Monthly Archives: July 2017

It’s Not Me; It’s Your Standards

Did you know that college professors often get asked to change the grade of a student who thinks he/she deserves a higher one?

“…plenty of professors have told me that when many of their students get to college, they lug into the classroom a sense of academic entitlement—a belief that their papers and exams should be graded on how hard they’ve worked, not how well they’ve mastered the material.”

This is relevant in my home state of Indiana right now–because the Board of Education is conducting an investigation about why so many college graduates are unable to pass the State exams to get their teaching licenses.

Instead of asking ourselves whether colleges are graduating students who aren’t actually ready to teach, many Hoosiers are simply concluding THE TEST IS TOO HARD.

Nobody seems interested in the fact that Universities have spent the last few years telling kids they’re smarter than they are.

Nobody even MENTIONED the term “College Grade Inflation” in this article.  (Look it up!)

Meanwhile, Americans across the board are lagging behind other developed countries in basic math/reading skills.

 

Check out this article: Americans are getting dumber.

“In math, reading and problem-solving using technology – all skills considered critical for global competitiveness and economic strength – American adults scored below the international average on a global test…

Adults in Japan, Canada, Australia, Finland and multiple other countries scored significantly higher than the United States in all three areas on the test…”

That’s kind of depressing, isn’t it, Americans? (I mean, assuming you could read and understand that block quote…?)

Maybe I’m wrong. But, it seems that people in Japan, Canada, Finland, and Australia are spending time learning how to apply facts, while Americans are spending their time learning how to make excuses for failures.

“I was tired.” or “I wasn’t given enough time” or “That wasn’t on the practice test!” or “I’m not going to need that information anyway”  or “I worked hard–so that should count.”

Nobody likes to fail. But it seems Americans are especially good at giving each other excuses for it. We hardly ever choose to accept blame for something, when we’re given the option to blame something that’s out of our control.  (We’re quickly realizing that there is ALWAYS something out of our control, that’s convenient for blaming.)

—–

Truly, I’d be more likely to believe the tests are unfair if our entire culture didn’t spend so much time elevating FEELINGS to the same level as facts.

Unfortunately, it’s pretty obvious that our entire education system focuses much, much more on “positive thinking” than on good scholarship, just by looking at the things we say to anyone who is struggling to get the result they want:

7.28.17 Meant To Teach

“I am meant to teach…” no matter what the tests say…

7.28.17 Meant To Teach (#2)

“I know at some point I WILL get it”…

(Well, no argument there.  Luck will be on her side eventually.)

7.28.17 Meant To Teach (#3)

“Our kids need loving teachers…”

(But why don’t we ever talk about “knowledgeable” teachers???)

7.28.17 Meant To Teach (#4)

“This test is keeping good educators from entering the classroom.”

(Again, he assumes he knows what a “good educator” is, better than the test.)

7.28.17 Meant To Teach (#5)

“Just because someone can pass a test doesn’t mean they’ll make a great teacher.”

(Apparently Orange Commenter thinks the only test a teacher needs to pass is whether another teacher likes them…)

Too many Americans–who likely graduated from public schools–now seem to believe that feelings and intentions count for more than whether a teacher actually knows his/her stuff.

You’ve seen the meme, I’m sure:  “Student’s don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”

This has become a mantra in the education field.

“Students don’t care how much you know!”

“Students don’t care how much you know!”

 And I’m over here shouting, “Maybe they don’t care what you know–BUT THEY SHOULD!!!”

(For the record, I will teach my children that wise people seek out the most knowledgeable mentors–even if they’re not the nicest ones. If somebody has proven they are an expert in a certain area, you would be a fool to ignore what they say, just because you don’t think they “care” enough. That’s another ridiculous, American excuse for staying ignorant.)

—–

Meanwhile, it’s just a matter of time before we start complaining to the world researchers that their tests ranking us below Japan, Canada, Finland, and Australia were tooooooo haaaaaaard!

I bet we’d catch up with the rest of the developed world if we changed the test and started asking everybody how PASSIONATE they are about taking it.

If question #1 was, “How much do you believe in your ability to pass this test?” Americans would select, C. I can do anything if I work hard enough.  And, of course, by the new standards, that would be the correct answer!

We’ve got a lot of “passionate” and “positive” people in this country!

Somehow, we always find ways to believe we’re on the right track–and we deserve to follow our dreams–no matter how many times reality smacks us in the face.

We just know we’re MEANT to do it, even when our dream is to teach young minds how to become Olympic swimmers and we don’t know how to float.

The tests are wrong. They didn’t ask the right questions.

Indiana has plenty of caring people who are eager to educate the next generation about how to blame unfair tests for bad grades…if we can just make it a little easier for them to get a teacher’s license!

“You Better Help, Lady!”

I get a lot of mom-related advertisements in my social media feeds.  (Because, obviously.)

Anyway, this gem from Yoplait popped up the other day…

…and I just couldn’t handle the glaring irony.

 

I’ll quote the relevant parts of the transcript to demonstrate what bothers me.

Host: “We’re doing this really cool hidden camera social experiment about moms…”

Host: “Moms face a lot of judgment on social media…”

*experiment begins*

Host: (*while watching from hidden camera*)  “Come on, Mom, get in there!…(*whispers*) Oh, you better help, Lady!”

There…do you see what I mean?

Did you catch what’s happening here?

Okay, I’ll spell it out:

They’ve set up a hidden camera to make sure that one mom isn’t “judging” another mom.

In other words, they’re literally monitoring from backstage–watching to see if these moms behave the way they want them to behave.

How does Western Don’t-Judge culture keep missing this?

How is a Hidden Camera Experiment not inherently judgmental?

And, if that’s not clear enough, then here are pieces of Experiment #2:

 “Let’s see if these other moms offer themselves up as impromptu audiences [for the little girl]…”

(*hidden camera rolls*)

Host: “So far, so good!”

(*after the test-subject does what they wanted*)

“We have hidden cameras everywhere. And you nailed it, girl!”

And then, here’s me, while I’m listening to this:

Come on, guys, this isn’t that difficult.

We’re not making the world a less-judgmental place.

We are trying to teach people how to judge in more socially-accepted ways!

Now, before anyone gets the idea that I’m AGAINST this experiment–or AGAINST judgement in general–that’s not what I’m trying to say.

I’m pro-judgement, for this very reason.

I embraced the idea that I’m “judgmental” a long time ago, because I realized it’s impossible NOT to judge. 

I’d much rather admit to everyone that, yes, I’m watching you in public (and, yes, I think some are making good decisions and some are making bad ones), than try to pretend I’m not judgmental…WHILE SITTING BEHIND A CAMERA AND MONITORING HOW OTHER MOMS BEHAVE.

That’s just silly.

We can agree about this, right?

The only way to thank each other for doing something nice/good is if we judge first. Think about that. The problem isn’t watching and judging the choices other people make.

Instead, the problem is when we judge by unfair or untrue standards–such as giving ourselves a pass that we don’t give to others.  Or judging to make ourselves feel superior.

Once we understand that our goal is to start judging correctly, well then we’ve made a breakthrough.

Then we can have the conversation about whether it’s really fair and true that mothers should always “help” take pictures of a snotty kid who keeps sticking out his tongue.

(Yes, the host whispering “You better help, Lady!” still rubs me wrong. Like, maybe, if it were MY kid, I really wouldn’t want another mother to “help” by begging him to smile, when he’s being a turd. But, whatever.)

Anyway, my point is, embrace the fact that you’re judgmental.

Just embrace it!

At least when we admit that there are certain standards of behavior we expect other moms to follow–then these hidden-camera experiments actually make sense to test each other…

…instead of being completely hypocritical.

It’s Science!

Science doesn’t “say” anything.

Occasionally, a scientist will get involved with a cultural debate by sharing his/her opinions.  But, most of the time scientists are too busy asking questions and doing experiments to say for certain whether God exists or whether you “should” use cloth diapers or co-sleep with your baby.

So, when someone claims that “science says” something, what they mean is:

“Scientists published a research paper, which was interpreted by an internet magazine, which was turned into click bait by a few bloggers that I follow…

…and then I did some ‘research’ which involved Googling ‘Why Vaccines Will Kill You’…

…and that’s how I came to be educated about THE SCIENCE!”

The enlightened scholars rarely admit that research papers only take small samples of populations–and then publish suggestions about what might be happening to cause a certain result.

If they ever actually read any of the studies, they might stop pretending that scientific literature ever says anything like, “Therefore, you are correct and your mother-in-law is wrong–and spanking REALLY IS child abuse. Case closed.”

(No, that would be the internet magazine editor who came to that conclusion.)

But explaining this to an Enlightened Internet Scholar may be a lost cause.

Whatever skepticism they are capable of using, they tend to reserve ALL of it for any research papers that disagree with their favorite theories…

“Well, that’s just one, small study!”

Or, “That research group is known to be biased!”

Or, “Correlation does not equal causation!”

They simply will not apply the same criticisms, with the same intensity, to their own  side.

Therefore, if you can’t beat them, join them!

Don’t try to reason with a person who honestly believes “science says” the same thing as an opinion piece in “Psychology Today.”

Instead, just show them:

There is a God. (click)

Crying-to-sleep doesn’t damage children. (click)

Vaccines don’t cause autism. (click)

(Also, parents ought to spank their kids!)

*shrugs* If you want to stay ignorant, that’s fine with me.

I’M JUST TELLING YOU WHAT THE SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH SAYS!!!

 

Sanctimommy

This Isn’t a Hard Question, Doc.

So there I was, engaged to be married in roughly six months, waiting to see the “Lady Bits Doctor” for the first time. I was there for a pelvic exam and my first prescription for hormonal birth control.

20-years-old.

Virgin.

Accompanied by my mother.

I think that pretty much sets the stage…

Unfortunately, things weren’t going super smoothly.   Within 10 minutes, the Doc had already doubted my claim to virginity (by asking my mother whether she “believed me”) and then proceeded to demonstrate on a plastic model where the penis is supposed to go.

(Apparently he thought the reason I hadn’t been sexually active is because I didn’t know HOW.)

Shortly after that, we discussed the HPV vaccine, Gardasil, which I wrote about on my old blog, here.

Doc:  “It only takes having sex one time to catch it!”
Me:  “And are some people just born with HPV?”
Doc: “No, it’s an STD. But it’s spreading like crazy, and having sex with an infected person once puts you at risk.”
Me: “But, my fiance and I are virgins.”
Again, Doc repeated, “The virus…could put your unborn children in danger. Is it something you’re willing to gamble?”
Finally, I demanded a straight answer: “If two people have sex with ONLY each other, for life, is there a risk for HPV?”
“No,” he said almost begrudgingly.
“Well, then that sounds like a prenup to me. Thank you, I will opt out.”

I thought that my questions were clear and based on a fairly solid understanding of reproduction, so I couldn’t figure out why Doc seemed to be dodging.

But it wasn’t over yet.

Finally, we arrived at the Contraception Discussion, and I told Doc I was interested in “The Pill.”  So he began explaining how they work…

“The advantage to hormone birth control is that it prevents pregnancy TWO ways,”  Doc began.  “It’s designed to trick a woman’s body into thinking she’s already pregnant, which usually keeps her from ovulating. But, even if you were to ovulate, there is backup protection built in. Hormone pills thin the lining of the uterus, so an egg cannot implant.”

Oops!

Hang on, a minute!

I had another question.

“You mean a fertilized egg won’t be able to implant, right?”  I asked.

Again, Doc looked as if he had no idea why I might even be asking such a thing.

“Riiiight,” he said.

“So the human zygotes can’t attach where they’re supposed to?” I continued.

“Well, it’s just a back-up,” he replied, back-tracking. “Most women won’t ovulate at all.”

At this point, I sort of felt like grabbing his face and saying focus!  But, instead I asked, carefully, “Does the Pill cause very early miscarriages?”

Doc looked relieved!

“No, not miscarriages!” he assured me.   And he repeated again, “It just thins the lining of the uterus to keep eggs from implanting!”

Then Doc wrote my prescription. And I confidently took that version of The Pill for roughly three years before my husband and I decided to have our first baby.

The only problem was, my doctor’s answer wasn’t completely truthful.

And, now, I have no idea whether that pill actually prevented me from ovulating for three years, or if my husband and I conceived any humans that weren’t able to survive because of the “back up” feature.

Now, I don’t want to believe Doc “lied” on purpose.

Maybe he misunderstood what I was asking.  Maybe it was my fault for saying “miscarriage” instead of “spontaneous abortion,” which is the more medically-common term for early miscarriage. (It’s kind of like the word “murder” gets used for average people–while important folks get “assassinated.”)

If I had asked Doc whether The Pill causes “very early assassinations,” he would have been correct to say “no, not assassinations!!!”  But he also would have been wrong, if he knew what I meant and said “no” just to get rid of me.

The fact is, sometimes as many as half of women on hormone contraceptives will continue to ovulate, at least occasionally. And, if any of their eggs were fertilized, then the newly-conceived human zygotes would not be able to burrow into the uterus to be fed and grown.

Thanks to The Pill.

You can read more about it here.

I understand why a doctor would hesitate to answer a moral question, like “should I take the pill?”  or “will this make me a bad person?”

But the question I was trying to ask was a direct and fairly easy one.

“Will ‘The Pill’ make my womb an unsafe place for a newly-conceived human zygote?”

The answer to that is: YES.

 

My White People Tears

Today I learned that the website AfroPunk exists…

And people actually sit at their computers and write stuff like this: “Having White Friends Comes With Trauma I’m not Willing To Deal With Anymore”

“I can’t take no ‘mo, White People…

My dad warned me about White People when I was around 7 or 8. He told me that no matter how close I felt to these people, I would always be first and foremost Black in their mind.

…I’ve learned that Daddy-o was onto something and the ugly truth is that in one way or another, White friends, largely, just aren’t safe to have.”

But, if that’s not enough stupidity for you, read the comments!

Oh, the comments!

“White People” (both words capitalized) are down there telling this person they are sorry! They’re APOLOGIZING to someone with clear Borderline Personality Disorder.

Oh, man, I was surprised at first. But, the irony of the whole thing eventually became hilarious…

It’s just hysterical, because some people are so, deathly afraid of being called “racist” that they will become patronizingly racist, just to earn validation from black people.  HAHAHA!

They know exactly what will happen if they say anything other than “I’m so sorry, and you’re exactly right.” If they don’t walk the line, they will be threatened (and “dragged”) like this poor, uncooperative soul:

7.22.17 Racism

 

“You were warned.”

You were warned!

And apparently that warning is enough to make certain white people whimper and obediently chirp, “Yes, Massah.  Sorry, Massah.”

LOL!!!!

It’s fascinating!

Human behavior is fascinating, I say!

How enlightening, to watch the way certain people fight for power, when they’re too stupid to reason.  And that goes especially when they’re actually able to get some of that power because being “reasonable” isn’t necessary in today’s culture.

(They do it the same way my unreasonable children get power…by being insanely loud/annoying and eventually earning pity from people who realize they’re immature.)

Anyway, they’re right about one thing.

They’re right about the tears.

Whenever I read stuff like this, I can’t help crying:

 “I said [I hadn’t found a boyfriend], and her mother leaned across the table and grabbed my forearm reassuringly and said, ‘At least now you can meet someone of your own kind.’
It was like a punch in the face… it was the first time I allowed myself to acknowledge the malice being spewed at me by a White person I trusted.”

The phrase “your own kind” felt like a punch in the face to the woman…who now writes and publishes phrases like “I’m finding it hard to trust any White Person.” 

I’m crying!

When a girl wants sympathy because a white lady encouraged her to find a boyfriend of “her own kind”–and now she’s writing about how she can only handle friends OF HER OWN KIND–I start shedding white tears.

They’re really falling now:

 

 

I Would Do It Differently

I’ve heard people lament, “If only I had known what I know now…I would have done [THAT THING] totally differently!”

Most often, this applies to people who wish they could get their childhood back or to grandmothers/grandfathers who wish they could get their child’s childhood back and raise them differently…

These folks long for a time machine, saying things like, “Those years are precious.”

“Cherish them!”

“Don’t take it for granted like I did!”

Those who miss their own youth declare, “I would love to be care-free again!”

Those who have regrets about how they parented will say, “I would yell less and cuddle more….the time is so short!”

But, forgive me for noticing:  that sounds like a typical grandmother talking–not a mother.

I wonder, would it really be such a good thing, if we could go back in time to “savor” those “precious moments”?

Or, would changing the past end up changing who WE ARE, negatively?

Children aren’t designed to be raised by grandmothers who just want to cuddle.

We know bad things happen, when kids are doted upon and indulged by a “grandmotherly” figure who believes the world revolves around them.

If grandmothers could go back in time and raise their children the way they want their grandchildren raised, I’m afraid the results would be disastrous.

Likewise, people who long for their own childhood only appreciate how great things were because they can see things with an adult perspective now.  The adult-mind is what makes the child-memories so sweet.  

But, if an adult COULD go back in time and become a child again, all of those innocent, child-experiences would be ruined. They wouldn’t be innocent or childlike anymore.  In fact, there’s nothing “precious” about a lazy adult who (immaturely) chooses not to grow up…

Can’t we just be happy with the way things are?

Can’t we recognize that past experiences lead to our current reality, and if we have any sort of wisdom to offer, it’s because we earned it through all those things we say we want to change?

Playing the “what if” game doesn’t help anyone.

And, more importantly, we may be doing actual harm by warning young children and young parents not to make the same “mistakes” we did.

Maybe taking certain things for granted is a normal part of the human experience. Maybe children/mothers HAVE to under-appreciate those “precious moments” in order to become adults (or doting Grandmas) themselves someday?  

Why would we rob them of that?

It really isn’t such a great thing when adults try to hang on to their childhoods. And we don’t really want parents to re-raise their children after gaining a more “grandmotherly” philosophy.

They may think they would do things differently.  But, in many cases, maybe we should be glad they can’t.

“You’re Bad!”

In a three-year-old’s world, a “bad guy” is anyone who stands in the way…

My son tackled his little sister, so I made him sit on the couch.

“She’s bad!!!!”  he yelled, angrily.

Yesterday, he decided to climb on top of the car, instead of into his seat as instructed. This got him in trouble.

“You’re bad!”  he hollered at me.

But my favorite example of Good-Guy/Bad-Guy confusion came when he was playing a video game at his grandpa’s house.

“HELP ME, GRANDPA!!!! THE BAD GUYS ARE SHOOTING AT ME!”  Collin exclaimed desperately.

The “bad guys” were actually the Sherriff’s men, coming to arrest him for terrorizing towns people.

“I’m not going to help you,” my dad told Collin.  “I warned you that they would come arrest you, if you started shooting the good guys.”

I added: “You made a bad choice, Collin. And now YOU’RE the bad guy!”


 

Nobody wants to think of themselves as the “Bad Guy.”    From our own perspective, we’re always the hero–always right.

I had a conversation with Collin at church yesterday which confirmed he still thinks this is true.

“I’m the Good Guy already!”

It’s only other people–like his mother and little sister–who are “bad” and need to change.

Again, this is normal for a not-quite-four-year-old. But it makes me wonder why some people never grow out of it.

Time will tell whether Collin comes to understand… or if he grows into an adult who still believes he’s perfect.

But, if the day ever comes when he changes his motto from “You’re bad!” to “I’m bad,” there is hope for him yet…

There’s “I’m sorry, that was wrong” and “Please forgive me” and “I want to do better.”

For all have sinned and fall short of God’s glorious standard, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.

Would Your Mental Illness Be Different In China?

This article is from 2010:

The Americanization of Mental Illness

So… why have I been so unfortunate as to miss it until now?!

I strongly suggest you read the original, but the basic premise is: Americans don’t know as much about mental illness as they think…

…and, unfortunately, we’re teaching the rest of the world to have the same symptoms we do.

“This unnerving possibility springs from recent research by a loose group of anthropologists and cross-cultural psychiatrists. Swimming against the biomedical currents, they have argued that mental illnesses are not discrete entities, like the polio virus, with their own natural histories. These researchers have amassed an impressive body of evidence suggesting that mental illnesses have never been the same the world over (either in prevalence or in form) but are inevitably sparked and shaped by the ethos of particular times and places…

That is, until recently.

For more than a generation now, we in the West have aggressively spread our modern knowledge of mental illness around the world. We have done this in the name of science, believing that our approaches reveal the biological basis of psychic suffering and dispel pre-scientific myths and harmful stigma. [But] there is now good evidence to suggest that in the process of teaching the rest of the world to think like us, we’ve been exporting our Western ‘symptom repertoire’ as well. That is, we’ve been changing not only the treatments but also the expression of mental illness in other cultures. Indeed, a handful of mental-health disorders — depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and anorexia among them — now appear to be spreading across cultures with the speed of contagious diseases.”

I’ll confess, I had to read that twice. It’s a mouthful.

But, basically, as I already said:  American experts (and people-who-just-think-they’re-experts) are changing the way people in other cultures experience mental illness, just by passing on our assumptions.

As Dr. Sing Lee (a psychiatrist at Chinese University of Hong Kong) puts it:

“When there is a cultural atmosphere in which professionals, the media, schools, doctors, psychologists all recognize and endorse and talk about and publicize eating disorders, then people can be triggered to consciously or unconsciously pick eating-disorder pathology as a way to express that conflict.”

WHY ISN’T THIS BEING DISCUSSED?!?!?!

Why are we sharing memes on social media about how “mental illness is exactly like diabetes or broken bones”–instead of educating ourselves about how changing your thinking can actually change your physical symptoms???

Oh, that’s right…

It’s because one of the cultural assumptions Americans have created is that OUR way of dealing with mental illness is “scientific”–and therefore, it’s objective and “right.”

The idea that Western conception of mental health might be shaping the expression of illnesses in other cultures is rarely discussed in the professional literature. Many modern mental-health practitioners and researchers believe that the scientific standing of our drugs, our illness categories, and our theories of the mind have put the field beyond the influence of cultural trends/beliefs…

Modern-day mental-health practitioners often look back at previous generations of psychiatrists and psychologists with a thinly veiled pity, wondering how they could have been so swept away by the cultural currents of their time… [They] prefer to believe that the 844 pages of the DSM-IV…describe real disorders of the mind…relatively unaffected by shifting cultural beliefs. And, it logically follows, if these disorders are unaffected by culture, then they are surely universal to humans everywhere. In this view, the DSM is a field guide to the world’s psyche, and applying it around the world represents simply the brave march of scientific knowledge.”

Ouch.

And so true.

American experts and mental illness advocates think, “We’ve got science. They’ve got superstition.”

So we assume our versions of depression/anxiety/PTSD have always existed, and now (thanks to Western research, of course!) we’ve got names for them and medications which ought to help the entire world.

Unfortunately, that’s just not the case.

Most psychiatrist and psychologists are familiar with AMERICAN symptoms and treatments.

But, though a broken bone is the same in all cultures, a mental illness is not. 

What a huge piece of information!

It could potentially change the way we treat the various symptoms of mental illnesses across the globe…if only Americans were willing to learn something instead of doing the “educating” all the time.

If we were honest about the way symptoms can be influenced, one of the obvious questions we would ask is, “Can we ‘catch’ symptoms from other cultures, they way they have been ‘catching’ them from us?”

Why couldn’t we change the way we experience mental illness, by changing the way we think about them?

Yikes.  I can hear the American protests already.

“NO! Mental illness isn’t a choice!”

“It’s just like diabetes!”

“SCIENCE!”

Perhaps we’re not nearly as open to influence and new ideas as we like to believe…

If we WERE truly open-minded, perhaps we’d see cases of China’s older (milder) version of Anorexia spreading across the United States, instead of passing our deadlier version on to them…


Anyway, I’ll wrap up with one more summarizing quote, but I’d love to discuss it further with others who find it as fascinating as I do.

“What cross-cultural psychiatrists and anthropologists have to tell us is that all mental illnesses, including depression, P.T.S.D. and even schizophrenia, can be every bit as influenced by cultural beliefs and expectations today as hysterical-leg paralysis or the vapors or zar or any other mental illness ever experienced in the history of human madness. This does not mean that these illnesses and the pain associated with them are not real, or that sufferers deliberately shape their symptoms… It means that a mental illness is an illness of the mind and cannot be understood without understanding the ideas, habits and predispositions — the idiosyncratic cultural trappings — of the mind that is its host.”

Hm…

That doesn’t sound like diabetes to me…

How Women Can Process Emotions Without Bringing the “Lady Tears”

If you’re a woman who has been in Male Rights Activist spaces, then you’ve probably experienced a specific, often unspoken ground rule: There’s no room for “Lady Tears” in this space.

This sort of rule is instilled because, in other spaces, your emotions are constantly centered, nurtured, and coddled when it comes to conversations about gender equality.

Rather than focusing on how feminism is inherently unequal (and the lived experiences and traumas of men raised with Feminist values), the focus is placed on the host of emotions that women go through when confronted with this anti-male reality.

As an Evangelical male, I’m a pretty big fan of the “No Lady Tears” rule.

It’s nice to be in spaces where I can feel free to say what I want and talk about complex systems of male oppression without having to worry about the feelings of the women in the room.

 

Below is a list of some of the ways that you ladies can avoid centering yourselves in conversations about gender:

 1. Pause Before Contributing to the Conversation

I had this one lady at my church who would constantly send me links to explicit videos, photos, and commentary about injustice toward boys/men.

Sometimes, she would add her own two cents to these links, saying things like “OMG! Isn’t this terrible!” and “My aunt is a radical feminist who mocked this video.”

I finally had to tell her to stop sending me links because I didn’t need to see them.

I was already aware of what’s going on, and even if I wasn’t, I didn’t need to hear her commentary. What my friend thought she was doing was showing solidarity with me by starting conversations about Men’s Rights. She wanted to show me that she actively condemned violence against men and boys.

But what she was actually doing was making me vastly uncomfortable and making me wonder why she felt the need to constantly prove how not-sexist she was.

I know that women do this in order to prove that they’re “good female allies,” but it comes off as patronizing.

What you need to do is understand that your voice does not always need to be heard. Part of female supremacy as a larger system is the idea that females have been oppressed for generations–so now they are more “objective” authorities of what’s happening in the culture.

This kind of socializing can – and does – carry over even for women who sympathize with the Male Rights Movement. Remember that while your experiences shape your worldview, they’re not the most important experiences in the room.

2. Check the Other Women in the Room

A female ally shared something I had written about male suicide on her Facebook page, which I was definitely okay with.

What I wasn’t okay with, however, was when one of her female friends replied with, “Well, I don’t think that’s correct, my opinion is…” I waited a few hours for my friend to call out this Feminist for the many harmful, reductive things she wrote, but that never came.

I know it’s “just” Facebook, but I’m gonna be real: I felt hurt and betrayed.

In that moment, all I could think was: Oh, so you agree with me to my face, but you can’t even defend me or check your Feminist friends?

The thing is, as a woman, you have to constantly educate other women.

If you are truly committed to EQUALITY for the sexes, standing up to Feminists must be part of your everyday life.

While you might have to have an uncomfortable conversation for a few minutes, we men have to deal with misandry for the rest of our lives.

3. Excuse Yourself If You’re Having Strong Emotions

A few months ago, I was having a conversation in a group of both males and females. We had been discussing child custody–and specifically fathers whose children were stolen or aborted by mothers taking advantage of a biased family court system.

Many of the men in the room were having a very difficult time. It was a hard-but-healing kind of conversation. That is, until one of the women in the room began to cry.

Suddenly, the tone of the conversation shifted. Half of the men in the room went to comfort her. The other half, myself included, rolled our eyes, crossed our arms, and completely tuned the discussion out.

The only thing going through my mind was, Why do we have to deal with her right now? She took a conversation that predominately affected the men in the room and made it about her Lady Tears. 

As a woman in a Father’s Rights conversation, if you find yourself having a strong emotional reaction, excuse yourself from the situation.

It should not be anyone’s place to have to comfort you when you’re confronted with your own Female Supremacy.

****

I know this is all hard stuff to process.

But these are small, tangible steps that you as a woman can take to continue your work against misandry.

It’s important to recognize that anti-feminist work is always going to be hard. It will make you uncomfortable, and that’s okay. This is all a part of a true liberation process.

______________________________________

Note: if this letter offends you, please click on the link to see where I copied it from, HERE.  If you’re put off by an Evangelical male who hates “lady tears,” but you’re okay with a black woman who hates “white tears,” then I’d love to know why.

 

Your Kid Is a Brat

Yes, your kid is a brat… at least, sometimes.

And I know it’s true, because mine are brats sometimes, too.

That’s why I have a couple extra thoughts or counter-points for the people who like this woman’s approach to sharing:

 

On the one hand, she’s correct.  Children don’t HAVE to share their toys…

And it’s true there is an epidemic of people who feel entitled to have what others have, even when they haven’t earned it.

The entitled attitude likely begins in childhood, where teachers and parents carefully indoctrinate tiny socialists with the idea that being a good citizen means SHARING. And, if you won’t share, the government will make you.

I agree that’s bad.

For example, a wealthy entrepreneur with really neat possessions may be completely selfish with those possessions if he wants to be. (And I don’t automatically deserve a piece of his possessions, even if I call my piece “taxes.”) 🙂

However, if my child is the one with the really neat possessions on the play ground, then I’m going to take the opportunity to teach him/her that the best part about having “stuff” is letting others enjoy it.


Thankfully, my oldest daughter already knows the joy of sharing.  She’s a gift-giver, like her daddy.  It makes her happy to watch other people play with something that she also likes to play with…

…which is why she bought a light-saber for her little brother for HER BIRTHDAY.

Yes, she really did.

Of course, I didn’t tell her she had to make sure her siblings had gifts.  But she wanted him to open something.  And, for that reason, she ended up enjoying the gift part of the party even more than she normally would.

This is a complicated truth, especially for young children, who are possessive by nature. But, it’s a truth nonetheless.

“It’s far better to give than to receive…”

Furthermore, if a child doesn’t learn the positive effects of being generous, he or she will quickly discover there is a downside to being That Kid Who Always Says “MINE!” or “NO!”

Eventually, the other kids will stop being interested in your Transformer and your Minecraft figurine…

That’s a big let-down for “That Kid” who likes to flaunt his favorite toys, just to yank it away when another gets too close. “That Kid” enjoys the power of deciding who gets to play and who doesn’t…  (And, no, don’t act like your kid wouldn’t be “That Kid,” because  ALL kids are “those kids” who tease others sometimes.)

Eventually, the other kids get tired of being led around on a leash by “That Kid” so they say, “I don’t want to play with your stupid Transformer anyway. Mine is better.”   And then they go somewhere else.

I’m not saying this is “right”–but I AM saying it’s the natural response to a kid who won’t share his toys. The others will exclude him in return.  And playing with those really cool toys suddenly won’t be as really cool, without an audience.

Tough lesson, Junior.

Not only is he lonely, playing by himself, but if he decides later that he DOES want to play with the others, it may be too late. They might treat him to his own medicine.

“No.”

“We don’t HAVE to play with you.”

Is Junior’s mom going to give me a dirty look because my brats are excluding her brat (who did the same thing five minutes earlier)?

Technically, mine don’t HAVE to feel compassion for your son, if he gets to the point where he has lots of cool toys and ZERO friends, right?


No, my kids don’t have to share.

But, you see, I will teach them they will be better off treating Junior the way they want to be treated, because they will be happier in the long run if they do.

They should treat Junior the way they want to be treated, even if he acts like a brat first (Because, I will point out, “Sometimes YOU GUYS act like brats, too!”)

Again, I understand being concerned that other kids are too entitled.  I get it!  And I know being forced to share changes everything.  If I had told my daughter she HAD to get presents for her siblings on her birthday, the magic would have been lost. It was beautiful because she chose freely to be generous.

But I’m not worried about teaching my kids to say “no” more often.  (I mean, seriously, it has been their favorite word since they were toddlers. They don’t need more practice.)

I’d rather they give TOO much and have their generosity taken advantage of than to have kids who grow into stingy adults.  I’d hate if they learned to protect their “stuff” at the expense of making new friendships.

Eventually, they may look around at their piles of cool toys and realize they have no one to say “no” to anymore. Because everyone is gone!

Ultimately, no one likes to play with a brat…