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Archive for the ‘Men’ Category

OTM of Being A Man

Posted by Henric C. Jensen on January 10, 2010

“we cannot have mutual healing and enlightenment unless we also have recognition of harm done that goes both ways.”

No woman, except my wife, has ever told me that there is anything GOOD about being a Man – ever. No woman, except my wife, has ever expressed their appreciation for that which is typical male about me, or any man. It is as if a majority of women really think men are useless, worthless and meaningless creatures that they put up with for some inconceivable reason.

I find this realization quite painful, and it also makes me very angry, because I know that I cannot be the only man feeling like this. I know I am not.

I don’t hate women. I find women for the most part to be delightful, wonderful and intriguing creatures, until I see that hard, hateful glint in their eyes directed at me because I am a man, accusing me of all things horrible in the world including things I am either too young to be guilty of or too old to be guilty of, even in a theoretical manner. Every time that happens something dies in me, a piece of my ‘man’ wants to cease to exist, because no-one can stand that much hate.

When are ordinary women, who actually love men, exactly because they are men, (I have to believe that you exist…) going to revolt against the hatred against men conditioned into women from the day they are born? When?

Posted in Men | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Gender Stereotypes and Sexual Archetypes 1

Posted by Henric C. Jensen on October 25, 2007

“…I’m more troubled that boys who fall victim to abuse by female teachers are treated as lucky little Lotharios or junior Don Juans. As you might remember, Details declared a few months back that “we ought to be happy for these pubescent pioneers … any one of those little Miss Crabtree-bagging twerps is probably being carried atop the shoulders of his classmates like some conquering hero.” In other words: Break out the beer — these pubescent boys are culturally sanctioned men!” From Article by Tracy Clark-Flory

This is a perfect example of societal gender bias and how gender stereotypes are being used to both excuse the perpetrators and ignore the victims. Ms Clark-Flory seem to be condoning this, but I do wonder what she means by calling these abuse boys “little twerps”? Wouldn’t that be like calling the female counter-parts “little tarts”?

“But a mainstream media outlet — the Associated Press, no less — has finally tackled this cultural double standard. The article gives voice to 54-year-old Jeff Pickthorn, who was sexually abused at age 12 by his seventh-grade teacher, a 24-year-old woman: “Hollywood, they think it’s such a hot thing when a guy gets laid at a young age. I tell you, it’s not a hot thing.” The abuse left him “with no boundaries” as an adult, and the AP summarizes his life as “marred by affairs, gambling, and ruined marriages.” Same article.

It is good to see that also mainstream media is catching up to what men and boys have known for as long as sexual abuse have existed – that your gender doesn’t protect you against the painful consequences of being victims of sexual abuse, and that women too are perps.

Boys who suffer from sex abuse “are seen as studs,” the article notes, while girls are viewed as vulnerable victims, not by virtue of their age but their gender. As a result, male sex abuse victims have to process their feelings about the abuse while receiving a congratulatory pat on the back and frat-boy punch to the shoulder. Psychologist Richard Gartner, author of “Beyond Betrayal: Taking Charge of Your Life After Boyhood Sexual Abuse,” said: “A boy is likely, with a female teacher, to claim that it wasn’t a problem, it wasn’t molestation, it wasn’t abuse, he wasn’t hurt by it.” It can be several decades before he comes to terms with the abuse. “In our society, we’re socialized to think that men aren’t victims, that that’s the province of women,” Gartner added. “To say that you are a victim and particularly a sexual victim, for many boys and men, is to say that you’re not entirely a man.”

The ultimate betrayal of boys and men who are victims of sexual abuse is exactly that they are not allowed to view and name the abuse for what it is: ABUSE. That which you are not allowed to name, you cannot properly heal from. This means that not only are we ignoring and diminishing what those boys and men have been through, we actively condone the abuse as something they should be grateful for, because it proves they are men.

Now, that is just sick.

Posted in Gender Politics, Men | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

If Dad Gives His Child a Bath …male-bashing par excellence

Posted by Henric C. Jensen on July 26, 2007

Virginia Department of Health AdBackground: In my recent blog post If You See a Father Holding His Child’s Hand, Call the Cops!, I called attention to the man-bashing Virginia Department of Health poster pictured above. I wrote:

“If dad goes for a walk with his daughter and holds her hand, apparently Virginia Department of Health officials wants you to pick up the phone and destroy his life by reporting him as a possible sexual abuser. I would’ve thought this article about this campaign was from The Onion or some satirical publication, but it’s for real. The picture above of a man holding a child’s hand–a touching little scene–is actually supposed to make us think he’s sexually abusing the child. Unbelievable.”

It is assumed that a man holding his daughter’s hand is also abusing her sexually. Can it really become any more misandrist than that?

The supposed aim of the campaign is to encourage people to report, seek help and stop child sexual abuse – and as such it is commendable – but the imagery and assumptions the ad carries is nothing but cementing the idea that ALL men are sexual predators, and that there are no healthy father-daughter relationships out there, or that they are at the very least very few.

The ad makers do not seem to have considered the implications for anyone falsely accused of sexual child abuse – the cost in human rights, privacy, family welfare or even child welfare for those children who are being hauled into Social Services Offices and pressured to testify – often through leading questions and “tests” that are then interpreted, by uneducated SSO workers who are more interested in getting a “conviction” to show off to their colleagues, than they are at actually hearing or seeing the truth.

Groups that have formed to help people falsely accused of abuse are opposed to the campaign. Dean Tong, who operates a Web site that offers help to people who are falsely accused of abuse, said the campaign has the potential to tarnish the reputation of innocent people and hurt children.

“For every case of genuine abuse, there are two or three that are unfounded witch hunts,” said Tong, a Florida forensic consultant who has written books on the topic of false accusations.

The false accusations, the night-mares for the children, the fathers, mothers and relatives while a false accusation is investigated, in a country where the mere suspicion of” sexual misconduct” will end you posted on the Internet “to warn parents”, are horrible enough, without this sort of hysterical and discriminating campaign.

Campaigns like this will only add fuel to an already, in regards to sexual matters “overheated public”, that crave such scandals and sleaze because their lives are boring and unimaginative as it is.

It’s McCarthy all over, “How do you know your neighbor is Commie?” but this is targeting not a politically undesirable group, which is bad enough – it’s targeting people because of their gender. Isn’t that what the Feminist have (justified or not) accused the Patriarchy of doing to women since time immemorial?

Why repeat the mistakes of Patriarchy?

Posted in Men, Sexual abuse | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Chris Benoit – another victim of a gender role?

Posted by Henric C. Jensen on June 28, 2007

Chris BenoitFAYETTEVILLE, Georgia (CNN) — The discovery of anabolic steroids in pro-wrestler Chris Benoit’s home has raised speculation that the performance-enhancing drugs may be linked to his death and the killings of his wife and young son.The 40-year-old champion strangled his wife, Nancy Benoit, and suffocated his 7-year-old son Daniel, authorities said, before he hanged himself on a portable weight machine inside his lavish home outside Atlanta. Police have said no motive has been determined. More…

Men are rewarded for being cool, calm and collected, strong, silent and superior. We build our image of what it means to be a man on those attributes. We cheer athletes for their successes and berate them for their failures, and when they no longer appeal to us with their IMAGE we leave them crushed beneath our feet.So is it any surprise if those same athletes will do just about anything to stay on top?I am not joining the choir singing the roid-rage song about Chris Benoit. I didn’t know him, so I couldn’t say. But IF, then who is at least partially responsible for his and half his family’s death? We are. For accepting a male gender role that put Chris and so many other male athletes in a catch 22 position. For demanding that male athletes be more than they are to satisfy our needs for spectacles.When the breaking point is reached – will we be there to support and encourage? No. That is one reason men so often loose the battle with their inner demons – they are taught to be the supporters not the supported – and somehow I doubt Chris Benoit was any different from other men. To me Chris Benoit is another tragic victim of an oppressive male gender role, that in the end didn’t just take Chris’ Life, but that of his wife and son.

Where will it stop?

Posted in Men, Suicide | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Mental Hygiene – A Men’s Issue?

Posted by Henric C. Jensen on June 27, 2007

Are men really less emotional than women?

Over the past decade or so the effects of emotional expression on health, and the differences between men and women in this regard, have become more widely understood. An increasing body of research shows the importance of emotional expression on emotional well-being and, while the exact mechanism between emotional expression and health is not entirely clear, the link appears to exist. Men are traditionally thought of as being less emotional than women but the evidence points more towards a situation where men tend to show emotions that are bad for them and the people around them. Here is a quick overview of some of the research findings about men, their emotional expressions and their health. More…

Big boys don’t cry. That is the first basic rule a boy is taught about being a man. I remember when my wife’s nephew, 5 y/o at that time fell and hurt himself. I rushed over to check that he was safe, and to comfort him. I could see in his face that he was both scared and in pain – yet he desperately sucked his lower lip to keep from crying. This was not something he had been taught at home, where boys and girls were taught that they are humans, people, not a gender. This was something he had learned in kindergarten – big boys don’t cry. All I could do was accept that he chose to be “a big boy” and tell him that crying is alright. Somewhere in his little soul he had already internalized the emotional abuse Society had subjected him to. Men are taught that emotional expression is unmanly. Unless it’s about sports or war.

Crying soldier

How are men supposed to handle emotions, if emotions are unmanly? Mental Hygiene is a necessity, without it you literally go mad. I think that is what happens to men in war. They are supposed to be these big, strong soldiers, yet they must constantly fear for their lives. A fear they cannot release, because it’s “unmanly”. It is no wonder that so many Veterans return home mentally shattered, they have seen and felt too much and have had no natural release for the emotions they have bottled up during the time of stress a war is.

While “Medical News Today” reports that there are few or no differences between the genders in terms of how male and female soldiers are effected by exposure to a war-zone, it is my guess that females are slightly better trained in dealing with those effects, as they are socialized differently than men.
However Donna L. Washington, MD, MPH Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) says that

Research on women veterans poses a number of methodological challenges. Cross-sectional studies of veterans generally have small sample sizes of women or often are not designed to include detailed gender-related measures and therefore may lack the statistical power to detect gender differences. This may contribute to an erroneous assessment that access barriers and other factors affecting VA healthcare use for women veterans do not differ significantly from that of male veterans.”

Not that it matters. My point is that men are generally less educated in Self-Administered Mental Hygiene, apart from group-socializing, brawling and sports.

Mental Hygiene, in my opinion is made up of two elements: expression of feelings and techniques for recovering emotional balance. As it says in the initial article – men are more likely to brood on negative emotions, and brooding for a while is good – thinking things through, sort thing, but if it stops there, the risk that bits and pieces are never resolved, either because they are too painful or because they seem insignificant, is great.

This in turn may more often than not lead to the use of substances for relief (another way for men to deal with stress and emotions…), something that delays any attempts to take care of the issue behind the need for relief.

Men do not have the same social network structures women do – mens’ networks tend to focus more on activity than on peer-to-peer communication on an emotional level which means that while they very well get rid of physical stress through “goofing” and playing, they have few out-lets for emotional stress, other than those that are seen as traditionally male: Aggression and Joy. So what do you do, as a man, when there is nothing to be happy about? You either brawl or you bottle it up.


Boys need to be seen as human beings, not as boys, so as they grow up, they can learn healthy expressions of feelings along the entire human emotional spectrum. Men need to learn to see themselves as human first, and men second, and validate that which is human, rather than “manly”.

Gender polarization has to go. It is doing no-one any good. Really. While women have made significant headway in traditionally male sectors of society, men have not done the same in traditionally female sectors of society. Whether we like it or not, in the end it will come back to bite both men and women in the @$$, in the form of increased substance abuse, violence and depression.

Posted in Men, War | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

Gadgets…of course – I am boy after all!

Posted by Henric C. Jensen on June 19, 2007

I love Gadgets. I never could afford them before. Now I can, if I am not too extravagant. One species of gadget that I have always wanted, and rarely had, unless someone was wiling to sell me their old one cheap is Sound-Gadgets.

I got myself a new MP3 Player and cool in-ear phone plugs. The Player looked so big in the picture – and when I got it, it disappeared in my hand. Those ear-plugs are fabulous! They actually work like those yellow “kneed and fit” ear-plugs you use to keep noise out on construction sites. This means I will never drop the ear-pieces ever again when walking the dog.

Posted in Men | Leave a Comment »

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