September 30, 2005
Attending A Baby Shower
Here you go for the weekend: a humorous essay by author Neal Pollack about a "couple's shower". My favorite reflection on fatherhood by Mr. Pollack is -
If you can get past the initial infant-as-vegetable stage, suddenly fatherhood becomes a permanent role-play in which you are either the monster or the monster's victim. Sometimes you are also a bear or a lion or a dinosaur, but the principle of the chase remains the same. If, like me, you have no actual skills to teach your children other than ranting at the news, you can at least come up with new ways to scare the hell out of them.
via New York Times - Showering Together
September 29, 2005
A Generation of Passionless Men?
An interesting article about this Salon.com writer's observation that the young urban men she meets in NYC are all passionless and numb. The link below this is a series of letters Salon.com received in response to the article. My favorite response as to why so many young men are passionless - "free internet porn".
via Salon.com - Attack of the Listless Lads
via Salon.com - Letters in response
September 28, 2005
Women's Human Rights During A Crisis
Add to the list of those harshly effected by Hurricane Katrina - women. Not only were there numerous reported rapes in the aftermath of this disaster, but apparently in the case of any disaster more women than men are killed (which was the case in the recent tsunami in Southeast Asia). Is this evidence of human rights violations? Let the debate begin...
September 27, 2005
Separate 'Em to Make 'Em Learn Better
I am not sure how I feel about this. Some educators are introducing a radical notion: separating boys and girls in the classroom and teaching to them differently. The teacher interviewed for this article says that based on brain chemistry research - boys and girls are different and need to be taught differently. The reason that boys are predominately labeled as having learning disabilities is that most schools are "girl-focused" some say. Is this a matter of exploiting cultural differences (boys are more physically active and girls are more social because they are taught to be that way) or is this really the way things are on the biological-level (boys are more physically active and girls are more social because their brain chemistry makes them that way)?
September 26, 2005
Sexism Harms Men's Health
I have always had the belief (and seen it play itself out) that sexism harms men, too. But the way I've seen it play out is that it keeps some men from forming truly close relationships with women, even their partners. I've seen it keep men from having truly close friendships with other men. I've seen it keep other men from being they really are - people with full emotional lives. There are myriad ways that sexism harms men. But now a study finds that sexism can be linked to men's shorter life span than woman. Is this another version of "you reap what you sow"?
via Yahoo News - Sexism May Shorten Men's Lives: Study
September 23, 2005
The Impact of Abortion Restrictions
Many are concerned over the potential (an increasingly likely) confrimation of Judge Roberts to the Supreme Court - and the potential impact on abortion rights. But the article linked to below examines the impact of legislation that has already restricted abortions since Roe vs. Wade.
via Planned Parenthood - Impact of Abortion Restrictions
September 22, 2005
Fewer Biopsies For Prostate Cancer
Over 1 million men a year have biopsies of the prostate gland after a cancer-screening test reveals elevated levels of prostate specific antigen (PSA) in the blood. But, only one-in-four of these men are diagnosed with cancer. Now, by performing some simple mathematical/statistical calculations, doctors will be able to better predict the chances of prostate cancer - and reduce the need for unnecessary biopsies.
via Aetna Intelihealth - Researchers Find Better Predictor Of Prostate Cancer Risk
September 21, 2005
Renunciation of Family Violence
Recently, in an online discussion group sponsored through Men's Resources International (Interested? Click on MRI's logo above or the link on the right) Ichiro Numazaki, a professor in Japan, posted an intriging idea. He is proposing the taking of article nine of Japan's constitution, which is the renunciation of war, and re-writing as a renunciation of family violence. Here is his posting:
I wonder if you know about the article nine of the Japanese constitution, the renunciation of war article. It reads like this:
Aspiring sincerely to an international peace based on justice and order, the Japanese people forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation and the threat or use of force as means of settling international disputes.
In order to accomplish the aim of the preceding paragraph, land, sea, and air forces, as well as other war potential, will never be maintained. The right of belligerency of the state will not be recognized.
I recently realized that the same principle must be applied to peace in the family and rewrote this article as follows:
Aspiring sincerely to a domestic peace based on justice and care, we the Japanese men forever renounce violence as a patriarchal right of men and the threat or use of force as means of settling domestic disputes.
In order to accomplish the aim of the preceding paragraph, physical, psychological, and economic control, as well as other power for domination, will never be maintained. The right of belligerency of men will not be recognized.
Right-leaning politicians (not only ultra-nationalists but also more moderate conservatives and some even not a few neo-liberals) intend to amend the Japanese constitution, especially this article nine, and renounce the renunciation of war!
We are opposing such a backward amendment to the constitution that kept Japan out of any foreign war for sixty years after World War II. I would like to link that anti-war movement to men's movement against all violence towards women and children, so I'm going to use my rewriting of article nine to show that link.
Just a note from Japan
It was also pointed out on the online discussion group that there is a similar movement happening in the US - though not focused specifically on domestic violence. And, that is the proposal for a Department of Peace.
September 20, 2005
Football Player Come Out As Sexual Abuse Survivor
Laveranues Coles of the New York Jets recently revealed that he was sexually abused by his step-father when he was between the ages of 10 and 13. It is always remarkable and important when a sexual abuse survivor is able to overcome social stigmas and speak about their abuse. It is also remarkable and important when a man - and a sports figure - comes out about sexual abuse. It makes it a bit easier for other sexual abuse survivors to speak out, too. It is great that Coles is also aware of this, too: "I think, you know, as a man, when you're violated in that way, you don't know how other people are going to take it, how other people are going to view you. There's so much that comes with revealing that part of your life and story...If it gets one kid to come out and say, 'Look, this is happening to me,' ... I think it's right."
via ESPN.com - Coles: I am a Survivor of Sexual Abuse
September 19, 2005
What Do Teens Think About Fatherhood
The link below connects to an interesting study looking at the way that teens currently view fatherhood and parenting. What is most interesting is that many of the traditional views of what it means to be a father have not changed in over the last few decades. What has changed are the perceptions (and realities) of the support systems that young people and new fathers have (like less connection to extended family).
via Father's Incorporated - Teens Attitudes Towards Fatherhood Revealed in New Report
September 16, 2005
International Conference on Batterer Intervention
The work of batterer intervention is relatively new in the scheme of domestic violence intervention/prevention. There are many different ways of approaching this work, which has also led to controversies and tensions. There are also many questions that are not clearly answered: how do you define success (is it that the batterer is not arrested again or is it that he is completely free of controlling behavior); can woman be batterers and what type of treatment should be offered to them; is there a one-size fits all model of batterer intervention or is it appropriate to have different models for those of different cultures?
There has not been a national conference on batterer intervention for many years...until this November. From Roots to Wings: The Future of Batterer Intervention looks to be a great gathering of all of these different voices. Myself and some of my colleagues are going to both present as well as attend many of the presentations.
My plan is to post about some of my experiences there - to pass on the learning. In the meantime, if you live in the Detroit area and want to go or want to travel to attend this conference, sign-up quickly, it's filling up fast.
September 15, 2005
Keep Those Laptops Off Your Lap
Hey Fellas - the next time you use your laptop as the name intends, you may want to reconsider. Laptops = heat = drop in sperm count.
via My Web MD Laptop Computers May Affect Male Fertility
September 14, 2005
A Humor Piece
A bit of shameless self-promotion, if you don't mind. One of my "hobbies" is writing humor pieces. Today I have a humor piece published on a website and it's focused around gender, thus, its inclusion here. Please check out - Pay The Rent: A Solo Play Exploring Gender Politics (via Yankee Pot Roast).
September 13, 2005
Can Father's Get Postpartum Depression?
Postpartum depression is a serious problem (despite what Tom Cruise may think). What can exacerbate the issue is the belief that the entire family should be glowing and happy after having a new baby. The reality is that there is a lot of happiness as well as stress, struggle, and adjustment. By denying feelings of depression, the problem can worsen. Now add the idea that men both aren't "supposed" to have feelings of vulnerability, nor be "like a woman" and have postpartum depression, and you have a potential crisis on your hands. As this article points out, postpartum depression is a family issue.
September 12, 2005
Five Ailments That Affect Young Men
The link below is to an article about the five common ailments that affect young men. I thought it would be important to post some men's health-realted items on this site. The information seems accurate. But its important to note the following: "young" according to this site is 18-35 y.o.; I am pretty sure this site is connected to the publication Men's Health, which I would not recommend; and in speaking about passing kidney stones, the doctor refers to one's ureter and urethra as "man tubes". You be the judge.
September 09, 2005
Masculinity is More Than Testosterone, Daddy
A recent article in Psychology Today looks at various pieces of research which shows that men undergo hormonal changes as they become fathers - including increases in estrogen. The research points to a number of naturally occurring factors that prime men for fatherhood. But, my favorite line is in the introduction to the article: if testosterone is the defining hormone of masculinity, it's time to redefine manhood.
via Psychology Today - The Making of a Modern Dad
September 08, 2005
Jackson Katz is an articulate and deep-thinking pro-feminist man. He created the Mentors for Violence Prevention (MVP) program at Northeastern University and, along with the Media Education Foundation, created several popular educational videos, including Tough Guise: Violence, Media, and the Crisis of Masculinity. I recommend checking out his website and, especially, looking at the publications page. There, he has numerous articles that are well worth reading. If he comes to your local college be sure to hear him speak, too.
September 07, 2005
Rape - Post Katrina
Some of you have probably read or heard about the incidents of rape following Hurricane Katrina. The link below is to a blog entry (at a very cool blog - Alas(A Blog). The post is brief, but the comments that follow are an interesting discussion from a diversity of voice about this serious issue.
via Alas (A Blog) - Rape in Wake of Katrina
September 06, 2005
Training Husbands Like Dogs
I am dealing with a nasty flu, so my postings will probably be a bit brief this week.
But, here is a quote about a British reality show from the article linked to below: I firmly believe you can train your husband like a dog because they both learn in the same way, Clayton said.
Yikes! 'Nuff said.
via ABC News Husbands and Dogs: How Much Do They Have in Common?
September 02, 2005
A controversial way to end the week. In South Africa a "anti-rape condom" has been created. Supposedly as a way to deter rape and transmission of diseases. The obvious concern by critics is the potential for further violence from a perpetrator.
September 01, 2005
Are You A Jerk If You Don't Want To Watch Your Wife Give Birth?
Apparently there is a notable trend with men not feeling sexually attracted to their wives after watching them give birth. The first take on this might be - what's his problem? and to dismiss him as sexist. But what is at the heart of this issue (which was first noted in a New York Times article and has been discussed/spread amongst the blogging/internet community) is the tension with the view of feminism which says that any type of objectifying a partner is a problem. What do you think?
via Slate - It's a Jerk