Archive for March, 2012


Are you a feminist?

I was listening to a man that I heard was a feminist. His name is Michael Kimmel. according to his bio on one of his many websites he is “among the leading researchers and writers on men and masculinity in the world today. The author or editor of more than twenty volumes, his books include Changing Men: New Directions in Research on Men and Masculinity (1987), Men Confront Pornography (1990), The Politics of Manhood (1996), The Gender of Desire (2005) and The History of Men (2005). His documentary history, “Against the Tide: Pro-Feminist Men in the United States, 1776-1990” (Beacon, 1992), chronicled men who supported women’s equality since the founding of the country. This “inspiring, pathbreaking collection of remarkable documents” (Dissent) was also called “meticulously researched” (Booklist) and a “pioneering volume” which “will serve as an inspirational sourcebook for both women and men.” (Publishers’ Weekly).

When asked if he was a feminist he said, “No. I believe I am pro feminist, but because I’m not a woman I can not be a feminist.”

I was shocked…being a man who proudly calls himself a feminist. However, as I and a group of women spoke to Michael I got a very interesting education I’d like to share with you….

As a man I can look at the violence against women and get physically sick. I can look at the staggering cases of rape and the even more staggering cases of rape that aren’t reported and wilt in knowing that men cause these numbers and statistics. As a man I can look at the violence that my gender creates and be sickened and sad. As a man I can look at the millions of women being abused throughout the states and know that it has to stop. I can watch congress try to regulate what a woman can do with her body and what a man is allowed to do to her, and shake my head in disbelief. I can watch as needed money to help the survivors and prevent the violence is given to war efforts and ways of exerting power and control over other countries.

BUT

I can’t truly understand what it is like to be a woman. I can’t truly understand what it is like to be a woman growing up in the united states. I can’t truly feel what it’s like to be a woman watching her fellow sisters be told that they are fat, ugly, worthless, etc. I can’t truly understand what it’s like to have a vagina and all the other trials and tribulations that go with it. I can’t truly understand what a woman feels like when she is yelled at by a passing car and knowing that this has been going on for decades in her life. I can’t know the fear that a woman has as she stands in the lighted hallway in front of a dark parking garage and knowing this is the only way home and it may be the end of her life as she knows it. I can’t feel the historic destruction of the female gender that every woman sees as she goes through school. I will never know the constant bad lines and octopus hands that most woman have to grow up dealing with or how that shapes her life in the future.  However…I do know this is only the beginning of the long list of persecutions women deal with on a daily basis.

These feelings and this knowledge is what has birthed feminism.

Though men can not feel what it’s really like…we can’t turn our head.

So no..we aren’t feminsist…we are pro-feminism.

We are the ones that are changing the way women are seen.

We must understand that patriarchy is real, and we as men can use it to change the way women are seen.

 

 

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Pictures of Anti-rape posters

As I was looking through websites…I came upon these fascinating pictures of people carrying signs and taking a stand against rape.  Why aren’t we all taking a stand and carrying signs?

 

Man. The word conjures up ideas of what we see manhood as. Interestingly enough – we all have a different definition for what it is. If you google it with pictures, you’ll see a lot of unshaven faces, muscles, tuxedos and suits, and of course violence. These seems to be the pictures that many of us have seen as the depiction of manhood.

However, the cold hard truth of statistics is this:

95% of all violent crimes are because of men.

85-90% of all domestic violence cases are a man hurting a woman.

90% of all of the world’s decision makers are men (The patriarchy of power)

 

Is this you?  Is this me?  Is this what a man is?

The answer is undoubtedly NO…and if you’re a man or know a man they need to get the message loud and clear. We need to redefine what manhood, men, a man –  is.  But many don’t want to stand alone. Don’t want to be that one man among the many….but that is what you are when you speak against men’s violence and for gender equality and for nonviolence and peace. There are other men…there are a lot of other men…standing up….taking a stand for what’s right. Join these men!

Below is a list of sites of groups of men doing everything they can to stop Domestic Violence, Violence against women, and violent men – all working toward equality and changing what the definition of manhood is. If they don’t have a chapter in your local area…I call on you to make it happen and create a new definition of what it is to be a man in your community.

Taking a stand against violence and promoting nonviolence.

men stopping violence

Stopping domestic violence against women children and men

Men stand up against violence

A call to men

Men against violence against women

Men against violence

Men against sexual violence

Men Against Violence Blog

North dakota men against violence

Oregon men against dv

Article about University of Massachusetts  men against violence

NOMAS

 

Men – there is great work being done in your community right now to change the face of what a man is. Go out and do something about the problem.

Did I forget an organziation that you know of?

What else can men do to prevent violence against women?

Many people wouldn’t know a healthy relationship if it was facebooked, tweeted, and put all over TMZ.

It’s not their fault they don’t know. They’ve just never seen one. Let’s be honest…home wany examples of a healthy relationship are displayed out in the public to see?  Very very few. (I was going to put none..but there has to be something out there….I hope.) For many, the only healthy relationship you saw were the parents of your friends that you swore never fought. So that’s what you saw as the healthy relationship meter top. Then, if you’re like this author, your healthy relationship bottom was your own household.

If your relationship isn’t healthy…work on making it healthy, or get out.  If your relationship is abusive…get help please!

So for all of those lost individuals who really have no idea what a healthy relationship is, here is a list of the characteristics of a healthy relationship.
The 40 healthy relationship signs below are meant to open your eyes to what healthy relationships are all about.  It’s not all smiles and kissy-face; but it’s real.

1. You can be your true selves with each other.
2. You feel comfortable sharing your deepest thoughts, fears, and emotions with each other.
3. You rarely lie to each other, but you also refrain from being brutally honest.
4. You give each other space and/or “Me time.”
5. You make it through rough times as a couple without splitting up.
6. You agree (or genuinely agree to disagree) on financial matters.
7. You treat each other the way you would like to be treated, not necessarily the way you feel you’re being treated at the moment.
8. You and your mate completely deal with your problems, refusing to leave them unresolved until resentments form.
9. You forgive each other for mistakes.
10. You don’t tell each other what you should or shouldn’t think/feel.
11. You both listen without interrupting.
12. You respect each others’ privacy.
13. You speak each others’ Love Language, even if it’s different from your own.
14. You willingly make sacrifices for each other.
15. You share mutual interests and activities.
16. You respect each others’ individuality and make the most of your differences.
17. You act as each others’ backbone, providing loving support without guilt.
18. You share spiritual beliefs or a spiritual connection.
19. You show sensitivity to each others’ needs.
20. You discuss and negotiate instead of fighting.
21. Each partner takes responsibility for their own thoughts and feelings.
22. There is mutual trust and dedication.
23. You have a strong friendship.
24. In addition to loving each other, you genuinely like each other.
25. You don’t judge or force your opinions on each other.
26. You take quality time to nurture your relationship.
27. Both partners maintains his/her own set of boundaries and respects the boundaries of the other.
28. You are both attentive to the needs of yourself and the other.
29. You enjoy physical contact (hugs, kisses, cuddling, sex) together.
30. You show appreciation for each other.
31. Hardship, uncertainty, and disagreements are accepted as a part of life.
32. You communicate openly and meaningfully with each other.
33. There is equal power between you and your mate.
34. You keep your expectations of each other in check.
35. You genuinely apologize to one another when feelings are hurt.
36. You and your mate speak up assertively instead of expecting the other to read minds.
37. You both eliminate passive aggressive behavior (ignoring, silent treatment, eye rolling, stomping, hanging up the phone) as much as possible.
38. You have a strong sense of interdependence (mutual responsibility) to each other rather than dependence or co-dependence.
39. You avoid going to bed mad.
40. You CAN live without each other, but you choose each other over every alternative choice.

All of these things take work. Each relationship is most likely a combination of both healthy and unhealthy characteristics. Relationships need to be maintained and healthy relationships take work. This applies to all relationships; work relationships, friendships, family, and romantic relationships.

The operative sentence here I will repeat: Relationships need to be maintained and healthy relationships take work.

A healthy relationship is worth it…work at it!

 

Please look at this article…

This article is in response to what a Wisconsin lawmaker stated!

Wisconsin Lawmaker: If You Are Being Beaten, Just Remember the Things You Love About Your Husband | RH Reality Check.

Please read this and notice –

This is the reason we need prevention

This sit he reason we need everyone to raise their collective voice and say:

End the violence towards women!

End the violence toward people.

We are all worth the same.

We need equality!

We are all valuable!

Plan your event and do something to stand up against this kind of obvious slander.

Send me your event or pictures of your event!

We can all prevent violence.

Men…95% of all violent crimes are caused by men.  How do we make this number go down?  STOP BEING VIOLENT!

How simple.

This article comes out of Men against violence group…

 

Fugazi lyrics and violence prevention.

 

opt 4 a violence free world.

opt4 a violence free society

How are you stopping violence in your community?

Wouldn’t it be a much better world if people would just take a stand?

“It’s time… to talk about it! Connect. Respect. Prevent, Sexual Violence”.  (nsvrc.org)

Unfortunately, we can’t change everyone else, but we can take a stand and change ourselves!  We can change the way we think, speak, and treat others.  It begins with you. 

Here are some tips of a sexually healthy adult…

• Be comfortable with their body.

• Know that human development includes sexual development, which may or may not include reproduction or sexual experience.

• Have access to information and resources to protect and enhance their own sexual health.

• Engage in sexual relationships that are consensual, non-exploitative, honest, pleasurable, and safe.

• Express their sexuality while respecting the rights of others.

• Interact with all genders in respectful and appropriate ways.

• Know the difference between life-enhancing sexual behaviors and those that are harmful to self and/or others.

• Communicate well with family, peers and romantic partners.

• Express their sexuality in ways that are in line with their values.

• Enjoy sexual feelings without necessarily acting on them.

• Be aware of the impact of family, cultural, media, and societal messages on thoughts, feelings, values, and behaviors related to sexuality.

• Accept one’s own sexual orientation and respect the sexual orientations of others.

• Accept one’s own gender identities and respect the gender identities of others.

…adapted from the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States’ Life Behaviors of a Sexually Healthy Adult demonstrate healthy sexuality (SIECUS, 2004, p. 16):

Have you ever thought about your sexual health?  What are you doing to end sexual assault? 

Pass this on folks!! There is always a teaching moment that you can hold in the palm of you hand, and maybe, just maybe, change will come! It starts with you!

I can’t tell you how many meetings, committees, brainstorming sessions, and even television production groups that are coming up with an idea for a PSA (Public service announcement – An awareness commercial) about ending domestic violence or sexual assault or teen dating violence and the first thought people come up with is blood and bruises. Why?

Back in the early 70’s or the late 60’s the first PSA’s and movies came out to get the world aware of domestic violence. . The movie that rocked the society and truly woke up America was The Burning Bed. Suddenly, the hushed discussions all of the wives were having was depicted in front of them in vivid color and on the big screen.  Domestic violence and how to stop it became a national conversation. This movie and the PSA’s that came after it changed the way people saw domestic violence and took it out of the stigma of “a family issue we don’t talk about”.

The subsequent PSA’s were needed to really make people aware that this is a problem and an epidemic. Then multiple national agencies including the center for disease control did study after study after study to show that domestic violence was killing more people than most diseases. (Still over 1.5 million people are abused every year in the United States.)

Now is the time for the solution. We’ve spent the last 30-40 years making people aware that there is a problem…let’s start talking about healthy relationships too!

Let’s make people aware of how non-abusive relationships solve their problems.

Let’s make people put the responsibility on the abuser and not educate the victim.

We have to teach people how to end violence and end anger and end power and control. These are the causes of domestic violence. These are the bacteria. if you will, of the disease. Let’s take care of the causes of the disease and we will eradicate the disease.

Look for a PSA that does this.

Look for anything that does this…..they’re just not that plentiful (if any). Now, don’t get me wrong, there are many great movies out there, and you can get many of them through Media Education Foundation , but what about the mainstream?

I challenge everyone…..create a PSA or video that has no bruises and blood but instead is geared to prevent.

Send it to me, and I’ll be happy to post it on this blog.

Send me a youtube link, and I’d be happy to post it on the blog and advertise your youtube channel.

We live in a time when anyone can do this with their I-phone or webcam, lets start preventing and thereby eradicating this disease, this scourge, this wart on our society!

I’ll be waiting for the videos!

Ageism rears its ugly head as we speak about the issue of teen dating violence. When I speak out in the world about the cessation of teen dating violence…I hear adults say to me all the time:

That’s just being a kid…we all lived through it. So will they.

Oh it’s just puppy love, it’s not that important.

How bad could it really be.

Everyone who has experienced teen dating violence will tell you it is that bad and it is really that serious.

How serious?  Serious as a heart attack because it can kill you!  Adults don’t seem to realize that teen dating violence is killing our young men and women in the world and it needs to end.

The good news….Yes there is good news, it’s getting a national spotlight…As well it should!

A major national magazine, The Atlantic, has just put out an article to educate the adults. YES…educate the adults. Finally right?

So lets start talking about this. Let’s start talking about ending the ridiculous abuse and violence that are scarring and killing the future of our world.

Teen Dating Violence is about power and control.

Teen Dating violence is about hurting and messing with someone’s life.

Teen Dating violence is PREVENTABLE!!!

Opt 4 a world that prevent teen dating violence.

What are you doing right now to prevent it?  If you answered nothing – DO SOMETHING.  (The least you can do is to read the article!)

Please send me ideas that adults and students can do to end this epidemic!

There are a lot of “isms” that people use as an excuse to commit violence and domestic violence. By eliminating them, we get that much closer to ending the violence.

Ageism…what is that?

The discrimination of someone because of their age.

This happens most often to the old and the young. We live in a world that disrespects older people and negates the value of younger people.

Story 1

A gentleman went to go see his father. His father had lost control of his bowels, forgot where he was most of the time, and loved playing chess…he was 82. The gentleman had no ability to take care of him so he had to put him in an assisted living facility. The father understood and was ok with that. At this visit, the son noticed blood on the sheets.  It was blood from bed sores. When the son said he’d check on this the father said – No, it will be worse if you say something. They beat people here and when families complain about the bed sores we get alcohol baths.

Note – When this gentleman took this up with the management, they said they would take care of that after the new management came in. The current management could not be held liable for anything since they no longer managed the facility. The new management said they could do nothing about it or be held responsible since it happened prior to their management. This is normal operating procedure and the companies will bury you in legal paperwork if you try to sew or fight it.

Story 2

A woman about 53 gets on a plane and settles into her seat for a 4 hour flight. She overhears a young man about 20 or so speaking on the phone and say, “Great.  I have to sit next to some nasty old lady. Why can’t they just get rid of them.” She makes no comment and the young man sits down. He proceeds to text his friend saying that girls over 35 just need to stop thinking they have anything to offer men at all. They’re disgusting. The woman noticed the text and sat quietly. After the plane was in the air for a while, the young man was forced to speak to her so that the flight attendant could pass him his drink. he felt he had to make small talk and asked,”So, are you retired?”  The woman chuckled…I’m not that old she replied. he mumbled under his breath, “You’re not?”  She stated she was a motivational speaker. and suddenly, she became interesting….

Story 3

A young man loved math more than anything. He decided to figure out why the world worked and did the things it did. He couldn’t make the math work right, so he invented a new kind of math. then he invented a new kind of physics. then he invented a new kind of math for the new kind of physics.  That would be 2 new kinds of math, 1 new kind of physics, and 1 500 page book to explain it all.  This was done by a 15 year old.   His name was Isacc Newton. When he published his book and talked about his finding they wouldn’t listen to him because there is no way a kid could do this.

This is what ageism looks like!

There are millions of students whose potential is nowhere close to being tapped. Everyday there is a student in school who comes up with a GREAT idea and they are shoved aside because of ageism. Every day there was millions of older people who still have a lot of life left to live that are pushed aside because they don’t fit the new and pretty look, they have biological situations that everyone naturally have when they get older, they don’t fit what society says is viable anymore.

Opt 4 no ageism.

Opt 4 saying thank you to the older people in the world…they’ve built and made everything that has come before now.

OPt 4 doing something about this “ism”.

What are you going to do to end this?

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