Monday, June 26, 2006

It's Payback Time

Dear Rowland,
I read your recent article 'Payback time for boys', and I think you must be joking. If you are not joking, then I don't know whether to be angry or feel sorry for you. I assume from your name, perhaps incorrectly, that you are a man. If so, then I don't know what kind of self-loathing individual you must be to hold these views. Perhaps the entire piece was intended to be satirical. However, it doesn't sound as though you are joking. I can only assume that you are trying to advance your career by gaining the approval of your feminist editor or feminist readers

Your article repeats all of the standard myths of ideological feminism. It contains so many misrepresentations, wrong assumptions and misinformation that I barely even know where to begin. I shall take your article one sentence at a time.

First of all, you are talking about the boys (i.e. male children) of today. Your very first sentence is 'For their sins, and the sins of their male chauvinist fathers, it’s payback time.' 'For their sins' ? What sins have our children committed? I would genuinely like to know.

You continue 'No one can dispute that men have a history of treating women as second-class citizens.' I do. I deny it utterly. It is simply not true. It is a feminist myth concocted for reasons of political convenience some time after 1965. The women of the Second World War generation do not seem to feel that they have been so systematically mistreated. This is something that the women of the 1960s generation started saying after - not before, after- they had acquired safe pregnancy control and opportunities to work on a par with men. Feminism is not the cause of the change in women's status in the last forty years, it is one of the symptoms.

At no time in history, anywhere in the world, have males 'run society to suit themselves'. My father and grandfathers, like most working men, put in long hours at low-paid onorous jobs, and gave every penny they earned to their wives and children. How do you explain that? How does that constitute 'running society to suit themselves'?

You then repeat one of the most time-worn lies of feminism: 'It used to be legal for American husbands to discipline unruly wives by beating them with a stick no thicker than their thumbs'. I have often read that this was an article of English common law. You claim that it was American law. Was it a federal law, or a state law? Can you quote me any legal references? You cannot, for the simple reason that it was never law, anywhere. It is simply a lie. A lie that has already been debunked many times.

Have you heard the one about how men beat their wives more during the Superbowl? Or when they are pregnant? These are all baseless lies perpetrated by the feminist movement in an attempt to undermine the image of men in the eyes of both women and men themselves, to undermine heterosexuality, marriage and the family, and to discourage women from forming relationships with men and having children. The primary goal of radical feminism is the destruction of the heterosexual family. You are helping them in that task. In fact, all the scientific evidence shows that women initiate domestic violence at least as often, or more often, than men, that such violence is strongly linked to alcohol and drug abuse, and that it is just as common among homosexual couples as among heterosexual ones. Reference.

Women, furthermore, commit most of the child abuse and child murder. Reference.

'When my mother was born, women were not allowed to vote'. You must already be old in that case, but perhaps you are. My question to you is: When your father was born, could men vote? When my grandfather fought in the Battle of the Somme in World War I, he could not vote. I wrote a recent piece about it on my blog. You may like to read it. Working men did not get the vote in the UK until 1918, the same time that women got it. How many women died in WWI? Zero.

Even after 1918, the voting age for men in the UK was 21 until 1969. So, many of the British men who died in WWII could not vote either. I doubt that the situation in the USA was very different, and I suggest that you check your facts, like a good journalist, rather than publishing urban myths and hearsay. If you want to get ahead in your career, diligent fact-checking is probably your best strategy.

'All the best jobs were reserved for men'. All the best jobs, I think you will find, were reserved for the rich. Upper class women entered government and the professions long before working-class men did. Feminist theory consistently refuses to provide any adequate account of social class, and it seems that you are buying into this myth of the Victorian classless society hook line and sinker. The best illustration of it is an examination of casualty statistics for the sinking of the Titanic. Most of the women survived, but most of the men died. Most of the first-class passengers survived, but that's because most of them were women. How can you explain this? First-class men gave up their place in the lifeboats in favour of female servants. It doesn't sound like a situation in which men 'run society to suit themselves'.

You continue, 'A woman’s place was in the home, cooking, cleaning, taking care of the children and serving as a help-mate for her husband. If women did work, their job opportunities were limited to a few acceptable occupations such as nurses, teachers, librarians, clerks or secretaries to male bosses.' In other words, they worked in situations where they were safe. That is still true today. If you read Warren Farrell's book, 'The Myth of Male Power', you will learn that all of the most dangerous jobs (security guard, coal-miner, fisherman etc) are done by men, and all of the safest jobs (receptionist, secretary etc) are done by women. Furthermore, all of the lowest status jobs (garbage collector, shoeshine, cab-driver, bellhop, sewer worker, etc) are done by men. How can you explain this?

You then present a fawning and inaccurate history of the feminist movement. You may learn something about the Suffragettes if you read my blog entry referred to above. Did you know that feminists actively supported sending men who couldn't vote to war in 1914?

Did you know that they were heavily involved in the introduction of Prohibition, including smashing up saloons with axes?

Did you know that they were heavily involved in the Ku Klux Klan in the 1920s?

Did you know that they were heavily involved in Fascist movements in the 1930s?

Did you know that women number among their ranks many dictators and serial killers?

Your rose-tinted view of women's history (and therefore, women) is dangerously naive.

'Perhaps boys became discouraged with all the efforts to rally support for the girls, which included the “Take Our Daughters to Work Day,” self-esteem programs, teaching seminars, education grants and specially crafted curricula and teaching methods designed to appeal to girls.Or perhaps boys simply can’t compete and men knew this all along, which is why they rigged the process to maintain power and control'.

This is perhaps your most bizarre argument of all. I will take your second point first. '...perhaps boys simply can’t compete and men knew this all along, which is why they rigged the process to maintain power and control'.

Firstly, how is it that the superior class came to be dominated by the inferior one? That doesn't make any sense. Secondly, if they did manage to do so, then it seems they were competing pretty effectively. Why is it that, in any supposed competition, if women win, they win fairly, but if men win, they only win by rigging the process? Your sentence contains two contradictions and a double-standard. Quite an achievement.

Now to take your first point: 'Perhaps boys became discouraged with all the efforts to rally support for the girls, which included the “Take Our Daughters to Work Day,” self-esteem programs, teaching seminars, education grants and specially crafted curricula and teaching methods designed to appeal to girls'. Does this not count as 'rigging the process' in your view? I would like to know what you think does count as rigging.

You then go on to quote some statistics, which to any reasonable person would sound depressing, but you offer them in apparent triumph: 'Boys, according to the report, are more than 50 percent more likely than girls to be held back in elementary school, one-third more likely to drop out of high school and twice as likely to be identified with a learning disability'. These are no doubt true, at least approximately. What amazes me is that you seem to think this situation is a cause for celebration. It might be worth pointing out, just for the sake of it, that boys are twelve times more likely than girls to be identified as having outstanding mathematical ability. Reference: Steven Pinker, 'How the Mind Works'.

Your comments on academic affirmative action are equally interesting: 'The number of boys who are qualified to go to college or want to continue their education has declined to the point that many colleges must give preferential admissions to boys to maintain a semblance of gender balance on campus. Understandably, higher qualified girls don’t appreciate losing out in the admissions battle to lesser qualified boys simply to achieve gender diversity.'

Is there not a rather obvious parallel here with regard to affirmative action for race? Could it not be the case that blacks and men are both socially disadvantaged groups? Presumably you are in favour of affirmative action for blacks, but not for men? Why the double standard? You seem to approve of the fact that female students are displeased about being passed over in favour of boys, but presumably you do not feel that white students would be justified in being displeased about losing out in the same way. How can you explain this?

Then comes the dramatic climax:
'While girls are being encouraged to excel in school, boys are being disproportionately medicated with attention-deficit disorder drugs.Perhaps it serves them right'.

You admit that girls are given encouragement while boys are not. You admit that boys are being medicated disproportionately. But perhaps it serves them right. This is one of the reasons I thought you were being satirical; you think these double standards are justified - no-one could seriously think that. Surely, the abolition of sexual double-standards is the whole purpose of feminism. If it is not that, then what is it?

I would like to re-iterate my very first point: What sins have our children committed? Even if everything you say about society in bygone generations were true - and it is in fact, nothing but an absurd, self-serving pack of lies - why should children today be punished for it?

In short, your article was a shameful, incoherent, ill-thought-out travesty from start to finish. If you are looking for a story to write about next week, I have just given you about fifteen. I don't believe you will pursue any of them however. I think it is less work for you just to stroke the egos of your feminist readers and take your paycheck.

At least here in Europe, the press retains some vestige of independence. In the USA it seems that the media is just the tame lap-dog of monied vested interests. I will be happy if you prove me wrong.

Regards,

etc.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Damn, you're good. I feel exactly the same about the nasty piece he wrote, but I just can't put that in words so well.