The Australian Gender Report for November, 2004.
Feature article 1
Domestic Violence Distortions Conceal Culture of Male Hatred.
By Mark Charalambous
Feature article 2
The Counterfeit Marriage Movement, II - Why Promise Keepers Collapsed
By David R.Usher
* Female sexual abuse hidden
* Student sex: teacher avoids jail
* Kids in the Crossfire
* A matter of humour
News Items - Overseas:
* England: Teenage girls just want to marry and stay home
* England: More men stay home with parents
* UN: New gender guidelines through peacekeeping
* Spain: New anti- male law
* USA: Woman, 29, accused of sex with 8 year old boy
* USA: Father Facts: Top Ten Father Facts
Action corner: Contact Gloria Jeans
Tuesday 30 November 2004.
Compiled by Alan Barron, Convenor,
The Institute of Men's Studies,
Grovedale Victoria Australia.
Stat of the month:
Female workforce participation has shot up from 28 per cent in 1964 to 44 per cent in January 2004.
(The Geelong Advertiser,6/11/04.)
A man went to the police station wishing to speak with the burglar who had broken into his house the night before.
"You'll get your chance in court," the desk sergeant told him.
"No, no, no!" replied the man. "I just want to know how he got into the house without waking my wife. I've been trying to do that for years!"
Did you know?
The average adult male has 40 lbs. (18kg) of bone and 65 lbs. (29kg) of muscle in his body which is around 40% more than the average female body.
More boys than girls are born during the day; more girls are born at night.
Female sexual abuse hidden
Sexual abuse by women may be escaping punishment because of their victims' embarrassment and society's failure to understand the gravity of the crimes. A major study is investigating the impact of female sexual abuse in Victoria amid concerns that women - including mothers, teachers and childcare workers - are abusing children at greater rates than once believed. Melbourne researcher Rebecca Deering said her preliminary inquiries suggested the stigma of being abused by a woman stopped victims reporting the offence.
Ms Deering said that gender differences may mean that society diminishes the extent to which women can offend. "It has been argued that women are incapable of performing sexual acts with children due to physical make-up," she said.
"However, women do engage in such acts with children and research suggests that such abuse may be occurring at higher rates than once believed."
Ms Deering was speaking after a judge decided against jailing mother-of-three Karen Ellis, 37, for having a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old student. The student denied that the affair had affected him, but that didn't stop a backlash when Ellis - a former physical education teacher - escaped jail despite having sex six times with the boy.
Ms Deering wants to talk to more victims of female sexual abuse for her study, which is part of her doctorate of forensic psychology at Deakin University. Ms Deering said early replies to the study showed a big impact on victims.
"Based upon those, the impact has been extremely damaging," she said. "They've basically written that it has had a huge psychological impact on their lives, that they've never spoken about it for years and years. And (they) didn't even realise until a lot of them had begun to speak about it that it was sexual abuse. I guess they lived in a world of confusion around what's happened, what's going on - is it abuse or was it based upon motherly love and that kind of thing? It often takes years of therapy for someone to come forth and talk about it."
The Ellis case has reignited debate about the role of women in sex abuse. The Australian Council of State School Organisations and Crime Victims Support Association called for a review of the way such cases were handled. The Ellis case was compared with disgraced tennis coach Gavin Hopper, who was jailed for at least two years over an affair with a 14-year-old female student.
Ms Deering said there was a substantial body of research on the effects of women sexually abusing children, although evidence suggested not all victims suffer psychological damage. They include emotional, behavioural and sexual dysfunction. She said male victims had reported that the effects of the abuse lingered.
"Male victims have reported that the abuse had an intense and traumatic impact on their lives, both at the time of the abuse and for several years following the incident," Ms Deering said. "Female victims have reported identity confusion, sexual and relationship difficulties, anxiety, depression, self-mutilation, suicidal gestures, low self-esteem and personality disorders.
"Other studies have found that victims can suffer from feelings of guilt and self-blame, post-traumatic stress disorder, dissociative states, development of antisocial behaviour and victimisation of others, suicidal (thoughts and) interpersonal difficulties, including lack of ability to trust others. . ."
Ms Deering said there was evidence to suggest that victims of female offenders suffered as badly as victims of male offenders. Anyone interested in joining the study can call +613 9251 7630.
(John Ferguson , Herald Sun, 15 November 2004, as reported in Manumit Exchange, 15/11/04.)
Student sex: teacher avoids jail
A female teacher who had a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old boy avoided jail after a judge said the student's consent was a mitigating factor. Karen Louise Ellis, teacher, of Eltham North, was given a 22 month jail sentence wholly suspended for three years.
The Victorian County Court was told the Year 10 student did not consider himself a victim in the relationship with married mother-of-three Ms Ellis.
Ellis, 37, had pleaded guilty to six counts of sexual penetration with a child under 16. The former physical education teacher had repeated, unprotected sex with the boy at her North Eltham home while her husband was away for work in October and November last year. After her arrest, Ellis told police: "What can I say ... it's a stupid teacher taking advantage ... I should have known better".
Prosecutor Keiran Gilligan called for Ellis to be jailed for her "gross breach of trust", saying the law recognised children were vulnerable. Judge John Smallwood said the unique factors in the case meant the "inevitable" prison term could be wholly suspended. "Consent is not a defence to guilt but it has to be a mitigating factor, doesn't it?" he said.
Mr Gilligan replied: "If there wasn't consent it would be a rape charge, it wouldn't be a sexual penetration charge". The court was told Ellis was remorseful about the relationship, and that the pair had stayed in contact since it ended. Her husband, Stephen Ellis, told the court he would have stopped taking interstate plumbing jobs if he realised his marriage was in trouble. He moved out of the family home for a few weeks in May but was now back, trying to "make a go of it".
"We're definitely going to try hard at that for our children's sake, that's for sure," he said. "She's been a fantastic mother for 13 years. "I just hope it can all be finished and we can go back to a normal life." The court was told the boy became estranged from his mother after she contacted police. He now lives with his grandmother. Describing the illegal relationship as a "matter of passion", defence barrister Brian Bourke asked that Ellis not be jailed.
Mr Bourke said the sexual relationship was brief, ended a year ago and the boy had told police it had "no effect" on him. By contrast, the resulting media attention had done Ellis "an enormous amount of harm", Mr Bourke said. "It's an enormous amount she has to live with while the media moguls can gloat," he said.
Mr Bourke said a jail term was not needed to deter other Victorian teachers from having sex with students. Prior to sentencing Judge Smallwood said he would consider Ellis' remorse and the victim's "quite vigorous assertion" there had been "no damage" in sentencing. The court was told Ellis' eldest daughter, 13, had surgery earlier this year and needed ongoing care from her mother.
"My view is a wholly suspended sentence would be at the lower end of the range but it would not be outside the range," Judge Smallwood said. "It is not my fear that she is a danger to the public."
Sex with a child under 16 carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison. Judge Smallwood released Ellis on bail to be sentenced on Wednesday.
(Adam Morton, The Australian, 4 November 2004. As reported in Manumit exchange, 5/11/04.)
Postscript: Wednesday (10/11), Karen Ellis was given a jail sentence of 22 months, wholly suspended for three years.
Ellis is now classified as a "serious sex offender."
(The Age 11/11/04, page 3.)
Comment: Those male sex offenders from Pitcairn Island should have immigrated to Australia. Seriously, when Sex Discrimination legislation was first introduced, it was lauded as landmark law reform. It was argued, for the first time, men and women were to be now treated as "equal" without fear or favour. So what then are we to make of the Karen Ellis case? She gets a suspended sentence for committing a sex offence against a minor, while Gavin Hopper cops three years and six months.
Why is this? The Court appears to have reflected current thinking. For some time now we have been force feed the idea women are (always) the victim in sex crimes, and men the perpetrators. Coupled with this, buried deep in the human psyche, is the belief men can look after themselves, but women need protection and special consideration as she is the child-bearer.
Equal opportunity legislation seems almost powerless against ingrained beliefs regarding men and women when it comes to delicate matters like the sex relations between the sexes and between adults and minors. However, justice should not only be done, but seem to be done. I'll believe that equality between the sexes has truly arrived when women are given the same punishment for committing sexual offences as the men - but that day seems a long way off.
Kids in the Crossfire
By Bettina Arndt,
10 November 2004
An unhappy marriage is bad enough, but for many children the real problems begin after their parents separate. Now, new programs are helping fathers move beyond anger and recrimination to focus on the people who matter most - their kids. By Bettina Arndt
For months, whenever Dallas Vanderzeil returned from his job as a postman in Sydney's south, his answering machine would be flashing. He'd play back the machine and all he'd hear was long periods of silence, broken by the occasional sob and his son's voice: "Daddy, daddy ..."
"I was just shattered," says Vanderzeil. "I didn't know how to handle it." Some months earlier, when his partner, Michele, decided to leave the marriage, she took the two children with her and moved to Batemans Bay, a good four-hour drive from Sydney. "I felt I had to get out. We were becoming so angry with each other," says Michele, explaining she moved south for support from her two brothers.
To start with, Vanderzeil regularly made the 600km return trip to see them but then the driving started to get to him. "Driving so far after a heavy day on a Friday ... it just got too much. I was so stressed and tired and didn't want to have an accident."
That was a year ago. Vanderzeil had hit rock bottom. He was worried sick about his kids, with his nine-year-old son taking it particularly hard when he didn't visit. He was having trouble at work: "It was just that I was so agitated." And every attempt to talk to his ex-partner ended in a slanging match. What's turned things around for this postie is Staying Connected, a new workplace program helping separated dads get their act together. The organisation behind this initiative is the Child Support Agency - rarely seen as a friend to divorced dads. The CSA has teamed up with the counselling service, Interrelate, and is persuading workplaces all over Australia to make life a little easier for their separated workers. Not that it took much persuading.
So far they have worked with the defence forces in three states, Queensland Rail in Rockhampton, and Australia Post in NSW and Victoria, and the mining community in Kalgoorlie, WA. Most workplaces are all too aware of the productivity toll of men reeling from the shock of family break-up. "We've got problems with 18 of 23 guys separated in one crew ... no wonder we're having trouble getting aluminium out the door," says the manager of a NSW smelter.
This workplace initiative is part of a big push to try to stop divorcing parents warring over children. The lawyer-driven adversarial divorce system has been a disaster for children. The fond notion that divorce would allow children to escape the harmful effects of bad marriages has proved wishful thinking. Separation often simply ignites the war, with children caught in the crossfire for year after punishing year. And the damage is demonstrable - on children's mental health and behaviour, educational outcomes, drugs, early pregnancy and delinquency rates, even on their marriage prospects.
Research shows children are more likely to witness violence between their parents after separation than before. "People try to run each other over," says Megan Solomon, who runs Unifam's Keeping Contact program in Sydney's Parramatta which deals with battle-scarred families usually referred by the Family Court. "Or ram each other's cars. Punch in a car window. Set fire to the other person's house."
What really concerns Solomon is the deliberate use of the children to antagonise the other parent. She mentions an incident involving a step-parent spitefully cutting a child's hair. "It's insidious, that sort of stuff," she says, explaining what it was like for that little girl to have to return home, knowing her mother would hate the haircut and be enraged every time she looked at her daughter.
Or how about mothers who deliberately feed children laxatives because "then they are going to shit all over dad". Karen Morris, who manages Interrelate's NSW counselling services, has heard of this. "These are parents who have lost their ability to see their children as human beings who are suffering."
So how do we stop this war? Not by going to court - that often makes things worse, says Diana Bryant, the new Chief Justice of the Family Court. "People come to court with issues to do with their relationships which cause them to fight about their children. We give them a decision and expect them to behave differently. Many aren't going to, they go away with exactly the same issues as they came in with." She suggests the real solution lies in teaching parents to keep their children out of the battle.
That's what international research is confirming. What's needed is early intervention - getting hold of parents soon after they separate and teaching them how to handle things differently. But this must be done before the system takes over and drives them to use the children against each other.
"It's all about the kids - it's not about us." That's the message Dallas Vanderzeil picked up from Staying Connected. He says the three-hour program, which involves postmen from all over Sydney, taught him how to deal with his children's distress and show them he is determined to remain part of their lives. He's handling the children differently: "I try not to lose it any more. I tell them I will always love them, no matter what." And he's even handling things better with the ex.
But obviously it is even better still to get hold of both parents and knock into their heads, early on, the idea that "it's about the kids". That's the notion underlying a new proposal being supported by the federal government in response to a parliamentary committee's investigation into child custody. Whereas the committee recommended a families tribunal to handle parenting disputes, the government concluded this would simply add another tier to the adversarial process.
The emerging evidence from overseas, particularly the United States, is that the parenting issues need to be handled differently, with parents at the point of separation being taught children are less at risk if both parents continue to be involved in their care. This is the best hope for keeping fathers in children's lives, says University of Sydney law professor Patrick Parkinson, the architect of the new scheme.
"All over the world, mothers are more likely to have custody because they have usually been the major carers," Parkinson says. "But that doesn't mean the father needs to be relegated to the status of a visitor in the children's lives. We know that fighting it out in court doesn't help these parents. They are most likely to find ways of both staying actively involved if we can persuade them not to fight but to listen to their children and respond to their needs."
He's proposing that instead of going straight to lawyers or to court, separating parents should be encouraged to seek advice at a network of 64 new government-supported family relationship centres - aimed at helping parents work out arrangements in their children's interests. The federal government is poised to release a discussion paper outlining the new system, says Attorney-General Philip Ruddock, who promises the new centres will be backed up by changes in the law "to support shared parenting". This won't usually mean "equal time" but unless there are extraordinarily good reasons why one parent should be discouraged from a relationship with the children, "this ought never to happen".
The centres would provide information and advice to parents early in the separation, before conflict escalates, and help them develop parenting plans by using "child-focused" mediation rather than a negotiator simply helping hammer out agreements. Parents would not be allowed to go to court unless they had participated in this mediation.
High-conflict parents would be referred to a child-inclusive program, involving experts working intensively with the entire family, which is custom-made for the more troubled families who now end up in court. It works. The Melbourne experience shows this approach can stop people from throwing their money away on lawyers. "Oh yes, child-focussed and child-inclusive practices do manage to keep people away from the courts," says Lawrie Moloney, who with colleague, Jenn McIntosh, co-directs Children in Focus, a program commissioned by the attorney-general's department to train counsellors and mediators in this approach.
Child-focused mediation is about shifting attitudes. "I can't tell you the number of times as a mediator I've heard mothers say things like, 'Well, all right. I'll let you have them on a Wednesday'," says Moloney, explaining it needs an effective mediator to help more traditional mothers see that fathers do have something to offer. But the shifts do occur - Moloney quotes solid American research showing good quality mediation does result in fathers having more active and flexible long-term involvement in their children's lives, a far better result than was achieved through court battles.
This applies even to couples who require the more intense child-inclusive intervention. Here child consultants use a range of techniques including paintings, drawings and play to draw out the children and help them articulate what's happening to them. Anna, 6, paints a picture of herself and her family, arms out wide with her parents tugging at either side and a huge black line splitting her in the middle. Jake, 13, struggles with tears as he talks about his dad: "I'm worried he might get too upset with mum and one day he just won't come back."
When the child consultant works with the mediator to present parents with this sort of information, "they are often gobsmacked", says Moloney. "If it is presented in a respectful, non-blaming way, it just transforms many parents and frequently becomes the turning point in the negotiations."
Moloney and his Melbourne colleagues see many couples who have only just begun the battle. What they find far tougher is dealing with couples who have been at it for years, in and out of the courts in a never-ending struggle over the kids. (abridged).
A matter of humour
Do men have a different sense of humour to women? Does nationality matter? A Monash University researcher is trying to find out. A rather distracted mother was walking with her precocious son past the lion enclosure at the zoo when he suddenly asked:"Mum, how do lions make love?" Without thinking she replied: "I don't know darling, most of your father's friends are in Rotary."
Research by Ben Leung suggests that both men and women might find that joke funny - even though men tend to prefer jokes involving sex more than women do. But women enjoy a play on words, and when a joke has sex and a double meaning, they are likely to join in the laughter. Leung is deadly serious about humour. He has spent years thinking about whether the same things are funny in different cultures. The Hong Kong-born Monash University student is undertaking a PhD study into humour and its relationship with personality and social adjustment.
His interest in humour was aroused when he left Hong Kong to study at a university in the US where he was startled by the things Americans found amusing that he didn't. After graduating, he went back to Hong Kong to teach and was struck again by how different the Chinese sense of humour was among his students. A Google search of the topic "humour" uncovers a staggering 7 million sites and even the "psychology of humour" pulls up nearly 200,000. So this is a much travelled area. Yet when Leung did some investigating, he found the concept was both extremely complex and elusive: "That made it a challenging topic for a research project.''
In a preliminary study, he surveyed more than 400 people using a psychometric scale - a tool for measuring mental states - via a questionnaire that included 25 written and 25 cartoon-type jokes. Those taking part were asked to score the jokes on a scale ranging from one to five, with one being "not at all funny" and five "very funny". Participants had to identify whether the main humour element in the joke was aggression, sex or double meaning - the three categories Leung is using to tease out gender, age and nationality differences. The questionnaire also asked for these background details.
Leung says the higher the score a person achieved, the higher appreciation of humour he or she had. His initial analysis indicated that men tend to find written jokes funnier than women - who are less appreciative of stories with an aggressive or sexual connotation. "I use gender as a major separator," he says. "Jokes that have an aggressive element tend to be appreciated more by men, whereas those with very strong aggression are not appreciated by women. But if the joke has a double-meaning, both men and women are likely to find it funny."
The following joke shows a significant statistical difference between male and female appreciation of humour, Leung says. It has two humour elements: aggression (put-down on chauvinistic men/stereotypes of women), sex connotation ("make me feel like a woman"), and incongruity (unexpected outcome when sex connotation becomes aggression). More than six out of 10 men but only four out of 10 women thought it was funny:
The pilot of the aircraft shouts in the intercom: "I've done everything I can but we are going to crash."
A well endowed, good-looking woman immediately jumps from her seat and shouts, "Is there a man on this aircraft that can make me feel like a woman one last time before we crash?"
Two rows back a man calls out, "Sure! Iron my shirt and get me a beer NOW!!"
Leung is about to begin the main study - a survey of more than 1000 people via a controlled-access online questionnaire. It will be distributed through a network of university colleagues in Australia, Hong Kong and North America.
The questionnaire will feature a revised version of his psychometric scale with 10 written and 10 cartoon-type jokes, in conjunction with what he says are existing validated measures of sense of humour, personality traits, psychological well-being and social adjustment. Although the originator of a British study, Dr Richard Wiseman, claims it to have been the largest experiment into the psychology of humour, Leung says his is different. No other research, he says, has simultaneously investigated the links between humour appreciation, sense of humour, personality and social adjustment.
"I want to know if people with a good sense of humour have introverted or extroverted personalities and whether they're well-adjusted or maladjusted, and the relationship between all these things," he says. Who's laughing at whom?
The world's largest experiment into the psychology of humour began four years ago when Dr Richard Wiseman, a researcher at the University of Hertfordshire in Britain, devised the project in collaboration with the British Association for the Advancement of Science. Wiseman set up a web page, http://www.laughlab.co.uk/, and asked people around the world to submit jokes and rate those that were on the site. The project attracted more than 10,000 jokes, with 100,000 people from 70 countries rating them. An analysis of the results revealed big differences in what people from different countries found funny. Ten countries rated the highest number of jokes and the following are in order of how funny they found them: Germany, France, Denmark, Britain, Australia, Ireland, Belgium, United States, New Zealand and Canada.
"Fascinating differences also emerged between nations in terms of the jokes they found funny. People from Ireland, Britain, Australia and New Zealand expressed a strong preference for jokes involving word plays," Wiseman says.
A typical example was: Patient: "Doctor, I've got a strawberry stuck up my bum." Doctor: "I've got some cream for that." But Americans and Canadians preferred gags where there was a sense of superiority - either because a person looked stupid or was made to look stupid by someone else:
Texan: "Where are you from?" Harvard graduate: "I come from a place where we do not end our sentences with prepositions." Texan: "Okay - where are you from, jackass?"
Curiously, Germany was an exception. Germans did not express a strong preference for any type of joke - which Wiseman says may explain why they came first in the league table of funniness: they do not have any strong preferences and so tend to find a wide spectrum of jokes funny.
(By Geoff Maslen, The Age (Melbourne), 9 November 2004. Manumit Exchange, 10/11/04.)
England: Teenage girls just want to marry and stay home
Their grandmothers fought for the vote, their mothers battled to have it all, but the upcoming generation of girls have decided to turn the clock back and just want stay at home with their babies.
According to a survey of 5,000-plus teenage girls, their main ambition is to complete university then return to the homestead - whether their partners like it or not. More than nine out of 10 of the girls believe it should be up to their husbands to provide for them, with 97 per cent disagreeing with the statement 'It doesn't matter who is the main earner, as long as we are happy.'
More than 90 per cent of those polled for CosmoGirl magazine's November issue believe it is the man's role to provide the household's money, with 85 per cent maintaining they would rather rely on their partner for financial support than be a successful, independent woman.
Instead of making a career for themselves, girls today plan to be married by the age of 25 - three years below the current national average of 28.2 years old. And although 43 per cent of those questioned believe they should continue with their education until they have achieved a university degree, one in four say getting married is their number one priority in life.
The supposedly super-modern, 'fun comes first' teenage generation has proved to be remarkably traditional in every area of their beliefs, with over 50 per cent saying they would not dream of having children before seeing a ring on their finger. The desire to have children is kicking in earlier too, with the girls taking their 'ticking biological clock' cue from role models such as Kate Moss, Posh Spice and Reese Witherspoon and wanting to have their first child in their twenties.
On average, teenage girls plan to have their first child at 26 and most plan to have one or two more children over the following four years, The national average now is 1.64 children per couple. 'This is so unsurprising,' said agony aunt and author Claire Rayner. 'The majority of girls have no glamorous future and nothing very special to look forward to. All they can hope for is their own man and their own baby - like their mothers and their grandmothers before them.
'This survey doesn't indicate that the battles of feminism have been lost,' she added. 'Feminism was never opposed to marriage or children. On the contrary, feminism was about equal opportunities for women to do what they wanted to do, when they wanted to do it, which is exactly what these girls are choosing to do.'
(Amelia Hill, The Observer, 19 October 2003. Reported in Manumit Exchange, 2/11/04.)
England: More men stay home with parents
While independent young women are buying their first homes alone, single young men are increasingly staying at home with mum and dad, UK research reveals today. A report from the UK's Halifax bank says in 2003, 56% of men and only 37% of women in England aged 20-24 lived at home with their parents. In addition, the number of single males buying their first home was only 26% in 2003, the lowest level recorded since 1992. Flat sharing was also popular among young single men.
(Geelong Advertiser, 27/11/04, page 27).
UN : New gender guidelines
New York, Oct 29 2004 6:00PM,
Manumit Exchange, 5/11/04)
The United Nations today published its Gender Resource Package for Peacekeeping Operations - a comprehensive guide for those serving in the field and at Headquarters aimed at integrating concerns about equality and the particular concerns of women into the workings of missions across the globe.
With an initial printing of 3,500 and a French translation expected by the end of this year, the 228-page document is the latest manifestation of a growing trend towards tackling gender issues in the once male-dominated world of peacekeeping. It also reflects the changing nature of conflicts themselves, which increasingly not only target women but involve them as fighters as well.
The manual offers detailed guidance for peacekeeping personnel working on a range of issues, including human rights, HIV/AIDS, the protection of children, the media, law enforcement and staff security. While the focus is on meeting the specific needs of women and girls - including those who have suffered sexual violence, and those who may be pregnant or mothers - the text also highlights how men can make a difference.
Specific instructions are offered for sensitizing peacekeeping personnel to gender issues. These range from providing both male and female condoms to increasing women's representation in the missions, especially in the higher ranks. According to the publication, women represented only 1.5 per cent of all military personnel provided by Member States to UN operations in 2003.
"The launch of this Package is an important milestone in the evolution of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations' commitment to mainstreaming a gender perspective in all functional areas of peacekeeping operations," said Assistant Secretary-General di Annabi at a panel discussion in New York.
In 2000, there were only two peacekeeping missions with gender advisers, a figure which has jumped to 10 today. The Department of Peacekeeping also has a permanent gender adviser, Comfort Lamptey, who also addressed gender issues in the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees
("http://www.unhcr.ch/cgi-bin/texis/vtx/home?page3Dnews" UNHCR) and the UN Development Fund for Women ("http://www.unifem.org/index.php?f_page_pid3D6" UNIFEM).
"Today, we can point to some improvements, even whilst we recognize that we have only taken 'baby steps' in a long process aimed at transforming our Department into one which both understands and embraces the principle of gender equality as a necessary ingredient for ensuring operational effectiveness in today's world of peacekeeping," Mr. Annabi added. In a forward to the book, which comes with a CD-Rom containing additional resources, Jean-Marie Guhenno, the Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping, says gender mainstreaming is "in many ways, still a new concept and we will, no doubt, learn many lessons as we move forward." As such, he says, the guide is "very much a work in progress."
Spain: New anti- male law
Men that have been accused/sentenced for allegedly abusing their wives are forced to wear an electronic sender in form of a bracelet. Their wives have a kind of " cell-phone" that goes off as soon as the man approaches her and comes closer than 500 metres. When this alarm goes off the police are also alerted. Spain has a socialist government now and they are actively working for women against men and domestic violence is a key battleground. It is claimed that in Spain since the beginning of this year 83 women have been killed by family members, 55 were killed by their own husband. 10,000 women are considered being in danger. Note that nothing is said about female violence and the number of men killed or falsely jailed.
(Manumit Exchange, 8/11/04.)
USA: Woman, 29, accused of sex with boy, 8
A woman faces charges in Connecticut of having a sexual relationship with an eight-year-old boy whom US investigators said she considers her boyfriend. Tammy Imre, 29, was arrested on Friday and charged with sexual assault and risk of injury to a minor. A judge today set bond at $US250,000 ($A328,040). Police began investigating in September after the boy's mother discovered a letter Imre had written, in which she tells the boy she did not "want anyone but you".
She continued: "Now, tomorrow it's supposed to rain, you can come over (and) we can (you know what)." Police said the boy, the playmate of Imre's seven-year-old daughter, initially denied doing anything with Imre because he feared getting into trouble. He later admitted having sexual relations with her. Police said Imre told investigators she plans to marry the boy someday. If convicted, Imre could serve more than 20 years in prison. A trial date has not been set.
(Sydney Morning Herald, 9 November 2004. Manumit Exchange, 10/11/04)
USA: Domestic Violence Distortions Conceal Culture of Male Hatred
By Mark Charalambous.
(Men's News Daily, 11 November 2004,Manumit Wxchange, 16/11/04.)
October was Domestic Violence Month, and once again the PR campaign was ramped up to convince women that the only thing more dangerous than being on a date is being home with their husbands.
Radio stations broadcast public service announcements from SAFE, a national battered women's organization, reminding us that "domestic violence is the leading cause of injury for women in the United States." Once again the truth squad had to answer the bell with the real facts. Far from being the leading cause of injury to women, domestic violence accounts for somewhat less than 2 percent of all women's injuries. Data on injury rates of women is freely available from the CDC's National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS) which tracks a representative sample of hospitals nationwide.
A 1997 Dept. of Justice report, "Violence-Related Injuries Treated in Hospital Emergency Departments" based on 1994 NEISS data, reports that 1.4 million people were treated "for injuries from confirmed or suspected interpersonal violence." It states in the first paragraph: "These patients represented about 1.5% of all visits to hospital EDs and 3.6% of the injury-related ED visits in 1994."
NEISS data from 2000, also on the internet, shows women's injuries from all types of violence mounts to 4.9 percent of the total. The leading cause of injury is falling down (28%), followed by vehicle accidents (18.1%).
The claim that domestic violence is the leading cause of injury is exaggerated by an order of agnitude, that is, by a factor of at least 10. What cause is served by exaggerating the true incidences of domestic violence against women? Is the truth not horrendous enoughAD that perhaps 2 per cent of all injuries to women are due to assaults from people they know?
And this "error" - if that's all it is - has a flip side. Just as the Red Sox never-before-in-history-of-baseball comeback from a 0-3 game deficit in the ALCS assures their place in the history of baseball, it simultaneously condemns the Yankees as the greatest chokers in the history of the game. Implicit in this domestic violence lie is a devastating indictment of men. Each of these grossly exaggerated number of women's domestic violence injuries must be mated with a male batterer.
Though this may be one of the more flagrant examples of statistic abuse by the domestic violence community, it is not some aberration. The domestic violence experts use every trick in the statistical book to cook up their alarming "facts." Let's call this "error" what it is: thinly disguised hate speech against men. While Congress dances around legislation that will criminalize speech critical of the accepted victim classes, it is funding hate speech campaigns against men. The Violence Against Women Act, besides being facially discriminatory if not unconstitutional, is funded to the tune of billions of dollars.
Think about it. If someone inflated claims of black-on-white violence by over 1,000 percent, do you think they would qualify for government funds to spread this "information" as a public service announcement? Several years ago I attended a seminar by Denise Gosellin, a criminologist who had just authored a book on domestic violence, "Heavy Hands." In response to a question of mine she related how she had been told that the government would not fund any study that includes male victims of female domestic violence.
Organizations like SAFE produce domestic violence "fact sheets" that usually include a list of debunked "myths" such as: "Substance abuse is a cause of domestic violence." Those who actually work as first responders in the community know that substance abuse is indeed a major cause of domestic violence. But since this subverts the overall message of male demonization that is the true objective, it is presented as a "myth." The real cause of domestic violence, according to these "experts," is that violence against women is inherent in the construct of masculinity. Men resort to violence when they lose the control over women that the "patriarchy" bestows upon them, otherwise identified in these circles as "using male privilege."
The more one digs into this movement, the more it resembles a religion rather than a campaign for social reform and justice. It is a belief system steeped in feminist anti-male ideology, based on feelings and fear rather than sound scientific research. At the heart of the domestic violence industry is a culture of male hatred.
Ever since male-bashing became the national sport decades ago, there is no shortage of studies to quote in support of the campaign to demonize men. But the public would be shocked if they knew just how academic standards have been corrupted in the social sciences where students who eventually produce these studies are indoctrinated. A standard introductory sociology textbook used in many colleges and universities, "Essentials of Sociology" by James Henslin, actually steers students away from doing research on women who abuse men. The first chapter includes a section on the correct methodology for doing research. It uses spouse abuse as an example:
"Let's use spouse abuse as our topic. The next step is to narrow the topic. Spouse abuse is too broad; we need to focus on a specific area. For example, you may want to know why men are more likely to be the abusers." Ironically this falls on the same pages as a boxed feature that warns against trusting common sense and conventional wisdom when approaching research. It lists ten true/false statements and then reveals on the next page that all are false, contrary to common sense. But the author contradicts his own instructions in his spouse abuse research example:
"You must review the literature to find out what is already known about the problem. You don't want to waste your time rediscovering what is already known." According to Dr. Heslin, the assumption that men are far more likely to abuse their female partners than vice-versa is a commonsense notion that needn't be questionedAD furthermore, it would be a waste of time to do new research to confirm a result that "is already known."
When social science serves the cause of ideology, this is just the kind of nonsense we can expect.
The corruption of the behavioral sciences in feminist-driven areas of study such as domestic violence and "gender" studies is uniformly appalling. Students across the educational landscape are not being educated as much as indoctrinated into a distorted feminist worldview. Perhaps schools should consider placing their behavioral science departments into some kind of academic receivership under trusteeship of their mathematics departments.
It's instructive to reflect on the fallout of Steve Basile's attempt to do research on domestic violence.
In 1997, when Basile undertook to analyze in a scientific and comprehensive manner the issuing of domestic abuse protection restraining orders (aka 209A's), the reaction of the domestic violence "experts" in the community was to pass a law restricting access to the data Basile used. In contrast to most domestic violence studies, Basile's research was scientifically sound. He didn't self-select a sample to predetermine the results as is typically done with advocacy research, but examined all domestic abuse prevention orders issued by Gardner District Court for one year, 1997. The first phase of the study was published in the Journal of Family Violence earlier this year; the second phase of the study, which focuses on court response, is pending publication.
During the data gathering phase the domestic violence community (specifically Jane Doe, Inc.) got wind of his research and in record time legislation was passed amending the Public Records Law, Massachusetts's version of the Freedom of Information Act. Attorney General Tom Reilly, state senator Therese Murray and then-Senator Cheryl Jacques submitted and lobbied for legislation restricting access to 209A documents. So much for legislative gridlockAD if you're on the "right" side of the issue; in this case the side of ensuring that actual data on domestic violence never fall into the hands of anyone who doesn't follow the party line.
More recently Basile attempted to gain access to the data behind a junk-science study, "Child Custody Determinations in Cases Involving Intimate Partner Violence: A Human Rights Analysis," authored by Dr. Jay Silverman, an assistant professor in the Department of Society, Human Development, and Health at Harvard University. The data for Silverman's study is based on a 2002 Wellesley College study: 'Battered Mothers Speak Out'. It purported to show that battered women are being abused by the state's family courts by awarding custody of their children to their "batterer" husbands, thus endangering the children of these parents.
In typical junk-science fashion, the research made absolutely no attempt at objectivity. To achieve the desired results the researchers engineered an appropriate population sample and solicited "expert" testimony from the plethora of feminist, anti-male practitioners employed in family law and domestic relations. Inclusion in the population required that a participant be 1) female, and 2) angry at the outcome of her case. Once a candidate was found, so-called "snowball sampling" was used to find other potential participants. That is, a disgruntled female litigant recommended other disgruntled mothers to the researchers.
Basile's request for the data was met with a series of rebuffs after he approached in turn the Harvard School of Health, Silverman himself, and finally Harvard President Lawrence Summers. His efforts were eventually squelched when he received a terse, threatening letter from Diane E. Lopez, of the Office of the General Counsel for Harvard. The media is also complicit in promoting these vicious stereotypes. They never employ journalistic standards when reporting on these studies, fail to report on contrary research, and generally display an unquenchable thirst for any "news" that confirms the reprehensible behavior of men toward women.
Consider the following:
- False data about female victims of domestic violence that implicitly demonize men are presented as fact.
- Social science courses steer students away from doing research that challenges the false data.
- The government funds the organizations that present the false information, and won't fund studies that might contradict it.
- The state legislature amends the Freedom of Information Act to restrict access to court documents to those friendly to the domestic violence industry.
- The media uncritically report garbage science results that support the false data and ignore contrary studies and viewpoints that challenge the established "facts."
- The courts use double standards for men and women in domestic relations cases based upon a paradigm that relies upon the false data, leading to host of injustices, some of which are a direct cause of the nation's number on social problem: fatherlessness.
There's a word that is appropriate to describe such a confluence of interests promoting lies as truth: Conspiracy. And if the issue were anything but the politically loaded third rail subject of domestic violence, that's how it would be recognized, and maybe eventually, exposed.
USA: Father Facts: Top Ten Father Facts
1. 24 million children (34 percent) live absent their biological father.
2. Nearly 20 million children (27 percent) live in single-parent homes.
3. 1.35 million births (33 percent of all births) in 2000 occurred out of wedlock.
4. 43 percent of first marriages dissolve within fifteen years; about 60 percent of divorcing couples have children; and approximately one million children each year experience the divorce of their parents.
5. Over 3.3 million children live with an unmarried parent and the parent's cohabiting partner. The number of cohabiting couples with children has nearly doubled since 1990, from 891,000 to 1.7 million today.
6. Fathers who live with their children are more likely to have a close, enduring relationship with their children than those who do not. The best predictor of father presence is marital status. Compared to children born within marriage, children born to cohabiting parents are three times as likely to experience father absence, and children born to unmarried, non-cohabiting parents are four times as likely to live in a father-absent home.
7. About 40 percent of children in father-absent homes have not seen their father at all during the past year; 26 percent of absent fathers live in a different state than their children; and 50 percent of children living absent their father have never set foot in their father's home.
8. Children who live absent their biological fathers are, on average, at least two to three times more likely to be poor, to use drugs, to experience educational, health, emotional and behavioral problems, to be victims of child abuse, and to engage in criminal behavior than their peers who live with their married, biological (or adoptive) parents.
9. From 1960 to 1995, the proportion of children living in single-parent homes tripled, from 9 percent to 27 percent, and the proportion of children living with married parents declined. However, from 1995 to 2000, the proportion of children living in single-parent homes slightly declined, while the proportion of children living with two married parents remained stable.
10. Children with involved, loving fathers are significantly more likely to do well in school, have healthy self-esteem, exhibit empathy and pro-social behavior, and avoid high-risk behaviors such as drug use, truancy, and criminal activity compared to children who have uninvolved fathers.
National Fatherhood Initiative: Father Facts: Late-Breaking Father Facts
Importance of Father Love for Child Well-Being In an analysis of nearly 100 studies on parent-child relationships, father love (measured by children's perceptions of paternal acceptance/rejection, affection/indifference) was as important as mother love in predicting the social, emotional, and cognitive development and functioning of children and young adults:
- Having a loving and nurturing father was as important for a child's happiness, well-being, and social and academic success as having a loving and nurturing mother.
- Withdrawal of love by either the father or the mother was equally influential in predicting a child's emotional instability, lack of self-esteem, depression, social withdrawal, and level of aggression.
- In some studies, father love was actually a better predictor than mother love for certain outcomes, including delinquency and conduct problems, substance abuse, and overall mental health and well-being.
- Other studies found that, after controlling for mother love, father love was the sole significant predictor for certain outcomes, such as psychological adjustment problems, conduct problems, and substance abuse.
Source: Rohner, Ronald P., and Robert A. Veneziano. "The Importance of Father Love: History and Contemporary Evidence." Review of General Psychology 5.4 (December 2001): 382-405.
Consequences of Divorce on Father-Child Relationships
In a longitudinal study of 2,500 children of divorce, twenty years after the divorce less than one-third of boys and one-quarter of girls reported having close relationships with their fathers. In contrast, seventy percent of youths from the comparison group of intact families reported feeling close to their fathers.
Source: Hetherington, E. Mavis, and John Kelly. For Better or For Worse: Divorce Reconsidered. New York: W.W. Norton and Company, 2002: 231.
"Fragile Families" Findings
Preliminary survey data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study, a longitudinal study of 2,670 unmarried couples with children, suggests that most unwed fathers are highly involved shortly after the child's birth:
- 50% of unmarried parents were living together at the time of the child's birth, and another 33% were romantically involved but living apart.
- 80% of the fathers were involved in helping the baby's mother during the pregnancy, either financially or in other ways (such as transportation).
- 73% of mothers reported that the chances that they will marry the baby's father are "fifty-fifty" or greater; 88% of fathers reported that the odds of marrying the mother of their child are "fifty-fifty" or greater.
- 64% of the mothers and 75% of the fathers agreed with the statement, "it is better for children if their parents are married."
- 90% of unmarried mothers rated "husband having a steady job" and "emotional maturity" as very important qualities for a successful marriage.
- 37% of the mothers and 34% of the fathers lack a high school degree, and less than a third had any education beyond high school.
- 30% of the fathers were unemployed in the week before their child was born.
* Compared to a nearly perfect response rate from mothers, only 75 percent of fathers responded to the survey, resulting in a selection effect that most likely inflates the above percentages for fathers.
Source: McLanahan, Sara, Irwin Garfinkel, Nancy E. Reichman, Julien Teitler, Marcia Carlson, and Christian Norland Audigier. The Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study Baseline Report. The Center for Research on Child Wellbeing (Princeton University) and the Social Indicators Survey Center (Columbia University), August 2001.
The rate of child abuse in single-parent families is nearly twice the rate of child abuse in two-parent households.
Source: America's Children: Key National Indicators of Well-Being. Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics. Washington, DC: GPO, 1997.
Even after controlling for family background variables such as mother's education level, race, family income, and number of siblings, as well as neighborhood variables such as unemployment rates and median income, boys who grew up outside of intact marriages were, on average, more than twice as likely as other boys to end up in jail.
Source: Harper, Cynthia C., and Sara S. McLanahan. "Father Absence and Youth Incarceration." Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association, San Francisco, CA, August 1998.
Drug and Alcohol Use
Even after controlling for the effects of gender, age, race-ethnicity, family income, and residential mobility, teens in single-parent and stepparent families were 2 times more likely to use illegal drugs compared to teens in intact, two-parent married families.
Source: Hoffmann, John P., and Robert A. Johnson. "A National Portrait of Family Structure and Adolescent Drug Use." Journal of Marriage and the Family 60(August 1998): 633-645.
Even after controlling for differences in income, children who were born out of wedlock and either remained in a single-parent family or whose mother subsequently married had significantly poorer math and reading scores and lower levels of academic performance than children from continuously married households.
Source: Cooksey, Elizabeth C. "Consequences of Young Mothers' Marital Histories for Children's Cognitive Development." Journal of Marriage and the Family 59(May 1997): 245-261.
Single-parent families are five times as likely to be poor as married-couple families. In 1999, 6.3 percent of married-couple families with children were living in poverty, compared to 31.8 percent of single-parent families with children.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau. Current Population Survey.
Father Facts: Research Notes
By Wade F. Horn, Ph.D., and Tom Sylvester
Some people have raised objections to the data presented in past editions of Father Facts. These objections center on a few themes. The first is that the negative effects of father absence on children are highly exaggerated. After all, the critics contend, father absence does not condemn a child to psychiatric problems, educational failure, drug addiction, and a life of crime; indeed, most children from single-parent families and stepfamilies turn out fine. Nor, they point out, does marriage guarantee good parenting, and a marriage marked by high-conflict or abuse can be far worse for children than divorce. Overall, they assert, there is no evidence that father absence irretrievably harms the majority of children who experience it.
We do not deny that some children who grow up without involved fathers do well, often due to the tremendous efforts of single mothers. There are great stepfathers out there, too, who contribute to their stepchildren in countless ways. To ignore or demean their efforts would not only be insulting, but wrong. Indeed, nowhere does Father Facts indicate that a child who grows up without his or her father is doomed. What research cited in Father Facts does show is that father absence significantly increases the risk that a child will suffer negative outcomes.
The argument that fatherhood is not essential because not all children who grow up without an involved father are "irretrievably harmed" is a weak and practically meaningless statement. We cannot ignore father absence as a serious risk factor for children just because many children from father-absent homes do not drop out of school or become involved in crime. Analogously, smoking cigarettes may not irretrievably harm the majority of those who have ever smoked, but it does harm many. Similarly, while growing up poor may not irretrievably harm many children living in poverty, it does make it more likely they will suffer from a wide range of disadvantages. Likewise, a child who grows up without an involved, committed father is significantly more likely to suffer disadvantages, lower levels of well-being, and other negative psychological effects.
A second common response by skeptics is to point out that statistical correlation does not equal causation. In other words, just because father absence is associated with poorer outcomes for children does not mean that father absence "per se" or "in and of itself" causes those outcomes. Confounding variables or unmeasured factors might influence both the likelihood of growing up with both parents and certain outcomes. For example, surveys show that married people tend to be happier than individuals who are divorced or single. This proves that marriage makes people happier, right? Well, not necessarily. It could also be that happy people are more likely to get married, or that some other factor, such as income, influences both happiness and the likelihood of marriage.
It is notoriously difficult to prove causation in the social sciences, and those concerned about the effects of father absence should be aware of the complexity of the causation/correlation conundrum. Two prominent examples:
1) Children who grow up in father-absent homes are five times more likely to be poor--strong evidence that fatherlessness causes poverty. It is also true, however, that poverty contributes to father absence. Unemployed or underemployed men are less likely to get married than men with stable, well-paying jobs, and economic instability often leads to family instability.
2) Children of divorce are more likely to suffer emotional problems. But divorce occurs in families that are troubled to begin with. Therefore, some, but not all, of the observed negative effects of divorce are not from the divorce per se, but from the conflict that ultimately led to the divorce.
Acknowledging complexity does not weaken the case for fatherhood, though, and pointing out that correlation does not equal causation is not a trump card that nullifies the findings in Father Facts. While no single study can prove that father absence hurts children (social science is messier than mathematics), the evidence that it does is abundant and compelling. Even after researchers control for socioeconomic variables such as race and income, children who grow up without their fathers still consistently score lower on measures of well-being.
Closely related to the notion that fatherhood "per se" doesn't matter, the other familiar refrain heard from critics is that it is the quality of family relationships that matter for children, not their formal structure. Different family structures, they say, are not monolithic entities that can be used to categorize families as "good" or "bad" for children. What goes on inside of a family is inevitably more important than its formal structure.
We agree that it would be absurd to argue that a highly dysfunctional family with two married parents is better for children than a healthy stepfamily or single-parent family. But comparisons such as these obscure the fact that a family's resources and relationships are highly contingent upon its form.
For example, Judith Stacey, a sociologist critical of the fatherhood movement, argues, "Access to economic, educational, and social resources; the quality and consistency of parental nurturance, guidance, and responsibility . . . affect child development and welfare far more substantially than does the particular number . . . and marital status of parents or the family structure in which children are reared (italics in original)." What Judith Stacy and others who have made similar arguments fail to acknowledge, however, is that it is the married two-parent family that is the family structure best equipped to provide children with these resources.
Similarly, psychologists Louise Silverstein and Carl Auerbach argue that it is not fathers, but "the stability of the emotional connection and the predictability of the caretaking relationship [that] are the significant variables that predict positive child adjustment." Yet this stability and predictability is most likely to occur in a married two-parent family.
Therefore, while some may cling to the idea that father absence "per se" or "in and of itself" does not matter, in the real world fathers matter a great deal. Statements that family processes are more important than family structure are closer to truisms than to critical arguments.
The fundamental weakness of the "function over form" argument is that, in actuality, the two are often inextricably linked. Silverstein and Auerbach point out that "father absence covaries with other relevant family characteristics, i.e. the lack of a male income; the absence of a second adult; and the lack of support from a second extended family system." But the co-variance of these characteristics is no coincidence. In real life, one cannot separate the many contributions fathers provide from the fathers themselves, especially when much of what fathers contribute is unique and irreplaceable.
Therefore, while it is not a perfect measure, family structure is the best proxy measure we have for father involvement and the provision of parental resources. If our society cares about its children, we must recognize the importance of married fatherhood. And, even more importantly, we must reduce the high levels of fatherlessness that bode ill for our children and our nation's future. (Manumit Exchange, 8/11/04)
Feature article 2
The Counterfeit Marriage Movement, II - Why Promise Keepers Collapsed
I preface this article by pointing out that reality is sometimes exquisitely painful. We don't want to feel the pain, so we keep on doing the same thing as before. And in the world of politics, and even church politics, the fear of experiencing pain often results in an Abilene paradox with tremendous ongoing costs.
The purpose of this article is to help conservatives get past the pain so we can see what we did wrong - so we can set wiser spiritual and secular goals for the entire conservative Marriage Movement to follow - one that realistically predicts tangible improvements in marriage rates and longevity. We must do this. After nine years of the marriage movement, marriage and divorce statistics have not budged.
This proves we have missed the mark.
A crucial historical point in the failure of the marriage movement was the mysterious collapse of Promise Keepers, which still remains unexplained to this day. Without understanding, we cannot learn, build a better foundation, and set out on a successful path.
This article explains in detail why Promise Keepers collapsed, and what spiritual leaders and conservatives should pursue if they truly wish to restore the value of marriage.
The historical background:
In 1990, Bill McCartney, the football coach at the University of Colorado had a dream. His vision was to fill a football stadium with thousands of men willing to commit themselves to God, to their families, and to "Christlike masculinity." The first meeting of 70 men grew to 4200 men in 1991, and had attracted about 1.2 million men to 22 stadium events around America by 1996. In 1997, Promise Keepers organized Stand in the Gap. Eight hundred thousand men gathered on the National Mall in Washington on October 4 th, 1997 to recommit to marriage and family. Promise Keepers collapsed immediately after the rally. Within a few months, it had all but closed its main offices.
I cannot recall any religious movement that has ever collapsed so definitively and mysteriously. The collapse began with the widely-publicized article in the September-October 1997 issue of Policy Review, titled "Promise Makers", which hit the newsstands just a few days before Stand in the Gap. This article received tremendous national attention. Many conservatives were quietly expecting this watershed article would signal the beginnings of a real marriage movement. Instead, it was perhaps the most spectacular public display of self-deprecation witnessed in modern history.
The first few paragraphs of Bill McCartney's National Review article were a shocking adoption of knuckle-dragging neanderthal feminist theory. It blamed men for all of society's problems. In fact, it was so feminist I thought it could have been written by the National Organization of Women.
We will begin by analyzing the first few paragraphs of "Promise Makers". McCartney on America's biggest problem: "America is suffering from a severe shortage of integrity, and men are behind some of its worst manifestations. Men are more likely than women to break their marriage vows through adultery, violence, or abandonment. Men are impregnating young women in record numbers and leaving them to deal with the consequences - a stint on welfare, an education cut short, or a trip to an abortion clinic. Men are also more likely to abuse drugs and alcohol and then engage in a wide range of criminal behavior. Indeed, it is men, overwhelmingly, who commit most of the nation's violent crimes and dominate its prison system: At least 94 percent of all inmates are male." Men are not more likely to break their marriages. Studies show that women emotionally terminate and also file for divorces in approximately 75% of cases.
There is ample evidence in lower income groups that low-income women prefer to marry the welfare/child support system, which guarantees them income and lets them be spinsters of the modern age according to modern feminist liturgical idealogy. Men are only slightly more likely to have extramarital affairs. The Janus Report on Sexual Behavior (1993) found that, "More than one-third of men and one-quarter of women admit having had at least one extramarital sexual experience." This relatively small statistical differential is hardly cause to place the onus for all family problems on men.
McCartney is wrong about domestic violence. A compendium of studies prove that more than half of all serious spousal altercations are initiated by the wife. Government agencies are known to misreportdomestic violence statistics because they primarily collect their information from women's agencies. There are no government programs for collecting similar information reporting female-on-male violence. In fact, Murray Strauss, who was a key player in framing early domestic violence federal policy, now speaks against it.
McCartney on the cause of social problems: "Social problems are moral problems, which ultimately have a spiritual cause. For those of us involved in Christian outreach programs, the connection is inescapable: The failure of large numbers of men to live up to their family and social obligations represents a failure of faith." Bill McCartney missed this punt by a couple of stadiums. The divorce epidemic is not a only a problem of personal morals (which particularly involve women who ascribe to convenient anti-family feminist precepts). It is predominantly a secular problem - particularly where law enforces irresponsible divorce choices by women.
The marriage contract was aborted by feminists - the same feminists who regularly abort babies using the same courts and government agencies to do their bidding. The vast cultural changes have now come full-circle to undermine the church. Neither churches, conservatives, nor men asked for the divorce revolution. They were dragged into it. We have always had moral problems. How the secular world handles them changed drastically since 1960. Before 1960, a combination of secular and religious pressure encouraged spouses to get married and to work through the common processes and problems of marriage. And we had a correspondingly-low divorce rate.
Today, no-fault divorce is used to excuse feminist personal irresponsibility in marriage. Correspondingly, about three-quarters of divorces are sought by women, who receive primary custody of children and marital resources in approximately 90% of divorces and cases of illegitimacy.
McCartney on liturgical irresponsibility: "More to the point, the growing irresponsibility of men points, in large part, to a failure in our Christian churches. Men are much less likely than women to set footin a church, less likely to say they are absolutely committed to Jesus Christ, less likely to read the Bible during the week or strongly affirm the role of religious faith in their lives. Many--perhaps most--men see church mainly as a place for women and children. A similar separation of men from religious life is to be found in non-Christian communities as well. Uninspired by any religious vision for their lives, more and more men are becoming disconnected from any moral vision."
Theories abound about why men are dropping out of church. However, this is not an isolated issue. Men are also dropping out of education, work, and society as a whole. According to the Church of England, 61% of confirmations in the year 2000 were women. This is similar to declines in men's participation in college - approximately 60% of incoming college freshmen in Massachusetts are women.
The root problem is the feminization of American culture. Men are not wanted in families. About half of all husbands (about 95% of them being good husbands) are thrown out of their families for no good reason whatsoever. The religions have done nothing about this. When a man cannot be part of family, he no longer has a place in society. And when a man has no place in society, he is less likely to invest himself in work. Where churches have not strongly opposed the destruction of family, men sense there is a fundamental spiritual failing of the church.
There are many very spiritual men who feel utterly abandoned by the religions. I have witnessed this myself working with thousands of good husbands discarded from society over the past eighteen years. Churches have opposed abortion of babies with all their might. But instead of opposing abortion of families, most churches have meekly incorporated feminist culture into their practices. 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 calls us to avoid the covetous and the effeminate. But have churches yet realized the full realm of spiritual guidance this passage speaks of?
It is astonishing that churches have not strongly objected to feminist usurpation of moral authority over marriage and made it a primary concern for teaching and secular work. It is perhaps as important as the issue of abortion. In fact, we would not be on the precipice of enacting same-sex marriage laws if churches had been protecting the value of heterosexual marriage all along. Scholar Bryce Christensen points out that gay marriage would probably not be an issue were it not for the weakening of marriage through no-fault divorce laws. And Peter Sprigg, of Family Research Council, points out in his new book "Outrage", that the causes of divorce and illegitimacy must be confronted sooner or later.
McCartney on the costs of divorce: "All of this is taking a tremendous toll on our culture. The absence of responsible men from the home is now widely regarded as the most important cause of America's social decline. If America is truly in the throes of cultural breakdown, then the shallow faith of so many men, and the kind of behavior that follows from it, has contributed to this breakdown." Certainly, men have contributed to the problem of husband-absence - particularly those who are either irresponsible or bought into gender-feminism themselves. This is largely are problem of feminism, not men.
McCartney is entirely wrong blaming men for the havoc that radical feminists wrought on the family. In fact, this thought is tantamount to blaming blacks for their own slavery in the deep-south. Even the most prayerful men do not stand a chance in divorce courts or situations of paternity entrapment. In fact, my experience working with men over the past 18 years shows that prayerful men who mention religious values in divorce courts are often treated quite cruelly compared with their non-religious counterparts. They are often tagged as religious zealots who shouldn't be near a child in the secular world (I am sure I will get many emails agreeing with me about this).
The responsibility rests squarely on the shoulders of the National Organization of Women, and nowhere else.
McCartney on feminism: "But here is where many feminists and others who scorn traditional virtue have it wrong: If men are a principal cause of family meltdown, crime, and racial strife, then men also are central to the solutions to those problems. What America desperately needs today is men who take responsibility for their actions, who are faithful to their families, who keep their word, even when it's difficult or costly."
This is a very curious statement. "If" men are responsible? McCartney just said that men "are" responsible. He knows that feminists scorn traditional values, but ignores 45 years of feminist howling, misinformation, and litigation which effected anti-family laws and policies. And where feminism is unquestionably the major problem, it makes no sense to suggest that men stripped of social standing and their incomes are in a position to do much of anything about it. It's like sending a skinny kid into a pack of professional football players and telling him to lay them all down flat. Abraham Lincoln did not end slavery by telling blacks to beg for freedom. He declared war on the South to ensure that blacks could pursue life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
2 Timothy 3:6-7 teaches:
"For among them are those who make their way into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and swayed by various impulses, who will listen to anybody and can never arrive at a knowledge of the truth."
Does this passage not warn us about a coming radical feminist social revolution? It seems to predict the vast amounts of misinformation propounded by a sea of feminists to fool society into blaming men for everything. The words "among them" seems to speak of both feminist men (who maintain status in feminist society by pretending that all men are somehow bad), and feminist women (who misuse sex to get what they want, as extolled in the "Vagina Monologues" and the annual "V-Day" feministcelebration). If we truly understood the meaning of this passage, would we still buy into the feminist (media) counter culture and essentially help lead women out of the family by acquiescence? If we had arrived at knowledge of the truth, would we be in this situation?.
Surprisingly, this Timothy verse is not even listed in the Promise Keepers verse index. To the extent churches and conservatives have not regarded feminism as the primary instigator of divorce and illegitimacy, and realized the full breadth of its damage to society, we cannot know the policy issues on which we should pray for guidance on.
David Limbaugh reminds us that"Democrats will never be able to gain the moral high ground if they fail to take positions congruent with the 'weightier matters of the law'(Matt. 23:23) ...
To them it's more about appearances and the packaging of values than about the core beliefs supporting them ... According to Romans 13:4, governments are instituted by God to punish wrong doers - to protect their citizens from evil.". How did Bill McCartney come to believe that our cultural devolution was caused by anybody other than the National Organization of Women?
David Blankenhorn, a smooth-talking feminist policy wonk misdirected the legitimate marriage movement via an array of nice-sounding organizations. He fooled much of America into adopting feminist beliefs and liberal policy solutions. Blankenhorn was the first to definitively blame father-absence on men, as claimed in his widely-acclaimed 1995 book "Fatherless America". It is now apparent that David Blankenhorn knew that he lied. Nine years later, and after many direct requests, he still refuses to provide a citation for this dangerous, ideological precept. When confronted, both he and his cohorts simply change the subject or attack anyone who brings the issue up.
A deeper analysis of Blankenhorn's pivotal role in stealing the marriage movement and sending the conservative movement down a slippery liberal slope is in my previous Men's News Daily article "Who's Who in the Counterfeit Marriage Movement". It appears that Bill McCartney fell into believing the "Blankenhorn fallacy" - which had become conventional wisdom by 1996. The publicnature of McCartney's blame, and the close proximity of Promise Keepers to the burgeoning conservative "family values" movement, became a self-fulfilling prophesy that even led the Heritage Foundation and Focus on the Family to adopt radical feminist ideology and policy ideas.
Everyone was (and still is) blaming men for father-absence, and most of our social problems, with not one citation of authorities to back it up.
Why Promise Keepers Collapsed: Promise Keepers initially appeared to be a brilliant religious plan to recover the moral and lawful place of husbands in family and society.Men gravitated to join this movement in astonishing numbers. For a while I thought that a Bill McCartney was a political and spiritual genius - a potential equivalent of Dr. Martin Luther King in the marriage movement.
We were all in for a big surprise.
Promise Keepers exploded into public view shortly after David Blankenhorn's book was published in 1995. Bill McCartney's National Review article came out only a few days before the "Stand in the Gap" rally held on October 4 th, 1997. Promise Keepers collapsed immediately after the rally was held. These points along the time-line were no accident. Most men - even feminist men - know that something is wrong out there.
The majority of egalitarian-feminist women out there know it too - they just don't understand that the corrosive gender-feminist policies injected by the National Organization of Women into law and socialpolicy are WMD's compared to the innocent image of feminism that is packaged and sold by feminist activists controlling the false oracle of the media. Most of us are probably aware that men are not wanted in the family or have at best a precarious position in it. Very few men ascribe to the idea that husbands should be domineering patriarchs (the cat-callfeminists traditionally use to destroy church and marriage).
Most men simply want the same right to be in the family as we have granted to women in the workplace. Most men just want to be good fathers and good husbands and live a meaningful moral and spiritual life. But most men know this is an unlikely outcome no matter what they do. Infact, a surprising number of younger men have given up on the idea of marriage entirely. They settle for some combination of video-games,homosexuality, bisexuality, drugs, workaholism, the street hustle, or social status as a boy-toy.
Here is the reality: When a boy knows that he probably cannot grow up expecting to be a father and a husband - a stakeholder in society - he is all too likely to do something else. This is not a liberal excuse for laziness. Most slaves did not try to escape the plantation. They did whatever they could do to survive,landless and without status in society, until Abraham Lincoln aroused amoral nation to emancipate them.
Blacks are still trying to catch up today. In fact, the one single factor preventing progress of black society today is not discrimination against blacks, it is discrimination against the black male(even within the black community). When the large majority of blacks live in broken families, and where boys are pushed out of their homes at an early age to make room for the babies their sisters have out of wedlock, blacks lack the foundation of economic and social advantages which make racial progress possible in the first place. And I have many good black men from all economic strata I have worked with over the past eighteen years who agree very strongly with me on this point.
Our problem is no longer one of organized slavery. It is one of anti-family exclusion of husbands from the institution of marriage and society. No doubt I will get many emails agreeing strongly with thispoint too. This problem is widespread today. The welfare state became attractive to women of all races between 1960-1994, and our illegitimacy rates exploded. Middle and upper-class women used the divorce revolution to cash their husbands in for a check in record numbers which still stand at near record levels.
But we cannot blame all our social problems on women, either. If it were legal to rob banks, could we blame bank robbers because there wasn't any money in the bank? We must blame this problem on collective ignorance, slothful inertia, and fear of pointing out what feminism did to America. McCartney's article proved to be perhaps the most destructive feminists creed ever issued. 800,000 men were fooled into making a false mass confession of utter male culpability - in the most visible political hotspot on earth. They accepted the blame for all of America's social problems - in-effect crucifying the other 128-million American men who were not at the National Mall that day. What they came for was to participate in a spiritual movement seeking gender reconciliation.
Professor Mary Stewart Van Leeuwen said this another way: "Promise Keepers equivocates about the nature of gender reconciliation in a way not paralleled by its consistent message on racial reconciliation. PK has made racial reconciliation a non-negotiable promise. There is no such clear and strong message when it comes to the relation between men and women."
But the men of Promise Keepers were not stupid. An uproar of discussion began immediately, and a few generally realized what had happened. They basically realized they had been sacrificed on the altar of radical feminism (although the men I knew at the time had not quite found the words to say this so exquisitely). They wisely and quietly took their lives elsewhere en-masse beginning on October 5 th, 1997.
Dr. Ralph G. Colas' analysis about the failure of Promise Keepers was typical of ecclesiastical inability to see the real reason why Promise Keepers failed. Dr. Colas missed the true value of an important quote Bill McCartney, "The church of Jesus Christ has been divided and a house divided cannot stand. The reason that we see a downward spiral inmorality in the nation is because the men of God have not stood together."
What they all missed is that men did not stand together at"Stand In the Gap". They hung themselves together instead. It is not surprising that nearly all conservatives bought into the "Blankenhorn fallacy". The problem of father-absence became a mantra for conservative politicians and churches by the end of 1993. In the heat ofthe national uproar fanned by "Fatherless America" and by other popular articles such as Barbara Dafoe Whitehead's eye-popping article "Dan Quayle Was Right", nobody noticed that liberals slipped us a Mickey when they fooled us into blamed it all on men. But we should not blame the church or conservatives either for our collective failing.
Men quietly disappear from marriages in divorce courts, one at a time, and nobody sees what happened in there. It is easy to assume that men must be at fault, particularly with radical feminism powering our thinking.
How did feminists inject their Marxist agenda into mainstream conservatism? Feminists erect a straw man fabricated from the ugliest traits imaginable, enraging our natural instinct to do anything to protect the (not-weak-anymore) sex. This is the identical methodology once used by early feminists in the Ku Klux Klan to generate abject hate towards black men so we could openly discriminate against blacks while blaming them.
This propaganda strategy worked then, and it still works now - the only difference is that the target has been men since 1960. We must do everything we can to walk away from proponents of the gender war so we can avoid this truly hateful and destructive way of thinking in the future. We know better than this now.
So we have it: Conservatives fell for classic gender-feminist symbolism over substance. What can we do now to get on the right track? What Churches, Promise Keepers, and Conservatives should pursue if they wish to restore the value of marriage: If Promise Keepers had done only four things differently it would have continued growing by leaps and bounds, and conservatives would now have a strong political advantage on social issues.
First, Promise Keepers should not have falsely blamed all of society's problems on good men and demanded false public confessions from them.This was very destructive. Combined with the inability of Newt Gingrichto get it right, it set the Conservative social movement to enact"welfare reforms" that were little more than a bill recasting "welfare"as an "advance on child support". Because of this misunderstanding, conservatives were completely unable to intelligently address the core factual issues and show us a positive way out of the failed American experiment.
Instead, conservatives ended up in a emotional brouhaha over"values", and suggesting a number of strange policy changes such as building more orphanages, where they were quickly annihilated on liberal territory. This turned core social issues into roadside bombs that many conservative politicians still avoid to this very day.
Secondly, we must realize the full meaning to of Promise Keepers Promise#7, which is a call to action: "A Promise Keeper is committed to influencing his world, being obedient to the Great Commandment (see Mark12:30-31) and the Great Commission (see Matthew 28:19-20 )." Does this not suggest we should help reclaim the church's moral authority over marriage? Do we not have a duty to challenge government where it is wrong, and to set things right?
Third, where feminism has so clearly damaged women's attitudes towardsmen and marriage, Promise Keepers would have been wise to include women as equal participants. Women are in far greater need of on going marriage ministering than men because they have to unwind forty-five years of deeply-ingrained radical feminist precepts from their minds.
Fourth, Promise Keepers and churches should have taken a more active role in affecting law and policy in their respective realms of work.
Joel Thollander came close to hitting the target in 1997 when summed up the gravity of situation: "When the Promise Keepers deny that their moral perspective has political consequences, they are in danger of losing an important game by forfeit." This point of wisdom came less than 30 years after Robin Morgan and the feminist movement declared war on marriage and religion: "We can't destroy the inequities between men and women until we destroy marriage." Of course, Robin was referring to the destruction of both marriage law and religious institutions.
Here is the good news.
As Promise Keepers demonstrated in 1997, there are many good men (and good women) who will not waste time embracing an ecumenical movement offering real marriage values and protection of good men from social abuse by radical feminism. When a strong and brilliant religious leader, or coalition of leaders, comes forth with a strong healing message, expecting change from secular society we will see an overwhelming response from those who are still waiting for a vessel of divine truth to come forth. If we fail to reclaim moral authority over marriage, particularly in speaking against radical feminist culture and clearing its poisonous brambles from the minds of congregations, we will find gay marriage running rampant in the pews and streets whether we like it or not.
Men will continue to avoid church. Women will be poorer for it. And our religious institutions will become weaker and weaker. Churches must take up this call to action. It is perhaps the most important issue in the ecumenical world today. When marriage is important, abortion is not necessary. When marriage is important, gay marriage is a non-issue. When marriage is important, poverty, child abuse and a wide array of other tragic and costly social problems will naturally be healed.
When marriage is important, parents share child-rearing responsibilities naturally, and their children fare much better than their counterparts in unmarried households.
As Martin Luther put it, "A lie is like a snowball. The longer it is rolled on the ground the larger it becomes." The few of us who are truly aware of the root cause of America's greatest problem have faith that religious institutions will have a spiritual awakening and join us in this tremendous work of divine love. We have arrived at the Truth. Let us accept it with all our hearts and move forward with courage and faith.
Some will fear this task. But the promise is clear. Politicians would not be staking their political careers on pro-life agenda without churches making it a major public issue. Abortion and gay marriage were decisive factors in the 2004 state and federal wins by conservatives.
With this stimulation, politicians will unquestionably stake their futures on solid changes in social policy when religious institutions actively proposes and urges passage of legislation that expects marital responsibility and helps spouses work through the normal processes of marriage and aging, rewarding the spouse most responsible to the marriage if a divorce takes place.
My new concept of "trickle down social policy" promises substantial downstream budgetary savings by intervening positively at the source ofthe single problem that has cost more money than the national debtitself. A marriage of social and economic conservatives could predictably permit a balanced budget while we fight an aggressive war on terrorism. It will also partially abate the social security problem, and substantially end the problems of health care, and health insurance as well (please note the approximately 70% of Hillary Clinton's National Health Care Reform plan was actually a welfare program for single mothers).
When we empower spouses to expect marital responsibility of each other,and when we intervene positively at the request of a spouse in troubled marriages, it will result in sweeping and long-overdue positive changesin how social services, psychologists, family-law attorneys, and even politicians work. They will be transformed from disaster-cleanup professions back to helping professions.
Will the new Promise Keepers make a comeback? Not unless something changes drastically. Promise Keepers is now a "jiggy" teen outreach movement hoping to attract teen men who do not quite yet understand the wiles of the world. It is still a missionary movement without any goal other than perhaps membership itself. Certainly, it makes no liturgical or academic sense to teach men to recommit to marriage and send them and their unhealed future wives into marriages, half of which will be led astray and be destroyed by courts. And its new president, Thomas S. Fortson, has no apparent understanding of the problem. When asked what the weakness of the first Promise Keepers movement was, he couldn't think of anything. His strategy: go "global" (since we can't make our numbers stateside, go overseas), and to "go deeper" (whatever that means). Half measures availed us nothing. Let us recommit to marriage, do what we need to do, and do it right this time.
David R. Usher, "Who's Who in the Counterfeit Marriage Movement",
Mens News Daily, November 6, 2004, FN 4,5,6;
John P. Bartkowski, "What ever happened to the Promise Keepers?",
Hartford Institute for Religious Research, Rutgers University Press, 2003;
Church of England, Church Statistics 2000, ISBN 0 7151 8124-6 Peter Sprigg,
http://www.hebookservice.com/BookPage.asp?prod_cd=3Dc6537&sour_cd=3DHEB0... Promise Keepers,
Professor Mary Stewart Van Leeuwen (Feminist Ed.), "The Promise ofPromise Keepers", Capital Commentary, The Center for Public Justice,October 13, 1997;
http://www.cpjustice.org/stories/storyReader$205 Dr. Ralph G. Colas,
"Promise Keepers (PK) Assembly -- Stand In the Gap", Fundamental News Service, 10/4/97
Barbara Dafoe Whitehead. "Dan Quayle Was Right." The Atlantic Monthly (April, 1993): 47-84;
Kathleen M. Blee, "Women of the Klan", University of California Press, 1991. 14-16, 21-22, 34. Joel Thollander, The Political Character of the
Promise Keepers, NeoPolitique, 1997. Stan Guthrie, Life After 'Mac', Christianity Today, November 17. 2003 ,
David R. Usher is a Legislative Analyst for the American Coalition for Fathers and Children, Missouri Coalition
Gloria Jean's Coffees are discriminating against men. The coffee shop franchise is in league with an organisation called Mercy (for young women in crisis). This organisation limits its services and support to women only. This is another organisation that assumes only women are victims of abuse.
Show Gloria Jean's that this type of discriminatory corporate behaviour is not acceptable. They could have supported a children's charity or a charity that assists both men and women, however they have instead chosen to perpetuate the "only women are victims of abuse" myth.
Express your disgust and inform as many people as you can. Get in touch with Glenn Sacks (His Side http://www.hisside.com/ or http:www.glennsacks.com/) and Angry Harry http://www.angryharry.com/ to get global support happening because the Dominos issue was addressed only when a global outcry erupted.
Tell Gloria Jean's Coffees what you think of their discriminatory attitude!
Do you feel that there needs to be a permanent site or group developed that highlights bias against fathers in the media and in advertising in Australia?
It can be done and it can be quite effective as shown by Glenn Sacks. The latest campaign by Glenn has resulted in 1,500 people e-mailing a company called Verizon to complain about the way that company portrays fathers in its advertisements.
The same type of campaign can be carried out in Australia with regards to the numerous ads that negatively portray fathers here. (Manumit Exchange 11/11/04).