Archive for November, 2009

UK Gives Funding to War on Boys

Thursday, November 26th, 2009

I often write about how feminism shames young boys, because before a certain age you tend to see the world in black and white, and feminism teaches young boys that they are the problem while young girls are the solution. Teaching children about gender equality or the equal value of all individuals is fine, but that is not what feminism is doing in schools, as Christina Hoff Sommers has shown in her books.

So it’s with a heavy heart that I read about the UK’s plans to teach young children about violence against women.

Children will learn about gender equality and domestic violence as part of their personal, social and health education.

In addition, officials will produce new rules for teachers on tackling “sexist, sexual and transphobic bullying” in the classroom.

Schools will then be marked by inspectors on how well they are teaching children about preventing violence aimed at women.

In other words, this is a program targeted towards boys. Boys are seen as the problem, and the proposed solution is to shame the them for being born as males.

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Parenting campaigners, however, are opposing the initiative:

“This political correctness is turning our children into confused mini adults from the age of five to nine. This has nothing at all to do with academic learning.”

I agree. It’s not developmentally appropriate to talk to young children about sexual violence or even domestic violence. Teaching children how to behave and not to use violence is fine, but that has nothing to do with teaching children about adult issues.

The problem here is that feminists are searching for ever more far-fetched ways of demonstrating why feminism is needed. The truth is of course that the original feminist goals have already been implemented in the West, and the attack against boys is simply another sign that feminism is desperately fighting for its survival.

Why not relax, take a deep breath, and let feminism go? It is entirely possible to work with women’s and men’s issues without being a feminist or without using the feminist framework. In fact, the feminist framework does not hold up to historical facts or contemporary research, so why not work with what is, instead of working with a faltering ideology?

Update

Monday, November 23rd, 2009

Updates have been sparse here lately, but there is a good reason for that. I’m spending more and more time working on gender issues  in Sweden, meaning that I have less time to update my international blog.

Last week I held a seminar for social workers in a town here in southern Sweden. My best guess is that this was the first time ever in Sweden that a non-feminist was officially invited to teach in such a setting. It all went very well, and I was impressed by their ability to absorb new information and challenge the way they currently work. Many men in Sweden feel discriminated against in custody battles and other social issues, so new thinking is definitely needed for social workers (here in Sweden social workers prepare custody cases for family court).

I’ve also been invited to The Danish National Board of Health to present my work on gender issues, with a focus on domestic violence.

All in all things are moving in the right direction, and I see more and more signs that the feminist hegemony is starting to crumble. It will be a slow process initially, but at some point feminism will face the same destiny as the Berlin Wall.

Is Climate Change a Feminist Issue?

Friday, November 13th, 2009

I’m a big fan of simplicity. If an important insight or a complex set of circumstances can be explained in a simple and elegant way then I am all for it. Far too many people try to make things complicated, when a certain scenario could be explained in a more simple manner. On the other hand, idiot simplicity is not a good thing. Simplicity that paints a picture in black and white, while leaving out important details, can even be dangerous and lead to movements such as fascism or communism.

For some reason, a disproportionate amount of the major oversimplifications in the world today seem to occur where feminism and the not-so-gifted meet. Having a preset notion of men being bad and responsible, with women being good and victimized, can lead to all kinds of weird theories on how certain issues are a feminist issues, even though they quite obviously are not.

One such issue is climate change. For now, let’s leave aside the whole discussion about the severity of climate change or whether it even exists. I don’t pretend to be an expert on the issue. However, I do recognize idiot simplicity when I see it. The first argument of people who argue that climate change is a feminist issue goes something like this:

Men own more cars and men use airplanes more, therefore men are more responsible for climate change.

The complexity of this observation is that of a four-year-old. Now, I don’t want to insult four-year-olds, because at that age it is quite an astute observation. But when it comes from an adult it leaves a lot to be desired.

Why do men drive cars and travel in airplanes more than women? Well, the traditional division of labor between the sexes is that the man is responsible for producing resources and the woman is responsible for taking care of the children and the home. That division of labor is far less rigid these days, but it is still very much present. So is it any surprise that men need to travel more? In order to support their families, and to keep society running, men (and women) need to travel as part of their work. Proceeding to blame men for this is not very well thought through, since we all benefit from the work these men do, not only the men themselves.

Pointing fingers at one sex for performing its gender role could be done in the other direction as well. I could claim that men should be allowed to use more electricity than women since men have invented and built wind turbines, hydropower and solar power. But then I’m punishing women for performing the gender role that they have traditionally been expected to fulfill, which is just as silly as the less-than-gifted feminists who claim that men are to blame for climate change.

A whole different argument that tries to connect feminism and climate change is that women need to be empowered so that birth rates fall in underdeveloped countries. Now I am all for empowering women in poor countries, just like I am all for empowering men in poor countries. However, do birth rates decrease from only empowering women?

To understand the situation better we need to ask ourselves why people in underdeveloped countries have more children in developed countries. The most obvious explanation-and one that has consistently been demonstrated to be true-is that people continue to have lots of children as long as they will need those children to be supported in old age. Therefore, the best way to decrease birth rates is to encourage the process of industrialization and modernization in poor countries, so that less children are needed per family, and so that contraceptives are freely available for all couples. You can empower women all you want, but if you deny a country its continued development (which requires empowered men), then you are likely having a weak impact at best.

You know that a political theory, such as feminism, has gone past its expiration date when it is desperately trying to find a problem that actually needs its solution.

Gender Inconsistencies

Wednesday, November 4th, 2009
  1. Women want full independence — Women want male protection when things get rough or dangerous
  2. Men and women can vote — The draft and compulsory military service are male only
  3. Men are expected to work in jobs that they do not care for to support their families – Men are lazy for not doing half of the housework
  4. When boys perform badly in school there is a “crisis in masculinity” — When girls or women perform badly they are being discriminated against
  5. Women “get rid of jerks” — Men “cannot commit”
  6. Male circumcision is a proud tradition — Female circumcision is abhorred, even the kinds that are milder than male circumcision
  7. Commenting on a woman’s cleavage is sexual harassment — A woman who purposely flaunts her cleavage at work is not sexually harassing anyone
  8. All good men pay for the date — All good men support gender neutral pay
  9. Men’s financial power must be controlled — Women’s sexual power must be liberated
  10. Fathers should take care of their children — Children aren’t DNA tested to establish paternity
  11. Men prey on women — Women exercise their sexual freedom
  12. The overarching inconsistency: Men are responsible for their actions and failures — Women are victims of circumstances or societal structures

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