Here's a basic rundown of some of the social, legal, and economic issues men face that we fight against. Courtesy of Seattle Rex
- Despite media reports of a “women’s health crisis”, men die five years younger than women in developed countries. - Prostate cancer and breast cancer kill roughly the same number of people each year, yet breast cancer receives 10x the funding on an annual basis. - Men die younger and more often than women for the ten leading causes of death. - Men are roughly 50% of the workforce but account for 93% of job related deaths. - Males between 20 and 24 have a seven times greater rate of suicide than their female counterparts, and overall, men commit suicide at a rate four times greater than women. - Despite the suicide disparity, far more women receive treatment for depression than do men. - Women initiate 70% of divorces overall, and 90% of divorces when both partners are college educated — yet men receive primary custody of their children less than 20% of the time. - Even if DNA testing proves that a man is not the biological father of a child, he may be forced to pay child support or face jail in many U.S. states. - Women benefit from war every bit as much as men, yet no gender oppression is comparable in magnitude to the deaths of males in war, which includes forced conscription. About 500,000 male U.S. soldiers died in WWII alone. Young men are required to register for Selective Service or face fines, jail, revoked citizenship, and denial of financial aid and federal jobs. - Men have made up 97.6% of U.S. military deaths since 2001. - Men can still be discriminated against in the marketplace, such as the purchasing of automobile insurance, while similar discrimination against women is against the law. - Sexual abuse against men is funny. Recently, on the TV Show “The Talk”, Sharon Osborne laughed and made jokes about a man who had his penis cut off by his wife.(For asking for a divorce) - Male victims of domestic violence are systematically neglected, stigmatized, and denied outreach and services. They’re also far less likely to report it, which makes crime data unreliable. - Overall, men receive sentences for serious crimes 48 months longer than the sentences women receive, and women are more likely to receive no jail time for the same crime, even when all other factors are equal (age, race, priors, family situation, etc.). - 43% of teacher sex abuse comes from female teachers but over 90% of prosecutions are of male teachers. - Due to abhorrent prison conditions, more men are forcibly raped each year than are women. Male victims are frequently raped in jail, prison, and the military, yet male-on-male rape remains a punch line. - Males are 4 times more likely to be murdered than are females, and are more likely to be the victims of assault, yet there is no Violence Against Men Act. - Physical abuse against men in the media is amusing, while there is “no excuse” for similar abuse against women. A woman locking a man out of the house and tossing his belongings out of the window is a beer commercial, while the reverse is sexism. - Women account for 52% of the electorate, yet blame men for the gender disparity in congress. - Women claim to earn less than men for equal work, yet somehow, someway, women control 60% of the nation’s personal wealth, and account for nearly 80% of consumer spending. - Female gender mutilation is illegal, and is the subject of worldwide outrage. Male genital mutilation is perfectly legal, if not routine. - For every 100 women who earn a degree, only 73 men do. Men obtain 38% of associate’s degrees, 42% of bachelor’s degrees, and 40% of master’s degrees. - Men have accounted for nearly 75% of job losses during the late-2000′s recession. The unemployment rate is 10.5% for men and 7.9% for women. - Despite this, men are discriminated against when applying for government contracts. This is especially true of white males. In Washington State, contracts are routinely awarded to wealthy females over less advantaged males, solely because of gender. - Roughly 80% of homeless people in the USA are male. - 31% of women out-earn their husbands, yet 97% of alimony recipients are female. - Even after a man is exonerated, or after a woman recants her allegations, the accused man is still statistically considered a “rapist” for the rest of his life by the federal government and women’s groups. - Family courts across the USA routinely strip men of their rights without due process of law, often leaving them broke, alone, and unassisted.
Today, August 26, we commemorate the occasion of American women winning the right to vote. And I love that they decided to call it "Women's Equality Day," rather than "Women's Suffrage Day" or some such thing. It's a reminder of how far we still have to go to achieve legal and social equality between the sexes. Bravo!
Naturally I add my voice to the chorus; here's a list of some issues that desperately need our attention:
* Women and men should be paid the same amount for the same work. Women and men should also have the same opportunity to be hired for any job - it's time to stop favoring one sex over the other.
* Women and men in the armed forces, law enforcement (and firefighters too) should be required to meet the exact same fitness and competency standards. It's unfair that one sex can do far less work than the other, yet still receive the same pay. It's also deadly dangerous for anybody in these fields to be less capable than anybody else. Additionally, if one sex must register for the draft, so must the other.
* It's time we take violence against women as seriously as we take violence against men. Women make up approximately 2/3 of domestic violence victims, but "violence prevention" services for women receive nowhere near 2/3 of the available funding for these programs.
* Divorced and unmarried mothers should have the same chance to win primary custody (child support included) of their children, as do divorced and single fathers.
* Women and men need to have the same educational opportunities. It's simply obscene that so many colleges and scholarship programs favor one sex. One might think they were trying to oppress the other sex.
* We also need some equity in the criminal justice system. Men who commit crimes should be arrested, charged, prosecuted and imprisoned at the same rate and the same severity, as women who commit crimes. No more sex-based excuses.
It's been at least a hundred fifty years since feminists organized to demand legal equality between the sexes. Why aren't we there yet?????
"Semen contains a number of "mood-altering chemicals," says Neetzan Zimmerman at Gawker: Estrone and oxytocin elevate mood, cortisol helps promote affection, serotonin is an antidepressant, and melatonin helps regulate sleep patterns."
Jay G. has a message pertaining to violent criminals:
"There are no safe places; there are only places that are made more safe by the presence of good people within them... "
Jay is a rather outspoken (understatement!) advocate of the right to bear arms and the need to do so responsibly. He counts Dead Goblins - folks who suffer the ultimate consequence for their stupidity. Dead Goblins, oddly referred to by the media as "victims," were all once Live Goblins, until they came into (rather violent) contact with armed people who prefer not to become victims.
Let me say that phrase again: People who prefer not to become victims,and briefly explore how they go about not becoming victims. These non-victims seem to be aware of the not-terribly-obscure fact that most Live Goblins are remorseless predators and opportunists, who don't give a rat's ass what the law says. Live Goblins also don't give a rat's ass what your "protest" banners say. Live Goblins don't give a rat's ass about YOU. Shocking, I know, but somebody has to break the news to you.
Non-victims have some habits and attitudes which are probably somewhat foreign to you Grrrlz, all of which are premised on the notion that an intelligent person takes real and genuine responsibility for his or her own safety.
Take a moment and absorb that concept.
While these non-victims may occasionally be seen carrying signs protesting restrictions on their right to defend themselves, but will never see them carrying signs demanding that criminals stop behaving like criminals. You see, responsible grownups know better. They understand that nobody can reason with a single-minded criminal. They know that "the police will arrive in minutes, when seconds count," and no superheroes are going to stand between them and violent criminals. Grownups don't want the drama associated with sympathy or (Yaaaay!) judicial vengeance after they become victims; they don't want to become victims at all. (I already said that, didn't I?) RESPONSIBLE grownups take practical, real-life precautions to prevent becoming victims. They don't make themselves vulnerable to predators. They don't attract the attention of predators. And if predators attempt to prey on them despite these precautions, they are prepared to stop said predators.
Before damage is done to them.
You Grrrlz might want to consider the fact that hollering "Rape is a crime!" and "No means No!" doesn't prevent rape. Hell, even taking every precaution doesn't prevent all rape, but it prevents many rapes. Perhaps it might prevent yours. Just sayin'
Coffeypot usually sticks to humor and military support on his blog, but today he veered wildly into politics. I'll go ahead and secure my seatbelt now, because I'm enjoying the ride:
Jackson's message to Christians is, “The Democrat Party has turned its back on Christians. It is time to turn our backs on the Democrat Party.”
Incidentally, I am 100% for marriage equality, which is one of many reasons I'm not a Republican. I think "government sanctioned marriage" should be available to everybody or nobody, preferably nobody. America would be a hell of a lot better off if the government would get its fat nose out of our families!
Recently a friend brought up the very common sentiment, "Men are intimidated by a woman who can support herself." I was too distracted by everything to think about it, and I didn't want to dismiss it with a blanketing, "You're WRONG!" For one thing, technically, she's not entirely wrong; a small percentage of men are intimidated by self-sufficient women. But for most men, "intimidated" is the wrong word.
I think most men are conflicted by self-supporting women, and the inner conflict can put them on the defensive. It makes them leery of getting involved, and it can exacerbate future relationship stresses. In our female-dominated society, men are probably just annoyed by the attitude of most self-supporting women. For men, supporting oneself is hardly heroic, it's very nearly the minimum standard. For feminists though, it's the be-all end-all of human existence; they treat it like it's a big deal, and perhaps to them it is. But to men it's about as exciting as breathing. They just do it.
What women don't know about female financial independence, is that men aren't attracted to it. It's convenient, and these days it's foolish to marry a woman who can't support herself, but it's not a turn-on. It must be quite lowering for an accomplished woman to encounter an overwhelming masculine "Meh, that's cool I guess," in the face of what she sees as her greatest achievements.
Open a magazine. Read a newspaper. Turn on the TV. Try to leave your home without encountering the message that Empowered Women Are Awesome! Yaaay! How can the average woman NOT expect her every accomplishment to be celebrated? Yet most men's instinctive response is: "So what?I can do that. My friends can do that too, and guess what - I don't want to have sex with them." ("Now, if she looks good naked, THAT I can get excited about!") This is in direct contradiction to men's conscious understanding that self-suffiency is indeed a useful trait in a woman - and it beats the hell out of perpetual dependence. But it's not Feminine, and men are attracted to femininity. No, seriously. Men really are.
In our species, the role of men is to protect the tribe and to hunt the woolly mammoth; the role of women is to turn that sucker into meals, clothing and tools, and to gather and store supplemental food, while raising children. We are biologically programmed to be attracted to mates who display these abilities, and the majority of us following this path has led us out of caves and into skyscrapers. I'd say it's a pretty solid formula.
Men can respect female independence, but it doesn't inspire awe or lust. I suspect most men feel vaguely bewildered by grown women who are essentially asking to be awarded emotional gold medals, just for "participating." Those men who explore the source of their bewilderment, probably find "You Go Grrrl" crowing to be tiresome. Then the majority of men, being well-trained White Knights, become ashamed of their insensitivity. They feel guilty for their instincts. "What kind of Neanderthal must I be, to desire femininity in a woman? I should desire her ability to do what men are designed to do!"
I think the ongoing subtle shame and internal conflict in men, is what women tend to dismiss as "intimidated." And nobody contradicts them because it's Just Wrong to suggest that women weren't really meant to be men with tits. Sorry grrlz, gender is real, not a social construct to be manipulated for the hell of it.
I'm heartless. Coffeypot is still on the road and I got to the internet first! He and Judy are on a dog transport and they drove right past my house-next-to-the-expressway. We met tonight for dinner. The local Bob Evans ain't half bad, or maybe the company made it awesome. Anysecretboyfriend, Janey, I have good news and bad news. He's tall, handsome and charming. But tiny as she is, I'll bet Judy can kick both our asses. Blindfolded. With one hand tied behind her back.
Good food, great company. I'm giddy as a schoolgirl!
I bought a pooper scooper today. It's been many years since I've had a yard small enough to require that particular sort of maintenance. As I scanned the ground in search of treasures buried in the grass, I thought, "Hey! This is just like looking for four-leaf-clovers!"
But really, it's not.
Speaking of yards, normally I avoid those regionally famous mass rummage sales, but I need plant stands. And maybe baskets. I'm attending the "Yard Crawl" tomorrow.
The "Recovering Catholic" part of me has felt for years like a pinball in a high scoring game - knocked and bounced all over the place and surrounded by incessant noise. The topic of religion inspires a LOT of noise, and not just during election years.
I'm thinking I no longer have to write any more "Recovering Catholic" posts, because Captain Capitalism summed it all up for me:
"Understand what a Rationalization Hamster is. It is up for interpretation, but I think we can all agree that a rationalization hamster is a vehicle which allows a person to deny reality. But it's more than that. A person just can't "deny reality," they need a rationalization so that their weak minds will fall for it. The rationalization or logic the hamster generates doesn't have to be sound, reality-based or have any level of intellectual honesty, but if you can reach out and attach some kind of approval or ordainment by an "independent third party," all the more power to the rationalization hamster.
Tell me how religion, specifically, Christianity, does not fit that bill perfectly. It has all the traits and characteristics that could feed an army of rationalization hamsters."
What a relief.
I was running out of steam on load-up day, and completely out on unload day. SisterFed (Ret.) is an angel. She and WolfAlpha did most of the work because I could barely move. Then a neighbor showed up and introduced himself as a mover; he and another neighbor emptied half of the truck in less than an hour. Somebody needs a batch of cookies.
We've spent the last few days shopping and unpacking at a leisurely pace, and I'm one happy camper! I love my house! I love my town! I love my tiny library! I love my neighbor hood! The yard is a very small "blank slate," so it won't be long before I love it too! My only complaint is the traffic noise from the interstate, but I can live with it. If that's the worst we'll have to deal with, this place is awesome!
The house needs quite a bit of putzy work; the previous owner didn't do some of the finish work and she didn't do much routine maintenance. A few more years of that and it would develop some problems, but we can catch up pretty easily. And there's almost nothing that needs to be UNdone. It's pretty clean and full of natural light (a good thing because it will be a while before I'll have an outdoor space for my house plants.) Actual decorating is not far in the future!
WolfAlpha will need to make a second trip; he had to leave the garage more than half full. Once we get the "upstairs stuff" out of the basement, IT WILL ALL FIT EASILY! Our need to build a garage isn't terribly urgent, so (hopefully) the deck will come first. A fence is top priority, though. Sadie's having a hard time getting used to the stairs and uncarpeted floors, and leash-walking seems to have issues. Yesterday I took her out in mid afternoon, and I think she burned her paw pads on the street. She refused to walk on the grass! So we're staying in the yard for a few days, although she's walking better today. I felt like the world's worst dog-mom last night when she was trying to favor all four feet.
So. I'll sign off now and go finish filling my big walk-in closet. heh heh heh...
In truth, I have met a lot of wonderful people here and made some good friends. If I thought I could get away with it, I would lock Loretta and Dave in the moving van and take them with me. And I give the state high marks for it's few restrictions on gun owners.
But this state has driven me slightly nuts during the 18 years I've lived here. Here's my bucket; I'm dumping it.
You can tell property taxes are low in Indiana, because the grocery stores are roomy and the merchandise is spread out nicely. What there is of it. I guess I was spoiled growing up in the Chicago suburbs, because the poor selection of available products here, still rankles. Except for chicken and noodles, which I'll miss desperately, this is about the most gastronomically unadventurous place I've ever been. Including Minnesota-the-land-of-white-food.
Competition for customers is pretty much unheard of. For such an apparently friendly place, I've never been ignored by more clerks, or served worse restaurant food, than I have in Indiana. Including the bimbo at Marsh who, while talking to her supervisor, didn't tell me my purchase total and turned her back to me while holding out her hand for my money!!! It's been seventeen years and that one still amazes me.
In 2008, Indiana finally dragged itself kicking and screaming into the 20th century, by deciding to follow daylight savings time and limiting itself to less than five time zones throughout the year. Eastern and not Central, but hey, small steps. Now-defunct Indiana motto: We know what time it is here, and the rest of the world can go f*** itself. The astronomers are mistaken; the center of the universe is at the intersection of 16th and Georgetown.
Hoosiers drive like there's nobody else on the road. (Not surprising because what passes for "driver education" here, is a joke.) Lane markings and 8-sided Stop signs are optional. Everybody tailgates in town, and on the highway they spread out just far enough apart so that nobody can safely pull out to join them. The "speed limit" denotes the speed at which NOBODY drives; they generally drive 5 below or 15 above. I've been wearing my seatbelt as long as I've had a license, but I never recognized the urgent necessity for it until I started driving in Indiana. Turn signals are only used by drivers who aren't planning to turn. (Apparently, it's "nobody's damn bidness" what they intend to do!)
The proper use of helping verbs is frowned upon in Indiana, and punishable by social ostracism (or being imprisoned in an Ivory Tower.) The mind boggles at the number of intelligent, educated and professional Hoosiers who "seen" this or that. This includes teachers' aides and nurses.
My enlarging backside fits in well in here. Indiana. Is. Fat. I waver between sizes 16 and 18, and I'm average here. (I'm looking forward to the influence of people who eat better and exercise more; I won't be treated like a snob when I try to do the same.)
This Farewell-to-Indiana post is showing me how well I have learned to adapt to my surroundings. WolfAlpha said he had no idea I hated the place so much. I told him I really don't hate it; I've been happy and there are some pretty cool places and people here, but the "gold standard" here appears to be mediocrity. Call me uppity, but I was raised better than that. Come to think of it, so was he. I've avoided dwelling on it and I've made the best of it, but there's very little of it that I will miss.