The Gender Ghetto, Part II

Yesterday, we noted that critics like Kay Hymowitz are noticing young men today are “angry”.  They attribute it to the usual dog’s breakfast of feminist conceits; the young men are a little misogynistic, a little bit childish, a little bit full of inchoate rage over “poliitcal correctness” and changing gender roles.

I pointed out that while those roles are certainly changing today, they are no more jarring to the male sensibility than they were at any time from the 1960′s through the 1980s; I might argue that after three generations of “women’s liberation” and the broad acceptance of what used to be “Feminism’s” goals, young men today aren’t suffering any culture shock that men didn’t have, and much worse, a few decades back.

And we noted a scholarship program for “white” (more than 25% caucasian) males, which the Southern Poverty Law Center will no doubt classify a “hate group” before long.

And at the beginning of it all, we noted that subcultures that are attacked, persecuted, segregated or singled out over the long haul tend to adapt to it, in ways that address immediate-term survival over long-term good.

Why are 20-30-something males ostensibly turning away from dating, mating, and our society’s “courtship ritual” as it’s evolved in recent decades, in a way that their older brothers, uncles and even fathers and grandfathers didn’t?

———-

Back when I was in fifth grade, I had my first male teacher.  Mr. Buchholtz was a big guy, a former football player who’d done a hitch in the Navy in Vietnam.  He was the first male teacher any of us had had.

And he did all sorts of things – showed us how to tackle, how to to do karate kicks, let us play “tackle pomp” and “cops and robbers” and “army”, complete with “guns” we made out of sticks, the whole line-up of things that might have mortified the women who’d taught us through fourth grade, had those women not come up through an educational system that let boys be boys.

And when I said let boys be boys, I meant “let them both exercise those “boy” traits – physicality, aggressiveness, spatial literacy – and learn to control them and use them appropriately.  You could play “cops and robbers”; you couldn’t accost Mary Jo Helmbarger with the toy gun and scare her.

Of course, the classroom itself was pretty well designed for girls, who develop verbally before boys do.  It all evened out.

And that was the system, thirty years ago.  Maybe even twenty-five years ago.

Mr. Bucholtz would be the subject of administrative discipline today, and most likely ostracized by his colleagues.

It was about twenty years ago that the theories of Harvard professor Carol Gilligan started to gain currency.  It was Gilligan’s theory that young girls suffered in school because boys, being more aggressive, were quicker to raise their hands and get attention; that young girls were neglected, and the neglect caused them to suffer – because the education system was just too masculine.  The theory – publicized in countless books by scholars, pop-psychologists and ideological feminists – was that boys’ innate aggression intimidated girls into being quiet and not getting their questions answered in class (among other charges), which in turn beat down young girls’ spirits, which was a form of systemic discrimination that had to be overcome.

And the educational academy reacted immediately.  Schools moved to start clamping down on “boy” things – aggressive play, games like “cops and robbers” and playground football and all the other ways boys have worked off their energy during recess since the dawn of the “sit your butt in the chair and learn what we tell you to learn” model of education.

Now, psychology has known for decades that if you make a person bottle up “who they are”, it’s going to cause psychological damage . It’s one of the reasons schools have bent over backwards, for example, to support gay students; because, they just know, if you make a person deny what they are for long enough, it’s going to cause damage.

Enlightened people would never think of demanding a gay student stop being gay.

But virtually overnight in pedagogical terms, it became the fashion to force boys to do just that; to bottle up who they were.   I’ve been noticing this for almost as long; I remember having this conversation when my stepson was in school, in the early nineties.  In one memorable conversation with a woman who was a teaching assistant at the University of London’s graduate educational psychology program back in 1998, I put that basic premise out there; her response, straight from the textbook of the day, was “yes, boys acting like boys is a pathology that gets in the way of good education”.  Direct quote.

Of course, Carol Gilligan was wrong. Christina Hoff-Summers, in The War On Boys, pointed out that Gilligan’s “research” was not only almost completely exempted from peer review, but Harvard wouldn’t release any of the raw data or methodology that led to her conclusions – which was, in those days before “man-made global warming”, considered pretty bad form.  Hoff-Summers pretty well shredded Gilligan, and the outcomes of the mania that had by this time swept the educational academy…

…but it was really too late.  School became a fairly dismal place for boys.  Especially the boys that couldn’t “go along to get along“.   Acting too much “like a boy” – being too aggressive, not channelling their energy into acceptable forms, which meant “being verbal, not physical” – could get a boy drugged into compliance.  Most outrageously, teachers started demanding  boys get drugged into compliance, and making the system make those demands stick.  In other words, raduates of the least academically-rigourous programs offered at most universities felt themselves empowered to act as practitioners in a field that took graduates of the most rigorous field, but one that even those practitioners know is still only vaguely understood.

Can you imagine what’d happen if science came up with a drug that could suppress a homosexual child’s identity?   The very fact that the idea had been researched would be condemned with vein-bulging fury, to say nothing of the actual act of producing and prescribing the drug.  And the furor would be right.

And yet our education system has been forcing half the student population to be something other than what evolution, brain chemistry and their physiology make them, and being drugged into submission and classified as “special ed”, and plopped onto the failure track  if they don’t go along.

And it’s having an effect.  The number of girls in college increased – from right around to slightly under half in the ’80′s, to closer to an estimated 60% of the population in the very near future.  It’s even more pronounced in the humanities and soft-sciences.   It’s gotten to the point that the mainstream media who trumpeted Gilligan’s “research” twenty years ago are fretting about the lack of men on campuses today.  If 12 years of school have been turned into an ugly ordeal, why should they stretch it out to sixteen years – even assuming that their drug-addled, special-ed sodden academic records allow them to get into a college.

So the question I’d like to ask Kay Hymowitz – the author of the book Manning Up that I went after yesterday – is “why are you asking why young men are shunning the dating life, when the real question is why do you expect young men who’ve had traditional masculine roles beaten down and treated as pathologies to be overcome  for their entire educational career and  young lives to suddenly turn into Prince Charming when they turn 22?”

As long as we actively suppress, and oppress, boys acting like boys – especially by way of learning how to be responsible boys, and thus responsible men, the way they always have – then Kay Hymowitz’ dating malaise is just the tip of the iceberg.

The Gender Ghetto

Take a culture. Any culture (or sub-culture, really).

Deprive them of choices.  Stuff them into ghettos, literally or figuratively. Punish them just for the simple act of being who they are. Make their identity the subject of scorn and abuse within the larger society.  Actively denigrate their traits, their identity – their being.  Lather, rinse and repeat for a few generations.

What do you get?

Cultural pathologies.   The world’s full of them:

  • Russians, with over a thousand years of rule by strongmen and monarchs who used systematic abuse as a fundamental tool of power, have the most exaggerated sense of cultural Stockholm Syndrome imaginable.  It’s been quipped by not a few Russophiles that Russia is generations away from being comfortable with western-style liberal democracy; the peoples’ cultural memory is as utterly tied to abuse as any battered spouse after leaving a thirty year marriage; as awful as it is, they keep finding more of it.
  • Jews the world over exhibit all sorts of stereotypical cultural traits – insularity, fatalism, and on and on – that sociologists have linked to the centuries of segregation, pogroms, and mass-murders epic and small that they’ve endured.
  • African Americans are still showing the cultural ills bred during 400 years of slavery; the black male, in particular, is still fighting with the marginalization he suffered under slavery, which lives on in far too many black families (and is glorified in way too much of the current popular culture); after 400 years of seeing signs of “uppityness” – education, initiative, individual thought – punished ruthlessly, it’s not hard to see why the culture’d have a hard time recovering in between 47 and 146 years.
  • White Trash, too; southern white working-class non-land-owners were treated little better than serfs until the civil war, and not much better after.  Most of the ills that affect the white south – rural crime rates that in places like Louisiana and South Carolina overtop most urban areas, poverty, the Cyrus family, limited regard for education, the general sense of low expectations – trace back to the Antebellum period, where poor non-land-owning Scots-Irish crackers were expected to be cheap labor and foot soldiers.

And now, a full 49% of American society.

We’ll come back to that.

———-

A couple of stories popped up on the radar the other day that led me to a topic I’ve been stewing over writing for quite a while now.

Author Kay Hymowitz is the author of the best-seller Manning Up, which argues that twenty and thirty-somethings today are putting off adulthood, preferring instead to remain in a sort of arrested adolescence she terms “pre-adulthood”.

The Wall Street Journal published excerpts; she got some feedback.  And she wrote about it in the Daily Beast by way of defending her premise:

But a lot of the responses unwittingly proved my point—and another one: Men are really, really angry. Consider: “We’re not STUCK in pre-adulthood, we choose it because there aren’t any desirable American women. They’ve been bred to abuse men.” This fairly typical response that appeared at the Seattle Post Intelligencer website: “Sorry ladies. In the age of PlayStation 3s, 24-hours-a-day sports channels, and free Internet porn, you are now obsolete. All that nagging, whining, and stealing our hard earned cash have finally caught up to you.”

Shocked? I wasn t. During the last few years researching this age group, I’ve stumbled onto a powerful underground current of male bitterness that has nothing to do with outsourcing, the Mancession, or any of the other issues we usually associate with contemporary male discontent.

Hymowitz focused largely on “men as potential mates for women” and the dating lives of the age group, of course, and her observations reflect the scope…:

No, this is bitterness from guys who find the young women they might have hoped to hang out with entitled, dishonest, self-involved, slutty, manipulative, shallow, controlling—and did I mention gold-digging?…Women may want equality at the conference table and treadmill. But when it comes to sex and dating, they aren’t so sure.

…but I think she missed a much, much bigger point.  Men, especially younger men, are angry – and it’s not just about dating, mating and sex.

She gets ever so close to the real point, too:

So, is this what Susan Faludi famously called the backlash? Is it immaturity, as my own book seems to suggest? Is it the Internet as an escape valve for decades of pent-up rebellion against political correctness? Or, is it just good, old-fashioned misogyny?

(Hymowitz’ theory is it’s a little of all of the above, plus the “men aren’t used to competition” slur, plus a broad upset over dating/mating gender roles, which have changed, partly, for women but not for men, in case you’d rather not read the whole thing).

Hymowitz missed the real story – or perhaps the real story was outside the scope of a book and article whose purpose seemed to be to reassure a generation of jaded younger women that they’re OK, it’s all those guys who have the problem.

There was another bit of news last week that is interesting to juxtapose with Hymowitz, though.

———-

Earlier this week, a Texas non-profit announced it was going to start giving scholarships for white guys.

The “Austin American-Statesmen” reports a Texas nonprofit group called the Former Majority Association for Equality is behind the scholarships.

Texas State University student Colby Bohannan says he launched the group after returning from the Iraq war to find there were college scholarships for women and minorities, but white males were left out.

Bohannan and his friends will start giving out 500-dollar scholarships this summer.

It’s a stretch to call it “racist”; applicants need to be 25 percent Caucasian, so the skinheads who fret about “mud people” aren’t likely to be much assuaged.  It’s certainly politically-incorrect, of course – a point in its favor.  Our self-appointed elites are tittering, of course – not just the giggly bit from the Daily Beast’s Lloyd Grove, but the inevitable droning jeremiads from the Southern Poverty Law Center, whose stock in trade is finding hatred in every box of Cheerios:

“It looks to me like a simple provocation,” says Mark Potok, who monitors hate groups for the Montgomery, Alabama-based Southern Poverty Law Center. “These people have fallen directly into the ever more popular myth of white oppression in America. The reality is that whites, to this day, have enormous privileges in landing scholarships and have real advantages in finding places at good schools.”

Potok says he isn’t impressed by the Former Majority Association for Equality’s avowed benign intentions, pointing out that professional racist David Duke, of the European-American Rights Organization, has used similar anodyne arguments while making a big show of sending money to poor whites in Appalachia. Potok also cited one of Duke’s favorite tracts, racial theorist Wilmot Robertson’s influential and wildly popular 1972 book, The Dispossessed Majority, which argued that the relative population decline of the United States’ white founding stock, compared to rise of non-Caucasians and immigrants, was allowing the nation to fall under the pernicious influence of foreign interests and Jews.

Potok is doing the SPLC’s usual voodoo, finding correlation and claiming causation, and doing a poor job even of that.  Is “White Oppression” an absurd case to try to make?  Sure.

But Potok, Bohannon and Hymowitz all came —-> || <—-that close to hitting an actual point.

Simultaneously!

Are white males oppressed?  Not in any meaningful way.

Are young males of most races angry, and perhaps reacting to that anger detrimentally?  Very likely.

Is it because they face changing gender roles in dating?  Maybe, but then so did my generation.  If anything, the change was more radical thirty years ago. when the entire change in gender models at home, at work and in society was both brand new and being taught as a crash course.   Today, young men express puzzlement that women their age can have sex without guilt just like they (purportedly) do; thirty years ago, it was that women could earn a living without guilt.

But guys in my age bracket, and not a whole lot after, had one huge advantage over today’s young men.

More tomorrow.

Everyone’s Extreme, Part II

Last week, we addressed a piece by leftyblog Blue Man in a Red District bagging on Representative-Elect Glenn Gruenhagen (HD25A) for proposing a series of resolutions at a State School Board Association convention that he termed “extreme” that, as I pointed out, really are pretty mainstream except within the context of, well, the State School Board Association (think Comintern with a nice buffet).

It turns out Gruenhagen himself wrote a piece on the subject four years ago entitled “Can the Minority Be Wrong?”:

I would like to respond to the criticism of my 8 resolutions in last week’s editorial by Mark Rudy, titled, “Can 5 GSL school board members be wrong?” As a school board member, I have voted in the minority numerous times, although if you count my total votes, over 90% have been in agreement with the majority.

Question: Can the minority ever be right? Historically, there are thousands of examples where this is true, but I will use one recent example.

Approximately 10 years ago the Minnesota State Legislature and the governor passed the unproven educational experiment called the “Profile of Learning” (POL). The POL was promoted by great and small in public education as the solution to all public education’s shortfalls in every area of academics.

Over a billion dollars of MN taxpayer dollars were wasted promoting this unproven educational approach. There was only one problem; the POL did not have one shred of evidence that it would raise academic standards in public schools. In fact, for those who did the research, there was plenty of evidence that it would damage academic achievement.

As a public school board member I spent numerous hours studying and researching the issue both pro and con. What I found from credible sources was that the POL was hatched in atheistic psychology-land, based on feelings rather than academics. I was usually the sole vote against the POL on the GSL school board. I sent several resolutions to the Minnesota School Board Association (MSBA) conventions opposing the POL and calling for its repeal. Every resolution was voted down (some with laughter) by over 95%, but in the end the State Legislature and Governor repealed the POL. My view prevailed as a result of growing public awareness and pressure.

One thought that didn’t occur to me reading Blue Man’s original swipe at Gruenhagen; back when Paul Wellstone was the “1″ in countless 99-1 votes in the Senate, the DFL – including, likely, Mr. Blue – celebrated it as an example of sticking to ones’ principles; as  a profile in courage.  Call it what  you will – Wellstone was way farther out on the extreme than Gruenhagen (at least six of whose proposals were statistically pretty mainstream, outside of the rarified confines of the State School Board Association).

As with the POL, I have spent a similar amount of time researching my 8 resolutions. I will not kneel at the “alter of public education” and blindly support experimental educational ideas with our children. Knowing the truth and the facts has a way of stiffening one’s knees.

There are many excellent staff members in public education, but we have allowed our schools to become expensive experimental laboratories (to the detriment of our children) by atheistic psychologists, radical left wing social planners and junk scientists (such as advocates for macro evolution and global warming). 

Say what  you will about evolution (it is in no way incongruent with an allegorical reading of the Bible) or the worldview of psychologists; our public schools, especially in Minnesota, are being used as social laboratories by the radical, but PR-savvy,  left (when they’re not being used as meal tickets for the Minnesota Federation of Teachers).

 I will continue to vote against such nonsense even if 100 % of state and local representatives vote for it. And I will do so, in the words of our first president, George Washington, “So help me God”.

There are several current books I would recommend for those who want to do additional research: “One Nation Under Therapy”, “Unprotected” (A campus psychiatrist reveals how political correctness in her profession endangers every student) and last, “Destructive Trends in Mental Health” (co-authored by a former president of the American Psychological Association who admits that much of modern day psychology is little more than “witch doctoring”) All three can be ordered from Barnes and Nobles.

And Christina Hoff Summers’ The War On Boys is another must-read for anyone who wants the background on the feminized teaching academy’s war on the male gender in education, under the fraudulent claim that schools were biased against girls.  Watch your lefty school administrators’ nose hairs curl as you mention it.

At any rate – it’s seemed to me for years that the DFL’s long-term agenda is to paint everyone who isn’t a DFLer as an extremist.

Battle This

I gotta remind you; join Ed and I this Saturday on the Northern Alliance Radio Network (Volume II, “The Headliners”) as we interview Christina Hoff Summers.

We’ll be talking about her most recent work, which she’ll be in town speaking about (explaining the “lack” of women in math, science and engineering and, more importantly, assailing “feminist” explanations of the issue), as well as her earlier work including the classic The War On Boys

Join us on Saturday. I’m looking forward to this.

Also - on April 11, we’ll be doing a warmup interview for the Minnesota Tea Party.  Stay tuned!

I Am Berg, Destroyer of Illusions

My, oh my.  I seem to have stirred up a firestorm dust-devil of petulance.

It seems a conservative can’t say he supports women’s right to equal protection, access and treatment under the law and by society without having gaggles of intellectual lilliputians vex him.

Where do we start?

MNob, who writes at Cucking Stool, Norwegianity, MNob, MinBlue, MinLeft, MinVolved, MinDem, DemMin, BlueDem, MinRedWatch, RedWatch, RedWatchMN, BlueStool, Bluegianity, Blog of the Shrieking Incontinent Left, StoolWatch, RedStool, Cucking Blue, BlueVolved, Cuckegiainity, PowerBlue, Lawyers Without Constraints, BlueCuck, Stooling Knob, LeftBlueVolved, Feminixies…

Um, where were we?

Oh, yeah – MNob brings the same keen, logical, intellectual approach to my legitimate claim that she brought to dissecting Olson v. Brodkorb:

Over at Shot in the Dark (no, I won’t link there),

Didja know that’s the latest way Minnesota’s increasingly insular, increasingly paranoid, every-more-gutless leftybloggers try to get atcha these days?  By not linking to people that they’re talking about?

They’re afraid, of course, that their audience will be free to make up their own minds. 

And I tell you – I’m cut to the quick.  To the quick, I say.

But I digress:

 Mitch Berg takes on the events in Austin and domestic terrorism, trying to wrap himself in the flag of feminism to make a point that isn’t entirely clear even after reading the piece three times over.

Of course, MNob’s readers – who don’t have the benefit of a link to my original piece – won’t know that I didn’t “take on” the events in Austin at all (except to condemn them), and didn’t “wrap myself” in any “flag”.  MNob could say pretty much anything she wants to about me (which is, indeed, her usual MO anyway).

My point was pretty clear:  The original blog I linked to, “Feministe”, was a bunch of victim-mongering, hysterical dimbulbs.

…it’s pretty hard to see what the premise is beyond taking “feminists” to task for being angry that they might be exposed to violence when going in for that annual pap smear.

Remember – this woman is a lawyer.  Lawyers, supposedly, spend three years learning to be rigorously logical.  Of course, to be fair, they also spend three years learning to abuse rhetoric to try to win over the unsuspecting.

Nobody will defend people – male or female – against violence for whatever reason more staunchly than I.  And I have put my ass, physically and literally, on the line to prove it enough times in my life to be able to stand behind that claim.  So MNob’s change in subject is particularly callow and logically void.  I took “Feministe” to task for claiming (amid a lot of other hysteria)that there is a big media conspiracy to downplay violence against women. 

One might also wonder if MNob really has much respect for her audience; she giggles at me of citing a CNN report that “regurgitates” data from the BATFE.  Ms. Nob – where else does one go for information about bombs?  The National Organization of Women? 

Of course, MNob tried to stay with substantive discussion (my local leftyblogger standards) of the actual issue. She failed, but she tried. And all Robin “Rew” “Chicken to Drink Around Conservatives Any More” Marty can come up with is a bunch of quotes I’ve made about women, most of which she is apparently unequipped to address, none of which address much less attack the fact that I’m the most feminist guy in town.  It’s what passes for “journalism” among that set these days, I guess. 

And then there’s Jeff “All Snark, No Content” Fecke, one of George Soros’ human schnauzerscitizen journalists” from Minnesota Moneyitor. 

In his second leaden thwack at my claim, he writes (see, leftybloggers?  Linking to people you disagree with not only doesn’t hurt much, it shows your readers you’re not afraid to let them make up their own minds about things)…

…well, a bunch of NOW talking points about Camille Paglia and Christina Hoff Summers and the like, which amount to saying “I don’t really know much about this, but I’m faithfully reciting from the manual”. 

And then…:

The avenue to that future is feminism. Not “gender” feminism, or “equity” feminism, but feminism–full stop.

In other words, “just accept everything you’re told, and never approach any of this with a critical mind”. 

Buncombe.  “Feminism” means many things; nobody appointed Jeff Fecke (or the National Organization of Women or NARAL, for that matter) official custodian of the term, or for that matter the belief.

And as long as you continue to hem and haw about how the uppity women just keep demanding rights

Um, Jeff?  I fully support those rights.  Unless (as is likely the case) the only “rights” you’re concerned with are abortion (I reserve the legitimate right to dissent, for very good reason that anyone is free to ask me about) or institutionalizing victimhood.  If those are really the only “rights” you’re concerned about, then we either need to have a different discussion, or you’ll need to change your snark just a tad.

and keep complaining about how little things like bombing attempts fail to make the news,

And again, Fecke either misses the point, ignores it, or is unequipped to recognize it.  Let the self-styled riotgrrls from “Feministe” complain all they want about what the news covers!  That’s why they blog; also, it’s why I blog!  More power to ‘em!  I’m calling them, though, on their whiny habit of finding conspiracies around every corner.  

And – lest I’d left any doubt the first several times I said it – bombing abortion clinics is wrong.  Don’t do it.  The explosives would be better used trying to blast some logic and reading comprehension into the skulls of Twin Cities leftybloggers.

you’re actively working with those who would cheerfully place your daughter and mine in the second tier of society. And that’s as far from feminism as is humanly possible.

Get that?  If I don’t buy every crazed nuance of the most deranged feminist fantasy, I’m “actively working” to harm women.  Put other way, “If you’re not with us, you’re against us” – the last great refuge of the thug, the fascist, the autocrat, intellectual or otherwise.

Bullpucks, Jeff (and all who think like him recite the same rote, intellectually-desiccated talking points); as an American, a human and someone who takes an active interest in not only the world around me but the one that my kids will inherit one of these days, I have not only the right to question things, but the obligation

And if the best defense y’all can mount is “If you’re not with us in every niggling particular demanded by the most dogmatic, extreme, pseudo-religious faction of ‘the movement’ then you’re against us”, then I think the discussion is over.

But if signing off with an ofay snark and declaring victory makes you feel better, by all means do what feels right.