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Topics - scarbo

US agency probes possible gender bias at colleges, will subpoena data from 19 universities,0,1974731.story


Associated Press Writer

3:40 PM CST, December 17, 2009

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- A federal civil rights agency investigating possible gender discrimination in college admissions will subpoena data from more than a dozen mid-Atlantic universities, officials said Thursday.

The probe by the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights is focusing on whether some colleges favor men by admitting them at higher rates than women, or by offering them more generous aid packages.

Commission members voted Wednesday to authorize subpoenas for 19 universities within a 100-mile radius of their meeting place -- in this case, Washington -- which is the geographical extent of their subpoena authority.

The schools represent a mixture of sizes and include public, private, religious, secular, historically black and moderately selective to highly selective institutions. There are six in Maryland, five in Pennsylvania, three in Washington, two each in Virginia and Delaware, and one in West Virginia.

Women outnumber men nearly 60 percent to 40 percent in higher education nationally. The probe grew out of anecdotal evidence and news accounts that admissions officials are discriminating against women to promote a more even gender mix, said commission spokeswoman Lenore Ostrowsky. [(scarbo here) Yeah, and when it's done in the reverse it's called AFFIRMATIVE ACTION]

Spokespeople for several schools on the list declined comment Thursday since they had not received the subpoenas.

Statistics from a few colleges on the list reveal varying percentages of men and women on campus.

Gettysburg College in central Pennsylvania, a highly selective liberal arts school, reports virtually an even gender split this year in its student body: 1,345 men and 1,338 women, according to its Web site.

The college's ratio slightly favored women in each of the previous four years, with about 1,400 women and 1,200 men, the statistics show.

Barbara Fritze, vice president for enrollment and educational services at Gettysburg, said the college will cooperate with the inquiry but stressed that it has not been the subject of a complaint.

Data from last year at Georgetown University, a private, highly selective Catholic school in Washington, show a split of 54 percent women and 46 men in its population of about 7,100 undergraduate students. However, its graduate programs in business, law and medicine have more men.

The public University of Delaware reports undergraduate enrollment of 58 percent women and 42 percent men in each year from 2004-2008, according to its Web site.

Ostrowsky said if all schools cooperate and comply swiftly with the subpoenas, the agency could have a report out in six months. But some schools may not be able to produce the data quickly, even though it has likely been gathered already in one form or another for their own use, she said.

She would not specify what the subpoenas will request.

If the commission's findings are "startling," the agency could seek a wider sampling of data by meeting in a new location, thus changing the 100-mile radius of its subpoena authority, she said. Or the agency could simply ask schools to volunteer the information, Ostrowsky said.

Federal Title IX legislation, meant to promote gender equity, does not apply to admissions because lawmakers wanted to ensure the existence of women's colleges, she noted.

The subpoenaed colleges are: Howard University, Lincoln University, Virginia Union University and the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, all historically black; Catholic University in Washington D.C., Loyola University in Maryland and Messiah College in Pennsylvania, all religious; Georgetown, Johns Hopkins and Gettysburg, all "highly selective"; the University of Richmond, considered "very selective"; York College in Pennsylvania, Goucher College in Baltimore, Goldey-Beacom College in Delaware and Washington College in Chestertown, Md., all private and "moderately selective"; and Shepherd University in West Virginia, Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania, the University of Delaware and the University of Maryland Baltimore County, all public and "moderately selective."

Copyright 2009 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Like you'd expect something different on, but I just had to share:

The Question of Accountability in Feminism
One of the buzz words that kept coming up at the pro-feminist men's conference at St. John's last week was accountability. How can men be accountable to women? How can pro-feminist men be accountable to the feminist movement?

There were no easy answers. Michael Kaufman, founder of the White Ribbon Campaign, wisely debunked the idea that there is some all-powerful feminist committee who serve as the accountability police. Obviously it is a diverse movement filled with folks who would consider some things okay and others offensive--as evidenced by the comment section of this very blog on a daily basis.

On the other hand, it does seem critical for men interested in doing feminist work and identifying with the feminism to be accountable to certain basic ideas--like the notion that men have, for too long, possessed a disproportionate amount of power in our society. This means that in feminist spaces, men should be cognizant of how much they talk, what sort of influence they exert, what kind of leadership they inhabit. But then again, shouldn't men and women always strive to be cognizant of these things.

And, of course, real accountability would come in creating a world where everyone gets to express their gender identity in whatever way feels most authentic, a world where no one would be forced to exist within a gender binary that didn't feel right for them. Men and women aside, this is the ultimate dream that we can be accountable for.

Anyone else have ideas about accountability within feminism? I sort of tie myself in knots trying to think through this one.
Main / Time for another Pussy Pass!
Nov 10, 2009, 03:45 PM,0,6341233.story

Former astronaut Lisa Nowak pleads guilty, gets 1-year probation in attack on romantic rival


Associated Press Writer

4:25 PM CST, November 10, 2009

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) -- A former astronaut who drove 1,000 miles from Houston to Orlando to mount a bizarre attack on a romantic rival pleaded guilty Tuesday to reduced charges and was sentenced to a year on probation.

Lisa Nowak, a Navy captain, pleaded guilty to third-degree felony burglary and misdemeanor battery. She originally had been charged with two felonies -- attempted kidnapping and burglary -- along with misdemeanor battery. She could have faced up to life in prison under the more serious felony charges.

Nowak confronted her romantic rival, Colleen Shipman, in the parking lot of Orlando International Airport in February 2007 after driving from Houston. Shipman had begun dating Nowak's love interest, former space shuttle pilot Bill Oefelein.

Wearing a wig and trenchcoat, Nowak followed Shipman to the parking lot and tried to get into her car, then attacked her with pepper spray. Shipman was able to drive away.

Police arrested Nowak a short time later in the parking lot near a trash can where she was seen getting rid of a bag. In Nowak's bag police found a steel mallet, a knife, a BB pistol, rubber tubing and several large garbage bags.

"Almost three years later, I'm still reeling from her vicious attack," Shipman told Circuit Judge Marc L. Lubet after Nowak's plea, holding back tears. "I know in my heart when Lisa Nowak attacked me, she was going to kill me.

"I believe I escaped a horrible death that night," said Shipman, a former Air Force captain who worked at Patrick Air Force Base near the Kennedy Space Center.

Shipman described how she still fears for her life, suffers nightmares, migraines, high blood pressure and other medical problems and has bought a shotgun and has a concealed weapons permit. She said her Air Force career was ruined by medical problems stemming from the attack. She now lives in Alaska with Oefelein.

"The world I knew before Lisa Nowak is unrecognizable," Shipman said. "Every stranger I see is a potential attacker."

After being told by the judge to face Shipman, Nowak apologized for the pain she brought to Shipman's life.

"I hope very much that we can all move forward from this with privacy and peace," Nowak said.

Lubet ordered her to have no contact with Shipman or Oefelein and to write Shipman a letter of apology. The sentence included two days in jail but the judge waived it for time already served. He said the plea could adversely affect her career and retirement benefits with the Navy.

"You brought this on yourself. I don't have any sympathy for you in that respect," Lubet told Nowak.

The plea came after an appeals court ruled last year that diapers, latex gloves and other items found in Nowak's car could be used as evidence in a trial that had been scheduled for next month, but her six-hour police interview after her arrest could not. The court said investigators took advantage of the former astronaut, who had not slept for more than 24 hours, coercing her into giving information.

Prosecutor Pam Davis had asked for jail time and at least five years of probation, dismissing claims from Nowak's defense attorney that Nowak had been "over charged" by police detectives because of her high profile.

"This has nothing to do with Ms. Nowak being an astronaut. This is about what she did," Davis said.

Nowak, 46, is a married mother of three. She flew on the space shuttle in 2006, but was dismissed from the astronaut corps after her arrest and has since been on active duty at a Navy base in Corpus Christi, Texas. Oefelein, 44, also was forced out of NASA.

Copyright 2009 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Main / One for our side...
Oct 26, 2009, 09:11 PM
Just stumbled across this video. Not bad!

(She's kinda cute, too...)


He also says that men tend to be "obtuse'' about these matters - and "need to be knocked across the head once in a while.'' He "absolutely'' had to learn to be more sensitive.

That's it. Any support I was even thinking of giving this asshole is gone forever.
More blame-the-males. He recognizes the role that fatherlessness plays in creating this problem, but misses horribly on assessing the cause of it. Emphasis below is mine.,0,2750390.column

Seems like every time you turn around, a man, or a man-child, is fighting, maiming, stalking, raping or killing somebody. On a street outside Fenger High School, thugs beat a student to death. Punks used to wait for darkness to do their killing, but a fatal beating in front of an audience in broad daylight isn't something you see very often, even in Chicago.

Man shot dead in Garfield Park. West Side assassin plugs a man in the eye. Man accused of beating to death the former fiance of a cast member of "The Real Housewives of Atlanta." Man charged with beating to death five -- five -- members of one family. A Northfield, Minn., man indicted in the beating death of his 17-month-old stepson. James Degorski convicted of the thrill killing of seven in a Brown's Chicken restaurant. That's just a few of the crimes by men that made news in a 24-hour news cycle last week.

It's no coincidence that prisons are overflowing with men. Without men, our cities, our world, would be a safer place. No, this is not a lame parody of feminist dogma, which would blame men for every horror. But it is impossible to continue to ignore the common denominator: more than poverty, race, access to guns, anomie (or whatever sociologists call it these days), the thread linking so much violence is simply the fact that men do it. On the streets, outside schools, in homes and restaurants; in series or in isolation -- you name it, there's usually a man with a fist, club, knife or gun.

Experts have filled bookshelves with volumes of studies exploring male violence and masculinity. They look to biology, such as the male hormone, testosterone, for explanations. They look to "acculturation" and various societal influences. President Barack Obama, not to be outdone, has dispatched Education Secretary Arne Duncan and Attorney General Eric Holder to Chicago to investigate the death of Derrion Albert, the bludgeoned Fenger High School honor student.

This is all old ground, and I can't imagine that much new can be said. Every possible cause has been cited and undoubtedly they all play a role. But here's a thought: The reason that so many men are violent is other men.

Boys must learn from other men how to control their natural assertiveness, aggression or whatever you want to call it. Sorry, women can't do it alone. Boys must see how good men behave, and that such behavior is a fruitful way to win respect and success. Boys left without a model to show them the value of male qualities and values -- strength, bravery, practicality, decisiveness, competitiveness, discipline, loyalty, pride, independence and physicality among them -- have less chance of learning how to use them for their own or others' benefits. Obviously all these traits aren't exclusively male, but in total, they help define masculinity.

If anything's clear, not enough boys are getting these lessons. Too many men are abandoning their sons. Single motherhood, divorce and absent fathers have become plagues. Marriage is fast becoming an anachronism. What men are doing to their sons is cruel and indefensible.

Pending a return to proper fathering, something has to be done. Last week, I suggested the creation of all-male public high schools with all-male faculty. Some thoughtlessly dismissed it out of hand; one reader called the idea "fascist." Others, no doubt, consider it sexist. But I'm not giving up. Chicago Public Schools already has established several all-male charter high schools, and they are successful. Because father abandonment is so pervasive, every boy -- not just "high-risk" ones -- should attend, but of course, that's unlikely.

But take a lot of the money that was to be spent on the 2016 Summer Olympics, pump it into the Chicago school system to create more all-male schools and hire and retain good male teachers. Disciplined, strong of character, intelligent men. Men whose very presence will nourish the souls of boys who are struggling to find their way through the fog of adolescence. So that they won't get caught in the grip of gangs and violence, the only source left for achieving what they tragically believe is their true masculinity.

Gangs and violence are Chicago's biggest problem. The abandonment of civil society by too many males is a huge reason for poverty, hopelessness and violence. Chicago 2016, are you listening? It wouldn't create the kind of profits you were dreaming about, but it would, more modestly, help save the city.

Dennis Byrne is a Chicago-area writer and consultant. He blogs at">">">

Fewer male teachers are in K-12 classrooms in Illinois

Men cite obstacles to taking the jobs, and many educators believe teachers' gender gap isn't good for how young boys and girls learn

By Joel Hood

Tribune reporter

August 19, 2009

For two years Chezare Warren taught math at a middle school on Chicago's South Side, weathering the kind of situations that keeps so many men from pursuing teaching careers at elementary and secondary schools.

There were the usual jokes from friends about his low pay and cushy workday. There were the awkward moments with women who sometimes belittled his profession. There was the occasional whisper or suspicious glance from parents who questioned why a young man would choose to spend so much time with children.

Most troubling for Warren -- one of six male teachers on a staff of more than 30 -- was the look in the eyes of many of his young male students each semester who, lacking positive male role models at home, seemed to latch onto him for fatherly guidance.

"I learned early on to draw lines and establish boundaries with students," Warren said. "I needed to instill in them that I wasn't their father, I wasn't their social worker."

Those experiences partly explain the ever-widening gender gap among teachers, which accelerated in the early 1960s as more women sought jobs outside the home, said Steve Tozer, a professor of education at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Many educators believe the trend has had a profound impact on the way young boys and girls learn. That's particularly true in urban communities where more and more children are growing up without a steady male influence, they say.

"You're talking about something that has had a devastating impact on the academic success of young black men in their formative years," said Phillip Jackson, president of the Black Star Project, a Chicago-based organization that promotes children's education. "Unfortunately, the males that become important in the lives of so many African-American and Latino boys are the gang leaders, the drug dealers, the hustlers -- and if that's all they see, that's what they'll become."

While male professors still far out-number women at colleges and universities, their numbers are dwindling at lower grade levels, both across the Chicago area and around the country.

In Illinois, fewer than 1 in 4 teachers between kindergarten and high school are men, a percentage that has declined over a 10-year period from 24.6 percent in 1999 to 22.9 percent in 2008, according to the Illinois State Board of Education.

The ratio of male teachers is 1 in 5 at Chicago Public Schools, the state's largest district, and at Plainfield High School District 202 in western Will County, among the state's fastest growing. Those ratios are robust compared with the 12 percent of male teachers at Joliet Public School District 86, and the 11 percent at Downers Grove Grade School District 58 and at Schaumburg Community Consolidated 54. Some districts have no male teachers.

Mary Fergus, a State Board of Education spokeswoman, said the board is concerned about the imbalance but has no plans to recruit more men.

Phyllis Watson, superintendent for Joliet District 86, said her district has a program to recruit minority teaching candidates but does not make a distinction between men and women. Similar minority-targeted programs are used in Downers Grove, Schaumburg and scores of other districts.

"We want our classrooms to reflect the world as a whole, and we put such a priority on hiring people of color. Why do we ignore gender?" said Bryan Nelson, director of MenTeach, a Minneapolis-based advocacy group for male teachers. "The message we're sending to boys is that, not only is teaching a women's realm, but perhaps education is as well."

Yet after decades of decline, Nelson and others are optimistic about a turn-around. Over the last year, Nelson said, thousands of men laid off from their careers in business, advertising, journalism and other white-collar professions are taking a fresh look at teaching, attracted by its seemingly stable work environment and the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of the next generation.

That optimism is shared in academic circles as well, although officials warn it's too soon to say whether men really are seeking teacher certification in larger numbers than before. At National-Louis University in Chicago and other area schools that offer such programs, women still make up a strong majority. Officials said that disparity has not gone unnoticed, but that their top concern is producing qualified teachers regardless of demographics.

"The optimal thing would be to have a diverse teaching staff at all levels," said Harry Ross, chair of secondary education at National-Louis. "But the key is to work ourselves away from the stereotypes that say women are better at certain things, or men are better at other things."

Eric Schmitt, a 5th-grade teacher at Creekside Elementary School in Plainfield, became a teacher two years ago after a career as an accountant. He said pride and ego are perhaps the two biggest reasons more men don't pursue teaching at the lower grade levels. Experts agree, saying that low starting pay and stigma are major factors, along with outdated stereotypes about men's and women's roles, and few mentorship opportunities.

"It's not glamorous, it's not a status position," said Schmitt, 44. "Guys at a young age are chasing after big dreams, big money. But at some point, later in life, they look for a job that's more meaningful."

Increasingly, administrators are reluctant to hire a man to teach young children for fear of abuse allegations or outcry from parents. When the men are young, single and fresh out of college, the reluctance is even greater, said Valora Washington, president of the CAYL Institute in Massachusetts, which last fall released a study on the shortage of male teachers.

"I've heard from many men that they've just felt unwelcomed by their school administration," Washington said. "Working with children is often not the problem, it's working with the adults."

Keilan Bonner, 29, an advanced placement math teacher at King College Prep High School on Chicago's South Side, said he connects to the boys in his class on a different level than a female teacher might.

"We talk about a lot of stuff they might not be comfortable sharing with others," Bonner said. "They know I'm somebody they can talk to outside of class and I think they appreciate that."

Mike Schuelke, a 4th-grade teacher at Freedom Elementary School in Plainfield, said he was the first male teacher many of his students had ever had. And, he said, that seemed to bring him a certain respect. "It may not last long, but you can see it there in the beginning," said Schuelke, 31.

Warren, 27, said he also noticed that extra measure of respect in the beginning. But after two years teaching 8th-grade math at Calumet Middle School, a charter school in Chicago's Auburn- Gresham neighborhood, and two years at other area schools, Warren left to pursue other interests. He's now enrolled in a doctoral program at UIC and hopes to one day teach at a college.

"There's a lot I really enjoyed about teaching," Warren said. "But it wears on you and there's a lot that can discourage you. I felt like I needed a change."

[email protected]

Copyright 2009, Chicago Tribune
Apologies if this has been posted already, if it has, I must have missed it.

White House appoints longtime victims' advocate to combat domestic violence, sexual assault

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A longtime advocate for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault was named to a new post Friday as a White House adviser on violence against women.

In announcing the appointment of Lynn Rosenthal, Vice President Joe Biden said that creating the job allows the White House to revive a focus on domestic violence issues -- which Biden said were not at the forefront during the Bush administration.

"What I'm about to say is not a knock or a criticism on the last administration or anybody else," Biden said, but "one of the sins of omission is this has not been a front and center issue for the last eight years on the national agenda. It used to be."

The White House said Rosenthal will advise President Barack Obama and Biden on domestic violence and sexual assault issues, push for new initiatives of combating violence and work with government agencies on related issues.

A former director of a women's shelter, Rosenthal was executive director of the National Network to End Domestic Violence from 2000 to 2006. And she worked as director of the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

Biden said domestic violence was a priority when the Violence Against Women Act was passed in 1994, allowing for increased funding for women's shelters and law-enforcement training. Biden crafted the law during his time on the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Then-President George W. Bush signed an extension of the Violence Against Women Act in 2006. The extension included new provisions on health care, early intervention and outreach to American Indian women.

Biden said Rosenthal will be coordinating with several agencies, including Justice, State, and Health and Health and Human Services.

"I think the first thing we got to do is just put this back in play, just get it up on the agenda. Get every secretary in the Cabinet thinking about it," Biden said to a room full of advocates against domestic violence.

Each year, women experience about 4.8 million physical assaults and rapes associated with their intimate partners, according to a National Violence Against Women Survey published in 2000. The survey said men are the victims of about 2.9 million intimate partner-related physical assaults.

NOW president Kim Gandy, who took part in a panel discussion about domestic violence after Biden spoke, said, "It's extremely important to have advocacy at the highest level of government for both prevention and services related to the extraordinary epidemic."
'Power' move by male students ruffles U. of C.

A group of University of Chicago students think it's time the campus focused more on its men.

A third-year student from Lake Bluff has formed Men in Power, a student organization that promises to help men get ahead professionally. But the group's emergence has been controversial, with some critics charging that its premise is misogynistic.

Others say it's about time men are championed, noting that recent job losses hit men harder and that women earn far more bachelor's and master's degrees than do men.

"It's an enormous disparity now," said Warren Farrell, author of "The Myth of Male Power" and former board member of the New York chapter of the National Organization for Women. He noted, among other things, an imbalance in government and private initiatives that advance the interests of women and girls.

Further, Farrell said, just because some men are doing well is hardly a reason not to applaud efforts to boost the careers of other men.

"It's like saying 'is it OK for the Yankees to keep recruiting new players because the Chicago Cubs have not won as often?' "

Steve Saltarelli, the president of Men in Power, wrote a satirical column in March in which he suggested forming such a group. "Anyone with an interest in both studying and learning from men in powerful positions, as well as issues involved with reverse sexism, may become a member of MiP," he wrote.

Shortly after the column ran, Saltarelli started getting e-mail messages from men eager to join.

"Mainly people are just excited about the idea that men can have a group as well," Saltarelli explained.

Sharlene Holly, associate dean of students and the director of student activities, said the University of Chicago has approximately nine women's advocacy groups on campus; this group would be the first male advocacy group.

Saltarelli said some 125 students -- including a few women -- have joined the group via its Facebook page. He said the group would host pre-professional groups in law, medicine and business, foster ties with alumni, bring in speakers to discuss masculinity and mentor local middle school students as part of its "Little Men in Power" program.

Holly said she expected to approve the organization's application this week. As a registered student organization, Men in Power could then apply for event funding. The group plans to hold its first event, a student panel discussion titled "Gender and Media: Trespassing the Taboo," on June 2.

Saltarelli, who plans to attend law school, said the emergence of Men in Power has angered some students, especially "people very set in their ways."

To be sure, its title attracts attention.

"The name implies some things that I don't love," said Liz Scoggin, a third-year student who joined the group a couple of weeks ago and now heads its outreach efforts. "I feel like it implies there aren't enough men in power or that kind of thing."

But Scoggin, who is close friends with Saltarelli, said she joined after learning more about the group's aims and after she felt assured that the organization would not pursue a sexist agenda.

Jessica Pan, president of Women in Business and a fourth-year student, questioned whether Men in Power's goals were being met by existing student groups.

"I'm not sure we really need another student organization that focuses on pre-professional development for men," Pan said, noting that, in just the area of business, there were five or six students groups that were gender-neutral.

Similarly, Ali Feenstra, a third-year student and a member of the Feminist Majority, questioned Men in Power's utility.

"It's like starting 'white men in business' -- there's not really any purpose," she said.

Fred Hayward, founder of Men's Rights Inc., would disagree.

Hayward, who is based in Sacramento, Calif., started his men's group in 1977. Then and now, he said, women have not paid enough attention to what it means to be a man in modern society.

Hayward said one of the biggest myths borne of the women's movement was that men like to help each other out.

"We are competing directly for access to women and jobs," he said.

The group's birth comes at a time when the recessionary ax has fallen especially hard on men. In April, the national unemployment rate for men was 10 percent compared with 7.6 percent for women, said Mark Perry, an economist at the University of Michigan in Flint.

That gap is an "all-time historical high," said Perry, who attributed it in part to a loss of jobs in male-dominated fields such as manufacturing and construction.

At the same time, he noted, women today hold about three out of the four jobs in education and health care -- both stable or expanding job fields.

Future employment is also an issue, some experts say. Since 1981, women have collected 135 for every 100 bachelor's degrees awarded to men, according to Mark Perry, an economist at the University of Michigan in Flint. The gap is even wider at the master's level, with women trumping men 150 to 100, he said.

Saltarelli hopes Men in Power will help more men get ahead while raising awareness of the male experience.

"If we have good men in our society, everyone benefits," he said.

[email protected]
Irish woman jailed for incest, abuse of children

DUBLIN (Reuters) - An Irish woman who forced a teenage son to have sex with her and abused and starved her other five children for years in a rat-infested bungalow was jailed for seven years on Thursday.

The teenager was forced to have sex with his mother, now aged 40, on four occasions over a six-year period, the Irish Independent newspaper said.

The woman from central Ireland admitted to police her children -- now aged between 10 and 19 -- were often blue with cold, had dinner only twice a week and had lice crawling over their bodies.

"It was a house of horrors with bells on," the mother, who was not named in order to protect the identity of the children, was quoted as saying by several Irish newspapers.

"I can safely say that I was the worst mother in the world and I'd turn back the clock if I could, but I can't," she said.

The woman was given 7 years and concurrent sentences of 6 years on counts of carnal knowledge, incest and willful neglect, Ireland's Courts Service said in a statement.

"I wish to express my absolute shock and abhorrence at the circumstances surrounding the case," Minister for Children Barry Andrews said in a statement.

He said a preliminary investigation into social services' handling of the case was under way and on the basis of that he would decide on further action.

Judge Miriam Reynolds said she would have given the woman a life sentence had she been a man, but the maximum sentence for women in such cases was seven years, the Irish Times newspaper reported on its website.

The woman is believed to be the first female convicted of incest in Ireland.

Austria shocked the world last year with what media dubbed the "house of horrors" case of Josef Fritzl, who imprisoned his daughter in a cellar for 24 years and fathered seven children by her. Fritzl will go on trial on March 16 on charges including the murder of one of their children.

The Irish woman from the central county of Roscommon admitted a total of 10 charges including incest, sexual abuse, neglect and ill-treatment.

The teenage son who was forced to have sex with her was quoted as saying by the Irish Independent: "I was crying. She was my mother. Why did she do that to me?."

The children, who were moved to foster care in 2004, told healthcare workers their mother regularly left them on their own before coming home drunk around 3-4 a.m. and arguing incoherently with them.

A police investigation began in 2005 after the eldest child revealed details of the abuse to Health Board staff.

One daughter said nits used to crawl down her face and their mother forbade her and her sister from tying up their hair because they would become too obvious, the Independent said.

"Mammy didn't take care of us right," one child said.

(Editing by Richard Balmforth)
Main / Men Are Pigs! Science Says So
Nov 01, 2008, 05:52 PM
Gotta love my hometown liberal feminist-run rag:

Science proves men are pigs

Still no cure for cancer. But scientists from the University of Rochester have resolved one of the great research dilemmas of our time. It turns out (drum roll please) that men are more attracted to women wearing red than to those dressed in other colors.

And get this: Men are unaware of -- among other things -- how the color affects their perception of women's attractiveness.

It turns out that it took five separate psychological experiments to determine this elusive truth.

In one, men were shown photographs of a women wearing red. Then they were shown photographs of the same woman wearing a different color. The men reported they were more likely to ask the women in red to the prom or on an expensive date.

The research was reported this week in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. It's fascinating reading (another article seems to explore the mystery of "gaydar": "Accuracy and awareness in the perception and categorization of male sexual orientation").

Red, lead researcher Andrew Elliot noted, is linked to romance in nature. Non-human male primates are more attracted to females displaying red. Conclusion?

"As much as men might like to think that they respond to women in a thoughtful, sophisticated manner, it appears that at least to some degree, their preferences and predilections are, in a word, primitive."

Stunned, we tell you. We're stunned.

I know they're just trying to be tongue-in-cheek. Still pisses me off to no end, though.
Main / The Vanishing Male Voter (Newsweek)
Oct 20, 2008, 02:57 PM
Link to article

Why men don't make it to the ballot box.

Tony Dokoupil
Newsweek Web Exclusive
Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin have helped draw unprecedented attention to female voters this year. But what will men do at the ballot box on Nov. 4? And how many of them will bother to show up at all?

Over the last 40 years, some 16 million men--a population roughly the size of Michigan and Indiana combined--have stopped pulling the lever. That's a hole five times the size of George W. Bush's margin of victory in 2004. How did it get so bad? Since 1964, when a record 72 percent of voting-age men and 67 percent of voting-age women pulled the lever for president, participation rates have tumbled for both sexes--but far more steeply for men. By 1980, civics-class dropouts had flipped the gender gap. And this November, men are again the odds-on favorites to no-show at the polls.

"Unless there is an astonishing reversal of a 30-year trend," says New York University professor Rogan Kersh, an expert on voting patterns, "far fewer men than women will show up this year, both in real terms and a percentage of their gender."

Other social scientists echo Kersh, although the exact date that men fell behind differs according to how one does the counting. Data that includes all residents over age 18 finds the pivotal year to have been 1980, while figures that exclude felons and legal immigrants--groups that are disproportionately male--date it to 2004. Both formulas reveal curdling male involvement over time. "It's been a gradual but persistent separation," says Harvard University's Thomas Patterson, author of "The Vanishing Voter."

Some politicos say that the Democratic Party has suffered the most from the male malaise, since its base of white working-class men has been eroding. But the shift cuts against the GOP, too. Strong female majorities and subpar male turnout helped elect Bill Clinton to two terms. This election, the missing male vote could sink McCain, whose choice of Palin as a running mate may end up backfiring. A Pew poll late last month found that 53 percent of men have a favorable opinion of Palin--4 points higher than women. Meanwhile, Barack Obama is going where the boys are: his campaign has bought ad space on virtual billboards in videogames like John Madden Football, NBA Live and Grand Theft Auto.

Apathy, anger and inattentiveness have all contributed to a decline in voting among both genders. But some factors are almost exclusively a guy thing.

Take death. Men are, simply, more likely to be dead come Election Day. Compared to woman, men die young (in car crashes, in combat) and have a shorter life expectancy: 75 years on average for American men, compared to 80 for women. That has long given women an edge in the sheer number of eligible voters, which has helped them surge past men in total votes. In 1964, for instance, 1.7 million more woman than men voted. By 2004, that margin had spread to nearly 9 million. Mortality rates also give female voters a boost over men proportionally, since elderly Americans are the most active voting bloc--and the majority are women.

Another factor: men tend to be loners. They are less likely than women to attend church, consume news, trust authority and believe that people are generally good, according to the University of Michigan's General Social Survey, a semiannual tracking of attitudes and behaviors.

Another factor: education and employment. Graduating from college is one of the top predictors of voting, and increasingly men are falling behind their female counterparts. Over the last half century, male enrollment has dropped below that of women at the undergraduate level, falling from two thirds of the national student body in 1958 to less than half--43 percent--today. Even if men do have the same education as women, they aren't necessarily as likely to hit the polls. Consumed by economic anxiety and longer work hours (the top fifth of male earners have seen their work days grow a staggering 80 percent since 1980, according to a study by the economists Peter Kuhn and Fernando Lozano) today's Company Men may not make voting a priority. "The added work hours may have sapped time and energy for civic participation," says New York University sociologist Dalton Conley, author of the forthcoming book "Elsewhere, USA," which unpacks the social and economic roots of our preoccupation with work.

Other men may have more time on their hands than they want. Of the roughly 5.3 million convicted felons barred from voting in this country, more than 80 percent are men, says Erica Wood, deputy director of NYU's Brennan Center for Justice. That number has steadily swelled since the 1980s, adds University of California, San Diego, political scientist and statistician Samuel Popkin, who explains the male voting problem simply: "Men go to jail."

The remaining 12 million men--the nonfelons--who still aren't voting at the rate their fathers did might just be stubborn. "Men tend to view voting as a choice," says Lyn Ragsdale, a political scientist at Rice University who is working on a book about nonvoters. Fortunately there is hope for the nonvoting male: women. In recent years, women have upended the conventional wisdom that they follow their husbands on Election Day--an idea once so entrenched that in the 1930s poll-master George Gallup didn't even bother canvassing women on their political choices. (He once remarked: "How will women vote on Election Day? Just as exactly as they were told the night before.") Today, married men are not only more likely to vote than their single counterparts, but, according to sociologist Michael Kimmel, they are likely to be swayed by their wife's choice at the voting booth. Smart move.


So much for the claim that politics is dominated by men. If women comprise the majority of voters, then I guess they're the ones putting the men in office, aren't they?

Some politicos say that the Democratic Party has suffered the most from the male malaise, since its base of white working-class men has been eroding.

Never mind the fact that the Democratic Party is anti-male as well. Naaaaah, that's got nothing to do with it.

Take death. Men are, simply, more likely to be dead come Election Day.

Nice, warm, caring way to put that, Tony. And yeah, you're right: the only way this matters at all is how it gives the women who survive longer the edge in voting numbers.

Fortunately there is hope for the nonvoting male: women.

Good job, Tony, way to earn those angel wings!

Today, married men are not only more likely to vote than their single counterparts, but, according to sociologist Michael Kimmel, they are likely to be swayed by their wife's choice at the voting booth. Smart move.

Yeah, we're all a bunch of dumb asses who need to be saved by our smarter, more intelligent, spouses. Hey, just like on TV!

This article is yet another reminder that men' issues are way far away from anyone's radar screen. *sigh* In this case, the reasons he assigns to the drop in male participation don't include the issues AT ALL! Didn't he wonder even once whether or not issues has something to do with it?
Main / Anagrams!
Sep 17, 2008, 01:11 PM
These are so much fun...

Obama-Biden: "BABIED MOAN"

McCain-Palin: "CALM IN PANIC"

See what others you can find!
History and Politics / Political Spin
Sep 16, 2008, 08:43 PM
Sent to me by my college roommate. I lean conservative myself, but I thought this raised some interesting points.



If you're a minority and you're selected for a job over more qualified candidates you're a "token hire."
If, on the other hand, you're a conservative and you're selected for a job over more qualified candidates you're a "game changer."

Black teen pregnancies? A "crisis" in black America.
White teen pregnancies? A "blessed event."

If you grow up in Hawaii you're "exotic."
Grow up in Alaska eating mooseburgers, you're the quintessential "American story."

Similarly, if you name you kid Barack you're "unpatriotic." Name your kid Track, you're "colorful."

If you're a Democrat and you make a VP pick without fully vetting the individual you're "reckless."

A Republican who doesn't fully vet is a "maverick."

If you spend 3 years as a community organizer growing your organization from a staff of 1 to 13 and your budget from $70,000 to $400,000, then become the first black President of the Harvard Law Review, create a voter
registration drive that registers 150,000 new African American voters, spend 12 years as a Constitutional Law professor, then spend nearly 8 more years as a State Senator representing a district with over 750,000 people,
becoming chairman of the state Senate's Health and Human Services committee, then spend nearly 4 years in the United States Senate representing a state of nearly 13 million people, sponsoring 131 bills and serving on the Foreign Affairs, Environment and Public Works and Veteran's Affairs committees, you are woefully inexperienced.

If you spend 4 years on the city council and 6 years as the mayor of a town with less than 7,000 people, then spend 20 months as the governor of a state with 650,000 people, then you've got the most executive experience
of anyone on either ticket, are the Commander in Chief of the Alaska military and are well qualified to lead the nation should you be called upon to do so because your state is the closest state to Russia.

If you are a Democratic male candidate who is popular with millions of people you are an "arrogant celebrity".
If you are a popular Republican female candidate you are "energizing the base".

If you are a younger male candidate who thinks for himself and makes his own decisions, you are "presumptuous".
If you are an older male candidate who makes last minute decisions you refuse to explain, you are a "shoot from the hip" maverick.

If you are a candidate with a Harvard law degree you are "an elitist--out of touch" with the real America.
If you are a legacy (dad and granddad were admirals) graduate of Annapolis, with multiple disciplinary infractions you are a hero.

If you manage a multi-million dollar nationwide campaign, you are an "empty suit".
If you are a part time mayor of a town of 7,000 people, you are an "experienced executive".

If you go to a south side Chicago church, your beliefs are "extremist".
If you believe in creationism and don't believe global warming is man made, you are "strongly principled".

If you cheated on your first wife with a rich heiress, and left your disfigured wife and married the heiress the next month, you're a Christian.
If you have been married to the same woman with whom you've been wed to for 19 years and raising 2 beautiful daughters with, you're "risky." (AND a Muslim.)

If you're a black single mother of 4 who waits for 22 hours after her water breaks to seek medical attention, you're an irresponsible parent, endangering the life of your unborn child.
But if you're a white married mother who waits 22 hours, you're spunky.

If you're a 13-year-old Chelsea Clinton, the right-wing press calls you "First dog."
If you're a 17-year old pregnant unwed daughter of a Republican, the right-wing press calls you "beautiful" and "courageous."

If you kill an endangered species, you're an excellent hunter. If you have an abortion, you're a murderer (forget about if it happened while being date raped.)

If you teach abstinence-only, you get teen parents.
If you teach responsible, age-appropriate sex education, including the proper use of birth control, you are eroding the fiber of society.
With regard to men getting clocked in the jewels, we've all put up the question "what if the genders were reversed, would people still find it funny?"

Here's your answer:

Here's the video game they're angry about:
Main / Fight over heat makes wife hot
Dec 18, 2007, 09:40 PM
Another DV story which ends up under "Odd News" because it's female on male.

Fight over heat makes wife hot

Tue Dec 18, 5:38 PM ET

A woman who was angry because her husband wanted her to turn up the heat pulled out a gun and shot their flat-screen TV while he cowered behind a pillow, Macomb County authorities say.

The 65-year-old man called 911 Sunday night from the basement of their Washington Township home, about 25 miles north of Detroit.

"My wife's got a gun. She's shooting at me," Joseph Grucz said in the recorded call.

He told the operator that Cheryl Grucz, 61, was angry because he wanted the heat turned up. She fired a round while he hid his head in a pillow, striking the plasma TV, then went upstairs, the Detroit Free Press said.

"She's all excited about it because she's so cheap," the husband said.

His wife, who had picked up another extension, told the operator she wanted to tell her side.

"I'm not going to hurt him. He has pushed me over the edge, that was all," Cheryl Grucz said, according to a recording obtained by WXYZ-TV. "He has had a stroke, and he's taking it all out on me."

"No I'm not," her husband said.

"Yes, he is," she told the dispatcher.

Cheryl Grucz was arraigned Monday in Romeo District Court on a charge of assault with intent to do great bodily harm, a charge with a top penalty of 10 years in prison. She also faces a felony firearms charge. Grucz was freed on $50,000 bond until a preliminary examination Jan. 15.

The judge also ordered her to enroll in a domestic violence program, WDIV-TV said.

Must not be any zero-tolerance DV laws there. You know, the ones where they haul the violent offender away, give their house to the abused, etc.

Oh wait, this was a woman firing the gun. Never mind.
From The Onion:

Man Finally Put In Charge Of Struggling Feminist Movement

WASHINGTON--After decades spent battling gender discrimination and inequality in the workplace, the feminist movement underwent a high-level shake-up last month, when 53-year-old management consultant Peter "Buck" McGowan took over as new chief of the worldwide initiative for women's rights.
Enlarge Image McGowan

Head feminist "Buck" McGowan leads a march on Washington for women's rights.

McGowan, who now oversees the group's day-to-day operations, said he "couldn't be happier" to bring his ambition, experience, and no-nonsense attitude to his new role as the nation's top feminist.

"All the feminist movement needed to do was bring on someone who had the balls to do something about this glass ceiling business," said McGowan, who quickly closed the 23.5 percent gender wage gap by "making a few calls to the big boys upstairs." "In the world of gender identity and empowered female sexuality, it's all about who you know."

McGowan, who was selected from a pool of roughly 150 million candidates, made eliminating sexual harassment his first priority before working on securing reproductive rights for women in all 50 states, and promoting healthy body images through an influx of strong, independent female characters in TV, magazines, and film.

"It's about time," McGowan said upon returning from a golf game with several "network honchos" in which he brokered a deal to bring a variety of women's sports to prime-time television. "These ladies should have brought me on years ago."

McGowan claimed that one of the main reasons the movement enjoyed so little success in the past was that the previous management was often too timid and passive and should have been much more results-focused.

"You can't waste time pussyfooting around with protests and getting all emotional about a bunch of irrelevant details," McGowan said. "If you want to enjoy equal rights, you have to have a real man-to-man chat with the people in charge until you can hammer out some more equitable custody laws."

"And don't get me started on how disorganized and scatterbrained their old fundraising methods were," McGowan added. "Let's just say the movement never really had a head for numbers."

After McGowan successfully appointed three of his best men to lead  Smith College's women's studies department and called in some favors to a number of powerful board chairmen to triple the number of female CEOs in Fortune 500 companies, analysts predicted that the feminist movement could achieve all of McGowan's goals by as early as 2009.

"With a charismatic, self-assured guy like Pete pulling the strings, we might even see a female elected president one of these days," said Nathan Roth, an analyst at the Cato Institute. "Finally, the feminist movement has a face that commands respect."

McGowan, however, said he didn't get into the business of women's rights for the praise.

"What these women were able to accomplish with the little manpower they had is very impressive," McGowan said. "I just bring a certain something to the table--I'm not sure what--that gave us that extra little push into complete female independence. I guess it just comes naturally."

But despite his modesty, McGowan continues to garner praise from those closest to the cause.

"The whole movement just seems more legitimate with Buck in charge," leading feminist Gloria Steinem said at a gala dinner Friday. "His drive, focus, and determination are truly remarkable. Mr. McGowan is a man with a plan."

Although he has not hinted at any future projects after all forms of gender discrimination are a thing of the past, McGowan has vehemently denied rumors that he will leave the feminist movement to head up the struggle for gay rights.

"The wife would kill me if I took on any more hours," McGowan said. "I'm sure those fellows know how that goes."

Main / Book on Female-on-Male Sexual Abuse
Nov 26, 2007, 03:36 PM
Saw a review for this book in the Saturday Chicago Tribune Book section over the weekend.

Best quote from the review: "He explained why he wrote the novel in flashback format: 'A young boy who has a relationship with an older woman is going to enjoy it. Years later, he's going to realize what the problems are.' "
Main / One More Time... Please!
May 11, 2007, 02:23 PM
OK guys, need your help. My friend has a boy in middle school, and she's gotten to know one of his teachers. Turns out that this teacher's wife has had an affair and is "blocking all contact with the baby". She's asking me for advice which she can pass on to him, and she knows I follow men's rights stuff.

My first thought was that killer divorce primer by Gonz. Does anybody know where I can find that?



Main / If Men Got Pregnant...
May 02, 2007, 03:09 PM

WGN aired a piece last night about father-to-be Zachary Duenow, who wore an "empathy belly" for nine months so he could experience some of the symptoms of pregnancy.

But as my friend and colleague Heidi Stevens so rightly wondered:

"Why? Why can't men just let us have pregnancy? It's one of the few things we get. It reminds me of the time a friend was telling me about her labor experience and her husband had to follow up with his story about how painful his knee surgery was.

It's not about you, guys."

Check out the comments section. Here's one of the good ones (emphasis mine):

I don't understand why you are complaining about this man who is trying to empathize with his wife. He's doing a lot more than most fathers-to-be do. Instead of commending him for thinking about his wife, you lambaste him to no end, because men can't possibly understand what it is like to be pregnant and deliver a child.

I've come to the conclusion that you hate men. Yes, I get it. Men can never become pregnant. Women do all the work. But without men, women would never become pregnant. I've read many of your columns and I just don't understand why you seem to always act like being pregnant is the equivalent of martyrdom. My wife has been pregnant 4 times and I've never heard her complain about half the things that you do