legal system to enforce your morals on others. Why is it wrong when others do it, yet right for you?**
 

I find  incest deeply disturbing   and I am not sure how to deal with it.  It would not be a healthy situation for children and  could case genetic defects.

**You wish to interfere in the private lives of others? Are you espousing some sort of genetic supremacism?**

I wonder how attractive Cleopatra could  have been since  her family tree was a stick. I sort of feel like it should be illegal but what two consenting adults do behind close doors is their business. I don't see a connection between incest and gay marriage.   An incestuous relationship is unhealthy a  gay relationship can be very healthy.

**How so? Both are taboo according to western social mores. If you wish to reshape our social structure, can you give more explaination of what you use to define as healthy vs. unhealthy?**

I don't  see a strong connection  between legalizing  gay marriage and legalizing the pedophilia, polygamy, etc.    If you legalize absinthe you don't have to legalize  crack cocaine .

**If we are to throw out as marriage as solely between a single adult male and a single adult female who are not related, then why retain any limits? NAMBLA says that "intergenerational sex" should be recognized as just as valid as "gay marriage". They assert that their movement will become socially and then legally recognized just as the gay rights did. If judeo-christian morality should be thrown out, then what moral code should this nation have? If we have no shared code of morality, then anything is permissible, is it not?**
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #47 on: June 07, 2008, 06:22:21 AM »

Woof Rachel:

I am on the road at the moment and am reminded that I still owe you a more substantive answer to your previous post.  For the moment though, I address this

"One -- Should gay marriage be legal according to the  US Constitution and State Constitutions and various case law etc?
 
Two --- Is  allowing gay marriage the right thing to do?"

The first question properly presented is whether the US Constitution or any of the State Consitutions compel the recognition of gay marriage-- as was just held by the CA Supreme Court.

To me the answer is clearly not.  Marriage in our country and culture has always been defined as between a man and a woman, and the court simply imperialisiticaly misused and abused its power in our system to impose its believe that marriage should be legally redefined over the expressly stated views via initiative of the people of California.

I'm not trying to stop gays from living together and doing what they do.  I AM saying other people are free to make of it what they will and that liberalism becomes fascism when it seeks to make "thought crimes" legal crimes.
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rachelg
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« Reply #48 on: June 16, 2008, 08:05:42 PM »

GM I owe you a response but I am not up to it right now



l


“You’ve seen him plenty of times on sitcoms; he’s the dumb, bumbling, idiot dad, husband and boyfriend who appears useless at everything but bringing home a paycheck. The message: Guys are dumb and women have to lead them around. This, of course, cues the laugh track. Yet a survey from an organization called Children Now found that two-thirds of kid respondents described men on TV as angry, while respondents from another group’s survey said men were portrayed as corrupt on TV by a 17 to 1 margin. Clearly, this is no laughing matter.

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Check out which worst male-bashing ads are the main offenders.”

http://www.askmen.com/toys/top_10_300/327_top_10_list.htm

In a slightly different vein

Sarah Haskins has  three  extremely funny and insightful video  commentaries on women in the media


http://current.com/items/88941392_target_women_yogurt_edition

http://current.com/items/88988193_target_women_wedding_shows

http://current.com/items/89019993_target_women_suffrage

I'm curious to hear what other people think of Sarah
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #49 on: June 16, 2008, 10:27:47 PM »

Rachel:

The one Sarah clip that did play for me (the yogurt one) was funny, but very funny was the one about insuring only women cheesy

Anyway, lets see if I can take a stab at answering your post of May 29-- I hope my formatting is clear (MD-1 is my original post, MD-2 is my response to your response to MD-1):

MD-1:
First, my basic attitude is that gays/lesbians are free to be gay and others are free to make of it what they will.  That includes thinking it is wrong, repulsive, condemned by God, something to avoid, whatever.
 
RACHEL:
My basic though that all human beings are created in the image of G-d have certain rights including a right to marriage.  I also think all human beings be treated with respect at all times though I don't think that should be legislated.

MD-2:
What you think is all well and good, but please feel free to go through the necessary steps to modify the US Constitution and/or relevant state constitutions-- at present honestly read they do not compel gay marriage.  I agree respect cannot be legislated.

MD-1: Flowing from the first thought, is the second, making anti-gay thoughts, feelings, employment practices, etc. illegal is liberal fascism.  Government is force and contrary to the Orwellian liberal use of the word "progressive", progress is increasing the amount of voluntary human interaction.  Increasing violence and coercion i.e. the role of the State in human interaction, is the opposite of progress.
 
RACHEL: 
Is it okay to discriminate against Older people, Women, Jews, People of Color,etc because people don't want to voluntary (sic)  associate with them? Why  should gays receive less protection than any other group?

MD-2: 
a) Whether/to what extent gay/lesbian is a matter of nature or nuture remains a matter of great debate.  It most certainly is a matter of behavior.   Why should it be illegal to think less of a man e.g. for confusing his intestines with a woman's uterus?

b)Given the relentless expansion of the logic of anti-discrimination law, I have experienced backlash in my own thinking.  Now I am quite willing to entertain the notion that non-discrimination laws should be limited to governmental action. 


MD-1: 
Third, by definition marriage is between a man and a woman.  It is not for the courts to redefine the foundational relationship of our society.  Just like Roe v. Wade, the only basis for the CA S. Ct decision and the MA S. Ct. decision is liberal arrogance and judicial imperialism.
We will have to discuss Roe v, Wade at a later date.

RACHEL:
Marriage by definition has changed. Men used to have the right to beat and rape their wives.  It some parts of the world the definition of marriage  includes a man's right to marry multiple women.   All of these things  use to part of the fabric our society.   There were Jews from Arab Countries that when they immigrated to Israel had multiple wives.   I'm positive you don't t think any those things are okay.   The  definition of marriage has changed over time and it made the world a better place .  Plenty of terrible awful things slavery etc used to be part of the fabric of our society.

MD-2: 
a) As long as the woman has free choice, why do you seek to deny her the right to marry whom she pleases simply because the man is already married if he wishes to marry her too?  Where does Wife 1 get her right to deny them their happiness-- especially if polygamy was part of the deal going in?  The issue is who/what institution is to say what the rule is and say when the rule is to change.  In our system of government, the special role of the judiiciary requires that it exercise its power only with rigorous intellectual honesty and humility.  To say that our Consitution compels allowing fetuses to be killed is absurd.  To say that our Constituion compels gay marriage is equally absurd.

MD_1:
Fourth, liberal fascism does not seem willing to compromise.  The offers of compromises such as "domestic partnership" and "Don't ask, don't tell" are disingenuous lies used simply to work towards imposing through the violence of government action an Orwellian  thought crime.
 
RACHEL:
Why should someone have to compromise about their civil rights?  I don't see the connection between a right to marry and a Orwellian thought crime. Would you please flesh that out.

MD-2:
Well, here we go in a circle-- where do they get these alleged civil rights?  The Orwellian thought crime consists of making discrimination against gays illegal.  Again, gays are free to do what they do, and others are free to make of it what they will-- which includes being grossed out and looking to not have it around.  Speaking for myself, I have no problem with plenty of gays, and some I find creepy and would rather not have them around.  As a free man in a free country I see absolutely no role for government action in this.

MD-1:
Fifth, there are areas where discrimination probably is a pretty good idea.  For example, a lesbian probably should not be taking a girls school group on an overnight outing.  I don't want a gay scout leader in my son's cub scout troop.    (I note that liberal fascism hounds the Boy Scouts for this very reason-- this fine, wholesome group faces litigation wherever it goes, particularly if it wants to use a facility with some sort of governmental qualities.)  Because I have never served I defer to those that have, but it seems to me that the military is probably a good place for discrimination too.  I would not want to be in a squad with a gay sargeant when it came to deciding who had to take lead the way through the minefield.  It seems quite logical to me that in the close quarters of combat operations in particular, that disciplinary problems could result.
 
RACHEL:
Historically there have been fierce gay warriors that lead men successfully into battle.
There are  straight ( or straight enough to be married with children )  sexual predators  that attack people of the same sex.   I don't think the  assault rate is higher for  GBLT.   It is very hard to get statistics  in that area because I don't believe most sexual abuse cases  are  reported.   If you want to protect your kids from of abuse   never let them   repeatedly   be one on one with another adult or have nanny cam etc.  Boy Scouts/Girl Scouts  have troops of kids and many leaders so that it wouldn't worry me to have a Gay/Lesbian troop leader at all.

MD-2
a) You miss my point about gays in the military-- it is that sexual energies can lead to favoritism that corrodes unit morale and cohesion.
b)  Allow me to explain something to you about the human penis and those of us attached to it.  There is a period in the human males life where the crack of dawn had better not bend over or he will try to nail it.  cheesy If he is hetero, he will be looking for a vagina.  If he is gay, he will be looking for a male anus.  When my daughter hits puberty and goes on a school trip, if I think it better that she be chaperoned by a hetero woman than a hetero man, then IMO the government has no fcuking business getting in the way of that.  Similarly, if my son is going on a Cub/Boy Scout camping expedition and he is scared at being away from home in the forest, I do not want to have him getting pestered by a gay troop leader-- whom during the day has been his authority figure. 

This is such simple common sense-- how dare the government seek to get in the way of this!!! angry angry angry

MD-1:
Sixth and last, and probably the most important, I think it should be a strike against someone who wants to adopt.  We can squabble over the exact %, (I think it around 97%) but most children are straight and to place them in the care of "parents" who are not is profoundly wrong.  Children are born to imitate, their parents most of all, and to have a hetero boy naturally and inadvertently absorb the mannerisms of a fairy father and the man who _______ him is to indulge narcisstic cruelty of the highest order.  To have a hetero girl have to turn to lesbian mothers as she seeks to mature into the complexities and challanges of what it is to be a woman and think it does not matter that her "mothers" are at best clueless about men and at worst quite hostile to them is to be an intellectual coward.

RACHEL:
I don't think it is necessary or usually narcissistic to want a child.   Children are not carbon copies of their parents. Do you think mixed race adoptions are also  wrong?  Is gender and sexuality the most important thing in human being. Is it more important  than shared values,  race,   personality type, intelligence level or anything else?     A straight male raised by two gay men might have some more challenges than a child  raised in a traditional nuclear family. It would obviously depend on the traditional nuclear family.   However children  born  in a nuclear family are in the minority and the divorce rate is over 50 percent .  Are you for outlawing all non nuclear families and if you are  what about if there is divorce or a death.  I believe  most kids raised with two loving parents or one loving parent turn out okay and of course  some kids with terrible parent(s) turn out fine. Someone could refer to me as just the person my husband sleeps with. It wouldn't make me any less his life partner.  All lesbians don't hate men. I happened to know a women who previously  was married (to a guy)and  who has currently  been with her partner over  20 years and managed to marry off all thee of her daughters and one son to wonderful people.She now has perfectly normal grandchildren.  I know  another family  where a gay man and his partner of over 20 years are both beloved uncles.     Obviously one example doesn't it make it true in all cases but gay marriage hasn't really existed long enough in any country  for there to be a lot of data. How does gay marriage even effect you personally?   I have respect for the lessons and wisdom  of the past but I won't let it dictate the present for me.   
 
MD-2
a) Of course we are discussing statistical probabilities, not certainties so of course one can point to this case or that to the contrary without it changing the larger point in the slightest.
b) In my opinion it is precisely narcisstic to think more of oneself than of the child.    The overwhelming probability (98% is my understanding) is that the child will be straight.  The human animal is an amazing organism-- one born to receive the culturization that nutures its nature.  What a cruelty to take the wondrous ability to emulate and imitate and produce a heterosexual child with homosexual mannerisms!!! How vain! How cruel! How narcisstic! How clueless!   You ask how gay marriage affects me personally-- to respect the privacy of the individuals involved I will say only that within my extended family I have seen exactly how it can affect people.

The Adventure continues!
Marc
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