Archive | September, 2013

Feminists admit they are “intellectually challenged”

29 Sep

Award winning novelist and teacher David Gilmour dared to speak the unspeakable.  He prefers male novelists and so teaches their books.  Needless to say, this prompted a bit of a feminist firestorm in response.  Perhaps the feminist outrage was best articulated by Professor Jessica Langston in her letter to the National Post:

“Like many, I am offended by David Gilmour’s comments — I am, after all, a female professor who teaches Canadian and First Nations literature…

“… Mr. Gilmour is denying himself and his students the privilege and responsibility of his profession to be intellectually and emotionally challenged. How would we ever learn anything if we only read and discussed books about our own experiences? [my bold]

“If Mr. Gilmour is teaching any course besides one titled, “Middle-Aged, White Male Writers,” he’s not providing his students with an accurate socio-cultural picture. He should remember that white, heterosexual males have long been the normative standard; it is important to offer students dissenting or marginal voices.”

It is rather clear that the feminist academic position is that they should be “intellectually challenged.”  Judging by Professor Langston’s  letter, feminists have been most successful in this regard. And I must agree with her that hers is a decidedly marginal voice.

As for heterosexual and normative (sometimes expressed as “heteronormative”) this really means that male+not gay+white=bad.  However, feminists need a Ph.D. before they really understand this complex concept.

The key point to take away from all of this is simple.  The next time you read the words of a feminist, understand what you are really reading.  The product of someone who is intellectually challenged.

Poem: Within This Sphere

25 Sep
I stand inside an unknown sphere
Fashioned of a perfect glass
To the naked eye it won't appear
Long time within have I amass'd

My gossamer globe eludes their eye
It rests atop a pinnacle
As with clouds, my life drifts by
In weather somewhat cynical

I see the world as eagle spies
Gazing through my perfect sphere
I thought to ask the question "why?"
But through the glass they couldn't hear

Thus despondent I have grown
My voice, it echoes back at me
Long frustration have I known
For the future I in silence see

(c) 2013 The Author, all rights reserved.

Our schools need to help boys become men? Part III

17 Sep
In Part I, we saw an article that highlighted how poorly schools were doing with boys. In Part II, we saw that we should expect the exact opposite: there should be more boys excelling at school than girls, given the different distributions of intelligence.
So what the heck is going on?
To figure this out, we need to go back to Christina Hoff Sommer’s exceptional book The War Against Boys. Let’s do a super-condensced, Readers’ Digest version of it:
– In 1990, feminist Harvard academic Carol Gilligan informed the world that “America’s adolescent girls were in crisis.” Despite there being no real empirical evidence for this claim, feminists went berserk such that in a relatively short time, the topic became a virtual national emergency. Only there wasn’t one – it was all morbid feminist fantasy.
– Entities like the American Association of University Women (AAUW) marketed “research” which supported this girl-victim fantasy, but tended to ignore or exclude research showing that it wasn’t true. It’s as if every feminist organization in the US wanted this to be “true,” and went out of its way to make it appear so. And, as they say, a lie repeated often enough becomes the truth.
– In response to this dire “crisis” – all feminist rubbish – Congress even enacted the Gender Equity in Education Act. Now feminist researchers and activists had even more money to “research” the non-existent problem of mass suffocation of girls’ education.
– The reality was that: girls were getting better grades; girls had higher educational aspirations; they followed amore rigorous academic program; they participated more in the prestigious Advanced Placement (AP) program; there were slightly more female students enrolled in high-level math and science courses; and girls outnumbered boys in student governments, at school newspapers, and even in debating clubs. Don’t get me going about reading and writing. Sports was the only area in which boys held a lead, and feminist activists targeted this “with a vengeance.”
– Even teachers generally believed the feminist propaganda – goodness knows the media was terribly irresponsible in parroting feminist claims. This was even though the truth of boys’ educational plight was staring teachers right in the face.
– Hence came a bunch of initiatives to address the girls’ “crisis.” What these were really doing was giving girls an unfair advantage in school. “In the United States, a proposal to do something special for boys usually gets plowed under before it has a chance to take root.” Britain was much more advanced than the US in recognizing boys’ problems; apparently Canada is nothing to brag about.
– As if this wasn’t bad enough, feminists starting to consider the cause of this girls’ “crisis.” Clearly it was due to “patriarchy” – according to feminists, boys were socialized to be dominant and to suppress adolescent girls in school. Thus, boys were to be socialized to be like girls. Thus, the very essence of being a boy became bad in the education system, although this wasn’t obvious. Feminists held that men were responsible for all violence.
– This more or less starts the feminist belief that gender is merely a “social construct” in earnest. Since boys’ gender is obviously bad (to feminists), they basically have to “educate” boys to behave socially like girls. Which, if you’re a boy, is really not much fun at all. Despite this having no basis in reality, this is what was and still is happening.
– Thus, you have the fabricated adolescent girls’ “crisis” at the very time that girls had generally caught up to boys in school. Feminists activists go to town to correct the “crisis,” and suppress any notion that this is all rubbish. Girls are given substantial extra resources to get ahead, while at the same time just being a boy was unofficially and surreptitiously declared to be “bad.” Normal male behaviour was effectively defined as bad and was to be driven out of them through deceptive educational policies and practices. As a result, boys are made to feel bad about themselves merely for being boys, although this is never generally openly stated.
All under the deranged feminist guise of the manufactured “crisis” for girls. How on Earth could such an outrageous, fraudulent, deceitful, duplicitous, heartless, cunning, manipulative and controlling feminist program of oppression of boys in the educational system ever have taken place, and why hasn’t it been corrected?
As it turns out, there is a very rational explanation as to why.
(To be continued …)

Our schools need to help boys become men? Part II

11 Sep

Having further thought about the topic of boys and schools, I’ve decided to break this subject into more parts than originally planned. Each part should be interesting in its own right, and the overall discussion will be easier to comprehend and more interesting.

I didn’t really understand the issue of boys and schools until I began analyzing feminism from a military perspective. Sounds weird, but it led to a fascinating discovery. This comes in subsequent posts. Anyhow, in the process I came across two incredible books by Christina Hoff Sommers, Ph.D.

Hoff Sommers is a mother of two boys. She is a bit of an intellectual “mama bear” in protecting her boys (and everyone else) from feminism. The first book was Who Stole Feminism? How Women Have Betrayed Women. (A must read for anyone who embraces or despises feminism.) The 2nd book – the mama bear one – was The War Against Boys – How Misguided Feminism Is Harming Our Young Men. It’s this 2nd book that I’ll focus on for the moment.

Hoff Sommers cites some important facts regarding intelligence and gender:

Nancy Cole, president of the Educational Testing Service, terms it the “spread” phenomenon. On almost any intelligence or achievement test, male scores are more spread out than female scores at the extremes of ability and disability: there are more male prodigies at the high-end and more males of marginal ability at the low-end. Or, as the political scientist James Q. Wilson once put it, “There are more male geniuses and more male idiots.”

To illustrate this concept – a picture’s worth a thousand words, after all -, here are the results of one major study on the topic:

GENDER IQ

We see that the girl’s curve is taller and narrower. Thus, in general girls tend to be closer to average (pink) in IQ scores than boys. The boy’s curve is shorter and wider. Thus, in general boys tend to be farther from average (pink) in IQ score than girls. Just like Hoff Sommers has informed us: there are more male geniuses (farther to the right of average) and more male idiots (farther to the left of average) than we find with females.

This is 100% pure statistics, and 0% gender politics. The sky is blue; the clouds are white. It is what it is, and nothing more.

Now pretend that you are a school district superintendent. You are responsible for a bunch of schools, and the education of all the district’s girls and boys. You know about gender and intelligence, so what do you expect to see in the overall results from your schools? One thing is that you might expect there to be more boys who excel academically than girls. (Let’s ignore possible other factors, such as work ethic differences).

That is, if our school system was working equally well for both genders, we would expect more boys than girls on the honour rolls, and perhaps more male high school graduates going off to university.

If we further consider the region to the left of the green line, since there are more male anti-geniuses, we might even expect more boys than girls to drop out of school at the higher grades, maybe in high school Grade 11 or 12. If this was actually happening to any significant degree, it would have the effect of shifting the remaining boys’ average intelligence to the right (or to a higher average) when compared to girls’.

Thus, we might expect more boys than girls amongst top students to be slightly even more pronounced. Not because boys are smarter than girls overall, because they are not. But because of the differences in how male and female intelligence scores are naturally distributed.

Yet according to our article from Part I, girls are absolutely creaming boys in school in terms of academic performance. I understand over 60% of students entering university are young women (which makes finding a good boyfriend tough, apparently). From our statistics, we would expect just the opposite of what is actually happening if our schools were working right. Therefore, there must be something wrong with our schools. They’re either grossly favouring girls, disadvantaging boys, or worst of all, both.

So what’s really going on? (to be continued …)

* * * A little more explanation on the graph for those interested * * *

I added the coloured lines in the image. If you go right, it means higher IQ scores. If you go left, it means lower IQ scores. For any given IQ score (i.e., left or right), how high the curve is above represents the percentage of boys or girls who score at that IQ level. Roughly, the higher the curve above a given IQ point, the more boys or girls will score there. Roughly again, the lower the curve above a given IQ point, the fewer boys or girls will score there.

The average IQ score for boys and girls is at the pink line. Average IQ, due to symmetry, occurs at each bell curve’s middle, which is also where its peak occurs. So, each peak happens at the average IQ score – it’s how bell curves work. Since the same vertical pink line hits both peaks, it means that both averages – boys’ and girls’ – must be the same. If the average intelligence scores for boys and girls were different, then these peaks (which occur at the IQ averages) would be offset from one another to the left or right, and then we would need two different pink lines. Or maybe a baby blue line one too instead.

To the right of the blue line is the “more male geniuses” region. The male curve is higher than the female curve in this region. The red double arrow highlights this difference (more male geniuses) at a single, arbitrary high IQ score. To the left of the green line is “more male anti-geniuses” (i.e., noticeably below average IQ scores). Once again, we find more boys than girls, as the male curve is higher than the female curve in this region too.

In contrast, we find more girls in the in-between region, as here the girls’ curve is higher. Girls’ intelligence scores tend to be closer to average than boys, so we find more girls here.

Our schools need to help boys become men? Part I

9 Sep

This article hit home for me as a father of two sons, now 17 and 19.  I thought it best to run this as a two-part post.

Part I is the short article from a respected Canadian newspaper. It deals with an issue I understand to be near-universal amongst the major English-speaking nations. There is no need to comment on Part I, other than to perhaps express interest or declare that you’ve read the article.

Part II will be my thoughts, and one work in particular that has corroborated these thoughts. It is here that I would invite comments from those interested, especially as to whether or not my Part II had any influence upon your final position (if indeed you have one).  Part II will probably happen on the weekend.

Here it is: Our schools need to help boys become men

Cheers.

Disney, Brave, Merida – A Tribute to Women

5 Sep

To the Women of America (and all other women):

As one who used to hunt nuclear attack submarines as a younger man, this may seem to be a strange admission: I really liked Disney’s movie Brave. And not because I have a fetish for fiery redheads.

Maybe. Some things are classified for a good reason.

Anyhow, I’ve come to suspect that Disney is particularly careful in considering the themes of its movies. Almost to the point of positive social messaging, perhaps. Doesn’t the main character’s name in Brave – Merida – sound more than a bit like ‘Merica (i.e., America)?
And so, at the risk of scorn, let’s consider Brave from the perspective of being a subtle message to the women of America, and by extension other women.
The men in Brave are a collection of buffoons, twits, and nincompoops. This comic but mildly negative portrayal of men is just what McGill University academics Paul Nathanson and Katherine Young were writing about in their book Spreading Misandry (hatred of men). But it does juxtapose brilliantly with Merida.
I used “juxtapose” to seem as if I’m really smart and educated. Don’t believe everything you’re told.
Merida is the fiery sorta-Scottish small town princess who out-guys the young guys in all the guy stuff: galloping horses, archery, and the like. If feminists had masculine sexual apparatuses, they’d be standing at full attention at the very thought of this, and it’s not hard to understand why.
Sorry. Couldn’t resist.
But a witch, an evil bear, and one traditional mother later, and Merida comes to realize that she’s been selfish. In trying to be a better man than the men, she abandoned the essential contribution women make to society. A contribution which is essential in regulating the masculine half, amongst other things.
Where would we be without you?
Were I to use my Grade Six Health class as an analogy, think of red and white blood cells. Red blood cells are the ones that carry oxygen throughout the body (i.e., nurturing women). White bloods cells fight infections (and demon bears; i.e., protective men). If all the red blood cells decide to act as white blood cells, it doesn’t matter how good they are at it.
Who’s left to carry the oxygen, and what do you think will happen to the body?
Brave is both a tribute to women who embrace the essential traditional contributions of women to society, and a frank but subliminal message to young women, especially in the American social context. Men aren’t capable of replacing you; never going to happen. By abandoning the essential traditional role of women in society – the quintessential feminine duty, if you will -, we are all harmed by it.
Some will immediately attack this as sexist. They delight in “strong” Merida’s showing up the young men. But as Brave shows us, Merida isn’t truly strong until she has the courage to accept what it truly means to be a woman. (In the majority of instances, obviously.)
Whether it’s my own mother, or mother of seven (really??!) and delightful blogger Dotta R., I can only pay just tribute by saying that your sacrifices and contribution are as important to society as that of any man, be he The President, some CEO, or whatever.
How obvious does a truth have to be before Disney feels compelled to make a movie about it?
For the young women of America, and the world, I’m not telling you how to live your lives. Your decisions, not mine. But what I am telling you is that you are inherently beautiful for being women. You are inherently, absolutely, and 100% as important as any guy.
So find the courage to discover the woman whom you were meant to be, and love her in a good way. She deserves it.

Child Support

2 Sep

I’ve come to admire Opinionated Man’s blog Harsh Reality. His post on child support resonated with me as a divorced father. The reality for us divorced fathers is even worse than OM realizes, and I’ll be blogging (and writing) about this in the future . Child support is a tree in a bigger forest that remains invisible at present. (“Couldn’t see the forest for the trees.”)

The Harsh Reality – forgive the pun – is that child support systems are typically engineered to force divorce dads into being “deadbeats.” Once analyzed, this is what child support systems are actually accomplishing, despite rhetoric to the contrary. They are debt traps for divorced fathers. They are a self-fulfilling prophesy of sorts.

It is the system itself which is producing as many “deadbeat” dads as it can, and there is a sinister reason why this is so. Sinister enough that it provoked me into writing my first book.

For now, kudos to OM for bringing attention to this important topic.