And this is interesting
|May 6 2012, 8:29 PM |
The first two articles reflect my view that fathers' "right" to their children is not respected by US laws and courts. Having been through this process, I know what I am talking about:
|May 7 2012, 2:12 AM |
I recently read that contrary to the popular perception, teen sex and teen pregnancy is actually way down now.
. . . . .
I think kids get a lot of lecturing in school about the hazards of sex.
And what's up is the number of teens who say they are gay.
The author didn't know if homosexual was actually up or just more teens are willing to admit it now.
It doesn't have the stigma it once had.
And as I mention in a previous post- the number of marriages is way down- the lowest ever recorded.
I don't know the reasons but there has been a lot of changes since we were growing up.
|May 7 2012, 8:21 AM |
I don't think it is just boys who are more leery of girls, but men also more leery of women. I know a number of very nice guys who abstain from even trying to have reationships with women beyond casual co-worker comaraderie. Women apparently feel safe in being forward and making critical comments about males, but for men this is more risky. They have been well-drilled on the dangers of sexual harassment and sexual discrimination -- it can cost a man both legally and financially. And, from what I have seen, women are more free to openly talk and laugh about sexual matters, including a review (with other women) of the man's sexual abilities or lack thereof. I have overheard conversations between women that included descriptions of their date's penis (positive and negative), with much laughter at what would be great embarassment for the male. Men I have spoken to don't go into as much detail . . I don't think they want to paint that picture of their date's body for me . . and do so more in whispers or behind a closed door with one other person (man). Funny how the traditional images were of swaggering, boastful men, and the discreet, delicate and easily embarassed women. Now the roles appear to have reversed, at least in my experience.
Even on TV
|May 7 2012, 9:27 AM |
Yes, I think we can point to countless examples of this- like just look at how men's roles on TV have changed. We have gone from shows like "Father knows best" in the '50s where the dad is the respected head of the family to "Family guy", "Married with children", "Home improvement" where husbands are pictured as bumbling idiots and it's the wife who keeps sanity in the family. In fact, this is now so much the standard TV sitcom formula- sensible women, idiot husbands- that I can't think of a TV sitcom in the last twenty years that hasn't been like this. It's no wonder that boys grow up with no self-esteem. . . . . .
I definitely think there is a trend toward "role reversal" but I havent seen any fear from my two. Just the opposite unfortunately. My older son is increasingly focused on the idea of sex. Its not that hes not aware of things like pregnancy and disease, but being realistic, I suspect that if the opportunity comes along, he will take it.
After the other posters experience with his son I have to admit Ive been holding my breath. I know its not far off. Suspect we will prepare before it happens - at least I hope so!
For the rest - let me think lol. It's been a while since I've had a chance to post, but clearly there are differences in our opinions!
Teen Years Can Be Different
|May 22 2012, 9:37 AM |
My elder son was a Freshman in high school (about 11 years ago) and told me that he was attending the Prom with a Senior girl. I assumed it was wishful thinking and told him not to get his hopes up (in my day, no Junior would have anything to do with a Freshman, let alone a Senior, who barely tolerated the Juniors). When he later reaffirmed his date, I assumed that the girl must not be too attractive if she had to "settle" for asking out a Freshman. Boy was I wrong! The girl, and a female friend, came over to the house and, what a cutie! Obviously, things had changed since I was in school.
That same son always thought he was something. He took his early success with girls as recurring proof of his desirability. I told him, "Don't get too cocky. When you are a teenager, just being male carries a lot of weight with girls, who tend to want to go steady sooner than boys." He continued to feel confident until he got into his 20's and his stock declined. Whereas just being male was good enough before, by the early 20's young ladies expect more . . they want to see that the guy is preparing for a career and a lifestyle that is at least comfortable and affords opportunities. On that, I was correct, but my son refused to heed, continuing to assume that a male with a high school diploma, nice hair and a cheerful personality would continue to garner female respect. He is learning the hard way that these qualities he possesses are woefully inadequate.
So, I think your sons are in that respite period right now -- thanks to the attitude of girls that age -- and unless they continue to excel into their 20's, they will be in for some hard knocks. And, when they enter the working world, and depending upon their chosen profession, they may well find they are in competition with women and in settings rife with gender conflict. The presumption (increasingly false, I think) is still that the red carpet gets rolled out for males. So, females are then encouraged to feel both at risk for victimhood from males and a supposed patriarchal environment, and to attack that supposed preferential treatment of males by knocking them back on their heels.
Some here and in other venues claim I over-dramatize the anti-male aspects of American society. Certainly, there will always be males who succeed, but I think part of the cost of doing so is a demonstrated willingness of those men to throw males in general under the bus. When women note that males are still disproportionately the top executives in corporations and the major politicians, I respond that the only thing those men have in common with me is the design of genitalia. I, and most men, mean nothing to male leaders, and they are only too quick to levy punishments upon the mass of men if that appears to be the best way for them to maintain their position and wealth. Note that a male executive or politician does not have to prove he is anti-male, but rather must show that he is not anti-female. That, and he stands vulnerable to discrimination and harassment lawsuits. Being male (or white) is seen as further proof that he would favor a person like myself, so he is under the gun to show otherwise and bash me as necessary.
Actually, I think I could get a better break from a woman, or minority, than another white male, as I then have a (albeit smaller) stick to whack back at them with accusations of being anti-male, or anti-white. To be sure, such accusations are not taken near as seriously as those by a woman or minority against a white male. But at least it is something.
Another thing I notice from my working experience: Females who see that a man is down are quick to point up that fact to him, with some relish. It is part of the punishment, having the knife twisted by women and his supposed "male ego" further bruised.
Re: Boys Afraid of Girls
|May 22 2012, 10:52 AM |
The quoted articles, which in turn quoted several other articles, impresses me as a case of writers and newspeople who are only talking to one another and really don't have much of an idea what anyone else is thinking or doing. Boys are more romantic than they used to be? Used to be when? Ten years ago? Thirty years ago? Sixty years ago?
All of that notwithstanding, there are some women that men, if not boys, are afraid of, in a sense. It is the beautiful woman. Here I speak only of myself, of course. I have no idea what anyone else thinks, although others here are never afraid to make such assumptions. But anyhow, a really beautiful woman, and I've known a few, can be sort of intimidating. One might be a little reluctant to ask such a woman for a date for fear of being rejected. That does nothing for your confidence, you know. Oh, I realize the rich among you don't have too many worries like that. You dress right and have a nice car and don't have to flip hamburgers to get through school but for the rest of us, it is a problem.
Oh the other hand, I suppose there's girls in the same boat.
|May 22 2012, 12:28 PM |
"Here I speak only of myself, of course. I have no idea what anyone else thinks, although others here are never afraid to make such assumptions. "
Just once, Blue, I'd like to see you take a leap into positing a viewpoint, an opinion, an assumption of your own . . without worrying about being right, or not covering every possible situation. You DO make sassumptions . . we all do. They may not always be right, but if we don't assume some things, it would be hard to function in life. When you are driving, I assume that you assume that other people will abide by the convention of traffic lights. But, it is certainly possible that someone might not. So, to avoid making a potentially erroneous assumption, do you approach each intersection with trepidation, unsure in the knowledge that a green light means you are safe to keep driving through the intersection, and that crossing traffic will stop for red? Sometimes that is not an accurate assumption, but I think you and most of us make the sassumption in order to function adequately.
Or, when you enter a store, do you not assume a degree of safety? Or, do you not wish to make that assumption, considering the possibility that any of a number of fellow shoppers could produce an AK 47 from beneath their coats and mow you down. There are parts of the globe where an assumption of safety might not be realistic. But here, in U.S., or in Europe, etc. if you did not make the assumption of safety (albeit, there is no guarantee) how could you, or I, function in society?
So, if we make assumptions about some things, why are other assumptions considered (by you) folly? Courage Blue, make and express some assumptions. I might not agree with your assumptions, but it would be refreshing and welcome to me to read them.
Re: Just Once
|May 22 2012, 2:04 PM |
Now that's funny. It's usually someone else who complains about my opinions.
I make assumptions all the time but when I don't think they're warranted, I usually don't. I just don't care to see people making posts and making statements that are assumptions about everyone. They may be nice, neat and logical but they're usually wrong.
I read some firearms forums and I disagree with a lot I read on them. I like to say I'm the resident cynic. In the case of public safety in a department store, I assume safety. That's been my experience over the last 55 years, the previous ten I don't remember well enough and probably didn't go places on my own. I do drive with some trepidation, though, because I've had a couple of accidents.
Of course people here won't agree with my assumptions. Why should they when they don't even like the experiences I had.
In any case, you haven't commented on any of my opinions in my previous post other than this one. In other words, the way I read it, you aren't disagreeing with my opinions, your are disagreeing that I actually have an opinion, which is quite the opposite of what you stated.
Re: Just Once
|May 23 2012, 1:55 AM |
WHat's the point of this exchange?
|May 23 2012, 9:01 AM |
Marseil, I don't know if something gotst in translation, but I don't find it difficult to understand what I was saying in the previous post: I would like to read others' assumptions (we all make them) rather than the apparent assumption by Blue that no assumptions or generalizations are valid.
Contrary to his response, " . . the way I read it, you aren't disagreeing with my opinions, your are disagreeing that I actually have an opinion, which is quite the opposite of what you stated." . . I was ASKING for his assumptions, opinions, anything that is a personal expression of his own beliefs and observations. I was not stating that I did not want him to have opinions . . quite the contrary. I know he will have opinions whether I know what they are or not, and I welcome reading some of those. What has frustrated me now and in the past is his input here has usually been to just deny that any assumptions expressed could have some validity. If that is the case, then please challenge those assumptions based upon specifics anjd not just "We can't know what others, think, believe or do, so there cannot be any assumptions. And even if we could know, there are certainly exceptions contrary to your stated generalizations. Thus, your generalizations have no validity and are not worth discussion because not everyone or everything abides by those assumptions."
Sometimes I feel like I am the only one here who will go out on a limb to say what I think. Everyone else just counters, "You're wrong", but doesn't say why they disagree. Or they just post a link, as if someone else posting it makes it more valid than their own expressions of opinion. Preferably, since no one is always wrong, it would be nice to see acknowledgement of some aspects of my positions/arguments as possibly having validity, followed by discussion of where you might disagree.
Marseil, I offer the same invitation to you, to express your beliefs more. All I really know about you is: 1) You share Nat's contempt for George W. Bush, the Bus Administration, and the direction of U.S. during those years, and 2) You believe Americans to be generally uninformed, misinformed, and makers of bad decisions . . at least as compared to Europeans. There must be more that you think, right? Let's hear it.
Are you afraid?
|May 23 2012, 9:52 AM |
Are you intimidated by beautiful women, Bob? Share your opinion. I make no assumptions about what it is. The thread is about boys and girls, not you and me (I assume).
Leery is a form of fear, I suppose
|May 23 2012, 1:25 PM |
Yes, I am leery of women generally. I think I have stated enough times the reasons for these feelings. I think when you get burned a few times, you learn to be careful around fire, no?
As for the "beautiful" part, that is your claim, not mine. I don't have a problem with attractive women per se. It is how that individual woman carries herself and treats others that makes an impression upon me.
The French viewpoint
|May 23 2012, 9:53 AM |
And what is the view from abroad on this subject?
Are You a Man?
|May 26 2012, 12:23 AM |
I was watching Rachel Maddow on MSNBC, and then Nightline on ABC . . and it seemed to me that being "male" is a joke. "Oh, you have to be a 'real man', and that is ridiculous!" But the other day, I was talking to a female co-worker and described my brother-in-law's "ridiculous" alpha-male behavior, and she said, "I want the man to be the lead and be the man of the house." Really? Why? Isn't such male dominance supposed to be the scourge of the past? Didn't Betty Friedan, Gloria Steinem, Patricia Ireland and their dedicated minions liberate women of all those male-inflicted, self-defeating thoughts? Or, is my co-worker simply exercising freedom of thought and deciding what SHE wants from relationships and life?
Just as I have had African-American friends and co-workers tell me, "Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton don't speak for me.", am I also to belief women who tell me that "The National Organization for Women and other feminists don't speak for me"? Are they brain-washed by men? Can only Feminists speak for women, decide what women should want, decide what allowable men should be, or if men should continue to exist at all?
Who decides? And why?
(Marseil -- do you have any questions about anybody? Apply such questions to them. Such as, what are Americans? What should they be like? Who decides what they should be like, or if they are allowed to exist at all? See, not so hard to participate in this conversation.)
|May 26 2012, 8:45 AM |
Betty Friedan and Gloria Steinem argued for CHOICE. They may have done it in an aggressive manner, but it came down to that the only options open to women should not be staying barefoot and pregnant, and cooking dinner for "their man." If you WANT to do that, great. If you DON'T WANT that, you CAN do something else. And you should get paid the same as a man to do it. Is that really so bad?
I want a man to be a man - and I hope I raising my two boys to be good men. It's one of the reasons I post here and other places to try to get a male point of view. BUT, I don't want a man who thinks he owns me, or that I should be his servant or his maid. I don't want a person who is afraid to tell me how he feels. I want to be the most important person in his life and I want him to be the most important in mine, but I will understand if he looks at the Sports Illustrated Swim Suit issue. I don't care if he goes out fishing or to the game with his buds - but I don't want him to expect that I will be at home 24/7 waiting for him.
All women are not angry at men. All women do not want "feminized" men. But there are some. Your arguments almost always assume that ALL women should fit into a neat category. They don't. Any more than all men do. There were "sissy boys" a long time before Betty Friedan. And there are still macho pigs out there. I understand men get hurt, and legally can get the short end of the stick when it comes to custody. However, I also know women who pay child support, and who lost custody of their kids. So, Gloria Steinem worked for men to in a way.
The biggest thing is that we just didn't want to be treated like sperm banks - making a deposit whenever men felt like it - and feeling like that was all we had the ability to do. I appreciate a great male body - but I also want a man who can think. Trust me - women have more on their mind than sex. But a lot of times that is truly all that seems to be on the guy's mind. He's winning, charming, and friendly - but for one purpose. Not all men. But enough that women got fed up with it. Steinem and Friedan just said "we have rights."
Ohh, women have CHOICE
|May 26 2012, 11:00 AM |
Reproductively, for one: They can choose to have intercourse or not. If they have intercourse, they can choose to use birth control or not. Same as with men.
But women have extra choices that men don't have, aren't afforded: If a woman has intercourse and gets pregnant, she can give birth or abort it -- the man has no say. A good man cannot make a woman carry a pregnancy that she doesn't want and then allow him to raise that child . . if she wants it aborted, it is aborted. If she gives birth, she can keep the baby or put it up for adoption. If she keeps the baby, she has every right to go after the alleged father for child support (if she receives any sort of public support, then the choice isn't hers -- the State will go after the man). And, while men sometimes obtain custody and the women pay support, that doesn't happen near as much as the reverse -- especially for young children, as courts assume that children need their mothers more than they need their fathers. If the mother can be shown to be unfit, then the father could gain custody, but again that is not the typical outcome.
If she gives the baby to adoption, the alleged father has a small window (in some states, just 30 days) to register on a paternity registry or have all parental rights severed forever. This is true even if the sex that resulted in pregnancy was a brief tryst and he might not know the woman became pregnant, or he might have moved from the area since then. It doesn't matter -- all the law requires (per a seminar I attended on the subject) is a brief listing in a newspaper ("If you think you might have fathered a child, contact . . .") and if the father doesn't see it or know about it, his rights can be terminated forever.
Speaking of "alleged father", how many men ASSUMED, because their dear partner told them so, that a baby is really from him? Every woman (barring some hospital mix-up) knows the baby is hers, but the man wouldn't unless he requests a paternity test. If the couple is married, what husband wants to essentially accuse his wife of cheating by asking for a paternity test? Very few. So, we men rely upon the truthfulness of a woman (and, yes, women are human too and they do lie . . often very well) to acquire the facts. That is, until there is reason to need to know the bio link between father and child (such as, one of them needs a transplant or other procedure, or if a divorcing man latter suspects his wife's infidelity) and the truth comes out. Even then, courts have maintained the child support order for a man that finds out, years later, that the children he assumed were his and that he helped support and raise were the result of his wife's infidelity. His emotional hurt gets compounded by financial damage. A double whammy for him.
Personally, I think a paternity test should be a routine part of the blood testing already done when a child is born. The child deserves to know the truth, and so does the father. If a man doesn't have to request the test, but could decline to know the result, then he would have no one but himself to blame for not knowing if the child is really his. If the child is not his, better for all concerned that the truth be known up front and the couple can then decide to stay together or part based upon facts, not assumptions. But, we are no where near the point of requiring such testing. So, men continue to hope and assume.
As the mother of two sons, I would expect that you want the best for them, as I do my two sons. Knowing the truths I described above, and wanting to give good advise, what do/should you tell them? "Scott and Tommy, I have something to tell you. I hope with all my heart that you will find love and have your own families. But, I also want you to know the realities. When it comes to sex and having children, you have two choices: To have intercourse or not, and to use your own protection or not. After that, most of the decisions are up to the girl. She has the say, not you. Your children are more hers than yours. Don't expect that you will have kids if she doesn't want them or you and her do not stay together. The kids go with her, and you will pay for them. I don't want you to live an unhappy life or think that true love is not possible, but I do want you to know the truth about these things so that you can live your life with eyes open."
I never had that conversation with my sons; unfortunately, I didn't have to. They saw first-hand what I went through and have since told me that they never want something like that to happen to them. I told them I would like to be a grandfather one day. My elder son says he never wants children. The younger son, who is gay, told me he hopes to have children one day, but how he will do that he isn't sure. His babies need to come from some woman, so again he faces the prospect that the women can change her mind at any time and he could still end up paying but not having the children with him. While I was as proud as any Dad to have sons, I think I would worry less if they were my daughters now.
My parting point: You, I, any responsible parent of boys, wants their sons to be good, principled, contributing members of society. But where is the reward for being that, for them? If the outcome for being a quality man is MORE punishments than if one were a low-life man, then what reward is there for being a good man, other than inner satisfaction (which, believe me, fades fast in difficult circumstances)? What do we do, when even a lot of MEN refuse to see the unjustness of it all? How do we get MEN to abandon the fear of being perceived as weak, as bested by a woman, as a victim, as someone who cannot handle life's hurdles? We see what we do -- change nothing. Women banded together to change things for the better for themselves, but men stubbornly refuse to do the same.
Not so simple
|May 26 2012, 10:50 AM |
It's not as simple as Male or Female. If you spread people out on a Feminine-Masculine scale you will find them spread all the way from one extreme to the other. Sure, males will mostly on the Masculine side and females on the Feminine side but there will be a lot that are towards the middle and in some cases there will even be some girls being more 'macho' then some men- and vice-versa.
. . . . .
Frankly I don't think extremes of either are good. Both genders have good and bad aspects and it's better to have a blending than all of one or the other. A man can be so "macho" that he's reckless and compassionless. A woman can be so feminine that she helpless and lacks self-sufficiency. Neither extreme is good.
But who decides, Nat?
|May 26 2012, 11:18 AM |
I perceive females as having a lot of choice (to use Jenn's word) in how they will act, talk, dress, be. But males? It isn't so much their choice, as they are constantly told conflicting things: Be sensitive, it's OK to cry . . . don't be such a wimp! Be forward and pursuing . . . that man is harassing me and needs to be punished! Real men could be a nurse or a secretary . . there aren't any 'real' men working here!
From day one, boys get told that they must somehow earn and prove manhood . . but now, nothing really qualifies them, no matter what they do. Even posting something like this can get a guy accused of being less than manly, a whiner, a wimp (I know, I've been called such things). But, I don't hear anyone saying that girls will have to earn or prove that they are "real women". Pretty much, if they possess a vagina, they qualify. Everything after that is icing for them -- be a homemaker, or an iron worker . . . have a partner, or stay single . . . have children, or be childless . . . get formal education or just have common sense . . they never stop being women, and no one asks if they are "real". But men . . somehow are supposed to chase the elusive "real man" that everyone told them they should be . . but never really how. Men are always subject to not being "real", and women define that as much as anyone.